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TBR News August 24, 2018

Aug 24 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. August 24, 2018:” “Zero Hedge is a very eccentric Austrian economics-based finance blog run by a pseudonymous founder who posts articles under the name “Tyler Durden,” after the character from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.

“Tyler” claims to be a “believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo.” While this is not an entirely unreasonable statement of the problem, his solution actually mirrors the antagonist in Fight Club: Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back “real” free market capitalism.

The site posts nearly indecipherable, and generally bizarre, analyses of multiple and seemingly unrelated subjects that are intended  to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse “any day now.”

“ Tyler” seems to repeat The Economic Collapse Blog’s idea of posting blog articles many times a day and encouraging people to post it as far and wide as humanly possible. “Tyler” moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes filled with generally contradicting jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean. The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given “Tyler’s” psychotic habit of denying each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2014 rally in the equities market.

The only writer conclusively identified is one Dan Ivandjiiski, a Bulgarian former medical student, who conducts public interviews on behalf of Zero Hedge. This hysterical blog came online several days after he lost his job at Wexford Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund (run by a former Goldman trader). And Ivandjiiski chose his pen name from a nihilistic psychotic delusion.

Zero Hedge is not quite the NaturalNews of economics, but not for want of trying.

This entertaining nonsense is in the same category as the pompous, and often rewritten, political blog, the Drudge Report and the “Sorcha Faal” which used to screech about the fictional “Planet X.” And for even more light-weight entertainment, look at the conspiracy blogs of “Dr.” Paul Fetzer and Tom Hengehan. Since the media has virtually done away with comic strips, these are all that is left to entertain a bored reader. These sort of babblings also entertain a legion of the feeble-minded conspiracy freaks that flock to the strange Internet sites like flies to shit.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: Number 7
  • Can Donald Trump Unite the World (Against Himself)?
  • David Pecker: Trump confidant and National Enquirer boss was given immunity in Cohen case
  • What does David Pecker’s immunity mean for Donald Trump?
  • Trump accuses social media giants of censorship, says ‘millions’ being silenced
  • Sessions hits back at Trump over criticism
  • Donald Trump Will Fire Jeff Sessions After Midterms, Republicans Say
  • Prosecutors grant Trump Organization CFO immunity in Cohen probe: WSJ
  • Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight?
  • China’s Flood of Counterfeit International Gold and Silver coins

 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: Number 7

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

 

 

  • Feb 24, 2017

“Maybe they are just bad at polling or maybe they’re not legit, but it’s one or the other, look at how inaccurate — look at CBS, look at ABC, also, look at NBC, take a look at some of these polls.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: These organizations’ election polls were quite accurate. Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by two points. CBS’s final poll had her winning by four. ABC’s had her winning by three. NBC’s was the worst, with Clinton up by five, but the result was still within the poll’s margin of error.

Trump has repeated this claim 5 times

 

“Ford and Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many others are now, because of the election result, making major investments in the United States, expanding production and hiring more workers.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: GM did not offer any indication that it made its new investment of $1 billion because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely Trump was a major factor; GM invested $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. The parent company of Chrysler said Trump had no influence on its newly announced $1 billion investment in Michigan and Ohio, telling ThinkProgress, “This plan was in the works back in 2015.”

Trump has repeated this claim 6 times

 

“By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks and I tell you that because you won’t read about it, OK. But there are lines that go back six blocks.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: There was no line at all.

 

“Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: By no objective measure does Obamacare cover “very few” people. Twenty million people have gained coverage under the law. One study estimated that 2.6 million people initially received notices that their coverage was being cancelled; the number that actually did was likely far lower. Even if it wasn’t, the coverage gains would far exceed the coverage losses.

 

“We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: Trump had not actually approved construction of Keystone XL. His executive order merely invited TransCanada to reapply for approval.

Trump has repeated this claim 9 times

 

“Our Border Patrol, I’ll tell you what they do, they came and endorsed me, ICE came and endorsed me. They never rendorsed a presidential candidate before, they might not even be allowed to.

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: Indeed, these two government bodies are not allowed to endorse candidates — and they didn’t. Trump was endorsed by unions of Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees, not the government bodies themselves.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

 

“In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: This is a strange one. The media accurately reported that Trump tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Reports did not take the word “fake” out. Trump uses “fake news” to refer to media coverage broadly, and broadly mentioned five specific outlets, so there was nothing dishonest about reporting that he had attacked the media here.

“Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There’re no nine people.”

Source: Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

in fact: The Washington Post did not make up its sources: its story, about national security adviser Michael Flynn allegedly discussing U.S. sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before the election, resulted in Trump firing Flynn.

Trump has repeated this claim 12 times

 

  • Feb 27, 2017

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

Source: Meeting with the National Governors Association

in fact: We let a lot of Trump’s hyperbole slide, but this one is egregious. Numerous experts warned that the repeal of Obamacare was far more complicated than Trump was suggesting when he said he would do it immediately upon becoming president. And a Politico health journalist, Dan Diamond, tweeted multiple examples of Barack Obama calling healthcare complicated. Finally, Trump himself said repeal and replacement was “very complicated stuff” a week and a half before he took office.

 

“I got involved in an airplane contract, I got involved in some other contracts, and we cut the hell out of the prices. I mean, we saved a lot of money, tremendous amount of money, beyond anything that the generals that were involved…On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour.”

Source: Meeting with the National Governors Association

in fact: Trump was taking personal credit for savings he did not personally secure. These savings did not come after Trump “got involved”: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price of the F-35 well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range. “Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

Trump has repeated this claim 13 times

 

“In fact, (the New York Times) had to write a letter of essentially apology to their subscribers because they got the election so wrong.”

Source: Interview with Breitbart News

in fact: The Times never apologized for its Trump coverage; Trump was referring to a post-election letter, a kind of sales pitch, in which Times leaders thanked readers and said they planned to “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.”

Trump has repeated this claim 9 times

 

“For instance, when people read the story on the women — first of all, the reporter who wrote the story has a website full of hatred of Donald Trump. So, (New York Times journalist Michael Barbaro) shouldn’t be allowed to be a reporter because he’s not objective.”

Source: Interview with Breitbart News

in fact: Barbaro does not have a website.

 

“They did a front-page article on women talking about me, and the women went absolutely wild because they said that was not what they said. It was a big front-page article, and the Times wouldn’t even apologize and yet they were wrong. You probably saw the women. They went on television shows and everything.”

Source: Interview with Breitbart News

in fact: One woman, not multiple women, went on television to complain about the Times article in which she was quoted. (Rowanne Brewer Lane alleged that the Times put a “negative” spin on her quotes.) The Times interviewed “dozens” of women; the others did not offer criticism of the piece.

 

 

Can Donald Trump Unite the World (Against Himself)?

The Rise of an Anti-Trump Movement Globally — and on His Home Turf

by Dilip Hiro

August 23, 2018

TomDispatch

One thing already seems clear in the Trump era: the world will not turn out to be the American president’s playground.  His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist policies on trade, the Iran denuclearization agreement, the costs of defense, and climate change are already creating an incipient anti-Trump movement globally (and in the United States as well). To a remarkable degree, the countries he has targeted are banding together to oppose him and his policies.  That still inchoate but gathering opposition assures that, whatever Donald Trump’s view of America may be, it is no longer — in the phrase coined 20 years ago by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright — the “indispensable nation.” Abroad or even at home, with the president facing increasingly strong headwinds on climate change at the state and local level, we’re entering a new world order on the heels of the collapsed American domination of the past three-quarters of a century.

Let’s consider the opposition Trump has generated on an issue-by-issue basis.

Cross-Border Trade

In January 2017, on his first day in office, President Trump promptly withdrew the United States from the long-negotiated 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, deeply disappointing among others a close ally, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He had assiduously curried favor with Trump as soon as he was elected on and off the golf course.  A day earlier in January, Abe had even succeeded in getting his own parliament to approve the agreement.

But in an act by Washington’s allies unprecedented in the last seven decades, Abe, along with the leaders of the 10 other countries in that pact — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — refused to take Trump’s executive order as TPP’s death sentence.  Instead, in a groundbreaking step into a new world, they resumed negotiations on the pact in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar.

This March, after months of deliberation, they signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in Chile’s capital city, Santiago. For the signatories, it reduces tariffs drastically, while introducing sweeping new trade rules in markets covering half a trillion people on either side of the Pacific Ocean.

This was a landmark event, inaugurating an era in which countries long accustomed to following cues from Washington forged ahead without its participation. In doing so, they rejected Trump’s view of trade as a zero-sum game, consisting of winners and losers. Reflecting the common perception of the signatories, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said, “We need to stay on the course of globalization, yet learning from our past mistakes.”

Bachelet’s view was shared by Abe, who leads the country with the third largest economy in the world. Japan is a key player in global trade. So, too, is the 28-member European Union (EU) whose aggregate gross domestic product ($17.278 trillion) far exceeds Japan’s ($4.872 trillion).

Soon after recovering from Trump’s TPP exit, Abe decided to revive his country’s stalled free trade talks with the EU. Their shared disapproval of the American president’s trade policy led the two sides to rapidly overcome their differences. In July 2017, Abe formally agreed to an outline of a free-trade deal with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.  By so doing, the EU and Japan, highly developed democracies, made clear their commitment to the liberal, free-trading, rules-based international order, which runs counter to Trump’s worldview.

In July 2018 in Brussels, the European Union and Japan inked the globe’s largest free trade deal, the Economic Partnership Agreement. Remarkably, it covers almost a third of the globe’s gross domestic product and 600 million people. Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s minister for economic revitalization, summed up the situation in this way: “The signing of the Japan-EU deal today will show the world once again our unwavering political will to promote free trade.” Juncker was even more upbeat.  “[The] impact of today’s agreement goes far beyond our shores,” he said. “We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together. And we are leading by example, showing that trade is about more than tariffs and barriers. It is about values, principles, and finding win-win solutions for all those concerned.”

For the first time since the end of World War II, Washington’s allies in the West as well as the East thumbed their noses at an American president.  That made it a truly historic event.

The EU Goes Head to Head With Trump

In May, when Donald Trump exited the multilateral Iran denuclearization deal endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, Juncker was equally strident in his criticism of him. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which had been signed in July 2015 by six world powers (America, Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia) and the EU, was being implemented as specified in the document. Yet Trump announced the re-imposition of the American sanctions that had been in place before the JCPOA. These covered Iran’s energy, banking, and other sectors, and included a provision penalizing foreign businesses worldwide that continued trading with or investing in Iran.

The American president’s 11-minute TV address explaining his decision ignored the 10 quarterly reports by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirming that Iran was in compliance with the pact. Altogether his address contained 10 false or misleading statements, including the howler that Iran was on the “cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Before launching economic warfare against Tehran, Trump had alienated the EU by refusing to grant it an exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs he started imposing on China and other countries in March. An American president is authorized to take such action only to protect “national security.” EU officials argued, to no avail, that their bloc was an ally of the United States and so, by definition, not a national security threat.

“We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration,” Tusk said, on the eve of an EU summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, in mid-May. “Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, some could even think, ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’” At that meeting, EU members agreed unanimously to stick to the JCPOA as long as Iran agreed to do the same.

On August 7th, U.S. sanctions went into effect on any financial transactions involving American dollars relating to Iran’s automotive sector, purchases of commercial planes, and metals, including gold. The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, immediately instructed European companies not to comply with Washington’s demand to cease trading with Iran. Those firms deciding to pull out would require the EU’s authorization to do so. The commission went on to set up a mechanism that would allow firms affected by the sanctions to sue the American government in the national courts of member states.

Russia and China, co-signatories to the JCPOA, concurred with the EU.  “We are deeply disappointed by U.S. steps to re-impose its national sanctions against Iran,” said the Russian foreign ministry. “This is a clear example of Washington violating U.N. resolution 2231 [on the Iran deal] and international law.” China’s foreign ministry also regretted Washington’s decision and urged all involved parties to stay on track for full implementation of the 2015 accord.

The unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2231, passed under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, had endorsed the Iran denuclearization pact, making it part of international law. It included a call for “promoting and facilitating the development of normal economic and trade contacts and cooperation with Iran.”

As if brazenly violating international law weren’t enough, the Trump administration decided to penalize U.N. member states for abiding by that resolution — a frontal attack on a rules-based international order. Fearing U.S. sanctions, some European companies had already backed off their Iranian investments and trade before August 7th. Consider that an apt illustration of a Trumpian world in which it’s the lawbreaker who punishes the law-abiding.

Trump on NATO

As a businessman occupying the White House, Donald Trump has introduced a profit-and-loss paradigm to foreign policy — be it cross-border trade or military budgets. That helps explain his continual drumbeat of criticism about how other NATO members are not spending enough on defense.

After Empire by Dilip HiroAt the July NATO summit in Brussels, Trump was implacable on that issue, summing up his position in this way to CBS News: “Many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills.” A typical Trumpian claim, it bore no relation to reality.  As German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen explained, “NATO does not have a debt account.”

Apparently, the president confused direct and indirect contributions to NATO. In 2017, NATO’s budget was $1.652 billion. Member states contribute according to an agreed-upon formula related to a country’s GDP. The U.S. contributes 22.14% of that budget, Germany 14.65%, France 10.63%, and Britain 9.84%. All paid on time.

Then there are indirect contributions to NATO. These are related to how much equipment and manpower a member state volunteers to a certain military operation, of which the best known at the moment continues to be the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan launched after the 9/11 attacks almost 17 years ago. In order to facilitate and encourage such contributions, NATO leaders agreed in 2014 to increase their spending on defense to at least 2% of their GDP by 2024. Many are on course to do so. Recently, however, Trump upped the ante, suggesting that the figure be 4%, a goal even the U.S., with by far the largest military budget in the world, does not now reach.

Currently, the U.S. is spending 3.6% of its GDP on its military. That amounts to $683 billion (and the military budget Trump just signed raised that to $717 billion), or 71% of total NATO defense spending. That is what led the American president to describe the present situation as “disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States.” Unsurprisingly, Trump failed to compare like with like. Defense of country is normally defined in terms of a possible aggressor. In that sense, the European members of NATO are focused on Russia. Collectively, NATO’s EU members spend $254 billion on defense, or 10 times Russia’s $24.2 billion defense budget.

By contrast, since the end of World War II, the Pentagon has equipped itself to fight wars across the world and dominate both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. That explains why, of the 20 aircraft carriers in service around the globe, 10 belong to its navy. Constructing an aircraft carrier takes years and is hugely expensive, apart from the support ships it needs to form a complete carrier task force.  But as a well-armed, aircraft-equipped, floating part of sovereign U.S. territory, powered by dual nuclear reactors, it is unmatched in its lethal power. This is what led former defense secretary William Cohen to state that, without “flattops,” the United States would have “less of a voice, less of an influence.”

In stark contrast, among Washington’s European allies, Britain has just one aircraft carrier, as does France. Notably, their carriers rarely steam past the Horn of Africa or the Persian Gulf.

Britain is already past the 2% mark for defense spending and France is just .2% short of the agreed-upon target. Since May of last year, France has been governed by 40-year-old President Emmanuel Macron, a staunch advocate of the closer integration, financially and otherwise, of EU members.  In a September 2017 speech, he floated the idea of a joint enterprise to allow Europe’s militaries to coordinate and react swiftly together.  As a result, this June, ministers from Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal signed a letter of intent in Luxembourg to form the European Intervention Initiative (EII).  It would exist outside the EU’s structures and be focused on joint planning for future natural disasters, crisis intervention, and the evacuation of citizens from hostile countries, among other things.

At present, its aims remain modest, but the key point is simple.  The principle that European militaries should act collectively without the involvement of the Pentagon is to be put into practice.  That is likely to prove but one more step on the path toward turning Albright’s indispensable nation into an increasingly dispensable America. If Donald Trump or his successor persists in weakening NATO, he or she will only encourage the Europeans to build on the EII concept.

A Climate-Denying President Is Rebuffed at Home

As a global opposition to Donald Trump begins to form, on one issue, climate change — that affects all humanity — a distinctly American opposition is preparing to join the growing international one.  In June 2017, Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, while appointing an unparalleled crew of climate-change deniers to his administration and reneging on President Barack Obama’s pledge by 2025 to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% (from 2005 levels).

To the relief of most of the planet’s inhabitants, Trump’s withdrawal proved to be a solo act, with the remaining 194 signatories remaining firmly on board. Their representatives were among the 3,000 diplomats and observers who assembled in Bonn, Germany, in May to deliberate on giving the agreement further clout. To the consternation of the Trump administration, the next crucial meeting, a Global Climate Action Summit, will take place in September — and guess where? —  in California.

That state’s governor, Jerry Brown, has been a key figure in rallying support for the Paris Accord and opposition to Trump’s climate-change deniers at the state and local levels. Along with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brown has sponsored the We Are Still In coalition. In November 2017, the two of them published a remarkable report showing that cities, states, and businesses representing more than half of the U.S. economy and population had declared their support for the agreement. “If these non-federal actors were a country,” it pointed out, “their economy would be the third largest in the world, bigger than all but two national parties to the Paris Agreement.”

In his withdrawal statement, Trump stated that “the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.” That accord’s main aim was to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees centigrade from the pre-industrial level. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump added.  Within a few hours, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted back, “I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

Pittsburgh is one of 405 municipalities representing 70 million Americans that have signed on to a Climate Mayors initiative, which has only grown in the past year. More than 80 American cities — even some, like San Diego, run by Republicans — have committed to a future of 100% renewable energy. In fact, Trump’s decision actually spurred some cities to make new efforts to accelerate the pace of change. New York decided to electrify its bus fleet and pledged to divest from fossil fuels, while suing the world’s largest oil corporations for their role in escalating sea-level rise, heat waves, and other natural disasters. It also promised to abandon coal-fired electricity, as did Los Angeles.

Donald Trump is not going to change.  He has declared his intention to seek reelection in 2020 and will continue to nurture his base by endlessly demonstrating his version of Make America Great Again. The 54 million followers he has on Twitter generally seem to applaud the macho bluster with which he conducts his bouts of disruptive diplomacy. So don’t expect him to moderate either his ultra-unilateralist policies or the style in which he delivers them.

The question for the future is this: To what extent can the incipient anti-Trump movement globally and domestically coalesce in ways that will set our world on a new course — one that will make Donald Trump and his Washington cronies the dinosaurs of Planet Earth?

 

David Pecker: Trump confidant and National Enquirer boss was given immunity in Cohen case

The media mogul reportedly met with prosecutors as part of the inquiry into Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen

August 23, 2018

by Edward Helmore in New York

The Guardian

David Pecker, chief executive of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, the tabloid magazine involved in hush-money deals to women ahead of the 2016 US presidential election, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of the investigation into Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, it emerged on Thursday.

Pecker met with prosecutors to describe the involvement of Cohen and Trump in payoffs to women who alleged affairs in the past with the president, the Wall Street Journal reported. Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump, was initially subpoenaed by federal investigators four months ago.

News of the media figure’s help in an investigation that is likely to prove damaging to Trump’s presidency came in the week that also saw Cohen turn on his former boss, as other former acolytes continue to assist the special counsel’s parallel Russia inquiry in Washington, further embattling the White House.

The Enquirer, the often lurid tabloid that reportedly played a key role in shielding Trump from negative stories, has become deeply embroiled in the legal storm engulfing the White House. Experts predicted on Thursday that it could have its press protections stripped away.

The developments came in the aftermath of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea on Tuesday on two counts relating to federal campaign finance violations. The charges stemmed from hush money payments to the adult film actor Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, which were steered through the tabloid company, according to court documents emerging from the Cohen plea agreement.

Although Cohen’s indictment does not name the Enquirer or its parent company, American Media Inc (AMI) – they are identified as “magazine 1” and “corporation 1” – both have previously been identified in press accounts and court records related to payments to Daniels and McDougal.

According to prosecutors, AMI advised Cohen throughout the course of the campaign, leading to the purchase of the Daniels and McDougal stories “so as to suppress them and prevent them from influencing the election”.

Prosecutors continued that Pecker, AMI’s CEO, helped “deal with negative stories about [Trump’s] relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided”.

On Thursday the Associated Press reported that, according to people familiar with the agreement, the National Enquirer kept a safe of documents related to hush money and other damaging stories “it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump”. The safe was emptied prior to Trump’s inauguration, according to the AP.

Samuel Freedman, a professor of journalism at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, told the Guardian either of those claims clearly oversteps the role of the press and the protections to report freely that it is afforded under the US constitution.

While the first amendment gives media companies broad freedoms to communicate with candidates, they are not permitted to act outside “legitimate press function”, in this case, potentially coordinating with a campaign to spend money to influence an election.

“Conspiring with a political campaign to hide a damaging article, and doing so by paying in a catch-and-kill scenario, seems to me behavior that should not be protected as first amendment free speech,” he told the Guardian.

“The Enquirer’s alleged actions, if true, go far beyond the legitimate exercise of journalistic decision-making or legitimate opinionizing.”

“The question is, was AMI was acting outside legitimate press function if it purchased a story with the intention of it not becoming public,” Brendan Fischer, federal reform director at the Campaign Legal Center, told the Guardian. “It’s hard to see how that is a legitimate function of the press.”

Trevor Potter, former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and current CLC president, told the New York Times that AMI could now be in legal jeopardy. Such activity “is not like the action of a media company deciding what to cover and exercising editorial judgment”, Potter said.

“Cohen says they entered into an agreement with Trump and his campaign to use corporate money to squelch information detrimental to Trump’s election. That presents a serious legal problem for AMI.”

In a follow-up statement on the CLC website, Potter added: “If Trump himself knowingly and willfully violated the law, or engaged in or directed a conspiracy to do so, he too could be facing criminal penalties.”

But Pecker’s apparent decision to corroborate Cohen’s account is an important loss for the president, who had long relied on Pecker as a key media ally.

Pecker regularly flew with Trump on his plane from New York to Florida. Last summer, Pecker reportedly brought an adviser to Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to meet Trump in the Oval Office to help him expand AMI’s business.

In July 2013, Trump tweeted that Pecker should become CEO of Time magazine. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”

According to the Washington Post, the Enquirer routinely sent stories to Trump to review before publication.

Trump aides were also reportedly a source for Enquirer smear stories, including one that exposed malpractice lawsuits against Ben Carson, who was then running against Trump for the Republican party nomination.

The supermarket carried repeated attacks on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as carrying unusually favorable coverage of Trump and his family.

But according to a source at AMI who spoke to Vanity Fair, Pecker and Trump’s relationship soured and the friends have not spoken in roughly eight months. The National Enquirer editor, Dylan Howard, also reportedly granted immunity by federal prosecutors, is particularly angry at Trump.

 

 

What does David Pecker’s immunity mean for Donald Trump?

The National Enquirer boss’s deal appears to be more bad news for the president in a bad week

August 23, 2018

by Tom McCarthy in New York

The Guardian

After Michael Cohen stood in court Tuesday and said that a candidate for office – Donald Trump – had directed him to broker hush payments to two women, the details of the payments and the nature of their illegality became extremely urgent questions.

It was suddenly clear that a sitting president might have committed a crime during his candidacy. As Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis put it: “If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”

But federal prosecutors were a step ahead, it appears. In bombshell news stories Tuesday, Vanity Fair and the Wall Street Journal reported that two witnesses – the magazine publisher David Pecker and one of his chief officers, Dylan Howard – had been granted immunity in exchange for their testimony in the matter.

The negotiations between prosecutors in the southern district of New York and Pecker and Howard had not been previously disclosed before Thursday. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

The immunity deals appear to be more bad news for Trump in a bad week. If Trump did break the law in connection with the hush payments, the testimony of Pecker and Howard could provide evidence of the crime, because they were involved in both transactions, the Wall Street Journal reported. Or their testimony could be used to prosecute someone else in the Trump Organization or his presidential campaign.

In one transaction, the executives helped to arrange for one of their publications, the National Enquirer, to pay $150,000 to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal for exclusive rights to her story of an alleged affair with Trump. The story was never published.

In a second transaction, Cohen contacted the lawyer who had brokered the McDougal deal, Keith M Davidson, to reach a deal with the pornographic actor Stormy Daniels for a $130,000 payment. The role of Pecker and Howard in that second transaction was unclear.

Pecker is a longtime friend of Trump’s, a past frequent guest at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and the former publisher of a magazine called Trump Style. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the National Enquirer was an essential ally of the Republican known for railing against “fake news”, publishing one cover story announcing that Hillary Clinton had six months to live and another that Ted Cruz’s father was “linked to JFK assassination!”

Trump repeated the latter story on Fox News in May 2016, when Cruz was a primary opponent, saying: “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being – you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous.” (Indeed the allegation is ridiculous.)

Does the prosecutors’ interest in Pecker and Howard mean that they are investigating someone higher up than Cohen, who has already pleaded guilty?

That depends on when the reported immunity deal was made, said Ryan Goodman, a professor at the NYU School of Law and founding co-editor-in-chief of the website Just Security.

“A lot might turn on when prosecutors granted immunity to Pecker and Howard, because if it’s earlier on in time, it could mean that they were simply building the case against Michael Cohen,” Goodman said.

“But the wording of the reporting in Vanity Fair, if true, suggests that the prosecutors are looking specifically at the president himself.

“The president himself can’t sleep easy knowing that this is what’s occurred in the case.”

 

Trump accuses social media giants of censorship, says ‘millions’ being silenced

August 24, 2018

RT

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at tech companies for deplatforming “millions” of users, arguing that people must be allowed to decide for themselves what is true.

In a Friday tweet, the US president took aim at what he perceived as widespread censorship on social media. “Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!” he wrote.

Facebook and Google have come under scrutiny after what appeared to be a coordinated effort to remove right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms. Jones was later suspended by Twitter. The high-profile de-platforming coincided with a number of troubling suspensions issued by Facebook.

Telesur, a well-known news channel funded by several Latin American governments, had its Facebook page removed twice, before the company reinstated it, claiming the bans were erroneously issued.

In a speech given earlier this week, Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU), warned that the social media de-platforming faced by Jones’ InfoWars could set a dangerous precedent.

Wizner said that while private companies had a right to regulate speech on their platforms, regulating speech – even if deemed hateful – was a slippery slope.

“If [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions, for example, were deciding what’s hate speech, he would be less likely to think KKK and more likely to think [Black Lives Matter],” he said.

Trump echoed a similar sentiment on Monday during an interview with Reuters.

“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump told the news agency.

Sessions hits back at Trump over criticism

August 23, 2018

by Doina Chiacu and Steve Holland

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back at President Donald Trump on Thursday after Trump gave a scathing assessment of his leadership at the Justice Department.

Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, was one of the first Republican lawmakers to back Trump’s presidential election bid and has implemented his hardline immigration policies in the role of attorney general.

But Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing a probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow. Trump denies any collusion and calls the investigation a “witch hunt.”

“I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired on Thursday. “He took the job and then he said: ‘I’m going to recuse myself.’ … I said, ‘What kind of a man is this?’”

In a rare rebuttal to Trump, Sessions quickly moved to defend himself.

“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in,” Sessions said in a statement. “While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

The response sparked new speculation that Trump might fire Sessions, although some senior Republican lawmakers offered the attorney general support.

“I know this is a difficult position for him to be in, but I think it would be bad for the country, it would be bad for the president, it would be bad for the Department of Justice for him to be forced out under these circumstances,” said Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who is both close to Trump and a defender of Sessions, said he believed Trump would appoint a new attorney general but should wait until after Nov. 6 congressional elections, in which Republicans are seeking to maintain control of both the House of Representatives and Senate.

The public spat between Sessions and the president came two days after Trump’s former election campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on tax and bank fraud charges, and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges.

Cohen also said Trump directed him to pay off two women who said they had affairs with Trump, payments that prosecutors say were in violation of campaign finance laws.

‘ALMOST OUGHT TO BE ILLEGAL’

Under pressure over the Cohen and Manafort cases, Trump has renewed his criticism of Sessions and reprised his complaints about the Justice Department and the FBI, accusing them without providing evidence of treating him and his supporters unfairly.

In the interview with Fox News, Trump also criticized the widely used tactic of prosecutors offering lighter charges in criminal cases in return for information and testimony against others.

“It is called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal,” Trump said.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump had discussed with his lawyers a possible pardon for Manafort but had been persuaded to wait until after the November elections.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed a slight drop in support among Republicans for Trump following the Manafort conviction and the Cohen plea.

The poll, conducted from Tuesday evening to Thursday, found that 78 percent of Republicans approved of Trump, down from 81 percent in a seven-day poll that ended on Monday.

Overall, 37 percent of adults said they approved of Trump’s performance in office – down from 43 percent in the earlier poll.

Trump’s approval numbers have been relatively stable since he took office in January 2017, when compared with his predecessors, and his popularity has not wavered much among Republicans.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,688 American adults, including 704 Democrats and 587 Republicans. It had a credibility interval, a measure of the poll’s precision, of 3 percentage points for the entire sample, 4 points for the Democrats and 5 points for the Republicans.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Chris Kahn, Patricia Zengerle and Makini Brice; Writing by James Oliphant; Editing by Bill Trott, Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney

 

Donald Trump Will Fire Jeff Sessions After Midterms, Republicans Say

August 24, 2018

by Alexandra Hutzler

Newsweek

After his latest spat with President Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress predict Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be fired after the midterm elections.

Conservative lawmakers are gearing up for Sessions’ possible removal after repeatedly defending the attorney general against the threats from Trump, who distanced himself from Sessions after he recused himself from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling.

Senator Bob Corker told Politico on Thursday that “it’s apparent that after the midterms, [Trump] will make a change and choose someone to do what he wants done.”

Lindsey Graham echoed that view, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that he would encourage the president to fire Sessions and that he was open to confirming a new attorney general, Reuters reported. Republicans in Washington previously feared that firing Sessions would lead to allegations that Trump was obstructing justice by trying to end the Mueller probe. But Graham said that the argument is no longer sufficient.

“To those who believe that the only way that you can protect Mueller is to keep Jeff Sessions as attorney general forever, I don’t buy it,” Graham said on Thursday. Graham went on to say that the president is “entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that’s qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice.”

 

Prosecutors grant Trump Organization CFO immunity in Cohen probe: WSJ

August 24, 2018

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors have granted immunity to Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg in a probe involving U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Weisselberg was called to testify before a federal grand jury earlier this year, the Journal said.

A cooperation deal between Weisselberg and prosecutors could be damaging to Trump given the executive’s longtime role in Trump’s business affairs. Weisselberg has worked for the Trump family for more than four decades, including as treasurer for the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Cohen, who arranged hush-money payments before the November 2016 U.S. presidential election to at least two women who had said they had sex with Trump, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges. He said Trump directed him to arrange the payments.

Such payments could be considered illegal campaign contributions under federal election law.

Two executives at American Media Inc, which publishes the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid reportedly involved in making the payments, have also been granted immunity in the investigation, according to news media reports. One of the executives is American Media Chief Executive David Pecker, a longtime Trump friend.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, which has been leading the Cohen investigation, declined to comment. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alan Futerfas, an outside lawyer for the organization, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Weisselberg was mentioned by Cohen on a secret recording the lawyer made in September 2016 and aired on CNN last month. On the recording, Cohen and Trump appeared to discuss reimbursing American Media for a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has said she had a yearlong affair with Trump. Trump has denied the affair.

Trump has also denied having sex with the second woman, adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

On the tape, Cohen is heard saying, “I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.”

McDougal sold her story to American Media for $150,000 in August 2016 but it was never published by the National Enquirer, a practice known as “catch and kill” aimed at suppressing potentially damaging stories.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Oatis

 

Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight?

August 24, 2018

by Patrick J. Buchanan

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer,” said President Donald Trump ruefully, “I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.” Michael Cohen is no Roy Cohn.

Tuesday, Trump’s ex-lawyer, staring at five years in prison, pled guilty to a campaign violation that may not even be a crime.

Cohen had fronted the cash, $130,000, to pay porn star Stormy Daniels for keeping quiet about a decade-old tryst with Trump. He had also brokered a deal whereby the National Enquirer bought the rights to a story about a Trump affair with a Playboy model, to kill it.

Cohen claims he and Trump thus conspired to violate federal law. But paying girlfriends to keep past indiscretions private is neither a crime nor a campaign violation. And Trump could legally contribute as much as he wished to his own campaign for president.

Would a Democratic House, assuming we get one, really impeach a president for paying hush money to old girlfriends?

Hence the high-fives among never-Trumpers are premature.

But if Cohen’s guilty plea and Tuesday’s conviction of campaign manager Paul Manafort do not imperil Trump today, what they portend is ominous. For Cohen handled Trump’s dealings for more than a decade and has pledged full cooperation with prosecutors from both the Southern District of New York and the Robert Mueller investigation.

Nothing that comes of this collaboration will be helpful to Trump.

Also, Manafort, now a convicted felon facing life in prison, has the most compelling of motives to “flip” and reveal anything that could be useful to Mueller and harmful to Trump.

Then there is the Mueller probe itself.

Twenty-six months after the Watergate break-in, President Nixon had resigned. Twenty-six months after the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails, Mueller has yet to deliver hard evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Putin’s Russia, though this was his mandate.

However, having, for a year now, been marching White House aides and campaign associates of Trump before a grand jury, Mueller has to be holding more cards than he is showing. And even if they do not directly implicate the president, more indictments may be coming down.

Mueller may not have the power to haul the president before a grand jury or indict him. After all, it is Parliament that deposes and beheads the king, not the sheriff of Nottingham. But Mueller will file a report with the Department of Justice that will be sent to the House.

And as this Congress has only weeks left before the 2018 elections, it will be the new House that meets in January, which may well be Democratic, that will receive Mueller’s report.

Still, as of now, it is hard to see how two-thirds of a new Senate would convict this president of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Thus we are in for a hellish year.

Trump is not going to resign. To do so would open him up to grand jury subpoenas, federal charges and civil suits for the rest of his life. To resign would be to give up his sword and shield, and all of his immunity. He would be crazy to leave himself naked to his enemies.

No, given his belief that he is under attack by people who hate him and believe he is an illegitimate president, and seek to bring him down, he will use all the powers of the presidency in his fight for survival. And as he has shown, these powers are considerable: the power to rally his emotional following, to challenge courts, to fire Justice officials and FBI executives, to pull security clearances, to pardon the convicted.

Democrats who have grown giddy about taking the House should consider what a campaign to bring down a president, who is supported by a huge swath of the nation and has fighting allies in the press, would be like.

Why do it? Especially if they knew in advance the Senate would not convict.

That America has no desire for a political struggle to the death over impeachment is evident. Recognition of this reality is why the Democratic Party is assuring America that impeachment is not what they have in mind.

Today, it is Republicans leaders who are under pressure to break with Trump, denounce him, and call for new investigations into alleged collusion with the Russians. But if Democrats capture the House, then they will be the ones under intolerable pressure from their own media auxiliaries to pursue impeachment.

Taking the House would put newly elected Democrats under fire from the right for forming a lynch mob, and from the mainstream media for not doing their duty and moving immediately to impeach Trump.

Democrats have been laboring for two years to win back the House. But if they discover that the first duty demanded of them, by their own rabid followers, is to impeach President Trump, they may wonder why they were so eager to win it.

 

China’s Flood of Counterfeit International Gold and Silver coins

August 24, 2018

by Christian Jürs

With the collapsing American economy, many Americans are rushing to invest in gold; either coins or bar, and also silver. One of the most popular forms of this investment are American coins. Where there is a need, there is always someone to fill it and in this case, the filling consists of the massive counterfeiting of gold coins, silver coins, and even Swiss gold bars in China. Initially, it appeared they were only faking Morgan dollars, but then it turned out they were also making $20 Liberty, and Indian Head gold $2.50, $5, and $10 coins, of all dates. Evidently, this is extremely easy with today’s computer-and-laser-die-cutting technology, and the fakes are being die-struck in vast quantities, not cast, and visually at least, are superb copies.

Liu Ciyun (who prefers to be known by his eBay handle, “Jinghuashei”) is a typical young upwardly-mobile Chinese suburbanite. Married, with a 5-year-old son, Jinghuashei has worked hard the past few years to build a business.

Like most legitimate businessmen, Jinghuashei operates within the laws of his country, and has earned official certification for his small production facility, which employs up to 30 people. The products he sells are properly licensed, where appropriate, and absolutely, 100 percent legal to produce and sell in China.

The only fault that most Americans might find with Jinghuashei’s business model is that he is in the business of producing counterfeit coins.

Jinghuashei’s company is called the Big Tree Coin Factory. It is located in the Fujian (also known as Fukien) province in the southeast portion of the People’s Republic of China. This area is well known to be a hotbed of counterfeiting activity and Jinghuashei acknowledges being aware of approximately 100 competitors who are manufacturing fake coins.

Jinghuashei says that his coin factory is probably the largest of its type in China. It produces in excess of 100,000 fake coins per month for Chinese coin types alone.

He says he is currently only selling about 1,000 counterfeit U.S. coins per month, mostly on eBay. His primary motivation for servicing this comparatively small volume business is that he is making contacts with people he hopes will come to China to buy counterfeit coins on a wholesale basis.

Jinghuashei also claims a sales volume of several thousand counterfeit coins per month in world coin types.

Legal business

Jinghuashei is forthcoming about his business practices. He is certain that he is operating legally in China, which requires that the coins he makes are dated 1949 or earlier. As long as he sticks to this one important regulation and maintains his business certification (license), he says he has nothing to fear from the authorities in China.

But what about the United States of America?

Isn’t he worried that the Secret Service or some other U.S. government agency will come after him for making counterfeit U.S. coins? After all, the coins struck by the U.S. Mint, regardless of date, are all still legal tender, and thus subject to U.S. coin counterfeiting laws. It is illegal for him to sell these coins in the United States, even via eBay.

Jinghuashei responds by claiming that he is operating within the confines of the Hobby Protection Act, a U.S. law that requires all nongenuine numismatic items produced after 1973 to be permanently and conspicuously counterstamped with the word COPY. When informed that his eBay auctions are not in compliance with this law, because he is using a punch that says REPLICA, he seems unconcerned.

Despite numerous online chats and e-mail exchanges with him in which the U.S. law has been discussed, Jinghuashei still hasn’t changed his punch to be in compliance.

Although he has never said it outright, it is apparent he feels invulnerable to U.S. law enforcement because they are unlikely to go all the way to China to prosecute him for the relatively small sums of money his eBay sales generate.

The word “replica” was used in conversations with and questions of Jinghuashei since that is the term he prefers and he appears to be more open to talking than if the terms “counterfeit” or “fake” are used.

Production costs

Jinghuashei acknowledges that the minting equipment currently used in his Big Tree Coin Factory is old and the images he provided show a cramped and dirty environment. But that helps to keep Big Tree’s coin manufacturing costs very low. He says he has access to more modern presses when he needs them.

Jinghuashei says it costs him only 8 cents each to produce each fake Chinese coin using iron-based planchets. Counterfeit U.S. coins cost more – an average of 50 cents each – because the copper and nickel planchet alloys cost him more to make. Jinghuashei says these figures include his entire expense, including materials, labor and marketing.

On eBay, Jinghuashei’s single-coin auctions are usually listed with a starting price of 5 or 10 cents, and they usually close around those prices when he gets a buyer.

Asked how he makes a profit if it costs 50 cents each to make his coins, he explains that he makes most of his profit from the shipping expense he collects from buyers.

This is a common practice with China-based sellers on eBay. They sell the item very cheaply, but then charge as much as $70 or more for shipping. Doing this serves two useful functions. First, their Final Value Fee expense is minimal, since eBay bases this fee on the auction’s closing price. Secondly, if an item is returned to the seller for some reason, the buyer can only recover that minimal bid amount since shipping and handling is typically nonrefundable.

Most of the Big Tree Coin Factory’s current profits are coming from the large number of fake Chinese coins it produces. Many of these coins are replicas of ancient Chinese coins. There is a strong demand for them at flea markets and in tourist zones. Jinghuashei does an active wholesale business in fake Chinese coins, most of which are sold within China itself.

1; The U.S .Morgan silver dollar. All dates and all mint marks;

2: The U.S. gold coins viz the $2.50, $5.00 and $10.00 Indian head issues

  1. The U.S. copper penny viz 1909 S vdb
  2. Three gold Imperial Russian roubles from the reign of Nicholas II
  3. A gold 20 franc coin with the head of Napoleon I on the obverse
  4. The South African Krugerrand
  5. British sovereigns and half sovereigns of different monarchs and dates
  6. King George IV gold sovereign, and 1843 U.S. half dollars.

Those coins were struck at mints in New Orleans; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints operated from 1838, when the first significant US gold deposits were found in those areas, until the start of the Civil War in 1861

9.$10 Gold Eagles, as well as the $2.50 and $5.00 pieces issued by the Southern Mints of New Orleans, Charlotte, NC and Dahlonega, GA.

These coins bear the mint marks of O, C, and D respectively

  1. $10 Eagles were minted in New Orleans and others in Philadelphia.
  2. Seated Liberty Half Dollar 1861-O
  3. 1857 “S” Shipwreck Gold Coins
  4. 1858 “S” $20 Liberty

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