Friday News: Guilty


DAN FOREST DONOR GREG LINDBERG CONVICTED OF BRIBERY: After the verdict, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Stetzer asked that Lindberg immediately be taken into custody — a suggestion that had one of the businessman’s attorneys sitting gape-mouthed in surprise. Instead, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn ordered that Lindberg remain under electronic monitoring and said Lindberg must notify the court of where he intends to live. He and Gray will be sentenced at a later date. The red-haired billionaire left the courtroom by a side aisle, hunched slightly under the strap of his briefcase and carrying a plastic water bottle. He and his legal team quickly walked down some stairs and out the side door of the courthouse onto Mint Street and into a waiting black Denali.

WARREN COUNTY'S MAGICAL LIBERTARIAN VOTERS WERE A (HUMAN) GLITCH: By Thursday afternoon, however, the county had figured out what went wrong and submitted the correct numbers. In reality, the new numbers show, both of the county’s single Constitution Party and Green Party voters cast a ballot. So did five — not 863 — Libertarians, most of whom voted for “No Preference” instead of picking one of the 16 candidates on the ballot. So what caused the original results to be so wrong for those races? Before each election, counties run what are called “logic and accuracy” tests of their voting software to ensure there are no problems. A top state election official, Katelyn Love, wrote in a press release that on Thursday afternoon that on election night, Warren County officials accidentally reported those test results. “This is why election night results are always unofficial” until the state’s audits are complete, she said.

NIDA ALLAM BREAKS CULTURAL BARRIER AS FIRST MUSLIM-AMERICAN WOMAN ELECTED IN NC: Nida Allam made history on Tuesday night when she became the first Muslim American woman to be elected to office in North Carolina, her campaign says. Allam, who ran as a Democrat, was one of five women to win the party's primary for the Durham County Board of Commissioners' five seats, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. She finished fourth with 39,523 votes. Since there are no Republican candidates running in the general election, Allam and the four other candidates will presumptively take office in November. "People of Durham you made history last night by electing me as the FIRST Muslim Woman to serve the state of North Carolina," Allam tweeted Wednesday morning. "I can't even express how grateful I am to have earned your trust and support."

CONGRESS PASSES $8.3 BILLION PACKAGE TO COMBAT CORONAVIRUS: The money would pay for a multifaceted attack on a virus that is spreading more widely every day, sending financial markets spiraling again Thursday, disrupting travel and potentially threatening the U.S. economy’s decade-long expansion. Thursday’s sweeping 96-1 vote sends the bill to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast the sole “no” vote. The House passed the bill Wednesday by a 415-2 vote. The plan would more than triple the $2.5 billion amount outlined by the White House 10 days ago. The Trump proposal was immediately discarded by members of Congress from both parties. Instead, the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations committees negotiated the increased figure and other provisions of the legislation in a burst of bipartisan cooperation that’s common on the panel but increasingly rare elsewhere in Washington. The legislation would provide federal public health agencies money for vaccines, tests and potential treatments, including $300 million to deliver such drugs to those who need it. More than $2 billion would go to help federal, state and local governments prepare for and respond to the coronavirus threat. An additional $1.3 billion would be used to help fight the virus overseas. There’s also funding to subsidize $7 billion in small business loans.

AG WILLIAM BARR EXCORIATED BY JUDGE OVER HIS STATEMENTS ON MUELLER REPORT: A federal judge on Thursday sharply criticized Attorney General William P. Barr’s handling of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, saying that Mr. Barr put forward a “distorted” and “misleading” account of its findings and lacked credibility on the topic. Mr. Barr could not be trusted, Judge Reggie B. Walton said, citing “inconsistencies” between the attorney general’s statements about the report when it was secret and its actual contents that turned out to be more damaging to President Trump. Mr. Barr’s “lack of candor” called into question his “credibility and, in turn, the department’s” assurances to the court, Judge Walton said. The judge ordered the Justice Department to privately show him the portions of the report that were censored in the publicly released version so he could independently verify the justifications for those redactions. The ruling came in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking a full-text version of the report. The differences between the report and Mr. Barr’s description of it “cause the court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller report to the contrary,” wrote Judge Walton, an appointee of President George W. Bush.



Major flight risk

No doubt Greg Lindberg thought he would skate through this trial with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, but those are Federal charges. Not sure what the minimum is, but he could get thirty years maximum. Releasing him with an ankle bracelet is a mistake, and I will not be surprised (at all) if he pulls a Carlos Ghosn and flies the coop.