FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Friday, October 27, 2017

UPDATE: Arizona GOP Redirects Insys-Related Contributions To Southwest Behavioral Health Services

Last night, Arizona's Politics reported that newly-arrested Insys founder and majority owner John Kapoor had donated monies to the Arizona Republican Party (in addition to President Trump and other Republican groups). The Arizona GOP informs Arizona's Politics that it disgorged the $1,500 the same day and gave the money to Southwest Behavioral Health Services.

Our report yesterday noted that AZGOP Communications Director Torunn Sinclair had tweeted that the monies had been donated. However, it was later in the evening that she gave the details.

"They gave us $1,500, once we learned of the indictment today, we immediately donated the money. The funds were donated to Southwest Behavioral Health Services," Sinclair told Arizona's Politics. (SBHS runs opioid four addiction treatment centers in central and northern Arizona.)

She went on to compare and contrast the AZGOP's swift action to the Arizona Democrats and Democratic candidates who had received money from the founders of Backpage. While there are similarities and it can be argued that candidates/parties should not be required to disgorge contributions even from people under indictment, the $500,000 Insys/Kapoor contribution to fight the marijuana legalization initiative in Arizona cannot be disgorged, had some impact on the defeat of that initiative, AND was designed to further the business interests of a company allegedly mis-selling an opioid product.

The $2,700 to President Trump's campaign, the $1,500 to the NRCC and the $3,000 to the Republican National Committee are still at large.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

UPDATE: Arrested/Indicted Insys Founder John Kapoor Recently Contributed To Arizona GOP, Trump, National Republicans; AZGOP Says Money Was Donated

On the day that President Donald Trump declared opioid addiction a public health emergency, the federal government arrested Insys founder and majority owner John Kapoor for fraud and racketeering in marketing its Fentanyl spray.

According to FEC records, Kapoor contributed $2,700 to Trump's Presidential campaign last year, and has contributed $1,500 to the Arizona Republican Party this year. Additional contributions in 2017 include $3,000 to the Republican National Committee and $1,500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

However, the political contribution that Kapoor and Insys are best known for was the $500,000 given to the Arizona committee fighting last year's initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Torunn Sinclair, the Communications Director for the Arizona GOP, indicated on Twitter tonight that the Kapoor monies were "already donated".  She has not yet replied to Arizona's Politics' requests for further details.

(READ the unsealed indictment here)

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BREAKING: Insys Founder John Kapoor, Others Arrested For Selling Subsys; Indictment Unsealed (READ)

Insys founder and majority owner John Kapoor was arrested in Phoenix today and charged with racketeering and paying kickbacks related to the company's fentanyl spray.

(UPDATE: Arrested/Indicted Insys Founder John Kapoor Recently Contributed To Arizona GOP, Trump, National Republicans; AZGOP Says Money Was Donated)

Kapoor was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Phoenix today. The 74-year old is accused of setting up a national conspiracy using bribes and fraud to maximize sales of Subsys.

Kapoor's Initial Appearance and Arraignment has been set for November 16 in Boston.

Here is the newly-unsealed indictment:

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Friday, October 20, 2017

UPDATE: Arpaio At Trump Golf Club, Hanging At California Republican Convention After Being Found Still Guilty

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was stumping at President Donald Trump's Rancho Palos Verdes golf club last night while his attorneys were beginning to appeal yesterday's still-guilty of criminal contempt of court decision.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued her four-page order (read here) after business hours last night, and Arpaio's attorneys filed a Notice of Appeal within an hour of two.

At the same time, the former Sheriff was headlining a $250/person fundraiser for a 28-year old candidate challenging longtime Congresswoman Maxine Waters. "I don't know her, but I don't like her," Arpaio told the group.

The candidate, Omar Navarro, added that Arpaio would be hanging out with him in his hospitality suite at the California Republican Convention in Anaheim this weekend.

Unless the golf club donated its room and services, the President will make money from Arpaio's appearance, less than two months after Trump issued the pardon that halted the sentencing portion of Arpaio's contempt case.

(h/t to LA Daily News' Kevin Modesti)

UPDATE: Here's video of last night's event. H/t to Curious George.)

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

BREAKING, READ: Arpaio Immediately Appeals Decision That Lets Court's Guilty Finding Stand

Moments after U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton notified his attorneys of her decision that her finding that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was guilty of criminal contempt of court would stand, Arpaio filed a Notice of Appeal.

Judge Bolton recognized that President Donald Trump's controversial pardon of Arpaio "undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, 'revise the historical facts' of this case."

The court had found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt in July, for willfully violating orders of a different judge in the still-active civil rights case of Melendres v. Arpaio. After Trump's August 25 pardon, the Court suspended the pending sentencing hearing, and later accepted the pardon as ending the case.

Arpaio's attorneys asked that the Court go further and undo her July 31 order.  The decision today refused that, and the Notice of Appeal has been filed. You can read both below.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

BREAKING: "Abandoned the Prosecution"; Judge Must Appoint Private Attorney To Appeal Trump's Pardon Of Arpaio, Former Clinton and Obama Attorneys Tell Court (READ)

Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the DOJ has "abandoned the prosecution", an independent, private counsel must be appointed by the U.S. District Court so that the effect of President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be appealed. A group led and represented by former attorneys for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton filed the brief earlier today.

The Amici Curiae brief was filed (read below) by The Protect Democracy Project, along with other attorneys from Perkins Coie, and Messing & Spector.  The Protect Democracy Project was formed by attorneys who served former President Barack Obama, the attorneys of Messing & Spector were senior counsel for Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Perkins Coie represents the Democratic National Committee.

The brief (3 pages, below) brief is asking "that the Court take a modest action to provide for appellate consideration of this issue, by appointing a private attorney - as the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure command - who can then prosecute an appeal."  Claiming the "core power of the judiciary is at stake", they claim that Rule 42(a)  mandates ("must") that a private attorney be appointed in a prosecution for criminal contempt if the government declines the request.

Citing the Department of Justice's post-pardon statements that "this prosecution is over," that "[t]here will be no sentencing," and "[t]here will be no judgment", The Protect Democracy Project declares that "although  the Government obtained a conviction, it then abandoned any efforts to prosecute the contempt."

After finding Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt of court in July, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton recognized the validity of President Trump's August pardon of Arpaio, and on September 4, declared the case closed and vacated the sentencing date. However, she took under consideration whether her findings of criminal contempt should be wiped away - as Arpaio attorneys requested and the DOJ agreed.


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