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AI’s role in Healthcare: Exclusive Interview with Catherine Estrampes, President & CEO at GE Healthcare

AI is increasingly being used in healthcare to reduce clinician workloads and improve patient outcomes. AI-driven technologies are helping to automate…



AI is increasingly being used in healthcare to reduce clinician workloads and improve patient outcomes. AI-driven technologies are helping to automate mundane tasks, freeing up clinicians to focus on more complex clinical decisions. AI-powered tools can also help identify patterns in medical data that can lead to faster diagnoses and better patient outcomes. 

From the perspective of low hanging fruit, AI can be used to automate tedious administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, updating medical records, or processing paperwork, saving clinicians time allow them to devote more of their efforts to direct patient care. Another emergent trend is using AI to monitor patient health – providing valuable real-time feedback on their status. In a world of wearables, this can help clinicians spot changes in a patient’s condition earlier than would otherwise be possible, leading to quicker interventions that could potentially save lives.

However, AI can also be powerful during the diagnostic process in multiple ways, from providing insights that could help reduce mortality rates and lead to earlier detection and treatment options, to helping solve practical bandwidth limitations of clinicians during their workdays. The goal, of course, is to provide clinicians with faster results, automate the analyses of patient data, and help them make better informed decisions about a patient’s care. 

AI is already playing a major role in medical imaging by helping to automate image analysis and reduce the amount of time needed to interpret scans. AI-based algorithms can quickly detect abnormalities in medical images, such as tumors, and provide clinicians with more accurate diagnoses. AI can also be used to improve the accuracy of diagnostic tests, as well as reduce the need for costly and invasive procedures. Additionally, AI is being used to develop new medical imaging technologies that will improve the accuracy and speed of diagnoses. Algorithms can be used to detect changes in medical images that may be too subtle or difficult for humans to detect.

However, AI in medical imaging also comes with a few potential pitfalls. For example, AI algorithms can be biased due to the data they are trained on, which can lead to inaccurate results. Additionally, these algorithms are not always able to explain why they reached a certain conclusion, which can lead to confusion and mistrust of the technology. Other times, present AI may simply fall short of a human’s ability to identify a net new diagnosis that is not based on existing documented knowledge, or is currently classified as “idiopathic.” Finally, AI algorithms require large amounts of data to be accurate and reliable, which can be difficult to obtain in some cases.

For these reasons, and many more, rest assured that the jobs of radiologists or pathologists are not at risk. Gary Marcus’s article on how “Deep Learning Is Hitting A Wall” highlights why.

Despite these potential issues and challenges, the use of AI in medical imaging is rapidly growing and is expected to become increasingly prevalent in the coming years, as it is also expected to further reduce the cost of medical imaging. Ultimately, AI has the potential to revolutionize medical imaging and improve healthcare outcomes around the world. To hear more about these topics, we had a chance to interview Catherine Estrampes, President and CEO, US & Canada at GE Healthcare.

Alice Ferng, Medgadget: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! Tell us about yourself – your background and how you got to where you are today at GE Healthcare.

Catherine Estrampes, President and CEO, US & Canada at GE Healthcare: I began my career at GE HealthCare Europe in 1990 where I held various business leadership roles in Cardiology, Interventional, and CT product lines and gained extensive international exposure. In 1999, I joined GE Capital in the U.S. and held several General Manager roles both for GE Capital Equipment Finance and GE HealthCare Financial Services Global Vendor division. In 2010, I served as General Manager for the $1.4B Mid-America business unit in GE HealthCare U.S. and Canada, and in 2013 my responsibilities expanded to lead the Central Corridor $2.5B business unit. Four years later I joined GE HealthCare Europe to lead the Imaging business unit before being appointed President & CEO of GE HealthCare Europe/Russia, which was later expanded to include Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

As of 2021, I lead our U.S. and Canada region of 8,000 team members and $8B business unit of GE HealthCare that provides healthcare technologies, services, and solutions to help providers improve healthcare quality, access, and affordability across the region.

Medgadget: What are the main challenges you face today in medical/clinical imaging? What challenges do you see ahead? Are we prepared to meet those challenges?

Ms. Estrampes: The COVID-19 pandemic led to an influx of patients, both for treatment of the virus and for those whose conditions stem from delayed regular doctor visits and exams due to the pandemic. This has exacerbated clinician burnout and, subsequently, increased the staffing shortages already facing healthcare providers. As a result, we are seeing providers prioritize finding ways to alleviate clinician burnout and become more efficient with their existing resources and staff. This strategy shift trickles down to imaging departments, where radiologists are experiencing exceptionally high increases in workload leading many to report burning out.

For clinicians, including radiologists, the continual adoption of new technology is generally seen as a positive. The opportunity exists to help clinicians manage the new types of data being generated from new technology and the increased volume of data available to them. It is estimated as much as 97 percent of all healthcare data each year goes unused, resulting in the loss of valuable insights1. AI is changing this.

Crucially, AI is assisting technicians and radiologists alike with the adoption of new imaging technologies, promising to reduce the burden of learning new technologies as systems continue to modernize. Theranostics treatments are increasing, for example, with new developments of the therapy option being used to treat a variety of cancers such as prostate, endocrine, and thyroid cancer. We expect the demand for radiology solutions to rise, and AI will play a big role in that.

Medgadget: What do you see ahead in terms of how AI will revolutionize advances in imaging?

Ms. Estrampes: The most significant change I expect to see is a shift in the role of radiologists toward becoming a chief diagnostician. This largely has to do with AI’s use in imaging – one of the core markers of precision care – which will help improve image quality and reduce diagnosis times.

A technology transforming this space is our AIRTM Recon DL reconstruction algorithm available on many of our MRI systems, which produces sharper images by leveraging all the raw MRI acquisition data, allowing for improved image quality. From there, it’s at the clinician’s discretion to order more tests and collect more data based on what they see. Incorporating these technologies creates a better patient experience because it leads to shorter exam times with staff number staying the same.

Capabilities will continue to grow beyond traditional imaging applications. TrueFidelity, for example, leverages first of its kind deep learning image reconstruction (DLIR) to utilize a deep neural network-based recon engine to generate high quality CT images. DLIR opens a new era for CT-image reconstruction by addressing challenges of filtered back-projection and iterative reconstruction. The result: unprecedented clarity, thanks to maintained contrast visualization and edges, and minimized noise and artifacts. We should anticipate seeing more devices capitalize on AI’s possibilities, including Machine and Deep Learning.

Our priorities align with those of our customers, who are looking to use AI, DL, and ML to increase workflow efficiencies and see more patients. So, what you have are clinicians with a holistic view of the patient in a better position to inform the kind of precise care needed, thanks to the efficiencies brought on by AI.

Medgadget: Will the existing hardware be sufficient for future AI software upgrades? I’m anticipating there to be a hardware gap as we make more scientific discoveries and predictions that help us leap forward in our understanding of quantum theories. It seems quite probable we’ll need to innovate our hardware to be able to detect even more and to be able to collect/store larger amounts of data, as well as process even larger amounts of data. What does GE HealthCare have planned in this realm?

Ms. Estrampes: New scientific discoveries are made all the time and hardware must be able to adapt. GE HealthCare continues to introduce new CT products, and we believe that part of how we create value is in the upgradeability of our equipment. For example, our Revolution Apex Platform, a GE HealthCare designed CT scanner, was built to be ‘future proof.’ Its modular design allows for most onsite upgrades without replacing the gantry and with the possibility to upgrade its rotation time. Moreover, the Revolution platform software offers regular software updates with new capabilities and the ability to access GE HealthCare’s latest clinical applications. As a result, radiology departments can seamlessly upgrade their equipment on a regular basis instead of purchasing a new machine each time a new feature is introduced.

AI and other software are just as important in the upkeep of hardware. Software that pulls data directly from the machine, allowing providers to get access to rich data from their devices, can lead to great cost savings. Imaging Insights, a GE HealthCare solution, sifts through real-time data from multiple sources to keep medical imaging departments well informed on the status of their machines, allowing them to focus on optimizing operational efficiencies, workflow improvement, clinical excellence, and financial growth. The proof is in the numbers. One of our clients, Radiomed, saw a 36.5 percent increase in the number of weekly exams thanks to Imaging Insights’ ability to regularly update and correlate multiple data sources into one consolidated view2. (As each hospital is unique, results may vary. GE HealthCare does not guarantee the results identified herein.)

Looking to the future, GE HealthCare is committed to providing clinicians access to the latest applications and software as seamlessly as possible, which means ensuring that they can be integrated into current hardware. For example, our Edison Digital Health Platform is being developed to help hospitals and healthcare systems rapidly and securely deploy the clinical, workflow, and analytical tools required for improved care delivery, high-efficiency operations, and increased revenue growth.

Medgadget: What’s the future of imaging looks like? How do you plan to iterate on existing X-ray, CT, MRI, and other types of imaging technology to provide novel imaging solutions and experiences?

Ms. Estrampes: AI and imaging technologies will continue to help reduce wait times from scan to diagnosis to treatment and drive higher levels of productivity. This will benefit our customers by allowing them to see more patients, thereby reducing backlogs and with the potential to increasing revenue. (GE HealthCare does not warrant or guarantee profitability. Ability to achieve profitability is dependent on factors specific to each customer.)

During the pandemic, GE HealthCare introduced Critical Care Suite 2.0, a first-of-its-kind AI solution embedded within a mobile x-ray system that can help clinicians prioritize images that are suspected to contain a pneumothorax (collapsed lung), provide automatic measurements to assist with endotracheal (ET) tube positioning, and more. When used to support ET tube positioning, the device provides accurate and automated measurements of the tube position. Critical Care Suite does this by using its algorithm to automatically detect the presence of a suspected pneumothorax and ET tube in AP chest X-ray images.

For suspected pneumothoraxes, the device’s mobility allows the application to be brought directly to the patient’s bed where it can scan the patient for a suspected pneumothorax. If a collapsed lung is detected, the scan is sent to the patient’s doctors, where it is moved up the queue of potentially less serious cases to accelerate patient care, as needed. Since its adoption, it has drastically helped reduce the turn-around time for radiologists to review a suspected pneumothorax. A review at University Hospital Cleveland showed a 78 percent decrease in time to report urgent exams while using Critical Care Suite. Exams went from 3 hours and 22 minutes down to 44 minutes.3 As our technology advances, I only expect the time to decrease further.

I also anticipate seeing growth in telehealth. While telehealth is traditionally associated with outpatient use, its application with healthcare professionals within hospitals for imaging procedures will likely see significant growth. Ultrasound, a very personnel-dependent field of medicine, is an area where this growth will likely take place. An example of such a solution is our Digital Expert platform, which allows for real-time, peer-to-peer collaboration where an ‘expert’ can remotely guide a technician through an ultrasound procedure using a tablet. Should there be anomalies, or the on-the-ground tech needs a second opinion, they can easily do so with colleagues hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Medgadget: How will AI-powered solutions help hospitals alleviate the pressure on clinicians and meet customer/patient needs today and in the future?

Ms. Estrampes: AI has the power to revolutionize healthcare providers’ administrative processes. Administrative responsibilities are a huge contributor to physician burnout. In 2021, 58 percent of physicians reported “administrative tasks” as the key contributor to their burnout.4 We are slowly seeing health systems adopt ‘command centers,’ where a central facility monitors and allocates resources within a system with AI technology. GE HealthCare has a proven track record in this space.

Our partners at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) use Command Center ‘Tiles’ to comb through real-time data and identify bottlenecks, risks and barriers related to resources, patients, and personnel. The Command Center will then use those insights to flag possible actions that hospital staff can take to prevent delays in the patient journey. At TGH, clinicians are saving upwards of 82,000 hours a year, due in large part to the elimination of timely huddles to determine which patients can be downgraded in care, and interdisciplinary team rounds.5

Another health system, AdventHealth, uses Command Center’s software at one of its facilities, creating the equivalent of 34 additional beds at one facility, increasing its transfer acceptance rate by 800 patients a month.6 This was done by allowing managers to balance utilization across sites by seeing where and when beds and equipment were available in real time and cutting down on time-consuming coordination work. The technology is not limited to one health system. The Oregon Capacity System uses GE HealthCare’s Command Center technology for a statewide capacity and critical resource management system to allocate life-saving resources in real time. I expect investments in the development of similar technologies to grow with the increasing provider interest in improving operational efficiencies and improving the patient experience.

Medgadget: What are other areas within health where you think AI will revolutionize medicine and health?

Ms. Estrampes: Outside of improving imaging and operational efficiencies, AI is already playing an important role in driving precision care. It is GE HealthCare’s view that over the next 5 to 10 years providers will focus on enabling personalized care with the right ecosystem. Precision care leverages a patient’s unique data via multi-modal sources to determine the most appropriate course of treatment for the patient to deliver the best possible outcome. This is enabled by precision diagnostics, treatment, and monitoring. Systemwide device connectivity and the ability to process the huge quantities of data they produce will be more crucial than ever.

GE HealthCare’s focus is on effective and efficient personalized care solutions, centered around the digitization of healthcare and applied throughout the patient journey to improve patient health and system-wide outcomes, and increase clinical productivity. That’s why we work closely with providers to achieve a digital transformation that prioritizes workforce stability, productivity, outcomes, and wellbeing. We are developing solutions that help save valuable caregiver time, resulting in benefits for patients, providers, and the hospital system.

GE HealthCare’s digital technologies can help synthesize the data to make it more meaningful for clinicians so they can spend less time in front of a computer and more time with their patients. The key advantage we have is being uniquely positioned as an ‘insider’ in healthcare. Many of our devices and solutions span the entire care pathway from diagnosis to treatment to maintenance. Most have digital capabilities that enable devices to communicate with the administrative solutions helping run departments, thus allowing for seamless integration.

The hospital of the future would ideally combine the mixed uses of AI we’ve discussed: in imaging, when the patient walks through the door and needs to get diagnosed in a hurry; in Command Centers, where staff can triage and efficiently monitor patients; and in platforms, like Edison Digital Health Platform which is under development, which enable providers to manage the workflow and upkeep of a digital health system.

Medgadget: Anything else you’d like to discuss or share with our readership?

Ms. Estrampes: The adoption of digital technologies and AI can lead to better patient outcomes through more accelerated and accurate care in addition to improved operational efficiencies. GE HealthCare is focused on improving lives through enabling precision care, which can be achieved by putting the patient at the center of the technology and bringing the right data together to help target diagnosis and develop a unique treatment plan. By connecting data from multiple sources, this can help clinicians diagnose a disease faster and even predict how a patient will respond to a particular treatment.


[1] Elevating Digital Healthcare to Connect Devices, Aggregate Data and Empower People

[2] Radiomed Customer Testimonial,

[3] AI helps radiologists spot pneumothorax faster on ICU chest x-rays

[4] Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2022: Stress, Anxiety, and Anger, Medscape, March 2023

[5] Sustainable Healthcare Starts with Sustaining Exhausted Caregivers

[6] Real-Time Healthcare Creates Faster, Easier and More Precise Care

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Small Business Bankruptcies Surge In 2023, Five Reasons Why

Small Business Bankruptcies Surge In 2023, Five Reasons Why

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Small business bankruptcies are at…



Small Business Bankruptcies Surge In 2023, Five Reasons Why

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Small business bankruptcies are at a much higher pace than any year since the Covid pandemic...

Small business bankruptcies from the American Bankruptcy Institute via the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reports There’s No Soft Landing for These Businesses

Nearly 1,500 small businesses filed for Subchapter V bankruptcy this year through Sept. 28, nearly as many as in all of 2022, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bankruptcy petitions are just one sign of financial stress. Small-business loan delinquencies and defaults have edged upward since June 2022 and are now above prepandemic averages, according to Equifax.

An index tracking small-business owners’ confidence ticked down slightly in September, driven by heightened concerns about the economy, according to a survey of more than 750 small businesses. Fifty-two percent of respondents believed that the country is approaching or in a recession, said the survey by Vistage Worldwide, a business-coaching and peer-advisory firm.

Robert Gonzales, a bankruptcy attorney in Nashville, said he’s now getting four times as many calls as he did a year ago from small businesses considering a bankruptcy filing.

“We are just at the front end of the impact of these dramatically higher interest rates,” Gonzales said. “There are going to be plenty of small businesses that are overleveraged.”

Five Reasons for Surge in Bankruptcies

  • Rising Interest Rates

  • Surging Wages

  • Tighter Bank Credit

  • Overleverage

  • Work-at-Home Curtailing Demand

Fed Rate Interest Rate Hike Expectations Are Still Higher for Even Longer

The Fed has hiked interest rates to 5.25% to 5.50%. It’s the highest in 22 years.

And Fed Rate Interest Rate Hike Expectations Are Still Higher for Even Longer

Surge in Wages

Minimum wages have surged. Unions are piling on. Small businesses have to offer prevailing wages or they cannot get workers.

In California, Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers Jumps 30% to $20 Per Hour. Governor Gavib Newsom called it a “big deal”, I responded:

A Big Deal Indeed, Expect More Inflation

Yes, governor, this is very big deal. It will increase the cost of eating out everywhere.

The bill Newsom signed only applies to restaurants that have at least 60 locations nationwide — with an exception for restaurants that make and sell their own bread, like Panera Bread (what’s that exception all about?)

Nonetheless, the bill will force many small restaurants out of business or they will pony up too.

30 Percent Raise Coming Up!

If McDonalds pays $20, why take $15.50 elsewhere?

The $4.50 hike from $15.50 to $20 is a massive 30 percent jump.

Expect prices at all restaurant to rise. Then think ahead. This extra money is certain to increase demands for all goods and services, so guess what.

Other states will follow California.

Biden Newsome Tag Team

Biden’s energy policies have made the US less secure on oil, more dependent on China for materials needed to make batteries, fueled a surge in inflation, and ironically did not do a damn thing for the environment, arguably making matters worse.

See  The Shocking Truth About Biden’s Proposed Energy Fuel Standards for discussion of the administration’s admitted impacts of Biden’s mileage mandates.

Newsom is doing everything he can to make things even worse.

The tag team of Biden and Newsom is an inflationary sight to behold.

Bank Credit and Over-Leverage

In the wake of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, across the board small regional banks are curtailing credit.

The regional banks over-leveraged on interest rate bets. And businesses overleveraged too, getting caught up in work-from-home environments that curtailed demand for some goods and services.

The bankruptcies will fall hard on the regional banks.

Add it all up and things rate to get worse.

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/02/2023 - 15:40

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Fair and sustainable futures beyond mining

Mining brings huge social and environmental change to communities: landscapes, livelihoods and the social fabric evolve alongside the industry. But what…



Mining brings huge social and environmental change to communities: landscapes, livelihoods and the social fabric evolve alongside the industry. But what happens when the mines close? What problems face communities that lose their main employer and the very core of their identity and social networks? A research fellow at the University of Göttingen provides recommendations for governments to successfully navigate mining communities through their transition toward non-mining economies. Based on past experiences with industrial transitions, she suggests that a three-step approach centred around stakeholder collaboration could be the most effective way forward. This approach combines early planning, local-based solutions, and targeted investments aimed at fostering economic and workforce transformation. This comment article was published in Nature Energy.

Credit: Kamila Svobodova

Mining brings huge social and environmental change to communities: landscapes, livelihoods and the social fabric evolve alongside the industry. But what happens when the mines close? What problems face communities that lose their main employer and the very core of their identity and social networks? A research fellow at the University of Göttingen provides recommendations for governments to successfully navigate mining communities through their transition toward non-mining economies. Based on past experiences with industrial transitions, she suggests that a three-step approach centred around stakeholder collaboration could be the most effective way forward. This approach combines early planning, local-based solutions, and targeted investments aimed at fostering economic and workforce transformation. This comment article was published in Nature Energy.


Dr Kamila Svobodova, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the University of Göttingen, argues that, in practice, governments struggle to truly engage mining communities in both legislation and action. Even the more successful, often deemed exemplary, transitions failed to follow the principles of open and just participation or invest enough time in the process. Early discussions about how the future will look following closure help to build trust and relationships with communities. A combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches engages people at all levels. This ensures that the local context is understood and targeted specifically. It also establishes networks for collaboration during the transition. Effective coordination of investments toward mining communities, including funding to implement measures to support workers, seed new industries, support innovations, and enhance essential services in urban centres, proved to be successful in the past.


“To ensure energy security, it’s essential for governments to recognize the profound transformation that residents of mining communities experience when they shift away from mining,” Svobodova explains. “Neglecting these communities, their inherent strength of mining identity and unity, could lead to social and economic instability, potentially affecting the overall national energy infrastructure.”


Moving toward closure and consequently away from mining is not an easy or short journey. “It is essential that governments recognize that the transition takes time, and persistence is essential for success,” says Svoboda. “They should openly communicate their strategies, ensuring communities and other stakeholders are well-informed and engaged. Building trust and providing guidance helps residents navigate the uncertainties associated with transitions. By embracing the three-step approach that centers around stakeholder engagement, governments can prioritize equitable and just outcomes when navigating mining transitions as part of their energy security strategies.”


Original publication: Svobodova, K., “Navigating community transitions away from mining,” Comment article in Nature Energy 2023. DOI: 10.1038/s41560-023-01359-9. Full text available here: 



Dr Kamila Svobodova

University of Göttingen

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen, Germany


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Turley: Four Biden Impeachment Articles & What The House Will Need To Prove

Turley: Four Biden Impeachment Articles & What The House Will Need To Prove

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

With the commencement of the…



Turley: Four Biden Impeachment Articles & What The House Will Need To Prove

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

With the commencement of the impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Joe Biden, three House committees will now pursue key linkages between the president and the massive influence peddling operation run by his son Hunter and brother James.

The impeachment inquiry should allow the House to finally acquire long-sought records of Hunter, James, and Joe Biden, as well as to pursue witnesses involved in their dealings.

testified this week at the first hearing of the impeachment inquiry on the constitutional standards and practices in moving forward in the investigation. In my view, there is ample justification for an impeachment inquiry. If these allegations are established, they would clearly constitute impeachable offenses. I listed ten of those facts in my testimony that alone were sufficient to move forward with this inquiry.

I was criticized by both the left and the right for the testimony. 

Steven Bannon and others were upset that I did not believe that the basis for impeachment had already been established in the first hearing of the inquiry.

Others were angry that I supported the House efforts to resolve these questions of public corruption.

Without prejudging that evidence, there are four obvious potential articles of impeachment that have been raised in recent disclosures and sworn statements:

  1. bribery,

  2. conspiracy,

  3. obstruction, and

  4. abuse of power.

Bribery is the second impeachable act listed under Article II. The allegation that the President received a bribe worth millions was documented on a FD-1023 form by a trusted FBI source who was paid a significant amount of money by the government. There remain many details that would have to be confirmed in order to turn such an allegation into an article of impeachment.

Yet three facts are now unassailable.

First, Biden has lied about key facts related to these foreign dealings, including false statements flagged by the Washington Post.

Second, the president was indeed the focus of a corrupt multimillion-dollar influence peddling scheme.

Third, Biden may have benefitted from this corruption through millions of dollars sent to his family as well as more direct benefit to Joe and Jill Biden.

What must be established is the President’s knowledge of or participation in this corrupt scheme. The House now has confirmed over 20 calls made to meetings and dinners with these foreign clients. It has confirmation of visits to the White House and dinners and events attended by Joe Biden. It also has confirmation of trips on Air Force II by Hunter to facilitate these deals, as well as payments where the President’s Delaware home address was used as late as 2019 for transfers from China.

The most serious allegations concern reported Washington calls or meetings by Hunter at the behest of these foreign figures. At least one of those calls concerned the removal or isolation of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma, an energy company paying Hunter as a board member. A few days later, Biden withheld a billion dollars in an approved loan to Ukrainian in order to force the firing of the prosecutor.

The House will need to strengthen the nexus with the president in seeking firsthand accounts of these meetings, calls, and transfers.

However, there is one thing that the House does not have to do. While there are references to Joe Biden receiving money from Hunter and other benefits (including a proposed ten percent from one of these foreign deals), he has already been shown to have benefited from these transfers.

There is a false narrative being pushed by both politicians and pundits that there is no basis for an inquiry, let alone an impeachment, unless a direct payment or gift can be shown to Joe Biden. That would certainly strengthen the case politically, but it is not essential legally. Even in criminal cases subject to the highest standard, payments to family members can be treated as benefits to a principal actor. Direct benefits can further strengthen articles of impeachment, but they would not be a prerequisite for such an action.

For example, in Ryan v. United States, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of George Ryan, formerly Secretary of State and then governor of Illinois, partly on account of benefits paid to his family, including the hiring of a band at his daughter’s wedding and other “undisclosed financial benefits to him and his family and to his friends.” Criminal cases can indeed be built on a “stream of benefits” running to the politician in question, his family, or his friends.

That is also true of past impeachments. I served as lead counsel in the last judicial impeachment tried before the Senate. My client, Judge G. Thomas Porteous, had been impeached by the House for, among other things, benefits received by his children, including gifts related to a wedding.

One of the jurors in the trial was Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who voted to convict and remove Porteous. Menendez is now charged with accepting gifts of vastly greater value in the recent corruption indictment.

The similarities between the Menendez and Biden controversies are noteworthy, in everything from the types of gifts to the counsel representing the accused.  The Menendez indictment includes conspiracy charges for honest services fraud, the use of office to serve personal rather the public interests. It also includes extortion under color of official right under 18 U.S.C. 1951. (The Hobbs Act allows for a charge of extortion without a threat of violence but rather the use of official authority.)

Courts have held that conspiracy charges do not require the defendant to be involved in all (or even most) aspects of the planning for a bribe or denial of honest services. Thus, a conspirator does not have to participate “in every overt act or know all the details to be charged as a member of the conspiracy.”

Menendez’s case shows that the Biden Administration is prosecuting individuals under the same type of public corruption that this impeachment inquiry is supposed to prove. The U.S. has long declared influence peddling to be a form of public corruption and signed international conventions to combat precisely this type of corruption around the world.

This impeachment inquiry is going forward. The House just issued subpoenas on Friday for the financial records of both Hunter and James Biden. The public could soon have answers to some of these questions. Madison called impeachment “indispensable…for defending the community” against such corruption. The inquiry itself is an assurance that, wherever this evidence may lead, the House can now follow.

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/02/2023 - 15:00

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