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DOJ Corroborated Information From FBI Source Who Provided Biden Bribery Allegations: Official

DOJ Corroborated Information From FBI Source Who Provided Biden Bribery Allegations: Official

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times…

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DOJ Corroborated Information From FBI Source Who Provided Biden Bribery Allegations: Official

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

U.S. Department of Justice officials corroborated some of the information an FBI source provided to the bureau on allegations that then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, were bribed, a former official who worked on the case said in newly reviewed testimony.

"We did corroborate certain things" from the source, Scott Brady, the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, told a U.S. House of Representatives panel on Oct. 23.

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 10, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Members of Congress obtained and released over the summer a copy of the summary from FBI agents who spoke with the source, with the source conveying comments from Burisma executives concerning the Bidens.

Among them was the claim that it cost $5 million to pay one Biden and $5 million to pay another Biden.

Mr. Biden worked for Burisma, a Ukrainian firm, for years while President Biden was vice president, including in 2016. That's the year the discussion involving bribery took place, the source told the FBI in 2020.

Mr. Brady, appointed under President Donald Trump in 2017, told members this week he was tasked by superiors to accept and vet Ukraine-related information sent to or gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which includes the FBI.

"We were to assess the credibility of information and anything that we felt was credible or had indicia of credibility, we were then to provide to the offices that had predicated grand jury investigations that were ongoing," Mr. Brady, who was asked to resign by President Biden after he took office, told the House panel.

Lack of Communication

After working to corroborate some of the information from the interview summary, Mr. Brady said his team passed the summary and the work they'd done to multiple offices, including the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Delaware.

That office is headed by U.S. Attorney David Weiss, another Trump appointee. Mr. Weiss has for years been investigating Mr. Biden for intentional tax avoidance and other crimes.

Mr. Brady's team briefed Mr. Weiss' team in October 2020 on the summary, known as an FD-1023.

"What we were doing was, as a part of the briefing, giving them the investigative steps that we had taken within our limited ability to corroborate the information that the [source] had provided us, and we informed them that we felt that the 1023 had indicia of credibility sufficient to merit further investigation," Mr. Brady said. "And so that's what we communicated to them."

Neither Mr. Weiss' office nor any of the other U.S. attorney's offices who received the 1023 from Mr. Brady's team reached back out about the document, according to Mr. Brady.

He said there was "both a skepticism of the information that we were developing, that we had received, and skepticism and then weariness of that information" from Mr. Weiss and Mr. Weiss' team.

"I don't want to speculate as to why, but I know that there was no information sharing back to us about what they were—or very limited. And, at one point, the communication between our offices was so constricted that we had to provide written questions to the investigative team in Delaware, almost in the form of interrogatories, and receive written answers back," Mr. Brady said.

That was not normal, he added.

Mr. Weiss' office declined to comment.

Ukraine Funding

The FBI source was reinterviewed in 2020 by the FBI at the request of Mr. Brady, who wanted more details about the allegations regarding the Bidens. The summary that resulted was ultimately obtained and released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

The document showed the source traveled to Ukraine and spoke with top Burisma executives, including owner Mykola Zlochevsky. The source said executives said Burisma hired Mr. Biden “to protect [the company], through his dad, from all kinds of problems" and that Mr. Biden would take care of problems "through his dad."

Ukraine's president ultimately ousted Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, at the behest of President Biden.

“I said, ‘We’re leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money,'" President Biden said at a public event in 2018, relaying the interaction about a $1 billion loan guarantee he threatened to withhold. “Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired.”

The FBI has largely declined to comment on the substance of the document but said previously the summary was part of a "sensitive investigation" and should not have been released to the public.

The transcripts of the recent congressional interviews with Mr. Brady and U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada, appointed by President Biden, were obtained and reviewed by The Epoch Times.

In his interview, Mr. Estrada confirmed IRS whistleblower accounts and said he rejected Mr. Weiss' request to partner to prosecute Mr. Biden in California.

Mr. Estrada also said that he believed several attorneys with Mr. Weiss' office were able to bring charges in his district, the Central District of California, and that he offered office space and administrative support if they did.

Mr. Biden was ultimately charged with tax and firearm crimes in Delaware. He has not been charged in California or Washington, another district where the Biden-appointed U.S. attorney turned down a request from Mr. Weiss to partner.

Mr. Weiss earlier this year was made special counsel as he continues investigating Mr. Biden. Both Mr. Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland, appointed under President Biden, have been unable to explain why he needed to be made special counsel if he already had what they described as the "ultimate authority" to bring charges against the target.

Mark Tapscott contributed to this report.

Tyler Durden Sun, 10/29/2023 - 12:50

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide…

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the summer of 2020, some elite colleges and universities shredded testing requirements for admission. Several years later, the test-optional admission has yet to produce the promising results for racial and class-based equity that many woke academic institutions wished.

The failure of test-optional admission policies has forced Dartmouth College to reinstate standardized test scores for admission starting next year. This should never have been eliminated, as merit will always prevail. 

"Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029," Dartmouth wrote in a press release Monday morning. 

"For Dartmouth, the evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear. Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus," the elite college said. 

Who would've thought eliminating standardized tests for admission because a fringe minority said they were instruments of racism and a biased system was ever a good idea? 

Also, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. More from Dartmouth, who commissioned the research: 

They also found that test scores represent an especially valuable tool to identify high-achieving applicants from low and middle-income backgrounds; who are first-generation college-bound; as well as students from urban and rural backgrounds.

All the colleges and universities that quickly adopted test-optional admissions in 2020 experienced a surge in applications. Perhaps the push for test-optional was under the guise of woke equality but was nothing more than protecting the bottom line for these institutions. 

A glimpse of sanity returns to woke schools: Admit qualified kids. Next up is corporate America and all tiers of the US government. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/05/2024 - 17:20

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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