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Member of White Supremacist Group Pleads Guilty to Assaults at 2017 Rally


Documenting Hate Tracking Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents This story was co-published with Frontline PBS. One of the eight members or associates of a violent California white supremacist group arrested on federal riot charges has pleaded guilty to assaulting protesters and others at a political rally in Huntington Beach, California, in 2017. Tyler Laube, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in central California to a single count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act over his role in a March 25, 2017, attack on protesters and others, including a journalist, at a Make America Great Again rally in Huntington Beach. Laube admitted to participating in the attack with other members of the Rise Above Movement, what prosecutors describe as a militant white supremacist group. In the plea agreement, Laube admitted that he had engaged in combat training with the group in the months before the 2017 rally in support of President Donald Trump. About the Partnership This story is part of an ongoing collaboration between ProPublica and Frontline. Watch “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis” on PBS on Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 Central, and online at pbs.org/frontline. In all, seven other accused members or associates of the group face federal riot charges, either over their roles in the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, or in other violent episodes in several California cities that year. The seven men have not entered pleas in their cases. In the plea agreement, prosecutors pledge to recommend a reduction in Laube’s potential prison term, which could have been as many as five years. The plea agreement makes no mention of Laube cooperating with federal prosecutors in the cases against the other men, but it suggests that prosecutors would be satisfied with a sentence of not less than 21 months. A sentencing date for Laube has been set for March 25, the second anniversary of the Huntington Beach rally. “His role in the incident was minimal compared to the other people,” Jerome J. Haig, Laube’s attorney, said. “He was only involved in the Huntington Beach incident and not any of the subsequent incidents, and he wasn’t an organizer or leader on either. “The bottom line here is that he was involved in the Huntington Beach incident and then he stopped,” Haig maintained. “As this case goes on further, I think more facts will come out about who did what in this case and this was not some big political agenda for Tyler. It was just a mistake he made, and he’s atoning for his mistake by admitting his responsibility for what he’s done.” The action against the eight men this fall came after months of reporting by ProPublica and Frontline, which uncovered the group, its origins and makeup, and its role in multiple violent episodes throughout 2017. ProPublica’s first article, “Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group’s Campaign of Menace,” raised questions about the law enforcement response to the group’s conduct. A Frontline film in August, “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,” highlighted the group’s founder, Robert Rundo, as well as another member, Michael Miselis, who was working for a defense contractor and possessed a national security clearance. Rundo is in custody in California, and Miselis is being held in Virginia. In announcing the indictments of four Rise Above Movement members or associates in early October, federal prosecutors cited the reporting done by the two news organizations. Read More Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group’s Campaign of Menace They train to fight. They post their beatings online. And so far, they have little reason to fear the authorities. Rahima Nasa contributed to this story.

Funding Friday: Signal Problems


One of the most vexing issues facing NYC right now is our transportation mess and at the heart of it is the subway system. My favorite chronicler of the subway mess is Aaron Gordon and his Signal Problems blog/newsletter. If you want an example of the quality and clarity of Aaron’s analysis and writing, I would point you all to his post on Amazon HQ2 and the transportation issues it presents. So what does all of this have to do with Funding Friday? Well, I am glad you asked.  Aaron is offering regular readers the opportunity to subscribe for $50/year and help support his efforts to shine a bright light on the MTA and all of its issues.  I think we need more journalism like the kind that Aaron is providing and so I signed up for the $50 today.  If you are a NYC resident and ride the subways regularly and want to stay on top of what’s going on, I strongly suggest subscribing to Signal Problems and while you are at it, you might consider helping to fund this effort with an annual (or monthly subscription). You can do that here. https://avc.com/2018/12/funding-friday-signal-problems/

Funding Friday: Signal Problems1


One of the most vexing issues facing NYC right now is our transportation mess and at the heart of it is the subway system. My favorite chronicler of the subway mess is Aaron Gordon and his Signal Problems blog/newsletter. If you want an example of the quality and clarity of Aaron’s analysis and writing, I would point you all to his post on Amazon HQ2 and the transportation issues it presents. So what does all of this have to do with Funding Friday? Well, I am glad you asked.  Aaron is offering regular readers the opportunity to subscribe for $50/year and help support his efforts to shine a bright light on the MTA and all of its issues.  I think we need more journalism like the kind that Aaron is providing and so I signed up for the $50 today.  If you are a NYC resident and ride the subways regularly and want to stay on top of what’s going on, I strongly suggest subscribing to Signal Problems and while you are at it, you might consider helping to fund this effort with an annual (or monthly subscription). You can do that here. https://avc.com/2018/12/funding-friday-signal-problems/

Funding Friday: Signal Problems1


One of the most vexing issues facing NYC right now is our transportation mess and at the heart of it is the subway system. My favorite chronicler of the subway mess is Aaron Gordon and his Signal Problems blog/newsletter. If you want an example of the quality and clarity of Aaron’s analysis and writing, I would point you all to his post on Amazon HQ2 and the transportation issues it presents. So what does all of this have to do with Funding Friday? Well, I am glad you asked.  Aaron is offering regular readers the opportunity to subscribe for $50/year and help support his efforts to shine a bright light on the MTA and all of its issues.  I think we need more journalism like the kind that Aaron is providing and so I signed up for the $50 today.  If you are a NYC resident and ride the subways regularly and want to stay on top of what’s going on, I strongly suggest subscribing to Signal Problems and while you are at it, you might consider helping to fund this effort with an annual (or monthly subscription). You can do that here. https://avc.com/2018/12/funding-friday-signal-problems/

How We Found Donald Trump Jr.’s Secret Investment in a Fundraiser’s Business


The Trump Administration The 45th President and His Administration Trump, Inc. Exploring the Mysteries of the President’s Businesses Find “Trump, Inc.” wherever you get your podcasts. Donald Trump Jr. and Gentry Beach, a Dallas-based investor and college friend of Trump Jr., have done business together before, despite past claims by both men that their relationship is strictly personal. But a new story by ProPublica reveals that Trump became a shareholder last year in Beach’s hydroponic lettuce company, while Beach was seeking government support for his other business interests. Emails obtained by ProPublica via the Freedom of Information Act show that since President Donald Trump’s election, Beach sought backing for energy projects in the Dominican Republic and India. Officials say he never officially applied for government financing. Here’s how ProPublica uncovered a paper trail revealing Trump Jr.’s investment in the vertical hydroponic lettuce farm now selling packaged greens in Walmarts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Trump Organization Employee Forms MSMDF Agriculture LLC (September 2017) On Sept. 13, 2017, eight months after Donald Trump entered the White House, a Trump Organization employee formed a new company in Delaware called MSMDF Agriculture LLC. The public filing provided no other information about the entity, who controlled it or what it was to be used for. View note Gentry Beach Seeks Federal Support for his Global Business Interests (October 2017) At the same time that Beach served as co-chairman of the hydroponic lettuce growing company, emails obtained by ProPublica show, he sought government funds for his other business interests from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. OPIC is a federal agency that offers loans and guarantees to American companies looking to expand into emerging markets. In one email from October 2017, Beach emailed OPIC head Ray Washburne about his infrastructure and energy projects in the Dominican Republic, writing that the storm-damaged country “could really use some US investment and support.” An OPIC spokeswoman says that Beach hasn’t submitted a formal application for funding and that the agency carefully vets its applicants. View note Trump Jr. Listed as President of MSMDF in New York City Filing (December 2017) Pursuant to its contracts with the city of New York to run an ice skating rink in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx, the Trump Organization is required to file annual disclosure reports listing entities it controls as well as those for which its executives serve as principals or officers. In December 2017, the company listed Trump Jr. as the president, secretary and treasurer of MSMDF Agriculture LLC in its disclosure report. In a statement, Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, said MSMDF is “wholly owned and controlled” by Trump Jr., and isn’t affiliated with the Trump Organization. View note Eden Green Announced Millions Raised From Investors (June 2018) The company announced in June that it had raised millions. Just weeks later, its affiliate Eden Green Holdings UK Ltd. disclosed to British regulators that it had issued hundreds of thousands of shares to roughly two dozen investors. Among them? MSMDF Agriculture LLC, which has 7,500 shares. This document for the first time linked the Delaware-incorporated entity with the indoor lettuce farming business run by campaign fundraiser Beach. That summer the company publicly announced it had raised $22 million from its private investors without naming them. But one of the investors, an entity called Cox-Eden, L.P., used by a wealthy oil and gas family in Midland, Texas, said in court papers filed months later that it had supplied Eden Green with $20 million of the $22 million raised. View note Beach is listed as one of the seven principals of Eden Green, according to court filings, along with Grady “Trey” Thomas III, Eric Schick, Jaco Booyens, and brothers Eugene and Jacques van Buuren and Gerhard Ehlers. Beach is named co-chairman of Eden Green, according to the company’s website. View note A list of staff on Eden Green's website, including Beach, the co-chairman. Eden Green’s Biggest Investor Claims Mismanagement, Settles Case (October - November 2018) On Oct. 30, 2018, Eden Green’s biggest investor filed a lawsuit in Dallas County Court, alleging that company officials had blown through more than $19 million in just nine months. The lawsuit also claimed company executives paid themselves salaries as high as $300,000 and had put the company “on the precipice of failure.” But less than a month after the court papers were filed, the parties reached a settlement for undisclosed terms. A spokesman for Eden Green disputed the claims of exorbitant compensation and said the company has plenty of cash. View note Check out the full documents used for this story. Do you have information about post-election Trump family business ventures? Reach Jake Pearson at [email protected] or by phone at 917-512-0276. You can contact us via Signal, WhatsApp or voicemail at 347-244-2134. Here’s more about how you can contact us securely. You can always email us at [email protected]. And finally, you can use the postal service: Trump Inc at ProPublica 155 Ave of the Americas, 13th Floor New York, NY 10013 “Trump, Inc.” is a production of WNYC Studios and ProPublica. Support our work by visiting donate.propublica.org or by becoming a supporting member of WNYC. Subscribe here or wherever you get your podcasts.