America’s Lawyer E06: Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager claims that Hillary personally authorized the release of false information linking Donald Trump to a Russian bank, and this move set a series of events in motion that hurt America to this day. We’ll bring you the details. The Supreme Court overturning Roe might be a big issue now, but will that anger last long enough to help Democrats in November? Polls suggest it won’t happen.And the Crypto crash has sent investors into a panic, but there are many more reasons why these investors should be worried about their money. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager claims that Hillary personally authorized the release of false information linking Donald Trump to a Russian bank and this move set a series of events into motion that hurt America to this day. We’re gonna talk about the details. The Supreme Court overruling Roe might be a big issue now. But is it gonna anger enough people in the next election in November? Polls suggest that it won’t. And the crypto crash has sent investors into a panic, but there are many more reasons why these investors should be worried about their money. All that and more, it’s coming up right here on America’s Lawyer, don’t go anywhere.

Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook says that Clinton personally approved sending false information to reporters about Trump being linked to a Russian bank. The question is, did she hustle the FBI too? Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about this and other issues. You know, Farron, as I look at this story, you and I have been talking about this from the very beginning. We did a story and I think I’ve been more vocal on this than you have, but you have really done some good research on it. But my position was when all of this false Russian narrative started, we saw MSNBC breathlessly every night, Russia, Russia, Russia did this to Hillary Clinton. We saw CNN every night, Russia, Russia, Russia. And I said back then, what this is doing is creating a, a, an environment for a new cold war. She knew that that was gonna happen. I promise you, she understood that in order to save face. How do you, how do you lose to a bumpkin like Donald Trump? I mean, how do you lose to that awful, awful character, Donald Trump? She did it. And then she says, well, it was the Russians, the Podesta brothers and Bobby Mook. It was the Russians. Pick it up from, this, this story infuriates me.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and, and this is a story that has a lot of tentacles to it. But just so everybody understands what has now been made public in this ongoing trial of Sussmann, one of the lawyers for the campaign, is that Robby Mook gets up there and he says, yeah, we had this information. We knew it was tenuous. We knew we couldn’t firmly establish a link between Trump and this Russian bank, Alfa bank or, or Alfie, whatever it was. So we presented it to Hillary and Hillary, I said, I want to go and give this to reporters and she signed off on it. So they gave it to the reporters at Slate and they said, we were hoping they would be able to vet it and give their best analysis of it and maybe establish a link, which of course didn’t exist, but they asserted it anyway. And that just set, like you said, this chain of events in motion that is affecting US foreign policy today.

Mike Papantonio:             Right now. We, this may end up in a world war and she and Bobby Mook and the Podesta brothers, this all began when they were so incompetent to lose to this loser, Donald Trump, who everybody for good reason hates. He’s a hateable guy. How do you lose to him? So she has to save face and she puts all this butterfly effect into motion. Before you know it, we’ve got people like Rachel Maddow breathlessly reporting this, this narrative, even though it wasn’t true. She knew it wasn’t true. Now, Sussmann is saying it wasn’t true. We know what happened here and nevertheless, the New York Times when they did a story on that, on, on when Sussmann took the stand and said, hey, Hillary Clinton put this, agreed to put this in, into, into play. New York Times didn’t even report that. CNN, interestingly enough, this is really an irony. CNN did a story on it where, where they attack Hillary Clinton. I mean, it’s full attack, CNN. These are the people who every night were breathlessly like crazy people telling this story. And why? It’s good for CNN. Now, we’re, we’re potentially in a world war, this close to a world war and we said it a year ago, two years ago, when, when all this started taking place.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. Look, the, the Mueller investigation ended and I know a lot of people thought, oh, this is gonna take him down. They were not able to establish the links between anyone in the Trump campaign, or anyone in the Trump family I should say and, and Russia, okay. It simply didn’t happen. We, we vetted it. We’ve looked into it. It, it wasn’t real, you know, regardless of what people wanted to think, the investigation concluded and that’s what happened. But as you said, you know, this, this butterfly effect what we’re dealing with today. Think back to when Russia invaded Georgia, I believe 2014 ish.

Mike Papantonio:             Great example.

Farron Cousins:                  Obama was able to not only, you know, come out there very strongly and condemn Russia’s actions, but also talk to them.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes.

Farron Cousins:                  Which is something we have not been able to do with Russia as they continue their attack on Ukraine, because we’ve spent the last five years telling the world that this is the worst country on the planet. They’re evil and we have to destroy them.

Mike Papantonio:             And they poor, oh, poor Hillary Clinton. They cost her the. They didn’t cost her the election. She cost herself the election. And right now, if you follow the news, I mean from very good commentators that understand what geopolitics looks like. They’re all saying, we’re this close to a war in Europe because of this woman. I mean, that if you back up on it, that’s what’s happening here.

Farron Cousins:                  We, we lost all our standing to negotiate in any way with Russia to talk with them like reasonable, responsible adults. And it did all start, I mean, let’s be very honest, it started with this big lie.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Because just two years before this lie rolled out, we were able to sit down at the table with them and strong arm them a little bit. Sure, Obama did. But because we still had some kind of relationship there, we were able to put the breaks on Russia doing so much worse. Like we’re unable to right now.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Let me ask you something. How is it in this three year, three year study, Mueller investigation. How is it that he didn’t identify this Sussmann issue back then? You follow me?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Doesn’t that cause a little bit of concern? Mueller everybody’s saying this is a put up deal. He’s gonna come home with every. Why would he not have identified this very thing that now Durham’s has, has uncovered. Sussmann has, you know, Sussmann is in the target zone. You’ve got Mook admitting, yeah, the wicked witch started all of this. I mean, that’s, that’s kind of how this thing plays out, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Yeah. But, I think with the Mueller investigation is because he never looked at that side.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  He, he only wanted, okay, you, you want me to see if Trump’s linked to Russia? I’ll see if Trump’s linked to Russia. I’m not gonna go into any of these, you know, reports from, oh, this weird thing. Maybe there’s something with the bank. Maybe there’s not. We’ve got this internet data that.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  We can’t make sense of. It’s.

Mike Papantonio:             This, this bizarre love affair that, that Democrats have for the Clintons is totally beyond me. You can tell ’em a story like this, they’re gonna come to her defense. Oh, she, you know, how dare you attack Hillary Clinton. I’m attacking her because she’s put us inches away from a cold war that might just escalate into a war in Europe, real war, missiles being fired to Poland, other places all around Europe involving the United States. And so if you can’t get mad at that, buddy, you’re just way too tribal.

If Roe gets overruled Democrats are hoping it’s gonna give them an edge in November, but polls are saying it just won’t happen. You know, you know in this, when the ruling was leaked, I thought, thank goodness. This is something that maybe the Democrats can grab a hold of. They can energize their base. You know, because they have to, they, they they’ve gotta energize their base. And when I saw Roe V Wade, I thought, okay, good. This is, this is the chance for them to do something with it. What’s your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  I, I had thought from the beginning, you know, just because you and I have been doing this for so long, we have seen outrage after outrage in 20 years of doing this. We have seen so many things going all the way back to the Bush administration where we would sit and have conversations saying, there’s no way Republicans can walk away from this. They’re done.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And then a week later, nope, we’re onto the next outrage.

Mike Papantonio:             Why, why is it, why can’t look, first of all, the analysis that you and I have talked about, I think, I think this is your theory and I’m, if I can use it, get, tell me if I get wrong. But your theory is when you start slicing the pie that there simply is not enough gravitas in that pie to balance out the people who are indifferent. I mean, is, is that kinda your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  It, it, it really is.

Mike Papantonio:             Explain, explain it a little bit because I, I think you got a great theory here.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, typically what happens whenever there is an outrage like this and this is something to be outraged about. Don’t get me wrong. This is terrifying. But people will start to rationalize it in the same way that George W. Bush, his approval rating, which you know, was 50% his whole administration is now up into the seventies. People forget, people forgive, people move on to the next thing. And even though this is gonna impact people’s lives, believe it or not, we’ve seen it time and time again, they will move on. The outrage will lessen. You can’t just stay angry forever.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  And unfortunately, if the Democrats are counting on that anger carrying them all the way through November, they’re already not paying attention. You know, Democrats were lagging in enthusiasm for the midterms below 50%.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. There’s a general malaise.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s how you describe it.

Farron Cousins:                  And so this, this ruling comes out or at least was leaked and the enthusiasm only jumped up by about four points. And we’re still about nine points behind the Republican enthusiasm gap. So this moved the needle, sure. But is it going to affect the races in any way? Maybe one or two. I’m not kidding. We may save about two seats is my estimate from this ruling. It is not gonna reverse the trends that we’re already seeing.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. I, but I would take your prognosis over anybody out there calling shots because I know what your prognosis has been year after year on, on issues like this. And I think you’re right. Look, isn’t it Carville word, it’s the economy stupid.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, James Carville said that’s how we’re going to elect Bill Clinton. It’s the economy stupid. And every time you, you, you get away from that, you allow the Republicans to come in and talk about inflation, about gas prices, about supply chain problems, about Ukraine and how that’s expanding, about potential recession that’s already on top of us, about this border problem, about the wokeness problem. Those are all, everything I just gave.

Farron Cousins:                  Those are on the list, yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Are the Republican talking points. And we see ’em every single day because we have to read the right material along with the left material and we have to somehow, somehow move it to the middle. But these talking points are so easy to, to, to get after. And I think if I, if I’m hearing you right, you’re saying that, that there’s just not enough, there’s not enough oomph in the whole Roe V Wade issue to move that many votes.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And, and the reason for that, and, and again, this is unfortunately a wake up call for, for people on the left is this doesn’t drive voters because we’ve seen it, obviously if, if it drove voters, Trump never would’ve won. You know, Biden would’ve won by even bigger margins because those were the issues or Democrats were saying, look, we gotta protect the Supreme Court. In 2016 there was an open Supreme Court seat.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Wow, good point.

Farron Cousins:                  And they were talking about Roe and it still

Mike Papantonio:             That’s a good.

Farron Cousins:                  Couldn’t get them out there.

Mike Papantonio:             That, that is a great.

Farron Cousins:                  So we have already seen the history of this. And again, this is a life changing decision that is gonna ruin a lot of women’s lives. But when you look at the electorate and I’m trying to just, I’m not being left or right here, look at the electorate, half men, half women, this isn’t gonna move them in. When you look at the aging part of the electorate that shows up in elections bigger than any other demographic, this issue doesn’t affect them either.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So they actually, they, they may be mad about it. But at the end of the day, when they’re marking their ballots.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s, it’s.

Farron Cousins:                  This isn’t on their mind.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s the economy stupid.

Farron Cousins:                  Yep.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s, it’s that we can’t get, we can’t get supplies. We can’t get, you know, our gas is now $5 a gallon, whatever it is, whatever it’ll be by then. It’s real money issues. Look, this is, I thought this was important. 72% of independents and 71% of, of, of swing state voters believed that the abortion issue, the rewrite of the abortion issue that was taking place in, in Congress where they tried to, to make it a statute to legislate it, they said it went too far. Okay. Now I, I gotta tell you something that, that tells you a lot right there. I’m hoping that somebody will get behind this and figure out how to sell it a little bit better than it’s been sold.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             It doesn’t sell with people screaming at each other on the streets and.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And throwing things at each other.

A banking executive is in hot water for saying that nobody cares if Miami is underwater in 50 years due to climate change, he really really said that. One of the HSBC who, oh, by the way, are criminals that admitted that they were criminals. Admitted that they were washing money for terrorists, washing money for drug cartels, admitting that they knew their washing money was going to kill Americans, soldiers, contractors, not just Americans, but people all over the world. Admitted that they knew that. Admitted that they made a hundred billion doing it. And then they were only fined $1.6 billion. They made a hundred billion, did I say million? A hundred billion dollars. So these are the same people. Tell us the story about this cat, stands up and says this.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, you’ve got Stuart Kirk, who is actually the head of responsible investment, I mean, responsible investment. He goes to this conference and he stands up and he says, listen, nobody cares if Miami’s gonna be under six meters of water a hundred years from now, or even 50 years from now, you know, so that shouldn’t affect any of your investments. And what he did, not just this horrible statement, but he is really exposing this corporate mentality of climate or, or even the congressional mindset of climate change is, who cares? Because we’re all gonna be dead.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. It’s a climate change story. We say it all the time. This isn’t gonna get any hits on this network. It never, people don’t care about climate change. They say they do, you know, when they’re trying to, when they’re trying to send a signal, I guess that they really care, but they won’t go to this story. They won’t follow this story. But I gotta tell you something. This is what this guy says. These are his words. At a big bank like ours what do people think the average loan length is? It’s six years. What happens to the planet in seven years is actually irrelevant. It’s not our problem. It’s on our loan book. For coal, what happens in seven years is irrelevant. This is the guy standing up in front of a huge room of bankers who are applauding him saying, yeah, yeah, yeah. Who cares? This is the corporate mentality. This is why we can raise hell about climate change and nobody pays it attention because you have these piggish psychopaths, these oddball piggish psychopaths and now finally the veil is removed one more time. We see what, that they’re a bunch of pigs at the trough. That they don’t care about this planet. It’s not gonna go anywhere. This will, this.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             I’ll be honestly surprised if we got 10,000 visits on this story, by the time it’s over.

Farron Cousins:                  I will say, it’s very funny you read that because I actually had it marked and starred right here to read as well, because that is the quote folks. That is exactly what he said and that’s the corporate mentality.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  It goes from the banks to the insurance companies all the way through the halls of Congress. It doesn’t matter because we’re only thinking six years into the future. We don’t have to think 10 or 20 years into the future.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  We’ll be dead or our investments will be paid off. So then whoever got a loan for us to buy a house in Miami, it’s their problem. They’ve paid it off.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right. Who cares if your grandchildren are drowning? Who, who cares? These are pigs.

Farron Cousins:                  Yep.

Mike Papantonio:             Pigs at the trough. They’re not dressed up like pigs. They’re dressed up in nice looking suits. But they’re pigs. They’re psychopathic pigs who, who, who, who make money at the expense of the rest of this planet.

The Biden administration has put the brakes on their disinformation board after massive backlash. Wow. No surprise here. It was a disastrous rollout by, Mayorkas. It was the worst rollout I’ve ever seen. People were thinking, you know, what comes to their mind is exactly George Orwell’s the ministry of truth, 1984, had it all over the place. And nobody could explain it. When they asked, well, are you spying? No, we’re not spying on anything or. This is the worst rollout. And then they have this Jankowicz, oh my God, what an oddball running the whole program.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. All the, all the videos that emerged about her, you know, certainly didn’t help. She’s now resigned. Thank goodness.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  But this really was, I, I have to say one of the dumbest decisions that we have seen coming from the top of an administration in a very long time. In an election year where you’re already getting your butts kicked, in an election year where Republicans are already screaming that your party is censoring the other one, you roll out a thing and say, okay, guess what? The government is gonna start censoring data. No, that is such a stupid and of course, very terrifying thing. You and I talked about this when it was first introduced and we compared it basically to the Patriot Act. Sure we understand you’ve got great intentions, but you’ve also put out a program that is incredibly easy to take advantage of and rob Americans of their constitutional rights.

Mike Papantonio:             First of all.

Farron Cousins:                  Which is what this did.

Mike Papantonio:             It was a flagrant violation of the constitution. Anybody who took a civics class would see that, but not the Democrat leadership. Oh, this is a great idea. Now let me defend Biden on this. I don’t believe Biden even knew what was going on.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             When he first heard about this, I gotta tell you something, he, he was as, he was as horrified as everybody because the guy’s taken a constitutional law course. But he, he was as, as upset as everybody, it shuts it down. But that tells me something. That tells me who’s in charge of what’s going on. And are they checking with Biden before they make these big moves? This rollout was, he’s not in charge. I mean, that, that’s, that’s the problem. He’s just not in charge. And, and so these, these characters that are making the decision, just unload on him. It’s propaganda. This is what was gonna be propaganda. And the next party that was gonna be in control with the Republicans, they’d have a lot of fun with it. Wouldn’t they?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, they absolutely would. You know, if, if Democrats use this and say, oh, well these sites over here are putting out disinformation about health or climate or whatever. The Republicans, when they take back over are gonna say, okay, well these sites over here are putting out disinformation about the government, about this administration. We have to shut them down. It’s a tit for tat back and fourth.

Mike Papantonio:             Who’s in, who’s in charge, Farron? I, I mean this serious, who is in charge?

Farron Cousins:                  It’s the old guard Clinton folk from the nineties that Biden has brought back into this administration, all these advisors, it’s the same people that have been skulking around DC for 30 years. They feel like they’ve paid their dues. They want back in. Those are the people calling the shots.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, and, and, and until we get rid of those people, you know, we’re still a generational away from decent Democratic politics because this, this old guard, the, the Carville folks who was brilliant in the nineties, not so much anymore now.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh, outta touch. Totally. Carville is so out of touch.

Farron Cousins:                  But, they have to go away.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And Biden, unfortunately, to a degree still holds onto these people like they know better.

Mike Papantonio:             I, I saw the Podesta’s are back. Did you see that? Literally the Podesta’s are back. That’s how crazy it is.

All right. So the national labor board has uncovered an even, even more evidence against Amazon trying to bust up unions. Now you raised this to me and I, I just think you were completely correct. This tells me maybe that we shouldn’t be loaning 10 billion, not loaning giving $10 billion to the folks running Amazon, which is what we’ve done. We, we gave Bezos the government, just what a couple of months ago.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Gave him $10 billion and he, at this point is probably one of the premier union busters in the country. And we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t reward that. I think Bernie Sanders came out and said, this is crazy.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Bernie, Bernie is about the only one who says, you know, wake up people. This is insanity giving this company billions of dollars while they’re spending millions to bust up these unions. And of course, what we’ve found now is, or the labor board found is Amazon is sitting there threatening their employees with wage cuts if they vote to form a union. And of course they’re doing it in their very corporate lawyery kind of way saying, well, we’re gonna have to drop you all down to the state minimum wage here if you vote to form a union, because we gotta keep wages with your union contract, but that’s gonna take a couple years to negotiate fully. So you’re down to, you know, whatever your state’s minimum wage is.

Mike Papantonio:             And didn’t they take benefits away?

Farron Cousins:                  Yep. You get no benefits.

Mike Papantonio:             I’m gonna take your insurance. No benefits. No. I mean, so, so here we got a guy that, oh, by the way, everybody’s seeing it, is he positioning himself for a run for president? I mean, that’s kind of the next thing we see out of this, out of Bezos, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  It, it feels like it’s happening because he is starting to get more vocal about politics. Whereas he hadn’t necessarily been before. He’s got a huge platform to back him up with the Washington Post. I mean, that’s. That, that used to be look, in the early days of this country, when you owned a newspaper, you could do whatever the hell you wanted.

Mike Papantonio:             Not so much anymore.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Not so much, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Not so much anymore, but it’s still a pretty big power to have behind you.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  And Bezos again, with his constant interjections into politics. He’s following Elon Musk. But Bezos is positioned, he’s got a highly successful company. One that whether you love him or hate him, everybody uses it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Let’s be honest. And he’s got the name recognition. Biden and Trump are both horrible in the polls. Majority of voters want a third party candidate.

Mike Papantonio:             Of course.

Farron Cousins:                  That lane is open for Bezos and he’s probably worse than both of them put together.

Mike Papantonio:             Kinda like, who was the guy the third party that ran the?

Farron Cousins:                  Perot.

Mike Papantonio:             Perot, Ross Perot. Look, the, the average person out there says, well, my God, he’s built a big business. He must be a smart guy. He’s been to space. Let’s make him president of the United States. It could happen.

Farron Cousins:                  They’d do it. They would do it.

Mike Papantonio:             I think that’s where, I think that’s what Bezos is up to. Even though he’s just trashing the possibilities of these workers having any unions at all, and we seem to, it doesn’t bother anybody. Let’s give them $10 billion.

Polls are currently showing that the Democratic party is just about as unpopular as ever. Uh, God, I, I hate to even say it because every time I talk about the Democrats, oh, that Papantonio he’s moved to the right. Really? No, I’m just trying to tell stories about what everything is being reported, what the polls are showing. Talk about this story.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. And this is, you know, for the record, this is from the New York magazine, which is a super liberal.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins:                  Publication, and it’s not an attack, it’s a warning for the Democrats.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They right now, according to polls have a negative 19% approval rating, which is worse than the Republican party at negative 11, worse than Donald Trump at negative 17, worse than Kamala Harris who’s also at negative 17. But the fact that the Democratic party.

Mike Papantonio:             Let, let me ask you something. Give me some, round that out a little bit. These numbers, the minus 17, minus 19.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. It, it just means that there’s 19% more who say that they have an unfavorable view.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Than a favorable view.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Right.

Farron Cousins:                  And when you have a Republican party that to this day denies the results of the 2020 election, you got the Capitol riot, you’ve got all these nut jobs out there defending white supremacists. And when the general public looks and says, but I still like them better than these, how did this even happen? How is that even possible? I don’t have an answer for that because this is just plain nutty.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  At this point. And I guess it’s because Biden had these lofty promises, right? $50,000 student loan debt, I’m gonna take care of that.

Mike Papantonio:             Where is that? Is, is it even moving?

Farron Cousins:                  It keeps bouncing around every time the polls get low.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, Republicans are getting in the way of it. Let’s give him that. I mean, Republican.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             I don’t know that that changes anything anyway, because they.

Farron Cousins:                  The voters don’t care about that.

Mike Papantonio:             They don’t. As a matter of fact, there were some polls that said, if this passes, does it make any difference? And, and the answer was no. It, it did not make any difference. So how do they pull out of this, Farron? I mean, I, I hate to even pontificate about it because then, you know, I’m called this right winger who hates Democrats. Well, I’m not Democrat, I’m not Republican. I’m just calling balls and strikes.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And, and right now the Democratic party is striking out on every front.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. The, the economy Biden was out there just a couple days ago, talking about how the Democrats are so much better on the economy than the Republicans. The public doesn’t buy it. Right. I, I saw a poll that says, majority of Americans say their paychecks today are actually lower than they were just a couple years ago. That, that’s the biggest issue for America right now. It’s not.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s the economy, it’s the economy stupid.

Farron Cousins:                  Exactly.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, that’s the whole.

Farron Cousins:                  It always comes back to that. Are you better off than you were two years ago?

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Most Americans say no and they’re in charge. So they get punished.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, the other thing that’s showing really strongly right now is people, I call it the, the scared bejesus and that is where people are afraid of what they’re seeing in Ukraine as it seems to be expanding and developing, we just sent $40 billion more. They’re, they’re.

Farron Cousins:                  They can’t find baby formula.

Mike Papantonio:             People, yeah, they’re, they’re just afraid of there’s this, there’s this tension that’s out there that they blame on, on Joe Biden. And in defense of Joe Biden, it ain’t just Joe Biden.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s the nut cases he’s surrounded himself with.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and here’s the thing and you and I have had these conversations before. People have to understand the Democrats are not in such a bad position right now because everybody’s tuning into Fox news.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  Or because nobody’s watching MSNBC. You crunch the numbers on this, you got less than 1% of the population that is tuning in to, to Fox, MSNBC, CNN, Newsmax, One America, all of those combined.

Mike Papantonio:             Less, less than, less than 1%.

Farron Cousins:                  Less than 1% every day. So 99% of the American public, what are they doing? They’re waking up. They’re going to work. They’re taking the kids to school. They’re coming home, doing homework,

Mike Papantonio:             Sitting around the table saying, hey, we can’t

Farron Cousins:                  Saying, look, my paycheck is smaller today than it was two years ago.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Or saying I can’t afford to go to the grocery store.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Because of, or when I go, there’s nothing there.

Farron Cousins:                  It’s not because they’ve all bought into propaganda. They’re not even exposed to the propaganda.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Like everybody wants to think.

Mike Papantonio:             That, that, that statement you made is such a powerful statement. We, who, who is it that’s watching MSNBC and CNN and Fox? It is the, it, it’s the folks that are completely committed to their political ideology.

Farron Cousins:                  Yep.

Mike Papantonio:             And it’s less than 1%. And you’re saying 99% are driving the train and that less than 1% is in LA LA land. On the right they believe this is real politics. On the left they believe this is real politics. It’s not.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Farron Cousins, thank you for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             The crypto crash might be making headlines, but crypto theft and crypto fraud should be the focus for regulators right now. It’s an ugly story. Joining me to talk about it, this financial wild west that’s taking place, is attorney Michael Bixby. Michael, I, you know, first of all, the whole crypto scene is kind of hard to follow to begin with. But then when you start saying this fraud is taking place, this scam is taking place, you start wondering, should I be messing with crypto? And I, what are the types of fraud that we’re seeing. What’s happening out there?

Michael Bixby:                    You’re, I think you’re exactly right, wild wild west because it’s something that’s been new for now for a number of years. People have been interested in it and you hear about, oh, all these wonderful, you know, crypto things that are going on and people are making a bunch of money and there’s all these trappings with it. And so you’ve seen a lot of sophisticated scams and Pap that’s the most amazing thing of the types of scams you’re seeing. People where, where money’s being stolen from people, you know, SIM swaps, people are getting, fraudsters are taking control of people’s phones and, and getting into their accounts, getting into their Coinbase account, getting into their crypto account.

Mike Papantonio:             Isn’t it part of, okay, but part of the problem is the whole idea behind this crypto is to have your, is to have the secrecy. But with that secrecy, there’s a trade off, isn’t there? That secrecy is so secret and it’s so hidden and it’s so far down there that you don’t really know what’s going on and you’re, you’re easily hacked in the process.

Michael Bixby:                    That’s, that’s exactly right. You have a, a system, you have things that are on the blockchain and so you can measure this. You can, you can follow it, but things can get moved around Pap and that’s what’s happening is that somebody’s getting access to somebody’s account. Right. And they transfer it over to somewhere else or they convert it to a different cryptocurrency or a stable coin or something like that. And unlike if you’re at a bank, let’s say you’re at a bank, a major bank.

Mike Papantonio:             FDIC.

Michael Bixby:                    Exactly. You have FDIC. You also have the idea of reversing transactions. That’s what you’ll see. I mean, if, if there’s somebody who’s, who’s stealing from a bank account, boom, it can be reversed. And one of the big problems.

Mike Papantonio:             But it can’t here? I take it.

Michael Bixby:                    It, it, it can’t, or at least the exchanges are not making the effort. So if you look, look at for instance, Coinbase is one of the most major platforms. It’s a publicly traded company that’s worth tens of billions of dollars. I mean, they’re raking in money here.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Michael Bixby:                    But what happens when somebody’s, a regular person and we’re not talking about these aren’t oh, this is a meg, mega national corporation. We’re not talking about Tesla getting scammed and Elon Musk getting scammed. We’re talking about regular folks who either are getting scammed by someone and they’re basically having these platforms, they’re using the platforms as an instrumentality. The criminals are saying we know we can get away with it here. We know we can sneak in under the radar because frankly, here’s one of the big issues, there’s not enough support. I mean, there’s been several exposes on this, for instance, with Coinbase, where they don’t have enough customer support agents. There aren’t enough agents to actually investigate the fraud, investigate the wrongdoing and stop it from happening.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, okay. You, you raised something really important. Okay. It, but in one year they took a look. It was more than 7,000 people that were scammed for in excess of $80 million. So what that tells you something right off the bat, it tells you the investors are small to moderate investors. It tells you that they’re obviously easy pickings if you have 7,000 of ’em that have been scammed. The last big scam I saw was amazing. It, they, it was a fishing. It was a fishing story, right? They, somebody, somebody, an employee in this situation, somebody working for the crypto company had given up the email contact information for everybody that was involved with their organization. So then the fishers send out an email that says you have been hacked, therefore change your, change your site to something that they created and all the money goes there and they steal the money.

Michael Bixby:                    And it, and it looks legit. That’s the thing is that a lot of people think, oh, I wouldn’t fall for this scam. These aren’t your, your grandma’s scams from the 1990s. I mean, the amount of sophistication that I’m seeing, I’m seeing people, you know, create websites that are geared towards you. It might, you Mike Papantonio might be embedded when they’re targeting you with these types of attacks. When they’re getting into these fishing. It’s not basic grade level because oftentimes what you’re dealing with is somebody who might have maybe even a hundred thousand dollars in equivalent value of cryptocurrency to be able to get into that account and to take it out.

Mike Papantonio:             What, what I’m not following is why there aren’t more lawsuits against the folks running this. There, there’s a duty, for example, if there’s no other duty, there certainly is a duty to protect your data system. Okay. When I give money to this organization, I’m assuming they have enough systems to avoid this idiot going in and hacking it, hacking and getting all your money. You, you believe that there’s protection. But there’s not, is there?

Michael Bixby:                    It, I think that’s exactly it, Pap. And so you, if you believe the, the exchanges, like say Coinbase, they say, we protect your account. I mean, that’s what they’re telling. They’re telling people, hey, we take all these extensive security measures and that’s right. They have duties. They have obligations. They have to spot red flags. And, and they can’t just say we have no obligations. So I think we should see, the question of, of lawsuits, I think we should see more. I, I think this is something that’s a developing area. And, and of course the, the crypto exchanges, the people who are operate, operating these platforms, they’re wanting to say, we have no obligation. If you got defrauded by somebody, it’s your fault. It’s not our fault. If, if somebody else got your email information, or if somebody else somehow hacked into your account, it’s not on us. And I disagree.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, that’s, but that’s been raised in, that’s been raised against Facebook, Twitter, all of these folks and the, the lawsuit has succeeded. I mean, you know, they get past that. And I, it’s just a matter of time. But what I’m wondering here is even if you did bring a lawsuit against a lot of these companies that just absolutely are blowing it for the people making this investment, even if you, who do you go after? Do these people, do most of these, are most of these companies backed up by any serious money?

Michael Bixby:                    There, there’s some of the major ones are and I think you’re spot on Pap is that a lot of the, that’s the problem, is there’s so much unknown. There’s people getting involved in it. But like, like take Coinbase. I mean, this is a publicly traded company. This is a company that’s making billions of dollars on a, on a, on an annual basis, billions, upon billions of dollars. So yeah, there, there are sources. There are ways to actually get at this. But it’s difficult. I think it’s an uphill battle and some of that is changing the narrative here, where we’re not just accepting the lowest common denominator from these people.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm.

Michael Bixby:                    And, and they, they need to have, I mean, they’re making these huge profits and they’re, and they’re caring for people’s assets, but it, when, when they’re careless, they need to be held responsible.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And you almost, I, I could almost see situations where you could go after people personally, even if they have an LLC put together, even if it’s a corporate. I, I see ways to pierce that corporate protection for people that are putting these crypto companies together. And I think that’s something the lawyers need to be aware of. What, what, okay. So look, it, it has potential, but it’s never going to, it’s never gonna grow to its potential unless you fix the problem. How do you fix this problem?

Michael Bixby:                    And that’s, I, I think it needs to be more clear oversight and that’s where crypto has largely evaded say the SEC, because they say, oh, it’s not securities. And it’s evaded some of the bank stuff that the banks are required because, oh, they’re not banks. They’re a money transfer business.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Michael Bixby:                    And so I think this requires more swift action, frankly, nationally on what the obligations are. And I think they need to be high obligations because people do trust them. People are relying on them and their credibility. So I think we need a, a better scheme that’s not just letting them fly under the radar, which is what’s happened for far too long.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, government’s tried to do that, but, but then you have the fed that, you know, hates this kind of thing. And, and so, so the question is people are even looking at the government’s attempt to maybe get control of this and I don’t blame ’em. I mean, anytime you have the SEC involved, it’s like thugs looking after thugs. You know, I, who has faith in the SEC., But anyway, Michael, thank you for joining us. And I, I think it’s just, it’s just buyer beware. It’s caveat emptor at this point, isn’t it?

Michael Bixby:                   That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             And I don’t know that you can do due diligence to really protect yourself. Do you?

Michael Bixby:                    I, I, I think it’s very, very difficult and I think that’s where people rely on the companies to do it. You trust.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    And people want to be able to trust, and that’s where the, that’s where the problem comes in, Pap. But I think it’s gonna be interesting. We’re gonna keep a close eye on this. Monitor how this develops and keep looking for ways, you know, we can try to best help the people who’ve gotten these situations.

Mike Papantonio:             Thanks for joining me.

Michael Bixby:                    Thanks Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available this coming week right here on YouTube channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @americaslawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where we tell you stories every week that corporate media won’t talk about because their advertisers won’t let ’em or their political connections don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.