The latest on KI’s website: Hungary’s descent into cronyism under Victor Orban.
- Federal agents have seized nearly a half-million dollars from a Washington lobbyist accused of helping the ruling family of Gabon and other clients evade money laundering regulations.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked a number of high-profile Trump campaign associates to hand over emails and other records of dealings with Russians as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and is prepared to subpoena those who refuse to cooperate.
- At a Senate hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she had warned the White House that former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s false statements about speaking to a Russian official could expose him to blackmail from Russia.
- FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump yesterday, raising questions about the future of an ongoing probe into Russian election interference.
- Walmart settles a bribery case, preparing to pay a $300 million fine to resolve a U.S. investigation into bribes paid by employees in Mexico, China, and India.
- Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is reportedly at odds with his former Turkish client over two unusual payments totaling $80,000. The disagreement points to inconsistencies in Flynn’s accounts to the U.S. government about his work for foreign interests.
- In a Beijing ballroom, the Kushner family pushed a $500,000 ‘investor visa’ to wealthy Chinese–the tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
- The increased risk of regulatory enforcement, including anti-money laundering enforcement actions, has pushed Western banks to cut back on so-called correspondent banking relationships, in which they rely on foreign institutions to handle transactions on their behalf, leaving room for banks in the East–particularly in China–to fill in the gap.
- Société Générale agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle claims that it paid a middleman $58.5 million in alleged bribes to secure almost $2 billion in business from Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund during the final years of dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s rule.
- Program citizen scheme, which is Malta’s controversial investor passport program. (KI covered the scheme–and how it opens the entire EU up to vulnerabilities–here.)