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Trump Refuses To Answer NY AG’s Questions At Deposition [Video]


Trump Refuses To Answer NY AG’s Questions At Deposition

ZH

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced that he would not be answering questions in his court-ordered deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ three-year probe of his organization.

After arriving just before 9 a.m. at the AG’s NYC headquarters, Trump released a statement which reads in part: “accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.

“I did nothing wrong, which is why, after five years of looking, the Federal, State and local governments, together with the Fake News Media, have found nothing,” the statement continues. “We cannot permit a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor to use this investigation as a means of advancing her political career.”

I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” Now I know the answer to that question,” the statement continues.

Shortly before Trump’s deposition, he posted this to Rumble:

James had insisted that Trump be deposed in person, Insider reports, after her office issued its original subpoena in December while investigating whether the Trump Organization misstated the value of various properties on financial documents – which James alleges were then used to obtain tax breaks and bank loans.

James’ office is considering whether to file a civil suit against Trump, claiming in court filings that they have “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations” regarding Trump’s financial statements to banks, insurers and the IRS.

Trump’s legal team fought the December subpoena for more than six months – losing in both the State Supreme Court and in a Manhattan appeals court – after which the Trumps (Trump, Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump) agreed to sit for depositions – which were delayed by the death of Ivanna Trump on July 14. Both Trump Jr. and Ivanka sat for depositions last week.

Trump’s refusal comes two days after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida – reportedly to find boxes of materials that the former president may have removed from the White House upon leaving office.

Trump’s statement can be read below:




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(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as compiled and written by Tyler Durden

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Senior Economist ‘Fact Checked’ By BigTech For Saying U.S. Is In Recession


Senior Economist ‘Fact Checked’ By Facebook For Saying U.S. Is In Recession

“We live in an Orwellian hell-scape.”

Steve Watson

An experienced economist has been ‘fact checked’ and corrected by Facebook after he stated that the U.S. is now in a recession.

Phil Magness, a researcher and educator with the American Institute for Economic Research, reacted to the incident by commenting “We live in an Orwellian hell-scape.”

Facebook uses ‘independent’ fact checkers at Politifact, a brazenly partisan operation, which ‘corrected’ Magness’ post about the Biden administration attempting to change the definition of a recession.

Magness provided examples of previous statements by Biden himself about being in a recession that were never fact checked:

The economist also noted that practically every other country defines a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth:

Biden and his underlings have engaged in gaslighting on the definition of recession throughout the past week, and it has continued into this week:

Meanwhile, on Brian Stelter’s clown show Sunday, New York Times columnist and ‘economist’ Paul Krugman replied “No, we aren’t and no, it doesn’t,” when asked “Are we in a recession and does the term matter?”

Krugman said “None of the usual criteria that real experts use says that we’re in a recession right now,” which is blatantly not true.

“What does matter?” Krugman further stated, adding “The state of the economy is what it is. Jobs are abundant.”

As for Krugman’s repetition of the Biden talking point about jobs…

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‘Woke’ billionaire who trashed the Founding Fathers has profited off Natives, oil


‘Woke’ billionaire who trashed the Founding Fathers has profited off Natives, Oil

NEW YORK POST

Billionaire David Rubenstein’s philanthropic efforts trash the Founding Fathers, even though his own business has made a fortune from deals that have profited off the less fortunate.

Since 2013, Rubenstein, 72, who co-founded the private equity giant the Carlyle Group, has given millions to entities that repair and upgrade historical monuments and landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument as well as Monticello and Montpelier, the homes of US presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. But some say the restoration at the presidential homes has recast the presidents as sinister racists while downplaying their accomplishments.

Recent visitors to Monticello and Montpelier have flooded Trip Advisor with complaints about how the former presidents have been virtually reduced to villainous slaveholders in lectures by the tour guides while books on anti-racism and critical race theory by Ibram X. Kendi and Ta-Nehisi Coates dominate the gift shops.

Remarked Dan A. after his visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: “Do your history homework before going, so you can appreciate this great American… the woke tour guide will leave you feeling like he started the Ku Klux Klan.” “They have demonized the founding fathers now,” wrote another recent visitor to Monticello. “Same thing with Madison’s home. I would stay away from places like this. It’s not worth the propaganda.”

In 2016, Rubenstein announced he was giving $18 million to make improvements to the Lincoln Memorial. In 2016, Rubenstein announced he was giving $18 million to make improvements to the Lincoln Memorial.Getty Images

But a quick dive into Rubenstein’s backstory shows he’s not so pure himself. He made his initial fortune in the 1980s by exploiting a tax loophole in Alaska allowing him to profit from deals made with Natives — and the Rubenstein family has been expanding their influence in the 49th state ever since.

In 2014, Rubenstein’s then-wife helped elect a governor in Alaska who in turn opened up the state’s $80 billion Permanent Fund, a fraction of which is managed by the Carlyle Group, to special interests. Rubenstein’s daughter was appointed to the board of that fund last month.

“Here’s a guy who has taken advantage of other people to climb to the top while he expects perfection from the Founding Fathers,”

Continue reading at NEW YORK POST

Header featured image (edited) credit:  Rubenstein at WE Forum/YouTube screen grab

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Home Depot co-founder calls out Biden’s Gaslighting of US economy


Home Depot co-founder calls out Biden’s Gaslighting of US economy

The President is to blame for Inflation

DAILY MAIL

  • Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, stood by his assertion that the US is in a recession and blamed President Biden for the downturn
  • Langone said the problems are ’caused by the policies of the [Biden] administration’
  • The entrepreneur from New York helped is a well-known donor of the Republican Party
  • Langone’s warning comes as a key measure of inflation in the United States has risen again, hitting a new four-decade high

Home Depot’s co-founder has blasted Joe Biden‘s claim that the US isn’t in a recession, says the economy is going down – and added that the president’s economic policies were to blame for rocketing inflation.

Ken Langone appeared on Fox’s ‘Your World with Neil Cavuto’ Friday, and said: ‘Here’s where we are. And by the way, I don’t care how you want to define it. 

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Continue Reading at DAILY MAIL


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FBI Sabotaged Hunter Biden Probe To Derail Investigation


FBI Sabotaged Hunter Biden Probe To Derail Investigation

FBI Whistleblowers

ZH

Several FBI whistleblowers say that the agency’s probe into Hunter Biden was internally sabotaged during the 2020 election in order to derail the investigation, after agents wrongfully deemed verified evidence as “disinformation” to ignore.

According to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), agents investigating Hunter “opened an assessment which was used by an FBI headquarters team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease,” adding that his office received “a significant number of protected communications from highly credible whistleblowers” regarding the investigation.

Grassley added that “verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” according to the Washington Examiner.

FBI supervisory intelligence agent Brian Auten opened in August 2020 the assessment that was later used by the agency, according to the disclosures. One of the whistleblowers claimed the FBI assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office, Timothy Thibault, shut down a line of inquiry into Hunter Biden in October 2020 despite some of the details being known to be true at the time.

A whistleblower also said Thibault “ordered closed” an “avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting,” according to Grassley, even though “all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants.” The senator said Thibault “ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required” and that FBI officials “subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” according to the disclosures.

The whistleblowers say investigators from FBI headquarters were “in communication with FBI agents responsible for the Hunter Biden information targeted by Mr. Auten’s assessment,” and that their findings on whether the claims were in fact disinformation were placed “in a restricted access sub-file” in September 2020, according to Grassley, who added that the disclosures “appear to indicate that there was a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.

Grassley summarized the new allegations in a Monday letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The Examiner notes that FBI agent Auten was involved in the Trump-Russia investigation, including interviewing Christopher Steele’s primary source, Igor Danchenko.

According to Grassley, the “volume and consistency” of the allegations regarding the handling of the Hunter Biden probe “substantiate their credibility.”

The assessment by Auten in August 2020 was opened the same month Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) received a briefing from the FBI “that purportedly related to our Biden investigation and a briefing for which the contents were later leaked in order to paint the investigation in a false light,” Grassley said. The senator said Senate Democrats asked for a briefing in July 2020 “from the very same FBI HQ team that discredited the derogatory Hunter Biden information.”

The FBI inquiry into Hunter Biden reportedly began as a tax investigation, then expanded into a scrutiny of potential money-laundering and foreign lobbying; the DOJ has declined to hand over investigative details. -Washington Examiner

Thibault, the FBI agent who allegedly quashed the Hunter probe, may have violated the Hatch act in 2020 after making posts on social media which were critical of then-president Donald Trump and former AG William Barr.

Joe Biden, top Democrats, and virtually the entire mainstream media dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian dis-information when bombshell allegations from the New York Post emerged weeks before the 2020 election. In March 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report claiming that figures tied to Russian intelligence promoted “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations” about Joe Biden.

View Grassley to Garland and Wray Scribd Document here

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Header featured image (edited) credit:  Hunter Biden/greatgameindia.com  /hunter-biden

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Putin Turns The Screws: Gazprom Unexpectedly Halts Another Nord Stream Turbine Cutting Flows In Half; European Gas Prices Soar


Putin Turns The Screws: Gazprom Unexpectedly Halts Another Nord Stream Turbine Cutting Flows In Half; European Gas Prices Soar

Tyler Durden's Photo TYLER DURDEN

Europeans, and especially Germans, breathed a sigh of relief last Thursday when, amid fears that Moscow would not restart flows along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline after its 10 day maintenance period, Putin turned the gas back on, if just to its pre-maintenance peak level of about 40% of maximum capacity.

Alas, Europe’s muted celebration were not meant to last, and with many speculating that Russia was just waiting for the right opportunity to turn the screws on Germany, both literally and metaphorically, that’s precisely what happened moments ago when shortly after Siemens finally delivered transport documents for the controversial Nord Stream turbine that had been stuck in Canada for weeks, Gazprom unexpectedly announced it would halt one more Nord Stream turbine at its Portovaya compressor station from July 27, “taking into account the technical conditions of the engine,” the Russian company says in a statement.

This means that, as had been whispered much of last week, gas flows from Portovaya will drop to as much as 33 million cubic meters per day from 7am Moscow time on July 27, which means flows along NS1 will decline by half, from 40% of capacity to just 20%.

  • GERMAN NETWORK REGULATOR HEAD: NORD STREAM 1 GAS NOMINATIONS HALVED FOR TUESDAY

According to Bloomberg energy expert Javier Blas, with “Nord Stream 1 flowing at just 20% of capacity from July 27, Germany will NOT have enough natural gas to make it throughout the whole winter **unless big demand reductions are implemented**. Berlin will need to activate stage 3 of its gas.”

Translation: unless Putin changes his mind, Germany is facing not just a freezing winter, but a bitter recession.

Needless to say, Germany was not happy with the latest reminder who holds all the cards in Europe:

  • GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTRY, ON ANNOUNCED REDUCTION IN NORD STREAM 1 GAS FLOWS, SAYS THERE IS NO TECHNICAL REASON FOR A REDUCTION IN SUPPLIES
  • GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTRY, ON ANNOUNCED REDUCTION IN NORD STREAM 1 GAS FLOWS, SAYS THE SANCTIONS-RELATED CONDITIONS FOR APPROVAL OF DELIVERY OF THE TURBINE HAVE BEEN MET

Bloomberg’s Vanessa Dezem adds that while it is positive that Germany’s gas stock levels rose again – at least heading into today’s Gazprom news – the country is still far from a comfortable situation to cope with the winter. Levels are back on a “proper path,” according to Klaus Mueller, head of the agency known as BNetzA. But if Russian gas flows through the Nord Stream pipeline remain low, Germany will not be able to fill the reservoirs to 95% in November, as targeted by the government, the agency said in a statement.

Without the necessary buffer, Germany’s energy security remains at risk and prices remain volatile, and sure enough, in kneejerk response, European (TTF) nat gas prices spiked 10% and are likely to keep rising…

… as Putin just assured that – all else equal – a recession Germany is now inevitable, and yet since commodity prices will continue to rise, the ECB remains helpless: it can’t cut rates without sending inflation even higher, but it can’t keep hiking with Europe now in a recession. The euro, which jumped late last week on some naive optimism that a worst case could be avoided, slumped.

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US Transportation Sec. – More Gas Price Pain = More Benefit … ???


US Transportation Secretary: The More Gas Price Pain…The More Benefit!

By: Daniel McAdams

First up today a HUGE Announcement from the Ron Paul Liberty Report !!!

Then on today’s program:

Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg believes that Americans suffering at the gas pumps is actually a very good thing because it will force them to purchase electric vehicles.

US Representative Massie hammers this delusional view.

Also today …

Ukraine threatens to smash Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet. WWIII?

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[embedded content]

[embedded content]

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The above article (US Transportation Secretary: The More Gas Price Pain…The More Benefit!) was originally created and published by the Ron Paul Institute and is republished on TLB with permission and with attribution to the original articles author Daniel McAdams and ronpaulinstitute.org.

Image Credit: In-article photos – Rumble Logo, screen capture from website to promote rumble – “Pete Buttigieg – Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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How Gen. Mattis Betrayed His Fellow Marines at the Behest of the Deep State


How Gen. Mattis Betrayed His Fellow Marines at the Behest of the Deep State

How the Pentagon’s top-brass generals burned the careers of subordinates but then pivoted to lucrative careers all while losing the wars they were supposed to be winning

By Major Fred Galvin (USMC-Ret)

My new book, A Few Bad Men, details the mendacity and mad dishonesty of retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. The fact that it was written by a Marine once under his command, whom he betrayed for the sake of politics and getting to slap on another star, says volumes about this once-lionized figure.

It all goes back to an incident in Afghanistan in 2007, and the Court of Inquiry trial of innocent Marines that followed, which Mattis himself instigated.

Lt. Colonel Steve Morgan, USMC (retired) and jury member of the 2008 Marine Special Operations Command’s Court of Inquiry says in the foreword to A Few Bad Men, “This is a case of a perfect storm of toxic leadership.”

The most legendary Marine of all time, Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune, the 13th commandant of the Marine Corps, laid out clearly how to effectively nurture and lead Marines:

“Make every effort by means of historical, educational, and patriotic addresses to cultivate in their hearts a deep abiding love of the Corps and Country” and “the key to combat effectiveness is unity and esprit that characterizes itself in complete irrevocable mutual trust.” 

If only General Mattis had taken this to heart.

On February 3, 2005, when Lieutenant General Mattis was attending the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Associations forum in San Diego, he said: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

He also likes hearing the sound of his own voice.

During this same time, Mattis partnered with General David Petraeus to develop the joint counterinsurgency doctrine of winning hearts and minds. Mattis hijacked the phrase from the Hippocratic oath for his Marines to follow, “First do no harm.” This sounded good to the media and politicians in Washington, but Marines are not physicians and Afghanistan was no sterile operating room. It was a hellscape in which Marines constantly faced threats and the possibility of betrayal from 360 degrees. Mattis’ Marine Hippocratic oath sent mixed signals for his Marines, who had it on his good authority that “It’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot . . . some people.”

Just over two years later, I led the First Marine Special Operations Task Force. We landed in Afghanistan on February 12, 2007. Before long the First was involved in a complex ambush near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, on March 4, 2007. We were attacked by a suicide car-bomb, waves of Taliban fighters on both sides of the road, a sniper, and a mob that placed an obstacle to trap us in an ambush kill box. We  successfully counterattacked, killed the Taliban terrorists, avoided civilian casualties, and returned to base within 20 minutes, where we learned of the Taliban’s swift information operations campaign that was already underway, accusing us of mass-murdering Afghan civilians. The Taliban’s version of events went out within 20 minutes through the BBC followed by countless others. Ultimately, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, condemned our actions and the Army generals kicked us out of Afghanistan within five days. Crushing the Taliban in battle morphed into a PR victory for the extremists in the media and a weakening of the allied forces in country. Due process went right out the window.

Ironically, Mattis was assigned as the convening authority by the commandant of the Marine Corps in August 2007, to be responsible for the investigation and a Court of Inquiry into our March 4 battle. Mattis received the results of my polygraph test and the sworn testimony of all the Marines involved in the firefight, confirming that on that morning no Marines said they killed any civilians or saw any civilians killed.

Unlike Lejeune’s comments of “cultivating a deep abiding love of Country and Corps in the hearts of your Marines and that the key to combat effectiveness is unity and esprit that characterizes itself in complete irrevocable mutual trust,” Mattis unleashed an unprecedented 45 criminal investigators and four prosecuting attorneys against the seven Marines falsely accused by the Taliban of mass murder. It would become the longest war crimes trial in Marine Corps history.

Mattis placed a “protective order” (a.k.a. gag order) prohibiting the two Marine officers who he named as codefendants from making any statements to the press or face punishment. Our attorneys would face disbarment. The already unlevel playing field was tilted hard against the Marines who had won a battlefield victory under fire.

Additionally, Mattis’ prosecution team found perceived vulnerabilities in the Marine commandos and commenced “ethnic targeting” of two Hispanic Marines. Mad Dog’s prosecutors continuously interrogated one of them, and the government manufactured a statement from him that our fire was out of control during the March 4 ambush.

The prosecution then threatened to deport the Marine’s mother back to Mexico unless he signed the statement. That Marine testified he was coerced into signing the prosecution’s false statement. Another Hispanic Marine also testified he was repeatedly threatened by the prosecution to take a polygraph, which was not a legal order, but the prosecution ordered him to anyway. None of the other Marines were subjected to these strongarm Gestapo tactics.

Mattis turned the prosecution over to his successor in the fall of 2007 as he received his promotion with a fourth star. The following year, the trial acquitted all of us. No thanks to Mad Dog Mattis. He got his star. A few bad prosecutors under his watch cost the Marines a few good men, and diminished America’s position in Afghanistan at a time when that war might still have been won.

Mattis went on to serve as the commander of all U.S. Forces in the Middle East at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. As I detail in A Few Bad Men, there he came under the influence of Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos. Holmes had a device she claimed could detect all kinds of disease in a few drops of blood. It would change the world, if it worked. Holmes contacted Mattis in August 2012 and wrote Pentagon officials requesting, “How do we overcome this new obstacle? I have tried to get this device tested in theater asap, legally and ethically. This appears to be relatively straight-forward yet we’re a year into this and not yet deployed.”

The main problem Mattis was willing to overlook was that the FDA had not approved Theranos’ blood testing technology to be used on our troops in Afghanistan, but Mattis was hoping he could push it through, right or wrong.

Mattis retired and went on to make a fortune serving on four corporate boards, including Theranos and military contractor General Dynamics. Theranos’ technology would not only be denied FDA approval, but it was proven to be a fraud. During the Elizabeth Holmes trial, Mattis, who had served as a Theranos board member for several years, testified that he was unaware of any of Theranos’ scandalous actions. This seems unlikely, given Mad Dog’s legendary tenacity, and the fact that he had a fiduciary duty to know what was going on.

Holmes’ device never worked. She is now a convicted fraudster. Was Mattis her gullible mark or a greedy participant?

Mattis’ disgraceful actions are laid bare in A Few Bad Men. He used his position as secretary of defense to bottle up the Freedom of Information Act requests to get our testimony in that March 4, 2007 ambush exposed. Our shocking testimonies have now been released and tell a terrible story of betrayal by a Marine against other Marines. They reveal why the Pentagon’s top-brass generals who burned the careers of subordinates but then pivoted to lucrative careers with every defense contracting company lost their forever war in Afghanistan, and really, haven’t won a war in decades.

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(TLB) published this article by Major Fred Galvin (USMC-Ret) via The Publius National Post with our appreciation for this perspective

Major Fred Galvin (USMC-Ret), is the author of A Few Bad Men: The True Story of U.S. Marines Ambushed in Afghanistan and Betrayed in America.

Header featured image (edited) credit:  A Few Bad Men/book cover/Galvin’s Book

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors

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Dems Double Down On selling Our (SPR) Oil To China


Democrats double down on selling American oil to China

By: Eric Utter

In a July 20 vote, House Democrats voted down a GOP-led amendment that would have barred the Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Energy from selling oil kept in the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China. That’s right — to hell with future emergencies and current record-high gasoline prices here in America; let’s sell our oil to our biggest geopolitical adversary.

(Tweet added by TLB Project Staff)

That should tell you all you need to know about Democrats’ priorities. They want to Make America Prostrate Again. Each and every one of the 219 House Democrats who voted to block the amendment should be thrown in jail for treason — preferably exchanged for the January 6 protesters who are still being imprisoned for no valid reason.

 Democrats are determined to quickly “transition” the U.S. from fossil fuels to solar and wind-powered energy, etc., no matter the cost to Americans. They are equally determined to “transition” the U.S. from its founding principles and values of limited government of, by, and for the people; equal justice under the rule of law; and the recognition of inalienable individual rights granted by the Creator…to a deflated Marxist state ruled by a handful of elites and riven by intersectionality. No matter the cost to Americans.

It’s a good thing today’s “Democrats” weren’t in power during World War II. They might have voted to sell oil and military hardware to Japan and Germany. Were those of their ilk in the Continental Congress during the War for Independence, they probably would have blocked any motion to provide coats and boots to Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge.

There is no sane reason for Democrats’ refusal to utilize our own fossil fuels here at home…while they simultaneously approve the sale of it to rival nations who do not have nearly as strict pollution control standards. More mind-boggling still, in spite of all this, the Biden administration goes hat in hand to the likes of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela to beg them to sell us their oil. So, to recap: We won’t use our oil, but we will sell it to adversaries, and we will purchase oil from other countries for use back home.

To say this is insane doesn’t do it justice. It can only be viewed as an attack on our domestic fuel producers…and America herself.

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(Video added by TLB Project staff)





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This article (Democrats double down on selling American oil to China) originated on American Thinker and is republished here under “Fair Use” (see project disclaimer below) with attribution to the author Eric Utter and americanthinker.com.

TLB recommends you visit American Thinker for more great articles and information.

Read more great articles by Eric Utter

Image Credit: Photo in Featured Image (top) – Screen capture from in-article YouTube video

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GOP: Biden’s Selling Of Oil From Reserve To Hunter Biden-Tied Chinese Firm is ‘Impeachable’

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Draghi Resigns As Premier, Plunging Italy Into New Political Crisis; Euro, Bonds Slide


ER Editor: See also this RT piece titled Italian PM Draghi confirms resignation.

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Draghi Resigns As Premier, Plunging Italy Into New Political Crisis; Euro, Bonds Slide

Tyler Durden's Photo TYLER DURDEN

Mario Draghi has resigned as Italy’s prime minister, an inevitable outcome after the former Goldman banker and ECB head failed to round up enough support for vote of confidence on Wednesday, ending a national unity government formed to tackle unpopular reforms, plunging Italy into turmoil and putting it on course for snap elections as soon as early October, in the process sparking a new political crisis for Europe at a time of already acute economic challenges.

In a statement, President Sergio Mattarella’s office on Thursday said that Draghi would remain in charge of current affairs.

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, right, meets the country’s president Sergio Mattarella in Rome on Thursday
.

Mattarella, who accepted the resignation, will meet Thursday afternoon with the speakers of both houses of parliament to agree on the next steps, which will likely include an emergency vote after the summer. The ballot may take place on Oct. 2. Fall elections are unprecedented in Italy, a time when parliament is usually preparing the annual budget.

Draghi’s national unity coalition, established early last year in the depths of the Covid-19 crisis, unravelled on Wednesday after a rancorous parliamentary debate. His exit comes as the eurozone’s third-largest economy faces mounting challenges including slowing growth, inflation and higher borrowing costs.

“After yesterday’s debate I have drawn my conclusions,” Draghi said during a brief appearance at the lower house of parliament before his meeting with the president.

In the parliamentary debate on Wednesday, Draghi accused some members of his cross-party coalition of attempting to subvert his reform agenda and demanded that they recommit to it. But two centre-right parties – Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – together with the populist Five Star Movement led by Giuseppe Conte boycotted the vote of confidence in his leadership.

Foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, who led a walkout from Five Star last month in protest at Conte’s sniping at Draghi’s policies, called the government’s collapse “a black page for Italy”.

“We played with the future of Italians,” Di Maio wrote on Twitter after Wednesday’s developments. “The effects of this tragic choice will remain in history.”

Italy’s inflation rate hit 8 per cent in June, its highest level since 1986, according to the statistical agency. Faltering on a tight schedule of promised reforms would also jeopardise Rome’s ability to receive the next tranches of its €200bn in funds from the EU’s Covid recovery programme.

Draghi had agreed an ambitious schedule of reforms with the EU with a plan to enhance competition and cut red tape to make Italy more attractive to investment, and to guarantee the sustainability of its heavy public debt, now at about 150 per cent of gross domestic product. (i.e. implement even more of the globalists’ neoliberal agenda)

Investor reaction was clear, with the yield on the Italy’s 10-year note jumping as much as 21 basis points to 3.6%, its highest since June. The spread over equivalent German bonds, a common gauge of risk, rose to 233 basis points, reflecting a widening of 0.22 percentage points in just two days.

The turmoil in Italy’s bond markets comes as the ECB is expected to raise interest rates in the eurozone on Thursday for the first time since 2011, and announce new policies to limit the divergence between the borrowing costs of the bloc’s strongest and weakest economies, including Italy.

Draghi’s exit will also be a setback to the western alliance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Italian leader has taken an uncompromising stand towards Moscow and was a key architect of the tough sanctions against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

A FTSE gauge of Italian stocks slid more than 2% in morning dealings, taking its losses over the past two days to almost 4%, but it has since recovered much of the losses. The country’s largest banks, which are major holders of Italian debt, led the declines, with Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit each down about 5 per cent.

The euro fell; the common currency retreated from earlier gains in choppy trade as investors wait for the European Central Bank to raise interest rates for the first time in more than a decade. Draghi’s resignation triggered a retreat in the single currency, as the 10-year Italian bond yield surged, widening the spread with German bonds; selling accelerated after a report that Russia is planning to hold referendums to annex occupied Ukranian regions. EUR/USD fell as low as 1.0171 in European trade, retreating from an intraday high of 1.0231 hit earlier in the day after Nord Stream AG said flows through Russia’s biggest pipeline to Europe restarted Thursday after a 10-day maintenance period.

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Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com

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