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Trump’s Hush Money And Illicit Activities Exposed By Prosecutors

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign

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U.S., Prosecutors
In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Court filings Friday from prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller laid out why Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, deserve prison time.

The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women — Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump.

Federal prosecutors said Cohen made the payments in “coordination with and the direction of” Trump.

The filings also disclose an attempt by a Russian to wield influence in the campaign.

Fbi, Prosecutors
Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

In one filing, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who “claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’”

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, and Russia has denied any interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.

The filings also exposed lies told by Manafort during interviews with prosecutors and the FBI.

Trump USA, fbi, Prosecutors
Protesters urging the White House not to impede Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

Manafort told “multiple discernible lies,” the court documents said, including about his communications with a political consultant with alleged ties to Russian intelligence and about interacting with Trump administration officials after Manafort was indicted in 2017.

Also Read: Former FBI Director James Comey To Testify Before House

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign and business contacts with the Russians than he has admitted. (VOA)

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U.S. Senators Launch Investigation on Rising Insulin Prices

U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern.

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A syringe with insulin. VOA

Two U.S. senators launched an investigation into rising insulin prices on Friday, sending letters to the three leading manufacturers seeking answers as to why the nearly 100-year-old drug’s cost has rapidly risen, causing patients and taxpayers to spend millions of dollars a year.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the committee’s top Democrat, sent letters to the heads of Eli Lilly and Co., Novo Nordisk A/S and Sanofi SA, the longtime leading manufacturers of insulin.

The senators pointed to similar, large insulin price increases at all three companies. Eli Lilly’s Humalog, for instance, rose from $35 to $234 per dose between 2001 and 2015, a 585 percent increase, they wrote. Insulin has been available since the early 20th century.

The senators asked for information on the process used to determine list prices and the process used to determine net prices after negotiations with pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and health insurance plans. Their letters also asked for information about the cost of research and development, production, revenues and gross margins from insulin sales.

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U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern. Pixabay

“These hardships can lead to serious medical complications that are entirely preventable and completely unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest country,” the senators wrote in similarly worded letters.

‘Increasingly severe hardships’

“We are concerned that the substantial increases in the price of insulin over the past several years will continue their upward drive and pose increasingly severe hardships not only on patients that require access to the drug in order to stay alive but also on the taxpayer,” they wrote.

While Democratic lawmakers have launched several drug price investigations, this is one of the first bipartisan inquiries.

Health
“These hardships can lead to serious medical complications that are entirely preventable and completely unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest country,” the senators wrote in similarly worded letters. Pixabay

The Senate Finance Committee has the power to subpoena drugmakers.

The letters came just days before the same committee is scheduled to hold a hearing with seven pharmaceutical company executives, the latest congressional hearing on rising drug prices.

Also Read: What Does Architecture Of Houses in U.S. Tells Us About America

U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern. In January, top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee also wrote to the three insulin manufacturers asking for information on why their prices have rapidly risen.

About 1.2 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, requiring daily insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which affects nearly 30 million Americans, according to the American Diabetes Association, is treated with a variety of other medicines. But those patients may also eventually become dependent on insulin. (VOA)