File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

Liberty Update

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Trump Co-Defendant Alleges Georgia Prosecutor Corruption Print
By Byron York
Thursday, January 11 2024
If true, it's a pretty sordid story. But given Roman's request – that prosecutor Willis be removed from the case – it could be much more than that.

At this stage of things, most of the developments in the criminal cases against former President Trump involve this appeal or that appeal, or this hearing date or that hearing date. But in Fulton County, Georgia, where the elected Democratic district attorney, Fani Willis, has brought a massive RICO case against Trump and 18 other defendants, something truly wild is happening.

One of the defendants in the case, a man named Michael Roman, who worked on the Trump 2020 campaign, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him. Roman alleges that Willis abused her authority by appointing her boyfriend, Nathan Wade, to be the special prosecutor in the Trump case, then paid Wade an excessive amount, and then Wade used some of that money to pay for vacations and other high living together with Willis.

Roman wants the charges against him dropped because, he alleges, Willis did not complete the formal process required to appoint Wade special prosecutor in the first place. Roman also wants Willis removed from the case "on the grounds that the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of taxpayers."

Roman's motion does not present a full range of evidence to support the allegations. Some of the evidence is in publicly available records. As for the rest, Roman's lawyer says she has seen the proof and has some of it in her possession  more on that later.

Roman alleges that Wade does not have the experience for the job Willis gave him. "The special prosecutor has never tried a felony RICO case," the motion says. More than that: The motion goes on to note that Roman's lawyers have been "unable to find any history of Wade ever having prosecuted a single felony trial." The motion says there are many lawyers in Georgia who specialize in trying and defending RICO cases, but Wade is not one of them; in fact, the motion alleges, Wade "would not be qualified under Fulton County's standards to be appointed to represent any defendant in this case given the complexity of the charges."

Nevertheless, Willis chose Wade. Why? "Willis and Wade were romantically involved prior to Willis awarding a contract for legal services with Wade," the motion says. "Willis and Wade have traveled personally together to such places as Napa Valley, California, Florida, and the Caribbean, and Wade has purchased tickets for both of them to travel on both the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Wade has also purchased hotel rooms for personal trips with funds from the same account used to receive payments under his contract with Willis." 

The motion adds that "The district attorney and the special prosecutor have been seen in private together in and about the Atlanta area and believed to have co-habited in some form or fashion at a location owned by neither of them." That sounds a little mysterious, and the motion does not say who owned the property in question.

Wade has done very well financially working on his alleged girlfriend's case against Trump. "As of December 2023, Wade has been paid a total of $653,881, which does not include all of his billing to date and does not include the amounts paid to his law firm through his partners," the motion says. In contrast, Willis' total salary is $198,266 per year.

The motion says that Wade was married to another woman at the time this was going on. It says Wade filed for divorce at virtually the same moment he signed on to the Willis prosecution, and then immediately moved for his divorce records to be sealed. But the motion says that the order to seal the records, like the effort to hire Wade initially, did not follow proper procedures. Defendant Roman's attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, explained in a fascinating footnote:

"This order appears to have been signed as a 'consent' order sealing the record and the required hearing was not held prior to this order being entered. Therefore, the order is void and, if requested by any third party, should be unsealed by the court. However, without knowing the record had been sealed and prior to the court clerk actually sealing the record, undersigned counsel [Merchant] was able to view this record and obtain copies of certain documents that had been filed upon review of the file at the clerk's office."

So it is appears that is how Roman's legal team found out some of the information about the Willis-Wade relationship. When public figures are involved, divorces can sometimes be the source of interesting information. This time, it's information concerning one of the most consequential prosecutions in U.S. history.

One more thing. Various exhibits attached to the motion contain copies of invoices Wade sent to Willis' office. They list what Wade did during the hours for which he was requesting payment. Two entries are of particular interest. There is one billing note for "Conf with White House Counsel" on May 23, 2022, and another for "Interview with DC/White House" on Nov. 18, 2022. Given the intensely political nature of the Trump case, any evidence of Biden White House involvement will be of great interest.

That is the latest on the Georgia prosecution. If true, it's a pretty sordid story. But given Roman's request  that prosecutor Willis be removed from the case  it could be much more than that.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.


Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
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