Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million
(AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)MIAMI – Newly filed lobbying records show Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same time it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation. Federal prosecutors in Miami are also investigating whether the Republican broke foreign lobbying rules. Payments came from a little-known, Delaware-registered subsidiary, PDV USA, which provided shareholder services to PDVSA independent of Citgo's oil operations. “Wiss was engaged to provide PDV USA and its affiliates with legal services only,” she wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. PDV USA said Wiss provided updates on disputes involving PDVSA and advice on immigration, insurance, and cryptocurrency.
Texas heads to polls for Senate runoff as virus rages
Texas has become one of the world's virus hot zones and is in far worse shape now than when the runoff was postponed in March. Last week was the deadliest of the pandemic for Texas, and Republican Gov. Abbott did not include polling places in his recent statewide mask order, and unlike many states, Texas has fought efforts to expand mail-in balloting during the pandemic. The Senate runoff is between Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who narrowly lost a race for a House seat in 2018, and state Sen. Royce West, who if he wins would become Texas' first Black U.S. senator. For now, both remain underdogs against Cornyn, a three-term Senate veteran who has a hefty stockpile of campaign dollars.
Sources: Venezuela wooed Texas Republican to ease sanctions
The purpose: to lure Exxon back to Venezuela after a decade's absence and inject much-needed dynamism into the OPEC nation's collapsing oil industry. But Sessions did engage in other mediation efforts in Venezuela over the next 15 months. The earlier email regarding Exxon and his connection to Rivera was not known at the time. The five-sentence message sent to Sessions' personal email address, which starts with the word eagle," is short on specifics. The U.S. Department of State would be your best resource for any information regarding contacts made with Venezuela, a spokesman said.
Indictment: Pete Sessions was asked to help remove Ukraine ambassador
The indictment alleges that a "Congressman-1" had been the beneficiary of approximately $3 million in independent expenditures by "Committee-1." Sessions is not named in the indictment and is not charged with any wrongdoing. Parnas met with Congressman-1 and sought Congressman-1's assistance in causing the US Government to remove or recall the then-US Ambassador to Ukraine," the indictment states. When Parnas and Fruman met with Sessions, Parnas and Fruman committed to raise at least $20,000 for Sessions, according to the indictment. Rep. Mark Meadows on Thursday cited Sessions when asked by CNN whether he had any concerns about Yovanovitch's removal.