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  • Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Remarks at the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Fall Forum

    Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Remarks at the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Fall Forum



    Washington, DC - - (November 15, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Justice published the following speech made by Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim at the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Fall Forum:


    “November Rain”: Antitrust Enforcement on Behalf of American Consumers and Taxpayers


    Good morning, and thank you for the kind introduction. I’d like to thank the American Bar Association for your invitation to this year’s Fall Forum and Deb Garza for her leadership of the Section this year. I find it hard to believe it’s been only a little more than a year since I was confirmed as AAG and spoke at last year’s Fall Forum. Over the past year, the Antitrust Division has been hard at work on behalf of American consumers. We made a number of significant enforcement actions this week, but before I turn to those, I’d like to update you on a few recent changes in the Front Office. First, Michael Murray recently joined us from the Deputy Attorney General’s office, where he served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. Mike now will be a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Front Office, where he will be overseeing our Appellate Section and our 4A damage actions on behalf of the American taxpayer. Mike has significant appellate experience, including as a law clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy. In addition, our new acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics is Jeff Wilder. Jeff received his Ph.D. from MIT and has distinguished himself as an outstanding economist serving as one of the leaders in the Division’s Economic Analysis Group, and we’re happy to have him join us in the Front Office. Some of you may remember that at last year’s Fall Forum, I spoke about antitrust and deregulation. In those remarks, I focused on remedies, including our preference for structural remedies and our emphasis on making consent decrees more enforceable. I also discussed our commitment to the view that antitrust enforcement is law enforcement, not industrial regulation, and that the Antitrust Division should strive to accomplish its law enforcement mission in the most efficient and effective way possible. The Division has stood by those principles. More recently, in a speech at Georgetown, I announced several improvements to the merger review process. We are making good on those changes as well. Today, we posted a model timing agreement and a model voluntary request letter on our website. Those documents increase transparency and predictability and will help merging businesses and their counsel know what to expect as part of the merger review process. We’ve also begun tracking the duration of merger reviews more carefully, so that we can monitor our performance and factors affecting it. You will recall our goal is to resolve investigations within six months of filing, provided that the parties cooperate and comply with our document and data requests during the entire process. I would like to focus the remainder of my remarks today on four important settlements in the last week that reflect the Antitrust Division’s commitment to vigilant and effective antitrust enforcement. As some of you may have seen, the Division announced just yesterday a set of global settlements with three South Korean companies. Those unprecedented settlements resolve criminal charges and civil claims arising from a bid-rigging conspiracy that targeted fuel supply contracts to U.S. military bases in South Korea. They are the result of tremendous hard work in parallel criminal and civil investigations by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section, the Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture Section, and the Fraud Section of the Civil Division. We were assisted ably by our partners at the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The United States currently maintains numerous military bases in South Korea, housing American soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors in the region. These military bases need fuel for various purposes, and two Department of Defense agencies, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), contract with South Korean companies to supply fuel to the numerous U.S. military bases throughout South Korea. Our investigation, which is ongoing, revealed that SK Energy, GS Caltex, Hanjin Transportation, along with other co-conspirators, rigged bids and fixed prices for fuel supply contracts issued by the U.S. military in South Korea for over a decade. They cheated the Military and American taxpayers out of precious limited resources. As a result of the conspiracy, the Department of Defense paid substantially more for fuel supply services. Although the immediate victim here was the U.S. military, the American taxpayer, you and me, ultimately footed the bill. The three companies agreed yesterday to plead guilty to criminal charges under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and they will pay at least $82 million in criminal fines for their involvement in the conspiracy. Importantly, the three defendants have also agreed to cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation of the conduct. Robert Jackson, who is one of my legal heroes, recognized that bid rigging is particularly harmful to government purchasers. When he served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, Jackson broadly denounced arrangements that “compel purchasers to pay a price based on calculation, not competition,” and specifically emphasized that “[w]hatever the effect of this on private buyers, it completely destroys the mechanism set up by federal, state, and municipal governments to keep favoritism and corruption out of public buying.” The harm Jackson recognized still exists today, and these settlements serve as an important reminder that the Justice Department and its law enforcement partners will investigate aggressively and prosecute without hesitation companies who cheat the United States government and the American taxpayer. We did not stop there. We are committed to using all authorities Congress has granted to us to remedy antitrust injuries to the American taxpayer. Those tools include the authority conferred in Section 4A of the Clayton Act. Section 4A is an important but underused enforcement tool that allows the government to recover treble damages for antitrust violations when the government itself is the victim. To that end, the Division established a parallel civil enforcement team, led by Kathy O’Neill and a group of capable litigators from the Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture Section to pursue parallel civil actions for damages. We negotiated separate civil resolutions with each of the three defendants on behalf of American taxpayers. We also worked alongside our partners in the Civil Division’s Fraud Section, who pursued charges against the defendants under the False Claims Act for making false statements to the government in connection with their conspiracy. To resolve both the civil antitrust and the False Claims Act violations, these three defendants have agreed to pay an additional $154 million in total. They also have agreed to cooperate fully with the Division’s ongoing civil investigation and to implement effective antitrust compliance programs. These historic cases mark the first significant settlements under Section 4A in many years. In fact, as far as we can tell based on our records, they are the largest settlements the government has ever recovered since the enactment of Section 4A. Let me take a step back to review the history of Section 4A. When Congress enacted the Sherman Act in 1890 and the Clayton Act in 1914, neither statute contained a provision specifically allowing the government to recover damages it suffered as a result of an antitrust violation. In 1939, the United States, led by Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold, brought its first-ever antitrust suit for damages on its own behalf. The government claimed author...
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  • Acting Attorney General Whitaker Statement on Veterans Day

    Acting Attorney General Whitaker Statement on Veterans Day

    Acting Attorney General Whitaker issues Statement on Veterans Day


    (November 11, 2018) - - Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker issued the following statement on Veterans Day:

    "This is the land of the free because it is the home of the brave," Acting Attorney General Whitaker said. "At the Department of Justice, we recognize that our rights depend upon public safety. Our troops risk their lives for that mission, and each of us owes them a debt of gratitude. Today, on the centennial of the Armistice, we stop as a nation to honor those who have taken up that noble mission and kept us safe and free. I hope that all Americans will join me in thanking a veteran today and honoring their heroic service not just today but every day."




    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • Acting Attorney General Whitaker Statement On Presidential Proclamation

    in News

    Acting Attorney General Whitaker Statement On Presidential Proclamation

    Acting Attorney General Whitaker Statement On Presidential Proclamation




    (November 9, 2018) - - After President Trump’s Presidential Proclamation regarding the Southwest Border, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker issued the following statement of strong support:

    "Our southern border is in crisis. The hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have unlawfully crossed our border are posing a significant threat to the government’s ability to effectively enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Plain and simple, there are too many loopholes in our current immigration system. The vast majority of asylum claims that originated from this system are not meritorious. What’s worse, large numbers of aliens fail to even pursue their claims in court and many fail to appear for their court hearings.

    “Today, the President has made a strong statement that enough is enough. Aliens with legitimate claims to asylum can still receive it—they simply have to go to one of our ports of entry. Thanks to this decisive order from President Trump, we are continuing to provide a path to protection for those who truly need it, while stopping our generosity from being abused."

    The total number of aliens referred to expedited removal proceedings has significantly increased over the last decade, from 161,516 aliens in 2008 to approximately 234,534 in FY 2018. The total number of credible-fear referrals for interviews increased from about 5,000 a year in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to about 97,000 in FY 2018.

    The vast majority of asylum applications are not meritorious. In FY 2018, a total of about 6,000 aliens who passed through credible-fear screening (17 percent of all completed cases, 27 percent of all completed cases in which an asylum application was filed, and about 36 percent of cases where the asylum claim was adjudicated on the merits) established that they should be granted asylum.

    More than approximately 70,000 aliens a year (as of FY 2018) are estimated to enter between the ports of entry and then assert a credible fear in expedited removal proceedings. Another 24,000 assert fear to return at our ports of entry.

    As of November 2, 2018, there were approximately 203,569 total cases pending in the immigration courts that originated with a credible-fear referral—or 26 percent of the total backlog of 791,821 removal cases.

    Of that number, 136,554 involved nationals of Northern Triangle countries. 89 percent of aliens from the Northern Triangle receive a positive credible-fear interview.

    But in nearly half of the completed cases involving these aliens, the alien failed to appear at a hearing or failed to file an asylum application.
    • 71 percent were of claims completed with the issuance of an order of removal.
    • 31 percent were of claims completed where the alien failed to appear at a hearing.
    • 40 percent were of claims completed without the alien filing an application for asylum
    • Only nine percent were ultimately granted asylum.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice...
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  • Attorney General Sessions Issues Statement on Judicial Ruling Declaring California Senate Bill 50 Unconstitutional

    Attorney General Sessions Issues Statement on Judicial Ruling Declaring California Senate Bill 50 Unconstitutional




    (November 2, 2018) - - On this date, the United States Department of Justice published the following information:

    Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the following statement regarding the court’s ruling in the Eastern District of California declaring California Senate Bill 50 (SB 50) unconstitutional:

    “The court’s ruling is a firm rejection of California’s assertion that, by legislation, it could dictate how and when the federal government sells federal land. This was a stunning assertion of constitutional power by California, and it was properly and promptly dismissed by the district judge. It is unfortunate that, in the interim, California forced both the Justice Department and the court to spend valuable time and resources to dispose of its baseless position.

    “This is the third time in the last few months that a federal court has struck down as unconstitutional all or parts of a law that California designed to frustrate federal law. This trend is concerning, and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the rightful duties of the federal government in court, and ensure that no state, including California, subverts the enforcement of federal law.”

    In April this year, the Department of Justice filed a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the State of California, Governor of California Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr., and the California State Lands Commission, seeking a declaration that California Senate Bill 50 (SB 50), enacted in October 2017, is unconstitutional and seeking an injunction against implementation of this state law. The California law purported to give a state agency the power to block the sale, donation or exchange of federal lands by the federal government to any other person or entity. SB 50 also sought to penalize (up to $5,000) any person who knowingly filed real estate records pertaining to a federal land transfer unless the California government certified that the transfer complies with state law.

    The District Court for the Eastern District of California found that SB 50 interfered with the federal government's constitutional authority to convey federal land in the State of California. Under a range of federal laws, Congress has empowered federal agencies with the responsibility to determine when, to whom, for what purpose, and under what conditions federal interests in property will be conveyed. Federal conveyances serve a broad range of purposes such as supporting national defense, promoting local economic development, furthering land conservation, or otherwise providing important public benefits.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • Statement From Attorney General Sessions on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment

    Statement From Attorney General Sessions on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment



    (November 2, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of Justice published (today) the following statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

    Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released its 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, a comprehensive, strategic assessment of the illicit drug threats facing the United States. Attorney General Sessions made the following statement about the report:

    “This new report from the DEA confirms that transnational drug cartels and foreign drug labs, working with street gangs, are flooding our communities with drugs like heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamines,” Attorney General Sessions said. “But under the Trump Administration, we are hammering these groups. I have restored commonsense criminal charging and sentencing policies with our prosecutors, surged resources to jurisdictions facing some of the highest levels of violence and drug abuse, and targeted enforcement against the most violent offenders and organizations. Last year, the average federal sentence for drug trafficking rose, and we are already seeing encouraging results. Preliminary data from the CDC shows that drug overdose deaths actually began to decline in late 2017 and opioid prescriptions fell significantly. We also saw an actual decline in homicides and violent crimes in 2017 after increases in 2015 and 2016. Law enforcement is crime prevention—and that's what we're doing every day across America. The Department of Justice will continue to focus resolutely on drug traffickers and protect the American people.”

    Background:

    According to the report’s summary: “Illicit drugs, as well as the transnational and domestic criminal organizations who traffic them, continue to represent significant threats to public health, law enforcement, and national security in the United States. Drug poisoning deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States; they are currently at their highest ever recorded level and, every year since 2011, have outnumbered deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide. In 2016, approximately 174 people died every day from drug poisoning.”

    As the report also notes:

    “National and neighborhood-based street gangs and prison gangs continue to dominate the market for the street-sales and distribution of illicit drugs in their respective territories throughout the country. Struggle for control of these lucrative drug trafficking territories continues to be the largest factor fueling the street-gang violence facing local communities. . . . Gangs’ desire to secure the largest share of the profits and the most lucrative territories for themselves drives violent turf wars that often result in the murder or attempted murder of rival gang members and drug dealers. Firearm-related violence will likely continue to be associated with the illicit drug trade due to the constant turf wars between gangs vying for control of territory. . . . Street gangs are increasingly distributing fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products as the drugs continue to flow into the United States. The monies involved with its street sale, and the demand for fentanyl by the consumers of illicit drugs, encourages gangs to become more involved with selling fentanyl.”





    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan Statement on Suspicious Packages Arrest

    Postmaster General & CEO Megan J. Brennan Statement on Suspicious Packages Arrest



    (October 26, 2018) - - Postmaster General & CEO Megan J. Brennan's Statement on Suspicious Packages Arrest:

    "Over the past week, the men and women of the United States Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service responded quickly and effectively to the threat of suspicious packages in the mail stream.

    We worked closely with local and federal law enforcement partners to protect our employees, customers and the American public, and to speed the investigation and apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.

    We are especially pleased that there have been no injuries. This is a testament to the hard work of our postal employees who were vigilant and aided in these investigations.

    While there has been an arrest, we must remain alert and continue to follow our established suspicious mail protocols. We remain focused on our mission to keep the mail safe and secure for everyone."

    Megan J. Brennan
    Postmaster General




    Credit: U.S. Postal Service...
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  • Attorney General Sessions Delivered the Following Statement About Today’s Tragedy in Pittsburgh

    Attorney General Sessions Delivered the Following Statement About Today’s Tragedy in Pittsburgh




    (October 27, 2018) - - Attorney General Sessions today issued the following statement on the horrific tragedy in Pittsburgh:

    “Hatred and violence on the basis of religion can have no place in our society,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “Every American has the right to attend their house of worship in safety. Today 11 innocent people were suddenly and viciously murdered during religious services and several law enforcement officers were shot. These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation. Accordingly, the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty.

    “It has been an important week for us to show gratitude for the hard work of our law officers around the country. And today was no exception. I want to thank the FBI, ATF, Pittsburgh police, and especially the heroic officers who were so quick to respond to the shooting, including the multiple officers who were shot. These officers ran to danger to save others, which reflects the highest traditions of policing in this country. There can be no doubt that they saved lives today.

    “The Department of Justice will continue to support our state and local partners and we will continue to bring the full force of the law against anyone who would violate the civil rights of the American people.”




    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • U.S. General Services Administration Launches New Pilot Program Increasing eBuy Transparency

    U.S. General Services Administration Launches New Pilot Program Increasing eBuy Transparency



    One Year Pilot Program with Select GSA Contracting Offices to Study Effects on Competition, eBuy Usage


    Washington, DC - - (October 17, 2018) - - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has launched a pilot project aimed at improving transparency and increasing competition through the use of GSA’s eBuy, an online Request for Quote (RFQ) system. The eBuy Open GSA First pilot aims to draw more vendors to participate in the federal marketplace by publicly releasing post-award eBuy RFQ information on GSA procurements on FedBizOpps.

    “Providing more transparency into how the federal government buys products and services will help contractors and our agency customers make more informed decisions when considering GSA contracts,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “Making this data public will be especially helpful for small businesses who often aren’t able to dedicate resources to navigate the government contracting process. Increasing competition and improving transparency supports the priorities I have established while leading GSA and will ultimately enable GSA contracts to produce greater value for the American taxpayer.”

    “Stakeholders have been asking for access to eBuy for some time, this pilot enables GSA to explore the best options to improve transparency in the eBuy program,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas. “Not only will publishing post-award RFQ information publicly give our industry partners greater insight, but it will also encourage more vendors to pursue opportunities with GSA.”

    The one-year eBuy Open GSA First pilot will collect and analyze data from a test group and a control group. The test group includes contracting officers from the GSA Office of Internal Acquisition, and the FAS Region 7 Southwest Supply and Acquisition Center for GSA funded procurements. These test groups were selected because they are the most active on eBuy.

    During the pilot, the test group will upload the award notice of each individual eBuy award, including a copy of the RFQ, on FedBizOpps for public viewing. Enter the keyword “eBuyPilot” in the search box on FedBizOpps to find these award notices.

    The pilot will run until October 9, 2019.




    Credit: U.S. General Services Administration
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  • U.S. General Services Administration Announces Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts and Special Emergency Procurement Authorities

    U.S. General Services Administration Announces Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts and Special Emergency Procurement Authorities


    GSA’s senior procurement executive signed memo raising certain minimum thresholds to directly support Hurricane Michael relief efforts


    Washington, DC - - (October 17, 2018) - - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has raised the micro purchase threshold, the simplified acquisition threshold, and the simplified leasing acquisition threshold, in order to address the needs created by Hurricane Michael.

    Raising the thresholds will help Heads of Contracting Activities and contracting officers quickly gain access to resources needed in providing direct support for Hurricane Michael relief efforts.

    The new thresholds do the following:
    • increase the micro-purchase threshold to $20,000;
    • increase the simplified acquisition threshold to $750,000 or $13,000,000 for commercial items; and
    • increase the simplified lease acquisition threshold to $750,000.

    The thresholds were raised through a Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) memo signed October 11, 2018. Since Hurricane Michael was declared an emergency by President Trump, it meets the legal definition of "emergency" in accordance with GSA's Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Class Deviation - Exercise of Special Emergency Procurement Authorities, allowing the thresholds to be raised. The increased thresholds will remain in effect until February 28, 2019, unless otherwise rescinded, modified or extended.

    GSA also raised these thresholds for Hurricane Florence relief efforts through an SPE memo signed September 13, 2018.

    For more information on GSA’s assistance to the public, first responders and federal employees, visit GSA.gov/emergency .




    Credit: U.S. General Services Administration
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  • Attorney General Sessions Issues Statement in Support of the Administration’s National Counterterrorism Strategy

    Attorney General Sessions Issues Statement in Support of the Administration’s National Counterterrorism Strategy



    Washington, DC - - (October 4, 2018) - - Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued the following statement in support of the Administration’s release of a National Counterterrorism Strategy:

    “The first duty of any government is to keep its citizens safe,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “The terrorist threat to this nation remains serious, but under President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice has done its part to protect the American people. Every day, our officers are working around the clock and around the world to identify, disrupt, and investigate terrorists and their enablers. This past Christmas we successfully thwarted an alleged planned attack on San Francisco. Today, the Trump administration takes an historic next step by releasing its National Counterterrorism Strategy. I applaud President Trump’s leadership on this issue as well as the principles laid out in the Strategy, and the American people can be assured that it will help this administration keep them safe.”



    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • U.S. General Services Administration Awards NewPay BPA for Software-as-a-Service for Payroll and Work Schedule and Leave Management

    U.S. General Services Administration Awards NewPay BPA for Software-as-a-Service for Payroll and Work Schedule and Leave Management



    10-year, $2.5 billion BPA provides agencies with technology and services to modernize and improve payroll processing across government


    Washington, DC - - (September 27, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the award of a 10-year, $2.5 billion NewPay blanket purchase agreement (BPA) that will provide payroll and work schedule and leave management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and services. Payroll modernization aligns with the fifth Cross Agency Priority goal from the President’s Management Agenda, which calls for streamlining administrative services across the federal government.

    The BPA uses common, governmentwide standards built collaboratively with current payroll providers and subject matter experts from across government. These standards allow the government to adopt innovative commercial solutions and gain efficiencies and economies of scale.

    “GSA is excited to deliver increased value to taxpayers and offer our partners in government a modern, efficient and effective approach to payroll through NewPay,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. "NewPay strongly aligns with the Trump administration’s efforts to be more efficient, make wise investments of taxpayer funds and shift the focus from low to high-value work by modernizing government processes and systems. Additionally, by utilizing SaaS solutions, NewPay will continue to create ongoing value by empowering agencies to continue modernizing their systems.”

    “Today’s announcement of the NewPay awardees is an important step in our Shared Services journey as part of the President’s Management Agenda,” said Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent. “I look forward to seeing federal agencies have the opportunity to utilize leading business capabilities and dedicate greater agency focus on mission.”

    “NewPay demonstrates how the government will better coordinate and document common business needs across agencies by focusing on outcomes, data, and cross-functional end-to-end business processes,” said GSA Deputy Associate Administrator for Government-wide Policy Beth Angerman. “Common standards are the key that will drive economies of scale and leverage the government’s buying power.”

    BPAs were awarded to the following teams:
    • Team Carahsoft: Carahsoft Technology Corporation, Immix Technology, and Deloitte Consulting LLP
      • Solution: Kronos and SAP
    • Team Grant Thornton: Grant Thornton, The Arcanum Group, Inc., and CGI Federal
      • Solution: Infor





    Credit: U.S. General Services Administration...
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  • Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers Delivers Remarks on the Unsealing of an Indictment Against Russian GRU Officers for Various Malicious Cyber Activities

    Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers Delivers Remarks on the Unsealing of an Indictment Against Russian GRU Officers for Various Malicious Cyber Activities



    Washington, DC - - (October 4, 2018) - - Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    Good morning and thank you all for joining us today as we announce an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with violations of several U.S. criminal laws for malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies.

    I am joined by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady; the FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber, Eric Welling, and the Director General of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Mark Flynn.

    A short while ago, the Dutch Minister of Defense and the United Kingdom’s National Security Advisor held a joint press conference announcing a recent intelligence operation against several Russian agents conducting a clandestine mission in The Hague.

    The Joint UK/Dutch intelligence operation led to four Russian GRU officers being caught red handed in The Hague, while they attempted to breach the cyber security of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

    This GRU target and an additional laboratory in Switzerland that was their next target were analyzing the deadly Russian nerve-agent recovered in the UK following an assassination attempt, as well as other chemical agents that were used in Syria against innocent civilians.

    The Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement condemning Russia’s behavior. We are including a copy of their statements in the materials provided to the media in this room and online at Justice.gov.

    Our indictment today charges some of the same Russian operatives caught in The Hague, along with their colleagues in Moscow, as part of a conspiracy to hack a variety of individuals and organizations, in the United States, Canada, and Europe, to obtain information or access that was then exploited for the benefit of the Russian government.

    More specifically, this indictment alleges a conspiracy to use computer hacking to obtain non-public, personal health information about athletes and others in the files of anti-doping agencies and sporting federations in multiple countries, and to release that stolen information selectively, and sometimes misleadingly. All of this was done to undermine those organizations’ efforts to ensure the integrity of the Olympic and other games. Other targets of this conspiracy were the chemical weapons laboratory in The Hague and a nuclear power company here in America.

    Three of the seven defendants charged in this case were previously charged in the indictment brought by the Office of Special Counsel in July of this year, which pertained to a conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    The current indictment did not arise out of the Special Counsel’s work. Nonetheless, these two indictments charge overlapping groups of conspirators. And they evince some of the same methods of computer intrusion and the same overarching Russian strategic goal: to pursue its interests through illegal influence and disinformation operations aimed at muddying or altering perceptions of the truth.

    The crux of the indictment, which U.S. Attorney Scott Brady will describe in more detail, is the GRU’s targeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, which is Canada’s anti-doping body. The GRU did so in response to the efforts of anti-doping officials’ exposure of Russia’s systematic and state-backed athlete doping program. Embarrassed by that truth, Russia fought back by retaliating against the truth tellers and against the truth itself.

    The results of Russia’s hacks, however, weren’t just felt by the anti-doping officials and agencies themselves.

    Instead, Russia decided that it was fair game to flood social and traditional media with private medical information about more than 250 athletes from 30 countries in a manner that often inaccurately reflected or otherwise omitted the true nature, purpose, and context of this information.

    I hope that through today’s charges—which fall far from the electoral arena of our prior charges—we can further educate ourselves as to the scope of the Russian government’s disinformation and influence campaigns.

    I also hope that responsible members of the international news media will cast a suspecting eye on future “hack and leak” operations which seek in part to manipulate stories in furtherance of Russian state interests.

    It is evident from the allegations in today’s indictment that the defendants believed that they could use their perceived anonymity to act with impunity, in their own countries and on territories of other sovereign nations, to undermine international institutions and to distract from their government’s own wrong-doing.

    They were wrong. Working together with our partners in nations that share our values, we can expose the truth for the world to see.

    Nations like Russia, and others that engage in malicious and norm-shattering cyber and influence activities, should understand the continuing and steadfast resolve of the United States and its allies to prevent, disrupt, and deter such unacceptable conduct.

    The defendants in this case should know that justice is very patient, its reach is long and its memory is even longer.

    Before I turn it over to the U.S. Attorney Brady to discuss the charges in greater detail, I’d like to extend my gratitude to the prosecutors in his office, and here in the National Security Division, as well as the team of FBI investigators, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and our other international partners in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, who are together responsible for where we are today.





    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • Statement by Attorney General Sessions Supporting Proposed Legislation to Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    Statement by Attorney General Sessions Supporting Proposed Legislation to Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems




    (September 25, 2018) - - Attorney General Sessions today issued the following statement of support for legislation to counter threats from unmanned aircraft systems:

    “From the Wright Brothers to John Glenn to today, Americans have been at the leading edge of aeronautics and made breakthroughs that have changed our world for the better. Drone technology, one of the latest of these inventions, promises to strengthen us economically by creating American jobs and transforming American industry. Unfortunately, however, this new tool can also be used to wreak havoc by criminals, terrorists and other bad actors. That is why the Trump administration has worked on legal reforms to enable law-abiding people to use this technology for good while protecting them from those who would use it for ill.

    “Bipartisan legislation in Congress called the Preventing Emerging Threats Act would finally give federal law enforcement the authority we need to counter the use of drones by drug traffickers, terrorists and criminals while protecting the freedom to use drones lawfully. We need this authority today — and so I urge my former colleagues in Congress to send this legislation to President Trump’s desk. That will let us get to work, fight this new threat and keep the American people safe.”





    Credits: U.S. Department of Justice
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  • OFAC Extends Expiration Date of General Licenses Related to EN+ and RUSAL

    in News

    OFAC Extends Expiration Date of General Licenses Related to EN+ and RUSAL

    OFAC Extends Expiration Date of General Licenses Related to EN+ and RUSAL




    Washington, DC - - (September 21, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today extended the expiration date of certain general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+) and United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL). These General Licenses 13D, 14A, and 16A amend their previous versions by extending the expiration date from October 23, 2018 to November 12, 2018 for transactions related to the companies and their subsidiaries.

    On April 6, 2018, OFAC designated EN+ for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Oleg Deripaska and other entities he owns or controls. In that same action, OFAC designated RUSAL for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, EN+.

    “EN+ and RUSAL have approached the U.S. Government about substantial corporate governance changes that could potentially result in significant changes in control. To allow sufficient time for review, we are extending these licenses until November 12,” said a Treasury spokesperson.

    View General License 14A, and General License 16A and information on today’s action .




    Courtesy: U.S. Department of the Treasury
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  • U.S. Surgeon General Releases Spotlight on Opioids

    U.S. Surgeon General Releases Spotlight on Opioids

    U.S. Surgeon General Releases Spotlight on Opioids




    (September 20, 2018) - -Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the following information:

    Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the opioid crisis and recommends actions that can prevent and treat opioid misuse and promote recovery.

    The Spotlight – the Surgeon General’s newest update on opioid addiction – also provides the latest data on prevalence of substance misuse, opioid misuse, opioid use disorder and overdoses.

    The Surgeon General today also released a digital postcard, highlighting tangible actions that all Americans can take to raise awareness, prevent opioid misuse and reduce overdose deaths.

    “Addiction is a brain disease that touches families across America – even my own,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams. “We need to work together to put an end to stigma.”

    According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths in 2017 increased by almost 10 percent – claiming the lives of more than 70,000 Americans.. Nearly 48,000 of those were opioid overdose deaths, with the sharpest increase occurring among deaths related to illicitly made fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids).

    Despite the fact that effective treatment for opioid use disorder exists, only about one in four people with this disorder receive any type of specialty treatment. Yet for a variety of reasons, including stigma, inability to access or afford care, or refusal to stop misusing opioids, a treatment gap remains.

    In addition, the existing healthcare workforce is understaffed, often lacks the necessary training, and has been slow to implement Medicated-Assisted Treatment, as well as prevention, early identification, and other evidenced-based recommendations.

    “Now is the time to work together and apply what we know to end the opioid crisis,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “Medication-assisted treatment combined with psychosocial therapies and community-based recovery supports is the gold standard for treating opioid addiction.”

    The federal government has been working with key stakeholders to address this problem and is seeing real progress. This week, HHS disbursed more than $1 billion in opioid-specific funding for states, which includes State Opioid Response grant programs administered by SAMHSA to support a comprehensive array of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Additional funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) went to community health centers to increase access to substance abuse disorder and mental health services, to increase the number of professionals and paraprofessionals who are trained to deliver integrated behavioral health and primary care services as part of health care teams in HRSA-supported health centers as well as to rural grantees to increase services and develop plans to implement evidence-based opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery interventions. There are signs that efforts to stem the opioid crisis are having success, with the use of medication-assisted treatment growing significantly and the number of Americans initiating heroin use dropping significantly from 2016 to 2017.

    “Addressing the opioid crisis with all the resources possible and the best science we have is a top priority for President Trump and for everyone at HHS,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Surgeon General Adams has been a leader in raising awareness about the nature of addiction and the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment, complementing the support HHS provides for access to treatment and recovery services.”

    “Today’s announcement is another step forward in our efforts to educate the American public about steps they can take to prevent addiction,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D, who also serves as the HHS Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy. “We are making progress. Just last week we released the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data, which showed significantly more people received treatment for their substance use disorder in 2017 than in 2016. This was especially true for those with heroin-related opioid use disorders.”

    The science shows us that no area of the United States is exempt from the opioid crisis. Yet, only 53 percent of the public consider opioid addiction a major concern. As a result, the Surgeon General is calling on all individuals to do the following:
    • Talk about opioid misuse. Have a conversation about preventing drug misuse and overdose.
    • Be safe. Only take opioid medications as prescribed, make sure to store medication in a secure place, and dispose of unused medication properly.
    • Understand pain and talk with your healthcare provider. Treatments other than opioids can be effective in managing pain.
    • Understand that addiction is a chronic disease. With the right treatment and supports, people do recover.
    • Be prepared. Get and learn how to use naloxone, an opioid overdose reversing drug.
    For the full document and to view the digital postcard, visit http://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help.




    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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