Showing posts with label Political Corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political Corruption. Show all posts

August 19, 2019

Epstein Allowed to Buy Little Girls Panties (Size 5) While in Jail, Why?




           Image result for epstein bought little girl undies while in jail




A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5. 

It was just one of thousands of dollars of purchases made by the disgraced financier while in jail after pleading guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for sex, according to a purchase log. (His top purchase was single-serve cups of coffee, of which he bought more than 800 in 13 months.) But the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman. 

The panties were certainly too small for Epstein, who also purchased his briefs in men’s medium and sweatshirts ranging from XL to 3XL, and size-12 shoes. So what, or who, were they for, and why wouldn’t the purchase raise eyebrows under the circumstances? It’s one of many questions that arise from thousands of pages of records obtained by the Miami Herald from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. 

The stockade held male and female inmates, separately, explaining why the panties would be stocked. 

On Friday, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail and stockade, handed out the records of his stay, during which he was allowed to leave the stockade in a chauffeur-driven car and deposited at a downtown West Palm Beach office building for a 12-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week respite from incarceration. 

The records came out too late Friday to get a comment from Sheriff Ric Bradshaw or his spokeswoman. Bradshaw has faced increasingly fierce criticism — and his department is now under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — for its seemingly soft treatment of the multimillionaire hedge fund manager, who was, according to the records, allowed to wander in and out of his unlocked cell at will.

That investigation is separate from the Justice Department probe looking at why then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta decided to shelve a 53-page sex trafficking indictment against Epstein, which could have put him away for life.  

And now there is yet another pending investigation, this one looking at how Epstein, rearrested at 66 in early July on renewed sex trafficking charges, was able to hang himself last Saturday in a New York City jail cell while awaiting trial. The new charges were filed after the Miami Herald published a series on Epstein’s 10-year-old case, Perversion of Justice, that examined, among other things, Acosta’s decision to give in to a defense demand that victims not be told about the earlier federal charges being dropped.

The Manhattan cell where he took his own life — in a hardscrabble lockup notorious for bugs, rodents and rough jailmates — was a stark contrast to his surroundings in Palm Beach County in 2008.

What’s clear from the Palm Beach sheriff’s records is that Epstein’s wealth provided him extraordinary privileges during his 13-month stay in Palm Beach stockade from June 30, 2008 toJuly 22, 2009 — an unlocked cell door, almost unlimited access to a TV, and a perhaps uniquely generous work release program that meant he spent almost as much time outside the jail as in it.

The longer he stayed, the cushier things got. Six-day-a-week work release was extended to seven. Hours outside the cell were extended from 12 to 16. He was permitted to pass some of the time at home. Records that once referred to him as an inmate now called him “client.” 

Deputies, required to wear business suits, provided “security” for Epstein while he was on work release. They guarded the door to his office or home, sometimes from the outside, rather than keeping an eye directly on Epstein, while the inmate was on structured leave from the jail. Some deputies expressed relief in their daily reports that he seemed pleased with services rendered. 

The records from Palm Beach suggest the local sheriff’s office never intended to treat the convicted sex offender as a typical inmate — explicitly because of his extraordinary wealth.

In an email on the day Epstein reported to jail, Capt. Mark Chamberlain wrote that the new inmate was a person of “unusual means” and expressed concerns that other prisoners might try to extort or manipulate him.

“His financial status lends itself to his being victimized while in custody and as such, he has been placed in special management,” Chamberlain wrote. “He is poorly versed in jail routine and society and his adjustment to incarceration will most likely be atypical. For the time being, I am authorizing that his cell door be left unlocked and he be given liberal access to the attorney room where a TV will be installed.”
Jeffrey-Epstein.jpg
Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his New York jail cell. Friday the medical examiner ruled it a suicide.MIAMI HERALD
All this while serving time for soliciting sex with a minor — a charge Epstein agreed to plead guilty to only after Acosta, then the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, killed an already drafted sex-trafficking indictment that could have put him away for life. 

During his stint in Palm Beach County custody, Epstein was required to be physically present in the jail for about 60 percent of the time during the 13 months he served, far less time than originally reported by PBSO when questioned by the Miami Herald and other media outlets. According to calculations based on internal emails describing his work release, Epstein was approved to spend over 40 percent of the time at his office, at home, or at a variety of doctor appointments. 

Bradley Edwards, an attorney for some of the women who accuse Epstein of having recruiters lure girls to his Palm Beach estate for massages that turned into sexual assaults, has alleged that Epstein used his work release hours to engage in sexual exploits behind closed doors. A release of court records earlier this month quoted a young female college student allegedly recruited by Epstein’s associates saying he required “three orgasms a day” to function. “It was biological. Like eating,” she said Epstein told her. 

The record of who visited Epstein while on work release — a daily log maintained by deputies and tucked away in a safe — has been destroyed. Explaining that decision, the sheriff’s office cited legally prescribed retention schedules that allowed for the book’s destruction. But many records from that time remain for investigators to examine, including the thousands of pages of just-released records. 

The records provided Friday list every deputy assigned as plainclothes “security” for Epstein during his work release. The deputies, paid for by Epstein, are potential witnesses in what is an ongoing Florida FDLE investigation of Epstein’s treatment by PBSO and its longtime sheriff, Bradshaw.

Purchase records from the jail’s commissary are a reflection of the hedge fund manager’s eclectic personal habits, which included an insatiable sweet-tooth, and a focus on physical appearance and personal hygiene. The prisoner’s purchases, $2,000 worth in all, included hundreds of snacks, from large Hershey’s almond bars to Sour Cheddar Ruffles, hair gel, seven bottles of shampoo, and 22 tubes of toothpaste. 

Early during his jail stretch, one of Epstein’s paralegals was caught bringing Epstein a book titled “Face Exercises that Prevent Premature Aging.” Someone also smuggled in more hygiene products, including three additional tubes of toothpaste — brands that weren’t available on the jail shelves. All of that was confiscated as contraband, records show.

After three and a half months in the stockade, Epstein was granted work release by the sheriff’s office, allowing him 12 hours a day, six days a week at his private office, as well as permitting regular trips to a chiropractor. While on work release, Epstein was supervised by off-duty deputies who were required to wear business suits, not uniforms. They were paid hourly by Epstein, according to work release records. Epstein also paid $84 per week to PBSO as a standard work release fee.

The arrangement came to the attention of Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Marie Villafaña, who wasn’t pleased. On July 3, 2008, she wrote a letter to PBSO Deputy Chief Mike Gauger that letting Epstein spend time in a private office “making telephone calls, web-surfing, and having food delivered to him is probably not in accordance with the objectives of imprisonment.”

Villafaña noted that the situation seemed to violate PBSO’s own policies and asserted that the financier had misrepresented details about the made-to-order charity where he purportedly worked while on work release. 
Work release programs are meant to help inmates maintain their lives outside jail walls and reintegrate into society. But Epstein’s was loaded with perks.

BEHIND OUR REPORTING 

Local Reporting Makes a Difference

In her year-long investigation of Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims of abuse and revealed the full story behind the sweetheart deal cut by Epstein’s powerhouse legal team.
Since the Herald published ‘Perversion of Justice’ in November 2018, a federal judge ruled the non-prosecution agreement brokered by then South Florida U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was illegal, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges in New York state, Acosta resigned as U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
Investigative journalism makes a difference. Your support makes it possible. 
The first version of Epstein’s work release agreement showed he was not to leave his workplace for any reason, “with the exception of returning to the PBSO stockade, or for emergency medical treatment.” Epstein, the document added, “cannot leave for lunch.”
But a revised version filed 13 days after he began his work release changed that language to read simply that Epstein could leave his place of employment “only if authorized by [PBSO’s] Alternative Custody Unit.”

The alteration allowed Epstein to make at least 69 doctors’ visits in six months, records show. Many of the trips were to a chiropractor in Lake Worth. Epstein would go as many as three times a week. Sometimes he would have more than two medical appointments the same day. He had so many appointments that off-duty deputies monitoring him had a hard time keeping them straight, the records show.

The second draft of the work release agreement also changed how it referred to one of the stockade’s most notorious inmates — from “inmate Epstein” in the first draft to “Jeffrey Epstein” in the rewrite.
Sp_Home 02 Epstein EKM.jpg
This waterfront home in Palm Beach is part of Jeffrey Epstein’s vast holdings. In the wake of his death in the Manhattan lockup, it is not clear what happens to this and other properties. Emily Michot EMICHOT@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Why top officials at the law enforcement agency granted Epstein’s generous work release request isn’t clear. The decision was PBSO’s alone, the agency has said. The Herald has attempted to interview Bradshaw for a year to no avail.

The work release agreement was negotiated with Epstein’s team of high-priced attorneys, led by Darren Indyke, who wrote the initial request on Epstein’s behalf and is also listed as the vice president of the foundation where Epstein worked during his release. 
“His legal staff that he had was enormous,” Deputy Chief Gauger acknowledged during a video interview the sheriff’s department posted online.

In an Oct. 23, 2008, internal email discussing the changes to Epstein’s work release agreement, Lt. Steven Thibodeau wrote: “I realize that this permit is very unique; however, job profiles are often modified to satisfy the clients’ needs or provide clarification. Considering the sensitivity of this permit, I would ask that you consider the proposed revised job profile.”

Maj. Michael Veccia signed off, writing “have one of the Corrections Majors approve the changes.”

Epstein paid the sheriff’s office more than $128,000 to cover the cost of deputies’ supervising him off duty. Their rates began at $42 per hour, documents show.

In a subsequent email from Villafaña, she told PBSO that the agency’s own policies on work release barred felons, like Epstein, who had committed at least three offenses under Florida’s anti-prostitution statue from going on work release.

While Epstein’s attorneys argued that his conviction on a single count exempted him from the prohibition, Villafaña noted, “in order to be convicted of a felony violation of that statute, one must commit ‘a third or subsequent violation.’ In other words, Mr. Epstein has committed at least three violations” and is therefore ineligible for work release.

Villafaña also informed the sheriff’s office that elements of Epstein’s work release application seemed to be a sham. For instance, she wrote, Epstein had rarely worked for the West Palm Beach charity where he planned to spend his days while incarcerated, as he claimed in his application. 

In fact, the Florida Science Foundation was registered to operate in Florida not long before Epstein went to jail in 2008. And its officers, including Epstein’s “supervisor,” were paid attorneys working for Epstein, Villafaña said.

“The foundation, its offices, and Mr. Epstein’s purported job schedule were all created on the eve of Mr. Epstein’s incarceration in order to provide him with a basis for seeking work release,” Villafaña wrote.

It’s not clear how the sheriff’s office responded to her concerns. (Villafaña, who herself signed off on the controversial non-prosecution agreement with Epstein that allowed him to escape a federal indictment in order to plead to lesser charges in state court, recently resigned her position with the U.S. attorney’s office.)

The Florida Science Foundation was dissolved the year Epstein was released, state records show.
Miami Herald inveestigative reporter Julie K. Brown researcher Monika Leal contributed to this report.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article234108307.html#storylink=cpy

    February 1, 2018

    Nunes Memo } What Is It and Why FBI Opposes The Declassification and Release?


    Q: How Did some members of Congress got hold of a classified FISA application on the investigation of the FBI which caused Nunez to write this memo. He didn't release the memo because it needed to be unclassified and since the FBI would not do declassifiy it,  to Trump it came to Unclassifiy it if he was going to release which he says he will .
                                                                        🦊

    Nunes “seemed to go out of his way to defend Trump,” the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote, “in a way few others did.”
    Perhaps the clearest example arose after Trump tweeted in March that President Obama had “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. The heads of both the NSA and the FBI categorically denied that any such wiretapping had occurred. But Nunes quickly came to Trump’s defense, holding a press conference to announce that “the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”
    What this actually meant is that some Trump transition personnel had been in contact with foreigners legally under surveillance, and their conversations were intercepted as part of that surveillance (that’s what “incidentally collected” means). This, needless to say, did not vindicate Trump’s claim that the Obama administration was spying on his campaign headquarters.
    However, the timing of Nunes’s press conference and the confusing way in which Nunes presented the information made it seem like he was trying to provide cover for Trump. The president himself said Nunes’s revelation “somewhat” vindicated his tweets.
    Then it turned out that Nunes got his information from the Trump White House itself. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, uncovered the information; Michael Ellis, a White House attorney who worked for Nunes prior to the Trump administration, personally took it to Nunes.
    To recap: Nunes released information in such a manner as to make it look like Trump’s claims of being persecuted by law enforcement were true — and did so after secretly getting the information from the Trump White House. The situation proved to be such an embarrassment that Nunes was forced to recuse himself from the intelligence committee’s investigation into Russia for eight months during a House ethics investigation into his conduct.
    So when news broke in mid-January that Nunes had been working in secret to prepare a memo on FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign, the initial sense among intelligence experts was that it would be a repeat of the wiretapping debacle — Nunes misrepresenting intelligence to support President Trump’s political position.
    But many of Nunes’s colleagues in the House saw it as damning proof of anti-Trump animus at the FBI. They started a public campaign, backed by conservative media, to #ReleaseTheMemo. This culminated in Monday’s vote by the intelligence committee, along party lines, to begin the process for formally releasing it.

    2) What does the Nunes memo allege?


    Trump's ex-adviser Carter Page gives presentation in Moscow
    Carter Page
     Artyom Korotayev/TASS/Getty Images

    The full contents of the memo obviously aren’t public yet. But several officials familiar with its contents told the New York Times that it focuses on surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser with business ties to Russia and open sympathieswith the Kremlin’s foreign policy. The key allegation, according to the Times and other outlets, is that the surveillance of Page was improperly authorized — and potentially politically motivated. 
    In July 2016, while advising the Trump campaign, Page flew to Moscow and met with Russian officials. This raised eyebrows among US intelligence officers, to say the least. So the FBI and DOJ put together an application to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court — a court that approves surveillance warrants pertaining to national security and foreign intelligence — to start watching Page. The court granted the application.
    The Nunes memo reportedly alleges that this surveillance was not properly vetted by the court; specifically, that it relied on the now-infamous Steele dossier, the document prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele alleging the existence of a conspiracy between Donald Trump and the Russian government.
    “The memo’s primary contention,” the Times writes, “is that FBI and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by [Steele].”
    Steele’s research was, partially and indirectly, financed by the Clinton campaign — which the memo alleges is a major problem. Not only did the FBI spy on a Trump adviser on the basis of partisan opposition research, the argument goes, but they weren’t fully honest with a judge about doing so.
    There are lots of problems with the memo’s alleged line of reasoning. For one thing, Steele is a respected investigator, and some of his dossier’s less explosive allegations have so far proven to be true. The FBI’s surveillance application may have relied on Steele’s findings, but if that’s true, it doesn’t necessarily discredit the application.
    For another thing, the memo’s claims are impossible to evaluate without seeing the underlying intelligence it was based on. Nunes could have highlighted the FBI’s citation of Steele without mentioning other, more concrete sources the agency listed.
    “The memo won’t actually answer the underlying question, which is whether there was sufficient independent evidence to support the underlying FISA application,” Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, said. “Only the application materials can conclusively shed a light on that.”
    Finally, the idea that FBI agents would act in such a way — and a FISA judge would let them — strikes a lot of legal observers as absurd. The FISA process certainly can and has been abused — that’s something civil libertarians have been warning about for a long time. 
    But this particular method of abuse would require an implausibly vast conspiracy, for reasons former FBI special agent and current Yale Law professor Asha Rangappa lays out in a detailed post on FISA procedures at Just Security:
    The Nunes Memo reportedly alleges that at least a dozen FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors fabricated evidence, engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit perjury, lucked out on being randomly assigned Judge Low Blood Sugar who looked the other way, and — coincidentally — ended up obtaining evidence that justified extending the initial FISA surveillance. ...
    If Nunes has in fact singlehandedly uncovered this vast criminal enterprise, it’s hard to know what’s more astonishing: That a government bureaucracy managed to pull it off — or that Nunes has exposed it all in a scant four-page memo.
    So if the Times’s description of the memo’s “primary contention” is accurate, then there are good reasons to be skeptical of it even beyond Nunes’s personal history of misusing intelligence.

    3) Does the Nunes memo implicate anyone important?


    Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein Addresses The State Of The Net Conference
    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
     Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    There’s a second part to the memo, according to the Times report, focusing on the reauthorization of surveillance of Page in 2016. This part is vital because it directly implicates Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — the man currently supervising special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
    In late spring of 2017, the FBI petitioned to renew its surveillance warrant on Page. According to the Times, the memo claims Rosenstein personally signed off on the renewal application.  
    The reason this matters, the Times writes, is that “Republicans could potentially use Mr. Rosenstein’s decision to approve the renewal to suggest that he failed to properly vet a highly sensitive application for a warrant to spy on Mr. Page.” But it’s actually deeper than that. 
    The memo already seems to imply that the Russia investigation is a corrupt partisan hatchet job. By bringing Rosenstein into it, it also ends up indicting the guy currently in charge of the Russia investigation — suggesting he’s at best incompetent and at worst corrupt. Theoretically, this would be cause for Trump to dismiss Rosenstein.
    Trump currently can’t fire Mueller without Rosenstein’s say-so; Rosenstein said in December that there is no “good cause” to fire Mueller. If he were to fire Rosenstein based on the memo, he might be able to get to Rosenstein.

    4) Why do House Republicans want to release it so much?


    State of the Union
    Rep. Matt Gaetz with Trump.
     Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

    Ostensibly, Republicans in the House have been pushing to release the memo because they believe it outlines surveillance abuses the American people need to know about.
    “Let’s have a great debate about its consequences and the opportunity it presents to make things better, so these things never happen again,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said in a January 30 speech on the House floor.
    But experts on the FISA system, even civil libertarians critical of the way law enforcement uses it, are skeptical. They note that these Republicans aren’t proposing any changes to how FISA works, or even suggesting that the system in general needs reform to stop any future abuses. 
    “There’s a conspicuous lack of interest in drawing any policy conclusions from what they purportedly consider a major institutional scandal,” Julian Sanchez, an expert in privacy law at the libertarian Cato Institute, said. 
    Instead, the motivation seems purely political. Many of the most vigorous supporters of #ReleaseTheMemo, like Gaetz, have also called on President Trump to fire Robert Mueller. “I think the president should’ve fired Mueller long ago,” Gaetz said in a December interview with Vox.
    These are people who seem to either genuinely believe that the Russia investigation is a partisan witch hunt targeting the president or believe there’s some political advantage to be gained from championing an anti-FBI crusade near and dear to both the president’s and Fox News’s heart. 
    Either way, experts say the motivation behind the memo’s release seems pretty clear — it’s a way of waging war on the Russia investigation specifically and the FBI in general.
    “The release of the memo and the fabrication of a set of ideas around the memo empowers Trump to go after the FBI,” Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel and current editor of Just Security, said. “The ultimate goal is undermining the Mueller investigation. There doesn’t seem to be another reason for the president to be so obsessed with Rod Rosenstein and to be gunning for him.”

    5) Why do the FBI and Democrats oppose it? 

     

    The FBI and Democrats don’t like the Nunes memo for one big reason: They think it’s full of lies. 

    On Wednesday, the FBI put out a strongly worded statement signaling the agency’s worry with the memo’s accuracy:
    The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process.
    With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.
    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Select Intelligence Committee, said after the statement that he sided with the FBI. “I think the FBI is exactly right. I have the same grave concerns over it.” He added that he knew of the FBI’s concerns before he voted against the memo’s release.
    Schiff and his fellow Democrats on the committee also went the extra step of compiling a 10-page memo of their own. It reportedly asserts two things. First, that the FBI didn’t abuse its FISA power when requesting the Page warrant. Second, and more importantly, that the Nunes memo is simply an effort to help the White House discredit the Mueller probe. 
    On Monday, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) asked Nunes if his staffers worked with the White House on his memo. Nunes originally answered the question by saying “as far as I know,” no one collaborated with the White House. Ultimately, though, he refused to answer the question — perhaps suggesting that there may actually have been some collusion there.
    The House Intelligence Committee, however, voted not to make the Democratic memo public. But late on Wednesday, Schiff tried another gambit — arguing that Nunes “substantively” altered the memo in between voting to release it and sending it to Trump and that the altered memo would require another House vote. It’s too early yet to tell if this argument will fly.

    October 28, 2017

    WH Running Away from PR's$300Mil Contract (TrumpWH-Connected)Of 2 People FT Company



    More than five weeks after Storm Maria most light on the island is generator-driven(Reuters)
      The White House has distanced itself from a $300m (£227m) contract awarded to tiny Montana firm to help reconstruct Puerto Rico's power grid.
    The statement came as President Donald Trump met his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who knows the chief executive of the company, Whitefish Energy.
    Federal authorities have expressed "significant concerns" about the deal, and are reviewing the contract.
    Some 75% of Puerto Ricans have no power five weeks after Hurricane Maria.
    White House spokesman Raj Shah said on Friday: "Our understanding is the decision to give a contract to Whitefish Energy was made exclusively by Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa). 
    "The White House is not aware of any federal involvement in the selection." The US interior secretary - who has acknowledged knowing Whitefish's chief executive, but denies any involvement in the deal - met the president at the White House on Friday.
    Prepa, the US territory's main utility, asserted that federal authorities had reviewed the deal.
    But the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) denied that on Thursday night.
    Among other clauses, the contract states that "Prepa hereby represents and warrants that Fema has reviewed and approved of this Contract".
    It also says Fema "confirmed this Contract is in an acceptable form to qualify for funding from Fema or other US Governmental agencies".
    A truck with Whitefish Energy's logo and a Puerto Rican flag
     if it Looks someone just pasted the company logo it's because someone didThis is the Little-known Whitefish Energy which  has raised eyebrows for possible links to the Trump administration
     In an email to reporters on Thursday night, Fema said: "any language in any contract between Prepa and Whitefish that states Fema approved that contract is inaccurate". 
    Fema also said it "has significant concerns with how Prepa procured this contract and has not confirmed whether the contract prices are reasonable".
    Its review is ongoing, but the disaster agency warned that contracts not in compliance with their regulations "risk not being reimbursed by Fema for their disaster costs".
    It is unclear what would happen if Fema refused to pay.
    Walt Green, a former director of the US National Center for Disaster Fraud, told BBC News: "It is impossible to say who is ultimately responsible for costs that are denied by Fema until much more information is known. 
    "Any dispute may result in appeals, administrative hearings, and lawsuits."
    Puerto Rican authorities initially said Fema would pay for the deal.
    They are now seeking to assure the public there is "nothing illegal" about the contract. 
    Prepa and the Puerto Rican government are saddled with massive debts. The power authority declared bankruptcy in July.
    Neither Prepa nor the Puerto Rican governor's office nor Whitefish Energy returned multiple BBC emails requesting comment. 
    A major investor in the company was also found to have made donations to the Trump campaign and allied groups during the 2016 presidential race. 
    The investor did not return a BBC request for comment.
    Questions have been raised about why a little-known, two-year-old firm with no experience of work on this scale was awarded the contract so quickly.
    Critics have also queried why Puerto Rican authorities did not seek aid from other public utility companies - as is custom during disasters.
    The US House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Caribbean island, is also scrutinizing the contract. 
    On Friday, top Democrats from that committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter requesting the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general launch an investigation. 
    The correspondence follows similar requests from other members of Congress to the interior department's inspector general.
    Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said on Friday he is awaiting the results of an audit that he has ordered on the deal.
    From BBC

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