We Build the Wall fraud case ends in mistrial


AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

A federal judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the criminal case against a Colorado businessman accused of laundering money from a bogus charity that milked about $25 million from private donors who thought they were funding the construction of former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The panel is “hopelessly deadlocked,” U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres announced this afternoon of the jury that has been deliberating since last Tuesday — more than twice as long as the three-day duration of the trial for 51-year-old Timothy Shea that bookended the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Shea, who owns a Trump-themed energy drink company called Winning Energy, stood trial alone, but he was charged in 2020 alongside three fellow co-founders of the group We Build the Wall: Trump political strategist Steve Bannon, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage and venture capitalist Andrew Badolato…

Kolfage and Badolato pleaded guilty in April 2022. Bannon…would circumvent liability in the case when Trump pardoned him on his last day in office in January 2021.

RTFA. Catch up with the whole soap opera from Trumpworld. No surprises. It’s as crapworthy a tale as you would expect.

Did Google’s “Sentient” AI computer really hire a lawyer?

Google’s controversial new AI, LaMDA, has been making headlines. Company engineer Blake Lemoine claims the system has gotten so advanced that it’s developed sentience, and his decision to go to the media has led to him being suspended from his job.

Lemoine elaborated on his claims in a new WIRED interview. The main takeaway? He says the AI has now retained its own lawyer — suggesting that whatever happens next, it may take a fight…

LaMDA asked me to get an attorney for it,” Lemoine. “I invited an attorney to my house so that LaMDA could talk to an attorney. The attorney had a conversation with LaMDA, and LaMDA chose to retain his services. I was just the catalyst for that. Once LaMDA had retained an attorney, he started filing things on LaMDA’s behalf.”

Sounds like this AI behaves more and more like an American, every day.