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Purdue Pharma, the company that makes the powerful opioid OxyContin, will reportedly plead guilty to three federal criminal charges Wednesday as part of a more than $8 billion settlement.

Purdue Pharma is pleading guilty to three charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and violating federal anti-kickback laws, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The agreement doesn’t release any company executives or owners from criminal liability and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

As part of the agreement, Purdue will admit it impeded the Drug Enforcement Administration by falsely claiming it had an effective program to avoid drug diversion, as well as by reporting misleading information to the agency to boost their manufacturing quotas, per the same report.

Purdue is also set to admit to violating a federal anti-kickback law by paying doctors to incentivize them to write more prescriptions for the opioids and for using electronic health records software to influence the prescription of pain medications, the AP reports.

The company admits it violated federal law and “knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to aid and abet” the disbursement of powerful painkillers from doctors “without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.” (RELATED: Bipartisan Report Accuses Purdue Pharma Of ‘Corruption’ UN’s Health Body)

Purdue is slated to pay $225 million toward a $2 billion criminal forfeiture to resolve investigations within the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to Reuters. The DOJ is allowing Purdue to forgo the rest of the payment as long as they complete a bankruptcy reorganization that turns the company into a “public benefit company” that would drive the unpaid portion to thousands of U.S. communities suing over the opioid crisis.

The company also faces a $3.54 billion criminal fine and will agree to pay $2.8 billion in damages to resolve its civil liability, per the AP.

Democratic members of Congress, state attorney generals and other advocates asked Attorney General William Barr not to make a bargain with the company, claiming it doesn’t serve justice to families torn apart by the opioid crisis.

“Millions of American families impacted by the opioid epidemic are looking to you and your Department for justice,” 38 Democratic members of Congress wrote, per the AP. “Justice for the sleepless nights spent worrying about sons and daughters trapped in the grip of substance use disorder, justice for the jobs lost and the lives ruined, and justice for the lives of loved ones lost to overdoses.”

Purdue has been under fire for involvement in fueling the opioid crisis. 44 states have sued the company, arguing they illegally marketed opioids and encouraged doctors to needlessly prescribe their products.

Roughly 200,000 opioid-related overdose deaths since 1999 are attributed to doctors over prescribing the opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Author: Brianna Lyman

Source: Daily Caller: Purdue Pharma, The Maker Of OxyContin, Is Reportedly Pleading Guilty To 3 Federal Charges As Part Of $8 Billion Settlement

President Donald Trump defended his presidential behavior while speaking to undecided voters in Pennsylvania during ABC’s town hall event Tuesday evening, moderated by ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“So, I’m fighting a battle. It’s a big battlefield and I have a lot of forces against me,” Trump said, according to ABC News. “Sometimes you don’t have time to be totally, as you would say presidential — you have to get things done.”

Trump went on to tout his record, noting he’s appointed more than 200 federal judges and two Supreme Court justices. He said there’s not enough time to be “presidential” if he wants to deliver on his promises to get things done.

“And honestly, we move very fast. And I have to get rid of people fast because they’re not doing their job … And when I do that to get somebody else that is good and if they don’t do it we get rid of that person,” Trump said.

Trump has fired a number of high ranking officials, including Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who notified Congress of a whistleblower who had concerns about Trump and Ukraine, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The fact is being presidential is easier than what I have to do, but I get things done.”

Trump blamed Democrats’ failure to support Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill when asked by a voter how the president plans to tackle common sense police reform without compromising public safety.

“The Democrats are viewing this as a political issue, and I probably agree with them, I think it’s very bad for them, because we’re about law and order,” he said.

He went on to say that Democrat-run cities are overwhelmed with crime because governors wouldn’t allow him to send in the National Guard.

“Wherever you have a Democrat city — not in all cases — but if you look at the really troubled cities in our country, they’re Democrat-run, and that’s Biden,” the president said. “They’re weak. They’re ineffective.”

However, Stephanopoulos pushed back against Trump’s claim that Democrats are to blame, saying “You’re president of all those cities right now.”

Trump said he’s limited in his capacity to respond, and said he doesn’t want to invoke the Insurrection Act to take care of small groups of “anarchists” when the National Guard would do just fine if he was allowed to send them in.

The president also said that Democrat-run states are doing poorly, and that he isn’t interested in bailing them out.

ABC reportedly offered to host a similar event with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, but was unable to set up a time.

Author: Brianna Lyman

Source: Daily Caller: Trump Defends Record In ABC Town Hall Event With Uncommitted Voters

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he “will never” lock the state down again during a press conference on Monday.

“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” he said.

DeSantis’ comments come after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would do “whatever it takes” to combat the virus during an interview with ABC’s David Muir.

“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists. We’re going to do whatever it takes to save lives,” Biden said.

But DeSantis said he thinks a shutdown could be disastrous and would hinder economic growth.

“We gained 74,000, I think, private-sector jobs in July. Just imagine if we had shut down the state, we would have lost another 3-400,000 jobs. And so I think that we understand what we need to do,” DeSantis said, before comparing the effectiveness of lockdowns in Florida to Peru.

“Military enforced since March. They have the highest per capita mortality in the world from COVID. And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality … it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on,” he said.

In Miami-Dade County, restaurants reopened at 50% capacity, with DeSantis saying he’s looking to loosen restrictions to allow bars and nightclubs to reopen in South Florida.

“Everything’s open except the nightclubs and the pubs, and that’s something we’re going to address,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to work on our three southern Florida counties, getting them where we are. And that’s really the last piece of the puzzle.”

Since March the state has seen more than 600,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The state has a positivity rate of 5.52%, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Author: Brianna Lyman

Source: Daily Caller: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Says State ‘Will Never’ Do Another Lockdown

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden walked back his “you ain’t black” if you have a hard time “figuring out” whether you’re for him or President Donald Trump comment Sunday night.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” Biden told ABC News‘ Robin Roberts during an interview.

“I was trying to make the point, [Trump] is a man that spent his entire career denigrating African Americans, the truth is, there is a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and me on the issue of race across the board,” Biden said. “I’m not going to, I’m not going to try to divide people. It’s all about bringing people together.”

Biden said he owes his political career to the African-American community and was inspired to get involved with civil rights to help end racism and discrimination. He said his comment was taken the wrong way, explaining he doesn’t understand why a black person would vote for Trump.

Biden faced some backlash in May during an interview on “The Breakfast Club” with co-host Charlamagne tha God.

Biden said his wife had an engagement and he had to end the interview, to which Charlamagne tha God asked Biden to come back on the program again, saying “it’s a long way to November. We’ve got more questions,” according to Fox News.

Biden then responded “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Charlamagne tha God responded that “it has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”

Biden retorted, “Take a look at my record. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run. Take a look at the record.”

Biden also received some criticism another remark regarding the Black community in August while speaking with the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

“What you all know, but most people don’t know. Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is incredibly diverse community with incredible different attitudes about different things,” Biden said, according to ABC News. “You go to Florida you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.”

Biden reiterated those remarks during a live discussion with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, according to ABC News.

“We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation, the full diversity of Latino communities. And when I mean full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere. From Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border and Mexico, and in the Caribbean.”

Biden later apologized for his comments in a tweet.

“In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith-not by identity, not on issues, not at all. Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place.”

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is the son of immigrants from Grenada, said the comments were “insulting,” according to ABC News.

“To diminish those cultures and the richness of those cultures is such a wildly ignorant thing to do and insulting on so many levels. But I wish I was surprised.”

Author: Brianna Lyman

Source: Daily Caller: ‘I Shouldn’t Have Said That’: Biden Walks Back Remark About Black Voters

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