https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker ... durham-foxWhy Is The Overstock.com CEO Writing Himself Into The Trump-Russia Story?
By Josh Kovensky August 14, 2019 5:24 pm
The CEO of Overstock.com wants the public to know he’s a big part of the Trump-Russia story.
According to a press bulletin issued by the publicly traded firm after Monday trading hours, CEO Patrick Byrne wants you to know two things:
Byrne has been helping the “Men in Black” — that is, federal authorities — and was involved in the “missing Chapter 1” of the Trump-Russia probe.
Warren Buffett reminded him to alert Bill Barr and the press to point 1.
This story may sound fantastical, but it’s getting attention. Fox News has picked up on elements of the story, while an attorney for alleged Russian agent-of-influence Maria Butina sent a letter to Justice Department demanding a probe into Byrne’s accusations.
Meanwhile, in the two days since the Overstock CEO issued the statement, the company’s shares have plummeted more than 36 percent, amid a general selloff in the market. So what’s Byrne talking about? At first, it’s hard to say. Byrne, a financier of right-wing politicians, is avoiding specifics: His market-moving Monday statement is titled “Overstock CEO comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment.”
But in a statement to TPM, Byrne said he was “ethically obligated” to speak out. “Watching my country rip itself apart when I know the truth has been hard,” Byrne said. “It has reached the point where people are driving 600 miles to shoot 20 strangers. I decided that as a matter of conscience I had to tell the truth, let chips fall where they may.” His earlier remarks — and those of other bit players in the never-ending Trump-Russia saga — offer a few additional suggestions. In the statement, Byrne writes that Fox News contributor Sara Carter has written accurately about his situation on her blog, and that he is, in part, “confirming” what Carter had written.
Carter “broke” a story about Byrne last month that got some significant pickup in the conservative media. In that story, the Overstock CEO claimed to have had a fling with Butina, during which he discovered exculpatory evidence that would help Butina’s case, and that he accuses prosecutors of withholding. Byrne’s claims spurred Butina attorney Robert Driscoll to send an angry letter to John Durham, the former U.S. attorney empowered by Attorney General Bill Barr to lead a civil review of the origins of the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Driscoll also sent the letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting a separate probe into the FBI’s handling of Russiagate.
A DOJ spokeswoman declined to comment to TPM. But Byrne’s statements this week appear to reveal that he is under the impression that he is a main source for Durham. One hour before Overstock issued its press release, Carter published a story declaring that Byrne had upended the political establishment by giving “emails and text messages” to the Durham investigation. “This is going to become the greatest political scandal in U.S. history,” Byrne is quoted as saying in Carter’s story. The same day, Byrne took to Fox to declare that — as a result of the Durham inquiry — Barr is about to purge the country’s so-called “deep state.”
“There is a deep state like a submarine lurking just beneath the waves of the periscope depth watching our shipping lanes,” Byrne said on Fox Business on Monday. “And a nuclear icebreaker called the USS Bill Barr has snuck up on them and is about to ram midship.” Byrne’s actions may be surprising. His statements have knocked more than a third of the value off of his company, and he has so far failed to publicly provide any evidence corroborating or further fleshing out his claims.
But he has a storied history of bizarre statements. In 2005, he held an hour-long conference call blaming someone called the “Sith Lord” for financial problems at his company, and led a campaign to make short-selling illegal. Elsewhere, he has argued that the financial system faces impending doom, and that Bitcoin is the way out. But as a Marketwatch columnist Therese Poletti noted, this latest episode is weird even for Byrne. In any case, Byrne let the world know what he will be doing as the value of his company continues to tank following his comments and a general downturn in the stock market. “I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justice re-establish Rule of Law in our country,” he said in the conclusion to his Monday statement.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/overs ... o_homepageOverstock stock suffers worst two-day decline ever after CEO’s Russia-conspiracy story
Published: Aug 14, 2019 4:19 p.m. ET
Overstock shares have declined more than 40% since CEO’s news release regarding Russia, Trump, Clinton and alleged spy
By JEREMY C. OWENS TECHNOLOGY EDITOR
Overstock.com Inc. shares completed their worst two-day decline on record Wednesday, after Chief Executive Patrick Byrne claimed to have worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on a “political espionage” case involving Russia, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Overstock’s OSTK, +0.19% stock declined 22.4% Wednesday, the worst single-day percentage decline since 2014, after dropping 17.6% Tuesday. Combined, shares fell 41% in the two trading sessions, which FactSet data shows is the biggest drop since the online retailer went public in 2002.
Byrne was a guest Monday morning on Fox Business, and discussed recent articles that claimed he had a romantic relationship with Maria Butina, who has been convicted of being an unregistered foreign agent from Russia, at the behest of the FBI. He claimed to have collected evidence of a vast conspiracy involving the two 2016 candidates for the presidency, as well as other politicians, and turned it over to federal authorities.
For more: Overstock CEO spins an insane Russian-spy drama, with himself as the star
“I think we are about to see the biggest scandal in American history,” Byrne said in an interview with David Asman on Fox Business. “Everything you think you know about the Russia and Clinton investigations was a lie, it was all political espionage. I think [U.S. Attorney General William Barr] has gotten to the bottom of it.”
Byrne then issued an Overstock news release Monday evening titled “Overstock.com CEO Comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment,” in which he proclaimed that “I am the notorious ‘missing Chapter 1’ of the Russian investigation.”
Overstock shares have been on a roller-coaster ride over the past couple of years, hitting a high of around $84 in January 2018 before gradually sinking back to a low of around $9.50 this June. The stock had rebounded to around $25 earlier this month before the sharp decline this week.
The shares are now down 51.5% over the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index SPX, -2.93% has gained 3%.
It's unbelievable he used a corporate press release to highlight Sara Carter, Hannity's pet whom I don't think has ever been right. Here's the release:
https://investors.overstock.com/news-re ... er-comment#Press Release
August 12, 2019 at 7:03 PM EDT
Overstock.com CEO Comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) CEO Patrick M. Byrne has released the following statement:
“Sara Carter has published two articles relating the following claims of mine:
Starting in 2015 I (operating under the belief that I was helping legitimate law enforcement efforts) assisted in what are now known as the ‘Clinton Investigation’ and the ‘Russian Investigation’ (in fact, I am the notorious ‘missing Chapter 1’ of the Russian investigation). It was the third time in my life I helped the Men in Black: the first was when my friend Brian Williams was murdered, and the second was when I helped the M.I.B. shake up Wall Street a decade ago. Unfortunately, this third time turned out to be less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).
In July 2018 I put the pieces together. I immediately (last July) came forward to a Congressman and a senior military officer, to the Department of Justice this April, and (upon my Omaha Rabbi reminding me of my duty as a citizen late this June) to a small set of journalists this summer. Ms. Carter was among them. Her two stories are accurate.
Having confirmed Ms. Carter’s two articles, I have fulfilled those citizenship obligations of which my Rabbi reminded me. I will speak no more on the subject. Instead, having lived in places lacking Rule of Law and having witnessed the consequences of its absence, I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justicere-establish Rule of Law in our country.”
Overstock.com, Inc Common Shares (NASDAQ:OSTK) / Digital Voting Series A-1 Preferred Stock (Medici Ventures’ tZERO platform:OSTKO) / Series B Preferred (OTCQX:OSTBP) is an online retailer and technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its leading e-commerce website sells a broad range of new products at low prices, including furniture, décor, rugs, bedding, home improvement, and more. The online shopping site, which is visited by nearly 40 million customers a month, also features a marketplace providing customers access to millions of products from third-party sellers. Overstock was the first major retailer to accept cryptocurrency in 2014, and in the same year founded Medici Ventures, its wholly-owned subsidiary developing and accelerating blockchain technologies to democratize capital, eliminate middlemen, and re-humanize commerce. Overstock regularly posts information about the company and other related matters on the Newsroom and Investor Relations pages on its website, Overstock.com.
O, Overstock.com, O.com, Club O, Main Street Revolution, and Worldstock are registered trademarks of Overstock.com, Inc. O.biz and Space Shift are also trademarks of Overstock.com, Inc. Other service marks, trademarks and trade names which may be referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact. Additional information regarding factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, which was filed with the SEC on August 8, 2019, and any subsequent filings with the SEC.
SOURCE: Overstock.com, Inc.