The huge public pushback against Apple’s revelation that it intentionally slowed older iPhone speeds to keep them from crashing is now turning into an ugly, and possibly legal, scandal. The US Department of Justice and the SEC are now launching probes into Apple’s handling of the situation. While the DOJ probe will likely look broadly at behavior, the SEC is looking into whether Apple violated securities laws with regard to its disclosures about software updates.
FINSUM: We have a feeling there is a big fine on the horizon for Apple. The bigger question is whether this hurts their public image and could spark the beginning of the end of the Age of Apple.
President Trump has mostly been very quiet about the DOJ investigation into the White House’s potential ties to Russia. Until today, that is. Yesterday, coming just days after Mike Flynn pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about his connections with Russia, Trump went on a Twitter tirade lambasting the DOJ. The focus of his tirade was on the unfair handling of Mike Flynn and “Crooked Hillary Clinton”. Trump said, amongst other tweets, “So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday “interrogation” with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times . . . and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?”.
FINSUM: We think Trump has decided to go on offense instead of playing it cool. Why not?
In what has amounted to an intensification of the suspicion surrounding President Trump’s administration, the president has recently discussed ousting Jeff Sessions, attorney general, in an effort to end special counsel Mueller’s investigation of him. This has caused some alarm because of the extent of measures Trump would need to take to do so. However, the Senate has bound together, promising to block any of Trump’s efforts to fire Sessions. Led by Republicans, the Wall Street Journal reports that “senators said they would try to thwart him through legislation, control of the calendar and the chamber’s parliamentary rules”. Unusually given the current climate, Democrats are siding with Republican senators and backing the push.
FINSUM: We don’t like a limitless investigation like Mueller’s, but in anyone’s book it is hardly fair for someone to be able to fire the man investigating him.
Many have been banking on the DOL finding a way to overturn the fiduciary rule through the review it is currently doing. It is currently conducting a request for information as part of an effort to delay the full implementation of the rule. However, the DOL shocked rule opponents yesterday when it submitted a robust 135-page brief defending the rule in a court hearing. The DOL, represented by the DoJ, argued in support of all aspects of the rule, bar the private right of action which allows clients to sue advisors for violations of best-interest. Advocates of the rule took the news with pleasure, contending that it will make overturning the rule much more difficult.
FINSUM: Well the DOL seems to have clearly defined is intentions with this move. There will likely be no overturn of the rule itself, but it does want to do away with the private right of action clause, which would be a significant victory for opponents of the rule.
The special counsel assigned by the DOJ to investigate the White House’s involvement with Russia is growing broader. The head of the investigation, former FBI director Robert Mueller, is reportedly now investigating President Trump himself. Trump was drawn into the official investigation because of his firing of James Comey, an event the special counsel will now investigate. The counsel wants to see if Trump fired Comey as part of a broader effort to redirect the investigation into his administration’s alleged ties to Russia.
FINSUM: We still don’t understand what the special counsel is actually investigating. We have not seen a single allegation which actually accuses Trump or his administration of doing something illegal.