The nonprofit leader who was removed cited Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' travel and association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which was recently reported.
Pete Flaherty, the CEO and Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing at the meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, despite his name being on the list of attendees for the meeting, the report said.
“I apparently touched the third rail of billionaire politics when I mentioned Jeffrey Epstein’s name,” Flaherty told The Daily Signal on Monday. “I’ve been involved in shareholder activism for 19 years, and I have never before had my mic cut and I was never before arrested.”
Epstein was a wealthy financier who was convicted of sex crimes involving minors. His legal troubles began in 2005 when he was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and served 13 months in a private wing of a county jail. In 2019, Epstein was arrested again and charged with sex trafficking of minors. He died by suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial.
The case against Epstein has been controversial due to his connections to powerful people, including politicians, business leaders, and celebrities. Many of these individuals have been accused of participating in Epstein's crimes or covering them up. Epstein's death has also raised questions about the circumstances surrounding it, with some speculating that he was murdered to prevent him from revealing damaging information about his associates.
Despite his death, the investigation into Epstein's crimes has continued, which led to the uncovering of Gates' association with Epstein.
Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world's richest men, had multiple meetings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. According to a Times investigation, these meetings began in 2011, after Epstein had served jail time for soliciting prostitution from a minor, and continued until 2014. Gates and his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also had employees who visited Epstein's mansion.
Gates has minimized his ties to Epstein, and his spokesperson has disputed the description of their relationship. However, Gates has acknowledged that he made a mistake in ever meeting with Epstein. In a recent interview with Australia's ABC 7.30, Gates expressed regret for his meetings and dinners with Epstein.
Gates had previously denied having a business relationship or friendship with Epstein, but has since acknowledged that they had several dinners in an effort to raise funds for philanthropy. The Microsoft mogul has repeatedly said that his meetings with Epstein were a "huge mistake" and that they contributed to his divorce from ex-wife Melinda Gates.
“We all know how much bill gates loves children, he’s been with Epstein…” at berkshire hathaway annual meeting. pic.twitter.com/q6KgjSKrLX
— Tykoo.eth (@0xTykoo) May 6, 2023
Proposal No. 8 at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha was sponsored by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), and called for the separation of the roles of CEO and Chairman of the Board, which are currently both held by Buffett.
During the meeting, Flaherty argued that if the proposed change were implemented, Berkshire "would be less identified with Buffett's personal political activities." Flaherty also specifically pointed to Buffett's support for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other factors to support his argument.
"Under the meeting rules, shareholders have three minutes to speak for a resolution. A Berkshire Hathaway employee interrupted Flaherty shortly after 1 minute, and then someone cut his microphone," The Daily Signal reported.
This is an outrage, but it is to be expected as the rich and powerful continue to protect Epstein for reasons we can only speculate.