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Photo: Vivien Killilea/WireImage

Nick Caporella, the billionaire CEO of National Beverage Corp., which owns LaCroix sparkling water, is being accused by two pilots of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The details: The pilots allege that this behavior occurred "on more than 30 trips from 2014 to 2016," per the WSJ, while they flew second-in-command with Caporella. Caporella and his attorney, Glenn Waldman have denied the allegations, with Waldman stating that his client is being targeted "because he is wealthy and in his 80s."

What they're saying:

  • Pilot Terence Huenefeld said in a lawsuit, which was settled, that Caporella touched him on 18 flights in 2016. According to WSJ, the lawsuit says that Caporella "repeated unjustified, unwarranted and uninvited grabbing, rubbing and groping of Terry's leg in a sexual manner, reaching up towards Terry's sexual organs."
  • Another pilot, Vincent Citrullo, said that on 14 flights, Caporella "engaged in unwanted touching, including grabbing Mr. Citrullo under his armpit, under his thigh and moving his right hand up Mr. Citrullo's left leg towards his genitals."
  • The pilots also raised the issue with National Beverage Corp. and the aviation company, the WSJ reports, but their boss's behavior persisted.
"He reaches over and grabs his co-pilot. He's trying to prove that he's in control."
— The pilots' attorney Lee Schillinger, to the WSJ

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

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Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.