Sunshine Really Is The Best Remedy

Last night The Daily Wire reported the following:

House Republicans filed a resolution to impeach United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, citing the Justice Department’s lack of transparency and obstruction of congressional oversight.

“I just filed a resolution with Jim Jordan and several colleagues to impeach Rod Rosenstein,” Meadows wrote on Twitter. “The DOJ has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight–even defying multiple Congressional subpoenas.”

The lack of transparency is not the only problem–Rod Rosenstein signed one of the FISA warrants. He might be totally conflicted in deciding what documents to turn over to Congress.

The saga continues. Yahoo News reported today:

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday rejected a move by fellow Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, who oversees the federal probe of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” said Ryan, whose stance could make it easier for other Republican members to oppose the measure.

This is not a surprise. Paul Ryan will be stepping down from his role as Speaker and probably looking for a job in Washington. Although I believe the impeachment of Rosenstein would be appropriate (for conflict of interest as much as anything else), I don’t think Paul Ryan is willing to do anything that might rock the boat right now. He wants to stay friends with everyone. (That is probably why he should resign today!)

On Tuesday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner which outlined a solution to this whole sordid mess.

The article points out:

While the lawmakers support maximum declassification, they also gave the president another option: declassify two key sections of the application that Republicans believe are particularly revealing. In the letter, the GOP committee members made a very specific request.

“To enable the public to understand the DOJ’s and FBI’s basis for obtaining the FISA warrant and three subsequent renewals,” the lawmakers wrote, “we respectfully request that you declassify and release publicly, and in unredacted form, pages 10-12 and 17-34, along with all associated footnotes, of the third renewal of the FISA application on Mr. Page. The renewal was filed in June 2017 and signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”

So what is on pages 10-12 and 17-34? That is certainly a tantalizing clue dropped by the House Intel members, but it’s not clear what it means. Comparing the relevant sections from the initial FISA application, in October 2016, and the third renewal, in June 2017, much appears the same, but in pages 10-12 of the third renewal there is a slightly different headline — “The Russian Government’s Coordinated Efforts to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election” — plus a footnote, seven lines long, that was not in the original application.

As for pages 17-34, there appear to be, in the third renewal, new text and footnotes throughout the section headlined “Page’s Coordination with Russian Government Officials on 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Influence Activities.” (That is the same headline as the original application.) The Republican lawmakers ask that it be unredacted in its entirety, suggesting they don’t believe revealing it would compromise any FBI sources or methods.

Clearly, the GOP lawmakers believe pages 10-12 and 17-34 contain critical information, so it seems likely that the release of those pages would affect the current public debate over the FISA application. That would, in turn, lead to charges that the Republicans were cherry-picking the application and did not want the public to see information that undercuts their position.

Which is why the application should be released in its entirety, or as closely to its entirety as is possible. Will that happen? At the moment, it appears the only person who can answer that question is Trump.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Dennis Prager On Media Hysteria

Townhall posted an article today by Dennis Prager. The article deals with the current media hysteria over the fact that President Trump is accused of colluding with Russia.

Mr. Prager notes:

You and I are living through the greatest mass hysteria in American history. For many Americans, the McCarthy era held that dubious distinction, but what is happening now is incomparably worse.

For one thing, any hysteria that existed then was directed against the greatest evil in the world at the time: communism. Then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee notwithstanding, there really were Americans in important positions who supported communist regimes enslaving their populations and committing mass murder. McCarthy was on to something.

In contrast, the country is choking on hysteria over the extremely unlikely possibility — for which there is still no evidence — that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and the absurdity that President Trump works for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Prager points out a few things the media is overlooking:

All this hysteria is built on next to nothing. At its core, it is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. The mainstream media refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton lost. They said she would win — handily. They predicted a landslide. How could they have possibly gotten it so wrong? Their answer is they didn’t; Trump and Putin stole it.

If truth mattered to the media, their ongoing narrative would be: “Democrats and the left still do not accept Trump victory.”

That is the truth in a nutshell.

The article lists some truths the media chooses to ignore:

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama sent Army meals to Ukraine and Trump has sent anti-tank missiles and other arms to repel the Russians.

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama watched Syria burn and Russia come to dominate that country, while Trump has bombed Syrian military installations, including one where Russians were killed.

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that it is Trump who has weakened Russia’s ally Iran, while Obama immeasurably strengthened it.

Instead the media scream “treason,” “impeachment” and the like 24/7; Hollywood stars curse the president; others curse his daughter or the first lady (one of the most regal in American history) and show President Trump in various death poses. Meanwhile, leftist mobs shout at administration officials and Republican members of Congress while they eat in restaurants, shop in stores and sleep in their homes.

The article concludes:

If you vote Democrat this November, you are voting for hysteria, lies, socialism and even the cheapening of the Holocaust.

But more than anything, a vote for Democrats in November is a vote for hysteria — the greatest and darkest in American history.

And that is where we currently are.

When You Begin To Peel An Onion, It Smells

As Congress and some of the press begin to peel back the layers of scandal surrounding the government surveillance and investigation into the Trump campaign, it is truly starting to smell like corrupt government agencies. The more we know, the worse it smells.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about some events that occurred before the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. There was definitely a strategy among those who wanted to undo the 2016 presidential election.

The article reports:

Justice Department documents released on Friday confirm that the DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” arranged a meeting with journalists in April 2017 to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort.

The documents show that Andrew Weissmann arranged a meeting with DOJ and FBI officials and four Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, just over a month before Mueller was appointed special counsel.

Manafort’s lawyers obtained the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a briefing filed in federal court in Virginia. The attorneys are pushing for a hearing into what they say are possible leaks of secret grand jury information, false information and potentially classified materials from the meeting.

“The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” a lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, wrote in a motion requesting a hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”

The article continues:

The existence of meeting between AP reporters and DOJ officials was first reported in January. The government confirmed it for the first time in a pre-trial hearing held on June 29.

In the hearing, FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Pfeiffer said that the FBI may have conducted a May 2017 raid of a storage locker that Manafort was renting based on a tip from AP reporters. He also said that the purpose of the meeting was for the DOJ and FBI to obtain information from The AP.

Manafort is set to go to trial on July 25 for a slew of money laundering and bank fraud charges related to his consulting work for a Ukrainian politician years before joining the Trump campaign.

Friday’s court filing includes two reports about the April 11, 2017 meeting: one written by Pfeiffer and another written by Supervisory Special Agent Karen Greenaway.

“The meeting was arranged by Andrew Weissmann,” Greenaway wrote in her report, for the first time establishing that Weissmann took part in the meeting.

Greenaway also said that Weissmann provided guidance to the reporters for their investigation. According to Greenaway, Weissmann suggested that the reporters ask the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a Cypriot government agency, if it had provided the Department of Treasury with all of the documents they were legally authorized to provide regarding Manafort.

The AP journalists, Chad Day, Ted Bridis, Jack Gillum and Eric Tucker, were conducting an extensive investigation of Manafort, including payments he received through various shell companies set up in Cyprus.

There are a few things to remember here. Paul Manafort may or may not have committed crimes, but the accusations have to do with events years before he joined the Trump campaign. This is totally out of the jurisdiction of the Special Prosecutor. Meanwhile, Paul Manafort is being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison cell for 23 hours a day because correctional officials “cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” Does anyone actually believe this is in accordance with Mr. Manafort’s constitutional rights?

The article also reports:

DOJ officials provided other guidance to the reporters, according to Greenaway’s report. She noted that when the journalists asked DOJ officials to tell them if they were off base in their findings about Manafort, “government attendees confirmed that the AP reporters appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine.”

Downing said that the special counsel’s office has previously confirmed that at the time of the meeting with the AP reporters, “there was an ongoing grand jury investigation of Mr. Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia.”

In addition to Weissmann, Pfeiffer and Greenaway, Justice Department officials George Mceachern, Ann Brickley and Ariel Shreve attended the meeting.

It is time for Congress to put a stop to this charade. The only solution to this corruption is to change all the documents related to this investigation that were previously classified to unclassified and let the American people see what has gone on. That is the only way the credibility of the FBI and DOJ will recover.

 

Another Reason FOIA Requests Are Valuable For Providing Transparency

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article on Friday about more information found in the memos recently released to various Senate and House Committees. The memos reveal government agencies misused to achieve a political goal. Thankfully, in spite of all their efforts, that goal has not been achieved. However, I have no doubt that the people behind the attempt to undo the 2016 presidential election have not given up.

Here are some of the highlights of the information in the recently released memos (as noted in the article):

The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page’s travel to Moscow.

The FBI team pounced on what it saw as an opportunity as soon as Page wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey complaining about the “completely false” leak.

“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.

Within weeks, that “pretext” — often a synonym for an excuse — had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.

To date, the former Trump adviser has been accused of no wrongdoing despite being subjected to nearly a year of surveillance.

Some internal memos detail the pressure being applied by the FBI to DOJ prosecutors to get the warrant on Carter Page buttoned up before Election Day.

In one email exchange with the subject line “Crossfire FISA,” Strzok and Lisa Page discussed talking points to get then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking DOJ official to sign off on the warrant.

This group did not give up after the election:

The day after Trump’s surprising win on Nov. 9, 2016, the FBI counterintelligence team engaged in a new mission, bluntly described in another string of emails prompted by another news leak.

“We need ALL of their names to scrub, and we should give them ours for the same purpose,” Strzok emailed Page on Nov. 10, 2016, citing a Daily Beast article about some of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s allegedly unsavory ties overseas.

“Andy didn’t get any others,” Page wrote back, apparently indicating McCabe didn’t have names to add to the “scrub.”

“That’s what Bill said,” Strzok wrote back, apparently referring to then-FBI chief of counterintelligence William Priestap. “I suggested we need to exchange our entire lists as we each have potential derogatory CI info the other doesn’t.” CI is short for confidential informants.

It’s an extraordinary exchange, if for no other reason than this: The very day after Trump wins the presidency, some top FBI officials are involved in the sort of gum-shoeing normally reserved for field agents, and their goal is to find derogatory information about someone who had worked for the president-elect.

The article concludes:

These and other documents are still being disseminated to various oversight bodies in Congress, and more revelations are certain to occur.

Yet, now, irrefutable proof exists that agents sought to create pressure to get “derogatory” information and a “pretext” to interview people close to a future president they didn’t like.

Clear evidence also exists that an investigation into still-unproven collusion between a foreign power and a U.S. presidential candidate was driven less by secret information from Moscow and more by politically tainted media leaks.

And that means the dots between expressions of political bias and official actions just got a little more connected.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that supposedly non-partisan members of the government used the powers of government for political purposes. It is more chilling to realize that at this moment they have not paid for their crimes. Unless someone is held responsible for these crimes, Americans will totally lose faith in what used to be upstanding organizations–the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Why None Of The Normal Rules Apply To The Current Election Cycle

Yesterday Nigel Farage posted an article at the U.K. Telegraph containing his observations on the current American election.

Mr. Farage shares his story and observations:

When I arrived at the Republican Party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, back in July, I was amazed at the reaction to me over the Brexit result. Normally we follow trends in America, not the other way round, but it was clear that many of the delegates saw Brexit as an aspiration for what they see as the Trump “revolution” against the Establishment. I met many others who were not delegates or political anoraks, who were also keen to talk about Brexit. A group of retired US Navy veterans told me we should have done it years ago. Others were less impressed and shouted at me in the streets. Indeed, this weekend while I was in St Louis, I received some proper abuse on the Washington University campus. 

…Like him or loathe him, Trump is not a part of the political elite and he most certainly is not constrained by political correctness. When I spoke at one of his rallies in Jackson, Mississippi, I saw a fanatical gathering of his fans who want to give the Establishment a good hiding. “We want our country back” works as a slogan here, too. The first signs of a political rebellion took the form of the Tea Party. The satirist Ian Hislop once described it as rather like Ukip – but with God and guns. They not only railed against the Washington elites, but made the link between big business, Wall Street banks and Washington politics. The same story is behind the growth of new parties across the whole of the European Union and was an important feature in voters’ minds in the UK this June.

Not only did JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs help to fund the Remain campaign but they increasingly give the appearance of owning a whole section of our political class. When Berlusconi was forced to resign as the Italian prime minister, he was replaced by the unelected Mario Monti, a Goldman Sachs man. 

…I met many people at the rally in Jackson, Mississippi, who had never voted in their lives. They may produce an upset similar to Brexit. It does not matter what the opinion polls, bookmakers or markets say, because these new voters are hard to measure. 

I do not see the Brexit result in isolation. Instead, I believe we are witnessing a popular uprising against failed politics on a global scale. People want to vote for candidates with personality, faults and all. It is the same in the UK, America and much of the rest of Europe. The little people have had enough. They want change.

This is going to be an interesting election. If voter fraud is kept under control, Donald Trump will be our next President. If not, I can’t even imaging the darkness this country will go through–we will no longer be equal under the law–some will permanently be more equal than others. It is not a pretty picture.

 

How To Skew The Results Of A Poll

Yesterday The European Union Times posted an article about the latest Reuters Presidential Poll. The poll claims 47 percent of Americans support Hillary Clinton for President and 33 percent support Donald Trump for President.

The article states:

Reuters interviews 1201 respondents.
626 Democrats (52% of total)
423 Republicans (35% of total)
122 independents
30 other party.

That’s nearly 33 percent more Democrats than Republicans.

In reality Gallup reported in March that 46 percent of Americans are Democrats, and 40 percent are Republicans. Reuters freighted their poll with 20 percent more Democrats than Republicans.

Since the Reuters poll sampled more Democrats than all the others combined, we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.

This is the equivalent of my polling 100 cat owners as to whether of not they like cats and concluding from the results that everyone likes cats. Obviously, that is not true. This sort of polling may explain why the polls showed that the vote on Brexit would be for Britain to stay in the European Union. Polls have become a political tool rather than an indication of how people think. People tend to want to be part of the majority, so all the pollsters have to do is convince the voters that a particular candidate the pollsters support is winning.