But It Was Such A Great Piece Of Fake News

Breitbart is reporting today that the the leak saying that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election is not true. Just as an aside, Russia has always interfered in our elections–they don’t care who wins–they just want to disrupt things and hopefully cause Americans to lose faith in the electoral process. Unfortunately they have been more successful at times than I would have liked.

The article reports:

U.S. intelligence and national security officials have reportedly refuted the claim that Russia is interfering in the 2020 elections to help President Donald Trump’s re-election, arguing in media reports published over the weekend that the United States does not have evidence to support the allegation.

House Democrat lawmakers pushing the allegation that the Kremlin is trying to help Trump “misheard or misinterpreted” the intelligence community’s formal assessment of ongoing U.S. election interference by the Russians, unnamed U.S. officials suggested to the New York Times. 

Just another example of fake news put forth by the Democrats and the mainstream media.

The article concludes:

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Washington Post recently reported that U.S. officials had warned Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that Russia is trying to get him to the White House. Sanders is currently the front-runner for the Democrat presidential nomination.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has described the assertion that Russia is trying to help Sanders as “false,” lambasting Trump for repeating it.

Echoing the U.S. intelligence and national security officers who spoke to CNN and the Times, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short denied the ODNI official’s claim that Russia is interfering in the 2020 presidential election to aid Trump’s re-election.

Nevertheless, Democrat lawmakers continue to claim that Russia is interfering in the U.S. elections on behalf of Trump.

President Trump has called for an investigation into a possible leak of classified intelligence unveiled during the briefing on election interference, accusing Schiff of leaking the information.

What needs to happen here is that the person who leaked whatever information was leaked needs to be prosecuted for leaking.

The Question Justice Roberts Refused To Read

One of the few interesting moments in the impeachment drama was the refusal of Chief Justice Roberts to read aloud a question submitted by Senator Rand Paul.

The Gateway Pundit posted the question yesterday:

“Are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer Shawn Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal house impeachment proceedings.”

Senator Paul commented:

My question is not about a “whistleblower” as I have no independent information on his identity. My question is about the actions of known Obama partisans within the NSC and House staff and how they are reported to have conspired before impeachment proceedings had even begun.

The article notes:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has released the question that was blocked Wednesday and Thursday by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Paul’s question deals with the origins of the impeachment inquiry and employs the name of the alleged whistleblower, not in that context but with regard to his relation with a NSC co-worker who moved on to the staff of Lead House Manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and whether they plotted to impeach Trump before the House impeachment proceedings started.

Impeachment may or may not end today, but I can assure you that whatever happens this will not be the end of the Democrats efforts to block any successful policies of President Trump.

Another Lie Exposed

The Gateway Pundit posted a video of some of the White House Defense team’s testimony before the Senate this morning. The focus was on facts–not ‘I presumed’ or ‘I felt’ or ‘it seemed to me.’ The article includes a short video of the testimony of Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin.

This is a partial transcript of that testimony:

Patrick Philbin: What changed? At first Manager Schiff agreed we should hear the unfiltered testimony from the whistleblower. But then he changed his mind… There was something else that came into play. And that was something Manager Schiff had said earlier when he was asked about whether he had spoken to the whistleblower.

Schiff: (TV clip) Uh, we have not spoken directly to the whistleblower. We would like to.

Patrick Philbin: And it turned out that statement was not truthful. Around October 2nd or 3rd it was exposed that Manager Schiff’s staff – at least — had spoken with the whistleblower before the whistleblower filed the complaint. And potentially had given some guidance of some sort to the whistleblower. And after that point it became critical to shut down any inquiry into the whistleblower… And Manager Schiff was in charge. He was chairing the hearings. And that creates a real problem from a due process perspective, from a search for truth perspective. Because he was an interested fact witness at that point. He had a reason. Since he had been caught out saying something that wasn’t true… It was he who ensured there wasn’t any inquiry into that… The Mueller Report… determined there was no conclusion. That wasn’t true… Chairman Schiff has made so much of the House case about the credibility of interpretations that the House managers want to place, on not hard evidence, but on inferences. They want to tell you what President Trump thought. They want to tell you don’t worry about what Zelensky said we can tell you what Zelensky actually thought… It is very relevant to know whether the assessment of evidence he’s presented in the past are accurate.

Facts can be very inconvenient things to liars.

Protecting Americans From Unlawful Surveillance

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it today filed a lawsuit against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the House Intelligence Committee for the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer. The phone records led to the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devon Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit under the public’s common-law right of public access to examine government records after it received no response to a December 6, 2019, records request (Judicial Watch v Adam Schiff and U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (No. 1:19-cv-03790)):

    1. All subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about September 30, 2019 to any telecommunications provider including, but not limited to AT&T, Inc., for records of telephone calls of any individuals;
    2. All responses received to the above-referenced subpoenas.

Schiff is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, currently serving as Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Schiff is being sued in his capacity as Chairman of that committee. The new lawsuit states:

The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.

Disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas.

The requested records fall within the scope of the public’s right of access to governmental records as a matter of federal common law.

“Adam Schiff abused his power to secretly subpoena and then publish the private phone records, in potential violation of law, of innocent Americans. What else is Mr. Schiff hiding?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Schiff and his Committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump. This lawsuit serves as a reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law.”

What Adam Schiff did is inexcusable. Private phone records are private unless subpoenaed. What was the basis for the subpoena? This is simply another instance where someone aligned with the deep state chose to ignore the rights of American citizens for his own purposes. If this is not stopped and people held accountable, Americans will continue to be subject to unwarranted violations of their constitutional rights.

President Pelosi?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported some recent comments by Adam Schiff to Rachel Maddow.

The article quotes the comments:

Adam Schiff: Well, we have acquired a piece of evidence, classified by Jennifer Williams, something she alluded to in her open testimony. Then going back and looking through her records she found other information that was pertinent to that phone call that we asked her about and made that submission. There is nothing that is classified in the document but the vice president’s office has said they are going to classify… It is not proper to classify something because it would be embarrassing or incriminating. And that submission does shed light on the vice president’s knowledge. We think the American people should see it.

The article notes:

During their conversation Schiff announced he was going after Vice President Mike Pence next and may have “acquired evidence” that the Vice President is hiding information in the House Ukrainian investigation.

If this sounds totally ridiculous (which it is), I would like to remind you of a quote from Maxine Waters (reported by Hot Air in September 2018):

“They say, ‘Maxine, please don’t say impeachment anymore.’

“And when they say that, I say impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment,” she said to applause.

Waters told the crowd she won’t stop with Trump.

“I had a conversation here today with someone asked, ‘Well, what about Pence? If you are able to impeach, Pence will be worse,’” she recollected.

“Well, I said, ‘Look, one at a time.’

“You knock one down, one at a time,” she said.

“You knock one down, and we’ll be ready for Pence. We’ll get him, too,” she vowed.

The article at The Gateway Pundit concludes:

Jennifer Williams testified before Congress in November and offered nothing. She worked for Vice President Mike Pence. So now Schiff has Democrats thinking Williams holds the key to Pence’s impeachment.

It is a scary thought that the ultimate result of what the Democrats are trying to do would be to install Nancy Pelosi as President. Hopefully, what Adam Schiff is trying to do is impossible, but his comments are a frightening window into his thoughts. I guess Representative Schiff really does not care that nearly 63 million Americans voted for President Trump.

 

Do Liars Ever Apologize?

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about what we now know about conflicting memos by Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff regarding FISA warrants.

The article reports:

When then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released his memo asserting that the FBI had improperly taken out FISA warrants on Carter Page, Ranking Member Adam Schiff responded with a memo of his own disputing it. The Nunes memo is accessible here and elsewhere; the Schiff memo is accessible here and elsewhere.

Both Nunes and Schiff had access to the same classified information for their memos, but Nunes was interested in disseminating the truth while Schiff sought to lie about it in the service of the Russia hoax. As has become all too clear, Schiff lies with the sangfroid of a pathological liar.

After the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse that was released last week, we now know to a certainty that Nunes was right and Schiff was wrong. We know that Schiff was lying.

Schiff is lying now about about his lying then. It’s a postmodern world after all. In an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday (beginning at about 5:30 below), Schiff allowed that there were indeed “serious abuses of FISA” — “serious abuses that I was unaware of.” He explained: “Had I known of them, Chris, yes, I would’ve called out the FBI at the same time,” Schiff said. “But I think it’s only fair to judge what we knew at the time.”

The article includes the memos. Scott Johnson reminds us that both men had the same access to the same information. Adam Schiff’s claim that he was unaware of the abuses is simply false. He is lying. And he continues to lie.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is discouraging to see a Representative who lies so easily and so frequently.

Following The Money

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about the funding of National Public Radio (“NPR”). NPR has been often criticized for having a liberal bias.

The article cites one example of bias:

Recently, NPR was one of a string of media outlets that published stories hyping United Nations data that showed 100,000 migrant children being held in detention centers. One problem though: the stories were deleted after the data was revealed to have been from 2015, during former President Barack Obama’s (D) presidency. In September, NPR was also one of two taxpayer-funded outlets (the other being PBS), that interviewed Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and failed to question his false “parody” of President Donald Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The article includes the following chart:

Just for the record, the Foundation to Promote Open Society is a George Soros organization.

Most American media leans left, so this is not a surprise, but there are many listeners to NPR who believe they are getting unbiased news while they are actually getting misinformation. A strong republic depends on honest news sources. At present, we have very few of those.

Getting It Wrong…Again

On Friday, Hot Air posted an article about some Democrat’s reaction to President Trump’s new policy regarding food stamps. I wish Democrats would get the facts before they start complaining.  On December 5th, I posted an article explaining the new policy. The new rules state that a person between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled must work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps. In the past, states could easily get around this requirement, but the President has altered the rules to make avoiding them much more difficult.

Meanwhile, some Democrats obviously did not look at the new rule carefully.

The article at Hot Air includes the following Tweets:

Please note–the new rule does not apply to people between the ages of 18 and 49 who have children. Both of these tweets are totally dishonest. Tweets like these are one of many reasons the country is so divided–when people lie and others believe them, it creates division. I am willing to bet that right now there are a number of Americans who believe that under President Trump, people will not be able to get food stamps if they have children and are not working. It should also be noted that incomes for middle income Americans have risen under the Trump administration. The middle class is profiting from President Trump’s economic policies in ways they have not prospered in years. If you want to see America continue to prosper, you only have one choice when you vote for President next year–President Trump.

 

An Expert Opinion

Regardless of how you may feel about him, Newt Gingrich is a brilliant political mind. He posted an article at Fox News today about the move to impeach President Trump. I recommend that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to highlight it here.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ tunnel-vision focus on impeaching President Trump puts all of us, as Americans, at risk.

This may sound extreme, but I lay it all out in this week’s episode of “Newt’s World.”

Since the day Trump was elected president, Democrats have been formulating and executing the plot we have been watching unfold. After Trump won a massive electoral majority, Democrats started digging.

They have been determined to find something – anything – they can use to attack him. The central focus of all of this is to describe and define Trump as a corrupt president so often that people begin to accept the narrative. It’s not only the elected Democrats. Much of the intelligence community has been equally determined to “uncover” something on President Trump from the beginning.

The article continues:

As this plot against Trump has continued, the American system has been bypassed, ignored, or misused to the point where it has been put it in jeopardy. Democrats, political operatives, American intelligence officials and the media have been forcing a manufactured narrative on the American people. Specifically, a group of these intelligence officials are breaking the law by leaking secrets to the media (whose members gladly overlook these crimes so long as it lets them accuse the president of something new).

We have seen this pattern with the so-called Trump Towers in Moscow scandal, the Robert Mueller investigation, and now the Pelosi-Adam Schiff impeachment effort.

Make no mistake: This is not politics as usual. It’s a concerted effort by one political party, the Washington bureaucracy, and the media to overrule the American people.

The continuing attack on President Trump is dangerous to our Republic. This is an attempt to overthrow the results of a legitimate election. If those responsible are not brought to justice, our government will constantly be in chaos because false charges can be filed against any elected official at any time in an effort to remove him from office.

When You Forget To Dot All Of Your I’s And Cross All Of Your T’s

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a letter sent from a group of Republican Congressmen to Adam Schiff. It seems that when the Democrats put together their rules for impeachment, they forgot to cross out a portion of those rules that they did not plan to include.

The article reports:

In his letter Rep. McCarthy cites House Rule XI, Cause 2(j)(1) The Minority Rule on calling witnesses. This rule allows the Minority to call any witnesses they want on at least one day of a congressional hearing, upon notifying the Committee chairman, which the Republicans did this morning.

…According to the rule Democrats must allow Republicans at least one day to call any witnesses they want for at least one day of testimony.

…Pelosi and her Lawfare crew of condescending coup criminals overlooked the rule and didn’t change or strike it when they changed the other House rules for impeachment!

This is the rule:

The Minority Witness Rule (Clause 2(j)(1) of Rule XI) – The Minority is entitled to one additional day of related hearings at which to call their own witnesses if a majority of the Minority Members make their demand before the committee�s hearing is gaveled closed.

Stay tuned.

Trying To Track All Of The Moving Parts

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the timelines involved in the respective strategies of the Democrats and Republicans in the impeachment saga. It is a very complex article, and I suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. However, I will try to list a few highlights here.

The article reports:

Today we have some new background to help see the narrative race and legal race. Pelosi and Schiff are not only racing the impeachment vote against the IG report, they are also racing against the Judicial branch wiping out all prior “impeachment inquiry” validity.

Effective at the end of business today the House is now in recess for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The article explains the calendar:

On December 9th the IG report on FISA abuse and DOJ/FBI corruption will be released. On December 11th Michael Horowitz will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

So there are two races.

♦ One race within the Trump impeachment is for the narrative: Trump Impeachment -vs- DOJ/FISA corruption against Trump. This is the race everyone is discussing.

♦ The second race within the Trump impeachment is legal: Pelosi, Schiff and ultimately Nadler -vs- the Judicial branch. This is the race few are watching, but actually could be far more consequential because it could invalidate the entire HPSCI process.

The aforementioned mid-December House Impeachment Vote is not a vote to impeach President Trump. It is a vote at the end of their “inquiry”; and a vote to authorize the House Judiciary Committee to begin their “official” impeachment hearings.

The mid-December vote will be to authorize the House Judiciary Committee to begin the “official” impeachment hearings. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff need this vote fast; they need this vote before they lose any court case that could make the “impeachment inquiry” invalid.

Additionally, Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler need this full House authorization vote to gain the authority to penetrate the constitutional firewall that protects the separation of power in the “official” impeachment investigation. And they are hoping that any loss in the three pending cases will not undermine the validity of the prior impeachment inquiry…. that’s an issue.

That’s why Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler need to get that mid-December House vote before they lose any SCOTUS ruling. There are three cases, each of them appears heading to the Supreme Court; one is already there.

Please follow the link to the article for the details on the three court cases. December is going to be a very interesting month. I suspect that the Democrats are hoping that people will be too busy with Christmas things to be paying attention. Meanwhile, we may actually get to the bottom of the Russian hoax.

 

Priorities, People

Breitbart posted an article today about the passing of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during a press conference Thursday that she remains skeptical about the House passing the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement this year, as Congress’s lower chamber continues to focus on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Speaker Pelosi cast doubt during the presser that Congress has enough time to pass the USMCA in 2019.

“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish [this year], but just depends on how much agreement we come to,” Pelosi said.

Last week, she said that a deal on USMCA was “imminent.”

“I’m eager to get this done,” the California Democrat said.

The USMCA’s delayed passage through the House arises as Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Speaker Pelosi and House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) will meet with U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer to discuss the Democrats’ remaining concerns surrounding the USMCA.

The article notes:

Pelosi’s comments follow the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus’s call for the speaker to hold a “timely vote” on the USMCA. The caucus represents 48 House Republicans and Democrats.

I am one of many people who believe that this delay is political–the trade agreement is a good thing for American workers, and Democrats are reluctant to give President Trump any sort of victory. It is a shame that the Democrats have chosen to put politics over the welfare of American workers.

 

We Have Our “Perry Mason Moment”

If you were watching closely yesterday, you saw a total disconnect between what the press was told (and reported) and the actual testimony given. The Gateway Pundit posted the story yesterday.

The article reports:

Ambassador Gordon Sondland was the guest of honor before the Schiff Show Trial on Wednesday morning.

During his opening statement Ambassador Sondland switched his testimony and implicated President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney under the bus.

During a break House Intel Chairman and impeachment ringleader Adam Schiff ran to reporters and declared President Trump guilty of quid-pro-quo, bribery and withholding documents from House investigators.

CNN blasted headlines trashing Trump as guilty of an impeachable offense based on Sondland’s testimony.

Sondland later clarified that he “presumed” there was quid pro quo, then crumbled under questioning from Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH).

“Mr. Sondland, let’s be clear: no one on this planet—not Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo—no one told you aid was tied to political investigations, is that correct?” Rep. Turner asked Sondland.

Gordon Sondland: “That’s correct.”

“Ballgame. This, here, is the real bombshell,” Congressman Mark Meadows said.

The article also includes video of Ambassador Sondland’s testimony.

Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that the Ambassador would be the definitive source on whether or not there was quid pro quo. He stated that there was not. He explained that his other testimony was based on assumptions and presumptions. That testimony would not hold up in court (most of the testimony we have heard would not hold up in court because it is second or third hand or hearsay). You cannot impeach a President on assumptions and presumptions.

It’s time to stop spending taxpayer money on this circus.

 

Is Leaking A Problem?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about a very interesting television interview of Jim Jordan by Margaret Brennan.

The article reports:

Representative Jim Jordan appears on CBS Face The Nation to discuss the ongoing impeachment fiasco. Ms. Brennan struggles to define a new journalistic concept for “first-hand” information as she claims David Holmes, who claims to have overheard half of a phone conversation that two other people were having, is a “first-hand” witness.

Jordan points out that Ms. Brennan is quoting from a seal(ed) transcript given to her by Adam Schiff that has not been released.

Whoops!

The video and the transcript are posted in the article. You can follow the link above to see them both.

It’s also interesting to see exactly how the interview ended:

REP. JORDAN: Well, I don’t think that’s what took place here, because there was never an investigation undertaken. There was never an announcement from President Zelensky–

MARGARET BRENNAN: But the request for one that was overheard and testified to.

REP. JORDAN: But it didn’t happen. There’s- there’s all kinds of talk about things, but they- it didn’t happen. And well, remember when this all broke? What the Democrats tell us?

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the attempt itself doesn’t bother you?

REP. JORDAN: What the Democrats tell us? There was a quid pro quo. The scary thing is the Democrats have been out to get this president. I was struck by listening to Speaker Pelosi’s comments, her answer to your second question. She used the word impostor. I’m talking about the president of the United States, who 63 million people voted for, who won an Electoral College–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

REP. JORDAN: –landslide. And yet these Democrats have been trying to get him- the start of this Congress, Congresswoman Tlaib said–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

REP. JORDAN: –she wants to impeach him before any evidence. Five members, think about this–

MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand.

REP. JORDAN: –five members of the Dem- of the Democrat- five Democrat members on the Intelligence Committee have voted to move forward with impeachment even before the whistleblower complaint was filed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’ve got to go to a commercial break. Thank you very much, Congressman.

REP. JORDAN: Thank you

I suspect that Ms. Brennan was very glad to see that interview end. Life is hard when you have to deal with smart people who tend to be at least one step ahead of you.

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Mediaite posted an article this morning about the ongoing impeachment hearings. Before I continue, I need to share the following from a website called Media Bias/Fact Check:

True to form, this is the Mediaite headline, “Fox’s Bret Baier: Trump Gave Schiff a New ‘Article of Impeachment in Real Time’ With Twitter Attack on Yovanovitch.” I guess Harry Truman would not be able to be President in today’s politically correct world.

The article reports:

The dramatic moment during Friday’s House Impeachment hearing in which Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read out President Donald Trump’s tweet blasting former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in real time — with Yovanovitch saying she finds the tweet “very intimidating” — may have amounted to an on-the-spot article of impeachment, according to one Fox News anchor.

Weighing in immediately after the hearing went to recess, Fox anchor Bret Baier said that the president gave Schiff ammunition in real time on Friday morning with the attack.

“That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness, or tampering with the witness, which is a crime, adding essentially an article of impeachment in real-time as this hearing is going on,” Baier said.

If a tweet is grounds for impeachment, no elected official who disagrees with the ‘powers that be’ is safe. This is scary.

These are the tweets:

Draw your own opinion.

All Of These People Have Histories

I haven’t watched the impeachment hearings today. It annoys me that they are even happening. I am sure I will hear about them later from various news sources. I am also sure that what I hear will depend on the news source I choose. That is one of the reasons America is so divided right now–we can’t even agree on basic facts and the mainstream media is reporting opinion–not facts. Just for the record, rightwinggranny is an opinion blog that deals in facts.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about one of the witnesses in the hearing. It seems that George Kent has an interesting history.

The article reports:

Adam Schiff and the media will likely not touch on his controversial past in Ukraine.
According to Rudy Giuliani Kent was the official behind the dismissal of the Ukrainian government investigation of George Soros’s AntAC organization.

Rudy Giuliani tore into the Schiff show trials and their empty case against President Trump.

Rudy Giuliani: Also George Kent has a problem of his own. George Kent wrote a letter in which he asked that a case be dismissed by Lutsenko. And it was a case against Soros’s NGO AntAC and that company AntAC was right in the middle of gathering the dirty material on Trump, on Donald Trump Jr. It worked with Fusion GPS. The dismissal of that case has cost the government a lot of evidence that could be very, very damning in regard to collusion. But there’s enough left. There’s enough evidence left of collusion so that you got a very, very strong case that the DNC and Hillary Clinton were paying for and gathering information for Ukraine. In fact some of it is even documentary evidence… I would like to cross-examine George Kent. George Kent was her deputy, Marie Yovanovitch’s deputy. He was also the guy who set up the two so-called anti-corruption bureaus in the Ukraine that turned out to be Soros protection bureaus.

The article continues:

Kent is not a first-hand witness and much of his testimony is based off of second-hand knowledge. [Page 206-207]

Kevin Bacon has fewer degrees of separation to the Trump Zelensky call than George Kent.

That being said, his closed-door testimony revealed far more devastating pushback on the Democrat narrative than anything else.

Kent testified that it is appropriate for the State Department to look at the level of corruption in a country when evaluating foreign aid. [Page 103]

(Reminder: The Trump administration sent Ukraine lethal aid.)

Kent also testified that Hunter Biden being on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while Joe Biden was VP was a conflict of interest. [Page 226-227]

And according to his testimony, when he raised corruption concerns with the Obama White House, he was rebuffed and was told “There was no further bandwidth to deal” with Hunter. [Page 226-227]

It really does look like we are investigating the wrong people.

This Is Frightening

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about attorney Mark Zaid, who represents the anti-Trump CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella (Ciaramella’s name was accidentally released by Adam Schiff last night, so his identity has been revealed).

The article notes:

“Coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyers” Zaid tweeted on January 30, 2017, barely a week after Trump’s Inauguration Day.

The article includes screenshots of a number of Mark Zaid’s tweets:

A coup is treason. Treason is a crime. The road is going to get very bumpy in the next few weeks as the people involved in this attempted coup try to save themselves from the consequences of their actions. Remember, a Grand Jury has been convened and is investigating this. Indictments will be coming. I am totally impatient for this to be over so that President Trump can continue to undo the damage done to America by President Obama, but justice takes time, and the people involved in this are extremely powerful and well-connected. I believe justice will prevail, but I also believe it will take time.

This Obviously Did Not Go As Planned

Theoretically a lawyer interrogating a witness is never supposed to ask a question that he doesn’t already know the answer to. Asking a question you don’t know the answer to can lead to all sorts of bad things. Adam Schiff is a lawyer–he should know that. Well, evidently he had a moment when he forgot that principle.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the testimony before the basement committee being run by Adam Schiff. Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s Senior Director for European Affairs, was testifying. Mr. Morrison was in on the call, so he is not a hearsay witness.

This is the quote from the testimony from CBS News:

I also reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation (“MemCont’) of the July 25 phone call that was released by the White House. I listened to the call as it occurred from the Situation Room. To the best of my recollection, the MemCon accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call. I also recall that I did not see anyone from the NSC Legal Advisor’s Office in the room during the call. After the call, I promptly asked the NSC Legal Advisor and his Deputy to review it. I had three concerns about a potential leak of the MemCon: first, how it would play out in Washington’s polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.

It is interesting that Mr. Morrison understood that the contents of the call would be twisted and used for political purposes. He was right. At this point I would also like to note that it is very likely that Joe Biden’s son was not the only relative of an American politician tied up in Ukrainian oil corruption. I suspect that as more information comes out about Ukrainian corruption we will see other names we recognize.

 

The Charade Continues

Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today titled, “The Adam Schiff Empowerment Act.” So what is he talking about? The bill before the House of Representatives today takes the impeachment inquiry out of the hands of the Judicial Committee (where it has traditionally been) and places it in the hands of the Intelligence Committee headed by Adam Schiff.

The article reports:

The resolution gives Rep. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, far-reaching power over the Trump impeachment proceedings. Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains the ultimate authority, of course, but, like a chairman of the board choosing a chief executive officer, she has picked Schiff to run the show. And in the resolution, Democrats will give him near-total control.

The first thing the resolution will do is give the impeachment investigation to the Intelligence Committee. Until now, three committees — Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs — have been conducting impeachment interviews. Going forward, Oversight and Foreign Affairs will be out of the interview picture in favor of Intelligence.

Among other things, that would mean that some Republicans who have been persistent critics of the process but who have been allowed into depositions by virtue of their membership in other participating committees — two examples are Oversight Committee members Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows — will no longer be allowed in the interview room.

“It’s totally one-sided,” Meadows told me Wednesday evening. “They can continue to do secret depositions. They have noticed depositions for John Bolton and others next week in anticipation of a positive vote Thursday. All it does is limit the committees that will be involved in the depositions.”

Any Congressman who votes for this travesty needs to be voted out of office in 2020.

The article continues:

The resolution would also give Schiff the authority to call and conduct public hearings on impeachment. Schiff will control the witnesses. Although there has been some discussion about whether Republicans will have the right to call witnesses, the resolution only gives the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Community, Rep. Devin Nunes, the right to ask Schiff to call a witness.

“To allow for full evaluation of minority witness requests, the ranking minority member may submit to the chair, in writing, any requests for witness testimony relevant to the investigation,” the resolution says. “Any such request shall be accompanied by a detailed written justification of the relevance of the testimony of each requested witnesses to the investigation.” Republicans will get nothing that Schiff does not approve.

“There’s no guarantee we can call any witnesses,” said Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a member of the Intelligence Committee, in an interview Wednesday.

“The rules the Democrats rammed through simply confirm the absolute control Schiff has been exercising this entire time,” Nunes said. “He shouldn’t be involved in impeachment at all since none of this has any intelligence component, but Pelosi obviously thinks Nadler is incompetent.”

This process totally ignores the rights of a defendant guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. It is really sad that the political hotheads in the Democrat party have brought us to this place.

You Might Want To Keep The Popcorn Handy

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some recent events in Ukraine. The article begins by noting that Adam Schiff sent a staff member to the Ukraine after receiving the ‘whistleblower’ report.

The article notes:

This trip was sponsored by a think tank that receives funding from a program of left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation called “Open Society Initiative for Europe”

…They met directly with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who lost to current president Volodymyr Zelensky in a landslide 73-25 victory.

Okay. You mean the same former President who has been accused in major interference in the 2016 American presidential election?

There are two parts of the article that are likely to become very significant in the near future. Both are based on reports from CD Media:

1. KYIV — CD Media broke news yesterday of allegations by intelligence sources of extensive money laundering and corruption by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. We will be releasing detailed information on the schemes to embezzle hundreds of millions of IMF aid money to Ukraine and we can confirm that investigations are under way by the Ukrainian special prosecutor’s office.

In the meantime, we think it very interesting that reports are coming out of Ukraine of tens of trucks emptying Poroshenko’s palace of belongings in Kyiv.

His right-hand man, Oleg Gladkovskiy-Svinarchuk, was arrested two days ago on corruption charges by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). His other confidant Ihor Kononenko has apparently ran away according to reports.

Unofficial – suspected war crimes oligarch Petro Poroshenko is preparing to escape abroad, reported Ukrainian news outlet Vremya [Time].

2. Our source has seen the data from within the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office. CD Media can confirm the prosecutor’s office is ready to cooperate with the FBI and the information has been recently provided to FBI agents.

The first thing readers must realize is that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) was an organization set up (extra-judicially) by the Obama Administration within Ukraine to help the Democrats cover up the vast corruption that had been going on, and as a tool to go after then-candidate Donald J. Trump. In fact, the initial head of the bureau engineered by the U.S. State Department in Ukraine, Artem Sytnyk, has been tried and convicted of conspiring to help presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Sytnyk’s group was the office that released the so-called ‘black ledger’ against Paul Manafort, who was then Trump’s campaign manager and now sits in jail, convicted by the Mueller investigation.

CD Media’s editor-in-chief reported on the shakiness of the black ledger evidence at the time when writing for The Washington Times.

CD Media has access to numerous documents and will be posting updates this week from Ukraine.

It would be nice to see some of the corruption uncovered and those responsible held accountable.

When The Truth Doesn’t Work, Make Something Up

I have read the transcript of the telephone call between President Trump and President Zelensky.

This is how Adam Schiff characterized that call (The Federalist, September 26, 2019):

And what is the President’s response — well it reads like a classic organized crime shake down. In essence, what the President Trump communicates is this: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. You know what I mean? I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the Attorney General of the United States — my Attorney General, Bill Barr — he’s got the whole weight of American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy, you’re going to love him. Trust me. You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.

This is an inflammatory lie. There is nothing in the transcript that reads anything like that. One thing that you do take away from the transcript is that Ukraine is also dealing with issues of the deep state. They are looking for help and willing to offer help.

I have also scanned the whistleblower’s complaint (available here). It would not be admissible in a court of law as it is strictly hearsay. There is no direct link between the source and the information he is spouting.

It is truly sad to see members of Congress simply make things up to advance their political agenda. It would be nice if they would do something to advance the good of the country–like infrastructure, healthcare, national security, reducing spending–just to name a few.

Also, isn’t it rich that the party of the Christopher Steele dossier is complaining about foreigners interfering in American politics.

When Reason Takes A Vacation

I just returned from a vacation spent with people who hate President Trump for no apparent reason. It was an educational experience. They were not willing to give President Trump credit for any of the economic growth the country has experienced in the past two years. There was no acknowledgment of the President’s efforts to deal with the crisis on our southern border. All they knew was that ‘Trump was a bad man.’ That is so sad. That is what our media has done to Americans who depend on them for their news.

Townhall posted an article today about the attacks on President Trump and how the mainstream media and members of Congress are altering the facts to suit their purposes.

The article states:

The most significant take-away from my college education was learning to rely on evidence over opinion, hearsay, and rumor. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not his own facts.” Never in a million years did I suspect that political correctness would come along and overrule Senator Moynihan’s famous dictum. That’s right—the geniuses of the Democratic Party Brain Trust are attempting to create their own facts.

We have a clear statement of two pertinent facts from the Mueller Report: (1) There was no Trump-Russia collusion; and (2) There is no basis for a charge of obstruction against the president. This comes after 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses over two years of investigation. Thanks to the mainstream media’s penchant for fake news, Mueller’s conclusion was the opposite of what the Democrats were anticipating. Trump was correct when he tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

The article then goes on to cite examples of the Democrats telling us things that totally contradict that report as if what they were telling us were true.

Some examples:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, interviewed by Chris Wallace after Mueller’s finding of no collusion, had the gall to insist, “We know there was collusion.”

…Similarly, Democratic presidential candidate “Beto” O’Rourke tweeted, “You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, speaking on ABC’s This Week, insisted there is “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” In fact, he added, “Every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the [Mueller] report.”

…Senator Elizabeth Warren, another deluded member of Congress, continues to insist that the Mueller Report justifies impeaching the president. “We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try and block an investigation into a foreign attack on our country or an investigation into that president’s own misbehavior—so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.”

The report is public. Are these people simply assuming people will believe them rather than the report of the summary of the report? This is irresponsible, dishonest,  and divisive.

How We Got Here

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted a  transcript of an interview by Sean Hannity of Congressman Devin Nunes. Congressman Nunes related the history and origins of the spying on the Trump campaign by members of the Obama administration.

This is the essence of the story:

Finally Devin Nunes is outlining what CTH has been calling attention to for over two years.  The spying began in 2015.   “Spygate” was part of the larger “Russian Conspiracy and Collusion” operation.   This was all planned well in advance.

The spying began in 2015, and was part of the collaborative process -and reason- for Nellie Ohr to join the political opposition research being conducted by Fusion GPS.

CIA Director John Brennan had his OCONUS lures, Joseph Mifsud and Stefan Halper on standby awaiting targeting information.  They needed targets.

Fusion-GPS and Nellie Ohr were researching targets based on candidates.  Donald Trump was the most likely candidate to win the GOP nomination.  Trump was the focus of identifying targets.

As the Fusion and Ohr research was ongoing, and when it became transparent that Trump was going to be the victor in the Primaries; the media began demanding to know who were the foreign policy and national security advisors to candidate Trump.  This DNC inspired effort to demand names and lists was in alignment with Brennan, Fusion and Ohr.

Once they had some names identified (March/April ’16), ie. Papadopoulos, Flynn, Manafort and Page,…  Brennan tasked Mifsud and Halper to run the spygate operation.

In/around late June and early July of ’16, Brennan was in position to turn over the outcome of his operation to the FBI via an origination EC memo.

[April 22nd 2018] According to House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes; who is also a member of the intelligence oversight ‘Gang-of-Eight’; that EC contains intelligence material that did not come through “official intelligence channels” into the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

The EC was not an official product of the U.S. intelligence community. Additionally, Brennan was NOT using official partnerships with intelligence agencies of our Five-Eyes partner nations; and he did not provide raw intelligence –as an outcome of those relationships– to the FBI. {Go Deep}

CIA Director Brennan formatted the same intelligence to the White House where Susan Rice and Samantha Powers were doing the unmasking to facilitate the leaks.

The FBI took Brennan’s two-page “EC” memo and originated the official counterintelligence operation known as “Crossfire Hurricane” on July 31st, 2016.

FBI Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok wrote out the operational instructions and objectives for the operation.  As noted by Trey Gowdy, included in those instructions was the targeting of the “Trump Campaign” specifically.

”’The intelligence outcomes were then continually distributed to the White House and in August 2016 to the Gang-of-Eight as noted by Brennan’s testimony.

Brennan: [13:35] “Third, through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept congress apprised of these issues as we identified them.”

“Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members.”

“Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member.”… (LINK)

This is thoroughly disgusting. It is a total misuse of the power of the government. There should be a lot of people held accountable for breaking the law for political purposes.

What Happens Next?

The Mueller Report cost American taxpayers just more than $25 million through December according to The Weeklyn on March 22nd. The Conservative Treehouse is reporting today that the Report has now been submitted to AG William Barr and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. AG Barr will commission a “Principle Conclusion” summary report that he will deliver to congress.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse reports:

The summary report from AGBarr will be given to House and Senate judiciary oversight committees before wider dissemination. The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee is Jerry Nadler (ranking member Doug Collins); the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is Lindsey Graham (Vice-Chair Dianne Feinstein). AG William Barr may also brief those committees, or he may assign DAG Rosenstein to the briefing.

Depending on conversations between the DOJ and congressional leadership, there’s also a possibility of a more extensive briefing covering details within the Mueller investigation. However, that briefing would likely be reserved for the intelligence oversight group known as the “Gang of Eight”: Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Adam Schiff, Devin Nunes, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

Due to the politics surrounding the Barr report, it is likely the White House will be given the Principle Conclusion Summary around the same time as congress. The White House (executive branch) may also be able to review the full underlying documentation behind the summary…. that’s likely where the political fight for the ‘narrative’ will take place.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse explains the next steps in the drama:

Each of the Mueller team members will be leaking information, and building innuendo narratives about their investigative activity, to the Lawfare community and media.  The ‘small group‘ effort will certainly work in concert with political allies in congress and the DNC.  This is just how they roll.

Keep in mind the larger picture and most likely political sequence:

    1. Mueller report.
    2. Chosen One.
    3. Cummings Impeachment Schedule, known as “oversight plans” (April 15)
    4. Horowitz report

#2 and #3 are not sequence specific; they may reverse.  However, the larger objective of the resistance apparatus will remain consistent.

The narrative around the Mueller investigative material will launch the chosen DNC candidate (possibly Biden).  The professional political class will work to lift this candidate by exploiting the Mueller investigative file as ammunition against President Trump.

As pre-planned within Speaker Pelosi’s rules, House Oversight Chairman has until April 15, 2019, to deliver his schedule for congressional hearings to Speaker Pelosi.  That hearing schedule is based around witnesses they can extract from the Mueller material.

Nothing happens organically.  All of the broad strokes are planned well in advance, and the democrats just fill in the details as they successfully cross pre-determined tripwires.  Once we know where the tripwires are located, their behavior becomes predictable.

…As Pelosi and Schumer wage their political battle and attempt to weaponize the Mueller report for maximum damage, Senator Graham will be exploring the DOJ and FBI corruption of the FISA court and spygate. That angle is a risk to multiple Obama-era administration officials.

President Trump and team have genuine political ammunition that includes FISA abuse, the ‘spygate’ surveillance scandal and an upcoming OIG Horowitz report.

Speaker Pelosi and team have the fabricated political ammunition of the Mueller probe to weaponize.

Both teams will now go to battle on the road to 2020.

This is a sad moment for our country–even after the investigation is concluded, the political slander of people in government continues, and a number of people have had their lives and reputations ruined for no reason.

The Need To Hold Individuals Accountable

I think one of the most frustrating things about watching the news these days is watching people in power say things that have no foundation in fact and do things that an ordinary person would go to jail for. Those days may be coming to an end (one can only hope).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The article reports:

The official complaint filed by Judicial Watch with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requests House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he secretly met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July of 2018.

The complaint also requests Schiff be investigated after it was revealed his staff traveled to New York and met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours prior to Trump’s former lawyer testifying to the House Intel Panel.

The article includes a portion of the ethics complaint:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion OPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Judicial Watch is a watchdog group that fights for government transparency. The are equally hard on Democrats and Republicans. They have been major players in exposing much of the deep state in recent years.