The following video was posted at YouTube today:
Trey Gowdy was on with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. There are a lot of questions that Attorney General Barr needs to find answers for.
The following video was posted at YouTube today:
Trey Gowdy was on with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. There are a lot of questions that Attorney General Barr needs to find answers for.
John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about some recent information dealing with the roots of the charges that candidate Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians.
The article reports:
And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who promoted that faulty evidence may disturb us more than we now know.
The first, the Christopher Steele dossier, has received enormous attention. And the more scrutiny it receives, the more its truthfulness wanes. Its credibility has declined so much that many now openly question how the FBI used it to support a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign in October 2016.
At its best, the Steele dossier is an “unverified and salacious” political research memo funded by Trump’s Democratic rivals. At worst, it may be Russian disinformation worthy of the “garbage” label given it by esteemed reporter Bob Woodward.
The second document, known as the “black cash ledger,” remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.
In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.
There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.
The article explains the problem with the “black cash ledger”:
For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.
“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents.
Likewise, Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.
Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.
He added: “I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik’s warning, according to three sources familiar with the documents.
So why didn’t Mueller simply end the investigation because the roots of it were proven to be false?
The article concludes:
Rep. Mark Meadows, a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, told me Wednesday night he is asking the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the FBI and prosecutors’ handling of the Manafort warrants, including any media leaks and evidence that the government knew the black ledger was potentially unreliable or suspect evidence.
The question of whether the Mueller team should have used the ledger in search warrant affidavits before that is for the courts to decide.
But the public has a substantial interest in questioning whether, more broadly, the FBI should have sustained a Trump-Russia collusion investigation for more than two years based on the suspect Steele dossier and black ledger.
Understandably, there isn’t much public sympathy for foreign lobbyists such as Manafort. But the FBI and prosecutors should be required to play by the rules and use solid evidence when making its cases.
It does not appear to have been the prevailing practice in the Russia collusion investigation. And that should trouble us all.
It is becoming very obvious that the Mueller investigation did not follow normal investigative rules or procedures. When he knew that both pieces of evidence were totally unreliable, Robert Mueller should have ended the investigation. I suspect that would have been long before the 2018 mid-term election. Somehow I think the clown show we are currently seeing in the House of Representatives as a result of the Democrats taking the majority is at least partially the result of continuing the Mueller investigation combined with reckless, baseless charges made against the President by some Washington insiders now working in the media.
Judicial Watch released the following Press Release today:
JUNE 12, 2019
‘You’ve been a warrior on these issues, and I look forward to speaking further to preserve and wherever possible strengthen the important work you have done’ – Hoyer aide Daniel Silverberg to Victoria Nuland
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation today released 16 pages of documents revealing former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer coordinating with then-House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) national security advisor, Daniel Silverberg to work on Russia dossier materials provided by Christopher Steele.
Steele is a former British spy and author of the anti-Trump dossier used to justify a series of FISA spy warrants targeting Carter Page. Winer is a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary who was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to circulate the anti-Trump dossier.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on April 25, 2018 on behalf of itself and the Daily Caller News Foundation against the State Department after it failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv- 00968)). The lawsuit seeks:
In an email exchange on September 19, 2016, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS asks Winer if he is “in town?” Winer replies “For a couple of hours.”
In an email exchange on September 26, 2016, Winer emails Nuland asking for “15 minutes of your time today if possible,” to discuss a “Russia related issue” from his “old O [Orbis Business Intelligence] friend.” Orbis was co-founded and run by Russia dossier author Christopher Steele. Nuland’s assistant suggests a secure call for the discussion and Winer asks his aide to postpone a meeting he was to have with the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) to accommodate.
In an exchange beginning in November 2016, Hoyer top-aide Silverberg emails a “thank you” to Nuland, calling her a “warrior on these issues” and stating that he looks forward to pursuing “some of the things we discussed yesterday, albeit on the system integrity side.” Nuland forwards this email to Winer who adds that he wants to talk about “some new info.”
From: Silverberg, Daniel [mailto:Daniel.Silverberg@mail.house.gov]
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2016 10:57 PM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Thank you
It was a delight to speak today, notwithstanding the context. You’ve been a warrior on these issues, and I look forward to speaking further to preserve and wherever possible strengthen the important work you have done. I’ll follow up regarding a possible working group meeting.
On Nov 29, 2016, at 10:07 AM, Nuland, Victoria J <email@example.com> wrote:
Thanks, Daniel. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in whatever capacity life brings. Copied here is Jonathan Winer, who has some legal ideas that may be of interest to you and Cong. Hoyer.
From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:08 AM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: RN: Thank you
They want to pursue some of the things we discussed yesterday, albeit on the system integrity side.
From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:12 AM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Thank you
Want to talk briefly further. Some new info want you to be aware of. [Redacted] Phone call ok sometime this am? Five minutes is enough.
From: Nuland, Victoria J <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:23 AM
To: Winer, Jonathan <WinerJ@state.gov>
Subject: RE: Thank you
Of course, [redacted] Send me good number and time.
From: Silverberg, Daniel
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:52 AM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Cc: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re: Thank you
Great. Jonathan, I am all ears.
From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2016 2:10 PM
To: Silverberg, Daniel <Daniel.Silverberg@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Thank you
I’ve reached out per our call yesterday. Please call me to talk further at your early convenience. Weekend best but can also talk Monday.
In a November 2016 exchange with the subject line “Would like to catch up on something at your convenience,” Winer reaches out to Nuland for a meeting, which gets booked in the Truman building on November 28.
In an email exchange dated December 12, 2016, Winer requests a brief meeting with Nuland saying, “Something new has come up of which I want you to be aware.” Nuland replies, “Ok,” and adds her assistant to the exchange. Winer’s assistant then emails Nuland’s assistant looking for a time to meet.
In February 2018, Winer wrote an op-ed claiming anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal approached him with separate dossiers. Winer wrote: “In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” Also, “While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know …”
“Every day of digging reveals more and more political collaboration on this hit job, and at the highest levels. While so much of the media is content to chase Russian conspiracies, The Daily Caller News Foundation and the fantastic lawyers at Judicial Watch are going to keep doing the hard work of holding power accountable,” said Christopher Bedford, editor in chief of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“These documents further confirm the Obama State Department was obviously a way station for Steele’s smear dossier and other anti-Trump activism,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch recently released 43 pages of documents from the State Department revealing that its “Special Coordinator for Libya,” Jonathan Winer, played a key role in facilitating Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump.
Judicial Watch previously released two sets of heavily redacted State Department documents showing classified information was researched and disseminated to multiple U.S. Senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
Also, Judicial Watch is suing the State Department for communications between Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.
Stay tuned. More information on the roots of the Russian collusion investigation will be coming out shortly. We already have enough information to realize that because President Trump was a political novice, professional politicians felt that they could easily set him up for disaster. Recent letters from the people involved in investigating the root of the Russia investigation indicate that people will be held accountable for the misuse of government agencies and the violation of the civil rights of Americans.
As the House of Representatives recycles Watergate, the Department of Justice is actually getting something done. The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the investigation into the roots of the Russian collusion hoax.
The article reports:
“It is now well established that, in 2016, the U.S. government and others undertook certain intelligence-gathering and investigative steps directed at persons associated with the Trump Campaign,” Boyd (Justice Department official Stephen E. Boyd) wrote Nadler, adding that “there remain open questions relating to the origins of this counter-intelligence investigation and the U.S. and foreign intelligence activities that took place prior to and during that investigation.”
“The Review is broad in scope and multifaceted, and is intended to illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals,” Boyd wrote.
He did not explain the references to foreign intelligence services or non-governmental organizations. It is known that the Australian and British governments were involved in some degree to the counterintelligence activities against Trump associates. Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British spy, investigated President Donald Trump and his campaign associates on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
We are not engaged in a battle between the Democrats and Republicans–many of them are working on the same side. We are engaged in a battle between globalists and those who believe in American sovereignty. That is the reason the globalists in the Obama administration were able to get foreign help in their quest to stop President Trump, who is not a globalist. A strong America is a globalists’ nightmare, and that is what President Trump is building. I suspect there may be some surprises as the rocks are turned over in the investigation of the misuse of government agencies to spy of candidate Trump and later President Trump.
The following appeared on my Facebook feed yesterday. I feel that it sums up Robert Mueller’s final statement on his investigation:
However, there is a new wrinkle in the investigation of the roots of the Russian collusion charge that is very interesting. Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that contains what he describes as surprising information.
The article reports:
Multiple witnesses have told Congress that, a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, Britain’s top national security official sent a private communique to the incoming administration, addressing his country’s participation in the counterintelligence probe into the now-debunked Trump-Russia election collusion.
Most significantly, then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant claimed in the memo, hand-delivered to incoming U.S. national security adviser Mike Flynn’s team, that the British government lacked confidence in the credibility of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s Russia collusion evidence, according to congressional investigators who interviewed witnesses familiar with the memo.
It gets more interesting:
Congressional investigators have interviewed two U.S. officials who handled the memo, confirmed with the British government that a communique was sent and alerted the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the information. One witness confirmed to Congress that he was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller about the memo.
Now the race is on to locate the document in U.S. intelligence archives to see if the witnesses’ recollections are correct. And Trump is headed to Britain this weekend, where he might just get a chance to ask his own questions.
“A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a communique from our allies in Great Britain during the early days of the Russia collusion investigation,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told me.
So Robert Mueller knew that there were doubts about the Steele Dossier–the basis for the charge of Russian collusion.
The story continues:
The revelation of a possible warning from the British government about Steele surfaces less than a month after a long-concealed document was made public, showing that a State Department official in October 2016 met with Steele and took notes that raised concerns about the accuracy of some information he provided.
Those notes, as I have written, quoted the British operative as saying he had a political deadline of Election Day to make his information public and that he was leaking to the news media — two claims that would weigh against his credibility as an FBI informant. They also flagged a piece of demonstrably false intelligence he provided.
The British Embassy in Washington did not return a call or email seeking comment. Grant, who left his post in April 2017, did not respond to a request for comment at the university where he works. His former top deputy, Paddy McGuinness, declined comment.
The article concludes:
If the British memo exists, it was never shared with the House Intelligence, House Judiciary, House Oversight and Reform or Senate Judiciary committees, despite their exhaustive investigations into the Steele dossier, congressional investigators told me. These investigators learned about the document in the past few weeks, setting off a mad scramble to locate it and talk to witnesses.
If the witnesses’ recollections are correct, the British communique could become one of the most significant pieces of evidence to emerge in the investigation of the Russia-collusion investigators.
It would mean that Trump was never told of the warning Flynn’s team received, and that the FBI and DOJ continued to rely on Steele’s uncorroborated allegations for many months as they renewed the FISA warrant at least two more times and named Mueller as special prosecutor to investigate Russia collusion.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose staff has been fighting unsuccessfully to gain access to the British communique, told me Wednesday its public release would further accentuate “that the FBI and DOJ were dead wrong to rely on the dossier in the Russia investigation and to use it as a basis to spy on Americans.”
The investigation into President Trump was a hoax, pure and simple. However, that won’t stop impeachment proceedings. As the truth dribbles out, those impeachment proceedings are going to look really silly.
Yesterday The Independent Journal Review posted an article about vacancies on the Federal Election Commission and the consequences of those vacancies.
The article reports:
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is facing a lawsuit for its inaction on a complaint filed against Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The right-leaning Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a lawsuit — obtained exclusively by IJR — on Wednesday morning in the hopes of getting a ruling that would force the FEC to address the complaint it filed on August 1, 2018.
Its original complaint with the FEC requested an investigation into Hillary for America — the official name of Clinton’s campaign — and the DNC for their role in obtaining and financing the anti-Donald Trump dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele.
By law, if the FEC does not rule on a filed complaint within 120 days, the party that filed the complaint has the authority to sue the commission. Almost 300 days have passed since the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed that original complaint, and nothing has happened.
The exact incident that caused the Foundation to sue is explained in the article:
The original FEC complaint alleged that Hillary for America and the DNC breached campaign finance law by issuing a false report with the intention of misleading the American people. The complaint notes that campaign expenditure forms show that the DNC and Hillary for American paid their mutual legal advisers at Perkins Coie, LLP for “legal services,” but the law firm turned around and paid Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation argues that Hillary for America and the DNC used Perkins Coie, LLP as a “strawman” organization to distance themselves from Fusion GPS and Steele and submitted a false FEC complaint in the process:
The FEC is composed of six members. Right now there are two vacant seats on the Commission. The seats on the Commission are supposed to be filled two at a time–one by the President and one by the highest ranking Senator from the opposite party. As of now, Senator Schumer has not submitted a name, so the President cannot proceed with a nominee. Since FEC rules require four votes in order to begin an investigation, unless there is a unanimous vote by the four current commissioners, nothing will happen.
The article further notes:
As IJR previously reported, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation also filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, for their sketchy campaign funding operation and for failing to disclose payments to congresswoman’s boyfriend.
According to Backer, neither of those complaints have received a ruling from the FEC.
It’s a fairly safe bet that if an FEC complaint were filed against a Republican, Senator Schumer would very quickly come up with a name so that the investigation could move forward!
Below is a video of Sean Hannity’s interview of John Solomon last night about the release of “Bucket 5” Documents. The video was posted today at a website called “The National Sentinel.” John Solomon has stated that the “Bucket 5” Documents will be released some time in the next week or ten days.
So what is significant about the “Bucket 5 Documents”?
The article reports:
Ace investigative columnist John Solomon told Fox News‘ Sean Hannity Tuesday night during his show that, according to Solomon’s sources, POTUS Donald Trump is expected to begin declassifying a series of documents exposing President Obama’s deep state “Spygate” plot to undermine his presidency.
In particular, Solomon noted, the president will begin with with the release of “Bucket 5” documents, otherwise known as exculpatory statements the FBI possessed about its targets before agents went to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to get warrants to spy on them.
Meanwhile, investigative reporter Sara A. Carter added that Bucket 5 also includes transcripts and tapes of former Trump advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page saying that there was no way the 2016 campaign was working with Russians — information that Obama’s FBI and Justice Department did not share with the FISA court.
Solomon noted that the release could begin within a week to 10 days. He also added that “this is the first time that we know for sure the FBi was in possession of a piece of intelligence from Christopher Steele [author of the infamous ‘Steele Dossier’ used to get a warrant to spy on Page] that had been debunked before they went to the FISA court.”
He added that the FBI wasn’t in the process of verifying it — they had already debunked it.
So why is this important? This is the root of the investigation into charges of a Trump-Russia conspiracy. If the root is rotten, then the FBI had no right to spy of the Trump campaign. If the FBI knew the root was rotten, they abused their power and violated the civil rights of several American citizens.
In Watergate, a second-rate burglary was exalted into a high crime and a President was impeached. In this case, government bureaucracies were used for political purposes, and no one has been held accountable. Because of stonewalling by the deep state, the investigation into the surveillance of President Trump’s campaign and transition team has taken forever. That is what those responsible are counting on. The hope is that if the investigation continues ad infinitum, the public will lose interest and no one will be held accountable. If that happens, we can expect to see more bad behavior on the part of the political left in the future.
John Solomon at The Hill posted an article today that reveals that much of what the FBI has put forth about the spying on the Trump campaign is untrue.
The article reports:
Newly unearthed memos show a high-ranking government official who met with Steele in October 2016 determined some of the Donald Trump dirt that Steele was simultaneously digging up for the FBI and for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.
The concerns were flagged in a typed memo and in handwritten notes taken by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016.
Her observations were recorded exactly 10 days before the FBI used Steele and his infamous dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s contacts with Russia in search of a now debunked collusion theory.
The article points out one obvious lie in the dossier:
That’s a pretty remarkable declaration in Footnote 5 on Page 15 of the FISA application, since Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false.
In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”
She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”
We are supposed to believe that the FBI is too stupid to pay attention to an obvious lie that was noted in the summary.
The fiction in the dossier continues:
Steele offered Kavalec other wild information that easily could have been debunked before the FISA application — and eventually was, in many cases, after the media reported the allegations — including that:
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released last month, dispelled all those wild theories while hardly mentioning Steele, except for a passing reference to his dossier being “unverified.” That’s significant, because the FISA request from October 2016 that rested heavily on Steele’s information was marked “verified application” before the FBI submitted it to the court.
It will be interesting to see if anyone is held accountable for misleading the FISA Court.
I suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. The misuse of our intelligence community for political purposes is totally unacceptable.
John Solomon at The Hill reported the following last night:
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.
And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.
Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United.
Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.
How much money did we spend on this investigation into President Trump without investigating the source for the FISA Warrants?
The article concludes:
Documents and testimony from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, show he told the FBI in August 2016 that Steele was “desperate” to defeat Trump and his work had something to do with Clinton’s campaign.
Kavalec’s notes make clear the DNC was a likely client and the election was Steele’s deadline to smear Trump.
Likewise, there is little chance the FBI didn’t know that Steele, then a bureau informant, had broken protocol and gone to the State Department in an effort to make the Trump dirt public.
That makes the FBI’s failure to disclose to the FISA judges the information about Steele’s political bias and motive all the more stunning. And it makes the agents’ use of his unverified dossier to support the warrant all the more shameful.
Kavalec’s notes shed light on another mystery from the text messages between the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which first revealed the politically-biased nature of the Trump collusion probe.
Strzok, the lead FBI agent on the case, and Page, a lawyer working for the FBI deputy director, repeatedly messaged each other in October 2016 about efforts to pressure and speed the review of the FISA warrant.
For instance, on Oct. 11, 2016, Strzok texted Page that he was “fighting with Stu for this FISA,” an apparent reference to then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stu Evans in DOJ’s national security division.
A few days later, on Oct. 14, Strzok emailed Page he needed some “hurry the F up pressure” to get the FISA approved.
If the evidence is good and the FISA request solid, why did the FBI need to apply pressure?
The real reason may be the FBI was trying to keep a lid on the political origins, motives and Election Day deadline of its star informant Steele.
And that would be the ultimate abuse of the FBI’s FISA powers.
This (and many other things like it) are what the Mueller team should have been investigating–the abuse of the FISA Warrant. However, the team of Democrat donors Mueller assembled to handle to investigation somehow managed to look the other way during the investigation. That is so unfortunate for our country. Not only was their report totally biased in what it left out; because of those omissions, the country is further divided even after the report was released. A man who could have done his patriotic duty to America chose instead to serve crooked politicians. I suspect that decision is about to catch up with him.
Andrew McCarthy has an article up at The National Review today about the roots of the Russian collusion investigation. The title of the article is, “The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses.”
Meanwhile, CNN is reporting today:
If Democrats are not careful, they will end up in the worst of all political worlds.
Since the release of the Mueller report, the party’s leadership in Congress has been extraordinarily hesitant about taking the logical next steps. Faced with a 400-plus page report documenting extensive efforts by the President of the United States to obstruct justice, House Democrats have punted — making it pretty clear that impeachment proceedings will not be happening any time soon.
Even as the attorney general takes extraordinary steps to obstruct the subsequent hearings into obstruction, Democratic leaders remain tepid about any conversation that involves impeachment.
Okay. Let’s go back to some basic tenants of American law. First of all, you are innocent until proven guilty. The Mueller Report specifically stated that they could not find the evidence to prove President Trump guilty of anything. That means according to our laws, he is presumed innocent. Second of all, how can you have obstruction when there was no crime involved?
The CNN report is totally misleading and divisive. It states that the President obstructed justice when the Mueller Report concluded that there was no evidence to support that claim.
So let’s look at what Andrew McCarthy has to say about the root of this witch hunt:
Chicanery was the force behind the formal opening of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. There was a false premise, namely: The Trump campaign must have known that Russia possessed emails related to Hillary Clinton. From there, through either intentional deception or incompetence, the foreign ministries of Australia and the United States erected a fraudulent story tying the Trump campaign’s purported knowledge to the publication of hacked Democratic National Committee emails.
Andrew McCarthy points out in his article that in order to begin surveillance on the Trump campaign, the State Department and the FBI had to find something other than the Steele Dossier to base their claims on. They set up George Papadopoulos.
The National Review article lists some of the connects of the people involved in setting up the scam:
The State Department (very much including the American embassy in London) was deeply in the tank for Clinton. Downer has a history with the Clintons that includes arranging a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006, when he was Australia’s foreign minister and then-senator Hillary Clinton was the favorite to become U.S. president in 2008. For years, furthermore, Downer has been closely tied to British intelligence, which, like the British government broadly, was anti-Trump. (More on that in the future.)
The State Department’s Dibble immediately sent Downer’s information though government channels to the FBI.
About three weeks earlier, Victoria Nuland, the Obama administration’s top State Department official for European and Eurasian affairs, had supported the FBI’s request to meet former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in London. Steele was the principal author of the Clinton-campaign-sponsored faux intelligence reports (the unverified “Steele dossier”), which claimed — based on anonymous sources and multiple layers of hearsay — that Russia was plotting to help Trump win the election, and that it had been holding compromising information about Hillary Clinton.
On July 5, Agent Michael Gaeta, the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome (who had worked with Steele on the FIFA soccer investigation when Steele was still with British intelligence), met with Steele at the latter’s London office. Steele permitted him to read the first of the reports that, over time, would be compiled into the so-called dossier. An alarmed Gaeta is said to have told Steele, “I have to report this to headquarters.”
It is inconceivable that Gaeta would have gone to the trouble of clearing his visit to London with the State Department and getting FBI headquarters to approve his trip, but then neglected to report to his headquarters what the source had told him — to wit, that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to undermine the 2016 election.
As I have previously detailed, after the hacked DNC emails were published, Steele (whose sources had not foretold the hacking by Russia or publication by WikiLeaks) simply folded this event into his preexisting narrative of a Trump-Russia conspiracy.
Prior to early July, when the FBI began receiving Steele-dossier reports (which the State Department would also soon receive), the intelligence community — particularly the CIA, under the direction of its hyper-political director, John Brennan — had been theorizing that the Trump campaign was in a corrupt relationship with Russia. Thanks to the Steele dossier, even before Downer reported his conversation with Papadopoulos to the State Department, the Obama administration had already been operating on the theory that Russia was planning to assist the Trump campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Clinton. They had already conveniently fit the hacked DNC emails into this theory.
Downer’s report enabled the Obama administration to cover an investigative theory it was already pursuing with a report from a friendly foreign government, as if that report had triggered the Trump-Russia investigation. In order to pull that off, however, it was necessary to distort what Papadopoulos had told Downer.
To repeat, Papadopoulos never told Downer anything about emails. Moreover, the Mueller report provides no basis for Papadopoulos to have known that Russia was planning the anonymous release of information damaging to Clinton in order to help Trump; nor does the Mueller report allege that Papadopoulos actually told Downer such a thing.
The State Department’s report to the FBI claiming that Papadopoulos had “suggested” these things to Downer was manufactured to portray a false connection between (a) what Papadopoulos told Downer and (b) the hacking and publication of the DNC emails. That false connection then became the rationale for formally opening the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already under way.
CNN either doesn’t know the truth or chooses not to report it accurately. Either way, they are doing a disservice to Americans by misleading them on the facts of the case.
Judicial Watch is one of my favorite organizations. The have turned the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests into an art form. They are a non-biased group that is simply demanding transparency in government–from both parties.
Yesterday One America News Network posted an article about the latest FOIA request from Judicial Watch.
The article reports:
Conservative watchdog group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the FBI in an effort to pierce the veil of the resources used in the $25 million probe.
Specifically, the organization is looking to obtain all communications and payments made to the author of the anti-Trump dossier — Christopher Steele.
The former British intelligence officer was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in order to compile his 35 page document.
Judicial Watch is now trying to determine the FBI’s involvement.
It’s already known that the FBI made 11 payments to Steele, but the details behind those payments were heavily redacted.
Conservatives suspect rogue actors at the bureau were looking to reverse the results of the 2016 election, which is something Attorney General William Barr said he’s looking into.
I don’t think they were rogue actors–I think the operation began very high up in the FBI, but we will have to wait to see if that is where the trail leads.
John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about a scandal involving foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The article reports:
After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.
Isn’t it ironic that after millions of dollars have been spent trying to find foreign influence to help President Trump win in 2016, a foreign government simply puts out the information.
The article details some of the behind-the-scenes activities in the U.S. embassy in Kiev:
We now have strong evidence that retired British spy Christopher Steele began his quest in what ultimately became the infamous Russia collusion dossier with a series of conversations with top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr between December 2015 and February 2016 about securing evidence against Manafort.
We know the FBI set up shop in the U.S. embassy in Kiev to assist its Ukraine–Manafort inquiry — a common practice on foreign-based probes — while using Steele as an informant at the start of its Russia probe. And we know Clinton’s campaign was using a law firm to pay an opposition research firm for Steele’s work in an effort to stop Trump from winning the presidency, at the same time Steele was aiding the FBI.
Those intersections, coupled with the new allegations by Ukraine’s top prosecutor, are reason enough to warrant a serious, thorough investigation.
If Ukraine law enforcement figures who worked frequently with the U.S. Embassy did leak the Manafort documents in an effort to influence the American election for Clinton, the public deserves to know who knew what, and when.
It is becoming obvious that Mueller is looking for foreign influence in the 2016 election in the wrong places. The question is whether that is by accident or by design.
John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday about some of the information in the Russian investigation that should be made public.
The article reports:
If President Trump declassifies evidence in the Russia investigation, Carter Page’s summer bike ride to a Virginia farm and George Papadopoulos’s hasty academic jaunt to London may emerge as linchpin proof of FBI surveillance abuses during the 2016 election.
The two trips have received scant attention. But growing evidence suggests both Trump campaign advisers made exculpatory statements — at the very start of the FBI’s investigation — that undercut the Trump-Russia collusion theory peddled to agents by Democratic sources.
The FBI plowed ahead anyway with an unprecedented intrusion into a presidential campaign, while keeping evidence of the two men’s innocence from the courts.
Page and Papadopoulos, who barely knew each other, met separately in August and September 2016 with Stefan Halper, the American-born Cambridge University professor who, the FBI told Congress, worked as an undercover informer in the Russia case.
Papadopoulos was the young aide that the FBI used to justify opening a probe into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after he allegedly told a foreign diplomat that he knew Russia possessed incriminating emails about Hillary Clinton.
Page, a volunteer campaign adviser, was the American the FBI then targeted on Oct. 21, 2016, for secret surveillance while investigating Democratic Party-funded allegations that he secretly might have coordinated Russia’s election efforts with the Trump campaign during a trip to Moscow.
To appreciate the significance of the two men’s interactions with Halper, one must understand the rules governing the FBI when it seeks a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant such as the one secured against Page.
First, the FBI must present evidence to FISA judges that it has verified and that comes from intelligence sources deemed reliable. Second, it must disclose any information that calls into question the credibility of its sources. Finally, it must disclose any evidence suggesting the innocence of its investigative targets.
Thanks to prior releases of information, we know the FBI fell short on the first two counts. Multiple FBI officials have testified that the Christopher Steele dossier had not been verified when its allegations were submitted as primary evidence supporting the FISA warrant against Page.
Likewise, we know the FBI failed to tell the courts that Steele admitted to a federal official that he was desperate to defeat Trump in the 2016 election and was being paid by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to gather dirt on the GOP candidate. Both pieces of information are the sort of credibility-defining details that should be disclosed about a source.
To put it succinctly, the whole investigation into Russian collusion was based on false premises and was a distraction to avoid looking at the abuses of the Justice Department during the Obama administration. It’s time we put Russia aside and ask why Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, et al, are not under investigation. Using government bureaucrats to spy on an opposition party candidate is a new low in America. Those responsible need to be held accountable so that it will not happen again.
The Daily Caller has some of the best investigative reporting on the internet. Yesterday they posted an article detailing the source of some of the money that paid for the Fusion GPS Christopher Steele document that formed the basis for the investigation of President Trump. I know that people who actually follow the news instead of the mainstream media will not be surprised that the trail eventually leads to George Soros. Before we go into the details of the money, let’s look at some George Soros’ past actions. George Soros made a great deal of money by shorting the British pound.
In February 2019, Investopedia reported:
In Britain, Black Wednesday (Sept.16, 1992) is known as the day that speculators broke the pound. They didn’t actually break it, but they forced the British government to pull it from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). Joining the ERM was part of Britain’s effort to help the unification of the European economies.
Compounding the underlying problems inherent in the pound’s inclusion into the ERM was the economic strain of reunification that Germany found itself under, which put pressure on the mark as the core currency for the ERM. The drive for European unification also hit bumps during the passage of the Maastricht Treaty, which was meant to bring about the euro. Speculators began to eye the ERM and wondered how long fixed exchange rates could fight natural market forces.
The British government gave in and withdrew from the ERM as it became clear that it was losing billions trying to buoy its currency artificially. Although it was a bitter pill to swallow, the pound came back stronger because the excess interest and high inflation were forced out of the British economy following the beating. Soros pocketed $1 billion on the deal and cemented his reputation as the premier currency speculator in the world.
The Daily Caller reports on some of his more recent activities during the 2016 campaign:
A dark money group with links to several high-profile liberal activists contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, an organization founded by a former Dianne Feinstein staffer that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.
Fund for a Better Future (FBF) donated $2,065,000 to The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) in 2017, according to IRS filings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
TDIP was founded on Jan. 31, 2017, by Daniel Jones, a consultant who worked for Feinstein, a California Democrat, when she controlled the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jones has disclosed to the FBI that he hired Fusion GPS and Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, to continue an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
He also told an associate that TDIP operated as a “shadow media organization helping the government.” Jones suggested to the associate, Adam Waldman, that his TDIP team planted several anti-Trump articles.
Little is known about the donors behind both TDIP and FBF. Both of the organizations are 501(c)(4)s, the type of public advocacy group most closely associated with “dark money” contributions. FBF has contributed to a mix of environmental organizations and politically active groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Priorities USA — the political group that backs Democrats — and the League of Conservation Voters, a progressive dark money group.
…George Soros contributed $1 million to TDIP, a spokesman for the billionaire financier told The New York Times in October. That disclosure came only after TheDCNF reported that Jones told his associate, Waldman, that Soros was one of TDIP’s funders.
…According to a report released by the House Intelligence Committee in April 2018, Jones told the FBI in March 2017 that his group would receive $50 million in funding from seven to 10 wealthy donors from New York and California. TDIP’s tax filings in 2017 show that the group received far less: $9,036,836.
Jones also said that TDIP “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers … and with the press” and that his group “had secured the services of Steele, his associate [redacted], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cabal Of Wealthy Donors Funding $50 Million Anti-Trump Project)
Fusion GPS, which was founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, hired Steele in June 2016. Fusion was working at the time for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump’s links to Russia.
Few details are known about the work Fusion and Steele, a former MI6 officer, have done since the 2016 election. Both have been ensnared in legal fights over publication of the dossier, which remains unverified and has been heavily disputed. But there is some evidence they have continued their efforts to bolster the dossier and to plant negative stories in the press about Trump.
In a March 17, 2017, exchange obtained by TheDCNF, Jones sent Waldman, a lawyer with ties to Steele, a text message with a link to a Reuters article about Russian investments in Trump Organization properties in Florida.
“Our team helped with this,” Jones wrote Waldman.
This is a major part of the swamp that needs to be drained. George Soros is an American citizen, but he has been working against the best interests of America for a long time. He is in favor of open borders and one-world government. His money has paid for a lot of the negative reporting you have heard about President Trump.
So much of the testimony about the ‘Russian conspiracy’ during the 2016 election has been held in secret that Americans have had to rely on carefully leaked snippets of testimony illustrating whatever the leaker wanted to prove. Well it seems as if those days may be coming to an end. Sara Carter reported yesterday that Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee Georgia Representative Doug Collins unilaterally released the 268-page transcript of an August 2018 interview with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Representative Collins released the transcript because, as he put it, his patience with the Justice Department was wearing thin.
Sara Carter lists a number of inconsistencies between the testimony of Bruce Ohr and testimony given by Glenn Simpson, founder of embattled research firm Fusion GPS and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. This is not really news–the rats deserting the sinking ship are trying to save their own skins, but it is good to see the truth finally coming to light.
The article lists a number of inconsistencies:
1. Glenn Simpson suggests in his testimony to the Senate that he never spoke to anyone at the FBI about Christopher Steele, the former British spy he hired to investigate the Trump campaign during the election. However, Ohr suggest otherwise telling former Rep.Trey Gowdy under questioning “As I recall, and this is after checking with my notes, Mr. Simpson and I spoke in August of 2016. I met with him, and he provided some information on possible intermediaries between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.”
2. In another instance, Simpson’s testimony also contradicts notes taken by Ohr after a meeting they had in December, 2016. Unverified allegations were decimated among the media that the Trump campaign had a computer server that was linked to a Russian bank in Moscow: Alpha Bank. Simpson suggested to the Senate that he knew very little about the Trump -Alpha Bank server story and couldn’t provide information. But Bruce Ohr’s own handwritten notes state that when he met with Simpson in December 2016, Simpson was concerned over the Alpha Bank story in the New York Times. “The New York Times story on Oct. 31 downplaying the connection between Alfa servers and the Trump campaign was incorrect. There was communication and it wasn’t spam,” stated Ohr’s notes. This suggests that Simpson was well aware of the story, which was believed by congressional investigators to have started from his research firm.
3. Ohr testified to lawmakers that Simpson provided information to federal officials that was false regarding Cleta Mitchell, a well-known Republican campaign finance lawyer, and information regarding the National Rifle Association. Sean Davis, with the Federalist pointed this out in a tweet today.
4. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would not answer questions to lawmakers during testimony about when he learned that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for Fusion GPS. Just check this out from Rep. Matt Gaetz’s interview with Judge Jeanine on Fox News.
“Rod Rosenstein won’t tell us when he first learned that Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS,” said Gaetz, in August, 2018. “So I want to know from Bruce Ohr, when did he tell his colleagues at the Department of Justice that in violation of law that required him to disclose his wife’s occupation his sources of income. He did not do that. So when did all of the other people at the Department of Justice find this out because Rod Rosenstein, I’ve asked him twice in open hearing and he will not give an answer. I think there’s a real smoking gun there.”
5. Ohr also told lawmakers in his testimony that the former British spy, Christopher Steele was being paid by the FBI at the same time he was getting paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. However, there was another player paying Steele and it was a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska, a tycoon connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, had well known animus toward his former friend Paul Manafort.
We need more of these testimonies made public so that voters can draw their own conclusions about what actually happened. Hopefully there is more of this to come. I am grateful for reporters like Sara Carter who have been following this story for more than two years and have not given up their search for the truth.
On Sunday The Hill posted an article about Russian collusion. Just for the record, a number of legal experts have stated that collusion is not a crime, so I am not sure what all the fuss is about, but there has been quite a fuss.
The article states:
With Republicans on both House and Senate investigative committees having found no evidence of Donald Trump being guilty of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion, it is worth revisiting one anecdote that escaped significant attention during the hysteria but continues to have U.S. security implications.
As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-President Dmitri Medvedev, to create U.S. technology partnerships with Moscow’s version of Silicon Valley, a sprawling high-tech campus known as Skolkovo.
Clinton’s handprint was everywhere on the 2009-2010 project, the tip of a diplomatic spear to reboot U.S.-Russian relations after years of hostility prompted by Vladimir Putin’s military action against the former Soviet republic and now U.S. ally Georgia.
A donor to the Clinton Foundation, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, led the Russian side of the effort, and several American donors to the Clinton charity got involved. Clinton’s State Department facilitated U.S. companies working with the Russian project, and she personally invited Medvedev to visit Silicon Valley.
The collaboration occurred at the exact same time Bill Clinton made his now infamous trip to Russia to pick up a jaw-dropping $500,000 check for a single speech.
The former president’s trip secretly raised eyebrows inside his wife’s State Department, internal emails show.
That’s because he asked permission to meet Vekselberg, the head of Skolkovo, and Arkady Dvorkovich, a senior official of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant seeking State’s permission to buy Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive U.S. uranium reserves.
Years later, intelligence documents show, both the Skolkovo and Uranium One projects raised serious security concerns.
It may have raised concerns, but it is sad that the Department of Justice was so compromised at that point that they chose to do nothing about it. Does anyone really believe that Russia would have paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech without getting something in return?
The article also notes the involvement of Russia in the dirty dossier scandal:
The intersections between the Clintons, the Democrats and Russia carried into 2016, when a major political opposition research project designed to portray GOP rival Donald Trump as compromised by Moscow was launched by Clinton’s presidential campaign and brought to the FBI.
Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS research firm was secretly hired by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party through their law firm, Perkins Coie.
Simpson then hired retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele — whom the FBI learned was “desperate” to defeat Trump — to write an unverified dossier suggesting that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the election.
Simpson, Steele and Perkins Coie all walked Trump-Russia related allegations into the FBI the summer before the election, prompting agents who openly disliked Trump to launch a counterintelligence probe of the GOP nominee shortly before Election Day.
Simpson and Steele also went to the news media to air the allegations in what senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr would later write was a “Hail Mary” effort to influence the election.
The article concludes:
Collusion can be criminal if it involves conspiracy to break federal laws, or it can involve perfectly legal, unwitting actions that still jeopardize America’s security against a “frenemy” like Russia.
There is clear evidence now that shows Hillary Clinton’s family and charity profited from Moscow and simultaneously facilitated official government actions benefiting Russia that have raised security concerns.
And there’s irrefutable evidence that her opposition research effort on Trump — one that inspired an FBI probe — was carried out by people who got information from Russia and were consorting with Russians.
It would seem those questions deserve at least some of the scrutiny afforded the Trump-Russia collusion inquiry that is now two-plus years old.
Someone needs to take the blinders off of Robert Mueller and turn him in the right direction. His investigation is the equivalent of the man looking for his keys under the street light because the light is better (despite the fact that he dropped his keys across the street).
On Thursday, John Solomon at The Hill reported that the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, met with Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson at an event in Aspen last year. Maybe they were talking about their grandchildren.
The article reports:
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.
Simpson ran the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party to find dirt on Trump in Moscow. He employed retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, whose infamous and unverified dossier became the main evidence for the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, particularly the surveillance warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
And by the time of the meeting, the House Intelligence Committee had already received evidence from a senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, that called into question Simpson’s testimony to lawmakers.
Specifically, Simpson claimed he had not begun meeting with Ohr until after Thanksgiving 2016, well after the FBI had begun investigating Trump-Russia collusion and after the presidential election in which Simpson’s client, Clinton, lost to Trump.
But Ohr provided compelling evidence, including calendar notations, testimony and handwritten notes, showing that Simpson met with him in August 2016, well before the election and during a time when Steele was helping the FBI start an investigation into Trump.
When confronted with the Aspen conference photos of Schiff, in sport coat and open-neck dress shirt, and Simpson, wearing casual attire, representatives for both men tried to minimize their discussion, insisting nothing substantive about the Russia case was discussed.
“In the summer of 2018, Mr. Simpson attended a media-sponsored social event where he exchanged small talk with Rep. Schiff and many other people who were in attendance,” Fusion GPS said in a statement to me. “The conversation between the two was brief and did not cover anything substantive. There has been no subsequent contact between Mr. Simpson and Rep. Schiff.”
The problem here is not the meeting–it’s the double standard:
There is nothing illegal or technically improper about a congressman meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, with a witness in an investigation. At least not under the law or the House Intelligence Committee’s rules.
But Schiff created a far higher standard two years ago when he demanded that his Republican counterpart on the committee, then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), be investigated for having meetings with national security council officials at the Trump White House without telling the committee. Schiff’s attacks led Nunes to temporarily recuse himself from the Russia probe.
Schiff assailed Nunes’s contacts with a source outside the committee confines as “a dead-of-night excursion” and said it called into question the impartiality of the inquiry because the committee wasn’t informed.
“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,” Schiff said at the time.
So how did Schiff meet his own standards? Boland (Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland) declined to say if his boss told the committee about his Simpson contact.
Democrats in Congress seem to have no concept of treating members of both political parties equally. I think that is one of the reasons people become disgusted with politics.
One of the lynchpins of the Democrat theory about Russian collusion is the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.
According the The Gateway Pundit in an article posted today, the people present were:
— Donald Trump Jr.
— Jared Kushner (left early)
— Paul Manafort
— Natalia Veselnitskaya (Fusion GPS)
— Anatoli Samochornov (translator and Fusion GPS)
— Rinat Akhmetshin (lobbyist – Fusion GPS)
— Rob Goldstone
— Rep. of the Agalarov Family
The Gateway Pundit reported the following regarding that meeting:
Congressional testimony confirms that consultant Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, was hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to work his “political opposition” magic against President Trump.
Simpson has testified he put former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele on the job and sent him to Russia. Simpson and Steele both kept a constant back channel to Bruce Ohr, the fourth-highest ranking member of the Department of Justice, as recently declassified messages prove.
…Ohr, who’s wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS right alongside Simpson, “coordinated before, during and after the election” with both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson.
Also, Hillary Clinton wasn’t Simpson’s only employer.
The night before the Trump Tower meeting, Simpson had dinner with another client, Natalia Veselnitskaya. He had dinner with her again the night after the meeting, he told Congress. [Veselnitskaya was at the Trump Tower meeting and is suspected of working for Simpson.]
The article quotes Devin Nunes:
… but something also probably important to note about the so called Trump Tower meeting. This is the meeting that actually Fusion GPS met with the people before and after that meeting.
Fusion GPS, once again, was a Clinton Campaign paid for operations outfit. They were clearly involved in the set up of the Trump Tower meeting. So if they want to bring Cohen in and talk to him, that’s great, we’ll participate. But the truth, if you really want to get to the truth behind the Trump Tower meeting, Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign are all over it, and probably behind it.
One other note about that meeting.
The American Thinker reported today:
But yesterday, someone privy to the information held by the Senate Intelligence Committee leaked the Awful Truth to CNN, who reported it (credit to CNN for not burying it) with sad faces:
Senate investigators have obtained new information showing Donald Trump Jr.’s mysterious phone calls ahead of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting were not with his father, three sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
As a number of people in Washington have said after various witch hunts have proved to be wild goose chases, “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” I wonder where the Department of Justice and the FBI will go to get their reputations back after what they have been involved with for the past two years.
Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily reported the following:
As John Solomon reported in The Hill, “The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official (Ohr) briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and might be biased.”
Ohr himself told congressional investigators, “I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump. I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected. So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”
Ohr at the time was the No. 4 official at the Justice Department, a powerful post. Even so, he claims he told the FBI that both his wife, Nellie Ohr, and Steele both worked for Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired Fusion GPS through their law firm, Perkins Coie, to do opposition research on Trump.
The article concludes:
They started a dirty campaign operation against Trump, used it to spy on him, then opened a special investigation that probed virtually all areas of his life and business affairs, not just his supposed collusion with Russia. It originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Yes, but it found more-than-willing participants in the remnants of Obama’s national security and intelligence Deep State.
None of this behavior is legal, of course. The politicization of the FBI and Justice are crimes, plain and simple. As Roger Kimball recently noted, this is not on a par with Watergate — it’s far worse. Our system is tragically broken when government officials can lie and deceive in an effort to thwart an American election.
This is the stuff of Banana Republics, where rule of law means nothing. That’s not America, where rule of law is everything. But if these crimes go unpunished, we will surely become a Banana Republic, too.
Mediaite reported today:
Anthony Cormier is one of the two investigative reporter at BuzzfeedNews who co-authored the bombshell report published Thursday night — a report which claimed President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony over discussions between the Trump Organization and Russian authorities about a Trump Tower Moscow project.
Cormier appeared on CNN’s New Day and revealed that he had not seen the evidence underlying his report.
Frankly I think Michael Cohen would tell Mueller that he saw Donald Trump cavorting with alien creatures from a spaceship in his back yard in order to stay out of jail. I guess I am skeptical.
Breitbart notes the following in an article posted today:
Thanks to the media’s previous bombshell report on this very same subject, a report that proved — like all the others — to be fake news, when the president’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., testified before congress on this Russia deal, he told the truth, he told congress that this particular Russia deal stayed alive (in some nebulous form) until June of 2016.
But now we’re supposed to believe that, even though his own son told the truth, Trump still instructed Cohen to lie — to testify the Russian deal died six months earlier, in January of 2016.
I think Michael Cohen might do better with the aliens and spaceships.
UPDATE: The Special Counsel has openly denied the Mediaite report. Hopefully that will be the end of this lie.
This week we watched the Mueller investigation recommend that Michael Flynn not be incarcerated because of his extensive cooperation with the investigation. This creates more questions than it answers. Why was there any kind of continuing investigation of Michael Flynn? Notes released from the investigation show that no one who interviewed him thought he was lying. So why wasn’t the investigation dropped? But wait–there’s more!
Kimberley Strassel posted an article at The Wall Street Journal yesterday with the following title, “Mueller’s Gift to Obama.” The article reminds us that the charges against Michael Flynn were based on his telephone calls and interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. As incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn would have been expected to have those conversations. It is also expected that those conversations would be wiretapped because they involved a Russian Ambassador. What is not protocol is the unmasking of General Flynn’s identity.
The article reports:
But what about the potential crimes that put Mr. Flynn in Mr. Mueller’s crosshairs to begin with? On Jan. 2, 2017, the Obama White House learned about Mr. Flynn’s conversations with Mr. Kislyak. The U.S. monitors phone calls of foreign officials, but under law they are supposed to “minimize” the names of any Americans caught up in such eavesdropping. In the Flynn case, someone in the prior administration either failed to minimize or purposely “unmasked” Mr. Flynn. The latter could itself be a felony.
Ten days later someone in that administration leaked to the Washington Post that Mr. Flynn had called Mr. Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016. On Feb. 9, 2017, someone leaked to the Post and the New York Times highly detailed and classified information about the Flynn-Kislyak conversation.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has called this leak the most destructive to national security that he seen in his time in Washington. Disclosing classified information is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. The Post has bragged that its story was sourced by nine separate officials.
The Mueller team has justified its legal wanderings into money laundering (Paul Manafort) and campaign contributions (Michael Cohen) on grounds that it has an obligation to follow up on any evidence of crimes, no matter how disconnected from its Russia mandate. Mr. Flynn’s being caught up in the probe is related to a glaring potential crime of disclosing classified material, yet Mr. Mueller appears to have undertaken no investigation of that. Is this selective justice, or something worse? Don’t forget Mr. Mueller stacked his team with Democrats, some of whom worked at the highest levels of the Obama administration, including at the time of the possible Flynn unmasking and the first leak.
It is becoming very obvious that Robert Mueller’s investigation is wearing blinders. Their prosecution of Michael Flynn while ignoring the crime of leaking classified material and unmasking Americans on foreign phone calls (not to mention ignoring the Clinton campaign’s relationship with Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and the dossier) is a glaring example of the politicization of our Justice Department. The Congressional hysteria over the idea that Mueller could be fired or limited in any way is a glaring example of the ignorance on the part of some Congressmen of our Constitution. For the past two years we have had a taste of what it would be like to live in a country where justice is political. If we do not successfully deal with this, we will have taken a pretty big step toward becoming a banana republic.
John Solomon posted an article at The Hill today dealing with some new information about government spying on the Trump campaign during the Obama administration.
The information is contained in some emails that have not as yet been made public.
The article reports:
Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.
The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s National Security Division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.
The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.
The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.
But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.
If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.
The chain of emails involved has been kept from Congress for two years. It was recently declassified.
The article illustrates how the FBI used the FISA court in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from becoming President and later in an attempt to cripple his presidency.
The article reports:
The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.
That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.
At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular-intelligence reporting.
And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own text message shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.
If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.
It is truly sad that a government agency acted in this way. The even bigger problem is that if the people involved in this are not held accountable, this will happen again in the future.
The Hill posted an article today about Nellie Ohr’s refusal to answer questions asked by members of a congressional task force investigating the FBI’s handling of the infamous Steele dossier. The questions were asked in a closed-door session.
The article reports:
Congress faced another hurdle this week in its effort to establish the record of how, why and when the FBI was given information from Fusion GPS on its controversial investigation of President Trump.
Just last week, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson refused to answer any additional questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Now, former Fusion employee Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, has invoked spousal privilege to refuse to answer questions from the committee. The use of spousal privilege in this context, however, could prove more damaging for Congress than the underlying allegations involving Ohr. Congress needs to seriously examine of the basis and scope of this common-law privilege in the context of an oversight investigation.
Despite exaggerated claims on both sides, Congress has a legitimate interest in establishing the underlying facts concerning the work of Fusion GPS and the novel involvement of the Ohrs. The fact that a secret investigation was launched under the Obama administration targeting associates of a political opponent should concern all citizens. We now know the Clinton campaign funneled a huge amount of money through its campaign counsel to fund the report by former British spy Christopher Steele. Fusion GPS and Steele also actively tried to place negative media stories about Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.
There was an obvious attempt to block the election of President Trump and an obvious attempt to limit his ability as President to accomplish anything. It appears that Mrs. Ohr was part of that effort, along with many high-ranking members of the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ). We need to find out who did what and what happened. If we don’t hold the people involved accountable, we can expect our justice system to be used in the future for political purposes. If we don’t deal with the wrongdoing that went on during the 2016 election and beyond, we will lose the principle of ‘equal justice under the law.’
The article concludes:
Washington is a small town filled with power couples. Under Ohr’s approach, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, could refuse to answer questions on a corruption scandal due to their speaking more as spouses than officials.
Ohr may have been asked questions that inappropriately delved into marital confidences; such questions can threaten the “harmony” of marriages long protected under the rule. If, however, Ohr used the privilege to refuse to answer an array of questions, as was reported, then Congress may want to challenge the assertion or, at the very least, consider how to approach such questions in the future.
Nellie and Bruce Ohr chose to mix their marital and professional worlds. The use of the privilege outside of marital conversations would be opportunistic, obstructionist and increasingly irresistible, if allowed. None of this means that the allegations involving Nellie Ohr are true — but she needs to answer those questions in her professional, not her marital, capacity.
The American public is entitled to answers to all questions regarding the corruption in the FBI and DOJ. Congress needs to use its power to get those answers.
The Daily Caller is reporting today that sources have told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, is refusing to appear before Congress for a closed-door hearing that was scheduled to take place this Friday. Former FBI general counsel James Baker has also refused to cooperate with requests for an interview.
The article reports:
Ohr was slated to appear before the committees to discuss her work for Fusion GPS. Ohr, an expert on Russian affairs, worked for Fusion GPS from December 2015 until just after the election.
Bruce Ohr, the former assistant deputy attorney general, was in contact with dossier author Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before and after the election.
The Ohrs both met Steele, a former British spy, in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI formally opened its counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Congressional sources have told TheDCNF that Bruce Ohr briefed then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe about his interaction with Steele within days of the meeting.
Ohr’s contacts with Steele increased after the FBI cut ties with the dossier author just before the election because of unauthorized contacts with the press. Ohr provided at least a dozen briefings to the FBI about his interactions with Steele from November 2016 to May 2017.
The article concludes:
Baker, a close ally of former FBI Director James Comey’s, resigned from the FBI on May 4. Congress has wanted to quiz him about his knowledge of the Trump-Russia probe as well as the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Neither Ohr nor Baker responded to emails seeking comment.
Just by watching the squirming about declassification and the people who do not want to talk to Congress, I can’t help but believe that the scandal around spygate extends even further than we have been led to believe.
The following video was posted at YouTube on August 21:
The video is 37 minutes long, so in case you don’t want to watch it, here are some of the highlights (courtesy of Zerohedge):
It all started from the fake dossier which led eventually to the appointment of Robert Mueller (Special Prosecutor) and the entire foundation is based on a falsity. . . . I understand the next revocation of security clearance is probably going to be Bruce Ohr because he crafted the fake dossier with Christopher Steele, and he may even have written the thing…
After the FBI supposedly fired Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr had at least 70 communications (with Steele) back and forth talking about the ‘firewall’ is still there to protect us. Recent accounts show that Bruce Ohr either wrote the dossier with Christopher Steele or he wrote it himself in communication with Christopher Steele.” –Kevin Shipp
…“Yes. Oh, they coordinated it for sure. There are 70 emails back and forth between Ohr and Steele crafting the dossier. So, the FBI and Department of Justice were intimately involved with the creation and publication of that dossier.”
“They even went further than that. The FBI and CIA counter-intelligence even placed an agent inside the Trump campaign.” -Kevin Shipp
…Shipp concluded that a Civil War in the making right now. “I think we are at the beginning of a civil war. You’ve got the ‘Dark Left’ and you’ve got the Conservative people, the Constitutionalists. In progressivism, one of its tenets is to change the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, and uproot traditional America. Whatever happens in November is going to intensify that. . . . Their attack is against Christians and the Constitution.”
Is it possible to drain the swamp?
Mark Penn, a former pollster and advisor to President Clinton, posted an op-ed piece at The Hill today. I suspect he is no longer being invited to the Clinton’s dinner parties. The article explains how the plea deal with Michael Cohen is an attempt to set up President Trump. I am amazed at how vicious some of our politicians are when it comes to President Trump. Robert Mueller is a prime example of that, and it is sad.
The op-ed notes:
Why was Michael Cohen investigated? Because the “Steele dossier” had him making secret trips to meet with Russians that never happened, so his business dealings got a thorough scrubbing and, in the process, he fell into the special counsel’s Manafort bin — the bin reserved for squeezing until the juice comes out. And now we are back to 1998 all over again, with presidents and presidential candidates covering up their alleged marital misdeeds and prosecutors trying to turn legal acts into illegal ones by inventing new crimes.
The plot to get President Trump out of office thickens, as Cohen obviously was his own mini-crime syndicate and decided that his betrayals of Trump meant he would be better served turning on his old boss to cut the best deal with prosecutors he could rather than holding out and getting the full Manafort treatment. That was clear the minute he hired attorney Lanny Davis, who doesn’t try cases and did past work for Hillary Clinton. Cohen had recorded his client, trying to entrap him, sold information about Trump (while acting as his lawyer) to corporations for millions of dollars, and didn’t pay taxes on millions.
This is the problem with this case:
The sweetener for the prosecutors, of course, was getting Cohen to plead guilty to campaign finance violations that were not campaign finance violations. Money paid to people who come out of the woodwork and shake down people under threat of revealing bad sexual stories are not legitimate campaign expenditures. They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we don’t. Just imagine if candidates used campaign funds instead of their own money to pay folks like Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about affairs; they would get indicted for misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes and for tax evasion.
There appear to be two payments involved in this unusual plea — Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance violation for having “coordinated” the American Media Inc. payment to Karen McDougal for her story, not for actually making the payment. So he is pleading guilty over a corporate contribution he did not make.
No one connected in any way with President Trump is treated in the usual way:
The usual procedures here would be for the FEC to investigate complaints and sort through these murky laws to determine if these kinds of payments are personal in nature or more properly classified as campaign expenditures. And, on the Daniels payment that was made and reimbursed by Trump, it is again a question of whether that was made for personal reasons (especially since they have been trying since 2011 to obtain agreement). Just because it would be helpful to the campaign does not convert it to a campaign expenditure. Think of a candidate with bad teeth who had dental work done to look better for the campaign; his campaign still could not pay for it because it’s a personal expenditure.
Meanwhile, Robert Mueller is totally ignoring campaign irregularities from Hillary’s campaign:
Contrast what is going on here with the treatment of the millions of dollars paid to a Democratic law firm which, in turn, paid out money to political research firm Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele without listing them on any campaign expenditure form — despite crystal-clear laws and regulations that the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds must be listed. This rule was even tightened recently. There is no question that hiring spies to do opposition research in Russia is a campaign expenditure, and yet, no prosecutorial raids have been sprung on the law firm, Fusion GPS or Steele. Reason: It does not “get” Trump.
Any investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election that does not include money laundered through Perkins Coie to pay for the Russian dossier does not have credibility. I suspect that will be the point made in the coming months in an attempt to shut down this travesty. The foundation of appointing a Special Prosecutor was totally flawed and the investigation is even more flawed. It is time to let people associated with Donald Trump live in peace. To do otherwise is to criminalize political opinions.