Transparency is Obviously A Lost Art

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the battle between CNN and the government about making public James Comey’s memos about his discussions with President Trump regarding the Russian investigation.

There are a few things that need to be noted here. In June, I posted an article which included the following:

In a statement delivered on the Senate floor, Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)) said that in March, former FBI Director James Comey had told him, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and the group of Senate and House members known as the “Gang of Eight” that the president was not under investigation.

But Schumer, who is part of the Gang of Eight, continued to tell the media Trump was under investigation, Grassley said.

Okay. So if those Senators knew in March that President Trump was not under investigation, why did Senator Schumer claim he was and why is Robert Mueller continuing to investigate something that was already known?

At any rate, the article at The Washington Examiner reports:

Government lawyers asked a judge Friday to deny CNN’s request to force the FBI to publicly disclose former FBI Director James Comey’s memos documenting his interactions with President Trump about the Russia investigation.

The news network made the case in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in June that there was high public interest in Comey’s memos and that the notes were not classified, as insisted by Comey himself in testimony. CNN, along with other outlets and watchdog groups, had requested the memos under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, a report from CNN on Saturday explained that parts of Comey’s memos were determined to be classified and the government argued that to make them public would “reveal the scope and focus of the investigation and thereby harm the investigation” and possible prosecutions.

The government is also requesting that an unnamed “FBI employee” make the government’s case in secret.

Was the memo Comey leaked to Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, (who then at the request of Comey revealed the details of the notes to the New York Times to make sure a special prosecutor was appointed) a secret? if so, why hasn’t Comey been held accountable? Who is the government actually working for?

It’s time for the government to start cooperating with the citizens. I realize that might by an alien concept to some government employees, but I am sure they could get used to the idea that they work for the citizens, not the other way around. It truly is time for some transparency in government.

 

The Deep State Lives

I am becoming discouraged about the possibility of anyone cleaning up Washington. We have a new President, but there are so many career establishment people there, cleaning up the city is definitely a slog.

On Sunday The Washington Examiner posted an article that reinforces my concern. Judicial Watch is a watchdog organization that closely watches administrations of both parties and uses Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to hold them accountable.

The article at The Washington Examiner reports:

It has now been more than a month since a House Intelligence Committee subpoena set a September 1 deadline for the FBI and the Justice Department to turn over documents related to the Trump dossier.

Not a single document has been produced. The first deadline was extended once, then again, then again, and is now on some sort of hold. But no documents have been handed over.

…Just as they have been doing with the House intelligence panel, the FBI and Justice Department tried to blow off Grassley, saying any talks with Rybicki and Ghattas might interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Then, after Grassley threatened to subpoena the two officials, the Justice Department wrote back to Grassley on September 22 to say, “Upon further evaluation, we believe that it is appropriate to make Mr. Ghattas and Mr. Rybicki available to the committee for interviews.”

But Justice still had conditions, particularly where the Mueller investigation was concerned. So in a letter last week, Grassley reminded them that, “contrary to the implication [from the Justice Department], the committee had, in fact notified and consulted with special counsel Mueller’s office for deconfliction purposes about interviewing these two witnesses. Specifically, the committee provided ample opportunity for that office to voice any objection, and accommodated that office’s concern…” In other words, Grassley said, Mueller’s office did not voice any concern about the committee’s request.

Of course, Grassley is so far just threatening a subpoena. The House committee had already issued one. And in both cases, the FBI and Justice Department have not produced either the dossier documents or the two FBI officials (who are thought to know quite a bit about the dossier).

Who is hiding what? Since this dossier was the basis of the wiretapping of people close to Donald Trump when he was running for president, the content and the history of the dossier are important in determining whether or not those wiretaps were illegally done by the Obama Administration.

Was The Obama Administration Using The Government To Spy On Americans?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.

Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.

Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.

Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.

It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.

 

The Deep State Or The Police State?

Sharyl Attkisson posted an article at The Hill today about the Obama Administration’s spying on Donald Trump. I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you are on, this story should disturb you.

The article reports:

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.

But we’re missing the bigger story.

If these reports are accurate, it means U.S. intelligence agencies secretly surveilled at least a half dozen Trump associates. And those are just the ones we know about.

Besides Manafort, the officials include former Trump advisers Carter Page and Michael Flynn. Last week, we discovered multiple Trump “transition officials” were “incidentally” captured during government surveillance of a foreign official. We know this because former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted “unmasking,” or asking to know the identities of, the officials. Spying on U.S. citizens is considered so sensitive, their names are supposed to be hidden or “masked,” even inside the government, to protect their privacy.

In May, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged they, too, reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama. 

The article goes on to remind us that James Clapper assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting data on American citizens.

The article also lists many of the violations of the rights of Congressmen, reporters, and other political figures. This is illegal.

The article concludes:

Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials.

Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.

If we want to keep our privacy and our freedom, the people responsible for spying on us need to face the consequences of their breaking the law.

Totally Unacceptable Behavior

Breitbart posted an article yesterday stating that CNN had reported that the Obama Administration had wire tapped Paul Manafort before and after the election.

The article reports:

The report said the secret court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had authorized a surveillance warrant against Manafort for an investigation that began in 2014, looking into his firm, the Podesta Group, and another firm’s lobbying work for Ukraine’s pro-Russian former ruling party.

“The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence,” a source told CNN.

However, the FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended early into this year. The report notably does not say when the new warrant was obtained. Manafort joined the Trump campaign as its chairman in May 2016.

The article reminds us of how many times this claim was denied (sometimes under oath):

The Justice Department and the FBI denied that Trump was being wiretapped.

Comey later in March disputed Trump’s claims — in testimony that lawmakers could now find misleading.

He told the House intelligence committee, “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”

The New York Times also reported that Comey had said Trump’s claim was false, and that he had asked the Justice Department to publicly reject it, according to the BBC.

James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, also told Congress that intelligence agencies did not wiretap Trump, nor did the FBI obtain a court order to monitor Trump’s phones, according to the BBC report.

President Trump was mocked when he made this claim. Now we learn that he was right. Where are the apologies? Where are the people talking about the fact that the civil rights of Paul Manafort and Donald Trump were violated? Is anyone going to hold the Justice Department accountable? I guess the only positive in this is that Donald Trump won the election despite the fact that the Obama Administration interfered–it wasn’t the Russians–it was the Obama Administration!

 

Facts–We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Facts!

The Conservative Treehouse reported yesterday that James Comey drafted his conclusions in the Clinton email server investigation before he interviewed the witnesses. Wow! The man is obviously clairvoyant–he knew exactly what their testimony would be and didn’t need to hear it. Well, not quite.

The article includes the following:

In a letter from Senator Chuck Grassley to new FBI Director Christopher Wray (full pdf below) the senator outlines some disturbing information discovered in documents reviewed by the judicial committee.

Chief among the issues was a discovery that fired FBI Director James Comey had already drafted a preliminary conclusion that Hillary Clinton was not going to be held responsible; the FBI Director’s position was created in April and May 2016 before sixteen key investigative witnesses, including Mrs. Clinton herself, were even interviewed.

I may be missing something here, but if Hillary Clinton was not responsible for setting up and using her private email server, who was?

Senator Grassley’s letter includes the following:

As of early May 2016, the FBI had not yet interviewed Secretary Clinton. Moreover, it had yet to finish interviewing sixteen other key witnesses, including Cheryl Mills, Bryan Pagliano, Heather Samuelson, Justin Cooper, and John Bentel.

These individuals had intimate and personal knowledge relating to Secretary Clinton’s
non-government server, including helping her build and administer the device. Yet, it appears that the following key FBI interviews had not yet occurred when Mr. Corney began drafting his exoneration statement:

    1. May 3, 2016 – Paul Combetta                      9. June 10, 2016 – John Bentel
    2. May 12, 2016- Sean Misko                         10. June 15, 2016 – Lewis Lukens
    3. May 17, 2016- Unnamed CIA                      11. June 21, 2016 – Justin Cooper
       employee 5                                                   12. June 21, 2016- Unnamed State
    4. May 19, 2016- Unnamed CIA                                             Dept. Employee 7
       employee 6                                                   13. June 21, 2016 – Bryan Pagliano
    5. May 24, 2016 – Heather Samuelson          14. June 21, 2016 – Purcell Lee
    6. May 26, 2016 – Marcel Lehel (aka             15. June 23, 2016-Monica Hanley
       Guccifer)                                                      16. June 29, 2016 – Hannah Richert
    7. May 28, 2016 – Cheryl Mills                        17. July 2, 2016 – Hillary Clinton
    8. June 3, 2016- Charlie Wisecarver

Conclusion first, fact-gathering second-that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.

Mr. Corney’s final statement acknowledged “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information” but nonetheless cleared Secretary Clinton because he claimed there was no intent or obstruction of justice. Yet, evidence of destruction of emails known to be under subpoena by the House of Representatives, and subject to congressional preservation requests, was obtained in interviews around the time that Mr. Corney began drafting his exoneration statement. Moreover, the Justice Department entered into highly unusual immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson in June 2016-after Mr. Corney began drafting his exoneration statement-to review Clinton email archives on their laptops.

This is the swamp. The only way to get rid of it is to fill Congress with honest people who are not currently involved in Washington politics. There are probably about ten members of Congress that are not part of the swamp. They deserve to be re-elected. All the others need to be sent packing at the earliest possible opportunity. Director Mueller needs to be fired, former Director Comey needs to be investigated and possibly jailed, and the FBI needs to be cleaned out and redone.

An Amazing Historical Event

On Thursday, Legal Insurrection posted an article about the continuing attacks on President Trump. The title of the article is, “The Slow-Motion Coup d’Etat picks up steam.”

The article lists the attempts made by the political establishment to undo the results of last November’s election. Hopefully their efforts will result in a miserable failure. I did not start out as a Trump supporter, but I believe he won the election honestly (and probably by a wider margin than is reported due to illegal votes for Hillary Clinton). The attempts to find any excuse to remove him from office are shameful.

The article reminds us:

Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.

All the while, the permanent bureaucracy, particularly in the intelligence community, started an unending and almost daily series of leaks meant to paralyze the administration.

Then FBI Director James Comey refused to tell the public what he privately told Trump on three occasions, that Trump personally was not under investigation, thereby aiding and abetting this false media attack on the administration. Comey then himself leaked non-public government information, after his termination, to manufacture an excuse to have a Special Counsel appointed. That Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, turns out to be a good friend of Comey, and is building a massive prosecutorial infrastructure in the attempt to find a crime.

At the same time, there has been unprecedented obstruction of Trump’s ability to staff his administration. Even non-controversial nominees are slow-walked by Democrats. Vast swaths of the federal bureaucracy remain under the sway of Obama holdovers and those who consider Trump illegitimate.

The purpose in all this has been to freeze and paralyze the Trump administration. If Trump could not be prevented from taking office, and cannot be physically removed from office, he will be prevented from functioning as president.

Those elected officials participating in this effort need to be removed from office.

The article lists numerous examples of career government employees working against the President and his policies. This used to be called treason.

The article concludes:

Not only is the Trump administration under unprecedented attack from outside, the foxes are inside the henhouse, and are gutting it from the inside out.

The attempt to unwind the 2016 election through paralyzing the Trump administration is a serious threat to our liberty. Our most basic of institutions, the transfer of power through elections, is under attack.

The actions of those people in government working against President Trump are not patriotic–they are treasonous and the people committing them belong in jail. It is up to the American voters to let those working to undermine a sitting President will not receive the support of the voters.

This Really Was Not Unexpected

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the Russian investigation. It seems as if this investigation has been going on forever, and so far nothing has been found. I am waiting for the eventual charge that someone went to a Russian tea room for a cup of tea and therefore should be prosecuted. Unfortunately, because special prosecutors tend to want to charge someone with something, all these lawyers with political leanings may eventually charge someone with a process crime (they forgot something in their testimony and gave an answer on a minor point that did not satisfy the investigators). However, it is becoming rather obvious that the tale the left has been spinning since the election of foreign intrigue tied to the Trump campaign or Trump Administration is pure fiction.

Breitbart reports:

Investor William Browder testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that Fusion GPS, the firm that had been responsible for creating and pushing the so-called “Russia dossier” against Donald Trump, had been paid by the Russian government to push for the repeal of the human rights sanctions in the Magnitsky Act of 2012. In other words, the Russian government may have been paying to smear Trump with false and salacious accusations.

Until now, the media and the Democrats have proceeded under the assumption that Russia intervened in the 2016 election by hacking the email server of the Democratic National Committee, as well as the private email of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and releasing their emails via Wikileaks. They have further claimed — with no evidence — that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russians in obtaining or releasing the emails.

The entire theory rests on the ridiculous claim that Trump had invited Russia to hack Clinton and the Democrats when he joked last July about the Russians releasing the emails Clinton had deleted from her illicit private server.  (The left-wing HuffPost observed Thursday as the anniversary that Trump “asked for Russian help in the election.”) That joke prompted then-CIA director John Brennan to convene an investigation of alleged Russian interference.

Thursday The Wall Street Journal posted an article by Kimberly Strassel (the article is not linked here because it is subscribers only) noting a connection between Fusion GPS and the Democratic party.

In an interesting move, Congressional Democrats, who were ready to hold public hearings about Russian election interference featuring Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, have decided to hold those hearings in private (where they can’t pontificate instead of asking questions). Why? Because if Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort were questioned in public, then Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson would also be questioned in public. For whatever reason, the Democrats were willing to give up their dog and pony show to avoid Glenn Simpson’s public testimony (where he would have been asked who paid for the false dossier on Donald Trump).

The Wall Street Journal article asks:

What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility.

We know Fusion is a for-hire political outfit, paid to dig up dirt on targets. This column first outed Fusion in 2012, detailing its efforts to tar a Mitt Romney donor. At the time Fusion insisted that the donor was “a legitimate subject of public records research.”

The article at Breitbart concludes:

Or the truth could be that Russia was trying to embarrass both parties, to weaken the eventual winner. Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that it is common for Russia to back both sides in elections, simply to create chaos.

Regardless, the Russia conspiracy theory has now collapsed. There is no evidence that Russia was colluding with the Trump campaign. But there is evidence Russia was working against it. And the truth is only beginning to emerge.

The following quote is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The same thing can be said about the investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia.

 

For Your Consideration

Posted on YouTube on July 24th:

Some things to consider while watching this video:

John Brennan is not an objective observer. He is part of the group that is attempting to prevent President Trump from actually implementing the policies that will improve the American economy.

If John Brennan is saying that Congress should refuse to follow any orders of President Trump if he fires Robert Mueller, where was he when President Obama was spying on Americans and violating the civil rights of Americans? Refusing to follow the orders of a President is called staging a coup. Is Brennan sure he wants to go on the record with that statement?

Please note that the majority of the speakers at the event where this video was taken were from CBS, CNN, The New York Times, etc. My feeling is that Brennan was spouting liberal nonsense to a liberal audience.

Just for the record, it is my opinion that Mueller should be fired. He has stacked his staff with people who hold strong pro-Hillary views and turned the investigation into a far-reaching witch hunt. His funds need to be cut immediately–Congress has been investigating Russian ties to who-knows-what for a year and found nothing. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s uranium deal and President Obama’s statement to Russian President Medvedev (“This is my last election,” Obama told Medvedev. “After my election I have more flexibility.”) are ignored. It is time to stop wasting money chasing non-existent conspiracies.

For Your Consideration

The fact that I am posting this does not mean that I believe it is true–it means that I think this is a necessary item to add to the current debate.

The U.K Daily Mail posted an article today based on a National Enquirer story .

The U.K. Daily Mail article states:

Hillary Clinton and a firm with ties to the Democratic party setup President Donald Trump and his family in an attempt to destroy the billionaire businessman and politician according to the National Enquirer

The tabloid magazine, which has made no secret of its pro-Trump agenda, came to this conclusion after what they describe as an ‘exhaustive investigation’ into the matter.

These attempts by ‘evil’ Hillary to bring down her rival included luring Donald Jr. into meeting with shadowy Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskyaya claims the tabloid.

And the firm in the middle of all this is Fusion GPS according to the tabloid, the same group that allegedly compiled Christopher Steele’s scandalous dossier of claims about President Trump that was published in January.

I don’t know if this story is true or false. What I do know is that there is a group of establishment politicians in Washington that is intent on preventing President Trump from accomplishing anything. The Washington establishment has become the ‘cool’ kids at the high school lunch table who refuse to let anyone they deem unworthy to enter their group. It is high time that someone tipped their table over and sent them home.

Remember, the National Enquirer broke the John Edwards story. Lately they have a better track record than The New York Times.

Changing The Definition Of A Word For Political Purposes

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the attempts to claim that Donald Trump, Jr., is guilty of collusion.

The article includes the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of collusion:

secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose * acting in collusion with the enemy

The article further explains that definition and how it relates to the charges against Mr. Trump:

Thus, when the U.S., Russia and other countries jointly operate the International Space Station, they aren’t colluding, they are cooperating.

Liberals talk about “collusion” in connection with Trump, Jr’s meeting to paper over the fact that there was nothing wrong with it. Collecting information about corruption on the part of a candidate for office is a good thing, not a bad thing. We know from Clinton Cash that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played a key role in turning over a large part of America’s supply of uranium to the Russians, at about the same time when Russians associated with that country’s government paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill and Hillary Clinton. So we know about the quid and the quo, the only question is whether there was a pro. If the Russian lawyer had had information on this point, it would have been a public service to disclose it.

It is different, of course, if false information about a candidate is being fabricated. Thus, we can properly say that Democrats colluded in the production of a fake dossier on President Trump.

I have always felt that most of the things the Democrats accuse the Republicans of are things that the Democrats are doing. I think the make-believe case against Donald Trump, Jr., is an example of this.

The Democrats have so altered the definition of collusion that it could theoretically apply to any conversation with anyone who was remotely connected to any country other than America. It will be interesting to see if karma is going to show up in the near future.

A Tale Of Two Collusions

I’m tired of hearing about a meeting of the President’s son that resulted in nothing while at the same time a presidential candidate who actually met with a foreign power to interfere in  the 2016 election got totally ignored. Just as an aside, I don’t think foreign meddling in an election is all that unusual–look at the Obama Administration’s efforts to influence the last election in Israel. They were unsuccessful, but they certainly tried.

While the Democrats and the media are screaming that Donald Trump should be hung from the yardarm, they have totally ignored the efforts of the Clinton campaign to use the Ukrainians to opposition research on Donald Trump.

On January 11, 2017, Politico posted an article with the headline, “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.”

The article reports:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

At this point I would like to note that the Russian hacking of Democratic emails is probably an urban legend with little basis in fact. First of all the Democratic National Committee (DNC) never allowed to FBI to directly examine their computer servers that they claimed were hacked. Second of all, how would simply releasing private information influence a campaign–would the release be damaging if it contained only mundane campaign information? Let’s not forget what the leaks contained–evidence of giving Hillary Clinton debate questions ahead of time, evidence of rigging the Democratic primary elections, and generally sleazy stuff. Had the DNC not been engaging in sleazy behavior, the leaks would not have mattered.

The purpose of sharing this information now is to remind everyone that in the mainstream media nothing is as it appears. I don’t believe Russia successfully interfered in our election. I believe they may have tried, but I don’t believe they were successful. Because our voting machines are not interconnected, it would be very difficult to actually change the results of an election–you would have to have hundreds of hackers at hundreds of locations, and voting machines would have to be connected to the internet. Although voting results are reported on the internet, the voting machines are not directly hooked up to it.. I have read reports of voting machines tallying votes incorrectly, but as far as I know, that has nothing to do with the Russians. At any rate, Donald Trump was duly elected, and it is time to move on.

A Rookie Mistake

The Trump family are not politicians (although I hope Donald Trump, Jr., will eventually find his way into politics). They are not in the habit of playing political games–they emerged from the New York City real estate business, not known for its finesse and political correctness. Now they are attempting to drain a swamp in Washington that has established itself over decades by means of deception, big money, backroom deals, etc. Draining the swamp is not going to be easy, but I believe that they are up to the task. However, I am very tired of watching the media attempt to duplicate their ‘success’ of Watergate. I don’t think this President is going to quietly step down for any reason. In fact, I suspect that those attempting to remove him unlawfully will eventually be hoisted on their own petards.

The latest Russian dust-up is about a meeting Donald Trump, Jr., had with Natalia Veselnitskaya during the presidential campaign of 2016. Ms. Veselnitskaya is a Russian lawyer. She scheduled the meeting saying that she had information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign accepting Russian money. Actually, anyone who follows the escapades of the Clinton Foundation has information on the Clintons accepting Russian money, but that is another story. When Donald Trump, Jr. met with Ms. Veselnitskaya, he discovered that the real agenda for her meeting was a discussion of the adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act. The 2012 Magnitsky Act (named for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who was arrested and died in a Russian prison after he discovered massive fraud by corrupt Russian officials) lets U.S. officials withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russians suspected of human rights abuses.

So who is this lady and what are her political connections?

A picture is worth a thousand words (the photo is from The Gateway Pundit):

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports the following:

That looks like Emin Agalarov sitting next to Natalia Veselnitskaya. He was mentioned in Donald Trump Jr’s statement this morning. Emin helped set up the meeting with Veselnitskaya.

Veselnitskaya was also connected to Fusion GPS, the DNC opposition research firm that produced the fraudulent and discredited Trump Dossier.

So why was Veselnitskaya hanging out with Obama officials just days after her meeting with Donald Trump Jr.?

And why was Veselnitskaya given a privileged seat up front during the Congressional hearing?

This meeting was obviously a set-up. The deep state was at work doing mischief in case Donald Trump was elected–this was a staged, planned attack to be used at a future date. It really is time for the Democrats and the media to realize that Donald Trump is a legally elected President and that he should be allowed to do his job. The American voters will ultimately decide in four years whether or not he needs to be removed from office. The degree of opposition President Trump has faced should be an indication to all of us that the swamp is deeper and more entrenched than any of us might have imagined.

UPDATE:

There is more here than I originally found. Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya that included the following:

These facts are well known to anyone who has been following the news recently. What’s less known is that Veselnitskaya was not in the U.S. lawfully.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has written to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to complain about this and related matters. Grassley informs Kelly and Tillerson:

According to her sworn declaration, former Russian prosecutor Natalia Veselnitskaya was denied a U.S. visa to travel to the United States from Russia to participate in litigation. Although she was subsequently granted immigration parole to make the trip, her parole was set to expire on January 7, 2016. Her request to extend was denied on January 4, 2016.

Yet she was still in the U.S. in June when she met with Trump, Jr. Grassley’s letter seeks information about how could have happened.

I am sure there will be more to come.

An Isolated Incident Or A Pattern Of Behavior?

Andrew McCarthy posted a story at National Review today about the House Intelligence Committee investigation into spying on Americans during the Obama Administration. It has become obvious from news reports since before President Trump was inaugurated that some sort of intelligence gathering on the incoming administration was going on.

The article reports:

The House Intelligence Committee has reportedly issued seven subpoenas in connection with its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and of the Obama administration’s potentially illegal use of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection power for the purpose of monitoring Americans — in particular, Americans connected to the Trump campaign and transition.

The subpoenas are aimed at getting information about requests made by Susan Rice and John Brennan to unmask names of Americans caught in intelligence gathering.

The article explains:

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating both a) Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, an inquiry that entails thus far unsubstantiated suspicions of Trump-campaign collusion, and b) the use of intelligence authorities to investigate the Trump campaign, an inquiry that focuses on whether national-security powers (such as those codified in FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) were used pretextually, for the real purpose of conducting political spying.
There is also the question of whether or not U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power requested the unmasking of Americans–as U.N. Ambassador, she would have no obvious need for that information.
The article concludes:
Thus, as I’ve also outlined, it is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of law — and, indeed, it would not violate any penal statute (it would violate court-ordered “minimization” procedures). Nevertheless, were a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power in the nature of a “high crime and misdemeanor” — the Constitution’s predicate for impeachment.

It’s a little late to impeach former President Obama, but the voters have spoken and dealt with the problem in their own way. The one thing that will be interesting to watch as this story unfolds is how the mainstream media will spin the story. The Obama Administration went after a Fox News journalist–journalists need to realize that they have as much at stake in protecting their freedom as the average American.

So Which Answer Is Actually True?

The source for this story is The Gateway Pundit.There are a number of stories from various sources on the internet reporting the same thing. There are some serious problems in the charge that President Trump interfered in an investigation.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Former FBI Director James Comey testified under Senate oath May 3rd that the Trump administration had not pressured his agency to halt any investigation for political purposes.

Comey admitted that the FBI has always been free to operate without political interference—flying in the face of Democrats’ paranoid delusions about Russia and President Donald J. Trump, and exposing for what it is a new political witch hunt Wednesday by enemies within the president’s own Justice Department.

Videotaped testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee blows apart the phony narrative New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt wove on Tuesday, which resulted in Mueller’s appointment. Schmidt’s only sources were anonymous. They claimed that on Feb. 14th, the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Trump had asked Comey to end an investigation into Flynn’s connections to Russia.

Schmidt’s allegations that Trump attempted to obstruct justice hinged on the sources’ accounts of a memo authored the same day. Schmidt, a Democrat party lackey, admitted he hasn’t even seen the document—dated nearly three months before Comey’s testimony that totally contradicts it.

Comey’s statement to Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono from May 3rd, which Center for Security Policy analyst Nick Short noted Wednesday, exposes the Democrats once again for their political gamesmanship.

The Gateway Pundit reports that lying during sworn congressional testimony is committing perjury, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. The Special Prosecutor was appointed to investigate the wrong thing. Let’s hope he realizes that quickly.

Lied To Again

Honesty in Washington, D.C. seems to be non-existent. A lot of the things we were told during the Obama Administration have turned out to be simply not true.

Recently a news site called Circa reported that the statistics released by the Obama Administration showing the number of American citizens unmasked after being captured in accidental National Security Agency intercepts were inaccurate.

The article reports:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, now under new management with President Donald Trump, confirms that the 654 unmaskings reported last year for fiscal 2015 was underreported by a factor of more than three times. The correct number was actually 2,232.

…National intelligence officials say the 654 figure reported last year actually represented the number of times a government official had a request approved to unmask an American name and not the total number of U.S. persons’ identities that actually were unredacted after the fact in intelligence reports, as had been represented in last year’s report.

…But starting in 2011, former President Obama made it easier to access that information, essentially creating keys for intelligence professionals and even his own political aides to unlock the NSA’s lock box to consume surveillance on Americans.

Circa reported last week that since those changes, the number of requests to search NSA records for Americans’ information more than tripled under the former administration from about 10,000 in 2013 to more than 25,000 in 2016.

These numbers confirm the fears some Congressmen had about the Patriot Act. What we saw in the Obama Administration was the use of government agencies to spy on political opponents. Every person involved in this effort needs to be fired and sent to jail. This is totally unconstitutional.

It Wasn’t A Unilateral Decision

This article is based on two sources–an article posted at Lifezette today and an article from the BBC, also dated today.

The article at Lifezette reminds us that until President Trump fired FBI Director Comey, the Democrats wanted Director Comey fired.

The article reports:

Comey, being Comey, closed the new investigation in record time, ending the investigation two days before Election Day and enraging Republicans by publicly declaring he still would not recommend charges against Clinton.

Schumer indicated Comey’s handling of the matter was a deal-breaker.

“I do not have confidence in him any longer,” Schumer said of Comey on Nov. 2.

Schumer called Comey’s letter to Congress “appalling.”

Schumer is far from the only Democrat who has questioned Comey’s judgement or called for his firing.

…”This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question,” then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a Dec. 10 interview on MSNBC. “Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret,” he said.

The MSNBC host asked Reid if Comey should resign. “Of course, yes,” Reid replied.

 Comey’s decision to publicly reopen the Clinton investigation drove Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) to also demand the FBI director resign.

“I called on FBI Director James Comey to resign his position after his recent communication with members of Congress regarding the bureau’s review of emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server,” Cohen wrote in a Nov. 3 op-ed published in The Hill.

It gets better.

The BBC posted a copy of the letter written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommending that Director Comey be fired. Follow the link above to read the entire letter.

Director Comey made some unusual decisions during the run-up to the November 2016 election. There are some valid questions as to whether or not the FBI was politicized under President Obama. It is very obvious that the Justice Department was compromised, but the jury is still out on the FBI.

I don’t know whether or not this is part of draining the swamp. I do know that draining the swamp is going to be a long term, ongoing operation, and I wish President Trump all the best in doing that.

The Story vs. The Spin

Yesterday The Washington Post reported some interesting information about the allegations that President Obama used electronic surveillance on President Trump’s campaign and transition team. I seriously wonder if anything will come of this, but I believe we have a smoking gun.

The article reports:

The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.

The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.

This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.

I would like someone to explain to me how the Russian government could swing the election in Trump’s favor. The investigation into any Russian involvement in the Trump campaign is nothing more than a smoke screen for the illegal surveillance done by the Obama Administration.

The New York Post reported yesterday:

In what the paper (The Washington Post) described as a lengthy declaration, the government said Page “engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow.”

The application was submitted in July and the ensuing 90-day warrant has been renewed at least once, the paper reported.

The government agencies are trying to determine whether Page or any other members of the Trump campaign had improper contacts Russian agents as the Kremlin sought to influence the presidential election.

Page told the paper that he was just a target in a political hit campaign.

“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page told The Washington Post Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.”

This makes Watergate look like amateur hour. People went to jail because of the Watergate break-in. People should go to jail for the surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. What was done was unconstitutional and a violation of the civil rights of the people under surveillance. The leaking of this information with the names unmasked was also a violation of the law. If no one is held accountable, then the precedent is set that unwarranted surveillance of American citizens and releasing the information is acceptable.

 

How The Deep State Works

It is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee. The logic behind this is that civil servants should not be at the mercy of elections. They should have some modicum of job security. Although in theory that is a really good idea, it prevents the occasional housecleaning that Washington, D.C. needs. The group in Washington that is dedicated to maintaining the status quo is a small portion of the deep state. The deep state is much more complex and entangled than that, but for the purposes of this article, the deep state is simply the entrenched bureaucracy that is intent on maintaining the status quo. The deep state is one of the few things in Washington that is truly bi-partisan.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that illustrates how the deep state works.

The article reports:

Chairman Nunes is the only member of the Intelligence Oversight Gang-of-Eight who has reviewed the executive level intelligence product which caused him concern.  Nunes alleged in the last week he received evidence that Obama administration political figures gained access to unmasked American identities through foreign intercepts involving the Trump transition team between November 2016 and January 2017.

Media and congressional leadership intentionally skip the obvious questions:

Why don’t the other seven members also go look at the same executive intel?

  • Why, instead of looking at the same data, does the entire UniParty political apparatus and DC media now seem intent on eliminating Devin Nunes?
  • Why doesn’t Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Mark Warner simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or Richard Burr simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t any member of the DC media ask such brutally obvious questions?
  • Why is the DC UniParty both intent on not looking at the intelligence and simultaneously intent on removing Nunes, and getting the investigation removed from the House Intelligence Committee (Nunes/Schiff) and over to the Senate Intelligence Committee (Burr/Warner)?
  • What is it about that Executive Office Level Intelligence Product the gang-of-eight are all so desperately afraid of?
  • Why would the Senate launch another entire congressional intelligence inquiry, when the head of the Senate Intelligence Committees, Burr and Warner, are desperate NOT to see the intelligence product that causes Nunes such concern?

In a previous article, The Conservative Treehouse explains why much of those in Washington who should see the intelligence reports have not:

If Representative Schiff saw the same intelligence that substantiates Nunes he couldn’t keep up the fake outrage and false narrative. Right now Schiff can say anything about it he wants because he hasn’t seen it.  If Schiff actually sees the intelligence Nunes saw he loses that ability. He would also lose the ability to criticize, ridicule and/or marginalize Devin Nunes.

The same political perspective applies to Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Mark Warner. For each of them to see the information would eliminate their ability to talk about it, or criticize Nunes. The politics of the situation are more valuable so long as they don’t engage in actual truthful knowledge.

Chairman Nunes cannot share his intelligence finding with the House Committee, because the intelligence product is beyond their intel authority. Nunes has to ask for it in portions as each compartment would permit and authorize; And so long as Pelosi, Schumer, Warner and Schiff refuse to look at the intelligence that ‘only they’ are allowed to see, they can continue to ridicule and take political advantage.

This reality is also the reason why the media is so able to manipulate the narrative around Chairman Nunes; and simultaneously why he’s able to say he’s done nothing wrong.

Until we go back to a system under which civil servants can be fired and there is a periodic housecleaning in Washington, we will be a bi-partisan government of unelected bureaucrats and our votes will not be worth much. If President Trump is serious about changing Washington, he needs to begin clearing out the deep state by firing civil servants who are working against the interests of elected officials. The uproar will be monstrous, but it is truly the only way to drain the swamp.

 

 

If You Can Discredit The Messenger, You Might Be Able To Discredit The Message

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Democrat‘s call that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election. Their main justification for this request is that Congressman Nunes informed President Trump that he had been under surveillance by the Obama Administration.

The article reminds us:

Journalists were so busy scoffing on Twitter at Nunes’ March 22 press conference that they failed to pay attention to what he said. Importantly, the intelligence collected on Trump transition staff was not related to Russia. It was not collected in the course of monitoring Russian officials, nor as part of any official criminal investigation into Trump-world that might have justified inter-agency sharing.

In describing this still-unreleased intelligence material, Nunes referred to an earlier incident in which the Obama administration spied on Israeli officials. During that monitoring, the White House incidentally picked up conversations between the Israelis and members of Congress at the height of the debate over the Iran nuclear deal.

The article points out that there are two separate items before Congress right now that they should be investigating:

There are two important and separate questions now. One pertains to Russian propaganda efforts and illegal hacking during the 2016 election. The other pertains to potentially illegal handling of intelligence information on U.S. persons by the intelligence community or the Obama administration.

The article concludes:

Democrats accuse him of canceling the hearing to prevent testimony by Sally Yates, Obama’s acting attorney general whom Trump fired in January.

 Whatever the truth of this claim, and Nunes can prove them wrong by quickly rescheduling Yates’ testimony on Flynn and Russia, the illegal handling of intelligence information about conversations by opposition politicians is a very serious issue. Nunes is right to demand answers quickly by going to the source. Democrats’ calls for him to recuse himself from a completely separate investigation are not just disingenuous, but are intended to confuse the public.

By attacking Representative Nunes, the Democrats can take the focus off of the illegal surveillance of American citizens, the failure to mask the identify of those citizens, and leaking of surveillance information to the press with the purpose of bringing down a presidential candidate and later a President.  This is not acceptable behavior.

In watching the Democrats and their attempts to delegitimize by keeping the Russian interference story alive, I am reminded of a historic event in which the Democrats and the press did a similar thing and succeeded.

The actions of the Democrats during Watergate provide a preview of what is happening now. Watergate was a high watermark in the politics of personal destruction. In his book, Inside the Real Watergate Conspiracy, the author, Geoff Shepard, states:

“It seems clear that without Cox’s intervention, the federal prosecutors would have issued indictments at least by August 1973, and the public’s desire to know that the government was seriously pursuing the Watergate case would have been fully satisfied. Indeed, on May 24, 1973, the U.S. attorney publicly stated that comprehensive indictments were imminent; and the prosecutorial memo submitted to Cox on his arrival stated that the case was all but closed.”

As Americans, we need to make sure that this sort of manipulation of the news does not happen again. Today we have an alternative media that we did not have then. Hopefully that will make a difference. At any rate, we need to be aware of what is being attempted.

The accusations of Russian interference are garbage–they are a distraction designed to prevent President Trump from draining the swamp. The accusations provide another illustration of the reason President Trump needs to drain the swamp.

This Is Not Incidental Data Collection

As I have listened to the Congressional hearings, I have heard the term ‘incidental data collection‘ mentioned as the reason there were transcripts of conversations between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador. Well, that excuse is no longer valid. The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included information from a whistleblower who Congressional investigators chose to ignore. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. It is chilling to realize how seriously the rights of American citizens were breached and that people in high places chose to try to bury the information on the surveillance.

The article cites a letter from the whistleblower to Representative David Nunes from the General Council at Freedom Watch.

The article includes the following excerpt from the letter:

If these charges are true, and it sounds as if the whistleblower has the information to back them up, some of our highest government officials belong in jail. It truly is time to drain the swamp.

It’s Amazing What Comes To The Surface

Politico posted an update today on the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee.

The article reports:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

…It was previously known that Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.

Nunes has said Flynn’s calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.

Obviously, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador were taped and transcribed. Because he has talking to the Russian ambassador, that is not unusual. What is unusual is for the transcripts of those calls to be leaked to the press with his name on them. That is against the law. The person who did that belongs in prison.

As this investigation continues, it is becoming obvious that candidate Donald Trump was under government surveillance during the campaign and after he was elected. That is a serious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. This surveillance is one reason many Congressmen opposed the Patriot Act–they feared the kind of political abuse of the law that the Obama Administration was evidently guilty of. There are many stories out there documenting the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. I have not posted some of them because I am not familiar with the sources. However, those sources are beginning to look reliable.

The Lynch Pin That Connects The Scandals

American Lens posted an article today that reminds us why we need to drain the swamp.

The article states:

Loretta Lynch is the only Attorney General in American history to invoke her Fifth Amendment privileges in her appearance before Congress in October 2016 about the $1.7 billion dollar Iran ransom payments.

It is her constitutional right to assert that privilege, as it is for all Americans. However, it dramatically increased the already toxic environment between the Obama Justice Department and Congress and left serious concerns in the air about her actions surrounding the $1.7 billion in cash payments to a hostile terrorist regime.

Invoking the Fifth Amendment does not immediately make her guilty of anything, but she is the first Attorney General to do so.

The article explains:

Under Federal Law, 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (a) (1), the Attorney General must approve the application for the warrant before it goes to a judicial panel in a FISA court.

A FISA order is used to collect information on a foreign entity when there is no other normal means available to gather the information – 50 U.S. Code § 1805 (6)(c).

According to the law there must be credible evidence that demonstrates, “each of the facilities at which surveillance directed is being used or about to be used by foreign power or agent thereof .” That could mean trouble for President Trump.

If the FISA standards were upheld, it could mean that there were at least two intelligence indicators that Trump’s equipment or personnel were about to act as foreign agents.
However, with the revelation that General Flynn was a confidant of the Turkish regime and had been in contact with the Russian foreign minister, these would likely be the indicators that could have been or were used as part of the FISA affidavit.

But, as we have previously reported, there is at least one cooperating witness in the tap of Trump tower during his presidential campaign.

Stated another way, someone in the Obama/Lynch Justice Department swore under penalty of perjury that they had evidence that Trump Tower was being used by a foreign power during the presidential campaign and/or that there was reasonable suspicion that Trump or one of his associates at the tower was about to be a secret foreign agent.

Obviously, we do not yet know all the details of the FISA request, but it appears that the Democratic Party’s opposition research team definitely got out of hand. This wiretap is different from Watergate in that government agencies were used against an opponent of the opposite party. In Watergate, it was a Republican campaign committee–the government was not involved in the actual burglary, and when the guilty parties attempted to bring in the government, the scandal was uncovered and people went to jail. This is a much more serious breach of the trust of the American people–we expect those in office to follow the laws of the land–not break for their own personal gain.

Voter Fraud Illustrated

This article has two sources–Breitbart and Nevo News. Both websites are reporting that North Carolina has 2,214 voters over the age of 110.

Nevo News is reporting the following:

Two voters — and, yes, they’ve already voted in early voting — are over 150! One in Gaston County is 154 and another in Granville County is an astonishing 160!

Breitbart reports the following:

Many are even older than 110. In fact, it seems that NC has an awful lot of voters that are 112, too. The Carolina Transparency project did a review of the voter rolls this year and found that there are 631 Democrats who are 112 or older. By contrast, the Republicans can only find 229 over 112 voters in the state (and “unaffiliated” found 39).

…This isn’t necessarily evidence of vote theft. It could be a massively failed voter registration system, although it is notable that the largest number of these voters just happen to be Democrats. But what ever is the case, it is highly unlikely to have this many centenarian voters still able to get out of their wheelchairs or retirement homes and have a run down to the polling place. Something certainly seems amiss in North Carolina.

Either these people hold the world record for longevity or we have a problem with our voter rolls. This is another example of why we need voter ID. Do you really want your vote cancelled out by someone impersonating an 160-year-old voter?

This Is The Game Being Played

On Wednesday, The Washington Free Beacon posted a story that provides a bit of insight into the barrage of recent attacks on Donald Trump.

The article reports:

NBC executives planned to release the tape of Donald Trump’s sexually explicit remarks on an Access Hollywood hot mic to have maximum impact on the election and the second presidential debate, TMZ reported Wednesday.

NBC sources told TMZ that executives knew about the bombshell 2005 tape long before they say they did, but they elected to hold off leaking it because they did not want it to come too early in the race. The tape was reported first by the Washington Post on Oct. 7, two days before Hillary Clinton and Trump’s town hall debate, and it dominated the news cycle through the weekend.

The article quotes a TMZ article from Monday:

TMZ has confirmed … Billy was telling NBC staffers in Rio about the tape back in early August, when he was still working for “Access Hollywood.” We’re told word circulated because Billy made it clear Trump was trash-talking Nancy O’Dell.

NBC News says it didn’t know about the outtakes until a week ago Monday, but the word around the network is people knew, including executives at ‘Access,’ which is an NBC property. We’re told those executives had full knowledge of Billy’s comments on the tape … which creates a potential problem if NBC is serious about firing him.

We are being played. There is also a source that indicates that NBC edited the tape to make it sound worse than it actually was (how much worse could it get?).

It’s time to look past the garbage that is being thrown at us. Some of the stories from the women making charges against Donald Trump have already been disproved. There are also direct connections between some of these women and the Clinton Foundation and Democratic organizations. There is also the fact that Donald Trump has been in the public eye for at least thirty years, and this is the first time we have heard any of this. That in itself is a little unbelievable.