There Is A Key

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.

I Guess Reality Is Optional

Breitbart.com posted an article today about some recent statements President Obama made while visiting Britain.

The article reports:

“Saving the world economy from a Great Depression — that was pretty good,” Obama bragged when asked by a student in London what he wanted his legacy to be.

He recalled that when he visited London in 2009, the world economy was in a “freefall” because of irresponsible behavior of financial institutions around the world.

“For us to be able to mobilize the world’s community, to take rapid action, to stabilize the financial markets, and then in the United States to pass Wall Streets reforms that make it much less likely that a crisis like that can happen again, I’m proud of that,” he said.

Obama also touted his Iran nuclear deal as “something I’m very proud of” asserting that he successfully stopped their nuclear weapons program without going to war.

He griped that everybody forgot about his efforts in stopping the Ebola crisis, saving “hundreds of thousands of lives.”

“I think that I have been true to myself during this process,” Obama said, insisting that the things he said while running for office “matched up” with his presidency.

“I’ll look at a scorecard in the end,” he concluded. “Change takes time. Oftentimes what you start has then to be picked up by your successors or the next generation.”

He added that the fight for change was like a relay race and that he was prepared to pass the baton to his successor.

“Hopefully they’re running in the right direction,” he joked.

I don’t know what to say, but I will attempt to deal with one comment at a time.

President Obama did not save the world from a Great Depression, and the financial crisis was not caused by the behavior of the financial institutions. The financial crisis was caused by Congressional action that encouraged bad lending policies. Reforming Wall Street does nothing that is related to the financial meltdown–the reforms only make it more complicated for the people who work on Wall Street to do their jobs.

This is an old video, but it needs to be shared everywhere:

The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster. Use the search engine at the top of the blog to see what I have written about it in the past. It represents a shift in American policy from fighting terrorism to funding it.

The Ebola crisis was stopped–by the Center for Disease Control working closely with doctors. The President had very little to do with it.

I guess in the final year of the Obama Administration, reality will be optional.

The Question On The North Carolina Ballot

This was posted on Facebook by the Republican Liberty Caucus of North Carolina. When you vote in North Carolina, please keep in mind that a trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.

Waive Right to Trial by Jury

Amendment

Friends,

As you may or may not have heard by now, on Election Day, November 4th 2014 there will be an amendment on the ballot left for North Carolina Voters to decide on. The Amendment, if passed, would amend the Constitution regarding jury trials in non death penalty cases. Instead of having a jury trial as mandated in the current form of the constitution, this would allow a defendant to waive his right to a jury trial and opt instead for a bench trial (with judicial allowance) and the case would then go before the NC Superior Court.

While the legislatively referred amendment may seem to lack fanfare or immediate consequence, there always remains the lingering possible negative consequences of “tinkering” with defendant rights and the judicial system. I would recommend folks look into this issue by referring to it’s Senate Bill # SB 399; which was sponsored by Peter Brunstetter. (This passed in the house overwhelmingly, with only one hold out vote cast by Michael Speciale.)

Consider the careful and thoughtful intent our Founding Fathers placed into writing the US Constitution, their foresight into matters such as these is absolutely relevant still today. In the Declaration of Independence a major grievance was the deprivation or jury trials in matter dealing with Great Britain, and detainment without trial. (We know the rest of the story so I will spare you the political history soapbox) However, fast forward to our modern system of criminal justice and even our Federal system has now adopted the right to waive a jury (in certain cases) to opt for a bench trial. In fact 49/50 states have this option (though statutes and limitations on this vary by state) so North Carolina is the last hold out; and to be perfectly honest and to inject my personal thoughts here, I truly think it is something to be proud of. We have maintained over the years that the right to jury trial is the best form of justice for defendants.

Some of the issues which have been raised to counter this Amendment include cases such as White Collar crimes and Fraud, bankers, political boosters, lobbyists, Insurance and Securities fraud etc. because of potential close relationships these types of defendants may have with certain judges or prosecutors. One case Nicole Revels brought up was the one in which the heir to the DuPont fortune was accused (and supposedly later admitted) to child molestation of one of his own children (he was accused of molesting two of his own children) he was granted a bench trial and sentenced to serve time, which was quickly after repealed by the judge with the explanation or excuse that he would not “fare well” in prison.

The other side of the rich and wealthy are the indigent, and low IQ defendants who already often admit to crimes they have not committed. If this option (to waive a jury) were to be taken away, perhaps a more sympathetic jury would not get to consider circumstances in which would either influence a lighter sentence (or even give the jury the option to nullify the case) I have been trying to find an old case I studied while in Criminal Law class at Campbell. I recall that there was a case in which an African American man with a fairly low IQ (and possibly some learning disorder) had seen a class where you could order away for information to become a private detective (he also at a certain point obtained a handgun) at some point later he went to the police station (possibly to talk to someone about being a “detective”) and either he disclosed that he had the gun, or it was found. It went to trial and he was facing a lengthy sentence. The case ended up being Nullified as the sympathetic jury decided he was not intending harm, and in fact was not able to even comprehend properly the laws and regulations. (No one was hurt and no violent crime happened here) I fear this man would have had the book thrown at him if he had gone in front of a judge.

Our prisons are already overpopulated with minority youths, many of which are serving very lengthy sentences because of possession charges or other non-violent crimes. Many of these defendants plea out, but for the ones who do not, I believe the Founding Fathers had the vision and capacity to understand that a jury of one’s own peers would be best fit to decide a sentence (if any at all) or find them not guilty. This amendment, in a perfect world, may just give defendants a fair option to make their own decision. However, the possibility to persuade or sway defendant’s in an intended direction remains a great risk to liberty. Most voters will not have even heard about this amendment when they go vote on November 4th, and they may just pick a quick answer, move on and never think twice about it. I think our Voters deserve more information, and more transparency. No matter what stance you take, I believe we need to educate and get the word out about SB 399, before it slips past us.

In Liberty,
Sara Remini

Could This Happen In America ?

CBN News posted a story today about what is happening in Great Britain regarding Sharia Law.

The article reports:

There are reportedly some 85 Sharia courts now operating there, with Islamic judges ruling on cases ranging from financial to marital disputes among British Muslims.

“We went into some proceedings and there were a couple of Islamic judges sitting up above the rest,” said Alan Craig, who recently stepped down as leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance party. “And there was one Muslim woman who was suing for divorce.”

Craig is a former city councilor in East London, home to several Sharia courts where women face open discrimination.

“A woman’s witness value is half that of a man,” Craig told CBN News. “So [the courts] will tend, therefore, to take the man’s position in a divorce.”

The article concludes:

So could Sharia courts come to America? The idea sounds far-fetched to some.

According to the Center for Security Policy in Washington, there have been some 50 court cases in at least 23 states that have seen conflicts between Sharia law and American state law.

And four states have adopted legislation, called “American Laws for American Courts,” that would protect U.S. citizens from the use of any type of foreign law, like Sharia, in the courtroom.

In East London, Craig said the fight against Sharia is much more than a religious or legal issue.

“It’s actually a human rights thing,” he said. “And we’re working in partnership with non-Christians as well on this trying to bolster and strengthen the position for Muslim women.”

Unfortunately, if Sharia Law comes to America, American women will have much more to worry about than whether or not they can get free birth control.

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What Really Happens When You Raise Taxes

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about what has happened to tax revenue in the Great Britain since the government put a 50% tax rate on wealthy residents. The new tax rate went into effect in January of this year.

The article reports on the results of the tax hike:

The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.

Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad.

What did they expect? Those people who have accumulated large fortunes have also gained the knowledge of how to manage those fortunes or employ people who know how to manage them. Taxing the rich at a confiscatory rate decreases tax receipts and puts a larger tax burden on the middle class.

Mr. Morrissey points out:

Obama’s plan to hike capital-gains taxes to 20% and push a surtax on higher earnings will produce the same result here.  The capital that might have gone to work in the US will go to work somewhere else or not at all, which will not just kill the direct revenues expected in static tax analysis from the hike, but also discard the revenues that would have occurred had the capital been put to work here.  That’s the lesson from the British face-plant on surtaxes, and hopefully the US learns that lesson the easy way.

At the risk of appearing pessimistic, I can’t imagine President Obama learning from the British experience. Hopefully the next president will be able to undo some of the damage that is about to be done.

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