The Game Being Played

Yesterday I posted an article about the release of Bruce Ohr’s testimony by House Judiciary Committee Georgia Representative Doug Collins. There were some obvious differences between Bruce Ohr’s testimony and other testimonies. At some point that will have to be sorted out, but there is another interesting aspect to the story.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the release of the transcript.

The article notes:

NBC News penned an article about the unorthodox release of DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s transcript.  Within the article NBC notes current DOJ officials responded to the congressional request for release by sending them an approved “redacted version”:

…Having read the Ohr transcript (also provided below), there didn’t appear to be any national security interests, sources or methods, beyond investigative embarrassment for DOJ and FBI, simply because of the sham of it all.

What parts did the current DOJ redact, and what would have been their justification? What did the current DOJ attempt to hide? …Maybe Representative Doug Collins could provide the redacted version, so we can find out.  Curiouser, and curiouser…

Can we all agree that redactions supposedly in the name of national security have become redactions in the name of keeping the misconduct of the government under President Obama out of the public eye?

The Truth Begins To Come Out

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.

The Week To Come

Next week is shaping up to be an interesting week. On Tuesday we will hear President Trump’s State of the Union Address followed by a response given by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article about the choice of Ms. Abrams.

Some highlights from the article:

Abrams, who believes illegal aliens should be able to vote in elections, refused to concede to duly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and repeatedly accused him of racism.

Interestingly enough, in addition to scheduling President Trump’s address for the coming week, the Democrats have now scheduled February 7 as the date to vote on the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General, and scheduled acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee for February 8. There is a method to their plan. Part of the method is that the President’s speech is quite likely to be about the amazing economic achievements of his two years in office and he will probably talk about some of the problems on our southern border. The Democrats are looking for a way to blunt any positive impact of the speech.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about some aspects of the scheduling.

The article reports:

The committee’s vote is scheduled to take place one day before acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a number of topics, including the Mueller probe; Trump foes claim Whitaker should have recused himself from oversight of the investigation based on some of his past comments, even though a Justice Department ethics review cleared him of any conflicts.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.

The article notes a very interesting aspect of this whole Russian investigation:

A few days before Barr’s hearing, the New York Times reported that in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into the sitting U.S. president purportedly based on suspicions he was a Russian foreign agent. Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—whom the Times does not mention by name at any time in the 1,800 words it took to report this information—initiated the probe immediately after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey.

McCabe was fired last year and now is under criminal investigation for lying to federal agents.

The article concludes:

Other materials of public interest include the initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into four Trump campaign aides—which Comey claimed he never saw—and any details about who at the FBI started the unprecedented counterintelligence and criminal investigation into a sitting U.S. president.

And while he’s at it, and before Mueller’s team is finished, Barr should begin a formal inquiry into why the special counsel’s office scrubbed the iPhones used by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while they worked for Mueller for a brief time in 2017. The phones and the data contained on those devices are public property. Barr needs to find out why that information was not collected and archived since both FBI officials already were under scrutiny. Destroying potential evidence is a crime.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

Get out the popcorn, the show is about to begin.

Unbelievable

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a recent statement by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Nadler told CNN’s Jake Tapper that President Trump’s hush money payments to two women with his own money are impeachable offenses.Somehow lost in this discussion was the fact that Congress paid has paid out $17 million in the past 10 years, public records show, for unwanted sexual advances by unnamed lawmakers.

The offenses were by unnamed lawmakers. And the money came from taxpayers. So paying women to be quiet with your own money is impeachable, but paying women to be quiet using taxpayer money is acceptable. Wow. Who knew?

The article includes the following tweet:

That is an interesting question.

Is This Even Legal?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He has refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee and will not turn over the subpoenaed documents to the Committee.

The article reports:

According to multiple reports, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has given a verbal resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly following an explosive NYT report he wanted to wear a wire and oust Trump from office.

Last week, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), who previously filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, called for the Deputy Attorney General to appear before Congress under oath this week.

But today Rosenstein notified Congress he will not turn over the subpoenaed memos and will not appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that included the following paragraphs:

Exposing the FBI/DOJ dirty deeds is a major priority for a contingent within congress and a multitude of Trump supporters – but for the office of the President, in the immediate future, not-so-much.

When you have this much leverage on someone, you don’t want them to quit. You want to use their damaged and tenuous position to your advantage. President Trump is in no hurry to fire Rosenstein (not yet), because the DAG is so weak and President Trump holds all the leverage in the relationship.

Rod Rosenstein knows what he did wrong; and President Trump knows what Rosenstein did wrong. Though it could change based on new discoveries of how far the DAG went along within the soft-coup process, President Trump isn’t likely to let Rosenstein go until everyone else knows what Rosenstein did wrong.

My question amid all of this palace intrigue is, “Does Congress have legal recourse to get the documents they want and to force Rosenstein to appear?” Can the Democrats run out the clock in the hopes of taking control of Congress?  If they are successful in doing that, we can expect more corruption and politicization of these agencies in the future. We can expect Republicans and conservatives to be under constant surveillance and attack. I don’t think that is what American voters want. Stay tuned, this is going to get interesting.

 

While We Were All Watching Judge Kavanaugh…

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that the House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier on the Trump campaign. The subpoena was issued on Friday.

The reason the Judiciary Committee wants to interview Mr. Simpson is that his testimony does not agree with the testimony of other witnesses in the investigation of the Christopher Steele dossier. Someone is lying, and the Committee needs to figure out who it is.

The article explains:

Simpson and Bruce Ohr met before and after the 2016 election to discuss dossier author Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia. Simpson, who has been interviewed by three congressional committees so far, told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in November that he did not meet with Ohr until after the election.

But Ohr said in a congressional deposition on Aug. 28 that he met with Simpson in August 2016, four months before the election.

The article reports:

On Thursday, Simpson’s attorney, Josh Levy, told Goodlatte and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, that Simpson would not appear for an interview, as the committees had requested last week.

“Part and parcel of this concerted effort by the President’s congressional allies has been a campaign of retaliation against the government’s whistleblowers, including our client Mr. Simpson, for their willingness to cooperate with US law enforcement and for their exercise of their constitutional rights to free speech and political activity as American citizens,” Levy wrote.

There is no way that Mr. Simpson is a whistleblower–he is part of a group that intended to end the presidency of a duly-elected President.

Did You Really Expect The Deep State To Cooperate?

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article about the questioning of Peter Strzok yesterday by House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members.

The article reports:

Strzok, who evaded a subpoena from House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), voluntarily appeared at the hearing. Thousands of Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages, which he exchanged with former FBI lawyer and his paramour, Lisa Page, sparked anger from Republicans (and criticism from some Democrats) who contend that senior members of the FBI utilized their power and political leanings to target Trump both before and after the 2016 election.

…Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)-who was also in attendance- told SaraACarter.com, “It was a waste—Strzok is full of it and he kept hiding behind [the] classified information excuse.”

…Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) who was at the deposition Wednesday, told saraacarter.com that Strzok should be back to testify at an opening hearing.

The Judiciary Committee tweeted on Tuesday, “Peter Strzok will be interviewed first in a closed-door deposition. There will be classified information to sort through before a public hearing is held. A public hearing will be held!”

These hearings behind closed doors were a total waste of everyone’s time. The hearings need to be public with witnesses sworn in. Claims of classified information need to be debunked. We have already learned that the redactions in documents handed to Congress were about not making the FBI and DOJ look bad rather than about classified information. I suspect the same thing is happening with this testimony. It is time for Congress to get all of the document involved (unredacted), and much of the information in those documents needs to be made public. We have been dealing with a whitewash and a bogus investigation by the FBI and DOJ for more than a year. The contrast between the email investigation and the Russian interference investigation is amazing. If we have to fire all of the upper echelon of the FBI and DOJ to get to the truth, we need to do that.

The Next Step

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the upcoming testimony of FBI agent Strzok before Congress.

The article reports:

The House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, has issued a subpoena for FBI Agent Peter Strzok to appear for testimony on Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00am.

However, a June 17th article at The Conservative Treehouse points out:

However, don’t get too excited…. remember, Peter Strzok is the primary witness in both the Trump-Russia investigation (ongoing Mueller probe), and the more recent OIG FISA Abuse/Campaign Spying investigation initiated by Michael Horowitz.

As such, dontchaknow, Mr Peter Strzok would have to politely refuse to answer questions about “ongoing investigations”, and could only testify issues specifically related to the Clinton-email probe which was the subject of the most recent IG report release.

And the administrative state, both inside government and outside government, have had over a year to assist Mr. Strzok in the coordination of his narrative and talking points.

We need to remember what the game is here. Donald Trump was not supposed to be elected, and all of the wrongdoing by the FBI and DOJ during the campaign and transistion of power was supposed to be buried by the Hillary Clinton administration. Since that did not happen, the new playbook is to stall the investigation until either the public gets so bored with it that no one is paying attention or until the Democrats can take over Congress and bury the investigation. Those are the primary goals right now. If the Democrats can take over Congress, they can impeach President Trump for whatever reason and make sure all records of FBI and DOJ activities in the 2016 election campaign and transition team are buried. At that point, we will no longer be a representative republic–we will be a banana republic.

Getting Closer To The Truth

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the ongoing struggle to get documents requested from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the House Judiciary Committee.

The article reports:

Tomorrow Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce the assignment of U.S. Attorney John Lausch to facilitate the production of documents from the DOJ (Horowitz/Huber) to the House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

Mr. Lausch is a Trump appointed U.S. Attorney from outside Washington DC.  John Lausch currently heads the Northern District of Illinois which includes Chicago, and this specific U.S. Attorney has extensive experience in complex cases of conspiracy and political corruption; a key skill-set given the issues within the Horowitz/Huber investigation of potential politicization of the FBI and DOJ offices.

So what does this mean? This is the next step toward the release of the Inspector General‘s (IG) report and an effort to make sure the report that comes out is free of political meddling by the FBI and DOJ.

The article explains some of the process involved in releasing the IG report:

There’s a phase in the OIG report process where statements of fact go through an exhaustive draft vetting process within agency. The “source vetting” or “reference-audit” phase is part of the target -and internal review audit- prior to final draft & ultimately publication.

The raw investigative information, used as the foundation for the report, has to be vetted, re-checked, verified and reviewed for placement and footnotes in the draft report, before ANY of that source information is released.

FBI Director Christopher Wray previously assigned 54 staff to go through the IG source draft information (investigative documents) to validate baseline facts prior to release to congress. This process also scans for classified information.

These FBI staff are vetting the underlying evidence that’s noted in Horowitz’s draft notification document. Remember, many of these elements are also potentially criminal actions individually; and quite likely, in the aggregate, also the broad outlines of a criminal conspiracy amid all of the participants.

The activities illustrated by the already released emails indicate some criminal actions. There was a group of people working within the government to unseat a duly-elected President. That is not legal activity and needs to be dealt with by the appropriate authorities.

The article describes the activities under investigation:

However, given the reality that politicization of the FBI and DOJ underpins the origination of the investigation that generated the underlying evidence, in order to ensure any internal FBI conflicts do not arise amid document selection, John Lausch will be involved.

U.S. Attorney Lausch review will ensure the FBI does not hide, or marginalize any OIG investigative findings.

You can call it a soft-coup, or you can call it politicization of the DOJ and FBI, but the end result is the same – the intentional effort to manipulate, influence, and ultimately subvert an election for the presidency of the United States.

This needs to be dealt with severely so that it never happens again.