Do Liars Ever Apologize?

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slowly Getting To The Truth

Fox News posted an article today about a recent comment by James Comey. In an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, James Comey stated that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was “overconfident” when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I think you could fertilize your garden with that statement. Remember, it was James Comey who leaked information to his friend to leak to The New York Times in order to promote the idea that a Special Prosecutor was needed. It was James Comey who listed all the crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and then said they weren’t really crimes because she didn’t mean to commit them. It was James Comey who briefed the President on the Steele Dossier so that it could be leaked to the press. It was James Comey who paved the way for the entire phony Russia investigation that cost taxpayers millions and prevented Congress from actually accomplishing anything for the good of the country. Keep that in mind as he proclaims he had no idea what was going on.

The article notes:

“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey said about how the FBI used the FISA process, adding, “I was overconfident as director in our procedures,” and that what happened “was not acceptable.”

Horowitz did make it clear that he believes the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference and possible connections with the Trump campaign was properly initiated, but he did note that this is based on a “low threshold.” He also concluded that there was no testimonial or documentary evidence to show that the investigation started due to any political bias, but said the issue of bias “gets murkier” when it comes to the various issues with the FISA process.

That process included the reliance on information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele as part of opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS for the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. Horowitz’s report stated that government attorneys were hesitant to approve a FISA warrant application until they relied on unverified information from Steele. That information also was used in subsequent renewals for the FISA warrant.

Comey downplayed the role of Steele’s information in obtaining the FISA warrant against Page, claiming Sunday that it was “not a huge part of the presentation to the court,” just part of the information included in the warrant application.

It will be interesting to see if James Comey is included when indictments are handed out. My bet is that he will be. He should at least be held accountable for leaking information.

About That Oft Repeated Concern For The Constitution…

Yesterday PJMedia posted an article about constitutional violations under President Obama. Somehow I don’t remember the Democrats being very upset about those violations.

The article lists the violations:

5. Illegally firing an inspector general

In 2009, Barack Obama illegally fired Gerald Walpin, the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service,  without notice or providing the legally mandated explanation for the firing to Congress. Obama did this to protect Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an ally of his, whom Walpin had been investigating for misusing federal funds Walpin had discovered a cover-up of sexual assault allegations by minors against Johnson.

4. Giving “green energy” loans to donor companies

If you want to talk about an abuse of power, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were both personally involved in the decision-making process to determine who got $80 billion for clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits for green energy companies, in a highly politicized process that favored companies that supported the Obama-Biden campaign over those that didn’t. It was no coincidence that the companies that got all the cash were donors to their campaign. In fact, DOE officials expressed concerned that Obama and Biden’s involvement was putting taxpayer dollars at risk. Not only did they give all this money to green energy companies that donated to their campaign, but the Obama administration also stole proprietary technology from companies that didn’t get the loans to the Obama cronies who got them. This scandal was much bigger than Solyndra, but the calls for Obama’s impeachment weren’t there.

3. Unconstitutional recess appointments

When Obama made a number of controversial picks for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), he was unable to get them through the Senate. So, in January 2012, he declared his nominees appointed to the Senate via recess appointments. Except the Senate wasn’t even in recess at the time. Obama’s actions were such a blatant abuse of power that experts on both sides of the aisle blasted Obama for what he did and a federal appeals court overturned the appointments a few days after his second inauguration, declaring, “Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.” The United States Supreme Court ultimately took up the case, and unanimously agreed Obama abused his power.

2. Illegally reinterpreting Title IX

When Title IX was written, the goal was to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education. The notion of “gender identity” or “gender expression” wasn’t even a thing back in 1972 when it was passed. Nevertheless, Obama unilaterally decided that “sex” meant “gender identity” and threatened to enforce this bizarre idea. This was a huge violation of the rights and privacy of women and girls nationwide without so much as a national debate in Congress, where this issue needed to be worked out. Instead of going to Congress, Obama simply threatened educational institutions at all levels with the loss of Title IX funding if they didn’t comply and allow boys to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and dorm rooms with girls, as well as allow boys to play on girls sports teams. Obama’s going around Congress on this issue was a huge violation of power.

1. Changing immigration law via executive order

The truth is, Obama spent most of his presidency with a divided Congress or a GOP-controlled Congress. His radical left-wing agenda was mostly DOA because rather than work toward compromise legislation, his default position was to act on his own, assuming the executive authority to change laws via executive fiat. Anyone who’s familiar with the Constitution knows he had no such authority.

Still, when the DREAM Act failed to pass, Obama issued an executive order creating DACA, an executive-branch version of the DREAM Act. Obama literally bypassed Congress, changing U.S. immigration law via executive pen to appease his pro-open-borders base.

There seems to be something of a double standard here. The Democrats are not able to name one instance where President Trump abused his power or violated the Constitution, yet there was not a peep out of them when President Obama openly violated the Constitution.

The Swamp Has Been The Swamp For A While

Issues & Insights posted an article today with the following headine, “This Isn’t The First Time The IG Denied Flagrant Bias At The FBI.”

The article reports:

Democrats and the mainstream press – is there any difference between the two these days? – have been clinging to the “no bias” statement by the Justice Department inspector general with all their might.

The IG said that he couldn’t state definitively that political bias motivated officials at the FBI to launch and then sustain an investigation against the Trump campaign based on the Clinton-campaign funded and thoroughly discredited Steele Dossier.

That was enough for press to run headlines such as:

“Bias didn’t taint FBI leaders running Trump-Russia Investigation”

“Report on F.B.I. Debunks Anti-Trump Plot”

“Mistakes, but no political bias in FBI probe of Trump campaign: watchdog”

And when Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Democrats repeatedly pressed him to state his “no bias” claim over and over.

“You didn’t find a ‘deep state’ conspiracy against candidate or President Trump,” Sen. Diane Feinstein asked in the form of a statement.

“We found no bias,” Horowitz said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy repeated the “question,” saying that the IG had found “no evidence that the investigation was motivated by anti-Trump or political bias.”

The notion that there was “no bias” at all is impossible to believe when you look at the evidence that Horowitz gathered.

The article also notes:

In any case, this “no bias” language in the latest IG report is almost identical to what Horowitz said in his June 2018 report about the hopelessly biased FBI “investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of State.

In that report, the also G claimed that there was “no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias.” The report then went on to say that officials made a series of “judgment calls” that were technically proper.

But the truth is that every single one of these judgment calls benefited Clinton.

Plus, the IG found plenty of evidence of flagrant bias among the key players in that investigation, including exchanges between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about how “we’ll stop” Trump from being elected.

The article concludes:

What kind of “inaccuracies and omissions”? Oh, things like hiding from the court information that “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele reporting that was used.” And failing to tell the court that Page had been an FBI informant, which involved working with Russian intelligence officers.

“We also found” he went on, “basic, fundamental, and serious errors during the completion of the FBI’s factual accuracy reviews.” And it found that FBI officials “did not give appropriate attention to facts that cut against probable cause.”

In other words, any shreds of evidence that there was no reason to spy on Page.

Horowitz said these “basic and fundamental errors” were made by “three separate, hand-picked investigative teams.”

If the FBI were simply incompetent, you’d expect these “fundamental errors” to be more random. But as with the “judgment calls” during the Clinton email investigation, all of these mistakes just happened to cut in one direction only. In this case of Clinton, they all helped the FBI reach the decision they’d made at the start to exonerate her. In Trump’s case, every supposed screw-up all helped to keep the probe going.

Even Horowitz himself wouldn’t categorically deny that bias played a role in the FISA applications. As he told Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat, “it gets murkier … when you get to the FISA.”

“Murkier” is one way of putting it. “Deep state, anti-Trump bias” is another way. Just because an inspector general won’t say those words doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

We truly are on a quest to restore equal justice under the law. Right now we don’t have it.

Why Is It Always The Same People?

Inspector General Michael Horowitz stated in his report that he believed that there was no political bias involved in the surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign. I guess he never read the emails that went between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page–particularly the one about an ‘insurance policy’ if Donald Trump became President. Wow. But there is another interesting character related to the Inspector General’s Report.

American Thinker posted an article today about Bruce Swartz. Who is Bruce Swartz?

The article reports:

The Inspector General’s Report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) features a heretofore unheralded costar by the name of Bruce Swartz, the assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division. Swartz was also the supervisor of the feckless Bruce Ohr, husband of Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr and frequent breakfast buddy of Christopher Steele of Steele dossier fame.

Unreported by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, however, was Swartz’s starring role in another DoJ drama some 15 years earlier. Given the scant media attention the case received in 2004-2005, it is possible Horowitz did not even know about Swartz’s yeoman effort to save Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger from a lengthy sojourn in a federal Supermax.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations,” reported Horowitz. Had the IG been able to compare Swartz’s protection of Berger to his pursuit of one-time Trump adviser Paul Manafort, the evidence would have kicked him in the teeth.

As Swartz himself acknowledged, he had a Javert-like zeal to bring Manafort to justice. “Ohr and Swartz both told us that they felt an urgency to move the Manafort investigation forward,” reported Horowitz,  “because of Trump’s election and a concern that the new administration would shut the investigation down.” This urgency translated into frequent semi-covert meetings with the FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok told the IG that Swartz wanted him to “kick that [investigation] in the ass and get it moving.”

Swartz continued to “weigh in” on the Manafort investigation even though it was clearly outside his jurisdiction. In December 2016, concerned that the DoJ’s money laundering division (MLARS) was not moving fast enough against Manafort, Swartz brought colleague Andrew Weissman into the act.

The article continues:

Swartz is the textbook swamp dweller. From all appearances, no matter who sits in the attorney general’s chair, these seemingly respectable subversives protect the progressive deep state and punish those who would threaten it. Supplied leads by a complicit media and shielded by that same media from exposure, people like Swartz have been perverting justice for decades.

If proof were needed, Swartz and his boys recommended a $10,000 fine for Berger and three-year loss of security clearance for a crime that would have put a Republican in prison for decades. Happily for the Deep State, Berger regained his clearance just in time to serve as a Hillary Clinton adviser in the 2008 campaign.

Manafort did not fare quite so well. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in a city that gave Donald Trump 4 percent of its vote. Then, to prevent President Trump from dangling a federal pardon, the New York friends of the Deep State prosecuted Manafort on state charges.

True, the Russia collusion fears that inspired the Manafort investigation were imaginary, but the federal and state charges are very real. Manafort has descended into a Kafkaesque legal hell from which the 70-year-old will likely not emerge alive.

Until the swamp is fully drained, we will not have equal justice under the law.

Actions Have Consequences

One American News posted an article today quoting a remark made by Senator Lindsey Graham during the Department of Justice Inspector General’s hearing today.

The article reports:

During the Department of Justice Inspector General’s hearing Wednesday, the senator said there needs to be more “checks and balances to make sure something like this never happens again.”

The Republican lawmaker also warned Inspector General Michael Horowitz against refusing to recommend charges against the bureau for mishandling the investigation.

Graham went on to say he has serious doubts the FISA court can continue working if nothing is done, adding that the court will “lose his support” if no corrective action is taken.

Meanwhile, Horowitz told senators the FBI maintained surveillance on Carter Page even when its investigation into him was winding down. While discussing his report Wednesday, Horowitz outlined 17 instances where the bureau intentionally “omitted or withheld” information in their application for FISA warrants.

People went to jail because of a third-rate burglary in the Watergate Building when they attempted to spy on an opposing political candidate. The FISA scandal involves using a government agency to accomplish what the Watergate burglars were attempting. Why is it being handled so differently by both the press and the political class? This entire situation shows the need for tighter controls on the government’s ability to spy on its citizens. There could easily come a time in the future when government surveillance is used against everyday Americans of a political party different than the one in power. That is the reason that the people who did the illegal spying need to face consequences.

I Suspect There Is Much More To Come

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted the statement by US Attorney John Durham on the Inspector General’s Report conclusions.

This is the statement:

“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” John Durham said in a rare statement.

Remember, US Attorney John Durham has the ability to seat a Grand Jury and indict people. His report will eventually be released.

How To Make A Scandal Go Away

Some of our politicians have perfected a strategy to deal with scandals that generally works. I won’t name names here, but you can probably come up with a few. The most successful strategy has been to stonewall, delay, obfuscate, and deny for a period of time, and when the facts actually come out, say, “That’s old news. It’s already been settled.” That is the current strategy being used to delay the Inspector General’s Report on how the Russian investigation began and on the illegal surveillance of American citizens that occurred during the Obama administration.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that included a conversation that occurred on the Sean Hannity Show on Monday.

This is the conversation:

Sean Hannity: Which brings us to the IG report. Congressman Chaffetz, it’s been taking us a long time. And we heard the end of this week. Now we heard the beginning of next week. I can never get a straight answer. You know, at some point are we going to see premeditated fraud on a FISA Court and people held accountable? Spying on a presidential campaign, transition and president?

Jason Chaffetz: It has been going on for an exceptionally long time. Evidently there’s an intra-agency debate and really a food fight if you will over the classification issues. Remember in the last report put out by Horowitz there were only seven words or so that were redacted. The Democrats threw a fit that they couldn’t see the whole thing. This could have 10-20% of the report redacted…

Sean Hannity: Is that director Wray who has not shown any willingness to clean up the greatest law enforcement agency in the world? Is that him?

Jason Chaffetz: I have not seen any evidence that Director Wray has been cooperative but I think we’re talking about other agencies, perhaps. Perhaps the CIA the NSA, there are others. Mr. Clapper, Mr. Brennan, are behind the scenes fighting as best they can. in front of the camera fighting as best they can. I think you need to look at what Mr. Comey, the director of the FBI and his interaction with Brennan in particular. What sort of collusion was happening in our government and overseas. That’s the deep concern, Sean.

It’s interesting that the IG report is being kept from the American public and the impeachment proceedings are also being done in secret. Have we reached the point where many of those who are supposed to represent us in government have decided that we don’t have the right to know what they are doing?

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

Putting Up The Smoke Screen

The Inspector General’s report on the foreign intervention in the 2016 election is expected to come out in the next two weeks or so. Many of us are getting very impatient. Based on what the alternative media has been reporting for years now, Attorney General Barr and his investigating team are looking in all of the right places–Russia, Australia, Italy, Ukraine, and Britain. Those who took part on the scam and the investigation that followed are correct to be very uncomfortable about what is to come. The mainstream media is trying to blunt the impact of the information that will be made public.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article detailing exactly what is going on. It is a complicated article, so I suggest you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights.

The article reports:

Once upon a time — in a galaxy far, far away — The New York Times and The Washington Post were the go-to papers when it came to uncovering political scandals.  

Both papers made a point of running the Pentagon Papers, an internal and secret U.S. government history of  various presidents and their relevant Cabinet secretaries decision-making on American involvement in the Vietnam War. The Post, of course, was also famous for its birddogging young reporters Woodward and Bernstein and their digging out the details of the Watergate scandal. In fact, movies have been made with Hollywood A-listers lionizing both The Post and the journalists involved. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starred in the Watergate movie (All the President’s Men), while Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep starred in the dramatic tale of the Post’s battles with government officials over  breaking the Pentagon Papers story (The Post. )

So it is with no little irony that today the two papers are leading the media charge to cover-up “Spygate” – the considerable scandal that is the the use of American intelligence agencies to spy on the political opponents of Obama and Clinton in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal has noticed, saying this in an editorial titled: “Foreign Influence and Double Standards. Democrats want to stop Barr from investigating what happened in 2016.” 

The article also notes:

Over at the Times, that paper is busy running stories like this one by the virulent Trump-hater Michelle Goldberg. This jewel of political framing is titled: “Just How Corrupt Is Bill Barr?” 

Perhaps the real question should be: Just How Corrupt is The New York Times

A perfect example of the game at play in this article is Goldberg citing one “Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law.” I recall Stephen Gillers. In fact, I took a look at Gillers in my 2005 book The Borking Rebellion, a recounting of the Senate confirmation of Bush nominee Judge D. Brooks Smith for the Third Circuit of Appeals. The Post had asked Gillers for comment on a supposed ethics issue involving Judge Smith, presenting him, as does Goldberg today, as an above-it-all, strictly non-partisan legal ethics expert.

In fact, in the Smith battle I uncovered the fact that Gillers was hardly a non-partisan. He had served as a consultant to a far left special interest group called the Community Rights Counsel. The CRC had issued a report harshly critical of the Judge, and The Post went to Gillers for comment, leaving out of their story Gillers own ties to the CRC, the very group whose report on Smith he was being asked to comment. 

Goldberg plays the same game, citing Gillers as if he were some lofty non-partisan when, in fact, his background and record illustrate that he is anything but. Goldberg’s presentation is, to borrow again from her title, corrupt.

Andrew McCarthy at The National Review noted recently:

The strategy here is obvious. The Democrats and their note-takers would like the public to believe that Barr’s investigation is an adjunct of the Trump 2020 campaign — and a grossly improper one at that. The misimpression they seek to create is that Barr is putting the nation’s law-enforcement powers in the service of Trump’s reelection campaign, in the absence of any public interest. The hope is that this will delegitimize not only any information that emerges from Ukraine but the whole of the Justice Department’s investigation of intelligence and law-enforcement abuses of power attendant to the 2016 election.

If the people who used government and foreign resources to spy on a political opponent in 2016 are not held accountable, their actions will become the template for future political campaigns. This will destroy our republic.

Things That Make You Wonder

A website called Truth and Action posted an article (there is no date on the article) about Hillary Clinton’s actions on election night 2016. Obviously she was distressed–she had reason to be–everyone had predicted she would win and she lost. She made a statement that night that is recorded in the article at Truth and Action and a number of other places.

The statement as quoted in the article (and other places) is below (with a few editorial changes because this blog is G-rated) with more of the story:

Journalist Matt Stiller shared in a recent report that during the 2016 presidential election Hillary Clinton was unhinged, and that various NBC insiders can substantiate his account.

According to Still, during last year’s presidential campaign at the Commander-In-Chief Forum on September 7, 2016, moderator Matt Lauer went “off script” and asked Hillary about her using an illegal, private email-server when she was secretary of state.

According to Bill Still’s source — an unnamed “NBC associate producer of the forum” — Hillary was so enraged that, after the forum, she went into a ballistic melt-down, screaming at her staff, including a racist rant at Donna Brazile, calling Brazile a “buffalo” and “janitor”. Brazile recently turned against Hillary — now we know why.

…She screamed she’d get that f**king Lauer fired for this. Referring to Donald Trump, Clinton said, ‘If that f**king b***ard wins, we all hang from nooses! Lauer’s finished, and if I lose, it’s all on your heads for screwing this up.’

Her dozen or more aides were visibly disturbed and tried to calm her down when she started shaking uncontrollably as she screamed to get an executive at Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, on the phone. Then two rather large aides grabbed her and helped her walk to her car.”

Please consider the essence of the statement that if Donald Trump wins, we all hang from nooses. We live in a representative republic. People who lose elections do not normally hang from nooses. Why did she see that as a threat? Is it possible that she was fully aware of what had gone on during the campaign and understood that it would eventually be revealed?

Fast forward to today. We know that the Inspector General’s Report will probably come out in the next month or so. I have no doubt that the Republicans will push to make as much of that report public as possible. Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we already have a pretty good idea of what is in the report. I believe that impending report is behind the move by Democrats in the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump as quickly as possible, discredit Attorney General Barr, discredit Vice-President Pence, and simply impugn the credibility of anyone who might expose the events of the 2016 election. The one thing we do know is that a group of government workers at the highest level worked behind the scenes to spy on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and the Trump presidency. They also worked hard to destroy anyone associated with the campaign or administration. I believe this is the first time in our history that we have had a Congresswoman call for members of an administration to be harassed in public places. The fact that she was not severely censored for that statement is cause for alarm.

When The Timeline Doesn’t Work

One of the things generally cited by the media as justification for charging President Trump with obstruction of justice has been the memo written by James Comey claiming that the President asked him to go easy on General Flynn. Aside from the fact that most Americans would have agreed with the President’s request to handle a matter involving an American war veteran gently, the Inspector General’s Report brings the memo about that entire conversation into question.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article that explains the problem with the memo.

The article explains:

According to Comey, during a private meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, 2017, President Trump asked the former FBI director to drop an inquiry into Flynn about his discussions with the Russian ambassador shortly after the election. (Flynn had resigned amid media reports he possibly violated an arcane federal law.)

“He misled the Vice President but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call,” Comey claimed Trump said to him. “[Trump] said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

According to Russian collusion truthers, those alleged comments form the most convincing evidence that Team Trump not only conspired with the Russians and tried to cover it up, but that the president broke the law by asking his FBI director to halt an investigation into one of his top advisors.

The memo is cited numerous times in the second volume of the Mueller report to implicate the president for obstructing justice by interfering in the Russian investigation, although Comey’s memo is the only evidence of such an act. (Trump has disputed Comey’s description of the conversation.)

Note that James Comey’s memo is the only description of the conversation. There is no second source.

The article continues:

But that portrayal of events was never the truth. The conversation in February 2017 had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, as I’ve written before: Neither Trump nor Congress nor the general public knew at that time that James Comey’s FBI had been investigating Trump’s campaign, including Flynn, since July 2016.

And the new report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) confirms as much.

The article also notes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

The article concludes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

It really is time to put as many of the deep state as possible in jail.

How Does A Republic Survive When There Are Two Standards Of Justice?

The Inspector General has released his report regarding James Comey. The report is damning in terms of citing examples of misconduct by James Comey, yet Comey will not be charged. Seems a bit odd.

The Gateway Pundit reports today:

Report of Investigation of Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s Disclosure of Sensitive Investigative Information and Handling of Certain Memoranda

The Department of Justice Inspector General concluded that:
Comey Violated Department and FBI Policies Pertaining to the Retention, Handling, and Dissemination of FBI Records and Information

The IG found that former FBI Director and Trump-hater James Comey released classified and sensitive material to the press.
Comey wanted to ruin Trump so he ran a coup with the CIA and State Department to set up, harass and eventually remove President Donald Trump from office.

The DOJ IG today announced that these clearly illegal activities set a poor example to the 35,000 FBI officials…
But the “Department declined prosecution.”

As long as you are a Democrat you are permitted to break the law.

This is the new “Comey Rule.”

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall detailing some of the Inspector General’s Report:

However, after his removal as FBI Director two months later, Comey provided a copy of Memo 4, which Comey had kept without authorization, to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter for The New York Times. Memo 4 included information that was related to both the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Flynn and, by Comey’s own account, information that he believed and alleged constituted evidence of an attempt to obstruct the ongoing Flynn investigation; later that same day, The New York Times published an article about Memo 4 entitled, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.”

The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.

Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information. Comey said he was compelled to take these actions “if I love this country…and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI.” However, were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director’s example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI’s ability to conduct its work is compromised “if people run around telling the press what we do.” This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey’s closest advisors used the words “surprised,” “stunned,” “shocked,” and “disappointment” to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.

In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.

So far, there does not seem to be a rule of law. It’s evidently okay to use agencies of the federal government to attempt to undo the results of a legal election. Unless there are actual prosecutions related to the attempted coup of the past two years, our justice system is toast. If people are not prosecuted for their misbehavior in the Russian Hoax, where is the hope that these tactics will not be used again. Katy, bar the door in the 2020 election. Dirty tricks and illegal activity will reach a new high.

Knowing Where The Bodies Are Buried

Insiders in Washington who are honest have a pretty good idea what went into the framing of candidate Trump (and President Trump) as a Russian agent. Many of them have remained relatively quiet for various reasons–not wanting to leak classified information, not wanting to get ahead of the story, and waiting for more information to come out. Well, it seems as if we may finally getting near some of that information.

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday listing ten items that should be declassified that will turn what we have heard from the mainstream media on its head.

This is the list:

  1. Christopher Steele’s confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier.
  2. The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November.
  3. The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources. We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election.
  4. The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele’s dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016.
  5. Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes’s five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason.
  6. The ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative.
  7. The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors.
  8. The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ’s inspector general interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS.
  9. The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had started and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
  10. Records of allies’ assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas — possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy — were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence.

If what went on here were not so serious, it would be a major get-out-the-popcorn moment. However, the biggest questions is, “How much of this will the major media report when it is released?”

The Truth Continues To Seep Out

Yesterday The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) posted the following on its website:

The ACLJ has just obtained previously unreleased documents related to the Clinton investigation and immunity agreements given to top Clinton aids. These agreements reveal that James Comey’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice (DOJ) granted immunity to Hillary Clinton’s aids and lawyers, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, from prosecution for anything found on their laptops violating multiple felony criminal statutes governing the mishandling of classified information and/or the removal or destruction of records, including Espionage Act provisions. Further, the DOJ and FBI also agreed to evade the statutory requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by purporting to deem the contents of the laptops as not under DOJ or FBI “custody or control.”

These laptops were critical to any meaningful investigation of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails and records. According to the DOJ Inspector General, who identified these as the “culling laptops,” “[a]ll 62,320 emails pulled from the Clinton servers were stored at one time on these laptops.” Having taken control of these laptops, agreeing to severely limit its searches, agreeing to unlawfully shield the laptops from FOIA, then agreeing to dispose of the laptops, it appears the Comey FBI and Lynch DOJ did everything in their power to protect Clinton’s senior aids and lawyers from both criminal liability and public scrutiny.

While these immunity agreements and related news have been publicly discussed to some extent, the ACLJ has now obtained the actual documents so the public may see and judge them accordingly.

The article also states:

According to the DOJ’s immunity agreement with Mills:

As we have advised you, we consider Cheryl Mills to be a witness based on the information gathered to date in this investigation. We understand that Cheryl Mills is willing to voluntarily provide the Mills Laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, if the United States agrees not to use any information directly obtained from the Mills Laptop in any prosecution of Cheryl Mills for the mishandling of classified information and/or the removal or destruction of records as described below.

And, according to the immunity agreement:

To that end, it is hereby agreed as follows:

    1. That, subject to the terms of consent set forth in a separate letter to the Department of Justice dated June 10, 2016, Cheryl Mills will voluntarily produce the Mills Laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its review and analysis.
    2. That no information directly obtained from the Mills Laptop will be used against your client in any prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) and/or (f); 18 U.S.C. § 1924; and/or 18 U.S.C. § 2071.
    1. That no other promises, agreements, or understandings exist between the parties except as set forth in this agreement, and no modification of this agreement shall have effect unless executed in writing by the parties.

The agreement was then executed by Cheryl Mills. The immunity agreement with Samuelson reads the same.

Mills and Samuelson Were Granted Immunity From Prosecution Under Multiple Felony Statutes for Anything Found on Their Laptops.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Unfortunately this is a glaring example of unequal justice under the law.

The Heart Of The Matter

In September 2018, The Western Journal reported:

President Trump ordered declassification of several documents and texts related to the FBI’s Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

Included among the documents are the 21 pages of the FISA court application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders added that the president has also directed the release of all reports by the FBI of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr in relation to the Russia investigation.

One of the people involved in the declassification process was Dan Coats. Evidently he has been something of a bottleneck in the process. Thus, he is resigning. President Trump is expected to nominate Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe to replace him.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported:

On May 23rd, 2019, President Donald Trump gave U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr full authority to review and release all of the classified material hidden by the DOJ and FBI.

Sixty-five days ago….

It has been 65 days since President Trump empowered AG Bill Barr to release the original authorizing scope of the Mueller investigation on May 17, 2017. A Mueller investigation now being debated and testified to in congress, and yet we are not allowed to know what the authorizing scope was…. Nor the 2nd DOJ scope memo of August 2nd, 2017… Nor the 3rd DOJ scope memo of October 20th, 2017.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit noted:

Ratcliffe, a pro-Trump GOP favorite grilled Mueller real good on Wednesday about his Constitutional abuses and according to Axios, Trump was impressed with his performance during the House Judiciary Hearing.

‘Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?’ Ratcliffe asked Mueller.

Mueller was left stuttering and could not answer Rep. Ratcliff so he mumbled something about this being a ‘unique situation.’

Ratfcliffe interjected and told Mueller the reason why he can’t find another example of this happening is because it doesn’t exist.

Dan Coats is a Deep State stooge and is causing a bottleneck for Barr and Durham in the declassification process in their Spygate investigation.

Stay tuned. The Inspector General’s report is due out in September. Some declassification may take place before then. I honestly don’t know if the media will report what actually happened or if many Americans will believe it. What appears to be the case is that we have watched Peter Strzok’s insurance policy against the Trump presidency in action for more than two years now. Hopefully that insurance policy will not only fail miserably but result in jail time for those who misused the intelligence assets of America.

Behind The Scenes–The Search For Roots

While Robert Mueller was making the headlines with his appearance on Capitol Hill, the internal investigation at the Justice Department was continuing as to the source of the charges of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.

Fox News posted an article today about that investigation. Before I go into the details, I think we need to consider why the internal investigation is important. Despite what the Democrats are trying to spin, Mueller, in the afternoon session and his opening remarks, made it clear that there was no evidence of collusion. His task was to look for collusion. The second part of his report, based on speculation by news sources, tried to imply that there was obstruction. That charge was based on conversations and thoughts–not actions. The President talked about firing Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller was not fired. Was talking about it a crime? Using that standard, you can pretty much find anyone guilty of anything. If I decide that I need money and say that I want to rob a bank, is that a crime? Not unless I follow through on it.

The internal investigation is important to determine the source of the charges against candidate Trump. If the source is questionable or political, then the same technique can be used against any future President. That does not bode well for our republic.

The Fox News article points out a few basic things the internal investigation has uncovered:

The Justice Department’s internal review of the Russia investigation is zeroing in on transcripts of recordings made by at least one government source who met with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos overseas in 2016, specifically looking at why certain “exculpatory” material from them was not presented in subsequent applications for surveillance warrants, according to two sources familiar with the review.

The sources also said the review is taking a closer look at the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, as some allege the probe began earlier than thought. Both components are considered key in the review currently being led by Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham –– an effort sure to draw more attention in the coming weeks and months now that Robert Mueller’s testimony is in the rearview.

The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

The story continues:

A source told Fox News that the “exculpatory evidence” included in the transcripts is Papadopoulos denying having any contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed “dirt” on Clinton.

But Papadopoulos did not only meet with Mifsud and Downer while overseas. He met with Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News back in May that he always suspected he was being recorded. Further, he tweeted during the Mueller testimony about “recordings” of his meeting with Downer.

…Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., now a Fox News contributor, first signaled the existence of transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos earlier this year.

“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” Gowdy said in May on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” acknowledging he was aware of the files and suggesting they included exculpatory information.

The article concludes:

The Barr-Durham review is likely to draw more attention following Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill. Republicans sought to focus their questioning on the origins of the Russia investigation under then-Director James Comey’s FBI—a topic Mueller repeatedly said was “out of his purview” due to the ongoing investigation being led by the Justice Department. Another review is being conducted by the DOJ inspector general.

“Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Wednesday. “Here’s the good news—that’s exactly what Bill Barr is doing and thank goodness for that.”

The fact that an investigation which began with the misuse of government agencies to spy on a political opponent has taken two years is a miscarriage of justice. Those responsible need to be severely penalized so that the country never has to go through this again.

Prepare The Popcorn

Washington is nothing if not leaky. The leaks are starting to come out about the Inspector General’s report. The report will be scrutinized and edited before any (or all) of it is released to the public in September, so we really don’t know what we will be allowed to see. It seems to me that if (if?) there is corruption in our government that the American people are entitled to know about it, but that’s just naivete`.

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today giving his take on the subject.

The article reports:

If RealClearInvestigations’ sources accurately describe Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ upcoming report, it’s no wonder Donald Trump fired James Comey. According to two sources reportedly briefed on the upcoming Horowitz report, the former FBI director repeatedly lied about not targeting Trump in his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey also had what amounted to a spy in the White House, raising the specter of J. Edgar Hoover all over again:

Sources tell RealClearInvestigations that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will soon file a report with evidence indicating that Comey was misleading the president. Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent.

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration. They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

In addition to adding notes of his meetings and phone calls with Trump to the official FBI case file, Comey had an agent inside the White House who reported back to FBI headquarters about Trump and his aides, according to other officials familiar with the matter.

Who authorized placing spies inside the White House? Wouldn’t that come under the definition of treason–spying on the American government? If the spies were reporting back to James Comey, who was James Comey reporting back to?

Stay tuned.

There Is Always A Problem With A House Of Cards

On Tuesday, John Solomon posted an opinion piece at The Hill that is going to create problems for those diehards still trying to justify the political use of the intelligence community under President Obama. As we all remember, the Steele Dossier was the main justification for spying on the Trump campaign (and the transition team and the entire administration in its early days). We all know that the Steele Dossier was political opposition research. Some of us wonder how the FBI and the FISA Court did not know that fact (or if they did and chose to ignore it). Well, we are finally getting answers.

The Hill notes:

Some in the news media have tried in recent days to rekindle their long-lost love affair with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his now infamous dossier.

The main trigger was a lengthy interview in June with the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, which some news outlets suggested meant U.S. officials have found Steele, the former Hillary Clinton-backed political muckraker, to be believable. 

“Investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising,” Politico crowed. The Washington Post went even further, suggesting Steele’s assistance to the inspector general might “undermine Trumpworld’s alt-narrative” that the Russia-collusion investigation was flawed.

For sure, Steele may have valuable information to aid Justice’s internal affairs probe into misconduct during the 2016 Russia election probe. His dossier alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow ultimately was disproven, but not before his intelligence was used to secure a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election.  

…Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele’s claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier’s claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

The article concludes:

Even State officials, who listened to Steele’s theories in October 2016 – less than two weeks before his dossier was used to support the FISA request – instantly determined he was grossly wrong on some points.

Any effort to use Steele’s belated cooperation with the inspector general’s investigation to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI’s reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a key defender of Trump, said he talked with DOJ officials after the most recent stories surfaced about Steele and was told the reporting is wrong. “Based on my conversations with DOJ officials, recent reports which suggest Christopher Steele’s dossier and allegations are somehow deemed credible by DOJ, are simply false and not based on any confirmation from sources with direct knowledge of ongoing investigations,” Meadows told me.

The FBI’s own spreadsheet was so conclusive that it prompted then-FBI Director James Comey (no fan of Trump, mind you) to dismiss the document as “salacious and unverified” and for lead FBI agent Peter Strzok to text, “There’s no big there there.” FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified that nine months into reviewing Steele’s dossier they had not found evidence of the collusion that Steele alleged.

Two years later, Mueller came to the same conclusion: Steele’s intelligence alleging a conspiracy was never verified. 

The next time you hear a pundit suggesting Steele’s dossier is credible or that the FBI’s reliance on it as FISA evidence was justified, just picture all those blanks in that FBI spreadsheet.

They speak volumes as to what went wrong in the Russia investigation.

Some people in the Obama administration have some ‘splainin’ to do. If we truly have equal justice under the law, some of them will see jail time.

The Reason It Is Taking So Long

Yesterday Catherine Herridge posted an article at Fox News about the investigation into the FISA abuses that occurred during the final months of the Obama administration.

The article reports:

Key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour, Fox News has learned.  

Sources familiar with the matter said at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating — a breakthrough that came after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

While the investigative phase of the inspector general’s long-running probe is said to be complete, the sources said recent developments required some witnesses to be reinterviewed. And while Barr testified that he expected the report into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse to be ready in May or last month, multiple sources said the timeline has slipped.

I can’t help but wonder if the delay is a stall tactic. I think the Democrats are still hoping for a presidential victory in 2020 that will allow them to sweep the FISA abuse investigation under to rug never to return. That may be wishful thinking on their part, but if enough illegal immigrants somehow manage to vote, I suspect they can do it.

The article concludes:

A spokesman for Horowitz would not comment on the report’s status. But during largely unrelated testimony in November, Horowitz offered some guidance for the timeline of the FISA abuse probe in response to questions from GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.

“What I can say is given the volume of documents we’ve had and the number of witnesses it looks like we’ll need to interview, we are likely to be in the same sort of general range of documents and witnesses as the last report,” Horowitz said, referring to his team’s review of the Clinton email case. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we are in that million or so plus range of documents and a hundred-ish or so interviews. The last review, as you know, took us about … 16 months or so.”

If that same guidance holds, the window for completion would begin this month, though it remains unclear how much the DOJ/FBI review and the additional interviews could delay the process.

It would be nice to see all investigations end. The testimony of Robert Mueller on July 17th should be an indication of whether or not an end is in sight.

What Does This Say About The Candidate?

Kamala Harris is currently considered the up-and-coming Democrat candidate for President in 2020. She achieved that status after an attack on Joe Biden that stretched the truth more than a little. Well, Ms. Harris is serious about her campaign. The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Harris campaign hired Marc Elias, who heads Perkins Coie’s political law group.

The article reports:

…Elias, who held the same position in Clinton’s campaign, is named in two pending Federal Election Commission complaints and in a recent federal lawsuit alleging that the Clinton campaign broke campaign finance laws when it used Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS went on to hire British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled an unverified dossier allegedly based on sources close to the Kremlin which was disseminated to the media and used by the FBI to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants targeting former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing alleged FISA abuse related to the dossier and Attorney General William Barr launched his “investigation of the investigators” earlier this year.

Clinton’s former presidential campaign manager Robby Mook said in 2017 that he authorized Elias to hire an outside firm to dig up dirt on Trump’s connections with Russia. “I asked our lawyer and I gave him a budget allocation to investigate this, particularly the international aspect,” he said.

Mook said Elias was receiving information from Fusion GPS or directly from Steele himself about the research into Trump and Russia in 2016, and that Elias then periodically briefed the Clinton campaign about the findings.

The article concludes:

Elias is a fixture in Democratic politics. Aside from working for Harris, Clinton, and the DNC, Elias has said that he and his colleagues at Perkins Coie have represented the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, various Democratic PACs, the pro-abortion EMILY’s List, dozens of Democratic senators, and more than a hundred Democratic members of the House.

Neither the Harris campaign nor Elias responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

I wonder if Mr. Elias’ name is going to come up during the release of the Inspector General’s Report or the questioning of Robert Mueller. Stay tuned.

When The Roots Are Rotten

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about some recent information dealing with the roots of the charges that candidate Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians.

The article reports:

And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who promoted that faulty evidence may disturb us more than we now know.

The first, the Christopher Steele dossier, has received enormous attention. And the more scrutiny it receives, the more its truthfulness wanes. Its credibility has declined so much that many now openly question how the FBI used it to support a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign in October 2016.

At its best, the Steele dossier is an “unverified and salacious” political research memo funded by Trump’s Democratic rivals. At worst, it may be Russian disinformation worthy of the “garbage” label given it by esteemed reporter Bob Woodward.

The second document, known as the “black cash ledger,” remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

The article explains the problem with the “black cash ledger”:

For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.

“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents. 

Likewise, Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.

Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.

He added: “I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik’s warning, according to three sources familiar with the documents.

So why didn’t Mueller simply end the investigation because the roots of it were proven to be false?

The article concludes:

Rep. Mark Meadows, a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, told me Wednesday night he is asking the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the FBI and prosecutors’ handling of the Manafort warrants, including any media leaks and evidence that the government knew the black ledger was potentially unreliable or suspect evidence.

The question of whether the Mueller team should have used the ledger in search warrant affidavits before that is for the courts to decide.

But the public has a substantial interest in questioning whether, more broadly, the FBI should have sustained a Trump-Russia collusion investigation for more than two years based on the suspect Steele dossier and black ledger. 

Understandably, there isn’t much public sympathy for foreign lobbyists such as Manafort. But the FBI and prosecutors should be required to play by the rules and use solid evidence when making its cases.

It does not appear to have been the prevailing practice in the Russia collusion investigation. And that should trouble us all.

It is becoming very obvious that the Mueller investigation did not follow normal investigative rules or procedures. When he knew that both pieces of evidence were totally unreliable, Robert Mueller should have ended the investigation. I suspect that would have been long before the 2018 mid-term election. Somehow I think the clown show we are currently seeing in the House of Representatives as a result of the Democrats taking the majority is at least partially the result of continuing the Mueller investigation combined with reckless, baseless charges made against the President by some Washington insiders now working in the media.

Telling Only Half The Story To Paint The Picture You Want

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the Mueller Report and the Russian collusion charges. Last week I posted an article about the misrepresentation of Konstantin Kilimnik, portrayed in the Mueller Report as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was a source for American intelligence. In May I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, also portrayed as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was training American intelligence agents in Italy. It seems that the Mueller Report spent a lot of time grasping at straws. There is also the matter of editing a phone message to make it appear as something it was not. The Mueller Report is not the objective document it is supposed to be.

The Townhall article deals with the charges that Carter Page was colluding with Russia.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice inspector general is said to be readying a scorching report on the alleged FISA abuses. It’s expected to be released this summer. At the heart of the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense is Spygate and the FISA warrant secured to monitor Page based off this dossier. First, there’s the allegation that FBI, or the CIA, tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign based on this Russian collusion hysteria. The second part is the FBI citing this dossier as credible evidence to secure a spy warrant on Page. It was renewed three times through 2017. Political opposition research was cited to secure a spy warrant on the rival campaign from the sitting presidential administration of the opposing party during an election year. Yeah, one could argue that’s weaponizing the DOJ to go after your enemies. How much did Obama know? Also, welcome to this circus, State Department. 

The officials in the Obama administration knew that this was biased trash days prior to securing the FISA warrant is bad enough. Another odd angle is that this very intelligence community knew Carter Page because he worked with the CIA, the State Department, and the FBI…before he became a Russian traitor or something (via RCP):

“I was asked various questions, not only by State, FBI, etc, but also the CIA,” he said. “I had a long-standing relationship with the CIA going back decades essentially, and I was always very transparent, open.”

“I had a longstanding relationship with the CIA, going back decades, essentially,” Page said. “I was always very transparent, open.”

The Mueller Report was an opportunity to provide a factual account of bad behavior during the 2016 election. Unfortunately the report turned a blind eye to actual foreign intervention and went on a witch hunt instead. It is my hope that the people involved in the misuse of government agencies and the witch hunt will be brought to justice.

J. Edgar Brennan

For those of you too young to remember some of the antics of J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Some of the actions of the FBI and intelligence community under President Obama are reminiscent of those actions.

The website biography includes the following about J. Edgar Hoover:

During the Cold War, Hoover intensified his personal anti-Communist, anti-subversive stance and increased the FBI’s surveillance activities. Frustrated over limitations placed on the Justice Department’s investigative capabilities, he created the Counter Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO. The group conducted a series of covert, and oftentimes illegal, investigations designed to discredit or disrupt radical political organizations. Initially, Hoover ordered background checks on government employees to prevent foreign agents from infiltrating the government. Later, COINTELPRO went after any organization Hoover considered subversive, including the Black Panthers, the Socialist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan.

Hoover also used COINTELPRO’s operations to conduct his own personal vendettas against political adversaries in the name of national security. Labeling Martin Luther King “the most dangerous Negro in the future of this nation,” Hoover ordered around-the-clock surveillance on King, hoping to find evidence of Communist influence or sexual deviance. Using illegal wiretaps and warrantless searches, Hoover gathered a large file of what he considered damning evidence against King. 

In 1971, COINTELPRO’s tactics were revealed to the public, showing that the agency’s methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planted evidence and false rumors leaked on suspected groups and individuals. Despite the harsh criticism Hoover and the Bureau received, he remained its director until his death on May 2, 1972, at the age of 77.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In December 2014, The Atlantic posted an article titled, “A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate.” Under that title is written, “President Obama’s choice to lead the intelligence agency has undermined core checks and balances with impunity.” Those are not encouraging words.

Below are some excerpts from The Atlantic article:

Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode,” The New York Times reports. “The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan.”

…Brennan and the CIA have behaved indefensibly. But substantial blame belongs to the overseers who’ve permitted them to do so with impunity, including figures in the Obama administration right up to the president and Senate intelligence committee members who, for all their bluster, have yet to react to CIA misbehavior in a way that actually disincentivizes similar malfeasance in the future. President Obama should fire John Brennan, as has previously been suggested by Senator Mark Udall, Trevor Timm, Dan Froomkin, and Andrew Sullivan. And the Senate intelligence committee should act toward the CIA like their predecessors on the Church Committee. Instead, the CIA is asked to investigate its own malfeasance and issue reports suggesting what, if anything, should be done.

The article includes a quote from The New York Times:

Mr. Brennan has enraged senators by refusing to answer questions posed by the Intelligence Committee about who at the C.I.A. authorized the computer intrusion. Doing so, he said, could compromise the accountability board’s investigation.

“What did he know? When did he know it? What did he order?” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview last week. “They haven’t answered those basic questions.”

The article concludes:

Senator Levin, you’re a member of a coequal branch. You’ve flagged outrageous behavior among those you’re charged with overseeing. What are you going to do about it?

Obviously nothing was done about it. John Brennan remained the head of the CIA until January 2017. He was not retained as the CIA Director when President Trump took power.

We are at a crossroads. This article indicates that the misuse of government spy agencies has been going on for a long time. The people responsible have never been held accountable. We have a choice–we can hold the people responsible for the misuse of spy agencies accountable or we can see the illegal spying on political enemies continue. What has been done to President Trump and some of the people around him could be done to any American if the people responsible are not held accountable. Was it really necessary to roust an unarmed senior citizen and his deaf wife out of bed with a S.W.A.T. team in the middle of the night when he was charged with lying? Unfortunately this could be the future of America.

I Can’t Believe He Said That

Yesterday CNS News posted an article that included the following:

Clapper told CNN the “logical thing to do” would be to wait for the Justice Department inspector general to finish his investigation into the FBI’s actions.

“Are you concerned here that these administration officials and the attorney general are doing this for political reasons?” host Jim Sciutto asked Clapper.

“Well, you have to wonder about that,” Clapper said.

“Is there a political dimension? This obviously complies with the longstanding request of President Trump that the investigators be investigated.

As far as I know…when I was DNI, I didn’t see anything improper or unlawful. And I think we’re losing sight here of what the big deal is, which is the Russians. That’s what started all this.

The predicate for this was what the Russians were doing to engage with the Trump camp. And now we know that there were dozens of such encounters or attempts, many by identified Russian operatives.

So to me, the kind of the implicit message here is, well, it would have been better if we ignored the Russian’s meddling, which I think would have been completely irresponsible.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Let the record show that President Obama chose to ignore reports of Russian meddling until after Hillary Clinton lost the election. Let the record also show that the group conducting the supposedly impartial investigation of Russian meddling was made up of Clinton donors and Clinton supporters who somehow overlooked the role of the Steele Dossier in the beginning of the investigation.

I person wiser than I once said that if you want to know what the Democrats are up to, look at what they are accusing their opponents of. I suspect the the investigation now being carried out may turn out to be the proof of that statement.