Leadership Matters

Just the News posted an article today about Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before Congress.

The article reports:

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he was unaware that an FBI field office had recommended that Gen. Michael Flynn be dropped from its Crossfire Hurricane investigation, with the former deputy attorney general agreeing that it would have “mattered” had he been aware of that directive.

Rosenstein was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham if he knew that “in January of 2017, the FBI field office said, ‘we recommend General Flynn be removed'” from the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I did not,” Rosenstein responded.

“Would that have mattered?” Graham asked, to which Rosenstein responded: “Yes.

Maybe I don’t understand the workings of the Department of Justice, but that seems odd to me. Shouldn’t he have known?

The article concludes:

Noting the procedural errors found within the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Rosenstein told senators in prepared remarks that the Justice Department “must take remedial action” against any misconduct it uncovers within its ranks, a bracing statement made in reference to investigative reviews that found “significant errors” in official procedures related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Rosenstein noted that internal investigations had revealed that the FBI “was not following the written protocols” in its execution of Crossfire Hurricane.

The way I evaluate this is to look back at my husband’s days in the U.S. Navy. His squadron was being put aboard a different aircraft carrier. The carrier was being brought into its new port with great celebration. The Marine band was there, the governor was there, many important people were there. The ship ran aground on the way in and couldn’t get to the actual port. Eventually all the dignitaries simply went home. The next day, tug boats waited for high tide and brought the ship in. Keep in mind that the harbor pilot was steering the ship at the moment it ran aground. However, the captain of the ship was soon relieved of his duties. He was considered responsible. I believe Rod Rosenstein needs to be held responsible for the miscarriage of justice that occurred on his watch.

This Could Be Very Interesting

This week will be the beginning of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Russia and Ukraine investigations. The first witness will be former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It’s a pretty safe bet that he will not remember things or claim that he cannot answer a lot of questions because of classified information involved. We shall see.

Just the News posted an article yesterday that details nine items to look for. I am posting the list. Please follow the link to the article to read the details.

Here is the list:

1.) Will Rosenstein admit to failures and talk about the 25th Amendment fiasco?

2.) Will the ODNI declassify more documents, including former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ secret report to the CIA Inspector General highlighting flaws in the Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 elections? 

3.) What will the DC Circuit Court of Appeals do in the Flynn dismissal case?

4.) Who else will Graham’s committee interview or subpoena?

5.) Will any congressional committees zero in on former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s conduct in the Russia case?

6.) Will Attorney General William Barr and the special prosecutors he named, like U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, to investigate the Russia case investigators bring any criminal charges?

7.) Will the Democratic strategy firm Blue Star Strategies comply with a subpoena in the Senate investigation into Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian business dealings?

8.) Who else might Johnson subpoena in the Ukraine probe?

9.) Will Johnson’s committee issue an interim report this summer on the evidence it has already uncovered about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and Burisma?

This does have the potential of being a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, but there is always the possibility that Congress might actually do its job and investigate the corruption that is Washington.

Good News

Just the News posted an article yesterday stating the following:

A new study from scientists in the United States suggests that a significant majority of the population may already have some level of immunity to the coronavirus, a possible explanation for why so many individuals seem to experience few to no symptoms from the disease.

Now they tell us.

The article continues:

The study, written by researchers in California, New York and North Carolina and soon to be published in the journal Cell, discovered that certain types of cells in blood samples taken from donors in 2015-2018—well before COVID-19 arose—were reactive against the COVID-19 virus. In other words, those blood samples were at least partially immune from the coronavirus even though they had never been exposed to it. 

“CD4+ T cell responses were detected in 40-60% of unexposed individuals. This may be reflective of some degree of crossreactive, preexisting immunity to SARS- CoV-2 in some, but not all, individuals,” the researchers state in the paper. 

The article concludes:

The research could provide an important clue for public health officials hoping to figure out why significant numbers of COVID-19 infections are either asymptomatic or else largely mild. The disease affects elderly and less healthy individuals most severely, with younger and healthy individuals for the most part spared its worst effects.

Though the term “coronavirus” has become ubiquitous in recent weeks as a way to describe the virus causing the current pandemic, coronaviruses are actually a variegated strain of infectious agents that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS.

The researchers in their paper suggest that the immune response seen in the uninfected blood samples could have been generated by the coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

While I am still convinced of the need to protect the elderly and those with certain medical conditions, I wonder if the full lockdown was necessary. At any rate, it is good to know that large groups of Americans already have immunity to the coronavirus. As the death toll rises (as it most certainly will as the disease runs its course), we need to remember that the 1969 Hong Kong Flu killed 100,000 people in America. We did not lockdown for that epidemic, and frankly, I doubt that we will lockdown for any epidemic in the future. We need to protect the vulnerable, but the rest of us need to get on with our lives.

Another Step Toward Justice For Ahmaud Arbery

What happened to Ahmaud Arbery was a disgrace to the State of Georgia and to America. No one has the right to deny a person their right to a trail and a verdict. I hope all of the men involved spend some serious time in prison to consider what they did. I don’t know if Ahmaud Arbery was guilty of anything–that is not the point–the three men involved had no right to take the law into their own hands.

Just the News is reporting today that William “Roddie” Bryan Jr has been arrested an charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan was the man that filmed the video of the attack on Ahmaud Arbery.

The article reports:

A father and son have already been arrested in the case but media reports indicate Bryan is the individual who filmed the footage that appears to show the moments leading up to Arbery’s death. Authorities on May 7 arrested 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and the 34-year-old Travis McMichael. The McMichaels are white while Arbery was black.

In the video two men appear to be engaged in a struggle and shots can be heard—one man is eventually seen collapsing.

Arbery’s mother believes that her son was out jogging. The elder McMichael said to police that he suspected Arbery of being a burglar and that Arbery attacked his son prior to getting shot.

In the state of Georgia “a person can be charged with felony murder for committing any felony that causes the death of someone else,” according to the Associated Press. “It does not require intent to kill and carries an automatic life sentence.”

The penalty for this crime needs to be severe, and there need to be penalties for anyone who blocked the investigation into the shooting. I don’t know if this was a racial killing, but it sure looks that way, and there should be no room for racism in America.

Slowly Things Are Unraveling

Just the News has been one of the leading sources for information on the Flynn case and for tracking misreporting of the Mueller investigation. Today the site posted an article listing some of the things that need to be investigated in the Mueller investigation.

The article notes:

Despite a February 2018 order from the judge in the Flynn case Emmett G. Sullivan to prosecutors to turn over all material exculpatory evidence to the defense — including information impeaching the credibility of witnesses against him — prosecutor Brandon van Grack never turned over any of the recently released information showing:

    • FBI agents investigating Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak  had recommended closing the case after turning up “no derogatory information.”
    • Agents were blocked from closing the case by fired, anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok, who in text messages attributed his move to intervention from the bureau’s “7th floor” leaders.
    • A senior FBI official confessed qualms — in notes recorded after a 2017 senior strategy meeting on the Flynn investigation — about whether the bureau’s purpose was to discover the truth or, instead, entrap Flynn in a lie that would lead to his dismissal or prosecution.

The recent revelations raising questions of prosecutorial misconduct in the Flynn case fit an emerging, more general pattern of questionable tactics employed by the Mueller probe, including withholding relevant exculpatory evidence and misrepresenting the government’s interactions with investigative targets.

The article lists nine problems with the Mueller probe:

  1. Misrepresentation of Papadopoulos cooperation
  2. Silence about Trump Tower meeting exculpatory evidence
  3. Court filings with deceptively edited email
  4. Scope memo used debunked Steele Dossier to set investigative parameters
  5. Mueller final testimony ignores Steele Dossier
  6. Deceptive editing of Dowd voicemail
  7. The secret side deal
  8. Improper acquisition of transition email
  9. Misleading Trump’s lawyers about his status

General Flynn is not the person who should be facing a prison term. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is chilling that this abuse of our legal system has been allowed to continue as long as it has.

The Truth About Covid-19 Begins To Emerge

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about Colorado health officials beginning to correct the number of deaths reported to have been caused by Covid-19.

The article reports:

Colorado health officials this week implemented a more precise coronavirus data metric to measure deaths from the virus in that state, one that sent confirmed COVID-19 fatalities tumbling by a full 25%.

Public health officials in the state elected to start distinguishing between individuals who died directly from the disease and those who simply died with the virus in their systems. Authorities in that state had faced criticism this week for classifying as a COVID-19 death a man whose blood-alcohol content registered an astronomical .55.

With the new system in place, confirmed coronavirus deaths in Colorado plummeted from 1150 to 878, a drop of almost 25%.

…The state’s coronavirus dashboard lists 21,232 confirmed cases of the virus there as of Saturday afternoon, with over 3,800 hospitalizations. Over 90% of deaths in the state were of individuals 60 or older. Deaths appear to have peaked there on April 25. 

I suspect an honest counting of deaths due to Covid-19 would be very different from the numbers that have been reported. One thing we do know is that people in nursing homes or extended care facilities need to be protected from the disease. Allowing patients with the disease to be placed in these facilities is very dangerous to the residents who are already there.

On May 12th, I posted an article stating that a new study reveals that 39% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes. These are the people who need to be protected. Florida is the gold standard for protecting the elderly. Florida has a large elderly population and has not had nearly the number of cases and deaths as New York. It’s time to protect the vulnerable and send the rest of us back to work.

A Wonderful Idea That Will Go Nowhere

I have no idea how to drain the swamp in Washington. My first thought would be to fire all lobbyists, but somehow lobbying would still happen. Million dollar businesses always seem to find a way to survive. However, every now and then someone in Washington comes up with a good idea. That good idea does not always survive, but occasionally it does.

Just the News reported yesterday that four Republican senators are introducing legislation that seeks to eliminate government waste by establishing a bipartisan commission tasked with reviewing federal agencies and furnishing cost-cutting recommendations.

The article reports:

The Agency Accountability Act proposed by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis calls for the creation of a bipartisan Federal Agency Sunset Commission. 

The 13-person commission would be comprised of people appointed by House and Senate majority and minority leaders and one person appointed by the president. Of the three appointees made by each of the majority and minority leaders, two must be appointed from members of the respective chamber of Congress and one must be appointed from outside.

At a minimum the group would need to evaluate all federal agencies and advisory commissions one time each six years and then provide a recommendation about whether those entities should be reorganized, nixed or remain the same.

If the commission suggests changing or dispensing with a government entity, it is supposed to provide Congress with proposed legislative language to carry out the suggested changes. If the commission recommends no change it is supposed to explain its evaluation to Congress in a report.

This is a fantastic idea that will be fought tooth and nail by bureaucrats who support big government.

What The Transcripts Tell Us

Just the News posted an article yesterday listing the top six revelations from House Russia probe’s newly declassified witness interviews. Please follow the link to the article to read the details, but here is the list of the six revelations:

  1. No Collusion: The U.S. intelligence community never had any evidence of collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
  2. FBI didn’t have a case: Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe admitted during his testimony that the agency knew from the start that Trump associate George Papadopoulos wasn’t in contact with Moscow, thereby undermining the agency’s entire basis for opening Crossfire Hurricane, i.e., the Russia investigation. “Papadopoulos, didn’t particularly indicate that he was the person that was interacting with the Russians,” McCabe told the House Intelligence panel.
  3. Podesta and Clinton knew about funding for Steele Dossier: John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, testified that he and Clinton were aware in general terms that the campaign was paying for opposition research to link Donald Trump to Russia, but he said neither of them knew specifically who had been hired to conduct the effort.
  4. Clapper, Comey, and McCabe provide conflicting narratives: Clapper testified that he did not brief then-President Obama on former Michael Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador in January 2017. However, both former FBI Director Comey and McCabe say otherwise.
  5. CrowdStrike says evidence of DNC hack was “not conclusive”: The president of CrowdStrike, a data security company retained by the DNC after it was hacked, testified to the House panel that there were “indications” of a hack into the DNC servers, but not concrete, irrefutable evidence.
  6. DNC lawyer ordered to tip off the CIA: Michael Sussmann, a Perkins Coie lawyer who represented both the Clinton campaign and the DNC in their response to presumed Russian hacking, testified that in February 2017, he went to the CIA, on behalf of a client whom he did not name, in an attempt to tip them off about the Trump organization’s ties to Russia.

The more we learn, the more this looks like a coup.

Distorting A Quote To Fit An Agenda

It’s no secret that the mainstream media does not like President Trump. It is no secret that they were hoping to celebrate the election of Hillary Clinton as President. Okay. They’re biased–but that is no excuse for totally distorting the truth to create the narrative that President Trump is a dictator controlling the Justice Department (his predecessor pretty much did that with the IRS, the New Black Panthers, the Russian Hoax, etc.). There is no evidence that President Trump has spied on political opponents or newsmen (James Rosen) or done any of the things the media has routinely accused him of. So why am I surprised when they take a quote totally out of context to make President Trump look bad? This is the story in an article posted at Just The News yesterday.

The article reports:

Meet the Press,” the signature news show hosted by Chuck Todd, apologized Sunday and admitted it had deceptively edited a video clip of Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department cried foul.

I guess we should be grateful that they apologized.

The article explains:

The episode began when Todd aired a clip of CBS News’ Catherine Herridge asking how history would judge the DOJ’s decision to dismiss the Michael Flynn criminal case. The clip showed Barr initially laughing before saying,” History is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

Todd immediately comments that he was “struck by the cynicism of the answer — it’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this was a political job.”

But Barr did says in the CBS interview he felt the Flynn decision upheld the rule of law, which “Meet the Press” failed to air.

“I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” Barr said. “It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”

A short while later, Barr’s spokeswoman went to Twitter to sharply criticize the NBC show.

Fortunately we currently have a Department of Justice that calls out fake news.

The article notes:

A short while later, Barr’s spokeswoman went to Twitter to sharply criticize the NBC show.

“Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd and @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview,” Kerri Kupec tweeted. “Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”

A short while later, the official “Meet the Press” Twitter account posted an apology.

“You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis,” the tweet said. “The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.”

Excuse my cynicism, but they don’t regret the error–they regret being publicly called out for the error. Errors like that–because many people will not see the apology–are one of many reasons the country is divided.

How The Russia Hoax Unraveled

John Solomon posted an article at Just The News today that details some of the research he has done over the last three years and also lists the twelve revelations that destroyed the carefully-crafted narrative that President Trump was colluding with the Russians.

This is the list. Please follow the link to the article for details and the sources:

1. Flynn’s RT visit with Putin wasn’t nefarious.

2.  (Flynn was) Not a Russian agent.

3. Case closed memo.

4. DOJ heartburn.

5. Logan Act threat wasn’t real.

6. Unequal treatment.

7. Disguising a required warning.

8. “Playing games.

9. No deception.

10. No actual denial.

11.) Interview Reports Edited.

12.) Evidence withheld.

The article also notes how John Solomon’s investigation began:

Shortly after my colleague Sara Carter and I began reporting in 2017 on the possibility that the FBI was abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Americans during the Russia investigation, I received a call. It was an intermediary for someone high up in the intelligence community.

The story that source told me that day — initially I feared it may have been too spectacular to be true — was that FBI line agents had actually cleared former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn of any wrongdoing with Russia only to have the bureau’s leadership hijack the process to build a case that he lied during a subsequent interview.

In fact, my notes show, the source used the words “concoct a 1001 false statements case” to describe the objections of career agents who did not believe Flynn had intended to deceive the FBI. A leak of a transcript of Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador was just part of a campaign, the source alleged.

The tip resulted in a two-and-a-half-year journey by myself and a small group of curious and determined journalists like Carter, Catherine Herridge, Greg Jarrett, Mollie Hemingway, Lee Smith, Byron York, and Kimberly Strassel to slowly peel back the onion.

The pursuit of the truth ended Thursday when the Justice Department formally asked a court to vacate Flynn’s conviction and end the criminal case, acknowledging the former general had indeed been cleared by FBI agents and that the bureau did not have a lawful purpose when it interviewed him in January 2017.

Attorney General William Barr put it more bluntly in an interview Thursday: “They kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, to lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”

To understand just how dramatic a turnaround Thursday’s action was, one has to go back to the headlines of 2017 fanned by the likes of The Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and others and told by a host of former Obama administration officials and their Democratic allies in Congress.

Flynn was suspected of violating the Logan Act by talking with the Russian ambassador. He may have been compromised by a 2015 visit with Vladimir Putin at a Russia Today event. He lied to the FBI. He may have been an agent of Russia and involved in colluding to hijack the election. He betrayed his country.

All of that was alleged, it turns out, without proof. And then Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team pressured Flynn to plead guilty to falsely telling FBI agents that he did not discuss sanctions with Russia’s ambassador. It turns out that wasn’t true either.

Thank God for the honest reporters who were willing to pursue this story. They were a necessary part of finding out the truth.

This Seems Obscure, But Needs Watching

We have just experienced a month-plus shutdown of the American economy (along with many Americans experiencing cabin fever and many children abruptly being home-schooled). It will take a while for the economy to open back up and recover. However, what we are currently experiencing is nothing like the disruption that would be caused by an electromagnetic pulse attack (also by a particularly strong solar flare). The American power grid is very vulnerable to attack from many sources. Our power grid provides power for the computers that route trucking, support supply chains, guide airplanes, keep grocery store coolers cold, etc. The power grid is all interconnected and computerized. It is an attractive target.

On May 1, Just The News reported the following:

The Energy Department said Friday that President Trump has banned the purchasing and installation of specific types of foreign gear for power plants and the transmission system. The move is a strategic effort to block the U.S. grid from falling victim to attacks from Russia and China.

The president’s executive order increases the secretary of Energy’s ability to prevent the use of select equipment that creates a national security risk. It also allows the secretary to determine which parts of the grid system are at risk and therefore in need of replacement.

Officials leading the effort will assess recent threats from abroad based on information from the U.S. intelligence community. They will then make a judgment on which elements of the power system need replacing. Agencies have been warning for several years that America’s electrical grid is an attractive and vulnerable target to foreign hackers.

This is a great move, but somehow electromagnetic pulse protection seems to be left behind.

In November 2019, Politico reported the following:

Turnover in President Donald Trump’s national security staff may be having a little-noticed side effect: Worries about nuclear weapons zapping America’s electric grid will return to the fringe.

Warnings about electromagnetic pulse attacks have long inspired eye-rolls or outright guffaws among national security experts, but advocates of the issue briefly found a home on Trump’s National Security Council, and the president himself issued an executive order on the topic in March. That respectability boom shows signs of fading, however, as those advocates leave the administration.

On Sept. 13, controversial physicist, self-declared climate skeptic and backer of the fight against EMPs William Happer left the White House. Three days earlier, Trump had ousted national security adviser John Bolton, who according to people close to the congressional EMP effort was also a backer of hardening power plants and the electric grid against the threat.

“With Bolton gone and some of the people he had brought in … this has disrupted the process,” said Peter Pry, executive director of the now-disbanded congressional advisory board that studied EMPs.

Trump’s executive order on March 29 was meant to aid coordination between the departments of Homeland Security, Energy and Defense, as well as numerous other federal agencies, to address the long-debated risk. The utility industry has resisted hardening the grid to EMP attacks because of the high cost of addressing what it considers an unlikely threat.

“The bureaucracy does not want this executive order,” Pry added, referring to the president’s order on EMP resilience. “What they’re trying to do is lowball the EMP threat … to such a level that basically industry will have to do little or nothing.”

I really don’t know if I should credit this bad advice to the deep state or just to general ignorance, but we need to get the emp protection program back up and running. This is an area where we are truly vulnerable to attack (or a natural phenomina such as a giant solar flare).

Information That May Be Important In Controlling The Coronavirus

Up until this point, one of the ways that people have been checked to see if they have the coronavirus has been with temperature scans. If they have no temperature, it is assumed that they are not carrying the virus. Well, there is some new information about the virus that puts that test in a different perspective.

On Thursday, Just The News reported the following:

Coronavirus infections among Navy personnel have been harder to spot because symptoms among sailors are different from those in the general population, a four-star admiral warned.

Admiral John Aquilino, who commands the U.S. Pacific Fleet, sent the warning this month in a memo to commanders throughout the Navy. The memo described the fleet’s findings on how COVID-19 has presented among sailors.

“While the symptoms largely mirror [Centers for Disease Control] findings there are differences, possibly owing to our younger demographics, a healthy cohort, and rapid medical care,” Aquino wrote in the April 20 unclassified memo viewed by Just the News.

Noting that the CDC names fever as the most common first symptom of COVID, Aquilino wrote that the Pacific Fleet found that among infected sailors, fever appeared last.

“In order of reporting, the symptoms most often reported by sailors are: cough, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, loss of taste/smell, difficulty breathing, and finally, fever,” the admiral wrote.

As opposed to a common assumption that COVID-19 presents first in a way others can detect, Aquilino wrote, sailors’ symptoms are less obvious.

“As our initial symptoms may only be noticeable to the individual sailor, immediate reporting of symptoms to the chain of command and medical department is essential,” Aquilino wrote.

Early reporting will help stop the virus from spreading through ships and work spaces, the commander wrote. The key, he said, is for crews to self-monitor and report health issues as soon as possible.

This may explain why some of our ships have had outbreaks of the virus–it is probably not unusual for a sailor to have a headache or muscle aches after a hard day of work.

Sometimes Justice Takes A Long Time

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News detailing some new information in the investigation of General Michael Flynn. People who have followed this story closely have had doubts about the charges against the General from the beginning.

The article reports:

A senior FBI official’s handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration expressed concern that the bureau might be “playing games” with a counterintelligence interview of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to get him to lie so “we could prosecute him or get him fired.”

The notes and other emails were provided to Flynn’s lawyers under seal last week and released Wednesday night by court order, providing the most damning evidence to date of potential politicalization and misconduct inside the FBI during the Russia probe.

The notes show FBI officials discussed not providing Flynn a Miranda-like warning before his January 2017 interview — a practice normally followed in such interviews — so that he could be charged with a crime if he misled the agents, the officials said.

The article includes a link to all of the FBI notes that were recently unsealed.

This is one of the notes:

“What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?,” the handwritten notes of the senior official say. The notes express further concern the FBI might be “playing games.”

The fact that they were even discussing the idea of getting General Flynn fired does not say good things about their motives.

The article includes other evidence that the interview with General Flynn might have been a set-up to frame him and have him removed from office:

Among the new evidence released Wednesday night is an email chain involving former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Strzok, the lead agent in the Russia probe known as Crossfire Hurricane. In the email exchange, the two and others discuss whether the FBI has to follow its normal rules and give Flynn the customary “1001 warning” at the start of his interview that if he misled agents he could be charged criminally.

“I have a question for you,” Page wrote in an email that included Strzok. “Could the admonition re 1001 be given at the beginning at the interview? Or does it have to come following a statement which agents believed to be false? Does this policy speak to that?

She added: “It seems to be if the former then it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in, Of course you know sir federal law makes it a crime to…”

A while later, Page gets an emailed response: “I haven’t read the policy lately, but if I recall correctly, you can say it any time. I’m 90 percent sure about that, but I can check in the a.m.”

The mere fact that FBI agents were using phrase like “slip that in” when talking about a warning designed to protect someone’s constitutional rights is certain to give Flynn’s lawyers more fodder to argue in court that his January 2017 interview was a set up as Powell has argued,

The people behind this operation need to be in jail. They have totally mishandled the trust the government placed in them to execute equal justice under the law.

Just for the record– so far none of this news has shown up on the Drudge Report. I am wondering how the mainstream media will report it (assuming they will report it).

One Reason Transparency About The Russia Investigation Is Taking So Long

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News about some behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Adam Schiff that made it difficult to get the truth out about the investigation into President Trump and any connections he might have had with Russia.

The article reports:

Shortly after Schiff took over from Republican Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2019, he sent a letter to the office of then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

The letter obtained by Just the News specifically ordered that the witness transcripts — some of which contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team — not be shared with Trump or White House lawyers even if the declassification process required such sharing.

“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added.

U.S. intelligence officials said Schiff’s request made it impossible for them to declassify 10 of the transcripts, mostly of current and former White House and National Security Council witnesses, because White House lawyers would have had to review them for what is known as “White House equities” and presidential privileges.

But 43 of the transcripts were declassified and cleared for public release and given to Schiff’s team, but they have never been made public despite the committee’s vote to do so, officials said.

One senior official said the 43 transcripts were provided to Schiff’s team some time ago, and the 10 remain in limbo. Asked how long House Intelligence Democrats have had the declassified transcripts, the official said: “You’ll have to ask Mr. Schiff.”

A spokesman for Schiff and House Intelligence Committee Democrats did not return an email Monday seeking comment.

The article concludes:

Newly declassified footnotes from the Horowitz report released last week show the FBI’s key informant in the case, the former British spy Christopher Steele, may have been the victim of Russian disinformation. More declassified evidence from that probe is expected to be released later this week.

In the meantime, Republicans who led the House Intelligence Committee probe in 2018 when the witnesses were interviewed are trying to learn what came of the transcripts.

Schiff’s letter to Coats suggests that at the time the new Democratic chairman was still interested in releasing the transcripts.

“I hope our staff can reach agreement soon on a schedule for returning the transcripts to the Committee for ultimate public release,” he wrote.

Nearly 13 months since the letter, that release has not happened.

Elections have consequences. The consequences of turning the House of Representatives over to the Democrats was three years of wasted money on an investigation that many of the Democrats knew was unwarranted from the beginning. Because the Democrats were so focused on getting President Trump, they overlooked the looming problem of the coronavirus and were not prepared to deal with it. In fact when President Trump closed our borders to China, the Democrats criticized him for it. We may find out in the coming months why the Democrats were so intent on removing President Trump. As more information comes out about the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump presidency, it is becoming more obvious that laws were broken. The goal may have been to take out President Trump before that was discovered.

Good Idea

Yesterday Just The News reported that President Trump has frozen U.S. funding to the World Health Orgainization (WHO). This move illustrates the difference between having a businessman or a politician in the White House. A businessman fires someone who is not doing their job in a satisfactory manner. A politician generally does not.

The article reports:

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States was cutting funding to the World Health Organization, saying the body put “political correctness above life-saving measures.”

Trump said the WHO’s decision to recommend not banning travelers from China early on during the coronavirus crisis “accelerated the pandemic all around the world.”

“Many countries said ‘We’re going to listen to the WHO,’ and they have problems the likes of nobody can believe,” Trump said, claiming that “countless” lives could have been saved if the WHO had recommended quickly implementing travel bans from China, where the coronavirus originated.

The article concludes:

A University of Southampton study suggests the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% had China moved to contain the virus three weeks sooner. 

Most Democrats have a favorable opinion of the World Health Organization’s handling of coronavirus, while most Republicans have an unfavorable view, according to the Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen

The poll found 55% of Republicans had a “Very Unfavorable” or “Somewhat Unfavorable” view of the WHO, while just 20% of Democrats felt the same.

On the reverse side, just 38% of Republicans had a “Very Favorable” or “Somewhat Favorable” view of WHO, compared to 70% of Democrats. Independents were evenly divided. Additionally, most of those with strong positive views are Democrats, while most with strong negative views are Republicans.

I believe that the coronavirus has shown a light on the true cost of the partisanship in Washington. Congress was not able to pass a bill that would simply help solve the problems caused by the shutdown–the bill could not pass without millions of dollars of added pork. There was not consideration given to the fact that at some point in the future the cost of that pork would have to be paid for by our children and grandchildren–instead the passing of the bill was held up until the Democrat’s pet projects were funded–even though those projects had nothing to do with the problem at hand. Until we elect people who put the interests of the country above the interests of their party, we will not thrive as a country.

The Case For Investigating The Trump Campaign And Presidency Just Keeps Getting Weaker

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News with the following title, “The 13 revelations showing the FBI never really had a Russia collusion case to begin with.”

I am going to list the revelations without the comments, so please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that a political party in power can use such flimsy information to spy on the political campaign (and presidency) of the opposing party.

Here is the list:

1.) The FBI possessed information dating to 2015 in Steele’s intelligence (Delta) file warning that he might be the victim of Russian disinformation through his contacts with Vladimir Putin-connected oligarchs.

2.) Senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr warned the FBI in August 2016 that Steele held an extreme bias against Trump (he was “desperate” to defeat Trump) and that his information was likely uncorroborated raw intelligence.

3.) Steele’s work on the dossier was funded by Trump’s rival in the election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the Democratic Party, through their opposition research firm, Fusion GPS.

4.) Steele told a State Department official in October 2016, 10 days before the FISA warrants were first secured, that he had leaked to the news media and had an election day deadline for making public the information he had shared with the FBI as a confidential human source.

5.) Steele was fired Nov. 1, 2016 for violating his confidential human source agreement by leaking to the news media.

6.) Information Steele provided to the government was proven, before the FISA warrants were granted, to be false and inaccurate.

7.) Steele was caught in October 2016 peddling a false internet rumor also being spread by a lawyer for the Democratic National Committee and a liberal reporter.

8.) The FBI falsely declared to the FISA court it had corroborated the evidence in Steele’s dossier used in the search warrant application, including that Carter Page had met with two senior Russians in Moscow in summer 2016

9.) The FBI interviewed Steele’s primary sub-source in January 2017, who claimed much of the information attributed to him was not accurate, exaggerated or rumor.

10.) The FBI possessed statements of innocence from Page collected by an undercover informer in August and October 2016, including that Page denied meeting with the two Russians and did not play a role in changing a GOP platform position on Ukraine during the Trump nominating convention.

11.) The CIA alerted the FBI that Page was a friendly U.S. asset who had assisted the Agency on Russia matters and was not a stooge for the Russian government.

12.) The FBI possessed exculpatory statements made by Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in which he told an undercover informer he and the Trump campaign were not involved in the Russian hacking of Clinton’s emails and considered such activity to be “illegal.”

13.) The FBI concluded in January 2017 that Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn was not being deceptive in his interviews with agents and likely suffered from a faulty memory and was not operating as an agent for Russia.

The only thing I can add to this is that this should NEVER happen again in America. The only way to prevent it from happening again is the put the people in jail who violated the civil rights of Americans by lying to the FISA Court.

Progress In The Fight Against Terror

Yesterday Just The News reported that Yusuf Jiis, was one of three enemy fighters killed in a joint, April 2 strike with the Federal Government of Somalia. The strike took place near Bush Madina, about 135 miles west of the capital city of Mogadishu.

The article reports:

Jiis was a foundational member of al-Shabaab and held key positions within the group, according to AFRICOM.

“This individual was a key leader in the al-Shabaab organization,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who leads the command. “He was violent, ruthless, and responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. His removal makes Somalia and neighboring countries safer.”     

Another AFRICOM official, Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, said that the terrorist, fundamentalist jihadi group continues to present a significant threat to peace in the region.

“Al-Shabaab remains a disease in Somalia and is an indiscriminate killer of innocent people and their only desire is to brutalize populations inside Somalia and outside of Somalia,” said Gayler, the AFRICOM director of operations. “Putting pressure on this network helps contain their ambition and desire to cause harm and destruction.”

The article concludes:

“While we might like to pause our operations in Somalia because of the Coronavirus, the leaders of al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and ISIS have announced that they see this crisis as an opportunity to further their terrorist agenda so we will continue to stand with and support our African partners,” Townsend said.                 

Roughly 500 American troops are now in Somalia. Among them are special operations troops who train the Danab Brigade of Somalia’s special forces. Others launch the air strikes.

“American air support is key,” Somalia’s ambassador to the United States, Ali Ahmed, recently said. “The drone attacks have increased under (President) Trump.”

President Trump is doing what he can to end terrorism without jeopardizing the lives of American soldiers.

Gradually The Truth Emerges

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News about some new information regarding the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

In Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation, a little-known translator named Anatoli Samochornov played a bit role, a witness sparsely quoted about the infamous Trump Tower meeting he attended in summer 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and a mysterious Russian lawyer.

The most scintillating information Mueller’s team ascribed to Samochornov in the report was a tidbit suggesting a hint of impropriety: The translator admitted he was offered $90,000 by the Russians to pay his legal bills, if he supported the story of Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskya. He declined.

But recently released FBI memos show that Samochornov, a translator trusted by the State Department and other federal agencies, provided agents far more information than was quoted by Mueller, nearly all of it exculpatory to the president’s campaign and his eldest son.

Despite learning the translator’s information on July 12, 2017, just a few days after the media reported on the Trump Tower meeting, the FBI would eventually suggest Donald Trump Jr. was lying and that the event could be seminal to Russian election collusion.

Samochornov’s eyewitness account entirely debunks the media’s narrative, the FBI memos show.

The article continues:

The translator’s detailed account — omitted from the Mueller report — validated most aspects of Trump Jr.’s original story. And the FBI knew it from the start of the controversy.

The belated release of the FBI interview report under a Freedom of Information Act request is likely to raise serious questions among congressional oversight committees about why the information was suppressed in the Mueller report, why the FBI kept it quiet for two years while Trump Jr. was being politically pilloried, and why the news media has failed to correct its own record of misleading reporting.

“The omission from the Mueller report leaves a distorted picture that has been allowed to persist for more than two years,” a Senate staffer involved in the Russia investigation told me on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t approved to talk to the news media. “We are looking into the circumstances of the editing of that report and why DOJ allowed such investigations and false public narratives to carry on in the face of significant evidence of innocence.”

People need to go to jail over this–leaving out exculpatory information in order to feed a false narrative to the American people is inexcusable. These are the actions of a police state. If we do not hold people accountable, we can expect more of this behavior in the future.

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

If you look at the people who oppose voter id laws, they tend to be Democrats. I’m not accusing them of anything, but I do wonder why they would oppose something that would protect the votes of all Americans. Well, the coronavirus crisis has caused those who oppose voter id laws to take things a step further.

Just The News posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Democrats pushing harder for ‘Vote by mail’ in November election.” I don’t mean to be cynical, but I believe that would be the end of honest elections.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would like to see “vote by mail” funding of up to $4 billion in Congress’ next coronavirus stimulus package for upcoming elections.

Pelosi suggested on Wednesday that the funding would to help states “expand” their vote-by-mail capabilities and allow voters to cast ballots by mail rather than show up in-person at the polls.

“Vote-by-mail is so important to our democracy so that people have access to voting and not being deterred, especially at this time, by the ammunition to stay home,” Pelosi said on a conference call. “We need at least $2 billion, $4 billion is probably what would really democratize our whole system.”

On Tuesday, Pelosi said she does not know why anyone would oppose voting by mail in the next election.

Aside from the obvious problem of voter fraud, why does Speaker Pelosi think we will still be under threat of the coronavirus in November? I realize that the disease may make a comeback in the fall, but I suspect that by that time enough Americans will have developed immunity to the disease to minimize the problem or we will have learned how to successfully deal with the disease so that ‘social distancing’ will be a distant memory.

Because of their recent strong turn to the left, Democrats have lost a lot of American voters. The party that was previously the party of the working man has totally forgotten its roots. The only hope for a strong Democrat party in the future is illegal aliens voting or election fraud. Until the Democrats turn back toward the center, they will be a dying party. That is the reason voting by mail looks good to them.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

On Thursday, Just The News posted an article about some of the things the National Institute of Health (NIH) is spending your tax money on.

The article reports:

On a steamy summer day inside the lecture auditorium of the storied National Institutes of Health headquarters, Dr. Michael Bracken delivered a stark message to an audience that dedicated its life, and owed its living, to medical research.

As much as 87.5% of biomedical research is wasted or inefficient, the respected Yale University epidemiologist declared in a sobering assessment for a federal research agency that spends about $40 billion a year on medical studies.

He backed his staggering statistic with these additional stats: 50 out of every 100 medical studies fail to produce published findings, and half of those that do publish have serious design flaws. And those that aren’t flawed and manage to publish are often needlessly redundant.

The article notes where the NIH has spent money instead of researching cures for a coronavirus pandemic:

As you weigh that question, consider this: In the 15 years since evidence first emerged that drugs like chloroquine might help in a coronavirus pandemic, NIH spent:

Just two days ago, in the midst of surging coronavirus deaths in America, NIH released a joint study by its National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging that came to a heady conclusion: If you walk more, you are likely to live longer.

If the NIH had investigated chloroquine fifteen years ago, we might not have governors forbidding doctors to use it to treat coronavirus. It really is time to go through the federal budget line by line and get rid of stupid research projects and useless programs. We could probably pay for the stimulus package with what we cut and have money left over.

 

The Effort Continues

Just The News posted an article today about Congress’ continued effort to pass legislation that will help Americans cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The Senate on Monday afternoon resumes efforts to pass a trillion-dollar spending bill to help the country survive the severe economic impact of the coronavirus, following a failed vote Sunday that has put financial markets on edge.

The measure in the GOP-controlled chamber failed to get 60 votes to begin debate.

The failed vote has resulted in Democrats and Republicans blaming each other, with the virus rapidly spreading and threatening to inflict severe damage on the U.S. economy – from large-scale unemployment to a recession to businesses across the country shuttering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the failed vote pointed his finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The House speaker showed up, and we’re back to square one,” the Kentucky Republican said.

…Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and fellow Democrats didn’t provide McConnell with enough votes to pass the bill in large part because, he argued, the money to help corporations doesn’t have enough restrictions and because of the lack of money for state and local governments.

The spending measure – now projected at more than $1.5 trillion – failed Sunday on a 47-47 vote. Five GOP senators are in coronavirus quarantine, making passage of the bill even more difficult for McConnell.

At this point, Congress does not represent the American people and is not acting in their behalf. It is time to withhold the salaries of Congress and all Congressional employees until a relief bill for ordinary Americans is passed. If the American people are not being helped in this crisis, Congress should not be paid.

We Are Slowing Seeing Admissions About Illegal Spying On President Trump

Just The News posted an article Monday by John Solomon about a recent statement by U.S. District Judge James A. Boasberg, the new chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Evidently the Judge is not impressed by what went on during 2016 and 2017.

The article reports:

For much of the last three years, key law enforcement leaders have insisted they did nothing wrong in pursuing counterintelligence surveillance warrants targeting the Trump campaign starting during the 2016 election. And, they’ve added, if mistakes were made, they were unintentional process errors downstream from them and not an effort to deceive the judges.

But in a little-noted passage in a recent order, U.S. District Judge James A. Boasberg, the new chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took direct aim at the excuses and blame-shifting of these senior Obama administration FBI and DOJ officials.

In just 21 words, Boasberg provided the first judicial declaration the FBI had misled the court, not just committed process errors. “There is thus little doubt that the government breached its duty of candor to the Court with respect to those applications,” Boasberg wrote.

Finally someone is placing responsibility for previous FISA abuses on the people in charge and not the people working for them.

The article concludes:

“The frequency and seriousness of these errors in a case that, given its sensitive nature, had an unusually high level of review at both DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have called into question the reliability of the information proffered in other FBI applications,” Boasberg wrote.

In another words, he is worried the bad conduct exhibited by the FBI may extend to more cases affecting others’ civil liberties.

Finally, Boasberg put Wray on notice — even while praising the current director — that process fixes alone won’t suffice.

“The errors the OIG pointed out cannot be solved through procedures alone,” he wrote. “DOJ and the FBI, including all personnel involved in the FISA process, must fully understand and embrace the heightened duties of probity and transparency that apply in ex parte proceedings.”

Boasberg’s ruling was far more than a temporary suspension of FBI personnel’s participation in the FISA court. It is the first and only judicial finding in the Russia case that the FBI vastly misled the nation’s intelligence court and that blame must be shouldered by federal law enforcement’s top leaders, many of whom have spent much of the last three years trying to escape such accountability.

For those who have begged the FISA court for years to more aggressively rebuke the conduct in the Russia case, Boasberg’s ruling was a welcome step in the right direction and a first effort to end the excuse-making. But those critics are holding out for more, including prosecutions or disciplinary action.

In the meantime, those who led the FBI and DOJ through that turbulent time — Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as well as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Rosenstein — must come to grips with this new reality. A judge has formally concluded that his court was misled by the work product they oversaw and signed.

It’s about time.

How Do You Undo The Damage Done By Dishonest People And A Dishonest Media?

There is a new website in town. It is called “Just The News.” One of its contributors will be investigative reporter John Solomon. Recently they posted a preview of what is to come.

Just The News recently posted an article titled, “Key witness told Team Mueller that Russia collusion evidence found in Ukraine was fabricated” written by John Solomon.

The article reports:

One of Robert Mueller’s pivotal trial witnesses told the special prosecutor’s team in spring 2018 that a key piece of Russia collusion evidence found in Ukraine known as the “black ledger” was fabricated, according to interviews and testimony.

The ledger document, which suddenly appeared in Kiev during the 2016 U.S. election, showed alleged cash payments from Russian-backed politicians in Ukraine to ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“The ledger was completely made up,” cooperating witness and Manafort business partner Rick Gates told prosecutors and FBI agents, according to a written summary of an April 2018 special counsel’s interview.

In a brief interview with Just the News, Gates confirmed the information in the summary. “The black ledger was a fabrication,” Gates said. “It was never real, and this fact has since been proven true.”

Gates’ account is backed by several Ukrainian officials who stated in interviews dating to 2018 that the ledger was of suspicious origins and could not be corroborated.

If true, Gates’ account means the two key pieces of documentary evidence used by the media and FBI to drive the now-debunked Russia collusion narrative — the Steele dossier and the black ledger — were at best uncorroborated and at worst disinformation. His account also raises the possibility that someone fabricated the document in Ukraine in an effort to restart investigative efforts on Manafort’s consulting work or to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.

Much mystery has surrounded the black ledger, which was publicized by the New York Times and other U.S. news outlets in the summer of 2016 and forced Manafort out as one of Trump’s top campaign officials.

I suspect that Paul Manafort is not necessarily a saint, but there is no excuse for the way out ‘justice’ system has treated him–particularly when we know that the evidence used to start the ball rolling against him was fake. Once he knew the evidence was fake, why did Robert Mueller continue the investigation?

The article concludes:

In an interview last summer, Leschenko said he first received part of the black ledger when it was sent to him anonymously in February 2016, but it made no mention of Manafort. Months later, in August 2016, more of the ledger became public, including the alleged Manafort payments.

Leschenko said he decided to publicize the information after confirming a few of the transactions likely occurred or matched known payments.

But Leschenko told me he never believed the black ledger could be used as court evidence because it couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it was authentic, given its mysterious appearance during the 2016 election.

“The black ledger is an unofficial document,” Leschenko told me. “And the black ledger was not used as official evidence in criminal investigations because you know in criminal investigations all proof has to be beyond a reasonable doubt. And the black ledger is not a sample of such proof because we don’t know the nature of such document.”

In the end, the black ledger did prompt the discovery of real financial transactions and real crimes by Manafort, which ultimately led to his conviction.

But its uncertain origins raise troubling questions about election meddling and what constitutes real evidence worthy of starting an American investigation.

How may people charged with financial misdeeds have been put in solitary confinement for long periods of time? His treatment was not equal justice under the law.