Not Sure What Happens Next

A lot of the things we are currently hearing in the news regarding FISA Warrants, Russian collusion, etc., would never have been revealed had Hillary Clinton been elected. That in itself is a little disconcerting. One group that has worked very hard to get to the bottom of the numerous scandals surrounding the Clintons has been Judicial Watch. They are non-partisan–they have gone after previous administrations just as hard as they are going after the Obama administration. It seems as if they may be getting to a point where Americans may actually know what went on in the Obama administration Justice Department.

The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Wednesday a schedule of depositions of senior Obama-era officials, lawyers and former Hillary Clinton aides.

Thanks to the heavy lifting by Judicial Watch, Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered these corrupt Obama and Hillary officials to provide answers, under oath, to the watchdog group about the Benghazi and Hillary Clinton email scandals.

Recall, Judge Lamberth previously slammed Hillary’s corruption and said the State Department provided ‘clearly false’ statements to derail requests for Hillary Clinton documents.

Judge Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, said he was “dumbfounded” when he found out that Hillary’s aide-turned-lawyer Cheryl Mills was given immunity.

“I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,” Lamberth said during a hearing last October.

Please follow the link to the article–it includes the schedule of the depositions. I have no idea where this is going, but I think it is a good thing.

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant

Today Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, released 370 pages of Lisa Page’s testimony to a joint congressional task force investigating potential bias in the Justice Department.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today revealing some of the details of the testimony.

One of the items in the testimony was the decision not to charge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with mishandling classified information. The article reports:

Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.

Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.

Page responded: “That’s correct.”

Page is the former FBI lawyer who reportedly carried out an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigator in the Clinton investigation. The thousands of text messages that they sent back and forth about the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations raised questions of bias, and Mueller eventually removed Strzok from the special counsel investigation. Strzok was also fired by the FBI.

Page’s testimony raises further questions related to the decision not to charge Clinton with any crimes, including gross negligence, following a lengthy FBI investigation into her email practices that potentially put classified information at risk. After the revelation that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac in June 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running for president, Lynch refused to recuse herself from the case while also saying she would accept Comey’s decision on what charges to bring against Clinton. But Page’s testimony indicates that DOJ had shut the door on gross negligence.

The decision on to charge Secretary Clinton was a glaring example of unequal justice. Some of our military have spent time in jail for far less serious offenses. There is also the matter of destroying evidence and deleting subpoenaed documents.

As more testimonies are made public, I wonder if it will change the public perception of the abuses of power that were going on in the final days of the Obama administration.

Failed Parenting

One of the most important things a parent can do is lead by example. Any time a parent does something that is not above board, it is a pretty good bet that their child will learn that it is okay to take shortcuts that may not be entirely honest. Unfortunately there seems to be a group of parents that despite their success has not yet figured this out.

The Associated Press is reporting today that federal authorities have charged a number of wealthy and famous people with falsifying information to make sure their children got into their schools of choice. I understand the desire of any parent to provide the best education possible for their children, but this scheme definitely stepped over the line.

The article reports:

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the results of an investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues.

…At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance or business, were among those charged. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

The article continues:

The bribes allegedly were dispensed through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid William Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, the bribe money to get their children into college.

Prosecutors said Singer was scheduled to plead guilty in Boston Tuesday to charges including racketeering conspiracy. John Vandemoer, the former head sailing coach at Stanford, was also expected to plead guilty.

Colleges moved quickly to discipline the coaches accused. Stanford fired Vandemoer, UCLA suspended its soccer coach, and Wake Forest did the same with its volleyball coach.

Several schools, including USC and Yale, said they were victims themselves of the scam. USC also said it is reviewing its admissions process to prevent further such abuses.

This is a sad commentary on where we are as a society. Obviously some parents want to take the guess work out of college admissions. What is the lesson they are teaching their children? I wonder exactly how much of these scheme the children involved were aware of. Certainly if a child is recruited for a sport he has no knowledge of, he might notice that something is amiss. I hope the penalties for the parents are severe. As much as I can sympathize with the stress of getting children into good colleges (all three of my daughters are college graduates, two have advanced degrees), what these parents did is inexcusable–first of all because it is patently dishonest and second of all because of the example it sets for the students.

A Very Interesting Twist On The Current Media Narrative

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about Michael Cohen, currently playing a role in front of the House Oversight Committee. The article reports that before the FBI raided his offices and threatened him with jail time, Mr. Cohen was trying to obtain a book deal for a book praising Donald Trump as President.

The article has a lot of interesting information, but there were a few things that really stood out to me.

The article reports:

Cohen was pushing a book with the working title ‘Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump,’ that he proposed to write.

He sent his book to several potential publishers last year, and one, Hachette, reportedly was willing to pay him three-quarters of a million dollars for his wise words.

But Cohen, who is due to start a three-year prison term in May for crimes including tax evasion, lying to Congress and making false statements, thought he could do better and continued to seek more money, DailyMail.com can reveal.

…His book proposal was in stark contrast to his words to the oversight committee and to two other Congressional panels which he addressed in private. On Wednesday he said Trump ‘is a racist, he is a con man and he is a cheat.’

‘I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore,’ he added. ‘My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family’s happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation, and soon my freedom.

Would someone please explain to this man that his predicament is the result of his own decisions as well as those of a crooked justice department out to unseat a duly-elected President. His choice to evade taxes, lie to Congress, and be involved in shady business deals has little to do with President Trump. The stupidest choice he made was to keep incriminating records in his office. His predicament is sad, but blaming it on the President is unfair. Why not blame it on those seeking to remove President Trump from office?

How Much Did This Cost The Taxpayers?

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the final required filing on Friday by Robert Mueller on the Paul Manafort case.

The article reports:

Mueller and his team made their final required filing in Manafort’s case late Friday, submitting a “government sentencing memorandum” to the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., justifying their request for a harsh, 17-year prison sentence against Manafort.

In it, the government argues that Manafort “chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law— whether the laws proscribed garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud, or more esoteric laws that he nevertheless was intimately familiar with, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” both before and after he was under scrutiny by the Special Counsel.

Manafort’s portfolio of crimes include incidents going back more than a decade to 2005, to when Manafort was a lobbying the federal government on issues involving Russia and Ukraine. They run all the way up to last year, when Manafort was discovered to have engaged in witness tampering, even after he was indicted on tax fraud charges.

But what the government sentencing document — and Manafort’s apparent list of transgressions — doesn’t include is evidence of actual collusion with Russia during the course of the Trump for President campaign, the actual focus of Mueller’s investigation. Instead, the filing simply says that Manafort committed some of his crimes while under the “spotlight” of the campaign.

The filing is 25 pages long and barely mentions President Trump’s campaign. Collusion between candidate Trump and the Russian government is never mentioned.

The article concludes:

One item does seem to be from the correct era — an instance of “false statements to the Department of Justice” in late 2016, just before the presidential election — but those statements appear, based on the filing, to relate to Mueller’s (and before him, the Justice Department’s) investigation of his work with Ukraine. Instead of lying about something new, it seems Manafort was still covering for actions he took years earlier.

Mueller’s report is expected in early March, but so far, it seems, may have little in the way of evidence that the Trump campaign is guilty of collusion, as a number of Democrats desire.

Keep in mind that eight years ago Paul Manafort was investigated (and cleared) of most of the charges currently against him. The prosecutor that led the exoneration was Rod Rosenstein. Paul Manafort may not be as pure as the driven snow, but I strongly suspect the charges against him have more to do with the “insurance policy” discussed by the FBI than any actual crimes.

Some Interesting Legal Aspects Of The Isis Bride Who Wants To Come To America

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review yesterday about Hoda Muthana, currently detained in a refugee camp in Syria, who wants to come home to America.

The article reports:

Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Muthana will not be allowed to reenter the U.S. because she is not an American citizen: While born in America, she was the daughter of a diplomat and thus not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. As the secretary put it in his statement, “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”

This conclusion is disputed by Muthana’s family and allies, and they may have a case. I would strongly urge the Justice Department to file an indictment against Muthana for treason, material support to terrorism, and any other readily provable offenses. She is less likely to press the issues of citizenship and right to enter if she understands that she faces prosecution and, very likely, lengthy imprisonment if she succeeds in coming here.

But it’s worth taking a closer look at the citizenship question itself. To my mind, the concept of citizenship implies not just the benefits of being a full-fledged member of the body politic, but also a duty of fealty to the nation. In a rational world, then, a citizen who made war against the United States would be stripped of citizenship.

Ms. Muthana left America to join ISIS, a group that was (and is) at war with America. If she claims to be a citizen, she should be charged with treason.

The article concludes:

Again: If the president and the secretary do not want Muthana to try to come back to the United States, the best strategy is to have the Justice Department indict her on serious felony charges. She may seek another alternative if she knows the risk of coming back here is decades of imprisonment. Of course, Muthana may decide to come anyway. After all, (a) she might see life in an American prison as better than her other alternatives, and (b) if she is an American citizen, there is a good argument that her young son is a citizen, too — he’d have a more promising chance of survival and a decent life here than in Syria (or wherever else in that godforsaken region they could end up).

In any event, the State Department has made its decision. Now it is up to Muthana’s supporters to establish her citizenship if they can, and for the Trump administration to indict her if it chooses.

A Book I Plan To Read

Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a book I plan to read. The American Thinker posted an article today about the book.

The book lists a number of examples where the Justice Department was anything but just:

False charges brought by overzealous prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (Robert Mueller’s right-hand man) in the case against leading accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Although the conviction was subsequently reversed unanimously by the Supreme Court, Andersen was completely destroyed, its 85,000 employees lost their jobs, and the assets of untold investors were wiped out. Weissmann was promoted by the DoJ.

Destruction of the lives of four Merrill Lynch executives. Before they could appeal their fake convictions, they were sent to prison with the toughest criminals in the country. “They did the worst things they could possibly do to these men,” says Powell. The defendants were eventually exonerated on appeal, but it was only after one of them served eight months in solitary confinement.

Frequent failure by the DoJ to disclose evidence favorable to defendants as required by law.

Using the phony Steele dossier, the DoJ and FBI unlawfully obtained FISA warrants for the surveillance of the Trump election campaign. The dossier was then used to justify creation of a special counsel to investigate alleged Trump-Russia collusion. After two years, that investigation is nothing more than a witch-hunt against Trump supporters.

Leaking at the top levels of the FBI and DoJ in the midst of criminal investigations.

Unwillingness of federal judges to discipline the DoJ for its transgressions.

We have seen this sort of questionable behavior by Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann in the investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Paul Manafort is in solitary confinement for no apparent reason, and Roger Stone was arrested in a scenario that would have been appropriate for El Chapo, but not for a sixty-something man with no guns and a deaf wife.

The article at The American Thinker concluldes:

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. Do you think William Barr, our new attorney general, will do something to stop it? Let’s hope he is more effective than his predecessor. Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you reside, this should frighten you. If a group of people with a common political philosophy can pervert justice in America, then the tables could turn at any time and another group of people with a different political philosophy could do the same thing.

Little By Little The Truth Drips Out

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the role Nellie Ohr played in spying on the Trump family during the presidential campaign.

The article reports:

As the details surrounding the Spygate scandal are uncovered, connections draw closer to former President Obama.

The connections between Nellie Ohr and the ‘Spygate’ scandal were hidden from congressional investigators for months.

As noted previously by TGP, Nellie Ohr is a Communist sympathizer connected to Russia.  She is also a corrupt Never-Trumper.

It appears that the men in Nellie’s life did all they could to prevent Nellie Ohr from being outed for her involvement in the Russian dossier because she also has links to the CIA and therefore to John Brennan.

If Brennan is outed as the quarterback of the dossier scandal, then by association, so is his boss, former President Obama.

Now we know that communist sympathizer Nellie Ohr, and the men who surrounded her, her husband, business partners, John Brennan, and by association President Obama, were all connected.

Together they attempted to prevent Candidate Trump from being elected and later to remove duly elected President Trump from office. 

And today we find out Nellie Ohr was also investigating the Trump children during the election while she was feeding Democrat propaganda to the FBI and deep state.

The Daily Caller also posted the story yesterday.

The Daily Caller reported:

The wife of a Justice Department official who worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign told Congress in 2018 that one of her tasks at the opposition research firm was to research President Donald Trump’s children, including their business activities and travel.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, also told lawmakers during an Oct. 19 deposition that she recalls that Christopher Steele gave her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, materials from the infamous anti-Trump dossier funded by Democrats.

Ohr said during the testimony that Steele, who like her was a contractor for Fusion GPS, hoped that her husband would pass the materials to the FBI.

It seems that Robert Mueller is investigating the wrong collusion.

Dueling Gotcha’s

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily reported the following:

As John Solomon reported in The Hill,  “The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official (Ohr) briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and might be biased.”

FBI, Justice Knew

Ohr himself told congressional investigators, “I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump.  I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected. So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

Ohr at the time was the No. 4 official at the Justice Department, a powerful post. Even so, he claims he told the FBI that both his wife, Nellie Ohr, and Steele both worked for Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired Fusion GPS through their law firm, Perkins Coie, to do opposition research on Trump.

The article concludes:

They started a dirty campaign operation against Trump, used it to spy on him, then opened a special investigation that probed virtually all areas of his life and business affairs, not just his supposed collusion with Russia. It originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Yes, but it found more-than-willing participants in the remnants of Obama’s national security and intelligence Deep State.

None of this behavior is legal, of course. The politicization of the FBI and Justice are crimes, plain and simple. As Roger Kimball recently noted, this is not on a par with Watergate — it’s far worse. Our system is tragically broken when government officials can lie and deceive in an effort to thwart an American election.

This is the stuff of Banana Republics, where rule of law means nothing. That’s not America, where rule of law is everything. But if these crimes go unpunished, we  will surely become a Banana Republic, too.

Mediaite reported today:

Anthony Cormier is one of the two investigative reporter at BuzzfeedNews who co-authored the bombshell report published Thursday night — a report which claimed President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony over discussions between the Trump Organization and Russian authorities about a Trump Tower Moscow project.

Cormier appeared on CNN’s New Day and revealed that he had not seen the evidence underlying his report.

Frankly I think Michael Cohen would tell Mueller that he saw Donald Trump cavorting with alien creatures from a spaceship in his back yard in order to stay out of jail. I guess I am skeptical.

Breitbart notes the following in an article posted today:

Thanks to the media’s previous bombshell report on this very same subject, a report that proved — like all the others — to be fake news, when the president’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., testified before congress on this Russia deal, he told the truth, he told congress that this particular Russia deal stayed alive (in some nebulous form) until June of 2016.

But now we’re supposed to believe that, even though his own son told the truth, Trump still instructed Cohen to lie — to testify the Russian deal died six months earlier, in January of 2016.

I think Michael Cohen might do better with the aliens and spaceships.

UPDATE: The Special Counsel has openly denied the Mediaite report. Hopefully that will be the end of this lie.

The Other Shoe

Now it’s time to talk about the other shoe some Americans are waiting to drop.

Let’s talk about the evidence for the government’s abuse of power in dealing with candidate Trump and later President Trump.

Yesterday Joe Hoft posted an article at The Gateway Pundit with the title, “HUGE REVELATION! DEEP STATE LIED! Investigated Trump Campaign with FOUR SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL PROBES – All With Separate Code Names!”

The article reports:

As has been suspected to date, the FBI had four separate investigations – one each on Flynn, Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Manafort. [This is why they were all targeted by Mueller – to attempt to find anything on these individuals to support their spying on them and Trump!]

The article includes documentation on the four investigations and notes that because of “the sensitivity of the matter,” the FBI did not notify congressional leadership about this investigation during the FBI’s regular counterintelligence briefings. So the FBI was purposely avoiding congressional oversight.

On Sunday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the title,””Backtracking Lies Worsening – REMINDER: The FBI Counterintelligence Operation into Donald Trump *DID NOT* Start After Comey Firing….

The article reminds us:

John Brennan realized someone has focused attention on Comey’s admission to congress that the FBI intentionally kept congress in the dark during the construct of the counter-intel narrative. Congress was kept in the dark during this phase because the narrative can only thrive with innuendo, rumor, gossip etc. The appearance of the investigation itself was the political need; the substance was non-existent and immaterial to the creation of the narrative.

If Comey notified congress, via the Gang of Eight oversight, the counter-intel narrative would have been harder to manufacture as details would have to be consistent. That’s the benefit to keeping any oversight away while creating the politically useful narrative.

John Brennan, facing the looming certainty of the underlying Russian ‘collusion evidence’ being non-existent, in 2017 was trying to give the appearance that he briefed congress on larger Russian election interference issues. However , the trouble for Brennan is his own admission that these issues were the underlying principle for the FBI counter-intelligence investigation. Brennan specifically says he gave his intelligence product to the FBI.

Additionally, “Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a ‘credible source,’ which is how they viewed Steele,” … “But they never corroborated his sources.”  (link)

The material within Obama’s PDB, placed by Brennan, is what initially set off alarm bells for Devin Nunes (early 2017) because the material underlying the PDB intelligence product was unmasked by Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Today Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial with the following headline, “Deep State: Did Justice, CIA And FBI Commit Crimes To Get Rid Of Trump?”

The editorial reminds us:

The actual investigation by the Justice Department and FBI began during the election campaign. Using half-baked and “unverifiable” intelligence about Trump’s purported links to Russia, officials used the so-called Steele Dossier four separate times for FISA court approval to spy on the Trump campaign.

The only problem is, the Steele Dossier didn’t come from the FBI or Justice Department. It came from Fusion GPS, an opposition research group linked to the Democrats. And Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for it.

“Ostensibly, the surveillance application targeted Carter Page,” wrote Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and himself a former federal prosecutor. “But Page was just a side issue. The dossier was principally about Trump – not Page, not Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, or other Trump associates referred to by Steele. The dossier’s main allegation was that Trump was in an espionage conspiracy with Russia to swing the election to Trump, after which Trump would do Putin’s bidding from the White House.”

So for all intents and purposes, the Deep State holdovers from the Obama administration were serving as an adjunct to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Early on in the investigation, CIA chief John Brennan convened multi-agency meetings about Trump. They included Peter Strzok, the head of the FBI’s counter-intelligence, and James Clapper, national intelligence director under Obama, among others.

The premise of the meetings, again, was that Trump possibly colluded with the Russians to hack our election and might even be an agent of Russia.

This is the shoe that has evidence attached. I can promise you that if the rogue members of the DOJ and FBI are not held accountable for their behavior, we will see more of this in the future. At that point, no candidate that does not reflect the values of the deep state will ever be elected.

A Summation Of What Robert Mueller Is Actually Doing

On December 1, Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review summarizing what he believes is the goal of the Mueller investigation. His summary makes a lot of sense.

First of all Andrew McCarthy reminds us that this investigation is leading to a report–not a trial. Therefore, the fact that the only charges so far involve lying (which obviously discredits a witness in a trial) is irrelevant. He then notes that the investigation is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation.

The article notes:

This is why, from the beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation, and certainly since Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017, we have stressed that the probe is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. The idea was not to dizzy you with Justice Department esoterica. The point is that we don’t want prosecutors involved until it has been established that a crime was probably committed, warranting use of their awesome, intimidating investigative powers. Our main interest is in the crime we authorize prosecutors to investigate; we are not looking to have prosecutors manufacture crimes through the process of investigating — even if we agree that people should not be permitted to lie to investigators with impunity.

With respect to the president and “collusion,” Mueller does not have a crime he is investigating. He is investigating in hopes of finding a crime, which is a day-and-night different thing.

The article further explains the methods of investigation being used:

Mueller is turning such lies into guilty pleas, for three reasons.

First, he is not going to indict the president, which would precipitate a trial at some point. The convicted liars are not going to be jury-trial witnesses, so Mueller is not concerned about their lack of credibility. The report will detail disturbing — and thus politically damaging — connections between Trump associates and Kremlin cronies. But there will be no collusion crime, and thus no charges and no need for witnesses.

Second, with the media as his biggest cheerleader (other than Jeff Flake), the false-statements pleas create the illusion of a collusion crime, and thus appear to vindicate Mueller’s sprawling investigation. As I’ve previously explained, the game works this way: The media reports that Mueller is investigating Trump–Russia collusion and that dozens of people have been charged or convicted; but the media omits that no one has been charged, much less convicted, of any crime involving collusion between Trump and Russia. The great mass of people who do not follow the news closely come away thinking a Trump–Russia collusion crime is an established fact; by now, Mueller must be tightening the noose around Trump because he’s already rolled up a bunch of the apparent accomplices.

Third, defendants convicted of making false statements are very useful because Mueller is writing a report, not preparing for a jury trial. Convicted liars never get cross-examined in a report. Nor do they give the bumpy, inconsistent testimony you hear in a courtroom. Instead, their version of events is outlined by a skilled prosecutor, who writes well and knows how to make their stories sing in perfect harmony. They will sound far better in the report than they would on the witness stand. We’ve already gotten a taste of this in the offense narratives Mueller has incorporated in each guilty plea. Read the criminal information in Cohen’s case and ask yourself whether Mr. Fixer could have recited matters with such clarity.

Aside from the fact that this investigation has been a colossal waste of money, it is sad that the press so readily signed on to the idea of bringing down a President they did not like. It’s odd that when Donald Trump was a Democrat he got awards for his work in racial harmony, was hailed for putting the first woman in charge of constructing a New York skyscraper, and fought city hall to make sure Mar-a-Lago did not discriminate against either Jewish people or black people. The press loved him then. They laughed at his unfiltered remarks and gladly put him in their social pages. It is amazing how much that changed when he ran for President as a Republican.

When Do We Investigate The Investigators?

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill today dealing with some new information about government spying on the Trump campaign during the Obama administration.

The information is contained in some emails that have not as yet been made public.

The article reports:

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s National Security Division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

The chain of emails involved has been kept from Congress for two years. It was recently declassified.

The article illustrates how the FBI used the FISA court in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from becoming President and later in an attempt to cripple his presidency.

The article reports:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular-intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own text message shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

It is truly sad that a government agency acted in this way. The even bigger problem is that if the people involved in this are not held accountable, this will happen again in the future.

Who Was Actually Running The Show?

On Friday, John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about the events that led up to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mr. Solomon reminds us of some of the investigative techniques used to gather information on the mafia.

The article reports:

Back in the mafia’s heyday, FBI and IRS agents had a set of surveillance rules.

If one mobster showed up in town, pay notice. If two arrived, be suspicious. If three or four were in the same vicinity, something was going down.

…Mobsters would always have the same calling card, or excuse, to be in town. Attending a funeral (the mid-1980s mob meeting in Chicago) or a vacation in the sticks (the infamous 1957 gathering in upstate New York) were some of the more memorable ones.

Early in my reporting that unraveled the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, tying it to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses, I started to see patterns just as in the old mob meetings: FBI or intelligence-connected figures kept showing up in Trump Town USA during the 2016 campaign with a common calling card.

So exactly who showed up where during the 2016 presidential campaign? The article continues:

  • At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016;
  • Campaign figures were contacted by at least two Russian figures whose justification for being in the United States were rare law enforcement parole visas controlled by the U.S. Justice Department;
  • Intelligence or diplomatic figures connected to two of America’s closest allies, Britain and Australia, gathered intelligence or instigated contacts with Trump campaign figures during that same period;
  • Some of the conversations and contacts that were monitored occurred on foreign soil and resulted in the creation of transcripts;
  • Nearly all of the contacts involved the same overture — a discussion about possible political dirt or stolen emails harmful to Hillary Clinton, or unsolicited business in London or Moscow;
  • Several of the contacts occurred before the FBI formally launched a legally authorized probe into the Trump campaign and possible collusion on July 31, 2016.

The people who were approached during that time–Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Sam Clovis and Roger Stone, to name a few. Obviously these are the names that form the crux of the Mueller investigation. Can you say entrapment? Can you say Peter Strzok’s insurance policy?

So who was controlling the people approaching members of the Trump team? The article has a few educated guesses:

At least two important bodies in Congress — the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees — demanded to be secretly briefed on payments to “undercovers.” They’ve been pretty tight-lipped since, except to express concerns that the public would be alarmed by what was divulged.

From those members of Congress, we can deduce that some of the contacts that occurred in 2016 were related to the political opposition, anti-Trump research funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign and driven by Steele and his Fusion GPS employer. That work became known as the Steele dossier.

Others of the contacts appear to have been instigated by Western allies, such as an Australian diplomat’s barroom conversation in May 2016 with Papadopoulos.

And the rest are likely to have come from the FBI itself, which clearly dispatched informers, agents and other operatives to gather evidence to bulk up the uncorroborated Steele dossier, so agents could get a FISA warrant in October 2016 to spy on Page, the Trump campaign adviser.

The article concludes:

If this were a mob case, agents would not stop until they knew why each character appeared and who sent them. President Trump can help answer many, if not all, unanswered questions by declassifying the documents as he promised months ago. Congressional leaders and the Justice Department can impose accountability based on what is disclosed.

The American people deserve to know how much of the Trump-Russia probe was the result of agent provocateurs and political muckrakers and FISA cheaters, and how much was legitimate law enforcement work. 

Rumor has it that there will be some answers coming and some justice served this coming week. Frankly, I am getting tired of waiting.

The Only People Actually Conducting A Real Investigation Of Federal Misconduct Are Judicial Watch

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent Freedom of Information Act Request filed by Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is an impartial government watchdog agency–they have gone after Clintons, Bushes, Obamas, etc.

The article reports:

A conservative watchdog group announced Friday it had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department seeking communications records that relate the FBI’s investigation into whether Hillary and Bill Clinton’s charity organization participated in pay-to-play schemes or other improper behavior with the U.S. government.

The latest lawsuit by Judicial Watch related to the Clintons, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI denied their FOIA request and appeal this fall, targets the offices of prominent Obama-era officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Specifically, Judicial Watch demands the DOJ do a search, and “demonstrate that it employed search methods reasonably likely to lead to the discovery,” for “[a]ll records of communication, including but not limited to e-mails (whether sent or received on .gov or non-.gov e-mail accounts), text messages, or instant chats, sent between officials in the offices of the FBI Director, Deputy Director and General Counsel on the one hand, and officials in the offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and or Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General on the other hand, regarding the closure or possible closure of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.”

The article concludes:

The watchdog also singled out the DOJ inspector general’s report released in April in which McCabe described a “very dramatic” call he had with another high-level department official about the handling of the Clinton Foundation probe. That same inspector general’s report, which led to McCabe’s firing, found McCabe ” lacked candor” on four separate occasions, including three times while under oath, in connection with the disclosure to the Wall Street Journal leak to push back on a report about large donations McCabe’s wife received from Democrats during her bid for the Virginia state Senate — a leak that effectively confirmed the existence of the Clinton Foundation probe.

“The record shows the Obama Justice Department suppressed a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “It’s time for the DOJ to stop shielding the Clintons and produce records on this miscarriage of justice.”

It may be that the Clintons are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. However, much of their past behavior definitely calls their honesty into question.

It’s Hard To Get Anything Done When You Are A Lame-Duck Congress

I will admit that I am becoming very cynical about anyone being charged for misdeeds and abuses of power during the Obama administration. It seems as if the House of Representatives is making an effort, but I can’t help but think it is a lame effort that is simply too late.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the upcoming hearings in the House of Representatives. The article notes that on November 22, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued subpoenas to both former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Former FBI Director Comey intends to fight the subpoena in court. Former Attorney General Lynch has not yet publicly responded to the subpoena. All they have to do is tie the case up in court until January when the Democrats take control of the House. The Democrats will drop the matter, and the FBI and Justice Department corruption will continue unabated. I hope I am wrong about this, but I doubt it.

The article reports:

“While the authority for congressional subpoenas is broad, it does not cover the right to misuse closed hearings as a political stunt to promote political as opposed to legislative agendas,” Kelley (one of Comey’s attorneys, David Kelley) said.

On November 22, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued subpoenas to both Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The former FBI Director responded on Thursday, tweeting that he will “resist” a “‘closed-door’ thing” — ironically claiming it was over his concerns about selective leaking.

Comey infamously leaked a memo of a private conversation between Trump and himself at the White House. This led to the Justice Department Inspector General conducting an investigation into classification issues related to his leaked memo.

While Comey may be attempting to claim that he is doing this for the sake of transparency, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has pointed out that during his last testimony he used the fact that it was public to dodge answering nearly 100 questions.

“So why in the world would he want to go back to a setting where he knows he can’t answer all the questions,” Gowdy asked on Fox News on Monday.

Stall, stall, stall, while the American people hope that someday justice will occur.

Why Are They So Afraid Of This Man?

Vox is reporting today that a group of Senate Democrats are suing to try to strike down President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.

The article reports:

The suit, filed in DC federal district court by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Mazie Hirono (HI), argues that Whitaker’s appointment was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed by the Senate to his prior position.

…On November 7, Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, and Sessions agreed. But rather than letting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein succeed to the post, Trump installed Whitaker, who was Sessions’s chief of staff — a job that did not require Senate confirmation.

Trump did this by using a law called the Vacancies Reform Act. Some legal experts have argued the appointment was legal. But others assert the president can’t bump someone up to a Cabinet-level position (a “principal officer” of the executive branch) if that person hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate for this stint in government. That’s the argument Senate Democrats are making in this lawsuit.

Democrats have been sounding the alarm about Whitaker, who repeatedly echoed Trump’s criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe before he joined the Justice Department. Sessions had recused himself from oversight of Mueller’s investigation, but Whitaker has given no indication he’ll do the same. There are also various controversies involving his business background.

Just a few reminders here. Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter requesting the firing of James Comey. He is a witness in the investigation Mueller is conducting and would be overseeing the investigation if he were Attorney General. How is that not a conflict of interest? Rod Rosenstein (based on past actions) would seem to be a part of the Washington swamp. There is no indication that Whitaker is part of that swamp, and based on the opposition to him by the Senate, I suspect that he is not part of the swamp. There are serious questions about the Mueller investigation going back to the beginning–the scope of the investigation seems to be unlimited, the midnight raid on Paul Manafort seemed to be totally inappropriate as Manafort was a cooperating witness, the indictments Mueller has brought have nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 campaign that he is supposed to be investigating, and everything he has charged people with has nothing to do with the election. Regardless of who is Attorney General, it is time for Mueller to admit he has no evidence (as originally noted by Peter Strzok’s who commented that he hesitated to get involved in the investigation because  he didn’t think there was anything there) and write his report.

I go back to my original question, “Why are the Democrats so afraid of Matthew Whitaker becoming acting Attorney General?”

Where In The World Does This Appear In The U.S. Constitution?

The Gateway Pundit reported today that the State of Maryland has filed a legal objection to President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. When did state courts have any say over presidential appointments?

The article notes:

The state seeks a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from responding to the suit while Whitaker appears as acting attorney general. Instead, Maryland requests a declaration that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the acting attorney general.

Jonathan Turley posted an article about the apointment of Matthew Whitaker.

The article states:

However, this morning some members and commentators have declared that Whitaker cannot serve as an Acting Attorney General under federal law.  I have to disagree.  While not getting into the merits of the selection, it seems clear to me that, under 5 U.S.C. 3345, that Whitaker does indeed qualify.  (This of course does not address the long-standing debate over the constitutionality of such laws.  A challenge can be made under the Appointment Clause of the Constitution, mandating that a “principal officer” in the federal government may not be appointed without Senate confirmation).

…I fail to see the compelling argument to disqualify Whitaker. Any challenge would face added challenge of finding someone with standing, though Mueller could contest an order on the basis of the legal status of Whitaker. That would make for an interesting challenge but the odds would be against Mueller over the long course of appeals.

The motive behind the lawsuit evidently has to do with fear that Matthew Whitaker will shut down the Mueller Investigation. That may be a valid fear, but I think a more valid fear would be that under Matthew Whitaker the Justice Department might actually take another look at how some people handled classified information during the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton was not the only person with classified information on a non-government secured device. An investigation into mishandling of classified information under President Obama would be a serious threat to many people who were in the Obama administration.

 

 

Not All Refugees Are An Asset To America

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a recent arrest in Arizona.

The article reports:

The FBI arrested 30-year-old Ahmad Suhad Ahmad in Tucson, Arizona, last week following a two-year investigation.

According to the limited information contained in the two-page criminal complaint, Ahmad had told a confidential source in December 2016 that he knew how to detonate a bomb using a cell phone — a technique he said he learned during the war in Iraq.

In April 2017, the same confidential source asked Ahmad if he knew how to make a car bomb for a target in Mexico, and if he could show him how to build one. Ahmad agreed.

A week later Ahmad showed the source an image on his cell phone of explosive materials and instructions written in Arabic, which he promised to translate into English. He also met with other sources and undercover FBI agents about planning to build the bomb.

Ahmad Suha’s arrest is the third arrest of an Iraqi refugee in a week.

The article reports:

As I reported earlier, 34-year-old Ashraf al-Safoo was arrested near Chicago and charged with running a pro-ISIS propaganda ring. According to the Justice Department, al-Safoo took orders directly from ISIS officials. Through social media, he spread propaganda on behalf of the terror group, helping ISIS to recruit and encouraging supporters to conduct terror attacks. He was born in Mosul, Iraq. and moved to the U.S. in 2008, and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

And last Wednesday, 19-year-old Naser Almadaoji of Beavercreek, Ohio, was arrested at Columbus International Airport attempting to fly to Kazakhstan, where he planned to cross the border into Afghanistan to join the ISIS affiliate there. The U.S. attorney responsible for the case said Almadaoji came to the U.S. from Iraq about a decade ago.

As noted by the 9/11 Commission Report, Tucson was the home of the first known American al-Qaeda cell, and is the former home of al-Qaeda co-founder Wael Julaidan — who was once the president of the Islamic Center of Tucson — as well as al-Qaeda operative Wadi al-Hage.

It would make sense to send these men to Guantanamo–they should not be deported to join forces with other terrorists, and it is risky to house them n American prisons–they would attempt to recruit prisoners and there would always be the risk of a hostage situation to free them. That is why we still need Guantanamo.

There Is (And Should Be) A Penalty For Dishonesty

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today the Senator Chuck Grassley has criminally referred another Kavanaugh accuser to the Justice Department for investigation. The Kavanaugh confirmation hearing was turned into a circus when Diane Feinstein withheld charges of sexual assault against Justice Kavanaugh until the last day of the hearing. The chargers were unsubstantiated, and there was some suspicion of misconduct by the lawyers of the accused. The actions of the lawyers are being investigated. Now another accuser has admitted that she made up the charges, and she has been referred to the Justice Department for investigation.

The article reports:

Senator Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding “fabricated allegations” the Senate Judiciary Committee received.

Brett Kavanaugh was previously questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee after an anonymous letter signed ‘Jane Doe’ alleged he and a friend raped an Oceanside, CA woman in a car.

The hand-written letter was sent to Democrat Senator Kamala Harris.

…The accuser, Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton, now admits it was a “ploy” and she just wanted to “get attention.”

…The Senate Judiciary Chairman recently referred creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the DOJ for a criminal investigation for false statements and deliberate obstruction of a congressional investigation (violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001 and 1505).

Grassley then hit Avenatti with a second criminal referral regarding another declaration he submitted to the Committee related to the second, anonymous Kavanaugh accuser he brought forth with allegations of gang rape.

Falsely accusing someone during a Senate hearing should have consequences. Thank goodness President Trump, Senator Grassley, and other Senators did not let this false charge ruin a man’s life. What a travesty that would have been.

 

 

Getting To The Bottom

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about what the Republicans have accomplished in informing Americans about the misuse of government agencies in surveilling the Trump campaign and the Trump administration.

The article lists what we know as a result of the work of the House Intelligence Committee.

This is the list:

1) The important role that the incendiary allegations in the still-unverified Trump dossier played in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

2) The fact that the dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

3) The unusual circumstances surrounding the formal beginning of the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

4) The troubling deficiencies in the FBI’s application for a warrant to wiretap onetime Trump campaign figure Carter Page.

5) The anti-Trump bias of some of the top officials in the FBI investigation.

6) The degree to which the dossier’s allegations spread throughout the Obama administration during the final days of the 2016 campaign and the transition.

7) Obama officials’ unmasking of Trump-related figures in intelligence intercepts.

8) The fact that FBI agents did not believe Michael Flynn lied to them in the interview that later led to Flynn’s guilty plea on a charge of lying to the FBI.

9) The role of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in the Trump-Russia probe.

There is more. The article notes that the FBI and Justice Department fiercely resisted the investigation. They withheld materials, dragged their feet, and flat-out refused to provide information to which congressional overseers were clearly entitled.

The article further reports:

None of this has been bipartisan. The work has been done by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. And if Democrats win control of the House, as a number of polls suggest they will do, it will stop immediately.

If Democrats win, Rep. Adam Schiff, who has opposed nearly everything Nunes has done, will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Rep. Jerrold Nadler will head the Judiciary Committee. And Rep. Elijah Cummings will take over the Oversight Committee.

This month Schiff wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post broadly outlining the new direction Democrats would take. In the Intelligence Committee, Schiff promised to investigate aspects of Trump-Russia that committee Republicans would not — a move that would target the president but also likely duplicate the work of other investigators. Schiff also mentioned what he said were “serious and credible allegations the Russians may possess financial leverage over the president, including perhaps the laundering of Russian money through his businesses.”

The Judiciary and Oversight Committees would also abandon their current paths and focus directly on the president.

There are legitimate concerns about the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent. It is unfortunate that the Democrats do not seem to share this concern. If the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, the political abuses of government agencies will continue. At that point we will lose the concept of ‘equal justice under the law.’ We will be on our way to becoming a nation where your politics matter more than your guilt or innocence.

It’s Going To Be An Interesting Week

CNS News posted the following headline today, “Glenn Simpson, James Baker, and Nellie Ohr Scheduled to Testify This Week; Simpson Taking the 5th.” My, what an interesting combination of testimonies.

The article reports:

Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, will take the Fifth, refusing to testify, when he appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Taking the Fifth does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of anything, but the article speculates on why Mr. Simpson might want to take the Fifth:

Simpson previously has testified before the House intelligence committee and two Senate committees. In response to a subpoena to testify on Tuesday, Simpson’s lawyers sent a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, saying in part that the “inquiry is not designed to discover the truth.”

“The obvious — and at times explicitly stated — goal of this Committee is to discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, all as part of an effort to protect a President who has sought to placate and curry favor with a hostile foreign power and who demands that the Justice Department stop investigating him,” said the letter obtained by various media outlets.

When the flak becomes thick, it means that you are getting close to the target. It is becoming obvious to almost everyone that the Special Prosecutor’s investigation is going nowhere because it was a political scheme to interfere with the Trump presidency. Now we are reaching a time when those responsible for the scheme may be held accountable.

The article further reports:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused a request to appear last Thursday, prompting calls by some Republicans to subpoena him:

“He didn’t show up,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said of Rosenstein. “Look, when you’re the guy who in reality is running the Justice Department, and the chairman of the committee that has jurisdiction over your agency asks you to come, you are obligated to come and you’re obligated to come and testify under oath. He didn’t do that.

“So if it takes a subpoena, that’s exactly what should happen. We need him to answer questions about all kinds of issues associated with the Trump-Russia investigation, but specifically the statement that it’s alleged that he said where he talked about actually recording the commander in chief of our great country and he talked about the 25th Amendment.

“That is specifically what I want to ask him about,” Jordan told “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

Rosenstein has said he was joking when he suggested wearing a wire into the Oval Office with the goal of documenting the alleged dysfunction of the commander in chief.

But according to some press reports, three FBI officials — Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and James Baker — did not take Rosenstein’s words as a joke, believing him to be serious about wiretapping the president in the wake of James Comey’s firing.

It’s interesting that Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter that recommended Comey’s firing.

The article highlights some of the history of the Russian collusion investigation:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused a request to appear last Thursday, prompting calls by some Republicans to subpoena him:

“He didn’t show up,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said of Rosenstein. “Look, when you’re the guy who in reality is running the Justice Department, and the chairman of the committee that has jurisdiction over your agency asks you to come, you are obligated to come and you’re obligated to come and testify under oath. He didn’t do that.

“So if it takes a subpoena, that’s exactly what should happen. We need him to answer questions about all kinds of issues associated with the Trump-Russia investigation, but specifically the statement that it’s alleged that he said where he talked about actually recording the commander in chief of our great country and he talked about the 25th Amendment.

“That is specifically what I want to ask him about,” Jordan told “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

Rosenstein has said he was joking when he suggested wearing a wire into the Oval Office with the goal of documenting the alleged dysfunction of the commander in chief.

But according to some press reports, three FBI officials — Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and James Baker — did not take Rosenstein’s words as a joke, believing him to be serious about wiretapping the president in the wake of James Comey’s firing.

Hopefully anyone involved in plotting against a duly-elected President will pay a high price for their actions.

Looking At The Complete Picture

Every now and then someone comes along who sums up a situation beautifully–succinctly and with humor. Victor Davis Hanson has done that in an article posted at American Greatness yesterday. The article is titled, “The Circus of Resistance.”

Here are a few wonderful observations by Professor Hanson:

Democratic senators vied with pop-up protestors in the U.S. Senate gallery to disrupt and, if possible, to derail the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. U.S. SenatorCory Booker (D-N.J.) played Spartacus, but could not even get the script right as he claimed to be bravely releasing classified information that was already declassified. I cannot remember another example of a senator who wanted to break the law but could not figure out how to do it.

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Harvard Law Professor who still insists she is of Native American heritage, called for the president to be removed by invoking the 25th Amendment. Apparently fabricating an ethnic identity is sane, and getting out of the Iran deal or the Paris Climate Accord is insanity and grounds for removal.

…To cut to the quick, the op-ed was published to coincide with the latest Bob Woodward “according-to-an-unnamed-source” exposé, Fear. The intent of anonymous and the New York Times was to create a force multiplying effect of a collapsing presidency—in need of the Times’ sober and judicious handlers, NeverTrump professionals, and “bipartisan” Democrats of the sort we saw during the Kavanaugh hearing to “step in” and apparently stage an intervention to save the country.

Had the Woodward book not been in the news, neither would be the anonymous op-ed. And of course, the Times, in times before 2017, would never have published a insurrectionary letter from an unnamed worried Obama aide that the president was detached and listless—playing spades during the Bin Laden raid, outsourcing to Eric Holder the electronic surveillance of Associated Press journalists, letting Lois Lerner weaponize the IRS, and allowing his FBI, CIA, and Justice Department to conspire to destroy Hillary Clinton’s 2016 opponent.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is beautifully written. The article takes the time to remind us of past events as well as the current lunacy. It also reminds us that although President Trump often refers to some members of the press as ‘fake news,’ he has not followed in the steps of the previous administration by monitoring on the sly the communications of Associated Press reporters or the private emails of a Fox correspondent, or using his Justice Department and FBI hierarchy to delude a FISA court in order to spy on American citizens.

President Trump was elected by ordinary people like you and me who decided that we wanted our country back. The elites who like running things their way instead of our way do not approve. We will continue to see evidence of that for as long as President Trump is in office.

The Real Question

Legend has it that Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi would begin every spring practice with the words, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Those words were said to newcomers who had never played pro football and seasoned veterans, but they were uttered every year. He always took the time to remind his players of the basics of the game.

There is an article posted at The National Review today written by Andrew McCarthy that also seeks to remind us of some basic principles of law. The title of the article is “Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?” That is the question.

The article reports:

For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?

It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

To my mind, he has owed us an answer from the beginning, meaning when he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller on May 17, 2017. The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

This last provision is designed to prevent a special counsel’s investigation from becoming a fishing expedition — or what President Trump calls a “witch hunt,” what DAG Rosenstein more diplomatically disclaims as an “unguided missile,” and what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, invoking Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret-police chief, pans as the warped dictum, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In our country, the crime triggers the assignment of a prosecutor, not the other way around.

I would strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. Andrew McCarthy presents a very strong legal argument as to why the Mueller investigation is not in compliance with the statute for a special prosecutor. Unfortunately the Mueller investigation has become a vehicle to ruin anyone financially that might have had even a tangential relationship with either the Trump campaign or the Trump presidency. Notice that nothing anyone has been charged with has any relationship with a conspiracy with Russia or election tampering. The only things that have been uncovered show the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent in order to sway an election, and those things have been ignored by Mueller.

The article concludes:

So what are the suspected crimes committed by Donald Trump that Mueller has been authorized to investigate, and what was the factual basis for Rosenstein’s authorization of this investigation?

We still haven’t been told.

The anti-Trump Left decries all criticism as an effort to “delegitimize” and “obstruct” the Mueller investigation. But no one is questioning the investigation of Russia’s interference in the election. We are questioning why a special counsel was appointed to investigate the president of the United States. It is the Justice Department’s obligation to establish the legitimacy of the appointment by explaining the factual basis for believing a crime was committed. If there is no such basis, then it is Mueller’s investigation that is delegitimizing the presidency and obstructing its ability to carry out its constitutional mission — a mission that is far more significant than any prosecutor’s case.

We’re not asking for much. After 16 months, we are just asking why there is a criminal investigation of the president. If Rod Rosenstein would just explain what the regs call for him to explain — namely, the basis to believe that Donald Trump conspired with the Kremlin to violate a specific federal criminal law, or is somehow criminally complicit in the Kremlin’s election sabotage — then we can all get behind Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But what is the explanation? And why isn’t the Republican-controlled Congress demanding it?

The Mueller investigation is an example of the deep state trying to protect itself. That is what Bob Woodward’s book is about and that is what The New York Times editorial is about. Unfortunately there are both Republicans and Democrats in the deep state. Until we elect people who love America more than they love money and prestige, the deep state will remain.

Sometimes You Wonder Who The FBI Is Working For

Yesterday Byron York at The Washington Examiner posted an article about Christopher Steele. It seems that Christopher Steele did not end his efforts to undermine and attack President Trump after the election.

The article reports:

Congressional investigators know that Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the Trump dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign, kept supplying allegations to the FBI after the 2016 election — and even after he was terminated as a source by the bureau for giving confidential information to the media.

Because he had broken his agreement with the FBI, bureau procedure did not allow agents to keep using Steele as a source. But they did so anyway — by devising a system in which Steele spoke regularly with Bruce Ohr, a top Obama Justice Department official whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to search for dirt on Donald Trump in Russia. Ohr then passed on Steele’s information to the FBI.

In a highly unusual arrangement, Ohr, who was the fourth-highest ranking official in the Justice Department, acted as an intermediary for a terminated source for the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. His task was to deliver to the FBI what Steele told him, which effectively meant the bureau kept Steele as a source.

This is just ugly.

The article goes on to cite the exact times information from Christopher Steele was used:

There are a dozen 302 reports on FBI post-election interviews of Ohr. The first was Nov. 22, 2016. After that, the FBI interviewed Ohr on Dec. 5; Dec. 12; Dec. 20; Jan. 23, 2017; Jan. 25; Jan. 27; Feb. 6; Feb. 14; May 8; May 12; and May 15. The dates, previously unreported publicly, were included in a July letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to the FBI and Justice Department.

Congressional investigators have read the Ohr-Steele 302s. But the FBI has kept them under tight control, insisting they remain classified and limiting access to a few lawmakers and staff. Congress is not allowed to physically possess copies of any of the documents.

The cover-up continues.

The article concludes:

What would all of that show? It’s likely that the 302s and notes, if released, would show that the FBI was both still trying to get new information out of Steele after the election and that it was also trying to verify the information Steele had already provided in the dossier installments he handed over in preceding months. Remember, the FBI had already presented some of the dossier’s allegations as evidence to the FISA court. After going out on a limb like that, the bureau wanted to know if the allegations were true or not.

In a larger sense, the Ohr-Steele 302s could shed some light on how an effort — it certainly included Steele, but also others — to keep Trump from being elected morphed into an effort to keep Trump from being inaugurated and then morphed into an effort to remove Trump from office. A version of that effort is still going on, of course, even as some in Congress try to find out how it started.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is becoming obvious that incestuous relationships between various Washington bureaucrats comprise the deep state. Unfortunately that deep state does not represent the interests of the American people and often works against those interests. It is time to remove those people in the bureaucracy who believe they should have more power than American voters.

Eventually Justice Shows Up

Most of us remember the stand-off between ranchers and the federal government in Oregon in 2016. Robert LaVoy Finicum was killed during the protests surrounding these events. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about W. Joseph Astarita, who was part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team deployed out of Quantico, Va., to assist other state and federal law-enforcement officers during the standoff. Mr. Astarita is now on trial in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., on charges of making false statements and obstruction of justice related to the 2016 fatal shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum.

The article reports:

The trial will bring to a head the tensions between Western ranchers and the government that had been at the heart of the 2016 standoffs. Mr. Bundy’s armed occupation was fueled by the federal prosecution of Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, for arson. The duo, who were sentenced to five years in prison, received a presidential pardon earlier this month.

Mr. Bundy was acquitted for his role in the occupation, along with six followers.

The death of Mr. Finicum has spurred outrage among friends and family. They have long accused the government of carrying out a deadly vendetta. While federal investigators determined the rancher was reaching in his coat for a gun when he was shot, supporters said he was surrendering.

“Someone needs to be charged with murder,” said Angie Bundy, wife of Mr. Bundy’s brother, Ryan.

Local law-enforcement authorities also have criticized the Justice Department for Mr. Astarita’s alleged actions. When the indictments of Mr. Astarita were announced last summer, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said they “damage the integrity of the entire law-enforcement profession, which makes me both disappointed and angry.”

The original disagreement between the Bundy family and the federal government had to do with federal regulation of grazing lands.