Even Rolling Stone Has Figured It Out!

Yesterday Rolling Stone posted an article about the Inspector General’s Report. Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is well written and informative. I will try to highlight some of it, but you really do need to read the whole thing.

The article notes:

The Guardian headline reads: “DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser.”

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.

Like the much-ballyhooed report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Horowitz report is a Rorschach test, in which partisans will find what they want to find.

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz’s conclusion that there was no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s probe of Donald Trump’s Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had “authorized purpose” to conduct.

Horowitz uses phrases like “serious performance failures,” describing his 416-page catalogue of errors and manipulations as incompetence rather than corruption. This throws water on the notion that the Trump investigation was a vast frame-up.

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose “serious” procedural problems and omissions of “significant information” in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

The article comments on the role the news media played in this drama:

Not only did obtaining a FISA warrant allow authorities a window into other Trump figures with whom Page communicated, they led to a slew of leaked “bombshell” news stories that advanced many public misconceptions, including that a court had ruled there was “probable cause” that a Trump figure was an “agent of a foreign power.”

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called “Steele dossier” was, actually, crucial to the FBI’s decision to seek secret surveillance of Page.

Press figures have derided the idea that Steele was crucial to the FISA application, with some insisting it was only a “small part” of the application. Horowitz is clear: 

We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order.  

The report describes how, prior to receiving Steele’s reports, the FBI General Counsel (OGC) and/or the National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence (OI) wouldn’t budge on seeking FISA authority. But after getting the reports, the OGC unit chief said, “receipt of the Steele reporting changed her mind on whether they could establish probable cause.”

The article notes:

Steele in his “reports” embellished his sources’ quotes, played up nonexistent angles, invented attributions, and ignored inconsistencies. The FBI then transplanted this bad reporting in the form of a warrant application and an addendum to the Intelligence Assessment that included the Steele material, ignoring a new layer of inconsistencies and red flags its analysts uncovered in the review process.

Then, following a series of leaks, the news media essentially reported on the FBI’s wrong reporting of Steele’s wrong reporting.

The impact was greater than just securing a warrant to monitor Page. More significant were the years of headlines that grew out of this process, beginning with the leaking of the meeting with Trump about Steele’s blackmail allegations, the insertion of Steele’s conclusions in the Intelligence Assessment about Russian interference, and the leak of news about the approval of the Page FISA warrant.

As a result, a “well-developed conspiracy” theory based on a report that Comey described as “salacious and unverified material that a responsible journalist wouldn’t report without corroborating,” became the driving news story in a superpower nation for two yearsEven the New York Times, which published a lot of these stories, is in the wake of the Horowitz report noting Steele’s role in “unleashing a flood of speculation in the news media about the new president’s relationship with Russia.”

The article has a fantastic conclusion:

No matter what people think the political meaning of the Horowitz report might be, reporters who read it will know: Anybody who touched this nonsense in print should be embarrassed.

Rolling Stone doesn’t always get it right, but this time they nailed it!

The Truth Is Out There–But The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want To Hear It

Below is a transcript of an interview of Ron Johnson by Mark Levin (as posted on Newsbusters):

“Chuck Todd cut me off when I started talking about the December 15, 2016 text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page,” the senator recalled. Levin, by contrast, read from a text message between the two powerful Justice Department officials who hated Trump.

MARK LEVIN: December 15, 2016 text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, quote, “Think our sisters,” that would be the CIA –“

SEN. RON JOHNSON: Intelligence agencies, right.

LEVIN: ” …have begun leaking like mad, scorned and worried and political. They’re kicking into overdrive.”

JOHNSON: Again, this is during the transition, a little bit more than a month after the election. Six days before that is the first story that breaks and the CIA has actually attributed this leak.

LEVIN: The story is December 9, 2016, Boston Globe —  Washington Post headline, “CIA: Russia tried to help Trump win.” “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.” Is that what you’re talking about?

JOHNSON: Precisely. Now, Mark, one of the things I had my staff do — this was I think July of 2017, we issued a report because of all these leaks. And so I had a seasoned reporter on my staff from The Washington Post, one of the few conservatives. And, you know, we looked with Alexa search, and said, let’s take a look at all these news stories that are talking about a leak. And in that —

LEVIN: This document here?

JOHNSON: Yes, in just 125 days, 126 days, there were 125 leaks into the news media. Sixty two of those had to do with national security, and that compares to in the same time period, nine in the Bush administration and eight under Obama. Sixty two national security leaks.

And this is where this whole narrative began back in December with Trump, you know, the campaign being aided by Russia and then finally turning into Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

And that’s resulted in the Special Counsel [Mueller] and has done great damage, I would argue to this democracy.

LEVIN: You think the FBI and the CIA set up this President, don’t you?

JOHNSON: I have my suspicions. Let’s put it that way. And again, when you’ve got Peter Strzok texting Lisa Page about his sisters are leaking like mad. What are they worried about? He talks about them being political. They are kicking it overdrive.

And that’s all I asked Chuck Todd. I said, hey, you’ve got John Brennan on your show. Why don’t you ask him what he was leaking? Or what the CIA might have been leaking?What was he potentially worried about? But Chuck didn’t ask John Brennan that question at all. But I’d like to ask that question to John Brennan.

Senator Johnson also made some other comments:

JOHNSON: I’ve always known the bias in the media. But what I’ve really — what’s been really, really reinforced to me is the bias in the media is revealed far more in what they don’t report, what they’re not curious about versus the very overt and real bias in what they do report.

So it really is. If they’re not curious about something, if they’re not reporting it, it’s not a news story, and that’s what drives conservatives. That’s what drives me. It drives you. It drives President Trump nuts.

LEVIN: Now, you’ve been looking into this Ukraine matter for a long time, long before the last month or two. Was Ukraine involved in the 2016 campaign? On whose side and how?

JOHNSON: Look, and this is, according to Politico. Chuck Grassley and I have an oversight letter referring to that article. It is written by Ken Vogel, who now works for The New York Times and again, he is talking about the potential of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC involvement, working with potentially corrupt actors in Ukraine trying to dig up dirt on President Trump or candidate Trump at that point in time, Paul Manafort.

But you know, it’s also very possible and people don’t really realize this as well, but you know, Hillary Clinton had a primary. There was one Joe Biden, potentially getting into that race as well. Is it just possible or plausible that maybe the DNC, maybe the Hillary Clinton campaign was also trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden back then in Ukraine?

So no, there are so many questions. I’m really not throwing out any accusations. I’m not making any allegations. I’m just saying there’s so many questions that remain unanswered. And they really remain unanswered, because by and large, the press has no curiosity about trying to get the answers to these things.

There are a lot of questions that still have not been answered because of stonewalling on the part of the State Department, Department of Justice, and FBI. It’s time that American voters actually knew what happened and who was behind it.

One Question That Needs Answering

The Federalist posted an article yesterday about a question surrounding the latest attempt to impeach President Trump.

The article notes:

Republican lawmakers in both the Senate and House on Monday demanded answers from the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) about secret revisions to the office’s guidance on “urgent concern” whistleblower complaints. The Federalist first reported last week that between May 2018 and August 2019, the ICIG secretly eliminated its requirement that potential whistleblowers provide only first-hand evidence of alleged wrongdoing.

In their letter to Michael Atkinson, the ICIG, Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) noted that the anti-Trump complainant offered no direct, first-hand evidence of alleged wrongdoing against President Donald Trump. Instead, the complaint is littered with gossip, hearsay, and rumor. The lawmakers specifically asked the ICIG to explain when the whistleblower guidance was revised, by whom, and for what reason.

“Based on the language on [the May 24, 2018] form, it appears that the requirement for first-hand information has been an ICIG policy regardless of how a whistleblower makes an urgent concern report,” they wrote. “Curiously the urgent disclosure form that now appears on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website has recently changed and no longer contains this explicit first-hand information requirement.”

“[T]he timing of the removal of the first-hand information requirement raises questions about potential connections to this whistleblower’s complaint,” the lawmakers continued. “This timing, along with numerous apparent leaks of classified information about the contents of this complaint, also raise questions about potential criminality in the handling of these matters.”

The letter informs the ICIG that he must provide answers to their questions about the timing and rationale of the secret changes to the whistleblower guidance by noon on Thursday, October 3. The lawmakers told the ICIG to treat the letter as a formal demand to preserve all evidence related to the changes to the internal ICIG whistleblower rules.

The timing of this change, along with the willingness to ignore Vice-president Biden’s obvious successful attempt to leverage aid to Ukraine to prevent an investigation into some questionable business dealings of his son, is questionable at best. It does appear that there are un-elected people inside our government working with elected officials and a compliant media to undo the results of an election. Those people, along with their allies, need to face consequences for their actions–they are undermining our republic.

There is also the obvious question, “Why is the Intelligence Community Inspector General, who is supposed to be investigating the intelligence community, investigating the President?” That investigation is outside of his authority. The ‘whistleblower,’ who is actually simply a leaker, is not acting within the law as it is written.

Is Anyone Considering The Consequences?

The Democrats are accusing President Trump of an impeachable offense again. Russia, Russia, Russia didn’t work. Racist, racist, racist didn’t work. So the third chapter is Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. Let’s look at some of the history of the Trump Administration.

Remember early on when conversations between President Trump and leaders from Australia and Mexico were leaked. That might have been the reason for placing conversations in more secure places. We have seen anyone working for President Trump subjected to incredible legal actions, some related to their position and some not. We have seen questionable information used as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign and administration. We have seen people placed in the administration for the sole purpose of undermining the administration. We have seen people working for the Trump administration being removed from restaurants or harassed when out in public. This has gone far beyond partisan politics. There is no excuse for it.

What are those who oppose President Trump doing to the office of the presidency? How will their actions impact future Presidents? Have the actions of the opponents of President Trump created a new normal for political opposition?

Those who are too impatient to wait for the next election (or who fear the reelection of President Trump) are truly undermining our representative republic. At some point they need to be held accountable for their actions. It is a shame that the Republican party does not have the moral integrity to deal with the abuses of power engaged in by the opponents of President Trump.