There Is A Key

The following appeared on my Facebook feed yesterday. I feel that it sums up Robert Mueller’s final statement on his investigation:

However, there is a new wrinkle in the investigation of the roots of the Russian collusion charge that is very interesting. Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that contains what he describes as surprising information.

The article reports:

Multiple witnesses have told Congress that, a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, Britain’s top national security official sent a private communique to the incoming administration, addressing his country’s participation in the counterintelligence probe into the now-debunked Trump-Russia election collusion.

Most significantly, then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant claimed in the memo, hand-delivered to incoming U.S. national security adviser Mike Flynn’s team, that the British government lacked confidence in the credibility of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s Russia collusion evidence, according to congressional investigators who interviewed witnesses familiar with the memo.

It gets more interesting:

Congressional investigators have interviewed two U.S. officials who handled the memo, confirmed with the British government that a communique was sent and alerted the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the information. One witness confirmed to Congress that he was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller about the memo.

Now the race is on to locate the document in U.S. intelligence archives to see if the witnesses’ recollections are correct. And Trump is headed to Britain this weekend, where he might just get a chance to ask his own questions.

“A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a communique from our allies in Great Britain during the early days of the Russia collusion investigation,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told me.

So Robert Mueller knew that there were doubts about the Steele Dossier–the basis for the charge of Russian collusion.

The story continues:

The revelation of a possible warning from the British government about Steele surfaces less than a month after a long-concealed document was made public, showing that a State Department official in October 2016 met with Steele and took notes that raised concerns about the accuracy of some information he provided.

Those notes, as I have written, quoted the British operative as saying he had a political deadline of Election Day to make his information public and that he was leaking to the news media — two claims that would weigh against his credibility as an FBI informant. They also flagged a piece of demonstrably false intelligence he provided.

The British Embassy in Washington did not return a call or email seeking comment. Grant, who left his post in April 2017, did not respond to a request for comment at the university where he works. His former top deputy, Paddy McGuinness, declined comment.

The article concludes:

If the British memo exists, it was never shared with the House Intelligence, House Judiciary, House Oversight and Reform or Senate Judiciary committees, despite their exhaustive investigations into the Steele dossier, congressional investigators told me. These investigators learned about the document in the past few weeks, setting off a mad scramble to locate it and talk to witnesses.

If the witnesses’ recollections are correct, the British communique could become one of the most significant pieces of evidence to emerge in the investigation of the Russia-collusion investigators.

It would mean that Trump was never told of the warning Flynn’s team received, and that the FBI and DOJ continued to rely on Steele’s uncorroborated allegations for many months as they renewed the FISA warrant at least two more times and named Mueller as special prosecutor to investigate Russia collusion.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose staff has been fighting unsuccessfully to gain access to the British communique, told me Wednesday its public release would further accentuate “that the FBI and DOJ were dead wrong to rely on the dossier in the Russia investigation and to use it as a basis to spy on Americans.”

The investigation into President Trump was a hoax, pure and simple. However, that won’t stop impeachment proceedings. As the truth dribbles out, those impeachment proceedings are going to look really silly.

Who Has The Transcript? Who Is Leaking The Transcript? Why Is It Being Leaked?

Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about James Baker’s two interviews with House of Representatives investigators last October. The article notes that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows called parts of Baker’s testimony “explosive.”

The article reports:

Republicans intended to make the interview transcripts public. The questioning was not conducted in a classified setting, and Baker had FBI and other lawyers with him the whole time. But the House still had to send the transcripts to the FBI for clearance, just to make sure public release would not reveal any classified or otherwise secret information.

If Republicans hoped for a quick OK from the bureau, they were sorely disappointed. October passed. Then November. Then December. And now, half of January. The FBI still has the transcripts, and there is no word on when the bureau will clear them for release.

Even though the transcripts have not been released, they are in the news.

The article explains:

Two major news stories in the past few days have been based in whole or in part on what Baker told lawmakers. Some news organizations appear to have read the transcripts, or at least significant portions of them, or had them read to reporters by someone with access. Suddenly, the Baker transcripts are hot.

Again, the FBI still has the transcripts and is not yet saying when they will be cleared for release.

It seems as if both The New York Times and CNN have reported on information in the transcripts (along with comments by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows):

The Baker excerpt, revealing the criminal investigation, is a new and important part of the story of the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Release of the full transcripts could shed new light on the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier in the Russia probe. But they remain secret — and it is the FBI that has the final word on whether and when to allow the release of information that is unflattering to the FBI.

The second big story that came in part from the Baker transcript was the New York Times piece last Friday headlined, “FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.”

The story caused intense excitement in anti-Trump circles. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

In the piece, the bureau’s reasoning was explained by references to … the secret Baker transcripts. The paper said Baker told lawmakers that the FBI viewed President Trump’s firing of Director James Comey as a national security issue. “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Baker said in the still-secret testimony, according to the Times. The paper said portions of the testimony “were read to The New York Times.”

Not long after, CNN published an article, “Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia.” CNN quoted significant portions of the Baker transcripts, in which Baker said the FBI wanted to know if Trump “was acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing [Russia’s] will.”

It’s time for the FBI to stop playing games and release the transcripts. If there are rogue elements of the FBI that will be revealed in these transcripts, so be it. It is time that we cleaned up our justice system and brought back transparency and equal justice under the law.

 

Is This Even Legal?

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

When Did The FBI Become Political?

This article is based on two articles–one at The Conservative Treehouse and one at The Hill.

The Conservative Treehouse article reports:

The DOJ-NSD and FBI are holding a press conference today at 9:30am.  The topic is unknown, but the timing coincides with a document production subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee for McCabe Memos, the “Woods File” supporting the Carter Page FISA application, and Gang-of-Eight documents on the Russia investigation.

In related news, former FBI chief legal counsel, James Baker, delivered testimony to the Joint House Committee yesterday in the ongoing investigation of corrupt FISA processes and “spy-gate”.   Fox News and The Hill both have reports.

The Hill reports:

Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.

The dossier, though mostly unverified, was then used by the FBI as the main evidence seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the campaign.

The revelation was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees, my source tells me.

It means the FBI had good reason to suspect the dossier was connected to the DNC’s main law firm and was the product of a Democratic opposition-research effort to defeat Trump — yet failed to disclose that information to the FISA court in October 2016, when the bureau applied for a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“This is a bombshell that unequivocally shows the real collusion was between the FBI and Donald Trump’s opposition — the DNC, Hillary and a Trump-hating British intel officer — to hijack the election, rather than some conspiracy between Putin and Trump,” a knowledgeable source told me.

Here you have the smoking gun in the Russian investigation. Unfortunately it is a smoking gun that Robert Mueller has chosen to ignore. That alone should give all of us pause. What in the world is Mueller investigating? (Or what in the world is Mueller avoiding investigating?)

The Hill further reports:

The growing body of evidence that the FBI used mostly politically-motivated, unverified intelligence from an opponent to justify spying on the GOP nominee’s campaign — just weeks before Election Day — has prompted a growing number of Republicans to ask President Trump to declassify the rest of the FBI’s main documents in the Russia collusion case.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), veteran investigator Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and many others have urged the president to act on declassification even as FBI and Justice Department have tried to persuade the president to keep documents secret.

Ryan has said he believes the declassification will uncover potential FBI abuses of the FISA process. Jordan said he believes there is strong evidence the bureau misled the FISA court. Nunes has said the FBI intentionally hid exculpatory evidence from the judges.

And Meadows told The Hill’s new morning television show, Rising, on Wednesday that there is evidence the FBI had sources secretly record members of the Trump campaign.

“There’s a strong suggestion that confidential human sources actually taped members within the Trump campaign,” Meadows told Hill.TV hosts Krystal Ball and Ned Ryun.

I can assure you that if those responsible for the illegal spying on the opposition campaign are not brought to justice, this will happen again in the future. In the Watergate Scandal, people went to jail. In the Russiagate Scandal, people should also go to jail. Oddly enough, it seems as if the people the Special Prosecutor is investigating are not the ones who should go to jail.

Lying To Congress Is Not A Good Idea

It is no secret that the Department of Justice has been slow walking documents requested by Congress since Congress began their oversight investigation of corruption in the FBI and DOJ. However, with the testimony of Lisa Page, that slow walking has taken a new turn.

This article is based on articles posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday and at The Conservative Treehouse yesterday.

The headline at The Gateway Pundit article is:

REPORT: House Conservatives Prepare to Impeach Rosenstein as Soon as Monday

This is about lying to Congress.

The article reports:

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows dropped a bombshell Friday afternoon and said it appears the DOJ is continuing their efforts to keep material facts and even witnesses from Congress.

Meadows tweeted: Remarkably, we learned new information today suggesting the DOJ had not notified Lisa Page of Congress’ outstanding interview requests for over 7 months now. The DOJ/FBI appear to be continuing their efforts to keep material facts, and perhaps even witnesses, from Congress.

Rosenstein was defiant, smug and laughed off lawmakers during a recent Congressional hearing and refused to answer many pertinent Spygate questions.

The Deputy Attorney General has been working overtime to obstruct House conservatives from oversight while running offense for the Deep State with the Mueller witch hunt.

Both Mueller and Rosenstein are out of control and need to be prosecuted and thrown in prison.

Friday’s revelation the DOJ had not notified Lisa Page of Congress’ outstanding interview requests for over 7 months may be the last straw for GOP lawmakers; it’s way past time to get rid of Rod Rosenstein.

The Conservative Treehouse reports:

On January 3rd, 2018, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein entered an agreement for witness testimony.   One of those witnesses was FBI Attorney Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe’s former special counsel.

WASHINGTON – January 4th – House investigators will get access this week to “all remaining investigative documents” – in unredacted form – that they had sought as part of their Russia inquiry, under a deal between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

[…] According to the letter, committee investigators also will get access to eight key witnesses this month including FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who exchanged anti-Trump text messages during an affair and previously worked on the special counsel’s Russia probe.  (link)

The conversation was documented in a confirmation letter shared by Devin Nunes back to Rod Rosenstein the following day, January 4th, 2018Except there’s a problem, Lisa Page told congress today that no-one from the DOJ ever contacted her.  That means Rod Rosenstein was lying:

The impeachment of Rosenstein should be bi-partisan, but it won’t be. Both parties should be concerned when the oversight responsibilities of Congress are ignored. However, the spygate scandal runs so deep and is so obviously linked to a Democrat administration’s politicization of federal law enforcement, I will be totally surprised if any Democrats support this impeachment. That being said, I suspect many Americans are getting tired of watching people obviously break the law and not be held to the standard an average American would be held to. The Democrats block this impeachment at their own peril–the voters may protest, and there may come a day when they want the DOJ and FBI to cooperate with Congress.

 

Reading The Tea Leaves

Some pundits and some Republicans are beginning to realize that President Trump was elected by Americans who want to see his agenda (repeal ObamaCare, tax reform, smaller government, end Iranian nuclear treaty, shrink government, build the wall, etc) move forward. Blocking that agenda is not a smart move. Many of us are tired of empty promises and lame excuses. There are a few people now concerned that if the Republican Congress does not deliver on their promises, there will no longer be a Republican Congress. Democrats are salivating, and Republicans who have never had to live up to their false promises are beginning to wonder if they will have a job after 2018.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article quoting Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, on what Republicans need to do when Congress reconvenes.

The article reports:

“We’re going to have to juggle [the debt ceiling, Obamacare repeal, spending bill, and tax reform] and if we don’t I can tell that really the next 12 days, and that’s all we have — 12 legislative days in September — will decide whether we’re going to remain in power as a Republican majority or not,” Meadows said in the interview with Breitbart Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle on the program. “Are we serious about getting the president’s agenda done? The next 12 days will do that. You mentioned a couple of those items — the debt ceiling; obviously repeal and replace Obamacare.”

…“The vehicle that we have for that actually will soon expire,” Meadows said. “So if we don’t use that reconciliation instruction in the next 30 to 45 days we will have lost the opportunity to get it done with just 51 votes in the Senate. As I look at it is critical that we are ‘all hands on deck.’ But more importantly that we have a plan. I think the frustration that I have is that I see the critical deadlines that are coming up and yet I see a lot of talk but no action. I just talked to a friend. A guy by the name of Clay Tally, who really represents the typical Trump voter. He was saying, ‘You know what, I’m tired of the talk, let’s get some things done and why not support the president and make sure that we get it done.’”

The article concludes:

Meadows concluded by noting these 12 legislative days in September will literally determine the future of the Republican Party. 

“You may call it the bloody September — I call the Dirty Dozen because we’ve got 12 legislative days left. Hopefully we can rise to the occasion and get these things accomplished,” Meadows said. “They need to make sure that their member of Congress, their senators understand they are tired of talk. Just like my friend Clay Tally told me, they are tired of the rhetoric, they want results and they want us to get behind the president’s agenda, make sure that we support him and get it done. and if we don’t they need to let them know that there will be consequences.”

He called on Americans to rise up and call their members of Congress and make their voices heard throughout the process.

“You know the voice of the people is a very, very powerful tool,” Meadows said. “I’ve found that any time you go against the people’s voice you’re going up against a tsunami that will have unbelievable power and implications. So they need to be sure that they make their voices be heard early in September — that we go ahead and start working that first week back.”

If the Republicans choose to remain in power, they need to start listening to the voters. Otherwise they will be voted out of office. Most Americans recognize the need to ‘drain the swamp’ that is Washington, D.C. The Republicans have the choice as to whether or not they want to be the part of the swamp that is drained. We know that the majority of Democrats do not want the swamp drained–if they did, they would be doing something other than obstructing the President at every turn. It is time for the voters to unelect all Congressmen and Congresswomen who are standing for the status quo.

Why ObamaCare Was Not Repealed

I used to be a Democrat. Then I used to be a Republican. Now I am an unaffiliated voter because there is not a conservative party that believes in smaller government. The Republicans used to believe in smaller government, but they have forgotten who they are. Yesterday was a glaring example of that fact. The Conservative Review posted an article yesterday about the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on the repeal (and replacement) of ObamaCare. The headline of the article is, “How DARE House Freedom Caucus hold GOP accountable to its promises!?” For me, that pretty much sums up what happened.

The article reminds us:

In 2016, the GOP-controlled Congress passed a clean repeal bill through the reconciliation process. It was sent to Barack Obama who vetoed it, as CNN reported at the time. In 2017, Rand Paul (R-Ky) has offered a bill that does many of the same things, as the 2016 legislation.

CNN reported:

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon passed legislation that would repeal ObamaCare, and after more than 60 votes to roll back all or part of the law, the bill (to) dismantle it will finally get to the President’s desk.

But it won’t stay there long; President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any Republican bill that guts his signature health care law, a five-year-and-counting effort.

The vote was 240-181, largely along party lines.

The article goes on to explain that members of the House Freedom Caucus wanted the 2016 bill to be voted on in this session of Congress. It is very annoying to those of us who have followed this story closely (rather than listen to what the media is telling us) that the Freedom Caucus is being blamed for the failure of this bill. This is simply not true. As usual, the establishment GOP has dissed its voters.

The article concludes:

It’s pretty easy to see who one should truly be disgusted at. It’s not Mark Meadows (R-NC), and the other members of the Freedom Caucus. It is Paul Ryan and his leadership team, who refuse to offer the bill they already passed in 2016 as the model they would use if they had a president who would sign it.

Ryan now has a president who would sign the 2016 legislation that easily passed in a campaign year as the blueprint for repeal. He refused to bring it to a vote, lest it show that the GOP campaign promises mean nothing. The Freedom Caucus is absolutely right to insist that the House and Senate do so.

President Trump is a very smart man, but I believe that he does not yet fully understand the backstabbing that is an everyday part of Washington. I believe Paul Ryan purposely stabbed President Trump in the back. Paul Ryan has become part of the Republican establishment that is fighting to maintain the status quo. The Republican establishment would like to see President Trump fail as much as the Democrats would. As ObamaCare collapses, which it will, the establishment Republicans will be the ones who will bring us nationalized healthcare. That is truly sad. It can be prevented, but it needs to be done quickly and decisively. It may be time to change the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.

Some Republicans Discover Their Spine

The war between the conservative Republicans and the establishment Republicans has been going on for some time. It has been obvious at all levels of the party. The problem is that most of the energy in the party is coming from the conservatives, so the establishment Republicans need them. The establishment Republicans love the conservatives when it is time to put boots on the ground during the election season, but other than that, most of the establishment simply wishes that the conservatives would go away. This is very evident in Washington when elected conservatives are stymied when they try to do what the people that elected them elected them to do. Sometimes being a conservative Republican can be very frustrating. I left the Democrat party because they had no room for conservatives. I can’t leave the Republican party because there is no place for me to go.

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article that should provide hope for conservatives who wonder why they bother to elect Congressmen.

The article reports:

Dozens of members of the House GOP’s most conservative faction plan to meet Tuesday to discuss ways to counteract the decision of House Speaker John Boehner and other leaders to seek retribution against members who vote against must-pass measures.

The House Freedom Caucus, a GOP group made up of about 40 of the most conservative members, plans to hold the discussion some time after Tuesday’s evening votes, according to lawmakers familiar with the initiative.

It’s about time.

The article explains what caused the House Freedom Caucus to go into action:

The latest punishment was handed down to Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., for voting against an important procedural resolution to advance “Fast Track” trade legislation the GOP is eager to pass. Meadows last week was stripped of his chairmanship of the House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee.

“So, Mark Meadows, a good man, a good friend, and what they did to him is exactly wrong, and there are a number of us who are fed up with it,” Jordan (Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio) said on the Laura Ingraham show. “And we are looking for ways that we can say, hey, we are going to stay with Mark and be as helpful as we possibly can.”

The first mistake the conservatives made at the beginning of the legislative session was to reelect the previous leaders. If you want serious change, it is a good idea to change leaders.

The article concludes:

Lawmakers who are being punished say the leadership is trying to force them to vote against what they believe is best for their constituents, who have flooded their offices with calls and emails in opposition to the trade legislation. Meadows and other Republicans opposed to the trade bill believe the trade bill would cede too much power to the executive branch and would facilitate trade deals that would cause U.S. job losses.

“There is no honor in bowing to a bully,” Meadows told the Examiner. “There is only fighting the good fight and whether you win or lose, I am willing to do my best to represent the people who elected me.”

It is definitely time for new Republican leadership in Congress.