How Much Privacy Is A President Entitled To?

Hot Air posted an article today about the ongoing court battle regarding the Congressional subpoena of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Counsel McGahn was summoned by the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the time he worked for President Trump.

The article reports:

Whether or not he would appear was a bone of contention for a while until a federal judge issued a dramatic proclamation on Monday, stating that “Presidents are not kings” and ordering McGahn to appear.

Well, that lasted for all of three days. By Wednesday evening, that same judge had backed down, allowing a request from the Justice Department to delay the implementation of the ruling until the appeals process has played out. Of course, this doesn’t mean McGahn (and the President) are totally off the hook, but they’ve at least bought a bit of breathing room. (Daily Mail)

The article concludes:

That doesn’t mean that the final decision on McGahn won’t cast a long shadow, however. How this plays out will have consequences for the ongoing impeachment circus. At issue here is the question of whether or not aides to the President are shielded from revealing details of private conversations they’ve had with the boss or the counsel they offered. Also, whether or not that shielding lasts indefinitely even after they’ve left their positions with the White House.

That sort of privacy has long been assumed to be part of the President’s executive privilege. But does that extend to investigations of potential criminal conduct? That’s the question that will be answered when the dust settles on McGahn’s subpoena. If he’s ordered to show up and testify, that could open the gate for numerous other Trump aides to be called in to talk about all of the Ukraine events. And that’s likely not something President Trump will want to see after we’re in the thick of the final push to next year’s election.

I guess my question is whether or not the President has the same civil rights as ordinary citizens, If you are an ordinary citizen, your conversations with your lawyer are protected by law. We saw this Constitutional principle violated when Michael Cohen’s offices were raided. Now the question is whether or not we are going to continue to violate President Trump’s Constitutional rights. All of us need to remember–if the President does not have Constitutional rights, then none of us have Constitutional rights.

Uncovering The Early Fraud

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article today that reveals that much of what the FBI has put forth about the spying on the Trump campaign is untrue.

The article reports:

Newly unearthed memos show a high-ranking government official who met with Steele in October 2016 determined some of the Donald Trump dirt that Steele was simultaneously digging up for the FBI and for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.

The concerns were flagged in a typed memo and in handwritten notes taken by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016.

Her observations were recorded exactly 10 days before the FBI used Steele and his infamous dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s contacts with Russia in search of a now debunked collusion theory.

The article points out one obvious lie in the dossier:

That’s a pretty remarkable declaration in Footnote 5 on Page 15 of the FISA application, since Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false.

In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”

She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

We are supposed to believe that the FBI is too stupid to pay attention to an obvious lie that was noted in the summary.

The fiction in the dossier continues:

Steele offered Kavalec other wild information that easily could have been debunked before the FISA application — and eventually was, in many cases, after the media reported the allegations — including that:

    • Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians;
    • Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort owed the Russians $100 million and was the “go-between” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump;
    • Trump adviser Carter Page met with a senior Russian businessman tied to Putin;
    • The Russians secretly communicated with Trump through a computer system.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, released last month, dispelled all those wild theories while hardly mentioning Steele, except for a passing reference to his dossier being “unverified.” That’s significant, because the FISA request from October 2016 that rested heavily on Steele’s information was marked “verified application” before the FBI submitted it to the court.

It will be interesting to see if anyone is held accountable for misleading the FISA Court.

I suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. The misuse of our intelligence community for political purposes is totally unacceptable.

The Need To Hold Individuals Accountable

I think one of the most frustrating things about watching the news these days is watching people in power say things that have no foundation in fact and do things that an ordinary person would go to jail for. Those days may be coming to an end (one can only hope).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The article reports:

The official complaint filed by Judicial Watch with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requests House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he secretly met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July of 2018.

The complaint also requests Schiff be investigated after it was revealed his staff traveled to New York and met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours prior to Trump’s former lawyer testifying to the House Intel Panel.

The article includes a portion of the ethics complaint:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion OPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Judicial Watch is a watchdog group that fights for government transparency. The are equally hard on Democrats and Republicans. They have been major players in exposing much of the deep state in recent years.

Are The Shenanigans Ever Going To Be Dealt With?

In the past two years or so, we have learned that a sitting Presidential administration spied on an opposition candidate. We have learned that the apparatus of government was used in an attempt to elect a president from the same party as the sitting President. We have seen lying before Congress go unchallenged, opposition research used as an excuse for violating the civil rights of Americans, and people targeted by a Special Counsel simply because they were friends or worked with a person the Special Counsel was targeting. In plain English, we have seen the Soviet concept of ‘show me the person, and I will show you the crime’ put into practice in America. When does America wake up and realize that while we are looking at an investigation of a shiny object over there, major civil rights violations are being ignored?

Fox News reported the following this morning:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter — as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

…During last month’s seven-hour public hearing before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen hesitantly acknowledged, under questioning from Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, that he had spoken with Schiff “about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing.”

But, he did not elaborate on the discussions, which Fox News is told extended significantly longer than the seven hours that the public hearing itself lasted.

One by one, during the dramatic hearing, Cohen fielded questions on precisely the same topics that the sources told Fox News he discussed with Schiff’s staff during the sit-downs in New York.

This is a level of corruption in Congress that we have not seen in a long time.

The Problem With Telling Lies Is That You Have To Keep Your Stories Straight

Michael Cohen has been caught lying to Congress. That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, but it happened. The Daily Caller posted the details today.

The article reports:

A lawyer for Michael Cohen says that the former Trump fixer directed his former attorney to inquire about a presidential pardon, a claim which, if true, would contradict Cohen’s congressional testimony on Feb. 27.

Lanny Davis told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night that Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home in April 2018.

“During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Davis told The Journal.

That statement directly contradicts what Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in public testimony on Feb. 27.

Michael Cohen is not stupid. I am sure that when he saw the “Mueller Train” coming at him full speed, he was open to trying anything to get out of its way. I believe he would say anything to Congress to limit his jail time and any jail time for his wife. It is unfortunate that some on the Mueller team have resorted to the kind of theatrics and bullying that has been a major part of this investigation. We need to take action in the future to see that all Constitutional rights of Americans are protected–even when a Special Counsel is involved.


Posted on Twitter:

That was before Michael Cohen had his office raided by the FBI and other misconduct by the Mueller investigation. We have entered the age of the secret police, and unless someone stands up and says ‘enough’, we will continue in that direction.

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?

In Case You Had Any Doubts As To What Is Actually Going On

Breitbart is reporting today that Michael Cohen has admitted that he discussed topics that might come up during his appearance before the House Oversight Committee with Adam Schiff. Keep in mind that Adam Schiff has been claiming for two years to have evidence that President Trump has colluded with Russia, but has somehow been unable to produce that evidence. When pressed, Representative Schiff stated that the information was out there and available to anyone who looked for it. Somehow we are all missing the evidence even though it is obvious. Representative Schiff is as shady as Michael Cohen.

The article reports:

As part of his testimony before House investigators Wednesday, Cohen claimed President Trump is a “racist,” a “con man,” and a “cheat,” and he regrets working for him.

Cohen said he acted to benefit his former boss and his campaign for president in 2016 out of “blind” loyalty which he now realizes was misplaced.

He also claimed to have witnessed an incident in 2016 when Donald Trump Jr. whispered something to then-candidate Trump about a meeting — which Cohen retroactively believes was in reference to the infamous Trump Tower meeting where the eldest Trump son met with Russian nationals. The former lawyer said he does not have hard evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia.

If President Trump was so horrible, why did Michael Cohen work for him for ten years? I sincerely hope this clown show backfires on those who orchestrated it. When Congress interviews someone who has already been convicted of lying to Congress, it is not the best look for America. Also, whatever happened to attorney-client privilege.

I Guess We Haven’t Entirely Cleaned Up The Internal Revenue Service

Bay City News posted an article today with the following headline: “IRS analyst charged with leaking Michael Cohen bank records.” What was leaked was a bank report of suspicious activity. IRS investigative analyst John Fry, 54, was charged in federal court in San Francisco on Feb. 4 with leaking information about Michael Cohen’s (formerly President Trump’s personal attorney) bank records. Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, posted those records online. An employee of the IRS has stated that Fry talked with Avenatti the day before the records were posted online.

The crime that John Fry is charged with carries a jail sentence of five years if he is committed.

It is time that all of the people in government who are using their positions for political purposes or personal gain were removed. If the IRS cannot clean up its act, it needs to be put out of business.

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.

A Tale Told By An Idiot, Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

I’m sure you recognize the above quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It also pretty much describes the investigation carried out by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. What started out with many people convinced that Russia interfered in our election has now boiled down to the fact that President Trump paid some women he behaved badly with to keep quiet. Wow. Talk about a downward slide.

Mark Penn, who formerly served as an advisor to President Clinton, posted an article at The Hill yesterday which illustrates some of Robert Mueller’s mendacity.

The article reports:

I’m experiencing 1998 déjà vu as prosecutors once again work overtime to turn extramarital affairs and the efforts to keep them secret into impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors. Unable to get the witnesses to compose the stories they want, today’s prosecutors are discovering they can simply compose the crimes by manipulating the pleas of men desperate to protect their families.

The Michael Cohen sentencing memo took aim directly at both Cohen and President Donald Trump. It was used, unethically, to cast the president as directing a criminal conspiracy to make “secret and illegal” payments. Sentencing memos are not supposed to use secret grand jury info to point fingers at those who are not being sentenced, but that’s exactly what these did.

One can say today that these New York prosecutors, acolytes of fired U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharra, have learned that the “plea’s the thing wherein to catch the king.” First, they went after the man, not the crime, and turned up millions in unpaid taxes and some bank-loan misrepresentations by Cohen. At that point, they convinced him to cave for the sake of his family; the trick was to get him to plead guilty to supposedly two campaign finance “felonies,” and then vaguely implicate the president as directing them (which Trump denies).

Despite promises to the contrary from prosecutors, they threw their star witness off the bus anyway, making him the biggest chump in this drama after he hired attorney Lanny Davis and burned all his bridges with his former client. Once they had the guilty pleas in hand, the prosecutors no longer needed Cohen; they trashed him as a greedy liar and called for substantial jail time.

The reason these two guilty pleas were so valuable is that these prosecutors could not, in my opinion, have gotten them in court. The first payment was not even made by Cohen but by American Media Inc., a bona fide media company with First Amendment protections; it could have decided to use the story that it bought, hold the story, or just prevent some competitor from using the story.

The article cites the legal precedent for the fact that a payment to a mistress or a publication is not a campaign contribution:

Perhaps the biggest difference between oppo research and paying for nondisclosure of an affair is that one is definitely a campaign expense and the other is a personal expense not covered by election law. When prosecutors brought a similar case against former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), they failed to get a conviction and it came out that FEC auditors had determined that the payments from donors to his mistress were not a campaign expense at all.

The article also points out that the typical remedy for a campaign finance violation is a fine–not indictment or impeachment. This charade is getting very old. Robert Mueller has been a man in search of a crime. He felt as if he already had the guilty party in his sights, he just needed to find the crime. Just for the record, that is not how the American justice system is supposed to work.

Theoretically The Same Rules Should Apply To Everyone

As Robert Mueller begins to wind down his investigation (hopefully), it is not unreasonable to expect some effort by conservative news sources to discredit his work. However, in view of the people he chose to do his investigating and some of the tactics used, some discrediting may be in order.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today stating the following:

A new report by journalist Paul Sperry says conflicted Robert Mueller withheld evidence from the court that would exonerate President Trump from the latest accusations of Russian collusion during the 2016 election.

Mueller withheld information to the court that would exonerate President Trump.
Will Mueller be tossed in prison for lying?
Or do only Trump associates got to jail for lying to the court?

In an article posted at Real Clear Investigations, Paul Sperry reported the following:

Contrary to media speculation that Robert Mueller is closing in on President Trump, the special prosecutor’s plea deal with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen offers further evidence that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russians during the 2016 election, according to congressional investigators and former prosecutors.

Cohen pleaded guilty last week to making false statements in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee about the Trump Organization’s failed efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Discussions about the so-called Moscow Project continued five months longer in 2016 than Cohen had initially stated under oath.

The nine-page charging document filed with the plea deal suggests that the special counsel is using the Moscow tower talks to connect Trump to Russia. But congressional investigators with House and Senate committees leading inquiries on the Russia question told RealClearInvestigations that it looks like Mueller withheld from the court details that would exonerate the president. They made this assessment in light of the charging document, known as a statement of “criminal information” (filed in lieu of an indictment when a defendant agrees to plead guilty); a fuller accounting of Cohen’s emails and text messages that Capitol Hill sources have seen; and the still-secret transcripts of closed-door testimony provided by a business associate of Cohen.

The article at Real Clear Investigations concludes:

Though Mueller has now, in his 18-month probe, nabbed several Trump associates for process crimes, such as making false statements, and other felonies, such as tax fraud, no evidence has surfaced in any of the cases indicating that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

FBI agents raided Cohen’s office early this spring to seize evidence, and prosecutors have spent the last several months sifting through his emails, texts and phone and travel records, as well as audio recordings he allegedly made of conservations with Trump.

Notably absent from the criminal-information document is any corroboration of the highly inflammatory, though oft-cited allegation made in the so-called Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, that Cohen visited Prague to clandestinely meet with Kremlin officials in August 2016 to arrange “deniable cash payments to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign.”

Cohen has strenuously denied the allegation and offered his passport to show “I have never been to Prague in my life.”

The Mueller investigation is going to go down in history as one of the biggest financial boondoggles in American history. The really sad aspect of this is the unequal justice that is currently being applied. Hopefully that is about to change.

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.

Some Things Are Just Weird

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about Lanny Davis. Lanny Davis is the longtime friend of the Clintons who is now Michael Cohen’s lawyer. That in itself defies logic, but then it gets worse.

The article reports:

Michael Cohen’s attorney has acknowledged being an anonymous source for the disputed CNN Trump Tower story and also admitted lying on TV about his involvement.

Lanny Davis told BuzzFeed News on Monday evening that he was a source for the story claiming that President Trump had personal prior knowledge of a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians — a story the Cohen camp has since repudiated.

“I made a mistake,” Mr. Davis said.

But the mistake traveled:

But as other news outlets wrote stories “matching” the CNN scoop, which if true would contradict the president’s repeated and public denials of any knowledge of the meeting, Mr. Davis was eagerly confirming the story to those other outlets.

The New York Post and the Washington Post each has publicly named Mr. Davis as their confirming source for their Trump Tower meeting stories, despite initial grants of anonymity.

I am willing to wager that at least half of the people in the country who heard the original statement have not heard the retraction. What Lanny Davis originally said was a lie–not a mistake–intended to make President Trump look bad. The lie traveled, and I suspect the truth has not traveled as far. This sort of lying is one of the reasons for the divisiveness in our country right now–there are an awful lot of Americans walking around believing the lies the mainstream media is telling them every day. When confronted with the truth, they become defensive. The damage to our country that the mainstream media is doing is almost incalculable. As they persist in their biased lies, I believe we will see the alternative media grow stronger (if the alternative media can tell the truth that is not being told). I look forward to the day when we have a media that tells the truth and lets Americans draw their own conclusions.

Now This Begins To Make Sense

Michael Cohen has changed his testimony regarding President Trump a number of times. Either he can’t make up his mind or his memory just isn’t working properly. Or maybe someone has entered the picture that has altered the way Mr. Cohen looks at things.

The DC Whisperer posted an article yesterday that provides some insight into what is going on.

The article reminds us:

Weeks earlier D.C. Whispers warned readers of Lanny Davis’s sudden appearance at the side of former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen. Mr. Davis is a longtime Clinton operative and as recently as 2016 was helping to manage Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. His longstanding ties to the Clintons affords him strong ties with both the Democrat and Republican establishments, vast D.C. lobbying powers, and media moguls. In short, he is as Deep State as Deep State gets. 

Now he’s using Michael Cohen to add manufactured fuel to the “get President Trump” fire as the Clintons sit back and watch and wait…

Remember Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server troubles that had her staff destroying evidence and lying to the FBI? 99.9% of the population would have faced some very serious charges for those violations. Not Hillary. Then there are the even more serious money laundering allegations tied to the Clinton Foundation and again – no formal charges from the government.

And guess who was acting as the mediator between the Clintons’ interests and the FBI and DOJ back in 2015 and 2016?

That’s right – Lanny Davis.

Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, both longtime Deep State operatives, push for an investigation into Michael Cohen. Raids on Cohen’s homes and offices follow. Charges are manufactured. Cohen is isolated, afraid, and eventually, all too willing to do whatever necessary to save himself.

Once again, enter Lanny Davis who takes Cohen by the hand and leads him to a “say anything” plea deal with wording scripted by Clinton and Obama-appointed prosecutors in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The prosecutor leading the case against Cohen is Robert S. Khuzami whose ties with the Clintons date back to the 1990’s.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It explains exactly how the deep state is working to protect its interests and keep the swamp that is Washington operating as usual.

The article concludes:

Far-fetched you say? Consider this – Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to non-crimes as they relate to Donald Trump. He has tax issues, fraud issues, but what Davis was most concerned with is the alleged “hush money” payments that Cohen now says were directed by then-candidate Trump in 2016. That is the only legal item that involves the president directly regarding the Cohen plea – and it isn’t a crime. It’s a fake charge but Cohen is playing ball with the prosecution because of the other charges he is facing. This is how the U.S. government works. It can manufacture anything to go after anyone at any time and no entity has done this more often and more aggressively than the Clinton Crime Syndicate.

One Rule For Me And One Rule For Thee

Mark Penn, a former pollster and advisor to President Clinton, posted an op-ed piece at The Hill today. I suspect he is no longer being invited to the Clinton’s dinner parties. The article explains how the plea deal with Michael Cohen is an attempt to set up President Trump. I am amazed at how vicious some of our politicians are when it comes to President Trump. Robert Mueller is a prime example of that, and it is sad.

The op-ed notes:

Why was Michael Cohen investigated? Because the “Steele dossier” had him making secret trips to meet with Russians that never happened, so his business dealings got a thorough scrubbing and, in the process, he fell into the special counsel’s Manafort bin — the bin reserved for squeezing until the juice comes out. And now we are back to 1998 all over again, with presidents and presidential candidates covering up their alleged marital misdeeds and prosecutors trying to turn legal acts into illegal ones by inventing new crimes.

The plot to get President Trump out of office thickens, as Cohen obviously was his own mini-crime syndicate and decided that his betrayals of Trump meant he would be better served turning on his old boss to cut the best deal with prosecutors he could rather than holding out and getting the full Manafort treatment. That was clear the minute he hired attorney Lanny Davis, who doesn’t try cases and did past work for Hillary Clinton. Cohen had recorded his client, trying to entrap him, sold information about Trump (while acting as his lawyer) to corporations for millions of dollars, and didn’t pay taxes on millions.

This is the problem with this case:

The sweetener for the prosecutors, of course, was getting Cohen to plead guilty to campaign finance violations that were not campaign finance violations. Money paid to people who come out of the woodwork and shake down people under threat of revealing bad sexual stories are not legitimate campaign expenditures. They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we don’t. Just imagine if candidates used campaign funds instead of their own money to pay folks like Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about affairs; they would get indicted for misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes and for tax evasion.

There appear to be two payments involved in this unusual plea — Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance violation for having “coordinated” the American Media Inc. payment to Karen McDougal for her story, not for actually making the payment. So he is pleading guilty over a corporate contribution he did not make.

No one connected in any way with President Trump is treated in the usual way:

The usual procedures here would be for the FEC to investigate complaints and sort through these murky laws to determine if these kinds of payments are personal in nature or more properly classified as campaign expenditures. And, on the Daniels payment that was made and reimbursed by Trump, it is again a question of whether that was made for personal reasons (especially since they have been trying since 2011 to obtain agreement). Just because it would be helpful to the campaign does not convert it to a campaign expenditure. Think of a candidate with bad teeth who had dental work done to look better for the campaign; his campaign still could not pay for it because it’s a personal expenditure.

Meanwhile, Robert Mueller is totally ignoring campaign irregularities from Hillary’s campaign:

Contrast what is going on here with the treatment of the millions of dollars paid to a Democratic law firm which, in turn, paid out money to political research firm Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele without listing them on any campaign expenditure form — despite crystal-clear laws and regulations that the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds must be listed. This rule was even tightened recently. There is no question that hiring spies to do opposition research in Russia is a campaign expenditure, and yet, no prosecutorial raids have been sprung on the law firm, Fusion GPS or Steele. Reason: It does not “get” Trump.

Any investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election that does not include money laundered through Perkins Coie to pay for the Russian dossier does not have credibility. I suspect that will be the point made in the coming months in an attempt to shut down this travesty. The foundation of appointing a Special Prosecutor was totally flawed and the investigation is even more flawed. It is time to let people associated with Donald Trump live in peace. To do otherwise is to criminalize political opinions.

Alan Dershowitz Is My New Hero

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted some comments by Attorney Alan Dershowitz regarding the raid on the offices of Michael Cohen, the personal attorney of President Trump.

The article reports:

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz warned Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to raid President Trump’s personal lawyer’s office is an assault on the privileged lawyer-client relationship.

Dershowitz said on Fox News that he believes the decision to raid Michael Cohen’s office would be a sign that Mueller is trying to turn Cohen against Trump.

“This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen,” he said. “He’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump, and to get him to turn against his client.”

“This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations,” he added.

Dershowitz, who has drawn the ire of Democrats for defending Trump, said Mueller’s move is also dangerous because it gives the FBI the option of deciding what information seized from Cohen to pursue.

“I tell [clients] on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct,” he said. “And now they say, just based on probable cause … they can burst into the office, grab all the computers, and then give it to another FBI agent and say, ‘You’re the firewall. We want you now to read all these confidential communications, tell us which ones we can get and which ones we can’t get.'”

“If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer’s office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America, jumping up and down,” he added.

“The deafening silence from the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling,” Dershowitz said.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I firmly believe that the raids conducted in coordination with the Special Prosecutor‘s Investigation were totally unconstitutional. This sets a very bad precedence for the future. It is also a very strong indication of the total politicization of the FBI and DOJ during the past administration.