The Unraveling Continues

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska.

The article reports:

The oligarch who once controlled Russia’s largest aluminum empire has been an international man of intrigue in the now-completed and disproven Trump collusion investigation.

Deripaska was a disaffected former business client of Donald Trump’s fallen campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He also was a legal research client of Trump-hating, Clinton-aiding British spy Christopher Steele. In his spare time, he was an occasional friendly cooperator with the FBI and its fired deputy director, Andrew McCabe.

During his interview with John Solomon, Deripaska talked about being interviewed by the FBI and stating the following:

“I told them straightforward, ‘Look, I am not a friend with him [Manafort]. Apparently not, because I started a court case [against him] six or nine months before … . But since I’m Russian I would be very surprised that anyone from Russia would try to approach him for any reason, and wouldn’t come and ask me my opinion,’ ” he said, recounting exactly what he says he told the FBI agents that day.

“I told them straightforward, I just don’t believe that he would represent any Russian interest. And knowing what he’s doing on Ukraine for the last, what, seven or eight years.”

The article explains why this is important:

OK, so why should you care if a Russian denied Trump campaign collusion with Russia during the election?

First, Deripaska wasn’t just any Russian. He was closely aligned with Putin and had been helpful to the FBI as far back as 2009. So he had earned some trust with the agents.

Most importantly, Deripaska’s interview with the FBI reportedly was never provided by Team Mueller to Manafort’s lawyers, even though it was potential proof of innocence, according to Manafort defense lawyer Kevin Downing. Manafort, initially investigated for collusion, was convicted on tax and lobbying violations unrelated to the Russia case.

That omission opens a possible door for appeal for what is known as a Brady violation, for hiding exculpatory information from a defendant.

“Recent revelations by The Hill prove that the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) claim that they had a legitimate basis to include Paul Manafort in an investigation of potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government is false,” Downing told me. “The failure to disclose this information to Manafort, the courts, or the public reaffirms that the OSC did not have a legitimate basis to investigate Manafort, and may prove that the OSC had no legitimate basis to investigate potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government.”

The article then explains why Deripaska is trusted by the FBI:

Deripaska confirmed a story I reported last year from FBI sources that he spent more than $20 million of his own money between 2009 and 2011 on a private rescue operation to free Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent captured in Iran in 2007 while on a CIA mission.

…Deripaska said his privately funded rescue team came very close to a deal with the Iranian captors to secure Levinson’s release but he was told by his FBI handlers that the deal ran into difficulties at Hillary Clinton’s State Department and was scuttled. “I heard that some Russian ‘hand,’ or whatever you call people who are expert on the Russians at the State Department, [said], ‘We just don’t want to owe anything to this guy,’ ” Deripaska told me, adding that he never expected any U.S. favors for his personal efforts to free Levinson.

Asked if he thought the former FBI agent is alive, some dozen years later, Deripaska answered: “I don’t think so.” He pointed out that if Levinson had been alive, he likely would have come home in 2016, after the Obama administration struck a nuclear deal with Iran.

Deripaska said he is continuing to investigate what really happened at State with Levinson, as he tries to fight the sanctions levied against him in 2018. His company, Rusal, has been removed from the sanctions list.

The article concludes:

Throughout the interview, it was clear Deripaska chose his words in English carefully. But there was one word he offered only twice — once in response to the Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, and the other time to respond to the allegations used to sanction him. “Balderdash,” he insisted.

Now it’s time for Team Mueller to answer the same questions.

I wonder why the State Department would have blocked the return of Levinson. Is it possible that he might have said things that would have scuttled the Iran deal?

Be Careful What You Wish For

CNS News posted an article today about the upcoming appearance of Robert Mueller before the House of Representatives.

The article notes:

Be careful what you wish for, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday night:

“Listen, it is not a good day for America, but Bob Mueller better be prepared. Because I can tell you, he will be cross-examined for the first time, and the American people will start to see the flaws in his report.”

Republicans have many unanswered questions about the scope of Mueller’s investigation, including the process leading up to the FISA warrant on Carter Page and when Mueller’s team learned that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Meadows said Democrats have courted Mueller “just so that they can harass the president” and keep the collusion/obstruction narrative going for political reasons.

Meadows predicted that Mueller’s testimony will “backfire” on Democrats.

Mueller, in his only public comment on the report, said it speaks for itself and he would have nothing to add beyond what is in it.

But “Congress has questions that go beyond the report,” Rep. Schiff told CNN Tuesday night:

“So we have any number of questions about the counter-intelligence investigation, and the role of the counter-intelligence agents within his team to questions about some of the prosecutorial decisions that were made. We have fact questions about some of the statements that are made in the report, so there are any number of issues that we wish to cover with him,” Schiff said.

So what about the questions some of the rest of us have:

  • How was the investigation team chosen?
  • Why was the investigation team composed solely of Democrat campaign contributors and in one case a lawyer who had worked for the Clintons?
  • Why was someone put in charge of investigating the President right after the President had rejected his job application? Was he expected to be objective?
  • Why did the Mueller Report totally ignore Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, etc.?
  • Why was an unverified dossier used as the basis for a FISA Warrant?
  • How many attempts were made to place undercover agents in the Trump campaign?
  • Why were charges against Paul Manafort that had been deemed not worth prosecuting more than ten years ago suddenly brought to life again?
  • Why did the investigation look equally into both campaigns?
  • Did the report include the fact that the Democrats never allowed the FBI to examine their computer servers that they claimed the Russians had hacked?
  • When did Robert Mueller realize that there was no collusion between President Trump and Russia?

Those questions might make for an interesting hearing. I would be willing to watch that on C-SPAN.

When The Roots Are Rotten

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about some recent information dealing with the roots of the charges that candidate Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians.

The article reports:

And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who promoted that faulty evidence may disturb us more than we now know.

The first, the Christopher Steele dossier, has received enormous attention. And the more scrutiny it receives, the more its truthfulness wanes. Its credibility has declined so much that many now openly question how the FBI used it to support a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign in October 2016.

At its best, the Steele dossier is an “unverified and salacious” political research memo funded by Trump’s Democratic rivals. At worst, it may be Russian disinformation worthy of the “garbage” label given it by esteemed reporter Bob Woodward.

The second document, known as the “black cash ledger,” remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

The article explains the problem with the “black cash ledger”:

For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.

“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents. 

Likewise, Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.

Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.

He added: “I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik’s warning, according to three sources familiar with the documents.

So why didn’t Mueller simply end the investigation because the roots of it were proven to be false?

The article concludes:

Rep. Mark Meadows, a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, told me Wednesday night he is asking the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the FBI and prosecutors’ handling of the Manafort warrants, including any media leaks and evidence that the government knew the black ledger was potentially unreliable or suspect evidence.

The question of whether the Mueller team should have used the ledger in search warrant affidavits before that is for the courts to decide.

But the public has a substantial interest in questioning whether, more broadly, the FBI should have sustained a Trump-Russia collusion investigation for more than two years based on the suspect Steele dossier and black ledger. 

Understandably, there isn’t much public sympathy for foreign lobbyists such as Manafort. But the FBI and prosecutors should be required to play by the rules and use solid evidence when making its cases.

It does not appear to have been the prevailing practice in the Russia collusion investigation. And that should trouble us all.

It is becoming very obvious that the Mueller investigation did not follow normal investigative rules or procedures. When he knew that both pieces of evidence were totally unreliable, Robert Mueller should have ended the investigation. I suspect that would have been long before the 2018 mid-term election. Somehow I think the clown show we are currently seeing in the House of Representatives as a result of the Democrats taking the majority is at least partially the result of continuing the Mueller investigation combined with reckless, baseless charges made against the President by some Washington insiders now working in the media.

Much Needed Mercy

On June 5, I posted an article about the expected transfer of Paul Manafort to Rikers Island prison. Paul Manafort is 70 years old and not in good health. Rikers Island is known as one of the roughest prisons in America.

Today Fox News reported that Paul Manafort was transferred to a federal prison in New York City late Monday ahead of his pending state court trial — but only after the Justice Department rejected a local district attorney’s widely criticized bid to move him to the notorious Rikers Island prison complex. There was never any reason to put him in Rikers Island other than to further mistreat him.

The article reports:

Manafort was instead transferred to the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal detention facility located in Manhattan.

MCC houses many inmates awaiting trial or sentencing. Among the current inmates are terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov, who allegedly ran down pedestrians with a truck in New York on Oct. 31, 2017, and Cesar Sayoc, the man who allegedly sent package bombs to prominent Democrats. Joaquin Guzman, the notorious drug lord known as “El Chapo,” is reportedly being held at the facility.

Manafort’s transfer came after Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen rejected Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s attempt to re-locate Manafort to Rikers Island.

A senior Justice Department official told Fox News that Manafort’s attorneys contacted the Bureau of Prisons and “raised concerns about his transfer to state custody related to his health and personal safety.”

It is nice to see that someone in the Justice Department prevented the further miscarriage of justice regarding Mr. Manafort.

Twisted

No one ever claimed that the team put together by Robert Mueller to investigate President Trump was politically unbiased, but I at least expected them to report the facts as they uncovered them. Evidently my expectations were too high. On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, claimed by the Mueller Report to be a Russian asset. It turns out that he was training American intelligence officers. His contract with George Papadopoulos had nothing to do with Russia. On June 1st, I posted an article about the editing of a phone message from President Trump’s attorney John Dowd to Michael Flynn. The message was edited in a way that left an impression totally different than what was actually happening. Well, okay, maybe that was just an oversight. That’s two strikes. Now we have another incident where something totally misleading (and false) was stated in the Mueller Report.

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source.” The person in questions in Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik.

The article reports:

In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

It gets worse:

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Kasanof’s and Purcell’s interviews are corroborated by scores of State Department emails I reviewed that contain regular intelligence from Kilimnik on happenings inside the Yanukovych administration, the Crimea conflict and Ukrainian and Russian politics. For example, the memos show Kilimnik provided real-time intelligence on everything from whose star in the administration was rising or falling to efforts at stuffing ballot boxes in Ukrainian elections.

Those emails raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent. They show Kilimnik was allowed to visit the United States twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, a clear sign he wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat.

The emails also show how misleading, by omission, the Mueller report’s public portrayal of Kilimnik turns out to be.

For instance, the report makes a big deal about Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

By that time, Manafort had served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months but was about to resign because of a growing controversy about the millions of dollars Manafort accepted as a foreign lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.

Specifically, the Mueller report flagged Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign for settling the two-year-old Crimea conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,” the Mueller report stated.

But State emails showed Kilimnik first delivered a version of his peace plan in May 2016 to the Obama administration during a visit to Washington. Kasanof, his former handler at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, had been promoted to a top policy position at State, and the two met for dinner on May 5, 2016.

I am grateful for investigative reporters. It is time to acknowledge that the Mueller Report, despite the fact that it found no evidence of collusion on the part of the Trump campaign, is tainted. It is time to put this entire farce to rest and lift the cloud the Democrats have placed over the Trump administration. It is time to allow the President to solve the problems at our southern border, deal with Iran, negotiate trade deals, and generally be President.

Criminalizing Political Opposition

This article is about the strange case of Paul Manafort. Yesterday The New York Post reported that President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort will be moved from a federal lockup in Pennsylvania to Rikers Island later this week. The request was made by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s office.

The article reports:

…a New York grand jury charged Manafort with a number of crimes, including residential mortgage fraud and falsifying business records…

Normally those crimes don’t result in a transfer to Rikers Island. In May 2013, Rikers Island ranked as one of the ten worst correctional facilities in the United States, based on reporting in Mother Jones magazine.

It gets even more strange.

In May 2018, a website called abovetopsecret reported:

So the special counsel is going after Manafort for financial crimes dating all the way back to 2005. Rosenstein issued a secret memo authorizing the special counsel to expand their jurisdiction to part B to make it appear legal.

The judge questions the jurisdiction and demands an unredacted version of the secret memo.

News coming out tonight and discussed by Judge Napolitano is not only was Manafort investigated for all of these crimes by the FBI/DOJ, and not only did the DOJ decline to prosecute, Rod Rosenstein actually was the prosecutor who not only declined prosecution, he signed off on the exoneration letter for Manafort.

Now more than a decade later Rosenstein authorizes Mueller to go after Manafort for crimes he himself already cleared him of.

In Jun 2018, a website called News Punch reported:

A Democrat judge who put Paul Manafort in jail this week previously cleared Hillary Clinton of all criminal wrongdoing over the deaths of four American servicemen in Benghazi in 2012. 

Amy Berman Jackson, a past Bill Clinton donor and federal judge, threw out a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton filed by Sean Smith’s mother Patricia Smith and Tyrone Woods’ father Charles Woods. The lawsuit claimed that Hillary Clinton revealing the location of Ambassador Stevens on her non-secure private email server prior to Stevens’ murder put their dead children in harm’s way.

Politico reported in 2017: “Jackson dismissed the wrongful death portion of the suit on technical grounds after granting the State Department’s motion to step in as the defendant on those claims. The Obama-appointed judge concluded Clinton used her email in the course of her official duties.”

Paul Manafort may or may not be the biggest sleaze in the country. However, he does not belong in Rikers Island for the crimes he may have committed. He is being sent there because he was part of President Trump’s campaign for a short period of time. The political left is hoping that he will die in prison. That is frightening.,

If this doesn’t bother you, think about the future. Do you want to live in a country where working on a political campaign that is not in line with the powers that be will put you in jail for crimes you were already cleared of? America right now is a relatively free country, but if we keep electing the type of people who use the justice system for the purpose of settling personal vendettas, we will no longer be free.

 

Act II

The Mueller Report fizzled. Donald Trump is still President. The House of Representative is preparing for impeachment on possible charges of a cover-up where there is no crime. Most of the Democrat candidates running for President in 2020 support socialism, killing babies up until the moment when they are actually born, open borders, free healthcare for everyone (including those here illegally), and free college. What could possibly go wrong? Well, now is the time to get out the popcorn.

On Thursday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at The National Review about the collapse of the Russian-collusion narrative.

Mr. Hanson points out a few obvious facts that made the narrative doubtful from the start:

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions, and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian “reset” or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own reelection bid.

The article concludes by noting that the rats are deserting the sinking ship:

Comey is also in a tiff with his former deputy, Andrew McCabe. Both know that the FBI under Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media. But Comey says McCabe went rogue and did it. Of course, McCabe’s attorney shot back that Comey had authorized it. Comey also claims the Steele dossier was not the chief evidence for a FISA warrant. McCabe insists that it was. It’s possible that one might work with prosecutors against the other to finagle a lesser charge.

Former CIA director John Brennan has on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and gotten away with it. He may not get away with lying again if it’s determined that he distorted the truth about his efforts to spread the Steele dossier smears. A former CIA official claims that Comey put the unverified Steele dossier into an intelligence community report on alleged Russian interference. Comey has contended that Brennan was the one who did.

It’s possible that both did. Doing so would have been unethical if not illegal, given that neither official told President Obama (if he didn’t already know) that the silly Steele dossier was a product of Hillary Clinton’s amateurish efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign.

In sum, the old leaky vessel of collusion is sinking.

The rats are scampering from their once safe refuge — biting and piling on one another in vain efforts to avoid drowning.

The really scary part of this is that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would know none of this, and using the government to spy on political opponents would have become a way of life in America. Unless the people responsible for using the government as a political weapon are brought to justice, using the government to spy on political opponents will become a way of life in America.

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.

No Wonder The Democrats Are Attempting To Storm The Castle

The hearings the Senate held for Attorney General Barr were a disgrace. He was attacked, slandered, and generally treated very badly. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not allowed to call each other liars (that rule has its roots in British Parliamentary Law), but evidently the Senate thinks its okay to call a member of the Executive Branch a liar. That is so unhelpful–particularly if it is not true. Well, the Senate acted like animals backed into a corner for a reason–they are. An article posted at The Hill last night might explain a few things.

The article reports:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.

Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.

The investigations are ongoing into illegal spying, working with foreign intelligence agencies, misusing government agencies, etc. During the 2016 campaign Hillary Clinton is reported to have emailed Donna Brazile the following:

“If that f***in’ bastard wins, we’re all going to hang from nooses! You better fix this sh*t!” – Hillary Clinton email to Donna Brazile, October 17 2016

I have heard similar statements from Hillary Clinton reported by various sources and have always wondered what she was talking about. I think we are about to find out.

The article at The Hill concludes:

Chaly over the years has tried to portray his role as Ukraine’s ambassador in Washington as one of neutrality during the 2016 election. But in August 2016 he raised eyebrows in some diplomatic circles when he wrote an op-ed in The Hill skewering Trump for some of his comments on Russia. “Trump’s comments send wrong message to world,” Chaly’s article blared in the headline.

In his statement to me, Chaly said he wrote the op-ed because he had been solicited for his views by The Hill’s opinion team.

Chaly’s office also acknowledged that a month after the op-ed, President Poroshenko met with then-candidate Clinton during a stop in New York. The office said the ambassador requested a similar meeting with Trump but it didn’t get organized.

Though Chaly and Telizhenko disagree on what Ukraine did after it got Chalupa’s request, they confirm that a paid contractor of the DNC solicited their government’s help to find dirt on Trump that could sway the 2016 election.

For a Democratic Party that spent more than two years building the now-disproven theory that Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, the tale of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington feels just like a speeding political boomerang.

When You Start Digging Under Rocks, You Never Know What Will Come Out

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about a scandal involving foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The article reports:

After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.

Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.

Isn’t it ironic that after millions of dollars have been spent trying to find foreign influence to help President Trump win in 2016, a foreign government simply puts out the information.

The article details some of the behind-the-scenes activities in the U.S. embassy in Kiev:

We now have strong evidence that retired British spy Christopher Steele began his quest in what ultimately became the infamous Russia collusion dossier with a series of conversations with top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr between December 2015 and February 2016 about securing evidence against Manafort.

We know the FBI set up shop in the U.S. embassy in Kiev to assist its Ukraine–Manafort inquiry — a common practice on foreign-based probes — while using Steele as an informant at the start of its Russia probe. And we know Clinton’s campaign was using a law firm to pay an opposition research firm for Steele’s work in an effort to stop Trump from winning the presidency, at the same time Steele was aiding the FBI.

Those intersections, coupled with the new allegations by Ukraine’s top prosecutor, are reason enough to warrant a serious, thorough investigation.

If Ukraine law enforcement figures who worked frequently with the U.S. Embassy did leak the Manafort documents in an effort to influence the American election for Clinton, the public deserves to know who knew what, and when.

It is becoming obvious that Mueller is looking for foreign influence in the 2016 election in the wrong places. The question is whether that is by accident or by design.

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.

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.

Shoes? She’s Writing About Shoes?

It’s my blog, and I can write about anything I want. Yes–I am writing about shoes. Americans are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Half of America is waiting for the shoe that says Donald Trump is a Russian agent planted in the White House, and half of America is waiting for the shoe that says the Obama administration misused government for political purposes and that abuse is continuing under the guise of the deep state.

Only one side of this debate has actual evidence (even though much of it has been erased, gone missing, or willfully destroyed–which in itself is telling), so what has the other side got? On Sunday The Washington Post posted an opinion piece with the title, “Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset.” Some items listed were pulling troops out of Syria, doing business with Russia for years, Russians interference in the 2016 election to help President Trump get elected (so far no evidence of that), candidate Trump encouraging Russia to hack into Hillary’s emails (they already had, and he was joking), Paul Manafort owing a Russian oligarch money, President Trump firing James Comey (something the Democrats had previously recommended and Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter for), and President Trump citing the corruption in the FBI and DOJ–the charge is that President Trump has undermined these organizations by citing corruption (how about the leadership undermined them when they allowed them to be used for political purposes).

The opinion piece ends with the following:

This is hardly a “beyond a reasonable doubt” case that Trump is a Russian agent — certainly not in the way that Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were. But it is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, “an unwitting agent of the Russian federation” (Morell) or a “useful fool” who is “manipulated by Moscow” (Hayden). If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

Last time I checked, you couldn’t convict someone on the basis of your opinion or simply because he won an election. The argument for this shoe seems to be rather weak.

Continuing with this shoe… The Federalist posted an article yesterday with the title, ” NYT Reveals FBI Retaliated Against Trump For Comey Firing. ”

The most important paragraph in the New York Times article states:

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

I will discuss the other shoe in my next article.

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.

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.

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?”

The Inter Relatedness Of The Swamp

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that answers a lot of questions about how some supposedly private information found its way around Washington. It seems as if some of the connections found in the Robert Mueller team have resulted in critical links intended to make President Trump look bad.

The article reports:

The indictment of US Treasury officials yesterday is more important than first thought.  The individuals indicted have close ties to demoted DOJ lawyer Bruce Ohr and Mueller team corrupt attorney Andrew Weissman!

On Tuesday, 40-year-old Natalie May Edwards, the senior advisor in the Treasury Department’s  Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, was arrested and criminally charged for leaking confidential financial documents relating to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, the Russian embassy and accused Russian spy Maria Butina.

Ms. Edwards, who leaked the documents related to the Manafort case, was interviewed by Ronan Farrow six months ago. It now looks like that was an attempt by her to set herself up as a whistle blower rather than the leaker she is –

…Ms. Edwards leaked the FinCEN documents to Jason Leopold, a reporter for BuzzFeed according to Wednesday’s announcement by Manhattan federal prosecutors.  Hidden in the DOJ complaint is the fact that Edwards’s BOSS at FinCEN is a criminal co-conspirator and he holds the title of Associate Director.

Investigative reporter Sean Davis reported that there are only six positions at FinCEN with that title (associate director) –

…Additional reporting from Sean Davis shows that one of the Assistant Directors at FinCEN is Thomas Ott.  Mr. Ott worked for Fusion GPS collaborator Bruce Ohr at the DOJ.  Also, Mr. Ott worked for RICO with Andrew Weissman at the DOJ

Notice that the same names keep cropping up. I am not sure how big or how deep the Washington swamp is, but we seem to be discovering that swamp creatures are scattered throughout the swamp.

Manipulated By The Department Of Justice And The Press

Little by little emails are being released that reveal how the government used its power to interfere in the 2016 election to make sure that Hillary Clinton won. I guess that is another example of the basic effectiveness of our government agencies. However, the actions taken by the government were illegal. Those actions have somehow escaped the investigative skills of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article about some recently discovered emails that provide further insight into what was going on during the Presidential campaign.

The article reports:

Newly released text messages and documents obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveal that senior members of the FBI and Department of Justice led a coordinated effort to leak unverified information to the press regarding alleged collusion with Russia to damage President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a letter sent by the committee to the DOJ Monday.

The review of the documents suggests that the FBI and DOJ coordinated efforts to get information to the press that would potentially be “harmful to President Trump’s administration.” Those leaks pertained to information regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant used to spy on short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page.

The letter lists several examples:

  • April 10, 2017: (former FBI Special Agent) Peter Strzok contacts (former FBI Attorney) Lisa Page to discuss a “media leak strategy.” Specifically, the text says: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”
  • April 12, 2017: Peter Strzok congratulates Lisa Page on a job well done while referring to two derogatory articles about Carter Page. In the text, Strzok warns Page two articles are coming out, one which is “worse” than the other about Lisa’s “namesake”.” Strzok added: “Well done, Page.”

The letter notes the troubling nature of the text messages. Former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after a scathing report from the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation charging McCabe with lying to investigators and leaking to the press. Last week, the DOJ announced that McCabe is currently under a grand jury investigation.

The article concludes:

In March this news outlet also revealed that Weissmann, a top prosecutor on the Mueller team, had met with reporters from the Associated Press in April 2017 just one day before their explosive story on Paul Manafort’s dealings with Ukraine officials.

According to sources familiar with the meeting, the reporters had promised to share documents and other information gleaned from their own investigation with the Justice Department.

AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton told this news outlet, “we refrain from discussing our sources.”

“Associated Press journalists meet with a range of people in the course of reporting stories, and we refrain from discussing relationships with sources. However, the suggestion that AP would voluntarily serve as the source of information for a government agency is categorically untrue,” added Easton.

At the time of the meeting, Weissmann was head of the Justice Department’s fraud division. He was the most senior member of the Justice Department to join the special counsel in May.

The AP meeting arranged by Weissmann came to light in a letter sent to Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, late last year, requesting specific FBI and DOJ documentation related to the controversial Fusion GPS dossier that alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

That meeting with the AP was attended by three different litigating offices. Two employees from the U.S. Justice Department and the other representative was from the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to the sources. FBI agents also attended the meeting, law enforcement sources confirmed.

According to sources, the FBI agents in attendance filed a complaint about Weissmann and the meeting with the DOJ fearing his arrangement of such a meeting would hurt the investigation.

Laws were broken, government agencies were involved in politics, and people need to be held accountable. It’s time for justice to replace the clown show that is Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Somehow It Always Comes Back To The Same Players

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about some things that have been learned about the testimony of Bruce Ohr. It is a very complex article, and I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. I will try to grab the high points, but there is a lot there.

My first observation concerning the things Donald Trump is accused of is that generally speaking they are just not sexy enough to be interesting to the American public. Paying off a girlfriend just isn’t anything new. In 2017, CNN posted an article stating that Congress had a fund that had paid out $17 million as a result of sexual harassment claims against Congressmen (and Congresswomen). Does anyone honestly believe that some of that wasn’t hush money? That makes Donald Trump look like a piker. But back to the testimony of Bruce Ohr.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse notes some connections between Bruce Ohr and some of the players on Robert Mueller’s team:

…Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS in 2015.  Previous to that statement by Issa the timeline for Nellie Ohr working with Fusion GPS began in April of 2016 (simultaneous to Fusion beginning the contract work for the Clinton Campaign and sub-contracting of Chris Steele).

…Ohr testified that Fusion approached his wife for a job and that she began working for the research firm in late 2015. California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa said Ohr testified that his wife was paid $44,000 by Fusion GPS. As TheDCNF has reported, Ohr did not disclose his wife’s Fusion income on his annual ethics disclosure form.

Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, paid Fusion GPS more than $1 million for the Trump-Russia project. Fusion paid Steele nearly $170,000 for his work. (read more)

The article then gets a bit technical:

We have long suspected that Fusion-GPS was one of the contractors with access to the FBI/NSA database.  The contractors were conducting political opposition research by exploiting the FISA 702(16)(17) process which would be available for counterintelligence purposes; hence the DOJ-National Security Division.

…From November 1, 2015, to May 1st, 2016, thousands of search queries were conducted with a “non-compliance rate of 85%”. That means the “contractors” were massively abusing their access to the database; and a full 85% of their activity was demonstrably unlawful.

It is highly likely, almost certain, all of this unlawful query activity was political opposition research being conducted by political operatives, agents and DOJ/FBI affiliates within the apparatus. Fusion GPS seems like an obvious organization who would be participating in that activity. Adding to this likelihood we now have Nellie Ohr working within this exact timeline.

Further connections to the Mueller investigation are cited in the article:

Sources familiar with Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr informed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about his interactions with Steele and Simpson. He also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work.

Weissmann is now serving as right-hand man to Robert Mueller at the special counsel’s office.

Ohr testified that he informed his Justice Department peers, but not his superiors, about his contacts with Steele and Simpson. One of the superiors kept out of the loop was former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Ohr said he was demoted as assistant deputy attorney general in December because he failed to tell Yates and other top officials about his dossier interactions. (more)

The article concludes:

This information pipeline from Fusion to Bruce Ohr to Andrew Weissmann, in combination with the meeting between Weissmann and AP reporters, is essentially another round of same-method of manufacturing evidence; it is a collaborative effort.

In the first example where the Fusion-GPS information circle was exploited, the FBI gained a FISA Title-1 search warrant against Carter Page. In the second example of an almost identical information flow, the result was Special Counsel Robert Mueller gaining Title-III search warrants against Paul Manafort.

I think we are investigating the wrong people for collusion and corruption.

 

The Double Standard Is Alive And Well In The Media

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday that illustrates that media bias is not anything new.

The article reports:

It’s always big news when a former associate of a President goes on trial, right? Well actually no.

When Bill Clinton’s Whitewater business partners Jim and Susan McDougal and the former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker were tried (and convicted) for conspiracy and fraud charges the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening news programs devoted (on average) just 36 seconds per night (March 3, 1996 – May 29, 1996) to the trial. This despite the fact that the then-sitting President offered video testimony during the court proceedings.   

In contrast, the trial of Donald Trump’s one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort – for charges in a tax fraud case that had nothing to do with President Trump or alleged Russian collusion –  averaged 2 minutes and 18 seconds per night (July 31 – August 21) on those same evening programs. This was at a rate almost 4x higher than network coverage of the 1996 trial. 

…In total ABC, CBS and NBC spent 51 minutes and 28 seconds in 87 days on the trial of Clinton’s business partners.

In contrast, ABC, CBS and NBC almost reached that total (50 minutes, 30 seconds) in just 22 days of coverage of the Manafort trial.

Let’s not forget the lack of reporting on President Obama’s close association with Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, and Bernadette Dorn.

The thing to remember in dealing with the 24/7 coverage of anything detrimental to President Trump is that the heyday of the power of the American press was Watergate–when they drove President Nixon from office. The would love to repeat that performance. For whatever reason, the mainstream press is unaware that attempting to drive a duly-elected President from power does not help the republic.

Equal Justice Under The Law?

It has become very obvious in recent years that people close to the Clintons who break the law are held to a different standard than the rest of us. The amount of evidence destroyed in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server is amazing–and no one was ever charged with destroying evidence. Now we have a new example of how to break laws with no consequences if you are a supporter of the Clintons.

The American Thinker posted the following today:

Tony Podesta, the Democratic über-operative and brother of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, has been offered immunity from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in exchange for his testimony against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.  The two men were doing the exact same “crime,” which was acting as unregistered lobbyists on behalf of the Ukrainian government, but Podesta skates, while Manafort goes to prison for the rest of his life.

As Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, who broke the story, pointed out, the only difference between them is that Manafort worked for Donald Trump.

Is there anyone honest enough in Washington to call ‘shenanigans?’ This should chill every person who has ever done business overseas or worked in Washington. I have news–if this is allowed to stand, it could happen to anyone in the future if the tables are turned. I would hope the political right would be too honest for this sort of thing, but this sets a precedent that is frightening.

The article concludes:

What we are seeing is one set of laws for Democrats and another set of laws for Republicans.  Its analogy in the press is media bias – one kind of coverage for Republicans, and another kind for Democrats, as we recently saw with the undocumented children case, which it turns out was President Obama’s doing, not President Trump’s, but guess who got the wall-to-wall coverage.  People notice things like that.  The Deep State doesn’t, but normal people do see these double standards.  Double sets of laws for the elites and masses are precisely why voters turned to Donald Trump back in 2016.

This Manafort-Podesta thing isn’t about justice.  It’s about the Deep State’s bid to preserve its power.  It can only serve as rocket fuel for Trump.

I hope this injustice encourages voters to vote out of office anyone who has supported this witch hunt.

Grasping At Straws

The focus on the Mueller investigation seems to be Paul Manafort. Manafort is currently being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail because of alleged witness tampering. Does anyone doubt that this is an attempt to get him to make something up that Mueller can use against President Trump? Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Mueller has now revealed the relationship between the Trump campaign and Manafort.

Most of the 32 counts against Manafort in the Virginia case concern alleged crimes that took place long before there was a Trump campaign. Some go back as far as 2006. But four of the counts involve a pair of loans Manafort took out between April 2016 and January 2017. For a few months during that time period, Manafort worked for the Trump campaign.

The loans totaled $16 million and came from a financial institution Mueller refers to as Lender D. According to Mueller, Manafort lied to get the loans, overstating his income and understating his debts.

Mueller says that some workers at Lender D knew there was a problem with Manafort’s application, but that one top executive there, a man who wanted a place in the Trump campaign, granted the loan anyway. From the Mueller filing:

“The government intends to present evidence that although various Lender D employees identified serious issues with the defendant’s loan application, the senior executive at Lender D interceded in the process and approved the loan. During the loan application process, the senior executive expressed interest in working on the Trump campaign, told the defendant about his interest, and eventually secured a position advising the Trump campaign. The senior executive later expressed an interest in serving in the administration of President Trump, but did not secure such a position.”

The lending company and the senior executive are not identified in the indictment, but the loans appear to fit an episode reported in the New York Times involving a small bank in Chicago, the Federal Savings Bank, and its chief executive, Stephen Calk, who was named an economic adviser to the Trump campaign in August 2016 but did not join the administration.

The article concludes:

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller is investigating whether the loans were “made as part of a quid pro quo arrangement to secure Mr. Calk a job in Mr. Trump’s administration.” Calk has denied any such arrangement.

In any event, Mueller has not suggested that Donald Trump was involved in any of the actions outlined in the Manafort charges. The two Lender D loans are, apparently, the only connection between the Trump campaign and the broad array of criminal activity, some of it more than a decade old, alleged in the Manafort indictments. And Trump himself played no role in it.

Was a special counsel needed for that?

If Mueller investigated every horse trade that took place in Washington, I am sure he would find an awful lot to keep him busy and nothing noteworthy!

 

When You Begin To Peel An Onion, It Smells

As Congress and some of the press begin to peel back the layers of scandal surrounding the government surveillance and investigation into the Trump campaign, it is truly starting to smell like corrupt government agencies. The more we know, the worse it smells.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about some events that occurred before the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. There was definitely a strategy among those who wanted to undo the 2016 presidential election.

The article reports:

Justice Department documents released on Friday confirm that the DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” arranged a meeting with journalists in April 2017 to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort.

The documents show that Andrew Weissmann arranged a meeting with DOJ and FBI officials and four Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, just over a month before Mueller was appointed special counsel.

Manafort’s lawyers obtained the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a briefing filed in federal court in Virginia. The attorneys are pushing for a hearing into what they say are possible leaks of secret grand jury information, false information and potentially classified materials from the meeting.

“The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” a lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, wrote in a motion requesting a hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”

The article continues:

The existence of meeting between AP reporters and DOJ officials was first reported in January. The government confirmed it for the first time in a pre-trial hearing held on June 29.

In the hearing, FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Pfeiffer said that the FBI may have conducted a May 2017 raid of a storage locker that Manafort was renting based on a tip from AP reporters. He also said that the purpose of the meeting was for the DOJ and FBI to obtain information from The AP.

Manafort is set to go to trial on July 25 for a slew of money laundering and bank fraud charges related to his consulting work for a Ukrainian politician years before joining the Trump campaign.

Friday’s court filing includes two reports about the April 11, 2017 meeting: one written by Pfeiffer and another written by Supervisory Special Agent Karen Greenaway.

“The meeting was arranged by Andrew Weissmann,” Greenaway wrote in her report, for the first time establishing that Weissmann took part in the meeting.

Greenaway also said that Weissmann provided guidance to the reporters for their investigation. According to Greenaway, Weissmann suggested that the reporters ask the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a Cypriot government agency, if it had provided the Department of Treasury with all of the documents they were legally authorized to provide regarding Manafort.

The AP journalists, Chad Day, Ted Bridis, Jack Gillum and Eric Tucker, were conducting an extensive investigation of Manafort, including payments he received through various shell companies set up in Cyprus.

There are a few things to remember here. Paul Manafort may or may not have committed crimes, but the accusations have to do with events years before he joined the Trump campaign. This is totally out of the jurisdiction of the Special Prosecutor. Meanwhile, Paul Manafort is being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison cell for 23 hours a day because correctional officials “cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” Does anyone actually believe this is in accordance with Mr. Manafort’s constitutional rights?

The article also reports:

DOJ officials provided other guidance to the reporters, according to Greenaway’s report. She noted that when the journalists asked DOJ officials to tell them if they were off base in their findings about Manafort, “government attendees confirmed that the AP reporters appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine.”

Downing said that the special counsel’s office has previously confirmed that at the time of the meeting with the AP reporters, “there was an ongoing grand jury investigation of Mr. Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia.”

In addition to Weissmann, Pfeiffer and Greenaway, Justice Department officials George Mceachern, Ann Brickley and Ariel Shreve attended the meeting.

It is time for Congress to put a stop to this charade. The only solution to this corruption is to change all the documents related to this investigation that were previously classified to unclassified and let the American people see what has gone on. That is the only way the credibility of the FBI and DOJ will recover.

 

An Investigation That Has Lost Its Way

Ideally for the political types in the FBI and DOJ, the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election has to last until November of this year. (Please note that the FBI and DOJ are not supposed to be staffed by political types, but the email exchanges that have been revealed indicate otherwise.) Preferably some earthshaking statement of evidence will magically surface just days before the election. Yes, I admit I am being cynical, but have you seen anything that indicates that is not the plan? Further evidence of the mendacity of the Mueller crew arrived today.

The Daily Caller is reporting today:

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday that his prosecutors will not present evidence regarding Trump campaign collusion with Russia at an upcoming trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government,” reads a filing submitted by Mueller’s team in federal court in Virginia on Friday.

The filing sheds light on one of the largest questions looming over the Manafort case. Mueller’s prosecutors have indicted Manafort in federal court in Virginia and Washington, D.C., on a slew of charges related to his consulting work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort ended the work in 2014, and it has been unclear whether Mueller’s team planned to reveal evidence about President Donald Trump or the campaign.

Isn’t that special. Mueller is a Special Prosecutor appointed (albeit under false pretenses) to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. He is putting one of the people he has accused in the investigation on trial. He will not present any evidence having to do with Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. So what in the world is he investigating? At what point did he leave his original assignment?

The article further reports:

Mueller has leaned heavily on Manafort since his indictments. Mueller used the witness tampering charge to revoke Manafort’s bail in June. Manafort is now being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail while he awaits trial.

I hope the first judge that hears this case throws the whole thing out. Mueller has put pressure on Manafort in the hopes that Manafort will make up anything about President Trump in order to be freed from this pressure. Nothing Manafort has been accused of has anything to do with the 2016 campaign. This is frankly disgusting. The behavior of Robert Mueller is more appropriate in a banana republic than it is in America.