This Is Simply Harassment

Anyone who celebrates the Congressional search for any smidgen of dirt on Donald Trump might want to consider that if this continues, it could happen to any President or any citizen. The two-plus year witch hunt needs to end, and those responsible need to be held accountable. The latter seems to be about to happen. The former has no end in sight.

On Tuesday The City Journal posted an article about Congress’ demand for President Trump’s tax returns (including years he was not in office). This is harassment. However, you only have to look at the events of the past week or so to find out what is actually going on–the quest for tax returns is simply a bright shiny object put in front of the American public to divert from the news that John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, will be investigating the origins of the surveillance on the Trump campaign and transition team.

The article points out:

Disappointed by Robert Mueller’s failure to demonstrate President Trump’s perfidy, Democrats are focusing anew on the president’s tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is refusing to order the release of Trump’s federal returns to the House, saying that there is no legislative purpose for doing so, but a new effort to expose Trump’s tax history runs through Albany, where Democrats in 2018 gained solid control of the state senate for the first time in decades. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign a bill making its way through the legislature that would submit any New Yorker’s state tax returns to Congress, on request from the chairs of any of three revenue-related committees.

The excitement among Democrats is palpable. “We are facing a constitutional showdown,” says State Senator Brad Hoylman, the legislation’s sponsor. “New York, as the home of the president’s state taxes, has a special responsibility to step into the breach.” Assemblywoman Pat Fahy concurs, saying that “we can help hold the president accountable and we will set future precedents for all elected officials, that neither you as a president nor your business interests are above the law.”

Is anyone going to want to run for office under these ‘new’ rules?

The article concludes:

It’s likely that Trump’s pursuers don’t expect to find smoking guns in Trump’s tax returns. Decades in public life, including multiple infamous bankruptcies, have produced no hint of major scandal or criminality. So why should we expect his tax returns—already submitted to the government and scrutinized by forensic professionals with power to arrest—to reveal anything shocking?

Those demanding Trump’s tax returns probably just want to embarrass him by proving old rumors that he isn’t as rich as he pretends to be. For all this effort, though, that would be a weak payoff—especially since the people likely to care about such revelations aren’t Trump voters, anyway.

This is what desperation looks like.

Spy Vs. Spy

For those of you too young to recognize this image, it is from Mad Magazine in the 1960’s when the magazine featured a cartoon called “Spy Vs. Spy.” This cartoon is very relevant right now because of recent information surrounding the Mueller Report.

One of the chief figures in the Mueller Report is Joseph Mifsud — the mysterious professor from Malta who helped ignite the Russia probe in 2016. Information has now come out that Mifsud was an FBI trainer and an American asset. If people in Congress knew that, why didn’t Robert Mueller and why isn’t it in the Mueller Report?

On Sunday, May 5, The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud — the man who told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos the Russians had thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails — likely has links to “U.S., British, and Italian intelligence services” and the State Department where Clinton served as the country’s top diplomat.

Mifsud, a London-based professor and former Maltese diplomat, has long been suspected of deep ties to Russian intelligence. He is an elusive figure who has stayed out of the spotlight and is the subject of a letter Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee ranking member, sent to U.S. intelligence agencies and the State Department on Friday seeking relevant documents.

Nunes told Fox News on Sunday there were many questions that arose from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which his letter said “omits any mention of a wide range of contacts Mifsud had with Western political institutions and individuals,” that still need to be answered.

The Gateway Pundit reported on May 5:

Rep. Nunes accused the Mueller Special Counsel of angry Democrats of lying to the American public in their report.  Nunes alleged that deep state operatives were selectively leaking and planting information in the mainstream media and then using this same disinformation in their report.

Nunes also accused the Mueller team of lying about Joseph Misfud.  Dirty cop Mueller alleged in the report that Joseph Misfud was a Russian operative.  This was a lie.  Misfud worked with Western operatives.  He is suspected of being an FBI trainer and asset.  And…. According to Nunes Mifsud visited the State Department in Washington DC in 2017 — likely AFTER Trump was inaugurated.  This is a MAJOR OMISSION by Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann and their band of angry Democrats.

So why is this important? Misfud’s meeting with George Papadopoulos is supposedly what triggered the surveillance of the Trump campaign. If Misfud is an FBI trainer and asset, why was he labeled a Russian asset? This smells like the people in the State Department working to influence the outcome of an election and cripple an elected President. Deep state, anyone? Obviously a very naive George Popadopoulos was set up. As recently reported, the set-up included the stereotypical blonde bombshell. The Russians were not spying on the Trump campaign–the Obama administration was.

One last thought–we have a pretty good idea of the money involved in transferring a large amount of America’s uranium resources to Russia. Don’t you think Russia would rather have Hillary Clinton as President so that the information they have on that deal could be used to keep her under control?

Chutzpah Unleashed!

Chutzpah is loosely defined as the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. We saw that quality illustrated in spades in some recent comments made by Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following statement by former Secretary of State Clinton:

“Any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted, but because of the rule in the Justice Department that you can’t indict a sitting President, the whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress,” the New York Democrat said while speaking at the Time 100 summit Tuesday.

Ms. Clinton said she has little faith in Congress acting, saying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to investigate deeper into special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be for naught against “the do-nothing Senate.”

“That has become a hotbed of cynicism unlike anything I have ever seen, and I served there for eight years and I know some of these people and they know better,” the former senator said.

Ms. Clinton added additional oversight investigations are necessary to prevent future attacks on American elections.

What about preventing future attacks on the civil rights of average Americans who choose to work for a candidate of the opposition party rather than the party currently in power?

The rules broken during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s secret server have been listed before and can be found pretty much anywhere on the internet. President Trump did not purposefully destroy evidence that was already under subpoena. President Trump did not use bleach bit on computer hard drives. President Trump did not set up a secret server to conduct government business that would not automatically archive correspondence. President Trump did not mishandle classified information. Hillary, are you sure that President Trump used his power to avoid prosecution?

Strategic Leaking

One of the urban legends of the Mueller investigation was that there were no leaks. Well, some information has come out that totally undoes that myth.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article showing that certain information was selectively leaked during the investigation.

The article reports:

There has been a widespread media claim for two years that Robert Mueller’s special counsel team never leaked.  However, today, while entirely obfuscating the lede aspect to their admission/story, Buzzfeed News outlines how FBI agents assigned to Robert Mueller’s team actually leaked documents from their investigation to the media.

This admission is stunning…. I don’t even think Buzzfeed realizes what they are admitting to here. It’s in these paragraphs (emphasis mine):

(Buzzfeed) […] I’d also like to share an accounting of how we came to our characterization, to give our audience and people who reasonably raised questions about our reporting as much information as possible about how the story came to be.

Our story was based on detailed information from senior law enforcement sources. That reporting included documents — specifically, pages of notes that were taken during an interview of [Michael] Cohen by the FBI.

In those notes, one law enforcement source wrote that “DJT personally asked Cohen to say negotiations ended in January and White House counsel office knew Cohen would give false testimony to Congress. Sanctioned by DJT. Joint lawyer team reviewed letter Cohen sent to SSCI about his testimony about Trump Tower moscow, et al, knowing it contained lies.”

The law enforcement source also wrote: “Cohen told OSC” — the Office of Special Counsel — “he was asked to lie by DJT/DJT Jr., lawyers.”

At the time, the sources asked reporters to keep the information confidential, but with the publication of Mueller’s report they have permitted its release. (read more)

Please follow the link to the article at The Conservative Treehouse for further details. The press is not fulfilling its calling to provide unbiased news to the American public. Part of that is their fault, and part of that is the fault of Americans who do not take the time to evaluate the news they hear.

Slowly The Truth Continues To Drip Out

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that featured some remarks made by Devin Nunes on the Laura Ingraham Show. The article includes a video of the discussion.

These are the main issues discussed:

(1) The targeting/framing of Michael Flynn and the positioning of a false narrative around innocuous Russia contacts. (2) The use of Joseph Mifsud as an asset by the CIA/FBI running a counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign. (3) The Trump Tower meeting as organized by Fusion-GPS.

But there is a more troubling statement in the discussion:

Additionally, for the first time Devin Nunes confirms that it was Robert Mueller who blocked delivery of documents to the House investigative committees.  While this might be old news to CTH readers, this confirms our earlier research.  It was Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein who were protecting DOJ interests by using the Russia-probe as a shield.

That’s why Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch was essentially an exercise in futility (and he was never heard from).  With Nunes confirmation that Mueller used his probe to keep congress away from documents adverse to his interests…. that increases the likelihood Mueller deployed the same strategy with IG Michael Horowitz (as earlier reported); and only after Mueller was completed was the IG office allowed unfettered access to evidence…. hence, the delays.

Somehow I don’t think Mueller was an objective Special Counsel. We seem to learn something every day that questions his objectivity in the investigation of something that never happened and that he probably knew never happened very early in the investigation.

The Evidence We Need

Today The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following title, “Jay Sekulow: “Three” FISA Applications Were Denied in 2016 and What This Means…”

The article reports:

During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here – Note comment at 25:05]   The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed.

Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused.  This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.

The article continues, explaining why this is significant and the role the FISA court played in the undermining of the Trump campaign and transition team.

The most intriguing part of the article (at least to me) was the list at the end of the evidence needed to expose the misdeeds of the government during 2016 and beyond:

♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken  by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.

Hopefully this evidence will emerge soon.

An Interesting Question

John Solomon posted an article today at The Hill titled, “Ukrainian to US prosecutors: Why don’t you want our evidence on Democrats?” That is a very interesting question.

The article reports:

Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes. But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the (U.S.) ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

One focus of Ukrainian investigators, Kulyk said, has been money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States by businessmen friendly to the prior, pro-Russia regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian businessmen “authorized payments for lobbying efforts directed at the U.S. government,” he told me. “In addition, these payments were made from funds that were acquired during the money-laundering operation. We have information that a U.S. company was involved in these payments.” That company is tied to one or more prominent Democrats, Ukrainian officials insist.

In another instance, he said, Ukrainian authorities gathered evidence that money paid to an American Democrat allegedly was hidden by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) during the 2016 election under pressure from U.S. officials. “In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the NABU, so that the name of (the American) would not be mentioned,” he said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The details are amazing. It still isn’t the Trump Justice Department–there are too many Obama holdovers.

Note that Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, claims that they were not able to get a visa to travel to Washington to share their evidence. I wonder how fast they would have gotten a visa if their evidence had been against Republicans. If you had any doubt about the deep state and its role in all aspects of the 2016 election, this article should erase those doubts. Oddly enough, Robert Mueller, although he found no evidence of collusion between candidate Trump and the Russians (or President Trump and the Russians), somehow failed to examine evidence of collusion with Russians on the part of the Hillary Clinton campaign. The problem here is that President Trump supports American sovereignty. The deep state supports globalism. That is why he was considered such a threat, and that is why so much of the deep state was trying to stop Donald Trump from becoming President. Hopefully, some of the misdeeds of the deep state will be coming to light shortly.

How A Dishonest Investigation Works

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that Congressman Doug Collins released the transcripts from the testimony of George Papadopoulos before the House Judiciary Committee. The article includes a PDF File of the 239-page transcript. Oddly enough, the transcript was released on the day that Papadopoulos released his book, “Deep State Target.”

To me, this is the most telling part:

When Robert Mueller took over the Crossfire Hurricane operation, the FBI ran an elaborate entrapment string against Papadopoulos using a CIA asset in Israel and a payment of $10,000 in cash.  FBI Agents were waiting at the airport in Washington DC for Papadopoulos to return.  However, that part of the Mueller plan failed because Papadopoulos left the money behind.  So they applied pressure another way, from his book:

It gets even more interesting–the article cites an energy deal that George Papadopoulos was a part of in the Middle East.

The article concludes:

Here’s the interesting aspect…. Do you know who was the original energy policy consultant; the person who wrote the obscure -at the time- policy paper; a plan to avoid putting an EU pipeline through Turkey; and the person who put all of these regional heads together; that ultimately ended with this announced deal?

That would be the little known, generally invisible young energy adviser, who would eventually become the central figure in the “spygate” targeting, George Papadopoulos.

Yes, for those following the granules as they expose, that 2014 energy extraction strategy; a plan from a little known energy consultant; would have put Papadopoulos in opposition to the interests of President Obama, candidate Clinton, Turkey, Qatar and ultimately Iran and Russia.

Huh… Funny that.

It’s almost as if…..

Some Democrats have long memories, nasty tempers, and are willing to wait for revenge.

Why We Need Total Transparency Of The Mueller Report

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at Fox News that brings up a very interesting (and largely unreported) aspect of the Mueller Report. The article asks the question, “How long has Mueller known there was no Trump-Russia collusion?” That questions is important because it is obvious that the two-year long investigation had an impact on the 2018 mid-term elections–it suppressed the Republican vote. It also cast a cloud over the Trump presidency which I am sure had an impact on the President’s ability to govern. Was that intentional? We will probably never know, but the article states some interesting facts.

The article reminds us:

Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded that there was no criminal collusion, the question arises: When during their exhaustive 22-month investigation did prosecutors realize they had no case?

I put it at no later than the end of 2017. I suspect it was in the early autumn.

By the time Mueller was appointed on May 17, 2017, the FBI had been trying unsuccessfully for nearly a year to corroborate the dossier’s allegations. Top bureau officials have conceded to congressional investigators that they were never able to do so – notwithstanding that, by the time of Mueller’s appointment, the Justice Department and FBI had relied on the dossier three times, in what they labeled “VERIFIED” applications, to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

And make no mistake about what this means. In each and every application, after describing the hacking operations carried out by Russian operatives, the Justice Department asserted:

The FBI believes that the Russian Government’s efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election were being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Donald Trump’s] campaign.

Yes, the Justice Department continued to make that allegation to the secret federal court for months after Trump was sworn in as president.

Notably, in June 2017, about a month after Mueller took over the investigation, while he was still getting his bearings, the Justice Department and the FBI went on to obtain a fourth FISA warrant. Yet again, they used the same unverified information. Yet again, they withheld from the court the fact that this information was generated by the Clinton campaign; that the Clinton campaign was peddling it to the media at the same time the FBI was providing it to the court; and that Christopher Steele, the informant on whom they were so heavily relying, had misled the bureau about his media contacts.

You know what’s most telling about this fourth FISA warrant? The fact that it was never renewed. The 90-day authorization lapsed in September 2017. When it did, Mueller did not seek to extend it with a new warrant.

This is the key:

This means that by autumn 2017 when it would have been time to go back to the court and reaffirm the dossier’s allegations of a Trump-Russia espionage conspiracy, the major FBI officials involved in placing those unverified allegations before the court had been sidelined. Clearly up to speed after four months of running the investigation, Mueller decided not to renew these allegations.

Once the fourth warrant lapsed in September, investigators made no new claims of a Trump-Russia conspiracy to the court. The collusion case was the Clinton campaign’s Steele dossier, and by autumn 2017, the investigators now in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation were unwilling to stand behind it.

The article concludes:

When Special Counsel Mueller closed his investigation last week, he almost certainly knew for about a year and a half that there was no collusion case. Indeed, the indictments that he did bring appeared to preclude the possibility that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin.

Yet the investigation continued. The Justice Department and the special counsel made no announcement, no interim finding of no collusion, as Trump detractors continued to claim that a sitting American president might be a tool of the Putin regime. For month after month, the president was forced to govern under a cloud of suspicion.

Why?

What impact will releasing the entire bundle of background and other information that went into this investigation have? Would it do anything to heal the divide the media has caused by claiming this investigation would result in impeachment (impeachment will probably still happen, but that has nothing to do with this investigation)? Would it undo an election that was influenced by a lie? I think all information that can be released without harming innocent people or compromising national security should be released. However, I don’t think it will change anything. Any member of the government who is still employed by the government who was involved in the creating of the collusion narrative should be fired. The public will judge the media.

Objectivity From An Unexpected Source

Paul Farhi posted an article yesterday at The Washington Post about the media’s role in the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

After more than two years of intense reporting and endless talking-head speculation about possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian agents in 2016, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III put a huge spike in all of it on Sunday. Attorney General William P. Barr relayed Mueller’s key findings in a four-page summary of the 22-month investigation: The evidence was insufficient to conclude that Trump or his associates conspired with Russians to interfere in the campaign.

Barr’s announcement was a thunderclap to mainstream news outlets and the cadre of mostly liberal-leaning commentators who have spent months emphasizing the possible-collusion narrative in opinion columns and cable TV panel discussions.

“Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media,” Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote in a column published Saturday, a day before Barr nailed the collusion coffin shut. He added: “Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population.”

That’s bad enough, but there is another noteworthy observation in the article:

Other news outlets defended their reporting as well, noting that much of it is undisputed and has led to indictments and guilty pleas by figures associated with Trump’s campaign.

“I’m comfortable with our coverage,” said Dean Baquet, the New York Times’s top editor. “It is never our job to determine illegality, but to expose the actions of people in power. And that’s what we and others have done and will continue to do.”

He noted that Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings points out that the actions that warranted an obstruction inquiry were “the subject of public reporting” — a fact “that’s to the credit of the media.”

In fact, revelations by the Times and The Washington Post about contacts between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign advisers in 2016 helped prompt the inquiry that the special counsel took over in May 2017. The two newspapers shared a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the issue that year.

Although the mainstream media tried to make this Watergate, it wasn’t, and I suspect they have little or no intention of admitting their misreporting of major aspects of the story. First of all, where was the reporting of the abuse of power by the Obama administration in surveillance of an opposition party political campaign? Second, where was the commentary on inflammatory statements by former intelligence officials that later proved to be wrong? Third, where was the commentary on the accomplishments of the Trump administration in trade, taxes, and economic policy? If you are still watching the mainstream media and believing what they say, you will continue to be misinformed and mislead.

The Epstein Case Gets Murkier

Mike Cernovich is reporting that the mystery man who filed the brief to keep the records sealed in the Jeffrey Epstein case formerly worked for Robert Mueller and James Comey.

The article reports:

A mystery man with massive wealth and power retained a powerful law firm to keep the records sealed in a case involving Jeffrey Epstein. (See Politico here, and the Miami Herald’s report here.)

After the Second Circuit Court Court of Appeals, in a lawsuit involving investigative Julie Brown of the Miami Herald and others, signaled it was prepared to order an entire vault of records unsealed, the mystery man made the unusual move of filing what’s known as an amicus curiae brief anonymously. Latin for “friend of the court,” an amicus curiae brief is only supposed to be filed when the brief will help the Court reach a proper conclusion of law.

Seeking to bypass ordinary judicial procedure with high-powered lawyers, the mystery man filed a brief that would only benefit himself, and called it an amicus brief.

The Miami Herald’s lawyers properly called out this outrageous move, which would get an ordinary lawyer sanctioned for abuse of the judicial process:

  • “As a preliminary matter, John Doe’s proposed amicus brief is an improper vehicle by which to submit his arguments. See United States v. Gotti, noting that the phrase amicus curiae means, literally, ‘friend of the court,’ and ‘serv[es] for the benefit of the court and for the purpose of assisting the court in cases of general public interest’….”
  • “John Doe is admittedly self-interested in seeking closure.”

Evidently there are some very important people who engaged in some very awful activities and don’t want what they did revealed. If what they were involved in was illegal (as it appears to be), their activities need to be revealed and the appropriate justice applied.

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.

The Never Ending Story

Newsbusters posted an article today about the upcoming end to the Mueller investigation. The investigation is beginning to resemble the story of the man searching for his car keys on the opposite side of the street from where he dropped them because the light is better there. But that hasn’t slowed the mainstream media down a bit.

The article reports:

After news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be delivering his final Russia investigation report to Attorney General William Barr in the coming days, on Thursday, NBC’s Today show and CBS This Morning promised viewers that the investigation would continue regardless of Mueller’s findings.

Touting how “Several government officials say Robert Mueller is close to wrapping up” during a report for the Today show, correspondent Peter Alexander finished the segment by assuring: “….many legal experts say just because Robert Mueller is winding down does not mean the investigating stops, with federal prosecutors in Manhattan and elsewhere expected to follow up on pieces of the investigation.”

The article details some of the dialog between the news reporters and then concludes:

Co-host Bianna Golodryga tried to salvage the segment by concluding: “But as we showed, six people who are close to the President have pleaded guilty throughout this investigation.”

Even before Mueller has completed his investigation, the media are already gearing up for other investigations into the President as they prepare for the possibility that Mueller may not find Trump guilty of anything.

It should be noted that the six people who have pleaded guilty have been charged with crimes that either have no connection to either President Trump or Russia or are process crimes charging people who did not remember accurately facts that were totally unrelated to any investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Generally speaking this has been an investigation searching for a crime and charging people close to the President with anything that might cause them to invent a crime rather than go to jail. The past two years of the Mueller investigation have given us a lot of insight into how things work in a banana republic.

What Happens When The Investigation Doesn’t Go In The Direction You Had Hoped

Breitbart posted an article today about some recent comments by Representative Adam Schiff.

The article reports:

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hinted that he would not accept the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller as the end of the investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked, “We expect at some point maybe soon, maybe not, the findings of the Mueller investigation to finally be completed. If he finds that there was no direct collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, will you accept that?”

Schiff, “We’re going to have to do our own investigation, and we are. We’ll certainly be very interested to learn what Bob Mueller finds. We may have to fight to get that information. Bill Barr has not been willing to commit to provide that report either to the Congress or to the American people. We’re going to need to see it. The American people need to see it. We may also need to see the evidence behind that report. There may be, for example, evidence of collusion or conspiracy that is clear and convincing but not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He added, “The American people are entitled to know if there is evidence of a conspiracy between either the president or the president’s campaign and a foreign adversary. At the end of the day, the most important thing for the American people to know is whether the president is somehow compromised, whether there’s a leverage the Russians could use over the president and if the Russians are in a position to expose wrongdoing by the president or his campaign. That’s compromising.”

There have been a lot of insinuations that Robert Mueller’s report is not going to find anything. If Representative Schiff has his own investigation, he can keep the unfounded suspicions against the President in the news until the 2020 election and hope that he can create enough innuendo to cause the President to lose the election. That is what is actually going on here. Finding the facts has very little to do with anything in Congress.

Collusion

On Sunday The Hill posted an article about Russian collusion. Just for the record, a number of legal experts have stated that collusion is not a crime, so I am not sure what all the fuss is about, but there has been quite a fuss.

The article states:

With Republicans on both House and Senate investigative committees having found no evidence of Donald Trump being guilty of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion, it is worth revisiting one anecdote that escaped significant attention during the hysteria but continues to have U.S. security implications.

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-President Dmitri Medvedev, to create U.S. technology partnerships with Moscow’s version of Silicon Valley, a sprawling high-tech campus known as Skolkovo.

Clinton’s handprint was everywhere on the 2009-2010 project, the tip of a diplomatic spear to reboot U.S.-Russian relations after years of hostility prompted by Vladimir Putin’s military action against the former Soviet republic and now U.S. ally Georgia.

A donor to the Clinton Foundation, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, led the Russian side of the effort, and several American donors to the Clinton charity got involved. Clinton’s State Department facilitated U.S. companies working with the Russian project, and she personally invited Medvedev to visit Silicon Valley.

The collaboration occurred at the exact same time Bill Clinton made his now infamous trip to Russia to pick up a jaw-dropping $500,000 check for a single speech.

The former president’s trip secretly raised eyebrows inside his wife’s State Department, internal emails show.

That’s because he asked permission to meet Vekselberg, the head of Skolkovo, and Arkady Dvorkovich, a senior official of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant seeking State’s permission to buy Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive U.S. uranium reserves.

Years later, intelligence documents show, both the Skolkovo and Uranium One projects raised serious security concerns.

It may have raised concerns, but it is sad that the Department of Justice was so compromised at that point that they chose to do nothing about it. Does anyone really believe that Russia would have paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech without getting something in return?

The article also notes the involvement of Russia in the dirty dossier scandal:

The intersections between the Clintons, the Democrats and Russia carried into 2016, when a major political opposition research project designed to portray GOP rival Donald Trump as compromised by Moscow was launched by Clinton’s presidential campaign and brought to the FBI.

Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS research firm was secretly hired by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party through their law firm, Perkins Coie.

Simpson then hired retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele — whom the FBI learned was “desperate” to defeat Trump — to write an unverified dossier suggesting that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the election.

Simpson, Steele and Perkins Coie all walked Trump-Russia related allegations into the FBI the summer before the election, prompting agents who openly disliked Trump to launch a counterintelligence probe of the GOP nominee shortly before Election Day.

Simpson and Steele also went to the news media to air the allegations in what senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr would later write was a “Hail Mary” effort to influence the election.

The article concludes:

Collusion can be criminal if it involves conspiracy to break federal laws, or it can involve perfectly legal, unwitting actions that still jeopardize America’s security against a “frenemy” like Russia.

There is clear evidence now that shows Hillary Clinton’s family and charity profited from Moscow and simultaneously facilitated official government actions benefiting Russia that have raised security concerns.

And there’s irrefutable evidence that her opposition research effort on Trump — one that inspired an FBI probe — was carried out by people who got information from Russia and were consorting with Russians.

It would seem those questions deserve at least some of the scrutiny afforded the Trump-Russia collusion inquiry that is now two-plus years old.

Someone needs to take the blinders off of Robert Mueller and turn him in the right direction. His investigation is the equivalent of the man looking for his keys under the street light because the light is better (despite the fact that he dropped his keys across the street).

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.

I Don’t Think This Is What They Meant To Prove

The National Review today posted an article by Andrew McCarthy about the indictment of Roger Stone. The headline of the article is, “Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy.” Since Andrew McCarthy is an experienced prosecutor, he is very familiar with how the law works.

The article notes:

Roger Stone is the shiny object. The obstruction charges in his long-anticipated indictment, made public on Friday, are not the matter of consequence for the United States.

Nor is the critical thing the indictment’s implicit confirmation that there was no criminal “collusion” conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

What matters is this: The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency — over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern — heedless of the damage to the country.

The article continues:

So now we have the Stone indictment.

It alleges no involvement — by Stone or the Trump campaign — in Russia’s hacking. The indictment’s focus, instead, is the WikiLeaks end of the enterprise — i.e., not the “cyberespionage” of a foreign power that gave rise to the investigation, but the dissemination of the stolen emails after the hacking. And what do we learn? That the Trump campaign did not know what WikiLeaks had. That is, in addition to being uninvolved in Russia’s espionage, the Trump campaign was uninvolved in Julian Assange’s acquisition of what Russia stole.

The Stone indictment reads like an episode of The Three Stooges. Stone and two associates — conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerry Corsi, and left-wing-comedian-turned-radio-host Randy Credico, respectively denominated “Person 1” and “Person 2” — are on a quest to find out what WikiLeaks has on Hillary Clinton and when Assange is going to publicize it. But that does not suit Stone, who has cultivated an image of political dirty trickster and plugged-in soothsayer. In public, then, Stone pretends to know more than he knows and to have an insider’s view of Assange’s operation; behind the scenes, he scrounges around for clues about what Assange is up to, hoping some insider will tell him.

The article concludes with two paragraphs that should give all of us something to think about:

There is no reason why the special counsel could not have issued an interim report clearing the president of suspicion that he was a Russian agent. Doing so would merely have removed the specter of traitorous conspiracy from the White House. It would not have compromised Mueller’s ability to investigate Russia’s interference in the election; it would not have undermined Mueller’s probe of potential obstruction offenses by the president. (And while it is not Mueller’s job to discourage the president’s puerile “witch hunt” tweets, if the public had been told that the Justice Department withdrew its highly irregular public statements about Trump’s possible criminal complicity in Russia’s espionage, presidential tirades about the investigation would have ebbed, if not disappeared entirely.)

We are not just talking about having our priorities in order — i.e., recognizing that the ability of the president to govern takes precedence the prosecutor’s desire for investigative secrecy. We are talking about common sense and common decency: The Justice Department and the FBI went out of their way to portray Donald Trump as a suspect in what would have been the most abhorrent crime in the nation’s history. It has been more than two years. Is it too much to ask that the Justice Department withdraw its public suggestion that the president of the United States might be a clandestine agent of Russia?

It is time to clean house in the FBI and the DOJ–too many people have taken part in this charade to bring down a duly-elected President.

 

The Tactics Are Definitely Over The Top

The internet is buzzing today with the arrest of Roger Stone, someone who evidently had contacts with the Trump campaign at various points. Nothing he did in that context was illegal, but it seems that when questioned by Congress he did not tell the entire truth. Funny, other people who have recently lied to Congress are still walking around free.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Roger Stone’s arrest.

The article reports:

FBI agents arrested longtime Trump associate Roger Stone in a paramilitary-style raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., early Friday morning. A CNN producer on the scene said the arrest involved “heavy weaponry.” Stone was taken into custody without incident.

The arrest followed action by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., under Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. On Thursday, the grand jury indicted Stone on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing a congressional investigation.

Roger Stone is 66 years old. The paramilitary-style raid was an abuse of power and was dangerous. It was also a waste of money. I have no doubt they could have simply waited until after breakfast, knocked on the man’s door, and taken him into custody. This is another example of the over-the-top tactics used by Robert Mueller.

The article goes on to explain what Roger Stone is charged with. Basically it is process crimes connected to the Special Counsel’s witch hunt. I suspect his real crime was supporting President Trump.

The article continues:

All the counts stem from Stone’s Sept. 26, 2017, interview with the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election and the response by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Stone is not charged with lying to or attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

The special counsel’s charges involve Stone’s House testimony about WikiLeaks and its release of hacked material from the Democratic National Committee and, later, from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta during the 2016 campaign. The indictment does not say Stone communicated with Wikileaks head Julian Assange. Rather, it says Stone lied about his attempts to learn Assange’s intentions through two intermediaries: journalist and provocateur Jerome Corsi and radio host Randy Credico.

Meanwhile, crimes involving lying to a FISA court go unpunished, misuse of government agencies to spy on Americans goes unnoticed, and destruction of evidence that was subpoenaed goes unpunished.

Unless the new Attorney General is sworn in quickly and deals with the unequal justice currently being practiced in America, we will have become a banana republic.

The Story Behind The Story

The American Thinker ran an article today about Mark Felt. To those of us who were paying attention in the 1970’s, Mark Felt is also known as ‘deep throat.’ He was a major player in the Watergate Scandal. He provided Woodward and Bernstein with the information they needed to keep the scandal alive and eventually remove Richard Nixon from office. Watergate was one of the high water marks of the Democrat party–they were able to remove a duly-elected President from office. They are trying to duplicate that high water mark with the Russian collusion illusion. It isn’t working for many reasons. First of all Mark Felt operated in secret. He had to. Had his identity been known, the information he provided would have been viewed in a very different light.

The article reminds us:

The problem with Felt was his motives. Felt had worked his way up to the level of assistant director of the FBI (Is this starting to sound familiar?) and fully believed that he deserved the directorship. Instead Nixon chose L. Patrick Gray III, a bureaucratic cutout with no ties to the agency. Nixon’s thinking here was clear, and as well considered as many of his decisions: J. Edgar Hoover had been a terror in Washington for generations. His replacement had to be someone with no agency connections who would not entertain ideas of becoming the next Hoover. So the colorless bureaucrat Gray got the nod, did what was required of him for a short period, and moved on.

But this was obviously no solace to Felt, who, consumed by resentment, set out to punish the man who had undervalued him. 

We can see the problem for the Watergate myth immediately. Rather than a high moral crusade led by the country’s liberal journalistic elite, an effort that would redeem liberalism after a decade of corruption and incompetence, the scandal was and irrevocably transformed into a squalid campaign by a disgruntled employee. Rather than white knights, Woodward and Bernstein became gullible, easily manipulated stooges. The rest of the Washington elite come off little better, and one of the foundational myths of post-70s “left-liberalism” disappears in a puff of smoke.

In the Russian collusion illusion, part of the problem is that the leakers have not only revealed themselves to the public–they are writing books!

The article notes some differences between then and now:

This time around, the conspirators had a lot more problems than Felt did – the GOP is nowhere near as naïve as it was in 1972 – and the same can be said of America as a whole. Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon – diffidence and self-doubt, serious flaws in Nixon’s character, are unimaginable in Trump. The media of 1972, composed of the Big Three Television networks and a handful of daily papers, channeled blow after blow against Nixon essentially unchallenged. Today’s alternate media acts to cushion and even curtail any similar campaign.

But there’s another element as well, one that says quite a lot about the character of Comey, Strzok, McCabe et al, one that suggests that they couldn’t have succeeded even with everything going their way.

…But the anti-Trump crowd didn’t see it that way. No – they clearly saw that Felt was left standing when the music stopped. No honors, no bestsellers, no Oscar-winning flicks. Felt remained the odd man out while others collected the rewards.

That wasn’t going to happen this time. The collusion crowd wanted their share of glory. They wanted the NYT Bestseller List. They wanted the cash. They wanted to hobnob with Hillary and Barack. They wanted to appear on Oprah. They wanted prominent mention in the history textbooks. They wanted to be patted on the head.

So there was no secrecy, at least in the long run.

I hope that at some point there will be investigations of the total misuse of government agencies to spy on Americans, to unmask Americans in telephone conversations, and to use the government against political opponents. It is a shame that Robert Mueller has ignored all of that in his investigation while chasing rabbit trails questioning the legality of legal private contracts and legal business deals. If the use of the government as a political tool in the last administration is not dealt with, we can expect to become a place where only one political party has a voice and our freedoms very quietly disappear.

Weighing The Facts

Yesterday I posted an article about the sentencing of General Michael Flynn. In the article I noted that there were some curious circumstances surrounding the interview in which General Flynn is accused of lying. Evidently I am not the only person concerned about those circumstances.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the judge who will be sentencing General Flynn.

The article reports:

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is due to sentence General Michael Flynn next Tuesday, has thrown a wild card on the table, raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.

Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap.

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial titled, “The Flynn Entrapment.”

The editorial states:

Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s many targets, the most tragic may be former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The former three-star general pleaded guilty last year to a single count of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Now we learn from Mr. Flynn’s court filing to the sentencing judge that senior bureau officials acted in a way to set him up for the fall.

Not a rich man after decades in uniform, Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to avoid bankruptcy and spare his son from becoming a legal target. Mr. Flynn’s filing doesn’t take issue with the description of his offense. But the “additional facts” the Flynn defense team flags for the court raise doubts about FBI conduct.

The Flynn filing describes government documents concerning the Jan. 24, 2017 meeting with two FBI agents when Mr. Flynn supposedly lied. It turns out the meeting was set up by then Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally called Mr. Flynn that day on other business—to discuss an FBI training session. By Mr. McCabe’s account, on that call he told Mr. Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with him to talk about his Russia communications.

There is another clue in The American Thinker article as to why the Judge is asking questions:

Chuck Ross reports for the Daily Caller News Foundation on Judge Sullivan’s startling order:

District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Wednesday ordered Flynn’s lawyers to hand over two documents: a memo that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote after speaking with Flynn ahead his Jan. 24, 2017 interview with two FBI agents and the FBI summary of notes taken during that same interview.

That summary, known as an FD-302, was compiled on Aug. 22, 2017 by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn. It is unclear why the summary was put together seven months after the Flynn interview.

When you look at the actions of the FBI and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team, you find that in some cases civil rights were trampled (attorney-client privilege, having a lawyer present, being put in solitary confinement for crimes that did not warrant it, etc.). Hopefully the actions of Judge Sullivan will cause both the FBI Special Prosecutor Mueller to be more aware of the civil rights of all Americans.

One Can Only Hope The Truth Will Come Out

Yesterday Sara Carter reported on a public hearing that is going to take place today.

The article reports:

A trove of documents on the Clinton Foundation alleging possible pay for play and tax evasion have been turned over to the FBI and IRS by several investigative whistleblowers, who will be testifying in an open hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, according to the committee and lawmakers.

Roughly 6,000 documents that are expected to reveal the nearly two-year investigation by the whistleblowers with a private firm called MDA Analytics LLC, which allegedly turned over the documents more than a year and a half ago to the IRS, according to John Solomon, who first published the report last week in The Hill. 

There is a connection between the whistleblowers and Robert Mueller:

However, a former whistleblower, who has spoken with agents from the Little Rock FBI field office last year and worked for years as an undercover informant collecting information on Russia’s nuclear energy industry for the bureau, noted his enormous frustration with the DOJ and FBI. He describes as a two-tiered justice system that failed to actively investigate the information he provided years ago on the Clinton Foundation and Russia’s dangerous meddling with the U.S. nuclear industry and energy industry during the Obama administration.

William D. Campbell’s story was first published by this reporter in 2017. He turned over more than 5,000 documents and detailed daily briefs to the bureau when he served as a confidential informant reporting on Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom. Campbell worked as an energy consultant, gaining the trust of Russians and providing significant insight into Russia’s strategic plans to gain global dominance in the uranium industry. He reported on Russian’s intentions to build a closer relationship with Obama administration officials, to include then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as reported. The documents he turned over to the DOJ, which were reviewed by this news site, showed Campbell had also provided highly sensitive information both related to the uranium case, as well as other intelligence matters, since 2006.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was the director of the FBI at the time Campbell was a confidential informant and according to Campbell, the information was briefed to Mueller by his FBI handlers.

It seems as if the corruption and blindness in the FBI is not a new thing.

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.

A Summation Of What Robert Mueller Is Actually Doing

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

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

The article notes:

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

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

The article further explains the methods of investigation being used:

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

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

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

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

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

Glossing Over The Actual Crime

This week we watched the Mueller investigation recommend that Michael Flynn not be incarcerated because of his extensive cooperation with the investigation. This creates more questions than it answers. Why was there any kind of continuing investigation of Michael Flynn? Notes released from the investigation show that no one who interviewed him thought he was lying. So why wasn’t the investigation dropped? But wait–there’s more!

Kimberley Strassel posted an article at The Wall Street Journal yesterday with the following title, “Mueller’s Gift to Obama.” The article reminds us that the charges against Michael Flynn were based on his telephone calls and interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. As incoming National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn would have been expected to have those conversations. It is also expected that those conversations would be wiretapped because they involved a Russian Ambassador. What is not protocol is the unmasking of General Flynn’s identity.

The article reports:

But what about the potential crimes that put Mr. Flynn in Mr. Mueller’s crosshairs to begin with? On Jan. 2, 2017, the Obama White House learned about Mr. Flynn’s conversations with Mr. Kislyak. The U.S. monitors phone calls of foreign officials, but under law they are supposed to “minimize” the names of any Americans caught up in such eavesdropping. In the Flynn case, someone in the prior administration either failed to minimize or purposely “unmasked” Mr. Flynn. The latter could itself be a felony.

Ten days later someone in that administration leaked to the Washington Post that Mr. Flynn had called Mr. Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016. On Feb. 9, 2017, someone leaked to the Post and the New York Times highly detailed and classified information about the Flynn-Kislyak conversation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has called this leak the most destructive to national security that he seen in his time in Washington. Disclosing classified information is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. The Post has bragged that its story was sourced by nine separate officials.

The Mueller team has justified its legal wanderings into money laundering (Paul Manafort) and campaign contributions (Michael Cohen) on grounds that it has an obligation to follow up on any evidence of crimes, no matter how disconnected from its Russia mandate. Mr. Flynn’s being caught up in the probe is related to a glaring potential crime of disclosing classified material, yet Mr. Mueller appears to have undertaken no investigation of that. Is this selective justice, or something worse? Don’t forget Mr. Mueller stacked his team with Democrats, some of whom worked at the highest levels of the Obama administration, including at the time of the possible Flynn unmasking and the first leak.

It is becoming very obvious that Robert Mueller’s investigation is wearing blinders. Their prosecution of Michael Flynn while ignoring the crime of leaking classified material and unmasking Americans on foreign phone calls  (not to mention ignoring the Clinton campaign’s relationship with Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and the dossier) is a glaring example of the politicization of our Justice Department. The Congressional hysteria over the idea that Mueller could be fired or limited in any way is a glaring example of the ignorance on the part of some Congressmen of our Constitution. For the past two years we have had a taste of what it would be like to live in a country where justice is political. If we do not successfully deal with this, we will have taken a pretty big step toward becoming a banana republic.