The Real Question

Legend has it that Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi would begin every spring practice with the words, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Those words were said to newcomers who had never played pro football and seasoned veterans, but they were uttered every year. He always took the time to remind his players of the basics of the game.

There is an article posted at The National Review today written by Andrew McCarthy that also seeks to remind us of some basic principles of law. The title of the article is “Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?” That is the question.

The article reports:

For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?

It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

To my mind, he has owed us an answer from the beginning, meaning when he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller on May 17, 2017. The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

This last provision is designed to prevent a special counsel’s investigation from becoming a fishing expedition — or what President Trump calls a “witch hunt,” what DAG Rosenstein more diplomatically disclaims as an “unguided missile,” and what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, invoking Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret-police chief, pans as the warped dictum, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In our country, the crime triggers the assignment of a prosecutor, not the other way around.

I would strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. Andrew McCarthy presents a very strong legal argument as to why the Mueller investigation is not in compliance with the statute for a special prosecutor. Unfortunately the Mueller investigation has become a vehicle to ruin anyone financially that might have had even a tangential relationship with either the Trump campaign or the Trump presidency. Notice that nothing anyone has been charged with has any relationship with a conspiracy with Russia or election tampering. The only things that have been uncovered show the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent in order to sway an election, and those things have been ignored by Mueller.

The article concludes:

So what are the suspected crimes committed by Donald Trump that Mueller has been authorized to investigate, and what was the factual basis for Rosenstein’s authorization of this investigation?

We still haven’t been told.

The anti-Trump Left decries all criticism as an effort to “delegitimize” and “obstruct” the Mueller investigation. But no one is questioning the investigation of Russia’s interference in the election. We are questioning why a special counsel was appointed to investigate the president of the United States. It is the Justice Department’s obligation to establish the legitimacy of the appointment by explaining the factual basis for believing a crime was committed. If there is no such basis, then it is Mueller’s investigation that is delegitimizing the presidency and obstructing its ability to carry out its constitutional mission — a mission that is far more significant than any prosecutor’s case.

We’re not asking for much. After 16 months, we are just asking why there is a criminal investigation of the president. If Rod Rosenstein would just explain what the regs call for him to explain — namely, the basis to believe that Donald Trump conspired with the Kremlin to violate a specific federal criminal law, or is somehow criminally complicit in the Kremlin’s election sabotage — then we can all get behind Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But what is the explanation? And why isn’t the Republican-controlled Congress demanding it?

The Mueller investigation is an example of the deep state trying to protect itself. That is what Bob Woodward’s book is about and that is what The New York Times editorial is about. Unfortunately there are both Republicans and Democrats in the deep state. Until we elect people who love America more than they love money and prestige, the deep state will remain.

Sunshine Is The Best Disinfectant

Today The American Greatness website posted an article by Victor Davis Hanson about the Mueller investigation. The article is a refreshing bit of common sense in a world of spin.

Mr. Hanson observes:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was star-crossed from the start. His friend and successor as FBI director, James Comey, by his own admission prompted the investigation—with the deliberate leaking of classified memos about his conversations with President Donald Trump to the press.

Mueller then unnecessarily stocked his team with what the press called his “dream team” of mostly Democratic partisans. One had defended a Hillary Clinton employee. Another had defended the Clinton Foundation.

Mr. Hanson notes that the investigation has been less than transparent, noting that “Mueller at first did not announce to the press why he had dismissed Trump-hating FBI operatives Lisa Page and Peter Strzok from his investigative team. Instead, he staggered their departures to leave the impression they were routine reassignments.”

Mr. Hanson then points out that there is at least an appearance of collusion by the Clinton campaign that Mueller has chosen to ignore:

It is likely that during the 2016 campaign, officials at the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and National Security Agency broke laws to ensure that the outsider Trump lost to Hillary Clinton. FBI and Justice Department officials misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to obtain warrants to surveil Trump associates. National security officials unmasked the names of those being monitored and likely leaked them to the press with the intent to spread unverified rumors detrimental to the Trump campaign.

A spy on the federal payroll was implanted into the Trump campaign. Hillary Clinton’s campaign team paid for research done by a former British intelligence officer working with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump. Clinton hid her investment in Christopher Steele’s dossier by using intermediaries such as the Perkins Coie law firm and Fusion GPS to wipe away her fingerprints.

As a result of wrongful conduct, more than a dozen officials at the FBI and the Justice Department have resigned or retired, or were fired or reassigned. Yet so far none of these miscreants has been indicted or has faced the same legal scrutiny that Mueller applies to Trump associates.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton destroyed evidence when she was being investigated for her private email server, but somehow no one in the Justice Department seems concerned about that. Can you imagine what would happen if you or I destroyed subpoenaed evidence?

Mr. Hanson concludes:

The only way to clear up this messy saga is for Trump to immediately declassify all documents—without redactions—relating to the Mueller investigation, the FISA court warrants, the Clinton email investigation, and CIA and FBI involvement with the dossier, and the use of informants.

Second, there needs to be another special counsel to investigate wrongdoing on the part of senior officials in these now nearly discredited agencies. The mandate should be to discover whether there was serial conflict of interest, chronic lying to federal officials, obstruction of justice, improper unmasking and leaking, misleading of federal courts, and violation of campaign finance laws.

It is past time to stop the stonewalling, the redacting, the suppression, the leaking to the press and the media hysteria. The government must turn over all relevant documents to two special counsels and free each to discover who did what in 2016.

Americans need the whole truth to ensure equality under the law and to thereby set us free from this nearly two-year nightmare.

Let the truth come out.

Exactly What Is A Soft Coup

The following video was posted at YouTube on August 21:

The video is 37 minutes long, so in case you don’t want to watch it, here are some of the highlights (courtesy of Zerohedge):

It all started from the fake dossier which led eventually to the appointment of Robert Mueller (Special Prosecutor) and the entire foundation is based on a falsity. . . . I understand the next revocation of security clearance is probably going to be Bruce Ohr because he crafted the fake dossier with Christopher Steele, and he may even have written the thing…

After the FBI supposedly fired Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr had at least 70 communications (with Steele) back and forth talking about the ‘firewall’ is still there to protect us. Recent accounts show that Bruce Ohr either wrote the dossier with Christopher Steele or he wrote it himself in communication with Christopher Steele.” –Kevin Shipp

“Yes. Oh, they coordinated it for sure. There are 70 emails back and forth between Ohr and Steele crafting the dossier. So, the FBI and Department of Justice were intimately involved with the creation and publication of that dossier.”

“They even went further than that. The FBI and CIA counter-intelligence even placed an agent inside the Trump campaign.” -Kevin Shipp

…Shipp concluded that a Civil War in the making right now. “I think we are at the beginning of a civil war. You’ve got the ‘Dark Left’ and you’ve got the Conservative people, the Constitutionalists. In progressivism, one of its tenets is to change the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, and uproot traditional America. Whatever happens in November is going to intensify that. . . . Their attack is against Christians and the Constitution.”

Is it possible to drain the swamp?

Looking For Your Keys Under The Light

There is an old joke about a man who was walking around under a street light and another man asked what he was doing. He explained that he was looking for his car keys which he had dropped across the street next to his car. The other man then asked why he wasn’t looking for the keys where he had dropped them. The first man then answered, “Because the light is better here.” That pretty much describes the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. There is a lot of low-hanging fruit for investigators on one side that the investigation chooses to ignore. There is no evidence on the other side, so the investigators are chasing rabbit trails.

Yesterday Kimberley Strassel posted an article at The Wall Street Journal about the Mueller investigation.

The article notes some basic inequities:

And they are now witnessing unequal treatment in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Yes, the former FBI director deserves credit for smoking out the Russian trolls who interfered in 2016. And one can argue he is obliged to pursue any evidence of criminal acts, even those unrelated to Russia. But what cannot be justified is the one-sided nature of his probe.

Consider Mr. Cohen, the former Trump lawyer who this week pleaded guilty to eight felony charges. Six related to his personal business dealings; the other two involved campaign-finance violations arising from payments to women claiming affairs with Donald Trump. The criminal prosecution of campaign-finance offenses is exceptionally rare (most charges are civil), but let’s take Mr. Khuzami’s word for it when he says Mr. Cohen’s crimes are “particularly significant” because he’s a lawyer who should know better, and also because the payments were for the purpose of “influencing an election” and undermining its “integrity.”

If there is only “one set of rules,” where is Mr. Mueller’s referral of a case against Hillary for America? Federal law requires campaigns to disclose the recipient and purpose of any payments. The Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to compile a dossier against Mr. Trump, a document that became the basis of the Russia narrative Mr. Mueller now investigates. But the campaign funneled the money to law firm Perkins Coie, which in turn paid Fusion. The campaign falsely described the money as payment for “legal services.” The Democratic National Committee did the same. A Perkins Coie spokesperson has claimed that neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC was aware that Fusion GPS had been hired to conduct the research, and maybe so. But a lot of lawyers here seemed to have been ignoring a clear statute, presumably with the intent of influencing an election.

The article concludes:

Of the seven U.S. citizens Mr. Mueller has charged, five have been accused of (among other things) making false statements to federal officials. But there have been no charges against the partisans who made repeated abjectly false claims to the FBI and Justice Department about actions of their political opponents. There have been no charges against those who leaked classified information, including the unprecedented release of an unmasked conversation between former national security adviser Mike Flynn and a Russian ambassador. Nothing.

Some of these charges might not stand up in court, but that’s beside the point. Plenty of lawyers would poke holes in the campaign-finance charges against Cohen, or the “lying” charges against Mr. Flynn. Special counsels wield immense power; the mere threat of a charge provokes plea deals. It’s the focus that matters.

Prosecutors can claim all they want that they are applying the law equally, but if they only apply it to half the suspects, justice is not served. Mr. Mueller seems blind to the national need for—the basic expectation of—a thorough look into all parties. That omission is fundamentally undermining any legitimacy in his findings. Lady Justice does not wear a blindfold over only one eye.

I guess it’s okay for the FBI to lie to the FISA Court but not okay for regular people to lie to the FBI. Seems like a double standard to me.

Now This Begins To Make Sense

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

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

The article reminds us:

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

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

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

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

That’s right – Lanny Davis.

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

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

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

The article concludes:

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

One Rule For Me And One Rule For Thee

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

The op-ed notes:

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

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

This is the problem with this case:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth Is Slowly Coming Out

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about Russian involvement in the 2016 election. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article–it is complicated. I will try to provide a few highlights here. The name to watch is Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire. Mr. Deripaska had been banned from entering the U.S. by the State Department. Christopher Steele was asking Bruce Ohr to allow Mr. Deripaska to enter the U.S. The discussion was taking place in emails from February to May (ish) of 2016 (during the time that President Trump won the Republican nomination for President).

The article reports:

In essence, Christopher Steele was interested in getting Oleg Deripaska a new VISA to enter the U.S.  Steele was very persistent on this endeavor and was soliciting Bruce Ohr for any assistance.  This also sets up a quid-pro-quo probability where the DOJ/FBI agrees to remove travel restrictions on Deripaska in exchange for cooperation on ‘other matters’.

Now we skip ahead a little bit to where Deripaska gained an entry visa, and one of Oleg Deripaska’s lawyers and lobbyists Adam Waldman was representing his interests in the U.S. to politicians and officials.  In May of 2018, John Solomon was contacted by Adam Waldman with a story about how the FBI contacted Deripaska for help in their Trump Russia investigation in September of 2016.

Keep in mind, this is Waldman contacting Solomon with a story.

The article continues, naming some of the players:

Again, as you read the recap, remember this is Waldman contacting Solomon.  Article Link Here – and my summary below:

♦In 2009 the FBI, then headed by Robert Mueller, requested the assistance of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in an operation to retrieve former FBI officer and CIA resource Robert Levinson who was captured in Iran two years earlier.  The agent assigned to engage Deripaska was Andrew McCabe; the primary FBI need was financing and operational support.  Deripaska spent around $25 million and would have succeeded except the U.S. State Department, then headed by Hillary Clinton, backed out.

♦In September of 2016 Andrew McCabe is now Deputy Director of the FBI, when two FBI agents approached Deripaska in New York – again asking for his help.  This time the FBI request was for Deripaska to outline Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort as a tool of the Kremlin.  Deripaska once hired Manafort as a political adviser and invested money with him in a business venture that went bad. Deripaska sued Manafort, alleging he stole money. However, according to the article, despite Deripaska’s disposition toward Manafort he viewed the request as absurd.  He laughed the FBI away, telling them: “You are trying to create something out of nothing.”

The article includes some very telling emails between Adam Waldman and Senator Mark Warner (Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman). Waldman was the liaison Senator Mark Warner (Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman) was using to try and set up a secret meeting with Christopher Steele.

The article continues:

Now, think about this….  Yes, with Oleg Deripaska in the picture there was indeed Russian meddling in the 2016 election; only, it wasn’t the type of meddling currently being sold.  The FBI/DOJ were using Russian Deripaska to frame their Russian conspiracy narrative. It is almost a certainty that Deripaska was one of Chris Steeles sources for the dossier.

Now, put yourself in Deripaska’s shoes and think about what happens AFTER candidate Donald Trump surprisingly wins the election.

All of a sudden Deripaska the asset becomes a risk to the corrupt Scheme Team (DOJ/FBI et al); especially as the DOJ/FBI then execute the “insurance policy” effort against Donald Trump…. and eventually enlist Robert Mueller.

It is entirely possible for a Russian to be blackmailing someone, but it ain’t Trump vulnerable to blackmail; it’s the conspiracy crew within the DOJ and FBI.  Deripaska now has blackmail material on Comey, McCabe and crew.

After the 2017 (first year) failure of the “insurance policy” it now seems more likely President Trump will outlive the soft coup.  In May 2018, Oleg tells Waldman to call John Solomon and tell him the story from a perspective favorable to Deripaska.

The article explains how this conspiracy works:

The Russians, notorious for sewing discord, are being used as a shield from sunlight upon actions taken by U.S. own intelligence officers: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, John Brennan, James Clapper etc.

There’s a reason why I keep emphasizing the source of the John Solomon story was Adam Waldman. Think about it from the perspective of the conspiracy group reading how Oleg instructed Waldman to present his story.

With Deripaska telling Solomon how the FBI contacted him; the background of their prior collaborative relationship; and the likelihood of Deripaska giving information to Chris Steele for the dossier; the scheme team really, really, needed to double down on the Russian conspiracy narrative in case Oleg ever did testify to congress.

By doubling down on the Russian Collusion narrative the conspirators created a ‘catch-22’ defense. They could/can claim Deripaska was/is giving disinformation in his version of events to support the interests of Russia and sewing chaos in America etc. And any Republican who would give Deripaska a platform to tell what happened in 2016 would be doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin. See how that works?

The soft coup team protects themselves by impugning the motive of Deripaska, and diminishing his credibility under the auspices of Russian disinformation.

Wow. Just wow. Get out the popcorn. Is anyone taking bets as to whether Deripaska will ever appear before the House or Senate committees involved in this mess?

Something To Consider

Yesterday John Solomon posted an editorial at The Hill that should give all of us pause. The editorial involves one particular email sent between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

The editorial states:

It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trump from becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question.

For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.

That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.

Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.

This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.

The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”

On December 1, 2017, Newsweek reported:

Since his appointment almost seven months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his crack team have racked up a $5 million tab as they probe Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election and alleged collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign to claim the White House, according to ABC News.

The editorial continues:

In other words, they had a big nothing burger. And, based on that empty-calorie dish, Rosenstein authorized the buffet menu of a special prosecutor that has cost America millions of dollars and months of political strife.

The work product Strzok created to justify the collusion probe now has been shown to be inferior: A Clinton-hired contractor produced multiple documents accusing Trump of wrongdoing during the election; each was routed to the FBI through a different source or was used to seed news articles with similar allegations that further built an uncorroborated public narrative of Trump-Russia collusion. Most troubling, the FBI relied on at least one of those news stories to justify the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

That sort of multifaceted allegation machine, which can be traced back to a single source, is known in spy craft as “circular intelligence reporting,” and it’s the sort of bad product that professional spooks are trained to spot and reject.

Please follow the link to read the entire editorial at The Hill. A lot of people need to lose their jobs over this. It is a disgrace.

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.

Unraveling The Abuse Of Intelligence Gathering

Opposition research is part of any good political campaign. To some extent, dirty tricks also appear in political campaigns. Politics is a blood sport, and many of our politicians are extremely Machiavellian. However, when government agencies are used against a political candidate, we have ventured into something dangerous and illegal that must be stopped. That is the place we find ourselves with the FISA Warrants issued to spy on the Trump campaign.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the abuses of FISA during the 2016 presidential campaign. It is a very complex article, but I will attempt to post some of the highlights. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article and watch the video.

The article reports:

Way back when CTH first began the deep dive into the systems and processes that were deployed in the 2015/2016 election cycle we eventually came to the conclusion that everything of substance, within the larger intelligence abuses, revolved around DOJ and FBI abuses of the FISA process.

As an outcome of multiple research deep-dives we then focused on a specific foundational block of that usurpation, the fraudulent application presented to the FISA Court by officials within the FBI and DOJ-NSD (National Security Division).  The October 21st, 2016, application to the FISA Court for surveillance authority upon U.S. person Carter Page; and by extension the Donald Trump campaign.

Throughout all further inquiries this central component remains at the center of the issue.  Unlawful surveillance is the originating principal behind Operation Crossfire Hurricane; it is also the originating issue within the Peter Strzok “insurance policy”; additionally, it is the originating aspect to the Clinton/Steele dossier; etc. etc. the list is long.  Chase any of the corrupt threads back to their source of origin and you eventually come back to the surveillance authority within the FISA processes.

The article explains what is being done to prevent future FISA abuses:

FISA is a process, and when used appropriately, within all guidelines, is essentially a surveillance tool. However, it is a tool that is entirely subject to the honor of the user. If the user is corrupt, or holds corrupt intent, the tool easily becomes a weapon. That’s what happened in 2015, 2016 and likely long before that. The weaponization is so easy to initiate that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers admitted the intelligence community could not adequately prevent it. So Rogers went about eliminating massive aspects to it, completely.

…The movement of the U.S. Cyber Command, literally into another combatant command, essentially merging NSA into a functional branch of the U.S. military, is clear evidence that people like Admiral Mike Rogers took action, in hindsight, knowing the Obama administration weaponized data collection, a function of government, for political benefit. Now, in hindsight, the action they took in May of this year all begins to make sense.

The article includes a statement by Rod Rosenstein about the FISA warrant he signed:

…We sit down with a team of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All of whom review that and provide a briefing for us for what’s in it. And I’ve reviewed that one in some detail, and I can tell you the information about that doesn’t match with my understanding of the one that I signed, but I think it’s appropriate to let the Inspector General complete that investigation. These are serious allegations. I don’t do the investigation — I’m not the affiant. I’m reviewing the finished product, sir.

Loosely translated Rosenstein is saying that he doesn’t have the courage to take on the deep state so he is letting the Inspector General deal with it.

The article concludes:

Many of those DOJ-NSD officials who participated in the Rosenstein briefing, or assembled the underlying briefing material, left after the time-period in question (June 2017).  Additionally, almost all of the FBI officials left, retired, resigned after this time-period.  There was also massive exit of all of corrupt support officials from inside the DOJ-NSD and FBI when the Page/Strzok text messages surfaced (December 2017) and the evidence of the political operation became public.

However, as all of these *inside* officials left the DOJ and FBI, another entire set of *outside* DOJ and FBI officials replaced them; and the originating counterintelligence operation was rebranded and handed over to Robert Mueller.

The inside government usurpation operation became an outside government usurpation operation, essentially using contract agents hired by the inside group prior to exit.  The remaining fragments of the ‘insurance policy‘ are in the hands of Robert Mueller’s team.

We need to gather intelligence to protect ourselves from people in other countries who mean us harm. However, we also need to protect ourselves from people within our government who abuse our intelligence gathering capabilities.

 

 

This Is Odd

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that Robert Mueller has asked for yet another delay in the sentencing of former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn.

The article reports:

The Friday filing indicates the Special Counsel requests the court to begin preparation of a pre-sentencing report. Lawyers for both sides proposed a status update of Aug. 24th.

However, later, in a minute-order, Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the parties to explain by noon Monday July 2nd, the reason why the Court should depart from the normal practice of getting all the sentencing issues/dates done at the same time.

There was a joint status report filed on June 29. That status report said that Mueller did not believe that the matter was ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing.

Follow the link above to read the Joint Status Report filed June 29.

A comments on the article from Doppler explains one possible scenario:

The plea deal between Flynn and Mueller obligates Flynn to assist the ongoing investigation, which would include testifying against other defendants, which could take years. There’s nothing unusual about postponing sentencing repeatedly in such cases. Expect it to continue till Mueller is almost through.

What WAS unusual in this case is that the plea was promptly followed by release of the Strzok texts, Contreras’s recusal, then new Judge Sullivan’s sua sponte order to Mueller to turn over all exculpatory evidence, which should’ve been done before. Depending on what is in that exculpatory evidence, which could include ANY AND ALL of misdeeds by Srzok, Yates, Comey, McCabe, Lynch relating to the Russia collusion story, FISA application irregularities, spygate, 302 tampering, there may be reason to allow Flynn to withdraw his plea, and for disciplinary actions against the prosecutorial team.

What was also unusual about this latest request was the untimely request for a presentencing report, as if Mueller is about done with Flynn, while also citing the investigation as requiring further delay. That’s an inconsistency that the Judge wants explained before ordering the report by a different office. I can imagine he wants to know, and wants the Probation Office to know, what value Flynn’s bargained for cooperation had, before it recommends a sentence.

It’s just weird, and suggests disarray in the SC’s office, as does the typo.

Flynn was reported to have taken the plea to hold onto his savings, since to fight would quickly leave him broke. And to protect his son. He may be telling his lawyer: don’t spend any time on this at all, I can’t afford it.

Now if Huber was running a sting, and cut a separate, secret deal with Flynn to take the plea based on incomplete or falsified Brady production, with the promise that Flynn could later withdraw it, and be exonerated, then Huber may have somebody’s ass in his briefcase, somebody who is part of the Special Counsel’s team, knew of the falsifying, yet participated in the plea deal. If so, and I hope that is the case, it’s still just a small detail in the Big Ugly, and won’t come out until the bigger pieces are ready for prime time.

It is very sad to see people who have honorably served their country targeted by an out-of-control Special Counsel.

There Are Definitely A Lot Of Alligators In The Swamp

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article on her website about the long-awaited (and we are still waiting) Inspector General’s report of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice and the FBI are deliberately attempting to slow roll and redact significant portions of DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz’s report on the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, according to numerous congressional officials and investigators.

The 400-page report, which was completed several weeks ago and addresses Clinton’s use of her private server for government business, is currently being reviewed by the DOJ and FBI. According to sources, individuals mentioned in the reports are also allowed to review the document. It is expected to be “long and thorough” and will criticize the handling of the investigation by former FBI Director James Comey, who has spent the better part of the past several months promoting his book A Higher Loyalty.

Hillary Clinton is said to have stated in an email to Donna Brazile, “If that f***ing bastard wins, we’re all going to hang from nooses!!!!” I think we are beginning to see what she was talking about. The swamp is fighting the release of information related to what went on during the 2016 election campaign. I honestly don’t know if there are enough honest people left in our government to be able to expose the use of the Justice Department and FBI for political purposes that obviously occurred.

The article concludes:

In a turn of events, Democrats later changed their position on Comey after President Trump fired him at the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who stated that he failed in leading the investigation into Clinton.

“The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution,” Rosenstein wrote in his May 9, 2017 letter.

The letter continued:

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. However, the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Now, however, it is Rod Rosenstein who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as obstruction for firing Comey.

Get out the popcorn, there is going to be a show.

The Dangers Of The Mueller Investigation

Yesterday Mark Penn posted an article at The Hill stating that it is time to end Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The article reminds us:

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

The article states:

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

The tactics in this investigation are designed to make people think twice before they participate in a Republican campaign. Michael Flynn and Michael Caputo have both been essentially bankrupted because of their connection with the Trump administration and the Trump campaign. (articles here and here)

The article concludes:

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

In 2016 (and beyond) the leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice were much more of a danger to our Republic than the Russians were.

The Investigation Of Russian Collusion Just Keeps Coming Off The Rails

Kimberley Strassel posted an article at The Wall Street Journal yesterday that casts further doubt on the origin of the investigation into President Trump and Russian collusion. As we learn more and more about spying on the Trump campaign and other nefarious activities of our FBI and Justice Department during the campaign, it becomes obvious that the investigation of President Trump was an investigation in search of a crime.

The article states:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, where he provided a potentially explosive hint at what’s driving his demand to see documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump-Russia probe. “If the campaign was somehow set up,” he told the hosts, “I think that would be a problem.”

That is definitely an understatement.

The article explains some of things we have recently learned:

Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands—one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials—all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI—and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected—and one crucial question is how early that happened.

What may well have kicked off both, however, is a key if overlooked moment detailed in the House Intelligence Committee’s recent Russia report. In “late spring” of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House “National Security Council Principals” that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here’s what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections. The job of any good swamp operator is to gin up a fatal October surprise for the opposition candidate. And what could be more devastating than to paint a picture of Trump-Russia collusion that would provoke a full-fledged FBI investigation?

It is definitely ironic that as the Mueller investigation continues, more and more facts discrediting the Mueller investigation seem to surface. If I were Mr. Mueller, I would be in a hurry to wrap this up before the American people find out any more about what was behind the investigation.

The article ends with a statement about leaking and about government transparency:

Whatever the answer—whether it is straightforward, or whether it involves political chicanery—Congress and the public have a right to know. And a Justice Department willing to leak details of its “top secret” source to friendly media can have no excuse for not sharing with the duly elected members of Congress.

So What’s The Problem?

When justice becomes political, it is a problem. The Mueller investigation is a great example of that fact (but not if you ask a Democrat). On the one-year anniversary of the Mueller probe, The Gateway Pundit listed the criminal and unconstitutional acts within the Mueller investigation.

Please follow the link to read the entire article, but here is the summary of the list:

1. Rosenstein’s special counsel order identifies collusion as the crime but no such crime exists in US Law.

2. Mueller’s investigation exceeds the scope of special counsel law which requires the scope of a special counsel to be specific. Rosenstein created the special counsel with a scope that is so broad it is not supported by this law.

3. Mueller accepted the special counsel position with known conflicts of interest and was assigned in spite of a horribly corrupt track record.

4. Rosenstein and Mueller’s entire team have known conflicts of interest.

5. The Investigation exceeds the scope of Jeff Sessions’ recusal of only 2016 campaign related matters.  Mueller’s scope is much broader.

6. Rosenstein’s original authorization to Mueller extended to “Russia government collusion” in 2016 campaign only. By pressing charges against Manafort for 2006 actions, Mueller’s scope is much broader.

7. Rosenstein does not have authorization over tax crimes. Only the Assistant Attorney General in charge of Tax Division can authorize indictments of tax crimes.

8. Rosenstein’s letter tells Mueller only to look to Rosenstein for clarification of Mueller’s authorization. Rosenstein is not the Attorney General of the United States, and could not monopolize supervision of Mueller for matters that did not relate to Sessions’ recusal.

9. By Rosenstein issuing his expanded authorization to Mueller in secret, Rosenstein created a secret inquisitor, unelected and un-appointed by elected officials, with all the powers of the federal criminal law enforcement, but none of the democratic checks and balances.

10. The special counsel law requires that the Attorney General create the special counsel when a criminal investigation is warranted. There was no reason for Rosenstein to create the special counsel that could not have been addressed with other means, if necessary.

11. The entire story of Trump – Russia collusion was a farce. Deep State had a spy in the Trump campaign who set up young and eager twenty-something George Papadopoulos in England.

12. Mueller’s Special Counsel took emails and attorney – client privileged information from the Trump transition team and from President Trump’s personal attorney. These egregious acts that destroyed the attorney – client privilege between the President of the US and his personal attorneys are unconstitutional and perhaps the most brazen illegal actions taken in US history.

How much money has this travesty cost the American taxpayer?

 

 

There Seems To Be A Definite Lack Of Transparency Here

Most of the information we have about the Mueller investigation comes from strategic leaks from those working for Robert Mueller. Other than that, we really don’t know much. Well, it seems that the investigation has not revealed some important items to those overseeing the investigation.

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that raises questions about certain aspects of the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

But there’s one episode even Mueller’s former law enforcement comrades — and independent ethicists — acknowledge raises legitimate legal issues and a possible conflict of interest in his overseeing the Russia election probe.

In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.

Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.

The lesson here is simply–whichever side of the political aisle or the investigation you sit on, it pays to be transparent. Mueller has been anything but transparent.

The article concludes with several legal opinions on the matter:

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told me he believes Mueller has a conflict of interest because his FBI previously accepted financial help from a Russian that is, at the very least, a witness in the current probe.

“The real question becomes whether it was proper to leave [Deripaska] out of the Manafort indictment, and whether that omission was to avoid the kind of transparency that is really required by the law,” Dershowitz said.

Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department lawyer and longtime ethics watchdog, told me a “far more significant issue” is whether the earlier FBI operation was even legal: “It’s possible the bureau’s arrangement with Mr. Deripaska violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits the government from accepting voluntary services.”   

George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley agreed: “If the operation with Deripaska contravened federal law, this figure could be viewed as a potential embarrassment for Mueller. The question is whether he could implicate Mueller in an impropriety.”

Now that sources have unmasked the Deripaska story, time will tell whether the courts, Justice, Congress or a defendant formally questions if Mueller is conflicted.

In the meantime, the episode highlights an oft-forgotten truism: The cat-and-mouse maneuvers between Moscow and Washington are often portrayed in black-and-white terms. But the truth is, the relationship is enveloped in many shades of gray.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. There is a lot of information there that needs to be in the public domain.

An Interesting Take on The Charges Against Michael Flynn

I think most of us have wondered how the Mueller investigation convinced Michael Flynn to make a plea deal when the recently released notes from the investigation show that no one thought he was lying. Conventional wisdom says that the FBI threatened him with action against a family member and that he had been bankrupted by the entire escapade up to that point. Career military officers do not make enough money to pay for the kind of legal help that being investigated by Mueller requires. Particularly when the FBI and members of the former administration have been illegally listening to your telephone calls.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday that might provide some clues as to exactly what happened.

The article states:

Now former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik is weighing in.

Kerik believes Mueller was pressing Michael Flynn to take a plea deal so the Special Counsel would not be caught in their lies and corruption.

But now those lies are coming out into the open!

The article includes the following tweet:

Mueller’s attempts at avoiding discovery have not been going well lately. I am hoping that continues. The discovery process may be the only way we can get to the bottom of the corruption within the Mueller investigation.

A Democrat Senator Who Is Obviously Aware Of The Polls

The Daily Caller posted an article today about some recent statements by Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Senator Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The article reports:

The top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence acknowledged in a recent interview that contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russians could be “a set of coincidences” rather than collusion.

“I’m reserving my final judgement until we’ve seen all the witnesses we need to see, and we’ve gotten all the facts. So I’m going to hold off,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said in an interview with The New Yorker’s David Remnick when asked whether he believes that Trump associates conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 presidential election.

…“I’m anxious for this to come to a conclusion,” Warner said of the investigation, adding that he is “hopeful” that the committee will be able to release sections of its final report every 30 to 45 days.

The committee plans to release four separate reports about various aspects of its investigation. The first, which dealt with election security, was released earlier this week.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has already released a report on its own Russia investigation. The report said that investigators found no evidence of collusion.

On Thursday, May 10, CNN posted the following:

Note that Democrat approval of the Mueller investigation has also dropped (as well as Republican approval). Independent approval has increased, but is still below 50 percent. I hate to be cynical here, but I believe that Senator Warner is simply responding to what his internal polls are telling him–Americans are beginning to realize that Mueller’s investigation was a sham from the beginning. I suspect you will hear more Democrats become reluctant to accuse President Trump of anything as his popularity ratings soar. It is going to be an interesting summer–for many reasons.

 

We Were Very Close To Losing Our Republic

When the entire apparatus of government is used for political purposes, the freedom of Americans is in danger. Evidently there was a lot of that going on during the Obama Administration. It became particularly rampant during the 2016 campaign–electronic surveillance, the FBI’s ‘insurance policy’ in case Donald Trump got elected, etc. However, it was evident long before 2016.

In December 2017, I posted an article about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which funneled penalties they levied on corporations into Democrat aligned community organizer groups. We all know about the IRS’s targeting of conservative political groups to stifle free speech during the 2012 election. In 2008 most Americans watched a video of the New Black Panthers standing outside a polling place in Philadelphia with billy clubs looking very menacing. Despite the video evidence, they were never convicted of voter intimidation. There has been a problem with our federal justice system for a while.

Scott Johnson posted an article today at Power Line which cites the latest example of misuse of the government for political purposes. The article is based on a Wall Street Journal article (which is behind the subscriber wall).

Kimberley Strassel writes in The Wall Street Journal:

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting.

Congress has legal oversight over the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice was created by Congress in 1870. Originally, there was simply an Attorney General who gave legal advice to Congress and the President. Eventually that was limited to Congress because of the workload. The Department of Justice is a creation of government.

Either Congress has not been properly exercising its oversight authority over the Justice Department or Congress is as corrupt as the Justice Department. It is one of the other. All of the information regarding the relationship between the Justice Department’s spying and otherwise interfering with the Trump campaign needs to be made public–immediately. The American voters are entitled to see where the corruption was (and is).

When Politicization Of Government Goes Unchecked

I am sure politicization of government bureaucracy was not invented under President Obama. We all remember the Clinton White House file controversy when Craig Livingstone, director of the White House‘s Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background reports concerning several hundred individuals without asking permission. We also had the IRS scandal under President Obama, and we are still sorting through FISA abuses under President Obama. However, the anti-Trump people have taken this to a new level.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about some recent activities in the Washington swamp.

The article reports:

Michael Avenatti is the sketchy lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels. Following a similar approach deployed by Fusion-GPS, in a rush to spread rumors and accusations Avenatti has pushed stolen documents from Treasury Department filings to his allies in the media.

The documents appear to come from frequently submitted bank filings and treasury notifications known as Currency Transaction Reports (CTR’s), and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR’s). SAR’s and CTR’s are compliance forms filed by organizations who engage in financial services.

…Somehow the sketchy lawyer for Stormy Daniels obtained a list of treasury filings attached to the name Michael Cohen; the same name as President Trump’s lawyer. It is likely someone within the Treasury Department, or the DOJ with search access to the Treasury Department, leaked this list to Michael Avenatti in an effort to assist his dubious motives.

Unfortunately, at least two of the people Avenatti is now accusing of scurrilous financial transactions are not the same Michael Cohen the dubious lawyer is seeking to attack.  One is a Canadian Michael Cohen, the other is an Israeli Michael Cohen; both have financial transactions in the United States.  The latter just sending his brother money.

The article explains how a previous search of documents connected the wrong Michael Cohen with travel to Prague:

The previous incorrect search result on ‘Cohen travel’, contained in the Clinton-Steele Dossier, likely came from unlawful FISA-702(17) “about” queries (opposition research) and was passed along from Fusion-GPS to Steele -laundered into an intelligence product- and later passed back to the FBI via the dossier.  Today’s incorrect search results likely came from a U.S. government agency with access to Treasury Department records.

The article explains why the Washington swamp has to be drained:

Agents, employees, private contractors, and entities within government agencies with political motives and agendas, how have the ability to weaponize information against people they consider their political opposition.

This was always the danger of allowing corrupt left-wing ideologues to have the ability to control the mechanics of government. This is part of Obama’s “fundamental change” that people allowed in 2009 through 2017.

After eight years of access and promotion of the processes, there are now thousands of like-minded political ideologues within government that will abuse their access to data in an effort to assist their allies. Leaking information has evolved into specific targeting as the process has become more refined and frequent.

It is time for the criminalization of political speech that the political left disagrees with to stop. The concept that conservative political thought was a crime has been brewing for a while and needs to be dealt with before we lose our republic.

Don’t Let Your Love Of American Interfere With Your Ego And Personality Conflicts

I realize John McCain is dying. I am sorry about that. His family has my sympathies, and I pray that his suffering is alleviated. However, that does not excuse petty, damaging things he has done in the recent past. Possibly the brain cancer has interfered with his better judgement for a while, and I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, but some of his past actions have had a detrimental impact on America‘s government.

Yesterday The Daily Beast posted an article about a recent action taken by John McCain that has consequences that are still reverberating. The only good thing I can say about what he did is that his actions may be partially responsible for revealing the depth of the Washington swamp (of which he is a member) and making it more easy to drain.

The article reports:

In his new book, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defends his decision to give a controversial dossier about President Trump to former FBI chief James Comey.

“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,’” McCain writes in the upcoming book, titled The Restless Wave, referencing information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”

If you had no idea if the allegations were true, why didn’t you investigate who paid for the dossier and check the background of Christopher Steele? The statement in the book is designed to put a positive spin on one of the nastiest political stunts ever pulled. McCain has previously stated his intense dislike for Donald Trump and had no problem passing on questionable information that had the potential of destroying the Trump presidency (if that information had actually been true). I have no doubt that McCain wanted Hillary Clinton elected and Donald Trump destroyed. He knew James Comey was aligned with the Clintons (not known for playing fair in the political game) and could have guessed what would happen next.

As I said, I am sorry that John McCain is dying, I acknowledge that he is a war hero, but his recent actions were just plain sleazy.

Slowly But Surely The Truth Quietly Comes Out

The Friday-night news dump is a tradition of politicians and Washington types who are forced to release information they don’t want to release and are hoping no one will actually notice it. The latest Friday-night news dump has to do with redactions made on the FBI Russia report that have more to do with protecting the mistakes of the FBI than protecting national security (as claimed by those doing the redacting).

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today citing some of the redactions and why the reasons for them are invalid.

The article cites a number of examples:

When the House first issued its report on the Russia investigation, a heavily redacted portion (pp. 53–54) related that Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, had pled guilty to a false-statements charge based on misleading statements to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

…But there was one intriguing disclosure in the redacted report: Flynn pled guilty “even though the [FBI] agents did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” There was no elaboration on this point — no discussion of why Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents in the first place; no insight on deliberations within the FBI and Justice Department about whether Flynn had deceptive intent; no explanation of how he came to be charged months later by Mueller’s prosecutors even though the trained investigators who observed Flynn’s demeanor during the interview did not believe he’d lied.

This is what the unredacted Russian report reveals:

  • Elaborate on why the FBI did not believe Flynn had lied, including quotations from Comey’s testimony.
  • Reveal that for some period of time during 2016, the FBI conducted a counterintelligence (CI) investigation of Flynn.
  • Note that top Obama Justice Department and FBI officials provided the committee with “conflicting testimony” about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.
  • Illustrate that the FBI and Justice Department originally insisted on concealment of facts helpful to Flynn that are already public.

Meanwhile Flynn’s reputation has been ruined, his finances wrecked, and his life turned upside down. I recently posted an article about the Special Prosecutor‘s dealings with Michael Caputo, a campaign worker for President Trump. He has also had his life ruined and his financial stability destroyed by the Mueller investigation. The Mueller investigation has now reached the point where its goal is intimidating and ruining the lives of people who hold political views different from those on the investigating team. It is long past time for this charade of an investigation to stop.

Please follow the link above to the article at The National Review to see what else the FBI really didn’t want the American public to know.

Why A Federal Judge Is Questioning Mueller’s Actions

I am not a lawyer. Please understand that I do not fully understand all of the nuances of what I am about to write. The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about some of the legal irregularities in the investigation being done by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

The article reports:

Today U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III appears to have caught on to an explosive issue CTH noted yesterday.  In building the case against Paul Manafort, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team used the pre-existing FISA Title-1 warrant that was originally applied to U.S. person Carter Page and the Trump campaign.

Under normal criminal investigation any search warrant or surveillance warrant would normally proceed through U.S. courts, under Title-3, where the Mueller team would need to show probable cause for a warrant.  However, by using the Title-1 warrant from the FBI counterintelligence operation, as extended by AAG Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller was able to use far more intrusive and unchecked searches and seizures for his criminal probe.

In essence, Mueller’s investigation is using methods that are not within the bounds of the law.

The article details the events in the courtroom:

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller’s team. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”

Further, Ellis demanded to see the unredacted “scope memo,” a document outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe that congressional Republicans have also sought. […] The Reagan-appointed judge asked Mueller’s team where they got the authority to indict Manafort on alleged crimes dating as far back as 2005.

The special counsel argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted them broad authority in his May 2, 2017 letter appointing Mueller to this investigation. But after the revelation that the team is using information from the earlier DOJ probe, Ellis said that information did not “arise” out of the special counsel probe – and therefore may not be within the scope of that investigation.

“We don’t want anyone with unfettered power,” he said.

Mueller’s team says its authorities are laid out in documents including the August 2017 scope memo – and that some powers are actually secret because they involve ongoing investigations and national security matters that cannot be publicly disclosed.

Ellis seemed amused and not persuaded.

He summed up the argument of the Special Counsel’s Office as, “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.”

He referenced the common exclamation from NFL announcers, saying: “C’mon man!” 

I understand the concept of a Special Prosecutor, but I feel like the office has been totally abused when it is called into play. It is time for Robert Mueller to write a summary of what he has found regarding Russian collusion during the election and shut the investigation down. He might also want to take a look at the collusion with Russia regarding the GPS Fusion documents, but somehow he seems to have overlooked those.

Using The Government To Intimidate Those With Differing Views

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about Michael Caputo. Michael Caputo is an ordinary citizen who worked on the Trump presidential campaign. On Tuesday, he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee and gave his testimony. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is chilling to anyone who believes that Americans should be free to volunteer for any candidate’s campaign they choose without facing enormous negative consequences.

The article reports on Michael Caputo’s interview with Tucker Carlson These are some quotes from that interview:

“They’re still looking at Russian collusion, still looking for it…In my mind, if anybody thinks that Russia collusion is off the table, they haven’t visited with the Mueller team.”

 “They know more about the Trump campaign than anybody that worked there and they know more about what I did in 2016 than I do myself.”

” What are they looking at? “I don’t want to interfere with the investigation. I was warned about that.”

“Did he construe that as a threat? “I’m not going to be friending them today on Facebook, if that’s what you’re asking.”

 “It’s not nice but it’s nothing compared to the $125,000 in legal bills that I’ve stacked up for nothing.”

 “What’s happening to me and my family is happening to many other people in this investigation and I’m just a witness. I can’t imagine if somebody’s a subject or a target what they’re going to go through.”

This is the statement from the interview that I find chilling:

“I certainly didn’t sign up for this when I went to work for the Trump campaign and I will never, ever work on another Republican campaign for as long as I live…and I think that’s part of this, Tucker. This is a punishment strategy. I think they want to destroy the president, they want to destroy his family, they want to destroy his businesses, they want to destroy his friends so that no billionaire, say, in 15 years wakes up and tells his wife, you know what, they country’s broken and only I can fix it….His wife will say, ‘are you crazy Did you see what happened to Donald Trump?’ That’s what this is about.”

Mr. Caputo explains that he thinks this is the Democrat’s new strategy–intimidate people who work on Republican campaigns so that no one will be willing to work on them.

Mr. Caputo concludes:

“I think the president should not go anywhere near this [Mueller team]. I think in a lot of ways it’s a trap. I think the president is clear on potential Russian collusion. I think the campaign is in the clear. In the end if they want to get the president, they’re going to try to trip him up in an interview like this and my advice, after being through it, is stay away.”

 “I have a lot of respect for Director Mueller. When this thing first started I had some faith that it was going to be done fairly. I’m not so sanguine about it anymore.”

 “I’m very confident there was no Russian collusion. I’m very confident that the president is in the clear here. I’m very confident that in the end they’re going to find the holes that they’re digging to be empty, but they are digging and they’re going to continue to dig.”

It is long past time to send Mr. Mueller packing. There was no Russian collusion on the part of the Republicans, and he is obviously not interested in the Russian involvement in the GPS Fusion dossier that the Democrats put together. There is no way this can be considered a fair or legitimate investigation.

 

The Circus Continues

The National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy on the subject of the questions Robert Mueller would like to ask President Trump. The article is written on the assumption that the list of leaked questions is relatively accurate.

Andrew McCarthy makes some very good points as to why the Justice Department should block any interview of President Trump by the Special Prosecutor.

Andrew McCarthy points out that there is no evidence of a crime:

A president should not be subjected to prosecutorial scrutiny over poor judgment, venality, bad taste, or policy disputes. Absent concrete evidence that the president has committed a serious crime, the checks on the president should be Congress and the ballot box — and the civil courts, to the extent that individuals are harmed by abusive executive action. Otherwise, a special-counsel investigation — especially one staffed by the president’s political opponents — is apt to become a thinly veiled political scheme, enabling the losers to relitigate the election and obstruct the president from pursuing the agenda on which he ran.

That is what we are now witnessing.

Pretextual appointment of the special counsel
Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel for two reasons: (1) ostensibly to take over a counterintelligence probe; (2) in reality, as a cave-in to (mostly) Democratic caviling over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey — which was lawful but incompetently executed. Democrats contended that Comey’s dismissal, in conjunction with Comey’s leak of Trump’s alleged pressure to drop the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, warranted a criminal-obstruction probe. That is, the pretext of obstruction was added to “Russia-gate,” the already-existing pretext for carping about the purported need for a special counsel.

Neither of these reasons was a valid basis for a special-counsel investigation.

Andrew McCarthy also explains that the whole premise of the investigation is flawed:

As we have repeatedly noted, a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. To the extent it has a “subject,” it is a foreign power that threatens the United States, not an American believed to have violated the law. A counterintelligence investigation aims to gather information about America’s adversaries, not build a courtroom prosecution. For these (and other reasons), such investigations are classified and the Justice Department does not assign prosecutors to them, as it does to criminal cases. Counterintelligence is not lawyer work; it is the work of trained intelligence officers and analysts. It is not enough to say that Justice Department regulations do not authorize the appointment of a special counsel for a counterintelligence probe. The point is that counterintelligence is not prosecution and is therefore not a mission for a prosecutor.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is extremely informative. What we have going on right now is a very expensive attempt to prove that the 2016 election victory was stolen from Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t. Get over it. She was a very flawed candidate that somehow committed numerous crimes that the Justice Department chose to ignore. The innate sense of fairness of the American voter and the American voters’ belief in equal justice under the law probably had something to do with Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016. The Special Prosecutor needs to stop spending money looking for a crime and deal with the crimes that were actually committed–mishandling of classified material, pay-for-play as illustrated by Uranium One, fixing the Democratic primary, etc.