The Appropriate Response And The Slanting Of The Story

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about the warfare of the future. In the article Mr. Hinderaker mentions that according to The New York Times, Russia and China are working on the technology of hypersonic weapons. These weapons would render our missile defense systems useless.

The article also mentions President Trump’s response to the Iranian attacks on oil tankers:

Cyber warfare is almost old hat by comparison. The Associated Press (AP) says that President Trump ordered cyber attacks on Iran in place of actual bombings:

U.S. military cyber forces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, U.S. officials said Saturday.

The article then illustrates how the Associated Press can spin a story by quoting the AP’s reporting on the President’s response:

“This is not a remote war (anymore),” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos Inc. “This is one where Iranians could quote unquote bring the war home to the United States.”

Caltagirone said as nations increase their abilities to engage offensively in cyberspace, the ability of the United States to pick a fight internationally and have that fight stay out of the United States physically is increasingly reduced.

Note that the AP accuses the United States of picking a fight internationally.

The article concludes:

Did the U.S. pick a fight here? I thought Iran did that, by bombing tankers in international waters and shooting down an American drone. But for the AP, like many other American liberals, anything other than Obama-style supine acquiescence constitutes picking a fight.

Well said, sir.

The Unraveling Continues

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today with the following headline, “DOJ Admits FBI Never Saw Crowdstrike Report on DNC Russian Hacking Claim…”

The article explains:

The foundation for the Russian election interference narrative is built on the claim of Russians hacking the servers of the Democrat National Committee (DNC), and subsequently releasing damaging emails that showed the DNC worked to help Hillary Clinton and eliminate Bernie Sanders.

Despite the Russian ‘hacking’ claim the DOJ previously admitted the DNC would not let FBI investigators review the DNC server.  Instead the DNC provided the FBI with analysis of a technical review done through a cyber-security contract with Crowdstrike.

The narrative around the DNC hack claim was always sketchy; many people believe the DNC email data was downloaded onto a flash drive and leaked.  In a court filing (full pdf below) the scale of sketchy has increased exponentially.

Suspecting they could prove the Russian hacking claim was false, lawyers representing Roger Stone requested the full Crowdstrike report on the DNC hack.  When the DOJ responded to the Stone motion they made a rather significant admission.  Not only did the FBI not review the DNC server, the FBI/DOJ never even saw the Crowdstrike report.

To put it more simply:

This means the FBI and DOJ, and all of the downstream claims by the intelligence apparatus; including the December 2016 Joint Analysis Report and January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, all the way to the Weissmann/Mueller report and the continued claims therein; were based on the official intelligence agencies of the U.S. government and the U.S. Department of Justice taking the word of a hired contractor for the Democrat party….. despite their inability to examine the server and/or actually see an unredacted technical forensic report from the investigating contractor.

Consider the fact that we would know none of this if Hillary Clinton had been elected. What else was hidden? Will the rest of the information actually come out?

Telling Only Half The Story To Paint The Picture You Want

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the Mueller Report and the Russian collusion charges. Last week I posted an article about the misrepresentation of Konstantin Kilimnik, portrayed in the Mueller Report as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was a source for American intelligence. In May I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, also portrayed as a “Russian asset” when in fact he was training American intelligence agents in Italy. It seems that the Mueller Report spent a lot of time grasping at straws. There is also the matter of editing a phone message to make it appear as something it was not. The Mueller Report is not the objective document it is supposed to be.

The Townhall article deals with the charges that Carter Page was colluding with Russia.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice inspector general is said to be readying a scorching report on the alleged FISA abuses. It’s expected to be released this summer. At the heart of the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense is Spygate and the FISA warrant secured to monitor Page based off this dossier. First, there’s the allegation that FBI, or the CIA, tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign based on this Russian collusion hysteria. The second part is the FBI citing this dossier as credible evidence to secure a spy warrant on Page. It was renewed three times through 2017. Political opposition research was cited to secure a spy warrant on the rival campaign from the sitting presidential administration of the opposing party during an election year. Yeah, one could argue that’s weaponizing the DOJ to go after your enemies. How much did Obama know? Also, welcome to this circus, State Department. 

The officials in the Obama administration knew that this was biased trash days prior to securing the FISA warrant is bad enough. Another odd angle is that this very intelligence community knew Carter Page because he worked with the CIA, the State Department, and the FBI…before he became a Russian traitor or something (via RCP):

“I was asked various questions, not only by State, FBI, etc, but also the CIA,” he said. “I had a long-standing relationship with the CIA going back decades essentially, and I was always very transparent, open.”

“I had a longstanding relationship with the CIA, going back decades, essentially,” Page said. “I was always very transparent, open.”

The Mueller Report was an opportunity to provide a factual account of bad behavior during the 2016 election. Unfortunately the report turned a blind eye to actual foreign intervention and went on a witch hunt instead. It is my hope that the people involved in the misuse of government agencies and the witch hunt will be brought to justice.

Investigating The Investigators

As the House of Representatives recycles Watergate, the Department of Justice is actually getting something done. The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the investigation into the roots of the Russian collusion hoax.

The article reports:

“It is now well established that, in 2016, the U.S. government and others undertook certain intelligence-gathering and investigative steps directed at persons associated with the Trump Campaign,” Boyd (Justice Department official Stephen E. Boyd) wrote Nadler, adding that “there remain open questions relating to the origins of this counter-intelligence investigation and the U.S. and foreign intelligence activities that took place prior to and during that investigation.”

“The Review is broad in scope and multifaceted, and is intended to illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals,” Boyd wrote.

He did not explain the references to foreign intelligence services or non-governmental organizations. It is known that the Australian and British governments were involved in some degree to the counterintelligence activities against Trump associates. Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British spy, investigated President Donald Trump and his campaign associates on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

We are not engaged in a battle between the Democrats and Republicans–many of them are working on the same side. We are engaged in a battle between globalists and those who believe in American sovereignty. That is the reason the globalists in the Obama administration were able to get foreign help in their quest to stop President Trump, who is not a globalist. A strong America is a globalists’ nightmare, and that is what President Trump is building. I suspect there may be some surprises as the rocks are turned over in the investigation of the misuse of government agencies to spy of candidate Trump and later President Trump.

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

I Can’t Believe He Said That

Yesterday CNS News posted an article that included the following:

Clapper told CNN the “logical thing to do” would be to wait for the Justice Department inspector general to finish his investigation into the FBI’s actions.

“Are you concerned here that these administration officials and the attorney general are doing this for political reasons?” host Jim Sciutto asked Clapper.

“Well, you have to wonder about that,” Clapper said.

“Is there a political dimension? This obviously complies with the longstanding request of President Trump that the investigators be investigated.

As far as I know…when I was DNI, I didn’t see anything improper or unlawful. And I think we’re losing sight here of what the big deal is, which is the Russians. That’s what started all this.

The predicate for this was what the Russians were doing to engage with the Trump camp. And now we know that there were dozens of such encounters or attempts, many by identified Russian operatives.

So to me, the kind of the implicit message here is, well, it would have been better if we ignored the Russian’s meddling, which I think would have been completely irresponsible.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Let the record show that President Obama chose to ignore reports of Russian meddling until after Hillary Clinton lost the election. Let the record also show that the group conducting the supposedly impartial investigation of Russian meddling was made up of Clinton donors and Clinton supporters who somehow overlooked the role of the Steele Dossier in the beginning of the investigation.

I person wiser than I once said that if you want to know what the Democrats are up to, look at what they are accusing their opponents of. I suspect the the investigation now being carried out may turn out to be the proof of that statement.

 

 

Uncovering The Early Fraud

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

The article points out one obvious lie in the dossier:

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

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

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

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

The fiction in the dossier continues:

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

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

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

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

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

No Wonder The Democrats Are Attempting To Storm The Castle

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article at The Hill concludes:

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

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

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

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

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

Will Solving The Immediate Problem Actually Accomplish Anything?

A website called nffonline.com notes:

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

Today Venezuela was rocked by violence as opposition leader Juan Guaidó attempted to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela.

The Associated Press is reporting today:

The violent street battles that erupted in parts of Caracas were the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s rule. Still, the rebellion, dubbed “Operation Freedom,” seemed to have garnered only limited military support.

In one dramatic incident during a chaotic day, several armored vehicles plowed into a group of anti-government demonstrators trying to storm the capital’s air base, hitting at least two protesters.

Russia has troops in Venezuela as does Cuba. The Monroe Doctrine applies to the Russian involvement; it doesn’t cover the Cuban involvement. So should America get involved, to what degree, and how? Well, let’s look at history. I can’t think of any incidence where we have been involved in an overthrow of a government (no matter how tyrannical) and had a positive outcome. The only positive examples that you might be able to come up with would be Germany, Italy, and Japan (World War II). That was an entire world-wide war–not the overthrow of a country’s government. We have no history of replacing dictatorships with democracies and having everyone live happily ever after.

But for the sake of argument, let’s look at how American involvement that put Juan Guaidó in charge would change things. The generals in Venezuela are involved with the drug cartels that ship drugs into America through Mexico. Until we deal with the drug problem on our southern border, the corruption in the Venezuela military will continue. Can a country exist as a free country with a corrupt military that is working with the drug cartels?

We are back again to seeing the impact of a porous southern border that allows drugs to flow into our country and drug lords make enormous sums of money sending those drugs into our country. Unless we take the market away from the military generals in Venezuela and the drug cartels, any move we make to bring freedom to Venezuela will be in vain.

We Are Beginning To See What Is Under The Bright Shiny Object

The charges that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians were odd at best. No one ever explained exactly what that collusion looked like or why it was illegal (collusion by itself is generally not illegal). There were also some other odd matters about unmasking, domestic spying, and misuse of foreign information sources. All of that is currently out there, but not necessarily being shouted at this point. Well, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that explains some of the reasons for the extreme hype of ‘Russian collusion’ and the reaction when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election.

The article reports:

Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years.

Working with a timeline, but also referencing origination material in 2015/2016 – CTH hopes to show how the program operated.  This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016.

The article details some of the timeline involved:

Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

The article explains that many of the searches carried out were illegal:

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

…The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.”   So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates.  Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012.  (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc.  Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure.  Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?

The article explains the role of the Steele Dossier was necessary to continue surveillance:

Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump.  As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database.

However, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations.  Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.

That’s why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content.  The Steele Dossier contains the cover-story and justification for the surveillance operation.

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It is chilling. It paints a picture of an administration that politicized government agencies to spy on Americans and made an attempt to eliminate political opposition by using the force of government. Just for the record, even though the Obama administration is out of office, they are still using the government connections they have to work against the President and against the best interests of Americans.

The Question That Has Gotten Lost In The Politics

The Mueller Report is out. It is all over the news. The mainstream media is trying to find something in it that they can actually use to discredit President Trump; the Democrats in Congress are trying to find something in it that they can use to impeach President Trump. Unfortunately, the circus continues–the main event has moved on, but the clowns remain.

Yesterday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that reminds us what the Mueller investigation was supposed to be about.

The article notes:

…At its heart, the Trump-Russia probe was about one question: Did the Trump campaign conspire, coordinate, or collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Mueller has concluded that did not happen.

…And now Mueller has determined there was no collusion. Not that there was no criminal collusion. Or no prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt collusion. Just no collusion. Mueller’s report says it over and over and over again. Here are seven examples:

1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”

3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”

4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”

5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”

6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”

7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign].”

That is definitive. It is not kinda, sorta. It is definitive. As far as Mueller’s conclusions are concerned — and remember, he was long considered the gold standard of Trump investigations — there was no collusion.

Other than dealing with the abuse of power by some former high officials in our government, can we please move on now.

We Spent An Awful Lot Of Money For Nothing

Yesterday Bryon York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the upcoming release of the Mueller Report. The article lists five arguments that will not be settled by the release of the report.

The article lists those five items:

1. Collusion. On the face of it, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusion could not be clearer: The evidence gathered by the special prosecutor does not show that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Barr included two brief quotes from the Mueller report on collusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” So on the question: Will Mueller show that collusion occurred? The answer seems a pretty straightforward no.

…2. Obstruction. This is a guarantee: Some readers of the Mueller report will swear that it proves the president obstructed justice, while others will swear it proves he did not obstruct justice. Mueller himself has made sure that will happen by not making what Barr called a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the obstruction question. Why Mueller did that is not clear; perhaps it will be revealed when the report is released. Barr said Mueller “views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

…3. Impeachment. Some Democrats had hoped that the Mueller report would give them cover for impeaching the president. I was undecided, they might say, and then I saw the special counsel’s overwhelming evidence against the president, and I knew it was my duty to impeach. Some of those Democrats also hoped that the Mueller report would serve as a road map to impeachment, in effect doing for Congress the work of discovering and organizing evidence against the president.

…4. Investigating the investigation. Many Republicans, long convinced that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia, have instead sought to uncover the events surrounding the decision by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s been hard finding out what happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shook loose a lot of information, but much remains unknown to the public. Now, those Republicans are counting on an investigation by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to reveal more. And they are hoping that President Trump will declassify documents that could shed new light on the matter. One place they are not looking for answers is the Mueller report.

5. Why a special counsel? Some Republicans question whether there was really a need for a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia. First, they cite the fact that there was no underlying crime. There was no crime specified in Mueller’s original scope memo, and Mueller could never establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Second, they point to the circumstances of Mueller’s appointment, when fired FBI director James Comey leaked confidential documents in order to set off an uproar that he hoped would result in the appointment of a special counsel. As it turned out, things went according to Comey’s plan. But was a special counsel really necessary to investigate the crime that did not occur? Like so many others, don’t look for that argument to be resolved by the Mueller report.

The Mueller investigation cost American taxpayers approximately $31 million. In the end, it proved to be nothing more than a way to keep a number of political people in Washington employed for a while after the administration they supported was not reelected.

 

 

When Your Weapon Backfires

BizPacReview posted an article yesterday about a recent Rasmussen poll.

The article reports:

A new Rasmussen poll shows more voters believe it is Crooked Hillary Clinton rather than President Trump who is guilty of colluding with foreign operatives during the 2016 election campaign. Of likely voters polled, 47% believe the Clinton campaign was involved in collusion, as opposed to 45% who still buy the fraudulent Trump collusion story.

The worm is turning in spite of a non-stop, years-long onslaught of lies from the never-Trump media about it all. The tipping point is now … with the majority finally discerning the truth and slowly more and more rejecting the coordinated MSM disinformation campaign.

…The March 25-26 survey found 50% of voters satisfied with the conclusions reached by Mueller. About one-third, or 36%, are not satisfied and 13% are undecided.

The article also includes the following:

On March 25th, Yahoo News reported the following:

After 16 months of investigation, the cost had ballooned to $25 million, CNBC reported. Based on those figures, that works out to approximately $1.5 million spent per month. And that’s just working from September 2018, the 16-month mark. The cost has very likely gone up since then. If the $1.5 million figure remains static, taxpayers have paid another $7.5 million between October 2018 and February 2019.

In Mueller’s latest filing, released in September 2018, he reported “spending nearly $3 million on compensation, $580,000 on travel and transportation, $1 million on rent and related expenses, and $300,000 on contractual services, primarily related to IT,” according to CNBC.

The Democrats might want to keep all of these numbers in mind as they pursue their subpoenas of the Mueller Report. After the government spent some serious money and the mainstream media claimed that President Trump was a Russian agent, many Americans were not fooled.

Trying To Keep The Drip Going

Someone once told me that the Grand Canyon was the result of water dripping on a rock. I’m not sure if that is true, but it is an interesting thought. The Congressional Democrats are actually setting out to prove or disprove that theory.

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill titled, “Note to Team Mueller: If you don’t indict, you can’t incite.” Those are wise words that could actually do a lot of good in healing the divide in America if they were heeded.

The article states:

I’ve covered the Justice Department for three decades, and seldom have I seen a story like the one published in The New York Times this week under the headline, “Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed.”

What concerned me most is that the story’s anonymous allegations reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the role prosecutors play, including special counsels such as Robert Mueller.

The job of prosecutors is not, as the Times headline suggested, to pen “damaging” narratives about people they couldn’t indict. And it’s not their job to air those people’s dirty laundry, or that of suspects outside of a grand jury room or a courtroom.

Mueller concluded there wasn’t evidence President Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, and therefore no indictment was warranted. And he punted on the question of obstruction, leaving his bosses — Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — to determine that there wasn’t enough evidence to indict the president on that charge.

And, most significantly, there were no other people charged. That means Trump legally could not be named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an obstruction plot.

Many of the Democrat Congressmen (and Congresswomen) who are calling for the full, unredacted release of the Mueller Report are lawyers. They know that the full Mueller Report includes both Grand Jury testimony and classified information. They know that Grand Jury testimony is not public information and often contains things that may be misleading or have a negative impact on an innocent person’s life. Theoretically they are also aware of the rules regarding the handling of classified information. So if they understand the law, why are they requesting that the Attorney General break the law? Actually, the subpoena for the Mueller Report is simply part of a larger strategy.

The Attorney General is compelled by law to deny the subpoena. This sends the case to the courts where it will be tied up for at least two years–through the 2020 presidential election. I am sure some of the actions of whatever court is involved will keep the story in the news through the election.

Recently someone familiar with the report noted that the summaries in the report, written by highly partisan investigators contain classified information or Grand Jury testimony. If Congress has the full report (or even the redacted version), they can selectively leak things (that might be misleading) to keep the collusion-delusion in the headlines. Victor Davis Hanson noted in a recent article that the Russian investigation was a soft coup attempted by the deep state. I have no reason to believe that the attempt is over.

Objectivity From A Surprising Source

On Monday USA Today posted an article about the Mueller investigation.

The article asks a very interesting question:

The Russian collusion story had been an article of faith for the Resistance and the press. But why were so many people so deeply convinced of something that was not true? Who was behind not only concocting this fantastic tale but also embedding it in the highest levels of the Justice Department, the intelligence community and the news media?

This question had been on hold during the Mueller investigation. Government officials could not dig into it because anything they might do publicly would have been denounced as interference or “obstruction.” But with the Mueller phase concluded, the gates have opened.

President Trump retweeted a link about a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying the Obama administration must account for “abuse of surveillance powers.” “Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called for the appointment of a new special counsel. And former George W. Bush administration spokesman Ari Fleischer asked what could be the ultimate question, “What did Barack Obama know and what and when did he authorize it?

The surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team was inexcusable. It was a more blatant an abuse of federal power than anything previously seen.

This is Article I of the Impeachment Articles against Richard Nixon:

On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

Note that the crime was breaking and entering to secure political intelligence and using the powers of government to cover up the crime. What about lying to a FISA court to be able to conduct illegal surveillance and then fabricating a crime to cover up your activities?

The article at USA Today includes the following:

Yet Obama officials also treated Trump campaign staffers as targets themselves. They used cooperative foreign intelligence services to chat them up overseas, both to put a layer of deniability between them and this questionable behavior, and to get around prohibitions against spying on American citizens. The recently released transcript of the House Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Government Reform and Oversight interview with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos goes into great detail how this targeting was conducted. Papadopoulos claims that foreign governments are now cooperating to reveal more about these activities. 

These activities are illegal. Those involved in illegal FISA warrants, targeting innocent staff members of the campaign, and other misuses of government need to be held accountable. Unless they are held accountable, we can expect to see more of this behavior in the future.

A Troubling Story

Mollie Hemingway posted an article at The Federalist today explaining why she didn’t believe the Trump-Russia collusion story. It is a compelling analysis of how events unfolded. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

The article includes a quote from the book Shattered by Jonathan Allen (a book about the 2016 Clinton campaign):

In other calls with advisers and political surrogates in the days after the election, Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss. ‘She’s not being particularly self-reflective,’ said one longtime ally who was on calls with her shortly after the election. Instead, Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. ‘She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,’ this person said.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio.

It seems as if the Russia conspiracy theory was the result of refusing to accept responsibility for losing an election and simply became the basis of an attempt to unseat an elected President.

The article concludes:

I didn’t fall for the Russia hoax that CNN and other media outlets did because I worked hard at understanding the appeal of his candidacy even before the Russia narrative started. At the same time, I recognized how disruptive he was to the established order and the livelihoods of those who had grown comfortable in D.C. Unlike many reporters, I knew and loved many people who voted for Trump. My background as a media critic made me aware of information campaigns and how to resist them. My dislike of the interventionist foreign policy made me less susceptible to scaremongering about realist foreign policy.

Also, I believed intelligence agencies when they claimed they would selectively leak against Trump as retaliation for his criticism of them, and knew to be skeptical of anonymous leaks. It helped that someone inadvertently revealed some information to me about the source of the information CNN had been given.

It wasn’t just about not falling for the fake conspiracy theory. If Trump was not what all the media outlets long suggested he was — a traitor who was conspiring with Russia — that meant that he was the victim of an information operation that was being funneled through the highest powers of the federal government.

Because a few of us weren’t so foolish to fall for the first theory, we were able to look at the leak operation that gullible media outlets were engaged in with a more critical eye.

The lady has amazing insight.

 

Fixing The Intelligence Community

On Friday, The Daily Caller posted an article titled, “OPINION: How Could The Intelligence Community Fail So Badly?”

The article states:

Far more than a failure of journalism, the Russia collusion narrative was, at its core, a monstrous failure of U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence.

All criticism of the news media aside for the moment, the bottom line is that professional journalists received fake intelligence information from U.S. government leakers whom they trusted.

That is probably true, but I also think that the personal bias of those individuals reporting the news caused them to believe things that most people would have regarded as totally ridiculous.

The article continues:

The entire Russian collusion debacle shows that the American intelligence and counterintelligence processes have broken down.

Emphatic former CIA director John Brennan, a main engine behind spreading the Russia collusion story through the intelligence community and into the media, suddenly doesn’t sound so certain about himself. The day after Attorney General William Barr released the special prosecutor’s finding of no collusion, Brennan confessed to MSNBC, “I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was.”

This is a shocking admission from the man who was, at the time, the nation’s highest-ranking professional intelligence officer.

Brennan wasn’t indicting just himself. He inadvertently accused the entire CIA. Whatever quality control systems it has, the CIA failed to prevent “bad information” from making its way up the chain to the national strategic level.

The article goes on to mention that journalists have learned to depend on leaks from government officials. Leaking classified information is a crime punishable by law. Those leaking need to be held accountable. At the same time, the government needs to be more transparent. A lot of things that are classified are classified to save the government from embarrassment.

The article concludes:

This leads to the most dangerous conclusion of all. The Russia collusion debacle has shown that the FBI and CIA leadership are not effectively under the oversight of elected officials, but instead are capable of tampering with the American democratic process and constitutional governance.

All this must stop. President Trump should assemble a team of solid intelligence and counterintelligence veterans to dig deep into the FBI and CIA leadership, discover the real nature of the problems and devise solutions before our system self-destructs.

It’s time to create an intelligence community that is apolitical. I don’t know if that is possible, but it’s a great goal.

Propping Up A Dictator

One America News is reporting today that two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops. This is reported by a local journalist.

The article reports:

Reporter Javier Mayorca wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the first plane carried Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, adding that the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tonnes of material.

An Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.

The cargo plane left Caracas on Sunday afternoon, according to Adsbexchange, another flight-tracking site.

It sounds as if the Russians are attempting to duplicate what they did in Cuba many years ago, support an unpopular dictator who will be a thorn in the side of America. The Russians have another reason to want to keep Venezuela indirectly under their control.

On March 22nd The Miami Herald reported:

Cuba would have to spend nearly $2 billion a year to meet its domestic oil needs if Venezuela’s National Assembly and interim president Juan Guaidó manage to stop deliveries to the Caribbean island.

“Cuba’s demand for oil is about 130,000 barrels per day, and Cuba produces about 50,000 barrels per day, which means a deficit of about 80,000 barrels per day,” said Jorge Piñón, director of the Latin American Energy Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Piñón estimates that Cuba has fuel reserves for about 45 days. But the end of deliveries by Venezuela’s PDVSA oil company would force the government to spend nearly $5.2 million per day at the market price of $65 per barrel for the 80,000 barrels per day it would need to import to meet demand.

By the end of one year, that would add up to nearly $2 billion for an economy that economists agree has not reached 2 percent annual growth in recent years and has probably experienced a recession.

The National Assembly, controlled by the opposition, recently ordered a suspension of crude shipments to Cuba, which started under an agreement to exchange oil for medical services negotiated by the late Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.

PDVSA now ships an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 barrels per day to Cuba, not quite half of what the oil company sent before it spiraled into an unprecedented crisis under the Nicolás Maduro regime.

There is also another aspect of Venezuela’s oil shipments.

In November 2013, I reported:

On Friday the Associated Press reported that PDVSA, the government-owned oil producer in Venezuela, seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services. The company had shut down the rigs because the Venezuela oil monopoly was behind on payments.

Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, has not taken over any industries during the six months he has been President of Venezuela. This is the first move he has made in that direction. When Hugo Chavez began taking over industries, one news analyst observed that it would be difficult for him to keep those industries running at their profit levels without the knowledge of the companies that owned them. The seizure of these two rigs, which are repair rigs, is an illustration of that point.

Like it or not, free enterprise generates more wealth for more people than socialism.

It is a safe bet that oil production is only a fraction of what it was before Maduro took over the oil industry. That adds to the financial woes of Venezuela and will also have an impact of Cuba.

The Letter

Below is a copy of Attorney General Barr’s summary letter to Senator Lindsey Graham, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Representative Doug Collins. You can view the letter on Scribd by clicking on the link.

Barr’s Letter by on Scribd

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article about the letter today.

He notes a few basic facts about the letter:

This investigation is the product of a Clinton campaign fabrication. That’s why the investigation was a witch hunt. It is also why the finding of no collusion is unsurprising to anyone who has paid attention with a modicum of impartiality and critical intelligence. The finding of no obstruction is made by Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. If there was no collusion, they suggest, there was highly likely no obstruction and in fact they find that Mueller did not identify any actions that in the judgment of Barr and Rosenstein constituted obstructive conduct. See page 3, paragraph 3.

While investigations and prosecutions will continue for the foreseeable future, we can turn out the lights on the Mueller investigation; the party’s over. Mainstream media hardest hit.

One thing to keep in mind is that a team of totally partisan Democrats looking under every rock they could find for two plus years not only could not find evidence of Russian collusion by President Trump, they somehow failed to notice the entanglement of the Clinton campaign in providing a dossier that paved the way for surveillance of a political opponent’s campaign. As the Democrats continue to investigate in the hope of turning public opinion against President Trump before the 2020 election, I hope the American voters begin to realize where the scandal was in this investigation–it wasn’t in the Trump campaign.

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

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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).

What An Amazing Coincidence

On Thursday, John Solomon at The Hill reported that the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, met with Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson at an event in Aspen last year. Maybe they were talking about their grandchildren.

The article reports:

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

Simpson ran the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party to find dirt on Trump in Moscow. He employed retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, whose infamous and unverified dossier became the main evidence for the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, particularly the surveillance warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

And by the time of the meeting, the House Intelligence Committee had already received evidence from a senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, that called into question Simpson’s testimony to lawmakers.

Specifically, Simpson claimed he had not begun meeting with Ohr until after Thanksgiving 2016, well after the FBI had begun investigating Trump-Russia collusion and after the presidential election in which Simpson’s client, Clinton, lost to Trump.

But Ohr provided compelling evidence, including calendar notations, testimony and handwritten notes, showing that Simpson met with him in August 2016, well before the election and during a time when Steele was helping the FBI start an investigation into Trump.

When confronted with the Aspen conference photos of Schiff, in sport coat and open-neck dress shirt, and Simpson, wearing casual attire, representatives for both men tried to minimize their discussion, insisting nothing substantive about the Russia case was discussed.

“In the summer of 2018, Mr. Simpson attended a media-sponsored social event where he exchanged small talk with Rep. Schiff and many other people who were in attendance,” Fusion GPS said in a statement to me. “The conversation between the two was brief and did not cover anything substantive. There has been no subsequent contact between Mr. Simpson and Rep. Schiff.”

The problem here is not the meeting–it’s the double standard:

There is nothing illegal or technically improper about a congressman meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, with a witness in an investigation. At least not under the law or the House Intelligence Committee’s rules.

But Schiff created a far higher standard two years ago when he demanded that his Republican counterpart on the committee, then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), be investigated for having meetings with national security council officials at the Trump White House without telling the committee. Schiff’s attacks led Nunes to temporarily recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Schiff assailed Nunes’s contacts with a source outside the committee confines as “a dead-of-night excursion” and said it called into question the impartiality of the inquiry because the committee wasn’t informed.

“I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman,” Schiff said at the time.

So how did Schiff meet his own standards? Boland (Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland) declined to say if his boss told the committee about his Simpson contact.

Democrats in Congress seem to have no concept of treating members of both political parties equally. I think that is one of the reasons people become disgusted with politics.

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.