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.

 

What Fake News Looks Like

Yesterday Fred Fleitz posted an article at The National Review about some recent claims regarding President Trump and Russia (will we ever get past this foolishness?).

The article reports:

On Sunday, the mainstream media launched a new ploy to promote their Trump-Russia collusion narrative with a story that first appeared in the Washington Post titled “Officials in dark on Putin talks.” A similar piece was published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, titled “Trump didn’t use notetakers at Putin/ Meeting.” Cable-news networks and Democratic congressmen claim these stories indicate that President Trump held secret discussions with Russian president Putin that were revealed to no one. For example, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) told CNN on Sunday that the U.S. government “does not know” what Trump and Putin discussed.

It is now clear that these stories were misleading, if not mostly false. First, they neglected to mention that the president’s decision to restrict access to read-outs of his two one-on-one meetings with Putin were due to the extraordinary number of leaks to the press of his phone calls and meetings with foreign officials at the beginning of his presidency.

Second, it is untrue that senior officials are unaware of what was discussed in President Trump’s meetings with Putin.

Now that we know that President Trump was under surveillance for political reasons by the FBI and the Department of Justice during the early days of his presidency, why are we surprised that he took precautions to make sure he had the privacy presidents are usually accorded.

The article concludes:

The media’s claim that this story amounts to a U.S. president concealing his secret discussions with the Russian president as part of his alleged collusion with Russia is fake news. Senior U.S. officials knew exactly what was discussed in these meetings. This story is really about a successful effort by President Trump to prevent anti-Trump government officials from leaking sensitive national-security information to the press.

After a while, you begin to wonder what President Trump could accomplish if he didn’t have to spend so much time fighting the political establishment, the media, and the deep state.

Shoes? She’s Writing About Shoes?

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

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

The opinion piece ends with the following:

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

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

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

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

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

I will discuss the other shoe in my next article.

Have We Truly Lost A Government Where All Men Are Equal?

Victor Davis Hanson posted on article at American Greatness yesterday which illustrates what has happened in America over the past decade or so.

The article begins with an interesting scenario:

Imagine the following: The IRS sends you, John Q. Citizen, a letter alleging you have not complied with U.S. tax law. In the next paragraph, the tax agency then informs you that it needs a series of personal and business documents. Indeed, it will be sending agents out to discuss your dilemma and collect the necessary records.

But when the IRS agents arrive, you explain to them that you cannot find about 50 percent of the documents requested, and have no idea whether they even exist. You sigh that both hard copies of pertinent information have unfortunately disappeared and hard drives were mysteriously lost.

You nonchalantly add that you smashed your phone, tablet, and computer with a hammer. You volunteer that, of those documents you do have, you had to cut out, blacken or render unreadable about 30 percent of the contents. After all, you have judged that the redacted material either pertains to superfluous and personal matters such as weddings and yoga, or is of such a sensitive nature that its release would endanger your company or business or perhaps even the country at large.

You also keep silent that you have a number of pertinent documents locked up in a safe hidden in your attic unknown to the IRS. Let them find it, you muse. And when the agents question your unilateral decisions over hours of interrogatories, you remark to them on 245 occasions that you have no memory of your acts—or you simply do not have an answer for them.

Anyone reading this scenario realizes that after doing all this, they would be sitting in a jail cell hoping someone would bake them a cake with a file in it.

The article goes on to list the various misdeeds of government officials in the past two or three years. It’s a well-known list–you can follow the link to the article to read it. But somehow no one is in jail.

The article concludes:

To this day, we have no idea which officials in government leaked the unmasked names of surveilled Americans to the media, or leaked the transcripts of a conversation between the Russian Ambassador and Gen. Michael Flynn. I say we have no idea, because no one in government has any interest in finding out, because for the few, who might, to do so would earn them media and partisan venom.

The message from the Clinton email scandal, the Mueller investigation, and the careers of Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and McCabe seems to be that if the government wishes a document then do not provide it. If you are finally forced to surrender it, either erase or destroy what you can reasonably get away with hiding. Or barring that, insist that it be heavily redacted, according to your own judgment, for the sake of America. If asked to explain such behavior or allegations of leaking information to the press, either deny or claim faulty memory.

Do all of that and be of the correct political persuasion and of Washington repute, and there is little chance of criminal exposure.

Such exemption so far is the message that we’ve learned from the behavior of high officials of the Obama Justice Department, CIA, FBI and National Security Council. Or put another way, our illustrious government officials are reminding us Americans, “We are better than you.”

We will not have equal justice under the law until all lawbreakers are prosecuted, regardless of their political standing.

How A Kangaroo Court Works

The website study.com includes the following definition of exculpatory evidence:

In Brady v. Maryland (1963), the Supreme Court held that exculpatory evidence withheld in a criminal trial can result in a re-hearing of the case. In this case, Brady was convicted for murder, and the prosecutor failed to tell a jury that another defendant, who had committed the murder with Brady, had already confessed to the killing. The court stated that the jury needed to hear that evidence because it could assist them in their decision regarding Brady. From then on, any exculpatory evidence the prosecutor or law enforcement has is called Brady material, the requirement to turn Brady material over to the defense is called the Brady rule.

Any evidence from a crime scene is subject to the Brady rule.

But what other kind of evidence is exculpatory? The law says ‘any evidence’ that tends to show innocence of the defendant is included. This can include crime scene evidence, witness testimony, DNA results, and medical records.

…The Supreme Court said that without the rule, the defendant’s due process rights would be violated. Due process comes from the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, and means that before the government can take away your liberty, it must first give the person the rights and process due to him or her under the Constitution. If the government has evidence that says you might be innocent, it would violate the fairness and impartiality of the trial process by just ignoring it and not letting the jury see it.

The concept of exculpatory evidence is going to be in the spotlight as the case against General Michael Flynn moves forward.

Yesterday John Solomon reported the following at The Hill:

For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.

That silence was maintained even when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.

And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”

And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous. 

Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.

“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.

Please follow the link to the article at The Hill to see the details, but the bottom line here is simple.

The article explains:

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT (Russia Today) event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

It’s important to wind back many months to where the Russia collusion narrative started and the media frenzy–driven suggestion that Flynn may have been on a mission to compromise America’s security and endanger this great republic when he visited Moscow.

Would the central character in a Russian election hijack plot actually self-disclose his trip in advance? And then sit through a briefing on how to avoid being compromised by his foreign hosts? And then come back to America and be debriefed by U.S. intelligence officers about who and what he saw?

And would a prosecutor recommend little or no prison time for a former general if that former military leader truly had compromised national security?

Highly unlikely.

It really is time for the deep state to stop its attack on President Trump and those who have supported him. Unfortunately, now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, we can expect to see more taxpayer dollars spent on trying to undo an election they didn’t like.

 

The Story Behind The Story

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

The article reminds us:

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

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

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

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

The article notes some differences between then and now:

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Can Only Hope The Truth Will Come Out

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

The article reports:

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

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

There is a connection between the whistleblowers and Robert Mueller:

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

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

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

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

The Charges Are Unraveling

The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following heading, “A convenient omission? Trump campaign adviser denied collusion to FBI source early on.” Somehow that fact got left out of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) request.

The article reports:

Just weeks after the FBI opened a dramatic counterintelligence probe into President Trump and Russia, one of his presidential campaign advisers emphatically told an undercover bureau source there was no election collusion occurring because such activity would be treasonous.

George Papadopoulos says his spontaneous admission to London-based professor Stefan Halper occurred in mid-September 2016 — well before FBI agents and the Obama Justice Department sought a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to collect Trump campaign communications in the final days before the election.

“He was there to probe me on the behest of somebody else,” Papadopoulos told me in an interview this week, recalling the Halper meeting. “He said something along the lines of, ‘Oh, it’s great that Russia is helping you and your campaign, right George?’ ”

Papadopoulos said Halper also suggested the Trump campaign was involved in the hacking and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails that summer. “I think I told him something along the lines of, ‘I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. What you are talking about is treason. And I have nothing to do with that, so stop bothering me about it,’ ” Papadopoulos recalled.

The former campaign aide is set to testify behind closed doors Thursday before two House panels.

Sources who saw the FISA warrant and its three renewals tell me there is no mention of Papadopoulos’s denial, an omission of exculpatory evidence that GOP critics in Congress are likely to cite as having misled the court.

It is becoming more and more obvious that President Obama’s administration used the power of the federal government to spy on the Trump campaign and later to work against the Trump administration. Whether or not we will ever learn the full extent of the misuse of government agencies will depend largely on the results of the mid-term election. If the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, it is fairly certain that all investigations regarding misuse of government agencies will cease. That will send a clear message to those in power in Washington that it is okay to misuse the powers of government as long as you continue to hold power over the oversight committees that would investigate those abuses. That is not a county that we all want to live in.

Getting To The Bottom

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about what the Republicans have accomplished in informing Americans about the misuse of government agencies in surveilling the Trump campaign and the Trump administration.

The article lists what we know as a result of the work of the House Intelligence Committee.

This is the list:

1) The important role that the incendiary allegations in the still-unverified Trump dossier played in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

2) The fact that the dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

3) The unusual circumstances surrounding the formal beginning of the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

4) The troubling deficiencies in the FBI’s application for a warrant to wiretap onetime Trump campaign figure Carter Page.

5) The anti-Trump bias of some of the top officials in the FBI investigation.

6) The degree to which the dossier’s allegations spread throughout the Obama administration during the final days of the 2016 campaign and the transition.

7) Obama officials’ unmasking of Trump-related figures in intelligence intercepts.

8) The fact that FBI agents did not believe Michael Flynn lied to them in the interview that later led to Flynn’s guilty plea on a charge of lying to the FBI.

9) The role of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in the Trump-Russia probe.

There is more. The article notes that the FBI and Justice Department fiercely resisted the investigation. They withheld materials, dragged their feet, and flat-out refused to provide information to which congressional overseers were clearly entitled.

The article further reports:

None of this has been bipartisan. The work has been done by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. And if Democrats win control of the House, as a number of polls suggest they will do, it will stop immediately.

If Democrats win, Rep. Adam Schiff, who has opposed nearly everything Nunes has done, will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Rep. Jerrold Nadler will head the Judiciary Committee. And Rep. Elijah Cummings will take over the Oversight Committee.

This month Schiff wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post broadly outlining the new direction Democrats would take. In the Intelligence Committee, Schiff promised to investigate aspects of Trump-Russia that committee Republicans would not — a move that would target the president but also likely duplicate the work of other investigators. Schiff also mentioned what he said were “serious and credible allegations the Russians may possess financial leverage over the president, including perhaps the laundering of Russian money through his businesses.”

The Judiciary and Oversight Committees would also abandon their current paths and focus directly on the president.

There are legitimate concerns about the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent. It is unfortunate that the Democrats do not seem to share this concern. If the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, the political abuses of government agencies will continue. At that point we will lose the concept of ‘equal justice under the law.’ We will be on our way to becoming a nation where your politics matter more than your guilt or innocence.

Pastor Brunson Is Free

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Pastor Andrew Brunson was released yesterday after a Turkish court convicted him of aiding terrorism but sentenced him only to time served. He was flown out of Turkey to Germany last night.

The picture below is from The Gateway Pundit:

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Ambassador Grenell offered Pastor Brunson an American flag.
Brunson immediately took the flag and kissed it.

The Washington Post also reported:

U.S. officials said Thursday that the two governments had negotiated an agreement that would see Brunson released in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions on two senior Turkish cabinet ministers — penalties imposed to gain leverage in the Brunson case. The deal was reached on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last month, the officials said.

In recent months, the Trump administration had made the pastor’s release a priority. Vice President Pence took a particular interest, helping mobilize Trump’s evangelical political base in support of the cause.

Brunson’s release also came as Turkey was investigating the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who Turkish investigators believe was killed after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week. Turkey has briefed U.S. officials on the investigation and is seeking the Trump administration’s support in pressing Saudi Arabia to provide information about Khashoggi’s fate. At the same time, Turkey is trying to avoid a total rupture in relations with the Saudis, analysts said.

In recent years President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been taking steps to move Turkey toward a Muslim caliphate (with dreams of reestablishing a caliphate that encompasses much of the Middle East with Erdogan as the caliph). Turkey has also moved closer to Russia during that time and away from its previous friendly relationship with Israel. There are currently some real questions about whether or not Turkey should remain a member of NATO.

Chess And Checkers

In the past, the Democrats and their media allies have played chess while the Republicans have played checkers. That seems to be changing. In evaluating Donald Trump, you have to consider who he was before he ran for President. Donald Trump inherited two major things from his father–a good supply of seed money and a strong work ethic. With those two things, he entered the real estate market in New York City, definitely a place where street smarts, common sense, and the ability to play poker are needed. He succeeded in that market by marketing his brand and building tall buildings. In creating that success, he often dealt with people who played by rules other than those of polite society. He honed the ability to know when he could close a deal with a handshake and when he needed an ironclad contract. He also mastered the art of leverage. That brings me to the present.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday that asks the questions, “Did Hillary Clinton Direct Deep State’s Trump Investigation?”

That is an interesting question. At present the evidence is circumstantial, but the article lists much of that evidence:

Last week, while Washington Democrats and their far-left allies shrieked in rage at the prospect of Kavanaugh taking a seat on the high court, former FBI General Counsel James Baker — who reported directly to former FBI Director James Comey — told congressional investigators that an attorney from the Perkin Coies law firm gave him materials about Russian election meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign.

This is a stunning revelation, since it directly contradicts Justice Department and FBI official sworn testimony.

…Baker told Congress last week that Perkin Coies lawyer Michael Sussmann directly handed documents to him about Russia’s attempts at meddling in the 2016 election. He was a cutout, a go-between, for Hillary Clinton. And the FBI knew it.

…”Numerous officials at the DOJ and the FBI have told us under oath…nobody at FBI or DOJ knew anything about the Democratic Party being behind the Clinton dirt,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Sunday. “Now you have one of the top lawyers for the Democrats and the Clinton campaign who was feeding information directly to the top lawyer at the FBI.”

The article concludes:

Nunes says that the recent revelations show why President Trump should declassify some of the Russia-related documents. We think that should only be the starting point for a thorough investigation of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s apparent crimes.

An article at The American Thinker posted today offers one explanation of why the declassification of the Russia-related documents has been delayed:

There’s a reason why President Trump has not unilaterally declassified the documents exposing perfidy against him: leverage.  As the whole Russia hoax is beginning to come into some sort of global perspective – quite literally, as we’ll see – the extent of the advantage he now maintains by holding back declassification as a threat outweighs the benefits of transparency.  Recent posts by observers who write from widely varying perspectives give us the ability to discern the current state of play.

The article at The American Thinker explains the principle of leverage involved in not declassifying those documents:

There are many other players, in addition to Rosenstein, who are at serious risk.  But from the perspective of leverage, Rosenstein is the key because he created the special counsel part of the hoax and because – as a result of A.G. Sessions’s recusal – he remains in charge of the special counsel operation.  Rosenstein can exercise as much or as little control over Mueller as he wants.  Trump’s threat of declassification of the “origination material” gives Trump complete leverage over Rosenstein and therefore over Mueller.

…Leverage, anyone?  Declassification would expose all these foreign players, but the heaviest hit by far would be against the U.K. and its Australian poodle.  And so we learn that “key allies” “begged” Trump not to declassify that “origination material.”

We currently have a President who plays chess. We need to get used to that.