Something To Consider

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

The editorial states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On December 1, 2017, Newsweek reported:

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

The editorial continues:

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

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

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

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

Swamps And Alligators

As the saying goes–“When you are up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp.” As we watch the deep state react to being backed into a corner, it is good to remember that expression.

Let’s try to put the ‘hair-on-fire’ reporting of the President’s statements at his press conference with Putin in perspective. First of all, we have seen in the short time that Donald Trump has been President that he tends to be polite in press conferences. We also have learned that he tends to be tough in private talks.

One of the hair-on-fire media statements is that Putin must have something on President Trump. He may, but I can guarantee he has a whole lot more on Hillary Clinton.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today that reminds us:

Last week we learned that a “foreign entity” may have been secretly receiving Hillary Clinton’s emails while she was Secretary of State, including many that contained classified information. And that the FBI apparently ignored this information during its “investigation.” The reaction by the press to this bombshell? Crickets.

At one point during Peter Strzok’s congressional testimony last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert made a stunning claim: FBI investigators were told that Clinton’s emails had been surreptitiously forwarded to a “foreign entity.” And the FBI investigators who were allegedly conducting a thorough, unbiased, professional probe into Clinton’s mishandling of classified materials ignored it.

Trump did business with Russia for years. It is quite possible some corners were cut. How does that stack up to information that could have been obtained from Hillary Clinton’s server–Clinton Foundation activities illegally related to State Department access, misuse of funds going into the Clinton Foundation, pay-for-play schemes, Uranium One information, etc. It seems to me that anything Putin may or may not have on President Trump pales in comparison to what Putin has on Hillary Clinton.

The following was posted at rightwinggranny on March 7, 2018:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

The above quote is from October 2016. As usual, the late Charles Krauthammer was right on target.

ZeroHedge quotes a claim Vladimir Putin made in the press conference in Helsinki:

Vladimir Putin made a bombshell claim during Monday’s joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, when the Russian President said some $400 million in illegally earned profits was funneled to the Clinton campaign by associates of American-born British financier Bill Browder – at one time the largest foreign portfolio investors in Russia. The scheme involved members of the U.S. intelligence community, said Putin, who he said “accompanied and guided these transactions.”

Browder made billions in Russia during the 90’s. In December, a Moscow court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax fraud, while he was also found guilty of tax evasion in a separate 2013 case. Putin accused Browder’s associates of illegally earning over than $1.5 billion without paying Russian taxes, before sending $400 million to Clinton.

Is it possible that the hair-on-fire reporting on President Trump’s statement is simply to distract us from the questions about the $400 million donation to the Clinton campaign?

 

 

 

Exactly How Did The Surveillance Of The Trump Campaign Begin?

Every now and then I post a story that I don’t understand, but I think is important. This is one of those stories. I think we may see its importance in the coming months, but right now it just looks like bureaucracy.

Breitbart is reporting the following today:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Monday referred ten current and former U.S. officials to the House Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees’ joint task force, as it investigates potential DOJ and FBI wrongdoing related to the Trump-Russia probe.

In question is exactly when the federal investigation into and surveillance of the Trump campaign began and whether or not it was justified when it began.

The article at Breitbart reports:

Papadopoulos was reportedly told by a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails. Downer requested a meeting with Papadopoulos weeks afterward. Papadopoulos reportedly told Downer in May 2016 that he was told Russia had dirt on Clinton, but did not specify “emails.”

The conversation was reportedly passed on from Downer to Amb. Joe Hockey, who was Australia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom serving in London at that time. Hockey reportedly passed on the conversation to the U.S. Embassy in London after the emails were released on July 22, 2016, who relayed it to the FBI.

Normally, intelligence passed on from a member of the “Five Eyes” alliance — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. — to another member comes through an official channel for intelligence sharing.

However, Nunes, upon reviewing the document that formally launched the FBI’s investigation, said there was no intelligence shared through that official channel, meaning that the intelligence was shared through unofficial means.

U.S. officials who were serving at the U.S. Embassy in London listed in Nunes letter include: Elizabeth Dibble, Lewis Lukens, and Thomas Williams.

Dibble served as the deputy chief of mission at the embassy from 2013 through July 2016. Previously, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, from 2011 to 2013.

Lukens is the current deputy chief of mission at the embassy, who has served there since August 2016. Williams serves as the minister counselor for political affairs at the embassy, where he has served since at least December 2015. (The italics above are mine).

The article also mentions:

Nunes’s letter also lists Colin Kahl, former national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, another former Biden aide, and former journalist Shailagh Murray – who is married to a Fusion GPS executive Neil King, Jr. – as well as former top Clinton State Department aide and campaign official Jake Sullivan.

This is getting to the bottom of the swamp.

 

The Timing Is The Key

The video below was posted yesterday at National Review in an article by Andrew McCarthy. It illustrates the timeline (and the linkage) of the exoneration of Hillary Clinton for breaking the laws regarding the handling of classified information and the attack on Donald Trump as colluding with the Russians. The article illustrates that in the minds of the highly-politicized FBI, Hillary needed to be exonerated early in the campaign and Donald Trump needed to be painted as working for the Russians in order to insure a Clinton victory. Hopefully the dishonest actions of those at the top of the FBI and DOJ will be dealt with in the near future.

Sometimes The Media Spin Is Simply Pathetic

On May 10, The Gateway Pundit quoted a Wall Street Journal article by Kimberley Strassel (The Wall Street Journal article is not linked because it is behind the subscriber wall):

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

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

We now know the identity of this person, and it has been confirmed that he was in the Trump campaign working for the FBI. So how does the media spin this?

On Friday, The Washington Post reported:

…But Trump and his backers are wrong about what it means that the FBI reportedly was using a confidential source to gather information early in its investigation of possible campaign ties to Russia. The investigation started out as a counterintelligence probe, not a criminal one. And relying on a covert source rather than a more intrusive method of gathering information suggests that the FBI may have been acting cautiously — perhaps too cautiously — to protect the campaign, not undermine it.

As a former FBI counterintelligence agent, I know what Trump apparently does not: Counterintelligence investigations have a different purpose than their criminal counterparts. Rather than trying to find evidence of a crime, the FBI’s counterintelligence goal is to identify, monitor and neutralize foreign intelligence activity in the United States. In short, this entails identifying foreign intelligence officers and their network of agents; uncovering their motives and methods; and ultimately rendering their operations ineffective — either by clandestinely thwarting them (say, by feeding back misinformation or “flipping” their sources into double agents) or by exposing them.

Was there an FBI spy in the Hillary Clinton campaign to make sure the Russians did not influence the campaign?

If American voters fall for this spin, we probably do deserve to lose our republic.

An Honest Man Creates A Problem For The Deep State

The American Thinker posted an article today about the role of retired Admiral Mike Rogers in making things difficult for the deep state during the primary election season. The article is a perfect example of how one honest man can make a difference.

The article deals with the revelation of the identity of the spy the Obama administration had placed inside the Trump campaign during the primary and beyond.

The article reports:

Last week I reported that Internet sleuths had winkled out the name of the spy/agent provocateur that Obama’s intelligence officers had used on the Trump campaign. The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name. 

Again, the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. 

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign. 

This is the story:

Former FBI agent Mark Wauck suggests Halper may have been operating under a preliminary investigation(PI), not a full Investigation (FI)

The FBI is asked–way back as early as 2015, but who knows? — to be helpful to the Dems and they agree. What they do is they hire non-government consultants with close Dem ties to do “analytical work” for them, which happens to include total access to NSA data. Advantages? For the Dems, obviously, access to EVERYTHING digital. A gold mine for modern campaign research. For the FBI there’s also an advantage. They get to play dumb — gosh, we didn’t know they were looking at all that stuff! They also don’t have to falsify anything, like making [stuff] up to “justify” opening a FI [full investigation]on an American citizen and then lying to the FISC to get a FISA on the USPER [US person] and having to continually renew the FISA and lie all over again to the FISC each renewal. And the beauty of it all is, who’s ever going to find out? And even if they do, how do you prove criminal intent?

So everything’s humming along until a pain in the a** named Mike Rogers at NSA does an audit in 4/2016, just as the real campaign season is about to start. And Rogers learns that 85% of the searches the FBI has done between 12/2015 and 4/2016 have been totally out of bounds. And he clamps down — no more non-government contractors, tight auditing on searches of NSA data. Oh sh*t! What to do, just give up? Well, not necessarily, but there’s a lot more work involved and a lot more fudging the facts. What the FBI needs to do now is get a FISA that will cover their a** and provide coverage on the GOPers going forward. That means, first get a FI on an USPER [US person] connected to the Trump campaign (who looks, in [April] or [May] 2016, like the GOP candidate) so you can then get that FISA. That’s not so easy, because they’ve got to find an USPER with that profile who they can plausibly present as a Russian spy. But they have this source named Halper.

So they first open a PI [preliminary investigation]. That allows them to legally use NatSec Letters and other investigative techniques to keep at least some of what they were doing going. But importantly this allows them to legally use Halper to try to frame people connected to the Trump campaign — IOW, find someone to open a FI on so they can then get that FISA. However the PI is framed, that’s what they’re looking to do. It has legal form, even if the real intent is to help the Dems. And you can see why this had to be a CI [counterintelligence] thing, so in a sense the Russia narrative was almost inevitable — no other bogeyman would really fit the bill, and especially on short notice.

So that’s what they do, and Halper helps them come up with Papadopoulos and Page, so by the end of July they’ve got their FI. Problem. Their first FISA is rejected, but eventually, 10/2016, they get that.

And then Trump wins and Rogers visits Trump Tower. And the Deep State has a fit.

The article also reveals the role of Virginia Senator Mark Warner in this story:

Mark Warner was also the guy caught text messaging with DC Lawyer Adam Waldman in the spring of 2017. (his first assignment) Waldman was the lawyer for the interests of Christopher Steele – the author of the dossier.

While he was working as an intermediary putting Senator Warner and Christopher Steele in contact with each other, simultaneously Adam Waldman was also representing the interests of… wait for it… Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Derispaska was the Russian person approached by Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok and asked to assist in creating dirt on the Trump campaign, via Paul Manafort.

You see, Senator Mark Warner has a vested interest in making sure that no-one ever gets to the bottom of the 2016 political weaponization, spying and surveillance operation.

Senator Mark Warner was a participant in the execution of the “insurance policy” trying to remove President Trump via the Russian Collusion narrative. 

The article concludes:

Wretchard tweets something impossible to deny: “The biggest problem with politically weaponizing intelligence agencies is it CREATES a pathway for the foreign takeover of the system. If once a hostile power takes over the WH, it obtains the power to remain indefinitely.”

We now have an imaginary crime – collusion – with imaginary evidence and even imaginary defendants. What is not imaginary is the selfish effort to destroy our polity by several handfuls of men and women who abused their positions of trust for intended partisan gain that failed. Give them the hook already.

No wonder Congress is having such a hard time obtaining the documents it is entitled to!

Please follow the link to read the entire article. There are some amazing connections revealed here. There are also many people named in this article that need to suffer the consequences of their actions.

The Pieces Are Beginning To Fit Together

Townhall posted an article today that explains a lot of the pieces in the Special Prosecutor story and how those who supported Hillary Clinton for President worked together inside the government to create problems for President Trump.

The article reminds us:

On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration – with three weeks remaining in its term – issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.

In the two years since that was done, it has become obvious that the basis for the sanctions was questionable at best. So what was this all about?

The story begins with the emails showing that the Democratic primary election was rigged for Hillary Clinton. There are still questions as to whether those emails were ‘phished’ or hacked. The scandal was significant enough to cause the resignation of DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the Democratic convention.

The article points out:

The FBI never bothered to test the computers for a hack.  That task was left to CrowdStrike, a private contractor whose CTO and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a Russian ex-patriot and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with an anti-Russian agenda.

The Atlantic Council is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, a $10 million donor to the Clinton Foundation.  The fix was in.  CrowdStrike dutifully reported that the Russians were behind the hack.

Lat year The Nation, a progressive publication, got a group of unaffiliated computer experts to test CrowdStrike’s hypothesis and they concluded that the email files were removed from the computer at a speed that makes an off-site download from Russia impossible.  

The saga continued:

Trump protested by stating the obvious: the federal government has “no idea” who was behind the hacks.

The FBI and CIA called him a liar, issuing a “Joint Statement” that suggested 17 intelligence agencies agree that it was the Russians. Hillary Clinton took advantage of this “intelligence assessment” in the October debate to portray Trump as Putin’s stooge.

She said, “We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”

The media’s fact checkers excoriated Trump for lying. It was the ultimate campaign dirty trick: a joint operation by the intelligence agencies and the media against a political candidate.

The article concludes:

The machinations that followed, the secret memos and special counsel, the prosecution of Flynn anyway for what happened in his conversation, the whole sordid mess, is a cover-up.

In the inverse logic of Russian collusion, the investigation itself supplies credibility to the collusion narrative. Any attempt to end the investigation is obstruction of justice.

One person has the constitutional responsibility end this nonsense. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who himself was duped into recusing himself by since discredited intelligence, should bow to recent disclosures of impropriety and say enough is enough.

His Inspector General will be issuing a report to him sometime soon. Maybe then he will lift his recusal and start the prosecutions. People should go to jail for this.

This is a scenario generally reserved for third-world countries. It is distressing to know that we have people in government who are so unpatriotic as to engage in this sort of shenanigans. Hopefully there will be an influx of politicians into our jail cells in the near future.

There Seems To Be A Definite Lack Of Transparency Here

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

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

The article concludes with several legal opinions on the matter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why A Federal Judge Is Questioning Mueller’s Actions

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

The article details the events in the courtroom:

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

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

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

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

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

Ellis seemed amused and not persuaded.

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

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

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

Using The Government To Intimidate Those With Differing Views

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Caputo concludes:

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

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

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

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

 

The Lies Just Keep On Coming

Breitbart posted a story today about The New York Times’ leak of the questions that Robert Mueller supposedly plans to ask President Trump. Hopefully President Trump will tell Robert Mueller to go pound sand. But, in case he doesn’t, there is an interesting back story on one of the questions. I really wonder if these are current questions, because they seem to be seeking evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. All reliable sources have stated that never happened–the Congressional report was recently released. But evidently Mueller is still looking.

One of the questions leaked is “What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?” Well, there is a presupposition there that is false. As the Breitbart article explains:

The conspiracy theory was debunked by Washington Examiner columnist Byron York in an extensive investigative article in March 2017 titled, “How pundits got key part of Trump-Russia story all wrong.”

York explained that the Republican platform not only retained its criticisms of Russian policy in the Ukraine, but that these were made even stronger during the process of drafting, including after instructions were allegedly received from “New York.”

This is the real story according to Byron York:

As it turns out, a look at the original draft of the platform — which has never been released publicly — shows that it always had tough language on Russian aggression in Ukraine. And not only did that language stay in the final platform — nothing was taken out — it was actually strengthened, not weakened, as a result of events at the convention.

Not long after the platform subcommittee meeting, the [Washington] Post’s “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine” story was published [here, in the opinion section], and a new conventional wisdom began to form: The Trump team, doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, gutted the GOP platform’s position on behalf of Russia.

That is precisely the opposite of what happened. In the end, the platform, already fairly strong on the Russia-Ukraine issue, was strengthened, not weakened, as a result of the subcommittee meeting. The Trump campaign agreed to a platform condemning Kremlin belligerence, calling for continued, and perhaps increased, sanctions against Russia, for the full restoration of Ukrainian territory, for refusing to accept “any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere,” and pledging to aid Ukraine’s armed forces.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

It is odd that the Special Counsel, who presumably has access to the Washington Examiner and the underlying facts and witnesses, would taint his inquiry by including a debunked conspiracy theory among the questions to be put to the president.

The fact that Mueller did so — assuming the Times report is accurate — lends weight to claim that the investigation has become so partisan as to call its credibility into question.

It truly is time for Mueller to pack his bags and go home.

Russian Collusion Is Real–Just Not Where Robert Mueller Is Looking

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the collusion between Russia and some popular environmental groups in America.

The article reports:

New Yorkers who are missing out on the natural gas revolution could be victims of Russian spy operations that fund popular environmental groups, current and former U.S. government officials and experts on Russia worry.

Natural gas development of the celebrated Marcellus Shale deposits has spurred jobs and other economic growth in neighboring Pennsylvania. But not in New York, which nearly 10 years ago banned the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to produce natural gas.

Two environmental advocacy groups that successfully lobbied against fracking in New York each received more than $10 million in grants from a foundation in California that got financial support from a Bermuda company congressional investigators linked to the Russians, public documents show.

The environmental groups Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club Foundation millions of dollars in grants from the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation.

 “Follow the money trail, and this [New York] ban on fracking could be viewed as an example of successful Russian espionage,” Ken Stiles, a CIA veteran of 29 years who now teaches at Virginia Tech, told The Daily Signal.

The article explains why the Russians would be concerned about energy development in America:

Since the U.S. is now the top producer of natural gas in the world, and well positioned to export liquefied natural gas across the globe, Russia recognizes it gradually could lose influence in parts of the world where Moscow has been the dominant supplier of oil and gas, Stiles said in a phone interview.

“America’s natural gas revolution has huge geopolitical ramifications, so Russia’s motivation to try to block our natural gas development is easy to understand,” the CIA veteran said. “If you are worried about the Russian bear rearing its ugly head in the next several years, the way to stop that and put it back into its cage is to cut it off at the knees financially.”

“That’s what natural gas pipelines are all about and that’s what fracking is all about. We are providing affordable energy to average Americans at home and our allies overseas.”

The Russian economy depends on higher oil prices. Russia also uses energy to blackmail European countries into cooperation. America’s development of its own natural resources is a necessary balance to the Russian use of energy as a blackmail tool.

 

Reaping The Benefits Of America’s Energy Development

On Monday, Investor’s Business Daily posted a commentary on the current global oil market. The commentary noted that Russia has been working with OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to cut oil production in an effort to keep oil prices artificially high (after all– it worked in the 1970’s).

The commentary reports:

Despite an uptick in oil prices, a closer look at the oil market unveils the real winner of curtailing crude exports: America. U.S. oil output broke through the 10 million barrels a day mark for the first time in half a century. And, according to a recent statement by the Director of the International Energy Agency, it could reach a record of 12.1 million barrels a day in 2023.

Although the price of a barrel of oil has somewhat retreated from the January $70 heights, it is still $10 above its level a year ago and more than double what it was during the price collapse in early 2016. This has been helped along by phenomenal discipline within OPEC+, as the agreement on production cuts between OPEC, Russia and nine more exporting countries is informally known. Apparently compliance has reached a surprising 138% — exporters have made bigger cuts than initially pledged.

The details of this show that one reason for the drop in production is the collapse of Venezuela‘s oil industry. Last year oil production in Venezuela shrunk by 20 percent– roughly 500,000 barrels a day. When the government nationalized the oil rigs in Venezuela, they had no idea how to maintain the rigs and maintain production, so production has continued to drop since that takeover. What has happened (and is happening) in Venezuela is a living example of the fact that socialism does not work.

The commentary concludes:

Arguably, leaders of the Gulf states and Russia are falling victim to politics, a field in which it’s better to be seen doing something than nothing. Especially when no one is sure what (if anything) would work. But who is the biggest economic winner in this game? Ironically, it’s America yet again.

Each time Saudi Arabia and their allies restrict exports, they prop up the price and create a vacant market share which then gives a boost to those producers outside the agreement that are not bound by quotas. The biggest among them is the United States. Naturally, thousands of American companies are keen for a free ride.

All of that is happening already. The U.S. has just overtaken Saudi Arabia in oil production and is expected to rival Russia soon. No wonder U.S. oil companies were expected to be especially cordial with the Saudi delegation during the princely visit. But one might imagine that on the sidelines of the meetings many Saudis will be scratching their heads and wondering how and why did they get themselves into this pickle.

America needs to be energy independent. It allows us to be in control of the fossil fuel that is the backbone of the current world economy. The 1970’s proved that was important.

Getting Closer To The Truth

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the ongoing struggle to get documents requested from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the House Judiciary Committee.

The article reports:

Tomorrow Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce the assignment of U.S. Attorney John Lausch to facilitate the production of documents from the DOJ (Horowitz/Huber) to the House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

Mr. Lausch is a Trump appointed U.S. Attorney from outside Washington DC.  John Lausch currently heads the Northern District of Illinois which includes Chicago, and this specific U.S. Attorney has extensive experience in complex cases of conspiracy and political corruption; a key skill-set given the issues within the Horowitz/Huber investigation of potential politicization of the FBI and DOJ offices.

So what does this mean? This is the next step toward the release of the Inspector General‘s (IG) report and an effort to make sure the report that comes out is free of political meddling by the FBI and DOJ.

The article explains some of the process involved in releasing the IG report:

There’s a phase in the OIG report process where statements of fact go through an exhaustive draft vetting process within agency. The “source vetting” or “reference-audit” phase is part of the target -and internal review audit- prior to final draft & ultimately publication.

The raw investigative information, used as the foundation for the report, has to be vetted, re-checked, verified and reviewed for placement and footnotes in the draft report, before ANY of that source information is released.

FBI Director Christopher Wray previously assigned 54 staff to go through the IG source draft information (investigative documents) to validate baseline facts prior to release to congress. This process also scans for classified information.

These FBI staff are vetting the underlying evidence that’s noted in Horowitz’s draft notification document. Remember, many of these elements are also potentially criminal actions individually; and quite likely, in the aggregate, also the broad outlines of a criminal conspiracy amid all of the participants.

The activities illustrated by the already released emails indicate some criminal actions. There was a group of people working within the government to unseat a duly-elected President. That is not legal activity and needs to be dealt with by the appropriate authorities.

The article describes the activities under investigation:

However, given the reality that politicization of the FBI and DOJ underpins the origination of the investigation that generated the underlying evidence, in order to ensure any internal FBI conflicts do not arise amid document selection, John Lausch will be involved.

U.S. Attorney Lausch review will ensure the FBI does not hide, or marginalize any OIG investigative findings.

You can call it a soft-coup, or you can call it politicization of the DOJ and FBI, but the end result is the same – the intentional effort to manipulate, influence, and ultimately subvert an election for the presidency of the United States.

This needs to be dealt with severely so that it never happens again.

The Real Russian Collusion

We are hearing a lot about Ted Kennedy with the release of the movie “Chappaquiddick” The man who was praised at his funeral for being a wonderful addition to American politics is being revealed for being a deeply flawed human being. Chappaquiddick was bad enough, but there were other things done by Ted Kennedy that were simply not right. His treatment of Robert Bork is one example, but there is another example of bad behavior that borders on treason.

The American Spectator posted an article today that reminds us of something Ted Kennedy did that was truly unacceptable.

The article states:

In 1991, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened the archives of the Soviet Central Committee, Western researchers quickly descended on Moscow to plow through the treasure trove of previously classified official documents.

Among those researchers was Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times and the BBC who found a May 14, 1983 letter from KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov. Bearing the highest security classification, it summarized a confidential offer by Senator Ted Kennedy to the Soviet leadership to help stop President Ronald Reagan’s aggressive, anti-Soviet defense policies.

The letter was written as the debate was heating up over Reagan’s proposed deployment of intermediate range missiles to counter the Soviets’ medium range weapons in Eastern Europe.

 Sebastian reported his find in an article titled “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file” which appeared in the February 2, 1992, London Times. And there the story remained unheeded and unheralded until 2006 when historian Paul Kengor published The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism in which he discussed Kennedy’s secret approach to the Soviets.

In an appendix to his book, Kengor reproduced Chebrikov’s classified missive unedited and unabridged along with extensive documentation establishing its authenticity.

This is an example of partisan politics going well past the borders of the United States.

The article at The American Spectator illustrates that media bias is not a new thing:

So, what was the reaction of the mainstream media when this alarming document was made public? According to Paul Kengor, not a single American news organization picked up the London Times story.

Similarly, when Kengor published his book which discussed and reproduced the letter, he “couldn’t get a single major news source to do a story on it. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC. Not one covered it.” And “all mainstream sources” turned down his proffered op-eds regarding Chebrikov’s letter.

Think about that. Here is a classified document found in the Soviet archives from the head of the secret police to the General Secretary spelling out an outrageous and treasonous political plot by Kennedy to enlist the Soviet Union’s assistance in his campaign for the presidency. And not one major media outlet uttered so much as a peep about it.

So the voters of Massachusetts never had a chance to know that Ted Kennedy, their Senator, had attempted to work with the Russians to avoid the election of Ronald Reagan. Don’t you think they were entitled to know that? Well, wait a minute. These are Massachusetts voters, and he was a Kennedy.

The article concludes:

The media’s failure to even report or discuss the discovery and contents of Chebrikov’s letter is but one more example of their dishonesty. The fact that they have ignored this story should tell us all that we need to know about their integrity, fairness, and allegiance to the truth. How many more examples of their blatant bias and duplicity do we need before we completely discount all of their reportage as nothing more than progressive agitprop and propaganda?

As a wise man once said, if the mainstream media didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all. For further proof of that statement, one need only to compare and contrast the media’s fevered, unhinged coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion theory with the protective cone of silence they have placed over “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file.”

The silence on this story is one of many reasons Americans have turned to alternative news sources.

 

 

Now This Is Finally Starting To Make Sense

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that explains a lot about the Mueller investigation and the timing of various events in that investigation. It also explains where the team of partisan investigators was chosen. I am going to attempt to summarize the article, but I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

The article includes a previously unknown letter from Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller outlining the specific authority of his investigative appointment. The letter is dated August 2, 2017.

The article asks several questions about the letter:

  • Question #1) Why did Asst. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein deliver a non-public outline of investigative authority to Mueller on August 2nd, 2017?
  • Question #2) Why would Robert Mueller be seeking a signed more specific outline of his investigative authority on August 2nd, 2017; a full three months after he was assigned the role of Special Counsel?
  • Question #3) Why would Robert Mueller need to redact the content of an official outline of his investigative instructions from the Asst. Attorney General?

The article also includes the original May 17th, 2017, Press Release announcing the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.

The article states:

So there we have the three areas of direct authority:  ¹Links or coordination between the Russian Government and the campaign of Donald Trump.  ²Matters that may arise from the investigation of the Russian government and the campaign of Donald Trump. And ³other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). [<- ie. ‘Jurisdiction‘]

So there’s the instructions to Robert Mueller and his team on May 17th, 2017.

The article explains where the Special Prosecutor’s team came from:

Now, as we previously discussed: “Robert Mueller didn’t necessarily appoint or select a team of lawyers and investigators…. the previously assembled team of lawyers and investigators selected him.”  The key player in that assembly was FBI Chief-Legal-Counsel and personal confidant to Robert Mueller, James Baker. (pictured right)

Remember, the “small group”, career officials inside the DOJ and FBI needed to continue their group effort after the election.  Therefore they needed to stay assembled as a group; they needed to stay on task, to facilitate the original intent of their association.  The Special Counsel was merely a way, an approach, a tool for this specific team to continue their efforts after the 2016 presidential election, nothing more – nothing less.

The team already existed. The objectives already existed. The only thing they needed was a willfully-blind leader and an excuse to continue their ideological efforts. Robert Mueller became their selected willfully-blind leader because the small group already knew him and they knew they could manipulate/use him.

Their ideological association is why the same people behind Phase 1 (Clinton Exoneration ’15, ’16), and Phase 2 (opposition research, counterintelligence and surveillance against Trump ’15, ’16, ’17), became the same people in Phase 3, the post-election vast Russian-Trump Collusion Conspiracy; also known as “The Insurance Policy”.  In many ways Phase 3 was/is more of a continued opposition research endeavor, part of the “resistance” per se, with a good dose of self-preservation binding them all together.

The article concludes:

Because Mueller’s team, the small group of political officials and lawyers, know all of these people inside the DOJ apparatus.  These are their peers, their comrades in ideology… this is their crew and social circle.  The last thing their legal endeavors need is to be put in a position of intel or information about their brethren.

And for Team-Leader Robert Mueller, against the back-drop of this information; and with IG Horowitz giving him details about Page/Strzok messages; there’s a strong motive to ask for a signed letter from Rosenstein prior to continuing to investigate the President of the United States knowing President Donald Trump was also a target of this plan – and these details were going to surface at some point.

Lastly, and specifically about Rod Rosenstein, perhaps at a certain point in the spring and early summer 2017 he might have thought there was a substantive way for the assembly to carry out their plan.  Perhaps he even believed the popular leftist narrative and thought there might be something to these ‘Trump-Russia-Collusion’ claims.  Perhaps that’s why he directed the Muller investigative mandate in May 2017 to the exclusivity of President Donald Trump with no mention of any other campaign (Hillary Clinton) contact with Russian entities.

However, by August 2017 with full information coming from IG Horowitz about the likelihood of criminal conduct by FBI and DOJ officials; at the time Rosenstein wrote the more carefully detailed outline; he had to know the investigation into Trump was heading no-where.

This is the best explanation of what the ‘deep state’ does that I have seen. It puts clarity on the ‘meeting in Andy’s office to discuss the insurance policy.’ What we have here is an illustration of exactly how that insurance policy has worked and continues to work.

Leaping To Conclusions To Make A Non-Existent Case

Russia, Russia, Russia has begun to sound like Marsha, Marsha, Marsha from the Brady Bunch. Even when there is nothing there, the mainstream media reports on what they think might be there. It has gotten very old. It has also gotten very expensive for the taxpayers to pay for an investigation that has lasted for more than a year and found nothing related to the campaign. They did find international businessmen who were not playing by the correct rules, and they did find someone who misremembered something, but campaign collusion with Russia? Not on the Republican side.

Yesterday Byron York posted an interesting story at The Washington Examiner that perfectly illustrates how insane the campaign to undo the 2016 election has become. The headline of the story is, “So why was Trump aide talking to a Russian spy?” Wow. It sounds like we have finally caught the Republicans (and Trump) red-handed. Well, not so fast.

The article tells us that Rick Gates is the Trump aide who spoke to the Russian spy.

The article points out:

CNN has learned why special counsel Robert Mueller wants the cooperation of former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates,” anchor Alisyn Camerota said Friday. “Court documents indicate that Gates could be critical to nabbing even bigger fish in a collusion case involving the Kremlin.”

Reporter Shimon Prokupecz said the Mueller team “has been primarily using Rick Gates for information about what they call the central mission of the investigation, which has been Russian interference and collusion in the 2016 campaign.” Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges unrelated to collusion and is now cooperating with Mueller.

 Prokupecz said he had learned Mueller did not need Gates’ cooperation in the tax evasion and fraud case against former employer (and short-lived Trump campaign chairman) Paul Manafort. “Instead, [Mueller] wanted to hear about what he knew about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.” A “hint” about Mueller’s intentions, Prokupecz said, was contained in a new court filing that “shows Gates was communicating with a Russian intelligence official who was also a close associate of Paul Manafort, and the court document said that Gates knew of this connection while he was working for the Trump campaign.”

One wonders how “CNN has learned.” That’s my first question. The second question is the method used to get Gates’ cooperation–“Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges unrelated to collusion and is now cooperating with Mueller. Why was Mueller even investigating charges unrelated to collusion? The third question is how much information was left out of the CNN story–that’s where things get interesting.

The article concludes:

So putting it all together, yes, Gates was “in contact with a Russian intelligence officer.” And who knows? Perhaps they were plotting to fix the U.S. presidential election for President Trump. But the evidence that Mueller has revealed, and the statements he has made, suggest something more prosaic. Manafort, Gates, and Kilimnik were engaged in all sorts of shady and possibly illegal conduct in Ukraine. They were not interested in the world knowing about it. In addition, Manafort and Gates were strapped for cash and thought some Ukrainians owed them millions of dollars. Which means there were plenty of reasons for Gates and Kilimnik to be in contact in 2016, none of which they would want prosecutors to know about.

Ron Brownstein was right when he advised caution in drawing conclusions about the Mueller investigation. There is still too much that is hidden. But it is reasonable to assess what we know so far. And for the moment at least, the bread crumbs do not add up to a hoagie.

If jumping to conclusions counted as exercise, the mainstream media would put Richard Simmons to shame!

 

 

 

This Might Explain A Few Things

National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been replaced by John Bolton. I am celebrating this change–John Bolton is a man of integrity replacing someone with a somewhat questionable resume.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday detailing some of H.R. McMaster’s previous work.

The article reports:

Outgoing National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster served for more than a decade as a consultant to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, a foreign-based think-tank that has received funding from hostile foreign governments to include Russia and China, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

…IISS operates offices in the Bahrain, Singapore and Washington, D.C. It generally reflects a globalist “realist” Eurocentric view of foreign and military postures that’s at odds with Trump’s foreign policy. The think-tank was a major advocate of former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

IISS receives funding from friendly Western sources such as aerospace firms and even the British army, but is also has received funding from the Russian Federation, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the governments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the IISS website.

During McMaster’s time at IISS, the think tank also received $700,000 from George Soros’s Open Society and $140,000 from Ploughshares, the pacifist organization that aggressively pushed for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

The organization’s council — its board of directors — also is filled with people who have ties to the Kremlin, to the Qatari emir who has been accused of supporting terrorists, to people associated with the Uranium One scandal, and with a Russian investment bank that paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech.

The article includes a few comments from former military officers on the appointment of McMaster:

“This is bizarre,” retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin said in an interview with TheDCNF. “If that kind of information was available to The Trump administration before they selected him, the question is: Would they have selected him for this very job?”

…Retired Rear Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, who served 35 years in the Navy, including a stint as commander of the Pacific Fleet, told TheDCNF McMaster’s consulting role at the think tank was “absurd.”

“It is really absurd that an active duty military officer, particularly one of flag rank, is a consultant to a foreign organization that is taking money and contributions from questionable countries that are known enemies of the United States,” Lyons told TheDCNF in an interview. “This to me seems to be outside the bounds of what we’re committed to. This is atrocious.”

“I’ve never seen this kind of thing before,” said Boykin, a 36-year veteran who served as under secretary for defense intelligence for President George W. Bush.

Boykin said he was convinced any commanding officer would have rejected McMaster’s proposed consulting work at IISS. “I cannot believe that the ethics people of the U.S. Army would approve of him doing that, and I can’t believe that any responsible person he worked for in the Army would have agreed to that.”

The article details some questionable activities of IISS and the secrecy surrounding its Bahrain conferences called the “Manama Dialogue.” I suspect the removal of McMaster is another blow against the deep state and might have a very positive impact on ending some of the leaks coming from the White House.

The Inspector General’s Report And Real Collusion

Kevin McCullough posted an article at Townhall today about the investigation into Russian collusion and the upcoming Inspector General‘s report. Anyone who is following the Russian collusion story on their own rather than listening to the mainstream media, is aware that there has been some serious wrongdoing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ). The corruption goes back a long time. I first became aware of the corruption in the DOJ when I watched how the voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia was handled. There was a video that showed voter intimidation, and the Justice Department dropped the charges against them (article here). The leaks coming from the FBI that undermine the presidency have been numerous, and no one seems to be held responsible. Congress is no better–one Congressman said that the House Intelligence Committee leaks like a sieve. So where do we go from here.

The firing of Andrew McCabe is the first step, but there is much more to come.

The article at Townhall reports:

Few remember, though my radio show discussed at length, the reports that surfaced in October of 2016. In reaction to the bizarre July 5th announcement by then FBI director James Comey, FBI officials revealed that members of the DOJ and FBI investigative teams that had worked the Hillary email case were “angered & disgusted” that the co-opted DOJ and FBI leadership ignored the very real analysis of evidence and decided against bringing criminal indictment against Hillary Clinton for the handling of top secret information. More than 100 FBI agents that worked the case, and more than 6 DOJ attorneys expressed their disgust, according to a source within the group. 

It was later revealed that Comey had been prepared to exonerate Clinton in February of that year when he would yet not interview her until months later. She was also granted an interview, instead of being asked to testify under oath.

The article goes on to list various misdeeds of people in the FBI regarding the handling and leaking of information to damage the President.

The article concludes:

There was collusion in the election of 2016. It involved Russians, a British ex-spy, law firms, FBI agents, DOJ attorneys, an FBI director that prejudged evidence, an Attorney General that had an unethical meeting with the spouse of a target, FISA warrants obtained on faulty information that stemmed from political sources, a Deputy Director whose wife received monetary support in an election, an FBI director who lied to Congress, an FBI Deputy Director who lied to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, loads of classified materials that were mishandled and criminally passed to those without clearances, and partisan hacks spearheading inquiries aiming for political outcomes. The scope of this collusion is overwhelming, the attempts are a damning indictment of political operatives that have lost all integrity, and sadly an administration, a major political party, and agents of a deep state that attempted in a wide sweeping number of ways to undo an election that they lost.

Former high-ranking FBI officials (like Chris Swetzer who appeared with Harris Faulkner’s FoxNews broadcast on Friday) believe that the Inspector General’s coming report will be explosive.

For the sake of justice, above all else, I hope it brings clarity to a story our modern media landscape is highly invested in keeping as convoluted as possible.

The Inspector General’s report is due out in a matter of weeks. Although the Inspector General does not have the right to prosecute crimes or to interview witnesses outside of the government. That is why many Republicans are asking for an additional Special Prosecutor to cover areas outside the areas covered by the Inspector General.

It is becoming obvious that some of the upper levels of the FBI and DOJ have become politicized. Hopefully the firing of Andrew McCabe is the beginning of solving that problem.

All The Roads Seem To Lead To The Same Place

John Solomon and Alison Spann posted an article at The Hill yesterday (updated today) about a new development in the Russia-Trump-Collusion investigation. It seems that every lead that formed the basis for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor goes back to the Clintons. Somehow that does not seem like an incredible coincidence.

The article is detailed with a lot of reference information, so I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article. It really is chilling to see how the power of government could be abused so totally as to be turned against one man.

The article reports:

The Australian diplomat whose tip in 2016 prompted the Russia-Trump investigation previously arranged one of the largest foreign donations to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable efforts, documents show.

Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s role in securing $25 million in aid from his country to help the Clinton Foundation fight AIDS is chronicled in decade-old government memos archived on the Australian foreign ministry’s website.

Downer and former President Clinton jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2006 that spread out the grant money over four years for a project to provide screening and drug treatment to AIDS patients in Asia.

We know that the dossier had ties to the Clintons. Now we know that the other basis for the investigation also had ties to the Clintons.

The Clintons handled the money with their usual level of integrity:

In the years that followed, the project won praise for helping thousands of HIV-infected patients in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, but also garnered criticism from auditors about “management weaknesses” and inadequate budget oversight, the memos show.

The article observes:

Downer, now Australia’s ambassador to London, provided the account of a conversation with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos at a London bar in 2016 that became the official reason the FBI opened the Russia counterintelligence probe.

But lawmakers say the FBI didn’t tell Congress about Downer’s prior connection to the Clinton Foundation. Republicans say they are concerned the new information means nearly all of the early evidence the FBI used to justify its election-year probe of Trump came from sources supportive of the Clintons, including the controversial Steele dossier.

“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that has been taking an increasingly visible role defending the Trump administration in the Russia probe. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.”

The Democrats of course replied with their usual spin:

Democrats accuse the GOP of overreaching, saying Downer’s role in trying to help the Clinton Foundation fight AIDS shouldn’t be used to question his assistance to the FBI.

“The effort to attack the FBI and DOJ as a way of defending the President continues,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel. “Not content to disparage our British allies and one of their former intelligence officers, the majority now seeks to defame our Australian partners as a way of undermining the Russia probe. It will not succeed, but may do lasting damage to our institutions and allies in the process.”

Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman, said any effort to connect the 2006 grant with the current Russia investigation was “laughable.”

I guess it’s reassuring to know that the Clintons’ corruption is not merely limited to America.

The Clintons also responded to the implication that the money might not have been spent exactly as warranted:

Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, said the focus should be on the foundation’s success helping tens of thousands of AIDS patients.

It really is time to send Mr. Mueller packing and clean out the upper levels of the FBI and Department of Justice. They have been hopelessly compromised. Every one of the people who provided the foundation for the investigation of President Trump has ties to the Clintons. There is no way that the Special Prosecutor should ever have been appointed. Unless Robert Mueller is fired and the investigation ended, we will never see equal justice under the law in America. Note that the questionable activities of the Clinton Foundation or the various scandals of the Clintons have never been fully investigated or prosecuted.

The Russian Collusion You Haven’t Heard About

On March 1st, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology posted the following Press Release:

SST Committee Staff Report Reveals Russia’s Social Media Meddling in U.S. Energy Markets

Mar 1, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released a staff report uncovering Russia’s extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms. The report details Russia’s motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda. The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts.

Chairman Smith: “This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market. Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production. U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.”

The report’s key findings:

  • Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 9,097 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 4,334 IRA accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • According to information provided by Twitter, more than four percent of all IRA tweets were related to energy or environmental issues, a significant portion of content when compared to the eight percent of IRA tweets that were related to the election in the U.S.
  • Russia exploited American social media as part of its concerted effort to disrupt U.S. energy markets and influence domestic energy policy.
  • The IRA targeted pipelines, fossil fuels, climate change and other divisive issues to influence public policy in the U.S.

The report can be found here.

Background

On October 31, 2017, Chairman Smith sent letters to Twitter and Facebook to continue its probe into Russian attempts to influence U.S. energy markets via social media platforms. The letters cited additional evidence that Russian agents engaged in anti-U.S. energy activities on the platforms, including Facebook-owned Instagram, and reiterated Chairman Smith’s September request for information from the companies.

On September 26, 2017, Chairman Smith requested documents and information from Twitter and Facebook related to Russian entities purchasing anti-U.S. energy advertisements on social media platforms operated by the companies, including Facebook-owned Instagram.

On July 7, 2017, Chairman Smith and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Treasury Department investigate allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. energy market through covertly funding radical environmental groups opposed to fossil fuels.

115th Congress
This is much more important than the current expensive, political, and endless investigation being carried out by Robert Mueller, yet somehow the press has not paid very much attention to it. It is time that we take a look at some of the funding of some of the radical environmental groups. For those of you old enough to remember, when the Soviet Union fell and America had access to some of their historic documents, we learned that many of the anti-war organizations of the 1960’s and 1970’s were Soviet funded. Most Americans had no idea that was happening. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

Some Perspective From Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review today about Russia’s relationship to American politics. The timeline of the article begins about 2009.

The article begins with the following:

Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status. From 2009 to 2015, in one of the most remarkable and Machiavellian efforts in recent strategic history, Putin almost single-handedly parlayed a deserved losing hand into a winning one. He pulled this off by flattering, manipulating, threatening, and outsmarting an inept and politically obsessed Obama administration.

Under the Obama presidency and the tenures of Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Russia made astounding strategic gains — given its intrinsic economic, social, and military weaknesses. The Obama reaction was usually incoherent (Putin was caricatured as a “bored kid in the back of the classroom” or as captive of a macho shtick). After each aggressive Russian act, the administration lectured that “it is not in Russia’s interest to . . . ” — as if Obama knew better than a thuggish Putin what was best for autocratic Russia.

A review of Russian inroads, presented in no particular order, is one of the more depressing chapters in post-war U.S. diplomatic history.

The article lists the missteps of the Obama Administration regarding Russia. It notes that Russia successfully annexed Crimea with little response from NATO. Russia essentially took control of eastern Ukraine. Russia also exerted enough pressure to prevent America from supplying the Czech Republic and Poland the missile defense systems they had been promised.

The article reminds us:

Russia since 2013 had sought to interfere in U.S. elections with impunity, so much so that as late as October 18, 2016, on the eve of the anticipated Clinton landslide, Obama mocked any suggestion that an entity could ever successfully warp the outcome of a U.S. election. (“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections. There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time, and so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes.”)

After a near 40-year hiatus, Russia was invited into the Middle East by the Obama administration. It soon became the power broker in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq and to some extent offered passive-aggressive support for Israel and Turkey — a position of influence that it retains to this day and that would now be hard to undo. It posed as a “helper” to the Obama administration with Iran and helped broker the disastrous Iran deal — and then used U.S. acquiescence to Iran to fuel the ascendance of the Iran-Hezbollah-Assad crescent.

Inviting Russia into the Middle East is not a recipe for peace. The article also cites other instances of Russia managing to create chaos in America. Please follow the link to read the entire article for the full picture.

The article concludes:

The verdict on Russia, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign is now becoming clearer. Russian reset resurrected Putin’s profile and hurt U.S. interests. It grew out of a partisan rebuke of the Bush administration’s perceived harshness to Russia and was later massaged to help Barack Obama’s reelection campaign by granting Russia concessions in hopes of a foreign-policy success that would lead to perceived calm. Russia deliberately inserted itself into the 2016 election, as it had in previous elections, because 1) it had suffered few if any prior consequences, 2) it wanted to sow chaos in the American political system, and 3) it saw a way to warp Clinton’s efforts to smear Donald Trump, first, no doubt to compromise a likely President Clinton, and, in unexpected fashion, later to undermine an actual President Trump.

 At very little cost, Russia has embarrassed American democracy, played the media for the partisans they are, completely discredited the Clinton campaign and name, and created a year of nonstop hysteria to undermine the Trump administration.

And it is not over yet.

I would disagree that the Russia has embarrassed American democracy–I think we have done that ourselves. The election of President Trump so unhinged the media and the Democratic Party that they forgot the rules of fair play. I understand that during political campaigns sometimes things go on that shouldn’t, but the Clinton campaign overstepped the bounds of running for office in ways that we have not seen before. At least during the Nixon administration when Nixon tried to use the government to collect information or government agencies as political weapons there were enough people in government agencies with integrity to tell him no. Evidently that is no longer the case.

 

 

Annoying Things Done By Politicians

Representative Adam Schiff released the Democratic memo about FISA surveillance on Saturday (when he assumed no one would be paying attention). The memo is an effort to deflect charges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were weaponized for political purposes during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. The memo itself was a purely political move, and the release of the memo on a Saturday night was also a political move. The release of the memo is interesting bercause the memo does not help the Democrats’ case.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review explaining that the memo does more damage to the Democrats’ arguments than helps them. Because of his extensive legal background, Andrew McCarthy is the perfect person to dissect this memo.

The article is detailed, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to summarize it.

The article reports:

The memo concedes that the FISA-warrant application relied on allegations by Steele’s anonymous Russian hearsay sources that:

Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Roseneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and “an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.” Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (“kompromat”) and noted the possibility of its being released to Candidate #1’s [i.e., Donald Trump’s] campaign. . . . This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

1) This was obviously the most critical allegation against Page. The Democrats attempt to make much of Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016, but the uncorroborated Sechin and Divyekin meetings, which Page credibly denies, are the aspect of the Moscow trip that suggested a nefarious Trump–Russia conspiracy. That’s what the investigation was about. Far from clandestine, the rest of Page’s trip was well publicized and apparently anodyne.

2) Democrats implausibly insist that what “launched” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was not Steele’s allegations but intelligence from Australia about George Papadopoulos’s contact with what Democrats elusively describe as “individuals linked to Russia.”

…Even if we assume for argument’s sake that these characters had solid regime connections — rather than that they were boasting to impress the credulous young Papadopoulos — they were patently not in the same league as Sechin, a Putin crony, and Divyekin, a highly placed regime official. And that, manifestly, is how the FBI and the DOJ saw the matter: They sought a FISA warrant on Page, not Papadopoulos. And, as the above-excerpted passage shows, they highlighted the Steele dossier’s sensational allegations about Page and then feebly tried to corroborate those allegations with some Papadopoulos information, not the other way around. (More on that when we get to Schiff’s notion of “corroboration.”)

The article also notes:

…because Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his “clandestine” activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

Because of the way this whole story has been reported, I am not sure many Americans realize that the constitutional rights of one of their fellow citizens were violated by the FISA Court. All of us need to remember that this could happen to any one of us. We also need to note that if the use of the FBI and DOJ for political purposes is not dealt with and the guilty parties punished, we will see more of this behavior in the future.

The article continues:

How’s this for transparency? The FISA warrant application says that Steele, referred to as “Source #1,” was “approached by” Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, referred to as “an identified U.S. person,” who

indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign. [Emphasis in Schiff memo, p. 5]

The first thing to notice here is the epistemological contortions by which the DOJ rationalized concealing that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for Steele’s reporting. They ooze consciousness of guilt. If you have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid disclosing something, it’s because you know that being “transparent” demands disclosing it.

As I stated, it is a very long and detailed article. Please follow the link above to see the other problems with the Schiff memo.

 

The Best Question Asked On The Sunday Morning Shows

The following video was posted at YouTube yesterday:

Most of the interview is a classic example of media bias and rehearsed talking points, but the question as to why the Democrats did not focus on the places the Russians knew to focus on is wonderful! Just for the record, there is no evidence that the Democrats were behind the hacking of the DNC. Remember that the DNC would not let the FBI examine their computers.

The Conservative Treehouse has a few relevant comments on this intervieiw:

Interesting interview. The Russians didn’t keep Hillary out of Wisconsin; the Russians didn’t make Hillary use personal email; the Russians didn’t hire Fusion-GPS; the Russians didn’t pay Christopher Steele; the Russians didn’t make a dossier or deliver work product to the State Dept; the Russians didn’t do the unmasking of campaign officials.

The Russians didn’t apply for a FISA warrant; the Russians didn’t lie to a FISA court; the Russians didn’t leak Mike Flynn monitored phone calls; the Russians didn’t use DOJ and/or FBI databases to download FISA 702(16)(17) queries and extract the data to private contractors; the Russians didn’t hire Nellie Ohr and Russians didn’t approach president-elect Trump and warn him of politically weaponized intelligence surveillance…

The… wait…. then again, THAT’S ENTIRELY THE MOTIVE to blame the Russians:

If the Russians were actually successful in influencing the 2016 election, it was because Americans were not paying close attention to what was going on. The Russians will always try to influence our elections. We will always try to influence elections in other countries. We live in the world of Spy v. Spy illustrated by Mad Magazine in the 1950’s. It is our responsibility as Americans to do our own research into what we see on social media. The best defense against foreign meddling in our elections is an informed electorate!

 

More Twists And Turns Regarding Fusion GPS

The following video was posted at The Daily Caller today:

It is becoming very obvious that the Democrat‘s plan to use a collusion with Russia charge to end the Trump Administration is not going as planned. Every day some new piece of information comes out that reveals how underhanded some members of the FBI and Justice Department were during the Obama Administration.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Bedford thinks Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr could face jail time for failing to disclose his connection to Fusion GPS and the Trump dossier.

…“What’s dangerous here, too, for Bruce, who could be in a lot of trouble over here, he could face criminal penalties. He wasn’t even assigned to the case when he would have had the chance to recuse himself. From everything we understand, he took the dossier and put it in front of the FBI of his own volition. He didn’t recuse himself,” Bedford said. “He didn’t say anything like that and he didn’t list the name of Fusion GPS like he should have. That’s punishable, if he just didn’t include the information, and that’s all they can say, it’s punishable by up to a year in prison. But if he knowingly falsified the documents by not telling the FBI about a conflict that really and truly existed, that’s up to five years in prison.”

Stay tuned and get out the popcorn.