While We Were Sleeping

Yesterday The Houston Chronicle reported that the Justice Department charged eight people — including a prominent political donor to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation — with conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in donations to Clinton.

The article reports:

The 53-count indictment unsealed in federal court in Washington detailed efforts by Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja and George Nader to conceal the true source of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions, which prosecutors allege were made to gain influence with high-level political figures, including Clinton.

Khawaja, who lives in Los Angeles and is the owner of the online processing company Allied Wallet, is accused of making the donations in his name, his wife’s name and his company’s name, even though they were actually funded by another businessman, Nader.

As they arranged the payments, Nader was in touch with an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence with the prominent politicians, prosecutors charge. The government is not identified in court documents.

A 2018 investigation by The Associated Press detailed that Khawaja, Allied Wallet and top executives contributed at least $6 million to Democratic and Republican candidates and groups. The donations earned Khawaja access to Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign and a post-election Oval Office visit with Trump.

Clinton is not identified by name in the court documents made public Tuesday, but there are repeated references in the indictment identifying the candidate as a woman. Federal donor records show Khawaja gave millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, including the main political action committee supporting Clinton’s campaign. He also donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund.

Nader is already in federal custody on unrelated charges accusing him of transporting a dozen images of child pornography and bestiality. He had provided grand jury testimony in the special counsel’s Russia investigation about his efforts to connect a Russian banker to members of Trump’s transition team. He had also worked to advance Saudi Arabia’s agenda to the Trump administration.

This may be only the beginning of draining the Washington swamp. Hopefully there is more to come.

Does America Have Equal Justice Under The Law?

We are about to find out if the same rules apply to everyone. One America News Network is reporting today that Attorney General William Barr’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation is turning into a criminal case. For those listening to the mainstream media spin that this is just retribution for impeachment, have you considered the Constitutional protections that were violated when there was massive surveillance on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and even the Trump presidency? Have you looked at the changes made in the handling of classified information that took place in the final days of the Obama administration that made leaking information much easier?

The article notes:

The change reportedly allows U.S. attorney John Durham, who was chosen by Barr to lead the probe, to subpoena documents as well as witness testimonies and to file criminal charges if necessary. This comes after reports last week said Barr was expanding the investigation after Durham found something “significant.:” However, it’s still not clear what exactly prompted the switch.

The probe was first launched in May as an administrative review into the origins of the Russia hoax. President Trump has repeatedly denounced former special council Robert Mueller’s Russia probe by calling it a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” When asked whether he prompted the attorney general to open the investigation, however, the president said he hadn’t, but also said he appreciates Barr’s work.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, Durham has reportedly expressed interest in investigating former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, who were in charge while the since-debunked Steele dossier was released. This led to the secret surveillance of Trump campaign officials in 2016.

It was recently reported that multiple CIA officials have pursued legal council because of Durham’s legal review. Horowitz has said his report will be released in the near future.

Spying on Americans by the CIA is illegal. However, if the CIA used overseas resources to accomplish what was illegal, they need to be held accountable. One of the things that the Obama administration was known for was the politicization of government agencies–the IRA targeted conservative groups by slow walking their 501(c)(3) applications, the administration dismissed charges against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation when there was video evidence, the administration eavesdropped on James Rosen and his parents because they didn’t like his reporting, etc. It would not really be a surprise if they had used the government to further their political agenda. It will be interesting to see if anyone is held accountable for the violations of the civil rights of American citizens that occurred during the Obama administration.

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

Going To The Courts

Those of us who have followed the Russian collusion story closely are waiting for someone to actually be held accountable for the violations of civil liberties of Americans that went on during the Obama administration. It seems as if it is nearly impossible to get information on what went on and even when we have the information that things were not done properly, there is no accountability. The Russia hoax is actually following the pattern of many of the Clinton scandals–delay, delay, delay, and when damaging information finally surfaces, you say ‘that’s old news.’ Well, some of the people who actually know the truth are not willing to settle for delay, delay, delay.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

Congressman Devin Nunes filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against opposition research firm Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson, and left-leaning watchdog group Campaign for Accountability, accusing them of “racketeering” and interfering with his congressional Trump-Russia investigation.

Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until Democrats won the majority in 2018, claimed that Simpson, Fusion GPS, and the Campaign for Accountability illegally conspired to “harass” him in an attempt to “hinder, delay, prevent, or dissuade” him from looking into issues surrounding the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and to scare him off from investigating possible wrongdoing by Simpson and Fusion GPS.

The California Republican is asking the judge to award him $9.9 million in damages.

The 35-page complaint Nunes filed in the Eastern District of Virginia today pointed to a Daily Caller article from early August that revealed the Campaign for Accountability hired Fusion GPS as an “independent contractor” in 2018 and paid the firm close to $140,000 for research. And the Nunes lawsuit alleged the watchdog group and the opposition research firm then colluded to target him and stymie his efforts, pointing to three ethics complaints filed by the Campaign for Accountability allegedly “in concert with” Fusion GPS in an effort to “chill reporting of Fusion GPS and Simpson’s wrongdoing” and to dissuade Nunes from making criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Nunes described Fusion GPS as “a political war room for hire that specializes in dirty tricks and smears” and the Campaign for Accountability as a “dark money, partisan, left-wing” nonprofit that he said targets mainly conservatives.

The article continues:

Nunes said Simpson and Fusion GPS “shared a common goal” with the Clinton campaign of “using the false and defamatory statements in the Steele dossier to poison the minds of voters.”

“Fusion GPS and Simpson harbored spite and ill-will towards [Nunes] and decided to smear [him] as a result of his tenacious efforts in 2017 to expose Fusion GPS’ nefarious activities,” the lawsuit alleges.

Nunes said Fusion GPS retaliated through the Campaign for Accountability because of subpoenas he issued in 2017 to the FBI and DOJ for information on their relationship with Steele, to Simpson and other Fusion GPS partners to compel their testimony, and to the bank Fusion GPS used, which “revealed that the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Perkins Coie paid for Fusion GPS’ anti-Trump research.”

Nunes claimed that “corrupt acts of racketeering are part of [Fusion GPS’] regular way of doing business” and said “that way of doing business must end here and now.”

Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report on the use of Steele’s dossier and alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which started more than a year ago, is expected in September or early October. The DOJ watchdog’s report harshly criticizing former FBI Director James Comey over the mishandling of his memos was released last week.

The deep state is somewhat like an octopus–it has many tentacles. The entire ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ operation was illegal from the start and should be tried under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). There are now stories that James Comey placed spies in the White House in the early days of the Trump administration until Comey was fired in May 2017. More on that when I can confirm it.

When The Timeline Doesn’t Work

One of the things generally cited by the media as justification for charging President Trump with obstruction of justice has been the memo written by James Comey claiming that the President asked him to go easy on General Flynn. Aside from the fact that most Americans would have agreed with the President’s request to handle a matter involving an American war veteran gently, the Inspector General’s Report brings the memo about that entire conversation into question.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article that explains the problem with the memo.

The article explains:

According to Comey, during a private meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, 2017, President Trump asked the former FBI director to drop an inquiry into Flynn about his discussions with the Russian ambassador shortly after the election. (Flynn had resigned amid media reports he possibly violated an arcane federal law.)

“He misled the Vice President but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call,” Comey claimed Trump said to him. “[Trump] said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

According to Russian collusion truthers, those alleged comments form the most convincing evidence that Team Trump not only conspired with the Russians and tried to cover it up, but that the president broke the law by asking his FBI director to halt an investigation into one of his top advisors.

The memo is cited numerous times in the second volume of the Mueller report to implicate the president for obstructing justice by interfering in the Russian investigation, although Comey’s memo is the only evidence of such an act. (Trump has disputed Comey’s description of the conversation.)

Note that James Comey’s memo is the only description of the conversation. There is no second source.

The article continues:

But that portrayal of events was never the truth. The conversation in February 2017 had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, as I’ve written before: Neither Trump nor Congress nor the general public knew at that time that James Comey’s FBI had been investigating Trump’s campaign, including Flynn, since July 2016.

And the new report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) confirms as much.

The article also notes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

The article concludes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

It really is time to put as many of the deep state as possible in jail.

Lies That Create Political Unrest

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

Dennis Prager posted an article at Townhall today about the lies the media has consistently repeated about President Trump. Unfortunately, those Americans who rely on the mainstream media believe these lies.

The article notes:

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, never said there were “fine” Nazis or Ku Klux Klansmen.

This is one of the two great lies of our time — the other being that all Trump supporters are racists — and perhaps in all of American history. I cannot think of a lie of such significance that was held as truth by so many Americans, by every leading politician of one of the two major political parties and disseminated by virtually the entire media.

The major news media need to understand these are important reasons that half of America considers them frauds. And we get no pleasure from this fact. The reason we don’t recoil when the president labels the mainstream media “fake news” is that we know the charge is true. Has one major media news outlet yet apologized to the American people for preoccupying them for nearly two years with the lie of “Trump collusion” with Russia? Has one Democrat? Of course not. Because with regard to the Trump-Russia collusion issue, the news media were never driven by a pursuit of truth; they were driven by a pursuit of Trump.

…By remarkable coincidence, this week’s PragerU video is titled “The Charlottesville Lie.” It proves the president never said Nazis were fine people. When Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides,” he was referring to people demonstrating in Charlottesville for and against tearing down a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, not to Nazis and antifa.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It illustrates the lies the American people have been told since President Trump came down the elevator.

President Trump is not dividing the country–a left-wing media that fails to tell the truth has fueled the division with its constant attacks. How many Americans believe that the President colluded with Russia to win the election? How many Americans are aware of the roots of the Russia investigation? How many Americans will be shocked by the coming declassification of documents related to that investigation? How much of that declassification will the mainstream media report? The answers to those questions illustrate what is actually going on.

Five Obvious Problems

On August 1, Real Clear Investigations posted an article listing five major problems with the Mueller Report. Please follow the link to read the entire article, but I will post the five problems here:

  1. Who Is Joseph Mifsud, and Was He the Actual Predicate for the Russia Investigation?
  2. What Was the Role of the Steele Dossier?
  3. Why Did the Mueller Team Invent the Polling Data Theory About Konstantin Kilimnik, and Omit His U.S. Ties?
  4. Why Did the Mueller Team Falsely Suggest That Trump Tower Moscow Was a Viable Project – and What Was the Role of FBI Informant Felix Sater?
  5. Was Specious Info Leaked to Justify the Absence of Trump-Kremlin Links?

Please read the entire article. I think it is interesting that we haven’t heard very much about Joseph Mifsud or Felix Sater.

The article concludes:

Less than two weeks after the dossier’s publication, someone from U.S. intelligence leaked classified details of an intercepted phone call between Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The leak fueled baseless speculation that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions relief in exchange for Russia’s help in the 2016 election, and ultimately led to Flynn’s resignation. Weeks later, the New York Times reported that the U.S. investigators had obtained “phone records and intercepted calls” showing that members of Trump’s campaign and other associates “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.” Four months later, Comey testified that the story was “not true.” The Times has never retracted it.

Nunes also tried to question Mueller about U.S. government leaks, asking if he agreed that the leak of a phone call involving Flynn, the then-national security adviser, was a “major scandal.” Mueller responded: “I can’t adopt that hypothesis.”

Mueller could very well have a plausible explanation for his inability to account for the investigation’s core flaws. Or, as his awkward testimony suggested, perhaps he was not the hard-nosed investigator that the media portrayed him to be, but instead a figurehead who did not make the key decisions in the office of the Special Counsel.

What is clear is that neither his report nor testimony provide the answer. After determining that there never was a Trump-Russia conspiracy, Mueller showed no interest in investigating why so many high-placed officials said they believed there had been. His report told us what didn’t happen during the 2016 election, but shed little light on what did happen, and why.

It is becoming more an more obvious that there were those in the government working against the interests of an elected President. Those people need to be held accountable. If they are not, we can expect it to become routine for those in power to use government agencies for political purposes.

The Heart Of The Matter

In September 2018, The Western Journal reported:

President Trump ordered declassification of several documents and texts related to the FBI’s Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

Included among the documents are the 21 pages of the FISA court application used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders added that the president has also directed the release of all reports by the FBI of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr in relation to the Russia investigation.

One of the people involved in the declassification process was Dan Coats. Evidently he has been something of a bottleneck in the process. Thus, he is resigning. President Trump is expected to nominate Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe to replace him.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported:

On May 23rd, 2019, President Donald Trump gave U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr full authority to review and release all of the classified material hidden by the DOJ and FBI.

Sixty-five days ago….

It has been 65 days since President Trump empowered AG Bill Barr to release the original authorizing scope of the Mueller investigation on May 17, 2017. A Mueller investigation now being debated and testified to in congress, and yet we are not allowed to know what the authorizing scope was…. Nor the 2nd DOJ scope memo of August 2nd, 2017… Nor the 3rd DOJ scope memo of October 20th, 2017.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit noted:

Ratcliffe, a pro-Trump GOP favorite grilled Mueller real good on Wednesday about his Constitutional abuses and according to Axios, Trump was impressed with his performance during the House Judiciary Hearing.

‘Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?’ Ratcliffe asked Mueller.

Mueller was left stuttering and could not answer Rep. Ratcliff so he mumbled something about this being a ‘unique situation.’

Ratfcliffe interjected and told Mueller the reason why he can’t find another example of this happening is because it doesn’t exist.

Dan Coats is a Deep State stooge and is causing a bottleneck for Barr and Durham in the declassification process in their Spygate investigation.

Stay tuned. The Inspector General’s report is due out in September. Some declassification may take place before then. I honestly don’t know if the media will report what actually happened or if many Americans will believe it. What appears to be the case is that we have watched Peter Strzok’s insurance policy against the Trump presidency in action for more than two years now. Hopefully that insurance policy will not only fail miserably but result in jail time for those who misused the intelligence assets of America.

Behind The Scenes–The Search For Roots

While Robert Mueller was making the headlines with his appearance on Capitol Hill, the internal investigation at the Justice Department was continuing as to the source of the charges of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.

Fox News posted an article today about that investigation. Before I go into the details, I think we need to consider why the internal investigation is important. Despite what the Democrats are trying to spin, Mueller, in the afternoon session and his opening remarks, made it clear that there was no evidence of collusion. His task was to look for collusion. The second part of his report, based on speculation by news sources, tried to imply that there was obstruction. That charge was based on conversations and thoughts–not actions. The President talked about firing Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller was not fired. Was talking about it a crime? Using that standard, you can pretty much find anyone guilty of anything. If I decide that I need money and say that I want to rob a bank, is that a crime? Not unless I follow through on it.

The internal investigation is important to determine the source of the charges against candidate Trump. If the source is questionable or political, then the same technique can be used against any future President. That does not bode well for our republic.

The Fox News article points out a few basic things the internal investigation has uncovered:

The Justice Department’s internal review of the Russia investigation is zeroing in on transcripts of recordings made by at least one government source who met with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos overseas in 2016, specifically looking at why certain “exculpatory” material from them was not presented in subsequent applications for surveillance warrants, according to two sources familiar with the review.

The sources also said the review is taking a closer look at the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, as some allege the probe began earlier than thought. Both components are considered key in the review currently being led by Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham –– an effort sure to draw more attention in the coming weeks and months now that Robert Mueller’s testimony is in the rearview.

The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

The story continues:

A source told Fox News that the “exculpatory evidence” included in the transcripts is Papadopoulos denying having any contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed “dirt” on Clinton.

But Papadopoulos did not only meet with Mifsud and Downer while overseas. He met with Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News back in May that he always suspected he was being recorded. Further, he tweeted during the Mueller testimony about “recordings” of his meeting with Downer.

…Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., now a Fox News contributor, first signaled the existence of transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos earlier this year.

“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” Gowdy said in May on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” acknowledging he was aware of the files and suggesting they included exculpatory information.

The article concludes:

The Barr-Durham review is likely to draw more attention following Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill. Republicans sought to focus their questioning on the origins of the Russia investigation under then-Director James Comey’s FBI—a topic Mueller repeatedly said was “out of his purview” due to the ongoing investigation being led by the Justice Department. Another review is being conducted by the DOJ inspector general.

“Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Wednesday. “Here’s the good news—that’s exactly what Bill Barr is doing and thank goodness for that.”

The fact that an investigation which began with the misuse of government agencies to spy on a political opponent has taken two years is a miscarriage of justice. Those responsible need to be severely penalized so that the country never has to go through this again.

There Is Always A Problem With A House Of Cards

On Tuesday, John Solomon posted an opinion piece at The Hill that is going to create problems for those diehards still trying to justify the political use of the intelligence community under President Obama. As we all remember, the Steele Dossier was the main justification for spying on the Trump campaign (and the transition team and the entire administration in its early days). We all know that the Steele Dossier was political opposition research. Some of us wonder how the FBI and the FISA Court did not know that fact (or if they did and chose to ignore it). Well, we are finally getting answers.

The Hill notes:

Some in the news media have tried in recent days to rekindle their long-lost love affair with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his now infamous dossier.

The main trigger was a lengthy interview in June with the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, which some news outlets suggested meant U.S. officials have found Steele, the former Hillary Clinton-backed political muckraker, to be believable. 

“Investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising,” Politico crowed. The Washington Post went even further, suggesting Steele’s assistance to the inspector general might “undermine Trumpworld’s alt-narrative” that the Russia-collusion investigation was flawed.

For sure, Steele may have valuable information to aid Justice’s internal affairs probe into misconduct during the 2016 Russia election probe. His dossier alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow ultimately was disproven, but not before his intelligence was used to secure a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election.  

…Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele’s claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier’s claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

The article concludes:

Even State officials, who listened to Steele’s theories in October 2016 – less than two weeks before his dossier was used to support the FISA request – instantly determined he was grossly wrong on some points.

Any effort to use Steele’s belated cooperation with the inspector general’s investigation to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI’s reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a key defender of Trump, said he talked with DOJ officials after the most recent stories surfaced about Steele and was told the reporting is wrong. “Based on my conversations with DOJ officials, recent reports which suggest Christopher Steele’s dossier and allegations are somehow deemed credible by DOJ, are simply false and not based on any confirmation from sources with direct knowledge of ongoing investigations,” Meadows told me.

The FBI’s own spreadsheet was so conclusive that it prompted then-FBI Director James Comey (no fan of Trump, mind you) to dismiss the document as “salacious and unverified” and for lead FBI agent Peter Strzok to text, “There’s no big there there.” FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified that nine months into reviewing Steele’s dossier they had not found evidence of the collusion that Steele alleged.

Two years later, Mueller came to the same conclusion: Steele’s intelligence alleging a conspiracy was never verified. 

The next time you hear a pundit suggesting Steele’s dossier is credible or that the FBI’s reliance on it as FISA evidence was justified, just picture all those blanks in that FBI spreadsheet.

They speak volumes as to what went wrong in the Russia investigation.

Some people in the Obama administration have some ‘splainin’ to do. If we truly have equal justice under the law, some of them will see jail time.

Twisted

No one ever claimed that the team put together by Robert Mueller to investigate President Trump was politically unbiased, but I at least expected them to report the facts as they uncovered them. Evidently my expectations were too high. On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, claimed by the Mueller Report to be a Russian asset. It turns out that he was training American intelligence officers. His contract with George Papadopoulos had nothing to do with Russia. On June 1st, I posted an article about the editing of a phone message from President Trump’s attorney John Dowd to Michael Flynn. The message was edited in a way that left an impression totally different than what was actually happening. Well, okay, maybe that was just an oversight. That’s two strikes. Now we have another incident where something totally misleading (and false) was stated in the Mueller Report.

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source.” The person in questions in Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik.

The article reports:

In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

It gets worse:

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Kasanof’s and Purcell’s interviews are corroborated by scores of State Department emails I reviewed that contain regular intelligence from Kilimnik on happenings inside the Yanukovych administration, the Crimea conflict and Ukrainian and Russian politics. For example, the memos show Kilimnik provided real-time intelligence on everything from whose star in the administration was rising or falling to efforts at stuffing ballot boxes in Ukrainian elections.

Those emails raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent. They show Kilimnik was allowed to visit the United States twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, a clear sign he wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat.

The emails also show how misleading, by omission, the Mueller report’s public portrayal of Kilimnik turns out to be.

For instance, the report makes a big deal about Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

By that time, Manafort had served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months but was about to resign because of a growing controversy about the millions of dollars Manafort accepted as a foreign lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.

Specifically, the Mueller report flagged Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign for settling the two-year-old Crimea conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,” the Mueller report stated.

But State emails showed Kilimnik first delivered a version of his peace plan in May 2016 to the Obama administration during a visit to Washington. Kasanof, his former handler at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, had been promoted to a top policy position at State, and the two met for dinner on May 5, 2016.

I am grateful for investigative reporters. It is time to acknowledge that the Mueller Report, despite the fact that it found no evidence of collusion on the part of the Trump campaign, is tainted. It is time to put this entire farce to rest and lift the cloud the Democrats have placed over the Trump administration. It is time to allow the President to solve the problems at our southern border, deal with Iran, negotiate trade deals, and generally be President.

This Incidental Information Is Going To Be Very Important In The Near Future

Before you read this article, I want you to consider how the Democrats (particularly the Clintons) have avoided being held accountable for skirting the law in the past. Generally speaking, the playbook means keeping questions about whatever the scandal is in the news until everyone is sick of hearing about the scandal. At that point, when the answers begin to come out, everyone tunes out because they are totally bored with anything having to do with whatever behavior went on. That is exactly the playbook that is being used on the question of how the Russian-collusion investigation began and why members of President Trump’s campaign and transition team were under surveillance. Keep that in mind as you read the following.

Today Breitbart posted an article with the following headline, “Biden Present at Russia Collusion Briefing Documented in ‘Odd’ Susan Rice Email.”

The article reports:

Vice President Joe Biden was documented as being present in the Oval Office for a conversation about the controversial Russia probe between President Obama, disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and other senior officials including Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.

In an action characterized as “odd” last year by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Rice memorialized the confab in an email to herself describing Obama as starting “the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’”

Grassley, in a letter to Rice, commented: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

Grassley noted the unusual timing of the email sent by Rice to herself more than two weeks after the January 5, 2017 White House meeting on the Russia investigation, but mere hours before she vacated the White House for the incoming Trump administration.

The email, Grassley documented, was sent by Rice to herself on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017.

“If the timestamp is correct, you sent this email to yourself at 12:15 pm, presumably a very short time before you departed the White House for the last time,” Grassley wrote to Rice in a letter seeking clarification on a number of issues regarding the email and the Oval Office briefing at which Biden was documented as being present.

The article cites a Washington Post article describing how few people were involved in the Trump/Russia investigation:

The lengthy Washington Post article from 2017 detailed the closed circle of Obama administration officials who were involved in overseeing the initial efforts related to the Russia investigation — a circle than was narrowly widened to include Biden, according to the newspaper report.

According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, CIA Director John Brennan convened a “secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.”

The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.

The unit reported to top officials, the newspaper documented:

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, the Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved, and not Biden. Those officials were CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, the Post stated.

This is looking more and more like an attempted political coup.

There Is A Key

The following appeared on my Facebook feed yesterday. I feel that it sums up Robert Mueller’s final statement on his investigation:

However, there is a new wrinkle in the investigation of the roots of the Russian collusion charge that is very interesting. Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that contains what he describes as surprising information.

The article reports:

Multiple witnesses have told Congress that, a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, Britain’s top national security official sent a private communique to the incoming administration, addressing his country’s participation in the counterintelligence probe into the now-debunked Trump-Russia election collusion.

Most significantly, then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant claimed in the memo, hand-delivered to incoming U.S. national security adviser Mike Flynn’s team, that the British government lacked confidence in the credibility of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s Russia collusion evidence, according to congressional investigators who interviewed witnesses familiar with the memo.

It gets more interesting:

Congressional investigators have interviewed two U.S. officials who handled the memo, confirmed with the British government that a communique was sent and alerted the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the information. One witness confirmed to Congress that he was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller about the memo.

Now the race is on to locate the document in U.S. intelligence archives to see if the witnesses’ recollections are correct. And Trump is headed to Britain this weekend, where he might just get a chance to ask his own questions.

“A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a communique from our allies in Great Britain during the early days of the Russia collusion investigation,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told me.

So Robert Mueller knew that there were doubts about the Steele Dossier–the basis for the charge of Russian collusion.

The story continues:

The revelation of a possible warning from the British government about Steele surfaces less than a month after a long-concealed document was made public, showing that a State Department official in October 2016 met with Steele and took notes that raised concerns about the accuracy of some information he provided.

Those notes, as I have written, quoted the British operative as saying he had a political deadline of Election Day to make his information public and that he was leaking to the news media — two claims that would weigh against his credibility as an FBI informant. They also flagged a piece of demonstrably false intelligence he provided.

The British Embassy in Washington did not return a call or email seeking comment. Grant, who left his post in April 2017, did not respond to a request for comment at the university where he works. His former top deputy, Paddy McGuinness, declined comment.

The article concludes:

If the British memo exists, it was never shared with the House Intelligence, House Judiciary, House Oversight and Reform or Senate Judiciary committees, despite their exhaustive investigations into the Steele dossier, congressional investigators told me. These investigators learned about the document in the past few weeks, setting off a mad scramble to locate it and talk to witnesses.

If the witnesses’ recollections are correct, the British communique could become one of the most significant pieces of evidence to emerge in the investigation of the Russia-collusion investigators.

It would mean that Trump was never told of the warning Flynn’s team received, and that the FBI and DOJ continued to rely on Steele’s uncorroborated allegations for many months as they renewed the FISA warrant at least two more times and named Mueller as special prosecutor to investigate Russia collusion.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose staff has been fighting unsuccessfully to gain access to the British communique, told me Wednesday its public release would further accentuate “that the FBI and DOJ were dead wrong to rely on the dossier in the Russia investigation and to use it as a basis to spy on Americans.”

The investigation into President Trump was a hoax, pure and simple. However, that won’t stop impeachment proceedings. As the truth dribbles out, those impeachment proceedings are going to look really silly.

Turning Jurisprudence On Its Head

Robert Mueller made a statement at the Department of Justice today. He officially ended his investigation and resigned. However, he did it in a way that was totally in conflict with American jurisprudence.

Townhall reported on Mueller’s statement. Here is one quote:

“I’m speaking out today because our investigation is complete,” Mueller said. “We are formally closing the Special Counsel’s office and I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return private life.”

Fox News reported some other quotes from today:

Mueller, speaking from the Justice Department Wednesday morning, announced the closing of his office and detailed the findings of the Russia investigation, underscoring that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” with regard to whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

…But Mueller did not mince words on his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller’s job was to determine if the President committed a crime–if there was no evidence of a crime, then it was not up to Mueller to determine whether or not a crime was committed–his job was to follow the evidence. The President, just like any other citizen, is innocent until proven guilty.

The statement was a farce for a number of reasons.

Mueller would not take questions. President Trump was never given an opportunity to fact his accusers. No one was allowed to cross examine Mueller. Mueller was not going to let the Republicans question him on the basis for the investigation, the role of the Steele Dossier in the FISA warrants, the role of the Clinton campaign in the Steele Dossier, or when during the investigation he realized that there was no there there. It’s interesting that Peter Strzok realized as Mueller was putting his team together that there was no there there (see emails between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page). If Peter Strzok could figure that out, couldn’t Mueller? There will always be a question as to whether or not Mueller prolonged the investigation until after the mid-term elections in order to help the Democrats.

Unfortunately the Democrats seem to have forgotten the concept of innocent until proven guilty. After thirty-plus million dollars, President Trump has not been proven guilty. It’s over. From now on, this is simply harassment of the President and his family. If you support the House of Representatives continuing on this path, understand that in the future the power of government could be turned on anyone who is upsetting the establishment. Is that a country you want to live in?

 

 

Obstruction Of Justice?

On Thursday, Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released an email revealing that Nellie Ohr, wife of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, informed him that she was deleting emails sent from Bruce Ohr’s DOJ email account.

From: Nellie Ohr

Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:49 PM

To: Ohr, Bruce (ODAG)

Subject: Re: Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016

Thanks! I’m deleting these emails now

The full email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy, and is part of 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a March 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond a December 2017 request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)).

Nellie Ohr’s email has the same subject line as an email exchange with the subject line “Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016” in which Bress initiates a discussion with Bruce Ohr and his top aide, Lisa Holtyn, proffering some “Russian analysts” to discuss a variety of topics with Ohr, Holtyn, and other DOJ officials. Among those topics to be discussed is “Impact of Russian influence operations in Europe (‘PsyOps/InfoWar’).”

Holtyn responds with, “I haven’t had a chance to confer with Bruce yet, but would certainly love to meet with the ‘A Team’!” Bruce Ohr then says, “That time works for me as well.” Bress then provides the personal details/passport numbers of the German analysts who will be meeting with Holtyn and Ohr. Holtyn tells Bress that the Ohr’s would like to host the German delegation for dinner and notes that Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich (a husband/wife team of DOJ Organized Crime prosecutors and friends of the Ohr’s) would join them as well.

Until he was demoted for his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, Bruce Ohr was a top official at DOJ. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes said that Nellie Ohr was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. The “salacious and unverified” Dossier was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrant to spy on Carter Page.

These documents are part of Nellie Ohr’s and the DOJ’s communications about Russia. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) recently wrote up a criminal referral concerning her testimony before Congress that she had no knowledge of what was going on during the Russia investigation at DOJ.

“This email is disturbing and suggests documents relevant to the improper targeting of President Trump were destroyed,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

This production of documents also revealed that Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.

Americans just spent upwards of $30 million and two years investigating Russian collusion and obstruction of said investigation. Why weren’t deleted emails from key players in the investigation looked at?

The investigation into the investigators has something in common with many Clinton scandals. Although the Clintons are only tangentially involved in this scandal, it bears one of their trademarks–keep the scandal in the news until people are sick of it. At that point, reveal the truth. The public will be so bored with the basic scandal that they won’t even notice or process the truth. I hope I am wrong about this–people involved in the abuse of government power need to go to jail, but I am afraid that by the time the truth comes out, no one will care.

When The Truth Arrives, Will The Public Believe It?

The mainstream media hates the phrase ‘fake news,’ but the problem is that it often applies to what they report. Even if the news is not fake, it can be distorted in a way that leaves a totally false impression. Yesterday Breitbart reported one such example.

CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted the following:

Well, that’s a little misleading.

The article further reports:

As Breitbart News’ John Binder reported, foreign nationals seeking asylum in the U.S. evade immediate deportation after claiming credible fear in 88 percent of cases, according to the Department of Justice. Yet, only 50 percent of the foreign nationals who evade immediate deportation by claiming credible fear end up filing for asylum status following there released into the country.

That is a direct quote from the article. The editor missed the fact the last few words should read, “following their release into the country.”

The tweet by Jim Acosta leaves you with a very unfavorable opinion of President Trump and his view on immigration. I strongly suspect that is by design. This is the kind of poison the mainstream media has spewed against President Trump for the last two-plus years. My question is this–if it turns out that the Russia investigation was in fact a failed coup (which I believe it was), are Americans going to be willing to face the truth after hearing two-plus years of hate speech and misreporting against President Trump.

 

The Saga Continues

Andrew McCarthy has an article up at The National Review today about the roots of the Russian collusion investigation. The title of the article is, “The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses.”

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting today:

If Democrats are not careful, they will end up in the worst of all political worlds.

Since the release of the Mueller report, the party’s leadership in Congress has been extraordinarily hesitant about taking the logical next steps. Faced with a 400-plus page report documenting extensive efforts by the President of the United States to obstruct justice, House Democrats have punted — making it pretty clear that impeachment proceedings will not be happening any time soon.

Even as the attorney general takes extraordinary steps to obstruct the subsequent hearings into obstruction, Democratic leaders remain tepid about any conversation that involves impeachment.

Okay. Let’s go back to some basic tenants of American law. First of all, you are innocent until proven guilty. The Mueller Report specifically stated that they could not find the evidence to prove President Trump guilty of anything. That means according to our laws, he is presumed innocent. Second of all, how can you have obstruction when there was no crime involved?

The CNN report is totally misleading and divisive. It states that the President obstructed justice when the Mueller Report concluded that there was no evidence to support that claim.

So let’s look at what Andrew McCarthy has to say about the root of this witch hunt:

Chicanery was the force behind the formal opening of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. There was a false premise, namely: The Trump campaign must have known that Russia possessed emails related to Hillary Clinton. From there, through either intentional deception or incompetence, the foreign ministries of Australia and the United States erected a fraudulent story tying the Trump campaign’s purported knowledge to the publication of hacked Democratic National Committee emails.

Andrew McCarthy points out in his article that in order to begin surveillance on the Trump campaign, the State Department and the FBI had to find something other than the Steele Dossier to base their claims on. They set up George Papadopoulos.

The National Review article lists some of the connects of the people involved in setting up the scam:

The State Department (very much including the American embassy in London) was deeply in the tank for Clinton. Downer has a history with the Clintons that includes arranging a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006, when he was Australia’s foreign minister and then-senator Hillary Clinton was the favorite to become U.S. president in 2008. For years, furthermore, Downer has been closely tied to British intelligence, which, like the British government broadly, was anti-Trump. (More on that in the future.)

The State Department’s Dibble immediately sent Downer’s information though government channels to the FBI.

About three weeks earlier, Victoria Nuland, the Obama administration’s top State Department official for European and Eurasian affairs, had supported the FBI’s request to meet former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in London. Steele was the principal author of the Clinton-campaign-sponsored faux intelligence reports (the unverified “Steele dossier”), which claimed — based on anonymous sources and multiple layers of hearsay — that Russia was plotting to help Trump win the election, and that it had been holding compromising information about Hillary Clinton.

On July 5, Agent Michael Gaeta, the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome (who had worked with Steele on the FIFA soccer investigation when Steele was still with British intelligence), met with Steele at the latter’s London office. Steele permitted him to read the first of the reports that, over time, would be compiled into the so-called dossier. An alarmed Gaeta is said to have told Steele, “I have to report this to headquarters.”

It is inconceivable that Gaeta would have gone to the trouble of clearing his visit to London with the State Department and getting FBI headquarters to approve his trip, but then neglected to report to his headquarters what the source had told him — to wit, that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to undermine the 2016 election.

As I have previously detailed, after the hacked DNC emails were published, Steele (whose sources had not foretold the hacking by Russia or publication by WikiLeaks) simply folded this event into his preexisting narrative of a Trump-Russia conspiracy.

Prior to early July, when the FBI began receiving Steele-dossier reports (which the State Department would also soon receive), the intelligence community — particularly the CIA, under the direction of its hyper-political director, John Brennan — had been theorizing that the Trump campaign was in a corrupt relationship with Russia. Thanks to the Steele dossier, even before Downer reported his conversation with Papadopoulos to the State Department, the Obama administration had already been operating on the theory that Russia was planning to assist the Trump campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Clinton. They had already conveniently fit the hacked DNC emails into this theory.

Downer’s report enabled the Obama administration to cover an investigative theory it was already pursuing with a report from a friendly foreign government, as if that report had triggered the Trump-Russia investigation. In order to pull that off, however, it was necessary to distort what Papadopoulos had told Downer.

To repeat, Papadopoulos never told Downer anything about emails. Moreover, the Mueller report provides no basis for Papadopoulos to have known that Russia was planning the anonymous release of information damaging to Clinton in order to help Trump; nor does the Mueller report allege that Papadopoulos actually told Downer such a thing.

The State Department’s report to the FBI claiming that Papadopoulos had “suggested” these things to Downer was manufactured to portray a false connection between (a) what Papadopoulos told Downer and (b) the hacking and publication of the DNC emails. That false connection then became the rationale for formally opening the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already under way.

CNN either doesn’t know the truth or chooses not to report it accurately. Either way, they are doing a disservice to Americans by misleading them on the facts of the case.

The Scam We Hope Will Be Fully Revealed Soon

The mainstream media has been less than enthusiastic about uncovering the root of the investigation into the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. However, in spite of their efforts to bury the misdeeds of people in the Obama administration, the story is slowly beginning to come out. Most of the mainstream media is still avoiding telling the story, but you can still find it in some outlets.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article by Andrew McCarthy that reminds us of some of the unseemly (and probably illegal) things that were going on in late 2015 through early 2017. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but there are a few things that need to be highlighted.

The article notes:

In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.

(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)

The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.

But there is more to the story. I never understood the significance of some of the other events in the story. Andrew McCarthy explains them:

In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.

Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]”

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.

This memo is evidence that President Obama was at least aware of what was going on. That should be all over the front pages of every newspaper in the country. Somehow it isn’t.

Why We Need Total Transparency Of The Mueller Report

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

The article reminds us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the key:

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

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

The article concludes:

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

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

Why?

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

Why I Have Concerns About Our Justice System

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday about some of the information in the Russian investigation that should be made public.

The article reports:

If President Trump declassifies evidence in the Russia investigation, Carter Page’s summer bike ride to a Virginia farm and George Papadopoulos’s hasty academic jaunt to London may emerge as linchpin proof of FBI surveillance abuses during the 2016 election.

The two trips have received scant attention. But growing evidence suggests both Trump campaign advisers made exculpatory statements — at the very start of the FBI’s investigation — that undercut the Trump-Russia collusion theory peddled to agents by Democratic sources.

The FBI plowed ahead anyway with an unprecedented intrusion into a presidential campaign, while keeping evidence of the two men’s innocence from the courts.

Page and Papadopoulos, who barely knew each other, met separately in August and September 2016 with Stefan Halper, the American-born Cambridge University professor who, the FBI told Congress, worked as an undercover informer in the Russia case.

Papadopoulos was the young aide that the FBI used to justify opening a probe into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after he allegedly told a foreign diplomat that he knew Russia possessed incriminating emails about Hillary Clinton.

Page, a volunteer campaign adviser, was the American the FBI then targeted on Oct. 21, 2016, for secret surveillance while investigating Democratic Party-funded allegations that he secretly might have coordinated Russia’s election efforts with the Trump campaign during a trip to Moscow.

To appreciate the significance of the two men’s interactions with Halper, one must understand the rules governing the FBI when it seeks a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant such as the one secured against Page.

First, the FBI must present evidence to FISA judges that it has verified and that comes from intelligence sources deemed reliable. Second, it must disclose any information that calls into question the credibility of its sources. Finally, it must disclose any evidence suggesting the innocence of its investigative targets.

Thanks to prior releases of information, we know the FBI fell short on the first two counts. Multiple FBI officials have testified that the Christopher Steele dossier had not been verified when its allegations were submitted as primary evidence supporting the FISA warrant against Page.

Likewise, we know the FBI failed to tell the courts that Steele admitted to a federal official that he was desperate to defeat Trump in the 2016 election and was being paid by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to gather dirt on the GOP candidate. Both pieces of information are the sort of credibility-defining details that should be disclosed about a source.

To put it succinctly, the whole investigation into Russian collusion was based on false premises and was a distraction to avoid looking at the abuses of the Justice Department during the Obama administration. It’s time we put Russia aside and ask why Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, et al, are not under investigation. Using government bureaucrats to spy on an opposition party candidate is a new low in America. Those responsible need to be held accountable so that it will not happen again.

The Need To Hold Individuals Accountable

I think one of the most frustrating things about watching the news these days is watching people in power say things that have no foundation in fact and do things that an ordinary person would go to jail for. Those days may be coming to an end (one can only hope).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The article reports:

The official complaint filed by Judicial Watch with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requests House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he secretly met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July of 2018.

The complaint also requests Schiff be investigated after it was revealed his staff traveled to New York and met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours prior to Trump’s former lawyer testifying to the House Intel Panel.

The article includes a portion of the ethics complaint:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

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.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion OPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, 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.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Judicial Watch is a watchdog group that fights for government transparency. The are equally hard on Democrats and Republicans. They have been major players in exposing much of the deep state in recent years.

The Never Ending Story

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

The article reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bias Is As Much About What Isn’t Reported As How News Is Slanted

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday about the report that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. You might think that after two years and millions of dollars spent on an investigation, that might be news. You might think that, but evidently the major news media disagrees with you.

The article reports:

It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening. 

MRC analysts examining all coverage on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News found that those 2,202 minutes spent on the Russia investigation accounted for nearly 19 percent of all Trump-related reporting between January 21, 2017 and February 10, 2019. However none of those three shows have even mentioned the investigation since NBC’s report came out on February 12.

The situation has been much the same on those networks’ flagship morning shows. Neither CBS This Morning nor NBC’s Today have even acknowledged this new information from Senate investigators since the news broke on February 12. ABC’s Good Morning America briefly touched on it in a news brief totaling less than one minute on February 13. 

In that segment, ABC’s Mary Bruce focused only on the public disagreement between Republican Chairman Richard Burr and Democratic Ranking Member Mark Warner. She failed to acknowledge NBC’s reporting that other Democrats on the Committee had agreed with Burr’s finding that thus far, they had found no direct evidence of collusion.

The article concludes:

Over the past two years, broadcast evening news shows have spent more than 36 hours haranguing viewers about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Given their keen interest in the subject, you might expect a bipartisan group of investigators finding “no material evidence” of collusion to be newsworthy. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

And there are still some people who wonder why most Americans do not trust the mainstream media.

Who Has The Transcript? Who Is Leaking The Transcript? Why Is It Being Leaked?

Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about James Baker’s two interviews with House of Representatives investigators last October. The article notes that Republican Rep. Mark Meadows called parts of Baker’s testimony “explosive.”

The article reports:

Republicans intended to make the interview transcripts public. The questioning was not conducted in a classified setting, and Baker had FBI and other lawyers with him the whole time. But the House still had to send the transcripts to the FBI for clearance, just to make sure public release would not reveal any classified or otherwise secret information.

If Republicans hoped for a quick OK from the bureau, they were sorely disappointed. October passed. Then November. Then December. And now, half of January. The FBI still has the transcripts, and there is no word on when the bureau will clear them for release.

Even though the transcripts have not been released, they are in the news.

The article explains:

Two major news stories in the past few days have been based in whole or in part on what Baker told lawmakers. Some news organizations appear to have read the transcripts, or at least significant portions of them, or had them read to reporters by someone with access. Suddenly, the Baker transcripts are hot.

Again, the FBI still has the transcripts and is not yet saying when they will be cleared for release.

It seems as if both The New York Times and CNN have reported on information in the transcripts (along with comments by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows):

The Baker excerpt, revealing the criminal investigation, is a new and important part of the story of the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Release of the full transcripts could shed new light on the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier in the Russia probe. But they remain secret — and it is the FBI that has the final word on whether and when to allow the release of information that is unflattering to the FBI.

The second big story that came in part from the Baker transcript was the New York Times piece last Friday headlined, “FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.”

The story caused intense excitement in anti-Trump circles. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

In the piece, the bureau’s reasoning was explained by references to … the secret Baker transcripts. The paper said Baker told lawmakers that the FBI viewed President Trump’s firing of Director James Comey as a national security issue. “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Baker said in the still-secret testimony, according to the Times. The paper said portions of the testimony “were read to The New York Times.”

Not long after, CNN published an article, “Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia.” CNN quoted significant portions of the Baker transcripts, in which Baker said the FBI wanted to know if Trump “was acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing [Russia’s] will.”

It’s time for the FBI to stop playing games and release the transcripts. If there are rogue elements of the FBI that will be revealed in these transcripts, so be it. It is time that we cleaned up our justice system and brought back transparency and equal justice under the law.

 

A Summation Of What Robert Mueller Is Actually Doing

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

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

The article notes:

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

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

The article further explains the methods of investigation being used:

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

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

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

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

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