That Was Then–This Is Now

One America News posted an article today contrasting Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi’s statement when Attorney General Eric Holder refused to appear before the House of Representatives with her statement when Attorney General William Barr. It should be noted that Attorney General Holder was asked to appear before the House, Attorney General Barr has been asked to appear before House lawyers, a procedure used only during impeachment hearings.

The article reports:

Pelosi quickly jumped on board with House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler’s call to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before a House committee last week.

Back in 2012 however, Pelosi assailed the decision to hold Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to supply documents related to a controversial arms deal with Mexico. She called the move a “political scheme” orchestrated by the Republican Party.

“What we have seen is a shameful display of abusive power by the Republicans in the House of Representatives…they are holding the attorney general of the United States in contempt of Congress for doing his job,” she once stated.

This comes as Democrats to release Mueller’s full report, accusing the attorney general of “misrepresenting” the special counsel’s findings.

Mueller is set to testify before Congress on May 15th, however, President Trump has suggested he may block the move.

The Democrats have the report. They also have a less redacted copy they are able to view (so far no Democrats have bothered to view that report). They really don’t need to talk to Attorney General Barr–his testimony is totally moot in this matter. However, if the Democrats can discredit him before the Inspector General’s report on spying on the Trump campaign is released or before he can investigate the reasons behind the spying that took place in 2015 and beyond, they may avoid embarrassment (although I am not convinced the current crop of Democrats are capable of being embarrassed by anything). Unfortunately, Congress is playing political games again rather than doing anything constructive.

Rules??? What Rules?

The Federalist posted an article yesterday listing five times the Mueller Probe broke basic prosecutorial rules.

The article lists the rules broken:

1. Using Leaks And Press Conferences to Trash Un-charged Targets

Rule 3.8 of the American Bar Association’s rules of professional responsibility for prosecutors provides,

A prosecutor shall, except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

2. Using Their Power to Crush Client-Attorney Privilege

Rule 3.8 also provides,

A prosecutor shall not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

(1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

(2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

(3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

3. Prosecuting Despite Knowing They Can’t Prove Their Case

Rule 3.8 also provides “The prosecutor in a criminal case shall: refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”

Notwithstanding that the key collusion allegation had already been disproven before Mueller first turned on the lights in the special counsel’s office, for nearly two years Mueller has been trying President Trump in the court of public opinion. This is more than a mere expression. The venue for trying the president is in the Senate under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, and the constitutional framers always intended that senators make their decisions based in part on the opinions of the electorate they represent.

4. Special Counsels Aren’t Supposed to Be a Partisan Hit Squad

Federal law regarding the “Independence of the Special Counsel” says: “An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decisionmaking, …. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”

Mueller should not have been selected as the special counsel, due to his close personal relationship with Comey. Further, his entire staff was clearly not impartial.

As one example, the prominent attorney Jeannie Rhee worked for the Clintons to keep Hillary’s emails out of public view only months before joining the Mueller team to investigate Hillary’s political opponent. Clinton might face legal consequences for secretly starting the Russia collusion hoax using campaign funds.

5. Rosenstein Used His Government Position to Protect Himself

Federal conflict of interest law (28 C.F.R. § 45.2 (a)) says:

Unless authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with: (1) Any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution; or (2) Any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.

The article concludes:

The get-Trump crowd has been carrying the scorpion of the Mueller investigation on their backs for nearly two years. The damage this has done to America may never be undone. The zealots claiming Trump to be a threat to the rule of law have proven themselves right by using their outrage to trample important constitutional principles such as the presumption of innocence, the right to defend oneself from criminal accusations, attorney-client privilege, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches.

None of that seemed important if we truly had a Russian agent occupying the White House. But we don’t. The anti-Trump zealots, not Trump, threatened these cherished principles that ensure equal treatment under the law for all Americans, even the president, regardless of political party.

The people responsible for the abuse of the role of the Special Counsel need to be held accountable. Otherwise, anytime someone the deep state disapproves of is elected, we will go through this entire scenario again. Rules were broken, attorney-client privilege was totally disregarded, and innocent people had their lives ruined simply because they tangentially worked with President Trump. That is unacceptable. The price paid by those who engineered and carried out this travesty needs to be so high that no one will ever attempt it again. This truly was an attempted coup. Those responsible need to pay the appropriate price.

Chutzpah Unleashed!

Chutzpah is loosely defined as the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. We saw that quality illustrated in spades in some recent comments made by Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following statement by former Secretary of State Clinton:

“Any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted, but because of the rule in the Justice Department that you can’t indict a sitting President, the whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress,” the New York Democrat said while speaking at the Time 100 summit Tuesday.

Ms. Clinton said she has little faith in Congress acting, saying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to investigate deeper into special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be for naught against “the do-nothing Senate.”

“That has become a hotbed of cynicism unlike anything I have ever seen, and I served there for eight years and I know some of these people and they know better,” the former senator said.

Ms. Clinton added additional oversight investigations are necessary to prevent future attacks on American elections.

What about preventing future attacks on the civil rights of average Americans who choose to work for a candidate of the opposition party rather than the party currently in power?

The rules broken during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s secret server have been listed before and can be found pretty much anywhere on the internet. President Trump did not purposefully destroy evidence that was already under subpoena. President Trump did not use bleach bit on computer hard drives. President Trump did not set up a secret server to conduct government business that would not automatically archive correspondence. President Trump did not mishandle classified information. Hillary, are you sure that President Trump used his power to avoid prosecution?

Strategic Leaking

One of the urban legends of the Mueller investigation was that there were no leaks. Well, some information has come out that totally undoes that myth.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article showing that certain information was selectively leaked during the investigation.

The article reports:

There has been a widespread media claim for two years that Robert Mueller’s special counsel team never leaked.  However, today, while entirely obfuscating the lede aspect to their admission/story, Buzzfeed News outlines how FBI agents assigned to Robert Mueller’s team actually leaked documents from their investigation to the media.

This admission is stunning…. I don’t even think Buzzfeed realizes what they are admitting to here. It’s in these paragraphs (emphasis mine):

(Buzzfeed) […] I’d also like to share an accounting of how we came to our characterization, to give our audience and people who reasonably raised questions about our reporting as much information as possible about how the story came to be.

Our story was based on detailed information from senior law enforcement sources. That reporting included documents — specifically, pages of notes that were taken during an interview of [Michael] Cohen by the FBI.

In those notes, one law enforcement source wrote that “DJT personally asked Cohen to say negotiations ended in January and White House counsel office knew Cohen would give false testimony to Congress. Sanctioned by DJT. Joint lawyer team reviewed letter Cohen sent to SSCI about his testimony about Trump Tower moscow, et al, knowing it contained lies.”

The law enforcement source also wrote: “Cohen told OSC” — the Office of Special Counsel — “he was asked to lie by DJT/DJT Jr., lawyers.”

At the time, the sources asked reporters to keep the information confidential, but with the publication of Mueller’s report they have permitted its release. (read more)

Please follow the link to the article at The Conservative Treehouse for further details. The press is not fulfilling its calling to provide unbiased news to the American public. Part of that is their fault, and part of that is the fault of Americans who do not take the time to evaluate the news they hear.

Slowly The Truth Continues To Drip Out

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that featured some remarks made by Devin Nunes on the Laura Ingraham Show. The article includes a video of the discussion.

These are the main issues discussed:

(1) The targeting/framing of Michael Flynn and the positioning of a false narrative around innocuous Russia contacts. (2) The use of Joseph Mifsud as an asset by the CIA/FBI running a counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign. (3) The Trump Tower meeting as organized by Fusion-GPS.

But there is a more troubling statement in the discussion:

Additionally, for the first time Devin Nunes confirms that it was Robert Mueller who blocked delivery of documents to the House investigative committees.  While this might be old news to CTH readers, this confirms our earlier research.  It was Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein who were protecting DOJ interests by using the Russia-probe as a shield.

That’s why Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch was essentially an exercise in futility (and he was never heard from).  With Nunes confirmation that Mueller used his probe to keep congress away from documents adverse to his interests…. that increases the likelihood Mueller deployed the same strategy with IG Michael Horowitz (as earlier reported); and only after Mueller was completed was the IG office allowed unfettered access to evidence…. hence, the delays.

Somehow I don’t think Mueller was an objective Special Counsel. We seem to learn something every day that questions his objectivity in the investigation of something that never happened and that he probably knew never happened very early in the investigation.

The Evidence We Need

Today The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following title, “Jay Sekulow: “Three” FISA Applications Were Denied in 2016 and What This Means…”

The article reports:

During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here – Note comment at 25:05]   The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed.

Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused.  This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.

The article continues, explaining why this is significant and the role the FISA court played in the undermining of the Trump campaign and transition team.

The most intriguing part of the article (at least to me) was the list at the end of the evidence needed to expose the misdeeds of the government during 2016 and beyond:

♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken  by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.

Hopefully this evidence will emerge soon.

Trying To Keep The Drip Going

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

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

The article states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Objectivity From A Surprising Source

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

The article asks a very interesting question:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article at USA Today includes the following:

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

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

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.

Are The Shenanigans Ever Going To Be Dealt With?

In the past two years or so, we have learned that a sitting Presidential administration spied on an opposition candidate. We have learned that the apparatus of government was used in an attempt to elect a president from the same party as the sitting President. We have seen lying before Congress go unchallenged, opposition research used as an excuse for violating the civil rights of Americans, and people targeted by a Special Counsel simply because they were friends or worked with a person the Special Counsel was targeting. In plain English, we have seen the Soviet concept of ‘show me the person, and I will show you the crime’ put into practice in America. When does America wake up and realize that while we are looking at an investigation of a shiny object over there, major civil rights violations are being ignored?

Fox News reported the following this morning:

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.

…During last month’s seven-hour public hearing before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen hesitantly acknowledged, under questioning from Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, that he had spoken with Schiff “about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing.”

But, he did not elaborate on the discussions, which Fox News is told extended significantly longer than the seven hours that the public hearing itself lasted.

One by one, during the dramatic hearing, Cohen fielded questions on precisely the same topics that the sources told Fox News he discussed with Schiff’s staff during the sit-downs in New York.

This is a level of corruption in Congress that we have not seen in a long time.

The Problem With Telling Lies Is That You Have To Keep Your Stories Straight

Michael Cohen has been caught lying to Congress. That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, but it happened. The Daily Caller posted the details today.

The article reports:

A lawyer for Michael Cohen says that the former Trump fixer directed his former attorney to inquire about a presidential pardon, a claim which, if true, would contradict Cohen’s congressional testimony on Feb. 27.

Lanny Davis told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night that Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home in April 2018.

“During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Davis told The Journal.

That statement directly contradicts what Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in public testimony on Feb. 27.

Michael Cohen is not stupid. I am sure that when he saw the “Mueller Train” coming at him full speed, he was open to trying anything to get out of its way. I believe he would say anything to Congress to limit his jail time and any jail time for his wife. It is unfortunate that some on the Mueller team have resorted to the kind of theatrics and bullying that has been a major part of this investigation. We need to take action in the future to see that all Constitutional rights of Americans are protected–even when a Special Counsel is involved.

How Much Did This Cost The Taxpayers?

The Daily Wire posted an article today about the final required filing on Friday by Robert Mueller on the Paul Manafort case.

The article reports:

Mueller and his team made their final required filing in Manafort’s case late Friday, submitting a “government sentencing memorandum” to the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., justifying their request for a harsh, 17-year prison sentence against Manafort.

In it, the government argues that Manafort “chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law— whether the laws proscribed garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud, or more esoteric laws that he nevertheless was intimately familiar with, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),” both before and after he was under scrutiny by the Special Counsel.

Manafort’s portfolio of crimes include incidents going back more than a decade to 2005, to when Manafort was a lobbying the federal government on issues involving Russia and Ukraine. They run all the way up to last year, when Manafort was discovered to have engaged in witness tampering, even after he was indicted on tax fraud charges.

But what the government sentencing document — and Manafort’s apparent list of transgressions — doesn’t include is evidence of actual collusion with Russia during the course of the Trump for President campaign, the actual focus of Mueller’s investigation. Instead, the filing simply says that Manafort committed some of his crimes while under the “spotlight” of the campaign.

The filing is 25 pages long and barely mentions President Trump’s campaign. Collusion between candidate Trump and the Russian government is never mentioned.

The article concludes:

One item does seem to be from the correct era — an instance of “false statements to the Department of Justice” in late 2016, just before the presidential election — but those statements appear, based on the filing, to relate to Mueller’s (and before him, the Justice Department’s) investigation of his work with Ukraine. Instead of lying about something new, it seems Manafort was still covering for actions he took years earlier.

Mueller’s report is expected in early March, but so far, it seems, may have little in the way of evidence that the Trump campaign is guilty of collusion, as a number of Democrats desire.

Keep in mind that eight years ago Paul Manafort was investigated (and cleared) of most of the charges currently against him. The prosecutor that led the exoneration was Rod Rosenstein. Paul Manafort may not be as pure as the driven snow, but I strongly suspect the charges against him have more to do with the “insurance policy” discussed by the FBI than any actual crimes.

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.

What Happens When The Investigation Doesn’t Go In The Direction You Had Hoped

Breitbart posted an article today about some recent comments by Representative Adam Schiff.

The article reports:

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hinted that he would not accept the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller as the end of the investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked, “We expect at some point maybe soon, maybe not, the findings of the Mueller investigation to finally be completed. If he finds that there was no direct collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, will you accept that?”

Schiff, “We’re going to have to do our own investigation, and we are. We’ll certainly be very interested to learn what Bob Mueller finds. We may have to fight to get that information. Bill Barr has not been willing to commit to provide that report either to the Congress or to the American people. We’re going to need to see it. The American people need to see it. We may also need to see the evidence behind that report. There may be, for example, evidence of collusion or conspiracy that is clear and convincing but not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He added, “The American people are entitled to know if there is evidence of a conspiracy between either the president or the president’s campaign and a foreign adversary. At the end of the day, the most important thing for the American people to know is whether the president is somehow compromised, whether there’s a leverage the Russians could use over the president and if the Russians are in a position to expose wrongdoing by the president or his campaign. That’s compromising.”

There have been a lot of insinuations that Robert Mueller’s report is not going to find anything. If Representative Schiff has his own investigation, he can keep the unfounded suspicions against the President in the news until the 2020 election and hope that he can create enough innuendo to cause the President to lose the election. That is what is actually going on here. Finding the facts has very little to do with anything in Congress.

The Week To Come

Next week is shaping up to be an interesting week. On Tuesday we will hear President Trump’s State of the Union Address followed by a response given by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article about the choice of Ms. Abrams.

Some highlights from the article:

Abrams, who believes illegal aliens should be able to vote in elections, refused to concede to duly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and repeatedly accused him of racism.

Interestingly enough, in addition to scheduling President Trump’s address for the coming week, the Democrats have now scheduled February 7 as the date to vote on the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General, and scheduled acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee for February 8. There is a method to their plan. Part of the method is that the President’s speech is quite likely to be about the amazing economic achievements of his two years in office and he will probably talk about some of the problems on our southern border. The Democrats are looking for a way to blunt any positive impact of the speech.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about some aspects of the scheduling.

The article reports:

The committee’s vote is scheduled to take place one day before acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a number of topics, including the Mueller probe; Trump foes claim Whitaker should have recused himself from oversight of the investigation based on some of his past comments, even though a Justice Department ethics review cleared him of any conflicts.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.

The article notes a very interesting aspect of this whole Russian investigation:

A few days before Barr’s hearing, the New York Times reported that in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into the sitting U.S. president purportedly based on suspicions he was a Russian foreign agent. Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—whom the Times does not mention by name at any time in the 1,800 words it took to report this information—initiated the probe immediately after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey.

McCabe was fired last year and now is under criminal investigation for lying to federal agents.

The article concludes:

Other materials of public interest include the initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into four Trump campaign aides—which Comey claimed he never saw—and any details about who at the FBI started the unprecedented counterintelligence and criminal investigation into a sitting U.S. president.

And while he’s at it, and before Mueller’s team is finished, Barr should begin a formal inquiry into why the special counsel’s office scrubbed the iPhones used by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while they worked for Mueller for a brief time in 2017. The phones and the data contained on those devices are public property. Barr needs to find out why that information was not collected and archived since both FBI officials already were under scrutiny. Destroying potential evidence is a crime.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

Get out the popcorn, the show is about to begin.

A Book I Plan To Read

Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a book I plan to read. The American Thinker posted an article today about the book.

The book lists a number of examples where the Justice Department was anything but just:

False charges brought by overzealous prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (Robert Mueller’s right-hand man) in the case against leading accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Although the conviction was subsequently reversed unanimously by the Supreme Court, Andersen was completely destroyed, its 85,000 employees lost their jobs, and the assets of untold investors were wiped out. Weissmann was promoted by the DoJ.

Destruction of the lives of four Merrill Lynch executives. Before they could appeal their fake convictions, they were sent to prison with the toughest criminals in the country. “They did the worst things they could possibly do to these men,” says Powell. The defendants were eventually exonerated on appeal, but it was only after one of them served eight months in solitary confinement.

Frequent failure by the DoJ to disclose evidence favorable to defendants as required by law.

Using the phony Steele dossier, the DoJ and FBI unlawfully obtained FISA warrants for the surveillance of the Trump election campaign. The dossier was then used to justify creation of a special counsel to investigate alleged Trump-Russia collusion. After two years, that investigation is nothing more than a witch-hunt against Trump supporters.

Leaking at the top levels of the FBI and DoJ in the midst of criminal investigations.

Unwillingness of federal judges to discipline the DoJ for its transgressions.

We have seen this sort of questionable behavior by Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann in the investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Paul Manafort is in solitary confinement for no apparent reason, and Roger Stone was arrested in a scenario that would have been appropriate for El Chapo, but not for a sixty-something man with no guns and a deaf wife.

The article at The American Thinker concluldes:

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. Do you think William Barr, our new attorney general, will do something to stop it? Let’s hope he is more effective than his predecessor. Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you reside, this should frighten you. If a group of people with a common political philosophy can pervert justice in America, then the tables could turn at any time and another group of people with a different political philosophy could do the same thing.

Imagine If You Will…

“Imagine if you will…” was the opening line of a television series “The Twilight Zone” which ran from 1959 to 1964. Rod Sterling was the host, narrator, and producer.

On January 20th, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness titled, “Should the FBI Run the Country?” The article reminded me of the opening to “The Twilight Zone” in that is imagines the scenario of the FBI running the country. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights here.

The article states:

During the campaign (2008), unfounded rumors had swirled about the rookie Obama that he might ease sanctions on Iran, distance the United States from Israel, and alienate the moderate Arab regimes, such as the Gulf monarchies and Egypt.

Stories also abounded that the Los Angeles Times had suppressed the release of a supposedly explosive “Khalidi tape,” in which Obama purportedly thanked the radical Rashid Khalidi for schooling him on the Middle East and correcting his earlier biases and blind spots, while praising the Palestinian activist for his support for armed resistance against Israel.

Even more gossip circulated that photos existed of a smiling Barack Obama with Louis Farrakhan, the Black Muslim extremist and radical pro-Gaddafi patron, who in the past had praised Adolf Hitler and reminded the Jews again about the finality of being sent to the ovens. (A photo of a smiling Obama and Farrakhan did emerge, but mysteriously only after President Obama left office).

Imagine that all these tales in 2008 might have supposedly “worried” Bush lame-duck and pro-McCain U.S. intelligence officials, who informally met to discuss possible ways of gleaning more information about this still mostly unknown but scary Obama candidacy.

The article continues:

But most importantly, imagine that McCain’s opposition researchers had apprised the FBI of accusations (unproven, of course) that Obama had improperly set up a private back-channel envoy to Iran in 2008. Supposedly, Obama was trying secretly to reassure the theocracy (then the object of Bush Administration and allied efforts to ratchet up pressures to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weapons) of better treatment to come. The conspiratorial accusation would imply that if Iran held off Bush Administration pressures, Tehran might soon find a more conducive atmosphere from an incoming Obama Administration.

Additional rumors of similar Logan Act “violations” would also swirl about Obama campaign efforts to convince the Iraqis not to seal a forces agreement with the departing Bush Administration.

Further, conceive that at least one top Bush Justice Department deputy had a spouse working on the McCain opposition dossier on Obama, and that the same official had helped to circulate its scandalous anti-Obama contents around government circles.

In this scenario, also picture that the anti-Obama FBI soon might have claimed that the Obama Iran mission story might have been not only an apparent violation of the Logan Act but also part of possible larger “conspiratorial” efforts to undermine current Bush Administration policies. And given Obama’s campaign rhetoric of downplaying the threats posed by Iran to the United States, and the likelihood he would reverse long-standing U.S. opposition to the theocracy, the FBI decided on its own in July 2008 that Obama himself posed a grave threat to national security.

More importantly, the FBI, by its director’s own later admission, would have conjectured that McCain was the likelier stronger candidate and thus would win the election, given his far greater experience than that of the novice Obama. And therefore, the FBI director further assumed he could conduct investigations against a presidential candidate on the theory that a defeated Obama would have no knowledge of its wayward investigatory surveillance, and that a soon-to-be President McCain would have no desire to air such skullduggery.

I am sure you can see where this is going.

The article concludes:

Obama, in our thought experiment, would have charged that the role of the Bush-era FBI, CIA, DOJ, and special counsel’s team had become part of a “resistance” to delegitimize his presidency. Indeed, Obama charged that conservative interests had long wanted to abort his presidency by fueling past efforts to subvert the Electoral College in 2008, to invoke the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, and the Emoluments Clause (based on rumors of negotiating lucrative post-presidential book and media contracts by leveraging his presidential tenure), as well as introducing articles of impeachment.

Celebrity talk of injuring Obama and his family would be daily events. Actor Robert De Niro talked of smashing Obama’s face, while Peter Fonda dreamed of caging his children. Johnny Depp alluded to assassination. It soon became a sick celebrity game to discover whether the president should be blown up, whipped, shot, burned, punched, or hanged.

Imagine that if all that had happened. Would the FBI, CIA, or FISA courts still exist in their current form? Would the media have any credibility? Would celebrities still be celebrities? Would there ever again be a special counsel? Would we still have a country?

Hopefully by now many Americans have awakened to the government abuses involved in surveillance of the Trump campaign, appointment of the Special Counsel, arrests of people associated with President Trump for things not related to any of what the Special Counsel is supposed to be investigating, and inappropriate use of force to arrest a 60-something-year-old man with a deaf wife. No wonder the FBI and DOJ are fighting so hard to prevent the truth of their abuses of power during the Obama administration from being revealed.

I Don’t Think This Is What They Meant To Prove

The National Review today posted an article by Andrew McCarthy about the indictment of Roger Stone. The headline of the article is, “Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy.” Since Andrew McCarthy is an experienced prosecutor, he is very familiar with how the law works.

The article notes:

Roger Stone is the shiny object. The obstruction charges in his long-anticipated indictment, made public on Friday, are not the matter of consequence for the United States.

Nor is the critical thing the indictment’s implicit confirmation that there was no criminal “collusion” conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

What matters is this: The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency — over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern — heedless of the damage to the country.

The article continues:

So now we have the Stone indictment.

It alleges no involvement — by Stone or the Trump campaign — in Russia’s hacking. The indictment’s focus, instead, is the WikiLeaks end of the enterprise — i.e., not the “cyberespionage” of a foreign power that gave rise to the investigation, but the dissemination of the stolen emails after the hacking. And what do we learn? That the Trump campaign did not know what WikiLeaks had. That is, in addition to being uninvolved in Russia’s espionage, the Trump campaign was uninvolved in Julian Assange’s acquisition of what Russia stole.

The Stone indictment reads like an episode of The Three Stooges. Stone and two associates — conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerry Corsi, and left-wing-comedian-turned-radio-host Randy Credico, respectively denominated “Person 1” and “Person 2” — are on a quest to find out what WikiLeaks has on Hillary Clinton and when Assange is going to publicize it. But that does not suit Stone, who has cultivated an image of political dirty trickster and plugged-in soothsayer. In public, then, Stone pretends to know more than he knows and to have an insider’s view of Assange’s operation; behind the scenes, he scrounges around for clues about what Assange is up to, hoping some insider will tell him.

The article concludes with two paragraphs that should give all of us something to think about:

There is no reason why the special counsel could not have issued an interim report clearing the president of suspicion that he was a Russian agent. Doing so would merely have removed the specter of traitorous conspiracy from the White House. It would not have compromised Mueller’s ability to investigate Russia’s interference in the election; it would not have undermined Mueller’s probe of potential obstruction offenses by the president. (And while it is not Mueller’s job to discourage the president’s puerile “witch hunt” tweets, if the public had been told that the Justice Department withdrew its highly irregular public statements about Trump’s possible criminal complicity in Russia’s espionage, presidential tirades about the investigation would have ebbed, if not disappeared entirely.)

We are not just talking about having our priorities in order — i.e., recognizing that the ability of the president to govern takes precedence the prosecutor’s desire for investigative secrecy. We are talking about common sense and common decency: The Justice Department and the FBI went out of their way to portray Donald Trump as a suspect in what would have been the most abhorrent crime in the nation’s history. It has been more than two years. Is it too much to ask that the Justice Department withdraw its public suggestion that the president of the United States might be a clandestine agent of Russia?

It is time to clean house in the FBI and the DOJ–too many people have taken part in this charade to bring down a duly-elected President.

 

The Tactics Are Definitely Over The Top

The internet is buzzing today with the arrest of Roger Stone, someone who evidently had contacts with the Trump campaign at various points. Nothing he did in that context was illegal, but it seems that when questioned by Congress he did not tell the entire truth. Funny, other people who have recently lied to Congress are still walking around free.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Roger Stone’s arrest.

The article reports:

FBI agents arrested longtime Trump associate Roger Stone in a paramilitary-style raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., early Friday morning. A CNN producer on the scene said the arrest involved “heavy weaponry.” Stone was taken into custody without incident.

The arrest followed action by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., under Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. On Thursday, the grand jury indicted Stone on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing a congressional investigation.

Roger Stone is 66 years old. The paramilitary-style raid was an abuse of power and was dangerous. It was also a waste of money. I have no doubt they could have simply waited until after breakfast, knocked on the man’s door, and taken him into custody. This is another example of the over-the-top tactics used by Robert Mueller.

The article goes on to explain what Roger Stone is charged with. Basically it is process crimes connected to the Special Counsel’s witch hunt. I suspect his real crime was supporting President Trump.

The article continues:

All the counts stem from Stone’s Sept. 26, 2017, interview with the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election and the response by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Stone is not charged with lying to or attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

The special counsel’s charges involve Stone’s House testimony about WikiLeaks and its release of hacked material from the Democratic National Committee and, later, from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta during the 2016 campaign. The indictment does not say Stone communicated with Wikileaks head Julian Assange. Rather, it says Stone lied about his attempts to learn Assange’s intentions through two intermediaries: journalist and provocateur Jerome Corsi and radio host Randy Credico.

Meanwhile, crimes involving lying to a FISA court go unpunished, misuse of government agencies to spy on Americans goes unnoticed, and destruction of evidence that was subpoenaed goes unpunished.

Unless the new Attorney General is sworn in quickly and deals with the unequal justice currently being practiced in America, we will have become a banana republic.

A Disturbing Timeline

The Gateway Pundit posted a revealing timeline today showing that the deep state plan to undercut the presidency of President Trump was formulated about the time President Trump won the Republican nomination. This timeline illustrates the use of government agencies to prevent Donald Trump’s election to the presidency (obviously they failed at that) and if that failed, either drive him from office or discredit him to the point where he couldn’t get anything done. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit on, the idea of using government agencies (non-elected officials) to undermine elected officials should be disturbing to you. Please follow the link above to the article to read the entire timeline.

Here are just a few items:

Now through a review of information from April, 2016, related to the corrupt Obama Administration’s fake Trump – Russia collusion farce, we see that this was the exact same time that the fake Trump-Russia collusion story was created.

The following incidents are now known to have occurred in mid to late April, 2016 –

2016-04-15 Obama CIA Chief John Brennan assembles a multi-agency task force that served from April 2016 to July 2016 as the beginnings of a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. “The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently,” three officials told the NYTimes [source].  (Note that the Crossfire Hurricane team was not reportedly in existence until the end of July 30, 2016, so how could they play a part?)

2016-04-15 James Comey tells Sally Yates sometime around 04/16 that he’s considering a special counsel [see:June 2018 IG report p. 172]

2016-04-15 It’s reported that Victoria Nuland and other State Department officials became “more alarmed” about what the Russians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were authorized by then Secretary of State John Kerry to develop proposals for ways to deter the Russians.  [source]  Nuland stated that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the DNC, long before senior DNC officials were aware of it.

The article concludes:

By the end of April, 2016, the Deep State of Obama, Comey, Brennan, Kerry and others had already put in place spies on Trump team members, and allegations of a made up company, DCLeaks, that allegedly hacked DNC emails.  They also began their sinister Trump – Russia collusion fairy tale.

April 2016 will go down in history as the month that a sitting President (Obama) began his scheme using the intelligence community of the United States to spy on its competing campaign in the US election in an effort to prevent them from winning the 2016 Presidential election.

If the people responsible for this misuse of government power are not brought to justice, we can expect to see similar behavior in the future. These actions are not appropriate in a representative democracy–they belong in a banana republic.

Hasn’t Anyone Read The U.S. Constitution?

Yesterday The New York Times posted an op-ed piece titled, “The Inevitability of Impeachment” by Elizabeth Drew. It is an opinion piece, so I guess facts don’t really matter, but it is still an amazing work of fiction.

The piece states:

An impeachment process against President Trump now seems inescapable. Unless the president resigns, the pressure by the public on the Democratic leaders to begin an impeachment process next year will only increase. Too many people think in terms of stasis: How things are is how they will remain. They don’t take into account that opinion moves with events.

Whether or not there’s already enough evidence to impeach Mr. Trump — I think there is — we will learn what the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has found, even if his investigation is cut short.

I can see the talking point already–if the House begins impeachment proceedings and the Mueller investigation is ended because of that, the cry will be that he would have found something if he had had more time. The man has been supposedly looking for Russian collusion for two years at taxpayers’ expense and so far all he has come up with is a legal contract asking someone to remain silent.

The piece continues:

The word “impeachment” has been thrown around with abandon. The frivolous impeachment of President Bill Clinton helped to define it as a form of political revenge. But it is far more important and serious than that: It has a critical role in the functioning of our democracy.

Impeachment was the founders’ method of holding a president accountable between elections. Determined to avoid setting up a king in all but name, they put the decision about whether a president should be allowed to continue to serve in the hands of the representatives of the people who elected him.

So the impeachment of Bill Clinton was frivolous even when he lied to a Grand Jury and tried to influence others to do the same, but the impeachment of Donald Trump would not be frivolous. Wow. Please explain the logic here.

It always seemed to me that Mr. Trump’s turbulent presidency was unsustainable and that key Republicans would eventually decide that he had become too great a burden to the party or too great a danger to the country. That time may have arrived. In the end the Republicans will opt for their own political survival. Almost from the outset some Senate Republicans have speculated on how long his presidency would last. Some surely noticed that his base didn’t prevail in the midterms.

But it may well not come to a vote in the Senate. Facing an assortment of unpalatable possibilities, including being indicted after he leaves office, Mr. Trump will be looking for a way out. It’s to be recalled that Mr. Nixon resigned without having been impeached or convicted. The House was clearly going to approve articles of impeachment against him, and he’d been warned by senior Republicans that his support in the Senate had collapsed. Mr. Trump could well exhibit a similar instinct for self-preservation. But like Mr. Nixon, Mr. Trump will want future legal protection.

Mr. Nixon was pardoned by President Gerald Ford, and despite suspicions, no evidence has ever surfaced that the fix was in. While Mr. Trump’s case is more complex than Mr. Nixon’s, the evident dangers of keeping an out-of-control president in office might well impel politicians in both parties, not without controversy, to want to make a deal to get him out of there.

Just for the record, Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution reads:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

As far as anyone knows, that standard has not been met. You can’t impeach a President just because you don’t like him or you are mad because your candidate did not win the election.

Obstructing Justice?

On Thursday PJ Media posted an article about the Inspector General’s investigation into the Department of Justice.

The article reports:

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was unable to recover text messages from the iPhones of FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page from their time on the special counsel team because the records officer scrubbed them, a new report from the DOJ watchdog reveals.

Regarding Strzok’s iPhone, investigators were told that it “had been reset to factory settings and was reconfigured for the new user to whom the device was issued.”

The special counsel’s records officer said that she had “determined it did not contain records that needed to be retained.” She wrote in her records log, “No substantive texts, notes or reminders,” the report states.

In a phone call, Page told the special counsel’s office (SCO) after she left the team that she left her government-issued iPhone and laptop on a bookshelf at the office. The SCO located the laptop, but when the OIG asked for the iPhone on January 24, 2018, the SCO could not locate it.

The article continues:

The DOJ’s Inspector General (IG) said that, with help from the Department of Defense, it was able to uncover thousands of missing text messages written by Strzok and Page and sent using their FBI-issued Samsung phones from December 15, 2016 through May 17, 2017, “as well as hundreds of other text messages outside the gap time period that had not been produced by the FBI due to technical problems with its text message collection tool.”

The deep state is alive and well, and I am worried about the future of our country. President Trump is not the problem–bureaucrats who believe they have the right to undo an election and continually harass a duly-elected President are the problem.

Weighing The Facts

Yesterday I posted an article about the sentencing of General Michael Flynn. In the article I noted that there were some curious circumstances surrounding the interview in which General Flynn is accused of lying. Evidently I am not the only person concerned about those circumstances.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the judge who will be sentencing General Flynn.

The article reports:

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is due to sentence General Michael Flynn next Tuesday, has thrown a wild card on the table, raising the possibility that a miscarriage of justice may finally be called out and the guilty plea coerced by Team Mueller thrown out.

Thanks to the sentencing memorandum filed by counsel for General Michael Flynn, we now see that the FBI used deception to ensnare him in a perjury trap.

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial titled, “The Flynn Entrapment.”

The editorial states:

Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s many targets, the most tragic may be former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The former three-star general pleaded guilty last year to a single count of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Now we learn from Mr. Flynn’s court filing to the sentencing judge that senior bureau officials acted in a way to set him up for the fall.

Not a rich man after decades in uniform, Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to avoid bankruptcy and spare his son from becoming a legal target. Mr. Flynn’s filing doesn’t take issue with the description of his offense. But the “additional facts” the Flynn defense team flags for the court raise doubts about FBI conduct.

The Flynn filing describes government documents concerning the Jan. 24, 2017 meeting with two FBI agents when Mr. Flynn supposedly lied. It turns out the meeting was set up by then Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally called Mr. Flynn that day on other business—to discuss an FBI training session. By Mr. McCabe’s account, on that call he told Mr. Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with him to talk about his Russia communications.

There is another clue in The American Thinker article as to why the Judge is asking questions:

Chuck Ross reports for the Daily Caller News Foundation on Judge Sullivan’s startling order:

District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Wednesday ordered Flynn’s lawyers to hand over two documents: a memo that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote after speaking with Flynn ahead his Jan. 24, 2017 interview with two FBI agents and the FBI summary of notes taken during that same interview.

That summary, known as an FD-302, was compiled on Aug. 22, 2017 by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn. It is unclear why the summary was put together seven months after the Flynn interview.

When you look at the actions of the FBI and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team, you find that in some cases civil rights were trampled (attorney-client privilege, having a lawyer present, being put in solitary confinement for crimes that did not warrant it, etc.). Hopefully the actions of Judge Sullivan will cause both the FBI Special Prosecutor Mueller to be more aware of the civil rights of all Americans.

Theoretically The Same Rules Should Apply To Everyone

As Robert Mueller begins to wind down his investigation (hopefully), it is not unreasonable to expect some effort by conservative news sources to discredit his work. However, in view of the people he chose to do his investigating and some of the tactics used, some discrediting may be in order.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today stating the following:

A new report by journalist Paul Sperry says conflicted Robert Mueller withheld evidence from the court that would exonerate President Trump from the latest accusations of Russian collusion during the 2016 election.

Mueller withheld information to the court that would exonerate President Trump.
Will Mueller be tossed in prison for lying?
Or do only Trump associates got to jail for lying to the court?

In an article posted at Real Clear Investigations, Paul Sperry reported the following:

Contrary to media speculation that Robert Mueller is closing in on President Trump, the special prosecutor’s plea deal with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen offers further evidence that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russians during the 2016 election, according to congressional investigators and former prosecutors.

Cohen pleaded guilty last week to making false statements in 2017 to the Senate intelligence committee about the Trump Organization’s failed efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Discussions about the so-called Moscow Project continued five months longer in 2016 than Cohen had initially stated under oath.

The nine-page charging document filed with the plea deal suggests that the special counsel is using the Moscow tower talks to connect Trump to Russia. But congressional investigators with House and Senate committees leading inquiries on the Russia question told RealClearInvestigations that it looks like Mueller withheld from the court details that would exonerate the president. They made this assessment in light of the charging document, known as a statement of “criminal information” (filed in lieu of an indictment when a defendant agrees to plead guilty); a fuller accounting of Cohen’s emails and text messages that Capitol Hill sources have seen; and the still-secret transcripts of closed-door testimony provided by a business associate of Cohen.

The article at Real Clear Investigations concludes:

Though Mueller has now, in his 18-month probe, nabbed several Trump associates for process crimes, such as making false statements, and other felonies, such as tax fraud, no evidence has surfaced in any of the cases indicating that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

FBI agents raided Cohen’s office early this spring to seize evidence, and prosecutors have spent the last several months sifting through his emails, texts and phone and travel records, as well as audio recordings he allegedly made of conservations with Trump.

Notably absent from the criminal-information document is any corroboration of the highly inflammatory, though oft-cited allegation made in the so-called Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, that Cohen visited Prague to clandestinely meet with Kremlin officials in August 2016 to arrange “deniable cash payments to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign.”

Cohen has strenuously denied the allegation and offered his passport to show “I have never been to Prague in my life.”

The Mueller investigation is going to go down in history as one of the biggest financial boondoggles in American history. The really sad aspect of this is the unequal justice that is currently being applied. Hopefully that is about to change.

Who Was Actually Running The Show?

On Friday, John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about the events that led up to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mr. Solomon reminds us of some of the investigative techniques used to gather information on the mafia.

The article reports:

Back in the mafia’s heyday, FBI and IRS agents had a set of surveillance rules.

If one mobster showed up in town, pay notice. If two arrived, be suspicious. If three or four were in the same vicinity, something was going down.

…Mobsters would always have the same calling card, or excuse, to be in town. Attending a funeral (the mid-1980s mob meeting in Chicago) or a vacation in the sticks (the infamous 1957 gathering in upstate New York) were some of the more memorable ones.

Early in my reporting that unraveled the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, tying it to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses, I started to see patterns just as in the old mob meetings: FBI or intelligence-connected figures kept showing up in Trump Town USA during the 2016 campaign with a common calling card.

So exactly who showed up where during the 2016 presidential campaign? The article continues:

  • At least six people with long-established ties to the FBI or to U.S. and Western intelligence made entrees to key figures in the Trump business organization or his presidential campaign between March and October 2016;
  • Campaign figures were contacted by at least two Russian figures whose justification for being in the United States were rare law enforcement parole visas controlled by the U.S. Justice Department;
  • Intelligence or diplomatic figures connected to two of America’s closest allies, Britain and Australia, gathered intelligence or instigated contacts with Trump campaign figures during that same period;
  • Some of the conversations and contacts that were monitored occurred on foreign soil and resulted in the creation of transcripts;
  • Nearly all of the contacts involved the same overture — a discussion about possible political dirt or stolen emails harmful to Hillary Clinton, or unsolicited business in London or Moscow;
  • Several of the contacts occurred before the FBI formally launched a legally authorized probe into the Trump campaign and possible collusion on July 31, 2016.

The people who were approached during that time–Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Sam Clovis and Roger Stone, to name a few. Obviously these are the names that form the crux of the Mueller investigation. Can you say entrapment? Can you say Peter Strzok’s insurance policy?

So who was controlling the people approaching members of the Trump team? The article has a few educated guesses:

At least two important bodies in Congress — the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees — demanded to be secretly briefed on payments to “undercovers.” They’ve been pretty tight-lipped since, except to express concerns that the public would be alarmed by what was divulged.

From those members of Congress, we can deduce that some of the contacts that occurred in 2016 were related to the political opposition, anti-Trump research funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign and driven by Steele and his Fusion GPS employer. That work became known as the Steele dossier.

Others of the contacts appear to have been instigated by Western allies, such as an Australian diplomat’s barroom conversation in May 2016 with Papadopoulos.

And the rest are likely to have come from the FBI itself, which clearly dispatched informers, agents and other operatives to gather evidence to bulk up the uncorroborated Steele dossier, so agents could get a FISA warrant in October 2016 to spy on Page, the Trump campaign adviser.

The article concludes:

If this were a mob case, agents would not stop until they knew why each character appeared and who sent them. President Trump can help answer many, if not all, unanswered questions by declassifying the documents as he promised months ago. Congressional leaders and the Justice Department can impose accountability based on what is disclosed.

The American people deserve to know how much of the Trump-Russia probe was the result of agent provocateurs and political muckrakers and FISA cheaters, and how much was legitimate law enforcement work. 

Rumor has it that there will be some answers coming and some justice served this coming week. Frankly, I am getting tired of waiting.