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.

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.

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.

 

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.

This Could Get Very Interesting

The U.K. Telegraph reported on Wednesday that MI6 chiefs are secretly battling Donald Trump to stop him publishing classified information linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. 

The article reports:

The UK is warning that the US president would undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.

However Trump allies are fighting back, demanding transparency and asking why Britain would oppose the move unless it had something to hide.

It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI’s investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article on Wednesday that reminds us of some of the possible reasons for the problem:

In 2016 candidate Trump supported Brexit; the professional political class in the U.K. were vehemently against it. Additionally, candidate Trump was openly challenging the structure of NATO and demanding changes to the alliance. This was antithetical to the interests of the U.K. government and likely sent shockwaves through their collectivist system when candidate Trump won the GOP nomination. The Brits had a strong motive to see Trump destroyed and aligned with weaponized U.S. intelligence toward that end.

As President, Mr. Trump, has held true to his campaign promises and forced the British -and the EU writ large- to be more responsible for their own military security. President Trump has challenged the post-WW2 NATO structures and forced the EU to pay more for their defense. Many member nations are vocally unhappy with this shifted landscape because it means less money for liberal/socialist causes. [Note: Including Canada]

Lastly, the U.K. and E.U. (mostly German anxiety) are facing a much tougher trade objective as outlined by President Trump. The trade conflict is costing them billions in addition to their increased need to spend on their own defense via NATO to keep Trump off their back. He might be just one man, but President Trump has them surrounded.

President Trump is not allowing the same one-way benefits within the U.S. trade relationship with the EU; and as he highlighted with the use of tariffs, he is not hesitant to smash the EU economy (mostly Germany) with crippling auto-tariffs if needed.

Trump is leveraging access to the U.S. markets as pressure on the Europeans to comply with U.S. demands. The Europeans, including the British, are not used to this level of confrontation from the U.S. Their economic frames of reference surround acquiescence from prior American presidents. They are increasingly unnerved and the horrible President Trump simply doesn’t care.

And then there’s the newly emphasized Iran sanctions… the economic MOAB that threatens any/all European interests who might dare to get caught doing business with the Iranian regime. President Trump has shown he is not the least bit hesitant to pull the trigger on Treasury penalties against any nation or multinational interest who would defy the sanctions.

Simply put, the Brits did not like the idea of an American President who put America first. The question remains as to what they actually did about it.

Getting To The Bottom

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

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

This is the list:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article further reports:

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

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

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

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

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

The Real Question

Legend has it that Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi would begin every spring practice with the words, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Those words were said to newcomers who had never played pro football and seasoned veterans, but they were uttered every year. He always took the time to remind his players of the basics of the game.

There is an article posted at The National Review today written by Andrew McCarthy that also seeks to remind us of some basic principles of law. The title of the article is “Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?” That is the question.

The article reports:

For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?

It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

To my mind, he has owed us an answer from the beginning, meaning when he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller on May 17, 2017. The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

This last provision is designed to prevent a special counsel’s investigation from becoming a fishing expedition — or what President Trump calls a “witch hunt,” what DAG Rosenstein more diplomatically disclaims as an “unguided missile,” and what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, invoking Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret-police chief, pans as the warped dictum, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In our country, the crime triggers the assignment of a prosecutor, not the other way around.

I would strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. Andrew McCarthy presents a very strong legal argument as to why the Mueller investigation is not in compliance with the statute for a special prosecutor. Unfortunately the Mueller investigation has become a vehicle to ruin anyone financially that might have had even a tangential relationship with either the Trump campaign or the Trump presidency. Notice that nothing anyone has been charged with has any relationship with a conspiracy with Russia or election tampering. The only things that have been uncovered show the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent in order to sway an election, and those things have been ignored by Mueller.

The article concludes:

So what are the suspected crimes committed by Donald Trump that Mueller has been authorized to investigate, and what was the factual basis for Rosenstein’s authorization of this investigation?

We still haven’t been told.

The anti-Trump Left decries all criticism as an effort to “delegitimize” and “obstruct” the Mueller investigation. But no one is questioning the investigation of Russia’s interference in the election. We are questioning why a special counsel was appointed to investigate the president of the United States. It is the Justice Department’s obligation to establish the legitimacy of the appointment by explaining the factual basis for believing a crime was committed. If there is no such basis, then it is Mueller’s investigation that is delegitimizing the presidency and obstructing its ability to carry out its constitutional mission — a mission that is far more significant than any prosecutor’s case.

We’re not asking for much. After 16 months, we are just asking why there is a criminal investigation of the president. If Rod Rosenstein would just explain what the regs call for him to explain — namely, the basis to believe that Donald Trump conspired with the Kremlin to violate a specific federal criminal law, or is somehow criminally complicit in the Kremlin’s election sabotage — then we can all get behind Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But what is the explanation? And why isn’t the Republican-controlled Congress demanding it?

The Mueller investigation is an example of the deep state trying to protect itself. That is what Bob Woodward’s book is about and that is what The New York Times editorial is about. Unfortunately there are both Republicans and Democrats in the deep state. Until we elect people who love America more than they love money and prestige, the deep state will remain.

Exactly What Is A Soft Coup

The following video was posted at YouTube on August 21:

The video is 37 minutes long, so in case you don’t want to watch it, here are some of the highlights (courtesy of Zerohedge):

It all started from the fake dossier which led eventually to the appointment of Robert Mueller (Special Prosecutor) and the entire foundation is based on a falsity. . . . I understand the next revocation of security clearance is probably going to be Bruce Ohr because he crafted the fake dossier with Christopher Steele, and he may even have written the thing…

After the FBI supposedly fired Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr had at least 70 communications (with Steele) back and forth talking about the ‘firewall’ is still there to protect us. Recent accounts show that Bruce Ohr either wrote the dossier with Christopher Steele or he wrote it himself in communication with Christopher Steele.” –Kevin Shipp

“Yes. Oh, they coordinated it for sure. There are 70 emails back and forth between Ohr and Steele crafting the dossier. So, the FBI and Department of Justice were intimately involved with the creation and publication of that dossier.”

“They even went further than that. The FBI and CIA counter-intelligence even placed an agent inside the Trump campaign.” -Kevin Shipp

…Shipp concluded that a Civil War in the making right now. “I think we are at the beginning of a civil war. You’ve got the ‘Dark Left’ and you’ve got the Conservative people, the Constitutionalists. In progressivism, one of its tenets is to change the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, and uproot traditional America. Whatever happens in November is going to intensify that. . . . Their attack is against Christians and the Constitution.”

Is it possible to drain the swamp?

Some Interesting New Information

Sharyl Attkisson is an Emmy award winning investigative journalist. She fell out of favor with the mainstream media when she began looking behind the scenes at some of the Obama scandals. Her personal computer was hacked by the government, and other violations of her civil rights occurred. She worked for CBS for a number of years. She has continued her investigative work independently and hosts a website where the results of her investigations are posted. She is also active on Twitter.

This is a screenshot of one of her recent tweets:

Recently she posted a timeline of the collusion against Trump on her website. Here are just a few highlights from that timeline that might explain some things:

June 2013: FBI interviews U.S. businessman Carter Page, who’s lived and worked in Russia, regarding his ongoing contacts with Russians. Page reportedly tells FBI agents their time would be better spent investigating Boston Marathon bombing (which the FBI’s Andrew McCabe helped lead). Page later claims his remark prompts FBI retaliatory campaign against him. The FBI, under McCabe, will later wiretap Page after Page becomes a Donald Trump campaign adviser.

FBI secretly records suspected Russian industrial spy Evgeny Buryakov. It’s later reported that Page helped FBI build the case.

…2015

FBI opens investigation into Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, including for donations from a Chinese businessman and Clinton Foundation donor.

FBI official Andrew McCabe meets with Gov. McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. Afterwards, “McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated about $700,000 to Mr. McCabe’s wife…for her campaign to become a Democrat state Senator in Virginia.” The fact of the McAuliffe-related donations to wife of FBI’s McCabe—while FBI was investigating McAuliffe and Clinton—later becomes the subject of conflict of interest inquiry by Inspector General.

2016

Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.

Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born ex-British spy leading anti-Trump political opposition research project.

January 2016: Democratic operative Ukrainian-American Chalupa tells a senior Democratic National Committee official that she feels there’s a Russia connection with Trump.

Jan. 29, 2016: FBI Director Comey promotes Andrew McCabe to FBI Deputy Director.

McCabe takes lead on Clinton probe even though his wife received nearly $700,000 in campaign donations through Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who’s also under FBI investigation.

March 2016: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email gets hacked.

May 23, 2016: FBI probe into Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe becomes public. (McAuliffe is ultimately not charged with a crime.)

Justice Department Inspector General confirms it’s looking into FBI’s Andrew McCabe for alleged conflicts of interest in handling of Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe probes in light of McAuliffe directing campaign donations to McCabe’s wife.

FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are reportedly having an illicit affair, text each other that Trump’s ascension in the campaign will bring “pressure…to finish” Clinton probe.

Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and former CIA worker, goes on the payroll of Fusion GPS and assists with anti-Trump political opposition research. Her husband, Bruce, reportedly fails to disclose her specific employer and work in his Justice Dept. conflict of interest disclosures.

Nellie Ohr applies for a ham radio license.

June 2016: Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson hires Yemen-born ex-British spy Christopher Steele for anti-Trump political opposition research project. Steele uses info from Russian sources “close to Putin” to compile unverified “dossier” later provided to reporters and FBI, which the FBI uses to obtain secret wiretap.

The Guardian and Heat Street report that the FBI applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016 to “monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials” but that the “initial request was denied.” 

Please follow the link to the article to see the entire timeline, it is worth reviewing. Sharyl Attkisson is one of the few really reliable resources on government corruption.

Strange People In Stranger Places

Yesterday LifeZette posted an article about alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.

The article reports:

Butina has been accused of working with a top Russian official and two unidentified U.S. citizens to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the U.S., along with attempting to influence America’s foreign policy toward Russia, as CNBC.com and others reported.

This is all part of the efforts to accuse President Trump of colluding with the Russians. However, there is a problem with those who are attempting to use this accusation against President Trump.

The article reports:

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina was involved in high-level meetings with two senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration and a Russian official before the 2016 election, according to multiple sources and a Washington, D.C., think tank, as The Daily Wire and other outlets reported.

The meetings — “disclosed by several people familiar” with them, noted Reuters, and also by a report prepared by the think tank that arranged the meetings — involved Stanley Fischer, then Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Nathan Sheets, who was then the Treasury undersecretary for international affairs.

Butina reportedly came into the U.S. in April 2015 with then-Russian Central Bank Deputy Governor Alexander Torshin to participate in “separate meetings with Fischer and Sheets, to discuss U.S.- Russian economic relations during Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration.”

The think tank involved in the meetings is the Central for the National Interest (CNI), a group that advocates for improved U.S.- Russia relations, as CBS reported.

Whoops.

So let’s back up a bit and see what we actually know. Russia was a major player in getting the Iran deal put together and approved by European countries. Russia had the ability to make or break that deal. President Obama desperately wanted that deal (for reasons that will be debated for a long time–see Ben Rhodes statements in The New York Times here). Because of his desire to keep Russia on his side regarding the Iran deal (and because he was sure Hillary Clinton would be elected) President Obama ordered a stand down on the investigation into Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election (story here). We also know that the Russian cyberattacks did not impact the 2016 election. Logically, Clinton would have been the Russian’s preferred candidate–they had enough information from her private server to control her totally–I am sure they have all the dirt on the Clinton Foundation and the money that flowed in and out of the Foundation. So why was President Obama meeting with this supposed Russian spy? It could be totally innocent–he might have had no idea who she really was or what she was up to. However, the efforts to connect her to the Trump campaign after President Obama met with her are sort of ridiculous to anyone who is paying attention.

The Plot May Be Beginning To Unravel

One of the problems with trying to maintain a conspiracy is that as it begins to unravel, people begin to say things to distance themselves from responsibility for any wrongdoing that has occurred. I believe that is what is happening regarding the wiretapping of the Trump campaign and possibly regarding the Mueller investigation.

The Gateway Pundit quoted President Obama’s Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, today. James Clapper made the following statement on CNN yesterday:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

We need to put this into perspective in terms of what was going on during the final days of the Obama administration. During the final year of the Obama administration, Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations. made an unprecedented number of requests for unmasking Americans whose conversations were inadvertently captured in wiretapped conversations. (article here) Americans were routinely being spied on by their government at this time.

Most Americans, particularly those familiar with procedures in the intelligence community were reluctant to believe what was reportedly going on with domestic spying. However, the truth has become obvious in recent days.

The following is an interview with Andrew McCarthy, who was initially skeptical that the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court was being used for political purposes. The interview is posted at YouTube:

I believe that the Mueller investigation is the ‘insurance policy’ discussed in Andrew McCabe’s office. We know that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were involved in that discussion. We don’t know if anyone else was. The investigation was supposed either to create enough turmoil to remove President Trump from office (before he could cut taxes, appoint judges, or actually accomplish anything) or to cripple his presidency to the point where he accomplished nothing. Obviously the plan has created a lot of turmoil, but not a lot of the results the plotters were aiming for.

Ideally we will see this entire charade resolved within the next year. I am hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic.

Something To Consider

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

The editorial states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On December 1, 2017, Newsweek reported:

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

The editorial continues:

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

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

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

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

Where Some Of The Political Money Comes From

The Daily Caller is reporting that Demand Justice (DJ), a group organized and financed by a 501(c)(4) called the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which collected some $2.2 million in contributions from the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), one of George Soros’ primary donation vehicles, between 2012 and 2016, has pledged to put $5 million behind an effort to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court . If George Soros opposes Judge Kavanaugh, then I have one more reason to support the Judge.

The article reports:

A Daily Caller News Foundation review has found that the group’s primary financial supporter is a nonprofit to whom Soros has given millions.

The group, Demand Justice (DJ), is organized and financed by a 501(c)(4) called the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which collected some $2.2 million in contributions from the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), one of Soros’ primary donation vehicles, between 2012 and 2016.

…Demand Justice was formed in the spring of 2018 as the progressive counterpart to a constellation of conservative advocacy groups which advertise and organize around judicial confirmations. Republicans have significantly outpaced Democrats in this space in recent years, given conservative voters’ sustained interest in the federal courts.

Executive director Brian Fallon told The New York Times that DJ hopes to “sensitize rank-and-file progressives to think of the courts as a venue for their activism and a way to advance the progressive agenda.”

Its ranks are staffed by alums of the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign: Fallon, the former Clinton campaign press secretary, serves as executive director and longtime Obama aide Christopher Kang is chief counsel. Other Clinton veterans involved with the group include Gabrielle McCaffrey and Diana Bowen, according to LinkedIn.

The Fund serves as Demand Justice’s fiscal sponsor. As such, DJ does not have to submit its own tax returns or disclose its supporters. The Fund registered the trade name “Demand Justice” with the Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory affairs on May 2.

George Soros is an naturalized American citizen and can legally donate his money to any cause he chooses. However, I would like to remind him that money in politics does not always equal success. On November 7, 2016, CNBC reported the following:

Still, the spending patterns offer some insight into the strategies pursued by the two rivals. As of Oct. 19, Clinton had raised some $513 million and spent $450 million on itemized expenses. The Trump campaign had raised $255 million and spent $239 million.

I hope the Soros-funded group is as successful in blocking Judge Kavanaugh as Hillary Clinton was in winning the presidency.

Grasping At Straws

The focus on the Mueller investigation seems to be Paul Manafort. Manafort is currently being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail because of alleged witness tampering. Does anyone doubt that this is an attempt to get him to make something up that Mueller can use against President Trump? Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Mueller has now revealed the relationship between the Trump campaign and Manafort.

Most of the 32 counts against Manafort in the Virginia case concern alleged crimes that took place long before there was a Trump campaign. Some go back as far as 2006. But four of the counts involve a pair of loans Manafort took out between April 2016 and January 2017. For a few months during that time period, Manafort worked for the Trump campaign.

The loans totaled $16 million and came from a financial institution Mueller refers to as Lender D. According to Mueller, Manafort lied to get the loans, overstating his income and understating his debts.

Mueller says that some workers at Lender D knew there was a problem with Manafort’s application, but that one top executive there, a man who wanted a place in the Trump campaign, granted the loan anyway. From the Mueller filing:

“The government intends to present evidence that although various Lender D employees identified serious issues with the defendant’s loan application, the senior executive at Lender D interceded in the process and approved the loan. During the loan application process, the senior executive expressed interest in working on the Trump campaign, told the defendant about his interest, and eventually secured a position advising the Trump campaign. The senior executive later expressed an interest in serving in the administration of President Trump, but did not secure such a position.”

The lending company and the senior executive are not identified in the indictment, but the loans appear to fit an episode reported in the New York Times involving a small bank in Chicago, the Federal Savings Bank, and its chief executive, Stephen Calk, who was named an economic adviser to the Trump campaign in August 2016 but did not join the administration.

The article concludes:

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller is investigating whether the loans were “made as part of a quid pro quo arrangement to secure Mr. Calk a job in Mr. Trump’s administration.” Calk has denied any such arrangement.

In any event, Mueller has not suggested that Donald Trump was involved in any of the actions outlined in the Manafort charges. The two Lender D loans are, apparently, the only connection between the Trump campaign and the broad array of criminal activity, some of it more than a decade old, alleged in the Manafort indictments. And Trump himself played no role in it.

Was a special counsel needed for that?

If Mueller investigated every horse trade that took place in Washington, I am sure he would find an awful lot to keep him busy and nothing noteworthy!

 

An Investigation That Has Lost Its Way

Ideally for the political types in the FBI and DOJ, the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election has to last until November of this year. (Please note that the FBI and DOJ are not supposed to be staffed by political types, but the email exchanges that have been revealed indicate otherwise.) Preferably some earthshaking statement of evidence will magically surface just days before the election. Yes, I admit I am being cynical, but have you seen anything that indicates that is not the plan? Further evidence of the mendacity of the Mueller crew arrived today.

The Daily Caller is reporting today:

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday that his prosecutors will not present evidence regarding Trump campaign collusion with Russia at an upcoming trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government,” reads a filing submitted by Mueller’s team in federal court in Virginia on Friday.

The filing sheds light on one of the largest questions looming over the Manafort case. Mueller’s prosecutors have indicted Manafort in federal court in Virginia and Washington, D.C., on a slew of charges related to his consulting work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort ended the work in 2014, and it has been unclear whether Mueller’s team planned to reveal evidence about President Donald Trump or the campaign.

Isn’t that special. Mueller is a Special Prosecutor appointed (albeit under false pretenses) to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. He is putting one of the people he has accused in the investigation on trial. He will not present any evidence having to do with Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. So what in the world is he investigating? At what point did he leave his original assignment?

The article further reports:

Mueller has leaned heavily on Manafort since his indictments. Mueller used the witness tampering charge to revoke Manafort’s bail in June. Manafort is now being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail while he awaits trial.

I hope the first judge that hears this case throws the whole thing out. Mueller has put pressure on Manafort in the hopes that Manafort will make up anything about President Trump in order to be freed from this pressure. Nothing Manafort has been accused of has anything to do with the 2016 campaign. This is frankly disgusting. The behavior of Robert Mueller is more appropriate in a banana republic than it is in America.

Unraveling The Abuse Of Intelligence Gathering

Opposition research is part of any good political campaign. To some extent, dirty tricks also appear in political campaigns. Politics is a blood sport, and many of our politicians are extremely Machiavellian. However, when government agencies are used against a political candidate, we have ventured into something dangerous and illegal that must be stopped. That is the place we find ourselves with the FISA Warrants issued to spy on the Trump campaign.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the abuses of FISA during the 2016 presidential campaign. It is a very complex article, but I will attempt to post some of the highlights. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article and watch the video.

The article reports:

Way back when CTH first began the deep dive into the systems and processes that were deployed in the 2015/2016 election cycle we eventually came to the conclusion that everything of substance, within the larger intelligence abuses, revolved around DOJ and FBI abuses of the FISA process.

As an outcome of multiple research deep-dives we then focused on a specific foundational block of that usurpation, the fraudulent application presented to the FISA Court by officials within the FBI and DOJ-NSD (National Security Division).  The October 21st, 2016, application to the FISA Court for surveillance authority upon U.S. person Carter Page; and by extension the Donald Trump campaign.

Throughout all further inquiries this central component remains at the center of the issue.  Unlawful surveillance is the originating principal behind Operation Crossfire Hurricane; it is also the originating issue within the Peter Strzok “insurance policy”; additionally, it is the originating aspect to the Clinton/Steele dossier; etc. etc. the list is long.  Chase any of the corrupt threads back to their source of origin and you eventually come back to the surveillance authority within the FISA processes.

The article explains what is being done to prevent future FISA abuses:

FISA is a process, and when used appropriately, within all guidelines, is essentially a surveillance tool. However, it is a tool that is entirely subject to the honor of the user. If the user is corrupt, or holds corrupt intent, the tool easily becomes a weapon. That’s what happened in 2015, 2016 and likely long before that. The weaponization is so easy to initiate that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers admitted the intelligence community could not adequately prevent it. So Rogers went about eliminating massive aspects to it, completely.

…The movement of the U.S. Cyber Command, literally into another combatant command, essentially merging NSA into a functional branch of the U.S. military, is clear evidence that people like Admiral Mike Rogers took action, in hindsight, knowing the Obama administration weaponized data collection, a function of government, for political benefit. Now, in hindsight, the action they took in May of this year all begins to make sense.

The article includes a statement by Rod Rosenstein about the FISA warrant he signed:

…We sit down with a team of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All of whom review that and provide a briefing for us for what’s in it. And I’ve reviewed that one in some detail, and I can tell you the information about that doesn’t match with my understanding of the one that I signed, but I think it’s appropriate to let the Inspector General complete that investigation. These are serious allegations. I don’t do the investigation — I’m not the affiant. I’m reviewing the finished product, sir.

Loosely translated Rosenstein is saying that he doesn’t have the courage to take on the deep state so he is letting the Inspector General deal with it.

The article concludes:

Many of those DOJ-NSD officials who participated in the Rosenstein briefing, or assembled the underlying briefing material, left after the time-period in question (June 2017).  Additionally, almost all of the FBI officials left, retired, resigned after this time-period.  There was also massive exit of all of corrupt support officials from inside the DOJ-NSD and FBI when the Page/Strzok text messages surfaced (December 2017) and the evidence of the political operation became public.

However, as all of these *inside* officials left the DOJ and FBI, another entire set of *outside* DOJ and FBI officials replaced them; and the originating counterintelligence operation was rebranded and handed over to Robert Mueller.

The inside government usurpation operation became an outside government usurpation operation, essentially using contract agents hired by the inside group prior to exit.  The remaining fragments of the ‘insurance policy‘ are in the hands of Robert Mueller’s team.

We need to gather intelligence to protect ourselves from people in other countries who mean us harm. However, we also need to protect ourselves from people within our government who abuse our intelligence gathering capabilities.

 

 

Exactly How Did The Surveillance Of The Trump Campaign Begin?

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

Breitbart is reporting the following today:

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

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

The article at Breitbart reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The article also mentions:

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

This is getting to the bottom of the swamp.

 

How In The World Do We Fix This?

I am one disappointed granny right now. At one point in my working career I held a security clearance. I am married to someone who at various points in his career held a security clearance. The rules were explained to us. We were expected to follow them. Excuses for not following the rules were not acceptable. So why isn’t Hillary Clinton at least charged with one of the crimes she is guilty of? Could anyone else destroy subpoenaed evidence and still be walking around? Did anyone in the Obama administration have any respect for classified documents and government archives?

Here is one excerpt from the Inspector General’s (IG) Report (from page xii):

As we also describe in Chapter Twelve, we learned during the course of our review that Comey, Strzok, and Page used their personal email accounts to conduct FBI business.

We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account to conduct unclassified FBI business. We found that, given the absence of exigent circumstances and the frequency with which the use of personal email occurred, Comey’s use of a personal email account for unclassified FBI business to be inconsistent with Department policy.

We found that Strzok used his personal email accounts for official government business on several occasions, including forwarding an email from his FBI account to his personal email account about the proposed search warrant the Midyear team was seeking on the Weiner laptop. This email included a draft of the search warrant affidavit, which contained information from the Weiner investigation that appears to have been under seal at the time in the Southern District of New York and information obtained pursuant to a grand jury subpoena issued in the Eastern District of Virginia in the Midyear investigation. We refer to the FBI the issue of whether Strzok’s use of personal email accounts violated FBI and Department policies.

The law requires the use of government email accounts in order for records to be archived. It seems as if a number of people in the Obama administration chose not to comply with that law.

The IG Report also sheds some light on the leaking from the FBI:

We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.

In addition, we identified instances where FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events. We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.

The harm caused by leaks, fear of potential leaks, and a culture of unauthorized media contacts is illustrated in Chapters Ten and Eleven of our report, where we detail the fact that these issues influenced FBI officials who were advising Comey on consequential investigative decisions in October 2016. The FBI updated its media policy in November 2017, restating its strict guidelines concerning media contacts, and identifying who is required to obtain authority before engaging members of the media, and when and where to report media contact. We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous. Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization.

It is obvious from the text messages in the IG Report that the political culture of the FBI was very biased toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. Does anyone believe that anything was leaked to the press that would have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and helped the Trump campaign?

The disclosures in the IG Report are a disgrace, and yet the report does not really go far enough.

On Page xi, the IG Report states:

We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

So what are you going to do about it? In an interview last night Devin Nunes pointed out that the IG Report was the first time he had seen the above text message. Why was this message not included with documents requested by the House Committee?

As I said, I am one discouraged granny. I want to believe that all Americans receive equal justice under the law, but looking at the IG Report and the people who are not currently facing jail time, I really wonder.

Based On What?

Yesterday Mollie Hemingway posted an article at The Federalist about some recent statements by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

The article reports:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) recently suggested the FBI did nothing wrong when it used at least one government informant to secretly collect information on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Public reports indicate, however, that Gowdy never even reviewed the relevant documents on the matter subpoenaed by Congress. In fact, a spokeswoman for Gowdy told The Federalist that the congressman doesn’t even know what documents and records were subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

So why did he make the statement he made? If he didn’t know what documents were subpoenaed and hadn’t seen them, what was he talking about?

The article continues:

According to government sources who leaked information to The New York Times and Washington Post, the subpoena dealt with an individual who was secretly gathering information on the Trump campaign on behalf of the federal government. Media outlets had reported government officials’ claims they couldn’t comply with the subpoena because revealing any details about the individual would cause loss of life and grave threats to national security. The same media outlets then used leaks from government officials to report the individual’s personally identifying information — up to and including his name.

Along with Gowdy, HPSCI Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) received a classified briefing on the subpoenaed information. Seven other members of Congress did as well. However, multiple press reports indicate the classified briefings reportedly did not satisfy the subpoena.

The story about the spy in the Trump campaign gets stranger by the day. If the FBI was not investigating the campaign, but was investigating attempts to infiltrate the campaign, why didn’t they tell Donald Trump what they were doing? What did they do with any information they gathered? It is particularly odd that they were the ones infiltrating the campaign. Were they also watching Hillary Clinton’s campaign for attempts to infiltrate the campaign?

The article concludes:

During the CBS News interview, co-host Gayle King asked Gowdy if he had received any blowback from GOP lawmakers for his comments about the FBI’s behavior regarding the informant. Gowdy responded oddly, invoking Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), neither of whom were invited to last week’s DOJ briefing.

“The folks who have seen the information I think have the same perspective I have,” Gowdy said, referring to Rubio and Cotton. “Those who have not seen the information, I don’t know what informs their perspective.”

Just as with Gowdy, there is no evidence either Rubio or Cotton has seen all the records HPSCI subpoenaed or even the subpoena HPSCI issued.

We don’t yet know the full story, but this looks like a giant cover-up of seriously illegal political activity by law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be politically neutral.

Exactly What Is A Confidential Human Source?

The careful use of words is one way to make a really bad situation sound not quite so bad. A tweet by James Comey yesterday is a great illustration of that concept. Twichy posted an article yesterday including the following tweets:

Byron York had the perfect response:

That says it all. Who was in charge of inserting a spy in the Trump campaign? Can you imagine the media going crazy if Watergate had been a spy instead of a wiretap attempt?

The Timing Is The Key

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

Funny Money In The 2016 Election Campaign

The slime that is leaking from the FBI and Department of Justice relating to their conduct during the 2016 election campaign just keeps getting worse. On Monday, The Conservative Tribune posted an article about money paid to Stefan Halper to spy on the Trump campaign.

The article reports:

Over the past few days the public has learned that the FBI had at least one spy in the Trump campaign, Stefan Halper. It’s also been revealed that Halper formerly worked for the CIA (and perhaps still does). In addition, Halper allegedly meddled in at least one previous U.S. presidential election and appears to have continued spying at least nine months after the 2016 election.

The latest devastating revelation? The Obama administration paid Halper $282,000 (or $411,000 depending on how the budgeting worked) to work for a mysteriously named “Other Defense Agency” just days after Trump pulled to within a point of Clinton in the polls.

The ‘cover story’ for this payment was that Halper was being paid to produce an economic study on India and China. $282,000 is a serious amount of money to be paid for that study.

The article continues:

Want to hear a remarkable coincidence? On July 26, 2017, Halper appears to have been paid $129,000 for further work on the Sino-Indian study. Two days later, Halper emailed Carter Page, asking what he or the Trump administration (it’s not clear which) planned to do moving forward on the collusion investigation.

He also told Page that Virginia’s summer was pleasant and that it “would be great to catch up.” Civility in spying really has come a long way.

Has anyone ever seen this study?

This is more than a little fishy. It also illustrates the need for a serious audit of how the government spends our tax money. It has taken many years to build the swamp. Unfortunately it may take many years to drain it. Hopefully we can keep the right people in place long enough to get the job done.

The Timeline

The Russian Collusion/Spy In The Trump Campaign story is getting old and it is getting complicated. There are some reporters, however, who have made the story a little easier to follow. Sharyl Attkisson has continued her outstanding work as an investigative reporter  and posted a timeline of changes in Justice Department personnel from October 2015 to the present on her website.

Here is the timeline:

As the spying scandal unfolds, keep an eye on the people who have moved out and the people who have moved in. I would suspect that the people who are being moved in are there to drain the swamp. The people who have moved out or left are quite likely looking for good lawyers at this point.

The Dangers Of The Mueller Investigation

Yesterday Mark Penn posted an article at The Hill stating that it is time to end Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The article reminds us:

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

The article states:

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

The tactics in this investigation are designed to make people think twice before they participate in a Republican campaign. Michael Flynn and Michael Caputo have both been essentially bankrupted because of their connection with the Trump administration and the Trump campaign. (articles here and here)

The article concludes:

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

In 2016 (and beyond) the leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice were much more of a danger to our Republic than the Russians were.

Sometimes The Media Spin Is Simply Pathetic

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

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

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

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

On Friday, The Washington Post reported:

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

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

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

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