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.

Common Sense From Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz is a civil liberties attorney whose politics are generally left of center. He loves America, he loves the U.S. Constitution, and he is concerned about the direction in which the country is headed–not because of President Trump, but because of the intensity of the attacks on President Trump.

Attorney Dershowitz was recently interviewed by CBS News. Please follow the link and read the entire interview. It is very insightful.

Here are some highlights from that interview.

Dershowitz spoke to CBS 11 political reporter Jack Fink about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.

“I think the investigation should end and I think the Congress should appoint a special non-partisan commission,” said Dershowitz. He said he thinks a Congressional committee would be too partisan.

“That’s the way it’s done in other western democracies,” he continued. “They don’t appoint a special counsel and tell them to ‘Get that guy…’ that’s what they did in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the KGB said to Stalin, ‘Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime!’” That’s what special counsel does.”

Dershowitz was quick to point out that he was not making a direct correlation between the United States and the former Soviet Union. “I’m not comparing obviously the Soviet Union and the United States. We have structural protections in our Bill Of Rights but it’s going down the wrong direction.”

“The issue of criminalization [of political differences] has not been subject to rational discourse,” said Dershowitz. “Democrats hate when they politicize and criminalize political differences against Democrats… when they did it with Bill Clinton. Republicans hate when they do it against their people… President Trump. But each one supports it when they’re against their enemies and partisanship prevails over principle. It’s very hard to have a reasonable discussion.”

Until politicians on both sides of the aisle begin to put the interests of the country above their political interests and the interests of their particular political party, I don’t think any reasonable discussion will be possible.

Attorney Dershowitz added:

Dershowitz said that citizens should fear the direction of this investigation for their own sake. He warned that today criminalization of political differences appears – now – to only affect presidents and political leaders. “Tomorrow it can affect you and me. If you give the prosecutor the ability to stretch the criminal law to fit a target, it’s very dangerous.”

Dershowitz said that special counsels are not the right way to approach criminal justice. “When you appoint a special counsel you give them targets and you say, ‘You better get that guy or the people around him…and we’re going to give you tens of millions of dollars. And if you come up empty handed you’re a failure.’”

Dershowitz said that if an ordinary prosecutor goes months without finding a crime then “that’s great, no… there have been no crimes committed.” He says not so with a special counsel. “Special Counsel always has the goal of ‘getting the people.’ They’re going to find crimes, or they’re going to manufacture crimes or they’re going to stretch the criminal law to fit the ‘crimes’ because they’re not going to come away empty handed.”

Dershowitz was asked what he thinks should happen now. Should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein curtail the investigation? “I think Rod Rosenstein needs to say to the special counsel, ‘Do not investigate the private finances of the president before he became president; do not investigate his relatives; do not investigate his sex life.’ Don’t do – to President Trump – what Ken Starr did to President Clinton,” said Dershowitz . “It started with Whitewater and ended up with a blue dress. That’s not the appropriate way a special counsel should operate.”

I don’t agree with Alan Dershowitz on much, but in this case he is totally right.

It Just Gets Slimier

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article yesterday (and updated it today) about the FBI offering Christopher Steele (the author of the Trump dossier) $50,000 if he could verify the charges in the dossier. As far as investigators can tell, he was never able to do that and collect the money.

The article reports:

“I believe, just from examining the public sources, that the FBI offered Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could corroborate the dossier. He either couldn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t, and they didn’t pay him the money,’ news analyst Andrew Napolitano told Stuart Varney on Fox Business Monday.

Former MI6 agent Steele’s dossier claims the Russians possess compromising information that could be used to blackmail Trump, and alleges the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

Napolitano appears to be basing his claim on an April report from the New York Times, which cited two sources claiming that an FBI agent met Steele in Rome in October of 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. 

The agent offered Steele $50,000 if he could get ‘solid corroboration of his reports’, which the FBI ultimately never paid out, the report said.

Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to tell the House Judiciary Committee whether the FBI had paid or offered to pay for the dossier.

This is further proof that we need to remove the top few layers of personnel at the FBI.

Wait For The Boomerang

The headlines are screaming today–“Paul Manafort Indicted.” Well, before the Democrats celebrate too loudly, they might want to take a look at the indictment.

The New York Post posted an article today listing the charges:

The indictment says Manafort and Gates worked as “unregistered agents” for Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a political party run by Yanukovych.

​They “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work” and hid the payments from US authorities, the indictment says.

From 2006 through 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered $75 million through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,” it says.

The 31-page indictment does not mention Trump or the 2016 election.

There are a few things that need to be noted about the indictment of Paul Manafort. Wikipedia lists a few positions Paul Manafort held in the past. Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. Paul Manafort worked as an advisor to the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996. Manafort was someone used by the Republican establishment in the past, it is quite likely that establishment Republicans had something to do with Manafort being chosen to work on the Trump campaign. It is also important to note that Manafort was hired in March 2016 and fired in August 2016.

So what can we conclude from this? It is quite likely that Robert Mueller has indicted Manafort as an attempt to bring down President Trump. All Mueller has to do is promise leniency to Manafort if Manafort will blow the whistle on the President.

The fact that the special prosecutor indicted someone who worked on the Trump campaign for a matter of months on charges that were in no way connected to the campaign or Donald Trump is an indication that Mueller is not finding what he needs to find in order to go after President Trump. It is becoming very obvious that Mueller is conducting an extensive witch hunt that is only yielding shady characters not related to the President.

In a nutshell, if this is all Robert Mueller can come up with, he needs to go away. He is a very expensive distraction.

 

What Do You Do When You Get Caught With Your Hand In The Cookie Jar?

It’s been an interesting 24 hours.

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

It would be interesting to know who that Republican is. However, the bottom line here is that the Trump dossier was political opposition research funded by the Democratic Party.

We need to look at the history of this dossier. Fusion GPS was paid to come up with some dirt on candidate Trump. This political document was used as the basis for charges that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians and stole the election. This document was used as a basis for surveillance on the Trump campaign team and the Trump transition team before and after the election. Everyone involved in each of those decisions needs to be kicked out of Washington.

Please follow the link to The Washington Post article to see some of the other people involved and some of the other consequences of treating a paid, fabricated political hit piece as if it were reality.

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about the Democratic National Committee’s response to all of this.

The article reports:

Within hours of The Washington Post publishing a bombshell report alleging that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, the Democratic National Committee issued a statement saying that the current head of the DNC (elected in February 2017) and the “new leadership” of the organization was not involved in any of the “decision-making” regarding the oppo research firm behind the dossier.

“Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” reads the carefully phrased statement issued by DNC Communications Director Xochital Hinojosa Tuesday evening.

Note that the DNC is not denying the information that has come to light about the dossier–they are simply distancing the ‘new’ leadership from the actions connected to the dossier.

The Daily Wire article concludes with this reminder:

Just a few days ago, CNN’s Chris Cilizza mocked Trump for alleging that the Democratic Party was behind the dossier. While Trump’s suggestion that some sort of collusion betweeen the Democrats, the FBI and the Russians might prove to be a stretch, according to the Post, both the Democrats and the FBI were indeed involved on some level in the compilation of the “dirty dossier” that helped kickstart the Russia “collusion” narrative.

Get out the popcorn and stay tuned.

Perspective From Someone Familiar With The Law

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The National Review regarding the investigating tactics of special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The title of the article is “Mueller Scorches the Earth.”

The article reports:

It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators. Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick the door lock. That way, they could break into the premises in the wee hours, while Manafort and his wife were in bed sleeping. They proceeded to secure the premises — of a man they are reportedly investigating for tax and financial crimes, not gang murders and Mafia hits — by drawing their guns on the stunned couple, apparently to check their pajamas for weapons.

To say that this was unnecessary is an understatement.

The article continues:

Law enforcement is hard and sometimes dangerous work. Thus, there is leeway for officials to make errors in judgment. Without that leeway, they would be too paralyzed to do their jobs, and there would be no rule of law. But when prosecutors and investigators go way overboard just because they can, it is not law enforcement. It is abuse of law-enforcement power in order to intimidate.

There is no other way to interpret the brass-knuckles treatment of Manafort, a subject in a non-violent-crime investigation who is represented by counsel and was cooperating with Congress at the time Mueller’s Gang of 17 chose to break into his home. Did they really think they couldn’t have gotten the stuff they carted out of Manafort’s residence by calling up his well-regarded lawyers and asking for it? After he had already surrendered 300 pages of documents to investigative committees?

The article concludes:

If there is strong suspicion that Manafort has committed fraud crimes unrelated to the 2016 campaign, then fine, investigate him. But investigate him as you would any other white-collar fraudster who (a) has counsel willing to honor your lawful demands to produce evidence and (b) has, at least ostensibly, been cooperative. Paul Manafort is not Osama bin Laden, so there’s no reason for Bob Mueller to make like the commander of Seal Team Six.

Why is this worth pointing out? Because someday, maybe, we’ll get around to asking: What would have happened if Hillary Clinton’s very real email scandal — with its mountainous evidence of felony mishandling of classified information and destruction of government records — had been investigated with the no-holds-barred vigor Mueller and his band of Hillary donors are applying to the surmise of Trump collusion in Russian espionage?

This investigation has all the makings of a political hit-job. It is really sad that it is being allowed to continue. Where is Congress or the Attorney General? What has happened to our legal system? On one hand we have a presidential candidate with a mountain of evidence showing that she did break the law and no investigation. On the other hand we have a rumor with no evidence that has been investigated for a year without any verification. It seems to me that our resources are being focused in the wrong direction.