The Collusion Without A Crime

Sometimes it is very easy to overlook the obvious when you in the middle of dealing with an intense situation. The Mueller investigation might be considered an intense situation, and there is something obvious being overlooked. Andrew McCarthy pointed it out in an article at National Review today.

Mr. McCarthy points out that after a year of investigation, there is no evidence of Russian cyberespionage. If there is no evidence of cyberespionage, how can there be collusion with cyberespionage? Remember, the FBI was never allowed to examine the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers–the examination was done by a group hired by the DNC. If I were guilty of a crime and the FBI wanted to search my house, would they let me hire a friend to do the searching? Somehow I don’t think so.

The article states:

We have paid too much attention to the so-called collusion component of the probe — speculation about Trump-campaign coordination in Russia’s perfidy. There appears to be no proof of that sort of collusion. Because it has been our focus, though, Mueller has gotten a free pass on a defect that would be fatal to any related prosecution theory: He cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and prominent Democrats.

This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — like the U.S. intelligence agencies, I’m assuming it did, and that Russia should continue to be the subject of intense government counterintelligence efforts. The point is that Mueller can’t prove it in court, which is the only thing for which a prosecutor is needed. If he can’t establish to the required standard of proof that Russia conducted an espionage attack on the election, it is impossible to prove that anyone conspired with Russia to do so. There is no criminal case.

It is important to remember that when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel, he did not specify a crime. That alone should have shut down the investigation immediately–what are you investigating? Are you simply on a fishing expedition hoping you can find someone who is guilty of something?

The article concludes:

That is another good reason to deduce that Mueller’s team is playing a long game — impeachment, not prosecution. As a practical matter, there is no prospect of articles of impeachment unless Democrats win the 2018 midterms. So, if you thought or hoped Mueller’s investigation would be winding down anytime soon, disabuse yourself.

Still, after 18 months of investigating, it would be worth putting two simple questions to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who — at least nominally — supervises Special Counsel Mueller: 1) Does the Justice Department believe, contrary to the apparent concessions in the intelligence agencies’ Russia report, that the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty cyberespionage against the 2016 election; and 2) if not, what is the point of Mueller’s investigation?

The Republican party almost destroyed itself when they tried to impeach President Clinton because the public liked him (and the media was on his side). The Democrats need to learn from that–the public trusts President Trump more than Congress or the media. If the Democrats attempt to impeach him, they will lose seats in 2020 and their presidential candidate will not have a chance.

 

The Most Important Question In The Investigation By The Special Prosecutor

The charges against Michael Flynn are based on the difference between how he described a telephone conversation and the written transcripts the FBI had of that conversation. The most important question is, “Why was his name unmasked in the transcript of that conversation?” That question is now being asked by Congress, and the FBI and the DOJ are refusing to answer it. Since Congress is charged with oversight of these government agencies, this is the making of a constitutional crisis.

Yesterday CNS News posted a story which details some of the problems with the ongoing investigation by the Special Prosecutor.

The article reports:

Two simple questions: How did the FBI’s Russia investigation start? And was it started because the Trump “dossier” was presented to somebody at the FBI?

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) asked FBI director Christopher Wray those questions at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but he got no answers:

This is a portion of the questioning of the Director:

Wray answered, “I’m not aware of who started the investigation within the FBI.”

DeSantis followed up: “Was it started because the dossier was presented to somebody in the FBI?”

“I don’t have the answer to that question,” Wray said.

DeSantis asked Wray if he could get back to the committee with the answer:

“Well, if there’s information that we can provide that — without compromising the ongoing special counsel investigation, I’m happy to see what there is that we can do to be responsive,” Wray said.

Any bets on whether or not that question will ever be answered?

The article continues with questioning by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio):

Jordan questioned why someone like Strzok would be selected for Mueller’s team — and why he’d be kicked off it:

“If you kicked everybody off Mueller’s team who was anti-Trump, I don’t think there’d be anybody left,” Jordan said. “There’s got to be something more here. It can’t just be some text messages that show a pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias. There’s got to be something more. And I’m trying to figure out what it is,” Jordan said.

“But my hunch is it has something to do with the dossier. Director, did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?”

Wray refused to discuss anything having to do with the FISA process in an open setting.

“We’re not talking about what happened in the court,” Jordan said. “We’re talking about what the FBI took to the court, the application. Did Peter Strzok — was he involved in taking that to the court?”

Wray again refused to discuss it.

There is a house of cards here. The dossier was a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign. It has never been proven true. To use it as an excuse for surveillance and later to drum up support for a special prosecutor is to base an investigation on a fictitious political document and to use government agencies for political purposes. That shouldn’t happen in a representative republic–that is the kind of thing that goes on in a banana republic.

The Problem With The FISA Warrants On Members Of The Trump Campaign

Breitbart today posted a partial transcript of a discussion between FOX News host Martha MacCallum and Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that occurred last night. The discussion was related to items discussed in a congressional hearing that was held yesterday.

Here is the that transcript:

MACCALLUM: Here now, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. Good to see you this evening, sir. Thank you very much for being here.

GOHMERT: Glad to see you. Those are the scene, by the after my colleague across the aisle said that he admitted her nary word about Russian influence. I went ahead and said, I’m glad he brought it up basically because we need to talk about the Russian collusion in try to get uranium and the killing of that story. So, we brought up the Russian collusion with the Clinton State Department. So, anyway —

MACCALLUM: While I’m a student, that is usual in these environments. There were two different agendas that were in deeply at work today in the hearing room. But I’m —

GOHMERT: Well, Martha, we really wanted to get to the truth.

MACCALLUM: Well, want to know why you asked for those specific names. Do you believe that the people that you named in that hearing today need to be removed from the investigation or from the FBI? Why did you pick their names?

GOHMERT: Well, this is the only place I have to ask the FBI director if he knows of anything like that. There are indications that there will be other issues dropped in the future, and I wanted to know his position. So, all I can say is stay tuned.

MACCALLUM: So, you have reason to believe that the individuals that you named in there today may be added to the list of Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr? They maybe removed?

GOHMERT: Martha, you know, before I was a judge and a chief justice, I tried lawsuits and this is the opening stage of where you gather information, and that’s the way I took it. I wanted to know what McCabe knew before we take any other steps. So, I’ll be glad to talk to you when we have other information.

MACCALLUM: Well, we’ll look forward to that. You know, the underlying umbrella question here, though, is whether or not the FBI and the DOJ were involved in perpetuating the initial — the initiation, I should say of this dossier. And that’s the big question about why Bruce Ohr was meeting with Christopher Steele and was also meeting with Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson?

GOHMERT: Oh, it’s outrageous. And we still need to know, and I know Ron Desantis did a great job, you know, in pointing out, we need to know, if you took a politically contrived and paid for dossier that ended up being totally false, and you use that as a basis to go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and get a warrant to survey all members of the opposition presidential election team. If that’s the case, then the FBI has been co-opted and corrupted beyond perhaps even the sorriest days of the FBI’s time when J. Edgar Hoover was wiretapping Martin Luther King.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Louie Gohmert, thank you very much, sir. Good to see you tonight.

GOHMERT: Thank you, Martha, more to come.

The misuse of FISA to spy on an opposing political campaign is exactly what the opponents of the Patriot Act feared. The FBI and Justice Department were so totally politicized under the Obama Administration that the entire upper leadership may need to be fired. That is unfortunate, but it shows the danger our republic would have been in if Hillary Clinton had been elected–the politicization of these departments would have continued unchecked, and we would essentially be living in a country where holding political views not in agreement with those in power would be criminalized.

A Disgusting Waste Of Taxpayer Money

This post is based on two articles–one by Andrew McCarthy at the National Review and one by Byron York at The Washington Examiner.

Andrew McCarthy makes the case that the charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI are an indication that Special Prosecutor Mueller doesn’t have anything else to charge anyone for. Byron York makes the case that the Trump Administration was set up by the Obama Administration to be charged with violating the Logan Act (a law under which no one has ever been prosecuted) on day one. Both articles are an indication of how desperate some people in Washington are to undo the results of a valid election. That is a sad place for our country to be.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us:

Bottom line: If the FBI had a collusion case of some kind, after well over a year of intensive investigation, Flynn and Papadopoulos would have been pressured to plead guilty to very serious charges — and those serious offenses would be reflected in the charges lodged against Manafort. Obviously, the pleas and the indictment have nothing to do with collusion because Mueller has no collusion case.

Since there is no collusion case, we can safely assume Mueller is primarily scrutinizing President Trump with an eye toward making a case of obstructing an FBI investigation. This also makes sense in light of the pleas that have been taken.

Obstruction itself is a process crime — i.e., it relates to interference in the investigation of an underlying transaction that may or may not be criminal. In the first point, above, we noted that prosecutors generally do not let a cooperator settle a case by pleading guilty to a mere process crime. But if the main case the prosecutor is trying to build is itself a process crime, such as obstruction, then it is not all that damaging that the witnesses have pled guilty only to process crimes. The theme of such a prosecution is that the investigative process must be protected, not that some terrible underlying crime (like an espionage conspiracy) has been committed. Witnesses such as Flynn and Papadopoulos would therefore not be made to look like they had gotten a pass on serious offenses; they would look like they had owned up to corrupting the process and are now helping the prosecutor against the principal corruption target.

Keep in mind that the obstruction charge is obstructing justice in the investigation of a crime that was never committed. This is beyond bizarre–particularly when Hillary Clinton was not charged with obstruction after she destroyed evidence in the email case.

Byron York reports:

As for another concern that Yates said she had over the Flynn-Kislyak conversations — the worry that Flynn’s lie to Vice President Mike Pence (that sanctions were not discussed on the call) would open Flynn up to possible blackmail — perhaps that is a legitimate concern, but why did it warrant FBI questioning of Flynn under the penalty of prosecution for making false statements? Certainly Yates could have warned the White House about that without interrogating Flynn at all.

Instead, it was the prospect of a Logan Act prosecution that led to the FBI interview, which then, when Flynn lied to investigators, led to his guilty plea on a false statements charge.

From today’s perspective, nearly a year later, it has become apparent that, farfetched as it might seem, the Logan Act made it possible for the Obama administration to go after Trump. The ancient law that no one has ever been prosecuted for violating was the Obama administration’s flimsy pretense for a criminal prosecution of the incoming Trump team.

And by the way, when it finally came time to charge Flynn with a crime, did prosecutors, armed with the transcripts of those Flynn-Kislyak conversations, choose to charge him with violating the Logan Act? Of course not. But for the Obama team, the law had already served its purpose, months earlier, to entangle the new administration in a criminal investigation as soon as it walked in the door of the White House.

Our FBI has become an arm of the Democratic Party. It needs to be replaced. That is a shame.

Following The Money

Yesterday The Hill posted an article detailing some of the recent research done by

The article reports:

The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosure site vastly understated support that the Clinton Global Initiative received from APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm that lobbied on behalf of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company.

The site, created to detect conflicts of interest for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because of her family’s various charitable efforts, shows APCO gave between $25,000 and $50,000 over the last decade.

But according to interviews and internal documents reviewed by The Hill, APCO was much more generous and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in pro-bono services and in-kind contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) between 2008 and 2016.

For instance, an internal CGI document prepared in fall 2011 lists APCO’s in-kind contribution at $275,000 for that year alone. And APCO’s annual report on its global charitable efforts boasted of a large jump in support for CGI in 2011.

“In 2011, APCO significantly increased its pro-bono support for CGI and, for the first time, our team managed the press around CGI’s America meeting, as well as its global Annual Meeting,” APCO stated in a report submitted to the United Nations Global Compact.

The increase in the contributions came as APCO was paid $3 million in 2010 and 2011 to work for Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear company. Rosatom paid APCO to lobby the State Department and other federal agencies on behalf of its Tenex subsidiary, which sought to increase its commercial uranium sales in the United States.

In 2010 and 2011, APCO made more than 50 contacts with federal and congressional figures for Tenex, including at least 10 at the State Department, its foreign agent disclosure reports show.

It seems as if there was an awful lot of money changing hands for this to be an ordinary business transaction.

Undercover FBI informant William Campbell helped uncover the transporting of some of the uranium outside of the United States. He is expected to be interviewed in the near future by multiple Congressional committees. One can only hope that he stays safe until those interviews take place.

Please follow this link to read the entire article. It is a shining example of what the Washington swamp looks like. Also, please understand that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, all of this information would have remained buried. What we are watching now–the Uranium One scandal and the fall of many prominent news anchors and other public figures is the result of the Clinton family losing power and influence. The Clintons can no longer protect their former allies. It remains to be seen if the Clintons can even protect themselves.

This Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Breitbart posted an article today about donations to the Clinton Foundation since the 2016 election.

The article reports:

The latest tax filings released by the foundation a week ago showed that contributions dropped 42 percent in 2016 from $108 million to $63 million—right around the time Clinton lost last year’s presidential election, according to the New York Post.

Donations tanked by 37 percent in 2015 after the organization tried to fend off allegations that Clinton had used the foundation to engage in pay-to-play schemes with foreign governments.

The former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee allegedly used the charity to solicit millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments and corporations in exchange for giving these entities favorable treatment while she served as Secretary of State.

The Justice Department announced Monday that the agency is weighing whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate the millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations tied to the Uranium One deal, whereby the Obama administration permitted a Canadian company called Uranium One to sell one-fifth of America’s uranium to Russia in 2010.

I don’t wish anyone ill, but the rumors of misuse of funds in the foundation have been around for years. In September 2015, Politico posted an article about the Clinton Foundation’s activities in Haiti.

Anyone who has done some basic research quickly discovers connections between donations to the Clinton Foundation and State Department decisions. There is reason to believe that if Hillary Clinton had become President those connections would have appeared at the executive level of our government. Therefore, it is not a surprise that as the influence of the Clinton family is waning, the donations to the Clinton Foundation are dropping. That’s not really rocket science.

A Very Different Perspective On Yesterday’s Indictments

Yesterday Conservative Treehouse posted a very intriguing analysis of the indictment of Paul Manafort. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to highlight it here.

The article reports:

As the Special Counsel Robert Mueller indictment documents show with increasing clarity, the entire enterprise surrounding the Washington DC Russian Investigation is not about law, it’s about creating and controlling leverage.

…The 2016 election caused the balance of power to shift favorably toward political forces that are external to the DC machine, ie. President Trump and the deplorables.

The subsequent action by Robert Mueller, Democrats, the Media (writ large), and President Trump is a confrontation over political goals and objectives. The DC machine, the “swamp” per se’, is attempting to frame leverage against actions adverse to their political interest.

…Paul Manafort is being leveraged toward a political objective; his legal jeopardy is negligible. The documents, and the underlying charges, are intended to make life miserable for Mr. Manafort – not to end with some traditionally framed criminal consequence, ie. prison.

Mr. Manafort’s wealth is being held as leverage, compliance, toward his acquiescence within the game; nothing more. He’ll likely end up with some misdemeanor charge, a financial fine good enough for media optics and perhaps -at worst- some probation for not following the FARA rules. That’s it.

Conversely, on the other side of the political continuum, Tony and John Podesta are just now entering the process of being leveraged toward compliance on the Clinton side of the equation. Like Manafort, Tony Podesta most likely will not face legal jeopardy beyond a similar outcome.

In the backdrop to the Clinton dynamic you have Mueller putting the deeper part of the Deep Swamp and remaining black hat intelligence community, on notice to knock-it-off with the selling of U.S. policy toward gaining their own financial indulgences.

The article concludes:

Senator Schumer wants to keep his leverage right where it is currently; and stop ‘his side’ from feeling the effects of Mueller’s omnidirectional legal admonishments. If Mueller indicts Tony Podesta senator Schumer loses political leverage.

Nothing about the current dynamic is factually encompassing President Trump; it is all about optics, narratives and political leverage. However, everything about this dynamic is factually encompassing the existential threat that outsider Trump represents to the established way of life in the DC Swamp.

Toward the end goal of disrupting DC swamp-life, Mueller and Trump appear aligned in common cause. Robert Mueller from the perspective of trying to get the external influence agents to the U.S. stopped; and President Trump from the policy perspective of America-first, which coincidentally is in alignment with Mueller’s patriotic goals to stop influence agents.

That’s the bigger part of the BIG picture. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

Washington is all about power (and a swamp that does not want to be drained).

Whatever Happened To Elliot Ness?

In case you are too young to remember, Elliot Ness was:

the man most often recognized for destroying the multimillion-dollar breweries operated by Al Capone. Also responsible, in part, for Capone’s arrest and conviction of tax evasion, Ness was instrumental in ceasing the power Capone had over the city of Chicago.

Ness was also responsible for turning around Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-1930s, when the city was overcome with crime and corruption. Weeding out 200 crooked police officers and bringing 15 other officials to trial for criminal behavior, Ness set many precedents. One such milestone was Ness’s efforts to correct Cleveland’s traffic problems, establishing a separate court in which all traffic cases were heard.  (quoted from biography.com)

Elliot Ness worked in law enforcement from 1927 to 1944. He was known as an corruptible example of integrity that was totally trustworthy. This was a man who successfully drained his local swamps. We need him now.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday listing a few of the Democratic scandals in the Obama Administration that have somehow not had consequences.

Here are a few highlights:

Exonerating Clinton before the facts were in. First was the fact that former FBI director James Comey had, contrary to what he told Congress, drafted what amounted to an acquittal letter for Hillary Clinton months before he’d even interviewed her regarding her unsecured private email server.

Comey interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016, and three days later announced that he was closing the case because “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue it.

…Setting up a liberal slush fund. Next, we learned that Justice was using settlement money as a slush fund to support liberal groups, to the explicit exclusion of any non-liberal ones. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released what he called “smoking gun” emails to that effect.

Under Obama, the Justice department started sending money from legal settlements to third parties not involved directly in the litigation. At the time, there were lots of complaints (including in this space) that the money was being poured into left-wing groups. And Trump ended the practice when he took office.

…Papering over the Uranium One scandal. We’ve also only recently learned, thanks to intrepid reporters at The Hill, that the FBI had a substantial amount of evidence showing that Russian nuclear officials had been involved in a number of illegal schemes designed to expand its nuclear business in the U.S. — which included bribery, extortion and racketeering.

Worse, they had all this before top Obama administration officials — including Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder — signed off on a deal that gave Russia effective control of 20% of uranium in the U.S. by approving Russia’s purchase of Uranium One.

…Using Democratic-sponsored Russian dirt on Trump. Now that we know the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — despite repeated denials — financed the so-called Trump dossier, a bigger question arises.

What did the FBI know and when did they know it?

Despite being labeled as “salacious and unverified” by former FBI director James Comey, it has served as a road map for journalists and federal investigators pushing the Trump-Russia meddling story.

The article concludes:

In the end, the FBI didn’t pay Steele, but as York notes, the question remains: “Did the FBI or other agencies use any information from the dossier as a basis for warrant requests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?”

House Republicans announced this week that they’ve started a probe into the FBI’s handling of both the Clinton email case and the Uranium One deal. Now they have a fresh angle on the dossier to pursue.

This is a good start. The Justice Department is supposed to be above politics. Obama tried to turn it into a political tool. The public needs to know how far he got.

Who do you trust to investigate this? Are the Justice Department’s hands clean? Are the FBI’s hands clean? Are the Special Prosecutor’s hands clean? Are Congress’ hands clean?

If you look at the cast of characters involved in or signing off on the Uranium One deal, you will see names you recognize as investigating President Trump for Russian connections. In what universe does that make sense?

The swamp is deep, and at this point we need an Elliot Ness who will go after the guilty parties in a manner showing integrity, impartiality, and honesty. This is not a political matter–this is an exercise that will determine whether or not all of us live under the same laws. If there are two sets of laws–one for the Washington elite (swamp) and one for the little people, our republic will not survive.

 

Keeping Up With The Story

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration distributing funds from fines imposed on banks to political leftist groups. The article explains that the Bank of America was forced to pay fines that Countrywide Mortgage and Merrill Lynch had incurred before they were owned by Bank of America.

The article explains what happened to these fines:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

This was the government equivalent of a mob shakedown.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about this practice.

The article reports:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DOJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The article at The Daily Caller reports that this practice has been stopped:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo banning the DOJ from entering into third party settlement agreements after substantial evidence emerged implicating the Obama DOJ in such practices.

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.

The more I learn about some of the actions of the Obama Administration, the more I wonder why Congress did not address some of the wrongdoings as they were going on.

They Really Don’t Have A Great History

Fusion GPS is the company responsible for the dossier that provided the basis for the electronic surveillance of the Trump campaign team and the Trump transition team. Congress is currently trying to get to the bottom of exactly who ordered the dossier and how it came to the attention of the media. They are not having an easy time.

Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line Blog today that refers back to a Fox New Story from yesterday.

Power Line Blog reports:

The so-called strategic intelligence firm Fusion GPS is behind the infamous Trump Dossier. The dossier is one of the keys to the anti-Trump hysteria in which we have been engulfed since the election. Who paid for the Trump Dossier? The House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to figure out what happened and at whose behest. Fusion GPS, however, won’t say. The company’s lawyer has submitted a 17-page list of reasons why the company won’t comply. Something is happening here. It is a most peculiar matter.

A Fox News/AP report asserts that the attorney’s letter signals the company’s refusal to comply with the committee subpoenas. The letter states that if any of the Fusion GPS employees who have been subpoenaed (Glenn Simpson and two others) are compelled to appear before the committee, they will exercise their “privileges” not to testify. Byron York has more on the letter here.

The Fox News article reports some of the past activities of Fusion GPS:

“I believe that Fusion GPS’s business is to do basically whatever the paymasters tell them to do,” Alek Boyd, the Venezuelan journalist, told Fox News in his first American TV interview. “They are particularly good at spreading misinformation, disinformation and smears.”

Boyd says he was targeted after his 2012 reporting on Derwick Associates, a power company with close ties to the Venezuelan government. The company allegedly skimmed nearly a billion dollars from rigged contracts with the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

“It is my understanding that [Fusion GPS] were hired basically to smear Derwick opponents and to dispel any possible doubts that regular media may have had at the time,” he said.

…Boyd’s allegations mirror sworn congressional testimony from Bill Browder, an American businessman who told senators this summer that Fusion GPS used smear tactics to discredit him and his late attorney Sergei Magnitsky who, he says, was tortured and murdered eight years ago in a Russian jail. The so-called Magnitsky Act issued tough economic sanctions against Russia which are still in place today.

In the Magnitsky case, Browder filed a complaint with the Justice Department in July 2016 because he says Fusion worked on behalf of a foreign government and its interests. The Justice Department would not comment on the complaint status.

In a congressional declaration, human rights activist Thor Halvorssen also said Fusion GPS had “smear experts” and used “scorched earth methods.”

One wonders exactly who hired Fusion GPS and exactly what Senator John McCain’s involvement in the story is. So far, evidence seems to point to Senator McCain as one of the people who originally received the completed dossier.

At any rate, it is obvious that Fusion GPS does not want to tell the American people or their representatives anything.

The Dangers Of Dating Your Memoranda

Katic Pavlich posted an article at Townhall today about some rather inconvenient memos from former FBI Director James Comey that have recently appeared.

The article reports:

The FBI records vault released a series of draft statements Monday afternoon authored by former FBI Director James Comey. The drafts are about the conclusion of the criminal investigation into former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server to host and transmit top secret information.

…Unfortunately the drafts are completely redacted, but take note of the date: May 2, 2016.

…As shown by the FBI’s tweet, the final statement about the case was delivered on July 5, 2016 but was being drafted in May. This was two months before Comey made the official announcement that Clinton would not be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. It was also before Comey had interviewed nearly a dozen key witnesses in the case, including Clinton herself. Clinton was interviewed on July 2, 2016 for just under four hours.

I have never been involved in police work, but it seems to me that it would be wise to finish the investigation before drawing the conclusion. These records are proof that the investigation was compromised. It is time to call James Comey back to the committee that investigated his conduct in the first place.

Please follow the link to the article which includes some of the drafts in question.

The Deep State Or The Police State?

Sharyl Attkisson posted an article at The Hill today about the Obama Administration’s spying on Donald Trump. I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you are on, this story should disturb you.

The article reports:

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.

But we’re missing the bigger story.

If these reports are accurate, it means U.S. intelligence agencies secretly surveilled at least a half dozen Trump associates. And those are just the ones we know about.

Besides Manafort, the officials include former Trump advisers Carter Page and Michael Flynn. Last week, we discovered multiple Trump “transition officials” were “incidentally” captured during government surveillance of a foreign official. We know this because former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted “unmasking,” or asking to know the identities of, the officials. Spying on U.S. citizens is considered so sensitive, their names are supposed to be hidden or “masked,” even inside the government, to protect their privacy.

In May, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged they, too, reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama. 

The article goes on to remind us that James Clapper assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting data on American citizens.

The article also lists many of the violations of the rights of Congressmen, reporters, and other political figures. This is illegal.

The article concludes:

Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials.

Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.

If we want to keep our privacy and our freedom, the people responsible for spying on us need to face the consequences of their breaking the law.

This Just Gets Uglier

Some serious and relevant information has come out in the past few days regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the documents that were not turned over to the people investigating the server. On Friday, I posted an article dealing with the information that the decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing was made before the investigation was complete. That is true, but I missed to root of the problem.

The following video was posted at YouTube on Thursday. It further explains what has recently been revealed:

Yesterday Andrew McCarty posted an article at National Review that pointed out some things that I had overlooked.

The article at National Review states:

The thing to understand, what has always been the most important thing to understand, is that Jim Comey was out in front, but he was not calling the shots.

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham. Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of one of his previous statements:

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is the statement we need to be looking at. This was President Obama telling the FBI to ‘stand down’ on the investigation. It was later revealed that President Obama had communicated with Mrs. Clinton on her private email server. It is quite possible that these communications included classified information. Therefore, if Hillary Clinton was guilty of mishandling classified information, so was President Obama. Therefore, the FBI had to find a way not to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime (regardless of the fact that she had obviously committed one). The moral of the story is, “If you are going to do something illegal, make sure a very powerful person does it with you.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States. With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent,” in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. When damning proof nevertheless mounted, the Obama administration dismissed the whole debacle by rewriting the statute (to impose an imaginary intent standard) and by offering absurd rationalizations for not applying the statute as written.

That plan was in place and already being implemented when Director Comey began drafting the “findings” he would announce months later. But it was not Comey’s plan. It was Obama’s plan.

And that is the reason we will probably never see Mrs. Clinton held accountable for her mishandling of classified information.

 

One Way The Trump Administration Is Cutting The Cost Of Government

On August 3rd, The Washington Times posted an article about the cost of illegal immigration. The article pointed out that the cost of deporting all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants would cost nearly $125 billion. However, the cost of the government services involved in allowing them to stay would be nearly $750 billion from taxpayers over their lifetimes. This represents a major departure from the past when immigrants came to America to earn success rather than to have the country support them. So what impact has the election of President Trump had on the numbers of illegal immigrants in America?

Katie Pavlich at Townhall posted an article today reporting statistics on one aspect of illegal aliens in America.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice released new numbers Tuesday afternoon showing voluntary departures and deportations of illegal immigrants are up by 30 percent. Here are the numbers between February 1 and July 31, 2017: 

Total Orders of Removal: 49,983

Up 27.8 percent over the same time period in 2016 (39,113)

Total Orders of Removal and Voluntary Departures: 57,069

Up 30.9 percent over the same time period in 2016 (43,595)

The court system has also streamlined a number of deportation cases to final decisions. 

I am not opposed to legal immigration. Controlling our borders and controlling who is allowed to come into America is part of the responsibility of the government. It would be nice if they took that responsibility seriously.

The article states the probable reason for the change in numbers:

DOJ officials are touting the numbers as a “return to the rule of law” under the Trump administration. For months the Department has been cracking down on sanctuary cities and Homeland Security has conducted a number of ICE raids to rid communities of violent criminal aliens.

Leadership in Washington makes a difference. There are a limited number of things the President can do without Congress, but in those areas, President Trump has accomplished a number of things that will help average Americans earn more and live better. One of the major problems with illegal immigration is the downward pressure it exerts on the wages of low-skilled workers. Corporations like illegal immigration because it provides labor at a lower cost than what they would have to pay an American citizen. Corporations donate to Congressmen, and Congressmen are slow to act on the problem of illegal immigration. That is an instance where an Executive Order from the President can get something done that Congress is not interested in doing.

 

 

There Seems To Be A Discrepancy Here

When there is unequal justice under the law, we need to find the reason for it. It seems as if Congress may be moving in that direction regarding Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. The guidelines for handling classified information are clear, and the penalties for mishandling it are clear. Former FBI Director James Comey outlined the case against Mrs. Clinton, then chose not to prosecute her for breaking the law. She was not even prosecuted after classified information she had access to was found on a laptop of someone who was not cleared to view the information. So what is the kingpin that will unravel the logic behind this situation? It seems as if Congress may be about to find that out.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the testimony Loretta Lynch gave to Congress last year.

The article reports:

When former Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified last year about her decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information, she swore she never talked to “anyone” on the Clinton campaign. That categorical denial, though made in response to a series of questions about whether she spoke with Clintonworld about remaining attorney general if Hillary won the election, could come back to haunt her.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has launched a bipartisan investigation into Lynch for possible obstruction of justice, recently learned of the existence of a document indicating Lynch assured the political director of Clinton’s campaign she wouldn’t let FBI agents “go too far” in probing the former secretary of state.

There is also the matter of the meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton in Ms. Lynch’s airplane in Phoenix. The only reason we know about that meeting is that a reporter was doing his job and reported it. The meeting was totally inappropriate as Mrs. Clinton was under investigation at the time by Ms. Lynch.

There are a lot of people who want the investigation into the handling of Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal to go away. It has been like pulling teeth for Congress to get even as far as it has gotten. However, the thing we need to remember is that equal justice under the law is part of the foundation of our republic. When that principle is ignored, the republic is weakened.

Why I Am Grateful For Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release yesterday:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced it sent Acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe a warning letter concerning the FBI’s legal responsibility under the Federal Records Act (FRA) to recover records, including memos Comey subsequently leaked to the media, unlawfully removed from the Bureau by former Director James Comey. The June 14 letter from Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton states:

As you are well aware, former FBI Director James Comey gave sworn testimony last week before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among other things, Mr. Comey confirmed that, while in office, he created various memoranda regarding his meetings with President Trump. Mr. Comey also confirmed that, after his departure from the FBI, he provided at least some of these memoranda to a third party, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman, for the purpose of leaking them to the press. Various media outlets now have reported that Professor Richman has provided these memoranda to the FBI. It is unclear whether he still retains copies of the memoranda.

I am writing to you on behalf of Judicial Watch, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization that seeks to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. In furtherance of its public interest mission, Judicial Watch regularly requests access to the records of the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act and disseminates its findings to the public. In fact, on May 16, 2017, Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request seeking these specific memoranda removed from the FBI by Mr. Comey. Judicial Watch also has pending FOIA lawsuits in which the memoranda may be at issue.

These memoranda were created by Mr. Comey while serving as FBI director, were written on his FBI laptop, and concerned official government business. As such, they indisputably are records subject to the Federal Records Act. 44 U.S.C. §§ 2101-18, 2901-09, 3101-07, and 3301-14. The fact that Mr. Comey removed these memoranda from the FBI upon his departure, apparently for the purpose of subsequently leaking them to the press, confirms the FBI’s failure to retain and properly manage its records in accordance with the Federal Records Act. Even if Mr. Comey no longer has possession of these particular memoranda, as he now claims, some or all of these memoranda may still be in possession of a third party, such as Professor Richman, and must be recovered. Mr. Comey’s removal of these memoranda also suggests that other records may have been removed by Mr. Comey and may remain in his possession or in the possession of others. If so, these records must be recovered by the FBI as well.

As you may be aware, the Federal Records Act imposes a direct responsibility on you to take steps to recover any records unlawfully removed from the FBI. Specifically, upon learning of “any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal, defacing, alteration, corruption, deletion, erasure, or other destruction of records in the custody of the agency,” you must notify the Archivist of the United States. 44 U.S.C. § 3106. Upon learning that records have been unlawfully removed from the FBI, you then are required to initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records. Id.

In the event you fail to take these steps, you should be aware that Judicial Watch is authorized under the law to file a lawsuit in federal district court seeking that you be compelled to comply with the law. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Kerry, 844 F.3d 952, 955 (D.C. Cir. 2016); Armstrong v. Bush, 924 F.2d 282,296 (D.C. Cir. 1991). Please advise us no later than June 26, 2017 if you intend to take the action required under the law. If we do not hear from you by that date, we will assume that you do not intend to take any action. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

“Mr. Comey took government records and the FBI and Justice Department are obligated to get them back,” added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “The former FBI director isn’t above the law and current leadership of the FBI should stop protecting him and take action.”

Judicial Watch is pursuing a lawsuit challenging the State Department’s failure to take any action to recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other employees unlawfully removed from the agency seeks to force State Department compliance with the Federal Records Act (FRA).  Judicial Watch argues the State Department and FBI never bothered to do a full search for Hillary Clinton’s government emails. This is one of several of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuits seeking government records and information about the non-government email system used by Clinton.

 

Some Things Just Don’t Add Up Very Well

I am combining two stories related to former FBI Director James Comey‘s actions in the past year. The first story was posted at National Review by Andrew McCarthy yesterday, and the second story was posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday.

The story at the National Review asks a very important question, “If the FBI had unmasked tapes of General Flynn’s conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, why did the FBI find it necessary to question General Flynn on the details of that conversation. Since there was nothing illegal in either the conversation or the content of the conversation, what was the justification for the questioning? What law had General Flynn broken?

The article at National Review explains:

Yet, Flynn was treated as if he were a suspect. So hot was the Obama Justice Department to make a case on him, it apparently even considered charging him with a violation of the Logan Act. That is a purported prohibition against freelance engagement in foreign policy by American citizens. Its constitutionality is so dubious that it has never been successfully prosecuted (and almost never invoked) in the two centuries it has been on the books.

The question here was whether the Justice Department wanted Flynn interrogated in the hope that he would not truthfully describe the conversation with Kislyak. Since they had a recording, any inaccuracy could then be charged as a false statement — a classic “process crime.”

It seems as if General Flynn’s civil rights were violated.

The article at The Gateway Pundit points out a glaring discrepancy in the actions of former Director Comey.  Former Director Comey has stated that he took notes on all meetings with President Trump. That was very conscientious of him.

However, The Gateway Pundit reports that he did not record the testimony of Hillary Clinton concerning her email server. The Gateway Pundit quotes an article from The Hill on July 7th of last year:

Hillary Clinton did not swear an oath to tell the truth before meeting with the FBI for three and a half hours last weekend, and the interview was not recorded, FBI Director James Comey told House lawmakers on Thursday.

The lack of a sworn oath does not remove the possibility of criminal penalties against Clinton if she lied to the FBI, though he said he had “no basis to conclude” that she was untruthful.

“Still a crime to lie to us,” Comey told the House Oversight Committee.
FBI policy is not to record interviews as part of its investigations.

Yet the revelations will nonetheless raise questions among Republicans, who have been skeptical of the FBI’s investigation and have demanded to see the transcript of the former secretary of State’s interview in downtown Washington on Saturday.

It is also interesting that as FBI Director, James Comey went along with the Justice Department’s request to call the email server investigation a ‘matter’ rather than an investigation. It seems to me that he is accusing the wrong people of interfering with an investigation or obstructing justice.

 

 

Stopping The Illegal Redistribution Of Wealth

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Obama Justice Department essentially shaking down businesses to gain funds to send to leftist groups.

The article reported:

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) last week agreed to pay $16.65 billion to settle claims that SNL noted “primarily” emanated from the activities of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, which prosecutors said knowingly sold toxic mortgages in the years leading up to the financial crisis and recession of 2007-09, before BofA acquired Countrywide in July ’08 and Merrill in January ’09.

…The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

The practice of shaking down businesses to redistribute wealth will now come to a screeching halt.

Townhall.com is reporting today:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced early Wednesday morning the Department of Justice will no longer force defendants to send payments to third party special interests unrelated or unharmed in federal cases. 

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people— not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said in a statement.  “Unfortunately, in recent years the Department of Justice has sometimes required or encouraged defendants to make these payments to third parties as a condition of settlement.  With this directive, we are ending this practice and ensuring that settlement funds are only used to compensate victims, redress harm, and punish and deter unlawful conduct.”

This is a much-needed change. The funding of leftist groups by shaking down corporations was common practice under the Obama Administration. That sort of behavior is what led to the election of President Trump. This is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of draining the swamp.

 

While The Media Is Distracting Us…

Fred Fleitz posted an article at Breitbart today about the surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

The article reports:

Fleitz (Fred Fleitz, Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs at the Center for Security Policy), who has strongly criticized Rice’s story about why she “unmasked” the identities of people connected to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign who were caught in foreign surveillance operations, said there were two ways this surveillance took place.

“One, apparently, were formal FISA requests to have information collected against certain members of the Trump team,” he said. “This has not been confirmed, but it’s been leaked so often to the New York Times and the Washington Post, probably by Obama people, I think that happened.

“The second way was to go through intelligence that was not targeting the Russians or Trump to find references to Trump officials, and have those names unmasked. That way, they could say, ‘Hey, we weren’t targeting the Trump people, we were just going through intelligence that happened to mention them. We wanted to know the context of the report,’” he continued.

“You know, it’s okay for a senior official to ask for the name of a U.S. person to understand an intelligence report. It’s uncommon. I’ve been involved with it, with a senior policymaker. But to ask that the names of the members of a campaign from another party be unmasked – that may not be illegal, but it is highly unethical,” said Fleitz.

“If Rice gave the reason for that unmasking to be something that it really wasn’t, like if she really was doing it for political reasons, she could be in legal jeopardy,” he said.

The article points out that at one point during John Bolton‘s career,  Fred Fleitz, as his chief of staff, had asked for the unmasking of the names of ten Americans. During the confirmation hearings for John Bolton as the U.N. Ambassador, the Democrats accused him of violating the privacy of American citizens. Somehow, they are not as concerned when Democrats do the unmasking for political purposes.

The article concludes:

Fleitz previewed his upcoming Fox News piece about the widely-reported intelligence analysis prepared in January that claimed “not only did the Russians try to intervene in the election, but they did so to help Trump win.”

“Well, Director of National Intelligence Clapper revealed this week this was not the intelligence community’s view, of all 17 agencies,” said Fleitz. “That was known. It was just 3 agencies. We now know the analysts who wrote this were handpicked. How were they handpicked? How did the hyper-partisan director of the CIA, John Brennan, how did he handpick the CIA analysts who wrote this assessment?”

“I don’t think this assessment is accurate. I don’t think the Russians intervened to help Trump. Read my piece at FoxOpinion.com. This has to be added to the investigation of interference in the election – interference by our intelligence agencies.”

There was a crime committed here. It had to do with unmasking civilians and leaking information to the press. However, as long as the press can keep us off target, those who committed those crimes will go unpunished..

 

Changing The Rules On “Don’t Let A Crisis Go To Waste”

During the second term of the Obama Administration, there was a lot of chaos caused by accusations of racism on the part of police. Later, many of these reports turned out to be false. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration set up a system whereby certain police departments would be subject to a level of interference by the federal government not seen before in America. Thankfully Attorney General Jeff Sessions has at least temporarily put that interference on hold.

The following memo was sent from Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 31:

Hot Air posted an article about the memo today.

The article reports:

You may recall that less than three months ago there was a big press conference held in Baltimore where Loretta Lynch sat down with the Mayor to announce the approval of one of these consent decrees. In a very expensive program, the cops in Charm City would be in line for all sorts of “reforms” which would change their mandatory training regimens and the way they conduct business. Listed among the goals of the program were ways for police to focus on “deescalation” in violent confrontations, how to be more “respectful” of protesters (one assumes that would come before they actually begin setting buildings on fire) and putting civilians from the community in charge of police oversight.

Keep in mind that they were taking all of these steps even as Baltimore was experiencing a two year surge in violent crime which hadn’t been seen in decades. Much of the “reform” work was obviously in response to the Freddie Gray riots, which is particularly ironic because as I’m sure you will recall, all of the trials against the police were eventually dismissed with no evidence of foul play being established.

So now there will be a 90 day “pause” before any of these consent decrees move forward. What will happen during that time? Just a guess on my part, but I imagine there will be “modifications” rather than scrapping them completely. The changes will probably focus a bit less on reasoning with potentially violent mobs in the streets and getting some better armor and equipment. But as I said… that’s just a guess. It would certainly be in keeping with the promises that President Trump made while running for office, though.

Unfortunately there will always be people in authority who do not do their job fairly and honestly. There is nothing wrong with removing those people from their jobs. The problem is, however, that in recent years the press has reported things that were not true in many situations and caused unrest by their reporting. The lack of honesty in the press has ruined lives and given people a wrong picture of police in America. Most of our policemen are good men trying to do the difficult job of protecting the public. They need our support. Yes, we need to remove the bad apples, but we need to understand that the bad apples are the exception rather than the rule.

Some Sanity From Andrew McCarthy

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at PJ Media about General Flynn. Mr. McCarthy makes some very good points about General Flynn’s supposed request for immunity if he is to testify before Congress.

The article reports:

Long before riding the front of the Trump Train, Flynn made himself the bête noire of the intelligence community, accusing it of politicizing intelligence analyses and concealing the ineffectiveness of Obama’s approach to jihadist terror – claims which, to the great embarrassment of Obama’s spy chiefs, have been corroborated by intelligence agency operatives. Like Trump, moreover, Flynn – brash, unpolished, and erratic – has a knack for making enemies on all sides, such that Washington is now full of two kinds of people: those out to get Flynn and those who whisper that he had it coming.

Even that does not begin to describe the jeopardy Flynn had to be sensing when his lawyer reportedly offered his cooperation with investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign in exchange for some form of immunity from prosecution. But it does provide a sense of the poisonous atmosphere in which, as night follows day, government officials leaked the offer to the media, spinning it as an admission of guilt – although, of what offense, no one seems able to say.

…When the conduct of Democrats was at issue, the media told us not to read too much into immunity requests. Standard fare to get a lawyer and seek immunity – doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. Even when subjects of the Clinton investigation claimed their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination rather than testify before Congress; even when reports surfaced of bizarre Justice Department agreements that evidence from the subjects’ computers would be destroyed rather than preserved; even when publication of the subjects’ FBI interviews detailed patently misleading statements – the media-Democrat complex steadfastly maintained there was nothing to see here.

Even though the Republicans control both houses of Congress, it is not a safe place for anyone who does not tow the establishment line. General Flynn is wise to realize that and act accordingly. I don’t know what we need to do to bring America back to being a nation of laws, but I hope it is not too late to go back to following our Constitution.

Sometimes The Internet Just Makes Politics Difficult

On Sunday, Lifezette posted an article about Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s plan to obstruct the firing of U.S. Attorneys. Evidently Senator Warren has a short memory. Yesterday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article quoting California Democrat Representative Maxine Waters complaining that Barack Obama did not get rid of Bush-era U.S. Attorneys fast enough in May of 2009.

The Gateway Pundit quotes Representative Waters:

Maxine Waters: “As we understand it, the protocol has been that U.S. attorneys hand in their resignations and would give the new administration an opportunity to make new appointments, we don’t see that happening quite fast enough.”

Lifezette posted some tweets from Senator Warren:

Lifezette further reminds us:

While it is true that the Senate confirms any U.S. attorney appointees that a president names, neither the act of firing nor the appointment of replacements is something unusual in the transfer of presidential power.

I guess Senator Warren has forgotten recent history. Please follow the link to read the entire Lifezette article. Senator Warren’s tweets are totally over the top.

 

 

 

Some People Are Not Happy With The Current Silent Coup

Judicial Watch posted the following press release today:

Judicial Watch Sues CIA, DOJ and Treasury for Records Related to Intelligence Leaks Regarding Investigation of General Flynn

MARCH 06, 2017

National Security Agency Refuses to Confirm or Deny Existence of Records 

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury regarding records related to the investigation of retired United States Army Lieutenant General Michel Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al. (No.1:17-cv-00397)).  (The National Security Agency refused to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records about communications between Gen. Flynn and Amb Kislyak.)

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agencies failed to respond to a January 25, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak between October 1, 2016 and the present.

This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all related warrants, affidavits, declarations, or similar records regarding the aforementioned investigation.

For purposes of clarification, please find enclosed a CNN report regarding the investigation, which cites information that was provided to CNN by members of the Intelligence Community.

In its complaint Judicial Watch asks the court to order the agencies to search for all records responsive to its FOIA requests and demonstrate that they employed reasonable search methods; order the agencies to produce by a specific date all non-exempt records and a Vaughn index of all withheld records; and instruct the agencies to cease withholding all non-exempt records.

On January 23, 2017, CNN reported that the government was investigating Flynn, former national security adviser to President Trump:

The calls were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats, according to the intelligence and law enforcement officials. But the officials said some of the content of the conversation raised enough potential concerns that investigators are still looking into the discussions, amid a broader concern about Russian intelligence-gathering activities in the United States.

The officials all stressed that so far there has been no determination of any wrongdoing.

FBI and intelligence officials briefed members of the Obama White House team before President Barack Obama left office about the Flynn calls to the Russian ambassador, sources said.

“President Trump is on to something. The Obama-connected wiretapping and illegal leaks of classified material concerning President Trump and General Flynn are a scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch aims to get to the truth about these crimes and we hope the Trump administration stands with us in the fight for transparency.”

This is a necessary action. There are some serious questions about the actions of President Obama and some of the people in government during the transition of power to the Trump Administration.

A Question That Needs To Be Asked

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but you can ask questions about how it got out of the tube in the first place. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today that asks a very obvious, but overlooked in the media, question about what happened to General Flynn.

Andrew McCarthy is a lawyer experienced in dealing the terrorism and other national security matters. In the article at National Review, he asks, “Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn?”

The contact between General Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak was appropriate–General Flynn was slated to be National Security Advisor under President Trump. He was making contacts in preparation for taking that job. It is also understandable that the conversation would have been recorded–the article states, “We are told that the FBI was monitoring the phone calls of Russian ambassador Kislyak under FISA. Makes sense — he’s an overt foreign agent from a hostile government.”

However, there is more to the story.

The article reports:

The call to Kislyak, of course, was intercepted. No doubt the calls of other American officials who have perfectly valid reasons to call Russian diplomats have been intercepted. It is the FBI’s scrupulous practice to keep the identities of such interceptees confidential. So why single Flynn out for identification, and for investigation? FBI agents did not need to “grill” Flynn in order to learn about the call — they had a recording of the call. They also knew there was nothing untoward about the call. We know that from the Times report — a report that suggests an unseemly conjoining of investigative power to partisan politics.

The article also notes the timing of these events. The information about the phone call was released at a point where it was designed to do the most damage. We had the FBI and the press working together to undermine the new President.
The article concludes:
And the FBI has no business probing the veracity of public statements made by presidential administrations for political purposes — something it certainly resisted doing during the Obama administration.
There appears to have been no foreign-intelligence or criminal-investigative purpose served by the FBI’s interrogation of General Flynn. It is easy to see why Democrats would want to portray Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador as worthy of an FBI investigation. But why did the FBI and the Justice Department investigate Flynn — and why did “officials” make sure the press found out about it?

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is rather lengthy but explains the matter much more clearly and fully than I did. It is time for all of us to become our own news reporters and investigate everything the major media tells us. Otherwise we will tend to believe the lies the press is promoting.

Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.