This is the link to the transcripts of the House of Representatives testimony concerning the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. Don’t settle for anyone’s spin–read it for yourself.
Tag Archives: 2016 Presidential election
More Information About Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election
I don’t fault people in Washington for having political beliefs. I do fault them when their political beliefs interfere with their ability to do their job honestly. Unfortunately we saw a lot of that during the Obama administration.
On Sunday, The Gateway Pundit posted a video of an interview of Fred Fleitz, former CIA Analyst and National Security Council Chief of Staff, by Jan Jekielek at American Thought Leaders.
The video is posted at the sight, but I would like to share an excerpt from the transcript:
Fred Fleitz: The House Intelligence Community discovered from the CIA that there was evidence that the Russians actually wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election and for Trump to lose. And this was strong intelligence. The reason was they thought Hillary was a known quantity. Trump was an unknown quantity and they were worried he would bring anti-Russian hawks into the administration. That information according to a House Intelligence staff, they told me this, was excluded over the objections of CIA analysts by Brennan. On the other hand, there was weak intelligence that the Russians wanted Trump to win. And according to House Intelligence Committee staffers this was included over the objection of CIA officers by Brennan. So Brennan actually slanted this analysis, choosing anti-Trump intelligence and excluding anti-Clinton intelligence. The problem is the House report, which I think is full of all these bombshells has been stuck at the CIA since the fall of 2018.
And, I’m hoping that Rick Grenell or maybe John Durham, who is doing an investigation of government misconduct surrounding the election. I’m hoping one of them is going to pry this loose because the American people have to know about it.
The article includes the following tweet:
When The Truth Is Stretched So Thin You Can See Through It
Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that included an amazing comment by one of the House Impeachment Managers.
The article notes:
Impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on Thursday was asked whether the Clinton campaign’s use of the Steele Dossier in 2016 would be considered impeachable under the Dems’ standard.
Hakeem Jeffries said no because the Steele dossier was opposition research that “was purchased.”
What a disaster for the Democrats!
So if Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election, the legitimacy of her victory would not be in question by the Democrats even though she paid a former British spy to compile a dossier using Russian intel sources.
In other words, foreign interference in US elections is fine as long as you are a Democrat and you pay for it.
Wow. So according to Representative Jeffries, it is okay to use foreign sources to influence and election as long as you pay those sources.
What is interesting about this is that the Democrats are no longer contesting the fact that the Clinton campaign paid for the Steele Dossier. Are they also willing to admit that the Dossier was passed on to government agencies for nefarious purposes? Will they be willing to admit that their opposition research was used by the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign? Will the Democrats ever take responsibility for the use of government agencies for political purposes that occurred during the Obama administration?
I am not worried about foreign influence supporting Republicans in the 2020 election. I have no reason to believe that the Democrats will again choose to break any law they think they need to in order to win. If you haven’t seen the Politico article about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, please read it (I strongly disagree with the opening statement, but there is a lot of good information in the article).
Presenting A Deceptive Brief
Yesterday Byron York posted an editorial at The Washington Examiner about the impeachment brief Democratic House managers have compiled. The title of the article at The Washington Examiner is, “Two deceptions at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment brief.”
The editorial notes:
Democrats insist on Trump’s immediate removal because, they argue, he was the knowing beneficiary of Russian help in the 2016 election, and if he is not thrown out of office right now, he will do it again. But in making their argument, Democrats make two critical mischaracterizations about Trump, Republicans, and 2016. One is flat-out wrong, while the other is misleading.
The one that is flat wrong is the Democrats’ assertion that Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate “a debunked conspiracy theory that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election to aid President Trump, but instead that Ukraine interfered in that election to aid President Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.”
The problem is, the theory does not hold that Russia “did not interfere” in the 2016 election. There is a mountain of evidence that Russia interfered, and that has been the conclusion of every investigation into the matter, beginning with the first congressional probe, by the House Intelligence Committee under then-chairman Devin Nunes. The theory is that in addition to Russian interference, some people in Ukraine, including some government officials, also tried to influence the U.S. election. It was not a government-run effort, and it was on a far smaller scale than the Russian project, but it happened.
I don’t know if any of the available information about Ukrainian interference will ever make it out to the mainstream media, but there have been criminal trials in Ukraine that confirm that the government was involved in 2016 in support of Hillary Clinton. The information is out there, but most of the mainstream media has successfully avoided reporting it.
The editorial reports the second deception:
The other mischaracterization in the Democratic brief is the assertion that, in 2016, Trump “welcomed Russia’s election interference.” The brief quotes special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help because it “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”
That’s not wrong — Trump did, in fact, welcome Russia-based leaks — but grossly out of context. The context is this: Trump welcomed Russia-based leaks about the Clinton campaign because the media were enthusiastically embracing and repeating Russian-based leaks about the Clinton campaign. Print, internet, TV, everyone, was accepting, repeating, and amplifying the material released by WikiLeaks from the Russian hack of top Clinton campaign official John Podesta.
Perhaps people have forgotten how prominently media organizations featured the Russia-based material.
The editorial then lists a number of examples of media hysteria about Russian during the 2016 election.
The article concludes:
Of course, the Times was not the only media organization to trumpet the Russia-based leaks. They all trumpeted the Russia-based leaks. Everyone was complicit. And that is what makes the Democratic charge against Trump so misleading. He wasn’t welcoming something that everyone else was condemning. He was welcoming something that everyone else was welcoming, too. And now, in retrospect, that is a terrible offense, part of the foundation for removing the president from office?
Neither mischaracterization in the Democratic brief is a mistake; Democratic prosecutors know full well what actually happened. But the mischaracterizations are necessary to build the case against the president, to show that he had corrupt motives in the Ukraine matter. They are, of course, not the entire case, but they are important. And they are wrong.
Any Congressman who enables this farce of an impeachment to continue needs to be voted out of office as soon as possible.
As Email Evidence Is Uncovered…
Periodically I write an article that I have little understanding of. This is one of those. I am posting it because it is important, but I don’t fully understand exactly what went on.
John Solomon Reports posted an article yesterday about newly released memos that show that Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son’s company for corruption.
The Conservative Treehouse also posted a similar article yesterday. The Conservative Treehouse has screenshots of the memos in question.
Remember, this is the scandal the mainstream media describes as a conspiracy theory. When there is concrete evidence, it is no longer a theory.
I am beginning to think that the reason the media wants to bury the entire Ukraine scandal involving former Vice-President Biden is that it will eventually link to Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
This is the story found at John Solomon Reports:
During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. (I filed that suit this summer with the help of the public interest law firm the Southeastern Legal Foundation.)
Just three weeks before Burisma’s overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.
Hunter Biden’s name, in fact, was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help, according to a series of email exchanges among U.S. officials trying to arrange the meeting. The subject line for the email exchanges read simply “Burisma.”
“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” a Feb. 24, 2016, email between State officials read. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).
“Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt,” the email added. “According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered.”
At the time, Novelli was the most senior official overseeing international energy issues for State. The undersecretary position, of which there are several, is the third-highest-ranking job at State, behind the secretary and deputy secretary. And Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies, a Washington firm that was hired by Burisma to help end a long-running corruption investigation against the gas firm in Ukraine.
Tramontano and another Blue Star official, Sally Painter, both alumni of Bill Clinton’s administration, worked with New York-based criminal defense attorney John Buretta to settle the Ukraine cases in late 2016 and 2017. I wrote about their efforts previously here.
Burisma Holdings records obtained by Ukrainian prosecutors state the gas firm made a $60,000 payment to Blue Star in November 2015.
The emails show Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016, and that State Department officials were scrambling to get answers ahead of time from the U.S. embassy in Kiev.
The records don’t show whether the meeting actually took place. The FOIA lawsuit is ongoing and State officials are slated to produce additional records in the months ahead.
Please follow the links above to see the screenshots and read the entire story. We now have proof that the Bidens engaged in behavior that is probably illegal. The question is whether or not the mainstream media will report it.
Things That Make You Wonder
A website called Truth and Action posted an article (there is no date on the article) about Hillary Clinton’s actions on election night 2016. Obviously she was distressed–she had reason to be–everyone had predicted she would win and she lost. She made a statement that night that is recorded in the article at Truth and Action and a number of other places.
The statement as quoted in the article (and other places) is below (with a few editorial changes because this blog is G-rated) with more of the story:
Journalist Matt Stiller shared in a recent report that during the 2016 presidential election Hillary Clinton was unhinged, and that various NBC insiders can substantiate his account.
According to Still, during last year’s presidential campaign at the Commander-In-Chief Forum on September 7, 2016, moderator Matt Lauer went “off script” and asked Hillary about her using an illegal, private email-server when she was secretary of state.
According to Bill Still’s source — an unnamed “NBC associate producer of the forum” — Hillary was so enraged that, after the forum, she went into a ballistic melt-down, screaming at her staff, including a racist rant at Donna Brazile, calling Brazile a “buffalo” and “janitor”. Brazile recently turned against Hillary — now we know why.
…She screamed she’d get that f**king Lauer fired for this. Referring to Donald Trump, Clinton said, ‘If that f**king b***ard wins, we all hang from nooses! Lauer’s finished, and if I lose, it’s all on your heads for screwing this up.’
Her dozen or more aides were visibly disturbed and tried to calm her down when she started shaking uncontrollably as she screamed to get an executive at Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, on the phone. Then two rather large aides grabbed her and helped her walk to her car.”
Please consider the essence of the statement that if Donald Trump wins, we all hang from nooses. We live in a representative republic. People who lose elections do not normally hang from nooses. Why did she see that as a threat? Is it possible that she was fully aware of what had gone on during the campaign and understood that it would eventually be revealed?
Fast forward to today. We know that the Inspector General’s Report will probably come out in the next month or so. I have no doubt that the Republicans will push to make as much of that report public as possible. Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we already have a pretty good idea of what is in the report. I believe that impending report is behind the move by Democrats in the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump as quickly as possible, discredit Attorney General Barr, discredit Vice-President Pence, and simply impugn the credibility of anyone who might expose the events of the 2016 election. The one thing we do know is that a group of government workers at the highest level worked behind the scenes to spy on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team, and the Trump presidency. They also worked hard to destroy anyone associated with the campaign or administration. I believe this is the first time in our history that we have had a Congresswoman call for members of an administration to be harassed in public places. The fact that she was not severely censored for that statement is cause for alarm.
“The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.”
Judicial Watch released the following Press Release yesterday:
DOJ Docs Show Rosenstein Advising Mueller ‘the Boss’ Doesn’t Know About Their Communications — Judicial Watch
Rosenstein docs also show ‘off the record’ leaks to 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post around and on the date of Mueller’s appointment.
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch released 145 pages of Rod Rosenstein’s communications that include a one-line email from Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller stating, “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions” and “off the record” emails with major media outlets around the date of Mueller’s appointment.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ failed to respond to a September 21, 2018, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00481)). Judicial Watch seeks:
Any and all e-mails, text messages, or other records of communication addressed to or received by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8, 2017, and May 22, 2017.
The time period referred to in this suit is critical. On May 8, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memo to President Trump recommending that FBI Director James Comey be fired. The next day, President Trump fired Comey. Just three days later, on May 12, Rosenstein sent an email assuring Robert Mueller that “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.”
In a May 16, 2017 email, sent the day before Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein emailed former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General and current Kirkland & Ellis Partner, Mark Filip stating, “I am with Mueller. He shares my views. Duty Calls. Sometimes the moment chooses us.”
And on May 17 Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Also, during the same time period, between May 8 and May 17, Rosenstein met with then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other senior Justice Department FBI officials to discuss wearing a wire and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.
The documents also show that, again during the same time period, Rod Rosenstein was in direct communication with reporters from 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post. In an email exchange dated May 2017, Rosenstein communicated with New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz to provide background for this article about himself. Ruiz emailed Rosenstein a draft of the article, and he responded with off-the-record comments and clarifications.
- In an email exchange on May 17, 2017, the day of Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein exchanged emails with 60 Minutes producer Katherine Davis in which he answered off-the-record questions about Mueller’s scope of authority and chain of command:
Rosenstein: “Off the record: This special counsel is a DOJ employee. His status is similar to a US Attorney.”
Davis: “Good call on Mueller. Although I obviously thought you’d be great at leading the investigation too.”
- On May 17, 2017, in an email exchange with Washington Post journalist Sari Horwitz and the subject line “Special Counsel” Rosenstein and Horwitz exchanged:
Rosenstein: “At some point, I owe you a long story. But this is not the right time for me to talk to anybody.”
Horwitz: “Now, I see why you couldn’t talk today! Obviously, we’re writing a big story about this. Is there any chance I could talk to you on background about your decision?”
“These astonishing emails further confirm the corruption behind Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The emails also show a shockingly cozy relationship between Mr. Rosenstein and anti-Trump media reporters.”
On September 11, Judicial Watch released 14 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries about DOJ/FBI talks allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.
On September 23, Judicial Watch released a two-page memo, dated May 16, 2017, by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe detailing how then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire into the Oval Office “to collect additional evidence on the president’s true intentions.” McCabe writes that Rosenstein said he thought it was possible because “he was not searched when he entered the White House.”
In case you had any doubt that this has been a planned sabotage of President Trump.
When Following The Law Is Controversial
Issues and Insights posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to deport about one million illegal aliens. These are aliens that have already had their court hearings and been ordered deported by judges. The article notes that Acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli is simply the first federal official, besides President Trump, brave enough to follow and implement the law.
The article notes:
That is what President Trump pledged to do when he took the oath of office. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That is why the President is called the Chief Executive. Democrats, and their party-controlled media, find that shocking because they have been in an insurrection since Trump took that oath of office.
Cuccinelli said in a CBS interview on Sunday,
“[ICE agents are] ready to just perform their mission which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders. They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders.”
If we are not going to deport illegal aliens who have had their cases adjudicated with final deportation orders fully in accord with due process, then Democrats would have effectively opened the borders to Central America, and the entire third world, to just walk in, and sign up for welfare paid for by U.S. citizens. That would amount to a coup against American democracy, as that policy has never been adopted into law by representatives democratically elected by those same U.S. citizens.
Breitbart News reported on July 7, “The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans support Trump’s plan to mass deport illegal aliens following inaction from Congress. This includes support from more than 8-in-10 Republican voters and more than 5-in-10 swing voters. Breitbart News further reports that there are about 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico, alone, living in the U.S. despite already being ordered deported or having pending deportation orders. The latest federal data concludes that there are more than 925,000 illegal aliens, in total, with final deportation orders who have continued living freely in the U.S. About 20% of these illegal aliens have at least one criminal conviction…. Roughly 60% of these illegal aliens come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
The article makes a very good point:
Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Barr just need to enforce the Rule of Law, whatever it takes, to stop this modern Resistance and Insurrection, and restore Due Process and the Rule of Law.
The Democrats (and the media) have been acting like spoiled children since the 2016 presidential election. It’s time they grew up and realized that America is supposed to be a country of laws that apply equally to all. I guess they just can’t get used to the idea of having a President who actually enforces the law as it is written.
When You Start Digging Under Rocks, You Never Know What Will Come Out
John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about a scandal involving foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The article reports:
After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.
Isn’t it ironic that after millions of dollars have been spent trying to find foreign influence to help President Trump win in 2016, a foreign government simply puts out the information.
The article details some of the behind-the-scenes activities in the U.S. embassy in Kiev:
We now have strong evidence that retired British spy Christopher Steele began his quest in what ultimately became the infamous Russia collusion dossier with a series of conversations with top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr between December 2015 and February 2016 about securing evidence against Manafort.
We know the FBI set up shop in the U.S. embassy in Kiev to assist its Ukraine–Manafort inquiry — a common practice on foreign-based probes — while using Steele as an informant at the start of its Russia probe. And we know Clinton’s campaign was using a law firm to pay an opposition research firm for Steele’s work in an effort to stop Trump from winning the presidency, at the same time Steele was aiding the FBI.
Those intersections, coupled with the new allegations by Ukraine’s top prosecutor, are reason enough to warrant a serious, thorough investigation.
If Ukraine law enforcement figures who worked frequently with the U.S. Embassy did leak the Manafort documents in an effort to influence the American election for Clinton, the public deserves to know who knew what, and when.
It is becoming obvious that Mueller is looking for foreign influence in the 2016 election in the wrong places. The question is whether that is by accident or by design.
How To Disenfranchise The Voters In Your State
On March 8 the Associated Press posted an article about a change in the way that Delaware casts its electoral college votes.
The article reports:
The legislation, approved on a 14-7 vote, requires Delaware to cast its three electoral votes for the national popular vote winner, rather than the winner of the popular vote in Delaware. Two Republicans joined majority Democrats in voting for the bill, which now goes to the Democrat-led House.
Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.
So if I live in Delaware, why should I vote?
The problem here is that the lawmakers do not understand the reasoning behind the electoral college. The idea behind the electoral college was to make sure that the smaller states had a say in the election of a President. Without the electoral college, our President would be chosen by New York, California, and the large cities in America. Most of these areas are controlled by Democrats, and a casual observer will quickly realize that these are some of the most poorly managed areas of the country.
This is the county map of the 2016 Presidential Election:
The new law in Delaware essentially says to its citizens, “We don’t care who you voted for, your votes are going with the majority. If the majority consists of New York, California, and the major cities, they are going to be the people who elect the President.”
So if you live in Delaware, why should you vote for President?
If you want evidence that the Democrats are attempting to fix the next Presidential election, the article provides it:
Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.
This is a map of the states that have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact:
A Disturbing Timeline
The Gateway Pundit posted a revealing timeline today showing that the deep state plan to undercut the presidency of President Trump was formulated about the time President Trump won the Republican nomination. This timeline illustrates the use of government agencies to prevent Donald Trump’s election to the presidency (obviously they failed at that) and if that failed, either drive him from office or discredit him to the point where he couldn’t get anything done. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit on, the idea of using government agencies (non-elected officials) to undermine elected officials should be disturbing to you. Please follow the link above to the article to read the entire timeline.
Here are just a few items:
Now through a review of information from April, 2016, related to the corrupt Obama Administration’s fake Trump – Russia collusion farce, we see that this was the exact same time that the fake Trump-Russia collusion story was created.
The following incidents are now known to have occurred in mid to late April, 2016 –
2016-04-15 Obama CIA Chief John Brennan assembles a multi-agency task force that served from April 2016 to July 2016 as the beginnings of a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. “The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently,” three officials told the NYTimes [source]. (Note that the Crossfire Hurricane team was not reportedly in existence until the end of July 30, 2016, so how could they play a part?)
2016-04-15 James Comey tells Sally Yates sometime around 04/16 that he’s considering a special counsel [see:June 2018 IG report p. 172]
2016-04-15 It’s reported that Victoria Nuland and other State Department officials became “more alarmed” about what the Russians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were authorized by then Secretary of State John Kerry to develop proposals for ways to deter the Russians. [source] Nuland stated that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the DNC, long before senior DNC officials were aware of it.
The article concludes:
By the end of April, 2016, the Deep State of Obama, Comey, Brennan, Kerry and others had already put in place spies on Trump team members, and allegations of a made up company, DCLeaks, that allegedly hacked DNC emails. They also began their sinister Trump – Russia collusion fairy tale.
April 2016 will go down in history as the month that a sitting President (Obama) began his scheme using the intelligence community of the United States to spy on its competing campaign in the US election in an effort to prevent them from winning the 2016 Presidential election.
If the people responsible for this misuse of government power are not brought to justice, we can expect to see similar behavior in the future. These actions are not appropriate in a representative democracy–they belong in a banana republic.
This Could Get Very Interesting
The U.K. Telegraph reported on Wednesday that MI6 chiefs are secretly battling Donald Trump to stop him publishing classified information linked to the Russian election meddling investigation.
The article reports:
The UK is warning that the US president would undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.
However Trump allies are fighting back, demanding transparency and asking why Britain would oppose the move unless it had something to hide.
It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI’s investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article on Wednesday that reminds us of some of the possible reasons for the problem:
In 2016 candidate Trump supported Brexit; the professional political class in the U.K. were vehemently against it. Additionally, candidate Trump was openly challenging the structure of NATO and demanding changes to the alliance. This was antithetical to the interests of the U.K. government and likely sent shockwaves through their collectivist system when candidate Trump won the GOP nomination. The Brits had a strong motive to see Trump destroyed and aligned with weaponized U.S. intelligence toward that end.
As President, Mr. Trump, has held true to his campaign promises and forced the British -and the EU writ large- to be more responsible for their own military security. President Trump has challenged the post-WW2 NATO structures and forced the EU to pay more for their defense. Many member nations are vocally unhappy with this shifted landscape because it means less money for liberal/socialist causes. [Note: Including Canada]
Lastly, the U.K. and E.U. (mostly German anxiety) are facing a much tougher trade objective as outlined by President Trump. The trade conflict is costing them billions in addition to their increased need to spend on their own defense via NATO to keep Trump off their back. He might be just one man, but President Trump has them surrounded.
President Trump is not allowing the same one-way benefits within the U.S. trade relationship with the EU; and as he highlighted with the use of tariffs, he is not hesitant to smash the EU economy (mostly Germany) with crippling auto-tariffs if needed.
Trump is leveraging access to the U.S. markets as pressure on the Europeans to comply with U.S. demands. The Europeans, including the British, are not used to this level of confrontation from the U.S. Their economic frames of reference surround acquiescence from prior American presidents. They are increasingly unnerved and the horrible President Trump simply doesn’t care.
And then there’s the newly emphasized Iran sanctions… the economic MOAB that threatens any/all European interests who might dare to get caught doing business with the Iranian regime. President Trump has shown he is not the least bit hesitant to pull the trigger on Treasury penalties against any nation or multinational interest who would defy the sanctions.
Simply put, the Brits did not like the idea of an American President who put America first. The question remains as to what they actually did about it.
Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about the redactions in the House Intelligence Committee Report Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The article reports the following about declassifying the report:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI have tried to thwart President Trump on releasing the evidence, suggesting it will harm national security, make allies less willing to cooperate, or even leave him vulnerable to accusations that he is trying to obstruct the end of the Russia probe.
Before you judge the DOJ’s and FBI’s arguments — which are similar to those offered to stop the release of information in other major episodes of American history, from the Bay of Pigs to 9/11 — consider Footnote 43 on Page 57 of Chapter 3 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report earlier this year on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Until this past week, the footnote really had garnered no public intrigue, in part because the U.S. intelligence community blacked out the vast majority of its verbiage in the name of national security before the report was made public.
From the heavy redactions, all one could tell is that FBI general counsel James Baker met with an unnamed person who provided some information in September 2016 about Russia, email hacking and a possible link to the Trump campaign.
Not a reporter or policymaker would have batted an eyelash over such a revelation.
Then, last Wednesday, I broke the story that Baker admitted to Congress in an unclassified setting — repeat, in an unclassified setting — that he had met with a top lawyer at the firm representing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and received allegations from that lawyer about Russia, Trump and possible hacking.
It is becoming very obvious that releasing the report of the Committee will not harm national security as much as it will harm the reputation of the Department of Justice and FBI. It’s time to release the report.
Sunshine Really Is The Best Remedy
Last night The Daily Wire reported the following:
House Republicans filed a resolution to impeach United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, citing the Justice Department’s lack of transparency and obstruction of congressional oversight.
“I just filed a resolution with Jim Jordan and several colleagues to impeach Rod Rosenstein,” Meadows wrote on Twitter. “The DOJ has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight–even defying multiple Congressional subpoenas.”
The lack of transparency is not the only problem–Rod Rosenstein signed one of the FISA warrants. He might be totally conflicted in deciding what documents to turn over to Congress.
The saga continues. Yahoo News reported today:
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday rejected a move by fellow Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, who oversees the federal probe of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” said Ryan, whose stance could make it easier for other Republican members to oppose the measure.
This is not a surprise. Paul Ryan will be stepping down from his role as Speaker and probably looking for a job in Washington. Although I believe the impeachment of Rosenstein would be appropriate (for conflict of interest as much as anything else), I don’t think Paul Ryan is willing to do anything that might rock the boat right now. He wants to stay friends with everyone. (That is probably why he should resign today!)
On Tuesday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner which outlined a solution to this whole sordid mess.
The article points out:
While the lawmakers support maximum declassification, they also gave the president another option: declassify two key sections of the application that Republicans believe are particularly revealing. In the letter, the GOP committee members made a very specific request.
“To enable the public to understand the DOJ’s and FBI’s basis for obtaining the FISA warrant and three subsequent renewals,” the lawmakers wrote, “we respectfully request that you declassify and release publicly, and in unredacted form, pages 10-12 and 17-34, along with all associated footnotes, of the third renewal of the FISA application on Mr. Page. The renewal was filed in June 2017 and signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”
So what is on pages 10-12 and 17-34? That is certainly a tantalizing clue dropped by the House Intel members, but it’s not clear what it means. Comparing the relevant sections from the initial FISA application, in October 2016, and the third renewal, in June 2017, much appears the same, but in pages 10-12 of the third renewal there is a slightly different headline — “The Russian Government’s Coordinated Efforts to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election” — plus a footnote, seven lines long, that was not in the original application.
As for pages 17-34, there appear to be, in the third renewal, new text and footnotes throughout the section headlined “Page’s Coordination with Russian Government Officials on 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Influence Activities.” (That is the same headline as the original application.) The Republican lawmakers ask that it be unredacted in its entirety, suggesting they don’t believe revealing it would compromise any FBI sources or methods.
Clearly, the GOP lawmakers believe pages 10-12 and 17-34 contain critical information, so it seems likely that the release of those pages would affect the current public debate over the FISA application. That would, in turn, lead to charges that the Republicans were cherry-picking the application and did not want the public to see information that undercuts their position.
Which is why the application should be released in its entirety, or as closely to its entirety as is possible. Will that happen? At the moment, it appears the only person who can answer that question is Trump.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Dennis Prager On Media Hysteria
Townhall posted an article today by Dennis Prager. The article deals with the current media hysteria over the fact that President Trump is accused of colluding with Russia.
Mr. Prager notes:
You and I are living through the greatest mass hysteria in American history. For many Americans, the McCarthy era held that dubious distinction, but what is happening now is incomparably worse.
For one thing, any hysteria that existed then was directed against the greatest evil in the world at the time: communism. Then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee notwithstanding, there really were Americans in important positions who supported communist regimes enslaving their populations and committing mass murder. McCarthy was on to something.
In contrast, the country is choking on hysteria over the extremely unlikely possibility — for which there is still no evidence — that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and the absurdity that President Trump works for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Prager points out a few things the media is overlooking:
All this hysteria is built on next to nothing. At its core, it is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. The mainstream media refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton lost. They said she would win — handily. They predicted a landslide. How could they have possibly gotten it so wrong? Their answer is they didn’t; Trump and Putin stole it.
If truth mattered to the media, their ongoing narrative would be: “Democrats and the left still do not accept Trump victory.”
That is the truth in a nutshell.
The article lists some truths the media chooses to ignore:
If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama sent Army meals to Ukraine and Trump has sent anti-tank missiles and other arms to repel the Russians.
If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama watched Syria burn and Russia come to dominate that country, while Trump has bombed Syrian military installations, including one where Russians were killed.
If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that it is Trump who has weakened Russia’s ally Iran, while Obama immeasurably strengthened it.
Instead the media scream “treason,” “impeachment” and the like 24/7; Hollywood stars curse the president; others curse his daughter or the first lady (one of the most regal in American history) and show President Trump in various death poses. Meanwhile, leftist mobs shout at administration officials and Republican members of Congress while they eat in restaurants, shop in stores and sleep in their homes.
The article concludes:
If you vote Democrat this November, you are voting for hysteria, lies, socialism and even the cheapening of the Holocaust.
But more than anything, a vote for Democrats in November is a vote for hysteria — the greatest and darkest in American history.
And that is where we currently are.
When You Begin To Peel An Onion, It Smells
As Congress and some of the press begin to peel back the layers of scandal surrounding the government surveillance and investigation into the Trump campaign, it is truly starting to smell like corrupt government agencies. The more we know, the worse it smells.
The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about some events that occurred before the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. There was definitely a strategy among those who wanted to undo the 2016 presidential election.
The article reports:
Justice Department documents released on Friday confirm that the DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” arranged a meeting with journalists in April 2017 to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort.
The documents show that Andrew Weissmann arranged a meeting with DOJ and FBI officials and four Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, just over a month before Mueller was appointed special counsel.
Manafort’s lawyers obtained the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a briefing filed in federal court in Virginia. The attorneys are pushing for a hearing into what they say are possible leaks of secret grand jury information, false information and potentially classified materials from the meeting.
“The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” a lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, wrote in a motion requesting a hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”
The article continues:
The existence of meeting between AP reporters and DOJ officials was first reported in January. The government confirmed it for the first time in a pre-trial hearing held on June 29.
In the hearing, FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Pfeiffer said that the FBI may have conducted a May 2017 raid of a storage locker that Manafort was renting based on a tip from AP reporters. He also said that the purpose of the meeting was for the DOJ and FBI to obtain information from The AP.
Manafort is set to go to trial on July 25 for a slew of money laundering and bank fraud charges related to his consulting work for a Ukrainian politician years before joining the Trump campaign.
Friday’s court filing includes two reports about the April 11, 2017 meeting: one written by Pfeiffer and another written by Supervisory Special Agent Karen Greenaway.
“The meeting was arranged by Andrew Weissmann,” Greenaway wrote in her report, for the first time establishing that Weissmann took part in the meeting.
Greenaway also said that Weissmann provided guidance to the reporters for their investigation. According to Greenaway, Weissmann suggested that the reporters ask the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a Cypriot government agency, if it had provided the Department of Treasury with all of the documents they were legally authorized to provide regarding Manafort.
The AP journalists, Chad Day, Ted Bridis, Jack Gillum and Eric Tucker, were conducting an extensive investigation of Manafort, including payments he received through various shell companies set up in Cyprus.
There are a few things to remember here. Paul Manafort may or may not have committed crimes, but the accusations have to do with events years before he joined the Trump campaign. This is totally out of the jurisdiction of the Special Prosecutor. Meanwhile, Paul Manafort is being held in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison cell for 23 hours a day because correctional officials “cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” Does anyone actually believe this is in accordance with Mr. Manafort’s constitutional rights?
The article also reports:
DOJ officials provided other guidance to the reporters, according to Greenaway’s report. She noted that when the journalists asked DOJ officials to tell them if they were off base in their findings about Manafort, “government attendees confirmed that the AP reporters appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine.”
Downing said that the special counsel’s office has previously confirmed that at the time of the meeting with the AP reporters, “there was an ongoing grand jury investigation of Mr. Manafort in the Eastern District of Virginia.”
In addition to Weissmann, Pfeiffer and Greenaway, Justice Department officials George Mceachern, Ann Brickley and Ariel Shreve attended the meeting.
It is time for Congress to put a stop to this charade. The only solution to this corruption is to change all the documents related to this investigation that were previously classified to unclassified and let the American people see what has gone on. That is the only way the credibility of the FBI and DOJ will recover.
Another Reason FOIA Requests Are Valuable For Providing Transparency
John Solomon at The Hill posted an article on Friday about more information found in the memos recently released to various Senate and House Committees. The memos reveal government agencies misused to achieve a political goal. Thankfully, in spite of all their efforts, that goal has not been achieved. However, I have no doubt that the people behind the attempt to undo the 2016 presidential election have not given up.
Here are some of the highlights of the information in the recently released memos (as noted in the article):
The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page’s travel to Moscow.
The FBI team pounced on what it saw as an opportunity as soon as Page wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey complaining about the “completely false” leak.
“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.
Within weeks, that “pretext” — often a synonym for an excuse — had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.
To date, the former Trump adviser has been accused of no wrongdoing despite being subjected to nearly a year of surveillance.
Some internal memos detail the pressure being applied by the FBI to DOJ prosecutors to get the warrant on Carter Page buttoned up before Election Day.
In one email exchange with the subject line “Crossfire FISA,” Strzok and Lisa Page discussed talking points to get then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking DOJ official to sign off on the warrant.
This group did not give up after the election:
The day after Trump’s surprising win on Nov. 9, 2016, the FBI counterintelligence team engaged in a new mission, bluntly described in another string of emails prompted by another news leak.
“We need ALL of their names to scrub, and we should give them ours for the same purpose,” Strzok emailed Page on Nov. 10, 2016, citing a Daily Beast article about some of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s allegedly unsavory ties overseas.
“Andy didn’t get any others,” Page wrote back, apparently indicating McCabe didn’t have names to add to the “scrub.”
“That’s what Bill said,” Strzok wrote back, apparently referring to then-FBI chief of counterintelligence William Priestap. “I suggested we need to exchange our entire lists as we each have potential derogatory CI info the other doesn’t.” CI is short for confidential informants.
It’s an extraordinary exchange, if for no other reason than this: The very day after Trump wins the presidency, some top FBI officials are involved in the sort of gum-shoeing normally reserved for field agents, and their goal is to find derogatory information about someone who had worked for the president-elect.
The article concludes:
These and other documents are still being disseminated to various oversight bodies in Congress, and more revelations are certain to occur.
Yet, now, irrefutable proof exists that agents sought to create pressure to get “derogatory” information and a “pretext” to interview people close to a future president they didn’t like.
Clear evidence also exists that an investigation into still-unproven collusion between a foreign power and a U.S. presidential candidate was driven less by secret information from Moscow and more by politically tainted media leaks.
And that means the dots between expressions of political bias and official actions just got a little more connected.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that supposedly non-partisan members of the government used the powers of government for political purposes. It is more chilling to realize that at this moment they have not paid for their crimes. Unless someone is held responsible for these crimes, Americans will totally lose faith in what used to be upstanding organizations–the FBI and the Department of Justice.
Why None Of The Normal Rules Apply To The Current Election Cycle
Yesterday Nigel Farage posted an article at the U.K. Telegraph containing his observations on the current American election.
Mr. Farage shares his story and observations:
When I arrived at the Republican Party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, back in July, I was amazed at the reaction to me over the Brexit result. Normally we follow trends in America, not the other way round, but it was clear that many of the delegates saw Brexit as an aspiration for what they see as the Trump “revolution” against the Establishment. I met many others who were not delegates or political anoraks, who were also keen to talk about Brexit. A group of retired US Navy veterans told me we should have done it years ago. Others were less impressed and shouted at me in the streets. Indeed, this weekend while I was in St Louis, I received some proper abuse on the Washington University campus.
…Like him or loathe him, Trump is not a part of the political elite and he most certainly is not constrained by political correctness. When I spoke at one of his rallies in Jackson, Mississippi, I saw a fanatical gathering of his fans who want to give the Establishment a good hiding. “We want our country back” works as a slogan here, too. The first signs of a political rebellion took the form of the Tea Party. The satirist Ian Hislop once described it as rather like Ukip – but with God and guns. They not only railed against the Washington elites, but made the link between big business, Wall Street banks and Washington politics. The same story is behind the growth of new parties across the whole of the European Union and was an important feature in voters’ minds in the UK this June.
Not only did JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs help to fund the Remain campaign but they increasingly give the appearance of owning a whole section of our political class. When Berlusconi was forced to resign as the Italian prime minister, he was replaced by the unelected Mario Monti, a Goldman Sachs man.
…I met many people at the rally in Jackson, Mississippi, who had never voted in their lives. They may produce an upset similar to Brexit. It does not matter what the opinion polls, bookmakers or markets say, because these new voters are hard to measure.
I do not see the Brexit result in isolation. Instead, I believe we are witnessing a popular uprising against failed politics on a global scale. People want to vote for candidates with personality, faults and all. It is the same in the UK, America and much of the rest of Europe. The little people have had enough. They want change.
This is going to be an interesting election. If voter fraud is kept under control, Donald Trump will be our next President. If not, I can’t even imaging the darkness this country will go through–we will no longer be equal under the law–some will permanently be more equal than others. It is not a pretty picture.
How To Skew The Results Of A Poll
Yesterday The European Union Times posted an article about the latest Reuters Presidential Poll. The poll claims 47 percent of Americans support Hillary Clinton for President and 33 percent support Donald Trump for President.
The article states:
Reuters interviews 1201 respondents.
626 Democrats (52% of total)
423 Republicans (35% of total)
30 other party.
That’s nearly 33 percent more Democrats than Republicans.
In reality Gallup reported in March that 46 percent of Americans are Democrats, and 40 percent are Republicans. Reuters freighted their poll with 20 percent more Democrats than Republicans.
Since the Reuters poll sampled more Democrats than all the others combined, we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.
This is the equivalent of my polling 100 cat owners as to whether of not they like cats and concluding from the results that everyone likes cats. Obviously, that is not true. This sort of polling may explain why the polls showed that the vote on Brexit would be for Britain to stay in the European Union. Polls have become a political tool rather than an indication of how people think. People tend to want to be part of the majority, so all the pollsters have to do is convince the voters that a particular candidate the pollsters support is winning.