The Incestuous Swamp

On December 10th, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article which may explain why we are not hearing an awful lot from the Durham investigation.

The article reports:

A top adviser to Attorney General Merrick Garland is facing calls to recuse herself from the Justice Department’s investigation of the Trump-Russia probe, which has looked into the actions of her husband, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Margaret Goodlander serves as counsel to Garland, who oversees Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation. Garland has oversight of Durham’s budget, the scope of the investigation, and the release of a report Durham is believed to be writing. Sullivan, who married Goodlander in 2015, has been referenced in Durham’s indictment of a cybersecurity lawyer who worked for the Clinton campaign. While there is no indication that Durham is targeting Sullivan, the national security adviser could be a witness for the investigation given that he was a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Durham’s report could also reveal embarrassing details about Sullivan’s work on the campaign to dig up dirt on Donald Trump’s possible links to Russia.

A spokesman for the Justice Department said Goodlander “has no role in Mr. Durham’s investigation,” but it is unclear whether she has formally recused herself from the matter or whether the Durham probe is outside her Justice Department portfolio. Fox News reported that Goodlander advises Garland on antitrust and international issues.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and the watchdog group Empower Oversight say Goodlander should be formally recused from the Durham investigation to maintain public trust in the probe.

Maybe I’m missing something, but if your husband is under investigation by the Justice Department, you shouldn’t be working for the Justice Department.

The article concludes:

According to the indictment, Sussmann’s (indicted cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann) former Perkins Coie partner, Marc Elias, in September 2016 briefed Sullivan and others on the Clinton team about his firm’s efforts to investigate the Alfa Bank data. Sullivan days before the election issued a statement that cited the Alfa-Trump allegations as evidence of collusion. It was unknown at the time that the Clinton campaign was investigating the Alfa Bank issue. The FBI later determined that there was no nefarious link between the bank and Trump.

Elias was the attorney who hired Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Durham indicted the primary source for the dossier, Igor Danchenko, on charges that Danchenko lied to the FBI about the identity of his sources. Dancheko allegedly lied by saying that a longtime Democratic operative, Charles Dolan, was not one of his sources.

Grassley and Empower Oversight have pressed the Justice Department over the recusal of another official, Susan Hennessey, who has pushed the false claim that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Hennessey, who serves in the national security division, last year criticized Durham’s investigation, calling it “partisan silliness.”

Grassley said Garland has stonewalled his requests for information about Hennessey and other Justice Department officials’ conflicts of interest.

“I’ve raised concerns about potential conflicts of several Biden Justice Department officials and can’t get a straight answer from the attorney general,” he told the Free Beacon.

The Free Beacon was once a client of Fusion GPS. All of the work Fusion GPS performed for the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product appeared in the Steele dossier. For more information, see here.

The swamp is deeper and has more entangled vines than most of us ever imagined.

 

Harsh Words, But True

The Federalist posted an article today by Fred Fleitz, who is currently president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff of the National Security Council. Fleitz held national security jobs for 25 years with the CIA, DIA, Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. He believes that the only way back to some sort of credibility for America after the Afghanistan fiasco is to replace President Biden’s top national security advisers with experts who have the experience, principles, and gravitas to reverse the damage Biden is doing to our national security and will stand up to future unsound and dangerous decisions by this president.

The article reports:

In a perfect world, Biden would immediately resign, be impeached, or be removed from office under the 25th Amendment for this unprecedented incompetence and dereliction of duty.

To remove the president under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and the majority of the cabinet would need to determine that Biden is unfit for office. Congress would then need to approve that process by a two-thirds vote in both chambers. It is hard to see how a majority of Biden’s cabinet or two-thirds of the Democrat-controlled Congress would agree to such action.

Impeachment would require passage of articles of impeachment by a majority of the House and conviction and removal by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Democrats will not permit this now, but it might be possible in early 2023 if Republicans take control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.

The article notes that removing President Biden from office is probably not possible right now. When you talk about removing President Biden from office, you need to remember that he will be replaced by Vice-President Kamala Harris. At that point, the Democrats lose their 51st tie-breaking vote in the Senate. That fact may partially explain why Joe Biden has not already been removed.

The article reports:

It is pointless now for National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley to claim or leak to the press that they opposed Biden’s decision to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. They knew this decision was wrong and dangerous. They were duty-bound to resign and report Biden’s reckless decision to Congress.

Making this worse, most of Biden’s senior national security advisers are unqualified yes-men. Putting aside buffoonish Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan are third-stringers out of their league. And Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin apparently has so little influence with Biden that the president forgot his name at a press conference.

The article concludes:

Biden’s senseless Afghanistan policy and unmistakable signs of his mental decline strongly suggest he is not capable of serving as commander-in-chief. Democrats almost certainly will not agree to remove him, so their Republican colleagues must pressure them to pursue the next best option: surrounding Biden with highly qualified and principled national security experts who will not tolerate more irrational national security decisions.

To safeguard America’s national security and global leadership, we need bipartisan action now to compel President Biden to take this action.

Our country’s security is in danger as long as Joe Biden is President.

 

Why I Don’t Trust The Mainstream Media

On Saturday, The New York Post posted an article titled, “White House admits it played us for fools to sell Iran deal.”

The article reports:

In an astounding New York Times piece by David Samuels, senior White House officials gleefully confess they use friendly reporters and nonprofits as public relations tools in the selling of President Obama’s foreign policy — and can do it almost at will because these tools are ignorant, will believe what they’re told, will essentially take dictation and are happy to be used just to get the information necessary for a tweet or two.

Their greatest triumph, according to Samuels, was selling a misleading narrative about the nuclear deal with Iran — the parameters of which were set a year before the administration claimed and which had nothing to do with the fact that a supposedly more accommodating government had risen to power.

The mastermind of the Obama machine is Ben Rhodes, a New Yorker who joined the Obama campaign as a speechwriter in 2007 and has risen to become the most influential foreign-policy hand in the White House.

Rhodes drips with contempt for almost everyone but his boss. He consigns all those who do not share every particular of the Obama-Rhodes foreign-policy perspective to a gelatinous mass called “The Blob” — including, Samuels writes, Hillary Clinton.

I have previously written an article about this New York Times piece. However, as the media panic over ending the Iran deal continues, I would like to add a few thoughts to the discussion. First of all, many of the Democrats now yelling that the sky is falling because President Trump pulled out of the deal did not support the deal in the first place. The Iran deal was never given to the Senate as a treaty because the Obama Administration understood that it did not have the votes to pass. So I am not sure if the work of Ben Rhodes was actually successful–the treaty (or non-treaty as it was) never really gained majority approval.

The article at The New York Post concludes:

It was, Samuels says, a deliberately misleading narrative. The general terms were actually hammered out in 2012 by State Department officials Jake Sullivan and William Burns, rooted in Obama’s deep desire from the beginning of the administration to strike a grand deal with the mullahs.

Why on Earth was such conduct remotely acceptable? Because, Samuels makes clear, Rhodes and Obama believe they’re the only sensible thinkers in America and that there’s no way to get the right things done other than to spin them. “I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” he tells Samuels. “But that’s impossible.”

Impossible? There was a sober, reasoned public debate over the Iran deal. Its opponents were deadly serious. In the end, 58 senators voted against it on sober, reasoned grounds.

What the Samuels piece shows is that the Obama administration chose to attempt to get its way not by winning an argument but by bringing an almost fathomless cynicism to bear in manipulating its own clueless liberal fan club.

Would a Hillary Clinton presidency have been any different?