The Charges Listed Are Unbelievable

On Monday, The Postmillennial posted an article about the prosecution’s opening statement during the Trump trial in New York. Basically, President Trump is charged with interfering in the 2016 election by squelching any story about Stormy Daniels. The prosecutor considers this election interference. This is amazing on many levels–the ‘affair’ in question happened in 2006 and 2007. The request for money was made while he was running for President. Why isn’t this blackmail on her part? The irony of this amazes me. Was the Russia Hoax election interference? Was Peter Strzok’s promise to Lisa Page that he would prevent President Trump from being elected election interference? Was the surveillance of Carter Page election interference? Was getting 51 former intelligence agents to call Hunter Biden’s laptop a Russian scheme when they knew it wasn’t election interference? Is this trial election interference? Is it only election interference when a Republican does it?

The article reports:

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo delivered the opening statement for the prosecution, opening by stating, “This case is about criminal conspiracy,” according to ABC News.

Colangelo argued that “The defendant, Donald Trump, orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election.”

He said Trump allegedly plotted with then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and Daniel Pecker, who ran the company that owned The National Enquirer “to influence the presidential election by concealing negative information about former President Trump.”

“The defendant said in his business records that he was paying Cohen for legal services pursuant to a retainer agreement. But those were lies,” Colangelo said. “The defendant was paying him back for an illegal payment to Stormy Daniels on the eve of the election.”

“It starts with that August 2015 meeting in Trump Tower,” Colangelo told the jury, alleging a three-prong conspiracy. 

He alleged that after a meeting between Trump, Cohen, and Pecker, it was determined that the National Enquirer would run “headline after headline that extolled the defendant’s virtues,” according to ABC News.

“Pecker had the ultimate say over publication decisions,” he said, claiming that Trump had edited, killed, and suggested the cover of the magazine. 

If the jury finds President Trump guilty, then we have truly lost justice in America. There is nothing in this case that deserves to be called a felony or that should be tried in a state courtroom.

The Sad Demise Of National Public Radio (NPR)

On Tuesday, Uri Berliner posted an article at The Free Press about his years at National Public Radio (NPR). The article states that the far-left worldview at NPR has not always been there–in recent years it has developed and gotten worse.

The article reports:

Back in 2011, although NPR’s audience tilted a bit to the left, it still bore a resemblance to America at large. Twenty-six percent of listeners described themselves as conservative, 23 percent as middle of the road, and 37 percent as liberal.

By 2023, the picture was completely different: only 11 percent described themselves as very or somewhat conservative, 21 percent as middle of the road, and 67 percent of listeners said they were very or somewhat liberal. We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals. 

An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America. 

That wouldn’t be a problem for an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience. But for NPR, which purports to consider all things, it’s devastating both for its journalism and its business model. 

The article notes the coverage of the Russia Hoax:

Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff. 

Schiff, who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, became NPR’s guiding hand, its ever-present muse. By my count, NPR hosts interviewed Schiff 25 times about Trump and Russia. During many of those conversations, Schiff alluded to purported evidence of collusion. The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports.

But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming. 

The article also mentions Hunter Biden’s laptop:

In October 2020, the New York Post published the explosive report about the laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer shop containing emails about his sordid business dealings. With the election only weeks away, NPR turned a blind eye. Here’s how NPR’s managing editor for news at the time explained the thinking: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.” 

But it wasn’t a pure distraction, or a product of Russian disinformation, as dozens of former and current intelligence officials suggested. The laptop did belong to Hunter Biden. Its contents revealed his connection to the corrupt world of multimillion-dollar influence peddling and its possible implications for his father.

The laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump. 

The article also mentions the political affiliations of the editorial staff at NPR:

So on May 3, 2021, I presented the findings at an all-hands editorial staff meeting. When I suggested we had a diversity problem with a score of 87 Democrats and zero Republicans, the response wasn’t hostile. It was worse. It was met with profound indifference. I got a few messages from surprised, curious colleagues. But the messages were of the “oh wow, that’s weird” variety, as if the lopsided tally was a random anomaly rather than a critical failure of our diversity North Star. 

Please follow the link above to read the entire story. It’s a sad saga of failing to hold to journalistic principles. Unfortunately, we support this slanted media with our tax dollars.

Lady Justice Has Totally Lost Her Blindfold

On Friday, Issues & Insights posted an article about the lawfare that has been aimed at President Trump.

The article reports:

Was the $355 million fine against Donald Trump, for a “crime” that even the judge issuing the ruling admitted hurt no one, a bridge too far?

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul seems to think so, which is why she rushed out to say that other people doing business in New York have nothing to fear: “Law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are businesspeople have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.”

What she should have said is: “if they are different from Donald Trump and his political views.”

Because nothing about this case, or the multitude of other unprecedented legal attacks against the former president — the attempts to kick him off ballots, the two bogus impeachments, the Russia hoax, the endless stream of media mis-reporting — has anything even remotely to do with “upholding the law” or “protecting Democracy.”

These attacks are all a message to anyone who would dare to run as a conservative. Do so, and we will stop at nothing to destroy you.

Because there was no actual ‘victim’ in this ‘crime,’ the money collected will go to the State of New York. Isn’t that special? A state struggling with expenses can simply take money away from one of its leading businessmen.

The article concludes:

What’s been happening since has been a public display of the left’s new, scorched-earth strategy for dealing with the political opposition. It started in the run-up to the 2020 election. As Time magazine so glowingly reported in early 2021, there was a “cross-partisan campaign” to defeat Trump, or as Time put it, “protect the election.”

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.

Since then, the left has added lawfare to its arsenal, which has now reached peak absurdity for the simple reason that Trump refuses to give in. But make no mistake, scalping Trump will only whet the left’s appetite for more scalps.

And who will be there to stop them?

This is where we are:

First They Came  by
Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Is Our Intelligence Intelligent?

On Friday, Pete Hoekstra (Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute, former US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration, served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Second District of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee) posted an article at the Gatestone Institute about the recent failures of America’s intelligence community. As the intelligence community has become politicized, it has lost its effectiveness. I apologize for the length of this post, but what the Ambassador says is very important.

The article notes:

  • The failure of the U.S. intelligence community has three components: 1) It has become politically charged and lost focus on its mission protecting Americans, instead engaging in partisan politics. 2) It continues to focus on technological intelligence collection rather than the difficult and risky world of human intelligence collection. 3) It continues to suffer from a lack of creativity in anticipating and understanding the new threats being developed by our enemies.
  • There is little doubt that the Intelligence Community has become seriously politicized. In 2016-2017, its leaders and the FBI undermined the incoming President Donald Trump by raising the specter of Russian influence over Trump. The disproven Russia hoax would go on to shadow and undermine Trump’s entire time in office.
  • Despite warnings from the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Biden administration failed to anticipate or plan for the dramatic and quick collapse of Afghanistan’s government when U.S. troops were withdrawn.
  • A little more than a week prior to the Hamas attack, Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, was talking-up successes in the Middle East… “the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.”
  • He could not have been more wrong. Boiling just under the surface was a terrorist attack that would result in more than 1,400 Israelis killed, at least 31 Americans killed, atrocities against Israeli civilians that include beheaded babies and babies burned alive…
  • The Intelligence Community also shifted some of its focus from international threats to domestic threats — often spurious — while ignoring the real ticking time bomb of 5.6 million migrants flooding onto the United States through the southern border, in addition to at least 1.5 million known “gotaways” and an unknown number of unknown “gotaways.”
  • The biggest U.S. intelligence failure of all so far, unfortunately, has been strenuously pretending not to know that Iran, Qatar and Turkey are the kingpins behind the current attacks by Hamas on Israel. If Iran, Qatar and Turkey are to be discouraged from continuing their malign actions destabilizing the region, the price they pay needs to be steep. Hamas. Iran, Qatar and Turkey must not be let off the hook. In addition, the US must move its military assets from Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar to the United Arab Emirates as soon as it can.
  • To go just after Hamas is like targeting crime syndicate, but ignoring Al Capone. Hamas needs to be dealt with first – along with the realization that any humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza supplies Hamas, not the people for whom it was well-meaningly intended. As the journalist Caroline Glick points out, the trucks are not inspected. They might be bringing in food and water – or weapons. Sadly, even if the contents are food and water, Hamas keeps them, then sparingly doles them out to whomever they want.
  • Moving forward, we once again need to examine how we do intelligence across the West. Perhaps Congress or a special commission can be established to identify the exact strengths and weaknesses of our intelligence community… and to discard the biased and flawed analytical tradecraft standards that have led us to where we are today.

This Could Get Very Interesting

On Wednesday, Fox News posted the following headline:

GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna seeks $16 million fine against Adam Schiff for ‘lies’ about Trump-Russia collusion

The fine is roughly half the cost of the Trump-Russia probe, which found no collusion

If there are supposed to be consequences for lying to Congress, shouldn’t there be consequences if Congressmen lie to Congress?

The article reports:

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., introduced a resolution that would fine Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., $16 million for his claims that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Luna says that amount is about half of the cost of the federal investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion, which was debunked by special counsel reports from both Robert Mueller and John Durham.

“The GOP Conference agrees that Adam Schiff has betrayed the trust of the American people, purposely abused positions of extreme authority, lied continuously, and as such, must be held to account,” Luna said. “Accordingly, the resolution requires Rep. Schiff to pay a $16 million dollar fine, half of the cost American taxpayers were forced to pay for the Russia hoax investigation.”

…Luna’s resolution said as chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Schiff had a position of “extreme trust” that gave him access to sensitive information not available to other members, but Schiff “abused this trust” by citing evidence of collusion that later special counsel reports showed did not exist.

“By repeatedly telling these falsehoods, Representative Schiff purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people,” the resolution said. It noted that Schiff “lent credibility” to the Steele dossier, supported a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Trump aide Carter Page, and publicly accused Page of being a Russian collaborator.

“Representative Schiff exploited his positions on HPSCI to encourage and excuse abusive intelligence investigations of Americans for political purposes,” it said. “Representative Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.”

I believe that there are a number of people who should be in jail for misusing the Justice Department for political purposes, but that has been going on since J.  Edgar Hoover. However, the people who kept the hoax going and covered up the hoax should pay a price.

The Fix Is In

Many Americans are hopefully watching the trial of Michael Sussmann for indications that our justice system’s principle of all men are equal under the law still applies. Well, don’t get your hopes up too high. If you are following the case, you realize that the prosecution is very carefully laying out the case that the bad people in the Clinton campaign fooled the Justice Department into going along with the Russia hoax. There is no suggestion that the Justice Department was part of the plan. That is the first indication that this trial is a show put on to appease those in America who actually want to see people held responsible for ignoring the civil liberties of their political opponents and lying to the media and the American public. There are also some other indications that the truth is not actually welcome in this trial.

On Friday, Fox News posted the following quote from Jonathan Turley:

JONATHAN TURLEY: Durham faces a lot of challenges in this trial. The judge in the trial has hit the prosecution with limiting orders. This jury pool is a nightmare for the prosecutors. There are three Clinton donors on the jury. In the last 24 hours, the judge turned down a motion to dismiss a juror whose daughter is actually playing on the same team with the daughter of Sussmann. So I think for the prosecutors, it seems like the only thing that is missing on the jury is Chelsea Clinton. A jury of your peers is not supposed to mean other Clinton people. And so, I think that the prosecutors have quite a challenge with this pool.

If I am ever charged with a crime, can I get a jury of my friends? How likely is that?

There Will Be No Consequences, But The Truth Does Matter

Slowly but surely, documents from the Russian Hoax are being declassified. These documents tell a story that is very different from the one told to Congress by the people involved. Unfortunately, most of the bureaucrats who lied under oath to Congress will probably never be held accountable for their lies.

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about a recent document that was declassified.

The article reports:

The very day in January 2017 that then-FBI Director James Comey signed a FISA surveillance warrant application declaring content from Christopher Steele’s dossier had been “verified,” he wrote President Obama’s outgoing intelligence community chief with a very different assessment of the British spy’s intelligence on Russia collusion, a newly released memo shows.

“We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting,” Comey wrote in a Jan. 12, 2017 email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was declassified and made public through an open records lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

The memo recounts an internal debate inside the U.S. intelligence community during one of the most delicate moments in the FBI’s then six-month old Crossfire Hurricane probe.

CIA officials had already informed Comey’s FBI that the target of the FISA warrant, Carter Page, wasn’t a Russian spy but rather an asset helping U.S. intelligence. The bureau had received warnings about Steele and the reliability of his source network, including that it might have been compromised by Russian disinformation. Agents had also just recommended on Jan. 4, 2017 shutting down the probe’s inquiry into incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lack of evidence.

The FBI had been warned the previous summer that Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have planted the false Russia collusion story as a way to “vilify” Trump and distract from her email scandal, and agents were about to interview Steele’s primary sub-source, who would discount much of the information in the dossier attributed to him as bar talk and unconfirmed rumor not worthy of official intelligence.

The article concludes:

The FBI also failed to disclose to the FISA judge that the source known as Person 1 was under a separate counterintelligence investigation by the FBI, the IG report footnotes show.

In fact on Jan. 12, 2017, the very day Comey signed the FISA and engaged with Clapper, the FBI had received clear warnings in a report that some of Steele’s dossier information about Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was “part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations,” according to another declassified footnote from the IG report.

In other words, Comey’s representations to Clapper and sworn avowals of verification to the FISA court had already been directly undercut by his bureau’s own evidence.

Unfortunately I have no doubt that the illegal surveillance of American citizens is continuing under the Biden administration. Because there were no consequences under the Obama administration for these actions, there really is no incentive to end the illegal behavior.

 

Occasionally The Fake News Gets Called Out

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a recent award given to The New York Times for their podcast series “Caliphate.”

The article reports:

The paper of record announced this weekend that Caliphate, its award-winning 10-part podcast series on the Islamic State, contains “significant falsehoods and other discrepancies.”

The disclosure concludes an internal investigation launched this year after Canadian officials charged the podcast’s central narrative character with lying about his supposed involvement with the terrorist group.

Absent the testimony of the accused hoaxer, Canadian resident Shehroze Chaudhry, who spoke to the New York Times under the pseudonym “Abu Huzayfah,” there is not much left to the Caliphate podcast. Indeed, the show’s most gripping and grizzly “reporting” on ISIS’s operations in Syria relied entirely on the say-so of a supposed “executioner” who most likely has never even been to Syria.

“We fell in love with the fact that we had gotten a member of ISIS who would describe his life in the caliphate and would describe his crimes,” New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet explained this week in an interview with NPR.

The article concludes:

Caliphate won the 2018 Peabody Award. The New York Times has already returned it. The Overseas Press Club has also rescinded the podcast’s Lowell Thomas Award.

Man, what a year for the paper of record.

From publishing Chinese communist propaganda, to getting it wrong on coronavirus vaccine readiness, to losing top opinion editors following a temper tantrum thrown by newsroom staffers, to having nearly its entire bench of columnists suffer a collective nervous breakdown ahead of Election Day, to pretending still as if its fraudulent 1619 Project is not an abject embarrassment, 2020 has been as lousy a year for the New York Times as it has been for everyone else.

Actually, this was a careless, innocent mistake. I can’t say the same for much of their other reporting. They have never done a fair job of reporting on President Trump, and they did their best to convince people that Joe Biden was capable of handling the office of president. I really don’t feel sad that they had to give up their Peabody Award. They should also give up the Pulitzer Prize they won for their false reporting on the Russia hoax during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.