This Seems Very Questionable To Me

The Hill reported yesterday that billionaire Michael Bloomberg has reportedly raised more than $16 million in an effort to help convicted felons in Florida register to vote.

The article notes:

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimated Bloomberg’s fundraising push has already paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons, Axios reported

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” a Bloomberg spokesperson told the news outlet. “Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”

Florida passed a law in 2018 reinstating voting rights for felons that dictated they could register only if they pay all fines, fees and restitution — sometimes totaling more than $1,000 — owed to the government. 

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Florida, last week ruled to uphold the law. 

Last week, several television networks also pledged to donate money to the cause. 

Bloomberg, who ran in the Democratic primary for president, has endorsed the party’s nominee, Joe Biden, and has donated at least $100 million to the former vice president’s campaign to defeat President Trump

This may not be illegal, but it definitely is sleazy. I wonder how the average resident of Florida feels about this.

 

 

Symbolism Over Substance

Yesterday WRKO AM 680 posted an article about a recent directive from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The article reports:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking seriously Gov. Tony Evers’ order that everybody in the state must wear a mask while indoors. The department sent out an email to employees reminding them of the order, which took effect on August 1.

In addition to wearing masks while working at DNR facilities or in the field, Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole told employees they should also wear one while on video conference calls, even if they are home alone.

Are they afraid the computers will catch the virus? Seriously, this is an employer attempting to control the actions of employees while the employees are in their own homes. That sets an awful precedent.

The article continues:

“Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff,” Cole wrote, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Set the safety example which shows you as a DNR public service employee care about the safety and health of others.”

The agency said they want their employees to set an example to others and demonstrate how vital it is to wear a mask in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“By wearing a mask while video conferencing with the general public, we visually remind folks that masking is an important part of navigating the business of natural resources during this tumultuous time,” DNR spokeswoman Megan Sheridan told McClatchy News.

She also said that the agency is concerned that screen grabs of high-ranking employees not wearing masks could be misconstrued to insinuate that they are not following the governor’s order.

On August 7th, The Hill reported the following:

An Illinois school district is cracking down on remote learning dress codes, disallowing students from wearing pajamas while attending online classes.

The Springfield Public Schools Board of Education approved the district’s new handbook this week, which applies in-person dress codes to remote learning settings, NBC News reported.

“We don’t need students in pajamas and all those other things while on their Zoom conference,” Director of School Support Jason Wind said during a virtual school board meeting on Monday.

Does anyone else feel that this is a bit intrusive? I really don’t like the idea of any government agency trying to control what I wear or don’t wear in my own home.

Bad Reporting Is One Of The Things That

Today The Gateway Pundit posted an article that illustrates how misquoting a person can create a totally false impression of the person and of what was said. The thing to keep in mind here is that the mainstream media attacks those who it considers to be a future threat to their narrative and their hold on power.

The article reports:

The far left media is making up completely fraudulent quotes now to smear the Republicans.

The Hill reported on Saturday that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem called the removal of Confederate statues was an effort to “discredit” our Founding Fathers.

This would be quite a quote if it was true.
But it’s not true.
It was completely made up to make the popular Republican governor and the Republican party look racist and stupid.

The tweet is still up over 24 hours later.

The article posts the actual quote:

Here are Governor Noem’s actual words:

“Across America these last several weeks, we have been witnessing a very troubling situation unfold. In real time, we are watching an organized, coordinated campaign to remove and eliminate all references to our nation’s founding and many other points in our history. The approach focuses exclusively on our forefathers’ flaws, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity to learn from their virtues. Make no mistake, this is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them so that America can be remade into a different political image.”

As you can see, there is no reference to the Confederacy or the statues. This is a blatant attempt to stop the forward political progress of a woman who has served her state well, both in Congress and as Governor. This is the sort of reporting that divides rather than informs.

An Alternative View From A Doctor

Dr.

The article states:

The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be entering the containment phase. Tens of thousands of Americans have died, and Americans are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts. Leaders must examine accumulated data to see what has actually happened, rather than keep emphasizing hypothetical projections; combine that empirical evidence with fundamental principles of biology established for decades; and then thoughtfully restore the country to function.

Dr. Atlas lists five key facts that he feels are being ignored as the lockdown continues:

(the above summation of Dr. Atlas’ statement was posted in The Daily Caller on Friday).

The article at The Hill concludes:

The appropriate policy, based on fundamental biology and the evidence already in hand, is to institute a more focused strategy like some outlined in the first place: Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions. This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation. Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.

It’s time for common sense to make a comeback.

 

 

This Story Needs To Stay In The News Until The Truth Is Found

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article today about the death of Philip Haney. The police department that handled the case is expressing doubts that the death was a suicide.

The article reports:

Authorities have backtracked on initial reports that a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower committed suicide after his body was found with a gunshot wound by a California highway.

Philip Haney, who spoke out against his own agency during the Obama administration, was found dead in Plymouth, about 40 miles east of Sacramento, last Friday. 

His body was found in a park and ride area near Highway 16 and Highway 124.

The Amador County Sheriff’s Office initially said the 66-year-old was found with what appeared to be a ‘self-inflicted gunshot wound’.

They also said a firearm had been found next to Haney and his vehicle. 

The sheriff’s office have since described those initial reports as ‘misinformation’ and said they have asked the FBI for assistance in investigating Haney’s death. 

Let’s hope they get the honest FBI and not the deep state FBI.

The article reports information that might hold some clues to the cause of death:

Haney gained national attention in 2016 when he criticized the agency – which at the time was under the Obama administration – for its handling of radical Jihadists and Islamic extremists.

He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the DHS ordered him in 2009 to delete hundreds of files that showed links between people and Islamic terror groups.

The whistleblower testified that several terror attacks in the U.S. could have been thwarted if some of those files had not been deleted. 

In an opinion piece for the Hill prior to his testimony, Haney wrote: ‘It is very plausible that one or more of the subsequent terror attacks on the homeland could have been prevented if more subject matter experts in the Department of Homeland Security had been allowed to do our jobs back in late 2009.

‘It is demoralizing – and infuriating – that today, those elusive dots are even harder to find, and harder to connect, than they were during the winter of 2009.’

At the time of Haney’s testimony, Republicans questioned former Obama-era DHS Secretary Jet Johnson about the allegations.

Senator Ted Cruz asked: ‘Was Mr Haney’s testimony that the Department of Homeland Security order over 800 documents… altered or deleted accurate?’

Johnson replied he had ‘no idea’ and denied knowing who Haney was.

‘I don’t know who Mr Haney is. I wouldn’t know him if he walked into the room,’ he said. 

Hopefully Mr. Haney left the information for his next book with a reliable person.

I don’t believe that Philip Haney committed suicide. I hope the investigation will be kept open until authorities know exactly what did happen.

Unnecessary Disrespect

The New York Post posted an article about Speaker Pelosi ripping up the President’s State of the Union Speech. The article includes a video showing her making small rips in the speech while the President was speaking. I don’t know if her gesture of ripping up the speech was planned before the speech, but it was definitely planned during the speech.

Jonathan Turley posted an article at The Hill today stating his thoughts on Speaker Pelosi’s actions.

The article reports:

The House has its share of infamies, great and small, real and symbolic, and has been the scene of personal infamies from brawls to canings. But the conduct of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the State of the Union address this week will go down as a day of infamy for the chamber as an institution. It has long been a tradition for House Speakers to remain stoic and neutral in listening to the address. However, Pelosi seemed to be intent on mocking President Trump from behind his back with sophomoric facial grimaces and head shaking, culminating in her ripping up a copy of his address.

Her drop the mic moment will have a lasting impact on the House. While many will celebrate her trolling of the president, she tore up something far more important than a speech. Pelosi has shredded decades of tradition, decorum and civility that the nation could use now more than ever. The House Speaker is more than a political partisan, particularly when carrying out functions such as the State of the Union address. A president appears in the House as a guest of both chambers of Congress. The House Speaker represents not her party or herself but the entirety of the chamber. At that moment, she must transcend her own political ambitions and loyalties.

The article concludes:

Pelosi has demolished decades of tradition with this poorly considered moment. Of course, many will celebrate her conduct and be thrilled by the insult to Trump. However, even those of us who disagree with his policies should consider what Pelosi destroyed in her moment of rage. She shredded the pretense of governing with civility and dignity in the House. Notably, she did not wait to rip up her copy of the speech until after she left the House floor. Pelosi wanted to do it at the end of the speech, in front of the camera, with the president still in the chamber.

That act was more important to Pelosi than preserving the tradition of her office. In doing so, she forfeited the right to occupy that office. If Pelosi cannot maintain the dignity and neutrality of her office at the State of the Union, she should resign as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I don’t see her resigning, but the next time the Democrats claim that President Trump is dividing the country, we need to remind them that they need to look in the mirror.

Ignoring The Real Purpose Of Government

Theoretically the purpose of our government is to secure the rights of the people. It’s not supposed to limit our rights–we are supposed to limit government’s power. There are, however, some basic responsibilities of government. One of those responsibilities is infrastructure. However, Congress is so busy trying to undo the 2016 presidential election that they are neglecting more pressing items.

Yesterday The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Scores of US dams found in poor condition, endangering thousands of people: analysis.” If I remember correctly, President Trump has asked Congress to work with him on an infrastructure bill, but Congress has been busy doing other things.

The article reports:

Scores of dams in the U.S. are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal and state data.

The AP found in its two-year investigation that 1,688 dams were classified as high-hazard, meaning their failure could result in people’s deaths, and that thousands of people are at risk.  

The article concludes:

Overall, the number of deaths from dam failures has decreased since the 1970s, when state governments improved their oversight, the AP reported. It also cited Stanford University research that showed  about 1,000 dams have collapsed in the past 40 years, resulting in 34 deaths. The average age of dams across the country is 50 years old, the AP reported.

The White House named an infrastructure week in 2017, which was quickly overshadowed by the hearing for former FBI Director James Comey. Attempts to refocus on infrastructure in the next two years have not produced results.

Obviously it is time to elect a Congress that will pay attention to the safety of the American people.

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

The Story The Media Does Not Want You To Hear

John Solomon at The Hill has done an amazing job of investigating the corruption of the deep state that is aligned against President Trump. On Monday he posted an article about some recent documents uncovered.

The article reports:

Earlier this month, during a bipartisan meeting in Kiev, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) delivered a pointed message to Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

While choosing his words carefully, Murphy made clear — by his own account — that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid but that could be jeopardized if the new president acquiesced to requests by President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

Murphy boasted after the meeting that he told the new Ukrainian leader that U.S. aid was his country’s “most important asset” and it would be viewed as election meddling and “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations” to bend to the wishes of Trump and Giuliani.

“I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them,” Murphy told me today, confirming what he told Ukraine’s leader.

The implied message did not require an interpreter for Zelensky to understand: Investigate the Ukraine dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and you jeopardize Democrats’ support for future U.S. aid to Kiev.

The article continues:

The political pressure continued. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in crucial U.S. aid to Kiev if Poroshenko did not fire the country’s chief prosecutor. Ukraine would have been bankrupted without the aid, so Poroshenko obliged on March 29, 2016, and fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

At the time, Biden was aware that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma, the firm employing Hunter Biden, after a December 2015 New York Times article.

What wasn’t known at the time, Shokin told me recently, was that Ukrainian prosecutors were preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the monies he was receiving from Ukraine. If such an interview became public during the middle of the 2016 election, it could have had enormous negative implications for Democrats.

Democrats continued to tap Ukraine for Trump dirt throughout the 2016 election, my reporting shows.

Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior U.S. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, worked in 2016 as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the same Hillary Clinton–funded opposition research firm that hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who wrote the now-debunked dossier linking Trump to Russia collusion.

Nellie Ohr testified to Congress that some of the dirt she found on Trump during her 2016 election opposition research came from a Ukrainian parliament member. She also said that she eventually took the information to the FBI through her husband — another way Ukraine got inserted into the 2016 election.

Politics. Pressure. Opposition research. All were part of the Democrats’ playbook on Ukraine long before Trump ever called Zelensky this summer. And as Sen. Murphy’s foray earlier this month shows, it hasn’t stopped.

The article concludes:

The evidence is so expansive as to strain the credulity of the Democrats’ current outrage at Trump’s behavior with Ukraine.

Which raises a question: Could it be the Ukraine tale currently being weaved by Democrats and their allies in the media is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to distract us from the forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report into abuses during the Democratic-inspired Russia collusion probe?

It’s a question worth asking.

Wow.

Paper Ballots Might Be A Good Idea

Yesterday The Hill reported that state officials in Mississippi have confirmed at least three reports of voting machines in two counties changing voters’ picks in the GOP gubernatorial primary runoff.

The article reports:

Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are currently in a runoff for the Republican nomination in the governor’s race to see who will take on Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the November general election. Reeves led Waller in the Aug. 6 balloting by a 49-33 margin, though the race went to a runoff after no candidate hit 50 percent.

The issues emerged Tuesday morning, with one Facebook user posting a video showing a touch-screen voting machine changing their selection from Waller to Reeves.

“It is not letting me vote for who I want to vote for,” the voter says in the video. “How can that happen?” a woman in the background asks.

…Two other machines in Calhoun County exhibited the same issue of switching voters’ selection from Waller to Reeves, circuit clerk Carlton Baker told the Ledger.

All three machines in question are of the same model.

“We’re doing what we can to rectify the situation,” Baker said.

Voting machines that change votes need to be gone by 2020. It might be the right time to go back to paper ballots.

Moving American Energy Forward

The Hill posted an article yesterday stating that the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the public interest.

The article reports:

The decision paves the way for construction to begin on the heavily stalled gas pipeline project.

Environmental groups who challenged the permit in court denounced the ruling Friday as failing to consider the environmental impacts of the pipeline’s construction.

“It’s disappointing that the court ignored key concerns about property rights and irreparable damage to natural resources, including threats to the endangered whooping crane, but today’s ruling does nothing to change the fact that Keystone XL faces overwhelming public opposition and ongoing legal challenges and simply never will be built,” said Ken Winston, attorney for the Nebraska Sierra Club, in a statement.

“The fight to stop this pipeline is far from over.”

The pipeline still faces further hurdles, including a federal lawsuit in Montana seeking to block construction there, as well as ongoing opposition from Native American tribes throughout Nebraska and South Dakota that have pledged to protest if construction is approved. 

The 1,179-mile pipeline has been in commission since 2010.

Former President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline plan, which aims to transport crude oil from Canada through the U.S., but it was revived under Trump, who approved a permit in 2017.

When President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, he was providing additional income for his friend Warren Buffett.

In April 2014, I reported:

The friendship between President Obama and Warren Buffett is not news. Warren Buffett supported President Obama’s tax increase proposals saying that his secretary paid higher taxes than he did. The failure of the Obama Administration to permit the Keystone Pipeline to be built allows the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, to transport the oil (see rightwinggranny.com) from the oil fields to other areas of the United States.

One thing to consider when evaluating the pipeline is the fact that the pipeline is actually the safest way to transport the oil. Pipelines have better environmental safety records than trucks or trains.

As America moves to solidify its energy independence, the Keystone XL Pipeline will be an important part of that effort. Those opposing it are working against the American economy and against American national security.

Knowing Where The Bodies Are Buried

Insiders in Washington who are honest have a pretty good idea what went into the framing of candidate Trump (and President Trump) as a Russian agent. Many of them have remained relatively quiet for various reasons–not wanting to leak classified information, not wanting to get ahead of the story, and waiting for more information to come out. Well, it seems as if we may finally getting near some of that information.

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday listing ten items that should be declassified that will turn what we have heard from the mainstream media on its head.

This is the list:

  1. Christopher Steele’s confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier.
  2. The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November.
  3. The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources. We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election.
  4. The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele’s dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016.
  5. Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes’s five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason.
  6. The ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative.
  7. The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors.
  8. The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ’s inspector general interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS.
  9. The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had started and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
  10. Records of allies’ assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas — possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy — were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence.

If what went on here were not so serious, it would be a major get-out-the-popcorn moment. However, the biggest questions is, “How much of this will the major media report when it is released?”

We Now Have The Proof

On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud. The article pointed out that some members of Congress were aware that Joseph Mifsud was an American asset. The Mueller Report describes him as a Russian spy. Well, that was the beginning clue that something might be wrong. Now we have the evidence.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about an interview by Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. Ms. Bartiromo interviewed John Solomon of The Hill.

The article reports:

The two discussed John Solomon’s latest interview with CIA operative Joseph Mifsud’s attorneys.

According to Mr. Mifsud’s attorneys their client was working for the CIA and was NOT a Russian operative as reported by the Mueller witch hunt team of liars.

Maria Bartiromo: We know that there were informants thrown at certain Trump campaign people, like George Papadopoulos. George Papadopoulos was on this show and he told me directly on this show that Mifsud was the guy they wanted him to meet in Italy… That is the individual who told him that Russia has emails on Hillary Clinton. Why is that important, John?

John Solomon: Well, I interviewed Mr. Mifsud’s lawyer the other day, Stefan Rowe, and he told me and also provided me some deposition evidence to both Congress and myself that his client was being directed and long worked with Western intelligence. And he was being directed specifically, he was asked to connect George Papadopoulos to Russia, meaning it was an operation, some form of intelligence operation. That was the lawyer’s own words for this. If that’s the case that means the flash point the started the whole investigation was in fact manufactured from the beginning.

The use of Joseph Mifsud in this manner is an example of blatant misuse of intelligence operations for political purposes. All of those involved need to be charged with violating the civil rights of various people in the Trump campaign. They need to be punished so that this will not happen again.

More Questions Than Answers

On Saturday, Jeffrey Epstein, an inmate at Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan, was found unresponsive in his cell. He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead. There are a lot of questions surrounding these events. There are very few answers available.

The New York Post reported yesterday:

The following account is from a former inmate of the Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan, where Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive Saturday, and declared dead at a hospital of an apparent suicide. The ex-convict, who spoke to The Post’s Brad Hamilton and Bruce Golding on the condition of anonymity, spent several months in the 9 South special housing unit for high-profile prisoners awaiting trial — like Epstein.

There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility.

Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.

You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.

When you’re on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves.

…But it’s my firm belief that Jeffrey Epstein did not commit suicide. It just didn’t happen.

Breitbart reported yesterday:

Rudy Giuliani reacted to Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged suicide Saturday morning, asking a series of questions about his death and stating, “Committing suicide on suicide watch doesn’t happen.”

Authorities found the convicted pedophile dead in his cell early Saturday morning, according to several reports.

Epstein committed suicide via hanging, according to reports from the New York Times and ABC News. The Associated Press reported that the “medical examiner’s office in Manhattan confirmed Epstein’s death.”

Many, including Giuliani, have questions.

“What does the word suicide mean in the phrase suicide WATCH? Who was watching? Did they fall asleep? Did the camera malfunction? Was there camera surveillance? Who was he about to implicate?” Giuliani tweeted Saturday.

Yesterday Bernie Kerik, former first deputy and commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and former commissioner of the New York (City) Police Department, posted an article at The Hill about the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

Commissioner Kerik notes:

The crime here — in my mind, with what is known at this point — is that Epstein was placed in solitary confinement at all. The government often uses every tool in its power to ensure you never have a fair day’s fight in court, including the use of psychological tools to force you to plead guilty or to force you to cooperate with the government.

Solitary confinement is one of those tools. It is a mechanism to demean, degrade and demoralize a prisoner. The mind-altering seclusion of “solitary” will force a prisoner into a deep depression from which, for some, there is no return.

Only time will tell if that’s what happened with Epstein or if something more sinister occurred.

But one thing already is crystal clear: There are flaws and failures in the U.S. criminal justice system that should disturb all of us. And in Jeffrey Epstein’s case, none of it makes any sense.

Right now we have questions, not answers. Hopefully in the future we will get some answers.

Doxing Is Illegal

A website called Subliminal Ridge posted the following about doxing in 2012:

Doxing is always illegal, whether it is done against a federal employee, a state employee, or a regular person. There are federal and state laws that specifically address doxing government employees. With regular citizens, doxing falls under various state criminal laws, such as stalking, cyberstalking, harassment, threats, and other such laws, depending on the state. Since these doxing threats and activities are made on the internet, the law of any state may be invoked, though most often an investigator will look to the state in which the person making the threat is located, if this is known, or the state in which the victim is situated. A state prosecutor can only prosecute violations of the laws of his or her own state, and of acts that extend into their state. When acts are on the internet, they extend into all the states.

 Misinformation was spread that doxing is legal. I am not sure how or why anyone fell for that misinformation. Surely, people must understand instinctively, even if they were misled about the law, that if they are threatening someone or putting them at risk, or tormenting or harassing the other on the internet, that this must be illegal. Common sense would tell you that bullying or jeopardizing another would be illegal in some way. So yes, doxing is illegal, no matter who the target.

Meanwhile The Hill reports:

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Wednesday was pressed by MSNBC’s Willie Geist after he used his Twitter account earlier in the week to identify a number of people who had made the maximum allowable donations to President Trump‘s campaign.

Geist said that the Trump donors “are undoubtedly already being harassed online or perhaps face-to-face in some cases” because of Castro’s actions. 

Castro, the brother of 2020 Democratic hopeful Julián Castro and chairman of his campaign, faced pushback on Tuesday from a number of conservatives for sharing the list of names. He said he published the names because he hopes that people “will think twice about contributing to [Trump’s] campaign.”

“What I hope is that this has started a conversation about what exactly Donald Trump is doing with these people’s money,” Joaquin Castro explained. “And I hope donors in San Antonio and donors throughout the country, unless you support the white nationalism and the racism that Donald Trump is paying for and fueling, then I hope that you, as a person of good conscience, will think twice about contributing to his campaign.”

The article concludes:

Geist pushed back again later, pointing to Castro’s comments that President Trump’s rhetoric has led to violence.

“If you agree rhetoric can lead to incitement, even if it triggers one person to do something terrible, does it give you any pause to put these names out in public?” Geist asked.

“Well, Willie, they’re already public, they’re already out there,” Castro responded.

“There are 11 retirees and one homemaker who are not public,” Geist noted.

“And this was already circulating. I shared it, so I didn’t create the graphic,” Castro replied.

“Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Brzezinski defended Castro earlier in the interview, with the latter arguing that Castro was only “reframing” public information.

“If you’re proud of funding President Trump, you need to understand that that will be public information. And all you’re doing is trying to explain what it is in terms of the policies or the morals that you are funding,” Brzezinski said.

Geist is also the anchor “Sunday Today with Willie Geist.”

You can’t draw a straight line from anything President Trump has said to violence. If any one of the people Castro listed are harassed or bullied, Castro is directly responsible. Mr. Casto, you need to be charged with a crime.

The House Of Representatives Accomplished Something Good

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the bill titled, “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, but was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations on March 25, 2019. No further action has been taken on the Senate bill.

The final vote was 398 yeas, 17 nays, 5 voting present, and 12 not voting. (The numbers are from the U.S. House of Representatives website.)

The article at The Hill notes:

The resolution’s opponents included progressive freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who support the BDS movement.

House Democratic leaders brought the resolution to the floor under a fast-track process that required a two-thirds majority for passage and limited debate to 40 minutes. No one spoke in opposition to the resolution during the allotted debate, but the two progressives delivered floor speeches earlier in the day to express why they’d vote against it.

Tlaib, citing her family’s Palestinian roots, said she “can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”

Someone should point out to Tlaib that Palestinians have full rights in Israel. They are more free and more prosperous than the Palestinians that live anywhere outside of Israel.

The article continues:

Lawmakers opposed to BDS stressed that the boycott movement against Israel is unlike other boycotts in American history, arguing that it espouses anti-Semitic views and undermines the prospects for peace in the long-running Palestinian conflict

“Here’s the thing about the global BDS movement: I don’t believe it promotes racial justice or social change at all. It promotes a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seeks to marginalize Israel, that would deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said during floor debate.

“You want to criticize a government, that’s your right. You want to stop buying products from a certain country, that’s also your right. But participating in an international commercial effort that undermines Israel’s legitimacy and scuttles the chances of a two-state solution isn’t the same as an individual exercising First Amendment rights,” Engel added.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have illustrated the fact in recent years that they are not interested in becoming a positive member of the global community. In 2005 Israel removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip and turned the land over to the Arabs. Up until that point the Gaza Strip was the home of greenhouses that supplied fruit and vegetables around the world and had a flourishing economy. The first thing the Arabs did was destroy the greenhouses (and thus destroyed the basis for the thriving economy). Since that time the Gaza Strip has been used as a base for firing rockets and building terrorist tunnels into Israel. Money given to the Arabs that was earmarked for humanitarian purposes has been instead used to buy weapons and build tunnels. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully in a two-state solution–they want to destroy Israel.

The following is taken from an article I posted in January 2018:

Until the Palestinians stop training their children to kill Jews, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The BDS Movement is simply another way to attack Israel. I am glad most of the House of Representatives understood that.

The Plot Thickens

On Monday, John Solomon posted an article at The Hill stating that in early June 2017 prosecutor Andrew Weissmann quietly reached out to the American lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with a tempting offer: Give us some dirt on Donald Trump in the Russia case, and Team Mueller might make his 2014 U.S. criminal charges go away. Wow.

The article further reports:

The DOJ, Mueller’s office and Weissmann did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment on Monday.

At first blush, one might ask, “What’s the big deal?” It’s not unusual for federal prosecutors to steal a page from Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal” script during plea negotiations. 

But Weissmann’s overture was wrapped with complexity and intrigue far beyond the normal federal case, my sources indicate.

At the time, pressure was building inside the DOJ and the FBI to find smoking-gun evidence against Trump in the Russia case because the Steele dossier — upon which the early surveillance warrants were based — was turning out to be an uncorroborated mess. (“There’s no big there there,” lead FBI agent Pete Strzok texted a few days before Weissmann’s overture.)

Likewise, key evidence that the DOJ used to indict Firtash on corruption charges in 2014 was falling apart. Two central witnesses were in the process of recanting testimony, and a document the FBI portrayed as bribery evidence inside Firtash’s company was exposed as a hypothetical slide from an American consultant’s PowerPoint presentation, according to court records I reviewed.

In other words, the DOJ faced potential embarrassment in two high-profile cases when Weissmann made an unsolicited approach on June 4, 2017, that surprised even Firtash’s U.S. legal team.

To some, the offer smacked of being desperately premature. Mueller was appointed just two weeks earlier, did not even have a full staff selected, and was still getting up to speed on the details of the investigation. So why rush to make a deal when the prosecution team still was being selected, some wondered.

Please follow the link to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

Weissmann long has been a favorite target of conservatives, in part because his earlier work as a prosecutor in the Enron case was overturned unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court because of overly aggressive prosecutorial tactics. Former DOJ official Sidney Powell strongly condemned Weissmann’s past work as a prosecutor in “Licensed to Lie,” a book critical of DOJ’s pressure tactics. 

It is now clear that Weissmann’s overture to a Ukrainian oligarch in the summer of 2017 is about to take on new significance in Washington, where Mueller is about to testify, and in Austria, where Firtash’s extradition fight has taken a new twist.

This is reminiscent of Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police. He told Stalin, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”.  It seems as if that was the approach of the Mueller investigation of President Trump, regardless of who was actually leading the investigation.

A Vote That Will Illustrate The Lack Of Unity Among The Democrats

Yesterday The Hill reported that the House of Representatives will vote today to oppose the global boycott movement against Israel [known as the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) Movement].

The article reports:

Most Democrats in the House oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, an international campaign meant to exert pressure on Israel over treatment of the Palestinians. Critics say it would isolate and harm Israel, which retains strong support in Congress from both parties.

But the BDS movement has support in Congress from some progressives, including Omar, who has offered her own resolution affirming the rights of Americans to participate in boycotts meant to promote human rights either in the United States or other countries.

Omar has cited boycotts of Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa in making the case for her resolution — comparisons that have drawn the ire of Israel’s supporters.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican who has frequently gone after Omar, criticized the Minnesotan’s resolution in a tweet last week for having the “nerve to claim moral equivalency between boycotting Nazi Germany and boycotting Israel.”

“Disgraceful,” Zeldin wrote.

The battle over the BDS movement on the House floor also comes as Omar has seen extraordinary attacks from President Trump, who in the last eight days has called her anti-American and anti-Israel, and tweeted that she and three of her congressional allies should “go back” to where they came from. Three of the congresswomen targeted by the tweet were born in the United States, while Omar was born in Somalia.

The article continues:

The resolution to formally oppose it has nearly 350 co-sponsors and is expected to pass easily with widespread bipartisan support. About three-quarters of House Democrats have co-sponsored the resolution authored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), while close to 90 percent of Republicans have signed on. 

Democratic leaders, conscious of the intraparty debate, are bringing the anti-BDS resolution to the floor under a fast-track process, known as suspension of the rules, that requires a two-thirds supermajority for passage with only 40 minutes of debate — a briefer period that will cut down on the theatrics of a divided party.

Omar isn’t alone in opposing the resolution.

Another Israel critic, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), co-sponsored Omar’s resolution. Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, earlier this month called the resolution opposing BDS “unconstitutional,” saying it seeks to “silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians.”

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is a co-sponsor of Omar’s resolution affirming the right to participate in boycotts, which doesn’t mention the BDS movement, but is also co-sponsoring the measure opposing BDS.  

It is not a coincidence that the two Muslim women in Congress are sponsoring a resolution that is anti-Israel. The fact that these women were elected to Congress from their districts should cause us to reevaluate how well we are assimilating the refugees we take in. Refugees who assimilate are a wonderful addition to our country. Refugees who do not assimilate who form political blocs that are inconsistent with the history and beliefs of our country often create problem areas.

There Is Always A Problem With A House Of Cards

On Tuesday, John Solomon posted an opinion piece at The Hill that is going to create problems for those diehards still trying to justify the political use of the intelligence community under President Obama. As we all remember, the Steele Dossier was the main justification for spying on the Trump campaign (and the transition team and the entire administration in its early days). We all know that the Steele Dossier was political opposition research. Some of us wonder how the FBI and the FISA Court did not know that fact (or if they did and chose to ignore it). Well, we are finally getting answers.

The Hill notes:

Some in the news media have tried in recent days to rekindle their long-lost love affair with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his now infamous dossier.

The main trigger was a lengthy interview in June with the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, which some news outlets suggested meant U.S. officials have found Steele, the former Hillary Clinton-backed political muckraker, to be believable. 

“Investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising,” Politico crowed. The Washington Post went even further, suggesting Steele’s assistance to the inspector general might “undermine Trumpworld’s alt-narrative” that the Russia-collusion investigation was flawed.

For sure, Steele may have valuable information to aid Justice’s internal affairs probe into misconduct during the 2016 Russia election probe. His dossier alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow ultimately was disproven, but not before his intelligence was used to secure a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election.  

…Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele’s claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier’s claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

The article concludes:

Even State officials, who listened to Steele’s theories in October 2016 – less than two weeks before his dossier was used to support the FISA request – instantly determined he was grossly wrong on some points.

Any effort to use Steele’s belated cooperation with the inspector general’s investigation to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI’s reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a key defender of Trump, said he talked with DOJ officials after the most recent stories surfaced about Steele and was told the reporting is wrong. “Based on my conversations with DOJ officials, recent reports which suggest Christopher Steele’s dossier and allegations are somehow deemed credible by DOJ, are simply false and not based on any confirmation from sources with direct knowledge of ongoing investigations,” Meadows told me.

The FBI’s own spreadsheet was so conclusive that it prompted then-FBI Director James Comey (no fan of Trump, mind you) to dismiss the document as “salacious and unverified” and for lead FBI agent Peter Strzok to text, “There’s no big there there.” FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified that nine months into reviewing Steele’s dossier they had not found evidence of the collusion that Steele alleged.

Two years later, Mueller came to the same conclusion: Steele’s intelligence alleging a conspiracy was never verified. 

The next time you hear a pundit suggesting Steele’s dossier is credible or that the FBI’s reliance on it as FISA evidence was justified, just picture all those blanks in that FBI spreadsheet.

They speak volumes as to what went wrong in the Russia investigation.

Some people in the Obama administration have some ‘splainin’ to do. If we truly have equal justice under the law, some of them will see jail time.

Maybe The Race Wasn’t About Gender

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Heavy loss by female candidate in Republican NC runoff sparks shock.” Wow. This is totally biased reporting. I live in North Carolina’s Third Congressional District. I voted in the election The Hill is talking about. It wasn’t about gender.

The article notes:

Murphy had earned the endorsement of a slew of high-profile Republicans, including Freedom Caucus founders Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), after the legislator pledged to join the group if elected.

The House Freedom Action Fund, which is affiliated with the Freedom Caucus, spent $236,000 to defeat Perry in the contest. 

Former New York City Mayor and Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani also threw his weight behind Murphy in the final days of the race, recording robocalls on behalf of the candidate. 

However, Perry was not without funds or endorsements. She ended up raising $373,851 for the primary and the runoff, below the $543,991 raised by Murphy.

But she had the backing of various Republican female PACs, including the Winning For Women Action Fund, which dropped more than $680,000 supporting Perry and opposing Murphy in the runoff.

So if you add up those numbers, Murphy had $779,001, and Perry had $1,053,851. That may explain why I received a mailing (sometimes two) from Joan Perry every day. It was annoying. I voted for Greg Murphy. The fact that Joan Perry is a woman was not a consideration for me. She is very smart and very well spoken. I have heard her speak and was impressed with her as a person. However, she is a doctor. She is not a business woman, and she is not a politician. She would have been a total novice in Washington. The determining factor for me was the fact that Greg Murphy aligned himself with the Freedom Caucus. She did not have the experience to do that–he did.

Identity politics does not work. It’s wrong. People are getting wise to it. I want experience, ideas, and some hope of being honestly represented.

The Unraveling Continues

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill about a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska.

The article reports:

The oligarch who once controlled Russia’s largest aluminum empire has been an international man of intrigue in the now-completed and disproven Trump collusion investigation.

Deripaska was a disaffected former business client of Donald Trump’s fallen campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He also was a legal research client of Trump-hating, Clinton-aiding British spy Christopher Steele. In his spare time, he was an occasional friendly cooperator with the FBI and its fired deputy director, Andrew McCabe.

During his interview with John Solomon, Deripaska talked about being interviewed by the FBI and stating the following:

“I told them straightforward, ‘Look, I am not a friend with him [Manafort]. Apparently not, because I started a court case [against him] six or nine months before … . But since I’m Russian I would be very surprised that anyone from Russia would try to approach him for any reason, and wouldn’t come and ask me my opinion,’ ” he said, recounting exactly what he says he told the FBI agents that day.

“I told them straightforward, I just don’t believe that he would represent any Russian interest. And knowing what he’s doing on Ukraine for the last, what, seven or eight years.”

The article explains why this is important:

OK, so why should you care if a Russian denied Trump campaign collusion with Russia during the election?

First, Deripaska wasn’t just any Russian. He was closely aligned with Putin and had been helpful to the FBI as far back as 2009. So he had earned some trust with the agents.

Most importantly, Deripaska’s interview with the FBI reportedly was never provided by Team Mueller to Manafort’s lawyers, even though it was potential proof of innocence, according to Manafort defense lawyer Kevin Downing. Manafort, initially investigated for collusion, was convicted on tax and lobbying violations unrelated to the Russia case.

That omission opens a possible door for appeal for what is known as a Brady violation, for hiding exculpatory information from a defendant.

“Recent revelations by The Hill prove that the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) claim that they had a legitimate basis to include Paul Manafort in an investigation of potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government is false,” Downing told me. “The failure to disclose this information to Manafort, the courts, or the public reaffirms that the OSC did not have a legitimate basis to investigate Manafort, and may prove that the OSC had no legitimate basis to investigate potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government.”

The article then explains why Deripaska is trusted by the FBI:

Deripaska confirmed a story I reported last year from FBI sources that he spent more than $20 million of his own money between 2009 and 2011 on a private rescue operation to free Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent captured in Iran in 2007 while on a CIA mission.

…Deripaska said his privately funded rescue team came very close to a deal with the Iranian captors to secure Levinson’s release but he was told by his FBI handlers that the deal ran into difficulties at Hillary Clinton’s State Department and was scuttled. “I heard that some Russian ‘hand,’ or whatever you call people who are expert on the Russians at the State Department, [said], ‘We just don’t want to owe anything to this guy,’ ” Deripaska told me, adding that he never expected any U.S. favors for his personal efforts to free Levinson.

Asked if he thought the former FBI agent is alive, some dozen years later, Deripaska answered: “I don’t think so.” He pointed out that if Levinson had been alive, he likely would have come home in 2016, after the Obama administration struck a nuclear deal with Iran.

Deripaska said he is continuing to investigate what really happened at State with Levinson, as he tries to fight the sanctions levied against him in 2018. His company, Rusal, has been removed from the sanctions list.

The article concludes:

Throughout the interview, it was clear Deripaska chose his words in English carefully. But there was one word he offered only twice — once in response to the Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, and the other time to respond to the allegations used to sanction him. “Balderdash,” he insisted.

Now it’s time for Team Mueller to answer the same questions.

I wonder why the State Department would have blocked the return of Levinson. Is it possible that he might have said things that would have scuttled the Iran deal?

When The Roots Are Rotten

John Solomon posted an article at The Hill yesterday about some recent information dealing with the roots of the charges that candidate Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians.

The article reports:

And the behavior of FBI agents and federal prosecutors who promoted that faulty evidence may disturb us more than we now know.

The first, the Christopher Steele dossier, has received enormous attention. And the more scrutiny it receives, the more its truthfulness wanes. Its credibility has declined so much that many now openly question how the FBI used it to support a surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign in October 2016.

At its best, the Steele dossier is an “unverified and salacious” political research memo funded by Trump’s Democratic rivals. At worst, it may be Russian disinformation worthy of the “garbage” label given it by esteemed reporter Bob Woodward.

The second document, known as the “black cash ledger,” remarkably has escaped the same scrutiny, even though its emergence in Ukraine in the summer of 2016 forced Paul Manafort to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman and eventually face U.S. indictment.

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

The article explains the problem with the “black cash ledger”:

For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.

“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky said, recalling what he told FBI agents. 

Likewise, Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.

Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.

He added: “I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the FBI were given copies of Kilimnik’s warning, according to three sources familiar with the documents.

So why didn’t Mueller simply end the investigation because the roots of it were proven to be false?

The article concludes:

Rep. Mark Meadows, a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, told me Wednesday night he is asking the Justice Department inspector general to investigate the FBI and prosecutors’ handling of the Manafort warrants, including any media leaks and evidence that the government knew the black ledger was potentially unreliable or suspect evidence.

The question of whether the Mueller team should have used the ledger in search warrant affidavits before that is for the courts to decide.

But the public has a substantial interest in questioning whether, more broadly, the FBI should have sustained a Trump-Russia collusion investigation for more than two years based on the suspect Steele dossier and black ledger. 

Understandably, there isn’t much public sympathy for foreign lobbyists such as Manafort. But the FBI and prosecutors should be required to play by the rules and use solid evidence when making its cases.

It does not appear to have been the prevailing practice in the Russia collusion investigation. And that should trouble us all.

It is becoming very obvious that the Mueller investigation did not follow normal investigative rules or procedures. When he knew that both pieces of evidence were totally unreliable, Robert Mueller should have ended the investigation. I suspect that would have been long before the 2018 mid-term election. Somehow I think the clown show we are currently seeing in the House of Representatives as a result of the Democrats taking the majority is at least partially the result of continuing the Mueller investigation combined with reckless, baseless charges made against the President by some Washington insiders now working in the media.

Twisted

No one ever claimed that the team put together by Robert Mueller to investigate President Trump was politically unbiased, but I at least expected them to report the facts as they uncovered them. Evidently my expectations were too high. On May 8, I posted an article about Joseph Mifsud, claimed by the Mueller Report to be a Russian asset. It turns out that he was training American intelligence officers. His contract with George Papadopoulos had nothing to do with Russia. On June 1st, I posted an article about the editing of a phone message from President Trump’s attorney John Dowd to Michael Flynn. The message was edited in a way that left an impression totally different than what was actually happening. Well, okay, maybe that was just an oversight. That’s two strikes. Now we have another incident where something totally misleading (and false) was stated in the Mueller Report.

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source.” The person in questions in Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik.

The article reports:

In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

It gets worse:

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Kasanof’s and Purcell’s interviews are corroborated by scores of State Department emails I reviewed that contain regular intelligence from Kilimnik on happenings inside the Yanukovych administration, the Crimea conflict and Ukrainian and Russian politics. For example, the memos show Kilimnik provided real-time intelligence on everything from whose star in the administration was rising or falling to efforts at stuffing ballot boxes in Ukrainian elections.

Those emails raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent. They show Kilimnik was allowed to visit the United States twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, a clear sign he wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat.

The emails also show how misleading, by omission, the Mueller report’s public portrayal of Kilimnik turns out to be.

For instance, the report makes a big deal about Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

By that time, Manafort had served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months but was about to resign because of a growing controversy about the millions of dollars Manafort accepted as a foreign lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.

Specifically, the Mueller report flagged Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign for settling the two-year-old Crimea conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,” the Mueller report stated.

But State emails showed Kilimnik first delivered a version of his peace plan in May 2016 to the Obama administration during a visit to Washington. Kasanof, his former handler at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, had been promoted to a top policy position at State, and the two met for dinner on May 5, 2016.

I am grateful for investigative reporters. It is time to acknowledge that the Mueller Report, despite the fact that it found no evidence of collusion on the part of the Trump campaign, is tainted. It is time to put this entire farce to rest and lift the cloud the Democrats have placed over the Trump administration. It is time to allow the President to solve the problems at our southern border, deal with Iran, negotiate trade deals, and generally be President.

Do We Really Want To Give Power To These People?

Yesterday The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Democrats vow to repeal tax reform, putting taxes in focus for 2020.” Why? Federal tax revenue has increased, and the economy is doing very well, why would you want to mess with success? Because you can’t let President Trump succeed at anything. And if the American people figure out that lower taxes are better than higher taxes, Washington will lose its stranglehold on the American taxpayer.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden made it clear: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) seconded the motion, saying she would repeal the tax cuts on “day one.” Mayor Bill de Blasio has attempted to raise taxes on high earners in New York City.

Democrats seem eager to prove that they still have no idea how jobs and wage increases are created in a capitalist economy — that is, by capital investment that starts new businesses or expands existing ones, increasing the demand for labor as jobs are created, bidding up wages.  

But stimulating capital investment requires incentives that arise from reducing tax rates. That is what President Trump and Republicans in Congress did in their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Was it good for America and its workers for the federal government to impose the highest marginal corporate tax rates in the industrialized world? Before Trump’s tax reform, those tax rates were nearly 40 percent, counting federal rate and state corporate rates, on average. Most of the rest of the world imposed marginal tax rates only half as high on their businesses.

Tax reform reduced the rate on businesses to the world average and ended double taxation on earnings of U.S. corporations abroad. That is why the U.S. economy has created millions of jobs with Trump in the Oval Office. The Democrats’ ball and chain on American business has been sharply cut back, creating a capital investment boom.

The article concludes:

And contrary to Democratic disinformation, President Trump’s tax reform included tax cuts for the middle class of about $2,000 a year per family; rates for families making $19,000 to $77,000 were cut by 20 percent. The same occurred for single taxpayers making $9,500 to $38,700. Tax reform also nearly doubled the standard deduction, and actually doubled the child tax credit — both of which benefit lower-income workers the most.

Amazingly, these tax benefits have been confirmed by the New York Times and the Washington Post, which have acknowledged that most Americans received a tax cut. H&R Block concluded that “overall tax liability is down 24.9 percent, on average.” So much for the socialist derision of tax reform.  

Raising taxes would only consign America’s working people back to renewed recession, as under Biden and President Obama. Democrats seem to want to run as they did in 1984, when Walter Mondale campaigned on a tax-increase platform. Then recession occurred when President Bush agreed to raise taxes in a 1989 budget deal, which only increased the deficit.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should be the motto of the day. The Trump economy is doing very well. The Obama economy did not do well. In 2020, American voters will have a chance to choose between the two. Let’s hope they choose the right one.

A Governor Who Understands The Purpose Of The Electoral College

On Thursday, The Hill reported that Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday vetoed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which had been passed by the Nevada Assembly and Senate.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would essentially nullify the Electoral College. However, it will not become effective unless enough states to control 280 electoral college votes pass the measure. The idea is that 280 electoral votes would be a majority of the Electoral College and would elect the person who got the most popular votes. At that point we would live in a county governed by New York and California–two states that have not done a particularly good job of governing themselves. That is exactly what our Founding Fathers were attempting to avoid (as explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 68).

In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton stated:

And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.

The idea was that the Electoral College would give less-populated states a voice in the election of the president. A candidate for president would be required to gain a broad base of support–he would be required to represent the entire country–not just one or two sections.

To illustrate what elections would look like without the Electoral College, let’s look at where the campaign money comes from in elections.

According to opensecrets.org the top donor states are California (22 percent), New York (21 percent), Illinois (7 percent), and Florida (6 percent). The other states provided 44 percent of campaign donations. California has 40 million people; West Virginia has 2 million people. Without the Electoral College, how likely is a presidential candidate to campaign in (or represent) the people in West Virginia? There is a valid reason for the Electoral College.