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[Media] LOL: Dan Bongino sums up ABSURD lengths Dems & media are reaching to avoid saying ‘spy’

"Undocumented FBI employee"? HA!

The post LOL: Dan Bongino sums up ABSURD lengths Dems & media are reaching to avoid saying ‘spy’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/24/2018 7:06:38 PM
[Markets] The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers get controversial briefing on FBI’s Russia investigation Justice Department and intelligence officials held classified briefings for lawmakers Thursday about the early stages of the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the meetings had defused the dispute between the department and some Republican House members.
Published:5/24/2018 6:35:40 PM
[Markets] DOJ Briefs Congress On FBI Informant

The GOP is now "getting the cooperation necessary" to satisfy their demands for classified materials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the early stages of the FBI's counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

According to -Bloomberg, lawmakers met with DOJ officials twice on Thursday, acquiescing to demands from President Trump following revelations that the FBI enlisted confidential informant Stefan Halper to infiltrate the Trump campaign as part of an espionage operation. 

Ryan spoke as Justice Department officials held two meetings with lawmakers on Thursday, succumbing to demands from President Donald Trump after revelations that the FBI had a confidential informant make contact with officials on Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has subpoenaed the Justice Department and FBI for secret information about the informant. Critics, including top congressional Democrats, argue that Republicans want to use the information to undercut the Russia investigation, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. -Bloomberg

Following the second briefing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee told reporters that there is "no evidence to support any allegation the FBI or any intelligence agency planted a spy in the Trump campaign."  Perhaps that's because nobody is claiming they did...

Halper, who was paid handsomely by the Obama Department of Defense, infiltrated the campaign from the outside, gaining the trust of aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, then conning them into believing he was interested in legitimate business - including offering Papadopoulos $3,000 to travel to London and work on a foreign policy paper. 

President Trump has referred to the scandal as "SPYGATE" - tweeting several times about the FBI's informant, Halper, and how much he was paid by the previous administration.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly along with Emmet Flood, as White House attorney working on the Russia probe, made several remarks before departing the two DOJ/DNI briefings. 

They spoke “to relay the president’s desire for as much openness as possible under the law,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “They also conveyed the president’s understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said “there’s never been a Gang of 8 meeting with a White House presence.” He was referring to a group of eight bipartisan congressional leaders who receive briefings on the nation’s most sensitive intelligence. -Bloomberg

 “I look forward to the prompt completion of the intelligence committee’s oversight work in this area now that they are getting the cooperation necessary for them to complete their work while protecting sources and methods,” Ryan said.

Published:5/24/2018 6:35:39 PM
[Politics] Adam Schiff, Dems Unmoved on Trump Claims After DOJ Meeting A classified meeting with Justice Department officials provided no evidence of President Donald Trump's claim an FBI informant infiltrated his campaign, according to House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Thursday. Published:5/24/2018 4:35:29 PM
[Markets] FBI Spy Halper Made "False, Absurd" Claims Of Russian Infiltration At Cambridge Involving Flynn

FBI informant Stefan Halper, who infiltrated the Trump campaign for the FBI during the 2016 election for the purposes of espionage, said that Russians had infiltrated the University of Cambridge where he works - allegations which those involved say are "false" and "absurd." 

Halper made the "false allegations" in December 2016 about a Russian co-worker based on her interactions with former national security adviser Michael Flynn at a February 2014 Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS) - while Flynn was President Obama's Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). 

A historian and Russian intelligence researcher at Cambridge, Svetlana Lokhova, told TheDCNF that Halper is behind allegations made about her and Flynn during the retired general’s visit to Cambridge in 2014, when he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. -Daily Caller

“Stef Halper, who is currently under [Department of Justice] investigation for his activities, has been revealed by [The New York Times] as the source of the false allegations about me and General Flynn,” said Lokhova, a British citizen who was born in Russia.

Halper told the Financial Times that he was quitting the CIS due to "unacceptable Russian influence on the group," which as the Daily Caller notes, "The evidence of Russian penetration was scant, with news reports citing a nearly $2,700 contribution to CIS from a Russia-based company called Veruscript."

Peter Martland, Stefan Halper and Christopher Andrew

Prof Andrew, whose books on the KGB are among the most exhaustive on the history of Russian information warfare as well as the infamous Cambridge spy ring of the 1930s, said the suggestion of a Russian covert operation to compromise the seminar was “absurd”.

The seminar is “entirely unclassified” Prof Andrew pointed out, adding that the new Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism was not formally affiliated to the gathering.

The seminar, established by Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5 and former chairman of the history faculty at the university, is one of the most respected networks in its field. -FT

The 73-year-old American who split his time between his Virginia farm and teaching at Cambridge, approached several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 US election for purposes of espionage - on behalf of the FBI, headed at the time by the recently very quiet James Comey. Halper continued to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page well after the election, and now we find that he was trying to infiltrate the Trump administration

In short:  

  • The FBI recruited Halper to spy on the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016
  • After forming relationships with two Trump campaign aides, Halper invited one of them, George Papadopoulos, to work on a policy paper in London, where the 73-year-old professor/spy brought up Russian emails
  • Halper approached Trump aide Carter Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails.
  • Then, after the election, Halper reportedly tried to infiltrate the Trump administration, pushing for a job in the State Department, according to Axios

Halper, a Clinton supporter, former government official and longtime spook for the CIA and FBI, was outed as the FBI informant who infiltrated the Trump campaign after the Washington Post and the New York Times ran reports that corroborated a March report by the Daily Caller detailing Halper's outreach to several low-level aides to the Trump campaign, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and a cup of coffee with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis. 

Halper, 73, cut a colorful figure as he strolled through diplomatic, academic, and espionage circles, having served in the Reagan, Ford, and Nixon administrations. -Daily Mail

These contacts are notable, as Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.

Downer - the source of the Papadopoulos intel, and Halper - who conned Papadopoulos months later, are linked through UK-based Haklyut & Co. an opposition research and intelligence firm - founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums

Downer - a good friend of the Clintons, has been on their advisory board for a decade, while Halper is connected to Hakluyt through Director of U.S. operations Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. (h/t themarketswork.com)

And what's this? 

 The bait and the switch in the same room...

Published:5/24/2018 4:35:29 PM
[National Security] FBI: Iran to Launch New Cyber Attacks

The FBI is warning that Iranian hackers could conduct new cyber attacks on American businesses and government networks in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The post FBI: Iran to Launch New Cyber Attacks appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/24/2018 3:06:46 PM
[Politics] Lewandowski: Clapper 'One of Worst Serial Liars' in US History Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Thursday slammed ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as a "serial liar" over his comments that the FBI was trying to protect the political system, not spy on the campaign." Published:5/24/2018 1:34:23 PM
[World] Fleischer: FBI Would Not Have Placed Informant in Trump Campaign Without Telling Obama

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Thursday he believes it's highly unlikely that President Obama did not know an FBI informant was in the Trump campaign.

Published:5/24/2018 1:06:53 PM
[Politics] Halper Accused of Misrepresenting Russian Historian's Link to Flynn A Russian-born historian says FBI informant Stefan Halper is to blame for casting a spotlight on her as a Russian infiltrator at Cambridge University and misrepresenting her relationship to Gen. Michael Flynn. Published:5/24/2018 10:33:48 AM
[Markets] "The White House Is Running This": Grassley Demands DOJ Unredact Mystery Strzok-Page Texts

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) fired off a letter to the Department of Justice Wednesday demanding unredacted versions of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page, including one exchange which took place after Strzok had returned from London as part of the recently launched "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" - referring to the White House "running" an unknown investigation.

After Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) fought tooth-and-nail for their release, the DOJ provided heavily redacted texts on May 1 and May 18. The visible portions of the texts, however, are troubling in light of recent developments - prompting Grassley's request for unredacted copies.  

“When viewing the still redacted portions in context with the unredacted material, it appeared that the redacted portions may contain relevant information relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the matter in which the Department of Justice and FBI handled the Clinton and Russia investigations.” -Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

In particular, Grassley notes: 

  • "As one example of redacted material, in a text message produced to the Committee, the price of Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table was redacted."
  • "In another, an official’s name was redacted in reference to a text about the Obama White House ‘running’ an investigation, although it is unclear to which investigation they were referring"

What's notable about the message referring to the White House is that Strzok had returned from London to interview Australian ambassador Alexander Downer about a drunken conversation with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who - after reportedly being fed information - mentioned Russia having Hillary Clinton's emails. 

Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.” And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we’ve got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I’ve got no control….

Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We’ve got the emails that say otherwise.

Grassley requested that the DOJ turn over unredacted copies of the exchanges by June 6. 


Strzok and Page were kicked off of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe over the summer when the Justice Department's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz discovered over 50,000 texts between the two FBI employees - many of which showed clear bias for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. 

In a Monday meeting with President Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein agreed to instruct Horowitz to investigate how the FBI “conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”

“Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign,” a White House statement said.

“It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff [John] Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”

Published:5/24/2018 9:33:57 AM
[World] Trump Fires Back at Comey: How Will He Explain His 'Lies & Deceit' to His Grandchildren?

President Donald Trump responded to James Comey's claim that he and the Republican Party are doing "lasting damage" to the United States with their attacks on the FBI.

Published:5/24/2018 8:33:31 AM
[FBI] Comey & Clapper clarify (Scott Johnson) Did the FBI spy on the Trump campaign? Sharyl Attkisson compiles “8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign.” Although you’d never know it from the New York Times and its mainstream media colleagues, it looks like the biggest scandal in American political history. Here to lend a hand, Michael Barone provides understated and much needed historical perspective to his media colleagues: “Until 2016, just about everyone Published:5/24/2018 8:04:05 AM
[b6b664f3-d792-4f3e-a6c6-c6dc6f49421c] Judge Andrew Napolitano: Can Trump lawfully investigate his investigators? This past weekend, President Donald Trump suggested that his presidential campaign may have been the victim of spies or moles who were FBI informants or undercover agents. He demanded an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter. Published:5/23/2018 11:02:54 PM
[Markets] Sharyl Attkisson: 8 Signs Pointing To A Counter-Intel Op Deployed Against Trump

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson, op-ed via The Hill,

It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who've searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

1. Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

2. Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Electronic surveillance was used to listen in on three Trump transition officials in Trump Tower — Flynn, Bannon and Kushner — as they met in an official capacity with the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince.

The FBI also reportedly wiretapped Flynn’s phone conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 31, 2016, as part of “routine surveillance” of Kislyak.

NBC recently reported that Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was wiretapped. NBC later corrected the story, saying Cohen was the subject of a “pen register” used to monitor phone numbers and, possibly, internet communications.

3. National security letters

Another controversial tool reportedly used by the FBI to obtain phone records and other documents in the investigation were national security letters, which bypass judicial approval.

Improper use of such letters has been an ongoing theme at the FBI. Reviews by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General found widespread misuse under Mueller — who was then FBI director — and said officials failed to report instances of abuses as required.

4. Unmasking

“Unmasking” — identifying protected names of Americans captured by government surveillance — was frequently deployed by at least four top Obama officials who have subsequently spoken out against President Trump: James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence; Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Susan Rice, former national security adviser; Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general.

Names of Americans caught communicating with monitored foreign targets must be “masked,” or hidden within government agencies, so the names cannot be misused or shared. 

However, it’s been revealed that Power made near-daily unmasking requests in 2016.

Prior to that revelation, Clapper claimed ignorance. When asked if he knew of unmasking requests by any ambassador, including Power, he testified: “I don't know. Maybe it's ringing a vague bell but I'm not — I could not answer with any confidence.”

Rice admitted to asking for unmasked names of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports after initially claiming no knowledge of any such thing.

Clapper also admitted to requesting the unmasking of “Mr. Trump, his associates or any members of Congress.” Clapper and Yates admitted they also personally reviewed unmasked documents and shared unmasked material with other officials.

5. Changing the rules

On Dec. 15, 2016 — the same day the government listened in on Trump officials at Trump Tower — Rice reportedly unmasked the names of Bannon, Kushner and Flynn. And Clapper made a new rule allowing the National Security Agency to widely disseminate surveillance material within the government without the normal privacy protections.

6. Media strategy

Former CIA Director John Brennan and Clapper, two of the most integral intel officials in this ongoing controversy, have joined national news organizations where they have regular opportunities to shape the news narrative — including on the very issues under investigation.

Clapper reportedly secretly leaked salacious political opposition research against Trump to CNN in fall 2017 and later was hired as a CNN political analyst. In February, Brennan was hired as a paid analyst for MSNBC.

7. Leaks

There’s been a steady and apparently orchestrated campaign of leaks — some true, some false, but nearly all of them damaging to President Trump’s interests.

A few of the notable leaks include word that Flynn was wiretapped, the anti-Trump “Steele dossier” of political opposition research, then-FBI Director James Comey briefing Trump on it, private Comey conversations with Trump, Comey’s memos recording those conversations and criticizing Trump, the subpoena of Trump’s personal bank records (which proved false) and Flynn planning to testify against Trump (which also proved to be false).

8. Friends, informants and snoops

The FBI reportedly used one-time CIA operative Stefan Halper in 2016 as an informant to spy on Trump officials. 

Another player is Comey friend Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor, who leaked Comey’s memos against Trump to The New York Times after Comey was fired. We later learned that Richman actually worked for the FBI under a status called “Special Government Employee.”

The FBI used former reporter Glenn Simpson, his political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele to compile allegations against Trump, largely from Russian sources, which were distributed to the press and used as part of wiretap applications.

*  *  *

These eight features of a counterintelligence operation are only the pieces we know.

It can be assumed there’s much we don’t yet know. And it may help explain why there’s so much material that the Department of Justice hasn’t easily handed over to congressional investigators.

Published:5/23/2018 9:31:52 PM
[World] Hannity Rips Comey for Spying on Donald Trump Campaign: Did You Spy on Clinton

Sean Hannity ripped former FBI Director James Comey over a tweet that itself took a veiled shot at President Donald Trump.

Published:5/23/2018 9:00:54 PM
[World] Donald Trump: I Did a Great Service By Firing James Comey

President Trump answered James Comey's response to the president's intensified attacks on the FBI following reports of a reported informant who infiltrated his 2016 campaign.

Published:5/23/2018 12:30:21 PM
[World] James Comey Responds to President Trump's 'Spygate' Claims About Russia Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey slammed President Trump and the Republican Party for doing "last damage" to the United States with their attacks on the FBI.

Published:5/23/2018 10:58:17 AM
[World] Michelle Malkin Slams James Clapper: Criminal Deep State Used FBI Spy to Bring Down Trump Campaign

CRTV host Michelle Malkin said that a reported FBI informant who spied on the 2016 Trump campaign was an attempt to "delegitimize" the president.

Published:5/23/2018 9:57:07 AM
[Politics] Rep. Jim Jordan Defends Call for 2nd Special Counsel to Probe FBI Rep. Jim Jordan Wednesday argued that a second counsel to investigate the FBI and Department of Justice in connection with President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign . Published:5/23/2018 9:28:11 AM
[Media] Byron York ZINGS James Comey with his own words on ‘tightly regulated and essential’ ‘Confidential Human Sources’

In response to President Donald’s Trump’s tweetstorm this morning on the ongoing “WITCH HUNT,” former FBI Director James Comey accused those who attack the FBI and “lying about its work” as doing “lasting damage to” the United States: Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential […]

The post Byron York ZINGS James Comey with his own words on ‘tightly regulated and essential’ ‘Confidential Human Sources’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/23/2018 9:28:11 AM
[Markets] Comey Responds To Trump Attack: "Our Country Is Led By Those Who Will Lie About Anything"

Former FBI Director James Comey won't allow President Trump's gloating from this morning to go unanswered.

In a tweet that appears to be a direct response to Trump, Comey attempted to justify the FBI's use of a spy - or what Comey describes as a "Confidential Human Source" - to keep tabs on the Trump campaign. According to Comey, human sources are "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country".

Comey

Of course, Comey argues that the FBI was totally justified in using a human asset to spy on the Trump campaign, as it would any other target (though he completely ignores the notion that, if the spy didn't find evidence of collusion, then what is Mueller investigating?). In an attempt to shame Trump's backers, Comey declared that "attacks on the FBI and lying about work will do lasting damage to our country."

"How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?" he asked.

Comey added that it was a "dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything."

He then urged Americans to "break out of that bubble and seek truth."

Emails recently released by Sen. Ron Johnson provided new insight into how Comey briefed the president (and how certain information fell into the hands of CNN), and seemed to suggest at least some coordination between media organizations publishing anti-Trump exclusives and Comey, who recently published a book where he questioned Trump's ethical fitness for his office.

Published:5/23/2018 9:28:10 AM
[FBI] About that “sensitive matter” (Scott Johnson) In his post “More evidence of Deep State collaboration on the Steele Dossier,” Paul writes about how the story of how the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele found and its most salacious contents made their way into the mainstream media. Paul relies in part on Sean Davis’s Federalist column “BREAKING: E-mails Show FBI Brass Discussed Dossier Briefing Details With CNN.” Paul’s post and Davis’s column cite Senator Ron Johnson’s May Published:5/23/2018 6:56:52 AM
[Politics] Trump: 'SPYGATE' May be One of Biggest Scandals President Donald Trump attacked the "Criminal Deep State" early Wednesday, saying its efforts to undermine him have backfired. He referred to the FBI's reliance on an outside informant to determine whether Trump's campaign aides were working with Russia ahead of the 2016... Published:5/23/2018 6:56:52 AM
[World] Republican senator: Democrats should be included in FBI document viewing Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on Tuesday said the Trump administration and House Republicans should allow House Democrats to view materials related to the FBI's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia at an upcoming meeting at the White House. Published:5/23/2018 12:59:10 AM
[PAID] When Carter Page Met Stefan Halper A timeline that contradicts claims by Justice and the FBI. Published:5/22/2018 11:55:06 PM
[Markets] Ron Paul: Haspel Is Not The Problem...The CIA Is The Problem

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

As a general rule, when Dick Cheney favors a foreign policy position it’s best to be on the opposite side if you value liberty over war and authoritarianism. The former vice president’s enthusiastic endorsement of not only Gina Haspel as CIA director but of the torture program she oversaw should tell us all we need to know about Haspel.

Saying that Haspel would make a great CIA director, Cheney dismissed concerns over the CIA’s torture program.

Asked in a television interview last week about the program, Cheney said, “if it were my call, I’d do it again.”

Sadly, the majority of the US Senate agreed with Cheney that putting a torturer in charge of the CIA was a good idea. Only two Republicans – Senators Paul and Flake – voted against Haspel. And just to confirm that there really is only one political party in Washington, it was the “yes” vote of crossover Democrats that provided the margin of victory. Americans should really be ashamed of those sent to Washington to represent us.

Just this month, the New York Times featured an article written by a woman who was kidnapped and send to the secret CIA facility in Thailand that Haspel was said to have overseen. The woman was pregnant at the time and she recounted in the article how her CIA torturers would repeatedly punch her in the stomach. She was not convicted or even accused of a crime. She was innocent. But she was tortured on Haspel’s watch.

Is this really what we are as a country? Do we really want to elevate such people to the highest levels of government where they can do more damage to the United States at home and overseas?

As the news comes out that Obama holdovers in the FBI and CIA infiltrated the Trump campaign to try and elect Hillary Clinton, President Trump’s seeming lack of understanding of how the deep state operates is truly bewildering.

The US increasingly looks like a banana republic, where the permanent state and not the people get to decide who’s in charge.

But instead of condemning the CIA’s role in an attempted coup against his own administration, Trump condemned former CIA director John Brennan for “undermining confidence” in the CIA. Well, the CIA didn’t need John Brennan to undermine our confidence in the CIA. The Agency itself long ago undermined the confidence of any patriotic American. Not only has the CIA been involved in torture, it has manipulated at least 100 elections overseas since its founding after WWII.

As President Trump watched Gina Haspel being sworn in as CIA director, he praised her: “You live the CIA. You breathe the CIA. And now you will lead the CIA,” he said. Yes, Mr. president, we understand that. But that’s the problem!

The problem is not Haspel, it’s not John Brennan, it’s not our lack of confidence. The problem is the CIA itself. If the president really cared about our peace, prosperity, and security, he would take steps to end this national disgrace. It’s time to abolish the CIA!

Published:5/22/2018 10:24:20 PM
[Markets] How The Feds Use Transportation Funds To Spy On You

Authored by Mike Maharrey via The Mises Institute,

A recent announcement by a local transit authority in Virginia sheds light on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are building a massive, intrusive surveillance network built on America's transportation system.

The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) recently announced plans to install more than 100 live surveillance cameras at stops along a rapid transit line. According to a WTVR report, GRTC plans to install approximately four cameras at 26 Pulse stops along Broad Street. The system will be live 24 hours a day and directly connected to the city's 911 facility.

The ACLU of Virginia opposes the system. The organization's director of strategic communications said constant monitoring changes the nature of a community.

"There's very little evidence that this type of surveillance enhances public safety, and there is every reason to think that it inhibits people. That it causes us to behave differently than we would if we weren't being watched," Bill Farrar said, adding that the system will "keep tabs" on people who rely on public transit.

"GRTC has said in promoting this, in promoting the need for this particular line, we want to help people get out of the East End food desert. So we're saying use this to get the food that you need, but we're going to watch you while you do it.

GRTC Pulse is "a modern, high quality, high capacity rapid transit system serving a 7.6-mile route." It was developed through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the City of Richmond and Henrico County.

According to Style Weekly, "this new system will bring the total number of easily accessible, city or government-owned cameras available to police and other authorities to more than 300, including roughly 200 stationary cameras Richmond police already have easy access to, and 32 cameras owned by city police."

Farrar called the proliferation of cameras in the city "troubling."

"In practice, the use of these systems and the data they collect is almost always expanded, giving law enforcement more information than they need or should have about the personal lives of law-abiding people."

According to WTVR, the federal government required the installation of surveillance cameras along the new transit route as a condition of funding the project. 

"Officials said the federal TIGER grant used to fund the half of the project required the installation of the camera system."

This spotlights how the federal government uses funding to incentivize state and local agencies to participate in the expansion of a national surveillance state. Not only do they attach strings to project funding such as this camera requirement in Richmond, they also finance many state and local surveillance programs outright.

State and local agencies have access to a mind-boggling array of surveillance equipment. The federal government offers grants and other funding sources for this spy-gear. By tapping into federal money, law enforcement agencies can sometimes even keep purchases of surveillance technology “off the books.”

In other words, they can purchase high-tech surveillance equipment without any local government or public oversight. In fact, city councils, county governments and mayors may not even know police have obtained the equipment. This makes it difficult to determine just how expansive the American surveillance state has become.

When reports come out such as the recent revelation of Richmond's transit stop cameras, it cracks open the door and allows us to see just how the feds work with state and local agencies to expand its massive surveillance network.

In this case, it reveals that the federal government is piggybacking onto the transportation system to spy on Americans.

MassPrivatel monitors the expanding surveillance state across the U.S. A recent blog post on its website asserted that the "DHS and the TSA's role in turning public transportation into city-wide police surveillance networks is unmistakable."

Digging into this government scheme to turn the transportation system into a surveillance platform reveals a complicated web of state, local and federal government agencies, along with private organizations, all involved in expanding the surveillance state.

A 2010 US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled 'Public Transit Information Sharing' highlights the TSA and DHS's role in creating a giant public transit surveillance network working through various partnerships. The report also reveals information sharing going on between local transit authorities, local law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the federal government, including DHS, has taken a number of actions to enhance the security of transportation systems. These actions include improving information sharing with its critical sector stakeholders, which is highlighted in the 2008 Department of Homeland Security Information Sharing Strategy, as well as the 2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). To help facilitate information sharing with the public transit industry, DHS and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have created and funded a number of mechanisms, including the Public Transportation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (PT-ISAC), which is administered by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The PT-ISAC was created under the direction of the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2003 and is currently funded by TSA via DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). In addition to DHS, other federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and FTA, have also taken action to enhance their efforts to share security-related information with public and private stakeholders, including public transit agencies.

The APTA is a nonprofit organization serving as an advocate for the advancement of public transportation programs and initiatives in the U.S. Its website describes it as "the leading force in advancing public transportation." But as the GAO report indicates, it also administers the PT-ISAC - a transportation surveillance program. PT-ISAC collects, stores and disseminates information related to transportation security. It also publishes The Transit And Rail Intelligence Awareness Daily (TRIAD).

"The TRIAD is developed from the numerous sources of intelligence available to the Transportation community today, focusing on counter-terrorism, suspicious activity reports, and general security awareness. The Surface Transportation Security Information Library, available to those vetted to receive the TRIAD, acts as an information repository housing all sources of information provided in the TRIAD as well as other security products, information reviews, and intelligence not provided in the TRIAD. The information will remain available to users as a means for accessing the entirety of intelligence reviewed in the TRIAD and other relevant information, serving as a resource for future research into threats or mitigation techniques."

Where does information filling the Surface Transportation Security Information Library come from? Almost certainly from camera systems and other surveillance technology funded by the federal government, or required by it in transportation grant awards such as the one used to fund Richmond's rapid transit line.

Further digging revealed how this works.

A private company called IIT operates the PT-ISAC for the APTA. The company website confirms the whole system operates as a two-way information highway with surveillance data moving back and forth between state, local and federal agencies.

"The PT-ISAC collects, analyzes, and reports critical cyber and physical security and threat information from innumerable sources to include the U.S. private infrastructures, U.S. intelligence community, U.S, Government, U.S. Military, law enforcement, academia, and the international CERT community on a 24×7 basis. The PT-ISAC provides a secure, two-way reporting and analysis structure that enables the transmission of critical alerts and advisories as well as the collection, analysis and reporting of security information for transit agencies across the nation."

To sum this up, the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA continue to develop a massive, intrusive surveillance network built on America's transportation system. A private, nonprofit organization administers the system and a private company actually runs it.

Meanwhile, federal agencies including the DHS, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice fund the equipment used to collect reams of information on millions of Americans, and also requires participation in the surveillance state as a condition of funding various transportation infrastructure projects.

This demonstrates the federal government's dependence on state and local government actors to run the ever-growing surveillance. It also reveals its Achilles heel. If state and local governments prohibit participation in such schemes, they could effectively pull the plug on these surveillance programs.

There are several steps state and local governments need to take.

  1. Refuse federal funds that require participation in surveillance programs.

  2. Prohibit storage and sharing of surveillance data with other agencies without a warrant.

  3. Institute warrant requirements for surveillance technologies such as stingrays, drones and mobile cameras.

  4. Require government agencies to get local government approval before acquiring or using surveillance technology.

Published:5/22/2018 9:56:18 PM
[Gadgets] FBI reportedly overestimated inaccessible encrypted phones by thousands The FBI seems to have been caught fibbing again on the topic of encrypted phones. FBI director Christopher Wray estimated in December that it had almost 7,800 phones that investigators were unable to access from 2017 alone. The real number is likely less than a quarter of that. Published:5/22/2018 7:53:34 PM
[Markets] John Brennan's Plot To Infiltrate The Trump Campaign Exposed

Authored by George Neumayr via The Spectator,

It came out of his “inter-agency taskforce” at Langley...

As Trump won primary after primary in 2016, a rattled John Brennan started claiming to colleagues at the CIA that Estonia’s intelligence agency had alerted him to an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign.

The tip was bogus, but Brennan bit on it with opportunistic relish.

Out of Brennan’s alarmist chatter about the bogus tip came an extraordinary leak to the BBC:

that Brennan had used it, along with later half-baked tips from British intelligence, as the justification to form a multi-agency spy operation (given the Orwellian designation of an “inter-agency taskforce”) on the Trump campaign, which he was running right out of CIA headquarters.

The CIA was furious about the leak, but never denied the BBC’s story. To Congress earlier this year, Brennan acknowledged the existence of the group, but cast his role in it as the mere conduit of tips about Trump-Russia collusion:

“It was well beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau.”

But if his role had truly been passive, the “inter-agency taskforce” wouldn’t have been meeting at CIA headquarters. By keeping its discussions at Langley, Brennan could keep his finger wedged in the pie. Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016, Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct - from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House.

The bogus tip from Estonia led the group into its first cock-up: sending FBI agents to sniff around the computer server connected to Trump Tower. After that effort flopped, Brennan’s group had to go back to the drawing board (on the electronic intelligence front, it had already hatched plans for national security letters and FISA warrants).

Someone in the group must have proposed blasting a swampy old CIA source and Hillary supporter, Stefan Halper, into the Trump campaign orbit to see if he could catch a couple of minor campaign volunteers out in collusion.

Halper had entered the Deep State through a door opened by his father-in-law, Ray Cline, whose work for the CIA was legendary. Behind that door Halper found a treasure trove of jobs and government contracts, making his life as a transatlantic jet-setting academic possible. Brennan’s Langley group had access to Halper’s file and sized him up as the perfect embed: a Republican-oriented foreign policy scholar who could plausibly interact with Trump officials while serving as a nexus between the CIA and Brennan’s friends in British intelligence. Halper’s ties to Richard Dearlove, a former head of British intelligence, are well known, and Halper knows Alexander Downer, the pub-crawling Aussie diplomat, through a mutual association with Cambridge University.

That Halper came out of the brainstorming of Brennan’s group is clear from the fact that his first known meeting with Carter Page preceded the formal opening of the FBI’s probe. The Washington Post hinted at the role of Brennan’s group in hatching Halper:

Many questions about the informant’s role in the Russia investigation remain unanswered. It is unclear how he first became involved in the case, the extent of the information he provided and the actions he took to obtain intelligence for the FBI. It is also unknown whether his July 2016 interaction with [Carter] Page was brokered by the FBI or another intelligence agency [italics added].

The FBI commonly uses sources and informants to gather evidence and its regulations allow for use of informants even before a formal investigation has been opened. In many law enforcement investigations, the use of sources and informants precedes more invasive techniques such as electronic surveillance.

A veteran of the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s CIA was full of Hillary supporters, some of whom decorated their desks with her campaign paraphernalia. Brennan, whom the press noted would walk the halls of the CIA in an LGBT rainbow lanyard, encouraged this open political atmosphere. While Brennan knew his spying operation on the Trump campaign was an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive” matter (as reported by journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff), he assumed its machinations would never come to light.

The members of Brennan’s working group at Langley “were just a bunch of out-of-control idiots,” says a former high-ranking CIA official to TAS. He finds it flabbergasting that Brennan would bring CIA officials and FBI officials into the same room to cook up schemes to send a spy into the Trump campaign’s ranks. One of those schemes involved money (Halper paid George Papadopoulos $3,000 for a phony research paper as a way of luring him into a London meeting); another involved sex (Halper’s assistant, with a name out of a bad spy novel, Azra Turk, tried to coax information from Papadopoulos at flirty bar outings, according to the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross).

Like Brennan, Halper didn’t bother to hide his support for Hillary even as he conducted this infiltration. He told the press that he feared a Trump presidency, as it could harm the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain. That rationale must have figured into Alexander Downer’s motivation for working with Brennan’s Langley group too. Downer traveled in the same elitist circles as Christopher Steele, Halper, and John Kerry. It appears he sent word of his boozy evening with Papadopoulos back to Brennan’s group through these circles — either through Hillary partisans at the State Department or through Clinton Foundation channels, for whom he had worked as a kind of bag man.

Halper had come up empty, so Brennan’s group at Langley went with Downer’s tale, as feeble as it was. But it at least had the advantage of coming from a “diplomat.”

Yet if Congressman Nunes is right and the originating document for the FBI probe doesn’t even contain a reference to an official intelligence product passed to Brennan from the Australian government, Downer’s hearsay must have been exceedingly flaky, so flaky no one would want to be on the record treating it as “evidence” for something as momentous as a probe into a presidential campaign.

According to press accounts, Downer’s bumptiousness caused a diplomatic row of sorts between the two countries.

Who resolved it? John Kerry? Susan Rice? Or was this another case of Obama leading from behind - behind a CIA director briefing him daily on “Russian interference” while running an anti-Trump spy ring out of Langley.

Published:5/22/2018 5:23:48 PM
[] Washington Post, May 8: Revealing the Name of the Spy Could Put Lives in DangerWashington Post, Today: Let's Talk About This Stefan Halper Fellow In Detail Old Washington Post: FBI providing classified briefing to Congressional oversight committee would risk the life of FBI source.New Washington Post: Here's the FBI source's name & bio that FBI leakers provided us. https://t.co/hIHKhwzuz5— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) May 22, 2018 Flashback... Published:5/22/2018 4:22:23 PM
[Politics] Wenstrup: Allow Intel Committee to Continue Investigation Members of the House Intelligence Committee want to complete their investigation into the Department of Justice and the FBI without being "thwarted at every chance," Rep. Brad Wenstrup said Tuesday. Published:5/22/2018 2:21:56 PM
[Markets] "Flood Is Coming": New Comey-McCabe Emails Suggest CNN And FBI Coordination Over Steele Dossier

Several new strings have been tacked across the corkboard in the rapidly unraveling 2016 election scandal. Recently obtained FBI emails shed light on what appears to have been high-level coordination between the FBI and CNN surrounding the release of the infamous "Steele" dossier.

In an April leak of the Comey memos, we learned that the former FBI Director briefed then-President-Elect Donald Trump on the dossier on January 6, 2017 after he wrote in a memo that various news outlets - "CNN in particular" - were "looking for a news hook," and would soon be reporting on it. 

“I said media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook,” Comey wrote of his interaction with Trump. 

CNN, on the other hand, considered Comey's meeting with Trump to have legitimized the document - making it their journalistic responsibility to report on it. 

Thus - any coordination between the FBI and CNN surrounding its report on the Steele dossier is highly relevant, since the Jan. 10, 2017 release of the dossier by Buzzfeed immediately after CNN's report - along with the subsequent firing of James Comey on May 9, prompted the launch of special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation

CNN's bombshell report on Jan. 10 of last year includes a claim that Comey gave Trump a two-page summary of the dossier - which Comey denies. Regardless, the fact that CNN knew about the Comey-Trump briefing and a specific claim about a two-page memo begs the question; who leaked to CNN? 

New FBI emails obtained by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) provide a look behind the scenes surrounding Comey's briefing of Trump, as well as what was discussed after the CNN report - suggesting that former Deputy director Andrew McCabe - who was fired for leaking to the press, had specific knowledge of CNN's plans to publish.

Hours before Comey briefed Trump, FBI chief of staff James Rybicki e-mailed staff that Comey “is coming into HQ briefly now for an update from the sensitive matter team.” Just as the same officials dubbed the Clinton e-mail investigation the “mid-year exam” and the anti-Trump counterintelligence investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” they also used various phrases using “sensitive” to refer obliquely to the dossier.

Two days after the briefing, on January 8, 2017, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who earlier this year was fired and then referred for criminal prosecution by the DOJ inspector general for repeatedly lying about media leaks, wrote an e-mail to top FBI officials with the subject, “Flood is coming.” -The Federalist

CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” McCabe wrote in an email to Comey, Rybicki, and two others. “The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.” McCabe does not reveal how he knew CNN’s “trigger” was Comey's briefing to Trump.

McCabe shot off a second email shortly thereafter to then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates along with her deputy, Matthew Alexrod, with the subject line "News." 

Just as an FYI, and as expected,” McCabe wrote, “it seems CNN is close to running a story about the sensitive reporting.” Again, how McCabe knew this is unclear and begs investigation. 

In a Monday letter to FBI director Christopher Wray, Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, provides a timeline of events which correspond to the newly obtained FBI emails, and asks the agency to provide a list of all the members of the "sensitive matter" team referenced in Rybicki's January 6 email. 

Johnson also wants to know when FBI officials "first learned that media outlets, including CNN, may have possessed the Steele dossier. "  

As The Federalist notes, "To date, there is no public evidence that the FBI ever investigated the leaks to media about the briefing between Trump and Comey. When asked in a recent interview by Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, Comey scoffed at the idea that the FBI would even need to investigate the leak of a secret briefing with the incoming president."

“Did you or your subordinates leak that?” Baier asked.

“No,” Comey responded. “I don’t know who leaked it.”

“Did you ever try to find out?” Baier asked.

“Who leaked an unclassified public document?” Comey said, even though Baier’s question was about leaking details of a briefing of the incoming president, not the dossier. “No,” Comey said.

Johnson's letter can be seen below. He has requested a response by Wray no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 4.

 

Published:5/22/2018 2:21:56 PM
[] Did the FBI Trump Squad Discuss The Dossier with CNN? Sean Davis looks through the emails, and thinks FBI officials -- Andrew McCabe especially -- were very familiar with CNN's thinking. Andrew McCabe seemed downright giddy that CNN was preparing to report on Comey's pee pee dossier briefing for Trump,... Published:5/22/2018 2:21:56 PM
[In The News] Republicans to introduce resolution asking for second special counsel

By R. Mitchell -

Office of the Special Counsel

A group of Republicans plans to introduce a resolution calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate alleged abuses of power at the FBI and Justice Department. Read: Full text of the resolution calling for a second Special Counsel Backed by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Jim Jordan ...

Republicans to introduce resolution asking for second special counsel is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:5/22/2018 1:22:46 PM
[Markets] After Spying On Trump Campaign, Did Stefan Halper Try To Infiltrate State Department?

FBI "infiltrator" Stefan Halper tried to worm his way into a senior role within the Trump administration, according to a Monday report by Jonathan Swan of Axios.

During the transition following the 2016 election, while still being paid by the Department of Defense for "research" papers, Halper - nicknamed: "the walrus," allegedly approached Trump's top trade advisor, Peter Navarro for a job as an ambassador to an unnamed Asian country. 

Halper, who already knew Navarro in the context of being a China scholar and interviewing for his anti-China book and film, pitched himself for an ambassadorship in Asia, according to a source briefed on their interactions. Navarro says he submitted Halper’s name for the Asian ambassadorship — we have not been able to confirm the country — along with around a dozen other people for roles in the region. -Axios

Halper, a Clinton supporter, former government official and longtime spook for the CIA and FBI, was outed as the FBI informant who infiltrated the Trump campaign after the Washington Post and the New York Times ran reports that corroborated a March report by the Daily Caller detailing Halper's outreach to several low-level aides to the Trump campaign, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and a cup of coffee with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis. 

Halper, 73, cut a colorful figure as he strolled through diplomatic, academic, and espionage circles, having served in the Reagan, Ford, and Nixon administrations. -Daily Mail

These contacts are notable, as Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.

The 73-year-old American who split his time between his Virginia farm and teaching at Cambridge, approached several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 US election for purposes of espionage - on behalf of the FBI, headed at the time by the recently very quiet James Comey. Halper continued to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page well after the election, and now we find that he was trying to infiltrate the Trump administration

In short:  

  • The FBI recruited Halper to spy on the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016
  • After forming relationships with two Trump campaign aides, Halper invited one of them, George Papadopoulos, to work on a policy paper in London, where the 73-year-old professor/spy brought up Russian emails
  • Halper approached Trump aide Carter Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails.
  • Then, after the election, Halper reportedly tried to infiltrate the Trump administration, pushing for a job in the State Department, according to Axios

All the while, Halper had been paid handsomely by the Obama administration through a Department of Defense contract, one of four going back to 2012. The most recent contract had a start date of September 26, 2016 - three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "pissgate" dossier creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified "pissgate" dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page. 

Spying on Page after the election...

The second installment of Halper's 2016 DoD contract is dated July 26, 2017 in the amount of $129,280 - around three months before the FISA warrant on Carter Page was set to expire following repeated renewals signed by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and a federal judge.

On July 28, he emailed Page with what the Trump campaign aide describes as a "cordial" communication, which did not seem suspicious to him at the time. 

In the email to Page, Halper asks what his plans are post-election, possibly probing for more information. "It seems attention has shifted a bit from the 'collusion' investigation to the ' contretempts' [sic] within the White House and, how--or if--Mr. Scaramucci will be accommodated there," Halper wrote. 

So, it appears that Halper was paid - or at least received suspiciously timed payments - to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign, not just during the 2016 election, but well into Trump's presidency. 

After a Monday meeting between President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to discuss the Halper revelations, the White House issued a statement according to which the DOJ said it has asked the inspector general to "expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign" and adds that "White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested."

Full statement below:

"Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's or the Department of Justice's tactics concerning the Trump Campaign. It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested."

Translated: a lot of dirty laundry is about to become public.

Published:5/22/2018 12:52:06 PM
[Markets] 'Russiagate' Unveils The Depths Of Corruption In American Politics

Authored by Seraphim Hanisch via The Duran,

For the last seventeen months now, the daily serving of American political news has included a generous helping of Robert Mueller, the Russiagate investigation that has morphed into an “is there any way possible we can get rid of Trump?” investigation, and a never changing but frothy lack of evidence to show that anything dishonest or disingenuous happened in Donald Trump’s campaign to be President of the United States.

Now, according to an opinion piece released by the Hill on Sunday 20 May, one of the issues that has been hiding in plain sight is getting some attention.

That issue is the increasingly evident amount of corruption in the US government agencies, notably the intelligence services and the Justice Department.

Mark Penn, the writer of this piece, puts his thought forward:

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton  “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done.

It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

This is a very clear conclusion. The use of intelligence services - which are supposed to help protect the American people from dangers foreign and domestic - as tools of opposition research, (slander in six syllables) has become increasingly transparent, even as the investigation that this “research” helped launch was supposedly intended to find fault with the candidate Donald Trump and so set the wheels of outrage in motion so as to have him removed from office.

But it is not working.

And as time goes on, these selfsame groups appear to be impugning themselves in a manner that is actually amazing to see. The amazement comes from how such a corrupt operation could be put in motion, and how that operation is only succeeding in outing itself, and yet, it continues, on and on.

The fanciful “dossier” assembled by Christopher Steele and its use by the Clinton camp to create a story out of nothing is one aspect of this level of corruption.

Another is the fact that no evidence against Mr. Trump has arisen that connects him in any way to some sort of illicit or illegal interference with the American election.

A third one is the strange circumstance of Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special counsel after his personal recommendation calling for the firing of James Comey from the Director’s post of the FBI. After Comey was gone, Rosenstein and Robert Mueller joined forces to go forward on this “investigation.”

Sixteen prosecutors are on this team. The budget is not disclosed and is presumed to be unlimited. The team also has on it a former attorney for the Clinton Foundation, and the team has overturned facts, files and people’s lives in order to intimidate and press the idea that “something had to have gone wrong for this man to be elected President.”

Bob Mueller’s own behavior is also a mystery in this. The fact that he is still going at this process after such a long time of finding nothing seemed a mystery to even former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani.

However, if there is a takeaway from this whole story, politically, according to Mr. Penn, it appears to be this:

…[T]he Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

In other words, If you are not going to play by the Deep State playbook, get out. If you don’t get out, we will make your life hell until you do.

There seems to be no question left about the legitimacy of the 2016 US Presidential election. Donald Trump won the contest. It would seem that he won because... he won. Enough people wanted him in the right states that they voted for him, and he won.

An interesting, and perhaps, alarming question still remains.

“Why?”

The Trump victory was unexpected by almost all political polls. It was apparently completely unexpected by President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and many others who include Republicans as well as Democrats. This election seems to have defied the common cynicism that many Americans developed, that being that “the game is rigged.”

In a sense, as we see from Mr. Penn’s piece, this cynicism was actually proven correct. The game has indeed been rigged for a long time. Mr. Trump beat the game because he went totally outside it and got the American people engaged in numbers great enough to break the hold this “deep state” has on the process. This was perhaps an example of what happens when the Republic actually works as it should.

And there is something about that that seems to have these embeds very worried. President Trump has not pleased everyone in his Presidency. Sometimes he even displeases his supporters. But his will to win through to what he wants has proven indomitable, and his ability to outthink and outmaneuver his opposition is surprising. It would be no surprise to presume that the deep state will continue its attacks, only switching narrative gears when it has to. After all, this has already been shown to be the case while the Mueller investigation has been running.

The final question all this raises is this.

“What would have happened had Hillary won?”

Published:5/22/2018 12:21:32 PM
[Markets] Trump Says "No Deal On ZTE" As Senate Committee Blocks Him From Lifting Ban

Update: After Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted this morning that there was no "quid pro quo" involved in the US's decision to take a second look at the sanctions it imposed on Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, President Trump reiterated this afternoon that the US and China have yet to reach a deal on trade, adding that he is "not pleased" with how the talks are progressing. While the talks with China were "a start", Trump said he's not yet satisfied.

The news caused stocks to roll over as worries about a trade war - which had eased markedly on Mnuchin's "trade truce" claims - bubbled back to the surface.

Stocks

Trump added that he expects the US to levy a "very large fine" against ZTE and require new management and a new board of directors - all of which are reportedly conditions of a potential deal reported earlier.

Meanwhile, Congress has decided to throw a wrench in the works after a Senate panel on Tuesday approved an amendment that would block Trump from easing sanctions on ZTE without first certifying that the company is complying with US law.

Of course, Trump's direct contradiction of Mnuchin could be the latest sign that the Treasury Secretary, who was long seen as above the fray in Trump world, might be rising in the Trump administration dead pool.

* * *

After China announced early Tuesday that it would slash its auto tariff, more terms of an as-yet-unfinished US-China trade deal are being revealed.

Trade talks between the US and China are set to continue in Washington and Beijing, and a comprehensive deal remains elusive, but in a sign of the US's growing commitment to compromise, the Trump administration has agreed on the "broad outline" of a deal that would save imperiled Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp., the Wall Street Journal reported.

The news bolstered NXP Semiconductors - whose purchase by Qualcomm now looks virtually assured, allowing hundreds of M&A arbs to finally exhale - which is up 1.8% in the pre-market, while ZTE sanctions benficiaries Ericsson and Nokia are down 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

According to the WSJ, the US has promised to remove the ban on US companies selling components to ZTE - which it imposed last month, purportedly because ZTE failed to fire certain employees and cut bonuses according to the terms of a settlement after it was caught selling US goods to Iran. However, this is conditional on a final deal being reached. President Trump has said he's working with the Chinese to put ZTE back in business, because it's widely believed that the company will fail if the sanctions remain; on Friday, Larry Kudlow said the company would need to make changes to its management and board to qualify for US assistance.

ZTE

Those terms have apparently made it into the deal, and ZTE will be forced to shake up its management and board seats as terms of the deal, while also possibly paying a significant fine. ZTE is the fourth-largest vendor of mobile phones in the US, and before the deal, it was on track to become the first casualty in the US-China trade spat.

It still could be: already, the Trump administration is facing a growing backlash over the perception that it is "backing down" from a fight with China. However, Mnuchin has defended the detente and the administration's decision to work closely with the Chinese.

On Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that "the intent was not to put the company out of business." Mr. Mnuchin also defended Mr. Trump’s decision to keep ZTE alive.

It is "not a surprise President Xi asked President Trump to look into ZTE," Mr. Mnuchin said. "That’s no different than [the] president [calling] up world leaders on behalf of American companies all of the time."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due in Washington this week and will continue talks on ZTE, said officials involved in his trip. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the ZTE case, is scheduled to go to Beijing next week.

Meanwhile, stocks have been loving the trade-detente news, although since there isn't a formal deal yet, the situation could still unravel. President Trump has already backed away from imposing tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods, as he threatened to do last month, reportedly because of internal turmoil over the administration's trade strategy after Peter Navarro, one of the architects of Trump's trade hawkishness, has reportedly been frozen out by Mnuchin. At the same time, it has also been revealed that he supported Stefan Halpert, the FBI mole in the Trump Campaign, for a State Department job.

Chinese spokesman Lu Kang has emphasized that the trade deal between the US and China is still being negotiated. Lu added, when asked about Trump's tweet about the implementation of sanctions on North Korea, that China always fulfills its obligations but also retains "normal" relations with North Korea.

Published:5/22/2018 11:52:35 AM
[In The News] Watch Live: White House Press Briefing with Sarah Sanders 5/22/18

By R. Mitchell -

Sarah Huckabee Sanders - 13

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a briefing to update the media on the issues and events of the day including: Sanction against Iranians for helping Houthi Rebels Trump’s request to the have the DOJ look into the infiltration of his 2016 campaign by the FBI and/or CIA ...

Watch Live: White House Press Briefing with Sarah Sanders 5/22/18 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:5/22/2018 11:22:28 AM
[Media] Getting REAL! Sharyl Attkisson tweets 3 words that should TERRIFY the Obama administration

This sounds ominous from Sharyl Attkisson, but only if you’re a member of the Obama administration. "Flood is coming." — Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) May 22, 2018 Whatever could this mean? "Flood is coming." "Sensitive Matters Team." New FBI emails. @SenRonJohnson @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/CW1XAvPNll pic.twitter.com/0cuaN3vTzX — Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) May 22, 2018 From SharylAttkisson.com: Based on the […]

The post Getting REAL! Sharyl Attkisson tweets 3 words that should TERRIFY the Obama administration appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/22/2018 10:22:14 AM
[Politics] “FLOOD IS COMING” – New emails reveal FBI was working with CNN to publish story on unverified Trump dossier! New emails discovered by Senator Ron Johnson, head of the Homeland Security committee, reveal that the FBI was working with CNN to get a story published on the unverified and infamous Russian . . . Published:5/22/2018 9:24:46 AM
[Politics] Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Downplays 2016 Meeting With FBI Informant The former co-chairman to then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign downplayed his 2017 meeting with the man thought to be an FBI informant, describing the powwow as academic, a meeting between "two faculty professors." Published:5/22/2018 8:51:13 AM
[Markets] Second Spy Tried To Infiltrate Trump Campaign Says Former Adviser: "This Is Just The Beginning"

Republican consultant and former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo claims that a different spy working for the Obama administration approached him in an attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.

Appearing on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" along with former Trump aide Carter Page, Caputo's comments come amid recent revelations that Stefan Halper, a 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor, was enlisted by the Obama FBI/DOJ to perform espionage on four members of the Trump campaign - both before and after the election. Halper then tried to infiltrate the Trump administration, asking top trade adviser Peter Navaro to recommend him for a job at the State Department according to Axios. 

Halper has been paid over $1 million by the Department of Defense since 2012, with over $400,000 of it occurring in 2016 and 2017. 

And now we have word of yet second spy - possibly from another agency within the Obama administration - approaching yet another member of the Trump campaign. 

“Let me tell you something that I know for a fact. This informant, this person that planted, that they tried to plant into the campaign and even into the administration if you believe Axios–he’s not the only person that came at the campaign," Caputo claimed. "And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came at the campaign,” Caputo continued.

I know because they came at me. And I’m looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public."

Watch: 

Halper, who served in three Republican administrations, approached campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos in July and September of 2016 respectively - maintaining a dialogue with Page throughout 2017, and paying Papadopoulos $3,000 for work in London for a policy paper on energy.

Halper and Papadopoulos met several times in London where the FBI spy asked the Trump aide whether he knew about Russian hacking of Democrats' emails, according to the Daily Caller.

Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign's national co-chairman, was also approached by Halper - meeting once for coffee just days before Halper first contacted Papadopoulos. 

Caputo did not say why he believes he was contacted by a second government informant. Reached by TheDCNF, he declined to offer additional details, saying he needed clearance from his attorney. He did say the encounter occurred prior to Halper’s outreach to Page. -Daily Caller

"This is just the beginning," Caputo told Fox News. "And I’ll tell ya, when we finally find out the truth about this, Director Clapper and the rest of them are gonna be wearing some orange suits."

Published:5/22/2018 8:51:13 AM
[Politics] “FLOOD IS COMING” – New emails reveal FBI was working with CNN to publish story on unverified Trump dossier! New emails discovered by Senator Ron Johnson, head of the Homeland Security committee, reveal that the FBI was working with CNN to get a story published on the unverified and infamous Russian . . . Published:5/22/2018 8:51:13 AM
[US News] REMINDER: Congress really doesn’t care about election security and here’s proof

The House Homeland Security Committee held a classified briefing on election security this morning: Members have begun to trickle in for 8am classied briefing on election security. House Homeland Security Committee @RepMcCaul and @JimLangevin have arrived. — Martin Matishak (@martinmatishak) May 22, 2018 @FBI Director Chris Wray has arrived. Word is @ODNIgov Coats is already […]

The post REMINDER: Congress really doesn’t care about election security and here’s proof appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/22/2018 8:26:54 AM
[Media] Kimberley Strassel LEVELS Obama Bro Jon Favreau after spat with Maria Bartiromo

Obama Bro Jon Favreau got into a spat with Maria Bartiromo over Bartiromo’s questioning of “an abuse of power at the top of the FBI,” but the WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel was having none of that and absolutley leveled Favreau over his comments. First up, here’s the bro vs the B-romo: Add @MariaBartiromo to the long […]

The post Kimberley Strassel LEVELS Obama Bro Jon Favreau after spat with Maria Bartiromo appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/22/2018 7:50:49 AM
[World] FBI, Justice to 'review' classified info sought by lawmakers WASHINGTON (AP) — Ratcheting up pressure on the Russia investigation, the White House announced Monday that top FBI and Justice Department officials have agreed to meet with congressional leaders and "review" highly classified information the lawmakers have been seeking on the handling of the probe. Published:5/21/2018 10:47:46 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: DOJ expanding IG probe after meeting with Trump… President Trump met today with both Deputy AG Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray in a meeting that was scheduled before he yesterday called on the DOJ to investigate any 2016 spying of . . . Published:5/21/2018 4:50:43 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: DOJ expanding IG probe after meeting with Trump… President Trump met today with both Deputy AG Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray in a meeting that was scheduled before he yesterday called on the DOJ to investigate any 2016 spying of . . . Published:5/21/2018 4:50:43 PM
[Politics] White House Setting Up Meeting on Russia Probe White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement Monday shortly after Trump finished a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Published:5/21/2018 4:50:43 PM
[The Blog] White House: After meeting with Trump, Rosenstein will ask IG to look at “irregularities” in DOJ/FBI tactics towards campaign

Crisis averted?

The post White House: After meeting with Trump, Rosenstein will ask IG to look at “irregularities” in DOJ/FBI tactics towards campaign appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/21/2018 4:50:42 PM
[2016 Presidential Election] Perspectives on an “outing” (Paul Mirengoff) Glenn Greenwald, a leftist, offers his perspective on the man the FBI selected to spy on the Trump campaign and on the brouhaha surrounding his “outing.” First, Greenwald says that this man, now a professor, was responsible for spying on the Carter administration on behalf of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980. He did this, by running a scheme whereby CIA operatives passed classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Published:5/21/2018 1:25:48 AM
[2016 Presidential Election] Jazzing up the FBI spying-on-Trump scandal (Paul Mirengoff) The FBI and its friends in the mainstream media want to make the Bureau’s spying on the Trump campaign seem as dry, innocuous, and non-cloak-and-dagger as possible under the circumstances. An elderly professor contacted three Trump advisers — Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis. He met with Page at least several times and maintained an email correspondence with him. He met with Clovis once for coffee. He met several Published:5/19/2018 8:26:17 PM
[Politics] Trump Demands DOJ to Release Documents on FBI Informant President Donald Trump on Saturday called on the Justice Department to release documents in light of reports of an FBI informant infiltrating his 2016 campaign, saying on Twitter that the data "can give the conclusive answers.""If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign... Published:5/19/2018 8:26:16 PM
[The Blog] Andrew McCarthy: The DOJ’s disparate treatment of Trump and Clinton

"Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin both told the FBI they were unaware that Clinton was using a private server..."

The post Andrew McCarthy: The DOJ’s disparate treatment of Trump and Clinton appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/19/2018 8:26:16 PM
[Markets] "It's Over" - Biggest 'Russiagate' Cheerleaders Start Covering Their Tracks

Authored by Daniel Lazare via ConsortiumNews.com,

As months turn into nearly two years and no solid evidence emerges to nail Russia for nabbing Election 2016, some big Russiagate cheerleaders are starting to cover their tracks.

The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks. 

The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if The Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

And then there’s The New York Times, which this week devoted a 3,600-word front-page article to explain why the FBI had no choice but to launch an investigation into Trump’s alleged Russian links and how, if anything, the inquiry wasn’t aggressive enough.  As the article puts it, “Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the FBI was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known.”

It’s Nobody’s Fault

The result is a late-breaking media chorus to the effect that it’s not the fault of the FBI that the investigation has dragged on with so little to show for it; it’s not the fault of Mueller either, and, most of all, it’s not the fault of the corporate press, even though it’s done little over the last two years than scream about Russia. It’s not anyone’s fault, evidently, but simply how the system works.

This is nonsense, and the gaping holes in the Times article show why.

The piece, written by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos and entitled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is pretty much like everything else the Times has written on the subject, i.e. biased, misleading, and incomplete.  Its main argument is that the FBI had no option but to step in because four Trump campaign aides had “obvious or suspected Russian ties.”

Flynn: With Stein at ‘The Dinner’

At Putin’s Arm’

One was Michael Flynn, who would briefly serve as Donald Trump’s national security adviser and who, according to the Times, “was paid $45,000 by the Russian government’s media arm for a 2015 speech and dined at the arm of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.”

Another was Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump’s campaign chairman and was a source of concern because he had “lobbied for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine and worked with an associate who has been identified as having connections to Russian intelligence.”

A third was Carter Page, a Trump foreign-policy adviser who “was well known to the FBI” because “[h]e had previously been recruited by Russian spies and was suspected of meeting one in Moscow during the campaign.”

The fourth was George Papadopoulos, a “young and inexperienced campaign aide whose wine-fueled conversation with the Australian ambassador set off the investigation. Before hacked Democratic emails appeared online, he had seemed to know that Russia had political dirt on Mrs. Clinton.”

Seems incriminating, eh?  But in each case the connection was more tenuous than the Times lets on.  Flynn, for example, didn’t dine “at the arm of the Russian president” at a now-famous December 2015 Moscow banquet honoring the Russian media outlet RT.  He was merely at a table at which Putin happened to sit down for “maybe five minutes, maybe twenty, tops,” according to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein who was just a few chairs away.  No words were exchanged, Stein says, and “[n]obody introduced anybody to anybody.  There was no translator.  The Russians spoke Russian.  The four people who spoke English spoke English.”

The Manafort associate with the supposed Russian intelligence links turns out to be a Russian-Ukrainian translator named Konstantin Kilimnik who studied English at a Soviet military school and who vehemently denies any such connection.  It seems that the Ukrainian authorities did investigate the allegations at one point but declined to press charges.  So the connection is unproven.

Page Was No Spy

The same goes for Carter Page, who was not “recruited” by Russian intelligence, but, rather, approached by what he thought were Russian trade representatives at a January 2013 energy symposium in New York.  When the FBI informed him five or six months later that it believed the men were intelligence agents, Page appears to have cooperated fully based on a federal indictment filed with the Southern District of New York.  Thus, Page was not a spy pace the Times, but a government informant as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has pointed out – in other words, a good guy, as the Times would undoubtedly see it, helping the catch a couple of baddies.

Page: No Spy

As for Papadopoulos, who the Times suggests somehow got advance word that WikiLeaks was about to dump a treasure trove of Hillary Clinton emails, the article fails to mention that at the time the conversation with the Australian ambassador took place, the Clinton communications in the news were the 30,000 State Department emails that she had improperly stored on her private computer. These were the emails that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about,” as Bernie Sanders put it.  Instead of spilling the beans about a data breach yet to come, it’s more likely that Papadopoulos was referring to emails that were already in the news – a possibility the Times fails to discuss.

FBI ‘Perplexed’

One could go on.  But not only does the Times article get the details wrong, it paints the big picture in misleading tones as well.  It says that the FBI was “perplexed” by such Trump antics as calling on Russia to release still more Clinton emails after WikiLeaks went public with its disclosure.  The word suggests a disinterested observer who can’t figure out what’s going on.  But it ignores how poisonous the atmosphere had become by that point and how everyone’s mind was seemingly made up.

By July 2016, Clinton was striking out at Trump at every opportunity about his Russian ties – not because they were true, but because a candidate who had struggled to come up with a winning slogan had at last come across an issue that seemed to resonate with her fan base.  Consequently, an intelligence report that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee “was a godsend,” wrote Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in Shatteredtheir best-selling account of the Clinton campaign, because it was “hard evidence upon which Hillary could start to really build the case that Trump was actually in league with Moscow.”

Not only did Clinton believe this, but her followers did as well, as did the corporate media and, evidently, the FBI.  This is the takeaway from text messages that FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok exchanged with FBI staff attorney Lisa Page.

Andrew McCarthy, who has done a masterful job of reconstructing the sequence, notes that in late July 2016, Page mentioned an article she had come across on a liberal web site discussing Trump’s alleged Russia ties.  Strzok texted back that he’s “partial to any women sending articles about nasty the Russians are.”  Page replied that the Russians “are probably the worst.  Very little I finding redeeming about this.  Even in history.  Couple of good writers and artists I guess.”  Strzok heartily agreed: “f***ing conniving cheating savages.  At statecraft, athletics, you name it.  I’m glad I’m on Team USA.”

Strzok: Thought F’ing Russians ‘nasty’

The F’ing Russian ‘Savages’

This is the institutional bias that the Times doesn’t dare mention.  An agency whose top officials believe that “f***ing conniving cheating savages” are breaking down the door is one that is fairly guaranteed to construe evidence in the most negative, anti-Russian way possible while ignoring anything to the contrary. So what if Carter Page had cooperated with the FBI?  What’s important is that he had had contact with Russian intelligence at all, which was enough to render him suspicious in the bureau’s eyes.  Ditto Konstantin Kilimnik.  So what if the Ukrainian authorities had declined to press charges?  The fact that they had even looked was damning enough.

Clapper: Bogus 'assessment'

The FBI thus made the classic methodological error of allowing its investigation to be contaminated by its preconceived beliefs.  Objectivity fell by the wayside.  The Times says that Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent whose infamous, DNC and Clinton camp paid-for opposition research dossier turned “golden showers” into a household term, struck the FBI as “highly credible” because he had “helped agents unravel complicated cases” in the past.  Perhaps.  But the real reason is that he told agents what they wanted to hear, which is that the “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years” with the “[a]im, endorsed by PUTIN, … [of] encourage[ing] splits and divisions in [the] western alliance” (which can be construed as a shrewd defensive move against a Western alliance massing troops on Russian borders.)

What else would one expect of people as “nasty” as these?  In fact, the Steele dossier should have caused alarm bells to go off.  How could Putin have possibly known five years before that Trump would be a viable presidential candidate?  Why would high-level Kremlin officials share inside information with an ex-intelligence official thousands of miles away?  Why would the dossier declare on one page that the Kremlin has offered Trump “various lucrative real estate development business deals” but then say on another that Trump’s efforts to drum up business had gone nowhere and that he therefore “had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success”?  Given that the dossier was little more than “oppo research” commissioned and funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, why was it worthy of consideration at all?

The Rush to Believe

But all such questions disappeared amid the general rush to believe.  The Times is right that the FBI slow-walked the investigation until Election Day. This is because agents assumed that Trump would lose and that therefore there was no need to rush.  But when he didn’t, the mood turned to one of panic and fury.

Without offering a shred of evidence, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a formal assessment on Jan. 6, 2017, that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election … [in order] to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”  The “assessment” contains this disclaimer: “

The New Yorker reports that an ex-aide to John McCain hoped to persuade the senator to use the Steele dossier to force Trump to resign even before taking office.  (The ex-aide denies that this was the case.)

When FBI Director James Comey personally confronted Trump with news of the dossier two weeks prior to inauguration, the Times says he “feared making this conversation a ‘J. Edgar Hoover-type situation,’ with the FBI presenting embarrassing information “to lord over a president-elect.”

But that is precisely what happened. When someone – most likely CIA Director John Brennan, now a commentator with NBC News – leaked word of the meeting and Buzzfeed published the dossier four days later, the corporate media went wild. Trump was gravely wounded, while Adam Schiff, Democratic point man on the House Intelligence Committee, would subsequently trumpet the Steele dossier as the unvarnished truth.  According to the Times account, Trump was unpersuaded by Comey’s assurances that he was there to help.  “Hours earlier,” the paper says, “…he debuted what would quickly become a favorite phrase: ‘This is a political witch hunt.’”

The Times clearly regards the idea as preposterous on its face.  But while Trump is wrong about many things, on this one subject he happens to be right.  The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats have all gone off the deep end in search of a Russia connection that doesn’t exist.  They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism.  And now they’re trying to dodge the blame.

Published:5/19/2018 2:05:44 PM
[Markets] Krugman Cries Treason After Stefan Halper Outed As FBI Infiltrator, There's Just One Problem...

Friday's outing of longtime CIA and MI6 asset Stefan Halper as an FBI asset sent to infiltrate the Trump campaign has social media abuzz today. Reactions have ranged from celebration to outrage, with little inbetween. 

To recap, after two weeks of hunting for a "mole" in the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post both printed incredibly detailed descriptions of Halper - withholding all but his name, solidly corroborating a March report by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross about Halper's meetings with the Trump aides. Neither publication give Ross credit, of course. 

Somehow several anti-Trump intellectuals got their wires crossed, conflating President Trump and Senate Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes' calls for transparency by the DOJ, with the actual media outlets that exposed Halper.

Senior Brookings Institute fellow, and James Comey's close friend, Benjamin Wittes is beside himself - angrily tweeting: "I have a whole lot to say about how the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the President of the United States teamed up to out an intelligence source...," adding in a subsequent tweet "But I am too angry to write right now—and Twitter is probably not the right forum. So I’ll leave it at this for now: Important people defiled their oaths of office for these stories to appear."

To which Paul Krugman replied: "We've basically crossed the line into treason now -- and a whole party is acquiescing" 

Maybe Paul... there is just one problem:

Others have noted that Halper, a longtime asset of MI6 and US Intelligence - is a rabid Trump hater who openly supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US election.

"I believe [Hillary] Clinton would be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union," Clinton is well-known, deeply experienced and predictable. US-UK relations will remain steady regardless of the winner although Clinton will be less disruptive over time," Halper, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, said.

Yet others noted that the FBI's Russia "investigation" into Trump didn't seem to extend to Hillary Clinton. We would remind readers that her campaign chair, John Podesta, sat on the board of Massachusetts energy company Joule Unlimited, along with senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan – who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council. 

Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin’s Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano. Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship before joining the Clinton Campaign, he transferred 75,000 shares of Joule to his daughter through a shell company using her address.

We're sure the FBI was all over that... 

Even Midtown Manhattan bars were abuzz with people shaking their heads over the FBI's double-standards and ham-handed investigation. 

Published:5/19/2018 1:35:40 PM
[World] FBI Informant Reportedly Placed in 2016 Trump Campaign: Jason Chaffetz Reacts

Former Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz said Saturday that reports of an FBI informant who was placed inside the 2016 Trump campaign is "spying by the very definition."

Published:5/19/2018 11:35:45 AM
[Markets] FBI Spy-Op Exposed, Trump Campaign Infiltrated By Longtime CIA And MI6 Asset

Following two weeks of mounting speculation over the FBI's so-called "mole" inside the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post published separate accounts on Friday detailing the infiltration of the Trump campaign - a scheme revealed in a Wednesday report by the New York Times in which "at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos." The Wednesday report also disclosed the existence of "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" - the FBI's code name for their early Trump-Russia investigation.

Thanks to Friday's carefully crafted deep-state disclosures by WaPo and the Times, along with actual reporting by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross, we now know it wasn't a mole at all - but 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.

While Halper's name remains undisclosed by the NYT and WaPo, a quick read of all three articles linked above makes it abundantly clear that the "American academic who teaches in Britain" described by The Times, who "met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos" is none other than Halper - whose meetings with the Trump aides were revealed by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross in late March.

Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign.

The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper’s September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn’t his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned. -Daily Caller

These contacts are notable, as Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.

George Papadopoulos

Interestingly Downer - the source of the Papadopoulos intel, and Halper - who conned Papadopoulos months later, are linked through UK-based Haklyut & Co. an opposition research and intelligence firm - founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums

Downer - a good friend of the Clintons, has been on their advisory board for a decade, while Halper is connected to Hakluyt through Director of U.S. operations Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. (h/t themarketswork.com)

Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. Downer said that in May 2016, Papadopoulos told him during a conversation in London about Russians having Clinton emails.

That information was passed to other Australian government officials before making its way to U.S. officials. FBI agents flew to London a day after “Crossfire Hurricane” started in order to interview Downer.

It is still not known what Downer says about his interaction with Papadopoulos, which TheDCNF is told occurred around May 10, 2016.

Also interesting via Lifezette - "Downer is not the only Clinton fan in Hakluyt. Federal contribution records show several of the firm’s U.S. representatives made large contributions to two of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign organizations."

Halper contacted Papadopoulos on September 2, 2016 according to The Caller - flying him out to London to work on a policy paper on energy issues in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel - for which he was ultimately paid $3,000. Papadopoulos met Halper several times during his stay, "having dinner one night at the Travellers Club, and Old London gentleman's club frequented by international diplomats." 

They were accompanied by Halper’s assistant, a Turkish woman named Azra Turk. Sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s claims about his trip say Turk flirted with him during their encounters and later on in email exchanges.

...

Emails were also brought up during Papadopoulos’s meetings with Halper, though not by the Trump associate, according to sources familiar with his version of events. The sources say that during conversation, Halper randomly brought up Russians and emails. Papadopoulos has told people close to him that he grew suspicious of Halper because of the remark. -Daily Caller

Meanwhile, Halper targeted Carter Page two days after Page returned from a trip to Moscow

Page’s visit to Moscow, where he spoke at the New Economic School on July 8, 2016, is said to have piqued the FBI’s interest even further. Page and Halper spoke on the sidelines of an election-themed symposium held at Cambridge days later. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 and a close colleague of Halper’s, spoke at the event.

...

Page would enter the media spotlight in September 2016 after Yahoo! News reported that the FBI was investigating whether he met with two Kremlin insiders during that Moscow trip.

It would later be revealed that the Yahoo! article was based on unverified information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier regarding the Trump campaign. Steele’s report, which was funded by Democrats, also claimed Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on the collusion conspiracy. -Daily Caller

A third target of Halper's was Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis, whose name was revealed by the Washington Post on Friday. 

In late August 2016, the professor reached out to Clovis, asking if they could meet somewhere in the Washington area, according to Clovis’s attorney, Victoria Toensing.

“He said he wanted to be helpful to the campaign” and lend the Trump team his foreign-policy experience, Toensing said.

Clovis, an Iowa political figure and former Air Force officer, met the source and chatted briefly with him over coffee, on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, at a hotel cafe in Crystal City, she said. Most of the discussion involved him asking Clovis his views on China.

“It was two academics discussing China,” Toensing said. “Russia never came up.” -WaPo

Who is Stefan Halper?

After attending Stanford and Oxford, Halper worked for the Nixon administration, where he ended up in the Office of Management and Budget as an Assistant Director, then moved to the Chief of Staff's office in the Carter White House from 1974-1977. 

Halper was involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush's National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of State - where he served under three different Secretaries.

He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper's former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA. He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration - collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline).

As one can clearly see, Halper has been around the block a few times.

We can't imagine he thought his legacy would be cast as the man who infiltrated the Trump campaign in what is shaping up to be the largest political corruption scandal in the history of the United States, which of course would have been swept under the rug had Hillary simply won the election as all the "experts" predicted.

Published:5/19/2018 8:32:34 AM
[Politics] AP: Where Did Trump's Claim of FBI Mole Come From? President Donald Trump and his supporters are circulating an explosive theory: The FBI, they say, may have planted a mole, or "spy," inside the 2016 campaign to bring him down. Published:5/19/2018 8:04:31 AM
[Democrats] Yanny, Laurel, or…. (John Hinderaker) As the evening draws to a close and we look forward to commenting on the latest limited modified hangout from the Deep State–“FBI used informant to investigate Russia ties to campaign, not to spy, as Trump claims!” says the New York Times–let’s finish with a little entertainment. If you don’t already know about the Yanny vs. Laurel controversy that has gripped the internet over the last 36 hours, it probably Published:5/18/2018 9:59:20 PM
[World] Hannity: Obama FBI Spying on Trump Campaign Is Worse Than Watergate and Nixon

Sean Hannity said that new reports that the Obama-era FBI placed a spy inside the Trump campaign are "worse than Watergate."

Published:5/18/2018 8:59:23 PM
[Media] BREAKING: Washington Post identifies ‘secret FBI source’ as a ‘retired American professor’

Breaking news from the Washington Post tonight where we’re learning new details on the “secret FBI source” who met with advisers to the Trump campaign: Secret FBI source for Russia investigation met with three Trump advisers during campaign. Great and well-considered story by my Post colleagues to come: https://t.co/JqMPKFB5QZ — Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) May 19, […]

The post BREAKING: Washington Post identifies ‘secret FBI source’ as a ‘retired American professor’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/18/2018 8:59:21 PM
[Law] Cartoon: FBI Goes Fishing

The post Cartoon: FBI Goes Fishing appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/18/2018 4:31:51 PM
[Markets] The Identity Of Cohen Bank-Report-Leaker Won't Be A Secret For Long

Whoever leaked Michael Cohen's bank information to lawyer Michael Avenatti - something that would've required accessing a federal database - their identity likely won't be a secret for long.

That's because anyone who accesses the government's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will leave a digital trail that will likely lead law enforcement to discover the identity of whoever leaked the information to Avenatti, according to Bloomberg.

Cohen

The fact that the information was released at all does offer several clues. According to information released in an interview with Ronan Farrow, and the fact that experienced users would likely be aware of the audit trail left by a search of Cohen's records, it's likely that whoever it is likely doesn't regularly use the database.

The individual provided an explanation for the leak in an interview with Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, who referred to the person as an official and not as a man or woman. The official says that he grew alarmed that he was unable to find two earlier reports made by First Republic Bank about transactions in Cohen’s consulting account and that he feared information was being withheld from law enforcement officials.

Explaining his motivation, he said he knew that leaking the suspicious activity report violated bank secrecy laws but was willing to take the risk out of concern that similar reports involving Cohen had mysteriously disappeared.

According to Bloomberg, more than 10,000 agents, analysts and investigators from more than 350 federal, state and local agencies across the US can access the database, which logs approximately 30,000 searches a day. 

In another sign that Avenatti's source may not have been an expert, Avenatti’s trove of records included transactions involving other Michael Cohens who weren't related to Trump's personal attorney. Whoever it is could face consequences, including legal repercussions.

"Government employees and law enforcement personnel with access to the system are not authorized to publicly disclose SARs," FinCEN spokesman Steve Hudak said.

There's perhaps the best reason to believe that whoever leaked Cohen's records was unfamiliar with the system is that, while they expressed "concern" about the attorney's vanishing financial reports, they were apparently unaware of several legitimate reasons why these reports wouldn't appear in the database. For example, they could've been restricted because they had become part of an investigation.

If that were the case, investigators wouldn't want to risk a leak allowing others to access sensitive reports.

"Under longstanding procedures, FinCEN will limit access to certain SARs when requested by law enforcement authorities in connection with an ongoing investigation," Hudak said.

Of course, as Bloomberg points out, prosecutions involving the disclosures of suspicious activity reports are rare - mainly because leaks of FinCen data are rare. But some people familiar with FinCen's thinking say whoever leaked the data will almost certainly be charged with a crime.

"The leaker is taking an extraordinary personal risk for greater transparency," said Duncan Levin, a former federal and state prosecutor who dealt extensively with the FinCEN database.

"Whoever did this has added immeasurably to the public conversation and likely knows full well how much legal risk he or she is now facing."

Indeed, convictions aren't unheard of. A former official with Chase Bank in California was convicted in 2011 of wrongfully disclosing a suspicious activity report of a customer suspected of committing mortgage fraud. Frank Mendoza, the bank official who was convicted for the disclosure, used this information to try and shake down a customer whom he suspected was guilty of bank fraud.

In late 2008, Mendoza's bank filed a suspicious activity report. In 2009, Mendoza approached the borrower, told him about the report that Mendoza's bank had filed, and said a federal investigation into his business was likely. Alternatively, Mendoza said the customer could pay him $25,000 to help make the problem disappear. 

The borrower instead went to the FBI, which allowed him to play along. Mendoza was then arrested, charged and, following a one-week trial, convicted on three counts of bank bribery and one count of unlawfully disclosing a suspicious activity report. The deliberations lasted 30 minutes.

Published:5/18/2018 2:57:11 PM
[Markets] Clapper Says "Good Thing" FBI Was Spying On Trump Campaign

Following the president's tweet Thursday morning:

The Daily Caller's Julia Nista pointed out the hypocrisy of former Director of Intelligence James Clapper, who said Thursday night on CNN that it was “a good thing” there was an FBI informant spying on the Trump campaign.

Clapper admitted the FBI “may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign,” referring to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

He tried to explain away the possibility of an FBI informant spying on the campaign as the bureau was trying to find out “what the Russians were doing to try to substantiate themselves in the campaign or influence or leverage it.”

Obama’s Director of National Intelligence then went on to say,

“So, if there was someone that was observing that sort of thing, that’s a good thing.”

Nista then tweeted a quick summary of the sheer farce...

Clapper then concluded, that he believes:

“it’s hugely dangerous if someone like that is exposed because the danger to that person” and the potential “reluctance of others to be informants for the FBI” could possibly devastate the FBI.

In other words - don't try to find out who the spy was because it's just too dangerous to national security!!

We leave it to Fox's Sara Carter to summarize...

Published:5/18/2018 12:56:45 PM
[Politics] What the hell is this, the Soviet Union?!?!?! – Mark Levin on Hannity Mark Levin was on Hannity last night discussing the new revelations that Obama’s FBI spied on the Trump campaign and he had a lot to say. Watch: Levin argues that the FISA . . . Published:5/18/2018 11:26:22 AM
[Politics] What the hell is this, the Soviet Union?!?!?! – Mark Levin on Hannity Mark Levin was on Hannity last night discussing the new revelations that Obama’s FBI spied on the Trump campaign and he had a lot to say. Watch: Levin argues that the FISA . . . Published:5/18/2018 10:56:25 AM
[Politics] Giuliani Questions Whether There Was FBI Spy in Trump Campaign Rudy Giuliani on Friday said he doesn't "know for sure" whether FBI informants were embedded in President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Published:5/18/2018 9:26:23 AM
[Politics] Trump has a fever and the only prescription is more tweets! This morning Trump is again on Twitter tweeting about several things. First and foremost, however, he’s tweeting about the reports that a secret FBI cabal was spying on his campaign in 2016: . . . Published:5/18/2018 9:26:23 AM
[Politics] Trump has a fever and the only prescription is more tweets! This morning Trump is again on Twitter tweeting about several things. First and foremost, however, he’s tweeting about the reports that a secret FBI cabal was spying on his campaign in 2016: . . . Published:5/18/2018 9:26:23 AM
[Markets] Police Shoot Man Who Fired Shots, "Spewed About President" At Trump Golf Resort

A man who fired gunshots at the Trump National Doral golf and spa resort in northwest Miami-Dade has been shot by police, according to the Orlando Sun Sentinel.

The shooting at the resort, located off the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 36th Street and 87th Avenue, occurred at around 1:30 am, according to Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, who delivered an update on the situation at a pre-dawn news conference outside the resort.

The man who was shot, who had reportedly been "yelling and spewing some information about President Trump", was seen sitting up in his gurney as rescue workers took him to Kendall Regional Medical Center. The man's identity was not revealed. The incident is not currently being considered an act of terrorism. In addition to local police, the FBI and other federal agencies are at the scene.

During the incident, which unfolded very quickly, an officer from the Doral Police Department was hurt, but not from gunfire. He was taken to a hospital, possibly with a broken wrist.

"These officers did not hesitate for one second to engage this individual who was actively shooting in the lobby of the hotel," Perez said.

Trump’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted his thanks to the Doral and Miami-Dade police departments after news of the shooting broke.

Published:5/18/2018 6:55:23 AM
[] The Morning Report 5/18/18 Good morning kids. The weekend is here and what a week it has been. With all the revelations about FBI subversion, the impending release of the IG report and Friday being the traditional news dump day to sweep dirt... Published:5/18/2018 6:25:41 AM
[The Blog] Report: IG has found possible violations of law in FBI/DOJ handling of Clinton investigation

"reasonable grounds"

The post Report: IG has found possible violations of law in FBI/DOJ handling of Clinton investigation appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/17/2018 6:23:25 PM
[Markets] Rigged? Circuit Judge Says Ballots Were Illegally Destroyed In Wasserman Schultz' House Race

Authored by Nick Givas via The Daily Caller,

Florida circuit court Judge Raag Singhal ruled the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office violated state and federal law Friday, after the office destroyed ballots from a 2016 House race for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s seat.

The elections office may also be on the hook for $200,000 in attorneys fees for Tim Canova, who brought a lawsuit against them after he lost to Wasserman Schultz in 2016, the Sun Sentinel reported. Canova lost by a final tally of 28,809 to 21,907 in a Democratic primary.

Canova requested a closer look at the paper ballots from the race to check for anomalies in March 2017, but Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes did not respond to his requests so he took her to court, according to the Sun Sentinel. Snipes had signed off on the destruction of the ballots in September 2017.

Snipes made a “mistake,” she said during testimony in court and claimed the boxes were mislabeled. She maintained the destruction of the ballots was entirely unintentional.

“When I sign, I sign folders filled with information,” Snipes said in her testimony, according to the Sun Sentinel.

“I trust my staff. They have the responsibility of giving me information that’s correct.”

Singhal ruled Snipes had wrongly destroyed public records because her office is required to maintain documents from the election for 22 months after it’s conclusion. Snipes destroyed the ballots after only one year.

Snipes’ attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, also admitted her client made a mistake but said the ballots were scanned and preserved before being disposed of.

“It was a mistake [destroying the original ballots], but the ballots were preserved,” Norris-Weeks told the Sun Sentinel.

“They were scanned shortly after the election.”

Canova claimed he contacted the FBI twice to complain, but didn’t receive a response.

The ruling will allow for Canova to have his attorney fees reimbursed by the elections office, but he still wants Snipes fired for her role in the alleged fraud.

“I think dismissal is an appropriate remedy,” Canova told the Sun Sentinel.

Published:5/17/2018 5:53:11 PM
[Markets] Was Gina Haspel, Trump's New CIA Chief, Involved In Secret Spy Op On Trump Campaign?

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed concern on Fox News Tuesday over CIA director-designate Gina Haspel's potential involvement in a recently exposed surveillance campaign against Donald Trump's campaign, noting her close relationship with former CIA Director John Brennan. 

Speaking with host Neil Cavuto, Paul said he doesn't want "people running our intelligence agencies that have an axe to grind or have some sort of partisanship lurking beneath the surface."

Paul connects the dots: 

Well, you know, I’m concerned that there are reports that John Brennan, the former head of the CIA under President Obama that he was cooperating with British intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign. This is a big deal.

...

I think that she is a close acolyte of John Brennan. So, I think some have called her a protégé. 

...

There are some accusations it was actually ordered by President Obama`s administration, either through John Brennan or others. Gina Haspel is the acting director of the CIA. She is high enough up in the CIA. I think we should know what she knows about whether the Trump campaign was surveilled upon. 

The biggest dot?

Yesterday we profiled a puff piece "planted" in the New York Times which effectively attempts to mount a public defense of the FBI ahead of a much anticipated report later this year by the DOJ's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz. Horowitz's first report on the Clinton email investigation is expected within weeks, however he is also investigating the FBI's conduct during the 2016 US election. 

And as we found out last week, it's looking fairly certain that the FBI embedded at least one mole, and possibly more, inside Trump's 2016 campaign.

The NYT piece reveals that the FBI launched "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" against the Trump campaign, sending anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok to London 90 days before the 2016 election to meet with Alexander Downer. According toi the Times, Strzok and Downer met to describe his meeting with Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos - in which Papadopoulos purportedly said he knew that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's hacked emails. 

The meeting with Downer was described as "highly unusual," and "helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation." The FBI kept details of the operation secret from most of the DOJ - with "only about five Justice Department officials" aware of the full scope of the case.

Moreover, we know that several other meetings of high profile individuals involved in the anti-Trump effort occurred in London, where former MI6 agent Christopher Steele is based. Steele

What does this have to do with Haspel? OAN's Jack Posobiec lays it out: 

Brennan, by all appearances, was deeply involved in the operation against the Trump campaign. As Paul Sperry of RealClear Investigations reported on Wednesday, Two former colleagues of ex-CIA Director John Brennan have contradicted his claim that the unverified "Steele Dossier" was not part of the US Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Brennan was feeding some of the dossier material to President Obama and passing it off as credible, reports Sperry.

Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a ‘credible source,’ which is how they viewed Steele,” said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources.” -RCI

And while Brennan was feeding Obama unverified information from the Steele dossier, his "Acolyte" Gina Haspel ran the London CIA station - in very close proximity to nearly the entire cast of characters involved in the alleged setup.

Published:5/17/2018 4:51:57 PM
[FBI] McCarthy reads the Times story (Scott Johnson) Andrew McCarthy gives the (new) Times origin story the kind of close reading I called for here earlier today. With the benefit of an educated eye, he reads the Times story between the lines and concludes (all emphasis in original): * * * * * The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a Published:5/17/2018 3:56:44 PM
[Markets] Former CIA Employee Suspected In "Vault 7" WikiLeaks Disclosure

U.S. authorities have identified a suspect in last year's "Vault 7" leaks of CIA hacking and electronic surveillance tools used in foreign espionage operations, reports the Washington Post

The Vault 7 release - a series of 24 documents which began to publish on March 7, 2017 - reveal that the CIA had a wide variety of tools to use against adversaries, including the ability to "spoof" its malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign intelligence agency, as well as the ability to take control of Samsung Smart TV's and surveil a target using a "Fake Off" mode in which they appear to be powered down while eavesdropping. 

The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

...

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques. -WikiLeaks

Joshua Adam Schulte, 29, a former employee in the CIA's Engineering Development Group, is believed to have provided the agency's top-secret cyber warfare tools to WikiLeaks - according to a disclosure by federal prosecutors at a January hearing in a Manhattan court on unrelated charges of possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography. Schulte, who has been in jail for months, has pleaded not guilty on the child porn charges. 

Schulte previously worked for the NSA before joining the CIA, then "left the intelligence community in 2016 and took a job in the private sector," according to a statement reviewed by The Post.

Schulte also claimed that he reported “incompetent management and bureaucracy” at the CIA to that agency’s inspector general as well as a congressional oversight committee. That painted him as a disgruntled employee, he said, and when he left the CIA in 2016, suspicion fell upon him as “the only one to have recently departed [the CIA engineering group] on poor terms,” Schulte wrote. -WaPo

Prosecutors allege that they found a large collection of child pornography on a server maintained by Schulte, however his attorneys argue that anywhere from 50 to 100 people had access to it, which Schulte set up several years ago to share movies and other digital files.  

Federal authorities searched Schulte’s apartment in New York last year and obtained personal computer equipment, notebooks and handwritten notes, according to a copy of the search warrant reviewed by The Washington Post. But that failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks. -WaPo

And while Schulte "remains a target of that investigation," prosecutor Matthew Laroche, assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York, said that the investigation is "ongoing." Part of that investigation, reports WaPo, is analyzing whether the Tor network - which allows internet users to hide their location (in theory) "was used in transmitting classified information." 

In other hearings in Schulte’s case, prosecutors have alleged that he used Tor at his New York apartment, but they have provided no evidence that he did so to disclose classified information. Schulte’s attorneys have said that Tor is used for all kinds of communications and have maintained that he played no role in the Vault 7 leaks. -WaPo

“Due to these unfortunate coincidences the FBI ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me,” Schulte said. He has launched Facebook and GoFundMe pages to raise money for his defense, as well as post articles critical of the criminal justice system.

As The Post notes, the Vault 7 release was one of the most significant leaks in the CIA's history, "exposing secret cyberweapons and spying techniques that might be used against the United States, according to current and former intelligence officials." 

The CIA's toy chest includes:

  • Tools code named "Marble" can misdirect forensic investigators from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to their agency by inserted code fragments in foreign languages.  The tool was in use as recently as 2016.  Per the WikiLeaks release:

"The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, --- but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages."

  • iPads / iPhones / Android devices and Smart TV’s are all susceptible to hacks and malware. The agency's "Dark Matter" project reveals that the CIA has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008 through suppliers. Another, "Sonic Screwdriver" allows the CIA to execute code on a Mac laptop or desktop while it's booting up.
  • The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
  • The Obama administration promised to disclose all serious vulnerabilities they found to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers. The US Government broke that commitment.

"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( "Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover. 

  • Instant messaging encryption is a joke.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the "smart" phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

  • The CIA laughs at Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware programs.

CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs. These are documented in AV defeatsPersonal Security ProductsDetecting and defeating PSPs and PSP/Debugger/RE Avoidance. For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window's "Recycle Bin". While Comodo 6.x has a "Gaping Hole of DOOM".

You can see the Vault7 release here.

Published:5/17/2018 3:56:44 PM
[Politics] Issa Calls for Select Committee Probe of FBI's 'Dirty Tricks' Bitterly lashing out Thursday at special counsel Robert Mueller for dragging out the year-old Russia probe, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., called for a select committee to investigate the FBI's "dirty tricks and political activities." Published:5/17/2018 3:22:12 PM
[World] Andrew McCarthy: FBI Had At Least One Confidential Informant in Trump Campaign

Did the FBI have a spy in the Trump campaign?

Published:5/17/2018 2:52:44 PM
[World] Trump: If FBI spied on my campaign, 'bigger than Watergate!' WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump lent credence Thursday to reports that FBI informants had infiltrated his presidential campaign, saying that "if so, this is bigger than Watergate!" Published:5/17/2018 1:20:40 PM
[Politics] Andrew McCarthy explains the REAL SCANDAL of the secret Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign… Andrew McCarthy has a great article out today on the New York Times piece yesterday that revealed how a secret FBI cabal inappropriately investigated the Trump campaign in 2016. Let’s get started: . . . Published:5/17/2018 1:20:37 PM
[Politics] Andrew McCarthy explains the REAL SCANDAL of the secret Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign… Andrew McCarthy has a great article out today on the New York Times piece yesterday that revealed how a secret FBI cabal inappropriately investigated the Trump campaign in 2016. Let’s get started: . . . Published:5/17/2018 1:20:37 PM
[Media] Just WOW: Kimberley Strassel’s thread on NYT ‘Hurricane Crossfire’ piece incredibly DAMNING for Obama DOJ/FBI

Obama might want to read through Kimberly Strassel’s thread on the so-called ‘Hurricane Crossfire’ piece released by the New York Times, since you know, he gets his news from reading the paper … or in this case it would be Twitter. Strassel lays it out PERFECTLY (even Obama would understand it): 1. So a few […]

The post Just WOW: Kimberley Strassel’s thread on NYT ‘Hurricane Crossfire’ piece incredibly DAMNING for Obama DOJ/FBI appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:5/17/2018 10:21:06 AM
[Politics] Mark Levin: The NY Times reveals a secret cabal within the FBI that spied on Trump before the election Mark Levin discussed last night the NY Times article that he says revealed a secret cabal within the FBI that began investigating Trump during the 2016 election. They even gave themselves a . . . Published:5/17/2018 8:49:52 AM
[Politics] Mark Levin: The NY Times reveals a secret cabal within the FBI that spied on Trump before the election Mark Levin discussed last night the NY Times article that he says revealed a secret cabal within the FBI that began investigating Trump during the 2016 election. They even gave themselves a . . . Published:5/17/2018 8:49:52 AM
[FBI] The (new) Times origin story (Scott Johnson) The New York Times has now published a new version of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation origin story by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos. in “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation.” This is the new authorized version floated by the friends of the Times at the FBI. The new authorized version reflects the work of many hands at the Times. Additional reporting was contributed Published:5/17/2018 8:49:52 AM
[Politics] Politico: Obscurity Veils Mueller's High-Powered Team of FBI Agents The team of FBI agents supporting Robert Mueller's Russia investigation remains as much of a mystery as the special counsel's probe itself. Published:5/17/2018 7:49:05 AM
[Politics] MORE PAYMENTS to Mike Cohen are being UNEARTHED – and there might be a COVER UP too… There’s all sorts of new Michael Cohen news today, but the juiciest was uncovered by Ronan Farrow, who has seriously been the most prolific journalist in recent memory. He found out that . . . Published:5/16/2018 9:47:29 PM
[Politics] MORE PAYMENTS to Mike Cohen are being UNEARTHED – and there might be a COVER UP too… There’s all sorts of new Michael Cohen news today, but the juiciest was uncovered by Ronan Farrow, who has seriously been the most prolific journalist in recent memory. He found out that . . . Published:5/16/2018 9:21:00 PM
[Markets] Broke Illinois Pension System Leaves Every Resident With $11,000 Of Debt

The Illinois state pension system is in a mess. 

For those unfamiliar, here's a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it's largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90's, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017. 

And if you need a refresher, feel free to peruse some of our coverage on Illinois' challenges:

The state's horrendous mismanagement has left each man, woman and child of Illinois with nearly $11,000 in debt. 

“Illinois failure to address its pension crisis has resulted in further deterioration of the state and cities’ financial condition, exorbitantly high borrowing costs, and an inability to address other critical needs at the state and local level,” said Laurence Msall, president of Chicago nonprofit - the Civic Federation, which tracks state and municipal finances. “Time is not your friend when your liabilities are compounding and your revenues are not.”

The funding shortfall across Illinois’s five retirement systems climbed to $137 billion by last June, a jump of about $17.8 billion since 2015, after the government for years failed to make adequate contributions.

That pension deficit — more than four times larger that its debt to general-obligation bondholdersis adding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to Illinois’s budget each year as the government plows more money in to catch up.

Illinois has been contending with the issue for decades. In 1994, Illinois passed a law that was supposed to ensure that the state had enough assets to cover 90 percent of its liabilities by 2045, though it went on to skip annual payments or fail to contribute enough. At the same time, investment returns were hammered by last decade’s stock-market busts. -Bloomberg

“There hasn’t been any progress made,” Dick Ingram, executive director of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, the state’s largest pension. “It’s a case of the numbers have gotten so big that nobody honestly really knows what to do.”

While the state prepares to shell out $8.5 billion to its five retirement systems in 2019, it's not nearly enough. Despite the 300% funding increase over a decade ago (just $2.8 billion in 2009), underfunded liabilities continue to grow. By 2045, the projected contribution will be $19.6 billion according to a March report described by Bloomberg.

Compounding the problem is 2016 loophole to a 2015 state supreme court ruling which required the state to step up its contribution if the assumed rate of return was lowered. Lawmakers instated so-called "smoothing," which allowed the state to phase in hundreds of millions of dollars instead of contributing the funds all at once. 

Sinkhole action

The longer Illinois avoids addressing its pension crisis, the closer the state gets to having to impose overly burdensome taxes - as well as credit downgrades, suspension of pension payments, and even bond defaults according to Richard Ciccarone, president of Merrit Research Services. 

Everyone wants to find a “silver bullet,” said Illinois Representative Robert Martwick, chair of the personnel and pensions committee. But he’s exploring any way to save money. He’s held hearings on everything from reducing the debt by selling more than $100 billion of pension-obligation bonds to consolidating downstate police and fire pension funds to save money. The state cannot grow its way out of this problem, Martwick said. -Bloomberg

We’re in some really, really difficult financial times here,” Martwick said in a phone interview. “We’re still digging a hole for ourselves.

Rauner supports the so-called “consideration model,” which in part allows state employees to choose lower, delayed cost-of-living adjustments in return for ensuring their future raises count toward pensions. Opponents argue this still violates the ban on lowering benefits. “We need more pressure on the General Assembly,” Rachel Bold, a spokeswoman for Rauner, said in an email.

Lawmakers attempted such a "consideration model" in 2013 - approving cuts to cost-of living adjustments and a higher retirement age for some workers - however the courts unanimously struck down the law, saying it violated the state's constitutional ban on reducing retirement benefits.

“Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law,” the May 8, 2015 state supreme court decision reads.

Maybe the judges can make defaults illegal too? 

Published:5/16/2018 7:46:43 PM
[Politics] Comey Likely to Skip Senate Russia Hearing Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to skip a Senate Intelligence Committee review of the intelligence community's findings about Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Published:5/16/2018 7:14:37 AM
[TC] Roku suffers major outage affecting Netflix, YouTube and other channels Streaming service Roku got hit with its worst outage to date after many customers suffered issues watching Netflix, YouTube and other channels for more than five hours. The issue — which Roku said is now fixed — saw some customers get FBI anti-piracy warnings instead of their chosen programming, as Variety first reported. Not cool????what's […] Published:5/15/2018 11:41:51 PM
[Markets] Congress Reviewing 2017 Fusion GPS Testimony After Reports Of Spy In Trump's Campaign

Congressional investigators are reviewing 2017 testimony by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who said that "a human source from inside the Trump organization" had "decided to pick up the phone and report something" to the FBI. 

Fusion GPS is a Democrat-linked opposition research firm which produced the infamous anti-Trump "Steele Dossier," compiled from a series of memos provided by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele and paid for in part by the Clinton campaign.

Simpson told Congressional investigators on August 22 that Steele told him the FBI had corroborated parts of his dossier with "a human source from inside the Trump organization." 

As the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross notes, Fusion's allies quickly began to backpedal from Simpson's statement, telling news outlets that there was no mole...

"Instead, he was referring to George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser whose encounter with an Australian diplomat in May 2016 was reportedly the catalyst for the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation. The diplomat, Alexander Downer, reportedly claimed that Papadopoulos discussed Russian dirt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." -Daily Caller

That's all out the window now... 

In light of last week's bombshell that the DOJ was forced to hand over intelligence to House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes which points to a mole within the Trump campaign, both House and Senate oversight panels are taking a fresh look at Simpson's testimony about that "human source." 

In other words - did Steele tell Simpson about the FBI's alleged mole in the Trump campaign?

Simpson's lawyer said in a January letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that his initial testimony was accurate.

Mr. Simpson stands by his testimony,” said Joshua Levy, Fusion's attorney in the January 18 letter. Levy had been asked in a January 11 letter whether Simpson’s testimony about the whistleblower (and now potential mole) within the Trump campaign was a mischaracterization, as news reports claimed.

Glenn Simpson said that in what was closed testimony. Then it became public. Now he’s confirmed that he was telling Congress the truth, which is probably a good idea,” California Rep. Devin Nunes said on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday. “We believe he was telling the truth. And what we’re trying to do is get the documents to figure out — did they actually have, what methods were used to open this counter intelligence investigation?” 

I think if the campaign was somehow set up, I think that would be a problem. Right? If they were somehow meetings that occurred and all of this was a setup,” Nunes said, adding. “Because we have yet to see any credible evidence or intelligence that led to the opening of this investigation.”

Last month Nunes revealed that after waiting eight months for the DOJ to turn over the "electronic communication" (EC) - the document which the FBI used to launch the original counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign, that no intelligence was shared with the U.S. from any of the members of the "Five Eyes" agreement - that being Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

We are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens, and it’s worked well,” he said. “And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government. And that’s why we had to see that original communication.”

This is relevant because the FBI says that the Trump investigation was kicked off after Australian diplomat Alexander Downer told the FBI that Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted in a London pub that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reported last December that "Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role."

This was clearly not true according to the EC, which states that no intelligence passed through Five Eyes official channels.

To summarize: it appears that the counterintelligence investigation launched against Donald Trump and his team was not based on any type of official intelligence, as many have speculated over the past year, and that the FBI had a mole in the Trump campaign - which Christopher Steele knew about

Published:5/15/2018 8:42:52 PM
[Markets] Mueller Trying To Shut Down Investigation Into Special Counsel Leaks

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office is trying to block an investigation into how anonymously sourced accounts of their investigation leaked to the media, claiming the leaks don't amount to evidence of illegal grand jury leaks - which could just as easily come from defense attorneys in the Paul Manafort case or others outside the investigation, reports Politico.

Mueller's team has asked a federal judge in Virginia to turn down a request for a hearing on the leaks, requested by attorneys representing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort’s speculative claim of improper conduct falls far short of the showing necessary to warrant a hearing on potential violations of [a grand jury secrecy rule] or of his constitutional rights,” prosecutors wrote. “A pretrial hearing on alleged government leaks, which would itself generate publicity on the very matters that Manafort finds prejudicial, is unwarranted.”

Manafort, who is facing separate criminal cases brought by Mueller in federal court in Washington and Alexandria, Virginia, filed a motion late last month complaining that he was unfairly attacked in a flurry of news reports that appeared to be based on illegal leaks of grand jury secrets and classified information.

In the motion, filed with U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, Manafort’s defense said the release of sensitive details about the investigation threatened his ability to get a fair trial. -Politico

“By their actions, it is self-evident that the objective of these government sources was to create unfair prejudice against Mr. Manafort and thereby deprive him of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights,” attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle wrote. “The government’s investigation, and the criminal charges that ultimately resulted from it, are the epitome of a party seeking to decide a case in the press and not the courtroom.”

Politico posits that whether or not Manafort's claim has legal merit, his claim that the leaks have hurt his case "could bolster his chances of winning a pardon from President Donald Trump, who has railed against leaks he alleges have emerged from the Mueller investigation." 

Mueller's team, on the other hand, says that there's no reason to believe the news accounts identified by Manafort's defense team came from prosecutors or investigators leaking information that came from a grand jury.

He cites ten articles, none of which purports to disclose grand jury information,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “Many of the matters reported, if accurate, would have been known to the defense, to witnesses who were interviewed or subpoenaed for documents, or to other investigators examining overlapping issues.”

Mueller's team suggests that the leaks could have come from members of Congress or their aides

Multiple accounts note that Manafort was also the subject of ongoing congressional investigations,” Mueller’s team noted. “References to ‘officials’ or ‘American officials’ in the reports … could thus be to people who are not subject to [grand jury secrecy] restrictions.

In other words - "Don't look into this, it could have been anyone" - including someone on Manafort's team. 

Prosecutors suggested that if a hearing was held on the leaks, it would be fair game to look into whether any of them originated with Manafort’s attorneys or his spokesman Jason Maloni. Maloni wasn’t named in the filing, but was identified as “the spokesman who has regularly accompanied Manafort to court and has often been quoted, including in some of Manafort’s cited articles.”

Mueller’s team also submitted a secret filing to Ellis “concerning one article.” Prosecutors did not say which article it was about or why the information needed to be placed under seal and withheld from Manafort’s defense. -Politico

Manafort faces trial on July 10 in Virginia on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to file reports on foreign bank accounts, among other things. The separate case in Washington D.C. is scheduled for trial on September 17, and focuses on charges of money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent in connection with Manafort's work for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, even anti-Trump Bloomberg editorialists are starting to get tired with the "witch hunt"...

 

Published:5/15/2018 6:39:36 PM
[] Almost a Year After the Political Assassination at the Baseball Field, and Our Upright and Truth-Telling FBI Still Won't Admit The Obviously-Politically-Motivated Attack Was Politically Motivated Why should anyone ever trust the FBI, ever? By the way, "assassin" can refer to both a successful and failed assassin -- either way, whether he killed his target or not, he's an assassin. So I'm calling this an assassination... Published:5/15/2018 6:09:34 PM
[Markets] Washington Judge Kills Manafort's Motion To Dismiss, Setting Stage For September Trial

A Washington judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss the charges pending against former Trump campaign executive Paul Manafort, dashing his hopes of walking away just as the investigation is entering what many expect will be its home stretch.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected the dismissal motion filed by Manafort's legal team on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Eastern District of Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute Manafort on charges that have nothing to do with Russia.

Ellis added that he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort to pressure him into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they resulted from an older investigation carried out by the Obama Justice Department that was eventually abandoned, Bloomberg reported.

Manafort

Ellis also required Mueller's prosecutors to turn over an unredacted version of the August 2, 2017 memo that Deputy AG  Rod Rosenstein used to describe the criminal allegations Mueller's team could investigate.

Yet Judge Berman Jackson said it was within Mueller's mandate to investigate "any links" between Trump campaign people and Russia.

"It was logical and appropriate for investigators tasked with the investigation of 'any links' between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign to direct their attention to him," Jackson wrote in her ruling.

Her decision will clear the way for Manafort to stand trial in September.

Manafort is charged in Virginia with financial violations related to his lobbying work in Ukraine - work that occurred long before he joined the Trump campaign. Other charges are being heard in federal court.

As one Bloomberg editorial writer pointed out on Twitter, not one of the charges filed against Manafort has anything to do with collusion.

Published:5/15/2018 4:48:28 PM
[Markets] Giuliani Says White House Will Use Anniversary Of Mueller Probe To Try And Shut It Down

It's amazing that President Donald Trump still allows Rudy Giuliani to step within 20 feet of a microphone - let alone give revealing, off-the-cuff interviews to national media outlets that have alternatively contradicted the White House official narrative and revealed key elements of the Trump legal team's strategy. Today it was the latter, as Giuliani reportedly said in an interview that the administration is going to use the one-year anniversary of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to pressure him into ending the probe once and for all, Bloomberg reports.

Mueller

While Giuliani didn't reveal any specific actions - he did say the White House hasn't ruled out any options should Mueller ignore their warnings and continue carrying on his investigation.

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who had urged Trump to cooperate with the probe, had at one point promised the president that Mueller's investigation would be over by the end of 2017.

"We are going to try as best we can to put the message out there that it has been a year, there has been no evidence presented of collusion or obstruction, and it is about time for them to end the investigation," Giuliani said. "We don’t want to signal our action if this doesn’t work - we are going to hope they listen to us - but obviously we have a Plan B and C."

When it comes to keeping the legal team's plans under wraps...it sounds to us like Giuliani just revealed them.

Regarding the official interview with investigators that Mueller has desperately been seeking for months now, Giuliani said special counsel would need to show exactly why he needs to speak with Trump in person after his staff has reportedly gone over 1.2 million pages of documents. A list of 49 questions that Mueller had purportedly turned over to the Trump team leaked last month.

"It is hard to recommend an interview when the questions presented indicate they have no evidence, and it is hard not to get at least the appearance they are attempting to trap him into perjury," Giuliani said.

Giuliani reiterated the White House's claim that it would demand assurances from Mueller that the investigation would need to wrap up shortly if Trump decides to go ahead with an interview. While President Trump had at one point said he was looking forward to speaking with Mueller, he has reportedly since soured on the idea following the FBI raids on his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Mueller was appointed on May 17, 2017, eight days after Trump fired former FBI director (and Mueller BFF) James Comey.

Published:5/15/2018 4:12:57 PM
[Politics] Devin Nunes: Intel Committee GOP Believes Fusion GPS Head on Spy Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee believe Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson's testimony that the FBI had a source inside President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and are now trying to get documents to find out how the Russian collusion . . . Published:5/15/2018 11:08:09 AM
[World] Devin Nunes: DOJ, FBI Never Should Have Opened Counterintelligence Investigation Into Political Party

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) wants to find out if the Justice Department and FBI had a good reason to launch a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

Published:5/15/2018 10:08:12 AM
[FBI] Reading the Strzok-Page texts (Scott Johnson) Taking advantage of the dogged work of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson to procure the Strzok-Page text messages on the FBI’s fake Clinton email investigation — posted online here by Senator Johnson — Andrew McCarthy goes in for a close reading. Although McCarthy’s view is obscured by the voluminous redactions to the documents, he finds that the messages provide a glimpse of the true forces at work. He writes: “Strzok and Published:5/15/2018 9:07:27 AM
[Politics] NEW: Mueller’s possible conflict of interest over PAST dealings with Russian oligarch… There’s a new allegation about a possible conflict of interest with Robert Mueller and a Russian oligarch who was used by the FBI to try to rescue a captured FBI agent from . . . Published:5/14/2018 8:04:29 PM
[Politics] NEW: Mueller’s possible conflict of interest over PAST dealings with Russian oligarch… There’s a new allegation about a possible conflict of interest with Robert Mueller and a Russian oligarch who was used by the FBI to try to rescue a captured FBI agent from . . . Published:5/14/2018 8:04:29 PM
[] Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey's Congressional Testimony? Last week, the House released a transcript of James Comey testifying that the interviewing agents briefed him that they had seen no indications of deception in Michael Flynn's testimony. Former FBI Director James Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee... Published:5/14/2018 6:33:25 PM
[Markets] "Federal Agent On A Mission"? Man With Body Armor, Large Cache Of Weapons Caught In Waikiki Hotel

Authored by Shepard Ambellas via Intellihub.com,

A man claiming to be a federal agent was found posted up in a Waikiki hotel with a large cache of weapons, knives, and armor, much like Stephen Paddock and Francho Bradley who also possessed their own large weapons cache and were likely sheep-dipped

Police and FBI are investigating a 38-year-old man after finding a large cache of weapons during a raid of a Waikiki hotel room after authorities were alerted of several disturbing social media posts in which the man claimed to be a federal agent who’s hunting terrorists.

The man’s arsenal included a high-powered rifle, a tactical shotgun, and an assortment of other guns, military style knives, and body armor, along with fully-loaded magazines and 800 rounds of ammunition.

(Honolulu Police Department)

It was the FBI that tipped off local police which prompted the raid in room #803 in the Equus hotel at 1696 Ala Moana Blvd.

The weapons were found to be legally registered to the man which prompted police to release him without incident pending a mental evaluation at a local hospital after authorities discovered a psychiatric medicine inside the man’s room.

According to police, the man has been living in a Makiki apartment for three years but was only recently staying at the Equus.

Withal, the man’s weapons will be rightfully returned if he’s deemed mentally stable, according to a local report.

The scenario seems to mimic that of the Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s stay at the Mandalay Bay and Francho Bradley’s stay at a Massachusetts hotel where large weapons caches and tactical military gear were also found. It also seems likely that all three men were working under the FBI’s direction and may have been cut loose or detached for reasons unknown (possibly to be used as patsies).

H/T: @Tabertronic on Twitter

Published:5/13/2018 4:28:38 PM
[Markets] Grassley Demands Sit-Down With Mystery FBI Agent To Discuss Flynn "302" Forms

  • Last week, an unredacted House Intel Committee report revealed that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told Congressional investigators that the FBI had virtually no case against former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, and "The two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn't think he was lying[.]" 
  • "[N]ot [a] great beginning of a false statement case." McCabe told the Committee. 
  • The same House Intel report revealed that James Comey contradicted himself in a Fox News interview when he denied telling lawmakers those agents thought Flynn was telling the truth, when in fact he did. 
  • There is an unconfirmed rumor that McCabe instructed agents to alter their "302" forms from the Flynn interview, effectively changing their written accounts. 
  • Now, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says Comey also told them the FBI thought Flynn was telling the truth - only to say the opposite on Fox.
  • Grassley is now zeroing in on the Flynn interview - and has demanded the "302" forms, as well as a sit-down with Special Agent Joe Pientka - who Grassley revealed as the second FBI agent in the Flynn interview aside from Peter Strzok
  • Grassley is also demanding a transcript of the reportedly intercepted calls between Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak central to the Flynn case. 

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is getting to the bottom of things, and some think he's laying out a path to exonerate former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn - who pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI over his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

It has been suggested that the FBI set Flynn up, and his admission of guilt could have been to avoid sure financial ruin trying to fight the Special Counsel. Others say Flynn was protecting his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who served as his father's aide for his consulting company, Flynn Intel Group.

In a very direct Friday letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Grassley gets straight to the point - going after former FBI Director Comey's blatant contradiction between what he told two Congressional committees - which was that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn "saw nothing that led them to believe [he] was lying." - and what Comey told Fox News host Bret Baier - the complete opposite of his Congressional testimony.

Grassley's letter reads: 

Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Our own Committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”  Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview

Now compare to what Comey said on Fox while promoting his book, A Higher Loyalty

Baier: Did you tell lawmakers that FBI agents didn't believe former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was lying intentionally to investigators?

Comey: No. And I saw that in the media. I don't know what - maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I didn't believe that, and didn't say that.

Grassley's Friday letter also notes that "The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year," referring to the FBI's materials from the Flynn interview. 

Then comes the bottom line: 

"the Committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then-Directory [sic] Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims."

In other words, the DOJ is out of excuses - and in light of the Comey contradictions - including the fact that he gave Congress the impression Flynn wasn't going to be prosecuted, it's clear that the DOJ has been hiding key facts that would significantly weaken the Flynn case.  

Grassley then demands the following no later than May 25, 2018

1. "The information requested in our February 15, 2017 letter, including the transcripts of the reportedly intercepted calls and any FBI reports summarizing them; and"

2. The FBI agents’ 302s memorializing their interview of Flynn and 1A supporting docs, including the agents’ notes.

Then it gets really interesting

Grassley demands a transcribed interview with Special Agent Joe Pientka - who he reveals to be the second FBI agent that interviewed Flynn. Prior to Friday, it was only known that (Trump-hating) Special Agent Peter Strzok was in the Flynn interview, while Pientka's name was kept nonpublic. 

Pientka can now testify to whether or not McCabe had him alter his 302 form, which would send things nuclear. Given the DOJ's stonewalling to this point, it will be interesting to see how they respond to Grassley's new demands. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has likened Congressional efforts to pry information from the agency "extortion." 

Clues to piece things together

Speaking to the suggestion that the 302 forms were altered is an analysis by Sundance of Conservative Tree House, who says "it's likely Chairman Grassley outed the name [Pientka's] for a reason." (h/t American Thinker)

Regarding the "widely held belief" that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302's) to assist a "Flynn lied" narrative…. evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:

?January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: "I can feel my heart beating harder, I'm so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails." Weird!

?Strzok replies: "I know. I just talked with John, we're getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy (MCCABE) this morning." Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that "THIS" could go off the rails…(Strzok's meeting w Flynn the next day)

?Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about "THIS" potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?

BECAUSE IT WASN'T!

It was a conspiracy to entrap Gen Mike Flynn. All Strzok needed was an excuse to speak w Flynn. Everything in the 302 was likely fabricated.

?February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.

Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: "Also, is Andy good with F-302?"

Lisa Page replies: "Launch on F 302".

And he reminds us that previously, on September 10, 2016, Strzok texted about withholding 302s that he called "VERY inflammatory"

"is Andy good with F-302?" Strzok asks page, weeks after they're stressing out about something going "off the rails."  While not conclusive evidence that the 302's were altered, at least points to some sort of crisis management within the agency in relation to recent events. 

Meanwhile, Twitter user @drawandstrike offers some thoughts:

For further analysis on the Strzok-Page texts that point to Flynn's interview, click into this tweet for another cogent analysis:

Finally, let's give credit where it's due if all of this turns out to be exactly what happened -as journalist Sara Carter has been on this since January:

Published:5/13/2018 11:56:06 AM
[Featured] Grassley Flags ‘Apparent Contradictions’ In Comey’s Testimony About Michael Flynn

By DCNF -

James Comey testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee 05-03-17

  by Chuck Ross The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is trying to get to the bottom of “apparent contradictions” in former FBI Director James Comey’s claims about former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey told a Senate Judiciary panel in a March 15, 2017 interview that the FBI ...

Grassley Flags ‘Apparent Contradictions’ In Comey’s Testimony About Michael Flynn is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:5/13/2018 7:24:28 AM
[Markets] The Deep State Mob Targets Nunes

Authored by Julie Kelly via The Center for American Greatness,

In an absurd tweet on Wednesday, Lawfare’s executive director suggested that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) should be replaced as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee:

That wasn’t even the most moronic tweet in Susan Hennessey’s arsenal. She went on to warn how “the intelligence oversight system is based on trust. Without trust it is irretrievably broken. The [Intelligence Community] and [Department of Justice] don’t trust Nunes and he cannot perform his job functions.” Get that? The Intelligence Community and the Justice department—which have proven to be as political and devious as a Chicago ward boss—are the white hats and Nunes is the black hat.

That is not ignorance on Hennessey’s part: it’s calculated deception.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will heed an unreasonable demand from a political partisan tied to the left-leaning Brookings Institution.

But it does unveil the latest tactic of the Left (and some on the Right) to discredit and ultimately oust Nunes, the only Republican on Capitol Hill who appears to have his act together when it comes to exposing the players behind the Trump-Russia election collusion scheme.

The Deep State Mob is continuing to squeeze the California congressman after he again threatened to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for ignoring congressional subpoenas and withholding crucial documents from Congressional investigators. Nunes has minced no words about how the Justice Department and FBI have been “stonewalling” his committee’s investigation for months. And as Nunes inches closer to revealing the stinking core of what is potentially the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history, the Deep State Mob is trying to close in on him first.

Nunes and other House Republicans want to find out exactly how and why the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government began in the summer of 2016, and what intelligence sources either aided or instigated that probe. The latest showdown, according to the Washington Post, is because Nunes has issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department provide information about an unnamed individual referenced in a classified letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.

While there are few details about the individual in question, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel intimates that the person could have been a mole inside the Trump campaign:

We know Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. We might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

Strassel, who has been carefully covering this scandal, has a hunch of who the source is but couldn’t confirm it.

The Justice Department is fighting Nunes’s request on the basis that any disclosure would “risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationship with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations and interference with intelligence activities.” While Justice officials met with Nunes and committee member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) late Thursday, they did not allow them to see the information in question. Nunes indicated that he would continue to press the department to fulfill his request.

Now Nunes’s foes are portraying him as a rogue actor - perhaps even a traitor - who is willing to see intelligence assets killed in order to carry water for President Trump. CNN national security analyst Asha Rangappa echoed the Justice Department’s warning that Nunes is risking lives to achieve political ends.

In a one-two punch, Hennessey’s boss upped the attacks on Nunes during a discussion with former FBI Director James Comey on Friday. Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare’s editor and close Comey pal, rhetorically asked Comey, “what’s Devin Nunes gonna be able to tell his grandchildren? It’s a serious question. He is affirmatively acting in a fashion that some of us judged, you know, Edward Snowden very harshly for behaving in a fashion that puts at risk intelligence sources and methods when being told so by the senior levels of the Justice Department.” (Others have tried to get the “Nunes-Is-Literal-Snowden” trope going before. We’ll see if it finally takes off next week.)

Comey, the consigliere of the Deep State Mob, anguished to his buddy about the lost values of the Republican Party: “This is my hope for the Republicans as a whole, that they realize that only a fool would trade the institutions and the values that actually unite us for the policy gains they think they’re getting from a president who is eroding and attacking those values.” Sounds like some sour grapes from the guy who lost his battle against Nunes to keep his memos secret.

Fellow fired prosecutor Preet Bharara joined Comey in mocking Nunes this week. After a bogus storysurfaced that Nunes doesn’t read the intelligence information he receives, the former head of the DOJ’s Southern District of New York (yes, the same office assigned with investigating Trump lawyer Michael Cohen) tweeted this:

But it’s not just the Deep State Mob on the Left that is after Nunes: Their soulmates in the smoldering political ash heap that is the neoconservative movement are speaking out, too. In an egregiously flawed assist in Commentary, Noah Rothman gives aid and comfort to the Deep State Mob, incredibly by making Nunes the bad guy. Rothman accuses Nunes of causing the trust breakdown in the House Intelligence committee, the same committee whose ranking member is the despicable leaker Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Rothman smugly claims that “there is no impartial assessment of his tenure as House Intelligence Committee chair in which he comes off as a competent steward of American national security or capable of the dispassionate oversight of the institutions that safeguard U.S. interests at home and abroad.”

Rothman suggests that even Trump doesn’t trust Nunes and that’s why the president (for now) has acquiesced to the Justice Department’s stonewalling on the source subpoena. He wrongly claims that Nunes recused himself from the investigation early on, then calls Nunes an “obstacle in the way of truth” who should be removed.

Any close observer of the unfolding story of how the disaster of the Obama Justice Department exploited our most trusted federal agencies to hatch the Trump-Russia scheme is either on the floor laughing or smashing things at Rothman’s absurd accusation.

The Deep State Mob wants to destroy anything and anyone associated with Trump, particularly those who are brave enough to incur their wrath to get to the truth on behalf of the American people. Nunes isn’t a traitor: He’s a hero.

Published:5/12/2018 9:53:07 PM
[Markets] Giuliani Inserts Foot In Mouth, Says Trump "Denied" AT&T Merger

The ever-affable Rudy Giuliani has once again stuck his foot in his mouth regarding his old friend and new boss, Donald Trump.

In a Friday interview with the Huffington Post, Giuliani - seemingly in an attempt to defuse the Michael Cohen "consultancy" scandal - claimed that Trump "denied the merger" between AT&T and Time Warner, despite long-standing protocol designed to keep DOJ decisions independent from the executive branch in order to keep the department free of political influence by the White House. Apparently the previous administration didn't get the memo either.

Giuliani's statement comes on the heels of revelations that Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, accepted a $600,000 payment right after the inauguration for "insights" into President Trump's thinking.

"The president had no knowledge of it." Giuliani told the Post, adding "Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president... He did drain the swamp ... The president denied the merger. They didn't get the result they wanted.

Cohen received $600,000 from AT&T, $1.2 million from Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis and $500,000 from an investment bank affiliated with a Russian oligarch, all following Trump’s unexpected election win in 2016.

Giuliani said Cohen’s business relationships did not contradict Trump’s campaign promises to end “pay-to-play” schemes and to “drain the swamp” because Cohen did not get for his newfound clients what they wanted. -HuffPo

Earlier in the week, AT&T said that they hired a company created by Cohen right after the inauguration - when it sorely needed government approval for the Time Warner deal, it hired a company created by Cohen in order to glean insights into the Trump administration.

AT&T's top Washington executive, Bob Quinn, said that Cohen didn't conduct any lobbying work for them - while CEO Randall Stephenson told employees that hiring Cohen was "a big mistake" in an internal memo circulated on Friday. While not-so coincidentally according to NBC News, was AT&T's Friday announcement of Quinn's sudden retirement.  

If in fact AT&T thought this would buy them an approval, one has to wonder if Cohen simply trolled AT&T for $600K and laughed all the way to the bank. They were about to acquire CNN after all - and in December of 2017 said they wouldn't sell the network to satisfy a DOJ demand before trying to close the $85 billion deal.

On the other hand - had AT&T agreed to sell CNN and the merger been approved, the Cohen payment would have the appearance of a successful "pay-for-play" deal.

AT&T says it was contacted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office in late 2017 and cooperated with the probe, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Our reputation has been damaged," wrote Stephenson in the Friday memo. "There's no other way to say it - AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake."

The FBI raided Cohen's office, hotel and home last month amid an active federal investigation. Since the raid, there have been several mysterious leaks of information from various media outlets - such as the release of his bank records, or the claim that he arranged a $1.6 million payoff to a former Playboy model in late 2017 who says she was impregnated by a top Republican fundraiser, "according to people familiar with the matter" (96 hours after the raid).

Elliott Broidy, a GOP donor, right, and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig (2014)

Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel room were raided by federal agents this week, arranged the payments to the woman on behalf of Elliott Broidy, a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee with ties to Mr. Trump, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Broidy, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist, works on the Republican committee with Mr. Cohen, who is also a national deputy finance chairman. -WSJ

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and US Attorney of the office now investigating Cohen, assumed the lead on Trump's private legal team handling the Mueller investigation in the hope of wrapping it up as soon as possible. He said on Friday that he doubts Trump would be able to speak with the special counsel investigation before his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

He said the fact that Cohen has become involved in the probe shows that Mueller has been unable to make headway on the idea of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He blamed much of Cohen’s involvement on adult film actress Stormy Daniels and her new lawyer, Michael Avenatti. They have been trying to break a non-disclosure agreement she signed promising not to discuss an affair she said she had with Trump a decade ago in return for $130,000. -HuffPo

Giuliani says that Cohen did nothing wrong. 

“They’re buying his advice. It can turn out to be good or bad,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in Washington who are paid for their advice." Which, of course, is the reason why Washington is just one giant "swamp" which Trump once upon a time vowed to drain.

Published:5/12/2018 9:22:53 PM
[The Blog] Sen. Grassley: Comey said FBI agents saw no sign Gen. Flynn lied

"...there are notes taken by a career, non-partisan law enforcement officer who was present."

The post Sen. Grassley: Comey said FBI agents saw no sign Gen. Flynn lied appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/12/2018 7:51:32 PM
[FBI] Senator Grassley requests (Scott Johnson) The Senate has taken a remarkably laid back approach to getting the story peddled by James Comey et al. straight. On February 15, 2017, for example the Senate Judiciary Committee requested a copy of the transcript of the widely reported call between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador and the FBI report summarizing the intercepted calls. The Justice Department declined to provide any of that information, and instead Published:5/12/2018 10:51:01 AM
[FBI] An FBI informant in the Trump campaign? (3) (Scott Johnson) Following up on Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal’s columns on the FBI spy in the Trump campaign, Andrew McCarthy follows up in his NR column “Did the FBI have a spy in the Trump campaign?” Taking advantage of the unlimited space available online, McCarthy gives the necessary background to frame the question. McCarthy takes orients his column on this August 2017 testimony of Glenn Simpson to the Senate Intelligence Committee Published:5/12/2018 8:18:55 AM
[Politics] Flynn Stumps for GOP Candidates While Awaiting Sentencing Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is campaigning for Republican candidates around the country as he awaits sentencing for lying to the FBI, an unusual and risky course that has set off speculation and head-scratching over what he hopes to accomplish. Published:5/11/2018 10:15:49 PM
[Uncategorized] Did the FBI Plant a Mole in Trump’s Presidential Campaign? Also, why is the FBI being so difficult with information? Published:5/11/2018 2:17:24 PM
[Politics] REPORT: FBI may have had a SPY in the Trump campaign! According to Kimberly Strassel, whose report has gone viral since it came out last night, the FBI had a source in the Trump campaign back in 2016 working as a spy for . . . Published:5/11/2018 1:13:19 PM
[Politics] REPORT: FBI may have had a SPY in the Trump campaign! According to Kimberly Strassel, whose report has gone viral since it came out last night, the FBI had a source in the Trump campaign back in 2016 working as a spy for . . . Published:5/11/2018 12:43:12 PM
[] Kim Strassel: Is The FBI's Super-Secret "Source" Actually a Spy in the Trump Campaign? Here's some of that reportage that no one on the right does. After recounting the FBI's and DOJ's bad-faith efforts to keep embarrassing information from the oversight committees, Strassel turns to the newest effort to play hide-the-ball from Congress: House... Published:5/11/2018 11:43:30 AM
[16325a83-d8cb-4194-9aae-b5c4fc1d4065] Kimberley Strassel: Did the FBI place a mole inside the 2016 Trump campaign? we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. Published:5/11/2018 8:14:09 AM
[The Blog] Did the FBI have a spy in the Trump campaign?

Checks and balances.

The post Did the FBI have a spy in the Trump campaign? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/11/2018 8:14:09 AM
[2016 Presidential Election] An FBI informant in the Trump campaign? (2) (Scott Johnson) In her weekly Wall Street Journal column Kim Strassel delivers news and analysis you probably won’t see much of elsewhere. Following up on her own previous work that we noted here yesterday, Kim reports: The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Published:5/11/2018 7:16:07 AM
[Corruption] McCain Finally Admits He Gave Comey the ‘Trump Dossier’

Well, whaddayaknow! This Mueller investigation….is all John McCain’s fault.  In his new book,“The Restless Wave,” McCain (R-AZ) confirms that he was the person who gave the FBI Director James Comey, the salacious and bogus Russian dossier. The Daily Beast got an early copy of the new book and reported: “I agreed to receive a copy of what ...

The post McCain Finally Admits He Gave Comey the ‘Trump Dossier’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:5/10/2018 11:40:47 PM
[Corruption] McCain Finally Admits He Gave Comey the ‘Trump Dossier’

Well, whaddayaknow! This Mueller investigation….is all John McCain’s fault.  In his new book,“The Restless Wave,” McCain (R-AZ) confirms that he was the person who gave the FBI Director James Comey, the salacious and bogus Russian dossier. The Daily Beast got an early copy of the new book and reported: “I agreed to receive a copy of what ...

The post McCain Finally Admits He Gave Comey the ‘Trump Dossier’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:5/10/2018 11:11:26 PM
[Markets] WSJ: The FBI Hid A Mole In The Trump Campaign

On Wednesday we reported on an intense battle playing out between House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (D-CA), the Department of Justice, and the Mueller investigation concerning a cache of intelligence that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refuses to hand over - a request he equated to "extortion."

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Nunes was denied access to the information on the grounds that it "could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI."

After the White House caved to Rosenstein and Nunes was barred from seeing the documents, it also emerged that this same intelligence had already been shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 US election.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, news emerged that Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) would receive a classified Thursday briefing at the DOJ on the documents. This is, to put it lightly, incredibly significant.

Why? Because it appears that the FBI may have had a mole embedded in the Trump campaign

In a bombshell op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel shares a few key insights about recent developments. Perhaps we should start with the ending and let you take it from there. Needless to say Strassel's claims, if true, would have wide ranging implications for the CIA, FBI, DOJ and former Obama administration officials.

Strassel concludes: 

"I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it."

Authored by Kimberley Strassel, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

About That FBI ‘Source’

Did the bureau engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign?

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair—the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors—have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?
And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn’t being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.

We also know that among the Justice Department’s stated reasons for not complying with the Nunes subpoena was its worry that to do so might damage international relationships. This suggests the “source” may be overseas, have ties to foreign intelligence, or both. That’s notable, given the highly suspicious role foreigners have played in this escapade. It was an Australian diplomat who reported the Papadopoulos conversation. Dossier author Christopher Steele is British, used to work for MI6, and retains ties to that spy agency as well as to a network of former spooks. It was a former British diplomat who tipped off Sen. John McCain to the dossier. How this “top secret” source fits into this puzzle could matter deeply.

I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it. But what is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.

Published:5/10/2018 9:39:28 PM
[] Judicial Watch: Emails Show That Comey "Coordinated" With Robert Mueller About His Congressional Testimony Before His Appearance Getting their stories straight. Why does a truthful man need to consult with anyone about what he'll say or not say under oath? Judicial Watch today released new emails from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showing that former FBI Director... Published:5/10/2018 5:12:32 PM
[Markets] Congress Releases All 3,500 "Russian" Facebook Ads

Public Health Warning: Reading these ads can cause you to become a "Russian operative" and has been known to bend your mind to vote against "the most qualified candidate ever."

* * *

It has been more than a month since Republicans on the House Intel Committee officially ended the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, and roughly a week since they released an unredacted version of their investigative report that revealed more lies told by top FBI officials.

So it's understandable that Democrats on the Intel committee are chomping at the bit to revive the anti-Russia hysteria. And in their latest attempt, Democrats have finally released all of the more than 3,500 Russian-bought Facebook ads that purportedly swayed the 2016 vote in Trump's favor. Of course, anti-Russia sentiment, which seemed ubiquitous just six short months ago, has more recently faded from view as the public has realized that there's "no 'there' there," as FBI special agent Peter Strzok said in a tweet to his mistress. 

But after seeing the ads, which are sorted by the time during which they ran, it's impossible to believe the Russians didn't have something to do with it. After all, instead of running ads that blatantly supported President Trump, most of the ads we found supported progressive causes like Black Lives Matter and gay rights - causes which President Trump unambiguously supports, right?

Here's an ad expressing support for Russian President Vladimir Putin's favorite athlete, Colin Kaepernick...

Cap

...and here's another supporting a pair of YouTubers who had their Facebook account banned for reportedly being Russian propagandists. In one video, they told black viewers not to go out and vote, arguing that there was "no point."

Black

Meanwhile, another ad expressed support for gay rights.

Gay

After careful viewing, it should be obvious to all that these ads - many of which ran before or after the election, and only a small fraction of which expressed support for conservative causes - had a larger impact on the outcome of the election than the entire mainstream media, which pumped out anti-Trump coverage 24 hours a day for more than six months leading up to the vote.

It's a relief to finally get some confirmation that electing the most anti-establishment candidate in the history of American politics wasn't the American people's fault.

Find the rest of the ads here.

Published:5/10/2018 10:08:00 AM
[Markets] Top Secret Intel Source Aiding Mueller Probe Is Behind Latest Clash Between DOJ And Nunes

House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) was denied a cache of classified information by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the White House backed senior FBI and national intelligence officials who told them the materials were too hot to give to him - and "could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI, reports the Washington Post, citing multiple sources. The FBI made the urgent request to the White House last Wednesday claiming that even a redacted version of the request could risk lives by exposing a top-secret intelligence source.

Which begs the question:

White House officials agreed to the DOJ's request with President Trump's blessing - however the Post notes "it is unclear whether Trump was alerted to a key fact -- that information developed by the intelligence source had been provided to the Mueller investigation." 

Whatever the case, the U.S. intelligence community clearly doesn't trust Nunes with this information. 

For the intelligence agencies, Nunes’s request threatened to cross a red line of compromising sources and methods of U.S. intelligence-gathering, according to people familiar with their views. Intelligence officials fear that providing even a redacted version of the information Nunes seeks could expose that person and damage relationships with other countries that serve as U.S. intelligence partners. -Washington Post

Nunes requested the information in a classified April 24 letter to the Justice department. Due to the confidential nature, we don't know exactly what the DOJ is holding back, however he told reporters this week that he is investigating FBI Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse and "other matters.

The Post notes that the involvement of the White House marks a rare "moment of alignment between the Justice Department and Trump, who has relentlessly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top Justice officials for the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III." 

House Republicans and the DOJ are now in a heated battle over the actual risk to the agency's top-secret source - with Nunes saying Sunday that he may try to hold Sessions in contempt for refusing to comply with his request. 

Nunes told OAN News: "The bottom line is we've had this investigation going for a long time into FISA abuse that occurred by the executive branch."

"We need documents to be able to verify if things were done properly or improperly, so that's what we're waiting on. So we sent a letter a few weeks ago, a classified letter. That letter was not responded to, it was ignored. We issued a subpoena... We got back on Thursday that they will not comply, so now we have no other choice but to move to hold the Attorney General in contempt if they don't provide the documents."

They are citing spurious national security concerns to evade congressional oversight while leaking information to The Washington Post ostensibly about classified meetings,” Nunes told The Post. “Congress has a right and a duty to get this information and we will succeed in getting this information, regardless of whatever fantastic stories the DOJ and FBI spin to the Post.”

Administration officials tell The Post that they are concerned Trump will change his mind and support Nunes' argument. 

The role of the intelligence source in the Mueller investigation may now be seized upon by conservative Republicans who have publicly accused the Justice Department and intelligence agencies of overreach and misuse of their surveillance powers. -WaPo

To that end, several House GOP drafted articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as a "last resort" if he doesn't hand Congress more information. 

In a similar vein, Nunes threatened to impeach DAG Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray if they didn't immediately hand over an unredacted copy of the two-page document outlining the original scope and mandate of the Mueller Special Counsel investigation. The DOJ eventually acquiesced to Nunes' threat, providing him with access to modestly redacted copies - for which Nunes thanked Rosenstein.

That said, Rosenstein pushed back in comments at the Freedom Forum Institute - telling the audience that while he is willing to work with Congressional investigators - he will draw the line when he needs to, exclaiming that the Justice Department was "not going to be extorted" into handing over documents that could harm national security or interfere with ongoing investigations. 

If we were to just open our doors to allow Congress to come and rummage through the files, that would be a serious infringement on the separation of powers, and it might resolve a dispute today, but it would have negative repercussions in the long run, and we have a responsibility to defend the institution,” Rosenstein said.

Not everyone agrees...

Published:5/9/2018 9:32:48 AM
[Markets] Stormy Daniels Lawyer's Bombshell Claim: Putin-Linked Oligarch Paid Cohen $500K For "Hush" Payment

Update: While representatives for Cohen declined to comment, a spokesperson for Vekselberg told CNN.

A lawyer for Columbus Nova, the company that cut Cohen a $500,000 check that Avenatti says could've been used as a reimbursement for the money used to reimburse Stormy Daniels, providing a purportedly "definitive" link between Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of Trump's closest associates.

But in the statement, the lawyer said the money was for business consulting work "regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures."

"Reports today that Viktor Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Michael Cohen are false. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved or provided any funding for Columbus Nova’s engagement of Michael Coehn is patently untrue," said Columbus Nova’s attorney, Richard Owens of the firm Latham & Watkins.

Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone else other than Columbus Nova’s owners, were involved in the decision to hire Cohen or provided funding for his engagement.

Before being questioned by Mueller, Vekselberg attended Trump’s inauguration after Columbus Nova made a $250,000 donation to the president's inauguration committee. Mueller’s team reportedly asked Vekselberg about that contribution.

* * *

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer (and former Michael Rahm opposition researcher) handling adult film star Stormy Daniels' multiple lawsuits, is doing his best to steal the spotlight from Trump's cancellation of the Iran nuclear deal, because on an otherwise quiet Tuesday evening, Avenatti has published a report alleging that Trump long-time lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen - who testified under oath that the funds for a $130,000 "hush money" payment to Daniels came from a loan he took against his home - may have in reality been reimbursed for the payment by none other than Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Avenatti learned that Vekselberg sent a $500,000 payment to Essential Consultants LLC just 75 days after Cohen used the same company to pay Daniels her $130,000.

If Vekselberg's name sounds familiar, that's probably because the New York Times reported last week that the Russian billionaire, and head of the Russian Renova conglomerate, was stopped at a New York-area airport, searched and questioned by the FBI while entering the US earlier this year. The interrogation, the Times said, was linked to the Mueller probe.

Vekselberg

Viktor Vekselberg

While the sum that Vekselberg paid Cohen is far larger than what he paid Daniels, Avenatti claims that some of the money may have been intended as a "hush money" reimbursement.

If this is true, it would contradict President Trump's admission that Cohen received money through his retainer agreement with the president that offset his payments to Daniels, which Trump was ignorant of at the time.

Avenatti lays out these claims in a 7-page executive summary he released today titled "Project Sunlight", and which list this and other allegations of potential impropriety by Cohen.

On October 27, 2016 Mr. Cohen caused a wire of $130,000 from Essential Consultants’  account at First Re public Bank to be sent to an Attorney -Client Trust Account  of Keith M.  Davidson & Associates at City National Bank  located in California. The wire originated  from First Republic Bank’s operations located in California.

Note: this fact may provide  the State of California with  jurisdiction over possible state criminal charges associated  with this payment.

Mr. Cohen has previously claimed that the source of funds from the $130,000 payment  was a home equity line of credit advance conducted on October 26, 2016. This has yet  to be confirmed.

However, as detailed below, within approximately 75 days of the  payment to Ms. Clifford, Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian Oligarch with close ties to  Russian President Vladimir Putin, caused substantial funds to be deposited into the bank account from which Mr. Cohen made the payment. It appears that these funds may have replenished the account following the payment to Ms. Clifford.

Oddly enough, this isn't the only big (if true) bombshell included in Avenatti's report.

In a list of other "possible fraudulent and illegal financial transactions," Avenatti highlighted the fact that AT&T paid Cohen $200,000 in four separate $50,000 installments between late 2017 and early 2018, which is odd considering Trump had said during the campaign that he would block the announced AT&T-Time Warner deal, and, after a year-long review, his Justice Department sued to block the deal in November. 

In addition, Essential received $200,000 in four separate payments of  $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 from AT&T.

[...]

Monies Received from AT&T:

October 3, 2017 –$50,000

November 7, 2017 –$50,000

December 5, 2017 –$50,000

January 3, 2018 –$50,000

This could become a problem for Cohen if investigators determine that the money was intended to influence a DOJ anti-trust probe seeking to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner.

In a statement released just minutes after the report was released, AT&T confirmed the payments to Essential Consulting, claiming Essential was retained "to provide insights into understanding the new administration."

"Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us and the contract ended in December 2017."

So AT&T paid Cohen for his "insight" into the mind of Trump...not for any actual work.

Avenatti also published details from the application Cohen filed with First Republic Bank when he was opening an account for Essential Consulting back in October 2016. In the application, Cohen identified Essential as a real-estate consulting company that "collects fees for investment consulting work." He also said he didn't expect any "outgoing wire transfers and debits related to ACH".

In order to establish the account, Mr. Cohen subsequently submitted information claiming, among other things, the following:

(a) Essential is a real estate consulting company that collects fees for investment consulting work;

(b)The company’s typical clients are U.S.-based high net worth individuals;

(c)The company’s primary source of funds will be derived from within the U.S. or a U.S.-based company;

(d)The company expected one(1)totwenty (20) incoming domestic only wires totaling $1,000 to $10,000 each month for consulting fees, and one(1)to twenty (20) ACH credits and electronic transfers totaling $1,000 to $10,000 each month;

(e)No outgoing wire transfers and debits related toACH or electronic transfers were expected; and(f)Receipts of the business would be internally transferred to Mr. Cohen’s personal account at First Republic Bank.

The timing of the release was deliberate: Now, President Trump's decision to scrap the Iran deal - which represents one of his biggest foreign policy achievements to date - will be forced to share the news cycle with more Russia-linked allegations related to his attorney.

And now, it's only a matter of time before we see these allegations spark another round of "will Cohen flip?" stories from the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN and their peers in the mainstream press.

We also can't help but wonder: Is this what was on that mystery disc Avenatti kept waving around during all those cable news interviews? Or is there another shoe left to drop?

For what it's worth, Avenatti says there's more to come.

Read Avenatti's full report below:

Published:5/9/2018 5:01:48 AM
[Markets] Trump Won't Testify After Mueller Probe Reaches "A Level Of Bad Faith": DiGenova

President Trump will not be interviewed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, according to former Trump lawyer and U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova, who told Fox News Sunday that the investigation is now in "bad faith." 

“The president will not sit down for an interview because this investigation has reached a level of bad faith,” said diGenova “This is no longer a good faith investigation.”

DiGenova suggested that the judge in Paul Manafort's case, T.S. Ellis, "did something very important on Friday. He started a civics lesson about what the constitution is about, and about what the powers of a Special Counsel are," adding that Mueller "should be ashamed of himself" over the way the FBI conducted the raid on Paul Manafort's home - pulling him from his bed and handcuffing his wife at 3 a.m.

Yesterday we noted the intense courtroom battle which played out on Friday between Judge Ellis and Mueller attorney Michael Dreeben in which Ellis put the Special Counsel in its place six ways from Sunday during a motion-for-dismissal hearing - giving prosecutors two weeks to produce evidence that Manafort was colluding with the Russians. 

President Trump has repeatedly expressed a willingness to testify in front of the Special Counsel, mentioning as recently as last week "I would love to speak... I would love to go through with it, if I thought it was fair to override my lawyers.

Red-faced Rudy

Both diGenova and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz have dinged Rudy Giuliani over comments made last week that Trump reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels

DiGenova says that Giuliani's comments are a "nothing buger," that serve "no useful purpose in terms of the facts." 

“If it is a purely personal matter, which this clearly has to be, it doesn’t matter what its relationship was to the timetable in a campaign,” -Joe diGenova

Giuliani has since been making the media rounds trying to smooth out and clarify his comments - with the grand takeway being that the payments to Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) were perfectly legal.

Alan Dershowitz, meanwhile, told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that Giuliani's comments (whether intentional or not) "plays into the hands of Mueller's tactic to try at any cost ... to find technical violations against lower-ranking people so that they can be squeezed." 

The Harvard Law professor emeritus also said that Trump’s team is “admitting to enough that warrants scrutiny,” and that it's been a “bad week for both sides.

Published:5/6/2018 5:47:56 PM
[Markets] Social Media, Not Religion, Is The Opium Of The People

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. – Karl Marx,  A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

Social media is becoming the new whipping boy and poster child for all that ills our culture and contributing to its decline.

We added our two cents in a recent post,  Why Google Is A Short,

…social media probably generates negative productivity.  We read some time ago the average American spends 40 minutes per day playing Farmville.   How does planting virtual corn add to the GDP?

Though we are more ambivalent about Google, Facebook is doing some severe psychological damage to an entire generation, including my 15-year daughter.   They spend much of their time competing with trophy photos loaded up on Instagram.  Never gonna win that game, which leads to increased anxiety and depression for an entire generation.

The Google Short

That brings us to the Google (we are old school and can’t bring ourselves to call it Alphabet) short.

Imagine when a politician has his/her epiphany that all those porn searches they have done over the years on Google are stored somewhere and could be hacked and released to the public?  That will ignite a prairie fire of potential legislation, which will spread faster than you can say SNAP.  – GMM, Apr 24th

Our Friend Weighs In

We received this email from a very close friend yesterday,

Yesterday I downloaded the data Facebook has stored on me.  407 pages including every message I sent, every like, every picture, on and on.  Below I pasted just one of these pages, the list of advertisers who requested all my data.  I know nothing about most of these companies and to my knowledge do not use them. Just saying.

Psychological Damage On Children

In 2013, one of my daughters was seeing a therapist to help her work through the psychological complications of her just diagnosed epilepsy.   She is  in good company –  Julius Caesar and Chief Justice Roberts.

The therapist had all the right credentials from all the right institutions,  Harvard grad, Ph.D. from Stanford.   Until I asked her about the damage smartphones are doing to children.

She began to justify, almost saying they were good for kids.

The takeaway quote I recall, she had just attended a seminar and smartphones are good for children, “it is changing their brains.”

No shit.  I fired her on the spot.

Moreover, I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with friends who have trouble with their children’s use of social media.

Nefarious Activity On Social Media

By the way, I came out of that meeting with my daughter’s therapist to find my trading account had lost several thousand dollars as some dickhead  ‘bots hacked into AP’s twitter account posting the White House had been bombed and President Obama was injured.   Stocks plunged and I was sold out of my long postions by deep out-of-the-money stops.

 The FBI and SEC are to launch investigations after more than £90bn was temporarily wiped off the US stock market when hackers broke into the Twitter account of the Associated Press and announced that two bombs had exploded at the White House, injuring Barack Obama. – The Telegraph

I couldn’t figure out what happened to my account as the S&P was higher than before I entered the meeting.  Until I looked at the chart.

F-tards!

We are not as negative on Twitter as much as Facebook but this is just another example of why the government has to take a closer look at social media.   Furthermore,  and more important, many believe that even the  fate of democracy hinges on the future of clickbait.

Noah At Bloomberg Opines

The great Noah Smith of Bloomberg penned a must-read yesterday,  Social Media Looks Like the New Opiate of the Masses, with the subtitle, Researchers have found some troubling parallels with addictive drugs.

Here are the non-wonkish money quotes:

  • I suspect it will be many years before the true scale and scope of the changes are appreciated, and even then much will never be fully understood. The era when humans interacted mainly by gathering in physical space, or maintained personal networks through one-to-one connections, has drawn to a close, and the next generation won’t even really understand what that era was like. Social media has changed the meaning of human life itself.

  • But many of us who lived through the shift from Internet 1.0 to the new age of social media can’t help but feel a nagging worry. In addition to concerns about privacy, electoral influence and online abuse, social media seems like it has many of the qualities of an addictive drug.

  • Research isn’t conclusive on whether social-media addiction is real. But it certainly has some negative side effects that loosely resemble the downsides of recreational drugs.

  •  experiments found that smartphone deprivation induced anxiety among young people, a phenomenon that certainly has parallels to drug withdrawal.

  • once the internet offered an escape from the real world, now the real world is a much-needed escape from the internet.

  • If social media really does act on many users in a manner loosely analogous to cigarettes or heroin, that means the benefits are less than people’s willingness to pay. Junkies would pay quite a lot for their fix, but that doesn’t mean the money would be well-spent.

  • before we conclude that social media is like tobacco. And even if it is, the harm would need to be very substantial in order to get government policy involved in limiting social-media use.

  • Whereas Karl Marx declared that religion is the opiate of the masses, our modern capitalists may have invented a better one.

Upshot

Who in their right minds would have thought five years ago we would be comparing Facebook use to tobacco addiction?

We are less sanguine than Noah on the future of our social media economy.

More so, not because of the addiction thing, but because of privacy issues.  The behemoths will surely try and adapt their business models to survive. Will you pay $120 per year for Facebook?   There is no free lunch, right?

That brings us to investing.

Are the toothless F$%Gs out of the woods?  Hardly.  It is only two outs in the top of first, in our opinion.   The blowback is just getting started.

For the above reasons,  a long-term sword of Damocles is hanging over the market and these companies, in particular.  Their stocks, which have heavy weights in the indices,  will experience fits of volcanic eruptions and existential crises to periods of calm and euphoria.   In other words, prepare for a Key Stone Cops chase scene.

Is Our Social Media Economy Good For The Economy

This is one issue where the president is right-freaking-on.    Building a ballroom trumps building a chatroom, as it creates more income and real wealth.

Think back when GM and Ford dominated the economy.   How many secondary jobs were created when a car rolled off the assembly line?   Gas stations, tire shops, mechanics, smog inspectors, auto body painters?

They still do with imported BMWs (especially German cars, they are so expensive to repair) but the input multiplier is not as great.

We won’t fix our economic problems by reducing trade, especially with tariffs, but by making auto workers more productive with both human and physical capital investments.  Maybe 3-D printed cars will eventually rule the day?

This type of anufacturing is more likely (cannot say with certainty, we have not done the research) to have a greater jobs multiplier than the social media economy, and is more egalitarian in income and wealth distribution.

We will concede that the social media jobs  multiplier is not zero.  For example, vendors of, say, banana flavored condoms can sell their junk over these platforms.   But, come on, man!

The Bigs And AI

The one big caveat to our view is that the Facebooks and Googles are big spenders and on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI), which is subsidized by their advertising revenues.  Soomeday they may be big players in the AI/robotic manufacturing displacement that is already here and only  surely to accelerate.

But will they have enough time? Uhh...probably.

Published:5/6/2018 1:48:55 PM
[Markets] FBI Refuses To Pursue Personal Strzok-Page Texts; Grassley Goes Nuclear

The FBI is refusing to pursue work-related text messages and emails sent on the personal devices of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - the FBI "lovebirds" discovered to harbor extreme political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump while actively involved in cases against each candidate during the 2016 US election. Clinton was of course exonerated by the FBI despite overwhelming evidence of criminal conduct, while Trump's entire presidency has been tainted by the spectre of unproven Russian collusion.

Over 50,000 text messages between Strzok and Page were discovered by the Department of Justice's internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), leading to their removal from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation - which has since devolved into trying to embarrass the President over allegedly paying a porn star not to discuss consensual sex. Of note, Page tendered her resignation on Friday.

In a Wednesday letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the FBI was not "obligated" to collect all communications between employees, and would not be pursuing communications Strzok and Page sent to each other on their personal devices.

In response, Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) went nuclear - reminding Wray in a Friday letter cc'd to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that "Although, as your letter notes, the FBI is not "obligated" to collect all communications between employees, it is obligated to collect and preserve federal records." 

Grassley goes on to note that previously released text messages between Strzok and Page "show substantial reason to believe government work was performed on non-government systems during the course of a high-profile investigation," and that those communications could prove vital to the Committee's investigation.

The work-related communications on nongovernment systems could shed more light on how the FBI handled the Clinton investigation and would constitute federal records that the FBI would be obligated to retrieve and preserve under the Federal Records Act. -Sen. Grassley to FBI Director Wray

The letter then provides several examples in which Strzok and Page explicitly referred to exchanging work-related information over their personal devices.

"For example, in two text messages Strzok said to Page:"

Gmailed you two drafts of what I’m thinking of sending Bill, would appreciate your thoughts. Second (more recent) is updated so you can skip the first.

...

Yep. Sent something to your gmail, work-related. Think I’m going to pull here and send to Kortan….

"In another text message, Strzok and Page appear to use the encrypted iMessage application on their personal Apple devices to discuss work-related material:"

Strzok: Want to imsg it to me, or want to do it in person?

Page: It’s not that sensitive.

Strzok: Ok. You can imsg just for convenience of typing, too, if you want

...

Strzok: And I have no good, awful, sh*tty terrible (work) news. I can’t say it here, and you can’t share with Andy (yet). I’m upset.

Page: Can you share it on imsg?

Strzok: Yes just sent[.]8

Grassley then excoriates the FBI - comparing Strzok and Page's use of personal devices for work purposes to Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information on her personal server - which Strzok and Page were investigating

"Under 18 U.S.C. § 2071, it is illegal to willfully and unlawfully conceal, remove, or destroy a federal record. Secretary Clinton alienated thousands of federal records when she used a nongovernment server and email for official work, many of which were deleted rather than returned to the State Department when the Department requested them. Ironically, as FBI employees tasked with investigating Clinton’s similar conduct, Strzok and Page appear to have used nongovernment systems for official work as well. This Committee has yet to receive a satisfactory explanation as to why the FBI apparently let Secretary Clinton off the hook for multiple § 2071 violations. It is disturbing that even at this late date, and with all the litigation surrounding Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business, the FBI seems similarly uninterested in even attempting to retrieve federal records of its own employees that appear to have been alienated as well."

Grassley then asks three questions of Wray, noting that he expects the response to be unclassified:

  • Why has the FBI not requested from Ms. Page or Mr. Strzok any official work-related material from their personal devices and email accounts?
  • Why has the FBI not conducted searches of non-FBI-issued communications devices or non-FBI email accounts associated with Mr. Strzok or Ms. Page for official work-related material?
  • The FBI’s May 3, 2018, response letter also failed to answer questions 1-5, 8, and 11. Please provide answers and the requested documentation by the deadline. 

Full letter below

Published:5/6/2018 1:19:46 PM
[Markets] Pat Buchanan: "Memo To Trump: Defy Mueller"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions — to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump’s impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence.

Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge — that Trump’s team colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation.

How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired NSC Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in firing FBI Director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller’s problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump’s lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up, or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: Impeach me and be damned.

Will a new Congress impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would become a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital’s elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it’s looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear in the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win — an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Published:5/6/2018 12:14:16 PM
[Markets] Why The Justice Department Is Defiant

Authored by Kimberley Strassel, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

A House subpoena, another missed deadline. What is the department hiding?

The feud that has simmered for months between Congress and the Justice Department erupted this week into a cage match. That’s because the House is homing in on the goods.

Until this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and fellow institutionalists at the department had fought Congress’s demands for information with the tools of banal bureaucracy - resist, delay, ignore, negotiate. But Mr. Rosenstein took things to a new level on Tuesday, accusing House Republicans of “threats,” extortion and wanting to “rummage” through department documents. A Wednesday New York Times story then dropped a new slur, claiming “Mr. Rosenstein and top FBI officials have come to suspect that some lawmakers were using their oversight authority to gain intelligence about [Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s ] investigation so that it could be shared with the White House.”

Mr. Rosenstein isn’t worried about rummaging. That’s a diversion from the department’s opposite concern: that it is being asked to comply with very specific - potentially very revealing - demands. Two House sources confirm for me that the Justice Department was recently delivered first a classified House Intelligence Committee letter and then a subpoena (which arrived Monday) demanding documents related to a new line of inquiry about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump investigation. The deadline for complying with the subpoena was Thursday afternoon, and the Justice Department flouted it. As the White House is undoubtedly monitoring any new congressional demands for information, it is likely that President Trump’s tweet Wednesday ripping the department for not turning over documents was in part a reference to this latest demand.

Republicans also demand the FBI drop any objections to declassifying a section of the recently issued House Intelligence Committee report that deals with a briefing former FBI Director James Comey provided about former national security adviser Mike Flynn. House Republicans say Mr. Comey told them his own agents did not believe Mr. Flynn lied to them. On his book tour, Mr. Comey has said that isn’t true. Someone isn’t being honest. Is the FBI more interested in protecting the reputations of two former directors (the other being Mr. Mueller, who dragged Mr. Flynn into court on lying grounds) than in telling the public the truth?

It’s hard to have any faith in the necessity of the more than 300 redactions in the House Intel report, most of which the Republican committee members insist are bogus and should be removed. On every occasion that Justice or the FBI has claimed material must be withheld for the sake of national security or continuing investigations, it has later come out that the only thing at stake were those institutions’ reputations. Think the Comey memos, which showed the former director had little basis for claiming obstruction. Or Sen. Chuck Grassley’s criminal referral of dossier author Christopher Steele, the FBI’s so-called reliable source, whom we now know it had to fire for talking to the press and possibly lying.

The Justice Department is laying all this at the feet of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which technically oversees redactions. But ODNI consults with the agency that “owns” the material, and the FBI is clearly doing the blocking. Again, many pieces of the House Intel report that are being hidden happen to relate to FBI conduct during the 2016 election.

The increasingly poisonous interaction between Congress and the Justice Department also stems from a growing list of questions Republicans have about leading Justice Department officials’ roles in the events Congress seeks to investigate. Mr. Rosenstein’s name was on at least one of the applications for a warrant on Carter Page to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Dana Boente’s name is on another, and he’s now serving as the FBI’s general counsel.

We can’t know the precise motivations behind the Justice Department’s and FBI’s refusal to make key information public. But whether it is out of real concern over declassification or a desire to protect the institutions from embarrassment, the current leadership is about 20 steps behind this narrative. Mr. Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe - they have already shattered the FBI’s reputation and public trust. There is nothing to be gained from pretending this is business as usual, or attempting to stem continued fallout by hiding further details.

This week’s events - including more flat-out subpoena defiance - put a luminous spotlight on Speaker Paul Ryan. The credibility of the House’s oversight authority is at stake. Mr. Ryan’s committee chairmen have done remarkable work exposing FBI behavior, and they deserve backup. The quickest way to get Justice and FBI to comply with these legitimate requests is for Mr. Ryan to state strongly and publicly that he has zero qualms about proceeding down the road of contempt or impeachment if House demands are not met. This is the people’s government, not the Justice Department’s.

Published:5/6/2018 10:14:29 AM
[Politics] Rudy Giuliani: 'We Don't Have to' Comply With Subpoena Despite reports of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller threatening to subpoena President Donald Trump in the investigation into the 2016 presidential election, the U.S. president does not have to answer subpoena under executive privilege, according to attorney Rudy... Published:5/6/2018 9:43:36 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Porny Daniels nails Trump and Giuliani on Saturday Night Live cold open The Saturday Night Live cold open hit everything including Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Melania, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Omarosa Ivanka and Jared Kushner, and the FBI. Watch below: Although this cold open was somewhat . . . Published:5/6/2018 9:16:01 AM
[Politics] WSJ: Mueller May 'Go Dark' During Midterms Although the investigation into the 2016 president election is technically boundless, FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's probe will have to conclude soon or go dark to avoid an appearance of trying to sway elections in the 2018 midterms, The Wall Street Journal... Published:5/6/2018 9:16:01 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Porny Daniels nails Trump and Giuliani on Saturday Night Live cold open The Saturday Night Live cold open hit everything including Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Melania, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Omarosa Ivanka and Jared Kushner, and the FBI. Watch below: Although this cold open was somewhat . . . Published:5/6/2018 8:44:47 AM
[Markets] Happy Birthday Karl: Top 10 Goals Of Marx' Manifesto Accomplished In America

By Joe Jarvis Via The Daily Bell

Plenty of stupid ideas kill people. But one man’s stupid ideas have killed over a hundred million people.

Karl Marx was born 200 years ago today. And despite the utter failure of his communist philosophy in practice, the cult lives on. Still people want to try again… this time they will get it right.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels originally published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. It laid out the beliefs and action plan of the Communist Party. The goal was to get communists of every nationality to rise up and unite to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors.”

Little did they know their words would be used by the likes of Stalin and Mao as justification for over 100 million murders meant to supposedly move society forward.

In America, the goals of the communists have crept their way into society with little fanfare. Many people have no idea that public schools, the graduated income tax, and even a central state-controlled bank (like the Federal Reserve) were tenets of the Communist Manifesto.

The points are boiled down in one section of the manifesto to a list of ten main goals. These are the goals, in Marx and Engels’ own words, followed by an analysis of how deeply they have seeped into the United States governing structure.

“1. Abolition of all public land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”

Also known as property taxes. Can you really say you own land if you must pay the government every year in order to keep it? Fail to pay your rent, and they will eventually confiscate “your” land. This money is then used for “public purposes” like public schools(just wait for #10) and police, who will remove you from the government’s land if you fail to pay your rent.

And if the local government can fine you for keeping a front yard garden, or backyard chickens, do you really own the land anyway? Sounds like the proletariat traded capitalist oppressors for government oppressors.

The federal government owns outright 28% of all land in the United States, 640 million acres. This includes the Bureau of Land Management’s 248 million acre turf used to control or oppress political dissidents like Cliven Bundy. “The BLM is also responsible for subsurface mineral resources in areas totaling 700 million acres.” That means they control almost three times as much land as they own.

Each state government owns an average of 8.7% of its state’s land. This source claims the feds own over 31% of the U.S. landmass, which brings the combined state and federal total ownership to almost 40% of all land in the USA.

And let’s not forget about eminent domain, where the government can just take your land for “public use” (or public benefit) with “just compensation.” If the compensation isn’t just, simply take the most powerful government on Earth to court–courts that they own. I’m sure you will be treated fairly.

“2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”

Even after the latest tax cuts, the federal income tax rates range from 10% to 37%.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. will pay 87% of all income taxes this year. These people who earn $150,000 or more account for 52% of the income earned in the USA, but will pay almost all of the income taxes, 87%.

The top 1% of earners– the evil bourgeois making over $730,000 per year–will actually pay over 43% of all income taxes this year.

So 1% of earners who make 16% of the country’s total income will pay 43% of the total income tax.

Sounds like way more than their “fair share” to me, but the communists won’t be satisfied until everything is owned by the state.

“3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.”

They want to fleece the rich one more time when they die, even though all that wealth was taxed already as income or capital gains.

Estate Tax, or Death Tax, is one of the more egregious oppressions of the federal government.

There is a hefty exemption–the first $11 million is not taxed. While that means few typical people will be affected, it still fits with the communist strategy of demonizing the rich.

And every dollar over that exemption is taxed at 40%.

When you think about it, $11 million is not so much money when you are talking about a business, even relatively small family businesses that might be passed down through inheritance.

If a business is worth $15 million, the family of the deceased would owe $1.6 million. If they don’t have $1.6 million hanging around, they might have to dismantle the business in order to pay the taxes. That could mean a loss of good proletariat jobs and a hit to the economy.

The same could happen to a piece of land or estate that has been in the family for generations.

State level estate taxes add additional costs, sometimes with lower exemptions.

But the communists are smart, they demonize the people they rob. So no one feels bad for “the rich” because they will have plenty left over when the government is done with them. Although that too could change…

“4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.”

Let’s start with the Exit Tax.

Why don’t you just move out of America if you don’t like the taxes?

Well, America taxes it’s citizens worldwide, even if they do not live or work in the USA.

Why not renounce your citizenship then?

That is one option. But it’s actually not free. In fact, the U.S. confiscates a serious percentage of property from emigrants.

It is called the Exit Tax. It gets complicated, but basically, the government is going to tax you on your net worth, as if you just sold all your assets.

If you don’t have the liquid cash to cover that, you would actually have to start selling assets–property, stocks, etc.–in order to pay the Exit Tax. Of course, you would be taxed on the income or capital gains first, and then would have to pay the exit tax with what is left over… The good news (?) is you would have less overall net worth to be taxed upon your renunciation.

Okay, but again, a big part of being a communist is hating rich people. People with less than $700,000 of capital gains in their net worth are much less affected by the exit tax.

So let’s turn to confiscation of rebel’s property that affects the poorest proletariat… civil asset forfeiture.

This is often used again poor people who cannot afford to defend themselves in court. The police simply steal property or cash that they “suspect” was involved in some type of crime, without having to prove anything. You have to prove your innocence if you want your car, house, or cash back.

So if cops think a wad of cash came from selling drugs, it’s theirs. If they think your car was bought with the proceeds of drug sales, maybe because they found an ounce of weed and some baggies, they can take the car, without charging you with a drug dealing.

Police seized over $50,000 from a Christian Rock band that had collected donations for an orphanage. Between 2001 and 2016, “more than $2.5 billion in cash seizures had occurred on the nation’s highways without either a search warrant or an indictment.”

And that’s not even counting the more than $3.2 billion the DEA has seized since 2007without filing civil or criminal charges.

Just having cash is a pretty low bar to be considered a rebel. Then again, what should we expect from a communist doctrine?

“5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

I wonder if today’s communists are aware of this one. They can’t possibly think the Federal Reserve helps the proletariat, yet that is exactly what the manifesto describes.

Some people might disagree that the Federal Reserve is state owned. Technically it has a private board, although board members are appointed by politicians. I suppose in that sense you could call it more fascist than communist–the government doesn’t own the bank, the bank owns the government.

The Fed sets the interest rates, prints money, and finances much of the debt of the United States government. Without the Fed, it would be much harder for the government to control the people–the homes they buy, the loans they get, the interest on their savings, and even how much of that savings is robbed through inflation.

“6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.”

FCC, FTC, DOT, FAA, TSA, CBP–oh it’s an alphabet soup of communications and transport regulators.

They regulate the phone lines, the roadways, air traffic, rails, mail and package delivery.

This is nothing new. Around the same time, Marx was writing the manifesto, Lysander Spooner was doing something productive with his time. Spooner started the American Letter Mail Company to compete with the U.S. Postal Service. He undercut their prices and provided better customer service, but was fined and cited for breaking laws which protected the government monopoly. He was forced out of business in 1851.

The government doesn’t quite have control over the internet, but they did create the conditions to allow a handful of companies control access to the internet.

The NSA monitors every communication, and the Department of Homeland Security commissioned a database to track all journalists and media influencers who mention the DHSCustoms and Border Protection performs unconstitutional searches at the border,whether you are an American or foreign.

And of course, you can’t go out in public without running the risk of being harassed by local, state, and federal police. You don’t have the right to travel without justifying every action to a police officer, while they often get off scot-free for murder.

“7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.”

The state has certainly dabbled in factory ownership, like the GM bailout. They control utilities like water and power. And they have certainly subsidized their fair share of business from oil and solar panels to sugar and corn.

We can refer back to #1 to see how much land the government controls, often under the auspices of improving soil and protecting wastelands.

Then there are plenty of government contractors which are basically the same thing as a government-owned company. If 100% of their revenue comes from the government, they are not a private company. This is especially prominent in the defense industry, which is where the term military-industrial-complex comes from. And then think about the roads the government contracts out to build.

The government spends about 34% of the GDP every year. That is a significant percentage of the economy which the government owns.

“8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.”

Yes, the Communist Manifesto proposes enslaving all those unwilling to work.

Now, it might not seem like the U.S. government forces people to work. But you have to make money just to park your ass on a plot of land. Local governments want property taxes, which means you must make a certain amount of money just to have a place to live.

Otherwise, you could conceivably save up for a piece of land, and once you buy it outright, you would be done. But even renting has the built-in costs of property tax.

And the fact that the government claims the authority to tax you on everything you earn basically means you have a liability to labor for the government if you want to labor at all.

Most of us cannot go through life without earning something to pay for necessities. But we can’t just earn what we need, we must earn way more than we need because the government will take a huge chunk of our income.

We tend to think about taxes as a percentage of our income. But what about as a percentage of our time? The government forces you to work as its slave from about January through April every year. In a typical career, you will spend in total more than 14 full years working as a slave for the government.

“9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.”

The government helped create factory farming by regulating all the small-scale producers out of business.

Reason reports that USDA regulations have forced small slaughterhouses to close in favor of large factory-style slaughterhouses. This might sound like a good idea at first. But consider that when one infected animal makes its way to a slaughterhouse, it can contaminate so much meat.

Having many slaughterhouses distributed across the U.S. meant that any infections were localized, and affected far fewer people. Plus when the slaughterhouse is local, it is easier to know the owners and see the conditions for yourself. The animals are raised closer to home, also providing more opportunity for market oversight of the process. No hiding away from the consumers on a vast gated factory ranch.

The U.S. government has long subsidized large crop producers, which makes it that much harder for smaller farms to compete.

It started with the Farm Bill in 1933 and continues to this day.

What we get is cheap, but unhealthy products. And even though the products on the shelf look cheap, we already paid for them with our tax dollars.

The problem is, I don’t want to buy unhealthy things loaded with high fructose corn syrup. But my money will pay for that crap whether I like it or not. Then I have to spend my money on healthy items that are more expensive because they have to compete with subsidized products.

That’s where the government incentives for factory farming have got us.

“10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.”

This may be tenth on the list, but it is number one in ensuring all the rest fall into place.

American communists got this goal in place just four years after the Communist Manifesto was published, with Massachusetts enacting the first compulsory public education law in 1852. After that, it was only a matter of time until the population was indoctrinated to believe whatever the government taught them.

The book Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence delves in depth into the history and injustice of compulsory schooling.

It was designed so that the state and corporations could work together to train an obedient workforce, with the public footing the bill.

The point was not open minds and a desire to learn. The aim of the education was setting students up for whatever mediocre to low paying jobs the industrialists wanted them to fill.

The communists succeeded in getting exactly what they wanted out of American schools. And today we see the growing gap between what people learn in school, and what skills they actually need for good jobs. The communists have got the American education system stuck in a stagnant philosophy of industrial labor.

Of course, they did it with supposedly the best intentions. Sounds like a good idea to save kids from dangerous work. But in the process, they also robbed children and young adults of their autonomy and choice. They forced kids against their will into a government institution and set the course for their entire lives.

And that is the most important lesson that the communists want to teach in schools. It is all about obedience to government.

Karl Marx is like the anti-Midas. Everything his philosophy touches turns to shit. Is it any wonder that America is stagnating? You cannot grow with a communist philosophy. It doesn’t take into account the beautiful creative independence of individuals. It treats people like cattle. It robs people of the rewards of their labor.

I rue this day, 200 years ago.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

Published:5/5/2018 8:15:36 PM
[Markets] FBI Chaos: Comey Caught In Lie Over Flynn Investigation; Anti-Trump "Lovebird" Lisa Page Quits

Quite a bit of FBI-related news broke late Friday;

  • A newly unredacted section of a House Intel Committee report reveals that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told Congressional investigators that the FBI had virtually no case against Mike Flynn
  • The same report reveals that James Comey contradicted himself during a recent interview with Bret Baier
  • Comey, McCabe and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord gave the committee "conflicting testimony"
  • Anti-Trump FBI "Lovebird" Lisa Page (with whom Peter Strzok was having an affaird) has flown the coop, tendering her resignation on Friday
  • One of Comey's closest confidants, former FBI top lawyer James A. Baker also resigned Friday

A newly unredacted version of the House Intelligence Committee's final report on Russia was released on Friday, containing bombshell revelations stemming from the Congressional testimony of former FBI and DOJ officials Andrew McCabe and James Comey.

For starters, the redacted section of the report covers up the fact that former deputy director Andrew McCabe told Congressional investigators the FBI had virtually no case against former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.

McCabe also says that former FBI Director James Comey spearheaded the "ambush" of Flynn at the White House - in which two FBI agents, one of whom was Peter Strzok dropped in unannounced to interrogate him.

McCabe told the committee that "The two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn't think he was lying[.]" as well as "[N]ot [a] great beginning of a false statement case."

“Deputy Director McCabe confirmed the interviewing agent’s initial impression and stated that the 'conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn’t detect deception in the statements that he made in the interview … the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation that he had actually had with the ambassador,'” the report states.

Next, we learn that Comey lied (or had a terrible lapse in memory) when he told Fox News host Bret Baier that he didn't tell Congressional investigators what McCabe told them; that the two FBI agents who interviewed former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn didn't think he was lying to them.

“Director Comey testified to the Committee that ‘the agents…discerned no physical indications of deception," reads the new report. "They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.” 

Here's what Comey told Fox's Baier last week: 

Baier: Did you tell lawmakers that FBI agents didn't believe former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was lying intentionally to investigators?

Comey: No. And I saw that in the media. I don't know what - maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I didn't believe that, and didn't say that.

As Sean Davis of The Federalist notes, the DOJ and FBI "demanded significant redactions to the document not to protect national security or sources and methods, but to protect potentially corrupt officials from accountability"

House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) weighed in, pointing out to Fox News's Laura Ingraham that his committee had "been fighting with the Department of Justice and the FBI, for six weeks, to release this information to the American people."

Flynn, who has been cooperating with Mueller's investigation, was forced to resign as Trump's National Security Advisor last February after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about perfectly legal and to-be-expected conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition. 

So why would Flynn plead guilty?

Some have suggested that Flynn pleaded guilty due to the fact that federal investigations tend to bankrupt people who aren't filthy rich - as was the case with former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo, who told the Senate Intelligence Committee "God damn you to hell" after having to sell his home due to mounting legal fees over the inquiry. 

“Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money — more than $125,000 — and making a visceral impact on my children."

Thus, it's entirely possible Flynn pleaded guilty in order to avoid financial ruin - though like Caputo, he didn't escape having to sell his house in March.

Another thought is that the FBI simply called Flynn's bluff and said they caught him in a lie. While perhaps a stretch at this point and certainly unconfirmed, some have suggested that Andrew McCabe instructed Peter Strzok and the other FBI agent who interviewed Flynn to alter their "302" forms - the document FBI investigators use to document an interview.

Investigative journalist Sara Carter has reported that FBI sources maintain the FBI’s deputy director under Comey, Andrew G. McCabe, may have asked FBI agents to alter or change their findings in their 302s; Carter alleges that OIG Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking into this. -The Hill

So we know that innocent people plead guilty all the time, and that Flynn faced significant financial pressure were he to remain in the Trump administration and fight the claims against him. Also recall that during December 2016, when Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador, the Russiagate narrative was in a full frenzy. It's possible that although Flynn and Kislyak's contact was perfectly legal and to-be expected, he may have been hesitant to tell the FBI about some or all of his communications out of an abundance of caution. It should also be noted that Flynn may have considered the obviously pro-Clinton top brass of the US intelligence community to be "the enemy" and been hesitant to tell them the full truth. 

Until we know more, we can only speculate. 

In other FBI news - Lisa Page and James Baker quit on Friday

Two top Comey advisors announced their departure from the FBI on Friday, leading to speculation that some bad information is about to come out regarding the pair.

Resignations were handed in by James Baker - former top lawyer for the NSA specializing in FISA matters before becoming the FBI's top lawyer, and lawyer Lisa Page - one of the two "lovebirds" who sent anti-Trump text messages with her co-worker with whom she was having an extramarital affair - special agent Peter Strzok (who spearheaded the Clinton email investigation, the early Trump investigation and interviewed Mike Flynn).

Mollie Hemmingway of The Federalist notes that Page and Baker quit as a highly anticipated report by the DOJ's Inspector General is "looming," suggesting that the report will reveal violations of the law egregious enough to call for both of them to hand in their resignations on the same day.

One Twitter user takes it a step further... 

And, oddly, James Comey forgot to mention Page's name when he was praising Baker on Friday night:

Perhaps Page and Baker can set up legal defense funds like Andy McCabe and convince people to give them a half-million dollars to cover upcoming expenses.

Published:5/5/2018 9:09:00 AM
[Iran] Kerry’s collusion (Scott Johnson) John Kerry has colluded with the Iranian regime to preserve the Iran deal from its prospective undoing by the president of the United States. Matt Viser calls it “shadow diplomacy” in his Boston Globe article breaking the story. Isn’t this the kind of thing for which then Acting Attorney Sally Yates sicced the FBI on Michael Flynn? Because it allegedly violated the Logan Act? Why, yes, it is. (I have Published:5/5/2018 7:36:34 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: Newly unredacted House Intel report says Comey DID NOT believe Michael Flynn lied to FBI According to Catherine Herridge at Fox News, a new unredacted House Intel report shows that Comey testified that he didn’t believe Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI. Here’s the lowdown: FOX . . . Published:5/4/2018 10:36:54 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Newly unredacted House Intel report says Comey DID NOT believe Michael Flynn lied to FBI According to Catherine Herridge at Fox News, a new unredacted House Intel report shows that Comey testified that he didn’t believe Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI. Here’s the lowdown: FOX . . . Published:5/4/2018 10:36:54 PM
[Politics] BREAKING!! Trump-HATING agent Lisa Page is NO LONGER at the FBI!! The cheating hussy at the center of every “deep state” conspiracy theory has resigned from the FBI, according to the New York Times: Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former . . . Published:5/4/2018 10:03:54 PM
[Politics] BREAKING!! Trump-HATING agent Lisa Page is NO LONGER at the FBI!! The cheating hussy at the center of every “deep state” conspiracy theory has resigned from the FBI, according to the New York Times: Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former . . . Published:5/4/2018 10:03:54 PM
[Markets] Civil War 2.0: More Like 'French Revolution' Than Civil War I

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The Horsefly Cometh

You can see where this Mueller thing is going: to the moment when the Golden Golem of Greatness finally swats down the political horsefly that has orbited his glittering brainpan for a whole year, and says, “There! It’s done.”

It suggests that Civil War Two will end up looking a whole lot more like the French Revolution than Civil War One...The latter unfurled as a solemn tragedy; the former as a Coen Brothers style opéra bouffe bloodbath.

Having executed the presidential swat to said orbiting horsefly, Trump will try to turn his attention to the affairs of the nation, only to find that it is insolvent and teetering on the most destructive workout of bad debt the world has ever seen. And then his enemies will really go to work. In the process, they’ll probably wreck the institutional infrastructure needed to run a republic in constitutional democracy mode.

They got a good start in politicizing the upper ranks of the FBI, a fatal miscalculation based on the certainty of a Hillary win, which would have enabled the various schemers in the J. Edgar Hoover building to just fade back into the procedural woodwork of the agency and get on with life. Instead, their shenanigans were exposed and so far one key player, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, was hung out to dry by a committee of his fellow agency execs for lying about his official conduct. Long about now, you kind of wonder: is that where it ends for him? Seems like everybody else (and his uncle) is getting indicted for lying to the FBI. How about Mr. McCabe, since that is exactly why his colleagues at the FBI fired him?

Perhaps further resolution of this murky situation awaits Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s forthcoming report, which the media seems to have forgotten about lately. An awful lot of the mischief at the FBI and its parent agency, the Department of Justice, is already on the public record, for instance the conflicting statements of Andrew McCabe and his former boss James Comey concerning who illegally leaked what to the press. On the face of it, it looks pretty bad when at least one of these Big Fish at the top of a supposedly incorruptible agency is lying. There are at least a dozen other Big Fish in there who still have some serious ‘splainin’ to do, and why not in the grand jury setting?

Nobody knows where the current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is in all this — and “is” may be too strong a word to describe his wraith-like tenure this past year. He seems less present than the portraits of his dead predecessors lining the hallway outside his office, considering the lively swirl of allegations all around him. Well, he did appoint yet another special counsel, an obscure US Attorney from Utah, John Huber, to evaluate several heaps of FBI dirty laundry, most particularly the strange and baffling treatment that Hillary Clinton has received in the matter of the Steele Dossier, the email server inquiry dropped by Comey, and the 2012 Uranium One incident that abracadabra’d about $150 million (from wealthy Russians!) into the Clinton Foundation coffers while she was Secretary of State. Mr. Huber is charged to follow up anything the Inspector General discovers to be a possible breach of the law.

But it’s finally back to Mr. Mueller, the zeppelin-sized horsefly circling the head of state. There was that Russia thing that set off the awful commotion in the FBI, which arose first in the charge that the newly-appointed National Security Advisor had a couple of conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period. The President-elect’s furious adversaries managed to put across the story that American officials are not supposed to talk to ambassadors from foreign countries, which is about the most absurd proposition imaginable — except in a land where school kids are taught nothing about government or history. Anyway, Mr. Flynn was not even indicted for that, but rather for supposedly lying about it to a delegation of interrogators from Mueller’s office.

My guess is that Mr. Trump will sack Mr. Mueller when the IG’s report comes out and the shady machinations that brought Mueller onto the scene are revealed in full.

The #Resistance will lose its avatar and impeachment will become the sole campaign issue for November 2018.

Published:5/4/2018 7:03:04 PM
[] For Some Reason, Revelation That FBI's Highest Officers Were Leakers and Liars Is Undermining Their Credibility in Trial Courts The FBI, like the media, is wondering why the public stopped believing them. Hint: I think it had to do with all the lies and incompetence. But I can't be sure. You should wiretap me and raid my office to... Published:5/4/2018 5:03:01 PM
[FBI] FBI sponsored meeting turns into anti-Trump rally (Paul Mirengoff) On Wednesday, I wrote about a BRIDGES meeting scheduled for later in the day. BRIDGES is a program pursuant to which Department of Justice/FBI personnel meet quarterly with representatives of the Muslim community in southeast Michigan. BRIDGES stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity. In practice, as I tried to show, it stands for whitewashing jihad and pandering to CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), a group Published:5/4/2018 1:31:59 PM
[Law] The FBI Shouldn’t Be Above the Law Either

These days, a number of people seem to be under the impression that investigating President Donald Trump is the most vital project undertaken by this... Read More

The post The FBI Shouldn’t Be Above the Law Either appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/4/2018 11:31:51 AM
[Markets] Comey's Leaker "Friend", Then "Lawyer", Also Worked Under Him At The FBI For 19 Months

The Columbia law professor used by former FBI Director James Comey as an intermediary to leak the details of now-classified memos worked as a "special government employee" at the FBI for over a year, serving "at the pleasure of Director [Comey], according to Fox News.

Records reviewed by Fox News now show he [Richman] signed the agreement as early as June 30, 2015. The former director previously told Fox News that Richman left the FBI in February 2017, meaning he served there for well over a year.

Sources familiar with Richman’s FBI status said he was assigned to "special projects" by Comey, and had a security clearance as well as badge access to the building. Richman told Fox News in an email last week that he was working as an SGE on an unpaid basis. -Fox News

Richman's allegedly unpaid work included "defending Comey's handling of the Clinton email case, including the controversial decision to reopen the probe shortly before the presidential election."

FBI records show that as a special government employee, Richman would "serve at the pleasure of the Director [Comey]," with an initial term of one year. Richman's stated responsibilities included the use of encryption by terror suspects -- known as "Going Dark." In August 2015, his projects were expanded to include "an examination of the implications of federal investigations being brought to state and local prosecutors." -Fox News

So - not only did Richman serve as the conduit for Comey's leak three months after he left the FBI, Richman defended Comey to the media while serving at Comey's pleasure as a "special government employee." He was typically identified as a law professor by the media, and sometimes as a policy adviser to Comey, reports Fox

Richman was sent talking points about the Clinton investigation according to government transcripts, which compared Clinton's use of an unsecured private server to that of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who shared classified information with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. The talking points also mentioned Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material from the National Archives. 

In other words, Richman was a shill for the FBI - which is quite a departure from what James Comey originally described him as. In January, Comey told Congressional investigators that Richman was merely a good friend - failing to mention that he was also his direct report at the FBI for over a year

After controversy erupted over whether the memos were classified or not when he wrote them, Richman then said he was Comey's lawyer - theoretically keeping their communications off-limits to investigators under Attorney-client privilege. 

Since Richman’s time at the bureau, Republican lawmakers have taken interest in his role – specifically in helping Comey leak the contents of at least one memo documenting his private discussions with President Trump to the media, after Richman left the bureau. Richman first emerged last year during Senate testimony as the former FBI director’s contact for getting that information out to the media, to kick-start the Russia special counsel investigation. -Fox News

When in a recent interview asked why he didn't reveal this under questioning, Comey said "it wasn't relevant" since Richman left the FBI in February 2017.

Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., have requested that the Department of Justice turn over documents pertaining to Richman's stint at the FBI and his handling of the memos, via a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

To recap: Comey's "good friend" and then "lawyer," Daniel Richman - was also a FBI employee for 17 months serving at his pleasure. Three months after Richman left the FBI, Comey then used Richman to leak the details of his memo to the New York Times within a week of Comey's firing, in the hopes of sparking the special counsel.

Maybe this was one of the "six ways from Sunday" Chuck Schumer (D-NY) famously threatened President Trump with if he crosses the swamp, as it seems Richman served at Comey's pleasure even after his unpaid stint at the agency. What a guy!

Published:5/4/2018 10:33:09 AM
[Markets] Exposed: The Naked Truth About Robert Mueller

Authored by Rep Louis Gohmert via Director Blue blog,

Robert Mueller has a long and sordid history of illicitly targeting innocent people. His many actions are a stain upon the legacy of American jurisprudence. He lacks the judgment and credibility to lead the prosecution of anyone.

I do not make these statements lightly. Each time I prepared to question Mueller during Congressional hearings, the more concerned I became about his ethics and behavior. As I went back to begin compiling all of that information in order to recount personal interactions with Mueller, the more clearly the big picture began to come into focus.

At one point I had to make the decision to stop adding to this compilation or it would turn into a far too lengthy project. My goal was to share some firsthand experiences with Mueller -- as other Republican Members of Congress had requested -- adding, “You seem to know so much about him.”

This article is prepared from my viewpoint to help better inform the reader about the Special Prosecutor leading the effort to railroad President Donald J. Trump through whatever manufactured charge he can allege.

Judging by Mueller's history, it doesn't matter who he has to threaten, harass, prosecute or bankrupt to get to allege something or, for that matter, anything. It certainly appears Mueller will do whatever it takes to bring down his target -- ethically or unethically -- based on my findings.

What does former Attorney General Eric Holder say? Sounds like much the same thing I just said. Holder has stated, "I've known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can."

Holder does know him. He has seen Mueller at work when Holder was obstructing justice and was therefore held in Contempt of Congress. He knows Mueller’s FBI framed innocent people and had no remorse in doing so.

Let’s look at what we know. What I have accumulated here is absolutely shocking upon the realization that Mueller's disreputable, twisted history speaks to the character of the man placed in a position to attempt to legalize a coup against a lawfully-elected President. Any Republican who says anything resembling, “Bob Mueller will do a good job as Special Counsel,” “Bob Mueller has a great reputation for being fair,” or anything similar; either (a) wants President Trump indicted for something and removed from office regardless of his innocence; (b) is intentionally ignorant of the myriad of outrageous problems permeating Mueller’s professional history; or (c) is cultivating future Democrat votes when he or she comes before the Senate someday for a confirmation hearing.

There is simply too much clear and convincing evicdence to the contrary. Where other writers have set out information succinctly, I have quoted them, with proper attribution. My goal is to help you understand what I have found.

ROBERT MUELLER - BACKGROUND

In his early years as FBI Director, most Republican members of Congress gave Mueller a pass in oversight hearings, allowing him to avoid tough questions. After all, we were continually told, “Bush appointed him.” I gave him easy questions the first time I questioned him in 2005 out of deference to his Vietnam service. Yet, the longer I was in Congress, the more conspicuous the problems became. As I have said before of another Vietnam veteran, just because someone deserves our respect for service or our sympathy for things that happened to them in the military, that does not give them the right to harm our country later. As glaring problems came to light, I toughened up my questions in the oversight hearings. But first, let's cover a little of Mueller's history.

MUELLER: THE WHITEY BULGER AFFAIR

The Boston Globe noted Robert Mueller’s connection with the Whitey Bulger case in an article entitled, “One Lingering Question for FBI Director Robert Mueller.” The Globe said this: “[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two FBI agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset…”

Mueller was the head of the Criminal Division as Assistant U.S. Attorney, then as Acting U.S. Attorney. I could not find any explanation online by Mueller as to why he insisted on keeping the defendants in prison that FBI agents—in the pocket of Whitey Bulger— had framed for a murder they did not commit. Make no mistake: these were not honorable people he had incarcerated. But it was part of a pattern that eventually became quite clear that Mueller was more concerned with convicting and putting people in jail he disliked, even if they were innocent of the charges, than he was with ferreting out the truth. I found no explanation as to why he did not bear any responsibility for the $100 million paid to the defendants who were framed by FBI agents under his control. The Boston Globe said, “Thanks to the FBI’s corruption, taxpayers got stuck with the $100 million bill for compensating the framed men, two of whom, Greco and Tameleo, died in prison.”

The New York Times explained the relationship this way: “In the 1980's, while [FBI Agent] Mr. Connolly was working with Whitey Bulger, Mr. Mueller was assistant United States attorney in Boston in charge of the criminal division and for a period was the acting United States attorney here, presiding over Mr. Connolly and Mr. Bulger as a ’top echelon informant.'

Officials of the Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police Department had long wondered why their investigations of Mr. Bulger were always compromised before they could gather evidence against him, and they suspected that the FBI was protecting him.”

If Mr. Mueller had no knowledge that the FBI agents he used were engaged in criminal activity, then he certainly was so incredibly blind that he should never be allowed back into any type of criminal case supervision. He certainly helped continue contributing to the damages of the framed individuals by working relentlessly to prevent them from being paroled out of prison even as their charges were in the process of being completely thrown out.

Notice also the evidence of a pattern throughout Mueller's career: the leaking of information to disparage Mueller’s targets. In the Whitey Bulger case, the leaks were to organized crime --- the Mafia.

One of the basic, most bedrock tenets of our Republic is that we never imprison people for being “bad” people. Anyone imprisoned has to have committed a specific crime for which they are found guilty. Not in Mueller’s world. He has the anti-Santa Claus list; and, if you are on his list, you get punished even if you are framed.

He never apologizes when the truth is learned, no matter how wrong or potentially criminal or malicious the prosecution was. In his book, you deserve what you get even if you did not commit the crime for which he helped put you away. This is but one example, though -- as Al Pacino once famously said -- “I’m just getting warmed up!” 

REP. CURT WELDON ATTACKED AND CRUSHED BY ROBERT MUELLER

During my first term in Congress, 2005 to 2006, Congressman Curt Weldon delivered some powerful and relentless allegations about the FBI having prior knowledge that 9/11 was coming. He repeatedly alleged that there was documentary evidence to show that 9/11 could have been prevented and thousands of lives saved if the FBI had done its job. He held up documents at times while making these claims in speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives.

I was surprised that FBI Director Mueller seemed to largely ignore these allegations. It seemed to me that he should either admit the FBI made significant mistakes or refute the allegations. Little did I know Mueller’s FBI was preparing a response, but it certainly was not the kind of response that I would have expected if an honorable man had been running that once hallowed institution.

You can read two of Congressman Weldon’s speeches on the House floor that are linked below. After reading the excerpts I have provided, you may get a window into the mind of the FBI Director or someone under Mueller’s control at the FBI. The FBI literally destroyed Congressman Weldon's public service life, which then foreclosed his ability to use a national platform to expose what he believed were major problems in the FBI fostered under the Clinton administration. Here is but one such excerpt of a speech wherein he spoke of the failure of FBI leadership, then under the direction of the Clinton administration and as came within Mueller’s control just before 9/11. Shockingly, the Mueller FBI failed to even accept from the military any information on the very terrorists who would later go on to commit the atrocities of

9/11, much less act upon it.

The U.S. gleaned this information through development of a surveillance technology called Able Danger. On October 19, 2005, Rep. Curt Weldon delivered the following statement on the House floor.

Mr. Speaker, back in 1999 when I was Chair of the Defense Research Subcommittee, the Army was doing cutting-edge work on a new type of technology to allow us to understand and predict emerging transnational terrorist threats. That technology was being done at several locations but was being led by our Special Forces Command. The work that they were doing was unprecedented. And because of what I saw there, I supported the development of a national capability of a collaborative center that the CIA would just not accept.

In fact, in November 4 of 1999, two years before 9-11, in a meeting in my office with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, Deputy Director of the FBI, we presented a nine-page proposal to create a national collaborative center.

When we finished the brief, the CIA said we did not need that capability, and so before 9/11 we did not have it. When President Bush came in after a year of research, he announced the formation of the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, exactly what I had proposed in 1999. Today it is known as the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center.

But, Mr. Speaker, what troubles me is not the fact that we did not take those steps. What troubles me is that I now have learned in the last four months that one of the tasks that was being done in 1999 and 2000 was a Top Secret program organized at the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carried out by the General in charge of our Special Forces Command, a very elite unit focusing on information regarding al Qaeda. It was a military language effort to allow us to identify the key cells of al Qaeda around the world and to give the military the capability to plan actions against those cells, so they could not attack us as they did in 1993 at the Trade Center, at the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole attack, and the African embassy bombings.

What I did not know, Mr. Speaker, up until June of this year, was that this secret program called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda in January and February of 2000, over one year before 9/11 ever happened.

In addition, I learned that not only did we identify the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, but we identified Mohamed Atta as one of the members of that Brooklyn cell along with three other terrorists who were the leadership of the 9-11 attack.

I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, again, over one year before 9-11, that [the] Able Danger team attempted on three separate occasions to provide information to the FBI about the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, and on three separate occasions they were denied by lawyers in the previous administration to transfer that information.

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, was interviewed by Tim Russert. The first question to Louis Freeh was in regard to the FBI's ability to ferret out the terrorists. Louis Freeh's response, which can be obtained by anyone in this country as a part of the official record, was, ‘Well, Tim, we are now finding out that a top-secret program of the military called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta over a year before 9/11.’

And what Louis Freeh said, Mr. Speaker, is that that kind of actionable data could have allowed us to prevent the hijackings that occurred on September 11.

So now we know, Mr. Speaker, that military intelligence officers working in a program authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the General in charge of Special Forces Command, identified Mohammed Atta and three terrorists a year before 9/11, tried to transfer that information to the FBI [and] were denied; and [that] the FBI Director has now said publicly if he would have had that information, the FBI could have used it to perhaps prevent the hijackings that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in Pennsylvania and perhaps saved 3,000 lives and changed the course of world history.

Curt Weldon gave a series of speeches, recounting what he saw and what he knew, regarding the failures of the FBI and the Clinton administration to share information that could have prevented 9/11.

Congressman Weldon tried to hold those accountable in the FBI and CIA that he felt had mishandled actionable intelligence which he said could have thwarted the 9/11 attacks. He recounted many examples of similar intelligence failures.

In 2006, the Robert Mueller-led FBI took horrendously unjust actions to derail Curt Weldon’s reelection bid just weeks before the vote—actions that were later described as a “hit job”: “Each of Weldon’s 10 previous re-elections had been by sizable margins. Polls showed he was up by 5-7 points [in the fall of 2006]. Three weeks prior to the election, however, a national story ran about Weldon based upon anonymous sources that an investigation was underway against him and his daughter, alleging illegal activities involving his congressional work. Weldon had received no prior notification of any such investigation and was dumbfounded that such a story would run especially since he regularly briefed the FBI and intelligence agencies on his work.

A week after the news story broke, alleging a need to act quickly because of the leak, FBI agents from Washington raided the home of Weldon’s daughter at 7:00AM on a Monday morning… Local TV and print media had all been alerted to the raid in advance and were already in position to cover the story. Editor's note: Sound familiar?

Within hours, Democratic protesters were waving “Caught Red-Handed” signs outside Weldon’s district office in Upper Darby. In the ensuing two weeks, local and national media ran multiple stories implying that Weldon must also have been under investigation. Given the coverage, Weldon lost the election… To this day, incredibly, no one in authority has asked Weldon or his daughter about the raid or the investigation. There was no follow up, no questions, no grand jury interrogation, nothing.

One year after the raid the local FBI office called Weldon’s daughter to have her come get the property that had been removed from her home. That was it…The raid ruined the career of Weldon and his daughter.”

Though some blamed the Clintons and Sandy Berger for orchestrating the FBI “hit job,” we can’t lose sight of the fact that the head of the FBI at the time was Robert Mueller. Please understand what former FBI officials have told me: the FBI would never go after a member of Congress, House or Senate, without the full disclosure to and the blessing of the FBI Director. Even if the idea on how to silence Curt Weldon did not come from Director Mueller himself, it surely had his approval and encouragement.

The early morning raid by Mueller’s FBI -- with all the media outside -- who had obviously been alerted by the FBI, achieved its goal of abusing the U.S. Justice system to silence Curt Weldon by ending his political career. Mueller’s tactics worked. If the Clintons and Berger manipulated Weldon’s reelection to assure his defeat, they did it with the artful aid of Mueller, all while George W. Bush was President. Does any of this sound familiar?

People say those kinds of things just don’t happen in America. They certainly seemed to when Mueller was in charge of the FBI and they certainly seem to happen now during his tenure as Special Counsel. It appears clear that President Obama and his adjutants knew of Mueller’s reputation and that he could be used to take out their political opponents should such extra-legal actions become politically necessary.

To the great dismay of the many good, decent and patriotic FBI agents, Obama begged Mueller to stay on for two years past the 10 years the law allowed. Obama then asked Congress to approve Mueller’s waiver allowing him to stay on for two extra years. Perhaps the leaders in Congress did not realize what they were doing in approving it. I did. It was a major mistake, and I said so at the time. This is also why I objected strenuously the moment I heard Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed his old friend Bob Mueller to be Special Counsel to go after President Trump.

ROD ROSENSTEIN

I was one of the few who were NOT surprised when Mueller started selecting his assistants in the Special Counsel’s office. Many had reputations for being bullies, for indicting people who were not guilty of the charges, for forcing people toward bankruptcy by running up their legal fees (while the bullies in the Special Counsel’s office enjoy an apparently endless government budget), or by threatening innocent family members with prosecution so the Special Counsel’s victim would agree to pleading guilty to anything to prevent the Kafka-esque prosecutors from doing more harm to their families.

AN ILLEGAL RAID ON CONGRESS BY MUELLER

There is a doctrine in our governmental system that mandates each part of government must have oversight to prevent power from corrupting --- and absolute power from corrupting absolutely. The Congress and Senate are accountable to the voters as is the President. Our massive and bloated bureaucracy is supposed to be accountable to the Congress.

A good example would be complaints against the Department of Justice or, specifically, the FBI.

If constituents or whistleblowers within those entities have complaints, a Congressman’s office is a good place to contact. Our conversations or information from constituents or whistleblowers are normally privileged from review by anyone within the Executive Branch. It must be so.

If the FBI could raid our offices anytime an FBI agent were to complain to us, no FBI agent could ever afford to come forward, no matter how egregious the conduct they sought to disclose.

Whistleblowers in the FBI must know they are protected. They always have known that in the past. As I learned from talking with attorneys who had helped the House previously with this issue, if the FBI or another law enforcement entity needed to search something on the House side of the Capitol or House office buildings, they contacted the House Counsel, whether with a warrant or request. The House Counsel with approval of the Speaker, would go through the Congress Members' documents, computers, flash drives, or anything that might have any bearing on what was being sought as part of the investigation.

They would honestly determine what was relevant and what was not, and what was both irrelevant and privileged from Executive Branch review. Normally, if there were a dispute or question, it could be presented to a federal judge for a private in-chamber review to determine if it were privileged or relevant. If the DOJ or FBI were to get a warrant and gather all of the computers and documents in a Congressman’s office without the recovered items being screened to insure they are not privileged from DOJ seizure, the DOJ would be risking that an entire case might be thrown out because of things improperly recovered and “fruit of the poisonous tree,” preventing the use of even things that were not privileged.

FBI Director Mueller, however,, seemed determined to throw over 200 years of Constitutional restraints to the wind so he could let Congress know he was the unstoppable government bully who could potentially waltz into our offices whenever he wished.

In the case of Congressman William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana, Mueller was willing to risk a reversal of a slam dunk criminal case just to send a message to the rest of Congress: you don’t mess with Mueller. That Congressman Jefferson was guilty of something did not surprise most observers when, amidst swirling allegations, $90,000 in cold hard cash was found in his freezer. As we understood it, the FBI had a witness who was wired and basically got Jefferson on tape taking money. They had mountains of indisputable evidence to prove their case. They had gotten an entirely appropriate warrant to search his home and had even more mountains of evidence to nail the lid on his coffin, figuratively speaking.

The FBI certainly did not need to conduct an unsupervised search of a Congressman’s office to put their unbeatable case at risk. Apparently, the risk was worth it to Mueller --- he could now show the members of Congress who was in charge. Apparently, the FBI knew just the right federal judge who would disregard the Constitution and allow Mueller’s minions to do their dirty work.

I read the Application for Warrant and the accompanying Affidavit for Warrant to raid Jefferson’s office, as I did so many times as a judge.

I simply could not believe they would risk such a high-profile case just to try to intimidate Members of Congress.

In the opinion of this former prosecutor, felony judge and Appellate Court Chief Justice, they could have gotten a conviction based on what they had already spelled out in the very lengthy affidavit. The official attorneys representing the House, knowing my background, allowed me to sit in on the extremely heated discussions between attorneys for the House, DOJ attorneys, and, to my recollection, an attorney from the Bush White House, after Jefferson’s office was raided.

The FBI had gathered up virtually every kind of record, computerized or otherwise, and carted them off. I was not aware of the times that the DOJ and House attorneys, with the Speaker’s permission, had cooperated over the years. No Congressman is above the law nor is any above having search warrants issued against them which is why Jefferson’s home was searched without protest.

However, when the material is in a Congressional office, there is a critical and centuries’ old balance of power that must be preserved.

The Mueller FBI, along with the DOJ, assured everyone that all was copacetic. They would ask some of the DOJ’s attorneys review all of the material and give back anything that was privileged and unlawful for the DOJ to see. Then they would make sure none of the DOJ attorneys who participated in the review of materials (that were privileged from the DOJ’s viewing) would be allowed to be prosecutors in Jefferson’s case.

If you find that kind of thinking terribly flawed and constitutionally appalling, you would be in agreement with the former Speakers of the House, the Vice President at the time, and ultimately, the final decisions of our federal appellate court system. They found the search to be illegal and inappropriate. Fortunately for the DOJ, they did not throw the entire case out. In retrospect, we did not know at the time what a farce a DOJ “firewall” would have been. Now we do!

MUELLER'S 5-YEAR UP-OUR-OUT

In federal law enforcement, it takes a new federal agent or supervisor about five years or so after arriving at a newly assigned office to gain the trust and respect of local law enforcement officers. That trust and respect is absolutely critical to doing the best job possible. Yet new FBI Director Robert Mueller came up with a new personnel policy that would rid the FBI of thousands of years of its most invaluable experience.

In a nutshell, after an FBI employee was in any type of supervisory position for five years, he or she had to either come to Washington to sit at a desk or get out of the FBI.

In the myriad of FBI offices around the country, most agents love what they do in actively enforcing the law. They have families involved in the community; their kids enjoy their schools; and they do not want to move to the high cost of living in Washington, DC, and especially not to an inside desk job. What occurred around the country was that agents in charge of their local offices got out of the FBI and did something more lucrative. Though they really wanted to stay in, they were not allowed to do so if they were not moving to DC. Agents told me that it was not unusual for the Special Agent in Charge of a field office to have well over 20 years of experience before the policy change. Under Mueller’s policy that changed to new Special Agents in Charge having five to ten years of experience when they took over.

If the FBI Director wanted nothing but “yes” men and women around the country working for him, this was a great policy. Newer agents are more likely to unquestioningly salute the FBI figurehead in Washington, but never boldly offer a suggestion to fix a bad idea and Mueller had plenty of them.

Whether it was wasting millions of dollars on a software boondoggle or questionable personnel preferences, agents tell me Mueller did not want to hear from more experienced people voicing their concerns about his ideas or policies. An NPR report December 13, 2007, entitled, “FBI'S 'Five-And-Out' Transfer Policy Draws Criticism” dealt with the Mueller controversial policy: “From the beginning of this year (2007) until the end of September (2007), 576 agents found themselves in the five-and-out pool. Less than half of them — just 286 — opted to go to headquarters; 150 decided to take a pay cut and a lesser job to stay put; 135 retired; and five resigned outright.”

In the period of nine months accounted for in this report, the FBI ran off a massive amount of absolutely priceless law enforcement experience vested in 140 invaluable agents. For the vast part, those are the agents who have seen the mistakes, learned lessons, could advise newer agents on unseen pitfalls of investigations and pursuit of justice.

So many of these had at least 20-30 years of experience or more. The lessons learned by such seasoned agents were lost as the agents carried it with them when they left. In the 2007 NPR report, the FBI Agents Association indicated that the Five-Year-Up-or-Out program hobbles field offices and takes relationships forged there for granted. In other words, it was a terrible idea.

The incalculable experience loss damages the FBI by eliminating those in the field in a position to advise the FBI Director against his many judgment errors, which were listed in the NPR article. But this was not the only damage done.

If an FBI Director has inappropriate personal vengeance in mind or holds an inappropriate prejudice such as those that infamously motivated Director J. Edgar Hoover, then the older, wiser, experienced agents were not around with the confidence to question or guide the Director away from potential misjudgment. I also cannot help but wonder: if Mueller had not run off the more experienced agents, would they have been able to advise against and stop the kind of Obama-era abuses and corruption being unearthed right now?

Rather than admit that his 5-Year program was a mistake, Mueller eventually changed the policy to a Seven-Year-Up-or-Out Program. I once pointed out to him at a hearing that if he had applied the Five Year Up-or-Out Policy to literally everyone in a supervisory position, he himself would have had to leave the FBI by September of 2006. He did not seem to be amused.

One other problem remained that will be discussed in more detail later in this article. Before Mueller became Director, FBI agents were trained to identify certain Muslims who had become radicalized and dangerous. Mueller purged and even eliminated training that would have helped identify radical Islamic killers. By running off the more experienced agents who had better training on radical Islam before Mueller, “blinded us of the ability to identify our enemy,” as I was told by some of them, Mueller put victims in harm’s way in cities like Boston, San Diego and elsewhere.

NATIONAL SECURITY LETTER ABUSES

National Security Letters (NSL) are a tool that allows the DOJ to bypass the formality of subpoenas, applications for warrants with affidavits in support, and instead simply send a letter to an individual, business or any entity they so choose to demand that records or documents of any kind must be produced and provided to the sender.

The letter also informs the recipient that if the he or she reveals to anyone that the letter was received or what it requires to be produced, then the recipient has committed a federal felony and will be prosecuted.

It is a rather dramatic event to receive such a letter and then realize that this simple letter could have such profound power and consequences.

The Committee in the House of Representatives that has oversight jurisdiction over the DOJ is the Judiciary Committee of which I am a member. We have grilled DOJ personnel in the past over the potential for NSL abuse, but both the House and Senate Committees were reassured that there were no known abuses of this extra-constitutional power.

Unfortunately, the day came when we learned that there had been an extraordinary number of abuses.

Apparently, some of Mueller’s FBI agents had just been sending out demands for records or documents without any probable cause, which the Fourth Amendment requires. Some agents were on outright fishing expeditions just to find out what different people were doing. We were told that there may have even been thousands of NSL’s dispatched to demand documents without following either the Constitutional requirements or the DOJ’s own policy requirements.

When the Inspector General’s report revealed such absolutely outrageous conduct by FBI agents, some in Congress were absolutely livid. An NBC News report on March 9, 2007, had this headline and sub-headline: “Justice Department: FBI acted illegally on data; Audit finds agency misused Patriot Act to obtain information on citizens.”

The report went on to say, “FBI Director Robert Mueller said he was to blame for not putting more safeguards into place. ‘I am to be held accountable,’ Mueller said. He told reporters he would correct the problems and did not plan to resign. ‘The inspector general went and did the audit that I should have put in place many years ago,’ Mueller said.” Some Republicans wanted to completely eliminate such an extraordinary power that was so widely abused. Nonetheless, I could not help but wonder that if Mueller had not run off thousands of years of experience though his “Five Year Up-or-Out Policy,” perhaps young, inexperienced agents would not have been so tempted to vastly abuse the power of the NSL.

In fact, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lost his job over the widespread, pervasive abuses under Mueller’s supervision. In retrospect, Mueller probably should have been gone first. It was his people, his lack of oversight, his atmosphere that encouraged it, and his FBI that did virtually nothing to hold people accountable.

SENATOR TED STEVENS

With Mueller as his mentor and confidant, is it any surprise that we’re now finding James Comey’s FBI found additional ways to monitor Americans and plot with Democrat loyalists in an attempt to oust a duly-elected President?

Ted Stevens had served in the U.S. Senate since 1968 and was indicted in 2008 by the U.S. Justice Department. One would think before the U.S. government would seek to destroy a sitting U.S. Senator, there would be no question whatsoever of his guilt. One would be completely wrong, at least when the FBI Director is Robert Mueller. Roll Callprovides us with General Colin Powell’s take on Ted Stevens.

“According to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had worked closely with the senator since his days as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, the senator was ‘a trusted individual ... someone whose word you could rely on. I never heard in all of those years a single dissenting voice with respect to his integrity, with respect to his forthrightness, and with respect to the fact that when you shook hands with Ted Stevens, or made a deal with Ted Stevens, it was going to be a deal that benefited the nation in the long run, one that he would stick with.’”

Such a glowing reputation certainly did not inhibit Mueller’s FBI from putting Stevens in its cross-hairs, pushing to get an indictment that came 100 days before his election, and engaging in third world dictator-type tactics to help an innocent man lose his election, after which he lost his life. As reported by NPR, after the conviction and all truth came rolling out of the framing and conviction of Senator Stevens, the new Attorney General Eric Holder, had no choice. He “abandoned the Stevens case in April 2009 after uncovering new and ‘disturbing’ details about the prosecution…”

Unfortunately for Ted Stevens, his conviction came only eight days before his election, which tipped the scales on a close election.

Does this sound familiar yet? The allegation was that Senator Stevens had not paid full price for improvements to his Alaska cabin. As Roll Call reported, he had actually overpaid for the improvements by over twenty percent. Roll Callwent on to state:

“But relying on false records and fueled by testimony from a richly rewarded ‘cooperating’ witness… government prosecutors convinced jurors to find him guilty just eight days before the general election which he lost by less than 2 percent of the vote.”

After a report substantiated massive improprieties by the FBI and DOJ in the investigation and prosecution of Senator Stevens, the result was ultimately a complete dismissal of the conviction.

At the time there was no direct evidence that Director Mueller was aware of the tactics of concealing exculpatory evidence that would have exonerated Stevens, and the creation of evidence that convicted him in 2008. Nearly four years later, in 2012, the Alaska Dispatch News concluded: “Bottom line: Kepner (the lead FBI investigator accused of wrongdoing by Agent Joy) is still working for the FBI and is still investigating cases, including criminal probes. Joy, the whistleblower (who was the FBI agent who disclosed the FBI’s vast wrongdoing, especially of Kepner), has left the agency.”/p>

Director Mueller either did control or could have controlled what happened to the lead FBI agent that destroyed a well-respected U.S. Senator. That U.S. Senator was not only completely innocent of the manufactured case against him, he was an honest and honorable man. Under Director Mueller’s overriding supervision, the wrongdoer who helped manufacture the case stayed on and the whistleblower was punished. Obviously, the FBI Director wanted his FBI agents to understand that honesty would be punished if it revealed wrongdoing within Mueller’s organization. Further, not only was evidentiary proof of Senator Stevens’ innocence concealed from the Senator’s defense attorneys by the FBI, there was also a witness that provided compelling testimony that Stevens’ had done everything appropriately. That witness, however, was who agents sent back to Alaska by FBI Agents, unbeknownst to the Senator’s defense attorneys. This key exonerating testimony was placed out of reach for Senator Stevens’ defense. Someone should have gone to jail for this illegality within the nation’s top law enforcement agency. Instead, Senator Stevens lost his seat, and surprise, surprise, Mueller’s FBI helped another elected Republican bite the dust. Unfortunately, I am not speaking figuratively.

In August of 2010, former Senator Stevens boarded his doomed plane. But for the heinous, twisted and corrupt investigation by the FBI, and inappropriate prosecution by the DOJ, he would have still been a sitting U.S. Senator.

Don’t forget, one vote in the Senate was critical to ObamaCare becoming law. If Senator Stevens was still there, it would not have become law. In the following month after Senator Stevens’ untimely death, in September of 2010, a young DOJ lawyer, Nicholas Marsh -- who had been involved in the Stevens case -- committed suicide at his home as the investigation into the fraudulent case continued. The report expressed, "no conclusion as to his (Marsh’s) conduct," given his untimely death. Robert Luskin, an attorney for Marsh, said, "he tried to do the right thing."

If you're wondering what happened to the valuable FBI agent who was an upstanding whistleblower with a conscience, you should know that inside Mueller’s FBI, Special Agent Joy was terribly mistreated.

Orders came down from on high that he was not to participate in any criminal investigation again, which is the FBI management’s way of forcing an agent out of the FBI. On the other hand, the FBI agent who was said to have manufactured evidence against Senator Stevens -- while hiding evidence of his innocence -- was treated wonderfully and continued to work important criminal cases for Director Mueller.

If you wonder if mistreatment of an FBI agent who exposed impropriety was an anomaly in Mueller’s FBI, the Alaska Dispatch noted this about another case:

“Former FBI agent Jane Turner was treated much like Joy (the whistleblower agent in the Stevens case) after she blew the whistle on fellow agents who had taken valuable mementos from Ground Zero following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She took the FBI to court over her treatment and ended up winning her case against the agency after a jury trial. When you blow the whistle on the FBI, ‘it's death by a million paper cuts,’ she told Alaska Dispatch. Turner said that agents who violate the FBI's omerta -- those who internally challenge the agency -- are undercut and isolated. ‘They (Mueller’s FBI supervisors) do everything they can to get you to quit’ she said.”

THE DISGUSTING TREATMENT OF DR. STEVEN HATFILL

Here is how Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist described this combined Mueller-Comey debacle:

“The FBI absolutely bungled its investigation into the Anthrax attacker who struck after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Carl Cannon goes through this story well, and it’s worth reading for how it involves both Comey and his dear ‘friend’ and current special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI tried — in the media — its case against Hatfill. Their actual case ended up being thrown out by the courts: Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure. More from the Carl Cannon cited above, recounting how disastrous the attempt to convict Dr. Steven Hatfill for a crime he didn’t commit was: In truth, Hatfill was an implausible suspect from the outset. He was a virologist who never handled anthrax, which is a bacterium. (Ivins, by contrast, shared ownership of anthrax patents, was diagnosed as having paranoid personality disorder, and had a habit of stalking and threatening people with anonymous letters – including the woman who provided the long-ignored tip to the FBI). So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency threw a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they’d “alerted” on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.

Unfortunately, both Mueller and Comey were absolutely and totally convinced of the innocent man’s guilt. They ruined his life, his relationship with friends, neighbors and potential employers. And from Carl Cannon, Real Clear Politics:

You’d think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who’d been convicted -- and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who’d tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution’s dog handler “as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen.” Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, and personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill, the bureau had its man… Mueller didn’t exactly distinguish himself with contrition, either. In 2008, after Ivins committed suicide as he was about to be apprehended for his crimes, and the Justice Department had formally exonerated Hatfill – and paid him $5.82 million in a legal settlement ($2.82+150,000/yr. for 20 yrs) – Mueller could not be bothered to walk across the street to attend the press conference announcing the case’s resolution. When reporters did ask him about it, Mueller was graceless. “I do not apologize for any aspect of the investigation,” he said, adding that it would be erroneous “to say there were mistakes.”

Though FBI jurisdiction has its limitations, Mueller’s ego does not. Mueller and Comey’s next target in the Anthrax case was Dr. Bruce Ivins. As the FBI was closing in and preparing to give him the ultimate Hatfill treatment, Dr. Ivins took his own life. Though Mueller and Comey were every bit as convinced that Dr. Ivins was the Anthrax culprit as they were that Dr. Hatfill was, there are lingering questions about whether or not there was a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Since Dr. Ivins is deceased, we are expected to simply accept that he was definitely the Anthrax killer and drop the whole matter. That's a difficult ask after taxpayer money paid off Mueller’s previous victim. Mueller had relentlessly dogged Dr. Hatfill using lifedestroying, Orwellian tactics. Either Mueller was wrong when he said it would be a mistake, “to say there were mistakes,” in the railroading of Hatfill or Mueller did intentionally and knowingly persecute an innocent man.

THE FRAMING OF SCOOTER LIBBY

In 2003, there was yet another fabricated and politically-charged FBI investigation: this one "searching" for the leak of CIA agent Valery Plame's identity to the media. Robert Mueller’s close friend James Comey was at the time serving as the Deputy Attorney General. Comey convinced then Attorney General John Ashcroft that he should recuse himself from the Plame investigation while Ashcroft was in the hospital.

After Deputy A.G. Comey was successful in securing Ashcroft's recusal, Comey then got to choose the Special Counsel. He then looked about for someone who was completely independent of any relationships that might affect his independence and settled upon his own child’s godfather, nameing Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the source of the leak. So much for the independence of the Special Counsel.

The entire episode was further revealed as a fraud when it was later made public that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, FBI Director Mueller, and Deputy Attorney Comey had very early on learned that the source of Plame’s identity leak came from Richard Armitage. But neither Comey nor Mueller nor Fitzgerald wanted Armitage’s scalp. Oh no. These so-called apolitical, fair-minded pursuers of their own brand of justice were after a bigger name in the Bush administration like Vice President Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. Yet they knew from the beginning that these two men were not guilty of anything.

Nonetheless, Fitzgerald, Mueller and Comey pursued Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, as a path to ensnare the Vice President. According to multiple reports, Fitzgerald had twice offered to drop all charges against Libby if he would ‘deliver’ Cheney to him. There was nothing to deliver. Is any of this sounding familiar? Could it be that these same tactics have been used against an innocent Gen. Mike Flynn? Could it be that Flynn only agreed to plead guilty to prevent any family members from being unjustly prosecuted and to also prevent going completely broke from attorneys’ fees? That’s the apparent Mueller-ComeySpecial Counsel distinctive modus-operandi. Libby would not lie about Cheney, so he was prosecuted for obstruction of justice, perjury, making a false statement. This Spectator report from 2015 sums up this particularly egregious element of the railroading.

“… By the time Scooter Libby was tried in 2007 it wasn’t for anything to do with the Plame leak — everyone then knew Armitage had taken responsibility for that — but for lying to federal officials about what he had said to three reporters, including Miller. It is relating to this part of the story that an extraordinary new piece of information has come to light. After her spell in prison, and with her job on the line, Miller was eventually worn down to agree to hand over some redacted portions of notes of her few conversations with Libby. Several years on, she could no longer recall where she had first heard of Plame’s CIA identity, but her notes included a reference to Wilson alongside which the journalist had added in brackets ‘wife works in Bureau?’

After Fitzgerald went through these notes it was put to Miller that this showed that the CIA identity of Plame had been raised by Libby during the noted meeting. At Libby’s trial Miller was the only reporter to state that Libby had discussed Plame. His conviction and his sentencing to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, rested on this piece of evidence. But Miller has just published her memoirs. One detail in particular stands out. Since the Libby trial, Miller has read Plame’s own memoir and there discovered that Plame had worked at a State Department bureau as cover for her real CIA role. The discovery, in Miller’s words, ‘left her cold’. The idea that the ‘Bureau’ in her notebook meant ‘CIA’ had been planted in her head by Fitzgerald. It was a strange word to use for the CIA. Reading Plame’s memoir, Miller realized that ‘Bureau’ was in brackets because it related to her working at State Department. (Emphasis added)

What that means is that Scooter Libby had not lied as she originally thought and testified. He was innocent of everything including the contrived offense. For his honesty and innocence, Scooter Libby spent time behind bars, and still has a federal felony conviction he carries like an albatross. The real culprit of the allegation for which the Special Counsel was appointed, and massive amounts of tax payer dollars expended was Richard Armitage. A similar technique was used against Martha Stewart. After all, Mueller’s FBI developed both cases. If the desired crime to be prosecuted was never committed, then talk to someone you want to convict until you find something that others are willing to say was not true. Then you can convict them of lying to the FBI. Martha Stewart found out about Mueller’s FBI the hard way. Unfortunately, Mueller has left a wake of innocent people whom he has crowned with criminal records. History does seem to repeat itself when it is recording the same people using the same tactics. Can anyone who has ever actually looked at Robert Mueller’s history honestly say that Mueller deserves a sterling reputation in law enforcement? One part of his reputation he does apparently deserve is the reputation for being James Comey’s mentor.

MUELLER'S EMBRACE OF THE FRIENDS OF ISLAMIC TERROR

In 2011, in one of the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearings, FBI Director Mueller repeatedly testified during questioning by various Members about how the Muslim community was just like every other religious community in the United States. He also referenced an “Outreach Program” the FBI had with the Muslim community.

When it was my turn to question, I could not help but put the two points of his testimony together for a purge question:

GOHMERT: Thank you, Director. I see you had mentioned earlier, and it's in your written statement, that the FBI’s developed extensive outreach to Muslim communities and in answer to an earlier question I understood you to say that you know Muslim communities were like all other communities, so I'm curious as the result of the extensive outreach program the FBI's had to the Muslim community, how is your outreach program going with the Baptists and the Catholics?

MUELLER: I'm not certain of, necessarily the rest of that, the question I would say -- there are outreach to all segments of a particular city or county or society is good.

GOHMERT: Well do you have a particular program of outreach to Hindus, Buddhists, Jewish community, agnostics or is it just an extensive outreach program to –

MUELLER: We have outreach to every one of those communities.

GOHMERT: And how do you do that?

MUELLER: Every one of those communities can be affected can be affected by facts or circumstance.

GOHMERT: I've looked extensively, and I haven't seen anywhere in any one from the FBI's letters, information that there's been an extensive outreach program to any other community trying to develop trust in this kind of relationship and it makes me wonder if there is an issue of trust or some problem like that that the FBI has seen in that particular community.

MUELLER: I would say if you look at one of our more effective tools or what we call citizens academies where we bring in individuals from a variety of segments of the territory in which the office operates . . . look at the citizens’ academy, the persons here, they are a crosssection of the community, they can be Muslim, could be Indian, they can be Baptists – GOHMERT: Okay but no specific programs to any of those. You have extensive outreach to the Muslim community and then you have a program of outreach to communities in general is what it sounds like.

We went further in the questioning. The 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, linked the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR) to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Because of this affiliation, the FBI issued policy and guidance to restrict its non-investigative interactions with CAIR in an effort to limit CAIR’s ability to exploit contacts with the FBI. As a result, FBI field offices were instructed to cut ties with all local branches of CAIR across the country.

GOHMERT: Are you aware of the evidence in the Holy Land Foundation case that linked the Council on American-Islamic relations, CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America and the North America Islamic Trust to the Holy Land Foundation?

MUELLER: I'm not going to speak to specific information in a particular case. I would tell you on the other hand that we do not –

GOHMERT: Are you aware of the case, Director?

[CROSSTALK] MUELLER: – relationship with CAIR because of concerns –

GOHMERT: Well I've got the letter from the Assistant Director Richard Powers that says in light of the evidence – talking about during the trial – evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, including its current president emeritus and executive director and the Palestine committee, evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine committee and Hamas, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.

In light of that evidence, he says, the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and FBI. Well now it's my understanding, and I've got documentation, and I hope you've seen this kind of documentation before, it's public record, and also the memo order from the judge in turning down a request that the unindicted co-conspirators be eliminated from the list, and he says the FBI's information is clear there is a tie here, and I'm not going to grant the deletion of these particular parties as unindicted coconspirators.

So, I'm a little surprised that you're reluctant to discuss something that's already been set out in an order, that's already been in a letter saying we cut ties in light of the evidence at this trial. I'm just surprised it took the evidence that the FBI had, being introduced at the trial in order to sever the relationships with CAIR that it (the FBI) had that showed going back to the 1993 meeting in Philadelphia, what was tied to a terrorist organization. So, I welcome your comments about that.

MUELLER: As I told you before, we have no formal relationship with CAIR because of concerns with regard to the national leadership on that.

What Director Mueller was intentionally deceptive about was that the FBI had apparently maintained a relationship and even “community partnership” instigated on his watch with CAIR and other groups and individuals that his FBI had evidence showing they were co-conspirators to terrorism. That, of course, is consistent with his misrepresentation that Mueller’s FBI had outreach programs to other religious communities just like they did with the Muslim community. They did not. He was not honest about it. In a March 2009 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) questioned Mueller over the FBI move to cut off contact with CAIR. Mueller responded to Kyl’s pressing over how the policy was to be handled by FBI field offices and headquarters with the following:

MUELLER: We try to adapt, when we have situations where we have an issue with one or more individuals, as opposed to institution, or an institution, large, to identify the specificity of those particular individuals or issues that need to be addressed. We will generally have -- individuals may have some maybe leaders in the community who we have no reason to believe whatsoever are involved in terrorism, but may be affiliated, in some way, shape or form, with an institution about which there is some concern, and which we have to work out a separate arrangement. We have to be sensitive to both the individuals, as well as the organization, and try to resolve the issues that may prevent us from working with a particular organization.

KYL: They try to “adapt” with members of terror-related groups? Are they as “sensitive” with other organizations? Do they work out “separate arrangements” with members of, say, the Mafia or the Ku Klux Klan for “community outreach”? Why the special treatment for radical Islamic terrorism?

A March 2012 review of FBI field office compliance with this policy by the Office of Inspector General found a discrepancy between the FBI’s enforcement policy restricting contact and interaction with CAIR and its resulting actions. Rather than FBI headquarters enforcing the rules, they hedged. Mueller set up a separate cover through the Office of Public Affairs and allowed them to work together, despite the terrorist connections.

That was the cultivated atmosphere of Mueller’s FBI. The DOJ actually set out in writing in an indictment that CAIR and some of the people Mueller was coddling were supporters of terrorism. I had understood that the plan by the Bush Justice Department was that if they got convictions of the principals in the Holy Land Foundation trial, they would come right back after the co-conspirators who were named in the indictment as co-conspirators but who were not formally indicted. In late 2008, the DOJ got convictions against all those formally indicted, so DOJ could then move forward with formally indicting and convicting the rest—EXCEPT that the November 2008 election meant it was now going to be the OBAMA DOJ with Eric Holder leading. The newly-named but not confirmed Attorney General apparently made clear they were not going to pursue any of the named co-conspirators. That itself was a major loss for the United States in its war against terrorism in the Obama administration. It was a self-inflicted refusal to go after and defeat our enemies. All of the named co-conspirators would not likely have been formally indicted, but certainly there was evidence to support the allegations against some of them, as the federal district court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had formally found. One of the problems with FBI Director Mueller is that he had already been cozying up to named co-conspirators with evidence in hand of their collusion with terrorists. That probably was an assurance to President Obama and Attorney General Holder that Mueller would fit right in to the Obama administration. He did. It also helps explain why President Obama and AG Holder wanted him to serve and extra two years as FBI Director. Mueller was their kind of guy. Unfortunately for America, he truly was!

PURGING THE FBI OF ANTI-TERROR INFORMATION

We repeatedly see cases where people were radicalized, emerge on the FBI's radar, but federal agents are instead looking for Islamophobes, not the terrorists standing in front of them. That is because Mueller’s demand of his FBI Agents, in the New Age to which he brought them, was to look for Islamophobes.

If a Mueller-trained FBI agent got a complaint about a potential radical Islamist who may pose a threat, the agent must immediately recognize that the one complaining is most likely an Islamophobe. That means the agent should first investigate whether the complainant is guilty of a hate crime. Too often it was after an attack occurred that Mueller-trained FBI agents would decide that there really was a radical Islamic threat to the United States.

The blinding of our FBI agents to the domestic threat of radical Islam is part of the beguiling damage Robert Mueller did as FBI Director. That is also the kind of damage that got Americans killed, even though Mueller may have avoided offending the radical Islamists who were killing Americans. As terrorism expert Patrick Poole continually points out in his “Known Wolf” series, the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are committed by those the FBI has interviewed and dismissed as a threat. Here are three of the more high-profile cases:

ORLANDO: The mass killer who attacked the Pulse nightclub in June 2016, Omar Mateen, had been interviewed by the FBI on three separate occasions. The open preliminary investigation in 2013 lasted 10 months, after Mateen had told others about mutual acquaintances he shared with the Boston bombers and had made extremist statements. He was investigated again in 2014 for his contacts with a suicide bomber who attended the same mosque. At one point, Mateen was placed on TWO separate terrorism databases. He was later removed from them.

NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Detroitbound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with 289 other passengers wearing an underwear bomb intended to murder them all. He was well-known to U.S. intelligence officials before he boarded.

Only one month before the attempted bombing, Abdulmutallab’s father had actually gone to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and met with two CIA officers. He directly told the CIA that he was concerned about his son’s extremism. Abdulmutallab's name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database. However, his name was not added the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database. Or even the no-fly list. So, he boarded a plane. When asked about the near-takedown of the flight and these missteps, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano remarkably told CNN that “the system worked.” The only "system" that worked in this incident: a culture that values bravery, already instilled in the passengers who acted.

BOSTON: Prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013 that killed three people and injured 264 others, the FBI had been tipped off. Twice. Russian intelligence warned that Tamerlan was “a follower of radical Islam.” Initially, the FBI denied ever meeting with Tamerlan. They later claimed that they followed up on the lead, couldn’t find anything in their databases linking him to terrorism, and quickly closed the case. After the second Russian warning, Tamerlan’s file was flagged by federal authorities demanding “mandatory” detention if he attempted to leave or re-enter the United States. But Tsarnaev's name was misspelled when it was entered into the database.

An internal FBI report of the handling of the Tsarnaev’s case -unsurprisingly -- saw the FBI exonerate itself. When I asked at yet another House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, Mueller himself admitted in response to my questioning, that the FBI had indeed gone to the Boston mosque the bombers attended. Of course, The FBI did not go to investigate the Tsarnaevs. The bombers' mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, was incorporated by known and convicted terrorists. The incorporation papers were signed by none other than Abduram Al-Amoudi who is currently serving 23 years in a federal prison for funding terrorism. One of the members of the Board of Trustees included a leader of the International Muslim Brotherhood, Yusef al-Qawadari, who is barred from entering the United States due to his terrorist ties. Did Mueller’s FBI go to the Boston bombers’ mosque to investigate the Tsarnaevs? This is from the House Judiciary oversight hearing transcript:

GOHMERT: The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks. If the Russians tell you that someone has been radicalized and you go check and see the mosque that they went to, then you get the articles of incorporation, as I have, for the group that created the Boston mosque where these Tsarnaevs attended, and you find out the name Al-Amoudi, which you will remember, because while you were FBI Director this man who was so helpful to the Clinton administration with so many big things, he gets arrested at Dulles Airport by the FBI and he is now doing over 20 years for supporting terrorism. This is the guy that started the mosque where the Tsarnaevs were attending, and you didn’t even bother to go check about the mosque? And then when you have the pictures, why did no one go to the mosque and say, who are these guys? They may attend here. Why was that not done since such a thorough job was done?

MUELLER: Your facts are not altogether——

GOHMERT: Point out specifically. MUELLER: May I finish my——

GOHMERT: Point out specifically. Sir, if you’re going to call me a liar, you need to point out specifically where any facts are wrong.

MUELLER: We went to the mosque prior to Boston.

GOHMERT: Prior to Boston?

MUELLER: Prior to Boston happening, we were in that mosque talking to the imam several months beforehand as part of our outreach efforts. “Outreach efforts”? Yes. That is apparently Mueller’s efforts to play figurative pattycake with the leaders and tell them how wonderful they are and how crazy all those Islamaphobes out there are, but they surely got assurance that Mueller’s FBI is after those bigots. Maybe they sat around on the floor and had a really nice meal together. One thing for certain, they weren’t asking about the Tsarnaevs! But the hearing got even worse:

GOHMERT: Were you aware that those mosques were started by Al-Amoudi?

MUELLER. I’ve answered the question, sir.

GOHMERT. You didn’t answer the question. Were you aware that they were started by Al-Amoudi?

MUELLER. No. . .

Then my time for questioning expired, leaving many questions unanswered. Why was the FBI unaware of the origins of the mosque attended by the Boston bombers? This was arguably the most traumatic Islamic terrorist attack in America since 9-11 because the explosions happened on live television at the Boston Marathon. When did the FBI become an outreach-to-terrorism organization to the detriment and disregard of its investigations? Under Director Robert Mueller’s tenure, that’s when!

In Director Mueller’s efforts to appease and please the named co-conspirators of terrorism, he was keenly attuned to their complaints that the FBI training materials on radical Islam said some things about Islamic terrorists that offended some Muslims. Never mind that the main offense was done to the American people by radical Islamists who wanted to kill Americans and destroy our way of life. Mueller wanted to make these co-conspirators feel good toward Mueller and to let them know he was pleased to appease. Director Mueller had all of the training materials regarding radical Islam “purged” of anything that might offend radical Islamic terrorists. So, in addition to using his “Five Year Up-or-Out” policy to force out so many experienced FBI agents who had been properly trained to identify radical Islamic terrorists, now Mueller was going even further. He was ensuring that new FBI agents would not know what to look for when assessing potentially radicalized individuals.

When those of us in Congress learned of the Mueller-mandated “purge” of FBI training materials, we demanded to see what was being removed. Unfortunately, Mueller was well experienced in covering his tracks, so naturally the pages of training materials that were purged were ordered to be “classified,” so most people would never get to see them.

After many terrorist attacks, we would hear that the FBI had the Islamic terrorists on their radar but failed to identify them. Now you are beginning to see why FBI agents could not spot them. They were looking more at the complainant than they were at the radical Islamist because that is what Mueller had them trained to do.

Michele Bachmann and I were extremely upset that Americans were being killed because of the terribly flawed training. We demanded to see the material that was “purged” from the training of FBI agents regarding radical Islam. That is when we were told it could not be sent over for review because the purged material was “classified.” We were authorized to review classified material, so we demanded to see it anyway. We were willing to go over to the FBI office or the DOJ, but we wanted to review the material.

We were told they would bring it over and let us review it in the Rayburn Building in a protected setting. They finally agreed to produce the material. Members of Congress Michele Bachmann, Lynn Westmoreland, and I went to the little room to review the vast amount of material. Lynn was not able to stay as long as Michele and I did, but we started pouring through the notebooks of materials. It was classified so naturally I am not allowed to disclose any specifics, but we were surprised at the amount of material that was purged from the training our agents. Some of the items that were strictly for illustration or accentuation were removed. A few were silly. But some should clearly have been left in if an FBI agent was going to know how and what a radical Islamic terrorist thinks, and what milestone had been reached in the radicalization process.

It was clear to Michele and me as we went through the purged materials that some of the material really did need to be taught to our FBI agents. For those densely-headed or radical activists who will wrongly proclaim that what I am writing is an Islamophobic complaint, please note that I have never said that all Muslims are terrorists. I have never said that, because all Muslims are not terrorists. But for the minority who are, we have to actually learn exactly what they study and learn how they think. As Patton made clear after defeating Rommel’s tanks in World War II, he studied his enemy, what he believed and how he thought. In the movie, “Patton,” he loudly proclaims, “Rommel, you magnificent ___, I read your book!”

That is how an enemy is defeated. You study what they believe, how they think, what they know. Failure to do so is precisely why so many “Known Wolves” are able to attack us. Clearly, Mueller weakened our ability to recognize a true radical Islamic terrorist. As one of my friends in our U.S. Intelligence said, “We have blinded ourselves of the ability to see our enemy! You cannot defeat an enemy you cannot define.” Robert Mueller deserves a significant amount of the credit for the inability of our federal agents to define our enemy.

PURGING COUNTER-TERRORISM TRAINING MATERIALS

FBI Special Agent Kim Jensen had spent a great deal of his adult life studying radical Islam. He is personally responsible for some extraordinary undercover work that remains classified to this day. He was tasked with putting together a program to train our more experienced FBI agents to locate and identify radicalized Muslims on the threshold of violence.

Jensen had done this well before Mueller began to cozy up with and pander to groups such as CAIR. Complaints by similar groups caused Mueller to once again demand that our agents could not be properly instructed on radical Islam.

Accordingly, Jensen’s roughly 700-pages of advanced training material on radical Islam were eliminated from FBI training and all copies were ordered destroyed.

When Director Mueller decides he wants our federal agents to be blind and ignorant of radical Islam, they are indeed going to be blind and ignorant.

Fortunately, in changing times well after Mueller’s departure as FBI Director, a new request went out to Mr. Jensen to recreate that work because at least someone in the FBI needed to know what traits to look for in a terrorist. It still did not undo the years of damage from Mueller’s commanded ignorance of radical Islam.

MUELLER'S UNETHICAL ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT AS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

Robert Mueller had more than one direct conflict of interest that should have prohibited him from serving as the Special Counsel to investigate President Donald Trump.

For one thing, President Trump fired his close friend and confidante, disgraced FBI Director James Comey. Mueller had long served as a mentor to Comey, who would most certainly be a critical witness in any investigation of Donald Trump.

Mueller and Comey had also been exceedingly close friends beyond the mentor relationship. But Comey’s insertion of himself into so much of the election cycle -- and even its aftermath -- in conversations he had with the President himself made him a critical witness in the investigation. There is no way Mueller could sit in judgment of his dear, close friend’s credibility, and certainly no way he should be allowed to do so.

Gregg Jarrett explained one aspect of this situation quite clearly and succinctly at FoxNews.com in an article titled, “Gregg Jarrett: Are Mueller and Comey ‘Colluding’ against Trump by acting as co-special counsel?” A portion of that article reads:

The law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) specifically prohibits Mueller from serving if he has a “conflict of interest.” Even the appearance of a conflict is disallowed. The same Code of Federal Regulations defines what constitutes a conflict. That is, “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution” (28 CFR 45.2).

Comey is that person. He was substantially involved in the conversation with President Trump who may be the subject of an obstruction investigation. In fact, the former Director is the only other person involved. There were no witnesses beyond himself. A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. Here, it sets up a clash between the special counsel’s self-interest or bias and his professional or public interest in discharging his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner. His close association with the star witness raises the likelihood of prejudice or favoritism which is anathema to the fair administration of justice.

Mueller has no choice but to disqualify himself. The law affords him no discretion because the recusal is mandatory in its language. It does not say “may” or “can” or “might”. It says the special counsel “shall” recuse himself in such instances.

An excellent post by Robert Barnes, a constitutional lawyer, identifies five statutes, regulations and codes of conduct that Mueller is violating because of his conflict of interest with Comey. Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner recounts in detail the close personal relationship between Mueller and Comey which gives rise to the blatant conflict of interest.

Another deeply troubling aspect of Mueller’s conflict of interest is and was his role in the investigation of Russia’s effort to illegally gain control of a substantial part of United States’ precious supply of uranium. That investigation was taking place within the Mueller FBI, which should have had a direct effect on prohibiting Secretary of State Clinton from participating in the approval of the uranium sale into the hands that were ultimately the Russian government.

Of course, then U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein had direct control over that Russiauranium investigation in conjunction with FBI Director Mueller. It certainly appears that with what they had gleaned from that undercover investigation, they should never have been involved in any subsequent investigation that might touch on potential collusion and millions of dollars paid to the Clinton’s foundation by the very beneficiaries of the Russians' uranium schemes. Rosenstein and Mueller’s failure to warn against or stop the sale reeks of its own form of collusion, cooperation, or capitulation in what some consider a treasonous sale.

Quite the interesting duo is now in charge of all things investigatory surrounding their own actions. In fact, Rosenstein and Mueller are now in a position to dissuade others from pursuing them for their own conduct.

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER'S TROUBLINGLY BIASED HIRES

Through it all, Mueller’s modus operandi does not seem to have ever changed. He has hired nine Democrat-supporting lawyers and zero Republicans. Certainly all attorneys likely have political views and that is not a problem so long as they do not affect their job. But not a single Republican was worthy of Mueller’s selection?

Were there no establishment Republicans who wanted to join his jihad? Mueller’s hand-picked team of Democrats reveal political views that distinctly conflict with Trump and the conservative agenda, raising questions about Mueller’s bias and his ability to conduct a fair investigation. At least nine members of Mueller’s team made significant contributions to Democrats or Democratic campaigns, while none contributed to Trump’s campaign and only James Quarles contributed to Republicans in a drastically smaller amount than what he gave to Democrats.

Analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows that Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, Andrew Goldstein, James Quarles, Elizabeth Prelogar, Greg Andres, Brandon Van Grack, Rush Atkinson, and Kyle Freeny all contributed over $50,000 in donations to Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns, various Democratic non-presidential candidates, and the Democratic National Convention. Mueller also has surprisingly strong personal ties to a number of the lawyers he hired.

Three former partners with Mueller at the Boston law firm of WilmerHale are on the payroll: Aaron Zebley, Jeannie Rhee, and James Quarles. In addition to strong personal ties to Mueller, many of the attorneys have potential conflicts in working for persons directly connected to the people and issues being investigated.

Jeannie Rhee represented Ben Rhodes, ex-Obama National Security Adviser, and the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering lawsuit, as well as Hillary Clinton in a lawsuit probing her private emails.

Aaron Zebley, former Chief of Staff to Mueller while Director of the FBI, represented Justin Cooper in the Clinton email scandal as he was responsible for setting up Clinton’s private email server. He admitted to physically damaging Clinton’s old mobile devices.

Andrew Goldstein joined the team after working under major Trump critic Preet Bharara in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York. Bharara became a strong critic after Trump fired him as an Obama-holdover and spoke on ABC News that “there’s absolutely evidence to launch an obstruction of justice case against Trump’s team with regard to the Russia probe.” Does he sound a bit prejudiced?

Andrew Weissman, notoriously a “tough” prosecutor previously accused of “prosecutorial overreach,” has a less than stellar career after various courts reversed his prosecutions due to his questionable conduct and tactics. As director of the Enron Task Force, Weissman shattered the Arthur Andersen LLP accounting firm and destroyed over 85,000 jobs. In 2005, the conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court. In other words, the only true crime in the case was the murderous destruction of 85,000 jobs and the lives they ruined.

Weissman’s next conviction threw four Merrill Lynch executives into prison without bail for a year, only to be reversed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Weissman subsequently resigned from the Enron Task Force. A suspiciously timely move, as the public eye had just caught sight of his modus operandi. Additionally, Weissman has unsightly political ties, having attended Clinton’s electionnight celebration in New York City. He also sent an email to Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, praising her boldness on the night she was fired for refusing to enforce President Trump’s travel ban. President Trump was trying to enforce the law; Weissman was trying to enforce his bigotry against Trump and Republicans.

Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team after more than 10,000 texts between him and former Mueller investigator Lisa Page were found to contain vitriolic anti-Trump tirades. They were not simply anti-Trump. They were more in the nature of desperate attempts to stop him from becoming President and talk of a nefarious insurance policy to orchestrate his removal if he were elected.

GENERAL MICHAEL FLYNN

Michael Flynn is a man entangled in manufactured controversy from the moment he stepped into his role in the Trump administration. The circumstances surrounding his take-down have become one of the more puzzling aspects of the TrumpRussia investigation. His career took him from three decades in the U.S. Army to overseeing the Pentagon’s military intelligence operation and directing the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn was more than qualified to act as the first national security adviser in a new administration. However, his influence and zeal made him a clear target for the Trump-Russia investigation.

As a strong supporter and friend of Donald Trump’s from the onset, he campaigned and publicly supported then-candidate Trump throughout 2016. As best I can sort it out through the media hype and hysteria, having no first-hand knowledge like the rest of America: after the successful election, during the transition period, in December 2016, Flynn reportedly conversed with a Russian ambassador.

He was “accidentally” swept up in an intelligence foreign surveillance recording. When this happens, the names of American citizens are supposed to be masked in the transcripts. Somehow Flynn’s name was magically unmasked, which apparently allowed the Obama administration to peruse his meetings and conversations. Parts of the classified transcript of that conversation were leaked to the media by rogue Deep State law breakers (criminals who Mueller seems completely disinterested in). This appears to be what fueled the media-driven narrative of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia because Flynn had a discussion with a Russian ambassador, which conversation is absolutely legal and advisable. A media-generated doubt clouded Flynn’s reputation, as the discussion was longreported as having taken place during the campaign (which could possibly be illegal) but was later proven to have been after the election and during the transition which should not have been illegal.

After a complete pounding of media-driven hysteria, in mid-February of 2017, Flynn resigned having served only 23 days as National Security Advisor. Mueller targeted Flynn using illicitly-gathered and leaked foreign intelligence and surveillance as evidence. Nine months later after Flynn and his family were subjected to Mueller’s usual threats and intimidation, a financially exhausted Flynn entered a guilty plea on one count of lying to the FBI—the result of a Mueller-technique perjury trap as was used on Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart. What is Flynn guilty of? He apparently misremembered a conversation that took place 33 days previously? The FBI had a transcript of that conversation and already knew what information was there. They went into a conversation with Flynn not seeking answers to questions, but to try to trip him up on exact statements made in a conversation when they were already in possession of the transcript.

Flynn's unmasking has become the center of a controversy wherein those transcripts were procured under exceedingly questionable circumstances before a judge who had a questionable and undisclosed relationship with part of Mueller’s team. That judge was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secretive court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows federal law enforcement to seek secretive warrants to surveil foreign persons outside of the United States who are suspected of terrorism. But the Obama administration and Mueller seemed to find it much more politically expedient to use the secret court to go after Americans who were part of the Trump team for actions that did not occur while they were part of the Trump campaign team. Strange goings-on.

One could argue that Judge Rudolph Contreras, the federal judge who accepted Flynn’s guilty plea, conveniently misremembered that he also served on the FISA court as a judge and conveniently misremembered his friendship with the FBI agent whose interview was used as evidence against Flynn. As it turns out, the FBI interview notes of that very encounter with Flynn may exonerate Michael Flynn, crushing Mueller’s case against him, not to mention the highly questionable hearing before a judge who may well have been recused much too late to save the Flynn prosecution.

FISA ABUSE

The FISA-authorized FISC is built upon the principle that highly delicate cases dealing with government surveillance of foreign agents and officials would be handled in an unbiased and respectful environment where secrecy at all costs was critical. There is supposed to be an added precaution to prevent any potential for bias in a FISA Judge by having a rotation of judges. That is why it is such a shock to find out now that Mueller’s case against Michael Flynn would happen to end up before the “randomly selected” very dear close personal friend of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who hated President Trump with a passion, as evidenced in his text messages with colleague and paramour, Lisa Page. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, or “Rudy” as Strzok likes to refer to him, should have recused himself from such a highly sensitive case involving the ultimate attempted removal of the duly-elected President of the United States who happened to be despised by the very people who by law were required to prosecute with fairness. He was later forced to ‘recuse’ himself and be removed from the Flynn proceedings, without public explanation.

This forced recusal was an unmistakable indication that he never should have been involved in the Michael Flynn plea agreement. Judge Contreras’ conflict of interest has yet to be explained by the court. Contreras’ is one of only three local FISA court judges, and by default, is likely one of the judges who have on four occasions approved the Title I surveillance of another character in this melodrama, Carter Page. This is the case where the FBI is known to have intentionally misled the FISA court by using as evidence the illustrious “Steele Dossier,” a sordid opposition research document paid for by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Oh, what a tangled web of crime Special Prosecutor Mueller’s team appears to have helped weave, and of which Mueller appears to be completely disinterested, all while he searches high and low for an elusive crime to pin on the President.

MUELLER IGNORES PROVABLE CRIMES BY THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN, THE FBI, THE FISC, ETC.

Strategically timed leaks of selective classified information are being used to target individuals for investigation in order to create the appearance of some sinister crime are committed.

Upon closer scrutiny, the cases fall apart.

Yet, slam dunk federal criminal cases of leaking classified material are going on under Mueller’s nose, and by those within his purview and his team. When we think of all the leaks from Mueller’s investigation, it brings to mind Wilford Brimley’s quote from Absence of Malice: “You call what's goin' on around here a leak? Boy, the last time there was a leak like this, Noah built hisself a boat.”

Case in point: Erik Prince. As Lee Smith put it in a recent article from TabletMag.com, Robert Mueller’s Beltway Cover-Up:

News that special counselor Robert Mueller has turned his attention to Erik Prince’s January 11, 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker, a Lebanese-American political fixer, and officials from the United Arab Emirates, helps clarify the nature of Mueller’s work. It’s not an investigation that the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading—rather, it’s a cover-up…

Mueller is said to believe that the Prince meeting was to set up a back channel with the Kremlin. But that makes no sense. According to the foundational text of the collusion narrative, the dossier allegedly written by former British spy Christopher Steele, the Kremlin had cultivated Trump himself for years. So what’s the purpose of a back channel, when Vladimir Putin already had a key to the front door of Mar-a-Lago? Further, the collusion thesis holds that the Trump circle teamed with high-level Russian officials for the purpose of winning the 2016 election. How does a meeting that Erik Prince had a week before Trump’s inauguration advance the crooked election victory plot? It doesn’t—it contradicts it. The writer goes on to point out that serious crimes have been committed which Mueller is purposefully ignoring. Prince was thrown into the middle of Russiagate after an April 3, 2017, Washington Post story reported his meeting with the Russian banker. But how did anyone know about the meeting? After the story came out, Prince said he was shown “specific evidence” by sources from the intelligence community that the information was swept up in the collection of electronic communications and his identity was unmasked. The US official or officials who gave his name to the Post broke the law when they leaked classified intelligence. “Unless the Washington Post has somehow miraculously recruited the bartender of a hotel in the Seychelles,” Prince told the House Intelligence Committee in December, “the only way that’s happening is through SIGINT [signals intelligence].” Prince’s name was unmasked and leaked from classified signals intelligence. Oddly enough, it’s the same modus operandi used in the targeting of President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It is a federal felony to publish leaked classified information.

Ask WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about that particular unequal application of the law. The Deep State felons who are strategically leaking this information have politically weaponized our justice system and should be prosecuted for their attempts, with malice aforethought, to manufacture the overthrow of a duly elected President of the United States. The leaks and publication of classified information alone warrant investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law in this matter, yet Mueller appears utterly uninterested in those crimes even as they go to the very heart of the credibility of his investigative mandate.

Yet, as I’ve demonstrated here, the man put in charge of the investigation of "Russian Collusion"; case, Robert Mueller, has perfected the art of abuse of the justice system for personal and political gain. He is uninterested in any criminal activity that does not further his cause of damaging this President. If you think that is harsh, consider the criminality of the FISA court abuses by the Obama Department of Justice and FBI. We have all heard ad nauseum about the infamous “Steele Dossier,” the opposition research document paid for by the Clinton campaign that was used to manufacture the Russia collusion narrative and spark what became the Mueller investigation into our President. On June 18, 2017, Muller protégé and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the Clinton campaign-funded document, telling Congress that the document was, “salacious and unverified.” https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/08/full-text-james-comey-trump-r…)

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, created a court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to allow secret warrants to surveil agents of foreign governments, be they U.S. citizens or non-U.S. actors. In October of 2016, the Obama DOJ/FBI successfully applied for one of these secret warrants to surveil Carter Page, a short-time Trump campaign volunteer. Since these warrants against U.S. citizens are outside of the bounds of the Constitution, they have to be renewed by applying to the court every 90 days after the first warrant application is approved. These secret warrants are so serious they have to be signed off on at the highest levels. The applications in question would have been signed off on by Obama administration FBI and DOJ officials including then FBI Director James Comey. At least one of the renewal applications would have been signed off on by our current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. At the time of the signing, they all would have had the knowledge and/or the professional and legal duty to know that the dossier was used as evidence and also had the legal duty to know the evidence origins. The same would apply to the knowledge of the penalty for submitting unverified information to the FISC for the purpose of obtaining a warrant. It is a crime to submit under the color of law an application to the FISC that contains unverified information 50 U.S. Code § 1809).

Comey’s “salacious and unverified” testimony before the Senate occurred eight months after the Clinton campaign-funded dossier was used in the first successful FISA court application to obtain a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, a Trump campaign volunteer for several months. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence examined the documentation submitted to the court and concluded that the unverified information contained in the Steele dossier was in fact used in the FISC application, without disclosing to the court that it was an opposition research document paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

Neither the initial application in October of 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any other partyn in funding Steele's efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials. The timing of the applications, the inclusion of material the DOJ/FBI knew to be unverified at the time, and the successful result after this fraudulent inclusion speak to the level of criminal corruption of those who sought to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy and still seek to overturn his election. The widespread abuse of the FISA-authorized court, FISC, was laid bare in a court memorandum of review of these abuses that was declassified in 2017 and went virtually unnoticed by the media because it didn’t fit their narrative.

These are serious crimes that, left unchecked, lead nations down the path to tyranny at the hands of people who think they know better than citizens. It’s an age-old struggle America’s Founding Fathers knew well and did everything they could to prevent from happening. The FISC judges themselves have a duty to police their own courts and call to account these bad actors who, by all facts in the documentation I’ve personally seen, have committed a fraud upon the court. If these judges do not have the integrity to self-police in this matter, we in Congress must hold them accountable using the power granted to us in the Constitution. Congress has created every single federal court in the country except the Supreme Court. We have the duty to phase out, change or disband the FISC, all while developing a better solution to address the authorization of this sort of surveillance of foreign agents and actors. It is our duty to clean up the mess that the Obama administration demonstrated is far too easy to create.

If you want answers, and you can handle the truth, join me in demanding those answers from “Special Counsel” Robert Mueller, along with his resignation. If he were to resign, it could well be the only truly moral, ethical and decent action Mueller has undertaken in this entire investigation.


Hat tip: BadBlue Uncensored News.

Published:5/3/2018 11:28:27 PM
[Politics] Van Jones says Giuliani used ‘TREASONOUS’ language about FBI agents!! Commie guy Van Jones said that Giuliani used “treasonous” language when he referred to FBI agents as “storm troopers” last night on his hilarious interview with Sean Hannity last night. Watch below: . . . Published:5/3/2018 9:28:58 PM
[Politics] Van Jones says Giuliani used ‘TREASONOUS’ language about FBI agents!! Commie guy Van Jones said that Giuliani used “treasonous” language when he referred to FBI agents as “storm troopers” last night on his hilarious interview with Sean Hannity last night. Watch below: . . . Published:5/3/2018 9:28:58 PM
[Markets] Giuliani Calls On Sessions To "Step In" On Cohen Probe

Moments after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders finished a grueling daily press briefing where he was grilled by reporters on a range of subjects - including Rudy Giuliani's Wednesday night revelation that President Trump was aware of Michael Cohen's $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels - the former New York Mayor unloaded on the FBI during a phone call with the Hill, which the Washington media organization promptly published.

Giuliani

During his conversation with the Hill's Niall Stanage, Giuliani - echoing comments made by Trump in a similarly angst-ridden Fox & Friends interview last week - called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to intervene in the Cohen case and "put the people behind the probe under investigation."

After first threatening to "do something" about the DOJ's legal overreach during his Fox interview, Trump tweeted on Wednesday that "at some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency to get involved!"

Now, Giuliani is stepping up the pressure on Sessions, to whom he lost out when Trump was making his cabinet selections. Of course, Trump himself has repeatedly threatened to fire his AG over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Mueller probe, and devoted a few minutes to bashing Sessions during his Fox interview.

"I am waiting for the Attorney General to step in, in his role as defender of justice, and put these people under investigation," Giuliani said, reacting to an NBC News report that phones belonging to Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, had been tapped by investigators.

Giuliani argued that the wiretapping of Cohen's phone was a blatant violation of attorney-client privilege, adding that the FBI was deliberately trampling over the Constitution. Giuliani, who said he has not yet spoken with Trump following his Wednesday night comments, said he is already anticipating the first question that Trump will ask him when they speak next.

He also reiterated that Trump was aware "in general terms" of what Giuliani was planning to say during his interview last night with Sean Hannity. Asked if Trump was content with his performance, Giuliani responded "yep."

When he does so, Giuliani predicted, "He is going to say to me, 'Isn’t there an attorney-client privilege?' And I am going to tell him, 'No, the Department of Justice seems to want to trample all over the Constitution of the United States.'"

As the Hill reminds us, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein signed off on the Cohen raid after prosecutors after approving a criminal referral to the Southern District of New York put forth by Special Counsel Bob Mueller and his team.

Giuliani also pushed back against former FBI Director James Comey's accusation that he had compared the FBI with the Nazis by referring to the agents who executed the Cohen raid as "stormtroopers." 

Giuliani countered that he had not made a Nazi comparison, arguing, "there are stormtroopers all over."

But, he added, "If you don’t like it, don’t act that way."

The comments are the latest indication that Giuliani is siding with Trump lead attorney Jay Sekulow in advocating an "aggressive" course of action in terms of dealing with the Mueller probe.

Now, we're waiting to see if Giuliani will say anything about the chances of Trump agreeing to sit for an interview with Mueller. Earlier this week, Giuliani said an interview would likely take place, but it would probably be limited to two or three hours and the final decision likely won't be made for a few weeks.

Published:5/3/2018 3:27:22 PM
[World] Tom Fitton: New Details on James Comey Memo Leak 'Further Evidence of FBI Corruption'

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said new details about James Comey's leaking of memos is "further evidence of FBI corruption" during Comey's tenure as FBI director.

Published:5/3/2018 1:56:05 PM
[The Blog] Time Magazine: Yes, something’s seriously wrong at the FBI

Next up on the IG parade ...

The post Time Magazine: Yes, something’s seriously wrong at the FBI appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/3/2018 1:25:31 PM
[Politics] Comey Slams Giuliani For Comparing FBI Agents to 'Stormtroopers' James Comey, the former FBI director, slammed Rudy Giuliani on Thursday for comparing the FBI in New York to Nazi "stormtroopers." Published:5/3/2018 12:25:46 PM
[Markets] FBI Wiretapped Michael Cohen, Intercepted Conversations With White House

Tell us again, James Comey, about how the Deep State doesn't exist?

In the latest bombshell about the FBI's investigation into President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen, NBC News reported Thursday afternoon that the FBI had been wiretapping phone lines used by Cohen during the weeks before the raid on his home, office and hotel room, as well as for an unknown amount of time before.

And what's more, NBC says prosecutors recorded at least one call between Cohen and somebody at the White House. We think we could venture a guess as to whom that might be...

Federal investigators have wiretapped the phone lines of Michael Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump who is under investigation for a payment he made to an adult film star who alleged she had an affair with Trump, according to two people with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen.

It is not clear how long the wiretap has been authorized, but NBC News has learned it was in place in the weeks leading up to the raids on Cohen's offices, hotel room, and home in early April, according to one person with direct knowledge.

At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, the person said.

Previously, federal prosecutors in New York have said in court filings that they have conducted covert searches on multiple e-mail accounts maintained by Cohen.

After the raid on Cohen's office, members of Trump's legal team reportedly advised him to speak with Cohen. But later, when Rudy Giuliani learned about the call, he advised Trump not to speak with Cohen on the phone again for fear prosecutors might be listening. Giuliani has also reportedly advised Trump that Cohen is likely to flip on him.

It is unclear what incriminating information Cohen could give prosecutors on Trump, if he chose to cooperate. He represented Trump and the Trump Organization in its business dealings for nearly two decades before Trump became president. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in any information that federal investigators in New York may pick up that would be relevant to his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Cohen has previously said publicly that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights if subpoenaed to avoid incriminating himself before a grand jury and there is no indication from public filings that Cohen is cooperating in the probe.

Given the volume of Trump legal drama scoops that have dropped this week, we expect to see more reports fleshing out what exactly the Fed's gleaned from eavesdropping on conversations between Cohen and - presumably - his No. 1 client.

 

Published:5/3/2018 12:25:46 PM
[] Yas Queen Slay Comey says he once sang Beyoncé?s "Sandcastles" during an FBI briefinghttps://t.co/lAwXBb5kbX pic.twitter.com/8Jd3uQB7Zy— The Hill (@thehill) May 3, 2018... Published:5/3/2018 11:55:22 AM
[The Blog] Oh my: FBI foils Dallas-area plot for ISIS inspired massacre

From 17 years to life?

The post Oh my: FBI foils Dallas-area plot for ISIS inspired massacre appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/3/2018 8:28:50 AM
[Politics] Rudy Giuliani: James Comey Should Be Prosecuted Former FBI Director James Comey "lied three or four times" under oath, and should come under investigation, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now part of President Donald Trump's legal team, said Thursday morning. Published:5/3/2018 8:28:49 AM
[Robert Mueller] Caputo debriefed (Scott Johnson) Following up on his testimony and statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo was interviewed by one of the prosecutors and two FBI agents working on the Mueller Switch Project yesterday. After his sitdown with the Mueller team, Caputo appeared for a short debriefing by Tucker Carlson on FOX News last night (video below). The Carlson interview was compelling television full of quotable Published:5/3/2018 7:56:20 AM
[Markets] Hillary Clinton Now Blaming Socialist Democrats For Historic Election Loss

Just when we thought Hillary Clinton had run out of people to blame for her 2016 defeat, the former Secretary of State has come up with a new one we never saw coming: Socialist Democrats.

When asked on Wednesday at the Shared Value Leadership Summit in New York City if she thought that declaring herself  to be a "capitalist" Democrat hurt her in the primaries, Clinton replied, "probably." 

“It’s hard to know but I mean if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists, and I’m asked ‘Are you a capitalist?’ and I say, ‘Yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability.’ You know, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a capitalist!’” Clinton concluded, referring in part to the popularity of her Democratic Socialist rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

So aside from socialists, as a friendly reminder since everyone's scroll wheel needs a workout every now and again, below is a list of all the "reasons" Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 US election courtesy of the Daily Mail - because it certainly wasn't her fault

JAMES COMEY

Clinton is furious that Comey, then the FBI director, publicly revealed the re-opening of the secret email server investigation just before election day - and has said so time after time after time.

THE FBI  

Comey's entire organization does not escape her wrath. 

'The FBI wasn't the Federal Bureau of Ifs or Innuendoes. Its job was to find out the facts,' she writes in What Happened.

VLADIMIR PUTIN

'There's no doubt in my mind that Putin wanted me to lose and wanted Trump to win,' she told USA Today in September last year while promoting What Happened. 

It was hardly a new theme. As early as December the New York Times obtained audio in which she told her donors: 'Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election.'  

THE RUSSIANS

Putin's entire apparatus gets a name-check. In May she told the Codecon convention how '1,000 Russian agents' had filled Facebook with 'fake news'.

She told NPR 'my path toward November was being disrupted with Russians'.

WIKILEAKS 

The 'transparency website' is consistently ranked along with Comey by Clinton at the top of her blame list.

She told NPR : 'Unfortunately the Comey letter, aided to great measure by the Russian WikiLeaks, raised all those doubts again.'

And she writes of its founder Julian Assange in What Happened: 'In my view, Assange is a hypocrite who deserves to be held accountable for his actions.'

LOW INFORMATION VOTERS

'You put yourself in the position of a low information voter, and all of a sudden your Facebook feed, your Twitter account is saying, "Oh my gosh, Hillary Clinton is running a child trafficking operation in Washington with John Podesta.",' she told the Codecon convention in May.

'Well you don't believe it but this has been such an unbelievable election, you kind of go, 'Oh maybe I better look into that.''

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

'We have an electoral college problem. It's an anachronism,' she told Vox. 

ANTI-AMERICAN FORCES

'I think it's important that we learn the real lessons from this last campaign because the forces that we are up against are not just interested in influencing our elections and our politics, they're going after our economy and they're going after our unity as a nation,' she told Codecon in May.

'What is hard for people to really accept - although now after the election there's greater understanding - is that there are forces in our country - put the Russians to one side - who have been fighting rear guard actions for as long as I've been alive because my life coincided with the Civil Rights movement, with the women's rights movement, with anti-war protesting, with the impeachment.

EVERYONE WHO ASSUMED SHE WOULD WIN

'I was the victim of a very broad assumption that I was going to win,' she told the Codecon convention.

BAD POLLING NUMBERS

Clinton says polls in key states did not serve her. 

'I think polling is going to have to undergo some revisions in how they actually measure people,' she told the Codecon convention.

'How they reach people. The best assessments as of right now are that the polling was not that inaccurate, but it was predominantly national polling and I won nationally.'

BARACK OBAMA 

Clinton has two beefs with Obama: one of them being that he won two terms. Clinton says that succeeding an incumbent is almost impossible for a Democrat.

'No non-incumbent Democrat had run successfully to succeed another two-termer since Vice President Martin Van Buren won in 1836,' she writes in What Happened.

But she also says his response to the Russian campaign of interference wasn't enough.

'I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack,' she writes in What Happened. 

WHITE WOMEN

'I believe absent Comey, I might've picked up 1 or 2 points among white women,' she told Vox in September.

'White woman... are really quite politically dependent on their view of their own security and their own position in society what works and doesn't work for them.'

THE NEW YORK TIMES

The newspaper was blamed as early as May at the Codecon conference in Rancho Palos Verde, California.

She singled out its managing editor Dean Baquet - the paper's most senior editor - and said of coverage of her email issue under his direction: 'They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor.'

JOE BIDEN

Biden could have run against her and didn't. But Clinton writes: 'Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 'did not talk about what it always stood for—and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class.'

'I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.'

BERNIE SANDERS

'His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign,' she writes in What Happened.

'I don't know if that bothered Bernie or not.'

BERNIE BROS 

'Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,' she writes in What Happened. 

PEOPLE WANTING CHANGE

'I thought, at end of day, people would say, look, we do want change, and we want the right kind of change, and we want change that is realistic and is going to make difference in my life and my family's life and my paycheck,' she told Vox.

'That's what I was offering. And I didn't in any way want to feed into this, not just radical political argument that was being made on other side, but very negative cultural argument about who we are as Americans.'

MISOGYNISTS

Asked by CNN's Christine Amanpour at the Women for Women International event in new York in May if misogyny was to blame she said: 'Yes, I do think it played a role.'  

TELEVISION EXECUTIVES

'When you have a presidential campaign and the total number of minutes on TV news, which is still how most people get their information, covering all of our policies, climate change, anything else was 32 minutes, I don't blame voters,' she told The View.

'They don't get a broad base of information to make decision on. The more outrageous you are, the more inflammatory you are, the higher the ratings are.'

NETFLIX

Hillary does not do Netflix and chill - or if she does, she doesn't find it very relaxing.

'Eight of the top 10 political documentaries on Netflix were screeds against President Obama and me,' she claimed at the Codecon convention.

FACEBOOK

'If you look at Facebook the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. They were connected to as we now know the 1,000 Russian agents who were involved in delivering those messages,' she told Codecon.

TWITTER

Usually mentioned in the same breath as Facebook, the micro-blogging site is seen by Clinton as one of the reasons for her loss. 

She told the Codecon convention in may that Trump had a method in his tweets.

'They want to influence your reality. That to me is what we're up against, and we can't let that go unanswered,' she said.

CONTENT FARMS IN MACEDONIA

'Through content farms, through an enormous investment in falsehoods, fake news, call it what you will - lies, that's a good word too - the other side was using content that was flat out false,' she told the Codecon convention in May. 

'They were conveying this weaponized information and the content of it, and they were running, y'know there's all these stories, about y'know, and you know I've seen them now, and you sit there and it looks like you know sort of low level CNN operation, or a fake newspaper.'

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

'You had Citizens United come to its full fruition.' she told Codecon in May.

'So unaccountable money flowing in against me, against other Democrats, in a way that we hadn't seen and then attached to this weaponized information war.

THE MEDIA

'American journalists who eagerly and uncritically repeated whatever WikiLeaks dished out during the campaign could learn from the responsible way the French press handled the hack of Macron,' she writes in What Happened. 

Now-president Macron had a massive tranche of his emails hacked and released shortly before the French voted. Many outlets did not report on their contents.  

STEVE BANNON AND BREITBART

'Provided the untrue stories,' she told the Codecon convention in May. 

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY 

'I set up my campaign and we have our own data operation. I get the nomination. So I'm now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,' Clinton said told the Codecon convention in May.

 'I mean, it was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency. Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it.'

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

The Republicans were far better prepared for a campaign than the Democrats she claimed, when it came to money and data, telling the Codecon convention: 'So Trump becomes the nominee and he is basically handed this tried and true, effective foundation.' 

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

The data-targeting firm ultimately owned by Robert Mercer, the billionaire Breitbart backer, and his family, is said to have targeted voters to drive them away from Clinton.

'They ultimately added something and I think again we'd better understand that. The Mercers did not invest all that money for their own amusement,' she told the Codecon convention.

WOMEN PROTESTERS

The massive demonstrations in Washington and other cities in the wake of the election were organized as an immediate response to Clinton's shock defeat.

But that did not stop Clinton from writing in What Happened: 'I couldn't help but ask where those feelings of solidarity, outrage and passion had been during the election.'

MATT LAUER

The NBC Today show anchor quizzed both candidates at a 'commander-in-chief forum' on board Intrepid in New York. 

But Clinton - who went first in the back-to-back interviews, complained about Lauer focusing on her secret server and whether it raised questions over her trustworthiness.

'Lauer had turned what should have been a serious discussion into a pointless ambush. What a waste of time,' she writes in What Happened. She later delighted in his firing for sexual misconduct, saying in December: 'Every day I believe more in karma.' 

WHITE VOTERS

'White voters have been fleeing the Democratic party ever since Lyndon Johnson predicted they would,' she told Vox.  

DEMOCRATIC DOCUMENTARY MAKERS 

'We're not making the documentaries that we're going to get onto Netflix,' she told Codecon.

She was asked by the interviewer: 'This is because Hollywood isn't liberal enough?'

'No, it's because Democrats aren't putting their money there,' she replied. 

BENGHAZI INVESTIGATORS

The attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi on September 11, 2012, happened when Clinton was Secretary of State. It claimed four American lives, and was the focus of intense investigation by Congress.  

Clinton told the Today show: 'Take the Benghazi tragedy - you know, I have one of the top Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, admitting we're going to take that tragedy - because, you know, we've lost people, unfortunately, going back to the Reagan administration, if you talk about recent times, in diplomatic attacks.

'But boy, it was turned into a political football. And it was aimed at undermining my credibility, my record, my accomplishments.'

VOTER SUPPRESSION

Suppressing her voters was named by Clinton as one of the major factors in her defeat in her interview on the Today show when she rattled off her laundry list. 'What was at work here?' she said.

'In addition to the mistakes that I made, which I recount in the book, what about endemic sexism and misogyny, not just in politics but in our society, what about the unprecedented action of the FBI director,  what about the interference of an adversary nation, what about voter suppression?' 

It was a return to a theme - she suggested it was a problem in Wisconsin in an interview in May with New York magazine.

'I would have won had I not been subjected to the unprecedented attacks by Comey and the Russians, aided and abetted by the suppression of the vote, particularly in Wisconsin,' she said. 

'Republicans learned that if you suppress votes you win.'

MITCH McCONNELL

The Senate majority leader is accused of stopping the Obama administration from revealing what Clinton says the Russians were up to, helping tip the balance against her because he did not want a third successive Democratic term in the White House.  

'Mitch McConnell, in what I think of as a not only unpatriotic but despicable act of partisan politics, made it clear that if the Obama Administration spoke publicly about what they knew [on Russia], he would accuse them of partisan politics, of trying to tip the balance toward me,' she told the New Yorker.   

THE SUPREME COURT

Clinton claims the Supreme Court watered down the Voting Rights Act at the Codecon convention.

'You had effective suppression of votes,' she said.

'I was in the senate when we voted 98-0 under a Republican president, George W Bush, to extend the Voting Rights Act and the Supreme Court says 'oh we don't need it any more' , throws it out, and Republican governors and legislatures began doing everything they could to suppress the votes.'

Clinton appears to be referring to Second 4(b) of the Act being ruled unconstitutional by the court in 2013, because it relied on out of date data which meant it was not in line with the 15th Amendment. 

FATHERS, HUSBANDS, BOYFRIENDS, AND MALE BOSSES

Clinton says that James Comey's actions in re-opening the FBI investigation allowed men to influence their wives or girlfriends.

'Women will have no empathy for you because they will be under tremendous pressure - and I'm talking principally about white women - they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers, and husbands, and boyfriends and male employers, not to vote for 'the girl',' she told NPR. 

THE INVISIBLE STATE

The newest addition to the list: named by her confidante Lanny Davis as the reason she lost at a reading of his book while Hillary nodded along in approval. 

Published:5/2/2018 10:22:14 PM
[Markets] "God Damn You To Hell": Ex-Trump Aide Slams Senate Over Financial Ruin Caused By Russia Probe

Former Trump campaign aide and Republican consultant Michael Caputo had some harsh words for the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

"God damn you to hell," Caputo said in his closing statement, obtained by the Washington Examinertelling the panel that their investigation "forced" his family out of their home, leaving his children "crushed" over the mounting legal costs due to the inquiry. 

"Today, I can’t possibly pay the attendant legal costs and live near my aging father, raising my kids where I grew up,” Caputo said. “Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money — more than $125,000 — and making a visceral impact on my children."

Caputo said that Senate Intelligence Committee members are working together and contributing to the "swamp," pointing to the fact that a former Senate Intelligence staffer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - Daniel Jones, was one of two sources in a recent McClatchy report about Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney whose office, home and hotel room were raided last month at special counsel Robert Mueller's request.

“But who is McClatchy’s second source? It couldn’t be Dan; he was the first source ... So who could it be — perhaps one of his former Senate Intelligence colleagues? I mean, you’re all in this together. You’re the swamp.”

Jones, a former FBI investigator who was previously one of Feinstein's top aides, is conducting an ongoing, private investigation into Trump-Russia claims using $50 million supplied by George Soros and a group of 7-10 wealthy donors from California and New York. Jones is working with opposition research firm Fusion GPS - and Christopher Steele, the former UK spy Fusion commissioned to create the infamous "Steele Dossier" which former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said was instrumental to the Trump-Russia investigation.

Caputo called for an "investigation of the investigators," demanding to know who was "coordinating this attack on President Donald Trump." 

“Forget about all the death threats against my family. I want to know who cost us so much money, who crushed our kids, who forced us out of our home, all because you lost an election,” Caputo said. “I want to know because God damn you to hell."

Published:5/2/2018 8:51:24 PM
[Markets] DOJ Probe Demanded After "Very Pissed Off" Obama Official Reamed McCabe Over Clinton Investigation

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) fired off a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding that the Department of Justice investigate allegations that a "very pissed off" Obama administration official called then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, allegedly pressuring him to shut down the FBI's investigation into the Clinton Foundation. 

According to the account contained within an official report by the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), McCabe was rattled by the call - reportedly made by senior Obama DOJ official Mattnew Axelrod and pushed back.

According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking ‘are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’” the report said. “McCabe told us that the conversation was ‘very dramatic’ and he never had a similar confrontation like the PADAG call with a high-level department official in his entire FBI career.”

During the aforementioned phone call, the IG report recounts that the PADAG called Mr. McCabe and “expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the CF [Clinton Foundation] Investigation during the presidential campaign.”  This corresponds to reporting by the Wall Street Journal which detailed, “a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season…. The Justice Department official was ‘very pissed off,’ according to one person close to McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant.” -Bob Goodlatte to Jeff Sessions

Goodlatte notes that Axelrod was "inquiring into why the FBI was pursuing a case against the Clinton Foundation during the election, and at worst, attempting to improperly and illegally influence the status of an ongoing investigation for purely partisan purposes." 

"It is important to determine whether the PADAG’s directions to Mr. McCabe resulted in any “stand down” order being given to agents in these offices," the letter reads. 

Undue Pressure?

Goodlatte's letter also suggests that while McCabe was fired for "behaving in a matter unworthy of a public servant and, in particular, and FBI agent," that he may have been under "undue pressure and influence asserted by the Department - and possibly even higher levels of the U.S. government during the Obama Administration - to ensure that a validly predicated investigation of the Clinton Foundation was terminated." 

McCabe was fired on March 16 after the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that he "had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor - including under oath - on multiple occasions." 

Specifically, McCabe allegedly authorized an F.B.I. spokesman and attorney to tell Devlin Barrett of the Wall St. Journal, just days before the 2016 election, that the FBI had not put the brakes on the Clinton Foundation investigation - right around the time McCabe was coming under fire for his wife taking a $467,500 campaign contribution from Clinton proxy pal, Terry McAuliffe. 

Meanwhile, McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey are setting up for quite the battle over whether or not Comey knew of the leaks. While peddling his book on ABC's The View, Comey called McCabe a liar - and admitted that he ordered the IG report that found him guilty of leaking to the press.

Comey was asked by host Megan McCain how he thought the public was supposed to have "confidence" in the FBI amid revelations that McCabe lied about the leak. 

It’s not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said. “I ordered that investigation.” 

Comey then appeared to try and frame McCabe as a "good person" despite all the lying. 

“Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” Comey said. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person but the inspector general found he lied,” noting that there are "severe consequences" within the DOJ for doing so.

Goodlatte's letter to Sessions can be read below:

Published:5/2/2018 6:51:52 PM
[FBI] A BRIDGES too far (Paul Mirengoff) Tonight, the Department of Justice/FBI will continue its 17-year practice of meeting quarterly with representatives of the Muslim community in southeast Michigan. It’s called a BRIDGES meeting. BRIDGES stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity. Not security, which should be the FBI’s mission. Sensitivity. Indeed, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan no longer even mentions trying to prevent jihad as the mission of BRIDGES. Rather, the point Published:5/2/2018 4:50:15 PM
[Markets] The Latest Panic Over "Assault Weapons"

Authored by José Niño via The Mises Institute,

Taking a page straight out of 1984, Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, recently changed the definition of assault rifle to fit pro-gun control talking points.

Bre Payton of the Federalist highlights how the online dictionary modified the entry for “assault rifle” with the following definition: 

“noun: any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire”

Curiously, an earlier version of the same entry from June 13, 2016 only included the traditionally accepted definition of assault rifle:

“noun: any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use”

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February, the pro-gun control crowd has had a field day exploiting this tragedy. Part of their revived push for gun control consists of advancing bans and restrictions on so-called “assault weapons” like the much maligned AR-15.

A whipping boy for gun control advocates, the AR-15 and its cosmetic features generate polarizing emotions among the general populace. Add a little bit of fearmongering and sprinkle in some ambiguous political language, and you have the recipe for a national disinformation campaign.

For starters, “assault weapon” is a politically invented term gun control advocates like Senator Dianne Feinstein have used over the past few decades to instill fear among the general populace.

The media enjoys creating lurid images of criminals toting “military-grade” weapons after every shooting, but any serious analysis of these incidents will quickly pick apart this myth.

Cosmetics notwithstanding, firearms like the AR-15 function no differently from regular handguns. To add even more confusion, media talking heads use the terms “assault rifle” and “assault weapon” interchangeably.

Assault rifle actually refers to a military firearm that possesses semi-automatic and automatic settings. AR-15s can’t be classified as assault rifles due to only featuring a semi-automatic setting.

Alas, hard-hitting facts don’t jive well with sensationalist media figures and demagogic politicians hell-bent on advancing an anti-gun crusade at all costs.

Gun controllers had their way during Bill Clinton’s presidency when the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was enacted. Coolers heads eventually prevailed during the Bush years, when George W. Bush let the Assault Weapons Ban expire in 2004. The FBI reported a 3.6 percent decline in the national murder rate from 2003 to 2004 much to the chagrin of gun control advocates, who warned that the repeal of the 1994 AWB would lead to an upswing in crime.

However, this trend did not stop there. Declining crimes rates became the norm from 1993 to 2013, when gun ownership per person increased by 56% and gun violence correspondingly decreased by 49%.

While correlation is not causation, this statistical finding demonstrates that laxer gun laws which allow more people to carry and own firearms do not necessarily produce large spikes in violence like many gun controllers fear.

But gun controllers have remained persistent and they currently have a favorable political environment in which they can operate in.

With a Republican controlled Governor’s office and legislature in Florida kowtowing to anti-gun pressure and the federal government passing the largest piece of gun control legislation since the 1994 Brady Act, supposedly “pro-gun” politicians can no longer be counted on to defend gun rights.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Now that political figures like retired Supreme Court Justice Paul Stevens are calling for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, gun controllers smell blood in the water.

Merriam-Webster’s latest move to change the definition of assault rifle just serves as another stark reminder of the tide shift towards gun control.

Many will scoff at this development and claim that it’s much ado about nothing, but the significance of this lexical change cannot be overstated.

Author George Orwell understood the power of words and warned how the English language could be corrupted to serve a more nefarious, statist agenda.

In his famous essay, Politics and the English Language, Orwell argued that if “thoughts can corrupt language, language can also corrupt thought”. This very same language could be used “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. Then the stage is set for the rise of Newspeak, where every day speech is filled with politically approved vocabulary that contains ambiguous and empty meanings.

Of all individual activities in the United States, the right to bear arms has stood relatively strong in the face of the unprecedented levels of government intervention over the past century. However, Second Amendment supporters currently face a completely different political scenario where this precious right now hangs in the balance. 

Not only are gun rights activists starting to lose battles on the public policy front, but the very rhetorical battles that shape these debates could also be in jeopardy.

The words we use in common parlance matter and when their definitions are changed to fit a misleading political narrative, the floodgates are open for all sorts of rhetorical abuse and inevitable policy defeats.

It’s high time we took back control of our language and re-frame the terms of the gun debate in America.

Published:5/2/2018 3:51:11 PM
[Politics] John Dean: Trump's Tweets Might Cost Him Executive Privilege President Donald Trump's tweets on the Russia investigation could negate any of his claims of executive privilege should he be subpoenaed by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, according to former White House counsel John Dean on Wednesday. Published:5/2/2018 3:51:10 PM
[Markets] Trump Threatens To Flex Presidential Powers Over "Witch Hunt" Russia Probe, Schumer Flips Out

President Trump in a series of Wednesday morning tweets, lashed out against the Mueller probe and the Department of Justice - threatening to "use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved." 

The complaints follow the leak of approximately four-dozen questions the Special Counsel would like to ask the President, ranging from what Trump knew about alleged Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 US election, to whether he tried to obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Trump and his legal team are engaged in ongoing negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller's team over whether the president will agree to be interviewed as part of the Russia (and now Stormy Daniels) investigation. Mueller warned Trump's lawyers in a March meeting that he could issue a subpoena for the President to testify before a grand jury, according to four people familiar with the situation. 

Trump had said previously that he would be willing to have a face-to-face meeting with Mueller or his team, but more recently he has wavered on the prospect. Some of Trump’s advisers have counseled that he could risk being accused of perjury if he submits to open-ended questioning from Mueller and provides meandering answers. -Washington Post

Last year Trump said he would be "100%" willing to testify undre oath, while telling ABC News's Jonathan Karl in January "I would love to do that...I'd like to do it as soon as possible," adding “You know I think things are still in a lane, working toward a resolution of the interview issue.”

In an earlier Thursday tweet, Trump quoted former US Attorney Joe diGenova, who recently appeared on SiriusXM's The Michael Smerconish Program where he described Mueller's probe as “an outrageous, sophomoric, juvenile intrusion into the president’s unfettered power to fire anyone in the executive branch.

"The questions are an intrusion into the President's Article 2 powers under the Constitution to fire any Executive Branch Employee," tweeted Trump, citing deGenova.

diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, were tapped last month to represent Trump in the Mueller probe, only to have to withdraw over conflicts. Appearing on Fox News Wednesday, Toensing suggested that Trump might be accused of perjury if something he says conflicts with claims by James Comey

Toensing, who was recruited for Trump’s legal team but did not join because of client conflicts, recalled the case of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

Libby, whom Toensing represented, was convicted of obstruction of justice and other charges in 2007 stemming from an investigation of a leak of a CIA officer’s identity. But Libby was never charged with leaking the officer’s identity. -WaPo

Setup & Trap

Earlier in the day, Trump lashed out over the investigation - tweeting "There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap)." He then pointed to the progress made over North Korea, the trade deficit with China and negotiations on NAFTA.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted "It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!" - suggesting that he 

Schumer Flips Out

In response to Trump's threat to flex his Presidential powers, Rep. Chuck "six ways from Sunday" Schumer (D-NY) cautioned not to "go down this road," tweeting that "the powers of the Presidency do not give you the right to interfere with or shut down the Russia investigation," adding "Firing the Deputy AG or Director Mueller would create a constitutional crisis." 

Schumer warned of "severe consequences" in March if Trump moves to shut down the Mueller probe. 

Interview Still Possible

In an exclusive interview with ABC's Powerhouse Politics, White House lawyer Ty Cobb - who we subsequently learned is retiring, set to be replaced with Bill Clinton's impeachment lawyer Emmet Flood,  said that a presidential interview with Mueller's team has not been ruled out.

"It's certainly not off the table and people are working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview," said Cobb, adding "And assuming that can be concluded favorably, there'll be an interview.

“Assuming it can't be… assuming an agreement can't be reached, you know then it'll go a different route."

Cobb, as it turns out, is being replaced by Emmet T. Flood - a veteran Washington lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment.

In a phone interview, Mr. Cobb said he informed the president weeks ago that he wanted to retire. He said he planned to stay at the White House, likely through the end of the month, to help Mr. Flood transition into the new job. -NYT

"It has been an honor to serve the country in this capacity at the White House,” he said. “I wish everybody well moving forward.

Published:5/2/2018 12:51:15 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Comey explains why he’d still be FBI Director if Hillary had won…and it’s STUNNING! Comey was asked point blank in an interview if he wished that Hillary had won the presidency. While he refused to answer that, he did suggest he might still be FBI Director . . . Published:5/2/2018 10:18:52 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Comey explains why he’d still be FBI Director if Hillary had won…and it’s STUNNING! Comey was asked point blank in an interview if he wished that Hillary had won the presidency. While he refused to answer that, he did suggest he might still be FBI Director . . . Published:5/2/2018 10:18:52 AM
[Markets] Trump's Lead Lawyer Lacks Security Clearance Necessary To Do Job

Trump senior advisor Jared Kushner's inability to obtain a security clearance hamstrung his ability to carry out his duties in the West Wing. And now, a key member of Trump's legal team might be facing a similar problem.

As Bloomberg reports, Jay Sekulow, the leader of Trump's legal team, lacks the security clearances necessary to discuss sensitive issues related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Former Trump lead attorney John Dowd had been the only member of the president's team with a clearance, but since his departure in March, Sekulow, has been waiting for his clearance to - well - clear.

And while Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who is working with Trump's personal attorneys, does have a security clearance - his duty is technically to represent the White House, not Trump personally, per Bloomberg.

Of course, it's unclear how not having a clearance has impacted Sekulow's ability to do his job so far...

Sekulow has continued talking with Mueller’s team since Dowd’s departure. Trump’s newest lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, joined in a session last week. The lawyers have been trying to negotiate ways to narrow the scope of a possible interview, which Mueller requested at the end of last year.

Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling requests from Mueller, has a security clearance. But Cobb’s role is to represent the office of the presidency, not Trump personally, and he hasn’t been directly involved in discussions with Mueller about an interview.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

Trump’s legal team is well-aware Mueller could issue a subpoena, a possibility they have calculated in their strategy on negotiating an interview, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking. They have discussed a possible defense against a subpoena, including citing a 1990s ruling involving President Bill Clinton that set a standard for when a president can invoke executive privilege.

...But it could become an issue if Trump agrees to an interview.

If Trump agrees to an interview, the topics that could require security clearance for the president’s lawyers include a meeting he had with Russian officials the day after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. That was on a list of more than 40 potential questions that Trump’s legal team compiled based on their discussions with Mueller.

If Sekulow's clearance is refused, it would unleash another round of turmoil for the Trump legal team, which has struggled to recruit big-name litigators because of conflicts of interest or worries about negative publicity.

Without a security clearance, Sekulow would most likely be forced to give up his position as lead attorney.

Today's report about Sekulow's clearance followed another legal team scoop published last night reporting that Mueller had threatened to subpoena the president, a decision that could provoke a constitutional crisis.

But at least this time around, Trump already has Rudy Giuliani, who insists his role on the team is "very limited" despite appearing to take the lead on negotiations with Mueller, waiting in the wings. And while the story says nothing about Giuliani or the process of his clearance application, we imagine that, as a former US attorney and Mayor of New York City, Giuliani wouldn't have much of a problem obtaining one.

Meanwhile, President Trump continued his campaign to discredit Mueller on Wednesday, tweeting a quote from attorney Joe Digenova, who turned down an offer to join Trump's legal team because of a conflict, saying that the questions purportedly put forth by Mueller would be an intrusion into the president's Article 2 powers.

Published:5/2/2018 10:18:51 AM
[Politics] Comey: ‘I Think I Would Still Be the FBI Director’ If Clinton Had Won Election

The post Comey: ‘I Think I Would Still Be the FBI Director’ If Clinton Had Won Election appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/2/2018 8:48:14 AM
[The Blog] Comey: I don’t think President Hillary would have fired me

"I think I would still be the FBI director."

The post Comey: I don’t think President Hillary would have fired me appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:5/2/2018 6:49:02 AM
[Politics] What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

Good news this week — including an historic meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea — countered the drone of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of purported Trump campaign collusion with Russia and the dirge of former FBI Director James Comey over his waning career.

Published:4/30/2018 3:59:34 AM
[Markets] CIA Whistleblower: Trump Is Doing What Kennedy Tried To

Via Greg Hunters' USA Watchdog blog,

Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what is going on with Donald J. Trump “is an ongoing coup to remove a duly elected President.” Shipp contends, “This is a huge constitutional crisis like the country has never seen before. This makes Watergate look like a Sunday school class.”

On Friday, Shipp and other retired top officials at the CIA, FBI, DOJ and NSA held a press conference and demanded Attorney General Jeff Sessions prosecute top Obama era officials for obvious crimes against the incoming Trump Administration. Shipp says,

We have a coup within our government right now at the senior levels at the CIA, DOJ and the FBI attempting to unseat a duly elected President who was elected by the American people and remove him from office...

This is, at worst, treason with senior officials in the shadow government or Deep State . . . to attack Donald Trump and remove him from office. . . . We have not seen anything like this since the Presidency of John F. Kennedy (JFK), when CIA Director Allen Dulles attacked him, and we saw what happened there...

There is crystal clear evidence that the CIA was, at least, involved with the cover-up of the JFK assassination.  Now, we have the same thing happening again...

Remember what Chuck Schumer said, and it was chilling.  He said, ‘If you cross the intelligence community, they can hit back at you six ways from Sunday.’  That’s what we are seeing now.  It’s collusion or a coup with senior officials at the FBI, DOJ and CIA along with Robert Mueller to unseat an elected president.”

Shipp goes on to explain, “There is essentially a civil war involving parts of senior management and upper parts of our government that is occurring in the United States. It’s between the ‘Dark’ side and the ‘Constitutional’ side."

"There has never been anything like this in history.  It is extremely serious, and this is an extremely serious hour for our government and especially for our constitutional freedoms...

This essentially is a global criminal cabal that has penetrated into our government and now has senior level officials colluding and, I would argue, conspiring to unseat this president.

In closing, Shipp says, “People need to understand that the Democrat Party today is not the Democrat Party of John F. Kennedy."

"The Democrat Party with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is more Marxist than anything else.  They think the Constitution should be a ‘progressive’ document.  In other words, the Constitution is outdated and should be redone.  They are both directly connected into George Soros, who wants to destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. government...

The Democrat Party is now made up of Marxists and leftists that have penetrated that entire organization. . . . Their entire goal is to change our form of government and destroy our sovereignty.

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with CIA whistleblower Kevin Shipp, founder of the website ForTheLoveofFreedom.net.

Published:4/29/2018 7:57:14 PM
[Politics] Comey calls House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation ‘a wreck’ On “Meet the Press,” the former FBI chief criticized the panel’s report as a “political document.” Published:4/29/2018 3:26:05 PM
[World] Peter King: Russia Investigation Is a Very Shameful Chapter In History of the FBI

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said that the Russia investigation into President Trump is a "very shameful chapter" in the history of the FBI.

Published:4/29/2018 12:55:18 PM
[Markets] Comey Rages Against House Intel Report, Calls Trump Liar With "Serious Credibility Problems"

The House Intel Committee probe which found no evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election was nothing more than a charade, according to former FBI Director Jim Comey, who called it politically motivated and suggested that it "wrecked" the committee. 

Comey sat down with NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday, where he did his best to discredit the GOP-authored findings released on Friday: "It wrecked the committee," Comey said, adding "It damaged relationships with the FISA Court, the intelligence communities. It's just a wreck." 

The former FBI director then suggested that the report was politically motivated.

"That is not my understanding of what the facts were before I left the FBI, and I think the most important piece of work is the one the special counsel's doing now. This strikes me as a political document."

Comey then suggested Trump "might lie" and has serious credibility problems. 

Former FBI Director Comey had kind words for Former FBI Director (and current Special Counsel) Robert Mueller and his team, "I know there are no leaks coming out of the special counsel's office, so by necessity, nobody who really knows what's going on is talking," adding that Mueller is "attentive to the calendar" and "wants to finish as quickly as he can." 

Comey says he got the sense that Trump didn't know about the "salacious and personal" details from the Steele dossier (and again suggested he's a liar). 


In stark contrast to Chuck Todd's mollycoddling of Comey, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro unloaded on the former FBI director: "He's a liar, he's a leaker, and he's a leftist liberal," said Pirro.

If anyone was not convinced of former FBI director Jim Comey's involvement in the attempted coup from within our own government of the duly elected winner of the 2016 Presidential election, I have just one question for you: Are you stupid?"

Meanwhile, as James Comey floats around peddling his new book, A Higher Loyalty, and trash-talking the House Intel Committee's findings, he's currently subject to two criminal referrals and a battle brewing with his former Deputy, Andy McCabe, over who's lying in regards to illegal leaks to the New York Times

COuld it be that Comey's boyscoutish charm is starting to wear thin?

Published:4/29/2018 12:55:17 PM
[Politics] Gowdy: 'Congress Is Not Well Equipped to Investigate Crime' Congress shouldn't accuse individuals like former FBI Director James Comey of crime - and is ill-equipped to investigate criminal charges, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Sunday. Published:4/29/2018 11:24:42 AM
[Politics] Comey Dismisses House Report That Found No Russia Collusion Former FBI Director James Comey is dismissing a House Intelligence Committee report that found no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.Comey said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he considers the report, issued Friday by Republicans, to be a "political... Published:4/29/2018 10:54:51 AM
[World] Greg Gutfeld Discusses Real Reason Behind James Comey's Book

Greg Gutfeld on Saturday presented his theory about why former FBI Director James Comey really wrote his tell-all book.

Published:4/29/2018 10:24:56 AM
[World] MMA fighter with links to Trump, Cohen is questioned by FBI ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who has connections with President Donald Trump, the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin was questioned this week by the FBI, his manager confirmed Saturday. Published:4/29/2018 10:24:55 AM
[Markets] Secret Trump-Russia Investigation Continues With $50 Million From Group Of Mysterious "Wealthy Donors"

The House Intelligence Committee's just-released report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election reveals in a footnote that an ongoing, private investigation into Trump-Russia claims is being funded with $50 million supplied by a group of 7-10 wealthy donors from California and New York.

This effort was originally revealed in February and reported on by The Federalistafter a series of leaked text messages between Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and lobbyist Adam Waldman suggested that Daniel J. Jones - an ex-FBI investigator and former Feinstein staffer, was "intimately involved with ongoing efforts to retroactively validate a series of salacious and unverified memos published by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent, and Fusion GPS."

In short, Jones is working with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to continue their investigation into Donald Trump, using a $50 million war chest just revealed by the House Intel Committee report.

Daniel J. Jones

In a bizarre twist Waldman, the lobbyist, notably represents Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, head of Russian aluminum giant Rusal and who was the target of Trump's recent sanctions, as well as Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. He met with Jones on March 16, 2017 according to the Daily Caller

Jones, meanwhile, runs the Penn Quarter Group - a "research and investigative advisory" firm whose website was registered in April of 2016, days before Steele delivered his first in a series of Trump-Russia memos to Fusion GPS. Jones also began tweeting out articles suggesting illicit ties between the Trump campaign and Russia as early as 2017.

Steele's work during the 2016 election culminated in the salacious and unverified 35-page "Steele dossier" used to obtain a FISA warrant against then-President Trump (which, as we reported on Friday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaked the details to CNN's Jake Tapper prior to the seemingly coordinated publication by BuzzFeed).

The recently released House Intel Report notes that in March 2017, Jones told the FBI that he was working with Steele and Fusion GPS, with funding to the tune of $50 million.

“In late March 2017, Jones met with FBI regarding PQG, which he described as ‘exposing foreign influence in Western election,'” reads the House Intel report. “[Redacted] told FBI that PQG was being funded by 7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California, who provided approximately $50 million.”

“[Redacted] further stated that PQG had secured the services of Steele, his associate [redacted], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election,” reads the report, which adds that Jones “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers…and with the press.”

As the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross notes, Jones "also offered to provide PQG's entire holdings to the FBI" according to the report, citing a "FD-302" transcript of the interview he gave to the FBI.

Of note, during Congressional testimony last year when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, if he was still being paid for work related to the dossier, Simpson refused to answer. And while the dossier came under fire for "salacious and unverified" claims, a January 8 New York Times profile of Glenn Simpson confirmed that dossier-related work continues.

Sean Davis of The Federalist reported in February that Jones' name was mentioned in a list of individuals from a January 25 Congressional letter from Senators Grassley and Graham to various Democratic party leaders who were likely involved in Fusion GPS's 2016 efforts. The letter sought all communications between the Democrats and a list of 40 individuals or entities, of which Jones is one.

Some of those communications - at least according to the encrypted text messages between Warner and Waldman, (and leaked to Fox News), discuss efforts by Warner to secure a testimony from Steele.

“I spoke w Steele,” Waldman wrote on April 25, 2017. “He repeated the same position which is that he wants to be helpful but is fearful of the triumvirate of cost, time suck and reputation.”

“He asked me what your concern was about a letter first and I explained it but he would still like as a first protective step from you and [Sen. Richard] Burr asking him and his partner to assist w the investigation by answering questions,” Waldman added“He [Steele] said he will also speak w Dan Jones whom he says is talking to you.”

“I pointed out there is no privilege in that discussion although Dan [Jones] is a good guy and very trustworthy guy. I encouraged him again to engage with you for the sake of the truth and of vindication of the dossier,” he wrote.  -Adam Waldman to Mark Warner

Meanwhile, Federal disclosures required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act show that Waldman collected nearly $1.1 million from Deripaska in 2016 an2017. Some questions:

  • Why would Waldman, a Russian oligarch's foreign agent, be the official cutout for both a U.S. senator and Christopher Steele?  
  • Why would he recommend Daniel Jones - a former top Feinstein aide who worked for the FBI - as a point of contact and an information broker?

And now Jones has a $50 million war chest - from a group of mysterious "7 to 10" donors - to continue the grande Trump-Russia witch hunt with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS - coordinated in part by a guy (Waldman) who represents Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Seems somewhat collusive, no?

Published:4/28/2018 1:19:18 PM
[Politics] What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

Good news this week — including an historic meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea — countered the drone of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of purported Trump campaign collusion with Russia and the dirge of former FBI Director James Comey over his waning career.

Published:4/28/2018 7:17:37 AM
[Issues] FBI Delays Release of Communications With Firm That Examined DNC Servers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has pushed back the estimated completion date of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to its communications with the security firm that examined the Democratic National Committee's hacked servers to October.

The post FBI Delays Release of Communications With Firm That Examined DNC Servers appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/28/2018 4:46:39 AM
[Crime] Is Comey Guilty of Any Crimes?

Dueling arguments from Fox News this week on whether or not former FBI Director James Comey is GUILTY of any actual crimes. President Trump is almost certain that Comey is a criminal, guilty of something, he’s just not 100% certain what it is. President Trump: Comey leaked. And by the way also what he did ...

The post Is Comey Guilty of Any Crimes? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:4/27/2018 11:06:09 PM
[Politics] Corey Lewandowski Rips Comey Over 'Leaker' Comments Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Friday slammed former FBI Director James Comey's denials that he was a leaker for providing information about a meeting he had with President Donald Trump to a Columbia University law professor who later gave it to the news... Published:4/27/2018 4:47:48 PM
[Uncategorized] Court appoints Special Master to screen Michael Cohen files seized by Feds Retired Judge Barbara Jones will review files for privilege, not a DOJ/FBI 'taint team' Published:4/27/2018 4:14:19 PM
[Russia investigation] James Clapper: Leaker & liar (Scott Johnson) Among the first revelations extracted from the House Intelligence Committee report — this by Sean Davis at the Federalist — is that former Director of National Intelligence “James Clapper lied about dossier leaks to CNN.” It is a revelation that fits perfectly with former FBI Director James Comey’s discussion of his limited briefing of then President-elect Trump on the “salacious and unverified” Steele Dossier. Davis cites Mollie Hemingway’s shrewd reading Published:4/27/2018 3:13:42 PM
[Markets] Clapper Busted Leaking Dossier Details To CNN's Jake Tapper, Lying To Congress About It

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) turned CNN commentator James Clapper not only leaked information related to the infamous "Steele dossier" to CNN's Jake Tapper while Clapper was in office - it appears he also lied about it to Congress, under oath.

Clapper was one of the "two national security officials" cited in CNN's report -published minutes after Buzzfeed released the full Steele dossier.

The revelation that Clapper was responsible for leaking details of both the dossier and briefings to two presidents on the matter is significant, because former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey wrote in one of four memos that he leaked that the briefing of Trump on salacious and unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.” -The Federalist

So Comey said that Trump needed to be briefed on the Dossier's allegations since CNN "had them" - because James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence at the time, provided that information to the same network he now works for.

And who's idea was it to brief Trump on the dossier? JAMES CLAPPER - according to former FBI Director James Comey's memos: 

“I said there was something that Clapper wanted me to speak to the [president-elect] about alone or in a very small group,” Comey wrote. 

The revelations detailing Clapper's leak to CNN can be found in a 253-page report by the House Intelligence Committee majority released on Friday - which also found "no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government."

As Sean Davis of The Federalist bluntly states: "Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later."

From Clapper's Congressional testimony: 

MR. ROONEY: Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?

MR. CLAPPER: No.

Clapper later changed his tune after he was confronted about his communications with Tapper: 

“Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic,” the report reads. “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the ICA,” or intelligence community assessment. 

The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross notes that Clapper also denied speaking to the media in a March conversation with CNN's Don Lemon. 

And let's not forget, Jake Tapper has been participating in the lie.

Indeed it is Don - as The Federalist's Mollie Hemmingway wrote in January - Comey's account of Trump's briefing on the dossier suggested that it was a setup from the beginning - and that it was only done in order to legitimize the story and justify leaking the unverified and salacious details to journalists.

Let's bring it home with Mollie Hemmingway's summary from January which hits the nail on the head: 

So Comey, at Clapper’s expressed behest, told Trump that CNN was “looking for a news hook” to publish dossier allegations. He said this in the briefing of Trump that almost immediately leaked to CNN, which provided them the very news hook they sought and needed.

This briefing, and the leaking of it, legitimized the dossier, which touched off the Russia hysteria. That hysteria led to a full-fledged media freakout. During the freakout, Comey deliberately refused to say in public what he acknowledged repeatedly in private — that the President of the United States was not under investigation. He even noted in his memos that he told the president at least three times that he was not under investigation. Comey’s refusal to admit publicly what he kept telling people privately led to his firing. -The Federalist

We look forward to James Clapper talking his way out of this on CNN during carefully scripted conversations with fellow talking heads.

Published:4/27/2018 1:13:19 PM
[Law] DOJ Gives Congress Missing Strzok-Page Text Messages

The Justice Department on Thursday gave Congress five months worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page—two FBI officials involved in the... Read More

The post DOJ Gives Congress Missing Strzok-Page Text Messages appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/27/2018 12:42:52 PM
[Media] Here to chew gum and kick BUTT (he’s almost outta gum)! Brit Hume REKT Comey and his dossier lie

As Twitchy reported, last night Bret Baier had an EXCEPTIONAL interview with James Comey where he really held the former FBI director’s feet to the fire, especially when Comey said he didn’t know who paid for the Steele dossier. Brit Hume offered up this ‘assist’ on Twitter: Comey’s claims to @BretBaier that A: he didn’t […]

The post Here to chew gum and kick BUTT (he’s almost outta gum)! Brit Hume REKT Comey and his dossier lie appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:4/27/2018 11:42:22 AM
[World] Trey Gowdy: James Comey Has a Different Definition of 'Leak' Than Anybody Else

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said former FBI Director James Comey has a different definition of a "leak" than anyone else.

Published:4/27/2018 9:42:32 AM
[Markets] In Explosive Interview Comey Grilled Over Memos, FBI Bias And Steele Dossier

Fox News host Bret Baier and James Comey sat down for a one-on-one interview Thursday night, in perhaps the most serious and direct conversations with the former FBI Director to date.

Baier held Comey's feet to the fire on a wide variety of controversial topics - including the FBI's decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton before interviewing her, what Comey knew about the "Steele Dossier" used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign aide, and the memos Comey leaked to his friend which he hoped would lead to a special counsel investigation. 

Clinton Exoneration

After starting the interview off with a joke about how Comey must find it "a little tougher to get around town without a motorcade," Baier pulled no punches - launching straight into asking the former FBI Director if it was true that his team decided to exonerate Hillary Clinton before interviewing her

In response, Comey said that because of all the prior investigative work the FBI had done on the Clinton email case, investigators said "it looks like it's not going to get to a place where the prosecutors will bring it," and that it's "fairly typical" for white collar investigations to save interviews for last. 

Comey: I started to see that their view was, it was unlikely to end in a case that the prosecutors at DOJ would bring

Baier: Before the interview?

Sure, yeah, because they had spent ten months digging around, reading all of the emails, putting everything together, interviewing everybody who set up her system. They weren't certain of that result, but they said "Look boss, on the current course and speed, looks like it's not going to get to a place where the prosecutor will bring it." 


 

Strzok and Page

On the topic of Peter Strzok - the anti-Trump counterintelligence agent deeply involved in both the Clinton and Trump investigations along with his FBI attorney mistress, Lisa Page, Comey said he never witnessed evidence of bias working with the pair, but that he was "deeply disappointed" when he saw some of the text messages exchanged between them. 

“I can tell you this: When I saw the texts, I was deeply disappointed in them,” Comey told Baier. “But I never saw any bias, any reflection of any kind of animus towards anybody, including me. I’m sure I’m badmouthed in those texts, I’m just not going to read them all. Never saw it.”

Comey said that if he had been aware of the level of hatred Strzok and Page had for Trump, he "would have removed both of them from any contact with significant investigations." 

The "leaked" memos

When it comes to the leaked memos that kickstarted the Mueller probe, Comey maintains that the memos he created to document his interactions with President Trump, seven in all and four of which have been deemed classified; two marked "confidential" and two marked "secret." 

Comey also admitted that he leaked the memos to two other people who he said were members of his "legal team," including David Kelly and former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. 

“I gave the memos to my legal team after I gave them to Dan Richman -- after I asked him to get it out to the media,” said Comey, who likened the memos to his "diaries." 

I didn't consider it part of an FBI file... It was my personal aide-memoire,” Comey said, adding "I always thought of it as mine, like a diary"

Trump "just wrong" 

Responding to a Fox & Friends interview in which President Trump said "Comey is a leaker and he's a liar. He's been leaking for years," the former FBI Director responded "He's just wrong. Facts really do matter." Comey then claimed that because the FBI approved the inclusion of the memos in his book, A Higher Loyalty, they are therefore not classified. 

Byron York of the Washington Examiner provides an excellent breakdown of Comey's semantic absurdity here

The "Steele Dossier" and who paid for it

Baier asked Comey why the FBI used the Steele Dossier compiled by former UK spy Christopher Steele to obtain a FISA warrant on a Trump campaign aide if it was "salacious," to which Comey replied that the dossier was part of a "broader mosaic of facts" used to support the application. 

And when it comes to who funded the dossier used in the FISA application, Comey claims he still has no idea whether Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded it.  

When did you learn that the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign had funded Christopher Steele’s work?” Baier asked.

Yeah I still don’t know that for a fact,” Comey responded.

“What do you mean?” Baier replied.

I’ve only seen it in the media, I never knew exactly which Democrats had funded,” Comey explained, “I knew it was funded first by Republicans.”

Baier quickly corrected Comey, noting that while conservative website Free Beacon had Fusion GPS on "a kind of retainer," they "did not fund the Christopher Steele memo or the dossier," adding "That was initiated by Democrats." 

On Friday morning, in response to the interview, Trump blasted Comey again in a tweet:

"Is everybody believing what is going on. James Comey can’t define what a leak is. He illegally leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION but doesn’t understand what he did or how serious it is. He lied all over the place to cover it up. He’s either very sick or very dumb. Remember sailor!"

Full Interview Below

Brett Baier's Take and other reactions:

Published:4/27/2018 9:42:31 AM
[James Comey] Tangled up in Comey, FNC edition (Scott Johnson) Former FBI Director James Comey appeared on the FOX News Special Report with Bret Baier for an interview that spread over two segments last night. The first segment ran 19 minutes. It is embedded below. The second segment ran seven minutes. It is embedded below. Baier was prepared and produced several highlights in the course of the two segments. I was disappointed that he broke so little new ground with Published:4/27/2018 8:11:55 AM
[Politics] DeSantis: Comey's Claims on Dossier Funding 'Really, Really Crazy' Former FBI Director James Comey's claims that Republicans funded the salacious Russian document against President Donald Trump are "really, really crazy," Rep. Ron DeSantis said Friday. "It's really really crazy to hear him try to say that Republicans funded Christopher... Published:4/27/2018 7:41:38 AM
[Politics] More Voters Want a Special Prosecutor to Investigate FBI

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation wears on and former FBI Director James Comey’s book drops more inside information about the 2016 election, more voters now think a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigate the FBI.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigation of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in a legal and unbiased fashion, up from 49% who said the same in January. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, but a sizable 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 22-23, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:4/27/2018 7:41:35 AM
[Politics] Trump: Comey 'Very Sick or Very Dumb' President Donald Trump slammed former FBI director James Comey in a Friday morning tweet. Comey is "either very sick or very dumb," Trump tweeted. Published:4/27/2018 7:12:07 AM
[Politics] Report: Released JFK Docs Reveal Oswald's 'KGB Handler' The "KGB handler" of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was revealed in one of the 19,045 CIA and FBI documents on President John F. Kennedy's Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, McClatchy reported. Published:4/26/2018 10:09:05 PM
[Markets] FBI Investigates Joy Reid Homophobic Blog Posts As Daily Beast Suspends Column

The FBI has opened an investigation into Joy Reid's claims that some dozens of homophobic comments published to a now-defunct blog were actually "fabricated" by someone who either hacked into the "Wayback Machine"internet archive, or accessed her website before the controversial comments were archived.   

“In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology,” Reid said in a statement to Mediaite.

I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach. The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago."

Reid’s lawyer, John H. Reichman, said the FBI is looking into the claims.

“We have received confirmation the FBI has opened an investigation into potential criminal activities surrounding several online accounts, including personal email and blog accounts, belonging to Joy-Ann Reid,” he said in a statement through MSNBC.

Many of the offensive posts can be seen by clicking on the below tweet and reading the 48-part tweetstorm by user Jamie Maz, documenting Reid's comments. 

After Reid's claims that the Wayback Machine had been hacked, the internet archive hit back - claiming they hadn't identified anything "to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine" versions of Reid's blog.

This past December, Reid’s lawyers contacted us, asking to have archives of the blog (blog.reidreport.com) taken down, stating that “fraudulent” posts were “inserted into legitimate content” in our archives of the blog. Her attorneys stated that they didn’t know if the alleged insertion happened on the original site or with our archives (the point at which the manipulation is to have occurred, according to Reid, is still unclear to us).

When we reviewed the archives, we found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions. At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities. -Internet Archive

Given the fact that copies of the homophobic posts in question were archived by the Wayback Machine less than a month after they were published in some cases, means that if the Wayback machine wasn't hacked, the "unknown, external party" would have needed to manipulate Reid's entry within six weeks of its original publication in order to be included in the internet archive. Then, this malicious actor said nothing for over a decade before they were unearthed last December.

Oh Joy...

In an effort to suggest that the site just had to have been hacked, Reid's cybersecurity expert, Jonathan Nichols, said that credentials were available for The Reid Report as recently as five months ago. Which still wouldn't explain how copies archived in 2007 contain the bigoted language

Late Tuesday, Reid’s cybersecurity expert, Jonathan Nichols, said in a statement provided to the Daily News that login information to The Reid Report “was available on the Dark Web” five months ago. He also said that the screenshots of the blog had been manipulated “with the intent to tarnish Ms. Reid's character.” -NY Daily News

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast has suspended Reid as a contributor over the controversy, and it doesn't look like they're buying the hacker excuse. 

We’re going to hit pause on Reid’s columns,” said Shachtman in an email reviewed by TheWrap. “As you’re well aware, support for LGBTQ rights and respect for human dignity are core to Daily Beast. So we’re taking seriously the new allegations that one of our columnists, Joy Reid, previously wrote homophobic blog posts during her stint as a radio host.”

Obviously, this is a difficult situation,” Shachtman added. “We’ve all said and done things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done. We deserve the room to grow beyond our past. But these allegations are serious enough that they deserve a full examination”

As Tucker Carlson noted, all Reid had to do was say that her views had changed and she was a different person a decade ago - but nope, "it wasn't me" is the road she's on now. Good luck.

Published:4/26/2018 9:39:36 PM
[World] David Limbaugh Blasts James Comey Interview and Donald Trump Liar Claims

'He's Just Wrong': Comey Pushes Back on Trump Claims He Was a 'Leaker & Liar'

LOOK: Anti-NRA and Anti-GOP Signs Displayed at Philadelphia Elementary School


Author and attorney David Limbaugh ripped former FBI Director James Comey and what he called inequitable coverage of the Trump-Russia probe and allegations against Hillary Clinton.

Published:4/26/2018 9:09:24 PM
[Media] ‘Stunning’: James Comey tells Bret Baier he still doesn’t know for a fact who paid for the Steele dossier

For someone who was FBI director, James Comey seems not to have been curious about much.

The post ‘Stunning’: James Comey tells Bret Baier he still doesn’t know for a fact who paid for the Steele dossier appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:4/26/2018 7:38:23 PM
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