Archive for the ‘John Ratcliffe’ Category

Just 2 months ago, I didn’t know who Bill Taylor was. Now I know that he’s another career diplomat who doesn’t like it that President Trump is implementing the foreign policy that the American people elected him to implement. Tuesday, Taylor testified that “President Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate both election interference and a company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son — and was willing to hold up military aid and a White House meeting to get a public announcement from the country that the probes were underway.”

Even if that’s true, that’s still a nothingburger. Unfortunately for Taylor, there was a man of integrity in the room during Taylor’s testimony. That man’s name is John Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe is a former US attorney who now represents TX-04. Tonight, Ratcliffe appeared on The Story to be interviewed by Martha McCallum. After Ratcliffe said that he couldn’t repeat what he said in the secret room, Ratcliffe figured out a legal way to say what happened during his cross-examination of Taylor. Here’s the video of that interview:

Predictably, Democrats described today’s testimony as “the most damning they’ve heard.” Ratcliffe had a different perspective. First, though, is part of what Taylor testified to:

“I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation. This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on the investigations.”

In this instance, Taylor’s testimony was third-hand information at best. Third-hand testimony heard behind closed doors and which doesn’t come with a transcript of Congressman Ratcliffe’s cross-examination is virtually worthless.

Congressman Ratcliffe noted that “At the end of the day, this was about quid pro quo and whether the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld and on that most important issue, neither this witness nor any other witness has provided any evidence that there was a quid pro quo, any evidence that the Ukrainians were aware that any military aid was being withheld on July 25th. Unless and until they can bring in a witness who is willing to say that there was knowledge by someone who speaks Ukrainian to that fact, a legal quid pro quo is impossible.”

Ratcliffe also noted that “[Schiff] keeps trotting in career ambassadors who are alarmed at Donald Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign policy. Who’s surprised at that? And again, today, I found Ambassador Taylor to be very forthright. He had very strong opinions about Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy, but again, the MSM keeps reporting that he provided evidence of a quid pro quo involving military aid is false. I questioned him on that and, under Adam Schiff’s rules, I can’t tell you what he said but I can tell you what he didn’t say. And he nor any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You have a quid pro quo without the quo.”

Ratcliffe’s final major contribution of the interview came when he said this:

Martha, if this was a court case, the lawyers for the defense would be moving for a directed verdict. They’d be saying ‘this case isn’t allowed to go to a jury because the prosecution is missing an essential element of their case.’ There is no quid pro quo until someone from the Ukraine says ‘We knew that military aid was being withheld during that July 25th call and that testimony hasn’t come and it isn’t going to come.”

This impeachment case is collapsing, albeit behind closed doors. It isn’t just that the case is weak. It’s that the Senate is about to vote on Lindsey Graham’s resolution that essentially says that the House process has been a travesty:

Sen. Graham is right in pushing that the impeachment trial be dismissed without a trial if the Democrats’ Impeachment Chairman, aka Adam Schiff, isn’t willing to afford to President Trump the same rights that were granted to President Nixon and President Clinton. The House Democrats’ impeachment process is a travesty. It shouldn’t be treated like it was an honest investigation based on constitutional rights.

John Ratcliffe is quickly becoming one of my favorite Republicans because he’s skilled at cutting through the Democrats’ subterfuge. I just watched Rep. Ratcliffe demolish the Democrats’ impeachment charade. While questioning Acting Secretary McGuire, Rep. Ratcliffe highlighted the fact that the so-called whistleblower didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskiy of Ukraine. Further, Ratcliffe pointed out that the whistleblower got his/her information from media articles. That caused Ratcliffe to say that this was “Russia 2.0”.

The transcript was made public yesterday. The whistleblower’s complaint was made public (with redactions) this morning. Ratcliffe highlighted the fact that the Democrats preferred the information from a document whose information was, at best, secondhand and perhaps thirdhand over the transcription of the actual phone call.

It’s worth noting that this tells me that the whistleblower will get crucified if that person testifies to Congress. If the whistleblower doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of President Trump’s phone call, why should that be considered credible? Ratcliffe highlighted that the whistleblower’s worries came from articles in Politico, NYTimes, Washington Post and other media outlets.

As bad as some of those articles might’ve been in terms of accuracy, they pale in comparison with Chairman Schiff’s opening statement:

Chairman Schiff rearranged some paragraphs from the transcript to make it sound nefarious. Apparently, it didn’t dawn on Chairman Schiff that reading things in the order they were written is required to understand what the people intended to convey. Shortly thereafter, Ranking Member Nunes delivered his opening statement. Notice how he mocks Chairman Schiff:

The whistleblower’s complaint contains some things that destroy the Democrats’ credibility. For instance, it says “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple Government officials that President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign government in the 2020 U.S. election.” In other words, it’s entirely possible that this whistleblower might’ve gotten their information from deep state operatives who hate President Trump. That isn’t a verified statement but it’s entirely possible.

Earlier, I mentioned John Ratcliffe’s questioning of Secretary McGuire. Now, I have the videotape of his questioning. Right at the opening of Rep. Ratcliffe’s questioning, Rep. Ratcliffe starts with something very disturbing:

That’s pretty stunning. The whistleblower first accuses Rudy Giuliani of conspiring with Bill Barr to rig the 2020 election. Later, in a footnote, the whistleblower admits that they aren’t certain to what extent either Giuliani or Barr was ever involved. That’s kind of a big point to be uncertain about if you’re interested in journalistic integrity. If you’re just worried about impeaching President Trump regardless of whether the evidence supports it, which appears to be the Democrats’ goal, then it isn’t that important.

Final prediction: Apolitical people will side with Republicans on this issue. Hyper-partisans will side with Democrats. Since there are more people whose lives don’t revolve around politics, it’s likely that this issue favors Republicans politically.

Anyone that watched this afternoon’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that featured former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski as the Committee’s star witness saw Democrats that were frustrated. Those same Democrats were mockingly called “the Party of Impeachment” by Congressman Ratcliffe, (R-TX). By any stretch of the imagination, today’s hearing was a wretched sight.

If I was running the NRCC’s campaign, and I’m not (Tom Emmer is running things), I’d simply have candidates watch Jerry Nadler’s questioning of Mr. Lewandowski. Either that I’d have them watch the 3 Stooges, although the 3 Stooges weren’t as discombobulated as Chairman Nadler. Chairman Nadler wasn’t just bewildered during his questioning of Mr. Lewandowski. He was frustrated, too. Watch this videoclip and ask yourself if Chairman Nadler looks composed or agitated:

To me, Chairman Nadler looked extremely frustrated. He didn’t look composed whatsoever. Then compare that with how composed Rep. John Ratcliffe looks while questioning Mr. Lewandowski:

Doug Collins’ needling of Chairman Nadler might be my favorite part of the hearing:

The best part came when Collins said “I’ve never seen a majority so interested in packaging in all my life. You know why? Because they can’t sell what’s inside. They can’t sell the product so they just keep packaging it differently. You like having the press here. You like having the cameras because it makes it look like something’s happening but it’s not.”

Collins continued, saying “The American people are starting to get it. They’re starting to get it that if you’re just howling at the wind, you’re not doing anything.”

Later, Lewandowski got under Hakeem Jeffries’ skin:

Lewandowski later declined to play along with certain questions. New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries asked Lewandowski if he was Trump’s “hitman, the bag man, the lookout, or all of the above?” “I think I’m the good looking man, actually,” Lewandowski replied.

Honestly, today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing exposed how incompetent Democrats are. If a back-bencher like Jerry Nadler is a committee chairman, that’s proof positive that Democrats aren’t worthy of holding gavels. Democrats were so bad that MSNBC and CNN criticized Committee Democrats:

NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian suggested to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi that Democratic lawmakers were primarily focused on “getting their moment on television” than getting the facts from their witness.

Then there’s this:

Politico reporter and MSNBC analyst Jake Sherman questioned why Lewandowski’s involvement in the Mueller report “wasn’t the focus” of the hearing. “At the end of the day, Democrats are going to have to leave this hearing and say, ‘What did we accomplish today and did it bring us closer to X?’ They don’t know what ‘X’ is,” Sherman told the panel.

“They don’t know what they’re doing and at the end of this hearing, I suspect… that they feel like Trump has changed the rules so much that he’s impervious to all of this. He’s not afraid of impeachment… so they’re just kind of coasting along and doing their thing.”

Holding a gavel is a prestigious accomplishment. I didn’t see a single Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee that I thought was qualified to chair a committee. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee got trolled. These Democrats sit on one of the most prestigious, historic committees in history. This is the committee that started the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon. Rather than looking the part, Corey Lewandowski trolled Eric Swalwell:

Lewandowski appeared to mock California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell’s unsuccessful bid for the White House earlier this year, calling him “President Swalwell” at one point during questioning.

These Democrats aren’t ready for primetime. I’m not certain that they’re up to a part on Keystone Cops. I am certain that they’re best suited to back-benchers in the minority party in the House.

Anyone that thinks that Juan Williams isn’t living in a fantasy world just needs to read this article. The article is ostensibly about President Trump firing Dan Coats as his DNI, then appointing Rep. John Ratcliffe, (R-TX), to replace Coats full-time.

Williams takes Umbridge with the decision, saying “Coats fell out of favor with Trump for publicly confirming Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Trump appointee also raised eyebrows at a conference when he revealed Trump failed to consult with him before extending an invitation to the White House to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

How dare the President invite a foreign head of state to the White House without first getting Dan Coats’ approval! Who does President Trump think he is, going over Dan Coats’ head?

Next, Williams expresses his indignation over this:

Trump will nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to fill the role. Ratcliffe is a pure political player. He is a direct threat to the nonpartisan reputation of America’s intelligence agencies and to their ability to protect the country by producing unbiased, first-rate information.

Notice that Williams didn’t mention that Ratcliffe is evidence-based because he’s a former US attorney and a damn good one at that. That’s irrelevant to Williams when he has the opportunity to unfairly criticize a nominee.

Further, what planet is Williams living on? He thinks “America’s intelligence agencies” haven’t been politicized? Seriously? Has he ever heard of people like Jim Clapper, Jim Comey, Andy McCabe, Peter Strzok and John Brennan? Or is Williams stupid enough to think that they aren’t political hacks?

Later, Williams wrote that Ratcliffe “auditioned for the role last week, when he subjected Robert Mueller to harsh questioning when the former special counsel appeared before Congress.” Here’s Ratcliffe’s questioning:

The Mueller Report is a one-sided report. Further, Mueller’s report ignored Special Counsel guidelines while writing Volume II. If that’s treating Mueller harshly, it’s because he deserved it. Mueller wrote an impeachment op-ed instead of writing a confidential report outlining the indictments and declinations of the Mueller team.

What wooden stakes are to vampires, the Mueller hearings, especially the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing, is to impeachment. When John Ratcliffe asked Special Counsel Mueller what other person (besides President Trump) had the burden of proving themselves innocent, Mueller replied that nobody has had that burden imposed on them. Rep. Ratcliffe asked that in reference to Andrew Weissmann’s statement that, while they didn’t indict President Trump, they didn’t exonerate him, either.

Each time Special Counsel Mueller couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer key questions about Weissmann’s investigation, a little impeachment momentum disappeared into the ether. Once it’s gone, it isn’t returning. While Speaker Pelosi tries propping up her chairmen, she knows that impeachment is dead. She can put tons of perfume on that pig, it’s still just a pig. Here’s how Pelosi tried propping up Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler:

“The American people now realize more fully the crimes that were committed against our Constitution,” Pelosi said in the Capitol of Mueller’s testimony. “It is a crossing of a threshold in terms of the public awareness of what happened,” she later said during a news conference following Mueller’s testimony.

With little due respect to the Botox lady by the Bay, the hearings had the same effect on articles of impeachment that cold water has on campfires. If you want to watch Ms. Pelosi’s nauseating press conference, you can watch it here:

It’s easy to pile on Robert Mueller this morning. I’ve already done that in other posts so I won’t continue with that. That being said, the real villains in this travesty are the activists in the Resist Movement, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and other Democrats, Rod Rosenstein (who never should’ve offered Mueller the position), the FBI lovebirds (Strzok and Page), Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissman and Jim Comey.

Without these disgusting people, there wouldn’t have been a special counsel appointment. But I digress. Another thing that needs to be highlighted is the discipline that Republican members of the Judiciary and Intel committees showed yesterday. They shined like I’ve never seen them shine before.

Usually, politicians participating in high profile hearings specialize in grandstanding. That didn’t happen Wednesday. Each member focused like a laser on a specific topic in their attempt to elicit new information. That’s the new model that Republicans should adopt for high profile hearings from now on.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler also said his committee would go to court Thursday to seek access to grand jury material in the Mueller report and to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn to try to get him to testify. “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people. With those facts we can proceed,” Nadler said — although he, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.

Stick a wooden stake in that impeachment vampire. It’s dead. CPR won’t resuscitate this patient, either. Fill our the toe tag for impeachment. Unless Democrats want to lose the House again in a landslide.

Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated testimony is turning into a total disaster for Democrats. Drudge’s headline screams the reality:

Underneath the picture read the headline “Dazed and Confused.” That’s perhaps a little gentle. Here’s what Grabien wrote on Mueller’s testimony:

Mueller, who is often celebrated in the media for laser-like thinking, had to ask lawmakers to regularly repeat their questions, seemingly struggling to pay attention. At other points, Mueller got confused about whether the members of Congress were asking him questions or if they were reading from his own report. In just the first 90 minutes of the hearing, Mueller needed help understanding questions more than 10 times.

In one such exchange, Mueller — under questioning from Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) — asked: “And where are you reading from on that?” “I’m reading from my own question” the lawmaker reminded him. “Then can you repeat it?” Mueller asked, eliciting laughter from the audience.

In another painful episode, Mueller had to ask Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee three times to clarify and restate her question. Under questioning from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Mueller failed to follow a question that was merely 14 words long: “Attorney #2 in the Inspector General’s report and Strzok both worked on your team, didn’t they?” “Pardon me?” Mueller replied. After Gaetz restated his question, Mueller replied: “And the question was?”

Katie Pavlich touched on something that I think is significant:


It isn’t related but at the end of the House Intel Committee hearing, both John Ratcliff and Ranking Member Nunes simply thanked Mueller for his years of service and yielded back the balance of their times. It was like they knew they’d made their points and were resting their case. I think their instincts were exactly right.

The other thing that came through loud and clear was how authoritative Mueller didn’t sound. He repeatedly asked Republicans on the committees to ask the question again. At other times, he didn’t seem like he knew the contents of the report that bears his name. Clearly, he didn’t write this report.

If today is the last time he testifies on Capitol Hill, it will be a sad final chapter to his career.

Finally, the title I originally wrote said “Mueller’s testimony virtually ends impeachment.” As you can see, I’ve since deleted the word virtually. Democrats will keep investigating but that horse is as dead as our first 41 presidents.

At this point, it’s impossible to conclude that former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean likes Republicans. He’s made a living since a) getting disbarred for obstructing justice and b) pleading guilty for obstructing justice by writing books insisting that one scandal or another was “worse than Watergate.” This week, he was back on Capitol Hill with his dog and pony show (my apologies to dogs and ponies) to verify for Democrats that Russiagate (wait for it) is “worse than Watergate.”

I don’t have a problem with Dean making a living by serving up this BS. It’s his right, thanks to the First Amendment. What I have a problem with is Democrats pretending that he’s got any credibility left. Dean’s credibility died when he pled guilty of obstructing justice. If it didn’t die then, it likely died when he insisted that Iran-Contra (sorry to younger readers; if you don’t know what that is, google it) was — wait for it — worse than Watergate.

Rep. John Ratcliffe did a masterful job utterly demolishing Monday’s hearing:

Ouch! If that didn’t utterly demolish Dean’s credibility and Nadler’s credentials, then perhaps Brit Hume’s comments will:

On Fox News Monday night, Brit Hume said it was “amazing” that House Democrats had Dean testify, adding, “Who is going to be next for the House impeachment horde? [Deceased mobster] Whitey Bulger, perhaps?”

Actually, to add context to Brit’s commentary, he said that the first star witness the House Judiciary Committee Democrats called was Michael Cohen and that the next star witness the House Judiciary Committee Democrats called was John Dean. It should be noted that Dean pled guilty for obstructing justice during the Watergate cover-up, which he masterminded. Furthermore, Cohen is in prison after pleading guilty to the charge of lying to Congress.

That’s when Brit Hume said “Who is going to be next for the House impeachment horde? [Deceased mobster] Whitey Bulger, perhaps?” Either that or Democrats might host a séance to call on the ghost of Richard Nixon to testify that Russiagate is “worse than Watergate.”

To get serious, though, what’s happening in the Democrat majority in the House is a clown show. (Again, my apologies to clown shows.) It’s a spectacle. The Democrats start the week with the Dean clown show. Over the weekend, the Democrat Speaker of the House said she didn’t want Trump impeached. She wanted him thrown in prison. She said that without mentioning if President Trump had committed a crime. Then yesterday, Adam Schiff insisted that the discredited Steele gossip column otherwise referred to as the Steele Dossier was Gospel truth.

Democrats running these ‘investigations’ are making fools of themselves. Democrats passing bills in the House are passing things that aren’t popular with the American people and that don’t fix important problems. To summarize, Democrats are too focused on dead-end investigations and they’ve passed legislation that would take us back to the pathetic Obama-Biden economy.

Frankly, Democrats deserve to get stuck with John Dean. CNN does, too. May they rot in hell together.

When it comes to tormented logic, it’s difficult to find ‘logic’ more tormented than Jim Comey’s logic. Tuesday, Mr. Comey wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that sounded totally defensive.

In his op-ed, Mr. Comey wrote “The conspiracy theory makes no sense. The FBI wasn’t out to get Donald Trump. It also wasn’t out to get Hillary Clinton. It was out to do its best to investigate serious matters while walking through a vicious political minefield. But go ahead, investigate the investigators, if you must. When those investigations are over, they will find the work was done appropriately and focused only on discerning the truth of very serious allegations.”

Mr. Comey, you’re either a sanctimonious egotist or you’re too stupid to be the director of the FBI. It’s sad to think that someone this warped was once the director of the world’s premier law enforcement agency. Let’s get Trey Gowdy straighten him out on Mr. Comey’s allegations:

Democrats have started their whisper campaign, asking ‘what happens if they investigate this and it comes up empty? Will Republicans accept that outcome?’ That’s the definition of a whisper campaign. That won’t happen this time because serious people like Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe and Lindsey Graham have seen the documents that will be declassified.

That’s entirely different than Adam Schiff saying that he’d seen evidence that was “more than circumstantial”:

The truth is that nobody has seen this phantom evidence. The Mueller team of investigators and prosecutors didn’t find it. If they had, they would’ve prosecuted the people involved. That didn’t happen.

The truth is that Mssrs. Gowdy, Graham and Ratcliffe are honest people of integrity. Mr. Schiff is a political hack with a high security clearance.

Mr. Comey has written op-ed after op-ed, done townhalls, during which he’s said things that weren’t credible. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that he was trying to poison potential jurors with his antics and propaganda. Innocent people don’t act defense attorneys like Mr. Comey is doing. Mr. Comey is protesting too much.

Earlier tonight, President Trump “ordered U.S. intelligence officials to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into ‘surveillance activities’ directed at the president’s 2016 campaign.”

Let the finger-pointing begin. Comey, Clapper and Brennan are already attempting to incriminate each other. In the end, I suspect that they’ll each be ‘successful’, with each of them getting prosecuted and convicted or getting prosecuted and flipping on the other 2. Either way, the chances of this turning out well for that trio isn’t high.

Let’s get serious about this for a minute. Democrat spinmeisters point to the DOJ’s IG report and insist that it’s a comprehensive report on the origins of the faux investigation. It isn’t because it isn’t exhaustive. It can’t reach the places that the AG’s investigation can get to. First, the IG can’t call in people from all of the IC agencies. It’s limited by statute to the agency it’s assigned to.

Next, the IG can’t interview people who worked inside the DOJ but have since left. That means the IG can’t interview the central figures in the investigation. Specifically, it prohibits the IG from interviewing Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Strzok and Page. Ditto with Clapper and Brennan.

Trump also gave Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify information related to the investigation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. The notice comes as Barr is conducting a review of what he has described as “spying” on members of the Trump campaign during the investigation into Russian interference.

Sanders said Trump had directed the intelligence community to “quickly and fully” cooperate with the investigation at Barr’s own request. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” Sanders said.

This gives Attorney General Barr wide latitude to investigate the investigators. Last Sunday, Trey Gowdy made a rather interesting prediction during Maria Bartiromo’s show:

Considering the fact that Trey Gowdy a) has seen these documents and b) is one of the most honest people to ever serve in Congress, I’m betting that there’s some former employees of the FBI and the IC who should be exceptionally worried.

When it comes to legal matters, Trey Gowdy doesn’t mince words. He’s one of the most honest people to have recently served in Congress. If he says that someone is in legal jeopardy, bet on that person to start hiring attorneys. This afternoon, Mr. Gowdy stated that former CIA Director John Brennan was in hotter legal hot water than former FBI Director Jim Comey. It isn’t a secret that Jim Comey is in trouble. That’s what’s behind his constant blabfests on CNN and on speaking tours.

What’s known is that the FBI didn’t attempt to verify the Steele Dossier until after the election, which is well after Jim Comey attested to the FISA Court that it had been verified and that Christopher Steele was a trustworthy informant. Those aren’t accurate statements, which means, I suspect, that he’ll be one of the first people dragged before U.S. Attorney John Durham’s grand jury to get squeezed by Mr. Durham into turning state’s evidence against Brennan and other bad actors from the Obama administration. (Jim Clapper and Loretta Lynch pop to mind. Imagine that.)

“That’s a pretty easy thing to sort out, who insisted that the dossier or the unverified material from Chris Steele be included,” he said. “But … sometimes when you have two people, I can tell from you having been in the courtroom, sometimes when people are blaming each other, they are both right. It’s both of them. And I think it’s interesting Brennan and Comey right now, the only thing they seem to share is a hatred for Donald Trump. It’s going to be interesting if they begin to turn on one another. I’ve seen the document. I’m not going to describe it any more than that, Comey’s got a better argument than Brennan based on what I have seen.”

I wouldn’t want to be either of those gentlemen at this point. Yes, I use the term gentlemen loosely in that sentence. If I wasn’t such a gentleman, I’d probably call Comey, Clapper and Brennan losers. But I digress.

Even Rod Rosenstein is upset with Comey:

Here’s why Mr. Rosenstein is upset: