Archive for the ‘Investigative Reporters’ Category

John Solomon’s article goes a long ways towards explaining the difference between legitimate unmasking requests and illegitimate unmasking requests. By now, Washington, DC, is awash with the Democrats’ spin on why the Flynn unmasking wasn’t a big deal. It’s a new version of ‘no big deal, just keep moving.’ That isn’t the truth. This is a big deal.

For instance, Solomon explained that “If a Treasury official like Raskin or the U.N. ambassador requested the unmasking because they were trying to deal with a foreign official confused by U.S. policy during the transition, that likely would be deemed a lawful intelligence purpose. But if an official requested the information because they personally did not like the incoming Trump administration or wanted to thwart Flynn during the transition through leaking or other means, it could be deemed an act against a political adversary and a misuse of unmasking.”

According to this article, “The first request appears to have been made as part of a report on Nov. 30, 2016. Along with Biden, other Obama administration officials listed are Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.” That’s long before the Flynn-Kislyak call. The Flynn-Kislyak call happened in late December.

A final question for the investigators resides in the policy question about whether unmasking has become too easy to do and therefore infringes on Americans privacy, specifically the Constitution’s 4th Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. On that front, there are already troubling revelations. Power, whose name was invoked for hundreds of unmasking requests, testified to Congress she did not make most of those requests attributed to her. That suggests some dangerous looseness in the unmasking system.

The political people who requested these unmaskings haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt. They each have a history of dishonesty.

It’s worth noting that Solomon said that Flynn isn’t the only member of the Trump team that the Obama administration unmasked. I suspect that there’s a closet of shoes left to drop on this. It might not be an Imelda Marcos-sized shoe closet but it’s still a shoe closet.

John Solomon has worked overtime and then some to rip Adam Schiff’s mask off. So have Catherine Herridge, Sara Carter, Lee Smith, Gregg Jarrett, Kim Strassel, Mollie Hemmingway and Byron York. Solomon’s article highlights how utterly dishonest Adam Schiff is. Ditto with the upper echelon of the FBI. Strap yourself in. This isn’t a short ride.

The pursuit of the truth ended Thursday when the Justice Department formally asked a court to vacate Flynn’s conviction and end the criminal case, acknowledging the former general had indeed been cleared by FBI agents and that the bureau did not have a lawful purpose when it interviewed him in January 2017.

Attorney General William Barr put it more bluntly in an interview Thursday: “They kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, to lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”

According to Solomon’s reporting, the FBI didn’t have a reason to investigate Gen. Flynn:

3. Case closed memo. FBI agents wrote a memo to close the investigation of Flynn on Jan. 4, 2017, writing they found “no derogatory” evidence that Flynn committed a crime or posed a national security threat. FBI management then ordered the closure to be rescinded and pivoted toward trying lure Flynn into an interview. https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/fbi-found-no-derogatory-russia-evidence-flynn-planned

Corrupt FBI agent Peter Strzok allegedly ordered Crossfire Razor, the codename for the Flynn investigation, to stay open. Later, in a text to his lover, said this:

“Our utter incompetence actually helps us.”

It’s fair to ask how this relate to Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff knew that the FBI line office wanted to shut down Crossfire Razor. Most importantly, he knew that the officers had found “no derogatory” evidence against Flynn. They found that out before President Trump’s inauguration. That meant that there wasn’t a legitimate predicate for the Flynn investigation. Solomon laid out his case in this interview:

Schiff is a sociopath. Solomon cites 10 different statements Schiff made in public that were contradicted by what was known by the intelligence community. This is disgusting:

Unequal treatment. James Comey bragged in a videotaped interview that he authorized the FBI to try to conduct a Flynn interview without the proper notifications and protocol, hoping to catch Flynn and the new Trump White House off guard. In other words, they didn’t follow procedure or treat Flynn like others when it came to due process. Comey said the tactic was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration.” https://www.foxnews.com/politics/comey-admits-decision-to-send-fbi-agents-to-interview-mike-flynn-was-not-standard

Comey and Schiff are the most reprehensible figures in this disgusting episode. They’re both narcissists and sociopaths.

Apparently, Adam Schiff is in panic mode now that transcripts of the House Intel Committee are about to be released. What’s supposedly getting under Schiff’s skin is that he’s about to be exposed:

Another source familiar with the transcripts told Fox News that the people interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe were asked whether they had evidence that Trump, himself, or the Trump campaign conspired, colluded or coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election.

Two sources familiar with the transcripts told Fox News that not one of the 53 witnesses could provide evidence of collusion. “The transcripts show a total lack of evidence, despite Schiff personally going out saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion,” one source involved in House Russia investigations told Fox News.

Mueller, similarly, at the conclusion of his nearly two-year-long investigation, said he and his team found no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice, which current Attorney General Bill Barr ultimately decided not to pursue.

Then there’s this:

While law enforcement officials have long maintained that there was clear intelligence Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, to date, there have been no charges concerning actual conspiracy against people associated with the Trump campaign, which was at the core of the Russia investigation.

There isn’t any dispute that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The question was whether people from the Trump campaign assisted in that meddling. It isn’t that Mueller couldn’t find enough evidence to recommend impeachment of President Trump. It’s that the official Mueller Report didn’t find any evidence that anyone in the United States worked with the Russians.

This should make Schiff nervous:

This won’t help Schiff’s credibility, either:

“According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft,” Schiff declared at a March 20, 2017 House Intelligence Committee hearing.

“Sechin is reported to be a former KGB agent and close friend of Putin’s. According to Steele’s Russian sources, Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company,” the California Democrat added.

Later, Schiff added this:

For instance, Schiff claimed this about the Steele dossier in a Nov. 15, 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal: “The bigger factor is how much of it can you corroborate and how much of it is true. A lot of it has turned out to be true.”

Adam Schiff is a guttersnipe and a Democrat partisan hack. If Nancy Pelosi cared about integrity, which she doesn’t, she should’ve thrown Schiff out of the House.

There’s no question whether Joe Biden maintained a reputation for decades as a centrist. That reputation isn’t withstanding the pressure of his latest presidential campaign. Byron York’s article highlights how the Democrats’ presumptive nominee is transforming from a centrist into a leftist.

York’s first example is Biden’s years-long defense of President Obama’s deportation of illegal aliens. In his article, York wrote “Biden has defended the Obama administration’s record on deportations against those on the left who criticized President Barack Obama as the ‘deporter in chief.’ Then came last month’s Nevada caucuses. After ugly losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden was struggling for life in Nevada and trying to appeal to the Hispanic voters who made up a substantial portion of state Democrats. All of a sudden, Biden backtracked on the Obama deportations he used to defend. ‘There were too many,’ Biden told Univision’s Jorge Ramos. ‘I saw the pain in the eyes of so many people who saw their families being deported. I know what it’s like to lose family members. It was painful.'”

Biden’s immigration transformation didn’t stop there, though:

As the Nevada vote neared, Biden promised that if he became president he would not deport anyone, no one, under any circumstances, during his first 100 days in office. After that, Biden said he would deport only those who have committed felonies in the United States. Biden repeated the pledge at his recent debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, his last remaining rival for the nomination.

Think about that, people. A Biden administration promises to not faithfully execute this nation’s laws. In this debate, Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie gave the same answer on whether local communities should turn over illegal immigrants to their administration:

It doesn’t get much more leftist for a Democrat than that. Joe Biden got the reputation of Blue Collar Joe for standing with coal miners, construction workers and blue collar families. Blue Collar Joe doesn’t exist. Here’s proof:

Biden’s centrist-to-leftist transformation is complete.

Mollie Hemingway’s article highlights the threat posed by Chuck Schumer’s statement poses to the justices. First, it’s worth noting something that former US Attorney Guy Lewis told Harris Faulkner shortly after Schumer’s threats. Lewis said that US marshals were likely called into action minutes after Schumer’s threats. When Ms. Faulkner asked if this was speculation or whether it was fact, Lewis replied that that’s the procedure that’s been used in the past. He said that a dozen US marshals would be detailed to the justices, their wives and their kids for the next 6 months to protect them from violence.

Sol Wisenberg, a former assistant independent counsel on the Whitewater investigation, insists that Schumer’s statements are protected by the First Amendment. I disagree. What Schumer did was the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. This is what Schumer said, along with a discussion on Schumer’s threat:

With the things that Antifa and other thugs have done, with the exhortations made by Maxine Waters, with the Bernie Bro who shot Steve Scalise, why wouldn’t Sen. Schumer’s statement be treated as a threat?

These statements can’t be taken as idle chatter. That might’ve been fine 20 years ago but that isn’t the world we’re living in today. Sen. Schumer’s statement was a threat and he knows it. Since Ted Kennedy’s hate-filled diatribe against Judge Robert Bork, Democrats have thoroughly politicized the judicial confirmation process.

The justices that were nominated by Republican presidents got confirmed since then but they’ve been scrutinized unlike any justices in history. Democrats have made these confirmation hearings like Armageddon. Democrats understand that their ideas aren’t popular enough to win passage through the legislative process. That’s why they need an outcomes-based judiciary to implement their social agenda.

Justices that interpret laws through a constitutional lens won’t give Democrats the legislative victories that they’re looking for. More than any other reason, that’s why Sen. Schumer got the activists riled up with his threats.

Adam Schiff thought that he had another impeachment scandal within his grasp. Unfortunately for him, Nancy Pelosi won’t get rolled by AOC this time. Kim Strassel’s article highlights the silliness of the latest fiasco. Democrats of all persuasions criticized Bill Barr for politicizing the Roger Stone case. Virtually immediately, Pelosi and Schumer insisted that Barr resign and that an investigation be started. Richard Blumenthal demanded Barr’s resignation. From the campaign trail, Elizabeth Warren said that Barr should be impeached if Barr doesn’t resign.

Well.

Let’s get to the bottom of the situation. Thanks to Ms. Strassel, we know that she acted like the adult in charge rather than the infants whining for attention. (The infants are Schiff, Schumer, Pelosi, Warren and Blumenthal.) Rather than whining, Ms. Strassel called one of her contacts within the DOJ and asked some basic questions. Here’s what Ms. Strassel found out:

Justice sources tell me that interim U.S. Attorney Tim Shea had told the department’s leadership he and other career officials in the office felt the proposed sentence was excessive. As the deadline for the filing neared, the prosecutors on the case nonetheless threatened to withdraw from the case unless they got their demands for these stiffest of penalties. Mr. Shea—new to the job—suffered a moment of cowardice and submitted to this ultimatum. The filing took Justice Department leaders by surprise, and the decision to reverse was made well before Mr. Trump tweeted, and with no communication with the White House. The revised filing, meanwhile, had the signature of the acting supervisor of the office’s criminal division, who is a career civil servant, not a political appointee.

My first reaction is this: that’s it? My next reaction is similar. Democrats must really hate President Trump if they’re going to make this molehill into a mountain. Either that or they’re too stupid to run anything beyond a kid’s lemonade stand.

Ms. Strassel didn’t act like an infant. Instead, she asked some questions before insisting that Barr resign or be impeached. That’s what rational people do. They find out the facts first. Democrats (like Schiff, Pelosi and Schumer) insist that Barr resign. That’s immaturity personified.

Next, let’s factor in Andy McCarthy’s opinions on the Stone sentence:

The fact is, it was well within the legitimate power of the attorney general to countermand the Stone prosecutors’ submission to the court — i.e., to substitute a recommendation that the court impose a stiff but reasonable prison sentence on Stone, in place of the prosecutors’ suggestion of an excessive term.

More to the point, what we are witnessing in the media-Democrat commentariat is a manufactured controversy, reminiscent of their mau-mauing the president’s Ukraine indiscretion into an impeachable offense. Hence, the unhinged calls for Barr’s impeachment. The judge, not the Department of Justice (DOJ), will determine Stone’s sentence. The shrieking over DOJ’s Stone sentencing memos, topped by the theatrical resignation of the four prosecutors (who now want to be seen as stalwarts against politicized law enforcement after they conducted a patently politicized prosecution), is much ado about nothing.

This might’ve been a bigger deal if President Trump had interfered with an investigation, instead of with a sentencing. It isn’t like President Trump has the authority to overrule the jury without pardoning Stone. That’s something that’s done for all the world to see. The people would get to consider that when voting. That’s the ultimate check and balance.

It’s time for Adam Schiff to put his impeachment gavel down, take a deep breath, then go back to doing intelligence oversight like he’s supposed to do.

After reading this statement, I’d argue that it’s time for Republicans to go on the offensive against the Democrats’ corruption. Specifically, it’s time Senate Republicans exposed just how corrupt the Obama administration was.

The key part of the statement said “According to Andrii Telizhenko, a political officer in the Ukraine Embassy in Washington, D.C. who participated in a January 2016 meeting, ‘U.S. officials volunteered … that they had an interest in reviving a closed investigation into payments to U.S. figures from Ukraine’s Russia-backed Party of Regions,’ which refers to the investigation that involved Paul Manafort.” It doesn’t stop there. Here’s what it says when it continues:

“During that same meeting, U.S. officials also reportedly brought up investigations relating to Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company that had hired then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, to serve as a board member. According to Telizhenko, ‘U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over.”

Doesn’t that sound like “U.S. officials” saying that they planned on making the Burisma-Biden scandal disappear? What better way to make it disappear than to give it to Jim Comey’s FBI? Why did “U.S. officials” want to restart the Manafort investigation, too? Schiff said that the Ukraine election interference story had been debunked. With official WH records showing these meetings happened, that takes this from being a conspiracy theory to being investigation-worthy.

This isn’t surprising. Democrats, starting with Schiff, have said that the Biden fiasco has been debunked. They’ve never said who debunked the story or who conducted the investigation that exonerated Hunter. This will give the Democrats some indigestion:

According to Telizhenko:

[Chalupa] said the DNC wanted to collect evidence that Trump, his organization and Manafort were Russian assets, working to hurt the U.S. and working with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin against the U.S. interests. She indicated if we could find the evidence they would introduce it in Congress in September and try to build a case that Trump should be removed from the ballot, from the election.

Democrats pretend to care about Russian interference in our elections. Democrats did this while they cultivated foreign contacts with the goal of getting President Trump kicked off the ballot. Apparently, Democrats don’t want the American people to decide who their president is. Apparently, Democrats are happy to spread propaganda on hide the truth about their corrupt intentions with Ukraine through Ms. Chalupa.

The Democrats have 2 major difficulties staring right at them. The first difficulty is their unwillingness to fight for the witnesses that they now insist are essential to a fair trial. Why didn’t Mssrs. Schiff and Nadler file a lawsuit to compel John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney to testify?

Please don’t tell us that it would’ve taken too much time. That excuse is forever discredited thanks to Emperor Pelosi withholding the Articles of Impeachment for a month. Most likely, they didn’t file that lawsuit because they knew that the court would rule against them. The court likely would’ve ruled that both people were covered by executive privilege.

The other difficulty Democrats have is explaining why they haven’t released all of the depositions from the Impeachment Committee hearings. The only deposition that hasn’t been released is Michael Atkinson’s testimony. Atkinson is the ICIG. He’s the guy that gave us the whistleblower. He’s also under investigation, according to Devin Nunes.

The Democrats’ other crisis is their unwillingness to let any Republican-called witnesses testify. What exculpatory evidence was hidden as a direct result of that decision? In the House Judiciary Committee mark-up hearing, Chairman Nadler refused to provide for a minority witness hearing, as required by House rules. When asked why he didn’t let Republicans call witnesses, Chairman Nadler said that they weren’t relevant.

One of the witnesses that Republicans wanted to call is the faux whistle-blower. Democrats insist he must remain anonymous. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution says he can’t. The Constitution wins those fights.

What are Democrats hiding? Are Democrats trying to hide exculpatory evidence? They haven’t released the transcript of their behind-closed-doors deposition of ICIG Michael Atkinson. According to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes, Atkinson “is under active investigation.”

(Atkinson) is under active investigation. I’m not gonna go any farther than that because you know obviously he has a chance to come in and prove his innocence, but my guess is Schiff, Atkinson they don’t want that transcript out because it’s very damaging, Rep. Nunes said.

According to Sara Carter’s reporting, “Republican lawmakers asked Atkinson to explain who revised the complaint and for what reason.”

“And nobody in the media is calling for it,” [Ranking Member Nunes] told The Sara Carter Show. “You’d think they would be, but you know I’ve talked about it on television, John Ratcliffe’s talked about it on television. There’s very few of us that actually know what’s in the transcript, but, yeah, it’s a major problem.”

Atkinson is certainly relevant to this impeachment trial because he’s the person who helped the whistle-blower file his complaint. What are Democrats hiding in Atkinson’s deposition transcript? It must be something important. Inspectors general don’t get investigated over trivial things.

John Ratcliffe articulated the argument beautifully in this interview:

Now that Speaker Pelosi has caved, Democrats, aka Nancy’s support group, have started spinning things to make it sound like her impeachment delay succeeded. It’s understandable why they’d spin that. They know that she needs to save face to avoid utter humiliation. If she wants to save face, she needs another Botox treatment, not this spin.

Byron York’s article is aptly titled Pelosi caves. In the article, Chuck Schumer is quoted as saying “in the last two weeks, there’s been a cascade of evidence that bolsters the case, strongly bolsters the case, for witnesses and documents.” Consider this the Senate Democrats’ equivalent of House Democrats’ “bombshell testimony” coming from the Schiff Show. Spare me the spin.

During the Schiff Show portion of impeachment, we were told by the corrupt media that that day’s testifiers would provide “bombshell testimony” that would devastate Orange Man Bad. By mid-afternoon each day, that day’s star witness was the one decimated. By the time the Schiff Show transitioned into Nadler’s articles of impeachment hearings, Democrats were sinking fast. Impeachment had backfired to the point that the House Judiciary Committee didn’t bother calling fact witnesses. That’s because Democrats were still looking for a fact witness that wouldn’t hurt them.

There’s speculation that Democrats might try a second round of impeachment. Democrat activists were the only people who took the first round seriously. Why think that anyone would take another round seriously? Doug Collins appears to have this right:

“I believe she finally ran out of options and realized there was no political gain anymore,” Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in a text exchange Friday. “The case never changed, and the outcome has not been altered, but it appears to have allowed them to talk more about it and try to influence public opinion away from the show in the House and the inevitable result in the Senate.”

The American people aren’t paying attention. They’re too busy enjoying their bigger paychecks, their latest promotions, their rising wages. They’re too busy taking vacations. Washington pundits are paying attention but that’s about it.

Now, the holdout is apparently coming to an end. A trial will begin. Pelosi will undoubtedly keep trying to mess with the president. But the trial will be out of her hands.

Let’s hope for a quick trial. The Democrats’ House impeachment managers don’t have anything to present except hearsay testimony. The Trump legal team should present the transcript of the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call and the whistle-blower’s complaint to provide a contrast between what actually happened and the Democrats’ gossip. If Democrats succeed in calling witnesses, Republicans should call the whistle-blower as a witness. If he’s called, the Trump legal team should insist that he give up the names of the people who leaked information to him.

Further, we know that John Bolton won’t testify. He might get called but President Trump will exert executive privilege. If Democrats want to challenge that in court, that’s their option. It’s also their option to pound their head into a brick wall. No serious judge will side with the Democrats in forcing the national security adviser testify about classified communications between the president and another head of state. It’s time to put the Democrats’ fiasco in the rear-view mirror.

Salena Zito’s latest reporting from the “middle of somewhere” is the best understanding of what’s actually happening in battleground states. The subject of Ms. Zito’s article is West Virginia as it relates to other battleground states. If you aren’t getting Ms. Zito’s e-updates, it’s time you started. They’re as essential of reading as Kim Strassel’s articles. But I digress.

The key part of the article comes where Ms. Zito writes “No one would argue seriously that West Virginia, where Trump got more than two-thirds of the vote, would ever be in play for the Democrats in 2020. But the story of its sentiments and the evolution of these voters aren’t just limited to within the state’s boundaries. In many ways, especially in their connection to place and their distrust of large government, political, and entertainment institutions, these voters are very similar to voters in rural, suburban, and exurban voters in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.”

Then it goes into extended detail:

Tom Maraffa, geography professor emeritus at Youngstown State University, explained that the similarities of the voters in slow-growth metropolitan regions are striking and important to consider when trying to understand trends. He said West Virginians “share that sense of rootedness” with voters “in places like suburban Youngstown, Akron, or Ashtabula, Ohio, or suburban Erie, Pennsylvania, or Macomb County, Michigan, or Kenosha, Wisconsin.”

If Democrats don’t win back these blue collar cities and counties in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, they’ll lose this election. Period. In 2016, President Trump turned Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from Hillary’s “blue firewall” into red states. Based on what’s happening in West Virginia, that trend is strengthening.

The premise I’m operating from is that this isn’t as much about Democrats vs. Republicans as it is about ultra-liberal nutjobs vs. sane people. Imagine the reaction of people in the audience when Vice President Biden said that coal miners should learn how to program computers:

That video says it all. Those coal miners wouldn’t walk across the street on a sunny day to vote for Biden but they’d sprint across a busy highway in a snowstorm to vote for President Trump. If Vice President Biden thinks that his reputation as a blue collar guy is enough to defeat President Trump, he’s kidding himself. A man whose job is on the verge of disappearing and whose community is falling apart doesn’t care about a politician’s reputation. That miner wants to know, first and foremost, whether that politician will be with them in their foxhole. Those miners and manufacturers know that President Trump will be with them in their foxhole.

That’s the biggest reason why President Trump will win re-election. President Trump told the people of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan that he’d be their president and that they wouldn’t be forgotten again. That’s powerful stuff to a man who’s worrying about his community, his church and his industry.