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Archive for the ‘Investigations’ Category

Listening to Democrats, you’d think that Devin Nunes was the devil himself. House Democrats insist that the Nunes Memo is a political document, not an intelligence document. Rep. Schiff will have difficulty selling that story in light of the criminal referral by Sen. Grassley and Sen. Graham.

Their referral “[appears] to back up [Chairman Nunes] claims, though, in a criminal referral sent in early January to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The surveillance applications, they said, ‘relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims.'” Sen. Grassley’s and Sen. Graham’s referral states that the application also didn’t admit that “the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”

Mr. Schiff has spent his time telling everyone that Devin Nunes is a hyper-conservative. He’s been somewhat effective in making that stick. Convincing people that Sen. Grassley is a bitterly partisan person will be quite a bit more difficult to prove. Check out this timeline:

Now that additional credible people have stepped forward as being on the case, Counsel Mueller has to know that his work will be scrutinized. I like the thought of investigating the investigators. Nobody is beyond scrutiny.

I won’t pretend to be a lawyer. I didn’t even go to law school. I certainly have never stood before a judge in a FISA court. That isn’t needed for this article, though. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a man applying for a FISA warrant when the chief ‘witness’ is a political operative who’s spent months digging up dirt on a presidential candidate.

That’s what Jim Comey did. Now he’s pretending like he’s the man integrity. He’s a warped individual. Unfortunately, he isn’t a man of integrity anymore. I remember when he tweeted “All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.” Here’s a question for Comey that also applies to Adam Schiff: how many schools and streets are named for FBI directors that withhold relevant witness information from a FISA court?

Jonathan Turley put things in perspective when he said this:

Let’s put this one in perspective. The memo concerns allegations that Comey signed off on multiple secret court applications to put a Trump aide under surveillance. It appears that Comey and his staff never told the court that the infamous “dossier” by Fusion GPS was paid for in significant part by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It was never revealed that the author of the dossier had told the FBI that he was “desperate” to prevent Trump from being president or that he had shopped the story with various reporters, who could not verify its contents.

Does Comey think that information is irrelevant? Does Mr. Schiff think that’s irrelevant? If they think that, then that’s proof that neither man has the integrity required for the job they currently hold or that they once held.

As I said in my opening, I’m not a lawyer. I’m willing, though, to say that Comey’s omissions are worthy of investigation.

Todd Purdum’s article has a dishonest title. It’s called “How conservatives learned to hate the FBI.” That’s dishonest and then some.

The honest headline would be “Why conservatives hate corruption.” Democrats, starting with Adam Schiff and Leader Pelosi and other Democrat spinmeisters, have insisted that Republicans hate the FBI and the DOJ. Without question, Republicans hate the things the FBI and DOJ did in obtaining authorization to surveil Carter Page. Without question, Republicans are disgusted with the things that Andrew McCabe did in hiding from the FISA Court the things that should’ve been revealed to the FISA Court.

Since there isn’t an advocate for the ‘defendant’ at a FISA hearing, what’s required is for people representing the government to paint an honest, full and comprehensive picture of their materials that inform them that a person needs further investigation, aka probable cause. Democrats at the FBI painted a dishonest portrait to the FISA Court. Specifically, they didn’t tell the FISA Court judge that they wouldn’t have filed for a surveillance warrant without relying on the salacious details enshrined in the infamous Trump Dossier.

It’s difficult to picture the FISA Court granting a surveillance warrant on the Trump campaign had the Court known that the FBI relied on trash compiled by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. In light of this information, it’s difficult to read the opening paragraph of Purdum’s article:

The aggressive Republican attacks on the FBI are the latest sign, if one were needed, that President Donald Trump has upended the longstanding norms of Washington, as he and his allies in Congress seek to undermine the one institution of government that conservatives have typically seen as a bastion of integrity and law-and-order.

Republicans are rightly upset that the FBI isn’t the impartial organization it once was. Alan Dershowitz exposes the problems in this interview:

Thus far, what has the public seen that suggests that the FBI upper management is honest? They didn’t tell the FISA Court who paid for the compiling of the Trump Dossier. At minimum, that’s disturbing. At maximum, that’s disqualifying.

Finally, I’d challenge Democrats to cite examples of Republicans criticizing rank-and-file FBI agents. Democrats can’t do that because it hasn’t happened. Republicans have criticized the suits running the FBI. Most importantly, they’ve criticized the suits because they’re bitter partisans who didn’t tell FISA judges the whole truth. That can’t happen.

Adam Schiff’s op-ed ignores lots of facts. That isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. For instance, Rep. Schiff said “In the run-up to the release of a deliberately misleading memo, some Republicans hyped the underlying scandal as ‘worse than Watergate.’ When it was published, however, it delivered none of the salacious evidence of systemic abuse that it promised—only a cherry-picking of information from a single FISA court application.”

Is Rep. Schiff suggesting that it isn’t a big deal that the FBI didn’t disclose the fact that the basis for their surveillance warrant was a piece of opposition research? Does Rep. Schiff think it’s ok for political campaigns to use government to spy on their opponent? Or is he ok with that only when Democrats use the FBI to spy on Republican campaigns?

As for the cherry-picking chanting point, I wish Rep. Schiff would drop it. What context is needed after Andrew McCabe testified to Congress that, without the fake Trump ‘dossier’, the FBI wouldn’t have even attempted to get a surveillance warrant on Carter Page?

Mr. Schiff can’t get his facts straight. For instance, he also wrote “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established in 1978 to supervise and provide an additional check on highly-classified counterintelligence surveillance processes. The norms and institutions protecting the Department of Justice from political interference in the years since have been tested, but never before as they are under President Donald Trump.”

Actually, the Obama administration used an opposition research document paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. It was the Obama FBI that applied for the surveillance warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. What part of that sounds legitimate? Here’s a hint: there isn’t a part of that that sounds legitimate.

Weaponizing government, then using it against a political opponent, aka the Trump campaign, is about as corrupt as it gets. Rep. Schiff isn’t an honest man. In this interview, he can’t resist spinning about Russian collusion:

Early in the interview, Schiff said “Even this very flawed memo demonstrates what the origin of this investigation was and that origin involved collusion.” Here’s the definition of collusion:

a secret understanding between two or more persons to gain something illegally.

Rep. Schiff, what specific part of the US Statutes did the Trump campaign violate? Mr. Schiff, a lengthy explanation will prove that you aren’t being honest. A succinct answer is what’s needed. If you can’t cite the specific statute that Trump violated, then I’ll state that you’re a windbag who is up to political mischief. I’ll state that you aren’t worthy of my attention or anyone else’s.

Dana Milbank’s latest column doesn’t have a single bit of spin in it. It has lots of bits of spin in it.

For instance, Milbank wrote “Now, best of all, he gets to release a memo (possibly written with White House help) to exonerate Trump in the Russia probe by using cherry-picked information implying wrongdoing by the FBI — while at the same time blocking declassification of a memo from committee Democrats providing context and exculpatory information that Nunes omitted.”

Actually, Nunes favors declassification of the so-called Schiff Memo. It’s just that it hasn’t gone through the scrubbing protocol required to prepare the document for public consumption. It’s worth noting that Rep. Schiff accused Chairman Nunes of wanting to publish a memo that contained sources and methods. That accusation wasn’t accurate. It was Schiff-produced spin.

It’s worth noting that Chairman Nunes told Bret Baier that he didn’t “read the actual FISA applications.” Chairman Nunes told Baier that “this has been one of these bogus news stories that’s been put out. So the agreement that we made with the Justice Department was to create a reading room and allow one committee member and 2 investigators to go over and read the documents. I thought the best person on our committee would be the chairman of the Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, who has a long career as a federal prosecutor, to go and do this…”

In fact, Milbank could’ve written a much more fact-based article, if that was ever his intention, if he’d watched this interview:

Then there’s this:

And the FBI, which under its Trump-appointed director says it has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” can’t defend itself because, well, the information is classified.

The FBI director can’t defend the agency’s actions because what they did is indefensible. He can’t say the FBI can’t defend itself because the information is classified because it’s been unclassified or is in the process of being prepared for declassification.

In essence, Nunes is free to allege whatever he wants, even if false, and nobody, by law, can contradict him.

That’s a wonderful bit of spin. Pretty much everything from the FISA warrant, including the application itself, is in the process of getting declassified. The applications have to get scrubbed so they don’t reveal sources and methods, which means they’ll be heavily redacted in parts.

Why didn’t Milbank admit that the FBI applied for a surveillance warrant “without telling the court the FBI itself had dismissed Christopher Steele, who generated the opposition research, for lying to the FBI and leaking his relationship with the agency to the press”? Is that because Milbank isn’t that worried about people’s civil liberties?

It’s hard to think that Jim Comey and J. Edgar Hoover aren’t the FBI’s biggest disgraces in that agency’s history. After reading this article, it isn’t difficult to call Jim Comey a disgrace. In a tweet Friday afternoon, Comey said of the Nunes memo “That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.”

It isn’t difficult to make the case that the House Intelligence Committee did its job. Their job is to make sure that the institutions of government don’t become corrupt like FBI apparently did. Under Comey’s administration, they thought they were above the law. They thought they didn’t need to obey congressional subpoenas. The FBI leadership thought they were above the law. The Intelligence Committee proved that they weren’t above the law. They proved that the FBI leadership was just arrogant and needed to be checked.

One chilling part of the Nunes memo states “Neither the initial application in Oct., 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.”

First, the FISC needs to interrogate the people applying for warrants more thoroughly. Second, the people applying for warrants must disclose everything. If they don’t, they’ve earned some sanctions from the court. As for Comey’s tweet, what was he thinking?

Why wouldn’t Congress get upset when the FBI thinks that they can use sloppy opposition research to get a warrant against a campaign’s political opponent? That’s the type of thing that Putin or Chavez would do. That isn’t what we expect from the FBI.

This should bother us, too:

Andrew McCabe didn’t stand tall. Based on Ari Fleischer’s op-ed, I’d argue that he isn’t a man of character:

In January 2017, I was invited by then-FBI Director Comey to deliver the keynote address for a major meeting of law enforcement directors from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These English-speaking countries are called the Five Eyes nations. In addition to the FBI director and his foreign counterparts, the heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were to attend. The meeting was a big deal. 

As someone who is an admirer and supporter of the FBI, I looked forward to going and sharing what I learned about how to communicate in a crisis. Having been the White House press secretary on Sept. 11, 2001, there was a lot I wanted to share with the Five Eyes leaders.

One month before the event, Comey was fired and McCabe became acting FBI director. The day prior to the event, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He acknowledged telling President Trump he was not under investigation, and he admitted he provided FBI memos to a friend so they could be leaked to The New York Times.

That evening, I went on Fox News and was mildly critical of Comey. I said when President Trump sought a one-on-one meeting with him, he should have resisted it, a statement Comey himself made at the hearing. The next morning, about an hour before I was due at the 9/11 Museum, I was on another TV show and again was mildly critical of Comey. I questioned the ethics of his leaking FBI memos to a private citizen so they could be given to the press. I also said I saw no evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russia.

I left the show, got into an FBI car and headed downtown for the counterterrorism training event. That’s when my assistant called me to tell me that she got a call from the acting FBI director’s office telling me not to show up. No explanation was provided.

Anyone that can’t take mild criticism isn’t a man of character. Period.

Jim Comey’s tweet last night was the tweet of a bitter man. In Comey’s tweet, he said “All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.”

I suspect that there won’t be any schools or streets named after Jim Comey, either.

Apparently, Mr. Comey isn’t happy that President Trump has decided to release the House Intelligence Committee summarization memo written mostly by Chairman Devin Nunes. According to the article, the “memo purportedly is critical of the FBI’s use of surveillance during the 2016 presidential campaign, particularly in the initial stages of its investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.” As usual, Fox News’s Catherine Herridge broke the story. Here’s Comey’s tweet:

The most no-nonsense member of Congress, Trey Gowdy, said that the memo will be embarrassing to Adam Schiff:

To remain semi-relevant, Joe Scarborough has taken to the Washington Post to write fanciful stories that Republicans are debasing themselves while abandoning their principles. This week, Scarborough’s mild, semi-coherent diatribe focuses on the non-story of President Trump considering firing Robert Mueller.

Morning Joe writes “In more settled times, this kind of presidential assault on an independent investigation would have stirred grave concerns throughout the halls of Congress. But Trump’s corrupted coalition has instead trotted out one twisted conspiracy theory after another, all designed to distract the president’s most fevered fans and concoct a case against Mueller’s investigation.” It’s important to remember that the Mueller investigation was launched to determine whether anyone in the Trump campaign contacted the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election.

Even after 7 months of ‘investigating’, Mueller’s team can’t identify a single person from the Trump campaign team who worked with Putin’s government to rig the 2016 presidential election. Considering the amount of money and investigative manpower that’s been poured into this witch hunt, I’d categorize that fact as nothing short of stunning.

After failing to find a single person in the Trump campaign who worked with Putin’s government to rig the 2016 presidential election, the Mueller witch hunt next turned to trying to prove that the Trump administration obstructed justice in their attempt to hide the nonexistent Trump-Russian collusion.

Here’s a question for Morning Joe: If you’ve done nothing wrong, what is there to cover up? Seriously, Joe, there’s nothing here to find. Therefore, there’s nothing there to hide. Your talk about conspiracy theories are a waste of time.

In more settled times, this kind of presidential assault on an independent investigation would have stirred grave concerns throughout the halls of Congress. But Trump’s corrupted coalition has instead trotted out one twisted conspiracy theory after another, all designed to distract the president’s most fevered fans and concoct a case against Mueller’s investigation.

That Morning Joe is just now figuring out that President Trump is different speaks volumes to Joe’s intellectual heft, not to mention Joe’s new-found pretty boy features. What other idiot would create a song like this?

The Florida pretty boy now is lecturing Republicans on how to be a true conservative? Seriously? After failing to make it as a balladeer, Morning Joe finishes his column as a prognosticator:

As a storm gathers over Washington and the world, Donald Trump’s Republican Party remains complicit in his frenzied efforts to undermine the American institutions and established values that conservatives once claimed to share. And while the clouds overhead are cause for all to be concerned, it will be the husk of a once-proud Republican Party that will be swept away first by the deluge that is sure to come.

It’s quite possible that the people will rise up against the GOP — in 2024. Republicans will gain seats in the Senate in the midterms. They’ll hold onto their majority in the House, too. In 2020, they’ll re-elect President Trump.

When those things happen, what will Morning Joe do to resurrect his political career? The possibilities are frightening.

Apparently, Tina Smith thinks that she can win her special election by peddling the latest DFL BS about the Trump-Russia nothing burger. She might be able to gin up enthusiasm with the DFL’s far-left base with that but I’d doubt that thoughtful people care a whit about the investigation. I’m betting that people will be more interested in interrogating Ms. Smith over why she voted for shutting down the government on Friday night, then voting to reopen the government on Monday, especially considering that the votes were literally on the identical bill.

Further, I’m betting that voters will want to know whether she supports President Trump’s immigration framework that would give 1,800,000 illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for the appropriation of money to built President Trump’s border wall and ending chain migration. Will Ms. Smith represent the DACA recipients she claims to care about or will she vote to keep the issue alive for this year’s campaign? In other words, will she represent her constituents? Or the special interests that fund her campaign?

“The report that President Trump sought to fire Robert Mueller—the man leading the Trump-Russia investigation—is profoundly disturbing, to say the least,” Smith’s statement continued. “I plan to support measures that would help protect this investigation from further political interference.”

First, the firing didn’t happen. Why be worried about something that didn’t happen? It isn’t like Smith doesn’t have truly important things to do. She’s got immigration reform to think through. She’s got to decide whether she’ll support lifting the spending caps on the military. BTW, the military got hollowed out thanks to Sen. Franken’s votes. Will she fix what he broke?

The New York Times reported Thursday night that Trump had ordered a White House lawyer to fire Mueller, but backed down after the attorney, Don McGahn, threatened to resign. If carried out, the firing would likely have created an extraordinary political crisis.

A significantly different version of the story is now making the rounds. In that newer article, it’s being reported that President Trump asked McGahn what would happen if he fired Mueller. McGahn replied that it would create more headaches for the President. McGahn then recommended that President Trump drop the idea, which apparently happened.

It isn’t a big deal for the President to have expressed frustration with the Mueller investigation. Mueller’s team is filled with biased ‘investigators’ who wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. It’d be a miracle if a person wasn’t upset with the team Mueller picked.

Here’s a point worth considering: Smith is more upset with something that didn’t happen than she’s been about the abuse of residents in Minnesota’s elder care facilities. Forgive me but why isn’t Smith upset about something that’s actually happened? Why isn’t she upset about that crisis? When you watch this video, I want you to think about the questions you’d ask if your parents were subject to this abuse:

Ponder what Sen. Housley said:

It snowballed over the Dayton administration and was completely ignored and was brushed completely under the table so I think there needs to be some apologies made and some accountability taken.

I’ll be clear. Much of this happened while Tina Smith was Lieutenant Governor, a time when she paraded around the state doing ribbon cuttings, etc. Why didn’t Smith dig into this crisis rather than be Gov. Dayton’s PR person? Is it because Smith prefers the role of PR spokesperson over the responsibility of fixing things?

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This week, Democrats lost their minds because President Trump didn’t fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That caused shock waves amongst Democrats. They warned President Trump that he’d better not fire Mueller. Of course, this is after President Trump or Sarah Huckabee-Sanders have told the MSM that President Trump won’t fire Mueller countless times. It’s essentially a rewrite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel of “The Dog That Didn’t Bark.”

Thanks to Thad McCotter’s delightful sense of humor, we have an insightful perspective of what’s happening. McCotter writes “The Left’s media sheep bleat recently leaked ‘bombshells’ that Trump considered firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller (as if “Trump Didn’t Fire Mueller!” is news). Picking up the tune, Senate Democrats warn Mueller’s dismissal would be a ‘red line‘ the president must not cross and introduce bills to prevent it. Doubtless, House Democrats will harmoniously ape similarly breathtaking displays of constitutional and legislative ignorance.”

What these breathless Democrats won’t highlight is that their ‘worries’ are based on a nonevent that almost happened this past June. What reportedly happened is that President Trump got frustrated with Mueller’s make-believe investigation. He reportedly asked White House Counsel Don McGahn what would happen if he fired Mueller. McGahn told President Trump that he had the authority to fire Mueller but that it wouldn’t be wise to fire him because it would cause him more headaches than it was worth. Ever since then, Trump has been telling people that he won’t fire Mueller.

The Democrats insist that the White House is freaking out, worried that Mueller is pounding the last few nails in President Trump’s political coffin. Before leaving for Davos, a panic-stricken Trump interrupted a gaggle:

People, that isn’t what a panicked person sounds like. That’s what a calm person sounds like. I’ll admit, though, that President Trump sounded feisty at times while interacting with the press. Here’s something the MSM hasn’t said: President Trump doesn’t filibuster and dodge questions like President Obama filibustered.

McCotter explains what Democrats are really up to in this paragraph:

The Left’s scam remains the same: use the Russia-gate lie to slow down the president and the Republican majority’s agenda; have the special counsel slander or charge President Trump in time to recapture Congress in 2018 and impeach the president; and, ultimately, conceal the mounting evidence of the Obama Administration’s efforts to corrupt the rule of law by “fixing” the Clinton email case, using FISA to spy on and unmask political opponents, and leaking any classified information it deemed in their partisan interest (if not the national interest).

What’s fascinating about Democrats, including those in the MSM, is that they haven’t highlighted the fact that Democrats have frequently called police officers racists (Think Philando Castile) while Republicans have criticized the political appointees in the upper management of the FBI and DOJ. Republicans haven’t criticized the hard-working agents. They’ve only criticized corrupt investigators like Peter Strzok. Newt Gingrich sums things up perfectly in this interview with Bill Hemmer:

Finally, the dog didn’t bark because there was nothing to bark about. When the Mueller ‘investigation’ is part of history, we’ll look at it as one of the biggest nothing burgers in history.