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Judge Mukasey’s op-ed helped open the floodgates questioning the Mueller investigation. Mark Penn’s op-ed is actually more damning because Penn is a Democrat. Penn’s op-ed connects lots of dots that Mueller, Comey and Rosenstein don’t want connected.

For instance, Penn wrote “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 yearlong 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.”

This isn’t the outcome they were hoping for. They were hoping to take down a president they thought wasn’t qualified. Instead, Mueller, Lynch, Rosenstein and Comey have ruined their reputations and their legacies. Straight shooters like Judge Mukasey and Mark Penn are asking all the right questions and making the right observations while putting this puzzle together.

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.

Contributing to the Clinton Foundation isn’t illegal by itself. It’s just convenient for this contributor to point the finger at Mr. Papadopoulos. With the Clintons, it isn’t wise to think that coincidences are truly coincidental. More often than not, these ‘coincidences’ are manufactured with precise intent.

This isn’t flattering to Mueller:

Flush with 16 prosecutors, including a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, and an undisclosed budget, the Mueller investigation has been a scorched-earth effort to investigate the entirety of the Trump campaign, Trump business dealings, the entire administration and now, if it was not Russia, maybe it’s some other country.

I’ll put this simply. It’s time to wrap this fishing expedition up. It’s been spinning its wheels for over a year.

In the past, politicians, mostly senators, have warned President Trump not to fire Robert Mueller. This morning, a legal heavyweight wrote this op-ed offering a different opinion. Michael Mukasey’s opinion isn’t coming from a politically-motivated standpoint. It’s coming from a legal standpoint.

He wrote “Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia. Justice Department regulations permit appointment of a special counsel only if (i) there is reason to think that a federal crime has been committed, and (ii) investigating it would present a conflict of interest for the Justice Department or there is another overriding public reason to take the investigation outside DOJ.” In other words, based on DOJ guidelines, there wasn’t a legitimate basis for launching this investigation.

Judge Mukasey continued, saying “Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president, Watergate and Whitewater come to mind, we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here. Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign’s criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians. The one indictment that relates to Russian criminality charges that the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and committed other social media abuse, but says specifically that if the Trump campaign got the benefit of it, that was ‘unwitting’ — i.e., without criminal intent.”

The harm this fishing expedition is doing is to the Intelligence Community’s reputation. The Deep Staters have tarnished the FBI’s and the DOJ’s reputations. Who knows how long it will take to repair that damage? The political heat is increasing on Mueller to wrap things up. First, it was Judge T.S. Ellis III who questioned the Mueller investigation’s scope. Now, it’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey questioning Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special council.

Sprinkle in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter demanding production of Rosenstein’s scope memo. Combine these things and you have pressure building from people who aren’t seen as overtly partisan. That, more than anything, will hurt Mueller’s credibility.

If you’re wondering why Robert Mueller’s ‘investigation’ is allowed to continue, it’s because the conventional wisdom says that forcing him to shut down would create more headaches than it would solve. Since I don’t buy into the theory that people buy into Washington’s conventional wisdom, I’d argue that it’s time to fire Rod Rosenstein, install an acting Deputy Attorney General with integrity and a no-nonsense approach, then give that acting Deputy Attorney General orders to bring in Mueller for a visit.

Truthfully, that ‘visit’ would feel more like an interrogation. If Mueller admits that he hasn’t found proof of collusion between Putin’s Russia and the Trump campaign, that acting Deputy AG should tell Mueller he has 2 options. The first option is to hand off any unrelated crimes found in Mueller’s fishing expedition to the appropriate US Attorney or to Justice Department lawyers. The other option is to prepare to be fired.

Supposedly, we needed a special counsel to determine whether the Trump campaign colluded with Putin’s Russia to steal the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton. After a couple of years of digging into that theory, there isn’t a scintilla of proof that happened. Mueller’s team of hyperpartisan investigators haven’t found a bit of evidence proving collusion or obstruction of justice. Despite all the threats of ruining the targets’ financial situation, nothing has popped.

Make no mistake. Official Washington will throw a weeklong hissy fit. The media wing of the Democratic Party, Chuck Schumer and Adam Schiff will be positively apoplectic. Jerry Nadler and Maxine Waters will be, too. That’s fine. If this is a fight between President Trump and common sense on one side and these Democrats on the other, President Trump will win that fight. (It’s wise to pick your opponents wisely.)

The key is firing Rosenstein. He’s done nothing to supervise Mueller’s investigation. He’s been more like a potted plant than a supervisor.

The truth is that the things Mueller is investigating are things that the DOJ or the US Attorneys are tasked with investigating. We don’t need a special council to prosecute Paul Manafort for tax evasion. If the media wing of the Democratic Party throws a hissy fit, that’s just fine. Each time they do that, Trump’s approval rating improves.

Finally, the truth that the DC echochamber won’t admit is that there’s no longer a justification for Mueller’s investigation.

Saying that U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III was fed up with Mueller’s team of lawyers is understatement. Judge Ellis rebuked them, saying “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”

That wasn’t the only bombshell coming from Judge Ellis’s courtroom. Later in the hearing, “where Manafort’s team fought to dismiss an 18-count indictment on tax and bank fraud-related charges, took a confrontational turn as it was revealed that at least some of the information in the investigation derived from an earlier Justice Department probe, in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.”

The special counsel argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted them broad authority in his May 2, 2017 letter appointing Mueller to this investigation. But after the revelation that the team is using information from the earlier DOJ probe, Ellis said that information did not “arise” out of the special counsel probe, and therefore may not be within the scope of that investigation. “We don’t want anyone with unfettered power,” he said.

That’s definitely pushing the envelope. Saying that Judge Ellis wasn’t amused is understatement. Things got more interesting when Judge Ellis asked for the unredacted “scope letter”:

The judge also gave the government two weeks to hand over the unredacted “scope memo” or provide an explanation why not after prosecutors were reluctant to do so, claiming it has material that doesn’t pertain to Manafort. “I’ll be the judge of that,” Ellis said.

If Judge Ellis rules that Mueller doesn’t have the authority to prosecute Manafort, that doesn’t mean Manafort is off the hook. It simply cripples Mueller’s investigation, both from a political and legal standpoint. From a political standpoint, Mueller will have been exposed as overstepping his authority. Also politically, it’ll cast doubt on Rod Rosenstein’s letter authorizing the special counsel investigation. If Judge Ellis rules that the Rosenstein letter amounts to a blank check, Judge Ellis has the authority to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

This wasn’t a good day for the prosecutors or Mueller. It doesn’t end things but it gives the Trump administration and legal team the ammunition to attack Mueller’s propriety with regards to this investigation.

Robert Mueller’s ‘investigation’ is a sham that should be shut down. The truth is that the investigation violates 28 CFR 600.1, which says “The Attorney General, or in cases in which the Attorney General is recused, the Acting Attorney General, will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and –
(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and
(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.”

I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that Mueller’s investigation wasn’t started to investigate a crime. I’ll stipulate that it’s in search of a crime but that doesn’t meet the criteria for appointing a special counsel. Mark Penn, one of Bill Clinton’s pollsters, did some thinking in this op-ed. In fact, he’s got a list of questions he’d like to ask Robert Mueller:

When you interviewed for FBI director with President Trump, had you had any conversations with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director James Comey or any other current or former officials of the U.S. government about serving as a special counsel? Didn’t you consider going forward with the interview or being rejected as FBI director to create the appearance of conflict?

When you picked your team, what was going through your mind when you picked zero donors to the Trump campaign and hired many Democratic donors, supporters of the defiant actions of Sally Yates, who at the time was deputy attorney general, and prosecutors who had been overturned for misconduct? What were you thinking in building a team with documented biases?

When you were shown the text messages of FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, why did you reassign them and not fire them for compromising the investigation with obvious animus and multiple violations of procedure and policy? Why did you conceal from Congress the reasons for their firing for five months and did you discard any of their work as required by the “fruits of a poisonous tree” doctrine?

I’d like to add just one question to the list:

When you were appointed to be the special counsel, what crime were you assigned to investigate?

What has it taken so long for anyone to question Mr. Mueller? Democrats have, for the most part, been silent on the justification for the special counsel. The list of questions that Mueller supposedly wants to ask President Trump certainly don’t hint that he’s investigating a crime.

This question from Penn is particularly hard-hitting:

Do you consider firing the FBI director, thinking about pardons, considering firing you, and any conversations questioning your methods, bias or the foundation of your investigation to be matters you believe you can investigate, even though they are within the clear constitutional and First Amendment rights of the president? If you think you can question the president on these matters, then why should you not be subject to the same questions about your thought process, conflicts, possible bias and conduct in office?

Frankly, it isn’t difficult to make a case that Mr. Mueller is an out-of-control prosecutor who is politically and ethically challenged. Some of the questions he intends to ask are none of his business. Other questions pertain to things he has the constitutional authority to do.

If Mueller wants to push things, don’t be surprised if Trump’s legal team takes him to court to limit the scope of Mueller’s questions. That’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Imagine what’d happen if the judge ruled in Trump’s favor. It’d all but officially stop Mueller’s investigation in its tracks.

CNN just announced that they’ll air a townhall meeting featuring Jim Comey, the former FBI Director. According to CNN’s press release, “The one-hour primetime Town Hall, moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, will be live from Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall at Comey’s alma mater, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and will be co-hosted by the Student Assembly at William & Mary. Following the release of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership, Cooper will moderate a conversation between Comey and a live audience as they discuss his FBI career, his public firing and the high profile cases he oversaw including the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Director Comey isn’t being shy with his feelings about President Trump, saying “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.” Realistically speaking, there won’t be much middle ground in public opinion. Comey’s apologists will defend his questionable half-hearted investigation of Hillary. President Trump’s supporters won’t flinch in their support of President Trump.

Though public opinion isn’t likely to sway much during his book tour, the best chance for a significant shift will happen when Bret Baier interviews Comey. Jake Tapper, Baier and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will be the highest profile anchors to interview Comey. Of that trio, only Baier has a reputation of consistently asking difficult questions.

The potential for ruining Comey’s book tour is high because IG Michael Horowitz’s report will likely be published after the initial wave of book tour interviews. Saying that Horowitz’s report likely won’t flatter Comey is understatement.

Alan Dershowitz highlights the importance of being able to trust major institutions in this interview:

Dershowitz reminds us that either Comey is lying or that McCabe is lying about leaking. When the Horowitz report comes out, it’s possible that there’s evidence that both have lied. That’s why the Horowitz report is a potential powder keg.

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If ABC’s hit piece against Jeff Sessions was meant to rehabilitate Andrew McCabe’s credibility, it failed. ABC might’ve helped McCabe if it hadn’t written “During his confirmation in January 2017, Sessions told the Senate committee that he had not been in contact with anyone connected to the Russian government about the 2016 election.”

Saying that that’s a shortcut through the truth is understatement. Here’s what was actually said:

Sen. Al Franken: CNN has just published a story and I’m telling you this about a news story that’s just been published. I’m not expecting you to know whether or not it’s true or not. But CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, “Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” These documents also allegedly say quote, “There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump’s surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”

Now, again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions: Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.

First, Sen. Franken either isn’t too bright or he’s exceptionally dishonest. (BTW, I can make a strong case either direction.) Then-Sen. Sessions said that he didn’t “have communications with the Russians” as a Trump campaign surrogate. As a US senator sitting on the Senate Armed Services Committee, it would’ve been routine for him to meet with Russian ambassadors or government officials.

The context is important because “Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), and then-Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN), wrote a letter in March 2017 to the FBI urging agents to investigate ‘all contacts’ Sessions may have had with Russians, and ‘whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred.'” Also important in terms of context is the fact that “McCabe authorized the criminal inquiry.”

The ABC article continues, saying “It is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly provide false information to Congress – or to a federal law enforcement agency. No charges have been announced against McCabe, and there’s no indication that the FBI has recommended he be charged.”

It’s impossible at this point to know whether charges will be brought against McCabe. However, Christopher Wray told NBC that “I’m committed to doing things objectively and independently and by the book. I think that has to extend not just to our investigations, our intelligence analysis, but it also has to expand to personnel decisions and disciplinary decisions.”

When asked specifically about the timing, Wray reiterated that the FBI followed its normal process. “I want to be careful what I can say about the process,” he said. “But I will tell you that my commitment to making sure that our process is followed, that it relies on objective input, and that, most importantly, it is not based on political and partisan influence, is something I am utterly unyielding on.”

The thought that Jeff Sessions terminated McCabe out of spite is understandable but it’s completely wrong.

It’s fair to say that ABC’s hit piece attempted to help Mr. McCabe. It’s fair to say, too, that Jeff Sessions followed the proper protocols in determining whether Mr. McCabe should be terminated.

When I read articles like this one, I want to punch the author for being this dishonest or this ill-informed. Ill-informed diatribes like this don’t get us to a solution on stopping school shootings. In his ill-informed rant, Scarborough wrote “More than 90 percent of Americans agree that Congress should pass tougher background checks. More than 80 percent of Americans at least somewhat favor a ban on “bump stocks” that make rifles fire much like automatic weapons. And nearly 80 percent believe that assault-style weapons should be banned.”

Guess what, Joe? You’ve been pumping out this BS about tougher background checks for years. It’s a myth. Whether a person buys a gun at a gun show or at a gun shop, the dealer must perform a background check. The so-called ‘gun show loophole’ is a myth. As for banning bump stocks, I’m totally fine with that. Nobody needs an automatic weapon. Finally, Scarborough’s elitism and ignorance is showing when he talks about “assault-style weapons.” The difference between “assault-style weapons” and regular semi-automatic weapons are entirely cosmetic.

Banning assault-style weapons is a feel-good thing that won’t affect a solution. The old liberal saw that ‘Well, if it would save one innocent life, it’s worth it’ is hogwash. That change won’t save a single life. Period. Earlier in the article, Scarborough wrote this:

And once again, I and many other reasonable conservatives find ourselves at odds with GOP — read: National Rifle Association — orthodoxy.

Apparently, Joe isn’t bright enough to understand that the NRA isn’t an evil boogeyman. The NRA is a potent political force because it’s made up of people who feel passionately about guns and gun safety. The NRA is We The People, not some bunch of right-wing lunatics.

Rants like Scarborough’s do more harm than good. It’s what makes conservatives distrust liberals like him. He should step out of his liberal echochamber and watch thoughtful shows like this:

One of Gutfeld’s panelists was Tyrus. Elitists will roll their eyes when they hear that he’s a professional wrestler. These elitists will ignore the fact that he used to be a licensed body guard. Here’s his thoughts on how to prevent these shootings:

This is coming from being an executive of security and, for a short stint, I was a teacher. When I was listening to this, first of all, if we outlawed guns tomorrow, no more guns in this country, all you would do would be opening the business market to the black market. That’s just not who we are. We have freedom of speech and we’re allowed to have guns. When 9/11 happened and the planes crashed into the Towers, airports were changed forever. Our children are getting hit. It’s time to change the schools forever. There’s a population out there, and I’ve checked — they didn’t have the new stats out but they had last year’s stats — 4.3% unemployment rate of returning veterans. That’s 435,000 trained men who have eyes and ears. We need to have them in schools.

Hardening soft targets makes sense. This notion that we don’t want the nation’s children exposed to guns is dangerous. It’s time we admitted that gun-free zones are where these killers feast. They know they don’t have to worry about getting shot.

Another thing that isn’t talked about is how many of these mass shooters were on the FBI’s radar with very specific information, only to not get kept under scrutiny. That’s leading to people on social media starting a new hashtag: #SeeSomethingSaySomethingDoSomething. That’s because the government failed us. According to this article, “police responded to his home 39 times over a seven-year period.”

Scarborough didn’t mention that in his anti-gun diatribe. Isn’t it time we held the FBI accountable for their failures? That likely wouldn’t sit well with Scarborough’s pro-government tendencies. He’d probably join with other liberals in singing the ‘Republicans hate law enforcement’ anthem. When government makes a deadly mistake, should we pretend that everything is fine? I don’t think so.

While elitists like Scarborough predictably retreat to their ‘let’s ban guns’ corner, people living in the real world attempt to find a solution. It’s a shame that elitists don’t think things through and pursue a solution.

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments of 13 Russians and “3 Russian entities”, Rosenstein specifically said “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in this indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome.”

Somewhere, Adam Schiff is likely crying in his beer.

The indictment itself specifically states that a company called “Internet Research Agency, LLC” was created in 2014, long before the presidential campaign started. Further, the indictment states that the Russians plan was a) sophisticated enough to fool American political activists that the activists thought they were dealing with other like-minded American activists. The Russians’ goal was to sow distrust.

On one day, Nov. 12, 2016, the defendants organized a rally in New York to “show your support for President-elect Donald Trump” while at the same time organizing a “Trump is NOT my president rally” that also was held in New York.

While this indictment doesn’t totally clear the Trump campaign, it’s definitely a defeat for the Democrats, especially Rep. Schiff. Schiff has invested tons of time in front of TV cameras insisting that he’d seen proof that Trump colluded with Russians.

This is the biggest news from the special counsel’s office thus far. Not only does it not accuse the Trump campaign of colluding with Russians, it states that people from Trump’s campaign “unwittingly” participated in the Russians’ plot:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the defendants created hundreds of accounts using fake personas on the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to advance their scheme. One example of that was the Twitter account “Tennessee GOP,” which used the handle @TEN_GOP,” and “which falsely claimed to be controlled by a U.S. state political party,” the indictment said. “Over time, the @TEN_GOP account attracted more than 100,000 online followers.”

The defendants also allegedly used a “computer infrastructure, based partly in the United States, to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection” by US authorities, the indictment said.

It isn’t a stretch to think that this plot achieved its goal, which was to create distrust in our election.

What’s sad is that the MSM is totally content with sowing additional distrust with their ‘reporting’.

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.