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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.

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:

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.