Archive for the ‘Clinton Foundation’ category

Is it time for the DOJ to reopen the probe into Clinton?

July 19, 2017

Is it time for the DOJ to reopen the probe into Clinton? Judicial Watch via YouTube, July 19, 2017

(But that would be misogynistic and besides, it’s just old news.  Let’s just keep trying to impeach President Trump. That gets lots of headlines.– DM)

 

The Russian Collusion Story: The Acme of Fake News

July 16, 2017

The Russian Collusion Story: The Acme of Fake News, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, July 16, 2017

Richard Fernandez is one of the most brilliant authors on the Internet. This week he wrote:

Conventional wisdom posits the chief challenges facing the post-Cold War World are Global Warming and the decline of international institutions. But maybe that assurance is a species of Fake News. Suppose the most pressing problems in the next decade is finding new energy supplies to 1) keep the price of oil low enough to contain Russia (and Islamism); and 2) adapting to a disruptive information revolution no one can seem to control. Who will hand you that unconventional wisdom unless you come to it yourself.

He’s right, as I explain, but the significance of his observation is this: which of the two candidates — Hillary or Trump — was more likely to tap into America’s huge energy resources to contain both Russia and the Islamists? And when you answer that as you must — Trump — you can dismiss all the folderol about Donald J. Trump Jr’s, 15 minute meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer as evidence of “collusion” with Russia.  As I further explain, the non-stop media promotion of some nefarious scheme between Russia and Trump does not pass even the most cursory forensic examination, proving once again in the age of fake news, you cannot remain a passive consumer of news. You have to bring to each story the good sense and diligence with which you handle your most important personal affairs.

A. Russia and Environmental Groups

As Fernandez explained:

The oil crash collapsed the ruble and forced a 27% reduction in the Kremlin’s military budget in 2016.  With oil prices set to stay flat the Russians have to keep drilling and investing simply to stay level as the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies notes.  The Kremlin doesn’t make any real spending money until world oil price gets above levels before the great oil crash of 2014, which may not happen any time soon.[snip] You would think this a Eureka moment: to contain oil prices is to contain Russia (and Islamism). But cheap fossil fuels are not everyone’s cup of tea.  “Drill, baby, drill” is not popular on the left.  Even though liberals understand the power of cheap energy — one of Hillary’s supposedly hacked emails even alleged anti-fracking and environmental causes were a Russian plot to depress oil production — to advocate it is bad progressive politics. This probably led the Saudis to Hillary’s camp in 2016. “According to Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Group, countries in the oil-producing Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, are hoping for Hillary Clinton to become president.”

If you’re looking for collusion with Russia, it is not to be found in the Trump Tower meeting.  Paul Mirengoff of Powerline details the Russian efforts through environmental groups — at best Stalin’s “useful idiots” — to tamp down US energy production.

 Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, tells James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal:

If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking. They have established an elaborate scheme that funnels money through shell companies in Bermuda. This scheme may violate federal law and certainly distorts the U.S. energy market. The American people deserve to know the truth and I am confident Secretary Mnuchin will investigate the allegations.

To help Sec. Mnuchin conduct such an investigation, Rep. Smith, along with Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber, sent him a letter. They noted:

According to the former Secretary General of NATO, “Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas.” Other officials have indicated the same scheme is unfolding in the U.S.

Reps. Smith and Weber add that, according to public sources including a 2014 report from Republican staff on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, “entities connected to the Russian government are using a shell company registered in Bermuda, Klein Ltd. (Klein), to funnel tens of millions of dollars to a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) private foundation,” which supports various environmental groups. Klein denies this allegation.

Regardless of the conduit for the money, the allegation of funneling appears to be substantial. Indeed, says Freeman, it appears to have been noted by none other than Hillary Clinton:

If a document posted last year on WikiLeaks is to be believed, Clinton campaign staff summarized in an email attachment Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the subject during a private speech:

Clinton Talked About “Phony Environmental Groups” Funded By The Russians To Stand Against Pipelines And Fracking. “We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media. We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort, oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you, and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia.” [Remarks at tinePublic, 6/18/14]

Freeman suggests that Mnuchin commence his investigation by speaking with Mrs. Clinton, who “obviously knows the terrain.” He also thinks John Podesta would be a useful source.

Podesta is invested in and acts for a “green energy company backed by the Russian government.”

B. The Media Has lost all Credibility, Serving as the semi-official newsroom for the Democratic Party

Just as Fernandez detailed the rise of Samizdat in Russia as the official press was uniformly distrusted, the growth on alternate media in the U.S. is disrupting the old news models .

Our trust hierarchies have collapsed. As with Soviet Russia, the “official” media sources are now distrusted as purveyors “fake news”.  To fill the gap a peer-to-peer grapevine, similar to the “friends and family”, a samizdat is emerging to pick up the slack. Sonya Mann at Inc uses a startup to illustrate the growing division of society into trust groups. “Pax Dickinson wants to fund the revolution. Not a blood-in-the-streets revolution, but one where hardcore right-wingers can economically secede from the parts of society they vehemently dislike. “We need parallel everything. I do not want to ever have to spend a single dollar at a non-movement business.

Nothing so illustrates why the media has  deservedly lost all credibility than it’s unending, overdone effort to fit any action on the part of the President or those around him into a narrative of Russia somehow colluding with him to defeat Hillary. This week’s take was the short meeting his son held with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower last summer.

The clearest summary of the facts surrounding the meeting with Trump’s son last summer is to be found in The American Spectator.  Scott McKay writes:

[Natalia] Veselnitskaya’s  [The Russian lawyer’s] presence in the United States alone ought to be the source of suspicion that not only is the Trump-Russian collusion narrative suspect in this case but that the real inquiry ought to be into whether the encounter was a small part of a larger attempt to trap the Trump campaign.

The Russian lawyer wasn’t even supposed to be here. She had been denied a visa for entry into the United States in late 2015, but given a rather extraordinary “parole” by the federal government to assist preparation for a client subject to asset forfeiture by the Justice Department. That was in January. The client was Prevezon Holdings, a Russian company suspected of having been paid some portion of $230 million stolen by Russian mobsters. When Sergey Magnitsky a Russian lawyer representing a company that had been the victim of the theft, reported it to authorities in Moscow he was promptly jailed and beaten to death. The American response to this atrocity was the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned several individuals connected to human rights abuses. The Russian government retaliated by preventing American adoptions of Russian children.

But in June, she was permitted to fly back to the U.S., have the meeting with Trump Junior  —  at Trump Tower, no less  —  and then end up in the front row for a congressional hearing involving testimony from a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, then turning up at a D.C. showing of a documentary film on the negative effects of the Magnitsky Act, and later appearing at a dinner involving Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA) who is now a lobbyist for the Russians. The repeal of that legislation is a priority item for the Russians and a personal project of Veselnitskaya’s; it, rather than any Clinton dirt, was reportedly the primary subject brought forth at the meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

All of this without a visa! Not to mention Veselnitskaya didn’t file a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) document before acting as a lobbyist for a foreign entity, as required by law. Neither, apparently, did Dellums. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote a fascinating letterTuesday to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking them to please find out what in the hell Veselnitskaya was doing in this country last June.

And further, it turns out Veselnitskaya was connected to Fusion GPS, the Democrat opposition research firm which employed a former British spy who used Russian contacts to produce the infamous and debunked Pee Pee Dossier smearing Trump. Veselnitskaya hired Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson to work on behalf of Prevezon, the company she was allowed into the country to represent, in its efforts to repeal the Magnitsky Act. Fusion then hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who drew on Russian sources to produce that dossier, and made him available for private briefings on the dossier with left-leaning media sources such as Mother Jones, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorkerand CNN in September.

Naturally, John McCain is involved  —  if that fact should produce his resignation, all of this will have been worth it.

By the way, there is Veselnitskaya’s social media account, which is decidedly more aligned with the Fusion GPS side of this equation than the Trump side.

And the meeting came about largely due to hyped-up promises made by a publicist for a Russian pop star who was connected to the Trump family from the Miss Universe pageant having been held in Moscow in 2013  —  promises which don’t appear to have been fulfilled. If this whole thing doesn’t look like an old-fashioned dangle to you, then you haven’t watched enough spy movies.

If timelines are interesting to you, there is this  —  reportedly, the Obama administration sought permission to electronically monitor Trump Tower in early June, and the FISA court would not grant it. But in October, that warrant was given. [snip]

And once that meeting  —  which on its surface was a waste of everyone’s time  —  was had, the Obama administration now had something to sell to the FISA court to get that warrant  —  from which they snagged Mike Flynn and gave the Democrat party and the media a mechanism to shroud the Trump administration in what can best be described as a rather dubious scandal. Remember how Hillary Clinton was accusing Trump of being a Putin’s puppet at the October 19 debate?

C. Donald J Trump’s son had every reason to believe that there was evidence of Hillary’s collusion with Russia

If this seems farfetched, consider this Veselnitskaya  was barred from entry to the US until Loretta Lynch granted her an excedptional “immigration parole” to appear in a judicial proceeding; a federal judge considered — but we can find no ruling — her motion  on January 6, 2016,to extend her stay by a week, and then  with no explanation of how this occurred, she was back in the US on June of that year  where she met with Donald J Trump Jr and attended as a front row guest a Congressional hearing on the Magnitsky act which imposed sanctions on Russia.

To add a dash of extra color to the story the media reported that with the lawyer was a “former Russian counter intelligence officer”, Rinat Akhmetshin.  He denies this.

“I am an American citizen since 2009 who pays taxes, earned his citizenship after living here since 1994, and swore an oath of loyalty to the United States of America,”

Kayleigh McEnany in The Hill characterized this as a “conspiracy theory desperately in earch of evidence”.

Bill Clinton had given a $500,000 speech in Russia.  Clinton had given her approval in handing one-fifth of U.S. uranium to Russia, after which her foundation received $2.35 million from the Russian-controlled company.  Suspiciously, Clinton did not disclose the transaction.

Likewise, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta sat on the board of a company that received $35 million from the Russian government alongside fellow board members Anatoly Chubais, a senior Russian official, and Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch.

Given this context, why wouldn’t Trump Jr. be open to taking a meeting that offered evidence of incriminating Clinton dealings with Russia, particularly when most of the media refused to look into Clinton’s question-raising actions?[snip] We likewise know that several foreign countries known for their human rights violations  —  like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Brunei, and Algeria  —  donated millions to the Clinton foundation, and yet few publications construed their “support” in a negative way.

Taken together, the micro story of Donald Trump Jr. seeking opposition research  —  much like Clinton allies did in their dealings with the Ukrainian government  —  does nothing in the way of proving the macro allegation that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in hacking the DNC and releasing Clinton’s illegally obtained emails.

The American people see through this leftist-purveyed Russia conspiracy theory.  That’s why a full 56 percent want Congress and the media to focus on real issues, not Russia.  If the left continues to concoct Russian collusion evidence, they can fully expect for the 2018 congressional elections to look a lot like the special elections in Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, and Georgia  —  Republican victory.  Voters dismiss the salacious in favor of solutions, and as of now, the left have nothing besides an evidence-free smear campaign.

In any event, isn’t it curious that those who claim to consider a meeting to listen to opposition research, bought hook line and sinker the ridiculous-on-its-face Dossier concted by GPS against Trump, a far more likely piece of Russian intel disinformation? Or why they ignore DNC officials meeting with Ukrainian government officials for dirt on then Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Politico detailed the many ways the Ukrainians worked to help Hillary beat Trump.  As you might guess, they indicated these efforts were “far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.” Covering with the word “alleged” a smear without any evidence but for the mutterings of Crowdstrike, a private outfit which was the only investigation the DNC allowed , a misstep by the Comey FBI which let this pass.

In any event, Legal commentators on both sides of the aisle have confirmed there was nothing illegal about the meeting.   I suppose we can’t expect much more of a press corps so stupid it mistakes the Star Spangled Banner for France’s La Marseillaise, and Bastille Day for the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entry in WW I.

You’ll just have to work harder in the face of such ignorance and bias to find out what you need to know.

Today in Collusion

July 1, 2017

Today in Collusion, Power LineScott Johnson, July 1, 2017

(Huh? “If you’re confused, I’d ordinarily suggest that you go back and read the report a time or two. But life is short and rereading would not much clarify this spaghetti bowl hurled against the wall, in the hope that some of the Flynn sauce might stick.” — DM)

Lee Smith notes in his Tablet column “The strange tale of Jay Solomon” that the news side of the Wall Street Journal is straining to join the opposition to the Trump administration led by the Washington Post and the New York Times. “As one senior D.C. reporter told me recently,” Lee writes, “‘lots of Journal reporters want to join the anti-Trump resistance but they can’t do that because the editorial board thinks the Trump Russia narrative is absurd, as does the readership.’”

In yesterday’s paper, the Journal made a downpayment on membership dues in the Resistance with Shane Harris’s story “GOP operative sought Clinton emails from hackers, implied a connection to Flynn.” Harris’s story is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall, but the New York Post has an accessible summary by Todd Venezia here.

Andy McCarthy breaks down Harris’s story in his weekly NRO column here. Here is his summary and first pass at it:

About ten days before he died in mid-May, an 81-year-old man who did not work for the Trump campaign told the Journal he had speculated that, but did not know whether, 33,000 of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails had been hacked from her homebrew server. The now-deceased man, “a longtime Republican opposition researcher” named Peter W. Smith, had theorized that the e-mails must have been stolen, “likely by Russian hackers.” But he had no idea if this was actually so, and he himself certainly had nothing to do with stealing them.

Smith’s desire to obtain the hacked emails, if there were any, peaked around Labor Day 2016 — i.e., during the last weeks of the campaign. This was many months after the FBI had taken physical custody of Clinton’s homebrew server and other devices containing her e-mails. It was also two months after the Bureau’s then-director, James Comey, had told the country that the FBI had found no evidence that Clinton had been hacked . . . but that her carelessness about communications security, coupled with the proficiency of hackers in avoiding detection, meant her e-mails could well have been compromised throughout her years as secretary of state.

In other words, Peter W. Smith was one of about 320 million people in the United States who figured that Clinton’s e-mails had been hacked — by Russia, China, Iran, ISIS, the NSA, the latest iteration of “Guccifer,” and maybe even that nerdy kid down at Starbucks with “Feel the Bern” stickers on his laptop.

Besides having no relationship with Trump, Smith also had no relationship with the Russian regime. Besides not knowing whether the Clinton e-mails were actually hacked, he also had no idea whether the Kremlin or anyone close to Vladimir Putin had obtained the e-mails. In short, he wouldn’t have been able to tell you whether Trump and Putin were colluding with each other because he wasn’t colluding with either one of them.

But — here comes the blockbuster info — Smith was colluding with Michael Flynn. Or at least he kinda, sorta was . . . except for, you know, the Journal’s grudging acknowledgement that, well, okay, Smith never actually told the paper that Flynn was involved in what the report calls “Smith’s operation.”

It’s a long column. As ancient history is involved, Andy helpfully fills in the backstory to Harris’s article:

The Journal does not see fit to remind readers that the 33,000 e-mails Smith was trying to dig up were the ones Clinton had tried to destroy, even though they contained records of government business (which it is a felony to destroy), contained at least some classified information (which it is a felony to mishandle), and had been requested by congressional committees (whose proceedings it is a felony to obstruct by destroying evidence).

These penal inconveniences aside, there were also explosive political implications. Clinton had insisted that the e-mails in question were strictly of a personal nature, involving yoga routines, daughter Chelsea’s wedding, and the like. She maintained that she had turned over any and all government-related e-mails to the State Department. She had also laughably claimed that her homebrew server system was adequately secure. And there is every reason to believe many of these destroyed e-mails related to Clinton Foundation business — the Bill and Hill scheme to monetize their “public service” — which was liberally commingled with government business during Mrs. Clinton’s State Department tenure. Public disclosure of these e-mails, then, would have been very damaging, concretely demonstrating her dishonesty and unfitness.

There is every reason to believe the destroyed e-mails related to Clinton Foundation business — the Bill and Hill scheme to monetize their ‘public service’ — which was liberally commingled with government business during Mrs. Clinton’s State Department tenure. Understand: None of that is Russia’s fault, or Trump’s, or Flynn’s, or Flynn Jr.’s, or Smith’s. It was solely the fault of Hillary Clinton. She was a five-alarm disaster of a candidate. That’s why she lost.

Harris has the goods on crimes committed in connection with his story, but Harris won’t be revealing the perpetrators:

All this sound and fury turns out to be throat-clearing. The juicy news in the Journal’s report is not about Smith; it stems from yet another leak of classified information. According to “U.S. investigators” involved in the Russia probe (i.e., the Mueller investigation), there are intelligence reports that “describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain e-mails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.”

Who are these investigators? The Journal doesn’t tell us — the actual crime of leaking classified intelligence being of less interest than the non-crime of “collusion.” The purported Russian hackers are not identified either. Nor is Flynn’s “intermediary” — the Journal cannot say whether the leak is accurate, whether there really was an intermediary, or whether Smith could have been the intermediary. There is, moreover, no indication that any supposed Russian hacker actually made any effort to obtain the Clinton e-mails, much less that Flynn — let alone Trump — had any knowledge of or involvement in such an effort.

Quick: somebody start writing up the articles of impeachment!

Well, Harris is still on the case. The Journal has his follow-up story today (with Michael Bender and Peter Nicholas).

At the same time, Lawfare has posted the first-person account of Matt Tait, Harris’s source. “I was involved in the events that reporter Shane Harris described, and I was an unnamed source for the initial story,” Tait writes. “What’s more, I was named in, and provided the documents to Harris that formed the basis of, th[e] follow-up story…” Tait’s account is full of smoke, including the assumption that Smith had obtained the deleted Clinton emails from an unnamed person representing the “dark web.”

Tait puts it this way: “[Smith] said that his team had been contacted by someone on the ‘dark web’; that this person had the emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server (which she had subsequently deleted), and that Smith wanted to establish if the emails were genuine.” Tait thereafter assumes that Smith had obtained the deleted emails.

“In the end,” Tait concedes, “I never saw the actual materials they’d been given, and to this day, I don’t know whether there were genuine emails, or whether Smith and his associates were deluding themselves.” Tait to the contrary notwithstanding, I can find nothing in Tait’s column to suggest he knows whether Smith had in fact obtained the deleted Clinton emails. Tait adds that it’s possible, after all, that “Smith” only “talked a very good game.”

The Brookings Institute is promoting Tait’s first-hand mystifications as some kind of a contribution this morning. That’s how I was alerted to it. Andy McCarthy hasn’t gotten to Harris’s follow-up story or to Tait’s account yet, but I think his comment in the NRO column applies generally to Harris’s follow-up Journal article and Tait’s account: “If you’re confused, I’d ordinarily suggest that you go back and read the report a time or two. But life is short and rereading would not much clarify this spaghetti bowl hurled against the wall, in the hope that some of the Flynn sauce might stick.”

Tom Fitton discusses Shocking, New Clinton Emails, Soros Lawsuit, Clean Elections, & Immigration

June 2, 2017

Tom Fitton discusses Shocking, New Clinton Emails, Soros Lawsuit, Clean Elections, & Immigration, Judicial Watch via YouTube, June 2, 2017

 

Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table

May 14, 2017

Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, May 14, 2017

(As to the appointment of a special prosecutor, please see also, What Crime Would a ‘Special Prosecutor’ Prosecute?  No crime has been found to prosecute.– DM)

The notion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump was a John Brennan/James Clapper confection created in an unorthodox way, and defied logic, given that Hillary and her associates had far closer connections to Russia than Trump or his associates did. John Merline writes at Investor’s Business Daily:

THE CLINTON FAMILY BUSINESS [snip]

Bill Clinton received half a million dollars in 2010 for a speech he gave in Moscow, paid by a Russian firm, Renaissance Capital, that has ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation took money from Russian officials and oligarchs, including Victor Kekselberg, a Putin confidant. The Foundation also received millions of dollars from Uranium One, which was sold to the Russian government in 2010, giving Russia control of 20% of the uranium deposits in the U.S. —  the sale required approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department. What’s more, at least some of these donations weren’t disclosed. “Ian Telfer, the head of the Russian government’s uranium company, Uranium One, made four foreign donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all such donors,” the Times has reported.

JOHN PODESTA In March — that is, long after the election was over — it was revealed that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman had failed to disclose the receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company — Joule Unlimited — for which he served as director from 2010 to 2014, when he joined the Obama White House in 2014. Podesta apparently had a large chunk of the shares transferred to “Leonidio Holdings, a brand-new entity he incorporated only on Dec. 20, 2013, about 10 days before he entered the White House,” according to a news account.

TONY PODESTA Mr. Podesta’s bother, who has close personal and business relations with Mrs. Clinton, was “key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms. His firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016, much of it coming from foreign governments, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics,” a March news story reported. The bank was “seeking to end one of the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against that country.” The report goes on to note that “Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.” Mr. Obama imposed the sanctions following the Russian seizure of the Crimean region of Ukraine in 2014.

JOHN BREAUX Forbes magazine reports that Mr. Breaux, a former Senator from Louisiana who cut radio ads for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign, represents Gazprombank GPB, a subsidiary of Russia’s third largest bank, on “banking laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions.”

THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN In March, Mr. Putin’s spokesman said that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with members of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign several times while she was running for president in 2016. Further, the campaign never disclosed the number or nature of these secret meetings.

As the great Sharyl Attkisson reports, 12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

  • The New York Times (Nov 1, 2016);
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan (Feb, 26, 2017);
  • Former DNI James Clapper , March 5, 2017);
  • Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017);
  • James Comey, March 20, 2017;
  • Rep. Chris Stewart, House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017;
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence committee, April 2, 2017);
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee, May 3, 2017);
  • Sen. Joe Manchin  Senate Intelligence Committee, May 8, 2017;
  • James Clapper (again) (May 8, 2017);
  • Rep. Maxine Waters, May 9, 2017);
  • President Donald Trump,(May 9, 2017).
  • Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, indicated that his briefing confirmed Dianne Feinstein’s view that the President was not under investigation for colluding with the Russians.

The firing of FBI Director James Comey caught both the media and press off guard. Up until a few hours before the firing, prominent Democrats had been calling for him to resign or be fired and the media had been critical of his performance. There have been many leaks about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn collected from government surveillance and unmasked and read by others, including recently fired acting attorney general and former DNI Clapper (and who knows how many others since that information was shared with others in the government). As the author of the Wall Street Journal’sBest of the Web observes: “Whoever has been leaking classified information, reporters might want to start asking their sources why the leaks never seem to contain any collusion evidence. They might also ask Mr. Schiff what it would take to get him interested in investigating potential abuses by his political allies.

Law professor Jonathan Turley says much the same thing: “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,’ Turley said Wednesday evening. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

“For weeks I’ve questioned the need for special counsel because honestly I still don’t see the underlying crime here. You know, when we talk about the Russian influence and collusion, there’s not any evidence I’ve seen of collusion,” Turley said on Morning Joe today.

The Firing of Comey Was Certainly Justified

Unless you think it makes political and constitutional sense to have an FBI director holding open forever an investigation of his boss with no factual basis, you might understand how ridiculous Comey’s refusal to publicly detail his reasons for so doing. My guess: it’s his arrogation of power and his continuing pattern of posing as an above-it-all public official while engaged in the most partisan pro-Democrat actions.

Apart from his botched handling of the Clinton investigation, here are some examples right now of his blindness to his own flaws:

In 2015, he appointed E.W. Priestap to his Counterintelligence Division. Priestap’s wife, a former FBI agent, contributed $5,000 to Hillary’s 2008 campaign and serves as a campaign consultant. Priestap is not the only FBI official closely linked to the Clintons. Andrew McCabe, Comey’s second in command, also has close ties to the Clintons. His wife received  almost half a million dollars from one of Hillary’s closest associates and pals.

Mr. McAuliffe and other state party leaders recruited Dr. McCabe to run, according to party officials. She lost the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black.

McCabe failed to disclose those contributions in financial disclosure forms as required by law and he’s still there.

But there is much more than the misjudgment of allowing these people to head the investigation, which has run on for months with an ocean of leaks and no evidence.

In this same March 20th hearing Comey stated there was an investigation into intelligence leaks to the media.  However, on May 8th the source of the reports that were eventually leaked to the media, acting AG Sally Yates, said she was never questioned by the FBI.

In the segment of the questioning below Rep. Stefanik begins by asking Director Comey what are the typical protocols, broad standards and procedures for notifying the Director of National Intelligence, the White House and senior congressional leadership (aka the intelligence Gang of Eight), when the FBI has opened a counter-intelligence investigation.[snip]

Director Comey intentionally obfuscates knowledge of the question from Rep Stefanik; using parseltongue verbiage to get himself away from the sunlit timeline.

The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight-month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama. Clapper was used rather extensively by the Obama Administration as an intelligence shield, a firewall or useful idiot, on several occasions.

Anyone who followed the Obama White House intel policy outcomes will have a lengthy frame of reference for DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan as the two primary political operatives. Clapper lied to congress about collection of metadata. Brennan also admitted investigating, and spying on, the Senate Intelligence Committee as they held oversight responsibility for the CIA itself.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.

At the NY Post, Michael Goodwin writes the clearest, most readable account of why Comey had to go.

Comey’s power-grabbing arrogance is why I called him “J. Edgar Comey” two months ago. His willingness to play politics, while insisting he was above it all, smacked of Washington at its worst. He was the keeper of secrets, until they served his purpose.

[snip]

The president didn’t have just one good reason to act. He had a choice among many.

The one he cited, Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, is rich with irony, given its prominence in the campaign. And the irony doesn’t stop, with Democrats who not so long ago were furious with Comey over the Clinton probe rushing out condemnations of Trump for firing him.

[snip]

Comey’s refusal to accept the department’s conclusion that he made major mistakes are reasonable grounds for dismissal of any employee in any circumstance, not least one who enjoys self-aggrandizing displays of independence.

It is understandable that his bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his recently confirmed deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, lost confidence in Comey. They pushed for his ouster, and the president agreed.

Yet Comey could have been fired for other aspects of the Clinton probe. The failure to empanel a grand jury, the willingness to destroy evidence as part of immunity agreements, the absurd claim that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case — each action and assertion suggested a less-than-thorough probe designed to please his Democratic bosses.

Then there are the leaks of investigations that amounted to a flood of illegal disclosures about the Trump administration. Virtually everything we know about whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian meddling in the election comes through leaks.

The names of those supposedly being investigated — Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page — all were made public through leaks. The fact that Sessions himself was wrong to tell the Senate he had not met with the Russian ambassador — we know that because of leaks to the Washington Post.

We know a computer server for Trump Tower was communicating with a Russian bank — because of leaks. Not incidentally, Hillary Clinton jumped on those leaks to insist Trump was guilty of collusion.

Only later did we learn — through leaks–that the FBI determined the server was sending spam.

Yet Comey adamantly insisted to congress that he could not even confirm that he was investigating any or all of these leaks – and that was that.

Kimberley Strassel makes mincemeat of Comey’s claim that he had to act as both investigator and prosecutor because his ostensible boss, then-attorney general Loretta Lynch, had compromised herself with the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the investigation:

Which leads us to Mr. Comey’s most recent and obvious conflict of all — likely a primary reason he was fired: the leaks investigation (or rather non-investigation). So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press. Mr. Trump and the GOP rightly see this as a major risk to national security. While the National Security Agency has been cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee and allowing lawmakers to review documents that might show the source of the leaks, Mr. Comey’s FBI has resolutely refused to do the same.

Why? The press reports that the FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor Carter Page. It’s still unclear exactly under what circumstances the government was listening in on former Trump adviser Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador, but the FBI was likely involved there, too. Meaning Mr. Comey’s agency is a prime possible source of the leaks.

In last week’s Senate hearing, Chairman Chuck Grassley pointed out the obvious: The entire top leadership of the FBI is suspect. “So how,” Mr. Grassley asked, “can the Justice Department guarantee the integrity of the investigations without designating an agency, other than the FBI, to gather the facts and eliminate senior FBI officials as suspects?” Mr. Comey didn’t provide much of an answer.

All this — the Russia probe, the unmasking, the leaks, the fraught question of whether the government was inappropriately monitoring campaigns, the allegations of interference in a presidential campaign — is wrapped together, with Mr. Comey at the center. The White House and House Republicans couldn’t have faith that the FBI would be an honest broker of the truth. Mr. Comey should have realized this, recused himself from ongoing probes, and set up a process to restore trust. He didn’t. So the White House did it for him.

This is Like Watergate, Only With Respect to FBI Leaks, Not Presidential Wrongdoing

The press keeps referring to this as a second Watergate, doubling down on its ignorance and counting on that of the public.

Contrary to the widespread fiction that Woodward and Bernstein revealed Nixon’s wrongdoing through determined slogging and some assistance from an unnamed “Deep Throat”, they got the story from a disgruntled second in command at the FBI, Mark Felt, who handed it to them on a silver platter, instead of honorably turning over what he knew to a grand jury.

In fact, during the 1976 grand jury investigation of Felt’s own “black bag” operation, Assistant Attorney General Stanley Pottinger had learned that Felt was Deep Throat but the secrecy of grand jury proceedings prevented him from disclosing that to anyone.

[snip]

His reason? Probably for appointing someone else, not him, to the directorship of the FBI.

[snip]

In Felt’s case, it is hard to imagine a more monstrous betrayal than his. He reviewed every FBI report on the Watergate investigation and gave it to the reporters almost as soon as it hit his desk. One can only imagine the chaos and paranoia that action caused and how it impacted everything the FBI was working on.

So if this is Watergate, it’s not because this president is trying to cover up any wrongdoing on his part, but rather Comey and others at the FBI are trying to cover up theirs, rather like Mark Felt. The drive to arrogate power to one’s self is a feature of Washington politics, and hardly unknown to the top ranks of the FBI.

The Call from Some Quarters for a Special Prosecutor is Nonsensical

With the lapse of the Independent Prosecutor Statute, the only remaining way to have a special prosecutor is for the attorney general or his designee to appoint one. And only that person can discipline or remove him from office, and can do so only under regulations promulgated by Attorney General Janet Reno, regulations that lack an underlying statutory basis. The person appointed special prosecutor is a prosecutor, not someone designated to expose wrongdoing, and so if he finds some but it is not prosecutable, we’ll never know about it. In other words, it would result in burying information. Since the charges after extensive investigation have obviously proved fruitless, the appointment of a special prosecutor would likely only serve to keep the half-cocked notions of collusion and interference alive.

Writing earlier on the question of appointing a special prosecutor to review the Clinton emails, Andrew McCarthy wisely batted that off. The Constitution has a single means of dealing with official criminality: impeachment.

The aim of people like Senator Durbin that call for such an appointment is to keep the game going: Announce an investigation is ongoing, leak information which may well be false — and then decline to testify about matters because they are “still under investigation’” If the special prosecutor finds nothing, the conspiracy claims will continue. If he goes off the rails, as Patrick Fitzgerald surely did, and is removed, it will still keep going.

As we say in poker, “Game’s up — if you’ve got ’em, show ‘em.’

 

Obama’s Parting Shot At Hillary: Admits Collusion Between Clinton Foundation and Obama state Department

January 22, 2017

Obama’s Parting Shot At Hillary: Admits Collusion Between Clinton Foundation and Obama state Department, Investment Watch, Pamela Williams, January 22, 2017

(All bold print is from the original article.  Please see also, Guess who was left unpardoned! — DM)

Obama takes a parting shot at Hillary Clinton during his last night as President.  He admits to the American Center of Law and Justice that his State Department worked with the Clinton Foundation to secure a position as a “favor.” I guess Obama truly wanted to do the right thing before he left office.  Many thought he would pardon Clinton, but he chose not to do that.  Further, he chose to reveal this information of collusion between his State Department and the Clinton Foundation.  We all knew it was happening, but now we have the outgoing President of the United States coming clean to the American Center of Law and Justice.
In case you are not familiar with the ACLJ here is the following:  Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C. and is online at www.aclj.org.  We thank them for their excellent work for the American people.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has filed a number of federal lawsuits against the Obama Administration to obtain information through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, said today it has received a response from the Obama State Department – on the eve of President Obama’s final day in office – revealing the name of a person who received a top position in the Obama Administration after the Clinton Foundation urged then Secretary of State Clinton’s aides to do a “favor” for a person who ended up getting a top job in the State Department.

In the fall of 2016, Judicial Watch received hundreds of pages of documents from the State Department – including an email exchange between Clinton Foundation Executive Doug Band and top aides to then Secretary Clinton – Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills – urging them to do a “favor” noting it was “important to take care of [name redacted]” – an individual whose name was redacted by the State Department.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aclj-obama-administrations-parting-shot-admits-state-department-worked-with-clinton-foundation-to-secure-position-as-favor-300394251.html

We are seeing those old familiar names appearing again, as we discover a new revelation from President Obama.  We, also, are able to view the documents in question.  The following documents give the individual’s name and reveal he was given a top position in the State Department on the closure of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO).  

http://media.aclj.org/pdf/ACLJ-(Records)-Production-001_2-For-Release.pdf

Brock Johnson was the appointee, who received the “favor.” I am sure this is one favor Obama regrets giving.  According to documents provided by the State Department, the person who received the “favor” is Brock Johnson, identified in news reports as a former Obama campaign operative.  According to the State Department, Johnson was hired in May 2009 – two weeks after the Clinton Foundation email asking for a “favor” – as “Special Assistant to the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure.”  The job description states that he was to help the Special Envoy “in furtherance of President Obama’s order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”

We see an old name pop up from Clinton’s campaign, Cheryl Mills, who was Johnson’s supervisor.  His job was classified as “critical sensitive” at the State Department.

“This is exactly the kind of collusion between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department that is totally inappropriate,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We suspected that this type of behavior was taking place and now we have proof.  It’s both troubling and unfortunate that the Obama State Department – under the direction of then Secretary Clinton – engaged in such activity and worse yet that both Secretary Clinton and the State Department went to great lengths to conceal this inappropriate action.”

In addition to the ongoing litigation involving collusion with the Clinton Foundation, the ACLJ continues its ongoing litigation against President Obama’s continuing legacy – the out-of-control bureaucracy – over the Iran lie, inaction on genocide, and the secret meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aclj-obama-administrations-parting-shot-admits-state-department-worked-with-clinton-foundation-to-secure-position-as-favor-300394251.html

In conclusion, this is a win for we the people, and I thank the ACLJ for all their persistence and hard work.  This should also help Rep. Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee, as he performs his investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

I, also, would like to thank President Obama for not pardoning Hillary Clinton, and revealing the collusion between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

 

FROM VIDEO:

Published on Jan 16, 2017

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Based on the testimony of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General of the United States, an investigation of Hillary’s emails and/or the Clinton Foundation could result in an indictment. If this happens, MANY OTHER PEOPLE/ENTITIES could be implicated, including Barack Obama himself, in Hillary’s crimes.

Hillary is guilty, already, of numerous crimes including harboring classified information on an undesignated, non-governmental server. Several brave military men in the U.S. have been convicted with FAR LESS evidence, and some of these people are facing lengthy prison sentences. James Comey of the FBI, however, decided to ignore Hillary’s obvious crimes and not indict. This was purely political and will tarnish his reputation.

We know that Comey was influenced by a rogue operative in the state department named Patrick Kennedy, who has worked in the department since the 1970s. Based on reports in the media and confirmed now by the FBI report that was declassified, Patrick Kennedy engaged in a quid pro quo with Comey’s FBI in order to keep Hillary safe from an indictment. He got what he wanted, Comey dismissed the opportunity to press charges on at least two occasions, despite testifying before Congress that Hillary Clinton did, indeed, store classified intelligence on her server.

Steep Learning Curve: DNC Staff Rally Behind Brazile As Democratic Leaders Reportedly Groom Chelsea For Congress

November 12, 2016

Steep Learning Curve: DNC Staff Rally Behind Brazile As Democratic Leaders Reportedly Groom Chelsea For Congress, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, November 12, 2016

donna

 

chelsea_clinton_dnc_july_2016_cropped

For even the armchair political commentator, the results of this election were not surprising. The voters made two things clear from the outset of the election: they wanted a change from the establishment and they did not like Hillary Clinton. The Democratic leadership responded by engineering the selection of perhaps the greatest establishment figure in politics and someone with a record level of unpopularity with voters. On election day, voters followed through on every poll: they voted against Clinton and the establishment. Only the mainstream media and democratic insiders seemed bowled over by the news — shocked that the voters would reject their sage advice and lopsided coverage. Indeed, as someone who contributed to the coverage that night, I was shocked how shocked everyone was. It showed how entirely out of touch the core Democratic leadership (and media) has become. Now, that thick cloak of denial appears firmly in place as Democrats blame FBI Director Comey for the loss despite the fact that Hillary was declining in the polls before his late disclosure to Congress and the fact that Hillary set records on dishonesty in poll after poll. Two stories this week have brought this home. One was the rallying behind Donna Brazile by DNC staff last week with the notable exception of one man who confronted both Brazile and his colleagues. The second is the report that Democratic leaders immediately turned form Hillary Clinton’s historic defeat to start grooming Chelsea Clinton for political office. The problem it seems was that the public was not given enough Clintons. Faced with a populist uprising, the Democratic leadership seems to be offering more of the same like an actor who cannot move beyond one script and one role.

We have previously discussed the unethical actions of interim DNC chief Brazile and the conspicuous failures of the media to investigate her claims of altered emails. While CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker called Brazile’s actions “disgusting” and others have denounced her actions, the DNC has stuck with Brazile and she recently appeared before staff to given them a pep talk.

The event however did not turn out quite as planned when one staffer had had enough. According to The Huffington Post, a staffer named Zach asked “Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this? You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.” He continued by saying “You are part of the problem. You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.”

He then left — a personification for millions of independents and Democrats who abandoned the party to elect Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, the rest of the DNC rallied behind Brazile and gave breathless accounts of her inspiring leadership. A DNC staffer told HuffPost that there was “overwhelming” support for Brazile and that her words “had some staffers in tears.” That would be welcomed news for Republican strategists. It is also worth noting that, after emails showed that Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (Brazile’s predecessor) had worked to rig the primary and dealt dishonestly with Sanders, she was overwhelmingly reelected and embraced by the DNC leadership.

The second story is even more curious. Many viewed the election as the ultimate rejection of the Clinton dynasty that has controlled the Democratic party for over a decade. The Clintons put their family and its “brand” front and center in this election . . . and voters rejected it. However, within hours of the defeat, Democratic leaders were reportedly turning to Chelsea Clinton as the new flag bearer. Clinton, 36, is reportedly being groomed by the same leadership to replace Rep. Nita Lowey, 79, in representing New York’s 17th District. Of course, Chelsea does not live there but the district covers part of Westchester County, including Bill and Hillary Clinton’s hometown of Chappaqua.

Chelsea was previously given a high-ranking media position with disastrous results— a move that was denounced by journalists as political connections overwhelming journalistic merit. Her role in the Clinton Foundation has come under fire. However, the greatest problem is that her resume is largely the result of her family and foundation ties.

The question is whether the Democrats are going to spin the result of this election and deny reality when, in two years, they will be facing the inverse of this election: more Democratic seats will be up for grabs and Trump could receive a super majority in Congress, including a veto-proof margin.

I am an independent and do not have a horse in this race. However, in speaking with my Democratic students, they express complete separation from the Democratic leadership and the establishment politics that it has come to represent. I come from a long-standing Democratic and liberal family in Chicago. When I was raised in that environment, the Democratic party was the populist party — the voice of the outsider and emerging constituencies. Now it is viewed as the party of insiders and establishment power brokers. There may be enough unhappy members (particularly Sanders people) to change the party, but these stories do not help with that image.

It seems to me that, if the Democrats want to resurrect their party, it will require entirely new leadership and a new vision to fit an increasing independent populace.

What do you think?