The Democratic Party: a criminal organization? 6

Will the crimes and corruption of the Democratic Party at last be investigated, exposed, prosecuted and punished?

Seems that some may be.

From Breitbart, by Ian Mason:

Republicans of the House Judiciary Committee [have] drafted a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein … asking them to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the 2016 elections. …

(Robert Mueller being the first “Special Counsel, appointed  to look into the non-existent crime, alleged by the Democrats, of “collusion” between President Trump and President Putin.)

The letter lists 14 specific inquiries the congressmen would like this potential second special counsel to look into:

  1. Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;
  2. The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;
  3. FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;
  4. The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;
  5. The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;
  6. WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;
  7. Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;
  8. Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;
  9. Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;
  10. Post-election accusations by the President that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;
  11. Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;
  12. Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;
  13. Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and
  14. Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provided to author [and NYT reporter – ed] Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

The letter is signed by all 20 Republican members of the committee.

Will John Koskinen, head of the IRS, and his underling Lois Lerner also be investigated soon for crimes and corruption? (See here and here.)

And former DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s involvement with a gang of Pakistani crooks and supporters of Islamic terrorism, who, as IT experts, were given access by Democrats on congressional committees to highly sensitive information?  (See our post, A huge political scandal, July 27, 2017.)

Will it be revealed that the Democratic Party is essentially a criminal organization?

The president, the scandal, the crimes 1

A criminal president? Is there evidence of his crimes?

Oh, yes.

From PowerLine, by John Hinderaker:

There is a deep irony in the fact that Democrats are hysterically demanding investigations of President Trump and his campaign team, and in fact multiple investigations are now in progress, even though there is zero evidence that [he or] anyone associated with [him] has done anything wrong. On the other hand, we now know for certain that the Obama administration weaponized the intelligence agencies in order to use them against political opponents, in a manner that is unprecedented, highly dangerous to our democracy, and criminal.

This scandal, which dwarfs anything of which the Trump team is even suspected, has been exposed and lies largely in plain sight for all to see. Yet it has generally been greeted with yawns, if acknowledged at all, by politicians and commentators.

The writer recalls the “single bugging of the political opposition” that brought down the presidency of President Nixon.

In the light of that, Obama should surely be held accountable for his  “program of massively spying on political opponents” in clear violation of the law.   

Not only did Obama’s administration commit these crimes, but it “then lied about its actions“.

A respected federal judge, serving on the FISA court, has leveled a very serious charge against Barack Obama and his administration – more serious than any charge that was made, let alone proved, against Richard Nixon. The Obama administration was guilty of an “institutional lack of candor,” which is a polite way of saying that it lied to the court about what it was doing. And what it was doing, was violating the constitutional rights of Americans. Donald Trump and his associates have been accused of nothing even remotely as serious.

John Solomon’s and Sara Carter’s report that revealed these facts is quoted:

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans. … The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard Americans’ privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

The Department of Justice needs to get to the bottom of Obama’s abuse of the intelligence agencies and the FBI.

That abuse was criminally compounded when Obama administration officials leaked classified information to the Washington Post and the New York Times in order to damage political opponents. We know for certain that felonies have been committed, so someone should go to jail.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to ask: What did President Obama know, and when did he know it? Who else in his administration was responsible for the scandal? Where criminal prosecution is warranted, it is up to Justice to bring the cases. …

It is. So what is Attorney General Jeff Sessions doing about this?

Congress [too] should set investigations in motion. The public needs to know not only who committed crimes, but how deep the corruption went inside the Obama administration. And Congress needs to address, seriously, the question whether our politicized intelligence agencies can continue to exist in their present form. 

As for President Trump, firing James Comey didn’t go anywhere near far enough. Heads should roll at the CIA, the NSA and the FBI. Those who are tainted with the abuses that took place during the Obama administration should be shown the door and, where crimes have been committed, prosecuted.

Justice would be most satisfactorily served if those heads rolled. After fair trial, of course, of course. Always “innocent until proved guilty”. All the safeguards scrupulously observed  … yes, yes. And then –

Oh to hear the slamming of the cell doors!

Posted under corruption, Crime, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

The achievements of President Trump in his first four months in office 8

Wanna see Democrats and media hacks weep? Hand them this list!

So writes Joan Swirsky at Canada Free press. We want to see Democrats and media hacks weep, and we also want to see conservatives and libertarians, nationists and populists, Republicans and all our friends and allies smile.

Here is the list:

If these accomplishments are not familiar, that’s because 99 percent of the media – the jerks – are a de facto arm of the Democratic National Committee and the far-left fringe, and are so terminally distressed by the fact that Mr. Trump won the presidency that they obstinately refuse to report what by any objective standards is the news. This is because:

  • They’ve been pushing leftist values for well over a half century and are unable to admit that their anti-Trump, pro-Hillary message was an utter and complete failure.
  • They are part and parcel of the vast, contaminated, rancid, crooked, pay-for-play, corrupt swamp that candidate Trump promised to drain, and President Trump is now draining.
  • The man they mock – for his syntax and phrasing, style of governing, unpredictability, and so-called contradictions – has both confounded and trumped them at every turn.

This is why they remain fixated on the fairy tale of a Trump-Russian connection. They have nothing else – as in nothing!

LIGHTNING

After Pres. Trump’s first month in office,

  • 235,000 jobs were added to our economy in February, 100,000 more than expected;
  • 40 percent fewer illegal immigrants crossed our border;
  • $3 trillion was added to the stock market;
  • Judge Gorsuch, a constitutionalist worthy of Justice Scalia’s seat, was nominated to the Supreme Court.

In his first 100 days:

  • appointments of Vice President Mike Pence, pro-life conservative;
  • Justice Neil Gorsuch, an originalist committed to the Constitution;
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions, staunch conservative committed to the rule of law;
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis, a warrior committed to restoring America’s military;
  • Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a former general committed to border security;
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a former CEO who understands how the real world works;
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, a brain surgeon from a humble background;
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a doctor who understands health care;
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an advocate of school choice and educational reform;
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and expert on the energy industry;
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former CEO who understands the business world;
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a conservative committed to reining in big government;
  • U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, a fearless advocate for American values;
  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a true friend of Israel;
  • White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, a conservative warrior against crony capitalism and the left;
  • National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, an accomplished military commander;
  • and White House Counterterrorism Adviser Sebastian Gorka, committed to defeating radical Islam.

President Trump;

  • restored the U.S. alliance with Israel and welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House;
  • restored U.S. leadership in the world;
  • enforced red lines against the use of chemical weapons in Syria;
  • dropped the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) on ISIS, sending a clear message to Iran and North Korea;
  • secured the Chinese cooperation in pressuring North Korea and the release of Aya Hijazi, American charity worker held in Egypt since 2014;
  • imposed a five-year ban on lobbying the government by former White House officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments by former White House officials;
  • repeatedly called out the liberal media for “fake news”;
  • repealed Obama mandate that forced states to fund Planned Parenthood;
  • signed executive order reinstating Reagan policy against taxpayer funding of overseas abortions;
  • stopped U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which promotes abortions;
  • signed the following Executive Orders
    1. to mandate a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS,
    2. to begin construction of the border wall and hire additional 5,000 border agents,
    3. to order the Justice Department to cut funding to sanctuary cities,
    4. to institute a temporary federal hiring freeze,
    5. to institute a travel ban on individuals from a select number of countries embroiled in terrorist atrocities;
    6. to withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership trade deal,
    7. to mandate that two regulations will be repealed for every new one issued,
    8. to institute a comprehensive approach to illegal immigration and crime; et al.

THUNDER

Further,

  • Pres. Trump issued orders to seek increased penalties for crimes against police;
  • to promote energy independence; to put American companies and workers first;
  • to review federal regulations in education; to investigate national security impact of foreign steel imports;
  • to require an audit of executive branch agencies;
  • to order every agency to create a regulatory reform task force;
  • to roll back Obama environmental infringements on private property.

In addition,

  • Pres. Trump issued orders to prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts; to reverse Obama restrictions on offshore energy development;
  • for a major review of national monument designations on federal lands;
  • to establish a new office to reform the Veterans Administration bureaucracy;
  • to address concerns of Rural America;
  • to establish a White House Initiative on historically Black Colleges and Universities;
  • to create a commission on drug addiction and the opioid crisis;
  • to combat transnational criminal organizations and international trafficking; to repeal the following:
  1. Obama’s transgender public school bathroom mandate,
  2. Obama’s “Stream Protection Rule” that has hurt the coal industry,
  3. Obama’s Social Security Administration’s gun ban,
  4. Obama’s Labor “blacklisting” rule with $500 million in regulatory costs,
  5. Obama’s Interior rule that restricted state and local authority in land use decisions,
  6. Obama’s unfunded education mandate that created new standards for teachers,
  7. Obama’s education rule that undermined state and local control,
  8. Obama’s regulation that prevented drug testing for unemployment compensation,
  9. Obama’s rule that banned some hunting in Alaska,
  10. Obama’s regulation that created vastly more paperwork and reporting of worker injuries,
  11. Obama’s regulations on Internet Service Providers,
  12. Obama’s rule that allowed states to force workers into government-run savings plans, and the Dodd-Frank regulations that disadvantaged domestic companies.

Going further,

  • Pres. Trump Imposed sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile violations and human rights violations;
  • Ordered review of the Iranian nuclear deal;
  • Produced a budget that cut $54 billion from bloated federal bureaucracies, that would eliminate 50 programs and more than 3,000 federal jobs, and that boosted spending for defense, homeland security and veterans; produced a tax-reform plan that simplifies the tax code and reduces taxes for businesses and families;
  • Approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline; shut down illegal immigrant advocacy program at Department of Justice;
  • Established Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office;
  • Reduced illegal immigration at the border by 61 percent;
  • Called for “major investigation” of voter fraud led by Vice President Mike Pence;
  • Called for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which limits free speech of pastors and churches;
  • Called for 50 percent cut in funding to the United Nations; supported English as official language by dropping Spanish version of the White House website;
  • Purged “climate change” alarmism from White House website;
  • Returned bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office;
  • Succeeded in getting NATO nations to boost defense spending by $10 billion;
  • Halted $180 billion in Obama regulations;
  • Signed legislation expanding private healthcare options for veterans;
  • Relaxed Rules of Engagement in the fight against ISIS;
  • Imposed sanctions on Venezuelan vice president for international drug trafficking.

UP, UP & AWAY

At this early point,

  • Consumer confidence is the highest in 17 years;
  • Small business confidence highest in 11 years;
  • Stock market is up 10 percent since inauguration, up 15 percent since election;
  • Exxon Mobil announced $20 billion-45,000 job expansion in U.S.;
  • Charter Communications announced $25 billion expansion, creating 20,000 jobs in U.S.;
  • Accenture announced $1.4 billion expansion, creating 15,000 jobs in U.S.;
  • Intel announced $7 billion expansion, creating 10,000 jobs in the U.S.
  • Pres. Trump ordered renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico;
  • Named former Congressman Scott Garrett, an outspoken critic of the Export-Import Bank to the bank’s Board of Directors
  • Today, U.S. unemployment is at its lowest level since 1988!

The U.S. debt decreased by $100 billion during Pres. Trump’s first hundred days; the U.S. Manufacturing Index soared to a 33-year high! In the first month alone, he added 298,000 jobs; housing sales are off the charts right now … in 2011, the average time a house was on the market was 84 days, now, it’s just 45 days; illegal immigration is down 67% since the Inauguration; NATO announced Allied spending is up $10 billion.

This Mt. Everest of accomplishments belongs to a man who is straight out of central casting. Every day, he looks like a million dollars and is stunningly successful in his dealings with everyone from heads of state to manual laborers to ardent fans to entrenched skeptics. Every day, he brings both ebullience and laser-like focus to a job he clearly relishes, displays admirable courage in making hard choices, and is zooming along at warp speed to Make America Great Again!

All this while never hesitating to take on the sacred cows of the leftist jerks among us – political correctness and global warming rank high – and to illuminate the public about the widespread scourge of the fake news and fake polls that those same leftist jerks tried but failed to foist upon us in the November election.

It was easy for the media when all they had to do was pretend that 94-million unemployed citizens, a weakened military, alienated allies, a genocidal Iran deal, and unprecedented escalation of Muslim Brotherhood operatives implanted in the highest reaches of our government, and an increase in the national debt by $9 trillion to almost $20 trillion, were nothing to worry about – all while they asked the guy in the Oval Office what his favorite ice-cream flavor was!

Now there’s a grown-up in charge and the children among us (Democrats, leftists, progressives, whatever they’re calling themselves these days) are as ineffectual – indeed, impotent – as they were when Donald J. Trump announced for the presidency in June of 2015.

Important omissions:

President Trump also fired dangerous James Comey from his directorship of the FBI.

He gained the co-operation of China – at least to some extent, though how far remains to be seen – in dealing with hostile North Korea.

His tax proposals will reduce the burden of taxation – and at the same time increase revenue.

His proposed health legislation, while not ideal, at least hastens the end of Obamacare.

While we fully appreciate the quantity and quality of these achievements, and the speed with which they have been executed, there are others we are hoping to see in due course (perhaps in some cases over-optimistically). Chief among them are (in no special order):

The disarming of  North Korea.

The cancellation of the Obama “deal” with Iran and the destruction of Iran’s  nuclear facilities.

The permanent crushing of ISIS.

An effective restraint on Muslim immigration.

Effective resistance to the Islamic jihad, putting a stop to both its stealthy and its terrorist tactics.

The completed Wall on the southern border of the United States.

The US embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The defunding of the UN – ideally to the end that it withers and dies.

The defunding of sanctuary cities.

The defunding of so-called universities that have become madrassas to indoctrinate leftist ideology.

A refusal to sign any international agreement demanding action to “change the climate” of the earth, since it is impossible as well as unnecessary, and the pointless effort is a colossal waste of money.

*

Update:

Two more needed achievements we hope to be able to celebrate:

The investigation, conviction, and incarceration of both Obama and Hillary (among others) for their various crimes including treason.

The Muslim Brotherhood declared a terrorist group.

.

[Hat tip for these additions to our highly valuable commenter liz)

Now, President Trump, hit back! 5

The Left was able to make its “long march through the institutions” and finally achieve supreme power as the bureaucratic dictatorship of the European Union and the administration of Barack Obama in the United States, because the conservative Right let it.

The Left fights low and dirty. Conservative politicians, almost without exception, will not “descend to their level”. Conservatives and Republicans fight like gentlemen (and that includes the women except for Margaret the Great of England); which means to fight cleanly, respectfully, obeying the rules – of etiquette! The result was, the thugs on the Left won power.

Then Donald Trump barged on to the political stage.

Donald Trump wants to win, win he does, and win he shall.

But even now, one of his own chosen team, newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has let him down with etiquette! So of course President Trump is furious with Sessions for surrendering to the enemy, who is fighting lower and dirtier than ever.

Andrew McCarthy explains, writing at the National Review:

So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Great! Just one question: From what? Yes, yes, Sessions is a good and decent man. He is a scrupulous lawyer who cares about his reputation. Thus, in stark contrast to Obama administration attorneys general, he strictly applied — I’d say he hyper-applied — the ethical standard that calls on a lawyer to recuse himself from a matter in which his participation as counsel would create the mere appearance of impropriety.

The standard is eminently sensible because the legitimacy of our judicial system depends not only on its actually being on the up and up but on its being perceived as such. If it looks like you’re conflicted, you step aside, period. Simple, right? Well . . . Much as I admire our AG’s virtue (and you know I do), let’s pause the preen parade for just a moment. There’s a tiny word in that just-described ethical standard that we need to take note of: matter. A lawyer doesn’t just recuse himself. He recuses himself from a legal matter — from participation in a case. When we are talking about the criminal law, that means recusal from a prospective prosecution. You need a crime for that. Prosecutors do not recuse themselves from fishing expeditions or partisan narratives. So . . . what is the crime?

We need to ask this question because, rest assured, this does not end with Jeff Sessions. No more than it ended with Mike Flynn. No more than it would end if the media-Democrat complex were to obtain the much coveted scalp of Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Seb Gorka, or one of the other Beltway gate-crashers we’ve come to know over the last six improbable months. The objective is President Trump: preferably, his impeachment and removal; but second prize, his mortal political wounding by a thousand cuts just in time for 2018 and 2020, would surely do. …

Impeachment cases do not just spontaneously appear. They have to be built over time, and with vigor, because most Americans — even those who oppose a president politically — do not want the wrenching divisiveness and national instability that impeachment unavoidably entails. The reluctant public must be convinced that there is urgency, that the [targeted] president’s demonstrated unfitness has created a crisis that must be dealt with. …

In the matter of Barack Obama, the GOP had an actual case based on systematic executive overreach and the empowering of America’s enemies, the kind of threat to the constitutional framework that induced Madison to regard the impeachment remedy as “indispensable”. Yet agitating for upheaval is against the Republican character (a generally good trait, though paralyzing in an actual crisis). …

Republicans had no stomach for mentioning impeachment, much less building a case. Democrats, by contrast, have an iron-cast stomach and an unseemly zeal for upheaval. They’re ready to build. All they lack is a case. No problem: They have made one up, and they are confident not only that they will build it into a national crisis of confidence in the presidency but that the Republicans will help them.

And lo and behold, Republicans are helping them. Unwittingly perhaps, but helping all the same.

Let’s try to keep our eye on the ball here. The “Russia hacked the election” narrative is laughably false. Russian intelligence, at most, hacked e-mail accounts of prominent Democrats during the campaign. That is not hacking the election, which would require manipulating the voting process. And it almost certainly had zero impact on the outcome of the election. Remember, these are the same Democrats who spent nearly two years telling you that Hillary Clinton’s own scandalous e-mails made no difference — she was going to glide to victory. Do they really expect you to believe she lost because of John Podesta’s comparatively benign e-mails? (Thought experiment: Outside us political wonks, what percentage of the American electorate actually knows who the hell John Podesta is?)

Let’s look hard at the farcical “Russia hacked the election” narrative and ask: Have any crimes been committed, and by whom? Yes, we know that crimes of hacking were committed. Again, this was not hacking of the election; it was hacking of Democrats, during the campaign, months before the election. Not only do we know there were hacking crimes; government investigators tell us they know exactly who did it: Russian intelligence services. That was what the FBI pronounced in the largely content-free report it released jointly with the CIA and NSA. Thus, the only apparent crimes have already been solved.

Not so fast,” you’re thinking, “what about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” And why wouldn’t you ask that? After all, the media and Democrats have been hammering “Russia hacked the election” non-stop for three months; Mike Flynn has been ousted from his perch as national security adviser after meeting with a Russian ambassador; and now we have Jeff Sessions, after meeting with the very same Russian ambassador, recusing himself from . . . er . . . well . . . um . . . something, I guess. But what something? Is there any fire under all that smoke?

Start with this: There is no evidence — none, not a speck, not even a little one — that Donald Trump or anyone associated with him had anything whatsoever to do with the hacking of Democratic accounts. Remember, that’s the only crime here. And the Trump campaign had utterly nothing to do with it. We know this for two reasons.

First, in its ballyhooed report, the FBI told us not only that the Russians are the culprits but also that the Democrats were not the only targets. Putin’s regime, we are told, targeted both major parties. This was a Russian-government effort to compromise the American government, no matter which candidate ended up running it. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI made no allegation that Trump and his associates were complicit.

Second, it’s not like the FBI and the Obama Justice Department didn’t try to make a case against Trump. In fact, they scorched the earth. Besides the illegal leaks of classified information that have fueled the “Russia hacked the election” scam, this is the most outrageous and studiously unmentioned scandal of the election. While the commentariat was rending its garments over the mere prospect that Trump might have his political adversary, Hillary Clinton, investigated if he won the election, Obama was actually having Trump investigated.

To rehearse briefly, in the weeks prior to June 2016, the FBI did a preliminary investigation, apparently based on concerns about a server at Trump Tower that allegedly had some connection to Russian financial institutions. Even if there were such a connection, it is not a crime to do business with Russian banks — lots of Americans do. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI found no impropriety and did not proceed with a criminal investigation.

What is surprising, though, is that the case was not closed down. Instead, the Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. It has been reported that Trump was “named” in the application, but it is not publicly known whether he (a) was named as a proposed wiretap target, or (b) was just mentioned in passing in the application. Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department — the same institution that, at that very moment, was whitewashing the Clinton e-mail scandal. And when Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. That is telling, because the FISA court is generally very accommodating of government surveillance requests.

Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application, and for all we know the investigation is continuing. There are two significant takeaways from this.

First, a FISA national-security investigation is not a criminal investigation. It is not a probe to uncover criminal activity; it is a classified effort to discover what a potentially hostile foreign government may be up to on American soil. It does not get an assigned prosecutor because the purpose is not to prove anything publicly in court — indeed, it is a major no-no for the Justice Department to use its FISA authority pretextually, for the real purpose of trying to build a criminal investigation.

Second, remember when the New York Times gleefully reported in mid January that three Trump associates — Paul Manafort (who was ousted as campaign manager in August), Manafort’s associate Roger Stone, and Trump’s investor friend Carter Page — were being investigated over alleged ties to Russia? Well, deep into the report, after all the heavy breathing about potential Trump–Russia ties, the Times report conceded that this investigation may very well have nothing to do with Trump, the presidential campaign, or Russian hacking. …

Bottom line: The Obama Justice Department and the FBI spent at least eight months searching for Trump–Russia ties. They found nothing criminal, and clearly nothing connecting Trump to Russian hacking. …

Where’s the crime?

And what else is propping up the “Russia hacked the election” narrative? First there is General Flynn. He had a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which Kislyak raised the subject of sanctions imposed earlier that day by Obama. But there was nothing illegal or improper about this conversation: Flynn was part of the Trump transition and about to become national security adviser, so he was supposed to be reaching out to foreign governments. And, as the New York Times acknowledged, though the FBI has a recording of the conversation (because the Russian ambassador was under surveillance), and though the Bureau, the Obama Justice Department, and what the Times gingerly called Obama’s “advisers” carefully combed over every word of it, Flynn made no commitments to address the Russian concerns — the Times: “Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no.” That is the main point. Flynn was not fired for speaking with the Russian ambassador. He was fired for failing to provide a competent summary of their conversation to senior Trump officials. Again: no crime, nothing to do with hacking, and nothing to do with the election.

And now, finally, we have Jeff Sessions. He, too, met with the Russian ambassador. But so, it appears, has most of Washington — including Democratic Washington and, in particular, the Obama White House, which Ambassador Sergey Kislyak evidently visited at least 22 times. Ironically, the overblown controversy surrounding Sessions this week was caused primarily by his haste to deny, forcefully, that he had any participation, as a Trump campaign surrogate, in communications with the Russian government regarding the 2016 election. This was the upshot of his response to a loaded question from Democratic senator Al Franken, who was relying on salacious allegations in a goofy and discredited dossier compiled for Trump opponents. Several media outlets had had access to the dossier for months but had not published it, despite their loathing of Trump, because its outlandish claims could not be substantiated.

In any event, Sessions, like Flynn, made the error of mis-describing his contacts with the Russian ambassador. That is unfortunate, but there was nothing remotely criminal or inappropriate about the contacts themselves.

To summarize, there is no crime here except the ones committed by Russian intelligence. There is no evidence that Trump or his associates had any complicity in those hacking crimes.

When all of the smoke is cleared away, the Democrats’ beef is that Trump may have benefited from Russia’s crimes. In reality, it is highly unlikely that the Russian hacking of Democratic e-mails had any effect on the outcome of the election. Even if we indulge the fantasy that it did, however, here’s the sad news the media won’t tell you: It is not a crime to benefit from other people’s crimes. No one should know this better than Democrats. They could not have been more thrilled when, during the late stages of the campaign, someone — perhaps not the Russians — illegally leaked some of Trump’s tax-return information. Had Mrs. Clinton won, no one would have said Trump was denied because of Clinton-campaign ties to tax outlaws. Nor would Trump have been heard to complain about Clinton-campaign ties to NBC, which leaked the infamous Trump–Billy Bush tape. Washington would have yawned, and then snickered that Republicans lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. Instead, Democrats lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. To end where we started, what is the crime? What is the crime Sessions must be recused from investigating?

What is the crime that a special counsel must be appointed to probe? There isn’t one. There’s nothing. But as the Democrats are showing, when your opposition is running scared, you can go a long way on nothing.

But President Trump is not “running scared”.

Remember this part of Andrew McCarthy’s article?:

The Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. … Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department  … When Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. … Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application.

It gives President Trump mighty cause for complaint. And complaining he is. 

Fox News reports:

President Trump tweeted:

How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergage. Bad (or sick) guy!

The White House has called for the US Congress to investigate President Donald Trump’s claim Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be “wiretapped” during the US election.

Former President Obama on Saturday denied President Trump’s accusation that Obama had Trump Tower phones tapped in the weeks before the November 2016 election.

No surprise there. Of course Obama denies it. But this time, at last, he may be caught out in a lie that even his toady media will not be able to cover up.

“Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” said Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president … A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”

Oh, a “cardinal rule”! Really? And what is any sort of rule to the Left? A thing to be broken.

And the wire-tapping is a scandal that is not merely to be complained about.

These quotations come from various articles at PowerLine:

This is the most explosive political allegation in many years, far more explosive than Watergate.

If the Obama administration abused the FISA process to wiretap a political opponent, it is a scandal of the first order – the worst political scandal of my lifetime, easily. And the press has known about it and covered it up? Unbelievable.

All too believable, we would say – though we agree it is a scandal of the first order.

There is no doubt that Obama’s Justice Department – the most corrupt and politicized Department of Justice in modern American history – obtained a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump associates, and possibly Trump himself, in the heat of the presidential campaign.

It is too late to impeach Obama, but the FISA application should be carefully reviewed, and if appropriate, the judges who issued the warrant should be investigated. If it was issued on partisan grounds, it is not too late to impeach the judges who authorized the improper wiretap.

This scandal cries out for aggressive investigation. Let’s see the initial FISA application, and the court order denying it. Then let’s see the second application, and the order that approved it. Let’s put the Obama administration officials who signed the applications under oath, and find out who put them up to it. Let’s find out what judges denied the first application, and what judges granted the second one. Let’s get the details on the Obama administration’s spying. Did they tap the Trump campaign’s telephones? If so, which lines? Did they hack into the Trump campaign’s servers? If so, which ones?

Obviously, as President Trump said, the Obama administration learned nothing of significance from its spying on the Trump campaign. But it now appears that the election of 2016 may have been hacked after all, in a far more meaningful way than an intrusion into [DNC chair] Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email account. It may have been hacked by the Obama administration. We need to find out what happened. Congress should give top priority to this investigation.

TRUMP NEEDS TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS CHARGE. [Capitals in the original]

The opportunity has come for Donald Trump to hit back at the slime-besmirched Obama gang.

Let him hit hard!