“Projection is always the soup du jour at Café la Résistance” 8

Joe Biden used American taxpayer’s money to blackmail and bribe the government of Ukraine in order to provide his son, Hunter Biden, with an opportunity for personal enrichment, and to protect him from criminal investigation. He did it when he was vice-president of the United States by threatening to withhold a billion dollars of US aid from Ukraine if that country’s investigator into those criminal activities was not fired.

Now he and his fellow Democrats are accusing President Trump of threatening to withhold funds from Ukraine unless  …

… unless those dealings of Joe Biden with the Ukrainian government are investigated. And they are calling the alleged threat a high crime and misdemeanor of such gravity on the part of President Trump as to warrant his impeachment.

Of course President Trump is innocent. And Joe Biden is guilty.

It is the habit of the Left always to accuse its enemies of the crimes it is itself committing. 

We quote from an article by Michael Thau at American Greatness:

No one disputes that when Joe Biden was vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees from the Ukrainian government unless it replaced the state’s lead prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. But the Washington Post is pushing a funny narrative about Biden’s motives [claiming that] the reason Biden wanted Shokin fired had nothing whatsoever to do with the more than $3.5 million his son Hunter’s consulting firm was paid by a company called Burisma Holdings, which Shokin happened to be investigating at the time.

In the past few days, the Post has published around 30 articles claiming that Burisma had no reason to engineer Shokin’s termination since his investigation was “dormant”. Every single story uses that same phrase. It isn’t just the Post. … And all but a handful were published in the course of a week, including at least one from each of the Post’s elite media brethren such as the New York Times, CNN, CBS, and NBC. …

Thau describes Hunter Biden as “a dissipated American wastrel …, a Navy washout with no pertinent experience in the energy sector (or any other business)” and wonders with his readers what could make him “worth millions to a Ukrainian natural gas company” other than “his powerful father’s influence”.

The Post claims Biden strong-armed Ukraine into replacing Shokin because the prosecutor was “soft on corruption”, not to stop him from investigating it. And many other outlets like the Wall Street Journal have gone further, alleging that “Shokin had dragged his feet” in investigating the very company shelling out millions to Hunter Biden! …

If you’re having a tough time swallowing the idea that Joe Biden was trying to get Shokin fired for not doing enough to investigate a company enriching his son, your gag reflex is in good working order.

The alleged facts about Shokin peddled by the corporate leftist press are at best dubious and the creepily ubiquitous claim that his investigation was “dormant” is an outright falsehood. So are the suggestions that President Trump is spinning fables when he claims, not just that the company paying Hunter Biden millions, but also the man himself, was a subject of interest to Ukrainian prosecutors.

The repeated assertions that Trump is, once again, making things up entirely out of thin air—not surprisingly—are once again being created entirely out of thin air. Projection always being the soup du jour at Café la Résistance.

The avalanche of stories attempting to exonerate Biden was precipitated on May 2, after Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called for an immediate investigation, claiming that the elder Biden’s conflict of interest when he pushed for Shokin’s dismissal was “too apparent to be ignored”.

Five days later, the first story attempting to exonerate Biden by alleging Shokin’s investigation “had been long dormant” appeared at Bloomberg News. The headline was a direct rebuttal to Giuliani: “Timeline in Ukraine Probe Casts Doubt on Giuliani’s Biden Claim.”

The source for Bloomberg‘s story was one of Shokin’s deputies named Vitaliy Kasko. He alleges that, though he “urged Shokin to pursue the investigations” into Burisma, his boss ignored him.

Bloomberg reports that neither the Bidens nor anyone from Burisma would comment on the story. Strangely, however, Viktor Shokin’s response—or lack thereof—isn’t mentioned alongside that of the other main characters. It’s 900 words in, long past the point where most readers will have moved on to other things, that we learn what the main villain of Bloomberg’s story has to say in his defense:

Shokin has denied any accusations of wrongdoing and declined to provide immediate comment for this article. In an interview with the Ukrainian website Strana.ua . . . Shokin said he believes he was fired because of his Burisma investigation, which he said had been active at the time.

So, though you have to pay close attention and read almost to the end to discover it, the Bloomberg story that suddenly spawned almost a hundred clones—also using the word “dormant” to exonerate Joe Biden of any wrongdoing—essentially boils down to a former Ukrainian lead prosecutor telling a tale that implicates Biden while his subordinate at the time tells another story that seems to exonerate him. Bloomberg simply presents the latter as fact and buries the former.

At best, Bloomberg’s suggestion that its reporting has exonerated Joe Biden is unsubstantiated. But it turns out, in the interview Bloomberg cites, Shokin does more than merely make self-serving claims that contradict equally self-serving ones made by his former deputy Kasko. Though the story fails to mention it, Shokin backs up his account with at least one pertinent fact, which turns out to be verified by Ukrainian media.

Shokin claims that the Ukrainian government pressured him to stop his investigation into Burisma and that Kasko was the one working on their behalf to stifle it. He also says that, when Joe Biden got him fired, he was about to interrogate Hunter:

Shokin: We were going to interrogate Biden, Jr. . . .

Interviewer: What got in the way?

Shokin: [We] did not have enough time. The President told me repeatedly that Biden demanded that they remove me.

Shokin goes on to claim that he took specific actions which, if verified, prove he was actively investigating Burisma:

There were regular ultimatums and discussions about me. I finally crossed the threshold on February 2, 2016, when we went to the courts with motions to re-arrest the property of Burisma. I suppose that then the president received another call from Biden, blackmail by non-allocation of a loan . . . Then [President] Poroshenko surrendered.

Apart from Shokin’s interview with Ukrainian media to which Bloomberg links, his claim that he was preparing to interrogate Hunter Biden has been in the public record since April 1, when The Hill’s John Solomon published the results of his own interview with Shokin. [For John Solomon’s article, see the post immediately below.] Moreover, among many other revelations suggesting that Biden may have pressured for Shokin’s termination to protect Burisma, Solomon also says:

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe—shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials—shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Why do almost none of the almost 100 articles parroting Bloomberg’s completely worthless attempt to exonerate Biden make any mention at all of Solomon’s vastly more informative and better-sourced story implicating him?

Could it be that the establishment press doesn’t give a damn about uncovering the truth and, instead, is focused solely on advancing a narrative that discredits Trump’s remarks to Ukrainian president Zelensky concerning what Biden was up to when he got Shokin fired and, thus, helping to convince our more gullible citizenry that Trump might be guilty of something justifying impeachment?

Way back on July 22, before anyone imagined that the Biden family’s Ukrainian misadventures would be contrived to impeach Trump, the Washington Post published a quite different take on Joe and Hunter’s probity in an article headlined (you’re going to get a kick out of this): “As vice president, Biden said Ukraine should increase gas production. Then his son got a job with a Ukrainian gas company.”

Almost unbelievably, the Post’s story actually features portions of an email interview they did with Shokin in which he, once again, claims Biden wanted him fired for aggressively investigating “the activities of Burisma and the involvement of his son, Hunter Biden” and that he would have interrogated Hunter had he not been forced out.

Yet the Post mentions its own prior interview with Shokin in only one of the two-dozen-or-so stories about him the paper has published since his answers turned out to be inconvenient for the establishment media’s latest impeachment fantasies.

And that one article is an exercise in deception … citing Bloomberg that “U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said the probe had long been dormant” … [and] lying about Bloomberg’s sources.

Kasko is Bloomberg’s only source for claiming that Shokin’s investigation was dormant and their story contains no information obtained from any U.S sources. They do allege that certain unspecified U.S. officials criticized Shokin. But their source is some unspecified set of “internal documents from the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office” they claim to have seen by some completely mysterious process. And they never suggest that the mysterious Ukrainian documents portray the unknown American officials as believing the Burisma investigation was “dormant”, using that or any other expression.

But the Washington Post’s flagrant deceit gets worse.

The paper has published at least three stories claiming “there is no evidence” for Trump’s assertion that Hunter Biden was a target of Ukrainian prosecutors.

In other words, the Washington Post has repeatedly suggested that Trump is just making it all up even though their own article from just two months ago directly quotes the head Ukrainian prosecutor during the time in question as explicitly saying he was investigating Hunter Biden and reports that he also intended to interrogate Hunter.

If that’s all there was, it would be bad enough. It’s already clear that Bloomberg, the rest of the corporate leftist press—and especially the Washington Post—engaged in willful dishonesty by presenting Kasko’s story as if it were fact, while completely burying Shokin’s detailed and damning counter-tale.

If the corporate press had presented both sides of the story properly, at best we’d have a case of two Ukrainian officials contradicting each other without any sound basis for deciding which of them to believe. No one without prejudice could claim that the Bidens were definitely innocent of any wrongdoing and, as Mayor Giuliani suggested, an investigation would clearly be in order. But  … Interfax-Ukraine published an article on April 2, 2016, which verifies that “the movable and immovable property” of Burisma’s owner “Mykola Zlochevsky . . . has been seized” and that “the court satisfied the petition on February 2, 2016″, two weeks before Shokin was forced to resign and, in fact, on the exact date he claimed to have “crossed the threshold” that caused his termination because of Biden’s demands.

Without further official inquiry, we’ll never be certain of the full story. But Bloomberg’s assertion that the investigation into Burisma was dormant under Shokin, which is the lynchpin of the mainstream press’s attempt to convince people that Joe Biden’s Ukrainian ultimatum had nothing to do with his son’s multi-million-dollar gig with Burisma, simply isn’t true. And the fact that Shokin turns out to be the honest one here lends at least a little credence to his claim that Hunter Biden was indeed a target of his investigation.

Moreover, the story that Shokin was the one protecting Burisma doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given what happened in the aftermath of his dismissal. Not only was Burisma not prosecuted, but the investigations were also completely terminated after Biden got his way and Shokin was out of the picture.

In October 2017, Burisma issued a statement saying Ukrainian prosecutors had closed all legal and criminal proceedings against it. …

The end result of Joe Biden’s arrogant and aggressive meddling in another nation’s domestic politics was that a company paying his good-for-nothing son millions of dollars was let off the hook even though his own administration claimed it had engaged in illegal activity deserving of serious punishment.

Bottom line: Well over 50 news articles are trying to convince Americans of Biden’s innocence by claiming that Burisma had absolutely no reason to want Viktor Shokin fired. And every single one of those news articles is a deceitful insult to the intelligence of the reader. As Thomas Jefferson said in response to the fake news of his day: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

Putrid Joe 2

The key question here that nobody seems to want to ask in the media is: What was [Hunter Biden] being paid for? He wasn’t being paid for his expertise. What was he being paid for? And what were the Ukrainians expecting to get in return? I think when you overlay the financial payments with the fact that Joe Biden as point person on Obama administration policy to Ukraine was steering billions of dollars of Western money to Ukraine it becomes crystal clear exactly why they were paying him money. They wanted access and they wanted to influence Joe Biden. And Joe Biden has been around a long time here, and he had to know exactly why his son was being paid.

So said Peter Schweizer to Mark Levin on Fox News Channel yesterday (September 29, 2019).

He convinced Levin – and us – that Joe Biden is deeply corrupt. (We admit we were not lacking in conviction to start with!)

As Vice President Biden he sold the power of his office.

Among other dirty deals, he blackmailed the government of the Ukraine.

Here’s the You Tube recording – sound only. Well worth listening to:

SORRY – YOUTUBE HAS REMOVED IT. WE HOPE YOU WILL SEEK IT SOMEWHERE ELSE. PETER SCHWEIZER IS THE BEST SOURCE OF THE FACTS OF THE MATTER.

John Solomon wrote at The Hill on April 1, 2019:

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden”.

Most of the general prosecutor’s investigative work on Burisma focused on three separate cases, and most stopped abruptly once Shokin was fired. The most prominent of the Burisma cases was transferred to a different Ukrainian agency, closely aligned with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), according to the case file and current General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

NABU closed that case, and a second case involving alleged improper money transfers in London was dropped when Ukrainian officials failed to file the necessary documents by the required deadline. …

As a result, the Biden family appeared to have escaped the potential for an embarrassing inquiry overseas in the final days of the Obama administration and during an election in which Democrat Hillary Clinton was running for president in 2016.

But then, as Biden’s 2020 campaign ramped up over the past year, Lutsenko — the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden once hailed as a “solid” replacement for Shokin — began looking into what happened with the Burisma case that had been shut down.

Lutsenko told me that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting service”.

Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to new U.S. Attorney General William Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko said. …

But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America … uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.

Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm … The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments …

Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down. …

Some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

Which all goes to show that Joe Biden is corrupt.

In just one instance of his corruption, this is what he did: as vice-president of the US, he demanded from the state of Ukraine, in return for a billion dollars of American taxpayers’ money, that it stop an investigation into crooked transactions by a firm on whose board of directors his son Hunter held a colossally remunerated sinecure, by firing the investigator.

“Hurry up and lie …” 1

… to obstruct the will of the people.

That was a message sent by a lying British spy to the US State Department, the FBI, and Obama’s Department of Justice.

The State Department is notoriously the region of the US government swamp most thickly populated by its dirtiest denizens. They work devotedly and tirelessly in their dark reptilian ways to turn America into a Third World country. Lately they have been obediently assisted by members of their species that have slithered their way into the FBI.

No subversive activity however slimy, secretive and socialist found to be going on in either agency should be surprising. But it can still be shocking.

John Solomon, the excellent investigative journalist who has discovered and revealed so much about the Great Steele Dossier Hoax To Destroy Donald Trump, writes at The Hill:

If ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8”, the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United.

Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.

One member of Congress transmitted the memos this week to the Department of Justice’s inspector general, fearing its investigation of FISA abuses may not have had access to them.

Nonetheless, the FBI is doing its best to keep much of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified, even though it was originally marked unclassified in 2016. 

The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time.

State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.

But what was discussed was not revealed. Sources told me more than a year ago that Kavalec had the most important (and memorialized) interaction with Steele before the FISA warrant was issued, but FBI and State officials refused to discuss it, or even confirm it.

The encounter, and Kavalec’s memos, were forced into public view through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by Citizens United. Yet, all but a few lines have been redacted after the fact.

The mere three sentences that the FBI allowed State to release unredacted, show that Kavalec sent an email two days after her encounter with Steele, alerting others.

“You may already have this information but wanted to pass it on just in case,” Kavalec wrote in the lone sentence the FBI and State released from that email. The names of the recipients, the subject line and the attachments are blacked out. …

The three sentences visible in her memo show that U.S. officials had good reason to suspect Steele’s client and motive in alleging Trump-Russia collusion because they were election-related and facilitated by the Clinton-funded Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson.

A certain institution – identified for good reason by John Solomon as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) – approached Steele’s organization Orbis …

‘… based on the recommendation of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch [of Fusion GPS]  …  and is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” Kavalec wrote. “Orbis undertook the investigation in June of 2016.” …

The FBI under Director Christopher Wray classified the document as “secret” just a few days ago. To add injury to insult, the FBI added this hopeful note: “Declassify on 12/31/2041.” That would be 25 years after the 2016 election.

Despite the heavy redactions, Kavalec’s notes have momentous consequence.

For the first time, we have written proof the U.S. government knew well before the FBI secured the FISA warrant that Steele had a political motive and Election Day deadline to make his dossier public.

And we know that information was transmitted before the Carter Page FISA warrant to one or more people whose job is so sensitive that their identity had to be protected. That means there is little chance the FBI didn’t know about Steele’s political client, or the Election Day deadline, before requesting the FISA warrant.

Documents and testimony from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, show he told the FBI in August 2016 that Steele was “desperate” to defeat Trump and his work had something to do with Clinton’s campaign.

Kavalec’s notes make clear … the election was Steele’s deadline to smear Trump.

There is little chance the FBI didn’t know that Steele, then a bureau informant, had broken protocol and gone to the State Department in an effort to make the Trump dirt public.

That makes the FBI’s failure to disclose to the FISA judges the information about Steele’s political bias and motive all the more stunning. And it makes the agents’ use of his unverified dossier to support the warrant all the more shameful.

Kavalec’s notes shed light on another mystery from the text messages between the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which first revealed the politically-biased nature of the Trump collusion probe.

Strzok, the lead FBI agent on the case, and Page, a lawyer working for the FBI deputy director, repeatedly messaged each other in October 2016 about efforts to pressure and speed the review of the FISA warrant.

For instance, on Oct. 11, 2016, Strzok texted Page that he was “fighting with Stu for this FISA,” an apparent reference to then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stu Evans in DOJ’s national security division.

A few days later, on Oct. 14, Strzok emailed Page he needed some “hurry the F up pressure” to get the FISA approved.

If the evidence is good and the FISA request solid, why did the FBI need to apply pressure?

The real reason may be the FBI was trying to keep a lid on the political origins, motives and Election Day deadline of its star informant Steele.

And that would be the ultimate abuse of the FBI’s FISA powers.

We know what impatience feels like all too well as we wait for the Great Steele Dossier Hoaxsters to be brought to justice.

Now there’s a real need to hurry up and find the whole truth.

We fear that if it does not happen soon it will not happen at all.

Hillary Clinton and the FBI – a case of criminal collusion 1

This is a bombshell that unequivocally shows the real collusion was between the FBI and Donald Trump’s opposition — the DNC, Hillary and a Trump-hating British intel officer — to hijack the election, rather than some conspiracy between Putin and Trump. 

So Hillary Clinton and her political servants planned and orchestrated a crime against Donald Trump. That is now an established fact.

A large team of minions was willing to do her bidding.

Why? Did they really actually like her? That’s hard to believe.

Did they think she would make a good president? That’s even harder to believe.

Was it the Cause?

If so, what is the Cause? How do they define it?

The following, and the quotation at the top, come from The Hill, by John Solomon:

Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.

The dossier, though mostly unverified, was then used by the FBI as the main evidence seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the campaign.

The revelation was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees

It means the FBI had good reason to suspect the dossier was connected to the DNC’s main law firm and was the product of a Democratic opposition-research effort to defeat Trump — yet failed to disclose that information to the FISA court in October 2016, when the bureau applied for a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Baker was interviewed by lawmakers behind closed doors on Wednesday [yesterday, October 3, 2018].  Sources declined to divulge much about his testimony, other than to say it confirmed other evidence about the contact between the Perkins Coie law firm and the FBI.

The sources said Baker identified lawyer Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer, as the Perkins Coie attorney who reached out to him and said the firm gave him documents and a thumb drive related to Russian interference in the election, hacking and possible Trump connections.

Information gathered separately by another congressional committee indicate the contact occurred in September, the month before the FISA warrant was approved. …

The sources also said Baker’s interview broke new ground both about the FBI’s use of news media in 2016 and 2017 to further the Trump case and about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s conversations in spring 2017 regarding possible use of a body wire to record Trump.

“The interview was one of the most productive we had and it opened up many new investigative leads,” one source said.

Another said Baker could not answer some questions about FBI media contacts, citing an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department inspector general into alleged illegal leaks, during and after the election, about the Trump collusion probe and other matters.

These revelations illustrate anew how much the FBI and Justice Department have withheld from the public about their collaboration and collusion with clearly partisan elements of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, Fusion and Steele, that were trying to defeat Trump.

The growing body of evidence that the FBI used mostly politically-motivated, unverified intelligence from an opponent to justify spying on the GOP nominee’s campaign — just weeks before Election Day — has prompted a growing number of Republicans to ask President Trump to declassify the rest of the FBI’s main documents in the Russia collusion case.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), veteran investigator Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and many others have urged the president to act on declassification even as FBI and Justice Department have tried to persuade the president to keep documents secret.

Ryan has said he believes the declassification will uncover potential FBI abuses of the FISA process. Jordan said he believes there is strong evidence the bureau misled the FISA court. Nunes has said the FBI intentionally hid exculpatory evidence from the judges.

And Meadows told The Hill’s new morning television show, Rising, on Wednesday that there is evidence the FBI had sources secretly record members of the Trump campaign.

If all  or even just some of the guilty men and women were to be brought to trial, we might hear why they considered criminal action was justified.

Will they be charged, tried, and if found guilty, punished?

Will we be treated to the deeply gratifying sight of Hillary Clinton herself on trial, and even more delightful, Hillary Clinton in prison?

Failure of the rule of law? 1

Is it not obvious that crimes have been committed by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

And that they are getting away with them?

Deroy Murdock writes at Townhall:

James Comey, Loretta Lynch, and the Clintons should do time for their crimes. So should the unnamed leakers who give away state secrets as if they were handing out leaflets at a busy street corner.

While the relentless Russiagate probe continues its futile search for lawbreaking among Team Trump, actual crimes already have occurred at the highest levels of the Deep State and among former Democratic officials. These perpetrators should be prosecuted. 

Someone violated federal law by unmasking former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s name from National Security Agency transcripts or other surveillance records of his conversations with Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. As part of the presidential transition, it was perfectly normal for Flynn to speak with Kislyak and other foreign emissaries. It also is no surprise that the NSA and other American intelligence agencies cup their ears when Kislyak speaks.

However, the identities of Americans in such conversations are supposed to remain confidential. Whoever unmasked Flynn in such documents violated the federal Espionage Act of 1917, 18 U.S. Code § 793. It prohibits the improper handling and transmission of “information respecting the national defense”.

The anti-Flynn leaks also appear to breach 18 U.S. Code § 798, which forbids disclosure of classified data “concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government.”  …

Leaking seems to be Washingtonians’ favorite indoor activity. And Comey got in on the fun, too. Referring to his memo-to-file about a private Oval Office meeting with Trump, Comey said, “I need to get that out into the public square,” as if that were his job.

… and as if there was something so incriminating in what the president said that it simply had to be broadcast to the nation.

But surely if there had been something of that sort, it would have been the right procedure for the FBI to bring to the attention of the Justice Department?

It is not normal FBI procedure to leak details of an investigation to the press rather than use it to build a criminal case.

A president cannot be charged with a criminal offense, but if there is proof that he has committed crimes, or has said something that could be interpreted as criminal, he could be impeached. But only by Congress, not by the readers of a  Communist Youth organ such as the New York Times.

Yet the Dirctor of the FBI wanted it to reach the NYT at all costs. So he leaked it through the conduit of a leftist academic.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter.” This “close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school,” is named Daniel C. Richman. …

“I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey explained.

Shazzam!

Comey’s leaked memo hit the front pages, and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named a special counsel: Comey’s mentor and one-time boss, former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Comey and Mueller’s toasty relationship raises legitimate worries about Mueller’s capacity for disinterest in a case that involves the dismissal and public ostracism of his protégé of at least 14 years. …

How can Mueller be objective about his bosom buddy, who now is at the epicenter of this entire probe?

Also troublesome: Mueller’s team includes attorneys who maxed out in donations to Hillary and Obama, defended Hillary against Freedom of Information Act requests, and even represented a Clinton staffer at the heart of E-mailgate. …

According to Political Insider, “In total, Mueller’s team has made $52,650 in political donations since 1997, 95 percent of which ($49,900) went to Democrats.”

Among some 100,000 attorneys in the Washington, D.C. Bar, was Mueller really unable to employ lawyers who neither have worked for the Clintons nor underwritten their campaigns? Could he not have hired professionals unconnected to either the Clintons or the Trumps? Was that really so hard?

Or maybe Mueller deliberately assembled a kennel full of Hillary-loving legal Rottweilers.

Whatever Mueller’s objectives, he has crafted at a minimum — a major appearance of impropriety. If Team Mueller fairly, honestly, and properly discovers wrongdoing among Team Trump, Republicans may dismiss his findings as the crooked output of a rigged system. But if Mueller correctly exonerates Trump & Co., Democrats may scream that the special counsel chickened out, to avoid being accused of running a politically tainted probe. Either way, such second-guessing would erode confidence in American justice.

For his part, Comey’s leak to Professor Richman looks like a violation of, at least, 18 U.S. Code § 641, which bars the unauthorized conveyance of “any record” belonging to the U.S. government. Comey should be brought back before Congress and forced to spell out any and every such leak he ever made, describe the documents he spilled, the dates he did so, etc. Each one of those instances should constitute an individual count in an indictment for breaking the Espionage Act.

According to Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer benignly to E-mailgate as a “matter” rather than an “investigation”. While that latter word was more politically volatile, it also was accurate. After all, Comey ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the Federal Bureau of Matter.

According to Circa.com’s John Solomon and Sara A. Carter, Comey told senators behind closed doors about “a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton”, never mind evidence of Hillary’s crimes.

Comey reportedly showed Lynch that do-not-prosecute record. As one source familiar with Comey’s comments told Solomon and Carter, “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office”. …

Coupled with Lynch’s notorious “golf clubs and grandkids” pow-wow with Bill Clinton on her official plane at Phoenix Airport last June 27, just five days before the FBI questioned Hillary (inexplicably, not under oath), Lynch’s behavior reeks of obstruction of justice.

Comey stated last July 5 that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Hillary Clinton in E-mailgate. This claim instantly was refuted by reasonable former federal prosecutors including Sidney Powell, Andrew McCarthy, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey. They all stated why Hillary deserved indictment.

Comey said that Hillary should have stayed free because she had no criminal intent to violate the Espionage Act. However, to be convicted under this statute, one need not possess criminal intent. …

Hillary could be convicted merely for handling classified documents in a “grossly negligent” fashion. She certainly did this. …

Beyond E-mailgate, the Clinton Foundation’s bribes-for-favors scandal has gone entirely unpunished. Hillary approved the Kremlin’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium supplies. She permitted Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to acquire Uranium One Inc. This is the sort of cloak-and-dagger Russian collusion about which Democratic mouths have foamed since last fall. The $145 million that Uranium One’s investors pumped into the Clinton Foundation before, during, and after this grotesque deal epitomizes the pay-to-play bonanza for which Hillary should be tossed in the clink. Ditto the $500,000 fee that Kremlin-controlled Renaissance Capital handed Bill Clinton for a one-hour speech while Hillary decided to green-light this transaction. Remember: the Clintons literally gave Vladimir Putin access to the active ingredient in hydrogen bombs — extracted from American soil. …

And “giving aid and comfort” to the enemy is treason according to the Constitution.

The House Government Oversight Committee should hold public hearings and subpoena Comey, Lynch, and the Clintons and make them testify publicly about these crimes, under penalty of perjury.

After that, President Trump should keep a promise that he made in the October 9 debate against Hillary: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

Prosecuting Comey for leaking government papers, Lynch for sandbagging the E-mailgate probe, and the Clintons and Clintonites for running their bribes-for-favors scams would not signal American devolution into a banana republic. Rather, this would reinvigorate a core principle of American constitutional republicanism: Equal Justice Under Law.

On all that is wrong with James Comey’s buddy Robert Mueller being appointed to sniff out an unknown crime in the Trump administration, Andrew McCarthy writes:

So I’ve been wondering: Why on earth does a prosecutor, brought in to investigate a case in which there is no apparent crime, need a staff of 14 lawyers?

Or, I should say, “14 lawyers and counting.” According to the press spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller — yeah, he’s got a press spokesman, too — there are “several more in the pipeline.”

Concededly, none of Mueller’s recruits requires Senate confirmation, as do Justice Department officials — notwithstanding that the former may end up playing a far more consequential role in the fate of the Trump administration. But does it seem strange to anyone else that, by comparison, the president of the United States has managed to get — count ’em — three appointees confirmed to Justice Department positions in five months?

A special counsel, the need for whom is far from obvious, has in just a few days staffed up with four times the number of lawyers. And all for a single investigation that the FBI has described as a counterintelligence probe — i.e., not a criminal investigation, the kind for which you actually need lawyers.  

Oh, and about those three Justice Department appointees: One of them, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has already recused himself from the investigation in question — the department’s most high profile undertaking. Another, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is reportedly weighing whether he, too, should bow out. Perhaps he figures he has already done quite enough, having sicced a special-counsel investigation on the Trump Administration by flouting both the regulation that requires a basis for a criminal investigation before a special counsel is appointed, and the regulation that requires limiting the special counsel’s jurisdiction to the specific factual matter that triggers this criminal investigation.

The way this is supposed to work is: the Justice Department first identifies a likely crime, and then assigns a prosecutor to investigate it. Here, by contrast, there are no parameters imposed on the special counsel’s jurisdiction. Mueller is loosed—with 14 lawyers and more coming—to conduct what I’ve called a “fishing expedition”.

But it is actually worse than that … Mueller’s probe is the functional equivalent of a general warrant: a boundless writ to search for incriminating evidence. It is the very evil the Fourth Amendment was adopted to forbid: a scorch-the-earth investigation in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed.

For now, Mueller appears utterly without limits, in his writ and in his resources. As the ease with which he has staffed up shows, it is not hard to recruit lawyers. All you need is money. Mueller has a bottomless budget, thanks to a bit of Treasury Department chicanery known as “permanent, indefinite appropriations”. 

Under the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, no funding is supposed to be paid out of the treasury unless Congress has approved it in advance. Under the Framers’ design, with an eye toward limited, accountable government, every spending initiative must compete with every other one when Congress enacts a budget. Lawmakers must decide what we can and can’t afford when they draw on what is supposed to be the finite pot of money confiscated from taxpayers. We are supposed to know what we are underwriting and what it will cost.

The Swamp, ever resistant to such restraints, has developed a scheme known as “indefinite appropriations”. These are slush funds for future contingencies. A good example is the “Judgment Fund” which President Obama raided to underwrite nearly $2 billion in ransom payments demanded by Iran, the sweetener he needed to close the infamous nuclear deal.

And that sounds like treason too.

It is an Orwellian game. What makes an appropriation an appropriation is that Congress provides a definite amount of funding suitable to the task it has approved. If it turns out more is needed, the executive branch is supposed to come back to Congress — ask for it and justify why it should be prioritized over other needs.

Mueller’s special counsel investigation is somehow under no such restrictions, according to the Justice Department. He unilaterally decides how much staffing he needs. And unlike a normal prosecutor’s office, the special counsel does not have to apportion his resources over hundreds of cases. He can direct all of them at one investigative target.

In this instance, the target is Trump, and the resources — apart from what will be scores of FBI agents — include 14 lawyers (going on 15 … going on 16…).

These lawyers, overwhelmingly, are Democrats. … Mueller’s staffers contribute to Trump’s political opponents, some heavily. The latest Democratic talking-point about this unseemly appearance is that hiring regulations forbid an inquiry into an applicant’s political affiliation. That’s laughable. These are lawyers Mueller has recruited. They are not “applicants”. We’re talking about top-shelf legal talent, accomplished professionals who have jumped at the chance of a gig they do not need but, clearly, want. …

Notice that, consistent with the familiar ethical canon that lawyers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the standard here is based not on the lawyer’s personal rectitude or his subjective belief that he can administer the law impartially. The issue is: What would this look like to fair-minded observers?

Consequently, if this boundless investigation careens into a criminal prosecution, Mueller could have some major soul-searching to do. I thus confess to being taken aback that he has exacerbated the problem, rather than trying to mitigate it, with his staffing decisions. Into an investigation that was already fraught with political tension, the special counsel has recruited partisans — to politicians who describe themselves not as a loyal opposition but as the Trump “Resistance”. What are fair-minded people to make of that?

Not just one or two recruits, but 14 lawyers, with more to come. …

Why does special counsel Mueller need 14 lawyers (and more coming) for a counterintelligence investigation, as to which the intelligence professionals — agents, not lawyers — have found no “collusion with Russia” evidence after over a year of hard work? What will those lawyers be doing with no limits on their jurisdiction, with nothing but all the time and funding they need to examine one target, Donald Trump?

The Mueller investigation itself has the smell of corruption about it.

The law is the house in which we live. If its timbers are rotten, what will become of us? 

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

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The illegal activities of Obama’s NSA and FBI 1

In a video released yesterday (May 25, 2017), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch tells how Obama used the NSA against his political opponents. Illegally, in defiance of the Constitution, the intelligence service collected information on Americans and “unmasked” them – ie. revealed their identities – for nefarious political purposes:

And this is from Circa, by John Solomon and Sara Carter, on how James Comey’s FBI illegally collected spy data on Americans, and deliberately leaked the information to serve Obama’s political ends:

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked”.

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.

The court isn’t the only oversight body to disclose recent concerns that the FBI’s voluntary system for policing its behavior and self-disclosing mistakes hasn’t been working.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office declassified a report in 2015 that reveals the internal watchdog had concerns as early as 2012 that the FBI was submitting “deficient” reports indicating it had a clean record complying with spy data gathered on Americans without a warrant.

To put it bluntly, the FBI was lying.

FBI officials acknowledged there have been violations but insist they are a small percentage of the total counterterrorism and counterintelligence work its agents perform.

Just some lies, they pleaded. They did a lot of honest work too. Ignore the mud in the milk.

Almost all are unintentional human errors by good-intentioned agents and analysts under enormous pressure to stop the next major terror attack, the officials said.

And besides, they lied with the very best of intentions.  

Others fear these blunders call into the question the bureau’s rosy assessment that it can still police itself when it comes to protecting Americans’ privacy 17 years after the war on terror began. …

One of the biggest concerns involves so-called backdoor searches in which the FBI can mine NSA intercept data for information that may have been incidentally collected about an American. No warrant or court approval is required, and the FBI insists these searches are one of the most essential tools in combating terrorist plots.

But a respected former Justice Department national security prosecutor questions if the searching has gotten too cavalier. Amy Jeffress, the former top security adviser to former Attorney General Eric Holder, was appointed by the intelligence court in 2015 to give an independent  assessment.

Security adviser to Eric Holder? And we should expect her findings to be impartial?

Turns out they may be. She is gently critical of the violations which her report does confirm.

Jeffress concluded agents’ searches of NSA data now extend far beyond national security issues and thus were “overstepping” the constitutional protections designed to ensure the bureau isn’t violating Americans’ 4th Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

By  early 2017, the court became more concerned after the Obama administration disclosed significant violations of privacy protections at two separate intelligence agencies involved in the Section 702 program.

The most serious involved the NSA searching for American data it was forbidden to search. But the FBI also was forced to admit its agents and analysts shared espionage data with prohibited third parties, ranging from a federal contractor to a private entity that did not have the legal right to see the intelligence.

Such third-party sharing is a huge political concern now as Congress and intelligence community leaders try to stop the flow of classified information to parties that could illegally disclose or misuse it, such as the recent leak that disclosed intercepted communications between the Russian ambassador and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

“Improper access” to NSA spy data for FBI contractors “seems to have been the result of deliberate decision-making”, the court noted.

The recently unsealed ruling also revealed the FBI is investigating more cases of possible improper sharing with private parties that recently have come to light.

The government “is investigating whether there have been similar cases in which the FBI improperly afforded non-FBI personnel access to raw FISA-acquired information on FBI systems,” the court warned.

The ruling cited other FBI failures in handling Section 702 intel, including retaining data on computer storage systems “in violation of applicable minimization requirements”.

Among the most serious additional concerns was the FBI’s failure for more than two years to establish review teams to ensure intercepts between targets and their lawyers aren’t violating the attorney-client privilege.

“Failures of the FBI to comply with this ‘review team’ requirement for particular targets have been focus of FISA’s concerns since 2014,” the court noted.

The FBI said it is trying to resolve the deficiencies with aggressive training of agents.

Oh, “aggressive”. To make the training sound very fierce and merciless. So in future they will not be as lax as they have been in the recent past. You see?

That admission of inadequate training directly undercut Comey’s testimony earlier this month when questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

“Nobody gets to see FISA information of any kind unless they’ve had the appropriate training and have the appropriate oversight,” the soon-to-be-fired FBI director assured lawmakers. 

Another lie. In this case perjury? Didn’t he swear an oath to tell the truth to the Congressional inquiry?

Now that there is a Republican Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, in place of Obama’s puppet, Loretta Lynch, will the law be applied to all who break the law, even to corrupt, felonious law-enforcement officials? Even to Barack Obama?

Posted under Espionage, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 26, 2017

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