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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Victor Davis Hanson: Mueller investigation stirring up more trouble than it's finding
[Post Bulletin] After 19 months, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has charged a number of targets with almost every conceivable sin ‐ except collusion with Russia to throw an election. Yet suspicion of collusion was the reason that Mueller was appointed in the first place.

President Trump’s former consigliere, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. But as part of his plea deal, Cohen also confessed to a superfluous charge of a campaign finance violation.

Cohen allegedly negotiated a nondisclosure agreement concerning a supposed past Trump liaison with porn star Stormy Daniels. Yet no one alleges that Trump used cash from his 2016 campaign account to buy Daniels’ silence.

Instead, the accusation is that Cohen and Trump used Trump’s own money, but they did not report the payout as a "contribution" to his campaign. But Trump likely would have paid off Daniels anyway to protect his marriage, family and reputation, regardless of whether he was running for office.

If you take media-sensationalized sex out of the equation, Trump, like any other American, has the right to pay anyone whatever he wishes to keep quiet about past embarrassing behavior, whether that be secretly gulping down too many Big Macs or cheating on the golf course.

Apparently, Cohen was leveraged by Mueller’s team to plead guilty to a crime that was likely not a crime. And in circular fashion, his confession was used as proof that the non-crime was actually a crime after all ‐ and thus could serve as yet another way to find something on Trump.

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to giving false testimony about a "crime" that also apparently did not exist.

It was not a crime for Flynn to talk with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. Yet the Russian diplomat was being surveilled by American intelligence, perhaps to reverse-target Flynn by getting something on him on tape.

The secret taping was green-lighted by a federal court in the midst of the hysteria created by the Christopher Steele dossier paid for in part by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Then, Flynn’s name was illegally leaked to the press.

The FBI sent two investigators to interview Flynn, apparently on the prompt of acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Barack Obama administration. Yates, who served as the interim attorney general for 10 days, apparently came up with the ludicrous idea that Flynn might have violated the Logan Act. That law is an ossified 219-year-old statute about meeting foreign officials that has resulted in only two indictments over the years.

Next, former FBI Director James Comey counted on the Trump administration’s inexperience and broke normal protocol by sending investigators to interrogate Flynn directly without bothering with the usual administration intermediaries. Comey’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, misled Flynn into assuming that the interview would be a friendly chat among "allies." Flynn was told he would not need a lawyer.

Flynn complied, rightly assuming that it was not a crime for a transition administration official to talk with a foreign ambassador. He also likely was not fully aware that the FBI’s intent was to have him say something that would contradict the FBI’s secret transcripts of his talks with the Russian ambassador.

It gets worse. The FBI agents, who presumably had transcripts from Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador to compare to Flynn’s interview answers, expressed the belief that Flynn did not seem as if he was lying to them. Yet that conclusion was apparently overturned at some point by the FBI. To this day, the only real evidence that Flynn lied is his confession ‐ and apparently the second thoughts of the FBI investigators, who reinterpreted their initial impressions in a much later official report.

Home Front: Politix
REPORT: Huber and Horowitz Investigations Deep State Cons Constructed by DOJ…
[ConservativeTreehouse] BLUF: General Counsel Boente, hired by Christopher Wray, ultimately concurred with Mueller and Rosenstein’s decision thereby blocking any internal investigative efforts under the auspices of protecting the integrity of the ongoing Mueller probe.

A bureaucratic catch-22.

As a result of team Mueller’s moves, multiple people including John Carlin, Mary McCord, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Carter Page and any other inside official with knowledge of the FISA application and downstream issue, is off-limits for DOJ-OIG questioning.

This decision was stunningly ironic considering that Dana Boente was the ultimate arbiter inside the internal debate. Remember, Boente was "acting AG" after Sally Yates was fired.


Home Front: Politix
VDH - Demonization of Nunes Is a Window Into Our Times
[Real Clear Politics] Much of what we now know about the unethical and often illegal behavior of the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and Department of Justice emerged due to the efforts of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Its chairman during its stunning disclosures has been Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who in turn has been constantly demonized for his efforts.

Yet without the committee's digging, Americans would not have known that Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for an unsubstantiated 2016 dossier on Donald Trump compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

Prior to the committee's work, we did not know that the FBI and Justice Department used unverified information from the Steele dossier to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing for the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Without the committee's disclosures, Americans would not have had any idea that Bruce Ohr, who once ranked fourth in the Department of Justice hierarchy, coordinated opposition research on Trump with Steele, the FBI and Fusion GPS. Ohr took this unethical step because his wife was working for Fusion GPS -- a fact that was withheld on federal disclosure forms.

The Nunes-led committee also uncovered the names of prominent FBI and DOJ officials -- including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein and Sally Yates -- who had approved FISA court warrant applications that were based on the largely discredited Steele dossier.

Most dramatically, we learned that members of the Obama administration had unmasked the names of U.S. citizens swept up in government surveillance. Many of those names were illegally leaked to the press. This disclosure forced former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice to confess that they had requested most of the unmaskings. Rice had previously denied it.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence also confirmed that FBI agents had interviewed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and did not think he had lied to them concerning his contact with a top Russian diplomat.

No one so far has refuted the committee's findings. Yet Chairman Nunes has become the subject of unprecedented venom, largely because a spate of further embarrassing scandals at the FBI, DOJ and CIA have resulted from his committee's findings.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Congress waits, waits, waits for Sally Yates documents
[Washington Examiner] Obama appointee Sally Yates was acting attorney general under President Trump for just 10 days -- from January 20, 2017 until January 30, 2017 -- but by any measure they were consequential days. Even now, two issues from Yates' brief tenure are still of interest to congressional investigators. One was the series of events that led Yates, in charge of the Justice Department, to reject the president's executive order temporarily suspending the admittance into the United States of people from some Muslim nations. The second is Yate's role in the FBI's questioning, apparently on dubious premises, the president's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, four days into the new administration -- questioning that ultimately led to Flynn's guilty plea in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Both are matters of great public significance and interest -- and on both, the Justice Department is refusing to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee access to documents from Yates' time in office.

On Feb. 23, 2017, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for "all emails to, from, copying, or blind-copying Ms. Yates from Jan. 20, 2017, through Jan. 31, 2017." Grassley also asked for all of Yates' other correspondence from that period, plus records of her calls and meetings.

The reason Grassley cited -- his committee has direct oversight authority over the Justice Department -- was that Yates' order to the Justice Department not to defend the president's executive order cost the administration precious time as it prepared to fight the inevitable legal challenges. The Department did not have its facts together when a federal judge in Washington State demanded them, setting the stage for the judge to issue a temporary restraining order.

"It looks like Ms. Yates' action may have substantially harmed the Justice Department's initial ability to defend the executive order," Grassley wrote. "It is important to determine the extent to which Ms. Yates' actions may have sabotaged the government's defense in that litigation."

"Even commentators who took issue with the executive order believed her directive to stop the entire Justice Department from defending the order in the middle of frenetic ongoing litigation was improper," Grassley added.

Home Front: Politix
Gateway Pundit follow-up on Gregg Jarrett story: 'POTUS Will Declassify Russia Docs This Week' (VIDEO)
[Gateway Pundit] On Saturday, FOX News legal analyst and attorney, Gregg Jarrett predicted President Trump will declassify the Russia docs this week in response to a Judicial Watch bombshell which revealed there was no FISA court hearings on the Carter Page warrants.

Jarrett also predicted the President will fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the midterm elections.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch dropped a bombshell on Spygate Friday.

The Justice Department admitted in a court filing this week that the FISA court never held hearings on the FISA applications for former Trump advisor Carter Page.

One FISA warrant and three subsequent FISA renewals on Carter Page were obtained by Obama’s corrupt FBI in order to spy on Trump’s campaign.

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
How Bruce Ohr Could Implicate High-Ranking Obama Officials In Spygate
[TheFederalist] Once again, Ohr and Steele’s exchanges detailed by Solomon provide a hint: The day after Yate’s firing, Steele contacted Ohr, texting "doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY," a clear reference to Sally Yates. "Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues," Steele added. Then, after Ohr confirmed "I’m still here and able to help as discussed," Steele stressed that if Ohr was out at DOJ, he needed another "(Bureau?)" contact.

This exchange suggests Yates’ removal concerned Steele and left him worried that without Yates at the helm, Ohr’s continued role as a DOJ liaison for Steele was at risk, and that without Yates or Ohr, he would need to work directly with the FBI.

Was that because Yates approved of Ohr acting as a dossier courier for Steele and the FBI? If so, the Spygate scandal reaches into even higher echelons of the Deep State than previously known. Ohr has a pretty good incentive to come clean and expose anyone else at the DOJ (or in the Obama administration) involved in the decision to continue to use Steele as a source. Otherwise Ohr will hold sole responsibility for going rogue.
Emphasis added.

-Short Attention Span Theater-
John Brennan condemns Trump for stripping him of security clearance
Of course he does.
  • [Daily Mail, Where America Gets Its News] White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement from the president canceling former CIA chief's security clearance

  • Brennan is a longtime agent who ran the Puzzle Palace under President Obama and was at the helm during the Osama bin Laden raid

  • He served under Republican and Democratic presidents and has become a fierce Trump critic on Twitter; was a key figure in the launch of the Russia probe

  • Sanders read a list of other critics whose clearances are under review

  • They include James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr

  • Brennan tweeted in July that Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin was 'treasonous'

  • Trump's statement cited Brennan's 'increasingly frenzied commentary'

  • Clapper said Trump was being handled 'like an asset' of Russia

  • Ohr is a current high level Justice Department official whose wife worked for Fusion GPS political intel firm

  • Wednesday's stunning decision immediately moved the conversation away from Omarosa Manigault-Newman's book in which she calls Trump a 'racist'

  • The statement originally carried a July 26 date – indicating it was rushed from the shelf

-Land of the Free
The Legacies of Robert Mueller's Investigations
[AmGreatness] Some 450 days ago we were treated to melodramatic announcements from the media about the start-up of Robert Mueller’s "dream" and "all-star" team.

Reporters gushed in the general hysteria of the times that Mueller would no doubt soon indict President Trump, some of his family, and almost anyone else in his campaign‐and therefore end the Trump aberration.

Press puff pieces highlighted the résumés of his superstars‐of Lisa Page (no comment needed), Peter Strzok (less than no comment needed), Jeannie Rhee (a former attorney for the Clinton Foundation, Ben Rhodes, and for a bit Hillary Clinton), Andrew Weissman (Clinton zealot, Obama and DNC donor, and the cheerleader to Sally Yates’s refusal to carry out a presidential order), Aaron Zebley (the former attorney for Clinton staffer Justin Cooper who set up the infamous Clinton home server and smashed to bits her mobile devices), and a host of other pros, who were all shortly to prove Trump-Russian "collusion."

Home Front: Politix
Lindsay Graham: ‘These Investigations Against Trump Were Corrupt to the Core'
[Breitbart] On this weekend’s broadcast of "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, which has turned into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, was "corrupt at the core."

Partial transcript as follows:

MACCALLUM: I want to ask you before I let you go a non-foreign policy question with regards to Bruce Ohr, who is a Department of Justice official Who worked under Sally Yates and just a few offices down from the head of the Justice Department. He’s becoming a much more central figure in what looks to be the initiation of this Russia investigation. What do you know about that?

GRAHAM: Well, he was the number four guy at the Department of Justice. His wife worked for Fusion GPS, the firm hired by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to get ‐ to find dirt on Trump. They hired Christopher Steele, a former British agent, who went to Russia to gather a dossier that I think is a bunch of political garbage.

Here’s what I would tell the American people. Both campaigns were investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice in 2016. When it came to the Clinton campaign, she got a pass. The criminal investigation of the Clinton campaign was a joke. When it came to the Trump campaign, it was corrupt, it was biased and I think unethical. Mr. Ohr should not have had any role in investigating the Trump campaign because his wife worked at Fusion GPS. The two ‐ the FBI agent in charge of the Clinton campaign hated Trump, liked Clinton, and also started the counterintelligence investigation against Trump. When it came to Dianne Feinstein, they went to her and said, hey, there’s a Chinese person working on your staff that we think may be tied to the Chinese government. When it came time to ‐ they never did the same for Trump. So these investigations against Trump were corrupt at the core. They gave Clinton a pass. Bruce Ohr was at least unethical. We need a special counsel to look at all things Department of Justice and FBI when it came to the Trump investigation, particularly the counterintelligence investigation.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
FBI Cited Anti-Trump Media Articles to Wiretap Carter Page
[Gateway Pundit] On Saturday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton announced documents related to the FISA warrants on Trump’s former campaign advisor, Carter Page were released by the FBI ‐ and arrived at JW headquarters.

Obama’s Deep State FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page in October of 2016 and three subsequent renewals in order to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team.

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

The newly released docs reveal Obama’s Deep State DOJ and FBI withheld information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC being behind the information used to obtain the FISA warrant.

It gets worse...

The newly released docs reveal the FBI used anti-Trump media reports from liberal news sites in order to obtain the Carter Page FISA warrants.

The FBI relied on a July 18, 2016, story in the Washington Post with the headline, "Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine" ‐ a blatantly false description of events, says the Washington Examiner’s Byron York.

Home Front: Politix
Impeach Rod Rosenstein - How Congress can remind the unelected government it answers to the elected part
[WSJ] The long-awaited showdown between the Justice Department and Congress is finally here.

It started late Friday afternoon. While the rest of the country was parsing the just-released report on the FBI from the Justice Department’s inspector general, senior congressional leaders and selected committee chairmen quietly met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a secure location in the basement of the Capitol.

At issue was Justice and FBI’s continuing defiance of congressional subpoenas. At the top of this list is the demand from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for documents about why and whether the FBI had an informant insinuating himself with Trump campaign officials before the Russia investigation officially started.

On Sunday on Fox News, Devin Nunes, the House Intel chairman, made clear his "patience has run out." The good news is that he and the other House chairmen at the Friday meeting‐Judiciary’s Bob Goodlatte and Oversight and Government Reform’s Trey Gowdy ‐were fully backed up in their demands by Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan sent Messrs. Rosenstein and Wray an unambiguous message: Comply with Congress’s orders this week.

In a radio interview Monday morning with Milwaukee’s WISN, Mr. Ryan said "the new leadership at Justice and the FBI" has to decide whether it will be "part of the cleanup crew or the coverup team." If Justice and the FBI don’t comply within the timeline he laid out, he said, "we are going to have to take action."

Of all the actions Congress could take, a contempt finding or an impeachment is the most substantial. Unfortunately, recent Republican history with regard to the former doesn’t incline to optimism.

Lois Lerner, the former official at the heart of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s attorney general, were each held in contempt by Congress. But in both cases, Congress blinked when it came to imposing effective consequences.

In June 2012, Mr. Holder was held in contempt for withholding documents Congress wanted from the botched Fast and Furious operation that put firearms in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. It was the first time Congress had taken such a move against a sitting cabinet member. The first contempt resolution referred the attorney general for criminal charges, while a second launched a civil suit seeking a court to order Justice to turn over the documents.

The Obama Justice Department declined to act on the criminal referral‐as everyone knew it would. Though a judge would ultimately reject the administration’s claims of executive privilege, the ruling didn’t come until 2016. By that time Mr. Obama was wrapping up his second term, Mr. Holder had retired, and Fast and Furious had long since faded from the headlines.

But Congress has a third option for contempt: It can jail someone until he produces the testimony or documents sought. The advantage here is that Congress can do this all on its own. The last time Congress used contempt to jail was in 1934, when the Senate arrested, tried and then sentenced former Assistant Commerce Secretary William P. MacCracken Jr. to 10 days for allowing the removal and destruction of papers he’d been subpoenaed to produce.

You have to go back even further for the last time Congress impeached an executive-branch official. In 1876, Congress accused Secretary of War William Belknap of using his office for private gain. But if Sally Yates as deputy attorney general could cite the 1799 Logan Act, which no American has ever been convicted of violating, to intervene in the Mike Flynn case, surely Congress needn’t be shy about its Article I constitutional power to impeach.

The obstruction of Justice and the FBI appears rooted in the mistaken idea that they are somehow above the elected representatives of the American people. While Mr. Rosenstein has referred to congressional talk of impeaching him as "extortion," Mr. Wray, in his statement to a press conference outlining steps to fix the FBI, conspicuously made no mention of better cooperation with Congress.

An impeachment that removed either Mr. Rosenstein or Mr. Wray‐or a contempt finding that sent one of them to the congressional pokey for a spell‐could send a good message to federal bureaucrats inclined to be dismissive of congressional subpoenas. Then again, if either man thought he was in real and imminent danger of being impeached or held in contempt, Congress would likely find him instantly cooperative. Of course, that’s exactly why Congress has these powers‐not so much to punish but to encourage accommodation and respect.

But if Messrs. Rosenstein and Wray don’t accommodate, and if the stonewalling starts again, the House ought to impeach or jail until it gets satisfaction. Because a congressional power Congress is too timid to invoke is worse than a hollow threat: It becomes a sign that Congress need not be taken seriously.

Bottom line? Obama single-handedly ruined the FBI and the DOJ
"Single-handedly?" No, I think not.
[American Thinker] Naturally, the political/media left that crowds out saner voices on television were quick as jack rabbits to announce that the FBI was vindicated by the IG report that was released on Thursday. "Nothing to see here, move along," was their mantra. But one only has to scroll through the list of columns posted at RealClearPolitics on Friday to grasp the abyss between the left and right re: the report.

The report contained an executive summary that said "We found no documentary evidence of political bias." That means they did not find written confessions by all those Trump-hating higher-ups at the once-great law enforcement agency. But the five-hundred page body of the report is chock full of extreme political anti-Trump mendacity. Why the hundreds of texts between several like-minded agents that reek of profound bias against Trump are not documentary evidence is a mystery.

Nevertheless, it is an indisputable fact that a cabal of conspirators on the seventh floor of the FBI building, led by Comey and McCabe, along with John Brennan (CIA) , James Clapper (DNI) , Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein at Justice coordinated their attempts to prevent Trump from winning the election by all manner of illegal means. Most likely, much of this was at the bidding and with permission of Barack Obama.

Once Trump won, their focus switched to taking him out before he could be inaugurated. They hope still to see him impeached, despite the thriving economy, low un-employment, and possible rapprochement with North Korea.

The New York Times continues to attack Trump, to accuse him of numerous crimes for which they have no evidence. Leftist voices of rage continue to defend Hillary, to claim she was not treated with sufficient deference, even as her many crimes overlooked. Paul Manafort was sent to jail on Friday while Hillary and this bunch of crooks at the FBI and DOJ are walking free, complaining all the while that Trump should never have been elected.

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