Tag Archives: Justice Department

DOJ attorney refuses to resign as announced by Attorney General Barr

The swamp continues to win: Today attorney general William Barr announced that U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman, who has overseen a number of investigations and witch hunts against Trump associates (including his lawyer Michael Cohen), was resigning.

This evening Berman denied he was resigning, stating that he had no intention of leaving his post until the Senate approves his successor.

I have no idea what is going on here, but if Barr is supposed to be in charge, it sure doesn’t look like it. Instead, it looks like this member of the anti-Trump swamp, recognizing Trump’s weakness during the Wuhan panic and the recent anti-American riots, has decided he can defy his superiors and get away with it. And even if Trump does fire him, he will benefit financially because he knows the leftist Democratic press will pour money into his pockets for being a Trump opponent.

UPDATE and more proof the swamp is winning: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has now blocked Trump’s nominee (which is for the NY office of the Justice Department), claiming that it must first be approved by New York’s senators.

The article also makes the incredible claim that Trump, the sitting president of the United States and with whom Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution clearly states holds that executive power, cannot fire Berman.

Can Trump fire Berman? Uh … probably. It would be strange and likely a violation of separation of powers if the head of the executive branch couldn’t fire an employee at the Department of Justice. (We went through this with Mueller, remember.) The fact that Berman was appointed by a federal court, not the president, adds a wrinkle, though. And federal law adds another wrinkle about how, exactly, a court-appointed U.S. Attorney is to be replaced:

“To recap: 1) Berman was appointed under 28 U.S.C. § 546(d). 2) That statute contemplates that he keeps his job until a permanent successor is confirmed by the Senate. 3) 28 U.S.C. § 541(c) says U.S. Attorneys are subject to removal by the President. So the statutes conflict,” — Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) June 20, 2020

This Vladeck then adds

Of course, the Trump DOJ may argue that § 546(d) is unconstitutional insofar as it prevents the President from removing Berman, but that’s complicated here by Berman being an *Acting* U,S. Attorney—over whose appointment and removal Congress can arguably exercise *more* control.

If we have reached the insane situation where a Republican President can no longer fire those under him, then our Constitutional government is truly dead.

UPDATE: Trump has now fired Berman. We shall see whether the courts and the swamp will let that action stand.

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Another coup leader at the FBI forced to resign

More house-cleaning at the FBI: The FBI’s general counsel, Dana Boente, yesterday resigned as demanded by William Barr, the attorney general of the Justice Department, apparently due to his participation in the effort to frame former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Boente signed one of the warrants renewing the FBI’s authority to surveil Flynn. The warrants, known as FISA warrants, were renewed several times and had to be approved by a judge.

Boente also said in a recently leaked memo that material put into the public record about Flynn was not exculpatory for the former national security advisor. The memo undermines the Justice Department’s latest position that material about Flynn was mishandled by prosecutors.

The article is from NBC, so it exudes both ignorance and hostility about this resignation. The FISA warrants that Boente signed have been repeatedly proven to have been falsely obtained, dependent on unverified and outright false and fake information. His actions clearly showed he was part of the coup attempt in the FBI attempting to find by any means necessary a way to overthrown the legal election of Donald Trump. Framing Flynn was only one part of that effort.

We’ve only just begun. There are a lot of people still working at both the FBI, the Justice Department, and throughout the executive branch, who have been willing to violate the Constitution and some fundamental laws, all because they did not like how the American people voted in 2016. They all need to be shown the door, with many escorted next to a prison cell.

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Justice Dept recommends Trump veto of FISA bill

The Justice Department yesterday recommended that President Trump veto of the new reauthorization bill of the FISA court presently working its way through Congress.

Sadly, Justice’s reasons for this recommendations is that they reject House amendments to the bill by Democrats that would weaken its ability to spy on Americans.

The bill reauthorizes three surveillance programs and makes some changes to the court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). But the Senate, when it took up the bill earlier this month, added language to create new legal protections for some FISA warrant applications, a change that garnered pushback from the Justice Department.

[Assistant Attorney General Stephen] Boyd said on Wednesday that the Justice Department had offered “specific fixes to the most significant problems” stemming from the changes made by the Senate but signaled that they had been ignored by House lawmakers.

Instead, the House will vote on an additional amendment to the legislation as part of its debate on Wednesday that would tighten the limits on the FBI’s ability to access Americans’ web browsing history.

Boyd warned that the Justice Department believes the proposed change from the House would “weaken national security tools while doing nothing to address the abuses identified by the DOJ Inspector General.”

The good news here is that this recommendation, as odious as its goals are, will give Trump ammunition for vetoing the bill, which in the end will end this corrupt court. And that goal should be the goal of every freedom-loving American.

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List of Obama officials who illegally used wiretaps to spy on Americans

The federal government’s intelligence services have for many years been authorized to listen in on the phone conversations of foreign nationals for the purpose of detecting any potential threats to the United States.

However, if those conversations happen to include an American citizen, they are also forbidden from revealing who that person is to anyone, including and especially their political bosses, except in extraordinary circumstances, because these spies are not allowed to spy on Americans, without reasonable cause and a warrant. And even when these names were revealed, “unmasked” in intelligence parlance, until the Obama administration such unmasking was only permitted to a very small and select number of people.

The Obama administration changed this. Obama allowed the unmasking to be revealed to numerous people in his administration, and worse, his administration made unmasking a tool for spying on his political opponents. This is how Obama and the FBI knew that Trump’s former National Security Chief Mike Flynn had been talking to the Russian ambassador (as was proper for him to do during the transition time between the two administrations). They had listened in, and then unmasked Flynn’s name, improperly.

Well, we now know some of the people in the Obama administration who ordered these illegal unmaskings.

The list revealed that then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made unmasking requests seven times between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 11, 2017. The list revealed that Clapper made three requests from Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 7, 2017; and that Brennan made two requests, one on Dec. 14 and one on Dec. 15, 2016. Comey also made a request on Dec. 15, 2016. On Jan. 5, 2017, McDonough made one request, and on Jan. 12, 2017, Biden made one request.

The day McDonough requested the information is the same day as an Oval Office meeting that has drawn scrutiny in the wake of the Flynn developments. The meeting included Obama, Biden, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

That meeting was the first time Yates learned about Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to notes from her special counsel interview which were released last week. Yates, in her interview, indicated Obama was aware of Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with Kislyak during the presidential transition period. [emphasis mine]

I have highlighted the dates because it is interesting that all these unmaskings occurred during that transition period, after Trump had won the election but before he took office. It is almost as if the Obama administration and his stooges in the FBI, CIA, and other departments are gathering information to use against Trump and his people.

Which is exactly what they were doing. They wanted to overthrow that legal election, and were digging around trying to create a scandal to do so. They didn’t find anything, but what they had gave them the chance to manufacture the Russian collusion hoax.

Note that this list is not complete. It is only the start. What we know now is that Power, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McDouough, and Biden misused their power against their political opponents.

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“A naked abuse of authority.”

The quote that makes up my headline comes from Congressman Devin Nunes (R-California). It was said in response to the new information that has come out about how partisan and corrupt FBI agents, hostile to Trump and his administration, falsified the interview report of Trump’s then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in order to get him either “prosecuted or fired” (their words). The full quote:

“The FBI set up General Flynn — that is clear as day,” Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, tells RealClearInvestigations. “There is FBI leadership ordering the case kept open when agents wanted to close it for lack of evidence, the discussion of getting Flynn to lie or trying to get him fired, the ambush interview, the withholding of exculpatory evidence, and many other acts of blatant malfeasance. None of this is standard procedure. It’s a naked abuse of authority.”

Nunes might be a politician and a Republican (with the expected partisan agendas), but everything he says here is accurate and true (as has been the case for Nunes throughout this sorry affair). The article outlines in excruciating detail the fraud and manipulation that FBI officials Peter Srtzok, Lisa Page, and Andrew McCabe went through to rewrite the report of Flynn’s FBI interview, in order to create the false impression that he had lied during that interview, and thus frame him.

Revealing this criminal activity and abuse of power by these FBI officials is good, but as long as they avoid indictments and punishment, we accomplish nothing. These people have to face juries, and go to prison. If they don’t, then nothing will change in Washington, and in fact we in the future can expect more such abuses, coming from both parties.

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New documents prove FBI targeted Flynn and framed him

Newly released documents now prove that FBI management targeted and framed the Trump administration’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of their effort to overthrow Trump and the 2016 election.

The documents show two things. First, after doing its initial investigation and finding no evidence of wrong-doing at all, the FBI closed the case against Flynn. Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok then insisted on reopening it. Second, other newly released documents show that the goal of this reopened investigation was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

They then set up interviews with Flynn, and when they didn’t quite get what they wanted, Strzok rewrote the interview reports to his own personal satisfaction.

I expect Flynn’s case to be thrown out this week, exonerating him completely. This also lends weight to the other rumors last week that the investigations of this FBI and Justice misconduct against Trump will result in actual indictments in the coming days.

If so, I sing “Hallelujah!” At last some of these corrupt individuals will face the consequences of their abuse of power. It can’t happen too soon.

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The Justice and FBI players under suspicion for FISA illegalities

Today there were a bunch of stories claiming that newly revealed evidence, previously buried by the FBI, proves the innocence of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and was illegally withheld from his lawyers. In addition, another bunch of recent stories have also hinted that indictments might be coming in the FBI/Justice scandal involving the illegal misuse of FISA warrants to spy on Donald Trump as well as attempt to overthrow his presidency.

The problem with all these stories is that they are based on anonymous sources, and the evidence in question remains under seal so we can’t see it.

I normally do not pay much attention to stories based on anonymous sources or rumors. Nonetheless, if indictments are coming it is also worthwhile for responsible citizens to get a handle on the players involved, including understanding why some people get indicted, when it happens. Since the entire scandal here involves almost the entire top management at both the Justice Department and the FBI during the Obama administration as well as during the first three years of the Trump administration, there are a lot of players.

Thus, I strongly advice my readers to spend some time and read this article at The Conservative Treehouse on the subject of the Mike Flynn case.

It outlines in great and very clear detail who the players have been who worked to abuse the power at the FBI and the Department of Justice, explaining their actions and positions during the entire scandal. Familiar names like John Brennan, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey, and Christopher Wray all come up. It adds however some less well known players — Dana Boente, David Bowditch, Scott Schools, David Archey — and gives us their part in the scandal, showing that they were apparently as culpable. The focus is mostly on the part that Boente played, but as the article notes in its conclusion:

There are no “good guys” in this. There are no “white hats” here. Certainly not Mueller, Rosenstein, Wray, Bowditch or Boente. Instead, this is a matrix of broad interests positioned only to benefit and sustain the status quo of the administrative state; and protect the larger community from the Trump disruption.

Even if all these individuals are not indicted, there is absolutely no justification for Trump to allow them to remain at their jobs. They should be shown the door now. You don’t need indictments to fire someone who is corrupt, and misuses his or her position.

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Justice Dept abandons Mueller indictments of Russian companies

Earlier this week the Justice Dept quietly announced that it was dropping the indictments that the Robert Mueller Russian collusion investigation had made against several Russian-based companies.

Though I missed reporting this when it happened because of other events, it merits comment, even a few days late.

For one thing, when Mueller announced these indictments, I read them, and concluded that they were absurd, and nothing more than a political maneuver.

Mueller’s indictment is first and foremost a political document. If you read it, it is quite obvious that its purpose was not to bring these Russians to justice, but to imply that Russia was working with Trump to get him elected, even though a careful analysis of everything the Russians did shows that this is not the case.

Why do I say this? The indictment spends numerous pages describing in incredible detail every single pro-Trump action taken by these Russians, from organizing social media campaigns to anti-Clinton protests to pro-Trump rallies, while providing only one or two very short summaries of the anti-Trump actions they took, thus giving the impression if you do not read the indictment closely that they were essentially a Trump operation.

This however is false. Not only does the indictment lack any evidence of any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the details indicate strongly the non-partisan nature of the Russian strategy. While prior to the election it appears they favored Trump, once he was the candidate they shifted tactics to attack both him and Clinton. The goal was not so much to get Trump elected but to cause the most negative disruption to the American election process as possible. The indictment itself admits this, though almost as an aside.

People far more expert on this subject than I, such as Andrew McCarthy at the link above, had quickly come to the same conclusion. And McCarthy had predicted two years ago that the indictment would never fly if the Russian companies challenged it in court (something Mueller’s team clearly never expected). They did challenge it, resulting in some incredibly embarrassing moments in court for these Democratic Party hacks.

I think this story is only one example of the corrupt nature of Mueller’s Russian investigation. It was a political action against a duly and legally elected president, through and through, created by those in DC who did not like the result, and wished to overturn it illegally, by any means necessary.

Or to put it bluntly, it was an attempted political coup.

People in that operation should be the ones indicted, and convicted. I wait with great pessimism whether the investigations by Trump’s attorney general will result in such indictments. They should, but I have little faith they will. In Washington DC we now have two sets of rules.The little people must obey all laws, or they will be severely punished. Those in Washington however are exempt from any prosecution, and can do as they please.

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Justice Dept decides to allow McCabe to skip charges

The law is for only the little people, and Republicans: Our corrupt Justice Department decided today not to prosecute former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe for lying about his leaks to the media.

And what exactly did McCabe do?

As for the case against McCabe, the 2018 inspector general’s report faulted the former deputy director for leaking information to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for an Oct. 30, 2016 story titled “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.” The story, written just days before the presidential election, focused on the FBI announcing the reopening of the Clinton investigation after finding thousands of her emails on a laptop belonging to former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was then married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

The Journal’s account of the call said a senior Justice Department official expressed displeasure to McCabe that FBI agents were still looking into the Clinton Foundation, and that McCabe had defended the agent’s authority to pursue the issue. That leak confirmed the existence of the probe, the report said, which then-FBI director James Comey had up to that point refused to do.

The report said that McCabe “lacked candor” in a conversation with Comey when he said he had not authorized the disclosure and didn’t know who had done so. The IG also found that he lacked candor when questioned by FBI agents on multiple occasions since that conversation.

Or to put it another way, when questioned he lied.

McCabe was also central to the entire effort at Justice and the FBI to use false FISA authorizations to spy on the Trump campaign — for the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign — and to also create the Russian collusion hoax and put in prison a number of Trump associates, for actions in some cases far less egregious than what McCabe did.

But then, he’s an ally of the Democrats, so obviously he is immune from any law or prosecution. The law only applies to Republicans and ordinary citizens who oppose Democrats. Support Democrats, and you will automatically earn a “Get-out-of-Jail” card that will never expire.

Soon, those ordinary citizens are going to get very sick and tied of this double standard, especially when these Democrats start to use their unearned power to impose overbearing restrictions on their freedoms. At some point, that citizenry is going to say, “If the law doesn’t apply to you, then it doesn’t apply to me!”

At that point society collapses, and we have chaos and anarchy.

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Spygate from a scientific perspective

Back in February 2018, Republican-controlled committees in both the House and the Senate released detailed memos, dubbed the Nunes and Grassley memos respectively, accusing the FBI and the Obama Justice Department of using unverified and false information that was nothing more than opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign to illegally obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), warrants that allowed them to spy on the campaign of Donald Trump as well as his administration following his election victory in 2016.

Put more bluntly, the Republicans accused the Clinton campaign, with the help of the Obama administration, of weaponizing the surveillance powers of the FBI and the Justice Department in order to defeat their political opponents.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats and former Obama officials denied these allegations, calling both memos partisan and false. In the House the Democrats issued their own memo, claiming the Republican memos left out key information that made their arguments invalid.

Who was right? What was true? How was an ordinary citizen going to determine which of these competing political positions properly described what had actually happened?

At the time I admit my instincts and own personal biases led me to believe the Republicans. Even so, the allegations were so horrifying — suggesting a clear abuse of power and a willingness of people in Washington to subvert an American election — that some skepticism of the Republican accusations was certainly reasonable.

In fact, the best thing one could do in this situation is to take a scientific approach to the problem. The Republicans had put forth a theory, citing some data that suggested the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had abused their power in the worst possible manner. To prove that theory the Republicans would require both corroborating evidence as well as independent reviews that confirmed their conclusions.
» Read more

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IG had recommended criminal prosecution of Comey

The law is only for little people: In testimony today before Congress, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz revealed that he had recommended criminal prosecution earlier this year against former FBI director James Comey.

The Justice Department however declined to follow through, essentially letting Comey off the hook.

In the past few weeks there have been many rumors about more criminal referrals by Horowitz in connection with his investigation into the illegal use of the FISA court by the FBI and Obama Justice Department to initiate spying operations on Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The conservative press has made much of those rumors.

To my mind, the rumors mean squat, just as Horowitz’s recommendation here against Comey. Until these corrupt officials are actually indicted, the IG can say whatever he wants, but nothing has been accomplished, and future federal employees will know that they can attempt a coup against legally elected lawmakers and face no consequences.

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Justice Dept dismisses as harmless death threat against Republican

They’re coming for you next: A U.S. attorney has determined that an obscenity-laced phonecall threatening to kill a Republican congressman is harmless, even after it had identified the caller.

The text of the phone call:

Gaetz, you pathetic piece of #$%^. Do you know that I could blow your &’^$”@ head clean off your shoulders from over a mile away. Watch your back, &#%@!. You pathetic little piece of #$%^. You got your head so far up Trump’s ass, I could still take it off your shoulders. &’^$”@ you Gaetz. I’m coming after you, &#%@!.

According th Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), the U.S. attorney “made the determination that this was a closed matter, that they would bring no charges, and that we’re just supposed to deal with that.”

Apparently after interviewing the caller the Justice Department decided he had done nothing wrong, despite the fact that it is against the law to make a death threat, and this is exactly what the caller did.

Video of Gaetz’s television interview, including the actual audio of the call, is below the fold.

It appears from this story that parts of the Justice Department approve of death threats against Republicans.
» Read more

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Illegal acts in Justice Dept routinely given wrist-slap

The law is for the little people: A new inspector general report has found that Justice Department employees who are caught committing crimes are routinely allowed to get off without any punishment at all.

In cases closed in the past month, more than a half-dozen FBI, DEA, U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal officials were allowed to retire, do volunteer work, or keep their jobs as they escaped criminal charges that everyday Americans probably would not.

In most instances, the decisions were made by federal prosecutors who work with the very figures impacted by or committing the bad conduct. In local law enforcement, that go-easy phenomenon is known as the “thin blue line.”

Spokespersons for the Justice Department and FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

I remain very pessimistic we shall see anyone prosecuted in Washington for the clear attempt in the past two years to overthrow a legally elected president. I also expect this behavior to worsen in the coming years. The law no longer means anything to most of the people in power in Washington, and they are increasingly teaming up to use their power to defy the law for their own personal gain.

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Inventor of 3D gun wins lawsuit against Justice

The inventor of a 3D gun has won a free speech lawsuit against the Justice Department for its order blocking the publication of his 3D gun designs.

Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) reached a settlement with the Department of Justice allowing unfettered publication of 3D gun files and other information in a case centered on free speech. Breitbart News reported that SAF filed a suit on behalf of Defense Distributed on May 6, 2015, seeking to free Wilson from a federal mandate that he not post blueprints for The Liberator pistol online.

Over three years later, the announcement comes that Wilson and SAF won. SAF sent a press release to Breitbart News, explaining details of settlement, saying, “The government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.”

In other words, the Justice Department had no authority under the Constitution to block the publication of these 3D gun plans, and in its effort to try it has lost badly.

What this really means is that it is now literally impossible for any government to impose gun control. If you want a gun, all you will need is the right kind of 3D printer (getting better all the time) and the right plans, soon to be available on the web. While this might make guns more available for bad guys, I guarantee that they will quickly be outnumbered by the good guys.

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IT specialist Imran Awan solicited a bribe from at least one vendor

More corruption at Justice: IT specialist Imran Awan, while working for many Democrats in Congress, solicited a bribe from at least one IT vendor.

Democratic IT aide Imran Awan solicited a bribe from an IT vendor in exchange for contracting opportunities with the office of then-Rep. Gwen Graham, the vendor alleged to The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding that Imran spoke to him in detail about his alleged financial fraud schemes in the House.

The Department of Justice knows of the source — the longtime owner of a major House IT company — and what he is prepared to testify, a high-level official in Jeff Sessions’ DOJ with knowledge of the investigation confirmed. But the vendor said no law enforcement ever even tried to interview them. [emphasis mine]

Read it all. The vendor also was aware of the falsification of invoices to funnel money and equipment to the Awan family illegally. Yet, no one from Justice has ever felt the need to gather that evidence.

One more detail: Graham is running for Florida governor. If you are in Florida, expect a lot of corruption should she win.

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Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign

Confirmed: The Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign, using a variety of illicit methods, from monitoring phonecalls to inserting spies within the campaign.

The article outlines the entire range of abuse of power by the Obama FBI and Justice Department, but two actions stand out to me as most egregious, both outlined in this quote:

The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.

First, the Obama administration went after the campaign of their opponent, based not on any reasonable suspicion of a crime but merely because they were participating in an opposition campaign.

Second, much of this spying was instigated using these national security letters, which do not require a judge’s warrant and on their face are completely unconstitutional.

Read it all. This behavior was a direct attack on our American democracy. If no one gets punished expect far worse from future administrations, from both the left and the right, all intent on maintaining their power regardless of the wishes of the American electorate.

I must add one more detail. This information comes from a badly written New York Times propaganda piece designed to support the actions of the Obama FBI. Yet, buried in that report was this quote:

A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.

Let that sink in. After two years of open-ended investigation using unlimited resources, these petty tyrants have yet to find any evidence of Russian collusion. The time has come to shut this kangaroo court down.

Update: This article does an excellent job of outlining the outright abuse of power by the Obama administration. As the author notes succinctly,

The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries. [emphasis in original]

This is Watergate times infinity, and if there is anything left of our Constitutional government, it should put a lot of people from the Obama administration in jail.

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Redactions in Strzok/Page texts reveal FBI/Justice is hiding something

Link here. Essentially, the author did a very careful review of the texts between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the week in July 2016 when the FBI investigation into Trump-Russian collusion began. What he found was that the many redactions in the texts serve only to hide what was really happening, as well as the extent of involvement in the Obama White House.

It would be interesting to know what is in the emails that apparently clarify how the Obama administration divided responsibility for running the Trump-Russia investigation. Just like it would be interesting to know what is behind all the many redactions in these texts about how and why the Trump-Russia investigation got started.

On what basis has the Justice Department concealed passages and references to government officials from these significant conversations? Are Justice and the Bureau claiming that the redactions are necessary because the information is classified — even though we’re talking about communications between highly trained intelligence officials?

And if that is the claim, are they telling us that Hillary Clinton was investigated — and given a pass — for the unauthorized transmission of classified information by FBI officials who were themselves actively engaged in the unauthorized transmission of classified information?

Based on past revelations, when we finally see what was redacted I expect we shall discover that the redactions had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hiding malfeasance and the abuse of power by the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Obama administration.

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Did the Obama administration use the FBI to put a spy in the Trump campaign?

New evidence forced by Congress from the FBI now suggests that during the campaign the Obama administration used the FBI to insert a spy into the Trump campaign.

The details can be found here, including this quote:

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

If this is true, this abuse of power here by the Obama administration, during a campaign, is far worse that anything anyone has accused Trump of doing. More important, we have zero evidence against Trump, but now ample evidence against Obama and the Democrats. Just as Obama weaponized the IRS illegally to attack conservatives, it now appears he used the FBI and the Justice Department to illegally spy on the Republican campaign for President.

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FBI/DOJ redactions hid their misbehavior, not protect national security

The recent release of mostly unredacted FBI documents has revealed that the earlier redactions had nothing to do with protecting national security, but were done to hide misbehavior and corrupt actions by FBI and Department of Justice officials.

Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump’s top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges. [emphasis mine]

The article is detailed and well researched. It compares the redacted documents with what we now know those documents actually said. Repeatedly, the redactions either concealed bad behavior by the FBI, or were done to conceal information that discredited their prosecution of Michael Flynn.

The author, while condemning the FBI and the Justice Department, is even more condemning of Donald Trump.

It is simply ridiculous for President Trump to continue bloviating about this situation on Twitter and in friendly media interviews, and for congressional Republicans to continue pretending that the problem is Justice Department and FBI leadership — as if Trump were not responsible for his own administration’s actions. The president has not only the authority but the duty to ensure that his subordinates honor lawful disclosure requests from Congress.

What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.

While the author is right, politically it might have been a very wise decision for Trump to have done nothing. Mueller and the FBI have no case. Their effort to pin Russian collusion on Trump has always been laughable on its face. Letting them blow in the wind with this fake investigation allows the public to slowly recognize this fact, and thus discredit them in the public’s eye. If Trump were to shut the investigation down, however, he would lay himself open to accusations of obstructing justice.

This way, he lets them hang themselves, as the story above illustrates.

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Sessions names US attorney to investigate FISA abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today informed Congress that he has tasked United States Attorney John W. Huber, based in Utah, to investigate the possible misuse of the FISA court by the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI during and after the presidential campaign.

From Sessions’ letter to Congress:

Mr. Huber is conducting his work from outside the Washington, DC. area and in cooperation with the Inspector General. …I am confident that Mr. Huber’s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts.

I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.

Huber is an Obama appointee, but appears to have avoided participating in partisan games. This will make it harder for Democrats to blast him should he recommend a special prosecutor is necessary. Meanwhile, some Republicans are complaining about Sessions’ decision to hold off appointing a special prosecutor, but I think this decision is smart. Huber will be under Sessions’ supervision and command. A special counsel would be uncontrollable (witness Mueller and every past special prosecutor). Considering the corrupt culture that now permeates Washington, keeping some control over this investigation to me seems wise.

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Justice Dept inspector general to review FISA abuses

Progress? Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz announced today that he has initiated a full review of the suspected FISA abuses that took place at both the FBI and the Justice Department that allowed the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign during the election, and were subsequently used to initiate the Mueller special counsel investigation.

The Office of the Inspector General released a statement Wednesday outlining the start of the review. “The OIG will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person,” the statement obtained by Fox News read. “As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”

The OIG statement added that Horowitz also would “review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.” The statement continued, “If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.”

It must be noted that Horowitz was appointed by Obama. It must also be noted that this review leaves many of the highest officials of both the FBI and Justice very exposed, considered what we know now about how they misused the FISA courts.

The bottom line remains: until someone from the Democratic Party, the Obama administration, or their allies in the administrative state actually get charged with a crime, they will be getting off scot-free, and will continue to pose a threat to the American democratic process and future elections.

One positive sign today: Justice Dept. charges Minnesota FBI agent for leaking secret document to news outlet This story suggests that Sessions might be serious about tracking down those in his department that are leaking classified information to the press.

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Anti-Trump FBI officials colluded with recused judge

Working for the Democratic Party: The two anti-Trump FBI officials who were having an adulterous affair while exchanging emails on how they needed to stop Trump, also appear to have colluded with the judge involved in the Michael Flynn case, Rudolph Contreras, who was suddenly recused with no explanation only days after Flynn’s guilty plea.

The text messages about Contreras between controversial Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the top Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence official who was kicked off Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, were deliberately hidden from Congress, multiple congressional investigators told The Federalist. In the messages, Page and Strzok, who are rumored to have been engaged in an illicit romantic affair, discussed Strzok’s personal friendship with Contreras and how to leverage that relationship in ongoing counterintelligence matters.

“Rudy is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]!” Page excitedly texted Strzok on July 25, 2016. “Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago.”

“I did,” Strzok responded. “I need to get together with him.”

“[He] said he’d gotten on a month or two ago at a graduation party we were both at.” [emphasis mine]

I would not be surprised if Flynn’s guilty plea will soon be vacated. This story also acts to further discredit Robert Mueller’s witchhunt investigation, and increases the leverage to either end it, or start a separate investigation into the FBI, the Justice Department, and Mueller’s investigation itself.

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Justice Department to give House all “Fast & Furious” documents

Chickens coming home to roost? The Trump Justice Department has agreed to provide the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee all the “Fast & Furious” documents that the Obama administration had refused to provided.

In June 2012, the House of Representatives voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over certain documents related to the botched sting, which he dismissed as “politically motivated.” The House also approved a civil measure against the attorney general, which allowed the House Oversight Committee to eventually file a lawsuit against Holder over his failure to produce the subpoenaed documents. That lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington in August 2012.

Now, it appears that six-year long court battle is coming to an end. “The Department of Justice under my watch is committed to transparency and the rule of law. This settlement agreement is an important step to make sure that the public finally receives all the facts related to Operation Fast and Furious,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Wednesday.

Why does the House want these documents? And why did Eric Holder stonewall them?

Operation Fast and Furious took place from late 2009 to early 2011 when the Phoenix Field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed the illegal gun sales of nearly 2,000 firearms with the intent to track the sellers and buyers, believed to be part of Mexican drug cartels.

Two of the weapons linked to the operation were later recovered near the scene of a December 2010 shootout where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed. This, plus whistleblowing, caused the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to open investigations into the botched operation. [emphasis mine]

This was the first Obama scandal, and at any other time in our history, would have brought him down. Imagine, an administration is purposely allowing illegal guns sales, in large numbers, and then failing to properly track those illegal guns as they move into Mexico to be used by the drug cartels.

In our time, however, the partisan mainstream press is only interested in stories that make Democrats look good, or Republicans look bad. It is shameful, and disgusts me, as a journalist.

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Justice Dept faulted for lack of progress in Awan IT scandal

Working for the Democratic Party: The Justice Department has apparently worked to stall or stonewall the investigation into the Imran Awan IT hacking scandal that allowed Pakistani nationals access to secure computers of numerous Democratic congressmen.

The OIG [House Office of the Inspector General] alleged Imran Awan and his family members logged into servers of congressmen for whom they did not work, logged in using members’ personal usernames, covered their tracks, and continued to access data after they’d been fired.

Though the findings place the case squarely into the category of political cyber-crimes that have otherwise been high-profile priorities, the lead FBI agent assigned to the Awan case was a first-year agent, and not from one of the FBI’s big-guns divisions. The charges brought by prosecutors are so minor that Awan’s own lawyer speculated they could be a “placeholder” for future charges.

Server logs of government computers backed up the OIG’s findings. Yet six months after the initial charges, no additional counts have been brought, raising the question of whether the DOJ is seriously investigating the potential national security breach.

Read the whole article. It outlines in great detail how both the FBI and the Justice Department show no interest in prosecuting this case. The evidence is condemning, and it especially condemns Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which appears to have allowed the stonewalling to occur. Is he, and Trump, not legally in charge? Why have they sat on their hands and allowed this?

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Trump administration finally takes over Justice and FBI

Four stories at the end of this week, all apparently timed to hit the press over the weekend and thus be less noticeable, all indicate that the Trump administration, specifically Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray, might finally be taking control respectively of the Justice Department and the FBI from the Democratic partisan hold-overs from the Obama administration, who for all intents and purposes have apparently been running those agencies during Trump’s first year in office.

The first story is significant in that the lawyer reassigned, James Baker, was also the lawyer used by Andrew McCabe for his defense during his eight hours of stone-walling during a closed-door House hearing this week about his part in the Mueller Russian collusion investigation, and is also a good friend to fired FBI director James Comey. The Trump administration has now removed this lawyer from the game.

The middle two stories indicate that the Trump administration is not going to let Obama and Clinton off the hook for their own apparent collusion with both the Russians and terrorists. (An update: It behooves every American to read the full and very detailed Politico report about the Obama administration’s effort to shut down any investigations of Hezbollah’s drug operation in order to get the Iran deal signed. I finally got around to reading it carefully, and found it to be quite damning, both for Obama and for everyone in his administration. And remember, this is coming from a media source that has generally been favorable to Democrats.)

The last story involves what appears increasingly to be a terrible abuse of power by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Justice Department in its prosecution of the Bundy family following their stand-off with federal officials, a prosecution that has now resulted in a mistrial because the Justice Department improperly withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense.

That it took this long for the Trump administration to make these moves strongly illustrates how fragile our hold on democracy presently is. Trump was duly elected. By law, he is in charge, and has the right to fire anyone in the executive branch, as well as set policy there. Yet, he and his appointed cabinet officials have apparently felt they needed to tiptoe carefully during the first year of their administration, as if the people that Obama appointed and the policies he established were still in control.

Even now, I am unsure that these actions will put the Trump administration truly in charge of the administrative state. There is ample evidence in both the Uranium One deal and Iran deal that the Obama administration committed acts that at the least should destroy political careers, and at the most might even send some people to prison. Unless one of those scenarios actually happens, however, Trump will have done little to rein in the administration state. They will continue to act as if they can do whatever they want, defying elected officials, with impunity, because it will be apparent that there are no consequences for such actions.

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Sessions asks all remaining attorneys appointed by Obama to resign

Better late than never: Attorney General Jeff Sessions today asked the attorneys appointed by Obama that remain in the Justice Department to resign.

The article says that this is standard operating procedure, but that is not entirely true. Until Clinton was president most Justice Department attorneys were long term prosecutors who remained in office from administration to administration. They were not partisan appointees. Clinton changed that when he fired them all. I do not know if Bush followed through and did the same thing, but I tend to doubt it. Obama however would have certainly fired any Bush appointees when he took office.

What makes this significant is that it appears to be the first time that a Republican president since Clinton is fighting back and cleaning house of Democratic appointees.

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Justice Department resumes program to steal property of citizens

Theft by government: The Obama Justice Department has resumed its partnership with state police departments to seize the property of citizens for profit.

Asset forfeiture is a contentious practice that lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted of wrongdoing — and in many cases, never charged. Studies have found that use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profit and less by justice.

The Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program allowed state and local authorities to pursue asset forfeiture under federal, rather than state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize.

Participation by the Justice Department had been suspended in December, but not because the Obama administration didn’t like the program, it turns out. Instead, the suspension allowed them to keep the money themselves that local police had seized under federal law. This however discouraged local police from pursuing more confiscations, so they have resumed the program.

The graph at the link is incredible. Do you know that citizens now lose more property to the government under this program than they do from ordinary burglaries?

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Businessman found innocent of all charges after years of persecution by the Justice Department.

Our fascist government: A medical company and its head was pursued and persecuted for five years by the Department of Justice, based on a false accusation by a former employee, only to lose its case when it finally presented its case to a jury.

It all started when one of our salesmen became upset he didn’t receive a promotion. So he quit and filed a baseless complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office in San Antonio, alleging a multitude of offenses to try to justify a $20 million claim. Simply by hiring a lawyer and making wild accusations, this former employee with an ax to grind became entitled under the law to receive 20 percent of whatever money the government could “recover” from Vascular Solutions.

The government lawyers reviewed his allegations and chose to pursue just one. I offered to meet with them to correct their misinformation, but two days before that scheduled meeting, they called my lawyer and canceled it. And they never would reschedule. So before deciding to bring criminal charges, these prosecutors never heard my side of the story.

Instead, they subpoenaed over 2 million pages of our documents and interviewed over 60 customers and employees. In the process, they received evidence that conflicted with the story told by that money-motivated former employee. But instead of changing their conclusions to fit the evidence, these prosecutors engaged in obscene tactics to try to change the evidence.

In conversation with our lawyers, they called conflicting statements by witnesses “a line of sh*t.” They referred to one employee as “a poor f***er” who needed to return “on bended knee” to “fix” his testimony. They told a female employee to think about what would happen to her firstborn son if she were indicted because she refused to “cooperate.” And by “fix” and “cooperate,” I mean retract their prior testimony and support the government’s case.

Granted, this is written by the man whom the government was trying to prosecute. Still, I believe him, especially because of one key fact he outlines once they went to trial:

In the end, after I endured four weeks sitting in a San Antonio courtroom while still running Vascular Solutions in Minnesota, the jury rejected each and every allegation. And that was without hearing from any of our 20 witnesses, since we made the decision to rest immediately after the government finished its case. So the government’s own witnesses proved our innocence — simply stunning.

The company says it spent $25 million defending itself. It is now calling for an investigation and a firing of these Justice Department lawyers. How many of you expect the Obama administration to follow through with this? I don’t.

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Cruz demands Justice Dept preserve IRS scandal documents

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today put the Justice Department on notice that he wants all their documents relating to the IRS scandal preserved so that future administrations have the ability to complete their own investigation.

“It is important for you and other officials in this Administration to understand that this administration’s decisions to neither continue this investigation nor appoint a special prosecutor do not represent the conclusion of this matter,” Mr. Cruz said in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “Given this Administration’s refusal to conduct itself appropriately, or take the issue of the potential illegal conduct of IRS employees seriously, any subsequent administration should reserve the right to reopen the matter, conduct its own investigation, or appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation.”

I would not be surprised at all if the Justice Department, now working full time for the Democratic Party, decides to destroy these documents at first opportunity. They know that they will face no criminal charges, even though this would be a blatant act of obstruction of justice, because the Democratic Party in Congress will stonewall any investigation. And unless the next Republican President has the courage to fire the lot of them, they themselves will be able to stonewall the next President as well.

In fact, which Republican candidates running for President would have the courage to fire the lot of them? Cruz for sure. Trump probably. Anyone else? I don’t think so.

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The IRS and Obama administration planned to criminally prosecute its opponents

Working for the Democratic Party: New Justice Department documents released today show that in 2010 the Obama administration and the IRS were conspiring to criminally prosecute opponents of the Obama administration.

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

This bears repeating: It is illegal for the IRS to give the confidential tax returns of citizens to anyone, including the Justice Department. Worse, having done so the IRS has given the very partisan Obama administration a giant treasure-trove of data it can use to smear and destroy its opponents.

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