Tag Archives: Obama

Trump unclassifies FISA warrants, interviews; orders release of unredacted FBI text messages

Trump has today unclassified both the FISA Carter Page application and the FBI interviews connected with that application. He also ordered the release, unredacted, of all FBI text messages of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

This information I think is going to demonstrate that the certain people at the FBI have been running an anti-Trump/pro-Democratic Party operation, concocting a false claim of Russian-Trump collusion in order to remove a duly elected President. Moreover, comparing the previously released redacted text messages with the unredacted messages is almost certainly going to reveal that someone at the FBI has acting to obstruct the investigation.

I wonder if anyone will ask the question “Who?”

I should also point out that Trump himself could have read these documents whenever he wanted. He doesn’t need to declassify them to see them, and form judgements from them. Moreover, the redactions only apply to the public, not to Trump. He could have seen this anytime, and acted immediately, if he had chosen.

Instead, he chose to wait and wait, and then release this now, at a moment when all eyes are aimed at the fake scandal being perpetrated by the Democrats against his Supreme Court nominee.

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FBI fires anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok

The FBI today finally fired anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok from his job at the FBI.

This action is far too little, and maybe far too late. What we really need is a complete house-cleaning, with a fresh set of new faces in charge at the FBI and the Department of Justice. What we have gotten so far has merely been the removal of a tiny handful of players while many of the big cheese remain in power.

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Tea party groups get major payout in lawsuit settlement with IRS

Still working for the Democratic Party: Tea party groups have settled their lawsuit with the IRS in which they will split a $3.5 million payout from the government agency for harassing them for their political beliefs.

The $3.5 million closely approximates the fines the IRS would have had to pay in damages for each intrusive scrutiny of tea party groups, had the agency been found in violation of the law. The money will be split with half going to the lawyers who argued the case and the other half to more than 100 tea party groups, which will get a cut of about $17,000 each.

Judge Michael R. Barrett called the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

The settlement doesn’t actually include an admission of wrongdoing by the IRS, though Mr. Greim and others said the payment is perhaps an even bigger mea culpa.

Meanwhile, the depositions in this suit by IRS managers Lois Lerner and Holly Paz remained sealed. Both are fighting to keep them from coming public, claiming unsealing them will put them at physical risk.

Yeah right. What I think unsealing these depositions will clearly show is how corrupt these two partisan hacks were in using the IRS to help the Democratic Party and to squelch the free speech of conservatives. This is what they don’t want the public to know.

Meanwhile, there remains no guarantee the IRS won’t do this again, mainly because the agency and its employees have generally gotten away with it. No one was fired. Many who participated in the harassment even got bonuses.

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New FISA release confirms Obama and FBI illegally conspired to spy on Trump

Working for the Democratic Party: The release this weekend of the heavily redacted FISA application that apparently began the Russian collusion investigation at the FBI has confirmed that the warrant was obtained under false pretenses, and that Obama and FBI illegally used it to justify spying on Trump and the campaign of their political opponent.

Several takeaways noted in the article:

  • Peter Strzok is a liar, though this is hardly news
  • The FISA warrant hung entirely on the claim that Carter Page was working as a spy for the Russians, but two years later he has never been charged with any crimes, suggesting that his name was used merely as a tool to open the spying operation on Trump and the Republicans.
  • The FISA warrant was almost entirely dependent on the fake dossier that had been produced as opposition research by the Clinton campaign, paid for by Clinton campaign dollars, and was not verified then, and remains unverified now. In fact, it remains an absurd tissue of lies and falsifications that should never have been brought before a judge.

More here, including the fact that it appears the warrant application was far too dependent on news stories from partisan Democratic press outlets, information that is unverified and unacceptable to use as justification for a warrant to spy on any American, no less a presidential candidate, and by the opposing party as well.

Even more here, including showing that James Comey is also a blatant liar.

The first link above sums up as follows:

The FBI’s use of flimsy and uncorroborated evidence to support spying on Page, combined with the fact that a 3-month extension was granted despite the fact that it was obvious by June, 2017 he wasn’t a Russian agent, will most certainly embolden those, like President Trump, who have called the entire Russia investigation a “witch hunt.”

The second link also adds:

What I really want to know is the identity of the judge who signed off on the surveillance of Carter Page, based on such flimsy grounds. Some are speculating that he must be from Hawaii.

That judge should be removed from office.

Moreover, the entire FISA law should be repealed. It is unconstitutional, and designed to encourage the abuse of power by those in power. Not enough people are saying this, but it really is the fundamental takeaway from this whole scandal. Just because Obama abused the law does not mean Republicans won’t. It must be repealed.

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Billions to replace or decommission thousands of wind turbines

The unintended consequences of good intentions: The tens of thousands of wind turbines installed in the last two decades are wearing out, and no one has the billions it will cost to either replace them or decommission them.

The life span of a wind turbine, power companies say, is between 20 and 25 years. But in Europe, with a much longer history of wind power generation, the life of a turbine appears to be somewhat less. “We don’t know with certainty the life spans of current turbines,” said Lisa Linowes, executive director of WindAction Group, a nonprofit which studies landowner rights and the impact of the wind energy industry. Its funding, according to its website, comes from environmentalists, energy experts and public donations and not the fossil fuel industry.

Linowes said most of the wind turbines operating within the United States have been put in place within the past 10 years. In Texas, most have become operational since 2005. “So we’re coming in on 10 years of life and we’re seeing blades need to be replaced, cells need to be replaced, so it’s unlikely they’re going to get 20 years out of these turbines,” she said.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000. With more than 50,000 wind turbines spinning in the United States, decommissioning costs are estimated at around $10 billion.

In Texas, there are approximately 12,000 turbines operational in the state. Decommissioning these turbines could cost as much as $2.3 billion. Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed.

Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.

The key here is that wind power is simply not profitable. The turbines were built almost exclusively because of giant federal subsidies — increased significantly during the Obama administration — that are expected to cost taxpayers almost $24 billion from 2016 to 2020.

Those subsidies might disappear under the Trump administration, but even if they don’t, they aren’t there to remove turbines but to build them. The companies that built the turbines aren’t making enough to pay for their replacement.

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Justice Department lets Imran Awan walk

The swamp wins! The Department of Justice this week made a plea deal with former House IT specialist Imran Awan, allowing him to walk away free on probation.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday entered a plea deal with Imran Awan, ringleader of the Pakistani family at the center of the House IT scandal, and in the process defied President Donald Trump and explicitly contradicted congressional investigators who described the group as “an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives.” In a statement to the court, Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors said they “found no evidence that [Imran] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House members’ offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information.”

The prosecutors told the court they would not object if Awan received probation, and they agreed to drop fraud-related charges against his wife. The deal means Awan is free to leave the country and won’t face prosecution in connection with his congressional employment.

The DOJ announcement flew directly in the face of Trump’s June 7, 2018, tweet saying, “Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a ‘plea deal’ to hide what is on their Server. Where is Server? Really bad!”

Trump is by law the boss of the Department of Justice, but prosecutors there continue to act as if they are in charge and the president is merely an annoyance who must be bypassed. Moreover, these prosecutors appear to have been working entirely in league with House Democrats to squash this investigation, from the beginning. Because Trump did not take control, they have now succeeded.

I should add that this case demonstrates clearly that Trump is not really acting to drain the swamp. He is cleaning out a few select agencies (EPA), but allowing the rest to remain, with the worst being Justice and the FBI. Trump is essentially a transitional president. The question remains: What are we transitioning to? To me, it increasingly appears we are transitioning to the fall of our democratic government and the freedom it formerly gave to all citizens, equal before the law. And that I write this on Independence Day is more than tragic.

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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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Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

In a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court today upheld President Trump’s constitutional powers to enforce immigration law by upholding his travel ban.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, made it clear that the court viewed the ability to regulate immigration as squarely within a president’s powers and he rejected critics’ claims of anti-Muslim bias. “We express no view on the soundness of the policy,” Roberts wrote.

Moreover, the court also ruled today that fascist California cannot force pro-life centers to advertise pro-abortion announcements.

“The unlicensed notice imposes a government-scripted, speaker-based disclosure requirement that is wholly disconnected from California’s informational interest,” wrote Justice Thomas. “California has offered no justification that the notice plausibly furthers. It targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”

Thomas also wrote that the law not only forced pro-life centers to promote abortion, but to do so while diminishing their own message on pregnancy care. “As California conceded at oral argument, a billboard for an unlicensed facility that says ‘Choose Life’ would have to surround that two-word statement with a 29-word statement from the government, in as many as 13 different languages,” continued Thomas.

“In this way, the unlicensed notice drowns out the facility’s own message. More likely, the ‘detail required’ by the unlicensed notice ‘effectively rules out’ the possibility of having such a billboard in the first place.”

The left is on a bad losing streak at the Supreme Court so far this year. And with the strong possibility that at least one of its liberal judges might soon be replaced by Trump, the left’s ability to impose its will through the courts should be further diminished.

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McCain’s office joined Democrats in encouraging IRS to harass conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released documents show that an official working for Senator John McCain’s (R-Arizona) joined the Democrats in encouraging the IRS to harass conservative groups.

Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” [emphasis mine]

Want to what really stinks about this? The meeting where McCain’s staffer suggested this came only ten days before Lois Lerner “admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.” In other words, McCain was all-in with the idea of weaponizing the IRS for political purposes.

Want to know what stinks even more? Henry Kerner was appointed by President Trump in 2017 to take over the Office of Special Council, a federal office focused on protecting whistleblowers while acting as a watchdog to prevent partisan political action by government agencies, in violation of the Hatch Act.

Boy, that sure is draining the swamp, President Trump. Keep at it!

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Obama administration ordered a “stand down” of work to stop Russian election interference

The real Russian collusion: When it was evident that the Russians were trying to use the internet to interfere with the election in August 2016, the Obama administration instead ordered a “stand down” of any work that might have stopped that interference.

Former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity czar confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice told him to “stand down” in response to Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Daniel, whose official title was “cybersecurity coordinator,” confirmed the stand-down order during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing held to review the Obama and President Donald Trump’s administrations’ policy response to Russian election interference.

…“Don’t get ahead of us,” [Rice] told Daniel in a meeting in August 2016, according to the book.

Daniel informed his staff of the order, much to their frustration. “I was incredulous and in disbelief,” Daniel Prieto, who worked under Daniel, is quoted saying in “Russian Roulette.”

“Why the hell are we standing down? Michael, can you help us understand?” Prieto asked.

It appears that the Obama administration wanted the Russians to interfere with the election, and this desire was part of their effort at the FBI to frame the Russian collusion story on Trump. They needed the interference to justify the FBI Russian investigation, which had just been instigated in late July 2016. Stopping the Russians (and defending the American electoral process) was therefore not in their interest.

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A guide to spygate, from a retired FBI agent

Link here. He gives us the educated perspective of someone who worked at the bureau and understands the bureaucratic requirements that are involved with any investigation. What he finds clarifies much of what has happened, and does so in a way that strengthens the case that the upper management of the FBI was involved in an effort to prevent Trump’s election, and if that failed, create a situation where he could be forced out thereafter.

The article is also helpful in that it helps place many of the Strzok-Page texts in context, something that also strengthens the case against them and the agency.

More and more, it appears that the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were working to nullify the 2016 Presidential election, to fix it in order to guarantee a Democratic Party victory. Many people should go to jail for this.

And if they don’t, we will no longer have a constitutional government, of, for, and by the people.

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Why is Peter Strzok still employed by the FBI?

The headline is essentially taken from this article, that asks this pertinent question in the context of the claim by FBI director Christopher Wray that “We will not hesitate to hold people accountable.”

Yet, the only thing Wray has so far done is to organize “in-depth focused training” sessions for FBI employees. No agent specifically described in the inspector general report has been fired, despite this fact:

[Strzok’s] expressed animus for Donald Trump and advocacy for Hillary Clinton in official and unofficial forums while participating in investigations of both were enough for Robert Mueller to remove him from the special counsel team. The text message, “we’ll stop it,” was known to the FBI well ahead of the release of this IG report.

If Wray isn’t hesitating to hold people accountable, why is Strzok still employed by the FBI? As Michael Horowitz told the House Oversight Committee today, even the suggestion that a high-ranking FBI agent would consider using his authority to impact an election is “antithetical” to an apolitical enforcement of the law. Horowitz also acknowledged that Strzok’s communications, and those of Lisa Page and three others involved in these conversations, created a “cloud” over both investigations that cannot easily be dismissed.

It has been more than a year since Strzok was removed by Mueller. The FBI has known of his misconduct (as well as Lisa Page’s) earlier than that. Yet Strzok remains employed by the FBI.

The problem here is not simply FBI Director Wray. He works for Donald Trump, who has the authority and power to fire everyone at the FBI. Yet, nothing happens.

As I said earlier, if sensitivity training is the only punishment that the Trump administration imposes on the FBI and Justice Department after these revelations then we are very very doomed. The corruption in both these very powerful agencies will only blossom, with everyone there now aware that nothing will happen to them if they act to interfere with the nation’s electoral process.

Update: One news story today says that Peter Strzok was escorted from FBI building. Whether he has been officially fired remains unclear.

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New texts from former FBI officials reveal contempt for Congress and the law

Newly released and unredacted texts from former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page not only reveal an effort to stonewall Congress from doing its Constitutionally-mandated oversight, they reveal an utter contempt for the law.

The article focuses on their contempt of Congress, but it really reveals that these two FBI agents, who now appear to be quite typical of much of the FBI’s upper management, were aggressively promoting a cover-up of illegal FBI actions and defying Congress in the process.

About a week after Comey’s press conference, Strzok wrote to Page that he was “Worried about work.” He was worried about “How much we decide to release, the prospect of second guessing.” It’s one thing if the second-guessing came from DoJ’s inspector general, but Strzok wasn’t about to be overseen by lawmakers: “The IG doing that bugs me;” Strzok texted, “Congress doing so infuriates me.”

He was doubly worried because, that day, Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte had sent a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia asking that Hillary Clinton be investigated, and perhaps prosecuted, for perjury. For Strzok, the referral was yet another reason to withhold information requested by Congress: “You read the referral yet?” Strzok asks Page. “We really want to drop the LHM [a summary of an investigation called a Letterhead Memorandum] and 302s [FBI interview notes] into that environment?”

Page called the requests from the Hill, “insulting” and Strzok declared “I just have no faith in Congress to respect our investigative information. The LHM and no more. Not even senior people’s 302, unless what we’d release via foia [the Freedom of Information Act].”

Even when the FBI was cornered into making documents available, they did their best to hobble efforts to read them. Here’s Peter Strzok texting Lisa Page on August 16, 2016, the day the FBI finally turned over a single heavily redacted copy of the 302 notes of Hillary Clinton’s FBI interview: “I’m strongly opposed to making any more copies for Congress. We limited on purpose, After careful consideration. If they let any particular committee get the copy, tough. Let them sort it out.” [emphasis mine]

Peter Strzok very eloquently sums up their attitude in one later text: “F them.”

Contempt for Congress is perfectly reasonable. I actually agree with them here. Refusing to obey the orders of elected officials, however, is an abuse of power, is illegal, and at a minimum should have gotten them fired, immediately. Instead, the FBI leadership (Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, etc) worked with them to defy Congress.

As I said yesterday, these people should also go to jail. They not only broke their oaths to defend and obey the Constitution, they participated in a criminal cover-up, in this case acting to protect the Democratic Party’s candidate for President from criminal prosecution.

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8 times FBI colluded with Democrats during election

Link here. The author carefully summarizes what we now know about the partnership between the upper management at the FBI and CIA with the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence bureaucracies spied on the Donald Trump campaign: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants were granted because of a Hillary Clinton-funded and unverified document, national-security letters were issued to allow warrantless spying, and the unprecedented but not-illegal-per-se unmasking of Trump officials’ conversations with non-U.S. persons was shockingly routine.

Yet the news of a CIA-connected human source operating as far back as April or May of 2016 is about more than just spying. It is the latest example in what now looks to be a long line of attempted setups by the Clinton team, many times aided and abetted by our intelligence bureaucracies.

These events should anger any red blooded American who believes in representative democracy and the importance of the rule of law.

He then details eight examples, all well documented, where the leadership at the FBI and CIA worked hand-in-glove with the Democratic Party to help throw the election to Hillary Clinton, and failing that worked to invalidate the election results by trying to manufacture evidence that would justify removing Trump from office.

A large number of people should face prison terms for this. And it appears that at least one, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, fears this possibility greatly.

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A detailed timeline of entire Clinton-Trump-collusion-story

Link here. You want to get a good idea about this whole scandal, you have to spend a little bit of your time reading through this timeline.

The following take-aways to me seemed the most important:

  • Though the whole Mueller investigation and scandal is supposedly centered on collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians to rig the election, the timeline once again shows no such collusion. Some members of Trump’s campaign do have ties to Russian sources, but it is not clear if this has any significance. Regardless, as soon as Paul Manafort’s ties are made public he was immediately forced out of the Trump campaign.
  • The timeline does document a great deal of collusion between the Democratic Party and Ukrainian sources, some from within its government and some not. This collusion is all aimed influencing the election by swinging voter support away from Trump.
  • The timeline also shows a lot of internal conflicts of interest in the FBI aimed at helping Democrats and hurting Republicans. Some of these conflicts are downright blatant, designed to foil any investigations into Clinton’s illegal activities, while expanding investigations (without evidence) against Trump and Republicans.
  • Beginning in 2011 and throughout the Obama administration, the timeline documents an exponential increase in spying on Americans, much of it unconstitutional, and suggestive of having political motives. Two quotes:

    From 2011: U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than “mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication.”

    From 2016: Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.

    The timeline also reveals that once Trump took office this spying was immediately cut back.

  • Obama is clearly caught in a number of outright lies designed to hide his participation in many aspects of this scandal. Similarly, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Rice, Clapper and many other Obama officials are also caught in outright and well documented lies.

Finally, and most important, the timeline shows that shortly after Trump’s election the spying of Republicans and Trump’s transition team by Obama administration officials accelerated, and was aimed at sabotaging the newly elected administration as well as hiding certain things from that administration. This quote especially stands out:

Fifteen minutes after Trump becomes president, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice emails memo to herself purporting to summarize the Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other top officials. She states that Obama instructed the group to investigate “by the book” and asked them to be mindful whether there were certain things that “could not be fully shared with the incoming administration.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, hired employees of the executive branch were now conspiring to work against the newly elected Republican president, and were going to do so under orders from the outgoing Democratic president.

There is a lot more. In general, the timeline reflects very badly on Obama and everyone in the executive branch, especially those in charge at the FBI. Rather than doing their jobs as an investigative federal police force, the top management of the FBI had become Democratic Party operatives.

Read it all. If you want to understand the corruption that has taken over Washington and now wishes to wield great power over your life, you need to read this.

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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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Trump pulls U.S. from Iran nuclear deal

As he promised during the campaign as well as several times since he became President, Trump today announced that the U.S. is leaving the Iran nuclear treaty that had been negotiated by the Obama administration.

Laying out his case, Trump contended, “If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

The administration said it would re-impose sanctions on Iran immediately but allow grace periods for businesses to wind down activity. Companies and banks doing business with Iran will have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S. government.

…Trump, who repeatedly criticized the accord during his presidential campaign, said Tuesday that documents recently released by Netanyahu showed Iran had attempted to develop a nuclear bomb in the previous decade, especially before 2003. Although Trump gave no explicit evidence that Iran violated the deal, he said Iran had clearly lied in the past and could not be trusted.

The AP article at the link is a decidedly anti-Trump partisan hit job, less interested in reporting this news story than telling us how terrible Trump’s actions are. Nor should we be surprised, as two of the AP writers who contributed to the story are based in Tehran.

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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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NASA’s horrible management of SLS

In this article from NASASpaceflight.com describing a recent status update from NASA of its SLS/Orion program (which remains years behind schedule and might see further delays) was the following quote, revealing much about NASA’s incompetence and corruption in building this boondoggle:

In contrast to the more centralized organization structure for the cancelled Constellation program, [SLS’s] three major programs [ground systems, Orion, and SLS] are managed independently: Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) based at KSC, Orion based at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, and SLS based at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

Each of the programs has resources to integrate with its other two partners, but ESD [Exploration Systems Development at NASA headquarters in DC] provides the overall coordination between all three. During Constellation, the equivalent organizations were projects directly managed by that now-cancelled program. [emphasis mine]

In other words, when Obama unilaterally cancelled Constellation (something he really didn’t have the power to do) and Congress micromanaged its reinstatement (creating SLS/Orion), the Obama administration and NASA abandoned a sensible management structure and allowed SLS/Orion to be a three-headed monster, difficult to coordinate and certain to go over-budget and fall behind schedule.

With this operational structure, even if SLS eventually flies successfully, it will be impossible for it to operate efficiently. Expect every one of its future efforts to always go over budget and to fall behind schedule.

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Trump Justice Dept decides to defend IRS harassment of conservatives

Still working for the Democratic Party: In a new twist, the Trump Justice Department has decided to backtrack from a settlement with one conservative group, True the Vote, that had been harassed aggressively not only by the IRS but by the FBI, Justice, OSHA, ATF, and numerous other agencies that during the Obama administration suddenly instituted 23 audits against them.

By the beginning of 2018, the DOJ appeared ready to strike a deal. The IRS agreed to a laundry list of wrongdoing, legal protection from further abuse, and they would allow True the Vote to petition for attorney fees for the years this mess was tied up in courts. Engelbrecht and True the Vote agreed and signed the decree. Now, though, the happy headlines have faded and the DOJ has reversed the course and filed a response to the court opposing the True the Vote petition. DOJ denies admitting to anything, stated the consent decree shows that conservative groups had, in fact, lost in court and that in their view the IRS had won. The settlements meant nothing, and not one dime of attorney fees would be awarded.

DOJ now claims that the IRS was right to fight True the Vote. Engelbrecht notes, “The Trump administration is defending the IRS targeting American citizens.” It’s like the Obama DOJ is back in the saddle. True the Vote’s battle continues.

The short embedded video from True the Vote below the fold summarizes the situation, and illustrates that the Trump administration appears no different than the Obama administration. No house cleaning has taken place, and it appears that no house cleaning is planned. The abuse of citizens by these agencies continues.
» Read more

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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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Witness tampering and intimidation by Imran Awan

A new report outlines the numerous examples where it appears Imran Awan, the Pakistani IT specialist hired by congressional Democrats to manage their computers and who used that position to steal government equipment and break into secure computers without permission, threatened potential witnesses against him with lawsuits and violence if they testified against him.

Here’s one example:

Soon after the House of Representatives found that Democratic IT aide Imran Awan and his family made “unauthorized access” to congressional data, Imran hurriedly vacated his house, renting it in February 2017 to a former Marine. Imran angrily told his new tenant, Andre Taggart, that he was homeless and to refuse any certified mail in Imran’s name, Taggart said. A lawyer contacted Taggart about some items Imran left behind in the house and threatened to sue if he didn’t return them, saying he’d accuse Taggart of theft, Taggart said. The equipment included Blackberries and “hard drives they look like they tried to destroy,” as well as laptops and “a lot of brand new expensive [printer] toner,” he said. Based on his military training, they appeared to Taggart to be government equipment, and he called the police.

The Capitol Police and FBI arrived to collect the computer equipment, and Taggart moved out of the house in May, he said. In late August, Taggart felt that there was enough distance between Imran and his family that it was safe to tell his story publicly.

He received a letter from days later Jesse Winograd, whose law firm Gowen Rhoades Winograd & Silva was hired by Imran to deal with the congressional matter. The letter demanded some $15,000, citing a laundry list of damages, including killing a tree in the yard. Taggart denies the charges and believes Awan may be trying to intimidate him.

Numerous other examples in the article include threats of violence and actual violence against witnesses. There is also ample evidence suggesting Awan is using blackmail against many Democratic Party representatives to keep them silent in the case.

Meanwhile, the judge in the case, a big Democrat supporter and opponent of Trump, has repeatedly delayed Awan’s trial.

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McCabe’s defiant response to his firing incriminates Comey

Working for the Democratic Party: The defiant response yesterday by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to his firing included information that appears to incriminate fired FBI director James Comey.

McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey. “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor,” McCabe stated. “As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general clearly saw this “interaction” as problematic in seeking answers from McCabe. If the inspector general considered this to be a leak to the media, any approval by Comey would be highly significant. Comey already faces serious questions over his use of a Columbia University Law School professor to leak information to the media following his own termination as director.

It must be emphasized that McCabe’s firing was recommended by FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, which is an independent division in the FBI made up of FBI officials. Moreover, his response clearly reveals McCabe’s own Democratic partisan leanings. It also links those leanings to Mueller’s investigation, which further taints it. So does this analysis: Mueller’s Investigation Flouts Justice Department Standards.

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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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The left’s hatefest continues

Just thought I put up a few more links of stories illustrating the hate, intolerance, and bigotry of the left.

Note that the last four stories demonstrate the bigotry that is ingrained within the Democratic Party itself, while the first two stories demonstrate the cultural intolerance of the supporters of that party. Team them up, give them some election wins, and no one should be surprised when they start arresting their political opponents.

Expect more stories in the same vein in the coming days.

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“They don’t hate the NRA. They hate you.”

Link here. As a conservative who has worked first in the film business, then as a college teacher, and finally as a science journalist and space historian, all communities dominated almost exclusively by leftists, I can tell you that Schlichter is not exaggerating. The recent scapegoating of the NRA, which had nothing to do with the Parkland massacre, illustrates this. So have every single previous hate spasm from the left in the past few years

The Democratic Party now wishes to repeal three of the Bill of Right’s ten amendments. They have already nullified the ninth and tenth. Be prepared for great evil should they win future elections.

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