High Crimes

The Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018, Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report — Videos — Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos — Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

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Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report- Videos —

 

Read IG Report

 

FBI employee calls Trump supporters “are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS …) (Piece of Shit)

“No documented political bias” — bureaucratic BS (bullshit)!

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Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Horror show’: Trump hammers IG report findings

Giuliani on IG report: Mueller should suspend investigation

Giuliani: Time to investigate Mueller’s investigators

Nunes: IG report shows text messages were held from Congress

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Sara Carter Reacts to Inspector General’s Report on FBI

Roger Stone, Dinesh D’Souza react to DOJ IG’s report

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

FBI director Christoper Wray reacts to the IG report on Clinton email investigation

Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Sebastian Gorka: IG report is 560-page cover-up

‘Clinton Cash’ author reacts to IG report on email probe

Cuomo, congressman spar over DOJ report

Joe Arpaio: Why don’t we blame the adults?

Tucker: IG report is catalog of bias, abuse of power

Fitton: DOJ, FBI bent over backwards to protect Clinton

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Three takeaways from IG report

IG Report shows foreign actors gained access to Clinton emails

IG report shows Comey broke FBI protocol

How will the FBI adjust after the Clinton email probe report?

Should Comey celebrate after release of IG report?

Napolitano: Very little in IG report we didn’t already know

IG Report: ‘We’ll stop’ Trump from becoming President

DOJ Inspector General report on Clinton email probe released

Tom Fitton: IG report will ‘destroy’ credibility of FBI, DOJ

 

Comey Was ‘Insubordinate’ in Clinton Probe, Inspector General Finds

 Updated on 

Former FBI Director James Comey was “insubordinate” in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton, damaging the bureau and the Justice Department’s image of impartiality even though he wasn’t motivated by politics, the department’s watchdog found.

Although the report issued Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz doesn’t deal directly with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with those around Donald Trump, the president and his Republican allies in Congress were primed to seize on it as evidence of poor judgment and anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.

[Read the report here]

Horowitz said that five FBI officials expressed hostility toward Trump before his election as president and disclosed in his report to Congress that their actions have been referred to the bureau for possible disciplinary action.

“The president was briefed on the IG report earlier today, and it reaffirmed the president’s suspicions about Comey’s conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the 500-page report.

One example cited in the new document is an exchange of texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page on Aug. 8, 2016. Page questioned whether Trump would become president. Strzok replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

Under those circumstances, Horowitz said “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up” on potential new evidence in the Clinton case “was free from bias.”

Zeroing in on the evidence of anti-Trump sentiment, Representative Darrell Issa of California said “it appears as though all or most of the 39 people who were tangentially involved had a bias toward believing they were going to work for Hillary Clinton — and as a result didn’t have the guts to take on wrongdoing.”

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that “any effort to use this report as an excuse for shutting down Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is both disingenuous and dangerous. Nothing in this report detracts from the credibility and critical importance of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Clinton Decision

Horowitz, whose office said it reviewed more than 1.2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, didn’t challenge Comey’s fundamental decision against recommending prosecution of Clinton for mishandling classified information.

But the inspector general called it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same.”

Tracking Trump: Follow the Administration’s Every Move

He said that “we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part,” but “by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report also noted that Comey used personal email at times to conduct official business.

Comey’s Response

Comey said the report “found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation, which I know was done competently, honestly and independently.” In an op-ed article for the New York Times, he said the report “also resoundingly demonstrates that there was no prosecutable case against Mrs. Clinton, as we had concluded.”

Horowitz examined actions taken by top officials before the 2016 election, including the handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. The inquiry expanded to touch on an array of politically sensitive decisions by officials including Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that John Huber, a U.S. attorney based in Utah who’s reviewing allegations of FBI bias and wrongdoing, “will provide recommendations as to whether any matter not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of Special Counsel.”

The FBI said in a statement included in the inspector general’s report that Comey’s handling of the Clinton findings may have violated regulations on releasing information and that his letter disclosing reopening of the inquiry shortly before the election “was a serious error in judgment.”

The bureau also said it accepts findings “that certain text messages, instant messages and statements, along with a failure to consistently apply DoJ and FBI interview policies, were inappropriate and created an appearance that political bias might have improperly influenced investigative actions or decisions.”

Why Mueller Is One Contestant Trump Can’t Easily Fire: A QuickTake

Some of what Horowitz discovered has already been made public, and Trump and Republican lawmakers have pounced on those findings in an effort to discredit Comey and, by extension, the investigation now being run by Mueller.

In tweets, Trump has called Comey’s investigation into Clinton “phony and dishonest” and said that Comey, who he fired on May 9, 2017, left the FBI’s reputation in tatters.

Trump’s Interest

Trump has expressed great interest in the inspector general’s report, as well as some skepticism it might not be as damning as he hoped.

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey,” Trump tweeted on June 5. “Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!”

The inspector general reviewed Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that no prosecutor would find grounds to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for improperly handling classified information on her private email server. He also looked at Comey’s decision to inform Congress only days before the election that the Clinton investigation was being re-opened. Comey’s public announcement of findings angered Republicans, while his reopening of the inquiry outraged Democrats.

“This finding could have been reached the day of Comey’s press conference,” Brian Fallon, who was spokesman for Clinton’s presidential campaign, said Thursday. “It was obvious at the time that Comey was completely deviating from department protocols and it had a fateful impact on the 2016 campaign and the long-term reputation of the FBI.”

Anti-Trump Texts

Republican critics seized on previous revelations from the inspector general Strzok and Page, two of the FBI officials who worked on Mueller’s Russia investigation, exchanged text messages sharply critical of Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from the inquiry after the texts were discovered, and Page has since left the FBI.

But Horowitz said in the report to be issued Thursday that “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.” Still, he wrote that “the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

Comey-Lynch Criticism

Horowitz found a “troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication” between Comey and Attorney General Lynch ahead of Comey’s July 5 press conference on Clinton and his October 28 letter to Congress.

“We found it extraordinary that, in advance of two such consequential decisions, the FBI director decided that the best course of conduct was to not speak directly and substantively with the attorney general about how best to navigate those decisions.”

Lynch had announced that she would go along with whatever Comey recommended with regard to the Clinton case, although she didn’t formally recuse herself. Lynch had come under heated criticism for agreeing to meet with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on her plane while it was sitting on a tarmac in Phoenix. The two sides have said they didn’t discuss anything related to the investigation.

The inspector general released a report in April finding that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor on four different occasions regarding interactions with the media, including providing information to a news reporter about the FBI’s investigation into the foundation created by Hillary and Bill Clinton. The inspector general has referred the matter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for further investigation.

Attorney General Sessions relied on the report to fire McCabe only hours before he was set to retire and qualify for his full government pension. McCabe and his lawyer have adamantly contested the allegations.

The inspector general also has opened a separate review into whether the Justice Department and FBI followed appropriate procedures in obtaining a secret warrant to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in late 2016 and early 2017.

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, Jennifer Jacobs, Billy House, Justin Sink, and Steven T. Dennis

(Updates with White House comment in fourth paragraph.)

 

The Latest: FBI attorney removed for anti-Trump messages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

An FBI attorney was removed from the special counsel’s Russia investigation in February after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found he had written anti-Trump messages.

This was in addition to FBI agent Peter Strzok who was removed from the investigation last year after exchanging anti-Trump texts.

The reassignment of the FBI attorney was revealed in the report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

It identifies the attorney as “FBI Attorney 2” and says he was assigned to the Clinton investigation and also to the investigation into Russian interference.

The report describes some of his messages, including one the day after the election in which he said he was “so stressed about what I could have done differently.” In another message, he called then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence “stupid.”

Strzok had exchanged his anti-Trump texts with another FBI attorney, Lisa Page, who had already left the special counsel’s team when he was reassigned.

4:30 p.m.

In a revelation some Democrats see as ironic, the Justice Department’s inspector general report about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation says former Director James Comey occasionally used personal email for work.

In several instances Comey forwarded items to his personal account, including drafts of messages and other unclassified items.

When interviewed by the inspector general, Comey said he used it for word processing at home when he was writing something longer. He said it was “incidental” and he forwarded the emails to his government account.

Comey said he wasn’t sure if that was in accordance with FBI regulations, but had checked it with another official and he “had the sense that it was okay.”

The inspector general says he did not follow regulations.

__

4:15 p.m.

A lawyer for FBI agent Peter Strzok (struhk) says a watchdog’s report shows his politics did not affect an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Strzok has come under fire for text messages critical of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He left special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered the problematic texts in mid-2017.

On Thursday, a report by the inspector general revealed that Strzok had told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.

Strzok was also involved in the probe of Clinton’s handling of classified emails that roiled the election.

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, says Thursday’s report reveals no evidence that the FBI agent’s political views affected the handling of the Clinton investigation.

___

3:20 p.m.

The White House says a report by the Justice Department’s watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is reaffirming President Donald Trump’s “suspicions” about former FBI Director James Comey’s conduct.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the inspector general’s report is also reaffirming Trump’s suspicions about the “political bias among some of the members of the FBI.” She is deferring additional comments to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The report says Comey was “insubordinate” in his conduct of the probe, but it didn’t find he was motivated by political bias.

Sanders says Trump was briefed on the report’s findings earlier in the day.

___

2:55 p.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey says he disagrees with some of the conclusions of the Justice Department’s inspector general about his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

But Comey says in a tweet that he respects the inspector general’s work and believes the conclusions are “reasonable.” He says “people of good faith” can see the “unprecedented situation differently.”

Comey’s comments come in response to the public release of a report that is heavily critical of his decisions in the probe. The report says Comey was insubordinate and departed from established protocol numerous times.

The report does find that Comey’s actions were not politically motivated to help either candidate.

Comey also wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times responding to the report’s findings.

__

2:40 p.m.

An FBI investigator who worked on probes into Hillary Clinton’s emails and into Russian interference in the 2016 election told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president.

The inflammatory texts between Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page are highlighted in the report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, which is critical of former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the investigations.

According to the report, Page texted Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The report says the watchdog “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence” that political bias directly affected parts of the probe, it says Page and Strzok’s conduct “cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

__

2:05 p.m.

The Justice Department has issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report released Thursday calls former FBI Director James Comey “insubordinate” and says his actions were “extraordinary.”

But the report, by the department’s watchdog, does not find evidence that Comey was motivated by political bias or preference in his decisions.

The report criticized Comey for publicly announcing his recommendation against criminal charges for Clinton. It also faulted him for alerting Congress days before the 2016 election that the investigation was being reopened because of newly discovered emails.

President Donald Trump has been eager for the report in hopes that it would vindicate his decision to fire Comey and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

__

12:15 p.m.

The Justice Department’s watchdog faults former FBI Director James Comey for breaking with established protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But it found that his decisions were not driven by political bias.

The report also criticizes Comey for not keeping then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Justice Department superiors properly informed about his handling of the investigation.

That’s according to a person familiar with the report’s conclusions who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person was not authorized to speak on the record because the report is not yet public.

The report’s findings are set to be made public later Thursday. It represents the culmination of an 18-month review into one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

__ Chad Day in Washington

___

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump was expected to receive a briefing at the White House on a report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was spotted entering the West Wing on Thursday. White House officials have not yet confirmed that Rosenstein will be conducting the briefing.

The inspector general’s detailed report is set to be released later in the day. It will look at how the nonpartisan law enforcement agency became entangled in the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump is expected to use the report to renew his attack against two former top FBI officials — Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.

___

11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is bashing the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling as a “pile of garbage” ahead of the release of a highly anticipated report looking into the Justice Department’s conduct during the 2016 election.

Trump says in a pair of tweets that now that he’s back from his summit with North Korea, “the thought process must sadly go back to the Witch Hunt.”

Trump is yet again insisting there was “No Collusion and No Obstruction of the fabricated No Crime” and is accusing Democrats of making up “a phony crime,” paying “a fortune to make the crime sound real,” and then “Collud(ing) to make this pile of garbage take on life in Fake News!”

The report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog is being released Thursday afternoon and is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

___

11:35 a.m.

Two Republican-led House committees say their own monthslong probe into the now-closed FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails has so far shown “questionable decision-making” by the agency.

A document listing preliminary conclusions was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a separate report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog. That much-anticipated report is due to be released Thursday afternoon. It is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the investigation.

Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees say they have “substantial questions about whether DOJ and FBI properly analyzed and interpreted the law surrounding mishandling of classified information.” They charge that the FBI did not follow legal precedent and treated the Clinton probe differently from other cases.

The Republicans allege bias against Donald Trump in his campaign against Clinton.

— Mary Clare Jalonick

___

1 a.m.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is releasing its much-anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report being issued Thursday afternoon is the culmination of an 18-month review of one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

Its findings will revive debate about whether FBI actions affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and contributed to Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

Trump’s supporters have eagerly awaited the report in hopes that it would skewer the judgment of James Comey, who was fired as FBI director last year.

Among the actions scrutinized is Comey’s decision to publicly announce his recommendation against prosecuting Clinton, and his disclosure to Congress days before the election that the investigation was being revived because of newly discovered emails.

https://www.apnews.com/99ed3059a42e4ed99e71d2486a18856c

Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos –

Who’s Behind the FBI Cabal Breakup? Was This An Intel Inside Job? Cui Bono? Setups & Double Crosses

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans demand second special counsel

Republican lawmakers introduce legislation targeting FBI, DOJ

Reps. Jordan, Gaetz on demand for second special counsel

Republicans ask for special counsel to probe Clinton, Obama

GOP lawmakers call for second special counsel to probe DOJ

Deep state will get a reckoning here: Mark Penn

Caputo: FBI not only the agency that came at Trump campaign

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

Trump calls on DOJ to investigate FBI

Republicans want second special counsel, Trump wants answers

Graham calls for a special counsel to investigate Dems

Hillary Clinton says half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables”

Barack Obama’s small town guns and religion comments

Victor D Hanson Explains The Complete Corruption of the Obama Administration helped Sabotage Hillary

Pepsi Commercial HD – We Will Rock You (feat. Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink & Enrique Iglesias)

Charles Kesler Introduces Angelo Codevilla

1. America’s Ruling Class

3. What’s Wrong with the CIA?

The Revolution of America’s Regime

Angelo Codevilla – Does America Have a Ruling Class?

456. The Iron Fist of the Ruling Class | Angelo Codevilla

The Role of Intelligence in American National Security

Conservatism in the Trump Era: American Statecraft

See the source image

  • ANGELO M. CODEVILLA

July 16, 2010, 10:09 am

After the Republic

By: Angelo M. Codevilla 
September 27, 2016

In today’s America, a network of executive, judicial, bureaucratic, and social kinship channels bypasses the sovereignty of citizens. Our imperial regime, already in force, works on a simple principle: the president and the cronies who populate these channels may do whatever they like so long as the bureaucracy obeys and one third plus one of the Senate protects him from impeachment. If you are on the right side of that network, you can make up the rules as you go along, ignore or violate any number of laws, obfuscate or commit perjury about what you are doing (in the unlikely case they put you under oath), and be certain of your peers’ support. These cronies’ shared social and intellectual identity stems from the uniform education they have received in the universities. Because disdain for ordinary Americans is this ruling class’s chief feature, its members can be equally certain that all will join in celebrating each, and in demonizing their respective opponents.

And, because the ruling class blurs the distinction between public and private business, connection to that class has become the principal way of getting rich in America. Not so long ago, the way to make it here was to start a business that satisfied customers’ needs better than before. Nowadays, more businesses die each year than are started. In this century, all net additions in employment have come from the country’s 1,500 largest corporations. Rent-seeking through influence on regulations is the path to wealth. In the professions, competitive exams were the key to entry and advancement not so long ago. Now, you have to make yourself acceptable to your superiors. More important, judicial decisions and administrative practice have divided Americans into “protected classes”—possessed of special privileges and immunities—and everybody else. Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are memories. Co-option is the path to power. Ever wonder why the quality of our leaders has been declining with each successive generation?

Moreover, since the Kennedy reform of 1965, and with greater speed since 2009, the ruling class’s immigration policy has changed the regime by introducing some 60 million people—roughly a fifth of our population—from countries and traditions different from, if not hostile, to ours. Whereas earlier immigrants earned their way to prosperity, a disproportionate percentage of post-1965 arrivals have been encouraged to become dependents of the state. Equally important, the ruling class chose to reverse America’s historic practice of assimilating immigrants, emphasizing instead what divides them from other Americans. Whereas Lincoln spoke of binding immigrants by “the electric cord” of the founders’ principles, our ruling class treats these principles as hypocrisy. All this without votes or law; just power.

Foul is Fair and Fair is Foul

In short, precisely as the classics defined regime change, people and practices that had been at society’s margins have been brought to its center, while people and ideas that had been central have been marginalized.

Fifty years ago, prayer in the schools was near universal, but no one was punished for not praying. Nowadays, countless people are arrested or fired for praying on school property. West Point’s commanding general reprimanded the football coach for his team’s thanksgiving prayer. Fifty years ago, bringing sexually explicit stuff into schools was treated as a crime, as was “procuring abortion.” Nowadays, schools contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex, and will not tell parents when they take girls to PP facilities for abortions. Back then, many schools worked with the National Rifle Association to teach gun handling and marksmanship. Now students are arrested and expelled merely for pointing their finger and saying “bang.” In those benighted times, boys who ventured into the girls’ bathroom were expelled as perverts. Now, girls are suspended for objecting to boys coming into the girls’ room under pretense of transgenderism. The mainstreaming of pornography, the invention of abortion as the most inalienable of human rights and, most recently, the designation of opposition to homosexual marriage as a culpable psychosis—none of which is dictated by law enacted by elected officials—is enforced as if it had been. No surprise that America has experienced a drastic drop in the formation of families, with the rise of rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites equal to the rates among blacks that was recognized as disastrous a half-century ago, the near-disappearance of two-parent families among blacks, and the social dislocations attendant to all that.

Ever since the middle of the 20th century our ruling class, pursuing hazy concepts of world order without declarations of war, has sacrificed American lives first in Korea, then in Vietnam, and now throughout the Muslim world. By denigrating Americans who call for peace, or for wars unto victory over America’s enemies; by excusing or glorifying those who take our enemies’ side or who disrespect the American flag; our rulers have drawn down the American regime’s credit and eroded the people’s patriotism.

As the ruling class destroyed its own authority, it wrecked the republic’s as well. This is no longer the “land where our fathers died,” nor even the country that won World War II. It would be surprising if any society, its identity altered and its most fundamental institutions diminished, had continued to function as before. Ours sure does not, and it is difficult to imagine how it can do so ever again. We can be sure only that the revolution underway among us, like all others, will run its unpredictable course.

All we know is the choice that faces us at this stage: either America continues in the same direction, but faster and without restraint, or there’s the hazy possibility of something else.

Imperial Alternatives

The consequences of empowering today’s Democratic Party are crystal clear. The Democratic Party—regardless of its standard bearer—would use its victory to drive the transformations that it has already wrought on America to quantitative and qualitative levels that not even its members can imagine. We can be sure of that because what it has done and is doing is rooted in a logic that has animated the ruling class for a century, and because that logic has shaped the minds and hearts of millions of this class’s members, supporters, and wannabes.

That logic’s essence, expressed variously by Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson, FDR’s brains trust, intellectuals of both the old and the new Left, choked back and blurted out by progressive politicians, is this: America’s constitutional republic had given the American people too much latitude to be who they are, that is: religiously and socially reactionary, ignorant, even pathological, barriers to Progress. Thankfully, an enlightened minority exists with the expertise and the duty to disperse the religious obscurantism, the hypocritical talk of piety, freedom, and equality, which excuses Americans’ racism, sexism, greed, and rape of the environment. As we progressives take up our proper responsibilities, Americans will no longer live politically according to their prejudices; they will be ruled administratively according to scientific knowledge.

Progressivism’s programs have changed over time. But its disdain for how other Americans live and think has remained fundamental. More than any commitment to principles, programs, or way of life, this is its paramount feature. The media reacted to Hillary Clinton’s remark that “half of Trump’s supporters could be put into a ‘basket of deplorables’” as if these sentiments were novel and peculiar to her. In fact, these are unremarkable restatements of our ruling class’s perennial creed.

The pseudo-intellectual argument for why these “deplorables” have no right to their opinions is that giving equal consideration to people and positions that stand in the way of Progress is “false equivalence,” as President Obama has put it. But the same idea has been expressed most recently and fully by New York TimesCEO Mark Thompson, as well as Times columnists Jim Rutenberg, Timothy Egan, and William Davies. In short, devotion to truth means not reporting on Donald Trump and people like him as if they or anything they say might be of value.

If trying to persuade irredeemable socio-political inferiors is no more appropriate than arguing with animals, why not just write them off by sticking dismissive names on them? Doing so is less challenging, and makes you feel superior. Why wrestle with the statistical questions implicit in Darwin when you can just dismiss Christians as Bible-thumpers? Why bother arguing for Progressivism’s superiority when you can construct “scientific” studies like Theodor Adorno’s, proving that your opponents suffer from degrees of “fascism” and other pathologies? This is a well-trod path. Why, to take an older example, should General Omar Bradley have bothered trying to refute Douglas MacArthur’s statement that in war there is no substitute for victory when calling MacArthur and his supporters “primitives” did the trick? Why wrestle with our climate’s complexities when you can make up your own “models,” being sure that your class will treat them as truth?

What priorities will the ruling class’s notion of scientific truth dictate to the next Democratic administration? Because rejecting that true and false, right and wrong are objectively ascertainable is part of this class’s DNA, no corpus of fact or canon of reason restrains it or defines its end-point. Its definition of “science” is neither more nor less than what “scientists say” at any given time. In practice, that means “Science R-Us,” now and always, exclusively. Thus has come to pass what President Dwight Eisenhower warned against in his 1960 Farewell address: “A steadily increasing share [of science] is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.… [T]he free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution…a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” Hence, said Ike, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.” The result has been that academics rise through government grants while the government exercises power by claiming to act on science’s behalf. If you don’t bow to the authority of the power that says what is and is not so, you are an obscurantist or worse.

Under our ruling class, “truth” has morphed from the reflection of objective reality to whatever has “normative pull”—i.e., to what furthers the ruling class’s agenda, whatever that might be at any given time. That is the meaning of the term “political correctness,” as opposed to factual correctness.

It’s the Contempt, Stupid!

Who, a generation ago, could have guessed that careers and social standing could be ruined by stating the fact that the paramount influence on the earth’s climate is the sun, that its output of energy varies and with it the climate? Who, a decade ago, could have predicted that stating that marriage is the union of a man and a woman would be treated as a culpable sociopathy, or just yesterday that refusing to let certifiably biological men into women’s bathrooms would disqualify you from mainstream society? Or that saying that the lives of white people “matter” as much as those of blacks is evidence of racism? These strictures came about quite simply because some sectors of the ruling class felt like inflicting them on the rest of America. Insulting presumed inferiors proved to be even more important to the ruling class than the inflictions’ substance.

How far will our rulers go? Because their network is mutually supporting, they will go as far as they want. Already, there is pressure from ruling class constituencies, as well as academic arguments, for morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech”—which means whatever these loving folks hate. Of course this is contrary to the First Amendment, and a wholesale negation of freedom. But it is no more so than the negation of freedom of association that is already eclipsing religious freedom in the name of anti-discrimination. It is difficult to imagine a Democratic president, Congress, and Supreme Court standing in the way.

Above all, these inflictions, as well as the ruling class’s acceptance of its own members’ misbehavior, came about because millions of its supporters were happy, or happy enough, to support them in the interest of maintaining their own status in a ruling coalition while discomfiting their socio-political opponents. Consider, for example, how republic-killing an event was the ruling class’s support of President Bill Clinton in the wake of his nationally televised perjury. Subsequently, as constituencies of supporters have effectively condoned officials’ abusive, self-serving, and even outright illegal behavior, they have encouraged more and more of it while inuring themselves to it. That is how republics turn into empires from the roots up.

But it is also true, as Mao Tse-Tung used to say, “a fish begins to rot at the head.” If you want to understand why any and all future Democratic Party administrations can only be empires dedicated to injuring and insulting their subjects, look first at their intellectual leaders’ rejection of the American republic’s most fundamental principles.

The Declaration of Independence says that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” among which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These rights—codified in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights—are not civil rights that governments may define. The free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, keeping and bearing arms, freedom from warrantless searches, protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination, trial by jury of one’s peers, etc., are natural rights that pertain to human beings as such. Securing them for Americans is what the United States is all about. But today’s U.S. Civil Rights Commission advocates truncating the foremost of these rights because, as it stated in a recent report, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon those civil rights.” The report explains why the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights should not be permissible: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.”

Hillary Clinton’s attack on Trump supporters merely matched the ruling class’s current common sense. Why should government workers and all who wield the administrative state’s unaccountable powers not follow their leaders’ judgment, backed by the prestige press, about who are to be treated as citizens and who is to be handled as deplorable refuse? Hillary Clinton underlined once again how the ruling class regards us, and about what it has in store for us.

Electing Donald Trump would result in an administration far less predictable than any Democratic one. In fact, what Trump would or would not do, could or could not do, pales into insignificance next to the certainty of what any Democrat would do. That is what might elect Trump.

The character of an eventual Trump Administration is unpredictable because speculating about Trump’s mind is futile. It is equally futile to guess how he might react to the mixture of flattery and threats sure to be leveled against him. The entire ruling class—Democrats and Republicans, the bulk of the bureaucracy, the judiciary, and the press—would do everything possible to thwart him; and the constituencies that chose him as their candidate, and that might elect him, are surely not united and are by no means clear about the demands they would press. Moreover, it is anyone’s guess whom he would appoint and how he would balance his constituencies’ pressures against those of the ruling class.

Never before has such a large percentage of Americans expressed alienation from their leaders, resentment, even fear. Some two-thirds of Americans believe that elected and appointed officials—plus the courts, the justice system, business leaders, educators—are leading the country in the wrong direction: that they are corrupt, do more harm than good, make us poorer, get us into wars and lose them. Because this majority sees no one in the political mainstream who shares their concerns, because it lacks confidence that the system can be fixed, it is eager to empower whoever might flush the system and its denizens with something like an ungentle enema.

Yet the persons who express such revolutionary sentiments are not a majority ready to support a coherent imperial program to reverse the course of America’s past half-century. Temperamentally conservative, these constituencies had been most attached to the Constitution and been counted as the bedrock of stability. They are not yet wholly convinced that there is little left to conserve. What they want, beyond an end to the ruling class’s outrages, has never been clear. This is not surprising, given that the candidates who appeal to their concerns do so with mere sound bites. Hence they chose as the presidential candidate of the nominal opposition party the man who combined the most provocative anti-establishment sounds with reassurance that it won’t take much to bring back good old America: Donald Trump. But bringing back good old America would take an awful lot. What could he do to satisfy them?

Trump’s propensity for treating pronouncements on policy as flags to be run up and down the flagpole as he measures the volume of the applause does not deprive them of all significance—especially the ones that confirm his anti-establishment bona fides. These few policy items happen to be the ones by which he gained his anti-establishment reputation in the first place: 1) opposition to illegal immigration, especially the importation of Muslims whom Americans reasonably perceive as hostile to us; 2) law and order: stop excusing rioters and coddling criminals; 3) build a wall, throw out the illegals, let in only people who are vetted and certified as supporters of our way of life (that’s the way it was when I got my immigrant visa in 1955), and keep out anybody we can’t be sure isn’t a terrorist. Trump’s tentative, partial retreat from a bit of the latter nearly caused his political standing to implode, prompting the observation that doing something similar regarding abortion would end his political career. That is noteworthy because, although Trump’s support of the pro-life cause is lukewarm at best, it is the defining commitment for much of his constituency. The point here is that, regardless of his own sentiments, Trump cannot wholly discount his constituencies’ demands for a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction.

Trump’s slogan—“make America great again”—is the broadest, most unspecific, common denominator of non-ruling-class Americans’ diverse dissatisfaction with what has happened to the country. He talks about reasserting America’s identity, at least by controlling the borders; governing in America’s own interest rather than in pursuit of objectives of which the American people have not approved; stopping the export of jobs and removing barriers to business; and banishing political correctness’s insults and injuries. But all that together does not amount to making America great again. Nor does Trump begin to explain what it was that had made this country great to millions who have known only an America much diminished.

In fact, the United States of America was great because of a whole bunch of things that now are gone. Yes, the ruling class led the way in personal corruption, cheating on tests, lowering of professional standards, abandoning churches and synagogues for the Playboy Philosophy and lifestyle, disregarding law, basing economic life on gaming the administrative state, basing politics on conflicting identities, and much more. But much of the rest of the country followed. What would it take to make America great again—or indeed to make any of the changes that Trump’s voters demand? Replacing the current ruling class would be only the beginning.

Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

Senior Executive Service (United States)

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Senior Executive Service
SES Emblem.svg

Seal of the U.S. Senior Executive Service
Flag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg

Flag of the U.S. Senior Executive Service

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a position classification in the civil service of the United States federal government, somewhat analogous to general officer or flag officer ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces. It was created in 1979 when the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 went into effect under President Jimmy Carter.

Origin and attributes

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the SES was designed to be a corps of executives selected for their leadership qualifications, serving in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees as a link between them and the rest of the Federal (civil service) workforce. SES positions are considered to be above the GS-15 level of the General Schedule, and below Level III of the Executive Schedule. Career members of the SES ranks are eligible for the Presidential Rank Awards program.

Up to 10% of SES positions can be filled as political appointments rather than by career employees.[1] About half of the SES is designated “Career Reserved”, which can only be filled by career employees. The other half is designated “General”, which can be filled by either career employees or political appointments as desired by the administration. Due to the 10% limitation, most General positions are still filled by career appointees.[2]

Senior level employees of several agencies are exempt from the SES but have their own senior executive positions; these include the Federal Bureau of InvestigationCentral Intelligence AgencyDefense Intelligence AgencyNational Security AgencyTransportation Security AdministrationFederal Aviation AdministrationGovernment Accountability OfficeMembers of the Foreign Service, and government corporations.

Pay rates

(Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2015)[3]
Minimum Maximum
Agencies with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $183,300
Agencies without a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $168,700

Unlike the General Schedule (GS) grades, SES pay is determined at agency discretion within certain parameters, and there is no locality pay adjustment.

The minimum pay level for the SES is set at 120 percent of the basic pay for GS-15 Step 1 employees ($121,956 for 2015). The maximum pay level depends on whether or not the employing agency has a “certified” SES performance appraisal system:[4]

  • If the agency has a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level II of the Executive Schedule ($183,300 for 2015).
  • If the agency does not have a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level III of the Executive Schedule ($168,700 for 2015).

Total aggregate pay is limited to the salary of the Vice President of the United States ($230,700 for 2015).

Prior to 2004, the SES used a six-level system. It was replaced with the current open band system on January 1, 2014.[5]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Piaker, Zach (2016-03-16). “Help Wanted: 4,000 Presidential Appointees”Partnership for Public Service Center for Presidential Transition. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  2. Jump up^ “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions (The Plum Book)” (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 2012-12-01. p. 201. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. Jump up^ Obama, Barack (2014-12-19). “ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY” (PDF). EXECUTIVE ORDER 13686. The White House. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  4. Jump up^ “Performance & Compensation – Salary”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  5. Jump up^ “Senior Executive Service Pay and Performance Awards”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 2004. Retrieved 2018-03-31.

External links

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel
© Greg Nash

House conservatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate possible misconduct by the Department of Justice and the FBI during the 2016 presidential race. 

“The Justice Department cannot be expected to investigate itself,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), flanked by 11 other Republican lawmakers, said at a press conference announcing the measure. 

The Republicans also want a probe to look into the government’s decision to end the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server and the reasoning behind the government’s decision to launch a probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) and Jody Hice (Ga.) were among the Republicans at the press conference.

The press conference came a day after an unusual meeting at the White House between President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein has agreed to have the Department of Justice inspector general review whether the FBI has done anything inappropriate in its investigation of the Trump campaign, which predated Mueller’s probe. Trump demanded action after reports that an FBI informant talked to three members of the Trump campaign team.

Sessions has declined requests for an additional special counsel but did tap John Huber, a federal prosecutor in Utah, to look into allegations last month.

The 12-page resolution lists a series of points that the lawmakers say warrant an investigation.

The document questions whether top FBI and Justice Department officials acted in a politically motivated way during the election, including how “insufficient intelligence and biased motivations” may have launched the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.

The resolution alleges that “deeply flawed and questionable” Foreign Surveillance Act warrant applications were obtained during the election by government officials to surveil Trump campaign aides. It says the warrants were obtained on the basis of “illicit sources and politically biased intelligence.”

Democrats have blasted the GOP calls for a second special counsel as an attempt to distract or even undermine Mueller’s investigation in order to shield Trump.

The lawmakers attending the press conference, when asked, said the president has not encouraged them to pursue this resolution.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/388798-house-conservatives-introduce-resolution-calling-for-second-special

Demand Grows for Second Special Counsel from Senate

IG does not have the tools of a prosecutor, Senators say

 Sara Carter    March 17, 2018

Ranking Republican senators are calling on the Department of Justice to appoint a second special counsel to investigate potential abuses by FBI and Justice Department employees connected to their role in the investigation into President Trump.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Sen. Thom Tillis, R- N.C. officially joined other Congressional members in their call for a special counsel to work alongside DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Horowitz has been conducting an investigation into the matter for more than a year. Graham and Grassley joined Fox News Bret Baier on Thursday’s Special Report and stressed the urgency of getting a special counsel to investigate along side the Inspector General.

Graham told this reporter on Thursday that he believes a special counsel will be appointed to work along side Horowitz.

“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” the criminal referral states.

In the document, Grassley and Graham noted that “there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”

The pair of lawmakers also allege that Steele was compiling information on Trump and his campaign before being hired by now embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign for his work.

“Pursuant to that business arrangement, Mr. Steele prepared a series of documents styled as intelligence reports, some of which were later compiled into a ‘dossier’ and published by Buzzfeed in January 2017,” the referral states. “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.”

The two senators had written to the Inspector General’s office in February, “requesting a broad review of more than 30 classified and unclassified questions related to the Trump-Russia probe” but were not able to obtain the information.

“…because the Inspector General lacks access to grand jury process and other prosecutorial tools, a special counsel with such authority may be necessary to compel the production of testimony and information that would otherwise be unobtainable,” a press release from Grassley and Graham issued Thursday stated.

The letter to Sessions and Rosenstein outlines the importance of appointing a special counsel to support Horowitz’s independent investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The senators state that the appointment “should occur under the specific Justice Department regulations that govern special counsels and limit the scope of their authority. The senators further request that if the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General determines a special counsel is not appropriate or necessary, then the Department designate a U.S. Attorney’s office or another prosecutor with no real or apparent conflict to work” with Horowitz on the case.

READ: The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation

Earlier this month House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC, sent a letter to Rosenstein and Sessions also urging them to appoint a special counsel to investigate the accumulation of evidence uncovered by the congressional committees and Inspector General.

Goodlatte and Gowdy sent a letter addressing evidence uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee that accused the FBI and Justice Department of failing to disclose to the secret FISA court that the Hillary Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee financed the dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele at the behest of embattled security firm Fusion GPS

https://saraacarter.com/demand-grows-for-second-special-counsel-from-senate/

The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation of DOJ and FBI

Increasingly more Republicans are calling for special counsel, while DOJ argues for IG investigation

 March 6, 2018

Arguments Against a Special Counsel per DOJ:

  • Like a federal prosecutor, a special counsel in the Department of Justice can’t bring a case before a court unless its investigators find evidence of a crime.
  • Special counsel investigators are usually FBI.  If the special counsel agrees that there is a conflict of interest in bringing FBI investigators into the fold it would have to select a different team of investigators to aide in the case.
  • The special counsel could use the Post Master General or the DEA but those investigators would be far behind the DOJ’s Inspector General investigators, who have already been working on the cases.
  • Federal prosecutors, special counsels, and those attorneys working with them do not “conduct” investigations. DOJ officials told me that the process is much like the TV show law and order where law enforcement brings evidence of a crime and then the prosecutor puts together a case to be brought before the court.
  • The DOJ Inspector General is an independent office that investigates possible violations of criminal and civil law by employees of the FBI and its own department.
  • The Inspector General reports to the Attorney General and to Congress.
  • The IG’s Investigations Division Special Agents develop cases for criminal prosecution, civil or administrative action.
  • Inspector General’s office acts similar to the FBI in that it has the authority to investigate wrongdoing and collect evidence.
  • The Inspector General has the power to subpoena and present cases for criminal prosecution to the Attorney General.

Arguments For a Special Counsel, per Congressional Members:

  • An independent arbiter because the FBI and DOJ cannot investigate themselves.
  • Any criminal referral from the Inspector General will go to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for prosecution and he has not made clear the scope of his involvement in the cases.
  •  Republicans and some senior government officials say there is no rational argument for letting current Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was the former head of the FBI, expand his special counsel investigation. It won’t work because of Mueller, as the former director of the FBI, is conflicted out.
  • Robert Mueller’s investigation crosses into the territory of the unsubstantiated and salacious dossier, he is after all supposed to be investigating alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump. And he’s reportedly using the unverified dossier crafted by former British spy Christopher Steele in his investigation. A dossier, which Steele, told the British courts is not verified.
  • Mueller has close previous working relationships with many of the same players he would be investigating. For example, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, to name two.
  • The American public won’t buy into an investigation by Mueller, the DOJ or FBI.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never clearly stated where his recusal begins and ends.
  • A second special counsel needs to come from outside Washington D.C. with its own team of impartial, hand selected investigators.

Asecond special counsel might investigate any or all of the following: possible criminal violations by senior FBI and DOJ officials in obtaining a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, the bureau’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information and whether senior Obama administration officials, including the president, were aware of the use of the unverified dossier to open an investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian collusion.

“You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

 

The investigations could also be conducted by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to conclude his much-anticipated report into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton server investigation in the next several weeks and who Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked to investigate possible FISA warrant abuse against Carter Page, who briefly volunteered for the Trump campaign in 2016.

Republicans, however, are not satisfied and are now pushing Sessions, who is recused from the Russia investigation, to appoint a special counsel. DOJ officials are arguing against it, telling this reporter that Horowitz and his team can conduct the unbiased investigation and refer potential people to the DOJ for criminal prosecution.

The situation can be confusing to anyone outside Washington D.C. One Republican congressional member, who spoke on background, questioned, “how long will it take for Horowitz to investigate and if he does make a criminal referral for prosecution, it will have to go back to Sessions, who apparently has recused himself from all matters Russia and apparently everything else. I don’t see how we have any choice but to get a second special counsel.”
AG Jeff Sessions

Rep. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio, who has proposed the idea for a special counsel since last year, said although he “wishes there was another way around it, there appears to be no other course of action.”

“I think Sessions needs to appoint a second special counsel and they need to be somebody from outside the swamp, like a retired judge, someone that can select his or her own team of investigators,” said Jordan. “I don’t see any other course of action that would be acceptable to anybody involved, including Republicans, Democrats and the American people.”

Five days ago, President Trump called out Sessions for his decision to turn over the investigation into possible abuse by the FBI when it sought a warrant to spy on Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the most secretive court in the United States with the authority to grant warrants to surveil Americans.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!

Sessions stated in a response to Trump, “we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.

And it may be that there are already investigations ongoing inside the DOJ that the public is unaware of. Several

“The IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

government officials who have defended Sessions said that any ongoing investigations requested by Congress if they exist, would not be leaked or discussed publicly.

However, there may be clues. In a Nov. 13, 2017 letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told congressional members that the DOJ had appointed senior prosecutors who would report “directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make 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.”

DOJ officials could not comment on whether or not these prosecutors assigned by Sessions last year have uncovered any wrongdoing or what specifically the prosecutors were currently investigating. Boyd’s letter did stress that all congressional requests from the approval to grant Russia the sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One, which at the time had access to 20 percent of American mining rights, and requests for investigations into FISA abuse were being looked into.

Trey Gowdy

But for Jordan and many other Republicans, the deafening silence out of DOJ is difficult to understand. And now many lawmakers are asking Sessions to do what he is apparently fighting against and appoint a new special counsel.

For the first time, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria  Bartiromo, “you need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself.”

 “Horowitz is a fair guy, but when there are two dozen witnesses that have left the department or worked for another agency, someone else has to do it and I am reluctant to call for special counsel, but I think it may be unavoidable in this fact pattern,” Gowdy said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, is also calling for a second special counsel and echoed Gowdy in a call with this reporter Monday, saying “the IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left.”

So far, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, has not weighed in on whether or not he believes the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to investigate many of the same issues his committee is looking into. Some congressional members, who spoke to this reporter, say it’s only a matter of time before Nunes joins the chorus of Republicans demanding the investigation.

https://saraacarter.com/the-case-for-and-against-a-special-counsel-investigation-of-doj-and-fbi/

 

Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

Jordan Peterson – How Alpha Males Present Themselves

4. What’s Wrong with America’s Men

Jordan Peterson on the meaning of life for men. MUST WATCH

Jordan Peterson – The Tragic Story of the Man-Child

Jordan Peterson on Trump’s Intelligence

Jordan Peterson “I’d Vote Donald Trump and Here’s Why”

One Big Reason Trump Won – Jordan peterson, Jon Haidt

Why the European State is Doomed (but Not the US) – Prof. Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson: Why Globalism Fails and Nationalism is Relatable

Victor Davis Hanson; Imagine How Successful Trump’s Admin Could Be If Dem’s Stopped Obstructing

People at center of Clinton investigation tried to ‘save country’ from Trump?

Happy 72nd Birthday To Our President Donald Trump

It’s President Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday

All The Unpresidential Ways Trump Celebrated His Birthday Before Becoming President (HBO)

Gen. Michael Flynn weighs in on FBI’s Clinton investigation

 

‘I love you very much!’ Ivanka and Eric lead tributes to their father Trump on his 72nd birthday with throwback photos from their childhood

  • Ivanka and Eric lead the 72nd birthday tributes for Donald Trump on Thursday
  • President’s eldest daughter Ivanka posted a series of photos of her and Trump when she was young, saying: ‘Wishing you your best year yet’
  • Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, adding: ‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’ 
  • Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also took to social media posting a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’

Ivanka and Eric Trump have lead the tributes to President Donald Trump on his 72nd birthday by posting throwback photos from their childhood.

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much. Wishing you your best year yet!!!’

Her birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father.

The President's eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying 'I love you very much' alongside a photo of her as a small girl

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much’ alongside a photo of her as a small girl

Trump's son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying 'it is amazing how far we have all come!'
Trump’s son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying ‘it is amazing how far we have all come!’

Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, as well as one of him walking at the White House and another of the President posing with his newest grandson Luke.

‘Happy Birthday Dad! It is amazing how far we have all come! We are very proud of you and everything you have accomplished!’ Eric posted alongside the photos.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media.

On Instagram, he posted a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’ and citing the economy, North Korea, the World Cup and the jobless rate.

Ivanka's birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka’s birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

'It is amazing how far we have all come!': Eric Trump praised his father's accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’: Eric Trump praised his father’s accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

‘Happy Birthday Mr. President/Grandpa! We love you and are so proud of you!’ she wrote.

First Lady Melania and Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany are yet to post anything publicly for his birthday.

Trump is the oldest President to be sworn in for a first term. Prior to Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest to become Commander in Chief at age 69.

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple's baby

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5845629/Ivanka-Eric-lead-tributes-Donald-Trump-72nd-birthday.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1092, July 13, 2018, Story 1: Trump Should Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and If Attorney Jeff Sessions Resigns– Accept Resignation — Videos — Story 2: For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in United States — No Amnesty — No Citizenship — No Legal Status –No Pathway to Citizenship — American Citizens Demand Enforcement of All Immigration Laws — Deport and Remove All Illegal Aliens — Trump Will Veto Democratic/Republican Leadership Immigration Bill — Fund $30 Billion To Build 2000 Mile Impenetrable Barrier Along United State/Mexico Border and Veto House Speaker’s Bill — Not One Mile of Wall Built Due Congress Refusal To Fund Wall — American Citizens vs. Political Elitist Establishment — Videos

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Story 1: Fire Rod Rosenstein and If Attorney Jeff Sessions Resigns– Accept Resignation — Videos —

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Who is Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s nominee for deputy attorney general?

 

Rod Rosenstein’s Subpoena Threat: He’s Conflicted, and He’s Acting Like It

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appears with President Donald Trump at a roundtable on immigration and the gang MS-13 at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, New York, May 23, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

He clings to his role in the process despite being a central witness in Comey’s dismissal.The House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether the government has used the Justice Department’s awesome investigative authorities as a weapon against political adversaries. We learned yesterday that, in response to this very investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . . . threatened to use the Justice Department’s awesome investigative authorities as a weapon against political adversaries.

That Rosenstein threatened to subpoena the committee’s records does not seem to be in serious dispute. There are differing accounts about why. House investigators say that Rosenstein was trying to bully his way out of compliance with oversight demands; the Justice Department offers the lawyerly counter that Rosenstein was merely foreshadowing his litigating position if the House were to try to hold him in contempt for obstructing its investigations. Either way, the best explanation for the outburst is that Rosenstein is beset by profound conflicts of interest, and he’s acting like it.

So, what was going on back then?

Among other things, the House Intelligence Committee and senior Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were pressing for disclosure of the applications the Justice Department submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISA court”) for warrants to eavesdrop on Carter Page, a former Trump-campaign adviser. (The Nunes memo is dated just eight days after Rosenstein’s reported subpoena threat; the Grassley-Graham memo is dated just four days before; both prompted bitter disclosure fights.)

Back then, we were being told that the FBI and Justice Department would never provide the FISA court with unverified allegations from third- and fourth-hand anonymous foreign sources, purveyed by a foreign former spy whose partisan work — including the planting of media stories at the height of the election race — had been paid for by the Democratic presidential candidate. We were being told that if the sources of information presented to the FISA court had any potential biases, those would be candidly disclosed to the FISA court. And we were being told that information in FISA applications is so highly classified that disclosing it would reveal methods and sources of information, almost certainly putting lives and national security in jeopardy.

What, then, did we learn when Congress, after knock-down-drag-out fights like the one in January, finally managed to force some public disclosure?

We learned that the Justice Department and FBI had, in fact, submitted to the FISA court the Steele dossier’s allegations from Russian sources, on the untenable theory that the foreign purveyor of these claims, Christopher Steele, was trustworthy — notwithstanding that he was not making the allegations himself, but instead was only relaying the claims of others.

We learned that the FBI had not been able to verify the dossier’s claims (and that even Steele does not stand behind them), but that the Justice Department presented them to the court anyway.

We learned that the Justice Department failed to tell the FISA court that Steele’s reports were an anti-Trump opposition-research project paid for by the Clinton campaign — i.e., paid for by the political candidate endorsed by the president, paid for by the party of the incumbent administration that had applied for the FISA warrant against its political opponent.

We learned that the Justice Department failed to tell the FISA court that Steele — on whose credibility it was relying — had been discontinued by the FBI as a source because he had lied about his contacts with the media.

We learned that one of those contacts with the media (specifically, with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News) had generated a news story that the Justice Department actually offered as corroboration for Steele — on the false theory that someone other than Steele was the source for the story.

We learned that the revelation of these facts posed no danger to national security or to methods and sources of intelligence-gathering. Instead, the Justice Department and FBI had fought tooth-and-nail against disclosure because these facts are embarrassing and indicative of an abuse of power.

And we learned that, after the initial 90-day FISA warrant was authorized in October 2016 (about three weeks before the election), it was reauthorized three times — well into the first year of the Trump administration. Meaning: The last FISA-warrant application was approved at the Justice Department by none other than Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Note that the required sign-off by the Justice Department’s top official (which was Rosenstein because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself) is a key element of FISA’s elaborate statutory process. The process is in place because, unlike criminal-law wiretaps, which are disclosed to the defense and fully litigated prior to trial, national-security wiretaps under FISA are classified and are never disclosed to the targets. Because Congress was concerned that this could lead to abuse, it mandated that warrant applications be approved at the highest levels of the FBI and Justice Department before submission to the FISA court. This is supposed to give the court confidence that the application has been carefully reviewed and that the surveillance sought is a high national-security priority.

To recap: In January 2018, Congress was investigating whether the Justice Department had abused the FISA process. The top Justice Department official for purposes of responding to this congressional investigation was resisting it; this included fighting the disclosure of the last warrant relevant to that investigation, which he had personally approved — a warrant that relied on the unverified Steele dossier (flouting FBI guidelines holding that unverified information is not to be presented to the FISA court), and that failed to disclose both that the dossier was a Clinton-campaign product and that Steele had been booted from the investigation for lying.

It is not to his credit to threaten members of Congress with Justice Department subpoenas for their emails and phone records. It suggests that the conflicts under which he labors are distorting his judgment.

Meanwhile, on May 17, 2017, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the so-called Russia investigation. The incident that proximately triggered this appointment was President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey. From the start of his tenure, Special Counsel Mueller has been investigating the Comey dismissal as a potential criminal offense — specifically, obstruction of justice. Mueller has done this with Rosenstein’s apparent approval, even though there are significant legal questions about whether a president may properly be accused of obstruction based on an act that is both lawful and a constitutional prerogative of the chief executive.

Even more significantly for present purposes, Rosenstein has clung to his role as Mueller’s ostensible supervisor in the investigation notwithstanding that he is a central witness in Comey’s dismissal. He authored a memorandum that, ironically, posits that a troubled official’s removal was necessary “to restore public confidence” in a vital institution. The Trump administration used Rosenstein’s memo to justify Comey’s firing even though there are salient questions about whether it states the true rationale for the firing — precisely the questions Mueller is investigating.

Conflicts of interests can be tough to analyze because some are contingent and hypothetical. Others, however, are obvious and straightforward. In the latter category are “actor on the stage” conflicts: If a lawyer is an important participant in the facts that form the subject matter of a controversy, he is a witness (at the very least) whose actions and motives are at issue. Therefore, he is too conflicted to act as an attorney representing an interested party in the controversy.

To point this out is not to attack Mr. Rosenstein’s integrity. I do not know the deputy attorney general personally, but people I do know and trust regard him as a scrupulous person and professional. That’s good enough for me. And indeed, while I disagree with his appointment of Mueller (because it was outside DOJ regulations), his impulse to appoint a special counsel suggests that he perceived an ethical problem in directing an investigation that would have to scrutinize his own conduct. That is to his credit.

Nevertheless, it is not to his credit to threaten members of Congress with Justice Department subpoenas for their emails and phone records. It suggests that the conflicts under which he labors are distorting his judgment. And in any event, to point out that a lawyer has a conflict is not to assert that he is acting unethically. A conflicted lawyer recuses himself not because he is incapable of performing competently but because his participation undermines the appearance of impartiality and integrity. In legal proceedings, the appearance that things are on the up and up is nearly as important as the reality that they are.

This is not a symmetrical conflict in which one side’s investigative demands can properly be reciprocated by the other — “if you subpoena me, I’ll subpoena you,” etc. The Justice Department is a creature of statute. While part of the executive branch, it has no independent constitutional standing; it exists because it was established by Congress (as, by the way, was Rosenstein’s office). If the House Intelligence Committee were to issue a subpoena demanding, say, President Obama’s communications with members of his White House staff, that would be objectionable. By contrast, Congress has not only the authority but the responsibility to conduct oversight of the operations of executive departments it has established and funds, and whose operations it defines and restricts by statute.

The Justice Department is not the sovereign in this equation. If it has legal or policy reservations about a disclosure demand from the people’s representatives, it should respectfully raise them; but it is ultimately up to Congress to decide what the people have a right to inquire into. The Justice Department has no business impeding that inquiry. And while people can lose their temper in the heat of the moment (like most of us, I am no stranger to that phenomenon), it is outrageous for a Justice Department official to threaten Congress with subpoenas. If the deputy attorney general did that in a fit of pique, I hope he has apologized.

On what planet is it necessary for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself but perfectly appropriate for Rod Rosenstein to continue as acting attorney general for purposes of both the Mueller investigation and Congress’s probe of Justice Department investigative irregularities?

The Justice Department’s spin on this is ill-conceived. Apparently, the idea is that if the House tried to hold Rosenstein in contempt for defying its subpoenas, he would be permitted to mount a defense and could issue his own subpoenas in that vein. Maybe so (at least, if there were a court prosecution); but he wouldn’t be able to subpoena anything he pleased. Congress has the power and duty to conduct oversight of the Justice Department; it does not need a reason, and its reasons are permitted to be (and no doubt frequently are) political. It would violate separation-of-powers principles for an executive official to attempt to use law-enforcement powers to infringe on the constitutionally protected power of lawmakers to consult and deliberate over legislative activity.

In any event, I assume this is all water under the bridge. It happened five months ago (which is eons ago in the Age of Trump). What matters is the disclosure dispute as it stands in the here and now: On what basis is the Justice Department still withholding some documents and massively redacting others; and when will President Trump, instead of blowing off Twitter steam, finally order his subordinates to comply with lawful congressional demands for information? If there were credible allegations that a Republican administration had spied on a Democratic campaign, we would not be hearing precious concerns about the viability of the Justice Department and FBI as critical American institutions; in unison, the media and the political class would be demanding transparency.

Finally, note that Attorney General Sessions was counseled by Justice Department officials (none of them Trump appointees) to recuse himself under circumstances in which (a) there was no criminal investigation (which the regulations call for in recusal situations); (b) his contacts with Russian officials were not improper; (c) there was scant evidence of criminally actionable collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; and (d) Sessions apparently had no involvement in approving FISA surveillance of Trump officials, and had less involvement than Rosenstein did in Comey’s firing.

On what planet is it necessary for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself but perfectly appropriate for Rod Rosenstein to continue as acting attorney general for purposes of both the Mueller investigation and Congress’s probe of Justice Department investigative irregularities?

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Reviewhttps://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/rod-rosenstein-subpoena-threat-shows-conflict-of-interest/

As Rod Rosenstein Battles to Protect Mueller, His Tactics Could Cost the Justice Dept.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has proved adept at political gamesmanship, but his maneuvers could expose the Justice Department to more politically motivated attacks.CreditShawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — He has a reputation as a principled lawyer. He has worked for both Republican and Democratic attorneys general. He has a jugular instinct in courtroom battles but a distaste for political ones.

Now Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is confronting the political fight of his career. Amid sustained criticism by President Trump and rumors that he will be fired, Mr. Rosenstein is also maneuvering to defuse demands by Republicans in Congress that Democrats say are aimed at ousting him from his job — and from his role as protector of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

So far, he appears to be succeeding. But in trying to deflect those attacks, some say, Mr. Rosenstein has risked eroding the Justice Department’s historic independence from political meddling. The consequences could persist long after he and the rest of the Trump administration are out of power.

A small but influential group of House Republicans has demanded greater access to sensitive documents related to some of the F.B.I.’s most politically charged investigations into the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails. Should Mr. Rosenstein fail to comply, they have threatened to subpoena him, hold him in contempt of Congress or even impeach him.

The Republicans complain that Mr. Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials have slow-walked or outright stonewalled their requests for reams of documents and other information they need to conduct oversight. When they do receive documents, they say, too many are showing up with critical content blacked out.

“This is serious stuff,” said Representative Jim Jordan, a conservative Ohio Republican allied with Mr. Trump who voiced his complaints in a recent meeting with Mr. Rosenstein. “We as a separate and equal branch of government are entitled to get the information.”

Mr. Rosenstein, 53, has staved off his attackers on Capitol Hill largely by appeasing them. Two weeks ago, he allowed key Republican legislators to review an almost completely unredacted F.B.I. memo on the opening of a still active investigation of the Trump campaign, a rare step. He later summoned two other Republicans, Mr. Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, to his office to pledge that the Justice Department would be more responsive to their requests.

And on Thursday, threatened with a subpoena, he gave a relatively large group of lawmakers access to memos written by the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey about his interactions with Mr. Trump. The documents are considered to be important evidence in a potential obstruction of justice case against the president being weighed by Mr. Mueller.

But still other Republican demands remain unmet, and Democrats have warned that Mr. Rosenstein is being boxed into a corner where he has to choose between saving his job and setting disturbing precedents that chip away at the independence that the Justice Department has maintained since President Richard M. Nixon tried to thwart the Watergate investigation. “That independence keeps the country from sliding into a banana republic,” said Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman under Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

 

Stephen E. Boyd, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, said, “The department is responding to what it believes to be good faith requests for information pursuant to Congress’s appropriate oversight function, and the department is doing so in a way that will not have any adverse impact on ongoing investigations.”

Others said they worried that in solving his short-term political problems, Mr. Rosenstein could expose the department to increasingly onerous congressional demands into continuing investigations — an area that has traditionally been off limits.

“It could become an exception that swallows the rule,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and a former federal prosecutor. “Every request by Congress can be made to seem exceptional.”

Resolving such dilemmas is but one of the challenges Mr. Rosenstein faces. Mr. Trump claimed this month, without offering evidence, that he suffers from conflicts of interest and has criticized him for signing a warrant application to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign aide. Every week seems to bring a new rumor that Mr. Trump plans to fire Mr. Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mr. Mueller or all three.

In one of Washington’s odder embraces, their strongest defenders are congressional Democrats who abhor the Justice Department’s policies under the Trump administration but see Mr. Rosenstein as a firewall between the president and the special counsel.

Mr. Rosenstein declined requests for an interview, but supporters say he is well positioned to defend himself. A careful and conservative lawyer, he is unlikely to make missteps or overstep boundaries, they say. A high-ranking former Justice Department official described him as “the ultimate survivor.”

Early in his tenure, he stumbled when he wrote a memo to Mr. Sessions castigating Mr. Comey for speaking publicly about the F.B.I. investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified information while secretary of state. Although Mr. Trump has repeatedly cited it as justification for firing Mr. Comey, Mr. Rosenstein told Congress that the memo was not meant to “justify a for-cause termination.” Even so, he acknowledged that he knew Mr. Comey’s job was in danger when he wrote it.

He and others suggest that Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller as special counsel partly to redeem himself. That was “the only way Rod could show he was not a lackey, that he was neutral,” Mr. Heymann said.

Mr. Sessions has scant ability to provide his deputy cover. If the president is mulling Mr. Rosenstein’s fate, he holds a deeper animus toward Mr. Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Mr. Rosenstein addresses his own jeopardy with a blend of stoicism and black humor, according to friends. “I may need to talk to you about a job,” he jested to one Washington-area lawyer.

He is not, however, trying to whip up political support for himself. He “doesn’t do the self-preservation game,” said James M. Trusty, a friend who worked with him in Maryland. “He’s very grounded and fatalistic. He plays it by the book.”

Mr. Rosenstein is proceeding as though he will not be fired. On Monday, he is arguing a sentencing guidelines case on behalf of the federal government before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Rosenstein grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1989. He became a trial lawyer in the Justice Department’s public integrity section in Washington and eventually worked with Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton’s business dealings. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed him the United States attorney for Maryland. President Barack Obama kept him on.

The office he ran had been torn apart by political infighting and had a weak relationship with local law enforcement. In his first few months, Mr. Rosenstein gathered information from employees about what had gone wrong, then restructured the office. He reached out to state prosecutors and encouraged his staff members to work with them to fight violent crime. His ability to transcend politics gave him credibility, according to many who worked with him.

“I never heard a political word escape from his lips,” said Brian E. Frosh, the Democratic Maryland attorney general. “He was smart, honest, fair, tough — everything you want in a prosecutor.”

Mr. Sessions barely knew Mr. Rosenstein when he became his deputy, and Mr. Rosenstein had no obvious political patron. He was not expecting to become a household name: When his daughter asked whether his new job meant that he was now famous, he told her that few people know or care who served as deputy attorney general.

He and Mr. Sessions had little in common beyond their lengthy tenures as federal prosecutors and shared views on gangs, drugs and violent crime. And the tensions that almost always exist between attorneys general and their deputies have been exacerbated by the special counsel investigation and the resulting political pressures.

But associates say the men have bonded in the face of attacks from the White House.

After Mr. Trump publicly exploded against Mr. Rosenstein this month, Mr. Sessions called Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, to warn that firing the deputy attorney general would have damaging consequences, including the possible resignation of Mr. Sessions himself, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

Mr. Sessions told Mr. McGahn that the president needed to know that he believed that firing Mr. Rosenstein would be a misstep and that he had done nothing to justify such an ouster.

Mr. Rosenstein’s oversight of the special counsel’s office gives him broad powers to approve or veto Mr. Mueller’s investigative requests. Democrats and some Republicans worry that the president could fire Mr. Rosenstein and install a replacement who would use that power to narrow the scope of the special counsel’s inquiry.

Democratic senators have circulated a document arguing that a new deputy attorney general could deny Mr. Mueller the power to take investigative steps and decline to sign off on staff or resources, essentially undermining the investigation without officially ending it or prompting the kind of Republican backlash on Capitol Hill that firing Mr. Mueller almost certainly would. A new appointee could also refuse to publicly release a report when Mr. Mueller’s investigation concludes.

Mr. Rosenstein has made efforts to head off conflicts with the White House. Soon after the F.B.I. raided the office, home and hotel room of the president’s lawyer Michael D. Cohen this month, infuriating the president, Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Trump met. Mr. Trump emerged telling people that Mr. Rosenstein had said he was not a target of the investigation into Mr. Cohen’s activities, according to two people with knowledge of the president’s account. Justice Department officials declined to comment on the meeting.

At the same time, the president’s staunchest supporters on Capitol Hill have put themselves in one standoff after another with Mr. Rosenstein. Among others, he has faced escalating demands and complaints from three committee chairmen: Representatives Robert W. Goodlatte of the Judiciary Committee, Devin Nunes of the Intelligence Committee and Trey Gowdy of the Oversight Committee.

In an interview this month on Fox News, Mr. Nunes threatened to hold Mr. Rosenstein in contempt or even impeach him if he failed to turn over the complete copy of the F.B.I. memo justifying the initiation of the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. Mr. Rosenstein called him to the Justice Department and gave him and other Intelligence Committee members access the next day to a version of the memo that satisfied their concerns.

In a separate request, Mr. Goodlatte and others have issued a subpoena for hundreds of thousands of documents — an extraordinary number even for Congress — related to the Clinton inquiry, the firing of the F.B.I.’s former deputy director and other matters. When the lawmakers began complaining that the documents were coming slowly and with too much content blacked out, the Justice Department appointed a United States attorney in Illinois to oversee document review and production. The F.B.I. doubled the number of employees working on responses to a request for materials the Justice Department’s inspector general was using to 54 people working two shifts a day, from 8 a.m. to midnight.

But some Republicans are still unsatisfied and have said a contempt citation or even impeachment — exceedingly rare steps that would require votes in the House — are still possibilities. Democrats fear that, taken together, the Republican requests are meant to offer Mr. Trump cover or even cause to fire Mr. Rosenstein.

 

In a meeting with Mr. Rosenstein in recent days, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows tried to impress upon him that they needed the documents they sought. Otherwise, Mr. Meadows said later, lawmakers would be left with no choice but to begin building a case to hold Mr. Rosenstein in contempt of Congress or to try to impeach him.

“Contempt is obviously still on the horizon,” Mr. Meadows said, “if there is not a substantial change.”

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/21/us/politics/rod-rosenstein-justice-department.html

Rod Rosenstein

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Rod Rosenstein
Rod Rosenstein official portrait.jpg
37th United States Deputy Attorney General
Assumed office
April 26, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Sally Yates
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland
In office
July 12, 2005 – April 26, 2017
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Thomas M. DiBiagio
Succeeded by Robert K. Hur
Personal details
Born Rod Jay Rosenstein
January 13, 1965 (age 53)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Lisa Barsoomian
Education University of Pennsylvania(BS)
Harvard University (JD)
Signature

Rod Jay Rosenstein (/ˈrzənˌstn/;[2] born January 13, 1965) is the Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, and during his first 10 years as lead federal prosecutor there, “murders statewide were cut by a third, double the decline at the national level.”[3] At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. attorney.[4] Rosenstein was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, but his nomination was never considered by the U.S. Senate. He is a Republican.[5][6]

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. Rosenstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2017. In May 2017, he authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.[7]

Later that month, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters based on the firing of Comey.[8]

Background

Early life and family

Rod Jay Rosenstein was born on January 13, 1965 in Philadelphia,[9][10] to Robert, who ran a small business, and Gerri Rosenstein, a bookkeeper and school board president. He grew up in Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania.[11] He has one sister, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[12][13]

Education and clerkship

He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. degree in economicssumma cum laude in 1986.[14]

He earned his J.D. degree cum laude in 1989 from Harvard Law School,[14] where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[15] He was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School in 1997-98.[16]

Career

Early career

After his clerkship, Rosenstein joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 1990 to 1993, he prosecuted public corruption cases as a trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, then led by Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller.[14][17]

During the Clinton Administration, Rosenstein served as Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann (1993–1994) and Special Assistant to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris (1994–1995). Rosenstein then worked in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel under Ken Starr on the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton.[18] As an Associate Independent Counsel from 1995 to 1997, he was co-counsel in the trial of three defendants who were convicted of fraud, and he supervised the investigation that found no basis for criminal prosecution of White House officials who had obtained FBI background reports.[14]

United States Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia hired Rosenstein as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in 1997.[14]

He litigated a wide range of cases, coordinated the credit card fraud and international assistance programs and supervised the law student intern program. He briefed and argued cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[citation needed]

From 2001 to 2005, Rosenstein served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He coordinated the tax enforcement activities of the Tax Division, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the IRS, and he supervised 90 attorneys and 30 support employees. He oversaw civil litigation and served as the acting head of the Tax Division when Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O’Connor was unavailable, and he personally briefed and argued civil appeals in several federal appellate courts.[citation needed]

U.S. Attorney

Rosenstein as U.S. Attorney

President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on May 23, 2005. He took office on July 12, 2005, after the United States Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.[17][19]

As United States Attorney, he oversaw federal civil and criminal litigation, assisted with federal law enforcement strategies in Maryland, and presented cases in the U.S. District Court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[19] During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Rosenstein successfully prosecuted leaks of classified information, corruption, murders and burglaries, and was “particularly effective taking on corruption within police departments.” [20]

Rosenstein secured several convictions against prison guards in Baltimore for conspiring with the Black Guerrilla Family.[18] He indicted Baltimore police officers Wayne Jenkins, Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor, and Maurice Ward for racketeering.[21] Rosenstein, with the aid of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration, secured convictions in large scale narcotics cases in the District of Maryland, including the arrest and conviction of Terrell Plummer,[22] Richard Christopher Byrd,[23] James “Brad” LaRocca,[24] and Yasmine Geen Young.[25]

The Attorney General appointed Rosenstein to serve on the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, which evaluates and recommends policies for the Department of Justice. He was vice-chair of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittees on White Collar Crime, Sentencing Issues and Cyber/Intellectual Property Crime. He also served on the Attorney General’s Anti-Gang Coordination Committee.

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Rosenstein to prosecute General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for leaking to reporters.[18] Rosenstein’s aggressive prosecution secured a guilty plea from Cartwright.[18]

Rosenstein served as the U.S. Attorney in Maryland at a time when murders in the state dropped by about a third, which was double the decline at the national level. Robberies and aggravated assaults also fell faster than the national average. According to Thiru Vignarajah, the former deputy attorney general of Maryland, “Collaboration between prosecutors, police, and the community combined with a dogged focus on violent repeat offenders was the anchor of Rosenstein’s approach.” Rosenstein regarded the heroin and opioid epidemic as a public health crisis, hired a re-entry specialist to help ex-offenders adjust to life outside of prison, and prosecuted several individual cases of corrupt police officers.[26]

Judicial nomination

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Maryland’s Democratic United States SenatorsBarbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, blocked Rosenstein’s confirmation, claiming he did not have strong enough ties to Maryland.[27]

Due to this opposition, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing for Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Later, Andre M. Davis was renominated to the same seat by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.[citation needed]

Deputy Attorney General of the United States

Rosenstein being sworn in as Deputy Attorney General

Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017.[28][29] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017 to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Trump declined his resignation.[30] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6.[31][32]

Comey memo

On May 8, 2017, President Donald Trump directed Sessions and Rosenstein to make a case against FBI Director James Comey in writing. The next day, Rosenstein handed a memo to Sessions providing the basis for Sessions’s recommendation to President Trump that Comey be dismissed.[33][34]

In his memo Rosenstein asserts that the FBI must have “a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them”. He ends with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to “admit his errors” but that there is no hope that he will “implement the necessary corrective actions.”[35]

Critics[who?] argued that Rosenstein, in enabling the firing of Comey amid an investigation into Russian election interference, damaged his own reputation.[36][37][38][39][40]

After administration officials cited Rosenstein’s memo as the main reason for Comey’s dismissal, an anonymous source in the White House said that Rosenstein threatened to resign.[41] Rosenstein denied the claim and said he was “not quitting,” when asked directly by a reporter from Sinclair Broadcast Group.[42][43]

On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein told the full Senate he knew that Comey would be fired before he wrote his controversial memo that the White House initially used as justification for President Trump firing Comey.[44]

Special counsel appointment

On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to conduct the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as any matters arising directly from that investigation.[45] Rosenstein’s order authorizes Mueller to bring criminal charges in the event that he discovers any federal crimes.[45]

Rosenstein said in a statement, “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”[46] In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse from supervision of Mueller, if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of James Comey.[47]

Under that scenario, supervision would have fallen to DOJ’s third-ranking official, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[48] Rachel Brand announced her intention to resign on February 9, 2018 [49]

The Number Three official in the Justice Department that would be in charge of the Mueller investigation, if Rosenstein were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of James Comey, or no longer be in his supervisory role for other reasons, is currently Noel Francisco, the current Solicitor General of the United States.[citation needed]

Michael Cohen investigation

In April 2018, Rosenstein reportedly personally approved the FBI raid on President Donald Trump‘s attorney, Michael Cohen, in which the FBI seized emails, tax documents and records, some of them related to Cohen’s payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.[50][51]

After ad interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had recused himself,[why?] the search was executed by others in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and approved by a federal judge.[52]

Personal life

Rosenstein is married to Lisa Barsoomian, an Armenian American lawyer who works for the National Institutes of Health. They have two daughters.[53]

He is a registered Republican, “but he has made no campaign donations to any political candidates, according to election records.”[1]

Rosenstein has served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes on federal criminal prosecution at the University of Maryland School of Law and trial advocacy at the University of Baltimore School of Law.[9]

Rosenstein was a member of Washington D.C.’s Temple Sinai, a Reform Jewish congregation, from 2008 to 2014.[54] According to a questionnaire that Rosenstein completed ahead of a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a member of a Jewish Community Center‘s sports league from 1993 to 2012.[54] Rosenstein served on the board of directors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2001 to 2011.[54]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Rosenstein

Story 2: For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in United States — No Amnesty — No Citizenship — No Legal Status –No Pathway to Citizenship — American Citizens Demand Enforcement of All Immigration Laws — Deport and Remove All Illegal Aliens — Trump Will Veto Democratic/Republican Leadership Immigration Bill — Fund $30 Billion To Build 2000 Mile Impenetrable Barrier Along United State/Mexico Border and Veto House Speaker’s Bill — Not One Mile of Wall Built Due Congress Refusal To Fund Wall — American Citizens vs. Political Elitist Establishment — Videos

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Diana Hull, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYuRNY…

James H Walsh, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB0RkV…

James H. Walsh, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbmdun…

Phil Romero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ohvJ…

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The House is finally going to vote on immigration bills next week

Moderate Republicans gave up on bipartisanship and joined the fight for Republican-led immigration policy.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was one of the lead moderates behind the discharge petition. Now they are working with leadership instead.
 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At 9:40 pm on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office announced the House will vote on two immigration bills next week, one conservative proposal and one compromise piece of legislation that has yet to be written.

“The House will consider two bills next week that will avert the discharge petition and resolve the border security and immigration issues,” Ryan’s spokesperson AshLee Strong said in a statement Tuesday night.

The news comes on the heel of the movement to get a majority of lawmakers to sign on to a discharge petition, pushed by a group of frustrated moderates and Democrats who want to see action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA has been tied up in the courts ever since the Trump administration announced last year that it would sunset the program, leaving nearly 700,000 immigrants in limbo. By Tuesday, that petition was only two signatures short of forcing votes on two moderate immigration proposals, a conservative bill, and one up to Ryan to decide.

But moderates, who say they have reached an agreement with conservatives (although the details of that deal are still murky), have thrown in the towel on that push — instead heeding Ryan’s demands to keep the debate within the Republican caucus.

Ryan has desperately wanted to avoid a messy immigration fight that would involve negotiating with Democrats too. So he called together House Republicans last week for a two-hour “family meeting” on immigration policy to show moderates he’s willing to talk meaningfully about DACA and get a majority of the GOP on the same page. Ryan’s strategy worked, in that it stopped the moderate’s revolt. But it’s still not clear what the compromise “deal” is — and whether it will bring Congress any closer to actually passing an immigration bill.

It’s still not clear what the compromise immigration deal is

Ryan says the House will hold two votes on immigration policy. One of those bills will be a conservative proposal by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which gives temporary status to DACA recipients, makes deep cuts to legal immigration, and boosts interior enforcement. That much is clear. But whatever that second proposal will contain is still up for debate.

Freedom Caucus Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told Vox that the Freedom Caucus is still negotiating the degree of border security, how to verify the legal status of immigrants, and a “pathway to citizenship, if any.”

“How do you set it up so it’s not definable as any kind of amnesty?” Barton said, noting this was still one of the biggest questions in the Freedom Caucus.

Meanwhile, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who was one of the lead moderate lawmakers behind the discharge petition, said the differences on policy were small but “important.” He said Ryan’s allies were working with members of the Judiciary Committee to prepare to draft legislation, but that lawmakers were still working off an outline of a compromise. In other words, there is no compromise bill yet, per se.

But there will be votes on something — and that was enough assurance for moderates to drop the discharge petition.

This is a clear win for Paul Ryan

House Republican Leader Paul Ryan And GOP Leadership Address The Media After Weekly Party Conference
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (right) were pushing hard to end the discharge petition.
 Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Immigration has always been tough for Republicans, and President Trump has only escalated the divisions. The White House’s “four pillars” for an immigration bill cover both legal and illegal immigration.

From the beginning, Ryan made it very clear he was not happy with this discharge petition. He said it will cede control of the floor to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by allowing bills to get through with mostly Democratic support. And he said Trump wouldn’t sign on. Needless to say, a series of contentious votes on a divisive issue like immigration also wouldn’t be a good look for Republicans in a high-stakes election year.

The last signatures on the discharge petition would have triggered votes on the House floor on four bills using an obscure rule called the “queen of the hill.” Under this rule, whichever bill passes by the biggest margin wins. As Vox’s Dara Lind explained, two of the bills that would get votes would give permanent legal status to DACA recipients; the third is a conservative proposal from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); and the fourth bill is at Speaker Ryan’s discretion. Because Republicans have such a slim majority, it’s likely the more moderate proposals would pass.

So to take control of the situation, Ryan set out to negotiate a compromise between moderates and conservatives that follows the demands put forward by the White House. In stopping the discharge petition, he has succeeded. In actually making immigration law, there’s a lot up in the air.

The White House framework has already failed in the Senate. The House is ignoring that.

Republican leaders keep saying they want to pass something in the House that can become law. But it’s not clear that this is a step to make that a reality.

Any bill that is going to make it to Trump’s desk has to pass the Senate, where it will need support from Democrats to meet the 60-vote threshold. But looming over this House debate is Congress’s first immigration fight this year — the Senate’s. In February, the Senate struck down three immigration proposals that addressed DACA. The White House-inspired bill, which Ryan is now trying to push in the House, got the fewest votes in the Senate.

At this point, Ryan doesn’t seem to care.

“If I sat around as speaker of the House and thought about what can the United States Senate do, we wouldn’t do anything,” Ryan said. “So we don’t spend our time thinking about votes in the Senate. We spend our time thinking about how we can get consensus here in the House Republican conference and getting bills through the House.”

One senator who has been a central figure in the immigration debate, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has already said the discharge petition would have been the best path forward.

Asked if he thinks the White House’s “pillars” are tenable in the Senate, he simply said, “No.”

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/12/17456948/house-vote-daca-immigration-trump-republicans

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018, Story 1: Maximum Pressure –Trump Administration Increases Tariffs or Taxes on American Consumers and Producers by Imposing Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods and Steel And Aluminium Imports From Canada, Mexico Europe and China — Trade Dispute or Trade War — Stop Unfair Chinese Trade Practices Including Non-Tariff Barriers To Trade and Stop Tariffs or Taxing American Consumers and Producers By Protecting Them Against Lower Prices! — Videos — Story 2: FBI Spied On Trump Campaign To Protect Obama Administration and Clinton Campaign From A Possible Russian Disclosing To Trump Clinton’s 30,000 Compromising Emails Before Election Day — Videos

Posted on May 31, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Canada, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Coal, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Germany, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islam, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Lying, Media, Mexico, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Netherlands, News, North Korea, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Water, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Maximum Pressure –Trump Administration Increases Tariffs or Taxes on American Consumers and Producers by Imposing Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods and Steel And Aluminium Imports From Canada, Mexico Europe and China — Trade Dispute or Trade War — Stop Unfair Chinese Trade Practices Including Non-Tariff Barriers To Trade and Stop Tariffs or Taxing American Consumers and Producers By Protecting Them Against Lower Prices! — Videos —

How Americans may be hurt by trade tariffs

Larry Kudlow on trade with China, North Korea talks

White House moves forward with $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods

US trade partners announce retaliatory tariffs

White House plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods

Wall Street will get used to US, China trade tensions: Michael Pillsbury

US, China would both lose from a trade war: Art Laffer

The Legacy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

Thomas Sowell explains the Great Depression

Milton Friedman – The Great Depression Myth

“Anyone, anyone” teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Europe makes final push for US steel, aluminum tariff exemptions

US trade representative on challenges from China, Mexico

Lighthizer Sees China as a Key Issue

U.S. Trade Policy Priorities: Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross On President Trump’s New Tariffs | CNBC

US companies are being shut out of the Chinese market: Gordon Chang

Canada’s Trudeau Calls U.S. Steel Tariffs ‘Unacceptable’

U.S. to hit Canada with tariffs on aluminum and steel

Canada to impose tariff ‘countermeasures’ on U.S., says Chrystia Freeland

Trump tariffs could ‘destroy’ EU’s steel industry

Trump adviser Kudlow fears auto tariffs could kill jobs

Tariffs are designed to defend American technology: Peter Navarro

Trump Goes Ahead With China Tariffs

How did China become an economic powerhouse?

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China’s “Made in China 2025” embraces Germany’s “Industry 4.0”

Max Baucus Says Tariffs Won’t Slow Down `Made in China 2025′

If China is ok, the world economy is ok

Why Chinese Manufacturing Wins

Milton Friedman – Free Trade

Ten Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers

Milton Friedman – Free Trade Vs Protectionism

Milton Friedman – Free Trade (Q&A) Part 1

Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers

Thiel: Need to rethink tariffs in light of trade deficit with China

Peter Navarro: All we’re looking for is fair, reciprocal trade

Peter Navarro: Steel and aluminum industries are ‘on life support’

Meet the Trump trade adviser whose tariff policy is about to be tested

Trump tariff is a tax, and I don’t like taxes: Ron Paul

 

US to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico

Heather SCOTT, with Jurgen Hecker in Paris

,

AFP
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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)

Washington (AFP) – The United States said Thursday it will impose harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, Mexico at midnight (0400 GMT Friday) — another move sure to anger Washington’s trading partners.

The announcement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was sure to cast a long shadow over a meeting of finance ministers from the world’s Group of Seven top economies that opens later in the day in Canada.

Ross said talks with the EU had failed to reach a satisfactory agreement to convince Washington to continue the exemption from the tariffs imposed in March.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Canada and Mexico to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement are “taking longer than we had hoped” and there is no “precise date” for concluding them, so their exemption also will be removed, Ross told reporters.

The announcement was confirmed by presidential proclamation shortly after Ross addressed reporters.

Despite weeks of talks with his EU counterparts, Ross said the US was not willing to meet the European demand that the EU be “exempted permanently and unconditionally from these tariffs.”

“We had discussions with the European Commission and while we made some progress, they also did not get to the point where it was warranted either to continue the temporary exemption or have a permanent exemption,” Ross said.

Ross downplayed the threats of retaliation from those countries, but said talks can continue even amid the dispute to try to find a solution.

And President Donald Trump has the authority to alter the tariffs or impose quotas or “do anything he wishes at any point” — allowing “potential flexibility” to resolve the issue.

Trump imposed the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum using a national security justification, which Ross said encompasses a broad array of economic issues.

South Korea negotiated a steel quota, while Argentina, Australia and Brazil have arranged for “limitations on the volume they can ship to the US in lieu of tariffs,” Ross said.

“We believe that this combined package achieves the original objectives we set out, which was to constrict imports to a level to allow those industries that operate domestically to do so on a self-sustaining basis going forward.”

– Not a western –

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned before the announcement that the EU would take “all necessary measures” if the US imposed the tariffs.

“World trade is not a gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” Le Maire quipped, referring to a 1957 western movie

“It’s not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end,” he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be “unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU would respond in a “firm and united” manner to the tariffs.

“We want to be exempt from these tariffs” which were “not compatible” with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Merkel told a press conference with Portuguese premier Antonio Costa in Lisbon.

Video: US Moves Forward With Tariffs on Chinese Imports

For more news videos visit Yahoo View

Non-tariff barriers to trade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) or sometimes called “Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs)” are trade barriers that restrict imports or exports of goods or services through mechanisms other than the simple imposition of tariffs. The SADC says, “a Non-Tariff Barrier is any obstacle to international trade that is not an import or export duty. They may take the form of import quotas, subsidies, customs delays, technical barriers, or other systems preventing or impeding trade.”[1] According to the World Trade Organisation, non-tariff barriers to trade include import licensing, rules for valuation of goods at customs, pre-shipment inspections, rules of origin (‘made in’), and trade prepared investment measures.[2]

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers

Professor Alan Deardorff characterises[3] NTB policies under three headings: Purposes, Examples, and Consequences

Policy Purpose Examples Potential Consequences
Protectionist policies To help domestic firms and enterprises at the expense of other countries. Import quotas; local content requirements; public procurement practices Challenges levied at WTO and other trade forums
Assistance policies To help domestic firms and enterprises, but not at the expense of other countries. Domestic subsidies; antidumping laws; industry bailouts. Adversely affected countries may respond to protect themselves (i.e.,imposing countervailing duties and subsidies).
Nonprotectionist policies To protect the health and safety of people, animals, and plants; to protect or improve the environment. Licensing, packaging, and labeling requirements; sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules; food, plant and animal inspections; import bans based on objectionable fishing or harvesting methods. Limited formal consequences lead to efforts to establish common standards or mutual recognition of different standards.

There are several different variants of division of non-tariff barriers. Some scholars divide between internal taxes, administrative barriers, health and sanitary regulations and government procurement policies. Others divide non-tariff barriers into more categories such as specific limitations on trade, customs and administrative entry procedures, standards, government participation in trade, charges on import, and other categories.

The first category includes methods to directly import restrictions for protection of certain sectors of national industries: licensing and allocation of import quotas, antidumping and countervailing duties, import deposits, so-called voluntary export restraints, countervailing duties, the system of minimum import prices, etc. Under second category follow methods that are not directly aimed at restricting foreign trade and more related to the administrative bureaucracy, whose actions, however, restrict trade, for example: customs procedures, technical standards and norms, sanitary and veterinary standards, requirements for labeling and packaging, bottling, etc. The third category consists of methods that are not directly aimed at restricting the import or promoting the export, but the effects of which often lead to this result.

The non-tariff barriers can include wide variety of restrictions to trade. Here are some example of the popular NTBs.

Licenses

The most common instruments of direct regulation of imports (and sometimes export) are licenses and quotas. Almost all industrialized countries apply these non-tariff methods. The license system requires that a state (through specially authorized office) issues permits for foreign trade transactions of import and export commodities included in the lists of licensed merchandises. Product licensing can take many forms and procedures. The main types of licenses are general license that permits unrestricted importation or exportation of goods included in the lists for a certain period of time; and one-time license for a certain product importer (exporter) to import (or export). One-time license indicates a quantity of goods, its cost, its country of origin (or destination), and in some cases also customs point through which import (or export) of goods should be carried out. The use of licensing systems as an instrument for foreign trade regulation is based on a number of international level standards agreements. In particular, these agreements include some provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) / World Trade Organization (WTO) such as the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures.

Quotas

Licensing of foreign trade is closely related to quantitative restrictions – quotas – on imports and exports of certain goods. A quota is a limitation in value or in physical terms, imposed on import and export of certain goods for a certain period of time. This category includes global quotas in respect to specific countries, seasonal quotas, and so-called “voluntary” export restraints. Quantitative controls on foreign trade transactions carried out through one-time license.

Quantitative restriction on imports and exports is a direct administrative form of government regulation of foreign trade. Licenses and quotas limit the independence of enterprises with a regard to entering foreign markets, narrowing the range of countries, which may be entered into transaction for certain commodities, regulate the number and range of goods permitted for import and export. However, the system of licensing and quota imports and exports, establishing firm control over foreign trade in certain goods, in many cases turns out to be more flexible and effective than economic instruments of foreign trade regulation. This can be explained by the fact, that licensing and quota systems are an important instrument of trade regulation of the vast majority of the world.

The consequence of this trade barrier is normally reflected in the consumers’ loss because of higher prices and limited selection of goods as well as in the companies that employ the imported materials in the production process, increasing their costs. An import quota can be unilateral, levied by the country without negotiations with exporting country, and bilateral or multilateral, when it is imposed after negotiations and agreement with exporting country. An export quota is a restricted amount of goods that can leave the country. There are different reasons for imposing of export quota by the country, which can be the guarantee of the supply of the products that are in shortage in the domestic market, manipulation of the prices on the international level, and the control of goods strategically important for the country. In some cases, the importing countries request exporting countries to impose voluntary export restraints.

Agreement on a “voluntary” export restraint

In the past decade,[when?] a widespread practice of concluding agreements on the “voluntary” export restrictions and the establishment of import minimum prices imposed by leading Western nations upon weaker in economical or political sense exporters. The specifics of these types of restrictions is the establishment of unconventional techniques when the trade barriers of importing country, are introduced at the border of the exporting and not importing country. Thus, the agreement on “voluntary” export restraints is imposed on the exporter under the threat of sanctions to limit the export of certain goods in the importing country. Similarly, the establishment of minimum import prices should be strictly observed by the exporting firms in contracts with the importers of the country that has set such prices. In the case of reduction of export prices below the minimum level, the importing country imposes anti-dumping duty, which could lead to withdrawal from the market. “Voluntary” export agreements affect trade in textiles, footwear, dairy products, consumer electronics, cars, machine tools, etc.

Problems arise when the quotas are distributed between countries because it is necessary to ensure that products from one country are not diverted in violation of quotas set out in second country. Import quotas are not necessarily designed to protect domestic producers. For example, Japan, maintains quotas on many agricultural products it does not produce. Quotas on imports is a leverage when negotiating the sales of Japanese exports, as well as avoiding excessive dependence on any other country in respect of necessary food, supplies of which may decrease in case of bad weather or political conditions.

Export quotas can be set in order to provide domestic consumers with sufficient stocks of goods at low prices, to prevent the depletion of natural resources, as well as to increase export prices by restricting supply to foreign markets. Such restrictions (through agreements on various types of goods) allow producing countries to use quotas for such commodities as coffee and oil; as the result, prices for these products increased in importing countries.

A quota can be a tariff rate quota, global quota, discriminating quota, and export quota.

Embargo

Embargo is a specific type of quotas prohibiting the trade. As well as quotas, embargoes may be imposed on imports or exports of particular goods, regardless of destination, in respect of certain goods supplied to specific countries, or in respect of all goods shipped to certain countries. Although the embargo is usually introduced for political purposes, the consequences, in essence, could be economic.

Standards

Standards take a special place among non-tariff barriers. Countries usually impose standards on classification, labeling and testing of products in order to be able to sell domestic products, but also to block sales of products of foreign manufacture. These standards are sometimes entered under the pretext of protecting the safety and health of local populations.

Administrative and bureaucratic delays at the entrance

Among the methods of non-tariff regulation should be mentioned administrative and bureaucratic delays at the entrance, which increase uncertainty and the cost of maintaining inventory. For example, even though Turkey is in the European Customs Union, transport of Turkish goods to the European Union is subject to extensive administrative overheads that Turkey estimates cost it three billion euros a year.[4]

Import deposits

Another example of foreign trade regulations is import deposits. Import deposits is a form of deposit, which the importer must pay the bank for a definite period of time (non-interest bearing deposit) in an amount equal to all or part of the cost of imported goods.

At the national level, administrative regulation of capital movements is carried out mainly within a framework of bilateral agreements, which include a clear definition of the legal regime, the procedure for the admission of investments and investors. It is determined by mode (fair and equitable, national, most-favored-nation), order of nationalization and compensation, transfer profits and capital repatriation and dispute resolution.

Foreign exchange restrictions and foreign exchange controls

Foreign exchange restrictions and foreign exchange controls occupy a special place among the non-tariff regulatory instruments of foreign economic activity. Foreign exchange restrictions constitute the regulation of transactions of residents and nonresidents with currency and other currency values. Also an important part of the mechanism of control of foreign economic activity is the establishment of the national currency against foreign currencies.

History

The transition from tariffs to non-tariff barriers

One of the reasons why industrialized countries have moved from tariffs to NTBs is the fact that developed countries have sources of income other than tariffs. Historically, in the formation of nation-states, governments had to get funding. They received it through the introduction of tariffs. This explains the fact that most developing countries still rely on tariffs as a way to finance their spending. Developed countries can afford not to depend on tariffs, at the same time developing NTBs as a possible way of international trade regulation. The second reason for the transition to NTBs is that these tariffs can be used to support weak industries or compensation of industries, which have been affected negatively by the reduction of tariffs. The third reason for the popularity of NTBs is the ability of interest groups to influence the process in the absence of opportunities to obtain government support for the tariffs.

Non-tariff barriers today

With the exception of export subsidies and quotas, NTBs are most similar to the tariffs. Tariffs for goods production were reduced during the eight rounds of negotiations in the WTO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). After lowering of tariffs, the principle of protectionism demanded the introduction of new NTBs such as technical barriers to trade (TBT). According to statements made at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, 2005), the use of NTBs, based on the amount and control of price levels has decreased significantly from 45% in 1994 to 15% in 2004, while use of other NTBs increased from 55% in 1994 to 85% in 2004.

Increasing consumer demand for safe and environment friendly products also have had their impact on increasing popularity of TBT. Many NTBs are governed by WTO agreements, which originated in the Uruguay Round (the TBT Agreement, SPS Measures Agreement, the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing), as well as GATT articles. NTBs in the field of services have become as important as in the field of usual trade.

Most of the NTB can be defined as protectionist measures, unless they are related to difficulties in the market, such as externalities and information asymmetries between consumers and producers of goods. An example of this is safety standards and labeling requirements.

The need to protect sensitive to import industries, as well as a wide range of trade restrictions, available to the governments of industrialized countries, forcing them to resort to use the NTB, and putting serious obstacles to international trade and world economic growth. Thus, NTBs can be referred as a new form of protection which has replaced tariffs as an old form of protection.

Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers

The scarcity of information on non-tariff barriers is a major problem to the competitiveness of developing countries. As a result, the International Trade Centre conducted national surveys and began publishing a series of technical papers on non-tariff barriers faced in developing countries. By 2015 it launched the NTM Business Surveys website listing non-tariff barriers from company perspectives.

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

  1. Specific Limitations on Trade:
    1. Import Licensing requirements
    2. Proportion restrictions of foreign domestic goods (local content requirements)
    3. Minimum import price limits
    4. Fees
    5. Embargoes
  2. Customs and Administrative Entry Procedures:
    1. Valuation systems
    2. Anti-dumping practices other than punitive tariffs
    3. Tariff classifications
    4. Documentation requirements
    5. Fees
  3. Standards:
    1. Standard disparities
    2. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
    3. Intergovernmental acceptances of testing methods and standards
    4. Packaging, labeling, and marking
  4. Government Participation in Trade:
    1. Government procurement policies
    2. Export subsidies
    3. Countervailing duties
    4. Domestic assistance programs
  5. Charges on imports:
    1. Prior import deposit subsidies
    2. Administrative fees
    3. Special supplementary duties
    4. Import credit discrimination
    5. Variable levies
    6. Border taxes
  6. Others:
    1. Voluntary export restraints
    2. Orderly marketing agreements

Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

Non-tariff barriers to trade can be the following:

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Evans, G., Newnham, J., Dictionary of International Relations; Penguin Books, 1998
  • Filanlyason, J., Zakher M., The GATT and the regulation of Trade Barriers: Regime Dynamic and Functions; International Organization, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1981
  • Frieden, J., Lake, D., International political economy: perspectives on global power and wealth, London: Routledge, 1995
  • Mansfield, E., Busch, M., The political economy of Non-tariff barriers: a cross national analysis; International Organization, Vol. 49, No. 4, 1995
  • Oatley,T., International political economy: interests and institutions in the global economy; Harlow: Longman, 2007
  • Roorbach, G., Tariffs and Trade Barriers in Relation to International Trade; Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 15, No 2, 1993
  • Yu, Zhihao, A model of Substitution of Non-Tariff Barriers for Tariffs; The Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2000
  • World Trade Organization Website, Non-tariff barriers: red tape, etc.; http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm9_e.htm

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-tariff_barriers_to_trade

Mexico aims tariffs at Trump country, sees NAFTA complications

By Michael O’Boyle and Frank Jack Daniel
Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico hit back fast on U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday, targeting products from congressional districts that President Donald Trump’s Republican party is fighting to retain in November elections.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the tit-for-tat measures would complicate talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that underpins trade between the neighbors.

The spat meant it would be “very difficult” to reach a deal to revamp NAFTA before Mexico’s July 1 presidential election, though he underlined the continent had not entered a trade war.

“A trade war is when there is an escalation of conflict. In this case, it is simply a response to a first action,” Guajardo told Mexican radio.

“We should stick to the clearly defined battlefield, where the response is appropriate and proportional.”

Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel – products from U.S. heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

The country reacted right after Washington said in the morning it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

“It sends a clear message that this kind of thing does not benefit anybody,” Guajardo said of the Mexican retaliation.

“Because, in the end, the effect will fall on voters and citizens that live in districts where the people have a voice and vote in the (U.S.) Congress.”

Mexico said it was imposing “equivalent” tariffs, ratcheting up tensions during talks to renegotiate NAFTA ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections in November. The measures will be in place until the U.S. government drops its tariffs, Mexico’s government said.

MEXICO WITH THE WORLD

Guajardo said retaliation was aimed at products chosen to hit districts with important lawmakers who had been warning Trump not to mess with Mexico. He estimated the U.S. tariffs would affect $4 billion in trade between the two countries.

“It is a sad day for international trade,” Guajardo said. “But hey, the decision was made, and we always said that we were going to be ready to react.”

In 2011, Mexico successfully used a similar list of mostly agricultural products to push Washington into letting Mexican truckers on U.S. highways.

Trump’s Republicans are fighting to retain control of Congress in mid-term elections. Their majority in the House of Representatives is seen as vulnerable.

Pork exporter Iowa, where incumbent Republican Rod Blum faces a Democratic challenge, is an example of a place Mexico’s reaction could hurt.

Mexico buys more steel and aluminum from the United States than it sells. It is the top buyer of U.S. aluminum and the second-biggest buyer of U.S. steel, Guajardo’s ministry said.

The countermeasures will hit U.S. hot and cold rolled steel, plated steel and tubes, the ministry said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke by phone after the U.S. announcement. Canada pledged to fight back with its own measures.

Trump threatened to rip up the NAFTA deal during his election campaign but agreed to renegotiate early in his term. Still, since talks began nine months ago, he has repeatedly said he could walk away from NAFTA if it is not redone to his liking.

“The difference between a year and four, five months ago is that it seems the world looked and said ‘poor Mexico,” Guajardo said. “Now, Mexico is facing these threats together with the world.”

(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; additional reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; editing by Dave Graham, Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman)

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/mexico-hits-back-u-steel-aluminum-tariffs-equivalent-142649163.html

Story 2: DOJ/FBI Spied On Trump Campaign and American People To Protect Obama Administration and Clinton Campaign From The Possibility of Russia Disclosing To Trump Campaign Clinton’s Compromising Emails Before Election Day — Russia Did Not Disclose There Leverage or Blackmail Material Because They Thought Clinton Would Win — Videos

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

Dan Bongino slams efforts to debunk Trump’s ‘spygate’ claims

Trey Gowdy on ‘spygate’ controversy, Adam Schiff’s remarks

Hannity: Why not un-recuse yourself immediately, Sessions?

Gowdy faces backlash over remarks about FBI, Trump campaign

Tucker: Trump has convinced Dems to destroy themselves

Where in the World Was Barack Obama?

Somehow the former commander-in-chief is largely absent from the political spying drama.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a community event on the Presidential Center at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago in May of 2017. The Obama Presidential Center will not be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, but instead will be operated by the Obama Foundation.
Former President Barack Obama speaks at a community event on the Presidential Center at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago in May of 2017. The Obama Presidential Center will not be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, but instead will be operated by the Obama Foundation. PHOTO: NAM Y. HUH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Donald Trump tweets today: “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a ‘hot’ Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!” And what does the man who was serving at the time as the FBI’s ultimate boss have to say about all this?

Perhaps it’s a good moment to get the whole story from our 44th President. He should now have time to discuss his administration’s surveillance of affiliates of a presidential campaign because he has just prevailed in a contentious dispute.

The Associated Press reports, “Plan for Obama Presidential Center advances over protests.” According to the AP:

Construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago took a major step forward Thursday with a city commission’s decision to sign off on the project after hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents of the project.

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal to build former President Barack Obama’s center in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side. The action came over protests from opponents who want an agreement that local residents will benefit from the $500 million project.

“Community residents have no ownership, no say-so, no input,” said Devondrick Jeffers. “We know this is a huge investment in the community, but it’s not truly an investment if residents don’t benefit from this as well.”

However, Obama Presidential Center supporters cheered the plans for the presidential center, saying it would bring job opportunities to the area and foster economic development.

Since his name is on the door, there really was no way for Mr. Obama to avoid being at the center of this story. But in a somewhat larger story he has remained largely—and strangely—absent.

“‘Bigger Than Watergate’? Both Sides Say Yes, but for Different Reasons” is the headline on a New York Times story about our current President and the federal investigation of suspected collusion with Russia. The Times reports that both Mr. Trump and his political adversaries like using the Watergate analogy:

Mr. Trump was referring to what he deems a deep-state conspiracy to get him. His detractors are referring to the various scandals swirling around Mr. Trump.

Watergate has long been the touchstone for modern American scandal, the mountain of misconduct against which all others are judged. In the 44 years since Richard M. Nixon resigned, virtually every political investigation has been likened to the one that brought down a president, the suffix “gate” applied to all sorts of public flaps, no matter how significant or trivial.

But rarely has the comparison been as intense and persistent as during the 16 months since Mr. Trump took office — a comparison deployed by both sides in hopes of shaping the narrative of wrongdoing. What started out as an inquiry into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has mushroomed into questions of perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, abuse of power, illicit spying, hush money, tax fraud, money laundering and influence peddling.

Many of those questions remain unanswered but we do know that the “deep state” referenced by the Times did have a boss in 2016. Yet Mr. Obama doesn’t show up in this story until the ninth paragraph. Those inclined toward Watergate analogies will say that it was some time before the break-in was connected to Richard Nixon, and of course we have no idea at this point whether the current controversy will end up being a Trump scandal, an Obama scandal or a permanently murky partisan battleground.

But since this controversy goes to the core of our democratic process, Americans desperately want clarity. How and why exactly did leaders of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies end up focusing on a domestic political campaign? The latestessential reading from the Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel gets to the heart of the matter:

Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands—one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials—all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI—and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected—and one crucial question is how early that happened.

By this point it seems clear that Mr. Obama didn’t think much of the theory that Mr. Trump colluded with the Russians. But presumably he learned quite a bit about his government’s efforts to investigate it. It’s not clear what an FBI official meant in 2016 when texting that President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.” But we can assume that the President was fairly well-informed about the law enforcement agencies reporting to him. Therefore let’s hear from him in detail the full history of how the government came to investigate the presidential campaign of the party out of power.

If he doesn’t know, then it would seem a public explanation is also in order—about his management, and about just how far the “deep state” went without specific presidential approval.

***

Noteworthy

Save This Endangered Species
“High-impact startups: America’s herd of gazelles seems to be thinning,” AEI.org, May 17

Other Than That, The Stories Were Accurate?
“At the end of 2008 I was a desk editor, a local hire in The Associated Press’s Jerusalem bureau, during the first serious round of violence in Gaza after Hamas took it over the year before. That conflict was grimly similar to the American campaign in Iraq, in which a modern military fought in crowded urban confines against fighters concealed among civilians. Hamas understood early that the civilian death toll was driving international outrage at Israel, and that this, not I.E.D.s or ambushes, was the most important weapon in its arsenal.

“Early in that war, I complied with Hamas censorship in the form of a threat to one of our Gaza reporters and cut a key detail from an article: that Hamas fighters were disguised as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll. The bureau chief later wrote that printing the truth after the threat to the reporter would have meant ‘jeopardizing his life.’ Nonetheless, we used that same casualty toll throughout the conflict and never mentioned the manipulation.”

— Matti Friedman op-ed in the New York Times, May 16

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever…

https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-in-the-world-was-barack-obama-1526674870

 

Yes, the FBI Was Investigating the Trump Campaign When It Spied

FBI Director James Comey at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2015. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Trey Gowdy and Marco Rubio evidently paid little attention to testimony before their own committees on how Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.Well, well, well. The bipartisan Beltway establishment has apparently had its fill of this “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative — the same narrative the same establishment has lustily peddled for nearly two years. The Obama administration recklessly chose to deploy the government’s awesome counterintelligence powers to investigate — and, more to the point, to smear — its political opposition as a Kremlin confederate. Now that this ploy has blown up on the Justice Department and the FBI, these agencies — the ones that went out of their way, and outside their guidelines, to announce to the world that the Trump campaign was under investigation — want you to know the president and his campaign were not investigated at all, no siree.

What could possibly have made you imagine such a thing?

And so, to douse the controversy with cold water, dutifully stepping forward in fine bipartisan fettle are the Obama administration’s top intelligence official and two influential Capitol Hill Republicans who evidently pay little attention to major testimony before their own committees.

Former National Intelligence director James Clapper was first to the scene of the blaze. Clapper concedes that, well, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but you must understand that this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross his heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, they only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.

Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) In any event, I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. I’m sure David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, the New York Times, and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between investigating campaign officials versus the campaign proper; between “spies,” “informants,” and other government-directed covert operatives.

Sure!

Senator Rubio

Then there are Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), General Clapper’s fellow fire extinguishers.

Rubio is a member in good standing of that Washington pillar, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has had about as much interest in scrutinizing the highly irregular actions of intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the Clinton and Russia probes as Gowdy’s Benghazi committee had in revisiting Republican ardor for Obama’s unprovoked war on Moammar Qaddafi. (That would be: roughly zero interest.)

Rubio told ABC News that he has seen “no evidence” that the FBI was gathering information about the Trump campaign. Rather, agents “were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning.” The senator elaborated that “when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that.”

Gee, senator, when you were carefully perusing the evidence of what the FBI was doing, did you ever sneak a peek at what the FBI said it was doing?

May I suggest, for example, the stunning public testimony by then-director James Comey on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee — perhaps Representative Gowdy, who sits on that committee, could lend you the transcript, since he appears not to be using it. Just so we’re clear, this is not an obscure scrap of evidence buried within volumes of testimony. It is the testimony that launched the Mueller probe, and that sets (or, better, fails to set) the parameters of that probe — a flaw the nation has been discussing for a year.

Comey’s House testimony was breathtaking, not just because it confirmed the existence of a classified counterintelligence investigation, but because of what the bureau’s then-director said about the Trump campaign (my italics):

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. . . .

That is an unambiguous declaration that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. That is why, for nearly two years, Washington has been entranced by the specter of “Trump collusion with Russia,” not “Papadopoulos collusion with Russia.” A campaign, of course, is an entity that acts through the individuals associated with it. But Comey went to extraordinary lengths to announce that the FBI was not merely zeroing in on individuals of varying ranks in the campaign; the main question was whether the Trump campaign itself — the entity — had “coordinated” in Russia’s espionage operation.

Representative Gowdy

Gowdy’s fire truck pulled into Fox News Tuesday night for an interview by Martha MacCallum. An able lawyer, the congressman is suddenly on a mission to protect the Justice Department and the FBI from further criticism. So, when Ms. MacCallum posed the question about the FBI spying on the Trump campaign, Gowdy deftly changed the subject: Rather than address the campaign, he repeatedly insisted that Donald Trump personally was never the “target” of the FBI’s investigation. The only “target,” Gowdy maintains, was Russia.

This is a dodge on at least two levels.

First, to repeat, the question raised by the FBI’s use of an informant is whether the bureau was investigating the Trump campaign. We’ll come momentarily to the closely connected question of whether Trump can be airbrushed out of his own campaign — I suspect the impossibility of this feat is why Gowdy is resistant to discussing the Trump campaign at all.

It is a diversion for Gowdy to prattle on about how Trump himself was not a “target” of the Russia investigation. As we’ve repeatedly observed (and as Gowdy acknowledged in the interview), the Trump-Russia probe is a counterintelligence investigation. An accomplished prosecutor, Gowdy well knows that “target” is a term of art in criminal investigations, denoting a suspect who is likely to be indicted. The term is inapposite to counterintelligence investigations, which are not about building criminal cases but about divining and thwarting the provocative schemes of hostile foreign powers. In that sense, and in no other, the foreign power at issue — here, Russia — is always the “target” of a counterintelligence probe; but it is never a “target” in the technical criminal-investigation sense in which Gowdy used the term . . . unless you think we are going to indict a country.

Apart from the fact that Gowdy is dodging the question about whether the Trump campaign was being investigated, his digression about ‘targets’ is gibberish.

Moreover, even if we stick to the criminal-investigation sense of “target,” Gowdy knows it is misleading to emphasize that Trump is not one. Just a few short weeks ago, Gowdy was heard pooh-poohing as “meaningless” media reporting that Trump had been advised he was not a “target” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe (which is the current iteration of the Russia investigation). As the congressman quite correctly pointed out, if Trump is a subject of the investigation — another criminal-law term of art, denoting a person whose conduct is under scrutiny, but who may or may not be indicted — it should be of little comfort that he is not a “target”; depending on how the evidence shakes out, a subject can become a target in the blink of an eye.

So, apart from the fact that Gowdy is dodging the question about whether the Trump campaign was being investigated, his digression about “targets” is gibberish. Since the Obama administration was using its counterintelligence powers (FISA surveillance, national-security letters, unmasking identities in intelligence reporting, all bolstered by the use of at least one covert informant), the political-spying issue boils down to whether the Trump campaign was being monitored. Whether Trump himself was apt to be indicted, and whether threats posed by Russia were the FBI’s focus, are beside the point; in a counterintelligence case, an indictment is never the objective, and a foreign power is always the focus.

Withholding Information from Trump

Second, if Gowdy has been paying attention, he must know that, precisely because the Trump campaign was under investigation, top FBI officials had qualms of conscience over Comey’s plan to give Trump a misleading assurance that he personally was not under investigation. If this has slipped Gowdy mind, perhaps Rubio could lend him the transcript of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee — in particular, a section Rubio seems not to remember, either.

A little background. On January 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA director John Brennan, and NSA chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation. Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–acting attorney general Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Biden, and national-security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Ms. Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in her CYA memo-to-file about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. Indeed, we now know that Obama’s Justice Department had already commenced FISA surveillance on Trump campaign figures, and that it was preparing to return to the FISA court to seek renewal of the surveillance warrants. We also know that at least one informant was still deployed. And we know that the FBI withheld information about the investigation from the congressional “Gang of Eight” during quarterly briefings from July 2106 through early March 2017. (See Comey testimony March 20, 2017, questioning by Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.).) Director Comey said Congress’s most trusted leaders were not apprised of the investigation because “it was a matter of such sensitivity.” Putting aside that the need to alert Congress to sensitive matters is exactly why there is a Gang of Eight, the palpable reason why the matter was deemed too “sensitive” for disclosure was that it involved the incumbent administration’s investigation of the opposition campaign.

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign. But just as important, they wanted the investigation — an “insurance policy” that promised to hamstring Trump’s presidency — to continue.

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign.

So, how to accomplish these objectives? Plainly, the plan called for Comey to put the new president at ease by telling him he was not a suspect. This would not have been a credible assurance if Comey had informed Trump that his campaign had been under investigation for months, suspected of coordinating in Russia’s cyber-espionage operation. So, information would be withheld. The intelligence chiefs would tell Trump only about Russia’s espionage, not about the Trump campaign’s suspected “coordination” with the Kremlin. Then, Comey would apprise Trump about only a sliver of the Steele dossier — just the lurid story about peeing prostitutes, not the dossier’s principal allegations of a traitorous Trump-Russia conspiracy.

As I’ve previously recounted, this did not sit well with everyone at the FBI. Shortly before he met with Trump, Comey consulted his top FBI advisers about the plan to tell Trump he was not a suspect. There was an objection from one of Comey’s top advisers — we don’t know which one. Comey recounted this disagreement for the Senate Intelligence Committee (my italics):

One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we’re looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump’s campaignthis person’s view wasinevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump’s] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.

Representative Gowdy and Senator Rubio might want to read that testimony over a few times.

They might note that Comey did not talk about “potential coordination between Carter Page or Paul Manafort and Russia.” The director was unambiguous: The FBI was investigating “potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.” With due respect to Gowdy, the FBI did not regard Russia as the “target”; to the contrary, Comey said the focus of the investigation was whether Donald Trump’s campaign had coordinated in Russia’s election interference. And perspicaciously, Comey’s unidentified adviser connected the dots: Because (a) the FBI’s investigation was about the campaign, and (b) the campaign was Trump’s campaign, it was necessarily true that (c) Trump’s own conduct was under FBI scrutiny.

Director Comey’s reliance on the trivial administrative fact that the FBI had not written Trump’s name on the investigative file did not change the reality that Trump, manifestly, was a subject of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. If Trump were not a subject of the investigation, there would be no conceivable justification for Special Counsel Mueller to be pushing to interview the president of the United States. If Trump were not a subject of the investigation, Trump’s political opponents would not have spent the last 18 months accusing him of obstruction and demanding that Mueller be permitted to finish his work.

In the interview with Ms. MacCallum, Representative Gowdy further confused matters by stressing Trump’s observation, in a phone conversation with Comey on March 30, 2017, that it would be good to find out if underlings in his campaign had done anything wrong. This, according to Gowdy, means Trump should be pleased, rather than outraged, by what the FBI did: By steering an informant at three campaign officials, we’re to believe that the bureau was doing exactly what Trump suggested.

Gowdy’s argument assumes something that is simply not true: namely, that the Trump campaign was not under investigation.

Such a specious argument. So disappointing to hear it from someone who clearly knows better.

First, the informant reportedly began approaching campaign officials in July 2016. It was nine months later, well after the election, when President Trump told Comey that if would be good if the FBI uncovered any wrongdoing by his “satellites.” Trump was not endorsing spying during the campaign; the campaign was long over. The president was saying that it would be worth continuing the FBI’s Russia investigation in order to root out any thus-far-undiscovered wrongdoing — but only if the FBI informed the public that Trump was not a suspect (an announcement Comey declined to make).

Second, Gowdy’s argument assumes something that is simply not true: namely, that the Trump campaign was not under investigation. As we’ve seen, Comey testified multiple times that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign for possible coordination with Russia. The bureau was not, as Gowdy suggests, merely investigating a few campaign officials for suspicious contacts with Russia unrelated to the campaign.

The Steele Dossier and FISA Surveillance

That brings us to a final point. In support of the neon-flashing fact that the Trump campaign was under investigation when the Obama administration ran an informant at it, there is much more than former Director Comey’s testimony.

Probes conducted by both the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee have established that the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain FISA-court warrants against Carter Page. The dossier, a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project (a fact withheld from the FISA court), was essential to the required probable-cause showing; the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, testified that without the dossier there would have been no warrant.

So . . . what did the dossier say? The lion’s share of it — the part Director Comey omitted from his briefing of Trump — alleged that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to corrupt the election, including by hacking and publicizing Democratic-party emails.

We also know, thanks to more testimony by Director Comey, that dossier information was presented to the FISA court because the Justice Department and the FBI found former British spy Christopher Steele to be reliable (even if they could not corroborate Steele’s unidentified Russian sources). That is, the FBI and Justice Department believed Steele’s claim that the Trump campaign was willfully complicit in Russia’s treachery.

It is a major investigative step to seek surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Unlike using an informant, for which no court authorization is necessary, applications for FISA surveillance require approvals at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. After going through that elaborate process, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI presented to the court the dossier’s allegations that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.

If that was their position under oath before a secret United States court, why would anyone conceivably believe that it was not their position when they ran an informant at members of the campaign they were investigating?

To be sure, no sensible person argues that the FBI should refrain from investigating individuals suspected of acting as clandestine agents of a hostile foreign power. The question is: How should such an investigation proceed in a democratic republic whose norms forbid an incumbent administration, in the absence of strong evidence of egregious misconduct, from directing its counterintelligence and law-enforcement powers against its political opposition?

That norm was flouted by the Justice Department and the FBI, under the direction of the Obama administration’s senior political leadership. Representative Gowdy, Senator Rubio, and General Clapper maintain that the Justice Department and the FBI were just doing what we should expect them to do, and that we should applaud them. But this claim is based on the easily refuted fiction that the Justice Department and FBI were not investigating the Trump campaign. The claim also ignores the stubborn fact that, if all the Obama administration had been trying to do was check out a few bad apples with suspicious Russia ties, this could easily have been done by alerting the Trump campaign and asking for its help.

Instead, Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Points To Double Standard and Hypocrisy of Disney’s CEO Bob Iger in Cancelling Roseanne and Apologizing To Valerie Jarrett — No Apologies For President Trump — Roseanne Fans Should Turnoff ABC Television and Boycott Disney Movies — Progressive Propaganda — Videos — Story 2: Who is Valery Jarrett? Spygate Unindicted Co-conspirator of Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Addresses Supporters in Tennessee — Videos

Posted on May 30, 2018. Filed under: Abortion, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Elections, Empires, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Hate Speech, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Impeachment, Independence, Islam, Killing, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, Obama, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: President Trump Points To Double Standard and Hypocrisy of Disney’s CEO Bob Iger in Cancelling Roseanne and Apologizing To Valerie Jarrett — No Apologies For President Trump — Roseanne Fans Should Turnoff ABC Television and Boycott Disney Movies — Progressive Propaganda — Videos —

See the source image

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Trump finally weighs in on Roseanne row saying he NEVER got an apology from ABC for the ‘HORRIBLE statements made and said about me’

  • ABC cancelled Roseanne’s show Tuesday following her Twitter criticism of former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger called Jarrett to apologize for the remarks
  • Trump complained he’s never received an apology call from Iger; the White House said he was complaining about bias in the media 
  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: ‘The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said’
  • Trump mused: ‘Maybe I just didn’t get the call?’ 
  • Iger quit Trump’s business advisory board last year and also considered challenging the president in the 2020 election 

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC for the ‘for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC.’

It was uncertain which statements from the TV network Trump was referring to, although White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said he was referring to media bias.

Trump has not spoken to Barr since her firing, according to the White House.

‘I’m not aware of any conversations that have taken place. The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon.

President Trump was calling out media bias in his tweet on Bob Iger, the White House said

'The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon

‘The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon

Sanders expanded on what the president was angry about, citing ESPN anchor Jemele Hill calling Trump a white supremacist, comments made on ABC’s daytime talk show ‘The View,’ and ESPN’s hiring of Keith Olbermann, who regularly tweets criticism of Trump.

ABC News and ESPN are owned by the same parent company, Disney.

‘Where was the Bob Iger’s apology to the White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist? To Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness? Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant against the president on “The View” after a photo showed her holding President Trump’s decapitated head?’ Sanders asked.

‘And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous explicative laced tweets attacking the president, calling him a Nazi, and even expanding Olbermann’s role after that attack against the president’s family. This is a double standard is speaking about. No one is defending her comments. They’re inappropriate but was the point he was making.’

Hill voluntarily left her role as a co-anchor of ESPN’s SportsCenter, to work on ESPN’s Undefeated, an online vertical focused on race, sports, and culture. ESPN disavowed her tweets on the president.

Behar publicly apologized in May for mocking Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith and suggesting that his religious views made him mentally ill. She had said of Pence: ‘It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness.’

Griffin also apologized for her photo shown on ‘The View’ holding a bloody, decapitated head of the president. She later took the apology back.  Asked if she took the photo too far, she said: ‘No, not now. Not when I see his policies.’

Olbermann is known for his liberal views. Last week ESPN announced he was returning to the airwaves for his sixth stint at the network. He regularly refers to Trump as a Nazi in his tweets.

ABC said Tuesday that it was cancelling Barr’s television show just hours after the comedian assaulted Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett on Twitter.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC with an apology for the 'for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC'

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC with an apology for the ‘for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC’

It was uncertain what statements from the TV network President Trump was referring to but it could be about a retracted Brian Ross report or his twitter war with Jimmy Kimmel

It was uncertain what statements from the TV network President Trump was referring to but it could be about a retracted Brian Ross report or his twitter war with Jimmy Kimmel

ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr's show Tuesday after the comedian insulted former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr’s show Tuesday after the comedian insulted former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

ABC released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, calling Barr’s tweets ‘abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values’.

‘We have decided to cancel her show,’ Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, announced.

Disney CEO Bob Iger also tweeted about the decision, saying: ‘There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.’ Disney owns ABC Television Group.

Barr was widely condemned after she tweeted that Jarrett looked like the ‘Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby’.

Iger reportedly called Jarrett before the network announced the cancellation to apologize to her.

‘He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,’ Jarrett told MSNBC.

Trump, in his tweet Wednesday, complained he never got a call from Iger with an apology.

In June of last year, Iger quit Trump’s business advisory council, protesting the president’s withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned at the same time.

Iger confirmed to Vogue magazine in April that he had thought of challenging Trump in 2020 with a presidential bid but decided instead to focus on his work at Disney, which had just purchased 21st Century Fox.

‘The thought I had was coming from the patriot in me, growing up at a time when we respected our politicians not only for what they stood for but because of what they accomplished,’ Iger told the magazine. ‘I am horrified at the state of politics in America today, and I will throw stones in multiple directions. Dialogue has given way to disdain. I, maybe a bit naively, believed that there was a need for someone in high elected office to be more open-minded and willing to not only govern from the middle but to try to shame everyone else into going to the middle.’

Trump railed against the network last year after ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross incorrectly reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would testify that Trump had instructed him to make contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay in December of 2017.

‘We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,’ ABC News said in a statement at the time. ‘The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.’

Trump celebrated the suspension when it happened.

‘People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!’ Trump said in a tweet at the time.

The president also has gotten into a Twitter spat with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, whose late night show appears on ABC.

In March, Trump mocked Kimmel for hosting the ‘lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.’

‘Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY,’ Kimmel tweeted back.

Oscar ratings this year did hit a nine-year low after four consecutive years of decline.

President Trump complained Disney CEO Bob Iger never called him to apologize. Iger, who had considered challenging Trump in 2020, is pictured here in early May at the premiere of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

President Trump complained Disney CEO Bob Iger never called him to apologize. Iger, who had considered challenging Trump in 2020, is pictured here in early May at the premiere of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

Former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Disney CEO Bob Iger called her to apologize and to say he was cancelling Roseanne Barr's show

Former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Disney CEO Bob Iger called her to apologize and to say he was cancelling Roseanne Barr’s show

Barr’s iconic comedy show was a ratings juggernaut when it premiered on ABC to a whopping 25 million viewers in April.

Ratings dropped steadily thereafter, with last week’s season finale garnering 10.33 million viewers.

ABC initially ordered 13 episodes for the second season and said the show would move away from its controversial politics and focus on family.

The president has commented on soaring ratings that Barr’s show had in the past, however, giving himself a pat on the back for the 18.2 million viewers that premiere of the reboot raked in.

‘Even look at Roseanne, I called her yesterday. Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings!’ Trump declared at an Ohio rally in March. ‘I got a call from Mark Burnett, he did The Apprentice. He’s a great guy. He said, ‘Donald, I called just to say hello and to tell you did you see Roseanne’s ratings?’ ‘

Trump says he asked Burnett, ‘ ‘How big where they?’

‘They were unbelievable. Over 18 million people. And it was about us,’ the president boasted.

Barr is a longtime Trump supporter who endorsed him in his 2016 campaign.

The White House originally said on Tuesday the president was dealing with other matters and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wouldn’t comment on the Roseanne cancellation.

Sanders told reporters riding with the president to Tennessee on Air Force One, ‘That’s not what the president’s looking at.

‘And I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly, that the president’s spending his time [on]when it comes to policy,’ she said of the controversy.

The show most recently came under fire for featuring an episode in which Barr’s character believes her new Muslim neighbors are terrorists.

Roseanne’s mention of the ‘Muslim brotherhood’ in her Tuesday tweet seems to be due to the long-running conspiracy theory that Jarrett is Muslim.

Jarrett, who was Obama’s senior adviser during his presidency, was born in Iran to American parents and lived in Shiraz for six years.

The family had moved to Iran because her father was part of a program that sent American physicians to help developing countries. He ran a children’s hospital.

There has never been any indication that Jarrett or her parents are Muslim.

Barr later claimed the comment was a ‘joke.’

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some of the offensive comments posted by Barr during her racist Twitter rampage that ultimately led to her show being cancelled.

Despite clearly retweeting one of Barr’s posts on Tuesday, the son of President Trump denied that he retweeted anything that was anti-Semitic.

The tweet in question was one in which Barr called billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who is Jewish, a ‘nazi’ who ‘turned in his fellow Jews.’

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some controversial Roseanne Barr tweets but the president's son denied he was anti-semitic.

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some controversial Roseanne Barr tweets but the president’s son denied he was anti-semitic.

Barr had tweeted the false conspiracy theory about Soro, which has been pushed by alt-right activists, after she claimed that Chelsea Clinton was married to one of the billionaire’s nephews.

After Clinton clarified that she wasn’t related to Soro, Barr fired back with an apology that included the anti-Semitic claims.

‘Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you!I Please forgive me! By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?’ Barr tweeted.

‘Soros’ goal; the overthrow of us constitutional republic by buying/backing candidates 4 local district attorney races who will ignore US law & favor ‘feelings’ instead-and call everyone who is alarmed by that ‘racist’.’

Those two tweets were the ones then retweeted by Don Jr.

The President’s son made his denial on Twitter as he referenced a Page Six story detailing the retweets.

‘Page Six is doing what they normally do, lying and obfuscating. They know full well that I did not RT anything that was anti-semitic, but I guess facts don’t matter when you’re a dishonest, clickbait rag. #FAKENEWS,’ he tweeted.

Shortly after Barr’s show was cancelled, talent agency ICM Partners revealed they were dropping her as a client.

‘We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,’ ICM said in an internal note to employees that was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.

‘What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency.’

‘Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.’

It appears the cancellation of the show will also affect the cast’s Emmy prospects, as ABC revealed it is suspending the show’s FYC (For Your Consideration) campaign.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5787629/Trump-weighs-Roseanne-row-saying-NEVER-got-apology-HORRIBLE-statements-ABC-made.html#ixzz5H1dwUZo7

Canceled: Blue-collar ‘Roseanne’ family reflected perspective of Trump voters

Radio host hits industry’s double standard: ‘If you are a left-winger, you can say whatever you want’

This image released by ABC shows Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman in a scene from the comedy series "Roseanne." Expect "Roseanne" to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of its revival next year. ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey noted that as the first season went on, the focus shifted from politics to family. She said that direction will continue next season. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)
This image released by ABC shows Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman in a scene from the comedy series “Roseanne.” Expect “Roseanne” to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of … more >

Roseanne Barr’s attempt to bridge the political divide came crashing down Tuesday, when ABC canceled her rebooted hit sitcom hours after the television star had sent a racially tinged tweet.

The cancellation comes as a blow to President Trump’s supporters who said “Roseanne” accurately represented their political perspective.

Responding to a comment about Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Obama, Miss Barr tweeted, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” She initially defended the tweet as a “joke” — noting that “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties” — but then issued an apology to “Ms. Jarrett and all Americans.”

“I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks,” Miss Barr tweeted. “I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”

But it was too little too late. Within hours, ABC announced that “Roseanne” would not return for a second season.

Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, said there was “only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing to do.”

Ms. Jarrett said that Mr. Iger personally called her to let her know the show would be canceled. She said the situation was a “teaching moment.”

“I’m fine,” she said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Everyday Racism” town hall. “I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense.”

Later Tuesday, Miss Barr took to Twitter again after her supporters criticized ABC, “The View” co-host Joy Behar and ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, The Associated Press reported.

“I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” Miss Barr tweeted. “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”

The sitcom, which ended the first season of its successful reboot last week, portrayed the blue-collar Conner family struggling to make ends meet, buried under mountains of credit card debt and unable to afford rising health care costs.

The family also was divided by the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath.

In the reboot’s opening episode, Roseanne Conner defends her vote for Mr. Trump in an argument with her sister, Jackie, who wears a “Nasty Woman” T-shirt.

“He talked about jobs, Jackie,” Roseanne says of the president. “He said he’d shake things up. I mean, this might come as a complete shock to you, but we almost lost our house the way things are going.”

The nine-episode reboot drew massive ratings and was the season’s top scripted show on broadcast television.

The opening episode drew more than 18 million viewers, the largest audience for a sitcom in more than three years, and averaged more than 10 million viewers per episode.

Mr. Trump even said he called Miss Barr to congratulate her on the show’s success.

ABC faced significant pressure to cancel the show in the hours after Miss Barr’s tweet.

Before the show was canceled, several people affiliated with “Roseanne” said they were leaving in response to Miss Barr’s tweet.

The comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer for the show, said in a brief tweet that she would “not be returning.”

Emma Kenney, who portrayed Roseanne’s granddaughter on the show, said she called her manager on Tuesday morning to quit the show, only to find out that it already had been canceled.

“I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed,” Miss Kenney tweeted. “The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”

Sara Gilbert, who returned to play Roseanne’s daughter in the show’s reboot, said Miss Barr’s comments were “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”

“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love—one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” Miss Gilbert tweeted.

Miss Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, also said it had dropped her.

“What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency,” the group said in a statement. “Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barris no longer a client.”

Civil rights activists also were applying pressure on ABC to pull the plug.

DeRay Mckesson, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, questioned how desperate the network was to “profit from Roseanne’s racism?”

“We know racism sells in this country, it always has,” Mr. Mckesson tweeted. “But you don’t have to participate in it. This apology is meaningless. Cancel Roseanne.”

In a tweet, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Miss Barr’s comments were “racist and inexcusable. ABC must take action NOW!”

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said Miss Barr’s comments were “appalling and reminiscent of a horrific time in our history when racism was not only acceptable but promoted by Hollywood.”

“We applaud ABC for taking a stand against racism by canceling Roseanne today,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement following the show’s cancellation. “We commend the network and its president Channing Dungey for placing the values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for humanity above ratings.”

Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, said ABC “did the right thing.”

“There is not any room in our society for racism or bigotry,” Mr. Lewis said in a statement.

Yet some say there is a double standard in the entertainment industry when it comes to offensive speech.

Radio host Clay Travis wondered why Mr. Olbermann continues to be employed by ESPN, which also is owned by Disney, despite his habit of going on profanity-laced Twitter tirades directed at Mr. Trump. Mr. Travis said Disney has treated “very similar speech dissimilarly based on whether or not it agrees with the content.”

“If you are a left-winger, you can say whatever you want and you have no punishment for anything you say,” Mr. Travis said on Fox Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage.” “The moment you are conservative and you say anything, you get fired.”

Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox News’ “The Five,” said ABC was justified in canceling “Roseanne.” But he also wondered why Joy Reid, who apologized for writing homophobic articles on her now-defunct blog, continues to have a show on MSNBC.

“Joy Reid has got an amazing second chance going right now after a paper trail of homophobia,” Mr. Gutfeld said.

Indeed, Ms. Reid was one of the commentators MSNBC enlisted on Tuesday to react to the cancellation of “Roseanne.”

“It’s fraught because, I think for a lot of Roseanne’s fans who now are really sort of in a big Venn diagram with Trumpfans, they see this as no big deal, that this is something that you should be able to say,” Ms. Reid said on “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” “Why can’t you say it? It’s just jokes. Why are people taking it to heart? That’s part of the problem, is that you have a certain set of people who feel that you should be able to speak this way.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/29/roseanne-canceled-sitcom-family-reflected-trump-vo/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018, Story 1: President Trump New Brand — Sypgate Shorthand for Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — What Did Clinton and Obama Know and when Did Clinton and Obama Know It? Clinton and Obama Activated “Spygate” or Secret Surveillance Spying Security State on Republican Party Trump Campaign for President — Read Ed Klein’s All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, Guilty As Sin, and Blood Feud — Videos — Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off — Videos

Posted on May 25, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Blogroll, Bribery, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Government, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Killing, Language, Life, Lying, Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Corruption, Robert S. Mueller III, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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pyGate: Did the Obama administration spy on the Donald Trump campaign because it feared Russian hacking of the 2016 election? Or was it merely a smokescreen to cover up the real reason: to keep Trump from winning the presidency or take him down if he did?

As the saying goes, timing is everything. Recent revelations keep pushing back the beginning of the CIA and FBI investigation into “Russian hacking” or “meddling” in the 2016 election further and further in time.

This is significant, since the farther back in time the actual origin of the spying on Trump, the less likely it is that it had anything to do with Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, but everything to do with stopping the surprising surge of Trump during the GOP primaries and beyond.

Increasingly, a political motive seems not only likely, but almost certain.

In a recent piece that warrants a thorough reading, Andrew C. McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now writes for the National Review, painstakingly dismantles the multiple lies told about how and when the spying on Trump began.

There is what he calls “The Original Origination Story” that involves little-known Trump adviser Carter Page. He visited Moscow in July 2016, three months after hooking on to the Trump campaign.

According to former MI6 British spy Christopher Steele’s now infamous dossier on Trump, Page’s trip was when the alleged Trump-Russia plan to hack the Democratic National Committee was born.

The only problem is, the Steele dossier has been exposed as a fanciful product of the Clinton campaign and the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Steele. And the main assertions were based on hearsay from Russian officials, and never validated.

Even so, the FBI and Justice Department used the dossier to apply to the FISA court to tap Page’s communications and, as a result, much of the rest of the Trump campaign.

In doing so, the FBI broke its own rules and, worse, the Obama Justice Department withheld the fact from the FISA court that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee were responsible for the dossier.

Then there was what McCarthy calls “Origination Story 2.0.”

This involves George Papadopoulos, a young, also little-known Trump aide. At a May 2016 meeting in a London pub, he told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about an academic named Josef Mifsud with Kremlin ties who told Papadopoulos that the Kremlin had a huge number of emails that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Democrats point to this as proof that Trump had colluded to hack the DNC. But as McCarthy notes, there’s a major flaw in that logic: “If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking.”

Moreover, Democrats insist Mifsud’s comments about emails referred to the DNC emails that were, in fact, hacked by Russians.

But that’s not the case. Papadopoulos has said he thought Mifsud was talking about the more than 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton “accidentally” had deleted from her illegal unsecured home email server.

So if those didn’t set up the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, what did?

In fact, says McCarthy, the real origin of the investigation appears to have been in Spring of 2016, before Papadopoulos’ conversation with the Australian ambassador in May and also before Page’s visit to Moscow in July.

It started with James Comey briefing President Obama’s National Security Council about Carter Page, likely sometime in mid-Spring.

Why? Well, both Page and Paul Manafort, another Trump adviser, had business ties to Russia, which, perhaps justifiably, concerned the FBI.

But rather than telling the Trump campaign about their concerns, or even moving against the Russians, the Justice Department and the FBI starting treating Trump’s campaign like a criminal enterprise.

Instead of continuing to interview Page, or Manafort, or Papadopoulos, they inserted a spy, Stefan Halper, in the campaign, and tapped its phones. It had the earmarks of a political hit, not an actual investigation.

As for the CIA, another line of inquiry finds they also were busy early on pursuing Trump.

George Neumayr, writing in The American Spectator, notes that CIA Director John Brennan used the flimsy excuse of a tip from the Estonian intelligence agency that Putin was giving money to the Trump campaign to form an “inter-agency taskforce” on supposed Trump-Russia collusion in 2016. It met at CIA headquarters, spy central.

The Estonian tip didn’t pan out, but the task force remained.

“Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016,” wrote Neumayr, “Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House.”

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” program to spy against the Trump campaign.

What we’re discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.

And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.

As McCarthy concluded: “The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.”

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/obama-behind-trump-investigation/

Byron York: When did Trump-Russia probe begin? Investigators focus on mystery months

Revelations that an FBI informant insinuated himself into the Trump campaign have led some congressional investigators to rethink their theories on how and why former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department began investigating the 2016 Trump presidential effort.

Most reporting has focused on the July 31, 2016, creation of a document formally marking the beginning of the FBI counterintelligence probe targeting the Trump campaign. The document, known as the electronic communication, or EC, is said to have focused on the case of George Papadopoulos, the peripheral Trump adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller about his contacts with people connected to Russia.

Most of the key events of the Trump-Russia investigation — the Carter Page wiretap, the wiretap of Michael Flynn’s conversations, the presentation of Trump dossier allegations to the president-elect — took place after the formal start of the FBI counterintelligence investigation.

But now comes word of the FBI informant, described in various accounts as a retired American professor living in England. The Washington Post reported that, “The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium.”

A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?

And that has taken them back to March 21, 2016, when candidate Donald Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post.

At the time of that meeting, Trump had been under criticism for not having the sort of lists of distinguished advisers that most top-level campaigns routinely assemble. That was particularly true in the area of foreign policy. A frustrated Trump ordered his team to compile a list of foreign-affairs advisers.

Trump was preparing to announce his advisory board when he met with the Post. The paper’s publisher asked Trump if he would reveal the names of his new team.

“Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names,” Trump said. He then read a brief list, among them Page and Papadopoulos.

Trump’s announcement did not go unnoticed at the FBI and Justice Department. The bureau knew Page from a previous episode in which Russian agents had tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him. It’s not clear what the FBI knew about the others. But then-Director James Comey and number-two Andrew McCabe personally briefed Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the list of newly-named Trump foreign policy advisers, including Page, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Lynch told the House Intelligence Committee that she, Comey, and McCabe discussed whether to provide a “defensive briefing” to the Trump campaign. That would entail having an FBI official meet with a senior campaign official “to alert them to the fact that … there may be efforts to compromise someone with their campaign,” Lynch said.

It didn’t happen, even though it was discussed again when Comey briefed the National Security Council principals committee about Page in the “late spring” of 2016, according to Lynch’s testimony. (The principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.)

So the nation’s top political appointees, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies were watching Trump campaign figures in the spring and early summer of 2016.

In early July, Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, the former British spy, approached the FBI with the first installment of the dossier. (It was the part that alleged Trump took part in a kinky sex scene with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013.) Also in early July — just a few days later — Page made a much-watched trip to deliver a speech in Moscow. Also in July, FBI officials say they learned about Papadopoulos’ meeting a few months earlier with a Russian-connected professor. And still in July, hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were released.

Somewhere around the time all that was happening, according to the latest reporting, the FBI informant began his work.

And that was all before what is called the formal beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation. It is in those mystery months — late March, April, May, June, and early July of 2016 — with the presidential campaign going at full force, that the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Republican candidate geared up.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/when-did-trump-russia-probe-begin-investigators-focus-on-mystery-months

The Real Origination Story of the Trump-Russia Investigation

Former President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 28, 2015. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Carter Page or George Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.Exactly when is the “late Spring”?

Of all the questions that have been asked about what we’ve called the “Origination Story” of the Trump-Russia investigation, that may be the most important one. It may be the one that tells us when the Obama administration first formed the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative.

Obama’s spying on Trump campaign included the use of secret “national security letters” reserved for the most serious threats

See, it has always been suspicious that the anonymous current and former government officials who leak classified information to their media friends have been unable to coordinate their spin on the start of “Crossfire Hurricane” — the name the FBI eventually gave its Trump-Russia investigation.

The Original Origination Story: Carter Page

First, they told us it was an early July 2016 trip to Moscow by Carter Page, an obscure Trump-campaign adviser.

As we’ve observed, that story became untenable once a connection emerged between the Bureau’s concerns about Page and the Steele dossier. The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, portrayed Page’s Moscow trip as seminal to a Trump-Russia conspiracy to hack Democratic email accounts and steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

It turned out, however, that the dossier was a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project, the main allegations of which were based on third-hand hearsay from anonymous Russian sources. Worse, though the allegations could not be verified, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used them to obtain surveillance warrants against Page, in violation of their own guidelines against presenting unverified information to the FISA court. Worse still, the Obama Justice Department withheld from the FISA court the facts that the Clinton campaign was behind the dossier and that Steele had been booted from the investigation for lying to the FBI.

Origination Story 2.0: George Papadopoulos

With the Page origination story cratering, Team Obama tried to save the day with Origination Story 2.0: Papadopoulos did it. In this account, George Papadopoulos, an even more obscure Trump-campaign aide than Page, triggered the investigation by telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, in May 2016, that he’d heard from a Kremlin-connected academic, Josef Mifsud, that Russia had thousands of emails potentially damaging to Clinton.

But this rickety tale had the signs of an after-the-fact rationalization, an effort to downplay the dossier and the role of Obama officials in the genesis of the probe. There were curious questions about how the twentysomething Papadopoulos came to be meeting with Australia’s highest-ranking diplomat in the United Kingdom, and about how and when, exactly, this Australian information came to be transmitted to the FBI.

Moreover, there are two basic flaws in version 2.0. First, Papadopoulos’s story is actually exculpatory of the Trump campaign: If Russia already had the emails and was alerting the Trump campaign to that fact, the campaign could not have been involved in the hacking. Second, there is confusion about exactly what Mifsud was referring to when he told Papadopoulos that the Russians had emails that could damage Clinton. Democrats suggest that Mifsud was referring to the Democratic National Committee emails. They need this to be true because (a) these are the emails that were hacked by Russian operatives, and (b) it was WikiLeaks’ publication of these hacked DNC emails in July 2016 that spurred the Aussies to report to their American counterparts about the encounter, two months earlier, between Papadopoulos and Downer — to whom Papadopoulos reported Mifsud’s emails story. But if the Australians really did infer that Mifsud and Papadopoulos must have been talking about the hacked DNC emails, the inference is unlikely. As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross has reported, Papadopoulos maintains that he understood Mifsud to be talking about the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton had deleted from her homebrew server. That makes more sense — it was those emails that Donald Trump harped on throughout the campaign and that were in the news when Mifsud spoke with Papadopoulos in April 2016. While there are grounds for concern that Clinton’s emails were hacked, there is no proof that it happened; Clinton’s 30,000 emails are not the hacked DNC emails on which the “collusion” narrative is based.

There was also the curiosity of why, if Papadopoulos was so central, the FBI had not bothered to interview him until late January 2017 — after Trump had already taken office.

The Real Origination

With the revelation last week that the Obama administration had insinuated a spy into the Trump campaign, it appeared that we were back to the original, Page-centric origination story. But now there was a twist: The informant, longtime CIA source Stefan Halper, was run at Page by the FBI, in Britain. Because this happened just days after Page’s Moscow trip, the implication was that it was the Moscow trip itself, not the dossier claims about it, that provided momentum toward opening the investigation. Then, just a couple of weeks later, WikiLeaks began publicizing the DNC emails; this, we’re to understand, shook loose the Australian information about Papadopoulos. When that information made its way to the FBI — how, we’re not told — the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation was formally opened on July 31. Within days, Agent Peter Strzok was in London interviewing Downer, and soon the FBI tasked Halper to take a run at Papadopoulos.

 

The real origination story begins in the early spring of 2016 — long before Page went to Russia and long before the U.S. government was notified about Papadopoulos’s boozy conversation with Downer.

Last week, as controversy stirred over the possibility that the Obama administration had used a spy against the Trump campaign, the eagle eye of the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel caught a couple of key passages from the House Intelligence Committee’s recent report on Russian interference in the election — largely overlooked passages on page 54.

It turns out that, in “late spring” 2016, the FBI’s then-director James Comey briefed the principals of the National Security Council on “the Page information.” As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York observes in a perceptive column today, NSC principals are an administration’s highest-ranking national-security officials. In Obama’s National Security Council, the president was the chairman, and among the regular attendees were the vice-president (Joe Biden), the national-security adviser (Susan Rice), and the director of national intelligence (James Clapper). The heads of such departments and agencies as the Justice Department (Attorney General Loretta Lynch) and the CIA (Director John Brennan) could also be invited to attend NSC meetings if matters of concern to them were to be discussed.

We do not know which NSC principals attended the Comey briefing about Carter Page. But how curious that the House Intelligence Committee interviewed so many Obama-administration officials who were on, or who were knowledgeable about, the NSC, and yet none of them provided a date for this meeting more precise than “late spring” 2016.

The other meeting outlined on page 54 of the House report is one that Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, had with Attorney General Lynch. It probably occurred before the “late spring” Obama NSC meeting, and it was also “about Page.”

So . . . what exactly was “the Page information”? Well, we know that Page, an Annapolis alumnus and former naval intelligence officer, is . . . well, he’s a knucklehead. He is a Russia apologist whose “discursive online blog postings about foreign policy,” Politico noted, “invoke the likes of Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and Rhonda Byrne’s self-help bestseller, ‘The Secret.’” More to the point, Page blames American provocations for bad relations with the Kremlin and advocates, instead, a policy of appeasing the Putin regime. Page, who has also been an investment banker, has also had business ties to Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy behemoth.

Most importantly, we know that Page was one of several American businessmen whom Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit in 2013. Yet, the main reason we know that is that Page cooperated with the FBI and the Justice Department in the prosecution of the Russian operatives. See Sealed ComplaintUnited States v. Evgeny Buryakov, pp. 12-13 (Page is identified as “Male-1” — whom one of the Russian spies refers to as “an idiot”).

What would have been the reason for Lynch, Comey, and McCabe to discuss Carter Page? Well, on March 21, 2016 — i.e., early spring — the Trump campaign announced the candidate’s foreign-policy advisory team. Trump had been spurned by the Republican foreign-policy clerisy and was under pressure to show that he had some advisers. So the campaign hastily put out a list of five little-known figures, including Page. Young George Papadopoulos (whose idea of résumé inflation was to claim, apparently falsely, that he’d been a participant in the Geneva International Model United Nations) was also among the five; but he was a virtual unknown at the time — he did not cause the FBI the consternation that the appearance of Page’s name did.

Another source of consternation: On March 29, just a few days after Page was announced as a foreign-policy adviser, Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign. Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates (who also joined the Trump campaign), had been on the FBI’s radar over political-consultant work they’d done for many years for a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine — the party deeply enmeshed in Russian aggression against that former Soviet satellite state.

In discussing Page, one of the things Lynch, Comey, and McCabe discussed was the possibility of providing the Trump campaign with a “defensive briefing.” This would be a meeting with a senior campaign official to put the campaign on notice of potential Russian efforts to compromise someone — Page — within the campaign.

In retrospect, that is an interesting piece of information. Back in February, after House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) put out the Republican majority’s memo on FISA abuse, Committee Democrats responded. As I pointed out at the time, the memo by ranking member Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) let slip that the FBI had interviewed Carter Page in March 2016. (See Schiff Memo, p. 4 — the relevant footnote 10 is redacted.)

Was the interview of Page a reaction to his joining the Trump campaign? Was it an effort to gauge whether Page was still a recruitment target? Was it a substitute for giving the campaign a defensive briefing, or a preparatory step in anticipation of possibly giving such a briefing? We don’t know.

But here is what we can surmise.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign.

Carter Page and Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign in early spring, and the FBI was concerned about their possible ties to Russia. These were not trifling concerns, but they did not come close to suggesting a Trump-Russia espionage conspiracy against the 2016 election.

These FBI concerns resulted in a briefing of the Obama NSC by the FBI sometime in “late spring.” I suspect the “late spring” may turn out to be an earlier part of spring than most people might suppose — like maybe shortly after Page joined the Trump campaign.

There are many different ways the Obama administration could have reacted to the news that Page and Manafort had joined the Trump campaign. It could have given the campaign a defensive briefing. It could have continued interviewing Page, with whom the FBI had longstanding lines of communication. It could have interviewed Manafort. It could have conducted a formal interview with George Papadopoulos rather than approaching him with a spy who asked him loaded questions about Russia’s possession of Democratic-party emails.

Instead of doing some or all of those things, the Obama administration chose to look at the Trump campaign as a likely co-conspirator of Russia — either because Obama officials inflated the flimsy evidence, or because they thought it could be an effective political attack on the opposition party’s likely candidate.

From the “late spring” on, every report of Trump-Russia ties, no matter how unlikely and uncorroborated, was presumed to be proof of a traitorous arrangement. And every detail that could be spun into Trump-campaign awareness of Russian hacking, no matter how tenuous, was viewed in the worst possible light.

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-obama-administration-origins/

 

How the Clinton-Emails Investigation Intertwined with the Russia Probe

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Obama administration officials in the DOJ and FBI saw the cases as inseparably linked.‘Cruz just dropped out of the race. It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.”

It was a little after midnight on May 4, 2016. FBI lawyer Lisa Page was texting her paramour, FBI counterespionage agent Peter Strzok, about the most stunning development to date in the 2016 campaign: Donald Trump was now the inevitable Republican nominee. He would square off against Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ certain standard-bearer.

The race was set . . . between two major-party candidates who were both under investigation by the FBI.

In stunned response, Strzok wrote what may be the only words we need to know, the words that reflected the mindset of his agency’s leadership and of the Obama administration: “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE.”

MYE. That’s Mid-Year Exam, the code-word the FBI had given to the Hillary Clinton emails probe.

“It sure does,” responded Page. Mind you, she was not just any FBI lawyer; she was counsel and confidant to the bureau’s No. 2 official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

If the thousands of text messages between Ms. Page and Agent Strzok are clear on anything, they are clear on the thinking of the bureau’s top brass.

In its Trump antipathy, the media-Democrat complex has admonished us to ignore the Strzok-Page texts. FBI officials are as entitled as anyone else to their political opinions, we’re told; and if they found Trump loathsome, they were no different from half the country.

That’s the wrong way to look at it. Regardless of their politics (which, the texts show, are not as left-wing as some conservative-media hyperbole claims), these FBI officials are a window into how the Obama administration regarded the two investigations in which Strzok and Page were central players: Mid Year Exam and Trump-Russia — the latter eventually code-named “Crossfire Hurricane.”

The two investigations must not be compartmentalized. Manifestly, the FBI saw them as inseparably linked: Trump’s victory in the primaries, the opening of his path to the Oval Office, meant — first and foremost — that the Hillary investigation had to be brought to a close.

And that is because bringing it to a close was already known, by May 4, to mean closing it without charges — opening her path to the Oval Office. It was the calculation of the FBI, the Obama Justice Department, the Obama-led intelligence agencies, and the Obama White House that wrapping up MYE was essential to stopping Donald Trump.

Trump had won the nomination, so now the pressure was on to remove the cloud of felony suspicion hanging over Mrs. Clinton.

The mistake is often made — I’ve made it myself — of analyzing the tanking of the Clinton emails case in a vacuum. There are, after all, reasons unrelated to Donald Trump that explain the outcome: Obama was implicated in Clinton’s use of a non-secure email system; Obama had endorsed Clinton; many high-ranking Obama Justice Department officials stood to keep their coveted positions, and even advance, in a Hillary Clinton administration; the Obama Justice Department was hyper-political and Clinton was the Democratic nominee.

But the Clinton investigation did not happen in a vacuum. It happened in the context of Donald Trump’s gallop through the Republican primaries and, just as important, of the Obama administration’s determination to regard the Trump campaign as a Kremlin satellite.

Conveniently, the Strzok-Page text occurred in what we might call the “late spring.” As I outlined in yesterday’s column, the “late spring” is the vague timeframe former Obama-administration officials gave to the House Intelligence Committee when asked when the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, briefed the president’s National Security Council about Carter Page. An obscure Trump campaign adviser, Page was regarded as a likely clandestine Russian agent by the Obama administration, on what appears to be flimsy evidence.

So . . . let’s think this through.

By May 4, the Obama administration has already concluded that the Trump campaign is part of a Russian covert op that must be stopped — or at least has rationalized that the Trump-Russia storyline can work politically to damage the Republican candidate.

At the same time, even though MYE is not yet formally “finished,” even though key witnesses (including Clinton herself) have not been interviewed, even though essential evidence (including the laptops used to store and vet Clinton’s emails) are not yet in the FBI’s possession, Director Comey and his top aides are already drafting the exoneration speech he will give two months later, recommending against prosecution.

And everybody knows the fix is in. The Strzok-Page texts show that the pressure to schedule the Clinton interview is based on the imperative to shut down the case, not to weigh what she had to say for investigative purposes. Clinton is permitted to have her co-conspirators represent her as lawyers at her interview — in violation of federal law, professional-ethics canons, and rudimentary investigative practice — precisely because no one regards the interview as a serious law-enforcement exercise.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s shameful Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Clinton becomes a scandal in late June, she tries to mitigate the damage by announcing an intention to accept whatever recommendation the FBI makes. Lisa Page spitefully texts Peter Strzok. “And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.”

To accomplish this, he effectively rewrites the classified-information statute Clinton violated; barely mentions the tens of thousands of official government business emails that she destroyed; claims without any elaboration that the FBI can see no evidence of obstruction; and omits mention of her just-concluded interview in which — among other things — she pretended not to know what the markings on classified documents meant.

On the very same day, the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome travels to London to interview Christopher Steele, who has already started to pass his sensational dossier allegations to the bureau. And with the help of CIA director John Brennan and British intelligence, the FBI is ready to run a spy — a longtime CIA source — at Carter Page in London on July 11, just as he arrives there from Moscow.

With the pressure to finish MYE in the rearview mirror, Hillary Clinton looked like a shoo-in to beat Donald Trump. By mid September, Lisa Page was saying as much at a meeting in Deputy Director McCabe’s office. But Strzok was hedging his bets: Maybe “there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Soon, as the campaign wound down, the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were on the doormat of the FISA court, obtaining a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, substantially based on allegations in the Steele dossier — an uncorroborated Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed. Meanwhile, the FBI/CIA spy was being run at George Papadopoulos, and even seeking a role in the Trump campaign from its co-chairman, Sam Clovis.

Or maybe you think these things are unrelated . . .

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-russia-investigation-clinton-email-fbi-linked-cases/

How the FBI informant’s outreach to Trump staffers fits into overall investigation

May 22

Stefan A. Halper, the informant who assisted the FBI’s Russia investigation during 2016, is drawing the ire of President Trump and House Republicans.

On Monday evening, The Washington Post revealed the identity of the FBI informant at the center of President Trump’s recent frustrations. Over the course of 2016, emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge Stefan A. Halper contacted three people affiliated with Trump’s foreign-policy advisory team, two of whom were subjects of known FBI investigations beginning that summer.

Trump and his allies have criticized Halper’s contribution to the FBI’s investigation as an unwarranted intrusion into Trump’s campaign itself. Trump has repeatedly insisted that reports about Halper’s work showed bias on the part of the FBI that was a scandal “bigger than Watergate.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!

What’s known about Halper’s outreach, though, suggests a modest effort to get information from particular people who were already the subject of FBI scrutiny. Two people he contacted, foreign policy advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, initially met Halper in London — not, as some have implied, after Halper took some sort of position with the Trump campaign. (He did not do so.)

In light of the attention drawn to Halper by the president’s criticisms, we’ve put together a timeline showing how his known outreach overlapped with other investigatory efforts on the part of the FBI. Both Papadopoulos and Page were already being investigated by the FBI or had already been interviewed by the agency before Halper contacted them.

Items in bold involve Halper directly.

Pre-campaign

2012. Halper begins a relationship with the Defense Department, working with a Pentagon group called the Office of Net Assessment.

January 2013. Page meets a Russian foreign intelligence officer named Victor Podobnyy at a conference in New York.

March 2013. The FBI interviews Page after surveillance picks up Podobnyy mentioning Page as a potential target for recruitment.

Aug. 25, 2013. In a letter to a publisher, Page claims that for six months he has “had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month.”

Feb. 28, 2014. Michael Flynn participates in a national security seminar at Cambridge University organized by Halper and Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service.

The Trump campaign begins

June 16, 2015. Trump announces his candidacy.

Summer 2015. Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Aug. 25, 2015. Sam Clovis joins Trump’s campaign after working with the failed presidential bid of Rick Perry. He serves as a policy adviser and works with Trump’s foreign policy team.

Dec. 10, 2015. Flynn travels to Moscow to participate in an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today (now RT).

March 2016. The FBI again interviews Page.

March 6, 2016. Papadopoulos is asked to join the Trump campaign as an adviser on foreign policy issues. He had previously been advising Ben Carson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. His initial conversation about joining the campaign was with Clovis, who, Papadopoulos told prosecutors, suggested that improving relations with Russia was a key campaign goal. (Clovis has denied that.)

March 14, 2016. Papadopoulos meets in Italy with a London-based professor named Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Until he learns that Papadopoulos is tied to the Trump campaign, Mifsud is uninterested in talking.

March 21, 2016. Trump publicly identifies Papadopoulos and Page as part of his foreign policy advisory team.

March 31, 2016. The foreign policy advisory team meets. Trump tweets about it.

April 18, 2016. Papadopoulos is introduced via email to someone who has contacts at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos and the contact begin communicating regularly to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

April 26, 2016. Papadopoulos is told by Mifsud that the Russians have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “They have thousands of emails,” he is told. The next day, he emails senior campaign adviser Stephen Miller to say he had “some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”

May 2016. During a night of drinking in London, Papadopoulos tells Australian High Commissioner to Great Britain Alexander Downer that he is aware that Russia has dirt on Clinton.

July 7, 2016. Page travels to Moscow to give a speech. The next day, he sends a memo to campaign staff with an overview of his travel. It reads, in part, “Russian Deputy Prime Minister and [New Economic School] Board Member Arkadiy Dvorkovich also spoke before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.”

July 11 and 12, 2016. Page meets Halper at a Cambridge conference called Race to Change the World. It is focused on “the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the implications that this will have for future U.S. foreign policy.” The two continue to communicate over email.

July 11 or 12, 2016. Trump campaign staffers apparently intervene with the committee developing the Republican Party’s national security platform to remove language calling for arming Ukraine against Russian aggression.

July 22, 2016. WikiLeaks begins releasing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee.

The investigation begins

July 31, 2016. The FBI opens its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The investigation is triggered when Australian authorities contact the agency — realizing that Papadopoulos’s May mention of Russian dirt to Downer, the diplomat, was validated by the release of stolen data.

August 2016. Papadopoulos seeks permission to travel to Russia to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Putin. After being discouraged from doing so earlier in the year, Clovis tells Papadopoulos to do so “if feasible” — but not as a representative of the campaign.

Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, 2016. Halper has coffee with Clovis. Clovis says that the subject of conversation was China, not Russia. Halper requests a second meeting, but it doesn’t happen.

Sept. 2, 2016. Halper contacts Papadopoulos offering to pay him to write a paper about oil fields in the Mediterranean and inviting him to London. Papadopoulos does so later that month, receiving $3,000 in payment.

Sept. 15, 2016. While in London, Papadopoulos has drinks with a woman who identifies herself as Halper’s assistant. He meets Halper at the Traveler’s Club. According to the New York Times, Halper asked if Papadopoulos knew about any interference efforts, which Papadopoulos denied — to Halper’s annoyance.

Sept. 23, 2016. Yahoo News reports on possible contacts between Page and Russian authorities, based on information collected by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as part of his work for the firm Fusion GPS.

Sept. 26, 2016. Page announces his departure from the Trump campaign.

Oct. 21, 2016. The FBI is granted a warrant to surveil Page.

Nov. 8, 2016. Trump is elected president.

Sept. 2017. Page and Halper are in contact for the last time, according to an interview Page gave the Daily Caller.

Late September 2017. The warrant to surveil Page, extended three times, expires.

 

 

Edward Klein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward J. Klein (born 1937) is an American author, tabloid writer and gossip columnist who is a former foreign editor of Newsweek, and former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine (1977–1987). He has written about the KennedysBill ClintonHillary ClintonBarack ObamaMichelle Obama, and Donald Trump.

Early life

Born in Yonkers, New York, Klein attended Colgate University, graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies,[1] and received an MS degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.[2]

Professional life

Klein is the former foreign editor of Newsweek and served as the editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987. He frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade and writes a weekly celebrity gossip column in Parade called “Personality Parade” under the pseudonym “Walter Scott.” (The Walter Scott pseudonym had originally been used by Lloyd Shearer, who wrote the column from 1958 to 1991.[3]) He also writes books, many of which have been on the New York Times Bestseller list. Additionally, he was the principal for the Business Communications School at The Euclid High School Complex. He was photographed by popular Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton, on June 12, 2014, which led to his personal website crashing due to a high volume of visitors.[4] Klein is also a contributor for the New York Post.[5]

Personal life

Klein is the father of two grown children, Karen (former manager of The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City), and Alec (a professor at Northwestern University).[6] He has been divorced twice. He was married to Dolores J. Barrett, senior vice president for Worldwide Public Relations at Polo Ralph Lauren, who died on 24 December 2013 in Manhattan.[7][8] Klein is the stepfather-in-law of Ruth Shalit.

Criticism

Klein received extensive criticism for his 2005 biography of Hillary Clinton, The Truth About HillaryPolitico criticized the book for “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.”[9]The conservative columnist John Podhoretz criticized the book in the New York Post, “Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.”[10] In the National Review, conservative columnist James Geraghty wrote, “Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain’t it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.”[11]

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review asked Klein in a June 20, 2005 interview, “Why on earth would you put such a terrible story in your book … that looks to be flimsily sourced at that?,” regarding his suggestion that Chelsea Clinton was conceived in an act of marital rape.[12] Facing criticism from both the left and right for making the claim, Klein eventually backed away from the insinuation in an interview with radio host Jim Bohannon on June 23, 2005.[13]

The British newspaper The Guardian pointed out a number of verifiable factual errors in Klein’s 2014 book Blood Feud.[14]

Questions of credibility of sources in work

Klein has also come under fire for his use of anonymous quotes, purported to be from the subjects of his books, which he claims he received from anonymous insiders. The credibility of such quotes has been questioned by writers such as Joe Conason,[15] Salon’s Simon Maloy [16] and conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh[17] and Peggy Noonan.[18] “Some of the quotes strike me as odd, in the sense that I don’t know people who speak this way,” Limbaugh said of Klein’s work, describing the sources as “grade school chatter.”

Books

References

  1. Jump up^ Traister, Rebecca. “The man behind the book”.
  2. Jump up^ “About”.
  3. Jump up^ Woo, Elaine (2001-05-26). “Lloyd Shearer; Leader of the ‘Personality Parade'”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 February 2014. Also printed in: “Lloyd Shearer, Wrote `Personality Parade’” In: Sun Sentinel. May 28, 2001.
  4. Jump up^ “Humans of New York – Timeline – Facebook”.
  5. Jump up^ Klein, Edward (March 15, 2015). “Obama adviser behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal”New York Post.
  6. Jump up^ Alec Klein, Professor and Director of The Medill Justice ProjectMedill School of Journalism
  7. Jump up^ Cotto, William (30 December 2013). “Obituary: Dolores J. Barrett, Ralph Lauren Exec”. WWD. Retrieved 30 December2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Dolores Barrett Wed to Edward Klein”New York Times. October 25, 1987. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
  9. Jump up^ “Ed Klein’s Obama book debuts at No. 1 on Times list”Politico. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ New York Post: Which is more a criticism of the subject matter than the author or the content.“Smear for Profit”. Archived from the original on April 18, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2013. . June 22, 2005.
  11. Jump up^ “Now That is a Tough Review”National Review.
  12. Jump up^ “The Truth About Hillary”National Review.
  13. Jump up^ “Klein vs. his own book: Author backed off claim about Hillary pregnancy, contradicted his only source for rape claim”. Media Matters. October 10, 2007.
  14. Jump up^ Swaine, Jon (July 14, 2014). “Edward Klein: the difference between the truth and a lie”The Guardian.
  15. Jump up^ “News Hounds: Joe Conason Verbally Clobbers Ed Klein”NewsHounds. 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  16. Jump up^ Maloy, Simon. “Ed Klein’s new hack job: A credibility-vacant opportunist strikes again”.
  17. Jump up^ “Limbaugh Claims “Nobody Ever Denies” Ed Klein’s Credibility, Despite Previously Calling It Into Question”. March 16, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Noonan, Peggy (June 24, 2005). “Eine Kleine Biographie” – via Wall Street Journal.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Klein

Story 2: To Be or Not To Be — June 12, 2018 U.S./North Korea Summit Canceled For Now — To Be Continued — Maybe — Videos

Trump speaks after canceling North Korea summit

North Korea is willing to resolve issues with US following cancelled summit: report

North Korea responds to Trump’s cancellation of meeting

North Korea: We are willing to sit down with US anytime

North Korea expresses willingness to resolve issues with US

Trump welcomes North Korea’s ‘warm’ response to canceled summit

Pelosi: Kim Jong Un ‘Must Be Having A Giggle Fit’

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off HQ

Trump dictated ‘every word’ of letter canceling North Korea summit

The White House offered new details Thursday on President Trump‘s decision to cancel a planned June 12 summit with North Korea, saying he did so after a U.S. team was stood up by the North Koreans and that the letter announcing the decision to leader Kim Jong Un was 100 percent Trump.
“The president dictated every word of the letter himself,” a senior White House official said.
The letter cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” toward the United States in explaining why the meeting was being scrapped.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter released by the White House.

The U.S. and North Korea had agreed to hold a meeting to set up the summit in Singapore last week, the White House official said.

But when the U.S. sent a deputy chief of staff and other advance team personnel to Singapore for that meeting, the North Koreas never showed up.

“They simply stood us up,” the official said.

The senior White House official also cast doubt on whether North Korea truly destroyed its nuclear test site, saying international inspectors were not allowed to attend
“We certainly hope that’s the case, but we really don’t know.”
“Secretary Pompeo and the South Korean government were promised by the North Koreans that international experts and officials would be invited to witness and verify today’s demolition,” the official said, but that promise was “broken.”
North Korea’s statement calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” and threatening the U.S. appeared to be a breaking point for Trump. The president first saw the comments last night and “he took it in stride, he slept on it,” according to the official.
In the morning, Trump met with his national security team, including Pence, chief of staff John Kelly and Pompeo, and made his decision to call off the talks.

The official said it was “hard to miss” the implicit threat of nuclear war in North Korea’s statement, which threatened to “make the U.S. taste an appalling tragedy.”

“The president sought to remind North Korea of the real balance of power here,” the official added.
In the letter, Trump said North Korea was taking a step backward with actions that forced his hand.
“I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump wrote in the letter.
But he also offered a warning to Pyongyang in his note, which was alternately bellicose and complimentary.
Trump said the United States nuclear weapons are “so massive and so powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”
He then thanked Kim for the release of three prisoners earlier this month that had appeared to signal the talks were on course.
“Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you,” Trump wrote. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”

The rising tensions between China, US

AFP
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing
Recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing (AFP Photo/FABRICE COFFRINI, MANDEL NGAN)
More

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump has often bragged of his friendship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but recent events point to growing stresses between Washington and Beijing.

This week, the Pentagon pulled its invitation for China to participate in maritime exercises in the Pacific, then Trump on Thursday scrapped a summit with North Korea after suggesting Xi may have exacerbated a breakdown in communications.

And all this against a backdrop of simmering trade tensions — and a bizarre case involving a US official and a possible “sonic attack.”

– Summit sunk –

Trump on Thursday scrapped the historic summit with Kim Jong Un — set to take place June 12 in Singapore — to discuss the “denuclearization” of North Korea.

Before he pulled the plug, Trump had suggested Xi might have played a role in a recent toughening of North Korean rhetoric.

“There was a difference when Kim Jong Un left China the second time,” Trump said.

“There was a different attitude after that meeting and I was a little surprised. … And I think things changed after that meeting so I can’t say that I am happy about it.”

On Monday, Trump suggested China might have prematurely eased up on enforcing economic sanctions against Pyongyang, a move that runs counter to the US leader’s “maximum pressure” campaign.

China insists it is strictly enforcing sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council.

– Pacific exercise –

The Pentagon on Wednesday withdrew its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing’s “continued militarization” of the South China Sea.

China hit back at the decision to disinvite it from the Rim of the Pacific exercises, calling it “very non-constructive” and saying it was taken without due reflection.

“It’s also a decision taken lightly and is unhelpful to mutual understanding between China and the US,” China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said.

– Trade war –

China and the US have stepped back from a potential trade war after Beijing officials were reported to have offered to slash the country’s huge surplus by $200 billion.

But no formal deals have been struck, and China has denied that any figure was set during negotiations in Washington.

Trump — who once accused China of “raping” the US — said he was “not satisfied” with the agreement and the issue is sure to keep grating on relations with Beijing.

– Sonic strains –

On Wednesday, the US embassy in Beijing issued a warning after reporting that an employee in the southern city of Guangzhou was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) apparently linked to “abnormal sounds.”

“The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

In Cuba last year, 24 diplomats and their family members were left with mysterious injuries resembling brain trauma, which were suspected of being caused by a “sonic attack.”

China said it had investigated the issue but hadn’t found that any organization or individual had “carried out such a sonic influence.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/rising-tensions-between-china-us-014346160.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018, Story 1: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Compromised National Security By Emails To Clinton’s Emailer Server Account — Hacked By Several Countries Including Russia Providing Real Leverage or Blackmail of Clinton and Obama — Spy or Mole In Trump Campaign To Provide Early Warning That Russians Gave Trump The Compromising Leverage/Blackmail — None Sent Nor Received by Trump — Obama Knew Everything DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA Were Doing! — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Demands Investigation and Meets With Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Participates in Swearing In of First Women C.I.A. Director, Gina Haspel — Videos — Story 4: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Outlines Strategy with Strongest Sanctions Against Iran — Videos

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Story 1: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Compromised National Security By Emails To Clinton’s Emailer Server Account — Hacked By Several Countries Including Russia Providing Real Leverage or Blackmail of Clinton and Obama — Spy or Mole In Trump Campaign To Provide Early Warning That Russians Gave Trump The Compromising Leverage/Blackmail — None Sent Nor Received by Trump — Obama Knew Everything DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA Were Doing! — Videos

 

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