The Pronk Pops Show 1400, February 21, 2020, Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos — Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos — Story 3: The Real Threat Is Influenza Viruses Not Novel Coronavirus- Videos –Story 4: President Trump Holds Keep America Great Rally In Las Vegas — 500 Miles of Border Barrier in 2021 — Videos

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Bloomberg Booster StoolSee the source image

See the source imageNinety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 peopleSee the source image

 

Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageBloomberg The Farmer

Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

Judy Collins

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim
Send in the Clowns lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

The Democratic Debate in About a Minute

Tucker: Bloomberg paid to be humiliated

Ingraham: Why Bloomberg is failing

Ari Fleischer gives Bloomberg these debate tips

Everything Mike Bloomberg Said at the Las Vegas Democratic Debate | NBC New York

Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg spar at the open of the Democratic debate

Warren attacks Bloomberg over sexist comments and non-disclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg at Tonight’s Debate | Mike Bloomberg for President

Frank Sinatra — High Hopes

“High Hopes” Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra – My Way (Live At Madison Square Garden, 1974)

And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full,
I travelled each and every highway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few,
But then again too few to mention
Did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
Planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Yes there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it My Way.
I’ve loved,
I’ve laughed and cried,
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no not me
I did it My Way
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows
I took the blows –
And did it my way!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka
My Way lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Jeune Musique Editions, BMG Rights Management, Concord Music Publishing LLC

Calvin Harris – My Way (Official Video)

My Way

Calvin Harris

Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way
My way
Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Calvin Harris
My Way lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Mike Bloomberg is declared the LOSER of the Democratic debate after his disastrous start and relentless attacks – while Warren and Sanders come away the winners

  • Pundits declared Bloomberg the loser of Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas 
  • Senators Warren and Sanders were declared the top two winners of the debate  
  • Warren attacked Bloomberg over the treatment of women at his company 
  • Sanders criticized the former NYC mayor over his past stop and frisk policy 
  • Pete Buttigieg was also declared a winner, while Biden and Klobuchar lost out 

 

Mike Bloomberg has been declared the loser of Democratic debate after Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders relentlessly attacked the former New York mayor over his past ‘racist’ policies and treatment of women.

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes of the debate.

What is becoming an increasingly bitter nomination fight, the Democratic presidential candidates focused their attacks on Bloomberg on the debate stage.

He has spent more than $400 million so far on advertising that in turn has given him strong standing in state and national polls.

Sanders recalled Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk policing targeting minorities while Warren spoke about how Bloomberg had mocked women.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,’ Warren said.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night's debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night’s debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

‘And no I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.’

Amy Klobuchar also quipped that, ‘I don’t think you look at Donald Trump and say I think we need someone richer in the White House’.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg condoned racist police practices, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Bloomberg was trying to ‘buy out’ the Democratic Party.

But his biggest struggle came when Warren hammered him over allegations of sexism and mistreatment of women in his company.

Bloomberg attempted to defend his record and deflect the attacks on him by turning them into attacks on President Donald Trump.

And he effectively raised questions about whether Americans would embrace a socialist like Sanders.

CNN's Chris Cillizza compared Bloomberg's performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where 'everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring - and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard'

Cillizza also said the 'first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor' who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

Cillizza also said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’ who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

But the glare was harsh, and the attacks landed with force. Even if you are worth $60billion it is hard to win a 5-on-1 fight.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’.

‘He looked lost at times – and those were the best times for him! Warren dunked on him repeatedly. Sanders slammed him. Biden bashed him,’ Cillizza wrote.

Cillizza compared Bloomberg’s performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where ‘everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring – and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard’.

ELIZABETH WARREN: RETURN OF THE FIGHTER (WINNER)

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling.

But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight.

She slammed Bloomberg – which was no surprise as she’s been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years.

But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a ‘Post-it note’.

She accused Buttigieg of being in debt to his rich campaign supporters and having a healthcare plan that was just a ‘PowerPoint’ designed by his consultants.

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren slammed also fellow liberal Sanders, accusing him of letting his supporters trash anyone with a plan. But it was her prosecutorial approach to Bloomberg over his company’s treatment of women that stood out.

She hit the former mayor hard when it came to his refusal to release women from the nondisclosure agreements with his company regarding complaints of a hostile working environment.

Warren was relentless, leaving the former mayor stumbling and fumbling for a response.

‘Anybody that does anything wrong in our company, we investigate it and if it’s appropriate, they’re gone that day,’ Bloomberg said.

‘Let me tell you what I do at my company and my foundation and in city government when I was there. In my foundation, the person that runs it is a woman, 70 per cent of the people there are women,’ he added.

She slammed Bloomberg - which was no surprise as she's been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years. But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a 'Post-it note'

‘In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities. They get paid exactly the same as men. In city hall, the top person, my deputy mayor was a woman and 40 per cent of our commissioners were women,’ he said.

Warren then hit him harder.

‘I hope you heard what his defense was. I’ve been nice to some women. That just doesn’t cut it. The mayor has to stand on his record. What we need to know is exactly what’s lurking out there,’ she said.

‘He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, who sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace.

Van Jones tweeted about Warren shortly after the debate, saying: ‘Elizabeth Warren needs Bloomberg like a “lion needs an antelope.” He is the human embodiment of everything she’s against. If @ewarren is effective at landing those blows, the air could very well come out of the Bloomberg bubble.’

BERNIE SANDERS: LEADING THE PACK (WINNER)

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits.

‘The ganging-up on Bloomberg was just fine for Sanders, who, in case you forgot, is the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination,’ Cillizza wrote.

Before Wednesday night, Sanders has been hammering Bloomberg for weeks for trying to buy the election, though at a CNN town hall Tuesday night he wouldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t take Bloomberg’s money, which the billionaire candidate promised to the Democratic nominee, should he not be chosen for the job himself.

‘I don’t think we’re going to need that money,’ Sanders eventually said.

Sanders has sprung to the lead for the nomination in the RealClearPolitics polling average on the race with Biden in second and Bloomberg in third.

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders and Bloomberg locked horns on political philosophy during the debate, arguing over who’s a communist and who’s a socialist.

Bloomberg was defending his net worth, pointing out he earned it through ‘hard work’ and that he was giving his money away when Sanders argued the workers helped make that money.

‘Mr Bloomberg, it wasn’t you who made all that money. Maybe your workers played some role in that as well,’ Sanders said.

‘And it is important those workers are able to share the benefits also. When we have so many people who go to work every day and they feel not good about their jobs.

‘They feel like cogs in a machine. I want workers to be able to sit on corporate boards as well so they can have some say over what happens to their lives.’

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: THE GIFTED DEBATER (WINNER)

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners.

‘Buttigieg is, without question, the most naturally gifted debater in the Democratic field, meaning he is simply not going to turn in a clunker. He was steady if not spectacular in this debate,’ Cillizza said.

According Cillizza, Buttigieg spent parts of the night taking on Sanders, which is a  ‘clear effort to send a signal to voters that he is the most credible alternative to the Vermont senator’.

Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders.

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night's winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

He warned that Democrats could wake up after more than a dozen states vote on Super Tuesday on March 3 and have only Bloomberg and Sanders left on the ballot.

Buttigieg then quipped that the party may want to nominate ‘someone who is actually a Democrat’.

The crowd inside the Las Vegas casino hadn’t yet finished chuckling and hooting when he continued by saying Sanders ‘wants to burn this party down’ and Bloomberg ‘wants to buy this party out’.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont and avowed democratic socialist, responded by saying that Buttigieg’s campaign has been too reliant on ‘billionaire’ big donors, kicking off another intense exchange.

Their back and forth continued through criticism of Sanders supporters who have frequently been accused of bullying behavior online.

Sanders said he personally had denounced such behavior. This prompted Buttigieg to say he believed the senator but, ‘What it is it about your campaign in particular that seems to be motivating this type of behavior?’

On this night, Buttigieg had the most at stake, with Sanders standing in Nevada polls well ahead of the man who has run even with him in the first two contests.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: WHERE’S THE  KLOBENTUM? (LOSER)

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada.

But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice.

The Minnesota senator was often drowned out in the high-octane bickering Wednesday, or pulled down into the mud.

At one point she pulled from her supply of ready quips, saying of Sanders and Bloomberg as they argued over capitalism that there is ‘a boxing rematch in Vegas on Saturday and these guys should go down there’.

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The most damaging exchange was between Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who have tangled before.

When asked about her embarrassing gaffe in forgetting the name of Mexico’s president, she had to fend off Buttigieg, who claimed it disproved her argument that her work in Washington has prepared her to be president.

She also alternately scrapped with and aligned with Warren.

‘Are you calling me dumb?’ Klobuchar asked Buttigieg incredulously. Later, she added: ‘I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.’

A little over a week ago in New Hampshire, Klobuchar clearly stood out. This time was much harder as everyone battled for survival.

FORMER VP JOE BIDEN: THE BYSTANDER (LOSER)

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden.

For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges.

Biden called the stop and frisks ‘abhorrent’ and the former mayor admitted that it ‘got out of control’.

‘When we discovered – I discovered – that we were doing many, many – too many – stop and frisks, we cut 95 per cent of it out,’ Bloomberg asserted.

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

The former mayor said he is and was trying to ‘learn’ how to change policies to help continuing reduce crime in New York City.

Biden hit back at Bloomberg, claiming he couldn’t apologize it away and said it violated every right people posses.

‘Let’s get something straight. The reason that stop and frisk changed is because Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on. When we sent them there to say “this practice has to stop,” the mayor thought it was a terrible idea we send them there – a terrible idea,’ Biden said, invoking the name of one of the most famous Democrats.

‘It’s not whether he apologized or not, it’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent, and it was, in fact, a violation of every right people have,’ he said, claiming Bloomberg pushed back against stopping the policies.

‘He figured out it was a bad idea after we sent in monitors and said it must stop. Even then he continued the policy,’ Biden said on stage.

When Warren said that Biden was ‘in the pocket’ of Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, Biden fought back.

He also tried to return to his ‘Middle Class Joe’ biography about his family’s financial struggles.

Biden did not offer voters any new rationale for voting for him.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8023581/Mike-Bloomberg-declared-loser-Democratic-debate.html

Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos —

Trump: Jury forewoman in Roger Stone case was ‘totally tainted’

Trump speaks in Las Vegas at ceremony for former prisoners, says what happened to Roger Stone was unbelievable.

Gowdy: No one believes Russia prefers Trump over ‘comrade Sanders’

Robert Ray expects it will be months before Roger Stone’s fate is settled

ROGER STONE SENTENCED: Friend of President Trump Gets 3 Years in Prison

Napolitano explains why Roger Stone is ‘absolutely entitled’ to a new trial

‘The Five’ panel gets heated over Roger Stone trial

Roger Stone gets THREE YEARS and four months but will not go straight to prison while he asks for a retrial – as federal judge rejects prosecutors’ demand for nine years but savages Donald Trump for interfering and says Stone ‘covered up for the president’

  • Roger Stone, 67, arrived at Washington’s federal court with his wife Nydia for sentencing hearing Thursday
  • Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson said his punishment for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction will be 40 months in prison
  • But because he is asking for a retrial over claims of bias by the jury foreperson, the sentence will not take effect
  • Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, said she had rejected prosecutors’ demand  for nine years on her – not because of outside pressure
  • That was a reference to Trump, who had raged about the initial demand – and for whom a 40 month sentence can be portrayed as a win
  • Judge issued a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of Donald Trump himself for trying to interfere in the case
  • Case has plunged attorney general Bill Barr into crisis as he pleaded with Donald Trump to stop tweeting about it – and president refused
  • Within an hour of his arrival, Trump was tweeting again about the case this time suggesting the prosecution was unfair 
  • He claimed James Comey had lied to Congress but was not prosecuted 
  • Trump called himself the nation’s ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and Barr was reported to be considering resigning 

Roger Stone swerved a federal prison cell Thursday despite a judge slapping the longtime Donald Trump ally with a 40-month sentence for lying to Congress – and savaging not just him but the president.

Stone was convicted last fall of lying to lawmakers over his efforts to procure stolen Democratic Party emails from WikiLeaks in 2016 to boost Donald Trump’s chances of becoming President.

The self-declared political dirty trickster was spared immediate incarceration Thursday while U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decides whether or not to grant his request for a retrial.

The sentence was far below the nine years demanded by the prosecution before that was over-ruled in a political tumult and furious tweets by Trump.

ROGER STONE DID A LOT WRONG: WHAT HE WAS CONVICTED OF

Roger Stone was found guilty on all charges of:

1. Obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering by trying to get Randy Credico to lie to Congress. Sentenced to 40 months

2. Lying to Congress that he did not have emails or texts about Julian Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

3. Lying when he claimed his references to being in touch with Assange were actually about a ‘go-between’ – Randy Credico. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

4. Lying that he didn’t ask his ‘go-between’ to communicate with Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

5. Lying that he didn’t text or email the ‘go-between’ about WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

6. Lying that he had never discussed conversation with his ‘go-between’ with anyone in the Trump campaign. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

Instead she turned his sentencing hearing into a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of the president himself, saying the prosecution was not brought by ‘political enemies,’ and that there was no ‘anti-Trump cabal’ at the hear of the case.

‘He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president,’ she said.

‘There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution.’

Trump tweeted in rage against the prosecution accusing it of lacking ‘FAIRNESS’ as the hearing was under way in federal court in Washington D.C.

”They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?’ the president tweeted.

It was unknown whether Berman Jackson was aware of his latest intervention but it came amid a case roiled by politics and mounting speculation Stone will be pardoned.

Even before she spoke, prosecutors staged their own revolt against the president calling the case ‘righteous’ and demanding a lengthy prison sentence despite their initial call for nine years being over-ruled by Attorney General Bill Barr in one of the main acts of an unfolding constitutional crisis.

Stone, 67, stood in silence as Jackson told a federal courtroom Washington, D.C. that he should spend 40 months -three years and four months – behind bars.

She had savaged him in his sentencing remarks – and rebuked the president himself, possibly for his tweet this morning which was during the first part of her hearing.

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being prosecuted by his political enemies,’ Berman Jackson said.

She said Stone told ‘flat out lies,’ and that his conviction had nothing to do with whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

He was guilty of a ‘corrupt, unlawful,’ campaign to stop his lies being exposed when he threatened Randy Credico, who he named as his ‘go-between’ to Julian Assange, to stop Credico revealing the truth, that there was another go-between.

Stone was also guilty of withholding texts and emails from Congress, prompting Berman Jackson to again lash out at the president. 

Off home: Roger Stone left court to return to Florida

Free to go - for now: Roger Stone is escorted from the Washington D.C. federal courthouse after his sentencing. He remains gagged from speaking to the press

Happy outcome: A grinning Roger Stone left the court to get into a waiting car

On his way: Roger Stone steps out of the court and into the crowd after his sentencing

Not over: Roger Stone's case is not at an end because he has applied for a retrial, which the judge is considering. She went ahead with the sentencing and will rule later on his call for a fresh hearing

Crowd: Roger Stone walked through a crowd of waiting photographers and reporters as he left the court

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

And she pointed out that it was a Republican-led inquiry which he had initially defied.

Then she laced into the president, without naming him, saying it was right for sentencing to be done by a judge, ‘Not someone who has a longstanding friendship with the defendant, not someone whose political career was aided by the defendant.’

Stone was joined by a vast entourage led by his wife Nydia as he walked into the federal court, where his legal team has been bolstered by a Mafia lawyer who helped keep John Gotti Jr., head of the Gambino crime family and son of the ‘Teflon Don,’ out of prison.

Pro-Stone demonstrators brought a ‘pardon Roger stone’ banner which they held behind him when he arrived while counter-protesters tried to hurriedly erect an inflatable effigy of Trump as a rat as Stone arrived.

Hours before he arrived Trump launched another fusillade against Stone’s conviction, tweeting: ‘What has happened to Roger Stone should never happen to anyone in our country again.’

Trump’s tweets have plunged his own attorney general, Bill Barr, into a crisis over the rule of law, with the president declaring himself the ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and demanding Barr ‘clean house.’

His wife Nydia was behind him in the courtroom as Stone, wearing a dark gray chalk stripe double-breasted suit, blue shirt with cutaway collar and sober gray tie, sat beside his attorneys.

Department of Justice attorneys had originally requested a far harsher punishment of seven to nine years only to see their recommendation ripped up by Attorney General William Barr, who drew praise from Trump for labeling it ‘excessive and unwarranted’.

The intervention sparked accusations of political interference, forcing Barr on the defensive as he denied bowing to White House influence and appealed for Trump to curb his explosive Twitter criticisms of Judge Jackson and the supposedly ‘tainted’ case against Stone.

More than 2,000 former justice department employees have since signed a petition calling on the Attorney General to resign.

The original prosecution foursome of Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando were replaced for today’s proceedings at Washington, D.C. District Court, having all resigned in protest.

Stone’s sentencing got off to a rocky start when U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that anyone in the court who did not have a medical reason to wear sunglasses should remove them. Stone had arrived in round sunglasses.

Jackson took the opportunity to grill prosecutors on why the Department of Justice decided last week to submit a second sentencing memorandum, a nod to Attorney General William Barr’s controversial decision to rip up the original seven to nine year recommendation submitted by his own attorneys.

It fell upon newly-assigned federal prosecutor John Crabb to apologize for the ‘miscommunication’, insisting that the original prosecution team – who resigned last week in protest – had acted in ‘good faith’.

Stone stood in silence as Jackson recalled the seven offences of which he was convicted: five counts of making false statements to Congress, a single count of obstructing a congressional proceeding and single count of witness tampering.

That final charge would be of particular significance as she warned Stone his sentence would likely be higher because it involved specific threats of violence.

Last November’s trial heard how Stone bullied the radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth to avoid contradicting his 2016 testimony before Congress, branding him a ‘rat’ and threatening to take away his therapy dog.

Political point: An anti-Bill Barr protest was being made outside the federal court while Roger Stone was being sentenced - resulting in the advertising van being pulled over by D.C. cops

He's here: Roger Stone was accompanied by his wife Nydia and an almost 20-strong entourage as he arrived at federal court in Washington D.C. to be sentenced

In front of the protest: Roger and Nydia Stone walked past the inflatable Trump rat as they made their way into court

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Raised a smile: Roger Stone's wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters' banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Raised a smile: Roger Stone’s wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters’ banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Asked if he had anything to say, Stone, dressed immaculately in a pinstripe suit, grey tie and suspenders, told Washington, D.C. District Court: ‘Your honor I choose not to speak at this time, thank you very much.’

Jackson slammed the 67-year-old defendant as an ‘insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.’

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being pursued by his political enemies,’ she added.

‘It arose because Roger Stone characteristically injected himself smack into the middle of one of the most significant issues of the day.’

Judge Jackson said Stone had interfered with matters of ‘grave national importance’ and repeatedly lied under oath. She characterized his defense as: ‘So what?’

‘Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t funny,’ she cautioned.

‘This was not Roger being Roger. He lied to congress, he lied to elected representatives.’

The no-nonsense judge praised the ‘professionalism’ of the original four prosecutors, saying their recommendation was ‘true to the record’ and in line with Department of Justice guidelines.

However she agreed with Barr’s revision and said she was concerned seven to nine years would be ‘greater than necessary.’

She sentenced Stone to 40 months for obstruction, 12 months each for the counts of lying to Congress and 18 months for witness tampering, all sentences to be served concurrently.

He was also fined $20,000 and will have to serve two years’ probation. Federal rules means he has to give the court his tax returns.

Judge Jackson quizzed Crabb about how she came to receive two competing sentencing memorandums, noting that the original recommendation had never been formally withdrawn.

Crabb agreed and confirmed the prosecution was still asking for a substantial prison term for Stone, insisting the Justice Department had operated ‘without fear, favor or political influence’.

‘This prosecution was and is righteous,’ he said. ‘This confusion was not caused by the original trial team. There was nothing in bad faith about the prosecution team’s recommendation.’

Quizzed over who had ordered the new memorandum and why, Crabb replied: ‘What I understand is, there was a miscommunication between the Attorney General and the United States Attorney.’

Asked to explain who wrote the second memorandum, he repeatedly declined to say.

‘I cannot engage in discussions on internal deliberations,’ he said, to Judge Jackson’s obvious displeasure.

Ginsberg told the court that Stone had a history of ‘rough, provocative and hyperbolic language’ and that his threats to Credico should not influence his sentence, given that Credico and Stone went back decades and he knew Stone was ‘all bark and no bite.’

Judge Jackson disagreed, saying the sentencing seriousness level jumped from 14 to 27 because of Stone’s threats, witness tampering and efforts to disrupt justice.

‘The defendant refers to this as banter, which it hardly is,’ Jackson added, reeling off a list of insults Stone had directed toward Credico, including ‘rat’ and ‘c**sucker’.

She also slammed Stone over his repeated outbursts during last year’s prosecution, in particular his speaking out via InfoWars host Alex Jones to relay a message to Trump pleading for a pardon the night before he was found guilty.

That was in defiance of a gag order Judge Jackson had earlier slapped on Stone after he posted a mocked up photo of her face in rifle crosshairs online.

Jackson said Stone was deliberately trying to undermine proceedings and was stoking anger towards court officials, risking a scenario in which someone with ‘even less judgment’ could actually do something violent.

‘This is intolerable to the administration of justice. The court should not sit idly by, shrug its shoulders and say, that’s just Roger being Roger,’ she said.

Ratcheting up his sentencing level another two notches, she added: ‘It wasn’t an accident he had a staff that helped him do it. Using the new social media is his sweet spot.

‘He knew exactly what he was doing and in using Twitter and Instagram he deliberately magnified his message.’

Stone’s decades-long career on the shadier  margins of US politics appeared to be over last November after he was found guilty of five counts of making false statements to Congress and single counts of obstructing a congressional proceeding and witness tampering.

Jurors agreed the smooth-talking agent provocateur, who briefly served on Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, told a series of ‘whoppers’ when he testified before members of House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Stone lied to lawmakers when he denied asking Julian Assange for the cache of Democratic Party messages stolen by Russian hackers and further lied about the identity of his go-between to the WikiLeaks founder.

He also concealed numerous texts, emails and telephone conversations in which he discussed WikiLeaks and Assange with then candidate-Trump and senior campaign figures including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, ex Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates.

In he goes: Roger Stone took off his trilby to enter court, where he will be sentenced

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Tailored: Roger Stone revealed he is wearing a double-breasted dark gray chalk stripe suit under his navy blue double-breasted overcoat as he got out of his car before going into court

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone's arrival

 

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone’s arrival

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband's arm as they prepared to walk into court

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband’s arm as they prepared to walk into court

Trump praises Bill Bar for ‘taking charge’ of Roger Stone case
The trial heard Stone was trying to procure the emails as a way to win favor with Trump and help him beat Hillary Clinton to the White House.

The net result of him lying ‘over and over and over again’ was that the House Intelligence Committee was impeded in its inquiries and its final report into Russian election inference was inaccurate because it didn’t mention Stone’s true intermediary, prosecutors said.

The tampering charge referred to his effort to bully the comedian and radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth so he would avoid contradicting Stone’s sworn September 26, 2017 testimony.

Stone had told lawmakers that Credico was his ‘back channel’ to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi.

When Credico threatened to set the record straight, Stone branded him a ‘c**ksucker’, a ‘rat’ and urged the rattled comic to do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’, referencing a character in Godfather Part II who lies to a congressional committee to help the Corleone family before committing suicide.

He also took aim at Credico’s therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: ‘I’m going to take that dog away from you.’

Prosecutors cited the threats of physical harm and Stone’s repeated media outbursts attacking Judge Jackson as aggravating factors against the former Nixon campaign adviser who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back.

However Credico was among those who argued against incarceration, saying in a January letter to the judge: ‘I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or to my dog.’

Tomeka Hart, a former Memphis City Schools Board President, stoked the flames further when she outed herself last Wednesday as the jury forewoman in a Facebook post voicing support for the overruled prosecutors.

‘I have kept my silence for months. Initially, it was for my safety. Then, I decided to remain silent out of fear of politicizing the matter,’ Hart wrote.

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico, a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi (pictured)

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico (pictured), a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi

Center of case: Roger Stone  also took aim at Randy Credico's therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: 'I'm going to take that dog away from you.'

‘But I can’t keep quiet any longer. I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis – the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial.

‘It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice.

‘For that, I wanted to speak up for them and ask you to join me in thanking them for their service.’

Hart, it further emerged, had unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012 and had participated in anti-Trump rallies and protests.

She had frequently denounced Trump on social media, calling the President and his supporters racists, and posted emojis of hearts and fist pumps after finding Stone guilty last November.

Hart had also re-tweeted a post by pundit Bakari Sellers dismissing Stone’s claims that the FBI used excessive force when they arrested him at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida home in January 2019.

Sellers had listed black victims of ‘police force’, including Sandra Bland, Walter Scott and Eric Gardner, scoffing: ‘But Roger Stone!!! Think about that.’

Stone’s lawyers have already made one failed attempt to secure a re-trial, arguing that a completely different juror, an IRS employee who worked with the Justice Department on criminal tax cases, should have been struck.

The juror admitted reading news articles about Stone’s arrest but denied having any opinions about Stone when asked about it by Judge Jackson in court.

The defense had failed to demonstrate the ‘sort of inherent bias’ that would prompt a retrial, Judge Jackson ruled.

Stone entered the political arena in 1972 when he ditched his studies at George Washington University, supporting Nixon in his re-election campaign then landing a job on his administration.

In one of his first stunts he contributed $135 to one of Nixon’s Republican rivals in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance – then slipped the receipt to a journalist.

During congressional hearings into the Watergate scandal in 1973 it emerged Stone had recruited a spy to infiltrate the campaigns of several of Nixon’s Democratic rivals.

He was fired from his job with then-Senator Bob Dole but went on to work for several more presidential campaigns: those of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and, eventually, his longtime friend Donald Trump, who first hired Stone to lobby for his casino businesses in the 1990s.

The National Enquirer in 1996 revealed that Stone had placed ads on a swingers website seeking sex partners for himself and his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone, 72. Stone later referred to himself in an interview as ‘a libertarian and a libertine’ and a ‘trysexual – I’ve tried everything’.

The six Trump associates to be convicted in Mueller probe

GUILTY: ROGER STONE 

Convicted in November 2019 on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Stone was a person of interest to Mueller’s investigators long before his January 2019 indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.

In campaign texts and emails, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails. 

According to the federal indictment, Stone gave ‘false and misleading’ testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a ‘rat’ and threatened to ‘take that dog away from you’, in reference to Credico’s therapy dog, Bianca. Stone warned him: ‘Let’s get it on. Prepare to die.’  

GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence

Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: MICHAEL COHEN

Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018

Cohen was investigated by Mueller but the case was handed off to the Southern District of New York,leaving Manhattan’s ferocious and fiercely independent federal prosecutors to run his case. 

Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump. 

He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.

And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and  recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.

Campaign role: Paul Manafort chaired Trump's campaign for four months - which included the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, where he appeared on stage beside Trump who was preparing  to formally accept the Republican nomination

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: PAUL MANAFORT

Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Sentenced to 47 months in March 2019. Pleaded guilty to two further charges – witness tampering and conspiracy against the United States. Jailed for total of seven and a half years in two separate sentences. Additionally indicted for mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney, using evidence previously presented by Mueller. That indictment was dismissed by the DA is appealing

 Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts in August 2018. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent due in September did not happen when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering in a plea bargain. He was supposed to co-operate with Mueller but failed to. 

Minutes after his second sentencing hearing in March 2019, he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., using evidence which included documents previously presented at his first federal trial. The president has no pardon power over charges by district and state attorneys.

GUILTY: RICK GATES 

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Gates, a Trump campaign official, was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.

GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018

 Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 

He agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation but is now highly critical of it.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8025217/Roger-Stone-sentenced-three-years-judge-rebukes-Donald-Trump-tweeted-spoke.html

‘The American people cared. And I care.’ Top lines from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the Roger Stone sentencing

The Roger Stone Sentencing Fiasco

Some Justice Department personnel handled it questionably, but Trump’s reaction was worse.

The first thing to grasp about the Roger Stone sentencing fiasco is that Stone, even accepting the worst plausible gloss on his crimes, is a 67-year-old nonviolent first offender. If the criminal-justice “reform” fad were authentic, and not a stratagem of social-justice warriors who have taken Washington’s surfeit of useful idiots for a ride, then we could all agree that the original seven-to-nine-year sentence advocated by prosecutors was too draconian — even if it was, as we shall see, a faithful application of the federal sentencing guidelines as written.

But no. Like criminal-justice “reform,” the Stone prosecution is more politics than law enforcement. It was the Mueller probe’s last gasp at pretending there might be something to the Russia-collusion narrative – notwithstanding that, when the “gee, it sure feels like there could be some collusion here” indictment was filed, over a year and a half after special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, it had long been manifest that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy.

So, the Left has a quandary here: Do they hate Trump more than they love sentencing “reform”? We could have predicted the decision to go with hating Trump, and thus fomenting outrage over DOJ’s retraction of its original sentencing recommendation of about nine years’ imprisonment, now slashed to a far more reasonable range of four years or less. To be fair, though, Trump critics could not have been expected to resist the combination of DOJ missteps and Trump Twitter taunts that mark Stone’s sentencing, the combination that has managed to turn Mueller’s maulers into media martyrs.

Some background: In a ridiculously overblown, overcharged prosecution, Mueller slammed the ineffable Stone with seven felony counts of obstructing Congress’s Russia investigation. One of these involved tampering with a witness, left-wing radio host Randy Credico (through whom Stone sought a communications channel with WikiLeaks honcho Julian Assange).

At a certain point, Credico let it be known that he intended to cooperate with investigators. A ballistic Stone, when not uttering lunatic references to Watergate and Frank Pentangeli (the Mafioso character goaded into suicide when a plot to take out the Don fails in Godfather II), warned the “stoolie” “rat” Credico to “prepare to die” and vowed to steal his pet dog. Even in context, these seem to be puerile ravings, not real threats. (Stone added that his lawyers were anxious to “rip [Credico] to shreds,” so any murder and dognapping was apparently going to await cross-examination.) And though Stone is patently guilty of witness tampering, Credico himself told the court that he did not take Stone’s threats seriously.

DOJ: We Overstepped By Keeping Tabs On Trump Campaign Adviser For Too Long

Stone being the sort of Einstein who commits his obstructions in writing (the Credico contacts were mostly text messages), the jury convicted him in nothing flat. That meant DOJ would give the court its take on how the sentencing guidelines applied to the case, as it does with every convicted defendant.

In Stone’s case, the guidelines worked a severe result. In tampering cases, a guidelines enhancement calls for a drastic increase in the sentence if the defendant threatened the witness with physical injury. This drove Stone’s “offense level” from 21 to 29 on the guidelines grid, so even though he is a first offender (offense history “Category I” in guidelines-speak), his recommended sentence zoomed to 90 to 108 months — instead of 37 to 46 months, as it would have been at offense level 21 (i.e., without the threats).

With Mueller’s shop closed down, the Stone prosecution was run out of the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. But it was still being overseen by two Mueller staffers, Aaron S. J. Zelinsky (on loan from the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, where he had worked for Rod Rosenstein, who, as Trump’s deputy attorney general, later appointed Mueller), and Adam C. Jed (an appellate lawyer from the Obama Justice Department who first came to public attention in 2013, arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional). Also assigned to the case were Jonathan Kravis, a former associate White House counsel to Obama, and Michael Mirando, an experienced assistant U.S. attorney in the D.C. office.

This team of prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum on Monday, laying out the guidelines and advising Judge Amy Berman Jackson that they called for a prison sentence of about seven to nine years (i.e., the offense-level guidelines range of 90 to 108 months). Like the indictment itself, the memo is gross overkill.

As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross notes, the prosecutors tied Stone to “foreign election interference,” breathlessly framed as the “most deadly adversary of republican government,” even though he was never charged with any such crime — underscoring yet again that the deadliest adversary of republican government is actually domestic — viz., the politicized use of executive police powers. Far from offering any theory in mitigation of the 90-to-108-months range, the prosecutors pooh-poohed Credico’s perception that Stone’s threats were not serious, factitiously insisting that the guidelines enhancement is triggered by the threat, not whether the target is actually intimidated. Plus, prosecutors maintained, Stone’s crimes were exacerbated by his flouting of Judge Berman Jackson’s gag orders during the prosecution.

All that said, the prosecutors’ submission was an accurate (if extreme and unyielding) rendition of federal sentencing law. The enhancement that inflates Stone’s sentencing range does literally apply — even if he is not the kind of violent criminal that the guidelines commissioners had in mind when they wrote it. Prosecutors are not required to argue for clemency, though they should do so when the circumstances call for it. The Justice Department’s default position in criminal cases is that the guidelines should be applied as written, and that it is up to the court to decide whether to follow them.

While Stone awaited sentence, the prosecutors were supervised, at least nominally, by Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for D.C. I say “nominally” because the Trump Justice Department has always been leery about being seen as interfering in Mueller-based prosecutions. Moreover, the D.C. office was in transition while court submissions pertaining to Stone’s sentencing were being prepared.

In December 2019, President Trump announced his nomination of Liu to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary overseeing financial sanctions on terrorists. Liu continued running the U.S. attorney’s office, albeit with one foot out the door, until the end of January. With her Treasury confirmation hearing scheduled for February 13 (i.e., tomorrow), Attorney General Bill Barr appointed one of his top advisers, Timothy Shea (a well-regarded longtime prosecutor, litigator, and Capitol Hill staffer), to become acting U.S. attorney for D.C. on January 30. That was eleven days before the Stone team filed its sentencing submission.

How much participation Shea had in the recommendation is unclear. The New York Times reports that both he and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen opined that the seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation was too severe. Yet, it does not appear that they put their foot down and instructed the Stone prosecutors to ameliorate it before the government’s submission was filed on Monday.

As is his wont, the president went bonkers on Twitter upon learning of the recommendation, calling it “horrible and very unfair” and a major “miscarriage of justice” because “the real crimes are on the other side” — i.e., the Russia-probe investigators — yet “nothing happens to them.” While the Justice Department was obviously aware of the president’s tweet, as well as press reporting about the harshness of the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation, the DOJ and the White House have had no communications about the case, according to both the president and a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

Nevertheless, the DOJ made it known that the sentencing memo would be rescinded and a new one filed. That announcement prompted the recusals of all four prosecutors, some of whom are quitting the DOJ entirely and some apparently just stepping aside from the Stone case.

Late Tuesday, the DOJ filed a revised sentencing memo, which does not recommend a specific sentence but strongly suggests that a term calculated without the eight-point enhancement — i.e., between 37 and 46 months’ imprisonment — would be just. The new memo concedes that the prosecutors’ calculation in the original memo was “arguably” correct, but contends that it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. On that score, the memo relies on (a) Credico’s dismissal of the threat (though it acknowledges that this is not dispositive); (b) the fact that a sentence driven by the guidelines enhancement would be wildly out of proportion with prison terms imposed in cases similar to Stone’s; (c) Stone’s being a first-offender with no organized-crime or gang connections and thus not typical f the offenders the enhancement is meant to cover; and (d) Stone’s advanced age and failing health.

This is an entirely reasonable recommendation, even if the process of arriving at it has been a train wreck.

The Justice Department correctly observes that the sentence to be imposed is entirely up to the court. The DOJ’s recommendations are non-binding and frequently ignored by judges. Judge Berman Jackson has been thoroughly informed about what the non-binding guidelines say, as well as the cases for and against applying the enhancement.

Furthermore, let’s imagine that, instead of orchestrating a fiasco, DOJ had efficiently managed any internal disputes (which are not uncommon) and had filed a single memo recommending a 37-to-46-month sentence — a memo that explained both the enhancement for threatening witnesses and why applying it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. Does anyone doubt that such a recommendation would nevertheless have been panned as excessive by the president?

For now, while Trump has taken to attacking both the resigning prosecutors and Judge Berman Jackson on Twitter, it appears that former U.S. attorney Liu is taking the fall. Within hours of the prosecutors’ trumpeting their departures in grand Sally Yates style, the White House announced that the president had pulled Liu’s appointment to the Treasury Department position — even though her confirmation hearing was just two days away, and Barr had lavished praise on her upon appointing Shea as her replacement.

Liu certainly had a tumultuous tenure. Besides the thankless task of inheriting the Mueller cases against Stone and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn (the implosion of which is a story for another day), her office foolishly pursued a threadbare Mueller-generated prosecution of Greg Craig for false statements based on lobbying for Ukraine. Craig, former White House counsel to President Obama, was speedily acquitted by a jury last year. Meanwhile, there was also a mini-revolt on the Senate Judiciary Committee a few months back when the president floated the idea of elevating Liu to the No. 3 leadership slot at the DOJ — though she was vigorously defended by AG Barr, and suspicions that she lacked conservative bona fides appear overwrought (the fact that Liu may be pro-choice hardly means she would not enforce laws regulating abortion; and a claim that, 15 years ago, she opposed Justice Samuel Alito’s appointment to the Supreme Court appears to be false).

I would not suggest that Liu and others at the DOJ distinguished themselves in the Stone sentencing debacle. But at this point, the main fault lies with the president.

Yes, the Mueller probe was specious. But for his connection to Trump, Stone would never have been pursued in a collusion fever dream that Mueller’s prosecutors knew was bogus when they charged him. Yet his crimes, while exaggerated, were real. He was convicted by a jury and, under federal law, that presumptively warrants incarceration, though he could be spared by the judge (whom the president has picked a strange time to antagonize). If the president thinks that Stone and Flynn (among others) have been given a raw deal, the Constitution empowers him to pardon them, or at least commute their sentences.

If President Trump is afraid, in an election year, to take the political hit that a pardon for Stone would entail, that is understandable. But then he should bite his tongue and click out of Twitter. The Justice Department’s job is to process cases, including Mueller cases, pursuant to law. If the president wants to make those cases disappear, he has to do it himself and be accountable. His provocative running commentary only ensures that the DOJ will be accused of kowtowing to him. It also guarantees that, if the ongoing criminal probe of the Russiagate investigation eventually yields any indictments, they will be assailed as political persecutions rather than good-faith law enforcement.

 

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Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

There’s a deadly virus spreading from state to state. It preys on the most vulnerable, striking the sick and the old without mercy. In just the last few months, it has claimed the lives of at least 39 children.

The virus is influenza, and it poses a far greater threat to Americans than the coronavirus from China that has made headlines around the world.

“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”

To be sure, the coronavirus outbreak, which originated last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan, should be taken seriously. The virus can cause pneumonia and is blamed for more than 7,000 illnesses and more than 170 deaths.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global emergency requiring a coordinated international response after the number of cases spiked sharply over the last few days. But officials warn much remains unknown.

In the United States, at least six cases of the virus have been reported, including the first case of person-to-person infection. Public health workers are monitoring dozens of additional patients.

And yet, Americans aren’t particularly concerned.

Fewer than half of adults got a flu shot last season, according to the CDC. Even among children, who can be especially vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, only 62% received the vaccine.

If Americans aren’t afraid of the flu, perhaps that’s because they are inured to yearly warnings. For them, the flu is old news. Yet viruses named after foreign places — such as Ebola, Zika, and Wuhan — inspire terror.

“Familiarity breeds indifference,” Schaffner said. “Because it’s new, it’s mysterious, and comes from an exotic place, the coronavirus creates anxiety.”

Some doctors joke that the flu needs to be rebranded.

“We should rename influenza; call it XZ-47 virus or something scarier,” said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

 

Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed 5,000 people in the last year — more than twice as many as Ebola. Yet UNICEF officials have noted that the measles, which many Americans no longer fear, has gotten little attention. Nearly all the measles victims were children under 5.

Because the Wuhan virus is new, humans have no antibodies against it. Doctors haven’t had time to develop treatments or vaccines.

The big question, so far unknown, is just how easily the virus is transmitted from an infected person to others. Officials warn much remains unknown, but each patient with the new coronavirus appears to be infecting about two other people.

By comparison, patients with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, spread the infection to an average of two to four others. Each patient with measles — one of the most contagious viruses known to science — infects 12 to 18 unvaccinated people.

Health officials worry that the new coronavirus could resemble SARS — which appeared suddenly in China in 2002 and spread to 26 countries, sickening 8,000 people and killing 774, according to the WHO.The U.S. dodged a bullet with SARS, Schaffner said. Only eight Americans became infected and none died, according to the CDC. Yet SARS caused a global panic, leading people to shutter hotels, cancel flights, and close businesses.

Coronaviruses can be unpredictable, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. While some patients never infect anyone else, people who are “super-spreaders” can infect dozens of others.

At Seoul, South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center in 2015, a single emergency-room patient infected 82 people —patients, visitors, and staff — with a coronavirus called MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The hospital partly shut down to control the virus.

“This is one of the finest medical centers in the world, on par with the Cleveland Clinic, and they were brought to their knees,” Osterholm said.

Yet MERS has never posed much of a threat to the United States.

Only two patients in this country — health-care providers who had worked in Saudi Arabia — have ever tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC. Both patients survived.

Hotez, who is working to develop vaccines against neglected diseases, said he worries about unvaccinated children. Most kids who die from the flu haven’t been immunized against it, he said. And many were previously healthy.

“If you’re worried about your health, get your flu vaccination,” Hotez said. “It’s not too late.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus-infection-death-risk-influenza-20200129.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly coronavirus ‘kills 15 PER CENT of patients over 80’ and the never-before-seen strain is ‘up to 20 TIMES more infectious than SARS’

  • Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the coronavirus
  • Results showed SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients 
  • It is also dangerous for those with underlying conditions, such as heart disease
  • More than 73,000 cases have been recorded, with up to 99% of them in China 
  • Do you have a study about coronavirus? Email sam.blanchard@mailonline.co.uk 

The deadly coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world kills up to 15 per cent of patients over the age of 80, scientists have revealed.

Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the never-before-seen strain of the virus, using data from 72,000 cases.

Results showed the SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients and those with underlying conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention researchers also found 80.9 per cent of infections are mild. Less than five per cent are critical.

More than 73,000 cases have been recorded worldwide, with 99 per cent in China. Almost 1,900 patients have already died.

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A police officer wearing a face mask patrols in front of the Sunwill factory in Foshan, China

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

 

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Cases of a mysterious pneumonia-causing virus first emerged in the now-deserted Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Researchers blamed a seafood market in Hubei city that illegally sold wild animals for being the source of the virus.

The virus has no known cure and most patients who are struck down recover within a couple of weeks without needing medical treatment.

Those who develop more serious infections in their lungs, such as pneumonia, need expert medical care to stop their illness turning deadly.

They looked at 72,314 confirmed, suspected, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 illness across China as of February 11.

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the virus, which has effectively been named as SARS-2 by the World Health Organization.

Results showed the overall case-fatality ratio – the percentage of patients who die – was just 2.3 per cent.

Ninety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 people

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

In comparison, SARS – which only infected a fraction of patients during the 2002/03 epidemic – killed around 10 per cent.

While the death rate for MERS, another type of coronavirus that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, is even higher (34 per cent).

One of the world’s deadliest diseases, Ebola, kills around half of all patients it strikes. Ebola is not caused by any type of coronavirus.

When data for the SARS-CoV-2 infection was broken down, researchers found over-80s had the highest fatality ratio at 14.8 per cent.

The likelihood of death was just eight per cent of patients aged between 70 and 79, and 3.6 per cent for those in their sixties.

The case-fatality ratio was less than 1.5 per cent for patients in their fifties, and less than 0.5 per cent for everyone else – meaning roughly one in 200 will die.

There were no deaths among children aged up to nine, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.

In contrast, the death rate for flu is around 0.1 per cent, according to the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Older adults have weaker immune systems, meaning it is harder for the body to fight off a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 or flu.

Patients with heart disease were most likely to die from the virus, followed by those with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

CCDC academics also found 80.9 percent of infections were classified as mild, 13.8 percent as severe and only 4.7 percent as critical.

And men are more likely to die (2.8 per cent) than women (1.7 per cent). But experts have yet to work out why men are more vulnerable.

Nearly 86 percent of those who have contracted the illness either lived in or travelled to Wuhan.

British cruise ship passenger David Abel and his wife Sally (pictured in their cabin on the Diamond Princess) have tested positive for coronavirus in Japan

David Abel believes he is going to test negative for coronavirus

Steve Abel (pictured today) said his parents David and Sally Abel were 'not getting any communication' from Whitehall and were 'feeling very unloved'

The Diamond Princess (pictured today) remains in lockdown and hundreds face a longer spell in quarantine even after the official incubation period ends tomorrow

American passenger details life on Diamond Princess ahead of evacuation

SON OF BRIT COUPLE WITH CORONAVIRUS ON CRUISE SHIP BEGS GOVERNMENT TO RESCUE THEM

The son of a British couple who caught coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan has today savaged the government’s ‘appalling’ handling of the case.

Steve Abel said his parents David and Sally were ‘not getting any communication’ from Whitehall and were ‘feeling very unloved’ despite repeated pleas for help.

The British couple were among 88 people who tested positive for the virus in Japan today, taking the number of infections on board the ship to 542.

They are now being taken into a further quarantine on the mainland just a day before their stay on board the Diamond Princess was due to end.

The Abels will also be unable to join an evacuation flight which the British embassy is preparing today amid growing pressure after the US evacuated 340 of its citizens.

And 3,019 health workers have been diagnosed and five had died as of February 11, the report said.

The epidemic, which has seen cases in almost 30 countries, reached its ‘first peak’ between January 24 and 26, the report said.

It suggests there is has been a ‘downward trend’ in the overall epidemic curve since February 11 – meaning the spread of the disease was slowing.

A separate group of scientists published their findings about the virus on bioRxiv – an archive of papers before they have been peer-reviewed.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin found SARS-CoV-2 was 20 times more likely to bind to human cells than its original predecessor.

South China Morning Post reports the team said the virus shares the same host-cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), with SARS.

The researchers wrote: ‘Compared with SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV appears to be more readily transmitted from human to human.

‘The high affinity of 2019-nCoV for human ACE2 may contribute to the apparent ease with which 2019-nCoV can spread from human to human.’

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

Over 2,000 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 75,000 have been infected. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.  Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die.

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world.

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread.

Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.

Can the virus be cured?

The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region.

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8015951/Most-coronavirus-infections-mild-says-Chinese-study.html

 

Virus cases balloon in S. Korea as outbreak shifts, spreads

 Schools were shuttered, churches told worshipers to stay away and some mass gatherings were banned as cases of a new virus swelled Friday in South Korea, the newest front in a widening global outbreak.

The country said two people have died and 204 have been infected with the virus, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier, as a crisis centered in China has begun strongly reverberating elsewhere.

The multiplying caseload in South Korea showed the ease with which the illness can spread. Though initial infections were linked to China, new ones have not involved international travel.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1399, February 14, 2020, Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos — Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos — Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

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Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos

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FBI Director Confirms to Ratcliffe that FBI Illegally Surveilled Trump Campaign Associate

Feb 10, 2020

Gohmert in Judiciary Hearing on FBI Oversight: “This is Serious”

Hannity: Democrats’ unequal standard of justice exposed

Trish Regan: Andrew McCabe walking free is ‘a total injustice’

Gaetz: An old FBI business card isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’

Feb 14, 2020

Trump notably quiet on DOJ decision not to prosecute Andrew McCabe

Bannon: GOP has to subpoena John Brennan, Adam Schiff

Feb 8, 2020

DOJ Declines To Prosecute Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

‘General Flynn was set up’: KT McFarland

IG report hearing part 4: Lindsey Graham questions Michael Horowitz

Dec 11, 2019

Cruz on spying: This wasn’t Jason Bourne, this was ‘Beavis and Butt-head’

Dec 11, 2019

Tom Fitton: Why is the DOJ Editing “302” Interviews They Had With General Flynn?

Sebastian Gorka Radio: Trust Bill Barr and John Durham. Matt Whitaker with Sebastian Gorka

Hans von Spakovsky: CIA Director Haspel is Obligated to Comply with the Durham Investigation

Spygate Indictments Coming, Says Former Intelligence Operative Tony Shaffer

Aug 10, 2019

Fitton: Ohr 302s show ‘disturbing’ desperation to oust Trump

Aug 9, 2019

Tucker Carlson – Trump’s Claims of Spying

May 13, 2019

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

May 22, 2018

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

May 21, 2018

Roger Stone reacts to reports FBI spied on Trump campaign

May 17, 2018

DiGenova: Comey, Clapper and Brennan will have to pay the ‘Barr bill’

May 14, 2019

Watch Barr double down on Trump spying claims in heated exchange

FBI chief: No evidence of spying on Trump campaign

Barr: ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign

Apr 10, 2019

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Feb 7, 2018

Should Obama be investigated over Trump wiretapping claims?

Mar 31, 2017

Former FBI agent says his privacy was violated by Justice Dept.

AG Barr appoints outside prosecutor to review Michael Flynn case

Should officials who started the Russia probe be worrying?

Russia origins probe now a criminal investigation

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Johnny Mathis – 12th of Never

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The proof that he willfully deceived investigators appears strong, but the Justice Department likely felt there were too many obstacles to convicting him.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath.

I emphasize Flynn’s intent because purported lack of intent is McCabe’s principal defense, too. Even McCabe himself, to say nothing of his lawyers and his apologists in the anti-Trump network of bureaucrats-turned-pundits, cannot deny that he made false statements to FBI agents and the IG. Rather, they argue that the 21-year senior law-enforcement official did not mean to lie, that he was too distracted by his high-level responsibilities to focus on anything as mundane as a leak — even though he seemed pretty damned focused on the leak while he was orchestrating it.

It will be a while before we learn the whole story of why the Justice Department walked away from the McCabe case, if we ever do. I have some supposition to offer on that score. First, however, it is worth revisiting the case against McCabe as outlined by the meticulous and highly regarded IG, Michael Horowitz. If you want to know why people are so angry, and why they are increasingly convinced that, for all President Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, a two-tiered justice system that rewards the well-connected is alive and well, consider the following.

In fact, the Bureau’s then-director, James Comey, had tried to keep the Clinton Foundation probe under wraps, refusing to confirm or deny its existence even to the House Judiciary Committee. Comey had been right to stay mum: Public revelation would have harmed the probe and thrust the FBI deeper into the politics of the then-imminent 2016 presidential election, in which Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate and her investigation by the Bureau was an explosive campaign issue.

Notwithstanding these concerns, according to Horowitz’s report, McCabe orchestrated the leak “to advance his personal interests” — to paint himself in a favorable light in comparison to Justice Department officials amid an internal dispute about the Clinton Foundation probe (specifically, about the Obama Justice Department’s pressure on the Bureau to drop it). As the IG put it: “McCabe’s disclosure was an attempt to make himself look good by making senior department leadership . . . look bad.”

McCabe’s account has been contradicted by Comey, a witness who is otherwise sympathetic to him and hostile to the Trump Justice Department, and whose actions — like his — are being examined in prosecutor John Durham’s probe of the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey’s testimony is directly at odds with McCabe’s version of events, and the IG painstakingly explained why the former director’s version was credible while his deputy’s was not. (Comey was, nevertheless, exceedingly complimentary of McCabe after the IG report was published.)

Page is regarded by McCabe backers as key to his defense. She reportedly told the grand jury that, because McCabe had authority to approve media disclosures, he had no motive to lie about the leak. That’s laughable. McCabe did serially mislead investigators, so plainly he had some reason for doing so. But even putting that aside, the IG’s conclusion was not that McCabe lacked authority to leak; it was that he lacked a public-interest justification for exercising that authority. He leaked for self-promotion purposes, and then he lied about it because it was humiliating to be caught putting his personal interests ahead of the Bureau’s investigative integrity. That said, Page’s account does illuminate a problem for prosecutors: It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant. (Oh, and have you seen Page’s tweet toasting McCabe in the aftermath of the news that the DOJ had closed the investigation?)

McCabe’s Multiple False Statements

Barrett’s Journal article appeared on October 30, 2016. The very next day, McCabe deceived Comey about it, indicating that he had not authorized the leak and had no idea who its source was. In Comey’s telling, credited by the IG, McCabe “definitely” did not acknowledge that he had approved the leak.

Thereafter, the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) opened an investigation of the leak. On May 9, 2017, McCabe denied to two INSD investigators that he knew the source of the leak. This was not a fleeting conversation. McCabe was placed under oath, and the INSD agents provided him with a copy of Barrett’s article. He read it and initialed it to acknowledge that he had done so. He was questioned about it by the agents, who took contemporaneous notes. McCabe told the agents that he had “no idea where [the leaked information] came from” or “who the source was.”

On July 28, 2017, McCabe was interviewed by the IG’s office — under oath and recorded on tape. In that session, he preposterously claimed to be unaware that Page, his FBI counsel, was directed to speak to reporters around the time of the October 30 Journal report. McCabe added that he was out of town then, and thus unaware of what Page had been up to. In point of fact, McCabe had consulted closely with Page about the leak. A paper trail of their texts and phone contacts evinced his keen interest in Page’s communications with Barrett. Consequently, the IG concluded that McCabe’s denials were “demonstrably false.”

Clearly concerned about the hole he had dug for himself, McCabe called the IG’s office four days later, on August 1, 2017, to say that, shucks, come to think of it, he just might have kinda, sorta told Page to speak with Barrett after all. He might even have told her to coordinate with Mike Kortan, then the Bureau’s top media liaison, and follow-up with the Journal about some of its prior reporting.

As the IG observed, this “attempt to correct his prior false testimony” was the “appropriate” thing for McCabe to do. Alas, when he was given an opportunity to come in and explain himself, he compounded his misconduct by making more false statements while under oath: In an interview with investigators on November 29, 2017, McCabe purported to recall informing Comey that he, McCabe, had authorized the leak, and that Comey had responded that the leak was a good idea.

These were quite stunning recollections, given that the deputy director had previously disclaimed any knowledge about the source of the leak. But McCabe took care of that little hiccup by simply denying his prior denial. That is, he insisted that he had not feigned ignorance about the leak when INSD interviewed him on May 9. Indeed, McCabe even denied that the May 9 interview had been a real interview. To the contrary, he claimed that agents had casually pulled him aside at the conclusion of a meeting on an unrelated topic, and peppered him out of the blue with a question or two about the Journal leak. As General Flynn could tell you, that sort of thing can be tough on a busy top U.S. government official . . . although Flynn did not get much sympathy for it when McCabe was running the FBI.

Again, the IG concluded that McCabe’s version of events was “demonstrably false.”

McCabe Covers His Tracks

As an old trial lawyer, I’d be remiss if I failed to rehearse my favorite part of the IG’s report — the part that would tell a jury everything they needed to know about good ol’ Andy McCabe.

Again, the Journal story generated by McCabe’s leak was published on October 30, a Sunday. Late that afternoon, McCabe called the head of the FBI’s Manhattan office. Why? Well . . . to ream him out over media leaks, that’s why. McCabe railed that New York agents must be the culprits. He also made a similar call to the Bureau’s Washington field office, warning its chief to “get his house in order” and stop these terribly damaging leaks.

It is worth remembering McCabe’s October 30 scolding of subordinates when you think about how he later claimed that, on the very next day, he’d freely admitted to his superior, Comey, that he himself was the source of the leak. Quite the piece of work, this guy: To throw the scent off himself after carefully arranging the leak, McCabe dressed down the FBI’s two premier field offices, knowing they were completely innocent, and then pretended for months that he knew nothing about the leak.

This is the second-highest-ranking officer of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency we’re talking about, here.

The Non-Prosecution Decision

We may never get a satisfying explanation for the Justice Department’s decision to drop the McCabe probe. That’s the way it is when such complicated reasons and motives are at play.

The aforementioned challenge of hostile witnesses is not to be underestimated. In addition, there are growing indications that the Justice Department had lost confidence in the U.S. attorney who was overseeing the probe, Jesse Liu. As I noted this week, while Liu was once seen as a rising Trump administration star, she was quietly edged out of her post last month, and the White House just pulled her nomination to fill an important Treasury Department post.

There have been rumblings that the McCabe investigation was botched. Kamil Shields, a prosecutor who reportedly grew frustrated by her supervisors’ inordinate delays in making decisions about the McCabe probe, ultimately left the Justice Department to take a private-practice job. Another prosecutor, David Kent, quit last summer as DOJ dithered over the decision on whether to prosecute. Things became so drawn out that the investigating grand jury’s term lapsed. Meanwhile, the Justice Department endorsed Liu’s aggressive decision to bring a thin, politically fraught false-statements case against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, in connection with lobbying for a foreign country — the sort of crime that is rarely prosecuted. Craig was swiftly acquitted. Reportedly, Liu advocated charging McCabe, but the DOJ may have harbored doubts about her judgment.

No matter the outcome, the Justice Department stood to take some hits if McCabe had been charged. Focus on McCabe’s leak would have drawn attention to pressure DOJ officials had put on the Bureau over the Clinton Foundation investigation (which, reportedly, is likely to be closed without charges). It would also renew interest in the question of whether the FBI improperly allowed McCabe to play a role in Clinton-related investigations when his wife, as a political candidate, got major funding from Clinton-tied sources.

Moreover, new Freedom of Information Act disclosures — made to meet a deadline set by District Judge Reggie Walton, which may explain the timing of the non-prosecution announcement — indicate that the Justice Department and FBI did not comply with regulations in what appears to be the rushed termination of McCabe, adding heft to the former deputy director’s claim that he was being singled out for abusive treatment, potentially including prosecution, because of vengeful politics.

On that score, Judge Walton took pains to decry the fusillade of tweets directed at McCabe by President Trump. I must note here that if a district U.S. attorney publicly labeled as a liar a suspect the Justice Department had indicted for false statements, that U.S. attorney would be sanctioned by the court. The U.S. attorneys, like the rest of the Justice Department, work for Trump. The president is correct when he insists, as he did this week, that he has the constitutional power to intervene in Justice Department matters. But that means he is subject to the same legal obligations that inhibit his Justice Department subordinates. Those obligations include protecting McCabe’s right to a fair trial — a duty the president may chafe at, but which is part of the deal when you take an oath to preserve the Constitution and execute the laws faithfully.

If you envision Judge Walton as part of the Obama-appointed robed resistance, check your premises. He is a no-nonsense jurist originally named to the D.C. Superior Court by President Reagan, and then to the federal district court by President George W. Bush. As Politico reports, he had this to say about President Trump’s commentary on the McCabe investigation:

The public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. . . . I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road. . . . I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear. . . . It’s just, it’s very disturbing that we’re in the mess that we’re in in that regard. . . . I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government. . . . I think it’s very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.

If you want to know why Attorney General Barr was warning this week that the president’s tweets are undermining the Justice Department’s pursuit of its law-enforcement mission, Judge Walton’s words are worth heeding. I have been making this point since the start of the Trump presidency. If you want people held accountable for their crimes, you have to ensure their fundamental right to due process. When the government poisons the well, the bad guys reap the benefits.

Finally, we must note that when the District of Columbia is the venue for any prosecution with political overtones, Justice Department charging decisions must factor in the jury pool, which is solidly anti-Trump.

The proof that McCabe willfully deceived investigators appears strong — it is noteworthy that IG Horowitz, who has strained to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt in many dubious contexts, was unequivocal in slamming McCabe. Nevertheless, a D.C. jury would be weighing that evidence, as discounted by whatever pro-McCabe slant reluctant prosecution witnesses put on it. And the jury would be weighing against that evidence (a) whatever problems caused prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office to beg off, and more significantly, (b) defense arguments that McCabe would not have been fired or prosecuted if not for the fact that he had gotten crosswise with a president of the United States whom at least some of the jurors are apt to dislike.

McCabe is not out of the woods yet, of course: The Durham investigation is a separate matter, and it is continuing. But it is unclear whether he will face any criminal charges arising from that inquiry, whereas the now-dead-and-buried false-statements case against him looked cut-and-dried.

The FBI’s former deputy director, though he undeniably misled investigators, remains a commentator at CNN. In the meantime, Papadopoulos is a felon convicted and briefly imprisoned for misleading investigators, while Flynn and Stone are awaiting sentencing on their false-statements charges. That covers both tiers of our justice system.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/why-wasnt-andrew-mccabe-charged/

 

US won’t charge ex-FBI official McCabe, a Trump target

an hour ago
 In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have declined to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, closing an investigation into whether the longtime target of President Donald Trump’s ire lied to federal officials about his involvement in a news media disclosure, McCabe’s legal team said Friday.

The decision, coming at the end of a tumultuous week between the Justice Department and the White House, is likely to further agitate a president who has loudly complained that federal prosecutors have pursued cases against his allies but not against his perceived political enemies.

The case was handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, which was at the center of a public rift with Justice Department leadership this week over the recommended sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone. Senior Justice Department officials overruled a decision on a recommended prison sentence that they felt was too harsh, prompting the trial team to quit the case. Attorney General William Barr also took a rare public swipe at Trump by saying in a television interview that the president’s tweets about the Stone case and other matters were making his job “impossible.”

Separately, the Justice Department has begun reviewing the handling of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

On Friday, prosecutors notified McCabe’s attorneys in a phone call and a letter that they were closing the case. The letter, signed by the chief of the office’s public corruption unit, did not give a precise reason but said the decision was reached after “careful consideration” and “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time.”

McCabe’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich and David Schertler, said they were gratified by the decision.

“At long last, justice has been done in this matter,” the lawyers said in a statement. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago, that if the facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought.”

Speaking Friday on CNN, where he works as a contributor, McCabe said it was an “absolute disgrace” that the investigation had taken so long and that he was relieved to be done with a process that he described as “so unbelievably tense.”

Though federal prosecutors wrote that they consider the matter closed, Justice Department actions in the last few months have proven unpredictable, with a willingness to scrutinize or revisit decisions that had appeared resolved.

McCabe, a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, has denied that he intentionally misled anyone. He has said his 2018 firing — for what the Justice Department called “lack of candor” — was politically motivated. He sued the Justice Department in August, saying officials had used the inspector general’s conclusions as a pretext to rid the FBI of leaders Trump perceived as biased against him.

The decision is likely to further exacerbate tensions between Trump and Barr, who before speaking out in the television interview had privately complained to aides and the president himself that Trump’s comments about the Justice Department were undercutting his political agenda and raising questions about the department’s credibility. The White House was not given a heads-up about the decision beforehand, a person familiar with the matter said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The moment came against a backdrop of growing anger from Trump at the Justice Department. The president has seethed that more of his political enemies have not been charged, included former FBI Director James Comey and his associates.

The president was particularly incensed no charges were filed over Comey’s handling of memos about his interactions with Trump, a matter that was referred to the Justice Department for potential prosecution, according to a White House official and Republican close to the White House who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president angrily denounced the decision and berated Barr over it, according to the officials. Aides expected that the decision not to charge McCabe could produce a similar eruption of rage. Trump did not address the matter during a media appearance Friday.

Trump has also repeatedly complained about FBI Director Christopher Wray in recent months, saying he has not done enough to rid the bureau of people who are disloyal to Trump.

It was not immediately clear what had prompted a review of the Flynn case, though the person familiar with the matter said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen of St. Louis was working on it. The New York Times first reported Jensen’s involvement.

The decision to spare McCabe criminal charges eliminates the prospect of a sensational trial that would have refocused public attention on the chaotic months of 2016, when the FBI was entangled in presidential politics through investigations touching both main contenders — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, her Republican opponent.

The criminal investigation arose from an October 2016 story in The Wall Street Journal that described internal debates roiling the FBI and the Justice Department weeks before the presidential election about how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official.

The inspector general’s report said McCabe told internal investigators that he had not authorized anyone at the FBI to speak with the reporter and that he did not know who did. The report said McCabe ultimately corrected that account and confirmed that he had encouraged the conversation with the reporter to counter a narrative that he thought was false.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and has said he was distracted by the tumult surrounding the FBI and the White House during the times he was questioned. One of the interviews took place the same day that Comey was fired.

“During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me,” McCabe has said in a statement. “And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.”

McCabe has been a target of Trump’s attacks since even before he was elected, after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with ex-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there.

https://apnews.com/ec85aa4a4fdc5a36b7b85c7a34f1b8f9

DOJ drops leak case vs. McCabe, judge said White House involvement like a ‘banana republic’

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, said “the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted” was like a “banana republic.”
Image: Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.

Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

By Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian

The Department of Justice has told lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that he will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investigators about a leak to the media, the ex-official’s attorneys said Friday.

The decision was released on the same day it was revealed that a federal judge had expressed concerns months ago that McCabe’s case was looking like a “banana republic” prosecution.

“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client,” J.P. Cooney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., told McCabe’s attorneys in a letter Friday. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”

McCabe’s lawyers Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler responded in a statement, saying, “At long last, justice has been done in this matter.”

President Donald Trump had publicly urged that action be taken against McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who briefly became acting head of the agency after Trump fired James Comey in 2017.

“He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote in one 2018 tweet about McCabe after the Justice Department’s inspector general found McCabe “lacked candor” when being interviewed about whether he was a source for two news articles pertaining to the FBI in 2016.

The Justice Department’s announcement came one day after Attorney General William Barr pushed back against criticism he’s using the department to do Trump’s bidding, and said Trump’s tweeting about his agency’s work was undercutting his authority.

“Public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Barr, who was sworn in a year ago Friday, told ABC News.

McCabe told CNN on Friday that “the timing is curious” but he was relieved that the Justice Department “did the right thing today.”

“To have this horrific black cloud that’s been hanging over me and my family for almost the last two years, to have that finally lifted is just unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a relief that I’m not sure I can really explain to you adequately. It’s just a very emotional moment for my whole family.”

McCabe has denied intentionally misleading investigators. He told CNN that he has maintained from the day the inspector general’s report came out that if investigators “followed the law and they followed the facts, that I would have nothing to worry about. But as the president’s interest in pursuing his perceived political enemies continued over the last two years, we were getting more and more concerned about where this would end up.”

Those worries had increased in recent days, he told the network.

“I’ve been greatly concerned by what I’ve seen take place in the White House and in the Department of Justice, quite frankly, in the last week,” McCabe said. “And certainly the president’s kind of revenge tirade following his acquittal in the impeachment proceeding has only kind of amplified my concerns about what would happen in my own case.”

The Justice Department’s decision came the same day it was required by a judge to make details about the McCabe investigation public in a case stemming from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The court transcripts, released after the Justice Department’s letter to McCabe’s lawyers, show prosecutors struggling with how to proceed in his case, and the judge in the matter expressing concerns about political pressure

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/justice-department-drops-leak-case-against-former-fbi-acting-head-n1137066

Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos 

New U.S. charges against Huawei

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Riley Walters: Trump Can Be Tough on Huawei and Keep Negotiating on Trade With China

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Huawei probed for security, espionage risk

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[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UtzbA0qQgM]

DOJ hits Huawei with NEW charges for ‘plotting to steal trade secrets’ from SIX US companies including Cisco and T-Mobile by ‘offering employees cash bounties and sending spy with farcical ‘Weihua’ badge to trade shows’

  • DoJ brought new charges against Huawei in indictment unsealed on Thursday 
  • Accuses Chinese tech giant of a deliberate ‘campaign’ to steal US trade secrets
  • Details bounties Huawei allegedly offered to staff to steal proprietary data
  • Describes brazen spy with ‘Weihua’ badge breaking into trade show booth
  • Though not named in indictment, Cisco and T-Mobile are among alleged victims
  • Feds also claim Huawei covered up secret subsidiary operating in Iran
  • CFO Meng Wanzhoua is still fighting extradition from Canada on Iran charges 

The Department of Justice has announced new criminal charges against Huawei, accusing the Chinese tech giant of being engaged in a ‘decades-long’ effort to steal trade secrets from a slew of US companies.

The 16-count superseding indictment unsealed on Thursday adds RICO charges to the criminal case against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhoua, who is currently fighting extradition in Canada.

The charges come in addition to previous criminal charges accusing Huawei and Wanzhoua of operating a secret subsidiary in Iran and lying to U.S. financial institutions about the violation of sanctions on that country.

The new charges detail a brazen decades-long scheme to steal trade secrets from at least six U.S. companies. Cisco and T-Mobile are among the alleged victims in the case, though the companies are not actually named in the new indictment.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Prosecutors say that in 2013, Huawei instituted a cash bounty program ‘to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors’ and that the more valuable the secrets were, the more the company paid out.

The indictment details a shocking incident from 2004, at a trade show in Chicago, where prosecutors say a Huawei employee was busted in the middle of the night while breaking into a competitor’s booth.

The employee was wearing a bogus badge identifying him as an employee of ‘Weihua’, which is the syllables of Huawei reversed, and was caught taking pictures of the interior circuit boards of a competitor’s product, according to the indictment.

A Huawei spokesman denied the allegations, saying that the indictment was ‘part of an attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement.’

The company called the racketeering accusation ‘nothing more than a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old.’

Huawei pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment unsealed against the company in January 2019, which charged it with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and obstructing justice.

Wanzhoua, the CFO, was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the prior indictment, but she has protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US. She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO, 75-year-old Ren Zengfei.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrives at extradition hearing

The new indictment also includes ‘new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business and technology projects in countries subject to sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea’.

The DoJ asserts that the Chinese company even tired to cover up the fact they were doing business with such countries, by using code names. ‘A2’ reportedly referred to Iran, and ‘A9’ is alleged to have referred to North Korea.

The new indictment is the latest effort in a global campaign by the United States against the company, which Washington has warned could spy on customers for Beijing. The United States also placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last year, citing national security concerns.

‘The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organization that lacks any regard for the law,’ U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Mark Warner said in a joint statement.

The Republican and Democratic Senators called it ‘an important step in combating Huawei’s state-directed and criminal enterprise.’

In a statement on Tuesday, the DoJ alleges that Huawei’s ‘campaign’ to steal trade secrets from US competitors formed part of their global growth strategy.

The DoJ statement alleges that Huawei even launched a policy ‘instituting a bonus program to reward employees who misappropriated intellectual property from competitors.’

Prosecutors allege some Huawei employees entered into confidential agreements with the six US companies, before violating such agreements by then handing over the information to the Chinese tech giant.

Thus, the DoJ statements alleges that ‘Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated US technology were successful.’

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

‘As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage,’ the statement goes on to say.

The case was unsealed as the Trump administration is raising national security and surveillance concerns about Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

Huawei, one of the largest tech firms and a major telecom equipment maker, has been blacklisted by Washington amid concerns of its ties to the Chinese government and intelligence services.

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Earlier this week, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien alleged that Huawei builds secret back doors into its hardware that allow it to covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world.

‘We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,’ O’Brien told the Wall Street Journal.

US officials say that Huawei’s back door allows the company to access network data without the carrier’s knowledge, potentially giving the Chinese government a potent spy tool.

Huawei denied the allegations, telling the Journal that it ‘has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients.’

The U.S. has long tried to convince its allies, such as the U.K. and Germany, to ban the use of Huawei telecom equipment in the building of 5G networks.

 Germany’s legislature is set to vote in the coming weeks on a bill that would allow Huawei full access to its 5G market if the company provides security guarantees.

WHO IS MENG WANZHOU?

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

 

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is the daughter and eldest child of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, 74, by his first wife Meng Jun.

Billed as a ‘Red Princess’, the 47-year-old is widely assumed to be the heiress of her former Communist soldier father, who founded the world’s current second largest smartphone seller at the age of 43 with just 21,000 yuan (£2,388).

Ms Meng, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Huawei, was ranked No. 12 by Frobes on the list of China’s most outstanding businesswomen in 2018.

She graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in central China’s Wuhan city.

She worked in a bank for a year upon graduation before taking up a position at Huawei’s front desk in 1993 to answer phone calls.

Over the years, Ms Meng worked as the director of the international accounting department, CFO of Huawei’s Hong Kong branch office, president of the accounts management department and brought Huawei to its current success.

Ms Meng has a brother and a 20-year-old half-sister Annabel Yao who is a ballerina and debutante.

Annabel is said to be extremely international and have lived in Britain, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

She was one of the 19 young women to be presented at the 25th annual Bal des Débutantes held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris in 2018.

 

Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
See the source image

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

Tucker: Our ruling class is authoritarian, not Trump

Federal budget deficit to hit $1 trillion in 2020: CBO forecast

Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

George Carlin Politicians

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Image result for the public sucksSee the source image

The Left Banke

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The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

Story 3: $19 Billion of 30-Year Bonds Sold At Record Low Yield of 2.06% — Inverted Yield Curve Flashes Recession Warning — Videos

Dow Flatlines While Fed’s Recession Alarm Screams

Treasury Sells 30-Year Bonds at Record Low Yield

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO: CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon at a 2.061% yield. That beat the previous record of 2.170% set last October, according to data from BMO Capital Markets.

The auction came as Treasury yields generally moved lower after Chinese officials changed the way they counted coronavirus infections, leading to a big jump in the number of confirmed cases in the country’s Hubei province. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 1.616%, compared with 1.629% Wednesday.

Yields fall when bond prices rise.

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks. Other factors include persistently soft inflation, which has limited one of the main threats to the value of longer-term Treasurys, analysts said.

Investors have also grown more comfortable buying 30-year bonds because they view them as insurance against losses in riskier assets, said Jon Hill, a U.S. interest-rates strategist at BMO. Prices of 30-year bonds increase more for every one-percentage point decline in yields than those of shorter-term bonds. That means on days like Thursday, when investors are selling stocks and buying bonds, the holders of 30-year bonds are well-hedged, Mr. Hill said.

Thursday’s level doesn’t represent the lowest point that the 30-year bond yield has ever reached. Last August, it settled as low as 1.941%, but yields rose again before the next 30-year auction in September.

In recent years, low Treasury yields have, at times, caused U.S. officials to flirt with issuing bonds with maturities beyond 30 years to lock in low interest rates for a longer period.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last September that the Treasury Department was “very seriously considering” issuing a 50-year bond. The department, however, dropped that idea due to a lack of interest from bond dealers. Instead, it recently announced plans to issue 20-year bonds, which haven’t been issued regularly since the 1980s.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/treasury-to-sell-30-year-bonds-at-record-low-yield-11581614475

Story 4: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
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Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

The Left Banke

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The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

 

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Story 1: Pelosi vs. Trump — Nancy Pelosi: “We believe that Trump is engaged in a cover-up” — President Trump: “I Don’t Do Coverups” —  American People: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Cover-up, No Crime, No Sense! — Videos

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Trump holds surprise press conference, lashes out at Pelosi, Schumer

President Donald Trump Responds To Nancy Pelosi: ‘I Don’t Do Cover-Ups’ | MSNBC

Collins tears into House Democrats after McGahn skips hearing

Jim Jordan rips Dems’ ‘coordinated effort’ to take down Trump

The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino 5/22/19 [FULL | Trump Breaking Fox News Today May 22, 2019

Nancy Pelosi FINALLY Agrees To Talk About Impeachment

Pressure On Pelosi: 90% Of Dem Group ‘On Board’ With Impeachment | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

AOC: Move Forward With Impeachment

 

Trump is ‘obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up’: Pelosi opens door to ‘impeachable offenses’ after president storms out of infrastructure meeting

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to impeachable offenses committed by President Trump after he stormed out of an infrastructure meeting 
  •  ‘This president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up. And that could be an impeachable offense,’ she said
  • Her remarks follow a remarkable day at the White House and on Capitol Hill
  • Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats after Pelosi said earlier in the day he was ‘engaged in a cover-up’ 
  • She also said she would not proceed with impeachment proceedings
  • The speaker has been under pressure from liberals to move forward on it
  • She convened a closed-door meeting at the Capitol Wednesday on the issue
  • Democrats said afterward Pelosi prevailed and held back the impeachment tide 
  • ‘We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,’ Pelosi told reporters afterward their morning meeting
  • President Trump snapped back at Pelosi: ‘I don’t do cover-ups’  

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday opened the door to impeachable offenses committed by President Donald Trump after he stormed out of an infrastructure meeting at the White House.

‘The fact is – in plain sight, in the public domain – this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up. And that could be an impeachable offense,’ she said at the CAPS Ideas conference in Washington D.C.

The speaker warned Trump that ignoring congressional subpoenas – which he has been ordering former administration officials to do – was part of the articles of impeachment against former President Richard Nixon. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to impeachable offenses committed by President Trump after he stormed out of an infrastructure meeting

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to impeachable offenses committed by President Trump after he stormed out of an infrastructure meeting

President Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats after Pelosi said earlier in the day he was 'engaged in a cover-up'

President Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats after Pelosi said earlier in the day he was ‘engaged in a cover-up’

‘Ignoring this – ignoring the subpoenas of Congress was article 3 of the Nixon impeachment, article three, he did not honor the subpoenas of Congress. So it is not just the substance that we’re after, we want to have to give the truth to the American people. But in striving to get that, the intervention that the obstruction that the administration is engaged in is – as they say – the cover-up is frequently worse than the crime,’ she said.

Her remarks are the furthest she come to date about going forward on impeachment proceedings against Trump – a tactic she has worried will backfire on Democrats in the 2020 election.

Pelosi also argued that the probes being conducted by six House committees into Trump’s businesses, his taxes, his 2016 campaign and his administration are getting underneath the president’s skin.

Our investigations are ‘reaping benefits,’ she said.

Her comments came after she said earlier in the day she would not proceed with impeachment proceedings against the president amid pressure from some in her party to do just that.

And it caps an incredible back-and-forth between the legislative and executive branches on a day Democrats and Trump were supposed to sit down on an issue they agree on – infrastructure.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a meeting with House Democrats early Wednesday morning to try and tamp down on impeachment talk but said Trump was engaged in a cover-up

Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a meeting with House Democrats early Wednesday morning to try and tamp down on impeachment talk but said Trump was engaged in a cover-up

President Trump snapped back at Pelosi: 'I don't do cover-ups'

President Trump snapped back at Pelosi: ‘I don’t do cover-ups’

Before that planned meeting, Pelosi gathered Democratic lawmakers in the Capitol Wednesday morning to try and tamp down on impeachment talk

But a comment she made afterward that Trump has ‘engaged in a cover-up’ set the president off and derailed the rest of the day’s agenda.

‘We do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,’ she told reporters in the Capitol after she met with Democrats.

Trump snapped back – storming out of a scheduled infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold forth on the issue to reporters in the White House Rose Garden.

‘I don’t do cover-ups,’ Trump said. ‘You people probably know that better than anybody.’

He said he wouldn’t work with Pelosi or Schumer until they stood down.

‘When they get everything done, I’m all set to – let’s get infrastructure, let’s get drug prices down. In the meantime we’re doing excellent work without them,’ Trump said.

Pelosi described the meeting as ‘very, very, very strange.’

‘He walked away. Whether he intended to act on what he said before remains to be seen,’ she said at the CAPS Ideas conference. ‘It was very, very, very strange.’

She also said it was a ‘poor baby’ moment for Trump.

‘Instead in an orchestrated – almost poor baby point of view – he came in the room and said that I said he was engaged in a cover up and couldn’t possibly, couldn’t possibly engage in a conversation on infrastructure as long as we were investigating him,’ Pelosi said.

‘Now we were investigating him since we took over the majority so there’s nothing new in that. And then he had a press conference in the Rose Garden with all these sort visuals that were obviously planned before I said most currently he was engaged in a cover up. So it’s really sad,’ she added.

Schumer said Democrats were still willing to sit down with the president.

‘We want to work with the president on anything we can,’ he told reporters at the Capitol after the White House fracas.

And Pelosi told a press conference at the Capitol that she was praying for Trump.

‘He just took a pass. And it just makes me wonder why he did that. In any event, I pray for the president of the United States and I pray for the United States of America,’ she said.

While Democrats gave their point of view as to the day’s happenings, Trump again took to Twitter to rail against them.

‘So sad that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will never be able to see or understand the great promise of our Country,’ he wrote.

‘Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!,’ he added.

Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in the U.S. Capitol building after Trump stormed out of their infrastructure meeting

Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in the U.S. Capitol building after Trump stormed out of their infrastructure meeting

 

The infrastructure meeting was a long scheduled follow up from a sit down Democrats and the president had earlier this month on the issue.

But before that took place, Pelosi hosted a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday at the Capitol to try to rein in lawmakers who want to see impeachment proceedings begin against Trump.

Her tactic appeared to work – for now.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of those beating the impeachment drumbeat, sounded a more muted tone after the gathering.

‘I was satisfied with the openness of the conversation,’ she told NBC News. ‘I think we’re having thoughtful conversations about it and that’s the important thing.’

Pelosi let the six committee chairman leading investigations against Trump make her case that the Democrats are investigating the president and don’t need to go as far as impeachment to continue to do so.

Additionally, a pro-impeachment faction addressed the members, lawmakers in the room said afterward.

Pelosi described it as a ‘respectful’ gathering and said the meeting wasn’t about persuading lawmakers to change their minds about impeachment.

‘It’s not a question of persuasion, we were just exchanging information and points of view,’ she said.

And she hit back at an early morning tweet from Trump who charged Democrats with sacrificing their legislative work to investigate him.

‘We do have our legislative agenda that we’re moving forward on. It was a very positive meeting, a respectful sharing of ideas, and I think a very impressive presentation by our chairs,’ Pelosi said.

Pelosi said she was praying for President Trump

Pelosi said she was praying for President Trump

Trump opened fired on Democrats Wednesday morning before the party met.

‘The Democrats are getting ZERO work done in Congress. All they are focused on is trying to prove the Mueller Report wrong, the Witch Hunt!,’ the president complained on Twitter.

Democrats in Pelosi’s corner were able to talk about victories in their probe of Trump, his businesses, his 2016 campaign and his administration.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler discussed his panel’s vote to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for not handing over the full, unredacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

He pushed for the full House to vote on contempt of Congress for Barr this month.

He also said Mueller must testify in public, according to a Democratic source in the room. The Judiciary panel and the Justice Department are negotiating on Mueller’s testimony and reports indicate the special counsel would prefer to speak behind closed doors.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff discussed his panel’s recent agreement with the Justice Department to begin accessing parts of Mueller’s files in the Russia investigation.

And House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings pointed out that Democrats won a key court case – a federal district judge ruled on Monday that the accounting firm Mazars will need to turn over Trump’s accounting records to the panel.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren pointed out than any subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry would also have to go through the court process.

‘Regarding impeachment inquiry, we still have to go to court to get our subpoenas enforced. You know, we are winning those battles now,’ she said.

The impeachment talk among Democrats heated up in the wake of former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal, at the White House’s request, to comply with a subpoena for his testimony on the Russia investigation and his testimony outlined in Mueller’s report.

His refusal to appear Tuesday set off a wave of fury among Democrats.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of those beating the impeachment drumbeat, sounded a more muted tone after the gathering

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was one of those beating the impeachment drumbeat, sounded a more muted tone after the gathering

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler pushed for the full House to vote on holding Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt this month

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler pushed for the full House to vote on holding Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt this month

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said during a town hall in Iowa Tuesday night that impeachment is 'not something that I take lightly'

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said during a town hall in Iowa Tuesday night that impeachment is ‘not something that I take lightly’

Democratic lawmakers said afterward that Pelosi was able to tamp down on some members’ call for Trump’s head.

‘Nancy still prevails in persuading our caucus to keep your powder dry on that one,’ Rep. Gerry Connolly said afterward of the impeachment talk even as he conceded no lawmakers pushing for impeachment changed their minds.

‘The overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus continue to believe that the speaker has set forth the appropriate course which is deliberate yet forceful,’ Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said afterward.

‘There is a growing number of members who have publicly articulated a desire to move toward an impeachment inquiry but as far as I can tell the number is somewhere between 20 and 25,’ he added. ‘There are 239 members of the House Democratic Caucus, which means the overwhelming majority continue to believe that we should proceed along the course that we’re on right now.’

Some lawmakers, however, cautioned that continued defiance by the president would heat up impeachment talk again.

‘I think that we’re seeing the drumbeat moving in that direction, the more he defies us,’ Democratic Rep. Katie Hill said. ‘But I don’t think that the process is as a whole, is there.’

Pelosi was a leader in the House in the 1990s when Republicans tried to impeach then-President Bill Clinton – only to lose control of the lower chamber in the next election.

But some more liberals members have pushed to move forward with impeachment proceedings amid Trump’s defiance of congressional subpoenas for information on . his businesses and testimony from former administration officials.

The calls have even gone beyond the halls of Congress to the 2020 presidential campaign.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said during a town hall in Iowa Tuesday night that impeachment is ‘not something that I take lightly’.

‘If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics, or the repercussions in the next election, we will set a precedent that, in fact, some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law,’ he said.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7058699/Nancy-Pelosi-says-NOT-going-impeach-Trump-amid-push-rank-file-members.html

 

Story 2: Obama Administration Officials Blaming Each Other — President Trump Should Release All of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Warrant Application For Carter Page —  Videos —

Brennan may have set his own perjury trap: Napolitano

Hannity: Either Lynch or Comey are lying

Story 3: Human Fence, Vehicle Fence, Replacement Fence and New Wall or Border Barrier To Stop Illegal Smuggling of Drugs and Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — Show Us The Drone Videos of The New Completed 500 Mile Big Beautiful Border Barrier In October 2020! — Videos —

 

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Trump will secure the border at all costs: Tom Homan

US company offers to build border wall for a fraction of the cost

Trump’s Wall: Life on the US-Mexico Border

A Little Good News from the Border

 

Trump has built less than 2 miles of new wall with $1.57 BILLION Congress handed him for this year but insists ‘demolition and rebuilding’ should count too

  • Letter to a federal judge from the House of Representatives’ top lawyer spells out how little this year’s congressional appropriation has bought
  • Trump claims he should get credit for replacing older walls that are ineffective
  • He promised Monday night that he would have 500 miles of wall built by next year, but so far it’s just 1.7 miles
  • Nearly all the wall construction under contract  from the Army Corps of Engineers is for replacements where barriers already existed
  • Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday that ‘close to 115 miles’ have been builtbut a Fox News interviewer didn’t askher if that was ‘new’ or ‘replacement’ barriers

The Trump administration has built less than 2 miles of new border barriers using the $1.57 billion Congress allocated to the project for the fiscal year that will end September 30, according to a letter filed Tuesday in federal court.

House of Representatives general counsel Douglas Letter made that revelation to Judge Haywood Gillam, citing information the administration provided to Congress about its efforts through the end of April.

‘Based on that updated information, it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding,’ Letter wrote.

President Donald Trump fired back Wednesday on Twitter, defending what he said has been ‘a complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers with a brand new Wall and footings.’

‘Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed,’ he added.

President Donald Trump played defense on Wednesday after a lawyer for Congress told a federal judge that his administration has made little progress building a border wall despite getting $1.57 billion in funding for it this year

On Tuesday the House of Representatives' general counsel told a judge that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 'has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing' with the $1.57 billion it received for the project in the fiscal year that ends September 30

On Tuesday the House of Representatives’ general counsel told a judge that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ‘has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing’ with the $1.57 billion it received for the project in the fiscal year that ends September 30

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday on TV that the administrationwill have 500 miles of wall built by year's end and would be twice as far along if Democrats were helping instead of pushing back

‘Also, tremendous work is being done on pure renovation – fixing existing Walls that are in bad condition and ineffective, and bringing them to a very high standard!’ Trump concluded.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman told DailyMail.com in March that it had not erected any walls at all to protect previously unbarricaded sections of America’s southern border.

‘The first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April,’ CBP spokesman Roger Maier said at the time. He identified Hidalgo County as the construction project’s location, a border zone along a meandering 50-mile stretch of the Rio Grande.

CBP said last year that it was ‘designing and constructing approximately 25 miles of levee wall system’ in that county, whose anchor is the the border city of McAllen.

Maier did not immediately respond to a question on Wednesday about whether the Hidalgo County project has proceeded.

CBP wrote in March, after DailyMail.com reported Maier’s comments, that it had ‘built 38 miles of new border wall system in CA NM & TX—providing new capability by replacing ineffective infrastructure, like Normandy-style barriers designed only to stop vehicles, not people on foot.’

Trump blasted the 'haters' who point to a lack of action at the border, claiming that he should get credit for 'demolition and rebuilding' of ineffective border barriers

Trump blasted the ‘haters’ who point to a lack of action at the border, claiming that he should get credit for ‘demolition and rebuilding’ of ineffective border barriers

Trump said Monday night during a rally in Pennsylvania that ‘the wall is being built as we speak.’

‘We’ll have almost 500 miles of wall by the end of next year,’ he boasted, inviting an audience member on stage who was wearing a suit made of brick wall-print fabric.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders upper the ante Wednesday morning, saying the administration will hit that landmark by the end of 2019 and that Letter cited ‘an incorrect number.’

‘I know that there have been – there’s over 100 miles, I think it’s close to 115 miles that have been finished,’ she said on ‘Fox & Friends.’

‘We feel comfortable and confident that we’re on track to get right around 500 finished by the end of the year,’ Sanders insisted.

Letter’s letter doesn’t address the possibility that the Trump administration has used money for wall-building other than the funds Congress appropriated for this year.

The president has rediirected billions of dollars to the project through a national emergency declaration, while claiming at the same time that the project has long been underway.

Both houses of Congress voted to rescind that declaration with a resolution that the president vetoed in March.

Nearly all of the documented border wall construction the Trump administration has engaged in so far has consisted of replacing some existing barriers and reinforcing others with secondary fencing

Nearly all of the documented border wall construction the Trump administration has engaged in so far has consisted of replacing some existing barriers and reinforcing others with secondary fencing

Customs and Border Protection says it has replaced 'dilapidated' border barriers that consisted of Normandy-style vehicle barriers like these, shown in April 2018 between Santa Teresa, New Mexico and Ciudad Mexico

Customs and Border Protection says it has replaced ‘dilapidated’ border barriers that consisted of Normandy-style vehicle barriers like these, shown in April 2018 between Santa Teresa, New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

The administration has awarded contracts for just 244 miles of barriers so far, and more than half of the money required to pay for those projects is earmarked from emergency-declaration funds that court battles have, at least temporarily, put out of reach.

Of those 244 miles’ worth of contracted walls, 230 would be replacements to barriers that existed when Trump became president in January 2017.

Judge Gillam presides over two separate lawsuits aimed at stopping Trump from using emergency-declaration money to fund construction that Congress has refused to pay for.

California and 19 other states brought one suit. Plaintiffs in the other include the Sierra Club and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Trump has boasted in the past that ‘[w]e have already built large new sections’ during his time in the White House.

But border barriers erected between the U.S. and Mexico since Inauguration Day 2017 have consisted almost exclusively of supplements to existing walls and replacements for outmoded or decreipt barriers. 

Maier said in March that CBP had ‘constructed approximately 38 of 40 miles of wall in place of outdated designs,’ using funds Congress appropriated for fiscal 2017.

Those replacements are up in San Diego and El Centro, California; Santa Teresa, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas. 

‘This barrier replaced dilapidated infrastructure, half of which was Normandy-style vehicle barrier,’ he said.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7058091/Trump-built-2-miles-new-wall-1-57-BILLION-Congress-handed-year.html

Story 4: Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin — “Unlawful” to Give Congress Tax Returns

Mnuchin Says It’s `Unlawful’ to Give Congress Trump Tax Returns

Steve Mnuchin Testifies Before House Committee | NowThis

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Says It’s ‘Unlawful’ to Give Democrats Trump’s Tax Returns

Mnuchin: ‘I Will Follow The Law,’ Protect Trump’s Privacy If Tax Returns Are Requested | NBC News

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1257, May 14, 2019, Breaking News — Story 1: Attorney General Barr Names U.S. Attorney John Durham To Investigate The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Deep State in Deep Do Do — Brilliant Choice — Durham Is Man of Experience and Integrity — Investigating Unauthorized Surveillance and Political Surveillance of Trump Campaign —  All Criminal Felonies — Indictments and Prosecutions Coming — We Are Coming To Take You Away — Videos

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They’re Coming to Take me Away Lyrics

Breaking News — Story 1: Attorney General Barr Names U.S. Attorney John Durham To Investigate The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Deep State in Deep Do Do — Brilliant Choice — Durham Is Man of Experience and Integrity — Investigating Unauthorized Surveillance and Political Surveillance of Trump Campaign —  All Criminal Felonies — Indictments and Prosecutions Coming — We Are Coming To Take You Away —  Videos

 

Hannity: Deep state is in deep trouble

Trish Regan: Russia probe is the biggest scandal in modern US political history

Gowdy on Barr assigning prosecutor to investigate Russia probe

Barr assigns US prosecutor to examine Russia probe

DiGenova: Comey, Clapper and Brennan will have to pay the ‘Barr bill’

Hannity: Barr is searching for truth and justice

DOJ to probe ‘spying’ on Trump campaign

Shocking Use of FISA by Obama’s FBI to Spy on Trump Campaign – Exclusive with Tony Shaffer

 

No Way Obama Was Not Told’ – Former Intel Officer Tony Shaffer on Spying on Trump Campaign

Rod Rosenstein Calls The Russia Probe ‘Justified’ And James Comey A ‘Partisan Pundit’ | TIME

Rod Rosenstein speaks on James Comey firing

Mark Levin on why Obama may have been spying on Trump

Meet the U.S. Attorney

Photo of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham

John H. Durham

 

On February 22, 2018, John H. Durham was sworn in as the presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Mr. Durham had served as the interim U.S. Attorney since October 28, 2017, after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order appointing him to the position.  President Donald Trump nominated Mr. Durham to serve as U.S. Attorney on November 1, 2017, and the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on February 16, 2018.

Prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney, Mr. Durham served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in various positions in the District of Connecticut for 35 years, prosecuting complex organized crime, violent crime, public corruption and financial fraud matters.

From 2008 to 2017, Mr. Durham served as Counsel to the U.S. Attorney; from 1994 to 2008, he served as the Deputy U.S. Attorney, and served as the U.S. Attorney in an acting and interim capacity in 1997 and 1998; from 1989 to 1994, he served as Chief of the Office’s Criminal Division, and from 1982 to 1989, he served as an attorney and then supervisor in the New Haven Field Office of the Boston Strike Force in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.

From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Durham also served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for the purpose of investigating matters relating to the destruction of certain videotapes by the CIA and the treatment of detainees by the CIA.  From 1998 to 2008, Mr. Durham served as a Special Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and Head of the Justice Task Force, where he reviewed alleged criminal conduct by FBI personnel and other law enforcement corruption in Boston, led the prosecution of a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent and a former Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant, and handled direct appeals and related proceedings following convictions after trial.

From 1978 to 1982, Mr. Durham served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office headed by Arnold Markle, and from 1977 to 1978, he served as a Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

From 1975 to 1977, Mr. Durham worked as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.

Mr. Durham graduated, with honors, from Colgate University in 1972 and the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1975.

Mr. Durham has served as an Instructor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of New Haven, as a Moot Court Judge at the Yale School of Law, and as a lecturer for the Connecticut Bar Association.

Mr. Durham is the 52nd U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, an office that was established in 1789.

Updated May 14, 2018

Sean Hannity: Farkas’ admission not last shoe to drop in saga of Obama spying on Trump

Obama’s intelligence chiefs Brennan and Clapper claim they told James Comey NOT to use the golden showers dossier to get eavesdropping warrant on Trump campaign aide

  • High-level former aides are squaring off on who pushed to include the unverified dossier in a surveillance warrant application 
  •  Emails refer to the dossier as ‘crown material’
  •  Former CIA official says former CIA Director John Brennan and former NSA chief James Clapper argued against
  • Official said former FBI Director James Comey pushed for it
  • Comey briefed Trump on the contents of the dossier and its salacious unverified claims about his alleged conduct in Moscow after the election 
  • The spat comes as Attorney General Bill Barr appointed an official to probe how the Russia investigation got started
  • Trump said he was honored by Barr’s move 

Former top Obama administration officials are at odds over which of them may have pushed the infamous golden showers dossier be included in an assessment of Russian election interference – and existing email records hold the key to who is correct.

A former Republican congressman is touting the available digital evidence, as a new investigatory climate focuses on those involved in decisions to look at the Trump campaign in 2016 amid Russian election interference.

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a top prosecutor to examine the origins of the Russia probe – the latest of several efforts to ‘investigate the investigators.’

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey

Once again, former FBI Director James Comey is a central figure to the matter. Fox News reports that in a late-2016 email chain, Comey tells subordinates that the dossier should be included in an intelligence community assessment of Russian interference – and that it was at the direction of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller hunted down the details of the Kremlin-backed interference campaign and included it in his report, and the DOJ issued indictments.

But a former CIA official says it was Comey who wanted the dossier included in an Intelligence Community Assessment – not former CIA director John Brennan or former National Security Agency director James Clapper.

A former CIA official says it was Comey who wanted the dossier included in an Intelligence Community Assessment, not former National Security Agency director James Clapper (pictured) or Brennan

A former CIA official says it was Comey who wanted the dossier included in an Intelligence Community Assessment, not former National Security Agency director James Clapper (pictured) or Brennan

Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan, who had access to Russia information during 2016, has become a fierce Trump critic, even calling Trump's conduct 'treasonous'

All three are targets of President Trump and have blasted his conduct while in office.

Emails refer to the dossier, which included unverified information about Donald Trump’s alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the 2014 Miss Universe pageant, as ‘crown material.’

A former CIA official told the network: ‘”Former Director Brennan, along with former James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official told the network.

‘They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official added. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”

The dossier was developed by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who relied in part on his Russia contacts to develop the information.

Comey famously briefed Trump on the contents of the dossier and its salacious unverified claims after the election, during the transition.

Trump would ultimately fire Comey after complaining about the Russia probe, in an incident that featured in Mueller’s probe of possible obstruction of justice by the president.

Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy hyped the emails an appearance on Fox, Trump’s favorite network. ‘Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails,’ he said.

‘Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen,’ Gowdy said.

With the release of the Mueller report, which the president declared a ‘total exoneration’ but which also sketches out numerous Trump campaign contacts with Russians, Barr named the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham, to review the origins of the probe.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is examining the FBI’s actions during the probe. Judiciary Committee Chairman Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had promised his own probe, said he doesn’t want to interfere in the Barr-ordered probe, which Trump praised publicly.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7032973/Obamas-intel-chiefs-claim-told-Comey-NOT-use-golden-showers-dossier-warrant.html

 

Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

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

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

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

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

The revelation was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees, my source tells me.

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

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

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

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

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

A spokeswoman for the FBI declined comment. Spokespersons for Perkins Coie and the Justice Department did not return a message seeking comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There’s a strong suggestion that confidential human sources actually taped members within the Trump campaign,” Meadows told Hill.TV hosts Krystal Ball and Ned Ryun.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

This post has been updated from a previous version.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/409817-russia-collusion-bombshell-dnc-lawyers-met-with-fbi-on-dossier-before

CIA Joins Barr in Investigating Origins of Trump Campaign Surveillance

(Jason Reed/Reuters)

Attorney General William Barr has enlisted the help of the CIA to investigate whether the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign was motivated by partisan bias, CNN reported Tuesday.

CIA director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and FBI director Chris Wray are all participating in the investigation, which Barr first announced publicly during a congressional hearing last month.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening that Barr has tapped Connecticut U.S. attorney John Durham to help examine the origins of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election, which served as the pretext for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment.

The investigation was launched in response to long-held Republican concerns that the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign was politically motivated and relied on dubious opposition research. These concerns were in part fueled by the revelation that the FISA warrant obtained to surveil Trump campaign national-security adviser Carter Page was based on information provided in the unsubstantiated Steele dossier.

Barr drew the ire of top Democrats last month when he confirmed that he believed the FBI’s surveillance of Page and other campaign officials constituted “spying,” though he stopped short of asserting the surveillance activity was not properly predicated.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. . . . I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.”

Barr went on to defend his use of the term at a subsequent hearing, telling lawmakers that spying “is a good English word” that accurately captures the FBI’s behavior.

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/cia-joins-william-barr-in-investigating-origins-of-trump-campaign-surveillance/

 

Barr appoints top prosecutor to look into ‘spying’ on the Trump campaign: U.S. attorney will investigate the origins of Mueller’s probe and whether the government obtained information illegally

  • Attorney General William Barr taps U.S. attorney John Durham to probe origins of the Russia investigation
  • Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, will look into whether intelligence collected on Trump campaign aides was ‘lawful and appropriate’
  • Last month, Barr told Congress he believed ‘spying did occur’ against the Trump campaign in 2016
  • Barr will likely ask Durham to look into surveillance against former Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos
  • In 2017, Durham was nominated by Trump as the U.S. attorney in Connecticut; he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate 

 

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was ‘lawful and appropriate,’ a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry, the person said.

The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Durham’s appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed ‘spying did occur’ on the Trump campaign in 2016.

He later said he didn’t mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to look into the origins of the special counsel’s investigation.

Attorney General William Barr is assigning a United States attorney to look into the origins of the Russia investigation

Barr appointed John Durham (above), the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to head the inquiry

Attorney General William Barr is assigning a United States attorney to look into the origins of the Russia investigation. Barr appointed John Durham (right), the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to head the inquiry

Last month, Barr told Congress he believed 'spying did occur' against members of President Trump's (above) campaign

Last month, Barr told Congress he believed ‘spying did occur’ against members of President Trump’s (above) campaign

Trump and his supporters have seized on both to accuse the Justice Department and the FBI of unlawfully spying on his campaign.

‘I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,’ Barr said.

But he later backtracked to add: ‘I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I am saying that I am concerned about it and I’m looking into it.’

The attorney general’s statements set off a storm of criticism that he was using the terminology the president uses to rail against the Mueller probe.

FBI Director Chris Wray said last Tuesday that he does not consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be ‘spying’ and said he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.

FBI Director Christopher Wray last week told Congress he does not believe that the FBI illegally spied on members of the Trump campaign

His stance put him at odds with Barr.

Asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, if he would say the FBI is ‘spying’ when it investigates suspected terrorists and mobsters, Wray replied, ‘Well, that’s not the term I would use.’

The agency’s watchdog is also examining the Russia probe’s origins and Barr has said he expects the watchdog report to be done in May or June.

Congressional Republicans have also indicated they intend to examine how the investigation that shadowed Trump’s presidency for nearly two years began and whether there are any legal concerns.

Barr will likely ask Durham to look into surveillance against former Trump campaign aides Carter Page (left) and George Papadopoulos (right)

The recently concluded investigation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin to tip the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Barr’s statements about ‘spying’ last month further inflamed Democrats already frustrated by the attorney general’s handling of the Mueller report, including his release of a four-page summary letter last month that they say paints the special counsel’s findings in an overly favorable way for the president.

Democrats on Capitol Hill held Barr in contempt for refusing to hand over the unredacted version of the report.

The vote to level contempt charges, held in the House Judiciary Committee last week, was along partisan lines – 24 Democrats versus 16 Republican – and now goes before the full House chamber for a vote, where Democrats hold a 38-seat majority.

After the full House votes the issue is expected to end up in the courts.

‘We are now in a constitutional crisis,’ House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said after the vote.

‘This was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today to move a contempt citation against the attorney general of the United States. We did not relish doing this but we have o

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (seen above in Washington, D.C. last week) found there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with conspiring with Russia during the 2016 campaig

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over the unredacted version of the Mueller report

He has previously investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters.

In nominating him, the White House said Durham and other nominees for U.S. attorney jobs share Trump’s vision for ‘making America safe again.’

Durham was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018.

At the time, Connecticut’s two Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, called Durham a ‘fierce, fair prosecutor’ who knows how to try tough cases.

In addition to conducting the inquiry, Durham will continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7025815/Prosecutor-examine-Russia-probe-origins.html

 

Barr’s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller in a Shocking Case

John Durham

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia-Trump probe. Apparently, he has been on the job for weeks.

Durham is the perfect investigator for the job by all accounts and he had experience with Robert Mueller in the Whitey Bulger case. He did not side with Mueller and Mueller’s agents suffered the consequences of Mueller’s, some would say, corrupt leadership.

THE WHITEY BULGER CASE

Back in the late 1990s, there were “allegations that FBI informants James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi had corrupted their handlers.

So, in 1999, Janet Reno appointed John Durham as Special Prosecutor and charged him with investigating FBI corruption in Boston.

As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes. Bulger was a protected informant.

Durham sent one agent involved to prison for 10 years.

Then-US Attorney, Robert Mueller is probably the one who should have landed in the pen. He allowed four innocent men to be sent to prison for a murder he knew they didn’t commit.  He did it to protect Bulger.

One of the four men was in Florida at the time of the murder and could not have committed the murder.

When Durham went through the documents. He found that the four men, Enrico TameleoJoseph SalvatiPeter J. Limone, and Louis Greco, had actually been framed.

Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

The Boston Globe wrote:

“[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two F.B.I. agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset…”

In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of ”four other FBI informants because they’d been framed by Robert Mueller’s FBI.

“In 2007,” to help protect Whitey Bulger (that’s what all those people were held in jail for) “the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who had died in prison to win a US $101.7 million civil judgment against the government.”

Durham got the two surviving framed men released from prison.

Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time.

Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger, a mass-murdering Boston mobster who ended up dying in California, and it ended up costing the government $100 million plus in civil judgments.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ CALLED MUELLER A “ZEALOT”

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, calling Mueller a “zealot,” he reminded Mueller supporters about the former FBI director’s role in protecting “notorious mass murderer” Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

“I think Mueller is a zealot,” Dershowitz told “The Cats Roundtable” on 970 AM-N.Y. “. . . I don’t think he cares whether he hurts Democrats or Republicans, but he’s a partisan and zealot.

“He’s the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer. Those of us in Boston don’t have such high regard for Mueller because we remember this story. The government had to pay out tens of millions of dollars because Whitey Bulger, a notorious mass murderer, became a government informer against the mafia . . .

“And that’s regarded in Boston of one of the great scandals of modern judicial history. And Mueller was right at the center of it. So, he is not without criticism by people who know him in Boston.”

HOW DID MUELLER BECOME THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR?

There were other cases in which Mueller behaved scandalously, here and here. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Sydney Powell tells the same story. She calls them creeps on a mission and has a website of the same name detailing the offenses of Mueller and Weissman.

How did Robert Mueller end up as the Special Prosecutor? Thank a Democrat. The Democrats insisted he was a great man of inviolable character. They said he was the impeccable man and investigator.

There is also the fact that Rod Rosenstein seems to think well of him.

You can be sure there are a lot of people losing sleep knowing Durham is on the case. You might have noticed Rod Rosenstein, the former Deputy Attorney General, is out trashing Jim Comey.

For his part, Jim Comey hasn’t written anything inspirational or anti-Trump on Twitter for four days. He has been giving a lot of public speeches lately. Maybe he should shut up.

Barr’s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller in a Shocking Case

John Solomon Breaks Old Story: All Roads for Russiagate Lead Back to British Coup in Ukraine, Not to Russia

ohn Solomon has written a bombshell article in The Hill, reopening the Ukraine file concerning the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Solomon reports that the Ukraine Prosecutor General has now opened a case about the intentional leaking of records of Paul Manafort’s payments for his Ukraine lobbying work in 2016, in order to damage the Trump campaign and assist the election of Hillary Clinton.“Ukraine prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by release. . . of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort records to help Clinton’s campaign,” Solomon writes.The parliamentarian who released the tape also secured a court ruling to the effect that the leak of the so-called Manafort black ledger constituted, an “illegal intrusion into the American election campaign.” The court in Kiev charged that Artem Sytnyk, who led Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts, and Serhy Leshchenko, a politician funded by George Soros and Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, were responsible for the leak of the payments allegedly made by Ukraine’s Party of the Regions to Manafort.

Paul Manafort resigned as Chairman of the Trump Campaign on August 19, 2016 following widespread claims that he was joined at the hip with Putin in a media barrage featured in Christopher Steele’s dodgy dossier, and led by Steele’s early most favored journalist, Michael Isikoff. Isikoff, in turn, was promoting a narrative created by Alexandra Chalupa, Hillary Clinton’s favorite Ukrainian Banderist then employed by the DNC as its main opposition researcher concerning Donald Trump. Politico previously documented, in 2017, that Chalupa had a direct line to Ukrainian state intelligence in her campaign against Manafort. Lutsenko also states, according to Solomon that he was given a “no prosecute list” by the U.S. Ambassador concerning what he apparently believes is the corrupt diversion of funds paid by the State Department and destined for the Prosecutor General’s office. The clear implication of these claims is that the money was paid to various Ukrainians providing intelligence to the Ukrainian/State Department black propaganda operation against the Trump Campaign and Presidency. In addition, Solomon reports that the current U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Maria Yovanovitch, an Obama holdover, has told U.S. Embassy employees and Ukrainian officials that they need not pay attention to Trump since he is going to be impeached. On March 20th, former U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C. Joseph DiGenova called for Yovanovitch’s immediate recall by President Trump on Sean Hannity’s show.

The first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections occurs on March 31st, and it is unclear what relationship the breaking of this story at this time has to the forthcoming election. Current President Petro Poroshenko is trailing the comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky, badly in the polls. Solomon’s bombshell also includes the statement:“We now have strong evidence that retired British spy Christopher Steele began his quest in what ultimately became the infamous Russia collusion dossier with a series of conversations with top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr between December of 2015 and February 2016 about securing evidence against Manafort.”This would explain why Steele was being paid as an FBI informant as of February of 2016.

As was demonstrated at Manafort’s trial, the corruption charges against him were solely based on his activities in Ukraine in support of turning that country toward Europe and away from Russia. The Russia! Russia! Russia! narrative about him was a complete British/Obama/Clinton Campaign fabrication. Victor Pinchuk contributed millions to both the British intelligence outpost known as the Atlantic Council and the Clinton Foundation and is an extremely important player in the British operations against Trump. Our work on the coup against Trump has demonstrated again and again that the filthy British operation run against the President is staffed by a group which might be called,“Veterans of the Ukraine coup.” Not only was Christopher Steele being paid as an informant of the FBI concerning Ukraine, he was also funneling his dirty memos to the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, the U.S. case officer for the coup. StopFake, the anti-Russia censorship and InfoWar network associated with the Chalupa sisters, is a full partner of the British military’s Integrity Initiative information warfare operation. That operation grew out of a British strategic determination for regime change in Russia following the 2014 Ukraine coup.

StopFake has repeatedly targeted the Schiller Institute and Lyndon LaRouche. The Chalupa sisters were deeply implicated in each step of the British operation against Trump, publicly campaigning, for example, for electoral college members to not vote for Trump. Kurt Volcker, the present U.S. envoy on Ukraine, and David Kramer, the John McCain Institute employee tagged by Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood to secure the publication of the entire dirty Chris Steele trash job on the President following the election, have been demonstrated, by recent revelations, to be fully enmeshed in both the coup in Ukraine and the operation against Trump. Writer George Eliason has detailed significant elements of this operation, including the extremely intriguing claim that in accepting the DNC and Crowdstrike analysis of the alleged DNC hack, Robert Mueller actually indicted Ukrainian Intelligence, rather than Russia’s GRU since the Fancy Bear persona is a creation of Ukrainian intelligence. Pulling this thread will go very far indeed in demonstrating the complete British intelligence genesis of the coup against the President and its location in Britain’s century’s old Great Game against Russia, as President Trump retweeted earlier this week.

https://larouchepac.com/20190322/john-solomon-breaks-old-story-all-roads-russiagate-lead-back-british-coup-ukraine-not

 

Opinion: How a senior DOJ official helped Dem researchers on Trump-Russia case

John Durham (lawyer)

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John Durham
John H. Durham.jpg
United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut
Assumed office
October 27, 2017
Acting: October 27, 2017 – February 22, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Deirdre M. Daly
Personal details
Born 1950 (age 68–69)
BostonMassachusetts, U.S.
Political party Republican[1]
Education Colgate University (BA)
University of Connecticut (JD)

John Henry Durham (born 1950)[2][3] is the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. He is best known for leading an inquiry into allegations that FBI agents and Boston police had ties with the mob[4] and his appointment as special prosecutor regarding the 2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction.[2] On November 1, 2017, he was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Connecticut’s next U.S. Attorney.[5] On February 15, 2018, his nomination to be the United States Attorney was confirmed by voice vote. He was sworn in on February 22, 2018.

Contents

Education and early life

Durham graduated with honors from Colgate University in 1972.[6] Durham received a law degree in 1975 from the University of Connecticut School of Law.[2] After graduation, he was a VISTA volunteer for two years on an Indian reservation in Montana, after which he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.[6] From 1978 to 1982, Durham served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office. From 1977 to 1978, he served as a Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.[citation needed] From 1994 to 2008, he served as the Deputy U.S. Attorney, and served as the U.S. Attorney in an acting and interim capacity in 1997 and 1998; from 1989 to 1994, he served as Chief of the Office’s Criminal Division, and from 1982 to 1989, he served as an attorney and then supervisor in the New Haven Field Office in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.[citation needed]

From 2008 to 2012, Durham served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.[7]

Career

Amid allegations that FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi had corrupted their handlers, US Attorney General Janet Reno named Durham special prosecutor in 1999. He oversaw a task force of FBI agents brought in from other offices to investigate the Boston office’s handling of informants.[8]

In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of Enrico TameleoJoseph SalvatiPeter Limone and Louis Greco because they had been framed by the agency. In 2007, the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men, who had died in prison, win a $101.7 million civil judgment against the government.[8]

In 2002, Durham helped secure the conviction of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on federal racketeering charges for protecting Bulger and Flemmi from prosecution and warning Bulger to flee just before the gangster’s 1995 indictment.[8]

Durham’s task force also gathered evidence against retired FBI agent H. Paul Rico who was indicted in Oklahoma on state charges that he helped Bulger and Flemmi kill a Tulsa businessman in 1981. Rico died in 2004 before the case went to trial.[8]

Durham also led a series of high-profile prosecutions in Connecticut against the New England Mafia and corrupt politicians, including former governor John G. Rowland.[8]

In 2008, John Durham was appointed by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate the destruction of CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations.[9][10][11] On November 8, 2010, Durham closed the investigation without recommending any criminal charges be filed.[12] Durham’s final report remains secret but was the subject of an unsuccessful lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act filed by The New York Times reporter Charlie Savage.[13]

In August 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Durham to lead the Justice Department’s investigation of the legality of CIA’s use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques“.[14] Durham’s mandate had only been to look at those interrogations that had gone “beyond the officially sanctioned guidelines”, with Attorney General Holder saying interrogators who had acted in “good faith” based on guidance from the Bush Justice Department were not to be prosecuted.[15]

Later in 2009, University of Toledo law professor Benjamin G. Davis attended a conference where former officials of the Bush administration had told conference participants shocking stories, and accounts of illegality on the part of more senior Bush officials.[16] Davis wrote an appeal to former Bush officials to take their accounts of illegality directly to Durham. In November 2011, Durham was included on The New Republic’s list of Washington’s most powerful, least famous people.[17]

In May 2019, Attorney General William Barr assigned Durham the task of looking into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference, and if any potential criminality occurred in the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ John Durham Named Interim U.S. Attorney; Presidential Nomination Expected
  2. Jump up to:a b c Lewis, Neil A. (January 13, 2008). “Prosecutor Who Unraveled Corruption in Boston Turns to C.I.A. Tape Case”The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Committee Questionnaire
  4. ^ Politi, Daniel (January 3, 2008). “The Jump Off”. Slate.
  5. ^ Mahony, Edmund H. (November 1, 2017). “President Trump Nominates John Durham To Be U.S. Attorney”Hartford Courant. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  6. Jump up to:a b James, Randy (August 26, 2009). “CIA Abuse Investigator John Durham”Time. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  7. ^ “John H. Durham Sworn in as United States Attorney | USAO-CT | Department of Justice”. Justice.gov. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d e Murphy, Shelley (January 7, 2008). “US prosecutor’s tenacity is rewarded”. The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Shapiro, Lila (August 24, 2009). Inhumane’ CIA Terror Tactics Spur Criminal Probe”Huffington Post.
  10. ^ The Associated Press (January 2, 2008). “Criminal probe opened over CIA tapes”. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  11. ^ Apuzzo, Matt (January 3, 2008). “Veteran prosecutor takes over CIA probe”. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  12. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Savage, Charlie (November 9, 2010). “No Criminal Charges Sought Over C.I.A. Tapes”New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  13. ^ Savage, Charlie (May 10, 2018). “Gina Haspel’s Testimony About C.I.A. Torture Raises New Questions”The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2018Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Haspel were later investigated by John Durham, an assistant United States attorney. Mr. Durham ultimately recommended filing no charges over the tape destruction, but his report laying out his findings and reasoning is secret. (The New York Times lost a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to make it public.)
  14. ^ Johnson, Carrie (August 25, 2009). “Holder Hires Prosecutor to Look Into Alleged CIA Interrogation Abuses”The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  15. ^ Adam SerwerBio (2012-08-31). “Investigation of Bush-era Torture Concludes With No Charges – Mother Jones”. Motherjones.com. Retrieved 2019-05-14. Text ” Follow ” ignored (help)
  16. ^ Benjamin G. Davis (September 25, 2009). “Torture Tales: Calling John Durham”The Jurist. Archived from the originalon September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  17. ^ The Editors (November 3, 2011). “Washington’s Most Powerful, Least Famous People”The New Republic. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  18. ^ Goldman, Adam; Savage, Charlie; Schmidt, Michael S. (May 13, 2019). “Barr Assigns U.S. Attorney in Connecticut to Review Origins of Russia Inquiry”The New York Times. Retrieved May 14, 2019.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Durham_(lawyer)

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1219, March 4, 2019, Story 1: Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Continues With House Hoax Trump Obstructed Justice By Firing Former FBI Director Comey — Presidents Can Fire Any Political Appointments — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Falls Due to Possibility of No United States Trade Agreement With Communist China — Ability To Enforce Agreement Is Crucial –Videos — Story 3: President Trump ‘s Bombshell Explosive Address To Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — Videos

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Story 1: Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Continues With House Hoax Trump Obstructed Justice By Firing Former FBI Director Comey — Presidents Can Fire Any Political Appointments — Videos

 

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The Latest: Congress seeks info on private Trump-Putin chats

2 hours ago
1 of 3
President Donald Trump welcomes 2018 NCAA FCS College Football Champions, The North Dakota State Bison, to the White House in Washington, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a House panel’s expanding investigations of President Donald Trump (all times local):

Three House committees are asking the White House and the State Department for any information on private conversations between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, including an interview with an interpreter who sat in on their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last summer.

The broad requests from the House intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees ask for the substance of Trump and Putin’s conversations in person and by phone and for information on whether those conversations had any impact on U.S. foreign policy. They are also asking whether Trump tried to conceal any conversations.

President Donald Trump says he’ll cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s sweeping investigation into his White House, campaign and businesses.

When a reporter asked him Monday if he was going to cooperate with the investigation led by Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Trump replied: “I cooperate all the time with everybody. You know, the beautiful thing, no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”

The committee is sending requests to 81 people linked to the president and his associates.

Nadler said Monday the investigation will be focused on possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.

Trump answered the question while he hosted the Division 1-winning North Dakota State University football team at the White House.

The House Judiciary Committee is launching a sweeping new probe of President Donald Trump, his White House, his campaign and his businesses. The panel is sending document requests to 81 people linked to the president and his associates.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says the investigation will be focused on obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power. The aggressive, broad investigation could set the stage for impeachment, although Democratic leaders have pledged to investigate all avenues and review special counsel Robert Mueller’s report before taking drastic action.

Nadler said Monday’s document requests are a way to “begin building the public record” and the committee has the responsibility to investigate.

The White House says it has received the House Judiciary Committee’s letter requesting documents related to the Trump administration, family and business as part of an expanding Russia investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the White House counsel’s office and relevant officials will review the letter and respond at the appropriate time.

The committee is requesting documents from more than 60 people.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who says he believes the president obstructed justice, says the panel wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. He says former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn also are likely targets.

 

A top House Democrat says it’s “very clear” President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House committee that would be in charge of impeachment says the panel is requesting documents Monday from more than 60 people from Trump’s administration, family and business as part of a rapidly expanding Russia investigation.

Nadler said the House Judiciary Committee wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn also are likely targets, he said.

Asked if he believed Trump obstructed justice, Nadler said, “Yes, I do.”

___

Follow all of AP’s Trump Investigations coverage at https://apnews.com/TrumpInvestigations

Former AG Lynch ‘appeared to have amnesia’ During December Testimony About Carter Page FISA

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Congressional lawmakers in closed door testimony that despite the DOJ having approved the FBI warrant and renewals to spy on Carter Page, she did not recall the applications, did not remember the details contained in the applications or the circumstances surrounding conversations about the warrant, according to testimony reviewed by SaraACarter.com.

Lynch “appeared to have amnesia” during her testimony that she delivered in December before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, said one congressional official, who had knowledge of the hearing. The official said Lynch’s closed-door testimony on Page, a former Trump campaign volunteer, left lawmakers with more questions than answers.

Lynch’s testimony has not yet been made public by the committees.

Tarmac Meeting

It was during 2016, as well, when Lynch, who was then Attorney General for President Barack Obama,  came under fire for her infamous Phoenix airport tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton. That meeting took place only days before former FBI Director James Comey made the announcement not to file charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified government emails on a private unsecured server. Lynch has always insisted that the meeting was coincidental and that she and Clinton only discussed grandkids and other “innocuous things,” as reported.

However, it is under questioning during the December hearing where Lynch not only evaded questions regarding the tarmac meeting but failed to disclose any information regarding the DOJ’s approval to allow the FBI to spy on Page.

It may be because Lynch’s then Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signed off on the FISA application. Others who signed off on the warrant and renewals were former FBI Director James Comey,  former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the final renewal application on Page that was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to the House Intelligence Committee’s January, 2018 memo.

Lynch, however, would expect lawmakers to believe that she was never aware that a former member of the Trump campaign was the target of an FBI investigation or a warrant that would allow the bureau to spy on him.

Goodlatte Questions Lynch on Carter Page

Then, under questioning from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, she listed the standard detailed procedures of what is required from the Attorney General when the FBI files for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Warrant to spy on an American.

“By statute, the Attorney General is the final signatory on the FISA applications,” stated Lynch to the committee. “By regulation, the signatory authority has been delegated – shall I say shared—with the Deputy Attorney General and the head of the national security division as long as the people in those positions are presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed.”

Lynch on Page

I DON’T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF BEING BRIEFED ON THE PAGE APPLICATION EITHER. AND I DON’T HAVE A RECOLLECTION OF SIGNING IT, SAID LYNCH

So she knows the rules and regulations but when asked in more detail about the process of approving the FBI’s application on Page she freezes.

Goodlatte, who was then the chairman of the committee, asked Lynch: “Is that what happened to the Carter Page case?”

“I wasn’t involved in the processing of the Page FISA and I can outline the process for you but I don’t have personal (knowledge) of it,” she said.

Confounded Goodlatte says “no, no, it is just not clear to me, the Attorney General has a role, you often rely upon others to supplement your work in fulfilling that role. Did you have a role in that or were you briefed?”

“I don’t have any recollection of being briefed on the Page application either. And I don’t have a recollection of signing it,” said Lynch in response.

Goodlatte then asks Lynch if she recalls signing any of the renewal applications to continue spying on Page.

“I don’t have a recollection of being involved in the FISA for Mr. Page at all,” she says.

Goodlatte then goes on to ask: “were you briefed about the relevance of Mr. Page’s FISA warrant with regard to this broader Russia investigation?”

Again, Lynch fails to have any memory of anything Page.

“I don’t have a recollection of a briefing of that type, no,” said Lynch.

Goodlatte then asks: “When did you first hear the name Carter Page?”

Lynch: “Again, it would have to have been like late spring of 2016 or so in this context. I don’t recall I knew of him from other sources or not.”

Lynch, Page and Trump

At the time of the Page warrant, the DOJ was feeling the pressure from the FBI to get the warrants signed, said one U.S. official with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Page’s warrant.

Page didn’t spark much FBI or public interest prior to Trump’s March 21, 2016, announcement that he was a volunteer on the campaign’s foreign policy team. The FBI took notice right away because Page had been in their bailiwick in the past. He was also a perfect target for anti-Trump FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok saw the opportunity to spy on Page, as an opportunity to go after the Trump campaign.

Shortly after Trump’s announcement – sometime in the late Spring –  Lynch, had met with former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Strzok to discuss the news of Page joining the Trump campaign, according to a declassified memorandum.

Lynch’s Contradictions

But according to Lynch’s statements to Congress, she can’t recall anything about Page.

The initial FBI FISA application was granted in late October, 2016 to spy on Page. But the FBI had already opened its investigation into the Trump campaign earlier in the Spring.

Not only were they collecting information from well placed sources within the campaign but former British spy Christopher Steele had been supplying the FBI and DOJ with unverified information he was collecting from sources, some of which were unreliable Russians.

By the summer, the bureau had obtained the dossier through Steele, who was working on behalf of now embattled research firm Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS was paid for the research by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

And it was the unverified dossier that was used as the bulk of evidence to obtain the warrant to spy on Page.

FISA Court Reprimands DOJ and FBI Spying on Americans

It was in April, 2017 that this reporter along with John Solomon first published the declassified and heavily redacted memorandum by signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, who heads the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court.

Collyer noted in the memorandum that the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.”

It was also just days after the court had approved the FISA to spy on Page.

The memorandum is vital in understanding to what lengths the NSA and the FBI have taken to spy on American communications.

It was also eye opening and a major reason why the Page FISA warrant is a central cause taken up by the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes,R-Ca.

It was at this same time that Lynch, and the FBI had filed the FISA warrant with the same secret court to spy on Page. However, the court at the time of the Page FISA application, would be relying on the bureau’s own word that the information contained in the FISA was backed by reliable evidence. It was not, according to the final Russia report submitted by Nunes’ committee.

“Very Serious” Constitutional Issue

The court, however, takes the violations that occurred seriously. As noted, the court discovered that the U.S. intelligence agencies had been conducting illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period. It drew sharp criticism from the court, which called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue.

But what about Page, along with others like him who may never know that a U.S. agency is spying on their communications?

That has yet to be addressed by the secret court or the Department of Justice.

If Collyer’s criticism against the upstream data searches to spy on Americans is any indication, then alleged violations under the law in conducting surveillance on Page based on unproven accusations in a FISA are just as daunting for the FBI and DOJ.

Nunes, told this reporter in an interview last month, that the Page FISA must be thoroughly investigated and laws must change in an effort to protect essential American rights guaranteed by the constitution.

The committee, then under Nunes leadership, revealed that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose pertinent information to the court when they obtained a FISA and three renewal warrants on Page. Further, the FBI used unsubstantiated information from a dossier put together by Steele and paid for by the opposition.

“The FISC court should take action against the people who misled them,” said Nunes. “It’s impossible for the court to say that they were not misled.”

The FISA Court And DOJ Must Act

Collyer describes the expansive intrusion by the intelligence community “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” Because of this, there is no way that the court can ignore what happened to Page.

It is up to the DOJ, now under Attorney General William Barr, to ensure that Lynch, Yates, Comey and others who participated in the targeting of an American citizen be investigated.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

Therefore, Page’s case isn’t just about one person – it’s about everyone’s right to be granted reasonable protection from corrupt officials or intrusive government agencies.

https://saraacarter.com/former-ag-lynch-appeared-to-have-amnesia-during-december-testimony-about-carter-page-fisa/

When You Read Mueller’s Report, Remember How It All Started

By | February 24th, 2019
Rather, the report will be the product of a team that started coming together long before Trump took office. Not only did many of them know each other beforehand, many shared a common goal: to stop Trump any way they could. It would be unjust to allow the report into the public domain without giving its target, the president, the opportunity to defend himself.

When the Clinton Foundation needed a private law firm to prevent Hillary Clinton’s emails from being released in a lawsuit, it hired the private law firm WilmerHale. Jeannie Rhee, a WilmerHale partner and loyal Democratic Party donor, personally signed the motion that won the case for the Clintons. Not long after, she would get the opportunity to join WilmerHale alumnus Robert Mueller to fight another case involving team Clinton emails. Recall, the alleged theft of more Clinton campaign emails and their subsequent release led to claims that the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to influence the outcome of the election. WilmerHale also produced Mueller team lawyers James Quarles and Aaron Zebley.

How did the team best positioned to achieve payback for Clinton’s 2016 election loss end up with such an incestuous mix of Clinton supporters and donors? Is it a coincidence that so many people with apparent interests in deposing Trump ended up working on the Mueller probe?

If so, it would be an amazing coincidence given that the Trump-Russia collusion story began with opposition research procured by the Clinton campaign. Representatives of the law firm  Clinton used to buy the opposition research, Perkins Coie, met with Justice Department officials to discuss the Russia investigation during the 2016 election cycle. Puzzle pieces revealed over the past two years have begun credibly to suggest that the plan to staff the special counsel’s office began well before Donald Trump took office.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned about some of the key figures in the special counsel’s investigation.

Bruce Ohr: Ohr did not end up on the Mueller team but was instrumental in its formation. During the 2016 election cycle, Ohr served as an associate deputy attorney general and as the head of the department’s organized crime drug task force. There’s no indication in the record that anyone in the Justice Department assigned Ohr to work on the Trump-Russia hoax or that his actions were within the scope of his duties. As The Hill’s John Solomon noted, “Bruce Ohr played an essential—and unorthodox—role, carrying politically tainted allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion to the FBI during the 2016 election,” including research that his wife, Nellie Ohr, generated as a subcontractor to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr’s involvement in vouching for the Fusion GPS information helped give it the credibility needed to spur a federal Investigation. Ohr’s sponsoring and advancement of the collusion hoax while his wife received Clinton money to do work on the same thing appears to be a shocking violation of the criminal statute 18 U.S.C. § 208 and it makes it appear as though a political campaign can buy a federal investigation of its opponent by hiring the spouse of a senior official. (For more analysis on the potential legal violation, read here.) Ohr continues to work for the Department of Justice and has not been charged with anything.

Andrew Weissmann: Before being appointed to the Mueller team, Weissmann sent a fawning email to Obama-holdover acting Attorney General Sally Yates lauding her refusal to carry out the lawful instructions of the newly-elected Donald Trump.  The former head of the Justice Department’s fraud section donatedto Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in 2007 and attended her election night party in 2016.

In an early indication that Weissmann was always intended as a figure for the yet-to-be-formed Mueller team, Bruce Ohr (who indirectly received Clinton Campaign money) kept Weissmann in the loop as Ohr ferried Clinton’s opposition research to the FBI to promote the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. This is another indication that the plan for staffing an anti-Trump special counsel was hatched long before Mueller was appointed. Weissmann would then act as the second-in-command of Mueller’s investigation and was reportedly the architect of the aggressive Manafort raid and the push to raid former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s law office.

The fact that Ohr involved Weissmann in the Russia-Trump matter before the appointment of the special counsel also raises the question of whether Mueller recruited Weissmann or Weissmann recruited Mueller.

Mueller helped form the Enron task force that Weissmann led earlier in his career. Author Sidney Powell profiled Weissmann’s time with the task force as a legacy of chilling prosecutorial misconduct leading to the destruction of accounting firm Arthur Andersen with a corporate conviction that the Supreme Court overturned unanimously. Weissmann obtained a conviction of Arthur Andersen for shredding documents in the ordinary course of business that nobody told it to save. In an indication that Mueller could be relied upon to indulge prosecutors run amuck, the New York Times reported that Mueller actually approved of the Enron team’s tactics. Weissmann’s long history with Mueller also includes working for Mueller as a special counsel in 2005 and then as Mueller’s general counsel in 2011.

Zainab Ahmad: In the spring of 2016, Ahmad took a leave from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York to work at Justice Department headquarters at the request of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, dealing with transnational organized crime and international affairs. She returned to the New York office in April 2017, remaining there until that July, when she joined the Mueller team. While it makes sense that Mueller would pick Ahmad as an experienced and energetic trial attorney, it’s not immediately obvious why Bruce Ohr would brief Ahmad with Fusion GPS research in July 2016. Somehow, Ohr had the foresight to know that Ahmad’s career path would take a relevant turn toward the Russia investigation.

Andrew McCabe: As noted in the Justice Department Inspector General’s report, the former deputy FBI director “had an active role in the supervision of the Midyear investigation, and oversight of the Clinton Foundation investigation, until he recused himself from these investigations on November 1, 2016.” As a result of that report, McCabe is currently under criminal investigation for lying to the inspector general.

McCabe’s wife, Jill, received approximately $800,000 in campaign donations from funds directed by Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. In addition, on June 26, 2015, Hillary Clinton was the featured speaker at a Jill McCabe fundraiser hosted by  the Virginia Democratic Party and attended by McAuliffe. Even the left-leaning Slate admitted that the fundraiser raised legitimate concerns over whether Andrew McCabe’s involvement in the Clinton investigations may have been compromised.

McAuliffe approached McCabe’s wife in early 2015. In March 2015, the former secretary of state’s emails (withheld from Congress) were deleted by a contractor and the potential criminal exposure of the email scandal was becoming apparent. Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015. In June 2016, approximately five months before recusing himself from the Clinton email investigation, McCabe helped draft the memo exonerating Clinton from any criminal liability. McCabe did not directly join the Mueller team but clashed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over his continued involvement in the probe.

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok: Texts between Page, a former FBI lawyer who served as McCabe’s deputy, and Strzok, the former head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, revealed startling partisan animus against Donald Trump. The texts indicate Page interned for Hillary or Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They also show that Page, Strzok, and McCabe discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump defeated Clinton in the 2016 election. Page explained to Congress that the “insurance policy” text referred to the Russia investigation. Thus, by the time McCabe sent Page and Strzok to the Mueller team, McCabe participated in at least one meeting in which Strzok suggesting using the Russia investigation to respond to a surprise election result.

Strozk would be given the opportunity to use this “insurance policy” on the Mueller team—that is, until the embarrassed special counsel removed both Strzok and Page when their partisan text messages came to light. Mueller quietly returned their phones to the FBI, resulting in their deletion and ensuring even more partisan texts would be lost forever.

Jeannie Rhee: Rhee gave the maximum personal donations to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015 and 2016. Rhee would have been well-known to Clinton allies from her successful defense of the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit seeking the secretary of state’s emails.

As noted by Fox News, Rhee “has a history of working with prominent Democrats, serving as a special assistant to then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, and as counsel to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on the Senate Judiciary Committee.” Rhee has such an extensive history advancing Hillary Clinton’s agenda that one news outlet dubbed her “Hillary’s Attack Dog.”

Rhee has appeared in court on behalf of Mueller’s team in the Concord Management and Paul Manafortcases, where her apparent conflicts of interests have been argued by both defendants.

Rod Rosenstein: The departing deputy attorney general first met Robert Mueller in his first job out of Harvard Law School. Rosenstein landed an internship in office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, where Mueller was in charge. Rosenstein idolized Mueller and could have been counted upon to appoint his old boss as the special counsel.

Rosenstein is a registered Republican, which would have been necessary for the Trump Administration to trust him in the role as second-in-command of the Justice Department. So he might not have been an obvious choice for Clinton’s allies at first. But it’s worth recalling that Rosenstein worked for the Clinton Administration throughout most of the 1990s. He then worked for Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s investigation into then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s role in several scandals that plagued her husband’s administration. In 2000, Starr’s office (presumably at Rosenstein’s recommendation) declined to prosecute Clinton for her role in the White House Travel Office scandal.

Rosenstein reportedly oversees U.S. Attorney John Huber’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s emails, and Clinton dirty tricks during the election. Reports are that the investigation is a sham. Few or none of the key witnesses have been contacted.

It’s also been apparent that Rosenstein has been disabled by his obvious conflict of interests and cannot effectively supervise the probe. In this sense, he is the ideal boss for subordinate investigators who want to pursue their agenda unmolested.

It is also worth remembering that Rosenstein was asked to commit to appointing a special counsel during his confirmation hearing on March 7, 2017. Six days earlier, unnamed Justice Department officials engineered the elevation the yet-unconfirmed Rosenstein to oversee the potential special counsel when the Washington Post quoted anonymous sources smearing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with leaks about innocuous meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions’ capacity as a U.S. senator. The leaks worked and Sessions recused himself on March 2. Former FBI Director James Comey flatters himself that his firing and leaking prompted the appointment of a special counsel. It was clearly already in the works.

Robert Mueller: If one wanted a special counsel motivated to avenge Comey’s firing, Mueller would be your man. In addition to his long-standing relationship with Andrew Weissmann, Mueller has a close friendship with Comey. Mueller helped coach Comey for his infamous congressional testimony following his termination.

While neither Mueller nor Comey seem particularly in-the-tank for Clinton, both have a history of letting subordinate investigations run amuck, making Mueller an ideal supervisor for hyperpartisans like Weissmann and Rhee. In addition to Mueller’s history with the Enron task force, Mueller looked the other way during serious FBI misconduct in Boston during the Whitey Bulger era (leading to witnesses being framed) and both Comey and Mueller allowed the FBI to target and harass an innocent scientist in the anthrax investigation. Mueller, also reputed to be a Republican, may have put a bipartisan face on the investigation. But based on Mueller’s history, it’s reasonable to question whether he has ceded real control to his partisan underlings.

Other Members of the Mueller Team: An unidentified lawyer working on the Mueller team sent texts, including “viva la resistance,” and “I am numb,” responding to news of Trump’s presidential election victory. Mueller team member Aaron Zelinsky worked for Rosenstein before joining the Mueller team. Team member Elizabeth Prelogar clerked for openly Trump-hating U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

There are 1.34 million attorneys in the United States. Yet that pool was apparently too small to avoid appointing to the special counsel staff attorneys who had a stake in undoing the 2016 election and unseating President Trump. We’ve come a long way from the Watergate era, when Independent Counsel Archibald Cox and his team were deliberately drawn from players unconnected to the scandal or partisan politics.

The facts speak for themselves. The Mueller team was a revenge squad and any report it produces should be reviewed in that context.

https://www.amgreatness.com/2019/02/24/when-you-read-muellers-report-remember-how-it-all-started/

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See the source image

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The Pronk Pops Show 1207, February 13, 2019, Story 1: There Was No Evidence of Russian Collusion With Trump Campaign Concludes Senate Intelligence Committee — Massive Lying By Democrats and Big Lie Media To Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Will Double The Human Border Barrier By Adding 300 Miles of Human Border Barrier Next To Existing 300 Miles of Vehicle Barrier Plus 50 More Miles — Videos — Story 3: Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars and Other Fiat Currencies — A Return To The Gold Standard? — Videos

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Story 1: Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Collusion With Trump Campaign — Massive Lying By Democrats and Big Lie Media To Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Senate Intelligence Chairman says no sign of Russia collusion yet

Senate Intel chair Richard Burr speaks to CBS News on Russia probe

Nunes reveals criminal referral plans once Barr is AG

FBI emails show officials coordinating Hillary, Weiner probes

Senate Has Found No Direct Evidence Of Collusion Between Trump And Russia | Hallie Jackson | MSNBC

Tucker: There was no Russian collusion

Trump and Russia: An Introduction to What We Know (and What We Don’t)

New insight into the Senate’s Russia investigation

Senate Intel Committee is run by the Democrats: Tom Fitton

Steyn: Hillary just can’t accept she lost to Trump

Hume: Hillary just can’t own up to her mistakes

Steyn: Hillary was the ‘entitled candidate’

Dems now don’t think Russia collusion is a big deal?

Did Hillary Clinton collude with the Russians to get ‘dirt’ on Trump to feed it to the FBI?

Story 2: President Trump Will Double The Human Border Barrier By Adding 300 Miles of Human Border Barrier Next To Existing 300 Miles of Vehicle Barrier Plus 50 More Miles —

Rove: Trump has the authority reprogram border security funding

The Wall – A Nation Divided

Walls of Shame: The US-Mexican Border l Featured Documentaries

McCarthy sees border deal as down payment on border wall

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

The Wall: Violence on ranchers’ land

The No Man’s Land Beneath the Border Wall

Watch The New Vehicle wall formed by Texas Police to Help Border Wall.

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

The Wall – A Nation Divided

Close look at a Mexican border wall in Hidalgo, Texas

The wall of eyes trained on the US – Mexico border

Ranching in No Man’s Land

Border security US rancher’s warning on immigration reform

(Part II) A Day in the Life of an Arizona Rancher: Fences, Illegal Aliens, and One Man’s Watchtower

Story 3: Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars and Other Fiat Currencies — A Return To The Gold Standard? — Video

David Stockman – Central Banks Created Fiscal Doomsday Machine

Central Banks Are Buying Gold – That is All I Need To Know!

Central Banks Gold Buying Hits Highest Level In Half A Century

Gold Alert: Central Bank Increases Reserves By 1000% – Mike Maloney

Central Banks Are Stocking Up On Gold

Keiser Report: Crypto-collateralized contracts (E1344)

Keiser Report: Are We Back on a Gold Standard? (E1342)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0BQ2H8zc6c]

Why Are Central Banks Buying GOLD & SILVER At Record Pace?? Paradigm Shift Imminent!

Jim Rickards – The New Axis of Gold – How emerging market central banks are accumulating gold

David Stockman Warns “Gold Is The Only Safe Asset Left”

 

Central banks are buying the most gold since the end of World War II — here’s why

gold bars

Gold is in vogue.

 REUTERS/Beawiharta

  • Central banks have bought the most gold since the end of World War II, with the commodity becoming an increasingly valuable hedge against growing global instability.
  • The near-record buildup in government debt globally, particularly in the US, makes other perceived risk-free assets less attractive.
  • Gold is seen to have returns similar to equities in the current cycle, and a dip in supply makes it a more valuable asset for central banks and investors alike.

Central banks have been buying up gold at a rate not seen since World War II as concerns about geopolitics and the strong dollar see a shift in appreciation for the quintessential risk-free asset.

A broad combination of factors have led to gold’s resurgence, according to the research firm Bernstein. They include geopolitical risk, concerns about government debt, supply issues, and the perception that gold gives better returns over other assets.

“Beyond just the threat of inflation, it is also remarkable that, for the first time since the end of Bretton Woods and, indeed, since the end of the Second World War, central bank buying of gold has actually increased,” a note sent to clients by the firm said on Monday.

Equally, the case for gold purchases is boosted by the near-record levels of government debt in the US, which makes other potential risk-free assets more questionable and could increase inflation figures.

Gold is trading at $1,310 an ounce, up nearly 10% from its recent low in September.

As well as its value related to inflation, gold is likely to see demand increase, while supply will stay “flat at best,” Bernstein said, boosting its value to central banks and investors alike. “As with any other commodity, robust demand and weak supply implies price appreciation,” Bernstein’s analysts wrote.

Gold holdings had been on the decline for years but have seen a clear boost recently.

Bernstein also pointed out that beyond the conversation about central banks’ holdings of gold was its increase in use over jewelry. Both private and public “monetary” holding of gold have overtaken jewelry demand as the primary source of demand growth for gold in recent years, according to Bernstein.

https://www.businessinsider.com/central-banks-buy-gold-at-rate-not-seen-since-wwii-2019-2

Central bank gold buying hits highest level in half a century

  • in 2018, Central banks bought the most gold by volume since 1967.
  • The Russian central bank is leading the way as it looks to reduce its reliance on dollar reserves.

Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

The amount of gold bought by central banks in 2018 reached the second highest annual total on record, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

Central banks bought the most gold by volume since 1967, according to the industry research firm, which also highlighted it was the largest amount since former U.S. President Nixon Richard’s decision to end the dollar’s peg to bullion in 1971.

Central bank net purchases reached 651.5 metric tons in 2018, 74 percent higher than in the previous year when 375 tons were bought. The WGC has estimated that central banks now hold nearly 34,000 tons of gold.

The Federal Reserve is reported to hold the most, amounting for almost three quarters of the nation’s foreign-exchange reserve pot.

Futures Now: Gold's gleaming rally

Futures Now: Gold’s gleaming rally  

Taking the current spot price of $1,321.15 per troy ounce, gold purchases by central banks in 2018 amounted to a $27.7 billion spending splurge on the precious metal.

“Heightened geopolitical and economic uncertainty throughout the year increasingly drove central banks to diversify their reserves and re-focus their attention on the principal objective of investing in safe and liquid assets,” said the report released on Thursday.

The WGC said the bulk of the buying was carried out by a handful of central banks with Russia leading the way as it looks to swap out dollars from its portfolio. The Russian central bank sold almost all of its U.S. Treasury stock to buy 274.3 tons of gold in 2018.

The central bank of Turkey increased gold reserves by 51.5 tons in 2018. That marked a second consecutive year of net purchases but was 40 percent lower than the volume it bought in 2017.

Other big central bank buyers were Kazakhstan, India, Iraq, Poland and Hungary.

Net sales of gold from central banks remained small, totaling less than 15 tons. Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Ukraine accounted for almost all of that figure.

WGC said total gold demand in 2018 reached a total of 4,345.1 tons. The biggest demand came from jewelry which, while flat on the 2017 figure, accounted for just over half of the total. Bars and coins contributed 1,090 tons in 2018, marking a 4 percent rise from the previous year. Gold used in technology climbed marginally to 334.6 tons.

The price of gold has risen around 9 percent in the last three months.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/31/world-gold-council-central-banks-buy-most-gold-since-1967-.html

Central Banks Buy Their Most Gold In Years As They Look To Reduce Risk

Adem Tumerkan November 2, 2018
Category: Research

– This is a repost of the recent Palisade Weekly Letter –

 

Less than a month ago  – Hungary’s Central Bank announced that they increased their gold holdings from 3.1 metric tons to over 31 metric tons.

That’s a tenfold increase – meaning 1,000%. . .

The Hungarian Central Bank governor – Gyorgy Matolcsy – called this a significant move of “economic and national strategic importance”. He also boldly stated that this was a way to improve the security of the small nation’s wealth.

This news comes right after Poland’s recent decision to charge into gold as well. . .

Poland also added nearly 10 metric tons of gold to the country’s reserves in July and August as prices fell.

This marks the country’s largest gold purchase since 1998. And bullion reserves now sit at the highest they have since 1983.

True – Poland and Hungary both still rank outside the world’s top 30 largest gold holders.

And to give you a little context – Russia’s adding 20 tons of gold on average each month to their vaults. . .

So – in the bigger macro picture – their recent gold purchases aren’t that noticeable. And is probably why many mainstream analysts didn’t care much about it.

But it actually is a big deal. . . 

This highlights the trend we’ve seen by central banks charging in to gold since after the 2008 crisis.

I wrote two weeks ago (click here if you missed it) that post-2008, central banks – especially the Emerging Markets – have insatiable gold appetite. And I believe this is helping to put a floor under the price of gold.

Just look for yourself. . .

After two decades of selling – throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s – central banks worldwide are now diversifying their dollar reserves with gold.

The latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC) showed that central bank gold reserves grew 150 tons in the third-quarter 2018.

That’s up 22% from 2017 – one year ago.

This marks the 8th straight year of central bank gold buying – and the highest level of net purchases since 2015 – both quarterly and year-to-date.

But most importantly – the number of central banks doing the buying was notable.

To name just a few: India – Turkey – Kazakhstan – China – Russia – Poland – Hungary – Iraq – and Mongolia. . .

What did all this buying from various central banks have in common? It was the lower price of gold triggered a buying opportunity. Meaning central bankers wanted to take advantage of the stronger dollar and buy cheaper gold.

Remember – when the dollar’s stronger, gold costs less (i.e. it takes fewer dollars to buy that same gold ounce – vice versa.)

And this trend of heavy central bank buying doesn’t seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

According to JP Morgan Chase & Co – central banks will buy another 300-plus tons in 2019. And I expect that to continue throughout the 2020’s.

So – here’s the bigger question. . .

Is all this central bank gold buying signaling trouble in the global economy?

I think so.

Let’s just go over a few troubling issues:

We’ve seen slowing growth in the Emerging Markets, European Union, and China. All while the Federal Reserve continues tightening – spurring a global dollar shortage (read more here).

There’s also the three-plus trillion in Emerging Market debt coming due (i.e. bonds maturing) over the next two-and-a-half years (I just wrote about this problem – you can read here).

With short-term rates rising and a stronger dollar – these debtors will have trouble rolling the debt over (refinancing it). Now markets must worry about a wave of dollar-debt defaults – like we’ve already seen in China this year (read more here).

We also can’t ignore the market beginning to worry about next year’s corporate earnings – which I fully believe will be horrid (more here). Equity prices have been volatile because of this – leaving the NYSE nearly down on the year.

Another troubling indicator is the Chinese currency – the yuan – has devalued significantly over the past few months. It’s getting close to breaking through the $7.00 USD-to-yuan mark.

The last time we saw the yuan devalue so much – August 2015 – global markets imploded.

So yes – it’s no surprise central banks and retail investors are buying gold.

Going back to what Gyorgy Matolcsy – the Hungarian Central Bank Governor – said. . .

‘Gold is key for risk reduction’

Having a certain amount of gold in a portfolio works well to protect against sudden market drops – as I’ve shown previously (read here).

As I wrote then – Just look at the average price of gold during times when the S&P 500 fell more than 15% over the last 20 years. . . You can see that during times when market’s collapse more than 15%, gold positions would do very well. The gold mining equities and warrants do even better. . .”


Therefore – we see that during large market drops – the price of gold increases enough to offset any losses.

But that’s not all. . .

Having gold also improves a portfolio’s Sharpe Ratio.

For those of you that don’t know – the Sharpe Ratio is a popular metric that helps investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risks. Meaning it measures a portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns relative to peers based on a ‘standard deviation’ (a black swan event).

Thus the higher the ratio – the better the risk adjusted returns. . .

And as New Frontier Advisors and U.S. Global Investors discovered – an institutional portfolio with at least 6% weighting in gold has a significantly higher Sharpe Ratio compared to portfolio’s that didn’t have any gold at all.

What this means is – gold in a portfolio greatly reduces volatility without hurting overall returns. . .

Now that we know this – It’s not hard to see why Hungary’s Central Bank Governor increased gold holdings tenfold.

This also helps explain why other central bankers worldwide are opting for gold as well.

That’s because of Balance Sheet Theory – coined by Michael Pettis (one of my favorite economists). 

Balance Sheet Theory basically means that investors – during a crunch period – look at governments and central banks as if they are looking at a corporate balance sheet.

The better the assets are against the liabilities – the more robust things are. . .

But the worst the assets are against growing liabilities – the more fragile things are. . .

And as we watch the Emerging Markets get slaughtered this year in 2018 – it’s not hard to see why. They have horrid balance sheets with mounting liabilities against diminishing assets.

So keep all this in mind when you ask yourself, ‘why are central banks buying so much gold since 2008?’

They are doing it to protect themselves. .

https://palisade-research.com/central-banks-buy-gold/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/12/national-debt-tops-22-trillion-first-time-ever/2849978002/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama,