The Pronk Pops Show 1295, July 24, 2019, Part 1 — Story 1: Black Swan Song — Pathetic Incompetent Corrupt Swamp Swan Figurehead Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III Exposed As Fraud — “A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations” — Corrupt Democrat Punks — “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? — “Go Ahead Make My Day” — Impeach Trump — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Exposed — No Credibility and No Longer Trusted — No Evidence or Basis For Impeachment — Mueller “Outside My Purview”: Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — American People Will Reelect Trump for Second Term in A Landslide Victory — Case Closed — Videos

Posted on July 25, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Comedy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Government Dependency, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, James Comey, Law, Life, Media, Movies, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Senate, Social Science, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: Black Swan Song — Pathetic Incompetent Corrupt Swamp Swan Figurehead Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III Exposed As Fraud — “A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations” — Corrupt Democrat Punks — “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? — “Go Ahead Make My Day” — Impeach Trump — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Exposed — No Credibility and No Longer Trusted — No Evidence or Basis For Impeachment — Mueller “Outside My Purview”: Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — American People Will Reelect Trump for Second Term in A Landslide Victory — Videos

Black Swan – Last Dance Scene (“I was perfect…”)

The Real ‘Black Swan’: Double Speaks

Magnum Force (10/10) Movie CLIP – A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations (1973) HD

A Good Man Always Has to Know His Limitations

Dirty Harry Do You ( I ) Feel Lucky Punk? ( high quality)

Dirty Harry – inadmissible

Dirty Harry Do You Feel Lucky Punk

Dirty Harry – Best Quotes, Lines (Clint Eastwood)

Robert Mueller testifies before Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill (LIVE) | USA TODAY

Robert Mueller’s full testimony to House Judiciary committee

MUELLER HEARING: House Judiciary Committee Part 1

MUELLER HEARING: House Intelligence Committee Part 2

Full: Robert Mueller Testimony To Congress, Reaction And Analysis | NBC News

Collins at Mueller hearing: I hope this brings us closure

WATCH: Rep. Steve Chabot’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

WATCH: Rep. Ted Lieu’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

WATCH: Rep. Debbie Lesko’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

WATCH: Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

Ratcliffe Questions Former Special Counsel Mueller on Report

Representative Turner questions Mueller

WATCH: Rep. Matt Gaetz’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

Rep. Jim Jordan blasts Mueller for dodging questions

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan presses former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. Jordan says maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started.

Rep. Gohmert grills Mueller: Did you know Strzok hated Trump?

Representative Nunes questions Mueller

WATCH: Rep. Ben Cline’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

Joe diGenova: The public got to see Mueller’s incompetence

Whitaker says it was clear Mueller didn’t have a grasp of Russia report

Tucker: Democrats believed Mueller would save America

Hannity: Mueller’s testimony was an unmitigated disaster

Ingraham: Trump beats the elites again

Jim Jordan says Dems are never going to stop going after Trump

Gowdy on Mueller: I would’ve beaten the hell out of that exoneration

Trump’s legal team takes victory lap after Mueller hearings

WATCH: Key moments from Mueller’s testimony

Takeaways and analysis of Mueller hearings

 

‘Disoriented’ Mueller’s stumbling responses to questions during blockbuster hearing leave social media concerned the special counsel seems a ‘confused old man’ but some think it is all a strategy to frustrate the committee members

  • Mueller faced members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday morning at a highly-anticipated hearing on the Russia investigation
  • Viewers reacting on social media noticed Mueller stumbled at several points 
  • ‘Mueller is acting like he doesn’t know what’s going on,’ one viewer wrote on Twitter. ‘He’s acting like a confused old man’ 
  • Some viewers have said Mueller’s shaky demeanor calls his report into question
  • Others think the 74-year-old veteran prosecutor sounds uncertain because he is being overly-cautious about coming off as impartial
  • When it came to questions at the core of the report, Mueller has delivered firm answers without hesitation 
  • Another theory suggests the wobbly performance is a delaying tactic to frustrate Republican committee members determined to discredit the report
  • Viewers also noted that Mueller is hindered by the mammoth task of manually searching through 397 pages to effectively answer questions about the report

Perplexed viewers are questioning Robert Mueller’s ‘confused’ demeanor as he testifies in front of Congress.

The special counsel faced members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday morning at a highly-anticipated hearing on the Russiainvestigation.

Viewers reacting on social media have noticed that Mueller appeared to stumble at multiple points.

‘Robert Mueller comes across as a doddering old fool with a questionable moral compass based on situational ethics who should never have been appointed in the first place based on reduced mental capacity,’ one person tweeted.

‘Mueller is acting like he doesn’t know what’s going on,’ another wrote. ‘He’s acting like a confused old man.’

Some are saying the wobbly performance is a delaying tactic on the part of the special counsel to frustrate Republican committee members determined to discredit findings that are damaging to President Donald Trump.  

When it came to questions at the core of the report, Mueller has delivered firm answers without hesitation. 

Asked whether Trump had been exonerated or if he could be charged with obstruction of justice when he leaves office, Mueller replied: ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ respectively.

‘Lots of twitter folks are dogging Mueller out for looking old and feeble,’ MSNBC’s Joy Reid tweeted. ‘But optically, that just makes the Republicans yelling at him look more absurd. Mueller is quite definitive in his one word answers, which only Dems are eliciting from him so far.’

Perplexed viewers are questioning Robert Mueller's 'confused' demeanor as he testifies in front of members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday morning

Perplexed viewers are questioning Robert Mueller’s ‘confused’ demeanor as he testifies in front of members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday morning

Viewers reacting on social media noticed that Mueller appeared to stumble at multiple points

 

Viewers reacting on social media noticed that Mueller appeared to stumble at multiple points

 

MSNBC's Joy Reid defended Mueller's performance, saying his answers have been effective

Several Twitter users expressed the opinion that the 74-year-old veteran prosecutor’s shaky demeanor calls his entire report into question.

‘Listening too Mueller the cracking in his voice shows clearly that he is a conflicted Skunk and lying ! And I think he is senile !’

‘As I said when Mueller gave speech in May, he is feeble,’ radio personality Mark Levin tweeted. ‘I say that not as a personal attack but as a rational observation. It’s on display today during this hearing.

‘This underscores that the person who influenced this investigation most was Andrew Weissman, his top lieutenant.’

Replying to Levin’s tweet, one man wrote: ‘Agreed, Mueller looks geriatric and lost…. find that man a time machine.’ 

‘It’s quite entertaining. Mueller can’t make a coherent statement. Looks like the circus made a stop in DC,’ a woman tweeted.

‘I’d say Democrats right now regretting they ever subpoenaed Mueller. He looks confused,’ a man wrote.

Some viewers have said Mueller's shaky demeanor calls his report into question

Some viewers have said Mueller’s shaky demeanor calls his report into question

 

 

 

 

 

Others think Mueller sounds uncertain because he is being overly-cautious about coming off as impartial.

‘I’m concerned that Mueller is so concerned with not appearing political that he is really under-performing at times by failing to clarify things that need clarification,’ one woman wrote.

‘To let crazy GOP statements stand without clarification could be interpreted as agreement.’

Some noted that Mueller is being hindered by the mammoth task of manually searching through 397 pages to effectively answer questions about the report his team took two years to compile.

He repeatedly had to ask committee members for page numbers when asked to comment on specific sections.

One woman tweeted that Mueller would have a much easier time referring to the report if he had searchable copy on a computer.

‘Give Robert Mueller a computer, he desperately needs CTRL + F,’ Vice Media VP Katie Drummond wrote.

Ironically, the copy of the report released by the Justice Department was a scanned printout and thus couldn’t be searched. Several searchable versions have cropped up in the months since then.

Unfortunately for Mueller, witnesses are not allowed to use computers during hearings.

Mueller frequently had to pause and manually search through the 397-page report to effectively answer questions from lawmakers

Mueller frequently had to pause and manually search through the 397-page report to effectively answer questions from lawmakers

 

 

 

Throughout the hearing, Democrats, who hold the majority on both committees present, worked to elicit short, definitive answers from Mueller.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler asked him: ‘Director Mueller, the president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him. But that is not what your report said, is it?

‘That is correct. That is not what the report said,’ Mueller responding.

‘Does that say there was no obstruction?’ Nadler followed up later.

‘No,’ the former special counsel said.

‘In fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president,’ Nadler told him.

‘Yes it does,’ Mueller replied.

Most of Mueller’s fumbles came in response to Republicans trying to get him to stray from his typical dry, technical explanations.

‘Where are you reading from?’ he asked one member, Rep James Sensenbrenner. ‘I am reading from my question,’ the Wisconsin Republican lawmaker told him.

Under questioning by Republican Rep Steve Chabot, Mueller didn’t show immediate familiarity with political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, a key player in the trail of the Steele Dossier, and a fixture of attention of President Trump and GOP critics of the Mueller probe.

‘When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm was Fusion GPS, is that correct?’

‘I’m not familiar with that,’ said Mueller.

‘That’s not a trick question. It’s Fusion GPS.’

Most of Mueller's fumbles came in response to Republicans trying to get him to stray from his typical dry, technical explanations

Ohio Republican Rep Jim Jordan sought to draw Mueller out on the surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, whose trips to Russia drew attention of investigators.

‘Director Mueller, the third FISA renewal happens a month after you’re named special counsel. What role did your office play in the third FISA renewal of Carter Page?’ Jordan asked.

‘I’m not going to talk to that,’ said Mueller.

In his prepared statement, Mueller began by defending his probe following an onslaught of attacks, and spelling out questions he will and will not answer.

He said he told his team at the start of the Russia probe to ‘work quietly, thoroughly and with integrity so that the public would have full confidence in the outcome.

‘We needed to do our work as thoroughly as possible and as expeditiously as possible. It was in the public interest for our investigation to be complete and not to last a day longer than necessary,’ Mueller said.

He said his team of lawyers and agents worked ‘fairly and with absolute integrity’ – minutes after President Trump once again attacked it as a ‘witch hunt’.

‘Our team would not leak or take other actions that would compromise the integrity of our work,’ said Mueller. ‘All decisions were made based on the facts and the law.’

Ohio Republican Rep Jim Jordan sought to draw Mueller out on the surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, whose Russia trips drew investigators' attention

Ohio Republican Rep Jim Jordan sought to draw Mueller out on the surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, whose Russia trips drew investigators’ attention

Rep Doug Collins tried to get Mueller to contradict his report by asking him whether ‘collusion’ and ‘conspiracy’ are the same thing after Mueller testified that they weren’t.

Collins cited a portion of the report that states: ‘Collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the U.S. Code; nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. To the contrary, even as defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute.’

Mueller critics declared that the special counsel had been bested by Collins, while experts explained that Collins’ citation was taken out of context.

The part of the report in question was about collusion in the sense of corporate collusion – when companies conspire in an illegal fashion to help each other at consumers’ expense.

Corporate collusion is unrelated to ‘collusion with Russia’, the colloquial term adopted in the debate about potential cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Both sides sought to get Mueller on record on the question of whether he had any potential conflict that would prevent him from overseeing the probe.

Georgia Democrat Rep Hank Johnson asked Mueller if he had any conflicts of interest that prevented him from being special counsel. Mueller said he did not. Trump has repeatedly said Mueller was ‘highly conflicted,’ saying he had interviewed to be his FBI director and that the two men had a nasty business dispute. 

Some people on social media lambasted Republican committee members for trying to damage Mueller’s credibility.

‘No matter your political party, it’s absolutely disgusting to see those attacking Mueller’s integrity,’ one man tweeted.

‘The way the @JudiciaryGOP members talked and yelled at Robert Mueller is beyond awful. They’ve all lost their souls,’ another wrote.

‘Republicans can’t argue the facts, so they attack the investigation and the investigators,’ another said.

‘Remember this slander of Mueller the next time you hear republicans going on about their love & respect for veterans. They will throw anyone under the bus who doesn’t toe the party line.’

Some people on social media lambasted Republican committee members for trying to damage Mueller's credibility

 

Some people on social media lambasted Republican committee members for trying to damage Mueller’s credibility

TOP 10 MUELLER TAKEAWAYS

Below are the 10 most important takeaways gleaned from Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday.

Mueller said all he wanted to say in his report

When Mueller finally agreed to testify before Congress – after more than two years of silence about the Russia investigation – the special counsel said he ‘would not provide information beyond that which is already public’ in the report published in April.

He stuck to that promise throughout Wednesday’s hearing, declining or deferring nearly 200 questions from committee members.

Mueller’s reasons for not answering included not wanting to speculate, being unable to detail internal Justice Department deliberations and being under orders not to broach specific topics.

Trump was paying attention 

After saying that he couldn’t be bothered to watch Mueller’s testimony, President Trump made it clear that he was tuned in as he tweeted multiple reactions to the proceedings on Wednesday.

‘I’m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple,’ Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday. ‘We had no collusion, no obstruction.’

Before the hearing even kicked off Trump had posted seven tweets about the hearing, echoing his go-to attacks on ‘Mueller & his band of 18 Angry Democrats’.

Over the next eight hours tweeted and retweeted 14 posts about Mueller’s testimony, including multiple videos of Republican lawmakers grilling the special counsel.

‘TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!’ he declared just after 2.30pm.

Mueller didn’t subpoena Trump to avoid a lengthy court battle  

The special counsel addressed why Trump wasn’t interviewed during the two-year-long investigation when New York Democratic Rep Sean Maloney asked him: ‘Why didn’t you subpoena the president?’

Trump’s legal team had refused to have him be interviewed in the probe because they felt such a meeting would amount to a ‘perjury trap’.

Before Congress Mueller stated that his team had ‘little success’ when pushing for an interview for over a year and decided that they didn’t want to delay the investigation with a lengthy court battle.

‘We did not want to exercise the subpoena power because of the necessity of expediting the end of the investigation,’ he said, adding that no one at the Justice Department pressured him to finish the probe.

Mueller acknowledged that Trump’s written answers to questions about possible conspiracy with Russia were ‘not as useful as the interview would be’.

Trump was not exonerated by the Russia investigation

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings by asking Mueller directly if the Russia investigation exonerated President Trump.

‘No,’ Mueller stated without hesitation.

That goes against the president’s repeated claims that the probe proved there was ‘no obstruction, no collusion’.

Mueller’s team never determined whether Trump committed a crime

While the majority of his answers were straightforward and technical, Mueller struggled when questioned about why he did not indict the president.

During an exchanged with California Democratic Rep Ted Lieu, Mueller stated that the reason he did not even consider indicting Trump on obstruction charges was because of guidance from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

That goes against assertions by Attorney General William Barr, who has repeatedly said the OLC’s opinion was not the only reason Mueller did not indict Trump.  

Arizona Republican Rep Debbie Lesko asked Mueller to clarify that contradiction, at which point he said he ‘would have to look closer at it’. 

He later conceded that he had misspoken when he characterized the OLC’s guidance to Lieu.  

‘We did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime,’ he said.

‘Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.’

Mueller was much less steady than in previous hearings

At times, Mueller, 74, stumbled during answers, asking fast-talking lawmakers to repeat page citations and repeat their questions. He sometimes had to scan the hearing room to locate questioners.

Although his stock answer was to say issues were beyond the purview of his mandate, he also appeared not to recall specific information at times.

‘Where are you reading from?’ he asked one member, Rep. James Sensenbrenner. ‘I am reading from my question,’ the Wisconsin Republican lawmaker told him.

Under questioning by Republican Rep Steve Chabot, Mueller didn’t show immediate familiarity with political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, a key player in the trail of the Steele Dossier, and a fixture of attention of President Trump and GOP critics of the Mueller probe.

Viewers reacting on social media called out Mueller’s unsteadiness early on, remarking that he was acting ‘like a confused old man’.

Some said the wobbly performance could be a delaying tactic on the part of the special counsel to frustrate Republican committee members determined to discredit findings that are damaging to Trump.

Mueller and Trump have opposing accounts of what led up to special counsel appointment

Republicans probed Mueller’s professional links with Trump in an attempt to show he may have had a reason to be biased against the president – specifically questioning whether he was turned down for the FBI director position the day before being tapped to lead the Russia investigation.

Trump gave his version of events on Wednesday morning, tweeting: ‘It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel.

‘Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!’

Mueller contradicted Trump’s account when Texas Republican Rep Louie Gohmert seized on his alleged conflicts of interest.

Gohmert asked Mueller about a meeting he had with Trump the day before the special counsel appointment and contended that it was a job interview for the FBI director slot.

Mueller stated that he was not interviewed ‘as a candidate’ for the position.

Mueller fiercely defended his team’s impartiality 

The special counsel was calm and composed throughout the proceedings, save for one moment when Florida Republican Rep Greg Steube decried the political affiliations of the lawyers on his team.

Mueller said never in his 25 years in his position had he felt the need to ask the people he works with about their political affiliation.

Rep Gohmert also called Mueller’s hiring practices into question, particularly his appointment of FBI agent Peter Strzok – who was later removed from the probe after he was found to have sent anti-Trump text messages to a woman he was involved with.   

Mueller said he did not know of Strzok’s disdain for Trump before the probe started and learned about it in the summer of 2017, several months into the investigation.

Republicans tried to collect evidence for a probe into Mueller’s investigation

Republicans committee members tried both the blast the origins of the Russia probe and potentially establish a record that might play out in an ongoing investigation overseen by Attorney General William Barr.

‘Before you arrested [Trump campaign foreign policy aide] George Papadopoulos in July of 2017, he was given $10,000 in ash in Israel. Do you know who gave him that cash?’ California Rep Devin Nunes asked Mueller.

‘Again, that’s outside our … questions such as that should go to the FBI or the department,’ said Mueller.

‘But it involved your investigation,’ said Nunes.

‘It involved persons involved in my investigation,’ said Mueller.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow released a statement saying: ‘This morning’s testimony exposed the troubling deficiencies of the Special Counsel’s investigation. The testimony revealed that this probe was conducted by a small group of politically-biased prosecutors who, as hard as they tried, were unable to establish either obstruction, conspiracy, or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also clear that the Special Counsel conducted his two-year investigation unimpeded. The American people understand that this issue is over. They also understand that the case is closed.’ 

Democrats tried to breathe life into a dense, technical report

The Democrats, who hold a majority on both committees, made a concerted effort to present the investigation’s findings in a more provocative and damning light than they had been in the dense, 337-page report.

‘Your investigation determined that the Trump campaign — including Trump himself — knew that a foreign power was intervening in our election and welcomed it, built Russian meddling into their strategy, and used it,’ California Rep Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chair, said when the afternoon portion began.

‘Disloyalty to country. Those are strong words, but how else are we to describe a presidential campaign which did not inform the authorities of a foreign offer of dirt on their opponent, which did not publicly shun it, or turn it away, but which instead invited it, encouraged it, and made full use of it?’ Schiff continued.

‘That disloyalty may not have been criminal. Constrained by uncooperative witnesses, the destruction of documents and the use of encrypted communications, your team was not able to establish each of the elements of the crime of conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, so not a provable crime, in any event’, he added.

However, a levelheaded Mueller didn’t play along, making for a rather mundane hearing.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7281303/Muellers-stumbling-responses-blockbuster-hearing-leave-social-media-concerned.html

 

 

Here’s Why Mueller Kept Getting Asked About a Mysterious Maltese Professor

BY VERA BERGENGRUEN 

JULY 24, 2019

In a moment that quickly made the rounds on conservative media on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan sharply questioned Robert Mueller on the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

The Ohio Republican pressed the former special counsel to detail who told George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy aide on the Trump campaign, that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. When Mueller said he would not go into it, Jordan became heated.

“Yes you can, because you wrote about it – you gave us the answer!” Jordan said. “Joseph Mifsud.”

The name of the shadowy Maltese academic kept coming up on Wednesday as Republicans accused Mueller of covering up how the FBI came to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, a popular talking point for Trump allies. At the House Intelligence Committee hearing, Rep. Devin Nunes pointed to a large photo of Mifsud with then-U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson as evidence that he “has extensive contacts with Western governments and the FBI”.

Mifsud’s name would have been familiar for regular consumers of Fox News and conservative outlets that have spent two years dissecting what they believe was a “deep state” attempt to take down the Trump campaign. The London-based professor at the center of the Trump-Russia probe has not been seen in public since October 2017, just days after Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with him. One of those was a key conversation in London in April 2016, in which Mifsud told him the Russians had damaging information on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Mifsud also introduced him to a Russian graduate student that Papadopoulos believed to be Putin’s niece, and connected him with an official with ties to the Russian foreign ministry who said he could set up a meeting with the country’s ambassador, according to Mueller’s report. Papadopoulos later relayed that information to an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, who passed it on to U.S. government officials, setting into motion the FBI investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

Papadopoulos’ interactions with Mifsud, and his allegation that the Maltese professor was an FBI plant, has been at the center of some Republicans’ efforts to discredit Mueller’s probe. Papadopoulos told TIME in May that he believes he was part of an elaborate set-up by U.S. intelligence to sabotage Trump’s presidential campaign. Since serving a short sentence for lying to the FBI, Papadopoulos has continued to make the rounds alleging that Mifsud was a “Western intelligence operative” who tried to use him to entrap the Trump campaign.

“People are very fascinated about what I have to say, people are just like — their mouths are dropping,” he told TIME on April 17. “They’ve never heard this information because Mueller and the FBI wanted to keep me silenced.”

Perhaps anticipating this line of questioning, Mueller made it clear in his opening statement that he would be “unable to address questions about the opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation” because it is the subject of an ongoing review by the Justice Department.

That did not stop Jordan and Nunes, both vocal Trump supporters, from trying.

“He’s the guy who starts it all, and when the FBI interviews him, he lies three times and yet you don’t charge him with a crime,” Jordan exclaimed, angrily listing others charged by Mueller, including Michael Flynn and “13 Russians no one’s ever heard of.”

“But the guy who puts the country through this whole saga, starts it off, for three years we have lived this now, he lies and you guys don’t charge him,” he said.

“I’m not sure I agree with your characterization,” Mueller tersely responded, but Jordan’s performance was already going viral in conservative corners of the internet with headlines like “WATCH: Jim Jordan Steals the Show, Calls into Question Entire Basis of Probe!” and “‘BRUTAL’: Jim Jordan grills Mueller about why ‘guy who put this whole story in motion’ lied but wasn’t held accountable.” On Wednesday afternoon, Trump himself retweeted a clip of the exchange, indicating that Mifsud is unlikely to fade from the debate over the Russia investigation.

 

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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

Posted on May 16, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, High Crimes, House of Representatives, Public Corruption, Senate, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Sammy Davis jr. – Baretta’s theme

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 1113, July 24, 2018, Story 1: The Republican Red Wave Forces Democratic Party To Run On Far Left Socialist Massive Government Agenda — Republican Party United vs. Democratic Party Divided — Turnout Will Tell — Videos — Story 2: Attorney General Sessions Gets A Clue — Lock Her Up — Appoint A Second Special Counsel — Trump’s Broken Promise — Videos — Story 3: Qanon is Back! — When will many thousand of sealed indictments be served on The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy? After Election Day and Completion of Mueller Investigation — Something Big Is About To Drop! — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

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Story 1: The Republican Red Wave Forces Democratic Party To Run On Far Left Socialist Massive Government Agenda — Videos

See the source imageImage result for branco cartoons lock her up

Image result for branco cartoons lock her upImage result for branco cartoons lock her up

Tucker: What happened to the Democratic party under Trump?

Tucker: Left doesn’t believe in borders, citizenship

Newt Gingrich: We will see a red wave, not blue in November

Newt Gingrich on GOP gaining momentum ahead of midterms

Has the Democratic Party moved to the extreme left?

Are some Democrats afraid of impeachment?

Trump’s Approval Rating Keeps Going Up

Kurtz: Hillary, the media and the sore loser narrative

New #QAnon! After 20 Days of Radio Silence, Liberty Lovers Breathe a Sigh of Relief and Gratitude!

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Shapiro: ‘Blue Wave’ Looks Like It’s Barely Going to Be a Ripple

Why I Left the Left

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

The Inconvenient Truth About the Republican Party

Is the Democratic Party going too far left?

 

 

The Memo: Dems grapple with Trump’s resilience

President Trump’s approval rating is largely unchanged in the first polls to emerge after his widely criticized performance at last week’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Democrats are scratching their heads.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed Trump’s approval rating rising to 45 percent, his highest level in that poll since taking office. And an Economist/YouGov survey showed no significant deviation from Trump’s numbers the previous week.

The polls included some responses before and some after Trump’s July 16 news conference with Putin in Helsinki, meaning it’s possible that a more pronounced negative impact could show up in the next wave of polls. But there is no evidence of such an effect so far.

But Democrats also argue that Trump’s base is not big enough to bring sustained electoral success, either in November’s midterm elections or in his 2020 reelection race.

Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist who has worked at a senior level of several presidential campaigns, said pundits were failing to emphasize how Trump’s approval ratings have been low by historical standards.

“If another president had these numbers, his political people would be very worried about it,” Shrum said. “He only cares about his base and, if you look at polls in general, they are in deep trouble for the 2018 election.”

Different findings even within the same polls can lead to very different conclusions, however.

In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, for example, the share of Americans who said they strongly approve of Trump, 29 percent, was far outweighed by the 44 percent who strongly disapprove.

That should mean Democrats can expect much greater intensity among their base — a factor that could be vital since Democratic-leaning voting blocs tend to turn out less reliably in midterm elections than in presidential contests.

On the other hand, the same poll showed that the Democrats’ lead in the so-called generic ballot — where voters nationwide are asked which party they would prefer to control Congress — had shrunk to 6 percentage points. This is a notable slippage from the 10-point advantage the party enjoyed just a month before.

To some observers, that calls into question the idea of a “blue wave” that might sweep Democrats into power in the House or the Senate after November — even if few independent voices back the president’s claim, made on Twitter last month, that there might be a “Red Wave” for Republicans instead.

Among Democrats, there is a continued faith that things will go their way in November. 

Tad Devine, who served as a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, said he believed a takeover of both the House and Senate was a real possibility for Democrats. 

“The intensity is there. Democratic voters are paying a lot more attention, they are a lot more interested in participating,” Devine said. He added that the party did not need to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to framing the election.

“It’s not some big single message,” he said. “We have candidates who are different, unique — what kind of race do we want to run in each district?”

Many Democrats also emphasize the significant swath of the voting public that appears alienated — perhaps permanently — from Trump. 

His polarizing approach, they say, makes him more enemies than friends. The effect could be to the detriment of his party.

Referring to Trump’s conduct during the news conference with Putin, and in the days afterward, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi said, “The 55 or 56 percent who say they disapprove of him? I think this really locks that in … This last nine, 10 days or so makes it much tougher for a Republican candidate for Congress to pull them back.”

Opinions diverge as to why Trump himself commands such strong loyalty from his base of support.

Shrum argued that the economic factors were much less relevant than other, gut-level responses.

“I just think there is a deep emotional investment in him by a shrinking Republican Party,” Shrum said, “He speaks to the politics of resentment, he speaks to the anxieties — though I think his remedies are absurd — of people who think they have been left behind, and so they don’t want to give up on him.”

Devine argued that the strong economy played its part as “protective armor” for Trump — but he asserted that an anti-media reflex is also part of the picture.

“Usually the battles are between the Democrats and the Republicans, but in Trump’s case it is himself and the press,” he said. “That’s the battle, and he is delivering these messages to people in his base, and they are responding to it.”

Devine also asserted that support for Trump was more complicated than the headline figures from a poll suggest.

Research from focus groups or voter interviews, he asserted, would reveal “they don’t really like the way Trump has handled himself but they also think he is being attacked unfairly and all this other stuff.”

For the moment, however, the idea of a Trump collapse looks increasingly unrealistic, at least in the short term.

That’s giving his opponents, as well as his supporters, plenty of food for thought.

The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage, primarily focused on Donald Trump’s presidency.

http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/398471-the-memo-dems-grapple-with-trumps-resilience

 

Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren Suggests 50% Democrat Tax Rates – Calls Trump Tax Bonuses “Crumbs” (VIDEO)

Thanks to President Trump’s tax cuts and reforms 90% of American wage earners have a higher take-home pay this year.

Over 3 million working Americans have received Trump tax cut bonuses as a result of the Trump tax reform law.

But fake Elizabeth Warren wants to take that all away.

Elizabeth Warren told CNBC Democrats will end the Trump tax cuts if they take power in November.

Warren also promoted a 50% tax hike on American earners.

CNBC reported:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sat down with CNBC’s John Harwood to discuss an array of issues, from President Donald Trump to the economy. Here, she talks about wanting to roll back the GOP tax cuts.

Q: If Democrats take the Congress, if you’re in the White House, or both, would you like to see these corporate tax cuts repealed?

A: Yeah, I really want to see them rolled back.

Q: Back to 35 percent?

A: Well, it’s not about the number. Here’s how I look at budgets and taxes are at the heart of this. A lot of people think they’re just numbers; they’re not. They are the expression of our values. The values of the Republican Party that passed those tax cuts are to give $1.5 trillion away to the richest Americans and the biggest corporations, and let everybody else pick up the crumbs.

I think the right way to think about this is that we need a budget, we need a tax bill that works for all of us. So what I’d like to see is I’d like to see us strengthen America’s middle class.

Q: What’s too high for the top personal rate?

A: It’s not about a number. That’s what negotiations are all about.

Q: Is 50 percent obviously too high?

A: That’s why you sit down and you negotiate over the numbers.

Q: When George W. Bush was president, his team articulated the view that it was a matter of right and wrong that you shouldn’t have more than a third of your income taken. Do you feel similarly that it’s wrong for more than half of somebody’s marginal income to be taken?

A: Look, there was a time in a very prosperous America — an America that was growing a middle class, an America in which working families were doing better generation after generation after generation — where the top marginal rate was well above 50 percent.

Q: Ninety percent.

A: That’s exactly right. But for me, the heart of the question is that you’ve got to ask, “What constitutes a fair share in this economy?” It depends in part on what the economy is.

https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000031923&size=530_298

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to roll back tax cuts from CNBC.

 

Story 2: Attorney General Sessions Gets A Clue — Lock Her Up — Appoint A Second Special Counsel — Trump’s Broken Promise — Videos

 

Image result for branco cartoons lock her up hillary clinton

Sessions talks “snowflakes” as students chant “lock her up'”

Speaking at a leadership summit for conservative high school students, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he heard the chant “lock her up” repeated many times over the course of the 2016 campaign.

Analysis | Attorney General Sessions: ‘Lock her up’

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Scalise turns up the heat on Attorney General Jeff Sessions

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Attorney General Sessions: ‘Lock her up’

 

July 24 at 11:03 AM
Crowd chants ‘Lock her up’ while Sessions slams ‘snowflakes’

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized “snowflakes” on July 24, the crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” He laughed and repeated their call. 

July 24 at 11:03 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was speaking at an event hosted by the conservative group Turning Point USA on Tuesday when the crowd began to chant, “Lock her up.” The phrase was a common refrain among supporters of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and referred to the desired punishment for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Sessions, whose position advising that campaign was parlayed into one as the nation’s chief law enforcement official, chuckled.

“Lock her up,” he said.

Sessions’s speech to TPUSA’s High School Leadership Summit was focused on the perceived rejection of free speech rights on college campuses, a favorite subject of TPUSA.

“Too many schools are coddling our young people and actively preventing them from scrutinizing the validity of their beliefs and the issues of the day,” he said. “That is the exact opposite of what we expect from universities in our country.”

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He cited some examples of how college students reacted to the results of the 2016 election and praised the audience members for what he characterized as their relative toughness.

“I can tell this group isn’t going to have to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college and you get involved in a debate,” Sessions said. “You’re going to stand up and defend yourselves and the values that you believe in. I like this bunch, I can tell you. You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em! Go get ’em!”

The crowd, which had erupted into a “lock her up” chant earlier, began the chant again.

“Lock her up,” Sessions chuckled. The chants continued, and he added, “I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”

Session’s approach to the chant differed a bit from that of former campaign adviser Michael Flynn, who had enthusiastically joined in the same chant at the Republican National Convention two years ago.

“We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law,” Flynn said at the time. He was picking up on a theme introduced by Trump himself, who repeatedly called Clinton “Crooked Hillary” at campaign events.

“We’re going to turn this country around so fast,” Trump said at a speech in January 2016. “If we have another four years of the Obama mentality, Hillary Clinton stuff — I mean, she should be going to jail. I don’t know what the hell’s going on.”

In October, he tweeted the same sentiment.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election

Once he assumed the presidency, Trump publicly and repeatedly pressured Sessions to investigate Trump’s political opponents, including Clinton.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems..

The focus of that push was often Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails?” Trump tweeted in December. “No justice!”

Our fact-checkers looked at that claim during the campaign.

Sessions, as the head of the Justice Department, has resisted calls to investigate Clinton. In March, he rejecteda call for a special counsel to dig into Clinton’s actions.

Last month, the inspector general for the Justice Department released a report focused on the department’s handling of the email investigation. It found that the decision not to charge Clinton was not politically motivated.

After the chant ended at the conference Tuesday, Sessions went back to his speech.

“Rather than molding a generation of mature and well-informed adults,” he said to the high school students, “some schools are doing everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes.”

“We’re not going to have it,” he said to applause.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/24/attorney-general-sessions-lock-her-up/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.609efe20f4ef

 

Story 3: Qanon is Back! — When will many sealed indictments be served on The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy? After Election Day and Completion of Mueller Investigation? — Something Big Is About To Drop! — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

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John W. Huber

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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John Huber
John W. Huber official photo.jpg
United States Attorney for the District of Utah
Assumed office
June 15, 2015
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by David B. Barlow
Personal details
Born 1967/1968 (age 50–51)[1]
Salt Lake CityUtahU.S.
Education University of Utah (BAJD)

John W. Huber (born 1967) is an American lawyer who has served as the United States Attorney for the District of Utah since June 2015. He was first nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in February 2015.[2] Huber offered his resignation in March 2017 at the request of the Trump administration.[3] However, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions subsequently appointed Huber as interim U.S. Attorney under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.[4] Huber was renominated by President Donald Trump in June 2017.[5] On August 3, 2017, he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to an additional four-year term as a U.S. Attorney.[6]

Education and legal career

Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1995. Huber began his career in the Weber County, Utah Attorney’s Office, later serving as the chief prosecutor for West Valley City, Utah. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and in 2005 he became an Assistant United States Attorney.[5][7] He has prosecuted firearms crimes, including the case of four people involved with firearms used in the 2007 Trolley Square shooting.[2] Huber was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page and connections between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, starting in November 2017.[8]

References

  1. Jump up^ “John W. Huber Sworn In As United States Attorney | USAO-UT | Department of Justice”. Justice.gov. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. Jump up to:ab Romboy, Dennis (February 5, 2015). “Obama nominates John W. Huber as next U.S. attorney for Utah”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  3. Jump up^ “John Huber, US Attorney for Utah, Offers Resignation”. U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. March 13, 2017. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  4. Jump up^ Romboy, Dennis (June 12, 2017). “Trump nominates Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to keep job”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  5. Jump up to:ab “President Donald J. Trump Announces United States Attorney Candidate Nominations”. The White House. June 12, 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas (August 3, 2017). “Senate confirms Huber as U.S. attorney for Utah, returning him to old job”. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. Jump up^ Manson, Pamela (March 15, 2017). “Huber to stay as Utah’s U.S. attorney during transition period”. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  8. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas; Manson, Pamela. “U.S. Attorney for Utah is investigating GOP-raised concerns about the FBI surveilling Trump aide and ignoring Clinton uranium ties”The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2018.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Huber

Who is John Huber, the Utah US attorney investigating claims of FBI misconduct?

U.S. Attorney John W. Huber speaks outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(CNN)Utah US attorney John Huber was revealed Thursday as the person Attorney General Jeff Sessions tasked with looking into Republican claims of FBI misconduct and whether more should have been done to investigate Hillary Clinton’s ties to a Russian nuclear agency.

Huber, who has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations as a career prosecutor, nearly had his tenure as US attorney cut short last year. In March 2017, shortly after he took charge of the Justice Department, Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 US attorneys who were previous administration holdovers.
Originally appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, Huber offered his resignation, leaving his fate in the hands of the DOJ.
But President Donald Trump re-nominated Huber in June 2017, and two months later Huber was back at his former post, confirmed by the US Senate for an additional four years.
Last year, former DOJ officials raised concerns over Huber’s appearance at a White House press briefing to tout aspects of Trump’s immigration agenda — something that critics argued blurred the lines of the DOJ’s independence from the White House, NPR reported at the time.
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During a June 28, 2017, press briefing alongside the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Huber spoke on the behalf of the DOJ in support of two bills that sought to enforce harsher penalties for illegal immigrants — “Kate’s Law” and the “No Sanctuaries Act,” both of which were passed in the House.
“The reason why we are in support of these is that it adds tools to the toolbox of prosecutors in the Department of Justice to work on the violent crime problem that we have in our country and beat back this blip so it does not become a trend,” he told reporters at the White House.
“The tools that were given in these two proposed acts allow us to fight back against drug traffickers and transnational gangs,” he said.
Since then, Huber has taken on a leadership role on Sessions’ advisory committee of US attorneys that provide counsel to him and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Before becoming Utah’s top federal prosecutor, Huber clocked in 13 years as an assistant US attorney with experience handling violent crime and national security cases, according to his official biography.
During his first swearing-in ceremony as a US attorney, Huber was described as a “jock with the soul of a geek,” a protector for others against bullies, and a man who lived by the motto: “Be the hammer, not the nail,” according to The Deseret News.
A Utah native, Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989, where he played football, The Deseret News reported, and later went to earn his law degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1995.

In a July 1 post, QAnon referred to the latest count of over 40,000 sealed indictments filed in U.S. Federal District Criminal Courts since October 30, 2017, and linked these to prosecutions being led by the U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber back on November 13, 2017 to work with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, in investigating a wide range of criminal and civil law violations by government employees brought up by Republican lawmakers.

If QAnon’s claim is shown to be accurate, then such a large number of secret indictments will have the effect of removing corrupt Federal officials, which will decimate the Deep State and its power over the US political and financial system.

It’s worth beginning this examination by noting that the military intelligence group QAnon, has just been included in a Time Magazine listing of the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet”. While there have been an increasing number of mainstream news articles debunking QAnon, the worldwide interest in QAnon’s posts has been rapidly increasing due to mounting evidence that President Trump’s White House is secretly behind the disclosures.

Just as the Deep State has been using the mainstream media to leak classified information that is damaging to the Trump White House, Trump is doing the same through QAnon in order to expose the Deep State. Therefore, the QAnon information represents a visible sign of a clandestine information war being conducted by the Trump Administration and the Deep State to gain public support for competing agendas.

In the July 1 post, QAnon asks who is filing all the sealed indictments, and points to an article published by Breitbart News, which has often been cited for close analysis by those following QAnon’s disclosures.

QAnon mentions the number 470 right after posing the questions, “who is filing the indictments” and “Who has that kind of manpower”?

For an answer, QAnon steers us to the Breitbart article which refers to a March 29, 2018 letterwritten by Attorney General Sessions to the Chairmen of three Congressional Committees, which refers to 470 investigators that make up the staff of the Office of the Inspector General. The letter explains the power and authority of the Office of Inspector, and how these pertain to Department of Justice employees:

Congress created the Department’s Office of the Inspector General explicitly for the purpose of, among other things, investigating alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by Department employees, including actions taken by former employees after they have left government service. The Inspector General’s jurisdiction extends not only to allegations of legal violations, but also to allegations that Department employees violated established policies as well.

To carry out these duties, Title 5 of the United States Code provides the Inspector General with broad discretion and significant investigative powers. The office currently employs approximately 470 staff, a significant number of whom are lawyers, auditors, and investigators who may exercise wide discretion on matters under their jurisdiction. If the Inspector General finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he may refer it to a United States Attorney who can then convene a grand jury or take other appropriate actions. To be clear, the Inspector General has the authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, collect evidence through subpoena, and develop cases for presentation to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for prosecution or other action.

It’s worth emphasizing that both current and former Department of Justice employees can be investigated by the Inspector General, who has the authority to refer findings for possible prosecution by a US Attorney. The Department of Justice employs over 113,000 employees (2012 figures), which when combined with former employees, makes an enormous number of people that can be investigated for wrongdoing on behalf of the Deep State.

This is where the appointment of Huber to work directly with Horowitz’s office in investigating issues raised by Congressional lawmakers was very significant. The Breitbart article cited by QAnon explains why:

Professor Jonathan Turley, a top national legal expert on government investigations, commented on Thursday about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to bring in U.S. Attorney John Huber. Turley called it “brilliant” to combine all the powers of the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general with a prosecutor who can bring charges, seek indictments, and get results for President Trump far more quickly than a second special counsel.

The Breitbart article continued to elaborate upon how Huber’s prosecutorial powers combines well with the Inspector General’s investigative power:

As a U.S. attorney, Huber has full authority to empanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges. A grand jury can be empaneled anywhere, which means that it could be a group of citizens from deep-red Utah – in the heart of Trump country – instead of the D.C. Swamp that decides whether to hand down indictments for felony prosecution.

It’s vital to understand that in Sessions’ letter to Congress, he said that Huber would be leading a prosecutorial team that would include other senior prosecutors:

As noted in Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s November 13, 2017, letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary, I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. In that letter, Mr. Boyd stated:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.” Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort.

In understanding the link between the alleged 40,000 sealed indictments and the appointment of Huber to work with the Office of Inspector General, it’s worth emphasizing the November 13 starting date for Huber and the rapid rise of sealed indictments since October 31, 2017.

When examining the list of states where the sealed indictments have been filed, its clear that these are distributed all over the U.S., thereby suggestion that Huber’s team comprises prosecutors drawn from many, if not all 50 states.

If the linkage posted by QAnon is accurate, then it can be assumed that many, if not the majority, of the sealed indictments are occurring as a result of the collaboration between Huber and the Office of Inspector General all over all the country, wherever crimes were committed. Essentially, Horowitz’s staff does the bulk of the investigation, while the prosecution and convening of a grand jury is left to Huber’s team.

As Professor Turley pointed out back in March, “a grand jury can be empaneled anywhere” by Huber. In another July 1 post, QAnon says that this is exactly what has happened by asking the following rhetorical question:

If QAnon is correct, then the sealed indictments initiated by Huber’s team of prosecutors with the support of the Office of Inspector General, have been the catalyst for many powerful corporate figures, members of Congress, and Department of Justice officials mysteriously resigning.

QAnon has referred to lists of corporate, congressional and FBI figures who have resigned or been sacked. QAnon is telling us that these resignations/sackings are due to the sealed indictments that have been issued against (former) Department of Justice officials by Huber.

Indeed, when one reviews the lists, this is powerful circumstantial evidence that the sealed indictments have been issued and are forcing these resignations, and thereby undermining the power of the Deep State who used these officials.

The following is a list of retiring Congressional representatives who, while not Department of Justice officials and thereby outside the investigatory purview of the Office of the Inspector General, presumably decided to retire in anticipation of the scandal about to emerge with the unsealing of the indictments where they have been implicated in some way:

The following is a list of FBI officials, forced to resign or who had been sacked due to them being investigated by the Office of Inspector General, and the sealed indictments issued by grand juries empaneled by Huber:

All this behooves us to ask whether what QAnon is telling us is possible. To find an answer we can begin with the website of the “Offices of the United States Attorneys”, which explains the duty of grand juries only investigating criminal offenses in districts where they occurred:

The special grand jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) “to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

This means that Huber could begin the prosecution process with the help of the 470 investigations from the Office of Inspector General who would gather the facts and evidence. Huber would then use senior prosecutors from his team to empanel grand juries in the districts where the offenses occurred.

Significantly, all Huber and his team would have to do to secure a sealed indictment is present key facts along with supporting evidence that a crime had been committed in a particular jurisdiction, as the following summary of Sealed Indictment Law clarifies:

In order to issue an indictment, the grand jury doesn’t make a determination of guilt, but only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried. District Attorneys do not present a full case to the grand jury, but often only introduce key facts sufficient to show the probability that the accused committed a crime.

The next question that arises is how many sealed indictments have been issued by Huber and his team? QAnon referred to the June 30 estimate of over 40,000 sealed indictments since October 31, 2017. Could Huber’s team of senior prosecutors and the 470 staff in the Office of Inspector General be responsible for so many sealed indictments over the last eight months?

For an answer, it’s important to point out that claims of up to 40,000 sealed judicial cases, which is well above the average of past years, are basically correct. This is acknowledged even by critics seeking to debunk QAnon’s information, as exemplified by Mike Rothschild writing for the Daily Dot back on April 12, 2018.

While Rothschild’s article critiques the claim of 25,000 sealed indictments asserted by QAnon supporters back in April 2018, it is helpful since it demonstrates that even critics acknowledgethat PACER records do substantiate such large numbers of “sealed cases”:

So then what about the massive number of sealed case found files in PACER? The #QAnon researchers aren’t making them up – a random sampling of PACER recordsfrom the district courts of Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia shows the number to be more or less accurate.

In distinguishing between “sealed cases” and “sealed indictments”, Rothschild points out that the former may involve mundane legal secrecy requirements involving search warrants, phone tapping, witness protection, prosecuting juvenile cases, etc., ordered by a judge. In contrast, a sealed indictment involves a grand jury that has been empaneled, heard some of the facts and evidence brought before it, and issued an indictment that is covered by strict secrecy requirements in order for arrests to be made without the target being warned in advance.

In Rothschild’s critique, he refers to the 1077 sealed cases that occurred in 2006, a typical year for sealed cases, that was analyzed in an October 23, 2009 report by the Federal Judicial Center. He points out that QAnon researchers conflated “sealed cases” with “sealed indictments”:

So the conspiracy theorists number of sealed felony indictments in a “normal” year would seem to be right. Except reading on in the report makes it clear that many of those sealed criminal cases were NOT indictments.

In fact, the report only lists 284 out of 1,077 cases as “sealed indictments” that the writers were able to obtain no information on….

Essentially, the number #QAnon is using is factually correct, but leaves out vital context that explains that relatively few of the 1,077 are actual criminal indictments. Most are routine court matters.

So if only roughly 26% of “sealed cases” covered by PACER records in 2006 involved “sealed indictments”, then we have a means of estimating how many sealed cases from 2017/2018 PACER records involve sealed indictments.

At the very least, applying the 26% figure to the over 40,000 Pacer records showing current “sealed cases”, then we can estimate that there are at the very least 10,000 secret indictments currently in play. The actual figure may be much higher due to 2017/2018 having an inordinately large number of sealed cases due to some extraordinary judicial process at play.

 

Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress is evidence that the unusual judicial process, which has so inflated the number of sealed cases for 2017/2018, involves indictments initiated by Huber and his prosecutorial team, supported by 470 investigators from the Office of Inspector General.

In conclusion, a critical examination of PACER records, Attorney General Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress, together with the lists of retiring/sacked member of Congress, corporate executives, and FBI officials, provides compelling support for QAnon’s claim that tens of thousands of secret indictments have been issued against corrupt officials controlled by the Deep State.

As these corrupt officials are removed from their influential positions, the Deep State’s power is decimated, thereby opening the door for the truth to be disclosed on a great number of issues previously suppressed by the Deep State.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

https://www.exopolitics.org/tag/john-huber/

 

 

QAnon links US Attorney with thousands of sealed indictments decimating the Deep State

In a July 1 post, QAnon referred to the latest count of over 40,000 sealed indictments filed in U.S. Federal District Criminal Courts since October 30, 2017, and linked these to prosecutions being led by the U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber back on November 13, 2017 to work with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, in investigating a wide range of criminal and civil law violations by government employees brought up by Republican lawmakers.

If QAnon’s claim is shown to be accurate, then such a large number of secret indictments will have the effect of removing corrupt Federal officials, which will decimate the Deep State and its power over the US political and financial system.

It’s worth beginning this examination by noting that the military intelligence group QAnon, has just been included in a Time Magazine listing of the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet”. While there have been an increasing number of mainstream news articles debunking QAnon, the worldwide interest in QAnon’s posts has been rapidly increasing due to mounting evidence that President Trump’s White House is secretly behind the disclosures.

Just as the Deep State has been using the mainstream media to leak classified information that is damaging to the Trump White House, Trump is doing the same through QAnon in order to expose the Deep State. Therefore, the QAnon information represents a visible sign of a clandestine information war being conducted by the Trump Administration and the Deep State to gain public support for competing agendas.

In the July 1 post, QAnon asks who is filing all the sealed indictments, and points to an article published by Breitbart News, which has often been cited for close analysis by those following QAnon’s disclosures.

QAnon mentions the number 470 right after posing the questions, “who is filing the indictments” and “Who has that kind of manpower”?

For an answer, QAnon steers us to the Breitbart article which refers to a March 29, 2018 letterwritten by Attorney General Sessions to the Chairmen of three Congressional Committees, which refers to 470 investigators that make up the staff of the Office of the Inspector General. The letter explains the power and authority of the Office of Inspector, and how these pertain to Department of Justice employees:

Congress created the Department’s Office of the Inspector General explicitly for the purpose of, among other things, investigating alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by Department employees, including actions taken by former employees after they have left government service. The Inspector General’s jurisdiction extends not only to allegations of legal violations, but also to allegations that Department employees violated established policies as well.

To carry out these duties, Title 5 of the United States Code provides the Inspector General with broad discretion and significant investigative powers. The office currently employs approximately 470 staff, a significant number of whom are lawyers, auditors, and investigators who may exercise wide discretion on matters under their jurisdiction. If the Inspector General finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he may refer it to a United States Attorney who can then convene a grand jury or take other appropriate actions. To be clear, the Inspector General has the authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, collect evidence through subpoena, and develop cases for presentation to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for prosecution or other action.

It’s worth emphasizing that both current and former Department of Justice employees can be investigated by the Inspector General, who has the authority to refer findings for possible prosecution by a US Attorney. The Department of Justice employs over 113,000 employees (2012 figures), which when combined with former employees, makes an enormous number of people that can be investigated for wrongdoing on behalf of the Deep State.

This is where the appointment of Huber to work directly with Horowitz’s office in investigating issues raised by Congressional lawmakers was very significant. The Breitbart article cited by QAnon explains why:

Professor Jonathan Turley, a top national legal expert on government investigations, commented on Thursday about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to bring in U.S. Attorney John Huber. Turley called it “brilliant” to combine all the powers of the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general with a prosecutor who can bring charges, seek indictments, and get results for President Trump far more quickly than a second special counsel.

The Breitbart article continued to elaborate upon how Huber’s prosecutorial powers combines well with the Inspector General’s investigative power:

As a U.S. attorney, Huber has full authority to empanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges. A grand jury can be empaneled anywhere, which means that it could be a group of citizens from deep-red Utah – in the heart of Trump country – instead of the D.C. Swamp that decides whether to hand down indictments for felony prosecution.

It’s vital to understand that in Sessions’ letter to Congress, he said that Huber would be leading a prosecutorial team that would include other senior prosecutors:

As noted in Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s November 13, 2017, letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary, I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. In that letter, Mr. Boyd stated:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.” Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort.

In understanding the link between the alleged 40,000 sealed indictments and the appointment of Huber to work with the Office of Inspector General, it’s worth emphasizing the November 13 starting date for Huber and the rapid rise of sealed indictments since October 31, 2017.

When examining the list of states where the sealed indictments have been filed, its clear that these are distributed all over the U.S., thereby suggestion that Huber’s team comprises prosecutors drawn from many, if not all 50 states.

https://www.exopolitics.org/qanon-links-us-attorney-with-thousands-of-sealed-indictments-decimating-the-deep-state/

 

If the linkage posted by QAnon is accurate, then it can be assumed that many, if not the majority, of the sealed indictments are occurring as a result of the collaboration between Huber and the Office of Inspector General all over all the country, wherever crimes were committed. Essentially, Horowitz’s staff does the bulk of the investigation, while the prosecution and convening of a grand jury is left to Huber’s team.

As Professor Turley pointed out back in March, “a grand jury can be empaneled anywhere” by Huber. In another July 1 post, QAnon says that this is exactly what has happened by asking the following rhetorical question:

 

If QAnon is correct, then the sealed indictments initiated by Huber’s team of prosecutors with the support of the Office of Inspector General, have been the catalyst for many powerful corporate figures, members of Congress, and Department of Justice officials mysteriously resigning.

QAnon has referred to lists of corporate, congressional and FBI figures who have resigned or been sacked. QAnon is telling us that these resignations/sackings are due to the sealed indictments that have been issued against (former) Department of Justice officials by Huber.

Indeed, when one reviews the lists, this is powerful circumstantial evidence that the sealed indictments have been issued and are forcing these resignations, and thereby undermining the power of the Deep State who used these officials.

The following is a list of retiring Congressional representatives who, while not Department of Justice officials and thereby outside the investigatory purview of the Office of the Inspector General, presumably decided to retire in anticipation of the scandal about to emerge with the unsealing of the indictments where they have been implicated in some way:

 

The following is a list of FBI officials, forced to resign or who had been sacked due to them being investigated by the Office of Inspector General, and the sealed indictments issued by grand juries empaneled by Huber:

All this behooves us to ask whether what QAnon is telling us is possible. To find an answer we can begin with the website of the “Offices of the United States Attorneys”, which explains the duty of grand juries only investigating criminal offenses in districts where they occurred:

The special grand jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) “to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

This means that Huber could begin the prosecution process with the help of the 470 investigations from the Office of Inspector General who would gather the facts and evidence. Huber would then use senior prosecutors from his team to empanel grand juries in the districts where the offenses occurred.

Significantly, all Huber and his team would have to do to secure a sealed indictment is present key facts along with supporting evidence that a crime had been committed in a particular jurisdiction, as the following summary of Sealed Indictment Law clarifies:

In order to issue an indictment, the grand jury doesn’t make a determination of guilt, but only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried. District Attorneys do not present a full case to the grand jury, but often only introduce key facts sufficient to show the probability that the accused committed a crime.

The next question that arises is how many sealed indictments have been issued by Huber and his team? QAnon referred to the June 30 estimate of over 40,000 sealed indictments since October 31, 2017. Could Huber’s team of senior prosecutors and the 470 staff in the Office of Inspector General be responsible for so many sealed indictments over the last eight months?

For an answer, it’s important to point out that claims of up to 40,000 sealed judicial cases, which is well above the average of past years, are basically correct. This is acknowledged even by critics seeking to debunk QAnon’s information, as exemplified by Mike Rothschild writing for the Daily Dot back on April 12, 2018.

While Rothschild’s article critiques the claim of 25,000 sealed indictments asserted by QAnon supporters back in April 2018, it is helpful since it demonstrates that even critics acknowledgethat PACER records do substantiate such large numbers of “sealed cases”:

So then what about the massive number of sealed case found files in PACER? The #QAnon researchers aren’t making them up – a random sampling of PACER records from the district courts of Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia shows the number to be more or less accurate.

In distinguishing between “sealed cases” and “sealed indictments”, Rothschild points out that the former may involve mundane legal secrecy requirements involving search warrants, phone tapping, witness protection, prosecuting juvenile cases, etc., ordered by a judge. In contrast, a sealed indictment involves a grand jury that has been empaneled, heard some of the facts and evidence brought before it, and issued an indictment that is covered by strict secrecy requirements in order for arrests to be made without the target being warned in advance.

In Rothschild’s critique, he refers to the 1077 sealed cases that occurred in 2006, a typical year for sealed cases, that was analyzed in an October 23, 2009 report by the Federal Judicial Center. He points out that QAnon researchers conflated “sealed cases” with “sealed indictments”:

So the conspiracy theorists number of sealed felony indictments in a “normal” year would seem to be right. Except reading on in the report makes it clear that many of those sealed criminal cases were NOT indictments.

In fact, the report only lists 284 out of 1,077 cases as “sealed indictments” that the writers were able to obtain no information on….

Essentially, the number #QAnon is using is factually correct, but leaves out vital context that explains that relatively few of the 1,077 are actual criminal indictments. Most are routine court matters.

So if only roughly 26% of “sealed cases” covered by PACER records in 2006 involved “sealed indictments”, then we have a means of estimating how many sealed cases from 2017/2018 PACER records involve sealed indictments.

At the very least, applying the 26% figure to the over 40,000 Pacer records showing current “sealed cases”, then we can estimate that there are at the very least 10,000 secret indictments currently in play. The actual figure may be much higher due to 2017/2018 having an inordinately large number of sealed cases due to some extraordinary judicial process at play.

 

Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress is evidence that the unusual judicial process, which has so inflated the number of sealed cases for 2017/2018, involves indictments initiated by Huber and his prosecutorial team, supported by 470 investigators from the Office of Inspector General.

In conclusion, a critical examination of PACER records, Attorney General Sessions’ March 29 letter to Congress, together with the lists of retiring/sacked member of Congress, corporate executives, and FBI officials, provides compelling support for QAnon’s claim that tens of thousands of secret indictments have been issued against corrupt officials controlled by the Deep State.

As these corrupt officials are removed from their influential positions, the Deep State’s power is decimated, thereby opening the door for the truth to be disclosed on a great number of issues previously suppressed by the Deep State.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

(Visited 32,499 times, 275 visits today)

QAnon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

QAnon refers to a conspiracy theory based on Q, an online handle used on several image boards by a presumably American[1] pseudonymous individual or group of individuals[2][3][4] claiming to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States, and detailing a supposed secret counter-coup against the alleged “deep state“.

The conspiracy theory, mainly popularized by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump under the names The Storm and The Great Awakening, has been widely characterized as “baseless”[5][6] and “unhinged”.[7][8]

Prominent adherents to the conspiracy theory include Roseanne Barr,[9][10] Curt Schilling,[11] Ben Garrison,[12] Laura Loomer,[12] Cheryl Sullenger[13] and Michael “Lionel” Lebron.[14]

History

Origin

A person identifying as “Q Clearance Patriot” first appeared on the /pol/ board of 4chan on October 28, 2017, posting messages in a thread entitled “Calm Before the Storm”,[1] which was a reference to Trump’s cryptic description of a gathering of military leaders as “the calm before the storm”.[1][15] The poster later moved to 8chan, citing alleged security concerns.[2]

The handle implied that the anonymous poster held Q clearance,[16][17] a United States Department of Energy security clearance with access to classified information.

False claims

QAnon’s posting campaign has a history of false, baseless and unsubstantiated claims. For example, QAnon has claimed on multiple occasions that North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is a puppet ruler installed by the Central Intelligence Agency.[18]

On February 16, 2018, QAnon falsely accused U.S. Representative and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of hiring El Salvadorian gang MS-13 to murder DNC staffer Seth Rich.[15][19]

Identity

There has been much speculation regarding the motive and the identity of the poster, with theories ranging from the poster being a military intelligence officer to the posting campaign being an alternate reality game by Cicada 3301.[3]

Reactions

Fox News commentator Sean Hannity has tweeted about QAnon, and the Russian government-funded network RT News has discussed the topic.[17]

The conspiracy theory was initially promoted by Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi,[15] but in May 2018 Right Wing Watch reported that Jones and Corsi had ceased to support QAnon, declaring the source to now be “completely compromised”.[20]

In March 2018, Reddit banned one of its communities discussing QAnon, /r/CBTS_Stream, for “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information”. Following this, some followers moved to Discord.[21][22]

On March 13, 2018, Operation Rescue vice president and pro-life activist Cheryl Sullenger referred to QAnon as a “small group of insiders close to President Donald J. Trump” and called his internet postings the “highest level of intelligence to ever be dropped publicly in our known history”.[13][23]

On March 15, 2018, Kiev-based Rabochaya Gazeta, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Ukraine, published an article calling QAnon a “military intelligence group”.[24]

On March 31, 2018, U.S. actress Roseanne Barr appeared to promote the conspiracy theory, which was subsequently covered by CNNThe Washington Post, and The New York Times.[9][10][25][26]

On June 26, 2018, WikiLeaks publicly accused QAnon of “leading anti-establishment Trump voters to embrace regime change and neo-conservatism”.[27] QAnon had previously pushed for regime change in Iran.[28] Two days later, the whistleblower organization shared an analysis by Internet Party president Suzie Dawson, claiming that QAnon’s posting campaign is an “intelligence agency-backed psyop” aiming to “round up people that are otherwise dangerous to the Deep State (because they are genuinely opposed to it) [and] usurp time & attention, & trick them into serving its aims”.[29]

On June 28, 2018, Time Magazine listed the anonymous “Q” among the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2018. Counting more than 130,000 related discussion videos on YouTube, Time cited the wide range of this conspiracy theory and its more prominent followers and spreading news coverage.[30]

On July 4, 2018, the Hillsborough County Republican Party shared on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts a YouTube video on QAnon, calling QAnon a “mysterious anonymous inside leaker of deep state activities and counter activities by President Trump”. The posts were then deleted.[31][32]

An app called “QDrops” which promoted the conspiracy theory was published on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It became the 10th most popular paid app on the in the “entertainment” section of Apple’s online store in April 2018. Apple pulled the app after an inquiry from NBC News.[33]

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops 1110, July 18, 2018, Story 1: Mass Hysteria of Big Lie Media — Pathetic Progressive Propaganda Peddling Meddling Mischief– Blaming Russians for Their Lying Lunatic Leftist Loses — “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” — Videos — Story 2: More Obama Globalist Propaganda — Takes A Lying Politician To Know One — Obama Keeps On Lying — Obama The Appeaser Did Not Stop China and Russian Interventions in The United States — Unindicted Co-conspirator Obama Lead The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy! — Videos

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Story 1: Mass Hysteria of Big Lie Media — Pathetic Progressive Propaganda Peddling Meddling Mischief– Blaming Russians for Their Lying Lunatic Leftist Loses — “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” — Videos —

YouTube Debate: Would You Meet with Iran/Syria/North Korea?

Obama on meeting anti-US leaders

Tucker: The main reason Trump’s Russia critics hate him

Bruce: Americans know Trump loves the US

Analyzing the media coverage of the Trump-Putin summit

‘Special Report’ panel on fallout from Trump-Putin summit

Rand Paul sides with Trump over US intel

Sen. Rand Paul on John Brennan, the Mueller Investigation, and Diplomacy – July 18, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul Discusses Trump-Putin Meeting with Neil Cavuto – July 16, 2018

Mark Levin on media freakout over Trump-Putin summit

RUSH: What’s really behind this hysteria over Trump-Putin meeting? (July 17 2018)

Tomi Lahren slams selective outrage from the left on Russia

Ann Coulter Responds to the Trump-Putin Summit

Dr. Sebastian Gorka sounds off about the Helsinki hysteria

Dr. Gorka on the left’s reaction to the Trump-Putin summit

Hannity: Worst 24 hours in history of mainstream media

Trump Capitulates And Reads Incongruous Apologia, Still Distrusts Intel Fantasy of Russian Collusion

Ignore Leftie News Sockpuppets: Trump Was Magnificent With Putin in Helsinki, We’re Lucky He’s POTUS

Irin Burnett: How stupid does Trump think we are?

‘Sounds Like Collusion’: Hannity Rips Media for ‘Double Standard’

Ingraham: Trump Committed ‘Unforced Error,’ But Critics Should Look at His Actions Against Russia

Trump: Witch hunt drove a phony wedge between US, Russia

Anderson Cooper: Disgraceful performance by Trump during Putin meeting

John King on Trump: Never seen a president surrender to Russia

President Donald Trump Accused of Committing Treason | Good Morning Britain

Schumer: Possibility that Putin has damaging info on Trump

‘Nothing Short of Treasonous’: Former CIA Director Brennan Blasts Trump After Appearance With Putin

Aspects of Collective Behavior: Fads, Mass Hysteria, and Riots | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy

 

Mass Hysteria

by Mike Mish Shedlock

The mass hysteria following Trump’s meeting with Putin is likely to last for days. Most are outraged. Few see the light.

My article Congratulations to President Trump for an Excellent Summit with Putin spawned numerous some I could not tell if they were sarcastic or not.

For example, reader Brian stated ” There is zero doubt now that Putin stole the election from Hillary. So much so that she MUST be given the nomination again in 2020. All potential challengers must step aside. To refuse her the 2020 nomination would be evidence of traitorous activities with Putin.”‘

I congratulated Brian for brilliant sarcasm but he piled on. It now seems he was serious.

Mainstream media, the Left an the Right were in general condemnation.

Numerous cries of treason emerged from the Left and the Right (see the above link)

It Happened – No Trial Necessary

A friend I highly respect commented “There is simply no question that they did it. You can legitimately claim that it’s not important or that there has been no tie to Trump shown. On the Russians’ side, they can say, screw off, we were pursuing our interests. But you can’t take the view it did not happen. It happened.

There is a question who did it. Indictments are just that, not proof.

The US fabricated evidence to start the Vietnam war and the US fabricated WMD talk on the second war in Iraq. US intelligence had no idea the Berlin Wall was about to fall. The US meddled in Russia supporting a drunk named Yeltsin because we erroneously thought we could control him.

They Are All Liars

It’s a mystery why anyone would believe these proven liars. That does not mean I believe Putin either. They are all capable liars.

Let’s step back from the absurd points of view to reality.

US Meddling

The US tries to influence elections in other countries and has a history of assisting the forcible overthrow of governments we don’t like.

  • Vietnam
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Drone policy

All of the above are massive disasters of US meddling. They are all actions of war, non-declared, and illegal.

I cannot and do not condone such actions even if they were legal.

911 and ISIS resulted from US meddling. The migration crisis in the EU is a direct consequence of US meddling. The Iranian revolution was a direct consequence of US meddling.

Now we are pissing and moaning that Russia spent a few million dollars on Tweets to steal the election. Please be serious.

Let’s Assume

Let’s assume for one second the DNC hack was Russia-based.

Is there a reason to not be thankful for evidence that Hillary conspired to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination?

Pity Hillary?

We are supposed to pity Hillary?

The outrage from the Right is amazing.

It’s pretty obvious Senator John McCain wanted her to win. Neither faced a war or military intervention they disapproved of.

Common Sense

Let’s move on to a common sense position from Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept.

Greenwald vs. Joe Cirincione

​GLENN GREENWALD: In 2007, during the Democratic presidential debate, Barack Obama was asked whether he would meet with the leaders of North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran without preconditions. He said he would. Hillary Clinton said she wouldn’t, because it would be used as a propaganda tool for repressive dictators. And liberals celebrated Obama. It was one of his greatest moments and one of the things that I think helped him to win the Democratic nomination, based on the theory that it’s always better to meet with leaders, even if they’re repressive, than to isolate them or to ignore them. In 1987, when President Reagan decided that he wanted to meet with Soviet leaders, the far right took out ads against him that sounded very much just like what we just heard from Joe, accusing him of being a useful idiot to Soviet and Kremlin propaganda, of legitimizing Russian aggression and domestic repression at home.

GLENN GREENWALD: It is true that Putin is an authoritarian and is domestically repressive. That’s true of many of the closest allies of the United States, as well, who are even far more repressive, including ones that fund most of the think tanks in D.C., such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. And I think the most important issue is the one that we just heard, which is that 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons are in the hands of two countries—the United States and Russia—and having them speak and get along is much better than having them isolate one another and increase the risk of not just intentional conflict, but misperception and miscommunication, as well.

JOE CIRINCIONE: Right. Let’s be clear. Glenn, there’s nothing wrong with meeting. I agree with you. Leaders should meet, and we should be negotiating with our foes, with those people we disagree with. We’re better off when we do that. And the kind of attacks you saw on Barack Obama were absolutely uncalled for, and you’re right to condemn those.

JOE CIRINCIONE: What I’m worried about is this president meeting with this leader of Russia and what they’re going to do. That’s what’s so wrong about this summit coming now, when you have Donald Trump, who just attacked the NATO alliance, who calls our European allies foes, who turns a blind eye to what his director of national intelligence called the warning lights that are blinking red. About what? About Russian interference in our elections. So you just had a leader of Russia, Putin, a skilled tactician, a skilled strategist, interfere in a U.S. election. To what? To help elect Donald Trump.

GLENN GREENWALD: I think this kind of rhetoric is so unbelievably unhinged, the idea that the phishing links sent to John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee are the greatest threat to American democracy in decades. People are now talking about it as though it’s on par with 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, that the lights are blinking red, in terms of the threat level. This is lunacy, this kind of talk. I spent years reading through the most top-secret documents of the NSA, and I can tell you that not only do they send phishing links to Russian agencies of every type continuously on a daily basis, but do far more aggressive interference in the cybersecurity of every single country than Russia is accused of having done during the 2016 election. To characterize this as some kind of grave existential threat to American democracy is exactly the kind of rhetoric that we heard throughout the Bush-Cheney administration about what al-Qaeda was like.

JOE CIRINCIONE: Why does Donald Trump feel that he has to meet alone with Putin? What is going on there? I mean, that—when Ronald Reagan met with Gorbachev at Reykjavik, at least he had George Shultz with him. The two of them, you know, were meeting with Gorbachev and his foreign minister at the time. This is—it’s deeply disturbing. It makes you feel that Trump is hiding something, that he is either trying to make a deal with Putin, reporting something to Putin. I tell you, I know U.S. intelligence officials—I’m probably going right into Glenn’s wheelhouse here. But U.S. intelligence officials are concerned about what Donald Trump might be revealing to the Russian leader, the way he revealed classified information to the Russian foreign minister when he met privately with him in the Oval Office at the beginning of his term. No, I don’t like it one bit.

GLENN GREENWALD: I continue to be incredibly frustrated by the claim that we hear over and over, and that we just heard from Joe, that Donald Trump does everything that Vladimir Putin wants, and that if he were a paid agent of the Russian government, there’d be—he would be doing nothing different. I just went through the entire list of actions that Donald Trump has taken and statements that he has made that are legitimately adverse to the interest of the Russian government, that Barack Obama specifically refused to do, despite bipartisan demands that he do them, exactly because he didn’t want to provoke more tensions between the United States and Russia. Sending lethal arms to Ukraine, bordering Russia, is a really serious adverse action against the interest of the Russian government. Bombing the Assad regime is, as well. Denouncing one of the most critical projects that the Russian government has, which is the pipeline to sell huge amounts of gas and oil to Germany, is, as well. So is expelling Russian diplomats and imposing serious sanctions on oligarchs that are close to the Putin regime. You can go down the list, over and over and over, in the 18 months that he’s been in office, and see all the things that Donald Trump has done that is adverse, in serious ways, to the interests of Vladimir Putin, including ones that President Obama refused to do. So, this film, this movie fairytale, that I know is really exciting—it’s like international intrigue and blackmail, like the Russians have something over Trump; it’s like a Manchurian candidate; it’s from like the 1970s thrillers that we all watched—is inane—you know, with all due respect to Joe. I mean, it’s—but it’s in the climate, because it’s so contrary to what it is that we’re seeing. Now, this idea of meeting alone with Vladimir Putin, the only way that you would find that concerning is if you believed all that.

JOE CIRINCIONE: So, Trump knew that this indictment was coming down, before he went to Europe, and still he never says a word about it. What he does is continue his attacks on our alliances, i.e. he continues his attacks on our free press, he continues his attacks on FBI agents who were just doing their job, and supports this 10-hour show hearing that the House of Representatives had. It’s really unbelievable that Trump is doing these things and never says one word about it. He still has not said a word about those indictments.

GLENN GREENWALD: That’s because the reality is—and I don’t know if Donald Trump knows this or doesn’t know this, has stumbled into the truth or what—but the reality is that what the Russians did in 2016 is absolutely not aberrational or unusual in any way. The United—I’m sorry to say this, but it’s absolutely true. The United States and Russia have been interfering in one another’s domestic politics for since at least the end of World War II, to say nothing of what they do in far more extreme ways to the internal politics of other countries. Noam Chomsky was on this very program several months ago, and he talked about how the entire world is laughing at this indignation from the United States—”How dare you interfere in our democracy!”—when the United States not only has continuously in the past done, but continues to do far more extreme interference in the internal politics of all kinds of countries, including Russia.

GLENN GREENWALDThe United States funds oppositional groups inside Russia. The United States sent advisers and all kinds of operatives to try and elect Boris Yeltsin in the mid-1990s, because they perceived, accurately, that he was a drunk who would serve the interests of the United States more than other candidates who might have won. The United States interferes in Russian politics, and they interfere in their cyber systems, and they invade their email systems, and they invade all kinds of communications all the time. And so, to treat this as though it’s some kind of aberrational event, I think, is really kind of naive.

GLENN GREENWALD: It wasn’t just Hillary Clinton in 2016 who lost this election. The entire Democratic Party has collapsed as a national political force over the last decade. They’ve lost control of the Senate and of the House and of multiple statehouses and governorships. They’re decimated as a national political force. And the reason is exactly what Joe said. They become the party of international globalization. They’re associated with Silicon Valley and Wall Street billionaires and corporate interests, and have almost no connection to the working class. And that is a much harder conversation to have about why the Democrats have lost elections than just blaming a foreign villain and saying it’s because Vladimir Putin ran some fake Facebook ads and did some phishing emails. And I think that until we put this in perspective, about what Russia did in 2016 and the reality that the U.S. does that sort of thing all the time to Russia and so many other countries, we’re going to just not have the conversation that we need to be having about what these international institutions, that are so sacred—NATO and free trade and international trade organizations—have done to people all over the world, and the reason they’re turning to demagogues and right-wing extremists because of what these institutions have done to them. That’s the conversation we need to be having, but we’re not having, because we’re evading it by blaming everything on Vladimir Putin. And that, to me, is even more dangerous for our long-term prospects than this belligerence that’s in the air about how we ought to look at Moscow.

Indictments and First Year Law

Mish: I now wish to return to a statement my friend made regarding the idea “No question Russia did it“.

From Glenn Greenwald

As far as the indictments from Mueller are concerned, it’s certainly the most specific accounting yet that we’ve gotten of what the U.S. government claims the Russian government did in 2016. But it’s extremely important to remember what every first-year law student will tell you, which is that an indictment is nothing more than the assertions of a prosecutor unaccompanied by evidence. The evidence won’t be presented until a trial or until Robert Mueller actually issues a report to Congress. And so, I would certainly hope that we are not at the point, which I think we seem to be at, where we are now back to believing that when the CIA makes statements and assertions and accusations, or when prosecutors make statements and assertions and accusations, unaccompanied by evidence that we can actually evaluate, that we’re simply going to believe those accusations on faith, especially when the accusations come from George W. Bush’s former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who repeatedly lied to Congress about Iraq and a whole variety of other issues. So, I think there we need some skepticism. But even if the Russians did everything that Robert Mueller claims in that indictment that they did, in the scheme of what the U.S. and the Russians do to one another and other countries, I think to say that this is somehow something that we should treat as a grave threat, that should mean that we don’t talk to them or that we treat them as an enemy, is really irrational and really quite dangerous.

Mish – Six Questions

  1. Is this a trial or a witch hunt?
  2. Do we need to see the evidence or do we believe known liars?
  3. Is Trump guilty of treason? Before we even see proof Putin was involved?
  4. Is the CIA incapable of fabricating evidence?
  5. Even if Russia interfered in the election, why should anyone have expected otherwise?
  6. Has everyone forgotten the US lies on WMDs already?

Irrational and Dangerous

I don’t know about you, but I have no reason to believe known liars and hypocrites.

I disagree with Trump all the time, in fact, more often than not.

The amount of venom on Trump over this is staggering.

Adding a missing word, I stand by my previous statement: “Nearly every political action that generates this much complete nonsense and hysteria from the Left and Right is worthy of immense praise.”

If you disagree please provide examples. The only two I can come up with are Pearl Harbor and 911. In both, the US was directly attacked.

For rebuttal purposes I offer Vietnam, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Iran, WWI, treatment of Japanese-American citizens in WWII, and McCarthyism.

Greenwald accurately assesses the situation as “really irrational and really quite dangerous.”

Indeed.

And if indictments and accusations were crimes, we wouldn’t need a jury.

 

How the left’s tactic of mass hysteria against Trump is playing out with the general public

By Rick Moran

Donald Trump has yet to be inaugurated, he has yet to make any specific proposals for legislation, has yet to issue any executive orders, and has yet to even comment on many of the cultural issues that divide America.

That lack of specificity has played directly into the hands of his opponents on the left.  Into the void, the left has substituted mass hysteria about what Trump might do rather than reasoned argument against the positions he took during the campaign.

The left in America doesn’t have that luxury – at least, not officially.  But there is little doubt that their attempts to massively exaggerate the danger of a Trump presidency to certain minority groups has found a mainstream media compliant, even eager in their efforts to conciously aid in spreading propaganda, hyperbole, even lies in the cause of opposing Trump.

How is the left’s campaign to convince large numbers of people that their freedoms, even their lives are in danger going?

Not bad at all.

Huffington Post asked 14 women who never participated in a demonstration before why they were going to take part in the Women’s March on Washington later this week.  Here are some of the answers:

I’m attending the march with my partner because I’m gay, scared and I want to be a part of history. The day after the election, three young white men came up to her and started yelling “Trump!” I went to a few of the protests in New York City and posted about it on Facebook, and I got horrible backlash, mostly from men I don’t know. I’ve also had extended family comment on some of my political posts. One went on a rant cursing all over my page. But I’m not going to make myself small to make others feel comfortable.

I actually have been to a march before, but not really by choice. When I was 15, I attended a Christian high school that was very pro-life and I did the March for Life. I was really afraid of hell and I had some sense that I was queer, so I was absolutely terrified. I went to the march because I felt like God would love me if I did. I remember holding up a big sign with all these photoshopped images of dead fetuses. It was traumatic.

What is this young, gay woman so scared of?  During the campaign, a gay Republican wrote on op-ed in the gay publication The Blade and put it simply:

The fact is that any honest look at Trump’s record and views on gay rights shows that most of the attacks by gay Democrats on his views are simply incorrect.

In fact, the attacks on Trump’s record on gay rights are dishonest.  Trump has been a social liberal most of his life, although he has trimmed some of those views to satisfy culturally conservative Republican voters.  He has been a passionate supporter of anti-discrimination laws against gays since 2000 and became the first GOP nominee to acknowledge the LGBT community in his acceptance speech.  He has come out strongly against violence directed at gays.  Again, what does this woman have to fear from a Trump presidency?

I’m going to take the bus in for the day. So far, I’m going alone, but I’m trying to convince my mother and some friends to come with me. Either way, I feel like I have to march because I’m frightened. I’m black. I’m Muslim. I don’t wear the hijab, but I think a lot about why my reaction would be if I saw someone else being harassed. I’m a protector and I worry about how defensive I would get.

I’m very excited not only for this first march, but to be part of a movement. I’m not just a woman. I’m black. I’m Muslim. I represent a lot of different groups and to me, this is about sending a message about civil rights on a broader scale.

There has been some highly publicized incidents of morons making idiots of themselves by harassing or even attacking Muslims – just as there have been morons making idiots of themselves attacking Trump supporters.  We don’t see mass hysteria among Trump supporters because the media really don’t care if they’re attacked or harassed.  But Trump’s election has clearly generated strong feelings against one’s political opponents, and the press have been willing partners in promoting the hate.

Sidney: I feel like it’s my obligation to support my wife and to be a man who stands up for women in these times. We’re taking alarming steps back in the fight for women’s rights and equality. I don’t want our side to falter. We need to stand up against belligerent cynicism and misguided machismo.

What legal “steps back” for women have there been under Trump?  None, of course, because he hasn’t even taken office yet.  But there has been a constant babble for the last several years that has implied that all men are rapists, or could be rapists, and any expression of masculinity threatens women.  This is an example of what could happen under a Trump presidency – that is, if Trump is as evil and misogynistic as the left says he is.

I am a 38-year-old mother of four and I will be flying to D.C. for the march with my sister, mother and niece. This election has brought out a fierceness in me that I didn’t know I had, mostly because of my children and my health. My kids are biracial (Korean and white) and are being raised in a small, mostly Republican farm community. My daughter has come home from school telling me that the kids there were afraid for her that Trump would “send her back to where she came from.” That really jarred me.

I’m also a breast cancer survivor. A lot of the women in my family are breast cancer survivors. We’ve always made it a point to get together and do breast cancer walks, but we have never done anything political. This feels big. I fear the day when [Republicans] do away with the Affordable Care Act, and my preexisting condition makes me ineligible for insurance.

Another example of someone getting hysterical over absolutely nothing.  It is very likely that the Obamacare requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions will remain in any replacement legislation.  Few Republicans have come out in favor of repealing that requirement.  But the left has ginned up fear and terror among sick people that they will all lose their insurance when Obamacare is repealed.

Mass hysteria is a kind of delusion that fits well with people who consider themselves “victims.”  This virulent form of Trump hate is easy to promote, given that so many Americans are comfortable with the “victim” label and can’t imagine life without it.  But the reality is, even if you’re a Trump-hater like me, a reasonable person would give the new president a chance to prove his detractors right or wrong.

Unfortunately, reason left the building in November.

Donald Trump has yet to be inaugurated, he has yet to make any specific proposals for legislation, has yet to issue any executive orders, and has yet to even comment on many of the cultural issues that divide America.

That lack of specificity has played directly into the hands of his opponents on the left.  Into the void, the left has substituted mass hysteria about what Trump might do rather than reasoned argument against the positions he took during the campaign.

As a political tactic, generating mass hysteria against an opponent has been wildly successful in history.  The two largest purveyors of mass hysteria – Nazi Germany and Communist Russia – used the ploy to convince large majorities of their populations of a clear and present danger in society, be it the Jews or “counterrevolutionaries.”  In this, they were ably aided by a captive media, where the state controlled all information disseminated to the public.

The left in America doesn’t have that luxury – at least, not officially.  But there is little doubt that their attempts to massively exaggerate the danger of a Trump presidency to certain minority groups has found a mainstream media compliant, even eager in their efforts to conciously aid in spreading propaganda, hyperbole, even lies in the cause of opposing Trump.

How is the left’s campaign to convince large numbers of people that their freedoms, even their lives are in danger going?

Not bad at all.

Huffington Post asked 14 women who never participated in a demonstration before why they were going to take part in the Women’s March on Washington later this week.  Here are some of the answers:

I’m attending the march with my partner because I’m gay, scared and I want to be a part of history. The day after the election, three young white men came up to her and started yelling “Trump!” I went to a few of the protests in New York City and posted about it on Facebook, and I got horrible backlash, mostly from men I don’t know. I’ve also had extended family comment on some of my political posts. One went on a rant cursing all over my page. But I’m not going to make myself small to make others feel comfortable.

I actually have been to a march before, but not really by choice. When I was 15, I attended a Christian high school that was very pro-life and I did the March for Life. I was really afraid of hell and I had some sense that I was queer, so I was absolutely terrified. I went to the march because I felt like God would love me if I did. I remember holding up a big sign with all these photoshopped images of dead fetuses. It was traumatic.

What is this young, gay woman so scared of?  During the campaign, a gay Republican wrote on op-ed in the gay publication The Blade and put it simply:

The fact is that any honest look at Trump’s record and views on gay rights shows that most of the attacks by gay Democrats on his views are simply incorrect.

In fact, the attacks on Trump’s record on gay rights are dishonest.  Trump has been a social liberal most of his life, although he has trimmed some of those views to satisfy culturally conservative Republican voters.  He has been a passionate supporter of anti-discrimination laws against gays since 2000 and became the first GOP nominee to acknowledge the LGBT community in his acceptance speech.  He has come out strongly against violence directed at gays.  Again, what does this woman have to fear from a Trump presidency?

I’m going to take the bus in for the day. So far, I’m going alone, but I’m trying to convince my mother and some friends to come with me. Either way, I feel like I have to march because I’m frightened. I’m black. I’m Muslim. I don’t wear the hijab, but I think a lot about why my reaction would be if I saw someone else being harassed. I’m a protector and I worry about how defensive I would get.

I’m very excited not only for this first march, but to be part of a movement. I’m not just a woman. I’m black. I’m Muslim. I represent a lot of different groups and to me, this is about sending a message about civil rights on a broader scale.

There has been some highly publicized incidents of morons making idiots of themselves by harassing or even attacking Muslims – just as there have been morons making idiots of themselves attacking Trump supporters.  We don’t see mass hysteria among Trump supporters because the media really don’t care if they’re attacked or harassed.  But Trump’s election has clearly generated strong feelings against one’s political opponents, and the press have been willing partners in promoting the hate.

Sidney: I feel like it’s my obligation to support my wife and to be a man who stands up for women in these times. We’re taking alarming steps back in the fight for women’s rights and equality. I don’t want our side to falter. We need to stand up against belligerent cynicism and misguided machismo.

What legal “steps back” for women have there been under Trump?  None, of course, because he hasn’t even taken office yet.  But there has been a constant babble for the last several years that has implied that all men are rapists, or could be rapists, and any expression of masculinity threatens women.  This is an example of what could happen under a Trump presidency – that is, if Trump is as evil and misogynistic as the left says he is.

I am a 38-year-old mother of four and I will be flying to D.C. for the march with my sister, mother and niece. This election has brought out a fierceness in me that I didn’t know I had, mostly because of my children and my health. My kids are biracial (Korean and white) and are being raised in a small, mostly Republican farm community. My daughter has come home from school telling me that the kids there were afraid for her that Trump would “send her back to where she came from.” That really jarred me.

I’m also a breast cancer survivor. A lot of the women in my family are breast cancer survivors. We’ve always made it a point to get together and do breast cancer walks, but we have never done anything political. This feels big. I fear the day when [Republicans] do away with the Affordable Care Act, and my preexisting condition makes me ineligible for insurance.

Another example of someone getting hysterical over absolutely nothing.  It is very likely that the Obamacare requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions will remain in any replacement legislation.  Few Republicans have come out in favor of repealing that requirement.  But the left has ginned up fear and terror among sick people that they will all lose their insurance when Obamacare is repealed.

Mass hysteria is a kind of delusion that fits well with people who consider themselves “victims.”  This virulent form of Trump hate is easy to promote, given that so many Americans are comfortable with the “victim” label and can’t imagine life without it.  But the reality is, even if you’re a Trump-hater like me, a reasonable person would give the new president a chance to prove his detractors right or wrong.

Unfortunately, reason left the building in November.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/01/how_the_tactic_of_mass_hysteria_against_trump_is_playing_out_with_the_general_public.html#ixzz5Le2TkIzK

 

Interfering In Democratic Elections: Russia Against The U.S., But U.S. Against The World

Doug Bandow

 2,806 views #ForeignAffairs

The Cold War finally and dramatically ended almost 30 years ago when the Berlin Wall fell, soon followed by the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But despite the election of Donald Trump, the U.S. and Russia have descended into what increasingly looks like a Little Cold War with Moscow’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats.

The Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.President Vladimir Putin on July 30, 2017 said the United States would have to cut 755 diplomatic staff in Russia. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Indeed, paranoia seems more intense in Washington than Moscow. Democrats and Republicans alike have convinced themselves that Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, a shadow of the old U.S.S.R., threaten the combined colossus of America and Europe.

Both parties also are angry over Moscow’s apparent interference with the 2016 election. By an almost unanimous vote frenzied legislators voted to tighten sanctions and end the president’s discretion to relax the penalties. Yet Russia’s most rabid critics, such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, also are among the most enthusiastic supporters of American intervention overseas, including meddling in other nations’ elections.

Russia behaved badly, but hacking emails which put a candidate in a poor light is much different than manipulating election results. The latter would be extremely serious, threatening a genuinely vital American interest, in free and fair elections. For that reason the controversy should act as Thomas Jefferson’s famous “fire bell in the night” and force states in particular to improve election security. Imagine the constitutional crisis if Moscow had changed the election outcome.

Of course, hacking the campaign still was illegal and improper. Nevertheless, it didn’t undermine the election process. After all, revealing hidden truths about one of the candidates actually increased voter knowledge. The method was wrong, but the result was positive. In fact, Ukraine engaged in a more limited and less intrusive effort on behalf of Hillary Clinton, mostly researching and disseminating embarrassing information about the Trump campaign.

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In any case, Russia’s presumed Clinton hack seems minor compared to attempts by foreign governments to influence U.S. policy. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently invested heavily to win Washington’s support against Qatar, creating the spectacle of countries which have financed terrorism accusing a neighbor of financing terrorism.

Israel’s political influence is legendary. There may be no more powerful lobby, domestic or foreign, with a greater stranglehold over policy. Simply attempting to debate the issue is politically dangerous for Israel’s critics. Turkey and Greece routinely battle each other. Other countries hire lobbyists, some permanently. That’s no surprise: the U.S. imposes itself on other nations, which understandably seek to turn that power to their advantage or forestall its use against them.

Most striking about the ongoing controversy is how U.S. policymakers appear oblivious to the fact that America has routinely interfered in other nations’ elections. Washington is understandably outraged that someone else would interfere with Americans’ sacred right to choose their own government. However, the same officials believe that they have a sacred right to interfere with the right of others to choose their own governments. Sadly, Russia’s efforts really were not “unprecedented,” as claimed by Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) and Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Korolev (L) watch a terrestrial globe while visiting Russia’s Navy Headquarters during Navy Day in Saint Petersburg on July 30, 2017. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of America’s foreign interventions have been dramatic and violent. Washington backed the 1973 ouster of Chilean President Salvador Allende. Thankfully years of brutal repression passed into history as the country returned to democracy. But the U.S. continues to pay the price of its support for the coup which overthrew Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossedegh in 1953. The victorious Shah ruled for a quarter century, but then was overthrown by an Islamic revolution, the consequences of which continue to roil the Middle East and U.S. policy.

More common has been more mundane electoral interference—closer to the Russian model. Indeed, Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University identified 81 instances between 1946 and 2000 in which Washington attempted to influence other nations’ elections. (In contrast, the Soviet Union did so less than half as often, 36 times.) Levin does not include in this number coups and other post-election “remedies,” such as in Chile and Iran.

During the Cold War America’s focus was containing communism. Explained Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment: “The U.S. didn’t want to see left-wing governments elected and so it did engage fairly often in trying to influence elections in other countries.”  However, attitudes in Washington haven’t changed much. In 2014 the U.S. backed a street putsch against the elected Ukrainian president and then American officials shamelessly plotted to get their favored candidate appointed prime minister.

The U.S. uses numerous tools to advance its interests. Explained Nina Agrawal of the Los Angeles Times: “These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.”

It’s not clear how much impact Washington’s efforts had: Levin figured the vote increase for U.S.-backed candidates averaged three percent. The consequences often didn’t seem to satisfy Washington; in almost half of the cases America intervened at least a second time in the same country’s electoral affairs.

Ironically, given the outrage directed at Moscow today, in 1996 Washington did what it could to ensure the reelection of Boris Yeltsin over the communist opposition. The U.S. backed a $10.2 billion IMF loan, an ill-disguised bribe were used by the Yeltsin government for social spending before the election. Americans also went over to Russia to help. Time magazine placed Boris Yeltsin on the cover holding an American flag; the article was entitled “Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisers Helped Yeltsin Win.”

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France, Friday, June 2, 2006.  (Photographer: Caroline Blumberg/Bloomberg News.)

However, America’s election interventions started decades before. Levin pointed to the 1948 Italian poll, into which the U.S. “threw everything, including the kitchen sink.” The U.S. provided money for pork barrel projects, experts to run the campaign, and cash for campaign expenses, as well as threatened to cut aid if the Communists triumphed. CIA case officer F. Mark Wyatt remembered: “We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their political expenses, their campaign expenses, for posters, for pamphlets.” Washington didn’t stop then: it intervened in seven subsequent Italian elections. Japan came in second with five separate interventions. Israel, Laos, and Sri Lanka shared third place at four times.

Not all meddling was tied to the Cold War. After the overthrow of Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the U.S. supported opponents, including military officers, against popular (and elected) demagogue Jean-Bertrande Aristide. Ironically, President Bill Clinton later threatened to invade if the military did not yield control back to Aristide.

In 1990 the U.S. mimicked Russia’s apparent efforts last year by leaking information on alleged corruption by Sandinista leader (and again now president) Daniel Ortega to German newspapers. The winning opposition candidate used the information to her advantage. Also in 1990 Washington provided aid, money and training to Vaclav Havel’s party in that nation’s first free election since the takeover by Nazi Germany decades before.

Two years ago Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to influence the debate over the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran. But the U.S. preceded his meddling by a couple of decades. In 1996 the Clinton Administration supported Shimon Peres against Netanyahu, hosting a peace conference and White House summit in advance of Israel’s vote. Three years later Clinton administration political strategists decamped to Israel to assist Ehud Barak against Netanyahu.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. (Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

In 2000 Washington backed opposition presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica against Slobodan Milosevic, America’s beta noire in the Balkans. The U.S. provided money and communications equipment to the opposition, which Levin figured was critical for Kostunica’s victory. The U.S. subsequently turned against Kostunica for being too independent, and used “pro-democracy” financial aid to help his opponents.

There’s no authoritative list of countries in which Washington intervened in elections, since the form of involvement varied widely. However, according to Levin and Michael Brenner of the University of Pittsburgh, countries suffering from America’s malign attention included: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic,  Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.

When Washington admits to its role, it claims to be nonpartisan. For instance, in Russia the U.S. would did nothing wrong, wrote Tom Malinowski, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, since Washington would merely “help fund some of the country’s leading nongovernmental organizations.” However, groups backed by the West typically lean toward the West and rarely look disinterested to the governments they criticize.

In fact, U.S.-backed organizations participated in the “color revolutions” and Arab Spring. Joseph Thomas of the Thai journal The New Atlas said of their activities: such groups “as well as myriad fronts around the world … fund, support and direct, are openly dedicated to manipulating foreign elections, creating U.S.-friendly opposition movements and even overthrowing governments that impede U.S. interests worldwide.”

Washington’s objective is clear, and it is not democracy in the abstract. American groups such as the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute choose who and how to help. Complained my colleague Ted Galen Carpenter: “The reality is that they fund and help train political factions that are deemed friendly to the United States, and specifically to Washington’s foreign policy.” In one Balkan nation a friend informedme that the ambassador forbade officials from even meeting with democratically elected parliamentarians deemed too nationalist and insufficiently pro-EU. America was never very interested in supporting “color revolutions” against its allies, irrespective of how tyrannical.

At least Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) acknowledged the appearance problem caused by promiscuous American election interference: “we live in a big glass house and there are a lot of rocks to throw.”

President George W. Bush makes remarks at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, emphasizing his push for democratic changes in the Middle East 06 November, 2003, in Washington, DC. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Of course, there is an obvious logic to U.S. behavior. American officials want to secure the U.S. from foreign interference while helping advance Washington’s international interests by supporting friendly politicians, movements, and parties in as many foreign states as possible. However, such dramatic inconsistency has become even more embarrassing with all the sanctimonious rhetoric regarding Russia’s conduct emanating from Washington.

The Trump administration should make the security of America’s elections a priority. Russia should know that any future attempt to interfere in U.S. elections would result in serious retaliation. However, Washington should begin with a pledge to stay out of other nations’ elections. Let people in a democracy make their own choices and select their own leaders. After all, if that policy is appropriate for America, it should be right for the world’s other democracies as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2017/08/01/interfering-in-democratic-elections-russia-against-the-u-s-but-u-s-against-the-world/#28358d7e6644

 

Database Tracks History Of U.S. Meddling In Foreign Elections

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks to Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin about his historical database that tracks U.S. involvement in meddling with foreign elections over the years.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is hardly the first time a country has tried to influence the outcome of another country’s election. The U.S. has done it, too, by one expert’s count, more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. That expert is Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. I asked him to tell me about one election where U.S. intervention likely made a difference in the outcome.

DOV LEVIN: One example of that was our intervention in Serbia, Yugoslavia in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milosevic was running for re-election, and we didn’t want him to stay in power there due to his tendency, you know, to disrupts the Balkans and his human rights violations.

So we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Kostunica. And we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. And according to my estimate, that assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win.

SHAPIRO: How often are these interventions public versus covert?

LEVIN: Well, it’s – basically there’s about – one-third of them are public, and two-third of them are covert. In other words, they’re not known to the voters in the target before the election.

SHAPIRO: Your count does not include coups, attempts at regime change. It sounds like depending on the definitions, the tally could actually be much higher.

LEVIN: Well, you’re right. I don’t count and discount covert coup d’etats like the United States did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954. I only took when the United States is trying directly to influence an election for one of the sides. Other types of interventions – I don’t discuss. But if we would include those, then of course the number could be larger, yeah.

SHAPIRO: How often do other countries like Russia, for example, try to alter the outcome of elections as compared to the United States?

LEVIN: Well, for my dataset, the United States is the most common user of this technique. Russia or the Soviet Union since 1945 has used it half as much. My estimate has been 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know also that the Chinese have used this technique and the Venezuelans when the late Hugo Chavez was still in power in Venezuela and other countries.

SHAPIRO: The U.S. is arguably more vocal than any other country about trying to promote democracy and democratic values around the world. Does this strike you as conflicting with that message?

LEVIN: It depends upon if we are assisting pro-democratic side – could be like in the case of Slobodan Milosevic that I talked about earlier. I believe that that could be helpful for democracy. If it helps less-nicer candidates or parties, then naturally it can be less helpful.

SHAPIRO: Obviously your examination of 20th century attempts to influence elections does not involve hacking because computers were not widespread until recently.

LEVIN: Yeah.

SHAPIRO: In your view, is technology – the way that we saw in the November election – dramatically changing the game? Or is this just the latest evolution of an effort that has always used whatever tools are available?

LEVIN: I would say it’s more the latter. I mean the Russians or the Soviets before unfrequently did these type of intervention, just, you know, without the cyber-hacking tools – you know, the old style people meeting in the park in secret giving out and getting information and things like that, so to speak.

SHAPIRO: Dov Levin is with the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks for joining us.

LEVIN: Thank you very much.

https://www.npr.org/2016/12/22/506625913/database-tracks-history-of-u-s-meddling-in-foreign-elections

 

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President Obama delivers the Nelson Mandela Lecture in South Africa

REPLAY – Former US president Barack Obama honours Nelson Mandela on the centerary of his birth

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Obama made a rare public appearance to deliver a biting critique of Trump’s worldview — without saying his name

Obama

President Barack Obama delivered a speech in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday in South Africa on Tuesday.

 Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

  • Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered a sharp rebuke of his successor’s worldview.
  • Obama delivered the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in South Africa, slamming “strongman politics” and the rejection of intellectualism he feels is permeating today’s political culture.
  • Obama did not once say President Donald Trump’s name during the address, but his words represented a biting critique of the current president’s political philosophy.
  • Obama concluded his speech by encouraging young people to stay politically active and have faith in democracy despite how “slow” and “frustrating” it can be at times.

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered a sharp rebuke of his successor’s worldview as he delivered the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in South Africa, slamming “strongman politics” and the rejection of intellectualism he feels is permeating today’s political culture.

Obama did not once say President Donald Trump’s name during the address, held one day before what would’ve been Mandela’s 100th birthday. But his target was clear as he offered a biting critique of the current president’s political philosophy.

The former president used the speech as an opportunity to outline what he views as troubling trends in the political arena.

—CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed” style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 20px 0px;”>

CBS News

@CBSNews

Obama: “Strong man politics are ascendant suddenly. Whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained the form of it. But those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.” https://cbsn.ws/2JvKIhe 

“Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly,” Obama said. “Whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it. But those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”

‘The free press is under attack’

As Trump on Tuesday again used Twitter to denounce “Fake News,” a phrase he typically employs in response to negative coverage of his actions or rhetoric, Obama said that “the free press is under attack.”

Obama also urged people to reject xenophobia and “rabid nationalism,” warning that history shows countries that embrace “doctrines of tribal, racial, or religious superiority” eventually “find themselves consumed by civil war or external war.”

—CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed” style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 20px 0px;”>

CBS News

@CBSNews

“The fact that countries which rely on rabid nationalism and xenophobia and doctrines of religious or racial superiority… Eventually those countries find themselves consumed by civil or external war,” Obama says during keynote speech https://cbsn.ws/2JvKIhe 

“You can be proud of your heritage without denigrating those of a different heritage,” Obama added.

Obama’s speech came after Trump’s high-profile visit to Europe, which Trump claimed was losing its “culture” because of immigration policies.

“These people who are so intent on putting people down and puffing themselves up, they’re small-hearted,” Obama said. “There’s something they’re just afraid of.”

‘You have to believe in facts’

In addition to warning against the dangers of excessive nationalism, the former president expressed concern over the apparent rejection of objective truth among leaders.

“You have to believe in facts. Without facts, there’s no basis for cooperation,” Obama said, adding: “Unfortunately, too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth. People just make stuff up.”

An analysis from The Washington Post in May found that Trump had made at least 3,001 false or misleading claims so far as president.

Obama concluded his speech by encouraging young people to stay politically active and to have faith in democracy despite how “slow” and “frustrating” it can be at times.

“Keep believing. Keep marching. Keep building. Keep raising your voice. Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world,” Obama said. “Mandela said, ‘Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.’ Now is a good time to be aroused.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-speech-in-south-africa-trump-transcript-2018-7?r=UK&IR=T

 

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

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

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

How Americans may be hurt by trade tariffs

Larry Kudlow on trade with China, North Korea talks

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

US trade partners announce retaliatory tariffs

White House plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods

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

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

The Legacy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

Thomas Sowell explains the Great Depression

Milton Friedman – The Great Depression Myth

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

Europe makes final push for US steel, aluminum tariff exemptions

US trade representative on challenges from China, Mexico

Lighthizer Sees China as a Key Issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump tariffs could ‘destroy’ EU’s steel industry

Trump adviser Kudlow fears auto tariffs could kill jobs

Tariffs are designed to defend American technology: Peter Navarro

Trump Goes Ahead With China Tariffs

How did China become an economic powerhouse?

How the US can compete against China

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

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

If China is ok, the world economy is ok

Why Chinese Manufacturing Wins

Milton Friedman – Free Trade

Ten Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers

Milton Friedman – Free Trade Vs Protectionism

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

Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Heather SCOTT, with Jurgen Hecker in Paris

,

AFP
1 / 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Not a western –

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

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

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

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

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

Video: US Moves Forward With Tariffs on Chinese Imports

For more news videos visit Yahoo View

Non-tariff barriers to trade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers

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

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

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

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

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

Licenses

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

Quotas

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

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

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

Agreement on a “voluntary” export restraint

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

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

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

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

Embargo

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

Standards

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

Administrative and bureaucratic delays at the entrance

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

Import deposits

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

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

Foreign exchange restrictions and foreign exchange controls

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

History

The transition from tariffs to non-tariff barriers

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

Non-tariff barriers today

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

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

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

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

Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers

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

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

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

Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

Non-tariff barriers to trade can be the following:

See also

References

Bibliography

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

External links

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

Mexico aims tariffs at Trump country, sees NAFTA complications

By Michael O’Boyle and Frank Jack Daniel
Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEXICO WITH THE WORLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gowdy faces backlash over remarks about FBI, Trump campaign

Tucker: Trump has convinced Dems to destroy themselves

Where in the World Was Barack Obama?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Noteworthy

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

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

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

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

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

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

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

 

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

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

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

What could possibly have made you imagine such a thing?

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

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

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

Sure!

Senator Rubio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Representative Gowdy

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

This is a dodge on at least two levels.

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

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

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

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

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

Withholding Information from Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Steele Dossier and FISA Surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Withdraws United States From Obama/Kerry Iran Nuclear Deal — Obama’s Legacy — Going, Going, Gone — The End — Videos — Story 2: Iran and Obama Lied To American People — President Trump’s Goal: Stop Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East By Diplomacy, Negotiation or Military Means — Videos

Posted on May 10, 2018. Filed under: Afghanistan, American History, Barack H. Obama, Books, Breaking News, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump,