The Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018, Story 1: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Compromised National Security By Emails To Clinton’s Emailer Server Account — Hacked By Several Countries Including Russia Providing Real Leverage or Blackmail of Clinton and Obama — Spy or Mole In Trump Campaign To Provide Early Warning That Russians Gave Trump The Compromising Leverage/Blackmail — None Sent Nor Received by Trump — Obama Knew Everything DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA Were Doing! — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Demands Investigation and Meets With Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Participates in Swearing In of First Women C.I.A. Director, Gina Haspel — Videos — Story 4: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Outlines Strategy with Strongest Sanctions Against Iran — Videos

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Story 1: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Compromised National Security By Emails To Clinton’s Emailer Server Account — Hacked By Several Countries Including Russia Providing Real Leverage or Blackmail of Clinton and Obama — Spy or Mole In Trump Campaign To Provide Early Warning That Russians Gave Trump The Compromising Leverage/Blackmail — None Sent Nor Received by Trump — Obama Knew Everything DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA Were Doing! — Videos

 

Trump questions where Obama was amid reports of FBI spying

5 Things You Need to Know About Hillary’s Email Server

Report: 99% chance Clinton email server hacked

Why Clinton’s private email use is deemed more serious than predecessors’

Was President Obama aware of Clinton’s private email server?

Did Obama lie about his knowledge of Clinton’s server?

Obama weighs in on Hillary Clinton’s emails

DOJ reportedly reopens Hillary Clinton email investigation

Why Congress won’t reopen the Clinton email investigation

State Department’s Report ‘Really Hurts’ Hillary Clinton | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Whistleblower: Clinton emails include classified info

Clinton campaign looked to fire intel watchdog over email scandal

Ex-watchdog: From start, pushback on Clinton email probe

Trump Hopes Russia Finds Clinton’s Deleted Emails

Inspector General Issues Scathing Report On Hillary’s Emails

Former DOJ official on reports of informant in Trump team

FBI and DOJ in turmoil over handling of Clinton emails

Clinton email scandal, Russia probe compromised by biased investigator

Ed Klein: Why Comey jumped at chance to reopen Clinton case

Clinton blames Comey, Russia for election loss

FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server

Is the presence of a spy in a presidential campaign lawful?

DOJ watchdog completes draft report on Clinton probe

FBI investigating drone emails in Clinton server probe

Morrell confirms at least one foreign country have what was on Hillary’s email server

Trey Gowdy GRILLS James Comey On Hillary Clinton Emails 7/7/16

Jason Chaffetz Digs in on Comey at Start of Capitol Hearing: ‘We Are Mystified and Confused’:

James Comey takes fire for Clinton email recommendation

FBI Director James Comey’s full statement on Clinton email investigation

FORMER CIA AND DEFENSE CHIEFS SAY CLINTON’S EMAIL SERVER HACKED: Iran, China, Russia Hacked Server

Russian-linked hackers tried to access Clinton emails

Former CIA Director: Foreign Spies Had Access to Clinton Emails

Obama creating a ‘shadow government?’

Obama’s shadowing of Trump is appalling: Dobbs

What happens if Obama was involved in illegal surveillance?

Story 2: President Trump Demands Investigation and Meets With Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director — Videos —

Trump demands that the DOJ look into reports of informant

 

Trump demands DOJ probe into FBI surveillance allegations

 

Story 3: President Trump Attends Swearing In of First Women C.I.A. Director, Gina Haspel — Videos

Gina Haspel sworn-in as first female CIA director

President Donald Trump: Gina Haspel Will Never Back Down | CNBC

President Donald Trump Attends Swearing-In Of New CIA Director Gina Haspel | NBC News

Trump CIA pick tells lawmakers: ‘My moral compass is strong’

Trump Swears In Gina Haspel as C.I.A. Director, Praising Agency as the ‘Most Elite’ in the World

Image
Gina Haspel was sworn in on Monday as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump praised Gina Haspel on Monday as she was sworn in as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, congratulating her on becoming the first woman to lead what he called “the most elite intelligence professionals on the planet.”

But even as Ms. Haspel took over as C.I.A. director, conservatives and some Trump allies were accusing her of being part of the “deep state” conspiracy that the president repeatedly claims has been conducting a “witch hunt” against him.

Publicly and privately, Trump supporters have been raising questions about Ms. Haspel’s loyalty to the president, and urging — without providing any evidence — an examination of what she knew about the intelligence community’s efforts to connect Trump to Russia.

In particular, they have questioned whether Ms. Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the spy agency who was the C.I.A.’s station chief in London, knew of the F.B.I.’s highly secretive interview of an Australian diplomat in London, and was aware that the bureau used an informant to gather information there from Trump associates about possible Russian coordination with Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Who was the CIA London Station Chief in 2016?”Jack Posobiec, a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist with a large Twitter following, asked in a tweet last week. “Gina Haspel.”

In a letter last week, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, asked Ms. Haspel if the C.I.A. had been involved in spying on Mr. Trump or if the agency had cooperated with foreign intelligence services to monitor Mr. Trump in the years before he officially became a candidate.

It is unclear how much Ms. Haspel knew about the F.B.I.’s activities, which were part of a counterintelligence operation that the bureau called “Crossfire Hurricane,” or when she was made aware of them. But it is standard procedure for the station chief in a major city to be briefed on any major bureau activities in her territory.

“Anything that affects the intelligence community, you would first get the agency’s concurrence through the chief of station,” said Eugene Casey, a former agent who spent more than five years overseas for the F.B.I.

An American official said on Monday that Ms. Haspel was not fully briefed at the time on the F.B.I.’s use of an informant in London to gather information about Trump associates or on its plan to interview the Australian diplomat. The existence of the bureau’s Russia investigation was one of the most closely held secrets in the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.

But just the possibility that Ms. Haspel knew of the informant in the Russia inquiry is enough for some conspiracy theorists to accuse Ms. Haspel of being part of the anti-Trump intelligence bureaucracy they believe is arrayed against the president and his agenda.

Frank Gaffney Jr., of the Center for Security Policy, was particularly angry at the comments Ms. Haspel made during her confirmation hearing about whether she would follow a presidential order she considered immoral (she said she would not).

He also complained that Ms. Haspel, whose nomination was supported by a cross-section of former intelligence officials, was “being strongly recommended for that job by men who have used the C.I.A. and/or other elements of the intelligence community as deep state weapons to try to destroy him, his campaign and his administration.”

For Mr. Trump, the conspiracy theories connected to Ms. Haspel underscore an awkward reality: If the deep state Russia allegations are true, then many of the president’s own intelligence officials are in the same position as her.

In addition to Ms. Haspel, who served in senior C.I.A. positions under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, many of Mr. Trump’s other senior intelligence officials have played roles in parts of the Russia investigation.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who is overseeing the Russia investigation, appointed the special counsel in the case and has defended the investigation. Dana Boente, whom Mr. Trump appointed to be the top lawyer at the F.B.I., signed one of the secret warrants for a wiretap on a Trump associate. And Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, has fought to maintain the independence of the Russia investigation and has said it is not a witch hunt.

Just hours before his visit to the C.I.A. on Monday, Mr. Trump lashed out against Mr. Brennan, quoting a Fox News contributor who says Mr. Brennan “is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

“John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at the….

Mr. Trump used the power of his Twitter account to amplify remarks from Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator, who alleged on Fox that Mr. Brennan used an intelligence dossier to begin an illegitimate investigation of the Trump campaign.

“This guy is the genesis of this whole Debacle. This was a Political hit job, this was not an Intelligence Investigation,” the president tweeted to his 52 million followers, quoting Mr. Bongino’s television appearance.

The Monday morning tweets by the president followed a weekend in which he angrily complained about reports that the investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russia relied in part on confidential informants. Mr. Trump again assailed the investigation as a “Witch Hunt” and demanded that the F.B.I. or the Justice Department investigate whether his campaign was subject to improper surveillance.

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Mr. Trump wrote on Sunday.

The president repeated that demand on Monday in an email from his re-election campaign, urging his political supporters to sign a petition calling for a Justice Department investigation.

THIS COULD BE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY,” Mr. Trump wrote in the email from the Trump Make America Great Again campaign committee. “I need you to sign your name right this second to join me in demanding this abuse of power gets investigated.”

Mr. Rosenstein said on Sunday that the department’s inspector general would look into the questions raised by the president. But it is unclear whether that will satisfy Mr. Trump, who has said it was “disgraceful” to hand investigation of the Russia inquiry to an inspector general who was “Obama’s guy.”

The president is scheduled to meet with Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Wray and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, at the White House on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Despite the president’s relentless assault on what he perceives as the intelligence community’s improper actions as part of the investigations into his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump praised Ms. Haspel and the agency she is about to lead.

Mr. Trump’s brief remarks were strikingly different from those he delivered on his first visit to the agency the day after his inauguration, when he stood in front of a memorial to fallen intelligence officers and delivered a political diatribe against the news media, Democrats and others who questioned the size of his inaugural crowd.

On Monday, Mr. Trump lauded the “exceptional men and women of this agency,” adding: “I see what you do. I understand what you do and it’s incredible.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/us/politics/trump-haspel-cia.html

 

Story 4: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Outlines Strategy with Strongest Sanctions Against Iran — Videos

Pompeo: Iran to face “strongest sanctions in history”

Pompeo outlines new Iran strategy after US exit from deal

WATCH: Secy. of State Pompeo discusses Iran at Heritage Foundation

Pompeo adviser: US requirements for Iran are realistic

 

 

Mike Pompeo threatens Iran with ‘strongest sanctions in history’ after nuclear deal withdrawal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has issued a steep list of demands that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal, threatening “the strongest sanctions in history” if Iran doesn’t change course.

Key points:

  • Mike Pompeo gives first major speech as Secretary of State and threatens “toughest sanctions in history” on Iran
  • Submits 12 demands to the Middle East nation which would ensure it “has no possible path to a nuclear weapon”
  • Mr Pompeo warns punishment against European businesses which continue to trade with Iran

Following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal, the United States will ensure “Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever,” Mr Pompeo said.

As he called for a better agreement to constrain Iran’s activities, he said the US would “apply unprecedented financial pressure” to bring Tehran back to the table.

“These will end up being the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are complete,” Mr Pompeo said at the conservative Heritage Foundation, his first major policy speech since taking over as top diplomat.

The Secretary of State’s list of 12 requirements included many that Iran is highly unlikely to consider.

He said Iran must “stop enrichment” of uranium, which was allowed within strict limitations under the 2015 deal. Iran must also allow nuclear “unqualified access to all sites throughout the country,” Mr Pompeo said, alluding to military sites that were off-limits under the 2015 deal except under specific circumstances.

To that end, he also said Iran must declare all previous efforts to build a nuclear weapon, reopening an issue that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency has already deemed a closed matter.

Mr Pompeo also demanded that Iran cease from a range of activities throughout the Middle East that have long drawn the ire of the US and its allies. He said Iran must end support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, “withdraw all forces” from Syria, halt support for its ally Hezbollah and stop threatening Israel.

Iran must also “release all US citizens” missing in Iran or being held on “spurious charges,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Pompeo offered Iran a series of dramatic potential US concessions if it agrees to make “major changes.”

Under a new agreement, the US would be willing to lift all sanctions, restore full diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran, and even support the modernization of its economy, Mr Pompeo said.

“It is America’s hope that our labours toward peace and security will bear fruit for the long-suffering people of Iran,” he said.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

Mr Pompeo’s speech came after Mr Trump earlier this month infuriated US allies in Europe by withdrawing from the 2015 deal brokered by President Barack Obama, Iran and world powers. Europeans allies had pleaded with Mr Trump not to scuttle that deal and are now scrambling to keep the deal alive even without the US.

Mr Pompeo called that 2015 agreement a “loser deal”.

But the Trump administration has held out hope that those same allies will put aside that frustration and work with the US to ramp pressure back up on Iran through sanctions in a bid to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table for a stronger deal.

Pompeo said he understood that Trump’s decision “will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends.” But he warned them that the US planned to follow through with threats to punish European companies that continue doing business with Iran that is allowed under the deal but will violate reimposed US sanctions.

“I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is their decision to make,” Pompeo said. “They know where we stand.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-22/mike-pompeo-threatens-iran-with-tough-sanctions/9784784

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The Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018, Story 1: Mr. Magoo aka Attorney General Jeff Sessions Gets A Clue from President Trump — Appoint Special Counsel to Prosecute FISA Abuses and Politically Corrupt Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Now! — Videos — Story 2: Trump Take Guns Before Due Process Comment Betrays Bill of Rights Voter Base — In Your Heart You Know He Is Nuts  — Never Mind — Governments Many Failures in Parkland Florida Shootings — American People Have The Absolute Right To Defend Themselves Against Tyrants, Criminals and Nuts —  Videos — Story 3: Hope Dumps Trump — Tired of Abuse? — Bridge over Troubled Water — Sounds of Silence — Videos

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Story 1: Mr. Magoo aka Attorney General Jeff Sessions Gets A Clue from President Trump — Appoint Special Counsel to Prosecute FISA Abuses and Politically Corrupt Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Now! — Videos —

FBI withholds Obama, Comey secret meeting documents

DOJ should assign second special counsel to investigate FISA abuses: Rep. Jordan

Judge Napolitano on Trump’s public criticism of Sessions

Trump slams AG Jeff Sessions over surveillance abuse probe

Jeff Sessions fires back at Trump after insult

YES! FINALLY – POTUS Trump SETS to FIRE Jeff sessions! Watch

Hannity: It is time for Jeff Sessions to do his job

DOJ will investigate FISA abuse allegations, Jeff Sessions says

FBI Violated Criminal Statutes in FISA Application to Spy on Trump Dupe, the Most Goofy Carter Page

DOJ should assign second special counsel to investigate FISA abuses: Rep. Jordan

Jeff Sessions needs to remain as attorney general: Karl Rove

Trump lashes out against Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Trump refers to Sessions as ‘Mr. Magoo.’ Who is the character?

Trump Calls Jeff Sessions ‘Mr. Magoo’ Behind His Back

DOJ won’t rule out special counsel to probe Uranium One deal

Congressmen call for a special counsel to probe Clinton

Published on Nov 14, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ future as attorney general in doubt?

Mr Magoo Opening Theme

Mr Magoo – Military Magoo – VCD

Trump Keeps Ripping “Mr. Magoo” Jeff Sessions

Sessions: I plan to continue as attorney general

Trump has public falling out with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Tucker: Trump’s attack on Sessions useless, self-destructive

Sessions: I’m confident I made the right decision to recuse

President Obama Surprises Joe Biden With Medal of Freedom

 9 of Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Best Bromance Moments

Ted Cruz Questioning of FBI Director James Comey

Fmr. FBI Assistant Director: Comey should have resigned

Former assistant FBI director slams Comey’s recommendation

Giuliani: Dissapointed in FBI’s Comey

Rep. Hurd Destroys Dem Partisanship at Comey Hearing

Jason Chaffetz Digs in on Comey at Start of Capitol Hearing: ‘We Are Mystified and Confused’

Rep. Blum Questions FBI Director Comey During House OGR Hearing

Rep. Jordan: There’s a different standard for politically connected

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) Q/A with FBI Director James Comey

Rep. Mark Walker Questions FBI Director Comey on Clinton Investigation

Palmer Questioning FBI Director Comey

FBI: Clinton ‘not sophisticated’ with classifie…

Rep. Matt Cartwright questions FBI director James Comey about classified headers

Rep Massie Questions FBI Director Comey about Clinton Emails 7/7/16

Trey Gowdy GRILLS James Comey On Hillary Clinton Emails 7/7/16

Full Event: FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress about Hillary Clinton email (7-7-16)

FBI Director James Comey FULL STATEMENT on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

Published on Jul 5, 2016

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Published on Jun 9, 2016

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Published on Oct 21, 2015

 

A group of 13 Republican lawmakers have signed on to a letter asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate concerns they have with the Justice Department and FBI.The lawmakers say this special counsel would look into agency leadership decisions to end the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized private email server, the circumstances surrounding the genesis of the Trump-Russia investigation, and allegations in a recently released House Intelligence Committee memo regarding government surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
 “It’s simple: We’ve learned deeply concerning information on FISA abuses, the dossier, former high-level FBI officials, and more—and it stinks to high heaven. Americans deserve the truth,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chair of the House Freedom Caucus and one of the signees of the letter.

Many Republicans in recent months have sounded the alarm about potential bias in the DOJ and FBI.

Exacerbating those concerns, the House Intelligence Committee memo asserted that the “Trump dossier,” which contains salacious and unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia, was an “essential” part of the surveillance application to spy on Page. However, the Democratic rebuttal memo, released in redacted form over the weekend, said it “played no role” in the FBI launching its Russia probe, which is now led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Democratic memo, however, did leave some other concerns raised by the GOP memo, spearheaded by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., unanswered.

While the lawmakers who signed on to the letter say, on balance, the employees of the agencies do admirable work, a special counsel is needed to weed out the bad ones.

“We acknowledge with immense gratitude that nearly every single man and woman in the DOJ and FBI conducts themselves daily with integrity, independence, patriotism, objectivity and commitment to the rule of law,” the lawmakers wrote. “That is why this Special Counsel is of the utmost importance to ensure that these historic, legendary and necessary agencies move forward more respected and effective than ever before.”

 The letter comes one day after Sessions said that his Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate the alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — a move condemned by President Trump on Wednesday.

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

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, responded to that tweet, questioning why a FISA investigation is needed at all.

“More important question: Why is the AG asking for a FISA investigation at all? DOJ and FBI already said the Nunes memo was inaccurate, misleading and extraordinarily reckless. With no evidence of abuse, only explanation is political pressure,” Schiff

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/13-republicans-ask-jeff-sessions-to-appoint-second-special-counsel-to-investigate-fbi-doj/article/2650335

 

Sessions Has No Choice But To Appoint A Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ, FBI

Americans should be reassured that the federal law enforcement agencies are working to keep America safer rather than focused on revenge against political enemies.

By Mollie Hemingway

It is long past time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the possibility of widespread and systematic corruption, obstruction, leaking, and collusion within America’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice have made clear, through their ongoing obstruction of congressional investigations and oversight, that these agencies simply can not be trusted to investigate or police themselves.

Robert S. Mueller III was appointed as a special counsel to make sure that any investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was independent and impartial. In the same way, it is necessary for an independent special counsel to investigate alleged corruption at the FBI and Department of Justice, so the American public can once again be assured that the federal law enforcement agencies are in fact working to keep America safer rather than focused on getting revenge against political enemies.

To recap, we’ve seen the following startling developments in just the past few days:

  • The revelation that two key FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, sent each other more than 50,000 texts about their work, including regarding the Clinton and Russia probes. Strzok, the former deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division, ran the Clinton investigation and interviewed key witnesses. He was also involved in the Russia investigation.
  • That five months of texts between these agents are missing. The bureau claims, in the latest of strange coincidences affecting the investigation, that a technical error resulted in a failure to capture these important texts.
  • The suspicious timing of the missing texts — from shortly after the election to the day that Mueller was named special counsel. These months were full of leaks from intelligence officials about the Russia probe.
  • That these 50,000-plus texts aren’t even all of their texts, but just those related to the ongoing Office of Inspector General investigation. The FBI and DOJ are not sharing texts that are personal or about other cases. Since the Office of Inspector General hasn’t said it’s reviewing Russia or dossier-related cases, that leaves a lot of texts yet to be disclosed and examined by investigators.
  • Communications about not keeping texts.
  • A text from the day after the 2016 election suggesting the need for the first meeting of a “secret society.”
  • The revelation that a Senate committee has a whistleblower who has shared information about secret off-site meetings.
  • Political considerations in the timing and handling of the Clinton probe.
  • Political considerations in the handling of the Trump probe.
  • Strzok admitting before he joined the Mueller probe, but after he’d worked on the Russia probe for the better part of a year, that to his knowledge there was nothing there.
  • That the “professor” “friend” James Comey leaked classified information to, for the purpose of it being leaked to the media to spur a special counsel, is suddenly claiming to be Comey’s attorney, which can be used as a shield from releasing information.
  • That Comey’s implausible claim to have waited until after interviewing Hillary Clinton to decide to let her off the hook for mishandling classified information is contradicted by additional available evidence.
  • That Attorney General Loretta Lynch only made her claim that she would defer to the FBI on prosecuting Clinton because she knew Comey would let her off, according to Page.
  • The existence of a four-page memo compiled by the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI against Trump affiliates.

These revelations are not wild speculation but based on concrete evidence that the FBI and DOJ fought tooth and nail against releasing.

Previous months saw startling allegations about the use of a scurrilous dossier to secure a wiretap against a Trump affiliate, the use of that dossier to brief congressional committees, the leaking of the existence of the dossier despite its lack of corroboration, statements that the FBI probe was an “insurance policy” because “we can’t take that risk” that Trump would be elected, and that the dossier itself was funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. There were also criminal leaks of top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) communications. This to say nothing of the widespread unmasking, distribution, and illegal leaking of surveillance information.

It is vital to a democratic republic that the public have faith in their law enforcement institutions. All of these developments feed the perception that there are two different law enforcement regimes — one for friends, and one for enemies. There are clear signs that Clinton benefited from a different set of rules that applied to her that didn’t apply to anyone else. There are also signs that people in federal agencies improperly used spy powers to spin up investigations and special counsels to go after political enemies.

That can’t happen.

Why A Second Special Counsel?

The current special counsel probably should have been investigating the FBI and DOJ as part of his charge into the Russia probe. Mueller has been on the case since May, and should have seen enough shortly thereafter to be concerned about various agencies’ handling of the probes.

But it also shouldn’t be surprising that he has not done much, if anything, to probe the FBI and DOJ. Mueller is the former head of the FBI and very close to Comey. Nobody can be expected to investigate his own friends and family, and asking Mueller to seriously tackle the problems that have been revealed regarding his friends at his old agency is unrealistic.

Similarly, an investigation into all these allegations can’t be done by a U.S. attorney, because it has to be removed from the oversight of those who have run the department for the last several years, since they will be the ones being investigated.

Schiff’s Case For a Special Counsel

Even Democrats have been making a good case for a special counsel, however inadvertently. When asked on CNN why the American public couldn’t just see the House Intelligence Committee memo alleging surveillance abuses, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Americans couldn’t handle it without knowing the underlying information that was too sensitive to release. He also suggested that public demand to see the memo, which has been high, was actually just another Russian operation. That turned out to be false.

But if it’s true that controversial information about the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe is too sensitive and could be misconstrued — so sensitive that Schiff voted to keep the rest of Congress in the dark about it and is fighting to make sure the public doesn’t see this information — that means it’s important enough to demand a special prosecutor.

The Leakers’ Case For a Special Counsel

As damaging and discrediting news about “potential corruption at highest levels” came out this week, leaks about the Mueller investigation started coming out. These included that FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly threatened to resign; that Sessions was interviewed by the Mueller probe, that Mueller is ready to interview Trump, that Russian bots are the real culprits behind public demand to see the surveillance memo, that Trump reportedly asked controversial FBI official Andrew McCabe who McCabe voted for, and various other items.

These leaks tend to happen when bad news threatens the Mueller probe. But they’re perhaps ill-advised, only suggesting all the more to the politicized nature of the current investigation. A special counsel should not be seen as a threat to the Mueller probe but as a necessary help.

An investigation into potential corruption will help preserve or restore confidence in the Mueller investigation. If the results of the Mueller investigation are to be taken seriously, these questions have to be addressed. High-ranking FBI agents are in their own words undermining the entire purpose of the Mueller investigation, such as when Strzok said there’s nothing to the Russia probe prior to joining the special counsel team. Or when he had to be kicked off the team because of how his texts pointed to corruption.

Because the Mueller investigation itself was brought about by a Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton-funded opposition research document, which the FBI used despite it not being verified, as well as Comey’s leaks of classified information in retaliation for being fired, the entire investigation has a cloud over it. A special counsel could clear the air or provide clarity regarding the trustworthiness of the Mueller probe. A failure to investigate these charges would damage the country’s ability to have any objective investigation into abuses of power in the future.

Does Sessions Care About Charges Of Corruption At DOJ?

Congressional investigators and concerned citizens are growing alarmed. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Mark Meadows, and many other informed members of Congress have called for a second special counsel to deal with allegations of corruption at the Department of Justice.

The political and media arms of the Democratic Party attempt to downplay the scandal, but it’s only getting worse with each new piece of information that is brought to light. The American people need to know that the attorney general cares about the charges, wants to get to the bottom of the problems, and will work to restore the integrity of this important department. The criminalization of politics in this country is undermining confidence in the republic itself.

If there are good explanations for all of these strange coincidences and lapses in judgment, the American people need to be told. If there is systematic corruption, that needs to be learned as well.

A special counsel who is not part of the current club at the top of these agencies should be appointed. The individual needs to be unimpeachable and a person of integrity who has the strength to take on an incalcitrant bureaucracy and establishment. He or she should have experience in investigating and rooting out corruption in bureaucratic agencies.

http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/24/sessions-has-no-choice-but-to-appoint-a-special-counsel-to-investigate-doj-fbi/

 

Story 2: Trump Take Guns Before Due Process Comment Betrays Bill of Rights Voter Base — In Your Heart You Know He Is Nuts  — Never Mind — Governments Many Failures in Parkland Florida Shootings — American People Have The Absolute Right To Defend Themselves Against Tyrants, Criminals and Nuts —  Videos

Gun control measures proposed by Trump

Trump: Take the guns first, go through due process second

President Trump Meets with Bipartisan Members of Congress to Discuss School and Community Safety

Trump tells senators: ‘You’re afraid of the NRA’

Watch Dianne Feinstein Erupt With Glee After Trump Seems to Endorse Her Assault Weapons Ban

Tucker: Trump betraying core campaign promises on guns

Tucker: Assault weapons ban will not stop mass killings

Trump talks gun control with bipartisan group of lawmakers

Loesch: Trump’s gun control meeting was good TV, bad policy

Cornyn: Gun meeting with Trump was ‘brainstorming session’

Judge Nap: Trump’s Comments on Due Process Represent What Gun Owners & the NRA Fear Most

Republicans Freak Out As Trump Says He’s Coming To Take Their Guns Away

Dan Bongino reacts to Trump’s ‘take the guns first’ comment

Trump: Take People’s Guns Away!

Trump Suggest Taking Guns Before Due Process Of Law

Trump criticized for ‘take the firearms first’ comments

Trump: Take the guns first, go through due process second

Donald Trump supports right to own assault weapons (CNN interview with Chris Cuomo)

“Common Sense” Gun Control Debunked! (Man-On-Street)

 

NRA turns on Trump: Gun lobby says president’s meeting with lawmakers was ‘great TV but bad policy’ after he suggested taking guns before due process

  • National Rifle Association blasted President Donald Trump’s proposals for gun control during a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Wednesday 
  • Trump heard directly from lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures this afternoon at the White House
  • Wednesday’s session was attended by Reoublicans and Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Chris Murphy of Connecticut
  • Listening session is directly tied to a school shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago today that resulted in 17 deaths  
  • Trump has been meeting with stakeholders in the gun control debate for a week 
  • White House says he will offer specific remedies to gun violence after today
  • Was already backing a background check bill in the Senate, as well as legislation that would provide schools with federal funding to conduct trainings 
  • Now says he wants a ‘comprehensive’ background check bill that closes the so-called gun-show loophole

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process.

Trump made the remarks during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House to discuss safety measures in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a high school in Florida.

‘While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe,’ NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement to The Hill.

‘Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.’

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process

Baker said that preventing mass shootings would best be done by addressing the country’s mental health system and boosting background checks so that psychologically ill people are prevented from obtaining a gun.

The NRA spokeswoman said that her organization has always supported policies that promote school safety.

‘Whether you love or hate firearms, we all want to send our children to safe schools and to live in safe communities,’ she said.

But Baker added that this can be done without ‘shifting the focus, blame or burden onto safe, law-abiding gun owners.’

‘Doing everything we can as a nation to address the problem of dangerous people committing heinous acts is not inconsistent with the Second Amendment – the systemic failures of government to keep us safe reinforces the need for the Second Amendment,’ she said.

‘We will continue to support legislative efforts to make our schools and communities safe and oppose gun control schemes that cannot keep us safe and only punish law-abiding Americans.’

Trump angered the NRA earlier on Wednesday, saying he will be giving ‘very serious thought’ to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms like the AR-15 to 21.

The position is a serious split from the organization, which has been a major backer of Trump’s and most Republicans.

In a listening session with lawmakers on Wednesday, the president acknowledged that his posture wouldn’t be popular with the gun group, but he’ll be ‘giving it a lot of consideration’ anyway.

Trump demanded to know why background check legislation that he wants to use as a vehicle for gun violence prevention measures doesn’t already contain the provision.

‘You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA!’ the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh.

President Donald Trump (seen right with Senator John Cornyn, the Republican from Texas) said he will be giving 'very serious thought' to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing firearms like the AR-15 to 21

President Donald Trump (seen right with Senator John Cornyn, the Republican from Texas) said he will be giving ‘very serious thought’ to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing firearms like the AR-15 to 21

'You know why? Because you're afraid of the NRA!' the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh

‘You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA!’ the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh

The Pennsylvania lawmaker explained that five years ago, when the legislation first came for a vote in the Senate, an age restriction never came up.

Toomey also argued that the ‘vast majority’ of teens in his state are non-violent.

‘I know where you’re coming from, and I understand that,’ Trump replied.

But the president made clear that he wants Toomey and cosponsor Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, to include the measure in the universal background check bill they plan to revive in the Senate.

The measure failed in a Democratically-controlled 2013, even though it had the backing of 54 senators, because it did not reach the upper chamber’s 60-vote threshhold.

That was roughly four months after the horrific slaughter of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut.

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn’t understand why action was not taken under the previous administration.

‘They have great power over you people,’ Trump replied. ‘Some of you people are petrified of the NRA.’

The president said he told the Second Amendment group, ‘We have to do what’s right.’

Trump said that he truly believes that the NRA also wants to do ‘what’s right’ for Americans.

‘I’m a big fan of the NRA. These are great people. These are great patriots. They love our country. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything,’ the president told legislators.

Earlier on in the session, Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from the state that endured the horrible tragedy five years ago that inspired Toomey’s failed background check bill, informed Trump that he would have to take on the NRA if he wanted substantive legislation to pass.

‘There is no other issue out there with the American public like background checks. Ninety-seven percent of Americans want universal background checks. And yet we can’t get it done, there’s nothing else like that. Where it works, people want it and we can’t do it,’ Murphy told the president.

Video playing bottom right…

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn't understand why action was not taken under the previous administration

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn’t understand why action was not taken under the previous administration

Asked if he'd sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,'I'll tell you what, I'm going to give it a lot of consideration, and I'm the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don't even want to bring it up because they're afraid to bring it up

Asked if he’d sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,’I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give it a lot of consideration, and I’m the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don’t even want to bring it up because they’re afraid to bring it up

Trump rebutted, ‘But you have a different president now.’

To which Murphy said, ‘The reason that nothing has gotten done here is because the gun lobby has had veto power over any legislation that comes before Congress .

‘I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. If all we end up doing is stuff the gun industry supports than this just isn’t worth it, we’re not going to make a difference,’ he told the Republican president, ‘so I’m glad that you sat down with the NRA, but we will get 60 votes on a bill that looks like the Manchin-Toomey compromise on background checks if you, Mr. President, support it.’

The Connecticut Democrat told Trump: ‘If you come to Congress, if you come to Republicans and say we’re going to do a Manchin-Toomey-like bill to get comprehensive background checks, it will pass.

‘But if this meeting ends up with just sort of vague notions of future compromise than nothing will happen.’

Murphy explained that comprehensive background check legislation would have to bar criminals, people who are very mentally ill and individuals on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing guns.

‘But Mr. President it’s going to have to be you that brings the Republicans to the table on this because, right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks,’ he said.

Trump told him, ‘I like that responsibility Chris, I really do. I think it’s time, it’s time that a president stepped up. I’m talking Democrat and Republican presidents, they haven’t stepped up.’

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system.

He told them he’d like to see age limits included in the merger, as well.

Asked if he’d sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,’I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give it a lot of consideration, and I’m the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don’t even want to bring it up because they’re afraid to bring it up.

‘But I will give very serious thought to it,’ he said.

The president said he wants lawmakers to put together ‘something great.’

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre

At one point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat from California, was elated when it appeared that Trump expressed support for gun control measures for which she has long advocated.

During the meeting, Feinstein’s Democratic colleague, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, proposed expanded background checks aimed at reducing domestic violence.

Trump replied that Klobuchar’s suggestion should be added to the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin bill.

Then the president turned to Feinstein and said she ‘could add what you have also…into the bill.’

Feinstein then appeared giddy – nearly jumping out of her seat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

‘Joe, are you ready?’ Feinstein then asked Manchin.

Then Trump chimed in to back up Feinstein.

‘Joe, can you do that? Can you add some of the things?’ Trump asked Manchin.

‘We’re going to get it passed,’ the president said.

During the meeting, Feinstein pressed Trump to endorse an assault weapons ban, but Trump told her she needed to work it out with her colleagues.

He would not go beyond his support for the age restrictions, background checks and concealed carry permits for teachers trained to wield firearms.

Making a reference to his proposal to allowed teachers to pack heat, Trump said, ‘To me something great, is where you stop it from happening, and I think there’s only one way.’

If lawmakers feel that’s the wrong way to attack the problem, Trump told them, ;I want a very strong counter punch.’

Trump predicted a ‘very successful vote’ this time around on gun control legislation.

‘Some people aren’t going to like that, but you’re going to have to look at that very seriously,’ he said, returning to age limits. ‘And I will sign it, and I will call whoever you want me to if I like what you’re doing, and I think I like what you’re doing already, but you can add to it.

‘But you have to be very, very powerful on background checks – don’t be shy – very strong on mentally ill, you have to be very very strong on that, and don’t worry about bump stock, we’re getting rid of it, I mean you don’t have to complicate the bill by adding another two paragraphs.’

The president claimed once again that his administration would be banning the firearms accessory that it plans to recategorize as a machine gun.

‘We’re getting rid of it. I’ll do that myself because I’m able to. Fortunately we’re able to do that without going through Congress,’ he asserted.

‘I DON’T KNOW WHY I WASN’T INVITED’: President Donald Trump will heard directly from lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures this afternoon at the White House…yet Florida’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, wasn’t invited

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre.

In addition to Machin, Toomey, Feinstein and Murphy, Sen. John Cornyn, the GOP whip in the Senate, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also attended.

Cornyn described President Trump’s meeting about guns today as ‘fascinating television’ and ‘surreal.’

‘My takeaway is that we like to start with background checks and build from there and see where we can get consensus,’ the Texas Republican said.

Cornyn, the Senate’s whip who was seated next to Trump during the meeting, added that rolling multiple gun bills into one was ‘easier said than done.’

The Sunshine State’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, says he was not invited.

A White House spokesperson did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on the snub. 

A chagrined Nelson told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he was not invited to the president’s chat today with legislators at the White House.

‘I don’t know why I wasn’t invited,’ he said, according to ABC News. ‘And of course that doesn’t foster bipartisanship when you’re trying to solve a problem.’

Trump has been holding listening sessions with parents, students, teachers, state and local officials, law enforcement officers and other stakeholders in the gun control debate, including the National Rifle Association, in the weeks since the Marjory Stoneman massacre.

Yesterday, the White House promised to unveil a set of ‘school safety’ recommendations later this week that will include specific policy initiatives.

The president was already supporting legislation that would incentivize states and agencies to fully comply with existing federal background check mandates. His White House also endorsed a bill this week that funds gun violence prevention training for teachers, law enforcement and students.

Trump last week directed his attorney general to find a way to regulate bump stocks, claiming this week that regardless of what Congress has to say about the matter he’s ‘getting rid’ of the accessory that manipulates semiautomatic rifles.

Other suggestions the president has made had been just that, with the White House pledging hardened stances on Tuesday by the end of the week.

Among those: the proposal to raise the minimum age for some gun purchases and a proposition to allow upwards of 700,000 teachers to carry concealed weapons.

Neither of the proposed remedies to gun violence was gaining traction on Capitol Hill this week as Congress returned from a week-long hiatus.

Sarah Sanders denies that Trump softened stance on gun age limit

A top GOP congressional aide told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that the prospects are ‘pretty dim,’ for age limits that could be why the president appeared to be backing away from it in remarks over the past few days.

‘That proposal won’t get a lot of traction in Congress,’ the source said.

Trump did not put forward the proposal during at Friday speech before conservative activists, and he did not bring it up Monday at a bipartisan meeting with governors at the White House, where gun violence was the top talker during a televised session.

Sources familiar with the White House’s discussions with leadership on Capitol Hill told CNN later that Trump was seemingly moving away from his position.

A senior congressional aide told DailyMail.com that discussions about the president’s proposals, like allowing teachers to pack heat, were still in their early stages, with Congress having been out of session last week and only just returning on Monday to Washington.

Furthermore, the House will be out from today on as the late evangelical pastor Billy Graham lies in honor in the U.S. Capitol.

The source said that the basic posture of the House is to see what can pass in the GOP-controlled Senate, which is focused this week on nominations.

House Republicans have already passed legislation to strengthen the existing background check system that it paired with a concealed carry provision. The Senate version of the background check bill has lingered in the Senate.

Trump informed GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican Party’s top vote counter in the House, on Wednesday that the measure permitting concealed carry reciprocity between states would have to be cut from the bill now in order to get the base background check bill through the more liberal Senate.

‘Let it be a separate bill,’ he warned the GOP leader. ‘If you add concealed carry to this, you’ll never get it passed.’

Trump’s administration had cautiously endorsed the Senate legislation that’s sponsored by Murphy and Cornyn.

On Monday the bill hit a roadblock in the upper chamber, though, as conservative senator Mike Lee opposed the measure and Democratic senators pushed for more aggressive gun control legislation.

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position

Democrats want to Congress pass legislation requiring background checks on all firearms sales, eliminating the so-called gun show loophole.

Trump has said he favors comprehensive legislation, but the White House had refused to take a position on universal background checks prior to Trump’s assertion on Wednesday that he supports them.

‘We’d have to see what it looks like and review that before we make that determination,’ press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

Sanders was equally non-committal on Tuesday in her daily briefing when questioned about the president’s support for the bill put together by Manchin and Toomey.

‘The President, as I’ve said, expects to meet with a number of lawmakers tomorrow from both sides of the aisle, and we’ll have some more information about specifics after that,’ she asserted.

The Trump spokeswoman insisted Tuesday, as she did Monday, that the president remains supportive of the proposition to make sales of the AR-15 and other automatic rifles 21 and over, despite the National Rifle Association’s adamant opposition to the measure.

‘He knows that everybody doesn’t necessarily agree,’ Sanders explained. ‘We’re not going to get into the details on the specifics of what we will propose.’

On Monday, Sanders said that Trump had not ‘downgraded’ his proposal.

‘The president is still supportive of the concept,’ she said, as a weekend meeting with the National Rifle Association that was kept off Trump’s public schedule came to light.

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position.

‘These are just things that he’s discussing right now,’ spokesman Dana Loesch said during an appearance on ABC News.

Sanders told reporters on Monday that it ‘would be ridiculous’ to intimate that Trump had been influenced by the powerful gun group that opposes the restrictions ‘considering the number of individuals he’s met with that come from both the far left to the far right, and a lot of those in between.’

She said Trump plans to continue his talks with a lawmakers this week in meetings at the White House and would ultimately base his decision on what is outlined in legislative text.

‘In concept, the President still supports it, but in terms of legislation, we’d need to see what that looks like before we weigh in further,’ Sanders said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5448253/NRA-war-Trump-bad-policy-guns.html#ixzz58YeICjKe

 

Story 3: Hope Dumps Trump — Tired of Abuse? — Bridge over Troubled Water — Sounds of Silence —  Videos

Who Is Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director?

Hope Hicks to resign: President Trump losing trusted adviser

Hope Hicks resigning from White House

White House turmoil intensifies

What Hope Hicks’s departure says about the White House

Schiff: Hicks refused to discuss Trump administration

‘Javanka’ Faction Falling Apart As Hope Hicks, Others Quit W.H. | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

White House communications director Hope Hicks to resign

Hope Hicks To Resign As President Trump’s White House Communications Director | TIME

Why is Hope Hicks, Trump’s longest-serving aide, resigning?

Published on Feb 28, 2018

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks made the surprising announcement on Wednesday that she will leave the Trump administration in the coming weeks. The news comes a day after Hicks testifies for hours before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the Russia probe. Judy Woodruff learns more from Ashley Parker of The Washington Post.

Hope Hicks named most powerful person in Washington

Hope Hicks Now in Spotlight Surrounding White House Domestic Abuse Scandal

Lawrence: Hope Hicks’ Loyalty Tested As She Meets Mueller Team | The Last Word | MSNBC

Hope Hicks Is The New White House Communications Director

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&30

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water (from The Concert in Central Park)

 

Why did Hope Hicks resign? Even the good option looks bad.

 March 1 at 6:30 AM 
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Officials announced on Feb. 28 that Hope Hicks will resign. She had been White House communications director since Sept. 2017. 

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is resigning less than six months after officially taking that job on a permanent basis. And according to a timeline provided by the reporter who broke the story, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, Hicks spent a substantial portion of her tenure — perhaps as much as half of it — considering leaving.

Hope Hicks departure is NOT about yesterday’s hearing, per multiple sources. She had planned it before, had been thinking about it for months. She had informed a very small number of people prior to Hill hearing that she planned to leave.

It was tempting to draw a line — as Iand others speculated about — between Hicks’s exit and two controversies: Her involvement in the Rob Porter scandal as both communications director and his girlfriend, and her House Intelligence Committee testimony Tuesday in which she admitted to telling white lies for Trump. If nothing else, the timing is suspicious for a resignation to come so close in proximity to each of those two things.

But consider the alternative. The alternative is that someone who has been in the White House for 13 months started thinking about leaving well shy of a year on the staff — and shortly after rising to one of the top jobs. The point: Regardless of which one it was, it doesn’t portend good things or stability in the White House moving forward.

It’s no secret the White House has become something of a revolving door for staff. Hicks was the fifth person designated as communications director and the third to hold the job on a non-interim basis. Trump has also already parted ways with a press secretary, a national security adviser, a chief strategist, a chief of staff (with his second, John Kelly, apparently on thin ice) and plenty of others.

Hicks was supposed to be different. Perhaps his longest-serving aide — dating back to before the campaign — she was someone who understood Trump and seemed to command his implicit trust. The White House would be a stressful job for anyone, but Hicks at least benefited from the kind of strong working relationship with Trump that other figures — especially those from the GOP establishment — clearly did not have.

She was not as familiar with politics as others, but in a White House in which conflicts with the boss are often the cause for early departures, Hicks made sense as a potential long-termer. Like Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon, Sean Spicer and the rest, though, she has now proven a short-timer. Even fellow Trump loyalists like Keith Schiller have found the White House to be tough long-term employment.

Whether it’s because of exhaustion in dealing with Trump or the exhaustion in dealing with Washington politics for outsiders like Hicks, or a combination, it seems Trump will have a difficult time maintaining anything resembling a core staff organization. And for a president who has struggled with consistency and is thought to be heavily reliant upon the last person he has spoken to, that’s likely to lead to even more volatility.

We may yet learn more about Hicks’s departure in the days to come. Nothing about it, though, suggests stability is over the horizon for the White House. If anything was stability for Trump, it was Hicks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/01/why-did-hope-hicks-resign-even-the-good-option-looks-bad/?utm_term=.0f637e64c0dc

Turnover, investigations have Trump administration adrift

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rattled by two weeks of muddled messages, departures and spitting matches between the president and his own top officials, Donald Trump is facing a shrinking circle of trusted advisers and a staff that’s grim about any prospect of a reset.

Even by the standards of Trump’s often chaotic administration, the announcement of Hope Hicks’ imminent exit spread new levels of anxiety across the West Wing and cracked open disputes that had been building since the White House’s botched handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior aide late last month.

Hicks’ departure comes as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation appears to be circling the Oval Office, with prosecutors questioning Trump associates about both his business dealings before he became president and his actions in office, according to people with knowledge of the interviews. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has also been weakened after being stripped of his high-level security clearance amid revelations about potential conflicts of interest.

Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s most trusted aides, abruptly announced her resignation Wednesday. Julie Pace says Hicks is under the political magnifying glass, which might have affected her decision. (Feb. 28)

The biggest unknown is how the mercurial Trump will respond to Hicks’ departure and Kushner’s more limited access, according to some of the 16 White House officials, congressional aides and outside advisers interviewed by The Associated Press, most of whom insisted on anonymity in order to disclose private conversations and meetings. Besides Kushner and his wife, presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, most remaining White House staffers were not part of Trump’s close-knit 2016 campaign. One person who speaks to Trump regularly said the president has become increasingly wistful about the camaraderie of that campaign.

Rarely has a modern president confronted so many crises and controversies across so many fronts at the same time. After 13 months in office, there’s little expectation among many White House aides and outside allies that Trump can quickly find his footing or attract new, top-flight talent to the West Wing. And some Republican lawmakers, who are eying a difficult political landscape in November’s midterm elections, have begun to let private frustrations ooze out in public.

“There is no standard operating practice with this administration,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. “Every day is a new adventure for us.”

Thune’s comments described the White House’s peculiar rollout Thursday of controversial new aluminum and steel tariffs. White House aides spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning scrambling to steer the president away from an announcement on an unfinished policy, with even Kelly in the dark about Trump’s plans. Aides believed they had succeeded in getting Trump to back down and hoped to keep television cameras away from an event with industry executives so the president couldn’t make a surprise announcement. But Trump summoned reporters into the Cabinet Room anyway and declared that the U.S. would levy penalties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

Some of Trump’s populist supporters cheered the move. The stock market, which Trump looks to for validation for his economic policies, plunged.

Some officials are bracing for more departures. On Thursday, NBC News reported that the White House was preparing to replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster as early as next month.

White House Sarah Huckabee Sanders told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that “Gen. McMaster isn’t going anywhere.”

As for talk of a White House in upheaval, Sanders pointed out the tax cuts passed late last year: “If they want to call it chaos, fine, but we call it success and productivity and we’re going to keep plugging along.”

For those remaining on the job, the turbulence has been relentless. Just two weeks ago, Kelly, the general brought in to bring order, was himself on the ropes for his handling of the domestic violence allegations against a close aide, Rob Porter. Trump was said to be deeply irritated by the negative press coverage of Kelly’s leadership during the controversy and considering firing him. But first, the president planned to give his chief of staff a chance to defend himself before reporters in the briefing room and gauge the reaction, according to two people with knowledge of the episode. The briefing, however, was canceled after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Kelly’s standing has stabilized somewhat as media attention to the Porter issue has waned.

Graphic shows key departures from Trump administration.

One Kelly backer said the chief of staff’s standing remains tenuous, in part because of his clashes with Kushner over policy, personnel and White House structure. The tensions were exacerbated by Kelly’s decision to downgrade Kushner’s security clearance because the senior adviser had not been permanently approved for the highest level of access.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who also serves as a senior White House adviser, have been frustrated by Kelly’s attempt to restrict their access to the president, and they perceive his new crackdown on clearances as a direct shot at them, according to White House aides and outside advisers. Kelly, in turn, has grown frustrated with what he views as the couple’s freelancing. He blames them for changing Trump’s mind at the last minute and questions what exactly they do all day, according to one White House official and an outside ally.

The ethics questions dogging Kushner relate to both his personal financial interests and his dealings in office with foreign officials. Intelligence officials expressed concern that Kushner’s business dealings were a topic of discussion in conversations he was having with foreign officials about foreign policy issues of interest to the U.S. government, a former intelligence official said. Separately, The New York Times reported that two companies made loans worth more than half a billion dollars to Kushner’s family real estate firm after executives met with Kushner at the White House.

Allies of Kushner and Ivanka Trump insist they have no plans to leave the White House in the near future. As for Kelly, he appeared to hint at his tough spot during an event Thursday at the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as secretary before departing for the White House.

“The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of homeland security,” he said at the agency’s 15th anniversary celebration in Washington. “But I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess.”

___

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/675dbc2801ca418a934f52b714d5e08b/Turnover,-investigations-have-Trump-administration-adrift

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018, Story 1: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Steps Aside Before Retirement In Early March — Heads Will Roll At FBI and Department of Justice When Details of Plot Are Exposed In Damning Detail — Who Is Next? Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head — and James Baker, Former FBI General Counsel — Videos — Story 2: House Intelligence Committee Votes To Release The 4-Page Memo On FBI Plot Against Candidate and President Trump — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017

Scandal of The Century

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Story 1: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Steps Aside Before Retirement In Early March — Heads Will Roll At FBI and Department of Justice When Details of Plot Are Exposed In Damning Detail — Who Is Next? Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head — and James Baker, Former FBI General Counsel — Videos —

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Today’s Top Story? FBI Dep Director Forced Out! memo to Blame?

FBI’s McCabe Escorted From The Building, 2010

More on Andrew McCabe Termination

#2 FBI Man, Andrew McCabe steps down, Liberal Media GOT THAT wrong just last week

The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Seep Out

Joe diGenova – Brazen Plot to Frame Trump, 1990

FBI Dep. Director McCabe stepping down

A Curious Case of Counterintelligence

FBI: Russia Interfered in Election to help Trump

What Does Russia Want? An FBI Agent Tells Congress

Sanders: Trump did not pressure McCabe to step down

Andrew McCabe, quits after Trump criticism 2018

Dan Bongino – FISA Memo will be released this week – 1/29/18

FBI deputy director McCabe to retire in 2018 Washington Post

BIG NAMES ALL ON THE RUN!! FRESH INDICTMENTS ON THE PODESTA’S,CLINTON’S & OBAMA #RUSSIA COLLUSION

 

Where is Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head

I first came across the name Bill Priestap in early April 2017, as I was going through House Intelligence Committee testimony given by James Comey on March 20, 2017:

STEFANIK: So since, in your opening statement, you confirmed that there is a counter-intelligence investigation currently open and you also referenced that it started in July. When did you notify the DNI, the White House, or senior congressional leadership?

COMEY: It’s a good question. Congressional leadership, some time recently. They were briefed on the nature of the investigation in some detail as I said. Obviously the Department of Justice has been aware of it all along. The DNI, I don’t know what the DNI’s knowledge of it was because we didn’t have a DNI until Mr. Coats took office and I briefed him his first morning in office.

Note: The DNI claim was a lie. James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

STEFANIK: So just to drill down on this, if — if the open investigation began in July and the briefing of congressional leadership only occurred recently, why was there no notification prior to the recent — to the past month?

COMEY: I think our decision was it was a matter of such sensitivity that we wouldn’t include it in the quarterly briefings.

STEFANIK: So when you state our decision is that your decision? Is that usually your decision what gets briefed in those quarterly updates?

COMEY: No, it’s usually the decision of the head of our counter- intelligence division.

STEFANIK: And just again, to get the detailed — on the record, why was the decision made not to brief senior congressional leadership until recently when the investigation had been open since July? A very serious investigation — why was that decision to wait months?

COMEY: Because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Bill Priestap is the head of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Division.

Priestap is not a household name, but he held a pivotal role in the FBI’s exoneration of Clinton, the subsequent Trump-Russia Investigation and surveillance of the Trump Campaign.

Per Comey’s testimony, Priestap was the individual responsible for making the decision notto inform Congressional leadership – the Gang of Eight – about the July 2016 FBI investigation.

At the time, I made the following comments:

I am almost speechless that the FBI’s Director of Counter-Intelligence, Bill Priestap, would make such a decision – or could make such a decision.

The FBI is a division of the DOJ. It is not a fourth branch of the government. Since when does an official within the FBI get to decide when information is disseminated to only certain members of the National Security Council – not all of them – while at the same time refusing to disclose to Congressional leadership?

The Gang of Eight are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the Executive Branch and are responsible for Congressional oversight of all Intelligence AgenciesThey are the “Checks and Balances” for the Intelligence aspect of our government.Anythingintelligence-related must be shown to this committee. If there is a U.S. covert operation, these members know of it and approved it.

Bill Priestap’s name would come up again – in relation to Michael Flynn. Excerpt from an earlier timeline:

December 29 2016 – General Michael Flynn speaks to the Russian Ambassador.

Jan 12 2017 –  Mike Flynn’s Dec 29 2016 call is leaked to Washington Post.

January 19 2017 – The New York Times reports that the FBI, CIA, NSA and Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties.

January 19 2017 – Obama’s top intelligence and law-enforcement deputies meet to talk about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak.

January 23 2017 – Acting Attorney General Sally Yates increases pressure on FBI Director Comey regarding Mike Flynn – telling Comey that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail.

January 23 2017 – The FBI reports nothing unlawful in the content of Flynn’s call.

January 24 2017 – Mike Flynn is interviewed at the White House by the FBI. It is during this interview that Flynn supposedly lies to the FBI – despite having his calls already cleared by the FBI. The surprise – and unscheduled – interview is conducted by Peter Strzok.

January 25 2017 –  The Department of Justice receives a detailed briefing on Flynn’s interview from the FBI.

January 26 2017 – AG Sally Yates contacts White House Counsel McGahn who agrees to meet with Yates the same day.

January 26 2017 – Sally Yates meets with McGahn. She also brings Bill Priestap, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.

Yates later testifies the meeting surrounds General Flynn’s phone calls and his FBI Interview. She also testifies that Flynn’s call and subsequent interview “was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”

Bill Priestap later presents the FBI’s contributions to the early 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, or ICA – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent Elections – to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 21, 2017.

Sally Yates was Deputy Attorney General prior to January 20, 2017, and Acting Attorney General from January 20, 2017, after Lynch left office upon President Trump’s inauguration.

Yates’ boss was Attorney General Loretta Lynch until Yates became Acting Attorney General. On January 30, 2017, President Trump fired Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

Bill Priestap is Assistant Director, FBI Counter Intelligence.

Priestap’s boss is FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe’s boss was FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI Director (Comey) reports to the Attorney General (Lynch/Yates).

Now, consider the following timeline:

  • April 2016 – Clinton Campaign begins paying Fusion GPS.
  • April/May 2016 – Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele.
  • May 2016 – Fusion GPS hires Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ Assoc. Deputy AG Bruce Ohr,
  • May 2016 – Trump becomes presumptive GOP Nominee.
  • June 2016 – FBI Agent Peter Strzok – and possibly DOJ’s Bruce Ohr – meet with Christopher Steel.
  • Late June 2016 – First draft of Trump Dossier shared w/Fusion GPS & possibly FBI’s Strzok.
  • June/July 2016 – First FISA request made. It is denied.
  • July 2 2016 – FBI Agent Strzok interviews Hillary Clinton.
  • July 5 2016 – FBI Director Comey exonerates Clinton.
  • July 19, 2016 – Trump officially becomes GOP Nominee.
  • Late July – Second draft of Trump Dossier shared with FBI.
  • Late July 2016 – FBI begins counter-intelligence investigation into Russia and Trump.
  • August 2016 – Strzok sends “insurance policy” text referencing Deputy FBI Director McCabe (see below).
  • August/September 2016 – CIA Director Brennan meets with Gang of Eight suggesting Russia is helping Trump.
  • Late Summer/Fall 2016 – Trump Dossier shopped.
  • September 2016 – Second FISA request made. This request is granted. No evidence is found but surveillance continues – ostensibly for national security reasons.
  • October 2016 – The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using federal intelligence services.

And this (extremely) compressed summation:

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and FBI Agent Peter Strzok both have ties to Fusion GPS and Richard Steele. Strzok personally helps to exonerate Clinton in the email investigation. Ohr has known Steele since 2006. Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS. Ohr provides the Trump Dossier to Strzok who uses it to start the FBI Investigation into Russia and the Trump Campaign in July 2016 (per March 20, 2017 testimony by Comey). The Dossier is later used – at least in part – to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump Campaign.

The two individuals with direct supervisory authority over Bruce Ohr and Peter Strzok:

Sally Yates and Bill Priestap, respectively.

Bruce Ohr reported directly to Yates. Peter Strzok reported directly to Bill Priestap.

I find it implausible to believe that Yates and Priestap were unaware of the activities of Ohr and Strzok.

The timeline – and severity – of events support this contention.

To recap – Bill Priestap:

  • Was – per Comey – the individual responsible for making the decision not to inform Congressional leadership – the Gang of Eight – about the July 2016 FBI investigation.
  • Was directly involved in the surveillance and investigation of Michael Flynn.
  • Oversaw the activities of FBI Agent Strzok. Strzok was involved in all facets of the Clinton investigation and interviewed Flynn.
  • Gave approval for the use of the Trump Dossier.
  • Gave approval of background documents used in FISA warrant preparation.
  • Was responsible for preparing and presenting the FBI’s Russian Assessment.

Priestap was either directly responsible – or directly oversaw those who were responsible – for every facet of the Clinton Investigation, the Trump Dossier creation and the Trump-Russia Investigation.

Based on the magnitude of the information – and the manner in which the information was used – I find it equally implausible to believe that Yates and Priestap wouldn’t inform their bosses – Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (and almost certainly FBI Director James Comey).

Bill Priestap’s boss, FBI Deputy Director McCabe has been encountering his own series of troubles as I have noted several times.

McCabe was already under investigation relating to Conflict of Interest charges in the Clinton Email Investigation:

Virginia Governor and longtime Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe donated $467,500 to the 2015 Senate campaign of Andrew McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe. The Virginia Democratic Party donated an additional $207,788 for a grand total of $675,288. This equated to more than a third of Dr. McCabe’s campaign funds.

McAuliffe met with the McCabe’s on March 7, 2015 – the purpose of the meeting was to convince Dr. McCabe to run for office – her first run at any public office.

Clinton’s private server was uncovered by the New York Times on March 2, 2015 – five days before McAuliffe’s first meeting with the McCabe’s.

At the time of McAuliffe’s first meeting with the McCabe’s, Andrew McCabe was running the FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office. It was McCabe’s office that provided personnel and resources to the Clinton email investigation.

Then, the discovery of a Strzok text message appeared to indicate collusion with Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to alter or influence the 2016 Presidential election by utilizing the Trump Dossier:

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s [Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe] office that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.

Strzok’s almost certainly referencing the fabricated Trump Dossier. “It’s like an insurance policy”.

Strzok appears to be discussing a plan to use the Trump Dossier to obtain a FISA Warrant. The matter seems to have been discussed with Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe – in McCabe’s office.

McCabe was a no-show for scheduled Congressional testimony.

Facing a Congressional subpoena, McCabe agreed to closed-door testimony that went on for nine hours.

McCabe was accompanied by top FBI lawyer James Baker. Baker is already under investigation for leaking classified information.

Immediately following McCabe’s testimony, Baker was “reassigned” (fired) and McCabe announced his retirement:

Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain. James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be.

James Baker:
Under investigation for leaking classified information.
Illegally moved Trump Dossier through McCabe’s Office.
Selected Strzok for Mueller’s Team.
Guided Strzok’s Clinton edits from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”

How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!

I suspect that McCabe’s chances of maintaining employment for 90 days are…slim.

Consider the following.

Individuals directly below Priestap (Strzok) and directly above Priestap (McCabe) have been ensnared and exposed by the Inspector General’s Investigation.

Strzok is off Mueller’s team and has been demoted. He is on the verge of being subpoenaed by Congress.

McCabe is racing to retire with full benefits in 90 days. Per President Trump’s reaction, McCabe is likely to be fired imminently. McCabe is also on the verge of being subpoenaed by Congress.

So where is Bill Priestap?

And why aren’t you hearing his name daily?

Because someone has almost certainly been speaking with him.

Perhaps the Inspector General has some answers.

The good folks at theconservativetreehouse have a great thread on twitter which covers Priestap’s involvement.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-reviewed-flynns-calls-with-russian-ambassador-but-found-nothing-illicit/2017/01/23/aa83879a-e1ae-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?utm_term=.6076d4c88de4

 

A Curious Case of Counterintelligence – Bill Priestap…

In the past few weeks, thanks to some revealing information amid the various investigators of the DC swamp, we have been introduced to some previously unknown people.

Names like FBI Agent Peter Strzok; his mistress FBI Attorney Lisa Page; their ideological comrade Asst FBI Director Andrew McCabe; along with DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr; and his wife, Fusion-GPS contract employee Nellie Ohr.  These are a few of the recent names that have hit the headlines as a result of ongoing investigations into the politicization of the FBI and DOJ.

But there’s one name conspicuously absent, FBI Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap.

When you understand how central Bill Priestap is to the entire 2016/2017 ‘Russian Conspiracy Operation‘, the absence of his name, amid all others, creates a curiosity.  I wrote a twitter thread about him recently because it seems rather unfathomable his name has not been a part of any of the recent story-lines.

Bill Priestap is the head of the FBI Counterintelligence operation.  He was FBI Agent Peter Strozk’s direct boss.  If anyone in congress really wanted to know if the FBI paid for the Christopher Steele Dossier, Bill Priestap is the guy who would know.

Helpful IG Releases:

♦Release #1 was the Agent Strzok and Attorney Lisa Page story; and the repercussions from discovering their politically motivated bias in the 2015/2016 Clinton email investigation and 2016/2017 Russian Election investigation.

♦Release #2 outlined the depth of FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page’s specific history in the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton to include the changing of the wording [“grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”] of the probe outcome delivered by FBI Director James Comey.

♦Release #3 was the information about DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr being in contact with Fusion GPS at the same time as the FISA application was submitted and granted by the FISA court; which authorized surveillance and wiretapping of candidate Donald Trump;  that release also attached Bruce Ohr and Agent Strzok directly to the Steele Dossier.

♦Release #4 was information that Deputy Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was an actual contract employee of Fusion GPS, and was hired by F-GPS specifically to work on opposition research against candidate Donald Trump.  Both Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr are attached to the origin of the Christopher Steele Russian Dossier.

♦Release #5 was the specific communication between FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page.  The 10,000 text messages that included evidence of them both meeting with Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to discuss the “insurance policy”against candidate Donald Trump in August of 2016.

In April 2016 Hillary Clinton paid Glenn Simpson with Fusion-GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump.

In May 2016 Fusion GPS hired Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, to lead the opposition research effort.  That same month, Fusion GPS contracted with retired British MI6 Agent Christopher Steele to write the ‘Trump Russia Dossier’.

In late June 2016 the first draft of the Steele Dossier was shared back with Fusion GPS and presumably Nellie Ohr was one of the recipients.   According to Robby Mook, the partial dossier information was also given to the DNC and Clinton Campaign.

In July 2016 candidate Donald Trump won the GOP nomination.  That same month the FBI Counterintelligence Division began an investigation they later described as a counterintelligence operation looking at Russian interference in the U.S. election.  However, from 10 months of researched documentation, much of it in the MSM, we now know it was an FBI counterintelligence operation against candidate Donald Trump.

Also in July 2016, immediately following candidate Donald Trump’s successful bid to win the GOP nomination, a FISA application was denied.  The timing here is far too coincidental (the later narrower version clearly evidences), the FISA application was to wiretap, monitor and conduct surveillance on candidate Trump and his campaign.

In August 2016, the lead FBI Agent in charge of that counterintelligence operation, Peter Strzok told his FBI Attorney and mistress:  “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

The “insurance policy” appears to be the ongoing counterintelligence operation that later utilized the Steele Dossier to get the FISA warrant and actually begin the wiretaps and surveillance.  The conversation referenced between Strzok and Page took place in FBI Assistant Director Andrew “Andy” McCabe’s office.

All of this information is really just a recap.  Everyone now sees this construct clearly.  The Timelines are brutally obvious.  Congress and DC investigators, including the years-long OIG investigation, are currently in the phase of nailing down the players and putting the final touches on the evidence.  The outline is clear as day.

However, within this brutally obvious outline there’s a name missing.  That name is the FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap:

FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap was the immediate supervisor of FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Peter Strzok.

Bill Priestap is #1. Before getting demoted Peter Strzok was #2.

The investigation into candidate Donald Trump was a counterintelligence operation. That operation began in July 2016. Bill Priestap would have been in charge of that, along with all other, FBI counterintelligence operations.

FBI Deputy Peter Strzok was specifically in charge of the Trump counterintel op. However, Strzok would be reporting to Bill Priestap on every detail and couldn’t (according to structure anyway) make a move without Priestap approval.

On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.

FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*

I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail. Again, notice how Comey doesn’t use Priestap’s actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]

FBI Director James Comey was caught entirely off guard by that first three minutes of that questioning. He simply didn’t anticipate it.

Oversight protocol requires the FBI Director to tell the congressional intelligence “Gang of Eight” of any counterintelligence operations. The Go8 has oversight into these ops at the highest level of classification.  In July 2016 the time the operation began, oversight was the responsibility of this group, the Gang of Eight:

Obviously, based on what we have learned since March 2017, and what has surfaced recently, we can all see why the FBI would want to keep it hidden that they were running a counterintelligence operation against a presidential candidate.   After all, as FBI Agent Peter Strzok said it in his text messages, it was an “insurance policy”.

REMINDER – FBI Agent Strzok to FBI Attorney Page:

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

So there we have FBI Director James Comey telling congress on March 20th that the reason he didn’t inform the statutory oversight “Gang of Eight” was because Bill Priestap (Director of Counterintelligence) recommended he didn’t do it.

Apparently, according to Comey, Bill Priestap carries a great deal of influence if he could get his boss to NOT perform a statutory obligation simply by recommending he doesn’t do it.

Than again, Comey’s blame-casting there is really called creating a “fall guy”.  FBI Director James Comey is ducking responsibility in March 2017 by blaming FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap for not informing congress of the operation that began in July 2016. (9 months prior).

At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see Comey was creating his own exit from getting ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of President Donald Trump.  In essence, Bill Priestap is James Comey’s shield from liability.

But more curiously for current discussion, there has been NO MENTION of Bill Priestap in any of the recent revelations, despite his centrality to all of it.

Bill Priestap would have needed to authorize Peter Strzok to engage with Christopher Steele over the “Russian Dosssier”.

Bill Priestap would have needed to approve of the underlying documents that were used for both FISA applications (June/July and Sept/Oct).

Bill Priestap would be the person to approve of paying, or reimbursing, Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier used in their counterintelligence operation and subsequent FISA application.

Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation just doesn’t happen. Heck, James Comey’s March testimony in that regard is also evidence of Priestap’s importance.

In addition, when Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified (with James Clapper), she too spoke of the importance of Bill Priestap as her liaison and contact within the FBI on the counterintelligence operation. [Yates never mentioned Peter Strzok – not once.] Even though it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who interviewed Michael Flynn on January 24th, [link] Sally Yates never mentioned him. EVER.

However Deputy AG Sally Yates did talk about Bill Priestap during her testimony.

Yates testified she and Bill Priestap traveled together, Jan 26th, to the White House to inform Don McGhan (WH Counsel) of Michael Flynn “misleading statements” (based on Pence media reports and Flynn prior ambush interview Jan 24th).

According to Sally Yates testimony, she and Bill Priestap reportedly presented all the information to White House General Counsel Don McGahn “so the White House could take action that they deemed appropriate.”

So we all can see that Bill Priestap is a central figure. FBI Director James Comey defers to him; Acting Attorney General Sally Yates relied on him; FBI Special Agent in Counterintelligence Peter Strzok reports to him; Yet there’s absolutely no mention of Bill Priestap in any of the explosive investigative story-lines in the past two weeks.

Why?

Bill Priestap is the FBI Director of Counterintelligence. There’s no way he hasn’t been caught inside the investigative net.

Bill Priestap’s boss, Andrew McCabe has been caught. Bill Priestap’s subordinate, Peter Strzok, has most certainly been caught. And in March 20th 2017 FBI Director Comey pushed Priestap directly in front of the congressional oversight bus.

My hunch is either Bill Priestap is going to be the attempted fall-guy for the entire scheme. -OR- Bill Priestap saw the bus coming and is assisting the swamp-draining DC investigators:

On the home-front: FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.

Bill’s wife Sabina comes from a Goldman Sach’s connected family, which must be why Bill and Sabina can afford to live in a $3.2 million home in Washington DC.

Would be a little difficult to afford a $3,000,000.00 mortgage on a G-Man’s payroll.

Just sayin’…

A Curious Case of Counterintelligence – Bill Priestap…

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/15/a-curious-case-of-counterintelligence-bill-priestap/

Who is FBI’s Bill Priestap and Why Is He Important?

Who is FBI’s Bill Priestap and Why Is He Important?

Bill Priestap, and as we have learned – it’s best to also review an individuals spouse while we’re at it.

( link )

First, Let’s get a little background information on Bill Priestap

[1]

12/2015 – FBI Director James B. Comey named E.W. “Bill” Priestap as the assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Priestap most recently served as the deputy assistant director of the Intelligence Operations Branch in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBIHQ.

6/2017 – Congress hears sinister tale of Russia election meddling

A sinister portrait of Russia’s cyberattacks on the U.S. emerged Wednesday as current and former U.S. officials told Congress that Moscow stockpiled stolen information and selectively disseminated it during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the American political process.

The Russians “used fake news and propaganda and they also used online amplifiers to spread the information to as many people as possible,” Bill Priestap, the FBI’s top counterintelligence official (Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division), told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

While he said the Russians had conducted covert operations targeting past American elections, the Internet “has allowed Russia to do so much more” than before. But, he added, the “scale and aggressiveness” was different this time, with the primary goal being to sow discord and aid the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, the eventual winner.

Russia’s actions did not change the final election count, they said, but warned that Moscow’s efforts will likely continue.

“I believe the Russians will absolutely try to continue to conduct influence operations in the U.S.,” which will include cyberattacks, Priestap said. [2]

[3]

Bill Priestap would have needed to authorize Peter Strzok to engage with Christopher Steele over the “Russian Dossier”.

Bill Priestap would have needed to approve of the underlying documents that were used for both FISA applications (June/July and Sept/Oct). Bill Priestap would be the person to approve of paying, or reimbursing, Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier used in their counterintelligence operation and subsequent FISA application. Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation doesn’t happen. Comey’s testimony is also evidence of Priestap’s importance. In addition, when Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified (w/ James Clapper), she too spoke of the important of Priestap as her liaison and contact within the FBI on the counterintelligence operation. [Yates never mentioned Peter Strzok – not once.]


Even though it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who interviewed Michael Flynn on January 24th,  Sally Yates never mentioned him. EVER. However Deputy AG Sally Yates did talk about Bill Priestap during her testimony. Yates said she and Bill Priestap traveled together, January 26th, 2017, to the White House to inform Don McGhan (WH Counsel) of Michael Flynn “misleading statements” (based on Pence media reports and Flynn prior ambush interview Jan 24th).
According to Sally Yates testimony, she and Bill reportedly presented all the information to McGahn so the White House could take action that they deemed appropriate. So you can see that this man is a central figure. Comey defers to him; Yates relied on him; Strzok reports to him; etc.
Yet there’s no mention of Bill Priestap in any of the explosive investigative story-lines in the past two weeks. Why?
Bill Priestap is FBI Director of Counterintelligence. There’s no way he hasn’t been caught inside the investigative net. Priestap’s boss, Andrew McCabe has been caught. His subordinate, Peter Strzok, has most certainly been caught. And previously FBI Director Comey pushed him in front of the bus.

Either Priestap is going to be the attempted fall-guy for the entire scheme.
-OR-
Bill Priestap saw the bus coming and is assisting the scheme investigators.

Oops. We don’t want to forgot Bill’s spouse

Sabina Menschel
FBI Director of Counterintelligence is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.

[4]

When practiced by the former, it’s the trade of spooks and spies. In the latter, it’s the job of investigators. Forget about the godda**ed martinis and nice cars. Unless, of course, you’re compelled to look into the irregularities within the liquor and automotive markets.

Now here’s Sabina Menschel with Investigative Due Diligence: Beyond Google. A few months after joining the private investigations firm Nardello & Co., she published one of 2015’s underrated gems that explained the how to of her livelihood.  Ms. Menschel certainly knows what she’s writing about given her background.

A veteran of the top corporate intelligence firm in North America with stints in the FBI and Harvard Business School credentials, Menschel was a catch for Nardello & Co., which has offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and China.

What Menschel does in her short article is break down investigative work into three broad activities. These are Googling it, looking at public documents, and asking questions. [5]

[1] CNBC

[2] USAToday

[3] Bipartisan Report

[4] Nardello & Co.

[5] 21st Century Asian Arms Race

https://americandigitalnews.com/2017/12/15/fbis-bill-priestap-important/#.Wm-01K6nGUk

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down

WASHINGTON — FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has been attacked by President Donald Trump, stepped down Monday, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

McCabe will remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March, the sources said.

One source said McCabe was exercising his retirement eligibility and characterized his decision as “stepping aside.”

Andrew McCabe steps down as Deputy Director of the FBI 2:44

McCabe has been at the center of ongoing tensions between the White House and the FBI and has reportedly been under pressure to quit from Trump, whose presidential campaign is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, he met with McCabe in the Oval Office and asked him whom he had voted for in the 2016 election.

Trump, the officials told The Post, also vented his anger at McCabe over hundreds of thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.

A long-time career servant, McCabe had served at the FBI since 1996 under former directors Robert Mueller and Comey.

Trump did not answer Monday when asked if he knew McCabe was stepping aside.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later Monday that the White House had seen reports about McCabe’s decision, but that Trump had no involvement in it.

Trump, Sanders said, “didn’t play a role in any of that process” and she referred questions to the FBI.

In recent weeks, Trump has taken aim at McCabe, whose office first arranged the FBI’s interview with then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was fired after just 24 days on the job and pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the Russia investigation.

Last week, White House spokesman Raj Shah fanned reports of pressure from the White House to fire McCabe by saying in a statement that Trump “believes politically motivated senior leaders” of the FBI “have tainted the agency’s reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice” and that the new director he appointed will “clean up the misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI.”

Trump has also repeatedly attacked McCabe on Twitter.

“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump tweeted on Dec. 23.

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” he added.

In July, Trump tweeted: “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got…….big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”

Critics of Trump have characterized his attacks on the FBI as an effort to undermine the Russia investigation — and they began weighing in on McCabe’s departure just moments after news of it broke.

Rep. Swalwell warns Trump admin over McCabe departure 4:09

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted Monday. “Bogus attacks on the FBI and DOJ to distract attention from a legitimate criminal inquiry does long term, unnecessary damage to these foundations of our government.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, told MSNBC that if McCabe was departing “for any reason other than personal, this is going to be a problem” because of the president’s “desire to remove people who he perceives to stand in the way of him being cleared in the Russia investigation.”

Meanwhile, news of McCabe’s decision came as GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee were debating whether to make public a classified document that is believe to detail that the FBI engaged in surveillance abuses. Some Republicans want to release the memo, a move the Justice Department says would be reckless and that Democrats maintain is a stunt to undermine the Russia probe.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/fbi-deputy-director-andrew-mccabe-stepping-down-n842176

Leadership & Structure

FBI Executives

The official portrait of Christopher Wray, who became the Director of the FBI on August 2, 2017.

Director Christopher Wray

August 2, 2017 – Present

Christopher Wray became the eighth Director of the FBI on August 2, 2017.

Mr. Wray was born in New York City. He graduated from Yale University in 1989 and earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. He then clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 1993, he began working in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Wray began his Department of Justice career in 1997 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, where he prosecuted cases ranging from public corruption to gun trafficking and financial fraud. In 2001, he joined the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, where he served as associate deputy attorney general and then principal associate deputy attorney general, with oversight responsibilities spanning the full Department.

In 2003, Mr. Wray was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division. In addition to overseeing criminal matters, Mr. Wray played a key role in the evolving national security mission of the Department. He also served on the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and supervised the Enron Task Force and other major national and international fraud investigations. At the conclusion of his tenure, Mr. Wray was awarded the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Department of Justice’s highest award for leadership and public service.

After leaving the Department of Justice in 2005, Mr. Wray returned to private practice at the law firm King & Spalding, where he chaired the Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group.


Senior Staff


Office of the Director/Deputy Director/Associate Deputy Director

FBI Headquarters Building at Night

Executive Assistant Directors and Assistant Directors

National Security Branch - Eagle

National Security Branch 


National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force

Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch 


FBI Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence Branch 

  • Executive Assistant Director – Joshua D. Skule
  • Directorate of Intelligence – John S. Adams

Two Lab Technicians

Science and Technology Branch 


FBI Agent Works on Laptop in Vehicle

Information and Technology Branch 

  • Executive Assistant Director – James L. Turgal, Jr.
  • IT Applications and Data Division – Tracey North
  • IT Enterprise Services Division – Jeremy Wiltz
  • IT Infrastructure Division – W. L. Scott Bean, III

Human Resources Stock Image

Human Resources Branch 

  • Executive Assistant Director – Valerie Parlave
  • Human Resources Division – David Schlendorf
  • Security Division – Gerald “Jerry” Roberts, Jr.
  • Training Division – David Resch

Story 2: House Intelligence Committee Votes To Release The 4-Page Memo On FBI Plot Against Candidate and President Trump — Videos

Judge Nap on 4 Page Memo and Mueller-Trump Interview

Ex-Secret Service Agent Warns What Democrats Are About To Do With The FISA Memo

Fisa memo.SEE WHY OBAMA IS SCARED OF RELEASE “EX SECRET SERVICE AGENT”

YOU’RE SO DUMB!!! Tucker Carlson OBLITERATES Adam Schiff In A Heated Conversation

 

House Intel votes to release controversial surveillance memo to the public

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to release a classified memo circulating in Congress that purportedly reveals government surveillance abuses.

The vote was announced to reporters by California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, who called it a “very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee.”

President Trump now has five days to decide whether he has any objections before the memo can be publicly released.

Last week, a top Justice Department official urged House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes not to release the memo, saying it would be “extraordinarily reckless” and could harm national security and ongoing investigations.

The four-page memo is being described by GOP lawmakers as “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming,” with one congressman likening the details to KGB activity in Russia.

Those who have seen the document suggest it reveals what role the unverified anti-Trump “dossier” played in the application for a surveillance warrant on at least one Trump associate.

The vote came the same day that it was reported that FBI official Andrew McCabe has left his post as deputy director.

The White House seems to favor the memo’s release, but wouldn’t explicitly say whether the president will back the effort.

“We want full transparency,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday. “That’s what we have said all along.”

Sanders said they were letting the process play out before officially weighing in.

On Sunday, FBI Director Christopher Wray went to the Capitol on Sunday to view the four-page memo, sources told Fox News.

According to one source, Wray was asked to point out inaccuracies or other issues with the wording — and said he would need “his people to take a look at it.” The source said the review is ongoing.

South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped write the four-page memo, said Sunday he wants it made public.

He also suggested the memo indeed addresses whether the FBI relied at least in part on the dossier — paid for partially by Democrats and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election — to apply to a secret federal court to get a surveillance warrant, purportedly on then-Trump adviser Carter Page.

“If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”

The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and contained opposition research on Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Steele was hired by the U.S. firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the research with funding from the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. At the same time, the firm was allegedly doing work to help the Russian government fight sanctions.

Requests for surveillance warrants are made through the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISA court, and target suspected foreign spies inside the United States.

Fox News’ Joseph Weber and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/29/house-intel-votes-to-release-controversial-surveillance-memo-to-public.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2017, Story 1: Solution To DACA — “A Family Deported Together Stays Together” — Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Enforce Existing Immigration Law — American Citizens First — Limited Legal Immigration of 250,000 to 500,000 Per Year Not 1,000,000 Per Year — Require All Employers Use E-Verify To Check Legal Status of Their Employees — Stop The Illegal Alien, Drug and Terrorist Invasion of The United States — Build Big Beautiful Barrier Along The Entire 2,000 Mile U.S./Mexican Border For $25 Billion Dollars With Completion By 1 January 2020! — — Rule of Law and National Security — “Good fences make good neighbors.” — Videos — Story 2: Trump Administration To Appeal 9th Circuit Decision To Supreme Court — Videos

Posted on January 16, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Elections, Employment, Eugenics, Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Gangs, Government, Government Spending, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Lying, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageImage result for map of completed fence along u.S. mexican border

Story 1: Solution To DACA — “A Family Deported Together Stays Together” — Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Enforce Existing Immigration Law — American Citizens First — Limited Legal Immigration of 250,000 to 500,000 Per Year Not 1,000,000 Per Year — Require All Employers Use E-Verify To Check Legal Status of Their Employees — Stop The Illegal Alien, Drug and Terrorist Invasion of The United States — Build Big Beautiful Barrier Along The Entire 2,000 Mile U.S./Mexican Border For $25 Billion Dollars With Completion By 1 January 2020! — — Rule of Law and National Security — “Good fences make good neighbors.”  — Videos —

U.S. Constitution – Article 4 Section 4

Article 4 – The States
Section 4 – Republican Government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

“Mending Wall” Robert Frost poet himself recites “Good fences make good neighbors”

Ingraham: Durbin-Graham-Flake DACA deal is a travesty

Center for Immigration Studies Dir. Calls DACA Plan an Insult

Hugh Hewitt On DACA And The Border Wall: This Is The Deal That’s Too Obvious To Fail | CNBC

Tucker Carlson Passionately Backs President Trump Amid ‘Shthole’ Furor: ‘Why Can’t You Say That?!’

DACA now, wall later a big mistake: Gohmert

Every City Run By Democrats Is A Ghetto Hell Hole! Black Panther Leader Speaks Out Tucker Carlson

Ann Coulter Vs Immigration Lawyer On Trumps “Sh!tH0le Countries” Comment

Senator Lindsey Graham Calls Mexico A Hellhole

Ann Coulter Defends Donald Trump’s ‘Foul-Mouthed’ Immigrant Outburst | Good Morning Britain

DHS chief Kirstjen Nielsen on Trump’s reported vulgar comments, DACA

Exchange between Secretary Nielsen & Senator Durbin (C-SPAN)

Government shutdown looms as DACA deal stalls

Ann Coulter on Sen. Durbin’s account of Trump meeting

Trump gets HEATED when Confronted on his Beautiful Wall & Immigration

How we can build Trump’s border wall

Can a wall be built between U.S. and Mexico?

Mexico border tunnel: Chinese and Mexican nationals arrested at smuggling tunnel – TomoNews

Rare view of tunnels under border wall

Final Border Wall Prototypes Complete (Compilation)

Underreported: How Building a Border Wall Changed San Diego | The Daily Signal

First Look At Trump’s US Mexico Border Wall

Trump’s wall for Mexico takes shape

Border Patrol Union on Trump’s border wall

Trump’s Mexico border wall faces serious hurdles

Where border fences work and where the don’t

DOJ to appeal ruling that blocked Trump’s DACA wind-down

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that blocked President Donald Trump from shuttering a program that gave protections and work permits to some people who entered the U.S. illegally as children.

In a ruling last week, San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the administration to resume accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.

“It defies both law and common sense for DACA … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Tuesday.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/16/doj-to-appeal-ruling-that-blocked-trumps-daca-wind-down-341183

 

Prototypes for US-Mexico border wall unveiled

A man watches across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, on October 12, 2017 a prototype of US President Donald Trump's US-Mexico border wall being built near San Diego, in the US, Following up on President Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the entire 3,200 kilometre (2,000 mile) Mexican frontier, the Department of Homeland Security began building prototypes for the barrier along the border in San Diego and Imperial counties, as it announced in August.

Nine months after President Donald Trump took office, the first tangible signs of progress on one of the central promises of his campaign have appeared along the U.S. border with Mexico.

A couple of miles from the bustling Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, eight towering chunks of concrete and steel stand as high as 30 feet tall against the sky, offering possible models for what Trump has promised will one day be a solid wall extending the full length of the southern border, from California to Texas.

Whether any of the eight different prototypes, constructed over the last month, become part of an actual wall remains highly uncertain.

    • Border Patrol welcomes potential upgrade

      The U.S. Congress has so far shown little interest in appropriating the estimated $21.6 billion it would cost to build the wall.

      Still, border patrol officials on Monday welcomed the momentum on Trump’s pledge, which generated a groundswell of voter support that helped elect him to office.

      “Our current infrastructure is well over two decades old,” Roy Villareal, deputy chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, said during a tour with media organizations on Monday morning. “Is there need for improvement? Absolutely.”

      A border patrol officer stands next to some of U.S. President Donald Trump's eight border wall prototypes as they near completion along U.S.- Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., October 23, 2017.

      Mike Blake | Reuters
    • Replacement fence long overdue

      Currently, 654 miles of the 1,900-mile border with Mexico is fenced, with single, double or triple fences. The second line of fencing in San Diego, about 18 feet tall, has been breached nearly 2,000 times in the last three years, Villareal said.

      Even if Trump’s wall never gets funded, Villareal said, the border patrol might incorporate one or more of the new wall designs as it replaces worn sections of the existing fence.

      A worker chats with residents at a section of the U.S. - Mexico border fence at Sunland Park, U.S., opposite the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 26, 2017.

      Jose Luis Gonzalez | Reuters
    • Wall aesthetics

      Six contractors from across the country were selected to build the eight prototypes, all of which will be completed this week.

      The builders paid attention to aesthetics in their bid to win lucrative contracts. One wall segment features deep-blue steel and another has a brick facade, standing in sharp contrast to the area’s existing border fence, a ramshackle structure of corrugated steel left over from the Vietnam War.

      Three of U.S. President Donald Trump's eight border wall prototypes are shown near completion along U.S.- Mexico border in San Diego, California, U.S., October 23, 2017.

      Mike Blake | Reuters
    • Testing the walls

      In late November, a private company, which border patrol officials declined to name, will begin a 30- to 60-day process of testing the wall prototypes to determine how easy they would be to climb over or dig beneath. The final selection could be a combination of the prototype designs, Villareal said.

      Federal agents stand watch over U.S. President Donald Trump's eight border wall prototypes as they near completion along U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego, California, U.S., October 23, 2017.

      Mike Blake | Reuters
    • Concrete view

      While solid, concrete walls have a daunting presence, they might have an adverse effect on some border patrol activities, since agents would not be able to see potential crossers approaching the wall.

      “It’s not so much the size of the wall, it’s the ability to see whether it’s 10 people or 30 people with … rifles,” said Rowdy Adams, a former border patrol agent who left the agency in 2011 after 30 years. “It’s important to see that and set your response plan in place.”

      A prototype for U.S. President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico is seen in this picture taken from the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico October 12, 2017.

      Jorge Duenes | Reuters
  • The Justice Department launched a frontal assault Tuesday on a judge’s ruling that protected beneficiaries of the DACA program from the threat of its termination in March.

    The Department of Justice said it would go directly to the Supreme Court to establish that the White House can legally shutter Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era executive order that offered deportation protection and work permits to hundreds of thousands of people who entered the U.S. illegally as children.

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request a week ago to block the administration from ending DACA while lawsuits play out. He also ordered the administration to resume accepting renewal applications from people already enrolled in the program.

    ‘It defies both law and common sense for DACA … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,’ Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

    Fighting mad: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he will go directly to the Supreme Court to push back against a federal judge who blocked the administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

    Fighting mad: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he will go directly to the Supreme Court to push back against a federal judge who blocked the administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

    The DACA program has pitted immigrants’ rights groups against conservatives who voted for Trump because of his promise to get tough on immigration

    Sessions noted that DACA was ‘an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration,’ and that Congress had previously ‘rejected similar legislative proposals.’

    The central legal question surrounding the latest DACA episode is whether the President of the United States can issue an executive memo to cancel what a previous president established in the same fashion.

    Republicans want to use the threat of DACA’s cancelation as leverage to bring Democrats to the table as they seek billions in funding for border control measures including a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

    The DOJ said Tuesday that it intends to appeal Alsup’s order to the Ninth Circuit, a traditionally liberal judicial panel.

    At the same time, it’s planning this week to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a final appeal before the California-based appeals court acts.

    Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, who issued the memorandum last fall spelling out how DACA would wind down, ‘acted within her discretion to rescind this policy,’ Sessions said Tuesday.

    He called the direct appeal to the Supreme Court ‘rare’ but said it was being done ‘so that this issue may be resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved.’

    Protesters calling for an immigration bill supporting DACA demonstrated in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday

    Protesters calling for an immigration bill supporting DACA demonstrated in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesda

    Trump says DACA plan must come with ‘massive border security’

    A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found that a massive majority of Americans want DACA beneficiaries to be able to stay in the U.S. and apply for citizenship

    A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found that a massive majority of Americans want DACA beneficiaries to be able to stay in the U.S. and apply for citizenship

    President Donald Trump objected last week to the fact that attorneys looking to stop him from ending the DACA program chose the nation’s most liberal venue to do it.

    ‘It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

    Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had said in a statement that ‘[w]e find this decision to be outrageous.’

    Trump has drawn criticism in recent years for his attacks on judges who issue rulings that displease him. He branded one a ‘so-called judge’ after the first version of his nation-specific travel ban was ruled unconstitutional.

    In another case during the presidential campaign, he claimed a Mexican-American judge’s ethnicity rendered him unable to rule fairly in the Trump University case.

    The federal court system is 'broken and unfair,' Trump said last week, pointing to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco as fertile hunting ground for liberal partisans seeking friendly rulings

    The federal court system is ‘broken and unfair,’ Trump said last week, pointing to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco as fertile hunting ground for liberal partisans seeking friendly rulings

    ‘Everybody’s on board’: Trump promised DACA deal in September

    DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. It includes many college-age residents.

    The Trump administration announced in September that it would cancel DACA, citing a threat from a coalition of 10 states, led by Texas, to challenge the program’s constitutionality.

    Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez lashed out at Trump last week, saying his move to rescind DACA ‘was never about the rule of law. It was about deporting Dreamers and using them as bargaining chips in future political negotiations while holding their futures hostage.’

    Trump has insisted repeatedly that any congressional deal to save DACA must be tied to funding for his border wall.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5276441/DOJ-appeal-DACA-ruling-directly-Supreme-Court.html#ixzz54ODNAoG5

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The Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2016, Story 1: Renewal of FISA’s Section 702 and Protection of Americans Privacy Rights — National Security Agency Is Spying On American People — Require NSA To Get A Warrant In Court of Law — Support U.S.A. Rights Act — Videos — Story 2: Fusion GPS Dossier and Leaking of Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson Testimony — Videos

Posted on January 10, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Law, Life, Media, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Judge Nap on FISA Act Renewal

FISA bill passes in House, but faces tough road in Senate

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Trey Gowdy on DACA Judge and Surveillance on Americans.

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Bill Binney – The State of Domestic Spying

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NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, is sponsoring a bill amendment that would extend Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act by four years while making major changes to it.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A yearslong debate over National Security Agency surveillance and protections for Americans’ privacy rights will reach a climactic moment on Thursday as the House of Representatives takes up legislation to extend a program of warrantless spying on internet and phone networks that traces back to the Sept. 11 attacks.

There is little doubt that Congress will extend an expiring statute, known as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, that permits the government to collect without a warrant from American firms, like Google and AT&T, the emails and other communications of foreigners abroad — even when they are talking to Americans.

But it is far from clear whether Congress will impose significant new safeguards for Americans’ privacy. A bipartisan coalition of civil-liberties-minded lawmakers are trying to impose such changes, while the Trump administration, the intelligence community and House Republican leadership oppose them.

Thursday’s vote is seen as the crucial test because more would-be reformers are in the House than in the Senate, which will take up the legislation later. If majority support for imposing new privacy protections on the program does not exist in the House, the Senate is unlikely to add them in.

“The chances are better in the House,” acknowledged Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, at a news conference on Wednesday of House and Senate lawmakers who support surveillance overhaul efforts. “The privacy movement is stronger in the House than the Senate. Maybe we can learn from you guys.”

The N.S.A. began collecting Americans’ international phone calls and emails without a warrant in October 2001 as part of the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 Stellarwind program. In 2008, after the program had come to light, Congress legalized a form of it by enacting Section 702 of the FISA law. That law enabled the program to expand to Silicon Valley firms, not just telecoms, and to all foreign intelligence purposes, not just counterterrorism.

In late 2012, Congress extended the law for five years without changes. But the pending expiration of Section 702 is forcing lawmakers to address its substance for the first time since the 2013 leaks about N.S.A. programs by Edward J. Snowden set off a major debate about 21st-century surveillance technology and privacy rights.

On Thursday, the House will vote on an Intelligence Committee bill that would extend the 702 program for six years with only minor changes. But House leaders are permitting lawmakers first to vote on a single proposed amendment that would make major changes.

Chief among them, the amendment would ban the practice whereby officials at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and other security agencies, without a warrant, search for and read private messages of Americans that the government incidentally swept up under the 702 program. Instead, except in emergencies, officials would need to obtain a court order to query the repository for an American’s information.

The amendment is chiefly sponsored by Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, and Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California. It would substitute in the text of another bill, dubbed the USA Rights Act, which would extend Section 702 by only four years.

The bipartisan coalition backing overhaul efforts — which includes some of the most conservative and most liberal members of the House — say that change is necessary to uphold the meaning and substance of Fourth Amendment privacy rights in light of 21st-century communications technology and surveillance powers.

But the F.B.I. and the intelligence community have balked at that proposal, saying it would impede their efforts to protect the country to require warrants to query information the government already possesses. There are also lawmakers of both parties — backed by House leadership — who oppose the amendment.

Aides to Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, distributed a one-page sheet this week denouncing the amendment as imposing “unnecessarily severe requirements” that would endanger Americans.

Complicating matters, the base bill backed by Mr. Nunes contains a gesture toward a court-order requirement, too. It would apply only under narrow circumstances: if F.B.I. agents have already opened a criminal investigation into the American whose information they are searching for, and if the agents have no national-security rationale.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the warrant requirement in the base bill would be sufficient to “prevent the database from being used as a general tool to gather evidence and introduce it in court in cases that have nothing to do with terrorism.”

But the base bill would still permit routine queries for Americans’ information without warrants. Its warrant requirement would not apply to national-security-related queries by a range of agencies, including the C.I.A., the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. Nor would it apply to F.B.I. queries when agents are merely pursuing tips about an American but do not yet have enough evidence of wrongdoing to open a criminal investigation.

In short, the base bill would give greater privacy protections to criminal suspects than to people the F.B.I. has no solid basis for thinking had committed any wrongdoing.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, dismissed the base bill’s limited warrant provision on Wednesday as “fake reform” that was really just “business as usual.”

Adding to the uncertainty, in 2014 and 2015, the House approved amendments to appropriations bills that would have required warrants to search the 702 repository for Americans’ information, but they were rejected in negotiations with the Senate. When the idea came up again in 2016, shortly after the terrorist attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., the House voted it down.

Another significant difference between the base bill and the amendment centers on the N.S.A.’s old practice of scanning Americans’ international emails and other internet messages and collecting those that mention a foreign target — but are neither to nor from that target. The technique came to light amid the Snowden leaks and ended last year.

Such collection is technically complex, and the N.S.A. shut it down after repeatedly running into trouble adhering to limits imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But the agency wants to retain the flexibility to turn it back on. The base bill would permit it to do so after briefing the congressional intelligence committees. The amendment would ban the practice.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017, Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos — Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Raises Federal Funds Target Rate Range By .25% to Between 1.25% and 1.5% — Expect Three Hikes in 2018 or Four Hikes If Economy Booming — Videos — We wish you a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year — Videos

Posted on December 15, 2017. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Coal, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, James Comey, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Solar, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Story 1: Special Counsel To Be Appointed To Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Compromise of National Security and Obama Administration’s Cover-up And Conspiracy To Use of Intelligence Community Including FBI and National Security Agency To Spy on Trump Campaign — Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report Will Blow The Lid Off  The Conspiracy To Obstruct Justice By Obama’s DOJ and FBI To Clear Hillary Clinton and FBI informant’s Congressional Testimony On Russian Rosatom Bribery, Extortion and Kickbacks — The Political Scandal of The Century — American People Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation — Videos

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The Latest on a Biased Bureau

DC attorney sends final WARNING to DOJ, FBI as Bob Mueller’s Russia probe collapses

“Stunning Examples of Bias Taint Mueller Probe”

Real Collusion: The FBI & Clinton Campaign – Trump & Russia Tainted Probes – Tucker Carlson

Trump Blasts FBI, Then Praises New Agents – Story

Chaffetz on the Inspector General and the DOJ/FBI Scrutiny

Penn: Mueller and FBI face a crisis in public confidence

Mueller probe paints a picture of a banana republic: Ken Blackwell

Reps. Gaetz and Jordan call for a second special counsel

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Sen. Grassley calls for greater scrutiny of Strzok’s texts

Evidence of “Brazen” FBI Plot Deepens and Thickens

Trump addresses FBI event after criticizing agency

DOJ bias is like a cancer: Rep. Gaetz

Deep State Conspiracy Revealed – Bruce Ohr’s CIA Russia Expert Wife Worked with Fusion GPS

New Revelations Regarding Hillary’s Exoneration by the FBI

Judge Nap on the Mueller Probe Bias and More

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Gohmert on New Allegations of Bias in Mueller/Russia Probe

Gohmert on Peter Strzok’s Biased & Vengeful Text Exchanges

Judge Nap: Too Early to Say Mueller Probe Is Biased Against Trump

Documents confirm language softened in Comey’s Clinton memo

Gingrich on cesspool of corruption covering up for Clintons

DOJ SCANDAL: List of democrats making donations to Bob Mueller’s team EXPOSED

Trey Gowdy on FBI Dep Director Andrew McCabe – Surprised if Still an FBI Employee Next Week

OMG!!ROBERT MUELLERS INVESTIGATIONS JUST ESCALATED TO ANOTHER LEVEL.SEE HOW.”DEEPER THAN YOU THINK”

EXPOSED! How the FBI, DOJ conspired to stop President Trump. What will happen to Bob Mueller now?

FBI’s Strzok & Page in Andrew McCabe’s Office Discuss ‘Insurance Policy’ to Prevent Trump Election

Mueller’s Russiagate Prosecution Is Imploding Before His Eyes While DOJ and FBI Scandals Metastasize

OMG!! Bob Mueller JUST confessed to Coup d’état plot against President Trump

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

JUST IN: Judge reveals names of corrupt FBI and DOJ officials to be arrested

Fox News obtains texts between FBI agent Strzok, lawyer

Hannity 12/5/2017 – Sean Hannity Dec 5, 17 on Fox News

Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Congressman Jim Jordan sends SHOCKING WARNING to Jeff Sessions, Bob Mueller will be trembling now!

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

“Peter Strzok is the SMOKING GUN!!” Hannity and Ben Shapiro Break it Down

Bret Baier and Trey Gowdy speak about Strzok

Mueller, Strzok, Comey should the subjects of criminal investigations: Lou Dobbs

FBI Hillary Cheerleader Peter Strzok Changed Comey Language That Exonerated Hillary

Former FBI Ass’t Dir says DoJ cabal is a conspiracy

Hannity: Rosenstein pretends not to see evidence of bias

Body Language: Rosenstein Mueller Expansion

BREAKING: JW Sues FBI Over Removal of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok from Mueller Operation

“The FBI Belongs to the VOTERS!!” Tucker GOES OFF on FBI Leaders

‘NUCLEAR’ Sen. Grassley Lashes out at FBI, DOJ in Fiery Senate Floor Speech

Strassel: Fusion GPS dossier a dirty trick for the ages

Obama knew about the Russian dossier: Tony Shaffer

Rpt: Obama Aligned Group Paid Law Firm That Hired Fusion GPS To Create Dossier – Story

Obama campaign connection to Fusion GPS

FBI Comey “Don’t call us weasels” Trey Gowdy Grills FBI James Comey On Hillary Clinton’s Email

Judge Nap on FBI Bias and More

Corruption at the FBI

The FBI Now Under Intense Scrutiny Over McCabe Potential Hatch Violations

BOMBSHELL Sen. Grassley “THE FIX WAS IN..Congress has the Right to Know”

Gohmert Speaks on House Floor about the Recent Rosenstein Hearing

What happened during Andrew McCabe’s testimony at Senate Intelligence hearing?

Acting FBI director McCabe gets GRILLED on James Comey Firing & Trump Russia Connections

Acting FBI director contradicts White House on Comey

Judge Napolitano on acting FBI director McCabe’s ties to Clinton ally

FBI Director James Comey FULL STATEMENT on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

 

Fusion GPS admits DOJ official’s wife Nellie Ohr hired to probe Trump

A co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS acknowledged in a new court document that his company hired the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help investigate then-candidate Donald Trump last year.

The confirmation from Glenn Simpson came in a signed declaration filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and provided a fuller picture of the nature of Nellie Ohr’s work – after Fox News first reported on her connection to Fusion GPS.

Her husband, Bruce Ohr, was demoted at the DOJ last week for concealing his meetings with the same company, which commissioned the anti-Trump “dossier” containing salacious allegations about the now-president. Together, the Fusion connections for Mr. and Mrs. Ohr have raised Republican concerns about objectivity at the Justice Department, and even spurred a call from Trump’s outside counsel for a separate special prosecutor.

Simpson’s statement shows Mrs. Ohr was indeed involved in the Trump research. He said bank records reflect Fusion GPS contracted with her “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”

WIFE OF DEMOTED DOJ OFFICIAL WORKED FOR TRUMP DOSSIER FIRM

Further, Simpson said he disclosed to the House intelligence committee that he met personally with Bruce Ohr, “at his request, after the November 2016 election to discuss our findings regarding Russia and the election.”

Fox News first reported last week that Bruce Ohr had been demoted at the DOJ amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS. Evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.” Additionally, as acknowledged in the court filing, he met with Simpson after the election.

bruceohr

DOJ official Bruce Ohr was demoted amid questions over his contacts with Fusion GPS figures.  (AP)

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow called for the appointment of a separate special prosecutor to look into potential conflicts of interest involving Justice Department and FBI officials.

A group of House Republicans for months has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to probe certain Obama and Clinton-related controversies, something Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing.

When asked Tuesday about the Sekulow call, Sessions noted he’s already ordered that review following the prior call from members of Congress.

“I’ve put a senior attorney, with the resources he may need, to review cases in our office and make a recommendation to me … if things aren’t being pursued that need to be pursued, if cases may need more resources to complete in a proper manner, and to recommend to me if the standards for a special counsel are met,” he said, calling that the “appropriate” course.

Fox News’ James Rosen and John Roberts contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/13/fusion-gps-admits-doj-officials-wife-nellie-ohr-hired-to-probe-trump.html

A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

 December 4

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-special-counsel-needs-to-investigate-the-fbi-and-justice-department-now/2017/12/04/5ca1234c-d916-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.3035631daa63

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was confirmed as Inspector General for the Department of Justice (DOJ) by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012, and sworn in as the fourth confirmed Inspector General on April 16, 2012. Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.

Prior to serving as Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz worked as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Horowitz served as a Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Mr. Horowitz previously worked for DOJ in the Criminal Division at Main Justice from 1999 to 2002, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the Criminal Division, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Horowitz was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, and from 1995 to 1997, he was a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.

Before joining the DOJ, Mr. Horowitz was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and clerked for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

 

Peter P. Strzok II[1] (born c. 1970[2]) (English pronunciation: /stɹʌk/like “struck”[3][4]) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent currently assigned to its Human Resources Branch.

Until July 2017, Strzok served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6][7][8][9][10]He also served as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.[4]

Education and personal life

Strzok attended high school in Minnesota.[11] He earned a bachelors degree from Georgetown University in 1991 and returned to earn a master’s degree there in 2013.[12]

He is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[13][14][15] His father worked for many years as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after 1980 worked in villages of several West African countries.[16]

Career

Strzok served as a captain[citation needed] in the United States Army before joining the FBI in the 1990’s as an intelligence research specialist.[9][17]

Clinton email server investigation

By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section[4] and a led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.[18] After the investigation was closed, Strzok changed draft language being prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey, which had described Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent“, which may be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”. The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process.[4] Strzok and his team also helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[18]

Russia election interference investigation

By July 2016, Strzok had been promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and oversaw espionage investigations involving Russia and China.[6][9] According to The New York Times, he was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators”.[17] He was also “considered to be one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN.[4] He signed the document opening the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][19] Strzok then led that investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, including the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak and the Donald Trump–Russia dossier.[20][3][18] He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn later pled guilty to lying to the FBI.[21]

Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation

Strzok was the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s special counsel investigation of foreign electoral intervention by Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, initiated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 after the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump.[22][23] Earlier, in January 2017, the DOJ’s Inspector General (IG), Michael E. Horowitz, had begun an inquiry to review how the FBI handled investigations related to the election.[17][24] In late July 2017, the IG’s inquiry discovered text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team. The text messages were sent between August 2015 and December 2016[25][26] and were anti-Donald Trump in nature.[27][28] They also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department (DOJ), allegedly about an extramarital affair.[5] Mueller removed Strzok from his team the week after a search warrant was executed at the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.[29][30] Strzok was reassigned to the FBI’s Human Resources Branch and Page returned to working for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe shortly thereafter.[31][32] Fox News reported that a source close to the IG’s ongoing inquiry said it will include examining Strzok’s participation in other politically sensitive matters, and that it should be complete “very early next year.”[33] The IG announced it will issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.[17] At the request of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ agreed to allow Strzok to be interviewed and turned over 375 partially redacted text messages between Strzok and Page to the House Judiciary Committee.[25][26][34]

According to Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official, Strzok had not previously shown any overt political bias.[2][27] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails.[2] Some GOP U.S. representatives cited the anti-Trump messages as evidence of Strzok’s bias. However, in his private correspondence with Page, Strzok had also made disparaging remarks about Eric Holder, Attorney General in the Obama administration, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (a Democrat), and Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.[35][36] According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was possible for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation.[37] Several agents said that Mueller removed Strzok in order to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Since there was no proof that Strzok did anything wrong, he was not punished following his reassignment.[38][39] Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said that no professional misconduct between them occurred.[27]

References

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

 

2017 Special Counsel investigation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2017 Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing investigation in the United States led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel under supervision of the United States Department of Justice. Mueller is exploring any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government as part of the election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation subsumed several existing FBI investigations including those involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In August 2017, Mueller’s investigation reportedly expanded to include several lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group. Mueller has assembled a team of attorneys to conduct the investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials along with related matters.

On October 30, 2017, Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on charges brought by the special counsel unrelated to the Trump campaign. On the same day, Mueller’s team revealed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign in 2016, and was cooperating with investigators. On December 1, 2017, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and confirmed that he is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.[1]


Appointments


Policy positions





Business and personal


Donald Trump's signature

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

 

Origin and powers

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.[2] As special counsel, Mueller has the power to issue subpoenas,[3] hire staff members, request funding, and prosecute federal crimes in connection with the election interference.[4]

The appointment followed a series of events that included President Donald Trump‘s firing of FBI director James Comey and Comey’s allegation that Trump asked him to drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[5]

Rosenstein, in his role as Acting Attorney General due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has authority over the use of DOJ resources by Mueller and the investigation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of Comey.[6] If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, his duties in this matter would be assumed by the Justice Department’s third-in-command, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[7]

Grand juries

On August 3, 2017, Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, as part of his investigation. The grand jury has the power to subpoena documents, require witnesses to testify under oath, and indict suspects on criminal charges if enough evidence is found.

The Washington grand jury is separate from an earlier Virginia grand jury investigating Michael Flynn; the Flynn case has been absorbed into Mueller’s overall investigation.[8]

Grand jury testimony

The grand jury has issued subpoenas to those involved in the Trump campaign–Russian meeting held on June 9, 2016, at Trump Tower, which was also the location of Trump’s presidential campaign headquarters.[9]

  • Russian-born lobbyist and former Soviet Army officer, Rinat Akhmetshin, testified under oath for several hours on August 11, 2017, as a participant in the Donald Trump Jr meeting.[10][11]
  • Jason Maloni, spokesman for Paul Manafort, testified under oath for two and one-half hours.[12] Maloni was employed by Manafort following the five months he served as Chairman of Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, to answer questions about Manafort’s involvement in Trump’s campaign.

The grand jury subpoenaed witness testimony from the executives of six public relations firms, who worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on lobbying efforts in Ukraine.[13]

Legal teams

Mueller and investigation team

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Upon his appointment as the Special Counsel, Mueller resigned his position at the Washington office of law firm WilmerHale, along with two colleagues, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III.[14][15] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[16]

Politico proposed that the “ideal team” would likely have six to eight prosecutors, along with administrative assistants and experts in areas such as money laundering or interpreting tax returns.[17] By August 1, 2017, Mueller, who has an active role in managing the inquiry,[18] hired 16 lawyers,[19] and had a total staff of over three dozen, including investigators and other non-attorneys.[20]

Members of the team include:[17][21][22][23][24][25][26]

Mueller has also added unidentified agents of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division to his team. “This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.”[41]

In December 2017, Weissmann and Strzok were accused of an anti-Trump bias because of an email directed to Sally Yates praising her refusal to defend Executive Order 13769 in court, and a similarly-worded text message. [42][43] House Conservatives have since ramped up accusations that the investigation is manned by personnel with an “anti-Trump” bias who “let Clinton off easy last year”.[44]

Trump’s defense team

Members of the team include or have included:[45]

Topics of investigations

Russian election interference

The primary responsibility of the special counsel is “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election”. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded “with high confidence” that the Russian government interfered in the election by hacking into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks,[50][51][52] as well as by disseminating fake news promoted on social media[53] and by penetrating, or trying to penetrate, the election systems and databases of multiple U.S. states.[54] In July 2016, the FBI began looking into these issues, as well as the question of whether members of the Trump campaign might have coordinated or cooperated with Russia’s activities.[55] Those investigations became part of the special counsel’s portfolio.[56]

Russia’s influence on US voters through social media is a primary focus of the Mueller investigation.[57] The special counsel has used a search warrant to obtain detailed information about Russian ad purchases on Facebook. According to a former federal prosecutor, the warrant means that a judge was convinced that foreigners had illegally contributed to influencing a US election via Facebook ads.[58]

Mueller is investigating ties between the Trump campaign, and Republican activist Peter W. Smith. Smith stated that he tried to obtain Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, and that he was acting on behalf of Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign members. Trump campaign officials have denied that Smith was working with them.[59]

Links between Trump associates and Russian officials

As early as spring 2015, US intelligence agencies started overhearing conversations in which Russian government officials, some within the Kremlin, discussed associates of Trump, then a presidential candidate.[60][61] In one such conversation, Russian officials said they had cultivated a strong relationship with Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Trump and his team.[62]

Multiple Trump associates, including Flynn, Manafort, and other members of the Trump campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during 2016.[63] In particular, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with several Trump campaign members and administration nominees. Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, after it was revealed that on December 29, 2016, the day that Obama announced sanctions against Russia, Flynn had discussed the sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Flynn had earlier acknowledged speaking to Kislyak but denied discussing the sanctions.[64][65] Also in December 2016, Flynn and presidential advisor Jared Kushner met with Kislyak hoping to set up a direct, secure line of communication with Russian officials that American intelligence agencies would be unaware of.[66][67] Jared Kushner also met with Sergei Gorkov, the head of the Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).[68] Flynn and Kushner failed to report these meetings on their security clearance forms.[69][68]

FBI agents, working with the special counsel, raided Manafort’s home in July 2017. The no-notice, no-knock raid used a federal search warrant, authorizing agents to look for tax documents and foreign banking records. A wide range of documents and other items were seized. Before the raid, Manafort had voluntarily provided some documents to congressional investigators, including the notes he took during the Veselnitskaya meeting.[70][71]

The Trump team issued multiple denials of any contacts between Trump associates and Russia, but many of those denials turned out to be false.[72][73]

On December 4, 2017, prosecutors filed that Paul Manafort worked on an op-ed with a Russian intelligence official while out on bail, in a court filing requesting that the judge revoke Manafort’s bond agreement.[74]

Alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents

Mueller is looking into the meeting on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower in New York City between three senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign  – Kushner, Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. – and at least five other people, including Russian lawyer Natalia VeselnitskayaRinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met senior Trump campaign aides, Ike Kaveladze, British publicist Rob Goldstone and translator Anatoli Samochornov.[75][76] It has been confirmed that Goldstone had suggested the meeting to Trump Jr., and it was arranged in a series of emails later made public. Trump Jr. initially told the press that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans. He added that he agreed to the meeting with the understanding that he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton.[77] Goldstone had stated in his email that the Russian government was involved as part of its support for the Trump campaign.[78] Mueller’s team is investigating the emails and the meeting,[75] and whether President Trump later tried to hide the meeting’s purpose.[79]

On July 18, 2017, Kaveladze’s attorney said that Mueller’s investigators were seeking information about the Russian meeting in June 2016 from his client,[80] and on July 21, Mueller asked the White House to preserve all documents related to the Russian meeting.[81] It has been reported that Manafort had made notes during the Russian meeting.[70]

By August 3, 2017, Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in the District of Columbia that issued subpoenas concerning the meeting.[82] The Financial Times reported on August 31 that Akhmetshin had given sworn testimony to Mueller’s grand jury.[83]

In fall 2017, Mueller’s team interviewed former Government Communications Headquarters IT specialist Matt Tait, who had been approached by Republican political operative Peter Smith to verify the authenticity of allegedly hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton’s private email server.[84]

Obstruction of justice

Early in Trump’s presidency, senior White House officials reportedly asked intelligence officials if they could intervene with the FBI to stop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn.[85] In March, Trump reportedly discussed the FBI’s Russia investigation with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and asked if they could intervene with Comey to limit or stop it.[86] When he was asked at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the report, Coats said he would not discuss conversations he had with the president but “I have never felt pressured to intervene in the Russia investigation in any way.”[87]

In February 2017, it was reported that White House officials had asked the FBI to issue a statement that there had been no contact between Trump associates and Russian intelligence sources during the 2016 campaign. The FBI did not make the requested statement, and observers noted that the request violated established procedures about contact between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations.[88] After Comey revealed in March that the FBI was investigating the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump phoned Coats and Director of National Security Admiral Michael S. Rogers and asked them to publicly state there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.[85][89][90] Both Coats and Rogers believed that the request was inappropriate, though not illegal, and did not make the requested statement. The two exchanged notes about the incident, and Rogers made a contemporary memo to document the request.[89][90]

In May 2017, a February memo by Comey was made public about an Oval Office conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, in which Trump is described as attempting to persuade Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.[91][92] The memo notes that Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[93] In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey gave a detailed report on the February 14 conversation, including Trump’s suggestion that he should “let go” the Flynn investigation. Comey said he “took it as a direction… I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.” He added that it was “a very disturbing thing, very concerning”, and that he discussed the incident with other FBI leaders.[94] Comey created similar memos about every phone call and meeting he had with the president.[95]

The FBI launched an investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice a few days after the May 9 firing of Comey.[96] The special prosecutor’s office took over the obstruction of justice investigation and has reportedly interviewed Director of National Intelligence Coats, Director of the National Security Agency Rogers, and Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett.[96][97][98] ABC News reported in June that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice, but a full-scale investigation had not been launched.[99] On June 16, Trump tweeted: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”[100] However, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said Trump’s tweet was referring to the June 14 Washington Post report that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice,[96] and that Trump has not actually been notified of any investigation.[101][102]

Financial investigations

The special counsel investigation has expanded to include Trump’s and his associates’ financial ties to Russia. The FBI is reviewing the financial records of Trump himself, The Trump Organization, Trump’s family members, and his campaign staff, including Trump’s real estate activities, which had been under federal scrutiny before the campaign. According to CNN, financial crimes may be easier for investigators to prove than any crimes stemming directly from collusion with Russia.[20] Campaign staff whose finances are under investigation include Manafort, Flynn, Carter Page, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.[103]

Transactions under investigation include Russian purchases of Trump apartments, a SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, transactions with the Bank of Cyprus, real estate financing organized by Kushner, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.[104] The special counsel team has contacted Deutsche Bank, which is the main banking institution doing business with The Trump Organization.[105]

Mueller took over an existing money laundering investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Manafort. On October 30, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Manafort and his associate Rick Gates on charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.[106] Manafort’s financial activities are also being investigated by the Senate and House intelligence committees, the New York Attorney General, and the Manhattan District Attorney.[107]

The special counsel will be able to access Trump’s tax returns, which has “especially disturbed” Trump according to the Washington Post. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as presidential candidates normally do, has been politically controversial since his presidential campaign.[108]

Flynn activities

Michael Flynn statement of offense

As part of the investigation, Special Counsel Mueller assumed control of a Virginia-based grand jury criminal probe into the relationship between Flynn and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin.[109] Flynn Intel Group, an intelligence consultancy, was paid $530,000 by Alptekin’s company Inovo BV to produce a documentary and conduct research on Fethullah Gülen, an exiled Turkish cleric who lives in the United States.[109] The special prosecutor is investigating whether the money came from the Turkish government, and whether Flynn kicked funds back to a middleman to conceal the payment’s original source. Investigators are also looking at Flynn’s finances more generally, including possible payments from Russian companies and from the Japanese government. White House documents relating to Flynn have been requested as evidence.[110] The lead person within Mueller’s team for this investigation is Brandon Van Grack.[111]

Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, is also a subject of the special counsel investigation. Michael G. Flynn worked closely with his father’s lobbying company, the Flynn Intel Group, and accompanied his father on his 2015 visit to Moscow.[112] On November 5, 2017, NBC News reported that Mueller had enough evidence for charges against Flynn and his son.[113]

Flynn’s defense team stopped sharing information with Trump’s team of lawyers in late November 2017.[114] This was interpreted as a sign that Flynn was cooperating and negotiating a plea bargain with the special counsel team.[114][115][116] On December 1, 2017, Flynn appeared in federal court to plead guilty to a single felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI and to confirm his intention to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.[117] As part of Flynn’s plea bargain, his son Michael G. Flynn is not expected to be charged.[118][119]

Investigation of Podesta Group lobbying

In August 2017, Mueller’s team reportedly issued grand jury subpoenas to officials in six firms, including lobbying firm Podesta Group, with regard to activities on behalf of a public-relations campaign for a pro-Russian Ukrainian organization called European Centre for a Modern UkraineTony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is head of the Podesta Group. John Podesta is not employed by the company. According to the reports, Mueller is investigating whether the firms violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Paul Manafort headed the public relations effort, which took place from 2012 to 2014. [120][121][122][123]

Charges

As of December 2, 2017, the Special Counsel has initiated criminal proceedings against four individuals.

Accused Date charged Charge(s) Case status Ind.
George Papadopoulos October 3, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017.[124] [125]
Rick Gates October 27, 2017 8 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×3), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Paul Manafort October 27, 2017 9 counts: conspiracy against the United Statesconspiracy to launder moneyfailure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (×4), unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements. Pleaded not guilty on October 30, 2017.[126] [127]
Michael Flynn November 30, 2017 1 count: false statements. Pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017.[128] [129]

George Papadopoulos

On October 30, 2017, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty earlier in the month to making a false statement to FBI investigators.[130] The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain in which he agreed to cooperate with the government and “provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”[131]

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

On October 30, 2017, Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on multiple charges. Rick Gates was also indicted and surrendered to the FBI.[132] The pair have been indicted on one count of conspiracy against the United States, one count of conspiracy to launder money, one count of being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, one count of making false and misleading FARA statements, and one count of making false statements. Manafort was charged with four counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts while Gates was charged with three.[127] The charges arise from their consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.[133] Both were placed under house arrest. On December 4, 2017, prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bond agreement, charging that Manafort violated the terms of his bail by working on a op-ed piece with Konstantin Kilimnik,[134] an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.[135]

Michael Flynn

On December 1, 2017, it was reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn agreed to a plea bargain with Mueller, pleading guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.[136]

Reactions

Mueller’s appointment to oversee the investigation immediately garnered widespread support from Democrats and even some from Republicans in Congress.[137][138] Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) said, “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) stated, “Bob was a fine U.S. attorney, a great FBI director and there’s no better person who could be asked to perform this function.” She added, “He is respected, he is talented and he has the knowledge and ability to do the right thing.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (RUT) tweeted that “Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.”[137] Much Republican support in Congress was lukewarm: Rep. Peter T. King (RNY) said “It’s fine. I just don’t think there is any need for it.”[139]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote of the team that “Bob Mueller is recruiting the smartest and most seasoned professionals who have a long track record of independence and excellence”.[22] Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who had investigated Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration, said that the team was “a great, great team of complete professionals”.[19]

Later some conservatives, including political commentators Laura IngrahamAnn Coulter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (who had initially praised Mueller for “integrity and honesty”), stated that Mueller should be dismissed and the investigation closed.[140][141][142] Christopher Ruddy, the founder of the Right-leaning Newsmax, and a friend of Trump, stated that the president has considered firing Mueller.[143]

On June 23, 2017, Trump stated that members of Mueller’s team were “all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim “Mostly False”, noting that only three had made campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton and one had defended the Clinton Foundation in court. One member of the team had made contributions to Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Republican Senator George Allen.[144][25] In an interview with The New York Times published on July 19, 2017, Trump stated that he would have not appointed Sessions as Attorney General had he known that he was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Furthermore, Trump confirmed that he would view it as a violation if the special counsel investigated his and his family’s finances, unrelated to Russia.[145]

On June 25, 2017, it was reported that a pro-Trump group had launched an ad called “Witch Hunt,” featuring conservative Tomi Lahren, which attacked Mueller and the investigation.[146]

On July 21, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Trump asked his advisors about his power to pardon those under investigation. Trump and his legal team discussed the possibility of Trump pardoning aides, family members, and himself. No president has ever pardoned himself, so there is no case law on whether it would be legal. Trump attorneys also reportedly created a list of Mueller’s potential conflicts of interest. Trump lawyer John Dowd said the story was “nonsense”.[108]

On August 3, 2017, at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, Trump continued to deny any Russian involvement in his campaign or win: “The Russia story is a total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics, that’s all it is.” This occurred on the same day as the announcement that another grand jury had been impaneled.[147]

On August 12, 2017, the New York Times published an interview of Republican Senator Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he said he was hopeful that the investigation would be complete by the end of the year.[148]

On August 24, 2017, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) added a rider to the proposed fiscal 2018 spending bill package that would block funding from being used “for the investigation under that order of matters occurring before June 2015” (the month Trump announced he was running for president) immediately and terminated funding for the Special Counsel investigation 180 days after passage of the bill.[149] Rep. DeSantis said that the DOJ order of May 17, 2017, “didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.”[150]

Shortly after the indictments against Manafort and Gates were unsealed, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a congressional resolution demanding Robert Mueller’s recusal as Special Counsel due to conflicts of interest. This resolution was cosponsered by Congressman Andy Biggs from Arizona and Congressman Louie Gohmert from Texas.[151][152] In the resolution Gaetz called for a Special Counsel investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy by James Comey, undue interference of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in that investigation, and the acquisition of Uranium One by the Russian state corporation Rosatom during Mueller’s time as FBI director.[153][154] Gaetz stated that he did not trust him to lead the investigation because of Mueller’s alleged involvement in approval of the Uranium One deal and Mueller’s close relationship with the dismissed FBI director James Comey, a probable person of interest in the proposed investigation.[154] On November 8, 2017, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks cosponsered the resolution.[155]

Polling

A May 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that 81% of U.S. voters supported the special prosecutor’s investigation.[156] A June 2017 Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll asked U.S. adults whether the special counsel’s investigation could be fair and impartial: 26% were “extremely confident” or “very confident”; 36% were “moderately confident” and 36% were “not very confident” or “not at all confident.”[157] The poll indicated that 68% of Americans were at least “moderately concerned” about inappropriate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians.[158]

A poll published in November 2017 by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 58% of Americans approved of Mueller’s handling of his investigation, while 28% disapproved. It also indicated that half of Americans believed that President Trump was not co-operating with the investigation.[159] A Quinnipiac poll published on November 15, 2017 suggested that 60% of Americans believed that Mueller’s investigation was proceeding fairly, with 27% believing that it was not. The poll also found that 47% of respondents said that President Trump ought to be impeached if he were to dismiss Mueller.[160]

A December poll by Associated PressNORC indicated that four out of ten American believed Trump to have committed a crime in connection to Russia, with an additional 3 out of 10 beyond that believing that he had acted unethically. It found that 62% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans believe that Trump acted illegally. It found that 68% of Americans believed that Trump was obstructing the investigation. 57% of respondents said that they were “extremely confident” or “moderately confident” that Mueller’s investigation is fair.[161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Special_Counsel_investigation

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)