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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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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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

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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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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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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.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

Story 2: Republican House and Senate Agree on Tax Bill — Rush To Pass Bill Before Congressional Christmas Break — Videos —

Congress releases final version of Republican tax bill

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Tax reform bill will get to Trump before Christmas: Sen. Grassley

Republicans agree on a final tax bill

Remarks by President Trump at Lunch with Bicameral Tax Conferees. December 13, 2017

White House Official: House And Senate GOP Reach Deal On Taxes | MSNBC

Full text: Republicans unveil their final tax bill

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The final draft of the Republican tax bill has dropped.

After a week of backdoor negotiations to hash out the differences between the House and Senate tax proposals, Republicans have released their final vision for the American tax code: a bill that permanently gives corporations a massive tax break, temporarily cuts individual rates — primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans — increases the standard deduction, and the repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which is estimated to leave 13 million fewer insured over the next 10 years.

The bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, 1 percent less than the Senate and House proposals; and lowers the top individual income tax rate to 37 percent, which is less than the 38.5 percent in the Senate bill and the 39.6 percent in the House bill and current law. It will allow pass-through businesses, like LLCs and partnerships, to deduct 20 percent from their taxes in addition to having the lower top individual rate. The bill also caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and the state and local property and income deduction at $10,000, particularly disadvantaging Americans who live in high-tax states.

All in all, the bill is a far cry from the simplified tax code that Republicans have long been promising, but it is a substantial reshaping of the nation’s tax base. Republicans are adamant that cutting corporate taxes will in turn increase investments and wages in the United States and lead to unprecedented economic growth — despite analyses that indicate otherwise.

It’s a gamble they are willing to make. This bill has not yet received an official score from the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation, which measures legislation’s cost and impact.

Republicans are expected to vote on this bill as soon as Tuesday.

Here’s the bill in its entirety:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/15/16781062/read-republican-final-tax-bill

GOP releases its final tax plan — here’s what’s in it

  • Republicans release their final tax plan, which strikes compromises on many provisions that differed in separate versions passed by the House and Senate.
  • The House plans to vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Jacob Pramuk | John W. Schoen

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone

Representative Brady: Wanted to drive tax relief for everyone  

Republicans on Friday released their final proposal to overhaul the American tax system, which would chop taxes for corporations, trim rates for individuals and tweak tax deductions.

The House and Senate GOP hope to pass the sweeping measure by the middle of next week, hitting a year-end target. The House will vote on the plan on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.

Republicans argue that cuts contained in the bill will spark business investment, hiring and wage growth. Democrats call the plan a giveaway to corporations at the expense of the middle class, expressing concerns about the $1 trillion or more it is projected to add to federal budget deficits over a decade.

With two skeptical Republican senators falling in line Friday, the GOP appears set to have the support to push the bill through next week on a party line vote.

Here are some of the provisions the bill contains, according to a Republican summary:

  • The proposal would maintain seven individual income tax brackets at slightly different rates: 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. The top rate would fall from the current 39.6 percent. The House originally proposed collapsing the system to four brackets, saying it would simplify the filing process. (Click here to see which bracket would apply to you.) The changes would phase out after 2025.
  • The bill would scrap the personal exemption but increase the standard deduction to slightly less than double its current level. It would go to $12,000 for an individual or $24,000 for a family.
  • It would drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent. The change would take effect next year.
  • The plan would set a 20 percent business income deduction for the first $315,000 in income earned by pass-through businesses.
  • The bill would scrap Obamacare’s provision that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2019. Doing so is projected to lead to 13 million fewer people with insurance and raise average Obamacare premiums, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • The plan would eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax, which the Senate added back to its plan at the last second to raise money. House leaders and corporate groups said the tax would stifle research and development. It would also increase the exemption from the individual AMT.
  • The estate tax, or so-called death tax, would remain but the exemption from it would be doubled.
  • The child tax credit would double to $2,000 per child from $1,000. It would be refundable up to $1,400 and start to phase out at $400,000 in income. The tweak would end after 2025.
  • The plan would limit state and local tax deductions. It would allow the deduction of up to $10,000 in state and local sales, income or property taxes.
  • It will not change the mortgage interest deduction for existing homeowners. For new homes, taxpayers can deduct interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from $1 million currently.
  • Tax breaks for charitable contributions and retirement savings plans would remain.
  • The bill would not include the controversial first in first out stock sales change, which sparked backlash in the investing community.

A “very preliminary” projection by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the congressional scorekeeper, estimated that the bill would lead to budget deficits increasing by $1.46 trillion over a decade. That falls just shy of the maximum $1.5 trillion it could add to the deficit under rules set by the Senate earlier this year.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who opposed the Senate version of the plan because he had concerns about a nearly identical effect on budget deficits, is supporting the final legislation.

Republicans cheered the bill’s completion following its release.

“We’re in the final stretch—and we’re ready to get this done for the American people by Christmas,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump “is on the precipice” of fulfilling a campaign promise and passing a plan that she said would boost wages and economic growth.

“The president applauds the House and Senate conferees on coming to an agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, warned of repercussions for the middle class.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan counterproductive.

“Under this bill the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits. It is just the opposite of what America needs, and Republicans will rue the day they pass this,” he said in a statement.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., deemed the plan a “moral obscenity” and a “con job.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-releases-its-final-tax-plan–heres-whats-in-it.html

Key details revealed in Republican tax deal

  •  The deal would lower the top tax rate to 37%, a push by House Republicans
  • The deal also drops the corporate tax rate to 21%

(CNN)House and Senate Republicans have struck a tentative deal on a tax bill Wednesday, a major step in ensuring the GOP majority is on its way to deliver an overhaul of the US tax system by the holidays.

According to two GOP aides, Republicans struck a deal in principle that will meld together the House and Senate tax deals and put the parties on a path to vote as soon as next week. Aides say there are still smaller issues to work out, but Senate Republicans will discuss remaining issues at their conference-wide lunch Wednesday and see how their rank-and-file members react.
Lawmakers have been working for more than a week to find a way to combine two very different tax bills.
Here’s what Republican negotiators as of Wednesday evening had in the plan:
  • The corporate rate would be reduced to 21%, from 35%. That is an additional point added from the 20% originally proposed in the House and Senate versions. It would take effect in 2018.
  • The top individual tax rate would be set at 37%, down from the 39.6% proposed in the House and 38.5% in the Senate.
  • The State and Local Tax deduction will be expanded, beyond just property taxes, to include income tax. It would be capped at $10,000.
  • The corporate alternative minimum tax, included at the last minute in the Senate version, would be fully repealed.
  • The individual alternative minimum tax would remain, but the threshold would be tweaked to exclude any individual under $500,000 or family below $1 million.
  • The mortgage interest deduction threshold — dropped to $500,000 in the House and left untouched in the Senate — would be set at $750,000.
  • The rate for pass-through income — business entities like s-corporations and partnerships that pay taxes through the individual side — would be determined by a 20% deduction, 3% lower than the Senate version.
  • The estate tax exemption would be doubled, but the tax would not be repealed entirely, as it was in the House proposal.
  • The Obamacare individual mandate to have health insurance would be repealed.
  • A House provision that proposed taxing graduate school tuition is not included in the final deal.
These deductions will remain untouched (they were all repealed in the House bill, left alone in the Senate bill). Of note, repeal of these deductions were some of the most controversial elements of the House plan. None will be repealed in the final version.
  • Medical expense deduction
  • Tax-free graduate school tuition waivers
  • Private activity bonds
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Teacher spending deduction
The news of a deal came just hours after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to hold off on a tax bill until newly-elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, was seated in January.

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/us/politics/tax-bill-republicans-deal.html

House, Senate reach tax bill agreement

Original source for this article can be found on RT by clicking here
Dec. 13 (UPI) — Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill, keeping the party on track for final votes next week and a push to President Donald Trump‘s desk by Christmas.Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said he is confident the deal will be approved. Details of the agreement were not immediately available.Democrats, who have been locked out of the process, criticized the rush to pass the bill next week and called on Republican leaders to wait for the newly elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, to be sworn in. He defeated Roy Moore on Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Senate Republicans had a meeting Wednesday to go over the details before briefing House Republicans and making a formal announcement.Last-minute changes to the bill include lowering the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and setting the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, a source who was briefed on the package told a The Hill.Also, as a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bill, mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000 and as a relief to people living in high-tax areas. The bill allows state and local property or income tax deductions of up to $10,000.

If passed, the legislation repeals an essential piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires people to purchase health insurance.

https://newsline.com/house-senate-reach-tax-bill-agreement/

President Trump said at the White House on Wednesday, “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.” CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year.

Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to bridge the yawning gaps between their competing versions of the $1.5 trillion tax bill, keeping Republicans on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House and Senate versions of the tax bill started from the same core principles — sharply cutting taxes on businesses, while reducing rates and eliminating some breaks for individuals — but diverged on several crucial details.

In the end, more of the Senate bill appeared to be included in the final version, though lawmakers continued to make significant changes from the legislation that passed either the House or the Senate.

The changes included a slightly higher corporate tax rate of 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent in the legislation that passed both chambers, and a lower top individual tax rate of 37 percent for the wealthiest Americans, who currently pay 39.6 percent. But the bill will still scale back some popular tax breaks, including the state and local tax deduction and the deductibility of mortgage interest.

In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.

Continue reading the main story

Still unclear is the overall cost of the revised legislation, which cannot exceed the $1.5 trillion bucket that lawmakers have allowed if they want to pass the bill without Democratic support. Several of the provisions added by the Senate to help pay for the overall bill were either reversed or scaled back in the consensus version, and some tax breaks eliminated by the House were added back in.

Photo

President Trump had lunch with Republicans on the House-Senate conference committee, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, right, and Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, left, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The announcement that Republicans had overcome their differences to get to a consensus bill added more momentum to the sprint to the finish line. Republicans dismissed requests by Democrats to delay a vote until the new senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, is sworn in.

“I see no need to wait for Doug Jones to become a senator,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. “We vote all the time in lame-duck sessions with retired and defeated members casting votes.”

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, told reporters that he was confident the final bill would be approved next week. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas and Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, each proclaimed a bill “close” to completion.

In a compromise between the bills, the deal would cap the popular deduction for interest on mortgage debt at $750,000 for newly purchased homes, a higher cap than the $500,000 limit in the House-passed bill but lower than the $1 million limit that currently exists and remains in the Senate-passed bill.

The agreement would cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, which is lower than the current 35 percent rate but higher than the 20 percent that Mr. Trump had, until recently, said was nonnegotiable. The corporate rate would take effect in 2018, rather than 2019, as the Senate bill originally called for, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

The bill also allows individuals to somewhat choose how to use their state and local tax deduction, giving them the ability to write off up to $10,000 in property taxes, income or sales taxes paid or a combination of property and sales or property and income taxes. That move is intended to alleviate the concerns of House Republicans, particularly those from California, over the bill’s treatment of the state and local tax deduction.

Lawmakers also yielded to concerns by business groups about the Senate’s last-minute inclusion of the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was added as a way to pay for the bill but faced stiff blowback from companies that said it would restrict their ability to use the research and development tax credit.

Photo

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the finance committee, tweeted on Wednesday morning that Republican leaders should delay the tax process until Doug Jones, the newly elected Democratic Senator from Alabama, takes his seat. CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

In an effort to assuage concerns that wealthy individuals would face a potential tax increase, the top individual income tax rate will drop to 37 percent, down from the current rate of 39.6 percent in the Senate bill and the 38.5 percent in the House bill. And the lower rate will apply to more people, allowing those with income levels below the $1 million cutoff outlined in both the House and Senate bills to claim the marginal rate.

The consensus bill will preserve the individual alternative minimum tax, which the House bill had eliminated and the Senate bill retained in a watered-down form. But it will apply to even fewer taxpayers than the Senate bill would have, the congressional aide said. The alternative tax, which was put in place to ensure high-income earners did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying taxes, would kick in for individuals earning at least $500,000 and for couples earning at least $1 million.

The agreement may allow some high-earning business owners to claim an even larger tax break than the Senate bill would have. Negotiators agreed to keep the Senate’s approach to provide a tax deduction for so-called pass-through companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. That deduction is likely to be lower than the 23 percent deduction in the Senate-passed bill.

But, the aide said, the consensus bill will include a House provision that would allow some pass-through owners with few employees — but large amounts of investment in their businesses — to bypass a limit on how much income qualifies for the preferential deduction.

The consensus bill would also largely retain the Senate approach to taxing multinational companies, by levying what is effectively a minimum tax on both American-based and foreign-based companies that operate in the United States.

Mr. Trump praised House and Senate negotiators in a lunch meeting at the White House. “We’re very close to getting it done; we’re very close to voting,” Mr. Trump said of the tax bill.

It is not clear whether all Republican senators will roundly endorse the deal, which includes provisions that Ms. Collins and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had raised concerns about this week. Ms. Collins has said she does not favor a lower individual rate, and Mr. Rubio has pushed for a more generous child tax credit.

GRAPHIC

How the Final Tax Bill Will Affect Families, Homeowners, Businesses and More

Republicans have resolved the differences between the two versions of their tax bill.

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Still, none of those concerned senators indicated on Wednesday that they were opposed to the bill taking shape under the agreement in principle, an encouraging sign for Republican leaders.

The Senate bill narrowly passed 51 to 49, with Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, voting against the legislation, and other lawmakers, like Ms. Collins, getting on board only once certain changes, including expanding the medical expense deduction, were made. Mr. Corker said on Wednesday that “nothing has alleviated the concerns” that caused him to oppose the bill, which were rooted in a desire not to add further to the national debt.

The agreement was completed on Wednesday morning, hours before the first and only scheduled public meeting of the congressional conference committee formed to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

“Let’s understand what’s happening today is a sham,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Nobody ought to mistake this conference for real debate.”

Mr. Trump delivered what was called a closing argument for the tax bill from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, flanked by five families who each took the microphone to extol the benefits of the tax bill on their households and communities.

“As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country,” Mr. Trump said. “Now we are just days away from keeping that promise. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”

Mr. Trump added that if the bill were to be signed in that time frame, Americans would begin seeing tax cuts reflected in their paychecks by February, citing the Internal Revenue Service. “The cynical voices that opposed tax cuts grow smaller and weaker, and the American people grow stronger,” he said.

Correction: December 14, 2017 
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to one provision of the tax proposal. The agreement would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition waivers to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. It does not apply to tuition stipends.

 

Story 2: 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

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Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases

Policy makers pencil in three quarter-point rate raises for next year, as they had in September

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for her press conference Wednesday. The central bank’s rate-setting committee voted 7-2 to raise the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve showed continued optimism about the U.S. economy in voting Wednesday to raise short-term interest rates for the third time this year, and signaling it would stay on a similar path next year amid a leadership transition.

Officials nudged their economic-growth estimates higher for the next few years on expectations that congressional Republicans will pass tax cuts. But the Fed policy makers’ new projections suggest the boost wouldn’t be so large that they would have to speed up the pace of rate increases to guard against too much inflation.

“At the moment the U.S. economy is performing well,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said at a press conference after the central bank’s two-day policy meeting ended Wednesday.

“The growth that we’re seeing, it’s not based on, for example, an unsustainable buildup of debt,” she added. “The global economy is doing well. We’re in a synchronized expansion. This is the first time in many years we’ve seen this.”

The Fed said it would increase its benchmark federal-funds rate Thursday by a quarter percentage point to a range between 1.25% and 1.5%, the fifth such increase in the past two years. Officials penciled in three quarter-point rate increases for next year, as they had in September, and two such increases each in 2019 and 2020.

The big question heading into their two-day meeting was how much Fed officials expected to lift rates in coming years. The prospect of new fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts, combined with solid hiring and lofty asset values, could argue for picking up the pace to prevent the economy from overheating. But low inflation and modest wage growth could support the case for sticking with a gradual approach.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans joined Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday in casting two dissenting votes, against seven in favor or raising rates. Both have cited weak inflation as a reason to hold off.

Fed officials projected the economy would grow 2.5% next year, up from the 2.1% they predicted in September. They also expect the unemployment rate will fall to 3.9% by the end of next year, down from their earlier forecast of 4.1%.

Officials didn’t project more interest-rate increases or higher inflation because price pressures have been surprisingly muted this year. They still project inflation to rise to their 2% target by 2019, the same as they expected in September.

“It could take a longer period of a very strong labor market in order to achieve the inflation objective,” Ms. Yellen said Wednesday.

Economists said the latest projections and Ms. Yellen’s comments Wednesday show officials believe growth won’t generate as much inflation as previously thought. “If inflation does actually pick up, it implies that they move more rapidly” to raise rates, said Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura Securities.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, above, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, below, dissented to the Fed’s decision to raise short-term interest rates. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS
Fed Raises Rates, Sticks to Forecast for 2018 Increases
PHOTO: MARK KAUZLARICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Fed officials slashed their benchmark federal-funds rate to near zero during the financial crisis and held it there for seven years before raising it by a quarter percentage point in December 2015, the start of a gradual series of small increases. In October, the Fed also started shrinking its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets, most of which were purchased as part of extraordinary postcrisis measures to support the economy.

Since officials last met in early November, Congress has moved rapidly on legislation that would cut business and individual taxes by around $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Before this week, many Fed officials refrained from building into their forecasts much prospect of fiscal stimulus because it wasn’t clear what Congress would pass.

House and Senate Republicans are reconciling different versions of tax bills that have passed their respective chambers with the goal of putting a unified plan before President Donald Trump to sign by Christmas. The White House has said the plan can boost growth to levels that make up for revenue shortfalls.

An analysis from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found the tax bill wouldn’t pay for itself with more economic growth and instead would result in about $1 trillion in additional budget deficits over a decade.

Fed officials’ projections show they don’t see the tax cut raising the economy’s long-run growth rate, which they left unchanged at 1.8%.

“It’s fair to say that the Fed doesn’t see the tax package as a game changer in terms of growth—just some modest upside, concentrated mostly in 2018,” said Roberto Perli, an analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro LP.

While officials have now largely incorporated the effects of tax changes into their growth forecasts, Ms. Yellen said, “importantly, you really don’t at the end of the day see very much change in the federal-funds rate path.”

Ms. Yellen added that she remained concerned higher budget deficits could leave fiscal policy makers with less scope to respond aggressively to an economic downturn in the future. Budget deficits are projected to grow as the baby boom ages, even before the added effect of tax cuts. “Taking what is already a significant problem and making it worse, it is a concern to me,” she said.

While Ms. Yellen will preside over one more Fed meeting early next year, Wednesday featured her last scheduled press conference before her term ends Feb. 3. While she is likely to hand her successor an economy in far better shape than when she took over four years ago, the Fed faces several balancing acts.

On one hand, inflation has run below its annual 2% target most of this year, reaching just 1.6% in October by the central bank’s preferred gauge. On the other hand, with the economy so strong and more stimulus on the way, they don’t want to hold rates too low for too long and cause price pressures to surge out of control or fuel asset bubbles and other financial imbalances.

Now that the Fed has successfully moved interest rates away from zero and initiated the steady wind down of the portfolio, “the battle is over the terminal fed-funds rate, and how quickly you get to it,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist of Standish Mellon and former director of the Fed’s monetary policy division. Fed officials’ new projections show they see that longer-run level at around 2.75%, implying the Fed is already about half way there.

Mr. Trump’s nominee to succeed Ms. Yellen as central bank chief, Fed governor Jerome Powell, has indicated he could offer a lighter touch on financial regulation but has shown few signs of diverging from Ms. Yellen on monetary policy.

Ms. Yellen has said she would resign her seat on the Fed’s seven-member board once Mr. Powell is confirmed and sworn in, making her the third governor to leave within a year and giving Mr. Trump another opportunity to reshape the Fed.

Fed officials also are wrestling with the fact that the economy isn’t responding to its rate moves as it did in the past, making it harder to discern the right policy path.

Fed increases in short-term rates used to tighten credit more broadly, causing bond yields to rise and boosting other borrowing costs, such as for mortgages, credit cards and business loans. This year, instead, financial conditions have eased, with stock prices rising to new highs and long-term bond yields remaining low, due in part to easy-money policies from central banks in Europe and Japan.

Banks have held rates on savings deposits at historically low levels. The average interest rate paid by the biggest U.S. banks on interest-bearing deposits rose to 0.40% in the third quarter, up from 0.34% in the second quarter, according to Autonomous Research.

Low interest rates have been a pleasant surprise for Joe Williams, 33, who is looking to trade up to a larger home to make room for a growing family. Mr. Williams, who works in retail operations, and his wife are preapproved for a 30-year mortgage that carries a 3.75% interest rate for the first seven years. That is higher than the 3.125% rate he locked in on his Minneapolis home two years ago.

If rates looked likely to rise faster, “that would motivate us to get a little bit more aggressive” in buying the move-up home, he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com

Appeared in the December 14, 2017, print edition as ‘Fed Hikes Rates as Economy Picks Up.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-raises-interest-rates-sees-continued-path-of-increases-in-2018-1513191780

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate.

Mechanism

Financial Institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007-2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 14 June 2017 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 1.00-1.25%.[9] This represents the fourth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00-0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00-0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[10]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.jpg

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, price normally falls. The price here is the interest rate (cost of money) and specifically refers to the Federal Funds Rate. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the Fed Funds Rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, price (or in this case interest rates) will normally rise.[11]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[12] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the Fed Funds Rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[13][14]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [15][16][17]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[18][19][20]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[21]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[22]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25-0.50[23]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50-0.75[24]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75-1.00[25]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00-1.25[26]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25-1.50[27]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and/or housing fell.[28]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments in other countries less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[29]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. 24 August 2011. p. 4. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. 2008-01-30. Archived from the original on 2001-04-13. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  4. Jump up^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. Jump up^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s” (PDF). Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. Jump up^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16.
  9. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  10. Jump up^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  11. Jump up^ David Waring (2008-02-19). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  12. Jump up^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  13. Jump up^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  14. Jump up^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. Jump up^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. Jump up^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. Jump up^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. Jump up^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. Jump up^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. Jump up^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. Jump up^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. Jump up^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  23. Jump up^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  24. Jump up^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on 2016-12-15.
  25. Jump up^ Cox, Jeff (2017-03-15). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  26. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  27. Jump up^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  28. Jump up^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  29. Jump up^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017, Story 1: Russia’s Attempt To Control and Corner World Uranium Supply Needed For Fuel To Power Nuclear Reactors To Produce Electricity — Greed, Money, Power — Obama’s Administration’s Cover-up of Rosatom’s U.S. Subsidiary Crimes Between 2004-2014 And Bill and Hillary Clinton’s and Clinton Charitable Foundation Pay for Play Racket — Massive Scandal About To Go Nuclear — Videos

Posted on December 14, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Business, Coal, Coal, College, Communications, Constitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Extortion, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Human, Human Behavior, James Comey, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Treason, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Clinton Uranium Scam

Trey Gowdy Eager To See What The FBI Informant Has To Say Its Very Important

Attorney For FBI Informant Rebuffs Report – Obama, Clinton Uranium One – Story

Pay to Play – Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation

LibertyPen

Published on Nov 9, 2017

In 2009, the Obama administration approved the transferred control of twenty percent of America’s uranium to Russian interests. This deal, which on the face seems contrary to national interest, is examined by focusing on the beneficiaries and following the money. http://www.LibertyPen.com (Excerpts are largely from Fox News, since other networks find it their interest to ignore the story)

FBI Informant in Clinton Uranium One Bribery Case has Video of Briefcases full of Money!

3 House Reps on Uranium Deal. Committees Investigating.

Breaking Now A New Report Documents The Obama FBI Investigated Hillary’s Russian Uranium Deal

Two More Committees Announce Uranium Deal Investigation!

Kazakhstan and Bill Clinton goes there

Clinton Corruption – It Keeps Going, And Going, And Going

Bill Clinton’s Kazakstan Uranium Deal

“Can Hillary Clinton be Arrested?” see what Ben Shapiro Just Said with Judge Napolitano

Uranium One Looms Larger and Larger

Investigation OPENED Into Obama and Hillary’s Crooked Deal!

Obama’s FBI Stopped Hillary Clinton’s INDICTMENTS – Judge Napolitano

CONFIRMED! Jeff sessions is part of hillary Clinton’s corrupt cabal – HANNITY REVEALS

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

New Developments In The Uranium One Scandal – Clinton Foundation Money Laundering? – Hannity

Russian Uranium One deal should be investigated: Ben Stein

New Information in the Uranium one Scandal – Hannity

FBI Informant Has Evidence on Uranium One and The Clintons

Reps Jordan & Gaetz To Make Big Announcement Regarding The FBI And Hillary Clinton – Ingraham Angle

The Beginning Of The End For Hillary! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Trump on Russian Uranium allegations: They better look into that

Hannity: Exposing the real Russia collusion

#SeanHannity Destroyed #HillaryClinton and Laid the Groundwork for a Multi-Count Indictment

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) DESTROYS Hillary Clinton and Dems on Uranium One Scandal

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7v1fs-T7KE]

Laws potentially broken in Uranium One deal, dossier scandal

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

What did Russia do with US uranium imports?

Obama-era Uranium One deal strongest evidence of Russian collusion: Rep. DeSantis

House panels launch probe of Obama-era uranium deal

Issa: American people deserve clarity on Russia uranium deal

Why aren’t Dems concerned about the Russia uranium scandal?

Nuclear energy is still cheaper than renewables, says Rosatom boss

How Does Nuclear Power Work?

HOW IT WORKS: Uranium Deposits (720p)

Investigation OPENED Into Obama and Hillary’s Crooked Deal!

Why Russia Wants to Control the World’s Uranium Supply

FBI – Russia Bribed for Uranium Deal, 1843

FBI warned Obama administration about Russian bribery plot

FBI Had Evidence That Russia Bribed Clinton Foundation Before Obama Approved Uranium Deal

BREAKING: FBI Official Unloads On Hillary Clinton This Is Devastating(VIDEO)!!!

Glenn Breaks Down Clinton Connections To The Uranium-Russia Scandal

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before uranium deal

FBI Informant Reads A Document On Live TV That Made Hillary Clinton Panicking(VIDEO)!!!

Clinton Foundation Gets Millions In Exchange For Uranium Deal – News Brief

US uranium producers plagued by low prices, scant utility purchasing