The Pronk Pops Show 1219, March 4, 2019, Story 1: Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Continues With House Hoax Trump Obstructed Justice By Firing Former FBI Director Comey — Presidents Can Fire Any Political Appointments — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Falls Due to Possibility of No United States Trade Agreement With Communist China — Ability To Enforce Agreement Is Crucial –Videos — Story 3: President Trump ‘s Bombshell Explosive Address To Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1191 December 19, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1189 December 14, 2018

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Story 1: Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Continues With House Hoax Trump Obstructed Justice By Firing Former FBI Director Comey — Presidents Can Fire Any Political Appointments — Videos

 

Levin: Trump cannot be the target of an investigation

Mark Levin: Mueller’s probe is an impeachment investigation

Do McCabe’s claims about Trump show obstruction of justice?

Hannity: FBI plotted to destroy President Trump

[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UK8LViQZ_A]

Levin: Trump in great shape when it comes to the law

Mark Levin on media freakout over Trump-Putin summit

Dershowitz: No case for obstruction of justice against Trump

Dershowitz: Trump does have the authority to fire Mueller

Opinion | Did Trump obstruct justice? Look at the facts.

Could Loretta Lynch face 5-10 years in jail?

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch Asked Comey NOT to Call it a Clinton “Investigation” (FNN)

The fieriest moments from Peter Strzok’s hearing

Rep. Trey Gowdy questions FBI’s Peter Strzok in fierce grilling

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

FBI chief grilled over Clinton emails

Comey, Lynch have ruined the FBI’s reputation: Kennedy

Attorney: AG Lynch sabotaged Clinton investigation

AG Loretta Lynch Meets With Bill Clinton

The Latest: Congress seeks info on private Trump-Putin chats

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President Donald Trump welcomes 2018 NCAA FCS College Football Champions, The North Dakota State Bison, to the White House in Washington, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a House panel’s expanding investigations of President Donald Trump (all times local):

Three House committees are asking the White House and the State Department for any information on private conversations between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, including an interview with an interpreter who sat in on their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last summer.

The broad requests from the House intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees ask for the substance of Trump and Putin’s conversations in person and by phone and for information on whether those conversations had any impact on U.S. foreign policy. They are also asking whether Trump tried to conceal any conversations.

President Donald Trump says he’ll cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s sweeping investigation into his White House, campaign and businesses.

When a reporter asked him Monday if he was going to cooperate with the investigation led by Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Trump replied: “I cooperate all the time with everybody. You know, the beautiful thing, no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”

The committee is sending requests to 81 people linked to the president and his associates.

Nadler said Monday the investigation will be focused on possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.

Trump answered the question while he hosted the Division 1-winning North Dakota State University football team at the White House.

The House Judiciary Committee is launching a sweeping new probe of President Donald Trump, his White House, his campaign and his businesses. The panel is sending document requests to 81 people linked to the president and his associates.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler says the investigation will be focused on obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power. The aggressive, broad investigation could set the stage for impeachment, although Democratic leaders have pledged to investigate all avenues and review special counsel Robert Mueller’s report before taking drastic action.

Nadler said Monday’s document requests are a way to “begin building the public record” and the committee has the responsibility to investigate.

The White House says it has received the House Judiciary Committee’s letter requesting documents related to the Trump administration, family and business as part of an expanding Russia investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the White House counsel’s office and relevant officials will review the letter and respond at the appropriate time.

The committee is requesting documents from more than 60 people.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who says he believes the president obstructed justice, says the panel wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. He says former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn also are likely targets.

 

A top House Democrat says it’s “very clear” President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House committee that would be in charge of impeachment says the panel is requesting documents Monday from more than 60 people from Trump’s administration, family and business as part of a rapidly expanding Russia investigation.

Nadler said the House Judiciary Committee wants to review documents from the Justice Department, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn also are likely targets, he said.

Asked if he believed Trump obstructed justice, Nadler said, “Yes, I do.”

___

Follow all of AP’s Trump Investigations coverage at https://apnews.com/TrumpInvestigations

Former AG Lynch ‘appeared to have amnesia’ During December Testimony About Carter Page FISA

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Congressional lawmakers in closed door testimony that despite the DOJ having approved the FBI warrant and renewals to spy on Carter Page, she did not recall the applications, did not remember the details contained in the applications or the circumstances surrounding conversations about the warrant, according to testimony reviewed by SaraACarter.com.

Lynch “appeared to have amnesia” during her testimony that she delivered in December before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, said one congressional official, who had knowledge of the hearing. The official said Lynch’s closed-door testimony on Page, a former Trump campaign volunteer, left lawmakers with more questions than answers.

Lynch’s testimony has not yet been made public by the committees.

Tarmac Meeting

It was during 2016, as well, when Lynch, who was then Attorney General for President Barack Obama,  came under fire for her infamous Phoenix airport tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton. That meeting took place only days before former FBI Director James Comey made the announcement not to file charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified government emails on a private unsecured server. Lynch has always insisted that the meeting was coincidental and that she and Clinton only discussed grandkids and other “innocuous things,” as reported.

However, it is under questioning during the December hearing where Lynch not only evaded questions regarding the tarmac meeting but failed to disclose any information regarding the DOJ’s approval to allow the FBI to spy on Page.

It may be because Lynch’s then Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signed off on the FISA application. Others who signed off on the warrant and renewals were former FBI Director James Comey,  former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the final renewal application on Page that was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to the House Intelligence Committee’s January, 2018 memo.

Lynch, however, would expect lawmakers to believe that she was never aware that a former member of the Trump campaign was the target of an FBI investigation or a warrant that would allow the bureau to spy on him.

Goodlatte Questions Lynch on Carter Page

Then, under questioning from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, she listed the standard detailed procedures of what is required from the Attorney General when the FBI files for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Warrant to spy on an American.

“By statute, the Attorney General is the final signatory on the FISA applications,” stated Lynch to the committee. “By regulation, the signatory authority has been delegated – shall I say shared—with the Deputy Attorney General and the head of the national security division as long as the people in those positions are presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed.”

Lynch on Page

I DON’T HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF BEING BRIEFED ON THE PAGE APPLICATION EITHER. AND I DON’T HAVE A RECOLLECTION OF SIGNING IT, SAID LYNCH

So she knows the rules and regulations but when asked in more detail about the process of approving the FBI’s application on Page she freezes.

Goodlatte, who was then the chairman of the committee, asked Lynch: “Is that what happened to the Carter Page case?”

“I wasn’t involved in the processing of the Page FISA and I can outline the process for you but I don’t have personal (knowledge) of it,” she said.

Confounded Goodlatte says “no, no, it is just not clear to me, the Attorney General has a role, you often rely upon others to supplement your work in fulfilling that role. Did you have a role in that or were you briefed?”

“I don’t have any recollection of being briefed on the Page application either. And I don’t have a recollection of signing it,” said Lynch in response.

Goodlatte then asks Lynch if she recalls signing any of the renewal applications to continue spying on Page.

“I don’t have a recollection of being involved in the FISA for Mr. Page at all,” she says.

Goodlatte then goes on to ask: “were you briefed about the relevance of Mr. Page’s FISA warrant with regard to this broader Russia investigation?”

Again, Lynch fails to have any memory of anything Page.

“I don’t have a recollection of a briefing of that type, no,” said Lynch.

Goodlatte then asks: “When did you first hear the name Carter Page?”

Lynch: “Again, it would have to have been like late spring of 2016 or so in this context. I don’t recall I knew of him from other sources or not.”

Lynch, Page and Trump

At the time of the Page warrant, the DOJ was feeling the pressure from the FBI to get the warrants signed, said one U.S. official with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Page’s warrant.

Page didn’t spark much FBI or public interest prior to Trump’s March 21, 2016, announcement that he was a volunteer on the campaign’s foreign policy team. The FBI took notice right away because Page had been in their bailiwick in the past. He was also a perfect target for anti-Trump FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok saw the opportunity to spy on Page, as an opportunity to go after the Trump campaign.

Shortly after Trump’s announcement – sometime in the late Spring –  Lynch, had met with former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Strzok to discuss the news of Page joining the Trump campaign, according to a declassified memorandum.

Lynch’s Contradictions

But according to Lynch’s statements to Congress, she can’t recall anything about Page.

The initial FBI FISA application was granted in late October, 2016 to spy on Page. But the FBI had already opened its investigation into the Trump campaign earlier in the Spring.

Not only were they collecting information from well placed sources within the campaign but former British spy Christopher Steele had been supplying the FBI and DOJ with unverified information he was collecting from sources, some of which were unreliable Russians.

By the summer, the bureau had obtained the dossier through Steele, who was working on behalf of now embattled research firm Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS was paid for the research by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

And it was the unverified dossier that was used as the bulk of evidence to obtain the warrant to spy on Page.

FISA Court Reprimands DOJ and FBI Spying on Americans

It was in April, 2017 that this reporter along with John Solomon first published the declassified and heavily redacted memorandum by signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, who heads the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court.

Collyer noted in the memorandum that the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.”

It was also just days after the court had approved the FISA to spy on Page.

The memorandum is vital in understanding to what lengths the NSA and the FBI have taken to spy on American communications.

It was also eye opening and a major reason why the Page FISA warrant is a central cause taken up by the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes,R-Ca.

It was at this same time that Lynch, and the FBI had filed the FISA warrant with the same secret court to spy on Page. However, the court at the time of the Page FISA application, would be relying on the bureau’s own word that the information contained in the FISA was backed by reliable evidence. It was not, according to the final Russia report submitted by Nunes’ committee.

“Very Serious” Constitutional Issue

The court, however, takes the violations that occurred seriously. As noted, the court discovered that the U.S. intelligence agencies had been conducting illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period. It drew sharp criticism from the court, which called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue.

But what about Page, along with others like him who may never know that a U.S. agency is spying on their communications?

That has yet to be addressed by the secret court or the Department of Justice.

If Collyer’s criticism against the upstream data searches to spy on Americans is any indication, then alleged violations under the law in conducting surveillance on Page based on unproven accusations in a FISA are just as daunting for the FBI and DOJ.

Nunes, told this reporter in an interview last month, that the Page FISA must be thoroughly investigated and laws must change in an effort to protect essential American rights guaranteed by the constitution.

The committee, then under Nunes leadership, revealed that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose pertinent information to the court when they obtained a FISA and three renewal warrants on Page. Further, the FBI used unsubstantiated information from a dossier put together by Steele and paid for by the opposition.

“The FISC court should take action against the people who misled them,” said Nunes. “It’s impossible for the court to say that they were not misled.”

The FISA Court And DOJ Must Act

Collyer describes the expansive intrusion by the intelligence community “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” Because of this, there is no way that the court can ignore what happened to Page.

It is up to the DOJ, now under Attorney General William Barr, to ensure that Lynch, Yates, Comey and others who participated in the targeting of an American citizen be investigated.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

Therefore, Page’s case isn’t just about one person – it’s about everyone’s right to be granted reasonable protection from corrupt officials or intrusive government agencies.

https://saraacarter.com/former-ag-lynch-appeared-to-have-amnesia-during-december-testimony-about-carter-page-fisa/

When You Read Mueller’s Report, Remember How It All Started

By | February 24th, 2019
Rather, the report will be the product of a team that started coming together long before Trump took office. Not only did many of them know each other beforehand, many shared a common goal: to stop Trump any way they could. It would be unjust to allow the report into the public domain without giving its target, the president, the opportunity to defend himself.

When the Clinton Foundation needed a private law firm to prevent Hillary Clinton’s emails from being released in a lawsuit, it hired the private law firm WilmerHale. Jeannie Rhee, a WilmerHale partner and loyal Democratic Party donor, personally signed the motion that won the case for the Clintons. Not long after, she would get the opportunity to join WilmerHale alumnus Robert Mueller to fight another case involving team Clinton emails. Recall, the alleged theft of more Clinton campaign emails and their subsequent release led to claims that the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to influence the outcome of the election. WilmerHale also produced Mueller team lawyers James Quarles and Aaron Zebley.

How did the team best positioned to achieve payback for Clinton’s 2016 election loss end up with such an incestuous mix of Clinton supporters and donors? Is it a coincidence that so many people with apparent interests in deposing Trump ended up working on the Mueller probe?

If so, it would be an amazing coincidence given that the Trump-Russia collusion story began with opposition research procured by the Clinton campaign. Representatives of the law firm  Clinton used to buy the opposition research, Perkins Coie, met with Justice Department officials to discuss the Russia investigation during the 2016 election cycle. Puzzle pieces revealed over the past two years have begun credibly to suggest that the plan to staff the special counsel’s office began well before Donald Trump took office.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned about some of the key figures in the special counsel’s investigation.

Bruce Ohr: Ohr did not end up on the Mueller team but was instrumental in its formation. During the 2016 election cycle, Ohr served as an associate deputy attorney general and as the head of the department’s organized crime drug task force. There’s no indication in the record that anyone in the Justice Department assigned Ohr to work on the Trump-Russia hoax or that his actions were within the scope of his duties. As The Hill’s John Solomon noted, “Bruce Ohr played an essential—and unorthodox—role, carrying politically tainted allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion to the FBI during the 2016 election,” including research that his wife, Nellie Ohr, generated as a subcontractor to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr’s involvement in vouching for the Fusion GPS information helped give it the credibility needed to spur a federal Investigation. Ohr’s sponsoring and advancement of the collusion hoax while his wife received Clinton money to do work on the same thing appears to be a shocking violation of the criminal statute 18 U.S.C. § 208 and it makes it appear as though a political campaign can buy a federal investigation of its opponent by hiring the spouse of a senior official. (For more analysis on the potential legal violation, read here.) Ohr continues to work for the Department of Justice and has not been charged with anything.

Andrew Weissmann: Before being appointed to the Mueller team, Weissmann sent a fawning email to Obama-holdover acting Attorney General Sally Yates lauding her refusal to carry out the lawful instructions of the newly-elected Donald Trump.  The former head of the Justice Department’s fraud section donatedto Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in 2007 and attended her election night party in 2016.

In an early indication that Weissmann was always intended as a figure for the yet-to-be-formed Mueller team, Bruce Ohr (who indirectly received Clinton Campaign money) kept Weissmann in the loop as Ohr ferried Clinton’s opposition research to the FBI to promote the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. This is another indication that the plan for staffing an anti-Trump special counsel was hatched long before Mueller was appointed. Weissmann would then act as the second-in-command of Mueller’s investigation and was reportedly the architect of the aggressive Manafort raid and the push to raid former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s law office.

The fact that Ohr involved Weissmann in the Russia-Trump matter before the appointment of the special counsel also raises the question of whether Mueller recruited Weissmann or Weissmann recruited Mueller.

Mueller helped form the Enron task force that Weissmann led earlier in his career. Author Sidney Powell profiled Weissmann’s time with the task force as a legacy of chilling prosecutorial misconduct leading to the destruction of accounting firm Arthur Andersen with a corporate conviction that the Supreme Court overturned unanimously. Weissmann obtained a conviction of Arthur Andersen for shredding documents in the ordinary course of business that nobody told it to save. In an indication that Mueller could be relied upon to indulge prosecutors run amuck, the New York Times reported that Mueller actually approved of the Enron team’s tactics. Weissmann’s long history with Mueller also includes working for Mueller as a special counsel in 2005 and then as Mueller’s general counsel in 2011.

Zainab Ahmad: In the spring of 2016, Ahmad took a leave from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York to work at Justice Department headquarters at the request of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, dealing with transnational organized crime and international affairs. She returned to the New York office in April 2017, remaining there until that July, when she joined the Mueller team. While it makes sense that Mueller would pick Ahmad as an experienced and energetic trial attorney, it’s not immediately obvious why Bruce Ohr would brief Ahmad with Fusion GPS research in July 2016. Somehow, Ohr had the foresight to know that Ahmad’s career path would take a relevant turn toward the Russia investigation.

Andrew McCabe: As noted in the Justice Department Inspector General’s report, the former deputy FBI director “had an active role in the supervision of the Midyear investigation, and oversight of the Clinton Foundation investigation, until he recused himself from these investigations on November 1, 2016.” As a result of that report, McCabe is currently under criminal investigation for lying to the inspector general.

McCabe’s wife, Jill, received approximately $800,000 in campaign donations from funds directed by Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. In addition, on June 26, 2015, Hillary Clinton was the featured speaker at a Jill McCabe fundraiser hosted by  the Virginia Democratic Party and attended by McAuliffe. Even the left-leaning Slate admitted that the fundraiser raised legitimate concerns over whether Andrew McCabe’s involvement in the Clinton investigations may have been compromised.

McAuliffe approached McCabe’s wife in early 2015. In March 2015, the former secretary of state’s emails (withheld from Congress) were deleted by a contractor and the potential criminal exposure of the email scandal was becoming apparent. Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015. In June 2016, approximately five months before recusing himself from the Clinton email investigation, McCabe helped draft the memo exonerating Clinton from any criminal liability. McCabe did not directly join the Mueller team but clashed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over his continued involvement in the probe.

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok: Texts between Page, a former FBI lawyer who served as McCabe’s deputy, and Strzok, the former head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, revealed startling partisan animus against Donald Trump. The texts indicate Page interned for Hillary or Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They also show that Page, Strzok, and McCabe discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump defeated Clinton in the 2016 election. Page explained to Congress that the “insurance policy” text referred to the Russia investigation. Thus, by the time McCabe sent Page and Strzok to the Mueller team, McCabe participated in at least one meeting in which Strzok suggesting using the Russia investigation to respond to a surprise election result.

Strozk would be given the opportunity to use this “insurance policy” on the Mueller team—that is, until the embarrassed special counsel removed both Strzok and Page when their partisan text messages came to light. Mueller quietly returned their phones to the FBI, resulting in their deletion and ensuring even more partisan texts would be lost forever.

Jeannie Rhee: Rhee gave the maximum personal donations to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015 and 2016. Rhee would have been well-known to Clinton allies from her successful defense of the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit seeking the secretary of state’s emails.

As noted by Fox News, Rhee “has a history of working with prominent Democrats, serving as a special assistant to then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, and as counsel to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on the Senate Judiciary Committee.” Rhee has such an extensive history advancing Hillary Clinton’s agenda that one news outlet dubbed her “Hillary’s Attack Dog.”

Rhee has appeared in court on behalf of Mueller’s team in the Concord Management and Paul Manafortcases, where her apparent conflicts of interests have been argued by both defendants.

Rod Rosenstein: The departing deputy attorney general first met Robert Mueller in his first job out of Harvard Law School. Rosenstein landed an internship in office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, where Mueller was in charge. Rosenstein idolized Mueller and could have been counted upon to appoint his old boss as the special counsel.

Rosenstein is a registered Republican, which would have been necessary for the Trump Administration to trust him in the role as second-in-command of the Justice Department. So he might not have been an obvious choice for Clinton’s allies at first. But it’s worth recalling that Rosenstein worked for the Clinton Administration throughout most of the 1990s. He then worked for Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s investigation into then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s role in several scandals that plagued her husband’s administration. In 2000, Starr’s office (presumably at Rosenstein’s recommendation) declined to prosecute Clinton for her role in the White House Travel Office scandal.

Rosenstein reportedly oversees U.S. Attorney John Huber’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s emails, and Clinton dirty tricks during the election. Reports are that the investigation is a sham. Few or none of the key witnesses have been contacted.

It’s also been apparent that Rosenstein has been disabled by his obvious conflict of interests and cannot effectively supervise the probe. In this sense, he is the ideal boss for subordinate investigators who want to pursue their agenda unmolested.

It is also worth remembering that Rosenstein was asked to commit to appointing a special counsel during his confirmation hearing on March 7, 2017. Six days earlier, unnamed Justice Department officials engineered the elevation the yet-unconfirmed Rosenstein to oversee the potential special counsel when the Washington Post quoted anonymous sources smearing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with leaks about innocuous meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions’ capacity as a U.S. senator. The leaks worked and Sessions recused himself on March 2. Former FBI Director James Comey flatters himself that his firing and leaking prompted the appointment of a special counsel. It was clearly already in the works.

Robert Mueller: If one wanted a special counsel motivated to avenge Comey’s firing, Mueller would be your man. In addition to his long-standing relationship with Andrew Weissmann, Mueller has a close friendship with Comey. Mueller helped coach Comey for his infamous congressional testimony following his termination.

While neither Mueller nor Comey seem particularly in-the-tank for Clinton, both have a history of letting subordinate investigations run amuck, making Mueller an ideal supervisor for hyperpartisans like Weissmann and Rhee. In addition to Mueller’s history with the Enron task force, Mueller looked the other way during serious FBI misconduct in Boston during the Whitey Bulger era (leading to witnesses being framed) and both Comey and Mueller allowed the FBI to target and harass an innocent scientist in the anthrax investigation. Mueller, also reputed to be a Republican, may have put a bipartisan face on the investigation. But based on Mueller’s history, it’s reasonable to question whether he has ceded real control to his partisan underlings.

Other Members of the Mueller Team: An unidentified lawyer working on the Mueller team sent texts, including “viva la resistance,” and “I am numb,” responding to news of Trump’s presidential election victory. Mueller team member Aaron Zelinsky worked for Rosenstein before joining the Mueller team. Team member Elizabeth Prelogar clerked for openly Trump-hating U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

There are 1.34 million attorneys in the United States. Yet that pool was apparently too small to avoid appointing to the special counsel staff attorneys who had a stake in undoing the 2016 election and unseating President Trump. We’ve come a long way from the Watergate era, when Independent Counsel Archibald Cox and his team were deliberately drawn from players unconnected to the scandal or partisan politics.

The facts speak for themselves. The Mueller team was a revenge squad and any report it produces should be reviewed in that context.

https://www.amgreatness.com/2019/02/24/when-you-read-muellers-report-remember-how-it-all-started/

Story 2: Stock Market Falls Due to Possibility of No United States Trade Agreement With Communist China — Ability To Enforce Agreement Is Crucial –Videos

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US Trade Rep stresses caution on China deal

U.S. trade deal with China will not give Trump leverage in North Korea talks, says Niall Ferguson

President Trump is trying to fix a US-China trade problem that has festered for months: Bob Lutz

 

Story 3: President Trump ‘s Bombshell Explosive Address To Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — Videos

President Trump attacks Democrats, socialism and Mueller probe in fiery CPAC speech

The most bizarre moments from Donald Trump’s CPAC speech

President Trump: “They are trying to take you out with bull****”

Highlights from U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC 2019

URGENT 🔴 President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech at CPAC 2019

Donald Trump addresses Conservative Political Action Conference

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1183, December 6, 2018, Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: Time Running Out For $25 Billion of Federal Funding of Wall — Trump Should Not Sign Any Bills Without Inclusion of Wall Funding of $25 Billion — Shut Government Down — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos — Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured. –The Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.”

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018, Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt To Get Trump — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos — Story 2: Authoritarianism of Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos

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Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos —

Why Mueller isn’t having success with Manafort

Potential impact of Manafort trial on Russia probe

Jury Selected In First Day Of Paul Manafort Trial | Katy Tur | MSNBC

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Giuliani: Mueller probe not a legitimate investigation

 

Prosecutors’ opening statement: ‘Paul Manafort lied’

Jury seated in Paul Manafort trial 01:32

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN)Prosecutors accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, in opening statements that kicked off Manafort’s trial on Tuesday.

Manafort lived an “extravagant lifestyle” fueled by millions of dollars in “secret income” that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine, said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Manafort became wealthy from the “cash spigot” that came from working for his “golden goose in Ukraine,” former President Viktor Yanukovych, Asonye said.
“All of these charges boil down to one simple issue: that Paul Manafort lied,” Asonye said. “Manafort placed himself and his money over the law.”
The case against Manafort outlined by prosecutors on Tuesday represents a new phase in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling — the first jury trial stemming from the probe that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked as a “witch hunt.”

In opening statements for the defense, Manafort’s defense attorney Thomas Zehnle laid out the bare bones of his side of the case, shifting much of the blame to the Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort worked for and the business associates he worked with.
“This is the way that they required it to be done,” Zehnle said, arguing why oligarchs paid Manafort through secret foreign accounts. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Manafort hid 30 foreign bank accounts from US authorities.
Of Manafort’s associates, like longtime deputy Rick Gates, Zehnle said, “he trusted them to speak with one another and make sure things were done right.” Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in Manafort’s alleged financial conspiracy and is slated to testify against him.
Both men were top officials in Trump’s campaign, but that is not part of the criminal case against Manafort in this trial.
Zehnle specifically attacked Gates and called him “the prosecution’s star witness.”
Manafort is facing 18 charges, including accusations of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and defrauding several banks. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 305 years in prison. He has denied all charges.
Manafort arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a black suit, with his hair neatly parted.

Luxurious spending habits

To demonstrate Manafort’s lavish spending habits, Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in New York and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket “made from an ostrich.”
As he started delivering his opening statement, Asonye earned a near-immediate rebuke from Judge T.S. Ellis, who told him not to tell jurors that “the evidence will show” that the allegations against Manafort are true.
During his preliminary instructions to the jury, Ellis reminded told jurors that “you and you alone are the sole judges to the facts in this case.”
The opening statements were delivered not long after the jury was selected and sworn in on Tuesday. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women. There are also four alternates, three women and a man.
Ellis had given the pool of 65 potential jurors an overview of the charges against Manafort, though he reminded the group that the indictment “is not evidence of any guilt whatsoever.”
The pool was also nearly evenly split between men and women. The group was predominantly white, with fewer than a dozen nonwhite potential jurors. Most were comfortably middle-aged.
Nine potential jurors indicated they have connections to the Justice Department, including four who said they were current or former federal employees. Two joked that they were “recovering attorneys.” All affirmed that they could handle the case without any bias.
None said they knew Manafort, his lawyers or their law firms.
One younger woman said she knew Justice Department attorneys from her work at a Silicon Valley-based tech company. Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

‘Witch hunt’

The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Manafort was a senior Trump campaign aide and he led the campaign for several months, but the charges are not directly related to campaign activity, as the White House has repeatedly emphasized.
“The judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, no mention of Trump, Russia or collusion,” senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.”
While Trump has repeatedly railed against Manafort and the “witch hunt” on Twitter in recent weeks, he has not tweeted about Manafort specifically in more than a month. He said June 15 that Manafort received a “tough sentence” after his bond was revoked over allegations of witness tampering.
Manafort faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges. Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on US real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans.
Before jury selection got underway, Ellis said he did not plan to offer decisions on Tuesday about all of the documents that Manafort’s team wants to keep out of the trial. They hope to prevent jurors from seeing some documents and photos from Manafort’s lobbying work in Ukraine.
Instead, the judge gave broad directions to the prosecutors: Try to reduce the number of Ukrainian documents given to the jury, use testimony to add context and don’t refer to individual documents in opening statements.
Ellis said he thinks “the government’s correct” in using the documents to broadly show how Manafort made his money. Prosecutors say Manafort made $60 million from his work.

Appeals court rejects request to be freed

Manafort appears likely to remain in jail throughout his trial after a federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected his request to overturn a lower court’s decision to send him to jail before trial.
Tuesday’s ruling from a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was unanimous.
Manafort’s bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.
The appellate judges said Manafort was rightfully jailed because he had decided “to push the envelope by contributing to an op-ed in a foreign newspaper” while under a gag order, and also had “repeated communications with potential witnesses” for his upcoming trial. In addition to his Virginia case, Manafort faces lobbying-related charges in Washington.
The panel agreed with some of Manafort’s arguments, for instance that the gag order in his Virginia case was somewhat ambiguous. But it ultimately said this wasn’t enough to look past Manafort’s conduct and set him free from jail.

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Michael Parenti

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Michael Parenti
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Michael Parenti
Born Michael John Parenti
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Political scientisthistorianmedia critic
Nationality American
Education City College of New YorkB.A.
Brown UniversityM.A.
Yale UniversityPh.D.
Subject Historypoliticseconomics
Children Christian Parenti
Website
michaelparenti.org

Michael John Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest lecturer before campus and community audiences.[1][2]

 

Education and personal life

Michael Parenti was raised in an Italian-American working-class family and neighborhood in New York City about which he has written.[3] He received a BA from City College of New York, an MA from Brown University, and his PhD in political science from Yale University. Parenti is the father of Christian Parenti, an author and contributor to The Nation magazine.

Career

For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[4] He is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages.[5] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad.

Parenti’s writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economyimperialismfascismcommunismdemocratic socialismfree-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religionancient historymodern historyhistoriography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalismsexismracismVenezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.[6][7][8] His influential book Democracy for the Few,[9] now in its ninth edition, is a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[10] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as “Empires: Past and Present,” “US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq,” “Race, Gender, and Class Power,” “Ideology and History,” “The Collapse of Communism,” and “Terrorism and Globalization.”[5]

In 1974, Parenti ran in Vermont on the Liberty Union Party ticket for U.S. Congress and received 7% of the vote.[11]

In the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and an award from New Jersey Peace Action.[citation needed]

He served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored. He also is on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, and Education Without Borders; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[12]

Writings

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

In 2000, Verso Books published Parenti’s To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia.[13] According to Kirkus Reviews: “Parenti dissents from every piece of conventional wisdom about the former Yugoslavia’s breakup, the Kosovo crisis, and the NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian state in purported support of the Kosovar Albanians. Instead, he assembles an alternate history in which an American-led coalition backed by aggressive financial interests precipitated the civil war and the profoundly destructive air campaign that killed at least 3,000 civilians.”[13] Publishers Weekly’s review stated: “Parenti gives an unabashedly critical assessment of this intervention, based on a solid and passionate rejection of Western leaders’ ‘lies’ about events in the Balkans and Western interests in that part of the world. Readers not familiar with his leftist analysis may find Parenti’s dismissal of NATO’s justification for its 1999 bombing campaign shocking or silly; others may find it thought-provoking.”[14]

The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome

External video
 Booknotes interview with Parenti on The Assassination of Julius Caesar, September 7, 2003C-SPAN

In 2003 The New Press published Parenti’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome.[15] PW said, “Parenti… narrates a provocative history of the late republic in Rome (100–33 B.C.) to demonstrate that Caesar’s death was the culmination of growing class conflict, economic disparity and political corruption.”[16] Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Populist historian Parenti… views ancient Rome’s most famous assassination not as a tyrannicide but as a sanguinary scene in the never-ending drama of class warfare.”[15] Kirkus Reviews described the book as “revisionist history at its most provocative.”[15] Political Affairs wrote: “This is an excellent book and a good read.”[17]

God and His Demons

Prometheus Books published Parenti’s 2010 book, God and His Demons.[18] Writing for the San Francisco ChronicleDon Lattin said: “God and his Demons is a depressing, mean-spirited book. Much of it is a recounting of the usual suspects we find in the new wave of atheist chic nonfiction – targets like Islamist extremists, TV preachers, child-molesting Catholic priests, Christian-right political operatives, creationists, cult leaders and, for historical context, a reminder that the Crusades and the Inquisition were no picnic either, along with a tired recounting of all those troublesome passages in the Hebrew Bible and the anti-Semitism in much New Testament translation.”[18] Calling it an “angry volume” that “makes no clear argument”, Publishers Weekly said: “His condescending tirade is directed not so much at religion as at human beings whom—one gets the impression—he can barely suffer.”[19]

Appearances in media

Apart from several recordings of some of his public speeches, Parenti has also appeared in the 1992 documentary Panama Deception, the 2004 Liberty Bound and 2013 Fall and Winter documentaries as an author and social commentator.

Parenti was interviewed in Boris Malagurski‘s documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014). He was also interviewed for two episodes of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, speaking briefly about the Dalai Lama (Episode 305 – Holier Than Thou) and patriotism (Episode 508 – Mount Rushmore).

New York City-based punk rock band Choking Victim use a number of samples from Michael Parenti’s lectures in their album, No Gods, No Managers.

Bibliography

References

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

By Mollie Hemingway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That can’t happen.

Why A Second Special Counsel?

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

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

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

Schiff’s Case For a Special Counsel

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

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

The Leakers’ Case For a Special Counsel

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

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

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

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

Does Sessions Care About Charges Of Corruption At DOJ?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Gun control measures proposed by Trump

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

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

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

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

Tucker: Trump betraying core campaign promises on guns

Tucker: Assault weapons ban will not stop mass killings

Trump talks gun control with bipartisan group of lawmakers

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

Cornyn: Gun meeting with Trump was ‘brainstorming session’

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

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

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

Trump: Take People’s Guns Away!

Trump Suggest Taking Guns Before Due Process Of Law

Trump criticized for ‘take the firearms first’ comments

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video playing bottom right…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then Trump chimed in to back up Feinstein.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Sanders denies that Trump softened stance on gun age limit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Who Is Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director?

Hope Hicks to resign: President Trump losing trusted adviser

Hope Hicks resigning from White House

White House turmoil intensifies

What Hope Hicks’s departure says about the White House

Schiff: Hicks refused to discuss Trump administration

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

White House communications director Hope Hicks to resign

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

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

Published on Feb 28, 2018

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

Hope Hicks named most powerful person in Washington

Hope Hicks Now in Spotlight Surrounding White House Domestic Abuse Scandal

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

Hope Hicks Is The New White House Communications Director

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turnover, investigations have Trump administration adrift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graphic shows key departures from Trump administration.

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

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

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

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

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

___

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

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 896, May 18, 2017, Story 1: A Broadcasting Legend, Roger Ailes, Dies at Age 77, Rest in Peace — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Tweets: “The is The Single Greatest Witch Hunt of A Politician in American History” — Special Counsel: Bad Idea — Robert Mueller: Good Choice — Videos

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Image result for roger ailes dead at 77Image result for roger ailes and familyImage result for cartoons branco trump witch huntImage result for trump russian investigation a witch hunt

Story 1: A Broadcasting Legend, Roger Ailes, Dies at Age 77, Rest in Peace — Videos

Image result for roger ailes and familyImage result for roger ailes and family

Rupert Murdoch statement on Roger Ailes’ passing

Brit Hume on the life and legacy of Roger Ailes

Sean Hannity: I am forever grateful for Roger Ailes

Martha MacCallum remembers Roger Ailes

Rush Limbaugh Remembers Roger Ailes: “Roger And I Were Passengers In History”

Neil Cavuto remembers Roger Ailes

Gutfeld remembers Roger Ailes

The Sean Hannity Show May 18, 2017 || Remembering Roger Ailes

Laura Ingraham Show 5/18/17 – (FULL) Roger Ailes Built Success By Out Thinking His Competitors

Mark Levin Show: Tribute to Roger Ailes (audio from 05-18-2017)

Glenn & Bill React To Roger Aile’s Death | Bill O’Reilly’s First Interview Since Fox News Exit

Bill O’Reilly No Spin News: Paying Respects To Roger Ailes(RIP) & Hysterical Press (5/18/2017)

Rachel Maddow On The Passing Of Roger Ailes: ‘I Considered Him To Be A Friend’

Kimberly Guilfoyle pays tribute to Roger Ailes

Shepard Smith pays tribute to Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes, Who Built Fox News Into an Empire, Dies at 77

Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes dead at 77

Remembering Roger Ailes

World reacts to the death of Roger Ailes

Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes dead at 77

Roger Ailes leaves behind complicated legacy

Lionel Nation YouTube Live Stream: Roger Ailes Eulogium, Mueller the DNC Nightmare & Comey the Clown

Fox News anchors learned of the death of former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes from Drudge

  • Fox News anchors learned of death of former chairman and CEO from Drudge
  • Fox published a breaking news segment on Twitter following Roger Ailes’ death
  • Steve Doocy said: ‘They have published, Drudge has, a statement from his wife’
  • Ainsley Earhardt added: ‘Beth you are in our thoughts and our prayers, and so is Zachary, their beautiful son. Roger, rest in peace.’
  • Ailes died aged 77, according to his wife, who released statement to Matt Drudge
Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77, his wife Elizabeth revealed in a statement on Thursday

Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77, his wife Elizabeth revealed in a statement on Thursday

Fox News anchors only learned of the death of its former chairman and CEO from Drudge Report.

Roger Ailes died aged 77, according to his wife Elizabeth, who released a statement to Matt Drudge.

In a breaking news segment tweeted by the network on Thursday morning, Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy reported: ‘Roger Ailes, one of the founders of the Fox News channel has died.

‘They have published, Drudge has, a statement from his wife Elizabeth.’

The statement was then read out before Ainsley Earhardt added: ‘Beth you are in our thoughts and our prayers, and so is Zachary, their beautiful son. Roger, rest in peace.’

His death comes less than a year after he resigned from the company over allegations of sexual harassment.

His wife Elizabeth, with whom he has one son, said: ‘I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.

‘He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise — and to give back.

‘During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions.

‘And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life,’ the statement reads.

Steve Doocy (left) reported: ‘Roger Ailes, one of the founders of the Fox News channel has died'

Steve Doocy (left) reported: ‘Roger Ailes, one of the founders of the Fox News channel has died’

There was no further information on the cause of Ailes’ death. He celebrated his 77th birthday on Monday.

Ailes had struggled with his health. He had hemophilia, multiple surgeries to replace his joints and a secret prostate surgery a few years ago that put him on an extended leave from the network, according to New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman.

Last year, Sherman reported that Ailes was still having trouble walking and rarely left his executive suite.

A friend who ran into Ailes in Palm Beach over the 2015-2016 holidays told the magazine that he was using a walker at the time.

In an excerpt from the 2013 biography Roger Ailes Off Camera, Ailes said he knew he didn’t have long left to live.

‘My doctor told me that I’m old, fat, and ugly, but none of those things is going to kill me immediately,’ he told the author, Zev Chafets, shortly before his 72nd birthday. ‘The actuaries say I have six to eight years. The best tables give me 10. Three thousand days, more or less.’

He added: ‘I’d give anything for another 10 years.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4518872/Fox-News-learned-Roger-Ailes-death-Drudge.html#ixzz4hSwIC0Lw

Michael Wolff on Roger Ailes’ Final Days and a Complicated Murdoch Relationship

Matt Furman
Roger Ailes in his Fox News office in 2014.

The Fox News exec understood the intensity of the unhappiness and anger in another America that liberal media people are only now waking up to with Donald Trump.

I made a mental note last night to call Roger in the morning and get his take on the Trump events of the last few days. There are few conversations more entertaining and insightful than Roger Ailes on Republican politics, where he’s known all the players, their strengths and particularly their weaknesses. While the bet noir to liberals, his most scathing and often hilarious critiques have often been reserved for conservatives. His 50 years among the kahunas of GOP politics — as one of the creators of modern Republican politics — made him, among his other political claims to fame, among his party’s sharpest observers. On his friend Donald Trump, no one has been keener. But at 8:30 this morning, his wife Beth texted me that he had died a few minutes ago at age 77.

It was a particular cruelty of the anti-Ailes press that it often focused on Beth, with rumors of a breakdown in their marriage and impending divorce. In fact, she was fierce in her devotion to him, and his most implacable defender. In the 10 months since he had been forced out as chairman of Fox News Channel, the network —arguably, the most significant political force in American life for a generation — that he launched, built and ran for 20 years, she carried him. This past autumn, after their hard summer of accusations and media conviction, she had flown down to Palm Beach and bought for themselves a waterfront mansion, where she hoped he would retire and where living well would at least be some revenge.

Retirement was more Beth’s idea than his. Roger and I spoke a week ago, just after the last ouster at Fox — Bill Shine, his lieutenant who had taken over his job, following by a week the ouster of Bill O’Reilly — and, invariably, the subject was Fox’s quickly eroding fortunes and the possibilities for a new conservative network. Roger, yet proscribed by the non-compete provisions of his separation agreement, nevertheless had a plan in his head, and was taking calls. “I can’t call. But I can’t stop people from calling me,” he said. As we spoke, Beth texted pictures of their view and of a newly svelte Roger lying lazily in the sun.

All things considered, it was a happy winter. Or, anyway, he was certainly weighing the benefits of being out of the office and out of the fray. Still, clearly, both he and Beth could only get so far from the bitterness they felt about his end at Fox. Worse still, the terms of his departure from Fox put draconian limits on what he could say and how he might defend himself. The payout that he believed he had earned — having created a $30 billion asset and 21st Century Fox’s most profitable business — was the price of his silence. The most voluble and pugnacious man in American media was forced to keep still.

But privately, angrily, he couldn’t wait to settle scores.

In his view, the political showdown that was always bound to happen — which, to me, he had predicted several years before — had finally happened, albeit uglier, and with more finality, than he had ever expected. “They got the memo,” he said, with some forbearance. “If you strike the king, you better kill him.”

James Murdoch

Michael Wolff: It’s James Murdoch’s Fox News Now

By “they,” he meant Rupert Murdoch’s sons. And most particularly James Murdoch, who, two years ago, was elevated to CEO of his father’s company, who Ailes regarded as an impetuous, grandiose, self-satisfied rich kid. Wryly, he admitted bringing this feud on himself. “I made the money those kids spent. So, no, I wasn’t going to suck up to them.”

Indeed, not long before his ouster, Ailes had enraged James by going around his back and helping to convince his father to squelch a plan for a new, temple-like 21st Century Fox headquarters that James wanted to build.

The relationship of Ailes to Murdoch senior, often his loyal patron but frequently just a boss stuck having to indulge his highest earner, was also always a fraught one. When I wrote my Murdoch biography in 2009, one of the few stipulations of my access to Murdoch was that I not interview Ailes, who, I gathered, Rupert felt got too much credit for the company’s success.

In July, over a two week period of press leaks after former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, Ailes was ousted without opportunity to defend himself. Even when James hired the law firm Paul, Weiss, to investigate the charges against Ailes, Ailes himself wasn’t called. In effect, in order to get his payout, he had to accept his disgrace — and it was enough money that he agreed to what he surely considered a devil’s bargain.

It is, of course, impossible to know what might be true or not. And now it can never entirely be known. Surely, his political enemies, the legions of them, were concerned much less for the truth than that he be gone. As surely, less is true than what the various lawsuits allege, because that is the nature of lawsuits. All of us who know what Roger reflexively talks like, irascibly, caustically and with retrograde vividness, give him, at least privately, the benefit of the doubt.

In the end, the larger story is about someone who, from Nixon’s “silent majority” to Reagan’s “Reagan Democrats” to Fox News, understood the intensity of the unhappiness and anger in another America that we liberal media people are only now waking up to with Donald Trump.

More personally, when you’re in the media business, what you look for is someone who is at the top of his craft, who understands the real score, who knows how to gossip and who has stories to tell. If you missed knowing Roger, you missed out.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michael-wolff-roger-ailes-final-days-a-complicated-murdoch-relationship-1005194

Image result for cartoons department of justice special couselor

Image result for trump tweet with all the illegal acts

Image result for cartoons branco trump witch hunt

Image result for cartoons branco trump witch hunt

 

Image result for cartoons branco hillary clinton public corruption

Image result for cartoons branco hillary clinton public corruption

Image result for cartoons branco hillary clinton public corruptionImage result for cartoons branco hillary clinton public corruption

Robert Meuller Named Special Prosecutor in Trump-Russia Probe. Tucker and Jason Chaffetz Weigh In.

Trump Blasts Russia Investigation as a ‘Witch Hunt’ on Twitter

Explaining Robert Mueller’s New Role as Special Counsel

While Most Sing Mueller’s Praises, Louie Gohmert Says He’s a Big Problem!

Bill Bennett talks pros and cons of Russia special counsel

Ingraham: Left has been trying to impeach since Election Day

What does special counsel mean for the Russia probe?

As special counsel, Mueller to have significant power in Russia probe

Brit Hume: Mueller is the grownup needed for Russia probe

Remarks from Robert Mueller III

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead lyrics

Play “Ding Dong! The Witc…”
on Amazon Music
Munchkins
Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She’s gone where the goblins go,
Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!
Mayor
As Mayor of the Munchkin City, In the County of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most regally.
Barrister
But we’ve got to verify it legally, to see
Mayor
To see?
Barrister
If she
Mayor
If she?
Barrister
Is morally, ethic’lly
Father No.1
Spiritually, physically
Father No. 2
Positively, absolutely
Munchkins
Undeniably and reliably Dead
Coroner
As Coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her.
And she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.
Mayor
Then this is a day of Independence For all the Munchkins and their descendants
Barrister
If any.
Mayor
Yes, let the joyous news be spread The wicked Old Witch at last is dead!

A Special Enemy

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was born and bred to torment Donald Trump.

Donald Trump went to sleep Wednesday night with a new enemy outside his window: former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

LEON NEYFAKH

Leon Neyfakh is a Slate staff writer.

Mueller, a 72-year-old former prosecutor who left the FBI in 2013, has been called upon by the Justice Department to serve as a special counsel to investigate Trump and his associates. In accordance with an order issued Wednesday by the deputy attorney general, it will be up to Mueller—whose last name is pronounced Muh-lur—to decide whether anyone involved in the Trump campaign should be charged with a crime. “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability,” Mueller said in a statement Wednesday.

Even if Mueller’s investigation doesn’t result in any charges being brought, it’s almost certain Mueller and his team will end up asking Trump questions he doesn’t want to answer and demanding to see documents he doesn’t want to provide. Barring a drastic change in Trump’s disposition, the president will respond to these affronts by publishing angry tweets about Mueller and snarling about him in interviews. Maybe he’ll even compare him to a “dog,” as he did recently when talking about former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Or perhaps he could threaten Mueller, as he did last week in a tweet directed at former FBI Director James Comey.

While Trump loathes a lot of people, his hatred of Mueller is likely to be particularly intense. That’s because Mueller is exactly the kind of guy Trump always hates. He’s also exactly the kind of law enforcement official Trump doesn’t understand.

Raised in a wealthy suburb of Philadelphia, Mueller has Roman numerals in his name and attended a New Hampshire boarding school alongside John Kerry. Later, he followed in his father’s footsteps to Princeton, where he played lacrosse, and received a master’s from New York University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. According to NPR, former CIA Director George Tenet described Mueller in 2013 as a “high Protestant with a locked jaw [and a] blue blazer, khaki pants, penny loafers, maybe a little Vitalis and Old Spice to boot.”

Mueller was an oddity at the FBI, said Tim Weiner, author of Enemies: A History of the FBI. “There are not a lot of people named Robert Swan Mueller III in the directory of the FBI,” he told me. “Bobby is very patrician. He’s very well-bred.”

It helped that Mueller was also a Marine who fought in Vietnam, having served as the leader of a rifle platoon and been awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Journalists who’ve profiled him invariably note that Mueller’s time in the Marines shaped him profoundly and informed his demanding leadership style. When David Margolis showed up to his first day of work as Mueller’s deputy at the FBI, on the Monday after George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001, he discovered an unsigned note on his desk that was unmistakably from Mueller: “It’s 0700. Where are you?”

Sworn in exactly one week before 9/11, Mueller found himself in charge of fixing a broken FBI that had failed to make sense of crucial clues before the attacks. Writing in Time in 2011, Barton Gellman described the state of the bureau before Mueller’s arrival: “The labor force—heavily white and male, with a blue collar culture that prized physical courage over book smarts lacked the language and technical skills to adapt.” Gellman explained that in the aftermath of 9/11, questions arose as to whether the FBI “was irreparably broken, ill equipped to collect intelligence and disinclined to share it anyway.”

Over the course of 12 years, Mueller worked to transform the agency into an organization that could both hold people responsible for past crimes and suss out malfeasance that hadn’t yet been committed—terrorist plots in particular. Mueller, Gellman wrote, “remade the bureau in his image,” as “[o]utsiders displaced agents with badges and guns as assistant directors in charge of finance, human resources, information technology and the directorate of weapons of mass destruction.” In his office, according to a Washingtonian piece by Garrett Graff, Mueller kept shelves lined with “counterterrorism books, manuals on IT and computers, and business books on such topics as ‘change management’ by corporate thinkers like Jack Welch.” Only a “tiny section,” Graff wrote, was “devoted to crime.”

Mueller, who is not an imposing street soldier who wears a cool uniform, doesn’t fit Trump’s image of a law enforcement official. As evidenced by the fact that villainous Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke appears to have landed a job in the Department of Homeland Security, Trump prefers guys who are cartoonishly “tough on crime.” He also tends to focus his political attention on rank-and-file members of police unions, presenting himself as a friend to regular cops while ignoring the senior “brass” who tell them what to do.  Trump has refused to even acknowledge the memo he was sent in February in which a raft of high-profile police chiefs—including Bill Bratton from the NYPD and David Brown, who was head of the Dallas Police Department at the time of the deadly sniper attack that killed five officers—urged him to reconsider his preferred crime-reduction strategy of putting as many people as possible in prison for as long as the law allows.

It’s possible, though unlikely, that under different circumstances Trump would be impressed by a fancy, smart guy like Mueller and would try to impress him back. But there’s one more thing about Mueller that’s going to make it impossible for Trump to show him any respect: The former FBI director is practically blood brothers with James Comey.

The bond between the two men was forged in early 2004—years before Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI director. Comey, who was then serving as the deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft, was locked in a high-stakes dispute with George W. Bush, who wanted to overrule the Justice Department’s conclusion that an NSA domestic surveillance program was illegal. As Graff tells it in his Washingtonian piece, Ashcroft was in a hospital room recovering from surgery when he was ambushed by a pair of White House aides. Here’s Graff:

Comey was driving home on Constitution Avenue with his security escort of U.S. marshals the night of Tuesday, March 10, 2004, when he got a call. … White House chief of staff Andy Card and White House counsel [Alberto] Gonzales were on their way to see Ashcroft in the hospital.

Comey told his driver to turn on the emergency lights and head to the hospital. Then he began calling other Justice officials to rally them at George Washington University Hospital.

Mueller was at dinner with his wife and daughter when he got the call from Comey at 7:20 pm. “I’ll be right there,” he said.

In 2007, Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believed Card and Gonzales intended to use Ashcroft’s semiconscious state to get the attorney general to sign off on the surveillance program he had previously opposed. By intercepting them in Ashcroft’s hospital room, Comey and Mueller may have prevented the Bush administration officials from getting the attorney general’s signature. (Comey said in his testimony that Ashcroft made the ultimate decision to rebuff Card and Gonzales.) They also helped put the White House and the Justice Department on course for an epic confrontation. Not long after the incident at the hospital, Mueller told Bush he would resign if the surveillance program continued. Bush, realizing he faced a situation on par with Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” backed down. Afterward, Graff wrote, Mueller and Comey “shared a dark laugh” before going back to work.

“I think that experience, of having to stand together and say, ‘No, Mr. President, you can’t do this,’ really mind-melded them,” said Weiner. “It was a moment of brotherhood.”

At this point, no friend of Jim Comey is ever going to be a friend of Donald Trump, especially when he’s leading the same investigation that Comey led before his ouster. Odds are good, in fact, that Trump will use Mueller’s closeness with Comey to accuse him of bias and question the legitimacy of his inquiry.

If and when Trump does go after Mueller—he dipped his toe in the water Thursday morning by tweeting about how it was unfair that a special counsel had been appointed to conduct the “witch hunt” against him—their showdown will be marked by a pleasing irony. In one corner will be the patrician and brainy Mueller, who has little in common with the “real cops” the president so admires. In the other will be Trump, who will soon find out what being ”tough on crime” really means. …

THE SCOPE OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL APPOINTMENT IS TOTALLY INADEQUATE

Rod Rosenstein just appointed former FBI Director (and, before that, US Attorney) Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to take over the investigation into Trump and his associates.

I’m agnostic about the selection of Mueller. He has the benefit of credibility among FBI Agents, so will be able to make up for some of what was lost with Jim Comey’s firing. He will be regarded by those who care about such things as non-partisan. With Jim Comey, Mueller stood up to Dick Cheney on Stellar Wind in 2004 (though I think in reality his willingness to withstand Cheney’s demands has been overstated).

But Mueller has helped cover up certain things in the past, most notably with the Amerithrax investigation.

My bigger concern is with the scope, which I believe to be totally inadequate.

Here’s how the order describes the scope:

(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James 8. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

As I read this, it covers just the investigation into ties between the Russian government and people associated with Trump’s campaign. Presumably, that includes Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page, among others.

But there are other aspects of the great swamp that is the Trump and Russia orbit that might not be included here. For example, would Manafort’s corrupt deals with Ukrainian oligarchs be included? Would Flynn’s discussions with Turkish officials, or Rudy Giuliani’s attempt to excuse Turkey’s violation of Iran sanctions? Would the garden variety money laundering on behalf of non-governmental Russian mobbed up businessmen be included, something that might affect Manafort, Jared Kushner, or Trump himself?

And remember there are at least two other aspects of the Russian hacking investigation. Back in February, Reuters reported that San Francisco’s office was investigating Guccifer 2.0 and Pittsburgh was investigating the actual hackers.  Somewhere (San Francisco would be the most logical spot), they’re presumably investigating whoever it is that has been dumping NSA’s hacking tools everywhere. I’ve learned that that geography has either changed, or there are other aspects tied to those issues in other corners of the country.

Plus, there’s the Wikileaks investigation in EDVA, the same district where the Mueller-led investigation might reside, but a distinct investigation.

Any one of those investigations might present strings that can be pulled, any one of which might lead to the unraveling of the central question: did Trump’s associates coordinate with the Russian government to become President. Unless Mueller can serve to protect those other corners of the investigation from Trump’s tampering, it would be easy to shut down any of them as they become productive.

Yet, as far as I understand the scope of this, Mueller will only oversee the central question, leaving those disparate ends susceptible to Trump’s tampering.

Update: In its statement on the appointment, ACLU raises concerns about whether this would include the investigation into Trump’s attempt to obstruct this investigation.

Update: WaPo’s Philip Rucker reminds that Mueller is law firm partners with Jamie Gorelick, who has been representing both Ivanka and Kushner in this issue.

Update: Mueller is quitting WilmberHale to take this gig. He’s also taking two WilmerHale former FBI people with him. Still, that’s a close tie to the lawyer of someone representing key subjects of this investigation.

Update: One addition to the ACLU concern about investigating the Comey firing. In the most directly relevant precedent, the Plame investigation, when Pat Fitzgerald expanded his investigation from the leak of Plame’s identity to the obstruction of the investigation, he asked for approval to do so from the Acting Attorney General overseeing the investigation — in that case, Jim Comey.

The Acting Attorney General in this case is Rod Rosenstein. So if Mueller were as diligent as Fitzgerald was, he would have to ask the guy who provided the fig leaf for Comey’s firing to approve the expansion of the investigation to cover his own fig leaf.

Update: Petey noted to me that Jeff Sessions’ narrow recusal may limit how broadly Rosenstein’s order may be drawn. It’s a really interesting observation. Here’s what I said about Sessions’ recusal (which is very similar to what I tried to address in this post).

There are two areas of concern regarding Trump’s ties that would not definitively be included in this recusal: Trump’s long-term ties to mobbed up businessmen with ties to Russia (a matter not known to be under investigation but which could raise concerns about compromise of Trump going forward), and discussions about policy that may involve quid pro quos (such as the unproven allegation, made in the Trump dossier, that Carter Page might take 19% in Rosneft in exchange for ending sanctions against Russia), that didn’t involve a pay-off in terms of the hacking. There are further allegations of Trump involvement in the hacking (a weak one against Paul Manafort and a much stronger one against Michael Cohen, both in the dossier), but that’s in no way the only concern raised about Trump’s ties with Russians.

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The Pronk Pops Show 895, June 17, 2017, Breaking: Story 1: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Appoints Former FBI Director Robert Mueller Special Counsel To Investigate Russia’s Influence in U.S. Presidential 2016 Election — Videos — Story 2: The President of United States Is The FBI Director’s Boss — Absolutely No Obstruction of Justice — Former FBI Director Went Along With President Obama and Let Hillary Clinton Off — A Real Case of Obstruction of Justice By Obama and Comey — Prosecute Clinton, Obama, and Comey — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Goes On Offense — “But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.” — Videos —

Posted on May 17, 2017. Filed under: American History, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Impeachment, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Medicare, National Security Agency, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, Videos, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Breaking: Story 1: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Appoints Former FBI Director Robert Mueller  Special Counsel To Investigate Russia’s Influence in U.S. Presidential 2016 Election — Videos — 

 

Robert Mueller named special counsel for FBI Russia probe– 

FBI Director Meuller to lead Trump-Russia probe

Robert Mueller Former FBI Director Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation

FBI Director Mueller Reflects on His 12-Year Term

Published on Aug 30, 2013

On the eve of his departure from the FBI after 12 years as Director, Robert S. Mueller reflects on the important role of the Bureau’s personnel and partners in the FBI mission.

Leadership in Context: Transforming the FBI in an Uncertain World

Uploaded on Oct 13, 2009

FBI Director Robert Mueller assumed his role on September 4, 2001, only a week before the 9/11 attack. In his talk, he discussed efforts to radically change the focus and mindset at the FBI following the attacks, shifting from a reactive stance to one that prevents such events from occurring in the future. He discussed the shift in priorities immediately following 9/11, as well as leadership efforts in the years since to solidify and improve upon those initial changes. He talks about the challenges of running a large government agency, and some leadership lessons he has found to be useful for those managing in any large organization. The event was sponsored by the Stanford Law School. (Recorded: October 8, 2009)

 

Robert Mueller appointed special counsel

Last Updated May 17, 2017 6:10 PM EDT

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel to oversee the previously confirmed investigation of Russian efforts to influential the 2016 Presidential election and related matters.

“I have determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome,” Rosenstein said in a statement.

The appointment comes as numerous Democratic lawmakers have called for a special counsel, colloquially known as a special prosecutor. Such calls increased in recent days after Mr. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. On Tuesday, it was revealed the Comey had written a memo alleging that Mr. Trump had asked him to back off from investigation former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Rosenstein’s letter announcing the appointment of Mueller says, “If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the special counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.”

Mueller was appointed FBI director in 2001 and served in the position until 2013. FBI directors are appointed to ten-year terms, but President Barack Obama added two years to his tenure.

A career prosecutor and veteran of the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, Mueller is a widely respected figure in Washington.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/doj-appoints-special-counsel-in-wake-of-comey-developments/

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, to serve as a special counsel to oversee its investigation into Russian meddling in the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Wednesday.

The appointment of Mr. Mueller dramatically raises the stakes for President Trump in the multiple investigations into his campaign’s ties to the Russians. It follows a swiftly moving series of developments that have roiled Washington, including Mr. Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

Graphic: Why It’s So Hard to Have an Independent Russia Investigation

“I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.”

While a special counsel would remain ultimately answerable to Mr. Rosenstein — and by extension, the president — he would have greater autonomy to run an investigation than a United States attorney.

Mr. Mueller is expected to announce his resignation from the law firm WilmerHale.

Robert Mueller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Mueller
Director Robert S. Mueller- III.jpg
6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Deputy Bruce Gebhardt
John Pistole
Timothy Murphy
Sean Joyce
Preceded by Thomas Pickard (Acting)
Succeeded by James Comey
United States Deputy Attorney General
Acting
In office
January 20, 2001 – May 10, 2001
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Eric Holder
Succeeded by Larry Thompson
United States Attorney for the Northern District of California
In office
1998–2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Michael Yamaguchi
Succeeded by Kevin Ryan
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
In office
1990–1993
President George H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Preceded by Edward Dennis
Succeeded by Jo Ann Harris
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
Acting
In office
1986–1987
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by William Weld
Succeeded by Frank L. McNamara
Personal details
Born Robert Swan Mueller III
August 7, 1944 (age 72)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Education Princeton University (BA)
New York University (MA)
University of Virginia (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Unit 3RDMARDIV.png 3rd Marine Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart
Vietnam gallantry cross-w-palm-3d.svg Gallantry Cross

Robert Swan Mueller III (born August 7, 1944) is an American lawyer who was the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 12 years, between September 4, 2001 and September 4, 2013.

On May 17 2017, the US Department of Justice announced that Mueller would serve as special counsel to oversee investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 President Election and ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Early life and education

Mueller was born on August 7, 1944, in New York City, New York, the son of Alice C. (née Truesdale) and Robert Swan Mueller.[1] His maternal great-grandfather was railroad executive William Truesdale; his ancestry includes German, Scottish, and English.[2] Mueller grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A 1962 graduate of St. Paul’s School, he went on to receive an A.B. from Princeton University in 1966, where he played lacrosse, an M.A. in international relations from New York University in 1967, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973.

Military service

Mueller joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an officer for three years, leading a rifle platoon of the 3rd Marine Division during the Vietnam War. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Career

Following his military service, Mueller continued his studies at the University of Virginia Law School, eventually serving on the Law Review. After receiving his Juris Doctor degree, Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco until 1976.

He then served for 12 years in United States Attorney offices. He first worked in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, where he rose to be chief of the criminal division, and in 1982, he moved to Boston to work in the office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts as Assistant United States Attorney, where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorism and public corruption cases, as well as narcotics conspiracies and international money launderers.

After serving as a partner at the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow, Mueller returned to government service. In 1989, he served in the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. The following year he took charge of its criminal division. During his tenure, he oversaw prosecutions that included Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie bombing) case, and the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. In 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 1993, Mueller became a partner at Boston’s Hale and Dorr, specializing in white-collar crime litigation. He returned to public service in 1995 as senior litigator in the homicide section of the District of Columbia United States Attorney’s Office. In 1998, Mueller was named U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and held that position until 2001.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Official portrait, circa 2001

At the memorial event of Giovanni Falcone, Mueller told the audience of American and Italian law enforcement that the relationships forged years ago between the Italian National Police and the FBI “have borne tremendous fruit in this age of international crime and terrorism. Those friendships have set the standard for global cooperation among law enforcement”.

Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director on July 5, 2001.[3] He and two other candidates were up for the job at the time, but he was always considered the front runner.[4] Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and veteran Chicago prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer Dan Webb were up for the job but both pulled out from consideration around mid-June. Confirmation hearings for Mueller, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were quickly set for July 30, only three days before his prostate cancer surgery.[5][6] The vote on the Senate floor on August 2, 2001, passed unanimously, 98–0.[7] He served as Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice for several months, before officially becoming the FBI Director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11 attacks against the United States.

On May 12, 2011, it was reported that President Obama had asked Director Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for another 2 years beyond his normal term, expiring on September 4, 2013.[8] The Senate approved this request on July 27, 2011.[9] On September 4, 2013, Mueller was replaced by James Comey.[10]

Domestic wiretapping investigation

Director Mueller, along with Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, offered to resign from office in March 2004 if the White House overruled a Department of Justice finding that domestic wiretapping without a court warrant was unconstitutional.[11] Attorney General John D. Ashcroft denied his consent to attempts by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to waive the Justice Department ruling and permit the domestic warrantless eavesdropping program to proceed. On March 12, 2004, President George W. Bush gave his support to changes in the program sufficient to satisfy the concerns of Mueller, Ashcroft and Comey.[11] The extent of the National Security Agency‘s domestic warrantless eavesdropping under the President’s Surveillance Program is still largely unknown.

Post-FBI Career

After leaving the FBI in 2013, Mueller became a visiting professor at Stanford University where his focus is on issues related to cyber-security.[12] In addition to his teaching position, Mueller also joined the law firm WilmerHale as a partner in their Washington, D.C. Office.[13]

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel in connection with the FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.[14]

Bibliography

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Robert Swan Mueller III”. Chicago Sun-Times. July 30, 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-02.[dead link]
  2. Jump up^ “Ancestry of Robert Mueller”. Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  3. Jump up^ “Remarks by the President in Nominating Robert S. Mueller as Director of the FBI”. The White House. 2001-07-05. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  4. Jump up^ “Bush Names Mueller FBI Director”. United Press. 2001-06-06. Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
  5. Jump up^ “Senate hearing set July 30 for FBI choice Mueller”. CNN. 2001-06-18. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
  6. Jump up^ “FBI director-designate has prostate cancer”. CNN. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
  7. Jump up^ “Robert S. Mueller, III, to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation” (Plain Text). United States Senate. 2001-08-02. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
  8. Jump up^ “FBI Director to stay in post for another 2 years”. CNN. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  9. Jump up^ “Senate Extends Term of F.B.I. Director”. New York Times. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  10. Jump up^ “FBI — James B. Comey Sworn in as FBI Director”. FBI. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b Eggen, Dan; Kane, Paul (2007-05-16). “Gonzales Hospital Episode Detailed”. Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  12. Jump up^ Gorlick, Adam (2013-11-05). “Former FBI director to bolster security research at Stanford.” (Press release). Stanford, California: Stanford University. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  13. Jump up^ “Former Director of the FBI Robert Mueller III Joins WilmerHale” (Press release). Wilmer Hale. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  14. Jump up^ http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/politics/special-counsel-robert-mueller/index.html?sr=twCNN051717special-counsel-robert-mueller1002PMStoryPhoto&linkId=37706257

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Eric Holder
United States Deputy Attorney General
Acting

2001
Succeeded by
Larry Thompson
Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pickard
Acting
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
2001–2013
Succeeded by
James Comey

 

Story 2: President Trump is FBI Director’s Boss — Absolutely No Obstruction of Justice — Former FBI Director Went Along With President Obama and Let Hillary Clinton Off For Numerous Felonies — A Real Case of Obstruction of Justice By Both Obama and Comey — Prosecute Clinton, Obama, and Comey — Videos

Image result for branco cartoon trump obstruction of justiceImage result for cartoon trump comey obstruction of justice

 

About That James Comey Memo. Let’s Dig Into It a Little!

Trey Gowdy on NYT Story that Trump Asked James Comey to Lay off Mike Flynn!

Krauthammer on Flynn: This is a cover-up without a crime

Lionel Nation Live Stream: J. Edgar Comey the Clown Exacts His Revenge While Fake News Revels

What qualifies as obstruction of justice?

Obama: Clinton Careless In Managing Emails

FBI director calls Clinton, her aides ‘extremely careless’

Exclusive: President Obama On FBI Reviewing Hillary Clinton Emails

Gregg Jarrett: Comey’s revenge is a gun without powder

Gregg Jarrett

James Comey was lying in wait.

His gun was cocked, he took aim and fired.  But his weapon was empty.

Three months ago, the then-FBI Director met with President Trump.  Following their private conversation, Comey did what he always does –he wrote a memorandum to himself memorializing the conversation.  Good lawyers do that routinely.

Now, only after Comey was fired, the memo magically surfaces in an inflammatory New York Times report which alleges that Mr. Trump asked Comey to end the Michael Flynn investigation.    

Those who don’t know the first thing about the law immediately began hurling words like “obstruction of justice”, “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “impeachment“.   Typically, these people don’t know what they don’t know. 

Here is what we do know.

Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States.  Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey.  (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361)  He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law. 

So, if Comey believed Trump attempted to obstruct justice, did he comply with the law by reporting it to the DOJ?  If not, it calls into question whether the events occurred as the Times reported it.

Obstruction requires what’s called “specific intent” to interfere with a criminal case.  If Comey concluded, however, that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he has no duty under the law to report it because it does not rise to the level of specific intent.  Thus, no crime.

There is no evidence Comey ever alerted officials at the Justice Department, as he is duty-bound to do.  Surely if he had, that incriminating information would have made its way to the public either by an indictment or, more likely, an investigation that could hardly be kept confidential in the intervening months.

Comey’s memo is being treated as a “smoking gun” only because the media and Democrats, likely prompted by Comey himself, are now peddling it that way.

Comey will soon testify before Congress about this and other matters.  His memo will likely be produced pursuant to a subpoena.  The words and the context will matter.

But by writing a memo, Comey has put himself in a box.  If he now accuses the President of obstruction, he places himself in legal jeopardy for failing to promptly and properly report it.  If he says it was merely an uncomfortable conversation, he clears the president of wrongdoing and sullies his own image as a guy who attempted to smear the man who fired him.

Either way, James Comey comes out a loser.  No matter.  The media will hail him a hero.

After all, he gave them a good story that was better than the truth.

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/05/16/gregg-jarrett-comeys-revenge-is-gun-without-powder.html

MAY 17, 2017 1:59PM

Obstruction of Justice

President Trump is being accused of “obstruction of justice” because of a conversation that he may have had with former FBI Director James Comey.  According to the news stories, Trump may have asked Comey to lay off his former National Security advisor, Michael Flynn.  In this post I want to briefly examine the legal doctrine of obstruction of justice.

To begin, a basic principle of American criminal law is that the line between what’s lawful and what’s unlawful needs to be clear so we will know, in advance, what conduct might land us in a prison cell.  That’s the gist behind the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws.  Laws with vague terms raise the same danger.  When laws are vague, police and prosecutors can abuse their power and trap people.  And that’s the danger with a catch-all doctrine such as “obstruction of justice.”

“Obstruction” has sometimes been defined by the authorities as almost any action that “impedes” an investigation.  Invoking your constitutional right to silence, your right to speak with an attorney, or the attorney-client privilege are sometimes deemed “obstruction.”  Don’t the courts restrain those abuses?  Yes, sometimes they do.  I’m presently editing a book of Judge Alex Kozinski’s legal opinions.  One case, United States v. Caldwell, touches on this subject.  Here is Judge Kozinski:

Under the government’s theory, a husband who asks his wife to buy him a radar detector would be a felon — punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 — because their actions would obstruct the government function of catching speeders. So would a person who witnesses a crime and suggests to another witness (with no hint of threat) that they not tell the police anything unless specifically asked about it.So would the executives of a business that competes with a government-run enterprise and lowers its prices to siphon off the government’s customers. So would co-owners of land who refuse to sell it for use as a military base, forcing the government to go to the extra trouble of condemning it. So would have Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus, had they agreed with each other to quit if asked by President Nixon to fire Archibald Cox. The federal government does lots of things, more and more every year, and many things private parties do can get in the government’s way. It can’t be that each such action is automatically a felony.

I should note that when James Comey served as a prosecutor in New York, he pursued Martha Stewart and went so far as to say that her assertion of innocence was itself a violation of the law!  When Comey worked as assistant attorney general, he also took a dangerously expansive view of what he considered “uncooperative” conduct by business firms.  He expected lawyers for business firms to act as deputies for the federal government, which raised constitutional problems—especially for employees who were unaware of the legal minefield all around them during a purported “internal” investigation.

Let’s also consider how the doctrine might work within the government itself.  Say a rookie cop busts a homeless man named Al, for possession of heroin.  Al is street wise so he offers to become a snitch if his charge is dropped.  Al says he was using heroin with the governor just the day before and that the governor told him that he kept a stash of other drugs in his desk at the mansion.  The rookie thinks this is a huge deal and proposes to use Al in a sting operation against the governor.  The police captain rejects the proposal and tells the rookie to forget the whole thing because it’s a made up story.  Has the captain obstructed the investigation or exercised appropriate supervision?

Another example.  Let’s say 50 FBI agents are working on the Russia investigation (improper, possibly illegal, actions involving Mr. Trump or others working on his campaign).  One agent is convinced that Mr. Trump is a traitor, taking bribes from Putin, and other illegal acts.  He proposes grand jury subpoenas for Mr. and Mrs. Trump so that they can be questioned under oath right away.  Only his FBI supervisor rejects the idea.  Has the FBI supervisor obstructed justice or exercised sound discretion?

One important difference, of course, is that neither the police captain nor the FBI supervisor, were targets (or around the targets) of the underlying investigation. Repeat: That is an important difference.  The main point of this post is simply to caution against wild and vague claims of “obstruction of justice.”  Legal rights should never be considered “obstruction.”  When judges, or prosecutors, or law enforcement supervisors restrain overzealous subordinates, that should not be considered “obstruction.”  Mr. Trump is not above the law, but investigators must also respect the law as they go about their work.

https://www.cato.org/blog/obstruction-justice

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events in the memo.

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

GRAPHIC

The Events That Led to Comey’s Firing, and How the White House’s Story Changed

New disclosures on Tuesday allege that in February, President Trump asked James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to shut down an investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

OPEN GRAPHIC

Mr. Chaffetz’s letter, sent to the acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, set a May 24 deadline for the internal documents to be delivered to the House committee. The congressman, a Republican, was criticized in recent months for showing little of the appetite he demonstrated in pursuing Hillary Clinton to pursue investigations into Mr. Trump’s associates.

But since announcing in April that he will not seek re-election in 2018, Mr. Chaffetz has shown more interest in the Russia investigation, and held out the potential for a subpoena on Tuesday, a notably aggressive move as most Republicans have tried to stay out of the fray.

Document: Representative Jason Chaffetz’s Letter to the F.B.I.

In testimony to the Senate last week, Mr. McCabe said, “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.” Mr. McCabe was referring to the broad investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The investigation into Mr. Flynn is separate.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.

Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey last week. Trump administration officials have provided multiple, conflicting accounts of the reasoning behind Mr. Comey’s dismissal. Mr. Trump said in a television interview that one of the reasons was because he believed “this Russia thing” was a “made-up story.”

The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job after it was revealed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of phone conversations he had had with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Despite the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, the investigation of Mr. Flynn has proceeded. In Virginia, a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records related to Mr. Flynn. Part of the Flynn investigation is centered on his financial links to Russia and Turkey.

Mr. Comey had been in the Oval Office that day with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing. When the meeting ended, Mr. Trump told those present — including Mr. Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions — to leave the room except for Mr. Comey.

Five Contradictions in the White House’s Story About Comey’s Firing

The Trump administration has offered conflicting answers about how and why the F.B.I. director, James Comey, was fired.

Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.

Mr. Trump then turned the discussion to Mr. Flynn.

After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Mr. Comey shared it with senior F.B.I. officials. Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump’s comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.

Mr. Comey was known among his closest advisers to document conversations that he believed would later be called into question, according to two former confidants, who said Mr. Comey was uncomfortable at times with his relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Comey’s recollection has been bolstered in the past by F.B.I. notes. In 2007, he told Congress about a now-famous showdown with senior White House officials over the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. The White House disputed Mr. Comey’s account, but the F.B.I. director at the time, Robert S. Mueller III, kept notes that backed up Mr. Comey’s story.

The White House has repeatedly crossed lines that other administrations have been reluctant to cross when discussing politically charged criminal investigations. Mr. Trump has disparaged the continuing F.B.I. investigation as a hoax and called for an inquiry into his political rivals. His representatives have taken the unusual step of declaring no need for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s associates.

The Oval Office meeting occurred a little over two weeks after Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Comey to the White House for a lengthy, one-on-one dinner at the residence. At that dinner, on Jan. 27, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey at least two times for a pledge of loyalty — which Mr. Comey declined, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Mr. Trump said that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

After the meeting, Mr. Comey’s associates did not believe there was any way to corroborate Mr. Trump’s statements. But Mr. Trump’s suggestion last week that he was keeping tapes has made them wonder whether there are tapes that back up Mr. Comey’s account.

The Jan. 27 dinner came a day after White House officials learned that Mr. Flynn had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak. On Jan. 26, the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, told the White House counsel about the interview, and said Mr. Flynn could be subject to blackmail by the Russians because they knew he had lied about the content of the calls.

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The Pronk Pops Show 851, March 3, 2017, Story 1 : Trump Russian Connection: All Noise — No Evidence — Fake News Of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Low Life Losers — It Is Not A One Variable World! — Videos — Story 2: Who Are Real Red Russian Agents of Influence? — Who Lost The Crimea To Russia? — Who Gave Iran A Pathway To Nuclear Weapons? — Obama and Jarrett — Videos — Story 3: Real News, Real Evidence, Real Crimes of Destruction of Government Document, Mishandling of Classified Documents, Perjury, Obstruction of Justice (Also By Department of Justice), Conspiracy, Public Corruption of Hillary Clinton — Awaiting Trump Telephone To Attorney General Jeff Session To Appoint Special Prosecutor — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 841: February 17, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 838: February 14, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 836: February 10, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 828: January 31, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Story 1 : Trump Russian Connection: All Noise — No Evidence — Fake News Of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Low Life Losers — It Is Not A One Variable World! — Videos —

Image result for branco cartoons fake news

Image result for cartoons fake news

Image result for cartoons fake news
Image result for cartoons fake newsImage result for cartoons fake news

Image result for cartoons fake news

Image result for cartoons fake news

Image result for cartoons fake news

Attorney General Jeff Sessions press conference. Mar 2. 2017.

Sessions “I Did Not Have Communications With The Russians”

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Donald trump fox news – “The Media Is Trump’s ENEMY!” Rush Limbaugh BACKS Donald Trump With Chris Wallace

Ted Cruz dismantles Jeff Sessions Russian ambassador fake new story

Tucker Carlson takes apart Democrat Sean Maloney on fake news Jeff Sessions Russia

Trump Russian Connection=Fake News

Truth Warriors vs. Mainstream Fake News | Limited Hangout Federalized Propaganda | NDAA Brainwashing

The Truth About Fake News | Russia Hacked U.S. Election For Donald Trump?

Rush Limbaugh: “The Media did not make Donald Trump, and they can’t destroy him”

Scott Adams on fake news, climate, and the Trump press ban

Rand Paul destroys MSNBC Chris Jansing on fake news Jeff Sessions Russia story

Who is Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak?

Sen. Franken Quizzes Jeff Sessions At Confirmation Hearing

Jeff Sessions explains meeting with Russian ambassador in interview with Tucker Carlson

‘Stirring up trouble’: US intelligence has no proof of anything – Ron Paul on ‘Russian hacking’

Krauthammer gives his take on AG Sessions’ recusal

Trey Gowdy on fake news Jeff Session Russia and Democrat Adam Schiff lying to press

ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES 3/2/17 Carter Page: ‘I don’t deny’ meeting with Russian ambassador

Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Weighs In On Sergey Kislyak | Morning Joe | MSNBC

“Did Jeff Sessions Talk To Russia?” Sean Spicer Destroys ABC Reporter

Will The Neocons ‘Flynn’ Jeff Sessions?

Keiser Report: Fake News (E1005, ft. Alex Jones from Infowars)

Democrats & GOP War Hawks Align in Lunatic Russia Manipulation of American People

Published on Mar 3, 2017

Sources & Links Below, Click SHOW MORE:
Despite not producing ONE piece of tangible, objective evidence that Russia interfered with our elections, Democrats have aligned with Neo-conservative War Hawks to launch five investigation into Trump/Russia campaign connections. The Russia narrative has been one of the UGLIEST and most dishonest political manipulations in modern political history. Taking down Trump by promoting war and covering for their own corruption is traitorous behavior. Put quite plainly, this is lunatic.
Corporate Media’s FREE Campaign to Donald Trump:
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/up…
Pied Piper Email:
http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-h…
Glenn Greenwald Five Points on Russia Article:
https://theintercept.com/2017/02/28/t…
Full Article on How No Real Case Has Been Made On Russia:
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/h…
https://t.co/sAwvNAtUh6
These are Sane Progressive Videos Covering the Russia Spin/Each has a LONG list of sources in description relevant to today’s content:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh0EA…
On the Election Hacking & Dem Primary Fraud:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOpkN…
On John McCain & the Lie of Russia Hacking Grid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zwJ…
Michael Flynn Story:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsF-t…
On the Geo-Political Motivations of Russia Sanctions by Obama:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuFu…
On Hillary Clinton’s Russia Connections MUCH Deeper than Trumps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbBxr…
Example of Absurdity of Russia Insanity, Russia was GOing to Frame Clinton for Election Fraud from Washington Post:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0kA2…
Russia Lies were Used to Unconstitutionally Place Elections Under Critical Infrastructure of Department of Homeland Security:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-cY…

MUST WATCH NOW… Tucker Carlson Goes Thermonuclear On Rep Adam Schiff … Over Russian Hacking

Tucker Carlson DESTROYS Far Left Crank on Russian Hacking ‘Scandal’

Tucker Carlson – Glenn Greenwald Slams Washington Post Coverage of Russia Threat

How the Obama Palace Guard and Deep State Torpedoed Sessions to Dilute Trump’s Post-Address Euphoria 

Ben Shapiro DESTROYS Dan Rather, ‘The Godfather of Modern Media Fake News’

Trump Slams ‘Fake News’ CNN! | Louder With Crowder

Ben Stein DESTROYS CNN on CNN, “Dumping all over the mainstream of America”

Paul Joseph Watson About CNN Tapes And Other News

Professor: Obama admin determined to cripple Trump

TUCKER CARLSON INTERVIEWS ANN COULTER USA

Tucker Foaming At The Mouth As He Slams Professor! Brutal,Yet Funny! Clapper “No Proof Russia Hack”

Tucker Carlson The Democrats Problem Was Not Hacking Or Fake News… It Was That We Knew Too Much

Tucker Carlson Gets to the Bottom of Russian Hacking Conspiracy with Huffpo Writer

Donald Trump brands Democrats ‘hypocrites’ over Russian links

 Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
 Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. CREDIT: CLIFF OWEN/AP

President Donald Trump branded Democrats “hypocrites” over calls for an investigation into his administration’s contacts with Russia, posting a photograph on the internet of one of the opposition party’s leaders sharing doughnuts and coffee with Vladimir Putin.

It came after half a dozen Trump officials and advisers were revealed to have met Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, in the six months before the president took office.

Mr Trump responded by posting the picture on Twitter showing Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, smiling alongside Mr Putin during his trip to New York in 2003.

The president said: “We should start an immediate investigation into Senator Schumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!”

View image on Twitter

We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!

Not satisfied with that, then president then pointed the finger at Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/nancy-pelosi-sergey-kislyak-meeting-235653 

Photo published for Photo contradicts Pelosi's statement about not meeting Kislyak

Photo contradicts Pelosi’s statement about not meeting Kislyak

The Democratic House leader sat with the Russian ambassador and other officials in 2010.

politico.com

Mr Schumer said he would “happily talk under oath” about his encounter with Mr Putin, and asked Mr Trump: “Would you?”

It came as Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser,became the latest figure drawn into the web of entanglements with Russian officials that has plagued the new administration.

The 36-year-old husband of Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, was present at a previously undisclosed meeting between Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, and Mr Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York in December.

Mr Flynn resigned last month after it emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his communications with Mr Kislyak. In the December meeting the Russian diplomat reportedly entered Trump Tower by a back entrance and spoke for between 10 and 20 minutes.

The White House said the intention was to “establish a line of communication” with the Russian government. One official called it an “inconsequential hello” and said Mr Kushner had not met Mr Kislyak since.

On Thursday Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any future investigation examining communications between Trump officials and Moscow.

He did so after it was revealed he had himself spoken twice to Mr Kislyak and not revealed it during the confirmation hearing for his new post.

Mr Sessions was accused of “lying under oath” by Democrats in Congress who called on him to resign.

Several other Trump campaign advisers – national security advisers JD Gordon and Walifd Phares, and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page – also spoke with Mr Kislyak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July, it emerged.

Mr Gordon said there was nothing inappropriate about them having done so.

The Kremlin indicated its disappointment and frustration at how the uproar was blocking progress on US-Russian relations, including on the issues of Syria and combating terrorism.

It furiously denied allegations that Mr Kislyak, who emerged as the central figure in a controversy, was a spy. Senior intelligence officials told CNN the amiable career diplomat, at one time the Russian envoy to Nato, was suspected of being one of Russia’s top espionage recruiters in Washington.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded by saying: “Recruiting? Oh my God! Stop spreading lies and false news. He is a well-known, world-class diplomat.

“I’ll open a military secret for you – it’s the diplomats’ jobs to have contacts in the country they are posted to.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Mr Kislyak was doing his job meeting senior US officials.

He added: “This strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of McCarthyism which we thought were long over in the United States as a civilised country.”

Steve Hall, former former chief of Russian operations for the CIA, said: “Ambassador Kislyak is clearly an aggressive guy, getting out there and talking to as many people as he possibly can, that’s what Vladimir Putin wants him to do.”

Mr Hall added: “It’s an interesting effect he had on people. They have meetings with him and then they forget. It’s pretty amazing.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/03/donald-trump-brands-democrats-hypocrites-russian-links/

Story 2: Who Are Real Red Russian Agents of Influence?  — Who Lost The Crimea To Russia? — Who Gave Iran A Pathway To Nuclear Weapons? — Obama and Jarrett — Videos —

Image result for map of ukraine and crimera russia annexedImage result for map of ukraine and crimera russia annexed
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NSA contractor reveals Obama’s Crimean Hypocrisy – Wayne Madsen

OBAMA IS BOILING MAD AFTER WHAT THIS CIA AGENT JUST REVEALED ABOUT PUTIN

OBAMA’s Intelligence Background Of His Family: Grandparents & OSS, Mother’s Job, Step-Father, Etc

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Wayne Madsen Bombshell: Barack Obama Conclusively Outed as CIA Creation – Alex Jones Tv 2/3

Wayne Madsen Bombshell: Barack Obama Conclusively Outed as CIA Creation – Alex Jones Tv 3/3

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Agent of influence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An agent of influence is an agent of some stature who uses his or her position to influence public opinion or decision making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent.[1] Agents of influence are often the most difficult agents to detect, as there is seldom material evidence that connects them with a foreign power,[2] but they can be among the most effective means of influencing foreign opinion and actions as they hold considerable credibility among the target audience.[3] Most commonly they serve the interests of a foreign power in one of three ways: either as a controlled agent directly recruited and controlled by a foreign power; as a “trusted contact” that consciously collaborates to advance foreign interests but are not directly recruited or controlled by a foreign power; or as a “useful idiot” that is completely unaware of how their actions further the interests of a foreign power.[4]

The term “agent of influence” is often used to describe both individuals and organizations engaged in influence operations. Individuals engaged in this type of influence operation may serve in the fields of journalism, government, art, labor, academia, or a number of other professional fields.[5] Cultural opinion makers, nationalists, and religious leaders have also been targeted to serve as individual agents of influence.[6]

In addition to individual agents of influence, front organizations can serve the interests of a foreign power in this capacity.[7] Some Cold War examples of front organizations serving as agents of influence, focusing largely on the Soviet side, were many “peace” groups: the Christian Peace Conference, the International Organization of Journalists, the World Federation of Scientific Workers, the World Federation of Trade Unions, the International Institute for Peace, and the World Peace Council.[8] When individuals join such organizations in good faith but are in fact serving the interests of a foreign elite, their affiliation becomes infiltration, and cumulatively the organization serves as an agent of influence.[9]

U.S. government definitions

  • An agent of some stature who uses his or her position to influence public opinion or decision making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent (Air Force Office of Special Investigations Manual 71-142).[10]
  • A person who is directed by an intelligence organization to use his or her position to influence public opinion or decision-making in a manner that will advance the objective of the country for which that organization operates (Counterintelligence Glossary—Terms & Definitions of Interest for Department of Defense Counterintelligence Professionals).[10]
  • An individual who acts in the interest of an adversary without open declaration of allegiance and attempts to exercise influence covertly, but is not necessarily gathering intelligence or compromising classified material, is known as an agent of influence (Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence).[10]
  • An agent operating under intelligence instructions who uses his or her officialdom or public position, and other means, to exert influence on policy, public opinion, the course of particular events, the activity of political organizations and state agencies in target countries (KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer’s Handbook, edited by KGB archivist Vasiliy Mitrokhin).[10]
  • The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938, and 22 U.S.Code § 611 et seq provides detailed definitions of what constitutes an agent of influence.[11]

Characteristics

text

Leon Trotsky, who popularized the term “fellow traveller” in 1924. Trotsky would state: “As regards a ‘fellow-traveller’, the question always comes up—how far will he go?”[12]

The primary characteristic that distinguishes agents of influence from spies is the lack of absolute control exercised by the foreign power on an agent of influence. According to Angelo Codevilla, the work of an agent of influence “can be far more valuable, subtle, and dangerous than that of a mere spy”.[13] As witnessed in the Cold War through “fellow travelers“, the best agents of influence were those whose interests paralleled that of the aggressor’s and needed little if any coordination.[14] A foreign power can rarely exercise complete control over an agent of influence, as these agents possess their own preferences and motivations; the most proven way to cultivate the desired results is for a foreign power to choose and develop an agent of influence whose interests already align with their own.[14]Overlooking an agent of influence’s different motivations can have negative consequences, as witnessed in World War I, when German political warfare strategists sent Vladimir Lenin back to St. Petersburg in an effort to foster domestic instability and get Russia out of the war in 1917.[14] Since Lenin had different motivations and interests than the German government at the time, he acted in a manner not suited to German interests, and grew so powerful that his party was instrumental to bringing down Imperial Germany.[14]

Excessive efforts to control or exploit agents of influence can also have negative consequences. Such agents are best seen as strategic or tactical allies, and efforts to exercise too much control over them may result in the loss of an influence asset.[14] Excessive exploitation of these agents can lead to their exposure by forcing them to take questionably one-sided positions, as witnessed in the exposure of Norwegian Arne Treholt.[15] Because these agents exercise influence, their positions and opinions are not wholly secret, but the level to which they coordinate activities with a hostile power is likely to be kept secret.[16]

Agents of influence are most effective because they bring with them a sense of credibility among the target audience, and they use this credibility to convey a story or manipulate a situation in favor of the foreign power with which they share common preferences and motivations.[3] This credibility makes agents of influence so effective that, according to Angelo Codevilla, using these agents is an act of war “in the same sense that armies crashing across border or airplanes dropping bombs are acts of war because their results can be as intrusive or conclusive as the results of armies or bombs.”[17]

Known Agents Of Influence

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Accused agent of influence and convicted spy Arne Treholt

Individuals operating as an agent of influence may serve in the fields of journalism, government, art, labor, academia, or a number of other professional fields.[5] Cultural opinion makers, nationalists, and religious leaders have also been targeted to serve as individual agents of influence.[6] The following are some notable individuals that have been accused of being foreign agents of influence. The list is not exhaustive but is meant to show the wide range in which such agents can operate. As previously noted, proving someone is an agent of influence is among the most difficult endeavors, even for the most skilled counterintelligence officers.[2]

  • Alger Hiss – an agent of influence and spy.[18] At the time of his exposure he had significant support among US politicians and only went to jail for lying under oath about passing documents to the Soviet Union.[18]
  • Harry Hopkins – debate continues today over whether enough evidence persists to accuse him of being a Soviet agent of influence, but he was largely responsible for fostering pro-Soviet views within the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.[19]
  • Arne Herløv Petersen – used as a Soviet agent of influence in Norway for over 10 years, he mainly focused on various means of manipulating Danish public opinion.[20]
  • Arne Treholt – he was exposed as a result of overuse as an agent of influence in taking blatantly one-sided arguments over Norway’s northern border.[15]
  • Rose O’Neal Greenhow – Confederate spy and accused agent of influence working among the British.[21]
  • William Stephenson – assumed British agent of influence working in the US in the era of World War II.[22]
  • Harry Dexter White – According to confessed spies and FBI informants Whitaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley, Harry Dexter White was accused of being a Soviet agent of influence working in the US as an Assistant Secretary of Treasury.[23] He was accused of fostering animosity between the US and Japan in an effort to advance Russian interests.[24] He was also accused of influencing the climate so that Russia could gain disproportional representation in the United Nations and delaying aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek in an effort to facilitate the communist takeover of the government.[24]In his book Treasonable Doubt, R. Bruce Craig questions whether this accusation is true, largely relying on the White’s pivotal role in the founding of the Bretton Woods system to point that some key achievements of his career were staunchly anti-Communist in nature.[23] As mentioned earlier, however, it is among the most difficult tasks to prove someone is an agent of influence.[2] As noted by Dr. James C. Van Hool, joint historian of the US Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency, debate over White’s status as an agent of influence continues to this day.[23]
  • Peter Matthiessen Writer and former covert CIA operative who admittedly established the Paris Review as a front for his agency activities.[25][26]

Organizational functioning

Main article: Communist front

In addition to individual agents of influence, front organizations can serve the interests of a foreign power in this capacity.[7] When individuals join such organizations in good faith but are in fact serving the interests of a foreign elite, their affiliation becomes infiltration, and cumulatively the organization serves as an agent of influence.[9] It is important to note, however, that not all front organizations focus exclusively on influence operations, as some have more specific objectives (intelligence collection, etc.). The Cold War is a recent example of increased use of not only front organizations, but of front organizations being used as agents of influence to alter the target nation’s belief system and policies on the international stage.[27]

The use of organizations as agents of influence during the Cold War is a recent example that serves to illustrate how frequently front organizations were used in an attempt to alter the perceptions and actions of a foreign nation and its public. A Communist front organization is an organization identified to be a front organization under the effective control of a Communist party, the Communist International or other Communist organizations.[28] Lenin originated the idea in his manifesto of 1902, “What Is to Be Done?“. Since the party was illegal in Russia, he proposed to reach the masses through “a large number of other organizations intended for wide membership and, which, therefore, can be as loose and as public as possible.”[29] Generally called “mass organizations” by the Communists themselves,[30] these groups were prevalent from the 1920s through the 1950s, with their use accelerating during the Popular Front period of the 1930s.

Starting in 1939, Attorney General Biddle began compiling a list of Fascist and Communist front organizations. It was called “Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations” (AGLOSO), but was not at first made public.[31]Political pressures from Congress forced President Harry S. Truman to act.[32] Truman’s Attorney General Tom C. Clark expanded the list, which was officially authorized by presidential Executive Order 9835 in 1947 and was administered by the new Loyalty Review Board. The Board became part of the Civil Service Commission.[33] The list was used by federal agencies to screen appointments during the Truman Administration. The program investigated over 3 million government employees, of whom 300 were dismissed as security risks. Adverse decisions could be appealed to the Loyalty Review Board, a government agency set up by President Truman.[34][35]

The Loyalty Review Board publicized the previously secret Attorney General’s list in March 1948 as a “List of Communist classified organizations.” The list gave the name and date founded, and (for active groups) the headquarters, and chief officers.[36]

text

This is a picture of the Ministry of Finance in East Berlin, adorned for a session of the World Peace Council on May 24, 1954. The German Federal Archive notes that the original caption, which describes the “extraordinary” session, may in retrospect be “erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme.”

In 1955, SSIS published a list of what it described as the 82 most active and typical sponsors of communist fronts in the United States; some of those named had literally dozens of affiliations with groups that had either been cited as Communist fronts or had been labelled “subversive” by either the subcommittee or the House Committee on Un-American Activities.[39]

See also

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

BOMBSHELL: BARACK OBAMA CONCLUSIVELY OUTED AS CIA CREATION