The Pronk Pops Show 1304, August 8-9, 2019, Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell Now Says Background Checks and Other Bills Infringing Your Second Amendment Rights Will Be Discussed in September — Vote Out Of Office Any Democrat or Republican The Votes For Limiting Your Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights — Videos — Story 2: Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden Attacks Trump By Lying — Joins Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists in Desperate Attempt To Save His Candidacy — Videos — Story 3: Survival of The Anti-American  Presidential Candidates of The Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) — How Not To Win Friends and Influence People — Failing Final Four: Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris — Trump Should Beat Them All — Videos — Story 4: Nearly 700 Illegal Aliens Detained In Massive Raids In Mississippi Food Processing Plants — End Catch and Release — Videos — Story 5: A Confident President Trump Comments To The Big Lie Media Before Taking 10 Day Vacation — Winning The Hearts and Minds of American People With A Resonating Message — Videos — Story 6: Recently Numerous Two Seconds or A Few Seconds Videos on Youtube For Fox Commentators Including Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Fox and Friends, The Five, and Many More — Either YouTube is Doing This or YouTube Is Failing To Stop Whoever  Is Doing This! — Videos

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Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell Now Says Background Checks and Other Bills Infringing Your Second Amendment Rights Will Be Discussed in September — Vote Out Of Office Any Democrat or Republican The Votes For Limiting Your Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights — Videos

Is Senator Mitch McConnell Stalling For Time On Gun Reform? | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Mitch McConnell says senate will consider gun control legislation next month

Trump open to ‘meaningful’ background checks after shootings

“All the gun laws they’re proposing hurt the most vulnerable and minorities most.” – John Lott

John Lott on gun control: “The background check system itself is basically racist”

Part of John Lott’s Lecture of the Problems with Expanded Background Checks May 22, 2016

The NRA on universal background checks

What Do Gun Background Checks Actually Check?

 

McConnell wants to consider gun background checks in fall

 

Shifting the gun violence debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he now wants to consider background checks and other bills, setting up a potentially pivotal moment when lawmakers return in the fall.

The Republican leader won’t be calling senators back to work early, as some are demanding. But he told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday morning and they talked about several ideas. The president, he said, is “anxious to get an outcome, and so am I.”

Stakes are high for all sides, but particularly for Trump and his party. Republicans have long opposed expanding background checks – a bill passed by the Democratic-led House is stalled in the Senate – but they face enormous pressure to do something after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead. McConnell, who is facing protests outside his Louisville home, can shift attention back to Democrats by showing a willingness to engage ahead of the 2020 election.

“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” McConnell said. “What I want to see here is an outcome.”

McConnell said he and Trump discussed various ideas on the call, including background checks and the so-called “red flag” laws that allow authorities to seize firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others.

“Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion,” McConnell told Louisville’s WHAS-AM. He noted “there’s a lot of support” publicly for background checks. “Those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., smiles after vote on a hard-won budget deal that would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all of its obligations and would remove the prospect of a government shutdown in October, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., smiles after vote on a hard-won budget deal that would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all of its obligations and would remove the prospect of a government shutdown in October, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump has been interested in federal background checks before – and tweeted Monday about them – only to drop the issue later, a turnaround similar to his reversal on gun proposals after the 2018 high school shooting at Parkland, Florida.

The powerful National Rifle Association and its allies on Capitol Hill have long wielded influence, but the gun lobby’s grip on Democrats started slipping some time ago, and it’s unclear how much sway the NRA and other gun groups still hold over Republicans in the Trump era.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump assured them in phone calls Thursday he will review the House-passed bill that expands federal background checks for firearm sales.

In a joint statement, they said Trump called them individually after Pelosi sent a letter asking the president to order the Senate back to Washington immediately to consider gun violence measures.

Schumer and Pelosi said they told Trump the best way to address gun violence is for the Senate to take up and pass the House bill. Trump, they said, “understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives.”

The politics of gun control are shifting amid the frequency and toll of mass shootings. Spending to support candidates backing tougher gun control measures – mostly Democrats – surged in the 2018 midterms, even as campaign spending by the NRA declined.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said in rare public statement Thursday that some federal gun control proposals “would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”

The organization said proposals being discussed in Congress would not have prevented the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that killed 31 people.

McConnell has been under pressure from Democrats, and others, to bring senators back to Washington after the back-to-back weekend shootings.

Earlier, more than 200 mayors, including those in Dayton and El Paso, urged the Senate to return to the Capitol. “Our nation can no longer wait,” they wrote.

McConnell on Thursday rejected the idea of reconvening the Senate, saying calling senators back now would just lead to people “scoring points and nothing would happen.”

Instead, the GOP leader wants to spend the August recess talking with Democratic and Republican senators to see what’s possible. Senators have been talking among themselves, and holding conference calls, to sort out strategy.

“If we do it prematurely it’ll just be another frustrating position for all of us and for the public,” he said.

The politics of gun violence are difficult for Republicans, including McConnell. He could risk losing support as he seeks reelection in Kentucky if he were to back restricting access to firearms and ammunition. Other Republicans, including those in Colorado, Maine and swing states, also would face difficult votes, despite the clamor for gun laws.

GOP senators are also considering changes to the existing federal background check system, modeled on a law signed last year that improved the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, as well as increased penalties for hate crimes.

While many of those proposals have bipartisan support, Democrats are unlikely to agree to them without consideration of the more substantive background checks bill.

“We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side,” Schumer said Wednesday.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who, along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is pushing a bill to expand background checks, said Trump’s support will be the determining factor in whatever gets done.

“At this point in time leadership comes from President Trump,” Manchin said.

___

Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

FILE - In this July 23, 2019, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. More than 200 mayors, including the mayors of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, are urging Senate leaders to call senators back to the Capitol to act on bipartisan gun safety legislation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

FILE – In this July 23, 2019, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. More than 200 mayors, including the mayors of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, are urging Senate leaders to call senators back to the Capitol to act on bipartisan gun safety legislation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley speaks to members of the media Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, outside Ned Peppers bar in the Oregon District after a mass shooting that occurred early Sunday morning in Dayton. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

FILE – In this July 30, 2019, photo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in Washington. More than 200 mayors, including the mayors of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, are urging Senate leaders to call senators back to the Capitol to act on bipartisan gun safety legislation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

President Donald Trump is greeted by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, after arriving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to meet with people affected by the mass shooting in Dayton, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump is greeted by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, after arriving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to meet with people affected by the mass shooting in Dayton, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7339487/McConnell-wants-consider-gun-background-checks-fall.html

John Cornyn

Sen.

John Cornyn

  • (TX)-R
  •   | In Office Since 2003

LIBERTY SCORE®

F

33%

Highcharts.com

Conservative:
33.0%
Liberal:
67.0%
Conservative Votes 16
Liberal Votes 32
Missed Votes 2
Liberty Score® 33%

Records as of: 08-10-2019

Liberty Score®

Conservative Review’s Liberty Score® grades members of Congress on the top 50 votes over a rolling six-year term. A letter grade is assigned to each member to help you quickly determine whether a lawmaker is supporting conservative principles. The Liberty Score® helps evaluate your representatives and senators, providing the tools necessary to separate rhetoric from reality. We don’t expect any elected officials to be perfect, but we do expect them to keep promises.

Liberty Score Votes

Date of Vote Vote CR Position Member Vote
05/23/2019 Pass a $19 billion spending bill without funding for the border crisis
02/25/2019 Protect Abortion Survivors by Banning Infanticide in America
02/14/2019 Surrender on the border wall; empower drug cartels and human traffickers
01/17/2019 End taxpayer funding for abortion
12/19/2018 Release dangerous criminals from federal prisons
12/11/2018 Pass a $900 billion farm bill with socialist policies
09/18/2018 Pass a promise-breaking cromnibus before the election
07/31/2018 Extend a broken and almost-insolvent flood insurance program
06/28/2018 Kill amendment to reform food stamps with stronger work requirements, upgraded job training
06/21/2018 Block final repeal of ‘waters of the US’ rule
05/17/2018 ‘Penny Plan’ to balance budget without tax increases
05/16/2018 Reinstate Obama’s net neutrality regulations
03/23/2018 Advance a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus that funds Democrat priorities
03/23/2018 Pass a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus that funds Democrat priorities
02/09/2018 Massive Spending, Debt Ceiling Raise, and Democrat Priorities Funded
01/29/2018 Vote Alert: Allow Vote to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks (Point of Pain)
01/16/2018 Support Unconstitutional Abuses of Americans’ Privacy
12/20/2017 Tax Cut For America
10/24/2017 Bailout Flood Insurance Program & Spend $36.5B
09/07/2017 The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump debt limit deal
05/04/2017 $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill for Democrat Priorties
04/07/2017 Confirm Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court
09/28/2016 Fund Obama Priorities and Give Planned Parenthood a Raise
06/29/2016 Support a Puerto Rico Bailout
05/19/2016 Support Obama’s War on Suburbs
04/19/2016 Increase Taxpayer Subsidies for “Green Energy” Home Loans
03/14/2016 Confirm Common-Core Supporting Education Secretary
01/19/2016 Lifetime Appointment of a Liberal Judge
12/18/2015 To Advance a $1.1 Trillion Budget Busting Spending Bill
12/09/2015 Expand Federal Control of Education
12/04/2015 1,300 Page $305 Billion Highway Bailout Bill
10/30/2015 Raise Debt Limit by $1.5 Trillion and Increase Spending
10/20/2015 Punish Sanctuary Cities That Violate Immigration Law
06/23/2015 Obamatrade — Fast Track Authority for TPP
04/23/2015 Support Loretta Lynch Nomination
04/14/2015 $500 Billion Healthcare Bill
02/27/2015 Fully Fund Obama’s Executive Amensty
01/29/2015 Approve Keystone XL Pipeline
12/13/2014 Advance $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill that Funds Executive Amnesty
12/13/2014 Declare Obama’s Executive Amnesty Unconstitutional
12/12/2014 Stop Government Land Grab
07/31/2014 Vote to waive budget discipline for Miller-Sanders Veterans deal
07/29/2014 Mike Lee Transportation Empowerment Act
02/12/2014 Advance debt limit increase without spending cuts
12/16/2013 To confirm Jeh Johnson as Secretary of Homeland Security
06/27/2013 Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill
05/06/2013 Internet Sales Tax
04/11/2013 Advance Gun Control Legislation Closer to Passage
03/20/2013 Fund the government and Obamacare
02/12/2013 “Violence Against Women Act”

 

Ted Cruz

Sen.

Ted Cruz

  • (TX)-R
  •   | In Office Since 2013

LIBERTY SCORE®

B

80%

Highcharts.com

Conservative:
80.0%
Liberal:
20.0%
Conservative Votes 36
Liberal Votes 9
Missed Votes 5
Liberty Score® 80%

Records as of: 08-10-2019

Liberty Score®

Conservative Review’s Liberty Score® grades members of Congress on the top 50 votes over a rolling six-year term. A letter grade is assigned to each member to help you quickly determine whether a lawmaker is supporting conservative principles. The Liberty Score® helps evaluate your representatives and senators, providing the tools necessary to separate rhetoric from reality. We don’t expect any elected officials to be perfect, but we do expect them to keep promises.

Liberty Score Votes

Date of Vote Vote CR Position Member Vote
05/23/2019 Pass a $19 billion spending bill without funding for the border crisis
02/25/2019 Protect Abortion Survivors by Banning Infanticide in America
02/14/2019 Surrender on the border wall; empower drug cartels and human traffickers
01/17/2019 End taxpayer funding for abortion
12/19/2018 Release dangerous criminals from federal prisons
12/11/2018 Pass a $900 billion farm bill with socialist policies
09/18/2018 Pass a promise-breaking cromnibus before the election
07/31/2018 Extend a broken and almost-insolvent flood insurance program
06/28/2018 Kill amendment to reform food stamps with stronger work requirements, upgraded job training
06/21/2018 Block final repeal of ‘waters of the US’ rule
05/17/2018 ‘Penny Plan’ to balance budget without tax increases
05/16/2018 Reinstate Obama’s net neutrality regulations
03/23/2018 Advance a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus that funds Democrat priorities
03/23/2018 Pass a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus that funds Democrat priorities
02/09/2018 Massive Spending, Debt Ceiling Raise, and Democrat Priorities Funded
01/29/2018 Vote Alert: Allow Vote to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks (Point of Pain)
01/16/2018 Support Unconstitutional Abuses of Americans’ Privacy
12/20/2017 Tax Cut For America
10/24/2017 Bailout Flood Insurance Program & Spend $36.5B
09/07/2017 The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump debt limit deal
05/04/2017 $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill for Democrat Priorties
04/07/2017 Confirm Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court
09/28/2016 Fund Obama Priorities and Give Planned Parenthood a Raise
06/29/2016 Support a Puerto Rico Bailout
05/19/2016 Support Obama’s War on Suburbs
04/19/2016 Increase Taxpayer Subsidies for “Green Energy” Home Loans
03/14/2016 Confirm Common-Core Supporting Education Secretary
01/19/2016 Lifetime Appointment of a Liberal Judge
12/18/2015 To Advance a $1.1 Trillion Budget Busting Spending Bill
12/09/2015 Expand Federal Control of Education
12/04/2015 1,300 Page $305 Billion Highway Bailout Bill
10/30/2015 Raise Debt Limit by $1.5 Trillion and Increase Spending
10/20/2015 Punish Sanctuary Cities That Violate Immigration Law
06/23/2015 Obamatrade — Fast Track Authority for TPP
04/23/2015 Support Loretta Lynch Nomination
04/14/2015 $500 Billion Healthcare Bill
02/27/2015 Fully Fund Obama’s Executive Amensty
01/29/2015 Approve Keystone XL Pipeline
12/13/2014 Advance $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill that Funds Executive Amnesty
12/13/2014 Declare Obama’s Executive Amnesty Unconstitutional
12/12/2014 Stop Government Land Grab
07/31/2014 Vote to waive budget discipline for Miller-Sanders Veterans deal
07/29/2014 Mike Lee Transportation Empowerment Act
02/12/2014 Advance debt limit increase without spending cuts
12/16/2013 To confirm Jeh Johnson as Secretary of Homeland Security
06/27/2013 Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill
05/06/2013 Internet Sales Tax
04/11/2013 Advance Gun Control Legislation Closer to Passage
03/20/2013 Fund the government and Obamacare
02/12/2013 “Violence Against Women Act”

John Lott

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John Lott
JohnLott.jpg

John Lott in 2009
Native name
John Richard Lott Jr.
Born May 8, 1958 (age 61)
Institutions University of ChicagoYale UniversityWharton School of the University of PennsylvaniaUniversity of Maryland, College ParkAmerican Enterprise Institute
Field Economics
Alma mater UCLA
Website http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

John Richard Lott Jr. (born May 8, 1958) is an American economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate. Lott was formerly employed at various academic institutions including the University of ChicagoYale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland, College Park, and at the American Enterprise Institute conservative think tank. As of 2017, he is a contributor for FoxNews.comthe Hill, and the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit he founded in 2013. Lott holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA.

He has written for both academic and popular publications. He has authored books such as More Guns, Less CrimeThe Bias Against Guns, and Freedomnomics. He is best known as an advocate[1][2][3] in the gun rights debate, particularly his arguments against restrictions on owning and carrying guns. Newsweek referred to Lott as “The Gun Crowd’s Guru.”[4]

Contents

Academic career

John Lott studied economics at UCLA, receiving his B.A. in 1980, M.A. in 1982, and Ph.D. in 1984. Lott has held positions in law and economics at several institutions, including the Yale Law School, the Hoover InstitutionUCLA, the Wharton Business SchoolTexas A&M University, and Rice University. Lott was the chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission[5] (1988–1989). He spent five years as a visiting professor (1994–95) and as a fellow (1995–99) at the University of Chicago. Lott was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (2001–2006). He left AEI for SUNY Binghamton.[6] From July 2007 to 2010, Lott was a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland Foundation at the University of Maryland, College Park and lectured on law and economics.[7][8]

Popular press and electronic media

Op-eds by Lott have appeared in such places as the The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Since 2008, he has been a columnist for Fox News, initially weekly.[9][5]

Concealed weapons and crime rate

In a 1997 article written with David B. Mustard[10] and Lott’s subsequent books More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns, Lott argued that allowing adults to carry concealed weapons significantly reduces crime in America.

The work was immediately controversial, drawing both support and opposition. Several academics praised Lott’s methodology, including Florida State University economist Bruce Benson,[11] Cardozo School of Law professor John O. McGinnis,[12] College of William and Mary professor Carlisle Moody,[13] University of Mississippi professor William F. Shughart,[14] and SUNY economist Florenz Plassmann and University of Adelaide economist John Whitley.[15]

Other reviews said that there were problems with Lott’s model. In the New England Journal of MedicineDavid Hemenway argued that Lott failed to account for several key variables, including drug consumption, and that therefore the model was flawed.[16] Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue, said that the model used by Lott contained significant coding errors and systemic bias.[17] In the American Journal of Public HealthDaniel Webster et al. also raised concerns about other flaws in the study, such as misclassification of laws and endogeneity of predictor variables, which they said rendered the study’s conclusions “insupportable”.[18] Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck considered it unlikely that such a large decrease in violent crime could be explained by a relatively modest increase in concealed carry,[19] and others said that removing portions of the data set caused the results to still show statistically significant drops only in aggravated assaults and robbery when all counties with fewer than 100,000 people and Florida’s counties were both simultaneously dropped from the sample.[20] A 1998 study by Jens Ludwig that said it “more effectively control[ed] for unobserved variables that may vary over time” than the Lott and Mustard study concluded that “shall-issue laws have resulted, if anything, in an increase in adult homicide rates.”[21] A 2001 study in the Journal of Political Economy by University of Chicago economist Mark Duggan did robustness checks of Lott and Mustard’s study and found that the findings of the Lott and Mustard study were inaccurate.[22]

In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) conducted a review of current research and data on firearms and violent crime, including Lott’s work, and concluded “that with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.”[23] The NRC report studied over 100 different types of gun control proposal and it reached this same non-conclusion for all these regulations. For all these regulations, the NRC panel only called for more research.

Only right-to-carry laws had a dissent from this non-conclusion. The pre-eminent criminologist James Q. Wilson dissented from this non-conclusion.[24] Wilson pointed out that committee’s own findings showed “that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate”.[25]

Referring to the research done on the topic, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that “Mr. Lott’s research has convinced his peers of at least one point: No scholars now claim that legalizing concealed weapons causes a major increase in crime.”[26] As Lott critics Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue III pointed out: “We conclude that Lott and Mustard have made an important scholarly contribution in establishing that these laws have not led to the massive bloodbath of death and injury that some of their opponents feared. On the other hand, we find that the statistical evidence that these laws have reduced crime is limited, sporadic, and extraordinarily fragile.”[17]

A 2008 article in Econ Journal Watch surveyed peer-reviewed empirical academic studies, and found that 10 supported the proposition that right-to-carry reduces crime, 8 supported no significant effect and none supported an increase.[27] The article was rebutted by Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue in the same journal in 2009.[28] By 2012, there were 18 peer-reviewed studies that supported right-to-carry reduces crime, 10 supported no significant effect and one supported an increase.[29] Other studies on the subject have been published in student-edited academic reviews or the commercial press.

In 2013, Lott founded the nonprofit organization Crime Prevention Research Center to study the relationship between gun laws and crime. As of July 2015, he was also the organization’s president.[30]

Women’s suffrage and government growth

Using data from 1870 to 1940, Lott and Larry Kenny studied how state government expenditures and revenue changed in 48 state governments after women obtained the right to vote. Women were able to vote in 29 states before women’s suffrage and the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Lott stated that “women’s suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise.”[31]

Defensive gun use

Lott argues in both More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns that defensive gun use (DGU) is underreported, noting that in general, only shootings ending in fatalities are discussed in news stories. In More Guns, Less Crime, Lott writes that “[s]ince in many defensive cases a handgun is simply brandished, and no one is harmed, many defensive uses are never even reported to the police.”

Attempting to quantify this phenomenon, in the first edition of the book, published in May 1998, Lott wrote that “national surveys” suggested that “98 percent of the time that people use guns defensively, they merely have to brandish a weapon to break off an attack.” In that same paragraph he also wrote that “[s]ince in many defensive cases a handgun is simply brandished, and no one is harmed, many defensive uses are never even reported to the police.” The higher the rate of defensive gun uses that do not end in the attacker being killed or wounded, the easier it is to explain why defensive gun uses are not covered by the media without reference to media bias. Lott cited the figure in op-eds in the Wall Street Journal[32] and the Los Angeles Times.[33]

In 2002, he said that brandishing a weapon was sufficient to stop an attack 95% of the time. Other researchers criticized his methodology. A study in Public Opinion Quarterly said that his sample size of 1,015 respondents was too small for the study to be accurate and that the majority of similar studies suggest a value between 70 and 80 percent.[34] According to Lott, Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz’s 1994 estimate rises to 92 percent when brandishing and warning shots are added together.[35]:8 Lott said that the lower rates found by others was at least in part due to the different questions that were asked.[36] The other surveys all asked people to recall events over the previous five years, while Lott had only asked people about events that had occurred during just the previous year. Lott used the higher estimate because it accounted for his claim of media bias. The survey questions have also been made available for years to anyone who would have liked to replicate the survey themselves.

Safe storage gun laws

In a 2001 study, Lott and John E. Whitley reported that safe-storage gun laws not only did not reduce juvenile suicides or accidental gun deaths, but that they also increased rates of violent and property crime.[37] The study was criticized by Webster et al. in the Journal of the American Medical Association for using Tobit regression despite the fact that the data used in the study on youth suicides was “highly skewed and heteroskedastic“, and because the vast majority of crimes that Lott and Whitley claimed increased due to safe-storage laws occurred outside the home.[38] Webster and Carroll also wrote in Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law that the Lott and Whitley study’s findings with respect to crime were inconsistent with prior research.[39]

Environmental regulations

Together with John Karpoff and Eric Wehrly at the University of Washington, Lott has worked to show the importance of government regulations through both legal and regulatory penalties and the weaknesses of reputational penalties in reducing pollution.[40] Firms violating environmental laws suffer statistically significant losses in the market value of firm equity. The losses are of similar magnitudes to the legal penalties imposed; and in the cross section, the market value loss is related to the size of the legal penalty.

Affirmative action in police departments

Lott finds that when hiring standards are lowered in the process of recruiting more minority officers, the overall quality of all officers is reduced and crime rates are increased. The most adverse effects of these hiring policies have occurred in the most heavily black populated cities. There is no consistent evidence that crime rates rise when standards for hiring women are changed, and this raises questions about whether norming tests or altering their content to create equal pass rates is preferable. The paper examines how the changing composition of police departments affects such measures as the murder of and assaults against police officers.[41]

Abortion and crime

With John Whitley at the University of Adelaide, Lott has considered crime rates and the possible influence of laws which place abortion decisions with the pregnant person other than boards of physicians. They acknowledge the old 1960s argument that abortion may prevent the birth of “unwanted” children, who would have relatively small investments in human capital and a higher probability of crime. On the other hand, their research suggests that liberalizing abortion rules correlates with an increase in out-of-wedlock births and single parent families. In turn, they argue that this increase in single parent births implies the opposite effect on investments in human capital (i.e., average investment per child decreases under their argument). Using the correlation between children in poverty and in single parent homes with crime they build an argument that liberalization of abortion laws increased murder rates by around about 0.5 to 7 percent.[42] In a review of the literature on the relationship between abortion and crime, Theodore Joyce, an economist at Baruch College and the National Bureau of Economic Research, praised Lott and Whitley for gathering additional data on abortion but criticized the methodology that they used.[43]

Lost Bush votes in the 2000 presidential election

In 2000, Lott argued, using a regression analysis, that George W. Bush lost at least 10,000 votes in Florida after the media incorrectly called the state for Al Gore while voting was still on-going in the more conservative parts of the state.[44] Lott’s argument is used in the influential social science methodology textbook Rethinking Social Inquiry (edited by Henry Brady and David Collier) as an example of poor methodology, and showed how the number of lost Bush votes ranged from 28 to 56.[44]

Other areas

Lott claims that most of the large recent increases in campaign spending for state and federal offices can be explained by higher government spending.[45] Lott also supports the conclusion that higher quality judges, measured by their output once they are on the court (e.g., number of citations to their opinions or number of published opinions), take longer to get confirmed.[46]

Lott has advocated government deregulation of various areas, and has also been published in the popular press taking positions in support of the U.S. Republican Party and President George W. Bush on topics such as the validity of the 2000 Presidential Election results in Florida.[47]

Controversy

Defamation suit

On April 10, 2006, John Lott filed suit[48] for defamation against Steven Levitt and HarperCollins Publishers over the book Freakonomics and against Levitt over a series of emails to John McCall. In the book Freakonomics, Levitt and coauthor Stephen J. Dubner claimed that the results of Lott’s research in More Guns, Less Crime had not been replicated by other academics. In the emails to economist John McCall, who had pointed to a number of papers in different academic publications that had replicated Lott’s work, Levitt wrote that the work by several authors supporting Lott in a special 2001 issue of the Journal of Law and Economics had not been peer reviewed, Lott had paid the University of Chicago Press to publish the papers, and that papers with results opposite of Lott’s had been blocked from publication in that issue.[49]

A federal judge found that Levitt’s replication claim in Freakonomics was not defamation but found merit in Lott’s complaint over the email claims.[50]

Levitt settled the second defamation claim by admitting in a letter to John McCall that he himself was a peer reviewer in the 2001 issue of the Journal of Law and Economics, that Lott had not engaged in bribery (paying for extra costs of printing and postage for a conference issue is customary), and that he knew that “scholars with varying opinions” (including Levitt himself) had been invited to participate.[51][52] The Chronicle of Higher Education characterized Levitt’s letter as offering “a doozy of a concession.”[53]

The dismissal of the first half of Lott’s suit was unanimously upheld by The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on February 11, 2009.[54]

Charges that gun makers or the NRA have paid for Lott’s research

In 1996 when Lott’s research first received media attention, Charles Schumer wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “The Associated Press reports that Prof. Lott’s fellowship at the University of Chicago is funded by the Olin Foundation, which is ‘associated with the Olin Corporation,’ one of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers. Maybe that’s a coincidence, too. But it’s also a fact.”[55] Olin Foundation head William E. Simon strongly denied Schumer’s claims in a reply letter in which he stated that: Olin Foundation was funded by the personal estate of the late John M. Olin independently of Olin Corp. Like all candidates, Lott was selected to receive his Olin Fellowship by the faculty of the university, not by Olin Foundation and certainly not by Olin Corp.[56][57]

In a debate on Piers Morgan Tonight on July 23, 2012, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz claimed: “This is junk science at its worst. Paid for and financed by the National Rifle Association.” Lott countered: “The NRA hasn’t paid for my research.” Dershowitz continued: “Your conclusions are paid for and financed—The National Rifle Association—only funds research that will lead to these conclusions.”[58][59] Separately both Lott and the NRA have denied NRA funding of Lott’s research.[60]

Disputed survey

In the course of a dispute with Otis Dudley Duncan in 1999–2000,[61][62] Lott claimed to have undertaken a national survey of 2,424 respondents in 1997, the results of which were the source for claims he had made beginning in 1997.[62] However, in 2000 Lott was unable to produce the data or any records showing that the survey had been undertaken. He said the 1997 hard drive crash that had affected several projects with co-authors had destroyed his survey data set,[63] the original tally sheets had been abandoned with other personal property in his move from Chicago to Yale, and he could not recall the names of any of the students who he said had worked on it. Critics alleged that the survey had never taken place,[64] but Lott defends the survey’s existence and accuracy, quoting on his website colleagues who lost data in the hard drive crash.[65]

Use of econometrics as proof of causation

In 2001, Rutgers University sociology professor Ted Goertzel[66] considered multiple regression to be not of much use in proving causal arguments in studies by Lott (and by Lott’s critics Levitt, Ayres and Donohue).[67]

The National Academy of Sciences panel that reported on several gun control issues in 2004 looked at Right-To-Carry laws in Chapter 6 and endorsed neither the Lott & Mustard (1997) level and trend models as definite proof nor the Ayres & Donohue (2003) hybrid model as definite refutation of Lott’s thesis: the majority of the panel concluded that econometrics could not decide the issue, suggesting instead alternate research, such as a survey of felons to determine if RTC changed their behavior.[68] The criminologist on the NAS panel, James Q. Wilson, wrote a dissent from the econometricians’ conclusion. Wilson noted in the report that all the panel’s estimates on murder rates supported Lott’s conclusion on the effect of RTC on murder.[69] The Committee responded that “[w]hile it is true that most of the reported estimates [of the policy on murder rates] are negative, several are positive and many are statistically insignificant.”[70] They further noted that the full committee, including Wilson, agreed that there was not convincing evidence that RTC policies affected other kinds of violent crime.

In a 2011 article for ALER, Donohue claimed the NRC panel results published from the hybrid model “could not be replicated on its data set”.[71] Lott replicated the NRC’s results using the NRC’s copy of the Ayres & Donohue model and data set, pointing out that the model used for the ALER article was different and introduced a truncation bias.[72]

Mary Rosh persona

In response to the dispute surrounding the missing survey, Lott created and used “Mary Rosh” as a sock puppet to defend his own works on Usenet and elsewhere. After investigative work by blogger Julian Sanchez, Lott admitted to use of the Mary Rosh persona.[64] Sanchez also pointed out that Lott, posing as Rosh, not only praised his own academic writing, but also called himself “the best professor I ever had”.

Many commentators and academics accused Lott of violating academic integrity, noting that he praised himself while posing as one of his former students[73][74] and that “Rosh” was used to post a favorable review of More Guns, Less Crime on Amazon.com. Lott has claimed that the “Rosh” review was written by his son and wife.[74]

“I probably shouldn’t have done it—I know I shouldn’t have done it—but it’s hard to think of any big advantage I got except to be able to comment fictitiously,” Lott told The Washington Post in 2003.[74]

Bibliography

See also

References …

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

Form 4473

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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ATF Form 4473, October 2016 revision

Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a form promulgated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the United States Department of Justice that is filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder (such as a gun shop).[1]

The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, and a short affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. It contains make, model, or serial number on page three of the six page form. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison[2] in addition to fines, even if the transaction is denied by the NICS. Prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased.[citation needed] Of 556,496 denied transactions between FY 2008 and FY 2015, federal prosecutors prosecuted an average of under 32 cases per year, including 24 in FY 2013, 15 in FY 2014 and 20 in FY 2015.[3][4]

The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required “bound-book” called an “Acquisition and Disposition Log.[5] A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of, the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five-day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4.

If a person purchases a firearm from a private individual who is not a licensed dealer, the purchaser is not required in most states to complete a Form 4473. Some states (such as California and Colorado) require individual sellers to sell through dealers.

These forms are given the same status as a tax return under the Privacy Act of 1974 and cannot be disclosed by the government to private parties or other government officials except in accordance with the Privacy Act. Individual dealers possessing a copy of the form are not subject to the Privacy Act’s restrictions on disclosure. Dealers are required to maintain completed forms for 20 years in the case of completed sales, and for 5 years where the sale was disapproved as a result of the NICS check.

Contents

eForm 4473

In response to the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA),[6] and based upon requests from the firearms industry, the ATF has developed the e-Form 4473 to assist in the proper completion of the Federal Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473). The ATF eForm 4473 is designed to help eliminate errors in completing Form 4473 for both the firearm purchaser and the licensed seller. The eForm 4473 is provided to the public, including major retailers, free of charge via the ATF eForm web site. ATF eForm 4473 is a downloadable application that runs locally on the seller’s computer and supports both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. (See “External links” section below.)

2016 revision

In 2016, ATF made several changes to the form, including adding a warning statement that the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.[7][8]

In Popular Culture

Form 4473 was referenced in the 1984 film Red Dawn.[9]

References

  1. ^ See generally subsection (g)(1)(A) of 18 U.S.C. § 923 and subsection (a) of 27 C.F.R. sec. 478.124.
  2. ^ See subsection (a) of 18 U.S.C. § 922 and subsection (a)(1)(A) of 18 U.S.C. § 924.
  3. ^ https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2016/a1632.pdf
  4. ^ “As gun ownership increases, prosecutions for lying to get a gun fall”.
  5. ^ See generally subsection (g)(2) of 18 U.S.C. section 923.
  6. ^ Title XVII (sections 1701 through 1710) of Division C of Public Law No. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681, at 2681-749 (Oct 21, 1998), amending subsection (a)(1)(B)(vi) of 44 U.S.C. § 3504.
  7. ^ “ATF Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record Revisions – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives”http://www.atf.gov.
  8. ^ “Feds spell it out: No gun for you if you fire up in a pot-legal state”. 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ “Order from COL. Ernesto Bella to KGB Major to find firearms owners during invasion of Colorado”.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_4473

ATF Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

Image of a man filling out a form

Important Notice to All Federal Firearms Licensees

ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473) has been revised. This page highlights the significant changes to the form. It is highly suggested that you review the entire revised form including all of the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions.

This form is effective January 16, 2017, you may no longer use the previous edition (April 2012) of the Form 4473 as it will be obsolete. The revised form is available to either download or order online.

The significant changes to Form 4473 include:Image of revised ATF Form 4473

General

Section A

Section B

Section D

Notice, Instructions, and Definitions

Related Resources

Related Research and Background Information

Ordering Forms

Contact Information

 

General

  • Form Title: Removed “Part I-Over-the-Counter”
  • Warning Statement: Clarifies that the form is to be completed at the licensed premises unless the transaction qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922(c).

Section A

  • Question 1: Clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains an initial only should record “IO” (including the quotation marks, i.e. John W. “IO” Smith). Also clarifies that transferee’s/buyer’s with a legal name that contains a suffix (e.g., Jr, Sr, II, III) should record the information with their last name.
  • Question 2:  Incorporated State of Residence information from former Question 13.
  • Question 6: Changed “Gender” to “Sex”.
  • Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Clarifies that both questions must be answered.
  • Question 11.e: Added a warning statement regarding marijuana that has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where the transferee/buyer resides.
  • Questions 12.a – 12.d and 13: (Formerly Questions 11.k – 12 and 14 – 15): Regrouped and revised the citizenship and immigration status questions to make them easier to follow.
  • Transferee/Buyer Certification: Clarifies that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is violation of Federal law.

Section B

  • Question 18.b (Formerly Question 20.b): Changed to “Supplemental Government Issued Documentation (if identification document does not show current residence address)
  • Question 18.c (Formerly Question 20.c): Changed to “Exception to the Nonimmigrant Alien Prohibition: If the transferee/buyer answered “YES” to 12.d.2. the transferor/seller must record the type of documentation showing the exception to the prohibition and attach a copy to this ATF Form 4473.”
  • Question 19.d (Formerly Question 21.d): Added a check box for “Overturned” transactions.
  • Question 19.g (Added to Form): “Name of FFL Employee Completing NICS check. (Optional)”.
  • Question 20 (Formerly Question 22): Clarifies that a NICS check is not required if the individual receiving the firearm was subject to a background check as part of the NFA approval process.

Section D

  • Header: Added instruction that the firearm information must be recorded even if the firearm(s) is/are not transferred.
  • Question 24 (Formerly Question 26): Changed to “Manufacturer and Importer (If any)” to reflect the language in 27 CFR 478.125(e).
  • Question 24 – 28 (Formerly Question 26 – 30): Removed line 5 and added line numbers.
  • Multiple Sale: Added “REMINDER – By the Close of Business” to the beginning of the sentence for clarification.
  • Question 29 (Formerly Question 30.a): Clarifies that “zero” should be recorded if no firearm(s) is/are transferred.
  • Question 30 (Formerly Question 30.b): Changed to a check box and added an instruction to record the line number(s) involved in the pawn redemption.
  • Question 32 (Added to Form): A check box to indicate that the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Question 33 (Formerly Questions 31 – 32): Combined the two questions.
  • Transferor Certification: Revised language to certify that the form was completed at the licensed business premises unless the transaction meets the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 922(c) and the transaction complies with State or local laws that are applicable to the firearms business. Clarifies that unless the transaction has been denied or cancelled the transferor/seller certifies that it is his/her belief that it is not unlawful for him/her to sell, deliver, transport, or otherwise dispose of the firearm(s) listed on this form to the person identified in Section A.

Notices, Instructions, and Definitions

  • Purpose of the Form – Paragraph 2 (Added to Form): “Generally, ATF Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over-the-counter. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(c), allows a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell a firearm to a nonlicensee who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises only if the transferee/buyer meets certain requirements. These requirements are set forth in section 922(c), 27 CFR 478.96(b), and ATF Procedure 2013-2.”
  • Purpose of the Form – Over-the-Counter Transaction (Formerly Paragraph 4): Removed from form.
  • Purpose of the Form – State Laws and Published Ordinances (Formerly Paragraph 5): Removed from form. Information incorporated into Paragraph 1.
  • Purpose of the Form – Exportation of Firearms: Added “Warning: Any person who exports a firearm without proper authorization may be fined not more than $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than 20 years See 22 U.S.C. 2778(c).”
  • Instruction for Section A: Formerly instructions for Question 1.
  • Instruction for Question 2: Clarifies that a rural route (RR) may be accepted provided the transferee/buyer lives in a State or locality where it is considered a legal residence address. Also clarifies that the State of residence for members of the Armed Forces on active duty is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located.
  • Instruction for Question 9: Clarifies that the licensee should provide the UPIN when conducting background checks through the NICS or the State POC.
  • Instruction for Questions 10.a. and 10.b: Added to form.
  • Instruction for Question 11.a: Clarifies when a gift is considered “bona fide” and provides examples.
  • Instruction for Questions 11.b – 12 (Formerly Questions 11.b – 11.l): Added a new paragraph between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs. “A member of the Armed Forces must answer “yes” to 11.b. or 11.c. if charged with an offense that was either referred to a General Court Martial, or at which the member was convicted. Discharged “under dishonorable conditions” means separation from the Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal adjudged by a General Court-Martial. The term does not include any other discharge or separation from the Armed Forces.”
  • Instruction for Question 11.b: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Questions 11.b – 12.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCPTION to 11.c. and 11.i.): Clarifies that persons subject to this exception, or who receive relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. 925(c), should answer “no” to the applicable question.
  • Instruction for Question 11.d: Added to form. Provides the definition of “Fugitive from Justice”.
  • EXCEPTION (Formerly EXCEPTION to 11.f): Clarifies when a person is not prohibited under the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. Language revised and additional information added.
  • Instruction for Question 12.d (Formerly Question 11.l.): Clarifies which aliens must answer “yes” to this question and provide the additional documentation required under Question 18.c.
  • Former Instruction for Question 11.l: Paragraph 2 removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 12: Removed from form. Information from Paragraph 1 incorporated into Question 18.c. Information from paragraph 2 incorporated into Questions 12.a.-12.d.
  • Former Instruction for Question 13: Removed from form. Information incorporated into Question 2.
  • New Instruction for Question 13: Added to form. Clarifies where U.S.-issued alien and admission numbers may be found. Also clarifies that U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals should leave the question left blank.
  • Instruction for Question 16 (Formerly Question 18): Clarifies that frames and receivers cannot be transferred to anyone who is not a resident of the State where the transfer is to take place.
  • Instruction for Question 17. (Formerly Question 19.): Added the definition of “Qualifying Gun Show or Event”.
  • Instruction for Question 18a (Formerly Question 20.a): Clarifies that licensees may accept electronic PCS orders to establish residency.
  • Instruction for Question 18.b. (Formerly Question 20.b.): Clarifies that a valid electronic document from a government website may be used as supplemental documentation provided it contains the transferee’s/buyer’s name and current residence address.
  • Instruction for Question 18c. (Formerly Question 20.c.): Clarifies the exceptions to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition and acceptable documentation.
  • Instruction for Question 19 (Formerly Question(s) 21, 22, 23): Clarifies for purposes of this form, contacts to NICS include State agencies designated as points-of-contact (“or POCs”) to conduct NICS checks for the Federal Government.  Provides instructions for completing the form when a transaction was denied and later overturned.
  • Instruction for Questions 20 and 21 (Formerly EXCEPTIONS TO NICS CHECK): Clarifies that the exception includes transfers of National Firearms Act firearms to an individual who has undergone a background check during the NFA approval process. Also clarifies that a NICS check must be conducted if an NFA firearm has been approved for transfer to a trust, or to a legal entity such as a corporation, and no background check was conducted as part of the NFA approval process on the individual who will receive the firearm. Additionally clarifies that individuals who have undergone a background check during the NFA application process are listed on the approved NFA transfer form.
  • Instruction for Question(s) 24-28 (Formerly Question(s) 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30): Clarifies that these blocks must be completed with the firearms information. Also clarifies that all firearms manufactured after 1968 by Federal firearms licensees should be marked with a serial number.
  • Former Instruction for Question 32: Removed from form.
  • New Instruction for Question 32: Added to form. Provides instructions for completing the form when the transaction is to facilitate a private party transfer.
  • Former Instructions for Questions 33-35: Removed from form.

Related Resources

Related Research and Background Information

Ordering Forms

The revised form is available to either download or order.  FFLs started to receive packets of 50 forms in late December 2016.  Should you require additional forms, please contact the ATF Distribution Center by telephone at (703) 870-7526 or (703) 870-7528. Forms may also be ordered online or you may print the Form 4473 from ATF’s website and make copies as needed.  Please note that all six pages of the Form 4473 must be printed and retained as a part of your permanent records.

Contact Information

If you have additional questions regarding the revised Form 4473, please contact your local ATF office.  A listing may be found online.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/atf-form-4473-firearms-transaction-record-revisions

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7339463/Biden-seeks-edge-2020-Democrats-flood-Iowa.html

Latest 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polls
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2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination SurveyUSA Biden 33, Warren 19, Sanders 20, Harris 9, Buttigieg 8, O’Rourke 1, Booker 1, Gabbard 0, Yang 0, Klobuchar 1, Castro 0, Steyer 0, Bullock 0 Biden +13
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Wednesday, July 31
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2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination Economist/YouGov Biden 26, Warren 20, Sanders 13, Harris 11, Buttigieg 6, O’Rourke 2, Booker 3, Gabbard 2, Yang 1, Klobuchar 0, Castro 2, Steyer 0, Bullock 0 Biden +6
Tuesday, July 30
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2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination Emerson Biden 33, Warren 14, Sanders 20, Harris 11, Buttigieg 6, O’Rourke 4, Booker 0, Gabbard 1, Yang 2, Klobuchar 0, Castro 1, Steyer 2, Bullock 0 Biden +13
2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination Politico/Morning Consult Biden 33, Warren 13, Sanders 18, Harris 12, Buttigieg 5, O’Rourke 3, Booker 3, Gabbard 1, Yang 2, Klobuchar 1, Castro 1, Steyer 1, Bullock 0 Biden +15
2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination The Hill/HarrisX Biden 34, Warren 12, Sanders 20, Harris 9, Buttigieg 5, O’Rourke 4, Booker 1, Gabbard 0, Yang 1, Klobuchar 1, Castro 1, Steyer 1, Bullock 1 Biden +14
Monday, July 29
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination Quinnipiac Biden 34, Warren 15, Sanders 11, Harris 12, Buttigieg 6, O’Rourke 2, Booker 1, Gabbard 1, Yang 2, Klobuchar 1, Castro 0, Steyer 0, Bullock 0 Biden +19
Saturday, July 27
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Nevada Democratic Presidential Caucus Morning Consult* Biden 29, Sanders 23, Warren 12, Harris 11, Buttigieg 6, O’Rourke 3, Yang 3, Booker 3, Castro 2, Klobuchar 1, Steyer 1 Biden +6
Friday, July 26
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2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination FOX News Biden 33, Warren 12, Sanders 15, Harris 10, Buttigieg 5, O’Rourke 2, Booker 2, Gabbard 0, Yang 3, Klobuchar 3, Castro 1, Steyer 1, Bullock 0 Biden +18

1 23 

 

Story 3: Survival of The Anti-American  Presidential Candidates of The Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) — How Not To Win Friends and Influence People — Failing Final Four: Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris — Trump Should Beat Them All — Videos

Progressives worry about the strength of the 2020 Democratic field

The Angle: Kamala’s big con

Here are the candidates who qualified for the third Democratic debate — and those who might miss out

Andrew Yang became the ninth candidate to qualify.

Javier Zarracina/Vox; Getty Images

Democrats aren’t letting just anyone onto their presidential debate stage anymore.

After two debates with lenient qualification standards that featured 20 candidates each, the DNC raised the bar for September’s third debate. The move has created some drama, as various lower-polling contenders are struggling to make the cut with less than three weeks before the final lineup is announced.

We’ll go into the fine print more below, but the gist is that candidates have to hit 2 percent in four recent polls from a specific list of organizations, and also get donations from 130,000 different people. By contrast, to get into the first debate, you had to hit 1 percent in three polls or get donations from 65,000 people — each threshold was lower, and you didn’t need to meet both of them.

Currently, nine candidateshavequalified for debate No. 3: Joe BidenBernie SandersElizabeth WarrenKamala HarrisPete ButtigiegBeto O’RourkeCory BookerAmy Klobuchar, and Andrew Yang.

Three more candidates — Julián CastroTom Steyer, and Tulsi Gabbard — have made some significant progress toward qualifying, though it’s not clear if they’ll make it. The rest of the field seems quite far away and the clock is ticking: The deadline to qualify is Wednesday, August 28.

However, candidates who narrowly fail to qualify for September’s third debate might get another chance in October. The DNC is using the same qualification rules for both events, but candidates will have an extra month or so to get more donations or show improvement in polls, as Politico’s Zach Montellaro reported.

The third debate is scheduled for September 12 and potentially also September 13, if enough candidates qualify to necessitate a two-night event. It’s co-sponsored by and will be aired on ABC and Univision.

How to qualify for the third Democratic debate

To make it onto the debate stage, a Democratic candidate has to meet both of these two thresholds.

1. The polling threshold: A candidate must hit 2 percent or more in at least four polls released between June 28 and August 28.

  • These can be either national polls or early state polls (of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina).
  • These polls must be conducted by one of these organizations: CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Associated Press, NPR, the Des Moines Register, Monmouth University, Quinnipiac University, the University of New Hampshire, or Winthrop University.
  • One catch is that a candidate cannot use multiple polls by the same organization covering the same geographic area. (For example, if there are two NBC national polls showing a candidate meeting the threshold, only one of them will count).

2. The donor threshold: A candidate must have received donations from 130,000 different people. Also, they must have at least 400 donors each in at least 20 different states.

The names of donors who give less than $200 don’t have to be publicly disclosed, so for the time being we’ve had to rely on the candidates’ own claims that they’ve met this donor threshold. (Eventually, they have to give corroborating information to the DNC, which will double-check.)

Javier Zarracina/Vox

Who’s qualified for the third Democratic debate?

So far, these candidates have met the polling threshold and have said they’ve met the donor threshold:

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Bernie Sanders
  3. Elizabeth Warren
  4. Kamala Harris
  5. Pete Buttigieg
  6. Beto O’Rourke
  7. Cory Booker
  8. Amy Klobuchar
  9. Andrew Yang

Currently, this list is small enough that it could mean all the candidates get to debate together on one night, rather than being split over two separate nights as was the case in both previous debates this year.

But the DNC has said that if a “large field” does end up qualifying, this third debate will again be a two-night event. They have not, however, said exactly how many qualifying candidates would necessitate a two-night debate.

So if, say, 11 or 12 candidates qualify — which seems totally plausible at the moment — it’s not yet clear whether they’d all be onstage together or whether they’d be split in two groups on separate nights.

Who hasn’t yet qualified for the third Democratic debate?

There are three candidates who have made significant progress toward qualifying but who haven’t yet sealed the deal.

  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro has three of four qualifying polls and says he has met the donor threshold. So he needs just one more poll to qualify.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) says she has met the donor threshold but she has just one of four qualifying polls. So she needs three more polls to qualify.
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer has three of four qualifying polls but he has not yet met the donor threshold. So he needs one more poll and a bunch more donors to quality.

Everybody else in the race faces an uphill climb to qualify, with most having zero of the necessary four polls so far and not having met the donor threshold, either. They are:

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (has one poll)
  • Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado (has one poll)
  • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
  • Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana
  • Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts
  • Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida
  • Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania

But candidates will get another chance at qualifying for the fourth debate

There’s an interesting twist about qualifying for the fourth Democratic debate in October, though: It will actually be easier.

That’s because the qualification rules are exactly the same as for the third debate — except that there will be more time for campaigns to make it happen.

For the polling threshold in particular, the third debate requires polls released between June 28 and August 28 be used. But for the fourth debate, that window goes from that same starting point (June 28) up until two weeks before the October debate (which doesn’t yet have a specific announced date).

The gist, as Politico points out, is that any candidates who qualify for the third debate automatically make it into the fourth debate — and on top of that roster, the rest of the field will have another month to try and get the rest of what they need as well.

So what could oddly ensue is a significantly smaller field for September’s third debate that then gets a bit bigger for October’s fourth debate.

https://www.vox.com/2019/8/8/20758519/democratic-debate-qualification-polls-candidates-yang-gabbard

Story 4: Nearly 700 Illegal Aliens Detained In Massive Raids In Mississippi Food Processing Plants — End Catch and Release — Videos —

 

ICE releases almost half of the 680 people arrested during Mississippi raids

Massive immigration raids at agricultural processing plants in Mississippi

News Wrap: ICE arrests 680 undocumented workers in Mississippi

Scores from Mexico, Guatemala detained in Mississippi raids

The governments of Guatemala and Mexico said on Thursday that between them, almost 300 of their citizens had been detained in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi as part of sweeping U.S. immigration operations.

U.S. immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across the state on Wednesday in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state.

On Twitter, the Mexican foreign ministry said 122 Mexican nationals had been detained, of whom 34 had been released and notified of dates for hearings with migration authorities.

Guatemala’s foreign ministry said in a statement that 176 of its citizens had been arrested in the raids in Mississippi, 142 of them men and 34 women.

Separately, the Honduran foreign ministry said that two Hondurans so far had been confirmed among those detained.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration, especially from Central America and Mexico, one of the signature policies of his administration. (Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Julia Love; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa and Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Sandra Maler and Tom Hogue)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7339509/Mexico-minister-says-107-Mexicans-detained-Mississippi-operations.html

Story 5: A Confident President Trump Comments To The Big Lie Media Before Taking 10 Day Vacation — Winning The Hearts and Minds of American People With A Resonating Message — Meaningful Background Checks — Yes, Red Flags — No Videos

MARATHON TRUMP: President Trump Talks To Media Before Vacation

Story 6: Numerous Two Second or A Few Seconds Videos on Youtube For Fox Commentators Including Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Fox and Friends, The Five, and Many More — Either YouTube is Doing This or YouTube Is Failing To Stop Whoever  Is Doing This — Videos

The Ingraham Angle 8/8/19 FULL | Laura Ingraham Fox News August 8, 2019

The Ingraham Angle 8/9/19 FULL | Laura Ingraham Fox News August 9, 2019

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018, Story 1: Trump’s Spygate: Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — From Russia With Love — Clinton and Obama’s Emails Russia’s Leverage — NSA Has All Spygate Emails — Conspirators Should Be Targeted By NSA For Criminal Activity — What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It? — Obama Was Conspiracy Conductor! — Lock Them Up! — Videos — Story 2: Does Communist China Really Want To Make A Deal? — President Trump Beginning To Suspect They Do not –Videos — SStory 3: Trade Talk Impact on North Korea Summit on June 12, 2018 — “We Will See” –“Whatever it is. It is.” — Videos

Posted on May 24, 2018. Filed under: Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Computers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Trump’s Spygate: Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — From Russia With Love — Clinton and Obama’s Emails Russia’s Leverage — NSA Has All Spygate Emails — Conspirators Should Be Targeted By NSA For Criminal Activity — Videos —

Trump raises surveillance concerns with security officials

Republicans want second special counsel, Trump wants answers

Political fallout from Trump’s informant claim

Reps. Jordan, Gaetz on demand for second special counsel

Trump Met With DOJ And FBI Leaders A Day After “Demanding” Tweet

Why FBI spy report shouldn’t be ignored

Strassel, Chaffetz on claims of Trump campaign surveillance

Intel community shouldn’t be used by political parties: Rep. Gaetz

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

Ingraham: I spy with my little eye, something crooked at FBI

Carter Page on interactions with alleged FBI informant

Russia lesson: Ruling class is out of control

Hannity: The ‘deep state’ dam is about to burst

Trump denounces ‘Spygate’ scandal against campaign

Roger Stone reacts to reports FBI spied on Trump campaign

DiGenova: John Brennan should get a good lawyer

FBI believes it isn’t accountable to anyone: Gregg Jarrett

FBI and DOJ in turmoil over handling of Clinton emails

Former FBI Asst. Director Bill Gavin on FBI spying on Trump campaign advisor

Obama used NSA & FBI to spy on Trump – veteran CIA officer

Exclusive: Peter Navarro pushed Stefan Halper for Trump job

Peter Navarro and Stefan Halper, the academic suspected of being an FBI informant into the Trump campaign.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, recommended appointing Stefan Halper, an academic and suspected FBI informant on the Trump campaign, to a senior role in the Trump administration, Axios has learned.

Behind the scenes: During the presidential transition Navarro recommended Halper, among other people, for ambassador roles in Asia. A White House official said Halper visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building last August for a meeting about China.

https://www.axios.com/peter-navarro-trump-stefan-halper-fbi-informant-cc8a2601-dfe1-45a0-8899-62bfb7578599.html

 

The Trump Rationale

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fresno, Calif., May 27, 2016. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

His voters knew what they were getting, and most support him still.Why exactly did nearly half the country vote for Donald Trump?

Why also did the arguments of Never Trump Republicans and conservatives have marginal effect on voters? Despite vehement denunciations of the Trump candidacy from many pundits on the right and in the media, Trump nonetheless got about the same percentage of Republican voters (88–90 percent) as did McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, who both were handily defeated in the Electoral College.

Here are some of reasons voters knew what they were getting with Trump and yet nevertheless assumed he was preferable to a Clinton presidency.

1) Was Trump disqualified by his occasional but demonstrable character flaws and often rank vulgarity? To believe that plaint, voters would have needed a standard by which both past media of coverage of the White House and the prior behavior of presidents offered some useful benchmarks. Unfortunately, the sorts of disturbing things we know about Trump we often did not know in the past about other presidents. By any fair measure, the sexual gymnastics in the White House and West Wing of JFK and Bill Clinton, both successful presidents, were likely well beyond President Trump’s randy habits. Harry Truman’s prior Tom Pendergast machine connections make Trump steaks and Trump university seem minor. By any classical definition, Lyndon Johnson could have been characterized as both a crook and a pervert. In sum, the public is still not convinced that Trump’s crudities are necessarily different from what they imagine of some past presidents. But it does seem convinced, in our age of a 24/7 globalized Internet, that 90 percent negative media coverage of the Trump tenure is quite novel.

2) Personal morality and public governance are related, but we are not always quite sure how. Jimmy Carter was both a more moral person and a worse president than Bill Clinton. Jerry Ford was a more ethical leader than Donald Trump — and had a far worse first 16 months. FDR was a superb wartime leader — and carried on an affair in the White House, tried to pack and hijack the Supreme Court, sent U.S. citizens into internment camps, and abused his presidential powers in ways that might get a president impeached today. In the 1944 election, the Republican nominee Tom Dewey was the more ethical — and stuffy — man. In matters of spiritual leadership and moral role models, we wish that profane, philandering (including an affair with his step-niece), and unsteady General George S. Patton had just conducted himself in private and public as did the upright General Omar Bradley. But then we would have wished even more that Bradley had just half the strategic and tactical skill of Patton. If he had, thousands of lives might have been spared in the advance to the Rhine.

Trump did not run in a vacuum. A presidential vote is not a one-person race for sainthood but, like it or not, often a choice between a bad and worse option. Hillary Clinton would have likely ensured a 16-year progressive regnum.

Trump is currently not carrying on an affair with his limousine driver, as Ike probably was with Kay Summersby while commanding all Allied forces in Europe following D-Day. Rarely are both qualities, brilliance and personal morality, found in a leader — even among our greatest, such as the alcoholic Grant or the foul-mouthed and occasionally crude Truman. Richard Feynman in some ways may have been the most important — or at least the most interesting — physicist of our age, but his tawdry and sometimes callous private life would have made Feynman Target No. 1 of the MeToo movement.

3) Trump did not run in a vacuum. A presidential vote is not a one-person race for sainthood but, like it or not, often a choice between a bad and worse option. Hillary Clinton would have likely ensured a 16-year progressive regnum. As far as counterfactual “what ifs” go, by 2024, at the end of Clinton’s second term, a conservative might not have recognized the federal judiciary, given the nature of lifetime appointees. The lives of millions of Americans would have been radically changed in an Obama-Clinton economy that probably would not have seen GDP or unemployment levels that Americans are now enjoying. Fracking, coal production, and new oil exploration would have been vastly curtailed. The out-of-control EPA would have become even more powerful. Half the country simply did not see the democratic socialist European Union, and its foreign and domestic agendas, as the model for 21st-century America.

What John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Peter Strzok, Sally Yates, and others did in 2016 would never have been known — given that their likely obstruction, lying, and lawbreaking were predicated on being unspoken recommendations for praise and advancement in a sure-thing Clinton administration. Christopher Steele might have either been unknown — or lionized.

Open borders, Chinese trade aggression, the antics of the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal, the Iran deal, estrangement from Israel and the Gulf states, a permanently nuclear North Korea, leading from behind — all that and far more would be the continued norm into the 2020s. Ben Rhodes, architect of the Iran deal and the media echo chamber, might have been the national-security adviser. The red-state losers would be institutionalized as clingers, crazies, wackos, deplorables, and irredeemables in a Clinton administration. A Supreme Court with justices such as Loretta Lynch, Elizabeth Warren, and Eric Holder would have made the court little different in its agendas from those of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Harvard Law School.

4) Something had gone haywire with the Republican party at the national level. Since 1988, it had failed to achieve 51 percent of the popular presidential vote, losing the popular vote in five out of the past six elections, writing off as permanently lost the purple states of the Midwest. Most Republicans privately had all but given up on cracking the Electoral College matrix, given the lost-for-good big blue states such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, changing demography in the Southwest, and the supposedly permanently forfeited Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The proverbial Republican elite had become convinced that globalization, open borders, and free but unfair trade were either unstoppable or the fated future or simply irrelevant. Someone or something — even if painfully and crudely delivered — was bound to arise to remind the conservative Washington–New York punditocracy, the party elite, and Republican opinion makers that a third of the country had all but tuned them out. It was no longer sustainable to expect the conservative base to vote for more versions of sober establishmentarians like McCain and Romney just because they were Republicans, well-connected, well-résuméd, well-known, well-behaved, and played by the gloves-on Marquess of Queensberry political rules. Instead, such men and much of orthodox Republican ideology were suspect.

Amnestied illegal aliens would not in our lifetimes become conservative family-values voters. Vast trade deficits with China and ongoing chronic commercial cheating would not inevitably lead to the prosperity that would guarantee Chinese democracy. Asymmetrical trade deals were not sacrosanct under the canons of free trade. Unfettered globalization, outsourcing, and offshoring were not both inevitable and always positive. The losers of globalization did not bring their misery on themselves. The Iran deal was not better than nothing. North Korea would not inevitably remain nuclear. Middle East peace did not hinge of constant outreach to and subsidy of the corrupt and autocratic Palestinian Authority and Hamas cliques.

5) Lots of deep-state rust needed scraping. Yet it is hard to believe that either a Republican or Democratic traditionalist would have seen unemployment go below 4 percent, or the GDP rate exceed 3 percent, or would have ensured the current level of deregulation and energy production. A President Mitt Romney might not have rammed through a tax-reform policy like that of the 2017 reform bill. I cannot think of a single Republican 2016 candidate who either could or would have in succession withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, demanded China recalibrate its asymmetrical and often unfair mercantile trade policies, sought to secure the border, renounced the Iran deal, moved to denuclearize North Korea, and hectored front-line NATO allies that their budgets do not reflect their promises or the dangers on their borders.

Trump took on his left-wing critics as few had before, did not back down, and did not offer apologies. He traded blow for blow with them. The result was not just media and cultural hysteria but also a catharsis.

The fact that Trump never served in the military or held a political office before 2016 may explain his blunders and coarseness. But such lacunae in his résumé also may account for why he is not constrained by New York–Washington conventional wisdom. His background makes elites grimace, though their expertise had increasingly calcified and been proved wrong and incapable of innovative approaches to foreign and domestic crises.

6) Something or someone was needed to remind the country that there is no longer a Democratic party as we once knew it. It is now a progressive and identity-politics religious movement. Trump took on his left-wing critics as few had before, did not back down, and did not offer apologies. He traded blow for blow with them. The result was not just media and cultural hysteria but also a catharsis that revealed what Americans knew but had not seen so overtly demonstrated by the new Left: the unapologetic media bias; chic assassination talk; the politicization of sports, Hollywood, and entertainment in slavish service to progressivism; the Internet virtue-signaling lynch mob; the out-of-control progressive deep state; and the new tribalism that envisions permanent ethnic and racial blocs while resenting assimilation and integration into the melting pot. For good or evil, the trash-talking and candid Trump challenged progressives. They took up the offer in spades and melted down — and America is getting a good look at where each side really sits.

In the end, only the people will vote on Trumpism. His supporters knew full well after July 2016 that his possible victory would come with a price — one they deemed more than worth paying given the past and present alternatives. Most also no longer trust polls or the media. To calibrate the national mood, they simply ask Trump voters whether they regret their 2016 votes (few do) and whether any Never Trump voters might reconsider (some are), and then they’re usually reassured that what is happening is what they thought would happen: a 3 percent GDP economy, low unemployment, record energy production, pushbacks on illegal immigration, no Iran deal, no to North Korean missiles pointed at the U.S., renewed friendship with Israel and the Gulf states, a deterrent foreign policy, stellar judicial appointments — along with Robert Mueller, Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, and lots more, no doubt, to come.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-rationale-why-voters-chose-him-and-support-him-now/

Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., October 31, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

The Steele-dossier author told Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson about a ‘human source.’Something tells me Glenn Simpson did not make a mistake. Something tells me the co-founder of Fusion GPS was dead-on accurate when he testified that Christopher Steele told him the FBI had a “human source” — i.e., a spy — inside the Trump campaign as the 2016 presidential race headed into its stretch run.

When he realized how explosive this revelation was, Simpson walked it back: He had, perhaps, “mischaracterized” what he’d been told by Steele, the former British spy and principal author of the anti-Trump dossier he and Simpson compiled for the Clinton campaign.

Simpson gave his testimony about the FBI’s human source at a closed Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on August 22, 2017. He did not try to retract it until the uproar that followed the publication of his testimony on January 9, 2018. The latter date is significant for reasons we’ll come to.

A Spy and a Stonewall
Simpson’s testimony on this point is worth revisiting because of a pitched battle between the House Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department. Essential reporting on the controversy has been done by the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel (see here and here). On Thursday, she related that, yet again, Congress had faced down a DOJ/FBI attempt to stonewall the committee’s probe of investigative irregularities during the 2016 election season — particularly, abuse of government surveillance powers, which the Obama-led agencies used to monitor the Trump campaign.

Unable to get voluntary cooperation, committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department disclose information about a top-secret intelligence source who is said to have assisted the Russia investigation. That investigation is now being run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But more interesting is how it got started.

On that question, officials have been suspiciously fuzzy in their explanations, and hilariously inconsistent in their leaks: initially settling on an origination story that hinged on the Steele dossier and a trip to Moscow by the obscure Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page; later pivoting to a tale of boozy blathering by an even more obscure Trump-campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, when the first story proved embarrassing — the dossier allegations having been unverified when the Justice Department included them in warrant applications to the FISA court.

The Justice Department’s inability, or at least unwillingness, to reveal exactly how, when, and why the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation has fueled suspicions that a spy who worked for both the FBI and the CIA was deployed against the Trump campaign, probably in Britain — where Papadopoulos had met with suspected agents of the Kremlin, and where Steele compiled the dossier via reports from his unidentified sources.

From painstaking research, Nunes and committee staff believe they have identified such a spy. When they demanded information about this person — whose name remains unknown to the public — the Justice Department’s response was not “No, you’re wrong, there was no spying.” It was first to bloviate that the department would not be “extorted” (Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s unusual understanding of what is more commonly known as congressional oversight) and then to claim that providing the information sought by the committee would risk “potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.”

By now, Nunes has learned that if he is catching flak, he is over the target.

Simpson’s Senate Testimony about the FBI’s ‘Human Source’
This brings us back to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, which was retained by the Clinton campaign (through its lawyers at Perkins Coie) to generate the Steele dossier, opposition research that focused on Donald Trump and Russia.

In his Senate testimony on August 22, 2017, Simpson explained that Steele had met with at least one FBI agent in Rome in mid to late September 2016. The former British spy had provided the unverified allegations he had compiled to that point (i.e., his private “intelligence reports,” later assembled into the “dossier”). Steele had developed a close working relationship with the FBI when he was a British agent. It is not surprising, then, that the Bureau did not just take his information; it reciprocated, imparting some sensitive information to him. Simpson explained to the Senate committee (my italics):

Essentially, what [Christopher Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source, and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump campaign.

Simpson declined to answer more questions about this unidentified “human source.” But when the media treated his revelation as a bombshell, he realized it would cause a feeding frenzy: Congress, the media, and the public would demand to know what would cause the FBI, in the stretch run of a presidential race, to use an informant against one candidate’s campaign.

On a dime, Simpson backpedaled. Fusion GPS explained to friendly media that he believed he had “mischaracterized” the source. He must have been talking about George Papadopoulos — not a “human source” in the sense of willing informant or spy, but a person attached to the campaign whose statements to an Australian diplomat had been passed to the FBI (through channels that, we shall see, have still not been explained).

The Timing Doesn’t Compute
Simpson’s testimony was released to the public on January 9, 2018. That was just a few days after the New York Timeshad published its big New Year’s weekend story claiming, based on anonymous intelligence officials, that the Russia investigation had been opened sometime in July 2016. The catalyzing event, we were told, was a report to the FBI that Papadopoulos, a young Trump-campaign adviser, had alleged that Russia possessed thousands of stolen Hillary Clinton emails. According to the story, Papadopoulos had been informed of this by Joseph Mifsud, a London-based academic who professed to have Kremlin connections. A few weeks later, while drinking in a London bar in May 2016, Papadopoulos blabbed the news to Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat.

According to the Times, when hacked Democratic National Committee emails started being published in July 2016, Australian officials surmised that this development could be related to Papadopoulos’s boozy claim; therefore, the paper suggests, they routed the information to their American counterparts. But when we peruse the story, we find that the Times is drawing an inference that the FBI must have gotten the information from the Australian government; there is no solid confirmation that this happened. Indeed, the story evinces bewilderment that two months supposedly elapsed between the Papadopoulos–Downer meeting and the FBI’s learning about it. There is no attempt to describe how this assumed transmission occurred, and the Aussies refused to comment on the matter.

Though the Papadopoulos–Downer story is rickety, it nevertheless served Simpson’s purpose of backing away from his “human source” testimony. Alas, his story does not add up, either.

Papadopoulos was virtually unheard of until October 30, 2017, when Special Counsel Mueller announced his guilty plea and filed a factual recitation of his offense conduct. Two weeks after that information became public, Simpson was asked about Papadopoulos in a fleeting exchange during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee (see November 14, 2017transcript, page 163.) Interestingly, the subject came up in the context of Trump-related research Simpson had done separate and apart from his collaboration with Steele. Simpson claimed that he had been looking at Papadopoulos “for a while” and regarded him as “a clone of Carter Page”; but he admitted that he actually knew nothing significant about Papadopoulos beyond what Mueller had included in the information filed in court at the time of the guilty plea.

The information Mueller had filed in October said nothing about either Papadopoulos’s meeting with Downer or the subsequent purported transmission of Papadopoulos’s claims from Australian authorities to the FBI. That story did not come out until the Times article on December 30.

When Simpson testified that Steele told him the FBI had a human source, I think Simpson meant exactly what that testimony implied.

Only after that, and in the uproar over the January 9 release of Simpson’s five-month-old Senate testimony, did Fusion suggest that Simpson must have been referring to Downer, the Australian diplomat, when he told the Senate that the FBI had a “human source” inside the Trump campaign. That, however, is not credible. When Simpson gave the “human source” testimony in August 2017, there is no indication that he knew anything about Downer. Even if we buy his House testimony in November that he had heard of Papadopoulos before the latter’s October plea, Simpson conceded then that he knew nothing more than what Mueller had disclosed — which did not include the Papadopoulos–Downer meeting and the communication of it to the FBI.

Simpson is a smart guy, an accomplished investigative journalist, and now a full-time professional researcher, whose attention to detail is impressive. Steele is an experienced intelligence officer. The two are longtime friends and collaborators who understand each other well. Informants are central to both of their professions. By their telling, Steele’s decision to bring their research to the FBI and his subsequent dealings with the Bureau were a matter of extensive discussion and great concern.

Consequently, I do not believe that Steele gave his friend Simpson a cryptic account of his meeting in Rome with the FBI; nor do I believe that Simpson got confused and “mischaracterized” what he was told. When Simpson testified that Steele told him the FBI had a human source, I think Simpson meant exactly what that testimony implied: that someone from the FBI told Steele in August 2016 — while the investigation was heating up, while the FBI was ramping up its efforts in preparation for seeking surveillance warrants from the FISA court — that the Bureau had an informant.

A Human Source . . . in Britain, Not Australia
Three other things to consider:

1. For months, the House Intelligence Committee sought disclosure of the “electronic communication” (EC) by which the FBI opened its counterintelligence-investigation file on Papadopoulos, reportedly in July 2016. Counterintelligence involves national-security powers, and it is a weighty matter to apply these powers — as opposed to criminal-investigative authorities — to American citizens. The committee therefore wanted to know what foreign intelligence had spurred the probe, particularly in light of intelligence leaks that an Australian government report about Papadopoulos was the cause.

Yet, when Nunes was finally allowed to look at the EC, only after threatening contempt proceedings against Justice Department officials, he learned that the FBI did not set forth any foreign intelligence — there was no Australian report, no “Five Eyes intelligence product” at all, Nunes told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo.

Did the FBI’s British operation involve using a spy to interact with Trump-campaign figures, such as Papadopoulos, on British soil?

If the FBI was not explicitly relying on intelligence from a foreign ally, on what was it relying to open a counterintelligence investigation focusing on an American political campaign? According to what the New York Times reported in April 2017, “current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials” said the investigation was triggered by Carter Page’s trip to Moscow. That would implicate the Clinton-campaign-generated Steele dossier, which claimed that Page’s trip furthered a Trump–Russia conspiracy. I’ve detailed how, as reliance on the unverified dossier has become more controversial, the media and intelligence agencies have tried to minimize its importance to the opening of the investigation.

Did the dossier instigate not only FISA surveillance but human spying against the Trump campaign?

2. As Larry O’Connor has recounted in the Washington Times, Obama’s former CIA director John Brennan was asked, by NBC’s Chuck Todd, whether the FBI’s investigation was triggered by intelligence from the Five Eyes (i.e., the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia — five Anglosphere governments that have longstanding, unusually close intelligence-sharing arrangements). Brennan would not answer the question directly, but he emphasized U.S. ties not with Australia but with Britain:

The F.B.I. has [a] very close relationship with its British counterparts. And so, the F.B.I. had visibility into a number of things that were going on involving some individuals who may have had some affiliation with the Trump campaign. And so, the intelligence that we collected was pulsed against that. And I thought it would have been derelict if the F.B.I. did not pull the threads, investigative threads, on American persons who might have been involved with Russia and working on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly.

Sounds like the FBI, with support from the CIA, had some cooperative intelligence venture with British authorities that enabled the Bureau to monitor Trump-campaign figures. That is significant because Papadopoulos has acknowledged meeting in Britain with people who claimed Kremlin ties and who told him Russia had thousands of Clinton’s emails. Did the FBI’s British operation involve using a spy to interact with Trump-campaign figures, such as Papadopoulos, on British soil? Brennan didn’t say.

3. In December 2017, McCabe testified in a closed hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported that McCabe “said on more than one occasion that the FBI had worked hard to verify the dossier, telling lawmakers that the FBI had at one point sent investigators to London as part of that effort” (emphasis added).

Did the FBI’s work to verify the dossier in London involve a human source? Did it involve other human sources in other places?

Christopher Steele, the former British spy with extensive British intelligence and FBI connections, told his friend Glenn Simpson that the FBI had penetrated the Trump campaign with a “human source” who was helping corroborate the dossier. There seems to be more corroboration for this assertion than for the sensational allegations in Steele’s dossier.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/did-fbi-have-spy-in-trump-presidential-campaign/

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U.S. and China Tout Trade Talks as Success, but Leave the Details for Later

Image
Shipping containers at a port in Shanghai. The United States’s trade deficit with China reached $375.2 billion last year, an imbalance that has drawn the ire of President Trump.CreditAly Song/Reuters

WASHINGTON — China will increase its purchase of American goods and services in order to reduce the multibillion-dollar trade imbalance with the United States, the two countries said in a joint statement Saturday.

How much the imbalance will be reduced remains to be seen.

Trump administration officials had said during negotiations this week that China was prepared to make up to $200 billion in additional purchases. Notably absent from Saturday’s announcement were any dollar figures — or a sense of the scale of the agreed-upon increases.

The White House said that China had committed to buying more agriculture and energy exports, but noted that American officials would at some point go to China to work out the details of their agreement.

“To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services,” said the statement. “This will help support growth and employment in the United States.”

The Trump administration has taken a hard line against China since the president took office, and the United States has made a series of moves focused on trade, including threatening tariffs on Chinese products and restrictions on Chinese investment flowing into the country. Among the claims that the United States has made is that Beijing has unfairly stolen intellectual property, especially as China pushes ahead in developing the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G.

Recently, both countries have shown a willingness to compromise to reduce trade tensions, and Chinese officials came to Washington this week for a series of talks with various cabinet officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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The announcement Saturday made no reference to whether the Trump administration would walk away from tariffs imposed this year on roughly $50 billion of Chinese imports. But Liu He, an economic adviser who led the negotiations for China, suggested that both sides would stop recently imposed tariffs, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, an industry group, said that judging from the announcement, the talks didn’t appear to have moved American businesses toward a level playing field in China.

“Sometimes it’s better to walk away from the negotiating table to reinforce the point to China that our resolve is strong,” he said. “We need more details, but I’m not encouraged by the direction these talks are headed.”

 

China’s explosive rise was a shock to the global trading system. For decades, Western economies like the United States have struggled with the growth of this economic powerhouse.Published OnCreditImage by Doug Mills/The New York Times

American officials have clashed in recent days over what to offer Beijing in return for increasing its purchases of American goods and services.

One issue is whether the United States should relax so-called export controls on certain products and technology, according to two people who were familiar with the negotiations but were not authorized to speak publicly about them. The controls determine where — and in what quantity — products with military applications or advanced technologies, like semiconductors that power smartphones and computers, can be exported to other countries.

Mr. Mnuchin, who has been leading the negotiations, has pushed for relaxing the rules in order to forestall the possibility of a trade war and secure China’s purchase of additional goods from the United States in the coming years. Mr. Mnuchin’s plan has faced stiff opposition from Defense Department officials, who fear such sales could compromise American national security, one of the people said.

The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Treasury Department.

Another point of contention has been whether to offer relief for ZTE, a Chinese telecom firm. The Trump administration penalized ZTE for violating American sanctions against North Korea and Iran, steps that have effectively shuttered the company’s business and put tens of thousands of Chinese jobs at risk.

After taking a tough stance on China in recent months, President Trump has appeared open to relaxing penalties against ZTE, posting to Twitter last weekend that too many jobs had been lost.

The comments provoked a sharp backlash from hard-liners within the administration and lawmakers across the political spectrum, who saw concessions to the Chinese on ZTE as infringing on the rule of law and potentially endangering national security.

Any breaks offered by the United States could backfire with economic nationalists, who have viewed the imposition of tariffs and investment restrictions against China as the fulfillment of one of Mr. Trump’s core campaign promises.

“It’s imperative that we do not back off one iota, and certainly not for more happy talk about continuing dialogue,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist.

Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington, and Keith Bradsher from Beijing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/us/politics/china-trade-deal.html

ZTE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
ZTE Corporation
Formerly called
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation
Public
Traded as
SZSE000063 (A share)
SEHK763 (H share)
ISIN CNE000000TK5
CNE1000004Y2
Industry Telecommunications equipment
Networking equipment
Founded 1985; 33 years ago (as Zhongxing Semiconductor Co., Ltd.)
Founder Hou Weigui (Chinese侯為貴pinyinHóu Wéiguì)
Headquarters ShenzhenChina
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Yin Yimin (Chairman)
Zhao Xianming (President and Executive Director)[1]
Products Mobile phonessmartphonestablet computers, hardware, software and services to telecommunications service providers and enterprises
Revenue Increase CN¥108.815 billion (2017)
Increase CN¥6.752 billion (2017)
Decrease CN¥903.4 million (2017)
Total assets Increase CN¥143.962 billion (2017)
Total equity Increase CN¥31.647 billion (2017)
Owner Zhongxingxin (30.34%)
Number of employees
74,773 (2017)
Subsidiaries Nubia Technology (49.9%)
ZTEsoft
Zonergy
Website zte.com.cn
ztedevice.com
Footnotes / references
In consolidated financial statement;[1]shareholders’ equity figure are excluding perpetual capital instrument
ZTE Corporation
Simplified Chinese 中兴通讯股份有限公司
Traditional Chinese 中興通訊股份有限公司
Literal meaning China-Prosperity CommunicationsCompany Limited by Shares
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 中兴通讯
Traditional Chinese 中興通訊
Literal meaning China-Prosperity Communications
Second alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 中兴
Traditional Chinese 中興
Literal meaning China-Prosperity [or the word itself: resurgence]

ZTE Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers.[2]

ZTE operates in three business units: carrier networks (54%), terminals (29%) and telecommunication (17%), their core products being wirelessexchange, access, optical transmission, and data telecommunications gear; mobile phones; and telecommunications software.[3]

It also offers products that provide value-added services,[4] such as video on demand and streaming media.[5] ZTE primarily sold products under its own name, but it is also an OEM.[6] ZTE is one of the top five largest smartphone manufacturers in its home market.[7]

As with Huawei, the company has faced criticism in the United States over potential ties to the Chinese government that could enable surveillance. In 2017, ZTE was fined for illegally exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea. In April 2018, after the company failed to properly reprimand the employees involved, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned U.S. companies from exporting to ZTE for seven years, pushing the company to the verge of collapse.

History

ZTE, initially founded as Zhongxing Semiconductor Co., Ltd in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in 1985, was incorporated by a group of investors associated with China’s Ministry of Aerospace.[8] In March 1993, Zhongxing Semiconductor changed its name to Zhongxing New Telecommunications Equipment Co., Ltd with capital of RMB 3 million, and created a new business model as a “state-owned and private-operating” economic entity. Ties to the state notwithstanding, the firm evolved into the publicly traded ZTE Corporation, having made an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shenzhen stock exchange in 1997 and another on the Hong Kong stock exchange in December 2004.[8]

While the company initially profited from domestic sales,[9] it vowed to use proceeds of its 2004 Hong Kong IPO to further expand R&D, overseas sales to developed nations, and overseas production.[10] Making headway in the international telecom market in 2006, it took 40% of new global orders for CDMA networks[11] topping the world CDMA equipment market by number of shipments.[12] That same year also saw ZTE find a customer in the Canadian Telus[13][non-primary source needed] and membership in the Wi-Fi Alliance.[14] More customers in developed nations soon followed Telus’ lead, and in 2007 ZTE sold to UK’s Vodafone, Spain’s Telefonica, and the Australian Telstra,[13] in addition to garnering the greatest number of CDMA contracts globally.[15] By 2008 ZTE had achieved a global customer base, with sales in 140 countries.[13]

By 2009, the company had become the third-largest vendor of GSM telecom equipment worldwide, and about 20% of all GSM gear sold throughout the world that year was ZTE branded.[16] As of 2011 it holds around 7% of the key 3GPP Long Term evolution patents[17] and that same year launched the world’s first smartphone with dual GPS/GLONASS navigation, MTS 945. ZTE claims to devote 10% of its annual revenue to research and development, producing patents and utility licenses at a rapid pace.[18][19] ZTE has filed 48,000 patents globally, with more than 13,000 granted. In two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), ZTE was granted the largest number of patent applications globally,[20] which is a first for a Chinese company.[21]

Subsidiaries

The ZTE Tower in Shenzhen

ZTE has several international subsidiaries.

ZTEsoft Technology

As a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, ZTEsoft engages in ICT industry and specializes in providing BSS/OSS, big data products and services to telecom operators, and ICT, smart city and industry products and services to enterprises and governments.

Nubia Technology

Nubia Technology was a fully owned subsidiary of ZTE Corporation. The company has subsequently disposed of the majority of its equity in the company. In 2017 it reduced its stake to 49.9%.[22]

PT. ZTE Indonesia

PT ZTE Indonesia were representative of ZTE with has many customer with PT Telkom Indonesia tbk, PT Telekomunikasi Seluler tbk, PT Indosat tbk, PT Smartfren tbk, PT XL Axiata, and also supply hand held with ZTE Trademarks.

ZTE (Australia) Pty Ltd

ZTE entered the Australian market in 2005,[23] and as of 2009 ZTE (Australia) Pty Ltd[24] acts as the exclusive supplier of ZTE handsets, network cards, and as OEM Supplier to customers, such as Telstra, and Optus in Australia.

ZTE Deutschland GmbH

ZTE Deutschland GmbH was founded in 2005 with headquarters in Düsseldorf; it, as of 2008, had hired 50 people, 60% of whom were recruited locally.[25] ZTE Deutschland GmbH partners with German football club Borussia Mönchengladbach for the seasons of 2016/17 and 2017/18.[26]

ZTE USA Inc

A North American subsidiary of ZTE,[27] with headquarters in Richardson, Texas,[28] ZTE USA Inc offers wireless handset and networking products in the US. ZTE USA partnered with NBA’s Houston Rockets for the season of 2013–2014.[27]

ZTE Telecom India Pvt Ltd

ZTE Telecom India Private Limited provides distributes telecom equipment and systems. The company also provides repair, support, and maintenance services for its telecom equipment. ZTE Telecom India Private Limited was formerly known as ZTE Kangxun Telecom Company India Private Limited. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Gurgaon, India.

ZTE (HK) Ltd

ZTE (Hong Kong) Ltd. (China) serves in such areas as global contract manufacturing.

ZTE do Brasil Ltda.

ZTE do Brasil Ltda. was founded in 2002 with headquarters in São Paulo and offices in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília; providing mobile devices and network products for the Brazilian market.

ZTE Myanmar

ZTE Myanmar is also a fully owned subsidiary of ZTE Corporation.

Zonergy

Zonergy is a renewables company with interests in electricity generation through solar parks in China and Pakistan and palm oil cultivation in Indonesia to produce biofuels. ZTE is a major shareholder and was instrumental in the creation of the company in 2007 but holds a minority of the shares in the entity.[29]

ZTEsoft Technology India Pvt. Ltd.

As a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, ZTEsoft India engages in ICT industry and specializes in providing BSS/OSS, big data products and services to telecom operators, and ICT, smart city solutions and industry products and services to enterprises and governments. Company has several tie-ups with regional governments for implementation of smart city solutions.

ZTEsoft Singapore Technology Pte. Ltd

As a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, ZTEsoft Singapore engages in ICT industry and specializes in providing BSS/OSS, big data products and services to telecom operators, and ICT, smart city solutions and industry products and services to enterprises and governments.

Products

A ZTE Blade S6 Plus

ZTE operates in three business segments – Carrier Networks(~54%)-Terminals(~29%)-Telecommunication(~17%) Products can be roughly arranged into three categories: equipment used by network operators (links and nodes, etc.), equipment used to access networks (terminals), and services, which includes software.[30] On October 2010, ZTE’s unified encryption module received U.S./Canada FIPS140-2 security certification,[31][32] which made ZTE the first vendor from P.R. China to successfully validate modules according to the NIST FIPS140-2 standard under the CMVP program.[33]

Consumer electronics

Mobile phones

As of 2012, ZTE is the 4th largest mobile phone vendor.[34] It also placed fifth on IDC’s smartphone vendor leaderboard.[35][36] Strategy Analytics counts ZTE as 4th largest smartphone vendor (5% market share) in 2Q2013.[37] It also manufactures tablets.[38][39][40]

In November 2017, ZTE announced the Axon M.[41][42] The two screens can run separate applications, or spread one app over the combined display size of 6.75-inches.[43][44] The second screen also works as a kickstand.[45][46]

Mobile Hotspots

The MF60 and MF80 4G mobile hotspots were announced in August 2011.[47]

Windows Phone

At Mobile World Congress 2014 in Spain, Microsoft announced that ZTE is the latest hardware partner of Windows Phone platform.[48]

Network Operators Equipment, Network Nodes and Network Elements

ZTE is also a provider of Core Routing and Core Network equipment, also known as Network Elements such as:

Customers

ZTE booth at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona

A good number of ZTE’s customers are outside of China. During the 2000s, the majority were developing country mobile network operators, but ZTE products see use in developed countries as well. The UK’s Vodafone, Canadian Telus, Australia’s Telstra, as well as France Telecom have all purchased equipment from ZTE.[49]

Many Chinese companies are also ZTE customers, including China Netcom,[50] China Mobile,[51] China Satcom,[52] China Telecom,[53] and China Unicom.[4][54]

ZTE began to release smartphones in the United States in 2011. The company elected to focus its efforts on low-cost products for discount and prepaid wireless carriers, including devices with premium features typically associated with high-end products, such as large high-resolution screens and fingerprint readers.[55]

Sponsorship

In May 2016, ZTE became the co-sponsor of German club Borussia Mönchengladbach.[56]

In May 2016, ZTE’s Nubia Technology brand signed football star Cristiano Ronaldo as a brand ambassador for a reported fee of $4 million.[57]

Since 2015, taking advantage of the league’s appeal in China, several U.S. National Basketball Association teams have had sponsorship deals with ZTE, including the Houston Rockets (based in the home city of ZTE’s U.S. subsidiary), Golden State Warriors, and New York Knicks.[58][59]

Controversies

U.S. sanctions and export ban

In March 2017, ZTE was fined a total of US$1.19 billion by the U.S. Department of Commerce of President Donald J. Trump for exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violation of sanctions. It is the largest-ever U.S. fine for export control violations.[60][61]

ZTE was allowed to continue working with U.S. companies, provided that it reprimand the employees involved in the violations. However, the Department of Commerce found that ZTE had violated these terms, having fired only 4 senior officials and still providing bonuses to 35 other employees involved in the violations. On 16 April 2018, the Department of Commerce banned U.S. companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years.[62][63][64]

At least 25% of components on recent ZTE smartphones originate from the U.S.; the ban prevents ZTE from using common Qualcomm processors, and certified Android devices with Google Mobile Services software.[65][66] An analyst stated that it would take a significant amount of effort for ZTE to redesign its products as to not use U.S.-originated components.[67]

On 9 May 2018, ZTE announced that, although it was “actively communicating with the relevant U.S. government departments” to reverse the export ban, the company’s “major operating activities” around the world has halted. Its stock was frozen, and manufacturing in its factories was halted.[66][55] On May 13, U.S. president Donald Trump stated that he would be working with Chinese president Xi Jinping to reverse the ban.[68] Although United States said that the ban was due to “enforcement” issue, many people frame the ban as due to ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, to use ZTE as a leverage in the US trade deal with China.

Bribes for contracts

Norway

Norwegian telecommunications giant Telenor, one of the world’s largest mobile operators, banned ZTE from “participating in tenders and new business opportunities for 6 months because of an alleged breach of its code of conduct in a procurement proceeding” during a five-month time span ending in March 2009.[69]

Philippines

Contract negotiations to build a broadband network for the Philippine government may have included improper activities.[70] The project was later cancelled.[70]

Surveillance system sale

In December 2010, ZTE sold systems for eavesdropping on phone and Internet communications to the government-controlled Telecommunication Company of Iran. This system may help Iran monitor and track political dissidents.[71]

Security

At least one ZTE mobile phone (sold as the ZTE Score in the United States by Cricket and MetroPCS) can be remotely accessed by anyone with an easily obtained password.[34]

ZTE, as well as Huawei, have faced criticism by the United States’ government, due to allegations that the companies have ties to the Chinese government that could enable surveillance through its handsets and infrastructure equipment.[72] In 2011, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued a report recommending that the government be prohibited from purchasing equipment from the firms, citing them as possible threats to national security.[73][74][75]

Shareholders

As of 31 December 2017, Zhongxing Xin (Chinese中興新; literally: “Zhongxing New”; aka ZTE Holdings), an intermediate holding company, owned 30.34% stake of ZTE.[1]:110–112

The shareholders of ZTE Holdings were Xi’an Microelectronics (Chinese西安微电子技术研究所; a subsidiary of China Academy of Aerospace Electronics Technology) for 34%, Aerospace Guangyu (Chinese深圳航天广宇工业有限公司; a subsidiary of CASIC Shenzhen Group) for 14.5%, Zhongxing WXT (Chinese深圳市中兴维先通设备有限公司; aka Zhongxing Weixiantong) for 49% and a private equity fund Guoxing Ruike (Chinese國興睿科) for 2.5%.[76]:87 The first two entities were state-owned enterprise, nominating 5 out 9 directors of ZTE Holdings, while Zhongxing WXT was owned by the founders of ZTE, including Hou Weigui, which Zhongxing WXT nominated the rest of the directors (4 out 9) of ZTE Holdings.[1]:110–112

Due to its mixed ownership, ZTE is sometimes described as state-owned.[77]

References

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

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Trump ‘canceling’ Obama’s Cuba policy but leaves much in place

Ramon Espinosa/AP
WATCHTrump ‘canceling’ Obama Cuba policy but leaves much in place

After nearly three years of warming relations between the United States and Cuba, President Donald Trump has announced that his administration will unravel many of his predecessor’s policies on the communist state.

Speaking in Miami, Florida, Trump announced changes to President Barack Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba — fulfilling a promise to the anti-Castro voting bloc he believes helped his campaign clinch the state, but stirring fear among others he could set back business interests and Cuba’s potential for a more prosperous private sector.

The Cuban government said in a statement published in the state-run newspaper Granma, “Again, the United States Government resorted to coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to intensify the blockade, in force since February 1962, which not only causes damage and deprivation to the Cuban people and constitutes an undeniable obstacle to the development of our economy, but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, inciting international rejection.”

The statement continues, “The Cuban Government denounces the new measures to tighten the blockade, which are destined to fail as has been shown repeatedly in the past, and which will not achieve its purpose to weaken the revolution or to defeat the Cuban people, whose resistance to the aggressions of any type and origin has been proven over almost six decades.”

Decades of contention before Obama

In one form or another, the embargo on Cuba has been in place since the Eisenhower administration. But beginning in late 2014, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro began a process that gradually thawed diplomatic tensions and eased commercial and travel restrictions between the two countries.

This process culminated in significant economic opportunities for both the U.S. and Cuba. American businesses, including airlines, cruise lines, and telecommunications companies, earned 26 agreements with the Cuban government from 2015 to 2017.

Hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars flowed into privately owned businesses in Cuba, The Associated Press reported , spurring the growth of a nascent middle-class that could thrive independent from the government.

For Cuba, there have been tangible benefits in tourism and telecommunications. According to the Cuban Ministry, 74 percent more American citizens visited the island in 2016 than in 2015 and, following through on a pledge to Obama, Castro opened nearly 400 new public Wi-Fi access points around Cuba.

However, the U.S. International Trade Administration told ABC News it hasn’t yet released its 2016 statistics on outbound travel and therefore could not confirm those numbers from the Cuban Ministry on U.S. tourism.

While Obama did not end the embargo on Cuba, since only Congress has that power, the U.S. and Cuba reopened embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time since 1961. The U.S. and Cuba have also signed multiple bilateral agreements to work together on everything from human and drug trafficking to maritime security and migration.

Finally, Obama ended the “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy that applied only to Cubans. Previously, Cubans who reached U.S. shores earned automatic visas. Now, Cubans have to follow the same process as other refugees and immigrants.

What is Trump reversing?

Trump is not reversing all of Obama’s changes, but he is redefining what it means to be part of the Cuban military, which could prevent U.S. companies from doing business in Cuba. The White House explained in a fact sheet released earlier today that the policy aims to keep the Grupo de Administración Empresarial (GAESA), a conglomerate managed by the Cuban military, from benefiting from the opening in U.S.-Cuba relations.

“The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military. The regime takes the money and owns the industry,” Trump said. “The outcome of last administration’s executive action has been only more repression and a move to crush the peaceful democratic movement. Therefore, effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.”

This comes amid concerns that the Cuban military could be the beneficiary of increased American private investment, at a time when Castro has failed to take action on human rights. In 2016, there were 9,940 short-term detentions of protesters, up from 8,899 in 2014, the AP reports.

According to senior White House officials, Trump is also revisiting trade and travel policies toward Cuba, clamping down on individual people-to-people travel. There will still be certain exceptions under which Americans can travel to Cuba and family travel will continue to be authorized. Importantly, no changes will go into effect until the Treasury and Commerce Departments issue new regulations that conform with the administration’s policy.

Trump continued, “We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are free, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”

The changes will certainly harm relations between Cuba and the U.S. In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained, “The general approach, if I can say that, is to allow as much of this continued commercial and engagement activity to go on as possible because we do see the sunny side, as I described it. We do see the benefits of that to the Cuban people.”

But then Tillerson qualified his statement. “On the other hand, we think we’ve achieved very little in terms of changing the behavior of the regime in Cuba and its treatment of people,” he said, “and it has little incentive to change that.”

What about diplomatic ties?

Senior White House officials say that Trump will not close the newly re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana. He will also not reinstate the “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

To avoid alienating the Cuban-American community, which largely votes Republican, Trump will not re-implement limits on remittances — U.S. based money transfers — that Cuban-Americans can give their families back on the island. But if the administration follows through on redefining what it means to be part of the Cuban military, that could affect policies on remittances down the line.

PHOTO: Tourists ride in classic American convertible cars past the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 12, 2017. Ramon Espinosa/AP, file
Tourists ride in classic American convertible cars past the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 12, 2017.

Lobbying Trump on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Republican, Cuban-American hardliners, lobbied Trump hard toward reversal. Importantly, the Trump administration wants to build good rapport with both. Rubio sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is currently looking into the Trump campaign’s supposed contacts with Russian officials. He spoke in Miami briefly before Trump took the stage.

Rubio and Diaz-Balart won out, though there’s no shortage of actors lobbying the White House the other way. Last week, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Trump opposing “reversing course” on Cuba. A similar group of Senate Republicans wrote to Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, citing the entrepreneurial and national security benefits of continued engagement. Airbnb, Google and other notable businesses have also spoken out recently in support of maintaining current policies.

Tillerson had privately expressed support for Obama’s Cuba policy during the transition, according to sources. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, when governor of Georgia in 2010, led a delegation to Cuba and said at the time to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I think business cures a lot of ills.”

Leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have also urged the administration to keep Cuba open.

“More travel, more communications access, and more dialogue with Cuba are the way forward for human rights in Cuba,” Amnesty International wrote in a blog post, adding that Obama’s trip to Cuba last year opened the door to “scrutiny and transparency” of human rights on the island for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Reversing policy is bad for Cubans, Human Rights Watch said in a statement, “and insisting on human rights progress as a precondition to a new policy is unlikely to bring about change.”

What did Candidate Trump say?

During the campaign, Candidate Trump slammed Obama’s Cuba policy, telling a crowd in Miami: “All the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands.”

But at the same time, Trump often criticizes regulations on the business community as “burdensome” and “job-killing.”

Today’s speech

Delivering a speech at the historic Manuel Artime Theater in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Trump made his policy known in the center of the Cuban-American community. The president fed off of a boisterous, rowdy crowd, seeming to even attempt a Cuban accent, shouting “Little Havana!” when he took the stage. By rescinding certain Obama-era Cuba policies, he went against the advice of Democrats, Republicans and business interests. He did, however, fulfill a campaign promise.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Serena Marshall and Adam Kelsey contributed to this report. 

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-cuba-policy/story?id=48058622

Trump’s Cuba Policy Will Fail

The architect of Obama’s Cuba opening argues that the president’s rollback is a pointless mistake.

Juan Carlos Ulate / Reuters
One of the most depressing things about President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back elements of the Cuba opening is how predictable it was. A Republican candidate for president makes last-minute campaign promises to a hard-line Cuban American audience in South Florida. Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart hold him to those promises. The U.S. government announces changes that will hurt ordinary Cubans, harm the image of the United States, and make it harder for Americans to do business and travel somewhere they want to go.

While President Obama raised the hopes of Americans and Cubans alike with a forward-looking opening in diplomatic, commercial and people-to-people ties, President Trump is turning back the clock to a tragically failed Cold War mindset by reimposing restrictions on those activities. While not a full reversal of the Obama opening, Trump’s actions have put relations between the United States and Cuba back into the prison of the past—setting back the prospects for reform inside of Cuba, and ignoring the voices of the Cuban people and a majority of Americans just so that he can reward a small and dwindling political constituency.

It didn’t have to be this way, and it won’t stay this way.

 

In the fall of 2014, after 16 months of secret negotiations, I travelled to the Vatican to tell representatives of Pope Francis that the United States and Cuba were prepared to begin normalizing relations. The Vatican diplomats met separately with the U.S. and Cuban delegations to verify that we were telling the truth. Then we all met together and read aloud the steps we were prepared to take. A Cardinal said the world would be moved by this example of former adversaries putting aside the past. One Vatican official who had lived in Cuba had tears in his eyes, a look of deep remembrance on his face.Cuba has long played an outsized role in the world’s imagination. To Americans, it has been the setting for the drama of mobsters, Castros, the Cold War, assassination attempts, boatlifts, and ideological conflict—mixed with the allure of a culture that finds full expression in Miami. To Latin America, Cuba has been a symbol for how United States tries to dictate the politics of the hemisphere—a legacy of democracy and economic progress, as well as coups and death squads. To the developing world, Cuba has been a symbol of sovereignty and resistance, and a supporter of revolution—for good or bad. From the Missile Crisis to the anti-apartheid movement; from the Kennedys to Obama era, this small island has put itself at the center of world events.

But Cuba is also a place where more than 11 million people live, and for decades they have suffered because of the U.S. embargo stacked on top of socialist economics and stifled political dissent. Basic goods are unavailable. Businesses cannot attract investment. Farmers are denied equipment to grow more food. Those classic cars? Cubans have had to keep them running because they’re imprisoned in an economy that is not allowed to grow along with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Americans—who are supposed to value freedom above everything else—have been told that the only country in the world where we cannot travel is 90 miles from Florida.

Yes, the Cuban government shoulders its share of the blame. But there are dozens of authoritarian governments; we do not impose embargoes on China or Vietnam, Kazakhstan or Egypt. Last month, President Trump travelled to Saudi Arabia—a country ruled by a family, where people are beheaded and women can’t drive. He announced tens of billions of dollars in arms sales, and said: “We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live.” Can anyone credibly argue that Trump’s Cuba policy is motivated by a commitment to promote human rights around the world? No. Moreover, as a democracy-promotion vehicle, the embargo has been a failure. For more than 50 years, it has been in place; for more than 50 years, a Castro has governed Cuba. If anything, the embargo has provided a justification for the Cuban government to suppress political dissent in the name of protecting Cuban sovereignty.By breaking with this past, the Obama administration improved the lives of the Cuban people, and brought hope to people who had learned to live without it. The nascent Cuban private sector—shops, restaurants, taxis—grew dramatically, fueled by unlimited remittances from the United States. Over a quarter of Cubans today work in the private sector. This represents both an improvement in their quality of life, and in their human rights, as they are no longer reliant on the state for their livelihoods.
With the establishment of direct flights, cruise lines, and broadened authorization for travel to Cuba, the number of Americans visiting increased by 50 percent to over 500,000 in 2016. These travelers brought new ideas and more resources directly to the Cuban people—Airbnb estimates that $40 million in revenue have reached Cuban hosts since April 2015. Cuba also expanded access to the Internet and mobile phones. U.S. technology companies like Google took advantage of the opening to forge new agreements, including one that enhances access to the Internet for Cubans.Two governments that once plotted how to undermine one another began working together. Embassies were opened, and bilateral cooperation was initiated on the types of issues that usually guide diplomacy between neighbors: counter-narcotics, law enforcement, agriculture, testing vaccines for cancer, and responding to natural disasters like oil spills and hurricanes. In the final days of the Obama administration, the so-called Wet Foot Dry Foot policy was terminated, ending an arrangement in which any Cuban who reached the United States was paroled into the country—a hostile policy that endangered the lives of Cubans who made long overland crossings, and robbed Cuba of young people who simply came to the United States.The opening to Cuba also opened up new opportunities in Latin America and around the world. In 2015, instead of spending a Summit of the Americas defending why Cuba wasn’t allowed to attend, the United States found itself in the new position of being celebrated. U.S. diplomats participated in Cuban-hosted talks that helped end Colombia’s 40-year civil war. Cuban health care workers helped us stamp out the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
While Trump did not take dramatic steps to restrict travel, he made it more difficult. U.S. travelers now have to go through the absurd process of figuring out if a hotel they’re staying at is owned by the Cuban military, which applies to most of Old Havana. Ominous language about requiring Americans to document their activities, and warning that they could be audited, will have a chilling effect. Despite rhetoric about supporting Cuban entrepreneurs, any reduction in travel is going to hit them—common sense suggests that someone who stays at a military-owned hotel will also ride in taxis, eat in restaurants, and shop at stores owned by ordinary Cubans. Those are the Cubans that Trump is hurting—not hotel owners who will still welcome tourists other countries.
The consequences in Latin America, and around the world, are even worse. Critics of Obama’s opening accused us of making concessions to the Cuban government. But by restoring diplomatic relations, we brought about a symbolic end to the U.S.-Cuban conflict even though we did not lift the embargo or return Guantanamo Naval Base. It’s not a “concession” to allow Americans to travel and do business somewhere. But Trump just gave the Cuban government a huge concession: Even though he didn’t fully reverse Obama’s policy, Cuba will now claim the high ground in a renewed ideological conflict with the U.S., and will find support for that position around the world.The instinct for isolation that Trump embraced will fail. Ironically, the hard-liners who pressed Trump to make these changes are only condemning themselves to future irrelevance. Polls show that over 70 percent of Americans—including a majority of Republicans—support lifting the embargo. Younger Cuban Americans are far more likely to support lifting the embargo than their parents and grandparents. Fifty-five senators have co-sponsored a bill to lift the travel ban, and Republicans from states that depend on agriculture want to promote business in Cuba. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that a poll showed 97 percent of the Cuban people supporting normalization with the United States.Donald Trump is delivering his remarks on Cuba at the Manuel Artime Theater, named for a leader of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He couldn’t have found a better symbol for the past. But ultimately, the past must give way to the wishes of the people. Fidel Castro is dead. A new generation, in Cuba and the United States, doesn’t want to be defined by quarrels that pre-date their birth. The embargo should—and will—be discarded. Engagement should—and will—prevail. That is why Trump’s announcement should be seen for what it is: not as a step forward for democracy, but as the last illogical gasp of a strain of American politics with a 50-year track record of failure; one that wrongly presumes we can control what happens in Cuba. The future of Cuba will be determined by the Cuban people, and those Americans who want to help them, not hurt them.https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/cuba-trump-obama-opening/530568/

Story 2: Political Elitist Establishment vs. The American People — Three Sticks Mueller Hires Clinton and Obama Donors and Lawyers For Elite Political Hit Squad Targeting President Trump For Fake Obstruction of Justice —  Trump Should Fire Mueller and Initiate A Justice Department and FBI Investigation of Barack Obama,Valery Jarrett, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Their Staffs For Massive Criminal Activity Including Miss Handling Of Classified Documents and Destruction of Government Records, Public Corruption, Obstruction of Justice and Using Intelligence Community To Spy on American People Including Republican Candidates and Trump For Political Purposes — Videos

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Image result for cartoons on obama spying on trump and american peopleImage result for cartoons on obama spying on trump and american peopleTrump lashes out over reported obstruction of justice probe

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Rosenstein warns Americans to ‘exercise caution’ about anonymous reports

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Thursday evening that Americans should “exercise caution” before believing anonymously sourced reports, an apparent reference to ongoing leaks surrounding the investigation into alleged connections between Russian officials and President Trump’s campaign.

“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,'” Rosenstein said in a statement, “particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.”

Though Rosenstein’s statement did not reference the Russia investigation specifically, it was released hours after the Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner — Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law — over his finances and business dealings.

ROBERT MUELLER APPOINTMENT TO LEAD RUSSIA PROBE WINS BIPARTISAN PRAISE

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, did not comment on the Post report when reached by Fox News, but did say that the special counsel’s office “has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures that deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct.”

Trump and his supporters have repeatedly complained about leaked reports about the progress of Mueller’s investigation, many of which have appeared in either the Post or The New York Times.

On Wednesday, the Post reported that Mueller was examining whether Trump has tried to obstruct justice and was seeking interviews with three administration officials: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump’s personal lawyer, responded Wednesday evening to the Post report by saying: “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.”

The Post report cited anonymous sources who were briefed on requests made by investigators. It was not immediately clear whether the FBI was the source of the information.

The president himself took to Twitter Wednesday morning to complain about the “phony story” in the Post, then did so again in the afternoon to question why Hillary Clinton’s conduct during the probe of her private email server was not under more scrutiny.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller special counsel in the Russia investigation last month, testified to lawmakers Tuesday that he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire Mueller and that he is confident that Mueller will have “the full independence he needs” to investigate thoroughly.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/16/rosenstein-warns-americans-to-exercise-caution-about-anonymous-reports.html

 

CORRECTED: Three members of Mueller’s team have donated to Democrats

CORRECTED: Three members of Mueller's team have donated to Democrats
© Greg Nash

Three members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on the Russia probe have donated to Democratic presidential campaigns and organizations, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Jeannie Rhee, a member of Mueller’s team, donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign PAC Hillary for America. 

Andrew Weissmann, who serves in a top post within the Justice Department’s fraud practice, is the most senior lawyer on the special counsel team, Bloomberg reported. He served as the FBI’s general counsel and the assistant director to Mueller when the special counsel was FBI director.

Before he worked at the FBI or Justice Department, Weissman worked at the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, during which he donated six times to political action committees for Obama in 2008 for a total of $4,700.

James Quarles, who served as an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, has donated to over a dozen Democratic PACs since the late 1980s. He was also identified by the Washington Post as a member of Mueller’s team.

Starting in 1987, Quarles donated to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis’s presidential PAC, Dukakis for President. Since then, he has also contributed in 1999 to Sen. Al Gore’s run for the presidency, then-Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential bid in 2005, Obama’s presidential PAC in 2008 and 2012, and Clinton’s presidential pac Hillary for America in 2016.

He also donated to two Republicans, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in 2015 and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in 2005.

The political affiliations of Mueller’s team have been spotlighted by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) an ally of Trump.

After initially hailing Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, Gingrich questioned for former FBI director’s ability to be impartial on Monday because of “who he is hiring.”

Michael R. Dreeben, who serves as the Justice Department’s deputy solicitor general, is working on a part-time basis for Mueller, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The FEC database shows a donation from a Michael W. Dreeben in 2006 of $1,000 dollars to Hillary Clinton’s Senate political action committee (PAC), Friends of Hillary. But a spokesman for the special counsel said this is not the Dreeben working for Mueller, who has a different middle initial. The FEC database identifies the Dreeben who made the contribution as deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department.

Several of the figures on Mueller’s team are well known and respected for their work at the Department of Justice.

Dreeben has reportedly received bipartisan praise for his handling of the department’s criminal appellate cases, the Post reported.

Weissmann is well-known for his work in the investigation on Volkswagen cheating on their diesel emissions tests, which they pleaded guilty to earlier this year.

Mueller, who formerly served as FBI director, was first appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2001.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel last month.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:03 a.m. to reflect the special counsel spokesman’s statement that Dreeben did not give a donation to Clinton. 

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337428-four-top-legal-experts-on-muellers-team-donated-to-democratic-causes

 

TWEET STORM

Trump Declares War on Rosenstein: ‘He Has No Qualms About Throwing Him Under a Bus’

With one tweet, the president confirmed he’s under investigation and put the man in charge of that investigation on blast.

President Donald Trump woke up on Friday and decided to publicly confirm that he is under criminal investigation—and to put his deputy attorney general in the line of fire.

After 48 hours of Trump’s allies lobbing allegations of illegal “deep state” leaks and fake-news hit jobs, Trump took to Twitter and corroborated a Wednesday report by The Washington Post that he is the target of a federal investigation into potential obstruction of justice after firing FBI Director James Comey.

“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” Trump wrote, apparently referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Since Rosenstein is the senior Justice Department official overseeing the inquiry after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Trump has stewed with anger at the Justice Department over the Russia probe, to the point where Sessions had reportedly offered his resignation. For his part, Sessions testified to the Senate on Tuesday that he was merely concurring with Rosenstein when he assented to firing Comey.

“He’s furious at Rosenstein, but the list of his people who enrage him is ever-growing,” a longtime Trump confidant, who recently spoke to the president, told The Daily Beast. “He has no qualms about throwing [Rosenstein] under a bus.”

That single tweet threatens to upend the administration’s legal and public-relations strategies surrounding an FBI probe into alleged Russian election-meddling that has expanded in recent months to include an obstruction investigation and a probe of the finances of Trump aides and associates.

 A frustrated senior Trump administration official quipped in response to the tweet, “Has anyone read him his Miranda rights?” The implication being that Trump would do well to remain silent on the issue of his own criminal investigation.

Officials spoke on the condition of anonymity so as to speak freely.

Trump digs hole, keeps going

The escalation of the probe is packed with irony. Trump’s insistence that he was not personally under investigation led him to fire the man leading the probe, which ensured a special prosecutor, which ensured Trump came personally under investigation. Now, in raging against circumstances his actions brought about, Trump has given Mueller another building block for the investigation.

“It’s clear that this tweet has not been vetted by his [Trump’s] attorney,” said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “In addition to confirming that he is under investigation, the tweet makes a factual statement regarding the president’s decision to fire James Comey, which is a subject of the investigation. You can bet that when the president testifies regarding his role in Comey’s firing, he will be asked about this tweet.”

Mueller will inevitably investigate the exact circumstances leading to the Comey firing, which he is likely to interview both Trump and Rosenstein—now in conflict with each other—about.

Even Trump’s senior aides blame the president for bringing the obstruction inquiry upon himself and the White House.

“The president did this to himself,” one senior administration official told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, the president has become increasingly convinced that forces in the FBI and the “deep state” are “out for his scalp,” as one White House aide described it. This sentiment is shared by some of his closest advisers, including his chief strategist Steve Bannon.

One senior White House official told The Daily Beast that the Trump tweet was directed, of course, specifically at Rosenstein. The official noted that it reflects what the president has been venting privately for the past couple of days regarding the “irony” of Rosenstein having a role in the sacking of Comey and his current role in the investigations that have taken over as Trump’s main obsession.

The line, according to the White House official, is emerging as one of President Trump’s preferred talking points and complaints.

Another White House official said Friday morning that they are not shocked anymore whenever the president goes off script during early-morning tweetstorms, and for “all the heartburn and misery” they might cause internally, senior aides and advisers should all have a tough callus at this stage in the presidency.

“If you haven’t made this a settled factor in your morning routine, why are you still here?” the official asked, rhetorically.

But while the president is stewing, the White House is still trying to maintain its official separation from dealing with the fallout from the investigation. Instead they’re directing press inquiries to Trump’s personal lawyer.

Asked to clarify that Trump’s tweet was referring specifically to Rosenstein, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders told The Daily Beast: “Best to contact Marc Kasowitz and his team for all questions related to this matter.”

Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, took it as a direct threat to the deputy AG.

“I’m growing increasingly concerned that the president will attempt to fire not only Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice, but also Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who appointed Mueller,” she said in a statement.

Can or should Rosenstein stay?

Former Justice Department officials said that Trump’s tweet has put Rosenstein, who just months ago enjoyed a sterling reputation, in an untenable position. At the minimum, Rosenstein is likely to come under overwhelming pressure to recuse himself from his role overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump.

A former senior DOJ official said Trump’s tweet accuses Rosenstein of lying to Congress. Trump claims Rosenstein “told me to fire the FBI Director!” Shortly after Comey was fired, Rosenstein said in a statement to Congress that the memo said was “not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination,” even though he “thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader” for the FBI.

“The question is, is this a bridge too far for Rod?” the former official said.

The last time the White House characterized Rosenstein as the hatchet man, he “drew a line in the sand,” as the official put it, and reportedly threatened to resign. Shortly after, Trump told NBC News that he would have fired Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s memo.

Still, it’s undeniable that Rosenstein’s memo aided Trump in firing Comey. That means the senior Justice Department official responsible for Mueller’s investigation is also a likely witness in that investigation.

“It’s long seemed to me that Rosenstein would inevitably have to recuse himself in this investigation, because he was a witness to the events surrounding the firing of James Comey and may have participated in the firing of Mr. Comey,” Mariotti continued.

“This latest statement by the president may hasten Rosenstein’s recusal or put pressure on Rosenstein to step aside or step down.”

Rosenstein has quietly acknowledged that he may need to step aside, according to ABC News. He has already testified to a House panel that he is in consultation with Justice Department ethics officials to determine if his recusal is necessary.

“You don’t recuse yourself from an investigation because a subject of the investigation is accusing you of misconduct,” said Ed Dowd, a former U.S. Attorney who helped run the special counsel investigation of the Waco raid. “This may be putting pressure on Rosenstein to say, ‘Do I really need this?’ It may be putting pressure on him to get out, but that is not a proper reason to recuse himself, there’s no question about that.”

“It should not have an effect on him in terms of recusing himself. He should not recuse himself based on tweets by someone who’s under investigation”

It has been a spectacular fall for Rosenstein. As recently as February, pillars of the legal establishment breathed a sigh of relief when the highly respected prosecutor became deputy attorney general. Instead, they have watched in horror as he wrote a legal memo in May at Trump’s request that was widely seen as a pretext for firing the FBI chief. Brookings Institution scholar Ben Wittes, editor of the influential legal blog Lawfare and a friend of Comey’s, has speculated that Rosenstein might have given Trump the “loyalty” assurance the president sought unsuccessfully from the ex-FBI director.

As respected as Rosenstein was, he also has a reputation for ambition. The view of him in legal circles, according to a former Justice Department official who wished to remain anonymous, is, “he’s wanted to be the DAG [deputy attorney general] for a long, long time.”

Should Rosenstein recuse himself—or lose his job—the next Justice Department official in line to oversee the Mueller probe is Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, who was legal-policy chief in the George W. Bush-era department and more recently served on the government’s privacy watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The conservative Brand has a reputation, former colleagues say, for extreme intelligence and integrity. Of course, the same used to be said of Rosenstein.

During one of his rare public appearances as FBI director, he laid out his position on the tyranny of the law: “We live in dangerous times, but we are not the first generation of Americans to face threats to our security,” he explained. “Like those before us, we will be judged by future generations on how we react to this crisis. And by that I mean not just whether we win the war on terrorism, because I believe we will, but also whether, as we fight that war, we safeguard for our citizens the very liberties for which we are fighting.”

Unlike many in Washington, where such sentiments can often sound like platitudes, he really means it. As former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, who has known Mueller for more than 30 years, explained to me, “People are smart not to test him on those issues.” Larry Thompson, who, like Comey, also served as deputy attorney general under Ashcroft, told me, “When he has a point of view, you know it’s held honestly and openly. There’s no subterranean agenda.”

Mueller overall sees little gray in the world; he’s a black-or-white guy, right or wrong. His father, who was captain of a World War II Navy sub chaser, impressed on him early the importance of credibility and integrity. “You did not shade or even consider shading with him,” Mueller recalls, and ever since, matters of honor and principle had been simple. “Occasionally he’ll be a pain in the ass because he’s so strait-laced,” his late college friend and one-time FBI counselor Lee Rawls told me years ago. “There have been a couple of instances I’ve advocated cowardice and flight, and he wouldn’t have it.”

Cowardice and flight is indeed not Mueller’s style. After he and Rawls graduated from Princeton in the 1960s, before Vietnam had become the political and cultural flash point that it did later in the decade, Mueller volunteered to join the Marines and fight—earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with valor for his role in an intense firefight. In Officer Candidate School, his only demerit came in a trait that would be familiar to anyone who later dealt with him as FBI director and one that should, again, worry the Trump White House today: Robert Swan Mueller III received a D in “Delegation.”

Mueller’s longtime friend Tom Wilner explained to me, “Bob’s the best of the old prep school tradition. He stands for service, integrity and has the confidence to never bend. He doesn’t do anything for himself.”

“The things that most of us would struggle with the most come relatively easy to him because his moral compass is so straight,” one aide at the FBI told me, with reflection and envy. “It’s got to be quite comforting in its own way.”

Mueller was at home at the FBI in part because it removed any hint of partisanship. The FBI, Mueller believes, is the government’s honest broker—an agency free of political interference and pressure, priding itself on objectivity and independence. “You’re free to do what you think is right,” he told me. “It’s much easier than if you have to consider the political currents.”

He had a deep appreciation as director for the bureau’s traditions and its esprit de corps. He famously, almost religiously, wore white shirts and dark suits as director—the picture of a stereotypical Hoover-era G-man—and would even gently mock aides and agents who dared to show up in his office wearing, horror of horrors, pink or even blue shirts. I long attributed his habit to his personal style and strait-laced nature, but, after he finished as director, I once asked him: Why the cult of the white shirt? He answered more philosophically than I’d ever seen him speak before—explaining that he knew he was leading the FBI through a period of wrenching change, converting it to a global intelligence agency focused around counterterrorism, and that he felt it important to keep recognizable totems of the past in place—like the tradition of the white shirt—to help agents understand it was still the same FBI they’d signed up to join.

***

A year after the showdown over STELLAR WIND, Comey journeyed from the Justice Department up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Fort Meade, Maryland, the headquarters of the NSA. His speech that day was purportedly in recognition of Law Day, but it carried a coded message for those few in the room who knew what had transpired in the showdown of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

The nation of the United States, Comey explained, was a country of laws, not men. Public officials swore oaths to the Constitution, not to the president. It’s the job of the lawyers, he explained, to remove the looming crisis from a decision and examine how it will look down the road.

He then continued with words that echo more than a decade later and presage the weeks to come on Capitol Hill, where he will once again be in his element. “We know that our actions, and those of the agencies we support, will be held up in a quiet, dignified, well-lit room, where they can be viewed with the perfect, and brutally unfair, vision of hindsight,” he told the gathered NSA crowd. “We know they will be reviewed in hearing rooms or courtrooms where it is impossible to capture even a piece of the urgency and exigency felt during a crisis.”

That perfect hindsight, he argued was why the most important thing in a lawyer’s life was understanding the test of history. As he said, “‘No’ must be spoken into a storm of crisis, with loud voices all around.”

Sometime soon, in a quiet, dignified, well-lit room on Capitol Hill, Jim Comey’s going to get another chance to explain why he said no. And while he does, Bob Mueller will be toiling away, reaching deep into the government and the annals of the Trump campaign, to understand exactly what transpired last year and the events that led up to Comey’s firing.

Even at 72, Mueller has plenty of energy left—where his predecessor Louis Freeh had the same chief of staff for nearly his entire tenure, Mueller burned through chiefs of staff almost every year. “He drives at such speed that he can burn up people around him,” Comey told me of Mueller. “Some people burn people up because they’re assholes. Bob burns them up by sheer exertion.”

The night of the STELLAR WIND showdown, Mueller arrived at the hospital moments after the White House aides departed after they were unable to get Comey or Ashcroft to reauthorize the program. Mueller spoke briefly with Comey in the hallway and then entered Ashcroft’s hospital room.

“Bob, I don’t know what’s happening,” the confused attorney general told him.

“There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s tested, and you passed your test tonight,” Mueller replied, comfortingly.

While Comey and Mueller might have both thought that they had aced their biggest challenge in the early 2000s, keeping the nation safe after 9/11, as it turns out, they’re both now embarking on what history will likely remember as their ultimate test.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece misidentified the mafia boss Comey prosecuted. His name was John Gotti.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/18/james-comey-trump-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller-fbi-215154

Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

Special counsel investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice
The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials to determine whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. (Patrick Martin, McKenna Ewen/The Washington Post)
The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

The NSA said in a statement that it will “fully cooperate with the special counsel” and declined to comment further. The office of the director of national intelligence and Ledgett declined to comment.

The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz.

“The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,” said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.

The officials said Coats, Rogers and Ledgett would appear voluntarily, though it remains unclear whether they will describe in full their conversations with Trump and other top officials or will be directed by the White House to invoke executive privilege. It is doubtful that the White House could ultimately use executive privilege to try to block them from speaking to Mueller’s investigators. Experts point out that the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate scandal that officials cannot use privilege to withhold evidence in criminal prosecutions.

The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller’s office has taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate that his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.

The interviews suggest that Mueller sees the question of attempted obstruction of justice as more than just a “he said, he said” dispute between the president and the fired FBI director, an official said.

With the term whirling around Washington, a former federal prosecutor explains what to know about the criminal charge of obstruction of justice. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Investigating Trump for possible crimes is a complicated affair, even if convincing evidence of a crime were found. The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say, the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Comey confirmed publicly in congressional testimony on March 20 that the bureau was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Comey’s statement before the House Intelligence Committee upset Trump, who has repeatedly denied that any coordination with the Russians took place. Trump had wanted Comey to disclose publicly that he was not personally under investigation, but the FBI director refused to do so.

Soon after, Trump spoke to Coats and Rogers about the Russia investigation.

Officials said one of the exchanges of potential interest to Mueller took place on March 22, less than a week after Coats was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the nation’s top intelligence official.

Coats was attending a briefing at the White House with officials from several other government agencies. When the briefing ended, as The Washington Post previously reported, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Coats told associates that Trump had asked him whether Coats could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials. Coats later told lawmakers that he never felt pressured to intervene.

A day or two after the March 22 meeting, Trump telephoned Coats and Rogers to separately ask them to issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of coordinationbetween his campaign and the Russian government.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president’s requests, officials said.

It is unclear whether Ledgett had direct contact with Trump or other top officials about the Russia probe, but he wrote an internal NSA memo documenting the president’s phone call with Rogers, according to officials.

As part of the probe, the special counsel has also gathered Comey’s written accounts of his conversations with Trump. The president has accused Comey of lying about those encounters.

Mueller is overseeing a host of investigations involving people who are or were in Trump’s orbit, people familiar with the probe said. The investigation is examining possible contacts with Russian operatives as well as any suspicious financial activity related to those individuals.

Last week, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had informed Trump that there was no investigation of the president’s personal conduct, at least while he was leading the FBI.

Comey’s carefully worded comments, and those of Andrew McCabe, who took over as acting FBI director, suggested to some officials that an investigation of Trump for attempted obstruction may have been launched after Comey’s departure, particularly in light of Trump’s alleged statements regarding Flynn.

“I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense,” Comey testified last week.

Mueller has not publicly discussed his work, and a spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

Accounts by Comey and other officials of their conversations with the president could become central pieces of evidence if Mueller decides to pursue an obstruction case.

Investigators will also look for any statements the president may have made publicly and privately to people outside the government about his reasons for firing Comey and his concerns about the Russia probe and other related investigations, people familiar with the matter said.

Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that he was certain his firing was due to the president’s concerns about the Russia probe, rather than over his handling of a now-closed FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, as the White House had initially asserted. “It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey said. “I was fired, in some way, to change — or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.”

The fired FBI director said ultimately it was up to Mueller to make a determination whether the president crossed a legal line.

In addition to describing his interactions with the president, Comey told the Intelligence Committee that while he was FBI director he told Trump on three occasions that he was not under investigation as part of a counterintelligence probe looking at Russian meddling in the election.

Republican lawmakers seized on Comey’s testimony to point out that Trump was not in the FBI’s crosshairs when Comey led the bureau.

After Comey’s testimony, in which he acknowledged telling Trump that he was not under investigation, Trump tweeted that he felt “total and complete vindication.” It is unclear whether McCabe, Comey’s successor, has informed Trump of the change in the scope of the probe.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.ddf5961ef89d

Eight Laws Hillary Clinton Could Be Indicted For Breaking

Photo of Kenneth P. Bergquist

KENNETH P. BERGQUIST
Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret)

As a former Justice Department official, I have, of late, been asked by both Democratic and Republican friends whether Hillary Clinton could be indicted for her email related actions. The simple answer is yes — she, and perhaps some of her senior staff, could be indicted for violating a number of federal criminal statutes. But for reasons that will be discussed later, it is unlikely that she will be.

Nevertheless, it is well worth discussing the various criminal provisions of federal law that she and others may have been violated based on mainstream news reports. Remember that news reporting can be incorrect or incomplete — and that Hillary Clinton, and anyone else involved, deserves every presumption of innocence. Also keep in mind that an indictment is not a conviction but rather the informed opinion of a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe one or more violations of federal criminal statutes have transpired.

This intellectual and legal research exercise should commence with a brief review of the basics of criminal jurisprudence: There are two elements of a criminal offense: the prohibited conduct as defined in statute; and the mens rea or mental intent of the individual or individuals engaging in the prohibited conduct. Thus, to gain a conviction on a criminal count in an indictment, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) the prohibited conduct occurred, (2) the prohibited conduct was undertaken by the defendant, and (3) the defendant had the requisite mens rea or intent at the time.

1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

A federal prosecutor would naturally focus first on the most serious allegations: willfully transmitting or willfully retaining Top Secret and Compartmented (TS/SCI) material using a private server system. The individual who transmits and the individual who receives and retains TS/SCI information on a private server jointly share the culpability for risking the compromise and exploitation of the information by hostile intelligence services. The prosecutor’s charging document would likely include felony counts under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and under 18 U.S. Code § 798 against each transmitting individual as well as separate counts against each receiving and retaining individual. Violation of either provision of the U.S. Code cited above is a felony with a maximum prison term of ten years.

The prohibited conduct is the insecure transmission of highly classified information, as well as the receipt and retention of highly classified information in an unapproved manner. The requisite mens rea is the willful commission of the prohibited conduct and the knowledge that compromised information could result in prejudice or injury to the United States or advantage to any foreign nation. Proof of intent to disclose the classified information is not required.

2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

If the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and an accused person has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and 18 U.S. Code § 798 may be “pled-down” to a single or to multiple misdemeanor counts under 18 U.S. Code § 1924. A misdemeanor conviction would probably result in a period of probation and a less significant fine. The prohibited conduct is the unauthorized removal of classified information from government control or its retention in an unauthorized location. The mens rea required is the intent to remove from government control or the intent to store the classified information in an unauthorized location.

3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

To sustain a charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b), a federal prosecutor need only prove that the accused transferred and held the only copies of official government records (whether classified or not), the very existence of which was concealed from government records custodians. The mens rea required is that an accused knows that official government records were transferred or removed from the control of government records custodians. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) is a felony with a maximum prison term of three years.

4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

Again, if the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and accused has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) can be “pled down” to a misdemeanor under 18 U.S. Code § 641. The prohibited conduct is the conversion of official records (whether classified or not) to the accused’s exclusive use and the mens rea is simply the intent to do so. Conviction on the lesser misdemeanor charge would likely result in a period of probation and the imposition of a fine.

5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

If it can be proven that an accused destroyed, withheld, or concealed the existence of official records being sought under subpoena by a committee of Congress, the accused can be convicted of obstruction under 18 U.S. Code § 1505. The prohibited conduct includes destruction, concealment and withholding of documents, thereby impeding or obstructing the committee’s rightful pursuit of information. The mens rea is knowledge of the committee’s interest in obtaining the official records in the accused’s custody or control. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1505 is a felony with a maximum prison term of five years.

6.) 18 U.S. Code § 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations

If it can be proven that an accused knowingly concealed the existence of official records being sought by the Department of State Inspector General (DOS/IG) or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), such accused can be convicted of obstruction. The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.

7.) 18 U.S. Code § 1031 — Fraud against the United States
18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio or television
18 U.S. Code § 1346 — Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to defraud the United States

If it can be proven that an accused arranged for the Department of State to hire an Information Technology (IT) specialist to primarily administer and maintain a private server system owned by the accused, then the accused can be convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and probably wire fraud. The prohibited conduct is having the United States pay an employee salary and/or official travel funds for performing private services on behalf of accused. The mens rea is simply the knowledge of the employee’s status as a public servant and that the government was not fully reimbursed for the costs to the government of such services. The wire fraud conviction can be sought if it can be proven that accused used electronic means of communication in undertaking such scheme or artifice to defraud.

8.) 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit a federal offense

If any accused and any third party can be proven to have colluded in any violation of federal, criminal law, then all involved can be charged with criminal conspiracy as well as being charged with the underlying offense.

Indictment?

The old adage, that a good prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted, is bad news for any public servant who risks the compromise of classified information or otherwise violates any of the other federal criminal statutes listed above. Specifically, this Administration has a history of vigorously prosecuting and winning convictions in the mishandling of classified information and other criminal violations of the public trust.

However, Hillary Clinton is anything but a ham sandwich; and she knows it. She and her senior aides will not even be formally investigated by this Justice Department, much less indicted. The president will allow Hillary Clinton and her aides to “tough it out” for as long it is politically possible. However, if and when the political and public opinion costs of a “tough it out” tactic become too great, President Obama will simply use that famous pen of his to issue a succinct pardon and make formal mockery of the concept of equal justice.

Kenneth Bergquist served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration and serves now aspro bono legal counsel to the Special Operations Education Fund (OPSEC).

http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/21/eight-laws-hillary-clinton-could-be-indicted-for-breaking/

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

President Trump recently tweeted claiming that former President Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. One can only imagine how nuts the media would have gone if the roles had been reversed: President Trump wiretapping either Obama or the Clintons, though his DOJ could have authority to do just that given the expansive leaks of intelligence information by Obama and Clinton supporters the last few months. Heck, he could wiretap the media at this point, legally and legitimately, as the sources of these unlawful leaks, for which Obama himself set precedent. Do liberals understand what Pandora’s Box Obama opened up by Obama using the powers of the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on his political opponents? Even Nixon never did that.

If the stories are correct, Obama or his officials might even face prosecution. But, we are still early in all of this and there are a lot of rumors flying around so the key is if the reports are accurate. We just don’t know at this time. The stories currently are three-fold: first, that Obama’s team tried to get a warrant from a regular, Article III federal court on Trump, and was told no by someone along the way (maybe the FBI), as the evidence was that weak or non-existent; second, Obama’s team then tried to circumvent the federal judiciary’s independent role by trying to mislabel the issue one of “foreign agents,” and tried to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “courts”, and were again turned down, when the court saw Trump named (an extremely rare act of FISA court refusal of the government, suggesting the evidence was truly non-existent against Trump); and so, third, Obama circumvented both the regular command of the FBI and the regularly appointed federal courts, by placing the entire case as a FISA case (and apparently under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the FISA court unwittingly granted, which Obama then misused to spy on Trump and many connected to Trump. Are these allegations true? We don’t know yet, but if any part of them are then Obama and/or his officials could face serious trouble.

Can a President be charged with a crime? Only once out of office. While in office, impeachment remains the exclusive remedy in order to avoid a single judicial branch trying to overturn an election, such as a grand jury in any part of the country could. Once out of office, a President remains immune from civil liability for his duties while President, under a 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court. However, as the Nixon pardon attests, nothing forecloses a criminal prosecution of the President after his presidency is complete for crimes against the country. Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, should know that.

What crimes could have been committed? Ironically, for Democrats falsely accusing Attorney General Sessions, perjury and conspiracy to commit perjury, as well as intentional violations of FISA. Rather shockingly, no law currently forbids misusing the power of the presidency to spy on one’s adversaries. What the law does forbid is lying to any judicial officer to obtain any means of surveillance. What the law does forbid, under criminal penalty, is the misuse of FISA. Both derive from the protections of the Fourth Amendment itself. Under section 1809, FISA makes it a crime for anyone to either “engage in” electronic surveillance under “color of law” under FISA without following the law’s restrictions, or “disclose” or “use” information gathered from it in contravention of the statute’s sharp constrictions.

FISA, 50 USC 1801, et seq., is a very limited method of obtaining surveillance authority. The reason for its strict limits is that FISA evades the regular federal court process, by not allowing regularly, Constitutionally appointed federal judges and their magistrates to authorize surveillance the Fourth Amendment would otherwise forbid. Instead, the Chief Justice handpicks the FISA court members, who have shown an exceptional deference to the executive branch. This is because FISA court members trust the government is only bringing them surveillance about pending terror attacks or “grave hostile” war-like attacks, as the FISA statute limits itself to. Thus, a FISA application can only be used in very limited circumstances.

One important reminder about electronic surveillance. Occasionally, a law enforcement officer will hear or see or record information not allowed by the warrant, but incidental or accidental to otherwise lawful surveillance. Their job is to immediately stop listening, stop recording, and to delete such information. This is what you occasionally see in films where the agent in the van hears the conversation turn away from something criminal to a personal discussion, and the agent then turns off the listening device and stops the recording. Such films simply recognize long-standing legal practice.

FISA can only be used for “foreign intelligence information.” Now that sounds broad, but is in fact very limited under the law. The only “foreign intelligence information” allowed as a basis for surveillance is information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential “grave” “hostile” attack, war-like sabotage or international terror. Second, it can only be used to eavesdrop on conversations where the parties to the conversation are a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. An agent of a foreign power cannot be a United States person unless they are knowingly involved in criminal espionage. No warrant is allowed on that person unless a FISA court finds probable cause the United States person is knowingly engaged in criminal espionage. Even then, if it involves a United States person, special steps must be taken to “minimize the acquisition and retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of non publicly available information concerning un-consenting United States persons.”

This includes procedures that require they never identify the person, or the conversation, being surveilled, to the public where that information is not evidence of a particular crime. Third, the kind of information sought concerns solely information about a pending or actual attack on the country. That is why the law limits itself to sabotage incidents involving war, not any form or kind of “sabotage,” explicitly limiting itself to those acts identified in section 105 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

This bring us to Watergate-on-Steroids, or #ObamaGate. Here are the problematic aspects of the Obama surveillance on Trump’s team, and on Trump himself. First, it is not apparent FISA could ever be invoked. Second, it is possible Obama’s team may have perjured themselves before the FISA court by withholding material information essential to the FISA court’s willingness to permit the government surveillance. Third, it could be that Obama’s team illegally disseminated and disclosed FISA information in direct violation of the statute precisely prohibiting such dissemination and disclosure. FISA prohibits, under criminal penalty, Obama’s team from doing any of the three.

At the outset, the NSA should have never been involved in a domestic US election. Investigating the election, or any hacking of the DNC or the phishing of Podesta’s emails, would not be a FISA matter. It does not fit the definition of war sabotage or a “grave” “hostile” war-like attack on the United States, as constrictively covered by FISA. It is your run-of-the-mill hacking case covered by existing United States laws that require use of the regular departments of the FBI, Department of Justice, and Constitutionally Senate-appointed federal district court judges, and their appointed magistrates, not secretive, deferential FISA courts.

Out of 35,000+ requests for surveillance, the FISA court has only ever rejected a whopping 12. Apparently, according to published reports, you can add one more to that — even the FISA court first rejected Obama’s request to spy on Trump’s team under the guise of an investigation into foreign agents of a pending war attack, intelligence agents apparently returned to the court, where, it is my assumption, that they did not disclose or divulge all material facts to the court when seeking the surveillance the second time around, some of which they would later wrongfully disseminate and distribute to the public. By itself, misuse of FISA procedures to obtain surveillance is itself, a crime.

This raises the second problem: Obama’s team submission of an affidavit to to the FISA court. An application for a warrant of any kind requires an affidavit, and that affidavit may not omit material factors. A fact is “material” if it could have the possible impact of impacting the judicial officer deciding whether to authorize the warrant. Such affidavits are the most carefully drawn up, reviewed, and approved affidavits of law enforcement in our system precisely because they must be fully-disclosing, forthcoming, and include any information a judge must know to decide whether to allow our government to spy on its own. My assumption would be that intelligence officials were trying to investigate hacking of DNC which is not even a FISA covered crime, so therefore serious questions arise about what Obama administration attorneys said to the FISA court to even consider the application. If the claim was “financial ties” to Russia, then Obama knew he had no basis to use FISA at all.

Since Trump was the obvious target, the alleged failure to disclose his name in the second application could be a serious and severe violation of the obligation to disclose all material facts. Lastly, given the later behavior, it is evident any promise in the affidavit to protect the surveilled information from ever being sourced or disseminated was a false promise, intended to induce the illicit surveillance. This is criminalized both by federal perjury statutes, conspiracy statutes, and the FISA criminal laws themselves.

That raises the third problem: it seems the FISA-compelled protocols for precluding the dissemination of the information were violated, and that Obama’s team issued orders to achieve precisely what the law forbids, if published reports are true about the administration sharing the surveilled information far-and-wide to promote unlawful leaks to the press. This, too, would be its own crime, as it brings back the ghost of Hillary’s emails — by definition, FISA information is strictly confidential or it’s information that never should have been gathered. FISA strictly segregates its surveilled information into two categories: highly confidential information of the most serious of crimes involving foreign acts of war; or, if not that, then information that should never have been gathered, should be immediately deleted, and never sourced nor disseminated. It cannot be both.

Recognizing this information did not fit FISA meant having to delete it and destroy it. According to published reports, Obama’s team did the opposite: order it preserved, ordered the NSA to search it, keep it, and share it; and then Obama’s Attorney General issued an order to allow broader sharing of information and, according to the New York Times, Obama aides acted to label the Trump information at a lower level of classification for massive-level sharing of the information. The problem for Obama is simple — if it could fit a lower level of classification, then it had to be deleted and destroyed, not disseminated and distributed, under crystal clear FISA law. Obama’s team’s admission it could be classified lower, yet taking actions to insure its broadest distribution, could even put Obama smack-middle of the biggest unlawful surveillance and political-opponent-smear campaign since Nixon. Except even Nixon didn’t use the FBI and NSA for his dirty tricks.

Watergate would have never happened if Nixon felt like he could just ask the FBI or NSA to tape the calls. This is Hoover-esque abuses of the kind Bob Woodward pal, former FBI Assistant Director Mark Felt (otherwise known as Deep Throat), routinely engaged in at the FBI until convicted and removed from office. (You didn’t know that Deep Throat was really a corrupt part of Deep State, did you? Guess who ran the famous COINTELPRO? That’s right — Deep Throat. How would the public have reacted if they knew the media had been in bed with the deep state all the way back then? Maybe that was the reason Woodward, Bernstein and Bradley kept Deep Throat’s identity secret all those years?)

Democrats may regret Sessions’ recusal, as his replacement is a mini-Sessions: a long-respected, a-political, highly ethical prosecutor, Dana Boente, whose reputation is well-warranted from his service at the Tax Division, and who won’t be limited by any perceived ties to Trump, given his prior appointment by Obama. Obama himself appeared scared of Boente, as he removed Boente from the successor-to-Sessions position during the lame-duck part of Obama’s presidency, but Trump restored Boente to that role earlier this month. Democrats may get the investigation they wanted, but it may be their own that end up named in the indictment.

Robert Barnes is a California-based trial attorney whose practice focuses on tax defense, civil rights and First Amendment law. You can follow him at @Barnes_Law

http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/yes-obama-could-be-prosecuted-if-involved-with-illegal-surveillance/

The Endless Ironies of Donald J. Trump

by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON June 13, 2017 4:00 AM @VDHANSON

Pandemonium can be a revivifying purgative.

Here are the ironies of Donald Trump as president. 1) For the Left (both Political and Media)

The Left was mostly untroubled for eight years about the often unconstitutional abuses of Barack Obama — given that they saw their shared noble aims as justifying almost any means necessary to achieve them.

There was the not uncommon Rice-Gruber-Rhodes-Holder sort of deception (on Benghazi, on the conduct of Bowe Bergdahl, on the Affordable Care Act, the Iran deal, on Fast and Furious, etc.) — a required tactic because so much of the Obama agenda was antithetical to the wishes and preferences of the American electorate and thus had to be disguised and camouflaged to become enacted.

There was the pen-and-phone mockery of established federal law (the suspension of the ACA employer mandate, the Chrysler creditor reversal, the non-enforcement of federal immigration law, the institutionalization of sanctuary-city nullification).

There was the constant mythmaking (from faux red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines to the fatuity of the Cairo Speech and Iran-deal harangues). There were the abuses of presidential power (the surveillance of journalists, the selective release of the bin Laden trove to pet journalists, the likely surveilling, unmasking, and leaking through reversed targeting of political enemies).

No one worried much when Obama promised on a hot mic to Medvedev that he would be more flexible with the Russians after his reelection, as if they were to conform to a desired sort of behavior in service to Obama that would earn them dividends from him later on — the kind of unapologetic partisan “collusion” that would have earned Trump a Comey-induced indictment.

No one cared that Obama pulled all peacekeepers out of Iraq and thereby ruined what the surge had saved.

Nor did anyone fret much about the serial scandals at the GSA, the VA, the IRS, and the Secret Service, or his disastrous reset policy with Russia and the implosion of the Middle East or the strange spectacles of Obama’s interview with GloZell or polarizing Oval Office guests, such as the rapper whose album cover portrayed celebrations over a dead white judge.

True, none of these were impeachable or even major offenses. But all of them recalibrated the bar of presidential behavior.

So along came the next Republican president, empowered by Obama’s exemptions to do almost anything he wished, albeit without the thin exculpatory veneer of Ivy League pretension, multicultural indemnity, and studied smoothness.

In biblical “there is a season” fashion, for every sermon about not building your business, making too much money, or profiting at the wrong time, there was a Trump retort to profit as never before.

For every too-frequent gala golf outing of a metrosexual Obama decked out in spiffy attire, there is a plumper Trump swinging away, oblivious to the angry pack of reporters that Obama once so carefully courted. For every rapper with an ankle bracelet that went off in the White House, there is now a White House photo-op with Ted Nugent.

For every executive-order suspension of federal immigration enforcement, there is an executive-order corrective.

For every lecture on the crusades, sermons on Western genocidal history, apology tour, or Islamic mythmaking, there is an American Greatness pride in everything.

The progressive ironies continued.

If the media were to be believed when they insisted that Obama was a “god,” or that he was the smartest man ever to achieve the presidency, or that the first lady was Jackie Kennedy incarnate, or that Obama was capable of sending electrical shocks down a reporter’s leg or was sure to be a brilliant president on the basis of his pants crease or because he talked in the manner of Washington elites, then surely it could not be believed when Trump was smeared as a veritable dunce, crook, buffoon, and naïf worthy of impeachment or that his wife (fluent in several languages) was an airhead former escort girl.

By their former unhinged adoration and obsequiousness, progressives and the media undermined all future credibility in their unhinged venom and loathing of Donald Trump. Now they live with the reality that by elevating Obama into a deity, they unleashed their own worst nightmare and have reduced themselves to irrelevance.

In the end, no one believes the current venom of a CNN or a New York Times precisely because no one could have believed their prior slavish adulation.

Anderson Cooper has become Keith Olbermann, as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer meld into Maxine Waters: now malevolent rather than previously sycophantic, but in their extremism still no more credible in 2017 than they were in 2009. 2) For the Orphaned Never Trump Right (as Overrepresented in the Punditocracy as Underrepresented in the Electorate)

Even the most die-hard Never Trump conservative has had to make some adjustments. Despite assurances that Trump would not get the nomination, he did. Despite assurances that he could never be elected, he was. Despite prognostications that Trump was a liberal wolf hiding in conservative fleece, Trump’s appointments, his executive orders, his legislation pending before the Congress, his abrupt withdrawal from the Paris global-warming accords, his fierce support for vouchers, his pro-life advocacy, and his immigration normality were so far orthodoxly conservative.

Most Never Trumpers now concede that something had gone terribly wrong with their top-down party, although they resent that it was raucous billionaire Donald Trump who administered the diagnosis.

Despite suspicions that Trump’s appeal to the working class was nursed on racism, fanatic nationalism, xenophobia, and nativism, the appeal instead grew from a shared disgust with blue-stocking Republicans who were perceived in word and deed as little different from coastal Democratic look-alikes. Most Never Trumpers now concede that something had gone terribly wrong with their top-down party, although they resent that it was raucous billionaire Donald Trump who administered the diagnosis.

Where Never Trump conservatives worried that Trump was too uninformed or too reckless (e.g., pulling out of an “obsolete” NATO, rejecting Article 5 of the NATO alliance, starting a trade war with China, or erecting tariffs in 1920s style), Trump was forced to separate his past rhetoric from present reality — confirming in a way his transparent art-of-the-deal negotiating style of asking for twice what he could acceptably settle for, or acting unhinged to unsettle negotiators, enemies, and rivals. Given these surprises, the Never Trump position has now receded to a simpler proposition: The uncouth character of Donald J. Trump is not worth the conservative agenda that he may well enact, as we all will eventually and inevitably learn. Or how can conservative moralists stomach such a supposedly immoral incarnation of their own views? Such a paradox hinges on four corollaries, many of them dubious.

One: The ideological trajectory of a probable 16 years of Obama–Hillary Clinton progressive transformation of the country was never as dangerous as turning over executive power to someone as purportedly uncouth and unpredictable as Trump.

Two: Trump’s character defects were like none other in a previous American president (which would include John Kennedy’s pathological and dangerous womanizing, Lyndon Johnson’s in-office profiteering and crudity, Richard Nixon’s disrespect for truth and the law, Bill Clinton’s demonstrable White House sex escapades and lying under oath) and thus would cancel out the entire gamut of renewed energy production, deregulation, tax reform, deterrent foreign policy, Obamacare reform, and the sort of Cabinet appointment that will prune back the deep state.

Three: Ideas matter more than politics and governance. Being 51 (or far more) percent preferable is still either not being preferable at all or at least not enough to warrant pragmatic assent.

Four: Even snarky and “see, how I was right” attacks on Trump from the right keep conservatism honest, rather than implode it in the manner that the Left most assiduously avoids. (Was there ever a “Never Hillary” movement after the Democratic convention to protest her pollution of the Democratic National Committee?)

For now, the fallback position of “I told you so” hinges on Trump’s proving, in a downward spiral, far more recklessly obstreperous in the future than he has been so far, and on his agenda’s either fossilizing or reverting to his own 1980s liberal outlook. 3) Always Trump There are few ironies for Always Trumpers who supported Trump from well before the primaries. They wished an iron wrecking ball to be thrown into the deep-state glass, and they certainly got what they wished for. The uncouthness of Trump is not vulgarity for them. It’s the necessary tough antidote to what they see as the polished crudity of the elite class, who are quite indecent in their sanctimonious lectures on amnesties or globalized free but unfair trade — while having the personal means of navigating around the deleterious consequences of their own advocacy. Trump’s nihilistic and self-destructive tweets are yet again, for the Always Trumpers, the Semtex that helps blow up the entire spectacle of the feeding frenzy Washington press conference, the embarrassment of the White House Correspondents Dinner, the soft-ball televised interview, and the moral preening of television’s talking heads. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below. For the Always Trumpers, without the Trump shock, we would never have fully appreciated just how politically crude a Stephen Colbert really was, or just how obscene was a Tom Perez or

3) Always Trump There are few ironies for Always Trumpers who supported Trump from well before the primaries. They wished an iron wrecking ball to be thrown into the deep-state glass, and they certainly got what they wished for. The uncouthness of Trump is not vulgarity for them. It’s the necessary tough antidote to what they see as the polished crudity of the elite class, who are quite indecent in their sanctimonious lectures on amnesties or globalized free but unfair trade — while having the personal means of navigating around the deleterious consequences of their own advocacy. Trump’s nihilistic and self-destructive tweets are yet again, for the Always Trumpers, the Semtex that helps blow up the entire spectacle of the feeding frenzy Washington press conference, the embarrassment of the White House Correspondents Dinner, the soft-ball televised interview, and the moral preening of television’s talking heads. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below. For the Always Trumpers, without the Trump shock, we would never have fully appreciated just how politically crude a Stephen Colbert really was, or just how obscene was a Tom Perez or a Senator Gillibrand, or how rankly partisan was a Chuck Schumer or how incapacitated a Nancy Pelosi. Dr. Sawbones Trump smelled a festering wound, ripped off the scab, and proclaimed that the exposure would aerate and cure the gangrenous mass below — however crudely administered the remedy without analgesics. In this view, Trump’s ostensibly counterproductive outbursts and Twitter rants are the unpleasant castor oil that was long ago needed to break up and pass on a constipated, corrupt, and incestuous elite.

4) Trump, Better Far Than the Alternative Lastly, there are the conservatives and Republicans (well over 90 percent) who voted for Trump on the grounds that, while he may not have been preferable to most of the alternatives in the primary, he most certainly was in the general election. For these pragmatists, there are both pleasant and occasionally worrisome ironies. On the upside, it seems clear that Trump is not just conservative to his word, but, in the first 100 days, conservative in terms of policy to a degree unlike any other Republican president or presidential nominee since Ronald Reagan. Mitt Romney would not have yanked the U.S. out of the jerry-rigged Paris climate accord. John McCain would not have appointed a Neal Gorsuch or proposed to radically recalibrate the tax code. Neither of the two Bushes would have felt politically secure enough to shut down the border to illegal immigration; neither would have pressed to finished the border wall. None since Reagan would have made the sort of conservative appointments at the cabinet and bureaucratic level as has Trump. If Trump were really a namby-pamby conservative, the sheer hatred of Trump the person by the progressive Left has had the predictable effect of making him against everything his loudest enemies are for. For the realist Trump supporters, Trump’s tweets or outbursts are often regrettable and occasionally bothersome, but not so much because they demonstrate an unprecedented level of presidential indecency. (Cynical realists with knowledge of history accept what FDR or JFK was capable of, and thus what they said in private conservations, and occasionally out loud.) Trump’s sin, then, is that he more often says out loud what prior presidents kept to their inner circle. Rather, their worry is more tactical and strategic: Trump, the bull-in-the-china-shop messenger, breaks up too much of the vital message of Trump. In public, they may cringe at Trump’s excesses (though enjoying in private how he forces sanctimonious progressives to melt down), but their worry over Trump’s overkill is mostly from the fear that no mortal 70-year-old male, without a traditionally loyal support staff, but with unhealthy sleep and diet habits, and under the stress of historic vituperation, could see through such an ambitious conservative agenda. They are worried, then, that the 24/7 and extraneous fights that Trump picks will eventually undo him, and with his demise will go his entire conservative resurgence for a generation. They admire enormously Mike Pence but concede that he would have been neither nominated nor elected. And should Trump fall, Pence would be unable amid the nuclear fallout to press the conservative agenda further. And yet there is some doubt even here as well. Trump’s tweets can be as prescient as they are reckless.

Take the infamous “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” and substitute “Obama administration” for Obama, and “surveil” for “wires tapped,” and Trump’s tweet about the former president’s intelligence agencies improperly monitoring him may yet prove in a broad sense correct.

In other words, cringe-worthy Trump behavior so often is the lubricant that oils his success against cringe-worthy opponents, turning upside down the Heraclitean axiom that character is destiny, or rather redefining it, because Trump’s targets so often were hubristic and deserved the nemesis sent their way.

For the realist Trump supporters, Trump’s tweets or outbursts are often regrettable and occasionally bothersome, but not so much because they demonstrate an unprecedented level of presidential indecency. (Cynical realists with knowledge of history accept what FDR or JFK was capable of, and thus what they said in private conservations, and occasionally out loud.)

Trump’s sin, then, is that he more often says out loud what prior presidents kept to their inner circle. Rather, their worry is more tactical and strategic: Trump, the bull-in-the-china-shop messenger, breaks up too much of the vital message of Trump. In public, they may cringe at Trump’s excesses (though enjoying in private how he forces sanctimonious progressives to melt down), but their worry over Trump’s overkill is mostly from the fear that no mortal 70-year-old male, without a traditionally loyal support staff, but with unhealthy sleep and diet habits, and under the stress of historic vituperation, could see through such an ambitious conservative agenda.

They are worried, then, that the 24/7 and extraneous fights that Trump picks will eventually undo him, and with his demise will go his entire conservative resurgence for a generation.

They admire enormously Mike Pence but concede that he would have been neither nominated nor elected. And should Trump fall, Pence would be unable amid the nuclear fallout to press the conservative agenda further. And yet there is some doubt even here as well. Trump’s tweets can be as prescient as they are reckless. Take the infamous “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” and substitute “Obama administration” for Obama, and “surveil” for “wires tapped,” and Trump’s tweet about the former president’s intelligence agencies improperly monitoring him may yet prove in a broad sense correct. In other words, cringe-worthy Trump behavior so often is the lubricant that oils his success against cringe-worthy opponents, turning upside down the Heraclitean axiom that character is destiny, or rather redefining it, because Trump’s targets so often were hubristic and deserved the nemesis sent their way.

It may not be that Trump earns hatred for unnecessary provocation and vitriol, but instead that he or any other Republican would have earned such venom anyway; thus his own searing tactics and narcissistic belief in his own destiny are predicated on the assumption that his unhinged enemies will vaporize first. And he may be right. James Comey has underestimated Donald Trump every bit as much as Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama did. In the end, the pragmatists apparently believe conservatives will hang together or hang separately.

Never have so many bright people proved so dense.

Never have polls and politics proved so unreliable or partisan. Never have unintended consequences so replaced predictable results.

Yes, we are in chaos, but we sense also that the pandemonium is purgative of the worse that prompted it — and it is unpleasant mostly because it has so long been overdue.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, to appear in October from Basic Books.

 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448562/donald-trump-ironies-wrecking-ball-long-overdue-may-benefit-country

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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

Posted on May 18, 2017. Filed under: American History, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Congress, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Employment, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Law, Media, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 848: February 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 847: February 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 846: February 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 845: February 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 844: February 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 843: February 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 842: February 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 841: February 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 840: February 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 839: February 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 838: February 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 837: February 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 836: February 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 835: February 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 834: February 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 833: February 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 832: February 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 831: February 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 830: February 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 829: February 1, 2017

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 863, March 29, 2017, Story 1: Obama Administration Requested The Unmasking of American Citizens Names From National Security Agency Documents –Big Brother Is Spying On You — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Focus On Republican Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes Instead of Invasion of Privacy of American People By Former Democratic President Barack Obama — Obamagate — Videos

Posted on March 29, 2017. Filed under: American History, Benghazi, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiscal Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Law, Life, Media, National Security Agency, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Privacy, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Scandals, Senate, Servers, Spying, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Obama Administration Requested The Unmasking of American Citizens Names From National Security Agency Documents –Big Brother Barack Was Spying On You — Videos — 

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The Silent Order NSA Sees Everything Hears Everything Documentary HD

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Obama’s rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands

by John Solomon and Sara Carter

As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

The NSA is expected to turn over logs as early as this week to congressional committees detailing who consumed reports with unmasked Americans’ identities from their intercepts since the summer of 2016.

This information is likely to become a primary focus of the Russia counterintelligence probe of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Circa confirmed the unmasking procedures through interviews with intelligence professionals and by reviewing previously classified documents it obtained that described the loosening of privacy requirements.

To intelligence professionals, the public revelations affirm an undeniable reality.

Over the last decade, the assumption of civil liberty and privacy protections for Americans incidentally intercepted by the NSA overseas has been eroded in the name of national security.

Today, the power to unmask an American’s name inside an NSA intercept — once considered a rare event in the intelligence and civil liberty communities — now resides with about 20 different officials inside the NSA alone. The FBI also has the ability to unmask Americans’ names to other intelligence professionals and policymakers.

And the justification for requesting such unmasking can be as simple as claiming “the identity of the United States person is necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance,” according to a once-classified document that the Obama administration submitted in October 2011 for approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It laid out specifically how and when the NSA could unmask an American’s identity.

A U.S. intelligence official directly familiar with the procedures told Circa that while the unmasking requirements have been eased and the availability of intercepts widened, the NSA still regards protecting Americans’ privacy as essential.

“When [the NSA] uses their authority to unmask them we have very stringent rules,” the official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity due to secret nature of the NSA’s work. “We have very strict oversight from all three branches of government — the executive, judicial and legislative.

Spokesmen for Obama, Brennan, Lynch and Rice did not immediately return calls Tuesday seeking comment. However, when questioned recently about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ allegations that Obama administration officials had access to unmasked American intercepts of Trump associates at the end of the Obama presidency, Rice said she knew of no reason for concern.

“I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today,” Rice told PBS.

“There may be very good reasons for some political appointees to need access to a non-minimized intelligence reporting but we don’t know and given the breadth of unmasked sharing that went on, there is the strong possibility of abusive or excessive access that harmed Americans’ privacy,” said an intel source familiar with the data. Added another: “Wholesale access to unmasked incidental NSA intercepts essentially created the potential for spying on Americans overseas after the fact, which is exactly what our foreign intelligence arms are not supposed to be doing.”

The ACLU, an ally of Obama on many issues, issued a statement a few months ago warning that the president’s loosened procedures governing who could request or see unmasked American intercepts by the NSA were “grossly inadequate” and lacked “appropriate safeguards.”

Nunes, the House intelligence panel chairman who was not interviewed for this story, alleged in the last week he has received evidence that Obama administration political figures gained access to unmasked American identities through foreign intercepts involving the Trump transition team between November and January.

The FBI and House and Senate intelligence committee will also try to determine if that access led to the leaking of sensitive intelligence, such as the media reports that Trump National Security adviser Mike Flynn was intercepted last December by the FBI having contact with the Russian ambassador.

The NSA is strictly forbidden from targeting Americans for surveillance while carrying out is perfectly legal and essential mission to spy on foreign powers, encoded in FISA’s Section 702.

The NSA, however, was granted dispensation from any penalty if it wiretaps or collects information of an American accidentally, an event known as an incidental collection.

The number of senior government officials who could approve unmasking had been limited to just a few, like the NSA director himself.

One of those relaxations came in 2011 when Attorney General Eric Holder sent a memo to the FISA court laying out the rules for sharing unmasked intercepts of Americans captured incidentally by the NSA. The court approved the approach.

In 2015, those rules were adapted to determine not only how the FBI got access to unmasked intelligence from NSA or FISA intercepts but also other agencies. One of the requirements, the NSA and FBI had to keep good records of who requested and gained access to the unredacted information.

And in his final days in office, Obama created the largest ever expansion of access to non-minimized NSA intercepts, creating a path for all U.S. intelligence to gain access to unmasked reports by changes encoded in a Reagan-era Executive Order 12333.

The government officials who could request or approve an exception to unmask a U.S. citizen’s identity has grown substantially. The NSA now has 20 executives who can approve the unmasking of American information inside intercepts, and the FBI has similar numbers.

And executives in 16 agencies — not just the FBI, CIA and NSA — have the right to request unmasked information.

Even when an American’s name isn’t included in a report, the NSA’s intercept information could be so specific that it identifies them.

In one hypothetical example offered by an intelligence professional, “if NSA included a day-after-the-election intercept of foreign leaders congratulating an American on his election to the presidency, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out the intercepted person was Donald Trump in 2016 or Barack Obama back in 2008.”

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Executive Order 12333

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive Order 12333 was signed by President Ronald Reagan on December 4, 1981.

On December 4, 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, an Executive Order intended to extend powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and direct the leaders of U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with CIA requests for information.[1] This executive order was entitled United States Intelligence Activities.

It was amended by Executive Order 13355: Strengthened Management of the Intelligence Community, on August 27, 2004. On July 30, 2008, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13470[2] amending Executive Order 12333 to strengthen the role of the DNI.[3][4]

Part 1

“Goals, Direction, Duties and Responsibilities with Respect to the National Intelligence Effort” lays out roles for various intelligence agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Energy, State, and Treasury.

Part 2

“Conduct of Intelligence Activities” provides guidelines for actions of intelligence agencies.

Collection of Information

Part 2.3 permits collection, retention and dissemination of the following types of information along with several others.

“(c) Information obtained in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, international narcotics or international terrorism investigation”[1]

“(i) Incidentally obtained information that may indicate involvement in activities that may violate federal, state, local or foreign laws”[1]

Proscription on assassination

Part 2.11 of this executive order reiterates a proscription on US intelligence agencies sponsoring or carrying out an assassination. It reads:[5]

No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.

Previously, EO 11905 (Gerald Ford) had banned political assassinations and EO 12036 (Jimmy Carter) had further banned indirect U.S. involvement in assassinations.[6] As early as 1998, this proscription against assassination was reinterpreted, and relaxed, for targets who are classified by the United States as connected to terrorism.[7][8]

Impact

Executive Order 12333 has been regarded by the American intelligence community as a fundamental document authorizing the expansion of data collection activities.[9] The document has been employed by the National Security Agency as legal authorization for its collection of unencrypted information flowing through the data centers of internet communications giants Google and Yahoo!.[9]

In July 2014 chairman David Medine and two other members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a government oversight agency, indicated a desire to review Executive Order 12333 in the near future, according to a report by journalist Spencer Ackerman of The Guardian.[9]

In July 2014, former State Department official John Tye published an editorial in The Washington Post, citing his prior access to classified material on intelligence-gathering activities under Executive Order 12333, and arguing that the order represented a significant threat to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties.[10]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Ronald Reagan, “Executive Order 12333—United States Intelligence Activities,” US Federal Register, Dec. 4, 1981.
  2. Jump up^ “Executive Order 13470”. Fas.org. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Bush Orders Intelligence Overhaul”, by Associated Press, July 31, 2008
  4. Jump up^ Executive Order: Further Amendments to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities, White House, July 31, 2008
  5. Jump up^ “Executive Orders”. Archives.gov. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  6. Jump up^ CRS Report for Congress Assassination Ban and E.O. 12333: A Brief Summary January 4, 2002
  7. Jump up^ Walter Pincus (February 15, 1998). “Saddam Hussein’s Death Is a Goal, Says Ex-CIA Chief”. The Washington Post. p. A36. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  8. Jump up^ Barton Gellman (October 21, 2001). “CIA Weighs ‘Targeted Killing’ Missions: Administration Believes Restraints Do Not Bar Singling Out Individual Terrorists”. The Washington Post. p. A01. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c Spencer Ackerman, “NSA Reformers Dismayed after Privacy Board Vindicates Surveillance Dragnet: Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Endorses Agency’s So-called ‘702’ Powers, Plus Backdoor Searches of Americans’ Information”, ‘The Guardian (London), July 2, 2014.
  10. Jump up^ Farivar, Cyrus (August 20, 2014). “Meet John Tye: the kinder, gentler, and by-the-book whistleblower”. Ars Technica.

Further reading

Full text

External links

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Security Advisor Susan Rice and President Barack Obama speaking on secure phones in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility after the 2016 Brussels bombings

A Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced “skiff”) in United States military, national security/national defense and intelligence parlance, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types of classified information.

SCI is usually only briefed, discussed, and stored in an accredited SCIF.[citation needed]

Access

Access to SCIFs is normally limited to those individuals with appropriate security clearances.[1] Non-cleared personnel in SCIF must be under the constant oversight of cleared personnel and all classified information and material removed from view in order to prevent unauthorized access to said information and material;[2] as part of this process, non-cleared personnel are also typically required to surrender all recording, photographic and other electronic media devices.[3] All of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure.

Construction

Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. A SCIF can also be located in an air, ground or maritime vehicle, or can be established on a temporary basis at a specific site. The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility has been defined by various directives, including Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs) 1/21 and 6/9, and most recently (2011) by Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 705, signed by the Director of National Intelligence. ICD 705 is a three-page capstone document that implements Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 705-1, ICS 705-2 and the TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OF SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION FACILITIES or “Tech Specs.” The latest version of the Tech Specs was published in September 2015 (Version 1.3).

Computers operating within such a facility must conform to rules established by ICD 503. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must conform to TEMPEST emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).

See also

References

External links

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 171, November 21, 2013, Segment 0: Obama and Obamacare Disapproval Poll Numbers Skyrockecting — Obama and Obamacare Approval Poll Numbers Plummet — Mr. President Tear Down This Website and Repeal Obamacare — Videos

Posted on November 21, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Computers, Consitutional Law, Disasters, Drugs, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Pro Life, Radio, Regulation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Unemployment, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |