The Pronk Pops Show 1365, November 22, 2019, Part 2 of 2, Story 1: Unfair Partisan Democrat Impeachment Inquiry Ends– No Evidence of Bribery or Quid Pro Que — American People Unconvinced That President Trump Did Anything Wrong  — American People Do Not Support Impeachment of President Trump — House Speaker Pelosi Will Not Call For An Impeachment Vote Arguing The Republican Senate Will Not Convict President Trump of A Non-existent Crime or Impeachment Offense — American People Will Elect President Trump For A Second Term in Landslide of 70 Million Votes and Over 330 Electoral College Votes — Elections Have Consequences — Schiff Parody of Richard III Cries– A Horse A Horse My Kingdom for A Horse — The End — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1365 November 22, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1363 November 20, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1360 November 15, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1349 October 31, 2019

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Richard III Act 5 Scene 4

Story 1: Unfair Partisan Democrat Impeachment Inquiry Ends– No Evidence of Bribery or Quid Pro Que — American People Unconvinced That President Trump Did Anything Wrong  — American People Do Not Support Impeachment of President Trump — House Speaker Pelosi Will Not Call For An Impeachment Vote Arguing The Republican Senate Will Not Convict President Trump of A Non-existent Crime or Impeachment Offense — American People Will Elect President Trump For A Second Term in Landslide of 70 Million Votes and Over 330 Electoral College Votes — Elections Have Consequences — Schiff Parody of Richard III Cries– A Horse A Horse My Kingdom for A Horse — The End — Videos

rab·bit hole

noun

  1. 1.
    a rabbit’s burrow.
    “a heather-covered hillside full of rabbit holes”
  2. 2.
    used to refer to a bizarre, confusing, or nonsensical situation or environment, typically one from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.
    “he’ll continue fearmongering to promote his agenda no matter how far down the rabbit hole it takes him”

    Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit (Live At Woodstock 1969)

    White Rabbit
    One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
    And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all
    Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall
    And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
    Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call
    And call Alice, when she was just small
    When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
    And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low
    Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know
    When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
    And the white knight is talking backwards
    And the red queen’s off with her head
    Remember what the dormouse said
    Feed your head, feed your head
    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Grace Wing Slick
    White Rabbit lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Fox News Live: Trump impeachment hearing Day 5 – Fiona Hill testifies

Rep. Devin Nunes Opening Statement

Fiona Hill Opening Statement

David Holmes Opening Statement

Day 5, Part 6: Devin Nunes and Steve Castor question Fiona Hill and David Holmes

WATCH: Republican counsel and Rep. Nunes’ full questioning of Hill and Holmes

Nunes presses Fiona Hill over the Steele dossier and its origins

WATCH: Rep. Jim Jordan speaks during testimony by Hill and Holmes | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Nunes’ full closing statement in Hill and Holmes hearing | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Democratic counsel’s full questioning of Hill and Holmes | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full questioning of David Holmes | Trump impeachment hearings

ADAM SCHIFF ERUPTS: Closing Statement On CONTENTIOUS Impeachment Hearing

EXCLUSIVE: Rudy Giuliani Responds to Dems’ ‘Quid Pro Quo’ Claims Amid Impeachment Hearings

Glenn Beck Lays Out the Case Against The Media

Glenn Beck Presents: The Democrats’ Hydra

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

House GOP speak following the fifth public impeachment hearing

Tucker’s big takeaways from the Trump impeachment saga

The Doors – The End – Live At Hollywood Bowl 1968

The Doors Lyrics

Play “The End”
on Amazon Music

“The End”

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend

The end
Of our elaborate plans
The end
Of everything that stands
The end
No safety or surprise
The end
I’ll never look into your eyes
Again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the king’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake
The ancient lake
Baby

The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake
He’s old
And his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest

The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taking us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door…and he looked inside
“Father?” “Yes, son.” “I want to kill you.”
“Mother, I want to…”

C’mon babe

C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
C’mon, yeah

Fuck, fuck-ah, yeah
Fuck
Fuck
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck, fuck, yeah
C’mon, yeah, c’mon, yeah
Fuck me, baby, fuck yeah
Fuck, fuck, fuck, yeah!
Fuck, yeah! C’mon, baby
Fuck me, baby, fuck, fuck, yeah
Whoa, whoa, yeah, fuck, baby
C’mon, yeah, huh, huh, huh, huh, yeah
All right

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

The Doors – Riders On The Storm (ORIGINAL!) – driving with Jim

The Doors Lyrics

Play “Riders On The Storm”
on Amazon Music (ad)

“Riders On The Storm”

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the stormThere’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeahGirl, you gotta love your man
Girl, you gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeahRiders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan.
Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm

 

Riders On The Storm – (The Doors) Extended Remastered Version

Fiona Hill (presidential advisor)

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Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill MSC 2017 (cropped).jpg
Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council
In office
April 2017 – July 19, 2019
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Tim Morrison
National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council
In office
2006–2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Angela Stent
Succeeded by Eugene Rumer
Personal details
Born October 1965 (age 54)
Bishop AucklandCounty DurhamEngland
Citizenship
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Spouse(s) Kenneth Keen
Education

Fiona Hill (born October 1965) is a British-born American foreign affairs specialist. She is a former official at the U.S. National Security Council specializing in Russian and European affairs. She was a witness in the November 2019 House hearings regarding the impeachment of President Trump.

Early life and education

Hill was born in Bishop AucklandCounty Durham in northern England, the daughter of a coal miner, Alfred Hill, and a midwife, June Murray. Her father died in 2012; her mother still resides in Bishop Auckland.[1] In the 1960s, after the last of the local coal mines had closed, her father wanted to emigrate to find work in the mines of Pennsylvania or West Virginia, but his mother’s poor health required him to stay in England.[2] Her family struggled financially; June sewed clothes for her daughters and at age 13, Fiona began working at odd jobs, including washing cars and working as a waitress at a local hotel.[1]

She and her sister attended Bishop Barrington School, a local comprehensive school. In 2017, she recalled applying for the University of Oxford: “I applied to Oxford in the ’80s and was invited to an interview. It was like a scene from Billy Elliot: people were making fun of me for my accent and the way I was dressed. It was the most embarrassing, awful experience I had ever had in my life.” She then studied history and Russian at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.[1] In 1987, she was an exchange student in the Soviet Union, where while interning for NBC News, she witnessed the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by Ronald Reaganand Mikhail Gorbachev.[1] An American professor encouraged Hill to apply for a graduate program in the U.S.[2]

She studied at Harvard University, where she gained her master’s degree in Russian and modern history in 1991, and her PhD in history in 1998 under Richard PipesAkira Iriye, and Roman Szporluk. While at Harvard, she was a Frank Knox Fellow, and met her future husband, Kenneth Keen, at Cabot House.[3]

Hill became a US citizen in 2002.[4]

Career

Hill worked in the research department at the John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1991 to 1999, and at the National Intelligence Council as a national intelligence analyst of Russia and Eurasia from 2006 to 2009. In 2017, she took a leave of absence from the Brookings Institution, where she was director for the Center on the United States and Europe, while serving on the National Security Council. Hill is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the board of trustees of the Eurasia Foundation.[5]

Hill served as an intelligence analyst under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama from 2006 to 2009. She was appointed, in the first quarter of 2017, by President Donald Trump as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on his National Security Council staff,[6][5][7] and resigned her position on July 19, 2019.[8]

Fiona Hill (center left) with John R. Bolton at a meeting with Vladimir Putin on June 27, 2018

Impeachment testimony

On October 14, 2019, responding to a subpoena, Hill testified in a closed-door deposition for ten hours before special committees of the United States Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.[9][10][11]

External video
 Testimony to the House Intelligence Committee by Hill and David Holmes, November 21, 2019C-SPAN

She testified in public before the same body on November 21, 2019.[12] While being questioned by Steve Castor, the counsel for the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican minority, Hill commented on Gordon Sondland‘s involvement in the Ukraine matter: “It struck me when (Wednesday), when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland’s emails, and who was on these emails, and he said these are the people who need to know, that he was absolutely right,” she said. “Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.”[13] In response to a question from that committee’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, Hill stated: “The Russians’ interests are frankly to delegitimize our entire presidency.… The goal of the Russians [in 2016] was really to put whoever became the president — by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale — under a cloud.”[14]

Selected works

Hill’s books include:

See also

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiona_Hill_(presidential_advisor)

 

Solomon: These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden’s Ukraine story

Former Vice President Joe Biden, now a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, has locked into a specific story about the controversy in Ukraine.

He insists that, in spring 2016, he strong-armed Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor solely because Biden believed that official was corrupt and inept, not because the Ukrainian was investigating a natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, that hired Biden’s son, Hunter, into a lucrative job.

There’s just one problem.

Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative.

And they raise the troubling prospect that U.S. officials may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma’s legal troubles and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures” about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor’s firing was announced.

In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.

The memos raise troubling questions:

1.)   If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma’s American legal team refer to those allegations as “false information?”

2.)   If the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma’s American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?

Ukrainian prosecutors say they have tried to get this information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) since the summer of 2018, fearing it might be evidence of possible violations of U.S. ethics laws. First, they hired a former federal prosecutor to bring the information to the U.S. attorney in New York, who, they say, showed no interest. Then, the Ukrainians reached out to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told Trump in July that he plans to launch his own wide-ranging investigation into what happened with the Bidens and Burisma.

“I’m knowledgeable about the situation,” Zelensky told Trump, asking the American president to forward any evidence he might know about. “The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.”

Biden has faced scrutiny since December 2015, when the New York Times published a story noting that Burisma hired Hunter Biden just weeks after the vice president was asked by President Obama to oversee U.S.-Ukraine relations. That story also alerted Biden’s office that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had an active investigation of Burisma and its founder.

Documents I obtained this year detail an effort to change the narrative after the Times story about Hunter Biden, with the help of the Obama State Department.

Hunter Biden’s American business partner in Burisma, Devon Archer, texted a colleague two days after the Times story about a strategy to counter the “new wave of scrutiny” and stated that he and Hunter Biden had just met at the State Department. The text suggested there was about to be a new “USAID project the embassy is announcing with us” and that it was “perfect for us to move forward now with momentum.”

I have sued the State Department for any records related to that meeting. The reason is simple: There is both a public interest and an ethics question to knowing if Hunter Biden and his team sought State’s assistance while his father was vice president.

The controversy ignited anew earlier this year when I disclosed that Joe Biden admitted during a 2018 videotaped speech that, as vice president in March 2016, he threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin.

At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.  

Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma’s owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017

After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.

Joe Biden has since responded that he forced Shokin’s firing over concerns about corruption and ineptitude, which he claims were widely shared by Western allies, and that it had nothing to do with the Burisma investigation.

Some of the new documents I obtained call that claim into question.

In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

“On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.

Shokin certainly would have reason to hold a grudge over his firing. But his account is supported by documents from Burisma’s legal team in America, which appeared to be moving into Ukraine with intensity as Biden’s effort to fire Shokin picked up steam.

Burisma’s own accounting records show that it paid tens of thousands of dollars while Hunter Biden served on the board of an American lobbying and public relations firm, Blue Star Strategies, run by Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, who both served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Just days before Biden forced Shokin’s firing, Painter met with the No. 2 official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and asked to meet officials in Kiev around the same time that Joe Biden visited there. Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar emailed Painter afterward: “With regards to the meetings in Kiev, I suggest that you wait until the next week when there is an expected vote of the government’s reshuffle.”

Ukraine’s Washington embassy confirmed the conversations between Shulyar and Painter but said the reference to a shakeup in Ukrainian government was not specifically referring to Shokin’s firing or anything to do with Burisma.

Painter then asked one of the Ukraine embassy’s workers to open the door for meetings with Ukraine’s prosecutors about the Burisma investigation, the memos show. Eventually, Blue Star would pay that Ukrainian official money for his help with the prosecutor’s office.

At the time, Blue Star worked in concert with an American criminal defense lawyer, John Buretta, who was hired by Burisma to help address the case in Ukraine. The case was settled in January 2017 for a few million dollars in fines for alleged tax issues.

Buretta, Painter, Tramontano, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s campaign have not responded to numerous calls and emails seeking comment.

On March 29, 2016, the day Shokin’s firing was announced, Buretta asked to speak with Yuriy Sevruk, the prosecutor named to temporarily replace Shokin, but was turned down, the memos show.

Blue Star, using the Ukrainian embassy worker it had hired, eventually scored a meeting with Sevruk on April 6, 2016, a week after Shokin’s firing. Buretta, Tramontano and Painter attended that meeting in Kiev, according to Blue Star’s memos.

Sevruk memorialized the meeting in a government memo that the general prosecutor’s office provided to me, stating that the three Americans offered an apology for the “false” narrative that had been provided by U.S. officials about Shokin being corrupt and inept.

“They realized that the information disseminated in the U.S. was incorrect and that they would facilitate my visit to the U.S. for the purpose of delivering the true information to the State Department management,” the memo stated.

The memo also quoted the Americans as saying they knew Shokin pursued an aggressive corruption investigation against Burisma’s owner, only to be thwarted by British allies: “These individuals noted that they had been aware that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine had implemented all required steps for prosecution … and that he was released by the British court due to the underperformance of the British law enforcement agencies.”

The memo provides a vastly different portrayal of Shokin than Biden’s. And its contents are partially backed by subsequent emails from Blue Star and Buretta that confirm the offer to bring Ukrainian authorities to meet the Obama administration in Washington.

For instance, Tramontano wrote the Ukrainian prosecution team on April 16, 2016, saying U.S. Justice Department officials, including top international prosecutor Bruce Swartz, might be willing to meet. “The reforms are not known to the US Justice Department and it would be useful for the Prosecutor General to meet officials in the US and share this information directly,” she wrote.

Buretta sent a similar email to the Ukrainians, writing that “I think you would find it productive to meet with DOJ officials in Washington” and providing contact information for Swartz. “I would be happy to help,” added Buretta, a former senior DOJ official.

Burisma, Buretta and Blue Star continued throughout 2016 to try to resolve the open issues in Ukraine, and memos recount various contacts with the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Kiev seeking help in getting the Burisma case resolved.

Just days before Trump took office, Burisma announced it had resolved all of its legal issues. And Buretta gave an interview in Ukraine about how he helped navigate the issues.

Today, two questions remain.

One is whether it was ethically improper or even illegal for Biden to intervene to fire the prosecutor handling Burisma’s case, given his son’s interests. That is one that requires more investigation and the expertise of lawyers.

The second is whether Biden has given the American people an honest accounting of what happened. The new documents I obtained raise serious doubts about his story’s credibility. And that’s an issue that needs to be resolved by voters.

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

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1358, November 13, 2019, Story 1: Democrat Socialist Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Spygate Goes Public With Second Coup Attempt and Smear Campaign To Delegitimize President Trump and Start 2020 Campaign — Democrat Impeachment Collapsing — Videos

Posted on November 22, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computer, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mike Pompeo, MIssiles, National Interest, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Ukraine, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: Democrat Socialist Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Spy-gate Goes Public With Second Coup Attempt To Legitimatize President Trump and 2020 Campaign Event — Democrat Impeachment Obsession Deflating — Videos —

See the source image

Donald Trump on Ukraine

UK: ‘An Obama disaster’ – Trump says Obama failed with Crimea

Tucker: Democrats have no actual plan for impeachment

Collins: Dems are hiding the fact that they have nothing on the president

youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMwXG00fSco]

U.S. Considering Lethal Defensive Arms to Ukraine

Aug 10, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering arming Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons that Kyiv could use against Russia-backed separatists. Opponents argue arming Ukraine risks escalating the conflict while supporters say better weapons would act as a deterrence to Russian aggression and give a psychological and political boost to Kyiv. The debate comes as Trump’s new envoy on Ukraine, Kurt Volker, is to visit Russia soon. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Washington.

President Obama announces U.S. non-lethal aid to Ukraine

U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia’s ‘destabilizing activities.’ (April 17)

Ukraine’s Poroshenko on charm offensive, US agrees to non-lethal aid

Obama: Military Option Not on Table in Ukraine

WHY RUSSIA SHOULD FEAR AMERICA’S JAVELIN ANTI TANK MISSILE?

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Adam Schiff Opening Statement

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Devin Nunes Opening Statement

WHERE’S HUNTER? Early CHAOS In Impeachment Hearing

George Kent: Giuliani’s efforts were “infecting” Ukraine policy

Trump impeachment: Bill Taylor opening statement in Full – BBC News

Top diplomat Bill Taylor says: “I am not here to take one side or the other or to advocate for any particular outcome of these proceedings.”

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent

Republican counsel Steve Castor’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff questions Kent, Taylor again| Trump impeachment hearings

Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and counsel Steve Castor spent 45 minutes questioning the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent in the first day of public impeachment hearings. Watch this full portion of the hearing.

Jim Jordan grills Dems’ ‘star witness’ Taylor in impeachment hearing

WATCH: Rep. Elise Stefanik’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., questioned George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Stefanik focused on both officials’ statements on the corruption in Ukraine and Burisma. The probe centers around a July phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Both Kent and Taylor testified to lawmakers in October behind closed doors.

WATCH: George Kent’s full opening statement on first day of Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff questions Kent, Taylor again| Trump impeachment hearings

House Impeachment Inquiry – Taylor & Kent Testimony

Watch Day 1 of Trump’s impeachment hearings again as Ambassador Taylor and George Kent give evidence

Watch: Trump Impeachment Hearings (Day 1) | NBC News

What William Taylor and George Kent shared during public impeachment hearings

What Is the Javelin Missile at the Center of Trump’s Impeachment Scandal?

Tied up in Trump’s impeachment inquiry, we take a look at the weapon Ukraine’s so eager to buy.

AUSTRALIA-DEFENCE

WILLIAM WESTGETTY IMAGES
  • This week Washington D.C. was rocked by allegations that the President of the United States tried to tie the sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals.
  • The simple, easy to use anti-tank missile is Ukraine’s weapon of choice in its undeclared war against Russia.
  • In May 2018 Ukraine purchased 210 Javelin missiles and 37 launchers from the United States for an estimated $47 million.

The Javelin missile is an unlikely weapon to be thrust into the political spotlight.

In a call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019, President Donald Trump tied together the Ukraine’s purchase of Javelin missiles with an investigation into his political rivals. While the true nature of this phone call has yet to be determined, the effectiveness of the weapon is an absolute certainty. The Javelin’s features—and Russia’s tank armies—made it a very desirable weapon for Ukraine, a country that is suffering an undeclared war with Russia from 2014 to the present day.

In the 1980s, the U.S. Army’s main threat was Soviet Union. U.S. forces in Europe trained to operate outnumbered, holding their ground against waves of Soviet T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks, as well as BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. The main anti-tank weapon, issued to every U.S. infantry squad, was the M-47 Dragon anti-tank guided missile.

UKRAINE-INDEPENDENCE-DEFENCE-CELEBRATION
Ukrainian soldiers armed with Javelin anti-tank missiles, August 2018.

The Dragon was bulky and unreliable but it could penetrate the frontal armor of both the T-72 and T-80. The optically guided missile required the shooter to hold an enemy tank steady in his crosshairs but had a maximum range of just 1,000 meters. This meant the shooter had to launch and guide the missile within range of a Soviet tank’s machine guns, and incoming fire could throw the missile off target.

The introduction of Soviet reactive armor—explosive tiles bolted onto the outside of a tank to blunt anti-tank missiles—made Dragon obsolete. The Army issued a requirement for a replacement known as AAWS-M, or Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System—Medium. Texas Instruments and Martin Marietta (now known as Lockheed Martin) won the contract, and the first missile test took place in 1991. Initial tests were positive and the FGM-148 Javelin missile went into full production in 1994.

Australian Army Host Fire Power Demonstration

An Australian Army Javelin missile explodes on target, Townsville, Australia, 2009.

IAN HITCHCOCKGETTY IMAGES

Javelin is a much better missile system that Dragon in almost every way. A shoulder launched weapon, Javelin uses an imaging infrared system to detect and lock onto tanks at distances of up to 4,750 meters–much, much farther than Dragon. Once the operator locks onto a tank and initiates the launch sequence, a small rocket motor kicks the missile out of the launch tube and into the air, whereupon the main motor ignites and sends the missile downrange.

Unlike Dragon, Javelin has two attack modes. The first mode is direct attack, where the missile flies straight toward the enemy tank. The missile has not one but two warheads–the first to trigger the reactive armor tiles, neutralizing them, and the second to penetrate the tank’s main armor belt. A second mode sends Javelin racing upward to an altitude of 500 feet, whereupon it dives down onto the top of the tank where armor protection is thinnest.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CRISIS

A T-72 tank of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a militia operating in the Donetsk region with Russian backing, 2014.

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One major drawback of Dragon required the gunner to hold very still, keeping the tracker’s crosshairs centered on an enemy tank until impact. This was never really all that realistic as the noise and stress of combat, as well as enemy fire, could easily cause the gunner to break his visual lock. Javelin on the other hand is a “fire and forget” missile: once launched the missile’s brain takes over guiding it to target. A Javelin gunners can shoot his or her missile and then make a run for it, retreating or relocating to an alternate firing position.

Russian Army regular units and local militias operate tanks and armored vehicles, including the new T-90 main battle tank, T-72 tank, and the latest version of the T-72, the T-72B3. Other vehicles include BMP-2 and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, MTLB armored personnel carriers, and BMD airborne infantry fighting vehicles. Russia’s large number of tanks and armored vehicles threatens Ukraine not only in the limited fighting around the Donbas and Crimea regions but also if Russia were to stage a general invasion of Ukraine itself.

In May 2018 Ukraine purchased 210 Javelin missiles and 37 launchers from the United States for an estimated $47 million. Properly used—and Javelin is very easy to use—that could mean the destruction of scores of armored vehicles should Russian forces roll west again. It could lead to a string of humiliating, demoralizing defeats for Russian forces and their proxies.

The question is: Will Ukraine get more any time soon?

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a29251877/javelin-missile-trump/

 

George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Kent
George Kent US State Dept.jpg
United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Assumed office
September 4, 2018
President Donald Trump
United States Deputy Chief of Mission to Ukraine
In office
2015–2018
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Succeeded by Pamela Tremont
Personal details
Education Harvard University (A.B.)
Johns Hopkins University (M.A.)
National Defense University (M.S.)

George P. Kent is an American diplomat serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs since September 4, 2018.[1]

 

Education

Kent finished high school in 1985 at Porter-Gaud School in CharlestonSouth Carolina.[2] He then graduated in 1989 with an A.B. in Russian History & Literature from Harvard University. He then earned an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1992.[1] Kent later graduated with an M.S. in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University in 2012.[3]

Career

Kent has been in the State Department‘s foreign service since 1992.[4][5] He speaks UkrainianRussian, and Thai, as well as some PolishGerman, and Italian.[1] His work as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer has included service in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Uzbekistan.[3]

From 1995 to 1997, he was posted in Warsaw, Poland, as an economics officer dealing with trade, environmental, and counter-narcotics issues.[3] Kent was later assigned to serve as deputy political counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2004 to 2007, which include the time period of the Orange Revolution.[3] From 2012 to 2014, Kent served as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[1] He served as a senior anti-corruption coordinator in the European bureau in 2014–2015,[1] and as deputy chief of mission in Kyiv, from 2015 to 2018.[5] On September 4, 2018, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[3][5]

External video
 Testimony of Kent and Ambassador William Taylor before the House Intelligence Committee, November 13, 2019C-SPAN

On October 15, 2019, Kent testified in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, serving as a key witness on whether Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.[6] Kent’s warnings regarding the disinformation campaign are documented in State Department emails submitted to Congress by the organization’s inspector general. Kent protested a “fake news smear” directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch by media commentators supportive of President Trump. He also criticized the Ukrainian prosecutor undermining Yovanovitch, calling the disinformation “complete poppycock.”[7] On November 13, 2019, along with Ambassador Bill Taylor, Kent gave public testimony to the House Intelligence Committee during the first public hearing.[8]

References

  1. Jump up to:abcde “George P. Kent”United States Department of StateArchived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Kropf, Schuyler (November 14, 2019). “Key Trump Ukraine impeachment witness George Kent has Charleston roots”The Post and Courier. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  3. Jump up to:abcde “USUBC Members welcomed George Kent, new Deputy Assistant Secretary, Europe, U.S. State Department, in Washington, D.C”U.S.–Ukraine Business Council. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  4. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (October 15, 2019). “Another career diplomat caught in the Ukraine scandal speaking to impeachment probe Tuesday”CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  5. Jump up to:abc Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “State Department official to face questions about Ukraine and Giuliani”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Kane, Paul; Demirjian, Karoun; Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Shear, Michael D. (October 15, 2019). “Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him”The New York TimesISSN0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Herb, Jeremy; Cohen, Marshall (November 13, 2019). “State Department official describes Giuliani’s ‘campaign of lies’ in Ukraine”. CNN. Retrieved November 13, 2019.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Kent

William B. Taylor Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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William B. Taylor Jr.
William B. Taylor, Jr., Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine.jpg
6th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
Assumed office
June 18, 2019
Acting
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Kristina Kvien (acting)
Marie Yovanovitch (confirmed)
In office
June 21, 2006 – May 23, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John E. Herbst
Succeeded by John F. Tefft
Personal details
Born
William Brockenbrough Taylor Jr.

September 14, 1947 (age 72)
New Mexico, U.S.

Spouse(s) Deborah Furlan Taylor
Children 2
Education United States Military Academy (BS)
Harvard University (MPA)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1969–1975
Rank US Army O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain
Unit  101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards

William Brockenbrough Taylor Jr., (born September 14, 1947) is an American diplomat, government official, former soldier, and, as of November 2019, the acting United States ambassador to Ukraine.

Taylor is a former captain and company commander in the United States Army; he served in the Vietnam War and earned a Bronze Star and an Air Medal with a V device for valor. He proceeded to work in the United States Department of Energy and then the Department of Defense. From 1992 to 2002, Taylor carried out diplomatic work for the United States with firstly Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, secondly Afghanistan, thirdly Iraq, and fourthly the Quartet on the Middle East. From 2006 to 2009, Taylor served as the United States ambassador to Ukraine under the George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration. He continued diplomatic work in the Middle East from 2011 to 2013.

Following the recall of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Taylor was appointed chargé d’affaires for Ukraine under the Trump administration.

Contents

Early life

Born in New Mexico on September 14, 1947,[1] Taylor is the son of Nancy Dare (Aitcheson) and William Brockenbrough Newton Taylor,[2] who had been a director of research and development for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).[3]

In 1965, Taylor graduated from Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Virginia after serving as president of his junior and senior class.[4] Like his father, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, attaining the rank of cadet battalion commander and graduating in the top 1% of his class in 1969. The 1969 Howitzer yearbook notes his modesty about his many academic and athletic accomplishments, describing him as “a man who is held in the highest esteem and admiration by all of us.”[5][6] In 1977, he completed graduate studies at Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master of Public Policy degree.

Career

After Taylor graduated from West Point, he served in the infantry for six years, including tours of duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and 18 months with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War. Taylor was a rifle company commander serving in the Quang Tri and Thua Tien provinces in the 506th Infantry Regiment (United States) of the 101st Airborne, widely heralded from the World War II book and TV miniseries Band of Brothers, with their motto “Currahee,” meaning “We stand alone.”[7] He was eligible to return home after serving for one year, but he opted to stay another six months.[8] He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with ‘V’ for VALOR for heroism.[9]

Later, he was an aero-rifle commander in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (United States) in Germany.[10][11]

Taylor left the military in 1975.[8] In 1980, he was serving in the relatively new Department of Energy as Director of Emergency Preparedness Policy. While the DOE had received creditable marks for its response to the coal strike during 1977–78, the crisis in Iran pointed to the need, going forward, for better federal level contingency planning and preparedness. In taking on this new assignment, Taylor had a long term, rather than short term, focus on potential crises (e.g. price controls and gasoline rationing), efforts that often required coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of the Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Department of Health and Human Services.[12]

Thereafter, Taylor served for five years as Legislative Assistant on the staff of U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.). He then directed a Defense Department think tank at Fort Lesley J. McNair.

Following that assignment, he transferred to Brussels for a five year assignment as the Special Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATOWilliam Howard Taft IV. From 1992 until 2002, Taylor served with the rank of ambassador, coordinating assistance to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He then accepted an assignment as Special Representative for Donor Assistance in Kabul, coordinating U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan. Engaging with the Afghan government and international donors, Taylor facilitated the flow of assistance to Afghanistan and promoted additional donations. The undertaking facilitated the repatriation of 2 million Afghan refugees and the restoration of critical services such education and health care. The aid helped restore agriculture, and provided support grants for over 80 infrastructure projects. In 2003, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell appointed Taylor as the Afghanistan Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, overseeing all aspects of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, noting that it was a critical time in Afghanistan’s political development and economic reconstruction.[13]

Taylor met with the interim Fallujah city council, April 2005

In 2004, Taylor was transferred to Baghdad as Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.[14]

Until 2006, he was the U.S. Government’s representative to the Quartet‘s effort to facilitate the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, led by Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in Jerusalem. The Quartet Special Envoy was responsible for the economic aspects of this disengagement.

Taylor was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the United States ambassador to Ukraine while Taylor was serving as Senior Consultant to the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization at the Department of State.[15][16] He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, and was sworn in on June 5, 2006. At the time Taylor assumed responsibilities at the embassy, it was the fifth-largest bilateral mission in Europe, with over 650 employees from nine U.S. government departments and agencies. A report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State from 2007 notes that the new ambassador had “taken charge of the embassy in a remarkably effective and positive way,” creating, together with Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Gwaltney, a “formidable team at a mission that has a complex set of goals.” It further noted that “Embassy Kyiv has a keen understanding of the complicated and rapidly evolving political and economic situation in Ukraine and has good working relations across the political spectrum. The embassy’s commentary on such issues as the evolving state of Ukraine’s relations with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Russia is extensive, timely, and well appreciated by Washington end-users.”[17] Taylor held the post until May 2009.[18]

On September 30, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated John Tefft as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.[19] Taylor was appointed Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions in September 2011.[20] From then through 2013, Taylor’s mission was to ensure effective U.S. support for the countries of the Arab revolutions, coordinating assistance to EgyptTunisiaLibya and Syria.[21]

In 2015, Taylor was appointed executive vice president of the United States Institute of Peace, after serving a year in the same role in an acting capacity.[22][23] In this role, he supported continuing or increasing U.S. sanctions against Russia for its aggressions toward Ukraine.[24]

Taylor became chargé d’affaires ad interim for Ukraine in June 2019, taking over the role from the deputy chief of mission, Kristina Kvien, after Marie Yovanovitch departed Ukraine.[25]

Trump–Ukraine scandal

Taylor–Sondland texts

Taylor arrived in Ukraine a month after the abrupt ousting of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the inauguration of the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. But following President Donald Trump‘s phone call with the new Ukrainian president, Taylor questioned Trump’s motivation in a text to Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union: “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland told him to phone.[26]

On October 3, 2019, it was revealed that Taylor had expressed, in text messages, concern that President Trump may have withheld aid to Ukraine unless they, Ukraine, launched two investigations, one into alleged corruption in Ukraine involving former Vice President Joe Biden, and the other an attempt to deflect from the US intelligence communities’ consensus determination that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and interfered with the 2016 United States presidential election, by suggesting that the DNC is hiding the hacked server in Ukraine.[citation needed]

Explicit throughout Taylor’s testimony was that Trump’s goal in withholding the congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine was to extort Zelensky, the newly inaugurated president of Ukraine, into announcing an investigation into the theory related to Biden in a primetime American television interview. At the time, and through much of the preceding nascent Democratic Party Presidential Primary Election season, Biden was the leading candidate, and seemed likely to be the Democratic Party challenger to Trump in the 2020 United States Presidential Election. Additional incentive was provided for Ukraine to do as Trump, Sondland, and Guiliani suggested, by implying that Zelensky would get a state visit to the White House if he complied.[citation needed]

According to transcripts released by the House impeachment probe, Taylor on September 9, 2019, at 12:47:11 am texted, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” Over four hours later, at 5:19:35 am,[27] in his response to Taylor, Sondland responded that the charge is “incorrect.” “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”[27] He then suggested Taylor call the Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State about any concerns:[28] “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.”[29] In his testimony during the impeachment inquiry Sondland noted that it was only out of his deep respect for Taylor that he tried to address Taylor’s concerns.[30] On October 22, 2019, Taylor’s opening statement also explained that Sondland required that Zelensky make public statements announcing an investigation, forcing him to conduct one, before the US released the allocated military aid. Taylor said he feared that Trump would withhold the military aid anyway, handing Moscow everything it wanted from the betrayal, texting Sondland that his “nightmare is that they [the Ukrainians] give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)”[31]

Taylor gave a deposition before a closed-door session of the House Intelligence Committee on October 22, 2019.[32]

Testimony in House impeachment inquiry

External video
 Testimony of Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent before the House Intelligence Committee, November 13, 2019C-SPAN

Opening statement of Ambassador William B. Taylor

On October 22, 2019, Taylor testified before the US Congressional House regarding the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and the Trump–Ukraine scandal in a closed session. Taylor’s opening statement was made public and directly implicated President Trump in a proactive and coordinated effort to solicit a political quid pro quo whereby “everything” – from a one-on-one meeting with President Trump to hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine – would be held up unless Ukrainian President Zelensky agreed to announce publicly that “investigations” would be launched including into former VP Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election. Taylor’s opening statement and testimony was widely viewed as an inflection point in the impeachment inquiry.[33][34][35][36][37]

A few days before his second House testimony in mid-November, Taylor published an op-ed in Kyiv’s Novoye Vremya expressing the United States government’s commitment to Ukraine: “your success is our success.”[38][39]

Personal life

Taylor is married to Dr. Deborah Furlan Taylor,[40] a religion scholar.[41][42]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Taylor_Jr.

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1237, April 12, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense  — These Were Dirty Cops — An Attempted Coupe — This Was Treason — I’m Running The Department of Homeland Security — I Won: No Collusion and No Obstruction — Videos — Story 2: Attorney General Bill Barr Makes It Perfectly Clear FBI spied on the Trump Campaign — Round Up The Real Suspects — Clinton, Obama, Jarrett, Rice, Power, Clapper Lynch, Yates, Orh, Comey, McCabe, Priestrap, Strzok, Page, Brennan, Simpson,  Steele, Halper, and Many others Including Big Lie Media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, L.A.Times) —  Videos — Story 3: Broken Record of U.S. Budget Deficits — Totally Out of Control Federal Government Spending — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense  — These Were Dirty Cops — An Attempted Coup — This Was Treason — I’m Running The Department of Homeland Security — I Won: No Collusion and No Obstruction — Videos —

See the source image

 

Trump praises Netanyahu, rips Mueller in fiery press remarks

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What did Obama know about an alleged spy in Trump campaign?

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

Obama denies Trump’s wiretapping claims

Kobayashi explains it all

The Usual Suspects – The Lineup & Ending in HD

Casablanca Final Scene

CASABLANCA, Michael Curtiz, 1942 – Round Up the Usual Suspects!

[youruvw=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqFVLAKaEWs]

 

BARR: ‘I THINK SPYING DID OCCUR’ AGAINST TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Chuck Ross | Reporter

Attorney General William Barr dropped a bombshell Wednesday, telling a group of senators that he believes spying against the Trump campaign did take place in 2016.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said during an exchange with Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

Barr says he thinks spying occurred on 2016 Trump campaign

by Reuters
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 14:54 GMT

 Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday U.S. intelligence agencies engaged in spying directed at the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and that he would look at whether the surveillance was undertaken legally.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr told a Senate hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. … I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal – it’s a big deal.” (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

http://news.trust.org/item/20190410144125-laelo

THE FBI’S USE OF INFORMANTS IS FULL OF PROBLEMS, BUT WHAT HAPPENED IN “SPYGATE” ISN’T ONE OF THEM

THE #SPYGATE CONSPIRACY theory started, as so many things do these days, with a tweet from President Donald Trump:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” David Asman @LouDobbs@GreggJarrett Really bad stuff!

Initial reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post described the “spy” as a U.S. professor living in the United Kingdom who had met with Trump campaign aides on orders from the FBI in the summer of 2016.

The reports provided enough detail about the informant — or, to use the FBI’s preferred term, “confidential human source” — that some quick Googling allowed journalists, including The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, to identify him as Stefan Halper, a retired University of Cambridge professor who was involved in an effort in 1980 to help Ronald Reagan spy on President Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign. Halper, who worked for three previous Republican administrations and reportedly provided information to the CIA, has raked in more than $1 million in U.S. Defense Department contracts in just the last five years.

As with many of Trump’s conspiracy theories, #Spygate contains a kernel of truth. The FBI has an informant problem. With more than 15,000 informants today — 10 times as many as J. Edgar Hoover had during his era of intrusive surveillance operations — the FBI has loose regulations on how agents can recruit and run informants, who turn to the bureau to make a lot of money or avoid deportation, among other reasons. A decade ago, the FBI spied on Muslims throughout southern California with no reason for suspicion other than their religion. Informants regularly commit crimes, including while investigating accused terrorists. The bureau’s roster of informants has included terrorists such as Al Qaeda operative Najibullah Zazi, murderous criminals such as mobster Whitey Bulger, and even traitors to their causes like Ernest Withers, who reported to the FBI as he was building a reputation as the photographer of record for the civil rights movement.

With #Spygate, Trump has wrapped his conspiracy theory — that the FBI inserted an informant into his presidential campaign — around a fundamental truth about the FBI’s misuse of informants and then, further burnishing his reputation as a modern-day P.T. Barnum, sent it into the world with plenty of rhetorical flourish.

“The FBI could be the world’s most successful PR agency. They excel at making themselves look good. You realize that early on as an agent,” said Jeffrey A. Danik, a retired supervisory FBI agent. “The problem with the FBI today is that they’ve come up against one of the truly great marketing geniuses in Donald Trump. Their normal PR and spin is getting hammered by the PR spin master. He knows exactly which word will sell. ‘Spy’ is perfect.”

The FBI’s defense has been to disassociate itself from the term “spy,” even though that is exactly what FBI informants do whether they are working criminal or national security investigations. Instead, the bureau’s surrogates have been peddling the fiction that its informants have not been a constant source of scandal.

Former FBI Director James Comey commented this month that FBI informants are “tightly regulated,” a demonstrably false statement. (Read the FBI’s “Confidential Human Source Policy Guide” for yourself.)

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent who wears a T-shirt bearing the red, white, and blue words #ComeyIsMyHomey when she’s not defending her former employer on CNN, argued in a Washington Post op-ed that informants deployed in national security investigations are somehow different from the ones used in criminal inquiries. She described Halper as an “intelligence source,” rather than an informant — a convenient but meaningless distinction, because FBI informants aren’t siloed. An informant could be working a criminal investigation one day and a national security inquiry the next, or a criminal investigation could become a national security concern, and vice versa. That’s a primary reason that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as FBI director, argued against a post-9/11 proposal to split the bureau into two agencies, one for intelligence and another for criminal investigations.

BUT WHILE THE FBI’s defenders seek to distance the bureau from the word “spy,” giving #Spygate even more momentum, they’re not talking about one clear sign that Trump’s claim of politically motivated spying is indeed a conspiracy theory.

Halper, the FBI’s informant, was a U.S. citizen living in London. Because he was overseas, he would have been considered, in the FBI’s parlance, an “ET CHS” — extraterritorial confidential human source — which means that the FBI would have been required to follow significantly more onerous rules than if he were spying in the United States.

Under the FBI’s informant guidelines, agents are permitted, through time-limited investigations known as “assessments,” to use informants to spy on people in the U.S. without having reason to believe they are committing crimes or posing national security concerns. Assessments have so few safeguards that their use in politically motivated spying is not implausible, though there’s no known case of this to date.

But assessments aren’t available to the FBI when working outside the U.S. To deploy an overseas informant, the FBI’s informant guidelines require agents to have a full investigation open. Such an investigation requires an “articulable factual basis” — in other words, evidence that a national security concern might exist or criminal activity may be occurring. An unsubstantiated tip, while enough to support the opening of an assessment, would not be enough to initiate a full investigation that could be used to task an informant working internationally.

Halper reportedly met with Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page in July 2016, prior to the FBI’s opening of its Trump-Russia investigation, code-named Crossfire Hurricane. This by itself is not scandalous, since the FBI was at the time investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to recruit Page as a spy of their own. In 2013, the bureau had obtained recordings of Russian agents discussing their approaches to Page. Those recordings, coupled with Page’s meeting with Russian officials in Moscow in July 2016, likely would have been enough to open a full investigation, making Halper’s activity in London perfectly justifiable under FBI rules.

Halper’s later known activity — meeting with Trump campaign aides Sam Clovis in August 2016 and George Papadopoulos in September 2016 — happened after the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, which again would have required an “articulable factual basis,” making baseless and politically motivated spying of the kind that Trump has alleged highly unlikely.

What’s more, because the FBI ran Halper as an overseas informant, any spying would have been documented in Delta, the FBI’s program for managing informants, creating a long paper trail about why the FBI chose to use Halper and what agents tasked him with doing. This is likely among the classified information Trump demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein provide to select senators and congressional representatives.

After reviewing the FBI’s materials, Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy this week dismissed #Spygate on Fox News as the conspiracy theory that it is:

Embedded video

Fox News

@FoxNews

.@TGowdySC: “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump.”

1,917 people are talking about this

So let’s clear this all up: The FBI’s informants can run afoul of the law and internal regulations, and FBI informants are indeed spies. But there’s no evidence yet to suggest Halper’s actions were rooted in the political motivations of FBI agents.

The Russian collusion hoax meets unbelievable end

As the Russia collusion hoax hurtles toward its demise, it’s important to consider how this destructive information operation rampaged through vital American institutions for more than two years, and what can be done to stop such a damaging episode from recurring.

While the hoax was fueled by a wide array of false accusations, misleading leaks of ostensibly classified information, and bad-faith investigative actions by government officials, one vital element was indispensable to the overall operation: the Steele dossier.

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, which hid their payments from disclosure by funneling them through the law firm Perkins Coie, the dossier was a collection of false and often absurd accusations of collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials. These allegations, which relied heavily on Russian sources cultivated by Christopher Steele, were spoon-fed to Trump opponents in the U.S. government, including officials in law enforcement and intelligence.

The efforts to feed the dossier’s allegations into top levels of the U.S. government, particularly intelligence agencies, were championed by Steele, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, and various intermediaries. These allegations were given directly to the FBI and Justice Department, while similar allegations were fed into the State Department by long-time Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Their efforts were remarkably effective. Officials within the FBI and DOJ, whether knowingly or unintentionally, provided essential support to the hoax conspirators, bypassing normal procedures and steering the information away from those who would view it critically. The dossier soon metastasized within the government, was cloaked in secrecy, and evaded serious scrutiny.

High-ranking officials such as then-FBI general counsel James Baker and then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr were among those whose actions advanced the hoax. Ohr, one of the most senior officials within the DOJ, took the unprecedented step of providing to Steele a back door into the FBI investigation. This enabled the former British spy to continue to feed information to investigators, even though he had been terminated by the FBI for leaking to the press and was no longer a valid source. Even worse, Ohr directly briefed Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad, two DOJ officials who were later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In short, the investigation was marked by glaring irregularities that would normally be deemed intolerable.

According to Ohr’s congressional testimony, he told top-level FBI officials as early as August or September 2016 that Steele was biased against Trump, that Steele’s work was connected to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele’s material was of questionable reliability. Steele himself confirmed that last point in a British court case in which he acknowledged his allegations included unverified information. Yet even after this revelation, intelligence leaders continued to cite the Steele dossier in applications to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

It is astonishing that intelligence leaders did not immediately recognize they were being manipulated in an information operation or understand the danger that the dossier could contain deliberate disinformation from Steele’s Russian sources. In fact, it is impossible to believe in light of everything we now know about the FBI’s conduct of this investigation, including the astounding level of anti-Trump animus shown by high-level FBI figures like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as the inspector general’s discovery of a shocking number of leaks by FBI officials.

It’s now clear that top intelligence officials were perfectly well aware of the dubiousness of the dossier, but they embraced it anyway because it justified actions they wanted to take — turning the full force of our intelligence agencies first against a political candidate and then against a sitting president.

The hoax itself was a gift to our nation’s adversaries, most notably Russia. The abuse of intelligence for political purposes is insidious in any democracy. It undermines trust in democratic institutions, and it damages the reputation of the brave men and women who are working to keep us safe. This unethical conduct has had major repercussions on America’s body politic, creating a yearslong political crisis whose full effects remain to be seen.

Having extensively investigated this abuse, House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future. The men and women of our intelligence community perform an essential service defending American national security, and their ability to carry out their mission cannot be compromised by biased actors who seek to transform the intelligence agencies into weapons of political warfare.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/rep-devin-nunes-the-russian-collusion-hoax-meets-unbelievable-end

Story 3: Broken Record of U.S. Budget Deficits — Totally Out of Control Federal Government Spending — Videos

Harvard’s Feldstein Says Debt to Reach 100% of GDP by End of Decade

Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for FY 2019

US Deficit on the rise

Published on Oct 16, 2018

Why the federal deficit is rising, despite economic growth

Hedge Fund Legend Ray Dalio On The Economy

US budget deficit running 15% higher than a year ago

he federal government reported a $146.9 billion deficit in March, causing annual debt to rise 15% for the first half of the budget year compared to the same period in 2018.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday in its monthly report that the fiscal year deficit has so far totaled $691 billion, up from nearly $600 billion in 2018. The Treasury Department expects that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

Tax receipts are running slightly higher than a year ago as more Americans are working and paying taxes. But the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017 have meant that the $10 billion increase in receipts has failed to keep pace with a roughly $100 billion increase in government expenditures.

he Congressional Budget Office was slightly more optimistic about the deficit in its January outlook, estimating that it would stay just below $1 trillion until 2022 when it would consistently stay above that total.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article229076234.html

Deficit

The Three Reasons the US Deficit Is Out of Control

© The Balance 2018

The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is $1.103 trillion. FY 2020 covers October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The deficit occurs because the U.S. government spending of $4.746 trillion is higher than its revenue of $3.643 trillion.

The deficit is 1% greater than last year. The FY 2019 budget created a $1.09 trillion deficit. Spending of $4.529 was more than the estimated $3.r38 revenue, according to Table S-3 of the FY 2020 budget.

 

Three Reasons for the Current Budget Deficit

Many people blame the deficits on entitlement programs. But that’s not supported by the budget. These enormous deficits are the result of three factors.

First, the attacks on 9/11 led to the War on Terror. It’s added $2.4 trillion to the debt since 2001. It almost doubled annual military spending. It rose from $111.9 billion in 2003 to a peak of $150.8 billion in 2019. That includes the defense department budget and off-budget emergency spending, and increases for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Trump administration will set new records of defense spending. It is estimated to reach $989 billion. That adds spending for departments that support defense, such as Homeland Security, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

U.S. military spending is greater than those of the next 10 largest government expenditures combined. It’s four times greater than China’s military budget, and 10 times bigger than Russia’s defense spending. It’s difficult to reduce the budget deficit without cutting U.S. defense spending.

Second is the impact of tax cuts. They immediately reduce revenue for each dollar cut. Proponents of supply-side economics argue that the government will recoup that loss over the long term by boosting economic growth and the tax base. But the National Bureau of Economic Research found that only 17% of the revenue from income tax cuts was regained. It also found that 50% of the revenue from corporate tax cuts was lost.

For example, the Bush tax cuts added $2.023 trillion to the debt between 2011 and 2020. The Congressional Research Service estimated that service cost on that debt would add another $450 billion.

Going forward, the Trump tax cut will reduce revenue. It’s reducing the personal income tax rate, corporate taxes, and small business taxes. These cuts total $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. But the Joint Committee on Taxation said the cuts would stimulate growth by 0.7 percent annually. The increased growth will add revenue, offsetting some of the tax cuts. As a result, the deficit will increase $1 trillion over the next decade.

Lastly is unfunded elements of mandatory spending. Some people point to the $1 trillion cost of Social Security as a contributor to the deficit. But it’s funded through payroll taxes and the Social Security Trust Fund until 2034.

Medicare will cost $702 billion in FY 2020. But only 49% adds to the deficit. Payroll taxes and premiums pay for the remainder.

The rest of the mandatory budget adds to the deficit. This includes Medicaid, which will be $426 billion in FY 2020. Medicaid provides health care to those with low incomes.

The mandatory budget also includes $611 billion in income support programs for those who can’t provide for themselves. This includes welfare programs like TANF, EITC, and Housing Assistance. It also includes unemployment benefits for those who were laid off. Student loans help create a more highly skilled workforce. Other retirement and disability programs are for those who were former federal employees. These include civil servants, the Coast Guard, and the military.

Only an Act of Congress that amends a program’s benefits can change mandatory spending. That would require a majority vote in both houses and is thus unlikely to happen.

After the 2001 recession, federal deficits declined. The late 2006 recession drove deficits higher, with a deficit in 2009 driven up by more than $700 billion in bank bailouts under the TARP program. After the 2008 market crash, the federal deficit remained above $1 trillion until 2013. Below is a yearly breakdown of the federal budget deficit from 2007 to 2018.

 

Why the Government Always Overspends

The difference between the U.S. government and you is that the president and Congress overspend on purpose. Politicians realize that, the more the government spends, the more it stimulates the economy. That’s because government spending is itself a component of gross domestic product. They are rewarded by voters for creating jobs and growing the economy. They lose elections for raising taxes and unemployment.

In the United States, corporations have gained the right to make donations for political advertising. They support the idea that tax cuts are the best way to create jobs. They convince people that trickle-down economics is a solution that works for everyone. As a result, politicians no longer seriously try to balance the budget.

Most governments that consistently increase deficits are punished by investors. At some point, buyers of sovereign debt worry they won’t get paid back. To compensate for that risk, they demand higher interest rates. That slows economic growth, creating an incentive to keep debt levels reasonable.

The United States doesn’t suffer from that problem. Other countries, such as China, are willing to buy Treasury notes. They receive hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars in exchange for exports. They must invest those dollars somewhere, and U.S. Treasurys are safe. Their high demand for Treasurys keeps interest rates low. As a result, Congress isn’t burdened by punitive interest on the debt payments.

 

You Should Be Concerned

A budget deficit is not an immediate crisis. In moderation, it increases economic growth. It puts money in the pockets of businesses and families. Their spending creates a stronger economy. That makes other countries happy to lend to the U.S. government. It has always paid the debt back.

The World Bank found that if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds this tipping point for an extended period of time, it slows the economy. Every percentage point of debt above this level costs the country 1.7 percent in economic growth.

When the debt is excessive, owners of the debt become concerned. They worry that the United States won’t pay them back. They had reason to be concerned in 2011 and 2013. That’s when tea party Republican congressmen threatened to default on the U.S. debt.

You should also be concerned when the economy is doing well. The government should be reducing the deficit in an effort to lower the debt. Deficit spending in a healthy economy will make it overheat. An economy that’s churning too fast creates a boom and bust cycle. It always leads to a recession.

 

Compare to Past Budgets

 

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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

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

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

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

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

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

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

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

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

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

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

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

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

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

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

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

The answer is no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 702 of FISA

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Order (EO) 12333

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

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

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

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

“Traditional” FISA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

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

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

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

William P. Barr

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

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

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

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

 

Early life, education, and career

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

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

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

Department of Justice

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

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

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

Acting Attorney General of the United States

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

Nomination and confirmation

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

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

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

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

Subsequent career

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

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

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

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

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

Policy positions

Immigration

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

Crime and security

Social issues

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

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

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

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

References … 

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

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

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

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

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Oil Renaissance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018, January 24, 2018 — Story 1: Worse Than Watergate –The Clinton/Obama Criminal Conspiracy Plot Includes FBI and Department of Justice Employees — The National Security Agency Has All The 33,000 Destroyed Emails and 5 Months of Missing Text Messages — Still No Indictments — Release The Memo — ‘#ReleaseTheMemo’ — Appoint A Special Counsel and Impanel A Federal Grand Jury Now! — 5 Year Federal Statue of Limitation Ends 1 February 2018 For Many of Clinton Crimes Committed As Secretary of State — Sessions Are You Awake? — Videos — Story 2: American People on Immigration — Legal and Illegal — Videos

Posted on January 24, 2018. Filed under: American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fourth Amendment, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Software, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Missing FBI Text Messages

Image result for cartoon on fisa warrant spying on trump

Image result for cartoon on fisa warrant spying on trumpSee the source image

Image result for cartoons obama clinton email not indictedImage result for cartoon on fisa warrant spying on trumpImage result for cartoons obama clinton email not indictedImage result for cartoons obama clinton email not indictedImage result for cartoons obama clinton email not indictedImage result for cartoons obama clinton email not indictedImage result for cartoons obama clinton email not indicted

Story 1: Worse Than Watergate –The Clinton/Obama Criminal Conspiracy Plot Includes FBI and Department of Justice Employees — The National Security Agency Has All The 33,000 Destroyed Emails and 5 Months of Missing Text Messages — Still No Indictments — Release The Memo — ‘#ReleaseTheMemo’ — Appoint A Special Counsel and Impanel A Federal Grand Jury Now! — 5 Year Federal Statue of Limitation Ends 1 February 2018 For Many of Clinton Crimes Committed As Secretary of State — Sessions Are You Awake? — Videos —

Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton

“I will ask, to appoint a special prosecutor. We have to investigate Hillary Clinton, and we have to investigate the investigation.”

Trump: Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Clinton

Tucker Carlson Tonight 1/24/18 | Fox News Today January 24, 2018

DiGenova: There was brazen plot to frame Trump

Hannity 1/23/18 | Breaking News: Clinton Server Scandal | January 23, 2018

Ingraham: The deep state strikes back

An FBI Secret Society? What’s That About?

FBI agents’ anti-Trump texts to be investigated

Judge Nap on Missing FBI Text Messages

Tucker Carlson Tonight 1/23/2018 – Fox News

Johnson on ‘potential corruption at highest levels of FBI’

Turley on FBI, DOJ probes: ‘We’re passed the fail-safe line’

FISA MEMO! DETAILS EMERGING DESCRIBING AS “WORSE THAN WATERGATE” WHAT TO EXPECT?

FBI “Secret Society” Coup Plotters Emerge!Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Left-Right Illusion: Rogue NSA Is Devoted to the Destruction of Our Republic – FISA §702 Is the Key

 

#DeepState Criminal Conspiracy Trifecta: FBI Secret Societies, Lost Text Messages and FISA Abuse

#ReleaseTheMemo Explained: #DeepState Treachery That Will Blow Your Mind and Hasten the #Revolution

FISA MEMO RELEASE!!! Multiple Felonies By Top Government Officials Exposed

Congress should ‘regroup on DOJ & FBI, see what’s really going on’ – America’s Lawyer

$3.5 BILLION!!! Milo And Laura Ingraham React To FISA MEMO

Release The FISA Memo! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

FISA MEMO RELEASE!!! Jason Chaffetz Makes Shocking Revelation

Mark Levin Show: More than 50,000 texts exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are missing

Ben Shapiro: More bombshells from FBI investigators in the Mueller investigation (01-23-2018)

Sara Carter on the FBI “Secret Society”

FBI Says It has lost five months of text messages between Peter Strzok And Lisa Page – Jay Sekulow

NEMESIS!! OBAMA SOLD OUT BY ONE OF HIS FORMER OFFICIALS ON LIVE TV

Comey Appears to Have Lied and the DoJ/FBI Might Have Had a “Secret Society”

President Obama talks SCOTUS, Clinton Email Scandal

Published on Apr 10, 2016
President Barack Obama joins Chris Wallace for an exclusive interview for the first time since he became President

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

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questions FBI Director Comey on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

FBI director: Clinton did not lie to FBI

Trey Gowdy Votes To Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate James Comey And Hillary Clinton

Published on Jul 29, 2017

Trey Gowdy Votes To Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate James Comey Hillary Clinton Barack Obama And Loretta Lynch Along With Susan Rice Trey Gowdy along with 15 other republicans voted yes to require AG Jeff Sessions to appoint a 2nd special counsel to look for hillary clinton james comey loretta lynch and barack obama crimes during the 2016 election this video will show you all the juicy parts that happened along with when trey gowdy voted yes you can’t hear it but it is on record I will post the full hearing link below

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

Rep. Gaetz GRILLS AG Jeff Sessions on Appointing a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Hillary Clinton

Congressman Tells Rod Rosenstein That James Comey BROKE THE LAW then Rosenstein Agrees!

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!” Trey Gowdy Goes Off On Rod Rosenstein Over Anti Trump FBI Agents

Mueller probe is going nowhere: Rep. Gaetz

Trump: Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Clinton

650. Length of Limitations Period

Current federal law contains a single statute prescribing a general period of limitations, as well as several statutes that provide longer periods for specific offenses.

Section 3282 of Title 18, United States Code, is the statute of general application. It states that, “(e)xcept as otherwise expressly provided by law,” a prosecution for a non-capital offense shall be instituted within five years after the offense was committed.

Section 3281 of Title 18 deals with capital offenses and provides that an indictment for an offense “punishable by death” may be filed at any time. Despite the invalidity of some former federal statutory death penalty provisions, it is arguable that the unlimited time period remains applicable to those statutes that formerly carried that penalty. SeeUnited States v. Helmich, 521 F. Supp. 1246 (M.D.Fla. 1981), aff’d on other grounds, 704 F.2d 547 (11th Cir. 1983); seeMatter of Extradition of Kraiselburd, 786 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1986).

Section 3286 of Title 18, United States Code, provides for an eight (8) year statute of limitations for the non-capital offenses under certain terrorism offenses. These offenses include: 18 U.S.C. §§ 32 (aircraft destruction), 37 (airport violence), 112 (assaults upon diplomats and internationally protected persons), 351 (violent crimes against Congresspersons or Cabinet officers), 1116 (murder of diplomats and internationally protected persons), 1203 (hostage taking), 1361 (willful injury to government property), 1751 (violent crimes against the President), 2280 (maritime violence), 2281 (maritime platform violence), 2332 (terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals), 2332a (use of weapons of mass destruction), 2332b (acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries), or 2340A (torture) or 49 U.S.C. §§  46502 (aircraft piracy), 46504 (interference with flight crew), 46505 (carrying a weapon or explosive on an aircraft), or 46506 (certain crimes committed aboard an aircraft). Section 3286 first became effective on September 13, 1994, and was applicable to any relevant offense committed on or after September 15, 1989. In 1996, the new 18 U.S.C. § 2332b was added to the statute.

Section 3293 of Title 18, United States Code, provides for a ten (10) year statute of limitations for certain financial institution offenses which involve violations of, or conspiracy to violate, (1) 18 U.S.C. §§  215, 656, 657, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1014, 1033, or 1344; (2) 18 U.S.C. §§  1342 or 1343 if the offense affects a financial institution; or (3) 18 U.S.C. §  1963 to the extent that the racketeering activity involves a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344.

Section 3294 of Title 18, United States Code, provides a twenty (20) year statute of limitations for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 668 involving the theft of major art work.

Section 3295 of Title 18, United States Code, which was enacted on April 24, 1996, provides for a 10 year statute of limitations for certain non-capital arson or use-of-explosives offenses under 18 U.S.C. §§  81 or 844(f), (h), or (i). (Section 844(i) had a seven year statute of limitations period for offenses committed on or after September 13, 1989, but before April 24, 1996.) See this Manual at 1445.

A one year statute of limitations is provided for criminal contempt under 18 U.S.C. § 402 (see 18 U.S.C. § 3285).

Section 507(a) of Title 17 provides that no criminal proceeding shall be maintained under Title 17 (relating to copyrights) unless commenced within three years after the cause of action arose.

Section 6531 of Title 26 provides that prosecutions for violation of the internal revenue laws shall be commenced within three years after commission of the offense, except for eight enumerated categories of offenses as to which a six-year limitations period is made applicable. See this Manual at 658.

Section 3291 of Title 18 provides that prosecutions for violations of nationality, citizenship, and passport laws, or a conspiracy to violate such laws, shall be commenced within ten years after the commission of the offense. Section 19 of the Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 1005, provides a ten-year limitations period for prosecutions under the espionage statutes, 18 U.S.C. Secs. 792 to 794.

Section 2278 of Title 42 provides a similar ten-year period for prosecution of restricted data offenses under the atomic energy laws, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 2274 to 2276.

Section 783(e) of Title 50 provides that a prosecution for an offense under that section, part of the Subversive Activities Control Act, shall be instituted within ten years after the commission of the offense.

[cited in USAM 9-18.000]

https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-650-length-limitations-period

Trump says he would speak to Mueller under oath in Russia investigation


President Trump speaks to a gathering of mayors in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
 January 24 at 6:11 PM
President Trump said Wednesday he is “looking forward” to testifying before special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and that he would speak under oath.“I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible,” Trump said at the White House. “I would do it under oath, absolutely.”The president suggested he was being investigated for obstruction of justice as part of the Russia investigation because he was “fighting back” and reiterated there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Moscow.

“Oh well, did he fight back?” Trump said, “You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction.”

Mueller’s team has told Trump’s lawyers they want to question the president about the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey — they have also asked witnesses in recent weeks about Trump’s attempts to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The president suggested the interview could take place in the next two or three weeks and said he continued to consult with his lawyers. The president has previously criticized the wide-ranging investigation into his administration, calling it a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

Trump also said he didn’t recall asking acting FBI director Andrew McCabe whom he voted for in an Oval Office discussion earlier this year, as The Washington Post reported Wednesday night. The conversation left former and current FBI officials concerned because they believed it was inappropriate for the president to ask a civil servant about his political leanings. McCabe replaced Comey as head of the FBI until Christopher A. Wray was confirmed for the job in August.

“I don’t think I did,” he said. “I don’t know what’s the big deal with that. I would ask you who you voted for. . . . I don’t remember asking him that question.”

“I think it’s also a very unimportant question,” he added.

During the quick session with reporters, Trump also attacked Hillary Clinton, his Democratic foe in the 2016 election, saying she did not testify under oath while being investigated for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-he-would-speak-to-mueller-under-oath-in-russia-investigation/2018/01/24/edb33750-015a-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html?utm_term=.f012846bd3d8

 

GOP escalates law enforcement probes as Russia inquiry heats up

With Mueller now focusing on the president, lawmakers level new charges of bias and even potential criminal misconduct.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte is pictured. | AP Photo
On Fox News, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) alleged an anti-Trump “conspiracy” by FBI agents whose text message exchanges have been made public in selective bursts by GOP lawmakers. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Amid new signs that special counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress have intensified their own investigations of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s handling of inquiries into Trump’s ties to Russia.

Tuesday brought several dramatic developments in the Russia saga, including the news that Mueller recently interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the first cabinet official known to be questioned in the investigation. The New York Times also reported that former FBI Director James Comey was interviewed by Mueller last year.

On Fox News, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House committee that oversees the Justice Department and FBI, alleged an anti-Trump “conspiracy” by FBI agents whose text message exchanges have been made public in selective bursts by GOP lawmakers.

“Some of these texts are very disturbing,” Goodlatte said, adding, “They illustrate a conspiracy on the part of some people, and we want to know a lot more about that.”

Republicans have been particularly incensed by a new revelation from the FBI that five months of text messages between a senior counterintelligence agent in the bureau, Peter Strzok — who was dismissed from Mueller’s team for unspecified reasons in July — and FBI attorney Lisa Page appear to be missing. The bureau revealed to Congress over the weekend that it hadn’t retained the messages, which officials attributed to technical problems with the bureau’s storage system.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans pushing to release a secret memo they have drafted based on classified intelligence — which they claim reveals anti-Trump bias in the FBI — got a boost on Tuesday from the White House, which called for “full transparency” on the issue.

Separately, a GOP lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee indicated that there were plans to recall Comey to testify about his handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton.

Congressional Democrats say it’s no accident that the GOP probes have escalated as Mueller has homed in on Trump’s top allies. Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler and Elijah Cummings, the top Democrats on three GOP-led committees unearthing internal FBI documents, say the Republican efforts smack of a partisan campaign to protect the president and sully the investigators who have questioned his behavior.

“Republicans are now attacking the FBI in order to undermine Special Counsel Mueller and protect President Trump, but their claims are directly at odds with the facts,” the three Democrats said in a joint statement on Tuesday afternoon.

In one exchange, Strzok and Page indicated that the Justice Department and FBI knew Clinton would escape charges in the investigation of her handling of classified information even before the FBI interviewed her.

In an interview, Ratcliffe said that exchange, among others, called into question Comey’s testimony before the committee in September 2016, when he said the bureau didn’t decide against prosecuting Clinton until after her official interview. Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said that he expected the committee to demand a new interview with Comey to reconcile those “inconsistencies.”

“There’s a mountain of evidence — a growing mountain of evidence — that seems entirely inconsistent with what he said under oath,” said Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney who has become a central player in the committee’s investigation of the FBI’s conduct in 2016.

“He may have testified truthfully, but there’s a lot of stuff that says that he didn’t,” Ratcliffe continued, adding: “Trust me: He will either appear and testify or he will exercise his Fifth Amendment right” against self-incrimination.

Ratcliffe said that recalling Comey might have to wait until lawmakers can interview other witnesses and review up to 1.2 million relevant documents that the Justice Department has begun turning over in batches. But the House Intelligence Committee is mounting a more immediate push to make public a classified memo that Republicans have indicated will provide evidence of misconduct by FBI officials in their handling of a surveillance program that was used to spy on a Trump campaign aide in 2016.

As early as next Wednesday, the panel is expected to employ a never-before-used process to disclose the memo, put together by staff of its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). If it does, Trump will have up to five days to either approve or reject their decision. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say what Trump would do, but she endorsed “full transparency.”

“We certainly support full transparency, and we believe that’s at the House Intel Committee to make that choice at this point,” Sanders said at the White House press briefing on Tuesday.

In the middle of the increasingly pitched partisan offensives, the FBI announced that chief of staff James Rybicki — a former member of Comey’s close-knit team — would leave the agency and be replaced by an ally of Comey’s successor, Christopher Wray.

Rybicki was interviewed last week by the House oversight and judiciary committees, and lawmakers involved in the interview say they didn’t believe that anything in his testimony precipitated his departure. But a Democrat who was in the room said he worried that the grilling Rybicki and others have faced could have a chilling effect on the activity of FBI officials.

“What I really fear, ultimately, is the administration is beginning to force out or drive out of the FBI people that they perceive to be unfriendly to the administration or somehow politically not in alignment with them,” the Democrat said in a phone interview.

“We cannot have a situation where we’re administering loyalty test to officials at the FBI,” he said, adding that that’s “what differentiates the FBI here from law enforcement in banana republics.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/23/congress-fbi-russia-republicans-escalate-probes-364616

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Sessions Orders Investigation Of Missing Strzok-Page Texts

The Justice Department will investigate the FBI’s failure to produce text messages traded between two senior investigators leading the Russia probe who harbored deep antipathy for President Donald Trump.

Previous texts had shown the two investigators, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, regularly expressed strong anti-Trump bias, prompting allegations that the probe was driven by political considerations. Several congressional committees requested a complete log of Strzok-Page communications during the period they participated in the Russia investigation. The FBI failed to comply with that order, however, claiming an internal archive system failed to retain text messages the pair traded between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.

“I have spoken to the inspector general and a review is already underway to ascertain what occurred and to determine if these records can be recovered in any other way,” the attorney general said in a statement. “If any wrongdoing were to be found to have caused this gap, appropriate legal disciplinary action measures will be taken.”

“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” he added. “If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately.”

The missing texts drew an incredulous reaction from Republican lawmakers. GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said a second special counsel was warranted to investigate political bias at the FBI.

GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York urged the relevant congressional committees to issue subpoenas for the records to Strzok and Page’s cell carriers.

“Congress must do everything it can to recover these critical text messages, including subpoenaing Strzok and Page’s cell carriers and requesting the FBI perform a full forensic exam of their employees’ phones in an attempt to recover the messages,” Zeldin said.

Senate Republicans took a more measured position then their colleagues in the House. GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, chair on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN that he believes the missing texts are truly a function of a technical glitch, as the FBI has otherwise been forthcoming in producing documents for congressional review.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin revealed Tuesday that Strzok expressed reluctance to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in a May 19, 2017 text to Page, saying he did not believe Trump campaign officials collaborated with Russian actors to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“You and I both know the odds are nothing,” he said of the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government. “If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern that there’s no big there there.”

Send tips to kevin@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

A top secret memo on alleged surveillance abuses that was made available to the entire House on Thursday is piquing interest of some Republicans in the Senate.

The four-page report, written by the GOP majority in the House Intelligence Committee, has already made waves among dozens of House Republicans demanding its release to the public over concerns about the misuse of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama administration, even as Democrats dismiss its contents as nothing more than “talking points.”

 The effort by conservatives, boosted online by a hashtag, #ReleaseTheMemo, appears to be gaining momentum as Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is participating in talks about the process through which it could be unveiled, lawmakers say.

In the meantime, some Republican senators are curious about the memo’s contents.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made an effort to gain access to the memo, but was rejected, his spokesman, Sergio Gor, confirmed to the Washington Examiner on Saturday.

A member of the Senate’s intelligence panel, James Lankford of Oklahoma, also wants to see it.

“Senator Lankford has expressed interest in seeing the memo,” Lankford’s communications director, D.J. Jordan, told the Washington Examiner in an email on Sunday, adding: “To date, he has not seen the memo yet.”

One other member of the upper chamber member, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, attempted to view the report, but was blocked. He did, however, receive a briefing on it from Nunes, according to CNN’s Manu Raju.

[FBI hasn’t seen House intel memo on alleged FISA abuses: Report]

The fate of the memo may be placed on the back burner as Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the White House, trade blame for a partial shutdown after the Senate failed to pass a short-term spending bill late Friday and scramble to come to some sort of agreement.

Still, at least 180 of nearly Republicans in the House have viewed the memo in recent days, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported Sunday morning, signalling widespread interest at a time when the shutdown has taken center stage.

Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Ohio, issued an opaque tweet on Saturday that the House Intelligence Committee “plans to begin the process to release” the report, but cautioned that this process may take up to and beyond 19 congressional work days.

A congressional source told the Washington Examiner that a meeting took place to discuss the process for the memo’s release to the public, but cautioned more details need to be ironed out before a final decision is made.

That process, if set in motion, would likely entail another intelligence panel vote. After that, “if the executive branch gives the thumbs up they go public,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in a recent Fox News interview.

Another congressional source explained that President Trump would have five days to block its release.

A request to a White House spokesperson about Trump’s opinion on the memo went unanswered, but the source suggested that if Trump were to block the memo’s unveiling to the public, then the entire House could still secure its release through a vote.

The contents of the memo are “alarming,” claims Jordan. Other Republicans have used similarly explosive language to describe it, but beyond suggesting the document describes classified information from both the FBI and the Department of Justice, they have been unable to share concrete details due to a waiver they signed.

Unnamed individuals who spoke with the Washington Post said it contains assertions that seek to discredit Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired a ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who is the author of the infamous and largely unverified “Trump dossier.” The memo reportedly says the FBI included false claims from Steele about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, in an approved application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, though current and former law enforcement officials told the Post that much more information was also used to justify the surveillance application.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, called the memo “a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation.”

“Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI,” Schiff, D-Calif., in a statement Thursday. All Democratic members of the intelligence committee voted against opening access to the memo to all House members.

Beyond the intelligence panel, there appears to be little to no interest among the rest of the House Democrats.

A third congressional source from the Republican side estimated few, if any, Democrats have bothered to look at the memo when asked by the Washington Examiner.

Despite concerns about FISA from some Republican and Democratic lawmakers regarding privacy protections for U.S. citizens, both chambers voted to reauthorize Section 702, a key counterterrorism surveillance tool, and the bill was signed by Trump on Friday.

That happened after Trump complained earlier in the month: “‘House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.’ This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?”

He later changed his tune to one that reflected his administration’s support for the reauthorization of the measure, and in a tweet Friday claimed “[t]his is NOT the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election. I will always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of the American people first!”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/interest-in-memo-on-alleged-fisa-abuses-spreads-to-senate-republicans/article/2646638

 

Republicans hope to release ‘jaw-dropping’ memo on surveillance abuses

House Republicans are hopeful that a four-page memo allegedly containing “jaw-dropping” revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses will soon be made public.

Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Ohio, told Fox News on Monday that the intelligence committee plans to work on releasing the document but warned that once Americans see it, they’ll “be surprised how bad it is.”

The process of releasing the memo could take up to 19 congressional working days which puts its release around mid-March. The document’s release would first need approval from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who can decide to bring the committee back together for a vote. If the majority of the committee votes to release the memo, it would then be up to President Trump.

If he says yes, the memo can be released.

Joyce said he’s personally read the memo twice and “it was deeply disturbing as anyone who’s been in law enforcement and any American will find out once they have the opportunity to review it.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. is pursued by reporters as he arrives for a weekly meeting of the Republican Conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Nunes is facing growing calls to step away from the panel's Russia investigation as revelations about a secret source meeting on White House grounds raised questions about his and the panel's independence. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-Calif., could move to release a key memo on alleged surveillance abuses.  (AP)

“The FBI has requested to receive a copy of the memo in order to evaluate the information and take appropriate steps if necessary.  To date, the request has been declined,” FBI spokesman Andrew C. Ames told Fox News.

Joyce and a handful of other conservatives have been pushing for the memo to be made public. They have suggested that it contains damning evidence the Obama administration used FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants to spy on the Trump campaign as well as his transition team ahead of the president’s swearing-in.

GOP LAWMAKERS DEMAND RELEASE OF FISA MEMO

‘It was deeply disturbing.’

– Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, on viewing the surveillance memo

A FISA warrant allows U.S. spy agencies to collect information on foreigners outside the country and was reauthorized by Congress earlier this month.

Obama officials have strongly denied the claims.

Democratic lawmakers argue the Republican uproar over the memo is a last-ditch attempt by conservatives to discredit the Russia investigation and cast doubt on the people who are running it.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has called the memo “a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation.”

He said it’s riddled with factual inaccuracies and said it gives a “distorted view of the FBI.”

But Joyce has hinted that the memo was so scandalous that “termination would be the least of these people’s worries” and suggested that some of the people involved might even be “prosecuted.”

The report was spearheaded by Nunes.

Over the weekend, Nunes met with Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to discuss the possibility of releasing some of the information from the classified document.

Calls from Republicans to release the memo have been intensifying in recent days.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has called the memo “jaw-dropping,” is demanding “full transparency.”

“The House must immediately make public the memo prepared by the Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Gaetz said.

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows described the memo as “shocking” and “troubling.”

“Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much,” he added.

Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania stated bluntly, “You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/22/republicans-hope-to-release-jaw-dropping-memo-on-surveillance-abuses.html

Republicans demand release of secret memo about how Obama’s DOJ and FBI abused surveillance powers during election – and compare them to the KGB – as Russian bots tweet ‘#ReleaseTheMemo’

  • Four-page memo from the Justice Department allegedly spells out how Obama officials used the ‘dirty dossier’ to get wiretap warrants and spy on Trump
  • House Intel Committee Republicans want it released to the public; Democrats have voted against even sharing it with non committee-members in Congress
  • One Pennslyvania Republican congressman said: ‘You think about, “Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?” That’s how alarming it is’
  • A Florida member said ‘heads are going to roll at the FBI and the Department of Justice. There is no way everyone keeps their job’
  • ‘#ReleaseTheMemo’ hashtag was trending Thursday and Friday, aided by Russian ‘bots’ that have blasted it out nonstop  

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee are demanding the public release of a Justice Department memo that reportedly exposes the Obama administration’s attempt to spy on Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election season.

The four-page memo was made available to members of Congress this week, following a party-line committee vote. Conservative lawmakers are insisting that the memo should be shared with the public.

National security journalist and Fox News contributor Sara Carter reported Thursday that the memo shows ‘extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse.’

Carter quoted an unnamed government official who said that ‘some of these people should no longer be in the government.’

Republican members of Congress like Jim Jordan of Ohio are demanding the public release of a DOJ memo that allegedly spells out how the Obama administration used a 'dirty dossier' of anti-Trump research to obtain search warrants to spy on the future president and his aides

Republican members of Congress like Jim Jordan of Ohio are demanding the public release of a DOJ memo that allegedly spells out how the Obama administration used a ‘dirty dossier’ of anti-Trump research to obtain search warrants to spy on the future president and his aides

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said that 'if we get this memo into the public square, heads are going to roll at the FBI and the Department of Justice. There is no way everyone keeps their job'

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said that ‘if we get this memo into the public square, heads are going to roll at the FBI and the Department of Justice. There is no way everyone keeps their job’

Iowa Rep. Steve King called the scandal 'worse than Watergate' in a tweet

Iowa Rep. Steve King called the scandal ‘worse than Watergate’ in a tweet

Rep. Ron DeSantis suggested Friday on Fox News that the memo describes abuses of FISA related to a salacious and unsubstantiated anti-Trump dossier funded by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Asked if the dossier was used by Obama administration officials to spy on Trump officials, DeSantis said: ‘I think that’s one of the central issues in the memo and I definitely want all Americans to be able to read what actually happened in that respect.’

Other Republicans told Fox News that the alarming memo should be mad public immediately.

‘It is so alarming the American people have to see this,’ Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said.

‘It’s troubling. It is shocking,’ added North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows.

‘Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.’.

Devin Nunes

Adam Schiff

House Intelligence Committee Republicans led by chairman Devin Nunes (left) voted to release the memo to all of Congress, but committee Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff (right) all voted against it

A long line of GOP members are seen the memo but have to view it in a secure, classified room in the basement of the Capitol

A long line of GOP members are seen the memo but have to view it in a secure, classified room in the basement of the Capitol

Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry had equally harsh words about the Obama administration’s alleged spying.

‘You think about, “Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?” That’s how alarming it is,’ said Perry.

Iowa Rep. Steve King tweeted: ‘I have read the memo. The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate.’

On Thursday the Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to allow all members of Congress to view the memo.

Another committee vote could pave the way for the memo’s public release, but the Trump administration would have a five-day window to object.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said Thursday night on the ‘Hannity’ program that ‘people will go to jail’ at the Justice Department and the FBI when details of Obama’s FISA abuses are made public.

‘If we get this memo into the public square, heads are going to roll at the FBI and the Department of Justice. There is no way everyone keeps their job,’ he said.

The Twitter hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo was tweeted millions of times Thursday and Friday, with conservative members of Congress and Republican activists leading the charge.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy reported Friday that Russia-linked ‘bot’ Twitter accounts were blasting the hashtag out far more than any other.

Donald Trump Jr. said Friday on Twitter that Democrats in Congress were laser-focused on a government shutdown fght in order to draw the public’s attention away from the memo.

‘Prediction: Democrats will take an even stronger stance on shutting down the govt so that becomes the narrative rather than talking about the release of the apparently very damaging memo. Media will obviously be complicit in helping them! #releasethememo,’ he wrote.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5289689/Republicans-demand-release-secret-FISA-abuse-memo.html#ixzz553eW7dlR

Clinton–Obama Emails: The Key to Understanding Why Hillary Wasn’t Indicted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talk during the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena April 14, 2012. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

January 23, 2018 4:25 PM @ANDREWCMCCARTHY

New FBI texts highlight a motive to conceal the president’s involvement.

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. (See, e.g., here, here, and here.)

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.

That is why such an indictment of Hillary Clinton was never going to happen. The latest jaw-dropping disclosures of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, illustrate this point.

For the moment, I want to put aside the latest controversy — the FBI’s failure to retain five months of text messages between Strzok and Page, those chattiest of star-crossed lovers. Yes, this “glitch” closes our window on a critical time in the Trump-Russia investigation: mid December 2016 through mid May 2017. That is when the bureau and Justice Department were reportedly conducting and renewing (in 90-day intervals) court-approved FISA surveillance that may well have focused on the newly sworn-in president of the United States. (Remember: The bureau’s then-director, James Comey, testified at a March 20 House Intelligence Committee hearing that the investigation was probing possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Kremlin interference in the election.)

The retention default has been chalked up to a technological mishap. Assuming that this truly was an indiscriminate, bureau-wide problem — that lost texts are not limited to phones involved in the Trump-Russia investigation — it is hard to imagine its going undetected for five months in an agency whose business is information retention. But it is not inconceivable. Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains that an aggressive inquiry is underway, so let’s assume (for argument’s sake, at least) that either the texts will be recovered or a satisfactory explanation for their non-retention will be forthcoming.

For now, let’s stick with the Clinton–Obama emails.

On July 5, 2016, Comey held the press conference at which he delivered a statement describing Mrs. Clinton’s criminal conduct but nevertheless recommending against an indictment. We now know that Comey’s remarks had been in the works for two months and were revised several times by the director and his advisers.

This past weekend, in a letter to the FBI regarding the missing texts, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) addressed some of these revisions. According to Senator Johnson, a draft dated June 30, 2016 (i.e., five days before Comey delivered the final version), contained a passage expressly referring to a troublesome email exchange between Clinton and Obama. (I note that the FBI’s report of its eventual interview of Clinton contains a cryptic reference to a July 1, 2012, email that Clinton sent from Russia to Obama’s email address. See report, page 2.) The passage in the June 30 draft stated:

We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including from the territory of sophisticated adversaries. That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455696/hillary-clinton-barack-obama-emails-key-decision-not-indict-hillary

On the same day, according to a Strzok–Page text, a revised draft of Comey’s remarks was circulated by his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki. It replaced “the President” with “another senior government official.”

This effort to obscure Obama’s involvement had an obvious flaw: It would practically have begged congressional investigators and enterprising journalists to press for the identification of the “senior government official” with whom Clinton had exchanged emails. That was not going to work.

Consequently, by the time Comey delivered his remarks on July 5, the decision had been made to avoid even a veiled allusion to Obama. Instead, all the stress was placed on Clinton (who was not going to be charged anyway) for irresponsibly sending and receiving sensitive emails that were likely to have been penetrated by hostile intelligence services. Comey made no reference to Clinton’s correspondent:

We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

The decision to purge any reference to Obama is consistent with the panic that seized his administration from the moment Clinton’s use of a private, non-secure server system was revealed in early March 2015. I detailed this reaction in a series of 2016 columns (see, e.g., here and here). What most alarmed Obama and Clinton advisers (those groups overlap) was not only that there were several Clinton–Obama email exchanges, but also that Obama dissembled about his knowledge of Clinton’s private email use in a nationally televised interview.

On March 4, just after the New York Times broke the news about Clinton’s email practices at the State Department, John Podesta (a top Obama adviser and Clinton’s campaign chairman) emailed Cheryl Mills (Clinton’s confidant and top aide in the Obama State Department) to suggest that Clinton’s “emails to and from potus” should be “held” — i.e., not disclosed — because “that’s the heart of his exec privilege.” At the time, the House committee investigating the Benghazi jihadist attack was pressing for production of Clinton’s emails.

As his counselors grappled with how to address his own involvement in Clinton’s misconduct, Obama deceptively told CBS News in a March 7 interview that he had found out about Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct State Department business “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” Perhaps he was confident that, because he had used an alias in communicating with Clinton, his emails to and from her — estimated to number around 20 — would remain undiscovered.

His and Clinton’s advisers were not so confident. Right after the interview aired, Clinton campaign secretary Josh Scherwin emailed Jennifer Palmieri and other senior campaign staffers, stating: “Jen you probably have more on this but it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.”

Scherwin’s alert was forwarded to Mills. Shortly afterwards, an agitated Mills emailed Podesta: “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.” (That is, Obama had emails from Clinton, which he had to know were from a private account since her address did not end in “@state.gov” as State Department emails do.)

So how did Obama and his helpers “clean this up”?

Obama had his email communications with Clinton sealed. He did this by invoking a dubious presidential-records privilege. The White House insisted that the matter had nothing to do with the contents of the emails, of course; rather, it was intended to vindicate the principle of confidentiality in presidential communications with close advisers. With the media content to play along, this had a twofold benefit: Obama was able (1) to sidestep disclosure without acknowledging that the emails contained classified information, and (2) to avoid using the term “executive privilege” — with all its dark Watergate connotations — even though that was precisely what he was invoking.

Note that claims of executive privilege must yield to demands for disclosure of relevant evidence in criminal prosecutions. But of course, that’s not a problem if there will be no prosecution.

The White House purported to repair the president’s disingenuous statement in the CBS interview by rationalizing that he had meant that he learned of Clinton’s homebrew server system through news reports — he hadn’t meant to claim unawareness that she occasionally used private email. This was sheer misdirection: From Obama’s standpoint, the problem was that he discussed government intelligence matters with the secretary of state through a private email account; the fact that, in addition, Clinton’s private email account was connected to her own private server system, rather than some other private email service, was beside the point. But, again, the media was not interested in such distinctions and contentedly accepted the White House’s non-explanation.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered Comey to use the word “matter” rather than “investigation” to describe the FBI’s probe of Clinton’s email practices. This ensured that the Democratic administration’s law-enforcement agencies were aligning their story with the Democratic candidate’s campaign rhetoric. If there was no investigation, there would be no prosecution.

The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

In April 2016, in another nationally televised interview, Obama made clear that he did not want Clinton to be indicted. His rationale was a legally frivolous straw man: Clinton had not intended to harm national security. This was not an element of the felony offenses she had committed; nor was it in dispute. No matter: Obama’s analysis was the stated view of the chief executive. If, as was sure to happen, his subordinates in the executive law-enforcement agencies conformed their decisions to his stated view, there would be no prosecution.

Within a few weeks, even though the investigation was ostensibly still underway and over a dozen key witnesses — including Clinton herself — had not yet been interviewed, the FBI began drafting Comey’s remarks that would close the investigation. There would be no prosecution.

Over the next few days, the FBI took pains to strike any reference to Obama’s emails with Mrs. Clinton from the statement in which Comey would effectively end the “matter” with no prosecution.

On July 1, amid intense public criticism of her meeting with Bill Clinton, Attorney General Lynch piously announced that she would accept whatever recommendation the FBI director and career prosecutors made about charging Clinton. As Page told Strzok in a text that day, “This is a purposeful leak following the airplane snafu.” It was also playacting. Page elaborated that the attorney general already “knows no charges will be brought.” Of course she did: It was understood by all involved that there would be no prosecution.

Knowing that, Lynch had given the FBI notice on June 30 that she’d be announcing her intention to accept Comey’s recommendation. Fearing this just might look a bit choreographed, the FBI promptly amended Comey’s planned remarks to include this assertion (which he in fact made on July 5): “I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.”

But they did not need to participate in drafting the statement, and they did not need to know the precise words he was going to use. It was not Comey’s decision anyway. All they needed to know was that there would be no prosecution.

On July 2, with the decision that she would not be indicted long since made, Mrs. Clinton sat for an interview with the FBI — something she’d never have done if there were a chance she might be charged. The farce was complete with the Justice Department and FBI permitting two subjects of the investigation — Mills and Clinton aide Heather Samuelson — to sit in on the interview as lawyers representing Clinton. That is not something law enforcement abides when it is serious about making a case. Here, however, it was clear: There would be no prosecution.

All cleaned up: no indictment, meaning no prosecution, meaning no disclosure of Clinton–Obama emails. It all worked like a charm . . . except the part where Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency and the problem is never spoken of again.

READ MORE: It Wasn’t Comey’s Decision to Exonerate Hillary – It Was Obama’s Time to Give Clinton’s Server Technician the Mueller Treatment List of Hillary Clinton’s Lies — Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455696/hillary-clinton-barack-obama-emails-key-decision-not-indict-hillary

Evidence suggests a massive scandal is brewing at the FBI

During the financial crisis, the federal government bailed out banks it declared “too big to fail.” Fearing their bankruptcy might trigger economic Armageddon, the feds propped them up with taxpayer cash.

Something similar is happening now at the FBI, with the Washington wagons circling the agency to protect it from charges of corruption. This time, the appropriate tag line is “too big to believe.”

Yet each day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.

If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.

More support for this view involves the FBI’s use of the Russian dossier on Trump that was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It is almost certain that the FBI used the dossier to get FISA court warrants to spy on Trump associates, meaning it used the opposition research of the party in power to convince a court to let it spy on the candidate of the other party — likely without telling the court of the dossier’s political link.

Even worse, there is growing reason to believe someone in President Barack Obama’s administration turned over classified information about Trump to the Clinton campaign.

As one former federal prosecutor put it, “It doesn’t get worse than that.” That prosecutor, Joseph ­diGenova, believes Trump was correct when he claimed Obama aides wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

These and other elements combine to make a toxic brew that smells to high heaven, but most Americans don’t know much about it. Mainstream media coverage has been sparse and dismissive and there’s a blackout from the same Democrats obsessed with Russia, Russia, Russia.

Partisan motives aside, it’s as if a scandal of this magnitude is more than America can bear — so let’s pretend there’s nothing to see and move along.

But, thankfully, the disgraceful episode won’t be washed away, thanks to a handful of congressional Republicans, led by California Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. After he accused the FBI of stonewalling in turning over records, the bureau relented, at least partially.

The result was clear evidence of bias against Trump by officials charged with investigating him and Clinton. Those same agents appear to have acted on that bias to tilt the election to Clinton.

In one text message, an agent suggests that Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew while the investigation was still going on that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton.

How could she know unless the fix was in?

All roads in the explosive developments lead to James Comey, whose Boy Scout image belied a sinister belief that he, like his infamous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, was above the law.

It is why I named him J. Edgar Comey last year and wrote that he was “adept at using innuendo and leaks” to let everybody in Washington know they could be the next to be investigated.

It was in the office of Comey’s top deputy, Andrew McCabe, where agents discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Reports indicated that the Russia collusion probe was that insurance policy.

The text was from Peter Strzok, the top investigator on the Trump case, and was sent to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and also his mistress.

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

It is frightening that Strzok, who called Trump “an idiot,” was the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump cases.

FBI agent kicked off Mueller probe called Trump an ‘idiot’ and a ‘douche’

After these messages surfaced, special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his probe, though both still work at the FBI.

Strzok, despite his talk of an “insurance policy” in 2016, wrote in May 2017 that he was skeptical that Mueller’s probe would find anything on Trump because “there’s no big there there.”

Talk about irony. While Dems and the left-wing media already found Trump guilty of collusion before Mueller was appointed, the real scandal might be the conduct of the probers themselves.

Suspicions are hardly allayed by the fact that the FBI says it can’t find five months of messages between Strzok and Page, who exchanged an estimated 50,000 messages overall. The missing period — Dec. 14, 2016, through May 17, 2017 — was a crucial time in Washington.

There were numerous leaks of classified material just before and after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

And the president fired Comey last May 9, provoking an intense lobbying effort for a special counsel, which led to Mueller’s appointment on May 19.

Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has emerged from his hidey hole to notice that the FBI has run amok, and said Monday he would “leave no stone unturned” to find the five months of missing texts.

Fine, but the House is racing ahead of him. Nunes has prepared a four-page memo, based on classified material that purportedly lays out what the FBI and others did to corrupt the election.

A movement to release the memo is gaining steam, but Congress says it might take weeks. Why wait? Americans can handle the truth, no matter how big it is.

https://nypost.com/2018/01/23/evidence-suggests-a-massive-scandal-is-brewing-at-the-fbi/

Story 2: American People on Immigration — Legal and Illegal — Harvard Harris Poll — Videos

Shock poll: Americans want massive cuts to legal immigration

Cutting chain migration even more popular than legalizing Dreamers

 – The Washington Times – Monday, January 22, 2018

A government shutdown is in the rearview mirror, but the outlines of a looming immigration deal remain murky with the sides still far apart — though the latest polling suggests President Trump’s bargaining position may be strong.

A Harvard-Harris poll taken in the run-up to the shutdown found Americans strongly support granting citizenship rights to illegal immigrant Dreamers. But they also back Mr. Trump’s three demands for a border wall, limits to the chain of family migration and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Most striking of all is the public’s demand for lower overall legal immigration — a position that has little traction on Capitol Hill but one that is overwhelmingly popular across the country.

The poll found that most Americans want annual legal immigration capped at 500,000 a year or less — far lower than the current annual rate of 1.3 million.

Those findings challenge what many lawmakers say is the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that while illegal immigration is to be discouraged, high levels of legal immigration are necessary for the nation’s image and its economy.

That is one of the positions likely to be tested as Congress begins a sprint to find an immigration compromise, potentially by Feb. 8 — the deadline for spending set Monday — but definitely by March 5, which is when Dreamers could begin losing legal protections in large numbers.

 

“For the first time in five years, we will have a debate on the floor of the Senate on the Dream Act and immigration,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat.

Mr. Durbin has been leading the push for legalization and partnering with Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, on the plan that has drawn the most attention.

The Graham-Durbin outline would grant eventual citizenship rights to the 690,000 Dreamers protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and would include more than 1 million others who either didn’t apply for the Obama-era program or who were too old to qualify. The plan would also create legal protections, though not citizenship, for their parents.

The White House said it also is willing to talk about the broader immigrant population and more security and enforcement.

“If they’re willing to do the things we’ve asked to on visa, chain migration, border security, then we’re willing to consider a broader population, but we have not gone there,” Marc Short, the White House’s chief liaison to Congress, told reporters.

On the White House priorities, Mr. Graham and Mr. Durbin called for a 10 percent down payment on the Homeland Security Department’s $18 billion border wall proposal. Mr. Short said the White House needs more of a commitment to make sure future congresses don’t cut the money from the budget.

The Graham-Durbin plan did eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery but recaptured those 50,000 annual visas and plowed them into a new amnesty program for would-be illegal immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and other countries struck by natural disasters who have been living in the U.S. under special humanitarian protections for years.

Mr. Short said the White House was pleased that Mr. Graham and Mr. Durbin accepted the end of the visa lottery but that the administration does not want those visas used for another program.

That is likely to be a tough sell for Congress, where support for a high level of legal immigration spans both parties.

Indeed, on Monday Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, emerged from a meeting with Mr. Trump to float the idea of using visas from both the lottery and chain migration and pumping them back into the system to reduce backlogs of people waiting to immigrate legally.

“We ought to reward them,” he said.

The public may see the issue differently, according to the Harvard-Harris poll of American adults, taken Jan. 17-19.

The survey asked respondents what level of overall legal immigration they would like to see.

A stunning 35 percent said the level should be fewer than 250,000 a year, while another 19 percent said it should be 250,000 to 500,000. Combined, they make up a majority looking for a cut of at least 50 percent over current annual levels. Another 18 percent said they want to see 500,000 to 1 million.

Just 19 percent of respondents said they want an increase over 1 million.

Mr. Trump hasn’t said recently what legal immigration number he wants to see, but he has been vocal on changing the way the U.S. picks immigrants. He said skills and ability to assimilate in the U.S. should be weighted over extended family ties.

The poll says voters agree by a 79 percent to 21 percent margin.

That is even bigger than the 77 percent to 23 percent margin that supports legalization for Dreamers.

More than 60 percent of voters said current border security is inadequate, and 54 percent said they support “building a combination of physical and electronic barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border.”

That could boost Mr. Trump’s call for a border wall system, which according to a proposal sent to Capitol Hill this month would build or revamp 722 miles of fencing along the border.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/22/shock-poll-us-wants-massive-cuts-legal-immigration/

 

As Congress and the White House go back to the drawing board on immigration, the administration took a hard line against compromise plans pushed by Senate moderates, and a new Harvard University poll backed up President Trump’s plan.As the budget shutdown ended, the White House made good on its promise to consider immigration reform. Six Republican senators met with the president to begin the negotiations, according to spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

But another spokesman decried a bipartisan compromise pushed by three senators not at the meeting, Sens. Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake and Dick Durbin.

“Their plan totally fails to secure the border, and includes no legal authorities to stop illegal immigration which ensures a massive wave of new illegal immigration and new chain migration. The bill also maintains the visa lottery as another backdoor amnesty and chain migration program,” said Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.

“The Flake-Graham-Durbin proposal embodies every reason Americans do not trust Washington. It puts people who are in this country unlawfully ahead of our own American citizens. The Trump Administration remains committed to bipartisan responsible immigration reform that truly secures the border and puts the interests of the American people first,” he added.

White House officials also distributed a Harvard-Harris poll that showed Americans generally approve of the president’s immigration plan, believe people should enter legally, and that those who are allowed in should contribute to American life in a positive way.

The poll was an endorsement of the president’s efforts, but not his overall handling of the issue. On that, 56 percent disapprove and 44 percent approve. But the following highlights buoyed is negotiators:

  • 65% of voters favor (as opposed to only 35% who oppose) a Congressional deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • 60% of voters believe that children who were brought into this country illegally by their parents, many of whom are now in their 20s and 30s, should not be given preference for their parents and relatives to move to this country.
  • 79% of voters think immigration priority for those coming to the U.S. should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills—and not based on a person having relatives in the U.S.
  • 68% of voters oppose the lottery that randomly picks 50,000 people to enter the U.S. each year for great diversity.
  • 61% of voters believe current border security is inadequate.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com

What The Latest Immigration Polls Do (And Don’t) Say

Demonstrators, many of them recent immigrants to America, protest the government shutdown and the lack of a deal on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) outside of Federal Plaza in New York City on Monday.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Americans could be forgiven for having poll whiplash this week.

“Shock poll: Americans want massive cuts to legal immigration,” said a headline from the Washington Times.

“Americans broadly embrace the Democratic immigration position,” declared a Washington Post headline, with the release of a new ABC/Washington Post poll.

On immigration, as on any other issue, it can seem that there’s a poll result that supports just about any position. Here’s a look at immigration polls to explain what findings are shaky — and to highlight what can reasonably be concluded about Americans’ views on immigration.

Question wording matters

Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley touted a Harvard Harris poll on Morning Edition Tuesday, saying that it showed Americans support the president’s agenda.

“It’s an 80-percent issue, people want to close down the borders,” he told NPR’s Rachel Martin. “It’s a 70-percent issue to end chain migration. [A] 68-percent issue to end the visa lottery program and ask people to come here on merit. That’s a 70-percent issue. And this is a study from Harvard.”

First things first — there’s a lot more to these poll numbers than Gidley is saying.

That Harvard Harris poll didn’t find that 8 in 10 Americans want to “close down the borders.” Rather, it asked Americans, “Do you think we should have basically open borders or do you think we need secure borders?”

Given the choice between “open borders” — a position that no mainstream political leaders are proposing — and a “secure border,” which is current U.S. policy, 79 percent of Americans agreed that the U.S. needs “secure borders.”

It is true that 68 percent of Americans said they oppose “the lottery that randomly picks 50,000 people to enter the U.S. each year for greater diversity.” And in fact, even more (79 percent) favored merit-based immigration over family-based migration, based on a question asking whether “immigration priority for those coming to the U.S. should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills or based on a person having relatives in the U.S.”

actor (“ability to contribute to America”) but not for using family ties. That may have swayed respondents toward the merit-based choice.

It’s also possible that the question gave some respondents the idea of a false choice, said one immigration researcher.

“It shouldn’t have to be an either-or,” said Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based immigration think tank.

It’s possible, he added, for a system to incorporate both “merit” and family ties.

“You can have both — you get more points for having higher education, you get more points for knowing English, you get more points for having a close relative,” he said.

“I think what they’re saying here is merit should have more of a preference than relatives,” said Mark Penn, codirector of the Harris Poll. “I don’t think we polled a full battery of specific chain migration policy here. I would read this as saying that you see the public backing limits” on the idea of family-based immigration, he added.

Right now, both family- and skills-based immigration exist in the U.S., though far more — around two-thirds — is based on family ties, according to Capps. Meanwhile, around 15 percent of admissions to the country are related to jobs and skills. On top of that, there are diversity visas, visas for investors who create jobs and allowances for refugees.

The numbers shift heavily depending on how the question is asked, however. In a Morning Consult/Politico poll from August 2017, there was a question asking if there should be a “greater emphasis on an applicant’s job skills over their ties to family members.”

Fifty-six percent either strongly or somewhat supported this, while 42 percent opposed it. That’s still a majority who favor merit over family, but it’s a smaller majority.

That poll asked these questions still other ways, though. For example, when the poll separated out different potential factors, several had strong support. Fully 60 percent of Americans said that “ties to family members in the United States” “should be a factor” in determining who should get to legally immigrate to the U.S. The poll also found that 57 percent believe education should be a factor, and that 54 percent believe “professional or academic achievement” should factor in.

In other words, when it’s not presented as an either-or choice, Americans appear to have a more nuanced view on family-versus merit-based immigration.

What Americans do seem to believe

Americans’ support on any given issue can jump around over time, and depending on when and how the questions are asked, the answers can be interpreted any number of ways. But based on an array of reputable polling, here are a few reasonable conclusions to draw.

1. Americans support letting DACA recipients stay.

That latest poll from the Washington Post found that 87 percent of Americans support “a program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service and have not been convicted of a serious crime.” An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday likewise found that 66 percent of Americans support “the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, which protects those who were brought into the United States as undocumented children from being deported.”

There’s a more than 20-point gap there, but these two results do join months of poll findings showing that find that a majority of Americans support the idea behind DACA, allowing children brought to the U.S. illegally to stay in the U.S.

January polls from Quinnipiac, Pew, ABC News/Washington Post, CNN and CBS all find that around 6 in 10 Americans oppose building or expanding a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

That said, all of those polls asked about building a “wall” specifically. But the definition of “wall” is fluid. While Trump has long advocated for a border wall, he has also said that in some places on the border, “natural barriers” would take the place of that kind of barrier. And Republican senators recently said that the “wall” would be more of a “fence.”

But that Harvard Harris poll didn’t find such strong opposition to a border barrier. It found that 54 percent of Americans support “building a combination of physical and electronic barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border.”

It could be that some Americans oppose a “wall” but believe in using a mix of resources as border barriers. It could also simply be that the word “wall” is at this point so politicized that some Americans instinctively oppose it while still wanting more of a barrier at the border.

3. Americans are divided on legal immigration levels, but are more in favor of decreasing than increasing them.

For decades, Gallup has asked Americans if they think the level of legal immigration should be “kept at its present level, increased, or decreased.” In recent years, Americans have been closely split between holding steady (38 percent as of June 2017) and decreasing (35 percent). The remainder, around 1 in 4, want to increase legal immigration.

While the clear majority want to decrease or hold legal immigration steady, these numbers represent a longer-term pro-immigration shift — as of the mid-1990s, two-thirds of Americans wanted to decrease legal immigration, and only 6 or 7 percent wanted to increase it.

Once again, there’s no majority here, but more people wanted to cut legal immigration than grow it.

The Harvard Harris poll tried the question yet another way: “In your opinion, about how many legal immigrants should be admitted to the U.S. each year?” It then provided a series of choices: zero to fewer than 250,000, 250,000 to 499,999 and so on up to 2.5 million or more.

It’s hard to know how to interpret the results of that question without the context of current immigration levels. As of 2016, the U.S. accepted nearly 1.2 million new legal permanent residents, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Of those, just over half were new arrivals. The rest of people received changes in status — for example, some might have been refugees who became legal permanent residents.

The poll found that 72 percent of people chose some number under 1 million, which might suggest that those people want to reduce legal immigration. But then, the question didn’t provide them with current immigration levels. There was no way for many of them to know what direction they were arguing for immigration to move in. As a result, this is one way that this poll’s results may have been misleading.

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/23/580037717/what-the-latest-immigration-polls-do-and-dont-say

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 233, March 27, 2014, Story 1: NSA Metadata To Be Held By Telephone Companies — Great Distraction — Still Collecting and Intercepting All Americans Telephone Calls and All Information Transmitted Over The Internet and Telephone Exchanges — Stop Deceiving The American People Mr. President — Videos

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Story 1: NSA Metadata To Be Held By Telephone Companies — Great Distraction — Still Collecting and Intercepting All Americans Telephone Calls and All Information Transmitted Over The Internet and Telephone Exchanges — Stop Deceiving The American People Mr. President — Videos

Obama: NSA Proposal Satisfies Public Concerns

 

Obama announces overhaul of NSA metadata collection

NSA – Changes To Metadata Program – Special Report All Star

President Obama Names Michael Rogers As New Head Of The NSA

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