Another big day, so let's get right into it: Democrat/GPS Fusion link tracked back to Obama Whitehouse: The FBI-Steele Partnership Was Started by, Plot Twist, an Obama Aide
Alert the Washington Consensus.Obama Had Longstanding Relationship with FusionGPS, Employing Them in 2012 to Dig Opposition Dirt on Mitt Romney
When Steele asked his FBI handler to come see him in London to hear the wild and crazy things his paid cut-outs were hearing from their paid sources in Russia, the handler needed a go-ahead from someone in State.
Enter Victoria Nuland.
Says Russian Roulette, "There were a few hoops Gaeta had to jump through. He was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Rome. The FBI checked with Victoria Nuland's office at the State Department: Do you support this meeting? Nuland, having found Steele's reports on Ukraine to have been generally credible, gave the green light."If Victoria Nuland sounds familiar, it might because she straight-up lied to James Rosen when he asked if the US was engaged in bilateral negotiations with Iran in 2013. The State Department then deleted that lie from the official video record of the presser, in order to erase it from reality.
Ms. Nuland's name surfaced earlier this year as Senate investigators under Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, turned up evidence that Mr. Steele met with another Obama State official, Jonathan Winer.
He worked as a middleman to bring Mr. Steele together with Sidney Blumenthal, a fierce Hillary Clinton defender. Mr. Winer spoke with Ms. Nuland, who gave a heads up to Secretary of State John Kerry
Obama used law firm Perkins Cole to hide payment to Fusion GPSBack Channel To Christopher Steele Goes On The Record About Senate Testimony
The Clinton campaign would later do the same thing to investigate Trump
The Barack Obama presidential campaign hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to dig up dirt on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a book released on Tuesday.
The Obama campaign hid its payments to Fusion GPS through its law firm, Perkins Coie. The arrangement is similar to the one that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee used to pay Fusion for its investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
"As had become standard practice in the shadowy world of 'oppo' research, the Obama campaign’s payments to Fusion GPS were never publicly disclosed; the money paid to the investigative firm was reported on campaign disclosure reports as legal bills to the campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie," the book reads.
An American lawyer who served as a back channel between dossier author Christopher Steele and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is opening up about explosive testimony he gave to a Senate committee late last year.You knew Soros
Adam Waldman said that during an appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on Nov. 3, he relayed information about possible links between billionaire activist George Soros and Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier.
Sharyll Atkisson writes For press and public, big risks lurk behind 'opposition research'
It’s like a political game of “Who’s on First?” (If you’re too young to know, that’s a reference to an old Abbott and Costello comedy routine.)MUELLER’S FORTHCOMING ASSAULT ON THE SEPARATION OF POWERS?
In this case, it’s high-stakes politics, Washington style. Here’s how it goes:
U.S. intel officials used political opposition research (that relied on Russia) to justify wiretaps to investigate Donald Trump’s Russia ties.
Congress and an inspector general are investigating the federal investigators who investigated Trump.
Congress and the Justice Department are investigating the federal investigators’ use of political opposition research. The latest punchline?
The political “oppo research” group in question is reportedly oppo-researching the congressional investigators who are investigating the federal investigators who used the oppo research.
In simpler terms: Congressional investigators are being targeted by those they’re investigating.
Bloomberg: “When it comes to the obstruction portion of the investigation, Mueller is said to be focused on three main episodes: Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey last May; the drafting of a misleading statement about the purpose of a June 2016 meeting between Don Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and a group of Russians at Trump Tower; and the disclosure that Trump considered firing Mueller last June.”Mueller invokes unusual ‘conspiracy to defraud government’ charge to ensnare more targets
The first and third of these are part of the Executive’s constitutional authority to hire and fire whomever he wants who works for him. It’s hard to imagine that the Supreme Court would ultimately uphold obstruction of justice charges against a president for firing his underlings, unless perhaps the president knew that the individual in question was literally just about to indict him. The view of the executive branch that Comey seems to be operating under, that the FBI director and special prosecutor are not the president’s agents but are instead somehow independent officials not subject to presidential authority is quite wrong, constitutionally.
The crime of “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” the authors noted, is not new, but sets up a very different legal battle than trying to prove outright that Mr. Trump or his associates actively colluded with Russians to alter the outcome of the 2016 election.So apparently Mueller is using a theory that allows him to prosecute people who have agreed to do things that may not be against the law, but which Mueller doesn't approve of and Rod Rosenstein approves: Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, says Robert Mueller is 'not an unguided missile'
The “conspiracy to defraud” approach, the Lawfare authors point out, “has been sitting in plain sight in the general conspiracy statute … since 1948 (and an earlier provision with substantially similar language dates to 1867). The statute makes it illegal for two or more persons to ‘conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.’”
The authors add that “unlike conspiracy to commit an offense, conspiracy to defraud the United States need not be connected to a specific underlying crime,” and “defraud” is not defined by the law.
It's all just fun and games, until somebody goes to jail for life: Manafort’s Judge Says There’s A ‘Real Chance’ He Dies In Prison
Victor Davis Hanson takes us on a romp through the swamp. It's old news so I won't quote anything, but if you need help keeping the players straight, this is a good one.
Conservatives press for action on FBI bias as well they should. One reminder: James Clapper Will Avoid Charges For Perjuring Himself Before Congress, As of
The government that enforces our laws has declared itself immune to the very laws they inflict on the commoners.Nunes Concerned Special Counsel Is Ignoring Illegal Leaks
They let the statute of limitations run out on his perjury.
Former intelligence chief James Clapper is poised to avoid charges for allegedly lying to Congress after five years of apparent inaction by the Justice Department.Jonathan Turley had previously warned that the government was going to let one of its Palz skate, noting they had previously made every dishonest excuse for him they could think of.
Clapper, director of national intelligence from 2010 to 2017, admitted giving "clearly erroneous" testimony about mass surveillance in March 2013, and offered differing explanations for why.
Two criminal statutes that cover lying to Congress have five-year statutes of limitations, establishing a Monday deadline to charge Clapper, who in retirement has emerged as a leading critic of President Trump.
Nunes said he believed then that Mueller would have focused on the leaks.It's not illegal unless Republicans do it. Democrats tease James Comey bombshell in 'status report' on terminated House Intel Russia probe
"Because those were the felonies that we knew of," he said. "Yet I have zero evidence that Mueller's even looked at the leaks or does not care about the leaks … Why would you not go where there's an obvious felony that's been committed? Why would you not start there?"
One of the notable claims in the Democratic summary, the minority party said it has "good faith reason to believe that the White House does in fact possess such documentation memorializing President Trump’s conversations with [FBI] Director [James] Comey." Last year, Trump fired Comey, who was leading the federal Russia inquiry, a move that reportedly prompted special counsel Robert Mueller to look for possible obstruction of justice.He's gonna need those book revenues to buy cigarettes with in prison. Some of those memos he leaked contained classified information. Rush: Show Us Your Evidence, Pencil Neck. He means Adam Schiffer, but it applies to Mueller as well.
Trump himself teased last summer that there might be "tapes" of his conversations with Comey, but later denied there were any recordings. In response to Trump's tease, Comey famously said, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes," while testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017.
Comey is on the verge of a media blitz. His book, titled “A Higher Loyalty,” will hit shelves April 17 and has a number of high-profile interviews lined up.
The former FBI director has made waves since his termination, as it was revealed Comey memorialized several encounters he had with Trump in a series of memos. In one memo, Comey detailed how the president pressured him to end the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In another, Comey recalled how Trump demanded loyalty from him. A federal judge ruled last month that Comey's memos would not be released to the public.
Because now the Republicans are on record as saying, “There isn’t any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, period.” So, Pencil Neck, find some — and if you find it, you own it. If you can find if and it’s provable and it’s incontrovertible, then you guys are gonna win everything. I think, in fact, it’s almost incumbent on Pencil Neck to now go find some. Since the House Republicans have officially proclaimed there isn’t any to be found. There isn’t any. I’m sure Pencil Neck’s having heart palpitations.Reminders: Rep. Mike Conaway: ‘No Evidence Of Collusion’ And No Russian Preference For Trump
“Yes, the Russians tried to interfere with our elections process. Yes, they had cyber attacks, active measures going on. We could find no evidence of collusion between either campaign and the Russians.”
“We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment,” he said. “But only Tom Clancy … could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, meetings, whatever, and weave it into some sort of fiction, page-turner, and spy thriller.”Angling for a piece of the pie, U.S. ‘ally’ Qatar appears to be dangling information about Trump associates
After being accused of hacking Republican officials connected to President Trump, it now appears that the rogue state of Qatar has taken to blackmailing top associates of the commander-in-chief through the media. On Monday, NBC News reported that the regime that rules Qatar claims to have damaging information about associates of President Trump and their connections Doha’s rival state, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Mueller's trained seal barks: Papadopoulos Says Trump Encouraged Him To Arrange Meeting With Putin
The report adds that the Qataris have long contemplated delivering dirt on Trump associates — such as Jared Kushner — to special counsel Robert Mueller. NBC’s sources, unspecified Qatari associates, told NBC that they have not sent the information to the Mueller team. However, the story raised the possibility that Qatar is instead seeking to chip away at the president’s legitimacy through the media. The report claims it’s “unknown” whether Qatar is the source of media leaks to the New York Times and CNN — which appear calculated to damage the president and empower the Mueller team.
The NBC report claims that Qatar has information that President Trump’s position on Qatar was influenced by Kushner’s previous business dealings with its rivals. The piece overlooks the fact that conservatives have united behind the president’s requests of Qatar. As many of its Gulf neighbors are taking an active role in countering jihadist terrorism, while continuing efforts to reform and modernize, Qatar remains intent upon allying with state sponsors of terror and terrorist groups.
Qatar has decided against cooperating with Mueller “for now,” the report adds, which makes it seem like Doha is hanging the information over Trump officials’ heads as a means of potential future blackmail.
Papadopoulos’s account to Mueller — as reported in “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones’ David Corn — contradicts the public accounts of what took place at a critical meeting of Trump’s foreign policy team on March 31, 2016. It was at that meeting that Papadopoulos first informed Trump and the then candidate’s other foreign policy advisers that he had contacts in Britain who could arrange a summit between the GOP candidate and Putin.Stone: Hey, I Was Just Kidding About All The Wikileaks Connections I Claimed
Although one of the campaign officials present, J.D. Gordon, has said the idea was shot down by then Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Papadopoulos told Mueller’s investigators that Trump encouraged him, saying he found the idea “interesting,” according to the book, which cites sources familiar with his questioning by Mueller’s investigators.
Trump looked at Sessions, as if he expected him to follow up with Papadopoulos, and Sessions nodded in response, the authors write. Sessions has said he has “no clear recollection” of the exchange with Papadopoulos. A White House official said that others at the meeting remember it differently than Papadopoulos.
There’s a problem with the “it’s a joke” explanation for Stone’s comments, which is that he’s made them with people other than Nunberg, and not behind closed doors. For instance, Stone claimed to be in contact with Assange on August 9, 2016, too, saying, “I actually have communicated with Assange” and claimed to know about the next tranche of hacked documents Wikileaks would release. Stone specified that those e-mails might come from the Clinton Foundation; nine days later, Reuters reported that the hackers might have gone after the organization. In a tweet from his suspended Twitter account on October 2nd, before the Podesta hack releases, Stone hinted at a new Wikileaks report: “Wednesday @HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.” Eleven days later, Wikileaks began releasing John Podesta’s e-mails from the Center for American Progress.Former CIA Officer Exposes Clinton Charity Fraud As Biggest Scandal In US History
Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says the reason for all the crime and treason at the FBI and DOJ all boils down to one thing – the Clinton's so-called “charity.”As Clinton herself, on her latest "excuses tour" says, "Follow the money" Clinton On Trump-Putin Ties: “Follow The Money”
Shipp explains, “Hillary Clinton was running and is running a global financial criminal syndicate. She was using these secret servers to conduct Clinton financial money laundering business."
"The shocking thing about that is all the former directors of the CIA that have come out to support her, from Clapper to Brennan to Morell to Robert Gates supporting her being elected, knew about this criminal syndicate. Comey was protecting it. Lynch was protecting it. Weissmann was protecting it. And that is the big why. What’s she got on these people? Are they financial ties? They had to be aware of this, especially the counter-intelligence units. We know it was hacked into by foreign intelligence services because it was just hanging out there. Hillary Clinton was running a secret server outside the Department of State for the purposes of laundering money through the criminal Clinton Foundation.”Are the crimes and treason of the Clinton Foundation the anvil that is about to drop? Shipp says,
“It’s not just an anvil, I think it is a mountain and the nexus of everything. This “Clinton Global Initiative” (CGI) is worldwide, and it’s been out there for a couple of decades. It has now intertwined former Directors of the CIA and FBI. George Soros is a part of it. It’s connected to all kinds of global financial institutions...It is at least a $100 billion...All these people protecting and defending Hillary Clinton and knowing about her criminal syndicate, this goes into the so-called 'Deep State' of our government, and it is connected, involved and intertwined in the global criminal crime syndicate called the Clinton Foundation. This is probably going to be the biggest scandal in U.S. history–once it’s busted. I think they are quietly working on it now, and I think they have been for the last year. It is so huge the arrests and indictments could cause a Constitutional crisis with some people being removed. Maybe that’s why they are moving slowly. It all comes back down to the Clinton Foundation and the criminal syndicate.
Old meme, "hiring Rex Tillersen is proof that Trump is beholden to Putin", new meme "firing Rex Tillersen is proof that Trump is beholden to Putin"
“Basically Never Trump World has picked up on the same theme. None of them bother to try to explain why Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, who is about as hawkish on Russia as it is possible to be without going full-metal Buck Turgidson. But consistency and honesty is never really a consideration in these critiques. The idea is to push the most damaging possible interpretation of the event and move on to the next.”