America • Conservatives • Democrats • Donald Trump • Obama • Post

Is Common Sense Making a Comeback?

Did you notice that common sense was almost entirely missing from the two nights of the Democrats’ radicalism pageant last week?

In terms of common sense and nonsense, the clear winner of the pageant was Julian Castro. The former Obama housing secretary’s bold advocacy of government-funded abortions for transgender women—that is, for biological males incapable of bearing children—was the standout in two evenings of real doozies.

But even if Castro is not awarded the prize, the Democratic presidential nominee will be a person who has taken a bold public stand against common sense—and done so on national television.

Even Barack Obama did not do that. By the time he finally got around to funding the mullahs of Iran, it had become perfectly clear that he was making the American government the world’s most powerful sponsor of Islamic terrorism. By supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere, by using military force to throw Libya open to the Islamists, by returning jihadis quarantined in Guantanamo to the fight, and in countless other ways, he made his sympathies clear—but even he did not make them clear while he was campaigning for the nomination. He waited until he was re-elected when, as he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he would have “more flexibility,” to go all in for the mullahs, among other things.

Do you believe that if Obama been open about what he was going to do for the Islamists, the media would have been able to disguise his anti-Americanism sufficiently for him to have secured the nomination? It seems to me not. If he had been boldly and brazenly outspoken about his sympathies, I reckon there would have been sufficient common sense among those who voted for Obama to have thrown the nomination to Hillary.

But how much have things changed in America? Obama successfully transformed the Democrats. Did he also succeed in fundamentally transforming America? Is America ready for the kind of policies and politics the Democrats put on display last week? In his brilliant article on common sense here at American GreatnessMark Bauerlein wrote:

The culture sphere gives progressive politicians and commentators the vocabulary for doing so [taking down common sense]. Go into a modern art exhibition and check the wall text. “Subvert,” “transgress,” “challenge,” and “question” are everywhere, and common sense is the target.

The taking down of common sense that was once restricted to the cultural sphere has taken over the party Obama transformed—and the Democrats evidently believe America is ready to elect one of these new, post-common sense Democrats to the Oval Office. The only question that remains for them is to decide which one to choose.

There are, however, stirrings in another direction. America did elect Donald Trump, and Trump did run as a “common sense conservative.” So, did America by electing Trump take a step in the direction of becoming once again the common sense nation it once was?

That raises the question of the meaning of the 2016 election. Was the election decided by the vote for common sense conservatism or by the vote against the brazen corruption of the Clintons? If the election was decided by voters recoiling from the nauseating corruption of the Clintons, then the true test of common sense may await us in 2020.

For a replay of common sense versus political corruption, the Democrats would probably need to nominate former Vice President Joe Biden. At this point, it seems that only Biden’s political corruption approaches the corruption of the Clintons, though, as with the Clintons, the media could be counted on to conduct a cover-up and distraction campaign to protect him.

Of course, Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are phonies. Should Trump prevail over one of them or over another candidate he manages to expose as a phony, the foes of common sense in politics and the media will perhaps insist that it was not their candidate’s defiance of common sense that decided the election. They can be expected to explain the loss by rallying around the narrative that their candidate was just not a good candidate, as they did with Hillary.

But two wins in a row for the foe of political correctness and the champion of common sense in the presidential sweepstakes certainly would be interesting. Perhaps common sense, brought to the edge of extinction in politics and the cultural sphere in America can make and is making a comeback.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Immigration • Obama • Post

Border Crisis Hypocrites on Parade

Conventional wisdom holds that political parties evolve, but do so slowly, over passing generations.

But today’s Democrats have broken land-speed records as they have careened leftward on the question of immigration. Today’s Democratic Party is nearly unrecognizable when compared with where it was a decade ago, or even five years ago. And the transformation has been extreme.

On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, Democrats lined up to denounce the unsanitary and overcrowded housing conditions of unaccompanied minors at the border, wildly or willfully ignorant of the fact that they have known for nearly two months that the Department of Health and Human Services—the agency given the job of caring for unaccompanied children—is rapidly running out of money.

While claiming there’s “a special place in hell” for Trump’s border policies, Democrats blocked resources to care for these kids no fewer than 17 times.

Even after the Senate negotiated a compromise bill that passed the chamber with 84 of 100 votes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly opposed it, threatening to drag out negotiations—and resources for unaccompanied kids—even longer. (After openly waged intraparty warfare, House Democrats eventually passed the Senate’s bill late Thursday.)

Even the New York Times has had enough, telling Democrats last month to “give Trump his border money,” because “there is a crisis at the southern border.”

Yet Democrats, both in Congress and on the debate stage, continued to demagogue the state of the border, claiming as recently as last week that there is no crisis. They do so while falsely claiming that families are still being separated (kids are only removed from their parents at this point if the adult is a threat to the child, or if the child is not related to the alleged parent) and wringing their hands about the fate of the unaccompanied children being held at the border—while shamelessly blocking resources to address the issue.

The hypocrisy here is both brazen and breathtaking. Due to a lack of resources and a Congress uninterested in addressing this deficit, or the incentives that draw waves of migrants, detention conditions are indeed terrible—and have been for years, under many presidents, and at some times, even worse than they are now.

Let’s review. Democrats said nothing about the bodies of 61 migrants found near the border in 2016 or the southwest border deaths which peaked in 2012, the unaccompanied migrants abused while in custody between 2009 and 2014, the tear gas used at the border more than 75 times in fiscal year 2012, and the overcrowded, trash-filled cells that housed migrants in 2016. And Fort Sill, which the Democrats howl is “a former internment camp” used to house migrants, was also used by the Obama administration to house overflows of illegal immigrants in 2014. And yes, families were separated under President Obama, too.

Democrats, it seems, think it’s completely fine to ignore such “atrocities” when a Democrat is in the White House, but expect everyone to defer to their moral leadership when it’s a Republican.

The WayBack Machine (Which Is Only Five or Ten Years Ago)
In a moment that crystallizes just how far the Democrats have come on illegal immigration, 10 of the 20 Democratic candidates were asked on Thursday night if crossing the border should be de-criminalized, and all of them raised their hands. There was an equally unanimous response to the question of whether or not illegal immigrants would be covered by the candidates’ taxpayer funded health plans.

Contrast this to just 10 years ago, when President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to assuage bipartisan concerns that Obamacare—then still a proposal—would use taxpayer funds to cover illegal immigrants.

Or just five years ago, when President Obama declared a “humanitarian crisis” at the border, with far fewer crossers, and no one called it out as “fake.” Moreover, not a single Democrat raised issue with Obama’s language about deportation orders as a means of deterring families from coming:

The journey is unbelievably dangerous for these kids. The children who are fortunate enough to survive it will be taken care of while they go through the legal process, but in most cases that process will lead to them being sent back home. I’ve sent a clear message to parents in these countries not to put their kids through this . . . With our international partners, we’re taking new steps to go after the dangerous smugglers who are putting thousands of children’s lives at risk.

On both debate stages this week, there was no discussion of border security, or enforcement. Just talk of pathways to citizenship, decriminalizing border crossings, and legalizing DACA recipients. And though several candidates raised the gut-wrenching photo of migrants who recently drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, none of the candidates were questioned on how their policies would actually spur more immigrants to undertake risky border crossings, rather than solving long-term problems.

There was also zero discussion, or even questions, about legal immigration reform—despite the White House putting forward a detailed proposal. The Democratic Party, it seems, has stopped making the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, counting both in the same category.

It’s a distinction that just 10 or 12 years ago, this party was able to make. Consider these statements from Democratic Party leaders.

From Hillary Clinton, in 2014:

We have to send a clear message that just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay . . . We need to do more to provide border security in southern Mexico. They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adult in their families are because there are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back, but I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families.

From Bernie Sanders in 2007:

I believe we have very serious immigration problems in this country, I think as you’ve heard today, sanctions against employers who hire illegal is virtually non-existent. Our border is very porous . . .

From Nancy Pelosi in 2016:

The action the president [Obama] will take this week are about securing the border, holding undocumented immigrants accountable, and again, by making sure that everyone plays by the rules.

From Chuck Schumer in 2009:

When we use phrases like undocumented workers, we convey a message to the American people that their government is not serious about combating illegal immigration- which the American people overwhelmingly oppose. If you don’t think it’s illegal, you’re not going to say it. I think it is illegal and wrong and we have to change it. Above all else, the American people want their government to be serious about protecting the public, enforcing the rule of law, and creating a rational system of legal immigration that will proactively fit our needs rather than reactively responding to future waves of illegal immigration. People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who enter the U.S. legally.

In just a few short years, Democrats have embraced the open borders policies that used to make a large portion of the party uneasy. It appears that on immigration the choice for voters will be between one of sovereign enforcement, or utter lawlessness.

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2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Post

Why Wasn’t Everyone Looking for Hillary’s Missing Emails?

Just like in 2016, President Trump appears ready to make Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails an election issue in 2020.

“Just compare how they came after us for three years, with everything they have, versus the free pass they gave to Hillary and her aides after they set up an illegal server, destroyed evidence, deleted and acid-washed 33,000 emails, exposed classified information,” Trump told a raucous crowd in Orlando on  Tuesday night. “Thirty-three thousand emails! But let’s see what happens.”

Even if the media and Democrats are poised to dismiss the missing cache as old news, Trump sure isn’t. Perhaps his renewed attention to the scandal will jigger long-dormant curiosity for why Clinton continues to escape any responsibility for erasing thousands of emails that the public, federal officials, and investigators have never seen.

The Media’s Dumb Play
One of the weirdest attacks against President Trump, going back to 2016, asserts that he asked the Russians to help find the thousands of emails Hillary Clinton deleted from her personal server the month before she announced her candidacy for president.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said during an event in July 2016. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Most rational people interpreted Trump’s gibe as a backhanded swipe at his presidential opponent’s misdeeds, but others—to this day—insist his comment represented a public plea for Russia to interfere in the election. Among the few people paying close attention—particularly former intelligence officials—there was a genuine concern that a foreign power (maybe Russia, maybe China, maybe North Korea, or maybe just about anyone employing halfway decent computer hackers) could have compromised Clinton’s private email server, which we know contained classified information.

But the press played the story differently.

“Trump’s call was another bizarre moment in the mystery of whether Vladimir V. Putin’s government has been seeking to influence the United States’ presidential race,” the New York Times warned on July 28, 2016.

But the accusation, not Trump’s comment, is what’s bizarre.

The accusation suggests that if Clinton’s contraband communications—emails she claimed were non-work related—had been unearthed before the election, the trove could have influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. But how could that be if Clinton was telling the truth? This should have raised suspicions that Clinton’s deleted emails involved questions that risked implicating her in deeper scandals just months before Election Day. (Talk about interference!)

Instead, the media immediately criminalized any attempt to locate the emails that Clinton’s aides erased from her server—that is correspondence she sent and received during her tenure as secretary of state. Never mind that the files were material to pending lawsuits and an ongoing congressional investigation.

Former FBI Director James Comey claims his agency went so far as to open up a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign in July 2016 after an aide allegedly told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of her deleted documents. (That ruse is now under scrutiny as a potential set-up.)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report even outlined attempts by the Trump campaign to find the files that Clinton deleted from her personal server, as if the pursuit represented some nefarious plot to collude with the Kremlin.

The subject again was raised during last week’s interview between the president and ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. “She deleted 33,000 emails from—sent by the United States Congress,” Trump reminded the former Clinton confidante in the Oval Office. “They gave a subpoena to Hillary Clinton for 33,000 emails. After the subpoena was gotten, she deleted them. That’s called obstruction.” Stephanopoulos attempted to brush off the accusations against the wife of his one-time boss by insisting the matter already had “been investigated.”

Trump, however, is correct; Clinton’s missing emails were evidence at the time in both a congressional investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack and several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. Her family’s nonprofit, the Clinton Foundation, was under increasing scrutiny from both the FBI and Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group. The State Department’s inspector general in 2014 asked four previous secretaries of state—including Clinton—for any emails sent from a private account during their tenure in order to comply with the Federal Records Act.

But Clinton, claiming the emails were of a personal nature, including dish about yoga classes and her daughter’s wedding, authorized the permanent removal of tens of thousands of pages of potential evidence and federal records. To make sure that “even God can’t read them,” as former Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) mocked in August 2016, Clinton’s aides installed a special software program that blocked the retrieval of the documents. FBI investigators failed to locate Clinton’s 13 mobile devices and two iPads that might have contained the missing correspondence; her aides admitted to “breaking [her old BlackBerries] in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

Which raises two questions: Why wasn’t everyone, including the FBI, looking for her missing emails? And why did it become a crime to attempt to recover evidence that had been destroyed by the subject of ongoing investigations?

Everyone Should Have Been Looking
While her mishandling of classified information remains the biggest injustice of the Clinton email scandal, the willful destruction of more than half of the 60,000 emails archived on her private, illicit server also remains an overlooked crime for which no one has been held accountable.

Anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation,” is guilty of obstruction of justice, an offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

According to the final report on the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, a few weeks after the House Select Committee on Benghazi subpoenaed Clinton’s emails in March 2015, Clinton’s email archive was permanently deleted from her server. A private contractor then installed BleachBit, the program that would prevent the recovery of any deleted records. (In a March 10, 2015 press conference, Clinton erroneously claimed the emails had been deleted before receiving the subpoena.)

The following month, Clinton announced her candidacy for president. In July 2015, Comey’s FBI opened an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server; the media lost interest—until Comey announced the conclusion of the so-called Mid-Year Exam one year later. The FBI apparently had little interest in determining whether Clinton destroyed evidence, since the investigation primarily addressed her handling of classified documents. Comey did mention the missing emails in his public statement, however.

“It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all emails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery,” Comey admitted on July 5, 2016.

Hey, no big deal. Why bother tracking down evidence or holding accountable those who intentionally destroyed evidence when you’re trying to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page, right?

To date, according to Judicial Watch—the only entity still interested in pursuing the deleted files—the FBI only has recovered about 5,000 of the 33,000 emails that Team Clinton obliterated from cyberspace.

And although Judicial Watch is scoring wins in court to slowly expose the corruption and, yes, obstruction of justice related to Clinton’s email server, news organizations continue to ignore the subject for the same reasons the media continue to ignore or, worse, justify FISA-gate: Both scandals ultimately lead to Barack Obama.

“The Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in April after recent testimony by a former top FBI official confirmed the findings. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated—Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.”

While Democrats and their accomplices in the media daily shriek that Trump is upending democratic norms and the rule of law, each day offers a new reminder of how the previous administration trashed every legal, political and administrative boundary that once guided fair play. Trump should keep raising this galling contradiction—and force his eventual Democratic presidential opponent to answer for it.

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2016 Election • Administrative State • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Intelligence Community • Law and Order • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post • The Constitution

Colluders, Obstructionists, Leakers, and Other Projectionists

Before the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the idea that the Russians or anyone else could warp or tamper with our elections in any serious manner was laughed off by President Obama. “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections,” Obama said in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

Obama was anxious that the sure-to-be-sore-loser Trump would not blame his defeat on voting impropriety in a fashion that might call into question Clinton’s victory. After Clinton’s stunning defeat, Russian “collusion”—thanks initially to efforts by Obama holdover Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to go after Michael Flynn and the successful attempts of the CIA and FBI to seed the bogus Steele dossier among the government elite—became a club to destroy the incoming Trump Administration.

Colluders, Inc.
How ironic that Russian “collusion” was used as a preemptive charge from those who actually had colluded with Russians for all sorts for financial and careerist advantages.

The entire so-called Uranium One caper had hinged on ex-President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their Clinton Foundation uniting with Russian or Russian-affiliated oligarchs to ease restrictions on the sale of North American uranium reserves to a Russian company with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Coincidentally what followed were massive donations from concerned Russian parties to the foundation, as well as a $500,000 honorarium to Bill Clinton for a brief Moscow speech. Note that no more money has been forthcoming from Russia to either of the Clintons or their foundation.

Had Donald Trump been caught, as President Obama was in Seoul in March 2012, on a hot mic assuring the Russians that he would be more flexible with Russia after the 2012 election (“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solvedbut it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space”) he would likely now be facing real impeachment charges.

Imagine the cries of outrage from Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had Trump inadvertently blurted out to the world that he was willing to warp U.S. security interests to fit his own reelection agenda. (Remember: “This is my last election . . . After my election, I have more flexibility.”) Such a stealthy quid pro quo certainly would have been the crown jewel of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The locus classicus of Russian collusion, however, is Hillary Clinton’s effort in 2016. The facts are not in dispute. Using the three firewalls of the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign paid a foreign national, British subject Christopher Steele, to compile a smear dossier against Clinton’s then-opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Steele then bought Russian and Russian-related sources to produce supposed dirt on Trump. None of these Russian-generated smears would ever be verified. In fact, almost immediately most slurs proved to be outright lies and completely made up in their details—if not the stuff of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Nonetheless, Steele seeded his contracted dirt during the 2016 election, and later during the Trump transition and presidency, among the highest Obama Administration officials at the Justice Department, FBI, and CIA. After more than three years of ex-Obama officials’ obfuscation, stonewalling, and chronic lying, we now know Clinton used Russian fake sources both to generate damaging anti-Trump media stories and to prompt government investigations designed to hamstring his governance. Again, if there is such a thing as “Russian collusion,” then Hillary Clinton is its font.

Obstructors of Justice
Mueller spent more than $34 million and wrote over 440 pages to inform the American people that Trump could not realistically be indicted for obstructing justice, mostly because the underlying crime—“collusion”— never existed in the first place. Moreover, Mueller and other officials were never actually hampered in their investigations. No matter: “obstruction” was supposedly the key to destroying the Trump Administration after collusion imploded. To this day it remains the battle cry of the impeach-Trump Left.

But what exactly would real obstruction of justice look like it? It might be a deliberate effort by government officials to mislead and impede the proper conduct of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in an effort to spy on an American citizen deemed useful in proving “collusion.”

That is, James Comey, Sally Yates and others signed FISA requests when they knew, but did not dare disclose to the court, that their sources of evidence—the Steele dossier and news accounts in circular fashion based on it—were unverified, products of Hillary Clinton’s bought oppositional research, and written by a contractor at the time fired by the FBI for unprofessional conduct.

Had Comey simply told the court that Clinton had paid for his evidence, that the Yahoo News account was not independent but based on the dossier, that he had fired Steele as an FBI collaborator, and that nothing in the dossier had been verified, then the court never would have granted him permission to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. In other words, top FBI and Justice Department officials deliberately obstructed and essentially destroyed the normal protocols necessary to protect the sanctity of legal surveillance, during the election, the Trump transition, and the early Trump presidency.

Or maybe obstruction would be defined as the efforts of a recused attorney general like Loretta Lynch, who had stepped aside from the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails, to have met secretly on an airport tarmac with the spouse of the target of her department’s investigation.

Or would obstruction be classified as Lynch supposedly ordering the FBI not even to use the word “investigation” when it was investigating Clinton? Or would obstruction constitute deliberately destroying more than 30,000 emails under subpoena, in the fashion that Clinton ordered her aides to “bleach bit” her correspondence and destroy mobile communication devices?

Or would obstruction be classified as deleting emails germane to an investigation of the collusion scam in the fashion of Nellie Ohr erasing emails received from her husband’s government email account, or perhaps in the manner of Mueller team staffers who wiped clean the mobile phones of the fired Lisa Page and Peter Strzok?

Or would obstruction characterize the brag of the anonymous New York Times guest editorialist? He preened in a September 5, 2018 column that he was an unnamed high administration official and NeverTrump Republican who, along with like-minded “resistance” leaders, was trying his best to disrupt his own president’s governance. What would anonymous’s obstruction entail—deliberately ignoring legal mandates? Failing to follow new federal guidelines? Trying to subvert nominations? Illegally leaking to the press? Obstructing anything he did not like, whether in legal or illegal fashion?

Logan Acting
The pathetic attempt to invoke the ossified Logan Act—with two indictments and no convictions in the law’s 220-year history—by Sally Yates likely fueled much of the Trump collusion investigations, well before Mueller’s misadventure.

Yates testified before Congress that her theory of supposed violations of the Logan Act prompted her own request for FBI interviews with Michael Flynn. Trump’s first national security advisor had purportedly dared to talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador during the Trump transition in the days before Obama left office. In other words, Obama officials believed there really was a viable Logan Act, or at least the façade of one that could be deemed useful to destroy a political opponent.

But for the sake of argument, assume it is unwise to allow any private citizen to subvert government foreign policy. What then would be a classical definition of a Logan Act violation?

Perhaps the ongoing efforts of former Secretary of State John Kerry fit the bill. During the lead-up to the Trump’s Administration’s cancelation of the Iran deal and in its aftermath, private citizen Kerry met with high Iranian officials and purportedly advised them how to obstruct or at least survive the ramifications of Trump’s new Iranian policies.

In spring 2018, Kerry’s sought out meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Norway, Germany, and perhaps as well at United Nations headquarters in New York. He purportedly discussed ways to preserve the spirit of the prior Iran deal negotiated by the two—an agreement which was no longer official U.S. policy and had just been canceled by Trump.

In other words, the ex-secretary of state and, again, now private citizen Kerry met secretly with an Iranian foreign minister to brainstorm about how the elements of their deal might survive his own country’s current policies. Note that Senator Dianne Feinstein likewise just met with Zarif, a sort of copycat performance of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2007 meeting with the murderous Bashar al-Assad, who at the time was doing all he could to help Iran spike American deaths in Iraq.

If Kerry’s machinations were deemed grey violations of the Logan Act, how about the more overt recent efforts of another former State Department official Susan Thornton? Here is what she boasted about recently in Shanghai to an audience of Chinese analysts and academics:

I tell all our foreign counterparts they should keep steady, keep their heads down and wait. [They should] try to not let anything change dramatically . . . If this skeptical attitude towards talking diplomacy continues in this administration, you might have to wait till another administration . . . 

Thornton seems to be advising the likely veneer of the Chinese apparat and government to stall out the Trump Administration and thus wait to find a more familiar and compliant America that would follow past protocols. That advice might be taken to mean she is advising them to stonewall her current American president and find better ways to facilitate the accustomed serial Chinese patent and copyright infringement, dumping, currency manipulation, technological appropriation, massive trade and account surpluses, and imperialist initiatives in the South China Sea.

When Thornton crows, “I tell all our foreign counterparts” she seems to assume that she is playing the role of omnipotent shadow State Department grandee, whose message is geared to assist almost any power other than her own government.

Thornton’s advice is old news. It is simply a more muscular version of former Obama Pentagon official Rosa Brooks’ June 30, 2017 reassurance to the nation and the world (“3 Ways to Get Rid of President Trump Before 2020”) about how  best to depose the just inaugurated U.S. president without having to wait for a constitutionally mandated election in four years.  

After just a week of Trump in office, Brooks had concluded Trump had to go. Her blueprint for his forced retirement was in an apparent answer to “the question being asked around the globe” (note how our would-be best and brightest always boast of having their hands on the pulse of the like-minded global elite).

Presumably Brooks would reassure her foreign friends and kindred Democrats at home that Trump most certainly could be stopped after just a few days in office—if only the right people began the right adoption of her tripartite strategy of either impeachment, removal under the 25th Amendment, or an outright military coup (e.g., “The fourth possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”)

The revolutionary Brooks could sum up Trump after a few days in office as a likely target of a military plot (one far more likely to have been successful than Andrew McCabe’s later comical 25th Amendment effort to record Trump secretly and then convince the Cabinet of his mental derangement). Brooks ended her scenarios with a triumphant approval of the idea of a revolutionary coup d’étatnever before seen in our history: “For the first time in my life, I can imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: ‘No, sir. We’re not doing that,’ to thunderous applause from the New York Times editorial board.”

Noble Dangerous Leaking
Lately, House impeachment hounds Nadler and Schiff have whined that Trump’s effort to declassify government intelligence records concerning the collusion scheme poses a grave threat to national security. In other words, the chronic leakers who recently demanded an unredacted Mueller report and serially leak supposed impending “bombshells,” suddenly have become anti-leakers and pro-redactors. The only common denominator in their chameleonism is Trump hatred.

But what would dangerous and illegal leaking consist of?

James Comey leaking to media conduits classified, private-one-on-one presidential conversations to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor?

Andrew McCabe feeding the media self-serving hoaxes about collusion?

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seeding to CNN the private Comey briefing with President Trump—and then deploring such illegal leaks, as he leveraged that scoop to land himself a future CNN analyst billet?

FBI sources planting stories of pre-election “collusion” with Yahoo and Mother Jones?

Or how about leaks to tip off the media about the timing Roger Stone arrest? Or periodic Mueller team “walls are closing in” and “noose is tightening” leak-lies to the obsequious media?

What have we learned about the Left’s moralistic talk of Trump’s supposed collusion, obstruction, Logan Act violations, and leaking?

One, that these are all projections of real resistance behavior. The zeal to remove Trump by any means necessary justified colluding with Russians, obstructing justice, undermining his administration abroad, and chronic leaking.

Two, these deep-state and media elites are narcissistically delusional. So inured are they to deference that they really believed they should have the power, indeed the right, to subvert democracy, to overturn a U.S. election on the justification that the wrong voters had voted for the incorrect candidate and both needed to be corrected by the right people. All that is why the last 28 months have been both scary and dangerous.

Real coups against democracies rarely are pulled off by jack-booted thugs in sunglasses or fanatical mobs storming the presidential palace. More often, they are the insidious work of supercilious bureaucrats, bought intellectuals, toady journalists, and political activists who falsely project that their target might at some future date do precisely what they are currently planning and doing—and that they are noble patriots, risking their lives, careers, and reputations for all of us, and thus must strike first.

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2016 Election • America • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Obama • Post

Why Did Obama Allow Comey to Brief Trump on the Russian Prostitute Story?


We are three years into the biggest political scandal in American history and former President Barack Obama has yet to be asked about his role in orchestrating the international subterfuge that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin to rig the 2016 presidential election.

Not one journalist has posed a single question to Obama about what officials in his White House knew—or when they knew it—despite multiple ongoing investigations by the Justice Department and on Capitol Hill. The more than decade-long media swoon for the 44th president continues unabated.

But Attorney General William Barr might do the work that the news media refuses to do.

In an interview with Fox News host Bill Hemmer on Friday, Barr indicated his office is looking into “some very strange developments” that occurred between the election and Inauguration Day.

One of these events, Barr told Hemmer, was the meeting on January 6, 2017 between President-elect Trump, his transition team, and Obama’s top intelligence chiefs, including former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.

One question that Barr and his team should press is why did President Obama, in a meeting the day before, apparently give his blessing for the FBI director to warn the incoming president about the most outlandish accusation contained in the Steele dossier, one that remains unproven to this day. And it could lead to more questions about the handling of the dossier in the Obama White House weeks before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

On January 5, 2017, Comey and Clapper met with Obama and his senior team—including National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Vice President Joe Biden and deputy Attorney General Sally Yates—in the Oval Office. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to review the newly drafted intelligence community report that claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 election to “denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electibility and potential presidency.” The assessment also concluded that Putin had a “clear preference” for Trump.

But another agenda was in the works: Concocting the plan to tell Trump the following day that the Russians had proof he engaged in perverse sexual behavior while visiting that country a few years prior.

The “salacious” material, as Comey would later call it, makes up a good chunk of the first installment of the Steele dossier, a collection of unsubstantiated allegations produced by Christopher Steele, a political operative paid by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to smear Donald Trump. (Here it’s important to note that Obama’s political action committee paid Perkins Coie, the law firm that was used as a pass-through for Fusion GPS’ opposition research, nearly $800,000 in 2016.)

As Comey explained in a December 2018 interview with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, Clapper told Obama about their plan to present the juicy news to Trump on January 6 at Trump Tower in New York. “There’s some additional material that is of a difficult nature and we’ve decided that we have to brief the incoming president about it,” Clapper told Obama, according to Comey. “It involves sexual allegations, an allegation he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow, that images of that were captured by the Russians so they’d be in a position to coerce the new president and we think we have to tell the incoming president.”

Clapper was referencing Steele’s wild claim that the Russians had “kompromat,” or compromising material, that could be used to extort Trump. Steele alleged that Trump had rented a suite at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton in 2013 and hired “prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him,” and that recordings of the kinkiness were in the hands of the Russians.

When Obama asked who would tell Trump about the so-called “pee tape,” Clapper pointed to Comey and said, “Jim is gonna do it.”

President Obama then turned to Comey and reportedly raised and lowered both eyebrows, “like a Groucho Marx thing.” Comey said he then “heard in his head, ‘you poor bastard.’” (Comey hears lots of imaginary conversations in his head.) Comey also describes this interaction, although somewhat differently, in his book.

Now think about this. At that time, the United States faced real security threats from around the world, including Iran and North Korea, and the war in Syria was causing an international refugee crisis. ISIS-linked terrorists had just murdered a dozen people at a Christmas festival in Berlin; Comey’s agency had issued a warning a few days before Christmas about possible ISIS terrorist attacks on American churches.

Further, Comey’s FBI had been investigating four of Trump’s campaign associates—including his incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn—since the previous summer amid suspicions they were conspiring with Russia to throw the election to Trump.

But instead of Obama’s team discussing how to prep the incoming president on any of these matters and acting in the best interest of the country, they plotted how Comey could intentionally rattle Trump with a preposterous charge of sexual deviancy made by a British operative who had been hired by Trump’s political enemies.

And “No Drama Obama” let him.

Comey’s—and perhaps Obama’s—mission would soon be accomplished. Details of that meeting were immediately leaked to CNN, which aired an explosive story on January 10, 2017 that top intelligence officials warned the president-elect that “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information” about Trump. (Barr also said in the Fox News interview that he is investigating leaks to the media related to the briefing.)

Why did the sitting president give the green light to his FBI director to alarm the incoming president with bogus tales of Russian prostitutes and golden showers? After all, this had nothing to do with a pending investigation or a legitimate national security threat. (This could also pose a legal problem for Susan Rice. In a February 2018 letter to Congress, Rice’s lawyer said, “there was no discussion of Christopher Steele or the Steele dossier” in that meeting.)

So, why didn’t Obama stop Comey?

Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, might have revealed the reason in a press briefing the day after the CNN story aired and BuzzFeed posted the dossier in full.

“The president-elect and his team are suggesting that the accusations that are being made are totally unfounded, that there’s no basis for them,” Earnest told the White House press corps on January 11, 2017. “This president has been in a situation in which he has been criticized in an utterly false, baseless way. And I’m, of course, referring to the president’s birthplace. There were a wide variety of the president’s critics who were suggesting and propagating conspiracy theories that somehow the president wasn’t born in the United States.”

Trump was a prolific peddler of the claim that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Is there a possibility that the January 6, 2017 ambush by Comey was Obama’s revenge for Trump’s “birther” comments? Is there a possibility that the entire Trump-Russia election collusion hoax was meant as payback for Trump? Will any journalists bother to ask?

Probably not. But it appears that William Barr, thankfully, just might.

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2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post • Russia

Was Sergey Kislyak Part of the Russian Collusion Hoax?

If the Trump-Russia election collusion hoax was a movie, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak would have a starring role.
From Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ fateful recusal to National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation to the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s firing, the former Russian diplomat made more than just a few consequential appearances. The question is, were these incidental cameos or was Kislyak following a script written for him by the collusion fraudsters?

As Senate Republicans threaten to excavate the origins of the corrupt investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, they might want to take a closer look at how Kislyak helped shape the bogus Russian collusion plotline.

Kislyak appears 55 times in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent report. Alleged spy Maria Butina, sentenced last month to 18 months in federal prison for one count of conspiracy, met with Kislyak numerous times in 2015 and 2016 and promised to “collect the contact information of prominent conservatives” for him. He has openly bragged about his numerous contacts with Trump associates.

But it’s Kislyak’s relationship with the Obama Administration that should raise suspicions that his interactions with Trump campaign aides before and after the election were intentional, designed to help fuel the phony collusion narrative.

According to visitor logs, Kislyak visited the Obama White House nearly two dozen times, including at least twice in October 2016. He met with National Security Advisor Susan Rice in the White House on October 7, 2016, the same day intelligence officials issued the warning about Russian election interference. Kislyak was there allegedly to receive a harshly worded message to Vladimir Putin about the meddling efforts.

McFaul Guy

In another meeting on October 14, 2016, Kislyak ran into his former counterpart, Michael McFaul, who had served as U.S. Ambassador to Russia for two years under President Obama. McFaul is an Obama confidante and was sworn-in as ambassador by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January 2012: He also is a vocal Trump foe and collusion conspiracy theorist. (More questions: Why was McFaul at the White House on October 14, 2016, when he no longer worked there? Further, why was Kislyak, the representative of our alleged biggest geopolitical foe trying to crash our election, at the White House again?)

McFaul and Kislyak are close. A few weeks after the 2016 presidential election, McFaul lavished effusive praise on the diplomat whose country supposedly had just attacked America’s election, threatening the very foundation of our democracy and whatnot.

During an event at Stanford University on November 30, 2016, McFaul gushed that Kislyak’s job “is to represent his country here and I think he does it fantastically well.” McFaul repeatedly bragged about his relationship with the Kremlin’s diplomat. “He was a tremendous friend and colleague to me when I served in the government. I really value what you helped me do as a government official and what you did for me as a friend,” he said to Kislyak.

It was an odd and oddly timed tribute to the representative of a nation that villainously unleashed social media bots to throw the presidential election to Donald Trump—especially since Kislyak’s boss purportedly stole the election from the woman McFaul worked for at the State Department in an embarrassing rebuke of his friend, Barack Obama.

But perhaps McFaul spared any outrage for his Russian pal because Sergey Kislyak had helped Obama and Clinton loyalists manufacture one of the greatest political hoaxes of all time.

Kislyak solicited meetings with Team Trump beginning in April 2016, when he attended Trump’s foreign policy speech in Washington, D.C. It was the first time, according to the Mueller report, that Kislyak met Trump; he also had brief exchanges with Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner. Later that day, McFaul oddly tweeted, “Did Russian ambassador Kislyak attend opposition campaign event today? #doublestandards.”

In July 2016, Kislyak attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he interacted with Sessions and campaign aides Carter Page and J.D. Gordon. “Ambassador Kislyak continued his efforts to interact with Campaign officials with responsibility for the foreign-policy portfolio—among them Sessions and Gordon—in the weeks after the convention,” the Mueller report stated.

Gordon, perhaps smelling a rat, rejected one overture by Kislyak in August 2016, declining his invitation for lunch at the official Russian residence in D.C. The next month, Kislyak’s office contacted then-Senator Jeff Sessions, a member of Trump’s campaign committee, requesting a meeting. Sessions and Kislyak met in Sessions’ Senate office on September 8, 2016.

Suspicious Contacts

After the election, Kislyak contacted Jared Kushner, who agreed to meet with the diplomat on November 30, 2016. (Michael Flynn also attended the meeting.) According to the Mueller report, Kislyak offered to have Russian generals brief the transition team. (LOL.)

In December 2016, Kislyak continued to pursue more meetings with Trump’s son-in-law. “Kushner declined several proposed meeting dates, but Kushner’s assistant indicated that Kislyak was very insistent about securing a second meeting,” the special counsel wrote. The Russian ambassador also was insistent about wanting “Kushner to meet someone who had a direct line to Putin.” Totally not sketchy. At all.

Despite the fact the brief interactions and communications had nothing to do with a coordinated effort between the campaign and the Kremlin to influence the election, Kislyak’s outreach resulted in explosive news coverage in early 2017 to seed the collusion plotline. McFaul (unconvincingly) tweeted on March 31, 2016, “Never dreamed my former colleague Sergey Kislyak would become so famous,” with a link to a Washington Post article detailing Team Trump’s contact with his Russian pal.

Congressional Democrats pounced. “Ambassador Kislyak . . . also attends the Republican Party convention and meets with Carter Page and additional Trump advisors,” Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said during a March 2017 hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. “Ambassador Kislyak also met with National Campaign committee chair and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

(Earlier that month, based on a recommendation by Justice Department staff, Sessions had recused himself from any matters related to the investigation into the Trump campaign due to his pre-election interactions with Kislyak and alleged attempts to cover-up the meetings.)

A May 2017 Washington Post article claimed Kislyak told Moscow that it was Kushner, not him, who was seeking a “secret communications channel” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Unsolved Mysteries

But it was Kislyak’s role in the Michael Flynn debacle that is the most suspicious and caused the greatest personal and professional damage to Trump’s short-lived national security advisor. The envoy reached out numerous times to Flynn during the transition, including the night before the Obama administration would announce weak sanctions against Moscow for election meddling on December 28, 2016. The subject of those calls, including how the Kremlin would respond to the sanctions, eventually landed Flynn in legal trouble.

Sally Yates, the acting attorney general for 10 days and a Trump-hating partisan, told the White House shortly after the inauguration that Flynn was in violation of the never-enforced Logan Act for attempting to undermine U.S. foreign policy. When that tactic didn’t work, several officials illegally leaked details about Flynn’s calls with Kislyak to the media and suggested Flynn lied to the public about what had been discussed.

Flynn resigned in February 2017 amid pressure by the Trump White House and later pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators about the Kislyak calls.

And there is another odd angle to the Kislyak mystery that still is unresolved. The ambassador apparently received a $120,000 payment 10 days after the 2016 election. “Employees at Citibank raised an alarm about the transaction because it didn’t fit with prior payroll patterns and because he immediately split the money in half, sending it by two wire transfers to a separate account he maintained in Russia,” BuzzFeed reported in January 2018. It’s unclear whether this payment remains is under investigation by Congress or the FBI.

It will take months, maybe years, to fully vet all of the information contained in the Mueller report and give renewed scrutiny to the key players in the saga. But Kislyak’s central role, coupled with his close ties to the Obama White House, requires more immediate attention.

If the Russian ambassador to the United States was indeed acting at the direction of American political operatives to infiltrate a rival presidential campaign, influence a presidential election and taint an incoming administration, we can add yet another example of norm-breaking behavior to the long list of malfeasance and misconduct related to the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

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Administrative State • Deep State • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Post

Clinton Projection Syndrome

Hillary Clinton recently editorialized about the second volume of special counsel Robert Mueller’s massive report. She concluded of the report’s assorted testimonies and inside White House gossip concerning President Trump’s words and actions that “any other person engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted.”

Psychologists might call her claims “projection.” That is the well-known psychological malady of attributing bad behavior to others as a means of exonerating one’s own similar, if not often even worse, sins.

After 22 months of investigation and $34 million spent, the Mueller report concluded that there was no Trump-Russia collusion—the main focus of the investigation—even though that unfounded allegation dominated print and televised media’s speculative headlines for the last two years.

While Mueller’s report addressed various allegations of Trump’s other roguery, the special counsel did not recommend that the president be indicted for obstruction of justice in what Mueller had just concluded was not a crime of collusion.

What Mueller strangely did do—and what most federal prosecutors do not do—was cite all the allegedly questionable behavior of a target who has just been de facto exonerated by not being indicted.

What Mueller did not do was explain that much of the evidence he found useful was clearly a product of unethical and illegal behavior. In the case of the false charge of “collusion,” the irony was rich.

Russians likely fed salacious but untrue allegations about Trump to ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who was being paid in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to find dirt on Trump.

The Russians rightly assumed that Steele would lap up their fantasies, seed them among Trump-hating officials in the Barack Obama administration and thereby cause hysteria during the election, the transition and, eventually, the Trump presidency.

Russia succeeded in sowing such chaos, thanks ultimately to Clinton, who likely had broken federal laws by using a British national and, by extension, Russian sources to warp an election. Without the fallacious Steele dossier, the entire Russian collusion hoax never would have taken off.

Without Steele’s skullduggery, there likely would have been no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court-approved surveillance of Trump aide Carter Page. There might have been no FBI plants inserted into the Trump campaign. There might have been no subsequent leaking to the press of classified documents to prompt a Trump collusion investigation.

Given the Steele travesty and other past scandals, it is inexplicable that Clinton has not been indicted.

Her lawlessness first made headlines 25 years ago, when she admitted that her cattle futures broker had defied odds of one in 31 trillion by investing $1,000 from her trading account and returning a profit of nearly $100,000. Clinton failed to report about $6,500 in profits to the IRS. She initially lied about her investment windfall by claiming she made the wagers herself. She even fantastically alleged that she mastered cattle futures trading by reading financial newspapers.

To paraphrase Clinton herself, anyone else would have been indicted for far less.

The reason that foreign oligarchs are no longer donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and that Bill Clinton is not being offered $500,000 for speaking appearances in Moscow, is simply because Hillary Clinton is not secretary of state. She is no longer in a public position to hector her colleagues into approving pro-Russian commercial deals, such as the one that gave Russian interests access to North American uranium.

As secretary of state, Clinton also sidestepped the law by setting up a home-brewed email server. She transmitted classified documents over this insecure route and lied about it. And she destroyed some 30,000 emails that were in effect under subpoena. Anyone else would have been indicted for far less.

In truth, Clinton was at the heart of the entire Russian collusion hoax. Even after the election, she kept fueling it to blame Russia-Trump conspiracies for her stunning defeat in 2016. Unable to acknowledge her own culpability as a weak and uninspiring candidate, Clinton formally joined the post-election “resistance” and began whining about collusion. That excuse seemed preferable to explaining why she blew a huge lead and lost despite favorable media coverage and superior funding.

For much of her professional life, Hillary Clinton had acted above and beyond the law on the assumption that as the wife of a governor, as first lady of the United States, as a senator from New York, as secretary of state and as a two-time candidate for the presidency, she could ignore the law without worry over the consequences.

For Clinton now to project that the president should be indicted suggests she is worried about her own potential indictment. And she is rightly concerned that for the first time in 40 years, neither she nor her husband is serving in government or running for some office, and therefore could be held accountable.

Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images


2016 Election • Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post

ObamaGate: No Misdemeanors, Only High Crimes

Do you sometimes feel like you are living in a Tim Burton movie?

Or an episode of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”?

It’s hard not to.

When an evening TV show host starts to tear up live on camera after she is forced admit that the Mueller report confirms that the president is not an agent of a foreign adversary, you have to ask: what is going on in America?

All the more so after a private Twitter user, who posted a video of the teary-eyed Rachel Maddow, was suspended by the social media platform. Why? Because she posted the close-up that clearly demonstrated that Maddow was overwrought. Suspended for posting the truth.

Or look instead at Anderson Cooper, CNN’s putative doyen, who can’t even garner 0.3 percent of the population as viewers for his “flagship” program, and who recently accused Jared Kushner of “gaslighting” the nation over Russia; in other words of making statements aimed at convincing the listeners that they are insane.

This from the network that has so stoked the flames of Russia conspiracy-mongering every day for two years, that they publish outlandish pieces on Robert Mueller’s sealing indictments against the president, and as Cooper’s fellow show host Chris Cuomo qualifies the president’s public statements as those made by a convict already wearing an “orange jumpsuit,” statements that are less gaslighting than full on tinfoil-hattery.

And why was Kushner so calumniated? What craziness was he trying to sell to America as fact? His “gaslighting” sin was to state early last week that the Mueller investigation and the rest of the related farrago had done more damage to our republic and democratic practices than the original illegal actions of Russian actors on Facebook. Yet, ironically, Kushner was lambasted all over the corporate leftist media as the majority of Americans actually agreed with the president’s senior advisor.

Of a dozen issues polled by Gallup, from immigration reform and healthcare to the environment and U.S. foreign policy, Russia’s meddling in our elections came in dead last among the concerns of the American people. Americans really do not see this as a serious threat, so they do not care. Or they see this and not a serious issue in comparison to, say, the crisis at the border.

The rational majority of Americans want to move on. To concentrate on important and real things. But we cannot move on as though nothing of significance has happened here. We must not.

This week, I was privileged to meet with my old boss, President Trump, for a mostly on-the-record meeting—the fruit of which will be part of my new book, The War for America’s Soul. During our discussion I reminded him how in the summer of 2017, when I was still serving as his strategist, we were alone in the Oval Office when out of blue he said to me: “They will find nothing, Sebastian, because there is nothing!”

Since then, the 45th President has been cleared twice by Congress, by a House and a Senate investigation, and now most recently by the $35 million Mueller report. There never was any collusion, as he has told me almost two years ago, and he can’t be charged for obstructing justice most obviously because, without an original predicated crime, there is nothing he logically could have obstructed from being uncovered.

But the reason we cannot simply “move on” is not because there are not better things for the president to worry about but because now we know that there is something about which all Americans should be gravely concerned.

It would be impossible to detail in this one article all of the things the Obama Administration did to subvert the Trump campaign through the use of the intelligence community (IC) for political ends. Moreover, we are only just beginning to chronicle of the depth and breadth of the corruption involved.

To date, the best and bravest analysis has been provided by a handful of writers and investigative journalists. They include Sara Carter, John Solomon, Catherine Herridge, Lee Smith, Julie Kelly, Gregg Jarrett, Kimberly Strassel, Chuck Ross, and Dan Bongino, with Bongino’s book Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump  being the most comprehensive work available on the scandal, and this video lecture being the best public summary.

Nevertheless, these are the key facts:

The CIA, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Obama White House were all involved in a series of codename operations (including “Crossfire Hurricane”)  that involved foreign governments, (Australia, Great Britain, and Italy), and their intelligence agencies, including the British equivalent of the National Security Agency, GCHQ, in targeted espionage against members of the Trump campaign.

At the same time, the FBI deployed multiple human assets with the brief to penetrate the Trump campaign and incite actual conspiracy with external Russian actors, a mission they failed to accomplish.

After the election in which Hillary Clinton lost to the rank outsider, Admiral Mike Rogers, the then-director of the NSA, warned President-elect Trump of these illegal and seditious operations without informing the outgoing president, or his immediate superior, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

But it didn’t stop there. The illegal espionage operations continued beyond the inauguration and were combined with a massive disinformation and cover-up operation run out of the Department of Justice.

After successfully convincing the new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, with a spurious argument that he had to recuse himself from all matters Russia, Obama Administration holdover Rod Rosenstein made Robert Mueller special counsel, ostensibly to investigate the new commander-in-chief, but simultaneously in charge of making sure that the true crimes of the previous two years were never uncovered.

And none of the above addresses the potentially even broader conspiracy under which the identities of hundreds Americans were compromised through the politically motivated unmasking of their names as they were caught up “accidentally” and “incidentally” in signals intelligence intercepts. By combining a truly unprecedented number of unmasking requests with the two-jump surveillance rule initiated by the Obama Administration, it is hard to imagine any politically active individual in America whose life couldn’t be laid bare at any point with no actual national security justification.

Then there is the most disturbing news of all.

It has been brought to my attention by a former CIA station chief of some prominence and who has a legendary reputation inside the community of pre-Brennan operators, that Hillary Clinton’s loss did not curtail the worst activities of the outgoing Obama team. In fact, through the use of a walled-off team of contractors working inside the Intelligence Community, and for political realms alone, with no FISA-authorization or other national security justification, the Trump White House was spied upon after the January 20 inauguration. (Those responsible for this on-going crime are known to more than one investigative journalist and I have been told that the first of the new revelations will be published in the coming week).

Simply put: the Obama Administration used the most powerful intelligence capabilities in the world to attempt a penetration and subversion of the presidential campaign of the the opposing party. When that failed, they used a special prosecutor to divert attention away from that activity, log-jam the work of the new president, and clean up the evidence of what had been done to him and his team. And most un-American of all: the former intelligence leadership of the Obama Administration continued to spy illegally on Donald Trump and his closest advisers after they had moved into the White House.

Many take offense at the way President Trump uses language, at his tweets and at what they see as his hyperbole. But this week when he called the operations against him and the will of the people who chose him, a “coup” and an “attempted overthrow” of the government, he was making a simple statement of fact. One that will soon make Watergate an irrelevance.

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America • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Featured Article • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Progressivism • The Left

The Adolescent Progressive Mind

One of the strangest things about the series of psychodramas that surround the ongoing effort to remove President Trump before the 2020 election is progressive schizophrenia. In teenage fashion, one moment a player in the Trump removal intrigue is deemed by the media-progressive nexus a demigod. The next moment, he’s a devil. It depends solely on his perceived sense of utility.

Robert Mueller, Saint to Sinner
When Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017 as special counsel to investigate alleged Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, he was practically canonized as a secular saint. The media was giddy over his “all stars” and “dream team” of almost all liberal lawyers who shortly would prove the supposedly obvious: sure winner Hillary Clinton lost only because the vile Trump conspired with Vladimir Putin to sabotage her campaign by leaking John Podesta’s emails.

As the Mueller investigation lumbered along over the last 22 months, the media periodically announced that their newfound hero had inside information, privileged but unnamed sources, and high-ranking anonymous officials who confirmed “the noose was tightening,” the “walls were closing in,” and “a bombshell” was about to go off. It was as if pre-teenagers had group-talked themselves into seeing witches and goblins.

Mueller was just about to ensure Trump’s impeachment, indictment, or voluntary exile. More direct leaks apprised us that Mueller supposedly was sealing Trump’s fate by flipping the alleged sell-out Michael Flynn. Or was it the dastardly Carter Page? Or perhaps the supposed wannabe George Papadopoulos was Trump’s true nemesis. Or again, maybe the deified Mueller had so leveraged Stormy Daniels, or Michael Cohen, or Roger Stone, or Jerome Corsi that Trump would all but confess and slink off into infamous oblivion.

How even to digest such a cornucopia of conspiracy fruit! We saw Mueller’s SWAT teams and perp walks, and worshiped new heroes like Michael Avenatti and Andrew Weissmann who would all frog march Trump out of the White House. Fossils from our Watergate past, like Carl Bernstein and John Dean, creaked back into the limelight to furrow their brows and grimace what Mueller would do to Trump soon in comparison would make Nixon’s scandals look like minor misdemeanors.

And then no collusion. Nada. After 400 pages, 22 months and $34 million, Trump, Mueller found, did not collude with the Russians.

Oh, Mueller in his “Volume II” threw every bit of gossip, hearsay, anti-Trump testimony, and innuendo to sort of, kind of, and maybe suggest that in theory or in the abstract Trump could have been indicted for obstruction (of a non-crime), but then he could have not been as well.

The result? Now the media ambushes Mueller at Easter church services, sticking a mike in his once-consecrated Lincolnesque face as he leaves church. Progressives mutter that he let them down, that he did not let pit bull Andrew Weissmann off his leash, that the dream team was too dreamy—in other words, that Mueller was a Republican after all, a sell-out, a Trump puppet. In other words, in the world of the 13-year-old, the once cool Mueller is now in the out-crowd.

Michael Avenatti, Street Fighter to Felon?
If suing in three states to overturn the election, if trying to warp electors in December 2016, if invoking the Logan Act, the Emoluments Clause, and the 25th Amendment, and if unleashing Mueller did not abort the Trump presidency, perhaps the problem was that progressives were not crass and crude enough.

So up stepped sleazy ambulance chaser Michael Avenatti, attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels. To keep Stormy from blabbing about a 2006 “encounter,” candidate Trump had paid her to sign a “non-disclosure” payment. Translated, that means when an embarrassment out of a politician’s distant past emerges, the first remedy is to pay off the blackmailer.

But the check of $130,000 to Stormy transpired when candidate Trump supposedly had no chance of ever being elected president. So after the election, she reemerged wanting far more publicity and money, now guided by the disreputable Avenatti to make wild charges and all sorts of conspiratorial threats.

Soon, her would-be Svengali—or was it rather a Rasputin?—was on cable news nonstop, promising to “take down” Trump with “explosive” charges from Stormy that were the keys to unlocking Trump’s supposedly corrupt empire—all a precursor for Avenatti’s presidential bid.

This nonsense was devoured by progressive media. Of course, this hubris only brought nemesis to the fly-by-night Avenatti. The same modus operandi he used to use Stormy had elsewhere been used to shake down corporations and defraud clients. Now the one-time cable news heartthrob faces several felony charges and is not just persona non grata in the progressive world but also has simply been deplatformed in the full Leon Trotsky airbrushing mode.

In short, for adolescent left-wingers, Avenatti is now so boring.

Brennan-Clapper, the No-Longer-Dynamic Duo
Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper became a beloved progressive duo to the extent that their names almost became a compound noun. And no wonder given their recent careers were joined at the hip.

Their past respective lying under oath to Congress, their previous incarnation as Bush-era “conservatives,” tough-guy, anti-terrorism fighters, and their dubious employment in the suspect intelligence services were all forgotten. Then, after leaving the Obama Administration, in which Brennan-Clapper had in deep-state fashion reinvented themselves from erstwhile pro-Bush, enhanced interrogation, anti-terrorism fighters into anti-Bush, pro-Obama multiculturalists and deep thinkers, they reappeared in a third manifestation as CNN and MSNBC bona fide Trump haters.

Daily we heard from the duo (who had once respectively assured us that jihad was essentially a personal growth odyssey and that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was largely secular) that Trump was a Russian asset and a veritable traitor.

By monetizing their security clearances and prior employment at the highest levels of the U.S. Intelligence Community, they fortified gossip and fantasies with an imprimatur of televised seriousness. Neither was shy about talking about “sources” and “inside” knowledge as they prognosticated Trump’s imminent downfall.

Then the Mueller report came out that there was no proof of the collusion that both Clapper and Brennan had insisted would soon be proved. Worse, information leaked that both had likely once again not been truthful in sworn testimony before Congress. Both seemed to have a lot of legal exposure concerning foreign informants, seeding the bogus Steele dossier, leaking classified information, and monitoring the Trump campaign.

Suddenly, no progressive laps up the latest speculation from John Brennan; no leftist cares what a desperate James Clapper spins next. They were not long ago both useful idiots predicting, with side glances and studied grimaces, the “bombshells” to come—as long as the charge of collusion was viable. When it dissipated, so did Clapper and Brennan.

Now each awaits possible criminal referrals, or at least months of further testimonies to congress and federal investigators about what did they know and when did they know it. For the Left, both are once again old Bush white guys, soon to be without a job or a platform. In sum, in teen-aged progressive-ese they are now very much not “woke” In fact, they’re even lame.

James Comey, Hero, Villain, Hero—Tiresome
James Comey as FBI director was once sanctified by progressives. While he dwelt a bit too much on Hillary Clinton’s unethical antics, he nonetheless exonerated candidate Clinton before he even interviewed her, and bowed to a “recused” attorney general’s directives of exemption.

Case closed: Comey was a hero who resisted right-wing hit teams.

Or did he? The unstable, triple-guessing careerist suddenly in the days before the election, replayed his Hamlet role by “reopening” the case against Hillary’s sloppy use of confidential State Department emails.

Comey was in, then out! The Left roared that Comey was a monster, a fake, and a fraud who, hand-in-glove with Trump and the Russians, was sandbagging Hillary’s campaign. Case once again closed?

But not quite. In 2017, the finger-in-the-air Comey had reinvented himself still again into “higher loyalty” Comey. The Left held its breath as Comey finagled to get into a position of destroying Trump.

When word leaked that Comey had investigated Trump, trafficked in the Steele dossier, and misled a FISA court, the Left recalibrated him as valuable asset. And when he was fired, then leaked to the press confidential and classified memos of conservations with Trump, and had been instrumental in staging the platform for Mueller’s appointment, the Left began to adore Comey. He was now the sacrificial victim of Trump’s dastardly venom—and no doubt would start producing smoking guns from the files of the FBI.

Better yet, Comey defiantly claimed amnesia when testifying to Congress. He lied nobly in saying the Steele dossier was not really the evidence that swayed the FISA court to grant surveillance of Carter Page. He gave interviews about the toxic, dangerous, obscene, crude, duplicitous, and conniving Trump who was destroying, obliterating and undermining his beloved FBI and indeed the country itself.

Was not James Comey talking truth to power? His bestselling book and tour seemed to suggest just that, as the last boy scout peddled A Higher Loyalty, an argument that administrative careerists like himself were above politics and, in high-minded fashion, serve only the American people. If the Left first saw the refashioned Comey now as beneficial, they soon would come to love his vitriol and claim him as downright adorable.

Or so it seemed. But soon Comey started to wear thin. There was no collusion. But there were lots of stories about Comey’s upcoming legal problems, concerning possible lying under oath, deluding a FISA judge, and improper use of federal surveillance. But most importantly, Comey was now fired and gone. His accusations had only a brief shelf-life and were already fading. Like his former deputy Andrew McCabe, Comey became just another fired apparatchik, bitter at the president who had dismissed him, and those responsible for taking him from the press conference spotlights.

So the Left no longer had a use for Comey in his retirement, as he descended into tweeting out shop-worn aphorisms and adages, illustrated by Thoreau-like nature snapshots. For the Left Comey turned out not so much a street-fighting leftist Buddha as an irrelevant blabbering Yoda.

The common denominator in progressive fluidity is not traditional worry about government surveillance of American citizens, unchecked government power, or the use of informants to spy on American citizens, but whether a bureaucrat can prove a temporarily useful idiot in the grand design of removing Donald J. Trump before the 2020 election.

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Big Media • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace • The Culture • The Left

Why Hillary and Obama Tweeted About ‘Easter Worshippers’

Sometimes, a few sentences tell you more about a person—and, more importantly, an ideology—than a learned thesis. That is the case with tweets from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in response to the mass murder of more than 300 Christians and others in Sri Lanka.

Their tweets are worth serious analysis because they reveal a great deal about the Left. Of course, they reveal a great deal about Clinton and Obama, too, but that doesn’t interest me.

And that, too, is important. Many Americans—especially conservatives and “independents”—are more interested in individual politicians than in political ideologies.

Many conservatives have long been fixated on Clinton—so much so that probably any other Democrat would have defeated Donald Trump, as conservative anger specifically toward her propelled many people to the polls. Similarly, Republican NeverTrumpers are fixated on Trump rather than policy. They care more about Trump’s personal flaws than about the mortal dangers the Left poses to America and the West or about the uniquely successful conservative policies Trump promulgates.

And independents all claim to vote “for the person, not the party.”

Only leftists understand that one must vote left no matter who the Democrat is, no matter who the Republican opponent is. Leftists are completely interchangeable: There is no ideological difference among the 20 or so Democrats running for president. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is not one degree to the right of Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

That is why it is important to understand Clinton and Obama’s tweets: to understand the left, not to understand her or him.

Here are the tweets:

Obama: “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”

Three hours later, Clinton tweeted: “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.”

As they both spelled “worshipers” the same idiosyncratic way and used the term “Easter worshippers,” it is likely they either had the same writers or Clinton copied Obama.

Here’s what’s critical: Neither used the word “Christians.” And in order to avoid doing so, they went so far as to make up a new term—”Easter worshippers”—heretofore unknown to any Christian.

When Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Clinton mentioned the synagogue in a tweet. But in her post-Sri Lanka tweet, despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for “the global Muslim community.” But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community.

Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about New Zealand that he was grieving with “the Muslim community” over the “horrible massacre in the Mosques.” But in his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches.

The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden mention of all the anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa and anywhere else. This is part of the same phenomenon—that I and others have documented—of British police and politicians covering up six years of rape of 1,400 of English girls by Muslim “grooming gangs” in Rotherham and elsewhere in England.

Essentially, the left’s rule is that nothing bad—no matter how true—may be said about Muslims or Islam and nothing good—no matter how true—may be said of Christians or Christianity.

Clinton’s post-New Zealand tweet also included these words: “We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped.”

She made sure to condemn “Islamophobia,” but she wrote not a word about the far more destructive and widespread hatred of Christians in the Muslim world, seen in Muslims’ virtual elimination of the Christian communities in the Middle East, the regular murder and kidnappings of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the murder of Christians in Nigeria. She calls on “leaders everywhere” to condemn “white supremacist terrorists,” one of the smallest hate groups on Earth, but never calls on leaders everywhere to condemn Islamist terrorists, the largest hate group on Earth.

These two tweets tell you a lot about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But far more importantly, they tell you a lot about the Left.


Photo credit: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images

2016 Election • America • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post • The Media

Unredact All of It

The Mueller Report confirms what some of us have suspected from the beginning: There was no collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The investigation that monopolized the attention of the media, Capitol Hill, the White House, and the American public for two years is over.

Collusion truthers who’ve embarrassed themselves and misled the country about the existence of imaginary crimes are trying to move seamlessly from collusion to obstruction of justice claims. Demands for impeachment based on vague allegations of obstruction now contaminate the same cable news programs, political websites, and media outlets that falsely warned Americans for more than two years that Donald Trump was Vladimir Putin’s puppet. The self-immolation of our national news media continues.

This continuing trip with hyperbole serves one purpose: To obfuscate the real scandal, which is how the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus was weaponized to sabotage a rival presidential campaign and then to try to oust the duly elected president of the United States.

Again, those of us who have focused on the legitimate corruption, abuse of power, and deception at the highest level of government (perhaps including the Obama White House) have been called “conspiracy theorists” by the very same people who have lied to us about Russian collusion. But thankfully, Attorney General William Barr has pledged to get to the truth.

So naturally Democrats are attempting to delegitimize Barr and crying foul over the hundreds of redactions in Mueller’s report. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a subpoena last Friday to the Justice Department for the unredacted report and underlying materials. He also wants Barr and Robert Mueller to testify publicly before his committee next month.

Hear! Hear! We should fully support Nadler’s request for the unredacted report, any supporting materials and the open testimony of both Barr and Robert Mueller. The American people should finally hear from the inscrutable special counsel; he should answer many lingering questions about his investigation, not the least of which is why he continued to pursue a non-existent offense that had been manufactured by biased bureaucrats in the months before and after the 2016 presidential election.

While we’re at it, for the good of the country and whatnot, let’s also authorize the immediate release of several more inviolate documents that should shed light on the investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign:

The initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane: We’ve been told that the counterintelligence probe into four associates of the Trump campaign began on July 31, 2016. (Others have suggested the operation actually began in late 2015 or early 2016). We’ve been told that a drunken interaction between George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat in spring 2016—and not the phony Steele dossier funded by Democrats—was the impetus for the investigation, even though three of the probe’s four targets were mentioned in the dossier.

In his congressional testimony, former FBI Director James Comey said he didn’t recall seeing the initiating documents that authorized the counterintelligence probe. It’s time that he, and the rest of us, see that document for the first time and find out who is responsible for launching an unprecedented investigation into a U.S. presidential campaign.

The fully unredacted FISA application on Carter Page: Oddly, many journalists, Democrats, and NeverTrump Republicans who fought last year’s release of both the Nunes memo and the Page FISA application now claim that the delayed release of the redacted Mueller report somehow represents gross malfeasance. Now that they are onboard for full transparency, it’s time to unredact the October 2016 application that was presented to a secret court and signed by Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in order to spy on a private American citizen for a year. The application alleged Page was a Russian foreign agent.

Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) warned that the redactions conceal more damaging evidence about how the FISA process was abused by the Obama Justice Department.

“If you thought using dirt from a campaign was bad, you’ll think this is equally as bad,” Nunes told Sean Hannity last week. Page has been cleared in the formal FBI investigation, congressional inquiries, and, now, in Mueller’s report. There is no reason to hide this information any longer, other than to protect the corrupt officials behind the outrageous spying on Page, who has never been charged with a crime.

The declassified Intelligence Community report: Two weeks before Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017, two of Barack Obama’s top henchmen, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, issued a bombshell report that outlined how the Russian government sought to influence the election in order to harm Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and help Donald Trump.

The report is notable for its weakly sourced evidence in support of that damning claim; much of it still remains “highly classified.”

Brennan testified under oath that the Steele dossier was not part of the body of evidence to support the report’s conclusion, but that testimony now is in doubt. The American people deserve to see all of the proof that led our intelligence experts to assess that the Russians meddled in the election to help Trump win the White House.

Any documents related to the FBI’s investigation into President Trump: After Trump fired Comey in early May 2017 and before Robert Mueller was appointed as the special counsel on May 17, 2017, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe authorized a counterintelligence probe into the sitting president of the United States. During his recent book tour, McCabe confirmed the FBI opened up an inquiry into whether President Trump was a Russian agent. It’s time to see all the proof that compelled McCabe to take such an extraordinary step and make sure it was a legitimate probe and not a way for McCabe to get revenge against the president who had made derogatory public comments about McCabe and his wife, a one-time Democratic candidate for the Virginia state senate.

The unredacted “scope” memo: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authored a two-page memo to Robert Mueller in August 2017 that detailed the special counsel’s authority to investigate the Trump campaign, including instructions to “consult” the Justice Department for approval to pursue “additional matters” that may arise from the primary investigation. Much of the memo is redacted. Let’s see the whole thing.

The list of journalists who are in cahoots with FBI agents: The Justice Department’s Inspector General last year accused several FBI officials of improperly accepting gifts from journalists in exchange for information. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) confirmed that the IG is continuing to investigate the “corruption that existed between the media and members of the FBI.”

The news media played a central role not just in perpetuating the Russian collusion hoax, but in reporting illegally leaked details of classified information related to the investigation. The media is big on truth and transparency, so we’re told, and holding people accountable for their actions. Let’s see the names of the journalists who were trading perks for scoops.

There are other documents we should see right away: The transcripts of dozens of people interviewed by congressional investigators for their role in seeding the collusion hoax (the Justice Department continues inexplicably to delay the release of these documents); transcripts of the calls between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to see in what context “sanctions” were discussed; the unredacted notes of the interview between Flynn and the FBI; any internal documents confirming the FBI’s relationship with both Stefan Halper and Joseph Mifsud. And, most importantly, any emails, calls, texts or other correspondence between the Justice Department and anyone in the Obama White House between January 2016 and January 2017 related to the investigation should be released.

The fog being generated by Democrats, the media, and NeverTrump Republicans about William Barr, obstruction charges, and the Mueller report can be lifted by issuing all of these materials as soon as possible. Then we will see who is truly interested in truth and transparency and who merely is extending the unyielding attempt to take down Donald Trump.

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Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

2016 Election • Administrative State • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Podcast

Julie Kelly on AM560 The Answer

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American Greatness senior contributor Julie Kelly talks Russian collusion delusion with Shaun Thompson and Bruce Wolf on The Answer. Watch the full video below.

2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Intelligence Community • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post

Will William Barr Get Justice for Carter Page?

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It all started with Carter Page. The biggest scandal in the history of American politics originated with carefully cultivated public suspicions about whether Page, a Naval Academy graduate and campaign volunteer, was a conduit between Team Trump and the Kremlin.

In spring 2016, Page emerged as the first alleged culprit in the nascent Trump-Russia collusion plotline. Bogus allegations about him were included in the infamous Steele dossier; he was the subject of relentless media coverage and public harassment; the FBI enlisted an informant to gather information on him in secret; and his own government accused him of being a Russian agent as it wiretapped him for a year under false pretenses.

Now it appears Attorney General William Barr finally will get to the bottom of why Page first became the target of Trump foes on the Right, then ultimately, of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration. This comes two years to the day since the Washington Post first published illegally leaked details about the FISA warrant on Page, which was obtained by James Comey’s FBI in October 2016.

Barr is poised to hold Page’s antagonists accountable. “The office of the inspector general has a pending investigation into the FISA process in the Russia investigation,” Barr told the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday.

When asked specifically whether the Justice Department also was investigating who illegally disclosed the existence of Page’s FISA warrant, Barr indicated he would await the criminal referrals expected to come this week from Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) regarding the same matter.

Further, Barr has acknowledged that he believes the Trump campaign was spied on in 2016. “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. Yes, I think spying did occur,” Barr told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. Page was one of a handful of Trump associates also pursued by an FBI informant during the campaign.

Page’s nightmare began in March 2016 when the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, posted a lengthy hit piece on the then-unknown global energy financier serving as an unpaid advisor for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Reporter Lachlan Markay, now with left-leaning Daily Beast, outlined a number of Page’s allegedly alarming foreign policy views, which included citing a year-old article in an obscure journal where Page criticized the Obama Administration’s approach to Russia.

The purpose of Markay’s article was to plant the early seeds of the Trump-Russia election collusion plotline: “Trump has brushed off concerns about Russia as a threat, even praising the country’s strongman president Vladimir Putin and defending him against allegations of political violence,” Markay wrote.

Markay failed to disclose that the Washington Free Beacon had hired Fusion GPS in late 2015 to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. (Nellie Ohr, the wife of top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, also was working for Fusion at the time on the same project.)

Markay’s editors did not reveal that information until nearly 18 months later as congressional Republicans closed in on the origins of the so-called Steele dossier, which had been produced by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The editors, one of whom is the son-in-law of Trump foe Bill Kristol, denied in a statement any knowledge of the dossier or its provenance.

A series of negative articles about Page followed in both the legacy news media and in other conservative outlets opposed to Trump. “With Page providing Trump’s Russia policy, it is not surprising that the Donald has also attracted the support of other prominent Putinites,” wrote Robert Zubrin in an April 2016 article for National Review titled, “Trump: The Kremlin’s candidate.”

In late July 2016, as the Democrats and Clinton campaign juiced the Russian collusion plotline to distract from an uprising of disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters during their convention, Kristol authored a brief piece in the Weekly Standard with the headline, “Putin’s Party.” He ticked off a list of dossier-sourced talking points and included the names of Carter Page, Lt. General Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort.

“These indications provide sufficient grounds for Trump’s links to Putin to be further investigated,” Kristol bleated.

One week later, the Obama FBI opened a counterintelligence probe into all three associates, along with campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

And so began Carter Page’s trip to Hell-on-Earth. He started receiving harassing phone calls from news reporters with questions that clearly were planted by Steele and Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson. A September 2016 Yahoo News article, directly sourced by Steele and Simpson, confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials were looking into Page’s ties with senior Russian officials. Page said the article resulted in “distrust, scorn, ridicule, hatred, contempt and death threats” against him.

Michael Isikoff’s story, in addition to the Steele dossier, were cited extensively in an application signed by former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in October 2016 that asked the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to wiretap Page. In the application, which relied on unsubstantiated political propaganda in the Steele dossier, Comey and Yates referred to Page as “an agent of a foreign power.” The FISA warrant was renewed three times.

The Washington Post on April 11, 2017 revealed the existence of that FISA order. The story appeared a few weeks after Comey publicly confirmed for the first time in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that his agency not only had opened up a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign, but had withheld that information from top congressional leaders for eight months—violating congressional protocol—because of the “sensitivity of the matter.” (Comey also did not inform Trump about the investigation during their numerous meetings and conversations before and after Inauguration Day.)

The April 2017 article relied on law enforcement officials who “spoke about the court order on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.” But there is another reason why they wanted to remain anonymous: Discussing the existence of a FISA order is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

“An unauthorized disclosure of FISA is an extraordinarily unusual event so be assured we’re going to take it very seriously,” Comey told the House Intelligence Committee in 2017.

But he didn’t. And neither did his successor, Andrew McCabe, who himself was caught lying to federal investigators about leaking nonpublic information to the press. Current FBI Director Christopher Wray also has been mum about who illegally leaked the FISA order to the Post.

The delay might have been in deference to the Mueller investigation. But that investigation is now over. Robert Mueller concluded there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians to sway the 2016 election. Page has not been charged with a crime despite being accused essentially of being a traitor to his country. Isikoff recently admitted that the dossier was baloney. Yet the collusion conspiracists still refuse to acknowledge the truth.

“The biggest thing I’ve been surprised about is how stubborn many Democrats and their supporters in the media have remained in terms of coming to grips with reality,” Page told me. “They’re still not there yet.”

Fortunately for Page and the rest of the country not in a mental and emotional straightjacket, Barr will proceed regardless of their intransigence. For those of us who have been concerned that the bad actors behind this scandal, especially the Obama officials who targeted Page, never will face justice, this week offered some encouragement that such will not be the final outcome.

But don’t expect any apologies from the perpetrators. Page, for his part, isn’t even interested in one.

“I don’t care about apologies,” he told me. “This is about fixing our country. President Trump is the one who deserves the apology.”

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2016 Election • Administrative State • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Intelligence Community • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post • The Media

The Tables Turn in Russian Collusion Hunt

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The irony of the entire Russian collusion hoax is that accusers who cried the loudest about leaking, collusion, lying, and obstruction are themselves soon very likely to be accused of just those crimes.

Now that Robert Mueller’s 674-day, $30 million investigation is over and has failed to find the original goal of its mandate—evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government to sway the 2016 election—and now that thousands of once-sealed government documents will likely be released in unredacted form, those who eagerly assumed the role of the hunters may become the hunted, due to their own zealous violation of the nation’s trust and its laws.

Take Lying
Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimonies cannot be reconciled with those of his own deputy director Andrew McCabe. He falsely testified that the Steele dossier was not the main basis for obtaining FISA court warrants. On at least 245 occasions, Comey swore under oath that he either did not know, or could not remember, when asked direct questions about his conduct at the FBI. He likely lied when he testified that he did not conclude his assessment of the Clinton illegal email use before he had even interviewed Clinton, an assertion contradicted by his own written report. I guess his credo and modus operandi are reflected in the subtitle of his recent autobiography A Higher Loyalty: “Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

Andrew McCabe currently is under criminal referral for lying to federal investigators about leaking to the media. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each have accused each other of not telling the whole truth about their shared caper of trying to force President Trump out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lying under oath to Congress—and since lied about his earlier admission of that lying. His recent sworn congressional testimony of not having leaked information about the Steele dossier to the media is again likely to be untrue, given that Clapper had admitted to speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier’s contents. CNN, remember, would in turn go on to hire the mendacious Clapper as an analyst. And once on air, Clapper would insist that Trump was both a Russian asset and thus guilty of collusion crimes greater than those of Watergate. Lies. All lies.

Former CIA Director John Brennan has admitted to lying under oath to Congress on two occasions. He may well face further legal exposure. When he lost his security clearance, he repeatedly lied that Trump was guilty of collusion, however that non-crime is defined. And as the Mueller probe wound down, Brennan with pseudo-authority and trumped-up hints of phony access to secret intelligence sources deceitfully assured the nation that Trump within days would face indictment—perhaps along with his family members.

Brennan in 2016 also reached out to foreign intelligence services, primary British and Australian, to surveille and entrap Trump aides, as a way of circumventing rules preventing CIA monitoring of American citizens. And he may well have also reverse-targeted Americans, under the guise of monitoring foreign nationals, in order to build a case of so-called Trump collusion.

Finally, Brennan testified to Congress in May 2017 that he had not been earlier aware of the dossier or its contents before the election, although in August 2016 it is almost certain that he had briefed Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on it in a spirited effort to have Reid pressure the FBI to keep or expand its counterintelligence investigation of Trump during the critical final weeks of the election.

Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin likely also lied to FBI investigators when they claimed they had no knowledge while working at the State Department that their boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was using an illegal private email server. In fact, they had read her communications on it and actually inquired about its efficacy.

Samantha Power, the former U.N. ambassador, in her last year in office requested on more than 260 occasions to unmask names of Americans monitored by the government. Yet Power later claimed that most of these requests were not made by her. And yet she either does not know or does not cite who exactly used her name to make such requests during the election cycle. In any case, no one has come forward to admit to the improper use of Power’s name to request the hundreds of unmaskings.

Susan Rice, the former Obama national security advisor, could have made a number of unmasking requests in Power’s name, although she initially denied making any requests in her own name—a lie she immediately amended. Rice, remember, repeatedly lied on national television about the cause and origins of the Benghazi attack, denied there were cash payments for hostages in the Iran deal, misled about the conduct of Beau Bergdahl, and prevaricated over the existence and destruction of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr did not tell the truth on a federal written disclosure required by law when he omitted the key fact that his wife Nellie worked on Christopher Steele’s Fusion GPS dossier. Ohr’s testimony that he completely briefed key FBI officials on the dossier in July or August 2016 is not compatible to what former FBI attorney Lisa Page has testified to concerning the dates of her own knowledge of the Steele material.

Take Foreign Collusion
Christopher Steele is a foreign national. So are many of the Russian sources that he claims he had contacted to solicit dirt on Donald Trump and his campaign aides. In fact, John Brennan’s CIA, soon in consultation with the FBI, was used in circuitous fashion to facilitate surveillance of Donald Trump’s campaign through the use of foreign nationals during the 2016 campaign.

Foreigners such as Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, and former Australian minister for foreign affairs Alexander Downer and an array of intelligence contractors from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) mysteriously met with minor Trump aide George Papadopoulos and others. It is likely that to disguise American intelligence agencies’ efforts to besmirch, surveille, and leak to the press damaging unfounded rumors about the Trump campaign that John Brennan enlisted an entire cadre of foreign nationals. And it is likely to be the most egregious example of using non-U.S. citizens to affect the outcome of an election in our history. If there is a crime of foreign collusion—a conspiracy of U.S. officials to use foreigners to interfere with an American election—then Brennan’s efforts are the textbook example.

Take Leaking
Many of the names unmasked by requests from Samantha Power and Susan Rice were leaked illegally to the media. James Comey himself leaked confidential memos of presidential conversations to the press; in at least one case, the memo was likely classified.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker is currently under criminal referral for improperly leaking classified documents. He seems to have been in contact with the media before the election and he may have been one of many FBI officials and contacts, along with Christopher Steele, that reporters such as David Corn, Michael Isikoff, and Julia Ioffe anonymously referenced in their pre-election published hit pieces on Russian collusion—all the result of the successful strategies of Fusion GPS, along with some in the FBI, to seed unverified anti-Trump gossip to warp the election. Andrew McCabe also is under criminal referral both for leaking classified information and then lying about it.

In a fashion emblematic of this entire sordid mess, the always ethically compromised James Clapper in January 2017 had leaked the dossier to Jake Tapper of CNN and likely other journalists and then shortly afterwards publicly deplored just this sort of government leaking that had led to sensational stories about the dossier.

Take Obstruction of Justice
A number of FBI and Department of Justice high ranking employees such as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Sally Yates all signed off on FISA warrants to surveille Carter Page without apprising the courts that they knew that their chief evidence, the Steele Dossier, was unverified, was paid for by Hillary Clinton, and was used in circular fashion as the basis for news accounts presented to the court. Nor did the Justice Department and FBI officials apprise the FISA justices that Christopher Steele had been terminated as a FBI source.

No one believes that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch just happened to meet Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac and confined their conservations to a variety of topics having nothing to do with Hillary Clinton—at a time when Lynch’s Justice Department was investigating her. Note the meeting was only disclosed because a reporter got a tip and arrived on the scene of the two adjoining Lynch and Clinton private jets—which suggests that the only thing Lynch and Clinton regretted was being found out. Few believe that Lynch had recused herself as she promised, given her strict oversight of the sort of language Comey’s FBI was allowed to use in its investigation of Clinton.

Take Conflict of Interest
Andrew McCabe never should have been in charge of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton, given that just months earlier his wife had been the recipient of $675,000 in campaign cash donated by Clinton and Democratic Party-affiliated political action committees. And the apology of a “time line” that suggests conflicts of interest like McCabe’s expired after an arbitrary date is specious. McCabe knew his spouse had been a recent recipient of Clinton-related money, knew that he had substantial influence on the fate of her email investigation, and hoped and assumed that she was likely to be the next president of the United States quite soon.

Rod Rosenstein never should have been appointed acting attorney general in charge of oversight of the Mueller investigation. He knew Mueller well. In circular fashion, he had drafted the rationale to fire Comey that had prompted the Mueller’s appointment. He had signed off on a FISA warrant request without apprising the court of the true nature of the Steele dossier’s origins and nature. He had met shortly before the Mueller appointment with acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to investigate the chance of removing Trump under a distortion of the 25th Amendment. So, in essence, Rosenstein had been one of the catalysts for McCabe to investigate removing Trump for his own part in the removal of Comey and then in Orwellian fashion joined McCabe’s efforts.

Comey deliberately leaked a classified memo of a presidential conversation, in which he had misled the president about his actual status under FBI investigations, in order to cause enough media outrage over his firing to prompt the hiring of a special counsel. That gambit succeeded in the appointment of his own longtime associate Robert Mueller, who would be charged to investigate “collusion,” in which Comey played an important role in monitoring the Trump campaign with the assistance of British national Christopher Steele.

Robert Mueller did not need to appoint a legal team inordinately Democratic, which included attorneys who had been either donors to the Clinton campaign, or had been attorneys for Clinton aides, or had defended the Clinton Foundation. And he certainly should not have included on his investigative team that was charged with adjudicating Russian collusion in the 2016 election both Zainab Ahmad and Andrew Weissman, Obama Justice Department officials, who had been briefed by Bruce Ohr before the election on the nature of the Steele dossier and its use of foreign sources.

It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.

The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.

They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.

Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.

And they were almost—but so far not quite—correct in all their assumptions.

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2016 Election • Administrative State • America • Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Intelligence Community • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post

America Needs a SetUpGate Truth Commission

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What happened?

On the one hand, we know what happened: nothing. Neither Donald Trump nor anyone in his 2016 campaign, family, or businesses “colluded” with Russia or with any other foreign power to steal the 2016 election.

But, really, we knew this already. By “we” I here mean anyone not insane and/or in the grip of a monomaniacal anti-Trump rage. The story was, from the beginning, so ridiculous on its face, so devoid of even the flimsiest evidence, that no one not desperate to believe bought it for a second.

I would include in that “we” also those few who forced themselves to take the story seriously, through all its mind-numbing twists and turns, despite its obvious implausibility. That’s more than I can say for myself; I never could muster the mental energy to follow the details, the same way I can’t bring myself to spend any time on 9/11 “truthism.” But journalists such as Mollie Hemingway, Catherine Herridge, Chuck Ross, Kim Strassel, Byron York, Julie Kelly, and Tucker Carlson (and too few others ), by wedging their minds open, just in case any evidence were to emerge, are in the catbird seat right now.

Not that anyone in the corporate-Left media (CLM) will give them credit. To the contrary, the moment Mueller delivered his report to the Attorney General and informed a distraught media that no further indictments would be forthcoming, the cable shows and Twitter have been desperately searching for a silver lining. Drumpf must have done something! Just because he’s “not guilty” by some arcane legal standard doesn’t mean he’s innocent!

They’re right on one point, though not in the way they think. There’s plenty of guilt to go around. But it all resides with them, broadly understood: the media, of course (reporters and pundits alike); the tippy-top Obama Administration officials who engineered this farce; the deep state operatives who helped them and kept it going once the Obamanauts were out of office; the Democratic Party; the Hillary campaign; the Clintons themselves; the elite law firm that offered itself up as a cutout; plus the special counsel himself and his team, who must have known long ago that their original remit would never pan out but kept going (for 674 days and $50 million) anyway.

Which is to say: the most powerful individuals, institutions and interests in America conspired to set up a presidential candidate, and later president-elect, and later still President. Their goal? To defeat him in 2016; should he be elected, to prevent his taking office; and should he take office, to have him removed. And yet it’s precisely these people who accused (and, in many cases, still accuse) Mr. Trump of “stealing” and “rigging” an election, of “subverting our democracy.” This is projection on an unimaginable scale. As Carlson likes to point out, whatever the modern Left accuses its enemies of doing, you can be sure that’s exactly what they’re doing.

“Set up” is actually generous. RussiaGate was not the deliciously complex framing orchestrated by a criminal-mastermind villain in an Agatha Christie novel. The Russia-collusion narrative was, to the contrary, ham-fisted and preposterous from the beginning—so transparently dumb that the only way to believe it was to be dumb yourself, or else desperately to want to believe.

Alas, most people fooled by SetUpGate—for the real scandal deserves a more accurate name—fall into the latter category. They wanted—and still want—to believe that Trump is guilty of colluding with a foreign power to win the 2016 election. For them, SetUpGate is just a tent pole on which to hang their real desires. Few have the imagination or the will to conjure into being a false narrative that others can rally around. But most need such a narrative in order to rally. Lucky for them, human nature provides a small but steady supply of bold liars to create new narratives. Which is why a persistent feature of our corrupt times are fake stories—“Hands up, don’t shoot!”; “indelible in the hippocampus”; “He smirked!”; “This is MAGA country!”—designed to froth up the faithful.

This, at root, is all SetUpGate is, or ever was: a story for people already anti-Trump to seize upon, to allow them to frame their opposition as something deeper and higher-minded than “White nationalism!!” or “Orange Man Bad.”

Others were the first to call SetUpGate the biggest political scandal in American history. It is that, of course, but it’s also something else, something bigger, something worse: the largest—by far—instance of elite malfeasance in American history.

It’s illuminating to contrast SetUpGate with another fiasco: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Both are examples of elite-government failure, but the lessons emerge from the differences.

“Truther” conspiracy theories notwithstanding, the officials in charge of protecting America from terrorist attack did not want 9/11 to happen. They were acting not to make something happen but to prevent an unquestionable harm to our country. Their failure therefore hurt us all. But also, since their intentions were good, the blame settled on them had the character of shared sadness: those who failed no less than those whom they failed—i.e., the entire country—regretted the failure. Hence most everyone—citizen and official alike—wanted answers. A Commission was duly formed to find those answers. And, in fact, many were found.

SetUpGate was—thank God—no less a failure, but a failure of an entirely different kind. The elites who failed were acting affirmatively, pushing a project, not merely trying to prevent something bad. Though, of course, their project was itself bad, which is why we should all be elated that they failed. Yet, unlike in the aftermath of 9/11, opinion about their failure is divided. Those who support President Trump are of course elated that they failed. Those who are actually sincere when they claim to care about democracy, even if they don’t like Trump, should at least be relieved. And those who oppose him and don’t care at all about democracy, or who identify “democracy” with their own interests and preferences, are crushed.

Those in the first two categories should want answers. Those in the third naturally do not. But answers there must be. How did this happen? How did our every institution, public and private, and hundreds—possibly even thousands—of privileged, educated, credentialed and supposedly well-meaning people in positions of power and trust get something so big, so wrong, on purpose? How did they—how were they allowed to—act deliberately and directly against their supposed charges and responsibilities, consistently, for more than two-and-a-half years?

If American institutions—public and private—are ever to regain even a modicum of trust and legitimacy, a full reckoning must occur. If it does not—if those responsible refuse to explain, fully, their culpability, their actions, their decisions, their outrageous rhetoric, their lies—then those institutions will become husks, empty shells. A fate they will deserve.

Ideally, this reckoning would proceed on two tracks: first, each affected institution would investigate itself; second, the government would use its powers to mount a comprehensive investigation of its own. The latter would examine governmental misconduct, but also—as did the 9/11 and other commissions—the misconduct of all relevant actors, public and private.

But even to make this suggestion is to laugh. We all know that none of this will ever happen. The media will spend not one nanosecond in introspection or soul-searching—neither as an industry, nor as individual organizations. It will instead—as it is already doing—pour its energies into retroactive self-justification and desperate hair-splitting to keep the dream alive. Mueller did not exonerate Trump! He only said he couldn’t “establish” that any collusion took place, not that he could prove that no collusion took place! And he explicitly declined to exonerate Trump for obstruction!

The media and their Democratic Party masters will go on like this for, roughly, ever. The massive number of unforced errors they committed during the whole fiasco—the huge catalogue of false stories they broadcast and published—they will excuse, as again they already are excusing, as examples of their righteous zeal to get “information” and “news” to the public as quickly as possible. There will be no reckoning, and no one will pay a price.

The government, or parts of it, likely will conduct quick, desultory “investigations,” the purposes of which will not be to get to the truth but to “do something” so that they can say they did. The posture will be “We investigated this, found a few process missteps, reassigned one or two people and rebuked others (we won’t say who), and you can trust us now. We cleaned our own house.” Only a fool or a true believer will believe a word of that.

So what, then, is to be done? Here’s a suggestion. A lot of money is donated and spent by the Right every year. Why not commit a couple hundred grand of that to a small team of investigative reporters and researchers to do the job that all the complicit organizations will not do? To do what the press ostensibly exists to do but will not? Granted, such an investigation—lacking subpoena and other official powers—will be far less effective than a real investigation with teeth. But since we know the latter will never happen, why make the perfect the enemy of the as-good-as-it’s-gonna-get?

Here are some of the questions I suggest they look into. This is by no means a comprehensive list, since I am far from a leading expert on SetUpGate. Therefore I further suggest that, once the money is committed and this new investigation gets rolling, those leading it immediately consult the people named above on what lines of inquiry to pursue. Or, even better, why not hire some of them?

  • Who made the initial decision to hire Fusion GPS to do opposition research on Trump? Was it Hillary herself? Bill? Someone lower down in the Clinton campaign? Someone in the Democratic Party? Who?
  • Did Fusion GPS decide on its own to make the focus of its “research” alleged “collusion with Russia”? Or did they do so in collaboration with the Clinton campaign? If so, with whom? When did those conversations take place?
  • What did Hillary and Bill know and when did they know it? When did they learn that opposition research they paid for was alleging that Trump was compromised by, or even working directly with, Russia? Did they ever raise objections or have any misgivings? Who, in total, on the Clinton campaign and that DNC knew of the campaign’s/Party’s role in creating the dossier? Did anyone in either organization raise any objections or have any misgivings?
  • Previous reporting suggests that the notorious “dossier” was merely the tip of the iceberg of a much larger opposition research effort focused on alleged Trump-Russia collusion. What other products were created? By whom? What were their contents and allegations? With whom were they shared in government and the media? What was the Clintons’ direct or indirect involvement?
  • Whose idea was it to pay Fusion through a law firm in order to hide the campaign’s involvement? Who specifically at Perkins Coie approved the use of his (or her) firm for this purpose? Did the firm’s entire senior leadership know or were some kept in the dark? If so, why? Were any criminal or civil statutes broken? Were any national or state bar association ethical rules violated?
  • How, exactly, and through whom, did the dossier and other Russia-related opposition “research” get into the hands of the U.S. government? Who specifically within the federal government came up with the idea to use that “research”—including but limited to the dossier—to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign? Who approved that idea? Who knew about it?
  • What were all the ways the “dossier” and other such “research” were fed to the U.S. government? We know it got into the hands of the FBI, the Justice Department and the State Department (the latter fact is still little recognized). How many government agencies received this information? Which ones specifically? Which officials? Under what circumstances did they receive it? Who, specifically, gave it to them and when? What were the political and institutional affiliations of those who provided the information?
  • What were the exact circumstances of how the FBI obtained its surveillance warrants on Trump’s campaign team? That is to say, what did officials tell—and what did they withhold from—the judges from whom they obtained those warrants? Were the judges, as has been suggested in some reporting, deliberately misled so as to issue warrants that, had they known all the facts, they would not have issued?
  • What persons either formally employed by or affiliated with the Trump campaign, did the U.S. government telephonically surveil? Name them all. Who authorized such surveillance and on what explicit justification? Who knew about the surveillance and when?
  • To what extent did the U.S. government rely on human spies—aka “HUMINT”—to surveil the Trump campaign? When did that effort begin? How many such spies were employed? Who were they? For whom did they work? Who ordered the use of such spies and on what explicit justification? Who were those spies “targets”—i.e., on whom did they spy? Who in the U.S. government knew about this operation? Did anyone in the Clinton campaign know about it?
  • What did the Obama team know and when did they know it? When all this was coming together, Barack Obama was still President. Senior members of his administration still ran all these agencies. What did they know? How involved were they? Specifically, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, Avril Haines, Ben Rhodes—what did they know and when?
  • Did any of them actually participate in decision-making to use the power of the state to spy on the Trump campaign? Or were they merely told about it? If the latter, were they told contemporaneously or later? Did anyone raise any objections or concerns? Explain their precise roles. If they knew, how could they not have been a part of the plot? If they did not know, how could they not have been negligent in their roles and responsibilities?
  • Finally—and I’ve saved the most important for last—who leaked information from Mike Flynn’s phone conversations with the Russian ambassador? This remains the most serious—by far—actual crime committed throughout this whole sordid affair. We know this is a crime; all one has to do is read the statute. We know it happened; all one has to do is read the reporting. The only thing we don’t know is who did it. The initial leak(s) happened when the Obama Administration was still in office. There’s no way to blame Trump or anyone around Trump for this one. Who did it? Who knew about it and either approved of it or didn’t stop it?

These questions are but the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more that demand answers just from the period before Trump took office. Broaden the inquiry to the subsequent two years and the list expands to hundreds. Include questions about the media’s conduct, and that of the former officials it hired to opine mendaciously, the list expands to thousands.

Our institutions—with few exceptions—have already demonstrated a fundamental incuriosity about all of these questions, and indeed about any questions whose answers might further impugn the reputations of said institutions.

Which is why, unless some well-resourced patriot, or patriots, step forward to bankroll a real investigation, the reckoning for which so many are clamoring will never come.

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America • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Education • Obama • Post • Progressivism • taxes • The Left

Socialists Don’t Really Believe in Socialism

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Can we dispel, once and for all, the idea that socialists, “democratic” or otherwise, actually believe in the socialism they peddle?

“Socialists” love money, guns, walls, fossil fuels, Amazon, meat, private jets and cars, luxury apartments, and paying low taxes just like everyone else.

What sets “socialists” apart is a certain desire for control.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) owns multiple houses, has a seven-figure net worth, and collects a salary of $14,500 a month. Do you really think a guy like that truly believes the “free stuff” balderdash he’s regurgitated for decades? He admires Fidel Castro because he wants to be like him, and he’s enamored with bread lines because Sanders knows that government dependency is a helluva drug. I’m reminded of this every day when I look at the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics rationing ticket from my wife’s childhood in Poland. Newsflash: neither Lenin nor Stalin believed in socialism, either. They believed in power.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wasted no time getting a fancy pad in a tony Washington, D.C. neighborhood. Rumor has it the building’s energy sources are electricity and oil. Aaahhh, first-world living in Washington, D.C., where average monthly rents are higher only in 10 other cities across the globe. Higher taxes? Ha! Ocasio-Cortez’s mother just moved from New York to my home state of Florida to reduce her property tax bill. Hope she didn’t bring her daughter’s politics with her.  

As for President Obama, you aren’t still duped by his “fundamental transformation” schtick, are you? Barack and Michelle may not have a wall around their $8.1 million mansion, but I assure you there are many scary-looking bodyguards armed with scary-looking guns. And you better believe their guns are loaded and carried in “gun-free zones”—which are perhaps the stupidest thing in the long and illustrious history of stupid things.

I have no idea how much the Obamas’ down payment was, but if it was 20 percent, then their monthly mortgage bill is about $45,000. Redistribution of wealth! But just don’t redistribute the Obamas’ money, I guess.

Speaking of “needs”: “socialists” are always demanding to know why law-abiding AR-15 owners “need” 30 rounds in the magazine, but I want to know why the Obamas need nine bedrooms and 8,200 square feet. If the answer is, “none of your business,” then apply the same answer to the AR-15 question.

Speaking of New York, even their governor, Andrew Cuomo, knows capitalism is infinity plus infinity superior to socialism. Cuomo recently asked Amazon to reconsider opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, after the company rescinded its decision due to the political backlash from AOC and others. Talk about pouring teeth-chattering icy cold water on socialism; why would Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos—on any given day the world’s wealthiest person—do business with a city that refuses kiss the ring?

Bezos, who also owns the Democrat-Media Industrial Complex colluder and conspirator Washington Post, is the latest liberal billionaire to be cannibalized by his party’s anti-business and anti-free markets cult. This is the irony of ironies: the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, is the party of affluent, privileged, mostly white Democrats. Bezos must have wanted his second headquarters in a city that boasts the most billionaires of any in the world. The man also has a multi-billion-dollar divorce settlement coming, so I’m certain he wants to sell more than the usual quantities of used books, Asian old man wall decals, and toilet nightlights (in all seriousness: this last item is much more practical than it’s given credit for).

Jeff, come to Florida; we’ll be happy to have you. But, as a “socialist” would say, NIMBY—not in my backyard.

Here’s How To Defeat Socialism
It’s no coincidence that an alarmingly large segment of the American electorate—especially Millennials and their younger siblings—is now going steady with socialism.  

Americans ages 18 to 29 are more positive about socialism (51 percent) than they are about capitalism (45 percent). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years, and a marked shift since 2010, when 68 percent viewed it favorably. Factor in the projected demographics of the next three decades, and the insatiable socialist hydra is poised to keep growing.

Socialist donkey dung sells well in a low-thinking population. It’s not our kids’ fault, though; it’s our fault.

We’ve got millions of socially engineered dopes whose brains have been turned to mush by Ludovico-esque indoctrination in our culture, the DMIC, and especially by the U.S. public education system. The shaping of malleable minds doesn’t begin in college; it begins in elementary school and continues through middle and high school; higher education is just the higher-priced socialism re-education camp.

The “free college” ploy is evil genius; college debt hovers around $1.5 trillion, in large part due to the fallacy of “college as a right.” Once something becomes a “right,” our tax dollars are thrown at it ad infinitum. Note to “socialists” out there: when money is thrown at something, inflation sets in, and costs surge. It’s not budget cuts that have resulted in millions of Americans in hock; it’s a deliberate, unsustainable excess of public monies, which have driven public and private college expenditures upward . . . and upward . . . and upward.

To defeat socialism, may I suggest that we immediately cease labeling Millennials and Generation Z as “stupid”? They’re actually quite intelligent, and while I’m not fully letting them off the hook for being the dumbest group of smart people ever, now’s the time for those who give a damn about the wellbeing of our youth to have our “come to Jesus” moment, and recognize that Democrats always prey upon our kids.

If we’re willing to engage them, ask them specific questions that nakedly expose socialist hypocrisies, as well as the history of mass murdering and mass suffering socialist regimes, I predict something pleasantly surprising will happen: our youth will again learn to love capitalism, liberty, and realistic solutions to our many challenges. That’s re-education I am willing to support.

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2016 Election • Administrative State • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post

Cold War II: Only This Time We’re the Soviets

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to aim hypersonic missiles at Washington produced dire warnings everywhere of a coming new Cold War. Everywhere, that is, except in the Trump-deranged nation’s capital, where the big news was a coup plot straight out of the old Cold War.

In 1962, Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey published a political thriller called Seven Days in May. Later made into a movie, it tells the story of a right-wing conspiracy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to overthrow a liberal president for what now would be called “colluding” with the Russians. The coup fails, though not before the United States is pushed to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Suppose a similar plot were hatched today—not by reactionary generals but by left-wing bureaucrats intent on removing a conservative president for, get ready, “colluding” with the Russians. And suppose those same bureaucrats were top officials in the FBI and Justice Department.

It’s not that hard to imagine, since now we know the effort to depose President Donald Trump, begun more than two years ago, has been ongoing ever since.

At the center of everything was a group of high-level plotters pretending to be patriots hunting down a Kremlin spy in the White House. Along the way, they rigged legal proceedings, set up scapegoats and generally laid the groundwork for the biggest political scandal in American history.

Here’s early ringleader Andrew McCabe, former acting director of the FBI (until he was fired for lying), explaining himself on CNN:

Anderson Cooper: Do you still believe the president could be a Russian asset?

Andrew McCabe: I think it’s possible. I think that’s why we started our investigation.

And what evidence was there the president might be conspiring with Russia against the United States? According to McCabe, it was Trump’s totally legal and long overdue firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Obama’s Leftist Legacy
By November 2016 the country was one election away from making Barack Obama’s far-left legacy Washington’s permanent way of doing business. Staying in town following his second term was how Obama planned to have a direct hand in the process. Trump’s surprise victory changed that, and more. Along with losing the election, certain members of the previous administration also lost their cover for crimes they committed to make sure Hillary Clinton would be the next president.

The first hint of trouble ahead came when British voters passed the Brexit referendum taking England out the European Union. During a press conference the next day at his golf resort in Scotland, Donald Trump said, Brexit proved the British people “want to take their country back.” Imagine the reaction that caused in Her Majesty’s deep state.

The same thing “is happening in the United States,” Trump said. To emphasize the point he invited Nigel Farage, architect of Brexit, to campaign with him, and at every stop the soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee predicted a Brexit-style win for himself on Election Day.

The Clinton campaign, with a commanding lead in every poll, had already hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which subcontracted retired British spy Christopher Steele to look into Trump’s dealings with Russia.

It would be hard to find a better source of all-purpose bad guys. Russians are good at luring foreign businessmen into financial crime. But they’re also hard to catch and bring to justice, making it easy to blame them for anything.

An admitted Trump hater, Steele claimed the information contained in his infamous dossier came from sources inside Russia. But was the ex-spy, as some suspect, only lending his name to material supplied by Sidney Blumenthal, for years the Clintons’ purveyor of dark PR, and Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, hired by Fusion to assist in gathering dirt on Trump?

A New Yorker profile in 2018 makes Steele sound less like a crack secret agent than a deep-state dweeb needing all the help he could get. In the story one former colleague notes Steele’s nervous reaction to the growing dossier uproar; another calls him “a little naïve about the public square.” Steele may be no James Bond, but what’s interesting is how eager British intelligence was to aid the Americans in taking down Trump.

The Russians Did It
The presidential fix was in for Hillary Clinton from the time she was appointed Barack Obama’s secretary of state, a position she used to turn the State Department into a pay-to-play cash cow for Clinton, Inc.

In July 2016, the FBI under Comey gave Clinton a pass on everything from setting up an illegal server to destroying evidence. Looking the other way again only weeks later, the bureau failed to examine the supposedly “hacked” (now destroyed) servers at the Democratic National Committee, a case of willful neglect that would lead directly to “Russiagate.”

As we learn from internal FBI emails, there were discussions, even at this early stage, about needing an “insurance policy” just in case Donald Trump pulled off the unthinkable. Which is where the Steele dossier came in.

Shopping his bogus document to friendly media pundits got Steele fired as an FBI consultant. But when the bureau applied for a series of fraudulent FISA court warrants to spy on Trump, it was one of Steele’s planted stories that helped close the deal.

In “Seven Days in May,” the military’s principal tool for taking over the government is a force called Emergency Communications Control (ECOMCON), designed to assume operation of the nation’s media. Today with most news outlets already active participants in the project to oust the president, ECOMCON would be redundant.

Trump’s upset win put the Obama Administration on high alert, presenting Democrats with two immediate problems: 1) explaining Clinton’s election loss without bringing up the real reason for it—Hillary Clinton; and 2) hiding criminal activity aimed at beating Trump by launching a coordinated effort to get rid of him.

Clinton’s failed campaign bosses John Podesta and Robby Mook decided the day after the election to blame her defeat on Russian interference, as described in the Steele dossier they paid for. Soon afterward the lame-duck Obama administration set in motion a plan to use FBI surveillance data and a nonstop media offensive to cripple Trump’s transition and destroy his presidency. Their secret weapon was the same suspect dossier later repurposed to help justify the appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Full-Service Probe
After nearly two years of trying, Mueller’s investigation, said to be coming to a close, has yet to produce any evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russians. (In a separate hoax the Chicago police took only two weeks to find more evidence against Jussie Smollett.) But that hardly matters. The Mueller probe has served its purpose: helping congressional Democrats take back the House; setting the stage for possible impeachment proceedings; and serving to divert public attention from wrongdoing by Obama officials and Clinton’s campaign where the Trump-Russia con job began.

In the movie version of “Seven Days in May,” the attempted coup falls apart when President Jordan Lyman, played by Fredric March, confronts General James Mattoon Scott, played by Burt Lancaster, with proof that he and the joint chiefs have been plotting his overthrow.

President Lyman: “You have such a fervid, passionate, evangelical affection for your country. Why in the name of God don’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hell bent to protect? You say I’ve duped the people, general… You accuse me of having lost their faith, deliberately and criminally shut my ears to the national voice.”

General Scott: “I do.”

President Lyman: “Well, where the hell have you heard that voice? . . . How did that voice seep into a locked room of conspirators? That’s not where you hear the voice of the people . . . Not in this republic. You want to defend the United States of America? Then defend it with the tools it supplies you with, its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, general, from a ballot box. You don’t steal it at midnight when the country has its back turned.”

If the country hasn’t exactly had its back turned, it has been deceived. Mueller’s report likely will conclude that Russia had nothing to do with Donald Trump’s election. Just the same, that doesn’t mean something very Soviet hasn’t been going on.

Never before in a U.S. presidential race has the White House used federal intelligence agencies to spy on a political opponent and then set in motion a plan to remove an elected president from office.

The Kremlin is all about this sort of treachery and revenge. Under Barack Obama and the bureaucrats his administration left behind, so was Washington.

Democrats must have thought they would be running the country for years to come. And why wouldn’t they? With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both claiming to be on the right side of history, what could go wrong?

Two words: Trump won.

Since then, a neo-McCarthyite hysteria has seized the nation, stirred up by Democratic socialists in Congress, amplified by propaganda in the anti-Trump news media and acted on by a special prosecutor fond of solitary confinement, coerced confessions and other police-state tactics.

Welcome to the new Cold War. Only this time we’re the Soviets.

Photo Credit: Paramount/Getty Images

2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Donald Trump • Hillary Clinton • Mueller-Russia Witch Hunt • Obama • Post

Autopsy of a Dead Coup

The illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.

So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.

Preparing the Battlefield
No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.

The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.

In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.

All through the 2016 campaign and during the first two years of the Trump presidency the media’s treatment, according to liberal adjudicators of press coverage, ran about 90 percent negative toward Trump—a landmark bias that continues today.

Journalists themselves consulted with the Clinton campaign to coordinate attacks. From the Wikileaks trove, journalistic grandees such as John Harwood, Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, and Glenn Thrush often communicated (and even post factum were unapologetic about doing so) with John Podesta’s staff to construct various anti-Trump themes and have the Clinton campaign review or even audit them in advance.

Some contract “journalists” apparently were paid directly by Fusion GPS—created by former reporters Glen Simpson of the Wall Street Journal and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post—to spread lurid stories from the dossier. Others more refined like Christiane Amanpour and James Rutenberg had argued for a new journalistic ethos that partisan coverage was certainly justified in the age of Trump, given his assumed existential threat to The Truth. Or as Rutenberg put it in 2016: “If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”

I suppose Rutenberg never considered that half the country might have considered the Hillary Clinton presidency “potentially dangerous,” and yet did not expect the evening news, in 90 percent of its coverage, to reflect such suspicions.

The Democratic National Committee’s appendages often helped to massage CNN news coverage—such as Donna Brazile’s primary debate tip-off to the Clinton campaign or CNN’s consultation with the DNC about forming talking points for a scheduled Trump interview.

So-called “bombshell,” “watershed,” “turning-point,” and “walls closing in” fake news aired in 24-hour news bulletin cycles. The media went from fabrications about Trump’s supposed removal of the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office, to the mythologies in the Steele dossier, to lies about the Trump Tower meeting, to assurances that Michael Cohen would testify to Trump’s suborning perjury, and on and on.

CNN soon proved that it is no longer a news organization at all—as reporters like Gloria Borger, Chris Cuomo, Eric Lichtblau, Manu Raju, Brian Rokus, Jake Tapper, Jeff Zeleny, and teams such as Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein, and Marshall Cohen as well as Thomas Frank, and Lex Harris all trafficked in false rumors and unproven gossip detrimental to Trump, while hosts and guest hosts such as Reza Aslan, the late Anthony Bourdain, and Anderson Cooper stooped to obscenity and grossness to attack Trump.

Both politicos and celebrities tried to drive Trump’s numbers down to facilitate some sort of popular ratification for his removal. Hollywood and the coastal corridor punditry exhausted public expressions of assassinating or injuring the president, as the likes of Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Robert de Niro, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others vied rhetorically to slice apart, shoot, beat up, cage, behead, and blow up the president.

Left wing social media and mainstream journalism spread sensational lies about supposed maniacal Trump supporters in MAGA hats. They constructed fantasies that veritable white racists were now liberated to run amuck insulting and beating up people of color as they taunted the poor and victimized minorities with vicious Trump sloganeering—even as the Covington farce and now the even more embarrassing Jussie Smollett charade evaporated without apologies from the media and progressive merchants of such hate.

At the same time, liberal attorneys, foundations, Democratic politicians, and progressive activists variously sued to overturn the election on false charges of rigged voting machines. They sought to subvert the Electoral College. They introduced articles of impeachment. They sued to remove Trump under the Emoluments Clause. They attempted to invoke the 25th Amendment. And they even resurrected the ossified Logan Act—before focusing on the appointment of a special counsel to discredit the Trump presidency. Waiting for the 2020 election was seen as too quaint.

Weaponizing the Deep State
During the 2016 election, the Obama Department of Justice warped the Clinton email scandal investigation, from Bill Clinton’s secret meeting on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to unethical immunity given to the unveracious Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to James Comey’s convoluted predetermined treatment of “likely winner” Clinton, and to DOJ’s Bruce Ohr’s flagrant conflict of interests in relation to Fusion GPS.

About a dozen FBI and DOJ grandees have now resigned, retired, been fired, or reassigned for unethical and likely illegal behavior—and yet have not faced criminal indictments. The reputation of the FBI as venerable agency is all but wrecked. Its administrators variously have libeled the Trump voters, expressed hatred for Trump, talked of “insurance policies” in ending the Trump candidacy, and inserted informants into the Trump campaign.

The former Obama directors of the CIA and National Intelligence, with security clearances intact, hit the television airways as paid “consultants” and almost daily accused the sitting president of Russian collusion and treason—without cross-examination or notice that both previously had lied under oath to Congress (and did so without subsequent legal exposure), and both were likely knee-deep in the dissemination of the Steele dossier among Obama administration officials.

John Brennan’s CIA likely helped to spread the Fusion GPS dossier among elected and administrative state officials. Some in the NSC in massive and unprecedented fashion requested the unmasking of surveilled names of Trump subordinates, and then illegally leaked them to the press.

The FISA courts, fairly or not, are now mostly discredited, given they either were willingly or naively hoodwinked by FBI and DOJ officials who submitted as chief evidence for surveillance on American citizens, an unverified dossier—without disclosure that the bought campaign hit-piece was paid for by Hillary Clinton, authored by a discredited has-been British agent, relied on murky purchased Russian sources, and used in circular fashion to seed news accounts of supposed Trump misbehavior.

The Mueller Investigation
The Crown Jewel in the coup was the appointment of special counsel Robert Muller to discover supposed 2016 Trump-Russian election collusion. Never has any special investigation been so ill-starred from its conception.

Mueller’s appointment was a result of his own friend James Comey’s bitter stunt of releasing secret, confidential and even classified memos of presidential conversations. Acting DOJ Attorney Rod Rosenstein appointed a former colleague Mueller—although as a veteran himself of the Clinton email scandal investigations and the FISA fraudulent writ requests, Rosenstein was far more conflicted than was the recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mueller then packed his investigative team with lots of Clinton donors and partisans, some of whom had legally represented Clinton subordinates and even the Clinton Foundation or voiced support for anti-Trump movements.

Mueller himself and Andrew Weissmann have had a long record of investigatory and prosecutorial overreach that had on occasion resulted in government liability and court mandated federal restitution. In such polarized times, neither should have involved in such an investigation. Two subordinate FBI investigators were caught earlier on conducting an affair over their FBI-issued cell phones, and during the election cycle they slurred the object of their subsequent investigation, ridiculed Trump voters, and bragged that Trump would never be elected. Mueller later staggered, and then hid for weeks the reasons for, their respective firings.

The team soon discovered there was no Trump-Russian 2016 election collusion—and yet went ahead to leverage Trump campaign subordinates on process crimes in hopes of finding some culpability in Trump’s past 50-year business, legal, and tax records. The point was not to find who colluded with whom (if it had been, then Hillary Clinton would be now indicted for illegally hiring with campaign funds a foreign national to buy foreign fabrications to discredit her opponent), but to find the proper mechanism to destroy the presumed guilty Donald Trump.

The Mueller probe has now failed in that gambit of proving “collusion” (as even progressive investigative reporters and some FBI investigators had predicted), but succeeded brilliantly in two ways.

The “counterintelligence” investigation subverted two years of the Trump presidency by constant leaks that Trump soon would be indicted, jailed, disgraced, or impeached. As a result, Trump’s stellar economic and foreign policy record would never earn fifty percent of public support.

Second, Mueller’s preemptive attacks offered an effective offensive defense for the likely felonious behavior of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, and a host of others. While the Mueller lawyers threatened to destroy the lives of bit players like Jerome Corsi, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone, they de facto provided exemption to a host of the Washington hierarchy who had lied under oath, obstructed justice, illegally leaked to the press, unmasked and leaked names of surveilled Americans, and misled federal courts under the guise of a “higher loyalty” to the cause of destroying Donald J. Trump.

The Palace Coup
All of the above came to a head with the firing of the chronic leaker FBI Director James Comey (who would lie to the president about his not being a target of an FBI investigation, lie to House investigatory committees by pleading amnesia and ignorance on 245 occasions, and repeatedly lie to his own FBI bureaucrats).

In May 2017, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe took over from the fired Comey. His candidate wife recently had been a recipient of huge Clinton-related campaign PAC donations shortly before he began investigating the Clinton email scandal. McCabe would soon be cited by the Inspector General for lying to federal investigators on numerous occasions—cynically stooping even to lie to his own New York FBI subordinates to invest scarce resources to hunt for their own nonexistent leaks as a mechanism for disguising his own quite real and illegal leaking.

The newly promoted McCabe apparently felt that it was his moment to become famous for taking out a now President Trump. Thus, he assembled a FBI and DOJ cadre to open a counterintelligence investigation of the sitting president on no other grounds but the fumes of an evaporating Clinton opposition dossier and perceived anger among the FBI that their director had just been fired. In addition, apparently now posing as Andrew McCabe, MD, he informally head counted how many of Trump’s own cabinet members could be convinced by McCabe’s own apparent medical expertise to help remove the president on grounds of physical and mental incapacity under the 25th Amendment. This was an attempted, albeit pathetic, coup against an elected president and the first really in the history of the United States.

At one point, McCabe claims that the acting Attorney General of the United States Rod Rosenstein volunteered to wear a wire to entrap his boss President Trump—in the manner of Trump’s own attorney Michael Cohen’s entrapment of Trump, in the manner of James Comey taking entrapment notes on confidential Trump one-on-one meetings and leaking them to the press, and in the manner of the Department of Justice surveilling Trump subordinates through FISA and other court authorizations.

McCabe was iconic of an utterly corrupt FBI Washington hierarchy, which we now know from the behavior of its disgraced and departed leadership. They posed as patriotic scouts, but in reality proved themselves arrogant, smug, and incompetent. They harbored such a sense of superiority that they were convinced they could act outside the law in reifying an “insurance policy” that would end the Trump presidency.

The thinking of the conspirators initially had been predicated on three assumptions thematic during this three-year long government effort to destroy Trump:

One, during 2016, Hillary Clinton would certainly win the election and FBI and DOJ unethical and illegal behavior would be forgotten if not rewarded, given the Clintons’ own signature transgressions and proven indifference to the law;

Two, Trump was so controversial and the fabricated dossier was so vile and salacious, that seeded rumors of Trump’s faked perversity gave them de facto exemptions to do whatever they damned pleased;

Three, Trump’s low polls, his controversial reset of American policy, and the general contempt in which he was held by the bipartisan coastal elite, celebrities, and the deep state, meant that even illegal means to continue the campaign-era effort to destroy Trump and now abort his presidency were felt to be moral and heroic acts without legal consequences, and the media would see the conspirators as heroes.

In sum, the Left and the administrative state, in concert with the media, after failing to stop the Trump campaign, regrouped. They ginned up a media-induced public hysteria, with the residue of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s illegal opposition research, and manipulated it to put in place a special counsel, stocked with partisans.

Then, not thugs in sunglasses and epaulettes, not oligarchs in private jets, not shaggy would-be Marxists, but sanctimonious arrogant bureaucrats in suits and ties used their government agencies to seek to overturn the 2016 election, abort a presidency, and subvert the U.S. Constitution. And they did all that and more on the premise that they were our moral superiors and had uniquely divine rights to destroy a presidency that they loathed.

Shame on all these failed conspirators and their abettors, and may these immoral people finally earn a long deserved legal and moral reckoning.

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Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Administrative State • Deep State • Donald Trump • Intelligence Community • Obama • Post

A Seesaw of Sore Losers and their Special Counsels

Just under a year from now, on February 3, 2020, Iowa will hold its caucuses. A month later, the Democrats and the Republicans both will likely have a prohibitive favorite for the presidential nomination after Super Tuesday cements their insurmountable leads. In other words, very soon, President Trump’s opponents will have the opportunity to remove him using the ordinary and regular procedures of an election.

Now, before we can know the outcome of the 2020 election, it is the perfect time for both sides reflect on the inherent evil of the political special counsel. And now is the perfect time to consider reforms that can be taken to prevent and endless seesaw of sore losers undermining their political opponents with spurious special counsels and investigations.

When one looks back at the Clinton impeachment proceedings, one realizes that Mueller’s team may already have used up too much of the calendar to complete the impeachment/trial process without sailing into the overwhelming political headwinds of an ongoing presidential election cycle. Following the Clinton model, we can anticipate that even if Mueller were to issue his report immediately, the trial would conclude, in the best case scenario, sometime in the July 2019 timeframe. Every month that goes by, Mueller loses more time in which to complete a trial in the Senate before the election.

Suppose the Democrats succeed in dislodging President Trump through the 2020 election. How many days after Election Day 2020 before the enemies of the incoming president plot to have a new special counsel appointed in order to reverse the 2020 election? For Clinton in 2016, it didn’t take long. In 2016, we learned it may have happened almost immediately.

In a strategy meeting convened at Washington’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the days following Clinton’s election loss, George Soros and other rich Clinton supporters met to, “retool the big-money left to fight back against Donald Trump.” The meeting was organized with a post-election Clinton campaign promise to “take back power.” We’ve since learned that Soros and a group of mystery donors poured $50 million into a war chest, including post-election funding for Fusion GPS to continue linking Trump to Russia. Then-FBI director James Comey used the Fusion GPS material to brief (threaten?) Trump and and leaked a memo referring to the Fusion GPS Russia smear to prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

So to recap, after Hillary Clinton lost the election, her financial backers (including George Soros) funded the salacious and unverified information that Comey relied upon to get his friend, Robert Mueller, appointed as a special counsel. Mueller then appointed Clinton donors, supporters, and a former Clinton foundation attorney to staff the special counsel’s office. It would be interesting to know whether there was any overlap between the attendees at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel meeting and membership on the special counsel’s team.

If it were possible to have a non-partisan discussion over the Mueller probe, no reasonable person would maintain that the Mueller team’s staffing and origins were free from political influence. Indeed, even if the team does find evidence of actual Russian collusion, the credibility of any such finding will be obscured by the obviously partisan origins of the effort. Is it any wonder that a majority of Americans see the special counsel investigation as politically motivated?

Who possibly could have foreseen that a special counsel would transform into a political revenge exercise by Clinton supporters and donors? Practically everyone. After the Clinton impeachment proceedings, this very situation was widely feared and anticipated. Following the expiration of the Independent Counsel Statute in 1999, Hastings Law Journal published remarks by James K. Robinson, who led the Justice Department’s criminal division at the time, discussing the prevailing bipartisan skepticism surrounding the idea of an independent counsel. Robinson observed:

The potential the Act created for political abuse and manipulation of the criminal justice system by those opposed to the administration was troubling . . . . Indeed, it was our conclusion that the very processes and procedures of the Act itself had contributed to a sense of cynicism and negativity among the citizenry during recent years. We also concluded that far from protecting the process from allegations of partisan political considerations, the Act did just the opposite.

Robinson, who died in 2010, also noted the importance of keeping the prosecutors free from conflicts of interest, or else, “public confidence in the fairness and thoroughness of the investigation simply could not be achieved.” Or consider this warning: That the independent counsel “warped out of all proportion the handling of minor, even petty matters that under any other circumstance would have been quickly and appropriately resolved by career prosecutors.”

Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is supervising an investigation into his own actions. Jeannie Rhea and Andrew Weissmann can use their perches within the Mueller team to exact revenge on an election result adverse to their candidate and former client. Mueller can protect his friend Comey and get payback for Comey’s termination. We can all cluck that none of these people would be influenced by these apparent conflicts of interest. But how credible are these prosecutors and investigators who are already personally-invested in the guilt of their target before the investigation even begins? Can we find a basis for launching an independent counsel that does not spring from a political opponent’s opposition research subcontractor?

Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton started with a land deal in Arkansas and ended up investigating a sex act that happened in the White House. One cannot avoid the parallels between Stormy Daniels and Monica Lewinsky and how both Starr and Mueller ended up mired in sex stories having nothing to do with the original mandate for their investigations. Has Mueller already “solved” the question of whether Trump colluded with the Russians? The mere fact that he’s moved on to stories about sex with porn stars seems to suggest he has.

While many compare the Russia collusion story to Watergate, this comparison actually indicts the extreme unfairness of the Mueller probe. If you want a step-by-step contrast between the relatively apolitical special counsel in the Nixon-Watergate scandal and the mirror opposite in Mueller, read here.

For Democratic presidential candidates such as Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) or Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), it’s not too soon to think about whether some bipartisan reforms could prevent a Republican version of a Robert Mueller investigation immediately following the inauguration of 2021. Perhaps a presumed time limit on an investigation (maybe 180 days)? Ninety days is how long it took to indict the original Watergate burglars and special prosecutor Archibald Cox was on the job a mere 154 days.

Perhaps some reform to the clear abuses of recusals that seem only to take place along partisan lines? Perhaps a ban on “other matters as they arise” jurisdiction which currently allows a special counsel to investigate 10-year-old sexual encounters between consenting adults? It would also be helpful if the Justice Department would safeguard against using the powerful prosecution and surveillance tools to muck about in domestic elections.

Unaccountable political prosecutors are a delight to the permanent ruling bureaucracy in D.C. because they keep the voters’ representatives in the White House and Congress occupied while they run business as usual. We seem to have lost any sense of writing and applying rules in a way that the outcome is fair regardless of the politics of the affected party. But those who rejoice today should remember that the worm can turn. For every Robert Mueller, there’s a Ken Starr.

Photo Credit: Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Conservatives • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Identity Politics • Obama • Post • Progressivism • The Culture • The Left

Why Liberals Don’t Call Out Democrat Hate

Last month’s attack on the Covington Catholic High School boys should be one of those electrifying moments of correction, as when Senator Joseph McCarthy was asked, “have you no shame?”

Instead, it is electrifying only in its illumination: the Democrats have no shame.

Liberals watch their politicians, celebrities, and media leaders attack individuals, even children, and our precious civil liberties. Instead of recoiling, they immediately parrot the vicious talking point of the day. The few exceptions of public protest, the exemplary Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, and last week, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), makes the ominous acquiescence of other Democrats all the more noticeable.

The mobbing of the Covington boys, and the feeble excuse-apologies—and continued attacks—that followed, join what is now a long series of hate-filled words and acts by leftists that cause regular Democrats no shame, no dark night of the soul, no revulsion towards what they are becoming as people and as a party.

Everything America has ever stood for must go. Being colorblind is attacked as racist. Equality before the law is attacked as sexist. The list of Democrat doublespeak becomes a tedious rant, and what’s the point? Democrats are not listening and if forced to listen, plug their ears and scream at the top of the lungs that it is Trump, Trump, Trump who is ruining everything.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom to organize politically (for conservatives), the right to life for a baby about to be born—have all been redefined as violence against blacks, women or gays. A religious teenager standing still in a MAGA hat is an attempt to “erase” minorities that justifies violence to wipe the smile off his face.

#TheResistance is an attack on the right of Republicans to win a perfectly normal, hard fought, fairly won, national election. Democrats are resisting American democracy itself—and their previously normal voters cheer.

Americans never accepted attacking children, mobbing anyone, making political opposition a thought crime—now Democrats do.

The attempt to defame and destroy youngsters should trigger revulsion across the political spectrum. Instead, we heard a chorus of lame excuses that the original Covington video clip could well have been the boys mobbing an Indian. Reality check: even the short clip did not show a boy disrespecting an Indian, let alone mobbing an Indian. The short clip was a video of a boy smiling at an Indian. That’s it. The long clip showed black adults and an Indian being aggressive and disrespectful to a group of youngsters, followed by the Indian trying to frame the kids in a lying, hostile interview with the national media.

Democratic professional journalists tried to ruin that child’s life. A hysterical Twitter mob wanted to dismember and kill him. His real crime was going to a right to life rally and wearing a MAGA hat. They tell us so.

I keep thinking of Mao’s Red Guards, who would stuff a neighbor in a sack for thought crimes and beat her to death.

We have black shirts, in America, beating conservatives with chains. It’s OK with leftists, including Obama and Clinton, because they name themselves Antifa. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening.

One by one, the post-Obama Democratic party is breaking down all civilized norms in America. That’s understandable. They are being led by professional activists, following the cultural Marxist playbook of identity politics. It is a well published, albeit ignored playbook, which Obama learned at the American Socialist conferences he attended, taught in Chicago as a paid agitator and law school lecturer, and instituted from the White House.

We’re following the leftist blueprint for destruction. Their weapon of choice is to set the races at each other’s throats. Obama stoked racial grievances leading to race riots and a mass shooting of cops, cynically using the corpses of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Social justice warrior’s grievance studies departments, racial quotas and attacks on white privilege daily rub race relations raw.

Community organizers purposely inflame grievances into societal breakdown. They get money by shaking down corporations with accusations of racism (now add sexism and homophobia). They take over public schools and texts that teach kids to hate America. When they get enough power, they corrupt and subvert our institutions—IRS, FBI, DOJ. They delegitimize the constitutional safeguards against tyranny of the mob, such as the electoral college.

The left is tearing America apart on purpose, because they want a revolution. It’s normal for them.

What is not normal is for regular Democrats, once sincere liberals, to follow their leaders down into the sewer of cultural Marxism, pretending it doesn’t smell. Once normal Democrat politicians, journalists, Hollywood and sports celebrities are leading a revolting break down of civility and decency.

In each and every case, normal, decent Democrats choose not to look. If forced by too many headlines to notice the odious behavior, they justify it.

The stench of their hypocrisy is in all our nostrils.

In the case of the Covington boys, their own high school and bishop in Kentucky—people who knew the boys and their milieu and should have assumed their decency absent overwhelming evidence to the contrary—automatically and swiftly joined the accusers of the innocent boys.

Liberal Catholic and Christian clergy have long been turning a blind eye to the intense bigotry of Democrats against their own religions. Liberal Jews are tolerating their party’s anti-semitism, since it is integral to identity politics and multiculturalism. This seems freakish, but it is all too human.

Liberals cannot admit what is in front of their eyes: conservatives represent traditionally liberal values. Conservatives are the party of inclusiveness, in which we are all Americans, colorblind and equal, while their identity politics is something foreign to America that encourages hatred of whites and men, pitting race against race and women against men. Conservatives want to raise people up, and their party wants people to be dysfunctional victims, seething masses of self-destructive grievance, envy, and revenge.

None of this is subtle or confusing. It’s just impossible for liberals to admit. The price of being honest is too high.

Everyone they know is liberal. Their spouses, their children, their relatives, their neighbors, their bosses, their colleagues. Liberals don’t tolerate dissent.

Dissent, and you will be treated like the Covington boys.

The classic work of the psychology of abuse, Trauma and Recovery, by Dr. Judith Herman, tells us: “(The abused child) tends to displace her anger from the dangerous source and to discharge it unfairly on those who did not provoke it.” Displacement and denial work together to wipe out a danger that can’t be escaped.

Liberals have no escape from their party’s embrace of hate. For a liberal to criticize Democrat’s hatefulness towards whites, men, Jews, Christians, Catholics—it can’t be done. It would destroy a liberal’s career, perhaps his or her marriage, in an instant. Dissent is punished swiftly and ruthlessly by liberals. Apple’s black, female vice president of diversity and inclusion was fired after six months in her new position (she was a 20-year veteran at Apple, on the leadership team expanding retail worldwide). Her crime? She said twelve white men from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences and perspectives also provide “diversity.”

All of this is impossible for liberals to face. Their own betrayal of American values, their hypocrisy, the danger of dissent—all are awful things to admit. So they don’t admit them. Instead, they double down on denial and displacement. They tell themselves Republicans are truly evil and must be destroyed. They insist they are the party of love.

Liberals aren’t uneasy that the two freshmen congresswomen from Muslim districts are anti-Semites. Their papers simply don’t report on it. Instead, they scream over and over that President Trump is KKK, ignoring his stellar record of helping blacks with jobs and safe neighborhoods and school choice and incarceration reform, his healing words that color doesn’t matter, and we are all American.

Tearing the country apart with false accusations of racism is bad for America, but for the individual liberal, it is totally safe. It is required. It is good.

Wanting to torture, beat and murder the Catholic boys from Covington High carries no penalty in their social circles. Showing those boys respect even though they are right to life? That’s dangerous. Really dangerous.

It’s easy to keep liberal blinders on. Limit your reading to the propaganda press, so you will not learn any disturbing information. Read the New York Times and listen to NPR, and “poof”—all the potential cognitive dissonance is gone.

To stay in the fold, liberals are being forced to jettison liberalism. They have already jettisoned American values. No more Bill of Rights. No patriotism allowed. No common sense on borders. No Martin Luther King’s dream of colorblind fairness. No equality before the law. No respect for a two- party system.

Adopting fascism is entirely comfortable. Everyone they know is doing it. They’re the good people. Everyone they know says so.

Photo Credit: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images