Believe it or not, there are other things going on in the news besides the “novel coronavirus.”
Turn on your TV, though, and chances are 99.99999 percent that the word “coronavirus” will be mentioned within the next 15 seconds. If you're lucky, it’s reasonable and useful information about what is being done on a variety of fronts to deal with the virus and its possible effects on our lives. This is important and we do need to know about it. But the relentless hysteria has become tiresome, especially considering that a distressing amount of the coverage comes from a blame-Trump-at-all-cost political perspective.
Remember, this virus has no agenda except to spread wherever it can. It is not into identity politics: it doesn’t care if you’re black or white, American or Chinese or Iranian, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, famous or unknown, male or female or trans-whatever. It doesn’t care whether or not President Trump gets re-elected. And It certainly doesn’t care what else is going on that normally would be getting media attention right now.
But we should care. The world still turns, and what goes on behind the scenes now will determine the direction our nation takes, long after the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat.
For example (speaking of insidious viruses), Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, worked to make sure the revisions to the FISA law that were up for review last week won’t interfere with the FBI’s ability to continue with business as usual. Here’s the full story.
Also, while most media have been obsessed with coronavirus, investigative reporters such as Margot Cleveland have been tediously dissecting Michael Horowitz’s IG report on FISA abuse footnote-by-footnote and creating timelines to piece together what the FBI and CIA were really doing to target Donald Trump, both as a candidate and as President. (I suppose that’s one way to minimize exposure to any virus; instead of being out and about, just sit alone in front of a computer screen. Periodically wiped down with sanitizer, of course.)
Cleveland’s latest column deals with Stefan Halper, a confidential human source (CHS) for the FBI who isn’t identified by name in the IG report but at this point doesn’t have to be. If you’ve read Lee Smith’s THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, you’re already well-versed on Halper. We know he did quite a lot of spying on the Trump campaign; he secretly recorded Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and even Sam Clovis, who was co-chair of the campaign. Horowitz’s report shows he was involved in this surveillance work before being tapped by the FBI for “Crossfire Hurricane,” which started on July 31, 2016.
So, if Halper was spying on Trump’s people before the FBI started using him as a CHS, who hired him for that? We know he had a previous relationship with the CIA, so perhaps it was John Brennan who got that started. Halper was highly paid (note: with taxpayer funds) by the Defense Department’s Office Of Net Assessment on four government contracts for projects he supposedly completed for them. (There’s much more on this in THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT.) But Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has raised questions about the merits of these contracts.
Were the contracts really just a cover, and what was Halper REALLY doing while on the Defense Department payroll? We’ve asked these questions before, but Cleveland now raises the possibility that Halper was working for...drum roll, please...Hillary Clinton. It seems he was talking to the press about Carter Page at about the same time Christopher Steele was being paid by Fusion GPS to peddle the “dossier” and work up suspicion about Trump’s campaign and Russia. Since the Clinton campaign and the DNC (same thing) were paying Fusion GPS to “seed” the media with tales of Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia, the activities of Steele and Halper appear to have been coordinated. I’ll link to her column and let you decide for yourself.
John Solomon has been busy putting pieces together as well, and it’s now clear that our nation was put through two years of an investigation into President Trump over an issue (working with Russia to undermine the 2016 election) that had been discredited as of January, 2017, by information in the FBI’s own files.
By then, they’d received multiple warnings about the lack of credibility of Christopher Steele and his “dossier.” They’d determined that key targets of their counterintelligence investigation, such as newly appointed national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, had made exculpatory statements denying any collusion. And they’d concluded that Flynn had NOT colluded with Russians. A motion filed by Flynn attorney Sidney Powell on September 11, 2019, refers to “an internal DOJ document dated January 30, 2017, in which the FBI exonerated Mr. Flynn of being ‘an agent of Russia.’
We know about that motion because Solomon obtained a 2018 letter between Robert Mueller’s office and Flynn’s attorneys that references it. As Solomon reports, it shows that the DOJ exoneration memo was written after Flynn was ambush-interviewed in January 2017 and was based on the fact that Flynn had briefed his agency on the contacts he’d had with Russia. It was all on the up and up, and they knew it.
Yet they pursued Flynn anyway and eventually got him to plead guilty to lying to investigators, who have said they didn’t think he was being deceptive. Presiding Judge Emmet Sullivan is still resisting the idea of letting him withdraw his guilty plea. And Powell still can’t get the original DOJ exoneration memo from prosecutors. “It’s just horrible,” she said during a podcast with Solomon. “They gave us a little three-line summary of it and the letter and told us it existed but have refused to give us the actual document, which I know means there’s a lot of other information in it that would be helpful to us.”
But wait --- there’s even more exculpatory evidence dripping out. Recently released documents about the infamous Trump Tower meeting back accounts of Donald Trump, Jr., and other campaign officials who said there was no talk of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. This was in the testimony of the translator present at the meeting. The agent’s “302” notes read, “There was no smoking gun according to Samochornov [the translator]. There was not a discussion about ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Samochornov did not think Hillary Clinton was mentioned by name.”
Oh, and guess what? Two years later, when Mueller’s special counsel report was finally released, these exculpatory notes were not included.
By the way, even though President Trump has a nasty virus on his plate right now (yechh), he’s still keeping up with all these developments. In fact, he says he’s “strongly considering” a full pardon for Michael Flynn. After what Flynn has been put through by the “Justice” Department, it’s hard to imagine Trump wouldn’t pardon him, and sooner rather than later.