FBI agent fired
If you wonder why it’s proving so difficult for President Trump to “drain the swamp,” then consider this illustration of how hard it is to fire a single government employee no matter how staggeringly deserved it may be. It was just announced that on Friday, the FBI finally fired Peter Strzok, the smarmy, arrogant FBI agent whose unfettered political bias was revealed in the thousands of texts he shared with fellow FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while working on the highest profile investigations in the country, of Hillary Clinton’s email server and alleged Russian attempts to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
And yet, despite all we know about his unprofessional conduct that should make any fair-minded person (as well as the many honest and dedicated FBI employees) recoil in revulsion, Strzok’s attorney denounced his firing as “politically motivated” (I’m sure Peter Strzok is horrified at the idea of politics tainting the FBI.) He said the bureau’s deputy director “overruled” the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (good), adding, “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”
The only thing deeply troubling about it to me is that it took so many months, during which this guy continued to hold a security clearance and draw a paycheck at taxpayer expense. At the link, more details and President Trump’s response.
IRS loses in court
Those who accuse President Trump of treason for suggesting that a supposedly impartial government agency had been politically weaponized against Republicans under Obama conveniently forget the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal. The IRS harassed, investigated and delayed conservative Tea Party groups that applied for nonprofit status, insuring that they were unable to perform their educational and voter turnout functions and depriving them of their Constitutional right to participate in the 2012 election. Liberals have tried for years to dismiss that as a nonpartisan snafu, but it was obvious that the IRS specifically targeted groups with “Tea Party” and similar conservative phrases in their names. And now, there is official proof of wrongdoing – but still, no admission of it:
Last week, in a historic first, a judge approved a settlement of a class action lawsuit in which the IRS agreed to pay $3.5 million in damages to Tea Party groups. But here come the infuriating parts: under the settlement, the IRS admits no wrongdoing. Also, the depositions of Lois Lerner will remain sealed, even though the plaintiffs have no objection to releasing them. (Ms Lerner was the IRS official overseeing this scandal who was found in contempt of Congress yet never prosecuted, and was allowed to retire with a $129,000 bonus and an annual pension of up to $102,000 a year.) So in addition to costing taxpayers all that pension money, Lerner and her partisan IRS cronies just cost taxpayers another $3.5 million, all without ever admitting wrongdoing. Meanwhile, top IRS officials continue on their merry way, thumbing their noses at their Congressional overseers.
Pardon me while I once again repeat the only two words that will ever end this kind of arrogance, lawlessness and injustice: “Fair Tax!”
Excellent blog post by longtime newspaperman Don Surber on the “news”-papers’ claim that President Trump is harming the First Amendment, and how they don’t understand or care about any part of the First Amendment that doesn’t directly affect them.
Cuomo commits federal crime
The next time liberals try to defend the Mueller investigation by pointing to how many indictments it’s gotten against Trump associates, remember this: we have so many obscure laws that even the very liberal Governor of New York just gave a speech in which he unknowingly confessed to committing a federal crime most people never even heard of. If he were a Republican who could be pressured into testifying against Trump, he’d probably be in solitary for it by now.
Google bows to China
Google reportedly plans to launch a pre-censored search engine app in China that complies with the communist government’s strict censorship laws, despite Google’s claim that its mission is to make information “universally acceptable.” But then, it used to claim that its mission was to not be evil.
So if Google offers the Chinese a censored search engine for their cell phones, will it track their every movement even when they deliberately turn on the privacy setting? Because that’s the type of thing you’d expect only in a communist, totalitarian state. Oh, wait!...
NASA announced that it may have detected a “wall” made of hydrogen at the edge of our solar system. Democrats blamed Trump.
More Omarosa (UGH!)
I had sincerely hoped never to have to spellcheck the name “Omarosa” again, but former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman was all over the news again Sunday because of her claim to have used her cell phone to secretly record her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly in the White House Situation Room. Apparently, she is seeking sympathy for alleged intimidation or unfairness against her. Instead, the tape makes two points that I don’t think she intended to make:
1. Kelly makes it clear that she is being fired for cause, for integrity violations so serious that in the military culture he came from, they would be court-martial offenses (there had been a number of allegations about her from staffers, ranging from using official vehicles as her personal Ubers to – surprise! – secretly recording conversations.) Kelly was trying to cut her a break by letting her leave under friendly terms with her reputation (such as it is) intact.
2. The Situation Room is supposed to be one of the most secure rooms in the world. All staffers are required to leave cell phones and other devices outside to prevent any attempts at hacking and eavesdropping by foreign spies. In making that unauthorized secret recording, she not only verified that she richly deserved to be fired, but (if the laws about protecting national security are still enforced at all, post-Hillary Clinton) she might even have put herself into legal jeopardy. If her name keeps appearing in the media beyond her book publicity tour, it might be in a completely different context.
Medal of Honor Recipient
Later this month, Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman will be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his courageous assault on entrenched al-Qaeda militants that saved the lives of his fellow troops in a battle on the side of snowy Takur Ghar mountain in Afghanistan. He is the first Air Force member since Vietnam to receive the Medal of Honor. Even more unusual, his amazing charge and last stand were captured on video. The full story and footage are at the link. I would call it a must-watch, except some may find it too distressing to watch, even though it was shot from a distance. Seldom does such incredible bravery and sacrifice get captured on video.
Anti-Trump media put on notice: stop lying about "perjury traps"
From MSNBC, August 8: “The President’s lawyer’s public negotiating position is ‘the President is so guilty of SOMETHING that he will lie about it and commit perjury if he is interviewed by the Mueller team.’”
From MSNBC (this time said by a guest, New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore), August 9: “They said in that interview that the President’s story if told to Mueller would put him into perjury. So what he’s saying is that the President’s story is wrong. It’s a lie. He just admitted it on national TV.”
Both of these statements are outrageously false. Either the on-air personalities –- I won’t call them journalists –- spouting this kind of garbage are too stupid to be yakking about legal matters beyond their comprehension, or they think YOU’RE too stupid to figure out they’re deliberately lying to you. In other words, they either don't know or don't care. Logically, it has to be one or the other, because what they’re telling their audience is not true. Either way, it’s time to stop being complacent about the anti-Trump media’s lies and the number of wildly misinformed people walking around thinking they know things (and believing them passionately). It’s not just MSNBC misinforming them –- far from it –- though that source is one of the more blatant and consistent examples of incredible wrongness and misguided hysteria. Every day, I see factually wrong or, at best, incomplete stories from numerous media outlets that people used to be able to trust for information.
One major piece of misinformation making the rounds right now is related to perjury; specifically, the “perjury trap.” We’ve talked about this before: how someone can be as innocent as a fluffy baby chick and still be charged with perjury (if under oath) or lying to investigators (if not sworn in), and how it’s often a trap that should be avoided if at all possible. But since the issue is being so distorted in the media, with some even saying there’s no such thing as a perjury trap, I thought it might be time to go over it again. Rudy Giuliani thought so, too, and clarified it for Howard Kurtz –- also for Confessore, whom he called “that idiot” –- on Sunday’s FOX News show “Media Buzz,” even suggesting that it might be legal malpractice not to advise a client against going into such a situation. Legal expert Andrew C. McCarthy evidently thought the subject was timely as well, because he coincidentally has a great new column that goes into enlightening detail on how “perjury traps” work in practice. The folks at MSNBC should read it, and so should their lamentably misinformed audience, but they probably won’t.
“...The pundits are completely wrong,” Giuliani said. “The reality is, and any lawyer will tell you this, truth is in the eye of the beholder. And my client can be telling the truth, their witness can be a total scoundrel, and if they decide to go with their witness, my client’s gonna get indicted or charged with perjury in some way. So I don’t know if they just don’t want to understand or they want to say the President’s lying. I will tell you, he’s not lying. All the evidence is against Comey on this.”
Okay, that’s from Trump’s own attorney, but McCarthy has no horse in this race and is just helping us understand. He theorizes that because some of the people saying there’s no such thing as a perjury trap are “very smart” (the operative word here might be “some”), that “nonsensical” view is being “driven by politics, not law or logic.”
What McCarthy says is consistent with Giuliani’s explanation: “The theme the anti-Trump camp is pushing...is that an honest person has nothing to fear from a prosecutor. If you simply answer the questions truthfully, there is no possibility of a false-statements charge. But see, for charging purposes, the witness who answers the questions does not get to decide whether they have been answered truthfully. That his up to the prosecutor who asks the questions. The honest person can make his best effort to provide truthful, accurate and complete responses; but the interrogator’s evaluation, right or wrong, determines whether those responses warrant prosecution.”
McCarthy goes on to explain how this scenario played out in the interrogation of then-national security advisor Michael Flynn, in which prosecutors didn’t really even need to question him because, having (unbeknownst to him) SURVEILLED HIS PHONE CALLS, they already had the answers. Worse, they didn’t even advise him that he was being investigated and he had no lawyer present; on the fourth day of his new job, he likely thought the meeting was just business as usual, not a formal interrogation. He might have simply had a faulty recollection; remember, his questioners gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t think he'd lied, but then Mueller’s team decided differently. That’ s how subjective it all is.
Read the full article, and you, too, will be an expert on perjury traps, wise in the ways of the FBI and special counsels who are hell-bent on prosecution. This is how they do it, and right now they’re getting cover from “journalists” who despise President Trump so much that they’re happy to provide it. As McCarthy says, “It’s fatuous to claim this stuff doesn’t happen. It happens all the time.”