Kavanaugh's accuser not the only one trying to avoid testifying
These days, Christine Blasey Ford isn’t the only one who’s trying to avoid testifying. While she dodges the Senate, Nellie Ohr dodges the House. The former Fusion GPS employee and wife of former top-level Justice Department official Bruce Ohr has refused multiple requests to appear before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. It seems as though the committees have been working on making this happen for an awfully long time. Since she still won’t appear voluntarily, the committees are reportedly considering subpoenaing her.
“Considering?” Come on, committees –- this has gone on too long. Serve the subpoena. Serve it on a shiny silver platter, with garnishes.
Bruce Ohr testified in late August. Much of the questioning concerned his relationship with British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who wrote the highly imaginative and unverified “dossier” paid for, through channels, by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC and used fraudulently to get a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. If Bruce and Nellie wanted to coordinate their testimony, they've had plenty of time to work that out.
As reported by FOX News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge, former FBI general counsel James Baker has also refused to appear. Like Nellie Ohr’s, his testimony will be compelled if it comes to that. Looks as though that process server’s going to be a busy man.
It may also take some serious elbow-twisting to get the Justice Department to respond in a timely manner to President Trump’s call for declassification of documents relevant to the so-called Trump/Russia investigation. (No surprise there.) But Trey Gowdy says he’s read it all and that any delay is caused not by concern for national security, but because of the embarrassment it might cause the Justice Department and FBI. “Embarrassment is not a reason to classify something,” he notes.
“A lot of it should be embarrassing to John Brennan,” he continues. “And maybe therein lies why he is adamant that this information not be released.”
Can’t wait. But until we get the unredacted documents, reporters such as John Solomon at THE HILL are working to uncover more in the way of texts and emails. And it’s quite interesting to learn that the approach taken by Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and the rest of that motley crew wan’t always shared by others at the Bureau. Apparently, there was concern that some had “partisan axes to grind,” and not everyone conveniently assumed that Russia was out to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.
On January 3, 2017, in apparent reference to a conversation with then-Assistant Director Bill Priestap, Strzok wrote to Page (who was then legal assistant to deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe), “He, like us, is concerned with over sharing. Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies.”
Though somewhat open to interpretation, this message hints at political disagreement and intrigue within the FBI. According to Solomon, some investigators think that “CR” refers to “classified raw” intelligence, such as the Steele dossier and other intercepts. This message was sent at a critical time, less than 72 hours before the intelligence community released its report saying that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 election.
There are more texts at the link below. Not being Bureau-crats, we’ll have to puzzle over some of the jargon and abbreviations, but the most important take-away is that they were pondering the political risks and benefits of what was in their reports.
According to Solomon, one of Strzok’s texts from December of 2016 candidly states that that the FBI really couldn’t determine which of three possible motives had driven Russia’s attempts at interference. “...The activity is one-sided and clear,” he wrote, “but we can’t say the sole and primary purpose was specifically intended to help someone, hurt someone else or undermine the process. The reality is all three.”
Yet when Obama’s official intelligence report came out on January 6, the wording was certain: “We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.” That was obviously the chosen narrative of Obama’s White House, even without the evidence, and Democrats have stuck to it now for almost two years, though we still have no established motive on Russia's part besides simply to “undermine the process.”
Personally, I don’t think Hillary needed help from Russia or anybody else in contrasting herself unfavorably. She was doing fine all by herself. But I digress.
Anyway, we have this to chew on until the newly declassified documents start coming out, probably next week. If they don’t appear, the President is going to have to get tough. It’s no good allowing our own Justice Department to behave like Russia and “undermine the process.”
Sara A. Carter has looked at the same Strzok-Page text exchanges with her usual clear eye and offers additional insight.
Latest Kavanaugh Updates
Here are the latest updates on the disruption of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings that have turned what is supposed to be a serious process for selecting Supreme Court Justices into a combination kangaroo court and mindless reality TV show:
There may be yet another weeklong delay, as his accuser keeps changing her terms. She’s now demanding that only members of the committee can question her, no lawyers (there were also reports of her insisting that she be questioned only by people who believed her, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the latest demands); that Kavanaugh cannot be in the room at the time; and that Kavanaugh must be questioned first, before he has the opportunity to hear her testimony.
Wait, so he’s supposed to respond to her incredibly vague charge without even hearing what it is? Someone dig up Franz Kafka; he’d come back to life just to turn this into a short story! Have you ever seen a legal proceeding in your life in which the accused is expected to defend himself first, and then the prosecution witness gets to come up and say what he allegedly did?
I know this isn’t technically a trial, but for all intents and purposes, the media and the Democrats have turned it into one, and they’ve already found the defendant guilty. Having dispensed with every other right of due process, they now want to burn his right to be read the charges and to see the evidence against him before the trial.
(For the record: Kavanaugh has already answered questions from the Judiciary Committee earlier this week and denied the allegation under oath, although Democrats who first demanded to question him refused to participate. He also sent the committee a letter “categorically and unequivocally” denying the charge and saying he’s ready and willing to testify Monday with no preconditions.)
This cannot be hammered home forcefully enough: The left wants you to vote them back into power in November, and if you do, this is how they intend to run the government and the justice system that has the power to destroy your life. If you value your rights at all, then pitch a tent at the polls the night before if you must, and make sure you keep these childish, vengeful, deranged lunatics far, far away from any levers of power.
Must read column
Today’s must-read column by Daniel Henniger in the Wall Street Journal is also a frightening account of what the Democrats have shown that they’ve become by the way they’ve handled the Kavanaugh situation.
Democrats burn themselves
In other developments, the Democrats’ scorched-Earth tactics against Kavanaugh are starting to singe themselves. It turns out that several Democratic Senators, including leading anti-Kavanaugh voices Diane Feinstein and Maize Hirono, accepted campaign money from a PAC run by a fellow Democratic Senator who admitted to hitting his wife years ago. And it didn’t just come out of thin air last week; it’s been common knowledge for years.
There also finally seems to be a backlash brewing over the Democrats’ hypocrisy in savaging Kavanaugh and hailing his accuser while they completely ignored the woman who has accused DNC official and Democratic Rep./Minnesota Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison of violent domestic abuse.
The woman, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, told a harrowing story of abuse that the Democrats and the media (sorry for the redundancy) roundly ignored, accepting his denial at face value. She claims the party has “smeared, threatened, and isolated” her. But she refused to back down and has now released medical and therapist records and other documents to back up her claim, and some non-conservative media outlets are finally taking notice.
She blasted both parties for only caring about sexual abuse allegations if they advance their political goals. I agree with her that that’s reprehensible, but it should be noted that there is a delicate balance that must be maintained. Whether the accused was Roy Moore or Brett Kavanaugh on the right or Al Franken on the left, I’ve always maintained that the accuser has a right to be heard (not a right to be believed, but to make the accusation publicly without fear), and the accused has the right to respond. If the accused is guilty, then I’ve called on them to step aside, no matter what their political views. But if we throw away the basic rights of due process and return to the dark ages when an accusation (which can be just as self-serving, political or dishonest as a denial) is all that’s required to convict someone, then there’s no point in arguing over who will run the government because the America it governs will have ceased to exist.
"The Deep State"
If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest videos from Project Veritas, this week, James O’Keefe’s undercover investigation team is exposing the “Deep State.”
So far, they’ve released videos of employees at the State Department, the Justice Department and the General Accountability Office, privately (they think) admitting that they are Democratic Socialists or even outright communists, more dedicated to their leftist activism than their jobs; and discussing how they use their work hours on the taxpayers’ dime to organize for socialist groups, defeat capitalism and slow down and block President Trump’s agenda.
Their bosses at those agencies claim that are taking steps to investigate. In the meantime, have yourself a binge-watching party and catch up on all the sedition you might have missed so far:
Drill, baby, drill
Add one more pearl of wisdom from the smartest President in history (“We can’t drill our way out of the problem” of soaring gas prices) to the list of nonsense proven flat wrong. (ISIS is the JV team/It will take generations to defeat them, manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back, there’s no magic wand that will get GDP growth above 4%, etc.) For the first time in over 40 years, America has overtaken Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer in the world.
Result: the average price of a gallon of regular gas today is $2.84.
Let’s look at that more closely. Nearly 40 years ago in 1980, after the one term of another Democratic President, Jimmy Carter, who also let OPEC dominate oil production and dictate US energy policy, the average cost of a gallon of regular gas was $1.19. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $4.02 a gallon today. But today’s price is $2.84, or 84 cents in 1980 dollars. So adjusted for inflation, a gallon of gas is now about two-thirds of what it cost in 1980. It’s actually much cheaper than it was nearly 40 years ago.
To make it even more delightfully schadenfreude-ish (look it up), do you know who was right about this? Not the sagacious Barack Obama, but the “ignorant” Donald Trump. And even before Trump: Sarah “Drill, baby, drill” Palin.
Higher Education misses the mark
Remember the story from a couple of days ago about the University of Michigan professor who refused to give a letter of recommendation to a student who wanted to study abroad in Israel because he supports the Palestinian cause and thinks Israel is evil? Well, here’s yet another example of the type of typical actions anyone with open eyes and mind have come to expect of the benevolent, civil rights-supporting Palestinian Authority:
The PA is about to start sending support payments to the family of a Palestinian who was arrested after he stabbed an Israeli-American man to death at a West Bank shopping mall. The victim was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor and father of four, who even after being stabbed, managed to climb a fence in pursuit of his attacker, shoot and wound him, to stop him from harming anyone else. The killer’s family will get $390 a month from the PA until he’s released.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that since 1994, US taxpayers have given more than $10 billion in aid to the Palestinians, and while he doesn’t downplay that most went to humanitarian aid, it’s “unconscionable” that the PA continues to spend any of the money to support the families of terrorist murderers and encourage more killing. Fortunately, Israel collects taxes that support the Palestinians, and they’ve begun withholding the amounts that the PA pays to killers’ families under what they call the “Pay for Slay” law.
To bring all this back home, when parents pay tuition at the University of Michigan, do they know their kids are being taught by a professor who actually thinks the Israelis are the bad guys in this situation?
And speaking of university officials who put indoctrination over education, Harvard announced that next month, the recipients of its W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, the university’s “highest honor in the field of African and African American studies,” will include overrated quarterback and National Anthem kneeler, Colin Kaepernick. Harvard claims the winners “have all had an outsized impact for the better on our society, our nation, and even our world.”
I suppose that’s true. Thanks to Colin Kaepernick, millions of Americans once again have family dinners together, enjoy healthy outdoor activities, and read more books, all instead of watching NFL games on TV.
I know the media have been distracted by more important things, but I think it might be worth pointing out that this week, jobless claims fell to a point not seen since 1969 – that’s the lowest in 49 years. The news helped boost both the Dow and the SP500 to new record highs.
Terrorism related deaths fall
Even more noteworthy (and even more overlooked), the State Department reported that in 2017, terrorism deaths fell by 27% as new measures by the US and its allies liberated ISIS-held territories in Iraq and Syria, drilled down on ISIS and al-Qaeda across the Middle East, disrupted ISIS recruiting efforts and beefed up security and anti-terrorism measures worldwide.
Note to former President Obama: You didn’t build any of that.
No evidence, records or witnesses
When CNN Interviews Take A Surprise Turn: CNN brought on former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker to ask him about the demand for an FBI investigation of the allegation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. If they were expecting him to bolster the accuser’s case, it didn’t go as planned. Swecker practically recapped everything I wrote the day after this story broke, pointing that the FBI has no jurisdiction, and even if they did, it’s impossible to “investigate” a 36-year-old allegation with no evidence, records or witnesses.
I assume that the left will take this confirmation of the impossibility of investigating the allegation as all the more reason why it should be believed without any investigation or evidence at all. And remember: this all happened because they think they should be in charge of selecting all the judges who will judge you if you ever get accused of anything. So run, don't walk, to the polls in November to vote Republican.