Speaking on Tuesday’s HANNITY, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins of Georgia had something particularly telling to say about next week’s impeachment “inquiry” testimony. (Yes, poor forgotten Jerrold Nadler finally gets to chair some hearings.) It has to do with the new direction Democrats are taking in the coming weeks.
“Do you know how I know they don’t really have anything?” Collins asked. “Because this first hearing next week is...they’re gonna bring academics in to tell us what an impeachable offense is. I’ll tell you what an impeachable offense is NOT: it’s everything we’ve seen from Adam Schiff and the Democrats for the past year as they’ve attacked a very successful President who is simply doing the best job for America...Next week, get ready! I’ve said this before: “Judiciary Show,” the lights are gonna come on, get the popcorn ready, ‘cause it’s now time to actually get down to business...”
According to Collins, next week Adam Schiff “has to testify.” Since Schiff essentially took the role of Ken Starr, the reasoning goes, he should follow Starr’s lead and come in for questioning about his case. “Maybe he can do a little better, without the gavel in his hand, telling the truth...about what his involvement was in this whole thing, and also where he’s going with his plan.” Collins said. He’s more optimistic than I am about Schiff testifying before the House --- let alone telling the truth.
Nadler has invited someone else to testify, though: President Trump, and his lawyers. But the invitation came with an ominous warning, reading, “While we invite you to this hearing, we remind you that if you continue to refuse to make witnesses and documents available to the committees of jurisdiction under H. Res. 660 [Schiff’s outrageous rules that only Democrats approved], the chair shall have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies.” What, a dose of castor oil? Laps? Jail? Nadler, who is as bad as Schiff when it comes to recognizing the separation of powers, does not have the “discretion” he thinks he does. The matter would have to go before the Supreme Court, and Schiff has already shown that he didn’t want to risk going there.
The hearings will provide additional distraction before the release of the IG report, but according to Andrew McCarthy writing in NATIONAL REVIEW, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) are already working on a “new narrative” to have in place before the report’s release. Of course, the REAL story is that during the Obama administration, our intel bureaucracy (“the swamp”) used its vast powers to improperly spy on the campaign of a political opponent. Dan Bongino, talking about McCarthy’s piece, says their plan is to obscure the true narrative, which is very serious stuff, by focusing on what bad, bad guys the RUSSIANS are and using that to justify whatever the FBI “had” to do.
As McCarthy says, when CNN ran with the first leak from the IG report, they said it was expected to “find mistakes in the FBI’s handling of the FISA process, but that those mistakes do not undermine the premise for the FBI’s investigation.” That premise, as they reported it, was that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. But, as McCarthy points out, that’s only half the premise –- “the uncontroversial half” –- and by itself, it’s not enough to justify spying on an American candidate. He goes on to explain that “the FBI’s full premise is that the Trump campaign was COMPLICIT (emphasis mine) in Russia’s election interference.” See how that excuses what the FBI was doing? And that, conveniently, is what they did suggest in their warrant application to spy. Brilliant analysis from McCarthy. Never mind that there was no reliable evidence that this half of the premise was true.
As McCarthy says, “...If the Horowitz report is going to take the tack that, because Russia did in fact meddle in the 2016 campaign, any investigative overreach amounts merely to regrettable but understandable overzealousness, that would be a very big deal --- and not in a good way."
For when you have time, there’s much more at the link, including the way to counter the predictable “new narrative” that just because some lawyer at the FBI deceptively altered a document, it doesn't follow that the FISA warrant itself was, well, unwarranted. Wrong; there are multiple reasons in this case to think that it was. Unwarranted, I mean. (You’ll see this was written before the FBI lawyer was identified as Kevin Clinesmith.)
Oh, and speaking of new narratives, you’ll never guess who has just released a new book to not buy. It’s none other than Glenn Simpson of sleazy “oppo research” company Fusion GPS, and partner Peter Fritsch. (If you want the real lowdown on Fusion GPS, read Lee Smith’s new book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT.) These slimeballs still accuse Trump of doing what THEY did; namely, going to a foreign power to affect an election. Predictably, they’ve already had fawning interviews at NBC and MSNBC, where the book, called CRIME IN PROGRESS (I’ll wait while you laugh helplessly), was called “a fascinating read.” Yeah, I’ll bet it is. File it under “Fiction.”
This piece I've linked to below by Lee Smith, from March, will fill you in on one way Fusion GPS works to further a chosen media narrative. They work through a nonprofit called The Democracy Integrity Project (!), which, as I mentioned in a recent commentary, is funded by George Soros.
Finally, we’ve known for a long time that Christopher Steele has a remarkable talent for getting just about EVERYBODY to pay him: Hillary and the DNC, Fusion GPS, Russian and/or Ukrainian oligarchs, even the FBI. There’s bound to be plenty of Soros money in the mix. According to a new report by John Solomon, Steele was peddling intel to the highest bidder and distributed other “dossiers” –- even one to a lawyer for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Solomon says that Steele “also was in the business of selling intelligence to private clients –- all perfectly legal –- while informing the FBI.”
This relates to my commentary from yesterday about how poorly vetted the confidential human informants (CHIs) such as Steele were at the FBI. Solomon predicts Steele “will be the star witness, or the star figure, when the FISA report comes out.”
Solomon has been criticized mercilessly for his insistence that Ukraine, not just Russia, interfered in our 2016 election, and that it was done on Hillary’s behalf. But he can cite at least three known episodes of it; nothing about any of them is in doubt. He also notes that a court in Ukraine ruled that this happened, and he continues to stand by his reporting.