Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read:
- A Tale of Two FBI Mysteries
- Lesson from Netflix for all other companies
- It happened in Cherokee County, North Carolina
- Kari Lake takes opponent and the media apart
- Liberals: Boycott CNN
And after you read my Sunday Standard, please leave me a comment.
A Tale of Two FBI Mysteries
This was originally published on 10/21.
The Danchenko trial is over, the defendant (predictably) walked, and Special Counsel John Durham is presumably working on the final draft of his report on the Russia Hoax. But there’s one facet of the trial that deserves a closer look before the book is closed.
Sergei Millian, the Russian national who was essentially framed as a Russian spy by Glenn Simpson and others connected to the hoax, has said he chose not to come to the U.S. to testify about the FBI due to fears for his family’s safety. As long as he stayed out of the country, he was out of reach of a subpoena and decided to take advantage of that. But Durham, without being able to put him on the stand to testify there was no phone call with “dossier” source Danchenko, had no way of proving Danchenko had lied to the FBI about the call. Danchenko’s legal counsel argued that just because there was no phone record didn’t mean the call hadn’t taken place over a secure phone app. (Hey, prove it DIDN’T.) Danchenko was acquitted.
Most write-ups on the trial have not focused on this matter of “the missing witness” and, especially, WHY he was missing. So we went back to Paul Sperry’s reporting from last year, right after Danchenko was indicted for lying, to get some perspective. According to the indictment, event though Danchenko had apparently made up the whole phone call, the FBI still used his fake source’s claims of “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Russia and Trump to convince a secret federal court, the FISA Court, to allow investigators to electronically monitor at least one low-level Trump advisor, Carter Page. It really is just sickening now to look back on all this, knowing it was made up out of whole cloth yet dominated the news for Trump’s entire term of office.
As Sperry reported last year, “Agents swore in court documents reviewed by REALCLEAR INVESTIGATIONS that Danchenko was ‘truthful and cooperative’ even after discovering he misled them regarding his allegedly well-placed source.”
Sperry made it clear that Millian had strongly denied having had that phone call with Danchenko. In case you missed the report, which we linked to after the verdict came in, here it is.
Note that a year ago, Sperry was reporting that Page had sued the FBI and ‘Justice’ Department for $75 million in damages for turning his life upside down. Fast-forward to October 2022, and that suit has been recently dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, over what seems to us non-lawyers to be a ridiculous technicality.
We would think that when Durham indicted Danchenko, he assumed he would have Millian as a witness, and quite a strong one. But it was not to be. Here’s what Andrerw C. McCarthy wrote on October 11, right after jury selection but before witnesses were called: “The defense team knows that Durham’s team will have trouble with the four false-statement counts related to Millian because Millian is overseas, beyond subpoena power, and has refused to appear as a witness.” McCarthy’s analysis explains the challenge Durham faced in trying to prove, without Millian’s testimony, that the call didn’t take place. He essentially had to prove a negative.
McCarthy rightly predicted that Danchenko himself almost certainly would not testify. (Danchenko was the only other person besides Millian who could have testified to direct knowledge of the call.) As it turned out, his attorneys didn’t even put on a defense.
But McCarthy didn’t go into WHY Millian wouldn’t come to the U.S. and testify, and this, to us, is major. Jerry Dunleavy at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, writing a few weeks before the trial, did mention the reason he’d given: “Sergei Millian, an American citizen born in Belarus, has told Durham he fears for his [and his family’s] safety if he were to return to the United States to testify in October and he is worried the FBI would arrest him.”
It apparently is as we thought --- that Millian, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, WANTED to testify about what the FBI had done to him with their fake story about dossiers and Russian spies. In September he tweeted, “If they bring the rogue Christopher STEELE, crazy Simpson & co., Maremont to the trial, approve my lawyer, US Marshal’s and my military friends’ protection instead of FBI and bring my family to USA under a federal program, I will just do it for all of America, folks.” We don't recognize the “Maremont” reference but gather that his conditions of being under U.S. Marshals Service and/or military (as opposed to FBI) protection were subsequently not met, and he remained out of the country to protect himself and his family.
Is this what happened? Does anyone see something wrong with this picture? Millian was needed on the stand for Durham to make his case against Danchenko and, by extension, the FBI, but his witness wouldn’t testify out of fear of...the FBI?
Speaking of being afraid of the FBI, you know if you read yesterday’s newsletter that award-winning investigative journalist James Gordon Meek has been missing without a trace –- not even a tweet –- since April 27, when heavily armed FBI agents raided his penthouse apartment in Arlington, Virginia. Again, he’s been missing since APRIL. Why has no one even spoken about this until ROLLING STONE finally did an article? Does he have no family? Has no one reported him missing? Is he even alive?
Here’s a summary that includes many of the details we reported yesterday, with one new piece of information about the book for Simon & Schuster he’s no longer writing with retired Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann. It shows how his name has been eerily erased, Orwellian-style, from that project:
“Interestingly, a previous account of the book comprised a line on Meek being contacted by a Special Forces operator overseas. ‘In April, ABC News correspondent James Gordon Meek got an urgent call from a Special Forces operator serving overseas,’ it read. However, the promotional text for the book has been updated, with no mention of his name, ‘In April, an urgent call was placed from a Special Forces operator serving overseas,’ as per the report.”
This transcript of Glenn Beck’s radio show from Thursday reflects what any normal, thinking person would be wondering about Meek’s disappearance. How does somebody –- especially a huge man standing 6-foot-7 –- “fall off the face of the Earth,” as one colleague put it to ROLLING STONE, without sparking a massive manhunt? What was he working on? Is he being held somewhere? Why would the FBI be raiding a journalist’s home, when doing so is supposed to require special permission from deputy AG (and Obama attorney) Lisa Monaco? Meek vanished six months ago; even if he’s a loner with no family or close friends looking for him, his co-workers are journalists working at ABC NEWS, for crying out loud. Aren’t they even...curious? Why wouldn’t his disappearance be all over the news?
Here’s the original ROLLING STONE article about Meek’s disappearance.
Lesson from Netflix for all other companies
This was originally published on 10/21.
Get un-woke, stop going broke.
But notice that the write-up by the Hollywood Reporter fails to mention that this rebound comes after Netflix refused demands to cancel Dave Chapelle and instead told the whining crybullies on its staff that if they couldn’t deal with creating programming for people with different views, perhaps they needed to find someplace else to work.
If these big media companies subscribed to this newsletter, they could have saved millions of dollars because that’s precisely the advice I gave in 2020 to the New York Times when their young SJW staffers had a hissy fit over the paper running an op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton. They all should have been told that it’s the duty of an editorial department to present a broad range of viewpoints, and if they couldn’t deal with that, they might want to consider a career in the food service industry. Instead, the publisher sided with the snot-nosed brats, and the editor who approved the piece was smeared as a “fascist” (of course) and lost his job.
That editor, James Bennet, is now speaking out about what happened to him, and it’s a must-read, especially for the bosses at the Times. Bennet said his only regret is attaching an editor’s note to Cotton’s piece to try to mollify those people, but he never apologized and still doesn’t (never apologize to someone claiming offense over something inoffensive; showing weakness is like tossing chum into shark-filled waters. Apologies are what feed the cancel mob’s addiction to feeling powerful.)
Bennet accuses Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger of disloyalty and of missing an opportunity “to make clear that the New York Times doesn’t exist just to tell progressives how progressives should view reality.” He said the Times wants the applause of the left, and they kowtow to them because they’ve signed up so many subscribers in the past few years who expect “that the Times will be Mother Jones on steroids.
He’s right, the former “paper of record” is now just a broken record, endlessly repeating leftist clichés and fake news for their brainwashed niche audience even as rising numbers of Americans turn against them. They’ve gone from a major newspaper to a print version of The Daily Show.
By the way, that op-ed by Sen. Cotton recommended that the National Guard be called to quell the riots that were destroying America’s cities at the time. I wonder how many black residents who were losing their businesses and homes agreed with that. I wonder how many far-left “progressives” in cities like Portland and San Francisco secretly wish the National Guard would show up and save them right now.
It happened in Cherokee County, North Carolina
This was originally published on 10/20.
The story I’ve been dreading ever since the Biden Administration started demanding that biological males compete with girls in sports has happened in Cherokee County, North Carolina.
A “transgender” athlete (i.e., a biological male “identifying” as female, complete with all the physical strength advantages of a male that we’re supposed to ignore now) was allowed to play on the Highland High girls’ volleyball team. “She” spiked the ball so hard that it smashed into the forehead of an actual girl on the Hiwassee Dam High team. She suffered severe head and neck injuries, resulting in long-term concussion symptoms, including vision problems. She’s seeing a primary care doctor and a neurologist, but still hasn’t been cleared to play again.
Breitbart reports that “the Cherokee County Board of Education then voted 5-1 to declare a ‘safety issue’ and canceled all games against Highlands High after coach and Cherokee Board Member Joe Wood said he had 'never seen a hit like this before,'” declaring, “I’ll never put a child in a position to be seriously injured.”
Another board member added, “I think most of the board members also felt like there’s a competitive advantage issue.” Gee, do you think?!
This should come as no surprise to anyone with a functioning brain. The danger to women from “trans” male competitors extends beyond them just taking all the trophies and scholarships. That should’ve been apparent even to the boneheads of this Administration when we saw the stories of “trans” MMA fighters nearly killing their female opponents (here’s one from a year ago.)
And now, we’re seeing it starting to happen in schools, thanks to this Administration putting its genuflection to the LGBTQ donor lobby ahead of women’s rights and safety. Why in the world do women continue to support a Party that claims to be so sensitive that they believe “words are violence” but that allows girls’ sports to be taken over, their private spaces invaded, and their bodies physically assaulted by biological males? Does a female student athlete have to be killed or paralyzed before schools finally stand up and tell the biological science-deniers, “No more of this madness”?
Kari Lake takes opponent and the media apart
This was originally published on 10/20.
Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has had enough of her opponent and the media calling her an “election denier.” She took them apart with a blistering response based on one of their own precious “Rules for Radicals”: make your opponent live up to his own standards. In this case, that meant demanding to know whether they were going to brand various prominent Democrats as “election deniers,” and yes, she came armed with a list, from Hillary Clinton to Stacey Abrams (I'd throw in the chairman of the House January 6th Kommittee, who didn't think trying to block an election was treasonous when he did it in 2016.)
And in a seismic political story, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who just quit the Democratic Party, endorsed Republican Kari Lake for Arizona Governor and called her “a rock star.”
Gabbard said Lake is "a leader who puts people first, is fighting for border security, energy independence, public safety, and other policies that actually make life better and more affordable for the American people,” and she "isn’t afraid to call out the warmongering elitist cabal of permanent Washington and the Military Industrial Complex, and their propagandists in the mainstream media...I look forward to supporting [Lake] ahead of these critical midterm elections."
Rep. Gabbard hasn't joined the GOP, she’s just made it clear that she and everyone like her have been abandoned by the Democrats. I’ll talk about this with her this weekend, when she’ll be my guest on “Huckabee” on TBN.
Liberals: Boycott CNN
First, John Fetterman’s wife demanded “consequences” for an MSNBC reporter for truthfully stating that her husband had to read the questions off a laptop to understand them. Now, leftists have “Boycott CNN” trending on social media because the network accurately reported that since taking office, Joe Biden has taken nearly 180 vacation days, or more than 25% of his time in office so far, and that’s more than Trump took.
Wow, liberals sure get upset when one of their pet news outlets actually commits journalism. They’re accusing CNN of comparing days when Biden was actually working to days when Trump was just playing golf and doing nothing.
Excuse me, but I have some inside information on that. I can’t imagine a day when Donald Trump “does nothing.” He works so much, he exhausts his much younger staffers. He went away to Mar A Lago so often because he didn’t like being in Washington, where he probably thought he was surrounded by enemies working to undermine him (I wonder why?) But it was more like a Florida White House, not a vacation home. And where did they ever get the idea that Biden is working when he takes all those vacation days?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing Biden for taking days off. In fact, if he wants to take every day off from now until January 2025, a grateful nation would thank him.
I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.