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May Day

May 1, 2020

Today is May 1st, or “May Day,” a traditional holiday of socialists and labor unions that was taken over by communist regimes and used as an excuse for parades to show off the military hardware that they used to intimidate their neighbors and oppress their own people. November 7th and August 23rd are both observed as remembrance days for the victims of communism, but Georgetown law Prof. Ilya Somin has long advocated for making May 1st the international “Victims of Communism Day,” for reasons he explains here.

It is conservatively estimated that over the course of the 20th century, the USSR, China and other communist regimes killed between 80 and 100 million people. That number could be much higher, since communist regimes don’t like to let outsiders know just how many people are dead because of their policies, as we’ve just been reminded by the way Beijing dealt with the Wuhan virus (that’s right, I called it by its proper name. That isn’t racist, but calling it by a name that serves Beijing’s propaganda interests by whitewashing its origin is immensely disrespectful to the Chinese people who suffered and died because of their own government’s self-serving dishonesty.)

You probably won’t hear much from media talking heads today about the massive human slaughter caused by communism. They’re too busy blaming President Trump for 55,000 deaths caused by a virus that was actually unleashed by communists. But we need a regular reminder of the staggering death toll of communism, which, as Prof. Somin points out, is greater than that of Nazism and all other 20th century tyrannies combined. That’s because Western apologists for this horrendous blight on humanity (aptly referred to by communist leaders as “useful idiots”) are constantly polishing it up and trying to sell it to new generations of naïve suckers, like a lemon used car.

Just this week, writers in the Atlantic magazine actually argued that the Chinese system of censoring the Internet is superior to American free speech because it’s dangerous to let “misinformation” from non-experts taint public discourse. In this case, “misinformation” is loosely defined as “things I disagree with” and “experts” as “people who smugly believe they know everything, despite having been wrong over and over again.” This is so stunningly ludicrous that even Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi, hardly a conservative or Trump supporter, wrote an excellent article dismantling it.

Despite the best efforts of certain social media giants to censor free speech, we don’t yet have a Chinese-style system. If we did, I assume we would all now believe the “true information” that came from Beijing-approved sources and was repeated by “experts” like the W.H.O. For instance, that China has the coronavirus completely under control, there’s no evidence it can be transmitted from person to person, and there’s no need to shut off travel from China or cancel crowded public events. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of recent “expert” wisdom. Looking back, the “crazy, misinformed Internet conspiracy theorists” had a better batting average than the self-proclaimed “experts.”

Of course, that’s not to say that we should believe any crackpot with a Twitter account. But the genius of the American right to free speech is that it creates a free marketplace of ideas, where everyone is free to make a case, and everyone else is free to challenge it. Eventually, through open debate and honest inquiry, the truth emerges. Or at least, we get a lot closer to the truth than we’d ever get if we relied on a monumentally failed death cult to police what we are allowed to say.

Always remember, it’s no coincidence that May Day, the holiday celebrating communism, is also the phrase used to warn of plane crashes and other imminent deadly disasters.

Wouldn’t you know, when the evidence finally came out showing Michael Flynn was set up by the FBI, it would be at a time when the news was “all coronavirus, all the time.” My, how conveeeenient this is for media “news” outlets who want to ignore it until it goes away.

But it won’t go away. And there will be more. What has come out so far is less than half of what we’re going to see later on in the week. I’m guessing we’ll have another Friday document dump, but it might come today.

We’ve been covering the latest news on Flynn for the past several days, so you can refer to those commentaries if you need a refresher on how the records came to be delivered to attorney Sidney Powell, who has been trying to get them for many months. This is exculpatory (“Brady”) material that is automatically supposed to be turned over to the defense. She finally got much of what she’s been asking for –- she’s anticipating 11 more pages that are “damning” –- in the form of texts, emails and handwritten notes. It’s one of the handwritten notes that has shown beyond doubt that Flynn was personally targeted, just to get rid of him.

RELATED READING: Quick Mike Flynn update, plus a great article

The barely legible scrawl reads: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute or get him fired?”

Let that sink in. “Get him to lie”? “...get him fired”? Since when does the FBI concern itself with getting someone fired?

As reported on Tucker Carlson’s Wednesday show, “two knowledgeable sources” have told Carlson that the chicken-scratch handwriting belongs to Bill Priestap, then the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Multiple sources have told John Solomon the same thing. According to the notes, they were trying to get Flynn “...to admit to breaking the Logan Act.”

For reasons we’ve already discussed (and that also are detailed in Lee Smith’s highly recommended book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT), Obama and his people wanted Flynn out. To them, it was bad enough that Trump was going to be President, which we know shocked the tar out of them. But, worse, Michael Flynn, the man who had wanted to pare down the intelligence bureaucracy, audit the Pentagon and --- perhaps worst of all --- discourage Obama’s precious Iran nuclear deal, was going to be in the White House WITH TRUMP, as his national security adviser. They were beside themselves. What to do?

They had been targeting him since 2014-2015, trying to make him look compromised with Russians. (All this is also in THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT.) But Flynn had done nothing wrong for them to exploit. At this point, they needed, figuratively speaking, a “kill shot.” It was going to take a major set-up, and Comey, on his own admission, ordered it.

They used transcripts from phone conversations Flynn had had with the Russian ambassador, which were actually quite appropriate, even expected, given his new post of national security adviser. The idea of prosecuting him for violating the centuries-old Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating foreign policy and has never even been successfully prosecuted, was ludicrous; it was just a pretense for the perjury trap, I mean interview.

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Flynn knew perfectly well that phone calls with any foreign official would have been listened to –- as memory serves, he even joked about that during the interview –- so it would have been ridiculous for him to lie or even to be less than completely forthcoming. In answering a question about whether or not he and the Russian ambassador discussed sanctions, he said (I’m paraphrasing) he couldn’t remember exactly but that he didn’t think so. An innocent mistake, but that’s all they needed, whether they really thought he had lied or not. Flynn had no idea they were investigating him, as THEY had lied to HIM about the purpose of the visit. Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, at Director James Comey’s bidding, had called him and pseudo-casually said something like, “Hey, congrats on the new job; we’d just like to send a couple of guys over and clear up a few things about recent conversations with foreign leaders. No big deal. Nah, you won’t need a lawyer or anything like that...”

We’ve learned that McCabe’s top legal assistant Lisa Page emailed Peter Strzok on how to conduct the interview so they'd be technically covered on giving Flynn the “1001” warning against misleading investigators --- without tipping him off that they were, well, investigating. They probably had a great laugh over fooling Flynn later, in bed, but we’ll leave that aspect of it alone.

The WASHINGTON POST got a big scoop out of this, as Flynn’s name was unmasked in the transcript of those phone calls –- we need to know who requested the unmasking –- and illegally leaked it to them. They media piled on, with MSNBC calling Flynn “literally a foreign agent.” On CNN, they said the assertion that Flynn was entrapped was “a made-up claim.” What are these worthless jackasses still doing on the air? Some of them got Pulitzer Prizes for their stories on what turned out to be a complete hoax.

A Pulitzer Prize going to this sort of garbage is like the Academy Award for Best Song going to “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” Sort of devalues the whole idea.

Anyway, that note reportedly from Priestap includes a couple of bullet points: 1) “If we’re seen as playing games, WH [the White House] will be furious,” and 2) “Protect our institution by not playing games.” If Priestap did write this, maybe it means he was having second thoughts about what they were doing.

At the same time, somehow I’m reminded of that odd “note to self” Susan Rice texted to herself the day Obama left office, the one that said Obama had told them in their January 5 meeting to do everything “by the book.” For most of them –- with the possible exception of Priestap; we’ll see –- this wasn’t about "not playing games," because they obviously were; it was about the appearance of not playing games.

Devin Nunes, appearing with Laura Ingraham on FOX NEWS Wednesday night, said that Flynn would “clearly” have a civil rights case and thought it would end up costing the government millions of dollars. He’s also hoping for some prosecutions (there better be!) and for Judge Emmet Sullivan to sanction the lawyers for Flynn’s prosecution (not enough –- they should be disbarred), who happened to be part of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team. Nunes also reminded Ingraham’s audience that the House Republicans had brought a lot of this information forward in 2018 and for their trouble had been ruthlessly mocked and their accusations treated like a joke.

The joke is now on Democrats and the media (I repeat myself) who refused to take it seriously. Sen. Chuck Grassley has reportedly asked Judge Sullivan to unseal the entire case at this point. That order might have to come down from Attorney General Barr, or perhaps from the U.S. attorney who has been reviewing the case at his request, Jeffrey Jensen.

Here’s John Solomon’s take.

Over the past few years, we’ve been following the reports on Spygate and the “dossier” from John Solomon, formerly at THE HILL and now at his excellent new site JUST THE NEWS. As the story spun out over the weeks and months, our knowledge was necessarily piecemeal: one piece here, another piece there. But as I’ve said, at this point it’s obvious that the Russians weren’t "helping Trump win," as the phony narrative went, nor were they just “creating chaos,” as the secondary phony narrative went.  The “Russian disinformation” was 1) mostly from non-Russians and 2) designed to help Hillary win and, later, to take Trump out. The cast of characters involved in this activity is huge; in fact, that’s one reason why some would dismiss this reporting on Steele and the fictional “dossier” as wild conspiracy theory.

But it isn’t. Ironically, one easy way to see this as a unified, solid, evidence-based theory is to add yet another individual to this shady cast, with a name you perhaps haven’t even heard:

Adam Waldman.  Who?

 RELATED READING: It gets worse: Christopher Steele met with Hillary's lawyers 

As reported last week at the CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE, Waldman is an attorney with an eye-opening roster of clients. He seems connected to everyone. Not only does he represent the U.S. interests of Christopher Steele, but also a Russian oligarch who hired Steele named Oleg Deripaska, whose name is typically heard in connection with Paul Manafort.

Back in 2018, when the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, requested that Waldman testify, he received a letter from Waldman’s own attorneys saying that Waldman was “out of the country and not expected to return for several weeks.” A photo discovered later online showed Waldman very much in the country the following night.

Why the interest in Waldman? As the author states, “In the early 2016 text messages and email conversations between DOJ official Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, the interests of Oleg Deripaska are a centerpiece of a quid pro quo where Deripaska obtains a travel visa and possible exemption from the Magnitsky Act [which froze financial assets of certain suspected Russian human rights abusers] in exchange for cooperation with the FBI effort against Donald Trump.” Text messages show that Waldman was the liaison, the “middle man,” the person providing plausible deniability for Steele, Deripaska, and also (yes, think about this) Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Waldman’s texts to Sen. Warner reveal a tie between Steele and a man named Daniel Jones (sorry, I guess that makes two new cast members to keep track of), who was a staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee vice-chair. It was Jones who raised $50 million to continue the Fusion GPS investigation of Trump AFTER he had been elected President. The writer believes all or most of this money actually came through Deripaska with Waldman as go-between.

Waldman has yet another tie: he was representing Julian Assange.

No wonder Sen. Grassley wanted his testimony! But apparently the senator was lied to concerning Waldman’s whereabouts.

 RELATED READING: The Gov. replies to readers re: "Steele 'wiped' his documentation..."

John Solomon reported that Deripaska wanted to testify before Congress in 2017 (presumably to get his story out in the way most favorable to himself.) But he was represented by Waldman, who also represented Steele --- can you believe this? Text messages show that Sen. Warner was using Waldman to try to set up a secret meeting with Steele. And when the Republican-led House Intel Committee tried to set up a meeting with Steele, Waldman sent a text to...drum roll, please...Sen. Warner to check with him about it first.

As it turned out, Deripaska was blocked from testifying before Congress, not by the House Intel Committee, which understandably wanted to talk with him, but by the Senate, apparently by Sen. Warner.

Since Deripaska is Russian, the FBI and DOJ had been using his name to further their “Russia” narrative, but after Trump was elected, it was like, “Uh-oh, this guy knows too much about what we’ve been doing.” Deripaska was even in a position to blackmail people such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe who were part of the scheme to get Trump. But, hey, if they doubled-down on the “Russia” narrative, who was going to believe a Russian oligarch, who no doubt was just spouting more “Russian disinformation”?

There’s someone else who had to be kept away from congressional investigators: Julian Assange. Assange (remember, he’s also represented by Waldman) knows who really obtained the DNC emails. Recall that Assange has said it wasn’t Russia. If it wasn’t the Russians --- I believe Assange and don’t think it was --- the whole “Russia” narrative blows up in the Democrats’ faces. Sen. Mark Warner rides to the rescue again to keep Assange’s testimony, should he give it, under wraps, as you’ll see in the full article.

I know, I know, this really does sound like a political thriller, too big and sprawling to be true. (Nothing like this would be possible without a complicit media.) But it’s taken literally years to assemble all these pieces, and my staff and I have been following it all along. The texts and emails are all there. The associations are real. The motivations are clear.

After looking at this thing for a long time, we think the way it worked was probably along the lines of this post from Jennifer (don’t know her, but she obviously gets this) at CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE. If you read it without any background knowledge, it looks like some out-there conspiracy theory, but now that most of the dots have been connected (a few others can be surmised), it’s quite well grounded in reality.

Here’s Jennifer: “My guess is that Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer made the whole thing up then passed it along to their buddy Steele, through Glenn Simpson, to give it polish. Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson added detail.

“Deripaska hired Adam Waldman in the first place because of his proximity to Hillary. His prize was going to be the ‘golden visa,’ so he could come and go to the U.S. at will. He was not passing in Russian disinformation; he was trying to be helpful to Hillary’s black-ops team. THEY ALL thought she was going to win. This dossier garbage and the FBI investigation were black ops meant to be reported in the press during the campaign to take Trump down…

“When this is said and done, ALL ROADS GO BACK TO HILLARY [emphasis mine], with Obama giving his blessings, and Soros giving millions to finance the entire cabal...”

Thanks to Jennifer for posting that; hope she's fine with us picking it up. (There was more, mostly concerning Bill Priestap, and it might be right, but we don’t post what we can’t confirm --- or at least have very good reason to suspect, such as the likely Soros connection.) All of this is absolutely consistent with my last two commentaries on Steele: “It gets worse: Christopher Steele met with Hillary’s lawyers” and “Steele ‘wiped’ his documentation, and not with a cloth.” As for Priestap, who as head of FBI Counterintelligence was Peter Strzok’s direct boss and Andrew McCabe’s #1 underling, he would have been the person to approve the payment or reimbursement of Steele and would have been aware of everything going on relative to the “dossier” and virtually every other underhanded thing they were doing.  Like Adam Waldman, he seems to have a knack for flying under the radar.

 

After observing that the Michael Flynn case “took a turn” last Friday, I saw a new article from Margot Cleveland at THE FEDERALIST that says essentially the same thing. That puts me in extremely good company. (Well, she says it “imploded.”)

Cleveland goes into detail about the legal maneuvering that led to this point, with Brady evidence finally turned over that not only reveals the FBI’s intention to frame Flynn, but also strongly suggests coercion on the part of Mueller’s team to get that guilty plea out of him, by hook or by crook (emphasis on the "crook"). What gives this evidence more weight now is that it was uncovered by an outside attorney, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to conduct a review of the Flynn case.

Under these circumstances, Cleveland says, it’s “unfathomable” that Judge Sullivan could continue to reject Flynn’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. I would add that if he did reject that motion, it wouldn't be the first time a ruling of his in this case has been unfathomable. But surely this time, the conduct of the prosecution has been shown to be so outrageous that he’ll have no other choice.

RELATED READING:  FBI news: "Brady" evidence on Flynn finally coming out!

Where things stand

April 29, 2020

Tuesday, there was no White House briefing from the Coronavirus Task Force, but President Trump did hold a briefing on a wide range of topics. The full video is here.

He talked about the status of the virus response, but also the Paycheck Protection Program, states reopening, and the bill to protect meat packers to keep them from shutting down and causing food shortages…

He also mentioned the possibility of making airlines test passengers from nations that have heavy COVID-19 caseloads and his opposition to states using the crisis to get bailouts for their own bad policies unrelated to the virus, such as unsustainable public worker pension obligations. Trump suggested that he might be willing to talk to states but would expect reforms in return, like abolishing “sanctuary cities.”

On that subject, Sean Hannity on Fox News put together a montage of media outlets parroting the latest DNC talking point, which is accusing Trump of exploiting the crisis to promote his political agenda. I’m not sure how he’s doing that, unless you believe their narrative that holding daily briefings is tantamount to hosting campaign rallies (I've seen his rallies; reporters don't badger him with dumb questions there), or that nonsense about his name appearing on the printed stimulus checks, which reportedly wasn’t even his idea (it was done by the Treasury Secretary.)

But if you want to talk about exploiting the crisis to promote a political agenda, how about Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats holding up desperately-needed aid to unemployed Americans and struggling small business owners while they tried to insert their wish list into the bill? Or Pelosi’s boast that she’ll force “vote by mail” into any future relief bill? Or the issue Trump was talking about, of blue states trying to stick taxpayers with the cost of bailing out their longstanding mismanagement under the guise of coronavirus relief? Now, that’s exploiting a health crisis to promote a political agenda.

This is why it’s often said in Republican circles that if you want to know what the Democrats are really doing, just look at what they’re publicly accusing Republicans of doing.

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio seems to be shooting for a new world record for double standards. While imposing draconian crackdowns and snitch hotlines on residents who leave their homes, he’s been spotted traveling miles to his favorite gym (nobody else is allowed to go to the gym) and taking a walk with his wife in a park 11 miles from his home, which is near a park. This went over as well as you’d expect with New Yorkers

But even more disturbing than his “do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do” leadership is his double standard on respecting religious freedom. First, he threatened that any churches or synagogues that held services would be closed down “permanently” – not just until the lockdown ended, but “permanently.” It didn’t go unnoticed that he didn’t include mosques in that threat. Next, he announced that the city would provide 500,000 free halal meals to poor Muslims who couldn’t go to their mosques during Ramadan – fine in itself, but there was grumbling about the deference to Islam after the unconstitutional threat to churches and synogogues.

Now, despite DeBlasio’s Ramadan claim that "This is a place that truly believes in equality, something that is a profound New York City value," he’s once again threatening the city’s Jewish community, this time with arrest for violating “social distancing” rules by attending a funeral for a revered Rabbi in Brooklyn.

Critics are not defending the violation of social distancing, but they are alarmed at DeBlasio's language, at the way he repeatedly defaults to harsh criticism and threats of arrest and other strict government reprisals when he’s talking about Jews, but not other ethnic or religious groups.

DeBlasio was already under fire for appointing his wife to head a “coronavirus racial inequality task force.” If she’s looking for examples of discrimination in how the coronavirus is being handled, she could start by gazing across her own dinner table.