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Monday, I told you about what we discovered deep within the 88-page transcript of a House Intel Committee interview with CrowdStrike cybersecurity expert Shawn Henry. As it turns out, others such as Dan Bongino and Tucker Carlson picked up on that same piece of news and did commentaries as well. It’s a huge story that, sadly, most of the media will bury under a pile of Barr-bashing and scary coronavirus stories. Really, though, this story is arguably the scariest one of all, because it shows our country has spent the past several years in the grip of a different kind of contagion: mass hysteria.

Mr. Henry’s testimony, hidden for three years, reveals that the lie Democrats have told since 2016 goes beyond the phony assertion that there is evidence Trump was in cahoots with Vladimir Putin while running for President. They also lied when they said there was evidence of the Russian government trying to hurt Hillary by hacking DNC emails. According to Henry, the one in charge of CrowdStrike’s investigation, they found no direct evidence, only “indications” and assumptions. (I mentioned in my earlier commentary that they are known to have made mistakes before when attributing computer hacks to Russia.) But a Russian hack fits the narrative. When Henry was brought in by Clinton lawyer and helpful dirt-disher Michael Sussmann to handle the “remediation," it was Sussmann who told him the FBI had already found “indications” that caused them to suspect the Russian government, essentially handing Henry the client’s preferred narrative on a silver platter.

RELATED READINGWith "Russia Hoax" exposed, it's time to look at CrowdStrike

The fact is, we don’t know if Russia hacked the emails of the DNC and John Podesta, head of Hillary’s campaign. Maybe they did; maybe somebody else did. But there is no EVIDENCE that they did, although California Rep. Adam Schiff has been talking about the “evidence” every chance he got. This is a dangerous man --- and I don’t mean only if you get between him and a TV camera. Over and over, he has claimed there is "evidence in plain sight” about Russian “collusion” with the Trump team.

It is an abominable lie. But he tells it so often, he must be using Lenin's strategy of “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” I have my own version to offer Mr. Schiff: “A lie told often enough just makes you that much more of a dirty liar.”

To stick to his fake story while still maintaining he’s telling the truth, Schiff is trying to claim the “evidence in plain sight” is the Trump Tower meeting. Yeah, that’s the ticket! We all know that meeting took place. It involved Trump campaign people and some Russians. So, all right: “collusion!”

But not so fast. In April, John Solomon uncovered evidence about that meeting that shows it to have been downright inconsequential. Some FBI memos concerning the Trump Tower meeting had been released, specifically the July 12, 2017, interview with Anatoli Samochornov, a trusted translator for the State Department, and Solomon found that they provided a great deal of exculpatory material that Mueller’s team had conveniently left out of their final report.

In Solomon’s words, “Samochornov’s eyewitness account entirely debunks the media’s narrative." We now can see the FBI agent’s '302' notes on Samochornov, in which the translator “concurred with Donald Trump Jr.’s accounts of the meeting.”

Recall that at the time of this interview, the media were going crazy about the Trump Tower meeting, hoping it might be THE piece of “collusion” evidence. Imagine: we had Don Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort lured to a meeting by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskya by the promise of “dirt” on Hillary! They ridiculed Don Jr.’s account that the meeting was really about a Russian lobbying campaign to change adoption practices under a human rights law called the Magnitsky Act.

Veselnitskya had hired Samochornov to be her translator for her legal work, and he was present at the Trump Tower meeting in that capacity. While he was being interviewed by the FBI, they wrote this: “Samochornov could not speak about other occasions, but said there was no discussion about dirt on Hillary Clinton. Samochornov did not think Hillary Clinton was mentioned by name at the meeting. Samochornov had not heard Veselnitskya say anything about having ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskya did not offer any materials during the meeting and no papers were exchanged.”

So, it really was about the Magnitsky Act. In fact, most of the presentation was done by an American lobbyist, according to the translator. It was brief, as people had a campaign to run.

NONE of this information appeared in the final special counsel report. A Senate staffer involved in the Russia investigation told John Solomon, “The omission from the Mueller report leaves a distorted picture that has been allowed to persist for more than two years. We are looking into the circumstances of the editing of that report and why DOJ allowed such investigations and false public narratives to carry on in the face of significant evidence of innocence.”

So they DON’T have evidence of collusion, but they lie and say they do. They DO have evidence of innocence, but they lie by omission and leave it out. This farce has gone on long enough. Thankfully, acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell is calling for the release of more and more long-withheld evidence that, sure enough, is turning out to be exculpatory. And no amount of spinning by Schiff --- or even Obama, who’s desperate now to keep the lid on his own role in the plot to take down Trump --- will stop us from calling a lie a lie.

Liking the idea of getting dirt on one’s political opponent is not wrong. In this case, though, there was no “collusion” with Russians to get it. The only “collusion” we’ve seen was in the Hillary camp, when they paid for “dirt” from Russians.

Speaking of Obama’s role, Mollie Hemingway at THE FEDERALIST has a great piece on what was done to target Michael Flynn and also to hide classified information from the incoming Trump team. We’ve covered most of the details, but she lays them all out in a revealing timeline. Highly recommended.

Most people have tried to follow the guidelines to stay home and be cautious, but as the forecasts for the impact have proven to be grossly over-estimated, the only people who seem to want this to continue are certain elected officials who like telling people what to do.

I’ve been to some countries with authoritarian governments that govern with a brutal iron hand. I’ve always appreciated that as a citizen of the United States of America, I had guaranteed civil liberties and clearly defined rights that would be protected. Even if I actually committed a crime and the entire thing was captured from 6 angles on video, I was still presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty by a jury of my peers and I would be entitled to legal representation and due process. We’ve all been rankled by criminals who did horrible things, but who were protected by the very law that we hoped would put them in prison and away from our communities where they did real damage to the innocent. Then came the pandemic, and with it forced closure of businesses, events, and public places, and even forced demands to wear masks and refrain from even visiting our own relatives. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, my beloved America is starting to look like some of the truly horrible and abusive places I have visited and couldn’t wait to get out of.

This week, a hair salon owner in Dallas was actually put in handcuffs and taken to jail because she refused to apologize to a power-hungry judicial tyrant who gets to wear a robe at taxpayer expense. Her crime was not just that she chose to open her salon so that her employees could earn a living and feed their families. She was jailed because she refused to say the magic words ordered by the judge that she was selfish for allowing her employees to earn money to pay their rent, buy groceries, and pay their bills. The judge gets his paycheck by the way, and it’s a good one—over $150,000 a year. Meanwhile in Washington, members of the Nancy Pelosi-led House refused to return to Washington or to engage in session via online meetings because they didn’t think it was safe. They are fine with YOU driving a truck, working in a hospital or nursing home, answering calls as a firefighter or policeman, or stocking the shelves at your local supermarket. But they’re not going to work. But they are getting paid anyway. And YOU are paying them.

Then it hit me. Want to end the most ridiculous and dictatorial aspects of the shutdown? It’s simple. Whatever level of government orders a shutdown for others, its members should cease being paid until those under the shutdown can return to work. If your business can’t open and YOU can’t earn a living, then your mayor, your county officials, your governor or your Congress who shuts you down shouldn’t take one penny of pay until YOU can. You know what will happen? Those orders will get relaxed. Then it will be up to you whether you feel safe venturing out and opening your business or patronizing a business. It’s called freedom.

We’re Americans and we ought to act like it. And the people who were elected to serve us need to start treating us like Americans with fundamental civil liberties instead of like 1st graders who are told when it’s appropriate to go to the restroom and to line up for a trip to the lunchroom so we can eat what someone else has decided is good for us.

So to mayors, governors, county officials and members of Congress as well as the appointed and employed government officials I say this: Since you’re a public servant and the people you work for AREN’T getting paid, stop collecting YOUR paycheck until they get theirs.

You won’t see out of control judges putting hair stylists in jail for not saying the right words. As I said last week-I fear that I MIGHT get a virus. I fear even more that I will lose the liberties that make being an American unique. I’ve visited some police states. I don’t want to live in one.

Monday Fake News

May 12, 2020

Monday Fake News: On Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, Chuck Todd played a video clip that seemed to show Attorney General Bill Barr explaining the dropping of the charges against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn by saying, “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who's writing the history." Todd then blasted Barr for his “cynicism.”

In fact, that quote was lifted wildly out of context. Barr went on to say, “I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice." That’s the part Todd didn’t bother to show viewers, and he was appropriately roasted for his own “cynical” attempt at deceiving the public.

I’ve been watching the desperate attempts to spin the dropping of the charges against Flynn, despite clear and irrefutable evidence that he was targeted, framed, misled by his attorneys, pressured into pleading guilty and that evidence against him was altered and fabricated. The best the opposition has come up with was the claim, echoed by Rep. Gerald Nadler, that he “admitted to lying to the FBI!” Only after he’d lost his job, his reputation, his life savings, his home and the prosecutors were threatening to do the same to his son if he didn’t sign.

The Democrats’ incredibly low standard of “evidence” put me in mind of the Salem witch trials. I imagine this bit of dialogue from an upcoming play, “The Crucible II”…

Judge Nadler: “Mr. Flynn signed a sworn confession, admitting to being a witch! Buuuurn him!!”

Flynn: ”But it isn’t true! Chief Witch Hunter Mueller tortured me and forced me to sign it!”

Judge Nadler: “So you admit you signed a false sworn confession? Buuuurn him!!!”

UPDATE:  Since I wrote this piece, Aaron Mate of "The GrayZone" came out with a similar observation and also appeared on Tucker Carlson's show.  He's no Trump supporter by any means; in fact, when you go to his site you'll see he's politically to the left.  He must be the ONE LEFTIST who is able to look at the Russia hoax objectively, and he comes to the same conclusion about the so-called "Russian hack" that we did...

While combing through an 88-page transcript from the House Intelligence Committee –- the kind of thing some of us do for weekend fun during self-quarantine –- we found some very interesting things.

This unclassified but still lightly redacted and “committee sensitive” transcript documents a December 5, 2017, appearance before the committee of CrowdStrike cybersecurity expert Shawn Henry. Mr. Henry is flanked by lawyers: David C. Lashway, attorney for CrowdStrike, and Graham M. Wilson of Perkins Coie Political Law Group, attorney for...drum roll, please... the DNC and Hillary Clinton.

The hearing involves questioning by both the majority and minority committee members (unlike Adam Schiff’s shifty impeachment hearings, in which only Democrats could ask questions). The tone seems mostly friendly and casual, at least at first.

Henry starts by giving some background on himself: He was hired by the DNC on April 30 of 2016 after the apparent hacking of their servers. “I worked with Michael Sussmann [NOTE: this is the attorney for Hillary Clinton who distributed unverified anti-Trump “dirt” to the CIA], who is counsel at Perkins Coie, when I was in the FBI, in the FBI Cyber Division, probably back in the early 2000s. Michael was an attorney at the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the Department of Justice, where I knew him.” Sussman was the one who contacted Henry about helping the DNC find out what happened to their servers.

Henry’s understanding was that the FBI had gone to the DNC and notified them that they might have been hacked. This seems odd to me (how would they know?) and, given what we've learned about the FBI’s phony “Russia” ploy, raises some questions about their role in this; but as Henry tells them, this scenario happens “periodically.” In such cases, the FBI provides only intelligence and “direction,” not “remediation,” which includes a technical analysis of what happened. That would be the job for his company, CrowdStrike.

"Remediation is essentially cleaning it up,” Henry explains. “Something bad has happened. There’s been an actor. There’s malware, malicious software in an environment. Somebody has access to what’s occurring in the environment. So the remediation is cleaning out the bad stuff and putting in place infrastructure that is safe and secure.” He adds that “starting in June of 2016, we provided them the data that would have been of value to them.” That would have included “a lot of the indicators, the malware, and other pieces of code that we took off the computer network.”

Not the hardware, though. “Could they conduct their own investigation in a thorough fashion without access to the actual hardware?” asks Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah. They bat this question around a bit, with Stewart pressing him on whether it would be better for investigators to be supplied with the hardware. And he asks, “Would there be reason for not making that available that overrides the benefit of having a more conclusive investigation?” The tone of the interview has obviously changed at this point, with that exchange ending in sort of a stalemate.

So where did Henry first get the idea that it might have been the Russians? Well, not from his own investigation; Sussmann (Hillary's dirt-peddler) had told him, saying that the FBI had used a term related to the Russian government (“the Dukes”) when they contacted the contractor who had been administering the network for the DNC.

And what did Henry find? “We saw activity that we believed was consistent with activity we’d seen previously and had associated with the Russian government,” he tells the committee. “...We said that we had a high degree of confidence that it was the Russian government...it was consistent with a nation-state adversary and associated with Russian intelligence.”

Henry says that by the end of their remediation period, June 12, whoever had intruded should not have been able to do it again. But then he tells them that someone else did, in September. “There was another activity in the environment,” Henry says. “We didn’t do direct attribution back in that case. They were different tools that were not similar or consistent with what we’d seen the first time. In other words, there was a second successful breach “in an environment that...did not have our technology deployed into it.”

On page 32 of the transcript, Mr. Henry goes into a distinction between “indications” that the Russians hacked (which he had seen) and actual “evidence” of this (which he had not seen). They had INDICATORS that data was exfiltrated, but “DID NOT HAVE EVIDENCE THAT DATA WAS EXFILTRATED FROM THE DNC.” (Emphasis mine.)

I\Interestingly, Adam Schiff tries to create a timeline with the date in April that the data was “staged for exfiltration” and the end-of-April conversation George Papadopoulos had –- with someone we now know was a “confidential human source” –- about Russians being in possession of stolen DNC/Hillary emails. Now that we know what the FBI is capable of, it’s reasonable to wonder if this timing might conceivably have been part of the set-up. Could the FBI have even put those Russian “indicators” on the hard drives? What used to sound like conspiracy theory seems entirely plausible now, given what we know about the Russia hoax..

Towards the end of the session, Rep. Stewart returns to Henry’s admission that he didn’t have direct evidence that Russia actually exfiltrated data from the DNC computers. Anything cited as “evidence” was circumstantial. They saw signs the Russians had been nosing around (signs that would be very hard, Henry says, for someone else to imitate), but nothing definite to indicate they had exfiltrated the data.

And it’s possible, Henry says, that the Russians had done this before, in the months before the FBI caught wind of something unusual, and had erased the "indications" so no one would ever know. Admittedly, I’m not a cybersecurity expert, but here’s a question: if the Russians can do that, why didn’t they do it THIS time?

Finally, Henry is asked if there's any evidence that anyone besides Russia had access to the DNC servers, and he says no. But what about that later brEach, the one using "different tools"? Maybe there's no evidence about that one because they didn't even look into it.

The meeting concludes with Henry saying he stands by his assessment that the Russian government hacked the DNC. “It’s a conclusion we made,” he says. But, remember, this is still his opinion. After all this time, and all the hysterical cries of “Russia Russia Russia!,” there is no direct evidence of Russian hacking of the DNC. Recall that CrowdStrike hasn’t always been correct in blaming Russia, as they mistakenly reported that Russia had hacked Ukraine’s military equipment.

Recall also that Robert Mueller’s special counsel never attempted to interview Julian Assange about who leaked the DNC emails to him. Assange has long maintained that the emails he received were not from Russia or any government. He has also made it clear he NEVER reveals a source, but wouldn’t it be great if he’d finally help us solve the mystery once and for all? Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell is in a position to seek answers. More to come.

It always defied logic to think President Obama wasn’t in the loop when it came to the “Trump/Russia” investigation and the targeting of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. And now, a just-released document confirms that he was. This knowledge comes from an unexpected source, then-deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, in the “302” notes from her interview with the FBI during the special counsel investigation. These notes were filed by the Justice Department on Wednesday with Sidney Powell’s motion to dismiss charges against Flynn.

The plot turns on that now-infamous January 5, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office. President-elect Donald Trump would be taking office on January 20, and Flynn would be “ambushed” at his new White House digs on January 24. On January 4, the day before the White House meeting, FBI investigators had notified top FBI officials that they were dropping the Flynn investigation, as nothing incriminating (“derogatory”) had been found. Having the target turn up clean seems like an excellent reason for closing a case, but FBI official Peter Strzok had immediately notified them to keep it open, as the “7th Floor” –- Director Comey and other top-tier officials –- was involved.

The only reason Strzok would’ve had to keep the case open was so they could connive their way into a surprise interview with Flynn, challenge his memory of something they already knew, and get him to “lie” about something that was absolutely in his purview to do, Logan Act or no Logan Act. The whole idea of him “lying” to them was a joke, as he knew from his experience in intel that any phone conversation with a foreign ambassador would’ve been recorded.

Anyway, according to Sally Yates’ “302,” Obama called her and Comey over during the January Oval Office meeting to discuss Flynn’s phone conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. OBAMA brought it up. Obviously, he already knew something about this; Yates was surprised by the turn of the conversation. “Obama started by saying he had ‘learned of the information about Flynn’ and his conversation with Kislyak about sanctions,” the “302” read. “Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter (plausible deniability?), but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”

Keep in mind that Obama detests Flynn, who as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency had been a vocal opponent of his Iran policy and, in particular, of his “baby,” the misguided Iran nuclear deal. Obama advised President-elect Trump to be on guard against two things: North Korea and Michael Flynn (!). Here's the story from May of 2017.

According to Yates, it was Comey who told Obama about the Logan Act, an anachronistic law from 1799 (before telephones) that prohibits American private citizens from opposing current foreign affairs policies. It’s been on the books all this time but has NEVER been used to successfully prosecute. And Flynn wasn’t a private citizen --- he was the incoming national security adviser, for gosh sake, and this was the transition for President-elect Trump. I doubt these points came up in the conversation, though.

It’s already been established through the handwritten notes of Bill Priestap that the FBI was talking about getting Flynn to admit to violating that law.

Yates told the FBI that she wasn’t aware of the Kislyak call or the Logan Act discussions that had taken place within the FBI. She said she thought it might be a “technical violation” of the Logan Act (translation: a ridiculous stretch) during the presidential transition, but that the FBI “was more eager to pursue prosecution initially.”

Yates said Comey agreed that if the Kislyak call fell during the Obama administration --- and, technically, it did --- he would notify the White House chief of staff. But it says in her “302” that “the FBI said at some point that notification would mess up an ongoing investigation, but Yates said it was not always clear what exactly the FBI was doing to investigate Flynn.” Comey kept his plan close to the vest.

In fact, it was only AFTER the two agents Strzok and Pientka went to Flynn’s West Wing office to question him that Comey called Yates to tell her about it. According to her “302,” she was very “frustrated” about this. “She felt a decision to conduct an interview with Flynn should have been coordinated with [the Department of Justice].” She said the Flynn interview was “problematic” because White House counsel should have been notified. Indeed. But we’ve known for a long time that Comey went around them anyway; he bragged about it later and said he thought he could get away with doing that. It was a gross abuse of power.

But the Obama White House has been touched by this now.

By the way, Biden was in the Oval Office meeting, too. It would be good to question him, but he can probably be counted on to forget there even was a meeting. I don't mean saying “I don’t recall” while under oath, but literally NOT REMEMBERING it happened.

We can already see the frantic spinning on the left. Thursday, Jerrold Nadler, impeachment-mad chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted, “This is outrageous! Flynn PLEADED GUILTY to lying to investigators. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Now, a politicized DOJ is dropping the case. The decision to overrule the special counsel is without precedent and warrants an immediate explanation.” In Nadler World, the evidence that Flynn was set up and coerced to plead guilty simply doesn't exist. With few exceptions, that evidence won’t exist in Media World, either.

But there's much more to come, and only so much spinning even the most vicious Trump-hater can do. (What’s coming today and next week is said to be even more conclusive.) Thursday, there were additional “Spygate” revelations, these about Adam Schiff’s House Impeachment Committee –- I mean, House Intelligence Committee –- with transcripts that undercut the Democrats’ narrative of a legitimate “Russia” investigation. Thanks to acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, Schiff had to release thousands of declassified transcripts from the “Russia” investigation showing that, more than a year into it, FBI and intel officials could offer nothing in the way of specific proof of “collusion” with Moscow. All they offered were rambling explanations.

Sen. Chuck Grassley believes there will be prosecutions.

Here’s one huge revelation from Thursday: Hillary/DNC attorney Michael Sussman of Perkins Coie acknowledged under questioning by Republican staff (of course) that in February of 2017, he shared “dirt” he had gotten on the Trump organization’s possible ties to Russia WITH THE CIA. So the CIA was getting its anti-Trump rumors directly from a Clinton lawyer. SEE, IT ALWAYS GOES BACK TO HILLARY. Sussman wouldn’t say where he got the dirt, just that it came “from a client.” Probably Glenn Simpson and/or Chris Steele.

Schiff wrote a laughable preface to the material, saying, “The transcripts released today richly detail evidence of the Trump campaign’s efforts to invite, make use of, and cover up Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential election.” Actually, they do just the opposite.

Here’s John Solomon with all the details. This is great.

And here’s some great weekend reading, from Gregg Jarrett.