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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.

Reap the whirlwind

May 8, 2020

“If You Strike Me Down, I Shall Become More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine” Dept: Yesterday, I told you about Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther, who refused to lose her business and her employees’ jobs by continuing to comply with unreasonable and unconstitutional lockdown orders. She was fined $7000 and ordered to jail for a week by Judge Eric Moye. Moye, incredibly, made it clear that she might escape jail by apologizing and admitting she was being selfish. Luther replied that it was not selfish to want to feed her kids and save her business, and she took the jail sentence rather than grovel.

I made it this local story a lead story because it didn’t take psychic powers to predict what’s happened since. Luther overnight became the national symbol of a rising American revolt against high-handed elitists with secure paychecks who mock, lecture and scold people who desperately need to get back to work to save their businesses and homes and feed their families. Judge Moye is facing a blizzard of criticism for his obliviousness in jailing a mom for going to work while Dallas County has released about 1,000 actual criminals for fear they might contract the coronavirus in jail. (Although she's reportedly being kept in isolation for protection.)

It’s no surprise that Moye has no sympathy for Ms. Luther and her employees, since he has continued to draw his six-figure salary at taxpayer expense throughout this entire lockdown. As have Nancy Pelosi and all the House Democrats who refuse to come back to work in Washington and help President Trump deal with the crisis. My modest suggestion: every official who insists that people stay home should have to go without pay until they allow Americans to work again. That might instill a sense of urgency in them.

Unfortunately, state-level officials don’t have direct power over Moye, but they’ve made it abundantly clear what they think of his appalling ruling and how it has brought so much negative attention to Texas – a state where standing up to tyranny is built into the natives’ genetic code. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton blasted Moye for his judicial overreach, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick even volunteered to pay her fine and take her place in jail.

As of Thursday night, Luther was reportedly still in jail (she was taken directly to jail without even being released on appeal!), but her attorneys have filed for an intervention with the State Supreme Court. In the meantime, Luther is now a national heroine for millions of Americans who are fed up with elitist liberal officials lecturing them about being selfish for wanting to feed their families and not lose the businesses they’ve spent a lifetime building.

They see these bans being applied unequally, unfairly and with little regard for whether they actually prevent the spread of the virus. They understand the risks, but they aren’t children of a nanny state, they are adult American citizens who are responsible enough to make their own decisions about assuming risk and making smart choices to mitigate them, just as we try to avoid highway deaths by driving carefully, installing airbags and wearing seatbelts, not by cowering in our rooms for our entire lives.

To show how Luther’s stand has galvanized supporters the way the heroes of the Alamo inspired earlier generations of Texans, a GoFundMe page set up to pay her expenses and legal fees disabled donations after they leaped from $170,000 to over $500,000 in less than 24 hours. And her defiance of capricious authoritarianism is already spreading across the nation.

Officials like Texas Judges Moye and Clay Jenkins, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others might think this crisis has greatly expanded their powers, but all it’s really done is give Americans a taste of the tyranny of petty tyrants and how quickly they'll exercise it if given half a chance, and they don’t like it at all. I suspect that Democrats who think this crisis will be a boon to them in November had better brace for another shocking Election Night'

To quote Hosea 8:7, “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”