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Correction And An Apology: Over the weekend, I was asked to comment on a report that three prominent Republicans announced they would vote for Joe Biden. They were Colin Powell (who reportedly hasn’t voted Republican in over a decade), Mitt Romney (what a surprise!) and former President George W. Bush. I said they should all “Get over it.” If they don’t like Trump’s personal style, fine; sometimes I don’t either. But he’s been great at cutting taxes and regulations, strengthening the military, putting America first, fixing the economy, creating jobs for all Americans, enforcing immigration laws, renegotiating trade deals in our favor for a change, appointing conservative judges, defending Israel and religious freedom, and standing up for the sanctity of life. Any vote for any modern Democrat is a vote for the exact opposite of all of that.

However, since this story was all over every media outlet (of course it was; it’s catnip to the anti-Trump crowd), I didn’t think to question whether it was entirely true. Turns out, part of it is fake news:

President Bush’s spokesman says that as a former President, he never reveals who he is voting for, and the claim that he’s not supporting Trump was “completely made up.” Had I known that it originated with the New York Times, I would have been far more skeptical. As I noted yesterday, the Times’ credibility as a news source is now on a par with that of old issues of High Times magazine, whose reporters at least had the excuse of being stoned out of their minds.

My apologies to ex-President Bush for not asking, “Wait a minute, did this come from the New York Times?” before believing it.

Yesterday, I observed that FBI Director Christopher Wray appears to be stonewalling Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, because Graham has said he was being “denied access” to a couple of key lower-level witnesses at the FBI.
Today, the WASHINGTON EXAMINER has a story about an individual who is almost certainly one of the officials Graham wants to talk to, the one identified by THE NEW YORK TIMES as “Case Agent 1” in Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report.
Stephen Somma, a counterintelligence investigator in the FBI's New York field office, was cited by Inspector General Michael Horowitz in his report on the investigation into alleged FISA abuses.
We already knew Horowitz had found “17 significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FISA application to spy on Carter Page. According to Horowitz, Somma was the person “primarily responsible” for some of the most significant of these problems. Horowitz wrote that Somma and “an unnamed staff operations specialist” were the original members of the FBI team who had responsibility for investigating Carter Page.  (This is likely the other person Graham is being prevented from talking to.)
Recall that before the “dossier” was used as evidence (“evidence”), there was a previous attempt to get a FISA warrant to spy on Page that was turned down by the judges. Somma was apparently involved in that first unsuccessful try; he was told in August of 2016 that he “had not yet presented enough information to support a FISA application targeting Carter Page.”
So, what to do? It was Somma’s use of the fictional “dossier” that made all the difference. As the WASHINGTON EXAMINER reports, Somma told investigators for Horowitz “that the team’s receipt of the reporting from Steele [in September] supplied missing information in terms of what Page may have been doing during his July 2016 visit to Moscow and provided enough information on Page’s recent activities that [Somma] thought would satisfy the Office of Intelligence.”
In order to establish probable cause to believe that Page was the agent of a foreign power, Somma “drew almost entirely from Steele’s reporting,” wrote Horowitz. (In other words, former FBI Director James Comey was lying when he said the “dossier” was just a part of the total “mosaic” of information they had. That piece of unverified garbage was pretty much it.) The summary that Somma put together also left out exculpatory information on Page. He later explained to the IG that Page’s work with the CIA in Moscow, between 2004 and 2007, were “outside scope” (!) so he did not include them in the FISA application. But Page had actually supplied the CIA with information as recently as 2013, and this fact wasn’t included, either.
Somma also left out the part about Stefan Halper, the confidential human source who recorded Page in October 2016 --- BEFORE the application for a warrant to spy on Page was filed, let alone granted. Exculpatory material from that recording that was left out included Page’s denial of meeting with the Russians mentioned in Steele’s “dossier,” denying any knowledge of WikiLeaks as pertaining to the hacked/leaked DNC emails, and also denying any role in the GOP platform that might have related to Russia. NONE of this made it into the FISA application. And after all the trouble they’d gone to, spying on Page, recording him and all that.
I guess Halper didn’t need any warrant to record Page, because their meeting was set up in a foreign country to enable this. How conveeeenient.
Unbelievably, Horowitz said in his report that he didn’t have enough information to determine if the problems were due to “sheer gross incompetence,” “intentional misconduct,” or “anything in between.” Even though he found Somma’s explanations for “so many significant and repeated failures” to be unsatisfactory, he didn’t find that Somma or his immediate supervisors were politically biased.
Wow, what does it take to show political bias at the FBI?  Walking around the office wearing an "I'M WITH HER" button?
There’s an intriguing connection between Somma and Halper that involves Cambridge Intelligence Seminars, gatherings arranged by Halper and Sir Richard Dearlove, a former director of MI6. (As it happens, Michael Flynn was also invited to one of these events, where he was introduced to Svetlana Lokhova, the woman with whom he was later incorrectly rumored to be having an affair; you can read all about this in Lee Smith’s book, THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT.)  Somma was a speaker at one of these events, in November 2011, where he gave a talk on “The FBI and Russia Illegals 2010.”
Halper was a contract employee with the Pentagon’s Department of Net Assessment, supposedly writing some reports for them, but his scope of activities has been hard to nail down. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has been trying to find out if any of the Pentagon’s funds used to pay Halper were actually used for his spying on Trump associates. If so, there’s your tax money at work!
Of course, there’s also former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who is the one person known at this time to be under criminal investigation for his work in Crossfire Hurricane. He’s alleged to have altered a document to make it look as though Carter Page did NOT serve as an informant for our government, when he actually DID. Clinesmith and Somma appear to have both worked in different ways to keep that information under wraps. Sen. Graham would no doubt love to ask Somma whether or not there was any coordination with Clinesmith.
In early February, Sen. Graham sent a letter requesting interviews with 17 FBI and DOJ officials as part of his investigation into FISA abuse.
I assume the brick wall Graham hit regarding “Case Agent 1” is in response to this request four months ago. In fact, “Case Agent 1” (Somma) is on the request list for witnesses. The letter was sent to Attorney General Barr. So, did Barr just pass the letter on to Wray, or is Barr himself playing a part in the stonewalling? And if Barr is doing this, is it perhaps because of Durham's ongoing criminal investigation?
We’ll be getting answers soon. Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has just obtained subpoena power and has an extremely extensive list of documents and witnesses. Sen. Graham anticipates receiving subpoena power this week as well, which should finally put an end to the FBI’s stonewalling.
So get ready for what will likely be some eye-opening (or transparently perjured) testimony. Either that or some serious Fifth Amendment-taking; reports are that some on this list have lawyered-up big-time. John Solomon lays it all out.

76 years later: D-Day

June 9, 2020

Saturday, June 6, was the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, the mass invasion of France that spelled the beginning of the end of Hitler’s reign of terror in Europe in World War II. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft joined in support against entrenched Nazi positions on the coastal cliffs. More than 160,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy. 9,000 were killed or wounded that day, but their courage and sacrifice enabled over 100,000 more troops to start the long, bloody pushback of the Nazis and liberate Europe. It was the biggest military operation in history, and amazingly, it was all pulled together in secret without anyone leaking the plans and warning the enemy, something it’s virtually impossible to imagine these days.

As the architect of D-Day, Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, said, "I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!" And that they achieved, no matter the cost.

I held off writing about D-Day until today because I wanted to see whether the commemorations would be able to go forward, with France ravaged and shut down by the pandemic and so few surviving elderly veterans able to leave their homes. I’m glad to be able to say that while there couldn’t be the huge memorials that marked last year’s 75th anniversary, the grateful people of France made it clear that they have not forgotten that sacrifice for their freedom.

95-year-old US Army veteran Charles Shay, who stormed Omaha Beach as a 19-year-old medic, now lives near the beach and was the only veteran able to be standing there at dawn. But he wasn’t alone. A few dozen locals and tourists, some in period attire, gathered to honor and remember those heroes. The theme from “Saving Private Ryan” was played. Later in the day, French fighter jets staged a flyover. And even before dawn, local fisherman Ivan Thierry was standing on the beach, holding up an American flag.

He said, “There is not nobody here. Even if we are only a dozen, we are here to commemorate.”

But even if the elderly heroes of D-Day couldn’t make it back to France, they were not forgotten at home. Around America, they were honored by their neighbors. For instance, in Niles, Michigan, the local VFW presented them with certificates of honor and Michigan challenge coins, and the Western Michigan Gold Star Mothers gave them American flag quilts.

And in Billerica, Massachusetts, the family of John DiClemente, a veteran of both D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, told him they were taking him to a veterans’ event. It was actually a vehicle parade in his honor by local police and firefighters.

There were many such commemorations around the nation, small but heartfelt. Whether we hold giant commemorations or just local observances, the important thing is that we never lose our gratitude for the sacrifice of these true American heroes, and that as that Greatest Generation passes into history, that we teach future generations what they did and to be thankful for them. We’re currently getting a very harsh lesson in what happens when we entrust that important job to people who hate and blame America for all the world’s ills, and who refuse to teach its real history. It’s time for parents to take that job back.

Sadly, this D-Day anniversary weekend was also marred by continuing violent protests, including protesters who scrawled profane graffiti on a statue of Winston Churchill in England and on the World War II memorial in Washington, DC, as well as the Lincoln Memorial (a strange way to protest racism, to desecrate the memorial to the man who led a war to free the slaves.)

I wonder how many of these protesters who hide behind the First Amendment to justify their vandalism and disrespect for these heroes realize that if it weren’t for them and their comrades, they would have no First Amendment rights? I wonder if the protesters in England think they’d be better off today if there had been no Winston Churchill to rally the nation and help plan D-Day and destroy Nazism? Do they even understand what fascism is?

I seriously doubt it. Possibly the most disrespectful desecration, far beyond that of any spray paint can, came from Bernie Sanders’ “foreign policy adviser” Matt Duss, who declared D-Day to be the “largest Antifa operation in history.”

No, it was the largest genuine anti-fascist operation in history. The soldiers of D-Day were real warriors facing heavy, deadly fire; not make-believe “social justice warriors” who expect to be allowed to attack anyone they please with no consequences. The soldiers of D-Day were fighting real fascism, not using fascist tactics to terrorize anyone who disagrees with them (Antifa's definition of “fascists.”) The soldiers of D-Day were greeted with cheers because they were there to bring freedom and liberation, and drive out the people who burned, threatened and looted the neighborhoods. They weren't there to burn, threaten and loot them.

And the soldiers of D-Day, as John DiClemente recalled, were greeted by “good people” in “France, Belgium, Germany and Russia. They didn’t want to fight us. Every time we went into a city, they fed us wine, (gave us) flowers, hugs, kisses and what have you. They were glad to see us.”

Is anyone glad when Antifa shows up? I think many of us will be glad when they finally start showing up in federal prisons.

I’ve already written about the attempts by so-called “health professionals” to explain why it’s fine for masses of people to gather for anti-racism protests, but it’s a deadly coronavirus superspreader event when people protest endless lockdowns.

That Mt. Everest of hypocrisy is getting so much furious blowback that some of them are trying to rationalize it by claiming that the racism protests have aspects that mitigate the spread, such as being outdoors with more space between people.

Like this protest in London, supported by the mayor and hilariously juxtaposed with his warnings to stay home and keep two meters apart from others if you go out. I’ve seen canned sardines that weren’t packed as tight as the people in that protest photo.

But here’s the stunning quote that really gave away the game, and no, it’s not from the Babylon Bee. It’s real:

Apparently, “health professionals” have decided that if they strongly approve of an issue, it’s okay to rally for it, but if they disapprove, then it’s too dangerous to allow because it might spread the coronavirus. Did the virus post a “Black Lives Matter” logo on its Facebook page and agree not to infect anyone at an anti-racism rally?

Or is this just, as I’ve written previously, irrefutable proof that the only “science” the alleged “party of science” really cares about is political science? Since they believe that life begins when the mother and the abortionist decide to let a baby live that’s already been born, or that climate science is “settled” no matter how many times the computer models are wrong, then I’d say they have no more inkling of what “science” is than they do of what common sense is.

Sen. Lindsay Graham didn’t specifically mention Christopher Wray in his Sunday interview with FOX NEWS’ Maria Bartiromo, but I couldn’t help thinking about Wray while listening to what Graham had to say.

To set the scene, Graham was on the show to talk about the questioning of Rod Rosenstein last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which Rosenstein claimed not to have been aware that the Steele “dossier” was discredited by Steele’s own sub-source. Rosenstein said that McCabe had not been “fully candid” with him. (McCabe fired back a statement refuting the notion that he had “misled” Rosenstein, going so far as to say that “Mr. Rosenstein approved of and suggested ways to enhance our investigation of the President.” Perhaps this is a veiled reference to the story about Rosenstein talking about wearing a wire.)

Anyway, as you know, Rosenstein said he didn’t know the underlying documentation had been altered to hide the fact that Carter Page had worked for the FBI; that, of course, is a criminal act. He also claimed not to have known that the “dossier” was repeatedly disavowed, over a three-day interrogation in January 2017, by Steele’s Russian sub-source.

This appears to be some serious CYA on the part of Rosenstein, who signed the final renewal of the Carter Page FISA warrant in August of 2017. As the senator rightly pointed out, “...If anyone signs this warrant application knowing that the Russian sub-source disavowed the reliability of the Steele ‘dossier’ and that the Department of State lawyer altered email –- if they knew that, they would be going to jail themselves.”

Graham vowed that both McCabe and Comey will “eventually” be called before the Judiciary Committee, as he finds it “hard to believe” that neither of them knew about what the Russian sub-source had said about the “dossier” in January. (Try “impossible to believe.”)

The FISA renewal that Rosenstein signed said that the Russian sub-source was “truthful and cooperative.” It was Inspector General Michael Horowitz who found the memo on the interview with the sub-source that said this person had disavowed the “dossier,” saying it wasn’t reliable, nothing more than hearsay and casual “bar talk.” Graham said he plans to call “every person who signed that warrant” and have them testify as to what they knew about the “dossier.”

Importantly, he said they wouldn’t let some “low-level intel analyst or case agent” take the blame for defrauding the court. If it can be proved that higher-ups were warned and kept going forward anyway, then they’re in big trouble, and we’re talking prison. “I believe it goes up to the very top,” he said. “They’re ALL gonna come before the committee...”

Note that he did not specifically mention President Obama; he has said previously that this would not be happening. In other words, if by “the very top” Graham means Obama, it’s going to have to come out through some form of documentation (unlikely) or testimony from somebody else. If it can’t be proved in a court of law, we’ll all just have to come to our own conclusions about his guilt.

Now, here’s the part that made me wonder yet again what is going on with Wray: Sen. Graham wants to interview those case agents who spoke directly with Steele’s sub-source, and he has “asked” to do so. “I made a request to interview the case agent and the intel analyst, two other people who interviewed the sub-source for three days in January [2017], again in March, again in May, and THEY’RE DENYING ME THE ABILITY TO DO THAT. [Emphasis mine.] I’m gonna keep working the system. Attorney General Barr has been the most transparent attorney general in my lifetime. [Then-acting Director of National Intelligence Ric] Grenell released a lot of information. But why did they run all these stop signs?”

The big question is –- and I think we all know the answer –- did this begin and end with some decisions made by “two or three people” who failed to pass along exculpatory information, or was it “a system out of control”? It certainly appears that the people at the top wanted to keep the “Trump/Russia” investigation going no matter what; in fact, we KNOW this is true in the prosecution of Lt. Gen. Flynn.

The reason why Sen. Graham was being DENIED ACCESS to those lower-level agents was not addressed on the show; maybe it was because of time constraints. But this was an internal FBI matter; FBI Director Wray should be able to snap his fingers and give the Senate Judiciary Committee, in their oversight capacity, access to those officials to determine their roles in this and find out who they told about any problems with the evidence. Graham shouldn’t have to go higher to get the go-ahead to talk to those agents, but he does, apparently to Attorney General Barr. This looks like one more big black mark for Wray, one more reason why he is absolutely the wrong person for that job.

The “get-Trump” investigation may not have had any roadblocks, but the attempt to get to the bottom of it certainly still does.

Kimberly Strassel had a great a piece in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, “Rod Rosenstein Knew Nothing,” on Rosenstein and his total lack of curiosity (ha) about the evidence in one of the most significant cases in FBI history. “In three hours of testimony,” Strassel wrote, “the country got a glimpse at the depths of the FBI’s underhandedness and the failure of leadership that enabled it.”

It’s behind a paywall (Strassel’s columns are well worth it), but Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan talked about it over the weekend with Judge Jeanine Pirro.

Jordan reminded us of the constant pressure in the spring of 2017 from Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) to appoint a special counsel. “Remember, every Democrat wanted to do it,” he said to Judge Pirro, “wanted to keep going after the President. Everyone in the media wanted to do it. And there were a bunch of Republicans who wanted to do it.”

But at the time FBI Director James Comey was fired, May 9, Comey was asked if there was anything “there.” He said they didn’t know. Rosenstein appointed Mueller on May 17. What, pray tell, was discovered in those few days in the way of evidence that Trump conspired with Russia? Answer: NOTHING. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel and gave it carte blanche for almost two years not because of any evidence but because of political pressure. This was ALL political.

As for the story about Rosenstein talking about wearing a wire, which he now denies doing, we now have conflicting accounts to sort out. Just don’t tell me that someone who would open a purely political investigation on the President of the United States is above doing something like that.