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Day 12

March 8, 2022

With our usual caveats that we can’t cover breaking news, and that first reports from war zones are often unreliable, here is today’s continuously-updated feed of Ukraine bulletins from Fox News:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-3-7-2022

Among the latest developments as Monday starts day 12 of Russia’s invasion:

Russia claimed it will honor another ceasefire, but Ukraine rejected a proposal to evacuate Ukrainian citizens to Russia and Belarus, the equivalent of evacuating out of the frying pan and into the fire. Ukraine is also calling for a worldwide boycott of Russian products.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy held a Zoom meeting over the weekend with 280 US Congress members. With NATO having rejected his request to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, Zelenskyy pleaded with lawmakers to introduce an oil embargo on Russia and stop buying Russian oil. He also said if the US had started serious sanctions months ago, there wouldn’t have been any war. That must’ve been an uncomfortable phone call for the Biden backers in Congress.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ukrainian-president-zelenskyy-makes-one-request-us-meeting-change-everything/

Visa and Mastercard announced that they will cease all transactions involving Russian banks. But Robert Spencer at PJ Media argues that that will mostly harm ordinary Russians who might oppose Putin’s invasion. It also sets more precedent for financial companies to deplatform people with unapproved views.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2022/03/06/why-americans-shouldnt-be-happy-that-mastercard-and-visa-have-suspended-russia-operations-n1564206

Nick Arama at Redstate.com notes that Paypal, Payarama and Adobe have also suspended operations in Russia. Yet President Biden continues doing business with Russia, buying their oil instead of pumping our own.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/06/latest-shoe-is-a-big-one-to-drop-on-russia-but-joe-biden-is-still-holding-back-n532341

Meanwhile, China was only too happy to step in and fill the void. Russia will start using China’s UnionPay credit card system instead of Visa and Mastercard.

https://news.yahoo.com/russian-banks-switch-chinese-card-161004241.html

The Chinese foreign minister touted China’s relationship with Russia, calling Moscow China’s “most important strategic partner.” Previous Presidents understood that both powers had to be treated with a mixture of praise/diplomacy and ironfisted restrictions because we wanted each of them kept off-balance and dependent on/afraid of us so they wouldn’t align with each other. Previous Presidents understood that it was better to have an uneasy alliance with each against the other than to have Russia and China team up against us. But previous Presidents weren’t Joe Biden.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-russia-most-important-strategic-partner-ukraine-invasion

 

Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!

Today's newsletter includes:

  • Ukraine: Biden Feels the Pressure
  • Durham responds masterfully to Sussmann's lawyers
  • This 2020 Trump claim was fact-checked…it turns out he was right
  • And much more

Thank you again for reading.

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee


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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

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3. Ukraine: Biden Feels the Pressure

This is today’s Fox News link for the latest bulletins on the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-3-8-2022

Some of the top stories from the past 24 hours: President Biden has FINALLY been pressured into ending US imports of Russian oil, but at this writing it’s unknown whether he’ll take his foot off the neck of America’s oil producers or try to replace it with oil from OPEC or (God forbid) Iran (which would spike gas prices even higher), or just rely on sunshine, windmills and wishes (which would send gas prices to the moon.)

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said some of the responsibility for deaths in Ukraine falls on nations that refused to impose a no-fly zone. The UN estimated that over 2 million people have fled Ukraine. US officials estimate that more than 3,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, which is about 1 out of every 300 Russian military members. Ukraine officials claim that Russian forces are shelling a humanitarian corridor established to allow evacuees to leave safely.

For those who want to understand more of what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, Putin’s history and motivations, and what’s likely to happen in the future, Kamil Galeev of the Wilson Center has a series of interesting Twitter threads that take a deep dive into those subjects.

https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1498377757536968711

You might start with this one, which is very eye-opening. All the “Z’s” you see popping up in Russia do not mean the people support Zelenskyy.

https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1500495309595725831


4. This 2020 Trump Claim was fact-checked, it turns out he was right

Here’s more proof that when liberal media outlets begin a story with “Experts say…” there’s a very good chance you’re about to get a snow job. If it’s a story about anything Donald Trump said, you can count on it. The self-appointed “fact-checkers” were constantly telling us that Trump was lying about something, according to “experts,” when it later became obvious that he was right. And now, here’s yet another example.

Just before the 2020 election, Trump was speaking at a rally in Grand Rapids, where he was boasting about making America energy-independent for the first time and bringing gas prices down to $2 a gallon or less. He then said, “If Biden got in, you’d be paying $7, $8, $9, then they’d say, ‘Get rid of your car.'”

https://www.westernjournal.com/video-trumps-bold-prediction-2020-comes-true-americans-live-reality-bidens-america/

The Washington Post responded with an “analysis” calling the claim that gas prices would spike under Biden “dubious,” adding, “Experts say those fears are overblown,” and that Biden’s policies could ease tensions with Iran and “result in incrementally lower gas prices.”


5. Durham responds masterfully to Sussmann's lawyers

Say what you will about former Attorney General Bill Barr…

https://www.abc4.com/news/national/trump-rips-barr-in-letter-to-nbcs-lester-holt/

...but he deserves credit for his fantastic pick of John Durham as special counsel to investigate the origins of the phony “Trump/Russia” probe. For a long time, we all wondered what he could possibly be doing, as months and months went by without any news. But now it’s easy to understand why the case is taking so long. There’s much more to it than anyone imagined at the outset.

In his latest court filing, made Friday to counter Michael Sussmann’s attorneys’ most recent motions, Durham has shown that he'd make a great archer, as he aims right at the target and hits a rhetorical bull’s-eye. Here’s a link to the whole 16-page document.

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638/gov.uscourts.dcd.235638.44.0_6.pdf

Recall that Sussmann, conveniently the attorney for both the Hillary Clinton campaign and Rodney Joffe (Tech Executive – 1), has been charged with lying to the FBI by failing to disclose that he was acting on behalf of legal clients. He maintained that he had brought the (fake) Alfa Bank story to the FBI simply out of his sense of patriotic duty, as a concerned citizen. A couple of weeks ago, in their motion to dismiss that charge, Sussmann’s attorneys said --- try not to laugh --- that their client hadn’t lied, but that even if he HAD lied, the lie was not material to the case and was protected by the First Amendment besides, so, come on, judge, just let it go.

Durham, in his response to the First Amendment argument, took aim and said, “Far from finding himself in the vulnerable position of an ordinary person whose speech is likely to be chilled, the defendant --- a sophisticated and well-connected lawyer --- chose to bring politically-charged allegations to the FBI’s chief legal officer [James Baker] at the height of an election season.

“He then chose to lie about the clients who were behind those allegations. Using such rare access to the halls of power for the purposes of political deceit is hardly the type of speech that the Founders intended to protect. The Court should therefore reject defendant’s invitation to expand the scope of the First Amendment to protect such conduct.”

Is that not great?

As for whether his (false) statements to the FBI were material to the case, Durham was spot-on again. Imagine how things might have gone if Sussmann had been honest about his true connections, given their implied motivations. His ties to the Clinton campaign could --- at least SHOULD --- have had tremendous bearing. As Durham put it:

“Had the defendant truthfully informed the FBI General Counsel that he was providing the information on behalf of one or more clients, as opposed to merely acting as a ‘good citizen,’ the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel might have asked a multitude of additional questions material to the case initiation process.”

It’s hard to imagine information more material to the case than this. As Durham said, the lie was capable of “influencing both the FBI’s decision to initiate an investigation and its subsequent conduct of that investigation.”

Knowledge of these attorney-client relationships, he said, “would have shed critical light on the origins of the allegations at issue.” It goes without saying that this would certainly not have been in the interest of Sussmann’s clients, Hillary Clinton and a man trying in an underhanded way to help get her elected. Sussmann's charade was completely in their interest.

“Given the temporal proximity to the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Durham said, “the FBI also might have taken any number of different steps in initiating, delaying, or declining the initiation of this matter had it known at the time that the defendant was providing information on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive at a private company.”

Sussmann’s attorneys had also moved to strike the “Factual Background” in Durham’s charge –- the part that went into detail about Sussmann’s ties with Clinton and Joffe as part of the larger picture. They said Durham had included that part “to politicize this case, inflame media coverage, and taint the jury pool.” We'd thought their attempt to strike that section seemed like a well-we-gotta-try-something move, as they ended up calling MORE attention to it.

Durham made it clear that there was no basis to strike any part of that motion, as the factual background was “central” to proving the allegation of Sussmann’s criminal conduct. He also said that some of it was necessary for explaining the conflicts of interest that were the point of his earlier filing about various people of interest (Sussmann included) being defended by the same law firm, Latham & Watkins.

Margot Cleveland has another great article about the filings in Durham’s case, this one saying he “demolished” the attempt to get Sussmann’s charges dropped.

https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/07/5-new-special-counsel-arguments-against-a-russia-hoaxers-attempt-to-escape/

Cleveland offers her usual superb analysis, making points seen nowhere else. She offers five “key takeaways” from Durham’s filing:

1. On the issue of materiality, Durham states what the correct standard for that is, stressing that it refers to the “potential,” as opposed to the actual, effects of the lie. And even using the defense attorneys’ very narrow standard, Sussmann’s alleged “misrepresentation” (lie) is still material because it could have influenced the FBI’s decision-making.

Cleveland says denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss is “inevitable” and that Durham refuted “six ways to Sunday” the claim that Sussmann's lie was not material. It plainly was, he said, “because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign.” Doesn't get much plainer than that.

2. Durham destroyed the Democrats’ talking point that the FBI already knew Sussmann was an attorney for the DNC. Sussmann had held himself out as a cybersecurity and national security attorney, “not an election lawyer or political consultant,” Durham wrote. So when Sussmann had denied any client relationships, he had made it seem that he was not there in a political capacity, when he was.

3. Durham countered the defense’s argument that Joffe’s status as “a long-standing respected FBI source” made Sussmann’s failure to disclose representing him immaterial. This one is a bit “in the weeds” but really interesting, so if you’re following these arguments closely, do read Cleveland’s piece.

4. Durham countered another defense argument that's also a talking point, the one saying that Trump was not the target because data brought by Sussmann was from before he was President. The special counsel made it clear that this is a distinction without a difference, as Trump clearly was the target.

5. Finally, Durham had some fun with the defense’s assertion that the charge against their client “risks valuable First Amendment speech,” calling a comparison they'd made “absurd.” Sussmann, he said, “as a former government attorney and prosecutor...was well aware that the law required him to honest and forthright when communicating with the FBI.”

I wonder --- is that even possible when furthering the interests of Hillary Clinton?


6. Fact: Average $ for a Gallon of Gas Hits Record High

Okay, here’s a real “fact-check,” or maybe I should say a punch in the gut with reality: Monday, the average price of a gallon of gas in the US hit a record high of $4.104, surpassing the previous record of $4.103 set in 2008. The best you can say for Biden is that it might not actually be the highest ever when you adjust it for the galloping inflation that’s the only thing he seems interested in fueling.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/u-s-gas-prices-hit-new-record-high

Naturally, the highest price is in deep blue California, where the average price of a gallon of gas is $5.43. That means in many places, it’s much higher, like in the $6 range. And if any alleged “experts” still think Trump’s prediction of even higher prices seems “dubious,” some oil traders are now bracing for oil to hit $200 a barrel by the end of this month.

https://www.westernjournal.com/warning-americans-traders-eye-200-per-oil-barrel-month-report/

Meanwhile, President Biden was finally pressured enough that he will reportedly announce an end to importing Russian oil on Tuesday morning.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/biden-russian-oil-import-ban

But what will he replace it with? Judging by comments from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, buying it from Iran is on the table. He’d rather buy it from terrorists than let Americans pump it. A meme has gone viral that says Biden is scouring the world for any place that has oil other than Texas. That doesn’t even make sense from an environmental standpoint since our oil is much cleaner than Russia’s and doesn’t have to be transported halfway around the world.

Even in liberal Massachusetts, one Springfield man told a reporter that the gas prices made him sick to his stomach, adding, “They’re killing the working man.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/american-brutal-reaction-gas-prices-bidens-america-sick-stomach/

Biden’s fellow Democrats (the former “friend of the working man” Party) are starting to panic and suggest any gimmicks to try to temporarily lower the price of gas before the November elections.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gas-prices-democratic-bloodbath-midterms-republicans

But they’re still unwilling to do what everyone with a brain bigger than a chicken’s knows we have to do: reverse Biden’s idiotic policies and get our pumps and pipelines back online ASAP. Last week, House Republicans introduced a bill to do that, and Democrats voted it down by 221-202.

https://notthebee.com/article/house-democrats-voted-down-a-major-oil-independence-bill-because-they-prefer-renewable-energy-and-someone-needs-to-tell-them-that-you-can-do-both-its-fine-to-do-both

Maybe those $6-a-gallon gas prices will convince them to hold a do-over and get it right this time by passing Ted Cruz’s Energy Freedom Act. Or maybe they think that keeping gas prices sky-high will prevent all those truckers from reaching Washington to protest them. The big question is, how long will they keep on killing the working man before they finally force themselves to admit that Trump was right and unleash America’s energy industries?


7. Barr makes news: Defends cops and says he would vote for Trump over the “progressive agenda”

Former Attorney General Bill Barr is making appearances to promote his new book. Naturally, the media are trumpeting anything he says that reflects badly on Donald Trump, and there’s plenty of that. And he made it clear he wouldn’t support Trump for the Republican nomination. But before they start trying to elevate Barr into the next never-Trump CNN regular, I’ll bet the liberal talking heads nearly exploded when Barr said that if Trump were the nominee in 2024, the “progressive” Democrat agenda is such a threat to America that it’s “inconceivable” that he wouldn’t vote for the Republican, whoever it is.

https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/03/07/savannah-guthrie-gets-poleaxed-by-bill-barrs-answer-to-her-question-about-the-2024-election-n533046

It must be hard for those people to hear that after five years of blasting Trump with all they’ve got, even someone who doesn’t like him would say in effect, “But I’d still vote for him if that was the only alternative to the walking dumpster fires you people support.”

Barr also probably won’t make many friends in the media with his defense of cops as not being racists but as simply arresting people who commit crimes.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/washington-secrets/liberal-media-scream-lester-holt-fights-truth-that-cops-are-where-crime-is


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As we continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, here’s today’s link to continually-updated news on the Russian invasion:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/zelenskyy-video-cheered-at-pro-ukraine-rallies-across-europe-live-updates

Among the major stories: A U.N. agency estimates that 1.45 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began. Russia denied an accusation that it violated a temporary ceasefire to protect safe humanitarian corridors for evacuees. NATO rejected imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, calling it a “painful decision” but saying that NATO has a responsibility not to escalate the conflict into a wider European war by engaging with Russia in the air or on the ground. Putin said that any no-fly zone imposed by a third party would be viewed as “participation in the armed conflict.”

A reminder that with any fast-breaking news from a war zone, some stories will turn out to be incorrect through honest mistakes and others may be spin or outright propaganda. If journalism is the “first draft of history,” then this is a first draft written under an impossible deadline while bombs are going off, so take everything with a grain of salt until it’s confirmed.

It’s hard to believe that Washington, DC, would have to worry about a fertilizer shortage, but that’s the latest serious threat. Russia produces about 13% of the world’s supply of potash, phosphate and nitrogen for fertilizer. Prices are already rising astronomically, and Russia is reportedly considering withholding exports, which could create worldwide food shortages, if other nations continue their crippling sanctions. All that reliance on imports still looking like a good idea?

https://www.westernjournal.com/russia-strikes-back-western-sanctions-threatens-world-food-supply-heinous-move/

In a dramatic show of defiance, the entire staff of Russia’s Dozhd or TV Rain news channel ended their broadcast by walking off the set in protest of the government crackdown on journalists reporting on the invasion of Ukraine.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/russian-news-walks-crackdown-media

Friday, Putin signed a new law that could fine or jail journalists for up to 15 years for reporting "fake" news about the military and invasion that conflicts with statements from Russian officials. This includes using the words “war” or “invasion” to describe the war and invasion. TV Rain has been accused of "inciting extremism, abusing Russian citizens, causing mass disruption of public calm and safety, and encouraging protests" by reporting on the attack on Ukraine.

I’m grateful we live in a nation with free speech and the Bill of Rights to protect us from out-of-control tyrants who would bully the media into helping silence people under the guise of them spreading “misinformation” that might “cause confusion or sow mistrust” in the government. Thank God that could never happen here.

https://news.yahoo.com/surgeon-general-demands-data-covid-162442216.html

In a related story, CNN announced that it will stop broadcasting in Russia due to the new law making it illegal to air “fake news.” Decide for yourselves whether this is a protest or an admission of guilt.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2022/03/04/cnn-to-stop-broadcasting-in-russia-and-the-reason-is-hilarious-n1563873