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Sharon K.

05/08/2020 10:35 AM

Thank you for your use of common sense as you bring us the news of the moment. You are the calm in this storm of falsehoods.

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Tracey P.

05/08/2020 10:03 AM

Governor Huckabee,

Thank you for your newsletter. It helps to bring a sane perspective in the chaos.

Lois Anne M.

05/08/2020 10:02 AM

Another fantastic newsletter; thank you!!!!!!!

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Even L.

05/08/2020 08:46 AM

Another spot-on commentary Governor.

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Larry W.

05/08/2020 06:06 AM

That was good, Governor. Keep the fire in your belly - it inspires the rest of us!

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Shelley J.

05/08/2020 03:17 AM

Thank you for the superb detail which is very fulfilling to read. God Bless America!

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LeAnn K.

05/08/2020 02:05 AM

I'm so thankful for your daily posting. It's the only place I get a sane view of the mess we are in. And somehow the daily bible verus fits exactly what I need to hear.

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Cathy M.

05/08/2020 01:41 AM

I look forward to reading the Evening Edition every night. It kind of sums up the day. I especially love the scripture at the end. God's Word gives us hope! Thanks and Blessings!

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Allegra G K.

05/07/2020 11:49 PM

Thanks for the big laugh. I was feeling a little down tonight...

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Deborah W.

05/07/2020 08:34 PM

LOVE this newsletter! Thank you sir!

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James D. Jr

05/07/2020 07:38 PM

Thanks Mike & Staff.

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William A.

05/07/2020 07:26 PM

Wow! Just got my first Evening Edition. Great reading! Can't wait for next one!

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Wanda M.

05/12/2020 02:25 PM

Mike, I read your articles but I don’t comment each time, but you’re right on each time! God Bless you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jan J.

05/12/2020 12:34 PM

This is complicated and can be confusing, especially given the skewed versions the media puts out, so thank you for clarity!

RECEIVE MY EVENING EDITION NEWSLETTER.  SIGNUP TODAY!

There’s something odd about the transcript of Michael Flynn’s December 29, 2016, phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the one that apparently contained some mention of sanctions. There’s no unmasking request that corresponds to that call.

What?

Believe it or not, in the list of unmasking requests passed along to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson by acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, who assures them it is complete, there is no request on December 29. There are quite a few BEFORE December 29, and we can’t tell just from the list what transcripts they involved, but the dates tell us they couldn’t possibly have been for the Kislyak call because it hadn’t happened yet.

Everyone and his dog seemed to want Flynn’s name unmasked on December 14-15-16, and on December 28 there’s a request by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey (huh?) Then it gets quiet till January 5, 2017, which is the date of that big Oval Office meeting and also the day White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough calls for Flynn’s name to be unmasked. There are still more calls for unmasking after that, including on January 17, when Vice President Joe Biden did it.

But since Obama and James Comey were already aware of the December 29 “sanctions” call between Flynn and Kislyak on January 5 –- we know this from Sally Yates’ testimony –- how did they get Flynn’s name? In fact, we know Andrew McCabe knew about the call on January 3, because that’s when he briefed Mary McCord of the DOJ’s National Security Division. ALL the unmaskings on this list took place either before that call took place or after the Oval Office meeting. It’s a mystery.

Dan Bongino talked about this in his Friday podcast but I wanted to do a little research before coming to any conclusions. On Saturday, Andrew C. McCarthy offered his own take, which is that Flynn’s name must have been gathered in some other way that had not masked his name in the first place. The call would have been intercepted, he said, “under an intelligence program not subject to the masking rules, probably by the CIA or a friendly foreign spy service acting in a nod-and-wink arrangement with our intelligence community.

McCarthy explains how intelligence collection under FISA is supposed to work. There are actually two kinds: the “traditional” FISA warrant, which is the targeted monitoring of a suspected clandestine operative of a foreign power inside the U.S. (which can INCIDENTALLY intercept the communications of Americans who happen to talk to him/her); and the “Section 702” version, which targets non-Americans outside the U.S. (which can also INCIDENTALLY intercept the communications of Americans).

Both kinds of FISA transcripts are subject to what they call minimization procedures, which is the masking of the names of those whose communications are incidentally intercepted. Their names are replaced with the generic designation “U.S. Person.” Unmasking the name of an American is a BIG DEAL, McCarthy says, as “foreign intelligence must never be used as a pretext for spying on Americans.” (I’ll pause here for laughter.)

It’s been assumed that Kislyak was routinely subjected to “traditional” FISA monitoring, and perhaps “702” monitoring when he was abroad. Both of those would have called for Flynn’s name to be masked.

McCarthy postulates that for this phone call Flynn was being spied on by the CIA, which is not subject to FISA law because its intelligence operations are conducted outside the United States. Guess what? Flynn was not in the United States on December 29. He was in the Dominican Republic for a brief vacation. We don’t know where Kislyak was, but it’s very likely he was in Russia, as Washington was shut down for the holiday and in Russia they celebrate Christmas on January 7.

McCarthy makes a compelling case, consistent with claims he made in his book BALL OF COLLUSION, that Flynn was being monitored either directly by the CIA or by “a friendly foreign intelligence service.” He makes it clear that, yes, all the unmasking that was done on Flynn was truly scandalous but that now we’re seeing another dirty layer of spying and sabotage that was thrown at Trump’s campaign and incoming administration. This has got to be exposed for what it was so it NEVER happens in America again. And all those involved need to pay dearly for what they did.

RESPONSE TO MY SHOW COMMENTARY

Thanks to the hundreds who replied to my Sunday commentary, actually a transcript of my monologue from the weekend's HUCKABEE show on TBN. I sense the awakening of a sleeping giant --- a vast number of Americans who have not been brainwashed by the media, who see through what was done during the Obama years and into the current administration to try to sabotage Trump and certain members of his team, and who have had enough of the lies. I'd like to highlight a few of these letters, including one from my own writer/researcher who posted a comment herself:

RELATED READING: The biggest political story of the year and in my lifetime

From Laura Ainsworth:

I just had to answer your Sunday commentary. MAGNIFICENT, Governor. Agree with every word. But here's something just as scary as what these people tried to do: After reading your commentary, just as an experiment, I picked a general news outlet at random, Yahoo News, and looked to see what stories they had posted about this. I scrolled down, down, down...down...down some more...and finally found SOMETHING related to it.

The story: that Jerry Nadler was going to investigate Barr's decision to drop the case against Flynn. THAT WAS IT. The media are going to ignore this travesty --- and, yes, it is the biggest political scandal in our lifetimes, perhaps ever --- and they will cover it up just as surely as they spread the intel community's lies in the first place. It will be like swimming upstream in Niagra Falls to get the story out there, even with incontrovertible evidence. I'm up for the task, though!

From the Gov:

We all need to be up for this. It's going to be a fight to be heard. Believe it or not, I was challenged by host Howard Kurtz on Sunday’s MEDIA MATTERS about whether the media really are ignoring the Mike Flynn case, as I have charged. (He was kidding, right?) “Haven’t there been plenty of stories about the President’s accusations [about the unmasking of Gen. Flynn, etc.] and the response from the Obama people?” he asked me.

"NO,” I said, “not on balance.” I tried to paint the picture of what the reaction would be if such actions had been taken by the Trump people or the Bush people against a Democrat administration, which as we all know would be screaming-at-the-sky hysterical. The story would be Page 1 EVERY SINGLE DAY. It would knock the coronavirus right off the front page. No, this has NOT been the major story it should be --- and WOULD be, if Obama had been the victim. But, no, with Trump, It has been just the opposite. After years of carrying water for Brennan, Comey and the rest, breathlessly telling lies fed to them about a made-up Russian conspiracy, the media are still lying. Still looking the other way. Still helping shape the narrative for the likes of John Brennan, Ben Rhodes and Glenn Simpson. They should be ashamed, but they are unrepentant, proudly displaying their worthless Pulitzer Prizes.

Even when there is a story about this scandal, as with the example you give from Yahoo News in your comment above, it’s placed there to try to chip away at the facts or make light of what has happened. Why, suddenly, unmasking the names of Americans is no big deal, “business as usual.” This wasn’t about politics –- they were trying to protect us, and our sacred electoral process, against Russia! Why, the FBI does this all the time. Well, let me tell you, if this is what the FBI does all the time --- going around the Constitution and established procedure, launching bogus counterintelligence investigations, setting perjury traps for members of the incoming administration, withholding evidence and coercing guilty pleas, then we need to scrap the whole lot of them.

But I’ve heard from enough former law enforcement and military personnel who are mortified by what has happened to believe it most certainly is NOT “business as usual,” or at least wasn’t supposed to be. (I've included a couple of their replies among the additional comments that follow.) If the intel bureaucracy has lost its way, this is the time to get back on track --- with accountability, including criminal punishment --- and the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham MUST be the first step in that process.

From Rev. Charles Pollak, Captain USN (Retired):

Your comments are strong indeed, and many will criticize you for them. But I absolutely agree with you and share your assessments. I am a Naval Academy graduate and served 26.5 years after graduation, including four years in command of a nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine. I also served as the chief of the JCS office of Strategic Negotiations during the Nixon-Ford years. I have briefed the Congress and the White House on many occasions. Never once did I experience the kind of TREASON we are presently witnessing. May God help us!

From Dee Carter:

Mike, I could not agree with you more! Regardless of where the chips fall, they must fall. Regardless of what high office a person has held, the integrity and freedom of our nation should take top priority! If it means a former President (or Presidents) are tried and imprisoned, then so be it. One of them, as well as his Secretary of State, made the statement that no one is above the law. Well, let’s use that statement to flush out the deep state and return our Country to one based on honesty, integrity, freedom and the Constitution.

From L. Cmdr. Laurie Keiski USN (Ret.)

I believe this started not in 2016 but rather in 2008. The election of either Obama or Clinton was to be the start of America’s transformation. Trump and the voters just got in the way after seeing 8 years of Obama. The attempted coup was to get things back on track.

From Beverly Barton:

Thank you, Mike, for saying what the rest of us know as well. You are a hero. Not many with a platform will even speak of this. Our country is in grave danger of political correctness, a disease far worse than corona virus. May God be with you.

From Ralph Paulus:

Could President Richard Nixon have gotten away with Watergate if he would have had a FISA warrant from FBI and CIA? They thought the DNC was colluding with Cuba.... seems to be all similar except Obama threw up a legal smoke screen and prosecuted people after the wiretapping and no evidence of collusion.

From Sam Sayger:

I've never read a better comment on this subject. In fact of matter, yours is the only comment that I've ever really understood and believed on the subject. Thanks so very much for your comments. Please keep it up.

From Don Crumbley:

Gov. Amen!!!!! Best Sunday sermon I have heard in many years. It is time for Lady Justice to prevail and right the wrongs in the worst political crime in our history.

Most of the media is focused on various aspects of the continuing saga of the Wuhan Coronavirus, but I think they intentionally tried to ignore the biggest political story of the year and in my lifetime. With the release of long-sought after federal documents related to the Russia collusion story, we now know with certainty what many of us suspected. At the highest levels of government-not only the FBI Director, the CIA Director, the Attorney General, the National Security Advisor, but the Vice President, the chief of staff of the President, and most likely President Obama himself, there was a concentrated, coordinated attempt to prevent the election of Donald Trump and after his election and even after his swearing in to stage what amounted to a coup d’etat against the elected President of the United States. It turns out, it wasn’t the Russians we needed to be worried about meddling in our elections—it was the highest-ranking law enforcement and intelligence officials in our land. Not foot soldiers carried away with sophomoric ambition, but those placed in leadership positions of authority to direct the full power of the United States against their President, and frankly, to strip you the voter of the integrity of your vote and destroy the entire electoral system.

I don’t say these things lightly. We now know that the decision to expose and to frame decorated Lt. General Michael Flynn, a 33 year veteran of combat was known by Vice President Biden, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and numerous others who knew that the clandestine efforts to entrap Flynn and destroy Donald Trump were more than unethical, but flagrantly illegal.

It was current Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell who did what should have been done 3 years ago—he declassified the documents and made them public. On the very day they were released, Joe Biden denied knowing about them on Good Morning America, but when pressed, pretended he didn’t understand the question, and admitted that he did in fact know about the efforts to “unmask” General Flynn. Now granted, given Joe Biden’s penchant for speaking in a way that sounds like chopped word salad, maybe he didn’t understand the question, but he sure did as Vice President.

Here’s what we now can say with certainly. James Clapper, John Brennan, James Comey, and others lied to Congress under oath. Congressman Adam Schiff of California, who said repeatedly that he had 100% solid evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia, was 100% lying about it. How do we know? Because not even during the $35 million Mueller witch hunt was a shred of such evidence found, and if Schiff had such, he would have produced it to the media he adores so much-or would have brought it up during the sham impeachment process. He never did, because he never HAD any evidence. Equally disgusting is that the media played right along and never demanded to see his evidence. They just repeated his outrageous lies, and ignored the truth when it slapped them in the face.

Your country has been turned upside down by being shut down over a deadly virus. But we can recover from a disease with discoveries of vaccines and cures. What we can’t recover from is having dirty rotten scoundrels elevated to the highest levels of our government, placed in positions of trust who then use your tax money to stage an attempted coup, and then to put forth a full-scale coverup by a calculated and cynical campaign of lies, misinformation, and destruction of the lives of patriots not to mention showing their contempt for the Constitution. I think the taxpayers ought to fund one more get together of those who did this. A reunion of sorts. Let’s gather them at Gitmo and give them years to reflect on their betrayal of trust and treason to their country. Yes, those are strong words. But I choose them deliberately. The damage to our great Republic is severe. And those who did it should be held accountable. And it needs to happen NOW!

Some hope for justice

May 16, 2020

Since I want you to take some time off from the news and enjoy your weekend (particularly if you’re in a state or city where you still have the Constitutional right to leave your house and/or enjoy your weekend), I’m not going to get into the ongoing Michael Flynn case or the media’s spinning like an out-of-control merry-go-round to try to convince us that illegal unmasking of incoming White House officials is no big deal, that the illegality we’ve actually seen evidence of is just a wacky conspiracy theory, and that there’s nothing to see here, so just go back to watching MSNBC.

However…if you’d like a little reassurance that justice will at long last be served, here’s some hope from Thomas Lifson of The American Thinker. He recounts and links to more in-depth analysis by retired Naval intelligence officer J.E. Dyer, who knows how the intelligence agencies operate from the inside. She believes that the recent Flynn developments, with the dropping of charges and the unmasking of the unmaskers, is just the “camel’s nose under the tent,” a small hint of a very large scandal/prosecution that’s coming, and that federal prosecutor John Durham is building a case that he’s keeping under tight security, involving massive, long-standing abuse of the national security apparatus by the Obama White House. She believes we will discover it stretches back well before the Flynn targeting and the Trump Russian Collusion scam.

For those frustrated that anyone will ever be held to account, Lifson urges patience. He calls Dyer’s analysis “the most heartening news of the day.” Let’s hope so. We’ll know the reckoning is getting close when the media’s whistling past the graveyard becomes louder than a Led Zeppelin concert.

On a related subject, here’s a sneak peek at “Above the Law,” an upcoming book by former Trump acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. He asserts that the growing abuse of power scandal that’s becoming known as “Obamagate” was orchestrated by his successor, Eric Holder.

Whitaker writes that Holder advocated for a “government full of Jim Comeys: government officials determining on their own what the Constitution demands, deciding which laws to prosecute and which to ignore, selectively releasing information to the media about Americans under investigation, and held accountable neither to the chief executive nor to voters.” He says that Holder built a team to stay on after he and Obama were gone, to shut down the Hillary Clinton email investigation and gin up the Trump “Russian collusion” witch hunt. Not a surprise, but it's interesting to hear it coming straight from Holder's successor.

From reader Lindsay K:

Following this case some, I kept feeling like Judge Sullivan was exercising some caution after Sidney Powell took over the case. He was a central figure in her book, LICENSE TO LIE, I believe. And so I felt he was exercising caution to not be accused of bias.

But after [he made] a poor judgment call in December regarding this case because he was misled by the prosecution, I can't begin to understand why he would open himself up to this same group of thugs and bullies. So now, my working theory is, since Obama is implicated, there is some awful pressure on him and he's caving. I can't see why else someone would dismiss sound reason for some unconstitutional, unprecedented ploy otherwise.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Lindsay. You bring up a couple of very interesting points. First, it’s true that Sidney Powell made Judge Sullivan sort of the “judicial hero” (her words) in the book LICENSE TO LIE. (Bet she won't be doing that again!) So perhaps he overcompensated for the reason you state. WAY overcompensated.

Your second point, as to how baffling his behavior is now –- he seems to be acting not only as judge but as prosecuting attorney –- does, naturally, cause observers to develop “working theories” as you have. Why is he so desperate, increasingly so, to drag out the case that he ignores the law, precedent and exculpatory evidence and, incredibly, has to bring in "outside groups" and even another judge to help him justify the unjustifiable?

I think you’ve hit on something when you say the pressure on Judge Sullivan, especially now that Obama is implicated, must be awful. As Chuck Schumer has said, the intel community has “six ways from Sunday” to get back at you. That power, presumably, could just as easily be applied to a U.S. District Court judge as to anyone else, say, a former national security adviser being openly railroaded in federal court. That’s not to say that this is what happened, but it’s what COULD happen.

There are various crafty ways to apply pressure through direct or implied threats (or rewards) –-- I’m sure we can all think of some of them. The fact that we are even entertaining the possibility of this kind of intimidation shows how far the reputation of the FBI has fallen. Obama’s intel community seems capable of just about anything these days. What we know is the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

As I’ve said many times, when something absolutely defies all logic and common sense, it means there’s something about it we don’t know. That seems to be the case here. It's the "x" in the equation. We may never know what it is, but something is likely going on behind the scenes that, if we knew it, would cause the puzzling Judge Sullivan scenario to make perfect sense.

Yesterday, I posted a letter from a reader theorizing that the judge in the Michael Flynn case, D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, might be behaving so strangely in his courtroom because he’s under intense pressure from powerful people, especially now that Obama seems to be implicated. You can read his letter and my answer here.

Also yesterday, Margot Cleveland wrote about Judge Sullivan, in an outstanding piece called “Michael Flynn judge is destroying a man’s reputation: his own.” Cleveland has written some magnificent analyses of “Spygate” and the Flynn case, and this one is no exception.

She first briefly outlines what was done to Flynn to trap him and coerce his guilty plea, which all my readers surely know. Let’s cut to the chase: the point at which U.S. attorney Jeff Jensen has completed his independent examination of the case and the DOJ files a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, the case against Flynn. (“With prejudice” means the case cannot be taken up again.) The motion highlights the various problems with the case, which we’ve also gone through. Indeed, there was no legitimate reason for the FBI even to interview Flynn in the first place, as they already knew what he and Kislyak had talked about and he had already been investigated and cleared.

"Surely Sullivan saw the truth now!” Cleveland writes of the motion to drop the case. “Powell had been right all along. The Flynn case was the Stevens case –- the public corruption case against then-Sen. Ted Stevens that Sullivan presided over in 2008.” And Cleveland is right; the two cases really are similar, in that after Sen. Stevens was convicted by a jury on charges of corruption, new prosecutors handling the appeal discovered the original prosecutors had withheld evidence supporting Stevens’ claim of innocence.

When federal prosecutors in the Stevens case informed the court of this, the attorney general moved to dismiss the charges against Stevens with prejudice, which Judge Sullivan –- in that case –- DID. I guess the one huge difference in these cases that immediately stands out to me is that the attorney general in the Stevens case was Obama appointee Eric Holder, and the one in the Flynn case is Trump appointee William Barr. It’s possible that Sullivan is not being pressured at all but simply has it in for President Trump and his attorney general. That would explain the inconsistency. The “x” in the equation may just be that Sullivan is a partisan hack; no intimidation necessary.

Incidentally, Judge Sullivan didn’t just dismiss the Stevens case when Eric Holder said to. He went on a 14-minute tirade, chastising the prosecution for their mishandling of the case. He scolded, he fumed, he ranted. “In nearly 25 years on the bench,” he raved, “I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case.” For when you have time (it's quite long), here’s the dramatic and detailed contemporaneous account.

Judge Sullivan had for months warned prosecutors in the Stevens case about their repeated failure to turn over evidence. After the conviction and the revelation that “Brady” evidence had still been withheld, he executed Holder’s recommendation to dismiss charges and went even further, to order an inquiry into the prosecutors’ handling of the case, a rare move.

At the time, Jonathan Turley described Judge Sullivan as “smart and courteous and even-keeled. To get Judge Sullivan that irate, it takes monumental misconduct.” All right then, why did Judge Sullivan NOT treat prosecutors in the Flynn case the same way, when their misconduct has been egregious as well? And why DID he save his verbal abuse for Flynn himself, telling him he sold out his country, accusing him of things for which he hadn’t been charged and even suggesting that he was a traitor? That's not "even-keeled"; it's outrageously biased.

In the Flynn case, Judge Sullivan is not only siding with the prosecution but even, in effect, becoming a prosecutor all by himself. To that end, he has called for “outside groups” to submit “friend of the court” briefs to oppose the attorney general’s motion to drop the case. He has even enlisted retired Judge John Gleeson to write one himself, no doubt after he saw on Monday the WASHINGTON POST op-ed Gleeson had co-authored, “The Flynn case isn’t over until the judge says it’s over.” At least it shouldn’t take Sullivan long to get it; Gleeson could just hand him a copy of the op-ed he’s already written and say, “Here, use this.”

"With this later order,” Cleveland writes, “Sullivan has destroyed any possible semblance of impartiality --- and his reputation.” Though Gleeson defended him by painting Barr’s decision to drop the case as politically motivated, Cleveland says that, given the misconduct in this case, it’s not the decision but Sullivan's response to it that obviously was.

"The Sullivan who presided over the Stevens case would care about that [the coercion of Flynn and the secret “side agreement” not to prosecute Flynn’s son],” Cleveland says. “But politics and pride have destroyed that man. The long-respected jurist is now a shriveled shadow of the defender of liberty and the rights of the accused. In trying to destroy Flynn, Sullivan has instead destroyed himself.”

Whew. Cleveland has another new piece at THE FEDERALIST on what the Justice Department’s response needs to be to Judge Sullivan’s actions. “To preserve the rule of law,” she writes, “and our constitutional separation of powers, the Department of Justice has no choice now but to seek a writ of mandamus from the D.C. Circuit Court ordering the criminal charge against Flynn dismissed and reassigning the case to another judge.”

Cleveland describes a writ of mandamus as a procedural machination that allows a party to seek to force a lower court to act as required by law. It’s considered an extraordinary remedy, but she thinks it's appropriate, “as the Executive’s primacy in criminal charging decisions is long settled.” Cleveland believes that even though Judge Sullivan hasn’t yet ruled on Barr’s motion to dismiss, “his mere attempt to usurp the executive branch’s authority must be addressed.” The case must go to a different judge because Judge Sullivan, with his clear bias, “has crossed the threshold of fairness.”

(NOTE: According to Mark Levin, the legal remedy for this situation is called a "writ of prohibition," to be filed with the D.C. Circuit Court, prohibiting the lower court from acting "because it lacks jurisdiction." You lawyers can fight this one out; just use something.)

Here’s one more piece of spectacular reading to send you into the weekend. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell, who says she’s “disappointed and saddened” that the same rules don’t apply to Flynn as did to Ted Stevens, has written an open letter to President Obama in which she reacts to his (deliberately) leaked call in which he said “there is no precedent...for someone who is charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that...our basic understanding of the rule of law is at risk.”

Where to start, right? Powell's response is great. She shows Obama's observation to be “entirely false,” schools him in Law 101, shows the legal precedent for guilty pleas being vacated, and points him to further reading: WHY INNOCENT PEOPLE PLEAD GUILTY, by federal judge Jed Rakoff, a Clinton appointee. This is a magnificent smack-down.

It didn’t take long. Yesterday, the names of those who’d called for the unmasking of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s name were made public, and they were mostly the usual suspects --- and more, to total about two dozen. Of course, then-FBI Director James Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan are there, from even before Flynn and Sergey Kislyak had “the” phone call they were all so interested in.

Though presidential candidate Joe Biden said Tuesday from his basement that he knew nothing” about the investigation of Flynn and then –- later in the same interview, with George Stephanopoulos –- admitted he “was aware” of the investigation but nothing more, it turns out he personally had requested the unmasking of Flynn’s name. And when did he do that? January 12, the very day that David Ignatius at the WASHINGTON POST published a column not only mentioning the call with Kislyak but talking about the Logan Act. Seems Biden was a wee bit more involved in the case than he’s let on.

Of course, there will be jokes and possibly even serious comments about Biden actually not being able to remember this. What does it tell you about your candidate when your defense for his lying is to call attention to his obvious mental decline?

Keep in mind, it’s not against the law for officials to request the unmasking of a name. But to do it for political purposes, which would certainly include leaking to the media --- that is very much illegal. And, boy, was this political. Somebody leaked it to WAPO, and that might have been part of a conspiracy by a number of these people. If it were being done for legitimate national security purposes, it wouldn’t have leaked. Besides, there was never any evidence that Flynn was involved inappropriately with Russia. So, please, Mr. Durham, throw the book at them. I’d be happy to file an “amicus” brief on why this needs to happen.

Goodness, there was soooooo much interest in Flynn’s phone conversations, and, yes, it predated the Kislyak call of December 28, 2016, that prompted so much attention from the FBI. We know Obama had wanted him gone for years, for reasons we’ve elaborated, and the intel community seems to have been trying to set him up since 2014. Here are a few more highlights from all the unmasking that was done on Flynn’s calls:

Kislyak called Flynn on December 28 and spoke to him about a U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn Israel (not surprisingly, coordinated by President Obama). On THAT DAY, U.N. ambassador Samantha Power made an unmasking request on the transcript. This wasn’t the only time she’d called for the unmasking of Flynn’s name, either; it was the sixth. In fact, she was the very first person to request an unmasking on Flynn, on November 30, 2016, which was ten days after Trump named him national security adviser. (Imagine how crazy it must have made this whole crew to know Flynn would be serving Trump as his national security adviser!)

When Power was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee in October of 2017, she got a Biden-style brain freeze and said, “I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn.”

On December 28, which was after Obama announced new sanctions on Russia for “election meddling” --- blustering a lot and sending the Russian diplomats packing --- Kislyak contacted Flynn again. On THAT DAY, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made an unmasking request on the transcript. This was one of three such requests made on Flynn’s name by Clapper.

When Clapper was asked by Sen. Chuck Grassley on May 8, 2017, if he had ever made any unmasking requests of “Mr. Trump, his associates or any member of Congress,” Clapper took a loooooong pause and finally said, “Um...yes…in one case I did, that I specifically recall, but I can’t discuss it any further than that.”

Of course, we all know about the January 5 meeting in which Obama surprised Sally Yates with his knowledge of the Flynn surveillance and the particular call between Flynn and Kislyak. According to her own testimony, she stood there while Obama and Comey chatted about it and as Comey brought up the possible violation of the Logan Act. On THAT DAY, after the meeting, Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, made on unmasking request for Flynn’s name from that transcript.

Kyle Smith has a great commentary at NATIONAL REVIEW on the way these people abused their power.

As for D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s joke of a courtroom, here’s a great opinion piece posted at ZeroHedge that will give you the bizarre backstory on his rulings and contradictory statements in this case and also tell you about his latest big idea: to appoint retired Judge John Gleeson to write an amicus brief “to present arguments in opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss.” That’s right, Sullivan wants to argue against the attorney general’s decision to drop the case. It gets worse: the brief is also to “address whether the Court should issue an order to show cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury,” presumably because he pleaded guilty when he wasn’t.

The other day, we made a joke about how this Spanish Inquisition-like reasoning makes Flynn guilty either way: either he’s guilty because he pleaded guilty (“Burn him!”), or he’s guilty because he says he’s not guilty (“Burn him!”). This actually is being done to him.

So why did Sullivan pick Judge Gleeson, a litigator perhaps best known for being the lead prosecutor in the murder and racketeering case against mob bosses John Gotti and Victor Orena? We looked at his bio page on the website for his law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, and saw that in 2008, he wrote a paper for Hofstra Law Review called “The Sentencing Commission and Prosecutorial Discretion: The Role of Courts in Policing Sentencing Bargains,” and various others having to do with sentencing and, by inference, guilty pleas. (Might make some illuminating weekend reading if we can find them!) As you know, Judge Sullivan had already announced he’s soliciting amicus briefs from any outside groups who want to make arguments against dropping Flynn’s case.

But maybe he chose Gleeson because of something this judge has very recently written. Thanks to Laura Ingraham for turning this up, from Monday’s WASHINGTON POST, written by John Gleeson, David O’Neil and Marshall Miller. Headline: “The Flynn Case Isn’t Over Until The Judge Says It’s Over.” I think we already know what his amicus brief is going to say. Sol Wisenberg, appearing on her show, says Gleeson is wrong and cited case law. His theory is that Judge Sullivan is trying to force President Trump to issue a pardon if he wants Flynn to go free, “and that’s not right.”

If anyone should write an “amicus” brief on this case, it’s Alan Dershowitz, who wrote this just a few days before Judge Sullivan’s latest stunt.

Or perhaps Andrew C. McCarthy, who wrote this for Wednesday’s NATIONAL REVIEW.

It’s hard to hit the standard of “Most Outrageous Story of the Day” these days, but this definitely does it: the Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s sergeant who cowered outside behind his car waiting for help to arrive while children were being slaughtered during the Parkland school shooting just got his job back with full back pay.
Thanks to his union defending him, an arbitrator ruled that his firing violated his due process rights. He’ll not only be given his job back but also a year’s salary (he made $137,000 in 2018) and any overtime that he would have received, as well as medical reimbursements, accrual of time, paid holidays and time off.
Needless to say, the children whose right to life was violated when he failed to protect them will receive no restitution because they remain dead. I could go on, but I’ll just second what law Prof. Glenn Reynolds of the Instapundit blog had to say about this disgusting travesty.  
 
 

D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has been in no hurry to dispense with the Michael Flynn case, and I’m sorry to report it’s not over yet.

Observers thought he might go ahead and dismiss the case early this week, but it was not to be. Tuesday evening, he “indefinitely postponed” any ruling. It’s not enough for him that the Department of Justice has had it reviewed by an outside U.S. attorney and recommended dropping it; Sullivan is inviting OUTSIDE GROUPS, no doubt with their own political agendas, to file amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs, to let them all come forward and make a case against Flynn’s exoneration.

That doesn’t sound like justice to me –- just the opposite. Although conservative groups may also file briefs, this ruling by Judge Sullivan will turn the case into a total political circus. The left will organize like crazy to deluge the court with condemnations of Flynn. (“He lied! He pleaded guilty!”) That is not how decisions of guilt or innocence should be made. Flynn should never have been questioned by the FBI in the first place, as investigators had found nothing, and after four years of this atrocity, Flynn deserves much better. I hate to say it, but he deserves a better JUDGE. Investigative reporter Sean Davis agrees.

Here’s the full story at FOX NEWS, updated to say that an ethics complaint is being filed against Judge Sullivan by independent journalist Michael Cernovich, because the judge has previously refused to let groups file pro-Flynn amicus briefs. Cernovich says the judge is “acting as a politician, not a judge.” I’ll second that motion.

In other (better) Flynn news, we know as of Tuesday evening at least part of what was in the mysterious satchel that acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell hand-delivered to the Justice Department last week. As Ed Henry reported on FOX NEWS, the contents were one of several batches being declassified and brought over and may explain the pre-emptive strikes in recent days by President Obama and former intel officials. The bag contains a list of the former Obama administration officials who targeted Flynn and unmasked him in classified transcripts of recorded conversations, including those with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

This could be illegal, and the leak of his name to the Washington Post was undeniably illegal. Flynn’s name had been redacted because, as an American citizen, he has certain legal rights to privacy. (I’ll wait while you fall to the floor, helpless with laughter.)

Seriously, leaking unmasked information and/or using it for political gain is against federal law. Well, unless Obama –- or James Comey, on behalf of Obama –- told you to do it. I’m only half kidding.

Grenell has declassified the names of those who unmasked Flynn’s identity between Election Day 2016 and Inauguration Day 2017. This was an intense period for the “Trump/Russia” investigators, especially January; we’ve all seen the timeline. In particular, Obama held an Oval Office confab on January 5 and afterwards discussed the Flynn recordings with Comey and Sally Yates.

Attorney General Bill Barr has recommended dropping the case against Flynn, and U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly looking at the unmasking and leaking to see if prosecutions are warranted. Those who want the names of the unmaskers will have to wait a while; according to Sarah Carter, they will be made public, but Grenell and Barr will “work through this and decide who is best to release the names.”

Of course, the HUGE question is this: how did Obama come to be so very well informed of the Flynn surveillance and his call with Kislyak? By January 5, he knew all about it, to Yates’ great surprise. Maybe we’ll know soon; sources tell Ed Henry that Grenell has “four or five” other batches of intel coming, and that “it could get sticky for [former CIA Director] John Brennan in particular.”

Apparently Brennan knew something that contradicted the chosen narrative that Russia wanted to help Trump win. It was that Russia actually wanted HILLARY to win, because she was “a known quantity” and “more malleable” than a wild-card businessman like Trump.

ASIDE: Isn’t this what we’ve been saying all along? Given all we know, it defies logic to say Russia backed Donald Trump, as the fictional Steele “dossier” claimed. Good heavens, look at what Hillary did for them –- how can anyone be surprised that Putin wanted her in the White House after she approved the deal that led to their owning 20 percent of America’s uranium supply? She might as well have been their lobbyist. Plus, there's no telling what they might have had on her to use as blackmail. No, Russia was “WITH HER."

Recall that our nation’s 17 (17!) intel agencies put together an “Intelligence Community Assessment” that concluded Russia had tried to damage Hillary and help Trump win in 2016. Evidence that Brennan suppressed intel saying Russia wanted Hillary is reportedly part of what Grenell is in the process of sending over. Even though Brennan had to be aware of the political origins of the “dossier,” he pushed hard for it to be included in the assessment, and he got his way, at least partly; a “dossier” summary was included.

So far, this all seems like old news to us –- and likely to you, too –- as we’ve followed investigative reporters who had excellent sources and were reporting on this for years, mostly into a vacuum. The important thing now is that we’re finally seeing evidence, not just what “sources say.” It’s all true. The reporters who’ve been worthy of our attention all along were not just way out ahead of the pack, but also right. Unlike the “journalists” so wedded to their anti-Trump narrative that they ignore anything that challenges it, we want most of all to be correct. If we’re not, we’ll say so. But so far, we are. Correct, that is.

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsay Graham has been saying for months that he would seek testimony from Obama officials about the Russia investigation, issuing subpoenas if necessary. He wants to hear specifically about that January 5 meeting and the unmasking. As he told Sean Hannity Tuesday night, he wants to know if unmasking was “used as a political weapon.” He also wants to know “why Sally Yates didn’t know about the Flynn investigation but President Obama did.” And he wants Grenell to go ahead and release the names of the unmaskers.

The fact that the national security adviser for an incoming President was surveilled by the outgoing administration –- possibly the outgoing President –- is truly stunning. “If I ever find that the intelligence community is unmasking my phone calls to foreign leaders where I discuss foreign policy as a United States senator, heads will roll,” Graham said.

But the Senate has no prosecutorial power; that has to come from the Justice Department. The Senate can have hearings if they want to, but justice is in the hands of Durham and Barr, who must know this is the worst scandal in American government, possibly ever.

The impact of COVID-19

May 12, 2020

As more states around the nation ease up on their COVID-19 (Chinese) virus lockdowns, New York is still suffering the worst. This link is to a regularly-updated map, showing the number of deaths per million in all nations, and by US state.

You can tell by the color coding that New York stands out like a blackened tooth, with 1378 deaths per million. Even other “hot spots” such as Michigan and Louisiana are under 500 per million. Florida, whose Governor has been savaged by the media for not closing down the whole state, has 80 deaths per million. Texas has only 39 (meaning the odds of dying of the virus in Texas are over 2-1/2 times longer than the odds of winning the Pick-4 lottery.) In Montana, it’s 15; in Wyoming, 12. It’s obvious how much New York is skewing the national death figures. Yet some health officials tell us that every state must impose the same strict lockdown rules as New York indefinitely or we’ll all die.

But wait: how effective have these rules been even in New York, if it's that bad (we now know 66% of new hospitalizations are people who were sheltering-in-place)? And for all the praise being lavished on Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the media, has he really been that effective and proactive in stopping it? We’ve been told that everything Trump has done has been wrong, like what a racist he was for shutting off travel from China in January. But that saved countless lives. On the other hand, the New York Times reports that according to a new study of outbreaks around the US, New Yorkers were “the primary source of infections” in other states. A Yale epidemiologist said they now have enough data to be confident in saying that New York was the primary gateway for the virus to the rest of the country.

But when other states, such as Rhode Island, proposed quarantining New York to contain the disease, Cuomo threatened to sue them if they didn't let New Yorkers in (for the record, Rhode Island currently has 398 deaths per million residents.)

So we can add that action to the list of tragic missteps that included forcing New York nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients, which led to New York having the highest rate of nursing home deaths.

Having been a Governor myself, I am loath to criticize and second-guess every incorrect decision that’s made when you’re dealing with an emergency and don’t have all the data needed. But when you add up not having enough ventilators on hand to deal with any major crisis, sending virus patients to nursing homes filled with the most vulnerable group of people, and threatening lawsuits to prevent a quarantine of a deadly, highly contagious disease, I’m finding it hard to understand why so many Democrats think we should replace Trump with Cuomo. Is Biden really that bad a candidate?

But then I look at Biden and think…yeah, he is.

While looking for some background information on former FBI Director James Comey, I happened to click on a link that took me to a 2003 profile of him in NEW YORK magazine. How interesting –- I love to look back at contemporaneous observations, in this case from the days following 9/11 and the introduction of the Patriot Act.

The thrust of the piece seems to be that Comey is just a “good guy” who can’t really be pigeonholed politically, and in 2003, that uncomplicated picture might have been adequate to describe him. There was a lot I learned about him, though, including events surrounding the deeply tragic loss of his 9-day-old son from an infection that could easily have been treated at the hospital.

Comey always seems to have been obsessed with moral introspection –- not sure when he picked up the nickname “Cardinal Comey” –- but the impression given in the article is also that of someone who didn’t want to be too public about it, or about his work in general. The future FBI director made it clear to the interviewer that he thought Rudy Giuliani, for example, was too much of an attention-seeker for his taste, much more of a show-boater than he himself could ever be. In that respect, the James Comey we see now appears to have changed a great deal from the man being profiled in 2003, in that today he has no problem with being bathed in the glow of worshipful anti-Trump media attention, which can always be counted on to provide a forum for all his self-indulgent lecturing and posturing and criticizing and condescending and tweeting and famously bragging about going around established procedures because, hey, he thought he could get away with it.

And in light of what we know today about what Comey did to ruin the life and career of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn –- bringing up the Logan Act to President Obama as part of the plan to railroad Flynn over a phone conversation that was a perfectly appropriate part of his new job as Trump’s new national security adviser –- one paragraph in particular leaped out at me:

"When Comey arrives in Washington next month to become interim deputy attorney general (his appointment is subject to confirmation hearings), the Patriot Act’s provisions will be among his main weapons. ‘Filling in this spot is a big...deal. Especially on the terrorism side,’ says a senior staff member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. ‘...Now that the Patriot Act powers are in place,’ the staffer says, ‘the cast of characters --- the people who are really going to implement them --- really matters. A PROSECUTOR WITH THESE TOOLS CAN RUIN SOMEBODY’S LIFE. [Emphasis mine.] Comey comes in with a reputation as a pretty good professional. We’ll see.”

And now, seventeen years later, we have seen.

Another eye-popper, offered by a colleague of Comey’s: “Whenever a new prosecutor started working in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Comey would tell him, ‘Don’t you ever say something you don’t completely believe. I’m not even talking about shades of gray. If you don’t 100 percent believe it, don’t you dare say it. That’s why being a prosecutor is so great: You don’t have to make arguments you don’t believe in.’”

Where to start? When it came to going after Trump and his campaign associates and bringing down Michael Flynn, Comey was painting with more shades of gray than an HGTV house-flipper. Recall that he was one of several officials who signed phony FISA warrant applications, swearing that they contained only “verified” information when they all knew otherwise. And in 2018, he told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC that the FISA process is “incredibly rigorous” and claimed that Republicans’ criticism of the Carter Page FISA warrant application was “a political deal” that was “not based in substance or law.”

That’s 100 percent SOMETHING, all right, but I won't use that language here. I'll just say that the former director of the FBI is a real piece of work. Under Comey’s watch, and with his blessing, the media were presented with a phony “dossier” and a phony story about the resulting “Trump/Russia” investigation, from beginning to end. It was based on nothing, it found nothing, but it told us everything we need to know about the caliber of leadership at the FBI.

If you want to see a master prevaricator at work, just check out this interview Comey gave to Chris Wallace on FOX NEWS after the release of the Horowitz report. He sort-of got away with it at the time, but the internet is forever, and we know so much more now about what really was going on at the FBI. Even so, I’d be willing to bet that in his own mind, he’s still always 100 percent truthful, 100 percent virtuous, a model of goodity and purity for the ages. And if he has to BELIEVE the sky is green and the grass is blue to make other people believe it and still be able to look at himself in the mirror, by golly, he will.

From the archives, here’s that 2003 profile of Comey.

Leaving California

May 12, 2020

Californians have voted further and further left for years. As they have, they’ve watched their borders be erased, illegal alien criminals being welcomed and released from jail (first because ICE wanted to deport them, and now because they might get sick if they stayed in jail, so they have to release them to rob and kill law-abiding citizens.) They’ve watched their taxes and gas prices (due to taxes) skyrocket even as the homeless population exploded and public sanitation became so bad that parks and sidewalks were covered in feces and drug needles and ancient diseases such as typhus made a return. Affordable housing is impossible to find, and small business owners are fleeing to other states. Some areas, such as Silicon Valley, have reverted to the era of feudalism, with the wealthy tech lords protected by security walls and armed guards in their castles (while denouncing security walls and guns for anyone else), as the surfs who work for them shelter in tiny dwellings or in their cars.

Not content with driving out the middle class and small business owners, the leftist leaders passed AB-5, which is killing the growing gig economy (in the name of “helping the workers,” naturally), making it impossible for contract workers from Uber drivers to club musicians to make a living.

And then came the coronavirus, which gave leftist power mongers their long-dreamed-of excuse to “fundamentally transform” society by ordering everyone to just stay home and live off government handouts, no matter how painful or irrational that may be (someone pointed out that leftists want to arrest Americans who go to work to feed their families, but not illegal immigrants because they just want to work to feed their families.) They have now gone so far than even some of the tech titans are starting to cry foul. Like electric car pioneer Elon Musk, who has had enough of the endless lockdown policy.

Musk called the lockdown that’s shuttered his Tesla factory in Fremont “the last straw.” He says he’s filing a lawsuit against the county and plans to move his HQ and future programs to Texas and Nevada, and he might have to close the Fremont plant, depending on how they are treated. He noted that Tesla is the last carmaker left in California. No surprise there.

And how did California officials react to this news? Did they reexamine their policies? Did they try to convince Musk that they could be reasonable, and he should keep his plant in California? Are you kidding? Of course not! San Diego Rep. Lorena Gonzalez, author of the disastrous AB-5 bill, responded by sending a profane tweet cursing Musk (warning: foul language at the link, the kind responsible adults don’t use in public forums.)

Musk offered a perfect reply, but his ultimate reply will come if and when he takes his thousands of jobs and joins the stampede out of California. Let us hope this is the “last straw,” the one that finally convinces Californians to come out of their homes, go to the polls and throw these lunatics out of office, so that they can discover what it feels like not to have a job or be able to pay their rent.

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!!!”

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.

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.

Last week, I reminded you of the old term that communist regimes like China and the USSR used to describe wealthy leftists who parroted their propaganda in the West. That term was “useful idiots.” Now, in turn, this story has reminded me of it.

On the other hand, kudos to Miley Cyrus, who admitted she has no clue what the pandemic is like for people who are really suffering from the lockdown. She said the privileged lives of celebrities may be on pause, but "I am comfortable in my space and able to put food on my table and financially stable, and that's just not the story for a lot of people." She said some of her famous friends are hesitant to come on her Instagram talk show because “it almost doesn't feel right for celebrities to share our experience. Because it just doesn't compare."

Good for her for recognizing that. It’s funny how well-heeled liberals who love to accuse other people of exercising too much “privilege” are so blind to their own in this instance. Despite her claim of being clueless, I suspect that Miley Cyrus actually is a lot wiser on this particular issue than many mayors, judges and even Governors I could name.

Stunned in New York

May 8, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that he was stunned to learn from new research that 66% of the state’s new hospitalized coronavirus patients had been “sheltering in place” before getting sick.

Some cynics pointed out that it shouldn’t be shocking that if almost everyone is being forced to “shelter in place,” that a majority of any group will be people who were sheltering in place. But it also shows that, as I’ve mentioned before, Edgar Allen Poe was right in “The Masque of the Red Death,” that you can’t hide away from disease by locking yourself up in the house forever. Viruses will circulate, some people will be more susceptible than others and will get sick, and when they do, the worst cases will need to go to the hospital. It should serve as a reminder to the “keep the lockdown going for years” crowd that this was supposed to be a temporary measure to “flatten the curve” – that is, to stretch out the infection rate and keep a massive wave of cases from overwhelming the health care system early on, before we had treatments, ventilators or hospital beds.

We now have all those things, and surpluses of the latter two. It’s time to face the fact that some people will get sick and we’ll have to deal with it, but we’re much better prepared to do so. Most others won’t get sick, and that will create herd immunity, which will help defeat this virus, just as it does all viruses eventually. We don’t want the cure to be worse than the disease, but we may be nearing the point where hiding out and doing nothing while waiting for a cure is becoming worse than the disease.

By the way, something to bear in mind: as we do more and more testing, many more people who are carrying the virus will be identified. This is completely predictable, since we now know that it was much more widespread than we thought, so of course many more tests will identify many more people carrying it. This will be used by the left to claim that in states that are relaxing the lockdown, there's a massive second wave of cases, which is not necessary true. Particularly when the tests were conducted even before the lockdown was relaxed and we’re only now seeing the test results.

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.”

A MUST-READ UPDATE: After the following commentary appeared in yesterday’s Evening Edition, a magnificent op-ed by James A. Gagliano was posted at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER. The headline says it all: “Michael Flynn was railroaded by Comey’s FBI.” Gagliano concludes that Flynn definitely was set up –- as opposed to Hillary, who got special treatment –- and that this absolutely was driven by politics. His piece sums up just about everything we’ve discussed here and notes other serious problems with the FBI’s activities as well, such as Lisa Page’s involvement in re-writing Flynn’s 302 (interview notes) when she wasn’t even present at the interview.

"Careful examination of fresh facts,” he says, “related to Flynn pleading guilty to Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 (lying to a federal agent) provides an eye-popping and clear-cut case of investigative inconsistencies and partisan political bias.”

Oh, and who is James A. Gagliano? He’s someone who knows all about how things are supposed to be done at the FBI, having worked there for 25 years. He’s now an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University and a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. In addition, he’s a law enforcement analyst for the folks at CNN, who probably won’t be inviting him to any cocktail parties after they’ve read this.

And now, since he's a law enforcement analyst, I just hope he'll tell us what has to happen to put some people behind bars for what they did to an innocent American who served his country for over 30 years.

ORIGINAL COMMENTARY: Recent developments in the Michael Flynn case have led to the release, in just over a week, of a massive amount of “Brady” material that had been withheld literally for years. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell says there's more to come. Believe it or not, there are so many exculpatory documents that, if laid end-to-end, they would reach all the way to...the door of the White House Oval Office.

Figuratively speaking, of course, but I am not kidding. You won’t read about this in very many places, but when we put two and two together, it’s obvious that President Obama HAD to know all about “Crossfire Razor,” as well as the umbrella investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” and was, in fact, quite aware of the Flynn take-down. It's ridiculous to conclude otherwise.

We already knew he had some pretty strong reasons for wanting Flynn out. We knew he didn’t appreciate Flynn’s vocal opposition to his Iran nuclear agreement and hated the thought that Flynn would help Trump dismantle it. Flynn thought it was a terrible deal and had not kept his opinion to himself. The Iran deal and Obamacare were supposed to be the twin stars in Obama’s Legacy Crown. Obama saw Flynn as a major threat.

We also knew that the intelligence community didn’t appreciate Flynn’s plan to streamline the bureaucracy and give the military greater independence in the field, without relying on the CIA, which he thought just slowed them down on the battlefield.

And we knew that military officials didn’t appreciate Flynn’s desire to get their administration “leaner and meaner.” He was a foe of duplication and waste. He was advocating --- horror of horrors --- audits of the Department of Defense and the Pentagon. (Why, we might have found out what Stefan Halper was really being paid to do and what kind of expense account he had.)

These reasons already seemed like enough for “the swamp” to want to take Flynn down. But Andrew C. McCarthy has just offered another reason, the biggest one yet, a reason so obvious to me now that if it were a snake, it would’ve bitten me. Come to think of it, the scenario he describes is full of snakes.

As a preface, let me say that McCarthy is convinced the sneaky “ambush” interview of Flynn had not been long in the works. Emails from January 21 and 22 (Trump was sworn in on January 20) show that they didn’t start out with the surprise perjury trap plan. They needed a way to set Flynn up without giving the White House any notice about the meeting, and this was really the only alternative they had. As Bill Priestap said in his notes, get him to admit to a violation (of the Logan Act??), or get him to lie, so they can prosecute or see him fired. But the interview appears to have been sort of a last-ditch idea, because with Trump about to take office, THEY HAD TO GET RID OF FLYNN RIGHT AWAY.

And the interview had to just come out of nowhere. If they had approached the White House with a request to interview Flynn, the way they were supposed to, the White House could have turned them down. That’s why Comey was so stealthy about it –- he didn’t even officially inform acting Attorney General Sally Yates, because then she would have been obligated to alert White House attorney Don McGahn. This interview was their silver bullet against Flynn, and they HAD to make it count.

So, to the point: why was it so critical that they get Flynn out immediately? It goes much further than the reasons stated above. Simple: it was so the phony “Trump/Russia” investigation would be able to continue into Trump’s presidency. (There are varying opinions regarding what constitutes “treason,” but this sure fits mine.) Flynn was one of Trump’s few allies in his new administration, and, being an experienced member of the intel community himself, he would have found out about the bogus investigation quickly and put a stop to it.

When Comey gave that self-satisfied interview about sending “a couple of guys over,” he made it sound as if, hey, he just did it because of the chaos in the new administration and because he could get away with it. That's not the truth. He did it because they HAD to get this session with Flynn to trap him right away, and they couldn’t risk the Trump White House saying no, or saying maybe in a few weeks, or saying okay but they’d send a lawyer or two to sit in.

As McCarthy says, “Michael Flynn was not the objective. He was the obstacle.” The FBI’s real objective was, he says, “first formed in collaboration with Obama administration officials. Recall the January 5 Oval Office meeting to brief President Obama on Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election. Comey, Brennan, Clapper and Mike Rogers were there to brief the group. The guest list included President Obama, Vice President Biden, national security adviser (and Flynn’s predecessor) Susan Rice, and acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

To put this meeting into perspective, here’s what McCarthy wrote about it in February of 2018.

Importantly, the Trump Tower meeting that ended with a briefing for Trump from Comey about salacious stories in the Steele “dossier” would take place the following day. By that time, the original FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign was set to expire in a couple of weeks, just as Trump was taking office. So the Obama administration would have to figure out how to renew that while Obama was still in. The officials at the January Oval Office meeting needed to keep an investigation going on someone who was about to be sworn in as President.

We all know the January 20 Susan Rice email to herself that says Obama wanted everything done “by the book.” But there’s more of even greater significance that isn’t as widely quoted, and it speaks to their need to keep a GREAT BIG SECRET from the incoming President: “President Obama says he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” And she closes with Obama’s instruction to Comey to inform him “if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.”

Such as, perhaps, an incoming national security adviser who was caught lying about conversations with Russian officials? There you go, the perfect excuse not to share classified information! In one move, they’d get rid of Flynn before he could find out anything AND justify keeping the new President in the dark about the ongoing investigation. At Obama’s direction.

Anyway, the picture is clear now. If you don’t know what a “soft coup” looks like, I’d say it looks exactly like the picture painted by McCarthy after he’s connected all the dots.

In breaking news, the long-awaited August 2, 2017, memo from then-deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope of the Mueller special counsel investigation has been declassified (well, partially), and it’s almost unimaginably bad. No wonder it was kept under wraps for so long.

We’ll have more to say about this on Monday, but for your weekend reading pleasure, Sean Davis at THE FEDERALIST brings the details to you.

Thanks to Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina for his repeated requests that finally led to the document’s release to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Justice Department. It shows that Rosenstein essentially turned Mueller loose to look far beyond whatever dealings with Russia his targets might or might not have had.

In other words, the scope was pretty much unlimited. Mueller was tasked with investigating “1) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and 2) any matters that arose or may arise directly from that investigation.”

"The legal foundation for Mueller’s appointment is crumbling,” Graham said Wednesday night. “I supported the Mueller investigation because I didn’t know [that there was no foundation]. Now I know why Mueller didn’t find anything.” It’s true that Mueller's team never did find any evidence to link any associate of the Trump campaign with Russia’s election interference. OF COURSE he didn't --- there was never any legitimate reason to be looking at that in the first place.

To provide his “foundation” and justify the authorization of a special counsel, Rosenstein pulled from the bogus Christopher Steele “dossier,” which had been funded, through sneaky channels, by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC (same thing), including unsupported claims about Paul Manafort and Carter Page. This was after the “7th Floor” at the FBI knew the problems with the “dossier” and with Steele as a source. Inescapable conclusion: they didn’t give a flying fig about whether the junk “dossier” was true as long as it gave them a pretense to go after the President.

Rosenstein ordered Mueller to investigate allegations that Page “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.” Keep in mind, by this time they had already been spying on him for months and had found nothing to justify this. As you know, there has never been any evidence that Page was working with Russia, and he has never been charged with anything at all.

Rosenstein’s memo casts a wide net; it includes not only Page and Manafort but also Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and one other mystery person whose name is still redacted. (We don't know for sure, but does anyone think it ISN'T President Trump? Who else would still have his name redacted?)

Rosenstein targeted Flynn for activities that, though perfectly appropriate for an incoming national security adviser, could be tied, however ludicrously, to the Logan Act, which dates from 1799 and under which no one has ever been successfully prosecuted. He also targeted Papadopoulos, alleging that he was a secret, unregistered foreign agent of...not Russia, but Israel.

As Sean Davis reports, what is now evident from this memo is that Rep. Davin Nunes of California was correct when he said Rosenstein had used the fictitious Steele “dossier” to justify and direct Mueller’s special counsel probe. What do you know --- Nunes turns out to be right again!

This incredible overreach should be an embarrassment to the FBI. Again, we’ll have much more Monday. In the meantime, here’s some solid reporting from Gregg Re at FOX NEWS, who says the memo “makes clear that Rosenstein didn’t hesitate to explicitly authorize a deep-dive criminal probe into the Trump team that extended well beyond Russian interference efforts.”

"Collusion is not a U.S. crime,” Re explains, “meaning Mueller had a broad mandate to investigate essentially any foreign involvement by these officials in search of some criminal activity. In other words, a fishing expedition. They were going in search of crimes. Contrast this with the way Hillary and her Bleachbit-happy campaign people were treated.

There’s still a giant block of copy in the memo that remains redacted. According to Re, “speculation has swirled” about whether it has to do with investigating President Trump. (Remember, one of the names of the people to be investigated is still redacted.) Message to Bill Barr, who can declassify anything he wants: LET'S SEE IT ALL.

Morning Edition May 7

May 7, 2020

MORNING EDITION

May 7, 2020 

By Mike Huckabee

 

ROSENSTEIN'S "SCOPE" MEMO GAVE MUELLER FREE REIN WITH NO EVIDENCE

In breaking news, the long-awaited August 2, 2017, memo from then-deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining the scope of the Mueller special counsel investigation has been declassified (well, partially), and it’s almost unimaginably bad. No wonder it was kept under wraps for so long.

We’ll have more to say about this on Monday, but for your weekend reading pleasure, Sean Davis at THE FEDERALIST brings the details to you.

Thanks to Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina for his repeated requests that finally led to the document’s release to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Justice Department. It shows that Rosenstein essentially turned Mueller loose to look far beyond whatever dealings with Russia his targets might or might not have had.

In other words, the scope was pretty much unlimited. Mueller was tasked with investigating “1) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and 2) any matters that arose or may arise directly from that investigation.”

read more and comment here>>>

A MUST-READ UPDATE ON THE FLYNN CASE

After the following commentary appeared in yesterday’s Evening Edition, a magnificent op-ed by James A. Gagliano was posted at the WASHINGTON EXAMINER. The headline says it all: “Michael Flynn was railroaded by Comey’s FBI.” Gagliano concludes that Flynn definitely was set up –- as opposed to Hillary, who got special treatment –- and that this absolutely was driven by politics. His piece sums up just about everything we’ve discussed here and notes other serious problems with the FBI’s activities as well, such as Lisa Page’s involvement in re-writing Flynn’s 302 (interview notes) when she wasn’t even present at the interview.

"Careful examination of fresh facts,” he says, “related to Flynn pleading guilty to Title 18 U.S. Code 1001 (lying to a federal agent) provides an eye-popping and clear-cut case of investigative inconsistencies and partisan political bias.”

Oh, and who is James A. Gagliano? He’s someone who knows all about how things are supposed to be done at the FBI, having worked there for 25 years. He’s now an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University and a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. In addition, he’s a law enforcement analyst for the folks at CNN, who probably won’t be inviting him to any cocktail parties after they’ve read this.

And now, since he's a law enforcement analyst, I just hope he'll tell us what has to happen to put some people behind bars for what they did to an innocent American who served his country for over 30 years.

READ MY ORIGINAL PIECE HERE: "SO OBVIOUS NOW: WHY THE FBI NEEDED FLYNN GONE">>>

GREAT READER COMMENT

Thanks to Ray for this comment on "Fun With Research"...

Dear Gov:

All my children and their spouses are liberals, to one degree or another. One daughter says she’s a socialist. And they all have $millions...

Two live in LA and another in Boston. And all of their friends are liberal. Whenever we have a political disagreement, they always use a liberal “fact check” site to shoot me down. I usually use another “fact check” site to shoot down their “fact check” site. Always fun and games with them!

You are right that they don’t want to know that President Trump is right about anything!

Most of my children steer away from political commentary with the exception of the older daughter. She’s an RN and a lawyer. She is very intelligent. She always makes sure everyone knows that she is very intelligent. She writes a book when she makes her argument. I can usually debunk her argument in a couple sentences and a contrarian article off the internet.

It used to bother me. Now I just have fun with it.

From the Gov:

Thanks, Ray! Loved your letter. One of my staffers read somewhere about a study that found highly intelligent people tend to be even MORE gifted than others at rationalizing their beliefs, even mistaken beliefs. You might drop that "nugget" into the next debate with your very intelligent daughter!

CNN SAYS STOP

CNN sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump reelection campaign, claiming that an ad that includes a clip from CNN admitting that Trump’s cut-off of travel from China might have saved up to two million lives was misleading and deceptively edited (Note: it wasn’t, and the travel ban might have saved up to two million lives, if you buy the original death projection.)

I suspect CNN is just upset that they slipped up and allowed anything positive to be said about Trump, and the campaign is humiliating them in front of their fellow media outlets by showing it. Personally, I can’t think of anything funnier than CNN having a conniption fit because they claim President Trump is distributing fake news about them.

SLIP OF THE TONGUE

I’ve written before about how I’m very forgiving of slips of the tongue. I don’t pounce on people, even those with whom I strongly disagree, just because they misspeak, because I know how easy that is to do when you’re tired and repeating the same talking points after the 50th interview/speech that day.

That said, I have to add that it taxes even my forgiving nature when someone who wants to be put in charge of dealing with the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus, and all future pandemics, and every other important problem of the world, not only claims there have been 600,000 virus deaths in the US (the number is actually about 60,000), but says it twice.

On the other hand, it takes more than a slip of the tongue for a group of well-heeled TDS sufferers to put out a commercial that may be the lowest political ad since Barry Goldwater was linked to an atom bomb blowing up a little girl pulling pedals from a daisy. According to this new anti-Trump ad, he is personally responsible for all the deaths from a disease that was unleashed on the entire world by China, as well as all the economic devastation it’s caused (miraculous, since it’s caused upheaval worldwide, not just where Trump is President.)

Creating that vile ad took more than a slip of the tongue. That’s a major slip of the brain.

Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (KJV)

 



Shelley Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner who reopened her salon despite a shutdown order from Democratic county judge Clay Jenkins, was fined $7000 and sentenced to a week in jail for ripping up a cease-and-desist order and defying a temporary restraining order. (I’ll just make note in passing that across America, Democrat officials are letting real criminals out of jail because they might catch the virus there, and putting citizens who just want to work into jail where they might catch the virus because they didn’t do enough to keep from catching the virus. This is liberal logic in a nutshell, with the emphasis, as always, on “nut.”)

Luther argued that her salon was on the verge of bankruptcy, she had to make money to feed her kids and keep her home, and she was about to have to fire all her stylists. She also pointed out that she was following stricter safety guidelines than stores like Walmart that were allowed to stay open, and that hair salons are experts in maintaining sanitary conditions.

Judge Eric Moye, who wrote the restraining order, told her that if she apologized and shut down her salon, he might consider only fining her “in lieu of the incarceration which you’ve demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.” But she refused, replying, “Feeding my kids is not selfish. If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

The fine will cost her $500 a day until the salon is legally allowed to reopen, which under the new guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott is this Friday. Ironically, Luther will be much more likely to contract the virus in jail, where 248 cases have been identified, than at her salon.

Judge Moye told Luther that the “rule of law cannot and does not operate when individuals take it upon themselves to decide” what they can and cannot do. I would remind the judge that the “rule of law” requires laws to be passed by elected representatives of the people, not conjured up by judges in defiance of citizens' constitutional rights.

Ms Luther may end up going to jail, but if so, it could be a Nelson Mandela-style Pyrrhic victory for the state. This case has received nationwide attention, with Luther becoming a symbol of the “Get back to work” movement. A GoFundMe account to pay her fine, bills and legal fees has racked up nearly $170,000 in donations as of this morning.

The judges who think they can intimidate Texans with threats of fines and jail don’t know much about their own state, or the Constitution. They could actually learn a thing or two from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Tuesday, that court heard arguments in a challenge by the Wisconsin legislature to state officials’ authority to impose a lockdown. This is what Justice Rebecca Bradley asked:

“Where in the Constitution did the people of Wisconsin confer authority on a single, unelected cabinet secretary to compel almost 6 million people to stay at home, close their businesses and face imprisonment if they don’t comply… Isn’t it the very definition of tyranny?”

Memo to President Trump: I think we’ve just found your next Supreme Court nominee.

True to his word

May 6, 2020

True to his word to police any violations of constitutional rights in the name of coronavirus policy, Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice are siding with Kevin Wilson, pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

On April 5, police entered the church and informed the pastor that they were violating Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Pastor Wilson is being threatened with jail time or a fine of up to $2500. But the DOJ issued a legal filing defending the church, arguing that the church is likely to win its case, that its rights have been violated and that Virginia discriminated against churches in its lockdown order. It points out that the church was following social distancing guidelines (it holds 293 people, and there were only 16 present) and that Virginia cannot ban church services while allowing exceptions for secular organizations, such as non-retail businesses.

There are full details of the case at that link, along with the important point by the DOJ that this case has national significance because “the United States has a substantial interest in the preservation of its citizens’ fundamental right to the free exercise of religion, expressly protected by the First Amendment.” It explained that states may have the power to ban gatherings during a health emergency, but they don’t have the power to impose a higher standard on churches than they do on other organizations.

The legal filing also includes the admonition that “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.” Please let me know if anyone starts a GoFundMe to have that put on plaques and delivered to Democratic Governors and Mayors around the country, and I’ll happily kick in a few bucks.

Calling out fake news

May 6, 2020

Video Link: Monday, I was on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. We discussed the laughable editorial by the New York Times, calling on the DNC to investigate Joe Biden, which is sort of like asking an alcoholic to guard your wine cellar. We also discussed an issue I wrote about here recently, that the protesters of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s insane coronavirus policies harmed their own cause by showing up carrying firearms. It took the focus off of Whitmer and gave Democrats an opening to depict them as a threat to the Governor, when the point should have been that the Governor is a threat to the Constitution. To put it in language I know we all understand, don’t give ammo to the enemy.

That segment starts at around the 27 minute mark.

And here’s more from earlier in the show about the controversy over the Michigan protesters.

Although, to be fair, when it comes to our biased media and “fake news” culture, even if you don’t give the left any ammo to attack you with, they’ll just make some up. Like the former New York Times “fact-checker” (who, ironically, resigned after tweeting a story that falsely implied that an ICE agent had a Nazi tattoo) who tweeted a photo of a small business owner at a reopen-Pennsylvania protest whose sign was altered into a white supremacist slogan.

Come to think of it, were the Michigan protesters really carrying weapons, or was that an elaborate Photoshop job, too?... (Note to leftist media hysterics: that’s a joke, not a conspiracy theory. I know you have a hard time telling the difference between reality and jokes, so I’ll make it easier for you.)

Hold on! So you mean there’s a downside to being a government snitch? Who knew?!

After ordering “non-essential” businesses to shut down, St. Louis County created an online form that encouraged people to rat on any businesses they saw that dared to open. More than 900 people filed complaints, but the county didn’t publicize the fact that the form was an official county record, which means it’s public information.

A man named Jared Totsch got a copy and posted it on Facebook, exposing the names of all the snitches, who are now worried about retaliation. To which he replied, "I'd call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around, comes around. They are now experiencing the same pain that they themselves helped to inflict on those they filed complaints against."

One of the people was interviewed by a local TV station, and she complained that she and two other people in her home have auto-immune issues and were frustrated by seeing lines outside stores that should have been closed. Understandable, but if you’re in a high-risk category, you would have to take more precautions anyway, like not standing in those lines. And the people who ran the businesses, as well as the people who obviously needed their services enough to stand in those lines, were probably more than frustrated by being told to just shut up and go bankrupt.

At this point, nobody should be taking unnecessary risks, but that doesn’t mean that every business must shut down indefinitely while we all hide inside plastic bubbles like the young John Travolta. As Issac Newton pointed out long ago, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If the government doesn’t want radical, aggressive, irresponsible reactions to its policies, then it needs to stop imposing radical, aggressive, irresponsible policies.

Continuing in its grand tradition of handing out journalism prizes to the New York Times for whitewashing the horrors of communism in the 1930s and to the Times and the Washington Post for their in-depth coverage of the “Russian collusion” scandal that turned out to be a combination hoax/attempted coup, the Pulitzer Prize Committee has once again disgraced itself. The Pulitzer Prize for an Essay was given to the author of a New York Times piece that falsely claimed that the main impetus for the American Revolution and the birth of America was preserving slavery, which helped birth the Times’ repugnant “1619 Project” to replace history with anti-American propaganda in schools.

It was a lie so slanderous to the Founders that it sparked the creation of “1776,” a project to refute it founded by prominent African-Americans historians, scholars and writers.

No offense to some of the other Pulitzer winners, whom I’m sure did good work, but when it comes to anything political, it’s obvious that the prize is, to steal a line from former Vice President John Nance Garner, “not worth a bucket of warm spit” (and that’s more actual American history than you’ll learn from the 1619 Project.)

In fact, if you’d like to win a Pulitzer Prize of your own, I have a suggestion for where you can probably find one.

If you can’t get out to the gym, here’s something to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up. A federal judge in California, acting on the verdict of a California jury, has ordered the Center for Medical Progress to pay $1.2 million in damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing their reprehensible baby part-selling practices on undercover video.

This blatant assault on freedom of the press has been largely ignored by the mainstream media (or if it’s covered at all, negatively toward the defendants), even though it’s an unconstitutional move to criminalize the same kind of hidden camera exposes that all of them do. They’d just never think of doing it to America’s leading abortion mill.

As we’ve recently learned from all the MeToo activists dropping everything they said a year ago to defend Joe Biden, the left’s much-vaunted “principles” are all secondary to their #1 principle: empowering the left at all costs. So you probably won’t see even “60 Minutes” defending hidden camera reporting if it might damage a leftist icon like Planned Parenthood.

Fortunately, this is not the end of this story. The outrageous, politically-motivated charges never should have been brought, and it’s now been dragging through the California Kangaroo Court system for too long. It will be appealed, and unless it’s slapped down before then, it should eventually arrive at the Supreme Court. One hopes that the SCOTUS will be more concerned with protecting the First Amendment than protecting the right to secretly profit off of slaughtering children in the womb.

STILL think this hasn't been planned for a long time? One way or another, Michelle Obama's place on the ticket was going to be arranged. It's time for a few more articles like this.

The piece I'm linking to has a brand new reason why Biden should pick her: Since everybody knows she doesn't want to be in politics (right), his ability to convince her to do it will tell voters he has the persuasive power to be a leader! (See, this way, if she changes her mind, it won't be because she's wishy-washy or disingenuous but because Biden's such an incredibly persuasive guy.) The irony: if Michelle is on the ticket, it will be with the goal of making HER the leader.

When Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell finally succeeded in obtaining the “Brady” (exculpatory) material she’d been requesting from the FBI for many months, the question arose: Where was FBI Director Christopher Wray while these documents were being withheld from Flynn’s defense?

Wray had to know this was going on. If we “outsiders” knew, he knew. It’s become obvious that if Trump wanted a real reformer to take the helm at the FBI, he didn’t have one in Wray. How disappointed the President must be. But, as I reported last week, Wray has a history at the FBI that raises both eyebrows –- this isn’t the first time he’s “supervised” FBI personnel, the same group of low-lifes abusing their power. He didn’t do anything about it then, either.

As Trey Gowdy said on Monday to Sean Hannity, “The FBI is not in charge of hiring and firing directors of national intelligence [Flynn’s former job]. The FBI is not in charge –- it’s not their job to see what they can get away with [a reference to James Comey]...You’re supposed to investigate crime, not create crime.”

It was only after Attorney General Bill Barr appointed U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen to review Flynn’s case that those exculpatory documents were finally released to Flynn’s defense. Wray apparently had nothing to do with getting this done, and he’s been there two years. It should have happened when Powell first requested the material, period.

In his latest column, John Solomon reminds us of the time Chris Wray issued a statement rebuking California Rep. Devin Nunes, then-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for his memo concluding that Wray’s predecessor, James Comey, abused the FISA process to spy on Trump’s campaign. “We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” Wray said. Two years later, Nunes and his memo were vindicated; what on earth was Wray talking about?

"The problems exposed during the Russia case started with the Comey regime, but have stretched into Wray’s watch,” Solomon observes. FBI officials have declined comment on the Flynn materials but tell Solomon that they’ve referred all FBI employees involved in the “Russia” FISAs for disciplinary action (okay, sure), and that they’ve implemented more than 40 reforms to the FISA process. No word on whether Wray had much to do with that.

Republican legislators have grave reservations about Wray’s ability to reform the FBI. Here’s another excellent write-up by Elizabeth Vaughn at RedState; it includes key quotes from Solomon’s piece and also observes that if Wray remains, the real reformers such as Barr will have to “simply work around him, as they did last week.” Barr has been granted full access to all documents by Trump and can just take what he needs, she says, with Wray being “little more than a placeholder.” (Better than an Eric Holder, I suppose, but Wray needs to go.)

Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mike Johnson of Louisiana sent a letter on Monday to Wray demanding all documents relating to the FBI’s operation against Flynn, and also interviews with Bill Priestap (Peter Strzok’s boss, and the author of those handwritten notes questioning the motive behind the Flynn “ambush” interview) and Joe Pientka (the other Flynn questioner, besides Strzok).

"The American people continue to learn troubling details about the politicization and misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI during the Obama-Biden Administration,” they wrote. “Even more concerning, we continue to learn these new details from litigation and investigations –- NOT FROM YOU. [Emphasis mine; you have to love that they said this.] It is well past time that you show the leadership necessary to bring the FBI past the abuses of the Obama-Biden era.”

"Produce all documents and communications between or among the FBI and other executive branch agencies, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT [again, emphasis mine], for the period December 1, 2016, to January 20, 2017 [Obama’s last day in office], referring or relating to LTG Michael Flynn’s December 30, 2016, conversation with Sergey Kislyak...explain when you personally learned of the FBI’s misconduct with respect to FTG Flynn.”

I’ve linked to the letter, which is quite masterful. The first part lays out all the ways in which the FBI mis-conducted itself, and it’s stunning to see line after line of the malfeasance that by now we know took place. It presents the whole timeline, starting with Flynn’s phone call to Kislyak on December 30, 2016; to the field office’s closing of the Flynn “Russia” case on January 4, 2017, after finding NOTHING and Strzok’s intervention to keep it open; to the big Oval Office meeting on January 5; and on and on with everything the FBI did to coerce Flynn’s guilty plea, finally obtained on December 1, 2017.

The second part is a list of demands, to be provided “as soon as possible but no later than May 18, 2020...We trust you will respond expeditiously and completely.”

Today’s “Wray buffet” would not be complete without the dessert cart, and today’s offering is another sweet column by Margot Cleveland at THE FEDERALIST, about what the newly-released documents say about the Michael Flynn case. In “Your Guide To The Obama Administration’s Hit On Michael Flynn,” not only will she bring you up to speed on the case if you’re not there –- including the new evidence of the “secret side deal” the FBI made with Flynn not to prosecute his son –- but she also introduces a brilliant point. In essence, it’s this:

As Cleveland points out, the Supreme Court has ruled that to be criminal, Flynn’s “lie” had to be material; that is, capable of influencing an investigation. She then asks, “How could Flynn’s statements have influenced the FBI, given that the FBI knew exactly what Flynn said to the Russian ambassador before the agents interviewed him?” Also, as of Thursday, we’ve known that on January 4, 2017, the FBI field office sent documentation to close “Crossfire Razor” with no derogatory evidence found, concluding Flynn “was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger Crossfire Hurricane umbrella case.” Twenty minutes later, Strzok sent a message to an unknown agent saying not to close out the Flynn investigation yet, as the “7th floor” was involved.

The point: As recently unsealed documents show that the FBI already had all the communications and had decided to close the case anyway, we know the only reason to keep it open was as a pretext to interrogate Flynn. So the interrogation itself was not “material” to the case. They had no legitimate investigative purpose for questioning Flynn, so what he said in answer to their questions was NOT MATERIAL.

Cleveland goes on to describe how the 302 (FBI notes) of the interview with Flynn was re-written by Strzok and Page. Recall that the original 302 has mysteriously gone missing. It’s very important to get that, and also to hear from Joe Pientka, the “other” agent who questioned Flynn. Of course, both the 302 and the in-person Pientka interview are on the list of demands sent by Reps. Jordan and Johnson to Chris Wray, but I’ll bet they end up coming from...well, somebody else besides Wray.

Good News on the Virus Front: the FDA has approved a coronavirus antibody test that reportedly provides near-perfect accuracy.

This should help give us an even clearer idea of how widespread the virus already is. Previous studies suggest that far more people have been exposed than we thought and had mild or no symptoms, and that the death rate is actually much lower than originally estimated. That’s not to say it isn’t a very bad, even deadly, disease for those who are particularly susceptible, such as the elderly and those with underlying health problems such as obesity and compromised immune systems.

But if authorities expect Americans to keep complying with safety guidelines, we need to see some solid numbers to justify it, not wild, apocalyptic predictions that are used to impose draconian lockdowns, then are later scaled back.

On that topic, I’ve been hearing about how Sweden, which refused to impose a harsh lockdown and close its economy, was suffering devastating results. But here’s a report from National Review that suggests it’s fared no worse than nations that did destroy their economies.

Last night, President Trump answered questions from the public in a townhall on Fox News. You can watch it online here.

If you’d like a quicker recap, here is a written account of the townhall.

And here are a few highlights: Trump said he fears the US death toll from the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus could reach 80 to 100,000, a rise from his previous estimate of 60,000, but still far below the initial prediction of 2.2 million that was cited as a reason to shut down the economy. He also predicted that a vaccine would be available sooner than predicted, possibly by the end of the year, and said of the virus, “It’s going to pass.” He generally backed the efforts of Governors to reopen their own states on the timetables they see fit. He also predicted that the US would no longer be reliant on China for its antibiotics without two years.

Trump said China misled the world, that he believes they made a horrible mistake and didn’t want to admit it; and that the World Health Organization is “China-centric,” they do whatever China wants, and have been “a disaster” and “missed every single call.”

And when asked why he can’t be more diplomatic with the media, he said he appreciates the sentiment, but he believes he’s treated worse by the media than any President in history. He said he stands up there to take questions, but instead of getting normal questions, he gets hit with “the most horrible, horrendous, biased questions” from a media that exhibits “anger and hatred,” and that 95 percent of them are hostile and “might as well be in the Democratic Party.”

Since Sunday was the UN’s “World Press Freedom Day,” media outlets compared Trump’s description of the press to a Twitter thread by Joe Biden (or more likely one of his campaign staffers) criticizing Trump for attacking “the independence of journalists,” and swearing that in a Biden White House, there would be mutual respect and “no bullying of the media from the press room podium or by tweet.”

Of course, that’s an easy promise to make when you know that the media will never treat you with the open disdain, hostility and disrespect that they show for Trump. It’s especially hilarious that he praised the “independence of journalists.” How independent are journalists who do nothing but regurgitate DNC talking points? We have many fine independent journalists, like Sara Carter and John Solomon, who were derided by the journalistic clique for years because they dared to question the accepted media narratives on issues like “Russian collusion” or the framing of Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. Now we’re learning that they were right all along, and the self-styled “independent journalists” were nothing but house organs of the Democratic Party, about as objective as the Phillip Morris company newsletter.

I’m sure Joe Biden would not show hostility to the press because after all, how likely are they to show hostility to him? He was credibly accused of sexual assault, and they didn’t even bring up the subject. He was captured on video bragging about using US aid to extort the government of Ukraine and they covered for him. And when was the last time you saw a serious investigation of Hunter and Joe Biden’s ties to China in the mainstream press? Seems like that would be a timely and newsworthy subject right about now.

I have no doubt Biden would be very nice to the press (he might even give them a back rub.) After all, why be mean to people who are doing your PR work for you for free?

If you’d like a reminder of why the only people who love and respect our current news media are the Democrats they support, Victor Davis Hanson has compiled an excellent look back at some journalistic lowlights of the past few years.

Whether it’s about the Chinese coronavirus, the Russia hoax or anything else in the news, there’s so much “information” floating around in the media that it’s almost impossible to know what’s true. Yet, trust me, there are millions of people plugged into THE NEW YORK TIMES, the WASHINGTON POST, CNN, late-night “comedy” shows and Facebook memes who believe they are extremely well-informed, always right, and much smarter than you. It doesn’t even do any good to talk to them.

Check out Scott Adams for an analysis of how the mind works to reject facts that don’t support one’s narrative. We all do this to some extent, as it’s human nature, but some do it a LOT more than others; it’s called “confirmation bias.”

To a large extent I blame the reporters, who should show enough intellectual curiosity and humility to look for ways to disprove their own opinions and their own “facts” before they unleash them on the public. My theory is that they’re afraid to look, afraid of being proven wrong, like the atheist who subconsciously is terrified to expose himself to religion and perhaps be compelled to change his mind, or, conversely, the believer who is terrified to expose himself to anything outside the walls of his church. Political ideology and/or party identification can be just as powerful a self-imposed limitation.

It’s extremely anxiety-producing to be proven wrong. For if you’re wrong about one thing, who knows what else you’re wrong about? For example, if you live in an imaginary world where Trump is always wrong, and everybody you know and respect believes Trump is always wrong, it will knock you sideways to have to admit he was right about even one tiny thing. So when it does turn out Trump was right about something, the apology is never made and the mistake never acknowledged, let alone corrected. The misinformation lives on in the Internet, forever, co-existing with the truth.

I’ve just described the liberal, Trump-hating mindset, but online rumors and “fake news” come from both left and right. About a week ago, my staff came across an email, circulated by some on the right, claiming that the father of John Kerry’s son-in-law is a mullah in Iran. Now, whether this is true or not, we could tell you plenty about John Kerry that would make anyone in his right mind want to keep him far from the seat of power. (Fortunately, he now is, but questions have arisen about his family’s relationship with Hunter Biden and the Biden family business dealings. That's for another time.)

Anyway, we were curious about that story and decided to look into it. There are some basic facts we can put together: Kerry’s son-in-law is named Behrouz Nahed; he goes by the first name Brian. He is a neurosurgeon. According to TRUE PUNDIT, he is an Iranian national. They also say that, according to some reports, his best man at his 2009 wedding to Vanessa Kerry, also a doctor, was the son of Muhammad Javid Zarif, Irans’ Minister of Foreign Affairs. Zarif was Kerry’s counterpart in negotiations for the Iran deal. Whoa.

BUT, the best man story is challenged in a piece from 2015 in THE HILL, which also says Dr. Nahed is an American citizen, born in America. Somebody’s wrong. The preponderance of the evidence would suggest it’s TRUE PUNDIT that is wrong, and that Nahed was born in New York.

Even a conservative website like THE BLAZE has debunked the “best man” rumor.

STILL, even though Muhammad Javid Zarif’s son was apparently not best man for Kerry’s son-in-law, there’s something else we found on TruthOrFiction.com that is every bit as concerning, at least to us: Kerry himself did already have a longstanding personal relationship with Zarif that predated the talks for the Iranian nuclear deal. This relationship is detailed in a 2012 book by Hoorman Majd. I do wonder about that; it is just too close for comfort.

A piece from 2013 in the DAILY CALLER goes into some detail about Dr. Nahed, who has “extensive family ties” in Iran. “Since its inception,” the story reads, “the FBI has vetted U.S. officials involved in national security, and it generally won’t grant clearances to individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy nation or have family members living in that country, for fear of divided loyalties, or, more simply, blackmail.”

Both of Dr. Nahed’s parents reportedly live in Los Angeles. His father is a pulmonologist. But shortly after Vanessa and Behrouz tied the knot, they reportedly went to Iran to visit the other relatives who live there.

Though Nahed’s father is not a mullah, the family and social connections still create such an obvious conflict of interest that Kerry should never have been involved in negotiations with Iran. I would think the conflict is so great that he should never have been approved for any cabinet-level position, let alone Secretary of State. The DAILY CALLER piece goes into just some of the problems with this.

Here’s another really good commentary, also from 2013.

So, after looking at numerous sources, we’d say this rumor is “iffy.” The central claim is not true –- Vanessa Kerry’s husband Behrouz Nahed is not the son of a mullah. His parents are physicians who work in California. And we don’t know for sure about the identify of Nahed’s best man, though we’ve seen no evidence that his father is the Iranian minister of foreign affairs. (This would not be surprising, however, given that Kerry and the Iranian minister had a social relationship.) But regardless of who the best man was, the family and social connections should have posed a huge problem for Kerry in his bid to be Secretary of State. Heck, we even turned up something else that would have been worthy of exploring: Kerry's previously existing personal relationship, going back a decade, with the Iranian minister of foreign affairs, the man with whom he was negotiating on behalf of the United States (or supposedly on our behalf)!

I don’t know why these online rumors have to be so exaggerated when the truth is plenty bad enough. “Fact-checkers” often don’t deal with the underlying truth when it’s so easy simply to debunk the exaggerated claim, generating headlines like this

(We tend not to use FactCheck.org around here; too often we find ourselves fact-checking the fact-checkers. There’s only so much time in the day to be pushing boulders uphill.)

It’s the same with rumors about COVID-19. What we’re learning about its origins –- almost certainly from within the biolab in Wuhan –- and the PRC’s deadly deceit is so disturbing that there’s no need to exaggerate it into an even wilder story. Let’s stick to the facts as we learn them. We want to remain a solid, trusted source for truth; we would certainly report the wilder story, but only if and when the facts supported it.

We'd never even heard this rumor about Kerry and his Iranian son-in-law till now, which just goes to show how the media have covered for the former Secretary of State and exercised a shameless double standard. Imagine the uproar if, say, Jared Kushner were, say, Russian, and there were rumors that his best man was the son of some high-up Russian state official? The screaming would never stop.

Protecting Churches

May 4, 2020

Liberty Counsel is defending a number of churches from unconstitutional attacks leveled in the name of combating the coronavirus. One of the most outrageous yet was a story that the mayor of Kansas City is requiring churches to keep lists of the names, addresses and phone numbers of every person who attends services.

The mayor’s office, hit with a furious backlash, responded with a “clarification”: the city was not demanding a list of every church attendee, but requiring that the churches keep the list for 30 days so that if an attendee was diagnosed with the virus, everyone else could be notified, but the church could keep the list and destroy it in 30 days

That’s better than the first story, but it still requires churches to demand personal ID information from everyone who comes to worship, which is a very dangerous precedent, no matter the justification. The city argues that they require it of every other business except “essential” groceries and medical facilities.

The issue, however, is that churches are not “non-essential businesses.” They are sacred places specifically protected from government oversight and interference by the First Amendment. It appears that too many people in positions of power are unable to grasp the difference. They can ask for cooperation from churches, and most have been more than happy to cooperate. But when government tries to coerce churches into "cooperating," they’ve crossed the line.

Welcome to the Huckabee Show coming to you from all over the country instead of from our theater in Nashville. But this won’t last forever—and in the meantime, we’re making the best of it including inviting you to our Virtual Theater by getting Virtual Tickets so you can “Meet Me at the Couch.” Each week those with virtual tickets are put in random drawing for some cool swag from our show. Register for your virtual tickets at huckabee.tv

How’s the social distancing thing going? Don’t you sometimes just want to get in your car, go somewhere—anywhere—and just go up and hug someone; even a total stranger? For those of us who haven’t left our homes in 7 weeks, we are rapidly approaching the fight or flight moment. And in many states, things are starting to open up, albeit in spurts and small steps.

One thing we know—the models and predictions for how bad it was going to be were all wrong. For those who had an acute case of Wuhan Virus, it was awful. For those who’ve had a family member die from it, there are no words adequate to offer condolences and compassion. But I hope we feel the same way when an acquaintance dies of cancer or heart disease or from an accident. But we were told there would be up to 2 million in the US who would die, our hospitals would be overrun and suffer a serious shortage of equipment, and the impact of the virus would be unlike anything the world had ever seen. We followed the public health experts and didn’t just stop shaking hands-we stopped life. Schools closed for the year, all public events including NCAA March Madness, Major League Baseball, and the NBA shut down. Theaters and restaurants closed. Malls shuttered. Disney World and other theme parks went silent. Beaches closed. And even on Easter Sunday, churches closed. Some government officials went overboard, prohibiting fishing or planting gardens. Without haircuts we’ve accepted looking shabby. Offices reverted to online meetings while their office buildings are closed and everything is now down on Zoom or Skype. And with that, some people didn’t wear pants or forgot to close doors and may have revealed more their point of view to fellow office workers.

But as we start to re-open the world, I hope we will realize a big take-a-way from all this is to never again let government strip us our all our liberties and our common sense in the name of “protecting us.” When I was Governor of Arkansas, we often repeated a mantra in our office that said, “Trust the Lord and tell the people.” We were actually serious about it. It meant that we needed to remember we weren’t the highest authority in the lives of our people—God was. And that our job was to be honest with the people and tell them the truth, but realize they would have to ultimately choose what to do with the truth.

Life is filled with risks. We take them every day. We ultimately calculate the risks vs. the rewards and act accordingly. I can with 100% assurance guarantee to not have a car wreck if I don’t get in a car. There is no possibility I can fall off a ladder if I don’t get on one. I can’t be killed in a plane crash if I never board a plane. There are some risks I can eliminate. Others, I can mitigate—like wearing a mask or gloves, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing my hands. But I have to decide if the risk of a disease I might catch is a chance I have to take because the certainly of not being able to feed my family or pay my bills is one I do face by staying holed up in my house.

It’s not the government’s decision; it’s mine. And honestly, some people will violate whatever the rules are. Some people exceed the speed limit; others smoke, drink alcohol excessively, skydive, or climb mountains. They decide that the inherent risks are worth whatever rewards they feel. But in a free society, we allow people to make decisions and do things that scare the hair off our arms. And sometimes, people who take all the precautions imaginable still get hit by a falling limb, are diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, or get food poisoning from their Grandma’s pork chop. Be careful, but not fearful. Most of all, accept responsibility for your own life. Government isn’t God. It’s not family. It’s not even a very good friend sometimes.

Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to protect against malaria –- I took it myself on a trip to India several years ago –- and it has been around for, oh, about 70 years. It’s considered by doctors to be quite a safe drug, though patients should be monitored by their health practitioner “just in case” because it has been associated with heart arrhythmia. Many people who have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune problems have been on this drug for years, even decades, at a time, and some of these patients really need it to get along, as we're discovering now that they're having trouble obtaining it.

But to hear the media, this drug has terrible, life-threatening side effects. Never mind the stories of dramatic reversals and recoveries; this drug will KILL YOU, even if you're on it for a week or less. President Trump has been irresponsible for suggesting this drug might be helpful in keeping coronavirus patients out of the hospital and off ventilators.

Over the years, medical science has indeed brought us harmful drugs (thalidomide comes to mind) and ineffective drugs. But it looks as though hydroxychloroquine will go down in history as the first politically-incorrect drug.

Since they’ve gone on and on so much about the risks of taking this drug, I got curious and decided to do a little research. So, check these bad boys out: signs of an allergic reaction, such as “rash; hives; itching; red, itching, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing or talking; unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat. Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes. Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak. Feeling confused. Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there.) Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed. Seizures. Very bad dizziness. Very bad headaches. Very bad joint pain. Vaginal itching or discharge. Diarhhea is common...Rarely, a severe form called C diff-associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery or bloody stools...A very bad skin reaction (Stevens/Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose or eyes...Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away: stomach pain or diarrhea, upset stomach or throwing up. These are not all the side effects that may occur...This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects or risks that may apply to this medicine.”

Wow, that IS overwhelming. I'm not so sure I should ever take this medicine, even for just a few days; It seems you really could die from taking it. The list of possible reactions goes on and on.

But I suppose it’s time to tell you that this is not the list of risks associated with hydroxychloroquine. This list was taken directly from the insert that came in the bag from my drugstore yesterday along with my prescription for an antibiotic called Cephalexin. I’ve been prescribed this exact same drug numerous times in my life, even when I was a very young child with sinus infections; it went under the brand name Keflex. How could my doctor have been so irresponsible as to prescribe it for me? How could my parents have taken such a risk? But here I am --- I lived to tell the tale!

Just a little something to put this issue into perspective. If President Trump had touted Keflex as a way to (in my case) prevent infection after a relatively minor outpatient procedure, the media would be screaming that this is really a very dangerous drug and his ignorance is killing people.

As for me –- because I HAVE done my research –- if I do come down with COVID-19 (actually, I think my husband and I both had it last winter and want to take the antibody test), I will immediately ask my doctor for just three things: hydroxychloroquine, the “Z-pack,” and zinc. Anyone who has a problem with that can go take a long walk inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Joe Biden’s adamant denial of former staffer Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation may be enough for Democrats who are doing Olympic-level backflips to back away from their previous “believe all women” statements. And the press, naturally, is helping by trying to dig up any discrepancies in Reade’s story and to question her motives, something they never did with Kavanaugh’s accuser, who was declared to be one of the greatest heroines of the year.

But that hasn’t stopped the questions about whether Biden had minions remove papers from archives, or whether he’s trying to hide evidence, or even, according to Greg Gutfeld, whether he made a slip of the tongue that gave away more than he intended.

And of course, the Trump campaign already has an ad ready to point out his hypocrisy…

As I have said consistently for years, whenever such old allegations are made against anyone, be it Kavanaugh, Trump or Biden, the accuser deserves a respectful hearing, but the accused deserves the presumption of innocence and due process to get to the truth. That was sometimes a very lonely position to stake out, although I do suddenly have a lot of Democrats keeping me company.

But let’s put aside the comparisons to Kavanaugh and Trump, because those are just examples of expected media/political bias and hypocrisy. Instead, I’d like to draw your attention to a very interesting article by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine. Sullivan is no Trump supporter (indeed, despite what he writes about Biden, he says he’ll still vote for him, just because he’s not Trump.) But he makes a strong case, one that I haven’t seen anyone else bring up, that putting aside Reade’s claim, by his own standards, Joe Biden is guilty of multiple sex crimes, many of which we can watch him commit on videotape.

That's because during the Obama Administration, Biden was instrumental in pushing the revamped guidelines for Title IX sexual discrimination and harassment on college campuses. Those were the draconian (many of us would say sexist and unconstitutional) rules that redefined sex crimes and stripped the accused (usually male students) of their basic rights to self-defense, finding them guilty until proven innocent – except they weren’t allowed to prove themselves innocent, since they couldn’t even see the evidence or question their accusers.

The definition of “sexual violence” was also expanded to include remarks about physical appearance and unwanted touching. How many times have we seen Joe do those very things to women - actions that, as Sullivan notes, would have destroyed the lives of male students under the rules Biden championed?

Fortunately, many of those rules have been rolled back (they had to be; too many colleges were losing expensive lawsuits by former male students.) Democrats naturally assailed the Trump Administration for doing it, accusing him of enabling sexual predators. But as Sullivan makes clear, if they really believe in those standards, then they are backing a Presidential candidate who is plainly guilty of multiple sex crimes under them, even aside from Ms. Reade’s accusation. This is yet another reason why I keep saying that if it weren’t for double standards, some of these people wouldn’t have any standards at all.

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.

"I don’t think we’ve seen the beginning of the reality of what was going on in this faux investigation, from the top to bottom.”

That’s Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, commenting on Sean Hannity’s TV show Thursday night about revelations in the Michael Flynn case. He’s right; there is much more to come. But one thing we know for sure is that James Comey deliberately set Flynn up, and he did it because he assumed he could get away with it. He almost did.

Flynn attorney Sidney Powell really is the hero in all this; I nominate her for “Person Of The Year.” She has changed history. If she hadn’t gone after the powers that be like a pit bull, Flynn, an innocent political victim, would have been stuck with a coerced guilty plea and would never have been exonerated. (Flynn truly is vindicated from this day forward –- Trump was right to hold off on a pardon for now and let Powell do her work instead.)

Oh sure, the same books and columns would have been written exposing what the intelligence community had been up to, and the people who actually read them would have been aware of the travesty, but it wouldn’t have made any difference in the life of Michael Flynn and others who were abused by the system. Thanks to Powell, and also to the doggedness of AG Bill Barr, U.S. Attorney John Durham, and another U.S. attorney who’s been reviewing the case, Jeff Jensen, the scheme to take Flynn down is in the process of being exposed.

There MUST be accountability.

Powell appeared on the Hannity show as well, saying that the case absolutely must be dismissed, “preferably for government misconduct,” and that in any event the guilty plea has got to be thrown out, as there is finally documentation that Flynn was coerced in “a secret side deal” involving the threat of prosecution of Flynn’s son, who himself had just become the father of a newborn baby. She recapped the story we already know, that they “tried one thing after another,” starting with the Russia hoax (they’d been trying to falsely associate him with Russians since 2014-15), which failed to find anything on Flynn.

Now we have a revealing timeline for January 2017. On January 4, the FBI file is closed on the Flynn investigation, “Crossfire Razor,” with nothing derogatory found. When Strzok hears this, he texts an unknown recipient, "Hey, if you haven't closed RAZOR, don't do so yet." (Recipient: "Okay.") On January 5, Obama meets in the Oval Office with Comey and the crew; Steele also “wipes” his records, including those on Fusion GPS. On January 6, Comey briefs Trump on the “dossier” to give BUZZFEED and CNN a “hook” for using the story. It goes on from there; January is 'abuzz' with activity, both before and after Trump’s inauguration.

I’ll refer you to Sara Carter for a rundown of the documents released on Thursday. These communications are absolutely stunning, particularly the texting among Strzok, Page and Priestap about how they planned to question Flynn. Texts between Strzok and Page also reveal that they substantially re-wrote the original 302 of the ambush interview, “crafting the narrative,” in Powell’s words, “to charge Gen. Flynn with a crime he did not commit.” Unfortunately, there are still some redactions in the texts as released, but what these people were doing is obvious.

One disturbing piece of information that might explain a lot: According to Powell, the person who advanced the career of Andrew Weissmann was none other than...(drum roll, please)...our current FBI Director Christopher Wray. Wray was Weissmann’s supervisor when they were at the Department of Justice “running roughshod over the rights of everyone in Houston.” (This backstory is discussed in her book LICENSE TO LIE.) “There are people there who still have nightmares as a result of his [Weissmann’s] conduct,” she said to Hannity, “in violation of everyone’s rights, naming over 100 people as unindicted co-conspirators, forcing them to ‘lawyer-up,’ threatening witnesses right and left, every variety of prosecutorial misconduct you can imagine. He was a terrorist of a prosecutor. And he was handpicked for that job by Michael Chertoff and Bob Mueller and James Comey and people like that, during the Bush administration.” That’s right, “the swamp” pre-dates Obama, but his administration sure did take full advantage of it.

Since Wray was presiding over all of this earlier in his career, Powell has no illusions that as FBI director he will seriously address the corruption. I would really like to know the backstory of how he got that job. Surely there was a lot Trump didn’t know when he appointed him. Wray does serve "at the pleasure of the President," and it's hard to imagine that the President is at all pleased.

There are similar questions about Robert Mueller. As Sekulow mentioned Thursday, the documents and notes that have just been released had the same notation: “OSC,” for “Office of Special Counsel.” So, where was Mueller? If he had been doing his job, those documents would have been turned over to the defense. But, no, he said, “the Weissmanns of the world were running that office.”

One must-read article about the misconduct in this case is by Jonathan Turley at THE HILL. He goes down the list of FBI officials who have lied and otherwise “acted in arguably criminal or unethical ways,” such as leaking and falsifying evidence, but have not been charged. In Turley’s words, “the disconnect of these cases with the treatment of Flynn is galling and grotesque.”

Turley also has plenty to say about the presiding judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, who has treated Flynn shamefully. “Even the federal judge used Flynn to rail against what he saw as a treasonous plot,” Turley says. Of course, he's referring to the phony “Russia hoax” plot, not the ACTUAL treasonous plot that was going on inside Sullivan's own courtroom, courtesy of the DOJ and FBI.

Now watch the media pull out all the stops trying to dismiss and/or rewrite this. Turley is no Republican or Trump cheerleader, but he’s objective enough to recognize a miscarriage of justice when he sees one. His commentary here is magnificent.

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.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: FBI news: "Brady" evidence on Flynn finally coming out!

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.

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.

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!

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.

 

So, a new documentary on Michelle Obama has been in the works for months and apparently no one knew about it! How could it be? But it's true, and the video is available for streaming on Netflix starting May 1.

Okay, folks, read this --- especially her monologue at the end --- and tell me if you DON'T think she's being moved into place for the November election. This is getting so obvious now, I probably don't need to keep throwing up the red flags. But I will, anyway. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

RELATED READING: Ainsworth: Michelle O update --- this appears to be happening

Here is video of President Trump’s full COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus task force press briefing from Monday…

Trump took a couple of days’ off from his briefings because he was fed up with dealing with hostile, accusatory and downright stupid questions from the media. But I’m glad to see the media didn’t let that time go to waste. New York Magazine’s Oliva Nuzzi obviously spent it working extra hard, trying to craft a question even stupider and more accusatory than last week's "injecting Lysol" idiocy:

"If an American President loses more Americans over the course of 6 weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?"

Trump kept his cool and gave a much better answer than the question deserved. David Marcus at the Federalist examined why it was such a ridiculous question, and how Trump might have answered it or how she might have expected him to answer it.

Personally, I might have pointed out that each year, approximately 1.25 million Americans die in car accidents, which means that over Obama’s eight-year term, 10 million Americans were slaughtered on the highways, and he did nothing to prevent it. I look forward to Ms Nuzzi’s article in New York Magazine calling for Obama to be brought up on war crimes charges because 10 million people died violently while he was in office.

Story of the day

April 28, 2020

A big Huck’s Hero salute to New Jersey newspaper deliveryman Greg Daily. When an elderly customer asked if he could throw the paper closer to the garage, it made him think that if she couldn’t walk that 20 feet, how could she go out for groceries during the lockdown?

So he put a note inside every newspaper, offering his services to shop for and deliver groceries free of charge to his elderly customers. He’s now busy helping nearly 100 people, some of them not even on his paper route. One grateful 85-year-old widow called him “one of the finest people in the world.” Daily said the seniors appreciate the help so much, he’s decided to keep doing it even after the lockdown ends. He said, “There’s something about being able to do something really nice for people.”

There sure is! Our thanks to Greg Daily for reminding us all that “social distancing” doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to the people around you who really need your help.

And on that subject, here’s another story that could have gone a very different way, if it weren’t for the kindness and compassion of a grocery store owner in Ontario.

Deny, Deny

April 28, 2020

There are times when I almost feel sorry for loyal Democrats. Over the past few years, in order to keep from being slandered and hounded by Twitter mobs, they’ve had to force themselves to live in a constant state of denial. And I don’t just mean pretending not to notice how badly their cherished leftist policies failed during the Obama Administration and everywhere else they've been tried.

Starting in 2016, to remain a Democrat in good standing, you had to deny that Donald Trump was really the President (or “my President”), that his negotiating tactics really had resulted in better trade deals for the US, that the tax cut benefited people other than the “super rich,” that the economy really was creating record numbers of jobs, and that pay for lower and middle class workers really was rising. It took a pandemic to derail that booming economy.

Just since January, Democrats have had to deny that Trump was right to block travel from China and Europe, that the pandemic was caused by China’s carelessness and lies, that it’s worth studying promising treatments like hydroxychoroquine and UV light even if Trump did say good things about them, and that globalism and open borders have proven to be disastrous ideas, even more dangerous than densely-populated urban living, mass transit and reusable grocery bags.

But the denial of reality shifted into hyperdrive this week. Democrats across the nation are refusing to listen to Americans as they demand to reopen their businesses, even when some of those on the verge of open revolt are other Democratic politicians

They accuse Republicans of being “science deniers,” yet they refuse to listen to doctors and researchers who say the data indicate that the coronavirus is far more widespread and less lethal than we originally thought, and that keeping society shut down is doing more harm than good. It’s even doing irreparable harm to the health care system (laying off doctors and shutting down hospitals) and causing deaths by preventing people from getting necessary medical care (here’s just one example…)

all in the name of keeping hospitals free for the projected crush of COVID-19 patients that never materialized.

When two urgent care doctors in California discovered that the virus was far more widespread in their counties than previously believed, and that the real odds of dying from it were only 0.03%, they were denounced for no solid reasons and YouTube (a subsidiary of ultra-liberal Google) removed their video because it didn’t jibe with the World Health Organization – the same group that’s repeated patently bogus Chinese propaganda since the beginning.

And those aren’t the only doctors who are speaking up against the “shut down the world or we’ll all die” Democratic party line.

Some Democrats are even denying their own previous statements

And speaking of denying your own alleged principles, whatever happened to “Believe all women?” Two more women have come forward to verify that former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade told them of her sexual assault allegation against Biden in the 1990s, and both women are Democrats.

Speaking of denial, one of the women who spoke up for Reade said, "I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat. And I'm for Biden, regardless. But still I have to come out and say this." Remember the outrage from Democrats when Trump facetiously said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t abandon him? Well, here’s someone corroborating an allegation of sexual assault of a friend against the presumptive Democratic nominee and adding, “I’m for Biden, regardless.” And she's actually serious.

Yet the Party and its PR flacks in the media are sticking their fingers in their ears and “la-la-la’ing” all the way to the election. The Washington Post even seems to think the only newsworthy part of this story is that “Trump allies” are “amplifying” Reade’s story by paying attention to her. Well, somebody should, don’t you think?

Move over, Cleopatra! We have millions of new contenders for the title “Queen of Denial.”

Some great letters arrived in response to “Steele ‘wiped’ his documentation, and not with a cloth.” Here are just a few...

From Jim:

Governor, you always seem to get to the core of a story. As an ex-journalist I appreciate your search for the facts and verification.

The Democrats have been using these less-than-honest tactics for years. Each year they seem to get bolder and bolder at just outright lying to the American people.

Back in 1996...[description of dirty tricks played against him when he ran for office in Iowa, including going through divorce records from another state and altering critical dates on documents they found]... This is one of nicer things the Democrats did to us.

Another of their tactics is running negative ads against you accusing you of doing something you didn’t do and would never consider doing. Nine times out of ten what they are accusing you of is exactly what they are doing!

The list goes on and on. Not enough time to list them all tonight.

Governor, keep up your good work of ripping the masks off of these bad actors. Politics is rough and tumble, but it doesn’t need all the shenanigans that have become the order of the day. Highly paid political consultants are also a part of this mix.

From the Gov:

I’ve always said, don’t run for office unless you don’t mind the sight of your own blood. Historically, there have been dirty tricks played on both sides of the aisle, but now it seems there is NOTHING the left (and all “anti-Trumpers”) won’t do to gain power. I mean, no principles at all. You are absolutely right about this, and we are doing our best to rip those masks off, though it’s challenging when most “journalists” simply ignore stories that don’t fit their narrative. It’s also difficult when some in government think that rescuing the tarnished image of their bureaucracy is more important than uncovering the truth. What apparently is true of coronavirus is definitely true of political corruption: Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

From Stephen:

These questions may have been addressed previously and I just missed them: Why has Mr. Steele not been forced to testify at any hearings? Why has he not been charged for submitting fraudulent information that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in investigations? Can the President sue him for defamation?

From the Gov:

Steele has been back and forth on whether or not to cooperate with Durham. On June 5 of last year, it was reported that Joe diGenova had said Steele did agree to be interviewed by Durham. A story in British media had said he was willing to talk, but only about “his relationship with the FBI,” and he wanted to get “permission from the U.K. government first.” DiGenova said he couldn’t believe Durham would agree to those conditions.

Sure enough, the story kept changing. In a WASHINGTON EXAMINER story from March 7, Steele is said to have declined again. He’s concerned about “politicization and not being treated fairly.” He said he and Orbis, his company, have already “said everything we have to say on the matter.” They’ve “done their duty.” Well, isn’t that special.

He was interviewed by Mueller’s special counsel team but later said he was surprised at how little of what he had discussed was in the final report. He reportedly said he’d also cooperated with IG Horowitz for “four or five months” and remarked that some U.S. officials were acting in bad faith.

Durham is reportedly working on indictments. (I would hope so.) But I’m not a lawyer and don’t even play one on TV; I don’t know, since Steele is a British citizen living in the U.K., that Durham can compel him to testify. Importantly, if anyone in the British government was helping Steele, it’s obvious that they’ll NEVER force him to cooperate with Durham, because they know Durham would ask all about that. The information we’ve recently been getting about Steele’s activities has come from testimony in a civil lawsuit brought against him in the U.K. by the owners of Alfa Bank.

So, should Trump sue? Trump is about THE MOST public of public figures, so he has some tough slogging when suing anyone for defamation. Besides, if he sued everyone who lied about him, he’s have to spend the rest of his life in court, and even then he wouldn’t get to them all.

From Robin:

I do " data recovery " for family and friends and have recovered data off computers for a few not-for-profits. So far I've been 100 percent successful.

Anything deleted from a computer can be recovered. Even if the computer is " lost or stolen," data can still be recovered from internet provider, mainframe computer [and] disks, and can be recovered from another computer via emails, downloads, internet provider on the receiver’s end and whomever they forwarded emails to. And the "cloud, " too; the cloud is quite the tattletale.

Bottom line, anything on the internet may as well be posted on billboards on I-95 from Maine to Florida.

And by the way, the Feds can go even deeper into a hard drive and the internet than I can. The FBI could easily have recovered Hillary's emails and Steele's as well.

Bet you guys haven't heard the FBI or NSC (the place in Maryland with all those big dish thingy things on their lawn) saying any of this!

From the Gov:

If someone who refers to satellite dishes as “those dish thingy things” can do it, I’ll bet lots of people can. We might be amazed to discover where Hillary’s emails turned up. (I wouldn’t be surprised if every major world leader had them and was ready to blackmail her the moment she --- shudder --- became President.) And, yes, Steele’s are almost surely somewhere, too. Also, SOMEBODY knows who really obtained those emails from the DNC; we still don’t have proof of the Democrats’ narrative that it was a Russia hack, as a report from CrowdStrike doesn’t cut it. Maybe you could find out! Thanks for writing.

STUPID QUESTION

Here is video of President Trump’s full COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus task force press briefing from Monday…

Trump took a couple of days’ off from his briefings because he was fed up with dealing with hostile, accusatory and downright stupid questions from the media. But I’m glad to see the media didn’t let that time go to waste. New York Magazine’s Oliva Nuzzi obviously spent it working extra hard, trying to craft a question even stupider and more accusatory than last week's "injecting Lysol" idiocy:

"If an American President loses more Americans over the course of 6 weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?"

Trump kept his cool and gave a much better answer than the question deserved. David Marcus at the Federalist examined why it was such a ridiculous question, and how Trump might have answered it or how she might have expected him to answer it.

Personally, I might have pointed out that each year, over 38,000 Americans die in car accidents, which means that over Obama’s eight-year term, over 5 times as many Americans were slaughtered on the highways as died in Vietnam, and he did nothing to prevent it. I look forward to Ms Nuzzi’s article in New York Magazine calling for Obama to be brought up on war crimes charges because over 300,000 people died violently while he was in office.

(NOTE: The original version of this piece had an incorrect number of highway deaths because our source mistakenly quoted the global death number, not the US number. We corrected it and own up to the mistake because we’re not CNN.)

DEMOCRATS: CONTINUE TO DENY REALITY

There are times when I almost feel sorry for loyal Democrats. Over the past few years, in order to keep from being slandered and hounded by Twitter mobs, they’ve had to force themselves to live in a constant state of denial. And I don’t just mean pretending not to notice how badly their cherished leftist policies failed during the Obama Administration and everywhere else they've been tried.

Starting in 2016, to remain a Democrat in good standing, you had to deny that Donald Trump was really the President (or “my President”), that his negotiating tactics really had resulted in better trade deals for the US, that the tax cut benefited people other than the “super rich,” that the economy really was creating record numbers of jobs, and that pay for lower and middle class workers really was rising. It took a pandemic to derail that booming economy.

Just since January, Democrats have had to deny that Trump was right to block travel from China and Europe, that the pandemic was caused by China’s carelessness and lies, that it’s worth studying promising treatments like hydroxychoroquine and UV light even if Trump did say good things about them, and that globalism and open borders have proven to be disastrous ideas, even more dangerous than densely-populated urban living, mass transit and reusable grocery bags.

But the denial of reality shifted into hyperdrive this week. Democrats across the nation are refusing to listen to Americans as they demand to reopen their businesses, even when some of those on the verge of open revolt are other Democratic politicians

They accuse Republicans of being “science deniers,” yet they refuse to listen to doctors and researchers who say the data indicate that the coronavirus is far more widespread and less lethal than we originally thought, and that keeping society shut down is doing more harm than good. It’s even doing irreparable harm to the health care system (laying off doctors and shutting down hospitals) and causing deaths by preventing people from getting necessary medical care (here’s just one example…)

…all in the name of keeping hospitals free for the projected crush of COVID-19 patients that never materialized.

When two urgent care doctors in California discovered that the virus was far more widespread in their counties than previously believed, and that the real odds of dying from it were only 0.03%, they were denounced for no solid reasons and YouTube (a subsidiary of ultra-liberal Google) removed their video because it didn’t jibe with the World Health Organization – the same group that’s repeated patently bogus Chinese propaganda since the beginning.

And those aren’t the only doctors who are speaking up against the “shut down the world or we’ll all die” Democratic party line:

Some Democrats are even denying their own previous statements

And speaking of denying your own alleged principles, whatever happened to “Believe all women?” Two more women have come forward to verify that former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade told them of her sexual assault allegation against Biden in the 1990s, and both women are Democrats.

Speaking of denial, one of the women who spoke up for Reade said, "I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat. And I'm for Biden, regardless. But still I have to come out and say this." Remember the outrage from Democrats when Trump facetiously said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t abandon him? Well, here’s someone corroborating an allegation of sexual assault of a friend against the presumptive Democratic nominee and adding, “I’m for Biden, regardless.” And she's actually serious.

Yet the Party and its PR flacks in the media are sticking their fingers in their ears and “la-la-la’ing” all the way to the election. The Washington Post even seems to think the only newsworthy part of this story is that “Trump allies” are “amplifying” Reade’s story by paying attention to her. Well, somebody should, don’t you think?

Move over, Cleopatra! We have millions of new contenders for the title “Queen of Denial.”

FAKE NEWS TUESDAY

Fake News Tuesday: No, it was not President Trump’s idea to put his name on the coronavirus relief checks that are being mailed to Americans who don't have direct deposit. That was Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s idea. And he says that despite rumors, it did not cause any delay in sending the checks.

REAL NEWS

However, here’s some real news: Chuck Schumer is pushing a bill to try to keep Trump’s name off the checks, and that actually would delay them being delivered to Americans who desperately need them. But I’m sure those people will appreciate that it’s much more important that they not see Trump’s name on a check for the ten seconds it will take them to endorse and deposit it than it is for them to get the money quickly so they can squander it on rent and food.

TOO FAR

A judge in Illinois has ruled that Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order exceeds his emergency powers and infringes on citizens’ Constitutional rights. Pritzker railed that the questioning of his authority on this is “insulting,” “dangerous” and will put people’s health at risk, and he vowed to appeal the ruling.

The irony is that the other major controversy Pritzker is facing is anger over his releasing prison inmates who might be at risk of contracting the coronavirus. So if you’re a convicted criminal, you have to be released to keep you healthy. But if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you have to be locked up to keep you healthy. Understand? If so, please explain it to me.

FYI: Gov. Pritzker probably won’t want to appeal his case to Attorney General Bill Barr, who just told federal prosecutors to report any excessively restrictive shutdown orders that violate Americans' civil rights…

SUPPLY CHAIN WOES

I don’t want to give you even more to worry about, but here’s another reason to end the lockdown and let Americans get back to work: because we’d all like to be able to eat in the future.

GONE

Latest on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un: It’s still unclear whether he’s dead or just locked down due to the coronavirus, like everybody else.

RIP TROY SNEED

I am saddened to report that the coronavirus has taken another talented musician from us. Grammy-nominated gospel singer Troy Sneed died Monday in Jacksonville, Florida, of complications from the virus. He was only 52.

Sneed started his career with the Georgia Mass Choir, which appeared in the film “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston. He then formed Youth For Christ before launching a gospel record label with his wife Emily and releasing seven solo albums. His hits include “Work It Out” and “My Heart Says Yes.” Our deepest condolences and prayers for his wife and family. Here are some samples of the inspiring musical legacy he left us.

C-H-I-N-A

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was asked about attempts to hold China accountable for causing the worldwide deadly coronavirus pandemic, and he brushed that off as “a distraction.” He’s right: holding China to account might distract from all the medical care, quarantines and funerals we have to arrange all over the world BECAUSE OF CHINA!

THANKS AGAIN COLIN K.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the football league plans to reopen in a “safe and responsible” manner, but he declined to say whether that means playing games with no fans in the stands. If so, then I guess they owe Colin Kaepernick thanks for getting people used to empty stadiums before we even knew there was going to be a virus to avoid.

HUCK'S HERO

A big Huck’s Hero salute to New Jersey newspaper deliveryman Greg Daily. When an elderly customer asked if he could throw the paper closer to the garage, it made him think that if she couldn’t walk that 20 feet, how could she go out for groceries during the lockdown?

So he put a note inside every newspaper, offering his services to shop for and deliver groceries free of charge to his elderly customers. He’s now busy helping nearly 100 people, some of them not even on his paper route. One grateful 85-year-old widow called him “one of the finest people in the world.” Daily said the seniors appreciate the help so much, he’s decided to keep doing it even after the lockdown ends. He said, “There’s something about being able to do something really nice for people.”

There sure is! Our thanks to Greg Daily for reminding us all that “social distancing” doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to the people around you who really need your help.

And on that subject, here’s another story that could have gone a very different way, if it weren’t for the kindness and compassion of a grocery store owner in Ontario.

Under cover of coronavirus, more big news is dropping that normally would be the top story. Thanks to the civil suit against Christopher Steele by the owners of Alfa Bank, we’re learning more about Steele’s role in creating and disseminating the “dossier.” And now --- better sit down --- we see that Steele met with --- I know you’ll never believe it --- lawyers for the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

That’s right, the same Christopher Steele who was meeting with the FBI and Fusion GPS and the media was also meeting with Clinton attorneys Michael Sussmann and Marc Elias of the law firm Perkins Coie. And Sussmann appears to be the source for the phony story about computer “pings” from the Alfa Bank tower providing a link between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin. A week after he published a memo about that ludicrous story, he met with Marc Elias, who served as general counsel for the Clinton campaign.

RELATED READING: Steele "wiped" his documentation, and not with a cloth

These meetings were previously unreported. It’s all in court transcripts obtained by Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION.

I think we know where the “Russian disinformation” really came from: Hillary’s campaign and people like Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS who were associated with her campaign. Russian disinformation my foot.

As Ross reports, to spread the Alfa Bank story, Sussman contacted James Baker, his former colleague who served as general counsel to the FBI. This was on September 19, 2016, the same day Steele provided the FBI with six memos that were part of the “dossier.” Right away, the Crossfire Hurricane team started drafting their FISA warrant against Carter Page, accusing him –- without evidence –- of being a Russian agent and a key link between Trump and the Kremlin.

Three days after this, Steele met with Elias. He also met with three journalists, one of whom was Michael Isikoff, who went on to write the story about Carter Page.

So here we have a conspiracy involving Clinton’s attorneys, including the general counsel for the Clinton campaign; the “oppo research” firm working for the Clinton campaign, whose researcher’s husband worked for the DOJ; the general counsel for the FBI; the head of the FBI; the FBI agents who surveilled the Trump campaign by faking a FISA warrant, and cooperative members of the media, all to do everything they could to make sure Hillary won and Trump lost. They all seem to have a connection to Steele. Of course, then-CIA Director John Brennan was shopping the “dossier” material around, too. Let’s see, have I left anyone out of this conspiracy?

I keep thinking I’m leaving someone out. Someone pretty big.

A judge in Illinois has ruled that Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order exceeds his emergency powers and infringes on citizens’ Constitutional rights. Pritzker railed that the questioning of his authority on this is “insulting,” “dangerous” and will put people’s health at risk, and he vowed to appeal the ruling.

The irony is that the other major controversy Pritzker is facing is anger over his releasing prison inmates who might be at risk of contracting the coronavirus. So if you’re a convicted criminal, you have to be released to keep you healthy. But if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you have to be locked up to keep you healthy. Understand? If so, please explain it to me.

FYI: Gov. Pritzker probably won’t want to appeal his case to Attorney General Bill Barr, who just told federal prosecutors to report any excessively restrictive shutdown orders that violate Americans' civil rights…

RIP Troy Sneed

April 28, 2020

I am saddened to report that the coronavirus has taken another talented musician from us. Grammy-nominated gospel singer Troy Sneed died Monday in Jacksonville, Florida, of complications from the virus. He was only 52.

Sneed started his career with the Georgia Mass Choir, which appeared in the film “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston. He then formed Youth For Christ before launching a gospel record label with his wife Emily and releasing seven solo albums. His hits include “Work It Out” and “My Heart Says Yes.” Our deepest condolences and prayers for his wife and family. Here are some samples of the inspiring musical legacy he left us here and here.

A Contrarian Comment

April 27, 2020

Over the past month or so, a number of conservative and Libertarian commentators have bemoaned the way some politicians were so quick to use the coronavirus threat to try to impose their long-standing leftist political agendas (like the Green New Deal or vote-fraud-by-mail) and even worse, how Americans willingly gave up their rights for a little perceived safety. While I agree with the former, I take issue with the latter.

When the Internet meme took off that said, “How do you like your free 30-day trial of socialism?” some thought it was just a joke. But it’s actually a great way of expressing why, despite the fervent fever dreams of the AOCs of the world, Trump was right: America will NEVER be a socialist country. Americans were told we were facing an existential danger, and as always, we put differences aside, sacrificed and pitched in to help others and win the battle, with many Americans acting heroically.

But as soon as some politicians started trying to abuse their powers to crush people’s rights – whether it was something as small as banning the purchase of “non-essential” garden seeds or as unconstitutional as ticketing people for holding a drive-in church service – Americans immediately rose up and refused to take it.

Contrary to the despairing claims about how modern Americans are willing to give up our rights, we are merely willing to make a temporary sacrifice for the greater good. As soon as we sensed that some politicians were trying to abuse our trust and exploit this crisis to increase their power, Americans started showing that we can be just as ornery as we were back when we dumped all that tea in Boson Harbor – except instead of singing “Yankee Doodle,” we now sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

To all the “Democratic socialists” who foolishly thought that public compliance with the lockdown and acceptance of government relief signaled a permanent shift of Americans becoming docile, obedient sheep watched over by an all-powerful state, guess again. We now know that they'll put up with it for four weeks, or until you start acting like socialist dictators, whichever comes first. Now, they’re demanding to get back to work, making their own money, going to church and living their lives they way they see fit, not the way some meddling politician sees fit.

What this crisis has proved is that Americans are still Americans, and that if you even managed to impose your thousand-year socialist utopia, it would have a shelf life of about four weeks at most before the people rose up and threw it out. And that’s only if they thought the only alternative was a deadly disease. After four weeks, they’d rather have the disease.

Several states are gearing up to start letting businesses gradually reopen, and not a moment too soon. All around the nation, Americans are signaling that they have had enough, and while some political leaders want to continue the lockdown indefinitely, citizens are assessing the relative dangers of the disease compared to losing their businesses, jobs, salaries and homes, and judging the latter as worse than the former.

For instance, in Dallas, Texas, the owner of a hair salon defied the shutdown last week and reopened, while observing strict hygiene standards. She said if she'd waited any longer, she would have to fire her employees and declare bankruptcy. She's been ordered to “cease and desist,” but she’d had enough of ceasing and desisting, and she has plenty of support.

Meanwhile, the Dallas suburb of Colleyville declared that business owners couldn’t wait any longer and some could start reopening in defiance of state and county leaders.

And this is in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has been one of the most lenient, pro-business leaders. In states such as Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been channeling Mad King George and imposing inexplicable, rights-crushing edicts, many people are on the verge of rebellion.

I sympathize with the protesters, but if I may offer one bit of advice: Please remember that while the threat of the virus may turn out to have been wildly overstated, we still don’t know its full effects (stories are circulating of possible links to blood clotting and strokes in younger victims, among other unknowns.) And while far more people than we initially knew were apparently exposed to it and suffered little or no ill effects, for those who are vulnerable, it can be a terrible, even fatal disease (nearly 55,000 deaths in the US so far.)

If you are going to protest to reopen the government, please do so responsibly. Wear face masks, keep up social distancing, and don’t shake hands with strangers (I’ve seen video of protesters violating all these common sense rules.)

Even if you don’t believe the coronavirus is as bad as advertised, why take unnecessary chances? If not for your own safety and that of your family and community, you should follow the health guidelines at protests to prove that you are responsible citizens who can be trusted to go back to work without spreading the disease. Consider this: If you don’t, you’re giving PR ammunition to the people who want to keep America locked down forever.

"Imagine that --- being framed by our own government and by political operatives who don’t like you. And I think that’s what we’re gonna find out.” That was Devin Nunes, speaking with Maria Bartiromo on this week’s SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, on the case of former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

It’s highly doubtful that Nunes, ranking member and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, would be saying something like this unless he already possessed knowledge that it was true. Recall that he was pilloried for his memo debunking the Russia hoax in 2018, though his conclusions were later verified. (It was Adam Schiff’s memo that was discredited.) Just watch --- Nunes will be right about this, too.

If you’ve read Lee Smith’s excellent book, THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, you know that Flynn was indeed targeted by operatives who didn’t like him, as far back as 2014-15. The Obama Department of Justice (“Justice”) didn’t like him because he wanted to lessen the military’s reliance on the CIA bureaucracy, which only slowed them down when minutes counted on the battlefield. He was calling for financial audits of the Pentagon/Defense Department (uh-oh), and he was a vocal opponent of one of President Obama’s most cherished, administration-defining plans: the Iran Deal. They wanted him compromised long before President-elect Trump announced that he would be coming to the White House to work at his side.

By the way, Nunes also told Bartiromo that, judging by information in the IG report that has recently been declassified, the person who needs to be questioned about the bogus “Russian” narrative is Sergei Millian, one of three Russian-Americans who were apparently involved to some extent. He was asked to come before the House Intel Committee, but according to Nunes, “he is hiding somewhere around the globe.” Nunes is still calling for him to come forward, because “either he was, you know, working for Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign and dirtying-up Trump people, or it’s quite possible he may have been framed.” If he’s afraid to come back to America, Nunes says, “we can guarantee his safety.”

If you are as far “into the weeds” as we are on the origin story of the dossier, we’ve found a detailed article that supports Nunes’ theory that Millian was indeed framed as the source for information that really came from Fusion GPS. One of my researchers just stumbled across this website and plans to check out the archives, as the information there looks really solid.

In the Bartiromo interview, Nunes says of this individual, “He is the source,” but then backs away from that just a bit, saying he’s “one of” the major sources for Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS. Millian is identified as “Person 1” in the IG report. Steele told the FBI that "Person 1" was a “boaster” and “egotist” but still used information credited to him in the “dossier.” He said that Millian was the source for his “Russian prostitutes” story and also for the claim that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Millian, on the other hand, does indeed say he was framed by Steele and Fusion GPS and was not a source for the “dossier.” I think it’s likely we’re going to find that the main “dossier” stories came from Glenn Simpson at Fusion GPS and that this Hillary-paid team just put it out with other people’s names on it.

Incredibly, Robert Mueller’s team never interviewed Millian.

As for Flynn, it’s logical to strongly suspect if not conclude from what we know that he was framed. If he was, then it’s also logical to expect the Obama DOJ to have hidden exculpatory evidence that would have put an end to his legal travails. But Christian Datoc at THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION is reporting that President Trump’s FBI Director Christopher Wray also kept that evidence under wraps. We’ve long expressed doubt of Wray’s effectiveness as FBI director; if this is true, it takes his role into a whole new realm. (In an update, FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale has issued a statement to the DAILY CALLER absolutely, positively denying this.) Whether Wray was directly involved or not, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell has long maintained that the FBI and Justice Department were continuing to hide exculpatory evidence, or what’s known as “Brady material.”

But in breaking news, court documents have been filed (finally!) that contain important evidence Powell was seeking, and there might be more to come. This is happening after Attorney General Bill Barr assigned the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri to conduct a review of the Flynn investigation. The review “involved the analysis of reports related to the investigation along with communications and notes by [FBI] personnel associated with the investigation,” according to the cover letter sent to Powell and another attorney.

It had been reported by THE FEDERALIST that FBI general counsel Dana Boente was the one who blocked release of the Brady material, but Datoc’s source says Boente was acting “in coordination with Wray.” (Again, this has been strongly denied by Wray’s office, but it certainly would explain a lot.) This order to put a hold on Brady material should NEVER have been given, by anyone; the Justice Department has previously ruled that the government has no right to withhold exculpatory material. According to DOJ code, “government disclosure of material exculpatory and impeachment evidence [relevant information both helpful and hurtful] is part of the constitutional guarantee to a fair trial.”

This is just one of the reasons Flynn was treated shamefully. He deserves to have his guilty plea thrown out, all charges dropped (or a Presidential pardon), and restitution for the damages this travesty has caused to his reputation, career, financial condition and peace of mind.

More to come soon –- including, I think, some indictments.

Addendum

Finally, here's an excellent lawyerly take from Andrew C. McCarthy, who has said all along that Flynn should never have been prosecuted. He sheds some light on what was going on with Flynn's original attorneys. This is another must-read for anyone who wants to understand what was done to Michael Flynn, which was a criminal abuse of power.