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Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on the last renewal of the FISA warrant application to spy on Carter Page, appointed Robert Mueller, determined the “scope” of the special counsel investigation of Trump and his colleagues, and supposedly supervised Mueller and his team, tried hard in testimony Wednesday to distance himself from all that happened in what has been dubbed “Spygate.”

He was smiling broadly at times, perhaps because he thought he was succeeding in his aim. And maybe he was, at least partially. But with his effort to save his own skin, this slippery attorney actually succeeded in showing us that there WAS a coup against the President. Nothing else makes sense.

If we weren’t living in “these uncertain times” --- a phrase I can’t wait to see retired --- Rosenstein’s testimony would be "the" story right now. Even the mainstream media might have to cover it a little. At the moment, it’s easy for them to bury it. But this was just the first of many hearings, and John Durham continues to investigate. Step by step, the revelations continue to prove we were right.

In his long-awaited testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rosenstein’s strategy was to present himself as someone who trusted his colleagues to give him correct information, so much so that he didn’t bother to read “every word” of the FISA application before signing it, even though in this case his signature was his personal stamp of verification of "every word" to the FISA court.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the committee, was having none of it. Neither was Sen. Ted Cruz, who skewered Rosenstein for including Flynn in the “scope” memo in August of 2017 after the FBI had concluded on January 4 that there was no evidence against Flynn and that the case should be closed. He went on to bring up that infamous meeting held the very next day, January 5, in the Oval Office. Going through the timeline, he told Rosenstein that there were only two possible conclusions: “either that you were complicit in the wrongdoing, which I don’t believe was the case, or that your performance of your duties was grossly negligent.” Much more; this is a must-watch video if you’ve not already seen it.

You’ll notice in the video that Rosenstein isn’t smiling anymore. It was really Cruz, by giving Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt as he did, who showed point-by-point what had been going on deep within the FBI. (Were you aware of THIS? Were you aware of...THIS?) Rosenstein comes across as a naive fool, but that's likely a choice he has made, finding it preferable to coming across as someone who should be wearing an orange jumpsuit.

"Why did you let this pile of partisan lies consume the country for two years?” Cruz asks. Rosenstein tries in vain to change direction, saying that “there was a lot going on at the Department of Justice” during those years, that he and Jeff Sessions were making “significant changes” that weren’t “just about the Russia investigation," as if that had any bearing here.

David Marcus at the NEW YORK POST has a magnificent write-up of the day’s testimony and its significance.

Sen. Graham asked Rosenstein the big takeaway question of the day: “If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application?”

Rosenstein was ready: “No, I would not.”

No, he would not. If it was wrong for Rosenstein to sign the renewal based on the facts they had, then it was wrong to apply for the warrant in the first place. From the start, there was never any evidence on Carter Page. They used that first warrant as a pretext for all the spying to come.

So that’s it. It was all a fraud, started with a piece of partisan, fictional oppo “research” paid for by (who else?) the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was perpetrated against Donald Trump, his associates, and the country at large. We went through years of needless torture over NOTHING. Think of all the histrionics, the obsession, the endless “Russia, Russia Russia!” paranoia, leaping from the front page of THE NEW YORK TIMES, and consuming almost all major media, day after day after day. The many millions of dollars wasted. The enormous waste of time –- Congress’s time, everybody’s time. Trump’s presidency was practically stalled. That was the idea, of course.

Think of the lives and careers that were ruined, particularly that of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a man who served his country for 33 years. As it turns out, he didn't lie after all, and the FBI didn't even ask him the question (concerning sanctions on Russia) they later accused him of lying about! Then there's Carter Page, who had actually helped the FBI in the past yet was accused by them of being a Russian agent. The President himself was being investigated for conspiracy with Russia --- which would be treason --- when there was no evidence of that at all. Of course, if Hillary had (shudder) been elected, all evidence would have been swept away, shredded, hit with hammers and Bleach-bitted, and the spying on political enemies would have metastasized.

Think of the lack of focus we had on really important things --- particularly China, which was hiding the spread of a deadly contagion from its own virology lab while Congress was busy with its kangaroo-court impeachment fiasco.

The irony of this is that Vladimir Putin must have had a really good laugh about it, every day. He did want to see chaos over here, and in their zeal to get rid of Trump, our own Justice Department and the American media gave it to him.

Mr. Marcus is clearly as angry about this as I am. “What is becoming clear,” he says, is that the Department of Justice wanted to prevent, then destroy, a Trump presidency. These were not open-minded officials being led by the facts; they were manipulating the facts and hiding exculpatory evidence to bring down Trump and his associates.”

I would add that this is what Rosenstein was trying to distance himself from today. He has to appear ignorant of all of it or be part of the conspiracy. If he does know more than he’s letting on –- which seems likely; Cruz gave him more benefit of the doubt than I would –- it’ll be up to John Durham and his team of investigators to prove he does, through the testimony of others or some revealing text or email. Also, U.S. Attorney John Bash is now looking more closely at the unmasking process, particularly as it was used against Michael Flynn.

More subpoenas are set to be issued this week. Clapper, Brennan, Comey, and McCabe are expected to be among those subpoenaed by the Senate.

Democrats tried to say on Wednesday that these hearings are being held to weaken Biden’s run for president. Trust me, if this were about Biden, we’d have plenty to investigate HIM for, and that wouldn’t be pretty, either.

UPDATE: On Wednesday, Andrew McCabe issued a statement essentially calling Rosenstein a liar for suggesting that FBI officials misled him. Details here.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham read it aloud near the close of the hearing and allowed Rosenstein a chance to respond. Rosenstein said he hadn’t actually said “misled.” He’d said McCabe hadn’t been “fully forthcoming.”

Personally, I doubt either one of them has been “fully forthcoming.”

Apparently, there’s a longstanding feud between McCabe and Rosenstein, starting around the time President Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. The WASHINGTON POST wrote about this two years ago, and it adds a fascinating dimension to the story.

McCabe is the one who said in a memo that Rosenstein had talked in a meeting about wearing a wire and using the 25th Amendment to get rid of Trump. Rosenstein reportedly responded later that he had been joking. Then-FBI general counsel James Baker was not present but heard about the comments after the meeting and thought Rosenstein was serious.

At that time, each man had his own reasons for wanting the other to step away from the “Trump/Russia” case. And today, they’re telling different stories about what went on. A prosecutor’s dream. I have a feeling this is going to get good.

Tired of it

June 3, 2020

I’m getting tired of people claiming that if you criticize the violent rioters and looters, you’re denigrating the value of black lives, the civil rights movement or the legitimate protests over the death of George Floyd. I’m seeing a lot of misplaced sympathy expressed for violent agitators who have hijacked the protests to stir up violence and racial hatred, and who are actually destroying black neighborhoods, homes and businesses, setting the protesters’ cause back, and harming the very people they falsely claim to be helping.

But since nobody wants to hear that message from a white male Republican, maybe it will make more of an impact coming from this lady. She’s an elderly African-American woman in New York City whose small shop is something she’s worked for years to build, only to come in and find the windows smashed, the stock looted and the fixtures demolished, leaving it to her to clean up their mess.

In the great tradition of no-nonsense grandmothers, she very appropriately reads these rioters the Riot Act:

“Tell me Black Lives Matter. You lied. You wanted to loot the store. You needed money? Get a job -- like I do. Stop stealing. This is a neighborhood. We’re trying to build it up, and you’re tearing it down.”

God bless this lady. Click the link to see the rest, and it’s a must-see. Rudy Giuliani is calling for Bill DeBlasio to be removed immediately as Mayor of New York. Can this lady take his place?

In case you missed the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning, in which former deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned, here’s Jonathan Turley’s real-time account. It’s necessarily brief, as he had to keep up with the proceedings, but you’ll get the idea of how this went down.

You’ll see that I was mostly on-target in my tongue-in-cheek forecast of what he would say to try to wriggle out of legal consequences. For example, he said he wouldn’t have signed the FISA warrant renewal if he had known about the false statements and underlying misconduct, implying he was misguided by his trust in the people responsible.

He said he didn’t know about the discrediting of the Steele “dossier” and that it had come from the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Well, of course, he didn't!

He said that four judges had already signed off on this material as if that were a defense. By the time it GETS to the judges, it’s supposed to be signed off as verified information. One of those times, the last one, that was supposed to be done by HIM. It's the judges who get to take this for granted, not him.

He also said he couldn’t recall if he read “every page” of the document he signed. Just what we thought he would say.

If he threw anyone under the bus, even a little, it appears to have been Andrew McCabe, for not being “forthcoming” and instead withholding important information, “for whatever reason." ("Whatever reason"??) Not that he’s accusing McCabe of “misrepresentations.” Huh?

We’ll have much more detail on this tomorrow morning.

Tuesday evening, I posted my promised “20 ‘Just for Fun’ Questions for Rod Rosenstein” in anticipation of his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, scheduled for Wednesday at 10AM Eastern Time.

John Solomon had a similar idea for a list of questions, though his list is the FOR REAL "Ten Most Important Questions for Rod Rosenstein." Let’s see how much overlap we have.

Solomon includes the full quote I referenced in one of my "fun" questions (asking RR if he was joking): “There’s a lot of talk about FISA applications. Many people I’ve seen talk about it seem not to recognize that a FISA application is actually a warrant, just like a search warrant. In order to get a FISA warrant, you need an affidavit signed by a career law enforcement officer who swears the information is true...And if it is wrong, that person is going to face consequences. If we’re going to accuse someone of wrongdoing, we have to have admissible evidence, credible witnesses; we have to prove our case in court. We have to affix our signature to the charging document.”

This little lecture, highly amusing today in light of what we know, is from two years ago. You can see why I would have loved to ask him if he was joking (as he reportedly said he was about wearing a wire to secretly record the President). Rosenstein did affix his own personal signature to the final renewal of the FISA application to spy on Carter Page, in 2017. Nothing incriminating was ever found on Page, nothing to charge him with and nothing on which to base a renewal of the original application. Not even the original warrant application was based on verified evidence or a credible witness.

The Justice Department had to withdraw the very FISA warrant renewal that Rosenstein supposedly reviewed and personally signed after it was determined to be “inaccurate, undocumented, and FALSIFIED [emphasis mine] evidence.”

Rosenstein is (or should be) in a heap of trouble. He has asserted that even “the best” law enforcement officials make mistakes and that some of them are even involved in “willful misconduct.” If this is the sort of thing done by “the best” of them, then our whole justice system is in a heap of trouble.

Here, briefly paraphrased, are Solomon’s suggested questions, along with the gist of what I predict Rosenstein’s slippery answers will be...

1. Did you read the warrant against Page, review any evidence or ask questions before you signed the renewal?

RR: “THIS WARRANT HAD ALREADY BEEN INITIALLY APPROVED AND RENEWED TWO MORE TIMES AFTER THAT. BY THE FOURTH TIME, I NATURALLY ASSUMED ALL THE EVIDENCE AGAINST MR. PAGE HAD BEEN VERY WELL ESTABLISHED, SO I JUST WENT AHEAD AND SIGNED IT. HAVING TO TAKE OVER SO MANY OF MR. SESSIONS’ DUTIES AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, I WAS A VERY BUSY MAN AND SIMPLY DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO READ THE PAPERWORK OR REVIEW EVIDENCE THAT I TRUSTED.”

2. Do you now realize the application was flawed and regret signing it?

RR: “WELL, OF COURSE, I WOULDN’T HAVE SIGNED IT HAD I BEEN AWARE OF ANY PROBLEMS, BUT I HONESTLY SAW NOTHING WRONG AT THE TIME. I STRONGLY FELT IT WAS MY PATRIOTIC DUTY TO INVESTIGATE WHAT I SAW AS RUSSIA’S ATTEMPT TO HELP TRUMP BECOME PRESIDENT IN 2016, WHICH, OF COURSE, THEY DID.”

3. Given what we now know, would you still appoint Mueller as a special counsel if you had a do-over?

RR: “I REALLY FELT AT THE TIME THAT MR. MUELLER WAS THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB. ROBERT MUELLER IS THE KINDEST, BRAVEST, WARMEST, MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING I'VE EVER KNOWN IN MY LIFE. I WAS NOT ALONE IN THAT ASSESSMENT; THERE WAS AGREEMENT ACROSS THE BOARD AT THE TIME, AMONG BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, INCLUDING SOME OF THE REPUBLICANS ON THIS COMMITTEE, SEN. GRAHAM. AS FOR WHETHER I’D DO IT AGAIN, I’D RATHER NOT ANSWER A HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION.”

4. Did you talk with Andy McCabe in 2017 about wearing a wire on President Trump as part of a plot to remove him under the 25th Amendment?

RR: “WE REALLY WERE JUST KIDDING AROUND. THERE WAS NOTHING TO THAT AT ALL. NEXT QUESTION, PLEASE.”

5. Who drafted and provided the supporting materials you used to put together the “scope” memo for Mueller’s team?

RR: “OH, ALL THAT STUFF CAME FROM PETER STRZOK, SOMEONE I TRUSTED AS A FINE CAREER BUREAU OFFICIAL. PETER STRZOK IS THE KINDEST, BRAVEST, WARMEST, MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING I’VE EVER KNOWN IN MY LIFE. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY TALK TO HIM.”

6. In light of new evidence, do you have any concerns about the conduct of James Comey and Andy McCabe?

RR: “I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT THESE MEN WERE FINE CAREER BUREAU OFFICIALS. JAMES COMEY AND ANDREW McCABE ARE THE KINDEST, BRAVEST, WARMEST, MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEINGS I’VE EVER KNOWN IN MY LIFE. THAT’S WHY I ALWAYS RELIED ON THEIR JUDGEMENT. I TRUSTED EVERYTHING THEY BROUGHT ME.”

7. When did you learn that Carter Page had actually been an asset for the CIA (not a Russian spy), and that the Steele “dossier” had been debunked or linked to Russian disinformation?

RR: (after leaning over and huddling with lawyers) “I DON’T RECALL.”

8. Do you think the FISA court was intentionally misled, or that it was just a case of bureaucratic bungling?

RR: “IT WAS DEFINITELY THAT LAST THING YOU SAID, ‘BUREAUCRATIC BUNGLING.’”

9. What blame do you place on yourself for the failures in the case you supervised? Who else do you blame?

RR: “I BLAME MYSELF FOR CARING SO MUCH ABOUT MY COUNTRY AND OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND FOR TRUSTING MY TOP OFFICIALS TO CARRY OUT A FAIR INVESTIGATION. WHO ELSE DO I BLAME? WHY, TRUMP, OF COURSE.”

10. Do you think anyone in the Russia investigation should face criminal charges?

RR: “IT’S MY OPINION THAT NO REASONABLE PROSECUTOR WOULD TAKE SUCH A CASE.”

That’s pretty much how I think it will go. To round out the discussion, here’s a link to an excellent piece from last October that appeared in THE AMERICAN THINKER. It’s about all the information we’d amassed on the whole “Russia hoax” that was still being ignored by most in the media. Half a year later, we know even more and have much more evidence, and it’s still being ignored. Rosenstein’s testimony on Wednesday will be ignored, too. But John Durham isn’t ignoring it, and is putting his criminal case together.

The Russia hoax: The Left's willful ignorance and denial

The hypocrisy of some

June 2, 2020

There’s no shortage of wealthy celebrities hiding out in their mansions inside walled and gated communities while cheering on and financially supporting violent rioters who are burning down and looting other people’s neighborhoods. But if you had to pick a poster child for liberal hypocrisy, former NBA and ESPN star Chris Palmer might have just taken the prize. (Warning: link includes foul language.)

Palmer started off by cheering on the burning of an affordable housing unit in Minneapolis (he later claimed he didn’t know what it was, but considering he tweeted, “Burn it all down,” it apparently didn’t matter that much to him what it was.) Just 24 hours later, the mobs were trying to breach the walls of his gated community in Los Angeles, and it was a very different story. Palmer was frantically tweeting, “Get these animals tha (bleep) out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.”

Later, he reported with relief that the hated police showed up and chased them away, and the only loss was a Starbucks (possibly some small business owner’s franchise, maybe even a black small business owner, but if you just want to “burn it all down,” then what difference does that make? But I digress.) Palmer tweet-ranted about the protesters who’d dared to threaten his property, “Tear up your own (bleep). Don’t come to where we live at and tear our neighborhood up. We care about our community. If you don’t care about yours I don’t give a (bleep.)”

I wonder if it occurred to him that some of the “protesters” in Minneapolis, the ones smashing property and setting fires, were also attacking someone else’s neighborhood, and the people who actually lived there didn’t want their homes and businesses burned down and looted any more than he did?

In an extraordinary moment following his speech Monday night, President Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka and several top officials, left the White House and walked across Lafayette Square to historic St. John’s Church, which had been damaged by rioters, and held up a Bible.

He was assailed from all sides, by media people claiming he was blaspheming (I have a feeling many of them were fine with that concept until just that moment), and by Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, Hillary, and the usual gang, claiming that peaceful protesters had been driven from the park so that he could do a “photo op” (Fact-check: It was long past the 7 p.m. curfew, and they would have been removed from the park anyway.)

So when a story went around that he was locked down in the White House by the Secret Service when the rioters got too close, his critics said he was a coward who wouldn’t come out of the White House. When he walked right out into the park, he was accused of being confrontational and escalating the violence. It’s nice to see that despite all the turmoil and upheaval, one thing never changes: to these people, no matter what Trump does, it’s always wrong.

Here’s an example of the kind of “peaceful protester” that Hollywood celebrities are giving millions of dollars to bail out of jail. Note that he is an outsider who traveled to Minneapolis purely to riot, burn and loot and has no noble motives whatsoever, not even a pretense of any.

The media are trying desperately to push the narrative that the rioting and violence are not being instigated by leftwing agitators, but by rightwing white supremacist groups. This claim is as evidence-free as “Russian collusion.”

Officials in Minneapolis have reported that they have seen no substantial presence of any right-wing groups, but they have arrested plenty of white, leftwing outsiders who push to the front of protests and try to stir up violence. Peaceful protesters are starting to realize how they’re being used, and there have been several reports of protesters stopping agitators who began acting violently and handing them over to police.

I hope those who are legitimately concerned and protesting peacefully for change are now seeing how the violence and vandalism of groups like Antifa is setting back their own cause and harming the people they claim to want to help. If that’s not clear yet, then read this article. The title should tell you why it’s a must-read:

A Plea from an Inner-City African-American to Stop the Madness, Looting and Rioting.

Having given the “leaders” of blue states and cities ample time to stop the rioting, arson and looting that’s being ginned up to exploit and dishonor the death of George Floyd, President Trump ordered riot teams from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to Washington, DC, and Miami, and more could be forthcoming if Governors don’t take action. That could include mobilizing thousands of soldiers, which the President has the power to do under the Insurrection Act of 1807.

Naturally, the media are hysterically painting this as an unprecedented abuse of tyrannical power and a declaration of war on the First Amendment (we have a right to riot, burn and loot?) But in fact, the Insurrection Act has been invoked over a dozen times, most recently in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush to stop the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

Sadly, that may be necessary because so many Democratic officials are refusing to do their #1 job of protecting public safety. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is so addlepated with Trump Derangement Syndrome, she actually admitted she refuses to do what’s necessary because “TRUUUUMP!!” She said at a press conference, “Having soldiers on the streets across America is exactly what President Trump wants...Trump wants Governors to deploy the National Guard as a show of force to intimidate the public.”

Monday night, Trump said, “I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation and that is exactly what I will do. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.” He said we cannot allow their righteous cries to be drowned out by an angry mob. But, “a number of state and local governments have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residents. I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.”

Speaking of Second Amendment rights, a lot of people, especially in blue states, are waking up to the scary reality that their leaders will do very little to protect them, so they have to protect themselves. Gun sales are exploding, and the price of gun stocks is booming. Former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright (@BryanDeanWright) tweeted that he talked to a major “Progressive” Democratic fundraiser in Colorado who was spooked by rioters getting near his house, and nobody he knew owned a gun, so he was buying one today (hope there’s not a 10-day waiting period!) Wright said, “The left is losing their base, folks. People prefer order over anarchy.”

I’m sure that many of the people buying guns to protect their homes, families and businesses are African-American, and contrary to the false media stereotype, conservatives are perfectly fine with that, it’s the liberals who are expressing alarm. That’s no surprise: many years ago, when the KKK was terrorizing blacks in the South by burning down their neighborhoods, the NRA was the only constitutional rights organization that defended their right to buy guns to protect themselves. History is merely repeating itself.

Meanwhile, word on social media is that Antifa, having helped torch blue cities, now thinks they’ll move into the suburbs and terrorize people there. That would be the dumbest idea they’ve come up with yet, and that covers a lot of territory. Many people live in the suburbs after fleeing cities because they were sick of depending on noodle-spined leftist mayors who order the police to stand down and who sympathize with criminals over victims. Instead, for protection, they have guns.

Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd put it succinctly, when he warned, "The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns. If you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I'm highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns."

This is a developing story that could have major implications; we’ll have more soon. On Friday, FBI general counsel Dana Boente, a career FBI/DOJ official who as acting deputy attorney general signed at least one of the FISA warrant renewals on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, turned in his resignation letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

This occurs just as Lindsey Graham is getting ready to start Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the “Trump/Russia” investigation. (Opening salvo: Wednesday, with Rod Rosenstein.) And in May, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that there would be an internal “after-action” review of the FBI’s handling of the Michael Flynn case to determine whether current FBI employees “engaged in misconduct.”

Boente remains on the job for now; June 30 is the date being given for his departure. That seems odd; if he sees the last-minute need to delete/shred/eat any evidence of wrongdoing before heading out the door, it would seem this is his chance. So, until he leaves, will he still be considered a current employee and therefore subject to Wray’s internal review? Not that we'd have confidence in Wray to DO a thorough internal review...

Before his stint as FBI general counsel, Boente served as acting attorney general, acting deputy attorney general, acting assistant attorney general of the National Security Division at the Justice Department (try fitting that on a business card), and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Director Wray offered a heartfelt if not downright flowery going-away statement.

Mainstream news outlets are spinning this with phrases such as “FOX NEWS criticism” and “pressure from Trump.” But TheConservativeTreehouse.com has a different take in their extremely comprehensive report, saying, “Finally, the DOJ has moved to remove one of the biggest background corrupt officials within the FBI...finally sunlight has removed a very corrupt player.”

We have yet to wade through the whole thing, but Boente, according to this report, was “at the epicenter of corrupt intent and malign activity toward the Trump administration.” The piece offers several instances of Boente’s questionable actions, including his coordination with Wray to block release of documents on the Flynn case until Attorney General Bill Barr intervened. This implies nothing but the worst about Wray as well. AG Barr, not Wray, reportedly was the one who wanted Boente “retired.”

As infrequently as we’ve heard his name, Boente reportedly was the official to whom all the corrupt players on Robert Mueller’s team reported. And according to this report, “Boente’s role as a manipulative fixer to protect the ongoing corrupt action of the Mueller probe was exactly why FBI Director Chris Wray hired him.”

Boente is apparently the one who kept State Department official Kathleen Kavelec’s notes expressing concerns about Christopher Steele and the “dossier” hidden from both the FISA court and Congress. His job seems to have been to bury information and protect the team while they went about their nefarious business. As another example of protection, recall all those redactions that turned out to have nothing to do with national security, simply to cover up what would otherwise reveal what certain FBI officials were up to.

What we learn here about Boente’s apparent behind-the-scenes role as an “embed” covering for his colleagues might answer a lot of nagging questions, such as how certain anti-Trump people got their jobs in the first place. This piece even offers, perhaps unwittingly, what is to me, the perfect formal definition of “the D.C. swamp” in recent years: “a matrix of broad interests positioned only to benefit and sustain the status quo of the administrative state and protect the larger D.C. community from the Trump disruption.”

There’s also a story here about Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and the so-called "Russian hack” of the DNC servers. Much more to come. It looks as though Durham is getting close on a lot of this.

In cities across the nation this weekend, protests continued over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. And tragically, many of those protests turned violent, with assaults, rioting, burning and looting; from New York City, where two Brooklyn attorneys were arrested over the throwing of a Molotov cocktail into an empty police car

…to Dallas, where a man carrying a machete and allegedly trying to protect his neighborhood was brutally beaten, stoned and left bleeding on the sidewalk.

Federal authorities believe that the radical leftist organization Antifa, which has been staging violent political demonstrations for several years, is behind much of the rioting. Democrats and liberals in the media deny that and are blaming the riots on outside “white supremacists” (Prof. Glenn Reynolds wryly commented, “These riots are entirely justified responses to systemic racism, and the only possible way to force social change, and they’re being instigated by white supremacists”), or on their favorite scapegoat for every story that makes the left look bad, Russian agents.

No, seriously. I wouldn’t joke about this subject, although blaming the current riots and looting on Russia is the most laughable excuse I’ve heard since Hunter Biden claimed that Russian hackers must’ve set up his account at the cheaters’ website, Ashley Madison.

In fact, jail records show most of the arrestees have Minnesota addresses (the looting is largely done by locals), and officials say the hardcore riot-instigating outsiders who were arrested were mostly white, far-left agitators and that “far-right groups have not yet made a significant appearance.”

In a (in my opinion) long-overdue move, President Trump officially declared Antifa to be a domestic terrorist organization, which will help unleash the FBI to investigate and prosecute them for organizing criminal and terrorist activities across state lines (don’t forget the RICO Act, too.) This will also help unveil communications between this group and its secret supporters, which will undoubtedly result in a lot of outraged howling from certain moneyed circles.

Attorney General Bill Barr released a statement explaining the move, which makes the very important point that this is not aimed at prosecuting peaceful protesters but at people who are hijacking the protest movement and ginning up violence and looting that is destroying minority neighborhoods, homes and businesses. Their mindless violence harms the cause of people seeking legitimate reform as much as it harms the quality of life in our cities.

For too long, this group has been indulged like spoiled children throwing a tantrum in the Walmart candy aisle. It’s time that they learned there are serious consequences for serious crimes. Kurt Schlichter put it succinctly when he said that the minute these trust fund babies realize that they’re looking at five years in Leavenworth instead of a small fine and a slap on the wrist, they will start squealing about who’s behind it all. He said, “The $600-an-hour lawyer that daddy hired will tell authorities, ‘Kayden is going to cooperate.’”

(Incidentally, if you think that’s an unfounded stereotype, here’s what a study in Germany revealed about the makeup of radical leftists arrested for violent protests

Apparently, the message about what Antifa is and what it’s really doing, to the detriment of every side of this issue, is lost on the offspring of some blue-state officials where the rioting and looting is at its worst. Jeremiah Ellison is the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. He’s also a Minneapolis City Councilman, so he should be old enough to know better than to take to Twitter and officially declare his support for Antifa.

Then again, his dad, who will be expected to oversee the administration of justice against organizers of mob violence, should also be mature enough to know that, but isn’t.

If these are the blue state officials that local residents have to rely on to keep violent radicals from burning down their homes and looting their businesses, then it’s no wonder the feds have to step in. The protesters chant, “No justice, no peace,” but they should realize that peaceful protests will not be heard as long as there’s no justice applied to the violent radicals who are hijacking their movement, harming the very people they claim to want to help, and turning the public against them.

If you’ve seen movies or TV shows about the FBI and CIA, you’re familiar with the expression, “That’s on a need-to-know basis.” Traditionally, even members of the intelligence community weren’t necessarily entitled to a given piece of information. That changed on January 12, 2017, through modifications in Executive Order #12333, just as President Obama was on his way out the door. (Goodness, those first three weeks in January were a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity.)

Even at the time, there was interest in Obama’s rationale for doing this. THE ATLANTIC ran a piece by Kavey Waddell called “Why Is Obama Expanding Surveillance Powers Right Before He Leaves Office,” which suggested, perversely, that it was somehow to keep incoming President Trump from “encroaching even further on civil liberties.” What a joke; little did leftists know then that it was not Trump but the ‘deep state’ bureaucracy left in place under Obama that would be encroaching on civil liberties big-time in the months to come.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/01/obama-expanding-nsa-powers/513041/

Thanks to Dan Bongino for citing this piece and taking us all down memory lane. Certainly there were questions at the time on both sides of the aisle about why Obama would do this just as he was leaving the White House. But recent revelations about the phony “Trump-Russia” investigation and the runaway unmasking of names connected with Trump are shedding light on this in a way never dreamed of in January of 2017.

What Obama did with Executive Order #12333 was to finalize new rules that allowed the National Security Agency to share information combed from its vast international surveillance capability with the 16 other intelligence agencies. These agencies would be able to apply for access to raw NSA intelligence, and their analysts would then be able to sift through this information unencumbered, BEFORE IMPLEMENTING REQUIRED PRIVACY PROTECTIONS. Before this, the NSA was required to apply those protections BEFORE sending information to other agencies.

The piece in THE ATLANTIC is an interview between Waddell and Susan Hennessey, managing editor of LAWFARE and previously an attorney in the NSA general counsel’s office, a person who actually believed --- I kid you not --- that this rule change was put in place to help discourage TRUMP from violating civil liberties. She said the regulations, coming at that time, might serve as “a huge source of comfort.” Waddell agreed:  “...While the changes may subject more Americans to warrantless surveillance, the last-minute timing of the announcement actually might have been designed to cut future privacy losses.” Huh?

Read the article and note the way Hennessey "minimized" (ha) the effect that these rule changes would have on privacy. She reassured us that other agencies would have to “provide justification” for why they needed access to the data. (Yes, we’ve seen since then how that requirement has held them in check.)

Hennessey said she wasn't concerned that Americans could be caught up in warrantless searches from being caught up in the raw intelligence that was shared. “Look, she told the interviewer, “I think it’s important to understand that these minimizing procedures are taken very seriously, and all other agencies that are handling raw signals intelligence are essentially going to have to import these very complex oversight and compliance mechanisms that currently exist at the NSA.”

I’ll pause while you fall to the floor helpless with laughter.

Recovered? Well, here’s more: “Within the NSA, those are extremely strong and protective mechanisms. I think people should feel reassured that the rules cannot be violated --- certainly not without it coming to the attention of oversight and compliance bodies. I am confident that all of the agencies in the U.S. intelligence community will discharge those very same obligations with the same level of diligence and rigor, adhering to both the spirit and letter of the law.”

Makes you want to laugh till you cry. I wonder if Bill Barr is laughing...or crying.

Oh, gosh, here’s even more amusement: “...I think the bottom line is that it’s comforting to a large national security community that these are procedures that are signed off by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and not by the DNI and attorney general that will ultimately be confirmed under the Trump administration.”

Well, THAT’S a relief!  Why, Trump might try to defy Americans’ constitutional rights, and the Obama people would NEVER have done that.

Hennessey concludes, “If there’s a silver lining to some of the ANXIETIES THAT THE INCOMING ADMINISTRATION HAS PRODUCED [emphasis mine], I think it’s the potential to move the conversation into a much more productive place.” Funny, I think it's the abuses of Obama’s administration, not Trump’s, that have brought us to the “productive” conversation we need to have about the intelligence community.

In his Thursday podcast, Bongino took a look at Obama’s order #12333 and noted that the day it was signed, January 12, coincides with the final unmasking request on Michael Flynn, made by Joe Biden. He postulates that after the rule changes on intelligence sharing, formal unmasking requests were no longer needed. By then, they had what they needed on Flynn, and #12333 made it possible for them to use “evidence” of a crime that was seized “incidentally” (while they were recording Ambassador Kislyak’s calls). That’s how they were able to criminally investigate Flynn, send the two agents 12 days later to interview the unsuspecting Flynn, and all the rest.

Remember that this particular call with Kislyak, the one on December 29, 2016, was NEVER unmasked, because Obama’s Presidential Briefing staff had told the FBI to get it. The narrative was that Flynn was picked up “incidentally,” but he really wasn’t. They were listening very intentionally. As Bongino explained, this executive order provided cover and allowed them to use the call. (Even though he never said anything inappropriate during the call, they absurdly tried to stretch the Logan Act to cover it.)

The media --- Exhibit A: that piece in THE ATLANTIC --- ran with their idiotic cover story: that Obama changed these rules because of anxiety that TRUMP would tread on Americans’ civil liberties. They really did it to stomp all over Mike Flynn’s civil liberties and to give themselves cover to do it.

By the way, I mentioned yesterday that we should mark our calendars for former acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 3, and now, Elizabeth Vaughn at RedState.com has just posted a great piece expressing the same enthusiasm.

https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2020/05/27/844759/

Vaughn explains that it’s no accident Rosenstein is first up. The FBI’s own documentation shows that by the time Rosenstein appointed Mueller to be special counsel, he’d already been briefed that President Trump was not a suspect, as they had no evidence he personally had been involved in Russian “collusion.” The sources (Christopher Steele and his sub-sources) hadn’t held up. This must be why Rosenstein expanded the scope to include Flynn’s “criminal” violation of the Logan Act.

As I said, mark your calendars.

Today, President Trump reportedly plans to issue an as-yet undisclosed executive order aimed at ending political bias in the “fact-checking” and censoring of conservative posts on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

This has been brewing for a long time, but it came to a head when Twitter, for the first time, branded one of Trump’s tweets as substantially false and linked to CNN and Washington Post articles “debunking” it. Problem was, the tweet was about mail-in voting being an invitation to voter fraud, something that’s been widely established around the country, even as liberal media outlets continue to don blindfolds and deny it exists, in the same way that social media giants deny that bias exists in their ranks, no matter how obvious it is or how many former employees blow the whistle about it.

For instance, take a look at the past comments of Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity,” the person tasked with insuring that posts are “just the facts, ma’am,” with no political partisanship:

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook tried to distance his company from this stench, saying, "We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this. I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. Private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wasn’t thrilled with that, responding: "Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an 'arbiter of truth.' Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."

First of all, I think criticizing an employee is fair game when that employee’s job is to prevent partisanship on Twitter and his history of radical leftwing partisanship on Twitter includes denigrating “flyover country” for electing a “racist tangerine” and putting “actual Nazis in the White House.” Seriously, did NOBODY else apply for that job?

Secondly, the problem arose when these social media platforms started yielding to the left’s demands to brand anything that they disagree with as a “lie.” I’m hard pressed to think of a single leftist policy of the past hundred years that hasn’t been a complete disaster, but I don’t accuse them of lying when they claim they work. I just assume they’re deluded and say, “Bless their hearts.”

These platforms have grown into the equivalent of America’s town square, a place where free speech should reign supreme. But they’ve been threatened with lawsuits because of what users post on them. They’ve enjoyed legal immunity because they’re classified as a "platform" (merely a conduit for other people’s comments), not a “publisher” (which implies that they control what is or isn’t posted.) Publishers can be sued. This is why they need to back off the editing and censoring of posts if they don’t want to worry about losing their immunity from lawsuits.

On the other hand, in our lawsuit-happy world, if Trump declares them publishers, that will practically force them to start exerting even more control over speech on all sides. They’ll no longer let radical leftists post threats against people they disagree with, but they’ll also edit and censor any remotely “controversial” posts by conservatives. That could easily include many of Trump’s own tweets.

As much as I hate the one-sided politics of the social media giants, I’d hate to see them replaced with even heavier censorship of both sides. How about returning to the idea of the Internet as the 21st century version of the Founders’ vision of a free marketplace of ideas, where bad ideas weren’t declared bad by self-appointed gatekeepers but by the wisdom of the people in shooting them full of holes and discarding them?

Now, I hope I don’t get banned from Facebook and Twitter for using the phrase “shooting them full of holes.”

Public Service Announcement: There are many Americans who don’t have direct deposit bank accounts and still haven’t received their stimulus payments to cope with the pandemic. Those are being mailed out in the form of pre-loaded debit cards. At the link is some information on what to look for in the mail and how to use them.

First and most important point: when you see a plain envelope that appears to contain a plastic debit card, DO NOT throw it away thinking it’s a come-on to get you to sign up for a credit card. It might be, but it might also be your $1200-a-person stimulus payment.

While the New York Times and other liberal media outlets are ghoulishly marking the 100,000th US death from the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus and attempting to blame them on all President Trump (is he also responsible for all the deaths in other nations from the same worldwide pandemic unleashed by China?), questions are being raised about whether that number is remotely reliable.

There have already been criticisms that a number of deaths attributed to the virus were just people who happened to be carrying the virus, even if they died of something else and just picked up the virus when they were brought to the hospital. Some whistleblowers have also claimed that because of extra funding for those handling virus cases, there’s a financial incentive to label a death as being from COVID-19, even if it wasn’t, or if the victim had multiple co-morbidities such as old age, heart disease, diabetes or obesity. But this is definitely taking it too far.

A study by the Freedom Foundation of the official COVID-19 death toll from the Washington State Department of Health found that 82% of deaths “list some variation of ‘COVID-19’ in one of the causes of death” on the death certificate; 5% of the death certificates do not list COVID-19 as a cause of death, but as a “significant condition contributing to death;” and 13% involve persons who “had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have the virus listed anywhere on their death certificate as either causing or contributing to death.”

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee assailed the report as “dangerous,” “disgusting” and “malarkey” (man, Democrats love that word!) He also accused the Freedom Foundation of “fanning these conspiracy claims from the planet Pluto” and not caring about lives lost to the virus, even though the numbers came straight from his own Health Department.

And a spokeswoman for the DOH (or “D’oh!” as Homer Simpson would appropriately say) admitted that five people on the virus death list appear to have actually died from gunshot wounds. Oh, well, liberals blame of all those on Trump, too.

On the subject of malarkey that endangers public health, here’s another study showing that because of all the endless lockdowns and canceling of “non-essential” non-coronavirus medical procedures ordered by liberal Governors such as Inslee, nearly half of Americans have delayed getting needed medical care. This has resulted in serious outcomes, such as suffering strokes or heart attacks at home.

Maybe people should claim they’re having a heart attack because of the coronavirus, and then they’d actually be able to get into a hospital.

The Fight Over Fisa

May 28, 2020

House Democrats were all set to vote on reauthorizing the use of advanced surveillance tools under the FISA court system, but they adjourned last night without voting after President Trump threatened to veto it. He tweeted, "Our Country has just suffered through the greatest political crime in its history. The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it!"

Trump also urged Republicans to vote no "until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!”

Supporters of the FISA system argue that it’s needed to give intelligence agencies the tools they need to secretly intercept threats such as terrorist plots. However, as we’re learning more every day, when the people in charge don’t follow the rules, it can quickly become an unconstitutional, Soviet-style “secret court” system targeting US citizens without them even knowing it. We were assured that safeguards had been built in to prevent that, but they’re only as secure as the people entrusted to follow them – people like Peter Strzok, need I say more? I’m reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s comment on due process rights, that it’s better that 100 guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer.

My “Huck’s Profiles in Cluelessness Award” goes to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who declared that we need to extend the FISA system because “if we don't have a bill, our civil liberties are less protected." Tell it to Michael Flynn! Come up with a bill that protects our civil liberties from the people running the FISA courts and then we’ll talk.

PS - Big props to Newsmax for picking the perfect photo to illustrate the story of Trump’s veto threat stopping this bill. I’ll bet when Nancy Pelosi pulled this little stunt for the cameras, she never imagined it being used to illustrate her own loss to Trump.

There are a few celebrities in the news these days for making profane, threatening tweets against the President. I usually ignore these stories because I have enough kids and grandkids to know that if you reward bad behavior, you get more of it; and these spoiled children are desperately seeking attention. The worst punishment you can mete out to them isn’t criticism, it’s ignoring them. So instead of rewarding them with undeserved attention, I thought I’d shine a spotlight on a few celebrities who are using their fame to make a positive difference.

First, how about a hand for Matthew McConaughey? He’s the spokesman for Lincoln Motors, and he convinced them to donate 110,000 face masks to rural hospitals and first responders in his home state of Texas. Then he loaded up his pickup, and he and his wife Camilla Alves hit the road to deliver them personally. Allright, allright, allright!...

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is part of an effort to provide free meals for front line health care workers and first responders at Santa Clara, California, hospitals. One day, he not only helped make and hand out 1200 boxed lunches, he put a personal thank-you note inside each one.

Last month, country superstar Brad Paisley opened a grocery store in Nashville for people struggling to feed their families. It’s just like a regular grocery, except the food is free. It even delivers to the elderly. Brad has also launched an online song series with music stars performing to thank health care workers, and he recently recorded a personal thank-you for the nurses of Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Finally, a big Huck’s Hero salute to a celebrity who does more for veterans than just about anyone I know, Gary Sinese. His foundation is donating 20,000 meals to health care workers at VA medical centers around the nation.

I’m happy to give these celebrities some recognition because what they did was meant to help others, not to get themselves publicity. Social media might be a lot more civil if all media outlets would simply adopt the same policy of not giving attention to people who only do things to get attention.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been saying for months that he would hold hearings on the “Trump/Russia” investigation and FISA abuse by the FBI. I know, I know –- more hearings, lots of oratory, lots of lawyerly evasion, maybe little to come of it all. On the other hand, it might actually be pretty darn productive; the first witness scheduled is former deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein released a statement saying how “grateful” he is to Sen. Graham for the “opportunity” to testify. I'm not kidding; he actually said that. Personally, I’m “grateful” for the “opportunity” to see this guy squirm under oath before the committee. What he has previously said under oath sounds utterly ridiculous in light of what we now know about the Carter Page FISA warrant, so this might really be amusing. I might even write up my own list of “just for fun” questions for Mr. Rosenstein.

"During my three decades of service in law enforcement,” his statement reads in part, “I learned firsthand that most local, state and federal law enforcement officers deserve the high confidence people place in them, but that even the best law enforcement officers sometimes make mistakes and that some engage in willful misconduct.” Well, he would know! Also, I’d want him to define the word “best.”

Here’s Rosenstein’s entire statement.

Recall that Rosenstein signed off on the last renewal of the FISA warrant against Carter Page, well after it was known they'd turned up no real evidence. He also wrote the “scope” memo (first and second versions) for Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, tasking Mueller in August of 2017 with investigating allegations against Carter Page (innocent), Michael Flynn (innocent), George Papadopoulos (innocent) and Paul Manafort (innocent of anything having anything to do with the campaign).

There’s yet a third Mueller “scope” memo that hasn’t been declassified yet; Rosenstein wrote it in October of 2017, long after they knew the "Trump-Russia" evidence was fiction.

No doubt Rosenstein will be asked about reports that he talked with other agents about wearing a wire into the Oval Office as part of a plan to use the 25th Amendment to get Trump removed from office. Sources told NBC NEWS that he was only “joking” about recording the President. Maybe he’ll regale us with a few more hilarious jokes while he’s under oath in Senate chambers.

Mark your calendars; the Senate’s “Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation: Day 1” will be June 3.

Speaking of the Mueller investigation, John Dowd, President Trump’s lead attorney during that time, spoke out on Tuesday in an interview with Gregg Jarrett, saying the special counsel engineered a perjury trap for the President in the exact same way that James Comey’s FBI set a trap for then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

"Mueller’s scheme was the same one captured in the FBI set-up notes pertaining to Flynn,” Dowd told Jarrett. “They knew they had nothing, but using their official power they created and perpetuated the fraud of an investigation.”

Dowd said that his transparency with the special counsel team was turned against the President and that Trump’s legal counsel was “misled.” According to Dowd, they deliberately exploited what they knew to be untrue and discredited information (I assume he meant the Steele “dossier,” which was still kicking around after being debunked as fiction).

Stunningly, Mueller ADMITTED during a meeting with the President’s lawyers on March 5, 2018, that there was no evidence of Trump-Russia “collusion” to influence the 2016 election. But remember how they still tried to push Trump to testify? Dowd said he thought they had a “trusting” relationship with Mueller, “based on his word and handshake.” (Are you kidding me?) The special counsel had received “everything” they asked for, “including the most intimate notes of conversations.” Dowd didn’t see how there could be a “whisper” of obstruction under these circumstances.

As Mueller kept pushing for Trump to testify, Dowd realized it was a perjury trap, as this was the only thing they could possibly get. “Robert Mueller --- ‘D.C.’s great man’ --- completely and deliberately misled us in order to set up a perjury/false statement trap for POTUS," Dowd said. "It was a monstrous lie and scheme to defraud.”

This isn’t just Dowd's word; he came to the interview supplied with documents and letters supporting his accusations. Jay Sekulow, another of Trump’s lawyers, confirmed some of his accounts as well. As Jarrett says of the documents, “They paint a vivid picture of a special counsel determined to damage the President with an investigation bereft of any credible evidence.”

I hope you’ll read Jarrett’s piece in full; it goes into more detail about what Mueller was up to, particularly in trying to “get” Trump on obstruction simply for firing FBI Director James Comey. (No one has ever more richly deserved to be fired than Comey.) Mueller even said that Trump’s criticism of the special counsel might be construed as obstruction. Trump wasn’t even supposed to say anything in his own defense.

Quoting Jarrett: “Dowd felt that Mueller and his subordinates were now living in an alternate universe where their version of the law bore no resemblance to statutes, Supreme Court decisions, and accepted constitutional law.”

I hope John Durham has been talking with Dowd in his investigation of the “Russia” case. Sounds as if Dowd could tell him a thing or two about how that was really conducted. He told Jarrett he wants them all to be held to account for their corruption and dishonesty and their phony three-year investigation. NONE of them should walk, he said. “They knew there was nothing to investigate. People subverted the system of justice...It’s staggering. The lies were monstrous. It was all pretense and fraud.”

Finally, in breaking news announced Wednesday by the Justice Department, Attorney General Bill Barr has tapped Western Texas U.S. Attorney John Bash to look specifically into the issue of unmasking, as a support to the investigation being conducted by Durham.

Unmasking, when done for an appropriate reason, is not illegal, but it's a big deal, and there are many questions about why so many unmaskings took place, especially during Obama’s second term. Of course, there’s also the rapt attention that was being paid to Mike Flynn’s phone calls.

Incidentally, U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who was assigned by Barr to review the Flynn case, told Barr that based on what we now know, he doesn’t believe that ANY ONE of the 93 U.S. attorneys in the country would have continued to prosecute Flynn. So the mystery deepens as to why Judge Emmet Sullivan so bizarrely insists on doing it.

Pray for Minneapolis

May 28, 2020

I hope you’ll join me in praying for peace, order and clear thinking to be restored in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of a black man named George Floyd erupted last night into arson and looting. Here are some details of what’s going on in Minneapolis:

This is a fast-breaking story, so keep an eye on the news for updates. By way of background, this began when police got a call about someone trying to pass a counterfeit bill. They detained Floyd, who reportedly matched the description. A citizen captured disturbing cell phone video that later went viral, apparently showing an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes until he became unresponsive. He later died in a local hospital. That officer and three others with him were fired, and there are widespread calls for charges to be filed. Local police and the FBI are investigating.

Rather than waiting for justice to be done, protesters decided to make a horrible situation worse by erupting into violence and looting of local businesses. Now, armed vigilantes are getting involved to protect the businesses and homes. And radical activist groups are using Floyd’s death to fan the flames of racial hatred, calling for attacks on all white people. I believe there is a term for blaming the actions of an individual on everyone who shares the same skin color: “Racism.” Isn’t that what these groups claim to oppose?

More Michael Flynn news? Yes, and I hope I don’t have to tell you how important this ongoing story is. I know it's frustrating to you that the information continues to come to us in dribs and drabs, because it is to me. But this story, from its beginning –- as far back as 2014 –- is emblematic of a law enforcement/intel bureaucracy gone horribly wrong. I hope you’ll bear with me, as we’re finally getting to the most important part of all: discovering how involved President Obama was in this travesty of “justice.” Deductive reasoning tells us he knew all about it; evidence starting to come in now likely will show he was running it.

And John Solomon has done it again. He’s examined more text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, these from January 3, 2017. That date falls just the day before FBI investigators informed Strzok that they were ready to close the case against Flynn, having found precisely nothing, and just two days before the big Oval Office meeting with Obama, Biden, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Yates and Rice. It was 17 days before President-elect Trump would take office.

In these texts, Strrok and Page are discussing the White House attempting to obtain some Flynn transcripts. They know the investigation has turned up nothing on Flynn, and there has been concern from...someone...that the White House will politicize the transcripts, that they will be “politically weaponized.” Given what we know, and with the timing of the text exchange –- just after Strzok has had a conversation with Priestap –- it seems probable that it was Priestap who has expressed this concern. Apparently, Priestap is concerned that James Clapper will share the conversations with President Obama.

"He, like us, is concerned with oversharing,” Strzok texts Page. “Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts [“Crossfire Razor,” meaning Flynn; “cuts” meaning excerpts from phone calls] to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies.”

ALL POLITICAL..JUST SHOWS OUR HAND??

Strzok later texts Page: “The question [presumably from Priestap] is should we [provide them], particularly to the entirety of the lame duck [U.S. Intelligence Community] with partisan axes to grind.”

PARTISAN AXES TO GRIND??

Then Strzok and Page talk about Presidential Daily Briefings, and that’s where this gets really interesting and shows how much more we need to find out. “Did you follow the drama of the PDB last week?” Strzok texts Page. “Yup, don’t know how it ended though,” Page responds. “”They didn’t include any of it,” Strzok texts, and Bill [Priestap] didn’t want to dissent.” Page answers, “Wow, Bill should make sure Andy [McCabe] knows about [this] since he was consulted numerous times about whether to include the reporting.”

Solomon says he's had these texts since September 2018; apparently he couldn’t publicize them because they hadn't been declassified. In the meantime, however, he's had “interviews with officials familiar with the conversations,” so what sounds cryptic to us is probably well understood by him. Here are the texts themselves.

The investigations going on now are trying to determine whether Obama’s longstanding distaste for Flynn, which we’ve detailed here, influenced the FBI’s decision to reject the recommendation by its own agent, Joe Pientka, to shut down the Flynn investigation in early January 2017 and instead work up a plan to set him up to “lie” to the FBI. Solomon says that one investigator “with direct knowledge” told him that “the evidence connecting President Obama to the Flynn operation is getting stronger.”

According to that investigator, “The Bureau knew it did not have evidence to justify that Flynn was either a criminal or counterintelligence threat and should have shut the case down. But the perception that Obama and his team would not be happy with that outcome may have driven the FBI to keep the probe open without justification and to pivot to an interview that left some agents worried involved entrapment or a perjury trap.”

As Solomon said to Sean Hannity Tuesday night, “It gives us a state of mind that the White House was driving the Flynn decisions in this very critical time leading up to…Trump taking office.”

Also on Tuesday, acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell turned the office over to new DNI John Ratcliffe, just after declassifying MORE phone calls between then-national security adviser Michael Flynn and then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It’ll be up to Ratcliffe if and how soon the transcripts of those calls will be made public.

According to a FOX NEWS report Tuesday night, a senior intelligence official said that key documents will provide “a very significant understanding of how intelligence was manipulated to support the launch of the Russia investigation.” Much more to come on that.

Also, Andrew C. McCarthy has a must-read column about Judge Emmet Sullivan and the role politics is playing right now to deprive Flynn of his due process rights.

As McCarthy told Shannon Bream on FOX NEWS Tuesday night, “I think the problem Judge Sullivan has is the same problem a lot of people analyzing this have, which is that the political dimension of it has in some ways, I think, paralyzed people’s way to look at what is really a very simple legal equation.”

As McCarthy explains, only the Justice Department --- the prosecution, which is part of the Executive Branch --- has the power either to open a case or to continue it. “A judge has no power to force the government either to bring charges or to continue charges."

Bream read from the Fokker case, which has been cited as precedent by Flynn attorney Sidney Powell: “It has long been settled that the Judiciary generally lacks authority to second-guess those Executive determinations, much less to impose its own charging preferences.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

The judge was given an opportunity to fix this; the three-judge appeals panel gave him 10 days. He still could do this, but considering that he has dug in and hired his own attorney, it doesn’t seem likely.

Finally, Margot Cleveland has another great column on Judge Sullivan, also focusing on the politics. She does say it’s appropriate for a judge to hire a lawyer in a mandamus petition such as this. (McCarthy, in contrast, called Sullivan's decision to do this “jaw-dropping,” and Powell has raised numerous questions about it, particularly about who is paying the lawyer.) But Cleveland reveals something new about Sullivan’s choice of attorney, Beth Wilkinson: she happens to be the lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton during the FBI’s “investigation” of her mishandling of classified information in 2016. Hey, it’s real cozy down there in the swamp.

After the long Memorial Day weekend, there’s so much news about the Michael Flynn case that we needed a second commentary for the overflow.

First of all, you must be aware by now that Flynn’s name in the conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak wasn't masked in the first place --- we’ve talked about the fact that it couldn’t have been because there was no unmasking request for the day of that call --- but there’s more:

President Obama himself ordered the surveillance.

He must have. As Dan Bongino has pointed out, we know this because (here's the new part) Andrew McCabe, right in his own book, says he was ordered by the Presidential Daily Brief staff to find that phone call. Flynn’s call with Kislyak didn’t just happen to be caught in the routine surveillance on the ambassador. It wasn’t just “incidental.” In Bongino’s words, “Flynn was hunted down and targeted by the Obama administration, period.”

That's why Flynn's name wasn't masked in that particular phone call. So, does that mean it was legal to leak Flynn’s name? Heck, no. Andrew McCarthy has pointed out that, oh, by the way, the leak to the media is STILL A FELONY, as the surveilled conversation was classified. It doesn’t matter if Flynn’s name was intended to be hidden or not.

In other news, Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell is no doubt heartened by the action taken by the D.C. Court of Appeals. In what Margot Cleveland calls “a rare move,” a three-judge panel has ordered Judge (“Judge”) Emmet Sullivan to respond to Powell’s petition for a writ of mandamus.

This is an appeal to the appellate court to order Judge Sullivan to dismiss the criminal charge against Flynn. A writ of mandamus is rarely granted, so Cleveland says that for the panel to order the judge to respond, rather than just denying the petition as is usually done, is a good sign. And they issued the order expeditiously, in just two days. Likewise, they're expecting Sullivan to answer promptly, giving him just 10 days to respond. So Powell’s petition isn’t just languishing on somebody’s desk.

There’s legal precedent to dismiss the case against Flynn: the Fokker case, in which the court held that “decisions to dismiss pending criminal charges --- no less than decisions to initiate charges and to identify which charges to bring –- lie squarely within the ken of prosecutorial discretion.” In this case, that would be the attorney general’s office.

Another good sign: the panel did not order the government to respond, simply allowing the DOJ to respond at its own discretion, or not at all. Apparently, these judges don’t see the necessity of hearing additional arguments from the government.

The fine source “Undercover Huber” has identified the three judges on the panel: Karen Henderson, a Reagan-Bush appointee; Robert Wilkins, an Obama appointee; and Neomi Rao, nominated by Trump to take Brett Kavanaugh’s place on the D.C. Circuit Court when Kavanaugh went to the Supreme Court. Powell does not see politics playing into this decision too much, as Sullivan’s refusal to dismiss the charge is “in violation of clear precedent from the circuit and Supreme Court.”

Cleveland agrees with Powell that “The Department of Justice should weigh in and soon because this case is no longer just about Flynn. It is about separation of powers and the executive branch. Unfortunately, it is also now about Judge Sullivan.”

Funny she should say that. The latest weirdness from Judge Sullivan is that he has gone out and hired himself a lawyer.

In a highly unusual step, Judge Sullivan has lawyered up, with Beth Wilkinson, reportedly “a go-to for high-profile officials in difficult situations.” It’s hard to know what role politics might play; Wilkinson represented Brett Kavanaugh while he was fighting sexual misconduct allegations on his way to Supreme Court confirmation. On the other hand, she’s also a close friend of Obama “fixer” Kathryn Ruemmler.

Flynn’s attorneys are arguing that Judge Sullivan “has no authority to adopt the role of prosecutor or change the issues in the case.” As they observe, “This is an umpire who has decided to steal public attention from the players and focus it on himself. He wants to pitch, bat, run bases and play shortstop. In truth, he is way out in left field.”

I think with that metaphor, Flynn’s lawyers hit it out of the park. It’s hard to know why Sullivan is SO bent on prosecuting Flynn. Maybe he’s just a political hack, but at this point his behavior is downright pathological. Why is he so “dug in,” and what does he need an attorney for? Once again, when something doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s because there’s a piece we don’t have. There’s something going on with Judge Sullivan that we...just don’t know.

As Paul Manafort is now confined under house arrest instead of in a prison cell because of COVID-19 –- he’s definitely at high risk for a “negative outcome” (death) –- we’re learning about something very shocking that was done in his case by prosecutors.

The Special Counsel’s Office told Judge Beryl Howell a “fake FISA warrant” story to give the impression that it was in the national interest to violate Manafort’s attorney-client privilege. The goal: to compel testimony from Manafort’s attorneys to incriminate their client --- and also, it was fervently hoped --- to help them reach the ultimate target, President Trump.

But as it turns out, that story was a lie; there never was a FISA warrant on Manafort. CNN was wrong (surprise, surprise!) when they too-conveniently reported in 2017 that the government had applied for a FISA warrant to spy on Manafort, just as they had Carter Page, and that they’d already been surveilling him because of national security concerns. Not only was this a fake story to the judge, but it was a fake story to the media as well, and CNN was only too happy to cooperate. It would sure be nice to know who leaked it.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz states in his report that not only did the FBI not seek a FISA warrant on Manafort in the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, but they never even “seriously considered” getting one. Horowitz has repeated this under oath as well.

According to “Undercover Huber” --- sounds conspiratorial but is actually a great source --- whoever leaked the story to CNN was trying to create a narrative that since Manafort had a FISA (remember, he didn’t), there was probable cause to believe he was an agent of a foreign power.

They even came up with a phony “on-again, off-again” timeline to their supposed surveillance, to show a gap around the time of the Trump Tower meeting n which the “real” collusion might have happened. Crafty.

Recall that they got quite showy about this hokum, conducting a dawn raid on Manafort's house and searching a storage unit. It was all just drama, as it was with Roger Stone.

Rod Rosenstein’s “scope” memo on Manafort, written on August 2, 2017, authorized the Special Counsel’s Office to investigate him for potential “collusion” with Russia and also for “payments he received from the Ukrainian government.” Both of these probes were based on lies, as the allegations of “collusion” came from the fake Steele “dossier” and the allegations of payments from Ukraine came from the fake “black book” of cash payments that didn’t happen.

Then --- and here’s where it gets amazingly bad --- on August 18, the Special Counsel’s Office issued a subpoena to MANAFORT’S ATTORNEY to to TESTIFY AGAINST HIS OWN CLIENT before the Grand Jury. Manfort’s attorney refused, of course, and so the Special Counsel did what lawyers in any kangaroo court would do and filed a motion to compel testimony. They really, really wanted that attorney’s testimony, as they needed to get Manafort on FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) violations and considered his testimony essential.

As Huber wrote: “On October 2, 2017, Judge Howell ruled against Manafort (in a non-public sealed opinion), ultimately piercing Attorney/Client privilege and forcing his lawyer to testify against him about the preparation of those FARA filings. Big win for the SCO [Special Counsel’s Office].”

There was never any national security issue related to the charges under which Manafort was prosecuted: some white-collar stuff and false FARA filings. Huber has explained that the real reason for the fake FISA story on Manafort was to set a “tone” that would help implicate President Trump. He also shows how these ruthless tactics even helped influence Michael Flynn’s attorneys to advise him to plead guilty, as THEY saw what was happening and certainly wouldn’t want to be dragged before the Grand Jury as Manafort’s attorneys were. The way to make that threat go away was to get Flynn to take the plea.

Huber comments that such an aggressive approach might have been justified had there been any real threat to national security, but, again, that claim was just a cover. All made up.

The people who did this are bad, folks. The Manafort story clearly shows what can happen when overzealous prosecutors don’t have any actual evidence. Sometimes they’ll just make it up, lie through their teeth. They have “six ways from Sunday” for getting at you. Add political motivation to the mix, as was clearly the case here, and it's banana republic time. Media outlets such as CNN are happy to aid and abet. And in this case, our own law enforcement bureaucracy was willing to trash the justice system, even attorney-client privilege, if it helped them in their strategy to take down President Trump.

Opening an FBI investigation into a presidential campaign is supposed to be a huge deal. If government officials are going to allege that members of a campaign --- maybe even the candidate --- are in cahoots with Russia (!), they'd better have the goods.

But a newly declassified memo (another one!) makes it clear that the Papadopoulos “evidence” used to justify “Crossfire Hurricane” was really just flimsy hearsay. They had to be looking for any pretext they could put together. Since they had no evidence of criminality, they turned to Downer’s “suggestion” that Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos might be talking with Russia on the release of Hillary’s emails. As John Solomon writes, “[Alexander] Downer had heard the information about the Russians during a bar conversation in May 2016 from Papadopoulos, who had heard it two months earlier from a European professor who had heard it from Russians allegedly.”

The investigation, he says, was opened based on a “third-hand ‘suggestion’ of wrongdoing and the thinnest of suspicions that illegal foreign lobbying had occurred.” It’s clear from the memo that the criminal basis for opening “Hurricane” was suspected violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but the memo does not mention a single incidence of violating FARA.

Peter Strzok expressed reservations about the evidence he had, yet he pressed forward. Sometimes, as they say, you’ve “gotta go with what you got.” Strzok both drafted the memo and approved the investigation himself, keeping the memo away from interagency oversight.

Kevin Brock, former head of counterintelligence for the FBI, told Solomon, “There is nothing in the [electronic communication] that meets the traditional thresholds for opening up a [Foreign Agents Registration Act] or [counterintellgence] investigation. It appears hastily constructed.”

When asked if he would’ve approved this, Brock said, “Not in a million years. I wouldn’t have approved it as a squad supervisor, either. This would have set off alarm bells in any FBI field for not meeting our standards for a predicate.”

All this is consistent with what Robert Ray said on WITCH HUNT, a FOX NEWS special on Sunday night hosted by Gregg Jarrett. He believes the Durham investigation likely will lead to indictments of Bureau officials.

"It is a criminal investigation with grand-jury authority, and I don’t think the attorney general expects this is going to be just be left to the side of history without actual prosecutions being brought to hold those responsible accountable,” he said. “Even if no felony prosecution is ever brought as a result of this, this is a political scandal of the highest order and the American people should be paying attention.”

I would respectfully suggest to Mr. Ray that if no felony prosecution is ever brought, too many American people will NOT pay attention and it WILL be left to the side of history, thanks to media spin and leftist historians. Laws have been broken, and there must be accountability if we’re ever going to fix this.

Speaking specifically on the Flynn prosecution, Ray said he trusted Durham to get to the bottom of the mishandling of his case. Ray showed his mastery for understatement when he said, “I imagine there are people in the know who may well have knowingly withheld information from the court and from defense counsel in connection with the Michael Flynn prosecution.” Mr. Ray, we KNOW they did that. “Knowingly” is tough to prove, but we know they knew. They know we know they knew.

"If it turns out that that can be proved,” he continued, “then there are going to be referrals and potential false statements and/or perjury prosecutions to hold those, particularly those in positions of authority, accountable.”

Speaking of Flynn, a new article dropped over the weekend that shines the harsh light of truth on what was done to him. Eli Lake’s comprehensive piece in COMMENTARY magazine fleshes out the story so thoroughly that I’d say “THE RAILROADING OF MICHAEL FLYNN, How It Happened And Why It Matters” is an absolute must-read.

Still, there’s something Lake says upfront that I disagree with: that “they suspected he [Flynn] was a Russian agent.” Based on the attempts to set him up starting in 2014, I don’t think they EVER really believed it. I think it was a story they created. Anyway…

Lake writes, “According to both Rice’s memoir and a memo memorializing the meeting (dated January 20, 2017), the President stressed that everything the FBI did in this sensitive matter should be “by the book.” In fact, nothing was done by the book –- not by Obama’s deputies and not by Obama.”

We see from this article how furiously Strzok and Comey worked to keep the investigation alive through the only means they had: the ridiculously antiquated Logan Act. Rosenstein’s recently declassified scope memo authorized Mueller to investigate whether Flynn had “committed a crime or crimes by engaging in conversations with Russian officials during the period of the Trump transition.” The only crimes that could possibly have been found would’ve been either outright espionage (for which the FBI had found no evidence) or a Logan Act violation.

Lake points out what we’ve been said all along, that Flynn was not a private citizen conducting foreign policy, as is prohibited by the Logan Act, but rather acting in his official capacity as the incoming national security adviser. “The idea that Flynn was behaving illegally, let alone unethically or immorally or unconventionally, in discussing U.S. foreign policy with the Russians during the transition is beyond absurd,” he writes.

Joe Pientka had written a memo to close the original Flynn investigation but had slipped up and not actually filed it. Strzok, obviously delighted, was able to keep the case open. The only reason Pientka's memo has emerged now is that U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen completed the review Barr had ordered and declassified documents in the case. We get to read about Stefan Halper being paid as a “confidential human source” (SPY) and the concocted story of Flynn’s affair (not) with Russian-born Svetlana Lokhova, described by Lake as a “smear.” Pientka’s memo says the investigation yielded so little that senior management had recommended closing the case before even interviewing Flynn.

The whole shameful process of determining how they would set Flynn up in his White House interview is discussed in detail. Lake also explains why Flynn was NOT LYING when he said sanctions weren’t discussed. As Flynn told the DAILY CALLER, “It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys [Russian diplomats] who were thrown out.”

The memo said Fynn’s “false statements and omissions impeded...the FBI’s ongoing investigation.” Lake shows that “Given what we know now, those words are more of a lie than anything Flynn said to the FBI agents who interviewed him.”

This was not only injustice against Flynn but also an assault on the peaceful transition of presidential power. Shameful, and dangerous.

……………………

Postscript: Lake bookends his commentary with the story about Flynn joining in the “Lock her up! Lock her up!” chant at a Trump rally, attempting to show irony. This falls flat to me. The cases are not equivalent; we know beyond any doubt that Hillary actually did the things she was NOT prosecuted for.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2020

From me and everyone at my newsletter, website and TV show, have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! I know that many large gatherings that usually happen at this time have been canceled, but there are still things you can do to commemorate this important day. The easiest is to remember to fly your flag on Monday. You can also donate to organizations that aid veterans. We’ll talk about all this more on Monday in a special Memorial Day edition of the newsletter, then return with our regular news analysis on Tuesday.

Be sure to tune in tonight for a new, Memorial Day edition of “Huckabee” on TBN. Country-rock legend Charlie Daniels will talk about his new project to help veterans through the pandemic. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will tell us how to reopen a state safely (I hope certain other Governors will be watching!) Pastor Brian Gibson will discuss his nationwide movement for churches to stand up against violations of their First Amendment rights. Former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker will talk about his new book on the Obama-era corruption of the DOJ. I'll discuss the parallels between President Trump and Winston Churchill with author Nick Adams. Nancy Jones will reminisce about her late husband, country icon George Jones, and she and producer/author Mark Koch have a free gift for every “Huckabee” viewer. We’ll cap it off with a musical Memorial Day salute from Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers.

It’s a show jam-packed with news and entertainment, and it’s coming your way tonight at 8 and 11 EST, 7 and 10 CST, and the same times on Sunday, only on TBN. To find where you can watch TBN, from local cable and broadcast channels to streaming, visit https://www.tbn.org/huckabee and click on the “WATCH” menu at the top. You can also stream previous episodes, highlights and Internet-only “Digital Exclusives,” like extended interviews and extra performances by our musical and comedy guests. It’s all at https://www.tbn.org/huckabee

JOE BIDEN'S RACIAL FEARMONGERING

Joe Biden is once again backpedaling from another old-school-style racist comment. This time, he told the radio show “The Breakfast Club,” “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

This is nothing new: Joe has quite a record of these kinds of Grandpa Simpson statements that embarrass the whole family. Like saying that Obama was the first black candidate to be clean and articulate, or that you can’t go into a 7-11 unless you have a slight Indian accent. Just as with all the #MeToo activists jettisoning their principles to rally around Biden, black liberals are expected to come rushing to the rescue and explain why they still support Joe and it’s really Trump’s fault, anyway. The L.A. Times did it, as did Atlantic magazine writer Jemele Hill, who claimed it was “clearly a joke” (racist jokes are okay now?), plus “it was accurate” (so blacks really are allowed to hold only liberal views?), and of course the real story is "TRUMP BAD!"

I’m sure this will be spun like a top until everyone is so dizzy, at least a few people actually believe that rubbish. It’s happened before. I recently had to do a Google search for Biden’s notorious 2012 election comment to a predominately black audience that the Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains.” (Historical fact: The Democrats were the party of slavery, and the Republican Party was founded to end slavery – and did. Yes, Lincoln was a Republican, no matter what the media tell you. Also, George Wallace was a Democrat.)

But I digress…

I found that the historical revisionists had been working away like magic shoemaker elves and had somehow rewritten that story so that Biden wasn’t indulging in racial fearmongering. Heavens, no! He was actually talking to a “diverse crowd” and referring to the Republicans wanting to metaphorically put people back into the shackles of Wall Street bankers. Because when a guy from Delaware talks about Wall Street, he always uses the word “y’all.” That’s some real Ice Capades-level spinning!

Of all of Joe’s foot-in-mouth racial moments, that one and this most recent one are probably the most disturbing because they don’t just repeat racist stereotypes. They also drag in false political tropes, all in an effort to intimidate black people into giving up their rights to speak freely or think for themselves. They send a message, reinforced by the media, that of course, Republicans are racist, and if you don’t vote for the same awful leftist policies that have been harming African-Americans for generations – from lousy inner-city public schools you’re not allowed to leave to economic policies that depress job creation and wages – then you’re an Uncle Tom and a traitor to your face.

Fortunately, I think the effectiveness of that kind of intellectual terrorism is finally starting to crumble. You can see it all around, from the #WalkAway movement to the rising black support for Trump in polls to the recent story of black Democratic Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones. He nearly resigned after being hit with a torrent of threats and hate messages for saying he endorsed Trump’s reelection because of his success at creating jobs and his backing of criminal sentencing reform. But he decided to fight back against liberal intimidation tactics. I interviewed him on “Huckabee” on TBN. You can watch that here.

African-American Republican Sen. Tim Scott also had some choice words for Biden and his defenders.

Comments such as Biden’s are insulting both to African-Americans and to Republicans because they perpetuate slanderous falsehoods about both groups. I grew up in the South in the ‘60s, I saw real racism, and I was repulsed by it. I was inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King to stand up against it. As a pastor, I refused to allow segregationists to have sway over my church, and as a Governor, I reached out to the black communities of Arkansas. They were skeptical at first (imagine what they’d heard!), but they eventually realized I meant it. When I ran for reelection, I was proud to receive the highest share of the black vote that any Republican had received since Reconstruction days. I don’t relate any of this to brag, just to show that being a Republican does not mean being a racist.

For the record, as a conservative, Christian Republican, here are a few things I believe:

That we are all children of God, created in His image, which means that racism is a repugnant sin against God because it means calling some people inferior simply because of the way the Lord created them…

That all babies of all races are precious from the moment of their creation and their lives deserve protection from the abortion lobby, which has targeted and been especially deadly for African-American babies…

That every person deserves a shot at earning the American Dream through their own study, hard work, and initiative, not through those in authority picking winners and losers…

That the goal of school policy should be providing every child with the best possible education, and that parents should be allowed to decide whether that means public, private, church, or home school. There is nothing sacred about teachers’ unions or the public school “system.” The only sacred priority should be the children…

That the Bill of Rights and the legal due process rights that flow from it must be protected for every person of every race -- particularly the Second Amendment, which allowed black people to protect themselves from racist threats at a time when official authorities refused to do so…

That every individual has a right to think freely, express their thoughts freely, and debate those ideas openly, without fear of retribution, intimidation, or slander.

If you are black and agree with those things, then you don’t owe your vote to anyone just because they threaten to call you a traitor to your race if you refuse to support people who oppose your own principles.

CRICKETS

If you wonder why the media fixated so much on something so dumb as whether President Trump wore a facemask when touring the Ford plant in Michigan, maybe it’s because it gave them something to talk about other than what he actually said there. And what he said was that churches are essential, he wants them to reopen and has talked to the CDC about that, and that blue state Governors who target churches and keep them closed will risk him overriding their rules.

Liberal reporters blasted him for leaving decisions up to Governors and not exercising more federal authority, so I assume they’ll be applauding him for this, right? Right?...Is that crickets I hear?...

IMPORTANT BULLETIN

If you’re not burned out on hearing about the railroading of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, here’s an important bulletin: the US Court of Appeals for DC has given Flynn’s judge, Emmet Sullivan, 10 days to respond to attorney Sidney Powell’s emergency request for a writ of mandamus, ordering Sullivan to dismiss the case, since the DOJ has already withdrawn the charges.

This gives Sullivan just 10 days to think up some solid legal grounds for why he should be allowed to continue acting as both Flynn’s judge and prosecutor, and calling for illegal amicus briefs to help him think up new things to charge Flynn with. Sorry, “I was appointed by Bill Clinton” doesn’t count.

In a related story, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and campaign manager Paul Manafort, 70, have been released from prison to home confinement to protect them from contracting the coronavirus. I’m surprised Democrats didn’t suggest putting Manafort in solitary confinement.

INTERESTING HISTORY

This article gives a lengthy and interesting history of the efforts to insure that the UN protects the right to life of unborn children around the world.

What sparked its writing was the news that the US is calling on the UN to remove abortion provisions from its global coronavirus emergency plan. Why that should ever have been included is as much a mystery as why a blue state governor would keep abortion clinics open while telling people that vaccinations, tooth fillings, chemotherapy or biopsies are “non-essential” medical services. If you’re trying to convince us that you’re only exercising extra-constitutional powers because it’s necessary to save human lives, then don’t use them to kill pre-born babies.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

CHURCH BURNING

This is the most disgusting and disturbing story of the day. It appears that some intolerant thug decided to burn down a Mississippi church for standing up for its First Amendment rights. Just as with people who defend keeping abortion clinics open while closing other hospitals, it appears that some people are so blinded by their own partisanship that they’ll happily kill or commit arson in the name of “protecting public safety.” Authorities are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever did this.

This is still in the early investigative stages, so I’ll refrain from saying more about the crime and the motives until we know for sure (we do live in an age of lies and hoaxes.) But I hope you’ll join me in praying for the members of the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs.

Here are some comments condemning this horrific act from Gov. Tate Reeves.

WHERE DOES YOUR STATE STAND

Over three dozen states are loosening coronavirus restrictions today. To see where your state stands, check out this state-by-state update list.

In blue states, many people are still suffering from draconian and unconstitutional lockdown rules that have no end in sight. Fortunately, they are winning an increasing number of court victories against officials who are abusing their powers.

Also, Americans are in luck: Congressional Democrats have a solution for helping us get over the pandemic crisis. Release detained illegal aliens, halt immigration enforcement and give taxpayer money to illegal immigrants. Say, weren’t those their policies before there even was a COVID-19 virus? I definitely recall them wanting to halt immigration enforcement when Trump shut down travel from China. That would’ve worked out well.

MORE DEM VOTE FRAUD

Say, you know that vote fraud that Democrats insist never happens? Well, it happened again. A former Democratic election judge in Philadelphia just pleaded guilty to stuffing ballot boxes in primary elections between 2014 and 2016. He did it the old-fashioned way: by standing in the voting booth and voting over and over as fast as he could whenever nobody was looking. Sometimes, the old school, low-tech ways are the best.

In his defense, he claimed he did it because an unnamed Democratic political consultant paid him bribes of $300 to $5,000 per election. So the good news is that we’ve found a Democrat who still believes in capitalism.

4300

While the major media outlets continue to praise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus crisis, we still continue to learn more all the time about how deadly his poor decisions actually were. For instance, it was just revealed that over 4300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York nursing homes, where, like more than five battalions of Typhoid Mary’s, they infected the most vulnerable people before that idiotic order was finally reversed.

Despite this, Cuomo continues to be treated with kid gloves by the media, particularly when he’s interviewed by his kid brother on CNN, who seems to think that a probing question is asking if the testing swabs were too small for his big nose.

But speaking of covering noses, here’s what the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) consider to be a real top priority story. Question: Do I have to wear a face mask if I’m holding my nose while I watch the news?

CORPUS CHRISTI

UPDATE: The shooting at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, was breaking yesterday as we were on deadline, but we know now that it was most likely terrorist-related. The shooter was originally described as an “Arab male,” but identified posthumously by the media as Adam Alsahli, a Syrian-born US citizen living in Corpus Christi. Police and the FBI are hunting for a second “person of interest” who might also be involved.

The attack could have been much worse if it weren’t for the swift and heroic actions of a female security guard who saw Alsahli trying to speed his car through the gate and engaged him in a gun fight. She was shot in the chest but fortunately was wearing body armor, suffered only minor injuries, and is already out of the hospital. Alsahli reportedly careened into a road block and was fatally shot by other security personnel who arrived quickly.

Here is more on the story, including some of Alsahi’s social media posts. He also reportedly shared his radical Islamic jihadist ideology with the shooter in the December deadly mass shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, which was also recently classified as terrorism.

Again, this is a fast-breaking story, so keep an eye on the news for the latest developments. Pray for an end to these hate-inspired attacks. And join me in sending a big Huck’s Hero salute, get-well prayers and thanks to that brave and fast-thinking female security guard, whose name has yet to be released.

UPDATE/CORRECTION!

President Trump said Michigan’s Secretary of State was illegally sending mail-in ballots to every voter, but she says they were only sent applications for mail-in ballots, and argues that that’s not illegal because it isn’t partisan, since they went to everyone.

Duly noted, although inviting over 7 million people to apply for mail-in ballots still opens the door for enough mail-in ballots to be sent out to tip an election with fraud. And here’s the latest of a likely never-ending series of responses to the Democrats’ claim that vote fraud doesn’t exist, and that opposing mail-in voting just means you want to suppress turnout in traditional Democratic districts (like cemeteries.)

Remember, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are demanding that we institute mail-in voting nationwide if unemployed workers and dying businesses are ever to get any more coronavirus aid. Maybe we should let her know what we think about that by writing it in letters and mailing them to her and hoping they all arrive.

$100k+ SOCIALISTS

It’s been reported that according to internal surveys, nearly a third of members of the Democratic Socialists of America make over $100,000 a year.

That’s nothing: I could name a “Democratic” socialist who makes over $170,000 a year plus lavish benefits and won’t even pay her taxes.

CHINA LIED

Wait, are you saying that China lied to us about the true number and severity of its coronavirus cases? And they’re actually much worse off than America? Well, knock me over with a feather!

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

On the day John Ratcliffe was finally approved as Director of National Intelligence –- by a completely partisan vote –- the Michael Flynn story got even crazier.

First --- and this has received no press till now --- British ex-spy Christopher Steele, author of the fictional anti-Trump “dossier” paid for by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC, was offered money by the FBI to collect intelligence on Flynn. (Who needs Fusion GPS to pay a spy when you have the Federal Bureau of Intrusion to do it?) This happened in a meeting on October 3, 2016, in “an unnamed European city,” according to Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER. In addition to “significant” compensation for his spying, Steele was paid $15,000 in expenses for his trip to this city. Nice work if you can get it, especially if your "intelligence” is garbage.

That’s right, Steele was getting paid by EVERYONE. I wish I knew his secret.

This new information seems significant in light of a fake story that was being peddled about an affair between Flynn and a Russian woman. This rumor was completely unfounded, and, as described in Lee Smith’s great book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, was originally set up at an event near Cambridge University much earlier, in 2014. Obama and his team had had it in for Flynn from the start, mostly due to his intense disapproval of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and also his intention to audit and streamline the intel bureaucracy. For one thing, Flynn was planning to audit the Office of Net Assessment, which was paying “confidential human source” (SPY) Stefan Halper to do...well, whatever it was they were really paying him to do.

Ross reports, “It is not clear how and when Steele came across the rumor, or if it was the result of the FBI asking him to look into Flynn.” But actually, we do know this rumor predates Steele’s October 3 meeting. It had already been planted and was ripe for the picking.

This “new” story comes right out of Inspector General Horowitz’s report, released last December. We learn from the IG that the FBI offered to pay Steele “significantly” to collect information in three separate “buckets” that were part of Crossfire Hurricane, all to establish a relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to the IG report, an FBI agent provided Steele with a “general overview” of Crossfire Hurricane, which was still ongoing, including information on the “small analytical effort” (!) they had undertaken on Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

In fact, according to the IG report, some FBI agents thought Steele had been told too much about Crossfire Hurricane.

As Ross reports, we didn’t really know until now about Steele’s investigation of Flynn; we knew about 17 memos that covered Trump (oh yes), Page, Manafort and Michael Cohen. But in just the last few weeks, a couple of documents on Flynn have surfaced:

First, a House Intelligence Committee transcript of the testimony of John McCain associate David Kramer refers to his belief that Flynn had had an affair with a Russian woman in the U.K.

Second, an FBI memo from January 4, 2017, says a “confidential human source” told the Bureau the woman had been present at an event Flynn attended in 2014 while he was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. This has to be the event described in THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT; if you’ve read the book, you know the woman is Svetlana Lokhova, who, as Ross relates, became the target of a “whisper campaign” about an affair with Flynn. The gossip was that she had left the event with Flynn, but Lokhova’s husband says he personally picked her up that night. Anyway, this is how long the Obama administration and FBI have been trying to compromise Flynn.

Something else that just emerged about the Flynn case makes me think it might blow wide open. With thanks to Dan Bongino for pointing this out, President Obama’s “fixer,” former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, is now attorney for...(drum roll please)...Susan Rice. Rice is under scrutiny now for her January 20, 2016, email “note to self” on her way out the White House door, the one that described an Oval Office meeting attended by Obama, Yates, Clapper, Comey, Brennan and (yes) Biden.

Ruemmler wrote in a just-released February 23, 2018, letter to Sens. Grassley, Feinstein, Graham and Whitehouse that Rice had written that memo to herself on advice of White House counsel, "given the importance and sensitivity of the subject matter.” She told them Rice hadn’t done it sooner because “that was the first opportunity she had to do so.” (Ah, of course it was.) How is it even possible to accurately memorialize a meeting that took place almost three weeks earlier? Unless, of course, your goal isn’t to accurately memorialize it, but to CYA, or C somebody’s A.

Curiously, when Rice was asked during a 2018 congressional inquiry whether she was aware of Comey’s investigation of Flynn, she said no, not until Comey testified. Given the nature of the January 2017 meeting as related by Sally Yates, it’s impossible to believe Rice. It’s hard to believe this serial liar about anything.

Bongino recommended this WASHINGTON EXAMINER story as a good example of the kind of thing Kathryn Ruemmler, as former Obama White House counsel, has been involved in as a “fixer.” Here we see her working in tandem with DNC attorneys to defend against a lawsuit by Carter Page, saying, unbelievably, that “the allegedly defamatory statements” against Page in the dossier “were substantially true” and “are capable of an innocent construction.” On what planet?

Flynn’s deputy national security adviser K. T. McFarland (whom I would guess has the best inside story of anyone), says that nothing about Rice’s email makes sense.

She told Shannon Bream at FOX NEWS that “it was an odd thing to do.” Why would you do this, she reasoned, unless you thought “somebody was potentially going to come after the fact and see that they’ve done something wrong.” Rice was making it look as though whatever they were doing was done “by the book.” What book is that, ESPIONAGE FOR DUMMIES?

McFarland said something else really interesting in light of Obama’s team debating whether they should include Flynn on classified “Russia” briefings. During a briefing three weeks prior, she said, “every other topic was mentioned,” including North Korea, China and ISIS, “but they didn’t mention anything about Russia and yet they knew, at that point, that they were about to sanction Russia for election interference.”

In other words, they had already been keeping Flynn out of the loop.

Stay tuned; much more to come. According to Sara Carter and John Solomon, Friday will bring more about the unmasking of Americans by the Obama regime, particularly John Brennan’s CIA.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden may think he’s off the hook now that Bill Barr has expressed reluctance to charge political figures with crimes, but he isn’t. He might not be named as an alleged perpetrator in an American court, but he’s already been so named in a Ukrainian court. The charge: “interfering in the work of an official of a law enforcement agency.”

John Solomon has been following Ukraine and the Bidens for a long time, but now, finally, the story seems poised to take off. If it does start getting more mainstream media attention, I have to think that's because top Democrats know Biden is simply not functioning well enough cognitively to make it to the finish line, at which point his running mate would have presumably become President. No, the Democrat Party has likely realized that to survive the election of 2020, they might have to stop protecting Biden and let this scandal –- and his own incoherence –- take him out.

Don’t worry; they’ve had the understudy waiting in the wings all along.

Anyway, Solomon reported Wednesday that last month in Kiev, District Court Judge S. V. Vovk ordered the nation’s law enforcement services to “formally list” the fired prosecutor, Victor Shokin, as the victim of an alleged crime by then-Vice President Biden. Shokin was the official to whom Biden was referring when he spoke publicly about threatening the withdrawal of $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if a certain Ukrainian prosecutor didn’t get fired.

Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil and gas company that had –- for some unfathomable reason, nudge wink –- named Biden’s son Hunter to its board and paid him thousands and thousands of dollars to do essentially nothing except have his name appear on their letterhead.

If Joe Biden were a Republican candidate for President, this attempt to use extortion to help his son by getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired would have been enough to torpedo him. If it really is what it looks like, it SHOULD torpedo a candidate of either party. But as a Democrat presidential candidate running against Trump, Biden gets a pass, just as Hillary got one at the end of the “Mid-Year Exam” after she’d clearly mishandled classified material, lied, destroyed evidence and obstructed justice. In contrast, it was considered an impeachable offense for President Trump to even mention investigating Burisma.

It seems Ukraine was useful to our media primarily if our bureaucrats serving there could bash Trump during his impeachment hearings. Otherwise, nothing to see.

Anyway, the Ukrainian court had already ruled that there was enough evidence to investigate Shokin’s claim of “unlawful interference” in his work as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, but they hadn’t specifically named Biden as the defendant until now. They just called him an “unnamed American.” But the latest ruling comes right out and names “citizen of the United States of America Joseph Biden, former U.S. Vice President.”

"The order of the court may not be appealed,” the judge concludes

According to Shokin’s attorney, Ukrainian officials have not yet complied with the judge’s ruling. Shokin has publicly appealed to the Ukrainian president “to properly respond to illegal inaction in the investigation of criminal cases that are open against Joseph Biden.”

Biden bragged ON VIDEO –- we’ve all seen it –- that he got the prosecutor fired. (You know, I’m suddenly reminded of James Comey bragging on video that he could just go around protocol to interview Michael Flynn.) Biden even implied that President Obama would back him up. (“Go ahead, call him.”) He maintains this effort had nothing to do with Burisma. He says it’s because Shokin was “ineffective as a corruption fighter.” But Shokin alleges in a court affidavit that he was TOLD he was being fired because he had refused to stand down on the Burisma investigation and had even planned to call Hunter Biden to the stand.

He was going to ask Hunter about the millions of dollars in payments that his American firm received from Burisma. Both Bidens have said they wish they'd handled the matter differently –- well, of course they do –- while denying any wrongdoing. But Shokin smells corruption and wants to keep investigating, so who knows what will turn up in the next few months?

Solomon ends his piece with a mention of some recorded phone calls published by Ukrainian parliamentarian Andrii Derkach and purported to be between Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Poroshenko as they discuss the firing of Shokin. You’ve probably heard something about these, but we’re holding off on commenting, as these recordings still need to be verified and WE, unlike the FBI, actually care about whether or not the evidence is real.

Biden’s legal headaches are starting in this country, too. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, has been given approval to issue subpoenas in its look into the Bidens’ Ukraine dealings. They plan to subpoena a Democrat-led PR firm called Blue Star Strategies, which has been accused of trying to leverage Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board in order to have influence at Obama’s State Department.

Sen. Johnson and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley are also looking into Hunter’s travel itinerary while his father was Vice President, asking the Secret Service for those official records so they can look for “potential conflicts of interest.”

There’s more: Of course, we do have evidence that Biden personally made an unmasking request on incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn in January of 2016. Why would he have been involved in this at all? An unmasking request on an American isn’t illegal if you have the proper clearance, but it’s a big deal and you’re supposed to have a very good reason. This is something he’s going to have to explain, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he simply said he couldn’t remember. Hey, that’s semi-believable, coming from him. “Flynn who?”

Sean Hannity brought up something else about Joe Biden on Wednesday evening: In 2018, the Biden Foundation paid $120,000 to “independent contractor” Perkins Coie, the same law firm used by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC (same thing) to funnel money to Fusion GPS for the outrageously fictional “dossier.” Goodness, the same circle of people just keeps turning up. This is a developing story; we don’t yet know what services they provided. These are described simply as “legal,” but I'm wondering if they were legal only in the sense that they were performed by lawyers.

So, at a time when he seems hardly able to dress himself, the heat is being turned up on Biden on a number of fronts. Still, there’s one area that his supporters are simply leaving alone, even though to do so is incredibly hypocritical. That’s because the place where his gropey behavior seems to go essentially unchallenged is with the #MeToo Movement. Dig this: the far-left former communications director for MoveOn.org --- who three years ago said that those who are accused of sexual misconduct are automatically disqualified from running for office --- was just hired by the Biden campaign.

First, thanks to all who have written in response to my commentary about Attorney General Bill Barr’s hesitance to bring charges against Obama and/or Biden. Before getting into the latest on Susan Rice’s fishy Inauguration Day email –- which does appear to be an attempt to shield the outgoing President from later scrutiny –- I’d like to start by highlighting a particularly thoughtful "Barr" letter, from Janet:

RELATED READINGBarr: charges "unlikely" against Obama and Biden

"I think people posting here have many good points, but I have a slightly different opinion than many, it seems. I think that most definitely, Barr is going to get to the bottom of this and there WILL be justice in the end. It's just going to take a while to ‘thread the needle’ and build cases against ALL of those who have been involved in this shameful travesty of our Constitution and Public Trust.

"Barr's no fool. He's been around DC for a long time and survived with his integrity and wit intact. I don't doubt that he's got a solid plan for bringing these people to justice –- a plan that will leave no doubt about their guilt and keep us from having another civil war if Obama and Biden are prosecuted. Remember when Barr chastised Trump for making it impossible for him to do his job when Trump interjected his opinions into the issues du jour? Barr is shrewd and wise to the ways of the DC swamp monsters. Let's let him do his job and have faith that he is going to see justice served. It just takes time.”

Thanks, Janet, and I hope you’re right. (Barr did qualify what he said with the words “as of today.”) Many readers sent much more cynical and despairing replies --- understandably so --- but I don’t want to condemn Barr’s DOJ just yet. Here’s an interesting take from Al:

"I agree mostly, Governor. However, if you are Comey, Brennan, Clapper and crew, how are you hearing what Barr said about Obama? What's your first thought? ‘They're pinning this whole mess on me. I'm the fall guy. And the top person, the guy who I was doing this for, who was at the center of all this, is going to walk?!’ Barr is describing the most grave of political crimes, worst in US history. Someone is going to pay. How much pressure will be on these people to cut a deal and point the finger at Obama? Sure, some will fall on their sword for Obama. But some won't. ESPECIALLY when Obama, as is his habit, tries throwing them under the bus.

“Barr is shrewd. HE can't be the one pointing the finger at Obama. It's got to be Obama people pointing the finger at Obama people before people will see it as not just political. (That's why I'd give Lisa Page immunity and a gift certificate for a high-end matchmaker for all she knows.)

“The game has begun. And at least Obama's name is in the conversation.”

True, the fact that Obama’s name now figures in this is a huge step forward. For now, let’s consider the evidence as it emerges; that brings us to Susan Rice. Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell has done it again by finally releasing the FULL TEXT of what may have been Susan Rice’s last official act in office, her “by the book” email, written 15 days after the big Oval Office meeting of January 5, 2017, that it memorializes. Here it is.

I sure wish everyone in government were as on the ball as Grenell; the attorney general got a request for this from Sen. Ron Johnson on Monday and –- boom –- Grenell declassified the email on Tuesday. Catherine Herridge at CBS first shared this; Tom Fitton tweeted it out with the comment that a special counsel should be appointed to investigate that meeting. Here’s a great round-up of the buzz generated on Tuesday afternoon.

Unfortunately, a tiny portion is still redacted, showing someone else was copied on the email. One name in the “cc” line is revealed, though: Curtis R. Ried; I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear that name sometime in the future. There’s a “Curtis R. Ried” listed on Zoom.com as a foreign service officer at the U.S. State Department.

Sean Davis has an outstanding piece at THE FEDERALIST on the significance of this email, parts of which had been previously released and had already given us an idea of how knowledge of the Flynn investigation was being kept from the incoming President. Why would they be keeping President-elect Trump in the dark unless HE were the ultimate target?

Davis writes: “The newly declassified portion of the Jan. 5 Rice email confirms that the targeting of Flynn was coordinated within the inner sanctum of the White House and that both Obama and Biden were deeply involved in the campaign to take down Flynn.”

Folks, this is all going to come out. I don’t know if the criminal justice system is going to prevail against Obama himself or if the long arm of the law isn’t quite long enough to reach him. Presidents have a lot of power and ways to shield themselves, typically by using “plausible deniability” and, if necessary, by throwing their order-takers under the bus (that’s why they’re called “under”-lings, ha). This is why it’s so important to elect someone who cares more about the Constitution than his own power.

We know, absolutely, that Obama was involved in this. Biden, too. The next several months may reveal to us a fascinating piece of history. I do believe that something perhaps even worse than jail –- and just as deserved –- is eventually going to happen to Barack Obama: the total rewriting of his legacy to reflect the FACT that he headed the most corrupt regime in the history of the United States.

I’ll close with another optimistic reader reply from Don, who says:

"Gov: I can't disagree with your conclusion. Justice must be served for crimes committed that violate the Rule of Law, regardless of the status of the parties involved. No one is above the Law!

"However, in closely reviewing AG Barr's statement, as it relates to Obama/Biden ‘at this time,’ he has left room in his statement to revisit and review the entire situation, should additional sufficient evidence surface that clearly [implicates] the Obama/Biden combo...In my opinion, legal cases, in administrative politically committed crimes , rarely turn on "slam dunk" smoking gun evidence, but unfold through ‘a thousand cuts,’ resulting in ‘guilty, beyond any reasonable doubt.’ AG Barr needs to be given the benefit of the doubt that he will adhere to the Rule of Law, at the end of the day.”

You’re right, Al --- he did leave the door open. That’s why I expressed curiosity about why he said what he did at this particular time. Much is going on right now that we just don’t know.

The timing of Bill Barr’s announcement was curious.

Over the weekend, it became clear even to those of us without a security clearance that President Obama was involved in the surveillance of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. He had to be. We know through Sally Yates’ testimony that on January 5, 2017, with just a couple of weeks left in office, Obama already knew all about the incoming national security adviser’s call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He and then-FBI Director James Comey had a conversation about it while Yates just stood there, amazed.

And that call wasn’t “unmasked,” as has wrongly been reported over and over. Now that the complete list of unmasking requests has been declassified and turned over by acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, we know there was no such request that would have applied to that particular call before January 5.

It means either that the CIA had been spying on Flynn, Obama’s most serious political nemesis, when he was in the Dominican Republic and somebody had briefed Obama on the call with Kislyak, or that Obama himself, as President, had ordered Flynn surveilled. IG Horowitz has testified that there was no FISA warrant on Flynn, so, really, what else is left?

Over the past several days, we’ve examined other evidence as well –- the Strzok/Page texts, for example --- that shows Obama was well aware this was going on. HE DID IT.

But now, just as we’ve seen the evidence and are able to put it together for ourselves, we hear from Attorney General Bill Barr, as reported in Law and Crime and discussed in this commentary by Victoria Taft, that the DOJ is “unlikely” to charge either Obama or Biden in the get-Trump spying scandal.

We have a lot to sort out. Unlikely to charge them?? Why would he say that at this particular time? Keep in mind, this is the same Bill Barr who called the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation “a grave injustice, unprecedented in American history.” The same Bill Barr who said the “Russian collusion” narrative used as a pretext for investigating Trump was “false and utterly baseless.” The same Bill Barr who called the spying operation “abhorrent.” The same Bill Barr who said there were “two different standards of justice” and that “we can’t allow this to ever happen again.”

"The Durham investigation is trying to get to the bottom of what happened,” he says simply.

Here’s what Barr had to say when the IG report on the spying came out. It was scathing.

Barr seems to want to safeguard the upcoming November elections from any consideration of this scandal, saying it’s “critical” that in 2020 the American people have a chance to vote based on “robust” policy debate –- not criminal debate. And he said he wouldn’t use his office for a political “tit for tat.”

Hey, if we’re going to have a “robust policy debate,” how about debating the policy that apparently lets an outgoing President spy on the incoming one?

And note that one of the people Barr is talking about, the former Vice President, happens to be running against the very incumbent they were trying to sabotage.

I realize that only in banana republics are incoming presidents allowed to subject outgoing presidents to criminal trial. But we’ve had a situation in which an outgoing president subjected the advisor of an incoming president to criminal trial. How is that better? We are way into banana republic territory here.

I guess that’s just part of the wonderful “Obama Legacy” we’ve heard so much about.

As Pete Hegseth commented on Sean Hannity’s TV show Monday night, “[Obama] called himself ‘the least corrupt administration in American history. He will go down as the most corrupt. And I believe that John Durham and Bill Barr are gonna get their day. They’re digging, they’re finding, the truth will come out, and...this President [Trump] will be exonerated for being someone who fights for people...Obama fights for the elite and the establishment…Their corruption will be some of the worst our country has ever seen.”

But there’s a terrible irony, as it does seem that Barr, in trying to save our system of justice from politics, is, in effect, caving to the politicized “two systems” that were a reality under Obama.

No President is above the law. How do we know this? Because Trump’s political opponents have been saying it nonstop since he took office –- since even before he took office. But when it comes to Obama, well, THAT President does seem to be above the law. Just as Hillary was.

"I have a general idea of how Mr. Durham’s investigation is going,” Barr said. “THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ABUSE OF POWER AND A FEDERAL CRIME” [emphasis mine]. Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime. Now, as to President Obama and Vice President Biden, WHATEVER THEIR LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT [emphasis mine], I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”

When he says “others,” we know the big names: James Comey, John Brennan, and Andrew McCabe, for starters. But what if there’s proof they were directed by Obama?

By the way, did you know that there was an unmasking request made the very morning of Trump’s inauguration? Trey Gowdy dropped this last Thursday in a discussion of other such requests. He said that even the names of President Trump’s family members were unmasked.

I’m sorry, but this sort of thing SHOULD be part of a policy debate, and before an election as opposed to after. When is abuse of power criminal? Who is criminally responsible?

Legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy never expected criminal charges against Obama and/or Biden. He noted in recent weeks that Barr had said the subjects of the Durham investigation were not candidates for public office. He said Barr’s goal is “to get the politics out of the Justice Department and the Justice Department out of politics.” I’m sorry, but the very decision not to make elected leaders criminally responsible for their deeds, in itself, affects politics. The left will have a field day with this; they’ll twist it and weave it into their false narrative that Obama did nothing wrong and that to think otherwise (as Trump does) is to be a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist incapable of leading. They’ll be saying this right up to Election Day.

McCarthy’s piece provides us with some insight into Barr’s thinking; I recommend that you read it, down to the last confounding line. Obviously, neither Barr nor McCarthy wants the criminal justice system to be used as a political weapon. After all, that’s what Obama’s side did, and we oppose it because it’s wrong.

But I don’t think a political weapon is what most Republicans are looking for when we’re thinking indictments should come. We don’t want “tit for tat”; we want JUSTICE. The attorney general did say that “those who broke the law...will be held to account.” But today, I wonder.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!!!”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”