Tag Archives: Corruption

FBI and DOJ used Democrat-funded Steele dossier to justify wiretapping of Trump campaign

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Wow, so for some time, the mainstream media had been telling me that the FBI and DOJ, during the Obama administration, never did any surveillance of the Trump campaign at the request of the Democrats. But whenever anyone asked them to release information about the basis for their investigations of Trump, they wouldn’t reveal anything.

But Judicial Watch was on the case, and they finally managed to get heavily redacted copies of documents showing what the FBI and DOJ were doing during the election.

The basis of the FBI and DOJ surveillance of Trump campaign personnel was the Steele dossier, which was collected for Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm.

Fox News explains:

On four occasions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” former British spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion, newly released documents reveal.

Instead, the FBI suggested to the court, the September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff was independent corroboration of the salacious, unverified allegations against Trump in the infamous Steele Dossier. Federal authorities used both the Steele Dossier and Yahoo News article to convince the FISA court to authorize a surveillance warrant for Page.

But London court records show that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier.

The revelations are contained in heavily-redacted documents released over the weekend after a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the organization Judicial Watch.

The materials released by the DOJ include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications.

So, there was only one source used as the basis for the surveillance warrant request: Steele’s dossier. The articles that appeared in the mainstream media was all based on Steele himself.

Conservative Review has more on what was in the released FBI and DOJ memos:

Over 400 pages of documents related to the FISA court warrant applications to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page have been released. Now we know for certain: The unverified “Steele dossier” was used as evidence to get a warrant to spy on Page.

Though heavily redacted, the documents make clear that the FBI told the FISA court Page is a Russian agent who was betraying the United States. The dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, served as the first piece of evidence cited to allege Page coordinated with the Russians to influence the election. The FBI cited additional evidence, an article written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo news, but failed to disclose that Isikoff received his information from Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the dossier.

What does that mean? It means that the FBI presented unverified campaign opposition research to FISA court judges to spy on Page, and the judges signed off on the applications.

So, who paid for the Steele dossier?

The far-left Washington Post explains:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The FBI and DOJ didn’t tell the FISA court about who was funding the Steele dossier when they applied for the warrant. Because if they had, they would have been denied the warrant. No FISA court would approve surveillance of the Republican party if the sole basis for the warrant was uncorroborated opposition research funded by the Democrat party. In order to get the FISA warrant, the request had to be written in such a way that the funding of the Steele dossier was not revealed, and Steele was not declared to be the source of the news articles used as corroborating evidence.

There is evidence of collusion to get a presidential candidate elected

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Nobody knows American politics better than Michael Barone. In this article for Real Clear Politics, he explains what we now know about collusion during the 2016 presidential election. This piece was tweeted by Brit Hume AND Hugh Hewitt (of MSNBC) so you know it’s fair and balanced.

First, here’s the status of the Russia collusion investigation:

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Vladimir Putin.

It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ conversation with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception — and, of course, by the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. But Mueller’s prosecutions of Trump campaign operatives were for misdeeds long before the campaign, and his indictment of 13 Russians specified that no American was a “knowing participant” in their work.

Now there’s talk that Mueller is winding up his investigation. It seems unlikely that whatever he reports will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

So much for that story. Just think of how much the mainstream media talked about a story that turned out to be a big nothingburger.

But here’s another collusion story that’s emerging:

Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Trump in and after the 2016 election.

The investigation of Clinton’s illegal email system was conducted with kid gloves. FBI Director James Comey accepted Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Clinton aides were allowed to keep her emails and destroy 30,000 of them, plus cellphones. They were not subject to grand jury subpoenas, and a potential co-defendant was allowed to claim attorney-client privilege.

On June 27, 2016, Lynch clandestinely met with Bill Clinton on his plane at the Phoenix airport — a meeting that became known only thanks to an alert local TV reporter. Lynch supposedly left the decision on prosecution to Comey, who on July 5 announced publicly that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but lacked intent to violate the law, even though the statute punishes such violations whether they are intentional or not.

Contrast that with the collusion of Obama officials with the Clinton campaign-financed Christophe Steele/Fusion GPS dossier alleging Trump ties with Russians. Comey and the Justice Department used it, without divulging who paid for it, to get a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page’s future and past communications — the “wiretap” Trump was derided for mentioning.

Similarly, when Comey informed Trump in January 2017 of the contents of the then-unpublished Steele dossier, he didn’t reveal that the Clinton campaign had paid for it. Asked on his iatrogenic book tour why not, he blandly said he didn’t know. And maybe he doesn’t actually realize he was employing J. Edgar Hoover-like tactics to keep his job. Maybe.

In any case, after he was fired, he immediately sent four of his internal memos, at least one of them classified, to a law professor friend to leak them to the press, with the intent of getting a special counsel appointed — who turned out to be his longtime friend and ally Robert Mueller. Collusion, anyone?

I wonder if the mainstream media will be as excited about reporting on this one? The mainstream media seems intent on presenting Comey as some kind of superstar public servant. But the truth is very different.

Trump needs to appoint people to these law enforcement agencies who will investigate actual crimes that were committed by the previous administration and their allies in the media. I’d like to see people who use government as a weapon put behind bars. We have to know for certain that using the government as a weapon to influence elections has consequences.

Facebook enlists left-wing Politifact and Snopes to censor criticism of Democrats

This week, I was appalled to see that the Babylon Bee, a Christian satire web site, was attacked by Facebook for writing a satire critical of the radically leftist CNN.

Look:

Facebook is so good at checking facts and censoring conservatives
Facebook is so good at checking facts and censoring conservatives

This is what Facebook sent to Adam Ford for his satire of CNN. Since Facebook cited Snopes, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about two Facebook “fact checkers”, and an example of their “fact-checking”.

First, a story from The Daily Signal. Then, we’ll see examples of how Facebook’s censorship allies are biased against conservatives.

Let’s look at the first far-left Facebook partner: Politifact. Politifact is just a group of journalists from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

Avik Roy, health care policy expert at Forbes magazine, writes about Politifact’s assessment of Obama’s promise to Americans about keeping their health plans after Obamacare.

2008 PolitiFact before the election: ‘We rate his statement True’

Roy writes: (links removed)

On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”

[…]As per PolitiFact’s usual M.O., Holan didn’t seek out any skeptical health-policy experts to suss out the veracity of Senator Obama’s signature claim. Instead, its sources included Jonathan Cohn, a passionate Obamacare supporter at The New Republic, and various interviews and statements of Mr. Obama. Holan simply took the “keep your plan” promise at face value, dismissing as dishonest anyone who dared suggest that Obama’s claim would be impossible to keep. “His opponents have attacked his plan as ‘government-run’ health care,” she wrote, the scare-quotes around “government-run” being visible to all.

PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.

Here’s the screen capture from 2008:

Politifact caught with its pants on fire
Politifact caught with its pants on fire

Before the election, it’s true! And Obama got re-elected, because people believed that. But what happened after the election?

2013 PolitiFact after the election: ‘We rate his statement Pants On Fire’

Roy writes: (links removed)

On December 12, [2013] the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

[…]On November 4, Jacobson rated as “Pants on Fire” the President’s new claim that “what we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Both pieces were edited by Angie Drobnic Holan, who had initially granted PolitiFact’s seal of approval to Senator Obama’s 2008 promise. Holan delivered the coup de grâce, declaring as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” the “keep your plan” promise.

“The promise was impossible to keep,” says Holan in her December piece. Now she tells us! But none of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.

And the screen capture from 2013:

Politifact says: we were just kidding! Kidding!
Politifact says: we were just kidding! Kidding!

So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they don’t say that. It’s not like the critical assessments of Obamacare from health policy experts were not out there between 2007-2012. It’s just that the liberal journalism-major bloggers at Politifact couldn’t be bothered to read them. And this is who Facebook is using as a fact checker, because Facebook has one way of seeing issues – the radical leftist way. If you disagree, then they censor your content. Because Facebook employees are close-minded, anti-intellectual socialists who hate free speech.

What about Snopes? Maybe Snopes is a more reliable “fact checker” than Politifact?

The Daily Caller explains:

Snopes’ main political fact-checker is a writer named Kim Lacapria. Before writing for Snopes, Lacapria wrote for Inquisitr, a blog that — oddly enough — is known for publishing fake quotes and even downright hoaxes as much as anything else.

[…]She described herself as “openly left-leaning” and a liberal. She trashed the Tea Party as “teahadists.” She called Bill Clinton “one of our greatest” presidents. She claimed that conservatives only criticized Lena Dunham’s comparison of voting to sex because they “fear female agency.”

[…]Lacapria — in another “fact check” article — argued Hillary Clinton hadn’t included Benghazi at all in her infamous “we didn’t lose a single person in Libya” gaffe. Lacapria claimed Clinton only meant to refer to the 2011 invasion of Libya (but not the 2012 Benghazi attack) but offered little fact-based evidence to support her claim.

After the Orlando terror attack, Lacapria claimed that just because Omar Mateen was a registered Democrat with an active voter registration statusdidn’t mean he was actually a Democrat. Her “fact check” argued that he might “have chosen a random political affiliation when he initially registered.”

Snopes is just spin for Democrat gaffes – playing defense for the DNC. And Facebook using them to check facts, because Facebook is basically joined at the hip to the Democrat party.

Can we verify that Snopes actually lies in order to defend Democrats. Well, yes –right here. Snopes lied about American flags being present throughout the first day of the 2016 Democrat convention.

It’s groups like these who are being relied upon to spot “fake news” for Facebook. When you are on Facebook, it’s important to understand that it is a web site run by Democrats, for the benefit of Democrats. There is no balance. There is no critical thinking. The simple fact of the matter is that many fake news stories are pushed by the leftist mainstream media, and ignored by the leftist “fact checkers”. Here’s one recent example of how that works.

Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton indicted for her private e-mail server?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Andy McCarthy writes about it at National Review. McCarthy is a former assistant U.S. attorney, and that he led the 1995 prosecution of the World Trade Center bombers, as well as prosecuting other prominent terrorism cases. So, he’s familiar with the law, and familiar with national security. The National Review is one of the most prestigious conservative publications.

Excerpt:

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. […]The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.

That is why such an indictment of Hillary Clinton was never going to happen.

He explains how we know that Obama knew about the Clinton private, unsecure, bathroom closet e-mail server:

As his counselors grappled with how to address his own involvement in Clinton’s misconduct, Obama deceptively told CBS News in a March 7 interview that he had found out about Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct State Department business “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” Perhaps he was confident that, because he had used an alias in communicating with Clinton, his emails to and from her — estimated to number around 20 — would remain undiscovered.

His and Clinton’s advisers were not so confident. Right after the interview aired, Clinton campaign secretary Josh Scherwin emailed Jennifer Palmieri and other senior campaign staffers, stating: “Jen you probably have more on this but it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.”

Scherwin’s alert was forwarded to Mills. Shortly afterwards, an agitated Mills emailed Podesta: “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.” (That is, Obama had emails from Clinton, which he had to know were from a private account since her address did not end in “@state.gov” as State Department emails do.)

They needed to “clean this up”.

Just to reiterate, there is only one reason why someone has a private e-mail server, and that is to escape the record-keeping requirements of their employer. If all your e-mails are stored on your private, unsecure, bathroom closet server, then you can just delete them when you want, and your employer will never know about them. And then if you’ve been pedaling the foreign policy of the United States for donations to your “foundation”, then no one will ever find out.

This could not be allowed to be linked back to Obama, and so it was not allowed to be linked back to Obama.

McCarthy explains:

In April 2016, in another nationally televised interview, Obama made clear that he did not want Clinton to be indicted. His rationale was a legally frivolous straw man: Clinton had not intended to harm national security. This was not an element of the felony offenses she had committed; nor was it in dispute. No matter: Obama’s analysis was the stated view of the chief executive. If, as was sure to happen, his subordinates in the executive law-enforcement agencies conformed their decisions to his stated view, there would be no prosecution.

Within a few weeks, even though the investigation was ostensibly still underway and over a dozen key witnesses — including Clinton herself — had not yet been interviewed, the FBI began drafting Comey’s remarks that would close the investigation. There would be no prosecution.

On June 27, Lynch met with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on an out-of-the-way Arizona tarmac, where their security details arranged for both their planes to be parked.

Over the next few days, the FBI took pains to strike any reference to Obama’s emails with Mrs. Clinton from the statement in which Comey would effectively end the “matter” with no prosecution.

And remember, we have a second FBI scandal being investigated, now. We’re trying to figure out whether the FBI used the Trump-Russia dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign, in order to get FISA court warrants to conduct surveillance on Trump and Trump associates. Just a little extra help for their favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Again, if true – we’re still investigating.

I used to think that the worst thing the Obama administration did was the IRS persecution of conservative groups ahead of Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And now there’s this new scandal.  Now we’re finding out little by little what the Obama administration really did, but we’ll probably never know the whole truth.

Democrats oppose release of #FISAMemo detailing surveillance abuses #ReleaseTheMemo

The Memo "raises serious questions about... the Obama DOJ"
The memo “raises serious questions about… the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI”

OK, I’m not following this story too closely, but I think what I’m hearing is that the Clinton campaign funded a company called Fusion GPS, which produced a Trump-Russia dossier. And this dossier was then used to get surveillance warrants on Trump campaign staff, in order to help Hillary Clinton win the election. And apparently, there’s a memo that documents exactly how this was done, and the Republicans are trying to release it to the public, while the Democrats are trying to cover it up.

The Daily Caller talks about what’s IN the memo:

National security journalist and Fox News contributor Sara Carter reportedThursday that the memo shows “extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse.”

The memo also contains information about the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Carter also writes that sources told her “they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates.”

She also reports that an unnamed congressional member told her “(w)e probably will get this stuff released by the end of the month.”

The article has some tweets by Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Ron DeSantis, etc.

And more:

A number of other Republican lawmakers sounded off about the contents of the classified intelligence memo.

Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry told Fox News, “You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said, “I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

Gaetz also issued a statement on his congressional website Thursday calling for the document to be released to the public, writing, “The House must immediately make public the memo prepared by the Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI and the Department of Justice. The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy.”

How bad are the contents of the memo?

Here’s the latest from Fox News:

A four-page memo circulating in Congress that reveals alleged United States government surveillance abuses is being described by lawmakers as “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming,” with one congressman likening the details to KGB activity in Russia.

Speaking with Fox News, the lawmakers said they could not yet discuss the contents of the memo they reviewed on Thursday after it was released to members by the House Intelligence Committee. But they say the memo should be immediately made public.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said.

“It’s troubling. It is shocking,” North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said he believed people could lose their jobs after the memo is released.

“I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice,” he said, referencing DOJ officials Rod Rosenstein and Bruce Ohr.

“You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is,” Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry said.

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday approved a motion by New York Rep. Pete King to release the memo on abuses of FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to all House members.

[…]The vote Thursday morning on releasing the memo to lawmakers was along party lines, with Democrats voting against making it available for all members.

I probably should get ahead of myself, but I am really hoping that some of the Democrats in the DOJ and FBI end up in the slammer. We have a problem with corruption in the government. It’s a problem that will get immeasurably better if we put some Democrats in jail for the crimes they’ve committed. I’m so anxious to see these secular leftists who thought that they were above the law get justice. Government is not intended to be as a weapon against the advocates of limited government. This is not the Soviet Union.