Worse than Watergate

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American Thinker

By John Leonard

For most of my lifetime, “Watergate” has been used as the measuring stick for political corruption. What exactly was the Watergate scandal?

On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for burglarizing the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D. C. It was never alleged that President Richard M. Nixon knew about the burglary prior to the attempt, but that he tried to use the power of the presidency to obstruct justice in order to protect members of his administration and his reelection committee from facing criminal charges. Ultimately, Nixon was forced to resign in order to avoid congressional impeachment and a trial in the Senate.

The great irony is that Nixon was going to crush McGovern in the general election without any illegal help. Nothing that could have been stolen from the Democrats could have helped the Republican Party win any bigger in 1972 — Nixon claimed 520 electoral votes and carried 49 states. The break-in was stupid and unnecessary.

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Democrats get away with a much worse crime than Watergate.

1800politics.com

The American Spectator

 

Since Watergate, the Washington wisdom has always held that it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that sinks a politician. But that’s only the case when the coverup fails.

But what if the coverup succeeds?

It’s horribly simple. The crimes are never uncovered and the perpetrators are never brought to justice no matter how serious their crimes may be. That is precisely what has happened because of the FBI and Justice Department’s coverup of their abuses of power and illegal actions during the 2016 election.

In this case, the FBI and the Justice Department have succeeded in the most significant coverup in American political history. The abuses of power and crimes they have succeeded in covering up are not only against the law: they are crimes against our system of law and government. They were perpetrated by employees of the government, under color of law, with the intention of affecting the outcome of an election.

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Judicial Watch: Justice Department Discloses No FISA Court Hearings Held on Carter Page Warrants

‘[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.’

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.

In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.

The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.

The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).

In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.

“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”

Ohr speaks! (Behind closed doors)

American Thinker

By Thomas Lifson

You can almost smell the fear in the Get Trump camp that Bruce Ohr might be the thread that could be pulled to unravel the conspiracy of high-ranking officials to spy on the Trump campaign and then, after the election, put into action the “insurance policy” Peter Strzok mentioned to his mistress (and co-worker) Lisa Page in an August 2016 text message, to remove a duly elected president from office.

The New York Times, which serves as a pilot fish for the rest of the media, has been working hard to minimize the damage he might do.  On August 17, as Ohr’s name was being introduced to inhabitants of the MSM bubble thanks to a threat by President Trump to remove his security clearance, the Times outright lied about his position in the Department of Justice, calling him a “midlevel” official in the DOJ.  This lie was picked up and repeated in many other articles and was used on cable news reports extensively, thereby falsely branding him as a minor player caught up and persecuted by Trump and anyone else paying attention.

Ohr was, prior to his demotion, the top-ranked career official (i.e., not a political appointee) in the Justice Department.  While the Times has not (so far as I have been able to discover) issued an official correction for this lie, the day before yesterday, it called him a “senior career Justice Department official” and yesterday, in its report on the hearing (didn’t  the Times cover this itself?), ran an Associated Press report that called him “a high-ranking official in the deputy attorney general’s office” but identified his significance in the lede as “[a] longtime government lawyer who has become a central figure in President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the Russia investigation.”  Other media went along with this Ohr-as-victim party line; CNN, for instance, called him the “Justice Department official in Trump’s crosshairs.”

One side benefit of Ohr’s appearance is that we now finally have more than one picture of Ohr.  Up until yesterday, the sole picture of the former number-four official in the Obama Justice Department was from the ceremony accompanying  an award he had received years ago.  Here is a new head shot taken from Fox News video of his arrival:

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Trump Is Not Only Right To Criticize Jeff Sessions, It’s His Constitutional Duty

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The Federalist

By

Recently, an interesting debate erupted on Twitter between Donald Trump (the 45th President of the United States) and his subordinate Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump, who is the head of the executive branch and the boss of Sessions, publicly criticized the Department of Justice, which is not only his right as president, but also his responsibility as the only thin connection tying the ballot box to the DOJ. We should fear a world in which the DOJ, which has the vast power of the FBI and a monopoly over federal prosecutorial authority, does not listen to the voice of its elected master.

Trump said, “I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice department.”  He then complained that Sessions surrendered control by recusing himself from participating in matters important to the president.

Sessions fired back, writing, “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”

When our attorney general publicly responds to his boss that he will not “be influenced by political considerations,” one has to wonder whether he means that he feels empowered to ignore the “political consideration” that his boss wants him to manage the DOJ differently. We’re supposed to live in a representative democracy. Under Article II of the Constitution, the voters exercise their control over the government through the president.

Sessions went on to write,

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It’s Suspicious That The FBI And DOJ Didn’t Check Into Christopher Steele’s Leaks To The Press

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Would you do everything you could to determine whether you could trust a source who lied to you before relying on him to treat a U.S. citizen guilty of treason?

 

The Federalist

By

Here’s a hypothetical question for journalists: Let’s say you managed to convince the translator in the room during the President Trump-Vladimir Putin meeting to speak to you, and you only, on the condition of anonymity, and you’re in the midst of writing an explosive, exclusive story for your publication. As you’re writing, you look up to see BREAKING NEWS on CNN, and listen as Wolf Blitzer reports the story you’re writing, with the exact fly-on-the-wall detail you received from your “exclusive” source.

So what’s your first move? Would you assume CNN must’ve convinced the Russian translator to talk to them and move on with your story without taking any action, or would you call your source to figure out where that CNN information came from? If your source denied talking to CNN, would you believe him and move on, or would you do whatever you could to determine whether you can trust this source on such an important matter? You’d want to know the answer to that question before proceeding, would you not?

A hypothetical question for editors: Let’s say you’re editing an article on a Pentagon policy change and notice a number of paragraphs that you think you may have read before in another publication. You Google the lines and find that your reporter appears to have lifted entire paragraphs of copy from another article.

So what’s your first move?

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New Emails Reveal FBI Official Peter Strzok Insisted on Retaining Declassification and other Authorities for Mueller Special Counsel Assignment

Judicial Watch

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 14 pages of FBI documents concerning the assignment of former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s operation, showing that Strzok insisted on retaining his FBI security clearance before moving to the Mueller team and confirming that Strzok played a pivotal role in the flawed Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The records were received in response to a December 2017 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that was filed after the FBI failed to respond to an August 17, 2017, FOIA request  (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-02682)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All records regarding the assignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok to the special counsel’s investigation led by former Director Robert Mueller.
  • All records related to the reassignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok from the special counsel’s investigation to another position within the FBI.
  • This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all forms SF-50 and/or SF-52, as well as any and all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and any other individual or entity.

A series of emails reveal Strzok’s insistence that he retain all the authorities he held as a deputy assistant director (DAD) in the counterintelligence division (CD), including his security clearance, after his reassignment to the special counsel’s office. In a July 13, 2017 email to numerous FBI officials, some of whom are redacted, Strzok says:

Broadly, I need to be able to act at least in the capacity of my old CD DAD job – approve NSLs [national security letters], conduct [redacted] declassify information, [redacted] agent travel, requisitions, etc.  Of those, the most problematic and one of the most essential is declassification authority.

In response, FBI assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division William Priestap assures Strzok he will remain free to act just as he did while a deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division and, further, that he will remain on the FBI’s books as a “floating DAD:”

In answer to your initial question, while assigned to the Special Counsel’s office, you will retain your CD DAD authorities, to include declassification authority.

Since you will take your non-transferrable declassification authority with you, CD will work to obtain another declassification authority slot for the DAD who is chosen to replace you.

Assuming the 7th floor approves, you will remain on CD’s books as a fourth (floating) DAD.  When you move on from your DAD position, your DAD slot will revert back to HRD.

“These new emails show anti-Trump FBI official Peter Strzok’s ‘assignment’ gave the Mueller Special Counsel operation special authorities to target President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We know Strzok can’t be trusted and the Special Counsel should tell us if Strzok abused his special authorities to target President Trump.”

Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August 2017 and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and another FBI lawyer, Lisa Page exchanged text messages during the Clinton investigation and campaign season that raise serious about his anti-Trump/pro-Clinton bias. They were also engaged in an extramarital affair.

Strzok oversaw the FBI’s interviews of former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn. He changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” He also played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign.

Dept. of Justice finally instructs US Attorneys to use term ‘illegal alien’ instead of ‘undocumented’

American Thinker

By Thomas Lifson

Calling things by their proper names is fundamental to being able to correctly deal with them. Euphemisms allow unpleasant realities to be avoided. The law and the administration of justice require accurate terminology. China’s history is replete with cycles of dynastic decline, and the recipe for reform was always, in the end, what Confucius called ”the rectification of names.”

Confucianism believes in social harmony that is achieved through stable relationships. To achieve stable relationships rectification of names is essential. Rectification of names simply refers to designating names appropriately and matching these names to responsibilities or actions such that a particular name has a set of responsibilities attached to ensure there is no confusion between the names or the responsibilities allocated to each. This generally provides the appropriate channels and form of interaction between different relationships towards the aim of fostering social order.

Illustration of Confucius from and edition The Analects, via Flickr

Although Jeff Sessions probably does not think of himself as a Confucian scholar, he clearly understands this bit of wisdom from the Great Sage, as CNN reports:

The Justice Department has instructed US attorneys offices not to use the term “undocumented” immigrants and instead refer to someone illegally in the US as “an illegal alien,” according to a copy of an agency-wide email obtained by CNN.

According to the email, the Justice Department uses terms in the US Code to describe an individual who is illegally in the US, and thus refers to them as “an illegal alien.”

“The word ‘undocumented’ is not based in US code and should not be used to describe someone’s illegal presence in the country,” the email states.

An immigrant who is in the US legally or whose status is unknown is to be described by their country of citizenship, it adds.

Somehow, I expect that instead of celebrating diversity in following the ancient wisdom of Confucius (not a dead white male), we will see the progressive media explode with rage.

Federal Court Orders DOJ to Begin Searching and Producing Fusion GPS Records in Response to Judicial Watch Lawsuit

Court Criticizes DOJ’s FOIA Response 

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton instructed the Justice Department to immediately begin producing records about DOJ communications with Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr.  Nellie Ohr worked for Clinton campaign vendor Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump Dossier campaign document.

Judge Walton rejected a Justice Department request to begin producing documents six months from now and ordered the DOJ to begin producing documents immediately on a rolling basis over the next two months. Judge Walton also rejected DOJ’s efforts to restrict their search to only 2016.

Judge Walton repeatedly criticized the Justice Department during a June 14 hearing:

I think if it’s been almost, since December when the initial request was made more should have been done by now. And it seems to me if you have someone who’s going to come into office and they say they’re going to be a disrupter, that they should appreciate there’s going to be a lot of FOIA requests and therefore, should gear up to deal with those requests. So I’m not real sympathetic to the position that you have limited staff and therefore, you can’t comply with these requests. So I think you’re going to have to get some more people.

***

I mean FOIA is considered to be very important. I keep getting from the government, from various agencies we can’t do this, we can’t do that because we don’t have the resources. I’m not real sympathetic to that. FOIA is important. Open government is important, and government has to comply with FOIA in order to make it an open government.

In March 2018 Judicial Watch filed the FOIA lawsuit after the Justice Department failed to respond to a December 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00491)). The lawsuit seeks:

  • All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats, between DOJ officials in the Attorney General’s Office and Fusion GPS employee or contractor Nellie Ohr.

“We are pleased another court rejected the Justice Department’s inexcusable stonewalling on documents of intense public interest – Obama DOJ collusion with the Clinton campaign vendor Fusion GPS to target then-candidate Donald Trump,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How extraordinary it is that this Justice Department is now under court order to stop stalling on releasing records about potential corruption in the Obama Justice Department!”

In December 2017, Bruce Ohr was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General after it was revealed that he conducted undisclosed meetings with anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steel and Glenn Simpson, principal of Fusion GPS. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 noted that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.

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Judicial Watch Sues Justice and State Departments for Uranium One Records

Clinton operations receive tens of millions of dollars of contributions from Uranium One/Russia Interests

 

Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State for all records of communications relating to Uranium One (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00722)). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 29.

Judicial Watch sued the agencies after they failed to respond to two December 22, 2017, FOIA requests. Judicial Watch asked the Justice Department for:

  • All records regarding, the company Uranium One (otherwise known as Uranium One, Inc. or SXR Uranium One, Inc.), including records of communication sent to and from officials in the offices of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, and the National Security Division from January 20, 2009 through December 31, 2013.

The State Department was asked to produce:

  • Any records relating to the company Uranium One (otherwise known as Uranium One, Inc. or SXR Uranium One, Inc.), including records of communication sent to and from officials in the Office of the Secretary of State, Office of the Legal Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Office of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Office of International Security and Nonproliferation, and the Office of Political-Military Affairs from January 20, 2009 through December 31, 2013.

This lawsuit is part of Judicial Watch’s continuing investigation of the highly controversial 2010 Uranium One deal. At the time, a Russia state-owned nuclear firm, Rosatom, sought to buy Uranium One, a Canadian mining company. Because Uranium One held licenses for 20 percent of America’s uranium production capacity, the sale had to be approved by the nine members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who assented to the transaction. Uranium One interests contributed more than $140 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In January 2008, Judicial Watch revealed that Bill Clinton had helped Vancouver mining mogul Frank Giustra secure tens of millions of dollars’ worth of uranium. Guistra built a company that became part of Uranium One. The Clinton Foundation later received a $31.3 million donation, as well as a future pledge of $100 million. In July 2014, Judicial Watch released more than 200 Clinton conflict-of interest documents, including a record of a speech in Moscow in June 2010 sponsored by the investment bank Renaissance Capital by Bill Clinton addressing the theme of “Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Going Global.” The document notes that “Renaissance Capital is an investment bank focused on the emerging markets of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and sub-Saharan Africa.” Renaissance Capital has also been linked to Russia efforts to gain control of Uranium One.

“It is simply remarkable that Judicial Watch had to sue the State and Justice Departments in federal court for basic information about the shady Uranium One deal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It seems Judicial Watch has done more to investigate the Clinton-Russia connections than the Justice Department, even as DOJ resources are spent on supporting Mueller’s massive investigation into the fanciful Clinton Dossier-inspired Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. We hope the Uranium One cover-up ends thanks to these lawsuits.”

According to a 2013 New York Times report, the Clinton Foundation hid many of the beneficiaries of the Uranium One deal approved by CFIUS and Mrs. Clinton:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.

Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank [Renaissance Capital] with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

Prior to the Uranium One deal, the FBI reportedly “had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.”

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

***

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rob Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe …”