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.