Mr. President, Declassify Documents on Russia Collusion Now

The Spectator, by R. Emmett Tyrrel, Jr. July 18, 2018:

Now that FBI agent Peter Strzok has appeared before the Congress and told us nothing that we did not know, it is time for President Donald Trump to act. Strzok looked like a cocky crook testifying to Congress about a failed con job. His appearance was utterly astounding. He actually smirked at the assembled elected officials of government. He smirked from morning until late in the afternoon when the Congress finally adjourned, though admittedly by late in the afternoon the wind was pretty much out of his sails, and his smiling face most assuredly ached. He looked deflated, and if he was eager for anything it was for the exit and the arms of his FBI paramour Lisa Page.

His demeanor was not that of a stalwart FBI agent appearing before the Congress of the United States to inform the citizenry, but like that of John Gotti or one of the other hoods whom a better generation of FBI agents than Strzok’s once put behind bars.

At some point in the near future a reflective Congress might — in a bipartisan moment — investigate how the FBI became a tool of elitist interests in our nation’s capital. Then too the Congress could offer suggestions as to what can be done to repair the damage. For federal law enforcement to become so flagrantly political is genuinely alarming.

I think President Trump has subtly brought the left and the right in this country together, at least on one point. The time has come for the citizenry to see all the documents held by the government in the so-called Russian collusion scandal. Was there collusion? Who was involved? The President has it in his power to declassify the documents. Use your faithful weapon, Mr. President, your trusty black felt pen. Sign the declassifying order now.
Pressure is building from both ends of the spectrum. Last weekend the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal called for declassifying the documents. Strzok did tell his intrepid inquisitor, Congressman Jim Jordan, that over at the Justice Department one Bruce Ohr did serve as the quiet conveyor of opposition research from the Clinton front group Fusion GPS to the FBI. Oh yes, and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion and, by the way, Ohr and perhaps a dozen others involved in this Camorra to discredit Trump go back years, many to their college days as young socialists at Cambridge and select American universities. That revelation means that as the Journal pointed out, “… Fusion, an outfit on the payroll of the Clinton campaign, had a messenger on the government payroll to deliver its anti-Trump documents to the FBI.” Confirming that, “the FBI relied on politically motivated sources as part of its probe, even as Mr. Strzok insists he showed no political bias….” Strzok is even more brazen than members of the Cosa Nostra.

Specifically the Journal called for the release of FISA applications. They will show how heavily the FBI relied on Christopher Steele’s dirty dossier. They will also show how candid the Justice Department and the FBI were in seeking the FISA subpoenas from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Journal also called for release of documents related to the Woods procedures, which will show how the FBI verified evidence it used to justify eavesdropping on the Trump campaign. There are also documents called 302s and 1023s, documents that would show how the FBI dealt with Steele, Fusion GPS, and other informants, for instance Dan Jones and my old friend Stef Halper.

I have my own set of questions about the Russian collusion investigation that might be answered if the President orders the above documents declassified. Working with my indefatigable chief investigator, George Neumayr, here are a few of the questions that we have prepared once President Trump has declassified the documents.

  • The President should declassify all communications between Strzok and John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s director of CIA. Their shared hatred for Trump lies at the root of the Obama administration’s decision to spy on the Trump campaign. Declassify the documents and let the questioning begin.
  • He should also declassify any documents that shed light on Brennan’s “working group at Langley.” When did the group begin its work? Who participated?
  • He should declassify any documents that shed light on the internal discussions or debates about whether or not to open up a probe of the Trump campaign: Did any FBI officials dissent from the decision? If so, who are the officials?
  • He should declassify any documents related to the Brennan-generated leak to then Senator Harry Reid. My guess is that Brennan has a lot of questions to answer as this week’s tweets suggest.

Strzok’s appearance before the Congress was very amusing. Now it is time to come up with answers to the question of Russian collusion or collusion by anyone else in the 2016 election. Mr. President, you can do it.

***

“They are prosecuting people on a partisan basis, and that, is the beginning of tyranny”

***

Also see:

The Latest on the Surveillance Abuse Investigation

Incredible investigative analysis by Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse And Jeff Carlson at The Markets Work:

Why Obama Wanted the Russians to Hack the Election

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, June 25, 2018:

“Why the hell are we standing down?”

That was the question that the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator was asked after Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, issued a stand down order on Russia.

Testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian interference in the election once again raised the central paradox of the Russia conspiracy theory. If Russian interference in the election represented the crisis that we are told it did, why did Obama fail to take any meaningful action?

The White House’s own cybersecurity people wanted an aggressive response before being told to stand down. Obama issued a bloodless warning to Russia while his people deliberately crippled our offense.

Democrats and the media blamed the Russian hacking on Trump. But it was Susan Rice who had told the cybersecurity team to “knock it off” and Obama’s people who hadn’t wanted him to be “boxed in” and forced to respond to Russian actions. Was this just the usual appeasement or was there more to it?

Why didn’t Obama and his team want to stop Russian hacking? Because they needed the Russians.

The 2016 election is really the story of two deep state intelligence operations that dovetailed neatly with each other. One was an ongoing Russian operation that took advantage of a weak president to sow chaos in America and Europe. The other was a domestic political operation utilizing counterintelligence resources in the United States and Europe to spy on, undermine and try to bring down Trump.

Contrary to claims made by Obama operatives, the Russian operation was not new. Russian hackers and spies had done enormous damage to America’s intelligence community. But they had succeeded so well because the mission of the intelligence community had shifted from deterring foreign adversaries to suppressing domestic political opponents. And this new mission made the Russians attacks irrelevant.

The Russian attacks on the formerly formidable NSA were so easy to accomplish because it was no longer countering the Russians. Instead Obama viewed it as a police state tool for spying on pro-Israel activists, members of Congress and Trump campaign officials. The NSA’s opposite numbers in Russia, posing as rogue hackers, were no longer hammering rivals, but a twisted and crippled organization.

Obama didn’t want to fight the Russians, but the Russian attacks were very useful because they justified the NSA’s powers, which he was abusing not to go after the Russians, but after American political rivals. And the Russian election hacks played perfectly into his hands by justifying the counterintelligence investigations supposedly aimed at the Russians, but really aimed at domestic political opponents.

The Mueller investigation is only the latest of these disguised counterintelligence police state gimmicks.

Without the Russians, Obama’s people would have just been nakedly abusing their powers to spy on Americans. But as long as the Russians were active, his deep state had the excuse that it needed.

The two intelligence operations, the Russian one and the Obama one, were interdependent. Their deep state symbiosis was possible only because neither side threatened the core interests of the other.

The Russians were a national security threat, but Obama’s people didn’t care about national security. And Obama’s counterintelligence operation was aimed at domestic political opponents rather than the Russians. It’s still unknown if the Russians and Obama’s people actively colluded in these operations, but it’s likely that seasoned professionals on both sides had a quiet understanding of their respective roles.

The Russians had not set out to alter the outcome of the election. Nor did they have that capability. Their attacks followed the pattern of the Dulles Plan, a fictional piece of Soviet propaganda which attributed any anti-Soviet activity to an American conspiracy to undermine Communism. The KGB veterans running Russia as an actual deep state sought to undermine the American political system by feeding extremism, creating panic and discrediting elections. And that also fit the Obama agenda.

Obama’s people had spent eight years dismantling political norms and undermining America. The KGB deep state conspirators in Russia and their leftist counterparts in Washington D.C. had emerged from the same ideological school. Their aims and allegiances had diverged, but the ex-Communists in Moscow and Adams Morgan Socialists in Washington D.C. shared a common hatred for America and its values.

There was no reason to interfere with the Russian interference. Obama and his people did not believe that the Russians would significantly affect the election. But if his efforts to eavesdrop on Trump officials came to light, the Russians had provided him with an alibi. Susan Rice, as national security adviser, was at the center of the eavesdropping effort and had every reason to protect the Russian operation.

Protecting the Russians also protected the Obamas.

Nor did the Obama deep state have any particular allegiance to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Obamas and the Clintons loathed each other. Though both factions were leftists, their approaches were as much at variance as Bolsheviks and Trotskyists. Obama had been forced to make a deal with the Clintons to secure his hold on the Democrat operation. But his support for Hillary Clinton was only an endorsement of the lesser evil. Her defeat left him and his political allies in total control of the Democrat operation.

And the chaos and violence of his anti-Trump resistance achieved his goal of radicalizing the Democrats.

The Russians didn’t hack the election. That conspiracy theory remains wishful thinking. But the allegation proved very useful in enabling everything from the pre-election eavesdropping on political opponents to the post-election sabotage of the Trump administration to the move away from electronic voting to paper ballots which enable the old-fashioned kind of Democrat ballot stuffing.

But like an iceberg, the most troubling development of the Russian conspiracy is mostly underwater.

After 9/11, the intelligence community was revived with a new purpose. That purpose was fighting Islamic terrorism. During Obama’s two terms, the intelligence community was compromised, crippled and transformed into a domestic deep state aimed at suppressing the political opposition. Tragically, it came to resemble the KGB, with its domestic surveillance and investigation of political opponents.

This transformation of law enforcement and intelligence agencies did not emerge out of thin air.

The Founders were rightly cautious of the power of a strong central government. And a national law enforcement and intelligence infrastructure was always ripe for the worst big government abuses.

The FBI’s record of political tampering under Hoover was no secret. And it didn’t end there. Everything in Washington D.C. is political. Especially the apolitical. Its engine of careerism runs on networking and connections. The apolitical bureaucracy is a buzzing hive of ambition and backstabbing. Every agency has its own Machiavellian subcultures with courtiers, saboteurs, spies and manipulators. And every agency culture has a leftist ideological component, among its other agendas, some more than others.

The Obama years politicized everything from the food you ate to the clothes you wore. Certainly no arm of government survived those terrible two terms without being substantially transformed.

As the cold winter sun set on another year in Washington D.C., the deep state was reborn.

The Democrats have spent two years accusing Republicans of colluding with Russia. But as usual they were accusing their political opponents of their own crime. Republicans had not undermined national security. The Democrats did. A Republican president hadn’t sat across from Putin’s agent and assured him that he would have more flexibility to make deals after the election. A Republican president hadn’t let the Russians hack our national security secrets to provide a casus belli for targeting his opponents.

That was all Obama.

Barack Obama and Susan Rice sabotaged efforts to stop the Russians because their deep state domestic spying program depended on Russian collusion, both the reality and the allegation. Everything from the original allegation, Clinton campaign opposition research which drew on claims by a Russian intelligence operative, to the Mueller counterintelligence investigation, which has done nothing to actually stop the Russians, but has gone after Republican campaign pros, needed the Russians as its stalking horse.

Russian hacking didn’t change the election. But Obama’s exploitation of Russian hacking nearly did. We still don’t know what materials were gathered by the eavesdropping operation. Or who saw them. Information is the ultimate weapon in national security and election campaigns. Obama used the former to tamper with the latter. And all these years later, we still don’t know what damage was done.

While Mueller prowls around pursuing Hillary Clinton’s conspiracy theories, those crimes remain unexplored. But we do know that the Russians didn’t do anything that Obama didn’t allow them to do.

Any serious effort to investigate Russian election hacks must begin with the man who let them to do it.

Also see:

Andrew C. McCarthy on Russiagate, Clinton-Trump Investigation Double Standards, Mueller’s Mandate, DOJ-FBI-CIA Politicization (Part II)

My Guest

Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, contributing editor of National Review and author most recently of essential books on the threat of Islamic supremacism including Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the JihadThe Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.

In Part II of my in-depth interview with Andy, we discussed Russiagate, the pervasive unethical and at times lawless behavior of law enforcement and the intelligence community with respect to Donald Trump and Russia versus Hillary Clinton and her e-mail server, the apparently limitless mandate of Robert Mueller’s special counsel, obstruction of justice and much more.

If you missed Part I of my conversation with Andy on his experience prosecuting the jihadist mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack and what it taught him about the Islamic supremacist threat America faces, the primacy of religion and why Islamic supremacists choose jihadist savagery over assimilation, willful blindness in American national security and foreign policy, folly in American foreign affairs from Syria to Libya, and the imperative to collapse the Khomeinist Iranian regime, be sure to catch up here.

What We Discussed

  • Russia’s historical attempts to “interfere” with U.S. elections, and its imperceptible impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential vote
  • McCarthy’s dissection of the double standard in the DOJ/FBI’s handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton versus that of Donald Trump, and the unwillingness to bring Clinton to justice over Clinton Foundation impropriety if not worse and destruction of State Department emails
  • Former FBI Director James Comey’s monumental error in testimony on the counter-intelligence investigation implicating the Trump campaign that ultimately served as the basis for Robert Mueller’s special counsel
  • Mueller’s limitless special counsel mandate and brazen tactics against Paul Manafort
  • Politicization of law enforcement and the intelligence apparatus, and its detrimental long-term impact on American national security
  • How to root out corruption in the FBI, CIA and DOJ, and the suspicious if not lawless acts of Obama DNI Chief James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan
  • The disingenuous nature of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian meddling in the 2016 election
  • The double standard in the treatment of Paul Manafort versus Hillary Clinton and her email server
  • McCarthy’s obliteration of the obstruction of justice theory
  • President Obama’s involvement in Russiagate

Full Transcript (go there for the audio also)

Also see McCarthy’s article at NRO yesterday: 

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign

The Hill, by Sharyl Attkisson, May 23,  2018:

It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who’ve searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Electronic surveillance was used to listen in on three Trump transition officials in Trump Tower — Flynn, Bannon and Kushner — as they met in an official capacity with the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince.

The FBI also reportedly wiretapped Flynn’s phone conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 31, 2016, as part of “routine surveillance” of Kislyak.

NBC recently reported that Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was wiretapped. NBC later corrected the story, saying Cohen was the subject of a “pen register” used to monitor phone numbers and, possibly, internet communications.

National security letters

Another controversial tool reportedly used by the FBI to obtain phone records and other documents in the investigation were national security letters, which bypass judicial approval.

Improper use of such letters has been an ongoing theme at the FBI. Reviews by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General found widespread misuse under Mueller — who was then FBI director — and said officials failed to report instances of abuses as required.

Unmasking

“Unmasking” — identifying protected names of Americans captured by government surveillance — was frequently deployed by at least four top Obama officials who have subsequently spoken out against President Trump: James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence; Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Susan Rice, former national security adviser; Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general.

Names of Americans caught communicating with monitored foreign targets must be “masked,” or hidden within government agencies, so the names cannot be misused or shared. 

However, it’s been revealed that Power made near-daily unmasking requests in 2016.

Prior to that revelation, Clapper claimed ignorance. When asked if he knew of unmasking requests by any ambassador, including Power, he testified: “I don’t know. Maybe it’s ringing a vague bell but I’m not — I could not answer with any confidence.”

Rice admitted to asking for unmasked names of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports after initially claiming no knowledge of any such thing.

Clapper also admitted to requesting the unmasking of “Mr. Trump, his associates or any members of Congress.” Clapper and Yates admitted they also personally reviewed unmasked documents and shared unmasked material with other officials.

Changing the rules

On Dec. 15, 2016 — the same day the government listened in on Trump officials at Trump Tower — Rice reportedly unmasked the names of Bannon, Kushner and Flynn. And Clapper made a new rule allowing the National Security Agency to widely disseminate surveillance material within the government without the normal privacy protections.

Media strategy

Former CIA Director John Brennan and Clapper, two of the most integral intel officials in this ongoing controversy, have joined national news organizations where they have regular opportunities to shape the news narrative — including on the very issues under investigation.

Clapper reportedly secretly leaked salacious political opposition research against Trump to CNN in fall 2017 and later was hired as a CNN political analyst. In February, Brennan was hired as a paid analyst for MSNBC.

Leaks

There’s been a steady and apparently orchestrated campaign of leaks — some true, some false, but nearly all of them damaging to President Trump’s interests.

A few of the notable leaks include word that Flynn was wiretapped, the anti-Trump “Steele dossier” of political opposition research, then-FBI Director James Comey briefing Trump on it, private Comey conversations with Trump, Comey’s memos recording those conversations and criticizing Trump, the subpoena of Trump’s personal bank records (which proved false) and Flynn planning to testify against Trump (which also proved to be false).

Friends, informants and snoops

The FBI reportedly used one-time CIA operative Stefan Halper in 2016 as an informant to spy on Trump officials. 

Another player is Comey friend Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor, who leaked Comey’s memos against Trump to The New York Times after Comey was fired. We later learned that Richman actually worked for the FBI under a status called “Special Government Employee.”

The FBI used former reporter Glenn Simpson, his political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele to compile allegations against Trump, largely from Russian sources, which were distributed to the press and used as part of wiretap applications.

These eight features of a counterintelligence operation are only the pieces we know. It can be assumed there’s much we don’t yet know. And it may help explain why there’s so much material that the Department of Justice hasn’t easily handed over to congressional investigators.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

***

Also see:

***

Very important point made by Sharyl Attkisson on the big picture in all of this. She points out that this is not just about hating Trump. The reason he is being so aggressively attacked is to keep the massive abuses of power that have been going on for decades from being outed. It’s about unchecked government surveillance. Go to about 19 min. into the video.

***

***

***

***

Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all by former Clinton aide Mark Penn!

***

***

 

Mueller Year One: The Real Heroes in Journalism

Photo credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

American Greatness, by Julie Kelly, May 16th, 2018:

Part one of a two-part series.

The American media are broken.

After eight years of feeding the Obama cult of personality—swooning over his suave personal traits, covering for mistakes and misconduct, applying little if any scrutiny to his policies or performance—the news media suddenly developed a keen interest in presidential accountability and integrity on November 9, 2016.

Since the day Donald Trump won the election over their strenuous objections, the media have been out to get the man they deem unworthy of the presidency. They have teamed up with the Left of and the NeverTrump Right to campaign for his removal from office. (Victor Davis Hanson recently documented #TheResistance’s full list of tactics.) Trump’s family, aides, and cabinet members have been harassed and reviled in despicable ways.

Reporters eagerly transcribe salacious stories pitched by unnamed sources to incite an already inflamed body politic. Events are twisted in grotesque ways to fuel the anti-Trump hysteria. (Look no further than this week’s reporting on the Hamas-led “protest” during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.)

At the same time, the American media arrogantly portray themselves as martyrs—even heroes—for acting as bulwarks against a purportedly devious, inept and cruel administration. The self-puffery on display at last month’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner sounded like war veterans commending each other for bravery on the battlefield, although veterans are far more modest than your average cable news anchor or political pundit.

But it took the self-assured comfort that comes from getting too comfortable with such puffery to draw the media out, unwittingly perhaps, at that very event. For it was at the White House Correspondents dinner that they acknowledged their sycophancy to #TheResistance, their gullibility in being snookered by Obama loyalists, their flat-on-their-back willingness to be used by anti-Trump pimps.

CNN won an award for its January 2017 report about President-elect Trump being briefed on the bogus Steele dossier. While we now know the story was improperly leaked by former Director of National Intelligence (and virulent Trump foe) James Clapper to shotgun the Trump-Russia collusion plotline days before the inauguration—and the celebrated CNN reporters did little more than regurgitate talking points spoon-fed to them by political operatives (one is known to have close ties to Fusion GPS)—the network was applauded for its “depth of reporting.”

The reality is that there are only a handful of reporters bravely bucking the media’s status quo and conducting real investigative journalism to expose what, quite possibly, is the biggest political scandal in U.S. history: How top officials in an outgoing administration colluded with a presidential candidate’s campaign and a major political party for the purpose of  discrediting the rival presidential candidate and then stage a soft coup against him after he won.

Out of thousands of reporters in the United States, fewer than a dozen journalists have dared to cover the ways in which the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus leveraged its authority to try and destroy Trump’s candidacy, then his presidency. The courageous group includes NRO’s Andrew McCarthy, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and Sean Davis, Tablet’s Lee Smith, The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel, Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, and independent journalist Sara Carter.

Unlike the self-proclaimed heroes in the mainstream media who either have willfully ignored or purposefully diverted coverage away from this scandal, these writers have not squandered their integrity or credibility in order to make nice with the ruling political class.

While each one deserves accolades and yes, legitimate awards, for their work, let’s focus on a few here first:

Andrew McCarthy: The former federal prosecutor who once worked for ex-FBI Director James Comey is arguably the most influential writer in this group, and has risked the most in terms of jeopardizing personal and professional relationships. “In the eyes of many of my former colleagues, I’m one of the bad guys. I’m sad about that, because I know things never really go back to the way they were,” he told me via email.

McCarthy, 59, is a Bronx native with a solid record of fighting organized crime and international terrorists. A law-and-order Republican, McCarthy contributed to National Review’s “Against Trump” issue where he wrote, “the [terrorist] threat against us has metastasized in our eighth year under a president who quite consciously appeases the enemy. But the remedy is not a president oblivious of the enemy.” His scrutiny of the Trump-Russia scheme is by not rooted in a deep affection for the president.

But his legal expertise and working knowledge of Justice Department protocols have been an invaluable guide, as the average person (like me) attempts to make sense of the various investigations and indictments. McCarthy also acknowledges that his bias toward law enforcement and some people at the center of this scandal have influenced his approach.

“I’ve been validly criticized for giving him [Comey] the benefit of many doubts that I would not give to others whom I don’t know well, or at all. It’s been a good—if excruciating—lesson in humility,” he told me.

He detected as far back as December 2016 that the Russian collusion story was a farce. He opposed both Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal and the appointment of a special counsel, although he applauded the choice of Robert Mueller (while predicting his probe “could be wrapped up within a few months.”)

Since then, he has been a fierce critic of the Mueller team, particularly of the prosecutions of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. And he has plenty of harsh words for Comey, someone for whom he has “genuine affection.” In his latest piece, he takes a deep dive into the text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and once more questions why his former colleagues are concealing information from the public.

Mollie Hemingway and Sean DavisThe Federalist has been a major target of #TheResistance for its unflinching coverage of the Trump-Russia scandal and exposure of an Obama Administration rife with corruption. (Even though publisher Ben Domenech was also a contributor to NR’s “Against Trump” issue.)

Hemingway was the first to suggest in great detail—just days after the award-winning CNN story—that Obama’s intelligence community had declared war against Donald Trump. “Far from discrediting Trump, [the allegation of Russian election interference]  paints a worrisome portrait of the deep state gone rogue, desperate to stop a man who, whatever his considerable flaws, is an outsider to Washington.” She started to piece together how the politically sourced Steele dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, and gave extensive coverage to the work of the House Intelligence Committee.

After the Comey memos were released last month, Hemingway suggested the January 6, 2017 briefing orchestrated by top Obama intelligence officials was designed to set up the incoming president: “This briefing, and the leaking of it, legitimized the dossier, which touched off the Russia hysteria. That hysteria led to a full-fledged media freakout.” And she’s spared the media no criticism for burying huge developments in the emerging corruption scandal.

Hemingway has taken her battle to the airwaves. A regular Fox News contributor, Hemingway has become fan favorite by going toe-to-toe with anti-Trump journalists to raise serious questions about the veracity of the Trump-Russia investigation. (I personally admire her smackdowns of National Review’s Jonah Goldberg.)

Sean Davis (if you don’t follow him on Twitter, do it now), the site’s co-founder, had one of the past year’s most explosive scoops when he reported that Obama’s PAC paid nearly $1 million in 2016 to the law firm that was funneling money to Fusion GPS, and that the husband of one of Obama’s top communications advisors went to work for Fusion shortly after the 2016 election.

Just last month, Davis outed a former staffer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) who has raised $50 million from a few wealthy Democratic donors to continue Fusion GPS’s dirty work against the Trump Administration. He also amplified an overlooked conclusion in the House Intelligence Committee report: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress when he testified that he did not discuss the dossier with any journalists when in fact he leaked the information to CNN’s Jake Tapper for the “award-winning” story. (Clapper, naturally,  is now a CNN intelligence analyst.)

Lee Smith: Few writers wield the literary blowtorch that Smith does. An expert on the Middle East, Smith noticed that the election collusion story sounded familiar: “The Russia story is a replay of how the former White House smeared pro-Israel activists in the lead-up to the Iran Deal,” he wrote in April 2017.

Most of his work is published in Tablet, a liberal, Jewish publication, but he views this scandal as nonpartisan. “We are now starting to understand more clearly, this is not simply a Democratic scandal, it’s a scandal that in many ways ties together both political establishments,” he told me by email. “Thus it threatens voters who tend to vote for Democrats as much as it does Republicans.”

He’s been a frequent critic of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and routinely blasts the media for their self-serving complicity in pushing the phony Trump-Russia story. “Buy into a storyline that turns FBI and CIA bureaucrats and their hand-puppets in the press into heroes while legitimizing the use of a vast surveillance apparatus for partisan purposes, and you’re in. Dissent and you’re out, or worse—you’re defending Trump.”

But it was his withering takedown of Robert Mueller in March 2018 that scorched the ruling class. Smith called the Mueller investigation a cover-up to “obscure the abuses of the U.S. surveillance apparatus that occurred under the Obama administration.” He disassembled the Washington narrative that Mueller is above reproach, an unimpeachable public figure who should be allowed to conduct his investigation untethered.

Mueller, according to Smith, is the prototypical swamp creature, a hanger-on who’s been held unaccountable for his egregious failures. “The problem is that by using the justice system as a political weapon to attack the enemies of the country’s elite, Robert Mueller and his supporters in both parties are confirming what many Americans already believe. That in spite of all the fine rhetoric, we are not all equal under one law.”

Smith takes an almost patriotic approach to his reporting. “What all of us want is the restoration and rehabilitation of the key American institutions that have inflicted so much damage on the American public as well themselves with Russiagate—I am thinking primarily here of the media,” he told me. “Left and right, we need a free and honest press in order to debate and discuss how we best live together and influence others abroad.”

PART TWO: The rest of the Trump-Russia truth-tellers and media influencers.

***

Also see:

Why Obama Really Spied on Trump

Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 20, 2017:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump. After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office. The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser. Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.

If both CNN stories hold up, then Obama Inc. had spied on two Trump campaign leaders.

Furthermore the Obama espionage operation closely tracked Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request targeting Trump happened the month after he received the GOP nomination.  The second one came through in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to upend an election.

The spying ramped up after Trump’s win when the results could no longer be used to engineer a Hillary victory, but would instead have to be used to cripple and bring down President Trump. Headed out the door, Rice was still unmasking the names of Trump’s people while Obama was making it easier to pass around raw eavesdropped data to other agencies.

Obama had switched from spying on a political opponent to win an election, to spying on his successor to undo the results of the election. Abuse of power by a sitting government had become subversion of the government by an outgoing administration. Domestic spying on opponents had become a coup.

The Democrat scandals of the past few administrations have hinged on gross violations of political norms, elementary ethics and the rule of law that, out of context, were not technically illegal.

But it’s the pattern that makes the crime. It’s the context that shows the motive.

Obama Inc. compartmentalized its espionage operation in individual acts of surveillance and unmasking, and general policies implemented to aid both, that may have been individually legal, in the purely technical sense, in order to commit the major crime of eavesdropping on the political opposition.

When the individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.

If Obama spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.

A criminal motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s the pattern that makes the crime.

Manafort was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different people and two different pretexts.

But one single target. President Trump.

It’s the pattern that exposes the motive.

When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

Businessmen illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.

It’s a crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a crime.

If everyone were being spied on all the time, many crimes could be exposed every second. But that’s not how our system works. That’s why we have a Fourth Amendment.

Nor was Obama Inc. trying to expose crimes for their own sake, but to bring down the opposition.

That’s why it doesn’t matter what results the Obama surveillance turned up. The surveillance was a crime. Anything turned up by it is the fruit of a poisonous tree. It’s inherently illegitimate.

The first and foremost agenda must be to assemble a list of Trump officials who were spied on and the pretexts under which they were spied upon. The pattern will show the crime. And that’s what Obama and his allies are terrified of. It’s why Flynn was forced out using illegal surveillance and leaks. It’s why McMaster is protecting Susan Rice and the Obama holdovers while purging Trump loyalists at the NSC.

The left’s gamble was that the Mueller investigation or some other illegitimate spawn of the Obama eavesdropping would produce an indictment and then the procedural questions wouldn’t matter.

It’s the dirty cop using illegal eavesdropping to generate leads for a “clean” case against his target while betting that no one will look too closely or care how the case was generated. If one of the Mueller targets is intimidated into making a deal, the question of how the case was generated won’t matter.

Mueller will have a cooperative witness. And the Democrats can begin their coup in earnest. It will eventually turn out that there is no “there” there. But by then, it’ll be time for President Booker.

There’s just one problem.

If the gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops, then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic surveillance of their political opponents.

With nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.

That’s the race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to do, then it’s over.

And the Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump, it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.

Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.

The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.

Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.

The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.

Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them.  The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.

If you want to understand why Samantha Power was unmasking names, that’s why. The hysterical obsession with destroying Trump comes from the top down. It’s not just ideology. It’s wealthy and powerful men and women who ran the country and are terrified that their crimes will be exposed.

It’s why the media increasingly sounds like the propaganda organs of a Communist country. Why there are street riots and why the internet is being censored by Google and Facebook’s “fact checking” allies.

It’s not just ideology. It’s raw fear.

The left is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president. The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican successor.

A turning point in history is here.

If Obama goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds, then America ends.

***

DID SUSAN RICE SPY ON TRUMP OFFICIALS FOR MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?

Also see: