According to reports in the news media, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hired Bob Mueller as special prosecutor, he was supposed to give him instructions on what he was to investigate.These reports state that it was collusion with Russia, which is not a crime.
Perhaps the reason Rosenstein doesn’t want to turn over his instructions to Mueller to congressional oversight committees is that he knows that it is all a big farce. Mueller was actually hired to dig up any dirt he could on Trump. It’s doubtful if the order states, “dig up dirt,” but if it doesn’t state specific crimes that are to be investigated then the entire investigation is improper.
In another report, a legal expert opines on the wiretap of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. According to this expert, it is difficult to get a warrant for such a wiretap and specific crimes would have to be listed.
But as this legal expert should know, the rules have been changed with regard to Trump and his associates. For instance, it is also supposed to be difficult to get a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), but one was granted based on the Steele dossier, which even former FBI Director Jim Comey said was made up of “scurrilous and false allegations.”
So how did FBI agents in his employ take such a document to the FISC, swear to its validity and get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant and how did it get renewed three times? And why did Rosenstein sign off on a renewal? He presents himself as such a by the book guy, why didn’t he go by the book on this one and not approve the renewal because the information was from the Steele dossier, which was not verified and had been paid for by the Clinton campaign?
It’s worth noting that Comey signed three of the FISA applications based on this scurrilous and false dossier. It makes you wonder if Comey was convinced that the applications would never be declassified so his secret was safe.
It may be difficult to get a wire tap warrant in most cases, but evidently in front of some federal judges all the FBI has to do is mention the words Donald Trump and they get any kind of surveillance warrant they want. The Justice Department has certainly waived its rules for what is required.
The Mueller investigation has spun so far afield that Rosenstein should be forced to recuse himself from his own investigation. One of the topics that Mueller, according to the questions leaked to The New York Times, plans to ask Trump about is the firing of Comey.
Rosenstein wrote the memo recommending that Trump fire Comey. How can Rosenstein supervise a special prosecutor investigating an act that a memo he wrote caused? But just as important, how can Mueller investigate the firing of his close personal friend and colleague Comey?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russian collusion investigation because he met with the Russian ambassador as part of his responsibilities in the Senate and said hello to him at a social event.
It appears there is one standard for Trump appointees and an entirely different standard for those investigating Trump.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, as part of Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, has been charged with money laundering and other crimes which were discovered by the FBI in an investigation in 2014, long before the Trump campaign existed.
The case is before federal District Court Judge T.S. Ellis and he is evidently trying to figure out what in the world is going on. Ellis asked Mueller’s attorneys for the “scope memo,” which outlines what Mueller can investigate. Mueller’s attorneys told Ellis in his own courtroom that he couldn’t see the unredacted scope memo.
You would think that attorneys would know better. A judge in his own court is not someone to be trifled with. Mueller’s attorneys have some options: They can comply with the judge’s order or they can ask that the charges be dismissed and go home, or they can let Ellis throw the charges out, in which case they could appeal that decision. But if they win the appeal then they end up back in front of Ellis, who doesn’t seem to like them much now. If they get his ruling reversed he’s going to like them even less.
Mueller’s attorneys told Ellis that the scope memo wasn’t pertinent to the case and Ellis told them that he would be the judge of that and he wanted to see it, to see if they actually had the authority to investigate anything they wanted.
He also told them that he knew they didn’t care about Manafort or what he had done but were using Manafort to go after Trump. It’s pretty common knowledge that that’s what Mueller’s team was doing, but it’s a big blow to the investigation to have it said by a federal District Court judge in open court.
I understand all the hoopla over Trump’s new attorney Rudy Giuliani saying that Trump paid his attorney back for the payment to Stormy Daniels. But it doesn’t mean that Trump knew that’s what the payments were for.
Trump, until he became president, was running a multi-billion dollar company. The reports are that he paid Cohen a retainer of $35,000 a month. Cohen made the payment to Daniels right before the election.
After the election Trump turned over his companies to his sons. I hope that President Trump is not spending his time going over every bill he has received since he was elected.
One problem is that $130,000 sounds like so much money, and to most people $130,000 is a lot of money. It’s not a lot of money to Trump or the Trump organizations.
If Trump had lost and had gone back to running his business, he no doubt would have known exactly what his attorney’s bill was for. But he won. Between the election and Jan. 20 he had to get a government organized. He had plenty to do without worrying about a $35,000-a-month retainer he paid his personal attorney.
Simply because the payment to Daniels took place during the campaign doesn’t make it a campaign expense, and the fact that Trump knew his attorney was handling the Daniels situation doesn’t mean that Trump knew he handled it by paying her $130,000. Trump wasn’t paying Cohen $35,000 a month out of the goodness of his heart. Cohen was supposed to handle legal issues for Trump. That was the whole point of paying him every month.
The mainstream media and global warming fanatics are after the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt. So far he seems to he holding his own, but they will use every trick in the book to get him.
Pruitt said that the EPA would no longer use secret science and the environmental whackos went ballistic. Secret Science is when the EPA tells industry it has to do something to combat some dire consequences to the environment but the EPA won’t release the study that supports the decision. In other words it’s the old, “You have to do it because I say you have to do it and I am the government” trick.
The truth is that a lot of the folks at the EPA hate industry. They drive their cars an hour to work everyday and work in a climate controlled environment with all the latest technology, but they hate the industries that provide them with the life they lead.
Pruitt simply said that from now on the EPA would reveal the scientific studies that led to decisions. It makes sense from a lot of different angles. One is that it prevents folks at the EPA from making up studies. If the studies have to be released, that means that other scientists, perhaps ones that don’t hate industry, can try and duplicate the studies to see if they are accurate. But it also gives those in industry, an opportunity to see if they can find a better solution. If you don’t really know what you are fixing, it is hard to come up with a better, perhaps more cost effective way to fix it. Putting your results out there for others to see is the normal practice in science, but for Pruitt to order it is going to bring about environmental disaster according to the left.
Let’s hope the environmental whackos aren’t able to run Pruitt off. But they had better be careful of what they wish for, with Trump as president. If Pruitt is forced to resign then Trump might simply appoint someone from the oil and gas industry as head of the EPA, or perhaps a former coal executive.
It appears that Mueller’s team has come up against another judge that doesn’t like their tactics very much.
Mueller’s team indicted 13 Russians involved with troll farms simply for headlines. They never figured that someone would actually show up in court. We know they never figured anyone would show up in court because, when two attorneys represented one of the Russian companies did, Mueller’s team asked for the case to be delayed. It’s easy to win if you’re the only team on the court. It’s more difficult when you have opposition.
Mueller’s team didn’t exactly say, “Wait, this is supposed to be a slam dunk for our team.” But they did say it in legal terms.
Federal District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich was not amused that Mueller’s team, who had brought the case, wasn’t ready to go forward just because there were going to be attorneys representing the other side in the court. She denied their request for a delay and said the hearing would go forward as scheduled.
Now Mueller’s team is either going to have to reveal the evidence that they have or, if they don’t actually have much evidence, they can ask that the case be dismissed.
Rep. Devin Nunes, who is chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, says he is going to start impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Sessions. Someone had better wake Sessions up and tell him. A Republican congressman starting impeachment proceedings against the attorney general in a Republican administration is not supposed to happen.
This from the outside might look like a lose-lose situation for Republicans, but it could be quite a gift to Trump, who is being stymied because he made a bad decision when he rewarded Sessions for his support by making him attorney general. It wasn’t the only bad appointment Trump made, but it was the worst.
Without Sessions, you have no special prosecutor. Without Sessions you have no Rosenstein as deputy attorney general.
Sessions is evidently as easy to manipulate as one of those people who send money to those Nigerian princes who just need a little cash to get millions of gold out of their country.
Sessions appears to do little or nothing to support the man who made him attorney general. He can’t even get his department to turn over documents to the congressional oversight committees without being threatened. It’s not the way it’s supposed to work, but if Nunes could start impeachment proceedings it would give Trump an excuse to accept Session’s resignation.
Then Trump could appoint an attorney general who would work for him rather than not do much of anything.
Now Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is also demanding that the Justice Department turn over the documents that congressional oversight committees are requesting. It’s one thing for Nunes to be complaining and threatening, but with Ryan involved, the issue has reached a new level.
Without the demands of the congressional committees, the public most likely still wouldn’t know that the Steele dossier was paid for by Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and used to obtain the FISA warrants.
Trump has more than enough on his plate to keep him busy – North Korea, Syria, Iran, Russia, China just to name a few. But he should not ignore the people who supported him and worked for him back in the days when he was a candidate who the mainstream media said had no chance of ever being president.
Trump has allowed Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn to be unjustly indicted and prosecuted by his own Justice Department. This is an error of judgment on Trump’s part and no doubt the result of getting some bad advice.
In politics, if you get the reputation for throwing members of your team to the wolves when those wolves get too close, pretty soon you find that you don’t have a team.
Neither Manafort or Flynn did anything egregious. Manafort had been investigated by the FBI back when Jim Comey was running the show for President Barack Obama. The FBI decided not to prosecute Manafort.
It appears that what happened was Mueller was looking to put some pressure on Trump insiders to get them to roll over on Trump, and here he had an investigation of Manafort that the FBI had passed on but that he could use. Mueller doesn’t care whether Manafort is ever convicted of anything or not because, as Judge Ellis said, they have no interest in Manafort – they are going after Trump.
So Mueller takes this ready-made investigation and decides to make a big media splash by raiding Manafort’s house in the middle of the night with guns drawn like Manafort is some kind of terrorist or Mafioso. It works. The mainstream media eat it up. Then Mueller is not forthcoming about what is really going on in the Manafort case.
Flynn’s mistake was sitting down for an FBI interview and not knowing what it was about. Still, Flynn, according to the agents conducting the interview, didn’t lie. It was now fired FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe who decided that Flynn lied and then the Mueller team convinced him to plead guilty to something he didn’t do.
Rosenstein is Mueller’s boss. AWOL Attorney General Sessions is technically Rosenstein’s boss, but in this case Sessions has formally recused himself. So that makes Trump the direct boss of Rosenstein in the case of the special prosecutor. It doesn’t matter that Mueller is supposed to be investigating Trump, Rosenstein is not an independent entity who can do whatever he wants.
Trump can order Rosenstein into his office with every document he has about the charges against Manafort and Flynn. Trump could release those documents to the public; he could give them to Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee; or he could have handed them out to the kids at the annual Easter Egg Roll.
Rosenstein and Mueller are going after Trump supporters for their own reasons and Trump can stop them without firing anybody.
Rosenstein and Mueller are so scared that people are going to find out what they are really doing that they have refused to turn over the documents even to Nunes, who has every right to see them.
But Trump can and should step in and control his employees. The mainstream media would go nuts for a while and argue against an open and transparent government, but they’d have to go easy on that after a while. The people will only accept a certain level of hypocrisy, although at times it does seem unlimited when it comes to liberals. Fortunately Fox News is around and no doubt their numbers would go through the roof if they supported Trump in making this particular investigation open and transparent.
Two more colluders against Trump have resigned from the FBI. One can only hope that the resignations of Lisa Page and James Baker are the beginning of a flood of top-level resignations.
Page is now one of the most famous texters in history. The 50,000 texts between her and her lover FBI agent Peter Strzok have been released, with relatively few redacted.
Strzok is still working for the FBI and he was reassigned after his texts were discovered, but there has been no notice of him being demoted, much less fired.
Comey was fired, former Deputy Director McCabe was fired, but Strzok continues to get his government salary. It does make you wonder exactly what is going on at the FBI.
I subscribed to The New York Times for about 20 years. I never agreed with its political stance, but I thought it had the best news coverage of any publication in the country. I dropped my subscription during the 2016 election because the coverage had become so one sided. I felt vindicated when the editor admitted that the paper had allowed reporters to express their political views in their election coverage.
So when I picked up a copy of The New York Times last week, it was in many ways like seeing an old friend. I read some of the articles about stuff that nobody else covers and then I turned to the inside pages about national politics and there I found article after article lambasting Trump.
No reporter can put all the available information in an article. Much of journalism consists in choosing what to put in and what to leave out. Consistently, in article after article, the information detrimental to Trump was included and often repeated while the information that would have supported Trump was left out.
Although I miss reading everything else, the political coverage of The New York Times has become so unbalanced that it convinced me I made the right decision. It also made me realize that if The New York Times were my only source for information about politics, I would think that Trump was the worst president the country had ever had.
There were no articles about how unemployment is lower than it ever was during the eight years of Obama or that employment among minorities was reaching an all time high. No talk of the economic boom that Trump policies and Republican tax reform have brought about. There was nothing about how ISIS has been defeated.
Obama first allowed ISIS to take over vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, before he admitted ISIS was anything other than a jayvee team. Then Obama tied the hands of the military going after ISIS. He even refused to allow the military to destroy the oil wells, which were funding ISIS. American military jets were not allowed to destroy ISIS oil tanker trucks unless they dropped leaflets first announcing the tanker would be bombed.
It was an absurd way to try and fight an aggressive and well-armed terrorist organization. Thousands of innocent people were tortured and killed because Obama refused to unleash the US military power on ISIS.
Trump removed the ridiculous rules of engagement invented by Obama and it didn’t take the military long to eliminate that threat to world peace.
Maybe that’s old news, but so is an affair that a former pornography actress claims to have had with Trump over 10 years ago.
Elections this week reminded me that candidates lose elections every year often by a few votes. On occasion there is some protest about the election, but once it has been certified and the winner sworn into office, then the candidate who lost leaves the stage, sometimes swearing to never run again and sometimes plotting their return. What the losing candidate almost never does is hang around to cause problems for the winner.
Al Gore had more popular votes than George W. Bush, but since presidents aren’t elected by popular votes but by electors, he lost the election. Once all the hanging chads and pregnant chads and chads who looked like they might one day be pregnant were counted, and Gore still lost, he went on to become a full-time promoter of his first love – global warming – and has made hundreds of millions of dollars doing it.
What Gore didn’t do was claim he was the legitimate president and send his supporters out to cause as many problems for Bush as possible. Hillary Clinton is the first presidential candidate in modern times to do so. She and her supporters have still not accepted that Trump beat her fair and square and this phony Russian collusion investigation is proof that she cannot admit defeat.
If you believe in coincidences then it was simply a coincidence that Dr. Jill McCabe, the wife of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, ran for the state Senate in Virginia and received about $700,000 in donations from the longtime Clinton money man Terry McAuliffe.
I don’t happen to believe in coincidences and there is growing evidence that this was not a coincident at all.
According to former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, McAuliffe recruited Jill McCabe to run for the state Senate seat. Since she had never run for office, how did a medical doctor married to a rising power in the FBI decide out of the blue to run for the state Senate and why in the world would McAuliffe put $700,000 of campaign funds into a losing race for the Virginia state Senate?
McAuliffe has been a political operative tied to the Clintons for decades. What reason would he have to give $700,000 to a political unknown who was going to lose? It looks like a really stupid move, and McAuliffe is not stupid.
But if the goal was not to get Jill McCabe elected to the Virginia state Senate but to have her husband indebted to the Clintons, not in monetary terms but in emotional terms, for helping his wife, then it was a brilliant move. In fact, it’s the kind of political move that the Clintons are known for.
Remember when Hillary Clinton wanted to be a US senator, but she couldn’t win from Arkansas where her official residence was? She couldn’t run from the White House, which is where she actually lived, so by complete coincidence everyone of any consequence dropped out of the race in New York, leaving Hillary Clinton as the last woman standing. Or perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence and President Bill Clinton had cleared the Democratic ballot for his wife, and once she had the Democratic nomination, it was only a matter of counting the votes on election night.
When Bill Clinton was worried about his wife being indicted, since she had committed numerous felonies involving classified documents when she was secretary of state, it was a big coincidence that Bill Clinton happened to run into Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport.
This was a meeting that no one was supposed to know about, but a pesky local television reporter didn’t get the memo and reported it. None of the mainstream media outlets reported this meeting. So this story of huge national significance – which is still having an effect on the government two years later – was reported on the local television news in Phoenix.
The official version of the story is that it was a coincidence and the two talked about their grandchildren and golf. It makes you wonder when Lynch became such a fan of Bill Clinton’s golf game that she would risk her job to talk to him about it.
Thinking people agree that the meeting was not a coincidence. Actually, if it had been coincidence, there is absolutely no way that Lynch would have been on the plane with Bill Clinton. She had no doubt been assured by Bill Clinton that the news of their meeting would never be reported unless she leaked it.
If you believe in coincidences then it makes sense that Jill McCabe woke up one morning and decided out of the blue to run for the state Senate, and McAuliffe happened to have $700,000 in campaign funds burning a hole in his pocket that he was looking to unload on a losing state Senate race.
But even if you believe in coincidences, that’s a hard one to swallow.
I am a Trump supporter and believe that he is taking America in the right direction.
I also believe that the mainstream media have been unfairly critical of First Lady Melania Trump. Compare the mainstream media’s portrayal of Michelle Obama and Melania Trump. Michelle Obama could do no wrong, from the clothing she chose to the causes she supported – everything according to the mainstream media was inspired.
Melania Trump has not received the same unwavering praise and adoration.
But “Be Best” – what in the world does that mean? Be the best? Be your best? Those make sense. But Be Best does not. No doubt the White House paid a small fortune for the slogan and the logo. But it appears the deep state has also infiltrated the first lady’s office in the East Wing of the White House. How else do you explain a slogan for a big campaign that makes no sense?
“Just Say No,” which was First Lady Nancy Reagan’s slogan, was pretty dumb. It’s a great idea – just say no to drugs – but people involved in drugs know that they could say no; they chose to say yes. At least it made sense and was grammatically proper. Be Best is not.
I have looked for some explanation of what in the world Be Best means but I haven’t found it. Certainly Melania Trump’s speech about it gave no indication.
But remember when Melania Trump spoke at the Republican National Convention and several paragraphs of what she said were lifted directly from Michelle Obama’s speech. It could have been simply a terrible accident because the Trumps couldn’t afford competent speechwriters. But one might also surmise that some people wanted to remove a powerful political asset from Donald Trump right before he launched into the campaign against Hillary Clinton. Whether it was an accident or sabotage, the effect was the same.
Melania Trump was hesitant to go back out in front of a large audience and read a speech prepared by the speechwriters because she didn’t trust them, and didn’t trust them for good reason.
Now she is again taking her place again on the national stage with a campaign slogan that is nonsensical. Maybe it’s true that she insisted on “Be Best” as a slogan and even Trump couldn’t dissuade her, but this doesn’t look like it’s going to end well.
Democrats are of course moaning and complaining about Trump pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. It should be no surprise because Trump promised during the campaign that he would pull out of the worst deal ever and – unlike professional politicians who say whatever they need to say to get elected and then do whatever they need to do to stay in office – Trump believes in keeping his campaign promises.
Actually, it’s Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry who set up Trump’s cancellation of the deal. Kerry couldn’t negotiate a deal that had any chance of winning approval in the Senate, so it was a deal signed by the president and not a treaty. The fact that Obama didn’t have a deal that had Senate support left the door open for Trump to revoke the deal.
Let the Democrats make a big deal out of pulling out of the agreement with Iran. It wasn’t an agreement that was ever supported by the American people. Obama wanted a foreign relations achievement to put on his resume, and to get one he had to make a deal that was completely one sided.
Trump didn’t say that he wouldn’t make a deal with Iran, but that he was cancelling the deal Obama made.