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Posts tagged ‘Donald Trump’

California Would Disbar Ted Cruz And 18 Attorneys General If It Could


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 27, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/27/california-state-bar-would-disbar-ted-cruz-and-18-attorneys-general-if-it-could/

Ted Cruz bros out with Donald Trump
This is what happens when state bars use disciplinary proceedings to conduct lawfare against political opponents. 

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the attorneys general from 17 additional states should all be disbarred, according to the reasoning of the disciplinary complaint the State Bar of California filed Thursday against former Trump campaign attorney John Eastman. That detail is one of many buried in the 35-page, 11-count disciplinary complaint made public yesterday in the latest lawfare attack on attorneys who deigned to represent Donald Trump. 

State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona announced on Thursday the filing of disciplinary charges against Eastman, allegedly arising from Eastman’s engagement “in a course of conduct to plan, promote, and assist then-President Trump in executing a strategy, unsupported by facts or law, to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain states.” The press release announcing the disciplinary charges further claimed that Eastman “made false and misleading statements regarding purported election fraud,” that provoked a crowd into assaulting and breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The 11 charges against Eastman prove troubling throughout, with the State Bar of California proposing to discipline Eastman for presenting legal analyses to his client, Trump, and for speaking publicly on his views about the election, with the bar even attempting to hold Eastman responsible any violence that occurred on Jan. 6. The disciplinary complaint also misrepresents numerous arguments Eastman and others made concerning the 2020 election, falsely equating claims of violations of election law with fraud.

But it is count two of the disciplinary complaint, charging Eastman with “seeking to mislead a court,” that exposes the California State Bar as a kangaroo court.

“On or about December 7, 2020, the State of Texas filed a Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint in the United States Supreme Court, initiating the lawsuit Texas v. Pennsylvania,” begins count two of the complaint against Eastman. The complaint then explains that in that lawsuit, Texas argued the defendant states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin “usurp[ed] their legislatures’ authority and unconstitutionally revised their States’ election statutes.” As a remedy, Texas sought an order from the Supreme Court to “enjoin the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by the Defendant States’ legislatures and remand to the Defendant States’ respective legislatures to appoint Presidential Electors in a manner consistent with the Electors Clause.”

Eastman, on behalf of then-President Trump, sought to intervene in the Texas v. Pennsylvania case, and in that motion, Eastman “expressly adopted the allegations contained in the Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint filed by Texas.” In adopting the allegations Texas made, Eastman, according to the California State Bar, “misl[ed] the Supreme Court by an artifice or false statement of fact or law,” in violation of California’s “Business and Professions Code” that governs attorneys’ conduct in the Golden State.

Under the California State Bar’s reasoning, then, Texas’ attorney general who filed the motion likewise “misled” the U.S. Supreme Court, as did the attorneys general of the 17 other states that supported Texas’ motion for leave to file a bill of complaint. So too would have Sen. Ted Cruz, had the Supreme Court agreed to hear the motion, as he had agreed to argue the case on Trump’s behalf in that circumstance. 

While count two represents but one of the 11 distinct charges levied against Eastman, it most clearly exposes the logical conclusion reached when state bars use disciplinary proceedings to conduct lawfare against political opponents. 

To date, the bars have limited themselves to targeting just a few attorneys working for Trump, with the D.C. Bar pursuing Rudy Giuliani and Jeff Clark, in addition to the California State Bar’s attack on Eastman. But there is no limiting principle to prevent the bars in other states from pursuing any politician with a law license who happens to represent the wrong person. 

That is an extremely dangerous precedent, which is why tomorrow at a press conference called by Eastman’s legal team, some big legal names will condemn the move. The hastily called conference is expected to bring together former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III and John Yoo, a current professor of law at the University of California-Berkley, former general counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and former deputy assistant attorney general. Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and former California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, among others, are also expected at the conference.

Whether the legacy media will cover Eastman’s detailed response to the State Bar of California’s disciplinary complaint or bother to report on his press conference remains to be seen. But if Cruz and the attorneys general impugned by the California State Bar speak out, the corrupt press may not have any choice but to report on the ridiculous theories underlying the disciplinary attacks on Eastman.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.


The Real Scandal In The Classified Documents Debacle Is Washington’s Overclassification Problem

BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE

JANUARY 25, 2023

4 MIN READ

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Laws governing classified documents in private possession have become a primary vehicle to thwart political opponents.

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Washington D.C. has long had an overclassification problem.

According to Yale Law Professor Oona Hathaway, more than 50 million documents are classified every year. In fact, “we don’t know the exact number because even the government can’t keep track of it all,” Hathaway told NPR last week. Now, laws governing classified documents in private possession have become a primary vehicle to thwart political opponents.

More documents marked classified have now been found in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence, his team announced to Congress on Tuesday. The revelation marks the latest episode in classified documents popping up in the apparently improper possession of individuals who’ve conducted state business at the highest levels of government.

Last week, a 13-hour FBI search of President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence turned up yet another trove of documents with classified markings from his tenure in public office before he was afforded total classification powers as commander-in-chief. The search by federal agents came after the president’s attorneys found secret records in several locations, including a Washington office closet and his Delaware garage.

In August, it was first former President Donald Trump who found himself in hot water when 30 plainclothes FBI agents raided the 128-room palace at Mar-a-Lago in search of classified documents. Operating under a broad warrant issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland that allowed officials to confiscate any record Trump may have come into contact with, agents took 15 boxes of material from the Florida residence. Deep-state DOJ officials then began to leak to their public relations team at The Washington Post that former President Trump was harboring nuclear secrets.

[READ: There’s A Difference Between Biden And Trump’s Classified Documents Snafus, But It’s Not What You Think]

“A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Post reported, “underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property.”

Of course, the public has little to no idea what, exactly, the documents spelled out. They are classified, after all. But the constant drip of document appearances from now three potential presidential contenders showcases how laws governing classified records can be used to get rid of nearly any federal elected official. Given that a criminal conviction of Trump has remained the top item on the Democrats’ policy agenda since 2016, it’s a conspiracy to think the enforcement of the rarely prosecuted Presidential Records Act is not being pursued for the sole purpose of thwarting his 2024 campaign — that is until the dam of others’ classified documents broke.

The real scandal isn’t that the current president, his predecessor, and the last vice president were improperly harboring classified documents beyond their government tenure. The real scandal is Washington’s chronic overclassification problem, which leads to the laws governing classified records becoming weaponized to take out political opponents. It’s probably only a matter of time before classified documents appear in the possession of any former federal employee who wants to run for president, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Even The Washington Post highlighted D.C.’s obsession with classifying everything way back in 1989. In classic swamp fashion, 34 years have gone by without fixing the problem. Congress did try to address the overclassification issue in 2010 with the Reducing Over-Classification Act. President Barack Obama signed the law, but lawmakers failed to define “over-classification,” rendering the legislation practically useless.

The federal government can and should keep certain information concealed from public view. It’s probably not wise to reveal details about American nuclear operations. But anyone who’s ever submitted a request for public records through the Freedom of Information Act understands Washington hates making anything public.

The Federalist is still waiting on the Department of Transportation, of all agencies, to comply with a records request that was filed in late 2021 related to Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s prolonged eight-week absence amid a supply-chain crisis. Once the agency coughed up documents as a result of a lawsuit from Protect the Public’s Trust this month, the secretary’s husband, Chasten, berated reporters for focusing on old news.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Ex-FBI Official Who Helped Launch Crossfire Hurricane Charged With Laundry List Of Crimes


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 24, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/24/ex-fbi-official-who-helped-launch-crossfire-hurricane-charged-with-laundry-list-of-crimes/

Oleg Deripaska at WEF
Monday’s news is a body blow to the FBI, which already has two black eyes from the last seven years of scandals.

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The Department of Justice unsealed twin indictments on Monday against Charles McGonigal, a former FBI section chief involved in the decision to launch the Crossfire Hurricane investigation against then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Here are six takeaways from yesterday’s news.

1. McGonigal Charged with Conspiring with Russian Interpreter to Launder Money — and More.

Monday morning brought breaking news that the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York had unsealed a five-count indictment that charged McGonigal and Sergey Shestakov with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, and with conspiring to launder money. Prosecutors also charged Shestakov with lying to the FBI. 

McGonigal, as the indictment explained, was previously a “senior official” in the FBI, having been employed by the bureau from 1996 to 2018, and working in Russian counterintelligence, organized crime matters, and counter-espionage. From 2016 until his retirement in 2018, McGonigal was the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI’s New York Field Office, a role in which he supervised and investigated Russian oligarchs, according to the indictment.

Shestakov, for his part, is described as a “former Soviet and Russian diplomat,” who was in that role from 1979 until his retirement in 1993. The press release announcing the charges notes that Shestakov is now a U.S. citizen, and he has “more recently served as an interpreter for United States federal courts and prosecutors.”

The indictment charged that McGonigal and Shestakov violated the sanctions imposed by the United States on Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, in violation of the IEEPA. Specifically, the indictment alleged the duo, in or about 2021, “agreed to and did investigate a rival oligarch of Deripaska in return for concealed payment from Deripaska.” 

According to Monday’s press release, McGonigal and Shestakov negotiated with a representative of Deripaska, identified as Agent-1 in the indictment, “to conceal Deripaska’s involvement” in the relationship “by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications,” using instead various nicknames, such as “the big guy.” McGonigal, Shestakov, and Deripaska also allegedly used “shell companies,” to hide the payments coming from Deripaska.

McGonigal allegedly first met Deripaska’s representative, Agent-1, while still employed by the FBI, but then in the spring of 2021, after McGonigal had retired from the bureau, he was allegedly solicited to work directly for Deripaska. Specifically, the indictment charged that Deripaska hired McGonigal to investigate a second Russian oligarch with whom Deripaska had an ongoing dispute over control of a Russian corporation. In exchange, Deripaska allegedly agreed to pay the partners $51,280, followed by monthly payments of $41,790, although the payments were made to a New Jersey corporation, which then transferred the funds to McGonigal and Shestakov. 

The activities among McGonigal, Shestakov, and Deripaska’s intermediaries “largely” ceased, according to the indictment, upon the FBI executing search warrants and seizing McGonigal and Shestakov’s electronic devices on Nov. 21, 2021. Shortly before the FBI executed the search warrant, Shestakov allegedly lied to the FBI about his relationship with McGonigal, which formed the basis of the false statement charge against Shestakov.

2. McGonigal Is in More McTrouble

If the indictment in the Southern District of New York were not enough to shake McGonigal’s world, an hour later the Department of Justice released a second press release announcing the unsealing of a second indictment in the District of Columbia. This indictment charged McGonigal with making multiple false statements, concealing material facts, and falsifying records or documents — nine counts in total.

Underlying the nine criminal counts were allegations that McGonigal failed to accurately complete financial disclosure reports, which McGonigal was required to do on an annual basis, and failed to accurately report unofficial foreign travel and ongoing professional or official contracts with foreign nationals. 

The accusations are related to McGonigal’s alleged failure to accurately report his financial situation, connections with foreign nationals, and his relationship with several unnamed individuals. Those individuals are identified as Persons A, B, C, and D, with McGonigal receiving large cash payments in exchange for what appear to be questionable “favors.”

For instance, the indictment described Person A as a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Albania and who had previously worked for the Albanian intelligence agency. It then alleged McGonigal “hid aspects of his relationship with Person A,” including “that he had accepted more than $225,000 from Person A, had traveled to Europe with Person A, and met numerous foreign nationals through Person A.” 

It was McGonigal, according to the indictment, who approached Person A with the money-making scheme, when “no later than August, 2017,” he “inquired as to whether Person A could provide money to him.” Then on Sept. 7, 2017, Person A allegedly indicated he “was working on the money.” Thereafter, McGonigal traveled with Person A to Albania where he allegedly lobbied the Albanian prime minister on behalf of Person A. 

Over the next several months, McGonigal allegedly received three cash payments from Person A, ranging from approximately $65,000 to $80,000 each time. The indictment further charged that “McGonigal caused the FBI-NY to open a criminal investigation of a U.S. citizen in which Person A would serve as a confidential human source.” 

Specifically, on Nov. 25, 2017, McGonigal allegedly informed a federal prosecutor of “a potential new criminal investigation involving a U.S. citizen who had registered to perform lobbying work in the United States on behalf of an Albanian political party different from the one in which the Prime Minister was a member.” Then on Feb. 26, 2018, the FBI office “formally opened a criminal investigation focused on the ‘U.S. citizen lobbyist’ at defendant McGonigal’s request and upon his guidance.” 

The indictment suggests McGonigal opened the investigation into “the U.S. citizen lobbyist” to further his monetary relationship with Person A and others, with the allegations stressing that McGonigal remained in communication with the prime minister after Person A arranged for them to meet in September of 2017. Person A and Person B, the latter identified in the indictment as a former senior Albanian government official and informal adviser to the Albanian prime minister, both then assisted the FBI in the investigation of “the U.S. citizen lobbyist.” 

Elsewhere, the indictment charged that McGonigal attempted to arrange a meeting with Persons C and D and U.S. government authorities to benefit from the unnamed Person A. Among other things, the indictment claimed that McGonigal proposed Person D pay Person A’s company $500,000 in exchange for the scheduling of a meeting with a representative from the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. McGonigal then worked to coordinate the meeting, according to the charges.

3. The Shockwaves of This Latest FBI Scandal Hit Spygate

The two indictments alone represent another huge scandal to the FBI: McGonigal was no low-level agent but rather a special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the New York Field Office. And although McGonigal retired in 2018, some of his allegedly criminal conduct took place while still in that position and allegedly involved the launching of an investigation of a U.S. citizen who was lobbying for a political opponent of one of McGonigal’s foreign contacts.

In isolation, yesterday’s news is a body blow to the bureau, which already has two black eyes from the last seven years of scandals. But the New York indictment of McGonigal reverberates more directly to the SpyGate scandal and specifically the failure of the DOJ to pursue Christopher Steele for his own work for Deripaska.

The inspector general’s report on FISA abuse concluded that “Steele performed work for Russian Oligarch 1’s attorney on Russian Oligarch 1’s litigation matters,” with Deripaska the generically named “Oligarch 1.” Steele, the OIG report continued, “passed information to Department attorney Bruce Ohr advocating on behalf of one of Russian Oligarch 1’s companies regarding U.S. sanctions.” The report further found that Ohr and Steele’s communications concerning Deripaska occurred “in 2016 during the time period before and after Steele was terminated as a [confidential human source].”

Additionally, the OIG report connected that “Ohr said that he understood Steele was ‘angling’ for Ohr to assist him with his clients’ issues,” and that “Ohr stated that Steele was hoping that Ohr would intercede on his behalf with the Department attorney handling a matter involving a European company.”

Steele had reportedly also previously worked for Deripaska’s London-based attorney Paul Hauser, and Steele “appeared to lobby on behalf of Deripaska through a D.C.-based attorney, Adam Waldman.” Steele, however, never registered as a lobbyist under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or “FARA.”

Yet Steele has never been charged with violating FARA. Why?

While this question has been asked again and again, the federal charges against McGonigal for his work on Deripaska’s behalf bring this question to the forefront again. 

4. Speaking of Deripaska, There’s Another SpyGate Scandal Unresolved

The raising of Deripaska’s name in yesterday’s indictment also offers the chance to revisit another SpyGate scandal yet unresolved — a lesser noticed one buried in the hundreds of pages of the inspector general’s report on FISA abuse.

As I previously detailed, the IG report noted that on Dec. 7, 2016, Bruce Ohr called an interagency meeting to discuss Deripaska. During that meeting, Ohr apparently suggested trying to work with Deripaska, and later told a subordinate that the basis for the suggestion was that “Steele provided information that the Trump campaign had been corrupted by the Russians,” and that the corruption went all the way to President-elect Trump. So Ohr apparently suggested cutting a deal with a Russian oligarch based on the fake Steele dossier. 

It also appears that agents considered cutting a deal with Deripaska to possibly ensnare Paul Manafort, with the end goal being to take down Trump — another startling possibility that would reveal our FBI viewing Trump as worse than the Russian oligarch.

To date, little has been explored of possible efforts by the DOJ or FBI to go easy on Deripaska for the great goal of getting Trump. But maybe the renewed focus on Deripaska will resurrect these overlooked details.

5. McGonigal’s Role in Crossfire Hurricane Raises Huge Red Flags

The charges against McGonigal also raise concerns about his role in the decision to launch Crossfire Hurricane. 

In his congressional testimony, FBI Agent Jonathan Moffa testified that from July 28 to July 31 of 2016, officials in FBI headquarters discussed whether to open a counterintelligence investigation on Trump, purportedly based on information provided by a “friendly foreign government.” That information consisted of an Australian diplomat telling his American counterpart that Trump’s volunteer campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had suggested the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. In explaining how he had learned of the discussions over whether to open the investigation that became known as Crossfire Hurricane, Moffa testified he had received an email from McGonigal, the then-section chief in FBI headquarters, that contained the reporting from the friendly foreign government. 

After McGonigal helped decide to launch the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign, FBI Director James Comey named him “the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the New York Field Office” in October of 2016. In that position, McGonigal stayed engaged in aspects of the investigation, with his “team” questioning Carter Page in March of 2017. McGonigal would later also express concerns about the Page FISA leaking after a briefing to the House Intel Committee, and sure enough, a few weeks later the story leaked.

Given that if the allegations in the indictments are true, McGonigal has proven himself willing to be bought, his involvement in Crossfire Hurricane is extremely troubling. 

6. A New Life for Durham

While McGonigal’s involvement in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation raises serious concerns, it also provides one final chance to learn the depth of the SpyGate scandal. With McGonigal facing serious federal criminal charges in two different districts, the incentive for him to seek a deal with the government is high. Given his involvement in the decision to launch Crossfire Hurricane and his later involvement in at least portions of the investigation, he may just have something to offer Special Counsel John Durham.

And McGonigal may have just the attorney to cut that deal: Seth DuCharme. DuCharme is listed as McGonigal’s attorney of record in court filings, and emails released pursuant to FOIA requests show DuCharme previously worked for Durham.

Whether McGonigal has anything of value to Durham, however, remains to be seen.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Discovery Of More Biden Docs Proves Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 23, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/23/discovery-of-more-biden-docs-proves-mar-a-lago-raid-was-just-another-russia-collusion-hoax/

Joe Biden gets off Marine One
The discovery of more Biden documents highlights the ridiculous plot to destroy Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

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The FBI recovered an additional cache of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, following a 12-hour search conducted by federal agents on Friday. While this development adds to the scandal surrounding the current president, it does much more: It highlights the ridiculous plot launched to destroy Donald Trump that culminated in the raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

“Six items” were recovered on Friday from Biden’s Delaware home, which consisted of “documents with classification markings and surrounding materials,” the president’s lawyer said in a statement released after the search. While the “crafty legalese” deployed by the attorney left unclear how many classified documents were contained within the “six items” recovered, Biden’s lawyer confirmed that the documents dated back to the Delaware Democrat’s time as both vice president and senator, so spanning from 2017 to as far back as 1973

The president’s lawyers had previously searched the Bidens’ Wilmington home (and garage), and while they discovered a handful of other documents marked classified, they apparently overlooked the “six items” the FBI found last week. 

The search of Biden’s home followed the discovery in November 2022 of at least 10 classified documents, including ones reportedly marked “top secret.” Those documents also dated back to his days as vice president under Barack Obama and were stored in a closet at a private office building in D.C. But the so-called “think tank” where they were stored, the Penn Biden Center, did not open until February 2018, meaning Biden had kept the classified documents found there at another location for the year following his time as vice president. 

That the classified documents Biden removed from the White House and earlier the Senate were not missed at the time and are only now being discovered — at least a decade later for some — and then only after multiple searches of different locations, contrasts sharply with what happened following Trump’s time in office. 

According to then-archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, he watched “the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter” at the end of Trump’s term. Ferriero recalled someone was “carrying a white banker box,” prompting Ferriero to ask himself, “What the hell’s in that box?” 

Ferriero claimed, “[T]hat began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives,” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “going through materials transferred from the White House in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency.” According to The Washington Post, “officials had noticed that certain high-profile documents were missing,” such as “Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he had termed ‘love letters.’” 

The NARA also could not locate the “National Weather Service map of Hurricane Dorian, which Trump had famously marked up with a black Sharpie pen to extend to Alabama,” or the letter Obama had left for Trump upon the change in administrations.

NARA sought the return of these documents, and in January 2022, Trump representatives worked with NARA employees to arrange for 15 boxes of presidential papers to be returned to the archive. Within those boxes were some documents marked “classified,” which led NARA to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. 

The DOJ then launched an investigation into Trump, even though when alerted to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA made no such referral. A grand jury later issued a subpoena for any presidential documents, and following a search of Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s representatives, those documents were turned over. However, after a source told the DOJ that some documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed a surprise raid on the former president’s home.

This entire sequence began because NARA went looking for missing documents and then, rather than work with Trump to establish his presidential library and to arrange for the documents to be stored under the auspices of NARA’s custody at a mutually agreeable location — something NARA had done for Obama — NARA created a federal criminal case out of the matter.

Had NARA dug through former Senator and then-Vice President Biden’s documents looking for the smoking gun that was not there, they would have discovered the classified documents Biden absconded with too — and likely many more documents that over the last decade-plus years disappeared forever. Ditto for Obama.

The most recent discovery of “six items” containing an untold number of classified documents at Biden’s Delaware home illustrates this point. It also brings into focus the get-Trump scheme launched by a “backbench bureaucrat” that culminated in the raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.

With this reality now in focus, Americans would be wise to revisit the timeline leading up to the Mar-a-Lago raid because the Trump classified-document scandal bears all the hallmarks of a hoax peddled by the deep-state cabal and their corrupt media partners. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

How ‘The Twitter Files’ Undermine the J6 Report


BY: JORDAN BOYD | JANUARY 23, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/23/how-the-twitter-files-undermine-the-j6-report/

Twitter and January 6
Twitter employees’ desire to rid the platform of Trump kept them from telling the truth about the company’s capability for censorship.

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Censorship-hungry Twitter employees vented to the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 that their company wasn’t authoritarian enough when it came to curbing former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2021 Capitol riot, a newly released 122-page memo shows. “The Twitter Files,” however, prove Big Tech went out of its way to suppress the Republican president long before his ban from the platform on Jan. 8, 2021.

When the Twitter staff, or “Tweeps,” gave witness testimony to the J6 Committee last year, they likely didn’t anticipate a fact-check of their public statements against their internal communications. Then Elon Musk acquired the company in October of 2022 and released internal documents exposing Twitter’s key censorship decisions and election meddling.

Some of the material in the revelations dubbed “The Twitter Files” corroborates what these ex-staffers told the J6 Committee about Twitter’s hesitation to ban Trump until Jan. 8. Many of the uncovered documents and communications, however, prove that long before the riot, Twitter treated Trump differently than it did most world leaders.

Tweeps Agree: Big Tech Not Authoritarian Enough

Anika Navaroli, a member of Twitter’s censorship team, told the J6 Committee in anonymous testimony in July of 2022 that Twitter’s decision to delay the permanent suspension of Trump until after the riot was “absolutely indicative and emblematic of Twitter’s hands-off, willfully ignorant approach to the former President’s rhetoric on the service and on the platform.”

Much like hundreds of Twitter employees who wrote an open letter demanding the president’s permanent suspension, Navaroli claimed she lobbied for the curbing of Trump long before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, but her demands for action were ignored.

For months I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that if nothing — if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die,” Navaroli said in her interview with the Democrat-dominated committee. “On Jan. 5, I realized no intervention was coming. As hard as I had tried to create one or implement one, there was nothing. We were at the whims and the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded.

Navaroli’s frustrations furthered when, after being tasked with evaluating the validity of Trump’s online rhetoric following the Capitol riot, she ultimately dismissed the outgoing president’s tweets as above board under Twitter’s policies.

I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet,” Navaroli wrote in a Slack chat with her colleagues on Jan. 8. “I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no [violations] for the DJT one.”

Navaroli wasn’t alone. Another unnamed member of Twitter’s safety policy team told the J6 Committee that Twitter’s censorship teams weren’t equipped to “find a rationale to suspend the President’s account from the service, and ‘stop the insurrection’” on Jan. 6.

The team was left to respond to rampant incitement on Twitter under its own initiative, once again without clear instruction,” the committee report states, adding later, “This understaffed, ramshackle made [one of the employees moderating content on Jan. 6] feel like she was a security guard hovering over the Capitol, trying to defend the building as the crowd tweeted out its progress during the course of the assault.

It’s clear from these accounts that Twitter employees tried to find a cause for deplatforming Trump under the Big Tech company’s then-policies. When they failed to obtain the political results they desired, partisan Twitter executives sidestepped free speech loyalists at the company by changing the rules to target Trump alone. The Capitol riot was simply their catalyst.

Change the Rules to Win the Game

Once Twitter executives changed the rules to remove Trump, the company and its Democrat allies celebrated.

Months after Navaroli gave her testimony and Trump was barred from Twitter, members of the J6 Committee were still publicly praising her for “answering the call of the Committee and your country.”

Corporate media such as The Washington Post elevated her as “the most prominent Twitter insider known to have challenged the tech giant’s conduct toward Trump.” Business Insider amplified Navaroli with the headline, “Twitter whistleblower who foresaw the violence of Jan. 6 reveals her identity with an omen for the future of US democracy.

Navaroli’s testimony, along with other witnesses, helped Democrats conclude that “Trump’s suspension ended the preferential treatment Twitter gave his account for years” and that Big Tech failed to prevent violence by delaying its permanent ban on Trump until after the Capitol riot.

The former employee’s testimony confirms that Twitter saw President Trump’s potential violent incitement of his supporters as a cause for concern even prior to Election Day but chose not to take effective actions to prevent him from using the platform in this way. Moreover, this failure to act was consistent with Twitter’s longstanding deferential treatment of President Trump,” the report states.

Twitter Did Treat Trump Differently

The effort to permanently bar Trump may have concentrated around the Capitol riot and culminated with a mad scramble on Jan. 8, as Navaroli suggested. Still, as “Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi noted in part three of the exposé, “the intellectual framework was laid in the months preceding the Capitol riots.”

Executives such as Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde, and Twitter’s recently fired general counsel and FBI veteran Jim Baker spent months building a network that could quickly respond to suppression requests and easily strike violative content and users.

“[T]he firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6,” Taibbi noted.

The treatment Trump received from Twitter’s top censors may have been different, but it was far from the “deferential treatment” the J6 Committee concluded had occurred. Contrary to Tweeps’ testimonies, Trump faced several bouts of censorship including Twitter reducing the reach of his tweets, shadowbanning him, labeling his tweets with warnings, and temporarily suspending his account long before the Capitol riot.

As independent journalist Bari Weiss noted in part five of “The Twitter Files,” the Big Tech company was far more eager to justify that kind of censorship against Trump than to use it against actual dictators.

Twitter staff and executives were so overcome with their hatred for Trump that they were willing to create a reason to deplatform the president. What those employees didn’t anticipate is that their shenanigans would be blown open by “The Twitter Files” mere months after they gave sworn testimony to Democrats in Congress.

As evidenced by “The Twitter Files,” there was nothing stopping Tweeps from deplatforming Trump. In fact, Twitter, cheered by the same Democrats, worked for years to silence its political enemies at whatever cost.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

5 Reasons Corrupt Media Are Ignoring The Scandalous ‘Twitter Files’


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/5-reasons-corrupt-media-are-ignoring-the-scandalous-twitter-files/

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Reporters refusing to cover ‘The Twitter Files’ prefer their role as propagandists to journalists.

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Soon after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he gave a few reporters access to the tech giant’s internal communications, resulting in scandalous revelations about Twitter’s routine collusion with and censorship direction from the FBI — revelations you likely haven’t heard much about from the corporate media.

“The Twitter Files” showed that this symbiotic relationship between the feds and a so-called private company involved the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election, the silencing of Covid dissenters, and even the squelching of regime-challenging journalists, among other bombshells. According to the communications, the federal government paid Twitter some $3,000,000 for its assistance. 

Notwithstanding these explosive revelations, backed up by the internal communications of high-level Twitter executives, the corporate media have ignored the scandals. But why? 

Here are five reasons the corrupt press has refused to adequately cover “The Twitter Files.”

1. Giving Credence To Trump’s 2020 Election Claims Would Be Unforgivable

Accurate coverage of “The Twitter Files” would require the media to report on the FBI’s role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop story shortly before the 2020 election. Among other things, “The Twitter Files” revealed the FBI met monthly and then weekly with Twitter’s team, warning them of various foreign efforts to interfere in the election. Those internal communications, when coupled with an earlier statement Yoel Roth, the then-head of Twitter’s site integrity, provided to the Federal Election Commission, establish the FBI was behind Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden story.

“Since 2018 he had regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security,” Roth stated. “During these weekly meetings, the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected ‘hack-and-leak operations’ by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October,” Roth said, adding that from those meetings he learned “that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.” Roth then explained that those “prior warnings of a hack-and-leak operation and doubts about the provenance of the materials republished in the N.Y. Post articles,” led Twitter to conclude “the materials could have been obtained through hacking.” 

When Roth’s statement is read together with the internal emails establishing that Twitter banned the New York Post’s blockbuster reporting under the guise that the materials had been hacked, the FBI’s responsibility for causing the censorship of this politically explosive story is clear. And because the FBI knew Hunter’s laptop had not been hacked and that the materials on it were authentic, by prompting the censorship of the story, the FBI knowingly interfered in the 2020 election.

Or as Donald Trump put it on Truth Social after “The Twitter Files” broke: “The biggest thing to come out of the Twitter Targeting Hoax is that the Presidential Election was RIGGED — And that’s as big as it can get!!!”

For the press to honestly cover “The Twitter Files,” then, would require it to give credence to Trump’s “RIGGED” claims — something it just cannot stomach. Instead, the corrupt media have responded to “The Twitter Files” with silence or spin.

2. Being the Press Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

A second reason the press refuses to cover “The Twitter Files” stems from the corrupt media’s inability to acknowledge its own bias, wrongdoing, and hackery. To report on the many scandals exposed by the files would require media elites to face their own involvement in censoring news and their failings as so-called journalists.

While historically, journalists stood in unity with their fellow reporters, when Twitter and other tech companies censored and then deplatformed the New York Post, the press — in the main — remained silent. In contrast, when Musk temporarily suspended reporters’ accounts who had posted location tracking information in violation of Twitter’s new rules, a thud sounded as the same journalists collectively collapsed on their fainting couches. 

Not only did these supposed standard-bearers of journalism not condemn the censorship, most ignored the story. Those that did not ignore it, such as NPR, discussed not the details of the scandal, but their justification for ignoring it. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR intoned.

Covering “The Twitter Files” now would be an implicit admission that they were wrong not to report on the laptop story and that they were equally amiss in failing to condemn the censorship of the Post. 

“The Twitter Files” also raise an uncomfortable set of questions for news outlets, namely: Did the FBI warn legacy media that supposed Russian disinformation, in the form of potentially hacked materials involving Hunter Biden, would drop? Is that why they ignored the story and allowed the censorship of the Post to go unchallenged? 

Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would force legacy outlets to confront the potential reality that the FBI had played them and that they were willing to trust the government rather than be a check on its abuse. 

“The Twitter Files” also vindicate Musk and counter the media narrative that his Twitter takeover spelled the beginning of the end for the tech giant. Not only did the avalanche of predicted hate speech not materialize, but under Musk’s leadership, Twitter’s newfound transparency has served both the public interest and a (functioning) free press. Reporting on these facts, then, would require the press not only to acknowledge its own failings but to apologize to Musk and admit their own complicity — things they are apparently unable to do.

3. Condemning the Feds Would Shut Down Sources and Hurt Their Heroes

The media are likely also ignoring “The Twitter Files” to protect their sources — both literally and figuratively. 

Many of the same FBI agents and governmental officials, such as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who pushed for Twitter to censor speech probably serve as regular sources for the legacy media. This scenario is especially likely if the FBI pushed for the press to censor the Hunter Biden story, as it had with Twitter and Facebook. Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would thus force the media to hammer some of the same individuals who give them valuable leaks. Condemning those individuals could shut down various source networks the corrupt media can’t risk.

The media likely also don’t want to “hurt” their sources or the FBI agents who pushed the Russia disinformation lie to tech companies because they see themselves on the same anti-Trump team. 

Just as the media refuse to condemn the Department of Justice and FBI agents involved in pushing the Russia-collusion hoax because the press favored the unwarranted attacks on Trump that hamstrung his administration, the leftist media silently applauds the FBI’s interference in the 2020 election because it helped deny Trump a second term. 

In this regard, the legacy media and the deep state share the same worldview — that the ends justify the means. The media will thus keep mum about what the FBI did because they’re grateful that intelligence agencies destroyed Trump’s chance to defeat Biden by prompting the censorship of the October surprise. 

4. The Russian Bogeyman Must Be Preserved at All Costs

Ignoring “The Twitter Files” also helps the media preserve their Russia, Russia, Russia narrative.

The various “Twitter File” threads revealed several damning details concerning Russia’s supposed interference in American politics. First, they exposed how the FBI and federal intelligence agencies used Russia’s supposed interference in the 2016 election to push for more resources and collaboration with tech giants. Second, the files revealed that, notwithstanding federal agents’ claims, there were no systemic efforts by Russia to use Twitter to interfere in the U.S. elections. To the contrary, the internal communications showed the FBI pushing for evidence of Russian interference and Twitter executives countering that they weren’t seeing issues.

Third, as detailed above, “The Twitter Files” exposed that the Hunter Biden laptop story was not only not Russian disinformation but that the FBI used that excuse anyway to prompt censorship of the story.

Fourth and finally, the internal Twitter communications showed that the trending of the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag was not prompted by Russian bots or Russian-connected accounts and that Democrats such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Schiff’s claims to the contrary were false. Those communications also revealed that even though Twitter negated the Russian-interference theory — telling politicians point blank that the evidence showed #ReleseTheMemo was trending because of organic interest in the hashtag — Democrats and the media continued to push that false storyline.

Reporting on “The Twitter Files” would require the media to first acknowledge they were wrong in their #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag coverage. But what’s more, covering Twitter’s internal communications would force the press to dispel the notion that Russia is the bogeyman behind every Republican candidate and every negative story about Democrats.

Corrupt media need to maintain Russia as the bad guy for future elections, however, and to counter future scandals affecting Democrats. Accurate reporting on “The Twitter Files” would lessen the effects of any later resort to a Russia, Russia, Russia narrative — and the press can’t have that.

5. Reporters Prefer Their Role as Propagandists to Journalists

While there are many practical reasons the press refuses to report on “The Twitter Files,” as a matter of principle, it all comes down to one: The legacy media have none.

The so-called journalists working at outlets that were once the standard by which all journalists were judged today value politics more than they do their professional obligations. Informing the public and providing a check on the rich, the powerful, and the politicians are no longer the end goals of corrupt reporters; rather, they seek to use their power to advance their own personal beliefs and agendas. 

In short, the reporters refusing to cover “The Twitter Files” prefer their role as propagandists to journalists.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

Biden Turned Classified Documents into A Scandal to Get Trump, But Who’s Laughing Now?


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/biden-turned-classified-documents-into-a-scandal-to-get-trump-but-whos-laughing-now/

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This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock.

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News broke late yesterday that a search of the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, uncovered additional classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president, stored unsecured in the family garage and separately in another room of the house. And I still haven’t stopped laughing.

Since August of 2022, when the FBI launched an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the entirety of the anti-Trump universe insisted — insisted — that the recently departed commander-in-chief’s possession of documents marked classified was a big f-ing deal. 

Never mind that Trump had declassification authority as the president of the United States, or that the documents were stored at his home under the watchful eye of his Secret Service protection. Ignore too the fact that the National Archives could have worked with Trump to coordinate the storage of the documents under the technical possession of the government, but at a location of the former president’s choosing, just as was done with former President Barack Obama. 

But because the loony left couldn’t resist one more sequel in their get-Trump franchise, as Trump exited the Oval Office, a backbench bureaucrat at the National Archives launched another hoax meant to finally, finally destroy Trump. Several leaks and a year-plus later, the plot culminated in the raid of Trump’s home followed by the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump.

And because the National Archives and the Biden administration went nuclear against Trump for possessing documents at Mar-a-Lago marked classified, they have no option but to pretend to treat Joe Biden’s possession of classified documents in an equally serious way. So, the National Archives referred the matter to the Department of Justice, just as it had with Trump, even though when it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mishandling classified documents, no criminal referral followed. 

Likewise, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed a U.S. attorney to investigate Biden’s mishandling of the classified documents, to create the impression of equal justice under the law. Of course, given Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump, a plain ol’ ordinary U.S. attorney doesn’t level up, and for that, the attorney general is already receiving heat.

But the heat comes from the hypocrisy, not the gravity of the situation. 

The Biden classified documents scandal is not a serious scandal. The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is a serious scandal. Biden’s refusal to faithfully execute his duties as president of the United States by securing the southern border is a serious scandal. The Biden family pay-to-play escapades are a serious scandal. And the weaponization of the FBI and the intelligence community to interfere in the 2020 election and hand Biden the presidency is a serious scandal. This is not.

Laughable. Delicious. Outrageous. It is all those things and becomes more so by the day, with news that more classified documents are reposed in a residential garage, in addition to the closet at a D.C. think tank. And the story just becomes funnier the more the corrupt press tries to distinguish Biden’s possession of classified documents from Trump’s because Biden himself on video declared the possession of classified documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to be “just totally irresponsible.” 

But a garage, Joe? Seriously? And is not knowing there were classified documents there, as Biden claims, any better?

The bottom line here is simple. This entire scandal is a joke. And now, thanks to the get-Trump franchise, irresponsible Biden will be forever cast as a laughingstock — and so will the propagandists in the press. 


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

On Classified Documents, Joe Biden Is Out of Excuses


BY: DAVID HARSANYI | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/we-need-a-special-counsel-to-investigate-joe-bidens-classified-documents-case-pronto/

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The president’s entire narrative fell apart in only a week.

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Every president probably stashes away classified documents. The chances of any president being successfully prosecuted for pilfering them are infinitesimal. Nevertheless, now that we’ve learned Joe Biden has engaged in the same behavior as Donald Trump — perhaps worse, considering vice presidents are afforded less leeway on classified documents — precedent and transparency, our very democracy, demand Attorney General Merrick Garland name a special counsel to investigate (I get results!)

Right now, none of the rationalizations offered by the media for Biden’s actions over the past few days are operational. When the story first broke, outlets stressed that one of the vital “distinctions” between the two incidents was that Biden was in possession of fewer documents than Trump. Biden aides, we learned, had been utterly shocked to discover only a “small number” of classified documents “locked” in the personal offices of the president’s “think tank” — as if the location or the number of documents, or the alleged lock, rather than the contents, were the most newsworthy aspect of the story.

Today, we learned that a second “batch” of classified documents was uncovered at an “undisclosed” location. Suddenly, everything got incredibly vague. Biden aides, we are told, began diligently rummaging through boxes to ensure they were in complete compliance with the law. A completely independent source told collusion-hoaxer Ken Dilanian that the “search was described as exhaustive, with the goal of getting a full accounting of all classified documents that may have inadvertently been packed in boxes when Biden cleared out of the vice president’s office space in January 2017.” It’s heartening to know that the Bidens are such diligent, law-abiding folk.

Yesterday, we were told that classified documents that are found in a serious office setting, rather than just “lying around” in a home, was an important difference between the two cases. Today, Biden’s lawyer says that “small number” of classified documents was also found “locked” in Biden’s garage and an “adjacent” room of his Wilmington home. (Don’t worry, the president assures us it was safely stored next to his beloved Corvette.) You know, if we find another “small number” of documents, we might just have ourselves a full cache.

No doubt, journalists are super curious to know how those classified documents got into Joe’s garage. I mean, the guy had a think tank office at his disposal in D.C. Moreover, the initial documents were alleged to have been discovered before midterms, and yet we’re only hearing about new ones months later — and in convenient dribs and drabs.

Soon after CBS’s initial story, a four-byline puff piece from CNN reported that the documents found in the think tank were related to Ukraine, Iran, and the U.K., so not just keepsakes and letters and such. This week we also learned, in another soft-peddled report by The New York Times, that Biden, despite his insistence that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s foreign entanglements, had met with a liaison from the Ukrainian energy interest Burisma, among many other revelations. Recall, Obama officials had also raised concerns about the Biden family business. Is there any chance those Ukrainian documents would have been embarrassing to the president? Seems a reasonable question.

What’s important now, we’re going to be instructed, is that Biden “immediately” contacted the authorities and is fully “cooperating.” Is it possible, and I’m just theorizing here, that Biden and his aides are lying? For one thing, cooperating is fine, but it’s not everything. Trump has every right to hire a lawyer and fight the Archives over documents. Maybe he’s got a case, maybe he doesn’t. But perhaps Biden also simply picked an opportune time to cooperate with his own administration in an effort to avoid any transparency. Far from “immediately” handing over this material, the president’s been in possession of classified documents for nearly seven years. How does the DOJ know there aren’t more documents stashed away? How does it know Biden, like Trump, didn’t put them in his garage on purpose? Because he says so?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining watching the comically obvious attempts to mitigate the damage. But if Biden hasn’t done anything wrong, he has absolutely nothing to fear.


David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist, a nationally syndicated columnist, a Happy Warrior columnist at National Review, and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and radio talk shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.

John Daniel Davidson Op-ed: Ordinary Americans Are Going to Have to Save the Country Themselves, One Town at a Time


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | DECEMBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/20/ordinary-americans-are-going-to-have-to-save-the-country-themselves-one-town-at-a-time/

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What can regular people do to take back their country from woke radicals? Take over local institutions, one at a time.

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One of the things I get asked from time to time by readers is, what can ordinary people on the right, Christians and conservatives, do to help save the country — besides voting on Election Day?

It’s a good question, and it comes from the very understandable feeling of helplessness many people feel about the direction of the country and, let’s be honest, the collapse of Western civilization that’s now well underway. It’s especially easy to get frustrated after an election cycle like the one we just had, in which Republican leaders thoroughly botched it and left things more or less where they were before the voting. Put another way, if voting doesn’t really change anything in our so-called democracy, what will?

There’s an answer to this question, but you’re not going to like it. The plain truth is this: You’re going to have to save the country yourselves. Donald Trump isn’t going to save it. Ron DeSantis isn’t going to save it. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that a GOP majority in Congress is going to save it.

By all means, keep voting in national elections. Keep making your voices heard at the ballot box. But salvation won’t come from Washington, D.C. If America is going to be saved, or even just parts of it are to be saved, then ordinary men and women, God-fearing patriots all across the country, are going to have to do it themselves, one town at a time. And they will have to do it the old-fashioned and unglamorous way, by taking over the local institutions of civic life, organizing and winning elections for city council and school board, finding reliable and competent people willing to be candidates and staff and volunteers. 

It’s going to be a long, thankless slog, but there’s no other way. Neither is there any guarantee of success. I speak here only of towns and suburbs, not of cities, many of which have become unlivable after decades of failed Democrat governance and leftist policies. Conservatives who can manage it should move to places where they can join with other like-minded Americans to take back their communities and instill a civic culture that reflects their beliefs.

We got into this situation through passivity, and only a sustained effort at the local level will get us out. For decades, conservatives did nothing while the left marched through academia — and then kept right on marching, down from their ivory tower and into the public square, into the schools, the libraries, corporate boardrooms, local police and fire departments, even the churches. These people have radical views far outside the American mainstream but nevertheless control all our institutions. If you want them back, you’ll have to take them back, post by post.

This is not the kind of thing the right likes to hear. By temperament and principle, conservatives would rather be left alone to run their businesses, raise their families, worship in their churches, and build up their charities and local communities. Unlike liberals and leftists, they tend not to be ideologues. They are not trying to fundamentally change the country. They mostly want to be left alone.

But of course, they will never be left alone. The woke radicals will never stop — until someone stops them. A kind of conservative radicalism, or at least activism, is going to be required to accomplish that.

A good example of what I’m talking about is playing out in the small central Texas town of Taylor, population about 17,000. Taylor, some 35 miles north of Austin, is a rather conservative place of the sort you can find all over the country. It recently made national headlines over its traditional Christmas parade; a longstanding town tradition organized by a coalition of local churches. Last year, organizers accidentally approved a parade float for a group calling itself Taylor Pride, which the parade committee naively mistook for the name of a group that was just proud of their town. What they got instead was a float featuring two men dressed in drag, dancing suggestively in what paradegoers assumed was going to be a family-friendly event.

Parents and attendees were understandably perturbed. To ensure it didn’t happen again, the consortium of local churches that runs the parade sensibly decided that this year, parade floats must be consistent with traditional biblical and family values. The point wasn’t to exclude any individuals or groups from attending or even participating, but to ensure the floats were family-friendly and not — like the Taylor Pride drag queen float — contrary to Christian teachings.

The City of Taylor responded by announcing it would stage its own separate LGBT-friendly “holiday” parade, on the same night as the traditional Christmas parade, on the same route, following right behind it. The decision was made not by the elected members of the city council, who are accountable to voters, but by the municipal staff who actually run things. There was no public notice or deliberation and no consultation beforehand with members of the city council. The municipal bureaucracy acted on its own authority to use (or rather misuse) public funds and resources to sponsor a parade that was wildly out of step with the community at large.

Kevin Stuart, a Taylor resident and assistant professor of political science at the University of St. Thomas, wrote about all this recently in The Wall Street Journal, noting that the problem in Taylor has deep historical roots. The outsourcing of decision-making to so-called experts has been happening in American towns and cities for more than a century, such that professional bureaucrats now run small towns across America like “ideological colonizers.”

“There is now a yawning ideological gap between the people who live in American towns and the professionalized cadre of city staff who pass through those towns on their way up the career ladder,” writes Stuart. He goes on to argue that residents of towns like Taylor are partly to blame for ceding too much political power to an expert class whose interests and values don’t align with the people they’re supposed to serve.

He’s right about that — and also about how “communities can’t remain strong if they are unwilling to defend common sense and get involved in the political process.” The lesson of Taylor’s dueling Christmas parades is that even in small, conservative towns in deep-red states like Texas, conservatives can’t be complacent. As I wrote last month about the Taylor fracas, there’s nowhere Christians can run and hide from the left. They have to stand and fight.

In Taylor, that means residents who until now might have never been involved in local politics will have to roll up their sleeves, give up some weekday evenings, and get involved. They will have to put up their own conservative candidates and vote out of office the city councilors who empowered a woke municipal bureaucracy. They will have to fire the cadre of leftist bureaucrats who run things and replace them with their own people. They might even have to change the city charter so that elected members of the city council actually do the work of the public in City Hall, not an unelected city manager who sees the job as merely a steppingstone to a bigger city.

The same goes for the library, the school board, and every other local institution in every American town like Taylor. Conservatives have to take them over if they can. To answer the question we began with, that is what ordinary people can do. And they have to start now. No one is coming to help, and time is running out. 


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

We’re Slowly Killing The First Amendment


BY: DAVID HARSANYI | DECEMBER 13, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/13/the-first-amendment-is-dying-2/

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I’ve been banging this drum a while now. Prognosis still negative.

The First Amendment isn’t dying because state actors and a political party colluded with giant tech platforms and media outlets to censor speech and sabotage elections. All of that is just a byproduct of a corrosive trend. It’s clear to me that many Americans have stopped idealizing free expression. They don’t view it as a neutral value or societal good. Not even a platitude. They definitely don’t believe in counterspeech doctrine. Some people, in fact, are fine with compelling their fellow citizens to say things.

Technocrats, “journalists,” the president, and self-styled experts often view unfettered speech as a cancer that threatens “diversity” or “social justice” or “democracy” or “the environment” or “safety” or “unions” or dozens of other issues that are perched high above speech in the hierarchy of modern values. The First Amendment doesn’t work because guys in powdered wigs wrote down words — as Scalia once said, every “banana republic in the world has a bill of rights” — but because society embraces its underlying values, as they did due process or property rights. The spirit of the thing matters.

You don’t have to be a free-speech absolutist to believe that banning the president from tweeting on an allegedly neutral platform undermines the spirit of open discourse.

We are now often a society of self-censors, which, as Orwell noted, is as pernicious as any other variant. Sure, you can have your say, the leftist assures you. You just can’t have it on any platform or outlet with wide reach. Just look at the thermonuclear meltdown on the left over the sale of Twitter to Elon Musk — a man whose sin is professing to believe what any self-respecting liberal did a decade ago.

Orwell, though, was concerned that independent journalists and publishers would “keep certain topics out of print” not because they were “frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion.” The illiberal ideologues being churned out by j-schools these days aren’t nervous about consumer blowback. I suspect reporters and producers at ABC, CBS, and NBC are not refusing to cover the “Twitter Files” because they’re trying to hide the truth, but because they can’t comprehend why social media colluding with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House to quash stories in the preservation of “democracy” is newsworthy to begin with.

It is. In 2017, I wrote about Trump’s threats to revoke NBC’s broadcast license for spreading fake news. Of course, NBC News has no constitutional right to that license, but threatening your critics clearly conflicts with once-accepted principles of free discourse. The same goes for Trump’s executive order empowering the White House to collect complaints of “online censorship.” Oh, how distressed liberals were over this attack on free speech.

Yet, when, in July of 2021, Jen Psaki casually noted that the White House had been “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” there was not a peep from any of them. Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield later contended that social media companies “should be held accountable” for the opinions of commenters, singling out “conservative outlets who are creating irresponsible content.” Joe Biden accused Facebook of “killing people” by allowing people to have their say. This is before the DHS tried to set up a Ministry of Truth.

On what constitutional grounds did the executive branch — which has the power to punish companies — get involved in monitoring the opinions of citizens on private outlets? Not a single champion of “democracy” thought to ask. (Unlike many conservatives, I am a fan of Section 230, which allows sites to host third-party content without worrying about being sued. It restrains litigiousness and allows a chaotic internet to exist. If legislators in 1996 had understood the open nature of the project, we would not have this internet. Handing government bureaucrats more power to arbitrate fairness by removing these protections — as if the state has ever bolstered dissent — would be a tragic miscalculation.)

In 1918, Woodrow Wilson and his allies passed the Sedition Act, empowering the postmaster general to censor letters, pamphlets, and books over the threat of “false reports or false statements” — which all sounds quite familiar. The authoritarian mission creep soon led to arrests, including that of a socialist presidential candidate. But Wilson didn’t only fight the scourge of misinformation and fake news with laws and cops, he did it with the help of powerful newspaper owners and business interests. The blacklisting of actors and directors by big studios in the 1950s wasn’t compelled by law, it was voluntary.

Throughout history, authoritarians have claimed that liberty must be subdued because of some perilous historical moment. That moment is now every time Democrats don’t get their way. If these people have no problem with the state and corporations that control the public square working together to dictate appropriate speech, how long is it before the idea of curbing “dangerous” “disinformation” through legislation is normalized? Maybe this iteration of the Supreme Court will offer a temporary bulwark against attacks on liberalism, but at some point, if a majority of voters stop caring, it won’t matter who owns Twitter or who sits on the court. You can’t compel people to be free.

No, we’re not going to be Stalinist Russia. We’re probably going end up much like modern Europe, a less vibrant, less free, less dynamic place. Which is bad enough. Don’t worry, you’ll still get to say whatever you want. You just won’t be able to say it anywhere important.


David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist, a nationally syndicated columnist, a Happy Warrior columnist at National Review, and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and radio talk shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.

Supreme Court Clears Way For Congress To Access Trump’s Tax Returns


By: TREVOR SCHAKOHL, LEGAL REPORTER | November 22, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/22/supreme-court-trump-tax-returns/

Former U.S. President Donald Trump Makes An Announcement At His Florida Home
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has denied former President Donald Trump’s request to block the House Ways and Means Committee from reviewing his tax returns.

The committee has long been attempting to review six years of tax returns and files in connection with Trump and eight of his businesses. Trump had appealed to the Supreme Court to stop the committee from reviewing his tax returns, but the court turned down Trump’s request Tuesday.

On Oct. 27, a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s request to block the tax returns, pushing him to file the emergency appeal in the Supreme Court, CNN reported. Trump asked the court Oct. 31 to temporarily block the committee from viewing his tax returns as the court considered his case, and Chief Justice John Roberts granted that request. (RELATED: Supreme Court Okays Masks On Planes During Public Health Emergencies)

The Tuesday court ruling also vacated Roberts’ order.

Trump’s Oct. 31 application claimed the committee’s tax return review request would, if allowed to stand, “undermine the separation of powers and render the office of the Presidency vulnerable to invasive information demands from political opponents in the legislative branch.”

Dem Challenger Concedes to Lauren Boebert in Razor-Thin Colorado House Race


By: ARJUN SINGH, CONTRIBUTOR | November 18, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/18/lauren-boebert-colorado-house-race-recount/

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Democratic candidate Adam Frisch conceded to Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado Friday after a razor-thin House race that saw Boebert leading with just a few hundred votes.

As of Friday, Boebert led Frisch by 551 votes, which is a margin of 0.17% of the total votes cast, with 99% of precincts reporting. Frisch, in a Zoom call, said that “The voters have spoken…The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very, very small.”

Two remaining counties in the District have about 200 outstanding ballots, Ben Stout, Boebert’s communications director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, who also confirmed that a recount is due to occur under state law. He noted that Boebert’s margin would still allow her to win, even if all ballots weren’t in her favor.

Boebert’s reelection campaign to a second House term had been unexpectedly competitive and illustrates a decline in support for her within the district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of R+7. In 2020, she defeated Rep. Scott Tipton in the district’s GOP primary by 9.2%, a major upset, which was the first time in 48 years an incumbent Colorado congressman had been defeated in a primary election.

Boebert was later elected by a 5.85% margin and joined the House Freedom Caucus upon election. She has been a strong ally of former President Donald Trump in the House, co-chairs the Second Amendment Caucus and has attracted attention for her Second Amendment advocacy, having first gained popularity after operating a restaurant, named “Shooter’s Grill,” where patrons were encouraged to carry firearms in public. (RELATED: Rep. Boebert Pushes To Ban Abortion Clinics On Federal Lands)

Additionally, Boebert faced controversy for interrupting President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March 2022, shouting that “You put them in. Thirteen of them!” in relation to thirteen U.S. servicemembers killed during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, the heckle occurring when Biden was discussing his son Beau’s death.

Frisch, an agricultural goods manufacturer, had made Boebert’s conduct as a Member a primary focus of the campaign, calling her “lying, self-serving, and morally compromised,” as well as claiming that she did not pay attention to local issues, and instead was obsessed with her popularity among conservatives nationally.

The race stood out in 2022’s midterm elections, where an incumbent and high-profile Republican representative was significantly challenged for their seat by a Democrat despite the GOP being forecast to win a majority. Though the Democrats flipped some House seats previously held by Republicans, their incumbents either lost primary challenges by Trump-backed candidates, such as Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Wednesday was the deadline for voters in the district to resolve problems with mail-in ballots or their provisional ballot eligibility, as well as for precincts to receive overseas and military ballots, per NBC 9 News. County clerks must complete all counting by Friday, while the Secretary of State of Colorado must verify all results by Dec. 5 or order a recount. Under Colorado state elections law, a mandatory recount is conducted if the margin of victory is 0.5% or smaller.

Regardless of the race’s outcome, control of the House of Representatives in the next Congress has already been decided, with Republicans winning the required 218 seats for a majority.

Frisch did not respond to a request for comment.

Ann Coulter Op-ed: The Leech Dismount


Ann Coulter | Nov 16, 2022

  Read more at https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2022/11/16/the-leech-dismount-n2616054/

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com, and WhatDidYouSay.org.

AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar

Trump’s been called a lot of things in recent years, but I’m going to call him something new.

First, a refresher. In 2015, the Republican Party was on life support, with a “Do Not Resuscitate” order pinned to its chest and a priest called to administer last rites. Voters kept telling the party they wanted less immigration, less tax-cutting and less warmongering, but the GOP kept giving us more immigration, more tax-cutting and more warmongering. (For a detailed account of this state of affairs, see my columns and books — they make great Christmas gifts — free shipping for Amazon Prime members!)

Only when all other treatments had failed did we turn to an ancient medical treatment: the leech.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Donald J. Trump. There was no greater leech in all the land!

No insult intended. Leeching is a time-honored medical tradition, dating back to the Stone Age, for every conceivable ailment — an overabundance of peccant humors, convulsions, flatulence, scarlet fever, pleurisy, inflamed eyes and diseases of the throat, to name a few. Even today, leeches are the best treatment, as I understand it, for certain anticoagulant purposes. But because they are worms and bloodsuckers, not all patients find the treatment especially tasteful.

Trump was our parasitic worm.

Though any doctor will tell you leeching rarely works, the next time you hear someone say we didn’t get anything from Trump, I respectfully suggest you reply: “I’ve got five words for you: Gorsuch. Kavanaugh. Coney F—ing Barrett.”

True, the only reason we got them is that neither Jared Kushner nor Kim Kardashian had any interest in the judiciary, so the Federalist Society picked Trump’s judges without interference. Albeit completely by accident, the leech still gave us a generation of solid Supreme Court justices. If that sounds like cold comfort, please recall that we just lost the Senate, and barely won the House by the skin of our teeth.

Moreover, without our leech, we would currently either be in Year Six of the Hillary administration, or Year Six of Jeb!’s presidency (who would have given us justices equal in stature to Harriet Miers and David Souter).

But you don’t leave the leech on the body forever. In leechery, once the parasite has served its purpose, it must be carefully removed and submerged in a solution of 70% alcohol to ensure that it is dead. (A common but incorrect method of performing the dismount is to set the leech on fire.)

Naturally, I am not suggesting we burn Trump or submerge him in a 70% alcohol solution.

If we’re coming up with a master list of possibilities after a few drinks, we might consider a traditional game of our dear Afghan allies, who play polo using a severed human head as the ball.

I submit it would be bad for the office for Trump’s head to be used in a polo match.

Another idea to come from our perpetual wars is to model the dismount on the de-Ba’athification after Saddam. This workable, but harsh, method would require sending troops to rout Trump from whatever underground bunker he’s hiding in.

I have to reject that, too, for reasons of dignity.

But the one method that I am absolutely, positively, 100% sure will not work is to attack Trump supporters as deplorable, white supremacist insurrectionists.

You will notice that this is the precise method settled on by Biden, the Democrats and the media, for utterly cynical reasons. At this stage, Trump is poisonous to the conservative agenda, so he and the media have exactly the same agenda: Promote Trump.

Liberals want Trump more than we ever did.

Leeching as a medical treatment is not based on the leech’s inherent nobility. Trump was a desperation move.

Our idea was that Trump, for narcissistic reasons, would occasionally do things that we wanted. That was more than we were getting from the Republican Party. I defy anyone to name any of the other 16 GOP presidential candidates who could have beaten Hillary.

We hadn’t planned to get to that point, but there’s no use arguing with the GPS. That’s where we were.

The people who gave Trump more primary votes than any Republican in history weren’t idiots, haters or racists. To the contrary, anyone who withstood the slings and arrows to make Trump president in 2016 is not deplorable, but honorable. Not duped, but clear-eyed. They didn’t screw up; they did the right thing.

It may take some of them a little longer to figure out that we’ve gotten everything out of the leech that we’re ever going to get. But they are good and decent people and will realize soon enough: It’s over. We got our parasitic worm, and it’s time to move on. Sometimes the worm turns; sometimes we turn on the worm.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Stop The Burn

A.F. BRANCO | on November 17, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-stop-the-burn/

Biden and the Democrats setting America and the world on fire has motivated Donald Trump to enter the 2024 Presidential race.

Trump Is Back In It
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2022.

DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including NewsMax, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Rep. Devin Nunes, Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Chris Salcedo, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

Dr. David Harsanyi Op-ed: ‘National Conservatism’ Is A Dead End


BY: DAVID HARSANYI | NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/16/national-conservatism-is-a-dead-end/

Pat Buchanan presidential campaign, 2000
A rant.

Author David Harsanyi profile

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Since a civil war is about to break out and destroy the modern Republican Party — fingers crossed — let me tell you what grinds my gears.

Young NatCons, many of whom I know and like, seem to be under the impression that they’ve stumbled upon some fresh, electrifying governing philosophy. Really, they’re peddling ideas that already failed to take hold 30 years ago when the environment was far more socially conservative and there were far more working-class voters to draw on. If Americans want class-obsessed statists doling out family-busting welfare checks and whining about Wall Street hedge funds, there is already a party willing to scratch that itch. We don’t need two.

“National conservatism”— granted, still in an amorphous stage — offers a far too narrow agenda for any kind of enduring political consensus. It lacks idealism. It’s a movement tethered to the grievances of a shrinking demographic of rural and Rust-Belt workers with high school degrees at the expense of a growing demographic of college-educated suburbanites. 

The “New Right” loves to mock “zombie Reaganism.” Well, the ’80s fusionist coalition, which stressed upward meritocratic mobility, free markets, federalism, patriotism, and autonomy from the soul-crushing federal bureaucracy, was by all historical measures more successful than the Buchananism that followed or Rockefellerism that preceded. Zombie Reaganism was a dramatic success not only in 1980 but also in 1994 and again in 2010 and 2014. The “shining city on a hill” might sound like corny boomerism, but it’s still infinitely more enticing than the bleak apocalypticism of Flight 93.

Too many conservatives misconstrued Donald Trump’s slim 2016 victory as a national realignment. It was a mirage. Trump, a uniquely positioned celebrity candidate, benefitted not only from Obama fatigue but, more than anything else, the cosmic unlikability of Hillary Clinton. Yes, the GOP needed an attitude adjustment, a stiffening of the spine. There is no denying Trump’s presidency achieved some positive results (most of them, incidentally, also on the “zombie Reaganism” front with deregulation and the judiciary), and he made inroads with working-class voters and Latinos. But Republicans have now blown three elections catering to largely incoherent NatCon populism. 

There is no one reason or person culpable for the right’s failures in 2022, but there are certain types of candidates finding success. Ron DeSantis, Brain Kemp, and (in 2020) Glenn Youngkin can call out crony capitalism without sounding like Ralph Nader’s comms director. All of them have been highly critical of lawlessness of illegal immigration, but none of them come off like chauvinists. All of them supported heartbeat bills and election integrity laws, and above all, they are competent administrators of government.

The white-collar worker in Virginia or North Carolina, living in a multi-use neighborhood, probably isn’t as preoccupied with drag queen story hour or the intrigues of Big Tech or the Justice Department or Chinese tariffs — as important as those issues might be — as Josh Hawley seems to believe. The suburban voter might be more socially liberal these days, but they are still dispositional conservative. And one strongly suspects they would rather see public school reform, bigger retirement accounts, and lower property tax bills than a commissar regulating the internet or some protectionist policy killing economic dynamism. 

Of course, the New Right would like to claim DeSantis as one of their own. Allie Beth Stuckey, like many on the “New Right,” maintains that the Florida governor’s impressive win tells us: “we’re done with the old, corporate tax cuts GOP. We want you to use all the power available to you to crush the entities crushing us.”

That’s a Twitter reality. In the real world, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Florida (and Texas and Arizona) to enjoy an inviting regulatory environment, low taxes, and relative freedom — not to watch the governor teach Disney a lesson. A politician who cuts taxes and opens schools and businesses, despite pressure from the federal government, isn’t “crushing” anyone, he is freeing them. A politician who insists that state-run elementary schools should teach kids math, science, and history rather than identitarianism, myths, and sexuality has a compelling story to tell parents.

DeSantis is also a politician. So he shows up at trendy NatCon conferences, in the same way he used to chase trendy Tea Party endorsements from Club For Growth and FreedomWorks. Despite the left’s claims, DeSantis doesn’t strike me as an ideologue, but rather a champion of normalcy. Maybe incumbents were successful in 2022 because people are sick of drama?

What about J.D. Vance, though, David? Different types of candidates appeal to different regions. No one is arguing that Zombie populism is without any traction. Before Vance, there was Rick Santorum, whose message also had a limited allure. Yes, Vance can win in Ohio. Mike DeWine, about the most milquetoast moderate imaginable, can also win in Ohio, and by a bigger margin. Does Vance win Arizona or Nevada? Probably not. Does Blake Masters win in Ohio? Probably. But Americans are moving to Henderson, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho, not Akron, Ohio.

In the meantime, the New Right’s intellectual movement is a Trojan horse for a bunch of corrosive authoritarian “post-liberal” ideas. If a malleable “common good” means jettisoning limiting principles, well, no thank you. Plenty of secular right-wingers like myself have been defending religious freedom on neutral, classical liberal grounds. Today, the New Right tells me those notions are dead. If that’s true, I wonder who will be left to defend them 10 years from now?

By the way, if you’re under the impression that the New Right think-tankers and technocrats who rail against “elites” and “libertarians” and romanticize lunch-pail unionism are going to send their kids to work in warehouses for minimum wage, I have news for you. That’s reserved for the plebs. It’s no surprise that Compact, the New Right magazine standing athwart the “libertine left and a libertarian right,” employs a Marxist editor or that so many anti-woke socialists feel comfortable allying with the New Right. That’s a Twitter realignment, however, not a real-world one.

Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that the average Republican with a small business is as antagonistic to the notion of individual liberty as the average First Things editor. The average voter tends not to treat every loss as if it were the end of Rome. It’s bad out there. But people who tell you this is the worst era in history or that we’re facing insurmountable unique problems are just as hysterical as the people who tell you democracy is over. Most Americans realize politics is a grind. I’d love to live in a minarchist paradise, but I’m a realist. There are approximately 349,999 million people who think differently. That’s how it shakes out in a diverse, sprawling nation. A national party needs to broaden its message to convince — not just follow the whims — of as many voters as possible. NatCons are headed in the wrong direction.

My friends believe the Republican Party establishment is incompetent and cowardly. Maybe. Thankfully, we don’t have a binary choice. May both factions fail.


David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. His work has appeared in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, New York Post, and numerous other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.

Here Is Everything Democrats Claim Is ‘A Threat to Democracy’


BY: THE FEDERALIST STAFF | OCTOBER 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/10/27/here-is-everything-democrats-claim-is-a-threat-to-democracy/

President Joe Biden at White House
Meanwhile, it’s the blue party that’s working overtime to erode and replace actual democratic processes.

Author The Federalist Staff profile

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Updated on Oct. 27.

It seems like every day Democrats and their cronies in the corrupt corporate media concoct a new, bogus “threat to democracy” that they use to intimidate Americans out of voting for their political opponents.

These “threats” aren’t just overused, they are overexaggerated in an effort to cover up Democrats’ hypocrisy, mask their incompetence, and justify the targeting of their ideological enemies. Meanwhile, it’s the blue party that’s working overtime to erode and replace the actual democratic processes responsible for keeping our nation running.

Here is a list of everything Democrats claim is “a threat to democracy.”

Donald Trump

Americans think corporate media are a bigger “threat to democracy” than former President Donald Trump yet not one day goes by without a Democrat, talking head, or corporate media outlet asserting the Republican is responsible for the downfall of the nation.

The “threat to democracy” accusations began before Trump won the 2016 election, have continued throughout his presidency, and repeatedly make headlines more than a year after the end of his first term.

Republicans

What could possibly be a bigger “threat to democracy” than Democrats’ top Trumpian foe? According to President Joe Biden, it is “MAGA Republicans.”

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said during a doom-and-gloom speech in Philadelphia earlier this year.

Whether it’s Republican voters, Republican governorsRepublican members of CongressRepublican-controlled legislatures, or even Republican grandmas, Democrats and the media say anyone associated with the GOP could destroy our nation and deserves punishment.

Ted Cruz

Brookings, a left-leaning think tank, described Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as one of many “copycat candidates who parrot Trump’s moves and endorse his anti-democratic tactics” in a piece titled, “Trump is not the only threat to democracy.”

Josh Hawley

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley earned the same judgment from Brookings as Cruz. Additionally, when he objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election results, he (along with Cruz and other GOP senators) was smeared by The Washington Post as one of “the Constitution’s most dangerous domestic enemies.”

Ron DeSantis

According to Democrats, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a raging, extreme “threat to democracy” for simply governing as a Republican.

“Ron DeSantis Would Kill Democracy Slowly and Methodically,” one article in New York Magazine warned.

Dr. Oz

“An impaired Fetterman who does not pose a threat to our democracy is better than a polished Oz who does. Remember what’s at stake here,” a senior adviser at The Lincoln Project tweeted shortly after the political opponents’ debate.

Tudor Dixon

Tudor Dixon, the Republican woman brave enough to challenge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, was classified as “a huge threat to our democracy” by her incumbent opponent for raising questions about election irregularities.

Ron Johnson

For the crime of being an effective Republican lawmaker, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has also been deemed a “threat to democracy.”

Legitimately Conducted Elections

Speaking of Republicans, did you know that Americans choosing to elect GOP candidates is a threat to Democracy? That’s what several of the nation’s top propaganda publications want you to believe.

“American Democracy Can’t Survive Unless the Far Right Is Marginalized. Here’s How to Do It,” Time Magazine warned in 2021.

The push to classify GOP wins as threats especially expanded ahead of the 2022 midterms.

“Should [Republicans] win, they will certainly attempt to end democracy as we know it in their states,” MSNBC Opinion Columnist Ryan Cooper wrote three weeks before Election Day 2022. “The effort will probably look like an updated version of Jim Crow.”

Questioning Elections

Nevermind that Democrats are known for rejecting election results and objecting to every presidential Republican victory this century — anyone who dares mention that U.S. elections are not perfect is smeared with the ill-fitting term “election denier,” and considered a “threat to democracy.”

This “threat,” according to media, Democrats, and the ever-vague “experts,” is so big that it needs to be taught in schools. Less than two weeks before the 2022 midterms, The New York Times published a “Lesson Plan” titled “Explore How the Election Denial Movement Threatens Democracy.”

“What can happen in a representative democracy when politicians and a significant portion of the electorate question the legitimacy of elections?” the subtitle asks.

The Events of Jan. 6, 2021

Democrats say Americans’ actions on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021, proved to be as big a “threat to democracy” as Pearl Harbor or 9/11, both of which resulted in thousands more deaths than the Capitol riot.

Not only was the Capitol riot an existential threat, leftists claim, but New York Magazine says “Americans’ Indifference About January 6 Is the Real Threat to Democracy.”

Election Security Legislation

The New York Times is also one of the many corporate media outlets and others that have expressed concern with Republicans’ voter integrity measures following the chaotic 2020 election.

“Many top Republican Party officials and lawmakers have spent the last two years striking back, and drawn the most attention for their efforts to pass ‘voter integrity’ laws that aim to make voting more onerous under the guise of preventing fraud. … These are pernicious laws, and they undermine Americans’ hard-won rights to vote. But just as important is the matter of who counts the votes, and who decides which votes count and which do not,” The New York Times editorial board wrote last month.

“The real threat to America’s electoral system is not posed by ineligible voters trying to cast ballots. It is coming from inside the system,” the board concluded. “All those who value democracy have a role to play in strengthening and supporting the electoral system that powers it, whatever their party. This involves, first, taking the threat posed by election deniers seriously and talking to friends and neighbors about it. It means paying attention to local elections — not just national ones — and supporting candidates who reject conspiracy theories and unfounded claims of fraud. It means getting involved in elections as canvassers or poll watchers or precinct officers.”

Poll Watchers

It’s ironic that The New York Times wants voters to be poll watchers — especially since corporate media recently deemed those who sign up to monitor ballot boxes as “threats to democracy.”

As documented by The Federalist’s Shawn Fleetwood, the propaganda press is repeatedly “hitting the panic button over Republican poll watchers legitimately overseeing the conduction of elections, see herehereherehereherehereherehere, and here.”

Elon Musk

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to acquire Twitter and welcome free speech back to the Big Tech platform, Twitter’s pampered employees, the corporate media, and pro-censorship politicians threw a fit.

“He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less,” The Washington Post’s Max Boot tweeted.

Not only is Musk’s purchase considered by the left a “threat to democracy,” Salon writer Matthew Rozsa said Musk’s “attempted takeover of Twitter is a threat to the free world.”

Freedom of Speech

Some of the same media personalities whose livelihoods revolve around rights granted by the First Amendment say that free speech, especially online, is “a threat to democracy.”

‘Misinformation’

The pro-censorship party and its allies say “misinformation” and “disinformation,” which means any information about hot topics like Covid, elections, and biology that they deem inconvenient or contra the narrative they are trying to sell, is a threat to democracy.

Parents at School Board Meetings

If it wasn’t already clear that the National School Boards Association and Attorney General Merrick Garland think concerned parents are “domestic terrorists” who threaten our nation and deserve to be prosecuted, it was certainly made clear by members of the media.

“Attacks on school boards are a threat to democracy,” an opinion editorial in the Mercury News said.

Pro-Lifers

Garland also considers peaceful pro-life protesters to be a threat to the nation. That’s why his Department of Justice has publicly indicted 22 people who oppose killing babies in the womb instead of prosecuting the people responsible for the destruction, vandalism, and arson of dozens of pregnancy centers.

The U.S. Supreme Court

Democrats have long insisted that the Supreme Court’s decisions are the “law of the land” but when the court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, that philosophy was quickly replaced with the left’s favorite excuse for hypocrisy.

“The US supreme court poses a real threat to Americans’ democracy,” one headline in The Guardian blared.

Even before that, media, upset with the prospect of Trump exercising his presidential power to nominate yet another justice to the court, felt the need to explain “Why the Supreme Court is one of the biggest threats to American democracy.”

At one point, New York Magazine’s Eric Levitz threatened that “If the Court’s right-wing majority finds that it can continually push the boundaries of conservative judicial activism without undermining its own popular legitimacy, then the consequences for progressivism and popular democracy could be dire.”

Clarence and Ginni Thomas

The left believes that not only is the Supreme Court a “threat to democracy,” but so are Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife.

“Ginni and Clarence Thomas are the duo we wish we didn’t have to constantly talk about, but here we are. Their actions surrounding the insurrection are a threat to our democracy and the public’s trust in our courts,” Citizens for Ethics, a leftist watchdog group, tweeted.

The Electoral College

Our nation’s Electoral College was designed to best represent Americans no matter where they lived but the left says that constitutional design is a “threat to democracy.”

The left-leaning Aspen Institute blared that “The Electoral College Is a Threat to 21st Century Democracy,” adding that while “our founders felt we needed a brake against ‘mob rule,’ it is incompatible with our current national credo that every vote counts.”

Our Bicameral Legislature

According to Vox, though, the Electoral College “poses a smaller long-term threat to American democracy than the Senate,” because “the Senate undermines principles of equal democratic representation.”

“The Senate will continue to give small states, which tend to be rural and conservative, far more clout than their size deserves. That’s not just a problem for democracy in the abstract,” the Brennan Center’s Zachary Roth agrees.

Democracy Itself

As documented by The Federalist’s Elle Purnell, Democrats and the media also consider an elected majority in the U.S. Senate a threat to democracy.

This became very apparent when West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, “determined not to pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Bankrupt plan.”

“Manchin is killing the Biden legislative agenda, and perhaps the future of American democracy too,” tweeted MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan.

EXCLUSIVE: Hungarian Foreign Minister Says Ukraine-Russia War Would Not Have Happened Under Trump


By HENRY RODGERS, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT | October 26, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/10/26/hungary-foreign-minister-peter-szijjarto-ukraine-russia-war-joe-biden-donald-trump/

Henry Rodgers and Foreign Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó:Daily Caller Obtained
Henry Rodgers and Foreign Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó:Daily Caller Obtained

WASHINGTON, DC – The foreign minister of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, in part, blamed the current war between Ukraine and Russia on President Joe Biden in an exclusive interview Wednesday with the Daily Caller. He argued that if the 2020 election had played out differently, there would be no war.

Szijjártó sat down for an interview with the Caller after speaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) International Ministerial Conference and discussed a variety of different issues affecting the U.S. and Europe, including the war in Ukraine. Throughout the interview, Szijjártó made it clear he believes that if former President Donald Trump and former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel were still in power, the war would not have started.

“The European economy is suffering. Europe is suffering. That is why the only solution for Europe is peace. But definitely, peace will not come with this behavior. What the U.S. administration has been showing. Why? Because in order to create peace, you would need to talk. You would need to communicate,” Szijjártó said during the interview. “And you know, I am usually under very heavy pressure and criticism of why I still talk to the Russians. But, you know, I mean, you cannot afford not to talk to them when you are almost hundred percent dependent on their energy sources and Russia is a reality in Europe, and Russia will remain a reality in Europe regardless of the outcome of this war.”

He continued:

“So, you know, what we are definitely sure about is that if your presidential election had played out differently in 2020, this war would not have broken out. As much as I can be sure about things that didn’t happen, I am pretty sure that this would have been the case because we are currently, globally speaking, we are currently lacking leaders. President Trump was a real leader. Chancellor Merkel was a real leader. So what I know is that if Chancellor Merkel. And if President Trump had stayed in power, this war, I’m pretty sure, would not have been broken out. So that’s why what we hope is that there will be some American-Russian talks in this regard because don’t be misled. Don’t be misled. This is necessary to create peace. Russian-American talks.

(Henry Rodgers and Foreign Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó: Daily Caller Obtained)

On Monday, a group of 30 Democrats in Congress requested that the Biden administration seek negotiations with Putin. Several have since walked back their support. (RELATED: ‘Easier Dealing With The Taliban’: Hungarian Officials Blast US Over Lack Of Help In Afghanistan Evacuation)

Szijjártó echoed their concerns, however, mentioning the upcoming November G-20 summit in Indonesia, which Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to attend, as an opportunity for the two leaders to talk. The Hungarian minister’s suggestion comes despite claims that U.S. officials are making sure Biden does talk with Putin, per Politico. Biden himself previously told CNN’s Jake Tapper said he will not meet the Russian president except maybe to discuss American Britney Griner, who is serving a 9-year sentence in Russian prison. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Here’s Why Hungary Is Incentivizing Children, Marriage)

“I do hope that those discussions, which are necessary to finish the war, will take place soon. And I don’t want to degrade anyone, but I am pretty certain that these negotiations must take place between the American and the Russian administration,” Szijjártó said. “And, you know, I hope that both of them will behave responsibly because I understand that there will be a G20 meeting. I understand that there is a chance that both of the presidents might be there. And to be honest, I think it would be very, very complicated to explain to the world from both perspectives, why they have not met, if they. If they are on the same place. So, you know, we in Hungary cannot do anything more than just wish, hope, and pray.”

“I want to underline that I really do believe and think that if he had stayed in power, this wouldn’t have broken out,” he added.

As of Oct. 3, the U.S. has spent 52 billion euros in military, financial and humanitarian aid in Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Hungary has urged an immediate ceasefire and end to the conflict. (RELATED: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban To Speak At CPAC In Texas)

Megyn Kelly says there are only 2 ways Ron DeSantis becomes the Republican presidential nominee over Donald Trump in 2024


By PAUL SACCA | October 16, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/megyn-kelly-says-there-are-only-2-ways-ron-desantis-becomes-the-republican-presidential-nominee-over-donald-trump-in-2024-2658459066.html/

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Megyn Kelly recently gave Dave Rubin her reasons as to why Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won’t be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 over former President Donald Trump.

In the most recent episode of “The Rubin Report,” Kelly declared that there are only two ways that DeSantis could replace Trump as the favorite candidate for the GOP’s presidential nominee in the 2024 election.

“Well, I just don’t think anybody else could win if Trump runs,” Kelly told BlazeTV personality Dave Rubin.

Rubin asked Kelly if DeSantis had a chance if he got on a debate stage with Trump.

“No. No. I don’t even think that a little,” Kelly replied. “I think Trump sucks up all the energy in every room – no matter what. And even someone who’s skilled as a politician and smart policy-wise as DeSantis can’t overcome that – he can’t.”

Kelly said that there are only two ways that DeSantis could become the Republican presidential nominee over Trump in 2024.

Don’t miss out on content from Dave Rubin free of big tech censorship. Listen to The Rubin Report now.

Kelly said, “The only way DeSantis is going to become the Republican nominee is if Trump chooses not to run and endorses him or dies.”

The former Fox News host said that if Trump declared that he wants to be the Republican nominee and he lost to DeSantis in the 2024 Republican primary that Make America Great Again supporters will not desert Trump – even for DeSantis. Kelly said that she talks to Trump supporters “all of the time,” and that they won’t abandon Trump for DeSantis. She said that Trump supporters “like” DeSantis, but they feel as though Trump was “screwed out of his first term” because of the Russiagate allegations. Kelly said Trump supporters believe that he “deserves” a second term.

Kelly declared, “And so unless Trump gracefully and graciously says, ‘Get behind DeSantis,’ I wouldn’t put any chips on DeSantis at all.”

Rubin added that DeSantis and Trump should get together to iron out any differences to empower the best candidate to beat the Democrats. Rubin conceded that there is a “certain portion” of Trump supporters who would rather “burn everything down” if Trump isn’t the nominee in 2024.

Kelly replied, “But it’s a huge portion, Dave. Like the hardcore Trump faithful is unshakable.”

Kelly said that Trump supporters “like” DeSantis, however, “they would never cross Trump for him.”

“And they think DeSantis owes his political career to Trump,” she added. “If forced to choose, they will choose Trump. So, DeSantis can’t take him down.”

Kelly proclaimed, “DeSantis has got to either be crowned by Trump or he shouldn’t run.”

“I was gonna say it’s not gonna be a kamikaze mission because he wouldn’t take down Trump,” she continued. “Only Trump can take down Trump. But he won’t win over Trump. I’ll stand by that. You can play it against me if I’m wrong, but I won’t be.”

Rubin – who moved to Florida this year – said that he selfishly wants DeSantis to remain governor of Florida because the governor “loves Florida so much.”

“Let’s let’s keep running with this thing and see how great we can make this state,” Rubin said.

Kelly suggested that “it wouldn’t be bad” if the executive branch was frozen because it has “gotten too big and too out of control.”

She added that before the potential presidential gridlock, “There’s a lot of stuff that Biden’s done that needs to be undone.”

Rubin asked Kelly about her opinion on President Joe Biden’s cognitive situation.

“Joe Biden is not okay,” she responded. “There’s no question in my mind.”

Kelly said, “All the signs of dementia are present and increasing. It’s getting worse by the day. The being lost all the time – that’s a sign.”

She pointed out that Biden’s slurring and forgetfulness about the death of Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) are a “sign of dementia.”

“He’s not in control of what he says, of what he blurts out,” Kelly said.

You can watch the entire Megyn Kelly interview on “The Rubin Report” below.

The Real Reason DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance in 2024 (Pt. 3) | Megyn Kelly | MEDIA | Rubin Report www.youtube.com

Germany’s Green Energy Follies Are A Warning To The United States


BY: HELEN RALEIGH | SEPTEMBER 14, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/14/germanys-green-energy-follies-are-a-warning-to-the-united-states/

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

Author Helen Raleigh profile

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Germany is reportedly working on reducing the nation’s economic dependency on Communist China due to concerns about “human rights abuses and the risks of being beholden to an increasingly assertive authoritarian state,” Reuters reports. Berlin finally learned one lesson from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: it’s dangerous to economically rely on authoritarian regimes. 

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies — building an economy based on Russia’s energy supply and China’s market demand — were primarily responsible for German’s economic predicament today. Zealous in fighting climate change, Merkel shut down coal mines and retired the majority of nuclear power plants in Germany while relying on Russia for energy and raw materials, despite repeated warnings from the Trump administration. By 2020, Russia supplied more than half of Germany’s natural gas and about a third of all the oil that Germans burned to heat homes, power factories, and fuel vehicles.

While paying Russia billions of euros for energy supply (the money no doubt helped finance Putin’s war chest), Merkel neglected to invest in German’s armed forces, even after Putin annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. She outsourced Germans’ and, to a larger extent, Europe’s security to the United States and simply hoped for the best. When Merkel retired in 2021, after being in office for 16 years, German’s military was left “in a weak position and require years of renewal to become a credible deterrent to Russian aggression,” according to The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.  

Strengthened China Ties

Besides empowering and enriching Russia, Merkel was keen on strengthening Germany’s economic ties with China while in office. No other leaders from Western democracies had visited China more often than Merkel (she had 11 state visits to China).

To promote Germany’s export-oriented economy, Merkel was indifferent to China’s aggression in the South China Sea, its geopolitical expansion through the “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, and its increasingly assertive foreign policies. In addition, she avoided criticizing China’s mishandling of Covid-19 in the early days of 2020 and turned a blind eye to many human rights abuses in China, especially the genocide of Uyghur Muslims and suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. 

Under Merkel, China became Germany’s largest trading partner in 2016. German’s auto industry especially relies on China — about 50 percent of German car maker Volkswagen’s profit comes from China. Merkel’s China policy has made Germany’s economy vulnerable and helped speed up the Chinese military’s modernization.

Beijing reportedly focused on investments in Germany to obtain critical technologies, especially those with dual-use, meaning both civilian and military applications. For example, engines made by German companies have powered several types of Chinese navy warships, Deutsche Welle found.  

Although Merkel retired in 2021, the effects of her economic policies continued. According to a German Economic Institute (IW) study, Germany’s economic dependency on China has continued to grow in 2022. “China’s share of German imports rose to 12.4 percent in the first half of 2022, compared with only 3.4 percent in 2000. German imports of Chinese goods… have surged by 45.7 percent year-on-year in the comparable period of the first six months. Germany’s trade deficit with the country had leapt to almost EUR 41 bn by mid-2022.”

A Wake-Up Call

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany joined other EU nations in imposing punitive economic sanctions on Russia. Putin retaliated by weaponizing his energy supply to Europe, sending energy prices soaring and dealing a blow to the German economy. 

Inflation in Germany has reached a 40-year high. Suppose Putin shut off the natural gas supply to Europe, as he threatened. In that case, many predict an energy-induced recession in Europe is inevitable, and Germany could lose close to $240 billion in economic output over the next two years.

The grim economic outlook, and the fact that Beijing refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and helped Russia evade the West’s economic sanctions by purchasing Russian energy and agriculture products, have become a wake-up call for Germany. Additionally, Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy that has kept dozens of cities and millions of Chinese people in lockdown means German businesses have had limited access to the Chinese market, and the trend will continue in the foreseeable future. 

The German Economic Institute called for the government to change its economic policy, “specifically a reduction in incentives for doing business with China and a shift towards more trade with other emerging markets.” It also warned German businesses to “curb their dependency on China.” Otherwise, companies may expose themselves to bankruptcy due to Western sanctions imposed on China in the event of the People’s Liberation Army’s invading Taiwan. 

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing also warned, “When it comes to dependencies, we also have to face the awkward question of how to deal with China.” He appealed to the German government to decouple economically from China and acknowledged such a move would “require a change no less fundamental than decoupling from Russian energy.” 

Germany Stepping Back

These calls for action have reached their desired audience. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged Germany couldn’t afford to “just behave following the motto ‘business first,’ without taking into account the long-term risks and dependencies.”

Reuters reports that Germany’s economic ministry is considering several actions to cut Germany’s reliance on China, including reducing or scrapping investment and export guarantees for China and no longer promoting trade fairs and manager training there. It is also contemplating screening not just Chinese investments in Germany but also German investments in China. It also might submit a complaint to the World Trade Organization about unfair Chinese trade practices, together with the Group of Seven, an intergovernmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

While Germany is waking up to the risks of economic dependency on authoritarian regimes, the Biden administration has deepened our nation’s economic reliance on China with a green revolution that centers around replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind, and gas-powered cars with electric vehicles (EVs). China dominates the global supply chain of raw materials and parts for EV batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. The nation has been able to keep the manufacturing cost low by burning coal and employing forced labor from Uyghur and other ethnic minorities.

Even Politico has had to admit the dirty truth: “The U.S path to clean energy goes straight through China.” Germany’s economic woes should serve as a timely warning to the Biden administration that relying on an authoritarian regime is both dangerous and foolish.


Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She’s a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Helen is the author of several books, including “Confucius Never Said” and “Backlash: How Communist China’s Aggression Has Backfired.” Follow her on Parler and Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks.

    Has The Trump Raid Made Bill Barr Forget All About Deep-State Deceit?


    BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 07, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/07/has-the-trump-raid-made-bill-barr-forget-all-about-deep-state-deceit/

    Bill Barr

    Author Margot Cleveland profile

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    Bill Barr is wrong about the Mar-a-Lago raid for the same reason Barr’s critics were wrong about his decision to investigate the Russia-collusion hoax.

    Barr’s opinion now and those of his adversaries when he served as Trump’s attorney general both rest on the assumed veracity of leaks, spin, and misleading narratives. The facts have since vindicated Barr’s decision to investigate the investigators who targeted Trump, and until the details surrounding the latest attack on Trump are proven, nothing said by the Biden administration or its partners in the press should be accepted as true.

    On Friday and again on Tuesday, Barr appeared on Fox News to discuss the Mar-a-Lago raid and the Department of Justice’s investigation into former President Donald Trump. During both appearances, Barr repeated the storylines pushed by the D.C. media cartel since news first broke that the FBI had raided Trump’s Florida home.

    In his appearance on “America Reports” on Friday, Barr told hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts he personally thought that for the DOJ “to take things to the current point they probably have pretty good evidence.” Barr continued:

    Now let me just say I think the driver on this from the beginning was loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago. People say this was also unprecedented but it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club, OK. How long is the government going to try to get that? They jawbone for a year. They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that, they feel. And the facts are starting to show they were being jerk around. And so how long do they wait?

    While he caveated his comments as “speculation,” and noted that until we see the evidence, “it’s hard to say,” Barr’s conclusions flow from the assumption that the details made public by the DOJ and the leaks to the media represent the truth — and the whole truth.

    But those very same leaks should make Barr leery. Special Counsel John Durham’s team is leak free. Similarly, the other men Barr trusted to handle the sensitive investigations into the Clinton Foundation, the inappropriate prosecution of Michael Flynn, and the evidence of the Biden family corruption coming from Ukraine, ensured their teams kept the investigations confidential. Conversely, the previous get-Trump plots all relied on media leaks to push falsehoods about the investigations, whether it was Crossfire Hurricane, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, or the impeachment efforts.

    The evidence also indicates that the “driver” of the investigation was not the “loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago,” but Trump: He was the man; the government just needed a crime. 

    As I detailed soon after the raid, the trail to Mar-a-Lago began at the White House long before the discovery of classified material in boxes returned to the National Archives. The now-retired head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), David Ferriero, recalled “watching the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” According to Ferriero, “that began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives.”

    NARA then made a criminal referral to the DOJ based not merely on the presence of classified materials but also suggesting Trump violated 18 U.S.C. § 2071 because the former president returned a document that he had previously torn up. NARA’s interactions with Trump contrast sharply with its handling of former President Barack Obama’s presidential documents and how it handled Hillary Clinton’s violations of federal law, as I’ve detailed extensively here, exposing the referral as a political hit.

    Not only has Barr accepted the false narrative that the “driver” of the investigation was “loads of classified information sitting in Mar-a-Lago,” but during both yesterday and Friday’s interviews, the former attorney general repeated several of the storylines seeded by the leakers. While Barr made clear that the outcome of any charging decision depended on what the evidence showed and how clear it was, he has clearly internalized the leakers’ version of events.

    “If they clearly have the president moving stuff around and hiding stuff in his desk and telling people to dissemble,” Barr noted at one point, the DOJ is more likely to charge the former president. “They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that, they feel,” Barr remarked. Then yesterday, Barr told Fox News’s Martha MacCallum that there is “evidence to suggest they were deceived.” 

    The evidence, though, consists of select documents released by the DOJ, including heavily redacted documents, and media leaks. In other words, it’s precisely what convinced half the country that Trump colluded with Russia. 

    While it is possible that Trump deceived the DOJ or that he defied the grand jury subpoena, the entire Mar-a-Lago episode tracks the Russia-collusion-hoax playbook too closely to give credence to any of the accusations levied against the former president. And Barr is wrong to trust them.


    Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

      Special Counsel Must Choose: Risk A Russia Hoaxer’s Second Acquittal Or Expose More Deep-State Dirt


      BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 06, 2022

      Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/06/special-counsel-must-choose-risk-a-russia-hoaxers-second-acquittal-or-expose-more-deep-state-dirt/

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      Crossfire Hurricane agents never intended to drop their investigation of Donald Trump, and therefore any lies he told the FBI did not affect their decision-making, Igor Danchenko argued in a motion filed on Friday seeking dismissal of the criminal charges pending against him in a Virginia federal court. With the trial set to start next month, Special Counsel John Durham must now decide whether to acknowledge the deep state’s complicity or risk a second acquittal.

      Durham charged Danchenko last year with five counts of making false statements to the FBI related to Danchenko’s role as Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source in the fake dossier the Hillary Clinton team peddled to the FBI and the media. According to the indictment, Danchenko lied extensively when he provided Steele with supposed intel, and then later made false representations to the FBI during a series of interviews. 

      One count of the indictment concerned Danchenko’s denial during an FBI interview on June 15, 2017, of having spoken with “PR Executive-1” about any material contained in the Steele dossier. According to Durham’s team, “PR Executive-1,” who has since been identified as the Clinton and DNC-connected Charles Dolan, Jr., told Danchenko that a “GOP friend” had told him Paul Manafort had been forced to resign from the Trump campaign because of allegations connecting Manafort to Ukraine.

      “While Dolan later admitted to the FBI that he had no such ‘GOP friend’ and that he had instead gleaned this information from press reports, Dolan’s fabrication appeared in the Steele dossier.” But according to the indictment, when the FBI asked Danchenko whether he had talked with Dolan about that and other details included in Steele’s reports, Danchenko lied and said he hadn’t. 

      The four remaining counts of the indictment concerned Danchenko’s alleged lies during questioning by the FBI on March 16, May 18, October 24, and November 16, 2017, concerning conversations he supposedly had with Sergei Millian, who was the then-president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. According to the indictment, Danchenko told FBI agents during those interviews that he believed Millian had provided him information during an anonymous phone call, including “intel” later included in the Steele dossier that there was “a well-developed ‘conspiracy of cooperation’ between the Trump Campaign and Russian officials.” However, no such call ever occurred, Durham’s team charged. 

      In seeking dismissal of these five counts, Danchenko’s attorneys argued in the motion to dismiss they filed on Friday that the government’s false statement charges failed as a matter of law because ambiguity in the FBI’s questions and in his own answers make it impossible to show he knowingly lied to the government. What proved more intriguing, however, was Danchenko’s second argument based on “materiality.” Here, in essence, Danchenko argued that his statements, even if knowingly false, could not create criminal liability because they were immaterial to the FBI’s investigation. 

      To support this argument, Danchenko notes that the FBI was already investigating Millian’s “potential involvement with Russian interference efforts long before it had ever interviewed or even identified Mr. Danchenko,” apparently based on Steele’s claim that Millian served “as the source of relevant information.” Accordingly, Danchenko maintains his supposed lies were not the reason the FBI targeted Millian.

      Danchenko further emphasizes in his brief that Steele had falsely told the FBI that “Danchenko had reported meeting with [Millian] in person on multiple occasions.” Danchenko exposed Steele’s own lies by telling the FBI he had never met with Millian “and could not be sure he ever spoke to him,” Danchenko’s attorneys stress in their motion to dismiss, thus calling Steele’s “statements, and portions of the Company Reports, into question.” Yet, even after learning of Steele’s apparent lies, the FBI did not alter the course of the investigation and, in fact, continued to rely on Steele’s reporting to seek renewals of the FISA surveillance orders, Danchenko’s brief underscores to argue that nothing Danchenko said during his interviews really mattered to the FBI.

      Because Danchenko’s statements failed to change the trajectory of the government’s investigation into Millian and more broadly Trump and his associates, Danchenko posits that “it is difficult to fathom how the government would have made any decision other than to continue investigating [Millian] … regardless of what Mr. Danchenko told them.” In other words, Danchenko’s alleged lies were immaterial.

      As a matter of law, Millian’s materiality argument is weak, but as a matter of defense-attorney rhetoric, it holds the potential to score Danchenko an acquittal. 

      Potential for Acquittal

      The legal standard for materiality requires a false statement to have “a natural tendency to influence, or [be] capable of influencing, either a discrete decision or any other function of the agency to which it is addressed.” Further, “the falsehood need not actually influence the agency’s decision-making process, but merely needs to be ‘capable’ of doing so.” Thus, legally speaking, that the Crossfire Hurricane team, and later Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, seemed unconcerned with what Danchenko said, as shown by their continued reliance on Steele and his dossier, is irrelevant. The question is whether the lie was capable of influencing how a hypothetically “objective” government official would have acted had they known the truth.

      While Durham’s team will argue to the jury — assuming the district court denies Danchenko’s motion to dismiss the indictment — that the alleged lies were capable of influencing several decisions of the FBI agents, the reality is that the jurors will have a hard time buying that proposition unless Durham exposes the malfeasance of the Crossfire Hurricane agents and the members of Mueller’s team. In short, Durham needs to tell the jury that Danchenko’s alleged lies did not actually influence the government’s investigation because the agents were out to get Trump.

      If the Special Counsel’s office does not take this tack, what the jury will hear is the story Danchenko previewed in his motion to dismiss: 

      “During the course of its investigation into the [Steele dossier], the FBI determined that the defendant, Igor Danchenko, was a potential source of information contained in the [dossier]. In order to assist the FBI in its investigation of the accuracy and sources of the information in the [dossier], Mr. Danchenko agreed to numerous voluntary interviews with the FBI from in or about January 2017 through November 2017. He answered every question he was asked to the best of his ability and recollection. As part of the 2017 interviews, FBI agents asked Mr. Danchenko to review portions of the [dossier] and describe where he believed the relevant information had derived from and to explain how any information he had provided to [Steele] may have been overstated or misrepresented in the [dossier].”

      Danchenko did as the FBI asked, his defense will argue to the jury, before stressing that even after Danchenko highlighted Steele’s lies to the bureau, agents continued to investigate Millian. This fact will serve as a lynchpin for Danchenko to argue that his statements, even if false, were immaterial.

      A Likely Argument

      In his motion to dismiss, Danchenko previewed another argument likely to be repeated at trial, namely that no one thought Danchenko lied until the appointment of a second special counsel. “The Special Counsel’s office closed its entire investigation into possible Trump/Russia collusion in March 2019,” Danchenko noted in his motion, stressing that while “approximately thirty-four individuals were charged by Mueller’s office, including several for providing false statements to investigators. Mr. Danchenko was not among them. To the contrary, not only did investigators and government officials repeatedly represent that Mr. Danchenko had been honest and forthcoming in his interviews, but also resolved discrepancies between his recollection of events and that of others in Mr. Danchenko’s favor.”

      While these arguments are currently aimed at the court, a repeat will surely follow during next month’s trial, and unless Durham provides the jury with an explanation for the FBI and Mueller’s lack of concern over Danchenko’s statements to investigators, an acquittal seems likely.

      Durham’s Strategy

      We won’t have to wait until the start of the trial to learn Durham’s likely strategy, however, as the government’s response to Danchenko’s motion to dismiss will likely provide some strong hints, especially given some of the assertions included in Danchenko’s brief. For instance, in his summary of the facts, Danchenko claimed, based on the DOJ’s inspector general report, that there was an “articulable factual basis” to launch Crossfire Hurricane based on “information received from a Friendly Foreign Government.” The “information received from a Friendly Foreign Government” refers to then-Australian diplomat Alexander Downer’s claim that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos made suggestions that the Russians could assist the Trump campaign with the release of damaging information about Clinton. 

      Those well-versed in the Russia-collusion hoax will remember that Durham has already publicly pushed back against the Inspector General’s claim that Downer’s tip prompted the launching of Crossfire Hurricane. Durham released a statement following the publication of the IG report contradicting the IG’s assertion and revealing that “based on the evidence collected to date,” his team had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

      Another passage in Danchenko’s brief could similarly prompt pushback by Durham. Relying again on the inspector general’s report on FISA abuse, Danchenko asserts that there is “no evidence the [Steele] election reporting was known to or used by FBI officials involved in the decision to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.” 

      Two years have passed since the IG issued its report, however, and during that time Durham has been continuing to investigate the claimed predication of Crossfire Hurricane. If his team found evidence that Steele’s reporting prompted the launch of Crossfire Hurricane, Danchenko’s motion provides a perfect opportunity for Durham to publicly reveal that evidence.

      Whether Durham will reveal these details and others remains to be seen. And while the special counsel’s office used pretrial court filings in the criminal case against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann to pepper the public with new revelations about the Russia-collusion hoax, the lead prosecutor in that case, Andrew DeFilippis, is no longer prosecuting the case against Danchenko. We should know soon whether Durham, who is now personally involved in the Danchenko prosecution, will use the case to expose more details about SpyGate. 

      Durham has already filed his first motion in limine, or a pretrial request for the court to rule on the admissibility of evidence, in the Danchenko case. That motion, however, concerns classified information and was thus sealed. The special counsel will likely be filing several more motions in limine in the weeks to come, with the court last week entering an order encouraging the parties to file those motions “as early as possible,” but no later than October 3, 2022, absent good cause. 

      Those motions, as well as Durham’s response to Danchenko’s motion to dismiss, will provide some insight into the special counsel’s planned strategy in the Danchenko case and specifically whether the special counsel will highlight the complicity of the deep state in the Russia-collusion hoax. If Durham doesn’t, it might cost his team a second loss.


      Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

        5 Times The Anti-Trump FBI’s ‘Trust Us’ Promise Fell Apart


        BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 02, 2022

        Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/02/5-times-the-anti-trump-fbis-trust-us-promise-fell-apart/

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        The Biden administration and the corporate media continue to assure Americans that the FBI’s raid on former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was both legally justified and of the utmost necessity. But the deep-state cabal and the leftist media cartel provided similar assurances about Crossfire Hurricane and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s targeting of Trump, with the assurances later proving worthless. 

        Here are five times SpyGate taught Americans to distrust and disprove accusations leveled at Donald Trump.

        1. Devin Nunes’ Memo Exposing FISA Abuse

        On February 2, 2018, the House Intelligence Committee, then-chaired by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, released a four-page memo detailing abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the FBI. 

        Before the memo’s release, the FBI publicly opposed the move, claiming in a public statement that the bureau had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” Justice Department officials likewise opposed releasing the memo, warning that “doing so would be ‘extraordinarily reckless.’”

        The then-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, also sought to scuttle the release of the memo — or at least preempt the detailed revelations of FISA abuse — by calling the memo a “conspiracy theory” in an op-ed for The Washington Post. In it, Schiff condemned the release, saying the memo was “designed to suggest that ‘a cabal of senior officials within the FBI and the Justice Department were so tainted by bias against President Trump that they irredeemably poisoned the investigation.’”

        Nancy Pelosi, who is now speaker of the House, likewise attacked Nunes, demanding in a letter to then-House Speaker Paul Ryan that Nunes be removed as Intelligence Committee chairman. Nunes “disgraced” the committee with his “dishonest” handling of the committee’s review of the Russia collusion problem, Pelosi wrote. Nunes’ committee, Pelosi claimed, had become a “charade” and a “coverup campaign … to hide the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal.” 

        In response to the Nunes memo, former FBI Director James Comey told the country the memo was “dishonest and misleading.” Comey further claimed it “wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen.”

        Former CIA Director John Brennan also attacked Nunes, calling his exposure of the FISA abuse “appalling” and an abuse of his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.

        Of course, years later, Nunes was proven correct, as the inspector general’s report confirmed, establishing that the Republican House Intelligence chair had, if anything, understated the FISA abuse. 

        For all the assurances the DOJ, FBI, their former leaders, and top politicians provided the American public, they were either lying or wrong — or both because there was “a cabal of senior officials within the FBI and the Justice Department … so tainted by bias against President Trump that they irredeemably poisoned the investigation.”

        2. Surveillance Warrants Are Hard to Get

        In addition to wrongly condemning Nunes’ memo, government officials attempted to calm concerns over the FISA surveillance by assuring the public that the process of obtaining a surveillance warrant was “rigorous” and that to obtain surveillance of American citizens, a court must find “probable cause” that warrants the wiretap.

        Adm. Michael Rogers, then a commander of United States Cyber Command, testified about the FISA process during a March 2017 congressional hearing. In response to a question posed to eliminate “confusion in the public” about the collection of personal data, Rogers confirmed that the National Security Agency “would need a court order based on probable cause to conduct electronic surveillance on a U.S. person inside the United States.” 

        During the same hearing, the then-recently fired former FBI Director Comey expanded on the surveillance process. “There is a statutory framework in the United States under which courts grant permission for electronic surveillance either in a criminal case or the national security case based on the showing of probable cause,” Comey testified before Congress. “It is a rigorous, rigorous process, involving all three branches of government,” the former FBI director stressed, noting it must go through an application process and then to a judge who must approve the order.

        The IG report on FISA abuse proved the promised rigor didn’t exist. And the later conviction of Kevin Clinesmith for “falsifying a document that was the basis for a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign official Carter Page,” punctuated that reality. The facts revealed in the IG report further established that Americans’ faith in the FISA Court to serve as a check on the government was misplaced, with the judges serving as but a rubberstamp of the DOJ’s surveillance applications. So much for those assurances.

        3. Don’t Worry, ’Merica, No Spying on Trump Took Place

        A third assurance Americans received from the powers-that-be was that no spying on the Trump campaign occurred. The inspector general’s report on FISA abuse disproved those reassurances as well, revealing that the “Obama Administration Spied on the Trump Campaign Big Time.”

        This reality pushed Russia-collusion hoaxers into esoteric discussions on the true meaning of “spying.” Even the United States Senate played the “it depends what the meaning of spying is” game, with New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen quizzing FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether he would agree with then-Attorney General William Barr’s use of the word “spying.”

        “I was very concerned by his use of the word spying, which I think is a loaded word,” Shaheen bemoaned. “When FBI agents conduct investigations against alleged mobsters, suspected terrorists, other criminals, do you believe they’re engaging in spying when they’re following FBI investigative policies and procedures?” the senator asked Wray.

        “That’s not the term I would use,” Wray replied, before noting that different people use different colloquialisms. 

        The discussion did not end there, however, with Shaheen pushing Wray on whether he had seen “any evidence that any illegal surveillance into the campaigns or the individuals associated with the campaigns by the FBI occurred.”

        “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort,” Wray replied.

        But even sidestepping the silly debate over what “spying” means, the guarantee Shaheen provided the American public — that no illegal surveillance into the Trump campaign or individuals associated with the Trump campaign had occurred — proved worthless. 

        The Department of Justice has since admitted that it illegally surveilled former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and that such surveillance reached Trump campaign documents. So, yes, our federal government illegally surveilled the campaign of a presidential candidate.

        4. Redactions Are Necessary to Protect Sources and Methods

        A fourth key commitment conveyed to Americans throughout the multi-year unraveling of the Russia collusion hoax concerned the need to redact details in the publicly released documents. Such redactions were necessary to protect sources and methods, our overlords assured us.

        For instance, in a December 9, 2019 press release Wray issued in conjunction with the DOJ’s inspector general’s report on FISA abuse, Wray “emphasized that the FBI’s participation in this process was undertaken with my express direction to be as transparent as possible, while honoring our duty to protect sources and methods that, if disclosed, might make Americans less safe.” Wray further promised that the FISA abuse report presented all material facts, “with redactions carefully limited and narrowly tailored to specific national security and operational concerns.” 

        Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley challenged that portrayal of the redactions, suggesting in a letter to then-Attorney General William Barr that several footnotes “were classified in the IG report only because they contradict certain claims made in the public version of the inspector general’s report on FISA warrants documenting misconduct in the FBI’s spying operation of the Trump campaign.”

        “We are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes,” Grassley and Johnson wrote. “This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.”

        The Republican senators then asked for the four footnotes to be declassified, stressing that “the American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

        In April of 2020, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the footnotes. And, as Grassley and Johnson had represented, the redactions weren’t necessary to protect “sources and methods.” Rather, the blacked-out lines were essential to distorting portions of the FISA report and to keeping the public in the dark about the full scope of the Spygate scandal.

        Another document declassified by Grenell exposed that Mueller’s team falsely represented to a federal judge (and the American public) the substance of Michael Flynn’s December 2016 telephone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. 

        As I reported following Grenell’s declassification of the transcript of the call between Flynn, Trump’s then-incoming national security adviser, and Kislyak, Mueller’s office deceived the country and a federal court when prosecutors claimed Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with his Russian counterpart. The transcripts established that, contrary to court filings, Flynn never raised the issue of sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

        The release of the Flynn transcript did reveal, however, the FBI’s secret “sources and methods” — but the sources and methods were those of deep-state actors seeking to rid themselves of the president’s chosen national security adviser by launching a perjury trap and then lying about what Flynn said.

        5. Crossfire Hurricane Was Properly Predicated 

        To this day, both DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Wray maintain that the FBI’s launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was properly predicated. Publicly released FBI documents say otherwise. 

        Former FBI agent Peter Strzok explained the supposed predicate for launching Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, in the opening “Electronic Communication” that he both prepared and approved. According to Strzok, the FBI opened the umbrella investigation into the Trump campaign after the government had “received information” “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.” 

        But Strzok’s summary of the information received made no mention of any intel obtained by the FBI related to the DNC hacking. Rather, the supposed intel “consisted of information received from an unnamed representative, now publicly known to be Alexander Downer, a then-Australian diplomat” stationed in London. The opening memorandum explained that Downer had relayed “statements Mr. [George] Papadopoulos made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

        The opening document then asserted that Papadopoulos “also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama.).” The electronic communication added a caveat, though, noting that it was unclear whether Papadopoulos “or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of [sic] through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer.”

        Thus, while Strzok framed the information received by the FBI as evidence “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server,” the remainder of the Electronic Communication contradicted that claim and in fact acknowledged that the material might refer to “publicly acquired” information.

        What the FBI did — or rather didn’t do — after the launch of Crossfire Hurricane further confirms the sham predicate set forth by Strzok in the Electronic Communication. 

        While Papadopoulos’s statements to Downer supposedly prompted the FBI to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, agents failed to question Papadopoulos for six months. The FBI also put little (or no) effort into determining who purportedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary. The supposed source of that statement, Joseph Mifsud, could have been easily located soon after the launch of Crossfire Hurricane if the FBI genuinely believed Russia had conspired with the Trump campaign to hack and release the DNC emails.

        Agents pursuing a legitimate investigation “would have immediately scoured Papadopoulos’s London-based connections and discovered he was associated with the London Centre of International Law Practice around the time he met with Downer. From there, the FBI could have easily fingered Mifsud as a possible source for the information, since he was listed as a board advisor and public source searches would show Mifsud had connections to Russia. (The intelligence community would have also hit on Mifsud’s many connections to Western intelligence agencies.)”

        But the FBI did none of this, waiting instead until late January 2017 to quiz Papadopoulos on the source of the supposed inside information coming from Russia. Yet, Wray and the DOJ’s inspector general want Americans to trust them when they say that agents launched Crossfire Hurricane based on Papadopoulos’s London chat with Downer over drinks. 

        Special Counsel John Durham, however, says otherwise, having released a statement following the DOJ’s report on FISA abuse that informed the public that, “based on the evidence collected to date,” his team had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

        The special counsel’s public statements prove significant for two reasons. First, Durham’s comments refute the inspector general’s conclusions regarding the predication of Crossfire Hurricane. But beyond that, the fact that Durham needed to correct the record shows the lack of trust due the DOJ and even the inspector general’s office — something further confirmed during the special counsel’s prosecution of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann. 

        Each of these five falsehoods peddled by the government to the public during the Russia collusion hoax has a clear corollary in the current scandal involving the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. And after the lies, pretext, and political warfare exposed during the unraveling of SpyGate, the DOJ and FBI’s current entreat to an angry public to “trust them” will be ignored — as it should.


        Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

          Redacted Mar-A-Lago Affidavit Confirms Biden’s DOJ Fished For A Crime To Pin On Trump


          BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | AUGUST 29, 2022

          Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/redacted-mar-a-lago-affidavit-confirms-bidens-doj-fished-for-a-crime-to-pin-on-trump-2657957240.html/

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          The search warrant affidavit unsealed on Friday confirms the Department of Justice used a bait-and-switch tactic to justify the FBI’s unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump’s home. The unredacted portions of the affidavit further expose the Biden administration’s manipulative and tenuous basis for the search and its reliance on inapplicable federal criminal code provisions to justify the targeting of a political enemy. 

          At noon on Friday, the search warrant affidavit used by the DOJ to obtain a warrant to raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home hit the public court docket, albeit with heavy redactions. While sparse, the unredacted portions of the affidavit nonetheless proved significant, especially when read in conjunction with the previously unsealed search warrant and the leaks to the compliant media cartel.

          “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit opened, before noting that “the investigation began as a result of a referral the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) sent to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on February 9, 2022.”

          The affidavit then summarized the background of the NARA referral, explaining that “on February 9, 2022, the Special Agent in Charge of NARA’s Office of Inspector General sent a referral via email to the DOJ.” The referral explained that the NARA’s White House Liaison Division director had reviewed 15 boxes NARA had retrieved from Mar-a-Lago including “newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post-presidential records, and ‘a lot of classified records.’” “Of most significant,” the search warrant affidavit explained, was that “highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”

          While the next nearly eight pages of the search warrant affidavit remained redacted, the disclosures that followed exposed the affidavit’s focus on “classified records” as a sham. “On or about May 6, 2021, NARA made a request for the missing PRA records and continued to make requests until approximately late December 2021 when NARA was informed twelve boxes were found and ready for retrieval at the [Mar-a-Lago],” the affidavit continued, with the abbreviation “PRA” previously noted to stand for the Presidential Records Act.

          As I explained previously, to fully comprehend the Biden administration’s weaponizing of the DOJ and FBI, it is necessary to understand the Presidential Records Act, the concept of “presidential records,” and the NARA’s role, and the search warrant affidavit’s references to those concepts confirm that point. In short:

          “The Presidential Records Act provides that documents created or received by the president or his immediate staff, such as memos, letters, notes, emails, and other written communications, related to a president’s official duties, constitute ‘presidential records’ and must be preserved. The act further declares that the United States shall retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records.’ And at the conclusion of a president’s term in office, the ‘Archivist of the United States’ ‘assumes responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records.’”

          The Presidential Records Act, however, expressly excludes specific documents from the definition of “presidential records,” including any documentary materials that are “official records of an agency,” “personal records,” or “extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference, when such copies are clearly so identified.” The federal statute further defines “personal records” as “diaries, journals, or personal notes ‘not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business’” or “materials relating to private political associations” or “relating exclusively to the President’s own election to the office of the Presidency.”

          The public (understandably) may wish to sidestep the minutia of the mandates of the Presidential Records Act, but three top-line takeaways prove imperative to understanding the scandal of the Mar-a-Lago search. First, the Presidential Records Act is not a criminal statute, and violations of that federal law do not constitute a crime. Second, the Presidential Records Act does not reach broad swathes of documents retained by a former president, including “official records of an agency,” “personal records,” and convenience copies of presidential records. And third, the courts have refused to question a former president’s conclusion that a record constitutes a “personal record” and not a “presidential record.”

          Two additional legal points require expansion for the populace to fully grasp the outrageous overreach of the DOJ, which was further exposed in the partially unsealed affidavit. The first legal principle of note concerns a president’s power to declassify documents. As Trump’s attorney stressed in a May 2022 letter to the DOJ, which the government released along with the redacted version of the search warrant affidavit, “a president has absolute authority to declassify documents.”

          “Under the U.S. Constitution, the President is vested with the highest level of authority when it comes to the classification and declassification of documents,” Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran explained in his correspondence with the DOJ. Citing both the Constitution and Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 527 (1988), wherein the United States Supreme Court wrote, “the President’s authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant,” Corcoran countered the DOJ’s attempt to frame NARA’s discovery of documents marked “classified” as warranting a criminal investigation.

          Trump’s lawyer stressed a second significant legal principle in the same letter, writing that “presidential actions involving classified documents are not subject to criminal sanction.” Then, after noting that “any attempt to impose criminal liability on a President or former President that involves his actions with respect to documents marked classified would implicate grave constitutional separation-of-powers issues,” Corcoran wrote: “Beyond that, the primary criminal statute that governs the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material does not apply to the President.” 

          The attorney for the former president then quoted the statute that criminalizes the removal, possession, or retention of classified materials before stressing that “an element of this offense, which the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, is that the accused is ‘an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States.’” “The President is none of these,” Trump’s attorney continued, before concluding, “thus, the statute does not apply to acts by a President.”

          Corcoran closed his letter by reminding the DOJ of its obligation “to be candid in representations made to judges,” and requested that a copy of the lawyer’s letter be provided “to any judicial officer who is asked to rule on any motion pertaining to this investigation, or on any application made in connection with any investigative request concerning this investigation,” as well as “any grand jury considering evidence in connection with this matter, or any grand jury asked to issue a subpoena for testimony or documents in connection with this matter.” 

          The search warrant affidavit referenced Corcoran’s letter and provided a copy to Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who issued the search warrant. The DOJ also informed Reinhart of a Breitbart News article from May 5, 2022, which states that a former Trump administration official, Kash Patel, had characterized as “misleading” reports that documents retrieved by NARA included classified material; Patel alleged that the reporting was misleading because Trump had declassified the materials at issue.

          The DOJ informed Reinhart of the above details and thus, in essence, that the government lacked probable cause to search Mar-a-Lago based on a violation of the statute governing the mishandling of classified documents. But what Trump’s legal team did not foresee, and what the search warrant affidavit revealed, was that the DOJ would twist the facts to find other crimes to justify the targeting of Trump. 

          The introductory section of the affidavit summarized three other legal theories to justify the search, stating first that “the FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials” contained in the 15 boxes retrieved by the NARA. Second, the affidavit maintained that there was “probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the Mar-a-Lago.” And third, the affidavit claimed there was “also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at” Mar-a-Lago. Those legal theories track the three statutes cited by the DOJ to justify the search, namely 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(e), 1519, and 2071. 

          As I previously explained, none of those criminal code provisions require material to be classified for there to be criminal liability. Rather, Section 793(e), also called the Espionage Act, makes it a crime for a person “having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over” “national defense information” to “willfully” share that information with a “person not entitled to receive it” or to “willfully retain” the national defense information and fail to deliver it to an employee of the United States “entitled to receive it,” if “the possessor has reason to believe [it] could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” 

          The unredacted portions of the search warrant affidavit reveal how the DOJ manipulated the facts to fit within the Espionage Act. First, for the Espionage Act to apply, the material must qualify as “national defense information.” To establish probable cause that “national defense information” remained at Mar-a-Lago, the affidavit noted that a review by FBI agents of the 15 boxes retrieved by NARA “identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the fifteen boxes.” The FBI agent who signed the search warrant affidavit then attested that based on his “training and experience,” he “knows that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI” or “national defense information.”

          What the DOJ did here, then, was this: It highlighted that the documents retrieved by the NARA contained “classification markings” and then used the FBI agent’s expertise to establish that documents that receive a classification marking typically include “national defense information.” That Trump declassified (or may have declassified) the documents is irrelevant under this analysis because the fact that they were ever classified would mean they likely qualified as “national defense information.” 

          The DOJ subtly confirmed this point by dropping a footnote that explains that “§ 793(e) does not use the term ‘classified information,’ but rather criminalizes the unlawful retention of ‘information relating to the national defense.’” The footnote continues by noting that Section 793(e) does not define “information related to the national defense,” but adds that courts have construed national defense information “broadly.” 

          In other words, the DOJ bent the Espionage Act to fit the facts of Trump’s possession of documents at Mar-a-Lago. The Biden administration couldn’t target Trump for mishandling classified material both because he declassified it and because the statute that criminalizes such mishandling doesn’t reach a president or a former president. So instead, they tried to find a crime to get the man. 

          Even then, there is a second problem with the DOJ’s reliance on the Espionage Act: An Espionage Act violation only occurs if the person has “unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over,” the national defense information. But how was Trump’s possession “unauthorized”?

          From the unredacted portions of the affidavit, it appears the DOJ maintained that Trump’s possession of the national defense information was “unauthorized” because the documents were “presidential records” wrongly retained by Trump. But “presidential records” do not include agency records, personal records, or convenience copies, and the documents bearing the classification markings likely originated from intelligence community agencies and/or were hard copies printed for convenience, meaning Trump’s possession of those documents would not be “unauthorized” under the Presidential Records Act. 

          For the same reason, the DOJ’s reliance on Section 2017, which criminalizes the removal, destruction, or concealing of government records, falters because that criminal provision protects the government’s access to its own records, and merely possessing copies of government records is not enough to constitute a crime. Yet from the search warrant affidavit and the search warrant, it appears the government sought to recover from Trump hard copies of information it already had within its possession, either through various agencies or the electronic copies maintained by the relevant authorities. And it is a stretch for the government to rely on Section 2017 to criminalize Trump’s possession of the records.

          Again, what we are seeing is a bending and twisting of the law to find a crime on which to launch the Mar-a-Lago raid. Mishandling of classified materials wouldn’t work, and Trump’s attorney made sure the DOJ knew that, so the creative team working under Attorney General Merrick Garland combed the federal code and found two plausible statutes on which to rely, adding a claim of obstruction of justice to round out the search warrant affidavit. While it is unclear from the affidavit the basis for the government’s obstruction of justice allegation, the affidavit establishes that the other criminal provisions relied upon representing illicit maneuvering to manufacture a crime for the man who was their political enemy.

          Americans may shrug when prosecutors use pretext to target known drug dealers or human traffickers, but manipulating the criminal code to find a basis to search the home of a former president and a political enemy represents an appalling weaponization of the criminal justice system. And while large portions of the affidavit remain under seal, the country has seen enough to know that is precisely what the Biden administration did to get Trump.


          Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

          DOJ’s Highly Redacted Trump Affidavit Details Reasons For Raid


          By SHELBY TALCOTT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | August 26, 202212:31 PM ET

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/26/highly-redacted-affidavit-donald-trump-mar-a-lago-raid-released/

          FILE PHOTO: Donald Trump departs Trump Tower two days after FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach home, in New York City, New York, U.S., August 10, 2022. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado//File Photo
          REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado//File Photo

          The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) redacted affidavit relating to the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was released on Friday. The document shows that the DOJ pointed to a number of classified materials already obtained from Trump’s home as reason for the August search warrant request.

          Though much of the affidavit was redacted, unsealed portions of it revealed that the latest search came after the FBI reviewed 15 boxes that Trump turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in January, sparking further concern about other potential documents. Fourteen of these boxes had classification markings,” according to the affidavit.

          The 14 boxes contained 184 documents – 25 of the documents had “top secret” markings, 92 were labeled “secret” and 67 had a “confidential” warning, according to the affidavit.

          The affidavit also notes that the DOJ requested Trump secure the storage room at Mar-a-Lago, pointing out that the department sent a letter to “FPOTUS COUNSEL 1” on June 8, 2022. This letter “reiterated that the PREMISES are not authorized to store classified information and requested the preservation of the STORAGE ROOM and boxes that had been moved from the White House to the PREMISES.”

          As I previously indicated to you, Mar-a-Lago does not include a secure location authorized for the storage of classified information,” the letter reads, according to the affidavit. “As such, it appears that since the time classified documents [redacted] were removed from the secure facilities at the White House and moved to Mar-a-Lago on or around January 20, 2021, they have not been handled in an appropriate manner or stored in au appropriate location. Accordingly, we ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room in their current condition until farther notice.”

          FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

          FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

          Multiple media organizations, including CNN and The New York Times, pushed for the affidavit – which would shed light on the reasoning behind the unprecedented raid – to be released because of intense public interest and the unparalleled nature of the situation. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart – who also signed off on the search warrant used in the FBI’s August 8 raid – ordered the DOJ to submit redactions to the affidavit after formally rejecting the department’s push to keep the document private. Reinhart approved the redactions on Thursday and noted the affidavit would be released by noon on Friday.

          In the wake of the FBI’s search, Trump slammed the incident as being politically motivated. He encouraged the “immediate release of documents” relating to the search of his Florida home and, on August 22, filed a lawsuit asking for a “special master” to be appointed to independently oversee the review of various materials that had been taken. (RELATED: FBI Agents Remove 11 Sets Of Classified Documents From Mar-a-Lago)

          The DOJ on Friday also released a document detailing its proposed redactions to the affidavit and reasons for the redactions – though notably the reasons for keeping portions of the affidavit under wraps were also redacted. In this document, the DOJ noted that the redactions are an effort to protect a “significant number of civilian witnesses.”

          Trump Celebrates ‘All Wins’ from Both GOP And Democratic Primaries


          By NICOLE SILVERIO | MEDIA REPORTER | August 24, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/24/trump-celebrates-gop-democratic-primaries-florida-new-york-oklahoma/

          Donald Trump Campaigns In Golden, Colorado
          (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

          Former President Donald Trump celebrated the victories of Democrats and Republicans in the Tuesday primaries, many of whom he endorsed. The former president jokingly endorsed two Democratic candidates running in the New York primary, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and attorney Dan Goldman. Goldman then won the Democratic nomination to represent New York’s 10th district in Congress, while Maloney lost her bid to Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler.

          “Looks like a fantastic evening of ALL WINS — Great Candidates!!!” Trump wrote on a Truth Social post.

          “26 and 0 tonight, turning numerous tight races into big endorsements and easy wins!” Trump said in a separate Truth Social post. “Overall for last 4 years, 98.4% on Endorsements!”

          Trump-endorsed Republican New York Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, Elise Stefanik and Claudia Tenney all won their primaries Tuesday night.

          COMMERCE, GA - MARCH 26: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (L) shakes hands with former U.S. President Donald Trump (R) during a rally at the Banks County Dragway on March 26, 2022 in Commerce, Georgia. This event is a part of Trump's Save America Tour around the United States. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

          (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

          Trump’s preferred Republican candidates also achieved victories in the Florida primary. Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz defeated his opponent, former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo, in Florida’s 1st district. His other endorsed candidates in Florida, including Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Anna Paulina Luna, Kat Cammack, and John Rutherford, swept their races. (RELATED: Trump Endorsed Candidate Kari Lake Wins GOP Arizona Gubernatorial Primary) 

          Other candidates who won their primaries include Democratic Florida Rep. Val Demings, who captured the Democratic nomination and will attempt to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Democratic Florida Rep. Charlie Crist won the nomination to challenge Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the gubernatorial race.

          Meanwhile, Trump-endorsed Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin defeated T.W. Shannon, a banking executive, in the Republican senate primary run-off election.

          The former president made over 40 endorsements in recent primaries taking place in Washington, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona and Kansas, where the majority of the Trump-endorsed candidates achieved victories, Politico reported.

          Congressional Leaders Request Access To Documents FBI Seized from Mar-A-Lago: REPORT


          By MICHAEL GINSBERG, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER | August 22, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/22/gang-eight-request-access-documents-fbi-mar-a-lago-seize-donald-trump-merrick-garland/

          pelosi mccarthy
          (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

          A group of top lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives is reportedly requesting access to the documents Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials seized from Mar-a-Lago.

          The Gang of Eight, which includes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner, Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Marco Rubio, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, and House Intelligence Committee ranking member Mike Turner, made the request to Biden administration officials, Politico reported Monday. Former President Donald Trump and his allies have argued that he unilaterally declassified the documents, which Trump held the authority to do.

          While Democrats have almost uniformly declined to aggressively weigh in on the raid, Republicans have been split. While some officials, such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, have called for Congress to defund the FBI, others, like former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, have urged caution while calling for the Biden administration to make more information publicly available.

          Scoop — the Gang of 8 wants in on the documents seized from Mar-a-Lagohttps://t.co/nhjXBzdccX

          — Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) August 22, 2022

          A spokesperson for Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on the matter. (RELATED: Republicans Gear Up For Oversight Battle Over FBI’s Raid Of Mar-A-Lago)

          Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed in a press conference three days after the raid that he personally approved the request to seek a warrant. District Court Judge Bruce Reinhart approved releasing the search warrant top sheet, although the Department of Justice is fighting to withhold the warrant affidavit. The latter document likely includes testimony from FBI agents, as well as information about witnesses.

          The warrant top sheet shows that the search is related to alleged violations of the Espionage Act, as well as obstruction of justice. Agents seized eleven sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago. They also took 20 boxes of binders of photographs, a handwritten note, an executive grant of clemency for Roger Stone, and information about the President of France.

          Rubio and Warner issued a similar request to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines shortly after the raid, as did Schiff and House Oversight Committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.

          Think The FBI Deserves the Benefit of the Doubt? This Laundry List of Corruption Should Make You Think Again


          BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | AUGUST 19, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/19/think-the-fbi-deserves-the-benefit-of-the-doubt-this-laundry-list-of-corruption-should-make-you-think-again/

          FBI Director James Comey with Mueller and Obama

          Author Tristan Justice profile

          TRISTAN JUSTICE

          VISIT ON TWITTER@JUSTICETRISTAN

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          Can the FBI be trusted? A Federalist analysis of agency lies over the last decade is an unequivocal no.

          FISA Warrants

          In the summer of 2016, FBI bureaucrats launched a deep-state operation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, to thwart then-candidate Trump’s presidential ambitions. It began by targeting Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and quickly branched out as bureaucrats expanded their surveillance. The spy agency used the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as a legal pretext to investigate and spy on Papadopoulos, in addition to former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and former Trump adviser Carter Page. Several were interviewed by undercover FBI informant Stefan Halper, whose own investigation would prove a bust.

          According to a declassified transcript between Papadopoulos and a Crossfire Hurricane confidential human source (CHS), Papadopoulos repeatedly denied the Trump campaign was working with Russian-backed entities to capture the 2016 election. The FBI, however, wrote off Papadopoulos’s recorded answers as rehearsed and omitted his denials of campaign collusion with overseas actors in FISA court warrant applications and renewals. These were two of the 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” identified in the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general’s blockbuster report on the investigation in December 2019.

          Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in a perjury trap, was far from the only individual to face political persecution from the federal government’s dystopian investigation.

          Not one of the four FISA warrants obtained by the FBI was legally justified, according to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. In fact, at least two of the warrant applications to spy on Page were declared illegal by a federal judge. Following Horowitz’s blistering report outlining FBI misconduct throughout the entire operation, another federal judge declared that agency malfeasance “calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”

          Subsequent reporting revealed gross abuses of power within the FBI to prosecute political opponents. According to Horowitz, the FBI’s FISA warrants “relied entirely” on DNC-funded opposition research compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele known as the “Steele dossier.” The dossier, which outlined supposed Trump-Russia collusion and has since been thoroughly debunked, included salacious allegations such as supposed “pee tapes” featuring Trump engaging in golden showers with Russian prostitutes at a Moscow hotel.

          The FBI knew the dossier lacked credibility as early as January 2017 and knew Steele’s material itself contained Russian disinformation. Desperate to continue their deep-state operation, however, officials lied to the FISA court about Steele’s credibility and hid incriminating info related to the former British intelligence official who was later fired over leaks to the press. An 18th omission, overlooked by the inspector general’s report but documented by Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland, was that Steele’s sources did not include the ones he developed as a British official.

          Even after Steele’s termination as a reliable source, DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr continued to feed information from Steele to the FBI over the course of its investigation. Steele met with Ohr 12 times after the former’s tenure ended as a confidential human source for the bureau, according to the inspector general. Ohr also promoted his wife’s opposition research to FBI investigators and did not disclose she was paid by Fusion GPS, the DNC-contracted firm that commissioned the Steele dossier.

          The FBI never told the FISA court that the Trump dossier written by a source who was fired for lying, did not undergo independent verification, and was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

          Despite the overt abuse of the nation’s surveillance apparatus to spy on political opponents, only one FBI official has faced criminal conviction for his role in the probe. In January last year, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to just 12 months probation after pleading guilty to fabricating evidence to obtain a FISA warrant. By December, Clinesmith was re-admitted to the D.C. Bar Association in good standing.

          Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko, was indicted in November on five counts of making false statements to the FBI. In May, a D.C. jury acquitted former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann on charges of lying to the FBI when submitting supposed evidence of Trump-Russian collusion to federal investigators.

          Misleading Congress

          Following the collapse of the grand Russia-collusion hoax, lawmakers on Capitol Hill began demanding answers about FBI misconduct. Former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress, claiming the bureau was just investigating four individuals, not the Trump campaign, in a dubious spin.

          “Late July of 2016, the FBI did, in fact, open a counterintelligence investigation into, is it fair to say the Trump campaign or Donald Trump himself?” asked then-Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a 2018 hearing.

          “It’s not fair to say either of those things, in my recollection,” Comey said. “We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference efforts. And those four Americans did not include the candidate.”

          Horowitz also contradicted the FBI in a December 2019 hearing on the release of his report documenting FISA abuses. In September 2017, the FBI told Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that the bureau gave the Trump campaign a defensive briefing about Russian interference in the 2016 race.

          “In August of 2016 the FBI provided a counterintelligence defensive briefing to then candidate Donald Trump and other senior campaign officials,” wrote FBI Assistant Director of Congressional Affairs Gregory Brower in response to a letter from Grassley. “This defensive briefing was conducted by an experienced FBI counterintelligence agent and focused on the broad range of threats posed by foreign intelligence entities.”

          Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that there was no briefing given.

          Misleading DOJ Leaders

          Not only was Congress led astray as FBI officials conducted a rogue operation to defend the incumbent regime, but so was senior leadership in President Trump’s DOJ.

          Handwritten notes revealed in the Sussmann trial exposed how FBI agents sought to cover up malicious misconduct, wherein DOJ leaders tasked with FBI oversight were misled about the investigation’s progress. The notes show FBI agent Peter Strzok wrongly told DOJ supervisors the surveillance warrant on Page had been “fruitful.” Strzok also concealed knowledge that Steele’s sources were not credible and claimed instead that the dossier was “CROWN reporting” from MI6, the CIA’s British counterpart. The FBI said the dossier was being used to examine the RNC and Trump campaign’s effort to soften the GOP platform on NATO and Crimea for Russian energy stocks, but the document made no mention of NATO or Crimea.

          Strzok also said Trump’s 2016 joke about Russia uncovering Clinton’s 30,000 deleted emails triggered Crossfire Hurricane, with an Australian diplomat tipping off the government about Papadopoulos at the American embassy in London. The tip that Papdopoulos was coordinating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, however, came before Trump made the joke.

          Strzok is the same agent whose text messages show he conspired with his mistress and FBI colleague, attorney Lisa Page. Strzok, a lead investigator for Crossfire Hurricane, assured Page of a mysterious “insurance policy” in place if Trump were to be elected, likely in reference to the agency’s inside operations. Page, according to the DOJ inspector general’s 2019 report, told colleagues to go easy on investigating Clinton because “she might be our next president.”

          When Page fretted that Trump might actually win the 2016 contest, Strzok assured his romantic partner, “we’ll stop it.”

          Misleading Trump

          Comey thought the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was important enough to brief outgoing President Barack Obama on the probe but kept Trump in the dark. In fact, Comey later confirmed that he told Trump three times the president was not being investigated and refused to tell him Clinton funded the dossier.

          Michael Flynn

          In June 2020, a federal judge ordered that all charges be dropped against Flynn, whom Trump subsequently pardoned in the waning days of his administration. Prior to his exoneration, Flynn was facing heavy fines and prison time for making false statements to federal officials in another perjury trap orchestrated by Comey, who bragged about the setup in the first week of the Trump White House.

          According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Flynn lied to a pair of FBI agents about conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak as the incoming national security adviser. Flynn, prosecutors claimed, spoke with Kislyak about financial sanctions against Russian individuals after the 2016 election and then lied about it during an interview with Comey’s agents. Sending a pair of agents to question a senior White House official in the Situation Room, Comey said at a 2018 conference, was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or even gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration.”

          “We placed a call to Flynn and said, ‘Hey, we’re sending a couple guys over, hope you’ll talk to them.’ He said ‘sure,’” Comey explained at the 92nd Street Y conference. “Nobody else was there, they interviewed him in a conference room at the White House situation room, and he lied to them.”

          Flynn initially pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI before firing his attorneys and hiring new representation to withdraw his guilty plea. His reversal followed the release of declassified transcripts, which revealed Flynn never spoke with Kislyak about sanctions. The two only discussed expulsions of Russian individuals under a different process. Handwritten notes from the FBI agents also revealed the sole purpose of their questioning was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” A bizarre 2017 inauguration day email by Susan Rice to herself also revealed Comey knew there was no legitimate reason to question Flynn.

          Andrew McCabe

          Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired from his top role at the bureau for lying to the agency inspector general four times over multiple abuses during his tenure in senior leadership. Those abuses included efforts to set up former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for obstruction charges, the sabotage of an investigation into Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop before the 2016 election, and failure to report conflicts of interest. While running for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015, McCabe’s wife accepted a political donation from a close Clinton ally as her husband was tasked with investigating the former secretary of state.

          A 2018 DOJ inspector general report blasted McCabe as a serial leaker who lied about it. That same year, a letter from Grassley shined a spotlight on McCabe’s purchase of a $70,000 table on taxpayers’ dime that the agency sought to cover up.

          Clinton Emails

          The FBI repeatedly told journalists there was no evidence that a foreign power had reviewed Clinton’s emails that she improperly handled on a private server. According to an inspector general report in 2018, however, texts show they almost certainly did, “at least one of them classified,” as Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi wrote.

          “It is more accurate to say,” read a text from Strzok, “that we know foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails (including at least one Secret one) via compromises of the private email accounts of some of her staffers.”

          Weiner Laptop

          In 2018, Comey told lawmakers over the course of the investigation into Clinton’s emails that agency officials thoroughly reviewed the laptop belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her now-ex husband Anthony Weiner. The FBI was able to accomplish such a feat within a short timeframe “thanks to the wizardry of our technology” enabling agents who worked “night after night after night” to comb through the remaining material before the 2016 election.

          “But virtually none of his account was true,” explained RealClearInvestigations’ Paul Sperry.

          In fact, a technical glitch prevented FBI technicians from accurately comparing the new emails with the old emails. Only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.

          Roger Stone

          In 2019, former Trump associate Roger Stone was raided by the FBI after being indicted by Mueller. A CNN camera crew happened to be the only network present at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home before the sunrise raid, suggesting the friendly press had been tipped off in advance. The FBI, however, refused to comply with a Federalist open records request for any and all emails to or from CNN on the day of the raid.

          Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

          The Jan. 6 saga has become the sequel in Democrats’ efforts to indict Trump, before FBI agents hatched a plot to go after the former president over supposed espionage.

          In October, the bureau refused to offer House Republicans conducting their own independent investigation of the Capitol riot the same material given to congressional Democrats. The FBI’s refusal, the agency claimed, was because officials were already working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6. Pelosi’s committee, however, was established in violation of House rules. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the minority appointment as ranking member, is entitled to the documents presented to Democrats.

          Senior FBI officials have also refused lawmakers’ questions about how many informants were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and stonewalled inquiries surrounding Ray Epps, the mysterious figure who disappeared from the most-wanted list after he encouraged rioters to swarm the Capitol.

          At an Aug. 4 Senate hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray sought to downplay agency negligence, claiming “we did not have any credible intelligence that pointed to thousands of people breaching the Capitol.” But according to Newsweek, the agency deployed commandos with “shoot to kill authority,” and even Capitol Hill parking attendants knew there were going to be mass protests. The FBI has also been less than forthcoming about a pair of pipe bombs planted at the RNC and DNC headquarters.

          At the same time, the FBI has embarked on a nationwide manhunt, to incarcerating demonstrators who have been declared such a threat to the republic over trespassing that they’ve been denied a fair and speedy trial and held in detention for more than 18 months.

          Julian Khater, one of two accused of assaulting a Capitol Police officer with pepper spray and whose case has been documented by Julie Kelly at American Greatness, appears to have been outright coerced into making an unconstitutional confession. Khater was detained in March 2021 and has remained in federal custody ever since after intense interrogation without an attorney present.

          Kamala Harris on Jan. 6

          The presence of Vice President Mike Pence and then-Sen. Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol has been the basis for nearly 800 people being charged with at least one count of violating 18 U.S. Code, section 1752, according to Kelly, which indicates that any building or complex hosting the vice president is a restricted area and therefore closed to the public.

          “But the Justice Department recently was forced to admit that Harris was not in the building for most of the day on January 6,” Kelly reported, highlighting that Harris, at the time, remained a U.S. senator, not vice president. In the late morning, Harris was moved to the DNC headquarters where a pipe bomb had supposedly been planted.

          “Prosecutors have begun amending language in court filings to reflect the fact Harris was not inside the Capitol despite making the assertion in thousands of charging documents,” Kelly wrote.

          March 4, 2021

          The FBI released a joint memo with the Department of Homeland Security warning that “domestic extremists” were preparing to launch an insurrection by overwhelming the Capitol and removing Democratic lawmakers “on or about the 4th of March.”

          Nothing happened.

          Hunter Biden Suppression

          In July, Grassley’s office published a blockbuster whistleblower report wherein senior agency officials alleged that the bureau is actively trying to sabotage Trump and provide cover for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

          “Multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions,” Grassley’s office wrote in a press release, “are raising the alarm about tampering by senior FBI and Justice Department officials in politically sensitive investigations ranging from election and campaign finance probes across multiple election cycles.”

          Washington Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault and Director of Election Crimes Branch Richard Pilger, the whistleblowers alleged, coordinated to amplify defamatory information against Trump while giving cover to Hunter Biden, dismissing Biden intelligence as disinformation.

          The agency reportedly knew of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop full of incriminating information on the first family as early as 2019, and Grassley’s whistleblower report highlights how officials may have undermined DOJ investigations into Hunter Biden’s finances in Delaware and Pittsburgh. In March, FBI Assistant Director of the Cyber Division Bryan Vorndran told lawmakers he did not know the whereabouts of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

          Gretchen Whitmer Plot

          In October 2020, the FBI revealed that a plot to kidnap Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had been heroically foiled by federal law enforcement. A group of far-right militiamen, the story goes, conspired to kidnap the governor and try her as a “tyrant” in Wisconsin. In July last year, however, BuzzFeed revealed that at least 12 people involved were FBI informants orchestrating another entrapment.

          “The problem with the case is that it appears the FBI, through informants and undercover agents, hatched the kidnapping plotserved in the key leadership positions of the militia group, trained the militia members in military tactics, actively recruited participantsand funded much of the militia’s activities,” reported former CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer Max Morton. “Then, when various members of the Watchman militia became uncomfortable with the kidnapping plot, with several quitting, the FBI’s primary informant pushed the plot along, eventually becoming the militia group’s leader.”

          In April, a jury refused to convict four of the 14 defendants charged. Two were found not guilty, another two concluded the trial with no verdict, and another two took plea deals.

          Ralph Northam Plot

          Dan Chappel, the primary informant in the Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy, targeted a senior disabled veteran named Frank Butler using the same formula to go after then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, another Democrat.

          “Just as in the Whitmer plot, Chappel lured Frank Butler into attempting to build an explosive device,” Kelly explained in American Greatness. “Chappel also invited Butler to a field training exercise in Wisconsin during the last weekend in October, an excursion attended by some defendants in the Whitmer caper.”

          Unlike the FBI’s victims in the Whitmer plot, however, Butler did not participate and has not been charged with any crime.

          Sen. Ted Stevens’ Conviction

          Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, became the victim of FBI corruption in 2008 when forced to defend himself on charges of false statements to federal officials. Stevens lost his seat as the scandal played out, only to be later exonerated when a judge conducting an independent investigation concluded that prosecutors inappropriately hid evidence.

          Prosecutors indicted Stevens on charges that he had concealed that he did not pay full value for renovations on an Alaskan cabin less than 100 days out from the 2008 election.

          “In fact, Ted Stevens and his wife had paid more than $160,000 for renovations that independent appraisers valued at less than $125,000 at the time,” Roll Call reported.

          Prosecutors, however, secured a conviction by hiding evidence that incriminated their own witnesses, one of whom came up with testimony right before trial, with inconsistent statements concealed from the defense, according to the D.C. paper.

          Likewise, the government concealed evidence that its star witness had suborned perjury from an underage prostitute with whom the star witness had an illegal sexual relationship. And the government concealed evidence that another witness — whom the government flew back to Alaska away from the Washington, D.C., trial after their mock cross-examination of him went poorly — had told the senator that the bills he received and promptly paid included all of the work that was done. Government prosecutors mocked Stevens when he explained that on the stand — all the while knowing that they had a witness who would have supported him, but whom they had removed from the trial.

          Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s Conviction

          Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., was sentenced to two years of probation with a $25,000 fine and 320 hours of community service in March after a Los Angeles jury convicted him of lying to the federal government after he was entrapped by the FBI.

          The saga began in 2019 when a pair of FBI agents showed up at Fortenberry’s Nebraska home ostensibly over a national security issue, not a criminal investigation. Prosecutors ultimately convicted Fortenberry for scheming to conceal material facts to federal officials and two false statements to the FBI.

          One false statement was attributed to Forteberry not recognizing a person whose 10-year-old picture was presented to him by agents on their trip to his Nebraska residence. In July 2019, the FBI lied to Fortenberry and his attorney, Gowdy, claiming Fortenberry was not under federal investigation when he was. Fortenberry resigned from the House during his ninth term following conviction.

          Pulse Nightclub Shooting

          In June 2016, a 29-year-old gunman named Omar Mateen stormed the gay Orlando nightclub Pulse, killing 49 and injuring 53 more in the name of Islamic terrorists killed in Iraq and Syria. Mateen’s father, Seddique, was an FBI informant, whom documents published by The Intercept suggest convinced the bureau to stop investigating his son.

          The bureau turned instead to charging Mateen’s widow, Noor Salman, with material support and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors sought to conceal the father’s status as an FBI informant, according to the Intercept, in pursuit of Salman’s conviction.

          “Seddique Mateen has not faced criminal charges despite a tip to the FBI that he raised money for terrorism in Pakistan, and an ongoing investigation into money transfers he allegedly made to Turkey and Afghanistan,” the Intercept reported. “Omar Mateen was researching flights to Turkey at the same time that his father was sending payments there, according to defense lawyers’ summary of FBI evidence.” Salmon was apparently unaware of their possible plans to travel to either country.

          Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on Salmon’s 2018 trial:

          Testimony from an F.B.I. agent revealed that prosecutors knew early on, but did not reveal, that one of their crucial initial pieces of evidence — that Ms. Salman had admitted driving by the nightclub with her husband in the days before the attack — most likely did not happen.

          Salmon was ultimately acquitted after a 12-hour jury deliberation.

          Texas Synagogue Attack

          On Jan. 15, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram took hostages in a Texas synagogue near Dallas and demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national also known as “Lady Al Qaeda” serving an 86-year sentence for assault and attempted murder of federal agents and military personnel.

          Matthew J. DeSarno, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Dallas field office, said the attack on a synagogue had nothing to do with targeting Jews.

          “We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community,” DeSarno said at a press conference.

          But as Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation reported, Akram “was heard to say via the live stream that operated from the synagogue for much of the incident that he chose it because he thought it was the closest assemblage of Jews to the federal facility holding Siddiqui.”

          “There are about 1,000 churches in the Fort Worth area within a half-hour drive of Siddiqui’s place of incarceration, compared to seven Jewish centers of worship,” DeVore wrote. “But sure, Special Agent DeSarno, the terrorism was ‘not specifically threatening to the Jewish community.’”

          Congressional Baseball Shooter

          The FBI designated the death of a shooter who attempted to gun down Republican lawmakers at a 2017 congressional baseball practice as motivated by a desire to commit “suicide by cop.” Last year, the bureau doubled down on the designation.

          “It’s fair to say the shooter was motivated by a desire to commit an attack on members of Congress and then knowing by doing so he would likely be killed in the process,” Jill Sanborn, the executive assistant director of the FBI, told the House Appropriations subcommittee.

          “The FBI still doesn’t know exactly what the shooter was up to,” McCabe, now a CNN contributor, said last summer. “They never really uncovered the sort of detailed evidence that laid out a specific plot or an objective.”

          On the contrary, the 66-year-old shooter who almost killed House GOP Whip Steve Scalise left behind a long record of extremist social media posts dripping with contempt for Republicans, even branding them as the “Taliban of the USA” on Facebook. The FBI also found a list of six congressmen in a rented Virginia storage locker but refused to call it a “hit list.”

          Inflating Extremism Cases

          Whistleblowers claim the FBI is inflating the number of “domestic violent extremism” cases to fit President Biden’s overarching narrative that home-grown extremism is the nation’s worst national security threat.

          “From recent protected disclosures, we have learned that FBI officials are pressuring agents to reclassify cases as ‘domestic violent extremism’ even if the cases do not meet the criteria for such a classification,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote in July, detailing whistleblower allegations in a letter to Wray. “Given the narrative pushed by the Biden Administration that domestic violent extremism is the ‘greatest threat’ facing our country, the revelation that the FBI may be artificially padding domestic terrorism data is scandalous.”

          Ignoring Larry Nassar Abuse

          The FBI turned a blind eye as former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar abused dozens of young female athletes. According to the DOJ inspector general last year, “senior officials in the FBI Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to allegations of sexual abuse of athletes by former USA Gymnastics physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar with the urgency that the allegations required.”

          “We also found that the FBI Indianapolis Field Office made fundamental errors when it did respond to the allegations, failed to notify the appropriate FBI field office (the Lansing Resident Agency) or state or local authorities of the allegations, and failed to take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar,” the inspector general added.

          Kyle Rittenhouse

          Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of politicized charges brought against him last summer when he shot three men in self-defense. Two died, and contrary to the media’s racialized coverage of the trial, all three were white.

          During the proceedings, wherein an 18-year-old Rittenhouse (now 19) faced life in prison, prosecutors used aerial footage from FBI surveillance in their effort to convict Rittenhouse. When the defense tried to access “the rest” of the FBI footage from the night in question, however, the bureau claimed it no longer existed.

          Demonizing James Rosen

          In 2010, the Obama administration began aggressive surveillance of journalist James Rosen who was working for Fox News at the time. The Justice Department tracked Rosen by falsely claiming the reporter was a potential terrorist collaborator and accused him of violating the Espionage Act.

          The Obama administration tracked Rosen’s movements and, according to Fox News, even seized the phone records of his parents.

          Deadly Wrongful Conviction

          A 2007 ruling against the government cost the FBI $102 million after agency misconduct resulted in the deaths of two men. In order to protect a mob informant, the FBI was caught deliberately withholding evidence in a case that led to the wrongful convictions of four men, three of which were sentenced to death, two of whom died before true justice was served.

          Martha Stewart

          Most Americans today believe Martha Stewart was convicted 20 years ago on charges of “insider trading.” Her actual conviction that sent her to federal prison was conspiracy to lie about the crime for which she was never charged over a trade that had already taken place.

          Stewart’s quarter-million-dollar sale of ImClone stock served as the pretext for which federal prosecutors, led by none other than Comey, went after the media mogul. Comey’s case, however, was so weak that prosecutors pursued a novel legal theory to secure a conviction.

          According to the theory they pursued, Stewart engaged in “securities fraud” when she declared that she was innocent, which prosecutors said was designed to prop up the value of her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In other words, Stewart’s proclamation of innocence was declared a crime by federal law enforcement, and she spent six months incarcerated.

          Mar-a-Lago Raid

          The Department of Justice appears to be following the same playbook agency officials have used for years in the Democrats’ series of manufactured scandals to bring down Trump.

          Last week, the FBI executed an unprecedented raid of the former president’s Florida residence ostensibly conducted to enforce the Presidential Records Act. Federal officials confiscated more than a dozen boxes from the 128-room mansion pursuant to the rarely prosecuted law, claiming Trump harbored classified information related to the nation’s nuclear secrets. Leaked claims to the Washington Post that Trump possessed sensitive nuclear records, which came hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland professed the agency’s professionalism, however, showcase the sensationalism crafted by officials desperate to justify the raid, which included more than 30 agents.

          At a press conference last week, Garland admitted to personally signing off on the raid he called “narrowly scope[d].” An examination of the warrant, however, reveals that it authorized FBI agents to seize any and every document Trump came into contact with as president. Furthermore, none of the three criminal statutes the DOJ cited in the warrant required the material to be classified, according to Cleveland.

          The FBI also attempted to dispel claims that federal officials stripped the president of his passports, telling CBS News that the agency was not in possession of the documents after Trump blasted that they had been confiscated. An email made public by Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich, however, exposed the FBI’s lie. The email from Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section in the DOJ’s National Security Division, confirms that “the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport.”


          Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

          Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


          A.F. Branco Cartoon – Moving Ahead

          A.F. BRANCO | on August 19, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-moving-ahead/

          Trump’s endorsements have done well against the RINOs including Liz Cheney this 2022 GOP Primary elections.

          Trump Defeating the RINOs
          Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2022

          DONATE to A.F.Branco Cartoons – Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

          A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and President Donald Trump.

          If Big Tech Isn’t Regulated Before 2024, The Election Will Be Rigged Again


          BY: SAMUEL MANGOLD-LENETT | AUGUST 17, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/17/if-big-tech-isnt-regulated-before-2024-the-election-will-be-rigged-again/

          Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before Congress

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          In a recently published blog post, Twitter announced its plans to “protect” political discourse ahead of the upcoming U.S. midterm elections by reaffirming its commitment to its “Civic Integrity Policy.” Given Silicon Valley’s tendency to suppress conservative speech while emboldening leftist causes, it is all but certain this policy will be used exclusively for right-wing censorship. And considering the impracticality of introducing regulations prior to the 2022 midterms, the Republican Party must make regulating Big Tech a top priority in order to ensure the integrity of the 2024 presidential election.

          According to Twitter, its Civic Integrity Policy “covers the most common types of harmful misleading information about elections and civic events” by flagging “misleading content” and, in some cases, outright suppressing content that contains “false or misleading claim[s].” But, with recent history as a guide, we can see that Twitter does not enforce this policy honestly.

          In 2020, just weeks before the presidential election, Twitter suppressed discussion of Hunter Biden’s laptop. The company went so far as to prevent users from sharing the New York Post story exposing the scandal with one another, claiming that its circulation violated the company’s policy on spreading information obtained via hacking. Coincidentally, Twitter did nothing to stop the circulation of leaked copies of Donald Trump’s tax filings

          Why does this matter?

          Twitter justified its suppression of speech that favored a Republican incumbent by falsely designating it as ill-begotten misinformation while simultaneously doing nothing to crack down on the likely illegally obtained information that damaged the same incumbent’s reputation among the electorate. 

          It just so happens that by suppressing negative stories about Joe Biden, Big Tech may have handed him the election as 82 percent of Biden voters in seven swing states were unaware of all of the scandals attached to him. Seventeen percent of these voters said that knowledge of these scandals before voting would have caused them to change their vote.

          The company’s integrity policy was applied in ways that specifically targeted speech favorable to the Republican Party. By censoring this speech, Twitter played a direct role in Joe Biden’s ascension to the presidency.

          Social media’s utility is largely the provision of a digital town square where people can share information with other people. So, ethically, ought companies that monetize user data obtained from speech-centric platforms not protect speech?

          But more importantly, considering how often Big Tech platforms such as Twitter act on behalf of the federal government, they must be held accountable for violating the First Amendment rights of American users. Corporations that function as extensions of the government must be compelled to uphold the constitutional protections of American citizens. 

          In a July 2021 briefing, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explicitly stated that the Biden administration intended to collaborate with Big Tech to “monitor misinformation more closely” and “proactively address the public’s questions without inadvertently giving a platform to health misinformation that can harm their audiences.” She also acknowledged that the White House intended to reign in counter-regime narratives by “bringing individuals and organizations together to address misinformation.” The White House was so effective at persuading Big Tech to crack down on narratives in opposition to its own that social media companies deplatformed journalists who were too effective at asking questions about Biden’s Covid strategy and Covid vaccine efficacy. 

          Agents of the government must be subject to the U.S. Constitution and prevented from infringing on the rights of American citizens. And despite what tech executives will say when testifying before Congress, these companies are politically motivated and serve the interests of the political left. Is there any question as to whether Big Tech plans to mobilize in favor of Democrats again in 2024? 

          It is far too late — and politically impossible — for congressional Republicans to introduce regulatory legislation that would reign in social media platforms like Twitter before the 2022 midterm elections. So, upon reclaiming control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the GOP must act to secure digital free speech ahead of the 2024 presidential election.


          Samuel Mangold-Lenett is a staff editor at The Federalist. His writing has been featured in the Daily Wire, Townhall, The American Spectator, and other outlets. He is a 2022 Claremont Institute Publius Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @Mangold_Lenett.

          Democrats Say, ‘No One Is Above the Law,’ But This List of Their Corrupt Allies Proves Otherwise


          BY: JORDAN BOYD | AUGUST 17, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/17/democrats-say-no-one-is-above-the-law-but-this-list-of-their-corrupt-allies-proves-otherwise/

          President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland

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          When the FBI executed a raid on the home of former President Donald Trump, who happens to be the most popular political leader in America, the “get Trump” crowd was overjoyed.

          Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy PelosiMiles Taylor (the “anonymous” author who pretended to be a senior Trump aide), Clinton-era Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, even Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, and many others all gave the same justification for the FBI’s actions that they gave for Trump’s first and second impeachments: “No one is above the law, not even a president of the United States.”

          Yet, a majority of Americans know that’s categorically untrue. That’s why so many of them rejected Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s scolding of anyone who dared question their credibility following the raid.

          But while the FBI and DOJ have busied themselves with targeting Trump and his aides, colluding with the National School Boards Association to silence concerned parents, concocting entrapment schemes masquerading as plots to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and chasing down election integrity supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, plenty of real criminals and security threats have gotten away scot-free. That’s no accident.

          Here is everyone who Democrats and their bureaucrat buddies have deemed “above the law” and unworthy of proper investigation and prosecution.

          1. President Joe Biden

          A president avoiding paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes seems like the kind of thing federal agencies, including the recently financially invigorated Internal Revenue Service, should explore. Yet Biden, who hasn’t explained millions of dollars of his recorded income, and First Lady Jill Biden together reportedly dodged about $517,000 in Medicare and Obamacare taxes between 2017 and 2020 without scrutiny.

          2. Hunter Biden

          The president’s son isn’t just a walking liability for the Biden family name, he’s a glaring national security threat with a long, infamous history of using illicit drugs, engaging in possibly criminal sexual escapades with foreign women, and selling access to his dad under the guise of doing business with foreign oligarchs.

          Besides all this and his reckless handling of a lost gun in 2018 — which, against normal protocol, the Secret Service reportedly helped him cover up — Hunter likely lied on federal forms about his drug use to purchase that gun, a felony, with barely a whisper of punishment.

          3. Hillary Clinton

          Hillary Clinton and her staff mishandled highly classified information, which resulted in at least 91 security violations. The FBI, of course, never raided Clinton’s house over her rogue server despite the crimes committed to cover it up. Instead, as Sen. Chuck Grassley put it, the FBI “inexplicably agreed to destroy [Clinton staffers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson’s] laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.”

          4. Everyone Involved in Benghazi

          Speaking of Clinton, why wasn’t she or any other Obama-era bureaucrat who was responsible for abandoning four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, where they were murdered by terrorists, punished for trying to cover up the fatal scandal?

          5. Illegal Border Crossers

          U.S. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended roughly 3.5 million illegal border crossers since Biden assumed office, but those migrants are rarely punished for violating the law.

          Instead of addressing how the compromised border is fostering an environment ripe for trafficking and other crimes, the Biden administration along with the FBI and DOJ have brushed off concerns about illegal immigration. Apparently, it is more important to go after American citizens than prosecute potentially dangerous foreign ones.

          6. Gavin Newsom and Every Other Dem Who Partied While Americans Suffered Lockdowns

          Dozens of Democrats including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Pelosi, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were caught violating their own Covid-19 lockdown rules. If Democrats cared about rule of law so much, why did these politicians escape accountability?

          7. Summer of Rage Rioters

          During the summer of 2020, rioters looted, burned, and destroyed more than $2 billion worth of private and federal property. Some of those who were caught were bailed out by Kamala Harris and her allies and let off the hook by the federal government. The rioters who weren’t caught can live comfortably knowing that the DOJ is too busy trying to track down potential J6 offenders to prosecute them.

          8. Climate Insurrectionists

          In October 2021, rowdy climate rioters stormed the Department of the Interiorphysically fought with police, and vandalized a building. Several officers were even injured, but I don’t see the rioters’ faces plastered all over an FBI tip line website nor an illegitimate congressional committee dedicated to their downfall.

          9. Jane’s Revenge

          It took 44 days after attacks on dozens of pregnancy centers, churches, and pro-life organizations began for the FBI to tell The Federalist that it would investigate the firebombings. Two months after the agency reportedly started its search into the criminal activity, neither the FBI nor DOJ has announced charges against the vandals, including a mysterious anarchist-connected group called Jane’s Revenge, which took responsibility for some of the destruction.

          10. Everyone Else Who Threatened SCOTUS over Dobbs

          Shortly after a leak revealed that the Supreme Court planned to strike down Roe v. Wade, leftists called for violence against the Republican-nominated justices. While the Biden administration and DOJ stood idly by, some even said the court should burn to the ground. It took until a man was caught attempting to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, one of Garland’s former colleagues, for the DOJ to respond to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s questions about whether the agency planned to prosecute anyone touting the “ongoing, coordinated campaign of intimidation against the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court.” Even then, nothing came of the DOJ’s words.

          11. The Pelosi Family

          Suspected insider trading deserves at least a second glance by federal investigators, but it looks like, so far, Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul have gotten away with conveniently timing their stock purchases and sales to massively grow their wealth.

          12. Almost Everyone on Jeffrey Epstein’s Client List

          Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell were both convicted of trafficking children for sex, but the list of their clients is still reportedly harbored by the DOJ, something lamented by many including Elon Musk. Of those names that have surfaced from Epstein’s “little black book,” few have been prosecuted and convicted for their involvement in the sex-trafficking ring.

          13. Marc Elias and Election Law-Breakers

          Marc Elias has repeatedly tried to undermine U.S. elections, something the FBI loves to spy on Americans for. Elias has such a reputation for meddling and manipulating elections that even a federal judge reprimanded him for it. Unlike Douglass Mackey, who was charged by the DOJ for posting a meme encouraging Hillary voters to “text” their votes, however, Elias has not faced any charges or unannounced raids.

          14. Mark Milley

          Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, undermined Trump by having secret conversations with known U.S. enemy communist China. In those covert calls, Milley promised to warn China if the U.S. ever decided to attack. Talk about a national security threat that deserves some attention from federal law enforcement.

          15. Eric Swalwell

          Speaking of communist China, Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell canoodling with a known spy for the nation’s No. 1 enemy seems like a pretty serious offense. Instead of a member of the House Intelligence Committee facing consequences for giving foreign spies access to key U.S. government offices and information, Swalwell is still comfortably rage-tweeting about Trump and MAGA supporters and appearing as a guest on corrupt corporate media programs.

          16. The NSA

          The National Security Agency deserved to be disbanded over its wiretapping scandal, but it’s still spying on Americans such as Fox News host Tucker Carlson with no reprimand.

          17. Eric Holder

          Former Attorney General Eric Holder misled Congress during its investigation of the Obama-era “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, which used taxpayer dollars to put guns into the hands of Mexican drug lords. Holder was held in contempt, but that’s pretty much the only punishment he received for intentionally dodging subpoenas and hiding documents from congressional oversight.

          18. Susan Rice

          President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice unmasked members of the Trump transition team and then lied about it. Unmasking may be a legitimate and legal process for those with the authority, but covering up an attempt to target the political enemies of the regime is an abuse of power that deserves examination.

          Instead, it was yet another action U.S. intelligence agencies exploited to justify spying on American citizens.

          19. All the Russia Hoaxers

          There were plenty of people in the DOJ and FBI who broke the law when they lied on official documents and to other officials to advance the Russia-collusion hoax. Yet, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in early August that so far, none of the FBI agents involved in the SpyGate scandal against Trump have faced serious consequences.

          Similarly, despite lying about why he was supplying information about a supposed link between Trump and the Russia-based Alfa Bank to the FBI, former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann was acquitted and let go without consequence.

          20. Themselves

          The same people who control the enforcement of the law, who love lording “no one is above the law” over Americans, are the ones who think they are above any semblance of oversight or law or constitutionality.

          That’s why the FBI has skirted any of Congress’s attempts at oversight even though it has a long history of botched and politicized investigations, sometimes authorized on falsified information.

          Instead of investigating and prosecuting real crimes, the FBI and DOJ have chosen to shame Americans who have called out the corruption and politicization that clearly drives their agencies’ actions. That’s a deliberate decision, but also a disastrous one.

          Rule of law is one thing that sets the United States apart as a bastion of freedom, but when the government fails to uphold it properly, as the list details, the nation is in crisis and on the verge of falling apart.


          Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

          Feds’ Routine Tyranny Suggests They Aren’t as Afraid of the American People as They Should Be


          BY: J.B. SHURK | AUGUST 16, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/16/feds-routine-tyranny-suggest-they-arent-as-afraid-of-the-american-people-as-they-should-be/

          The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service Building

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          Alan Moore, author and social critic, asserts in “V for Vendetta” that “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” When a young director in Karachi, Pakistan, adapted “Vendetta” for a live theatrical performance 10 years ago, he repeated the line during the play’s curtain call to raucous applause from the audience. Moore’s simple words reflect poignantly the human desire to be free from government tyranny.

          Moore’s statement is widely embraced in the United States, where “the people” are constitutionally vested with power over government. It is doubtful, however, that today’s permanent bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., would concur. 

          This philosophical divide between the American people and their government is an important one. Should the American people be afraid of the U.S. government? Of course not. Yet a new army of IRS agents that will be used to audit middle-class Americans and a partisan DOJ and FBI that routinely ignore leftist violence while throwing the book at MAGA voters strongly suggest otherwise. 

          Does the federal government still work for American citizens, or have American citizens become nothing more than subjects expected to obey Washington’s bureaucratic regime? For many Americans, the answer to that question is glaringly obvious. 

          After Chris Wray’s FBI launched an unprecedented raid of President Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, the director’s immediate concern was not his agency’s appearance of impropriety but the denouncement of his lackeys’ behavior by the American public. 

          “I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray declared while saying nothing of threats to Americans from federal law enforcement. Who is more of a threat to American liberty: citizens using their constitutionally protected free speech to criticize the FBI or wayward FBI agents acting under the color of law? 

          Clearly, those with great power represent the greatest threat to freedom. For those such as Wray, who believe the FBI is the real victim, it is the citizen expressing himself who must be held accountable.

          Wray’s decision to shield his agents from criticism while obliquely intimidating citizens is hardly a departure from the federal government’s standard operating procedure. Before the Democrats’ recent addition of 87,000 new prying IRS agents to hound American taxpayers, including the hiring of agents who will “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force,” Barack Obama’s IRS was already targeting and harassing conservative organizations. 

          Why should Americans expect a greatly expanded and well-armed IRS to behave any differently this time?

          A similar abuse of power during Obama’s presidency occurred when his Environmental Protection Agency released “sensitive, private, and personal materials on more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers” to outside environmental groups in what was seen as an intentional effort to promote “eco-activist tyranny.” It was not enough for the EPA to harass America’s farmers with endless agricultural, livestock, and water regulations; the agency decided to permit outside “help” to further its interests in enforcing “green” regulations. 

          Now that congressional Democrats have succeeded in finding a path for greatly expanding the Green New Deal “climate change” agenda, it is likely that the EPA’s harassment of farmers will continue in the future. 

          The FBI, the IRS, and the EPA are but three agencies with tremendous powers that can be used to intimidate or imperil Americans. There are more than 400 departments, agencies, and sub-agencies within the federal government, and “no one knows definitively how many agencies, components, and commissions exist.” 

          Each of these authorities is constantly issuing rules, regulations, and guidelines that affect Americans’ rights and liberties without their knowledge. Each of those bodies exercises jurisdiction over the American people in ways that most don’t even realize. Does this sound like a government afraid of its citizens or tyranny?


          J.B. Shurk is a freedom-minded, anti-establishment, sometimes unorthodox, committed generalist and a proud American from Daniel Boone country.

          BREAKING: FBI Raid Warrant Demanded Seizure of Literally Any Record Trump Ever Saw During 4-Year Presidential Term


          BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | AUGUST 12, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/12/breaking-fbi-raid-warrant-demanded-seizure-of-literally-any-record-trump-ever-saw-during-4-year-presidential-term/

          Merrick Garland and Marine One over Mar-a-lago

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          The FBI search warrant authorizing a government raid of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence sought an exhaustive list of any White House records the president ever came in contact with, according to the document obtained by The Federalist.

          Outlining the “property to be seized” by the more than 30 agents who rummaged through the former president’s Mar-a-Lago mansion, the warrant demanded confiscation of any document Trump ever saw, read, or created for the entirety of his four years as commander-in-chief.

          “All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation” of federal statutes governing records possession, the warrant reads, were to be seized. Records extended to “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”

          In other words, had Trump written something down on a napkin, federal officials were authorized to raid the former president’s home and capture it.

          The affidavit allegedly asserting probable cause has not been made available to the public by the DOJ or the federal court that sealed it. The search warrant was signed on Aug. 5 and gave authorities two weeks to conduct the unprecedented raid. The federal magistrate who signed the warrant previously donated thousands to former President Barack Obama. Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination was invalidated after Donald Trump became president in 2017, acknowledged that he personally signed off on the raid in a Thursday press conference. Garland also claimed the search was conducted with a narrow scope.

          “First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland said. “Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”

          On Monday, three days after the warrant was signed, FBI officials conducted the hours-long raid of the 128-room estate which reportedly included an intrusive search of former First Lady Melania Trump’s wardrobe. While ostensibly executed under the pretext of violations of the Presidential Records Act, a law that rarely results in prosecutions, the raid has become the latest episode of Democrats weaponizing the Justice Department to go after political opponents, with Trump at the top as public enemy No. 1.

          According to Fox News, law enforcement officials say they confiscated classified documents. Trump, however, says documents were declassified.

          “Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” the former president said on TruthSocial. “They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request… They could have had it anytime they wanted–and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK. The bigger problem is, what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”


          Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

          Democrats Have Arrested, Prosecuted, And Raided Their Enemies. There’s Only One Way to Make Them Stop


          BY: CHRISTOPHER BEDFORD | AUGUST 10, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/democrats-have-arrested-prosecuted-and-raided-their-enemies-theres-only-one-way-to-make-them-stop/

          President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff in June 2022. White House/Adam Schultz.

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          Arrests and convictions over contempt of Congress. Police enforcement of bureaucratic and relatively obscure archivist laws. FBI raids on former presidents (and future political opponents?). In their rage, the Democratic Congress and administration have written a vicious battle plan — one that conservatives will do well to follow when they return to power if they’re at all serious about restoring any semblance of respect for law in our country. In weeks past, there’s little reason to believe conservatives are; but Monday night’s raid might finally have changed that.

          Just over one year after President Joe Biden’s election to the White House, his Department of Justice arrested Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former political director. Bannon was arrested for contempt of Congress, or, refusing to answer a congressional subpoena. After he was convicted last month, Bannon became the first American to face a prison sentence for contempt since the House Un-American Activities Committee sent 10 uncooperative, suspected Hollywood communists to prison in 1948. In the more than 70 years between the Hollywood Ten’s sentencings and Bannon’s conviction, contempt of Congress had devolved into more of a political tool used to investigate the other party, but rarely brought to its legal conclusion.

          While Democrats tried to prosecute contempt of Congress twice during the Reagan years, the administration only let one prosecution come to pass (in which the defendant was ultimately found innocent of contempt). Decades later, when Republicans tried to bring a similar case against President Barack Obama’s obstinate attorney general, Eric Holder declined to prosecute himself, citing executive privilege. Two years later, when Republicans sought answers from the IRS’s Lois Lerner over her targeting of political opponents, Holder also declined to prosecute. Later, when Democrats tried to bring criminal contempt charges against Trump’s secretary of commerce and attorney general, Bill Barr similarly declined to prosecute himself.

          Criminal enforcement is extremely rare because the reality is Congress can refer who they like, but the administration prosecutes whomever the administration chooses to prosecute.

          The Biden administration has made clear they’ll prosecute their political opponents every chance they get. That means that despite Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s threat to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable in the next Congress, he will only be empowered to hold Garland accountable under a Republican administration (unless he complies with Republican congressional oversight, which he won’t).

          True: Arresting an administration official after he’s left office is a dangerous precedent, but it’s one Democrats gleefully set this past year. And contempt of Congress is far from the only weapon the administration has wielded against their out-of-power opponents: Tuesday’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s home, for example, reportedly centered on his handling of classified information (and the Watergate-era Presidential Records Act).

          While politicians such as Hillary Clinton have been accused of similar crimes, prosecution is extremely rare — and focuses on the most egregious cases. For example, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, was prosecuted in 2004 for stealing and destroying classified documents on the Clinton administration’s handling of terrorism prior to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. Gen. David Petraeus was similarly charged for sharing classified documents with his mistress. Neither Berger nor Petraeus was charged with so much as a felony, instead pleading guilty to misdemeanors. Neither Berger nor Petraeus’s homes were ever raided, either, and, neither man ever served a day in prison. Most importantly, neither was a former president of the opposing party — nor a potential political opponent in the next general election.

          That’s what makes the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home so shocking — so disconcerting that voices from former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the liberal Bloomberg editorial board to D.C.-groupthink mouthpiece Playbook have all voiced their unease.

          These liberals’ unease stands in contrast with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who ignored a reporter’s Tuesday afternoon question on the subject and didn’t issue so much as a peep of concern for the first 23 hours after the raid was publicized. He was joined in his silence by Senate Republican Whip John Thune (who issued a statement at the same time, Tuesday night), Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (who remained silent as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday), and the Senate’s premier “thoughtful conservative” cosplayer, Ben Sasse. Why the silence? While after five years of increasingly unrealistic (and unproven) conspiracies and accusations against the former president, some Republicans still somehow trust the FBI. The reality is that others, such as McConnell, are pleased by the raid. But regardless of their private thoughts and motivations, their impotent silence in the face of the Biden administration’s charges, arrests, and raids on its political opponents exposes their inability to handle the crisis the American state finds itself in.

          While over the coming years, still other Republicans will cite this dead norm or that gutted precedent as they hesitate to use the Democrats’ own battle plans back on them, one-sided disarmament is no strategy at all. The only way to fight back is to make the kinds of people who’ve weaponized and undermined the American state suffer for their actions. They’ve arrested their enemies, revived obscure rules as pretexts for partisan attacks, and raided their opponents’ homes, and they won’t be sorry until they’ve felt the same pain.

          They aren’t sorry at all — yet.


          Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, a founding partner of RightForge, vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at The Daily Caller News Foundation and National Journalism Center, and the author of “The Art of the Donald.” His work has been featured in The American Mind, National Review, the New York Post and the Daily Caller, where he led the Daily Caller News Foundation and spent eight years. A frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business, he was raised in Massachusetts and lives across the river from D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

          Several Trump-Backed Candidates Win Their Primaries with Others Too Close to Call


          By SHELBY TALCOTT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | August 03, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/03/donald-trump-candidates-win-primaries-republicans-gibbs-masters/

          FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Turning Point USA's (TPUSA) Student Action Summit (SAS) in Tampa, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo
          REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

          Several Trump-backed candidates came out ahead in Tuesday’s primaries, with some races notching wins for the former president as he publicly eyes a 2024 run. One of the most notable wins for Trump came in Michigan, where his endorsed candidate John Gibbs defeated Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Trump in 2020. Gibbs previously worked under Trump as the acting assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and backs the former president’s unfounded claims that the election was stolen.

          Meijer is the second House Republican who voted for Trump’s impeachment to lose a primary, with the first coming in June after Trump-endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry beat out South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice.

          Other Trump-endorsed candidates who won Tuesday evening include Arizona’s Blake Masters, a venture capitalist running for a Senate seat, Republican Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and Arizona state legislator Mark Finchem, who is running in the state’s GOP secretary of state primary.

          FILE PHOTO: Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters speaks during former U.S. President Donald Trump's rally ahead of Arizona primary elections, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, U.S., July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble/File Photo

          FILE PHOTO: Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters speaks during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s rally ahead of Arizona primary elections, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, U.S., July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble/File Photo

          Attorney General Eric Schmitt also won Tuesday evening in Missouri for the GOP Senate primary. Trump’s “endorsement” in this race was chaotic, with the former president issuing a statement roughly 24 hours before the primary that endorsed “ERIC” – the name of Tuesday’s winner but also the name of his opponent, Eric Greitens, who has been riddled with scandals in recent years. (RELATED: Missouri Governor Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Scandal)

          In Arizona, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar snagged a Trump endorsement and won Tuesday’s primary, though his race was considered fairly safe ground.

          While the former president saw success in Tuesday’s primary, some of his picks are still battling it out as of early Wednesday morning. Trump-endorsed Arizona Rep. David Schweikert is projected to win his race, according to Decision Desk, but former TV news anchor Kari Lake’s race remains too close to call.

          Lake is running against Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence.

          Still, Trump’s picks do not appear infallible. Washington state Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse – two more Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach the former president – so far appear to be ahead in their primaries against Trump-backed challengers, though the races have not yet been called. (RELATED: Trump Endorses Joe Kent For Congress Over Republican Incumbent Jamie Herrera Beutler)

          Overall, Trump has endorsed over 200 candidates across the country, according to The New York Times. In competitive races, his record has been mixed, The Times also noted, perhaps representing the broader debate within the party regarding its loyalty to the former president.

          A Biden Climate Emergency Would Unleash Unconstitutional Actions


          BY: CHUCK DEVORE | JULY 21, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/21/a-biden-climate-emergency-would-unleash-unconstitutional-actions/

          Earth

          Biden is considering invoking considerable powers, but executive actions taken for a ‘climate emergency’ would be unconstitutional.

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          The left is pressuring President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and his consideration of this declaration is a sign of desperation and weakness. Executive actions taken as a result of a “climate emergency” would die in the U.S. Supreme Court (more on that later).  

          The reason Biden may declare a climate emergency is simple: His green agenda has stalled. Persistent inflation, led by rising energy costs, and a nation likely in recession, has reduced the likelihood that a narrowly divided Congress will approve the application of additional environmental leaches to an anemic economy.

          It appears green dreams are the ultimate First World luxury good — it’s all fun and games until the average family shells out $5,000 a year more for gas, food, electricity, and rent. Yet the left demands more. Elected representatives are a roadblock. The people don’t know what’s best for them. The Vanguard of the Proletariat have met and decided that if Congress won’t act, then an array of administrative acronyms led by the dogmatic theoreticians of the White House — none of whom who have run a business — will.

          The powers Biden is considering invoking are considerable, though none of them were intended by Congress to do what administration is preparing to do. Even a short summary is terrifyingly breathtaking in ambition and disingenuous creativity.

          Burdensome Regulations

          In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule to require “climate-related disclosures for investors.” This rule, if finalized, would deal further hammer blows to the domestic oil and gas industry — just after Biden was forced to go hat in hand to Saudi Arabia to beg Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for more oil. It would do that by requiring publicly traded companies to detail their greenhouse gas emissions, including those of their suppliers, whether they are publicly traded or not. In other words, privately held firms, family-owned companies, and individual proprietorships would be burdened with costly reporting requirements, causing more money to be put into paperwork and less money to be put into productive activity.

          Next, just because the Supreme Court rolled back regulatory power in June’s West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision doesn’t mean that the EPA won’t still be used to achieve climate goals in ways Congress never authorized. For instance, it’s expected that the EPA will issue new particulate thresholds that would have the practical effect of regulating all combustion for energy and transportation purposes. Particulates are small particles that, in today’s era of clean air, are mostly generated by farming, wildfires, and construction activities — modern combustion is remarkably clean. However, because ambient levels of particulates are very hard to push below a certain level, there will always be an excuse to squeeze for more until every vehicle powered by hydrocarbons is removed from the road or curbed by fees. Put another way, it’s a war on using hydrocarbons to make energy or power vehicles.

          Misuse of the Law

          The declaration of a climate emergency would also embolden the Biden administration to invoke Section 202 of the Federal Power Act. This law, clearly intended by Congress to be used only in time of war or an emergency due to an increased demand for electricity or a shortage of electricity, will be used to shift electrical power from regions that have responsibly planned for their power needs to states that have gone green and, as a result, have made their grids vulnerable to the vicissitudes of weather. This means that the federal government could literally divert power contracted for by Arizona and shift it to California — a version of this happened a year ago. Essentially, a maximalist use of Section 202 will allow leftwing Biden appointees to turn the power off wherever they choose — all for environmental justice and the planet, of course.

          Finally, Biden’s environmental zealots are looking to the Defense Production Act (DPA) to commandeer any part of the economy they feel should be drafted into the fight against climate change. Former President Donald Trump used the DPA to order 3M to produce N95 masks and General Motors to produce ventilators for the federal government. Biden invoked it for Covid-19 purposes as well and then improbably expanded its use to (try to) address the baby formula shortage. With the DPA now unleashed for decidedly non-war applications, the ability to muck with all aspects of the economy for the “climate emergency” are endless.

          Administrative State in Retreat

          Fortunately, due to the unlikely success of the duo of Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the federal bench was well-provisioned with constitutionally minded jurists. As a result, the unbridled powers of the administrative state have been in retreat.

          Former six-term Indiana Republican Congressman John Hostettler, vice president of federal affairs with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, observes that, “Justice Alito’s concurrence in Gundy v. United States was a clear signal that he is willing to put an end to the administrative state if the right case comes before the Supreme Court. And the left knows it.”

          Hostettler was referring to Justice Samuel Alito’s 2019 opinion, which was characterized by his colleague, Justice Neil Gorsuch, as “not join[ing] either the [court] plurality’s constitutional or statutory analysis,” In it, Alito stated:

          The Constitution confers on Congress certain “legislative [p]owers,” Art. I, §1, and does not permit Congress to delegate them to another branch of the Government…. Nevertheless, since 1935, the Court has uniformly rejected nondelegation arguments and has upheld provisions that authorized agencies to adopt important rules pursuant to extraordinarily capacious standards….


          If a majority of this Court were willing to reconsider the approach we have taken for the past 84 years, I would support that effort. But because a majority is not willing to do that, it would be freakish to single out the provision at issue here for special treatment.

          Moreover, Hostettler maintains, “Given the addition of the likely votes of Justices [Brett] Kavanaugh and [Amy Coney] Barrett, there’s even more cause for optimism that the High Court is likely to do what Congress seems unable to accomplish. That optimism was bolstered with the outcome in West Virginia v. EPA. Although West Virginia wasn’t the nondelegation case that Alito’s previous pronouncement called for, it’s close enough to stiffen the resolve of Constitutionalists to come up with the right case so that the Court’s majority can further cement its direction on the ‘major question’ doctrine — the concept that if an agency seeks to regulate on a ‘major question’ the statute must clearly grant that express authority.”

          For this reason, Hostettler is confident that the Biden administration’s climate emergency overreach would “do to the expansive power of the administrative state what Dobbs did to Roe v. Wade.”

          In war there are casualties — and Biden’s climate war threatens to claim the once-mighty power of unelected bureaucrats and left-wing appointees to rule our lives without our votes.  


          Chuck DeVore is vice president of national initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a former California legislator, special assistant for foreign affairs in the Reagan-era Pentagon, and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army (retired) Reserve. He’s the author of two books, “The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America,” and “China Attacks,” a novel.

          Judge In Stefan Halper Case Drops SpyGate Bombshell: Halper Likely Lied To The FBI On Purpose


          BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JULY 20, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/20/judge-in-stefan-halper-case-drops-spygate-bombshell-in-denying-his-motion-to-dismiss-halper-likely-lied-to-the-fbi-on-purpose/

          Stefan Halper

          ‘There are now a fair number of documentations’ showing that Stefan Halper ‘may have made clear misstatements to the FBI,’ the court said.

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          Documents suggest that Stefan Halper “may have made clear misstatements to the FBI” and may be responsible for “some falsehoods” about Michael Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova, according to the federal judge presiding over the lawsuit Lokhova filed against the former FBI confidential human source, or “CHS,” embroiled in the SpyGate scandal. 

          On Friday, a federal court in Virginia denied Halper’s Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit Lokhova had filed against him in December of 2020. That lawsuit represented Lokhova’s second civil case against Halper, with her alleging in her most recent complaint that when Halper learned she was penning a book about Halper, “he directed his counsel, Terry Reed, to contact Post Hill Press and Simon & Schuster solely for the purposes of ‘quash[ing] publication and cancel[ing] the Book Contract.’” Reed then allegedly “contacted [Simon & Schuster] and [Post Hill Press] and falsely accused [them] of defaming Halper in the marketing materials.” 

          The complaint further alleged that, through the letters, Halper “defamed and disparaged” Lokhova to the publishers and falsely accused her of “knowingly publishing” statements that were “false.” Lokhova claimed that Halper then “escalated the threats and intimidation to [Simon & Schuster’s] parent company, CBS Corporation.” The complaint alleged his accusations were untrue and that “[t]he sole purpose of Halper’s actions was to interfere with [Lokhova’s] Book Contract and induce [Post Hill Press] to terminate the Contract,” which it ultimately did after facing irresistible pressure from Simon & Schuster.

          The “book contract” Halper allegedly succeeded in canceling was for Lokhova’s forthcoming nonfiction work entitled, “The Spider: Stefan A. Halper and the Dark Web of a Coup.” The marketing material for the book described Halper as a “spy, an evil spider at work within and around the Trump campaign,” and that in that capacity, he “initially targeted the important Trump advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn.”

          In promoting the book, the publisher, Post Hill Press, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, which Post Hill Press had contracted to market and distribute “The Spider,” also asserted Lokhova’s book revealed that Halper had “fabricated and sustained the fantastical narrative of the Russian hoax,” and that he did so by “collaborat[ing] with the intelligence establishment to take the ‘kill shot on Flynn,’ leaking classified information to his associates in the press.”

          Lokhova explained her motivation for writing the book in the amended complaint she filed in the Virginia federal court. “In February 2017, a month after the birth of her first child,” the document read, Lokhova “was inundated by the media and others over false allegations that had suddenly surfaced that she had supposedly conducted a clandestine romantic affair with General Michael Flynn, an American military and intelligence official whom she had met once at an academic dinner over two years earlier and had never seen or spoken to again.” Lokhova explained how she then spent the next two-plus years, “piecing together what had happened to her, partly through her own research, partly through the gradual release of information by the United States government, and partly through reporting by U.S. media outlets.”

          According to Lokhova’s amended complaint, by late 2019 she “had gathered sufficient information and evidence to demonstrate how the false allegations about her and General Flynn had arisen, and who had conveyed them to the FBI and to the media.” Lokhova explained that after obtaining a book contract and American publishers, she set to work to write the book, with a planned 2020 release date. But according to Lokhova, her publisher canceled her contract after Halper threatened her publisher, the distributor, and even CBS Corporation. Lokhova then self-published the book, renaming it “Spygate Exposed: The Conspiracy to Topple President Trump.”

          After Lokhova released “Spygate Exposed,” an FBI “Electronic Communication,” dated August 15, 2016, was declassified in early 2021. That document memorialized information provided to the FBI by an unnamed CHS on August 11, 2016. While the electronic communication did not identify Halper as the CHS, it documented several claimed interactions the CHS had with Trump campaign advisers. Those advisers would all later identify Halper as the individual with whom they had spoken, making clear that Halper was the unidentified CHS.

          Significantly, in his August 11, 2016, conversation with the FBI, Halper “relayed an incident s/he witnessed when CROSSFIRE RAZOR (CR) spoke at” an event that was redacted in the document. CROSSFIRE RAZOR was the codename for Flynn.

          According to Halper, while he was unsure of the date of the event at which Flynn spoke, he remembered that at the time, Flynn still held his position in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Halper told the FBI that after Flynn spoke and socialized with various individuals (whose names were redacted) at dinner and over drinks, Flynn got into a cab to go to the train station to catch a train to London. “The CHS stated that a woman, SVETLANA LOKHOVA, surprised everyone and got into [Flynn’s] cab and joined [Flynn] on the train ride to London.” Halper further “recalled that LOKHOVA ‘latched’ onto Flynn when he was at the [dinner.].” 

          The electronic communication further documented Halper saying he was “somewhat suspicious of LOKHOVA,” and that he “believes that LOKHOVA’S father may be a Russian Oligarch living in London.” That portion of the report ended by noting that Halper “could not provide further information on [Flynn] and LOKHOVA’S trip.”

          An electronic communication memorializing the FBI’s interview with Halper the following day, on August 12, 2016, recorded Halper providing more texture to the supposed Flynn-Lokhova rendezvous. Specifically, Halper clarified to the team where Lokhova supposedly got into the cab with Flynn before joining him on the train to London. 

          False Claims

          Contrary to Halper’s claims to the FBI, however, he did not attend the February 2014 Cambridge dinner at which Flynn, then-President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, spoke and at which Lokhova, then a graduate student at Cambridge, attended. Nor did Lokhova leave the dinner with Flynn; she also did not jump into a cab with him and did not accompany him to London on the train. 

          Nonetheless, according to Lokhova’s amended complaint, Halper repeated his false allegations about her and “General Flynn to various members of the media who, upon information and belief, include, among others, journalists working for the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.” In turn, Lokhova alleged, “[M]any commentators, from national television hosts to ordinary citizens on social media, credited the false allegations that Plaintiff was a Russian spy who had ensnared General Flynn in a sexual or romantic imbroglio at the behest of the Kremlin.”

          Halper’s claims to the FBI, Lokhova added, were also “a key reason why the FBI opened a subpart of [the Crossfire Hurricane] investigation that specifically focused on General Flynn,” with the FBI opening the separate investigation into Flynn just “one working day after Halper’s meeting at the FBI.”

          In her lawsuit against Halper, Lokhova seeks recovery for the alleged false statements of fact he made to Post Hill Press and Simon & Schuster, namely that Halper falsely told the publisher and distributor of her proposed book that she had defamed him. Lokhova also seeks damages from Halper for tortiously interfering with her book contract. With Judge Leonie Brinkema denying Halper’s motion to dismiss Lokhova’s lawsuit on Friday, the historian and author now has an opportunity to obtain justice from Halper for his alleged defamatory statements.

          Even Bigger Problems

          But beyond vindicating her own interests, Lokhova’s lawsuit against Halper also provides a reminder of the problems the Crossfire Hurricane and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team had with the confidential human sources who supposedly aided their investigation into Trump’s purported collusion with Russia.

          From the FBI’s electronic communication summary, it appears that Halper, who reportedly served as a confidential human source for the FBI from 2008 until his presumptive termination following his involvement in the targeting of Trump and the Trump campaign, lied to the FBI about Lokhova and Flynn and then repeated those lies to various members of the media. According to Lokhova, Halper did not even attend the event at which he claimed he “witnessed” her “latch” onto Flynn. And since she did not leave the event with Flynn and did not jump into a cab with him — much less journey to London with him — Halper’s claims to the FBI were not merely false, but knowingly so. 

          The federal judge hearing Halper’s Motion to Dismiss on Friday concluded that the documents could reasonably support that conclusion. “There are now a fair number of documentations that do, in fact, link your client to being this source, and more specific information that the description about the meeting in England with Mr. Flynn that this witness that Mr. Halper was, in fact, not present and therefore may have made clear misstatements to the FBI,” the court noted. At the early stage of the court proceedings, there “would seem to be enough to suggest that there may, in fact, be some falsehoods going on here on your client’s behalf,” Judge Brinkema said to Halper’s attorney.

          Halper’s apparent lies about Flynn and Lokhova render his other CHS reporting suspect as well. And that other “reporting” was widespread, with Halper also serving as a CHS in questioning former Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. Halper also wore a wire when he questioned Trump’s then co-campaign chair, Sam Clovis, on behalf of the FBI. 

          In fact, it appears Halper also misrepresented his interactions with Page during his August 11, 2016, interview with the FBI. The electronic communication summary of that debriefing stated that Halper “explained to the team that s/he had a private meeting with [Carter Page] on or about 7/18/2018.” Halper told the team, the document continued, “that the purpose of the meeting was to ask the CHS if s/he would want to join the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser.” 

          However, in an exclusive interview with The Federalist in 2020 — which followed the Inspector General’s release of its report on FISA abuse but preceded the declassification of the electronic communication summary of Halper’s conversations with the FBI — Page stated unequivocally that he never asked Halper “to be a foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign.” And though “it is possible, Page acknowledged, that they explored some ways Halper might get involved indirectly at some point down the road,” it is “an extraordinary mischaracterization,” to say that he had asked Halper “to be a foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign.”

          Not only did Halper apparently mischaracterize his conversation with Page to the FBI, but it was also Halper and not the FBI who raised Page as a potential tasking for the former CHS. According to the case agent, “[T]he plan going into the meeting was to talk generally with [Halper] about Russian ‘interference in the election, what [Halper] may know, and … to bring up Papadopoulos.’” The FBI made no mention of Page and intended to task Halper solely with “‘reaching out to Papadopoulos which would allow the Crossfire Hurricane team to collect assessment information on Papadopoulos and potentially conduct an operation,’ when Halper inquired about whether the FBI also had an interest in Page.”

          The Inspector General’s report on FISA abuse related to Page would later note that Halper’s handling agent found it “serendipitous” that Halper “had contacts with three of their four subjects, including Carter Page.” They “couldn’t believe [their] luck,” the handling agent noted, upon learning that Halper knew Flynn and Paul Manafort, and had crossed paths with Page just weeks before.

          These facts, the seeming lies Halper told the FBI about Lokhova, and his apparent “extraordinary mischaracterization” of his discussions with Page leave one to wonder who was handling whom — and whether Special Counsel John Durham will ever answer that question.


          Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

          NeverTrump’s Latest Attempt to Dismiss Election Concerns is Particularly Dishonest


          BY: MOLLIE HEMINGWAY | JULY 19, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/19/nevertrumps-latest-attempt-to-dismiss-election-concerns-is-particularly-dishonest/

          man voting on election day

          If they want to convince voters outside their bubble, they should try far harder than they did with this report.

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          A group of establishment Republicans released a report last week claiming to make “The Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election.”

          It is not news that Joe Biden won the 2020 election. The report’s strawman-slaying title is intended to suggest that concerns about the integrity of that election are without merit. But the report itself simply goes through court decisions and recounts, listing how they turned out. It focuses on questions about “fraud,” rather than the significant and extremely well-substantiated concerns Republican voters have about the election.

          “Their methodology obscures the vast majority of actual material to consider if one were honestly engaging the problems,” said Capital Research Center President Scott Walter. His group has documented the significant role played by Mark Zuckerberg’s private funding of government election offices, a massive issue that the report almost completely elided.

          Other major issues were also downplayed or ignored, even as court cases and investigative reports vindicate some of those concerns. In just the last few weeks, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for example, ruled that unsupervised ballot drop boxes and third-party ballot trafficking both violate state law. In its report, the group claimed its conservative Republican bona fides were beyond question, asserting that no members “have shifted loyalties to the Democratic Party, and none bear any ill will toward Trump and especially not toward his sincere supporters.”

          In fact, the group is a combination of NeverTrumpers and people who thought the Republican Party had gone off the deep end long before Trump’s arrival. The report uses misdirection and red herrings regarding “voter fraud” to avoid talking about genuine and substantiated concerns regarding illegal voting and election integrity. And it is sourced to left-wing corporate media outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, hardly places to go to make any case, much less a credible or conservative one, about the 2020 election.

          From the Voter-Rejected Wing of the GOP

          Report co-author Thomas Griffith, a former federal judge whose enthusiastic support of Ketanji Brown Jackson was singled out by President Biden in his speech when he nominated her to the Supreme Court, told NeverTrump publication The Dispatch: “The idea is that it’s written by conservatives, for conservatives. We recognize the people who are watching [Morning Joe and CNN] are probably not the people we’re primarily interested in.”

          Paul Ryan’s former chief of staff David Hoppe, another co-author, admitted the group got much support for its project from volunteers at high-powered, inside-the-Beltway law firms. Still, corporate media accepted the group’s framing of itself as “conservative.” Even a cursory look at the list revealed that to be overly generous if not completely misleading.

          Ted Olson served as former President George W. Bush’s solicitor general, but he is most well known for being the brains and muscle behind the legal campaign to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. When President Trump sought to have his help to fight against the Russia collusion hoax that so undermined the country, Olson declined to help. He did go on television to publicly disparage the president after declining his request. Olson even tried to get Mitch McConnell to backtrack on his policy of not holding hearings for Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement until after the 2016 election. Olson is routinely derided by critics as a “conservative attorney for sale,” and someone who has “always been a hired gun.”

          Former federal judge Michael McConnell argued on PBS in support of the second impeachment trial for President Trump.

          Former federal judge Michael Luttig is already well known for helping out the Democrats’ Ja 6 Committee. He rather famously left the federal bench for Boeing — “taking his toys and going home,” as some put it at the time — after President George W. Bush didn’t put him on the Supreme Court. The Wall Street Journal noted that his resignation letter pointedly didn’t mention the younger Bush.

          Luttig also serves on the advisory board of “The Safeguarding Democracy Project,” led by Richard Hasen, an election law professor who criticizes voter ID laws. Its mission statement claims Republicans who questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election were acting in bad faith, and that election integrity laws passed after the 2020 election “threaten the cornerstone of American democracy.”

          Gordon Smith, one of the report’s co-authors, wasn’t even considered a conservative in the old Republican Party back when he served as a senator from Oregon from 1997-2009. Before he became a high-paid lobbyist for the National Association of Broadcasters, he was assessed the fourth most liberal GOP senator after Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, and Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, who officially joined Democrats in 2009. By 2008, when he was defeated, Smith scored only a 33 out of 100 by the American Conservative Union. Just this year, he declined to endorse a Republican for Oregon’s gubernatorial race.

          Former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, another co-author, thought the Republican Party was too conservative by 2005, arguing in The New York Times that it had become a party overtaken by conservative Christians. Danforth, an Episcopal priest, was a public supporter of efforts to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. He has said the worst mistake he ever made was supporting Sen. Josh Hawley’s political aspirations.

          All of the report’s authors are or were Republican, including Hoppe, but they tend to inhabit parts of the old Republican Party that voters are increasingly rejecting, not just for their weak policy proposals but for their habit of cooperating with left-wing media in its unceasing attempts to undermine the new Republican Party’s political strengths.

          The Man Who Lost the Decades-Long Battle for Election Integrity

          Two days before the razor-thin 2020 presidential election, report co-author Ben Ginsberg, the long-time dean of establishment Republican election lawyers and former counsel to Bush’s presidential campaigns and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, did one of the most hostile things imaginable to Trump and his voters. He went to The Washington Post to beg Americans to vote for Democrat nominee Joe Biden (“My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump.”) He and other NeverTrumpers represent exceedingly little of the Republican Party outside of the Beltway, but in an election that came down to 43,000 votes across three states, they should get at least some credit — or if you’re a Republican voter, blame — for pushing Biden and other Democrats over the finish line and bringing the country to where it is today.

          Ginsberg, it turns out, bears more responsibility for how the election turned out than most, and his op-ed explains why. It wasn’t just that Ginsberg used his Republican pedigree in order to elevate his hatred of Trump when Republican campaigns desperately needed unity and strength. By November 2020, such tantrums were common among the Republicans who used to control the party. No, it was that he went on an absolute tirade against election integrity itself, adopting every Democrat Party talking point against Republican efforts to secure the ballot box. Two days before the 2020 election had even occurred — and long before this report came out last week — his mind was made up. Proof of systemic fraud simply “doesn’t exist.” He compared concerns about election integrity to a hunt for the “Loch Ness monster.”

          He praised practices enabling widespread unsupervised voting, including unattended ballot drop boxes, drive-through voting operations, and third-party ballot trafficking. He belittled concerns about even weak and insufficient verification systems, such as signature matches. He said Republican lawyers fighting against such practices were engaging in “voter suppression,” a common Democrat talking point.

          Months after Ginsberg’s 2020 op-ed mocking election concerns, Time magazine itself confirmed what many Republicans suspected: the existence of a “conspiracy” by powerful Democrats to push through these unsupervised voting practices, creating an election system to ensure the outcome they desired. As Time wrote, it was “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.”

          The successful effort to change hundreds of laws and processes across the country to enable tens of millions of unsupervised ballots to flood the system was led by Marc Elias, the same Democrat attorney who had been behind the creation of the Russia collusion hoax, the lie that Trump didn’t win in 2016 but stole the election by colluding with Russia.

          Democrats had been working for decades to accomplish these changes. For nearly four decades, it was Ginsberg’s job to fight them. As the Republican Party’s top election lawyer, Ginsberg was supposed to be the person responsible for pushing back against coordinated and well-funded Democrat efforts to expand unsupervised voting and to make it difficult to scrutinize the resulting ballots that were far more susceptible to fraud. It’s not surprising that Republicans fared so poorly against the coordinated Democrat campaign to water down election integrity over the last 20 years given that Ginsberg was the guy supposedly leading their fight.

          Early on in my reporting for my best-selling book on the 2020 election, I spoke with dozens of Republican attorneys at the state and federal levels who had found themselves battling this widespread and coordinated takeover of the 2020 election. I asked some of them about Ginsberg’s op-ed and work, and how he compared to Elias.

          They told me that Elias doesn’t have much going on in his life other than his election work, and he wakes up each morning with big plans on how to manipulate elections. (A look at his active social media presence supports the characterization.) They explained to me that Elias isn’t as good of an attorney as he promotes himself to be, but he’s the type who will argue whatever he needs to for a client. If that means arguing that voting machines aren’t secure — as his group did in 2020 when trying to overturn the results of Rep. Claudia Tenney’s election in New York, he’ll do it. If it means mocking the idea that voting machines aren’t secure — as his group did in 2020 when battling Trump election challenges that same year, he’ll do that too. He takes whatever side of an issue he needs to in order to secure a favorable outcome for his clients.

          These sources noted that Ginsberg, by contrast, usually managed to help Elias and other Democrats in their efforts. They said he was a decent and well-connected Beltway attorney, but he didn’t seem to care much about election integrity, relative to his Democrat counterpart’s efforts. He was a fine lawyer who tended to do a mediocre job, they said. In fact, as soon as he retired, Ginsberg’s written and spoken statements have sounded like they could have come from Elias.

          Ginsberg even recently co-founded a group to fight election integrity efforts, claiming that such efforts to ensure transparency and accountability put election officials at risk. His co-founder David Becker, formerly with radical left-wing group People for the American Way, now runs the Center for Election Innovation and Research, one of the two groups Zuckerberg funded during the 2020 election with $419 million. Those funds enabled the private takeover of government election offices in the blue areas of swing states. With Luttig, Ginsberg serves on the advisory board of the Safeguarding Democracy Project, the group opposed to election integrity efforts.

          So, What About the Report’s Substance?

          The report was presented as an exhaustive look at what happened in the 2020 election. In fact, it only really looked in a cursory fashion at a limited set of lawsuits officially raised by Trump attorneys in the days and weeks after the election.

          The report’s co-authors admitted to The Dispatch that the information in the report wasn’t new. Indeed, it’s seemed mostly to be a summation of what law associates might find in Lexis-Nexis — a recitation of legal cases and brief mentions of a few reports and audits in six battleground states. It did not dig deep into any of them, merely restating the circumstances by which cases were dismissed or resolved. And it doesn’t even do a good job with that.

          For instance, it characterizes a report from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty as finding, “no evidence of widespread voter fraud and no evidence of significant problems with voting machines — in fact, they found that Democratic candidates performed worse than expected in areas with Dominion machines.” Of course, “widespread voter fraud” and “voting machines” are red herrings, intended to divert people from dealing with what actually happened to control the election outcome in Wisconsin.

          Contrast the report’s summation of the issue in Wisconsin with the actual first statement from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on its website for election integrity, which says, “It is almost certain that in Wisconsin’s 2020 election the number of votes that did not comply with existing legal requirements exceeded Joe Biden’s margin of victory.” The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has shown that claim isn’t even up for debate, and while that is not “voter fraud,” per se, many Americans would describe the efforts to enable illegal voting methods as “widespread election fraud.”

          The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s report was a particularly modest account. Other independent analysts and econometricians analyzing Wisconsin have found that Zuckerberg’s meddling had a far greater impact than they realized. Here’s what a team of academics wrote about the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s takeover of government election offices in Wisconsin’s biggest cities:

          Without CTCL involvement in Wisconsin in 2020, Wisconsin would be a solidly red state. We estimate that CTCL’s investment in seven Wisconsin counties resulted in 65,222 votes for Biden that would not have occurred in CTCL’s absence. That’s more than three times as big as the final 20,800-vote margin between Biden and Trump in 2020.

          Private funding of elections overwhelmingly went to Democrat areas of swing states, produced skewed results, and violated legal requirements prohibiting partisan effects to nonprofit work. The situation in Wisconsin was so bad that leftist activists funded by the Zuckerberg operation led to multiple resignations of local officials in protest.

          The report barely mentions, and therefore fails to adequately deal with, Zuckerberg’s funding and what it paid for, merely mentioning that some legal challenges had cited it. This is despite its central role in the outcomes for multiple swing states, including Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia.

          The report does a poor job dealing with Georgia as well. In its opening paragraph on Georgia, the report’s authors write, “Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a conservative Republican, conducted a full manual recount of the five million ballots cast, confirming Biden’s victory. At Trump’s request, election officials then conducted a post-certification recount, which also confirmed Biden’s victory. Secretary Raffensperger, with the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, evaluated and rejected numerous claims of fraud.”

          There are multiple major problems with this characterization of Georgia. The report authors didn’t seem to understand, or failed to accurately convey, the situation with the Trump lawsuit filed there. To take just one example from that lawsuit, it alleged a serious problem with illegal voting. Shortly after the election, voting data expert Mark Davis noticed a problem of 40,000 votes cast by people who had registered to vote in a county different from the one they had claimed to move to. It was one of the dozens of categories mentioned in the Trump lawsuit, and in the intervening months, it has been confirmed that more illegal votes were cast in this manner than comprises the margin of victory for the race.

          One could perform a recount a thousand times and not detect, much less deal with, that problem. A recount would simply recount the ballots, whether they were legal or not legal. As for the suggestion that Raffensperger took seriously, much less rejected, claims of illegal voting, the evidence does not support the claim. He fiercely fought the campaign’s efforts to determine the precise number of illegal votes during the time they needed the information for their lawsuit. After The Federalist reported on this issue last year, and a television station confirmed the existence of the problem, his office was cagey about whether they were going to investigate, much less do anything about it. His office also made excuses for the illegal voting, suggesting it was not a major concern for his office.

          The issue isn’t even addressed in the report, and discussions of the lawsuit and how it was handled are completely inadequate and erroneous. The problem with the lawsuit — which did not allege fraud and which had many substantiated claims — was that it could not get a hearing before Jan. 6. The problems the campaign’s legal team had getting a hearing were Kafka-esque, and the report doesn’t seem to understand what the issues were, much less how they were handled.

          Other major issues are neglected in the report. Because of the limited scope and lack of depth to the report, it doesn’t even acknowledge, much less give credit, to a 2022 Pennsylvania court decision ruling that all no-excuse mail-in voting in the commonwealth is unconstitutional. In its discussion of the Arizona audit, which found large and systematic problems in election administration, it quotes the response from the hostile Maricopa County Board of Supervisors as definitive. Likewise, it quotes news articles from the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, and other left-wing media outlets as definitive responses to election concerns. This is laughably unserious.

          Reports Like This Harm the Republic

          When Luttig went to the one-sided Jan. 6 star chamber, he concluded his remarks by saying that Trump and his supporters were “a clear and present danger to American democracy” because of their ongoing concerns about election security. The report repeatedly asserts that the reason why there is a lack of trust in elections is because of Trump and his supporters. In fact, one of the most important reasons to fight the coordinated campaign to weaken election integrity is that the lack of controls that make fraud easier to commit and more difficult to detect is responsible for the lack of trust in elections.

          Following the contentious 2000 election, former President Jimmy Carter and Republican James Baker co-chaired the bipartisan Commission on Election Reform. Its 100-plus-page report was called “Building Confidence in U.S. Elections,” and it treated election integrity as vitally important to that goal.

          Rather than mocking or dismissing concerns about election integrity as unimportant, the Carter Commission stressed the problems caused by bloated and inaccurate voter rolls, nonexistent or faulty voter-identification procedures, and unsupervised voting. It said these practices threaten elections and democracy, as do misconduct by partisan election officials, the use of inconsistent procedures in different precincts, and an overall lack of transparency. The report noted that mail-in balloting is associated with higher risk of fraud and could also undermine faith in elections.

          Making sure that voting is fair is one of the most important issues in the country. That’s why it remains a top concern to Republican voters, even as Washington, D.C., rolls out every member of the establishment to try to force them to fall in line with weak and insecure voting provisions.

          If they want to convince voters outside their bubble, they should try far harder than they did with this report.


          Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is the Editor-in-Chief of The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College. A Fox News contributor, she is a regular member of the Fox News All-Stars panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, National Review, GetReligion, Ricochet, Christianity Today, Federal Times, Radio & Records, and many other publications. Mollie was a 2004 recipient of a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship at The Fund for American Studies and a 2014 Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. She is the author of “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.” Reach her at mzhemingway@thefederalist.com

          Jan. 6 Committee Avoids Probing Security Failures as Hearing Finally Covers Capitol Riot


          REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JULY 13, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/13/jan-6-committee-avoids-probing-security-failures-as-hearing-finally-covers-capitol-riot/

          Jan. 6 Hearing

          Why is the Jan. 6 committee soliciting testimony from former D.C. government employees instead of the Capitol Police Intelligence Unit?

          Author Tristan Justice profile

          TRISTAN JUSTICE

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          The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 finally devoted a major portion of a hearing in its summer show trial series to the violence at the Capitol. After again re-establishing that members of the Trump White House were divided over the Republican president’s challenges to the 2020 election, lawmakers spent the second half of Tuesday’s hearing on the turmoil from more than 18 months ago.

          “We settle our differences at the ballot box,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said during his opening of proceedings in which a fellow panel member, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-M.d., led the questioning of two repentant rioters who illegally entered the Capitol. Just five years ago, Raskin spearheaded efforts to overturn the 2016 election results as one of his first actions in Congress, objecting to the certification over made-up narratives of Trump-Russia collusion.

          Over the course of Tuesday’s hearing, lawmakers sought to paint former President Donald Trump as guilty of coordinating an assault on the Capitol, which began well before he had finished his speech at the White House. At one point, the panel featured an unsent tweet from the president urging supporters to “March to the Capitol,” as incriminating evidence. The post loses its shock value, however, when one acknowledges that Trump said plainly to those gathered at the Ellipse to head toward the Capitol and protest “peacefully.” Quite the bombshell.

          “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said.

          For all its redundancy in its desperate attempt to smear political dissidents as violent “insurrectionists” ahead of the fall midterms, the Jan. 6 Committee’s latest hearing offered the most information yet about the telegraphing and public planning in the run-up to the Capitol riot. The proceedings, on the other hand, came complete not with testimony from senior officials in charge of Capitol security, but instead from an anonymous Twitter employee and former D.C. Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence Donell Harvin.

          In a pre-recorded clip played during the hearing, Harvin told lawmakers his division received information “suggesting that some very, very violent individuals were organizing to come to D.C. and not only were they organizing to come to D.C., but these groups, these nonaligned groups, were aligning. All the red flags went up at that point.”

          “When you have armed militia collaborating with white supremacy groups collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online all towards a common goal, you start seeing what we call in terrorism, ‘a blended ideology,’” Harvin added. “And that’s a very, very bad sign.”

          Harvin said groups went beyond casual chatter and began coordinating specifics.

          The committee’s anonymous Twitter employee, meanwhile, testified that the company was concerned about the potential for violence on Jan. 6.

          “I don’t know that I slept that night [Jan. 5, 2021] to be honest with you,” the employee said. “I was on pins and needles, because again, for months, I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that, if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die.”

          Twitter fostered the same type of user riot planning that Silicon Valley tech giants cited to justify their collective purge of rival app Parler from their online services shortly after the riot.

          Tuesday’s testimony raised more questions than answers and reinforced existing questions about the Capitol security failures under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who six times turned down requests for the deployment of the National Guard, according to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

          Why didn’t Pelosi’s House Sergeant at Arms approve requests for National Guard assistance? According to The Washington Post, “Harvin’s team set up a call with analysts at the Capitol Police.” Why did the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Unit “not warn its officers or law enforcement partners of the gravity of the threat” as outlined by a Senate report last summer? Why didn’t the Jan. 6 Committee ask Harvin about the Capitol Police’s failure to heed his warnings? And why is the committee soliciting testimony from former D.C. government employees instead of the Capitol Police Intelligence Unit? We all know the answer to the last two.

          Devoid of opposition, the committee is operating for the sole purpose of expunging its political enemies from public life, and that means doing everything in its power to present a curated narrative. Panel member Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., admitted that much on CNN on Sunday when she said on national television that the committee was uninterested in corroborating blockbuster claims left unverified at best.

          “We never call in witnesses to corroborate other witnesses or to give their reaction to other witnesses,” Lofgren said.


          Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

          Will The U.S. Fall Just as Rome Did?


          BY: SPENCER KLAVAN | JULY 12, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/12/will-the-u-s-fall-just-as-rome-did/

          death of Caesar

          When will we — or did we — pass the point of no return? Should we expect our own Julius Caesar? Rome’s example can furnish some guidance.

          Author Spencer Klavan profile

          SPENCER KLAVAN

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          When exactly was Rome’s republic doomed? That ancient question has a special urgency now, as our American republic seems to be flirting with its own downfall. When will we — or did we — pass the point of no return? Maybe Rome’s example can furnish some guidance.

          By the time Julius Caesar rose to prominence in Rome, the republic was so warped that few informed observers expected it to last the century. Rome’s borders had exploded outward during the 200s and 100s B.C. Legislators had devised a plan to distribute newly acquired land more or less equally among the citizenry, making room for an expanding population and a healthy middle class. But wealthy patricians, exploiting loopholes in the system, sucked up vast tracts and cultivated them with imported slave labor. Soldiers who fought to capture new territory found themselves dispossessed of it upon their return home.

          Eventually a charismatic nobleman, Tiberius Gracchus, gave eloquent voice to the common people’s discontent, earning election as their official representative — a tribune of the plebs. In “Life of Gracchus,” the biographer Plutarch attributes to Tiberius a memorable policy speech in which he lamented that “men who fight and die for Italy enjoy shared access to air and sunlight—but nothing else.” His proposed solution was a land redistribution scheme, which met with furious opposition from those who stood to lose property.

          Debates Settled by Sword

          In hot pursuit of his aims and convinced of their virtue, Tiberius bent the rules of Roman politics almost to the breaking point. He ejected a fellow tribune from office and ran for what was probably an illegal second term as tribune. Things turned violent in the summer of 133 B.C., when Tiberius was clubbed to death by his senatorial detractors in a riot over the reelection campaign.

          Until then, it had been understood that debates were not to be settled at sword-point. “There was no civil slaughter in Rome until Tiberius Gracchus became the first victim,” writes the Greek historian Appian in “Civil Wars.” Looking back, Tiberius’s death seemed like the beginning of the end. His brother Gaius proposed still more aggressive land reforms, which amounted, in the words of the great historian Theodor Mommsen in “History of Rome,” to “nothing other than an entirely new constitution.” When Gaius died in another political melee, a true crisis was underway.  

          The old constitutional system was hemorrhaging public trust, yet proposals for a new one only seemed to make things worse. Attempts to reimpose order through unilateral rule, most notably by the general Lucius Cornelius Sulla, ended in more bloodshed and recrimination. By the 50s B.C., bribery and threats of violence were standard electoral operating procedures. Corruption, always a feature of republican politics, became its essence. “Intelligent men,” wrote Plutarch in “Life of Caesar,” “would be happy if nothing worse than a monarchy resulted from this deranged state of affairs.” In the chaos, it was clear that a daring statesman — if he combined the popularity of a Gracchus with the military ruthlessness of a Sulla — stood a chance of seizing total control.

          Rise of Julius Caesar

          That statesman was Julius Caesar. As governor of the Gallic provinces, Caesar was granted authority by appointment to wage war in the regions north and west of a little stream called the Rubicon. Up there, for nearly ten years, he performed spectacular feats of domination and amassed an unstoppable fighting force. Then, in the winter of 49 B.C., the conquering hero returned to seek election as consul, the city’s highest office. He brought his army with him.

          It was a severe breach of Roman law for anyone but an elected magistrate to lead military operations in Italy proper. But that is what Caesar now threatened to do, in part because his only remaining rival, Pompey the Great, stood at the head of his own army. The senate, acting collectively as a rather feckless middleman in this standoff between two giants, demanded that Caesar dismiss his troops before entering Italy and face trial for prior breaches of protocol. Caesar suspected this was a ruse designed by Pompey to strip him of his power — as he put it to his soldiers, “Pompey had been led astray by Caesar’s enemies through envy.” When negotiations collapsed, Caesar gathered his troops and marched across the Rubicon.

          It is at this point that Caesar is supposed to have quoted the Greek playwright Menander: anerriphthō kubos, “let the die be cast.” Or, in the more famous Latin version recorded by the imperial court historian Suetonius in “Lives of the Caesars,” iacta alea est. The dice are rolled, and the rest is up to fate. But Caesar himself left behind no written record of any such momentous proclamation. The Rubicon moment only took on its quasi-legendary status years later, after Pompey lost the war and Caesar was named “dictator for life.” His heir Octavian would still have to fight another civil war to become Rome’s first emperor. But in retrospect, it came to look as if that one fateful river crossing sealed Rome’s fate.

          Destined to Decay?

          Did it? Or was the fall already foreordained long before Caesar? To many ancient philosophers, it seemed that governments inevitably declined and passed away in a process called anacyclosis — the cycle of regimes. This was a tragic view of life, informed as much by playwrights like Aeschylus as by historians like Herodotus. These observers saw arrogance and self-interest as fatal human flaws that consigned even the greatest civilizations to eventual replacement. “Everything that exists falls victim to decadence and change,” wrote the historian Polybius in “Histories,” his comprehensive account of anacyclosis.

          Both Rome’s republic and ours were intended to forestall such decay by balancing the strengths and weaknesses of the three basic forms of government — monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy — against one another. An executive (for us, the president) leads his country as a monarch might, especially in times of war. Yet his power is restrained by a chosen few, the legislators, who are in turn accountable to the people — theoretically.

          Our Oligarchs Bidding for Control?

          But republics have their own vulnerabilities, one of which is despotic ambition among the rich and powerful. As Machiavelli observed, the “corrupt and insolent behavior” of those “undertaking to retain power” can be fatal to a republic’s legitimacy. When state authority becomes a mere pretext for class hierarchy, as the Gracchi suggested it had in Rome, the system starts to look like a sham.

          Some would argue that this is exactly our situation. The ideological capture of major corporations and media outlets, the relentless exportation of American jobs and importation of foreign labor, the pretextual use of Covid-19 to transform election procedures, leaving them highly vulnerable to fraud — all these trends, and others besides, indicate that our elites are making a bid for oligarchic control.

          Perhaps Donald Trump, then, was a kind of Gracchus — giving voice to justified populist frustration, encountering relentless subversion by entrenched state actors, then getting both implicated and defeated in a disastrous season of politics by riot. If so, then is our Caesar next? “We think we’re in a democracy; we’re actually in an oligarchy,” said the provocative theorist Curtis Yarvin recently. “The only thing that you’re left with, if you don’t like the way this oligarchy is trending, is…monarchy.”

          Our Rubicon Moment

          And yet… even in late stages of decline there is still that Rubicon moment, the moment before the end is set in stone. Both Suetonius and the last great republican, Cicero, suggested that Caesar might not have been destined to deal the republic its death blow. It was a choice he made, dictated more by ambition than by necessity. For there was another snatch of verse that shaped his career, besides Menander’s words of resignation. Apparently, Caesar never forgot the moment in Euripides’ tragedy, “Phoinissai,” when the would-be autocrat Eteocles says: “if we must ever do wrong, it is best to do it for the throne.” Like Eteocles, Caesar chose power over what was right.

          He could have chosen otherwise, and so can we. Our own national lore begins with the inverse of that Rubicon story — with a man who led an army but foreswore a crown. George Washington is the foundational American hero because he surrendered sovereignty to the people when he could almost certainly have seized it for himself. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health shows that this American spirit is still alive in some corners of our government. In Roe v. Wade, the Court unjustly usurped the prerogative to legislate about abortion. But Dobbs returned that prerogative to elected representatives. It is still possible to resist the will to power in the name of the common good.

          And so, the most important line in “Phoinissai”for usis not the one Caesar kept close to his heart. A few lines later there comes a response from Eteocles’s mother Jocasta, who presents her son with a choice: “do you wish to rule your city or save it?” That is the choice each of us must face, in whatever sphere of influence is ours, if we hope to remain Americans. From the statesman to the average voter, from the Rubicon to Washington, D.C., nothing is written in the stars until it happens. We can still choose to live free.


          Spencer A. Klavan is features editor of The American Mind, associate editor of the The Claremont Review of Books, and host of the Young Heretics podcast podcast. His book, “How to Save the West”, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

          Looking Like Trump Was Right: Report Says Hunter Biden Under Fed Surveillance for China Ties


          Reported By Abby Liebing | July 6, 2022

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/looking-like-trump-right-report-says-hunter-biden-fed-surveillance-china-ties/

          As the drama around Hunter Biden continues to unfold, it has come to light that he has been under federal surveillance for ties with Chinese figures, according to a recent report. Paul Sperry, a reporter for Real Clear Investigations, tweeted U.S. counterintelligence officials told him about Biden coming under surveillance and looking into his contacts and deals in China.

          This is not the first time that the issue of Hunter Biden and his connections to China have made headlines. Former President Donald Trump actually claimed that the Biden family had suspicious ties to China in 2019, Reuters reported.

          Trump particularly accused Hunter Biden of using his position of influence to secure the financial backing of China for his investments. But at the time Trump provided little evidence of his claims about Biden, and many dismissed it. But since the contents of Biden’s laptop have been discovered by the New York Post, the connection between Biden and China has some real evidence behind it now. It has become clearer that the Biden family has strong ties to China and Chinese business and have profited from the connection.

          “The Biden family has done five deals in China totaling some $31 million arranged by individuals with direct ties to Chinese intelligence — some reaching the very top of China’s spy agency,” the New York Post reported in January.

          “Indeed, every known deal that the Biden family enjoyed with Beijing was reached courtesy of individuals with spy ties. And Joe Biden personally benefited from his family’s foreign deals,” the Post continued.

          Related: Even Google Thought Hunter Was a Joke – Ex-Google Exec Recounts Embarrassing Biden Meeting

          These deals have been going on for years it appears. When President Joe Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, Hunter Biden tagged along with him on a trip to China in 2013. While the older Biden was working on the tensions in the South China Sea, Hunter Biden paid a visit to Jonathan Li, a Chinese financier who ran the private-equity fund Bohai Capital, the New York Post reported.

          “Ten days later the Chinese business license for Bohai Harvest — a new company which would invest Chinese cash in projects outside the country that Hunter Biden had been trying to launch for more than a year — was approved by Chinese officials,” the New York Post reported.

          As more and more of these connections between Hunter Biden and China have been examined, there seem to be clear indication that the Biden family has immensely profited from their business deals in China.

          Hunter Biden’s laptop continues to provide evidence of the connections in China that have helped along the way.

          “Hunter Biden’s hard drive contained an enviable lineup of contacts for top US officials tasked with overseeing the US-China relationship, and at least 10 senior Google executives — raising new questions about the extent to which Joe Biden’s well-connected son could have leveraged his connections for personal profit,” the New York Post reported.

          But now it has landed Hunter Biden in a tough spot as the security concerns surrounding his connections and business practices are raising questions.

          Abby Liebing

          Associate Reporter

          Abby Liebing is a Hillsdale College graduate with a degree in history. She has written for various outlets and enjoys covering foreign policy issues and culture.

          Secret Service agent and former White House official willing to testify that false claims were made at Jan. 6 hearing about Trump


          Reported by CARLOS GARCIA | June 28, 2022

          Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/secret-service-agent-and-former-white-house-official-willing-to-testify-that-false-claims-were-made-at-jan-6-hearing-about-trump-2657578414.html/

          A former White House official and a Secret Service agent said they were willing to testify in the Jan. 6 hearings in order to contradict claims that former President Donald Trump got into an altercation while trying to make his way to the Capitol rioting. The claims were made by Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, on Tuesday. Hutchinson said that she heard from Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, that the former president became incensed when he wasn’t allowed to go to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He is alleged to have grabbed at the steering wheel of the vehicle and then lunged at the agent who was preventing him from leaving.

          Later on Tuesday, that Secret Secret agent reportedly said he was willing to testify that this account was false. Ornato also indicated the same willingness to testify contrary to the story. Both Ornato and Robert Engel, the agent, had previously testified for the Jan. 6 Committee behind closed doors about what they witnessed on that day.

          A spokesperson for the committee released a short statement about the development.

          “The Committee trusts the credibility of a witness who was willing to testify under oath & in public but is also willing to hear any information that others may have that would aid in their investigation,” read the statement.

          Among the other shocking claims from Hutchinson, she stated that Trump allegedly said that Vice President Mike Pence deserved to be hanged by the crowd of people rioting at the U.S. Capitol. The former president took to social media to deny some of the claims and to lambast Hutchinson as a person that he hardly knew except for his having heard terrible things about her.

          In response to the day’s testimony, Fox News host Bret Baier said the claims were “stunning” and “compelling” because of Hutchinson’s proximity to power.

          Here’s more about the claims made in the hearing:

          Bret Baier: This is stunning www.youtube.com

          Republicans Snag Over 1 Million Voters From Dems In Past Year: AP


          Reported by GABE KAMINSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER | June 27, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/06/27/republicans-voters-democrats-ap/

          GERMANY-G7-SUMMIT
          (Photo by LUKAS BARTH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LUKAS BARTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

          Over 1 million U.S. voters in 43 states have fled the Democratic Party since 2021 and registered as Republicans, according to a new report. Republicans have gained major ground in suburban counties, according to the voter registration data examined by The Associated Press, as well as “in virtually every region of the country.” The findings come almost four months before the midterm elections in November, which a bipartisan swath of pundits has deemed a probable “red wave” in part due to messaging failures among the left.

          “While Democrats may see a slight enthusiasm bump following the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to sustain that for the next five months,” Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

          Data for roughly 1.7 million voters who switched political parties was analyzed by the AP. The data, which according to the outlet comes from the political firm L2, reportedly shows that around two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters became Republicans — while only about 630,000 voters became Democrats.

          Biden’s support in the suburbs has been widely credited as the reason for his success in the 2020 presidential election. While these areas “have tended to show a net advantage to Republicans,” Biden “registered a net Democratic advantage for the first time since Barack Obama’s victory in 2008,” Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank, said in a November 2020 report.

          However, suburban counties near large cities like Denver, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, as well as near smaller cities like Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Des Moines, Iowa, have garnered Republican support, the AP reported. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: We Just Got The Latest Indication Red Waves In Blue Cities Could Become A Reality)

          CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: Balloons and confetti are seen at the end of the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party’s nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

          “Biden and Democrats are woefully out of touch with the American people, and that’s why voters are flocking to the Republican Party in droves,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told the AP.

          The data showing more registered Republicans comes after Democrats lost in droves across states last fall. In Virginia, Republicans swept statewide, notably taking the gubernatorial race with the election of Glenn Youngkin.

          Republicans also won big recently in Texas, where Mayra Flores flipped a blue district in June with the support of Latino voters. The Democratic National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

          The Jan. 6 Democrats Have A Point About Trump (If You Simply Ignore Facts)


          REPORTED BY: EDDIE SCARRY | JUNE 14, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/14/the-jan-6-democrats-have-a-point-about-trump-if-you-simply-ignore-facts/

          Bennie Thompson

          If it were in fact a ‘lie’ to charge that an election had been unfair, even stolen, we’re going to need a few more special committees just for Hillary Clinton.

          Author Eddie Scarry profile

          EDDIE SCARRY

          VISIT ON TWITTER@ESCARRY

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          So the slam-dunk argument congressional Democrats have so far made during their obscenely boring Jan. 6 hearings is that Donald Trump not only lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election but that he knew he lied. How can we as a nation look at ourselves in the mirror ever again after that shock revelation?

          Maryland Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin, who sits on the Jan. 6 committee, summarized the conclusion on Sunday. “I think we can prove to any reasonable, open-minded person that Donald Trump absolutely knew because he was surrounded by lawyers,” he said on CNN.

          There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Trump must have been willfully dishonest when he said over and over again that he lost the election because it was rigged and fixed to ensure his defeat. After all, his lawyers had told him it was a lie!

          The only problem with that open-and-shut case, to the extent that it’s supposed to mean anything to anyone, is that it ignores the lawyers and aides who were telling Trump the opposite, plus the all-too-likely possibility that Trump simply didn’t believe anyone who was telling him he had lost.

          None of this is new. Trump White House assistant Peter Navarro was telling the president he had won the election, even publishing a three-part report making the case that the race was stolen. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was telling him he had won. Plenty of others inside and outside the administration were also arguing that state election laws had been illegally altered by lower courts, giving Democrats an unfair advantage.

          It was supposedly “devastating testimony” (at least according to CNN’s Jake Tapper) by former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr on Monday (previously recorded) when he recalled telling Trump in person that the Justice Department was unable to substantiate any widespread fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. That story is three months old. Barr recounted it first in the Wall Street Journal during which he said he told the president he found no evidence of fraud and that the president was resistant: “There is a mountain of evidence,” Trump said, according to Barr.

          But people told Trump he lost! So he knew he was lying!

          That’s not how lying works. The Justice Department swears at this very moment that “white supremacy” is our greatest domestic threat. I say it’s not and I can tell you why I disagree. That doesn’t make me a liar. And if it were in fact a “lie” to charge that an election had been unfair, even stolen, we’re going to need a few more special committees just for Hillary Clinton.

          A subsequent point Democrats are aiming for is that Trump had also stated even before the election that his loss could only occur if Democrats cheated, thus he must have had a diabolical plan all along. But guess who made the same assertion? Democrats!

          Back in August 2020, CNN hosted a segment with fire-breathing liberal Ana Navarro, Democrat Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, and Democrat former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. Here’s what each of them said in the span of five minutes:

          “The only way he feels now he can win this against the Biden-Harris ticket is to straight out steal it, and he’s doing it in plain sight, and we cannot let it happen.”— Boxer

          “This man is not going to win fairly. So why are we supporting crooked activity?”— Clyburn (Yes, the James Clyburn who is credited with having “saved” Biden’s campaign.)

          “[H]e’s going to find every single way he can to steal this election, to rig this election in his favor.”— Navarro

          Is it only worth an investigation when Republicans do it or…?

          I get that Democrats are trying to make a broader case that Trump’s election claims were part of a conspiracy that ultimately led to the riot in the Capitol in 2021, but if reaching that point first requires that they ignore the gaping holes in the fundamental assertion that Trump purposefully lied to the public, the committee hearings are basically just re-runs of Lawrence O’Donnell’s programming of the past year.

          And we haven’t even gotten started on the role that the pandemic hysteria and Black Lives Matter violence, intentionally instigated and exacerbated by Democrats, played in the lead-up to Jan. 6. I’m sure the committee will use at least one day to get into that. Surely!


          Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of “Privileged Victims: How America’s Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People.”

          The J6 Inquisition Is An Obvious Soviet-Style Show Trial


          REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JUNE 10, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/10/the-j6-inquisition-is-an-obvious-soviet-style-show-trial/

          Jan. 6 Committee Prime Time Hearing

          As during Communist control of Soviet Russia, the Jan. 6 Committee’s purpose is to prop up a dying, corrupt regime.

          Author Tristan Justice profile

          TRISTAN JUSTICE

          VISIT ON TWITTER@JUSTICETRISTAN

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          The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 launched the public phase of its proceedings Thursday night in a prime-time hearing with all the fanfare of a Soviet show trial, complete with production assistance from a former president of ABC News.

          Just as the communists gathered in Moscow between 1936 and 1938 to purge their political opponents in public show trials, nine members of the lower chamber filed into the Cannon House Office Building to demonize their political opponents as domestic enemies.

          “I’m from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, Ku Klux Klan, and lynching,” Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said in his opening. “I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6th, 2021.”

          Thompson went on the brand today’s political opposition as modern-day Confederates and “domestic enemies of the Constitution,” cloaking his own authoritarian admonishment under the moral righteousness of preserving American democracy.

          “The world is watching what we do here,” Thompson said. “America has long been expected to be shining city on the hill, a beacon of hope and freedom, a model for others when we are at our best.”

          The hearing, however, possessed all the signature hallmarks of the infamous Moscow Trials nearly 100 years ago, in which opponents to Joseph Stalin’s regime were hauled before the public and charged with treason and sedition. And those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 are far from the only targets of the witch hunt spearheaded by Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Thompson.

          Legitimate political opposition on Thursday was absent from the hearings. No counternarrative was allowed by the regime, which barred the opposing party’s selected representatives as every cable network except Fox News carried the programming live. Members conducting the show trial accused their opponents of conspiracy to topple the U.S. government, just as the Soviets accused Old Bolshevik leaders of plans to terminate Stalin. Never mind that American institutions held on Jan. 6, and the federal government came nowhere close to collapse when congressional proceedings were interrupted.

          The trials in Moscow culminated in the “Great Purge” of dissidents to the incumbent regime, with defendants given death sentences. The Jan. 6 proceedings are aimed at the ultimate purge of former President Donald Trump and his supporters, albeit through societal exile and jail sentences as opposed to execution. According to whistleblowers in the FBI, a purge within the federal law enforcement agency has already begun.

          On Tuesday, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray detailing allegations of multiple whistleblowers who reported they were terminated for their dissident (conservative) views from the agency.

          “[He is a] decorated Iraqi War veteran being run out of the FBI,” Jordan said on Fox News Tuesday night of one whistleblower. “His allegiance to the country is being questioned because he had the gall to say something that offended the FBI leadership about the Jan. 6 investigation.”

          The other [individual] is also having the same thing happen to them simply because, on an anonymous questionnaire, they said something that the leadership disagreed with them about Jan. 6.

          Six in total have come forward, Jordan told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham.

          Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 Committee’s prime targets have included prominent members of the prior administration, just as Stalin’s deputies prosecuted leaders of the old regime. On Friday, former Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro was taken by the FBI in handcuffs and charged with crimes stemming from the committee’s work. On Thursday morning, hours before the Jan. 6 Committee’s prime-time show trial, lead Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley was arrested by the same agency.

          Of the more than 100 subpoenas issued by the Select Committee ostensibly established to probe the Capitol riot, less than 10 percent, according to a Federalist analysis, have targeted individuals directly involved in the chaos. The rest have gone after Americans who committed the now-apparent crime of holding a peaceful demonstration at the White House and espoused unacceptable views in the eyes of the incumbent regime.


          Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

          Biden Admin Plans To Roll Back Trump-Era Free Speech Protections In Education


          REPORTED BY KENDALL TIETZ, EDUCATION REPORTER | May 17, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/05/17/due-process-title-ix-donald-trump-barack-obama-joe-biden-sexual-assault-harassment/

          Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes remarks during a major policy address on Title IX enforcement, which in college covers sexual harassment, rape and assault, at George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
          REUTERS/Mike Theiler
          • President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to roll back current Title IX regulations, which experts argue will revoke protections for both the accuser and the accused in sexual assault cases and threaten freedom of speech at federally funded schools. 
          • “It ultimately returns Title IX back to a guilty until proven innocent standard,” Sarah Perry, a senior legal fellow for the Heritage Foundation said.
          • “Any changes could put students’ free speech rights at risk and will only exacerbate the problem of self-censorship that has been plaguing our campuses,” Speech First executive director Cherise Trump said. 

          President Joe Biden’s Department of Education (DOE) is planning to roll back Title IX due process regulations implemented by former President Donald Trump’s administration, which experts argue will revoke protections for both the accuser and the accused in sexual assault cases and threaten freedom of speech.

          The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is planning to rewrite the rules outlined in Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments that set sexual harassment standards at federally funded schools. The Biden administration’s changes would reverse 2020 due process protections that require federal K-12 and higher education schools to investigate Title IX violations in a fair and unbiased manner, which includes the right to be represented by counsel, the presumption of innocence, the ability to cross examine and to introduce witnesses, experts told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

          Proponents of the current standards argue they fixed problems created by former President Barack Obama’s Education Department; before the 2020 changes, instances of sexual assault and harassment were only recognized as instances of unlawful sex discrimination through regulations that were not legally binding. However, under the current standards, school districts, colleges and universities have a legal obligation to respond to such cases in a fair and unbiased manner.

          Under the Trump administration’s standards, instances of sexual assault at federal schools are handled more like “quasi-judicial proceedings,” Sarah Perry, a senior legal fellow for the Heritage Foundation, told TheDCNF.

          “It ultimately returns Title IX back to a guilty until proven innocent standard … as opposed to leaving it to one Title IX investigator to determine who was right and who was wrong, in a ‘he said, she said’ proceeding,” Perry said.

          A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on April 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. According to reports, half of recent college graduates with bachelor's degrees are finding themselves underemployed or jobless. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

          A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on April 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

          Speech First executive director Cherise Trump told TheDCNF that the rules changes will likely be weaponized against constitutionally protected speech, which could make students subject to “harassment” for their personal or political stances.

          The current Title IX regulations that were implemented in 2020 are consistent with a Supreme Court precedent known as the Davis Standard, which concluded that “student-on-student harassment must be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive its victims of access to a school’s educational programs or activities,” Trump explained. (RELATED: Republicans Say They Have Proof FBI Targeted Concerned Parents, Despite Garland Denials)

          “This is a pretty high threshold that protects students from being accused of harassment for simply voicing their opinions and possibly offending someone with their ideas,” Trump said. In response, universities frequently manipulate Title IX language to fit a more “broad-sweeping definition” such as “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive…” to “severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive,” she explained.

          The small change in wording allows school administrators to restrict and punish speech they believe is “offensive,” “unwanted” or “problematic,” but would not be considered harassment under current Title IX rules, she said.

          “Previously, the process for adjudicating serious harassment allegations on campus had been plagued by bias, vagueness, and overreach,” Trump added. “Any changes could put students’ free speech rights at risk and will only exacerbate the problem of self-censorship that has been plaguing our campuses.”

          A Republican coalition of 15 state attorneys general have expressed legal concern about the DOE’s plans to roll back the “historic” move that codified sexual harassment regulations under Title IX into law, arguing the previous standards were unworkable and unfair.

          “Hundreds of successful lawsuits against schools for denying basic due process and widespread criticism from across the ideological spectrum arose from the Obama-era rules“, the statement said. “The rules also resulted in a disproportionate number of expulsions and scholarship losses for Black male students.”

          The Department of Education did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

          Poll: Democratic Party Has Lowest Net Favorability Rating Compared to Eight Other Political Figures and Institutions


          REPORTED BY KAY SMYTHE, REPORTER | May 16, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/05/16/hart-research-nbc-news-poll-democratic-party-net-favorability-rating-all-time-low/

          San,Francisco,,Ca,-,August,23,,2019:,Speaker,Of,The
          Shutterstock/DemocraticParty

          The Democratic Party has the lowest net favorability rating when compared to eight other political figures and institutions, according to an NBC News poll released Monday. Fifty percent of adult respondents to the NBC News poll reported having negative feelings about the Democratic Party, with only 31% saying they have positive feelings — a 19 percentage point net-negative rating. Just above the Democratic Party, with 48% total negative feelings, was Vice President Kamala Harris, according to the poll. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Biden Polls Poorly Because Americans Simply Don’t Know How Good He’s Been)

          Almost 80% of the poll respondents were registered voters, which NBC stated is another warning sign for the Democrats as they head into the 2022 midterm elections. The results are the highest net-negative rating the Democratic Party has seen in 30 years of the survey being conducted, NBC reported.

          The Democratic Party and Harris were ranked alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Disney, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Supreme Court, the Republican Party, and former Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump, respectively. One thousand adults took part in the May poll, with 750 respondents being interviewed by cell phone. The margin of error is + or – 3.10%. The poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies.

          The poll also revealed that cost of living, jobs and the economy are the top concerns for Americans. Another poll found in March that Latino support for the Democratic Party was failing as inflation and the economy became a core concern for the demographic.

          EXCLUSIVE: No, Jen Psaki, Trump Didn’t Start the DHS ‘Truth Ministry.’ That’s Literal Disinformation


          REPORTED BY DIANA GLEBOVA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR | May 13, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/05/13/trump-dhs-truth-ministry-disinformation-governance-board-jen-psaki/

          Jen Psaki Delivers Daily White House Briefing
          (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

          White House press secretary Jen Psaki has spread disinformation repeatedly from the podium while speaking about the Disinformation Governance Board, claiming its “work” was present under the Trump administration.

          Psaki’s go-to defense of the establishment of the board under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a continuation “of disinformation-related work that began under the prior administration.” One of the key bodies countering disinformation founded under former President Donald Trump, the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF), was renamed by the Biden administration when he came into office the Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation (MDM) and was modified to focus on domestic rather than foreign threats, two Trump DHS officials told the Daily Caller.

          “The CFITF was focused on foreign influence – particularly as it related to elections. The current MDM description from DHS takes the word ‘foreign’ out of the title. It’s clear that MDM, as it’s currently defined, is also looking at domestic communication,” Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of the DHS, told the Daily Caller.

          The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was created in 2018 under Trump to counter cybersecurity threats. In May of 2018, “a Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF) was established within CISA’s predecessor agency,” according to CISA’s website, and was tasked with “helping the American people understand the risks from” MDM.

          CFITF was modified by the Biden administration in 2021 to officially change its name to MDM, and its “mission evolved to reflect the changing information environment,” according to its website.

          The Biden-era DHS, its assistant press secretary and the CFITF did not respond to several requests from the Daily Caller to say why the name change was necessary, and what the new “mission” of the MDM is.

          The MDM is now “charged with building national resilience to MDM and foreign influence activities,” the website reads. It also mentions that MDM campaigns are waged by both “foreign and domestic threat actors.”

          A “Disinformation Stops With You” resource listed on the website states disinformation can be spread by “foreign states, scammers and extremist groups.” An election MDM resource states “Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state-sponsored elements, as well as domestic extremist groups,” are the primary culprits of spreading MDM.

          President Joe Biden stated May 4 the “MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history.”

          “When it comes to disinformation, it’s clear that DHS, under President Biden, is making this a core responsibility – to include in the domestic context. They are also politicizing the issue as they have established a Disinformation Governance Board in the Secretary’s office. They have taken control of combating foreign influence away from operating components, where decisions were largely made from career civil servants, and moved that power to the Secretary’s office. On top of that, they have appointed a highly controversial and partisan individual to head that board Nina Jankowicz,” Wolf continued.

          WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 04: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas arrives to testify before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill on May 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. Mayorkas will address the budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Department of Homeland Security. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

          DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Disinformation Governance Board, which he first mentioned April 27 in a Senate hearing, wants to “develop guidelines, standards, guardrails to ensure that the work that has been ongoing for nearly 10 years does not infringe on people’s free speech rights, rights of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.” He echoed Psaki in saying that the “work” was being done under Trump, and claimed that the board will focus on foreign surveillance, not domestic.

          A DHS spokesperson told the Daily Caller “the Disinformation Governance Board is an internal working group that was established with the explicit goal of ensuring … Americans’ freedom of speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy,” noting that the group has no “operational authority or capability” and that Psaki has said the DHS has worked to address disinformation “for years and throughout multiple administrations.”

          Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for the DHS under Trump, Lora Ries, told the Daily Caller that the Biden administration’s DHS focuses on “content” rather than harmful “foreign adversaries,” and that Trump would have never started a Disinformation Governance Board.

          Former Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told the Daily Caller that the board “is an entirely new creation of their own making,” called it the “Ministry of Truth,” and said there is “no way” the Democrats will operate the board “well.” “It is one of the most philosophically alarming things produced by this administration,” he added.

          “The Biden Administration has changed the focus from foreign adversaries seeking to harm American cybersecurity and infrastructure to focus on content. This paved the way for this Disinformation Governance Board that will surely be weaponized against Americans. The government should not be the arbiter of truth or ‘misinformation.’ We Americans have learned the hard way that ‘misinformation’ is often just information the left doesn’t like,” Ries said.

          “Instead of focusing on foreign terror threats and securing the homeland, particularly the border to prevent such threats from entering the U.S., the Biden Administration appears more interested in using the national security state to target concerned parents at school board meetings and Americans rightly skeptical about government’s own coronavirus disinformation. This administration prioritizes the wrong things. Secretary Mayorkas, like the Biden Administration, has turned inward – away from foreign threats and against Americans, in particular political opponents, who they label as ‘extremists,’” she concluded.

          The newly appointed leader of the Disinformation Governance Board, Jankowicz, who will be in charge of determining what disinformation is, has been criticized for spreading disinformation about Hunter Biden’s laptop. She also supported the Steele Dossier, which Daniel Hoffman, a former CIA officer, said was possibly “part of a Russian espionage disinformation plot.”

          Mayorkas and Psaki have defended Jankowicz, calling her an “expert” in disinformation.

          Republican senators have questioned Mayorkas, exposing that he did not know about Jankowicz’s TikTok videos, nor about her Hunter Biden claims before she was appointed. (RELATED: Disinformation And Wizard Rock: Meet Biden’s New ‘Minister Of Truth’ At DHS)

          This Insane 2020 Time Magazine Article Explains Exactly Why the Left Fears Losing Twitter


          REPORTED BY: DAN O’DONNELL | APRIL 28, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/28/this-insane-2020-time-magazine-article-explains-exactly-why-the-left-fears-losing-twitter/

          Twitter app on phone

          An astonishing but largely forgotten story in Time Magazine explains why there is so much leftist concern today about Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

          Author Dan O'Donnell profile

          DAN O’DONNELL

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          Of all the hysterical leftist reactions to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter on Monday, MSNBC host Ari Melber’s was easily the most revealing.

          “If you own all of Twitter or Facebook or what have you, you don’t have to explain yourself,” he gravely intoned during his show Monday evening. “You don’t even have to be transparent. You could secretly ban one party’s candidate or all of its candidates, all of its nominees, or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else, and the rest of us might not even find out about it ‘til after the election.”

          You don’t say. This was in fact the way the left used social media to win the 2020 presidential election. They even admitted it openly in a stunning yet largely forgotten February 2021 article in Time magazine entitled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign that Saved the 2020 Election.”

          “For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President,” wrote reporter Molly Ball. “Their work touched every aspect of the election.”

          And they wanted credit for it, Ball continued, “even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream — a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.”

          Their aim, they insisted, wasn’t to rig the election but to “fortify” it against then-President Donald Trump and his allies, whom they believed to be a threat to democracy itself.

          “Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.”

          The final piece was critical, especially in the waning days of the campaign, when an October surprise in the form of Hunter Biden’s laptop threatened to derail his father’s candidacy and undo the organized left’s hard work.

          The New York Post’s exclusive story dropped like a grenade less than a month before Election Day, providing “smoking-gun emails” showing that the younger Biden introduced his father “to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.”

          The emails, the Post explained, were obtained from a computer dropped off and apparently forgotten at a repair shop in Delaware. Under the terms of the repair agreement, the store’s owner took possession of the laptop when it was deemed to be abandoned. Twitter and Facebook, though, determined without any evidence that the emails were actually “hacked materials” and thus distributed in violation of their terms of use agreements.

          Facebook quickly acted to limit the reach of the story, while Twitter took the extraordinary step of locking the Post’s account and preventing other users from sharing its story or even pictures from it. Neither Hunter Biden nor the Joe Biden presidential campaign denied that the laptop was Hunter’s, and the younger Biden’s business partner, Tony Bobulinski, went on the record a few days later with documents that confirmed the Post’s reporting, which seemed to uncover an international bribery scheme.

          It didn’t matter. Once 50 obviously partisan intelligence officials issued an evidence-free statement calling the laptop materials “Russian disinformation,” it was determined that they would be censored in both legacy and social media.

          Of course, more than a year after Biden was safely elected, both The New York Times and Washington Post confirmed that the laptop was genuine, but the censorship did its job: A Media Research Center poll of swing state voters confirmed that 16 percent of Biden supporters would have changed their votes had they heard of the laptop story, including 4 percent who would have switched their vote to Trump. This obviously would have swung the entire election to Trump, but that would have been an unacceptable result for the leftist cabal intent on “fortifying” democracy by stacking the deck against him. In light of the Media Research Center’s findings, social media censorship was very possibly the most effective way they did it. And naturally they had to brag about it in Time.

          “Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories, the viral force of social media and the involvement of foreign meddlers made disinformation a broader, deeper threat to the 2020 vote,” Ball reported. “Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalist, began studying this problem a few years ago. She piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it.”

          She ultimately concluded that engaging with this supposedly “toxic content” or trying to debunk it was ineffective, so “the solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place.”

          This research armed liberal activists to pressure social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to far more aggressively and creatively enforce their rules, prompting a crackdown on “disinformation” that was in fact completely accurate. Because it was harmful to the effort to “save democracy” and defeat the “autocratic” Trump, it was censored.

          “Democracy won in the end,” Ball concluded. “The will of the people prevailed. But it’s crazy, in retrospect, that this is what it took to put on an election in the United States of America.”

          This reveals the real threat of Musk’s Twitter takeover: If it is no longer possible to suppress factual information in the name of rescuing democracy from its alleged enemies, then those enemies (read: Republicans) might start winning more elections. And that is simply unacceptable.


          Dan O’Donnell is a talk show host with News/Talk 1130 WISN in Milwaukee, Wis. and 1310 WIBA in Madison, Wis., and a columnist for the John K. MacIver Institute.

          Thousands of ‘Ballot Mules’ Delivered Tens of Thousands of Votes for Biden? NY Post Publishes Devastating Claims


          Reported By Jack Davis | April 25, 2022

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/thousands-ballot-mules-delivered-tens-thousands-votes-biden-ny-post-publishes-devastating-claims/

          A new report that analyzed the forthcoming movie from conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza warns that based on the 2020 election, Democrats have a “cunning plan” for the future.

          After previewing the documentary “2,000 Mules,” New York Post columnist Miranda Devine wrote that “pesky evidence is starting to emerge of systematic schemes to subvert the electoral process — which must not be allowed to happen again if we are to restore faith in elections.”

          Devine called the movie — which debuts next month — “the most compelling evidence to date” concerning the race between then-President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden and said research conducted by the election integrity group True the Vote reveals what appears to be “suspicious ballot harvesting.”

          The Western Journal reached out to the Biden White House for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

          The research Devine cited relied on sophisticated tracking and surveillance video to reach its conclusions.

          True the Vote acquired 3 trillion geo-location signals from cellphones that were near ballot drop boxes and election nonprofits in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 3, 2020 vote.

          “Then they went searching for ‘mules,’ operatives who picked up ballots from election NGOs — such as Stacey Abrams’ outfit, ‘Fair Fight Action’ — and then carried them to different drop boxes, depositing between three to 10 ballots in each box before moving to the next,” Devine wrote.

          Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, said she chose the term “mule” for the people involved in the operation because “it felt a lot like a cartel, it felt like trafficking … This is in its essence ballot trafficking … You have the collectors. You have the stash houses, which are the nonprofits. And then you have the mules that are doing the drops.”

          Devine wrote that the network included individuals in battleground states who collected ballots from organizations that were ostensibly out to help everybody vote and then put them in drop boxes, a few at a time.

          “The extent of the operation is jaw-dropping,” she said.

          “When a mule is matched with video, you can see the scheme come to life,” she wrote.

          Devine noted one snippet from the film.

          “A car pulls up at a drop box after midnight. A man gets out, looks around surreptitiously, approaches the box, stuffs in a handful of ballots and hightails it out of there. Then he goes to the next box, again and again,” she wrote.

          D’Souza said the efforts of the mules could have swung the election based on his contention that at least 380,000 potentially fraudulent votes were tracked by the project.

          “Shockingly, even this narrow way of looking at just our 2,000 mules in these swing states gives Trump the win with 279 electoral votes to Biden’s 259,” he said.

          Devine said that’s hard to prove. “There is no way to scrutinize those ballots now and see if they are fraudulent but if we must have drop boxes at election time, they need to be secure and under 24/7 surveillance,” she said.

          She said Republicans cannot spend all of their time on the 2020 election because it “makes them look like sore losers.”

          However, she also noted an interview with Trump in which he compared the election to a diamond theft at Tiffany’s.

          “There’s no getting the diamonds back now. But we can stop the store being robbed again,” Devine wrote.

          Jack Davis

          Contributor, News

          Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

          Focusing On Russia Instead of China Would Be the United States’s Biggest Foreign Policy Mistake Ever


          REPORTED BY: SUMANTRA MAITRA | APRIL 04, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/04/focusing-on-russia-instead-of-china-would-be-the-united-statess-biggest-foreign-policy-mistake-ever/

          moscow

          As we reach a month of the Ukrainian war amid talks of possible peace, a strategic appraisal is in order. It appears the Russians thought the war would be easy and fast, the Ukrainians would simply roll over and surrender, and the common people would rise up to greet Russians as liberators. Russian strategic decision-making, worsened by ideological bubbles, turned out to be as haunting as British and American misadventures in Iraq and Libya.

          The Russian officer attrition in this war is on a level rarely observed in any recent conflict, partially because this level of high-intensity, state versus state, multi-domain total war hasn’t occurred in the last few decades. Russia did not foresee that its old-fashioned special operations tactics are obsolete satellites and drones track their movements. The fact that Moscow did not calculate this in their battle plans is a sign of decline, a far cry from its prestigious officer corps training during the Soviet era. The bulk of the Russian navy and air force are still bafflingly underused and functionally unavailable given the intensity of the conflict, giving rise to the suspicion that the Russians are preserving their top-tier weaponry and platforms in case the war spirals to a continental conflict.

          But, somehow, they are still grinding on. If their objective was to stop Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), they have achieved it already. They have also managed to cut off the entire east and south of Ukraine. Russia might still win the war and achieve Ukrainian zonal neutrality, given Russia’s sheer weight.

          The Russian rhetorical “denazification” was also recently dropped quietly from the rhetoric. But the demand for Ukrainian neutrality remains and will remain. It was the single major Russian demand. All the other demands were maximalist and malleable, aimed towards negotiation. Ukraine should have taken the opportunity to do a Cold War-era, Austrian-style “neutralitätserklärung,” which would have resulted in the country constitutionally turning neutral, in order to get funding from the European Union and NATO and flourish. Ukrainians have also swallowed their non-achievable EU and NATO membership dream and are currently just as ideologically inflexible and rigid about compromise as Russia. 

          Long-Term Ramifications

          Unfortunately, the long-term ramifications of this war, for the west, are also bleak. Every single conservative restraint and realist gain from the last few years risks being reversed if realists continue to play defense on the rhetorical field of “values” instead of focusing on a narrow, populist interest. 

          The absolutely mindless idea of a no-fly zone in an active warzone with a nuclear great power was narrowly avoided by 78 experts writing an open letter against it. Incidentally, support for a no-fly zone declines among Americans the moment it is explained.

          But the war hysteria in the first few weeks of the campaign, aided by the usual suspects, demonstrated just how close to power and catastrophe these ideologues were. When a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former supreme allied commander of NATO argue for a no-fly zone, one needs to remember they are one step away from real advisory power and might be so again in the future. 

          A conservative realist grand strategy that focuses on America’s southern borders and argues for Europeans to pay for European defense first needs a realist rhetoric and public relations strategy. It must discuss the public interest, in a language common people will understand and appreciate. Pursuing such a strategy would require a total clean-up of the administrative state and Obama-era holdovers next time Republicans are in power. The hold-outs of liberal internationalism are deeply embedded within the ever-expansive national security bureaucracy.

          War Is Burying Liberal Internationalism

          Rampant war hysteria has resulted in limited diplomatic maneuverability, a realization that is slowly emerging. As the Financial Times noted, “since Feb 24, the west has been galvanized into more unity than it has shown in years. Yet most of the world is on the side lines waiting to see which way it goes. Not for the first time, the west risks mistaking itself for global consensus.”

          No matter how many times fanatical liberal internationalists cry about this war suddenly rejuvenating liberalism, the reality cannot be further from truth. The war proves great powers can deter other great powers and are the only actors that matter, that nationalism is the strongest social force, that interests trump values, norms, and laws. Thus, the war is quite clearly not saving “liberal internationalism” but burying it.

          Two of the largest non-western powers are either neutral or tacitly supporting Russia, simply because of the idea that great powers should have their own spheres of influence. The balancing powers in Europe also argued against NATO being a co-belligerent.

          Realism Isn’t Isolationism At All

          Anglo-American foreign policy realists are not pacifists or isolationists. They simply prioritize a greater strategic threat in China. Wars have their own momentum. The chance of a great power being dragged into war due to foolish or overzealous mistakes of smaller peripheral allies is a far bigger threat, as the current world is functionally similar to a multipolar system prior to the First World War than a relatively binary and Manichean conflict of the Second.

          Russia, bogged down in Ukraine already, is not a hegemonic threat comparable to Nazi Germany. The EU’s total population is around 450 million, more than the United States (339 million) and much more than Russia (144 million). The EU’s gross domestic product also dwarfs Russia’s, and just the top four European defense budgets combined are larger than Russia’s. Yet, instead of an actual material pivot to Asia, the United States currently has more than 100,000 troops deployed in Europe.

          Globally, the biggest future rival is China. China is almost incomparable in size and power next to previous rivals such as Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and even the USSR. There is nothing they would prefer more than the United States being dragged back to Europe. Ultimately, the U.S. objective should be not to prolong the war, but to focus on China as a rising threat. Ukrainian neutrality would have sorted the issue for good. But Russia has already been pushed into the arms of the Chinese due to the war.

          By not allowing an amoral balance of power, wherein we let Russia have a small sphere of influence as a grand bargain instead of being over-committed to Europe, Washington risks undercutting its long-term strategic interests by unknowingly accelerating China’s. In a twist of fate, President Joe Biden is now mirroring former President Donald Trump.

          Biden’s old Cold War equilibrium instinct is under siege by his own activist administration, determined to defeat Russian “reactionary imperial patriarchy” and defend foreign borders, statues, and churches — instincts they would never allow at home. The almost theological focus on being a part of a conflict in the far corners of Eastern Europe to ensure the continuation of a liberal democratic revolution is fundamentally undercutting American grand strategy, which historically tried to split Russia and China. Ultimately, pushing Russia to be a Chinese satellite might turn out to be our greatest historic blunder.


          Dr. Sumantra Maitra is a national-security fellow at The Center for the National Interest; a non-resident fellow at the James G Martin Center; and an elected early career historian member at the Royal Historical Society. He is a senior contributor to The Federalist, and can be reached on Twitter @MrMaitra.

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