Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘Donald Trump’

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

HELEN RALEIGH

VISIT ON TWITTER@HRALEIGHSPEAKS

MORE ARTICLES

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

    MARGOT CLEVELAND

    VISIT ON TWITTER@PROFMJCLEVELAND

    MORE ARTICLES

    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/

      Special Counsel John Durham news on MSNBC

      Author Margot Cleveland profile

      MARGOT CLEVELAND

      VISIT ON TWITTER@PROFMJCLEVELAND

      MORE ARTICLES

      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/

        former FBI Director James Comey

        Author Margot Cleveland profile

        MARGOT CLEVELAND

        VISIT ON TWITTER@PROFMJCLEVELAND

        MORE ARTICLES

        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/

          Donald Trump getting into a plane

          Author Margot Cleveland profile

          MARGOT CLEVELAND

          VISIT ON TWITTER@PROFMJCLEVELAND

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          Author Samuel Mangold-Lenett profile

          SAMUEL MANGOLD-LENETT

          VISIT ON TWITTER@MANGOLD_LENETT

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          Author Jordan Boyd profile

          JORDAN BOYD

          VISIT ON TWITTER@JORDANBOYDTX

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          Author J.B. Shurk profile

          J.B. SHURK

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          Author Tristan Justice profile

          TRISTAN JUSTICE

          VISIT ON TWITTER@JUSTICETRISTAN

          MORE ARTICLES

          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.

          Author Christopher Bedford profile

          CHRISTOPHER BEDFORD

          VISIT ON TWITTER@CBEDFORDDC

          MORE ARTICLES

          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.

          Author Chuck DeVore profile

          CHUCK DEVORE

          VISIT ON TWITTER@CHUCKDEVORE

          MORE ARTICLES

          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.

          Author Margot Cleveland profile

          MARGOT CLEVELAND

          VISIT ON TWITTER@PROFMJCLEVELAND

          MORE ARTICLES

          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.

          Author Mollie Hemingway profile

          MOLLIE HEMINGWAY

          VISIT ON TWITTER@MZHEMINGWAY

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          VISIT ON TWITTER@JUSTICETRISTAN

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          MORE ARTICLES

          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

          MORE ARTICLES

          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.

          Author Sumantra Maitra profile

          SUMANTRA MAITRA

          VISIT ON TWITTER@MRMAITRA

          MORE ARTICLES

          DirecTV’s Attempt to Cancel Right-Leaning News Network OAN Provokes Lawsuit


          REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | MARCH 16, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/16/directvs-attempt-to-cancel-right-leaning-news-network-oan-provokes-lawsuit/

          DirecTV

          DirecTV announced in January the digital satellite service would no longer carry One America News Network (OAN), owned by Herring Networks. The decision prompted a lawsuit by OAN in response Tuesday, arguing that DirecTV’s refusal to carry OAN could shut it down entirely.

          “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” the company told USA Today two months ago, without expanding on its definition of an “internal review.”

          The decision to drop the channel by OAN’s largest distributor is expected to take OAN off DirecTV airwaves by the end of April and threatens the outlet’s ability to operate in a crowded media environment. It’s essentially canceling the network from cable. Six Republican attorneys general last week issued a letter asking DirecTV to reverse its decision to cancel OAN.

          The move also signals a sharp escalation of the weaponizing private market power to silence political dissidents. Silicon Valley has already engaged in rampant censorship, complete with a routine purge of those who don’t propagate the party lines.

          Former President Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter and Facebook at the end of his presidency while the Kremlin remains active on both, condemned the corporate censorship on Monday after calling for a boycott of DirectTV last month if the company owned by AT&T follows through on its decision.

          “Time Warner, the owner of Fake News CNN, has just announced that they will be terminating a very popular and wonderful news network (OAN),” Trump said in a statement. “Between heavily indebted Time Warner, and Radical Left comcast, which runs Xfinity, there is a virtual monopoly on news, thereby making what you hear from the LameStream Media largely FAKE, hence the name FAKE NEWS!”

          Trump may have confused Time Warner and DirecTV. While DirecTV made its plans clear, no reporting as of this writing suggests Time Warner is planning to follow suit. Neither Time Warner nor representatives for OAN responded to The Federalist’s inquiries.

          Corporate collusion to strip a network off the airwaves, beginning with DirecTV’s crusade against OAN, would set a dangerous precedent. The left’s strategy to ban its way to a monopoly on discourse includes opposition silencing and self-righteous fact-checking. Never mind strict standards of censoring disinformation would have kicked every leftist news network off air years ago from endless amplification of the Russian collusion hoax alone.

          Today it’s OAN. Tomorrow it could be Newsmax, and eventually Fox News, a more likely predicament if the network didn’t make satellite distributors so much money.

          But what’s behind DirecTV’s decision to target OAN? As of now, its rival conservative networks remain untouched.

          The move ostensibly comes from sealed findings in the corporate powerhouse’s “internal review” of its relationship with OAN. A spokesperson told NPR in January rising programming costs was driving the decision. The review is likely a smokescreen for executives dissatisfied with the network’s narratives, especially its reporting on the 2020 election.

          Three days after Election Day in 2020, AT&T, the majority owner of DirecTV, announced that William Kennard, an alum of both the Clinton and Obama administrations, would chair AT&T’s board of directors. Kennard is also listed as an executive board member of the global equity firm Staple Street Capital. In 2018, Staple Street Capital acquired Dominion Voting Systems, the electoral tabulation company that came under fire after the 2020 election.

          Fox News and Newsmax retracted their networks’ reporting on Dominion Voting Systems in the aftermath of the 2020 contest. OAN has not.

          Is DirecTV’s move to cancel OAN a business decision for the satellite provider? Or is it a political decision? Regardless, the cancellation of entire news networks by satellite providers is a new level of private censorship against non-leftist views.


          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.

          FLASHBACK: Trump Warned UN About Relying on Russian Oil, Was Laughed At By German Delegation


          Reported by BRIANNA LYMAN | REPORTER | March 07, 2022

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/03/07/donald-trump-warned-united-nation-relying-russian-oil-german-delegation-laughed/

          Former President Donald Trump speaks at the 2018 UN General Assembly [PBS News Hour screenshot]
          [PBS News Hour screenshot]

          The German delegation appeared to laugh at former President Donald Trump during a 2018 United Nations (U.N.) speech in which the president warned about relying on Russian oil. While speaking at the 73rd U.N. General Assembly, Trump criticized Germany for relying on Russian oil exports.

          “Reliance on a single foreign supplier can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation. That is why we congratulate European states, such as Poland, for leading the construction of a Baltic pipeline so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs,” Trump said. “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.”

          “Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers,” Trump continued as the camera then panned to the German delegation, who appeared to be laughing. (RELATED: Former Top Trump Official Argues Biden’s Russia Sanctions Are ‘Half Measures,’ Contain Loopholes)

          Trump made similar comments warning about Germany’s energy dependence during a 2018 meeting with German and NATO leaders.

          “It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia,” Trump said. “Where, you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia. So, we’re supposed to protect you against Russia, but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate.”

          “Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that’s appropriate, and I think it’s not,” he said while addressing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

          Trump approved sanctions to deter the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine to get gas to Europe and served as a major geopolitical win for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

          Upon taking office, President Joe Biden revoked the sanctions, only recently putting them back in place following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

          Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


          A.F. Branco Cartoon – Reminiscing

          A.F. BRANCO | on February 26, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-reminiscing/

          Now that Biden has all but destroyed the country it’s nice to look back on better days with Trump as President.

          Trump Gave Us better Days
          Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

          A.F. Branco Cartoon – Back to the Future

          A.F. BRANCO | on February 28, 2022 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-back-to-the-future/

          Obama ridiculed Romney’s Russia warning in 2012 during their presidential debate, and now?

          Romney 80s Foreign policy
          Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2022.

          Donations/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 the 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 shared by President Donald Trump.

          Hillary Clinton takes shot at Trump, GOP over Russia — and even invokes treason clause in Constitution


          Reported by CHRIS ENLOE | February 25, 2022

          Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/hillary-clinton-takes-shot-at-trump-gop-over-russia-and-even-invokes-treason-clause-in-constitution/

          Hillary Clinton just cannot resist.

          The twice-failed presidential candidate made reference to the Constitution’s treason clause on Friday while implicitly condemning former President Donald Trump and parts of the Republican Party that she alleged have emboldened Russia’s aggression.

          During a radio interview this week, Trump described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “very savvy.” He also described Putin’s decision to declare the independence of two Ukrainian regions as “genius.” And regarding the “peacekeepers” — which were Russian soldiers — that Putin sent into those eastern Ukrainian regions, Trump said, “we could use that on our southern border.” Meanwhile, Russian-state media have reportedly used comments from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson for their propaganda purposes.

          Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Clinton referred to Trump’s comments and said that any American who parrots talking points worthy of being broadcast by Russian propaganda outlets must be called out.

          “We have to also make sure that within our own country we are calling out those people who are giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin, who are talking about what a genius he is, what a smart move it is, who are unfortunately being broadcast by Russian media, not only inside Russia, but in Europe to demonstrate the division within our own country,” Clinton said.

          Clinton’s comments implicitly invoked the Constitution’s “treason clause,” which is found in Article III, Section 3:

          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

          The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

          Hillary Clinton: What’s Left Of The GOP Must Stand Against Those Giving ‘Aid’ To Putin www.youtube.com

          Later in the interview, Clinton described rhetoric from Trump and other Republican figureheads as “heartbreaking” and “dangerous,” and she repeated the accusation that they are giving “aid and comfort” to Putin.

          “I think it’s time for what’s left of the Republican Party that has any common sense not just to say, ‘OK, go help defend Ukraine against Putin,’ but to stand against those people in politics and government, in the media and elsewhere in our own country who are literally giving aid and comfort to an enemy of freedom and democracy,” Clinton said.

          Such rhetoric, Clinton claimed, emboldens not only Putin, but also Chinese President Xi Jinping.

          “It can’t continue because it plays right into the ambitions of not just Putin, but also President Xi of China to undermine democracy, to literally divide and conquer the West without ever invading us, but by setting us against each other,” Clinton said.

          Clinton attributed the development of the problem that she identified as happening because “starting with ascent of Trump, there has been, sadly, a total loss of spine and conscience of too many Republicans.”

          “There is also another element. These people are naive in such a dangerous way,” Clinton continued. “I think the naiveté that we saw starting with Trump, but which has now been accelerated, is really hard to understand. But we have to deal with it, and we have to call it out.”

          Why Tech Totalitarianism Threatens To Turn America into Canada or China Unless We Stop It


          REPORTED BY: KARA FREDERICK | FEBRUARY 23, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/23/why-tech-totalitarianism-threatens-to-turn-america-into-canada-or-china-unless-we-stop-it/

          tech people holding phones

          Portions of this article were adapted from the author’s recently published paper at The Heritage Foundation, “Combating Big Tech’s Totalitarianism: A Road Map.”

          Last week, our Canadian neighbors mobilized their national security apparatus against working-class citizens protesting government overreach. The Biden administration is no doubt taking notes. In fact, the contours of a similar strategy are already emerging in the United States. First, the FBI reportedly tagged parents opposed to critical race theory with a “terrorism” label under the direction of Biden’s Department of Justice. Then, the DOJ revealed plans to stand up a domestic terror unit fixated on “anti-government or anti-authority” ideologies. Now, a new Department of Homeland Security terrorism bulletin classifies Americans as potential violent extremists if they question the administration’s Covid-19 policies or election integrity narrative by spreading “mis- dis- and mal-information” on social media. This should send a chill up Americans’ spines.

          The willingness of the U.S. government to classify movements to the right of leftist ideology as “domestic extremism” lays the groundwork for the purging of these citizens from digital platforms — and all of digital life. We are entering a reality in which tech companies target average conservative organizations, users, and speech as part of this push. Just after Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Google co-founder Sergey Brin referred to Trump voters as “extremists” and suggested using Google’s tech incubator, Jigsaw, to shape their opinions. In July 2021, Facebook began testing “extremism” warnings on users who engaged with popular, mainstream conservative accounts. This problem is a small outgrowth of a broader one shaping the new digital atmosphere: the efforts of companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and TikTok to skew the political and cultural environment of this nation and its inheritors.

          These corporations interfere in our elections, actively undermine our First Amendment freedoms by silencing speech they don’t like, work together to disadvantage or destroy existing or potential competitors, and partner with government actors to intimidate, surveil, and silence Americans. They’re even purposefully poisoning the next generation, targeting American youth with highly addictive content that has been shown to do legitimate harm. 

          Governments are not the only actors capable of encroaching on Americans’ individual liberties. Private, monopolistic corporations should be held accountable if they violate these liberties to the degree Big Tech has in the past two years alone. Efforts to rein them in should reflect an imperative to protect Americans’ natural rights against abuses flowing from the consolidation of power — whether by the government, private corporations, or a combination of the two. Big Tech’s willingness to shut off direct access to digital information, their demonstrated pattern of information manipulation, and their effect on America’s culture of free speech have decisive political and cultural ramifications.

          Censorship against viewpoints to the right of center runs across platforms and is pervasive and accelerating. The Media Research Center found in September 2021 that Twitter and Facebook censor Republican members of Congress at a rate of 53-to-1 compared to Democrat lawmakers. By its own admission, Facebook created two internal tools in the aftermath of Trump’s 2016 victory that suppressed “very conservative” media reach on its platform. Google stifled conservative-leaning outlets such as The Daily Caller, Breitbart, and this publication during the 2020 election season, with Breitbart’s Google search visibility reportedly shrinking by 99 percent compared to the 2016 election cycle. Finally, at least 17 digital platforms banned Trump or affiliated accounts within a two-week span in early January 2021 — all while Chinese Communist Party, Iranian, and Taliban spokesmen enjoy a voice on these American-owned platforms.

          To contest this imbalance, conservatives attempted to take matters into their own hands and build their owndigital platform. Yet when such a company, Parler, developed an app that reached the top of the Apple store in the early days of January 2021, Apple, Google, and Amazon Web Services acted within approximately 48 hrs of each other to vanquish it. Parler has yet to recover a fraction of the users it gained during January 2021. The “build your own” argument wilted in the face of concerted opposition by these entrenched juggernauts.

          Further, the distinction between the coercive power of the government and that of a private company is negated when they work hand-in-glove to achieve the government’s ends. Jen Psaki admitted from the White House podium in July that the government was flagging problematic posts for Facebook to censor. Within a month, the accounts she and the surgeon general surfaced were removed from Facebook. And that’s just what the two Biden officials admitted out loud. In fact, Psaki again took to the podium in February 2022 to declare that media app Spotify could do more regarding comedian Joe Rogan, intimating the private company should expand its censorship of the podcasting star for platforming views that buck the administration’s Covid narrative.

          Less than a month earlier, Biden had called on tech companies to police Covid-related speech. Even at the state level, at least one lawsuit alleges that the Office of the Secretary of State for California worked directly with Twitter to flag and scrutinize a conservative commentator over his election skepticism, ultimately resulting in his suspension in February 2021.

          Suppression of conservative speech as a response to political pressure is not limited to social media alone. Online payment processors and fundraising platformsemail delivery services, and web hosting services are all taking their cues from and following in Big Tech’s footsteps. What happens in the future when your individual environmental, social, and governance score or level of climate change compliance is unsatisfactory for every online banking service intent on staying in the good graces of the government? In effect, our country is sleepwalking into a CCP-style social credit system.

          This type of control also tears at the cultural underpinnings of our society. The disposition toward freedom of expression is central to the American way of life. Supporting an unpopular opinion in the digital public square or donating to political causes should not mean risking your livelihood. These practices erode our culture of free speech, chill open discourse, and engender self-censorship. In a more concrete sense, Big Tech’s practices result in measurable, destructive effects on the next generation of young citizens. Author Abigail Shrier documents social media’s influence on social contagions of the moment, stating that these sites offer an “endless supply of mentors” to fan the flames of gender dissatisfaction among teen girls.

          According to Facebook’s own research, 6 percent of teen Instagram users who reported suicidal thoughts traced their emergence directly to Instagram. Teenage girls in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia are likely developing verbal and physical tics by watching influencers on TikTok who exhibit the same habits, in addition to being fed eating-disorder videos, according to The Wall Street Journal. (As of early 2021, 25 percent of TikTok users in America were teenagers or younger.)

          Big Tech companies have proven themselves irresponsible stewards of their government-enhanced power. A recalibration of their relationship to the American people is warranted. The answer exists in solutions that promote human flourishing and arrest the infringement of God-given rights by private entities, such as freedom of speech. American policymakers and representatives should take on Big Tech as uniquely deleterious to a healthy body politic and invest in a diversity of tactics to meet the moment. The aggregate effect of these measures should be far more scrutiny, pressure, and oversight over Big Tech companies.

          comprehensive agenda to end Big Tech’s undue influence over Americans’ daily lives and subversion of their rights is necessary. Measures should confront legitimate anti-competitive behavior by these global oligopolies by enforcing antitrust laws and reforming them where necessary. Lawmakers must also ensure that the government does not continue to use tech companies as their agents to chill speech. The deployment of Big Tech’s ad-tech models — the heart of what allows these companies to manipulate and exploit the data of Americans — merits particular congressional scrutiny.

          Additionally, Big Tech executives should be held civilly liable for legitimate instances of fraud and breach of contract, just as GoFundMe’s decision to refund the Freedom Convoy donations instead of dispensing them to charities of their choice was likely influenced by threats of a fraud investigation.

          Transparency in content moderation practices, algorithmic impacts, and data use should be non-negotiable for these companies. Americans have a right to know how their data is collected, stored, and shared in plain English. Data privacy and a national data protection framework are also critical to righting Big Tech’s wrongs.

          In tandem, Americans should be given new ways to fight back when their rights are infringed upon, as well as obtain prompt and meaningful recourse from Big Tech companies. All companies and tech founders should institute expanded user control mechanisms and design privacy-preserving technologies from the outset in their products.

          And finally, these tech companies should no longer be permitted to work directly with our adversaries such as the Chinese Communist Party.

          Sovereign citizens of the United States do not exist solely to serve the economy or maximize gross domestic product. Despite their success in the stock market, Big Tech companies are actively eroding citizens’ ability to maintain a self-governing republic. Absent drastic measures to arrest the progress of this march toward totalitarianism with a tech face, we risk the welfare of a nation. It must end here.


          Kara Frederick is a Research Fellow in the Center for Technology Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Her research focuses on Big Tech and emerging technology policy. She helped create and lead Facebook’s Global Security Counterterrorism Analysis Program and was the team lead for Facebook Headquarters’ Regional Intelligence Team. Prior to Facebook, she was a Senior Intelligence Analyst for a U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command and spent six years as a counterterrorism analyst at the Department of Defense.

          Christians Stand Trial in Finland Today for Affirming Men and Women Are Different


          REPORTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 24, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/24/christians-stand-trial-in-finland-today-for-affirming-men-and-women-are-different/

          Paive Rasanen of Finland reading the Bible

          Today in Finland, two Christians will stand trial for publicly stating the theological and scientific truth that men and women are different. Finnish Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola stand accused of “hate crimes” for affirming basic Christian theology and natural reality concerning the sexual differences between men and women. One of the three charges against Rasanen includes a count against her for tweeting a picture of a Bible verse in challenging the state church of Finland’s decision to sponsor an LGBT parade. Another charge attempts to criminalize her participation in a 2019 public debate.

          If the court finds them guilty, Rasanen and Pohjola could face fines or up to two years in prison. It would also set the precedent of making quoting the Bible a criminal offense in Western countries.

          In November, human rights lawyer Paul Coleman told The Federalist that these cases in Finland are a “canary in the coalmine” for freedom of speech in the Western world. Coleman works for Alliance Defending Freedom International, which is assisting the two Finns’ lawyers. “Part of the scary thing about what’s happening in Finland is that it could happen anywhere else,” Coleman said Jan. 23 on the British show GBNews. Many countries have similar hate speech laws, including states and cities in the United States.

          While accused of hate crimes, Rasanen and Pohjola emphatically affirm their love for all people as beautifully created in God’s image and deeply loved by a God who sent his own Son to die an excruciating death to atone for every sin, including all sexual sins. Their aim is not hate but love, they say, another core teaching of Christianity, which also commands its adherents to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

          Both are also charged for a booklet Rasanen wrote and Pohjola published in 2004. Pohjola told The Federalist in an exclusive in-person interview in November 2021 that he asked Rasanen to write the booklet because she was qualified, as a medical doctor and the wife of a pastor. That booklet affirms the classic understanding of sex as reserved solely for marriage, and marriage as comprising one man committed to one woman for life. In spring 2019, the two were suddenly served with criminal charges for writing and publishing this booklet decades ago, well before Finland passed its hate crimes laws on behalf of powerful special interests who dispute the differences between the sexes and their role in procreation. Rasanen and Pohjola have been summoned several times by Finnish police to be interrogated separately for hours about intricate details of their theology.

          In their interrogations, the police demanded that Rasanen and Pohjola recant their beliefs. Both refused. Both have also noted the contrast between their country’s claim to be a free and modern democracy that allows for full and open debate and the way they have been treated, as thought criminals.

          “If I’m convicted, I think that the worst consequence would not be the fine against me, or even the prison sentence, it would be the censorship,” Rasanen said in a statement ahead of her trial. “I will continue to stand for what I believe and what I have written. And I will speak and write about these things, because they are a matter of conviction, not only an opinion. I trust that we still live in a democracy, and we have our constitution and international agreements that guarantee our freedom of speech and religion,”

          Christians all over the world are praying for Pojhola and Rasanen, including corporately in their churches. On Jan. 23, free speech supporters rallied in front of the Finnish embassy in Oslo, Norway, to show support for Rasanen and Pohjola. Several of the protesters filling the street carried signs that said “Finland: Freedom of speech?”

          Several members of the U.S. Congress led by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said in a public letter that the Finnish government’s prosecutions of these Christians for their religious beliefs “raise serious questions regarding the extent of Finland’s commitment to protect religious freedom for its citizens.” Roy’s office is closely watching the trial, as are many other U.S. and international human rights organizations.

          Pohjola was recently elected the bishop of the Lutheran non-state church in Finland. He was kicked out of the state church approximately a decade ago for upholding Christian teachings on the differences between the sexes. The small non-state church in Finland is growing, while the large state church is shrinking.

          The Federalist is monitoring the trial today and will be covering its outcome.


          Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

          Only 10 Percent of J6 Committee Subpoenas Relate to the Capitol Riot


          REPORTED BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | JANUARY 20, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/20/only-10-percent-of-j6-committee-subpoenas-relate-to-the-capitol-riot/

          Liz Cheney and Bennie Thompson

          The House Select Committee established to probe the Capitol riot is not interested in probing the Capitol riot. According to a Federalist analysis of the 84 subpoenas publicly issued by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6, only 8 have targeted individuals or groups with any connection to the Capitol riot. The rest have taken aim at former government officials and private citizens in a smear campaign for exercising their constitutional right to protest.

          The 84 subpoenas do not include the more than 100 seeking the telephone records of individuals whose identities remain under seal, both from the public and from those whose privacy the committee seeks to violate.

          “Every member of this committee is dedicated to conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts regarding January 6th,” said Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney upon accepting Pelosi’s appointment as vice chair. “We owe it to the American people to investigate everything that led up to and transpired on January 6th.”

          Except the committee absent of Republican-appointments at Pelosi’s direction is far from non-partisan, and the probe’s investigation is far from focused on the security failures at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

          Born in the ashes of a 9/11-style commission blocked by Republicans when Democrats refused a genuine investigation of violence on Capitol Hill, Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6 has remained faithful to its central purpose. That purpose is seeking retribution against political dissidents while offering a smokescreen to Pelosi’s own culpability in her failures to reinforce Capitol security. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., made that much clear last summer in an interview with CNN.

          “If you look at the charge that we have in the resolution, it says the facts and circumstances around January 6. I don’t see the speaker being part and parcel to that,” Thompson said.

          According to Thompson, Pelosi’s apparent refusal to approve activation of the National Guard not once, but six times, according to testimony from former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, fails to fall under the umbrella of “facts and circumstances around January 6.”

          Meanwhile, federal agencies run by Democrats have colluded with Pelosi’s deputies in the House to block a genuine investigation of the security failures at the Capitol by Republican lawmakers kicked from the speaker’s select panel.

          Earlier this month, House Republicans penned a letter to Pelosi outlining at least four times last year the speaker’s deputies denied to provide records shedding light on the security decisions of Jan. 6.

          “There is irony in the fact that the same time House Democrats are holding witnesses in criminal contempt of Congress for raising genuine questions of legal privilege,” wrote Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, “you continue to obstruct Republican access to House records relating to the security preparedness of the Capitol complex.”

          In October, the FBI similarly stonewalled GOP lawmakers who requested the same briefing given to members of the Select Committee.

          Out of the 84 subpoenas issued by the panel, for which its authority remains questionable after Pelosi barred GOP appointments, at least one targeted a private citizen with no connection to any of the events on Jan. 6, whether it be the turmoil at the Capitol or the Trump rally at the White House.

          Andrew Surabian, a Republican operative working to unseat Cheney in Wyoming, was subpoenaed by the lawmaker’s committee last week.

          “During the time period that the rally was being organized, Mr. Surabian was overseeing a Super PAC in support of Republican Senate candidates in Georgia,” Surabian attorney Daniel Bean said in a statement. “Mr. Surabian is a close friend to Donald Trump Jr. and is running a Super PAC that opposes the reelection of one of the members of the committee. Accordingly, we believe this is nothing more than harassment of the Committee’s political opponents and is un-American to the core.”

          Eight subpoenas from the committee have sought information more directly related to the Capitol unrest, including subpoenas to three right-wing groups and their leaders. Proud Boys International LLC, Oath Keepers, 1st Amendment Praetorian, and each of their chairmen have been summoned by the probe.

          On Wednesday, Nicholas Fuentes and Patrick Casey of the America First Movement were handed subpoenas based on the committee’s suspicions of involvement in the chaos that unfolded at the Capitol.


          Disgraced FBI No. 2 Andrew McCabe Calls for Feds to Treat ‘Mainstream’ Conservatives Like Domestic Terrorists


          Reported BY: EVITA DUFFY | JANUARY 10, 2022

          Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/10/disgraced-fbi-no-2-andrew-mccabe-calls-for-feds-to-treat-mainstream-conservatives-like-domestic-terrorists/

          McCabe

          Have you ever wondered what disgraced former deputy FBI directors do after trying to stage a coup and lying under oath? Apparently, they give talks about “protecting democracy” at top-rated institutions of higher learning. Indeed, this last Thursday the University of Chicago invited former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe to join a panel of partisans to discuss the Jan 6 “insurrection.” 

          McCabe was fired as the deputy FBI director for leaking sensitive information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then lying about it under oath. He also took part in spying on the Donald Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

          The dossier he used to obtain the surveillance warrant was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and, in an ironic twist, was itself the product of Russian disinformation. McCabe and his allies in corporate media justified all sorts of similar illegal and undemocratic tactics to discredit and attempt to unseat President Trump. 

          Of course, neither the University of Chicago nor McCabe acknowledged the irony in him discussing the integrity of “democracy” in America on Thursday evening. In fact, what McCabe said at the University of Chicago event on Jan. 6, 2022 is even more shocking than his invitation to speak in the first place. Below are four of the most appalling assertions and policy proposals McCabe made at the public event.

          1. Conservatives Are in The Same Category As Islamic Terrorists 

          McCabe likened conservatives to members of the Islamic Caliphate: “I can tell you from my perspective of spending a lot of time focused on the radicalization of international terrorists and Islamic extremist and extremists of all stripes… is that this group shares many of the same characteristics of those groups that we’ve seen radicalized along entirely different ideological lines,” he said.

          McCabe went on to describe the rise of the Islamic caliphate in Syria and how Islamic extremists were radicalized across socioeconomic, educational, and racial lines, likening it to the “mass radicalization” of the political right across demographics. That’s right, according to McCabe a grandma who shares a Federalist article on Facebook and your uncle with a “Let’s Go Brandon” coffee mug are in the same category as a jihadist who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.

          2. Parents at School Board Meetings Pose A ‘Threat To National Security’

          “Political violence [is] not just confined to the Capitol,” McCabe asserted. “It’s going on in school boards around the country. It’s going on in local elections. It’s happening, you know, even to health-care workers.” According to this politically protected former FBI no. 2, the “political violence” occurring recently at school board meetings and during local elections is a “very diverse and challenging threat picture.” 

          If you haven’t heard already, Democrats are branding parents who oppose child mask mandates and racist critical race theory indoctrination as “domestic terrorists.” 

          McCabe said moms and dads who stand up for their children’s health and education at school board meetings in ways Democrats disagree with are very dangerous. So dangerous that it is actually “essential” we have a “rapid and complete response by law enforcement at the state, local and federal level to this sort of political violence…” 

          Holding America’s parents “accountable” is not enough for McCabe. He wants to make sure that federal agencies also put “out that message that this sort of conduct that both horribly victimizes individuals, but also serves to undermine our democratic process” is “considered a threat to national security [that is] not tolerated.” 

          3. McCabe Wants More Surveillance of ‘Mainstream’ Conservatives 

          “I’m fairly confident,” McCabe said, “[that] the FBI [and other agencies] have reallocated resources and repositioned some of their counterterrorism focus to increase their focus on right-wing extremism and domestic violent extremists. And I think that’s obviously a good idea.” 

          But McCabe wants more. McCabe asserted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to stop merely focusing on the “fringes of the right-wing movement,” in order to “catch this threat” of the “right.” 

          “Are you going to catch this threat if your focus is only on the traditional, right-wing extremist, those groups that we know about, the quote-unquote, fringes of the right-wing movement?” asked McCabe. “And I think the answer to that is no.” 

          “It’s entirely possible that when the intelligence community and the law enforcement community looks out across this mainstream,” McCabe continued, “they didn’t assume [on January 6] that that group of people — business owners, white people from the suburbs, educated, employed — presented a threat of violence, and now we know very clearly that they do.” 

          McCabe wants to get around constitutional obstacles that restrict the abuses of federal agencies. He explained that the path to granting the feds more power to spy on and punish “extremists,” a.k.a. conservatives, is by implementing federal penalties against “domestic terrorism.”

          A measure like this would grant domestic agencies the intelligence capabilities of the international terrorism-focused National Counterterrorism Center. It would, McCabe says, “give investigators the ability to begin investigating when folks are plotting or planning or organizing to use violence for the purpose of coercing the population or influencing government…” 

          Joshua Geltzer, President Joe Biden’s advisor on “countering domestic violent extremism,” made the same proposal in a 2019 hearing before a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. In his proposal, Geltzer suggested that we need to “polic[e] [tech company] platforms to remove not just incitement to violence, but also, the ideological foundations that spawn such violence.”

          McCabe claims these proposed federal laws against domestic terrorism can be implemented without infringing on Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech. That seems quite impossible, however, given Geltzer is proposing government oversight of social media, for example.  It is even more difficult to believe when you consider that Democrats are not going after real domestic terrorists and have literally defined parents speaking out at school board meetings as national security threats. As McCabe said himself, to Democrats, the extreme right is the mainstream right. 

          4. McCabe Believes No One Is Above The Law (Except Himself)

          Ironically, one of McCabe’s last remarks was a proclamation of equality under the law. “Whether you are a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter, right, left, or otherwise, we should all be able to agree on the principle that no one is above the law,” stated McCabe.

           “… [F]rom the lowliest trespasser on January 6, up to the highest-ranking government officials who may have been aware of a plan that would ultimately lead to violence in the Capitol––those people should be held accountable, period,” he announced. “And if we can’t do that, that is just another sign that we are becoming a non-functioning democracy.”

          Ironically, McCabe’s firing for repeatedly breaking the law was expunged from the record only because he settled with a partisan Biden Department of Justice. If no one is above the law, as McCabe claims to support, then he would be in jail. Of course, McCabe is above the law. Only dissenting conservatives, in his view, deserve the suspicion and wrath of unelected federal agencies. 

          Disturbingly, the University of Chicago does not care about national introspection post-January 6, 2021. If it did, it would not have invited McCabe, of all people, to speak about “protecting democracy.” 

          UChicago allowed McCabe to spin lies about what truly happened one year ago and filtered student questions via Zoom, refusing to ask him any tough questions. Consequently, McCabe was given a platform to teach young, impressionable college students without question that the federal government should be weaponized against fellow Americans whom leftists brand as “extremists.”

          To the elites in America — Democrats like McCabe, university administrators, and professors – January 6 is the key to labeling their political opponents as dangerous, “white supremacist extremists” and enacting new policy accordingly. America’s universities are now indoctrination machines that shape the minds of the next generation. Academia openly exploits its power and rewrite history to serve their illiberal agenda.

          Sadly, McCabe’s dishonest version of January 6 is happily accepted by the academic elites who invited him Thursday night. His frighteningly despotic views and policy prescriptions will likely be accepted and implemented by his young listeners. 

          This story was originally published in the Chicago Thinker. 


          Evita Duffy is a senior contributor to The Federalist, co-founder of the Chicago Thinker, and a senior at the University of Chicago, where she studies American History. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, & her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at evitapduffy@uchicago.edu

          Randy DeSoto Op-ed: Adam Schiff Gets Verbally KO-ed on Air When Fed-Up Interviewer Finally Nails Him


          Commentary By Randy DeSoto | November 9, 2021

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/adam-schiff-gets-verbally-ko-ed-air-fed-interviewer-finally-nails/

          Former Trump administration State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus clearly made House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff uncomfortable when she pressed him on Tuesday about his promotion of the debunked Steele dossier.

          Last week, special counsel John Durham charged Igor Danchenko with five counts of lying to the FBI. Danchenko is a Russian national who worked at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and is believed to be a primary source of information contained in the infamous anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. That document was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was used to help launch the Russia probe in search of ties between the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

          Ortagus, who was a guest-hosting ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday, questioned Schiff about his promotion of the Steele dossier and the false narrative underlying it.

          “You’ve been really prolific over the past few years being the head of the Intel Committee. You defended, promoted, you even read into the Congressional Record the Steele dossier,” Ortagus said.

          “And we know last week the main source of the dossier was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?” she asked.

          Schiff first responded in a reasonable fashion, saying any who lied to the FBI should be prosecuted.

          He then defended his conduct.

          “We couldn’t have known, for example, people were lying to Christopher Steele. So it was proper to investigate them,” Schiff said.

          The congressman added that one benefit of the investigation was learning that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had given polling data to Russian intelligence. Schiff was playing pretty fast and loose with the facts. According to The Associated Press, Manafort gave polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian and Ukrainian political consultant, who allegedly passed it along to Russian intelligence.

          “But Mueller’s team said it couldn’t ‘reliably determine’ Manafort’s purpose in sharing it, nor assess what Kilimnik may have done with it,” the AP reported.

          That sort of exaggeration by Schiff was typical throughout the Russia probe.

          Ortagus reminded Schiff that Manafort was removed from the campaign in the summer of 2016 when questions arose regarding his past lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs. Further, it should be noted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, though filled with Democratic investigators, “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated” with Russia, according to the Justice Department’s Mueller report.

          Ortagus then brought the conversation back to Schiff’s role in promoting the whole collusion false narrative and the dossier.

          “You may have helped spread Russian disinformation yourself for years by promoting this. I think that’s what Republicans and what people who entrusted you as the Intel Committee chair are so confused about your culpability in all of this,” Ortagus said.

          “Well, I completely disagree with your premise,” Schiff responded. “It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated, and they were. It’s another to say that we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele, which is impossible of course to do.”

          The Californian sells himself short. He was constantly out in front of the cameras claiming he was privy to intelligence that he could not share with the public validating the collusion charge. For example in March 2017, NBC “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd asked Schiff if there was anything beyond circumstantial evidence suggesting the Trump campaign’s connection to Russia.

          “I can tell you that the case is more than that and I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now,” Schiff said.

          Further questioned whether he had seen direct evidence, the representative responded, “I don’t want to get into specifics but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of an investigation.”

          Despite making claims like that for many months, Schiff never came forward with such evidence, even after Mueller issued his report.

          On Tuesday’s showing of “The View,” the Democrat pivoted away from discussing the dossier to raising the issue of the 2019 House Democratic impeachment of Trump and the Capitol incursion to prove investigating him was justified.

          You’ll recall it was during the impeachment hearing that Schiff famously made up his own fanciful version of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to build his case that the American leader conducted a shakedown to secure an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden’s shady dealings in Ukraine. This performance was even after Zelensky himself said he felt no pressure from Trump’s call and his country launched no investigation into the Bidens.

          Schiff told Ortagus, “None of that is undercut. None of that serious misconduct is in any way diminished by the fact that people lied to Christopher Steele.”

          “No. I think just your credibility is,” Ortagus shot back.

          Schiff then opted for the verbal attack of a schoolboy, saying, “I think the credibility of your question is in doubt.”

          Having boasted about so much with so little pushback from the media, it was refreshing to see his feet actually held to the fire for once.

          Randy DeSoto, Senior Staff Writer

          Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”@RandyDeSoto

          DURHAM ARRESTS STEELE’S TOP SOURCE


          Reported by MICHAEL GINSBERG | CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER | November 04, 2021

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/11/04/igor-danchenko-arrested-christopher-steele-john-durham-fbi-trump/

          BRITAIN-RUSSIA-US-MEDIA-STEELE
          (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

          Federal agents arrested Igor Danchenko, the primary researcher of a dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as part of Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

          Danchenko was taken into custody on Thursday, the New York Times (NYT) first reported. He was employed by Steele’s firm, Orbis Business International, but was previously investigated during the Obama administration as part of a probe into suspected Russian intelligence officers operating in Washington, DC. Before his time at Orbis, Danchenko worked as a Russia analyst at the liberal Brookings Institute, where he became known for accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of plagiarizing his economics dissertation. 

          Danchenko is charged with five counts of making false statements to investigators.

          As part of his work on the Steele dossier, Danchenko claimed to have interviewed six individuals with knowledge of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. However, during a 2017 FBI interview, Danchenko contradicted many of the dossier’s key assertions. As a result, the FBI concluded that “the reliability of the dossier was completely destroyed,” according to Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. 

          Danchenko has defended his work on the Steele dossier, describing it as “raw intelligence from credible sources” in a 2020 interview with NYT. The dossier served as primary evidence for the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) warrant request for Trump campaign aide Carter Page, a Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General report found.

          As part of his investigation into the origins of the DOJ probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, Durham has targeted the production and dissemination of the Steele dossier. He indicted former Perkins Coie and Democratic National Committee attorney Michael Sussmann in September for lying to the FBI’s top attorney during a meeting in which Sussmann passed along allegations against the Trump campaign.

          Photo: Marine Vet Gets Award for Stopping Robbery, But His Anti-Biden Shirt Steals the Show


          Reported By Randy DeSoto | October 27, 2021

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/photo-marine-vet-gets-award-stopping-robbery-anti-biden-shirt-steals-show/

          U.S. Marine veteran James Kilcer, who thwarted an attempted robbery in an Arizona convenience store last week, received an award Tuesday from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office while wearing a “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt. He was also sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat, apparently in support of former President Donald Trump.

          Sheriff Leon Wilmot presented Kilcer with the YCSO Citizen’s Valor Award, “For extraordinary heroism and exceptional courage while voluntarily coming to the aid of another citizen during an incident involving criminal activity at extreme, life threatening, personal risk in an attempt to save or protect human life,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

          “The YCSO Citizen’s Valor Award is the highest award for citizens whose actions warrant recognition.”

          Surveillance video of Kilcer stopping the robbery at the Chevron convenience store early in the morning on Oct. 20 went viral. The now-U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground employee had just purchased some Gatorades and other items and was talking to the clerk when the suspects came in, Kilcer told the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

          “I heard the door start opening forcefully and my ‘Spidey senses’ or whatever kind of tingling, and I turn around and saw they were coming in real quick,” he said.

          The veteran turned around and his military training kicked in as he sought to disarm the robber.

          “I was ready: I saw it coming,” Kilcer said. “The minute my hands closed around it, I never lost contact with the gun. And I pulled him down.”

          He held the suspect down until law enforcement arrived. The person arrested was a 14-year-old juvenile who has now been charged with one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault.

          “Kilcer served as a tactical air operations technician in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Afghanistan during his time in the military. He credits his actions to his Marine Corps basic training and mindset,” DVIDS reported.

          “I guess I was just in the right place at the right time,’’ Kilcer said. “I was doing what needed to be done.”Advertisement – story continues below

          While appearing on Fox News on Friday, the Arizonan also waded into the political when he ended the segment, saying with a smile to host Dana Perino, “And remember, [Jeffrey] Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

          “OK, got it,” said Perino, who laughed and added, “Very clever.”

          Randy DeSoto, Senior Staff Writer

          Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”@RandyDeSoto

          C. Douglas Golden Op-ed: The Truth About Democrats’ Tax Bill Revealed, Middle-Class Americans Are in for a Nasty Surprise


          Commentary By C. Douglas Golden | September 29, 2021

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/truth-democrats-tax-bill-revealed-middle-class-americans-nasty-surprise/

          President Joe Biden, left, meets with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and committee chairs to discuss the coronavirus relief legislation in the Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds – Pool / Getty Images)

          President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is supposed to tax the wealthy to help the middle class. If you don’t believe me, just ask Biden, who’s more than willing to tell you about it on his Twitter account.

          To be fair, I’m assuming the messages aren’t written by Biden himself, a man who seems like his relationship with technology involves yelling at his phone, either asking Siri to find his slippers or telling Scotty to beam him up. However, whoever tweets for him stays on message when it comes to the president’s tax-and-spend plan.

          “We’re going to pass a historic middle class tax cut — and we’ll do it by making those at the top pay their fair share,” one tweet from Sunday read. “I know the crowd on Park Ave might not like it, but it’s time we give people in towns like Scranton — the folks I grew up with — a break for a change.”

          “From health care to child care, my Build Back Better Agenda will lower everyday costs for middle class Americans,” a tweet from this Monday read.

          “I’m not looking to punish anyone, I just think it’s only fair that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share once again. Then, we’ll use that money to invest in the middle class,” a tweet from last week reads.

          “For me it’s pretty simple: It’s about time working people got the tax breaks in this country,” a tweet from the day before that read. “That’s the Build Back Better Agenda.”

          If someone has to repeat themselves this much, it’s usually because they’re lying — and, lo and behold, the Joint Committee on Taxation seems to have confirmed that.

          According to a media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation — a non-partisan congressional tax scorekeeper — found that almost every income level below the threshold the Biden administration said would be immune would take a hit.

          Furthermore, the committee’s analysis found the vast majority of taxpayers would see no benefit from the plan in its current form.

          According to the analysis, by the calendar year 2023, nearly 5 percent of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see a tax increase. Nine percent of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 would see an increase, 18 percent earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would see their taxes go up and 35 percent of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would be subject to a hike.

          The media release also noted that the benefit most people see will pretty much be nil.

          In 2023, two-thirds of all taxpayers won’t get see any kind of real benefit from the legislation, either seeing their tax bill changed by less than $100 or getting a tax increase.

          By 2027, this number would balloon to 85.5 percent, with huge swaths of the middle class seeing a sizable tax increase; these numbers are projected to stay mostly steady until 2031.

          Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation also found that hiking corporate taxes would hit middle-class Americans hard, too.

          “Within 10 years of a corporate tax increase from 21 percent to 25 percent, 66.3 percent of the corporate tax burden would be borne by lower- and middle-income taxpayers with income well below $500,000,” an August media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee read.

          “This statistic becomes only more striking in absolute number of taxpayers. Of the more than 172 million taxpayers who would bear the burden of the increased corporate tax rate, 98.4 percent, or about 169 million, have incomes under $500,000.”

          Of course, the charge from the left would be that this doesn’t take into account what the spending these tax hikes will pay for is going to buy for the middle class. Beyond the fact these “investments” never bring back the kind of returns that are promised, Biden promised a middle-class tax cut. At least in the plan’s current form, it doesn’t look like it’ll end up delivering — no matter what the president says.

          Do you know who did lower taxes on the middle class? Former President Donald Trump.

          Joe Biden may have spent much of the campaign whining about Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which slashed taxes across the board. Most of the outrage focused on the fact he didn’t soak the rich: “Tax experts estimate that over the long run, 83% of Trump’s tax giveaway will flow to the top 1% of earners in this country,” Biden’s campaign website read.

          And yet, in March of 2020, MarketWatch reported that “Americans paid almost $64 billion less in federal income taxes during the first year under the Republican tax overhaul signed into law in late 2017 by President Donald Trump, with some of the sharpest drops clustered among taxpayers earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year, even as the overall number of refunds dropped during a turbulent tax season” in 2019.

          Biden plans on taking that away. In return, he’s offered nothing of substance — except, as promised, he’s soaking the rich. And the upper-middle class. And some people in the middle class, too. But mainly the rich. See, priorities!

          Biden may not be giving people in towns like Scranton — the folks he grew up with — a break the same way Trump did. But at least they can watch as his administration takes (and then squanders) Park Avenue’s money. He’ll be squandering Scranton’s money, too, but at least they get the joy of class-based schadenfreude out of the deal.

          C. Douglas Golden, Contributor

          C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

          @CillianZealFacebook

          Report: Milley Promised To Warn Chinese About US Military Operations


          Reported by Joseph Simonson | September 14, 2021

          Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/report-milley-promised-to-warn-chinese-about-us-military-operations-2655025552.html/

          U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds a press briefing about the U.S. military drawdown in Afghanistan, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., September 1, 2021. / Getty Images

          Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley secretly promised to warn the head of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army before the United States would carry out any “attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

          The shocking anecdote is described in a new book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, which discloses the extent to which the Pentagon worked to subvert former president Donald Trump’s foreign policy goals. Trump’s rhetoric toward China, according to a Washington Post summary, increasingly alarmed Milley, who suspected the president might order a surprise strike.

          “I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley reportedly told Gen. Li Zoucheng, on Oct. 30, 2020. Milley went on to highlight the close relationship between the two men, saying, “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

          Milley never informed the president of the conversation. He called Li again on Jan. 8, 2021 to “address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6,” according to the Washington Post.

          “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine,” Milley told Li. “But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

          Milley’s fears—which later proved erroneous as there is no evidence Trump attempted to, or even considered a strike against China during his last days in office—were in part prompted by the then-president signing an order to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Jan. 15, 2021. That order never went through, but, according to a summary of the book by CNN, “Milley could not forget that Trump had done an end run around his top military advisers.”

          A spokeswoman for the Joint Chiefs declined to comment.

          Out of fear that China could “lash out” against the United States, Milley sought to unilaterally defuse tensions between the two countries on Jan. 8, 2021. He called the chief Navy official in charge of America’s Indo-Pacific Command and told him to postpone scheduled military exercises. That same day, Milley spoke with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), who grew concerned Trump might order a nuclear strike.

          “What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?” Pelosi said, adding that Trump has “been crazy for a long time.”

          Milley responded by saying, “I agree with you on everything,” and assured her that the military would not authorize any military strikes, which, according to Costa and Woodward, meant he “was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world.”

          According to the book’s authors, Milley considered President Joe Biden’s “50 years” of experience in politics as reason to “always give him decision space,” even as the White House agreed with the previous administration on a full withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.

          “Here’s a couple of rules of the road here that we’re going to follow,” Milley said in private remarks to the Joint Chiefs. “One is you never, ever, ever box in a president of the United States.”

          Milley’s comments during a June congressional hearing, in which he defended the teaching of critical race theory in the armed services, sparked outrage and accusations that he was overseeing a politicization of the military.

          “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white,” Milley said in his testimony. “I have read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin—that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

          Wasn’t Trump Impeached Over a Call? Biden Coerced Afghan Pres to Lie About Taliban Winning in Leaked Call: Report


          By Taylor Penley | September 1, 2021

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/wasnt-trump-impeached-call-biden-coerced-afghan-pres-lie-taliban-winning-leaked-call-report/

          Remember when House Democrats accused former President Donald Trump of pressuring Ukraine to investigate then-candidate Joe Biden while leveraging military aid as collateral during a phone call with Ukraine’s president in 2019? I do. The accusation prompted Trump’s first impeachment on the grounds of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” that December, according to the U.S. Sun.

          Now, two years later, it’s President Joe Biden who’s responsible for talks with world leaders, talks like the one House Democrats used to attack Trump. And, to afford Biden similar scrutiny to what Trump received, one particular aspect of Biden’s last call with now-former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani seems especially interesting.

          Biden’s final call with Ghani came on July 23 — three weeks before Kabul fell to Taliban forces and Islamic extremism toppled 20 years of democratic progress in the country. The two discussed “military aid, political strategy and messaging” for approximately 14 minutes, Reuters reported on Tuesday after reviewing what it said was a transcript and audio of the exchange provided by an anonymous source. One particular aspect of the leaked transcript appears especially damning for Biden, as the New York Post pointed out.

          The Post noted the transcript shows Biden “pressured” Ghani to “‘create the perception’ that the Taliban weren’t winning, ‘whether it is true or not.’”

          “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said during the call, according to Reuters.

          “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

          Biden’s pressuring went a step further, however, according to Reuters.

          If Ghani could successfully fool the public into thinking the Afghan government had plans to control what Reuters called the “spiraling situation” of the Taliban’s resurgence, Biden would offer aid.

          “We will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is,” Biden said, according to Reuters.

          The outlet added that, just days before the call, the U.S. supported Afghan security forces with air strikes against the Taliban. The Taliban maintained that these air strikes violated the Doha peace agreement signed under the Trump administration.

          To provide some context, the Taliban had already advanced into approximately half of Afghanistan’s district centers at the time of the phone call, the Post noted. Just three weeks later, the nation’s capital would be directly threatened by Taliban forces. Ghani fled just before the city fell. But before that would happen, Biden advised Ghani during their exchange to employ prominent Afghan political and military figures — including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai — to further generate the sense of security, the Post added.

          “That will change perception, and that will change an awful lot, I think,” Biden said, according to Reuters.

          At another point in the conversation, Biden said a change in the Afghan government’s strategy would do more than help “on the ground,” Reuters reported. It would generate support for the Ghani regime internationally.

          “I’m not a military guy, so I’m not telling you what that plan should precisely look like, you’re going to get not only more help, but you’re going to get a perception that is going to change,” he said, according to Reuters.

          It was never OK to give Afghans or our allies a false sense of security in light of the danger steadily progressing across the country.

          Afghan civilians and U.S. allies alike (particularly those in Europe) have since succumbed to a grim reality in one way or another — either being forced to flee their homes, scramble to return to their home countries (if residing there on behalf of another nation) or stay behind in the Taliban’s wake.

          And it makes our president look like a liar.

          Now, as September begins, the aftermath of the U.S.’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan seems clearer every day.

          Our allies are furious with us, Gold Star families mourn the loss of our 13 heroes killed in action during an ISIS suicide bombing outside of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport and several Americans and U.S. allies have since been left behind in the region.

          We can only expect things to get worse from here.

          Amid the bombshell leaked transcript of Biden and Ghani’s exchange that’s likely to make headway in the news, it’s reasonable to wonder whether Biden’s coercion and deception will stick to his image or roll off his shoulders as if he’s covered in Teflon.

          Considering the establishment media’s — and our elected officials’ — histories of handling Biden with kid gloves, the likely answer is already clear.

          Taylor Penley, Contributor

          Taylor Penley is a political commentator residing in Northwest Georgia. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College. As a student, she worked in government relations and interned for Georgia’s 14th congressional district. She previously published an article with Future Female Leaders and published her rhetorical analysis of President Reagan’s Berlin Wall Speech in a collegiate journal. She seeks to study journalism or communication in graduate school.

          Senate Passes The Largest Infrastructure Package In Decades, Over A Dozen Republicans Vote In Favor


          Reported by ANDREW TRUNSKY | POLITICAL REPORTER | August 10, 2021

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/08/10/senate-passes-infrastructure-package-dozen-republicans-join-dems-kyrsten-sinema-rob-portman-joe-biden/

          Lawmakers Continue To Work On Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal On Capitol Hill
          (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

          The Senate on Tuesday passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, moving what would be the largest public works package in decades one step closer to becoming law months after negotiations first began. The bill, which advocates praised as the largest investment in America’s infrastructure since the construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s, passed 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the package.

          The legislation, titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was on a glide path to passage after beating a Senate filibuster Sunday night, when 68 senators voted to end debate.

          Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the bill’s lead Democratic negotiator, said Monday on the Senate floor that the bill would “make America stronger and safer, create good-paying jobs and expand economic opportunities across the country,” and praised her colleagues for their commitment to reaching an agreement. “This is what it looks like when elected leaders take a step toward healing our country’s divisions rather than feeding [them],” she added.

          The IIJA costs $1.2 trillion over eight years, $550 billion of which is new government spending, and puts hundreds of billions of federal dollars toward roads, bridges, ports, broadband and more. It was led by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman on the Republican side, and was the product of negotiations among 22 senators and President Joe Biden.

          “[This is] landmark and needed legislation in fixing our roads, railroads, our ports, electrical grid and more,” Portman said on the floor. “I’m proud of what was done on that … It will improve the lives of all Americans. It’s long-term spending to repair and replace and build assets that will last for decades.”

          Talks first began with West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, but collapsed after she and the White House could not agree on the overall size and scope of the bill. Negotiations then shifted to the bipartisan group, but remained precarious for weeks as they struggled to compromise on how to finance the new spending and what it should cover.

          It was late July when Portman announced that the group had reached agreement on the “major issues,” and that Republicans were ready to move forward. 

          Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks after the bipartisan bill cleared its first procedural vote in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

          Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks after the bipartisan bill cleared its first procedural vote in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

          The bill cleared its first procedural vote hours later with the support of 17 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a clear indication that it had the necessary support to beat a filibuster and pass. Two days later, 16 Republicans joined Democrats in officially voting to begin debate.

          Senators originally sought to pass the bill last week or over the weekend, but were blocked from doing so by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty, who refused to forgo hours of scheduled debate. He cited the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, arguing that the legislation was not fully paid for, unlike what its negotiators previously said.

          Hagerty’s delays earned praise from former President Donald Trump on Sunday, who had repeatedly tried to intimidate Republicans into opposing the package. In multiple email statements he disparaged McConnell for supporting the bill, calling it a “disgrace” and the “beginning of the Green New Deal,” and floated backing primary challengers against other Republicans who backed it. 

          With the IIJA’s passing, senators are now set to take up their budget resolution, keeping them in Washington for another marathon session with dozens of politically tricky amendment votes and eating into their prized August recess. The mammoth resolution, unveiled by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday, addresses priorities omitted from the infrastructure bill including health care, climate change and immigration and as outlined costs $3.5 trillion.

          “This legislation in so many ways begins to address the working families of our country,” Sanders said on the Senate floor Monday. “But in one important way, maybe the most important, is as we address the needs of our people in health care and education and climate, we are going to create many millions of good-paying jobs that the American people desperately need.” 

          Sen. Bernie Sanders authored Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget, which he has acknowledged will likely pass on party lines. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

          Sen. Bernie Sanders authored Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget, which he has acknowledged will likely pass on party lines. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

          While Republicans unanimously oppose the reconciliation package, Senate rules allow for Democrats to pass it with just a simple majority vote, meaning that it could pass strictly along party lines if their caucus all votes for it.

          McConnell on Tuesday accused Democrats of playing “Russian roulette with our country” and said the budget would be the “largest peacetime tax hike on record.”

          “This new reckless taxing and spending spree will fall like a hammer blow on workers and middle-class families,” McConnell said. “If all 50 Democrats want to help [Budget Committee] Chairman Sanders hurt middle-class families … well, that’s their prerogative, but we’re going to argue it out right here on the floor at some length.”

          Several progressives, however, have sought to tie the bipartisan bill with the reconciliation package, with some in the House hinging their support for the former on Senate Democrats passing the latter. In an attempt to hold her narrow majority together, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she will not bring the bipartisan bill up for a vote until the Senate passes the reconciliation package as well, despite moderates urging her to bring up the infrastructure package as soon as possible. 

          Others have also been critical of the infrastructure bill, which was adopted as a substitute for the $715 billion surface transportation bill that the House passed in July, arguing that it inadequately invests in climate, housing, child care and more.

          Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, the chair of the House Transportation Committee, reportedly called the bill “crap” after a deal was reached, lamenting the fact that it omitted large swaths of the transportation bill he authored and disregarding the White House’s endorsement of it.

          “I could give a damn about the White House. We’re an independent branch of government,” he told reporters in July. “They cut this deal. I didn’t sign off on it.”

          Capitol Rioter Sentenced To 8 Months In Prison In First Felony Case


          Reported by ANDREW TRUNSKY, POLITICAL REPORTER for DailyCaller.com | July 19, 2021

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/19/capitol-riot-paul-allard-hodgkins-sentence-felony-donald-trump/

          Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election
          (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

          A Florida man who breached the Senate floor on Jan. 6 while carrying a Trump flag was the first Capitol rioter sentenced with a felony offense.

          Prosecutors are seeking a minimum 18-month sentence for Paul Allard Hodgkins. In a July 14 court filing, they alleged that he, “like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy” as they forced lawmakers, reporters, staff and Vice President Mike Pence into hiding as they convened to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

          He was sentenced to eight months in prison.

          Video footage described in the report shows Hodgkins, 38, sporting a Trump T-shirt and flag on the Senate floor. At one point he took a selfie with the self-described shaman, who is also awaiting trial for participating in the riot. 

          Rioters enter the Senate Chamber on January 6. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

          Lawyers for Hodgkins had argued that the court of public opinion was enough punishment to avoid a prison sentence.

          “Whatever punishment this court may provide will pale in comparison to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will wear for the rest of his life,” his lawyer, Patrick N. Leduc, wrote in a filing on July 12.

          That filing likens Hodgkins’ actions to those of Anna Lloyd Morgan, a 49-year-old from Indiana who was the first of hundreds to be sentenced. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in June and was given three years of probation

          Hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol as Congress sought to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

          Though Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property, prosecutors noted that when he boarded a bus from Tampa, Florida, to D.C. he had rope, protective goggles and latex gloves, and said that demonstrated that he was prepared for violence.

          Prosecutors also said, however, that Hodgkins deserved leniency for immediately coming forward and pleading guilty to his obstruction charge, which carries a maximum sentence of two decades. But they noted that “time and time again, rather than turn around and retreat, he pressed forward.” 

          “When a mob is prepared to attack the Capitol to prevent elected officials from both parties from performing their constitutional and statutory duty, democracy is in trouble,” Federal District Judge Randolph Moss said Monday. “The damage that they caused that day is way beyond the delays that day. It is a damage that will persist in this country for decades.”

          Leduc argued in his filing that Hodgkins was “a man who for just one hour on one day lost his bearings” and “made a fateful decision to follow the crowd.” It also noted former President Abraham Lincoln’s attempt to reconcile immediately after the Civil War.

          “The court has a chance to emulate Lincoln,” Leduc wrote.

          Breaking: AZ Auditors Reveal Massively Disturbing Results in 2020 Election


          Reported by Michael Austin July 15, 2021

          Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/breaking-az-auditors-reveal-massively-disturbing-results-2020-election/

          On Thursday, Arizona Republicans issued a major announcement related to the audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election results. During the proceedings, Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann, along with state Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen, gave the floor to auditors who announced that as many as 74,000 absentee ballot mail-in records are missing in addition to a great many vote irregularities found by the audit.

          “… as many as 74,000 absentee ballot mail-in records are missing in addition to a great many vote irregularities found by the audit.

          Fann began the hearing by introducing three individuals who played key roles in the state audit.

          Lead auditor Doug Logan first introduced a video clip that detailed the process and emphasized the security measures that were taken to ensure the audit could proceed safely.

          Former Arizona Secretary of State and Arizona Senate liaison Ken Bennett then provided specifics of the audit, including how many ballots were received and examined, how data was collected and examined from voting equipment and which security protocols were enforced while the audit took place.

          The liaison noted that the examination of duplicate ballots was a particularly strenuous process. Duplicate ballots are typically produced when a ballot becomes damaged or is improperly marked.

          “It has created great difficulty to try to match up a duplicated ballot to its duplicate,” Bennett said, noting that some serial numbers were completely missing from duplicated ballots, ……….. READ THE REST OF THIS IMPORTANT REPORT AT https://www.westernjournal.com/breaking-az-auditors-reveal-massively-disturbing-results-2020-election/

          Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Weighs In On His Potential Retirement


          Reported by ANDREW TRUNSKY, POLITICAL REPORTER | July 15, 2021

          Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/15/stephen-breyer-supreme-court-donald-trump-joe-biden/

          Justice Stephen Breyer participates in a panel at Georgetown University Law Center on April 21, 2014 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
          Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

          Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said that he was undecided on his retirement in a new interview. Speaking with CNN in an interview published Thursday, the 83-year-old Breyer answered “no” when asked if he knew when he would retire. He gave two reasons that would contribute to an eventual decision: “Primarily, of course, health,” Breyer said. “Second, the court.”

          Liberals have urged Breyer to step down at the end of the court’s current term so that President Joe Biden can name a younger, liberal justice to the bench while Democrats hold a Senate majority. But Breyer told CNN that he was happy as the court’s highest-ranking liberal, saying that it had “made a difference” to him.

          The nine Supreme Court justices in April, 2021. Breyer sits in the front row, second from the right. (ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

          Breyer has played a central role in several recent high-profile cases, from rejecting a third attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act to safeguarding student speech rights.

          He has also warned against packing the Supreme Court, warning in April that doing so could further erode Americans’ trust in it. He defended the court’s refusal to hear former President Donald Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election, noting that the “court is guided by legal principle, not politics.” 

          Breyer has been on the court since 1994, longer than any justice except for Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991.

          Tag Cloud