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


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 23, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Russian Twitter Bots Story is a Study in Media’s ‘Lie, set the Narrative, Then Quietly Backtrack’ Playbook


BY: ELLE PURNELL | JANUARY 12, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/12/the-russian-twitter-bots-story-is-a-study-in-medias-lie-set-the-narrative-then-quietly-backtrack-playbook/

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The three-step process is regime media’s MO: spread a false claim, crush dissent, then admit the truth once the news cycle achieves its purpose.

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The Washington Post admitted Monday that “Russian trolls on Twitter had little influence on 2016 voters” — years after the Post and other corporate media water-carriers pushed the false story that former President Donald Trump’s election was illegitimate, due in part to Russian interference via bots on Twitter targeting U.S. social media users. The admission cites a New York University study that found “there was no relationship between exposure to the Russian foreign influence campaign and changes in attitudes, polarization, or voting behavior.”

Media treatment of the non-story followed a predictable, three-step process that’s become the propaganda press’s MO: Spread a false claim, control the narrative while crushing dissent with bogus “fact checks,” and then admit the truth only after the news cycle has achieved its intended purpose.

How the Russian Bots Story Followed the Playbook

In 2016, then-Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook launched the conspiracy theory that then-candidate Trump was in cahoots with Russia and colluding together to steal the 2016 election. One dossier full of bunk allegations commissioned by the Clinton campaign later, the entire media establishment, in tandem with a politicized intelligence community, was running with the Russia collusion hoax.

One of the many conspiracy theories thrown at the wall was that Russia was influencing U.S. voters via social media, including through armies of “bot” accounts. As my colleague Joy Pullmann has noted, U.S. intelligence agencies propelled that claim with an “intelligence community assessment” on Jan. 6, 2017, “signed off publicly by the FBI, National Security Agency, and CIA concluding that Trump’s election was boosted by Russian social media content farms.”

Regime media ran with it the same narrative before and after that assessment that turned out to be false:

  • The Washington Post: “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” November 2016.
  • Politico Magazine: “How Russia Wins an Election” (spoiler: “the Kremlin’s troll army swarmed the web to spread disinformation and undermine trust in the electoral system,” the piece says), December 2016.
  • NPR: “How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election,” April 2017.
  • New York Times: “The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election,” September 2017.
  • Mother Jones: “Twitter Bots Distorted the 2016 Election — Including Many Likely From Russia,” October 2017.

The “Twitter Files” revealed just weeks ago that media pressure on this story, combined with threats from elected Democrats, were successful in getting Twitter to obey U.S. intelligence agency requests for information suppression, even though Twitter executives couldn’t find any evidence of coordinated Russian disinformation campaigns on their platform.

Hilariously, Tim Starks, the same writer who wrote WaPo’s admission this week that Russian bots had “little influence” on the election, had written a 2019 piece for Politico titled “Russia’s manipulation of Twitter was far vaster than believed.”

While media outlets were running cover for the story, they slapped “fact” “checks” on those who challenged the narrative, including the U.S. president. And (you guessed it) they cited the intel community’s Jan. 6, 2017 report as evidence — the same one now called into question by The Washington Post’s latest admission.

Those allegations, along with several other now-debunked claims about Trump-Russia collusion, were the basis for a special counsel investigation and a presidential impeachment, all part of a narrative aimed at kneecapping Trump’s time in office. The Mueller investigation even indicted a Russian bot farm for election interference.

Only now — after Trump has been successfully hounded out of the White House, now that almost half of likely voters have been convinced that Russia probably “changed the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” and everyone else has forgotten about the story — does The Washington Post come around to admitting that those troublesome Russian bots didn’t really do much after all.

5 Other Times Corporate Media Followed the Same Strategy

The Twitter bots story was just one of many instances of regime media running with the same strategy. They do it almost daily, but here are just five of the most egregious examples in recent memory.

  • Covid: From masks to lockdowns to vaccines, we were hounded by media bullhorns for years about the untouchable efficacy of every recommendation the “experts” tossed our way. Those who resisted, in person or on social media, were vilified and censored. Workers lost jobs, kids fell behind in school, non-Covid medical patients were denied potentially life-saving treatments and surgeries, neighbors shunned each other, and people were forced to get experimental injections they didn’t want.

Only after the reigning narrative had been used to quash its intended targets for two years did its messengers admit the truths the rest of us had been saying from the beginning.

[Related: Media, CDC Quietly Admit 3 COVID Truths After 2 Years Of Lies. Did They Think We Wouldn’t Notice?]

  • Inflation: Despite the obvious pitfalls of Covid-era decisions to shut down the entire nation’s economy and then hand out free money to everyone screwed over by government lockdowns, regime media insisted that inflation wasn’t happening under the newly minted Biden administration. CNBC told us to “Ignore ‘hysterical people’ — inflation is not here to stay, economist says.”
  • “Inflation isn’t a real danger,” insisted WaPo. “The Inflation Scare Doesn’t Match Reality,” said Forbes. The New York Times offered “179 Reasons You Probably Don’t Need to Panic About Inflation.”
  • Now that we’re undoubtedly experiencing the worst inflation in four decades, the talking point has changed to “actually, inflation is good.”
  • The Steele dossier: After British agent Christopher Steele was hired by the Clinton campaign’s opposition research firm to write now-debunked rumors about Trump in what became known as the Steele dossier, Steele shopped the story out to media outlets, which ran with the hoax. The New York Times even got a Pulitzer for it. The information in the dossier, which corporate media coverage helped legitimize, was used by the Obama FBI to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. Journalists who questioned the concocted narrative were called conspiracy theorists.
  • After the damage to the Trump campaign (and eventually, the Trump administration) was done, corporate media admitted, in a laughable understatement, that the “Arrest of Steele dossier source forces some news outlets to reexamine their coverage.”
  • Irreversible surgeries for gender dysphoria: Corporate media helped fuel the epidemic of sexual confusion giving rise to disfiguring surgeries and hormone “treatments” for people, including children, with gender dysphoria. Outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post pounced on anyone who challenged the dogma that pumping teenagers with off-label hormones and dicing up their genitalia was a totally safe and normal thing to be celebrated. People like The Federalist’s own John Daniel Davidson are still locked out of their social media accounts for telling the truth about the transgender craze.
  • Sandwiched between op-eds decrying critics of transgenderism, The Times allows no one but itself to wonder, belatedly: “Is There a Cost?
  • Hunter Biden laptop: When the New York Post published damning revelations about the Biden family’s overseas business dealings shortly before the 2020 presidential election, legacy outlets smeared the story as “disinformation” and a Russian info op.
  • “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” parroted Politico. CBS’s Lesley Stahl called the laptop “discredited.” NPR told readers, “we don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories.” The Post and others who shared the story had their social media accounts frozen or their posts taken down.
  • A year and a half later, The New York Times quietly admitted — in the 24th paragraph of an article about Hunter Biden’s taxes — that “a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop … [was] authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.” By then, the 2020 election was safely in Joe Biden’s hands.

Don’t think those six instances are the only times regime media have run the same playbook. By now, it’s their standard practice.


Elle Purnell is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. Follow her work on Twitter @_etreynolds.

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


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | SEPTEMBER 02, 2022

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

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

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

1. Devin Nunes’ Memo Exposing FISA Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Surveillance Warrants Are Hard to Get

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Redactions Are Necessary to Protect Sources and Methods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Crossfire Hurricane Was Properly Predicated 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Under Biden’s DOJ, The Rule of Law in America Has Become a Farce


    BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | AUGUST 10, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/under-bidens-doj-the-rule-of-law-in-america-has-become-a-farce/

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    The criminal indictment and imprisonment of former heads of state by ruling regimes in other countries is more common than most Americans probably realize. Today, former presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, and Costa Rica are all imprisoned — and that’s just in Central and South America.

    The world is replete with corrupt leaders who criminalize the opposition and politicize domestic law enforcement. That’s why, for example, Daniel Ortega has been president of Nicaragua since 2007. When you jail your political opponents and potential rivals, as Ortega did with gusto ahead of Nicaragua’s 2021 presidential election, it’s easy to stay in office. One of the salient features of these so-called “developing countries” is that they have not developed a way to transfer power peacefully. Brute force, not free and fair elections, is how rulers of the Third World seize and retain power.

    Soon, the United States might join their ranks. On Monday evening, dozens of FBI agents raided the Florida home of former President Donald Trump. The absurd pretext for the raid was a dispute over documents with the National Archives — a circumstance by no means unique to the Trump administration and one that no serious person believes could ever justify such a raid. (As my colleague David Harsanyi pointed out on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and her staff committed numerous felonies by using a private email server to send classified and even top-secret information and then destroyed all evidence related to the illegal server. Yet there was never an FBI raid or even a single charge filed against anyone. Just the opposite, in fact: Clinton’s staff was given immunity.) 

    Everyone in America knows the real reason for the FBI raid: to tarnish Trump as unfit for office and to intimidate and dissuade him from running again in 2024. Nothing like this has ever happened in American history. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was exactly right to compare the FBI raid to the kind of thing you see in Ortega’s Nicaragua. It’s what ruling regimes do to rob the people of their voice and avoid the consequences of elections.

    As bad as the raid was, though, it’s only the most recent incident in a larger pattern of corruption, not only in the Justice Department but across the federal government, designed to keep Trump out of office and away from the levers of power.

    On Monday, before news broke of the FBI raid, The New Yorker published a remarkable piece about Gen. Mark Milley and other top Pentagon officials during Trump’s presidency. The article, an excerpt of a forthcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser titled “The Divider,” is meant to show what a hero Milley was to stand up to Trump, especially after the 2020 election (no doubt thanks to Milley obviously being the unnamed source for the conversations the article recounts). But what it unintentionally reveals is a U.S. military establishment that simply refused to follow the orders of a duly elected commander-in-chief and worked behind the scenes to thwart Trump’s entire foreign policy agenda, and, in Milley, a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who came within a stone’s throw of staging a military coup in Washington. Milley and other top-ranking generals undermined Trump not because he asked them to do anything illegal but because he asked them to do things they opposed, like withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan and take a hard line on Iran.

    Withdrawing U.S. troops from these places and pushing back against Iran is, of course, one of the things Trump campaigned on in 2016. Many of Trump’s voters, disillusioned with unending and seemingly pointless foreign conflicts, were ready for a radical shift in U.S. foreign policy. But Milley, whom zero Americans voted for, disagreed. He thought he knew better. Thus, we are told about how in December 2020, Milley met privately with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to personally urge him to back off with Trump” and not strike Iran’s ballistic missile sites, which Trump wanted to do in response to Tehran’s breakout nuclear capabilities. This was around the same time Milley was making phone calls to a Chinese general to reassure Beijing that Trump wasn’t about to start a war — and that if Trump did plan to attack, Milley would personally warn his Chinese counterparts ahead of time. 

    The left and the Never Trump crowd think that doesn’t count as treason because they think Trump was never a legitimate president. They think we needed people like Milley to undermine him until he was out of office and the “adults” were in charge again. Under the circumstances, almost anything was justified, goes the thinking.

    The same twisted logic is at work in this FBI raid against Trump. In addition to corrupt Democrat lawyers like Marc Elias admitting on Twitter that the real purpose of the raid is to rig the 2024 election by disqualifying Trump from running, you have Never Trumpers like David French peddling the laughably naive line that “no president is above the law” and that no one should assume the FBI is abusing its power. Even South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said Americans should not jump to conclusions but let the DOJ investigation “play out.”

    But of course the FBI is abusing its power, as is Attorney General Merrick Garland. The idea that the FBI and Garland’s DOJ deserve the presumption of integrity and impartiality is only possible if you have been blissfully unaware of the events of the past six years in American politics.

    The FBI fabricated evidence and then repeatedly submitted it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain an illegal warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. The FBI’s top officials then illegally leaked to the press and later lied about it. They used this illegal surveillance as a pretext for the years-long Mueller investigation. All of it was designed to remove Trump from office or, failing that, fatally weaken his administration. None of it had anything to do with the rule of law.

    Nor did the FBI’s decision to quash an investigation into Hunter Biden’s criminal activities and overseas business dealings ahead of the 2020 election, even though much of the information driving the investigation was verified or easily verifiable.  And neither does this FBI raid. This is about one thing and one thing only: holding onto power by any means necessary. There is nothing particularly subtle or nuanced about it. If you want to know where it leads, check out Nicaragua.


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

    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

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