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Exclusive — Fake News Echo Chamber: New York Times Prints Lies by Adam Schiff Witness Made in Secret Testimony


Authored by Matthew Boyle | Washington, D.C.

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/24/exclusive-fake-news-echo-chamber-new-york-times-prints-lies-by-adam-schiff-witness-made-in-secret-testimony/

The New York Times building is seen on September 6, 2018 in New York. – A furious Donald Trump called September 5, 2018 for the unmasking of an anonymous senior official who wrote in the New York Times that top members of his administration were undermining the president to curb …ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty 

The New York Times on Wednesday published what would have been a major story on White House National Security Council (NSC) aide Kash Patel—if only it had been true.

The story, which relies on leaks from Democrats conducting the “impeachment inquiry” into President Donald Trump of testimony by one witness who had no firsthand knowledge of the allegations she was making, claims Patel had provided President Trump with documents on Ukraine and met with the president about them.

Citing as its sources “people briefed on the matter,” the Times’ Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos wrote that Patel was referred to by President Trump as “one of his top Ukraine policy specialists” and that President Trump “wanted to discuss related documents with him.” The Times reporters claimed that Patel’s NSC and White House colleagues “grew alarmed” over all this.

Later in the Times piece, it became clear where exactly this allegation came from—Fiona Hill, a former Trump administration Russia hand, whom the Democrats have been relying on for testimony in the impeachment inquiry. Hill testified earlier this month in the secret room in the basement of the Capitol building from which Democrats have been running their private impeachment proceedings.

Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote:

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, testified to House investigators last week that she believed Mr. Patel was improperly becoming involved in Ukraine policy and was sending information to Mr. Trump, some of the people said. Ms. Hill grew alarmed earlier this year when an aide from the White House executive secretary’s office told her that Mr. Trump wanted to talk to Mr. Patel and identified him as the National Security Council’s ‘Ukraine director,’ a position held by one of Ms. Hill’s deputies. The aide said Mr. Trump wanted to meet with Mr. Patel about documents he had received on Ukraine. Ms. Hill responded by asking who Mr. Patel was. While the aide from the executive secretary’s office did not state explicitly that Mr. Patel sent the Ukraine documents to Mr. Trump, Ms. Hill understood that to be the implication, according to a person familiar with her testimony.

As the Times notes, if true, this would mean there were multiple backchannels for Trump on Ukraine matters—the other being through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s associates—and it would make it appear as though Trump was up to something by circumventing established channels for such policy, even though the president as the nation’s chief executive officer is well within his rights to do that.

But the problem with the Times story, and its sources that appear to be leaks from Democrats of Hill’s testimony, is that the entire premise is untrue, sources familiar with Patel’s meetings with the president told Breitbart News. Since the Times published its story, Breitbart News has spoken with a dozen sources including current White House officials, then-current-now-former White House officials, congressional officials familiar with the investigation and the meetings Patel had with President Trump, and others in the know about what actually happened and discovered that Patel’s meetings with President Trump had “absolutely nothing,” in the words of one source, to do with Ukraine whatsoever.

One now-former White House official confirmed that President Trump did in fact meet with Patel on a number of occasions, though it’s unclear if these were one-on-one meetings or there were others present.

A source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News that Patel’s meetings with the president were focused on domestic national security matters, and that Ukraine did not come up at all.

That source said of the Times story:

This story is complete nonsense. The meeting was arranged at the suggestion of multiple GOP congressmen and senators to discuss domestic national security issues that Kash has specific knowledge and unique expertise in. This meeting had absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine.

A second well-placed source familiar with Patel’s interactions with the president told Breitbart News that the Times story that relies on Hill’s testimony—leaked by Democrats—is “100 percent false.”

“The New York Times story is 100 percent false,” this source familiar with Patel’s interactions with Trump told Breitbart News. “Kash did not discuss Ukraine with Trump in any meeting, nor did he discuss any Ukraine-related documents with him. The Democrats involved in the impeachment interviews were obviously tipped off that Fiona Hill would invent some story like this if asked about Kash, and that’s why they brought up his name to her, then they leaked the exchange to their lackeys at the Times.”

Hill, Breitbart News has learned, was asked a number questions about Patel by the Democrats during her testimony, and a source in the room said her “responses appeared scripted,” suggesting that there was some coordination between Hill or her lawyers and the Democrats on Capitol Hill before her appearance.

Then, as has happened with so much more that has gone on in the secretive U.S. Capitol basement room in which House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is running the impeachment proceedings away from public view, this information was leaked to the Times and weaponized against the president and his administration—the actual truth and facts be damned.

This episode paints a broader and darker picture of what exactly Schiff and his team are doing in the secretive room and raises bigger questions about why Schiff is not holding these hearings in public.

The system Democrats have set up basically goes as such: They bring witnesses in for testimony and depositions and transcribed interviews for hours on end to a private room known as a Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF)–behind closed doors and away from the press and public.

They allow no lawyers for the administration inside to challenge anything, present facts in defense of the president, or hear what’s happening down there. Then, Schiff and his team control the information gathered and collected down there—not allowing the minority sufficient access to it.

After that, Schiff, his team, and other Democrats leak the most damaging information to the media—usually out of context, and without the full story—in order to create a public narrative that the president is in serious trouble.

Then it takes a couple days at least for Republicans to get the full truth out about each of these instances to turn around the narrative and expose each “fact” the Democrats are putting forward as flawed. This latest example saw the Times story on Hill’s testimony as the official public record on this matter, until now, for about a full day.

Technically speaking, Hill did make these claims that the Times reported in her testimony—but the veracity of them was never checked by the Democrats who gathered said testimony then leaked it to the New York Times for publication.

The Times also did not check their veracity, even though the first source who spoke to Breitbart News, the one close to House GOP leadership who confirmed Hill’s claims were false, noted that Hill’s inaccurate claims were reproduced uncritically by the Times based upon Democrat leaks. And the Times, this source said, as an institution was aware of the fact that Hill’s claims were false because a separate White House correspondent at the Times was aware of Patel’s meetings with the president at the time of said meetings well before Hill’s testimony happened and well before Democrats even launched an impeachment inquiry—and that this Times reporter was aware that the content had nothing to do with Ukraine.

“What’s particularly shameful is that at least one New York Times White House reporter was told about this meeting in advance off the record, and knew what this meeting was about—and that it was not about Ukraine—but they printed this fake story anyway,” the source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News.

Part of the reason the media and the Democrats wanted to smear Patel and attempt to tie him into the impeachment madness, the second source who was familiar with Patel’s conversations with the president said, is because Patel was critical of exposing the failures of the narrative surrounding the previous attempts by the so-called “deep state” to entangle Trump in a scandal on the Russia narrative.

“The story is a lazy hit piece based entirely on rumors and purported second-hand and third-hand information,” that source told Breitbart News. “Both the Times and the Democrats have a vendetta against Kash because he helped blow up their three-year investment in the Russia hoax.”

In fact, this is evident by the fact that the Times story actually opens with a recounting of Patel’s history as an aide on the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans were in the majority and his role in exposing what has become known as “Spygate.”

Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote to open their article, before they even got into the substance of the new but false allegations that Hill leveled against Patel over meetings with the president:

When Kashyap Patel was an aide to the House Intelligence Committee in the first years of the Trump administration, he played a key role in helping Republicans try to undermine the Russia investigation, writing a memo that accused law enforcement officials of abusing their power. The memo, which consumed Washington for weeks, was widely dismissed as a biased argument of cherry-picked facts. But it galvanized President Trump’s allies and made Mr. Patel a hero among them. After Republicans ceded control of Congress this year, he landed on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council staff.

Later in the story, the Times reporters further explain Patel’s role in exposing the Russia scandal as a hoax designed to harm the president.

“Mr. Patel was previously best known as a lead author of the politically charged memo released early last year accusing the F.B.I. and Justice Department leaders of abusing their power in the early stages of the Russia investigation,” Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote. “Mr. Patel worked at the time as an investigator for the House Intelligence Committee under Representative Devin Nunes of California, who ran the panel when Republicans had control of the chamber. Mr. Patel’s efforts to discredit the Russia investigation made him a minor celebrity in conservative circles but a divisive figure on Capitol Hill.”

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


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Judgment Day

Former FBI Director James Comey is guilty of violating DOJ and FBI rules of conduct will his punishment be just a slap on the wrist?

Comey GuiltyPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019
More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

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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, the great El Rushbo, and has had his toons tweeted by President Trump.

Klein: James Comey Peddling Falsehoods with ‘Questions’ for Mueller


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/23/klein-james-comey-peddling-falsehoods-with-questions-for-mueller/

This combination photo shows President Donald Trump speaking during a roundtable discussion on tax policy in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on April 5, 2018, left, and former FBI director James Comey speaking during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 8, 2017. Trump fired off …
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Andrew Harnik
 

NEW YORK — Disgraced former FBI Director James Comey has been making the media rounds peddling a list of “questions” that he compiled and published on the Lawfare blog in a posting titled, “What I Would Ask Robert Mueller.”

Comey’s “questions” are deceptively framed in a manner clearly aimed at attempting to perpetuate the Russia collusion conspiracy even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s extensive report found no evidence of any collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Below are the obvious answers to Comey’s “questions” on Russia, with the answers coming from Mueller’s report itself in addition to other documentation.

1 – Did you find that there were a series of contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government?

Perhaps Comey failed to read Mueller’s actual report, which concluded (emphasis added):

The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.

In particular, the investigation examined whether these contacts involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.

Comey should also refer to the following section of the Mueller report, which related that Russia didn’t even know how to contact the incoming Trump administration after the billionaire mogul won the 2016 election:

As soon as news broke that Trump had been elected President, Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new Administration. They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect. As explained below, those efforts entailed both official contact through the Russian Embassy in the United States and outreaches — sanctioned at high levels of the Russian government — through business rather than political contacts.

The Mueller report details the hilarity of Russian President Vladimir Putin having trouble reaching Trump’s team to offer simple congratulations:

At approximately 3 a.m. on election night, Trump Campaign press secretary Hope Hicks received a telephone call on her personal cell phone from a person who sounded foreign but was calling from a number with a DC area code. Although Hicks had a hard time understanding the person, she could make out the words “Putin call.” Hicks told the caller to send her an email.

The following morning, on November 9, 2016, Sergey Kuznetsov, an official at the Russian Embassy to the United States, emailed Hicks from his Gmail address with the subject line, “Message from Putin.” Attached to the email was a message from Putin, in both English and Russian, which Kuznetsov asked Hicks to convey to the President-Elect. In the message, Putin offered his congratulations to Trump for his electoral victory, stating he “look[ ed] forward to working with [Trump] on leading Russian-American relations out of crisis.”

Hicks forwarded the email to [Jared] Kushner, asking, “Can you look into this? Don’t want to get duped but don’t want to blow off Putin!” Kushner stated in Congressional testimony that he believed that it would be possible to verify the authenticity of the forwarded email through the Russian Ambassador, whom Kushner had previously met in April 2016. Unable to recall the Russian Ambassador’s name, Kushner emailed Dimitri Simes of CNI, whom he had consulted previously about Russia, see Volume I, Section IV.A.4, supra, and asked, “What is the name of Russian ambassador?” Kushner forwarded Simes’s response — which identified Kislyak by name — to Hicks. After checking with Kushner to see what he had learned, Hicks conveyed Putin’s letter to transition officials. Five days later, on November 14, 2016, Trump and Putin spoke by phone in the presence of Transition Team members, including incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Comey’s team further cited Petr Aven, a Russian national in charge of Alfa-Bank, Russia’s largest commercial bank. Mueller’s report states: “Aven also testified that Putin spoke of the difficulty faced by the Russian government in getting in touch with the incoming Trump Administration. According to Aven, Putin indicated that he did not know with whom formally to speak and generally did not know the people around the President-Elect.”

If Comey really wants to get into the weeds, he may do well to review the particulars of each instance of contact between members or surrogates of the campaign and individuals affiliated with Russia as thoroughly documented in Mueller’s report. In each case and with no exception, Mueller found no evidence of wrongdoing.

2 – In particular, did you find that a Trump foreign policy adviser learned that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails?

This will be answered together with Comey’s next “question.”

3 – Did you find that the Trump foreign policy adviser said the Trump campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton?

Once again, Comey is trying to stir things up based on questions that were already answered inside Mueller’s report.

A reminder: as referenced above, Mueller concluded, “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.”

Anyway, Comey here is referring to one episode involving George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy panel adviser tangentially involved with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department’s filing against Papadopoulos documents that he was allegedly told by Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic plagued by allegations of suspicious associations, that on a trip to Moscow “he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton.”

Former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer later transmitted to the U.S. that he was told about the alleged Russian “dirt” on Clinton by Papadopoulos, reportedly leading to the start of the FBI’s controversial probe of Trump’s campaign under Comey’s leadership at the agency.

No evidence has been presented that Papadopoulos spoke about emails at his meeting with Downer or that Misfurd mentioned emails. But Papadopoulos later described to the FBI that “They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.”

The Justice Department concluded, “No documentary evidence, and nothing in the email accounts or other communications facilities reviewed by the Office, shows that Papadopoulos shared this information with the Campaign.”

Misfurd himself denies mentioning emails during his meeting with Papadopoulos, as per his testimony to the Justice Department: “But Mifsud denied that he had advance knowledge that Russia was in possession of emails damaging to candidate Clinton, stating that he and Papadopoulos had discussed cybersecurity and hacking as a larger issue and that Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation.”

In his report, Mueller does not at any point claim that Misfurd’s denial was false.

As National Review summarized, Papadopoulos later explained that any reference to emails was to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a subject of international news reportage at the time of his meeting with Downer.

The magazine reports:

Papadopoulos says the emails he claims Mifsud referred to were not the DNC emails; they were Clinton’s own emails. That is, when Papadopoulos claims that Mifsud told him that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “thousandsof “emails of Clinton,” he understood Mifsud to be alluding to the thousands of State Department and Clinton Foundation emails that Clinton had stored on a private server. These, of course, were the emails that were being intensively covered in the media (including speculation that they might have been hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services) at the time Mifsud and Papadopoulos spoke — i.e., April 2016, when neither Mifsud nor Papadopoulos had any basis to know anything about hacked DNC emails.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, documented:

When interviewed, Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials who interacted with him told the Office that they could not recall Papadopoulos sharing the information that Russia had obtained “dirt” on candidate Clinton in the form of emails or that Russia could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information about Clinton.

Papadopoulos stated that he could not clearly recall having told anyone on the Campaign and wavered about whether he accurately remembered an incident in which Clovis had been upset after hearing Papadopoulos tell Clovis that Papadopoulos thought “they have her emails.”

The Campaign officials who interacted or corresponded with Papadopoulos have similarly stated, with varying degrees of certainty, that he did not tell them. Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, for example, did not remember hearing anything from Papadopoulos or Clovis about Russia having emails of or dirt on candidate Clinton. Clovis stated that he did not recall anyone, including Papadopoulos, having given him non-public information that a foreign Government might be in possession of material damaging to Hillary Clinton.

4 – Did you find that senior members of the Trump campaign met with Russian representatives at Trump Tower after being told in an email that the meeting was part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump?

Here, Comey seems to ignore Mueller’s finding of no evidence of any coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign. His question seems to suggest wrongdoing on the part of Trump’s team.

Comey should refer to multiple Breitbart News investigations by this reporter into the infamous brief meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 between individuals tied to Russia, Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials. Those probes point to the increasing likelihood of the confab being set up as a dirty trick against Trump’s presidential campaign.

Three Russian participants at the meeting have ties to the controversial Fusion GPS outfit, and two have confirmed ties to Clinton.

Also, email logs brought to light show numerous emails were exchanged between a Clinton associate, Fusion GPS and Trump Tower participants, with the subjects of some of those emails listing the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russian officials and was by all accounts the very topic of the Trump Tower meeting.

One Russian participant in the Trump Tower presentation admits to personally knowing Hillary Clinton since the late 1990s and says he “knew” some of the people who worked on Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Another Russian attendee, a translator, testified that he was previously an interpreter for Hillary herself as well as for John Kerry and Barack Obama.

Questions are also raised by a timeline showing numerous personal meetings between Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Trump Tower participants. A Clinton associate, Ed Lieberman, was listed as being present at one and possibly two of those meetings.

Separately, Lieberman met with one Russian participant the same day as the Trump Tower meeting, according to separate testimony.

There are also questions about the initial setup of the Trump Tower meeting, with the publicist who sent the infamous email to Donald Trump Jr. promising “information that would incriminate” Clinton later admitting that he used deliberately hyperbolic language to ensure that the meeting took place. No such incriminating information on Hillary was provided, according to all meeting participants. In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Robert Goldstone, the publicist, further said that he believes the meeting was a “bait and switch” by a Russian lobbyist seeking a meeting on another matter by misleadingly claiming to be bringing the Trump campaign dirt on Clinton.

5 – Did you find that, despite the fact that candidate Trump said he had “nothing to do with Russia,” his organization had been pursuing a major Moscow project into the middle of the election year and that candidate Trump was regularly updated on developments?

Comey is peddling conspiracies, suggesting that a proposed draft project discussed generally and briefly by a real estate company that routinely builds overseas — a potential project with no secured financing, land or developer — could amount to wrongdoing. Trump did not secure any real estate project in Russia, but even doing so would not have been illegal.

Michael Cohen, a convicted liar and fraudster, claimed during a guilty plea that he lied to Congress when he first said that discussions on a Moscow real estate project ended in January 2016. Cohen later claimed messages were exchanged through June and that he personally updated Trump on the project.

Mueller’s report documents that Cohen “emailed the office of Dmitry Peskov, the Russian government’s press secretary,” but actually sent an email to the wrong address.

Mueller’s office could not find any follow up beyond one phone call with Peskov’s assistant:

On January 20, 2016, Cohen received an email from Elena Poliakova, Peskov’s personal assistant. Writing from her personal email account, Poliakova stated that she had been trying to reach Cohen and asked that he call her on the personal number that she provided. Shortly after receiving Poliakova’s email, Cohen called and spoke to her for 20 minutes. Cohen described to Poliakova his position at the Trump Organization and outlined the proposed Trump Moscow project, including information about the Russian counterparty with which the Trump Organization had partnered. Cohen requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the project and with financing. According to Cohen, Poliakova asked detailed questions and took notes, stating that she would need to follow up with others in Russia.

Cohen could not recall any direct follow-up from Poliakova or from any other representative of the Russian government, nor did the Office identify any evidence of direct follow-up.

Also, Cohen told Mueller’s office that “he elected not to travel at the time because of concerns about the lack of concrete proposals about land plots that could be considered as options for the project.”

6 – Did the Trump campaign report any of its Russian contacts to the FBI? Not even the indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton?

What is Comey even talking about here? Which Russian “contacts” should Trump’s campaign have reported to the FBI? Mueller concluded not only that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, but that “the investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated” with Russia’s interference campaign. If Trump’s team did not “knowingly or intentionally” collude with Russia, how could they have known to report anything?

For Comey’s misleading insinuation of “indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton,” please see my responses to #3 above, since the credibility-challenged Comey is asking a deceptively phrased question about a disputed episode involving Papadopoulos.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article. 

Christopher Steele won’t cooperate with John Durham review of Russia investigation


Reported by Jerry Dunleavy | May 28, 2019 05:13 PM

URL of the original posting site: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/christopher-steele-wont-cooperate-with-john-durham-review-of-russia-investigation

Christopher Steele, author of the dossier that played a key role in the Trump-Russia inquiry, will not assist Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the investigators, according to a new report.

A source close to Orbis Business Intelligence, which is Steele’s investigative firm, told Reuters that the British ex-spy “would not cooperate” with nor answer questions from U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr has tasked with reviewing the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s presidential campaign and the way that the Justice Department and FBI conducted the inquiry.

This revelation comes days after Trump’s order stating Barr was given “full and complete authority to declassify information” and ordering the intelligence community “to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election.” Barr said he picked Durham because he “was looking for someone who is tenacious, who is used to looking at sensitive material involving government activities, who has a reputation for being fair and evenhanded.”

Neither the Justice Department nor Steele’s business immediately responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment. Durham’s office said they had no comment at this time.

The report said Steele “might cooperate” with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s independent investigation, signaling a shift in Steele’s thinking. In April, Politico reported that Steele “declined to be interviewed by the inspector general, citing, among other things, the potential impropriety of his involvement in an internal Justice Department investigation as a foreign national and former British intelligence agent.” That report said Steele might even “rebut the Inspector General’s characterizations” with a public statement.

Horowitz has been looking into potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse since early 2018 and is “homing in” on the potential misuse of Steele’s unverified dossier by the DOJ and FBI. Barr has said Horowitz’s probe should be done by May or June.

Steele did cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and submitted written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

According to a New York Times report from April, the FBI reached out to some of Steele’s foreign sources in an attempt to determine their credibility, and as early as January 2017 agents had concluded that some of the dossier’s contents may have been based on “rumors and hearsay” which were “passed from source to source.” The agents believed that some of Steele’s information may have even been based on “Russian disinformation.”

Steele’s dossier, which was packed with unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia, formed a key part of the FISA applications that were used to justify surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Steele was working for Fusion GPS, which received funding through the Perkins Coie law firm from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Steele’s Democratic benefactors were not revealed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Barr said this month that “it’s a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that — especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejune analysis.” Barr’s pointed critiques of the Steele dossier’s flaws comes after former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI General Counsel James Baker defended their handling of the dossier in recent weeks.

New Cache of 339 Emails Shows Fusion GPS Emailing Anti-Trump Intel Directly to Obama’s DOJ: Report


Reported By Benjamin Arie | Published May 2, 2019 at 3:55pm

It’s no secret that liberals across the country have tried desperately to stop Donald Trump since he became a candidate, but their efforts to undermine him may now be coming back at themselves like a boomerang.

A scandal which began before the 2016 election was even held has just exploded, at least if a bombshell report from the watchdog group Judicial Watch is accurate. The organization has been diligently unraveling the facts around Fusion GPS, and what they recently found is jaw-dropping.

Fusion GPS, of course, is the “opposition research” firm which was contracted by the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump in the run-up to the election. The company is linked to the infamous dossier containing scandalous — and thoroughly debunked — claims about the president, but the controversy is much wider than just those papers.

It now appears that someone working for Fusion GPS was purposely and frequently collaborating with a deputy attorney general within the Obama administration, sending anti-Trump material in a way that was certainly unethical if not completely illegal.

The Obama-era official is Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, and the anti-Trump figure working for Fusion GPS was his wife.

TRENDING: Ukrainians Say Obama WH Tried Getting Them To Do Hillary’s Dirty Work in Jan. 2016

“[A] series of ‘Hi Honey’ emails from Nellie Ohr to her high-ranking federal prosecutor husband and his colleagues raise the prospect that Hillary Clinton-funded opposition research was being funneled into the Justice Department during the 2016 election through a back-door marital channel,” explained veteran investigative journalist John Solomon for The Hill.

“Ohr has admitted to Congress that, during the 2016 presidential election, she worked for Fusion GPS — the firm hired by Democratic nominee Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to perform political opposition research,” the journalist said.

That kind of research is often used by political campaigns against their opponents, and is not by itself off limits. But Judicial Watch uncovered 339 emails which reveal that Nellie Ohr likely crossed the line by using her marriage as a political tool, and sending pages of anti-Trump research directly to official Department of Justice email accounts.

“They clearly show that Ohr sent reams of open-source intelligence to her husband, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, and on some occasions to at least three DOJ prosecutors: Lisa Holtyn, Ivana Nizich and Joseph Wheatley,” Solomon said.

“Such overt political content flowing into the email accounts of a DOJ charged with the nonpartisan mission of prosecuting crimes is jarring enough. It raises additional questions about potential conflicts of interest when it is being injected by a spouse working as a Democratic contractor trying to defeat Trump,” he continued.

But the scandal is deeper than just emails. Nellie and Bruce Ohr apparently had key roles in pushing the debunked Trump dossier and the false narrative that the future president was colluding with Russia.

“For instance, just 24 days after the anti-Trump screed was emailed, both Ohrs met in Washington with British intelligence operative Christopher Steele,” Solomon said. “She said she learned that Steele had concerns that he hoped the DOJ or FBI would investigate, with help from her husband.”

And that appears to be exactly what happened.

“The next day, Bruce Ohr used his official DOJ position to go to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe with Steele’s allegations (later to become known as the Steele dossier), and the bureau opened its first investigation into Russia collusion,” he said.

There are obvious parallels to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI officials who were also having an affair all while texting back and forth about how Trump should be stopped. More and more, it looks like partisan politics and anti-Trump collaboration was widespread within agencies which are supposed to be unbiased.

That is the real scandal here: Not that liberals tried to uncover dirt on a candidate, but that official government personnel within our own government eagerly participated in the partisan witch hunt.

It looks like there was collusion, but not by Trump.

Instead, the real collusion took place between Obama-era government officials and activists who saw nothing as off limits in order to install Hillary Clinton as president — and that should alarm every American, no matter their party.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan, before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico. Follow Benjamin on Facebook

Beto O’Rourke Wastes No Time Making Disastrous Trump Claim After Mueller Nothingburger


Reported By C. Douglas Golden | Published March 24, 2019 at 10:14am | Modified March 25, 2019 at 5:17am

President Trump gave two thumbs up as he left Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday. And really, he had every reason to do so. The Mueller report — that Key to All Mythologies that liberals kept on believing would put Trump and his retinue behind bars for good — has been turned over to Attorney General William Barr. We don’t know the details of it and probably won’t for a while, but what we can glean thus far looks good for the president.

The biggest news is that there aren’t going to be any more indictments from the special counsel. That likely means that the report won’t contain solid proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Without any solid proof, the Russian collusion theory collapses into the dustbin of conspiracy theory.

But Beto O’Rourke isn’t above pronouncing Trump in cahoots with the Kremlin, even if Congress hasn’t been briefed on the Mueller report and he won’t be anyhow.

“You have a president, who, in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to — however ham-handedly — collude with the Russian government — a foreign power — to undermine and influence our elections,” O’Rourke said at a town hall in South Carolina, according to CNN.

“If you are wondering about collusion then when you saw the President of the United States standing next to the leader of Russia on that stage in Helsinki, Finland, defending him and taking his word for it against our own intelligence community in our country, in (conservative columnist) George Will’s words, not mine, that is collusion in action,” O’Rourke said.

“Ultimately, I believe this will be decided at the ballot box in 2020 by you, by me, by all of us in this country.”

Just another day in Beto-land. It almost makes you forget about all that weird hacking stuff and concomitant lewd cow poetry.

So, all right, let’s unpack all of that. First, O’Rourke is straightforward in what he’s telling the crowd: He thinks Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia — a country he had to remind his audience is “a foreign power” because apparently he doesn’t think highly of their intelligence — “to undermine and influence our elections.” (I neither know nor care how he did this “ham-handedly” or how this apparent patina of plausible deniability covers O’Rourke when the Mueller report eventually provides a cosmic thwack to this sort of rhetoric.)

His evidence of this is somehow the Helsinki summit, which may not have been Trump’s finest hour but certainly wasn’t the heart-clutching death-of-our-democracy moment the left maintains it was.

His attempt at making this sound bipartisan is bringing pundit George Will into it. This doesn’t work for two reasons.

First, Will is one of those conservatives who immediately checked into the Bill Kristol Psychiatric Center for the Trumpically Deranged the moment that he realized Trump’s candidacy wasn’t being treated by voters as the farce he thought it was. I have no small regard for Mr. Will’s oeuvre, but take this morsel of his fulmination from this past January and try to attribute it to someone who is either conservative or on an even keel: “Dislike of (Donald Trump) should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.”

And second, what Will said about Helsinki actually proves O’Rourke wrong. Here is the passage to which the 2020 Democratic hopeful assumedly refers: “Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight,” Will wrote in July of last year.

We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. (Emphasis mine.) The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States’ intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukraine, downing civilian airliners, attempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).”

By “collusion,” what Will meant was that Trump was paying fealty to the Russians. When it came to collusion by the Trump campaign, however, Will saw fit to leave that matter in the hands of Robert Mueller.

When O’Rourke took the stage during his Saturday whistle-stop and invoked Will, he’d almost certainly been disabused of the notion that Mueller’s investigation was going to provide any definitive link to show that Trump or members of his campaign colluded with the Kremlin “to undermine and influence our elections.”

But then, symbolic “collusion” between Trump and Putin on stage at Helsinki doesn’t get crowds in early primary states whipped up the same way that collusion to undermine our elections does, and it’s not as if many people in attendance are George Will readers anyway. (Crowds that need to be reminded Russia is “a foreign power” probably aren’t too keen on obscure polysyllabic words.)

But that’s the point about conspiracy theories: They don’t require evidence to keep on going. You can explain to your chemtrail-believing neighbor how condensation works when hot air comes out of jet engines at high altitudes, and he’s still going to think that the CIA is spraying mind-altering chemicals on all of us in the most inefficient way possible.

Kennedy assassination theories are marginally more plausible, but you’re still dealing with individuals who will never believe that a violent, pathetic specimen like Lee Harvey Oswald could alter history so easily even with the evidence right in front of them.

In the same way, the Democrats still can’t believe that — if indications are correct — the Mueller report will be two years of nothing. It’s a nothingburger of finely aged beef. It may provide intimations or innuendoes — though one would hope Mueller wouldn’t be that irresponsible — but no one will have been indicted by the special counsel for conspiracy with the Russians.

And yet, O’Rourke counts himself as a perfervid believer in the idea that there was collusion between Trump and the Russians to influence our elections. Or, at the very least, he thinks that his audiences believe there was — and that’s all that really matters, right?

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Limbaugh: Mueller Investigation a ‘Cover-Up,’ Meant To ‘Distract Everybody’s Attention’


Reported By Randy DeSoto | Published February 18, 2019 at 11:17am  | Modified February 18, 2019 at 11:20am

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was launched to “cover-up” the misdeeds within the Justice Department, including the FBI’s attempted “coup” against President Donald Trump.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Limbaugh was asked to respond to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s account that he was involved with a discussion with Justice Department Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 regarding invoking the 25th Amendment to have Trump removed from office.

Fox News host Chris Wallace asked the commentator why he described this revelation as evidence of a “silent coup.”

“Because these people are unelected,” Limbaugh answered. “They took it upon themselves to overthrow the election results of 2016, ignoring the potential real collusion and conspiracy between Democrats and Russians to undermine the Trump candidacy and the Trump presidency.”

“We’re losing sight of what happened here,” he continued. “People unelected simply because they don’t like the guy’s hairstyle or where he came from decided the American people’s decision was invalid and began a systematic process to get him thrown out of office. This is a silent coup.”

Limbaugh contended that those involved in these discussions are the ones who ought to be under investigation and going to jail.

“The Mueller investigation, I believe, is a cover-up of all of that. It’s to distract everybody’s attention,” he said. “This is one of the greatest political hoaxes that has ever be perpetrated on the people of this country.”

The conservative icon said the prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and others affiliated with the campaign for process crimes is all “designed to make it look like there was some kind of collusion between Trump and Russia.”

Limbaugh noted that no one has been prosecuted to date for the stated purpose of Mueller’s probe, which was to examine Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 election, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Many political observers, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, have pointed to the special counsel’s apparent lack of interest in investigating the origin and use of the so-called Trump Russia dossier as proof that Mueller is overseeing a one-side, agenda-driven probe.

The dossier, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, was reportedly used to help obtain FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

Limbaugh said that a primary goal of Mueller’s investigation was to be the vehicle used to justify impeaching Trump, but now it is aimed toward the 2020 election and driving down the president’s approval numbers.

Trump tweeted on Monday, “Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught.”

He added in a second tweet, “There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous ‘insurance policy’ in full action!”

The Department of Justice’s inspector general released a report last April concluding that McCabe “lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the (Wall Street Journal)” in violation of FBI policy, and that his “disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

The OIG made a criminal referral to the DOJ regarding McCabe’s alleged lies to federal investigators.

In March 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe based on the OIG’s findings two days before he was slated to retire.

McCabe came under increased scrutiny following the release of text messages by the inspector general in December 2017 between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

In the texts, Strzok described Trump during the 2016 campaign as a “loathsome human” and an “idiot,” and found the prospect of him being president “terrifying.”

Page, who was having an affair with Strzok, texted him, “There is no way (Trump) gets elected.”

Strzok then replied, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office … that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.

“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Andy” apparently referred to McCabe.

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Randy DeSoto 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.”

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