• Judge reopening Flynn plea deal. He wants to know if Mueller’s team withheld evidence

    Here’s the headline (link here)

    How A Plea Reversal From Michael Flynn Could Uncover More Federal Corruption

    Did Robert Mueller’s office withhold other evidence in Michael Flynn’s prosecution, either from the FISA court or from Flynn’s attorneys

    There is reason to believe so.

    It’s from a conservative site, The Federalist, but it is not really an editorial story. It’s news, possibly quite important news, and it has been completely overlooked.

    On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order in United States v. Flynn that, while widely unnoticed, reveals something fascinating: A motion by Michael Flynn to withdraw his guilty plea based on government misconduct is likely in the works.

    Just a week ago, and thus before Sullivan quietly directed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to provide Flynn’s attorneys “any exculpatory evidence. ….

    On November 30, 2017, prosecutors working for Mueller charged former Trump national security advisor Flynn with lying to FBI agents. The following day, Flynn pled guilty before federal judge Rudolph Contreras. Less than a week later — and without explanation — Flynn’s case was reassigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.

    With [the judge’s new] protective order in place, Flynn’s attorneys should start receiving the required disclosures from the special counsel’s office. There is reason to believe these will include some bombshells. –The Federalist

    We now know that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn believed he told the truth and were overridden by Mueller’s team. We do not know if that information or other exculpatory evidence was revealed to Flynn. We do know that the Mueller prosecution was bankrupting him and involved legal threats to Flynn’s son, which seemed to disappear after the father’s plea. We also know that Flynn failed to register as a foreign agent, as he was legally required to do.

    We also know that the #2 guy on Mueller’s team has been reprimanded previously by a judge for withholding evidence and, separately, was overruled 9-0 by the Supreme Court for his prosecution of the Arthur Andersen accounting company, a prosecution that destroyed the company and cost over 10k jobs.

    FYI: Judge Sullivan is the one who absolutely lacerated the US Attorneys who systematically concealed evidence in their corrupt prosecution of Alaskan Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, causing him to lose the election and swing the US senate. Do not mess with Judge Emmet Sullivan.

  • House Intelligence Committee now looking at targeting of Trump Campaign by Obama intel agencies, also raisng perjury questions

    Exclusive at Real Clear Investigations: CIA Ex-Director Brennan’s Perjury Peril (link here)

    Here is the heart of Paul Sperry’s report:

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump — including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it.

    In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election “to help Trump’s chances of victory.”

    Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document, even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Last week, Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance “abuses” by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying “intelligence” supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies — a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications. –Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations


  • How divided? Black Democrats REFUSE to applaud Trump announcing the lowest black unemployment ever recorded

    The photo was posted by a CNN political reporter, Tal Kopan, so this was not a gotcha shot.

    She is simply showing the Congressional Black Caucus (that is, the ones who didn’t boycott the speech entirely) as the reacted to Pres. Trump announcing a record-low black unemployment number.

    The CBC members frowned and sat on their hands–no matter the good news for their voters.

    But there is a political logic to their grumpiness, beyond their hatred for Pres. Trump.

    Trump is, in effect, contrasting their approach to helping constituents with his own: tax cuts and deregulation.

    It is not a comparison that favors the Congressional Black Caucus.

  • The Stench at Obama’s DOJ and FBI. My latest at Real Clear Politics.

    My latest at Real Clear Politics (link here)
    Here’s a synopsis:

    The Stench at Obama’s DOJ and FBI

    January 24, 2018

    The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not the only major investigation in progress.

    There are now three major Congressional probes of the Obama-era FBI, Department of Justice, and intelligence agencies. They are slowly peeling away layers of political bias, unequal application of the law, and, perhaps even felonies by senior officials who may have leaked classified documents, obstructed justice, and violated Fourth Amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure.

    These Congressional probes are not mere diversions, as Democrats charge. They have serious, legitimate intentions and raise troubling questions.

    • Why did former FBI Director James Comey and his team pre-judge and soft-soap the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unsecured private server and her classified emails?
    • Why did they decide to clear her before completing key interviews with Mrs. Clinton and her aides?
    • Why did DOJ grant immunity so freely to obtain evidence that could have been easily subpoenaed by a grand jury?
    • Why did the government itself then destroy that evidence, so no one could do a real investigation later?
    • For that matter, why didn’t they convene a grand jury in the first place, as Mueller did almost immediately?
    • What involvement did the FBI counter-intelligence division have with the FusionGPS, Christopher Steele “Russian dossier,” financed by the Clinton campaign?
    • Was the dossier used, in part, to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump associates and, if so, was the FISA court completely informed about the dossier’s financing, provenance, and lack of verification?
    • And what the hell happened to months of text messages among key anti-Trump investigators at the FBI and DOJ?

    VERY important questions. The public deserves answers.

    That’s why these investigations are at least as important as Mueller’s, and for the same reason. They are both about honest elections and the rule of law, applied equally to insiders and outsiders, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

    It’s about whether our most powerful government agencies are worthy of our trust. If we have lost sight of those values, we’ve lost our Constitutional bearings.

    The complete op-ed is here (link)



  • Latest on FusionGPS’s crucial role in sparking the Russiagate Scandal

    Mary Jacoby, wife of FusionGPS founder, Glenn Simpson, posted items on Facebook (now removed) bragging that her husband’s work really launched the federal investigation. It was already know that Simpson and FusionGPS were central players. What’s new is an investigative report that says Simpson’s involvement goes back several years.

    A detailed article by Lee Smith in The Tablet, reports

    In a Facebook post from June 24, 2017, that Tablet has seen in screenshots, Jacoby claimed that her husband deserves the lion’s share of credit for Russiagate. (She has not replied to repeated requests for comment.) “It’s come to my attention that some people still don’t realize what Glenn’s role was in exposing Putin’s control of Donald Trump,” Jacoby wrote. “Let’s be clear. Glenn conducted the investigation. Glenn hired Chris Steele. Chris Steele worked for Glenn.” This assertion is hardly a simple assertion of family pride; it goes directly to the nature of what became known as the “Steele dossier,” on which the Russiagate narrative is founded. The fact that Jacoby is a reporter who often shared bylines with her husband at The Wall Street Journal is another reason to take her Facebook post seriously.

    Last week’s revelation that Simpson hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of ranking Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, to work on the dossier certainly supports Jacoby’s implicit contention that Steele’s role in compiling the dossier has been exaggerated. –Lee Smith, in The Tablet

    Smith’s most striking point is not that Simpson played a key role–that was already know–but that he generated the material earlier and did not rely on Russian sources. (I have no idea if that claim is accurate, but it is surely worth consideration in the Congressional investigations.) To quote Smith:

    A Tablet investigation using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s top-secret “sources” in the Russian government—which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control—but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for The Wall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed. –Smith, in The Tablet

    Separately, another aspect of the dossier is being exposed. Writing in The Daily Caller, Chuck Ross reports on the London trial where a Russian tech businessman, Aleksej Gubarev, alleges he was defamed in the dossier, which says that he and his tech companies hacked the Democratic National Committee servers. (The DNC has refused to allow the FBI or independent investigators to access their server to find out.) Gubarev is suing the US website, BuzzFeed, for publishing the document and thus publicizing the allegation.

    A key question is “who leaked the dossier to BuzzFeed?” The website won’t say, claiming journalistic privilege, and a US judge recently agreed.

    But now Gubarev’s lawyer says they have discovered the answer independently and are close to revealing it.

    The article implies it is a former senior aide to Sen. John McCain. The Senator was given the dossier, turned it over to the FBI, and has stated he did not leak it. FusionGPS has said, in court documents, that it did not leak it. But McCain’s aide, David Kramer, a former State Department official, has refused to make such a public declaration and spent months dodging a subpoena. He was finally served and deposed, as well as interviewed by the House Intel Committee.

  • No Apologies: Nikki Haley Explains Why the US Moved Its Embassy to Jerusalem

    In one of those useless exercises the UN seems to enjoy, its members forced a Security Council debate and vote to condemn Pres. Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to the city Israel calls its capital, Jerusalem.

    The US vetoed the resolution. Since everyone knew in advance it would do so, the debate was staged to smear the US and Israel. It follows a recent move by another UN body to remove any Jewish references to locations within Israel. They will be called only by their Arabic names, even if they are exclusively Jewish Holy Sites.  As far as the UN is concerned, it’s a “Judenfrei zone.”

    As ZipDialog has noted previously, the embassy move (which is actually a gradual process) did not prejudge the US position on the location of a future Palestinian state, and the US said so.

    The Palestinians did not accept that explanation–their position is flatly rejectionist–but their attempt to spark another uprising fizzled. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

    It is also worth noting that US decision was divisive along party lines. It had complete support among Republicans, very little among Democrats (though their leaders generally remained low profile), and fairly broad opposition among US diplomats and foreign-policy types, many of whom predicted disaster. Turkey and Iran are trying their hardest to encourage such an uprising, so far without luck.

    The move itself was of a piece with several other Trump decisions that (a) fulfill clear campaign promises, and (b) revisit long-standing US policies that he thinks have failed to produce results.

    This Security Council debate gave US Ambassador Nikki Haley a chance to show that she is cut from the same cloth as Ambassadors Pat Moynihan and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, not Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

    Here are a couple of Amb. Haley’s tweets about that debate and the US position, which she forcefully articulated.

    The phrase, “taking names,” recalls those previous ambassadors, who said that voting against US interests would not be a freebie. Most administrations take the “no worries” attitude. Not this administration. One gets the clear impression that Haley is more in tune with the White House and NSC than with Rex Tillerson and the State Department.


  • Chicago Mayor spars with Pres. Trump–and both benefit politically

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    It’s an ongoing feud. Pres. Donald Trump and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel keep pouring on gasoline because each one benefits.

    When Da Mayor touts Sanctuary Cities, he is appealing to the Hispanic constituency essential to his reelection.

    When he lashes out at Trump, he appeals to all Democrats in a city that is virtually all Democratic.

    Trump, by contrast, uses Chicago to say that tough gun laws don’t prevent crime and that Deep Blue Cities are a Deep Mess. His base loves it.

    That’s why Rahm went on the Stephen Colbert show to tout his new mock slogan for the city:

    There is, of course, a huge Trump Tower in the city, with a mammoth sign, a Trump hotel, and so on. The city had given the honorific name of the owner to the nearby plaza but, naturally, removed it as a gesture of contempt.

    Meanwhile, Trump uses the city to illustrate why stronger law enforcement is needed, gun control doesn’t work, and Democratic party control leads only to high taxes and more crime.

    On the crime issue, one (anti-Trump) columnist writes in the Chicago Tribune: “Trump singles out Chicago violence again — but underestimates the problem”

    The most devastating statistics in the article:

    As of Thursday [Dec. 14, 2017], Chicago had 3,456 shooting victims this year, according to data tracked by the Tribune’s Breaking News Desk. That figure means there has been a shooting victim every 2 hours and 25 minutes.

    And that, mind you, is an improvement:

    Chicago’s violence in 2016 was worse — there were 4,369 shootings for the year, averaging one person shot every two hours.

    Almost all of that crime occurs in poor, minority neighborhoods, as it does in Baltimore, St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, etc. The better-off neighborhoods and downtown are still safe. Indeed, that’s why downtown areas are coming back with vibrance in these cities. If they were not safe, if they couldn’t attract young people and developers to cater to them, these cities would have no tax base at all.

    As for Chicago, here is today’s news:

    When I returned to the Tribune website to get the link for the story above, I found there had already been another murder.

    Whatever your politics, good kids like this teenager helping his stepdad deserve effective police protection.

    True, the police cannot overcome the social breakdown of whole neighborhood, blocks filled with street gangs, young men who are not only unemployed but lack the skills to be employed at decent wages, and so on.

    But the first duty of government is to protect its citizens. Chicago is failing, year after year.


  • FBI Search Dog On the Prowl and Pointing Toward . . .

    The Chicago Tribune‘s wonderful editorial cartoonist, Scott Stantis, has often penned negative drawings about Pres. Trump.

    He has not been especially critical of the Trump investigations… until now.

    His balanced stance makes his devastating take on the FBI’s unraveling mess all the more meaningful.


  • A balanced analysis of Mueller and his team by a leading conservative

    Amid strenuous conservative criticism of the Mueller team (the best of it by Trey Gowdy and Tucker Carlson), and equally strenuous pushback from progressives (led by Adam Schiff), Andrew McCarthy offers a serious analysis of what should–and shouldn’t–concern the public about the investigation’s fairness.

    McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor with considerable experience. His stance is conservative but not doctrinaire, and his analysis is not a prosecutor’s case against Mueller.

    The op-ed was published in the Washington Post (link here).

    Key excerpts:

    Is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III running an impartial investigation?

    That this is a fair question to ask is itself troubling.

    In Mueller’s case, there are various grounds for worry. Mueller’s investigation was triggered when former FBI director James B. Comey, no fan of the president who dismissed him, leaked a memo of a meeting with President Trump. Comey admitted hoping this revelation would lead to appointment of a special counsel….

    Furthermore, the investigative team Mueller has assembled includes Democratic donors and supporters, including one lawyer who represented the Clinton Foundation and one who represented a subject in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. This month, moreover, it came to light that two members of the team, who had also worked on the Clinton email investigation, were having an extramarital affair and exchanged text messages expressing partisan political views — favoring Clinton and depicting Trump as “loathsome.”

    Worse, in one August 2016 text, one of them, FBI agent Peter Strzok, asserted that the FBI “can’t take that risk” that Trump could be elected, equating some unspecified action against this seemingly unlikely possibility to “an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” Dismayingly, this text, which crosses the line between political banter and tainted law enforcement, refers to a meeting in the office of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then (and now) the bureau’s No. 2 official.

    McCarthy praises Mueller for his results (which “so far appear free of political taint”) and for removing Strzok from the investigation. He is not alarmed that Mueller’s staff has strong political views, but is concerned about Andrew Weissman for a specific reason.

    A gifted career Justice Department lawyer, Weissmann sent former acting attorney general Sally Yates an effusive email shortly after Yates was fired for insubordinately defying Trump on enforcement of the so-called travel ban. The obstruction aspect of Mueller’s investigation calls for an objective evaluation of how much independence law-enforcement officials have from the chief executive. Weissmann’s lauding of Yates suggests he is not objective on this point.

    McCarthy’s conclusion: Remove Weissman to ensure the public perception of fairness.