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Donald Trump Jr. requests inquiry into Intelligence Committee leaks about his Russia collusion testimony

December 12, 2017

  Back on December 6th Donald Trump Jr. testified in front of the Intelligence Committee about a meeting he attended with Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya. This was supposed to be a closed door meeting but some of his testimony was leaked to the press and now he is demanding an investigation into to the leaks. Here is more:

Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney has sent a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence requesting an inquiry into leaks he says took place during and after Trump Jr.’s interview with the committee on December 6. The letter was sent to Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, who took over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election from Devin Nunes, after Nunes recused himself earlier this year.

The letter says that Trump Jr. and his attorneys were promised that the interview would be “kept strictly confidential and not discussed publicly unless and until the full committee voted to release the transcript.”

Trump Jr. and his attorney say that while he was still being interviewed, “members of the committee and/or their staff began selectively leaking information provided during the interview to various press outlets, most notably CNN.”

  I understand where he is coming from, if somebody on the Committee leaked testimony to the press we need to know who it was because this person cannot be trusted. And if these leaks were occurring during the “interview” it is very troubling. However, does anybody really believe an investigation will amount to anything?  He is basically asking the Intelligence Committee to investigate itself and I think we know how that would end, if it even were to begin in the first place.
  Who is watching the watchers? The watchers are watching the watchers…
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Demoted Department of Justice official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS

December 11, 2017

  Last week we learned that Bruce Ohr was demoted by the Department of Injustice because he had contact with Christopher Steele during the 2016 campaign. Christopher Steele is a foreign agent who was hired by Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump, and of course the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were paying Fusion GPS.

  In my post on Bruce Ohr’s demotion I wrote that I believed there was more to come. I was thinking there would be more connections to other people within the Department of Injustice or within the Russian collusion investigative team when I wrote this, and I still think there will be, but according to this story there is another connection between Bruce Ohr and Fusion GPS. Here is more:

Read more…

Sunday, December 10th open thread: ‘In One Ear’

December 10, 2017

  open-threadHere is the open thread for Sunday, December 10th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week we discussed 6 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. I understand that all of you are busy and cannot always find the time to check the blog for updates so why not subscribe to America’s Watchtower and receive email updates whenever I write a new post? That is the easiest way to follow the blog to ensure you never miss another post.

  In addition to subscribing you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. But you will get more than that for I often post links to articles probably will not be writing about so it is a great way to keep up with what is happening.

  The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond to or retweet my tweets right from the blog. It also allows you to tweet me right from America’s Watchtower.

  Here is Cage the Elephant performing “In One Ear” live from 2015:

frui diem

More ties to Hillary Clinton in Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation come to light

December 9, 2017

  It has been a tough week for Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 election: We learned Peter Strzok was removed from the investigation earlier this year after he it was learned he sent rabid anti-Trump texts to his mistress, calling into question his impartiality. And then we learned Bruce Ohr was demoted for dubious ties to Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

  Now we are learning about more ties between Hillary Clinton and Robert Mueller’s team, here is more:

More Clinton connections have emerged for members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team, amid growing Republican complaints about potential bias inside the office created to lead an independent probe. 

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller investigator Andrew Weissmann, a former partner at WilmerHale, attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party last November at the Javits Center in New York City. Fox News reported earlier this week that Weissmann in January also praised outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates, after she was fired for refusing to defend President Trump’s travel ban. 

Meanwhile, at least two Mueller investigators’ past legal work for Clinton-tied figures is getting a second look as Republicans hunt for signs of bias. 

Aaron Zebley, another former partner at WilmerHale and a former chief of staff to Mueller when he served as FBI director, represented Justin Cooper, a key figure in the Hillary Clinton email controversy. 

Cooper is the longtime Bill Clinton aide responsible for helping set up the now-infamous private email server. Cooper later admitted to “two instances where he destroyed [Hillary] Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

Jeannie Rhee, another former partner at WilmerHale, represented ex-Obama National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering case, and Hillary Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking access to her private emails. 

  So, one member of the team attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party which eventually fizzled into embarrassment; a second defended the Clinton aide who helped to set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server and helped Hillary Clinton smash her cellphones with hammers; while a third member of the team represented Ben Rhodes against racketeering charges as well as defending Hillary Clinton when she was being sued for access to her private emails. And we are supposed to believe this investigation is on the level?

  Here is what Rep. Matt Gaetz had to say about these latest revelations:

“You’ve got Donald Trump being persecuted by Hillary Clinton’s fan club—that’s inequitable. Many of the members of Mueller’s team donated to the Clinton campaign. We have a lot of highly qualified federal prosecutors in the Justice Department and we could have found a bunch of them who didn’t donate to either candidate. But that didn’t occur, and that’s troubling.” 

  For more on the donations made by people on Robert Mueller’s team to the Clinton campaign see the article I linked above. It is pretty clear what is going on here…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Department of Justice official demoted for contacting Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele during the campaign

December 7, 2017

  Last weekend we learned that an aide to Robert Mueller, Peter Strzok, was removed from the investigation into Russian collusion because he was an anti-Trumper who could not possibly be neutral. The House Intelligence Committee had been seeking documents related to his removal but their efforts had been stonewalled by the special counsel. The House committee is now  preparing contempt of Congress charges now that they know the story. 

  Today we have learned, according to this story, that a top Department of Injustice official, Bruce Ohr, has been demoted because he had contact during the 2016 campaign with the foreign agent,  Christopher Steele, who was hired  by Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion GPS was hired by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign and eventually created the dossier which was used as justification to open up a special investigation. What a tangled web we weave…

  But apparently Mr. Ohr did not stop there because he also met with a founder of Fusion GPS. Here is more:

A senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.

Until Wednesday morning, Bruce G. Ohr held two titles at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, a post that placed him four doors down from his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a program described by the department as “the centerpiece of the attorney general’s drug strategy.”

Ohr will retain his OCDETF title but has been stripped of his higher post and ousted from his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice.”

Fox News has learned that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.” 

House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. By that point, according to published reports, the dossier had been in the hands of the FBI, which exists under the aegis of DOJ, for some five months, and the surveillance on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign, had started more than two months prior.

Here is what the Department of Injustice had to say about Mr. Ohr’s demotion:

“It is unusual for anyone to wear two hats as he has done recently. This person is going to go back to a single focus—director of our organized crime and drug enforcement unit. As you know, combating transnational criminal organizations and drug trafficking is a top priority for the attorney general.”

  In other words this had nothing to do with any possible conflict of interest so move on, nothing to see here. We are beginning to see what the true intention of this investigation is and I believe there is more to come, these are just the first two dominoes to fall…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

New York Post report: the CFPB used a slush fund to funnel money to left wing causes

December 6, 2017

  At the end of November the head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, stepped down and decided he somehow had the right to appoint his own successor in an attempt to prevent Donald Trump from appointing an interim head. Donald Trump disagreed and named Mick Mulvaney as acting head. The court quickly ruled that Donald Trump was in the right and Mick Mulvaney was installed to head the bureau until a permanent head can be nominated.

  Richard Cordray obviously wanted to ensure the CFPB stayed under the leadership of a Democrat and now we might know why if this New York Post story is correct. It appears as if there were some shady goings on at the CFPB:

 CFPB is a Democrat shop with an anti-business agenda that goes well beyond protecting consumers and includes closing the “wealth gap” and administering “economic justice,” as Cordray has been fond of saying. It hires almost exclusively Democrats and “rejects Republican job applicants,” according to former CFPB enforcement attorney Ronald Rubin. Federal election data show 100 percent of political donations made by CFPB employees during the 2016 election were given to Democratic candidates.

Here is more:

Bounced business owners and industry reps from secret meetings it’s held with Democrat operatives, radical civil-rights activists, trial lawyers and other “community advisers,” according to a report by the House Financial Services Committee.

Retained GMMB, the liberal advocacy group that created ads for the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, for more than $40 million, making the Democrat shop the sole recipient of CFPB’s advertising expenditure, Rubin says.

Met behind closed doors to craft financial regulatory policy with notorious bank shakedown groups who have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to gin up housing and lending discrimination complaints, which in turn are fed back to CFPB, according to Investor’s Business Daily and Judicial Watch.

That is bad enough but here is the biggie:

Funneled a large portion of the more than $5 billion in penalties collected from defendants to community organizers aligned with Democrats — “a slush fund by another name,” said a consultant who worked with CFPB on its Civil Penalty Fund and requested anonymity.

  This is in addition to personal privacy and corporate liability concerns which are also mentioned in the New York Post article…

  So the CFPB, if this story is true, was basically extorting money in the form of penalties from one group and sending the money left wing groups, which is basically a slush fund according to a former CFPB employee and wistleblower.

    It is pretty obvious to me why the left was so concerned when Donald Trump was granted permission by the courts to put a Republican in charge of this apparently corrupt agency.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

The Supreme Court allows Donald Trump to enforce his travel ban

December 4, 2017

  Today the Supreme Court allowed Donald Trump to enforce his travel ban, here is more:

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

This is not a final ruling on the travel ban: Challenges to the policy are winding through the federal courts, and the justices themselves ultimately are expected to rule on its legality.

But the action indicates that the high court might eventually approve the latest version of the ban, announced by President Donald Trump in September. Lower courts have continued to find problems with the policy.

  This battle is not over but this is a victory for Donald Trump nevertheless: This basically lifts the injunction placed on the travel ban by the lower courts and allows Donald Trump to enforce the ban while the lawsuits are still being fought in the courts. But, as the block quote alludes to, this could be a preview of how the Supreme Court will rule once the ban makes it to the Supreme Court.

  If the Supreme Court had some of the same concerns as the lower courts it would seem to me they would have not allowed the injunction to be lifted so it seems likely the Supreme Court will eventually rule in Donald Trump’s favor. But still all bets are off, I still remember John Roberts basically rewriting the Obamacare mandate as a tax when it looked like the Supreme Court was going to strike it down so who knows how this will end.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium