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Federal Judge blocks funding border wall with military money

December 11, 2019

The last time we visited the border wall issue the President had won a victory in the Supreme Court in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the Sierra Club, saying the President could use Defense funding to build the border wall. Since that time some construction has continued on the wall but now it looks like that victory was only temporary because another case is winding its way through the court system and a judge has issued a “permanent injunction” stopping the President from using military funding to build the wall.

  Here is more:

A federal judge dealt the White House a major blow Tuesday, ruling that the administration cannot use several billion in military funding to pay for border wall construction.

David Briones, who has served on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas since his appointment by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot use billions in military funds to pay for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico wall.

“After due consideration, the Court is of the opinion that a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction shall be granted in Plaintiffs’ favor,” Briones wrote in the court ruling.

  In the case which made it to the Supreme Court preciously the court ruled the Sierra Club did not have standing to bring the case forward and that is why this is still an ongoing issue. I am not sure why this judge called this a “permanent injunction” because the Trump administration is going to appeal the ruling. And the beat goes on…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Nancy Pelosi to hand Donald Trump a victory on USMCA

December 10, 2019

  After more than one year of languishing on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and after repeated calls by the President for the Speaker of the House to take action on the trade deal between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Nancy Pelosi announced, just one hour after announcing the Democrats would bring articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, that the Democrats are finally poised to take action on the USMCA.

  This is the trade deal which was negotiated by three countries as a deal to replace NAFTA which is much more fair for the United States but because the Democrats did not want to hand Donald Trump a political victory they refused to take up the trade deal. They put their own vendetta against the President ahead of doing what was right for the country.

  Here is more on today’s announcement:

House Democrats embraced the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement after securing key revisions and announced plans to vote on the deal next week, putting President Donald Trump closer to a political win as he heads into the 2020 election.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the changes her House Democats were able to negotiate, saying the revised deal is better for American workers. She said the new version of the accord, known as the USMCA, will be a model for other trade agreements going forward.

“This is the day we have been waiting for,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”

Trump welcomed the finalized Nafta overhaul, which has been languishing for more than a year and could resolve some of the uncertainty weighing on the economy as he heads into his re-election campaign.

  It was quite interesting listening to the Democrats during this announcement trying to take credit for negotiating the deal when everybody knows this was done by Donald Trump and the Democrats opposed the deal.

  Why after one year did the Democrats finally take up the deal? I think it is pretty clear: we all know the Democrats did not want to hand Donald Trump a trade win, or any other win for that matter, so less than one hour after announcing they were introducing articles of impeachment they made this announcement knowing that the mainstream media would only give it passing coverage if they covered it at all.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Inspector General report has finally been released

December 9, 2019

  After months of delays the much anticipated Inspector General report into the allegations of FISA abuses has finally been released and it looks like from what I have read so far that the leaks we have been hearing in recent days are true.

  The report confirms that the FBI made what are being called multiple mistakes along the way, including altering documents and omitting exculpatory evidence, but despite this the report concluded the FBI did have enough evidence to launch the investigation.

  Here is more:

A highly anticipated Justice Department review of the origins of the federal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia found no direct evidence of political bias in the launching of the probe, but identified an embarrassing slew of inaccuracies and omissions by the FBI that marred requests for court-ordered surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser.

The report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz also revealed for the first time that the FBI used a confidential source to approach an unidentified high-level Trump campaign official in September 2016 who was never the subject of any investigation. The approach revealed nothing of value to the probe, the review found.

The report finds those tactics complied with existing FBI policy, but the review contains withering criticism of the pre-eminent law enforcement agency for “basic, fundamental and serious errors” handling of the surveillance applications for campaign adviser Carter Page.

“We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny,” Horowitz wrote.

“We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just but those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed,” the inspector general added.

  While the report seems to let the FBI off the hook in a “no reasonable prosecutor” moment William Barr saw it differently:

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement. “It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.”

  So you can alter evidence while omitting evidence that does not suit your purpose and the Inspector General will still say you had enough evidence to go forward?! Once it is found out that you tampered with the evidence it is impossible to take any evidence at face value and that should have been the end of the story. 

  I would like to say I am disappointed by today’s news but this is pretty much what we expected. Now we will see what William Barr does with this report, if anything, and we still have the investigation being conducted into the origins of the Russia investigation by John Durham and he disagrees with some of the findings in the Inspector General report. 

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday, December 8th open thread: ‘Outnumbered’

December 8, 2019

open-thread“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  Here is this week’s open thread. 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.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right.

  It was a pretty busy week between the holidays and getting my new floors but they sure do look great and the house is almost back to normal. Hopefully I will have more time for blogging this week.

  Here is Dermot Kennedy singing “Outnumbered” live from earlier this year:

Inspector General report to find the FBI omitted details of the Russian dossier to the FISA court

December 5, 2019

  It looks like Michael Horowitz’s Inspector General report on alleged FISA abuses and the origins of the Russia investigation might actually be released next week as promised after multiple delays. We already know that in the report it was found that somebody in the FBI altered documents when applying for the FISA warrant used to spy on Donald Trump and now it is being reported here that the report has found key details were omitted from the FISA application. Here is more:

The Justice Department watchdog found omissions in renewal applications the FBI submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking warrants to monitor onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

A draft of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, due out next week, shows the FBI failed to convey to the court that not all of the information it used from British ex-spy Christopher Steele was entirely reliable, according to the Washington Post.

Steele was an FBI informant enlisted to research then-presidential candidate Donald Trump by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that had been hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Steele’s Democratic funding, his strong desire for Trump to lose, and the possible flaws with his dossier were not revealed to the court governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

  We have heard these rumors before but now it looks like the Inspector General report is going to confirm what we have already heard: The FBI falsified some documents it needed for the FISA warrant and omitted other documents which might have negatively affected their desired income.

  Despite this I read elsewhere, and I apologize for not having the link, that the report is going to find that the FBI had enough evidence to initiate an investigation into Donald Trump. If all these stories are true this is shaping up to be another James Comey/Hillary Clinton moment when he listed all the reasons the former Secretary of State should be prosecuted and then claimed no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges. It is pretty scary to the the FBI could get away with creating the evidence it needs while neglecting the evidence it does not need.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Ukraine fires prosecutor investigating Burisma

December 4, 2019

  While the Democrats are trying to impeach Donald Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate an allegedly corrupt company the Ukraine was actually carrying out an investigation into that company. I wrote “was” because it is beginning to look like the fix is in if this story is true:

Ukraine has fired the prosecutor investigating cases involving Hunter Biden and Burisma and has transferred responsibility to the Soros-controlled ‘National Anti-Corruption Bureau’ (NABU) for disposal. This is the same NABU led by Artem Sytnyk who was caught on tape bragging about helping the Clinton campaign in its effort to discredit Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Sources for CD Media describe the firing as being political in nature, as a way to ‘tidy up’ any loose ends regarding Biden and Burisma, to keep the information from the public eye during the ‘impeachment’ campaign in the United States. They describe Victor Trepak (New Deputy General Prosecutor), Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaly Kasko, and Sytnyk as being under the control of the George Soros/Deep State infrastructure in-country. Trepak was involved in the infamous ‘black ledger’ in the Manafort affair, which is now considered to be fake.

“Soros and the Democrats appointed their agents of influence to the General Prosecutor’s Office (Kasko and Trepak). They put Sytnik in NABU and Kholodnitsky in SAP (Special Prosecutor) in order to destroy the evidence of corruption of the Democrats in Ukraine and to continue the process of the country’s rape with impunity. 

  I do not know how reliable this source is but one thing we have learned during this whole process is that the sources do not have to be reliable so I see no reason not to take this as truth. 

  It is stunning what is going on here; Donald Trump is going to be impeached for trying to bring to light corruption, and at the same time the Democrats biggest ally in the world, George Soros, was brought in to basically kill the investigation into this corruption. How bad would it have looked for the Democrats if the corruption was exposed at the same time the Democrats impeached the President because he exposed it? Well, there is no chance of that happening now…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Adam Schiff releases House impeachment report

December 3, 2019

  Just a short while ago Adam Schiff released his impeachment report. Here is a brief summary of what the investigation found:

The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.,” the report opens.

“As described in this executive summary and the report that follows, President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign.  The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.  To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations:  a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.”

And also:

President Trump engaged in an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of this impeachment inquiry.  Nevertheless, due in large measure to patriotic and courageous public servants who provided the Committees with direct evidence of the President’s actions, the Committees uncovered significant misconduct on the part of the President of the United States. 

  Well, that certainly sounds pretty bad. So bad in fact that you would expect the Democrats to move forward on impeachment, but instead of moving forward with the impeachment process the Democrats are going to hold another investigation.

  Why would this be if what the summary states is the truth? It is either not the truth or there is more to what the Democrats intentions are. The Democrats know that even if they vote to impeach Donald Trump he is not going to be convicted in the Senate so this is all a politically motivated game designed strictly to keep the word “impeachment” in the public vocabulary through the 2020 election. They want the specter of impeachment hanging over the election. It is actually quite reminiscent of the way the Republicans pretended they were going to repeal Obamacare all those years…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium