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Bruce Ohr warned the FBI the Russian dossier was opposition research and biased

January 17, 2019

  As we all know by now, the unconfirmed Russian dossier really just opposition research which was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee but despite of that fact it was still used to gain FISA warrants on the Trump campaign. The FBI has been accused of misleading the FISA court in order to get the warrant and now, according to this story, we might just have the proof.

  It turns out that a Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, warned the FBI that the Russian dossier was opposition research and unreliable because it was most likely biased. Here is more:

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Who was at this briefing? I am glad you asked, here is the answer:

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

  Basically all the players we have come to know and love knew this was nothing more than opposition research and yet they still used the Russian dossier to gain the FISA warrant.

  Here is more:

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

  As the article I linked to continued; the FBI has been not so willing to admit when they found out the dossier was nothing more than opposition research but they did not mention this little fact to the court and it now looks like we have proof the FBI did know it at that time.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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Judge orders discovery on Hillary Clinton email scandal

January 16, 2019

  If you are getting tired of the Russia collusion investigation you had better get used to it because it is going to drag on for years to come. Just look at Hillary Clinton’s email scandal because, despite the fact it is ignored in the media, it is still dragging on and on with no end in sight. 

  You might have guessed it by the opening paragraph but there is an update to the Hillary Clinton email scandal investigation, a judge has ordered discovery can begin and several Clinton aides will be deposed under oath. Here is more:

Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

And here is a little more, including what Judicial Watch is hoping to learn:

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:

  • Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
  • whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
  • whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

  Of course I do not expect anything to come from this but it is good to know Judicial Watch is trying to get answers because nobody else is.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Establishment Democrats are trying to reign in Ocasio-Cortez

January 13, 2019

  An interesting thing has been taking place in Washington since the new Congress took over: the woman who was supposed to be a thorn in the side of Republicans because she ushered in the new socialist era in American politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has set her sights on establishment Democrats and according to this story it is starting to wear on them.

  Here is more:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.

The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.

“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”

Incumbent Democrats are most annoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate. But their frustration goes beyond that: Democratic leaders are upset that she railed against their new set of House rules on Twitter the first week of the new Congress. Rank and file are peeved that there’s a grassroots movement to try to win her a top committee post they feel she doesn’t deserve.

Even some progressives who admire AOC, as she’s nicknamed, told POLITICO that they worry she’s not using her notoriety effectively.

“She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star?” said one House Democrat who’s in lockstep with Ocasio Cortez’s ideology. “There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.”

  What these Democrats forgot in their ecstasy at her winning the general election, and the prospect of the nation making a hard left hand turn, was the fact that she got to that point by taking on the establishment Democrats in the primary and now she is simply encouraging others to do what she did.

 The Democrats must have assumed once she was sworn in they could bring her into their control and focus her attacks on Republicans but to date that does not seem to be happening and now that she has suddenly become the new face of the Democratic party she might be more of a problem for them than she will be for the Republicans.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday January 13 open thread: ‘The Puppet’

January 13, 2019

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

  open-threadHere 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. 

  Here is Echo and the Bunnymen performing “The Puppet” live in 1980:

Democrats to sue if Donald Trump declares a national emergency to build the wall

January 11, 2019

  As the impasse over border wall funding drags on the President has threatened to declare a national emergency in order to do an end around the Congress and fund the wall without its approval.

  Needless to say the Democrats are not happy about this decision and now they are threatening legal action to stop Donald Trump if he makes good on this threat, here is more:

House Democrats are weighing a lawsuit if President Donald Trump pulls the trigger on a national emergency declaration to build his border wall, with party leaders eager to stop the president from doing an end run around Congress.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to lay out exactly how House Democrats would respond to such an explosive move during a Thursday morning news conference. And senior Democratic sources cautioned that lawmakers will wait to see whether Trump actually goes through with his threat to unilaterally move money to build his wall on the southern border.

But Democrats are considering their options — from issuing a legal challenge to grilling administration officials at hearings for executive overreach. Many Democrats predict their chamber would quickly pass a resolution instructing the House counsel to sue the administration for ignoring the appropriations clause in the Constitution. Congress, after all, has the power of the purse. And Democrats would likely have standing to challenge the administration for usurping their authority for what they view as a phony emergency.

“We’ll challenge him in committee hearings. We’ll challenge him in the courts. And we’ll just continue to challenge him and push back because that’s not the way this should be handled,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.).

  Donald Trump’s record in legal proceedings as President is dreadful to say the least but I have to be honest here. I am vehemently opposed to the notion that Donald Trump should use his power as President to declare a national emergency simply for the reason that he cannot get funding for his agenda through the Congress. This is something I would have expected from Barack Obama, with his pen and his phone, and not from a Republican.

  And I believe it sets a dangerous precedent moving forward, even if you do believe this is justified, because once this cat is out of the bag there is no telling what a future President could decide to use this power to implement. Never let a good crisis go to waste…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

House Democrats to subpoena Donald Trump Jr in Russia investigation

January 9, 2019

  The Democrats ran on the promise of investigating every single aspect related to Donald Trump’s campaign and Presidency and it looks like, if this story is true, first up is naturally an investigation into Russia interference and/or collusion. And the first subpoena will be issued to Donald Trump Jr.

  Here is more:

House Democrats probing allegations that the Trump presidential campaign worked with Russian operatives to win the 2016 election plan to issue their first subpoena to Donald Trump Jr., according to a top lawmaker. 

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked Tuesday night about whom would be served first by the panel as it reopens the investigation, said, “Donald Trump Jr.”

“There are a number of persons that testified before the committee that I feel were not telling the truth,” said Speier, addressing the Women’s National Democratic Club in Washington.

  This is what the American people voted for and this is what we are going to get so you had better get used to it because it is not going away anytime soon. These investigations will not go away until Donald Trump goes away, and probably not even then. This is just the beginning, it is going to be a long two years…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Democrats plan to grind Senate to a halt over government shutdown

January 8, 2019

  According to this story Senate Democrats have a new plan to force the President to end the shutdown. They will grind the Senate to a halt and will not allow a vote on any of Donald Trump’s agenda until the so-called shutdown is over. Here is more:

Senate Democrats are playing hardball as they try to strong-arm Republicans to buck President Trump and bring up legislation to end the partial government shutdown.

A growing number of Senate Democrats, backed by progressive outside groups, are calling on the caucus to filibuster any legislation until Republicans give a vote to a House-passed package to fully reopen the government.

Senate Democrats are in the minority, but if they are able to unite 41 of their 47 members behind the strategy they can grind the Senate to a standstill in an effort to ratchet up pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has refused to take up any government funding bill not supported by the president.

 My thinking on this is simple. So what?

 With the Democrats in control of the House no Republican approved legislation is going to get passed by the House even if it is passed by the Senate, so why cave in to the party which promised to oppose Donald Trump from before he was even sworn in? If you do cave in the only thing you will have is no wall and a Congress which will not pass any of your agenda anyway. 

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium