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BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse

Quick bit of breaking news just dropped.

About a month ago, IG Horowitz announced he had finished his report dealing with the Trump-Russia investigation, which most assumed would only cover possible FISA abuse. Now we are getting word it’s coming out this Friday.

Per the Washington Examiner.

“I’m hearing the IG report will be out this upcoming Friday, Oct. 18, and my sources say it’s as thick as a telephone book,” Bartiromo said, adding that it covers “more than just FISA abuse.”

It has been exactly one month since Horowitz announced the completion of the investigation by his team, who pored over more than 1 million records and conducted 100-plus interviews. The inspector general gave a draft to the Justice Department and FBI for a classification review.

Upon the completion of that process, the report will first be delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has pledged to do a “deep dive” of his own into FISA that will run concurrently with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the early stages of the Russia investigation. The South Carolina Republican said his “No. 1 goal” is to have as much of the report declassified as possible.

Yeah, I’m sure Democrats and former Obama officials are shaking at the thought of another Senate committee investigation.

The real news here is that it’s seemingly confirmed that it covers more than FISA abuse, which likely will end up a dead end anyway. No doubt Horowitz will cite some breaches of protocol or label the FISA warrants illegal, but I have strong suspicions the DOJ will claim they can’t prove intent.

We’ll have to wait and see where this goes. The smart money is on it not mattering much, being buried by the media, and nothing actually happening.

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The post BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse appeared first on RedState.

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BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenSunglassesAPimage-620x317 BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With Worked For white house whistle-blower Washington Examiner Ukraine Politics Politicla Obama Joe Biden ICIG Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats CIA Agent Allow Media Exception

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden pays for his order at a Krispy Kreme following a campaign town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

This is just breaking per the Washington Examiner.

A few days ago, I reported on the fact that the Trump-Ukraine “whistle-blower” was said to have worked with a 2020 presidential candidate by the ICIG. Though we’ve had our suspcions here at RedState, there was no official word or evidence revealing who it was.

That just changed.

The 2020 Democratic candidate with whom the CIA whistleblower had a “professional” tie is Joe Biden, according to intelligence officers and former White House officials.

Lawyers for the whistleblower said he had worked only “in the executive branch.” The Washington Examiner has established that he is a career CIA analyst who was detailed to the National Security Council at the White House and has since left. On Sept. 26, the New York Times reported that he was a CIA officer. On Oct. 4, the newspaper added that he “was detailed to the National Security Council at one point.”

This always made the most sense. The only reason a CIA agent would have had contact with a 2020 presidential candidate is if it came in the form of working with the Obama administration.

Previously, the whistle-blower’s lawyer had claimed this.

“First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party,” said Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid. “Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch.”

This is called lying without technically lying. It’s Clintonian nonsense. Though the whistle-blower didn’t work for Biden as a political official, he worked in a professional capacity with him and that should have been disclosed immediately, not hidden away. It’s perfectly reasonable to suspect some form of political motivation could form from their previous relationship, especially given we know he’s a registered Democrat.

If you read the article at the Examiner, you’ll see numerous officials laying out how deep the contacts likely went. It’s probable he would have accompanied Biden on oversees trips and been in near daily contact with him.

None of this is going to help the perception of the Democrat’s impeachment case.

————————————————

Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With appeared first on RedState.

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“Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice

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There’s a reason you don’t hear much from Barack Obama these days, even as the news cycles get crazier and Trump’s troubles deepen. And it’s not because the “fraternity of presidents” requires O to maintain the same sort of respectful silence towards his successor as George W. Bush maintained for Obama himself. Trump obviously isn’t and won’t be part of that fraternity; criticism of Obama remains a staple of his own rhetoric.

O keeps his mouth shut because he understands he’s a perfect foil for the president. Republicans dislike him deeply and think most of his policies were stupid. The surest way to get GOPers who are troubled by the Ukraine business to rally around Trump would be for Obama to blast him over it. Likewise, the surest way to get Republicans to rethink their discomfort about abandoning the Kurds would be for O to slam Trump for ordering it — especially given how pitiful Obama’s own Syria judgment often was. There was never a good option on whether to intervene or not but O somehow made a bad situation worse, humiliating himself by refusing to enforce his own stated “red line” against the use of WMDs by Assad and then half-assing an attempt to arm Syrian rebels. By the end of his presidency his most prominent diplomatic initiative was to reach out to the Shiite terrorist state sponsoring Assad for a nuclear deal. His Syria policy was so bad that Trump’s decision to bomb a Syria airfield early in his presidency after Assad used poison gas again is the only one I can think that actually earned him some grudging favorable comparisons to O in the media even among Obama alumni (mostly anonymously).

Again, Obama grasps all of this and has kept his mouth shut, depriving Trump of an easy way to rally Republicans around him. Alas for Dems, not everyone who worked for him is as shrewd as he is:

Show of hands: Who feels *worse* about Trump’s judgment on Syria now that the Obama White House’s foreign policy brain trust has condemned it?

Anyone?

If you want a reason to worry about the decision to evacuate northern Syria (and there are many), read this account of how haphazardly it appears to have been made. No one in the field, starting with the Kurds, had any notice that the American shield protecting them from a Turkish onslaught was about to disappear.

According to multiple current and former U.S. officials, the White House’s announcement of the decision late Sunday night blindsided not just America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, in Syria, but almost everyone — senior officials at the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East

Sunday’s phone call between Trump and Erdogan was held to try to ease the Turkish leader’s fury that he didn’t get a one-on-one meeting with Trump last month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to three current and former officials. Erdogan made it known to U.S. officials that he was not happy his only interaction with Trump during the gathering of world leaders in New York was at a large reception, according to the officials…

But Sunday’s phone call didn’t go as expected, officials said. Erdogan was adamant about Turkey going into Syria, officials said. Even Trump’s offer of a White House visit wasn’t enough to deter him.

Trump told Erdogan that a moderate incursion, such as clearing out a safe zone, would be acceptable, officials said. But he said a large invasion that leads to major combat operations would be unacceptable, officials said.

Reportedly Trump threatened on the call to withdraw the American troops who are serving as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds if Turkey went ahead and launched a major military push instead of something more limited. Erdogan called his bluff. Go ahead and withdraw. I’ll blow them to bits. So that’s what we’re doing, although naturally Trump is spinning it as some sort of methodical attempt on his part to keep his promise about bringing American troops home.

And somehow, Erdogan is getting his White House visit anyway.

Michael Weiss peers into the not-very-distant future and sees a winner emerging from the Turkish/Kurdish conflagration:

For years, ISIS has watched as America’s reliance on the YPG/PKK has enervated the second-largest army in NATO. It has cleverly preyed upon this tension by waging terror attacks in Turkey it declined to claim credit for, knowing full well that Erdogan and his government might blame them on the PKK, which it did on more than one occasion.

Turkey, meanwhile, had maintained a see-no-evil policy (or worse) with respect to ISIS as its sovereign territory became a staging ground for exported jihad, not to mention a fallback base of operations for the many agents of ISIS’s Amniyat, or intelligence service, who were dispatched out of Syria and into Western Europe.

In other words, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (yes, he’s still alive) exploited the Kurdish Question before and will exploit again now that all-out war between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds is a foregone conclusion.

America will probably be lighting military and political fires that help ISIS spread, then putting them out, then lighting them again for the indefinite future as political currents in the Middle East shift. Maybe Rice will catch on in the next Democratic administration and show us amateurs what to do.

The post “Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice appeared first on Hot Air.

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Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds

Westlake Legal Group kurds-territory-620x760 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception
Yesterday, President Trump announced that he was immediately withdrawing U.S. Forces from Syria. As expected, the usual suspects both Democrat, never-Trump and even sometime political allies of the President such as Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, immediately and stridently decried the decision. I did a little write up yesterday explaining some of the history of our Syrian experience and the why’s and wherefore’s of The President’s decision.

Today we will delve into what many folks consider a huge issue; As the United States executes this decision, how do we protect the Kurds from our NATO ally, Turkey? Turkey as we know, within hours of U.S. troops moving, attacked Kurdish positions in Western Iraq. This is a non-starter.

First of all, let’s talk about Turkey. Turkey is a NATO “ally.” The reason for the quotes as you might imagine, is that we’ve been having some issues with Turkey for the past few years. These have become more of a problem since the President Erdogan’s election and subsequent consolidation of power over his political rivals. Erdogan, like his predecessors, has been dealing with an active insurgency in his country fostered by the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement. The PKK has been declared by not only Turkey, but also the United States, as a Terrorist group. This will become more clear shortly.

“The Kurds,” on the other hand, aren’t. They are not one homogenous entity in their relations with each other, or with Turkey. They are actually three separate groups, each with differing loyalties. The below graphic explains this and also shows how much of the angst over President Trump’s alleged “abandonment of an ally” might be misplaced.

Westlake Legal Group B7C87A33-7361-4C8B-8FD4-0E5182F3C3AF-620x874 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception

At the top of the graphic, we have the Turkish government, with arrows showing its relationship to each of the main Kurdish groups. It is important to note as I have above, that Turkey has been fighting an active separatist movement for several decade. Of course this colors its view of the Kurds. At the bottom of all four entities involved, including the Turkish government, we can see that all four have engaged the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

On the far left is the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group in Turkey who have for several decades, been considered a terrorist organization by both Turkey and the United States. Note that the arrow from Turkey to this group is titled “Fighting.” The Turks are trying to keep their native Kurds from establishing a separate state inside Turkey.

On the far right, are the Iraqi Kurds. These folks have their own semi autonomous region inside Iraq and have been reliable U.S. allies. The arrow from the “Turkish Government” block indicates “good relations” between both governments. Absent some signal change, there is likely to be absolutely no bloodshed between the Iraqi Kurds and the Turks in the foreseeable future, despite what the never-Trump crowd is saying.

Now for the difficult part, the Syrian Kurds. As the graphic shows, while the Syrian Kurds were fighting ISIS/ISIL (incidentally also trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad) they are considered a hostile force by the Turkish government because of their alignment with the PKK. This is likely one of the reasons that the first thing the Turkish forces attacked after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, was a base supporting the Syrian Kurds.

As a January 2019 Washington Times article explains

The Kurds are a Middle Eastern minority spread out from Syria in the West, through Turkey and Iraq, to Iran in the east, and further divided into various political groupings.

But this is not what the foreign policy establishment is referring to in the Syria debate. Rather, they are talking about a specific Kurdish political institution in northern Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This is the Syrian franchise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been at war with Turkey for 35 years, and is a U.S.-designated terrorist group inspired by Marxist doctrine.

There are obviously some competing issues here that we need to resolve, but as the Washington Times excerpt above indicates, they might not be quite as cut and dried as The President’s critics seem to believe. First of all, Turkey is a NATO ally. Although lately they have been “somewhat unfriendly,” we need to treat them as as an ally to avoid exacerbating the situation to a point that it’s irrecoverable. That ally has a righteous concern regarding the PKK, it’s allies and Turkish internal security.

Second, we have to resolve the Syrian Kurds’ support for us with Turkey’s desire to eliminate them as a threat. The most critical thing we need to understand, is what I mentioned in the first article in this series; We were illegally involved in Syria in the first place. Moreover, while the U.S. had its agendas, the elimination of ISIS/ISIL and the advancement of the Obama/Powers Responsibility To Protect doctrine, the Syrian Kurds also had theirs, the overthrow of President Assad.

When we combine these three agendas, what we have, is an alliance of convenience. The Syrian Kurds assisted us in eliminating ISIS/ISIL, but we also assisted them in defending themselves against Assad’s government forces. Should we simply abandon them to whatever their fate may be at the hands of Assad or Erdogan? Of course not. But we do need to recognize, that absent the aberrant policies of the Obama administration, we would have never invaded Syria and certainly never been involved with this particular group in the first place.

So, what do we owe the Syrian Kurds? Not as much as we owe the Turks, as unpalatable as it many seem at this particular instant. However, we do owe them something, as they were of some assistance in helping us. The solution could be as simple as brokering a peace deal and a change of alignment of the Syrian Kurds. If we can convince them to forswear their alignment with the PKK and accept a U.S.-Turkey negotiated autonomous region on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkey border, we could preclude further bloodshed while at the same time adding to President Assad’s (and his Russian sponsor’s) concern about a hostile force on his frontier. Moreover, this just might send such a message to President Erdogan as to begin a modest rapprochement with this most important NATO ally.

Tomorrow: Syria Withdrawal Part III: The Way Ahead

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds appeared first on RedState.

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Iran Tried to Hack a 2020 Presidential Candidate As the Media Suddenly Don’t Care About Election Interference

Westlake Legal Group AP_06060409666-620x794 Iran Tried to Hack a 2020 Presidential Candidate As the Media Suddenly Don’t Care About Election Interference Politics Obama media bias Iran hack Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections election interference double standards donald trump dirt candidate ben rhodes 2020

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech on the 17th anniversary of death of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in his mausoleum just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 4, 2006. Khamenei, warned Sunday that energy supplies from the Gulf region would be disrupted if Iran came under attack from the United States and insisted his country would not give up the right to produce nuclear fuel. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The Democrats’ favorite rogue terrorist regime is at it again. This time they got caught trying to hack a 2020 Presidential candidate, among other government figures, in an apparent attempt to interfere in the coming election.

Here’s the report from Politico.

Hackers linked to the Iranian government have targeted the campaign of at least one 2020 presidential contender, Microsoft announced today in a blog post.

The technology giant also witnessed “significant” digital activity by the group, which it dubbed “Phosphorous,” against current and former U.S. government officials, journalists covering global politics and prominent Iranians living outside of Iran.

Not one major news source is reporting in their headlines who the actual target was. I’ll let you decide if that’s purposeful or not, but we do indeed know the answer.

I have a feeling that if Elizabeth Warren was almost hacked by Russia, for example, that she’d make the headline. Instead, the media are downplaying this as they always do when anything doesn’t play into their narrative. NBC put out a video on it but no print story. The Washington Post tried to spin it as “hundreds targeted” in order to downplay Trump as a victim. CNN couldn’t be bothered to even report it as of this writing.

It’s amazing how a foreign dictatorship trying to hack the 2020 election is all the sudden a page A47 story when it can’t be blamed on Trump. Odd, right? Of course, if Trump now asks for an investigation, he’ll probably be accused of trying to influence the election or something.

This is a serious problem though. For all the gnashing of teeth about Russia, Iran is a more prominent threat right now and they have every reason to see to it that Trump isn’t re-elected. Their dream scenario is to get another weak kneed Democrat to sign another “deal” with that guarantees them the farm. You can expect China to get in on the action as well. Meanwhile, you can also expect the media to not care at all.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Iran Tried to Hack a 2020 Presidential Candidate As the Media Suddenly Don’t Care About Election Interference appeared first on RedState.

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Blockbuster: Trump, RNC raise combined $125 million in third quarter, a new record

Westlake Legal Group t-3 Blockbuster: Trump, RNC raise combined $125 million in third quarter, a new record Trump The Blog RNC republican primary Obama gop Fundraising democratic Bernie Sanders 125 Million

How big is this number? When Obama ran for reelection in 2011, he and the DNC managed a combined $70 million in the third quarter.

Trump and the RNC didn’t quite double them up, but they got pretty close.

Consider this an unusually concrete example of the advantages of incumbency. While Democratic candidates are dividing liberal money among themselves and using it to battle each other, the GOP can focus all its energy on building a tremendous financial arsenal for next fall.

Well, mostly for next fall. A little of it will be spent this fall to try to solve the president’s impeachment problem.

The pro-Trump effort said Tuesday that it has raised more than $308 million in 2019 and has more than $156 million in the bank. Republicans aim to use the fundraising haul to fight off Democrats’ impeachment effort…

The fundraising announcement comes as the pro-Trump efforts launched their first major advertising campaign of the cycle. Trump’s team aims to devote $1 billion to his reelection.

Last week, as House Democrats launched their impeachment effort, the Trump campaign announced it would spend $8 million to air an ad attacking Democrats for trying to “steal” the 2020 campaign. The RNC said it would spend $2 million attacking Democrats for their support of impeachment.

So there’s another reason why Democrats may have warmed up to impeachment: It’s helping to offset the mammoth lead Trump has on fundraising for the general election, forcing him to spend some of his cash to fight the effort to drive him from office. If I’m right that impeachment will end up as a wash politically, with opinions for and against Trump so hardened that no one ends up being swayed either way by the process, then getting Trump to deplete some of his war chest might be the chief benefit Democrats get from it.

But wait. Are we sure Trump and the RNC are *losing* money on impeachment on balance? Granted, they’re spending some — but how much are they making?

In addition to taking numerous fundraising trips to collect reelection cash, Trump’s cash haul got a boost in recent days as House Democrats endorsed an impeachment inquiry. The Trump campaign brought in $8.5 million dollars online in two days after the impeachment push began.

How do you suppose the Trump campaign will do fundraising-wise in the 24 hours after Democrats actually go ahead and impeach him?

I’m curious to see a breakdown of how much of the $125 million came from small donors and how much came from fatcats. (In 2011, Obama’s haul came from 600,000 individual donors, 98 percent of whom gave $250 or less.) I can imagine the numbers being strong from both groups. Trump is extremely popular within his own party and the “siege effect” from impeachment may increase that popularity, or at least increase the enthusiasm of hardcore fans. There’s bound to a broad base of smaller donors, and they’re apt to become more eager to show their support in the fourth quarter as the Democrats close in on him. Meanwhile, rich donors are warily watching Elizabeth Warren’s ascendance in the Democratic primary and imagining their wealth going up in smoke in 2021. They’re surely pouring money into Trump’s campaign as well, knowing that he’s a weak incumbent by historical standards and may need extra financial help to hold her off next year. If you can spend thousands now by donating to Trump to save millions later in new taxes if Democrats sweep to power, that’s an investment worth making.

One more number for you:

The Republican National Committee’s most recent financial disclosure showed that the organization held $53.8 million cash on hand at the end of August. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, had $8.2 million on hand at that time.

Trump proved in 2016 that a financial disadvantage is no bar to winning the presidency, something the Democratic nominee will find comfort in next year. I wonder how big a difference the RNC’s financial advantage will make in Senate races, though. It looks like they’ll have lots of cash on hand that can be shoveled as needed at candidates like Susan Collins and Cory Gardner who are stuck in tough purple-state races. Trump’s fundraising bonanza might not be enough to win him an election but it could be enough to ensure that the GOP keeps the Senate. That, not Trump, may be the only thing that keeps Warren away from rich people’s money.

Here’s Steve Bannon imagining that the end result of impeachment might be … another Hillary Clinton candidacy. That won’t happen, but it’s understandable that Bannon would want to go back to that well. Can’t go wrong as a right-winger promoting Clinton as a face of the Democratic Party.

The post Blockbuster: Trump, RNC raise combined $125 million in third quarter, a new record appeared first on Hot Air.

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Jeff Flake: It’s time to save your souls, Republicans

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I’m not sure who this op-ed benefits. It’s of limited use to Democrats since Flake is now an ex-senator and his critiques of Trump long ago lost their novelty. It may be actually harmful to Republicans since Flake has come to be seen as righties as the consummate RINO, partly because of his antipathy to the president and partly for some of the policy positions he took as a senator, like joining the Gang of Eight. When Mitt Romney criticizes Trump, he can at least claim to have enough support in his home state as to be (probably) primary-proof. There’s a Romney constituency out there — in Utah, at least. But there’s no Flake constituency. He was such a sure loser in his Senate primary in Arizona that he didn’t even bother to contest it.

And so, if you’re a Senate GOPer like Susan Collins or Cory Gardner who’s troubled by Trump’s interactions with Ukraine but terrified of an electoral backlash, Flake’s op-ed arguably does you more harm than good. Now, if you end up taking sides against Trump on impeachment, you’re not just undermining the president. You’re doing the bidding of the RINO king.

Some former politicians recognize how inserting themselves into this national debate might end up backfiring on their own side, and thus decline to do so. You’ll notice that the Obamas have been quiet lately. At a moment when Republican voters are weighing whether to support or oppose impeachment, O knows that announcing his support would tip many right-leaning undecideds into opposition, and so he’s keeping quiet. Jeff Flake, like Hillary Clinton, either hasn’t learned that lesson or cares less about what happens to Trump here than with getting his own views on the record.

Much of Flake’s critique here is stuff you’ve heard him say before but his view on impeachment is new. He knows the odds of Senate Republicans removing Trump are next to zero, so he’s reframing the issue. What’s at stake isn’t whether Trump should be removed, he insists. It’s whether he should be reelected. That’s what congressional Republicans should be pressed on, not impeachment.

Now, two years later, it is my former Republican Senate colleagues who have a decision to make. Or, as I see it, two decisions to make. The first is difficult; the second is easy…

Compelling arguments will be made on both sides of the impeachment question. With what we now know, the president’s actions warrant impeachment. The Constitution of course does not require it, and although Article II, Section 4 is clear about remedies for abuse of office, I have grave reservations about impeachment. I fear that, given the profound division in the country, an impeachment proceeding at such a toxic moment might actually benefit a president who thrives on chaos. Disunion is the oxygen of this presidency. He is the maestro of a brand of discord that benefits only him and ravages everything else. So although impeachment now seems inevitable, I fear it all the same. I understand others who might have similar reservations. The decision to impeach or not is a difficult one indeed.

Now for the easy decision. If the House decides against filing articles of impeachment, or the Senate fails to convict, Senate Republicans will have to decide whether, given what we now know about the president’s actions and behavior, to support his reelection. Obviously, the answer is no…

My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. Whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve reelection.

Logically you can imagine how a senator might justify acquitting Trump on impeachment charges while declining to endorse him for reelection. Impeachment and removal has to do with specific facts and specific offenses; reelection is an omnibus assessment of the president’s first four years. If Democrats don’t have the evidence needed to remove him, they don’t have it. But one might still nevertheless conclude that the trade war was a mistake, or that he’s too soft on malefactors like North Korea and Iran, or that it’s enough with the farking tweets already, and recommend canceling this reality show next fall.

But in practice, it’s unlikely. One of Democrats’ chief worries in impeaching Trump is that the impeachment process will end up overshadowing all other moral and ethical objections to him. The Democrats’ own process in the House is contributing to that, with Pelosi reportedly encouraging committee chairs who are investigating different strands of Trump’s behavior — emoluments, hush-money payments, etc — to wrap it up soon and bring everything to Nadler for the formation of final impeachment articles. If Trump is impeached and the Senate acquits him, as everyone expects, the president will spend all next year crowing that he’s now twice been given a clean bill of legal health, first with Mueller and again on Ukraine. And a president who’s clean legally must be clean morally and ethically as well. Not all voters will buy that but some, particularly those disposed to support him for other reasons like the economy, will clutch at it. “Why should I be bothered by anything Trump’s accused of if Congress isn’t bothered enough to do something about it? There’s no there there.”

And so, returning to Flake’s point, how would a Republican who voted to acquit him justify turning around and declining to endorse him for reelection? If he’s not guilty, he must be reelected in all fairness; that’ll be the Republican pitch. Flake’s position would actually undo the political benefit Republican senators are seeking in the first place by voting for acquittal. The reason the odds of removal are so remote is because GOPers know they’d face an insurrection back home if they vote yes. But they’ll face the same anger (well, maybe not quite as intense) if they refuse to back Trump over the Democratic alternative in November. It’s strange for Flake to recognize, correctly, that the party is now a cult of personality with the bonds of loyalty turbo-charged by negative partisanship and then to recommend trying to topple the cult leader passively instead of actively. If you’re going to enrage your base, you might as well do it by ousting Trump forcibly via removal instead of merely withholding an endorsement that likely won’t matter to anyone except the voters who are mad at you.

He does make a good point, though, when he writes, “From the ordeal of this presidency, perhaps the most horrible — and lasting — effect on our democracy will be that at some point we simply stopped being shocked.” We’ve largely reached that point already. Not completely…

…but the fascist-sounding tweets Trump sent over the past 24 hours about civil war and wanting to arrest Adam Schiff for treason will fade from the news cycle before the day is out. This is just how things are now. Take him literally but not seriously, or seriously but not literally. Whatever gets us through the day.

Go read Ross Douthat’s half-hearted pitch on the benefits to the GOP of removing Trump now instead of risking another four-year term. I say “half-hearted” because he knows it won’t happen, no matter how strong the evidence before the Senate is, but the argument that a second Trump term will be miserable for Republicans is compelling and clear. Democrats will become even more radicalized and less willing to compromise with Trump; unless Republicans take back the House in 2020 or 2022, his agenda will be paralyzed for the duration by Pelosi. Dems are also apt to fare well in the 2022 midterms, as tends to happen with the out-party. If they retake the Senate, Trump’s power to fill vacancies will be paralyzed too. Once he’s no longer accountable to voters, the tweets are apt to get crazier, the foreign policy more unpredictable, the personnel moves more erratic. Eight years of Trump fatigue would make the electorate wary of whichever Trump-lite nominee the GOP ends up with in 2024. None of these pragmatic concerns will matter once the impeachment battle lines are drawn, nor should they — *if* the Senate trial process really is a neutral fact-finding process about a particular allegation. But if in reality it’s a political litmus test, then here’s Douthat adding to that test. What’s really best for the party over the next five years?

The post Jeff Flake: It’s time to save your souls, Republicans appeared first on Hot Air.

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BREAKING: Iran Begins Folding, Now Offering Concessions

Westlake Legal Group eu-iran-620x349 BREAKING: Iran Begins Folding, Now Offering Concessions Sanctions rouhani pressure Politics Obama nuclear deal mullahs Iran Front Page Stories Front Page Economic Troubles donald trump concessions

From left, the European Union high representative, Federica Mogherini; the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif; head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, the Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; the British foreign secretary Philip Hammond; and the US secretary of state John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna after striking a landmark nuclear deal. Joe Klamar / Pool Photo via AP

This just came over the wire.

Iran, who just last week was defiantly proclaiming they wouldn’t move an inch under Trump’s sanctions pressure, is now saying they’ll offer amendments and concessions on the Iran nuclear deal for relief.

Iran’s economy has been in shambles and their people are growing more and more restless. Last year, we saw widespread protests on the matter and the anti-America rhetoric of the Mullahs is having less of an impact in galvanizing domestic support.

As to how President Trump should respond to this? My opinion is he should laugh in their face. They had their chance to negotiate and save their regime. Let them collapse. It’s not like they can be trusted to hold to any new re-writing of the nuclear deal anyway.

The post BREAKING: Iran Begins Folding, Now Offering Concessions appeared first on RedState.

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Mitt Romney Comments on the Trump-Ukraine Story and It’s Exactly What You’d Expect

Westlake Legal Group Mitt-Romney-Real-MR-Please-Stand-Up Mitt Romney Comments on the Trump-Ukraine Story and It’s Exactly What You’d Expect Virtue Signals Ukraine quid pro quo Politics Obama Mitt Romney Joe Biden Hypocrisy hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump corruption

After a weekend of disappointment for Democrats, media members, and some conservatives alike, we were still missing one man’s opinion on the matter of Trump asking Ukraine’s new president to look into possible corruption by Joe Biden.

No worries though, because Mitt Romney has finally weighed in and it’s everything you’d expect it to be.

Keep in mind, this was sent out yesterday afternoon, well over a day after we learned there was no quid pro quo and that Trump did not attempt to pressure Ukraine to do anything. All the impeachment fever had already been shown to be ludicrous (again), so what does Romney do? He strolls in, puts on his virtue signaling pants, and lets know how troubling it would be if Trump even asked Ukraine to investigate.

Why is it troubling? Well, I’m not really sure. If Joe Biden did what he bragged about on video, there is indeed plenty of probable cause to suggest an investigation be done by Ukraine. That seems to be a perfectly reasonable request of an ally. It’s also a much lesser version of what we were assured was above board in 2016, when the Obama administration leaned on a foreign spy and the United Kingdom’s intel apparatus to investigate Trump.

On that note, you know what tweet Romney has never sent out? He’s never condemned the Obama administration for their witch hunt against Trump, who was also political rival at the time. Never has Romney feigned indignation at Hillary Clinton hiring Fusion GPS to mine Russian sources for opposition research. In fact, I can’t recall Romney even questioning those happenings and at least wanting more answers. To the contrary, most of his comments involving those issues have been qualified “if true” slams against Trump, even as they indeed turned out to be mostly not true.

I’m all for a big tent as a political party, but Mitt Romney is just terrible. This is a guy who once proudly stumped for abortion and helped push government funded healthcare. He’s currently entertaining a carbon tax like he’s Bernie Sanders or something. He’s Jeff Flake with more self-righteousness and perhaps that’d be passable if Romney at least pointed his indignation at Democrats sometimes as well. But no, like many anti-Trump apparatchiks, he can only ever seem to point his ire at his own side. That act got old a long time ago. If Romney thinks this is path back to glory within the Republican party, he’s sadly mistaken.

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The post Mitt Romney Comments on the Trump-Ukraine Story and It’s Exactly What You’d Expect appeared first on RedState.

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Joe Biden Sure Seems Terrified to Talk About His Ukraine Dealings

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Dartmouth College, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Hanover, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

If you’ve been alive and paying attention to the news the last two days, you’ve heard of the “scandal” involving Trump and a phone call with Ukraine’s new President. At first, Trump was accused of extortion via anonymous sources, claiming he had threatened on the call to withhold $250 million in military aid unless Joe Biden was investigated. As I predicted when the story broke, that story end up blowing up into a million pieces.

What we are left with is a lot of questions about Biden and he seems to be really on edge every time he’s asked about his extortion of Ukraine, which he admitted to on tape, and his son’s dealings in the country.

Here’s Biden yesterday chiding a Fox News reporter for not asking the “right” question.

He sure seems to be hiding something. That’s how this game goes now right? If one doth protest too much and obfuscate from talking about corrupt looking foreign interactions, there must be something there. Or at least that’s been the rule the last three years, so no use changing it now. We clearly need a full investigation and years of of nonstop media speculation to be sure of what’s going on here. Further, Biden should fully cooperate and look forward to being exonerated.

That won’t happen though. Even the President asking he be investigated is suddenly off limits and bandied about as a scandal. Never mind that the Obama administration worked with numerous foreign governments to target the Trump campaign in 2016 or that the DNC worked directly with the then Ukrainian ambassador to get dirt on Paul Manafort. Now, all the sudden, any interactions with foreign entities about political opponents, even if legitimate suspicions exist, is bad. Funny how that works.

Trump and Republicans should keep pushing this. Biden may end up the nominee, but he shouldn’t be allowed to skate by without addressing major questions about his activity. No one forced Biden to brag that he and he alone threatened Ukraine with $1B in loan guarantees unless they fired a prosector who just happened to be looking directly at his son. Perhaps it’s all a big misunderstanding? Then let him prove it.

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