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I’ve Said Some Very Unkind Things About Corey Lewandowski and I Take Them All Back

Westlake Legal Group lewandowski-house-judiciary-committee-620x317 I’ve Said Some Very Unkind Things About Corey Lewandowski and I Take Them All Back Special Counsel republicans Politics New York New Hampshire Jerry Nadler impeachment House Judiciary Committee Front Page Stories Featured Story eric swalwell donald trump democrats Corey Lewandowski California Allow Media Exception

Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, references a copy of the Mueller Report that he requested to be brought to him, as he testifies to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee as chaired by Fat Jerry Nadler was revealed to the world for the collection of lackwits that it is. The proximate cause of this revelation was Nadler’s insistence on obtaining televised testimony of former Trump aide and occasional campaign manager and New Hampshire senate candidate Corey Lewandowski. My colleague, Elizabeth Vaughn, has the full story in Lewandowski Trolls Lawmakers At House Judiciary Committee Hearing; Calls Eric Swalwell ‘President Swalwell’.

There were epic moments. We have Lewandowski calling Eric Swawell “Presidnent Swalwell.”

We have Mensa-reject, Sheila Jackson Lee referring to “Volume Eleven” of the Mueller Report”

And getting nothing at all from Lewandowski

Nadler refused to allow a GOP member any opportunity to question Lewandowski and gave a highly paid consultant and major Democrat donor thirty minutes.

All this blow-tried toad was able to elicit from Lewandowski was that he doesn’t feel under any obligation to tell the media the truth. [Insert “shocked face” emoji.]

Somehow this is a major revelation to the same people who pushed lie after lie upon the American people with the Russia Hoax.

In short, I doubt that there was ever a witness before any House committee who was more richly in contempt of the membership and the process than was Lewandowski. And it was only fair. Nadler and his fluffers have worked long and hard to reach the level of assclownishness they have achieved and they should not be deprived of their reward.

This morning, CNN had Lewandowski on to be interviewed by one of it dimmer bulbs (this, in a universe of talent that includes Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Brian Stelter is not much of a distinction), Alisyn Camerota. It went about as well as could have been expected given Camerota’s lack of talent.

The left seems to think that Camerota drew blood because Lewandowski says he never read the Mueller report, but this is the real blood being drawn. CNN is belaboring Lewandowski for lying to the media (I really don’t get why this is a revelation to sane people) while they employ a contributor who is facing indictment for making false statements to the DOJ IG. Not quite credible.

Yesterday he walked into a hostile hearing and left a Category 4 hurricane trail of wreckage behind him. He went on CNN this morning and gave a performance that will haunt Camerota’s dreams for a decade or so…I wouldn’t be surprised to encounter her at a PTSD clinic…or on Skid Row scoring crack.

During the 2015-2106 season, I said some bad things about Lewandowski. They were justified, mind you, but perhaps overly harsh. Based on his performance yesterday and today, I take them all back. I’ll even send some money to his Senate campaign.

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The post I’ve Said Some Very Unkind Things About Corey Lewandowski and I Take Them All Back appeared first on RedState.

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Kevin McCarthy Does Not Believe James Comey Will Get Off, It’s The Closest US Has Ever Come To A Coup

Westlake Legal Group trump-mccarthy-620x413 Kevin McCarthy Does Not Believe James Comey Will Get Off, It’s The Closest US Has Ever Come To A Coup william barr Special Counsel progressives President Trump Mueller Investigation Michael Horowitz Kevin McCarthy james comey Front Page Stories FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption democrats Andrew McCabe Allow Media Exception 2020

President Donald Trump, right, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to members of the media as they arrive for a dinner at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke to Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” on a wide range of subjects. One issue they discussed was DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’ announcement on Friday that he had completed his investigation into the FBI’s alleged abuse of the FISA process. A draft of the report has been delivered to Attorney General William Barr. Before it can be released to the public, the DOJ must redact classified or sensitive information.

McCarthy said, “We came the closest ever to this country having a coup and now we need accountability. I respect this attorney general so greatly, that the way he has handled this, he believes in accountability, but more importantly, he believes in the rule of law.”

They spoke about the legal status of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The news broke on Thursday that the DOJ had rejected McCabe’s appeal which indicated he would likely face indictment for lying under oath to investigators from the IG’s office on three occasions. However, a report in the Washington Post said that a grand jury had met and had declined to indict him. It’s unclear how they would have received information from a grand jury because of the stiff penalties for doing so. It was reported that McCabe’s attorney, Michael Bromwich, sent an email to US attorney Jesse Liu and several other DOJ officials to find out if that was true.

In light of that, Bartiromo asked McCarthy if we will see an indictment for McCabe.

“We will see an indictment here,” McCarthy said.

Bartiromo pressed him on the accountability of former FBI Director James Comey. “So far, anything about Jim Comey. He’s getting off?” The DOJ had declined to prosecute Comey for violating FBI rules and protocols which had been outlined by the IG in a brief report which focused solely on his handling of the President, and his leaking of the memos.

The more comprehensive IG report, which will be released as soon as it undergoes the DOJ’s redaction process, will deal with violations of the law, specifically, the FBI’s allegedly fraudulent application to the FISA Court and three renewal applications. The IG was especially concerned over the fact that the FBI presented the unverified Steele dossier as the basis of their application and used an article written by Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff, who had used Steele as his source.

McCarthy replied, “In the end, I do not believe that Jim Comey will get off.”

“A lot of people point to the CIA as being one of the masterminds, John Brennan. Are we going to see John Brennan come back and answer some questions,” Bartiromo asked.

McCarthy answered, “Anyone that has had any association with trying to create this coup should be held accountable.”

I’ve heard a lot of confident Republicans on talk shows echoing McCarthy’s sentiments. Very soon, we’ll know for sure.

 

Watch the video. (The relevant segment begins at 14:00.)

The post Kevin McCarthy Does Not Believe James Comey Will Get Off, It’s The Closest US Has Ever Come To A Coup appeared first on RedState.

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The Questions Asked by Mike Flynn’s Lawyer Shows She Has Been Getting a Lot of Help From Within the FBI

Westlake Legal Group mike-flynn-court-620x317 The Questions Asked by Mike Flynn’s Lawyer Shows She Has Been Getting a Lot of Help From Within the FBI Special Counsel sidney powell Russia Politics Mike Flynn Front Page Stories Featured Story emmett sullivan Courts Allow Media Exception

FILE – In this July 10, 2018, file photo, former President Donald Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, right, arrives at federal courthouse in Washington, for status hearing. Prosecutors with the special counsel’s office say Flynn is not yet ready to be sentenced. The joint filing with defense lawyers Tuesday, Aug. 21, is a sign that Flynn’s cooperation with investigators is continuing.(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

On Thursday, Mike Flynn’s legal team was back in court. What the team, led by the awesome Sidney Powell, is trying to do is to convince a federal judge that the government’s treatment of Flynn has been so egregious and so in defiance of court orders that the only remedy is to throw out the case. My colleague, Bonchie, covered it in Michael Flynn’s Legal Team Throws Down The Gauntlet. Essentially, Powell asked Judge Emmett Sullivan to make the government show cause as to why it should not be held in contempt.

Now that Powell’s full motion to compel has been unsealed, we can see that she knows a helluva lot about what went on within the upper ranks of the FBI and that can only be because someone who was in the room at critical times is feeding her information.

In her Motion to Compel, Powell catalogued 40 categories of evidence the government has refused to turn over. She seeks a court order requiring federal prosecutors to provide the withheld evidence under Brady and its progeny. Brady and its offshoots require prosecutors to disclose material exculpatory and impeachment evidence to the defense team. And, as Judge Sullivan made clear during Tuesday’s hearing, that duty exists even though Flynn had already pleaded guilty and even though he had agreed that the government would not be required to provide him with further evidence.

Some of the evidence Powell seeks is already presumed by many to exist, such as FISA applications pertaining to Flynn and the original 302 written shortly after FBI agents interviewed Flynn about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. But other evidence Powell identifies reveals that she has skinned all the snakes involved in SpyGate and knows exactly what went down. For instance, Powell requested “any information, including recordings or 302s, about Joseph Mifsud’s presence and involvement in engaging or reporting on Mr. Flynn and Mifsud’s presence at the Russia Today dinner in Moscow on December 17, 2015.”

It was at that dinner gathering that Flynn met Vladimir Putin. (A photograph capturing the two at that event has been used to further the Flynn-is-a-Russian-agent narrative.) Powell’s court filing is the first we are learning that Mifsud also attended that gathering—a strange coincidence given the FBI’s claim that it launched its investigation into the Trump campaign upon learning that Mifsud had informed the young Trump advisor George Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary.

Indeed, everything we’ve seen and heard to date indicates that far from being a Russian agent of some sort, Joseph Mifsud was a wholly owned property of one or more Western intelligence services. The fact that Mueller did NOT interview him despite him being available and his links to Western intelligence services calls into question the value of the information that he allegedly passed onto George Papadopoulos about the Russians “having dirt” on Hillary.

But then it gets really funny. This is via Legal Insurrection:

* Any and all evidence that during a senior-attended FBI meeting or video conference, Andrew McCabe said, “First we fuck Flynn, then we fuck Trump,” or words to that effect.

* A letter delivered by the British Embassy to the incoming National Security team after Donald Trump’s election, and to outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice (the letter apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question, and declares him untrustworthy).

* All payments, notes, memos, correspondence, and instructions, by and between the FBI, CIA or DOD with Stefan Halper–going back as far as 2014–regarding Michael Flynn, Svetlana Lokhova, Mr. Richard Dearlove (of MI6), and professor Christopher Andrew (connected with MI5) and Halper’s compensation through the DOD Office of Net Assessment as evidenced by the whistleblower complaint of Adam Lovinger….

* Unredacted copies of all memos created by or other communications from James Comey that mention or deal with any any investigation, surveillance, FISA applications, interviews, or use of a confidential human source or “OCONUS lures” against Mr. Flynn.

* An internal DOJ document dated January 30, 2017, in which the FBI exonerated Mr. Flynn of being “an agent of Russia.”

The top two are total game changers. Together they show that the FBI knew that Steele’s dossier was largely a fraud and it also shows that McCabe had targeted both Flynn and Trump. This specific items shows that there are people in the FBI telling Powell what went on and where to look and this, in turn, puts the FBI on notice that lying about their existence is simply begging for someone to leak a copy of the documents to her…assuming that hasn’t already been done.

No matter what you think about Trump or Flynn, you should be able to see that Flynn was targeted for a malicious prosecution by an outgoing administration and its loyalists. That is wrong. That is why we are not Brazil or Argentina. The takeaway should not be “har, har, har, that’s funny” it should be “if they will do it to the President of the United States and his top staff, then you, my friend, are so very f***ed.”

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The post The Questions Asked by Mike Flynn’s Lawyer Shows She Has Been Getting a Lot of Help From Within the FBI appeared first on RedState.

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Buzz: IG Report Is ‘Being Circulated Inside And Outside’ Of The DOJ And Finds That FISA Warrants Were Illegally Obtained

Westlake Legal Group fisa-court-620x349 Buzz: IG Report Is ‘Being Circulated Inside And Outside’ Of The DOJ And Finds That FISA Warrants Were Illegally Obtained Special Counsel President Trump Mueller Investigation Kathleen Kavalec John Solomon Joe diGenova Jerry Nadler james comey Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats collusion Christopher Steele Carter Page Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

 

The long awaited DOJ Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s applications to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is now finished and is currently undergoing the declassification process. It is expected to be released sometime this month. Unlike the IG’s recent report on James Comey’s interactions with President Trump which accused Comey of breaking FBI rules and policies, this report will focus on violations of the law. It will answer the question we all want answered. Did James Comey’s FBI acquire warrants to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page illegally? If the recent buzz is correct, the report concludes that all four warrants were obtained illegally.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on “Hannity” on Monday night and said he expects the report to find that the FBI actions were illegal. Jordan is the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee and a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Fox News‘ Gregg Jarrett said he “absolutely” agreed.

On Monday, Washington lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova told Washington’s WMAL that, “I can report categorically that the inspector general has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal. They were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court. And Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal.”

DiGenova participated in the Washington Examiner‘s Examining Politics podcast just after the IG’s report on Comey’s conduct was released. He told the panel the IG’s report on FISA abuse is “being circulated inside and outside of the department for comment by interested parties.”

Perhaps that’s why Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has doubled down on his efforts to impeach Trump this week. It sounds as if a large number of Washington insiders are privy to the results of the report.

If Nadler is aware of how damning its findings are for Democrats, he may want to act before it is released. Ahead of the Mueller report, which he knew would be a disappointment for the left, he and other Democratic committee leaders launched a blitz of investigations into the President.

The IG’s report was originally expected to be released in June. There was a reason for the delay. At the last minute, several “reluctant witnesses” agreed to be questioned by the IG’s team, one of whom was Kathleen Kavalec, who was the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the time. Another witness was Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

Back in May, the Hill’s John Solomon broke the bombshell story of an October 2016 meeting between Kavalec and Steele. During this exchange, Steele told Kavalec that his client was “keen” to break the story before election day. (I wrote about this here. Solomon’s articles can be viewed here and here.)

Ten days before the FBI applied to the FISA Court for their first warrant to spy on Trump advisor Carter Page, Kavalec made two important discoveries. First, she realized that some of the material in the dossier Steele had prepared for the FBI and the Clinton campaign was inaccurate. After a brief meeting with Steele, Kavalec was instantly aware of Steele’s agenda and she was alarmed. She prepared a memo from her meeting notes and sent it to the appropriate officials at the FBI. The memo said that Steele had told her, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami.” She then wrote, “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.” Kavalec also said that Steele admitted his work was political.

Also in May, Citizens United had obtained copies of Kavalec’s memo, through a FOIA request. The documents were immediately forwarded to the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz who had not been aware that they even existed.

Citizens United learned that the memo and related documents had been retroactively labeled as classified by the FBI. They were heavily redacted. Kavalec sent the email to the FBI on October 13, 2016.

At the time, DiGenova had appeared on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and made an extraordinary claim. He said the DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has “concluded that the final three FISA extensions were illegally obtained.”

He added, “The only question now is whether or not the first FISA warrant was illegally obtained…As a result of those disclosures from John Solomon today, which he was unaware of, the Bureau hid those memos from Horowitz. As a result of that, they are doing some additional work on the first FISA. It may be that all four FISAs will have been obtained illegally.”

Let’s hope DiGenova is right.

The post Buzz: IG Report Is ‘Being Circulated Inside And Outside’ Of The DOJ And Finds That FISA Warrants Were Illegally Obtained appeared first on RedState.

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John Ratcliffe Predicts An Indictment For CNN’s Newest Contributor, Andrew McCabe

Westlake Legal Group andrew-mccabe-300x182 John Ratcliffe Predicts An Indictment For CNN’s Newest Contributor, Andrew McCabe Special Counsel Mueller Investigation Michael Horowitz Michael Flynn John Ratcliffe Jeff Sessions george papadopoulos Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats crime Andrew McCabe Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

 

In an appearance on Fox News‘ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) told host Maria Bartiromo he sees an indictment for fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on charges of lying to the government.

McCabe was fired on March 16, 2018, hours before his retirement was scheduled to take effect. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions made his decision based on recommendations from both the DOJ’s Inspector General and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The IG report indicated that McCabe “had made unauthorized releases of information to the media and had misled agents who questioned him about it” and had “displayed a lack of candor.” Simply put, he lied to investigators.

The IG report stated:

We found that, in a conversation with then-Director Comey shortly after the WSJ article was published, McCabe lacked candor when he told Comey, or made statements that led Comey to believe, that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure and did not know who did.  This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.5 (Lack of Candor – No Oath).

We also found that on May 9, 2017, when questioned under oath by FBI agents from INSD, McCabe lacked candor when he told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did.  This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor –  Under Oath).

We further found that on July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when he stated: (a) that he was not aware of Special Counsel having been authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) that,  because he was not in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and 28, 2016, he was unable to say where Special Counsel was or what she was doing at that time.  This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).

We additionally found that on November 29, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview during which he contradicted his prior statements by acknowledging that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ, McCabe lacked candor when he: (a) stated that he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD agents on May 9 that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ about the PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD’s questioning of him on May 9 about the October 30 WSJ article occurred at the end of an unrelated meeting when one of the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one or two questions about the article. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor –   Under Oath).

McCabe denied any wrongdoing, claiming the charges were politically motivated.

Actually, although IANAL, it looks like perjury to me.

Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor, said, “Here, you have the inspector general stating that Andrew McCabe did that multiple times, and the magic words, did so intentionally and knowingly. I think the Department of Justice is going to have to indict Andy McCabe, simply because to do otherwise would be to admit that there are separate standards for people doing the same thing for the same conduct. You can’t really tell the public we’re going to treat people differently for the same conduct.”

He added that the Mueller team “made a cottage industry out of charging people like General Flynn and George Papadopoulos for lying to investigators.”

The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross notes that, given McCabe’s rank at the FBI, he was “authorized to release information about ongoing investigations to the media as long as it was done in the public interest.” But, in his report, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz writes that “McCabe authorized the leak in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership.”

An August 26th report from the New York Times said that McCabe’s attorneys had met with Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. When a suspect’s attorneys meet with the Deputy AG, it is often a clue that an indictment is on the way. It can be construed as a last ditch effort for the attorneys to make the case that their client is innocent.

The New York Times report said:

Federal prosecutors in Washington appear to be in the final stages of deciding whether to seek an indictment of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director and a frequent target of President Trump, on charges of lying to federal agents, according to interviews with people familiar with recent developments in the investigation.

In two meetings last week, Mr. McCabe’s lawyers met with the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who is expected to be involved in the decision about whether to prosecute, and for more than an hour with the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, according to a person familiar with the meetings. The person would not detail the discussions, but defense lawyers typically meet with top law enforcement officials to try to persuade them not to indict their client if they failed to get line prosecutors to drop the case.

Ratcliffe told Bartiromo that “there is a difference of opinion” over whether or not McCabe will be indicted. He said, “I don’t know how you can’t indict him when he is engaged in the same conduct that other people have recently been charged for at the Department of Justice, particularly when your own watchdog says that those lies were done intentionally and knowingly and done repeatedly.”

In an incredibly audacious move, McCabe sued the DOJ and the FBI last month. He blames Trump for his firing. His lawsuit (which can be viewed here) states that Trump had “constitutionally improper motives for removing him.”

Watch the video.

The post John Ratcliffe Predicts An Indictment For CNN’s Newest Contributor, Andrew McCabe appeared first on RedState.

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Breaking: DoJ loses special-counsel FARA case on Craig

Westlake Legal Group craig Breaking: DoJ loses special-counsel FARA case on Craig The Blog Special Counsel Robert Mueller rick gates Paul Manafort Greg Craig Foreign Agent Registration Act Department of Justice

It didn’t take long for a jury to dispense with one of the few cases from the special counsel investigation into Russiagate to make it to trial. A few minutes ago, the jurors acquitted Greg Craig of violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) and allegations that he deliberately misled investigators:

Former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig was acquitted Wednesday of giving false information to federal authorities about his work on behalf of the Ukrainian government amid a new crackdown on illicit foreign influence.

The case against Craig, a high-powered Washington lawyer, was one of a handful of investigations that grew out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Craig was acquitted after more than two weeks of testimony followed by less than five hours of deliberation. Craig faced trial in federal court for falsifying and concealing information about his work for the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Americans who work on behalf of foreign governments within the United States are required to register with the Justice Department.

It looked like Mueller and the Department of Justice had a case against Craig, at least on paper. Craig and his firm Skadden Arps worked with the Russia-friendly government in Ukraine at the time, as did Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. They hired Craig and his law firm to conduct a “review” of the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko to push back against the commonly held perception that it was a political hit job. The report noted that Tymoshenko’s rights had been violated but that the evidence supported a conviction anyway, and Craig later leaked the report to the New York Times.

The purpose of that leak was one of the key points of Craig’s trial. Prosecutors argued that he leaked it to the Times to promote the Viktor Yanukovych government’s propaganda against Tymoshenko, and therefore acted illegally as a foreign agent. Prosecutors also alleged that Craig concealed the fact that his efforts were funded by Russia-friendly oligarch and Yanukovych crony Viktor Pinchuk, who gave $4 million to Skadden Arps. (Skadden Arps settled its case for $4.6 million.) However, Craig argued that he leaked it to make sure the derogatory information about the Yanokovych government got out:

Craig has insisted that he never lied to or sought to mislead the government and that he genuinely did not believe he needed to register as a foreign agent. The argument is based in part on what Craig contended was an acrimonious and distrustful relationship with Manafort and with a firm Ukraine hired to publicize the report, FTI Consulting.

Craig’s defense alleged that the relationship grew so strained that in dealing with Sanger and other journalists, he was trying to counteract or preempt an aggressive spin job Manafort was overseeing to make the report sound like a ringing endorsement of the controversial prosecution of Tymoshenko.

Looks like the jury bought Craig’s explanation — or at least thought it was one reasonable explanation. It’s unclear why prosecutors thought it wouldn’t be.

That makes Mueller/DoJ 2-1 on FARA trials out of the Russiagate probe, but one of the wins comes with an asterisk. The DoJ had a premade case on Manafort long before the 2016 election, which Mueller revived in order to pressure Manafort and Gates into flipping on Donald Trump. It turned out that they didn’t have any dirt to dish, but Mueller’s team still scored easy wins on the case. They also convicted Bijan Rafekian in July, a former partner of Michael Flynn, who is presently appealing the verdict.

The Washington Post’s Spencer Hsu writes that this might force Congress to revamp FARA:

The acquittal marks a high-profile setback for a Justice Department crackdown on foreign lobbying in the United States, exposing flaws in a difficult prosecution that was handed off among several offices before Craig’s April indictment. Before the trial began, a judge dismissed a count against Craig directly involving the registration requirements, saying the rules seemed vague as applied to Craig’s circumstances.

The verdict is likely to stir debate over whether to clarify or strengthen provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires Americans paid by foreign governments or politicians to influence U.S. policy or opinion to register with the Justice Department.

Maybe, but perhaps a big part of this was the fact that the DoJ has only recently taken this 80-year-old law seriously. It’s tough to expect juries to do the same, especially in an instance where there’s no other apparent fraud alleged. Manafort operated a complex scheme to enrich himself, but Craig was more or less doing his job, albeit for unpleasant characters. The sudden embrace of FARA as sole grounds for criminal prosecution no doubt had something to do with the jury’s decision-making.

The post Breaking: DoJ loses special-counsel FARA case on Craig appeared first on Hot Air.

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Why Comey Escaped Charges Last Week and Why His Luck Is Likely To Change

Westlake Legal Group ap-comey-eyes-closed-620x413 Why Comey Escaped Charges Last Week and Why His Luck Is Likely To Change william barr Special Counsel President Trump Mueller Investigation Michael Horowitz Kathleen Kavalec john durham Joe diGenova Jed Babbin james comey Front Page Stories FISA Court FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption cia Carter Page Campaigns Andy Biggs Andrew McCarthy Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

FBI Director James Comey pauses while making a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

 

The release of last week’s Inspector General’s report, which focused on James Comey, was a disappointment to conservatives who were hoping to see the former FBI Director held accountable for his actions. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Comey had flouted FBI rules and ignored protocol in his determination to undermine President-elect Trump. He leaked memos he had written after each meeting with Trump with the intention of triggering the appointment of a special counsel. And he was successful. Horowitz clearly presented Comey’s wrongdoing, but even so, Attorney General William Barr declined to charge him with a crime.

There were several reasons for Barr’s decision. Comey, having attained the top position at the FBI knew the limitations of the law and how to remain within them. First, he made sure his memos were not classified at the time he leaked them. Next, he leaked the documents to his attorney friend who also had a security clearance.

Finally, he employed a legal tool that only an experienced trial lawyer would be familiar with. The National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, who is a former US attorney himself, immediately recognized it and explained how Comey used what prosecutors call a “recollection recorded.

At a certain (prearranged) moment during the intelligence briefing of President-elect Trump on January 6, 2016, the other officials, including CIA director John Brennan, left Comey and Trump alone so that Comey could “spring the trap.”

Comey told Trump of the dossier and specifically discussed the “golden showers” story. McCarthy writes that he was trying to force Trump into making incriminating statements that he could include in his memo of the meeting, and which could later be used as a “recollection recorded.” This is what Comey wrote in his memo following the meeting.

I said, the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. He interjected, “there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes.” He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn’t need to “go there” and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn’t need to pay for sex). He said “2013” to himself, as if trying to remember that period of time, but didn’t add anything. He said he always assumed that hotel rooms he stayed in when he travels are wired in some way.

McCarthy explains what Comey was trying to accomplish:

If you understand what Comey was doing, the memo is not very subtle. The implication is that the “golden showers” incident may well have happened (meaning: Yes, Putin may have Trump over a barrel, just like Chris Steele says!). The president-elect was adamant only that prostitutes were not involved, not that an escapade of this kind was inconceivable.

That is to say: If the FBI’s investigation turned up some corroboration for Steele’s pee-tape story, Comey would now be in a position to provide helpful testimony about Trump’s statements and state of mind. The memo itself might even be admissible in court as evidence for the prosecution.

In June 2017, when the existence of former director Comey’s memos first emerged, he was asked why he’d made them. He [Comey] explained, “I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president.”

I [McCarthy] observed at the time that, as an old prosecutor, that got my antennae pinging. To non-attorneys, this was just gobbledygook. But as any trial lawyer can tell you, “recollection recorded” is not an idle phrase. It is a term of art in the Federal Rules of Evidence (specifically, Rule 803(5), “Recorded Recollection”).

Most out-of-court statements (e.g., a news story about an event) are inadmissible as hearsay. But under some circumstances, “recollection recorded” is an exception to the hearsay rule. To qualify, the recollection must be recorded (such as in a memo) at the time an incident was fresh in the witness’s memory, so that it accurately reflects the witness’s knowledge. That’s why — if you’re not only an FBI official but a seasoned trial lawyer, such as Jim Comey — you’d want to write it down contemporaneously or immediately after the relevant event. Perhaps in a car speeding to a meeting with fellow investigators to report back to them about the investigation you’ve just done, despite telling your prime suspect, the incoming president, that you are not investigating him.

Barr is not a stupid man and knew that, due to Comey’s careful preparation and deliberate manipulation of the President-elect, it would be difficult to prosecute a case against him.

Barr is also well aware that there are two far more comprehensive reports coming. The first, the IG’s report on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA Court application process is due at the end of this month or in early October. The American Spectator’s Jed Babbin wrote that these reports are expected to show clear violations of the law. “Not in violation of regulations or procedures: in violation of the law.”

And, from what sources such as former DOJ official Joe DiGenova, investigative reporter John Solomon and several GOP members of Congress have said, the findings will be very damaging to James Comey and his colleagues.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” last weekend and predicted that the IG’s FISA abuse report would be “devastating” and will result in indictments. Biggs, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee said:

I anticipate that we will see some very stark revelations of manipulation of the whole system for political purposes. When you see that happen, that’s when I think you’re going to see references or referrals for indictments, and I think you are going to see some indictments.

I think you are going to see some accountability there.

Biggs estimated that the report “will be released probably mid-September.”

Comey signed off on the original FISA Court application and two of the three renewals for the warrant to spy on low-level Trump campaign advisor Carter Page for the purpose of spying on Trump. The FBI knowingly used Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier as the basis of their FISA applications. Comey, as well as the other major players in the conspiracy to bring down Trump knew the dossier was bogus, but wanted to gain a window into his campaign. FBI officials had been warned by the fourth highest ranking DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, that the dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC and that Steele had been hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS. They were told that Steele harbored deep resentment against Donald Trump and was “desperate” that he lose the race.

In addition, the FBI had received an email from State Department official Kathleen Kavalec prior to submitting their first application to the FISA Court.

Finally, The Hill’s John Solomon reported that the FBI kept a chart of the allegations made in the dossier. And the finest law enforcement agency in the world with all of the powerful tools of intelligence available to them, had not been able to verify a single one.

Three months after signing off on the first application swearing that the information had been “verified,” Comey sat in Trump’s office and grossly misrepresented the situation for his own purposes.

The case against Comey and his top officials is pretty clear cut in this instance and there is a solid trail of evidence to back it up. This leaves very little opportunity for deception.

The second and most consequential report will come after special prosecutor John Durham completes his investigation into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion case.

That report will be the “main event.” Babbin writes that, “It will be the one that decides whom to indict and will obtain those indictments from one or more grand juries convened for that purpose.” (I will focus on that report in a later post.)

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General Flynn’s New Attorney Accuses Mueller’s Team Of Misconduct and the New York Times Suffers Fecal Incontinence

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National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives in the east Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, for a news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. . (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

General Mike Flynn’s legal team was back in US District Court on Friday and his new attorney, Sidney Powell, came loaded for bear. Rather than walk away from the plea deal, Powell wants additional discovery with the stated intention of a) obtaining sanctions against the Mueller team prosecutors who were operating under the direction of the lawless Andrew Weissmann.

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The issue is Weissmann’s goons concealing Brady material (see the explainer). This is a hot button issue with the judge in this case, Emmett Sullivan. Sullivan, by standing order, instructs prosecutors of their duty divulge exculpatory material to the defense and he his the guy who tossed Ted Stevens’s conviction because of the grotesque misconduct by the Department of Justice.

Here is sort of seems like that when the prosecutors were forced to cough up more material, there was exculpatory material included but they tried to paper over the concealment by stating the material was not covered.

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The reaction was not long in coming. The New York Times’s Adam Goldman, who has been the beneficiary of a lot of FBI and Mueller related leaks and who claimed that terrorist rejoice when the FBI shuts down a leak

was on the job. Check out the lede:

Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser, escalated their attacks on prosecutors on Friday, recycling unfounded conspiratorial accusations in a last-ditch bid to delay his sentencing in a case in which he has twice admitted guilt.

The move could anger Emmet G. Sullivan, the federal judge who will sentence Mr. Flynn. The filings could magnify any doubts by Judge Sullivan about whether Mr. Flynn truly accepts responsibility for his crime of lying to the F.B.I. and whether he fulfilled his cooperation agreement with the government in one of the lingering cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Actually this is entirely bullsh**. Powell is not recycling conspiracy theories. Apparently, what Goldman considers to be a conspiracy theory is this:

In a pair of filings, Mr. Flynn’s lawyers made clear that they view him as a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, amplifying right-wing theories about a so-called deep state of government bureaucrats working to undermine President Trump. The defense lawyers accused prosecutors of engaging in “pernicious” conduct in Mr. Flynn’s case, saying they had been “manipulating or controlling the press to their advantage to extort that plea.”

If we hadn’t just gone through over two years of rogue Clinton loyalists in the federal bureaucracy using the power of the state to spy on the presidential campaign of President Trump, to spy on his transition team, and to connive to have a special prosecutor appointed on the basis of a document they either knew or should have known was bogus this might be humorous. But we did and Goldman is delusional if he still holds that these were just devoted public servants trying to innocently oust a president.

The government has stated that Flynn has fulfilled in agreement. And if Sullivan has any doubts it will be about the prosecutors. I’m 99% convinced that the lambasting that Flynn got from Sullivan, where he was accused of treason, was an effort by Sullivan to get Flynn to not lay down and roll over for what is looking more and more like a dishonest prosecution.

Here’s Rowan Scarborough to remind us of some of the details.

One of the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn at the White House is fired agent Peter Strzok. He headed the Trump-Russia probe, used the dossier and vowed in a text message to “stop” Mr. Trump.

The other agent who interviewed Flynn was the link between the bureau and former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Mr. Ohr became the main messenger for Fusion GPS, the Clinton opposition research firm that hired former British spy Christopher Steele. He wrote the now-discredited dossier that alleged a wide Trump-Russia election conspiracy.

The conduct and motives of Strzok and his partner are very much at issue.

Here you have an example of officials, I suspect one of them is named Andrew Weissmann, leaking classified information to Goldman that the government refuses to share with Flynn’s attorney:

“We must have access to that information to represent our client consistently with his constitutional rights and our ethical obligations,” Mr. Flynn’s lawyers wrote.

The classified transcripts of the calls make clear that the two men discussed sanctions at length and that Mr. Flynn was highly unlikely to have forgotten those details when questioned by the F.B.I., several former United States officials familiar with the documents have said. It was clear, the officials said, that sanctions were the only thing Mr. Flynn wanted to talk about with Mr. Kislyak.

All in all, Goldman’s story is a one-sided apologia for the conduct of a team of lawless cretins hellbent on punishing political opponents for fun and profit. It is the prosecutors response to Powell’s brief, not a news story. The are more focused on telling Judge Sullivan and people who might influence him what right thinking people at the New York Times demand that he do rather than covering the story. And the fact that Weissmann and his cronies would come out of the woodwork to slam Powell’s filing shows she is onto something that they don’t want brought to light.

Flynn is certainly playing a high stakes game. And we owe him a debt of gratitude for that. The quickness of the response from Mueller’s goons as relayed through the New York Times shows that they are afraid of what is coming next. Even if Flynn doesn’t walk, more and more of the abuse of power and deliberate misconduct that were Andrew Weissmann’s stock in trade are going to become apparent and eventually someone is going to be called to account.

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Comey Believes An Apology Is Owed; Too Bad Trump Can’t Fire Him Again

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On Oct. 28, 2013, President Barack Obama and James Comey participate in the installation ceremony for Mr. Comey as FBI director at the bureau’s Washington headquarters. PHOTO: CHARLES DHARAPAK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Fired, disgraced former FBI Director James Comey sure has chutzpah. He has mistaken Attorney General William Barr’s decision not to prosecute him for vindication. Following Thursday’s release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ surprise report which focused specifically on Comey, he feels that an apology is owed. Here is what he had to say:

Far from exonerating Comey, the report found that he had engaged in a great deal of wrongdoing. My colleague, Bonchie, posted the details of Comey’s January 6, 2017 briefing of President-elect Trump, which was “almost certainly a trap” here.

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained that “the group’s plan was to spring a scandalous allegation on President-elect Trump, quickly record his reaction, use a prearranged secure videoconference to discuss the information, and fit it all into the FBI’s ongoing (but unknown to Trump) “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.” Read the whole article.

To me, their behavior sounds treasonous. The group’s actions were premeditated, disingenuous and subversive.

Additionally, the January briefing was not Comey’s only offense. The report discusses his mishandling of classified information, the leaked memos, his frequent leaks of other material and further violations of DOJ and FBI policies. The report says that Comey set “a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees.” It states:

Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees […] Were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director’s example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly.

More importantly is that the findings in this report are expected to pale in comparison to what is uncovered by the other two reports we’ve been waiting for. Sean Hannity called Thursday’s report the “tip of the iceberg” which is why the DOJ declined to prosecute.

The reports to follow, the IG’s main report on FISA abuse by the FBI and John Durham’s report on the origin of the Trump/Russia investigation, will provide a treasure trove of information. Hannity said that Comey will be playing a starring role in the FBI’s FISA court application process because he signed off on three of them. He speculated that Comey could be charged with premeditated fraud. Hannity told viewers:

The Durham report will dig into how the government’s powerful tools of intelligence were used and abused against President Trump’s campaign and then President Trump. And also, in fact, whether or not illegal spying occurred, the outsourcing of intelligence gathering to friendly countries like Italy, Great Britain and Australia, all designed to circumvent US laws against spying on Americans without a warrant for the purpose of destroying a duly elected president. That will be a bombshell. James Comey is also implicated in that particular case. We also wait to see what roles James Clapper and John Brennan played in all this.

All of this is to say that the misguided former FBI Director is claiming victory way too soon because it appears that he remains very much in legal jeopardy. The worst is yet to come.

Many in the political world were stunned by Comey’s tone deafness. Here are some of the reactions to his bizarre request for an apology.

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel: “A curious request given the report’s bottom line was in fact this: “We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald: “Holy shit: the arrogance and self-regard of @Comey is unparalleled. The Inspector General from his own Department just issued a scathing report accusing him of wrongdoing so severe that it “shocked” his own colleagues & he’s demanding apologies instead of expressing contrition.”

Television host and author Dan Bongino: “Comey celebrating a report, which clearly lays out his ethical depravity and disregard for the rules of his employment, is the Comiest Comey thing ever. What a clown this guy is.”

Radio host Buck Sexton: “So James Comey was – it’s official now – a sanctimonious, self-righteous bureaucrat who believed in holding other people to standards that he himself was free to break when he saw fit. This should surprise no one.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “Now we know why Comey didn’t want to prosecute Clinton—he didn’t see a problem mishandling sensitive information. After clearing her, he did it too!…Comey, like Clinton, thinks he’s above the law.”

And, of course, President Trump: “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!”

Too bad Trump can’t fire him again.

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Lindsey Graham To Advise AG Barr On Planned Public Rollout Of SpyGate Documents

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Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pauses as he speaks to media about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 

In a Tuesday night appearance on “Hannity,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he will be meeting with Attorney General William Barr this week to advise him on the long-awaited rollout of Russia investigation and FISA documents to the American people.

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Hannity, “I’m going to meet the attorney general this week to talk to him about how best to tell the story. I don’t want people to conjecture as to what happened. I want you to read it.”

Graham predicted, “You’ll only find it on Fox. You may find it a little bit in the paper…It will get ten percent of what the Mueller report got.”

He continued, “Here’s the question. It’s not what did Obama know and when did he know it? Who told him? And what did he do when he was told? I want to know who briefed the president about their counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign. When you find that person, you’re going to unravel the riddle here.”

He wants the American people to see the 302s (FBI interview reports) and the FBI’s unredacted FISA Court application for the warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

Graham wants the public to read the transcripts of the meetings which occurred between FBI informant Joseph Mifsud and Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. The senator said, “I want you to hear in real time that the guy said ‘I’m not working with the Russians. If I were, it would be a crime of treason.’” The FBI conveniently left this exculpatory evidence out of their FISA application.

“I bet you Donald Trump did not spend ten minutes with both of them,” he added.

I’m sure he is right about that.

Finally, Graham asked a rhetorical question which I think we all know the answer to. “Did they open up a counterintelligence investigation not to protect the country — but to get Trump?”

It sure looks that way.

The DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report is expected to be released after Labor Day. Once it’s out, he will begin to call witnesses to testify before his Committee, “so you can hear from them what happened.”

I’ll look forward to it.

Watch the video.

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