Retired Admiral William McRaven has published an op-ed in Friday’s New York Times titled, “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President,” urging that Trump be removed from office — “the sooner, the better.”
McRaven’s op-ed gives a military imprimatur to what President Donald Trump has already likened to a “coup,” as Democrats attempt to impeach him with barely a year to go before the next presidential election.
The admiral, well-respected for his role in overseeing the operation to kill Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden in 2011, argues that senior military leaders have lost confidence in the president and feel he is a threat to the nation.
“As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg,” McRaven recalled, “one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’”
McRaven does not argue that President Trump has done anything wrong in particular, but that he has no respect for America’s values. These values, McRaven declares, involve a commitment to “help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice” around the world.
Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said Wednesday he was denied access to House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff’s “secret chamber” where he is running his unauthorized sham impeachment inquiry.
“I was just denied access to Adam Schiff’s secret chamber where he is running the unauthorized impeachment inquiry of President Trump,” Biggs said shortly before he called for Adam Schiff to be condemned and censured. Over 160 members of Congress have co-sponsored Biggs’ motion to censure Schiff.
“Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi are intentionally running Soviet-style hearings to deprive the American people of representation,” he added.
Rep. Biggs told a gaggle of reporters that Pelosi and Schiff are running ‘Soviet style’ impeachment hearings to block Minority members of the House of Representatives from sitting in and listening to testimonies.
To further add to the secrecy surrounding the testimonies, Biggs said the Democrats won’t even release to the GOP representatives the transcripts from the hearings.
If the full House were to vote on the impeachment inquiry, it would give every member of the House access to the hearings — this is one of the reasons why Pelosi refuses to bring the vote to the House floor.
I was just denied access to Adam Schiff’s secret chamber where he is running the unauthorized impeachment inquiry of @POTUS@realDonaldTrump.
Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi are intentionally running Soviet-style hearings to deprive the American people of representation. pic.twitter.com/ZMpOmGS8zW
According to a new declassified ruling FBI employees abused NSA mass surveillance data in 2017 and 2018. In 2017 FBI employees conducted over 3.1 million searches from the NSA database including searching activities of US citizens.
Under current FBI rules surveillance data can only be searched if there is reasonable suspicion of crimes having taken place or clear risks to national security. But FBI employees and even contractors were searching the database to see what information they could find on U.S. citizens.
According to a new declassified ruling from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), FBI personnel systematically abused National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance data in both 2017 and 2018. The 138-page ruling, which dates back to October 2018, was only unsealed 12 months later in October 2019. It offers a rare look at how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been abusing the constitutional privacy rights of U.S. citizens with alarming regularity. The court ruling is also a stinging rebuke to the FBI’s overreach of its ability to search surveillance intelligence databases.
Key elements of the FISA court ruling
The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, itself a super-secret court that traditionally approves each and every request of law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, found that employees of the FBI searched data collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in an inappropriate and potentially unconstitutional manner. These abuses, says the FISA court, included accessing NSA surveillance data to look into the online communications of U.S. citizens, including fellow FBI employees and their family members. All told, there may have been tens of thousands of these improper queries, all of them carried out without any reasonable suspicion of a crime or illegal activity posing a risk to national security. Moreover, many of the FBI’s backdoor searches did not differentiate between U.S. citizens and foreign intelligence targets.
In 2017 alone, the FBI conducted over 3.1 million searches of surveillance data, compared to just 7,500 combined searches by the CIA and NSA. This is particularly troubling because, under current FBI operating procedures, this surveillance data can only be searched if there is reasonable suspicion of crimes having taken place or clear risks to national security. And, yet, FBI employees and FBI contractors were at times searching the database to see what information they could find on U.S. citizens not at all connected to foreign intelligence matters.
The FBI and deep state operatives were also spying on the Trump family, the Trump administration and conservatives during this same time period.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed to her Democrat Caucus on Tuesday that there will be no formal floor vote to officially launch an impeachment probe against President Trump.
Fox News Congress reporter Chad Pergram and Congress writer for The Hill Scott Wong both confirmed Pelosi has no plans to hold a full House vote.
Rather, Pelosi and her fellow Democrat coup plotters are moving full steam ahead with secret impeachment proceedings ‘to keep President Trump and his lawyers in the dark,’ as Adam Schiff previously stated.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) admitted on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the reason for holding secret testimonies behind closed doors is to keep President Trump and his lawyers in the dark.
And so Schiff can selectively leak to the media…
The crooked Democrats on Tuesday changed the rules again in their sham impeachment inquiry.
The Dems shifted the closed-door interviews to depositions in order to limit the questioning to one attorney per round.
Another reason why Pelosi won’t hold a full House vote on the floor is because she will expose vulnerable red-state Democrats who are up for a tough reelection in 2020 — Pelosi knows the majority of Americans do no support impeachment.
Furthermore, the Dems are able to block the Minority members from issuing subpoenas and questioning witnesses.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is in a tough spot. After caving in to pressure from her party to launch an impeachment inquiry based on a CIA ‘whistleblower’ report that Trump abused his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating 2020 rival Joe Biden, Pelosi must now decide on whether to proceed with a formal vote amid mounting evidence that Trump did nothing wrong.
Trump has pushed for a vote – which would allow Republicans to issue subpoenas, as well as grant the White House the ability to cross-examine witnesses. To that end, the White House outlined in a Tuesday letter that they will refuse to cooperate with an inquiry that is “invalid” due to Pelosi’s refusal to make it official.
“Never before in our history has the House of Representatives — under the control of either political party — taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue,” wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
Think about if you went through a trial, but you weren't allowed to call any witnesses. That's what Speaker Pelosi is doing to President Trump right now.
When asked on Wednesday if he would cooperate with Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry, Trump told reporters “we would if they give us our rights, it depends.”
Pelosi, meanwhile, says the effort to force a vote is nothing more than a “Republican talking point.”
“If we want to do it, we’ll do it. If we don’t, we don’t. But we’re certainly not going to do it because of the president,” said Pelosi in an interview last week with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A decision whether to call the president’s bluff is likely to be a main topic when Pelosi convenes a conference call with House Democrats at the end of the week. Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan, one of the leadership’s vote counters, said Democrats could easily pass a resolution authorizing the impeachment inquiry with as many as 230 votes.
With the White House vowing to block any cooperation, Pelosi is scheduled to hold the conference call on Friday to chart the next steps. The committees conducting the investigation have already issued a salvo of subpoenas for testimony or records directed at administration officials such as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo as well as Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. –Bloomberg
“We continue investigating and digging to uncover more of the truth. Nothing has changed,” said Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne on Wednesday, adding that Democrats have yet to settle on legal or tactical responses to the White House letter.
House Republicans led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyof California have been “using ads, press releases and other efforts to hammer Democratic House members from GOP-leaning districts over impeachment,” according to Bloomberg.
Trump and Republicans also have complained about the fairness of the process, citing closed-door hearings, and what they say are limitations by committee Republicans to subpoena their own rebuttal witnesses, or for the White House to have legal counsel in the room during depositions. –Bloomberg
According to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “If Democrats were interested in fairness, they would follow the same process as previous impeachment proceedings. Instead, they just make up the rules as they go along.”
Quid Pro Nope
The House impeachment inquiry was launched after a CIA officer reported that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for alleged corruption.
After Democrats uncritically launched their impeachment inquiry based on the initial whistleblower report, the White House upset their strategy – releasing a transcript of the call between Zelensky and Trump and the whistleblower complaint itself – plain readings of which reveal that Trump did not threaten, pressure or suggest a quid pro quo in exchange for a Biden investigation. Furthermore, Zelensky himself has said as much.
So as the case against Trump continues to unravel, Pelosi and the Democrats have some tough decisions to make as we head into the 2020 election.