Mika can’t take the heat. She and Psycho Joe spread Russian conspiracies daily for 3 1/2 years. Now they are getting a taste of their own medicine. Except Joe really might be a killer.
The tech platforms met with government officials at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on Wednesday, the company has confirmed, boasting that Big Tech and Big Brother have developed a “comprehensive strategy” to get control of previous election-related “vulnerabilities” while “analyzing and getting ahead of new threats.”
Facebook has scrambled to get in front of the 2020 election after being blamed for Trump’s 2016 electoral victory over merely allowing the “Russian trolls” to buy a bunch of ads, most of which appeared after the vote and had nothing to do with the election. But the company insisted last week it had tightened its rules for verifying purchasers of “political” ads, for real this time, after the 2018 contest showed they could still be duped into running obviously-fake ads “paid for by” the Islamic State terror group and Cambridge Analytica.
Aside from the occasional purge of accounts accused of being linked to countries like Russia, Iran, and China on the US’ ever-lengthening enemies’ list, however, it’s hard to tell what exactly any platform has done to make itself immune to ‘manipulation’. Twitter banned state-owned media from buying ads on its platform last month, holding the move up as a victory against the dreaded “foreign meddling,” but its own founder’s account was hacked last week, suggesting it has bigger security issues than a few wrongthink-prone advertisers.
And Google’s potential to sway elections has been the subject of Senate hearings – yet the company has remained silent on addressing the problem, suggesting it doesn’t see it as a bug at all, but a feature. Subsidiary YouTube, meanwhile, conducted another round of deplatforming last month even while declaring it was an open platform for controversial ideas.
The electoral meeting of the minds came less than a week after the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) declared war on deepfakes and other potentially discord-sowing information, promising to neutralize all “malicious” content within four years – if not for this election, then certainly for the next.
Until then, there’s Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software, which the company announced in July it would provide to all the nation’s voting machines, free of charge, out of the goodness of its (and the Pentagon-owned contractor that helped develop the program’s) heart. And if Microsoft’s act of selfless charity doesn’t convince a district their democracy is worth protecting, there’s always Cyberdome, the election security nonprofit advised by half a dozen former intel agency heads who want what’s best for your vote (when they’re not authorizing torture or warrantless wiretapping).
Getting the DHS involved was a nice touch, too, after that agency was accused of attempting to hack electoral systems in multiple states thousands of times during the period surrounding the 2016 election. Unlike the “Russian hacking” allegations that remain unproven, multiple officials from Idaho, Georgia, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky claim the agency attempted to access their systems after they opposed its efforts to “secure” those systems. After initially denying any involvement, the DHS claimed the attempted breach alarms were set off accidentally, during routine “legitimate work.”
By Sara Carter
It is evident that former senior Obama administration officials and opponents of President Trump know that and fear it. It began last night with the ‘non-story’ that Special Counsel Robert Mueller prosecutors weren’t happy with Barr’s four page letter explaining their report on the Russia investigation.
“We did not understand exactly why the special counsel was not reaching a decision,” Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We don’t conduct criminal investigations just to collect information and put it out to the public. We do so to make a decision,” Barr told lawmakers. He suggested that Mueller should have come to a decision but avoided the criticism of Democrats by passing the ball to him with regard to obstruction.
It was also apparent in the opinion editorial placed in the New York Times by disgraced and fired former Director of the FBI James Comey. Comey challenged Barr’s use of the word ‘spying.’ That’s exactly what Comey’s office did to the Trump campaign even if the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court sanctioned the bureau’s probe into former Trump campaign volunteers, like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
“How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like “no collusion” and F.B.I. “spying”? And downplaying acts of obstruction of justice as products of the president’s being “frustrated and angry,” something he would never say to justify the thousands of crimes prosecuted every day that are the product of frustration and anger,” wrote Comey.
Channeling the president? What is Comey talking about. Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy with Russia and Barr, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, found no grounds for obstruction.
The use of the word ‘spying’ is a common phrase used for exactly what it is meant. Just look it up in Webster’s Dictionary.
However, Comey is well aware that the public fight is all he has left. He is walking a legal tight rope and he knows it.
If there is anyone who was channeling anybody, it was Comey. He channeled the words of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he called the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private sever to send classified government emails ‘a matter’ and not an investigation.
He channeled Obama when he uttered the same phrases that Clinton was not ‘intentionally’ putting American lives in jeopardy when she sent classified information on a server, our government believes was penetrated by multiple foreign state actors.
Remember what Obama said in April 2016: “Hillary Clinton was an outstanding secretary of state. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.”
Comey said months later in July 2016, when he exonerated Clinton: “We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information beyond a reasonable doubt to meet the intent standard.” It wasn’t about meeting the standard, under the law it’s about gross negligence.
Barr has taken charge. Comey and his crew of FBI cohorts, along with other senior Obama administration officials, have a lot to worry about.
The DOJ is now investigating the origins of the FBI’s investigation and that frankly, is scaring the heck out of those who were involved. The public can thank Barr. He isn’t new to the internal politicking in Washington D.C. and is well aware of the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus. He is also very familiar with all the players involved.
And they are fighting back with whatever ammo they have left. The ammunition is disinformation and gaslighting the public using main stream outlets. It is a war and they are in the final battle using everything at their disposal to go after the one man that can expose all of it: Barr.
However, it won’t work. As they say in old detective movies “the jig is up” and the American people, along with the DOJ, have seen enough evidence to prove that the bureau’s probe was fraught with problems.
It was spying. Plain and simple.
Barr should know, he worked with the CIA early in his career.
He also is not worried about being ‘politically correct’ to benefit the Democrats grilling him before the Senate Judiciary Committee and no matter how many tantrums they throw it isn’t going to stop him from getting to truth.
March 28, 2019
The connections between Nellie Ohr and the ‘Spygate’ scandal were hidden at a distance for months.
As noted previously at TGP, Nellie Ohr is a Communist sympathizer connected to Russia as well as a corrupt Never-Trumper.
Author Diana West at the American Spectator posted an article on Nellie Ohr last year. Nellie Ohr is “the “dossier” spying scandal’s woman in the middle.”
To one side of Ohr, there is the Fusion GPS team, including fellow contractor Christopher Steele. To the other, there is husband Bruce Ohr, who, until his “dossier”-related demotion, was No. 4 man at the Department of Justice, and a key contact there for Steele.
What’s more revealing about Nellie Ohr is the men in her life are protecting her involvement in the Russia scandal:
Notably, the “dossier” men in her life have tried to shield Ohr from public scrutiny, even at professional risk. Her husband, as the Daily Caller News Foundation reports, failed to disclose his wife’s employment with Fusion GPS and seek the appropriate conflict-of-interest waiver, which may have been an important factor in his demotion from associate deputy attorney general late last year.
Under Senate and House questioning, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson consistently failed to disclose Nellie Ohr’s existence as one of his firm’s paid Russian experts, let alone that he hired her for the red-hot DNC/Clinton campaign Trump-Russia project.
Even Christopher Steele may have tried to keep Nellie Ohr “under cover.” Steele, put forth as the “dossier” author ever since its January 2017 publication in BuzzFeed, does not appear to have let on to his many media and political contacts that he had “dossier”-assistance from at least two fellow Fusion GPS Russian experts, Nellie Ohr and Edward Baumgartner. Baumgartner, interestingly, was a Russian history major at Vassar in the 1990s when Nellie Ohr taught Russian history there.
It appears that the men in Nellie’s life did all they could to prevent Nellie Ohr from being outed for being involved in the dossier because she also has links to the CIA and therefore to John Brennan.
Via The Last Refuge – Conservative Treehouse:
The latest FOIA requests indicate Nellie Ohr was working for the DOJ in 2015-2016.
This means Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS AND the DOJ at the same time.
Nellie Ohr has deep involvement with the creation of this fraudulent document.
BY GRACE SEGERS, OLIVIA GAZIS
At a hearing Thursday, Republican Rep. Mike Conaway read a letter that argued that Schiff has been “at the center of a well-orchestrated media campaign claiming, among other things, the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.”
A visibly emotional Schiff, who did not know this broadside from Republicans was coming, had a strident response. At times raising his voice, he listed a litany of known and controversial interactions between the Trump campaign and Russia – including Donald Trump, Jr’s involvement in the Trump Tower meeting and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s sharing of polling data with a Russian associate.
“You might think it’s okay,” Schiff said. “I don’t.”
Since special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that Trump campaign associates had colluded with the Kremlin, according to a letter sent to Congress by Attorney General William Barr, Republicans believe that Schiff’s continued investigation of Mr. Trump and his associates is an example of congressional overreach, and they accused him of abusing his position to “knowingly promote false information.”
“Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming,” said the letter read by Conaway. “The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions.”
The letter also says that Republicans have “no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.” The letter was signed by all nine Republican members of the committee, including moderate Reps. Elise Stefanik and Will Hurd.
President Trump is also picking a fight with Schiff, echoing the call on him to resign.
The committee has been riven by infighting since before Democrats took the majority in the 2018 midterm elections. The Republican-led Russia probe broke down along party lines — Republicans concluded there was no evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded, coordinated or conspired with the Russian government. Democrats decried the investigation as superficial and vowed to continue pulling threads they said Republicans ignored.
Asked about the sudden push by Republicans for him to step aside, Schiff told CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe Wednesday, “I’m used to attacks from the president and his allies in Congress. This is really nothing new and nothing unexpected.”
Emily Tillett contributed to this report
After a two year media circus, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report cleared President Trump of colluding with Russia to rig the 2016 election, a conclusion that Trump says brings him “complete and total exoneration.”
However, constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued that Mueller should have never been appointed in the first place. “It was a mistake to appoint a special counsel because there was no evidence of a crime,” Dershowitz said. Rather, he argued, Mueller’s appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was a knee-jerk reaction to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Mueller’s probe was launched just over a week after Comey was unceremoniously fired in May 2017. Before then, the FBI had been conducting its own investigation into the supposed collusion. That investigation, Dershowitz continued, was based on lies.
A dossier of salacious gossip – gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign – was presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as evidence to authorize the wiretapping of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, even though Comey later admitted he knew the dossier was unverifiable.
“I think the FISA court was defrauded,” the lawyer told RT. “You can show information to the FISA court which isn’t particularly compelling, as long as you tell the court what the source is, and alert it to the… conflicts of interest. You cannot provide material to the court, claiming it’s credible, when you yourself know that it lacks credibility.”
Troublingly, former National Security Agency leader William Binney added,
Among Republicans, talk of investigating the FBI and Department of Justice has risen above a chatter in recent days. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told reporters on Monday that he will investigate the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse and subsequent investigation, an investigation that Trump called “an illegal takedown that failed.”
“What makes no sense to me is that all of the abuse by the Department of Justice and the FBI – the unprofessional conduct, the shady behavior – nobody seems to think that’s much important. Well that’s going to change, I hope,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) gave Graham his blessing on Tuesday, saying the issue of whether the FBI conspired to hinder Trump’s election is “a legitimate question.”
“We’re headed that way,”presidential historian Doug Wead noted.
MARCH 26, 2019
“It’s not very clever. You guys have tortured this man for two years with collusion and nobody has apologized for it. Before we talk about obstruction, apologize!” Giuliani, one of Trump’s most trusted legal advisors, demanded.
Cuomo refused to apologize saying “Not a chance.”
“Of course you’re not because you’re not being fair,” Giuliani shot back, adding “I’m outraged by the behavior of these networks. Collusion, collusion, collusion… No collusion, Chris.”
Giuliani would not back down, adding “How about this network should apologize? I ask you to apologize,” he further demanded.
“The Washington Post should apologize and Adam Schiff should apologize.” Giuliani continued.
“Before we start jamming him up in obstruction, couldn’t we take a day off and say the man was falsely accused?” Giuliani said of the President.
Cuomo attempted to argue that the report doesn’t totally exonerate Trump and that ‘attempts to obstruct’ should be looked into.
Later on during the appearance, Giuliani described the infamous Steele dossier, upon which the investigation was founded, as “a cheap National Enquirer story”.
“Christopher Steele had been fired by the FBI, was paid $1.1 million by Hillary Clinton. Certain things they corroborate. If you read that dossier, you get past the second page and you think it’s an intelligence report you’re reading and it is a National Enquirer story. It is a cheap National Enquirer story. I’ve had four or five retired CIA agents read it,” Giuliani exclaimed.
After two plus years of crying ‘collusion’, CNN cannot back down, and is now parroting the mantra that the Mueller report ‘does not exonerate’ Trump, when that is EXACTLY what it does.
The Attorney General determined that the President was not guilty of collusion based on the Mueller report. The report exonerated Trump.
How much more fake can this fake news get? We’re at the point now where CNN is saying the exact opposite of the truth in a desperate attempt to save face.
By Billy House
Yet, even before the special counsel’s 22-month probe ended, Democrats were already working under a Plan B to undermine Trump going into the 2020 presidential race, through investigations led by House committees now under their control.
“We’re going to move forward with our investigations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power, corruption, to defend the rule of law, which is our job,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday at a news conference in New York. “It’s a broader mandate than the special prosecutor had.”
The strategy poses risks for the Democrats, particularly if voters prove tired of talk of investigating Trump now that Mueller has completed his work. In addition, the probes could overshadow their agenda, particularly on issues like health care that helped the party take back the House in 2018.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Mueller report a “two-year waste of taxpayer time and dollars” in an appearance Monday on NBC’s “Today” program. “We are all very glad it’s over and we can move forward and focus on things that really matter,” she said.
Within an hour of Attorney General William Barr delivering a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress, Nadler said his panel will call the attorney general to testify about “very concerning discrepancies and decisions at the department” in its interpretation of Mueller’s findings, particularly the decision not to pursue an obstruction of justice prosecution.
Barr’s “conclusions raise more questions than they answer given the fact that Mueller uncovered evidence that in his own words does not exonerate the president” on obstruction, Nadler said.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Fox Monday morning that Americans should breathe a “sigh of relief” at Mueller’s report.
“It’s quite clear that this group was hardly a group of Trump fans,” Giuliani said during n appearance Monday on Fox News. “It was thorough and it was conducted by people who had a bias to get him.”
Another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said on MSNBC, “It’s very hard to complain when you’ve got this letter from the Department of Justice.”
Investigations in the Democratic-controlled House stretch across six committees, including Nadler’s Judiciary panel along with the Intelligence, Financial Services and Oversight Committees. The topics for investigation include alleged public corruption, presidential abuses of power, Trump’s banking relationships, his tax returns and efforts to quash embarrassing stories about the president in coordination with the National Enquirer.
One benefit for Democrats is that it may ease pressure for now from a faction of House members who’ve been pressing to begin impeachment proceedings. With polls showing most of the public didn’t support impeaching the president even before Mueller’s findings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been trying to tamp down that talk. Barr’s description of Mueller’s report as finding no criminality makes her caution appear savvy.
Republicans dismiss the House investigations as a fall-back strategy long planned in case the Russian collusion narrative collapsed, as it did, under Mueller’s conclusions. They accuse Democrats of undertaking a wide-ranging congressional fishing expedition simply to wound Trump politically heading into the 2020 elections.
The House Judiciary panel’s top Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia, said Sunday he hopes Nadler “recognizes that what may be political fodder for Democrats may not be good for our country.”
Top Oversight Committee Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio added, “I hope this will put an end to the partisan and political investigations in Congress aimed at undermining President Trump.”
Democrats argue that oversight of the executive branch is a basic and important congressional role.
“Apparently the Republican definition of oversight is harassment,” responded Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia, chair of the Oversight subcommittee on government operations. “And that’s a brand new definition.”
Connolly pointed to multiple, sustained investigations undertaken by Republicans when they controlled the House and Senate and Democrat Barack Obama was in the White House.
Those cited by Connolly include the long-running probes of the deadly 2012 attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, and scrutiny of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, as well as investigations into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative or GOP-aligned political groups.
“If you’re going to be a phony, at least be sincere about it,” said Connolly of Republican complaints about politically motivated Democratic congressional oversight.
‘Fight and Win’
However, there was a political element to those investigations. Then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted on Fox News in 2015 that the lengthy Benghazi investigation of Clinton, who went on to be the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nominee, was part of a “strategy to fight and win” by portraying her as untrustworthy. He said Clinton’s poll numbers dropped as a result.
Even before Barr’s letter on Sunday, Democrats were underscoring that they will fight — in court if necessary — to get Mueller’s full report, including its underlying documents. They say that material will help their probes.
“It will greatly facilitate our own investigation not to have to reinvent the wheel,”said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, whose panel will be looking into any foreign influence over Trump. He said it would be “enormously time-consuming, and not entirely possible,” to retrace all of Mueller’s steps.
He, like other Democrats, called for public release of the entire Mueller report.
“I trust Mueller’s prosecutorial judgment, but the country must see the evidence,” Schiff said in a tweet.
Schiff’s committee and other panels also are planning to hold public hearings to scrutinize Trump’s administration, and his personal business and finances, daring Trump to fight turning over documents and other material.
The House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment, has already sent out 81 requests for documents from the Trump administration, his family, associates, businesses and other entities. And that’s likely just the start of the demands for Trump-related materials.
Nadler said the focus won’t be limited to impeachable crimes and misdemeanors. Along with Intelligence and Judiciary, the Oversight and Reform, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs and Ways and Means committees also are pursuing Trump-related investigations and hearings.
For Trump’s allies and supporters, the continuing investigations may turn into a rallying point.
“Democrats took us on a frantic, chaotic, conspiracy-laden roller coaster for two years, alleging wrongdoing where there was none,” said Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale. “Their dirty tricks have not ended. Even today Democrats have picked up the disgraceful mantle of investigating, obstructing, and destroying the will of the American people at any cost.”
“They failed once and they will fail again,” he said.
(Updates with Sanders, Giuliani quotes starting in fifth paragraph.)
–With assistance from Erik Wasson and Terrence Dopp.
To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Laurie Asséo, Joshua Gallu
By Joshua Caplan
In an interview with the New York Times, Zucker said he was “entirely comfortable” with CNN’s Trump-Russia coverage and suggested it was entirely appropriate to give near around-the-clock-coverage due to the story’s magnitude. “We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did,” the CNN chief wrote in an email. “A sitting president’s own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That’s not enormous because the media says so. That’s enormous because it’s unprecedented.”
According to a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings written by the Justice Department, investigators found no evidence President Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the election.
Zucker neglected to mention CNN’s steady stream of conspiracy-theory punditry and several stories which proved demonstrably false.
Last December, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that Wikileaks emailed Donald Trump Jr. access to information nearly two weeks prior to their public release. However, the network failed to verify the email’s date — September 14th, 2016 — by which time the emails had already been released. In June, CNN reported former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was being investigated for meeting with a Russian banker ahead of President Trump’s inauguration. Scaramucci denied the claim and CNN eventually apologized for its inaccurate report. CNN Executive editor Lex Haris, editor Eric Lichtblau, and journalist Thomas Frank resigned in shame over the story.
Further, CNN claimed in July that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, was prepared to tell special counsel investigators that the president possesses advanced knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russia lawyer, and others. Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, later told CNN had “mixed up” its facts and denied claims that Cohen had any such knowledge about the meeting.
Over the course of the Mueller probe, CNN gave a platform to Trump-Russia collusion pushers such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Washington Post opinion writer Max Boot. For example, appearing February 19th on CNN’s State of the Union, Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, claimed that there is “compelling” evidence in “plain sight” of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
“You can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence. Now, there’s a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt,” Schiff told host Dana Bash.
In 2017, an undercover investigator for Project Veritas filmed CNN Supervising Producer John Bonifield saying that the Russia conspiracy theory was “mostly bullshit” and the network was promoting it so heavily — without real evidence — “because it’s ratings.”