Another Turbulent Week with Some Big Mysteries

Still Winning

This week the President signed a new trade deal with Mexico, Canada, and Argentina, a deal far more favorable to our interests than the now discarded NAFTA deal.

In the same time frame, our master negotiator hosted the first trilateral meeting with Japan and India, which should also boost the economy and which includes defense and military purchases. Merry Christmas, Xi.

Comey: Still a Loser

On the home front, Mueller and Comey keep looking worse and worse. Previously, former FBI Director James Comey refused to answer 100 questions when he testified before Congress because the hearings were public. Now, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed him to take his deposition, allowing him to testify in a closed setting. He ran to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to quash the subpoena because he claimed his testimony might be selectively leaked. Judge Magistrate Trevor McFadden drew Comey’s counsel’s admission that there was no case law supporting his position. The government noted that Comey was free to publicly disclose his testimony after the deposition, and that, moreover, a transcript would be provided him 24 hours after his testimony which he was free to release in whole. Comey’s counsel told Judge McFadden “Here’s your opportunity, judge to make some law.” The judge said he would decide the case Monday at 10 a.m. I wouldn’t bet that he’ll make new law. The deposition, in the meantime, is now scheduled for this Tuesday. Doubtless, Comey is playing for time and the installation of a Democratic majority in the House and we can expect more shenanigans from the former FBI head.  

Two Mysteries

1. Chicago

While the President was out of the country the FBI raided the office of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, a guy who controlled the city and state finances. The Feds ordered everyone to leave, placed brown paper over the doors and went through the files in Burke’s office. 

Is this Trump striking back? Is Obama’s cover coming undone? The Chicago field office offered no comment. It’s not clear they were even in the loop respecting this raid. Anti-Trumpers are salivating that this is another attempt to tar him, as his company hired Burke to handle permitting and tax issues to build in Chicago. Well, who didn’t? Only people who didn’t want building permits and favorable tax treatment.

2. Cain Raid in Maryland

More distressing and inexplicable was the November 19 FBI raid on the home of Dennis Nathan Cain, a whistleblower who gave evidence that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity respecting Hillary Clinton, the Clinton foundation, and Rosatom, the Russian company which purchased Uranium One to Inspector General Michael Horowitz and which was then properly transmitted to the Senate and House Intelligence committees. The law protects whistleblowers that follow the procedure Cain did. Nevertheless, the FBI charged that Cain possessed stolen government property and used this to obtain permission for the raid from federal magistrate Stephanie Gallagher. The details of this seemingly shocking use of the FBI were reported by crack investigative reporter Richard Pollack. For six hours agents rifled through Cain’s home even after he handed over the documents to the FBI he’d already given to Horowitz. 

Pollack notes:

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by The DCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

“The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told the DCNF [Daily Caller News Foundation], noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections. 

From the outside it looks like Mueller used the FBI to harass someone who had the goods on him. The FBI has refused comment on the reason for the raid. Is this a lame attempt to keep Congressional investigators away from Mueller’s misfeasance on the ground that it’s a matter under investigation? Who knows? In the meantime, I’m chalking this up as a likely further attempt by the Deep State to keep the truth of its wrongdoing from public notice.

Mueller

The Special Counsel keeps rolling with indictments that have nothing to do with the original charge -- certainly because the only collusion with Russia was by Hillary. Each time the anti-Trumpers are certain the President’s end is nigh. This week’s indictment of Cohen is of a piece with that history.

Tom Maguire weighs in:

Michael Cohen claims to have chased a Trump Tower-type deal in Moscow until just before the Republican primary in 2016, despite previous testimony that he (and more to the point, Trump) dropped the effort before the Iowa primaries.

Possible explanations:

(a) Cohen is lying. Problematic, since there are (or ought to be) emails and phone records that overlap with his new story (e.g., a phone chat with an aide to Putin's press secretary).

(b) Trump has been lying. Possible!

(c) Fog of deal-making. Folks who have worked on the Big Deals, whether it be a real estate project, a book/movie deal, an elaborate tax scheme, or something else know that deals generally have the potential for a zombie status, where they aren't alive but no one can quite kill them. Why? Because there are generally many constituents, most of whom did not achieve whatever their current status is by taking "no" for an answer. Knowing nothing about it, we can be sure that if Trump has been pursuing a property idea for Moscow there are financiers, property owners, builders, prospective tenants, government officials and various middlemen that can see a payday for themselves if a deal happens. In fact, a day later the Times reports that Felix Sater, a grifter in Trump's orbit, had pushed a Moscow deal for years and never stopped. So. Knowing Trump's reputation email exchanges or notable meetings with Trump on giving him an updated elevator pitch while in Trump Tower or mentioned it in one of their many phone calls, well good luck with that -- maybe it didn't happen, maybe it did and Trump brushed it off and promptly forgot.

As to whether this is evidence of collusion with the Russian government during the election, well, not in itself. For those excited by the possibility that Trump lied, well, wait until they learn about the daily sunrise (and the monthly full moon!). 

Doubtless, hoping to keep Manhattan hysterics from requiring hospitalization when their dreams are dashed, the NY Times prepares to let its readers decompress gradually, reporting that the President’s recall of the Russian deal and the documents he provided matches Cohen’s account.

Those of us watching the Mueller escapades and believing his role is to protect himself and the other DOJ, FBI, Obama officials, and intel heads from exposure for their misuse of national security information to target Trump are beginning to despair of their ever being brought to justice. Victor David Hanson is more optimistic

Columnist and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson said the verdict is "not out" for the Obama-era DOJ officials after their use of the infamous Russian dossier. Davis noted 8 to 10 FBI officials have been retired or reassigned or facing indictment.

Hanson also warned Wednesday night it's "not over" former FBI director James Comey, former CIA director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper because the dossier, put together by a foreign national, was used to open investigations and get FISA warrants.

"It's not over because we are looking at a situation where a presidential candidate hired a foreign national to find dirt on her opponent in that dossier was seeded among top officials of the Obama administration.”

Surely, there are plenty of signs that the Mueller camp has grown desperate. Adam Hill provides a fine synopsis of the many Mueller flops:  How could he not be desperate? The collusion was always on the other side of the aisle. Hill details all the fizzles of the hot (leaked) scoops of the Mueller team’s hotshot work and concludes, as I do, the enterprise was doomed by fact from the outset.

After two years of this Trump/Russia hoax, the truth-bending bombshells still find their way into headlines. Keep in mind that Special Counsel Robert Mueller likely has every text, email, and voicemail that anyone connected with the Trump campaign ever made or recorded, and probably recordings of several of the phone calls. These latest leaks demonstrate that the Mueller team isn’t above spinning their cast-offs as smoking guns for the eager media.

Much ink has been spilled trying to determine how the Russia-collusion investigation got started. There’s simply no mystery here. As I’ve repeatedly documented, Clinton hired Fusion GPS to push the Trump-Russia hoax as a way to counterweight her email legal troubles. Fusion GPS paid money to journalists and the wife of a senior Department of Justice official (Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr) to help.

Fusion also hired Christopher Steele to help. He was already working with the FBI and is documented to have been its paid informant as early as February 2016. Fusion GPS continues to receive millions of dollars to continue “researching” the story. We never have learned which journalists received payoffs from Fusion GPS (although it’s unclear why any money would be needed to sic the media on Trump). Because The Guardian’s source is secret, we can’t rule out that it is also related to or paid by Fusion GPS in some way. 

Conrad Black details the anti-Trump hysteria, fake news, media opinion manipulations, and the Mueller fiasco, agreeing with my view that Mueller is displaying desperation. 

And the Mueller special-counsel rumbles toward its third year. So desperate have Mueller’s efforts and those of his rabidly Democratic staff members become that in trying to extort and suborn inculpatory perjury about the president, they are facing a revolt from the victims, led by Paul Manafort from his solitary confinement cell, but emulated now by Jerome Corsi. Rather than cooperate (i.e., lie) after being catechized by Mueller, to avoid facing the extremes of the American kangaroo courts, they are refusing Mueller, and effectively betting on the failure of Mueller to make good on his mission to take down or seriously discommode the president. Mueller is escalating the terror campaign against Manafort by inciting state prosecutions, insusceptible to the president’s power of pardon. The Democrats have been shouting from the housetops about protecting Mueller, but Trump has no interest in shutting him down. Mueller has nothing, and his terrors don’t impress its victims. What is inexplicable is the president’s delay in naming an attorney general. He must have been considering this question since it became clear that Jeff Sessions was a prosecutorial eunuch 18 months ago. The only reason that comes to mind for his waiting is because he wants to see if the Democrats are going to be stupid enough to try to impeach him, which would not only fail and backfire, it would be a gold-edged invitation to send the Clinton campaign and Obama Justice Department in droves to the grand jury, and on from there on the conveyer-belt of American criminal justice to the fate they deserve.

I hope the president names his next attorney general soon, too, but even more, I hope we won’t have to wait much longer for the FISA investigation documents to be declassified and released. Then we can see if Mueller and Comey, Clapper and Brennan, and a host of other Obama thugs like playing defense under legal tactics and rules they instituted. The concerns of those countries who connived with them -- Australia and Britain, I’m looking at you -- will be exposed, but it might teach them a lesson to never permit their intelligence officers to do this again. 

Still Winning

This week the President signed a new trade deal with Mexico, Canada, and Argentina, a deal far more favorable to our interests than the now discarded NAFTA deal.

In the same time frame, our master negotiator hosted the first trilateral meeting with Japan and India, which should also boost the economy and which includes defense and military purchases. Merry Christmas, Xi.

Comey: Still a Loser

On the home front, Mueller and Comey keep looking worse and worse. Previously, former FBI Director James Comey refused to answer 100 questions when he testified before Congress because the hearings were public. Now, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed him to take his deposition, allowing him to testify in a closed setting. He ran to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to quash the subpoena because he claimed his testimony might be selectively leaked. Judge Magistrate Trevor McFadden drew Comey’s counsel’s admission that there was no case law supporting his position. The government noted that Comey was free to publicly disclose his testimony after the deposition, and that, moreover, a transcript would be provided him 24 hours after his testimony which he was free to release in whole. Comey’s counsel told Judge McFadden “Here’s your opportunity, judge to make some law.” The judge said he would decide the case Monday at 10 a.m. I wouldn’t bet that he’ll make new law. The deposition, in the meantime, is now scheduled for this Tuesday. Doubtless, Comey is playing for time and the installation of a Democratic majority in the House and we can expect more shenanigans from the former FBI head.  

Two Mysteries

1. Chicago

While the President was out of the country the FBI raided the office of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, a guy who controlled the city and state finances. The Feds ordered everyone to leave, placed brown paper over the doors and went through the files in Burke’s office. 

Is this Trump striking back? Is Obama’s cover coming undone? The Chicago field office offered no comment. It’s not clear they were even in the loop respecting this raid. Anti-Trumpers are salivating that this is another attempt to tar him, as his company hired Burke to handle permitting and tax issues to build in Chicago. Well, who didn’t? Only people who didn’t want building permits and favorable tax treatment.

2. Cain Raid in Maryland

More distressing and inexplicable was the November 19 FBI raid on the home of Dennis Nathan Cain, a whistleblower who gave evidence that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity respecting Hillary Clinton, the Clinton foundation, and Rosatom, the Russian company which purchased Uranium One to Inspector General Michael Horowitz and which was then properly transmitted to the Senate and House Intelligence committees. The law protects whistleblowers that follow the procedure Cain did. Nevertheless, the FBI charged that Cain possessed stolen government property and used this to obtain permission for the raid from federal magistrate Stephanie Gallagher. The details of this seemingly shocking use of the FBI were reported by crack investigative reporter Richard Pollack. For six hours agents rifled through Cain’s home even after he handed over the documents to the FBI he’d already given to Horowitz. 

Pollack notes:

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by The DCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

“The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told the DCNF [Daily Caller News Foundation], noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections. 

From the outside it looks like Mueller used the FBI to harass someone who had the goods on him. The FBI has refused comment on the reason for the raid. Is this a lame attempt to keep Congressional investigators away from Mueller’s misfeasance on the ground that it’s a matter under investigation? Who knows? In the meantime, I’m chalking this up as a likely further attempt by the Deep State to keep the truth of its wrongdoing from public notice.

Mueller

The Special Counsel keeps rolling with indictments that have nothing to do with the original charge -- certainly because the only collusion with Russia was by Hillary. Each time the anti-Trumpers are certain the President’s end is nigh. This week’s indictment of Cohen is of a piece with that history.

Tom Maguire weighs in:

Michael Cohen claims to have chased a Trump Tower-type deal in Moscow until just before the Republican primary in 2016, despite previous testimony that he (and more to the point, Trump) dropped the effort before the Iowa primaries.

Possible explanations:

(a) Cohen is lying. Problematic, since there are (or ought to be) emails and phone records that overlap with his new story (e.g., a phone chat with an aide to Putin's press secretary).

(b) Trump has been lying. Possible!

(c) Fog of deal-making. Folks who have worked on the Big Deals, whether it be a real estate project, a book/movie deal, an elaborate tax scheme, or something else know that deals generally have the potential for a zombie status, where they aren't alive but no one can quite kill them. Why? Because there are generally many constituents, most of whom did not achieve whatever their current status is by taking "no" for an answer. Knowing nothing about it, we can be sure that if Trump has been pursuing a property idea for Moscow there are financiers, property owners, builders, prospective tenants, government officials and various middlemen that can see a payday for themselves if a deal happens. In fact, a day later the Times reports that Felix Sater, a grifter in Trump's orbit, had pushed a Moscow deal for years and never stopped. So. Knowing Trump's reputation email exchanges or notable meetings with Trump on giving him an updated elevator pitch while in Trump Tower or mentioned it in one of their many phone calls, well good luck with that -- maybe it didn't happen, maybe it did and Trump brushed it off and promptly forgot.

As to whether this is evidence of collusion with the Russian government during the election, well, not in itself. For those excited by the possibility that Trump lied, well, wait until they learn about the daily sunrise (and the monthly full moon!). 

Doubtless, hoping to keep Manhattan hysterics from requiring hospitalization when their dreams are dashed, the NY Times prepares to let its readers decompress gradually, reporting that the President’s recall of the Russian deal and the documents he provided matches Cohen’s account.

Those of us watching the Mueller escapades and believing his role is to protect himself and the other DOJ, FBI, Obama officials, and intel heads from exposure for their misuse of national security information to target Trump are beginning to despair of their ever being brought to justice. Victor David Hanson is more optimistic

Columnist and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson said the verdict is "not out" for the Obama-era DOJ officials after their use of the infamous Russian dossier. Davis noted 8 to 10 FBI officials have been retired or reassigned or facing indictment.

Hanson also warned Wednesday night it's "not over" former FBI director James Comey, former CIA director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper because the dossier, put together by a foreign national, was used to open investigations and get FISA warrants.

"It's not over because we are looking at a situation where a presidential candidate hired a foreign national to find dirt on her opponent in that dossier was seeded among top officials of the Obama administration.”

Surely, there are plenty of signs that the Mueller camp has grown desperate. Adam Hill provides a fine synopsis of the many Mueller flops:  How could he not be desperate? The collusion was always on the other side of the aisle. Hill details all the fizzles of the hot (leaked) scoops of the Mueller team’s hotshot work and concludes, as I do, the enterprise was doomed by fact from the outset.

After two years of this Trump/Russia hoax, the truth-bending bombshells still find their way into headlines. Keep in mind that Special Counsel Robert Mueller likely has every text, email, and voicemail that anyone connected with the Trump campaign ever made or recorded, and probably recordings of several of the phone calls. These latest leaks demonstrate that the Mueller team isn’t above spinning their cast-offs as smoking guns for the eager media.

Much ink has been spilled trying to determine how the Russia-collusion investigation got started. There’s simply no mystery here. As I’ve repeatedly documented, Clinton hired Fusion GPS to push the Trump-Russia hoax as a way to counterweight her email legal troubles. Fusion GPS paid money to journalists and the wife of a senior Department of Justice official (Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr) to help.

Fusion also hired Christopher Steele to help. He was already working with the FBI and is documented to have been its paid informant as early as February 2016. Fusion GPS continues to receive millions of dollars to continue “researching” the story. We never have learned which journalists received payoffs from Fusion GPS (although it’s unclear why any money would be needed to sic the media on Trump). Because The Guardian’s source is secret, we can’t rule out that it is also related to or paid by Fusion GPS in some way. 

Conrad Black details the anti-Trump hysteria, fake news, media opinion manipulations, and the Mueller fiasco, agreeing with my view that Mueller is displaying desperation. 

And the Mueller special-counsel rumbles toward its third year. So desperate have Mueller’s efforts and those of his rabidly Democratic staff members become that in trying to extort and suborn inculpatory perjury about the president, they are facing a revolt from the victims, led by Paul Manafort from his solitary confinement cell, but emulated now by Jerome Corsi. Rather than cooperate (i.e., lie) after being catechized by Mueller, to avoid facing the extremes of the American kangaroo courts, they are refusing Mueller, and effectively betting on the failure of Mueller to make good on his mission to take down or seriously discommode the president. Mueller is escalating the terror campaign against Manafort by inciting state prosecutions, insusceptible to the president’s power of pardon. The Democrats have been shouting from the housetops about protecting Mueller, but Trump has no interest in shutting him down. Mueller has nothing, and his terrors don’t impress its victims. What is inexplicable is the president’s delay in naming an attorney general. He must have been considering this question since it became clear that Jeff Sessions was a prosecutorial eunuch 18 months ago. The only reason that comes to mind for his waiting is because he wants to see if the Democrats are going to be stupid enough to try to impeach him, which would not only fail and backfire, it would be a gold-edged invitation to send the Clinton campaign and Obama Justice Department in droves to the grand jury, and on from there on the conveyer-belt of American criminal justice to the fate they deserve.

I hope the president names his next attorney general soon, too, but even more, I hope we won’t have to wait much longer for the FISA investigation documents to be declassified and released. Then we can see if Mueller and Comey, Clapper and Brennan, and a host of other Obama thugs like playing defense under legal tactics and rules they instituted. The concerns of those countries who connived with them -- Australia and Britain, I’m looking at you -- will be exposed, but it might teach them a lesson to never permit their intelligence officers to do this again.