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The Swamp

USUAL SUSPECTS: Never Trump Neocons Trash Trump/Kim Summit

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The usual suspects strike again!

Finding every way to possible to derail President Trump’s presidency, the Never Trump gang is having a field day with Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Trump could be on the verge of defusing an unnecessary conflict with the rogue nation, but the Never Trumpers aren’t having it. This crowd is turning to its usual schtick of digging up anything negative to throw at Trump and discredit his efforts to bring sanity to U.S. foreign policy.

Lindsey Graham, a seasoned member of the political establishment who has never seen a foreign military intervention he didn’t like, went on ABC’s This Week to promote his interventionist alternative to Trump’s tough diplomacy.

Senator Rand Paul rightfully took Senator Lindsey Graham to task for drafting an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in North Korea in the case that Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-Un goes down in flames.

Paul said, “Lindsey Graham is a danger to the country by even proposing ideas like authorizing war with Korea, my goodness.”

With a country that is already $20 trillion in debt, entertaining any form of military adventure is the height of insanity.

But the Never Trumping did not stop there.

Ben Shapiro, one of the most reliable Never Trumpers, pulled the Hitler Card without hesitation:

In neocon land, every authoritarian leader is on the verge of becoming the next Hitler. Thus, we must use military force to remove them from power, destabilization be damned.

Senator Marco Rubio thought he could get slick by taking shots at Kim Jong Un:

Kim Jong Un may be an authoritarian tyrant, but Trump’s 50+ years of negotiating cannot be underestimated, especially when he’s up against a relatively young and inexperienced leader.

Last but certainly not least, Bill Kristol showed his fanatical Never Trump colors:

Throughout the 2016 election cycle and even to the present, Bill Kristol has been wrong about every aspect of Donald Trump’s presidency. This is par course for all political analysis coming out of the Swamp these days.

The pundit class can doubt Trump as much as they want, but Trump is no Bill Clinton, George Bush, or Barack Obama. Trump is one of the greatest salesmen and negotiators in recent memory. For far too long, DC has been filled with virtue signalers and resume padders that produce very little results as far as public policy is concerned.

The naysayers that claim Trump hasn’t accomplished much in his negotiations with Kim Jong-Un overlook North Korea’s release of 3 hostages and its willingness to dismantle a nuclear site.

Trump is at least walking into this meeting with some preconditions being met.

Time will tell if lasting peace in the Korean peninsula will be achieved, but Donald Trump has a proven track record of pulling off the unthinkable.

Instead of constantly wishing the worst for these negotiations, let’s at least hope for cooler heads to prevail.

We are at a critical juncture where one of final communist regimes in history could finally fall peacefully.

Let’s not make all of Trump’s efforts to get this far at the negotiating table go to waste.

 

 

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Deep State

FBI Agent Assigned to Weiner Case Alluded to Child Porn on Laptop

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Buried in the middle of page 303 in the IG report is testimony from an FBI Agent assigned to the 2016 Anthony Weiner case that seems to have gone unnoticed since the document as released.

“Why isn’t anybody here,” asked the case agent rhetorically while testifying to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Like, if I’m the supervisor of any [Criminal Informant] squad in Seattle and I hear about this, I’m getting on with headquarters and saying, ‘hey, some agent working child porn here may have [Hillary Clinton] emails.'”

Read the quote in full context here:

“In an October 3 email, the case agent stated that a ‘significant number’ of emails on the Weiner laptop appeared to be ‘between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton’ (the latter who appears to have used a number of different email addresses,” the report says.

According to this section of the report, there were several emails found on Weiner’s laptop between Abedin and Clinton, and that same laptop may also have had child porn on it. Weiner is currently serving a 21 month sentence in Federal Prison for sexting a 15-year-old girl, and will be required to register as a a sex offender upon his release.

More broadly, the case agent assigned to Weiner’s case was explaining to the OIG that the FBI took no action to investigate Weiner’s laptop, and he could not understand why.

According to the case agent, he documented to his supervisor, an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Southern District of New York whom he describes as a “friend,” his concerns with the investigation several times, starting with the October 3 email. He was hoping that the AUSA would contact District Attorney Preet Bharara and get him involved. Apparently, she did not.

“And I told [the AUSA], ‘I’m a little scared here,'” he said. “I don’t know what to do because I’m not political. Like, I don’t care who wins this election, but this is going to make us look really, really horrible.”

Two and a half weeks after initially alerting the AUSA about his concerns, on October 19, the case agent met with the AUSA in person. A second AUSA was present. Still, nothing was accomplished.

The case agent’s story of FBI inaction fits with disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok’s actions during the “investigation.” Big League Politics reported that Strzok slow-played the Weiner laptop search warrant:

“FBI agent Peter Strzok emailed the draft copy of the Anthony Weiner search warrant to himself on his private email address days before the election, which allowed him to make changes to the warrant without being detected by FBI documentation. This revelation came out in the Michael Horowitz inspector general report.

If Strzok had printed out the draft warrant at his office, it would be subject to official FBI records. But instead he sent it to his private email on October 29, which allowed him to print it off at home. Insiders believe that Strzok showed the draft warrant to other people, despite the warrant being under seal by a federal judge.

The Anthony Weiner warrant ended up being limited in scope, leaving out some of the private email domains that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin used to send each other classified information.”

BLP Passage Ends.

According to the OIG report, the case agent “was, getting, for lack of a better word, paranoid, that like, somebody was not acting appropriately, somebody was trying to bury this.”

Even members of the FBI were suspicious that the FBI was covering for the Clinton machine. What exactly were they covering up?

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The Swamp

Judge Who Jailed Manafort Also Cleared Hillary Clinton In Benghazi Case

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The judge appointed by Barack Obama who put Paul Manafort in jail this week previously cleared Hillary Clinton of responsibility for the deaths of four American servicemen in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Manafort was put in jail for allegedly engaging in witness tampering, but most people see the jailing as a fraud to divert public attention away from the IG report that slammed James Comey and bolstered President Donald Trump’s arguments against the corrupt Deep State.

Amy Berman Jackson, a past Bill Clinton donor and federal judge, threw out a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton filed by Sean Smith’s mother Patricia Smith and Tyrone Woods’ father Charles Woods. The lawsuit claimed that Hillary Clinton revealing the location of Ambassador Stevens on her non-secure private email server prior to Stevens’ murder put their dead children in harm’s way.

Politico reported in 2017: “Jackson dismissed the wrongful death portion of the suit on technical grounds after granting the State Department’s motion to step in as the defendant on those claims. The Obama-appointed judge concluded Clinton used her email in the course of her official duties.”

How interesting.

Hillary Clinton has never had to face justice for overseeing the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, in which those Americans received no help from her in a time of dire need. It has been conclusively proven that Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi trying to buy back weapons that Obama and Clinton were funneling into Syria to help rebel groups, including the group that became ISIS.

Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis told a Senate Committee adviser that House Speaker Paul Ryan “put the leash” on the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, who headed the Commission, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, both confirmed to the adviser that Ryan effectively shut the investigation down, Big League Politics has exclusively learned.

This revelation has big implications for the “Russia” investigation dogging President Donald Trump’s administration. Gowdy took over as one of the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee probe into alleged Trump-Russia campaign collusion after California Rep. Devin Nunes removed himself from the investigation. Nunes angered anti-Trumpers for backing up some of the White House’s claims on surveillance and Russia. The media targeted Nunes for briefing the White House on some of his findings before he announced them publicly. Ryan ultimately decided that Nunes should be taken off the investigation, saying that Nunes’ problems “would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election.” Some Republican congressmen are already bashing Nunes’ claims that the Trump transition team was surveilled.

Gowdy became one of the leaders of the investigation, along with Reps. Mike Conaway and Tom Rooney. But Gowdy’s history of taking orders from Ryan does not bode well for Trump, considering that Ryan is a fierce Trump critic behind the scenes with a very different agenda than the president.

Ryan‘s maneuverings in the Benghazi case occurred at the same time that he was shoring up support to take over from John Boehner as House Speaker.

Gowdy‘s interrogation of Clinton before the Commission was massively hyped but produced little actual results, instead allowing Clinton to come off calm, composed, and prepared while sitting for eleven hours of testimony. Rolling Stone called the hearing “Republicans’ 11-Hour Gift To Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s testimony occurred in October 2015, before Paul Ryan‘s rival Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee or even won a single primary or caucus.

The hearing also indirectly led to the political downfall of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who said during a Sean Hannity interview that the purpose of the Commission was to affect Clinton’s poll numbers. McCarthy’s bid to take over as House Speaker collapsed.

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The Swamp

Congress’ Threats Lack Teeth And DOJ Knows It

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In the war over documents between the House and Senate committees investigating the FBI and other intelligence abuses and the FBI/Department of Justice, you might wonder why Congress keeps whining. After all, they say “We asked for these documents a year ago and still don’t have them!” “Why weren’t these sections included in what we requested?” And so on.

You have probably heard that Congress has “oversight” powers over these executive departments and agencies. In a sense that’s true, although there was no Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1789. Indeed, there is no Department of Justice mentioned in the Constitution (and it didn’t appear until 1870—interestingly, recent scholarship suggests, not so much as to handle all the leftover Civil War cases but to streamline and reduce the size of government). The first Attorney General, Edmund Randolph, took office in September 1789 after Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 that created the Office of the Attorney General. It is tenuously through that Act that Congress maintains any control at all over the AG’s office, the staff of which is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

But here is the kicker: neither the Constitution nor the Judiciary Act provided a means for Congress to actually enforce anything beyond funding and/or the impeachment process. Congress could subpoena a witness to appear. If said witness did not appear, an arrest citation could be put out. But the arrest would have to be carried out by the Sergeant at Arms, who is not a law enforcement official. He can arrest people in the gallery, but cannot go outside the confines of Congress to make arrests. If, say, Rod Rosenstein, an individual never went to the House, Congress could not “haul him in.”

So, say Congress subpoenas a witness to appear and orders his arrest for contempt if he appears and fails to answer questions, the contemnor could sue under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2241 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and seek a writ of habeas corpus, meaning an order to release the contemnor from custody (presumably the contemnor would be held at the Capitol). A judge would then decide the propriety of Congress’s contempt citation, but the Justice Department would not have to defend the congressional action.

This differs from contempt of court. If a judge made a finding of indirect criminal contempt and DOJ refused to prosecute, the court may appoint a special prosecutor under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 42(a)(2).

This is one approach Congress has to compel an FBI official or DOJ official to hand over documents or comply with requests. Not impressed? I’m not surprised. Virtually, Congress has no ability whatsoever to force the Executive Branch—any part of it—to do anything except through the power of the purse.

That’s Congress’s second power. Congress has full authority over authorizing and appropriating money in the budget. The Department of Justice Budget for 2018 has been voted on and signed, and the leadership of the U.S. Senate indicated it will not undertake another budget this year, preferring to go with another continuing resolution. That would mean that the first time that this Congress can modify or reduce the DOJ/FBI budget will be when they next debate a continuing resolution in the fall. Prior to that, Congress has no—and I mean zero—ability to affect the DOJ or the FBI with its budgetary powers.

In other words, Congressman Devin Nunes and Senator Charles Grassley can “demand,” “request,” or “insist” all they want, and they can threaten to impeach, but barring a massive effort with solid majorities in both houses, Congress cannot make the DOJ do anything. And if you’re waiting on Congress to withhold money, this has occurred only a handful of times in history when Congress demanded reports—which were eventually forthcoming. But the scheduling of the budget and the likelihood of a continuing resolution this year means it would be mid- to late 2019 before any budgetary leverage could be brought on any executive agency.

Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of A Patriot’s History of the United States and with Joel Pollak of How Trump Won.

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