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The Swamp

WEAK: Senate Leadership Fund Doubts Bannon’s Power At Their Own Peril



The Republican Establishment is launching a weak attack on Steve Bannon, who is organizing an economic nationalist uprising against Establishment incumbents in the 2018 primaries.

Bannon, who led strategy in President Trump’s White House before positioning himself as a “street fighter” on the outside for populist nationalism, was widely credited for helping lift Roy Moore over Luther Strange in the final weeks of the Alabama Senate primary campaign. Big League Politics called our shot, publishing a Gravis poll days before the election showing Moore in the lead by eight points. He ended up winning by nine.

2018 will be an important bellwether test for populist nationalism going forward. Moore’s win was an optimistic sign. Even though Trump endorsed Strange, he admitted shortly before the election that he might have made a mistake and that he barely knows Strange. This became a Courageous Conservatives ad in the final days.

The GOPe’s Senate Leadership Fund circulated a post-mortem on the Strange defeat, making it clear that they still (at least for appearances’ sake) underestimate Steve Bannon.

Trending: Judge Who Jailed Manafort Also Cleared Hillary Clinton In Benghazi Case

Underestimating Steve Bannon is exactly what populist nationalists should want the Establishment to be doing. Bannon is seen as the gatekeeper of Trump’s campaign promises, and he remains committed to White House objectives like making Facebook and Google conform to public-utility regulations and to better negotiating the disastrous trade and debt situation with China.

“The massive resources that independent groups can deploy in races tend to obscure the paramount importance of candidate quality,” snarked the defeated Establishmentarians in their memo.

The Fund’s rationalization does nothing to address the fact that Luther Strange enjoyed vast financial resources courtesy of outside spending. Breitbart News pegged the spending on Strange’s behalf at between $15 million and $30 million, with $30 million being the number employed by the Moore campaign.

Also, the Senate Leadership Fund itself reportedly dropped a cool $9 million for Strange, and the National Rifle Association reportedly kicked in seven figures for the lanky interim senator.

Failed Marco Rubio presidential campaign strategist Alex Conant gave a quote to The Hill trying to dress down Bannon, whose Breitbart News team ran circles around Conant throughout President Trump’s winning primary campaign.

Breitbart News reported:

“Although the final tally on spending on this election by the candidates’ campaigns and outside groups is not yet in, estimates of expenditures on Strange’s behalf have the number at between $15 million and $30 million from the beginning of the campaign through yesterday.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore defeated Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) by a vote total of 262,204 to 218,066.

If the $30 million number, given to Breitbart News by Drew Messer, a senior adviser to the Moore campaign, and used by Moore in a speech at his campaign event on Monday night, proves to be the case, $137.57 was spent per vote on Strange’s behalf in his losing effort.”


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The Swamp

Judge Who Jailed Manafort Also Cleared Hillary Clinton In Benghazi Case



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



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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The Swamp

President Trump: ‘IG Report Totally Destroys James Comey And All Of His Minions’



President Donald Trump offered a poetic summation of the Inspector General report that confirmed the lengths James Comey and others went to in order to try to destroy President Donald Trump.

Former FBI director James Comey deleted his own admission that Hillary Clinton’s emails were likely hacked by foreign enemies.

Inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report reveals Comey’s duplicity.

“A statement that the FBI assessed that it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors gained access to Clinton’s private email server was changed to “possible,’” according to the report, on page iv.

“A paragraph summarizing the factors that led the FBI to assess that it was possible that hostile actors accessed Clinton’s server was added, and at one point referenced Clinton’s use of her private email for an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary. This reference later was changed to “another senior government official,” and ultimately was omitted,” the report states, on page iv.

Thus, James Comey obscured Hillary Clinton’s very name in order to conceal the extent to which her emails were breached by foreign actors.

As lead Hillary Clinton reporter for Breitbart News during the election, I reported on October 31: “The server had an open webmail portal, making it easily vulnerable to run-of-the-mills hackers. James Comey noted evidence showing hacks by “hostile actors.” Capitol Hill sources speak in hushed tones about the “Russian Files,” which are said to include information about a Russian hack. Clinton was warned of a security “vulnerability” on her BlackBerry on her first official trip to China, and the State Department told her to stop using it. But Clinton decided to keep using it. She told a private audience in a paid speech that her BlackBerry was under attack constantly by the Chinese and Russians. Hillary Clinton had a lot of classified information on that server.”

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