Did Comey lie to Congress?

The FederalistSolomon reported claims from sources that email exchanges from early- to mid-October 2016 showed the FBI was aware, prior to its first application to surveil former campaign advisor Carter Page, that Steele had contacts with the news media. The email exchanges also evidenced concerns by the intelligence community about the reliability of Steele’s dossier. If the sources are accurate, these facts provide strong evidence that the Obama administration’s DOJ and FBI intentionally withheld or misrepresented evidence to the FISA court.

Further, according to Solomon’s sources, the email chains included then-FBI Director “Comey, FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division.” Yet on Friday, in response to questioning by Jordan, Comey testified he didn’t know anything about those emails.

Maybe the sources were wrong. Or maybe Comey forgot. But if Comey was included on such an email chain, keeping him in the loop would be the exception because as Comey’s answers — or lack thereof — from Friday’s hearing make clear, the agents running Crossfire Hurricane intentionally cut Comey out of the information flow.

If, in fact, Comey was on those email chains, he's on the hook for lying -- or, the most favorable explanation for him, having a very selective memory.

Of course, for this to be prosecuted, the DOJ would have to either go after a past FBI Director, or appoint a special counsel to do it. The odds of that seem low at the moment.

Categories Spygate

Sun Dec 30 08:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A point of weakness in Comeys' testimony

He told Congress recently that when he was fired, the dossier had still not been verified, and the FBI was still trying to do so. But before that, he told Congress that when Trump asked him to investigate the origins of the dossier, he pushed back on that request. So which is right?

I don't think Comey necessarily lied to Congress here. I think he pushed back on Trump's request to investigate the origin of the dossier because he knew where it came from (and yes, he did probably lie to Congress about that). But his FBI was already trying to verify the dossier ... meaning, find out whether or not it was true.

I think the FBI's efforts to verify the dossier consisted of trying to get warrants on the four people named in the FISA warrant application. That is, instead of presenting the FISA court with verified information containing probable cause of a crime, they presented the FISA court with a line of bullshit and hoped their wiretap would be retroactively self-verifying.

That's not how it is supposed to work.

Sun Dec 30 07:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cohen's alleged crimes are far from unique in the swamp

American Greatness has a lengthy list of well known left-wing figures who did things Cohen has been accused of. Most of them faced no consequences.

Sun Dec 30 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

California mandates solar on new homes at $30K cost

Legal InsurrectionIn the long-term, solar panels benefit homeowners. While the upfront cost for building a home will increase—by as much as $10,000, according to the California Energy Commission, or as much as $25,000-30,000, according to home construction company Meritage Homes—long-term energy bill savings will be considerable.

Energy bill savings will not be considerable. I know because I priced them on my home (in Texas, an ideal place for solar). The price above was typical of the quotes (even though the government panel estimated $10K) and it takes 20 to 30 years to pay off from energy savings. The typical life of a solar panel is 30 years, meaning you have to pay it again after that.

There's a lot of California that isn't in ideal solar territory and their housing prices are already sky-high. This is insane.

Sat Dec 29 08:48:21 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

German citizens embracing the right to arms?

Legal InsurrectionThe number of weapon permits in Germany is soaring to record heights since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders to migrants in the spring of 2015. German authorities issued 600,000 basic weapon licenses since 2014, an increase of 130 percent, figures published by the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle show.

The surge in weapon ownership reflects the waning public confidence in the German government’s ability to protect ordinary citizens.

The German government is likely to take steps to stop this as soon as it notices.

Sat Dec 29 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Will Trump be charged with campaign finance violations?

Andy McCarthy thinks so. I don't, but mostly because DOJ policy forbids indicting a sitting president. I think Mueller will write a report saying he would have indicted Trump if Trump was not the president. He will then pass it off to Congress and invite them to consider impeachment.

Will they? The Democrats just took the House. Of course they will at least consider it. They have the votes to do it if everyone votes straight party. They can even afford to lose quite a few weak seats if they want to try to protect them. On the other hand, trying to get Trump removed from the Senate is a political non-starter, needing 67 votes when they have only 47 or so. So, to the extent that they try to impeach, they will use it as a political weapon to damage his reelection chances.

Should they? Using very weak campaign finance charges combined with even weaker lying about sex and/or lying about Moscow hotel deals, all taking place before Trump became president, none of which at this point appears to involve Trump directly but merely his campaign, to try to remove a president is facially absurd. So far there's basically no proven personal nexus to Trump's actions; campaign finance violations are usually cured by fines not felonies; Trump has the "I trusted my lawyer to do it legally" defense; Cohen's cooperation and credibility have been destroyed by his admissions of lying and the violation of attorney-client privilege. You couldn't get a conviction in an ordinary court after the necessary cross-examination and tossing out of the tainted evidence.

Historically, lots of presidents have had various affairs, including payoffs, without facing impeachment. Clinton did face impeachment for lying about it, but not removed... and his impeachment was considered one of the biggest political mistakes in modern history. (I supported it, but mostly because of all the other crap he had done, ie, Waco, etc). Edwards, as a candidate in the primary, was charged with campaign finance violations for paying off his mistress in a similar but not identical scheme. He was not convicted, as I recall.

Mark Levin has convincingly argued that using personal money to make such payoffs is both legal and necessary as they are not "campaign expenses", which would negate any disclosure requirements. (Edwards used money from supporters to make the payoffs; the exact financial structure of Trump's payoffs is unknown).

As a layman, all I can tell you is that campaign finance laws are a legal morass that appears to be impossible to avoid violating. Politicians are regularly caught up in violations and pay fines. I can't recall any of them being removed from office over the matter.

Sat Dec 29 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Speaking of congressional ethics...

Fri Dec 28 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Mueller's road to Trump lies through Cohen and campaign finance..

Ben Shapiro via Victory GirlsThis sentencing memo suggests that the SDNY is frustrated with Cohen – but that they think they may have Trump on a campaign finance charge related to payments to his former paramours.

Cohen seems pretty slimy, but a lot of the attention he's getting is due to his involvement with Trump, which doesn't really seem very fair. Oh well.

Getting to Trump on this charge seems like a pipe dream though. Trump has a near-absolute defense: "I relied on my lawyer to do the right thing." And campaign finance violations are almost always remedied by paying fines to the FEC rather than putting elected officials in jail. Not to mention the Clintons' history of paying off bimbo eruptions.

Fri Dec 28 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Has Trump kept his promises on immigration?

Patterico's PontificationsCarlson does give Trump credit for starting a conversation about immigration. That said, what has Trump actually done about the looming gypsy crisis?

Everything he can without support from Congress.

I remember when Trump was pushing hard for an immigration deal, but Congress didn't even budge. Now he's pushing for wall funding. We'll see what he gets.

Fri Dec 28 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Three Clinton Foundation whistleblowers

Fox NewsThree people have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence of potential wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation, including misappropriation of funds and allegations of quid-pro-quo promises made to donors during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News on Thursday.

Meadows, the leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is also the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations. The panel is set to hold an investigative hearing next week on the status of the Foundation case.

The FBI only raided one of them that we know of. I wonder what the others know?

Thu Dec 27 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How Mueller is neutering Huber and protecting the traitors

Basically, Rosenstein is insisting that Huber wait to conduct his investigation until Mueller completes his work as special counsel. Everyone who has to testify to Congress or talk to the IG/prosecutor (Horowitz and Huber) cites the Mueller investigation to avoid answering anything not already revealed. Rosenstein promised Trump that Horowitz would get to see the full documents -- but didn't promise him when. ("When" is when Trump is out of office, presumably). This bullshit game will last as long as Trump believes Rosenstein is dealing with him honestly and the new acting AG William Barr doesn't take steps to fix the situation.

That's what Conservative Treehouse thinks is going on, anyway. I tend to agree. We won't see anything useful from Horowitz or Huber until Mueller is out of the way, and we won't see Mueller out of the way until someone gets Rosenstein out of the supervisory role. Barr's appointment should do that. But Barr is an unknown quantity.

(No, I don't think treason is too strong a term for abusing intelligence agencies to try to influence a presidential election)

Thu Dec 27 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Atkisson summarizes Comey's second day of testimony

Thu Dec 27 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Buzzfeed got dossier from McCain, GCHQ involvement confirmed

So the libel lawsuits against Buzzfeed for publishing the dossier, despite the outcome, have brought some new information into public view. First, McCain's associate David Kramer gave the dossier to BuzzFeed. (Kramer claims they took pictures when he wasn't looking -- a paper-thin excuse). Other documents confirm that Steele gave the dossier to officials at GCHQ, the major British surveillance agency.

What does this tell us? Well, not much. We know McCain is a piece of shit who can be trusted only if the word is immediately followed by "to betray his party". That he's willing to leak documents to the press that are aimed at torpedoing his party's Presidential candidate is just another confirmation of that. But he's dead now, so it's hard to imagine any practical use for the information. (And isn't it curious how it stayed hidden until he died?)

As for GCHQ, we already knew they were involved, just not the details. This is one of the details that fills in the story a bit. It is claimed that Steele shared the dossier after the election, but we suspect British intel was involved before that (Steele himself is ex-Brit-intel, and many key events that took place before the election happened in England). Providing the dossier to GCHQ after the election would appear to be an escalation -- Hillary's attempt to cash in her insurance policy and challenge Trump's win.

It's an interesting thought experiment to wonder what Hillary and her allies were up to that made a literal coup attempt necessary if she lost to Trump.

Wed Dec 26 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New York wants $1M liability insurance on firearms

Gun News USANew York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate democrats continue their quest to usurp the Second Amendment by imposing undue burdens on those exercising that right in the Empire State. The latest attack is a bill that would require “owners of firearms to obtain liability insurance in an amount not less than one million dollars.”

State Senate Bill S2857A, sponsored by Kevin S. Parker, would “amend the insurance law, to require firearm owners, prior to such ownership, to obtain and continuously maintain a policy of liability insurance to cover any damages resulting from the use of such firearm.”

Such a law would raise the costs of firearms ownership in general, while effectively taxing legal gun owners to pay for the criminal acts of others not taxes (because they don't own their guns legally).

Wed Dec 26 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Government paying Nation of Islam to preach to prisoners

If this was a volunteer effort and equal access was available to other religions, it would be hard to object to it. But when a single religion is paid to proselytize, that's a problem. Even more so when that religion is Islam

Wed Dec 26 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Facebook gave NYTimes, others access to private messages

Daily CallerThe New York Times was one of the companies that had access to private user data from Facebook, a key point brushed over in a report released by the paper.

While the Tuesday bombshell focused on how the information from Facebook was mainly shared with major tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Spotify, The Times was one of nine media organizations that also obtained special access to things like a users’ friends lists.

Disclosing such information violated Facebook’s normal privacy rules and was meant to help companies better target consumers, while raising internal advertising revenues, according to the report.

There are so many, many failures here. The NYTimes failed to be careful what access it was requesting; Facebook failed to be limited in what access it was granting and failed to remove that access when the NYTimes closed their feature that used it.

And that's assuming that NYTimes is being honest. Wouldn't such unprecedented, privacy invasive access be a tremendous boon for a company eager to find and publish whatever dirt they can on politicians and other high-profile figures?

Tue Dec 25 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPIC sued to get Trump's tax returns?

The LidA federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought forward by a non-profit organization in an attempt to satisfy one of the Left’s most compelling obsessions: To make public President Trump’s tax returns.

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson on Tuesday ruled that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) could not use a FOIA request to access the tax documents from the IRS.

I used to respect the Electronic Privacy Information Center, but they have clearly fallen victim to the Iron Law and no longer care about privacy.

Tue Dec 25 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Massive data trove found on Senate doxxer

Daily CallerA former Senate IT aide who allegedly “doxxed” Republican senators by posting their home addresses during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and blackmailed a witness “downloaded more information than was originally understood,” Judge Thomas Hogan said in District of Columbia federal court Wednesday.

Prosecutors said in November they found “terabytes of data” that they were reviewing as evidence in the case. Lawyers indicated Wednesday that what they found was so sensitive the public could not even hear it discussed.

He used what he had to try to dox Republican senators. What else did he have and how was he using it? Remember, this guy was an expert in computer security; he likely had access to a lot more than he should have.

Tue Dec 25 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New York Times exposes Russian Collusion... by Democrats

Daily Wire"The secret project, carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was likely too small to have a significant effect on the race, in which the Democratic candidate it was designed to help, Doug Jones, edged out the Republican, Roy S. Moore," The New York Times reported.

The Times notes that the methods implored by Democrats concern some who fear that they "taint elections in the United States."

"The project’s operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore," The Times continued. "It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention."

The New York Times obtained an internal report on the Democrat's operation, which stated it "experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections."

"We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," the report added.

This is basically the same thing they did with Trump, at least in terms of smearing the candidate with baseless rumors of Russian collusion. There are no indications at this time that law enforcement or intelligence agencies were abused to spy on the campaign, but the repeated use of the smear is an interesting element.

Mon Dec 24 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Will there be a secret Trump indictment until he leaves office?

Daily WireNapolitano then laid out the two options he says are on the table, based on three previous opinions on the indictment of a sitting president.

"The DOJ has three opinions in this. Two say you can’t indict a sitting president, one says you can. But all three address the problem of what do you do when the statute of limitations is about to expire. All three agree in that circumstance you indict in secret, keep the indictment sealed, and release it the day he gets out of office. You can't let a person go scot-free because they happen to be in the White House."

If Hillary walks, and they pull a secret indictment out of their pocket as soon as Trump leaves office, I think there will be blood in the streets.

Mon Dec 24 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump Admin bans bump stocks

Free BeaconThe Department of Justice announced on Tuesday it will effectively ban the possession of all bump-fire stocks through a new regulatory rule.

Senior DOJ officials told reporters it would become a felony to own a bump-stock within 90 days of the new rule's publication. They estimated March 21, 2019, would be the deadline for the public to turn in or destroy their bump stocks. The officials said they would prosecute those who do not comply with that deadline.

A court challenge has already been filed. Among other problems, the ban is based on regulation without support from law. The legal definition of a machine gun is more than one round per single trigger pull. By that definition, the bump stock (despite it's rapid fire effect) is not a machine gun. No compensation will be offered and current owners cannot register them in order to keep them. The second provision is likely to see the regulation declared unconstitutional, under much clearer rules than a 2nd Amendment case about machine guns.

The entire ban was predicated on the Las Vegas mass shooting, though evidence he actually used bump stock devices in the shooting seems strangely lacking, and many facts about that shooting are unclear.

Mon Dec 24 06:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Patreon allowing fundraising for communists planning violent revolution

Far Left WatchWe recently published a report that detailed the “Manifest Observable Behavior” of a few different far-left Patreon users. Shorty after it was published, we received a tip alerting us that the Red Guards Austin, an armed Antifa cell that openly calls for “revolutionary violence”, is also raising funds on the platform.

We have extensively reported on the violent and often illegal activity of Red Guards Austin (RGA). Like many Antifa cells, RGA uses tech platforms to recruit, radicalize, and mobilize other far-left extremists; this particular cell has almost eight thousand Facebook followers. While big tech companies have been systematically censoring conservatives and right-of-center influencers, violent far-left groups appear to be free to openly violate the Terms of Service for these platforms without any consequences. The same appears to be true with Patreon as this violent extremist group has an active account and explicitly says they are “creating revolution”.

In many of the pictures, they are holding honest-to-god firearms on public streets, wearing masks, and burning Donald Trump in effigy. And yet Patreon allows them to fundraise while deplatforming conservatives?

Sun Dec 23 08:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How Google will steal the next election

Ace of SpadesWhen he looked down a list of the first ten search results for Hillary Clinton, he noticed that all ten were biased in her favor. He said to the camera, approximately, "If I were doing this, I wouldn't have made all ten of the first results positive for Hillary. I would have been more subtle and included a couple of bad results so it wasn't so blatant."

He found that nearly everyone was influenced in favor of the candidate whose negative search results were suppressed, though not everyone who shifted in opinion towards Hillary Clinton would actually vote for her.

He estimated that the percentage of the population who could be swayed to actually change votes via this simple procedure -- which, I remind you, Google is already running on us -- is ten percent.

Few elections are even won by so much.

Google was doing this when Trump was elected. Add 10% to Trump's election totals and that reflects the real state of the nation's opinions (without Google's bias thrown in). And that wasn't enough for Big Tech -- so they are turning the bias up a notch for 2020.

Sun Dec 23 07:47:20 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Pittsburgh mayor calls for gun confiscation, bans

BreitbartPittsburgh Mayor William Peduto (D) is pushing firearm confiscation orders, bans on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms and “high capacity” magazines.

Following the October 27 attack on the gun and security-free Tree of Life Synagogue, Peduto voiced opposition to hiring armed guards to protect congregants. Eleven innocents were killed when a gunman entered the synagogue and no one could shoot back.

Peduto’s solution is to create gun confiscation orders, ban commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms, and ban “high capacity” magazines and bump stocks.

This is insane. Why would criminals, bent on murder, follow any of these rules? The truth is, the purpose is not preventing mass murder and never has been. The purpose is a helpless population, unable to resist when the government openly violates the rights of the people and refuses to respect the results of elections.

Sun Dec 23 06:47:21 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vermont Police confiscate guns from innocent man

It seems two minors plotted to commit a school shooting by breaking into a relative's home and stealing their firearms. So the police confiscated the firearms using a new "extreme risk protective order". This needs to be fought in court, because the owner of the guns presented no risk to anyone. Indeed, he would have been a victim of a crime had the plan gone as intended - and he was a victim of a crime by the police.

Sat Dec 22 08:47:18 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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