11 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-23-19

  1. Some quick ones before I head out.

    The collapse continues.


    The lawyer in question.

    “Mueller lawyer with anti-Trump bias is ex-FBI official facing FISA criminal investigation”


    “The FBI lawyer under criminal investigation for allegedly falsifying a document related to the surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser expressed negative opinions of President Trump in messages to colleagues.

    Kevin Clinesmith, who was part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, has been identified as the attorney who could face a criminal charge as part of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s expansive criminal inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation, according to the New York Times.

    As part of the Justice Department watchdog’s now-completed investigation into alleged surveillance abuses, Clinesmith was found to have altered an email that was used by officials as they prepared an application renewal to present before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a warrant to electronically surveil Carter Page, a onetime foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.

    Clinesmith was an attorney with the FBI’s National Security and Cyber Law Branch and worked under FBI General Counsel James Baker and Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson. He had worked on the Clinton email investigation as well as the Trump-Russia probe. Clinesmith was present in the FBI’s meeting with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in February 2017 in Chicago, Papadopoulos told lawmakers in 2018. An Australian diplomat’s tip about Papadopoulos claiming the Russians had damaging information about Hillary Clinton effectively prompted the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, called Crossfire Hurricane, in July 2016.

    Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigators found Clinesmith falsely asserted he had documentation to back up a claim while in talks with the Justice Department about the factual basis for a FISA warrant application renewal. He then took an email from an official from another agency that contained multiple factual assertions, added material of his own, and gave it to a fellow FBI official who was preparing an affidavit for the Page case. Clinesmith has been described in many media reports as a “low-level attorney,” but Horowitz said he “was the primary FBI attorney assigned to [the Trump-Russia] investigation in early 2017.””


  2. 5 thongs about the lawyer in question….


    “evin Clinesmith is a former FBI lawyer expected to be cited for wrongdoing in an upcoming report by the Justice Department’s inspector general. The New York Times reported Friday that the inspector general’s report is expected to accuse Clinesmith of altering an email that officials used when preparing to seek court approval for the renewal of a wiretap of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

    Clinesmith may be referred for criminal charges as a result, The Times is reporting.

    Clinesmith’s name surfaced previously. In 2018, GOP Congressman Mark Meadows publicly accused Clinesmith of possibly being the FBI lawyer described in the inspector general’s report as writing anti-Trump messages, including one that declared “viva le resistance.” The Times is now reporting that Clinesmith is that lawyer, known as FBI lawyer 2 in the IG’s earlier report into the Clinton email investigation.

    Meadows, a Republican from North Carolina, released the identities of Clinesmith and Sally Moyer during a hearing on the Inspector General’s report into the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. According to The New York Post, Meadows did so at the time over the objections of the FBI, and the Inspector General and FBI have not confirmed the identities. The lawyer mentioned in the IG report, Clinesmith, worked on both the Clinton and Russian investigations but left the latter after the IG shared his instant messages with the special counsel. However, The New York Post later revealed that Moyer was not the lawyer that Meadows had implied.

    “In a dramatic moment, Meadows then directly asked (Inspector General) Horowitz whether two anonymous FBI employees identified as making anti-Trump statements in the IG’s report were named Kevin Clinesmith and Sally Moyer,” Fox News reported. However, the Inspector General refused to answer the question. Heavy left messages for Clinesmith via email and phone seeking comment.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    1. Clinesmith Is Accused of Being the Attorney Who Wrote ‘Viva Le Resistance,’ Was Devastated by Trump’s Victory & Described Mike Pence as ‘Stupid’”


    And Jim Jordan was right all along.


  3. Robert’s is now a fact witness, and needs to recuse.


    “Chief Justice Roberts now dragged into Democrat impeachment process”

    “The target of Democrat zealots in the House of Representatives led by Speaker Pelosi and Adam Schiff is to impeach and remove President Donald Trump. Sadly for him, the person they have a much higher probability of removing from his lofty perch is Chief Justice John Roberts. The famous cliché, the law of unintended consequences, is fast approaching.

    In an earlier American Thinker blog post, I asked a very simple question of Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts: Mr. Chief Justice, what did you do about the fraud on your Court?

    He and he alone “owns” the FISC, so he must be held accountable for any court actions. However, even if he has acted to clear up the egregious frauds, so far, only a few publicly reported with probably more to come, he has a significant problem if the Democrat leaders of the House vote out articles of impeachment for a Senate trial of our president.

    The chief justice has just become a fact witness in the impeachment process because of Fiona Hill’s testimony. It is Chairman Schiff’s hearing, and his witness, and he is responsible for building the evidence to impeach President Trump. Consequently, when Fiona Hill testified about her relationship with Christopher Steele’s work product, a public connection was made between the impeachment process and the fraudulent document used in the FISC process to unmask innocent Americans and target political opponents.

    Hill testified that Strobe Talbott, the former president of the Brookings Institution, shared the salacious document with her on Jan. 9, 2017. At the time, Hill was a director at Brookings, a left-of-center foreign policy think tank. She joined the Trump White House in early 2017 as senior director fore European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council.

    It makes zero difference if the subject is Russia or Ukraine in the Democrat endgame to remove President Trump. The “salacious document” was just raised in the House impeachment process, and no one can un-ring that bell.

    One just has to look at the ABA-published “Moral Code of Judicial Conduct.”

    Rule 2.11: Disqualification of a Judge:

    6) The judge:

    (a) served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or was associated with a lawyer who participated substantially as a lawyer in the matter during such association;
    (b) served in governmental employment, and in such capacity participated personally and substantially as a lawyer or public official concerning the proceeding, or has publicly expressed in such capacity an opinion concerning the merits of the particular matter in controversy;
    (c) was a material witness concerning the matter; or
    (d) previously presided as a judge over the matter in another court.

    Since the Constitution definitely states that it must be the “chief justice,” by title, who presides over a Senate trail, it can easily be understood and fully accepted that provision (b) of serving in government employment is not an ABA ethical disqualification. However, provision (c) cannot be ignored, and thus the law of unintended consequences will kick in.”


  4. Like Tychicus said last night.

    Follow the money, and the Soros connections.

    And isn’t it amazing that they did a Friday news dump on all of this? So predictable.


    “Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, and the problem of dual citizenship”

    Like a lot of Americans, I’ve had longtime and close friends renounce me for voting for President Trump in 2016. I can think of two, and yes, it was baffling and hurtful.

    It’s also natural to wonder why such a consequential thing might happen, whether there was some common denominator. What could be behind the intensity of that anti-Trump sentiment that would cause such dear friends to throw away twenty-plus years’ friendships as if they never happened? I can think of three or four more who haven’t renounced but have the same anti-Trump intensity. Some things I noticed in all of them and wondered about were their dual citizenships, their fluid ties to foreign governments, and their Soros affiliations…

    This brings us to the impeachment witnesses seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election, such as National Security Council functionaries Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman.

    Hill, who testified yesterday, is quite credibly reported to be a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen, and like my former friends, has Soros affiliations, hers through the Eurasia Foundation.

    According to Eleanore Clift of the Daily Beast:

    Born into a family of coal miners in northern England, the 54-year-old Hill is a dedicated academic with a reputation for careful scholarship and commitment to patriotic duty. She has dual U.K-U.S. citizenship and holds advanced degrees in Soviet studies and history from Harvard.

    According to Politico:

    Born into a family of coal miners in northern England in 1965, Hill was deeply affected by the Donbass miners strike in 1989 — the first major strike in Soviet history in what is now eastern Ukraine. She went on to become a scholar of Russian history, earning her master’s degree in Soviet studies from Harvard in 1991, where she also met her future husband. (She became a dual U.K.-U.S. citizen after they married.)

    Might that translate into anti-Trump hate? It seems likely.

    Then there’s Vindman, who received three offers to lead the Ukraine defense ministry, later calling it a “joke,” would seem to be someone of dual citizenship, too, given the kind of offer he got, the kinds of interactions he had that suggested loyalty to the country and led to the offer, and the difficulty in believing that the offer, made repeatedly, really was a “joke.”

    The legal picture on Ukraine suggests he wasn’t a dual citizen, however — and singular citizenship, in Ukraine, is a very big deal, given the trouble the nation has had in sorting itself out in the post-Soviet rubble. Vindman emigrated from what was then the Ukraine in the 1979 at a young age with his father and two brothers, who were Jews leaving the persecution of the Soviet Union. Two things would disqualify him right away from Ukrainian citizenship, according to Wikipedia: that he wasn’t on Ukrainian soil when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and that he joined and served in a foreign military. All the same, the laws are pretty fluid in a place like Ukraine, and corruption is big-time common, so anything could be the case. It would have been useful to hear from him under oath that he isn’t a dual-citizen, as appears likely.”


  5. I really wish journalists wouldn’t self-censor like this. And that is what they’re doing here.


    “Planned Parenthood has Been Asking Journalists to Sign NDAs at Events

    Planned Parenthood passes out these NDAs, even though it “has positioned itself as a bulwark against an administration that regularly attacks press credibility.”

    “Vice reporter Carter Sherman revealed that Planned Parenthood had asked her two times to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) at a happy hour for the media.

    The abortion organization asked her to sign one in 2018 when Sherman covered its Power of Pink volunteer training event.

    This second NDA rightfully upset Sherman, who informed Planned Parenthood she planned to call them out on their agreements with reporters. Now the organization has scurried to clear up this apparent “misunderstanding.” (Please note the sarcasm)

    After Sherman told her plans to Planned Parenthood, it quickly emailed journalists listed to attend the happy hour that they do not need to sign the NDA because an employee mistakenly sent it.

    Not good enough for Sherman. She pointed out she had to sign one in 2018. It looks like Sherman caught Planned Parenthood in a few lies:”


  6. Like we said……

    And sometimes following the money leads directly to Soros.


    “Soros-Linked ‘Dark Money’ Group Is Funding Ads Urging Vulnerable Republicans To Impeach Trump, Records Show”

    “A liberal “dark money” group that received millions of dollars from George Soros’s advocacy network, records show, is behind a seven-figure ad blitz urging vulnerable Republicans in swing districts to support the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

    The ads, which were scheduled to air this week on “Fox and Friends” in the Washington, D.C., market and in 13 GOP-held congressional districts, feature military veterans urging Republican representatives to “put country over politics” by holding Trump accountable for “abusing his office and risking national security for his own gain.”

    Each of the ads contains a disclosure stating they’re paid for by “Defend American Democracy,” but D.C. business registration documents reveal the group is just one of the many projects of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a dark money nonprofit that pumped $141 million into liberal causes in 2018 alone, Open Secrets reported.”


    “The Sixteen Thirty Fund reported receiving $52 million from a single anonymous donor in 2018, but as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, it is not required to disclose the identity of its donors.

    But other nonprofit organizations are required to disclose if they gave money to the Sixteen Thirty Fund. One of Soros’s primary donation vehicles, the Open Society Policy Center, has given $4.5 million to the fund between 2012 and 2017, according to their Form 990 annual disclosures.

    “Defend American Democracy” does not disclose its affiliation to the Sixteen Thirty Fund on its website, however it does state its a project of “Protect The Investigation,” which is another such project of the Fund.”


  7. Time for CNN and others to own their fake news, and pay a price for slandering good people.


    “Devin Nunes To Take Swift Legal Action Against CNN For ‘Demonstrably False’ Story”

    “House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced Friday night that he is filing a lawsuit against CNN over a report that they published the same evening that alleged an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani was willing to testify to Congress that Nunes met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor last year to discuss digging up dirt on former Vice President and current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.

    “The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine,” CNN reported. “Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.”

    “Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” Bondy told CNN. “Nunes had told Shokin of the urgent need to launch investigations into Burisma, Joe and Hunter Biden, and any purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.”

    CNN claims that Bondy told them that Parnas and Nunes allegedly began communicating with each other around the time of the Vienna trip and that Parnas worked to put Nunes in contact with Ukrainian officials that could dig up dirt on Biden and Democrats in Ukraine.

    Nunes also plans to sue The Daily Beast for a story that it published earlier in the week that alleged that Parnas helped Nunes set up numerous meetings regarding Ukraine.

    In an exclusive statement provided to Breitbart News, Nunes said: “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth. Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.””


  8. Rule #1- When you come at the king, you best not miss.

    They did. Now they’re gonna own it, and the consequences that come with it. 🙂


    “Vulnerable Democrats spooked by GOP impeachment ad onslaught

    Dems want the party to step up its defense.”

    “Vulnerable Democrats are watching in horror as GOP impeachment attacks deluge their districts back home. And they want a much stronger counteroffensive from their own party and its allies.

    Some of those Democrats raised their concerns with party leaders this week as they prepared to leave for Thanksgiving recess, fearing that voters will be bombarded by anti-impeachment ads as families gather around the TV for parades and football, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.

    GOP-aligned outside groups have spent roughly $8 million on TV spots this cycle in battleground districts, such as Rep. Anthony Brindisi’s central New York seat. The vast majority of those ads specifically hammer Democrats over impeachment.

    Meanwhile, swing-district Democrats are receiving little reinforcement from their own party or even other liberal coalitions. Democratic and pro-impeachment groups have spent about $2.7 million in TV ads, according to an analysis of spending by the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics. And more than $600,000 of that total went to ads targeting Republican incumbents, not helping vulnerable Democratic members.

    “Many of us have been expressing our concerns to leadership,” said a Democratic lawmaker said, who declined to be named in order to speak candidly about strategy. “You don’t want to have to play catch up.”

    “Everyone knows you don’t just take a shot and sit there,” the lawmaker said. “It’s like someone taped our arms to our side and punched us in the face.””


  9. Another win for Trump, and a signal to those other liberal states trying similar unconstitutional restrictions on federal elections. Sorry, but states don’t get to add their own rules to federal elections. While they have some say, this was clearly overstepping.

    And it’s still illegal to pass restrictions aimed at one particular candidate, as this clearly was.


    “California Supreme Court strikes down law requiring release of tax returns for ballot placement

    “Whatever authority the Legislature may have in defining how presidential primaries are to occur in this state, the challenged sections of the act exceed such authority and are unenforceable””

    “The California Supreme Court has just struck down a state law that required President Trump to release his tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary ballot.”

    “Justices in Sacramento said that the law – which required all candidates for president and governor to submit five years’ worth of personal income tax returns in order to be included on primary ballots – was unconstitutional.

    “Whatever authority the Legislature may have in defining how presidential primaries are to occur in this state, the challenged sections of the act exceed such authority and are unenforceable,” California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the opinion.

    The vote wasn’t even close; it was unanimous.

    As an extra bonus, California’s Chief Justice derided it for not being inclusive.

    The state high court’s seven justices unanimously ruled that the law conflicts with a state constitutional amendment that mandates that the primary ballot list all “recognized candidates throughout the nation or throughout California.”

    Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote that the constitutional amendment sets forth “a rule of inclusivity for presidential primary elections that the Legislature cannot contravene.”

    Jessica Patterson, chairwoman of the Republican Party, led the suit against the state. Among her concerns is that the lack of a Republican primary candidate would hurt the GOP’s chances during the election.

    “Lawmakers didn’t even take into account the conflicts it may have with the state constitution,” Patterson said. “This is a pretty direct example that California Democrats here have been completely arrogant and their overreach knows no bounds. This was a solution in search of a problem.”

    Patterson had worried fewer Republicans would show up for the primary if Trump weren’t at the top of the ticket, especially as Democrats appear fired up going into the 2020 primary, which the state had bumped up from June to March.

    Under the state’s primary system, the two highest vote-getters could both be Democrats, which would prevent a Republican from advancing to the general election in down-ballot races.

    “If we didn’t have our presumed nominee on the ballot in the 2020 primary, there would be Republicans that stayed home,” Patterson said.

    However, Governor Gavin Newsom remains undaunted.”


    And clueless. 🙂


  10. And a win against the media for Sandmann, the kid they falsely slandered.


    “All three Nicholas Sandmann lawsuits to go forward — WaPo, CNN, NBC

    “statements that plaintiff ‘blocked’ Phillips or did not allow him to retreat, if false, meet the test of being libelous per se”

    “On October 28, 2019, we reported on a stunning development in Nicholas Sandmann’s previously dismissed lawsuit against The Washington Post, Judge Reopens Nicholas Sandmann lawsuit against Washington Post.

    See that post for background on the case, and the judge’s ruling. I noted:

    While on the surface a relatively narrow ruling, reopening only a limited number of factual claims, it is in fact a big win for Sandmann. His attorneys now get to take discovery on the WaPo process that went into the story. That inquiry will not be limited to the three factual statements, because the process by which those statements made it into the WaPo reporting is the same process by which all the dismissed statements were reported. The entire process will be subject to depositions and document discovery. Sandmann’s attorneys likely will find facts to bolster a number of their claims, so expect a Second Amended Complaint with the results of the discovery process.

    The same judge has ruled in similar cases against CNN and NBC, and allows the cases to move forward on the same basis as the WaPo case. (Click for pdfs. the CNN Order and NBC Order.)

    As to CNN, the Court ruled:

    As in the Washington Post case, the Court believes that discovery is necessary to determine what happened in the unfortunate events which give rise to this litigation, and, to determine whether defendant accurately reported them, and, if it failed to do so, whether the failure was due to negligence or malice. Naturally, following a sufficient period for discovery, these issues will again be reviewed at the summary judgment phase under a more stringent standard.”


    Discovery of any emails between reporters and editors will be fun to look at I bet. Let’s see how they made their tainted sausage.


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