Donald Trump’s election has triggered a level of treachery that threatens the basis of our constitutional republic. The words “constitutional crisis” are bandied about too often, but this incident fits the bill all too well. Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley is promoting her book that debuts tomorrow and gave an interview yesterday to CBS in which she revealed the shocking news that two senior appointees to the Trump White House were conspiring against him and attempted to enlist her in their cabal to seize his constitutional powers for themselves.
Fox News summarizes:
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley blasted former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, recalling a private conversation where they defended resisting President Trump, telling her they did so out of necessity.
Haley told “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell that she did not appreciate having the former officials confide in her, as she described in her new book, “With All Due Respect.”
“[I]nstead of saying that to me, they should’ve been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan,” Haley said.
Haley said that the two men “confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country” and how “Tillerson went on to tell me the reason he resisted the president’s decisions was because, if he didn’t, people would die….”
“Saving the country” is the excuse offered by virtually all coup-plotters when they override the established powers and install their own people in power. It is the logic of a banana republic. Haley responded entirely appropriately:
“It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing,'” Haley told O’Donnell. “But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.”
Here’s the entire interview.
House Democrats conducted their impeachment interviews in secret, but Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman still emerged as star of the show. Appearing at his Oct. 29 deposition in full dress uniform, the decorated Army officer, now a White House National Security Council Ukraine expert, was the first witness who had actually listened to the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the Democratic impeachment campaign.
Even though lawmakers were forbidden to discuss his testimony in public, Vindman’s leaked opening statement that “I did not think it was proper [for Trump] to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen” exploded on news reports.
Vindman has not yet been scheduled to appear before the Democrats’ public impeachment hearings. When that happens, he will undoubtedly again play a prominent role. But there will be a difference. The public now has a transcript of Vindman’s deposition. And those who have taken the trouble to read the 340-page document will have a different picture of Vindman’s testimony than the one presented in early media reports.
Yes, Vindman testified repeatedly that he “thought it was wrong” for Trump, speaking with Zelensky, to bring up the 2016 election and allegations of Ukraine-related corruption on the part of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
But the Vindman transcript also showed a witness whose testimony was filled with opinion, with impressions, who had little new to offer, who withheld important information from the committee, who was steeped in a bureaucracy that has often been hostile to the president, and whose lawyer, presumably with Vindman’s approval, expressed unmistakable disdain, verging on contempt, for members of Congress who asked inconvenient questions.
In short, Vindman’s testimony was not the slam-dunk hit Democrats portrayed it to be. And that raises questions about how it will play when Vindman goes before the world in a public impeachment hearing.
Here are four problems with the Vindman testimony:
1) Beyond his opinions, he had few new facts to offer. Vindman seemed to be an important fact witness, the first who had actually been on the July 25 call when Trump talked to Zelensky. But the White House weeks ago released the rough transcript of that call, which meant everyone in the secure room in which Vindman testified, and everyone on the planet, for that matter, already knew what had been said.
Indeed, Vindman attested to the overall accuracy of the rough transcript, contrary to some impeachment supporters who have suggested the White House is hiding an exact transcript that would reveal everything Trump said to the Ukrainian president.
As one of a half-dozen White House note-takers listening to the call, Vindman testified that he tried unsuccessfully to make a few edits to the rough transcript as it was being prepared.
In particular, Vindman believed that Zelensky specifically said the word “Burisma,” the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden, when the rough transcript referred only to “the company.”
But beyond that, Vindman had no problems with the transcript, and he specifically said he did not believe any changes were made with ill intent.
“You don’t think there was any malicious intent to specifically not add those edits?” asked Republican counsel Steve Castor.
“I don’t think so.”
“So otherwise, this record is complete and I think you used the term ‘very accurate’?”
“Yes,” said Vindman.
Once Vindman had vouched for the rough transcript, his testimony mostly concerned his own interpretation of Trump’s words. And that interpretation, as Vindman discovered during questioning, was itself open to interpretation.
Vindman said he was “concerned” about Trump’s statements to Zelensky, so concerned that he reported it to top National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg. (Vindman had also reported concerns to Eisenberg two weeks before the Trump-Zelensky call, after a Ukraine-related meeting that included Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.)
Vindman said several times that he was not a lawyer and did not know if Trump’s words amounted to a crime but that he felt they were “wrong.” That was when Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, tried to get to the root of Vindman’s concerns.
What was really bothering him?
“I’m trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law,” Ratcliffe said to Vindman. “And what I understand you to say is that you weren’t certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?”
“So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views,” Vindman answered. “And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for — ”
“I understand that,” Ratcliffe said, “but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason.”
Indeed it did. Elsewhere in Vindman’s testimony, he repeated that his greatest worry was that if the Trump-Zelensky conversation were made public, then Ukraine might lose the bipartisan support it currently has in Congress. That, to Ratcliffe and other Republicans, did not seem a sufficient reason to report the call to the NSC’s top lawyer, nor did it seem the basis to begin a process leading to impeachment and a charge of presidential high crimes or misdemeanors.
At another point, Castor asked Vindman whether he was interpreting Trump’s words in an overly alarmist way, especially when Vindman contended that Trump issued a “demand” to Zelensky.
“The president in the transcript uses some, you know, words of hedging from time to time,” Castor said.
“You know, on page 3, he says ‘whatever you can do.’ He ends the first paragraph on page 3, ‘if that’s possible.’ At the top of page 4, ‘if you could speak to him, that would be great.’ ‘So whatever you can do.’ Again, at the top of page 4, ‘if you can look into it.’ Is it reasonable to conclude that those words hedging for some might, you know, lead people to conclude that the president wasn’t trying to be demanding here?”
“I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions,” Vindman answered, in what may have been one of the more revealing moments of the deposition.
“I’d also point your attention to ‘whatever you can do, it’s very important to do it if that’s possible.'”
“‘If that’s possible,'” Castor stressed.
“Yeah,” said Vindman. “So I guess you can interpret it in different ways.”
2) Vindman withheld important information from investigators. Vindman ended his opening statement in the standard way, by saying, “Now, I would be happy to answer your questions.” As it turned out, that cooperation did not extend to both parties.
The only news in Vindman’s testimony was the fact that he had twice taken his concerns to Eisenberg.
He also told his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who is also an Army lieutenant colonel and serves as a National Security Council lawyer. He also told another NSC official, John Erath, and he gave what he characterized as a partial readout of the call to George Kent, a career State Department official who dealt with Ukraine.
That led to an obvious question: Did Vindman take his concerns to anyone else? Did he discuss the Trump-Zelensky call with anyone else? It was a reasonable question, and an important one.
Republicans asked it time and time again. Vindman refused to answer, with his lawyer, Michael Volkov, sometimes belligerently joining in. Through it all, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood firm in favor of keeping his committee in the dark.
Vindman openly conceded that he told other people about the call. The obvious suspicion from Republicans was that Vindman told the person who became the whistleblower, who reported the call to the Intelligence Community inspector general, and who, in a carefully crafted legal document, framed the issue in a way that Democrats have adopted in their drive to remove the president from office.
Vindman addressed the suspicion before anyone raised it. In his opening statement, he said, “I am not the whistleblower … I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower.”
Fine, said Republicans. We won’t ask you who the whistleblower is. But if your story is that you were so concerned by the Trump-Zelensky issue that you reported it to Eisenberg, and also to others, well, who all did you tell?
That is when the GOP hit a brick wall from Vindman, his lawyer Volkov, and, most importantly, Schiff.
As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, charged with overseeing the intelligence community, Schiff might normally want to know about any intelligence community involvement in the matter under investigation.
But in the Vindman deposition, Schiff strictly forbade any questions about it. “Can I just caution again,” he said at one point, “not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way.”
The purpose of it all was to protect the identity of the whistleblower, who Schiff incorrectly claimed has “a statutory right to anonymity.”
That left Republicans struggling to figure out what happened. “I’m just trying to better understand who the universe of people the concerns were expressed to,” said Castor.
“Look, the reason we’re objecting is not — we don’t want — my client does not want to be in the position of being used to identifying the whistleblower, okay?” said Volkov. “And based on the chair’s ruling, as I understand it, [Vindman] is not required to answer any question that would tend to identify an intelligence officer.”
“Okay,” Castor said to Vindman. “Did you express concerns to anybody, you know, that doesn’t fall under this category of someone who might be the whistleblower, or is Eisenberg the only — ”
“No,” said Vindman. “In my coordination role, as I actually said in the statement, in my opening … in performing my coordination role as director on the National Security Council, I provide readouts of relevant meetings and communications to [redacted] properly cleared counterparts with a relevant need to know.”
What did that mean, exactly? Vindman didn’t tell anybody else, he just provided readouts? On a need-to-know basis? Republicans tried on several occasions to figure it out. “Some of the other people that you raised concerns to, did you ask any of those folks to do anything with the concerns?” asked Castor.
That only prompted more bureaucratese from the witness. “I don’t think that’s an accurate characterization, counsel,” Vindman said. “I think what I did was I fulfilled my coordination role and spoke to other national security professionals about relevant substance in the call so that they could take appropriate action. And frankly, it’s hard to — you know, without getting into, you know, sources and methods, it’s hard to kind of talk about some of these things.”
So, Vindman’s basic answer was: I won’t tell you because that’s a secret. After several such exchanges, Volkov got tough with lawmakers, suggesting further inquiries might hurt Vindman’s feelings.
“Look, he came here,” Volkov said. “He came here. He tells you he’s not the whistleblower, okay? He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try to respect his feelings at this point.”
An unidentified voice spoke up. “We’re uncomfortable impeaching the president,” it said.
“Excuse me. Excuse me,” Volkov responded. “If you want to debate it, we can debate it, but what I’m telling you right now is you have to protect the identity of the whistleblower. I get that there may be political overtones. You guys go do what you got to do, but do not put this man in the middle of it.”
Castor spoke up. “So how does it out anyone by saying that he had one other conversation other than the one he had with George Kent?”
“Okay,” said Volkov. “What I’m telling you right now is we’re not going to answer that question. If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting the whistleblower, God be with you. … You don’t need this. You don’t need to go down this. And look, you guys can — if you want to ask, you can ask — you can ask questions about his conversation with Mr. Kent. That’s it. We’re not answering any others.”
“The only conversation that we can speak to Col. Vindman about is his conversation with Ambassador Kent?” asked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
“Correct,” said Volkov, “and you’ve already asked him questions about it.”
“And any other conversation that he had with absolutely anyone else is off limits?”
“No,” said Volkov. “He’s told you about his conversations with people in the National Security Council. What you’re asking him to do is talk about conversations outside the National Security Council. And he’s not going to do that. I know where you’re going.”
“No, actually, you don’t,” said Zeldin.
“Oh, yes, sir,” said Volkov.
“No, you really don’t,” said Zeldin.
“You know what?” said Volkov. “I know what you’re going to say. I already know what you’re going to do, okay? And I don’t want to hear the FOX News questions, okay?”
Zeldin, perhaps seeking to cool Volkov down, said, “Listen, this transcript is going to be out at some point, okay?”
“I hope so,” said Volkov.
Finally, Schiff stepped in to stop things. “The gentleman will suspend,” he said. “Let’s suspend. Counsel has made his position clear. I think his client has made his position clear. Let’s move on.”
It should be noted that Volkov was a lawyer, and members of Congress were members of Congress. The lawyer should not be treating the lawmakers as Volkov did. Volkov was able to tell Republicans to buzz off only because he had Schiff’s full support. And Republicans never found out who else Vindman discussed the Trump-Zelensky call with.
3) There were notable gaps in Vindman’s knowledge. Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. “I’m the director for Ukraine,” he testified. “I’m responsible for Ukraine. I’m the most knowledgeable. I’m the authority for Ukraine for the National Security Council and the White House.” Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman’s knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.
Vindman agreed with everyone that Ukraine has a serious corruption problem. But he knew little specifically about Burisma, the nation’s second-largest privately owned energy company, and even less about Mykola Zlochevsky, the oligarch who runs the firm.
“What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?” asked Castor.
“I frankly don’t know a huge amount,” Vindman said.
“Are you aware that he’s a former Minister of Ecology”? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma.
“I’m not,” said Vindman.
“Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?”
“I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings,” Vindman said. “That’s part of the track record, yes.”
“Okay. And what questionable business dealings are you aware of?” asked Castor. Vindman said he did not know beyond generalities. “The general answer is I think they have had questionable business dealings,” Vindman said.
Castor then noted that in 2014 Burisma “undertook an initiative to bring in some additional folks for their board, are you aware of some of the folks they added to their board in 2014?”
“The only individual I’m aware of, again, after, you know, as it’s been reported in the press is Mr. Hunter Biden,” Vindman said.
“Okay,” said Castor. “And did you check with any of your authoritative sources in government to learn a little bit more about these issues?”
“I did not,” said Vindman. “I didn’t think it was appropriate. He was a U.S. citizen, and I wasn’t going to ask questions.”
A short time later, Castor asked, “And do you have any knowledge as to why Hunter Biden was asked to join the board?”
“I do not.”
“Did you check with any of your authoritative sources whether he was a corporate governance expert or — ”
“Like I said, I didn’t,” Vindman answered. “He’s an American citizen. Certainly there are domestic political overtones. I did not think that was appropriate for me to start looking into this particular … I drew my conclusions on Burisma and I moved on.”
Vindman had other blind spots, as well. One important example concerned U.S. provision of so-called lethal aid to Ukraine, specifically anti-tank missiles known as Javelins. The Obama administration famously refused to provide Javelins or other lethal aid to Ukraine, while the Trump administration reversed that policy, sending a shipment of missiles in 2018. On the Trump-Zelensky call, the two leaders discussed another shipment in the future.
“Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?” asked Schiff.
“Yes,” said Vindman.
“There was a prior shipment of Javelins to Ukraine, wasn’t there?” said Schiff.
“So that was, I believe — I apologize if the timing is incorrect — under the previous administration, there was a — I’m aware of the transfer of a fairly significant number of Javelins, yes,” Vindman said.
Vindman’s timing was incorrect. Part of the entire Trump-Ukraine story is the fact that Trump sent the missiles while Obama did not. The top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council did not seem to know that.
4) Vindman was a creature of a bureaucracy that has often opposed President Trump. In his testimony, Vindman’s perspective could be mind-numbingly bureaucratic. One of his favorite words is “interagency,” by which he means the National Security Council’s role in coordinating policy among the State Department, Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, the Treasury Department, and the White House. His bible is something known as NSPM-4, or National Security Presidential Memorandum 4. He says things such as, “So I hold at my level sub-PCCs, Deputy Assistant Secretary level. PCCs are my boss, senior director with Assistant Secretaries. DCs are with the deputy of the National Security Council with his deputy counterparts within the interagency.” He believes the interagency has set a clear U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
“You said in your opening statement, or you indicated at least, that there’s a fairly consensus policy within the interagency towards Ukraine,” Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said to Vindman. “Could you just explain what that consensus policy is, in your own words?”
“What I can tell you is, over the course of certainly my tenure there, since July 2018, the interagency, as per normal procedures, assembles under the NSPM-4, the National Security Policy [sic] Memorandum 4, process to coordinate U.S. government policy,” Vindman said. “We, over the course of this past year, probably assembled easily a dozen times, certainly at my level, which is called a subpolicy coordinating committee — and that’s myself and my counterparts at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level — to discuss our views on Ukraine.”
That is a classic bureaucrat’s view of government and the world. Needless to say, Trump does not do that sort of thing. The president is remarkably freewheeling, unbureaucratic, and certainly not always consistent when it comes to making policy. But he generally has a big goal in mind, and in any event, he is the president of the U.S. He, not the interagency, sets U.S. foreign policy.
Still, Vindman was deeply upset when Trump, relying on Rudy Giuliani and others, turned his attention to Ukraine. “In the spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency,” Vindman said in his opening statement. The outside influencers, he suggested, were undermining the work of his “interagency colleagues.” In the words of the Washington Post, Vindman was “deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy.”
Vindman’s discussion of the interagency, while dry as dust, might contain the key to his role in the Trump-Ukraine affair. In the last few years, the bureaucracy with which he so clearly identified has often been at odds, sometimes privately and sometimes publicly, with the president. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, writing in a new book, said two top officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House chief of staff John Kelly, sought to undermine Trump to “save the country.”
“It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interest of America, they said,” Haley wrote. “The president didn’t know what he was doing.”
That view extended deep into some areas of the government. Now, parts of the foreign policy bureaucracy are in open war with the president, channeling their grievances through the House Democrats’ drive toward impeachment. When he testifies in public, Vindman will be the living embodiment of that bureaucratic war.
The fake, far-left fact check site Snopes accidentally confirmed that Democrats have sought to impeach every elected Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Naturally, while confirming this, the garbage fire of fake news that is Snopes rated what is “mostly true” as “mostly false.”
The claim is: “Have Democrats Tried to Impeach Every GOP President Since Ike?”
Snopes decided to fact check this claim based on a popular meme that shows a black and white photo of Gen. Eisenhower above a caption that reads “INTERESTING FACT!!! Did you know Democrats have tried to impeach every Republican President since Eisenhower???”
Looking to debunk this mostly true claim, Snopes accidentally confirms that Democrats have indeed tried to impeach every elected Republican president since Eisenhower [emphasis mine]:
The U.S. has had six republican presidents since Eisenhower left office in 1961: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. The claim is wrong on its face because Democrats made no effort to impeach Ford. While a handful of Democratic lawmakers have introduced articles of impeachment against five of the last six Republican presidents, in most cases these efforts weren’t taken seriously by the party at large. Nixon and Trump have been the only Republican presidents since Ike who have faced a serious threat of impeachment.
So, Snopes has indeed confirmed that Democrats have “introduced articles of impeachment against five of the last six Republican presidents,” the sole exception being Gerald Ford, who was not elected.
Ford was not even elected to the vice presidency; he was appointed by Nixon after his original vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in disgrace over a matter that had nothing to do with Watergate.
What’s more, Ford was president for only a little more than two years.
But there you have it — confirmation from a left-wing fact check site that Democrats sought to impeach five of the last six Republican presidents and sought to impeach every Republican elected to the presidency since Eisenhower.
Granted, the meme that claims Democrats tried to impeach every president since Ike is not 100 percent accurate. But after Snopes confirmed the meme was 5/6th correct, why is a mostly accurate claim hit with a verdict of “mostly false”?
I think we all know the answer to that one…
Because it is a damning fact that proves just how anti-democratic the Democrats are, what a bunch of sore losers they are, and Snopes is not a real fact-checking site, it is a Palace Guard for the political left.
So Snopes splits hairs between what it describes as “serious” impeachment efforts and efforts that never went beyond a lawmaker introducing articles of impeachment.
So what we have here is Snopes making a subjective opinion about what “tried to impeach every elected Republican president since Eisenhower” means — and wouldn’t you know it? — Snopes’s subjective opinion falls right into the category of aiding and abetting the left.
But by any objective, pro-science standard, the meme in question is MOSTLY TRUE.
Regardless, we should at least thank Snopes for doing the hard work that proves for a fact the following…
Democrats Have Tried to Impeach Every Elected GOP President Since Eisenhower…
What a world we live in. A confidential asset of a hyper-political CIA director, likely handpicked by the director to spy on the Trump White House, is now called a “whistleblower.” The son of a former vice-president and a current Democrat nominee was apparently eyeball-deep in corruption in Ukraine, and the Left screams that the president—for daring to broach the issue with Ukraine—should be impeached. Political pygmies, otherwise known as the Democrat 2020 field, prance about the country offering up program ideas tallying up to over $200 trillion in the first ten years of operation (against the roughly $44 trillion the government would bring in over the same time). Such programs would cost us millions of jobs, among other bad consequences. Yet we are expected to believe these are serious people.
All the while the mainstream propagandists gaslight us by shrieking that Trump is the corrupt one, that Trump’s ideas are destructive as the economy soars and unemployment remains at 50 year lows. When the Washington Post intones that “Democracy dies in darkness” they evince no apparent awareness of irony. They’re knifing democracy to death every single day.
In the meantime, as our constitutional republic faces the wrecking balls of the Left and is asked to endure as they smash away at every norm that has made this country great, many Republicans find themselves conveniently absent from the action. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, sure does love himself a TV hit—and I have to tell you, his super-duper “enthusiasms” while on TV almost make me want to believe him when he says he is serious about being effective. But then another day goes by and it’s clear he lacks the stones actually to hold hearings and subpoena the corrupt cabal that has massively abused our surveillance state and law enforcement regime.
Richard Burr (R-N.C.)? Well, he’s been off in “la-la land” for quite some time. At some point, for decency’s sake, he should just give the title of chairman of Senate Intel to Mark Warner (D-Va.) so as actually to reflect reality. One would think confronting injustice and illegal behavior should be pretty standard, common sense sort of stuff. But then again, Swamp Creatures are hardly paragons of truth and justice. So let’s assume until things change that Graham and Burr have zero problem with what has happened over the last few years; heck, they might be implicated in what could be uncovered.
This all leads us to a serious problem that we as a country are facing: we’ve been losing trust in our institutions for quite some time……
Seriously. Ask yourself: Do you really trust the FBI? I don’t. With the recent reports from Michael Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, apparently senior FBI agents tampered with 302s, falsifying information to get the results they wanted which had nothing to do with the truth. This was the FBI—supposedly the world’s greatest law enforcement agency. I don’t think so. Until those senior officials go to jail for their abuse of power my distrust of the FBI will continue.
Do you really trust the Justice Department? Maybe. I’ll see what Attorney General Barr and John Durham pursue and actually accomplish. I can assure you, however, if there are not prosecutions with jail time, scratch that institution off the list. The CIA? Forget about it. Congress? You mean the inept worthless institution that sits on its hands and has ceded massive control of the lawmaking function of government to the administrative state? I have to tell you: is there really a point to Congress in its current form? Serious question. It gets slapped around every single day by the administrative state and the courts. Then they have the gall to tell the people, “By golly, we’re out here working so hard you gotta send us back to Congress so re-elect us.” Why precisely? So they can rubber-stamp more spending, tack on a few more cool trillions to our exploding debt?Ask yourself: do you really think the halls of Congress are mostly populated with intelligent people? Or just functioning idiots? I’m kinda leaning towards the majority of them being functioning idiots. Prove me wrong.
What about the values Americans are supposed to believe in? Rule of law is a farce. And at this point, the idea of Lady Justice being blind and meeting out justice even-handedly borders on the absurd. Quite frankly, speaking of Lady Justice, I haven’t seen her lately. I assume she got mugged in some seamy back alley of the Swamp or offed herself, Epstein-style. Until I actually see the equal application of the law I’m just going to safely assume the current bifurcated legal system has us on a fast track to Banana Republic USA.
So what are we to do? When faith is gone, both of the spiritual and the political variety, what remains? People seek peace and prosperity, and will happily live with an untold number of illusions so long as they have those two things. Perhaps we’ve been doing that for a while. But what happens when those are gone? History shows us that when the ruling class and elites refuse to do what they should and instead do what they can, creating a government rigged in their favor, destroying the rule of law, and papering over corruption and injustice, the peasants pick up pitchforks and torches and they come for those who have behaved so abominably. Perhaps our elites should read more of that history.
This screeching is nothing more than the demoncraps trying to intimidate their way out of the death zone.
Senate Democrats issued stark warnings on Wednesday that Republicans would severely damage the institution of Congress if they acquiesced to a push from Trump allies to haul former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for testimony about their actions in Ukraine.
A top Biden ally, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), told The Daily Beast that calling the 2020 presidential contender—who served for 35 years in the Senate—and his son for testimony “would be literally rolling a grenade down the aisle of the Senate” that would have “lasting consequences” on the upper chamber’s ability to work together.
“Look, Joe Biden is well known, widely respected, and frankly beloved by many in the Senate on both sides of the aisle,” said Coons. “The impeachment process is already disruptive enough. I think we should be approaching it with seriousness, not by entertaining conspiracy theories that are utterly unfounded. And I think it would be a very unfortunate move.”
The idea of bringing in the Bidens to testify has gained traction in recent days as allies of President Donald Trump have flirted with counter-programming the impeachment proceedings in the House by having the GOP-led Senate call witnesses of their own.
Last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, expressed interest in calling the Bidens for testimony. And this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) stood on a rally stage alongside President Trump in Kentucky and urged the Senate to call not only the anonymous whistleblower for testimony, but the Bidens, too.
“The Republicans must call the Bidens to the hearings to answer to the nation about their corruption,” the president’s former strategist, Steve Bannon, told The Daily Beast. “In addition, it’s incumbent upon [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [Sen. Bernie] Sanders not to repeat ’16 and Clinton—but to call out the permanent political class.”
But top Republican leaders in the Senate have so far resisted going down that route. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), whom Graham has since deferred to on the issue of hearings, has suggested that his committee would stay away the Bidens, for now.
“I believe it would be more appropriate to wait on examining these matters until after the House completes its process (one way or another),” Risch wrote in an Oct. 29 letter to the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “It is important that the Senate reserve judgment on these matters until the House formally completes its work on this inquiry.”
The top trending featured news story on Twitter is a story no journalists are really talking about and no major news network or outlet is covering.
There is a fundamental disconnect between media and audience and that’s why Facebook/Social Media isn’t going anywhere. pic.twitter.com/VqxJQxM5CM
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) November 5, 2019
Remember when the entire media had a panic attack over Trumps comments on the Access Hollywood tape? While this was going on, those same people knew that Epstein was raping children… and then decided to cover it up.#EpsteinCoverup
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) November 6, 2019
So, you get the impression that the President of ‘Narco Mexico’ isn’t too hep on the idea of taking on his bosses.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
Bureaucrats’ Hurt Feelings On Foreign Policy Don’t Justify Impeachment.
Privileged bureaucrats are so high on their self-righteousness that they actually think they’re protecting the Constitution by obstructing the foreign policy of the elected president.
Maybe it’s more than just ‘hurt feelings‘. How about exposing their criminal acts?
In recent testimony during his confirmation hearing, the nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Russia said, “Soliciting investigations into a domestic political opponent — I don’t think that would be in accord with our values.”
Never? Let’s do a quick thought experiment. Remember when Donald Trump said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and still maintain his support? Suppose a candidate for office did shoot somebody and the only witness was a Russian national who then hopped a plane back to Moscow.
Now suppose that the only way to prosecute this candidate would be for his political rival (the incumbent president) to request cooperation from Russia to extradite this material witness back to the United States to participate in a trial. Should he do it?
Partisanship Is the Deciding Factor
Obviously, in today’s climate, the answer depends on one critical fact: Whose side is the candidate on? If the candidate aligns with the left, then investigating a political opponent would be totally beyond the norms established by our cherished traditions. But if the candidate opposes the left, then the deep state will step in “to protect the country from that menace.”
You see, it’s perfectly fine for Hillary Clinton to use her campaign funds to hire foreign national Christopher Steele to investigate Trump using (probably made-up) Russian sources. And there’s nothing wrong with the FBI using those partisan Steele smears to investigate the Obama administration’s political opponent.
Crossfire Hurricane, the official operational title for the investigation, employed assistance from the British government and an Australian diplomat. So the left believes there’s nothing wrong with asking a foreign government for help to investigate a domestic political opponent — so long as that opponent is Trump. After all, “Nobody is above the law, not even Donald Trump.” But if the shoe ends up on the other foot and Trump is the one investigating, it’s a constitutional crisis!
If you listen for more than a few minutes, you realize what’s really going on here is that Trump failed to prostrate himself before the “dedicated career professionals” who possess the “experience and expertise” that Trump supposedly lacks in foreign policy. Read your Constitution. Article II vests the power of foreign policy in the elected president. These “dedicated career professionals” aren’t even mentioned in the Constitution.
Maybe the framers made a drafting error in the Constitution? Or maybe we shouldn’t have a national impeachment circus over the hurt feelings of bureaucrats.
CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears.
These close connections between the Washington Post’s Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda.
The Federalist has learned that the now-outed CIA and FBI informant Stefan Halper served as a source for Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, providing more evidence that the intelligence community has co-opted the press to push anti-Trump conspiracy theories. In addition, an email recently obtained by The Federalist from the MI5-connected Christopher Andrew bragging that his long-time friend Ignatius has the “‘inside track’ on Flynn” adds further confirmation of this conclusion.
Svetlana Lokhova, the Russian-born English citizen and Soviet-era scholar, told The Federalist that she only realized the significance of her communications with and about Ignatius following the filing of attorney Sidney Powell’s reply brief in the Michael Flynn case.
In last week’s court filing, Powell highlighted how the CIA, FBI, Halper, and possibly James Baker used the unnamed and unaware Lokhova and the complicit Ignatius to destroy Flynn. This James Baker is not the one who worked under James Comey at the FBI, but a James Baker in the Department of Defense Office of National Assessment.
Stefan Halper is a known long-time operative for the CIA/FBI. He was paid exorbitant sums by the FBI/CIA/DOD through the Department of Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment in 2016. His tasks seem to have included slandering Mr. Flynn with accusations of having an affair with a young professor (a British national of Russian descent) Flynn met at an official dinner at Cambridge University when he was head of DIA in 2014. Flynn has requested the records of Col. James Baker because he was Halper’s ‘handler’ in the Office of Net Assessment in the Pentagon, and ONA Director Baker regularly lunched with Washington Post Reporter David Ignatius. Baker is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls to Ignatius. The defense has requested the phone records of James Clapper to confirm his contacts with Washington Post reporter Ignatius—especially on January 10, 2017, when Clapper told Ignatius in words to the effect of ‘take the kill shot on Flynn.’ It cannot escape mention that the press has long had transcripts of the Kislyak calls that the government has denied to the defense…………
Like the garbage French elite of long ago, our American garbage elite of today has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. For four years, it has been focused entirely on deep sixing Donald Trump for his unforgivable crime of demanding that our ruling caste be held accountable for its legacy of failure.
Instead of focusing on not being terrible at their job of running America’s institutions, our elitists have decided that the real problem is us Normals being angry about how they are terrible at their job of running America’s institutions. So, let’s imagine that they finally vanquish Trump, though every time they come up against him they end up dragging themselves home like Ned Beatty after a particularly tough canoe trip.
What happens then?
What happens then is that it’s back to business as usual, and for decades, business as usual for our garbage elite has not merely been running our institutions badly but pillaging and looting our country for power, prestige and cash.
The difference is that in the future they will be much more careful to ensure that no one who is not in on the scam will ever again come anywhere near the levers of power. You can already see it – the demands that we defer to the bureaucrats they own, the attacks on the idea of free expression, and the campaign to disarm us. Their objective is no more Trumps, just an endless line of progressive would-be Maduros with the march toward despair occasionally put on pause for a term by some Fredocon Republican who hates us Normals just as much as the Dems, but won’t admit it until after he’s out of office.
Our garbage elite talks a good game about its service and moral superiority, but if our betters were actually better than us, we would not be having this national conversation about how awful they are.
The fact is that what they want to do is go back to the way it was before Trump, back to 2015, aka the year 1 BT – Before Trump. Back then, progressive Democrats got their bizarre social pathologies normalized. Moderate Democrats got money, power and an open season on the local talent. Corporate types represented largely by squishy Republicans got globalism and the ability to ship our jobs out and import Third World serfs in. And the fake conservatives of Conservative, Inc., got to cash in without the necessity of actually conserving anything.
The only people that the old system didn’t work for were the American people……………
The simple fact is that they desperately want Trump out so they can return to the good old days of winks, nods, and payoffs.
Look at the Biden Family Crime Syndicate and the antics of the junior capo of the Cosa Nose Candy. In what universe is it A-OK that the crack-fueled Johnny Appleseed of paternity suits that is Joe’s snortunate son was cashing in on $50K a month in sweet, sweet Ukrainian gas gold just weeks after Ensign Biden got booted because he tooted? And then there’s riding on Air Force Two to the NBA’s favorite dictatorship for some commie ducats. Now there are even some Romanian shenanigans too – is there a single country on earth that Totally-Not-Senile Joe didn’t shake down for the benefit of his daughter-in-law’s second hubby? ……
In a non-bizarro political universe, the proper reaction to the Prezzy demanding, “You best fork over the evidence on these manifestly corrupt antics involving the Vice-President of the United States or we’re cutting you off from the American taxpayers’ feeding trough,” would be, “Hell to the yeah, four more years! Four more years!’
But it’s not, because the elite likes its sexual abuse and its foreign cash and its total lack of accountability to us, the Normals, the people who are supposed to be the ones that our elite is working for. The elite has not learned its lesson. It has not admitted that it sucks and resolved to stop sucking.
Instead, it has doubled down. And if it gets power again, it will act to solve what it sees as the most urgent problem facing America – the fact that we the people have the ability to reject the elite’s utter incompetence and surpassing greed and elect someone with a mandate to burn down the whole rotten edifice.
If the elitists get power again, they are never letting go of it, not without a fight. And now, doesn’t the elite’s obsessive fixation on shutting down conservative dissent, eliminating competing institutions (like religious entities), and disarming law-abiding Americans make a lot more sense?
Ever since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the mask has been slipping from the “deep state.” But last week, The New York Times ripped it off completely.
“President Trump is right: the deep state is alive and well,” says a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. The deep state, she explains, is a small number of experts who sometimes openly, sometimes covertly, oppose and undermine the constitutionally elected president of the United States.
In 2018, former FBI Director James Comey insisted “there is no deep state.” At that time, they called themselves simply “the resistance,” but they have since grown more honest (or rather more shameless).
Now, they concede they resist Trump not because he threatens some constitutional status quo, but because he threatens their claim to rule and the persistent drift toward a political revolution they’ve been working toward for decades.
They aim to change our form of government from a constitutional republic that seeks “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” to a bureaucratic technocracy that seeks to impose on the American people a Neo-Marxist understanding of justice in the name of a “global struggle for human dignity and freedom.”
No matter which end of the political spectrum, when the bureaucrap hirelings decide to run policy that should be done by the people elected to do that, you have a system that has been corrupted. That they openly take pride in it is scary.
Former CIA Director John E. McLaughlin joined former CIA Director John Brennan this week with “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan to discuss the current coup attempt on President Trump.
These partisan hacks believe they know what is best for America and not President Trump — more wars, open borders and unfair trade agreements to destroy the US middle class.
Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation.
Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.
Our resolute ancestors took a century to turn a wilderness into California. Our irresolute generation in just a decade or two has been turning California into a wilderness.
General Michael Flynn still awaits sentencing. Meanwhile his new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is tormenting the prosecutors and the FBI, uncovering corruption in the FBI and the Department of Justice that, she credibly alleges, included the framing of General Flynn.
Is that too strong? I don’t think so. Yesterday Powell filed a reply brief in support of her motion to compel the production of more exculpating material by the prosecution, and to hold the prosecutors in contempt of court. Her recitation, which relies in part on text messages that I take it have come to light recently, makes a compelling case of FBI and prosecutorial misconduct. The reply brief is embedded below; I encourage you to read it in its entirety.
Powell’s most explosive charge is that the FBI falsified the Form 302 that recorded the content of its agents’ interview with Flynn in order to set him up for prosecution:
On February 10, 2017, the news broke—attributed to “senior intelligence officials”—that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously. Overnight, the most important substantive changes were made to the Flynn 302. Those changes added an unequivocal statement that “FLYNN stated he did not”—in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote. This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. He had talked to dozens of countries. Exs. 9, 10, 11.
Second, they added: “or if KISLYAK described any Russian response to a request by FLYNN.” That question and answer do not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense. The typed version of the highly unusual “deliberative” 302 by that date already included an entire section from whole cloth that also serves as a criminal charge in the Information and purported factual basis regarding “Russia’s response” to any request by Flynn. The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.
If this is correct, the criminal complaint against Flynn should indeed be dismissed, and various people now or formerly at the FBI should face criminal prosecution.
Many of the juicy tidbits come from texts between Peter Strzok and his illicit lover, Andrew McCabe’s Special Counsel Lisa Page. These texts have dribbled out over a considerable period of time, and I take it that at least some of the ones quoted here are new. For example:
As news of the “salacious and unverified” allegations of the “Steele dossier” dominated the media, Strzok wrote to Page: “Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. . . We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people.”
So Hillary Clinton’s fictitious campaign “dossier” was explicitly viewed by the FBI as a “pretext to go interview some people.” Including General Flynn, apparently. The rot at Obama’s FBI went very deep.
To those of us who have been watching this spectacle from the beginning, this was inevitable. After all, where’d the Mueller/Russia probe come from in the first place? Since there was absolutely no there there, it makes no sense that it wasn’t a fraud from the outset. Who started it? Who are the treasonous/seditious culprits who conspired to overthrow an election? Well, we should soon be finding out, although we can make some educated guesses.
But we do know absolutely who collaborated in the crime, who were the accessories to and in some cases the instigators of this most heinous plot in American history….
… the mainstream media!
They were the more than willing conduits to lies leaked to them by a long list of truly dishonest, unpatriotic Americans — some inside our intelligence agencies and no doubt some foreigners as well.
Yesterday, RedState via Elizabeth Vaughn shared the news that Durham had further expanded his investigation to include James Clapper and John Brennan. This, of course, left Brennan flailing about wildly, wondering why the DOJ would even be interested in him.
John Brennan told NBC that Durham’s investigation is “bizarre” and said, “I don’t know what the legal basis for this is.” He doesn’t? Let me refresh his memory.
Brennan’s obsessive fear that Donald Trump might win the presidency may have instigated the whole collusion narrative. He didn’t have to twist many arms to bring others on board, but his exhaustive search for “dirt” on Trump and his insistence that the FBI open a counterintelligence investigation was key.
That news came on the heels of another report I wrote on a week earlier in which it was confirmed that Barr had expanded his reach past just FISA abuse.
However, based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.
With the latest report, there are a few things happening that make me think this isn’t just window dressing. In fact, I think it has morphed into a full blown criminal investigation.
In Venezuela, a crumbling economy and the collapse of even basic state infrastructure means water comes irregularly — and drinking it is an increasingly risky gamble. Venezuela’s current rate of infant mortality from diarrhea, which is closely related to water quality, is six times higher than 15 years ago, according to the World Health Organization.
But the government stopped releasing official public health data years ago.
So The New York Times commissioned researchers from the Universidad Central de Venezuela to recreate the water quality study they had conducted regularly for the water utility in Caracas from 1992 until 1999.
The scientists found that about a million residents were exposed to contaminated supplies. This puts them at risk of contracting waterborne viruses that could sicken them and threatens the lives of children and the most vulnerable.
“This is a potential epidemic,” said Jose María De Viana, who headed Caracas’s water utility, Hidrocapital, until 1999. “It’s very serious. It’s unacceptable.”