Sunday, July 22, 2018

Clapper: Obama Was Behind The Whole Thing

Imagine that, Obama behind all this. Remember when that Piece of Shit claimed he learned about it on the news like we did. IRS, not a smidgen of corruption. This worthless Anti American Piece of Crap was a really good liar and weaponized entities of the Government for his political gain. Good Job to the Garbage in Illinois that wants to give him his Obama Library or whatever he calls it

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and those in his orbit. 
Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Clapper let slip:
If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.
Recall in May, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) fired off a letter to the Department of Justice  demanding unredacted versions of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page, including one exchange which took place after Strzok had returned from London as part of the recently launched "Operation Crossfire Hurricane"  referring to the White House "running" an unknown investigation.
Strzok had been in London to interview Australian ambassador Alexander Downer about a drunken conversation with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who - after reportedly being fed information - mentioned Russia having Hillary Clinton's emails. 
Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.” And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we’ve got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I’ve got no control….
Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We’ve got the emails that say otherwise.
And with Clapper's admission - it looks like Strzok's text stating "the White House is running this" may have been right on the money.
Update: Meanwhile, House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told Fox's Maria Bartiromo that the American public needs to see an unredacted version of the Carter Page FISA application.
We can only imagine what's in there...

Ten problems with the release of the heavily redacted FISA warrants on Carter Page

It is a huge scandal that the vast, frightening surveillance powers of our intelligence agencies, normally forbidden from snooping on American citizens, were used to spy on a presidential campaign antagonistic to the sitting president. Far too slowly, the underlying documents that permitted this are coming to light. Last night, 412 pages of heavily redacted versions of the original FISA warrant and subsequent renewals used to spy on Carter Page (and others – see below) were released.
Here are 10 preliminary points that need to be understood in evaluating this fragmentary peek at the guts of the scandal.
You can tell that the Department of Justice wants to avoid public scrutiny by the timing of its release. Nobody seeking the public’s attention releases anything on a Saturday night.  Scott Johnson of Powerline pithily sums up the maneuver:

We are familiar with the Friday afternoon document dump. It’s a standard tool of political scandal management.  (snip) 
I say the Saturday night document dump resets best scandal management practices.
The FISA warrant relies on the discredited Steele dossier almost entirely. It is the first evidence cited and forms the bulk of the evidence. Steele is identified throughout as “Source #1”
It is heavily redacted.  There are pages and pages that are entirely obscured.  Given the history of the DOJ using redactions to cover up embarrassments, not just sources and methods or other legitimately classified material, there is plenty of reason to suspect more embarrassments have been covered up.
As John Hinderaker notes, the document asserts that Page was a witting agent of Russians, yet he has not been charged with anything.
Moreover, via publicly available documents, Sundance of Conservative Tree House points out that Carter Page was employed as an “under cover employee” by the FBI in indicting and obtaining a guilty plea from a genuine Russian spy. Yet somehow, he is now a spy himself?
Surveilling Page is a classic “camel’s nose under the tent maneuver,” meaning that other people of much greater interest to people spying on a rival campaign could also be targeted. The warrants use the expression  “incidentally acquire foreign intelligence information as defined by other subsections of 50 U.S.C. 1801(e)" no fewer than 8 times.
There are weasel-like evasions. On page 15, we read:
The FBI speculates that the identified US. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #l's campaign.
“Speculates”? Why else would the DNC and Hillary campaign spend millions of dollars on it?
As the New York Times points out, a Yahoo News article sourced on the basis of Steele, was included in the warrant, but:
The section of the application that describes the Yahoo News article is titled “Page’s Denial of Cooperation With the Russian Government to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.”
This enabled a talking point:
Republicans at the time claimed that the F.B.I. had misleadingly used the article as corroboration for Mr. Steele’s claims, while Democrats said that was false and that it was instead included to inform the court that Mr. Page had denied the allegations.
Seven: As Hindraker notes that in addition to the Steele dossier,
…the application relies to an astonishing degree on anti-Trump news stories published in the Democratic Party press. Does the FBI really get surveillance warrants on the basis of partisan press accounts? 

Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller:
…the FISA application shows that the FBI and Justice Department believed Steele to be a “reliable” source. Steele has been compensated for other work by the FBI, and his intelligence has been used in other criminal proceedings, the FISA application says.
Yet, the FBI reveals in a footnote in follow-up applications that FBI ties to Steele were severed after he lied about speaking to news outlets.

The identity of the FISA court judge or judges who approved these warrants remains secret. He or they have a lot of explaining to do. 
The identity of the FBI people who assembled the warrant also remains secret.
President Trump has already issued 3 tweets on the report. His last one quotes Andrew McCarthy, who appeared on Fox and Friends this morning:
President Trump, of course, can declassify the entire document. Sooner or later, we will learn about what has been redacted. 


John Brennan: Melting Down & Covering Up

It isn’t a pretty face, but one scarred from a dark past, repackaged now by the frenzy of “resistance.”Accusing Donald Trump recklessly, implying he knows more than he lets on, promising redemption: John Brennan is the face of American politics in 2018.
But before all that, Brennan lived in a hole about as far down into the deep state as one can dwell while still having eyes that work in the sunlight. He was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, helping the president decide who to kill every week, including American citizens. He spent 25 years at the CIA, and helped shape the violent policies of the post-9/11 Bush era. He was a fan of torture and extrajudicial killing to the point that a 2012 profile of him was entitled, “The Seven Deadly Sins of John Brennan.” Another writer called Brennan “the most lethal bureaucrat of all time, or at least since Henry Kissinger.” Today, however, a New York Times puff piece sweeps all that away as a “troubling inheritance.”
On Twitter this week, Brennan cartoonishly declaimed, “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
Because it is 2018, Brennan was never asked to explain exactly how a press conference exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors the Constitution sets for impeachment, nor was he asked to lay a few cards on the table showing what Putin has on Trump. No, Brennan is a man of his times, all bluster and noise, knowing that so long as he says what a significant part of the country apparently believes - that the president of the United States is under the control of the Kremlin - he will never be challenged.
Brennan slithers alongside those like Nancy Pelosi and Cory Booker who said Trump is controlled by Russia, columnists in the New York Times who called him a traitor, an article (which is fast becoming the Zapruder film of Russiagate) in New York Magazine echoing former counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke in speculating that Trump met Putin as his handler, and another former intelligence officer warning that “we’re on the cusp of losing the constitutional republic forever.”
Brennan’s bleating has the interesting side effect of directing attention away from who was watching the front door as the Russians walked in to cause what one MSNBC analyst described as a mix of Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht. During the 2016 election, Brennan was head of the CIA. His evil twin, James Clapper, who also coughs up Trump attacks for nickels these days, was director of national intelligence. James Comey headed the FBI, following Robert Mueller into the job. Yet the noise from that crowd has become so loud as to drown out any questions about where they were when they had the duty to stop the Russians in the first place.
The excuse that “everybody believed Hillary would win” is in itself an example of collusion: things that now rise to treason, if not acts of war, didn’t matter then because Clinton’s victory would sweep them all under the rug. Only after Clinton lost did it become necessary to create a crisis that might yet be inflated (it wasn’t just the Russians, as originally thought, it was Trump working with them) to justify impeachment. Absent that need, Brennan would have disappeared alongside other former CIA directors into academia or the lucrative consulting industry. Instead he’s a public figure with a big mouth because he has to be. That mouth has to cover his ass.
Brennan is part of the whole-of-government effort to overturn the election. Remember how recounts were called for amid (fake) allegations of vote tampering? Constitutional scholars proposed various Hail Mary Electoral College scenarios to unseat Trump. Lawsuits claimed the Emoluments Clause made it illegal for Trump to even assume office. The media set itself the goal of impeaching the president. On cue, leaks poured out implying the Trump campaign worked with the Russian government. It is now a rare day when the top stories are not apocalyptic, rocketed from Raw Story to the Huffington Post to the New York Times. Brennan, meanwhile, fans the media’s flames with a knowing wink that says “You wait and see. Soon it’s Mueller time.”
Yet despite all the hard evidence of treason that only Brennan and his supine journalists seem to see, everyone appears resigned to have a colluding Russian agent running the United States. You’d think it would be urgent to close this case. Instead, Brennan admonishes us to wait out an investigative process that’s been underway now through two administrations.
The IRS, meanwhile, has watched Trump for decades (they’ve seen the tax docs), as have Democratic and Republican opposition researchers, the New Jersey Gaming Commission, and various New York City real estate bodies. Multiple KGB/FSB agents have defected and not said a word. The whole Soviet Union has collapsed since the day that some claim Trump first became a Russian asset. Why haven’t the FBI, CIA, and NSA cottoned to anything in the intervening years? Why are we waiting on Mueller Year Two?
If Trump is under Russian influence, he is the most dangerous man in American history. So why isn’t Washington on fire? Why hasn’t Mueller indicted someone for treason? If this is Pearl Harbor, why is the investigation moving at the pace of a mortgage application? Why is everyone allowing a Russian asset placed in charge of the American nuclear arsenal to stay in power even one more minute?
You’d think Brennan would be saying it is time to postpone chasing the indictments of Russian military officers that will never see the inside of a courtroom, stop wasting months on decades-old financial crimes unconnected to the Trump campaign, and quit delaying the real stuff over a clumsy series of perjury cases. “Patriots: Where are you???” Brennan asked in a recent tweet. Where indeed?
Is Brennan signaling that there is one step darker to consider? A Reuters commentary observes that “Trump is haunted by the fear that a cabal of national-security officers is conspiring in secret to overthrow him…. Trump has made real enemies in the realm of American national security. He has struck blows against their empire. One way or another, the empire will strike back.” James Clapper is confirming reports that Trump was shown evidence of Putin’s election attacks and did nothing. Congressman Steve Cohen asked, “Where are our military folks? The Commander-in-Chief is in the hands of our enemy!”
Treason, traitor, coup, the empire striking back—those are just words, Third World stuff, clickbait, right?So the more pedestrian answer must then be correct. The lessons of Whitewater and Benghazi learned, maybe the point is not to build an atmosphere of crisis leading to something undemocratic, but just to have a perpetual investigation, tickled to life as needed politically.
Because, maybe, deep down, Brennan (Clapper, Hayden, Comey, and Mueller) really do know that this is all like flying saucers and cell phone cameras. At some point, the whole alien conspiracy meme fell apart because somehow when everyone had a camera with them 24/7/365, there were no more sightings and we had to admit that our fears had gotten the best of us. The threat was inside us all along. It is now, too.


Why Did 'Russian Agent' Butina Meet With Obama's Fed, Treasury Officials In 2015?

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina had far more significant contacts in Washington than previously known - having taken part in April, 2015 meetings between a visiting Russian official and two senior officials at the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, according to Reuters which sites people familiar with the meetings, as well as a report from a Washington think tank that arranged them.
The two officials were Stanley Fischer, Fed vice chairman at the time, and Nathan Sheets, who was then-Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. 
Fischer, and Israeli-American economist, served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 - 2013 before President Obama nominated him to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in January, 2014. He resigned in late October for personal reasons.
Sheets, head of Global Macro at Prudential, was formerly the Global Head of International Economics at Citigroup after having spent for 18 years at the Federal Reserve. He was nominated by Obama for his Treasury position in February, 2014.
In April, 2015, Fischer and Sheets met with Butina and Alexander Torshin - then the Russian Central Bank deputy governor, where they participated in separate meetings with Fischer and Sheets to discuss US-Russian economic relations during President Obama's administration. 
Fischer, an in email to Reuters, confirmed he met with Torshin and his interpreter. While he could not recall details, Fischer said the conversation involved “the state of the Russian economy” and Torshin’s new role as deputy central bank governor.
“I recall Mr. Torshin mentioning, as an aside, that he planned to attend a meeting of the National Rifle Association, a fact that I considered irrelevant to our conversation,” Fischer wrote to Reuters. -Reuters
As a related aside, the recently immune Tony Podesta was paid $170,000 over a 6-month period ending September 2016 to lobby against sanctions handed down by the Obama administration over the 2014 annexation of Crimea, a relationship SunTrust bank would sever ties with Podesta over. 
The meetings between Butina and the Obama-era officials were documented by the Center for the National Interest in a report seen by Reuters, which outlined its Russia-related activites between 2013 and 2015. It describes the meetings as helping bring together "leading figures from the financial institutions of the United States and Russia."
Butina, 29, was jailed on Wednesday without bail until she stands trial after Department of Justice argued that she has ties to Russian intelligence and is a flight risk. She has pleaded not guilty to charges that she acted as a foreign agent for Russia. 
"Advance the interests"
The top Russian official mentioned in Butina's indictment matches Torshin, who she traveled with to attend the meetings and serve as his interpreter at various D.C. events. Torshin and Butina are said to have conspired to "advance the interests of the Russian Federation." 
The Treasury Department in April imposed sanctions on Torshin and a number of other Russian businessmen and government officials in Putin’s inner circle.
The think tank hosted Trump at an event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington in April 2016 also attended by Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to Washington at the time. Two months earlier, the group’s Russian-born CEO, Dimitri Simes, traveled to Moscow, where he met with Putin and other Russian officials, the organization’s records showed.
The April visit came about a year after Obama’s administration imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. -Reuters
Butina is accused of trying to infiltrate the NRA, while also trying to arrange meetings between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the DOJ filing. She and Torshin are also accused of participating in a private "off the record" discussion at the Center for the National Interest concerning the “Russian financial situation and its impact on Russian politics,” according to people familiar with the meeting and the think tank’s report - an event moderated by former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. 
Among the think tank’s board members is David Keene, a former NRA president and former chairman of the American Conservative Union. Keene has previously been photographed alongside Butina at events.
Paul Saunders, the think tank’s executive director, said Torshin spoke at an April 2015 event about the Russian banking system and Butina attended. Saunders said people at the organization cannot recall details of Torshin’s presentation. -Reuters
“We were unaware of any charges or suspicions of illegal or inappropriate conduct or of any connections to Russian intelligence services,” Saunders said in an email.

According to the charges, investigators found a handwritten note in her apartment that included details about a job offer from the FSB, and allegations that she was in contact with senior Russian intelligence officials.
Because, apparently unlike every other spy agency in the world, the GRU is the only one known to recruit idiots and to advise its agent to specifically leave incriminating evidence in handwritten notes behind so it can be conveniently discovered by, well, anyone.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the immense resources at her disposal, Butina has been considered "an extreme flight risk" and prosecutors have asked the judge that she be held through trial.
To help facilitate her cover, Butina had a "personal relationship" with an unnamed 56-year-old American citizen with whom she lived. The individual was identified only as "Person 1".
And despite this, Butina also offered sex to an unnamed official in a "special interest organization" that she wished to join. The filing also alleges that Alexander Torshin,  a Russian who has had personal contact with members of the Trump family, was Butina's boss.
Reports of her arrest were initially met with incredulity and confusion while the press largely continued to focus on President Trump's performance at the Helsinki summit. But this new information is extremely titillating.
And now, we know that Butina operated at much higher levels within D.C. than previously known.