Guilty! I Support the Iranian Protestors

As protests continue to wreak havoc in Iran with a breadth and intensity not seen since the 1978 revolution against the Shah, Tehran’s clerical rulers and their Revolutionary Guards enforcers have become increasingly desperate.

That could be seen in videos that recently surfaced of the horrific massacre of hundreds of unarmed protestors in Bandar-e Mahshahr, an oil town on the Persian Gulf near Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his top Iran advisor, Brian Hook, both condemned the regime for sheer evil of this deed, worthy of Hitler’s executioners.

So what is the regime to do? Why, blame the Americans, of course!

In every Iranian media today you will find articles and columns blaming President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and yes – even me! – for fueling the protests.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the executive editor of Kayhan, a daily that is run by Iran’s intelligence ministry, is a top regime propagandist. When things go wrong for his clerical brethren, he reassures them that it’s not their fault: it’s the Americans.

Over the years, he has repeatedly identified me as the head of some secret-spooky CIA HUMINT program to assist the Iranian opposition.

I’m flattered he thinks that one person, unfunded, unsupported, with only a voice, can have such an impact. And I’m positively thrilled that he actually believes that the CIA has such a program (alas, they do not).

Nevertheless, in his latest screed, published in Kayhan on December 4, he positively fumed.

“Didn’t Trump officially support the protests as soon as they started? And didn’t he announce that America will meet the needs of the rioters? I say, Damn him! Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, and Kenneth Timmerman, former CIA member and currently director of the American institute NED [National Endowment for Democracy], also acknowledged that the CIA has not only helped the Iranian rioters by providing software systems but also has delivered them hardware.”

For years, the State Department has funded software developers to provide Persian-language messaging apps and encrypted web-browsers for Iranians. That’s a matter of public record.

Early iterations of these apps were woefully deficient, and actually caused more harm than good, since Iranian statehackers were able to penetrate them and expose the Iranians who were using them.

I am guessing that the technology has gotten better since then. Why? Because the regime felt so threatened that immediately when the protests erupted in response to the gasoline price hikes on November 15, they cut off all access to the Internet nation-wide, starting with the popular Telegram app that reportedly is now used by forty million Iranians (half the entire population).

Iran’s so-called Cyber Army monitors traffic on these apps on a regular basis. And they monitor opposition news sites, especially those that have tentacles into the regime itself and expose the abject corruption of the regime’s leaders.

Iran’s intelligence services goes to great lengths to neutralize these opponents, not just by hacking their websites, which they do frequently, but by sending assassins out to kill them.

In early November, an Iranian regime assassin gunned down a cyber activist, Massood Molavi, in the streets of Istanbul, in a brazen attack caught on live video surveillance cameras. Molavi’s sin? Exposing secret documents from within the regime’s intelligence services on a Telegram channel known as “Black Box.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to Molavi in a recent press conference where he blasted Iran’s clerical and military leaders for their murderous crackdown on protesters and dissident.

Just one month earlier, the regime boasted of capturing the publisher of a popular opposition news site, Ruhollah Zam, luring him from Europe to Iraq with promises of big money. After they forced him to make a televised confession, he disappeared.

But no amount of bluster, and clearly, no amount of bullets, can check the will of the Iranian people to resist the tyranny of their usurper rulers.

As I wrote in 2009, on a previous occasion when IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Shariatmadari and others in the state-run media in Iran tried to lay the “blame” on me and my foundation for an earlier run of nation-wide protests, I would be happy to accept such an honor, however misplaced.

However, neither I nor my board can take credit for such power or influence. As I wrote then,

“The people of Iran have shown through their courage, independence and determination that they don’t need help from anyone outside their country to get them to take to the streets. I have full confidence that they will get rid of the dictators of Tehran. Apparently, so do the regime’s leaders.”

Wonder if they’ve started fueling the Leader’s escape jet yet?

EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Liberals Setting the Stage to Claim 2020 Election Results Illegitimate

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Democrats fretted openly about the possibility that Donald Trump, being a rather poor sport, might refuse to acknowledge an election loss.

To be fair, Trump refused to state that he would accept election results, depending on the circumstances: “I’ll keep you in suspense,” he stated in his Oct. 19, 2016, debate with Hillary Clinton. Clinton, for her part, called his statement “horrifying,” adding that he was harming American democracy.

Trump, of course, won. And Clinton spent the next couple of years suggesting openly that she had been robbed in the election. Democrats blamed Clinton’s election loss on Russian interference, on voter suppression, on anything but Clinton’s campaign performance.

That wasn’t a particular shock: After George W. Bush won the 2000 election, many Democrats continued to maintain that he was an illegitimate president.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


And not much changed in the nearly two decades since: In 2018, Democrats insisted that Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams had actually defeated Brian Kemp, despite having lost by approximately 55,000 votes. To this day, Democratic presidential candidates repeat the lie that Kemp stole the election from Abrams.

Now in the run-up to 2020, Democrats are already suggesting that if Trump wins, the election will have been illegitimate.

This time, they’re pointing to Trump’s supposed attempt to gather information from the Ukrainian government on potential 2020 rival Joe Biden in return for release of much-needed military aid. In fact, Democrats state that if Trump is not impeached, the 2020 results will inevitably be deemed improper.

On Sunday, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who suggested way back in 2017 that though Trump was “legally elected,” he was “not legitimate,” doubled down: “The president, based on his past performance, will do everything he can to make it not a fair election. And this is part of what gives us the urgency to proceed with this impeachment.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week, “The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “If you have a corrupt executive who is willing to maintain power by corrupting our election, there’s an urgency there.”

Former federal prosecutor Anne Milgram wrote in The New York Times, “Who gets to pick the next president of the United States—President Trump, Ukraine, Russia or us?”

Impeachment, then, must be used without proper evidence of a crime in order to prevent Trump from stealing the election. By this logic, any suspicion of illegitimacy in an upcoming election becomes an excuse for ousting a legitimately elected president.

This is a vicious cycle: illegitimate impeachments based on perception of illegitimate elections. And with Pelosi promising that our very civilization is at stake—a contention she made over the weekend—over the outcome of the next election, we can be sure that the pressure will continue to rise.

Things are already ugly in American politics. A republic can only be maintained when the people have faith that even if their side loses an election, that election was legitimate—and only when people believe that there is a tomorrow.

With Democrats openly claiming that they can run an end-around with the electoral process because they don’t trust the results, and stating that any future loss is evidence of corruption and a representation of the end of the country, things are about to get a lot uglier.

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COMMENTARY BY

Ben Shapiro is host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of “Bullies.” He is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, and lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Misleading Claims About Paid Family Leave


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


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Abortion Pills: The Do-It-Yourself, Back-Alley Methods by Patrina Mosley

It’s been no coincidence that the latest mainstream media, women’s magazines, and even Teen Vogue have been advertising abortion pills as the new wonders of women’s healthcare that can be taken in the privacy of their homes.They even have the audacity to applaud purchasing illegal abortion pills online. A New York Times columnist, a man at that, found that ordering illegal abortion pills online was quite easy during his investigation. Nothing should be scarier than a man ordering abortion pills and then titling his investigation piece “Abortion Pills Should Be Everywhere.” There have been numerous documented incidents (herehere, and here) of women being unknowingly slipped abortion pills by partners who were unwilling to become fathers or by family members who were unsupportive of the pregnancy. The abortion industry markets the abortion pill as straightforward and safe. In reality, chemical abortions are a multi-day traumatic process that comes with over 4,000 documented life-threatening and health endangering risks.

The rate at which chemical abortion is being used is currently at an all-time high. The latest statistics on abortion from the Guttmacher Institute show that 39 percent of abortions in 2017 were chemical (reported as “medical” or “medication abortion”), a 25 percent increase since 2014. This rapid increase in chemical abortions is part of the abortion industry’s long-term strategy to make abortions “self-managed” and unrestricted — despite the profound dangers such poorly-supervised medical care poses to women’s health.

Abortion lobbyists regard drug-based, do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around the many state-level pro-life laws being enacted around our country. Such abortions are accomplished through the abortion pill regimen, distributed under the brand name Mifeprex, which is subject to the FDA’s drug safety program — Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) — because it carries such life-threatening risks.

The abortion industry wants to remove the FDA’s REMS in order to have abortion pills available through the pharmacy, the mail, and even on college campuses (also currently being proposed in New York), making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the abortion industry. They have strategically discussed how the absence of the REMS would significantly expand abortion locations and providers, broaden remote prescription (in which a woman is never even examined by the prescriber), and eventually achieve over-the-counter (OTC) status for Mifeprex.

Abortion advocates once claimed that legal abortion would alleviate the danger of “back-alley” abortions for women, but now they want to place the burden of inducing abortions completely on women — despite the fact that the health complications that often result from an induced chemical abortion are eerily similar to those of “back-alley” abortions. They include severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, the need for emergency surgery, and even death. In addition, the woman, who may or may not have health insurance coverage, is expected to bear the additional cost of these “chemical coat hanger” abortion complications.

Yet, abortion activists continue to market the abortion pill as “safe,” “effective,” and “simple” for women with visions of “privacy” and “simplicity.” This is demonstrably false, but it’s the lie they have to sell women so that the abortion industry can cut costs, expand their reach, and remove themselves from the pain and hurt they cause women. With all the documented dangers, it is increasingly evident that the advancement of the abortion industry’s agenda for the Mifeprex regimen is about political, ideological, and financial goals — not care for women.

To read more about the radical implications that OTC abortion drugs could have for women’s health and safety, especially as it pertains to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and sex trafficking, and accurate patient assessment, see our new publication: The Next Abortion Battleground: Chemical Abortion. If you or a woman you know needs to know the facts about abortion drugs or wants to share their experience of a chemical abortion, please visit Abortiondrugfacts.com.

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School Tests Parents’ Limits with Prostitute

Sheriff’s Office to Extremists: ‘Get behind Me, Satan!’

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column by Patrina Mosley is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

School Tests Parents’ Limits with Prostitute

If it’s okay for drag queens to host story hour, what about prostitutes? At one Austin, Texas elementary school, students got both! In what some parents are calling “a sign of things to come” under the city’s radical new sex ed, the kids at Blackshear Fine Arts Academy had an unexpected visitor — with an even more unexpected background. But as shocked as parents were to learn that “Miss Kitty Litter ATX” was a convicted criminal, they were even more horrified to find out that the school district knew it!

That’s the most astonishing revelation from the open records request that Texas Values filed. Thanks to internal communications between Miss Kitty Litter (real name David Robinson) and the school librarian Roger Grape, moms and dads now know that not only did Blackshear expose their children to this wild and deviant ideology but to a felon too! In texts to Grape, David admitted that he might not pass the school background check. “the guidelines for submission automatically disqualify me if the deferred adjudication for prostitution is considered a conviction… so I don’t know if [it’s] ethical to submit.”

So either the school didn’t go through with the background check — or ignored it altogether. Either option is equally distressing. “According to emails sent to parents,” Texas Values points out, “the reading event was scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. and all readers had been screened by Austin ISD.” No one knows what that screening could’ve possibly entailed, since an arrest and conviction are the first things a basic search would uncover. Or maybe Austin officials don’t see the problem in bringing in a man who sells himself for sex as an acceptable guest speaker. Based on their latest curriculum decisions, which are stunningly pornographic, it wouldn’t surprise us.

Just as startling, the records from the October 7th day when Robinson came to school show that neither he nor the school were in any hurry for him to leave. Dressed head-to-toe as a woman, he walked through the doors at 7:25 a.m. and didn’t leave until the bell almost rang at 2:11 p.m. Why was he there for so long? No one seems to know. Maybe he did more than read to the first-, second-, third-, and fourth graders. Maybe he was consulting on the recently adopted lessons about anal sex (“What’s the best way to have it?“) or contraception (“What ages you can get birth control, abortions, or other health care without your parents“).

Unfortunately for the moms and dads in the area, this isn’t their first brush with the extreme. On the Willis side of the district, a man with the stage name Lynn Adonis also visited class — this time as a guest cosmetologist. There’s just one problem: he isn’t one. He’s an entertainer — and a drag queen one at that. Like Robinson, he spent twice as much time at the school as other visitors that day. When the inviting teacher was asked, she admitted that Jerred Bridges (his legal name) spent the day putting make-up on kids, “despite having no license to do so.”

Usually, the fact that a district is willing to host one of these drag queen events is sickening enough. Imagine finding out that the person they invited wasn’t even vetted — or worse, a confirmed sex trafficker. Schools are supposed to be safe learning spaces, not a catwalk for prostitutes. Their actions would suggest that Austin officials are more interested in the sexual exploitation of kids than their actual wellbeing. In any classroom, including this one, the only thing these drag queens should be reading are the directions to the nearest exit.


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Abortion Pills: The Do-It-Yourself, Back-Alley Methods

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EDITORS NOTE: This   column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Quote of the day: The hoax that started it all

Moment by moment, the truth about corruption in Washington is coming out.

In a Senate hearing today, Michael Horowitz—Inspector General of the Justice Department—delivered a scathing blow to the narrative pushed by Democrats and their media allies about the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

The Beltway media’s initial reaction to the report was predictable. Pundits cherry picked the parts they liked, while ignoring 17 separate falsehoods and omissions found across three surveillance applications used to justify the FBI monitoring a former Trump campaign adviser.

Fortunately, the truth often finds a way of coming to light. In today’s hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked the tough, obvious questions that most reporters didn’t.

“Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment?” Sen. Graham asked Horowitz.

His reply: “I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”

Rolling Stone: Horowitz report shows “years of breathless headlines were wrong.”

More: CNN grilled for refusing to cover opening statements in Horowitz testimony


A huge win for peace through strength!

Americans finally got some good news from Congress this week. In addition to an upcoming vote on USMCA, legislators have agreed to terms for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will fund our great American military.

All of President Trump’s top priorities were agreed to in the final deal, including:

  • The biggest pay raise for our troops in a decade
  • More funding to restore our military preparedness
  • More resources to secure our border
  • Paid parental leave to take care of our military families
  • Establishing the cutting-edge United States Space Force

After far too much obstruction from Congress this year, President Trump wants to close out 2019 with huge wins for working Americans. That includes this historic deal to fully fund our troops. Congress shouldn’t wait any longer to send it to his desk.

Something to share: President Trump is ready to sign the NDAA!


WATCH: The Swamp can’t take credit for President Trump’s work

Decades ago, as a private citizen, President Trump saw that Americans were being treated unfairly by NAFTA. So he ran for office—and won—on a promise to replace it.

Now, right on cue, Democrat career politicians are trying to claim credit for President Trump’s work. The reality is that he negotiated a new deal, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and then House Democrats let it languish in Congress for more than a year. Finally, under pressure, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has at last agreed to bring the new deal to a vote.

That’s great news for American workers, and it should’ve happened long ago. After years of broken promises by Washington to fix NAFTA, it took President Trump to get it done.

Watch: Promises Made, Promises Kept!

The Swamp War

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D CA-12) made a formal request for articles of impeachment against President Trump on December 5th, it was tantamount to a declaration of war with the Republicans. As if the division between Democrats and Republicans wasn’t already bad enough, Speaker Pelosi drove a spike between the two sides that may never be repaired. Just about everyone understands this was politically motivated and certainly not a bipartisan effort. Of my liberal friends, I could only find three who honestly believed the Speaker did this as an unbiased move. Everyone else, including most Democrats grudgingly admit it was political in nature.

This was the same Nancy Pelosi who said in a Washington Post article from March 11, 2019,

“I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this, impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country. He’s just not worth it.”

This was echoed by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D NY-10) who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee and has the responsibility of producing the charges of impeachment. Back in 1998, during the impeachment of President Clinton, a younger Rep. Nadler said,

“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other.” He added, “Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”

No bipartisanship has surfaced, yet the Speaker and Rep. Nadler persevere with impeachment, meaning they are hypocrites and are pushing forward for political gain. Rep. Al Green (D TX-9) confirms this by stating in an interview, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.” Let us not forget Rep. Green has been calling for the President to be impeached since May 20, 2017, more than two years before any alleged whistle blower surfaced.

As Republicans have known for a long time, this is all being orchestrated to negate the President’s election in 2016 and his re-election in 2020. Deep down, Democrats admit this as well.

All of this was predictable the moment the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in 2018. It has become glaringly obvious they have no evidence of any impeachable offense, no smoking gun, but they have painted themselves into a corner and must move forward with it. If they drop impeachment now, they lose face among their left-wing constituents and the news media. However, when the case is turned over to the Senate, their allegations will be overturned, the charges dismissed, and the House’s method of jurisprudence will be severely criticized. In other words, they will lose face with the American public who will likely vote them out of office in 2020.

I call this the “Swamp War” for there is more to it than just the Democrats at work here. Because he is an outsider, the President has been impeded by the Democrats, the Main Stream Media, Republicans In Name Only (RINO), and government bureaucrats (the “Deep State”). Plain and simple, President Trump represents a genuine threat to “The Swamp,” and naturally, they are fighting back. As such, we are witnessing a cultural revolution of huge proportions.

There has always been a political divide in this country, but not as pronounced as it is today as the underpinnings of America are being undermined, e.g., The Constitution, Capitalism, Christianity, and Conservative values (4-C’s).

Perhaps the best book I have read predicting this state of affairs was “This Town” (2013) by Mark Leibovich, the Chief National Correspondent for “The New York Times Magazine.” In the book, Leibovich describes an incestual relationship between the news media, journalists, and politicians. This was well before the expression “Fake News” was ever coined.

The reality is the Democrats have dug themselves into a hole, which will be impossible to crawl out of after the Senate trial. When it is over, they will not have destroyed the President’s political chances, but their own. Rep. Al Green (D TX-9) is correct, this will only serve to provide President Trump with a landslide win, and re-taking the House of Representatives.

One last thought, ever wonder why Speaker Pelosi made her announcement on December 5th? She knew the government’s jobs report was coming out the next day and wanted to give a big splash to her announcement in order to cloud the remarkable jobs report which indicates the economy is booming under President Trump. The announcement was all about misdirection. In a way, it was like the end of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” – “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Today it is, “Pay no attention to the booming economy.”

The impeachment is nothing more than a clever subterfuge to keep people’s attention away from the President’s biggest achievement; the economy. Fortunately, it will backfire and likely cost the Democrats the Congress.

Make no mistake, this is war.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

RELATED ARTICLE: IG’s Report Reveals 4 Spurious Allegations as Basis for FBI Spying on Trump Campaign Aide

RELATED VIDEO: New Hoax. Same Swamp

EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

IG’s Report Reveals 4 Spurious Allegations as Basis for FBI Spying on Trump Campaign Aide

A shocking report by the Justice Department’s inspector general lays bare the FBI’s “serious performance failures” in conducting a counterintelligence operation in 2016 against the Trump campaign.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 434-page report details numerous mistakes, errors, and omissions by FBI personnel in four applications for special warrants to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Horowitz released his long-awaited report Monday on the FBI’s four applications for the FISA warrants to conduct electronic eavesdropping on Page as part of the bureau’s investigation into potential collusion between the Russian government and members of the Trump campaign.

Horowitz’s report says he did not find any “documentary or testimonial evidence” that political bias influenced the FBI’s decision to seek authority to surveil Page in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the code name the FBI gave to the investigation.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court considers applications by the U.S. government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. The court’s proceedings are secret, and the federal judges that sit on the court are appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is such a powerful tool and given the potential for abuse, FBI policy mandates that case agents ensure that all factual statements in an application for a FISA warrant be “scrupulously accurate”—an understandably high bar.

Yet Horowitz’s report exposes 17 flagrant errors, omissions, and misstatements in the four FISA applications related to Page, any one of which is inexcusable.

In fact, those mistakes, errors, and omissions were so serious that we have serious doubts as to whether any of the four FISA court judges would have approved any of the warrant applications in the first place, had they been provided the full and complete information in the hands of the FBI.

Flashback to Russia’s Meddling in 2016 Campaign

Before getting into the devastating findings of the IG report, it is important to step back and think about what was happening in 2016.

According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systemic fashion.”  By mid-2016, the Russian operations began to surface.

That June, the Democratic National Committee announced that Russian hackers had compromised the party’s computer network. Releases of hacked materials via WikiLeaks began that same month. WikiLeaks released additional materials in July, October, and November.

In July 2016, an official with a foreign government, reported to be Alexander Downer, the Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom at the time, contacted the FBI about a conversation he had at a bar two months beforehand with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Downer claimed that Papadopoulos “suggested” that the Trump campaign had received “some kind of suggestions” from the Russian government that it could assist the Trump campaign by releasing damaging information against rival Hillary Clinton. Pretty vague stuff.

So in 2016, our government and our FBI knew that Russia was trying to interfere with our presidential election, and that, quite possibly, the Russians were in contact with a member of the Trump campaign. Rather than providing a defensive briefing to high-level members of the Trump campaign about this innuendo of an innuendo, the FBI opted to initiate a full-blown investigation of members of the campaign whom it thought might be implicated, including Page, who has said he never met Donald Trump.

Embarking down the path of investigating the campaign of a major party’s candidate for president is, of course, a momentous and potentially perilous undertaking. If there were ever a time for the FBI director, and senior members of his inner circle, to take personal ownership of a case and abide by and exceed the “scrupulously accurate” standard for FISA applications, that was the time.

But that didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite happened, as Horowitz makes clear in his report. This was a monumental failure by then-FBI Director James Comey and his subordinates.

The 4 Disputed ‘Facts’ in the Steele ‘Dossier’ Targeting Trump

At the center of the four FISA applications targeting Page was opposition research work done by Christopher Steele—a former British intelligence officer who had previously provided information to the FBI—at the behest of Fusion GPS, a research and intelligence company that was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

The so-called Steele dossier was actually a series of reports provided directly to the FBI by Steele beginning in September 2016. After the FBI officially terminated Steele as an approved “confidential source,” the reports were provided through Bruce Ohr, a high-ranking Justice Department official, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS. Ohr continued to meet with Steele and pass along information from him to the FBI, in violation of departmental policy.

The information that Steele provided clearly implicated the Trump campaign in illegal activity with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. But was it accurate? According to the inspector general, the Steele dossier played a “central and essential role in the FBI’s and [Justice] Department’s decision to seek the FISA order.”  And it’s easy to see how.

Although the FBI considered filing an application after receiving the information from Downer in July, FBI attorneys declined to do so because they did not believe that the requisite “probable cause” existed to justify issuing a FISA warrant. According to FBI officials, the information they received from Steele in September “pushed [the FISA proposal] over the line,” and they applied for the warrant.

Critical to the application was the explosive allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 presidential election activities, and was, therefore, acting as a foreign agent. For this, the FBI “relied entirely” on four “facts” that Steele had reported:

1. The Russians had been compiling information about Hillary Clinton for years and had been feeding that information to the Trump campaign for an extended period of time.

2. During a trip to Moscow in July 2016, Page met with the head of a Russian energy conglomerate (Igor Sechin) and a highly placed Russian official (Igor Divyekin) to discuss sharing derogatory information about Clinton with the Trump campaign in exchange for future cooperation and the lifting of Ukraine-related U.S. sanctions against Russia.

3. Page was an intermediary between Russia and Paul Manafort, chairman of the Trump campaign from June to August 2016, as part of a “well-developed conspiracy” of cooperation that led to Russia disclosing hacked Democratic National Committee emails via WikiLeaks and to the campaign’s decision to “sideline” Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.

4. Russia’s release of the DNC emails was designed to help the Trump campaign and was “an objective conceived and promoted by Page.”

As it is, the FBI had in its possession, or would shortly obtain, information undercutting all four of these allegations, which the FBI never brought to the attention of the FISA court in its original application against Page or in any of the three applications to renew surveillance.

IG Identifies 7 ‘Significant Inaccuracies and Omissions’ by FBI

Horowitz’s report says he found seven “significant inaccuracies and omissions”—glaring errors, really—in the first FISA application to surveil Page.

First, the FBI failed to inform the FISA court that it had been notified by another government agency (presumably within the intelligence community) that Page had provided information to that agency (and to the FBI) about some of his contacts with Russian intelligence agents and had been approved to have “operational contact” with those Russian agents.

In other words, the very contacts that the FBI cited in the FISA application to establish that Page was really a clandestine foreign agent were known to and had been approved by another U.S. intelligence agency.  The IG report also states that an FBI lawyer—reported to be Kevin Clinesmith—subsequently altered a document he received from the other agency to indicate, falsely, that Page was not a source for that other agency.

Second, to bolster Steele’s credibility, the application stated that his prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.” But in fact, most of that information had not been corroborated, and none of it had  been used in a criminal proceeding.

Third, while Steele informed the FBI that the critical information he was reporting about Page came from a “sub-source,” the FISA application left out the fact that Steele described this source as a “boaster” and an “egoist” who “may engage in some embellishment.”

Fourth, to bolster Steele’s credibility, the FISA application stated that some of the information that Steele reported had appeared in an article in Yahoo News, and that Steele was not the source for that story. This implied that somebody else had the same information Steele had and could serve as independent corroboration. However, it turns out that Steele was the source for that story, and that the FBI either knew it or easily could have learned it.

Fifth, the FISA application included the information that the FBI had received from Downer about his conversation with Papadopoulos. But it did not include the fact that during a subsequent secretly recorded conversation in September with an FBI confidential source, Papadopoulos explicitly denied that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with the Russians or any other outside group, including WikiLeaks, with respect to the disclosed DNC emails.

Sixth, although the FBI included the four allegations above, it did not include the fact that during a later secretly recorded conversation in August with an FBI confidential source, Page said that he never had met or spoken to Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of his emails.

And seventh, in another secretly recorded conversation with an FBI source in October, Page denied meeting the Russians Sechin and Divyekin, and denied even knowing who Divyekin was.

10 More Errors in FBI Applications to Spy on Carter Page

The IG report also concludes that after the FISA court approved the first warrant application, the FBI learned more information—some of it from secretly recorded conversations by its own confidential informants—that cast serious doubt on the facts contained in that application.

Yet the FBI didn’t bring this information to the attention of the FISA court, and the errors were repeated in the three renewal applications to continue surveilling Page.

The 10 additional errors—17 in all—included these facts:

—The FBI eventually interviewed Steele’s sub-source, who undercut many factual statements that Steele had attributed to him.

—The FBI spoke to some individuals who had professional dealings with Steele who said he demonstrated “poor judgment” and “pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value.”

—The individual (Joseph Mifsud) who allegedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton denied having said that or having suggested that the Trump campaign received an offer of assistance from the Russians.

—Bruce Ohr, the high-ranking Justice Department official, had specifically informed the FBI that Steele’s information was being provided to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele was “desperate and passionate about [Trump] not being the U.S. President.”

Horowitz concluded that all of these “factual misstatements and omissions [when] taken together resulted in FISA applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case.”

‘Basic Errors’ Raise Questions About FBI Chain of Command

Thus, it seems reasonable to conclude that this unprecedented FBI intelligence operation against a presidential campaign should never have been opened in the first place.

The IG report paints a damning picture of everyone involved in this case, from the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team to Comey, and everyone in between. The report notes:

That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI … raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command’s management and supervision of the FISA process.

Later, the report soberly concludes: “ … this was a failure of not only the operational team, but also of the managers and supervisors, including senior officials, in the chain of command.”

Those trying to minimize the shocking findings in this report have focused on the IG’s statement that he could not “find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct,” or that “political bias or improper motivation” influenced the decision to open the investigation. But the IG also said he “did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems” that he identified in the FBI’s work.

Moreover, this may not be the last word on the subject. Horowitz candidly admits in the report that “[b]ecause the activities of other agencies were not within the scope of this review, we did not seek to obtain records from them that the FBI never received or reviewed, except for a limited amount of State Department records relating to Steele.”

The IG says his office “did not seek to assess the actions taken by or information available to U.S. government agencies outside the Department of Justice, as those agencies are outside our jurisdiction.”

Attorney General Finds ‘Clear Abuse of the FISA Process’

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been tasked by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, is not similarly constrained.

Following release of the IG report Monday, Durham stated:

[O]ur investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

Barr also weighed in on the IG’s findings. In a press release Monday, Barr said the IG report “makes clear the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.” In fact, from the very beginning, Barr added, “the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.”

In the strongest condemnation of the FBI in recent memory by an attorney general, Barr said that in their “rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance” of individuals involved in the Trump campaign, “FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.”

What happened, Barr said, “reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.”

As the attorney general said, “FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people.” It is a tool we need for national security purposes to protect us from foreign espionage.

The fact that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was apparently misused to target a presidential campaign is shocking, and Barr promises that he will take “whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.”

At the very least, Horowitz has uncovered a massive failure of leadership at all levels of the FBI with respect to one of the most important investigations in the agency’s history. Whether there is more to this story will depend, in part, on what Durham uncovers.

COMMENTARY BY

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

John G. Malcolm is the vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, overseeing The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law. Read his research. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

2,291 vaping-related lung injury cases in all 50 states, 2 US territories; 48 deaths in 25 states

These data as of December 3, 2019 were adjusted by removing 175 non-hospitalized cases from previously reported national cases. From this date forward, CDC will report only hospitalized cases but deaths regardless of hospitalization status.

THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA. While Vitamin E acetate is a chemical of concern, 152 different THC products have been used by patients.

An article in the December 6, 2019 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) provides more information about the kinds of THC products patients have used.

Of 2,291 patients, 1,421 vaped any use of THC, 956 vaped any use of nicotine, and 214 vaped any use of CBD.

More than half used Dank Vapes. The next popular brands were TKO, Rove, Smart Cart, Kingpen, and Cookie. “Cart” refers to the cartridge that is inserted into a vaping device.

Ten percent of patients in the Northeast and West regions reported using Dabwood and Brass Knuckles. From one percent to five percent of patients nationwide reported using the following brands: Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Mario Carts, Cereal Carts, Runtz, Dr. Zodiac, Eureka, Supreme G, and CaliPlug. Use of 134 other products were reported by 1 percent of patients.

While the marijuana industry insists that the THC cartridge brands making people sick are purchased exclusively from illicit, black-market dealers, several individual states report some patients have bought them from licensed dispensaries. Worse, anyone, including underage young people, can buy most of these products without even being asked their age before entering online stores.

Read CDC December 3, 2019 vaping-related lung injury update here.

Read CDC’s December 6, 2019 MMWR article here.


Every person who touches the lives of teenagers should watch “E-Cigarette Microlearning Video,” a 6-minute, 35-second brief produced by the nonprofit American Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Dr. Brian King of the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health narrates the video.

We highlight key points here to encourage you to watch it.

It begins with the news that e-cigarette use doubled in just one year (2017-2018) as shown above.

Every other kind of tobacco use has dropped since 2011, while e-cigarette use skyrocketed among kids who never smoked before, but became addicted to nicotine via e-cigarettes.

The primary driver of this escalation in use is Juul.

Several factors contribute to encouraging youth use. The first one is advertising.

Dr. King sums it up this way, “Advertising will bring a horse to water, flavors will get him to drink, and nicotine [and marijuana] will keep him coming back for more.”

The second factor is flavoring.

The third factor is nicotine. And nicotine is not the only thing e-cigarettes contain.

Cartridges containing THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, can also be inserted into vaping devices. One-third of high-school e-cigarette users vape THC.

The Surgeon General says both nicotine and marijuana act on the brain and can change it. It’s not like you can buy a new brain. No adolescent or young adult should use either drug.

Prevention strategies we know work for cigarettes and other forms of tobacco can be applied to e-cigarettes.

National Families in Action adds:

Cigarettes are legal, but you cannot buy them online. So why can you buy e-cigarettes online?

Marijuana is illegal nationwide. So why can you buy THC vape cartridges online?

Watch “E-Cigarette Microlearning Video” here.


CDC nicotine and marijuana resources

Many resources for parents, healthcare professionals, and communities are available from CDC.

You can find them here and here.

Visit The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page

In addition to current issues of The Marijuana Report, we post several more marijuana messages each month on our Facebook page. Search Facebook for nationalfamilies to access it.

RELATED ARTICLE: My Son Was Addicted to Pot Vaping. Now, Congress Wants to Aid the Industry.


Looking for a past issue of The Marijuana Report?

Find it here.


Did you know that in addition to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter, National Families in Action also publishes The Marijuana Report website? There you can find summaries of (and access to) scientific marijuana studies, the growth of the commercial marijuana industry, and what families and communities are doing to restrain it. Begin at our Welcome Page to access all the resources The Marijuana Report website offers.


The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter.

Bronx: Muslim migrant plotted to behead people with chainsaw, amassed large stash of weapons

“Defense attorney Susan Kellman said Alimehmeti had struggled to fit in after moving to the US aged six from Albania.”

Yeah, that explains it. Doesn’t everyone who struggles to fit in as a child stockpile weapons and try to join a terrorist group?

“ISIS fanatic dubbed ‘The Dentist’ who hoped to behead people and stockpiled knives and a pocket chainsaw in his Bronx apartment is jailed for 22 years as judge brands him a ‘ticking time bomb,’” by Isabella Nikolic, Mailonline, December 9, 2019 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

An ISIS fanatic who was dubbed ‘The Dentist’ and hoped to behead people with a pocket chainsaw has been jailed for 22 years after a judge branded him a ‘ticking time bomb’.

Sajmir Alimehmeti, 26, who lived in an apartment in the Bronx, was sentenced by US district judge Paul Englemayer, who listed the terrifying stash of weapons he amassed.

They included a military-grade survival knife with a five-inch blade, three tactical knives with four-inch blades, two credit-card-sized folding knives, a commando wire pocket saw, a 24-inch pocket chainsaw, a rucksack designed for tactical combat, a tactical ski mask and handcuffs.

Judge Englemayer said it was impossible to conceive of a ‘benign reason’ for Alimehmeti to ‘stockpile weapons that would be used to restrain, gut, or decapitate a human body’, according to the New York Post.

Alimehmeti reportedly used coded language when referring to places he wanted to travel to ‘brush his teeth’.

Prosecutors also said that he claimed he watched ISIS beheading videos to keep himself motivated while exercising.

He allegedly initially tried to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS twice in 2014 but was stopped by British authorities both times.

He is accused of being stopped at Manchester Airport in October 2014 when security found nunchucks and camouflage clothing in his luggage.

And he is accused of trying to get to the Middle East again in December that year but was stopped by security at Heathrow Airport in London when they found images of ISIS fighters and improvised explosive devices on his cellphone….

Defense attorney Susan Kellman said Alimehmeti had struggled to fit in after moving to the US aged six from Albania.

She claimed he was radicalized as a teenager during a stint for robbery in the Fishkill Correctional Facility by Mohamed Mamdouh, one of the masterminds behind a foiled plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue in 2011.

In addition to 22 years in prison, Alimehmeti also was sentenced to five years supervised release.

RELATED ARTICLES:

300 Rounds of Ammo, 3 Pipe Bombs Found in Van at Jewish Market Shooting

‘Jews are Dead? That’s Great’: Bystanders Spew Anti-Semitic Hate After NJ Attack

Texas: Muslim cleric whines that when Muslims preach about Muslims killing Jews, “Pamela Geller jumps on him”

Pensacola jihad murderer was “infuriated,” filed complaint when instructor teased him about his mustache

Pensacola jihad murderer became more religious after trip home to Saudi Arabia in February

Muslim cleric: “Allah permitted the Prophet Muhammad to marry Aisha when she was 9 years old”

Terror Attack At Naval Air Station Highlights Immigration Catastrophe

ANTIFA disrupts memorial for German fireman murdered by mostly Turkish gang outside Christmas market

RELATED VIDEO: Shooting near NJ kosher market leaves 6 dead, several injured.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Clinton Prosecutor Sees Weak Impeachment Case Against Trump

House Democrats, legal analysts, and pundits suggested in recent weeks that President Donald Trump committed various impeachable crimes in his July phone call to Ukraine’s president.

But on Tuesday, the charge House Democrats came up with was a broad “abuse of power” claim, alleging that Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election.

The second and last charge against the president is “obstruction of Congress,” for not complying with congressional subpoenas in the impeachment probe.

“They have passed through treason, they passed through bribery, they passed through extortion, they passed through an illegal campaign contribution, and they passed through obstruction of justice,” former independent counsel Robert Ray, who investigated President Bill Clinton, said of House Democrats’ recent rhetoric about Trump’s alleged offenses.


The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>


“This is what they have,” Ray told The Daily Signal, referring to Democrats’ announcement of the two charges they will pursue. “It was broadened to abuse of power, which would seem to have a lower burden of proof.”

Ray was part of independent counsel Ken Starr’s team, which sent the report to Congress in 1998 recommending Clinton’s impeachment on charges that included perjury and obstruction of justice. Ray completed the long-running investigation after Starr stepped away from the post.

Ray acknowledged that impeachment is both a political and legal process, recalling the often-quoted Gerald Ford standard when, as House Republican leader, Ford sought to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in 1970.

“An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history,” Ford, a future president, asserted at the time. “Conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body [the Senate] considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.”

But that is not in the tradition of impeachment at the presidential level, Ray contends.

“I remain of the view that a well-founded impeachment must [involve] a crime,” Ray said, adding: “Obstruction of Congress does not constitute a crime unless it constitutes obstruction of justice.”

The impeachment article on obstructing Congress by not complying with congressional subpoenas raises questions related to the separation of powers established in the Constitution, legal experts said.

“The executive branch is not required to do what the legislative branch orders it to do,” Thomas Jipping, a former chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee who helped oversee two impeachment trials of federal judges, told The Daily Signal.

“When Adam Schiff says ‘jump,’ Donald Trump is not required to say ‘how high,’” said Jipping, referring to the California Democrat, point man on impeachment as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “There are real boundaries between branches of government.”

Not only is the article of impeachment on abuse of power lacking a finite crime, Jipping noted, the article is based largely on intent.

Trump, the article alleges, “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election.”

“It’s about proving intent. This would be the first impeachment in history based on intentions,” said Jipping, now deputy director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. “The view is Trump pressured or coerced and demanded action for the purpose of getting reelected. That is at the heart of the whole impeachment case.”

Still, in announcing the two articles of impeachment, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., warned of the grave consequences arising from Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Our president holds the ultimate public trust. When he betrays that trust, and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security,” Nadler said in a formal statement. “The Framers prescribed a clear remedy for presidents who violate their oath of office. That is the power of impeachment.”

One former Justice Department lawyer, J. Christian Adams, summarized the abuse-of-power article as translating to “We don’t like Trump.”

The second article on obstructing Congress, Adams said, means “Trump didn’t do what we told him to do.”

“If that’s what the Democrats have, they are in trouble,” Adams, now president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

Adams noted that President Barack Obama took executive actions without Congress and withheld documents from Congress during the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal—so he could be accused credibly of both offenses if a Republican-controlled House had been inclined to do so.

“It boils down to this: Policy and ideological disagreements are not impeachable offenses,” Adams said.

The articles of impeachment against Clinton—perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with covering up an affair with a White House intern—were specific.

The two articles against Trump are similar to those contemplated against President Richard Nixon for the Watergate cover-up before he resigned: obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, and abuse of power.

But each of those articles cited specific conduct by Nixon that was criminal in nature.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Speeding Toward Impeachment in the Absence of Facts

House Democrats Propose to Impeach Trump for Abuse of Power, Obstructing Congress

6 Takeaways From the IG Report on FBI’s Spying on Trump Campaign

Moderate Dems Float Proposal to Censure Trump in Place of Impeachment

1 Minor Judge Shouldn’t Be Able to Block Trump’s Agenda


A Note for our Readers:

With the demand for socialism at an all-time high among our young people—our future leaders and decisionmakers—the experts at Heritage stopped and asked a question that not many have asked:

Is socialism really morally sound?

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation have put together a guide to help you and our fellow Americans better understand the 9 Ways That Socialism Will Morally Bankrupt America.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump’s Rally in Hershey, PA on December 10, 2019

President Donald J, Trump held a “Keep America Great Rally” at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019.

The following is the full video of the KAG rally by the Right Side Broadcasting Network (NOTE: President Trump appears at the 6:22 mark):

4 Facts House Democrats Wish They Could Change

No matter what House Democrats may claim—and no matter how many times they try to change their story—they can’t run away from the facts.

Chalk up today as yet another lost day for Congress, as Democrat leaders scramble to justify why they’ve all but scrapped any legislative priorities for the year. But no matter how hard they try to spin their narrative to the media, change their argument, or implement a rigged process, at least one thing has been consistent throughout these impeachment hearings.

The facts haven’t changed. And that’s bad news for the do-nothing obstructionists:

  1. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the President. Despite weeks of hearings, Democrats have not produced a single piece of evidence showing that President Trump committed any criminal, impeachable offense whatsoever.
  2. Ukraine has said there was no pressure. President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have explained repeatedly that they never felt pushed.
  3. Lethal aid to Ukraine wouldn’t even exist without President Trump. For all the Democrats’ posturing about national security and aid, it was President Trump who made the decision to provide Ukraine with lethal aid. The Obama Administration had rejected doing so for years.
  4. This is an unfair, unprecedented impeachment stunt. House Democrats have continually broken with precedent and implemented an unfair “investigation” in a desperate attempt to ram impeachment through Congress.

Of course, Democrats have changed their story so many times when it comes to what they are actually accusing President Trump of, it’s hard to keep up. As a result, American families are simply left scratching their heads, asking, “What was this all for?”

Imagine all that could have been accomplished had House Democrats worked this hard on things that actually matter to American citizens. In addition to the soaring Trump Economy—which is lowering unemployment and raising wages across the income spectrum—by now your medicine prices could be even lower, your border a little more secure, and the infrastructure in your state a little stronger and safer.

Sadly, we’ll never know.

JUST IN: President Trump weighs in on the Justice Dept. Inspector General report.


WATCH: First Lady visits Children’s National Hospital

First Lady Melania Trump spread some holiday cheer on Friday, visiting patients, family members, and medical staff at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

This nearly 70-year tradition dates back to Elizabeth “Bess” Truman. During this year’s visit, the First Lady stopped by the hospital’s short-stay and surgical units, then made her way to a playroom where she participated in a Christmas craft-making project. Next came a Christmas book-reading for children at the hospital.

First Lady Melania Trump Makes Annual Holiday Visit to Children’s Hospital

© All rights reserved.

Terror Attack At Naval Air Station Highlights Immigration Catastrophe

Limitations in the vetting process endanger national security.

The nearly all-consuming fixation on the lack of border security along the U.S./Mexican border ignore the many other elements of what should be a cohesive and coordinated immigration system.

Contrary to the claims made by the open borders, immigration anarchists, the purpose of the border wall is not to prevent the entry of aliens and/or cargo into the United States, but to make certain that all who enter the United States are properly vetted and records of their entry are created.

However, not enough attention is paid to the vetting process itself upon which the integrity of the immigration system depends.

The issue of border security must include the process by which visas are issued and by which aliens are screened at ports of entry.

The great majority of foreign terrorists who have attacked our nation have actually entered the United States through ports of entry either with visas that were obtained by concealing the backgrounds and true identities of the aliens in question, or by making bogus claims to political asylum, getting released and then disappearing.

The issue of the vetting of aliens has made it to the front page of newspapers and the “A block” of television news program because of the deadly shooting at the Pensacola Air Naval Station by a 21 year old member of the Saudi military, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force as reported in the New York Times on December 6, 2019, Trainee on Military Base Mounts Deadly Attack.

It has been reported that Alshamrani had posted virulently anti-American remarks in social media.  The immediate obvious question is whether or not the vetting process including appropriate searches of social media accounts that might have disclosed his hatred of America before he was granted his visa.

The ability to effectively vet applicants is limited.  Searches delve into possible criminal histories, but when applicants have no criminal histories and no known ties to criminal or terrorist organizations, such vetting process may fail.

Apparently there are two purposes behind the training of foreign pilots by the U.S. military: to protect U.S. national security interests and encourage the sale of military aircraft and other equipment by U.S. military suppliers.

Justifiably, a number of political leaders, and other have called for the suspension of this program so that the vetting process can be evaluated.  To this point, on December 8, 2019 the New York Post reported, Lindsey Graham wants training program suspended after Pensacola shooting.

That report included this excerpt:

US Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who represents the base, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the incident “has to inform our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

“We should not be taking new incoming Saudi students until we’re absolutely confident in our vetting process,” Gaetz said.

There are currently more than 850 Saudis in the US for various training activities — among about 5,000 foreigners from 153 countries in the country undergoing some form of military training.

There has been a string of incidents that include foreign military students going missing in the United States in the past. There have also been worrying reports about foreign students enrolled in other U.S. schools going missing, including some who are citizens of countries that have a nexus to terrorism.  Yet with only about 6,000 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents for the entire United States and with more than half of them engaged in the investigation of non-immigration issues, there are precious few agents available to enforce the immigration laws.  “Sanctuary” policies of a growing number of cities and states exacerbate the crisis.

One of the most astonishing incidents involving a failure of the vetting process occurred six months after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 when it was discovered that two of the dead terrorists had been granted authorization to attend a civilian flight school in March 2002, six months after they participated in the terror attacks of 9/11.

On March 19, 2001 the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims conducted a hearing into that fiasco on the topic, INS’s March 2002 Notification Of Approval Of Change Of Status For Pilot Training For Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta And Marwan Al-Shehhi.  The video of that hearing is worth watching.

I was called as an expert witness at that hearing.

For all of the beast-beating and complaints of the members of that subcommittee and other members of congress, measures to prevent such failures have been outweighed by the demands of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a veritable laundry list of corporations and special interest groups that our immigration laws not be enforced and our borders be allowed to remain wide open by those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing- even when lives and national security are on the line!

Today we are focused on aliens being given the best possible military flight training in America’s latest fighter planes.  The possibilities of what such a highly-trained pilot could do in the seat of such as aircraft is mind-numbing.

In the wake of the shooting at the Pensacola Air Naval Station information had been circulated that the alleged shooter had visited New York City days before the attack, possibly in the company of other classmates.  This immediately gave rise the concern that he, and possibly others, might have been scoping out potential targets for terror attacks.

The mainstream media, in a moment of rare candor raised that possibility.  Yet no one had thought to a Department of Justice press release published just days earlier.

On December 3, 2019 the DOJ reported, Hizballah Operative Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Covert Terrorist Activities on Behalf of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization; Ali Kourani Was Trained by Hizballah’s External Terrorist Operations Component and Gathered Intelligence in New York City in Support of Attack-Planning Efforts.

You will notice in this excerpt from the earlier DOJ press release that announced Kourani’s  conviction that immigration law violations were among the crimes that he committed:

Yesterday, a jury returned a guilty verdict against Ali Kourani, a.k.a. “Ali Mohamad Kourani,” a.k.a. “Jacob Lewis,” a.k.a. “Daniel,” on all eight counts in the Indictment, which charged him with terrorism, sanctions and immigration offenses for his illicit work as an operative for Hizballah’s external attack-planning component.  Kourani is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27, 2019…

My recent article, Alleged Hezbollah “Sleeper” Arrested In NYC By Joint Terrorism Task Force included this paragraph:

On September 19, 2019 the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a press release that announced, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Indictment Of New Jersey Man For Terrorist Activities On Behalf Of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization. The subtitle of that press release provides more disturbing information, Alexei Saab Allegedly Was Trained by Hizballah’s External Terrorist Operations Component in Bomb-Making and Conducted Intelligence-Gathering in New York City and Washington, D.C., and Elsewhere in Support of Hizballah’s Attack-Planning Efforts.

On August 2, 2019 the Justice Department posted thus extremely this worrying news release, Afghanistan National and Former U.S. Military Interpreter Charged for Role in Human Smuggling Conspiracy.

On August 20, 2018 the Department of Justice issued a press releaseTwo Individuals Charged for Acting as Illegal Agents of the Government of Iran. 

My piece written in February 2018, Saudi Graduate Of Al Qaeda Terror Training Camp Arrested In Oklahoma –  Alleged classmate of 9/11 hijackers attended US flight school in 2016 included a link to the DOJ press release, Saudi Citizen Charged in Oklahoma With Concealing Attendance at Al Qaeda Training Camp.

There is a clear nexus between immigration and national security yet, for decades, the immigration system has abjectly lacked the resources it needs to imbue this important mission with the resources essential to enhancing the integrity of this vital system.  Furthermore, the radical Left have demanded the dismantling of immigration law enforcement altogether, in essence ordering “Shields down” in a truly perilous era.

How many more innocent victims must be slaughtered before our nation comes to its senses?

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Catch and Release Is Over’: Border Apprehensions Drop for Sixth Month in a Row

EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

6 Takeaways From the IG Report on FBI’s Spying on Trump Campaign

The Justice Department’s in-house watchdog released a 476-page report Monday that criticizes some of the FBI’s actions in beginning an investigation of the Trump campaign’s connection with Russian election meddling, but does not concludes that political bias drove the agency’s probe.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report does answer many questions and verifies some suspicions about the initial FBI investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane.

Attorney General William Barr, Horowitz’s boss, issued a statement Monday saying that the report shows the FBI’s “clear abuse” of the process for obtaining warrants to spy on Americans.

Horowitz is scheduled to take questions Wednesday from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his report, which arrives as the House Judiciary Committee drafts articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.


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Here are six key takeaways from Horowitz’s report.

1. Surveillance Broader Than Initially Thought

Americans already knew the FBI used surveillance to keep tabs on two Trump campaign advisers. Initially, news reports made it clear that foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were under surveillance.

The IG report states that two others also were subject to FBI spying: retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, a high-level campaign adviser who would serve less than a month as Trump’s first White House national security adviser, and onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The IG report concludes that “the quantum of information articulated by the FBI to open the individual investigations on Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn, and Manafort in August 2016 was sufficient to satisfy the low threshold established by the [Justice] Department and the FBI.”

In May 2017, about four months after Trump became president, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to complete the investigation.

Mueller determined in his final report released in April 2019 that there was no evidence either Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russian government or Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election.

2. FBI ‘Far Short’ on Facts in Applying for Warrant

On one key matter, the IG report scolds the FBI for “falling far short” on standards.

The report identifies 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” by the FBI, which it subsequently refers to as “errors,” in obtaining a warrant to surveil Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA.

“Our review found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate,’” the report says. “We identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”

The inspector general also “determined that the inaccuracies and omissions we identified in the applications resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to Department attorneys and failing to identify important issues for discussion.”

The report continues:

Moreover, we concluded that case agents and SSAs [supervisory special agents] did not give appropriate attention to facts that cut against probable cause, and that as the investigation progressed and more information tended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the FISA applications, the agents and SSAs did not reassess the information supporting probable cause.

Further, the report notes that “among the most serious” errors committed by the FBI on FISA was the “failure to advise OI [the Office of Intelligence] or the court of the inconsistencies.”

The Office of Intelligence is part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

3. No ‘Documentary or Testimonial Evidence’ of Political Bias, but …

On the question of political bias by FBI agents and officials, Horowtiz’s report appears to throw a bone to both sides by making a scathing assessment but asserting on each evaluation that his investigators didn’t find “documentary or testimonial evidence” of impropriety.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations,” the IG report says.

Later, when describing the process of obtaining a surveillance warrant under FISA, the report uses the same phrase:

Although we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the case agents who assisted NSD’s Office of Intelligence … we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or missing information. We found that the offered explanations for these serious errors did not excuse them, or the repeated failures to ensure the accuracy of information presented to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court].

The report says a protocol known as the Woods Procedures, adopted in 2001, requires the FBI to verify facts presented in a FISA application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose proceedings are secret.

“As described above, given that certain factual misstatements were repeated in all four applications, across three different investigative teams, we also concluded that agents and supervisors failed to appropriately perform the Woods Procedures on the renewal applications by not giving much, if any, attention to re-verifying ‘old facts.’”

This section of the IG report is mostly consistent with a memo released in early 2018 by then-House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., which said the FBI did not comply with the Woods Procedures.

4. Why the FBI Says It Didn’t Notify Trump

Horowitz’s report says that an FBI counterintelligence official, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, told investigators that the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers created an obligation to investigate members of the Trump campaign who had potential ties to Russia.

Priestap had an explanation for why the FBI never notified the Trump campaign that it was looking into potential wrongdoing, the report says:

Priestap stated that he considered whether the FBI should conduct defensive briefings for the Trump campaign but ultimately decided that providing such briefings created the risk that ‘if someone on the campaign was engaged with the Russians, he/she would very likely change his/her tactics and/or otherwise seek to cover up his/her activities, thereby preventing us from finding the truth.’

5. Comey, McCabe, and the Steele Dossier

The IG report says that top FBI leadership approved use of unverified information in a so-called dossier assembled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to apply for the warrants.

However, a lower-level FBI official raised red flags that Steele’s document was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

“We further determined that FBI officials at every level concurred with this judgment, [including] then-General Counsel James Baker, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and then-Director James Comey,” the report says, referring to basing the warrant application on the unverified information:

FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order on Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to concerns expressed by Stuart Evans, then [the National Security Division’s] Deputy Assistant Attorney General with oversight responsibility over [the Office of Intelligence], that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC, and that the foreign intelligence to be collected through the FISA order would probably not be worth the ‘risk’ of being criticized later for collecting communications of someone (Carter Page) who was ‘politically sensitive.’

According to McCabe, the FBI ‘felt strongly’ that the FISA application should move forward because the team believed they had to get to the bottom of what they considered to be a potentially serious threat to national security, even if the FBI would later be criticized for taking such action.

6. Next Step in John Durham’s Criminal Probe

In a statement also released Monday, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham, who is conducting a criminal investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, disagreed with some of the IG report’s findings.

“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” Durham said. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department.”

Durham continued:

Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

Indeed, questions about what the FBI predicated its case on include actions by officials with the CIA, the National Security Council, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The IG report, however, says that nearly all of its information came from sources within the FBI, as it is not authorized to investigate matters outside the Justice Department:

The question we considered was not whether a particular investigative decision was ideal or could have been handled more effectively, but rather whether the [Justice] Department and the FBI complied with applicable legal requirements, policies, and procedures in taking the actions we reviewed or, alternatively, whether the circumstances surrounding the decision indicated that it was based on inaccurate or incomplete information, or considerations other than the merits of the investigation.

If the explanations we were given for a particular decision were consistent with legal requirements, policies, procedures, and not unreasonable, we did not conclude that the decision was based on improper considerations in the absence of documentary or testimonial evidence to the contrary.

Barr, who as attorney general is the boss of both Horowitz and Durham, issued a statement saying the report reveals “clear abuse” of the FISA process.

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in the statement, adding:

It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation [of Trump campaign ties to Russia] was consistently exculpatory.  Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into Preisident Trump’s administration.

In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.

The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory.  While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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2020 Democrat Primary: Off to The Racists

As grandma used to say, “Boy, the more I talk to you, the dumber I get.”

I am reminded of this every time I read about the 2020 Democrat presidential primary race. The more I read, the dumber I get!

For many, many years the base of the Democrat Party screamed that their presidential primaries lacked diversity of candidates; meaning, racial diversity.

Of course, liberals are never satisfied and no solution is ever good enough for them. So, they forced the issue of diversity to now include, gender, sexual preference, transsexual, geographic, height, weight, skin color, favorite cartoons, hair color, etc., etc., etc. The last few I am being somewhat facetious about, though not totally.

I have never supported diversity simply for the sake of diversity. I don’t think many would argue against racial diversity on your police force, in the military, and within your foreign service; but there is absolutely no place for sexual preferences, transsexual and other foolish criteria being included in their definition of diversity.

Political campaigns, whether for local, state, or federal offices, are the ultimate in free market expression. There is one man, one vote. Michael Bloomberg has the same number of votes as Pookie or LaQueesha in the hood.

Isn’t that the ultimate form of equality? In a Democracy, markets don’t lie. If the public likes your food, then they will patronize your restaurant. If the public likes your music, they will buy your CD. If the public likes your campaign platform, they will vote for you.

IF they don’t support any of the above endeavors, then the people have spoken. Even if they don’t support you based on your race. That is their right and that is their choice.

When Democrats claim, with no evidence, that not having a Black in the Democrat primary is racist; do they not realize that they are saying that their own party is racist? I thought only Republicans could be racist.

At least that’s what radical liberals like Roland Martin, Joy Reid, Joe Madison, Richard Princess and Whoopie Goldberg would argue.

Remember, when liberals talk about diversity; they don’t mean it in terms of equal opportunity, they mean it in terms of equal outcome.

When New Jersey Senator Corey Booker or California Senator Kamala Harris entered the presidential race, according to this perverted logic; they MUST win because if they don’t the reason MUST be because of their race or gender. It couldn’t possibly be that the American people simply where not buying what they were selling.

WTF? Wait a minute, I thought ONLY Republicans and the Republican Party and Trump supporters could be racists? Hmmmmm.

If South Bend Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg, doesn’t win it must be because Democrat voters are homophobic. Again, I thought ONLY Republicans and the Republican Party and Trump supporters could be homophobic?

How many times must I say to Democrats, NEVER blame your customers, i.e., voters.

Booker and Harris had absolutely no relationship with the Black community until they caught the presidential bug. Name me one piece of legislation either ever championed that was to the direct benefit of the Black community.

They spent all of their time pushing legislation on issues promoting homosexuality and amnesty for illegals rather than anything of relevance to the Black community.

The voters are speaking with their votes and money and they are saying they don’t like what either is offering.

Former Secretary of HUD, Julian Castro, had this insightful statement regarding this issue of diversity, “What we’re staring at is a DNC debate stage in a few days with no people of color on it, that does not reflect the diversity of our party or our country.” Yes, it does!!!!!

The Democrat Party voters are saying that the candidates offered up does NOT reflect the type of diversity they want, duhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

And Sen. Booker had this deep thought to add to the conversation, “There are more billionaires than Black people who’ve made the December debate stage—that’s a problem.” And his point is what?

Is he proposing voting until he gets the result he wants?

Dr. King fought for equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome. The Civil Rights movement was about making sure that any and everyone who met the criteria to seek public office was not denied the opportunity to do so. Nowhere in the movement was a condition that every Black who ran must be guaranteed victory.

According to this perverted liberal logic, hockey, cricket, and soccer are racist sports simply because most teams have no Blacks. Or could it be that most Blacks have shown little to no interest in these sports?

Or can we use the inverse of this logic?

Can we say that Hip-Hop and rap music are racist since there are few to any whites involved?

This push for diversity was indeed needed and justified back in the day because whites were unwilling to give Blacks what the U.S Constitution had already guaranteed us—full citizenship, with all the rights and privileges thereof.

But as usual, liberals keep expanding the definition of diversity to the point that it has because unrecognizable and silly. That is why there is such a backlash to the 21st century incarnation of “diversity.” It has little to do with race. For example, there is a push to have one’s choice of hair style “protected” under the Civil Rights statute. I am not joking.

Again, diversity for the sake of diversity is bad. Everything and everyone cannot be legally codified as a protected class. There is absolutely no need for any new discrimination laws to be added to the books. If we simply enforced existing laws, new laws are not necessary.

But it is nice to finally see the Democrats publicly admit to what we have known all along; that they indeed are the party of racists.

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