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Biden Justice Department investigates ITSELF on whether any employees tried to help Trump overturn election result

RT | January 25, 2021

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is probing whether any current or former official tried to help overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory, apparently seeking to root out employees who lack loyalty to the new regime.

The investigation, announced by Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Monday, will be limited to current or former employees of the DOJ. Horowitz said he aims to “reassure the public that an appropriate agency is investigating the allegations.”

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of trying to get the DOJ to take legal action to help overturn Biden’s victory, based on his allegations of massive election fraud, but any appeal for help was apparently unsuccessful. In fact, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos and other media figures have cited a DOJ statement that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud as a talking point in their efforts to dismiss Trump’s allegations as preposterous.

“The Department of Justice, led by William Barr, said there was no widespread evidence of fraud,” Stephanopoulos said Sunday in an interview with Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). “Can’t you just say the words, ‘This election was not stolen.’”

The New York Times said on Friday that DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark plotted with Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and try to force Georgia lawmakers to overturn the state’s election results. Like a steady stream of other anti-Trump articles by the newspaper, the story was based on comments by officials who declined to be identified.

The investigation marks the latest inquiry by the new Biden-led government into alleged wrongdoing by the Trump administration. The House this month voted to impeach Trump for a second time, and the Senate will hold a trial seeking to convict the former president even as it juggles with confirmation hearings and trying to push through Biden’s legislative agenda.

The DOJ not only declined to launch the sort of comprehensive election fraud investigation that Trump sought, but also chose to keep probes involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, from public view until after the election.

January 25, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Trump Says DoJ, FBI May Have Been In On Large-scale Voter Fraud

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 29.11.2020

The Trump campaign has accused Democrat Party officials in half a dozen battleground states of widespread election fraud, mostly involving mail-in ballots. Democrats, most legacy media, and even some Republicans have dismissed the allegations and urged the President to concede defeat.

President Donald Trump has accused the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of possibly being ‘in on’ the alleged plot to steal the election from him.

“This is total fraud and how the FBI and the Department of Justice, I don’t know, maybe they’re involved, but how people are allowed to get away with this stuff is unbelievable. This election was rigged. This election was a total fraud,” Trump alleged, speaking to Fox News in a telephone interview Sunday morning.

“They’ve been there a long time. Some of them have served a lot of different presidents, and they have their own views. All I can say is… with all the fraud that’s taken place, nobody has come to me and said ‘the FBI has nabbed the people that are doing this scheme,'” he added. The President went on to complain that the FBI and the DoJ have yet to investigate Obama-era officials’ potential illegal activities, including spying on the Trump campaign in 2016.

“Where are they with Comey, with McCabe, with Brennan, with all these people? They lied to Congress, they lied, they leaked… Where are they with all this stuff?” Trump asked, referring to former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former CIA director John Brennan and their roles in instigating Russiagate.

Suggesting that the world was watching what’s going on in the United States regarding the election fraud allegations, Trump said that he’s had leaders of other countries calling him up and saying the 3 November vote was “the most messed-up election we’ve ever seen.”

‘Hundreds and Hundreds of Affidavits’

Going through his campaign’s claims, Trump pointed to alleged widespread fraud involving mail-in ballots, including cases of people receiving multiple ballots, dead people ‘voting’ and requesting applications to vote, so-called ‘glitches’ of Dominion voting machines which shifted thousands of votes from Trump to Biden, and problems of poll watchers being “thrown out” of counting rooms in major Democrat strongholds. Trump insisted his campaign had “hundreds and hundreds” of sworn affidavits to back up these allegations.

The President also recalled the discrepancy between results coming in on election night and those coming in later, thanks to large “vote dumps” in Biden’s favour in Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. “And all of a sudden I went from winning by a lot to losing by a little, and in some cases it took a period of time to do it,” he said.

Trump accused state judges and the media of shirking their responsibilities to hear his campaign’s lawsuits and cover the fraud allegations, and attacked big tech for its alleged censorship. “The media doesn’t want to talk about it. They know how fraudulent this is. It’s no different than Hunter,” he said, referring to Joe Biden’s son and his alleged pay-to-play corruption in Ukraine during the Obama presidency.

“We don’t have freedom of the press in this country. We have suppression by the press. You can’t have a scandal if nobody reports about it,” Trump complained, referring to efforts by Twitter and Facebook to cover up a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop allegedly proving illegal activities, and other mainstream media’s lack of coverage.

‘One Nice, Big, Beautiful Lawsuit’

As for the courts, Trump claimed that judges in the swing states weren’t allowing his campaign to put the evidence in.

“We’re not allowed to put in our proof. They say ‘you don’t have standing’. I said to the lawyers that I would like to file one nice, big, beautiful lawsuit with tremendous proof. We have affidavits. We have hundreds and hundreds of affidavits… [people] willing to sign under penalty of perjury (you go to jail)… These are respected people. These are people that are putting their life at risk. And they don’t want to take the affidavits. Then they say we don’t have proof.”

Trump also expressed doubts about whether his campaign’s fraud claims could reach the Supreme Court. “The problem is it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court. I’ve got the best Supreme Court advocates that want to argue the case if it gets there. But they said it’s very hard to get a case up there.”

Echoing claims made by other members of his staff – as well as members of his family – about the supposed unlikelihood of Biden receiving 15 million more votes than Barack Obama, Trump suggested repeatedly in the interview that he believed there was no way that Biden got 80 million votes, or could win more votes in African-American communities than Obama.

“I got 63 million votes four years ago and won quite handily in the electoral college… We were hoping to get 68 or so and we felt that was a path to an easy victory. I got 74 million votes – the largest in the history of a sitting president. So many millions more than we were even trying to get. And everyone said this is over. I’m telling you, 10 o’clock [election night] everybody thought it was over. And then the phoney mail-ins started coming in,” Trump said.

Major US media called the election in Biden’s favour on 7 November, with the Democrat projected to win 51.1 percent of the popular vote and 306 votes in the Electoral College, well above the requisite 270. President Trump has refused to concede. The Electoral College is expected to cast its votes formally for president and vice-president on 14 December, with votes to be counted by Congress on 6 January, and the inauguration slated for 20 January 2021.

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

‘We Have Absolute Proof’ DNC Leaks Were Not Hacked, NSA Whistleblower Says

Sputnik – 12.08.2020

Because the National Security Agency is tapped into data transfer points throughout the United States, via its mass surveillance programmes, if there was any evidence that the DNC servers were hacked then they would have the evidence to prove it, a former technical director at the agency explains.

Documents published by WikiLeaks that belonged to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) could not have been hacked via the internet and must have been initially downloaded from within the US, according to an investigation by members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Bill Binney, a cryptogropher and former technical director at the US National Security Agency (NSA), blew the whistle on the agency’s mass surveillance programmes after serving with them for 30 years. Mr Binney detailed for Sputnik why the forensic evidence proves that key claims of Russiagate (regarding Russian officials hacking the DNC servers) are a “farce”.

Bill Binney

© Photo : Bill Binney

Sputnik: A recent investigation by you and some of your colleagues at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity determined that the Democratic National Committee documents published by WikiLeaks in 2016 could not have been hacked by actors outside the US and instead had to have been downloaded onto a USB or CD-ROM.

Bill Binney: Yes, that’s right. And we have forensic evidence to prove it.

Sputnik: Could you please break down, for the average layperson, exactly how you came to this conclusion?

Bill Binney: Well, we did it by looking at the published DNC emails by WikiLeaks. In other words, the original assertion was that the DNC data was hacked externally, from Russia or by the Russians in Europe or something, and then transferred to WikiLeaks to publish so they could influence the election.

We looked at the DNC emails that were documented by WikiLeaks on the web. And that came down in three groups. One came down on 23rd of May 2016 and the other 25th of May 2016 and then one on the 26th of August of 2016. All of those three batches of emails had last modified times ending in an even number and even second, rounding up to the second, not including milliseconds. So, that meant to us that that was the property of the FAT (file allocation table) format. It’s a programme that when you read data to a thumb drive or CD ROM, and the programme indexes stuff on the [CD] and the thumb drive, for example, it then also rounds off the last modified time to an even number. That tells us very simply that there is 35,813 emails, all with the same property FAT file formatting saying that hey this was read [ie downloaded] to a thumb drive or a CD ROM before WikiLeaks got it to publish. Which meant it was physically transported to WikiLeaks. So, for us, that meant it was not a hack. Period.

We also had [CEO of cyber security firm Crowdstrike] Shawn Henry give testimony, I think it was the 7th of January of 2017, the secret testimony that just came out, where he said ‘we had indications that the data was exfiltrated, but we didn’t see the data exfiltrated’. Well, the indications that it was [exfiltrated], is this a FAT file format, to my mind. I mean, Shawn Henry never said specifically why his people were saying that. So for us, the only thing he could be [basing] it on what was last modified time.

Sputnik: So, just to be clear, when information is downloaded onto a CD roam or thumb drive, you’re saying that there’s a particular process, which means that, the last modified time will be recorded in such a way onto those files that is different than if those files were hacked and taken from a server across international boundaries or across a very long distance.

Bill Binney: Right. And we had provided all this data to the courts. Also we’ve included the Podesta emails, which show how a hack could occur and what the last modified times looked like. And that’s a, that’s also published by WikiLeaks, I think on the 21st of September [2016], that’s the date for that, that they put it out there. And the modified times of those files… close to 10,000 of them I think, run through even and odd numbers and various times, including milliseconds, things of that nature. So all that stuff, all that data, we provided to several courts, and several sets of lawyers to introduce as evidence in court and we were prepared to testify to that in court.

Sputnik: And is it not possible for the last modified time to be changed somehow or modified itself?

Bill Binney: Sure, but I don’t know of a programme that does, other than FAT, I mean, keeping in mind, you’re talking about 35,813 files. If you want to change them, you can go in and do them individually one at a time. I don’t know of any other programme that does it automatically, which is what what’s happened here, because it’s just a straightforward consistency. Humans make errors. If they go in and do something like that, they’ll make errors somewhere in the files. We didn’t see any errors at all. So that’s a program doing [it].

Sputnik: How many people from VIPs would you say were involved in this investigation that you conducted?

Bill Binney: Probably about six and a couple of auxiliaries, as we call them, in the UK cooperating with us. And we had a couple other people from outside VIPS helping us because they were also interested in getting to it too. Also, people who retired from commercial companies, running fiber lines and things like that.

Sputnik: If you were still working at the NSA and you were tasked to investigate an alleged hack would you have additional technical resources if you worked for the government, then if you’re doing it independently?

Bill Binney: Yeah, absolutely. This is one of the reasons why I started in August of 2016 saying that this entire Russiagate story was a farce. And that basically came out by knowing the capacity of NSA. The capabilities of them being able to capture stuff on the web. I mean, [the NSA] have over almost a hundred tap points inside the United States, all loaded up with fiber optic lines… You know, it can take everything off those lines and capture it. [A]nd that was true across the US as well as all the external points exiting and entering where you exit and enter the US.

And you’ll notice that NSA never said they saw any of the data transferring anywhere on any line. And that’s because it didn’t, it went on a thumb drive, you know, that’s the difference. That was one of the main reasons I said that this was not a hack. Because if it was NSA would have it. Like they did when the Chinese hacked one of the places over here in the US about six years ago. The government said, the hack came from this building in Shanghai.

Sputnik: And is there any kind of a practical or legal consideration as to why the NSA can’t publish its findings regarding the DNC servers?

Bill Binney: Actually, there isn’t, if the president approves, I mean, he can declassify anything he wants.

Sputnik: So where do you go from here? Is there more to investigate in relation to this subject or is this the end of the matter for you?

Bill Binney: As far as I’m concerned, we have absolute proof that this whole thing […] Russiagate, is a fabrication. It was a fabrication of the FBI, CIA and the DOJ primarily, but also included the State Department and [Department for Homeland Security] and a number of other departments.

Sputnik: There are those that argue Julian Assange will have a fair trial in the US should he be extradited. What can you tell us about the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where Mr Assange would be tried?

Bill Binney: That’s a court that’s pro CIA because it’s in that jurisdiction of CIA. This is why they picked that court because it’s pro CIA and whatever national security issues come up, they will always go with that national security. So, you have a prejudiced judge in a court to begin with.

Sputnik: Would there be a jury with 12 men and women?

Bill Binney: Pulled from the area and most of them work for the government. So, you know, you just look at it. I mean, that should be a disqualifier as a jury from my point of view. But also think of it this way: Julian Assange published data he was given. So has the New York Times, The Guardian, all the major publications, the Washington Post, they’ve all done that. So why aren’t they being charged also?

Sputnik: Well, the US government is claiming that the first amendment does not apply to foreign journalists.

Bill Binney: Well then why don’t they go after The Guardian ?

Sputnik: Maybe they’re next?

Bill Binney: [I]f you accept their premise – of the US government – that means that any journalist anywhere in the world, publishing any article that exposes crimes by the US government, the US government can charge them with conspiracy to violate national security. So, every reporter in the world is now liable based on that [premise].

This interview has been edited for concision and clarity

August 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case of General Michael Flynn: The Use of Law as a Political Weapon

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | May 20, 2020

The audacious corruption of the FBI and the US Department of Justice (sic) is demonstrated by their frame-up of the three-star general, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump.

US Department of Justice (DOJ) documents that the department was forced to turn over to General Michael Flynn’s attorney reveal that the FBI found no wrongdoing by Flynn in its investigation of him and recommended the investigation be closed. Corrupt FBI official Peter Strzok, a leader of the anti-Trump cabal in the FBI, intervened. Strzok convinced the official managing the investigation not to close the case as it was the wishes of the “7th floor” (top FBI officials) to keep the case open. In the absence of evidence against Flynn, released FBI documents prove that the FBI leadership decided to frame General Flynn. The documents reveal that the FBI’s plan is “to get him (Flynn) to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired. . . . we should try to frame them in a way we want.” General Flynn was forced to incriminate himself with a guilty plea. Otherwise, the corrupt DOJ prosecutors threatened to indict Flynn’s son.

When this proof of egregious government misconduct came to light, the DOJ had no choice but to drop the case against General Flynn. Otherwise it would be clear that law in the US is a weapon in the hands of government. This would mean that control of government would be a life and death matter for the two political parties as it is in Ecuador and Bolivia where incoming presidents arrest or attempt to arrest outgoing presidents.

But we didn’t hear a word about the frame-up of General Flynn from the corrupt presstitutes. On May 7 the editorial board of the New York Times published the largest and most egregious collection of lies in the entire history of the disreputable organization. The editorial— “Don’t Forget, Michael Flynn Pleaded Guillty. Twice.” —claimed the lies coerced from Flynn proved Flynn’s guilt, and that Attorney General William Barr is a “personal fixer for the president” and used the Department of Justice to protect friends and to go after political enemies.

The New York Times has it backwards. Going after political enemies is precisely what the Obama Regime’s concocted case against General Flynn (and Trump) was all about. Remember, it was General Flynn who said on television that it was a “willful decision” of the Obama Regime to send the mercenary jihadists to attack Syria, a decision Obama made in the face of contrary advice by General Flynn, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. When Flynn revealed this, it blew up the fake news story spread by the Obama Regime and the presstitutes that the Obama-supported invasion of Syria by CIA mercenaries was an uprising by Syrian moderates fighting for democracy. Flynn’s blood is blood that the corrupt Obama Regime wanted very badly.

Obama’s role in the frame-up of Flynn and the orchestration of the Russiagate hoax is now coming to light, making the former president nervous. On May 10 the Wall Street Journal editorial board asked if Obama’s nerves are getting in the way of his judgment:

“Barack Obama is a lawyer, so it was stunning to read that he ventured into the Michael Flynn case in a way that misstated the supposed crime and ignored the history of his own Administration in targeting Mr. Flynn. Since the former President chose to offer his legal views when he didn’t need to, we wonder what he’s really worried about.”

The Democrats’ frame-up of General Flynn and their two attempted frame-ups of President Trump show an extraordinary audacity and a corruptly compliant FBI and DOJ. They thought that they could get away with it, and, of course, they had all the help possible from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the presstitute scum for whom lies are the currency of their fake news realm. The presstitutes have made clear that the US media is devoid of integrity.

After high officials such as James Clapper, Susan Rice, Samatha Power, and others repeatedly claimed evidence of Trump and Flynn’s guilt, when under oath their story changed 180 degrees. Here is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”

Susan Rice, Obama’s incompetent National Security Adviser, and Samatha Power, Obama’s Russia-baiting ambassador to the UN, along with the rest of the disreputable Obama cabal, have admitted that they saw no specific evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia. The entire thing was an orchestrated hoax that proves beyond all doubt that the Democrat Party and the US media are corrupt beyond redemption.

When the case against Flynn was dropped as a result of the damning evidence of egregious government misconduct in framing a senior official of the US government, the corrupt prosecutors who had prosecuted the innocent Flynn all resigned in a huff, pretending that it was Barr, not them, who used the Department of Justice for self-interested political purpose.

Two Georgetown University law professors, Kean K. Katyal and Joshua A. Geltzer, totally discredited themselves and the Obama contingent in the DOJ, by alleging in the New York Times that the dropped charge against Flynn has resulted in the “utter demoralization” of “the law enforcement community.” In other words, for these law professors and “the law enforcement community” for which they claim to speak, dropping a case consisting entirely of an orchestrated frame-up, a contrived perjury trap, and threats against family members is demoralizing. The professors are so thoroughly dishonest that they use the lies coerced from Flynn—the price of his “cooperation with the investigation” in order that his son would not also be framed-up—as “evidence” of Flynn’s guilt and proof of the political use of the Justice Department by Trump and Barr in dropping the contrived case.

The frame-up of Flynn is not acknowledged by the law professors as political use of the Justice Department.

Instead the law professors describe the vindication of an innocent man on the basis of undeniable evidence as political use of the Justice Department.

If this is the kind of law Georgetown University teaches, the law school should be promptly shut down.

The question that demands an answer is how do people as corrupt and devoid of integrity as Comey, Mueller, and Strzok get into top FBI positions?

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Justice Department Drops Flynn Case

By Jonathon Turley | May 7, 2020

Over a week ago, I wrote a column calling for the Justice Department to drop its case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. I have long been a critic of the case but the new evidence undermined not just the legitimacy of the prosecution but of the Justice Department itself. The Justice Department just moved to dismiss the case, a belated but commendable decision. The Flynn case represents one of the most ignoble chapters of the Special Counsel investigation. Notably, the motion itself could lay the foundation for suing on the basis of malicious prosecution.

While Judge Emmet Sullivan could dismiss the charges on the papers (an unopposed motion), I would expect a hearing to be called. There is a great irony here. Sullivan’s last hearing on sentencing led to controversial statements from the bench and a delay in sentencing that resulted in an easier path to dismissal.

James Comey tweeted that “DOJ has lost its way.” Given what this motion and the new evidence says about Comey’s own conduct, I would hope so if Comey is referring to his way of running the DOJ. Comey is implicated in this ignoble effort to bag a Trump official at any cost.

In the motion below, the Justice Department stresses that “the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who … seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches [the] task with humility.” It also establishes that there was never a satisfaction of the materiality element to the criminal allegation:

“In the case of Mr. Flynn, the evidence shows his statements were not “material” to any viable counterintelligence investigation—or any investigation for that matter—initiated by the FBI. Indeed, the FBI itself had recognized that it lacked sufficient basis to sustain its initial counterintelligence investigation by seeking to close that very investigation without even an interview of Mr. Flynn. See Ex. 1 at 4. Having repeatedly found “no derogatory information” on Mr. Flynn, id. at 2, the FBI’s draft “Closing Communication” made clear that the FBI had found no basis to “predicate further investigative efforts” into whether Mr. Flynn was being directed and controlled by a foreign power (Russia) in a manner that threatened U.S. national security or violated FARA or its related statutes, id. at 3.”

It further notes that key figures like Andrew McCabe “cut off” objections to the overly aggressive pursuit of Flynn. It describes an effort of former Director James Comey, McCabe, and others to skip common protocols to bag Flynn at any cost on any grounds.

While malicious prosecution cases are notoriously difficult to prove (particularly in a case with a voluntary plea), the motion reinforces the view of many of us that the Justice Department was engaged in a campaign to incriminate Flynn — a campaign that now appears entirely detached from both the evidence and legal standards supporting a criminal charge. Such a lawsuit could allow Flynn to pursue discovery into the motivations and actions of figures like McCabe.

The motion relieves President Donald Trump of the necessity of a pardon for Flynn.  However, it hardly ends the matter. Congress has expressed an interest in investigating new and troubling evidence. It has every reason to do so. The new evidence obviously does not comport with the standard narrative of the media from the outset of the Russian investigation. Many will defend this case and its underlying abuses as “standard” practices. I have certainly seen abuses in my career as a criminal defense attorney, but I have never seen a record as troubling as this one in prosecutors seeking the creation rather than the investigation of criminal conduct. Even if such abuse is deemed standard by apologists for Mueller, it is neither an excuse nor a license for such misconduct.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , | 3 Comments

The indictment of Concord was meant to prove Russia interfered in the US presidential election. But it was just a political sham

By Scott Ritter | RT | March 17, 2020

Now that the Department of Justice has rightly dismissed the case, it just shows that the allegations were aimed at shaping public opinion – and that it’s all about the politicization of the US Justice System

It was the indictment that shook America. Or at least, it was supposed to. For months, prosecutors working for Robert Mueller – the special prosecutor charged with investigating allegations of collusion between the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and various Russian actors to tip the scales of the 2016 US presidential election in Trump’s favor – had been slaving away behind a wall of secrecy. Set up in May 2017, the Mueller team had little to show for its efforts save for a handful of guilty pleas by Trump associates for lying to federal agents. No evidence had been provided to an increasingly skeptical public to sustain the notion that the Russians had actively interfered in the election.

That changed in February 2018, when the Mueller team unveiled an indictment of thirteen Russian citizens and three Russian companies, including Concord Management, spelling out in detail an assortment of acts that, on the surface, looked damning. “From in or around 2014 to the present,” the indictment read, “defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of the Government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the US political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

From that point on, “thirteen individuals and three companies” became the mantra of the pro-“Russia did it” brigade, repeated over and over again on TV news, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms where they and their ilk gathered to promote the theory that President Trump had colluded with the Russians to secure his electoral victory in 2016. Whenever anyone questioned the validity of the investigation, like clockwork the supporters of Mueller and his work would religiously cite the existence of this indictment, as if, in and of itself, it proved Mueller’s case.

It was a pure numbers game, inflated further when Mueller and his team indicted twelve serving Russian Military Intelligence officers for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee server, among other alleged crimes, in the spring of 2016. What had Mueller accomplished with these indictments? The reality was that they were little more than a publicity stunt, a public relations game that allowed Mueller supporters to respond that “he indicted 25 Russians and three Russian companies” any time the accomplishments of the investigation were brought into question.

While these statistics sounded impressive, creating as they did the impression of irrepressible, righteous momentum, they represented little more than grand theater designed to create an impression of guilt that wasn’t backed up by fact. The Mueller indictment targeting Concord Management grew out of a grand jury investigation where the government had total control of the evidence presented. There’s an old saying about the US grand jury system, that “a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich” – the implication being you can make anyone look guilty for anything at any time. The ham sandwich isn’t given the chance to present its case.

Normally, an indictment would compel a defendant, presented with overwhelming evidence of his or her guilt, to seek a plea arrangement. Or, seeing that the evidence was insufficient, they would take the case to trial where, through discovery, the prosecutor would be compelled to hand over any and all evidence so that the defense could mount a counterargument. In this light, a prosecutor would normally craft the grand jury case in a way that maximized its impact at trial. But the Concord Management case, like the case against the Russian intelligence officers, was never meant to go to trial. No one expected the Russians to mount a defense, because to do so would require their presence in the court, on American soil, where they would be subject to arrest and confinement.

Concord Management, however, took everyone by surprise, hiring a US-based legal team to defend it against the plethora of fantastic allegations that underpinned the indictment. In doing so, Concord Management put the Mueller team in a position where they would have to disclose how they obtained all the extraordinary details about the alleged Russian activities, including internal emails, travel itineraries, and specific details about the thirteen Russian men and women.

Confronted with the reality that Concord was ultimately prepared to take the case to trial, the Department of Justice pulled the plug on the indictment, hiding behind the claim that sensitive law enforcement techniques would be revealed if it was required to present its case. Oh, really?

This revelation only underscores how ill-prepared the Mueller team was to take the Concord case to trial – normally, questions about what evidence can and cannot be presented at trial are worked out before the indictment is published. But when an indictment is more about manipulating public perception by putting forth unsustained allegations, rather than proving actual fact-based guilt, issues about evidentiary classification don’t matter. But in this case, however, they do matter – and the US government, its bluff called, was compelled to dismiss the charges.

Under normal circumstances, the announcement that the indictment used to underpin the credibility of an investigation into whether the now-President of the United States colluded with Russia to win an election had been dismissed would not only be headline news, but would also generate public outrage and demands that those who brought the indictment forward be investigated for politicizing the American justice system.

But there is nothing normal about the present circumstance. The combined impact of the Mueller investigation (which stalled far short of its goal of indicting the president) and the related impeachment trial process (which likewise failed) left the American public sharply divided on the issue of Trump-Russian collusion, facts be damned. The dismissal of the Concord indictment should be further evidence that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have been vastly overblown. The other indictments are similarly unsustainable at trial.

It’s just disappointing that the coronavirus news cycle will probably drown out this story, leaving the ramifications of the abuse of the US legal system by politically motivated prosecutors unexplored, and the American public worse off for it.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

‘Russian troll firm’ says it has a $50bn grudge to settle with US after indictment dropped by DoJ

RT | March 17, 2020

A Russian firm that the DoJ failed to prosecute for “sowing discord” during the 2016 election aims to take its pound of flesh – or at least a hefty compensation for its tarnished reputation.

The February 2018 indictment of Concord Management & Consulting LLC, one of several issued by the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was praised by the Russiagate crowds as a crucial step in uncovering the holy grail of Trump-Russia collusion. The case was dropped just weeks before going to trial, with prosecutors claiming that the firm’s defense strategy – demanding evidence that the company had waged ‘information warfare’ against America – posed a threat to US national security.

Concord had been “eager and aggressive in using the judicial system to gather information about how the United States detects and prevents foreign election interference,” the motion to dismiss said.

Protecting “sources and methods” is the cookie cutter explanation that the US intelligence community uses to justify evidence-free accusations. But it may not work this time; Concord CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin – dubbed ‘Putin’s chef’ by the Western media, says he didn’t consider the case closed with the charges dropped.

The DoJ’s decision proves that statements like “Prigozhin interfered in the US presidential election” were “lies and fiction,” he said in a statement. Concord will seek $50 billion in damages from the US government for “illegal persecution and sanctions,” he warned.

“I have found only two things positive in the biased US justice systems. One is attorney Eric Dubelier, who had the guts to fight against the American government and has secured a victory. The other is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had the courage to resign after realizing the kind of lawlessness he had been dragged into,” Prigozhin added.

Mueller resigned in May 2019 after his much-hyped probe ended with an anticlimactic report and criminal charges against 34 individuals and three entities, including Concord. The team that decided to call off the indictment against the company included two prosecutors who were part of Mueller’s investigation.

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Why Dems, MSM Ignore FBI Whistleblower’s Revelations on the Clintons’ Links to the Uranium One Deal

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 28.01.2020

While US lawmakers and media pundits are busy discussing Donald Trump’s impeachment process, the Clinton Foundation’s alleged misdeeds, including its supposed role in the Uranium One deal, remain neglected, says Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel, referring to a mid-January public interview with an FBI whistleblower.

On 15 January, FBI whistleblower Nate Cain told OAN’s investigative journalist Richard Pollock that he possesses classified documents implicating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation with regard to the Uranium One deal. However, he added that he would never release them unless he receives approval from the appropriate federal authorities.

According to Cain, who joined the FBI in 2016, he overheard major concerns voiced by top brass FBI officials who purportedly came across damning evidence about the Clinton Foundation’s role in the Uranium One deal. The whistleblower said that having reviewed the materials, he had been sure that the Clintons would be indicted.

However, the case was apparently swept under the rug after then-FBI chief James Comey recommended no criminal charges for Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails in 2016.

Being a protected whistleblower under US law, Cain delivered 450 pages of documents concerning the deal to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz in June 2018. However, in November, 16 FBI agents raided Cain’s Maryland home, accused him of possessing “stolen federal property” and ignored his argument about whistleblower protection, as The Daily Caller revealed on 29 November 2018.

Uranium One Case Remains Undeservingly Neglected

According to Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist who has been looking into the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud for the past few years, the Uranium One issue still remains undeservedly neglected both by the American authorities and media pundits.

“It strikes me that President Trump needs to make sure that his senior team finally addresses long-unanswered questions concerning Uranium One anyway,” he underscores.

In his interview with OAN, Cain asserted that former FBI chief James Comey had been aware about the agency’s concerns with regard to the deal. One might ask how this happened that the former agency’s boss “overlooked” the supposed “damning evidence”.

“This question needs to be considered alongside questions about others who tried to inform James Comey concerning suspected mishandling by Hillary Clinton of classified information,” the Wall Street analyst notes.

He recalls that Cain wasn’t the only one whistleblower who stepped forward to shed light on the Clinton Foundation’s alleged role in the uranium deal: another one was William Campbell and his claims “to date, do not seem to have been considered carefully enough”, according to the analyst.

On 7 February 2018, Republican and Democratic staff from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence interviewed Campbell. However, the summary of the interview released on 8 March 2018 said that Campbell “provided no evidence” of alleged quid pro quo involving Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation in arranging and approving the Uranium One deal.

“It certainly seems as if Comey was determined not to examine core issues involving mishandling – one imagines that one reason for this could be that numerous senior Obama administration officials might be implicated in potential wrongdoing, and that these officials were determined and remain determined not to let the truth out in advance of the pivotal election of 2016 and the looming one this year,” Ortel suggests.

The Wall Street analyst presumes that it was no coincidence that the Uranium One case was buried when Comey announced that he would not recommend charging Hillary Clinton over mishandling classified government emails.

“I do not believe in coincidences when it comes to this matter,” Ortel says. “More likely, President Obama’s Justice Department had made decisions to bottle up Comey’s ‘investigation’ and remained ‘all-in’ to support Hillary Clinton through the 2016 election contest.”

Whistleblowers & Double Standard Approach

The Wall Street analyst also emphasises the apparent double standard approach exercised by the FBI and DoJ towards Cain, Campbell and the unnamed whistleblower whose complaint to IG Michael K. Atkinson became the trigger for the impeachment process against Donald Trump.

According to Ortel, one can hardly “reconcile the protection given to the whistleblower who even now cannot be named (in theory) with the aggressive tactics allegedly taken by elements within the US government against Campbell and Cain”.

“It certainly seems to me that the aggressive handling of the ‘impeachment case’ by Democrats in the House and Senate and mainstream media stands in stark contrast to the lack of interest by too many in understanding what really has been going in and around the Clinton Foundation, including with Uranium One and other projects where Clinton donors, and possibly the Clinton family, may have derived personal benefits in projects where US government approvals and/or financial support were involved,” the investigative journalist concludes.

The controversy over the Uranium One deal, which envisaged a partial sale of Canadian company Uranium One to Tenex, a subsidiary of Russia’s nuclear company Rosatom which was approved by the Obama administration in 2011, erupted ahead of the 2016 elections. In his 5 May 2015 book, “Clinton Cash” American author Peter Schweitzer wrote that at the time the uranium deal was arranged, former US President Bill Clinton received thousands in speaking fees in Russia; the Clinton Foundation got substantive donations from firms interested in the deal; while then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton oversaw the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. However, Hillary Clinton and Obama administration officials denied the accusations, insisting that neither Russians nor the foundation’s sponsors had been involved in any wrongdoing and that at the time there was no security reason to axe the deal.

January 28, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

DNI Nominee Intent on Getting to Bottom of Russiagate

By Ray McGovern – Consortium News – July 31, 2019

Shortly before President Donald Trump announced he had nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, Ratcliffe made it clear he intends to hit the deck running on the “crimes” behind Russiagate.

“What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration,” Ratcliffe told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. Mincing few words, he claimed the Democrats “accused Donald Trump of a crime and then tried to reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation.”

It’s an extravagant claim. But it is also true, and the proof is in the pudding of which we should have a steady diet in the months to come.

Ratcliffe sounds partisan speaking of “crimes committed” under Obama. But there could well be documentary evidence to back it up. Some is classified. Trump has given Attorney General William Barr instructions to declassify what is necessary. Barr should be able to count on Ratcliffe, if he is confirmed by the Senate as DNI, to ride herd on those in the intelligence community with huge incentives to cover their tracks and those of their former bosses.

Ratcliffe: Justice will be done. (Fox News screenshot)

This may come as something of a shock to new readers of Consortium News because of the incessant drivel from corporate media “talking heads” for a full three years now. They are not likely to give up any time soon.

Ratcliffe on Where We Are Now

Ratcliffe told Bartiromo:

“The only place we can get the answers is from the Justice Department right now. The American people’s faith and trust has been shaken in our Justice Department, and the only way to get that back is for there to be real accountability with a very fair process. Again, I have supreme confidence in Bill Barr’s ability to deliver that and at the end of the day … as long as we know that the process was fair … justice will be done.”

If Ratcliffe means what he says, his remarks indicate that Barr (a former CIA official and relatively new-sheriff-back-in-town in his second stint as AG) should have in Ratcliffe a no-holds-Barred deputy sheriff, if he takes advantage of him. “Bill Barr has earned my trust already … that there will be a fair process, with John Durham and Michael Horowitz, to getting answers … and to provide accountability where it really belongs,” Ratcliffe said.

Barr has ordered John Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to investigate how Russiagate got started. And Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, is said to be almost ready to report on the roles of the DOJ and FBI in promoting the Trump-Putin “collusion” narrative.

Durham, however, twice essentially covered up for CIA misdeeds. The New York Times reported: “In 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Mr. Durham to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes in 2005 showing the torture of terrorism suspects. A year later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to also examine whether the agency broke any laws in its abuses of detainees in its custody.”

Durham: A good soldier, but with a new commander.

Abundantly clear in those days, however, was the reality that neither Mukasey nor Holder wanted Durham to deliver the goods on CIA people demonstrably involved in well documented death-by-torture of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. Good soldier Durham uttered not a peep when Holder announced that the Department of Justice “declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But Holder added this: “Our inquiry was limited to a determination of whether prosecutable offenses were committed and was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct.” The Times noted at the time that DOJ’s decision did not amount to “exoneration” of those involved in the prisoners’ treatment and deaths. Does that sound familiar?

Thus, judging from past experience, the question is not so much what Durham will come up with this time around when investigating folks from the same line of (intelligence) work. The more salient question is this: Will Durham’s role be limited by Deep State, gun-shy Trump, or will he be given the latitude to proceed with no-holds-Barred, so to speak.

Horowitz’s investigators, on the other hand, earlier discovered the extremely-damaging-to-the-Russia-gate-yarn text exchanges between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Horowitz decided to make them public in December 2017. First off the blocks the following day, the late Robert Parry, founder of this website, posted what turned out to be his last substantive article, “The Foundering Russia-gate Scandal.”

Horowitz’s investigators recently interviewed some formerly reluctant witnesses like Christopher Steele, who had been a paid informant of the FBI itself and whom the Clinton campaign later paid to assemble the infamous “dossier” on Trump’s alleged cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow and other scurrilous, since-disproven stories.

With the malleable nonentity Coats as DNI, and with top CIA officials trying to keep former CIA Director John Brennan out of jail (and shield their own derrieres), Barr has — until now — lacked a strong “deputy sheriff” with the requisite prosecutorial skills and courage to investigate the intelligence community to find out where the bodies are buried in Washington.

As soon as Ratcliffe is confirmed, Barr should have what he needs to close that gap and tackle full bore the intelligence part of the Deep State’s role in Russia-gate.

A Parvenu?

But how could Ratcliffe know anything, the corporate media asks, as they paint him as a newcomer, partisan ignoramus and focus on his lack of experience in foreign affairs. Sorry, Rachel Maddow, in case you haven’t noticed, the present focus is on affairs much closer to home. The “parvenu” label will not stick. Serving, as Ratcliffe has, on three key House committees —Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security — you can learn a whole lot, if you regard your responsibility as oversight, not overlook.

Brennan: Cold on Ratcliffe (White House photo)

Is there documentary evidence? Admittedly, it would seem a stretch to believe that Obama’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials — in “collusion” with the corporate media — would fabricate a Trump-in-Putin’s-pocket story line first to try to prevent Trump from being elected, and then emasculate him as incoming president. But, yes, there should be all manner of documentary evidence indicating that this is precisely what happened.

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed in early April 2019, “They [the Democrats] have lied multiple times to the American people. All you have to do is look at their phony memos. They have had the full support of the media, 90 percent of the media in this country. They all have egg on their face.” The way things are now shaping up, we are likely to learn before too long whether the evidence supports Nunes’s accusations.

All the Naiveté That’s Fit to Print

The New York Times reported that many Republican Senators, who must vote on his confirmation, are “cool” to Ratcliffe:

“Democrats said on Monday that they were worried that Mr. Ratcliffe would do little to push back against the Justice Department’s review of the origins of the Russia inquiry, for which Mr. Trump gave Attorney General William P. Barr broad power to declassify relevant documents.”

Democrats don’t watch Fox News, but does the Gray Lady still harbor hope Ratcliffe might “push back” when he says he will push full steam ahead?

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, DNC-hired “opposition research,” or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Hillary Clinton would become President, at which point high-risk, illegal activities undertaken to help her win would likely bring gratitude and perhaps a promotion, not an indictment. But Clinton lost.

Hillary: She hadda win, but didn’t.

After her loss, Comey himself gave the game away in his book, “A Higher Loyalty” — which amounted to a pre-emptive move motivated by loyalty-to-self and eagerness to secure a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Comey wrote, “I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president …” [Emphasis added.] This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on key players who may now find themselves criminally referred to the Department of Justice.

Worse still, because they all were convinced a Clinton victory was a sure thing, the plotters did not perform due diligence to hide their tracks. And that largely accounts for the fact that there should be documentary evidence — probably even on not-yet-shredded paper, as well as on computer hard drives.

Given his seats on Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security, Ratcliffe has seen a lot more of them than most Congress members. In the Sunday interview, he named some of those allegedly engaged in illegalities:  former FBI Director James Comey, senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr, and opposition research guru Glenn Simpson. Also mentioned but unnamed were the Obama officials who Ratcliffe said committed a “felony” by leaking highly classified phone transcripts to use against Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

But Now Running Scared

No one has more to fear from all this than ex-CIA Director Brennan. He eagerly awaited the final report from Mueller, whom Brennan has unctuously praised. Introducing Mueller to an audience at Georgetown University in June 2014, Brennan called him “a remarkable public servant as well as a great friend, a transformative leader, an outstanding partner to CIA, and a source of wise counsel to leaders across the intelligence community.”

In his testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 24, Mueller avoided discussing some of the chicanery that bears Brennan’s fingerprints, but he surely failed to “exonerate” him, so to speak. To suggest that the selection of Ratcliffe to become DNI was unwelcome news to Brennan is to state the obvious. Brennan got up early on Monday and at 7:11 AM sent this characteristic tweet — about integrity and subservience, of all things:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has tweeted information from “a high-level source” that it was Brennan who “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier” be given prominent attention in the Russia-gate story.

Paul has also said he thinks Brennan has been “a partisan” and “abused his office in developing the Trump investigation. I think it was done under false pretenses and done for political reasons.”

Paul has been a strong advocate of investigating the origins of Mueller’s probe, including the dicey question of how witting President Obama was of the Deep State machinations during the last months of his administration. Page did tell Strzok in a Sept. 2, 2016 text that the president “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

So What DID Obama Know?

If anyone knows how much Obama knew, it is one of his closest confidants: Brennan. And it was Obama, of course, who commissioned the misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” of Jan. 6, 2017, which Russia-gate aficionados have long regarded as Bible truth. As readers of Consortium News know, candidate Hillary Clinton and her supporters were wrong in saying the ICA was the product of “all 17” U.S. intelligence agencies. The leaders of only three — CIA, FBI, and NSA — signed on to it, plus DNI James Clapper.

Months later, Clapper admitted it was “handpicked analysts” from those three who wrote the report. It is a safe bet that Brennan, Clapper, and perhaps Comey picked the analysts. The ICA is such a shabby piece of work that many — including me — suspect that Brennan took a direct hand in writing it.

Ratcliffe would be well advised to take a priority look into the “Excellent Adventure” of that Intelligence Community Assessment as soon as he is confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, and before Brennan, Clapper, and Comey leave town for parts unknown.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. As a CIA analyst, he served under nine CIA directors and seven presidents, for three of whom he prepared and gave the morning briefing based on The President’s Daily Brief. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FBI, DOJ To Defy Trump Order; Redactions Planned As Top ‘Deep State’ Dems Demand Insubordination

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 09/19/2018

Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

In short, prepare for fireworks

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/388985966/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-2N4JgANZHX1A9u2s8hFJ

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Russian Student Arrested in Washington DC, Charged as Foreign Agent

Sputnik – July 16, 2018

Russian national Mariia Butina has been arrested and charged with conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, the US Department of Justice announced on Monday.

According to the US Department of Justice, Butina, who was arrested on Sunday, was developing ties with US citizens and infiltrating political groups without informing the US attorney general of her alleged intentions — to further Russian interests, it alleges. ‘Overt acts’ she stands accused include sending two emails to a “US person in an effort to develop, maintain, and exploit a relationship to furtherance of the conspiracy” to promote Russian interests in the US.

Butina’s first name is also sometimes transliterated as “Maria” in documents.

​​”Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank,” the Monday statement from the DOJ reads. “This Russian official was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.”

It adds that the 29-year-old “undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government” and that the international relations student tried to build relationships with people in the Washington, DC, area while working at the behest of a former Russian lawmaker who went on to become a central bank official.

Butina’s next hearing is scheduled for July 18.

In a supporting document, FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson said in a sworn statement that one of the goals Butina was attempting to accomplish was to “exploit personal connections with US person having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation.” It notes that one of her contacts was with an “organization promoting gun rights.”

Robert Driscoll, Butina’s lawyer, denies that she was acting as a Russian agent.

“Mariia Butina is not an agent of the Russian Federation. She is a Russian national in the United States on a student visa who recently graduated from American University in Washington, DC, with a Masters Degree in International Relations and 4.0 grade point average,” Driscoll said in a statement to Sputnik. “She has received her work permit and is seeking to use her degree to pursue a career in business.”

“The substance of the charge in the complaint is overblown. While styled as some sort of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agent Registration Act, in actuality it describes a conspiracy to have a ‘friendship dinner’ at Bistro Bis with a group of Americans and Russians to discuss foreign relations between the two countries,” he continued.

“There is simply no indication of Butina seeking to influence or undermine any specific policy or law in the United States… the complaint is simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students.”

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Can the President Lawfully Investigate His Investigators?

By Andrew Napolitano • Unz Review • May 24, 2018

This past weekend, President Donald Trump suggested that his presidential campaign may have been the victim of spies or moles who were FBI informants or undercover agents. He demanded an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.

At the same time that the president was fuming over this, Republican congressional leaders were fuming about the reluctance of senior officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI to turn over documents that might reveal political origins of the current criminal investigation of the president by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Can the president intercede in a federal criminal investigation of which he himself is a subject? Can Congress intercede in a DOJ criminal investigation? Here is the back story.

Mueller was named special counsel so he could investigate serious and demonstrable evidence of Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election. Because the Trump campaign met with Russian intelligence officials offering campaign assistance, implicit in that investigation is an inquiry into whether the Trump campaign invited foreign interference and agreed to accept or facilitate it.

Mueller is seeking to determine whether there was an agreement between the Trump campaign and any foreign person, entity or government to receive anything of value for the campaign. Such an agreement plus a material step in furtherance of it taken by any of those who joined the agreement would itself constitute the crime of conspiracy, even if the agreed-upon thing of value never arrived.

In the course of examining evidence for the existence of this alleged conspiracy — which Trump has forcefully denied many times — Mueller’s prosecutors and FBI agents have come upon evidence of other crimes. They have obtained 19 indictments — some for financial crimes, some for lying to FBI agents and some for foreign interference in the election — and four guilty pleas for lying, in which those who pleaded guilty agreed to assist the government.

Nine of the indictments are against Russian intelligence agents, whom the president himself promptly sanctioned by barring their travel here and their use of American banks and commercial enterprises, even though he has called Mueller’s investigation a witch hunt.

Mueller has also come upon evidence of obstruction of justice by the president while in office and financial crimes prior to entering office, all of which Trump has denied. Obstruction of justice consists of interfering with a judicial proceeding — such as a grand jury’s hearing evidence — for a corrupt purpose.

Thus, if Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he didn’t trust him or because he wanted his own person in that job, that was his presidential prerogative, but Trump’s purpose was corrupt if he fired Comey because Comey would not deny that the president was the subject of a criminal investigation — a basis for firing surprisingly offered publicly by one of the president’s own lawyers.

The potential financial crimes appear to be in the areas of bank fraud — making material misrepresentations to banks to obtain loans — and money laundering, or the passage of ill-gotten gains through numerous bank accounts so as to make the gains appear lawful. These, too, Trump has denied.

It seems that the deeper Mueller and his team dig the more they find. As lawyers and as federal prosecutors, Mueller’s team members have ethical obligations to uncover whatever evidence of crime they come upon and, when professionally feasible and legally appropriate, either prosecute or pass the evidence on to other federal prosecutors, as they did in the case of evidence of fraud against Michael Cohen, a former confidant and lawyer for Trump before he was president.

Now, back to Trump’s eruption about FBI spies or moles.

The president cannot interfere with criminal investigations against himself without running the risk of additional charges of obstruction of justice — interference with a judicial process (the gathering of evidence and its presentation to a grand jury) for a corrupt purpose (impeding his own prosecution or impeachment). Nor can members of Congress see whatever they want in the midst of a criminal investigation, particularly if they might share whatever they see with the person being investigated.

Prosecutors have a privilege to keep their files secret until they reach the time that the law provides for them to go public. Because Mueller is faced with the legal equivalent of assembling a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, he is not yet ready to show his cards. If his cards contain materials from confidential sources — people whose identities he promised not to reveal — or if his cards contain evidence he presented to a grand jury, he may not lawfully reveal what he has until it is time to exonerate the president, indict him or present a report to Mueller’s DOJ superiors that is intended for the House of Representatives.

Can the president investigate his investigators?

Yes — but not until the investigation of him is completed. That’s because no one can fruitfully examine the legitimacy of the origins of the case against Trump without knowing the evidence and the charges. Trump’s allegations are of extreme scandal — the use of FBI assets by the Obama administration to impede his presidential campaign. Yet if he is exonerated, those allegations will lose their sting. If he is charged with crimes or impeachable offenses that do not have their origins in politically charged spying, then his allegations will be moot.

But if he were to force the DOJ to turn over raw investigative files now to politicians who want to help him, he might very well be impeding the criminal case against him. That would be profoundly threatening to the rule of law, for it provides that no man can be the prosecutor or the judge in his own case. Even Trump’s lawyers acknowledge that he could not lawfully do that.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment