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Why Clinton Foundation Whistleblowers’ Case Against IRS May Cause US Political Dynasties to Shiver

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – February 12, 2020

While the mainstream media in the US was preoccupied with Donald Trump’s impeachment another legal drama has been unfolding since March 2019, namely Lawrence W. Doyle and John F. Moynihan v Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel has explained why the case matters more than the impeachment saga.

Lawrence W. Doyle and John F. Moynihan, both graduates of the Catholic Jesuit College of the Holy Cross and independent expert forensic investigators, came to prominence on 13 December 2018 when they testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud.

According to them, the charity does not operate as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organisation and has acted as nothing short of a foreign agent “throughout its existence”. Summarising their conclusions the two Jesuit alumni suggested that the Clinton Foundation owes between $400 million and $2.5 billion in taxes and informed US lawmakers that if the IRS refuses to consider their “tax claim” they would appeal to the US Tax Court. According to Zero Hedge, the ongoing litigation is apparently related to this very case.

Multinational Charities “Perfect” Disguise for Money Laundering

Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist who has been conducting a private inquiry into the Clinton Foundation for several years opines that the aforementioned legal case may involve unprosecuted crimes by some “charities” operated by political dynasties and may even put the IRS itself under the microscope.

“I believe that Doyle and Moynihan, like most concerned citizens, want the IRS to enforce charity laws and regulations fairly, without regard to whether a given charity might be linked to a Republican, Democrat, or Independent person,” he says, specifying that the precise claim and details of the legal case in question are unknown since they’re sealed by the court.

According to Ortel, multinational charities have become “perfect” vehicles for disguising money laundering and influence peddling since regulators do not have enough resources to check their revenues and spending scrupulously especially when these non-profits are operating abroad.

“Compounding the above problems is the fact that numerous foreign actors including governments, companies, and individuals are eager to curry favour with sitting or rising politicians who, typically, are also hungry for financial support,” he suggests. “While foreign interests are barred from directly supporting or financing political candidates, they are allowed to ‘contribute’ to charities in which dynastic political families have interests or associations.”

Why IRS & FBI Turns a Blind Eye to Loosely Operated Charities

To illustrate his point Ortel referred to the Clinton Foundation that has repeatedly come under the spotlight being suspected of alleged “pay-to-play” schemes. Echoing Doyle and Moynihan, Ortel believes that the Clinton Foundation cannot be called a “charity” since its operations in the US and abroad go beyond charitable activities. Furthermore it is neither validly organised nor properly audited, he highlights. The Wall Street analyst raises the question as to why the supposed violations have remained unnoticed by the FBI and IRS for over a decade.

Referring to page 432 of the first IG Horowitz Report, Ortel notes that the FBI opened investigations into the Clinton Foundation in January 2016. By July 2016, the IRS too confirmed that they had opened a Clinton Foundation investigation, he points out. However, nothing has been heard since then about the cases.

The Washington Post reported on 10 January that John Huber, the US attorney in Utah, who was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November 2017 to look into the FBI handling of possible corruption at the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s alleged pay-to-play schemes during her tenure as secretary of state, “found nothing worth pursuing.” The media outlet specified, however, that “the assignment has not formally ended and no official notice has been sent to the Justice Department or to lawmakers”, citing knowledgeable sources.

“What I suspect is that bureaucrats and others in the IRS and Department of Justice have been reluctant to press into their investigations because high level current and former politicians and powerful donors, across the political spectrum are likely implicated in trafficking influence through these false-front charities, and others”, Ortel presumes.

US Debt is Soaring While “Charities” Sit on Trillions

The Wall Street analyst explains why financial violations and fraud on the part of charitable organisations are fraught with risks for national economies and societies.

“One hopes that the overwhelming majority of American charities abide by relevant laws”, he says. “This is likely true concerning charities that tackle local, state, or national challenges, but American charities and foreign charities that operate internationally are rife with potential for fraud and corruption.”

He points out that this is particularly true when it comes to disaster relief when “pocketbooks open instantly and large sums swarm” towards various “tax-exempt organisations” often connected to celebrities that say they are going to help.

Ortel bemoans that fact that “afterwards, too frequently as in the case of Haiti, for example, there is no rigorous accounting for the vast sums claimed as donations or expenses”. The Clinton Foundation’s role in fundraising to tackle the consequences of the 2010 Haiti earthquake is still triggering controversy and was addressed by Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

“In 2020, America has run up a mountain of government debt and we see little progress in paring back soaring annual government deficits that add to our monstrous debt pile”, the investigative journalist emphasises. “At the same time, loosely regulated charities, some funded by monopolists and near monopolists sit on trillions of dollars of unencumbered assets inside private foundations or public charities.”

According to him, if the IRS and Department of Justice did their best to enforce existing laws and regulations that prohibit certain tax-exempt organisations from enriching themselves “vast sums could be raised to help reverse erosion in [the US] national balance sheet”.

Ortel expresses hope that the effort spearheaded by Doyle and Moynihan will help restore confidence in the administration of justice.

February 12, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Manafort Ledger Evidence Central to Trump-Russia Collusion Claims Discredited as Total ‘Fabrication’

Sputnik – February 8, 2020

During the 2016 race, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was caught up in a scandal when his name appeared in a ‘leaked black ledger’ of alleged off-the-books payments from pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. The document became one of the core pieces of evidence used by the president’s opponents to accuse him of colluding with the Kremlin.

The ‘black ledger’ of alleged secret cash payments to lobbyist and political consultant Paul Manafort was completely made up and the FBI knows it, investigative journalist John Solomon has reported, citing sources.

Speaking to Solomon, Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner and cooperating witness in the FBI investigation on possible Russia-Trump collusion, said that the ledger “was a fabrication,” and adding that “this fact has since been proven true.”

The ledger, first publicized in the New York Times in the summer of 2016, was one of the two major pieces of evidence used by Donald Trump’s opponents in the media and state to try to link the real estate mogul to Moscow, with the other being the so-called Steele Dossier. The latter document, compiled at the behest of the Democratic Party by a British ex-spook, became the pretext for the FBI to start spying on the Trump campaign, but has since similarly been discredited as a complete fabrication.

In an April 2018 interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, Gates, who reached a plea deal to testify against Manafort in a criminal case relating to tax evasion and bank fraud, told investigators that the ledger was “completely made up.”

Commenting on the New York Times piece which made the ‘black ledger’ claims public in his testimony to the FBI, Gates insisted that the article was “completely false,” adding that “as you know there were no cash payments. The payments were wired. The ledger was completely made up… It was not how the PoR [Party of Regions – the party of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose campaign Manafort advised] did their record keeping.”Gates further told the FBI that the ledger could not be real, because the party’s accounting records were destroyed in early 2014 in the midst of the US and EU-backed coup d’etat in Ukraine. “All the real records were burned when the party headquarters was set on fire when Yanukovych fled the country,” Gates recalled.

Ledger Never Used by FBI and Prosecutors

The FBI and prosecutors in Manafort’s criminal case appeared to have corroborated Gates’ conclusions by their actions, or more precisely inaction, failing to mention it in Manafort’s 2018 trial on charges of tax and bank fraud.Similarly, the ledger was not discussed at any length by Mueller in the special counsel’s exhaustive 488 page report searching for evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russia. Mueller released the long-awaited report in April 2019, exonerating the president and his staff, and concluding that the only alleged substantive Russian effort to meddle in the election was linked to an online trolling campaign which proved to have no impact whatsoever on the election results.

The FBI has yet to publicly comment on its conclusions regarding the black ledger.

According to Solomon, “if true, Gates’ account means the two key pieces of documentary evidence used by the media and FBI to drive the now-debunked Russia collusion narrative – the Steele dossier and the black ledger – were at best uncorroborated and at worst disinformation. His account also raises the possibility that someone fabricated the document in Ukraine in an effort to restart investigative efforts on Manafort’s consulting work or to meddle in the US presidential election.”Ukrainian Trace

Ukraine made no secret about its preference for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, expressing concerns about Trump’s campaign promises of trying to improve relations with Moscow, revoke anti-Russian sanctions or even recognize the status of Russia’s Crimea. In August 2016, Ukrainian officials openly revealed to the Financial Times the extent of their involvement in the US campaign, with Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau linked to the ‘leak’ of the ledger to US media.

In late 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that Artem Sytnyk, former head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, and Serhiy Leshchenko, an ally of Ukraine’s post-coup President Petro Poroshenko, illegally interfered in the 2016 US election with the release of the black ledger. The ruling was overturned on a technicality, but Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told The Hill in May 2019 that he had opened a fresh probe into the case following the election of Volodymyr Zelensky as Ukraine’s new president.

Ukraine ended up proving central to the drawn out Trump impeachment saga, with the Democrats accusing the president of illegally pressuring Zelensky to restart a frozen investigation into the possible pay-to-play corruption of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine between 2014 and 2019. Last week, Trump was acquitted of the charges against him following a senate trial.

February 8, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , | Leave a 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

Clinton Accuses Zuckerberg of Having ‘Authoritarian’ Views on Misinformation

Sputnik – 27.01.2020

2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in an interview over the weekend that Mark Zuckerberg’s views on misinformation on his Facebook platform are “authoritarian.”

Clinton told The Atlantic magazine during the Sundance Film Festival that she believes Zuckerberg’s Facebook is “not just going to reelect Trump, but intend[s] to reelect Trump.” The magazine reported her being horrified and alarmed by what she believed was Zuckerberg’s unwillingness to battle the spread of disinformation and propaganda on Facebook.

Clinton recalled the time she saw a slowed-down video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral on Facebook. The video made it appear Pelosi was slurring her words and was designed to make it appear she was cognitively impaired.

“Google took it off YouTube … so I contacted Facebook,” Clinton told the Atlantic. “I said, ‘Why are you guys keeping this up? This is blatantly false. Your competitors have taken it down.’ And their response was, ‘We think our users can make up their own minds.’”

The Atlantic then asked Clinton whether she saw Zuckerberg’s reasoning that Facebook users can decide for themselves what to believe as “Trumpian,” with Clinton responding, “It’s Trumpian. It’s authoritarian.”

A Facebook spokesman told Fox News on Sunday it had no comment on Clinton’s remarks, noting that Zuckerberg had spoken about the importance of protecting free expression in his speech at Georgetown University.

“People should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public,” Facebook said earlier in its statement on the issue.

In her interview with the Atlantic, Clinton said that Zuckerberg can be compared to the world leaders due to the power he holds.

“I feel like you’re negotiating with a foreign power sometimes,” she said of her conversations with Facebook top executives. “He’s immensely powerful. This is a global company that has huge influence in ways that we’re only beginning to understand.”

She insisted that Zuckerberg could be persuaded to support Trump, adding that at least this is what she wants to believe and it “gives [her] a pit in [her] stomach.”

January 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

Hillary Puts Bernie Into Her Basket of Deplorables

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • January 24, 2020

“Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician.” So says Hillary Clinton of her former Senate colleague and 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Her assessment of Sanders’ populist-socialist agenda?

“It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people get sucked into it.”

Does that assessment still hold with Sanders now running strong in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and having emerged, according to The New York Times, as “the dominant liberal voice in the 2020 race”?

“Yes, it does,” said Clinton, who left open the possibility she might not support Sanders if he became the nominee.

In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote a documentary that premieres Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, Clinton also tore into Bernie’s backers.

“It is not only him. It’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” said Clinton. “It should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted (he) seems to be very much supporting it.”

From her own words, Clinton regards Sanders as a nasty man running a misogynistic campaign and a political phony whose achievements are nonexistent and who lacks the temperament to be president.

As Clinton describes Sanders, he seems to fit nicely into her Trumpian “basket of deplorables.” Reflecting the significance of Clinton’s attack, The New York Times put it on Page 1.

This comes one week after Elizabeth Warren, at the end of the last debate, confronted Sanders, who had denied ever telling her a woman could not win the presidency.

“I think you just called me a liar on national TV,” said Warren, twice. Sanders assuredly had. He then accused Warren of lying.

This is “a part of a pattern,” says Clinton, noting that Sanders said in 2016 that she was not qualified to be president.

What is Hillary up to? She is “hellbent on stopping Sanders,” says Obama strategist David Axelrod.

The bad blood between Bernie and two leading women in the Democratic Party calls to mind the battle between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, which did not end well for the Republican Party in 1964.

While the eventual GOP nominee, Goldwater, lost in a 44-state landslide to Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Republican establishment that Rockefeller led would never again be able to nominate one of its own.

It is difficult to see how this acrimony inside the Democratic Party — over the character, record, ideology and alleged sexism of Sen. Bernie Sanders — ends well for the Democrats.

Already, Bernie’s backers believe the DNC “rigged” the nomination in 2016 by feigning neutrality while secretly aiding Clinton. If Sanders now fails in the first primaries and loses his last chance for the Democratic nomination because of the Clinton-Warren’s attacks, it is difficult to see how Bernie’s backers enthusiastically support Warren.

As for Bernie backing Biden, the raison d’etre of the liberal-radical wing of the party to whom Sanders is a hero is that the Democratic establishment consistently sells out progressive values.

Sanders’ crowd consists of true believers, a trademark of whom is militancy. Such folks often prefer defeat behind a principled leader to victory for a corporatist Democrat they regard as the enemy within.

Assume Bernie defeats Warren in Iowa, bests Biden in New Hampshire, and then goes on to win the nomination. Would women, a majority of whom vote Democratic, and who are indispensable to party victory, surge to the polls to install a president whom Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren describe as a sexist who ruined their own presidential hopes?

Would Democratic women come out to vote for a candidate who was responsible, in two successive presidential elections, for keeping the glass ceiling firmly intact over the heads of the Democratic Party’s leading female candidates? Bernie has made some bad enemies.

Ten days before the Iowa caucuses, the great unifier of the Democratic Party remains Donald Trump. But now, with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina dead ahead, the Democrats’ focus is becoming: Who should replace Trump?

The rival claims of the constituent elements inside the party are rising to the fore. And what they reveal is a Democratic Party that is a coalition of groups that seem to be dividing along the lines of ideology, politics, race, class and culture.

Consider the most loyal of Democratic constituents in presidential elections: African Americans. They are 13% of the electorate but a fourth of the national Democratic vote.

Yet, of the six candidates for the nomination on stage in the last debate, not one was African American. Not one was Hispanic or Asian. Four were white men, and two were white women.

The lone outsider rising in the polls is another white man, a multi-billionaire who is willing to spend a billion dollars to buy the presidential nomination of the party of the common man.

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

Defamation suit aims to stop Hillary and her ‘powerful elite friends’ from silencing patriotic Americans, Gabbard says

RT | January 23, 2020

Suing Hillary Clinton for defamation is necessary in order to keep the former first lady and her powerful allies from smearing Americans who seek “peace and freedom” for all, Tulsi Gabbard has argued.

The Democratic presidential hopeful released a scathing statement in defense of her suit against Clinton, noting that the former secretary of state’s attempt to smear her as “the favorite of the Russians” would have far-reaching consequences if left unchallenged.

“If Hillary Clinton and her allies can successfully destroy my reputation – even though I’m a war veteran and a sitting member of Congress – then they can do it to anybody,” Gabbard wrote.

Gabbard’s lawsuit, which seeks up to $50 million in damages from Clinton for insinuating that she is a “Russian asset,” is really about sending “Hillary and her powerful elite friends” a message, the Hawaiian congresswoman and Iraq war veteran noted.

“Hillary Clinton and her allies want you to know that if you dare to cross them, they will destroy your reputation as well.”

She added that she could not stand for Clinton’s “blatant effort to intimidate me or other patriotic Americans.”

Gabbard’s filing cites Clinton’s “long-time grudges” as the likely rationale for the character assassination, noting that the congresswoman resigned her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in protest and voiced support for Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders after it emerged that there was ample evidence to suggest that the DNC had unfairly thrown its weight behind the former first lady and New York senator.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

‘Obvious malicious intent’: Tulsi Gabbard hits Clinton with defamation suit over ‘Russian asset’ smear

RT | January 22, 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard is suing two-time White House runner-up Hillary Clinton over her claim that Gabbard was a “Russian asset,” alleging that the lie hurt not just her campaign but the entire election.

Clinton “lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard… publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent” when she claimed Gabbard was “the favorite of the Russians,” the campaign alleges in the suit, filed on Wednesday in the federal Southern District of New York. While Clinton isn’t technically running against Gabbard in the 2020 contest, the filing drily notes that the role of president is “a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain.”

The filing alleges Clinton harmed not just Gabbard but also “American voters” and “American democracy” by pushing the baseless smear, citing “scientifically conducted opinion surveys” indicating that millions of potential voters believed Clinton’s claims due to her status as a political insider and authority figure with likely access to non-public information. Over 200 articles have been published amplifying the smear since Clinton first uttered it in an October episode of Democratic strategist David Plouffe’s ‘Campaign HQ’ podcast, and the campaign estimates the former secretary of state’s attacks cost Gabbard $50 million in lost donations, lost votes, and reputational damage.

While Clinton never retracted the inflammatory claim that Gabbard was working for the Kremlin – despite a formal request from the Hawaii congresswoman’s campaign – her representatives did attempt to retrospectively muddy the waters. After Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill verified that she was indeed referring to Gabbard with a snarky “if the nesting doll fits” after Clinton’s initial comments in October, he subsequently backpedaled, trying to claim that Clinton meant Republicans – not Russians – were pulling the candidate’s strings. The resulting “corrections” streamed unevenly through the media, confusing no one bar a few copy-editors.

The Gabbard campaign has requested a jury trial in addition to legal restrictions on republishing the smear, and also seeks at least $50 million in compensatory, punitive and special damages. The filing painstakingly lays out Gabbard’s history of service to her country, indicating that Clinton could not possibly have believed the Iraq war vet and House Foreign Relations Committee member was “the favorite of the Russians,” and must therefore have been deliberately lying. It cites Clinton’s “long-time grudges” as the likely rationale for the attack, recalling that Gabbard resigned her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in protest and voiced support for Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders after it emerged that the DNC had put its thumb on the scale in the 2016 primary contest to help the former New York senator.

Clinton has not publicly responded to the lawsuit as of Wednesday afternoon. The former First Lady has shown no signs of letting go of 2016-era rivalries, however, recently claiming in an interview that “no one likes” or wants to work with Sanders, who recently polled as the most popular member of the US Senate.

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Shell-shocked pundits come crawling back to Hillary over Trump’s Iran belligerence… forgetting she’d have started war sooner

If you squint really hard, it’s ALMOST like she’s in the Oval Office…
RT | January 8, 2020

Social media sang praises of would-be US President Hillary Clinton as actual President Donald Trump seemed headed for all-out war with Iran – even though Clinton had been a much more enthusiastic participant in US wars.

After Iranian missiles struck several US bases Tuesday night, #Resistance twitter wasted no time disavowing the administration they blamed for the hostilities, running into the arms of his arch-rival with the #IVotedforHillaryClinton hashtag.

But claiming Clinton was the less warlike of the two candidates, or would have steered the country away from war with Iran, requires a serious divergence from history. The former Secretary of State once told an interviewer that “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran.”

That was during her 2008 campaign, and in the middle of a discussion about Iran possibly attacking Israel. Perhaps her stance on the Islamic republic had softened a bit by 2016, enough to justify viewing her as the lesser of two Iran hawks?

Nope. The months leading up to that election saw her parroting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s decades-old talking points about Iran “racing toward a nuclear capability,” expanding “secret facilities,” and “defying their international obligations” before she swept in with the nuclear deal and solved all the problems.

Except the deal was negotiated after she was replaced as the top US diplomat by John Kerry. Clinton was on the same side as Trump, demanding ever more sanctions even as the nuclear deal took effect, this time as punishment for Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Beyond interventionist Democrats, she was courted by a bevy of neocons who couldn’t stomach Trump’s anti-interventionist rhetoric. Inveterate warmongers like Robert Kagan and Richard Armitage swooned over the ex-First Lady.

In short order, the infamous clip of Clinton mocking the brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – “we came, we saw, he died” – resurfaced on twitter. The so-called “humanitarian” intervention in Libya was largely a creation of Clinton’s State Department, complete with risible wartime propaganda about Gaddafi handing out Viagra so his soldiers could better commit mass rapes, and the continued chaos in that once-advanced state remains a testament to what the region (or world) might look like under her watch.

She wanted a repeat performance in Syria, calling for – and thankfully not getting – a no-fly zone, even while admitting it would “kill a lot of Syrians.”

While Trump lost the popular vote to Clinton, he handily beat her in the Electoral College, which ultimately decides who occupies the White House. Despite her massive advantage in political experience, his promises to bring US troops home attracted significant support. Nearly four years later, however, the US is poised on the brink of a catastrophic expansion of its Forever War.

January 9, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Justice at Last? ‘Panic’ in Israel as the ICC Takes ‘Momentous Step’ in the Right Direction

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | January 8, 2020

At long last, Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has uttered the long-anticipated conclusion that “all the statutory criteria under the Rome statute for the opening of an investigation (into alleged war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories) have been met”.

Bensouda’s verdict has been in the making for a long time and should, frankly, have arrived much earlier. The ICC preliminary investigations into Israeli war crimes began back in 2015. Since then, many more such war crimes have been committed, while the international community persisted in its moral inertia.

The ICC statement, issued on December 20, asserted that the court saw “no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice”.

But can the “interest of justice” be served while the United States government continues to wield a massive stick, using its diplomatic, political and financial clout to ensure Israel emerges unscathed from its latest legal scuffle?

There is little doubt that Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory, is absolutely right: A formal ICC criminal investigation into war crimes in Palestine is a “momentous step forward in the quest for accountability”.

He is also correct in his assessment, published in the United Nations Human Rights Officer of the High Commissioner website, that “accountability has, until now, been largely missing in action throughout the 52-year-old occupation.”

I would go even further and expand the timeline of the missing accountability to include the two decades prior to the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Otherwise, how is one to account for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947-48, the numerous massacres and other wanton killings that accompanied and followed those defining years, or the fact that Israel was never held accountable for its violations of international and humanitarian laws between 1948 and 1967?

That issue notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority and all political parties in Palestine should exploit this unprecedented opportunity of holding Israel accountable.

As soon as the ICC issued its statement, news reports surfaced conveying a sense of “panic” in Israel. The Times of Israel reported that an Israeli government meeting to discuss the ICC decision was held shortly after, with the aim of considering a proper response, including the possibility of preventing ICC investigators from reaching Israel.

This is eerily familiar. Israel has denied entry to – or refused to cooperate with – international investigators and observers on many occasions in the past.

Following a UN planned investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in 2002, the Israeli government quickly moved, and, sadly, succeeded in blocking the investigation altogether.

It has done so time and again, often demonizing the very individuals entrusted with the mission of examining the illegality of Israel’s behavior in the context of international law. Well-respected judges and international law experts, such as Richard Goldstone, Richard Falk, and John Dugard, were vehemently attacked by Israeli officials and media and, by extension, by the US government and media as well.

Israel has managed to survive dozens of United Nations Resolutions and countless legal reports and indictments by the UN and all UN-affiliated organizations, largely because of blind and unequivocal American support, which has shielded Israeli war criminals from ever answering to their horrific actions in Palestine.

“Remember, it was (then-Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton who took pride in the fact that she personally killed the Goldstone Report,” said US author, Norman Finkelstein, in a recent interview with the news website Mondoweiss.

The Goldstone report was issued in the wake of the Israeli war on Gaza in 2009, dubbed ‘Operation Cast Lead’. The campaign of intimidation and pressure on Goldstone, personally, has forced the once-respected judge to retract his accusations of Israeli war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians.

While Clinton did her part in torpedoing the Goldstone Report, former US President, Barack Obama, according to Finkelstein, went to great lengths to “neutralize international law against settlements and other Israeli crimes in the occupied territories”.

Worse still, on September 14, 2016, Obama handed Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself accused of carrying out numerous war crimes against Palestinians, the largest US aid package to a foreign country in modern history, a whopping $38 billion over the course of ten years.

This is not a new phenomenon, where the US enables Israeli crimes and simultaneously shields Tel Aviv from any accountability for these crimes before the international community. All US administrations, whether Republican or Democrat, have honored the same sinister maxim, thus ensuring Israel, literally, gets away with murder.

A particular case in point was in 2001, when 28 Palestinian and Lebanese survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre attempted to try, in a Belgian court, late Israeli leader and accused war criminal, Ariel Sharon. Intense American pressures and a brazen intimidation campaign, targeting the Belgian government and the judicial system, resulted in the dismissal of the case in 2003. To deny Israel’s victims the opportunity to seek justice everywhere in the country, Belgium revised its very law, to the satisfaction of Israel and the United States.

The high level of the ICC investigations places the legal push against Israel at a whole new level. This is uncharted territory for Israel, the United States, Palestine, the ICC and the international community as a whole. There is little doubt that some joint Israeli-American effort is already underway to develop strategies aimed at countering if not altogether dismissing, the ICC investigation.

It is clear that justice for Palestinians in the face of Israeli aggression, itself fueled by unconditional American support, is not at all possible if it is not accompanied by regional and international unity, and a clear and decisive decision by all parties concerned that Israel, once and for all, must pay for its military occupation, racist apartheid laws, protracted siege on Gaza, and the many massacres in between.

Without this kind of international will, the ICC investigation could become another sad case of justice denied, a non-acceptable option for any justice-seeking individual, organization, and government anywhere in the world.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU).

January 8, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Chelsea Clinton Gains $9 Mln from Corporate Board Position in Her Mother’s Friend Company – Report

Sputnik – 07.01.2020

Chelsea Clinton has reaped $9 million in compensation since 2011 for serving on the board of an internet investment company, according to Barron’s, a financial publication.

Barron’s reported Sunday that Clinton has profited as a board member for IAC/InterActiveCorp, a media and internet investment company that has an ownership stake in 150 well-known brands, such as Vimeo, Tinder, Angie’s List and Home Advisor. The only child of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has served on IAC’s board since 2011 and receives an annual $50,000 retainer and $250,000 worth of restricted IAC stock units, according to Barron’s.

She reported owning $8.95 million worth of IAC stock to the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of December. According to Barron’s, IAC’s stock has risen 89 percent, 50 percent and 36 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively, in an extremely steep rise.

Clinton was also named to the board of Expedia Group in March of 2017, a position that typically earned $250,000 in 2015, according to a report at the time by The Guardian. Both IAC and Expedia are controlled by Barry Diller, a business and television mogul and, notably, a friend of Hillary Clinton.

January 7, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

The IG Report: Malfeasance, Lies, Threats and Denials

By Renée Parsons | OffGuardian | December 28, 2019

It is no surprise that when the Inspector General’s Report was released in early December, the corporate media, which itself has been knee-deep and complicit in spreading the false Russiagate narrative, chose to focus on one narrow conclusion: that, given DOJ’s ‘lax guidelines,’ the IG found no bias related to opening the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Ergo, once the Media labels the IG Report, all dutiful subscribers and readers fall in line with its dictates, nodding in concurrence, as those who refuse to do their own homework get on board and accept the hogwash they are being fed. Once the Media hypes the repetitive drone that there was ‘no bias,’ the phrase becomes embedded into the collective unconscious and the disinformation becomes gospel.

The question has yet to be asked what role the FISA Court played in its own debasement by blindly accepting the majority of surveillance requests and by lax procedures that allow its own credibility to be violated.

What remains uncertain is exactly how Crossfire Hurricane was born.  While it is known that the Clinton campaign (via the DNC) hired GP Fusion (which hired DOJ deputy AG Bruce Ohr’s wife) to dig dirt on a Republican candidate for President and we know that former MI6 asset Christopher Steele became involved with creating a salacious Dossier – but the specific links tying those diverse parts to the FBI remains enigmatic.

An almost immediate response to the ‘no bias’ allegation came from AG William Barr stating that…

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.”

… with Special Investigator US Attorney John Durham adding that he:

advised the IG that he did not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

Both responses were highly unusual and may be interpreted as affirmation of a deeper level of complicity than the IG discovered although his investigation was limited to DOJ employees and to the FISA Court process.

It was not until IG Horowitz’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the true scathing impact of the full Report was understood; thus revealing the true depth of the FBI’s embedded systemic problems.

Horowitz told the Senate panel:

We found and are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate handpicked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an on-going Presidential campaign and even though those involved with the investigations knew that their actions would likely be subjected to close scrutiny. The circumstances reflect the failure not just by those who prepared the applications but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed”

In dialogue with Sen. Crapo about FBI misconduct as ‘mind-numbing’, Horowitz responded “there is such a range of conduct here that is inexplicable and the answers we got were not satisfactory that we’re left trying to understand how could all these errors occur over a nine month period or so…”

In other words, the FBI, with a tainted history of deeply embedded corruption, has been out of control for decades with an aggressive pursuit of political opponents, corruption of its Forensic Lab and a COINTEL program against American citizens.

It is ironic that some of the FBI’s Congressional supporters are now recipients of that corruption.

In response to Barr’s statement regarding the IG Report, former Attorney General Erik Holder who once referred to himself as “still Obama’s wing man so i’m there with my boy,” wrote a divisive op ed for the Washington Post provocatively entitled “Eric Holder: William Barr is Unfit to be Attorney General.

In a classic example of covering one’s butt, it can be assumed that Holder is still protecting Obama’s wing as he took cheap shots at Barr for a “series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate” making him ‘unfit to lead the Justice Department.

Suffering a partisan anxiety attack, Holder has clearly been directed to slander a successor who exhibits more candor and principle than he himself demonstrated as AG.

Given the IG report’s otherwise thorough analysis, the Hope and Change crowd may be feeling the heat that those morning tete a tete intel briefings in the Oval Office may have included updates on Crossfire Hurricane.

Holder’s condescension, as if he had special privilege to pontificate on “career public servants,” falls flat with his thinly veiled threat to Durham:

I was troubled by his unusual statement disputing the inspector general’s findings. Good reputations are hard-won in the legal profession, but they are fragile; anyone in Durham’s shoes would do well to remember that, in dealing with this administration, many reputations have been irrevocably lost.”

With focus now on whether Durham will succumb to Holder’s warning may instead boomerang, inspiring Durham to dig deeper than he had previously planned.

The IG Report cited former FBI Director Jim Comey for “clearly and dramatically” departing from department norms in the investigation of HRC’s email server and that he made a “serious error of judgment” in sending a letter to Congress announcing the re-opening of the Clinton probe. Comey was fired from the FBI for ‘insubordinate’ acts and ‘dangerous’ behavior in deceiving the FISA Court.

When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper,

“When you read what the report said, do you think this is a vindication

Comey responded:

It is. The FBI has had to wait two years while the President and his supporters lied about the institution, finally the truth gets told.”

Apparently Comey had not read the Report in its entirety, not listened to Horowitz’s testimony to the Senate or he continues to live under a rock.

In a recent interview with NBC News Pete Williams, Barr explained that

“One of the problems in the IG investigation is that Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance and therefore could not be questioned (by the IG) on classified matters.…so someone like Durham can compel testimony.”

In other words, Comey is shrewd enough to know how to deliberately avoid pertinent questions from Horowitz without implicating himself but the day will come when Durham has the legal authority to demand Comey’s full participation.

In a Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace, Comey refused to accept and was significantly at odds with many of the IG most significant findings including denial of any personal role in Crossfire. “I didn’t know, As Director I am not kept informed on the details of an investigation. 

I didn’t know the particulars with an agency of 38,000 people ‘seven layers below.” Wallace repeatedly pushed back with Comey remaining smooth as silk, carefully coached, as he slipped around every iota that he had any responsibility for the investigation of a President and its constitutional screw ups.

When asked if he would resign if all these misdeeds were revealed under his watch, Comey replied “No, I don’t think so. There are other mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure.”

Pray, we await those revelations.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and President of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31.

 

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Because You’d Be in Jail!’ The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment?

By Robert Bridge | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 28, 2019

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, ‘abuse of power’ and ‘obstruction of congress’ –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade: abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a ‘get out of jail free’ card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

“Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet,” wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico. Yet impeachment, he noted, is “already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”

The timing of Samuelsohn’s article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that “the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed,” as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of “deliberate decision-making,” according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling (footnote 69).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA’s Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers’s actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI’s non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger’s removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – “caused consternation at senior levels of the administration.”

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over ‘Russian collusion.’ Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump’s incoming national security adviser and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was portrayed as some kind of cloak and dagger scene borrowed from a  John le Carré thriller.

Brennan questioning the motives behind high-level meetings between the Trump team and some Russians is strange given that the lame duck Obama administration was in the process of redialing US-Russia relations back to the Cold War days, all based on the debunked claim that Moscow handed Trump the White House on a silver platter.

In late December 2016, after Trump had already won the election, Obama slapped Russia with punitive sanctions, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two Russian facilities. Since part of Trump’s campaign platform was to mend relations with Moscow, would it not seem logical that the incoming administration would be in damage-control, doing whatever necessary to prevent relations between the world’s premier nuclear powers from degrading even more?

So if it wasn’t ‘Russian collusion’ that motivated the Democrats into action, what was it?

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

Here we must pause and remind ourselves about the unenviable situation regarding Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, who was being grilled daily over her use of a private computer to communicate sensitive documents via email. In all likelihood, the incident would have dropped from the radar had it not been for the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US compound.

In the course of a House Select Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel, Clinton handed over some 30,000 emails, while reportedly deleting 32,000 deemed to be of a “personal nature”. Those emails remain unaccounted for to this day.

By March 2015, even the traditionally tepid media was baring its baby fangs, relentlessly pursuing Clinton over the email question. Since Clinton never made a secret of her presidential ambitions, even political allies were piling on. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said it’s time for Clinton “to step up” and explain herself, adding that “silence is going to hurt her.”

On July 24, 2015, The New York Times published a front-page story with the headline “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton’s Use of Email.” Later, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post candidly summed up Clinton’s rapidly deteriorating status with elections fast approaching: “Democrats still show no sign they are willing to abandon Clinton. Instead, they seem to be heading into the 2016 election with a deeply flawed candidate schlepping around plenty of baggage — the details of which are not yet known.”

Moving into 2016, things began to look increasingly complicated for the Democratic front-runner. On March 16, 2016, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547-page treasure trove spans the dates from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.

In May, about one month after Clinton had officially announced her candidacy for the US presidency, the State Department’s inspector general released an 83-page report that was highly critical of Clinton’s email practices, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server.

“At a minimum,” the report determined, “Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

The following month brought more bad news for Clinton and her presidential hopes after it was reported that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a 30-minute tête-à-tête with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, whose department was leading the Clinton investigations, on the tarmac at Phoenix International Airport. Lynch said Clinton decided to pay her an impromptu visit where the two discussed “his grandchildren and his travels and things like that.” Republicans, however, certainly weren’t buying the story as the encounter came as the FBI was preparing to file its recommendation to the Justice Department.

The summer of 2016, however, was just heating up.

Hack versus Leak?

On the early morning of July 10, Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was gunned down on the street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC. Rich’s murder, said to be the result of a botched robbery, bucked the homicide trend in the area for that particular period; murders rates for the first six months of 2016 were down about 50 percent from the same period in the previous year.

In any case, the story gets much stranger. Just five days earlier, on July 5th, the computers at the DNC were compromised, purportedly by an online persona with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” at the behest of Russian intelligence. This is where the story of “Russian hacking” first gained popularity. Not everyone, however, was buying the explanation.

In July 2017, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent a memo to President Trump that challenged a January intelligence assessment that expressed “high confidence” that the Russians had organized an “influence campaign” to harm Hillary Clinton’s “electability,” as if she wasn’t capable of that without Kremlin support.

“Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer,” the memo states (The memo’s conclusions were based on analyses of metadata provided by the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who took credit for the alleged hack). “Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.”

In other words, according to VIPS, the compromise of the DNC computers was the result of an internal leak, not an external hack.

At this point, however, it needs mentioned that the VIPS memo has sparked dissenting views among its members. Several analysts within the group have spoken out against its findings, and that internal debate can be read here. Thus, it would seem there is no ‘smoking gun,’ as of yet, to prove that the DNC was not hacked by an external entity. At the same time, the murder of Seth Rich continues to remain an unsolved “botched robbery,” according to investigators. Meanwhile, the one person who may hold the key to the mystery, Julian Assange, is said to be withering away Belmarsh Prison, a high-security London jail, where he is awaiting a February court hearing that will decide whether he will be extradited to the United States where he faces 18 charges.

Here is a question to ponder: If you were Julian Assange, and you knew you were going to be extradited to the United States, who would you rather be the sitting president in charge of your fate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Think twice before answering.

“Because you’d be in jail”

On October 9, 2016, in the second televised presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump accused his Democratic opponent of deleting 33,000 emails, while adding that he would get a “special prosecutor and we’re going to look into it…” To this, Clinton said “it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” to which Trump deadpanned, without missing a beat, “because you’d be in jail.”

Now if that remark didn’t get the attention of high-ranking Democratic officials, perhaps Trump’s comments at a Virginia rally days later, when he promised to “drain the swamp,” made folks sit up and take notice.

At this point the leaks, hacks and everything in between were already coming fast and furious. On October 7, John Podesta, Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, had his personal Gmail account hacked, thereby releasing a torrent of inside secrets, including how Donna Brazile, then a CNN commentator, had fed Clinton debate questions. But of course the crimes did not matter to the mendacious media, only the identity of the alleged messenger, which of course was ‘Russia.’

By now, the only thing more incredible than the dirt being produced on Clinton was the fact that she was still in the presidential race, and even slated to win by a wide margin. But perhaps her biggest setback came when authorities, investigating Anthony Weiner’s abused laptop into illicit text messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl, stumbled upon thousands of email messages from Hillary Clinton.

Now Comey had to backpedal on his conclusion in July that although Clinton was “extremely careless” in her use of her electronic devices, no criminal charges would be forthcoming. He announced an 11th hour investigation, just days before the election. Although Clinton was also cleared in this case, observers never forgave Comey for his actions, arguing they cost Clinton the White House.

Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years.

In early December, Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, released the 400-page IG report that revealed a long list of omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the FBI’s applications for FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page. Although the report was damning, both Barr and Durham noted it did not go far enough because Horowitz did not have the access that Durham has to intelligence agency sources, as well as overseas contacts that Barr provided to him.

With the AG report due for release in early spring, needless to say some Democrats are very nervous as to its finding. So nervous, in fact, that they might just be willing to go to the extreme of removing a sitting president to avoid its conclusions.

Whatever the verdict, 2020 promises to be one very interesting year.

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment