Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Texas Democratic State House Candidate Uses Picture of William Shatner in Campaign Flyer; Shatner Not Pleased

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Brandy K. Chambers, a Democratic candidate for Texas House District 112, currently held by Republican incumbent Angie Chen Button, used a picture of her with William Shatner taken at a convention in a campaign flyer.

Shatner was not pleased.

Did Chambers then apologize and promise to take it down? After all, that would be the logical, simple, respectful thing to do.

Of course she didn’t.

All other things being equal, it’s best not to use celebrity pictures in campaign literature unless they’ve, you know, actually endorsed you

Why You Can’t Have A Debate on Gun Rights With Liberals

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Anytime there’s a shooting incident in the U.S., liberals reenact their sacred knee-jerk kabuki theater:

  • “We must now have national conversation on guns! And by conversation, I mean you gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand shut up while we tell you how evil you are!”
  • “My righteous anger trumps your constitutional rights!”
  • “The way to prevent the criminal and insane from shooting people is to completely disarm the sane and law-abiding!”
  • “This easily debunked statistic from Handgun Control Inc./Brady Campaign/Mayors Against Illegal Guns/Mom’s Demand/Everytown proves I’m right!”
  • “The NRA has blood on its hands!” (Yet, somehow, Fast and Furious never left blood on the Obama Administration’s hands. Curious.)
  • “Ban all guns!” One week later: “No one is trying to take your guns!”
  • Etc.

    There can be no honest debate about gun control because the left’s real goal (expressed every time a shooting happens) is complete civilian disarmament.

    Now some tweets:

    And those liberal who boldly declare “If complete civilian disarmament were passed, you gun owners would have to give up or the cops/troops would kill you!”, I suggest you read this.

    LinkSwarm for February 16, 2018

    Friday, February 16th, 2018

    This has probably been my busiest February on record. Enjoy a complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, try the waitress and tip the veal:

  • “It’s doubtful you can find a more succinct example of TDS than a seemingly inebriated Democrat Senator asking the aggregate intelligence apparatus, during a public session of congress, to give specific details of U.S. covert intelligence efforts to thwart Russian, Chinese and North Korean cyber-warfare.” Democratic Senator Jack Reed continues to long, proud tradition of questionable Rhode Island political figures…
  • In January, the first month under the Trump tax cuts, the federal government pulls in record tax revenues and runs a surplus. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “The Genius Of Trump’s Food Stamp Proposal: You’re Not Supposed To Like Being On Welfare.”
  • Michael Leeden thinks the Islamic Republic of Iran is doomed. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Reminder: Everytown’s “school shooting statistics” are pure fabrication.
  • Democrats Fleeing Blue States, Infecting Red States With Failed Liberal Disease.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Not only are a new German frigate’s computer systems FUBARed, but the ship can’t even float right.
  • Wired writer doesn’t understand the difference between “Islamist” and “Muslim.”
  • “In Wake Of Corruption Trials, Maryland Ponders Disbanding Baltimore Police Department.”
  • For Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, illegal aliens are more important than bullet-proof vests for officers.
  • Asian student at Harvard discovers that identity politics is a dead end.
  • Stop Trying To Shove Women Into STEM.” “There’s this big push to get girls into STEM — while there’s no commensurate push to get women into oil rig work, no complaints that there aren’t enough women hanging off the back of garbage trucks.” Also:

    We’ve recently found that countries renowned for gender equality show some of the largest sex differences in interest in and pursuit of STEM degrees, which is not only inconsistent with an oppression narrative, it is positive evidence against it. Consider that Finland excels in gender equality, its adolescent girls outperform boys in science, and it ranks near the top in European educational performance. With these high levels of educational performance and overall gender equality, Finland is poised to close the sex differences gap in STEM. Yet, Finland has one of the world’s largest sex differences in college degrees in STEM fields. Norway and Sweden, also leading in gender equality rankings, are not far behind. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as this general pattern of increasing sex differences with national increases in gender equality is found throughout the world.

  • Moron thinks poor people are too stupid to cook food.
  • Do you need carbs for Thyroid health? Science says no.
  • Cool. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Texas Democratic state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ campaign is more than $700,000 in debt due to legal fees from the (now dropped) felony charges against her. And she’s running for reelection.
  • Bill Crider, RIP.
  • Setting ablaze a giant matchsphere.
  • Every book I bought in the last half of last year.
  • The Meaning of Patty Hearst

    Thursday, February 15th, 2018

    It’s one of those “too much to write about and not enough time to do it” weeks. So instead of a scanty Clinton Corruption update, here instead is an interesting piece on the meaning of Patty Hearst. It covers a lot of the social context for those those who were not around (or too young at the time) to appreciate.

    The thing you have to understand about Patty Hearst, the reason that her fantastically sui generis story resonated so deeply within so many millions of ordinary American households, is that back then a lot of girls like her were disappearing. They were not California publishing heiresses, certainly; nor was the agency of their disappearance abduction at gunpoint. But disappear they did. One moment their lives could be summed up in a series of photographs not so different from the ones flashed on the nightly news over and over again: Patty in a first-communion dress at age 8; smiling with her gaggle of glossy-haired sisters as a young adolescent; sitting quietly—dreamily, inwardly—on the floor beside her mother’s chair as a teenager, staring off into the mists of girl land. And the next moment—gone.

    One day my older sister—the smart and dutiful one, the daughter everyone had placed their bets on—was helping my mother pin McCall’s patterns to paisley linen, and the next she had crammed a sleeping bag and a passport into a rucksack and made her way to San Francisco International Airport with just enough money for a Eurail Pass, and although she did come back from Europe, she never really came back home. One of my friends had a glamorous older sister who fed the seals at Fairyland—she was long-legged and pretty, and she’d stand in her red miniskirt on a platform, tossing the fish—but then something happened; she went to live down in the flats, and her mother didn’t want to see her anymore. There were boyfriends who brazenly took girls out of their houses without chatting up the fathers; there were blue jeans (it is hard to convey the chagrin that middle-class mothers once felt at seeing their daughters in the loathed and stigmatized garment of their own Depression-era childhoods, instead of skirts and ironed dresses and lightweight cardigans). And most of all, underneath it all, there was the line connecting the dots of the Eurail Passes and the screaming matches and even the blue jeans: sex.

    Also this:

    “The SLA was probably the first band of revolutionaries to marry a commitment to radical feminism with the use of systematic rape as a means of recruitment.”

    Few people today realize just how violent American leftwing radicals like the SLA and the Weathermen were in the late 60s and early 70s…

    (Headline fixed)

    DNC: “Broke, Stupid and Racist is No Way To Go Through Life, Son”

    Monday, February 12th, 2018

    Judging from all the fanatical Trump-hatred on the left, you’d think the Democratic National Committee would be swimming in donations.

    You’d be wrong:

    The Democratic National Committee had a rough 2017, plagued by leadership troubles, internal squabbling, and unflattering reports. To top it off, the party ended the year “dead broke,” says The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.

    The Democratic Party is carrying more than $6 million in debt, according to year-end filings — and has just $6.5 million in the bank. Do the math, and the party is working with just over $400,000 overall. Meanwhile, the Republicans are swimming in pools of money. The Republican National Committee had raised $132 million by the end of 2017 — about twice as much as the DNC — and entered 2018 with almost $40 million to spare, with not a penny of debt.

    DNC Chair Tom Perez can make all the noises about “off-year” money all he wants, but the party’s screw-job of favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders seems to be keeping money away. Well, that and the fact that he ruthlessly purged Sanders supporters from the DNC, leaving it staffed pretty much entirely with Clinton supporters.

    So too have the Democrats let Social justice Warriors have full run of the party, letting victimhood identity politics dominate discourse. Take, for example, this Linda Sarsour rant denouncing America as racist, fascist, etc., while DNC deputy chair Keith Ellison sits and applauds.

    The iverwhelming majority of average Americans aren’t racists, so having Democratic activists accuse them of racism, while practicing it themselves, is not exactly a recipe for electoral success.

    Democrats Have Scam PACs Too

    Sunday, February 11th, 2018

    You may remember my exposes of Dan Backer’s wide array of scam PACs, where money is raised under false pretenses, the vast majority of which disappears into the pockets of Mr. Backer and his associates.

    It may warm the cockles of your heart to learn that liberals have scam PACs, too:

    Cash for Coalition Against Trump Going Into Consultants’ Pockets Instead

    As Trump ran for president, the group raised money promising to stop him—while dedicating more than 90 percent of its expenditures to paying its own members.

    Omar Siddiqui couldn’t make it to an August fundraiser in Beverly Hills for the Democratic Coalition Against Trump. But he ponied up the $2,000 ticket price after the group’s senior adviser, Scott Dworkin, sent him a personal invitation.

    Months later, Siddiqui, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), was surprised to discover his money—or three of every four dollars of it—had gone to the coffers of consultants and lawyers the group leaned on to fight a libel suit, rather than pushing back against the president.

    Snip.

    The Democratic Coalition, one of the many new progressive-minded organizations to bloom in the age of anti-Trump fervor, brought in nearly half a million dollars last year. Its donors include Siddiqui, a pair of Hollywood television producers, a former Real Housewife of Miami, and a member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors. The vast majority of its funds, however, have come from people whose names don’t make it into Federal Election Commission disclosures: the small, “unitemized” donors who give $200 or less.

    It’s what the group has done with its money—not how much it has brought in—that has raised eyebrows among other operatives.

    The Democratic Coalition paid more than half of the money it raised last year to its employees or their consulting firms, according to Federal Election Commission records. Dworkin’s Bulldog Finance Group was the chief beneficiary, drawing more than $130,000 from The Democratic Coalition.

    The breakdown in 2016, when the Democratic Coalition declared its goal was “making sure that Donald Trump never became President,” was even starker. That year, Dworkin and other staff members received more than 90 percent of all of the Democratic Coalition’s expenditures, either personally or through a consulting company, according to FEC records.

    Mr. Dworkin appears to be treating the “resistance” the same way Backer treated the Tea Party…

    Formerly Bankrupt Stockton Lays Plans For Next Bankruptcy

    Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

    If you just emerged from bankruptcy, part of your plan to stay solvent probably doesn’t include “handing out free money,” but that’s precisely what the city of Stockton, California is going to try.

    Michael Tubbs, the 26-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, thinks handing out $6,000 a year to low-income residents (with no strings attached) is the way to lift people out of poverty.

    “Stockton is absolutely Ground Zero for a lot of the issues we’re facing as a nation,” Tubbs told CBS San Francisco (video below). “Ideally, I would like to serve 100 families for 18 months at $500 a month.”

    Stockton is experimenting with a welfare program called “universal basic income,” which gives low-income residents $500 a month, no questions asked. The money is coming from a private grant.

    The California city, which went bankrupt in 2012, has recently made strides to become more economically viable, but is still struggling.

    Mayor Tubbs, who was endorsed by Barack Obama, took office in January 2017. He is Stockton’s first black mayor, and its youngest-ever at age 26.

    You may remember Stockton from such hits as “Hey, let’s give lots of money to a downtown developer for 14 units of affordable housing,” “Even though we went through bankruptcy, we didn’t address our huge underfunded pension liabilities,” and “our mayor was arrested for embezzling from a kids club.” Mayor Tubbs owes his office to the last scandal involving previous mayor Anthony Silva.

    “Universal basic income” is the latest repackaged welfare state socialism, and its been tried before in the SIME/DIME “negative income tax” experiments. The results, as anyone not on the left could have predicted, were disasterous: people worked less and families broke up more often.

    Those who can’t learn from the mistakes of others are doomed to repeat them. We have plenty of evidence that guaranteed income rewards idleness and discourages work. Combine that with California’s legal cannabis, and you have the Full Subsidy for Potheads to Play Video Games All Day Act. The only question is whether its a sincere (doomed) attempt at implementing a socialist fantasy, or a cynical ploy to payoff off supporters under the guise of “guaranteed income.” Either way, it’s destined for failure, and will help lay the groundwork for Stockton’s next bankruptcy.

    Blogroll Addition: Conservative Treehouse/The Last Refuge

    Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

    On a comment on yesterday’s post, someone suggested I follow Conservative Treehouse/The Last Refuge. Actually, I have been following them, as indicated here. But they’re right in that it’s high time to add them to the blogroll, which I’ve done.

    I don’t buy 100% of their deductions of the shape of various events, but their hit rate is high enough to merit inclusion here for the Clinton/Obama/FBI/DOJ/FISA/Unmasking scandularity (as Stephen Green calls it).

    After The Memo: What Next?

    Monday, February 5th, 2018

    Now that the memo has dropped, what’s next for the investigation of the Clinton/Obama/FBI/Fusion GPS conspiracy to subvert the rule of law for political ends?

    For one thing, Rep. Devin Nunes is now looking at the Obama State Department:

    Devin Nunes (R-CA) said that the investigation leading up to the four-page FISA memo released on Friday was only “phase one,” and that the House Intelligence Committee is currently in the middle of investigating the State Department over their involvement in surveillance abuses.

    “We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” said Nunes.

    “That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”

    Snip.

    Aside from the infamous 35-page “Trump-Russia” dossier Steele assembled for opposition research firm Fusion GPS (a report which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC), Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Steele compiled other reports about Trump – and in particular, whether those other reports made their way to the State Department, according to The Examiner.

    …they are looking into whether those reports made their way to the State Department. They’re also seeking to learn what individual State Department officials did in relation to Steele, and whether there were any contacts between the State Department and the FBI or Justice Department concerning the anti-Trump material.

    It will be interesting to see how the State Department – and in particular Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – responds to “phase two.”

    Another thread is how a Michael Isikoff Yahoo story was used by the FBI/DOJ as independent corroboration of the Steele dossier, even though it was based entirely on the Steele dossier. Says who? Says Michael Isikoff:

    It’s not every day that investigative journalists discover their work was cited in a controversial warrant application that has become a flashpoint of partisan conflict in the US. So, it’s telling that, rather than being honored to see his work having such a profound impact, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff said he was “stunned” to see a story he published more than a year ago cited in the “FISA memo” as one of the justifications in a FISA warrant application for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    As Isikoff explains, his story was almost entirely based on information from the Steele dossier, which was passed to him by an intermediary. Therefore, citing it would be redundant. The revelation, which was made in a memo released by the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, “stuns me,” Isikoff said in an episode of his podcast, “Skullduggery.”

    That’s a problem:

    Then there’s the Ohrs angle: Fusion GPS Could Have Been Trying To Buy Access To DOJ With Payments To Official’s Wife:

    Under a contract from the Clinton campaign, the Fusion GPS research firm was paying the wife of a senior Department of Justice official as part of its efforts to gather opposition research on Trump, and the same official then brought that research to the FBI.

    Knowledge of the relationship has raised questions about the extent to which the firm may have paid for heightened access to the criminal justice system, and whether they would have hired Nellie Ohr absent her spousal connection to the DoJ.

    A declassified memo said Bruce “Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the” court when it was used to obtain a surveillance warrant.

    Bruce Ohr was deputy associate attorney general until December. House investigators determined that he met personally with Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS’ founder.

    The FBI has limited resources to deal with a firehose of information, so people seeking the FBI’s attention could potentially benefit from greasing the wheels in order to get info to the front of the queue and to a high level.

    “The money sweetened the pot for the Ohrs, and it certainly made it easier for Fusion to get the dossier to be used before the court if they made that payment to Bruce Ohr’s wife,” former judge and Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert told The Daily Caller News Foundation,

    “Fusion had to have known that because of the relationship between Bruce Ohr and his wife, they were bringing Fusion, the DOJ and the DNC together under one roof to work for the same goal, which was to stop Donald Trump from becoming president,” he said.

    Ohr’s wife, Nellie, is a Russia expert, but it is not known what her specific contribution to the dossier was.

    “The financial arrangement between Mrs. Ohr and Fusion GPS gives the appearance of government-for-hire,” said Tom Anderson, an ethics expert at the conservative-leaning watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center. It “appears to be a sophisticated scheme to get access to the highest levels of our government … ensuring the use of government resources in an attempt to influence an election.”

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Democrats meanwhile, are still in full-bore freakout mode:

    The Democrats and the federal agency implicated in the memo predicted tragic consequences if the memo was released. We were told the release of the memo would spark a constitutional crisis. I agree: it is evident the Democrats and the administrative state are not interested in participating in the American checks and balances system. The Democrats and their surrogate media claim the committees are partisan. Congress has oversight of the Department of Justice and yet the department has resisted cooperation with the congressional investigators tasked with this oversight. I have to ask: is congressional oversight necessarily partisan when the GOP is in the majority but not when the Democrats are? If so, what kind of oversight do we have for these agencies? Does the DOJ prefer not to have any oversight at all? That’s what it sounds like according to the snowflake who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times explaining why he quit the FBI. “To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves,” former FBI employee and James Comey’s assistant Josh Campbell writes. Well, how about you earn that support and not abuse the public trust by using the power of the government to punish those you decide are your political adversaries?

    We were also told that the release of the memo would gravely endanger national security but that turned out to be laughable after the memo was released and we all read it. No one will ever call out the Democrats who made these claims about their ridiculous exaggerations. It certainly reinforces the suspicion that something improper was going on at the DOJ since the Democrats and Democrat media surrogates were willing to say anything to keep this memo secret.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

    I have a distinct sense that the worst of this abuse of power scandal hasn’t been uncovered yet. The House Intelligence Committee and Judicial Watch continue to uncover additional documents, and I suspect there are many revelations ahead…

    The Memo and the Damage Done

    Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

    The Memo we’ve all been waiting for has been released. For those who have been following the scandal here, the only big surprise is that the FBI knew the Steele dossier was unreliable, used it as the basis of a FISA warrant anyway, and then lied about it to the courts.

    Here’s the text of the memo from The Atlantic, which I’m using just to avoid a half hour of stripping line returns and typos out of the ScribeD text file a lot of outlets posted:

    January 18, 2018

    To: HPSCI Majority Members

    From: HPSCI Majority Staff

    Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Purpose

    This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

    Investigation Update

    On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

    The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

    Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard—particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

    1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

    a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

    b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

    2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

    a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

    b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

    3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

    a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

    4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

    5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.

    Again, if you’ve been following this blog regularly, almost none of that was in dispute and very little of it should be new. But the FBI/DOJ misrepresenting the source of the dossier as reliable information, and hiding that it was partisan hackery, is new.

    Here’s Ace of Spades HQ on the issue:

    Bear in mind, when the FBI and DOJ presented the Steele Dossier to the court as their pretext to open surveillance, they would have almost certainly identified him as a “source” who has “previously proven reliable” (the quotes are just-for-example verbiage, not actual quotes) and cited, for example, his work in the FIFA investigation as well as his service in MI6.

    In short, they would have presented his inherent reliability as a reason to believe the otherwise completely unsubstantiated claims his “dossier” offered. His dossier offered no proof — the only “proof” of the dossier’s claims would Steele’s reliability, honesty, and lack of bias or material interest in this case.

    But, according to The Memo, the FBI and DOJ had reason to know that Steele wasn’t all that reliable — and they concealed each of these points from the court:

    1. They withheld from the court that Steele was working for Trump’s rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, and the DNC, which Hillary Clinton had contractually taken over by this point. They only said in their application that Steele was working for a “U.S. person.”

    The fact that Steele had been commissioned by Trump’s political opponent would have greatly diminished his perceived reliability — he had a material interest in this dossier “succeeding.” He had been paid $160,000 to produce it. (And note, Glenn Simpson refused to say if he was ever paid to get an investigation started.)

    As this information would have reduced Steele’s reliability in the court’s eyes, the FBI/DOJ concealed that from the court. They lied. They represented Steele as reliable, but then hid competing evidence of his unreliability.

    This sort of hearing is ex parte. Only one side gets to present evidence to a judge. No representative of Trump or Carter Page was in the room. It seems to me that the government, when seeking a warrant in an ex parte hearing, should present contrary evidence so that the judge can make an informed decision. There’s no opposing party in the room to offer that contrary evidence, and no one except the government itself to look out for the civil rights of the people it’s seeking surveillance orders on.

    The government does not seem to have offered the court such information, and seems to have concealed information they knew would be relevant to the judge’s understanding of the situation and his decision on granting the warrant.

    To the detriment of a citizen’s civil rights, note.

    2. No less an authority than Bruce Ohr communicated to his superiors that Steele was personally extremely biased in this matter. Not just paid to be biased; but personally, emotionally biased himself.

    Ohr reported that Steel personally “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

    Steele’s reliability depends largely on his judgment, his dispassion. Steele didn’t have any information of his own — he got his information long-distance from Russian operatives and government officials whom he might have paid. Steele has always been touted as an “MI6 agent” to prove that he is expert in separating bullshit from real intelligence — and yet, he put transparent nonsense like the Pee-Pee Party bullshit into his dossier.

    Given that he was “desperate” and “passionate” to keep Trump out of the White House, one begins to understand his failure to discriminate between plausible claims and implausible ones.

    This information would have helped the court determine if it agreed with the FBI and DOJ that Steele was reliable and a good judge of unverified gossip and rumor — so the FBI and DOJ again concealed this highly-pertinent information from the court.

    3. The FBI and DOJ had, of course, a huge reason to suspect Steele wasn’t as reliable as they were representing to the court– namely, that they stopped working with him for violating their ethical rules of confidentiality in peddling these claims to media organizations. I would say that Steele betrayed himself here, proving that he was still working for FusionGPS as a political operative trying to plant dirt against a target he was paid to undermine, and not an informant or researcher working for the FBI.

    The FBI and DOJ concealed the fact that they had terminated their relationship with Steele from the court.

    4. On that, the initial FISA application claimed that Steele’s claims were corroborated by independent reporting by Michael Isikoff — the idea being, this isn’t just Steele who’s reporting this, it’s also the completely independent reporter Michael Isikoff.

    But Michael Isikoff wasn’t an independent source at all — he was fed these claims by Steele himself.

    So there was no second source for Steele’s claims — you had Steele making these claims, and then Steele’s stenographer repeating Steele’s claims under a byline of “Totally Not Christopher Steele.”

    However, the FBI/DOJ “assessed” that Isikoff’s reporting was independent and represented it that way to the court.

    Now, it we can’t say they lied on that point — they might just have been wrong. Incompetent, as usual. Steele lied to them about, or at least concealed, his blabbing to reporters.

    Or so we’re told, anyway.

    However, after the DOJ/FBI ended its association with Steele for spreading his claims to various media organizations, in violation of FBI/DOJ confidentiality agreements, it surely must have at least occurred to them that perhaps Steele had also previously spread his tales of Urinary Olympics to Michael Isikoff.

    However, if such thoughts occurred to them, they quickly put them out of mind. Despite now having reason to suspect that they had, whether wittingly or unwittingly, misrepresented to the court that Isikoff’s article constituted independent corroboration, they seem to have taken no efforts to repair that misrepresentation and inform the court that their initial representation may have been completely false.

    The FBI knew the partisan origins of the Steele Dossier, knew that it was funded by the Clinton campaign, then omitted that very material information from the FISA warrant requests. That’s the documented and unambigious use of national security surveillance powers to spy on American citizens to further the partisan political objectives of the party controlling the Executive branch.

    That’s the abuse.

    That’s why this is bigger than Watergate.