Posts Tagged ‘Sally Yates’

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.

Clinton Corruption Update: It’s All One Scandal

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Got slammed by the holidays, so this Clinton Corruption update is both extra late and extra huge. Unless I just start throwing stuff down wherever it even remotely fits, I’ll never finish this update. So let’s jump in!

(But first, take a look at Was Fusion GPS Allowed to Run Unsupervised FISA-702 Queries? if you haven’t already.)

Several Clinton scandals, and revelations from the ill-conceived Russia investigation, have been converging into a single scandal for months. With the Peter Strzok/Fusion GPS revelations, there’s no longer any gap between the various Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration unmasking scandals: it’s all one, big swampy scandal, with some of the same players showing up again and again, and Hillary Clinton is involved up to her chin.

Strzok, in case you hadn’t heard, is the FBI agent dismissed from Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. His text messages reveal that he’s a dedicated Trump hater:

Text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in 2016 that were obtained by Fox News on Tuesday refer to then-candidate Donald Trump as a “loathsome human” and “an idiot.”

More than 10,000 texts between Strzok and Page were being reviewed by the Justice Department after Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after it was revealed that some of them contained anti-Trump content.

The messages were sent during the 2016 campaign and contain discussions about various candidates. On March 2, Strzok texted Page that someone “asked me who I’d vote for, guessed [Ohio Gov. John] Kasich.”

Fine and dandy, but what does this have to do with Hillary Clinton?

Strzok, who was an FBI counterintelligence agent, was reassigned to the FBI’s human resources division after the discovery of the exchanges with Page, with whom he was having an affair. Page was briefly on Mueller’s team, but has since returned to the FBI.

House Intelligence Committee investigators have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events that began when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

Strzok briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, sources said. But within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

Strzok also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators in the Russia probe.

He also was present during the FBI’s July 2016 interview with Hillary Clinton at the close of the email investigation, shortly before then-FBI director James Comey called her actions “extremely careless” without recommending criminal charges.

More than that, Strzok is the one who changed language in Comey’s draft report on Emailgate from “Grossly Negligent” to “Extremely Careless,” essentially letting her off the hook.

He was also the one who sent a text to Lisa Page, the FBI lawyer he was having an affair with, stating how he was working on an “insurance policy” in case Trump became President.

More on Peter Strzok:

A supervisory special agent who is now under scrutiny after being removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office for alleged bias against President Trump also oversaw the bureau’s interviews of embattled former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, this reporter has learned. Flynn recently pled guilty to one-count of lying to the FBI last week.

FBI agent was one of two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn, which took place on Jan. 24, at the White House, said several sources. The other FBI special agent, who interviewed Flynn, is described by sources as a field supervisor in the “Russian Squad, at the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” according to a former intelligence official, with knowledge of the interview.

Strzok was removed from his role in the Special Counsel’s Office after it was discovered he had made disparaging comments about President Trump in text messages between him and his alleged lover FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to the New York Times and Washington Post, which first reported the stories. Strzok is also under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his role in Hillary Clinton’s email server and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling. On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Devin Nunes chided the Justice Department and the FBI for not disclosing why Strzok had been removed from the Special Counsel three months ago, according to a statement given by the Chairman.

The former U.S. intelligence official told this reporter, “with the recent revelation that Strzok was removed from the Special Counsel investigation for making anti-Trump text messages it seems likely that the accuracy and veracity of the 302 of Flynn’s interview as a whole should be reviewed and called into question.”

“The most logical thing to happen would be to call the other FBI Special Agent present during Flynn’s interview before the Grand Jury to recount his version,” the former intelligence official added.

The former official also said that “Strzok’s allegiance to (Deputy Director Andrew) McCabe was unwavering and very well known.”

(Hat tip: Aceof Spades HQ.)

Now on to other Clinton Corruption news:

  • Need more information? This timeline of FBI/Clinton malfeasance may help.
  • Here’s a “state of play” piece Conservative Treehouse put up before their Fusion GPS/FISA-702 bombshell:

    As the Inspector General investigation continues:

    • FBI Agent Peter Strzok has been reassigned to the HR department.
    • FBI Lawyer Lisa Page, personal legal aide to FBI Asst. Director, Andrew “Andy” McCabe, has been returned to the DOJ side.
    • FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker has been relieved of his duties by FBI Director Christopher Wray.
    • FBI Asst Director Andrew McCabe has announced his intent to retire in March.

    All of these FBI personnel moves are a preliminary outcomes of the still ongoing Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation. All of this has been reported. None of these moves are speculative. All of these geese are cooked. However, this is just one side of the 2016 political “Trump operation”, the FBI investigative Counterintelligence Division side.

    The other side, the legal side of the Trump operation, stems from the National Security Division of the DOJ. A FISA application is submitted from the DOJ-NSD for use by the FBI Counterintelligence team. Sunlight upon this side of the collaboration is the reason for all of the current distraction narratives.

    While both sides of the corrupt political apparatus participated in the illegal unmasking and leaking, the documentation and activity behind the origin of the FISA application is the current ‘hot potato’ no-one wants any association with.

    The FISA application(s) and the subsequent wiretapping and surveillance collection, along with the unmasking that followed, is the focus of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

    Sometime this month, after the initial Inspector General Michael Horowitz release, House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte and Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley will likely call for a Special Counsel to investigate the upper-level management of the FBI and DOJ.

    We should support that approach. The SC can quickly put a Grand Jury together and start presenting the IG investigative evidence, as well as enforceable subpoenas for witnesses.

    There’s a lot of different down-stream legal issues:

    • The unlawful exoneration of Hillary Clinton by political operatives in the DOJ/FBI.
    • The unlawful destruction of evidence; and the manipulation of investigative protocols to gain a specific and pre-planned political outcome. (Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe)
    • The unlawful use of the FISA court for political spy operations by the DOJ/FBI.
    • The unlawful use of the Dept of Justice National Security Division. For weaponized political benefit. (Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Bruce Ohr)
    • The unlawful use of the FBI Counterintelligence Division. For weaponized political benefit. (James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Baker)
    • The unlawful use of a Special Counsel (Mueller) investigation to hide the conspiracy; (James Baker, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Andrew Weissman, Jeannie Rhee, Aaron Zebley)
  • Mueller needs to release all the documents congress has requested. Also:

    Voters also have an interest in knowing who else on Mueller’s legal team is biased. Not a stretch, as we already know many key players have donated heavily to Democrat politicians, including Clinton. Here’s just a few:

    • James Quarles donated $33,000 over the years to the Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Obama and Clinton campaigns, according to CNN.
    • Jeannie Rhee has given more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008. She also maxed out donations both in 2015 and 2016 to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Rhee also represented Clinton in a legal case involving access to her private emails and defended the Clinton Foundation in a former racketeering suit.
    • Andrew Weissman gave $2,300 to former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, according to CNN.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Remember how Hillary Clinton swore up and down she had no classified information on her illegal homebrew server? Well guess what: There were classified documents from that sever Huma Abedin had forwarded to her own account and stashed on husband Anthony Weiner’s computer.
  • And speaking of EmailGate:

    Republicans on key congressional committees say they have uncovered new irregularities and contradictions inside the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    For the first time, investigators say they have secured written evidence that the FBI believed there was evidence that some laws were broken when the former secretary of State and her top aides transmitted classified information through her insecure private email server, lawmakers and investigators told The Hill.

    That evidence includes passages in FBI documents stating the “sheer volume” of classified information that flowed through Clinton’s insecure emails was proof of criminality as well as an admission of false statements by one key witness in the case, the investigators said.

    The name of the witness is redacted from the FBI documents but lawmakers said he was an employee of a computer firm that helped maintain her personal server after she left office as America’s top diplomat and who belatedly admitted he had permanently erased an archive of her messages in 2015 after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.

    The investigators also confirmed that the FBI began drafting a statement exonerating Clinton of any crimes while evidence responsive to subpoenas was still outstanding and before agents had interviewed more than a dozen key witnesses.

  • Christopher Wray Refuses to Say if Steele Dossier Was Used to Procure FISA Warrant.” That would be the current FBI director.
  • If you’re still confused as to just how deeply Fusion GPS (in the pay of the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Russian nationals) infiltrated America’s press corp, read this:

    Fusion GPS’s principals—Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch, Thomas Catan, and [Neil] King—are all [Wall Street] Journal alumni. Moreover, several other former Journal hands employed throughout the Washington DC press corps to cover the Russiagate beat have teamed with the Fusion four. Because Journal alums played a key role not only in creating the Great Kremlin Conspiracy but also in disseminating it, it is natural that the Journal would find itself in the middle of the story. It appears its newsroom is still influenced by the former staffers driving the Russiagate story.

    William Browder, the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act, told me recently about his experience with the Journal’s newsroom and its relationship with the firm four former WSJ reporters have founded. “When I was trying to get journalists interested in a story about the role Fusion GPS was playing in trying to undo the Magnitsky Act,” said Browder, “I found that the Wall Street Journal was one of the places where Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS were deeply entrenched in the newsroom.” Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker did not reply to a request for comment on Browder’s assertions.

    The Fusion GPS story doesn’t end with the Wall Street Journal. It only started there. Recently The Daily Caller reported onCNN reporter Evan Perez’s ties to Fusion GPS, showing photographs of Perez with Fritsch and King, with whom he shared bylines at the Wall Street Journal before they went to Fusion GPS and he moved to CNN. Perez had the lead byline on CNN’s January 10, 2017 story that broke how four U.S. intelligence chiefs briefed incoming president Trump and outgoing President Obama on the Steele dossier. The CNN story made no mention of Perez’s friends and former colleagues who produced and distributed the dossier that was the subject of the story.

    Former WSJ reporter Adam Entous, recently hired by the New Yorker, had the lead byline on the Washington Post article breaking the news that Marc Elias, a lawyer from the DC law firm Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS to compile an opposition research file on Trump for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign. After the story broke, New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel expressed their professional frustration on Twitter. They were after the story, and someone else nailed it.

    “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,” tweeted Haberman. “When I tried to report this story,” wrote Vogel, “Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’”

    So how did the Post get the Clinton campaign, DNC, or Elias to confirm the story? There’s no evidence they did. A former Clinton spokesman told the paper he wasn’t aware Fusion GPS was hired. A DNC spokesperson said the new leadership was not part of the decision-making. “Elias and Fusion GPS,” according to the Post report, “declined to comment on the arrangement.”

    That leaves the firm’s principals as Entous’ most likely sources. Why? Because Fusion GPS and its principals had an interest in dumping information to deter the House Permanent Select Committee in Intelligence from successfully subpoenaing the company’s bank records for evidence that Fusion GPS paid journalists. “Entous,” said one veteran journalist familiar with the national security beat, “is tight with Fusion GPS.”

    Carol Lee of NBC News is another WSJ alum. At her new job she has worked on Russiagate stories with Ken Dilanian, a reporter Browder believes to be a regular and reliable purveyor of Fusion GPS-manufactured talking points. In September, for instance, Lee and Dilanian broke a story about the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, which also included Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.

    The network of journalists who take dossiers from Fusion GPS is rich and deep.

    Lee and Dilanian reported, “Two sources tell NBC News that Manafort’s smartphone notes from the meeting included the words ‘donations’ in close proximity to the reference to the Republican National Committee.” NBC News was eventually forced to walk back the story when it turned out the word on Manafort’s phone was “donors,” not “donations,” a difference that nullified the thrust of the story, which was to suggest that Russia was funneling money directly to the Trump campaign.

    But who fed Lee and Dilanian their story? It seems likely from the list of people at the meeting that their sources included Veselnitskaya herself and another Russian at the meeting, Rinat Akhmetshin—who both had partnered with Fusion GPS to try to undo the Magnitsky Act on behalf of pro-Putin elements. Indeed, Simpson met with Veselnitskaya before and after her meeting with Trump Jr.—a meeting Simpson says he didn’t know about until it was later reported.

    The network of journalists who take dossiers from Fusion GPS is rich and deep, which is how the company manages to seed so many stories around the media and make its money. Others whose tenure at the Wall Street Journal intersected with those of Fusion GPS principals and who have filed numerous stories on the Trump-Russia narrative that originated with Fusion GPS’s “Steele” dossier include, among others, Devlin Barrett and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post, and Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times.

    (Hat tip: Aceof Spades HQ.)

  • Lefty legal legend Alan Dershowitz says that Strzok should be punished:

    The FBI agent who altered former FBI Director James Comey’s assessment of Hillary Clinton’s private email server should be “severely punished,” said Alan Dershowitz, the retired Harvard University law professor.

    FBI agent Peter Strzok changed the wording in Comey’s assessment from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” a key change in legal terms that softened the case against Clinton.

    Derschowitz also poo-poos the whole “obstruction of justice” angle as regards President Trump:

    In order to be charged with obstruction of justice, you have to go beyond simply exercising a presidential prerogative under Article II of the Constitution,” said Dershowitz on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday. “If you bribe or take a bribe, if you destroy evidence and do what Nixon did, which is pay hush money or tell your subordinates to lie, of course you can be charged with obstruction of justice.”

    Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were both charged with obstruction of justice, Dershowitz pointed out.

    “But you cannot be and should not be charged with obstruction of justice if you merely pardon people,” he added. “You merely fire people even if the prosecution believes your intentions are not good. That’s what George H.W. Bush did. He pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five other people. The special prosecutor said the intent was to stop the investigation of Iran-Contra. It succeeded. And nobody suggested that President Bush be charged.”

    Further:

    “He can’t be charged with obstruction merely for exercising his constitutional prerogatives,” said Dershowitz. “That’s an important distinction. No president in history has ever been charged for any crime or anything because he exercised his constitutional prerogative. They impeached President Andrew Johnson for doing that. And the Supreme Court ultimately ruled that that was absolutely wrong. The president had the authority to fire the secretary of the Army. He was impeached for that and wrongly impeached.”

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Hillary gonna Hillary:

    A former government watchdog says Hillary Clinton’s campaign threatened retribution against him and his loved ones when he raised concerns about classified info on Clinton’s private email server while it was being investigated in 2016.

    “There was personal blowback. Personal blowback to me, to my family, to my office,” former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News’ Catherine Herridge on Monday.

    He said the Clinton campaign even put out word that it planned to fire him if Clinton won the 2016 election. Democrats in Congress also mounted what he thought looked like a coordinated campaign to intimidate him.

    McCullough, an Obama appointee, became inspector general after “more than two decades at the FBI, Treasury and intelligence community,” Fox News reported. He explained how the probe was quickly politicized and his office marginalized by Democrats in Congress.

    The intimidation campaign intensified in January 2016, after McCullough notified senior intelligence and foreign relations committee leaders that “several dozen emails containing classified information” were determined to be “at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, AND TOP SECRET/SAP levels.”

    A government source involved with the review told Fox News at the time that seven of those emails had been deemed by the intelligence community to be so sensitive and so potentially damaging to national security that they could never be released under any circumstances.

    “All of a sudden I became a shill of the right,” McCullough recalled. “And I was told by members of Congress, ‘Be careful. You’re losing your credibility. You need to be careful. There are people out to get you.’”

    He also got it from congressional Democrats for having the unmitigated gall to tell the truth about Clinton’s emails:

    In March 2016, seven senior Democrats entered the fray, sending a letter to McCullough and his State Department counterpart expressing their reservations about the impartiality of the Clinton email review.

    McCullough, of course, wasn’t the one making the decisions regarding the classification of Clinton’s emails, he was just, as Herridge notes, “passing along the findings of the individual agencies” that had the final say on classification.

    The watchdog said he thought there was “a coordinated strategy” targeting him based on the evidence he saw.

    Six weeks before the election, McCullough said Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office tried to pressure him to respond to the letter – which Feinstein had co-signed.

    “I thought that any response to that letter would just hyper-politicize the situation,” McCullough said. “I recall even offering to resign, to the staff director. I said, ‘Tell [Feinstein] I’ll resign tonight. I’d be happy to go. I’m not going to respond to that letter. It’s just that simple.”

    The pressure intensified as Election Day approached and McCullough and another senior government investigator on the email case were threatened.

    “I was told in no uncertain terms, by a source directly from the campaign, that we would be the first two to be fired — with [Clinton’s] administration. That that was definitely going to happen,” he said.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • “The Anatomy Of Hillary Clinton’s $84 Million Money-Laundering Scheme.”

    The Committee to Defend the President has filed an FEC complaint against Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic state parties and Democratic mega-donors.

    As Fox News reported, we documented the Democratic establishment “us[ing] state chapters as straw men to circumvent campaign donation limits and launder(ing) the money back to her campaign.” The 101-page complaint focused on the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) — the $500 million joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign, DNC, and dozens of state parties — which did exactly that the Supreme Court declared would still be illegal.

    HVF solicited six-figure donations from major donors, including Calvin Klein and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, and routed them through state parties en route to the Clinton campaign. Roughly $84 million may have been laundered in what might be the single largest campaign finance scandal in U.S. history.

    Here’s what we know. Campaign finance law is incredibly complex and infamous for its lack of clarity. As I’ve explained before, its complexity is a feature, not a bug. Major political players with the resources to hire the very few attorneys who practice campaign finance law benefit from the complexity that keeps others out. Perhaps HVF’s architects thought so too, and assumed that if no one understands what’s happening, no one would complain.

    Here’s what you can do, legally. Per election, an individual donor can contribute $2,700 to any candidate, $10,000 to any state party committee, and (during the 2016 cycle) $33,400 to a national party’s main account. These groups can all get together and take a single check from a donor for the sum of those contribution limits — it’s legal because the donor cannot exceed the base limit for any one recipient. And state parties can make unlimited transfers to their national party.

    Here’s what you can’t do, which the Clinton machine appeared to do anyway. As the Supreme Court made clear in McCutcheon v. FEC, the JFC may not solicit or accept contributions to circumvent base limits, through “earmarks” and “straw men” that are ultimately excessive — there are five separate prohibitions here.

    On top of that, six-figure donations either never actually passed through state party accounts or were never actually under state party control, which adds false FEC reporting by HVF, state parties, and the DNC to the laundry list.

    Finally, as Donna Brazile and others admitted, the DNC placed the funds under the Clinton campaign’s direct control, a massive breach of campaign finance law that ties the conspiracy together.

    Democratic donors, knowing the funds would end up with Clinton’s campaign, wrote six-figure checks to influence the election — 100 times larger than allowed.

    HVF bundled these megagifts and, on a single day, reported transferring money to all participating state parties, some of which would then show up on FEC reports filed by the DNC as transferring the exact same dollar amount on the exact same day to the DNC. Yet not all the state parties reported either receiving or transferring those sums.

    Did any of these transfers actually happen? Or were they just paper entries to mask direct transfers to the DNC?

    For perspective, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was prosecuted and convicted in 2012 for giving a handful of associates money they then contributed to a candidate of his preference — in other words, straw man contributions. He was sentenced to eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation. How much money was involved? Only $20,000. HVF weighs in at $84 million — more than 4,000 times larger!

  • As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton personally lifted the U.S. travel ban on terrorist-supporting accused rapist Tariq Ramadan. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Hey, Remember the Uranium One scandal, Hillary Clinton’s other other scandal? Well guess what? Indictments have been issued:

    The Department of Justice unsealed an 11-count indictment on Friday to a former DoD intelligence analyst-turned uranium transportation executive who stands accused of a bribery and money laundering scheme involving a Russian nuclear official connected to the Uranium One deal.

    The indictment corroborates a November report by The Hill that an FBI mole deeply embedded in the Russian uranium industry had gathered extensive evidence of the scheme.

    Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.

    The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.

    According to the indictment, beginning at least as early as 2009 and continuing until October 2014, Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX. -DOJ

    While the indictment lists Lambert’s company as “Transportation Corporation A,” a simple search reveals that Lambert is the co-President of DAHER-TLI, “the leading front end freight forwarding company dedicated to Nuclear Cargo,” according to its website.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • More thoughts on same.
  • “Obama State Department Let Clinton And Huma Make Off With Boxes Of ‘Muslim Engagement’ Docs.”
  • Could a Trump executive order lead to a crackdown and seizure of Clinton assets?

    The Trump Administration quietly issued an Executive Order (EO) last Thursday which allows for the freezing of US-housed assets belonging to foreign individuals or entities deemed “serious human rights abusers,” along with government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) found to have engaged in corruption – which includes the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources.

    Snip.

    Now consider that if reports from The Hill are accurate – an FBI mole deep within the Russian uranium industry uncovered evidence that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow (the Uranium One approval)” – a deal which would eventually grant the Kremlin control over 20 percent of America’s uranium supply right around the time Bill Clinton also collected $500,000 for a Moscow speech, as detailed by author Peter Schweitzer’s book Clinton Cash and the New York Times in 2015.

    “The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials. –The Hill

    The same FBI informant claims to have video evidence showing Russian agents with briefcases full of bribe money related to the controversial Uranium One deal.

  • “A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state.” Nice work if you can get it…
  • How Clinton cronies pay to manufacture fake news:

    A wealthy Hillary Clinton supporter dropped half a million dollars in the run up to the 2016 election to fund a number of alleged victims willing to accuse President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.

    The New York Times reported on Sunday that Susie Tompkins Buell, a major Clinton donor for years, gave $500,000 to celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom in support of a stable of women willing to come forward – if the price was right.

  • Why Democrats finally turnd on Bill Clinton:

    The media doesn’t suddenly “believe Juanita”. Or rather it always knew that Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and the other women were telling the truth. It didn’t silence them because it thought they were lying. It silenced them because they were telling the truth about its guy.

    Now Bill Clinton isn’t the media’s guy anymore. He’s a problem.

    And what the media does “believe” is that the Clintons will continue to be a liability that might cost them victories in 2018 and 2020. The DNC badly needs money. The Clintons are once again posing a threat to the DNC’s financial viability. And the Dems have become less willing to lose House and Senate seats to sate the insatiable greed of the grifters from Hope.

    Then there’s 2020. The Dems don’t want to risk their nominee facing passive aggressive attacks by Hillary Clinton. Nor do they even want to see Hillary Clinton on the air for the entire election.

    Snip.

    They’re purging the Clintons for the same reason that they covered up for them.

    They’re calling out Bill Clinton for his sexual assaults for the same reason that they covered them up.

    They did it out of political self-interest then. And they’re doing it out of political self-interest now. There’s nothing clean or honest about what they’re doing. There’s no moral reckoning here. Only a political reckoning. It’s not about the women Bill abused. It’s about DNC cash and the 2020 election.

  • Democrats are shocked, shocked to find out that Bill Clinton is a sexual predator. Remember all those Democrats who looked into allegations against Clinton when he was President? Me neither.
  • Despite all the “we’re free to call Bill Clinton a sexual predator now that Hillary will never run again” talk, don’t count on it. “Hillary Clinton never does anything spontaneously. Until further notice, we should assume she’s running to get back that which is *rightfully* hers.” And remember that the DNC recently purged all the non-Clinton DNC staffers.
  • Dolly Kyle, the women who claims to be Bill Clinton’s longtime mistress, claims that Bill Clinton has had over 2,00 sex partners and that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. I would approach her claims with several pounds of salt.
  • Hillary Clinton said America was totally unprepared for the advent of artificial intelligence, then excused herself and asked directions to Sarah Conners’ house.
  • The New York Times ever-changing Trump Russia narrative:

    Slowly but surely, it has emerged that the Justice Department and FBI very likely targeted Page because of the Steele dossier, a Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed disguised as intelligence reporting. Increasingly, it appears that the Bureau failed to verify Steele’s allegations before the DOJ used some of them to bolster an application for a spying warrant from the FISA court (i.e., the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).

    Thanks to the persistence of the House Intelligence Committee led by Chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the dossier story won’t go away. Thus, Democrats and their media friends have been moving the goal posts in an effort to save their collusion narrative. First, we were led to believe the dossier was no big deal because the FBI would surely have corroborated any information before the DOJ fed it to a federal judge in a warrant application. Then, when the Clinton campaign’s role in commissioning the dossier came to light, we were told it was impertinent to ask about what the FBI did, if anything, to corroborate it since this could imperil intelligence methods and sources — and, besides, such questions were just a distraction from the all-important Mueller investigation (which the dossier had a hand in instigating and which, to date, has turned up no evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy).

    Lately, the story has morphed into this: Well, even if the dossier was used, it was only used a little — there simply must have been lots of other evidence that Trump was in cahoots with Putin. But that’s not going to fly: Putting aside the dearth of collusion evidence after well over a year of aggressive investigation, the dossier is partisan propaganda. If it was not adequately corroborated by the FBI, and if the Justice Department, without disclosing its provenance to the court, nevertheless relied on any part of it in a FISA application, that is a major problem.

    So now, a new strategy to prop up the collusion tale: Never mind Page — lookee over here at [George] Papadopoulos!

    But that’s not what they were saying in April, when the collusion narrative and Democratic calls for a special prosecutor were in full bloom.

    Back then, no fewer than six of the Times’ top reporters, along with a researcher, worked their anonymous “current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials” in order to generate the Page blockbuster. With these leaks, the paper confidently reported: “From the Russia trip of the once-obscure Mr. Page grew a wide-ranging investigation, now accompanied by two congressional inquiries, that has cast a shadow over the early months of the Trump administration” [emphasis added].

    Oh sure, the Times acknowledged that there might have been a couple of other factors involved. “Paul Manafort, then [i.e., during Page’s trip] Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, was already under criminal investigation in connection with payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.” And “WikiLeaks and two websites later identified as Russian intelligence fronts had begun releasing emails obtained when Democratic Party servers were hacked.”

    But the trigger for the investigation — the “catalyst” — was Page.

    Somehow, despite all that journalistic leg-work and all those insider sources, the name George Papadopoulos does not appear in the Times’ story.

    Now, however, we’re supposed to forget about Page. According to the new bombshell dropped on New Year’s Eve by six Times reporters, it was “the hacking” coupled with “the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign” — Papadopoulos — “may have had inside information about it” that were “driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.”

    It seems like only yesterday — or, to be more precise, only late October, when he pled guilty to a count of lying to the FBI in the Mueller probe — that Mr. Papadopoulos was even more obscure than the “once-obscure Mr. Page.” Now, though, he has been elevated to “the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration.” But hey, if you’re willing to hang in there through the first 36 paragraphs of the Times’ nearly 3,000-word Papadopoulos report, you’ll find the fleeting observation that “A trip to Moscow by another adviser, Carter Page, also raised concerns at the F.B.I.”

    You don’t say!

    Again, until this weekend, Page was the eye of the collusion storm. And as I outlined in a column last weekend, a significant part of what got the FBI and the Obama Justice Department stirred up about Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow was the Steele dossier — the anti-Trump reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. Alas, six months after the Times’ planted its feet on Page as the linchpin of the Trump-Russia investigation, we learned that the dossier was actually an opposition-research project paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. We further learned that at Fusion GPS, the research firm that retained Steele for the project, Steele collaborated on it with Nellie Ohr, the wife of top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr — and that Bruce Ohr had personally been briefed on the project by Steele and a Fusion GPS executive.

  • Reminder: Chelsea Clinton used Clinton Foundation resources for her wedding. So say Wikileaks documents. Just in case you had forgotten…
  • LinkSwarm for May 12, 2017

    Friday, May 12th, 2017

    Lots of border control news at the top of today’s LinkSwarm:

  • “According to figures released yesterday, the number of illegal aliens crossing the U.S. southwestern border has dropped by an astonishing 76% since President Trump took office.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Authorities Arrest 1,378 in ICE-Led Operation Targeting Gangs.” More: “The majority, 955, of those arrested were U.S. citizens, while 445 were foreign nationals from around the world.” Also: Three were Obama’s “Dreamers.”
  • “If the Trump administration is serious about controlling illegal immigration and illegal alien driven crime, it should begin by going after employers who hire illegal aliens. The move would not only help to prevent the exploitation of illegal immigrants, but it would also help to foster higher-paying jobs for American workers.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Maryland Democrats shocked, shocked to discover that legal immigrants who followed the rules aren’t wild about sanctuary city BS for illegal aliens. (Hat tip: Louder With Crowder via The Other McCain.)
  • “James Clapper: Still no evidence of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • From the House to the Big House: Former Florida Democratic Representative Corrine Brown was found guilty on fraud and tax evasion charges.
  • Democrats had a real shot at winning the Omaha Mayor’s race…until the DNC came in and pulled all support to punish pro-life heresy.
  • “Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, has announced that it will exit all Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2018 after experiencing massive losses in 2016 and 2017.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • On the Democratic Party’s civil war:

    If Obama is really responsible for Democrat losses, then the party and its donors just bought first class seats on the Titanic. That’s why Democrat autopsies of the defeat remain so explosive. Blame can be apportioned to white people, to racism, Islamophobia and to Global Warming, but not to Barack Obama.

    Keith Ellison was the best messenger Sanders had to take a shot at Barry. Black loyalty to Obama is still the third rail of politics. And Ellison is one of the few black people in the Sanders inner circle. Obama’s pricey Wall Street speech offered the opportunity for a more direct attack from Bernie Sanders.

    “I just think it is distasteful,” Bernie slurred on CNN. “At a time when we have so much income and wealth inequality … it just does not look good.”

    The attack went to the heart of his differences with Obama. Unlike the Clinton era, the split is no longer between the left and the radical left. Obama and Sanders are both representatives of the radical left.

    But they don’t represent the same radical left.

    Bernie embodies the old left. Its mantra is class warfare. There is a great deal of talk about billionaires, working people and the ruling class. Obama pays lip service to that same rhetoric, but his is the program of the intersectional left. The intersectional left is far more interested in identity than class. It defines its organization around a coalition of racial, sexual and other minorities. Where Bernie wants to talk to the working class, the intersectional left wants to hear from transgender Muslim women of color.

    The differences aren’t just intellectual. They define the tactics and agenda of the Democrats.

    When Tom Perez, Obama’s DNC boss, recently read pro-life Democrats out of the party, he was following the Obama blueprint. Bernie meanwhile went on campaigning for a somewhat pro-life Dem. Bernie does not really care about abortion, gay rights, transgender bathrooms and the social issues of the intersectional left. The old Socialist follows the older slogan of the hard left. No war, but class war.

    Snip.

    Democrats and the left had long ago replaced pure class warfare with identity politics warfare. Intersectionality entirely displaced and demonized the old Dem white working class base.

    And the Dems paid the price.

    Obama’s reign torched most of the last of that white working class base. Trump’s victories would not have been possible if the Dems had not become a party of wealthy bicoastal urban and suburban elites who were out of touch with the South and the Rust Belt. And who were proud to be out of touch with a bunch of “ignorant racist, sexist homophobes” still “clinging to their guns and religion”.

    The clash between Bernie and Obama is also over the autopsy of Hillary’s defeat. Did the Dems lose because they failed to turn out the base as effectively as Obama had or because former Obama voters had come out for Trump? Should the Dems try to appeal to working class whites with a class warfare pitch or work harder to turn out the intersectional coalitions of minority voters?

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • The U.S. is arming Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State despite Turkish opposition. Good. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • 10% of French voters turn up at polls only to spoil their ballot in disgust.
  • Mark Steyn covers the French election:

    The French have voted to postpone their rendezvous with destiny. But kicking the croissant down the road means another half-decade of demographic transformation that lengthens the odds against ever winning the numbers to halt it….

    Yet the fact is that, with the arrival of President Macron in the charmed circle, the leaders of Europe’s biggest economies and of all the European members of the G7 are childless: Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May, Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni, and now France’s Macron.

    This would have been not just statistically improbable but all but impossible for most of human history. Whatever Euro-politics is about, it’s not, as Bill Clinton was wont to say, the future of all our children. Indeed, of the six founding members of the European Union – France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg – five are led by childless prime ministers: joining Merkel, Gentiloni and Macron at the no-need-for-daycare Euro-summit are the Dutch PM Mark Rutte and the Luxemburger Xavier Bettel. Mark Rutte is single and childless. Xavier Bettel of Lux is married, but gay and, hélas, for the moment without progeny….

    That’s the demographics of Western Europe writ small. The Eurocrats are a Continental version of the Shakers: They’re apparently forbidden to breed, and can only increase their numbers through conversion. From Nice to Cologne to Rosengård, a significant proportion of New Europeans seem to think that, au contraire, they’ll be the ones doing the converting.

  • Sally Yates was the real blackmailer.”
  • Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto wants choose senators based on diversity rather than all those annoying elections. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Canada arrests 104 men on child sex trafficking charges. The Other McCain notices a certain pattern to the names of those arrested that will be familiar to those that followed the Rotherham child sex trafficking scandal:

    Suresh Patel, 49; Muhammad Jaffer, 22; Muhammad Sarchami, 31; Hernando Carvajal, 29; Intekhab Shaikh, 42; Sakhi Alekozai, 29; Shamim Abowath, 54; Ruchir Shah, 34; Nima Latifpour, 25; Sanjay Ninan, 42; Jaipal Sidhu, 26; Adeniran Adekola, 33; Ming Wong, 39; Zan He, 33; Segundo Fernandez, 54; Anpalagan Kanapathipillai, 39; Navaneetharan Packianathan, 25; Rajorshi Bhaumik, 34; Miguel Feliciano, 38; Virushan Premanathan, 25; Suhayl Rajan, 24; Sivanesan Veerasingam, 50; Jamshid Jalilian, 25; Zhi Situ, 22; Tejash Patel, 33; Quang Tran, 37; Ravikumar Ghandhi, 31; Ahmad Hassan, 21; Anshu Manocha, 33; Sivaratnam Sinnappillai, 39; Naidu Matas, 54; Paramjit Sandhi, 35; Hari Bhaskar, 55; Ramy Kawar, 39; Zu Liang Xiao, 28; Ali Mansourinajand, 24; Ramiz Multani, 25

  • AC-130 gunship now comes with a 105mm Howitzer option. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Wargaming a second Korean war. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane finally lands after circling Earth for “an unprecedented 718 days.”
  • UT stabbing spree followup: The stabber “was suffering from mental illness and didn’t seem to be targeting anyone in particular during his Monday afternoon spree, police said Tuesday.”
  • “‘Chicago Is A War Zone’: Police Suicide Rate Surges To 60% Above The National Average.”
  • Gun-blogger Bob Owens dead of apparent suicide. Unlike many in the blogsphere, I didn’t know Owens personally, but we did follow each other on Twitter. RIP.
  • Windows 10 on ARM supports x86 apps, and Microsoft says your 32-bit applications should run just fine. Won’t make me use it, but for some people…
  • Behold the #BowWowChallenge.
  • Bucket-eye view of critters drinking water.