Hillary, again, gets away and off free. While Mike Flynn was investigated for similar matters and ended up pleading out in federal court.
Welcome to The Swamp.
A newly unearthed batch of heavily redacted, classified emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal email server revealed that the former secretary of state discussed establishing a “private, 100% off-the-record” back channel to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that one of her top aides warned her that she was in “danger” of being “savaged by Jewish organizations, in the Jewish press and among the phalanx of neoconservative media” as a result of political machinations by “Bibi and the Jewish leadership.”
The files came from a trove of 72,000 documents the FBI recovered from Hillary Clinton and turned over to the State Department in 2017. The FBI sat on the emails for over a year and during the time frame Flynn was being investigated, DOJ officials told True Pundit.
Additionally, according to the email dump, Clinton chatted with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair about foreign policy before she was sworn in, aided the application of at least one State Department applicant who was connected to her daughter, Chelsea, and apparently met with Putin-aligned Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili before he became prime minister on a staunchly pro-Russian platform — and with reported help from a Russian interference operation. Ivanishvili pointedly did not criticize Putin during his campaign, despite Putin’s invasion of Georgia years earlier — and in 2012, Ivanishvili made headlines for refusing to meet with Clinton unless it was a one-on-one sitdown.
Democrats have long criticized former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for speaking with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump had been inaugurated, saying the contacts may have violated an obscure 1799 law called the Logan Act, which ostensibly bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers on behalf of the U.S. without authorization. The provision has never been invoked in a prosecution, and historians have suggested the law made more sense in an era without the instant communications technology that would enable a foreign power to recognize whether U.S. representatives are formally affiliated with the U.S. government.
Yet Hillary did the same thing and faced no federal charges.
With the Mueller report expected to drop any day, here is a guide to what the special counsel investigated and how this heavily anticipated document will be released.
Spoiler alert: A lot of questions about the report’s release and its contents have no clear answer. That’s largely a function of the lack of leaks from the special counsel’s office and the stoic approach Mueller has taken during the 22-month investigation.
When will the report be finished?
All signs point to Mueller nearing the very end of the investigation.
Several top prosecutors working on the investigation are leaving the special counsel’s office, including Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad. Weissmann was the lead prosecutor on Mueller’s case against Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was sentenced to prison on charges related to his work for the Ukrainian government.
Reporters have also seen Mueller team members removing boxes of files from their offices in Washington, D.C.
The grand jury Mueller used in the investigation has also reportedly not heard from witnesses since Jan. 24, the same day Trump confidant Roger Stone was indicted.
What happens when Mueller finishes the report?
Once Mueller finalizes his report, he is expected to notify Attorney General William Barr. What happens then is up in the air.
Barr could announce that he has received the report, or he could provide portions of it directly to leaders on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
Congressional sources familiar with those committees’ business say they are as in the dark as anyone else about how the process will unfold. Barr could announce he has the Mueller document before or after he informs Congress. He could avoid a public announcement and inform Congress that Mueller concluded the investigation.
What will be in the report?
As with most questions about Mueller’s findings, it is unclear what he will actually say in the document provided to Barr.
Barr testified at his confirmation hearing that under the current statute governing special counsels, Mueller will be required to provide a summary of his findings to the Justice Department along with a rationale for any decisions to decline specific prosecutions.
“If the special counsel proposes to take an action and is overruled by the attorney general … we’re required to report that to the Congress,” he said at an event Feb. 25.
The report might also be hindered by legal restrictions against indicting sitting presidents. But Mueller could, if he sees fit, suggest areas where Trump could face impeachment proceedings.
What will the public see?
That also remains unclear.
Barr could release as much of the report as he wants, but he is first expected to write a summary of Mueller’s findings.
Whatever documents are eventually made public are likely to contain redactions for classified information. It is also unlikely that the report will contain any information gleaned from grand jury testimony.
Legal observers cautioned the public against expecting Mueller to lay out all of the details of his investigation. But they also said it is unlikely Mueller and Barr can completely avoid explaining whether or not Trump colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.
Congressional Democrats vowed to subpoena the report if Barr withholds it. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff also pledged to subpoena Mueller if details of the report are withheld from Congress.
What will Trump do?
The answer to that question likely hinges on what the report says.
“Let it come out. Let people see it,” he said, before adding that the final decision is up to Barr.
The Republican has long decried the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”
What has Mueller investigated?
Mueller was appointed special counsel May 17, 2017, eight days after President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director. A former FBI director himself, Mueller inherited “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s code name for the counterintelligence investigation into Trump campaign associates’ possible ties to Russia.
FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok opened Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016. The probe targeted Trump aides George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Manafort and Michael Flynn.
After Comey’s firing, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe expanded the probe to include Trump himself. McCabe ordered an investigation into whether Trump himself was a Russian agent as well as whether he obstructed justice by firing Comey.
Mueller’s investigation has expanded in numerous directions since its beginning.
He indicted or secured guilty pleas from 34 individuals, including six Trump associates. But so far, none of the indictments have involved coordination between Trump associates and Russians.
Mueller indicted 25 Russian operatives accused of hacking Democrats’ emails or planting disinformation on social media networks.
Four Trump associates — George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and Michael Cohen — pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation.
Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, was indicted Jan. 24 on seven counts related to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. Mueller’s team alleges Stone lied about his communications with associates and Trump campaign officials regarding WikiLeaks.
Mueller also secured guilty pleas from Alex van der Zwaan and Richard Pinedo, both of whom appear to have no direct links to Trump. Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort business partner suspected of having links to Russian intelligence, was also indicted on witness tampering charges.
Has Mueller found any evidence of collusion?
Most of what Mueller has found in his investigation remains secret, but some clues have come out through the numerous indictments and guilty pleas secured during the probe.
And so far, none of those cases revealed evidence that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
The source of the collusion conspiracy theory — the Steele dossier — has come under intense scrutiny since it was published in January 2017.
The dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and Russian government, accused Page, Cohen and Manafort of conspiring with Kremlin officials to influence the election. The dossier also alleged that the Russian government was blackmailing Trump with video of him with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.
Circumstantial evidence has cut against the Steele dossier. Page has appeared before Mueller’s grand jury, but has not been charged with any crimes. Prosecutors have never accused Manafort of conspiring with Russia, even though he has already been sentenced in two cases brought by Mueller’s team.
Cohen, who is a cooperating witness for Mueller, undercut the dossier’s most specific allegation about collusion during congressional testimony in February.
The former Trump fixer testified under oath Feb. 27 that he has never visited Prague. The dossier claims Cohen visited there in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials to discuss paying off Russian hackers.
Are more indictments on the way?
This is another question that remains to be seen. Trump critics have held out hope that Mueller will issue a barrage of indictments against Trump family members like Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner just as he submits his report to the Justice Department.
Mueller has investigated a variety of areas that have so far not resulted in indictments. Mueller’s prosecutors also offered a plea deal to Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist who was in close contact with Stone during the 2016 campaign. Corsi has said Mueller believes he might have had contact during the campaign with WikiLeaks, the group that published emails stolen from Democrats.
Mueller’s grand jury heard testimony from Corsi’s stepson on the same day the indictment against Stone was handed down.
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If early rhetoric is any indicator, Democrats have decided that if they have to follow the rules, they can’t win. Their 2020 presidential candidates are ready to play dirty.
Ever since former Vice President Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in 2000, Democrats have demanded that there is only one acceptable outcome to any contest. They are supposed to win. If they don’t, it’s proof that the rules are wrong. So, the rules need to be changeduntil their right to victory is confirmed in the results.
Fast forward to the 2016 election. The electoral map proved Democrats have fallen out of favor with voters in America’s heartland. Look no further than Michigan. The Democratic presidential nominee won Michigan in 1992,1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Then Hillary Clinton comes along and loses the state in 2016.
Now Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is pushing to replace the Electoral College with a nationwide popular vote. As Sen. Warren sees it, running up the score in progressive havens such as New York and California gives her party an advantage over President Trump, whose success creating jobs and raising wages, along with his tough stance on China, has won him support from Midwest factory workers.
Once Secretary Clinton became another losing Democratic candidate for president despite winning the popular vote, the outcries to end to the Electoral College were predictable. Any defense of the Constitutionally prescribed Electoral College as being a safeguard of smaller states and their citizens was quickly dismissed as a desire to give more weight to the votes of white rural voters. No meaningful discussion. Just change the rules so that Democrats can win. – READ MORE
President Trump sure sounds confident that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report won’t be as damaging as the president’s critics have hoped. In fact, Trump’s now openly demanding that the “ridiculous” report, which Mueller is expected to deliver to Attorney General William Barr “any day now,” be released to the public.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump addressed Mueller’s highly anticipated report. “Let it come out, let people see it. Let’s see whether or not it’s legit,” Trump said, the Associated Press reports.
Trump taunted the special counsel, suggesting he is “look forward” to seeing what Mueller came up with, while also dismissively describing it as an illegitimate effort to undermine his presidency by unelected bureaucrats. After having won “one of the greatest elections of all time in the history of this country,” Trump said, some “man out of the blue” who “never got a vote” has been given authority to a write a partisan report.
Trump’s call for the report to be released is supported by the House, which unanimously passed a resolution last week for Mueller’s report to be made public, though Barr is not obligated to comply to the House’s demands. – READ MORE
Frankly, this display was phonier than a Hollywood cocktail party.
And a sad day for Conservatives.
But you would never know it by watching a gushing Sean Hannity welcome FOX’s newest talking head to his show Tuesday night. Donna Brazile was in the studio and if you think Hannity would grill the disgraced former DNC chairwoman with tough questions–think again.
Jemele Hill just can’t help her race-baiting self. The liberal sports journalist added yet more notoriety to her one-track career Monday morning via Twitter. This time she outrageously claimed the purpose of the Electoral College is outdated and was intended to “preserve slavery.” Oddly enough, this time the politico she was disagreeing with was none other than a Democrat.
In 2017, Hill (shown in 2018 appearance on The View) called President Donald Trump and his supporters “white supremacists.” She has used numerous speaking engagements and an appearance on The Late Show to double down and defend that offensive claim.
On Monday, Hill reacted to a tweet by Andrew Yang, a Democratic presidential candidate who defended the Electoral College. Showing he gets why America’s Founding Fathers established the Electoral College, Yang tweeted:
“The problem with deciding Presidential elections via popular vote is that candidates would naturally campaign in urban areas with big media markets and their policies would follow suit. Better to have proportional electoral college votes in each state so you campaign everywhere.”
Hill rejected that by elevating diversity over the U.S. Constitution’s Article 2, Section 1 with this tweet:
“Nah. People who live in cities that truly represent the diversity of America should set the course. The electoral college is outdated, and was there to preserve slavery. We need to move on.”
Though Hill tweeted herself out of a job at ESPN, her current employer, The Atlantic magazine, is getting exactly what it wanted from her. Editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg said in October 2018 she had been hired to make “useful trouble” – READ MORE
CNN’s Jim Acosta didn’t get chosen to ask a question during President Trump’s Rose Garden press conference with Brazil president Jair Bolsaonaro on Tuesday, but he managed to complain about a reporter who did.
Daily Caller White House correspondent Saagar Enjeti was allowed to ask multiple questions, including whether or not the Supreme Court will be expanded and Trump’s thoughts on the state of social media.
Following the press conference, Acosta accused Enjeti of asking Trump a softball question, but it seems the CNN reporter wasn’t paying close attention because the question was directed at the Brazilian president, as opposed to Trump.
“The question was asked in a way that really teed it up, like a game of tee-ball here in the Rose Garden. The president was just sort of served up a softball, there, when he was asked whether or not the Democrats are advancing a lot of socialist ideas. You heard Bolsaonaro go off on that as well,” Acosta said on CNN immediately after the press conference.
Acosta accused Enjeti of lobbing an easy question about socialism to Trump, but the Daily Caller reporter didn’t ask Trump the question about socialism. After Enjeti asked Trump a pair of questions about the Supreme Court and social media, he directed his third question to Bolsaonaro. – READ MORE
President Trump on Tuesday suggested that Google, Facebook and Twitter have colluded with each other to discriminate against Republicans.
“We use the word collusion very loosely all the time. And I will tell you there is collusion with respect to that,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House Rose Garden. “Something has to be going on. You see the level, in many cases, of hatred for a certain group of people that happened to be in power, that happened to win the election.
“Something’s happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it,” he added.
The president’s comments marked an escalation in his criticism of U.S. tech giants like Twitter, a platform that he frequently uses to promote his policies and denounce his political opponents. – READ MORE
Comedy Central host Trevor Noah said that while he doesn’t directly blame President Donald Trump for the mass shooting in New Zealand, he thinks that the shooter and Trump are “inspired by the same things,” namely “white supremacy.”
“One of the things that got me about this whole thing was people trying to blame Trump for it,” Trevor Noah said about the mass shooting last week in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“And I know this is controversial, but I don’t blame Trump. I think in many ways, Trump is similar to climate change, in that I don’t think you can pin any one storm directly on climate change, but you’ve got to admit that climate change has an effect on increasing the probability of these storms, and I feel like Trump is the same thing, I don’t think he’s the cause of any of these things but he does in some way raise the temperature enough that we’ll see more of these things happening.”
“What I have started realizing, and it’s a scary thought, is that, I disagree with people who say Donald Trump inspired the shooter in New Zealand.”
“For me, I feel like Donald Trump is inspired by the same things as the shooter in New Zealand — they’re products of the same white supremacy. They believe the same things. You know, Donald Trump, and these people run around always saying, ‘Oh he’s not a white supremacist.’ Yeah, but all white supremacists think he’s a white supremacist,” Noah said. – READ MORE