Desperate leaks trying to preempt the IG report

Washington ExaminerPresident Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen late Wednesday fought back against the steady stream of leaks about his work for past clients and said Stormy Daniels' legal team is playing an "extremely troubling" game by trying to sink his standing in the press by revealing as much personal information as it can.

In a court filing late Wednesday in the Southern District of New York, Cohen’s defense team of Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison said Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, “deliberately distorted information from the records which appear to be in his possession for the purpose of creating a toxic mix of misinformation.”

“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct in somehow obtaining random bank records and publishing them without proper concern for their accuracy is extremely troubling for the parties in this case, the court, and the public,” Ryan and Harrison wrote.

We're still expecting to see the full IG report sometime in May. The first partial report we saw nailed McCabe to the wall on lying to investigators and to Congress, including under oath. The remaining portions will likely go even further. The intensity of the leaking campaign and frantic activity by Mueller and his allies should probably be taken as an indication that the hammer is about to fall.

I hope these leaks lead to criminal prosecution of the leakers.

Mon Jun 18 13:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The five year anniversary of IRS targeting

TaxProfImagine if liberal groups discovered that President Trump’s Internal Revenue Service was targeting them for heightened scrutiny or harassment. The media and Democrats would decry this assault on the First Amendment and declare the U.S. on the brink of autocracy. The scandal would dominate the midterms, and the legitimacy of the election would be called into question.

Strangely enough, the IRS did target organs of the opposition party during the last administration, but the episode has largely faded from public memory without resolution. May 10 marks the fifth anniversary of the revelation that President Obama’s IRS targeted conservative groups for more than two years prior to the 2012 presidential election.

I haven't forgotten.

In light of the 2016 campaign and the continuing revelations about how our intelligence, national security, and law enforcement agencies were abused to target the political opposition of the President, the problem now seems a lot more widespread than the IRS.

Mon Jun 18 12:28:51 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Deerfield gun ban blocked

Deerfield, Illinois -- a Chicago suburb -- has had a judge block their ban on semi-automatic firearms only 24 hours before it takes effect.

Mon Jun 18 12:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ declines to prosecute despite IG recommendation

CNSNewsThe Department of Justice, according to the department’s Office of Inspector General, has declined to prosecute a now-retired FBI special agent (SA) who mishandled classified information, gave misleading testimony, had “contacts with several individuals appeared to be designed to improperly influence their prospective testimony” and provided the IG with false information.

“Criminal prosecution of the SA was declined,” the IG reported in an investigative summary of the case.

This is why we shouldn't count our indictments before they hatch. It's nice that the IG has Huber to work with, but we haven't seen Huber indict anyone yet. Until he does, it's business as usual in swampland.

Mon Jun 18 11:28:51 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Post-Sandy-Hook emails reveal political opportunism

Daily WireAccording to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, first reported by The Baltimore Post, advisors to then-President Barack Obama immediately strategized how to exploit the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school to push their gun control agenda. "Tap peoples [sic] emotions," Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel advised then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan on December 16, 2012, just two days after the massacre that left 26 dead. The victims' bodies were yet to be laid to rest.

The two discussed how they could exploit the tragedy to bring about their anti-gun agenda. "What are your thoughts?" Duncan asked Emanuel on an email with the subject line, "CT shooting."

"Go for a vote this week asap before it fades," replied Emanuel. "Tap peoples [sic] emotion. Make it simple assault weapons."

Dancing in the blood of dead children.

Mon Jun 18 11:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IED attack in Canada

Washington TimesAn explosion caused by “improvised explosive device” ripped through an Indian restaurant in a mall in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, wounding 15 people, Canadian police said.

Peel Region Sgt. Matt Bertram said two suspects with their faces covered to conceal their identity entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant, and dropped some sort of IED device and fled.

“We have no indication to call it a hate crime or any kind of terrorism act,” Bertram said.

I think in just the part I quoted above there is more than enough to call it a terrorist act. That said, it wasn't a suicide attack and the tactics -- particularly the disguises -- suggest the attackers intend to get away with it. It may not be an Islamic terror attack. But definitely a terror attack.

Mon Jun 18 10:28:51 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reading between the lines

PJmediaSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there was "nothing particularly surprising" revealed in a classified briefing Thursday about oversight of the FBI's campaign-season investigation into Russia's influence operation and possible Trump campaign contacts...

Nunes did not comment after the meeting. CNN reported that he and Gowdy didn't get to see all of the documents they were wanting to view.

McConnell is one of the "gang of eight" Brennan briefed about the operation. Of course he wasn't surprised; he's heard it all before, at least assuming Brennan's individual briefings to each Gang of 8 member actually contained the same information. (I'm skeptical about that; why brief them individually then?)

So I'm not surprised that McConnell isn't surprised. McConnell is a swamp creature. The sooner he circles the drain, the better.

Despite the White House chief of staff showing up before the meeting to state the President's position that all possible information should be shared, the FBI and DOJ are still covering things up.

Mon Jun 18 10:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comparative death rates from mass public shootings and violence

Over at the Crime Prevention Research Center, Lott has a comparison of death rates from mass public shootings in the US and Europe. The results might surprise you.

Mon Jun 18 09:28:51 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Strzok willing to testify to Congress

The BlazeFBI agent Peter Strzok, whose controversial text messages with an ex-FBI lawyer exposed apparent wrongdoing inside the Department of Justice, is willing to testify before Congress, his lawyer said in a surprise letter Sunday.

Strzok’s announcement comes just days after DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz released his report on the DOJ’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which Strzok helped lead.

I think the timing of this letter solidifies the conclusion that Strzok is a cooperating witness. His lawyer seems to think that testifying before Congress will "clear his name"; that seems likely, but it may just be a public relations front. However, testifying before Congress will likely help Strzok preserve his existing immunity and/or favorable plea deal with Huber.

Obviously Congress should accept the offer to get more facts into the public eye. Strzok will try to put the best spin on his motives, of course, but if he's willing to be honest about what happened it would open a lot of new information up to the public.

Mon Jun 18 09:28:45 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More tax reforms on the way

LifezetteWhite House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short confirmed during a conference call with reporters Friday that President Donald Trump and his advisers are looking to do more on taxes in coming months.

“We have been working on a package with [House Ways and Means Committee] Chairman Kevin Brady, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, that we hope to have available by the end of the summer,” Short said during the call. “I think that one of the priorities there is to make the individual rate permanent.

“As you know, the corporate tax relief was permanent in the most recent bill, but because of procedural hurdles in the Senate, the individual rates were not. So there is a larger package we’re working on there and we’ll have more to share with you later. But in terms of a time frame, it’s probably going to be towards the end of the summer,” said Short (pictured above).

This sounds like it's more about making the individual tax cuts from last time "permanent" (until Congress next revisits tax law) now that they have been well received than further lowering taxes, but hey, it's something, and it sure is nice to not have to force through the same tax cuts again and again..

It also smells a little bit like "our caucus can't get anything done despite majorities in the House and the Senate and holding the White House, but we can pass something we previously passed with emphasis."

Sun Jun 17 16:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How many Americans own guns?

Gun Free ZoneI just want to quote one little part: their official percentile count of gun owners.

In reality, only about 25 percent of Americans own a gun.

OK,, let’s say for the sake of the argument they are right and only 25% of Americans own guns. According to the Census Bureau, the us population is 325.7 million (2017.) That comes about 81,250,000 Americans with firepower. Let’s make it simpler: Eighty One Million Americans Own Guns.

The largest army in the world is the People’s Liberation Army of China with 2 million active personnel and 2.4 million in reserve. That makes us almost 40 times bigger than the whole Chinese Army. The Russians boast a million active and two and a half in reserves for 3.5 million. How about at home? US active and reserves barely top one million.

So, if we combine the Chinese, Russian and US armies, we get only 9 million which thanks to the hard work of the Washington Post, gives me confirmation that the 81 million Armed US Citizens is the biggest (and coolest) army in the world.

Behind every blade of grass.

I'm just going to add a few points here. If 25% of Americans own a gun, and each American family has four people on average (2 adults, 2 kids), then we're right back to "on average, every American family owns a gun." And that's probably true. I know there are many American families that don't really think of themselves as gun owners, and will probably tell a survey-taker they don't own any guns, but when you get down to brass tacks, there's an old shotgun in the closet from Granddad or a revolver in the attic from Uncle Harry or a forgotten squirrel-hunting 22 that hasn't been used since they moved to the city, or just gets passed down from father to son with a "Ssh, don't tell mom."

And then there are the people who can, and will, arm their whole neighborhood out of their gun safe when the flying fecal matter impacts the rotating air circulator.

Only in the one-party-rule blue states that have successfully destroyed their gun culture are Americans even close to actually being disarmed. And even there, it's limited to the major metropolitan ares that enforce such laws vigorously.

Sun Jun 17 16:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The special counsel as political tool

LifezetteTo media critics of President Donald Trump, suggestions that independent counsel Robert Mueller may “meddle’ in this year’s midterm elections were beyond the pale. But a trip through the history pages reveals just how impactful a special counsel can be on voting.

In 1992, special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh got a grand jury to return a high-profile indictment in the Iran-Contra affair days before the election. Many outside observers believe the timing was no coincidence.

“It may have cost George Bush the election, because he was making up a point a day (in the polls) … Those indictments just ruined Bush’s momentum,” presidential history Craig Shirley said.

Of course this is what Mueller is going to do. There was never any doubt. Right before the election, he delivers his big indictments (or his report, if he can't actually get anything solid enough to indict), setting up a "blue wave" in the House followed immediately by impeachment hearings that last two more years and culminate in an impeachment vote immediately before the 2020 presidential election.

Derailing that won't be easy, but throwing Clinton and Obama and their minions in jail for abusing the national security infrastructure to steal a national election might just do it.

Sun Jun 17 15:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rosenstein should recuse himself from Mueller investigation

Ace of SpadesWe have here an allegation by the former Deputy Director of the FBI that Rosenstein participated in a cover-up of Trump's alleged obstruction of justice (consisting of the firing of Comey). In McCabe's view, Rosenstein's memo was written just to justify an illegal act.

And Rosenstein went along with it.

And McCabe has passed this memo along to Mueller -- who is, technically, Rosenstein's subordinate.

That puts Rosenstein in the same position that Sessions was in when he recused himself -- overseeing an investigation in which he himself might become a subject, and whose presence in the chain of command would be read as a "back off' signal to any subordinate digging into his role.

Sessions recused himself.

Why hasn't Rosenstein?

Where is the call for Rosenstein's recusal?

I've got your call for Rosenstein's recusal right here.

Sun Jun 17 15:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Yet another government failure leading to the Parkland mass murder

Yes, the killer was in fact in the controversial diversionary program. He didn't show, which should have meant he went directly to a judge. He didn't, in violation of the schools policy.

Remember, the whole point of the school's policy with the diversionary program in the first place is to keep disciplinary numbers down by ignoring what students do that is against the rules and even criminal. Sending someone directly into the criminal system if they ignored the diversionary program would defeat the purpose.

The idea that sending him before a judge this once would have changed anything is ludicrous.

The Washington Times“He would have had some kind of contact with law enforcement,” said Mr. Sternberg. “Whether or not he would have been arrested—it’s discretionary always with law enforcement. Sometimes they’ll arrest you, sometimes they’ll give you a warning. But the school would have had the responsibility pre-Promise to call the police on that incident to report it and file a police report.”

He had dozens of "contacts" with law enforcement. None of them actually did anything. And it takes a felony to bar gun ownership (or a misdemeanor domestic violence case). This would have been a non-DV misdemeanor.

There are no easy answers.

Sun Jun 17 14:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

To fire Bee or not to fire Bee

I don't care about either of these people, but my basic sense of fairness suggests that if you can be fired for tweeting a single, possibly racist, insult to a close advisor of a former president, you can also be fired for calling the current president's daughter an obscene word while implying an incestuous relationship with her father. But remember, if it weren't for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

There's already some advertiser pressure.

Sun Jun 17 14:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When the pin is pulled, Mr Flash-Bang Is No Longer Your Friend

I've occasionally pointed out that so-called "distraction devices" used in police SWAT raids are actually pretty damned dangerous. Miguel has very graphic proof. Deploying one of those devices into a home should be considered an initiation of force. Responding with force to a police SWAT team throwing grenades into your home should be considered self defence. If the police don't want homeowners shooting at them, they should not throw grenades into people's homes.

Sun Jun 17 13:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The cover story changes once again

National ReviewWell, well, well. The bipartisan Beltway establishment has apparently had its fill of this “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative — the same narrative the same establishment has lustily peddled for nearly two years. The Obama administration recklessly chose to deploy the government’s awesome counterintelligence powers to investigate — and, more to the point, to smear — its political opposition as a Kremlin confederate. Now that this ploy has blown up on the Justice Department and the FBI, these agencies — the ones that went out of their way, and outside their guidelines, to announce to the world that the Trump campaign was under investigation — want you to know the president and his campaign were not investigated at all, no siree.

They are backpedaling frantically because they know they found nothing, and because their found nothing, their actions in Spygate open them to criminal prosecution. So, suddenly, they weren't investigating the Trump campaign at all, they were just trying to protect it from the Russians.


Categories Spygate

Sun Jun 17 13:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does Cohen have a Ukraine problem?

He quite possibly does, but the magic 8-ball still says "Too murky to tell". Why? Well, there are a lot of potential issues with the raid on his offices, given his status as a lawyer (and to the President!). And there are more issues with anything Mueller wants to do about it, since the allegations involve money from the Ukraine allegedly in favor of their interests against Russia, not from Russia. That would seem to be outside the Russian collusion narrative that Mueller is allowed to investigate.

Sun Jun 17 12:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An armed populace is a check on government

Daily CallerAfter witnessing the union of the Democratic Party and former spy chiefs James Clapper, James Comey and John Brennan, I slowly realized my trust in the federal government had been naive. Of course, I’d never advocate an armed rebellion, but the fact 37 percent of American families own some type of firearm ensures that unelected officials think twice about the extent of their schemes.

If intelligence chiefs like Brennan and Clapper can lie under oath without perjury charges, or James Comey can overlook Clinton’s private server (storing SAP intelligence) because of “intent,” imagine the extent of their chicanery with a disarmed population.

The Second Amendment isn’t necessarily a call to arms — it’s an inconvenient reality for unelected officials who continually act with impunity and without government oversight.

The author is a former leftist and gun control advocate who changed his mind when confronted with Spygate and the utter lack of accountability the culprits receive. I suspect many gun rights advocates come to their position from similar places. Mine were Ruby Ridge and Waco. Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia are others. When the people do not have guns, the government can slaughter them at will. When the people do have guns, the options available to a despotic tyranny are limited.

Sun Jun 17 12:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Parkland shooter says he did it for fame

Crime Prevention Research Center pulls some specific quotes out. The sourcing isn't very clear, though.

Hat tip to SaysUncle.

Sun Jun 17 11:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI spy made 'false', 'absurd' allegations of Russian collusion

Daily CallerThe FBI informant who made contact with members of the Trump campaign has made allegations of Russian spy infiltration at the University of Cambridge that people involved in the matters have called “false” and “absurd.”

A Russian academic who worked at Cambridge with the informant, Stefan Halper, said he made “false allegations” about her interactions with former national security adviser Michael Flynn at an event the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS) hosted in February 2014.

Halper’s claim in December 2016 that Russians infiltrated CIS has also been called “absurd” by Christopher Andrew, the official historian for MI5 and head of CIS, the Financial Times reported.

So, was he seeking the truth, or spreading rumors?

And the thing about rumors is, if you spread them, sometimes they make their way back to you in somewhat altered form... and then you can claim that's evidence worth investigating.

Sun Jun 17 11:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza

I have mildly mixed feelings about this pardon. It did seem like a political prosecution; Dinesh make some very effective and relatively successful films attacking Obama, and that likely drew attention and investigation. Picking a person and finding a crime to use against them is not the right way to go about things. That said, it does seem like he committed a technical violation of the campaign finance laws, albeit in a small-dollar way that is rarely prosecuted.

I think Dinesh probably deserves the pardon, having learned his lesson from going through the process, and having likely been unfairly targeted for criminal prosecution. Normally such matters are handled civilly. (Certainly the Clintons pardoned people who deserved it less, likely in return for financial considerations; Obama probably did too, but we haven't seen much reporting about Obama's pardons yet).

I'm also a little skeptical about the use of pardons to signal willingness to use the pardon power to a special counsel. If in fact that is what Trump is doing, presumably related to the campaign finance violations alleged against Michael Cohen, it seems trivializing. However, the D'Souza case is a reasonable use of the pardon power considered independently, so that's a minor concern.

And Trump signaling that the left's lawfare will not work against him is not insignificant. If he's willing to defend his people with pardons where necessary, it reduces the power of the institutional left to threaten people. The combination of pardons as defense and prosecution of those on the left who have been until recently considered immune may be the only way to force the left to reconsider their use of lawfare.

Sun Jun 17 10:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Grassley wants to know why White House comment was redacted

BreitbartSenate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday demanding the Justice Department remove redactions from a text message exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau lawyer Lisa Page.

The senior Iowa lawmaker contends the redactions cover up excessive spending habits of FBI officials and appear to make reference to the Obama White House exerting control over an unspecified probe.

I'd kind of like to know too. I mean, I'm pretty sure I know already... but making them admit it would be nice.

Sun Jun 17 10:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Remember when the left were up in arms about a $30K dining service?

They were angry about it supposedly because it was expensive, and they'll take any excuse to go after Ben Carson. But, hidden under the redactions, it turns out that Andrew McCabe (recently fired from the FBI for lying, leaking, probably obstructing justice in the Clinton email "matter", and probably contributing to illegal spying on the Trump campaign) bought a $70,000 conference table.

If it wasn't for double standards, the Democrats would have no standards at all.

(Personally, I think both amounts are excessive, but I'd be curious about who prepared the list of options before I went assigning blame).

Sun Jun 17 09:27:46 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House memo suggests no intent to obstruct justice

Washington ExaminerA newly-leaked January 29 memo from President Trump's first legal team to special counsel Robert Mueller suggests the president believed fired national security adviser Michael Flynn was no longer under investigation when he famously asked FBI Director James Comey — by Comey's account — to let the Flynn case go. With a wealth of previously-unreleased information about the Flynn affair, the memo also supports the contention that the FBI did not believe Flynn lied to the agents who questioned him in the Trump-Russia probe.

If the FBI (in the form of Trump resister Sally Yates) won't even confirm or deny an ongoing investigation of Flynn, why would Trump or anyone else think there was still an investigation to obstruct? The FBI wasn't saying yes or no, but it was hinting at no, and in fact, the FBI did not charge Flynn. It took Mueller to do that when he needed leverage.

And where the fuck does Sally Yates get off refusing to answer questions from the White House?

Sun Jun 17 09:27:40 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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