March 15, 2018

Letter 03-15-2018: Senators Demand AG Appoint Second Special Counsel

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 5:09 pm

Senate SealUS Senators Charles Grassley (Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary), Lindsey Graham (Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism), John Cornyn, and Thom Tillis  sent this letter today to the US Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  The attachment letter sent to DOJIG Michael Horowitz earlier is attached to today’s letter and included with the link to it.

The letter demands that AG Sessions appoint a second Special Counsel to work with the DoJ Inspector General (DOJIG) to  investigate a range of issues concerning FBI improprieties in the application and renewal of FISA warrants, the FBI’s apparent unauthorized release of classified [national security] informationi to the press, and the FBI and DoJ’s investigations of General Michael Flynn.

The letter, supported by attachments, explains that the Special Counsel’s authority includes the ability to obtain testimony from persons not currently employed by the DoJ as well as having access to special tools available to prosecutors that are not available to the DOJIG.

Significantly, the Senators’ letter concludes with this rather blunt wording:  “If you are unwilling to take this step, please send us a detailed reply explaining why not.”  It seems the Senators are getting tired of Rosenstein’s nonresponsiveness to their inquiries and requests.

February 24, 2018

Schiff (HPSCI) Memo Released Today

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 2:13 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceToday the Democrat Minority on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released its own version of events concerning the FBI’s alleged misuse of a FISA warrant to intercept Trump campaign conversations.  Here is a link to the 10-page memorandum released today.

The Republican Majority on the HPSCI released its version of events in a memorandum on February 2, 2018.  Our OpenCdA post on February 2, 2018, entitled Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released includes a link to the Republicans’ memorandum.

As you would expect, the Democrats and Republicans have differing accounts of how the FBI obtained the FISA warrant and renewals to intercept Carter Page.

The best information about the representations made to the FISA Court by the FBI would be in the applications and supporting documentation and, if available, transcripts of those FISA Court hearings.  That information is being sought by Judicial Watch in the lawsuit cited and linked in my February 2, 2018, post Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released.  It is likely that the House Committee on the Judiciary would also be interested in reviewing the FISA applications material.

February 21, 2018

‘Adept’ Is Not Enough …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:47 pm

StonemanDouglasHSPresident Trump met today at the White House with students and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  The meeting was scheduled as a listening session for the President.  It was an opportunity for him to listen to comments and pleas from some of those affected by the mass murder at the school on February 14, 2018.  By all accounts I’ve seen, the President listened attentively and respectfully and was appropriately engaged with those who attended the meeting.

As reported in the Fox News story headlined Trump on preventing mass shootings: ‘we’re going to get it done’, a parent suggested “… that a select few teachers, administrators, or other school employees volunteer to become a designated “undercover police officer,” to manage a potential tragedy prior to the arrival of first responders.”

There followed some discussion about allowing volunteers on school staff to carry concealed weapons after receiving the appropriate training.

President Trump said, “It takes five to eight minutes for first responders. So the attack is over. If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end [the attack].”

My opinion is that it is not enough to be “adept at firearms.”

Though initial and then regularly recurring safety and proficiency training are unquestionably essential as the President suggested using the word “adept,” it is even more important that volunteers be first properly selected and then prepared to do something that will forever affect their own lives: Before volunteering or being employed, trained, and entrusted with both the duty and authority to use lethal force, they must first be competently assessed to be psychologically prepared to shoot and kill the attacker, even if the attacker is a child.

Before even applying to be an armed volunteer or employee, applicants must self-evaluate.   ” Do I really have the mental preparation and resolve to prevent an attack by shooting and killing an armed attacker before the attacker can attack his or her first victim?”    “What if the armed attacker is someone I know?  Maybe a child, maybe even a child I know?  Can I do it?”

Applicants to be armed volunteers or employees must initially and then regularly be psychologically screened and evaluated to determine if they have the ability to kill a person, maybe a child, who has a weapon. The psychological evaluation must also determine insofar as possible how the volunteer will react after neutralizing a potential attacker.  Will the volunteer be so emotionally distraught that he or she is unable to effectively engage a second or third attacker?

When the idea of armed volunteers in schools is discussed, people often suggest that retired law enforcement and military members from the community would be good choices.

I don’t think so.  At least, not automatically.

If I were a parent, I wouldn’t necessarily want some retired geezer with a gun protecting my child or grandchild.

We geezers retired from law enforcement or the military for a reason.  I retired from the US Secret Service after 23 years and before age 50 because I recognized my reactions were slowing and my eyesight was getting fuzzier.  I did not want the life of someone our agency was protecting or a fellow employee’s life to be dependent on me.

Neither would I want your child or grandchild’s life dependent on me.  Your child or grandchild’s life is no less important than the President’s.

Maybe in the next OpenCdA post I’ll put up my thoughts on how schools can be made safer.

February 16, 2018

Really Bad Idea, Scotty! You Too, Little Marco

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:53 pm

Chris_Wray_official_photo copyWithin hours of the mass murders on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Florida’s knee-jerk Republican Governor Rick Scott and half-cocked Republican US Senator Marco Rubio have demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray resign.

The FBI has already acknowledged that it failed to properly categorize and forward a good citizen’s potentially critical report called in on January 5 to the FBI about alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Properly, both Director Wray and AG Sessions have ordered an investigation to determine exactly what happened that led to the FBI’s mishandling critical information.  Until that investigation is completed, any adverse actions against any FBI employee including Director Wray are premature.

Wray was installed as the FBI Director on September 28, 2017, exactly 140 days before the Parkland murders.

For two opportunistic political hacks, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio, to call for Wray’s resignation over the breakdown of a program put in place long before be became Director is not only unfair but monumentally stupid.  Firing Wray for not having first found and then fixed every FBI problem in his first 140 days on the job is not the way to rehabilitate the FBI.

The damage done to the FBI and DoJ by eight years of Obama and Biden, Holder and Lynch, and Mueller and Comey appears to have originated at the top and flowed downhill.  Their politicizing damage needs to be  assessed by a Presidential Commission, not aggravated by firing Christopher Wray.

Right now, the FBI needs a strong Director.  It may have one in Christopher Wray.  Fire him for political expedience rather than just cause, and the next qualified and competent Director will almost certainly be much harder to find.

Special Counsel Issues Indictment of Russians – 2016 Election Interference

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 12:10 pm

svr logo|

On Friday, February 16, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a federal grand jury indictment naming 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies as defendants.  The indictment alleges the defendants interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Here is a link to the 37-page indictment issued today.

The indictment itself is a far more reliable and complete information source than the news media for the details of when, how, and by whom the offenses against the United States were allegedly committed.


February 13, 2018

Appoint a Presidential Commission

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 1:52 pm

Warren Commission Composite NYTWith  American citizens finally becoming more aware of  the scope and gravity of the institutional corruption involved in and around the 2016 election, members of Congress are receiving increasing demands to appoint another Special Counsel.

As I opined in my OpenCdA post on January 12, 2018, entitled So It Never Happens Again …,  merely appointing yet another Special Counsel to look into the allegations of apparent criminal wrongdoing associated with the 2016 national general election would be an incomplete approach.

I don’t dispute there are grounds for such a Special Counsel.  However, I believe the job of rehabilitating corrupted and crippled agencies whose missions are critically important to the national security is too much for a Special Counsel.

Before you conclude I’m overstating the scope of work required for rehabilitation, consider this:

Credible evidence released by diligent House and Senate committees has provided solid reasons to believe that the following government bodies have some involvement either as alleged violators or as victims in the numerous and various statutory and administrative rule violations:

  • Central Intelligence Agency (alleged violator)
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) (victim)
  • Department of Justice (alleged violator)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (alleged violator)
  • Department of State (alleged violator)
  • Federal Election Commission (victim)
  • Former President Obama and his Executive Office of the President (alleged violator)
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (victim)
  • Internal Revenue Service (alleged violator)
  • National Security Agency (alleged violator)
  • US Congress (victim)

Very arguably the most important objective of  rehabilitation has to be to restore the public’s confidence in our federal agencies to perform their duties honestly and diligently.  (Lest we forget, the honest and diligent employees of all the alleged violator agencies are ‘the public,’ too.)  Thus far, the Mueller Special Counsel effort has produced  little or nothing to accomplish that objective.

There is another objective that no Special Counsel will have the courage to touch:  An open and frank discussion of the miserable failure of our First Amendment-protected news media to provide timely, accurate, and complete reporting of verified information (not opinion) to We, the People.

That discussion must include but not start with the performance of reporters or editors or news directors.  It must start with media owners’ lack of understanding the importance of timely, accurate, complete news reporting.  Then these owners must be questioned about their lack of commitment to that same reporting.

In part the failures of federal agencies have apparently been aided and abetted by the First Amendment-protected news media’s decisions to ignore or under-report those failures.   The media owe We, the People, some answers for their seemingly aiding and abetting alleged crimes that have been committed against all the people of the United States.

If the public’s confidence in the integrity of some critical agencies and their employees is to be restored, we need a Presidential Commission with far more horsepower, moral courage, and integrity than we are likely to ever see from another Special Counsel like Robert Mueller.

February 9, 2018

It’s Called ‘Sanitizing’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 8:23 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceToday the President determined that the Democrat response to the Republican HPSCI memo could not be properly declassified and released to the public as written.

The letter from White House Counsel Don McGahn to the HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes was released today.   The unclassified letter offered the Executive Branch’s assistance to the HPSCI Minority in making revisions which would allow public release of the minority’s memo.

The process of rewording classified information to permit the information to be released to the public is called “sanitizing.”

Sanitizing is a very common practice,  and when done honestly and diligently by knowledgeable, skillful writers, their desired message can be conveyed without revealing sensitive national security information.

Congress Getting Very, Very Warm …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:30 pm

FISC SealThe House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and its Chairman Devin Nunes are getting very, very warm when it comes to ‘unmasking’ the apparent corruption and exploitation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) by some Mahogany Row players in the Obama Justice Department (DoJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

On February 7, 2018, Chairman Nunes sent a formal written request, a letter to the Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, requesting, “… transcripts of any relevant FISC hearings associated with the initial FISA application or subsequent renewals related to electronic surveillance of Carter Page.”

Clearly, Chairman Nunes and the HPSCI need to see all of the material submitted to the FISC to determine the extent of the representations, if any,  made to the Court in obtaining a FISA warrant and its three renewals to use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct an unlawful electronic surveillance on US citizen Carter Page.

Beyond that, it is very possible the HPSCI’s examination of these materials may reveal a pattern of deception practiced by officials in both the DoJ and FBI in seeking or securing other FISA warrants against US citizens unlawfully “unmasked” after incidental contact with persons lawfully the targets of FISA interceptions.

(P.S.:  It appears that even Sulzburger’s Slimes at the New York Times can no longer continue to ignore the post mortem stench of the Obama administration.  On February 6, 2018, the New York Times Company submitted a motion to the FISA Court requesting that the Court “… order publicatiion of all of its orders authorizing surveillance of Carter Page, a United States citizen, together with the application materials and renewal application mateerials upon which those orders were issued.”)

February 6, 2018

Update: Prior Redactions to Important Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Revealed

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 8:18 pm

Senate SealOn Feburary 5, 2018, our OpenCdA post entitled Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Released relating to the Christopher Steele “dossier” contained a link to the highly-redacted Committee memo concerning the “dossier” and its importance to the FBI and DoJ in security a FISA warrant to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page.

Late today, the Department of Justice (DoJ) responded positively to a request from Senators Grassley and Graham to further declassify some of the material redacted in that material.

Here is the further redacted memo released just a few hours ago.

If factually accurate, the current memo’s representations suggest it was the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, not Donald J. Trump, who were conspiring with a foreign agent to violate several campaign finance laws to prevent the lawful election of Donald J. Trump.

The memo in conjunction with other evidence strongly suggests that some FBI and DoJ headquarters executives were severely and possibly criminally derelict in performing their official duties pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court’s authorization to surveil Carter Page, a US citizen.

Please read the further redacted memo and decide for yourselves.

To date, Fox News has been the only major news medium to doggedly resist falling in line with the journalism group think/Clinton love fest so sickeningly broadcast by the formerly important news networks NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN, and formerly reliable and diligent newspapers including but not limited to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Whether they knew it or not, these and other news media have promoted the effort to first defeat Donald Trump’s candidacy and then, failing to engineer his election defeat,  to use whatever means necessary to prevent him from performing his official duties and then to remove him from office.

By failing to diligently pursue the facts objectively, it appears to me the national skews media have collectively participated in deception by omission.  Sadly, both the FBI and the Department of Justice have been complicit in the effort to manage the information the public receives.

It is likely that much more information will be revealed by the Congressional investigations.

It’s Called ‘Lawfare’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 1:04 pm

LawfareThe Fox News Network is running an online news story today by Fred Lucas.  The story is headlined Democratic AGs swarm Trump administration with lawsuits.

The story is accompanied by a pull quote which reads, “This is not about the rule of law or holding the line to stop the feds from preempting state laws; this is about power.”  The quote is attributed to Scott Will, executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

It has a name, Mr. Will.   It’s called “Lawfare.”  Think of it as weaponizing the rule of law with the sole purpose of  paralyzing and neutralizing a superior opponent.  If you and your cronies in the Republican Attorney General Association  (RAGA) are just figuring out that “The Resistance” to the Trump election and inauguration is using it, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I suggest you read a couple of books.

The first book is Lawfare:  Law as a Weapon of War. It was published in 2016.

The second is Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech: A First Amendment Guide for Reporting in an Age of Islamist Lawfare.  It was published in 2011.

If the RAGA members doubt that its DAGA counterparts like Washington State’s Robert “Sideshow Bob” Ferguson are intentionally using lawfare to bring the Trump administration to a grinding halt, they should find and read David Brock’s online publication “Democracy Matters – Strategic Plan for Action.”  (See OpenCdA post dated August 16, 2017, entitled Understanding the Subversion of the Trump Presidency.)  Lawfare is one of the techniques Brock and his fellow travelers discuss in the Strategic Plan for Action.

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