OpenCDA

September 18, 2018

And That Will Help … How Exactly?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:41 pm

Lies-TruthIn today’s episode of the Washington, DC, soap opera entitled “As the Barstool Spins,” we learn that Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford has been receiving violent threats.  According to a post in TheHill.com,  “[Ford] has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.”

TheHill.com blog post goes on to say that, “Ford’s lawyers said in the letter that she would not testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing set for Monday until the FBI investigates her allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.”

I don’t get it.

Even if the FBI had the legal jurisdiction to open such an investigation (it doesn’t), how exactly would the FBI investigating her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school in 1982 make the threats stop?  The FBI would be investigating very stale 1982 leads of a crime that would never be prosecuted, not the 2018 threats reportedly being made against Ford.

Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee would be limited to matters of her own personal knowledge, not the results of any FBI (or anyone else’s) investigation.

My opinion is that the letter from Ford’s lawyers, Katz and Banks, demanding a FBI investigation in return for Ford’s testimony is nothing more than another effort  delay the vote to confirm or reject Kavanaugh’s appointment.    That strategy seems contrary to their client’s and her family’s safety interests.  It seems to me that the quicker Kavanaugh is confirmed or rejected, the sooner any threat made or posed to Ford and her family loses its potency.   Ford’s attorneys ought to be trying to expedite her testimony’s completion rather than delay its commencement.

If Ford’s lawyers, Katz and Banks, are sincerely concerned about threats against Ford and her family, they need to be coordinating with the appropriate California law enforcement agencies who do have jurisdiction over threats of violence, extortion, stalking, witness intimidation, etc.

The FBI should very politely hand attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks a bucket of sand and tell them to go pound it.

September 17, 2018

Derogatory? Yes. Credible? Not So Fast …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:58 pm

Lies-TruthWho among you did not expect the Democrats to produce at the very last second “someone” who would testify that Federal District Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court, committed some unspeakable act upon her innocent body?

The Democrat’s “someone” this time is Christine Blasey Ford, a professor from Palo Alto University in California.  Ford alleges that about 35 years ago in 1982 when Kavanaugh was a junior in high school and she was a sophomore, they were at a party together at a private residence in Maryland.  She alleges Kavanaugh was drunk, held her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothing, and rubbed her through her clothing.

Ford’s information was provided in a letter to California US Representative Anna Eshoo and then on to Senator Dianne Feinstein as an allegation.   The content of the information, an allegation of wrongdoing,  qualifies it as “derogatory.”   The question is whether Ford and her information are both “credible.”   (more…)

September 5, 2018

A Snub? Or a Potential Threat Within Arms Reach?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:55 pm

Guttenberg-Kavanaugh-handshake-Associated-Press-640x480

You may remember seeing this photo in the skews media today.  It was taken by Associated Press Photographer Andrew Harnik.  The man on the right (blue tie) is Federal District Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.  The man on the left (hand extended) is Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting victims.

The photograph captures Guttenberg, an invited guest of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, approaching Judge Kavanaugh as the Judge had just arisen from the witness table after testifying in the first day of his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Judiciary Committee.   The photo accompanied the Breitbart online article headlined Debunked:  Anti-Trump Parkland Dad Targets Brett Kavanaugh With Handshake Stunt lede paragraph which read:

Democrats are swooning over the accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh snubbed Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, when Guttenberg tried to shake his hand at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Regardless of what you might think of Breitbart’s credibility, the linked article’s story provides more contextual information that most of the stories which appeared in the legacy skews media.

The Breitbart story and the accompanying photo has some details that raise questions.

1.  How do you read the expression on Judge Kavanaugh’s face?

To have consciously and intentionally “snubbed Fred Guttenberg,” Judge Kavanaugh would have to have immediately recognized Guttenberg or at least have heard enough from what Guttenberg said to have arrived at a decision to “snub” Guttenberg.

My reading of Judge Kavanaugh’s expression is,  “Who the hell are you?”  The Judge, his wife, his daughters, and his mother had just been required to calmly sit and endure the infantile behavior of several Democrat Senators on the Judiciary Committee.  His wife had felt compelled to remove his two daughters from the hearing for their safety because of the admittedly choreographed disruptive and near-violent behavior by people seated behind them in the audience.

And a memory of Federal District Judge John M. Roll may have flashed across Judge Kavanaugh’s mind.

2.  Did Senator Diane Feinstein of California suggest or otherwise encourage Guttenberg to approach Judge Kavanaugh when she invited him to be her guest at the hearing? If so, was it her intent and hope Kavanaugh might react to Guttenberg in some way that the legacy media could twist into an embarrassing accusation to jeopardize his nomination?

3.  Had Senator Feinstein,  Protest Choreographer Senator Chuck Schumer and his Assistant Protest Choreographer Senator Dick (appropriately named!) Durbin forewarned Judge Kavanaugh or his security detail that Guttenberg was going to be in the audience and that he might try to speak with Judge Kavanaugh?

4.  Who was responsible for providing personal security and protection for Judge Kavanaugh and his family inside the hearing room?  If it was the US Capitol Police, why did they allow Guttenberg (or anyone else not known to them) to approach him as Guttenberg did?

Assuming he was surprised at the presence of a person unknown to him and approaching and already in arm’s reach of him, Judge Kavanaugh did exactly the right thing by not shaking hands with Guttenberg, not saying anything to him, and then quickly turning and walking away.

I wish whoever was responsible for Judge Kavanaugh’s and his family’s personal security inside the Judiciary Committee hearing room had reacted more quickly and as appropriately as the Judge did.

September 1, 2018

Ignore the Gorilla at Your Own Peril

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 8:38 pm

800 pound gorillaSince immediately after the lawful election of Donald J. Trump to be President of the United States on November 8, 2016, there has been an organized effort by anti-American Democrats and Republicans and other dregs of society to prevent him from taking office.  That effort failed, so they turned their efforts to removing him from office.

Thanks to the diligent  and costly efforts of a handful of members of Congress and to a private organization known as Judicial Watch who have remained loyal to the Constitution and the principle of the rule of law, we are getting a clearer picture, albeit a frightening one, indicating that named persons in the very top echelons of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have committed federal felonies to conceal exonerating evidence and fabricate incriminating evidence that would support the impeachment and removal from office of President Donald J. Trump.  Some private authors, notably Peter Schweitzer and Gregg Jarrett, have written excellent books summarizing the evidence docuented in Congressional hearings and FOIA responses to Judicial Watch.

Some time ago the documented evidence showed beyond any reasonable doubt that secret interception warrants and renewals sought by the FBI and DoJ from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) were approved and signed by FISC judges.  One particular FISA warrant and three 90-day renewals of it authorized the FBI and DoJ to intercept a US citizen, Carter Page.

The FISC hearings are held in secret and are ex parte proceedings.  The FBI and DoJ present evidence supporting their FISA application directly to the FISC judge in a closed proceeding.  Because of the secrecy and the ex parte nature of the proceedings, it is the judge’s duty to ensure that the stringent requirements of the FISA law are strictly obeyed.  It is well within the FISC judge’s discretion and authority to require the DoJ and FBI to present evidence supporting their sworn statements in the affidavit before issuing the order.

A few honest members of Congress and Judicial Watch who have been analyzing the evidence derived from hearings and investigations and FOIA responses long ago determined that the FBI and DoJ very likely knowingly and intentionally misled the FISC in the Page FISA warrant and renewal applications.   That is serious by itself, but it is not the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

The 800-pound gorilla showed up in the Judicial Watch offices in the form of an FOIA response last week to Judicial Watch.  This Washington Times article today was headlined FISA court didn’t hold hearings before granting warrants on Carter Page, Trump notes in tweet clearly and succintly states that the FISC judges issued FISA warrants to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page, without even holding a required proceeding and creating a transcript of it.  The DoJ has acknowledged that.

How does an honest and competent Federal District Court judge serving as a FISC judge issue a warrant without even conducting a proceeding to have the affiants present to answer the questions the FISC judge is supposed to be asking before issuing the secret search warrant?  How is the affiant’s oath sworn?

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton answered that question very succinctly.  The FISC “rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump [campaign] team.”

Are the FISC judges lazy?  Cowards?  Corrupt?  All the preceding?

Where are the supposed freedom fighters for civil liberties, the defenders of the First Amendment?  Where are the skews media like the New York Times and the Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC,  CNN and NPR?  Where is the American Civil Liberties Union?

This is not “politics as usual”.   It is nothing short of an effort by agencies, officials,  and employees of the US government to unlawfully remove the President of the United States from office by fabricating or falsifying evidence which could never be admitted in a criminal trial but would happily be accepted in the political impeachment and removal proceedings of Congress.  By underreporting or completely ignoring these illegal actions, the “free press” skews media become witting accomplices.

If the FISC or any other federal district court judge is so corrupt as to issue invalid secret warrants against a private citizen like Carter Page, he or she may well be rubber-stamping federal law enforcement agency affidavits and approving other illegal search warrants without appropriate judicial oversight against other private citizens like you or me.

The further erosion of the rule of law, this time by the judicial branch of government, is the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

August 24, 2018

Three Worth Reading

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 11:51 am

Hoax+Comp+AO

When the 2016 Republican National Convention delegates nominated Donald J. Trump to be the party’s presidential nominee on July 19, 2016, it generated more of a shock inside the Republican Party than it did with the Democrats.   After all,  “everyone” including many Republicans knew and accepted that 2016 was going to be the year of the first woman President of the United States.  She was to be Hillary Clinton.  (more…)

August 17, 2018

Monetizing Hypocrisy

HypocrisyTwelve former senior intelligence officials have signed a statement criticizing President Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.  Their letter asserts the President’s decision was based entirely on Brennan’s criticism of the President.

It is very likely that several of these officials were in that “special” category of officials who were allowed to retain their security clearances when they left the government service.   In fact, some of them may still have clearances on file with their final employer.

But as has become typical of our national, regional, and local skews media, we’re not getting the complete picture about the signators to this letter.   Some of them appear to be capitalizing on their clearance retention to financially enhance their retirement incomes. (more…)

August 7, 2018

My First Thought Was …

Filed under: Cartoons,Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:34 am

Branco - Jeong 08-07-2018 copy

I am a fan of A.F. Branco’s political cartoons.

When I saw his cartoon this morning at LegalInsurrection.com, my first thought was, “Shouldn’t there be a Starbucks coffee cup near her left hand?”

At least one Starbucks store in the greater metropolitan Athol suburb of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,  peddles the New York Times.

Starbucks proclaims itself to be a champion of diversity, so I’m sure Seattle’s own Kevin and Howard Show would be eager to have its coffee products prominently represented by the ever-diverse Sarah Jeong, the newest member of the New York Times Editorial Board.

August 6, 2018

Almost Three Years Late …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 7:34 am

2015WindstormHead1

Remember Windstorm 2015 that hit our area on November 17, 2015?

Apparently the Coeur d’Alene Press finally got around to giving it some thought for its August 5, 2018, relevant but long overdue editorial entitled Fires Ignite One Thumbs-Up — And One Down.

In my OpenCdA post entitled Our Grade?  Needs Improvement on December 7, 2015, I tried to be restrained in my criticism of the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and its Director, Sandy von Behren, Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, and the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners.  ‘Unprepared’ and ‘indecisive’ would have been the kindest terms I could have used for their collective professional failures in performing their official duties regarding informing the public.

Sunday’s skewspaper editorial finally acknowledged one of Windstorm 2015’s lessons that should have been learned long ago:  Kootenai County does not have a coordinated method of disseminating timely, accurate, and complete information to all the residents of Kootenai County.

The County thinks it does and tells the public it does on its website.  It doesn’t.

But what about Alert!Kootenai, the Kootenai County Emergency Alert Program?   How many of you who signed up for this received any message about the fires near Dirtstrip International Airport that were the basis for Sunday’s Press editorial?  I didn’t.

Sunday’s Press editorial included this statement:

This complaint isn’t just from a newspaper charged with keeping citizens informed; media throughout the region are poised to get important information to the public promptly and accurately.

The last portion of that statement, “…; media throughout the region are poised to get important information to the public promptly and accurately,” needs further discussion. (more…)

July 7, 2018

They’re Off to See the Prison …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:45 am

DBSIBack in 2014 OpenCdA ran a series of posts about the DBSI financial scandal headquartered in Meridian, Idaho.

The DBSI fraud had at least ten victims in northern Idaho.  It had victims in 34 states and millions of dollars in losses to victims.  Yet neither of our area skews papers (Coeur d’Alene Press or The Spokesman-Review) followed and reported on this very significant financial crime operating out of Idaho and financially damaging residents in our area.

The Idaho Statesman reported on Friday that former DBSI executives Douglas Swenson, Mark Ellison, Jeremy Swenson and David Swenson will appear before US Magistrate Candy Dale in Boise on Monday.

Their appeals have been rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, so Magistrate Dale can either order them taken immediately into custody to begin serving their sentences or she can allow them to remain free on bail until their prison assignments have been finalized.

June 14, 2018

DoJ OIG Final Report – FBI & DoJ Interference in 2016 Election

06-14-2018 OIG Report CoverThe long-awaited US Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General’s report concerning the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference in the 2016 election was released Jkune 14, 2018.  Here is a link to the 568-page (some pages blank) report.

I’m sure some readers will disagree with my characterization “the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference.”  Read the report and come to your own conclusions.  My opinion, a conclusion, is that they interfered, and that inteference seems to be continuing even now by the FBI’s and DoJ’s unlawfully withholding information Congress needs to perform its Constitutionally-required oversight.

Spontaneous statements can be valid indicators of state of mind.

The text messages between two high-up FBI employees, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, were spontaneous, not scripted.  One (see page 402 headed August 8, 2016) that was particularly chilling.  It read:

“In a text message on August 7, 2016, Page stated, “[Trump’s not ever going to become president, right?  Right?!”  Strzok responded, “No.  No he’s not.  We’ll stop it.” [emphasis mine]

Keep in mind that Peter Strzok was not some hump brick agent — he is an FBI Deputy Assistant Director.  Lisa Page was the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.   It’s fair to wonder just how far they would be willing to go to stop Donald J. Trump from being elected President.

And yet in a press conference Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated what was asserted in the report:  There was nothing in the FBI’s conduct of the investigation that indicated political bias.   (more…)

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