OpenCDA

May 7, 2018

Not a Bludgeon!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:17 pm

bludgeonGovernment agencies are supposed to use investigations to obtain verifiable facts, not bludgeon citizens into making false statements so the “G” can notch another conviction.

Apparently Special Counsel Robert Mueller never got that memo.

Finally an honest and unintimidated Senior Federal District Court Judge, Thomas Selby Ellis III, has declared in open court what most people have recognized for months:  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has insufficient or, more likely, no evidence showing Russians worked cooperatively with the Trump campaign to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Now having spent several million dollars of public money with little to show for it, Mueller appears willing to use the bludgeon of criminal prosecution to convince witnesses (e.g., Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort) to “sing” against President Trump.  Or maybe Mueller will settle for an imaginative composition in lieu of admissible evidence.

In the hearing on Friday, May 4, 2018, in the Eastern District of Virginia,  Judge Ellis said, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud.  You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever. …”

There was a succinct summary of the Judge’s comments in The Daily Caller News Foundation article dated May 6, 2018, entitled Federal Judge Could Be A Nightmare For Special Counsel Mueller.

I really like the phraseology law professor Alan Dershowitz used in the May 7, 2018, The Hill article entitled Federal judge rightly rebukes Mueller attorney for questionable tactics.  Judge Ellis said, “This vernacular is to ‘sing,’ is what prosecutors use. What you got to be careful of is, they may not only sing, they may compose.”

Two other federal district court judges are looking at the Michael Flynn guilty plea and the demand of the 13 indicted Russian boiler room operators for a speedy trial.

In Flynn’s case, recently released unredacted FBI reports indicate that during their interview with Flynn, the FBI agents detected no evidence of Flynn’s making false statements to them in violation of federal law.  Yet he pled guilty to making false statements to them.  Why?  Apparently the Justice Department suggested that unless Flynn admitted making false statements, his son would be prosecuted, too.

Special Counsel Mueller’s highly publicized indictments of the 13 Russians is beginning to look like another Justice Department clown car act, too.  Expecting the Russians to remain in Russia with which the US of A has no extradition treaty, Mueller’s thugs asked for a continuance of their arraignment.  Oddly enough, the Russians’ US of A legal counsel objected, saying in fact that the Russians would plead not guilty and demand  a speedy trial.  More importantly, the Russians’ legal counsel made a detailed demand for discovery.  Their counsel wants to see everything Uncle Sugar has on the 13 Russians.  Ruh-roh!

Given the US DoJ’s extremely bad habit of not fully disclosing exculpatory evidence and its not expecting the Russians to actually want to go to trial, we may soon see a motion for dismissal from the Special Counsel.

As I’ve suggested in preceding OpenCdA posts, the US Department of Justice and its subordinate element, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, need a mercilessly critical examination by a Presidential Commission akin to the 1963 Warren Commission.    There are clearly some corrupt lawyers and agents in both.   And for the sake of the Constitution, fire Mueller and his thugs before they can bludgeon again!

May 6, 2018

Don’t Even Think About It!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 1:21 pm

Gina Haspel - CIA copyToday’s Seattle Times online is running an article headlined ‘Gina Haspel, nominee to head CIA, sought to withdraw over questions about her role in agency interrogation program‘.

According to the article, “Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the CIA’s reputation and her own, the officials said.”

Don’t withdraw.  Don’t even think about it.  Please don’t.

For the last 33 years you’ve done more for your country than most of the Fools on the Hill.   While they were getting rich, getting drunk or high, and getting laid, you were defending our country with more loyalty, integrity, courage, and smarts than they will ever have.  Unfortunately, they are stupid enough to reject your nomination and put the country at risk to score some points for their own political enrichment.  They are moral hypocrites.

April 27, 2018

Final HPSCI Report – Russian Interference in 2016 Election

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:32 am

HRPT-115-1 Cover

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has just publicly released its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Here is a link to the redacted report entitled Report on Russian Active Measures.

ADDENDUM:   04-28-2018 – Here is a link to the 96-page Minority Views commentary about the HPSCI final report linked above.

April 14, 2018

W6OBB, SK

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 11:49 am

Art_W6OBB_SKArt, W6OBB

April 13, 2018

Just Released: USDoJIG Report – McCabe Firing

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 1:58 pm

McCabe OIG Report Cover|

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Here is a link to the cover letter and the 39-page report of the Office of Inspector General, US Department of Justice, released April13, 2018.

A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

April 12, 2018

How Will They Know?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:21 pm

SherlockHemlock MuellerSenate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. and Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Davis Ryan Jr. are among several Fools on the Hill urging President Trump to just let Special Counsel Robert Mueller finish his investigation.  Just let him finish the job he started, they’re saying.

That certainly sounds like a reasonable suggestion.  Except it’s not.

How will McConnell, Ryan, and the other Fools on the Hill know when the investigation is finished?

What are the clearly enumerated defined investigative criteria being used to judge the sufficiency of  the Mueller Hit Squad’s investigation?

Who has been designated and empowered to be the person to say that the investigation has reached its conclusion?

The answers to those questions should have been clearly enumerated and included in the authorization for the Special Counsel, but they weren’t.

Why not?

The answer to that last question may be in what was not included in Order 3915-2017  signed by Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on 5/17/17.  That was the order which appointed the Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election and related matters.  Paragraph (b) of that Order gives Mueller almost unlimited authority to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump“. [emphasis mine]

Notice, however, the Order does not authorize as well the investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and inviduals associated with the campaign of nominee Hillary Clinton.”  Had the Clinton campaign been mentioned specifically with the Trump campaign in the Order, it would have forced Rosenstein to include the kind of specificity I suggested.  It would have made it difficult for Mueller to ignore the Clinton campaign’s and the DNC’s now-proven financial relationship with the Russian government to create the fictional Steele dossier.  It would have made it difficult for Mueller to focus his entire inquisition on Trump.

By specifically excluding the Clinton campaign from the Order, Rosenstein gave Mueller complete authority to ignore Clinton campaign complicity with the Russians and also to ignore other crimes committed by the Clinton campaign and others.

For an exceedingly clear explanation of just how corrupt the US Department of Justice has become, read ‘Talk to Mueller?  No, Trump Should Use His Bully Pulpit to Expose Mueller’s Corruption‘.  It was written by Kurt Schlichter and was posted April 12, 2017, on townhall.com.

April 10, 2018

Renewed Request for Presidential Commission

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 11:03 am

Warren Commission Composite NYTMy OpenCdA posts on January 10, 2018, entitled ‘So It Never Happens Again …‘ and February 13, 2018, entitled ‘Appoint a Presidential Commission‘ urged President Trump to appoint a Presidential Commission with the same stature and authority as the 1963 Warren Commission.  The Commission I advocated first in January 2018 would examine the depth and effects of corruption by politicization of both the US Department of Justice and its subordinate agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

There were two underlying reasons for my belief that a national Presidential Commission was more appropriate than a second Special Counsel.

  • The job was too big for a Special Counsel.  The scope of DoJ and FBI malfeasance, criminal abuses of authority, and other criminal conduct infected other federal agencies during the Obama presidency.  Some of those agencies, notably the CIA, the NSA, the Department of State including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Internal Revenue Service, the Executive Office of the President under and including then-President Barack Obama, and employees and members of the US Congress (e.g., Deborah Wasserman Schultz, D-FL 23rd District) had personnel with varying degrees of criminal complicity involving national security compromises and outright apparent violations of Title 18 US Code sections.
  • Ordering authoritative measures to identify and correct the abuses and criminal conduct by the DoJ and FBI and to reestablish the public’s confidence in both the DoJ and the FBI is more important than prosecuting offenders except for the most egregious violations of criminal law.  Criminal prosecutions sound good, but in the end, the results are often unsatisfying.   That outcome would still leave a corrupt DoJ and FBI intact after a few low-level sacrificial stooges are convicted in skewed show trials that would likely take years to convene and conclude.

I believe those original reasons remain valid, but now there are more.

  • My August 16, 2017, post entitled ‘Understanding the Subversion of the Trump Presidency‘ linked to documents explaining several levels of plans that were put in place immediately after President Trump’s election to subvert his presidency and undermine the national security.  Little did we know at the time that the ‘lawfare’ mentioned in the written plans of Brock, et al, would result in the appointment of an overzealous Special Counsel and his employment of several DoJ attorneys who had in numerous prosecutions been excoriated  by federal trial courts for withholding excuplatory evidence from defense counsels.  Several of the convictions in those prosecutions were overturned on appeal.
  • On April 9, 2018, FBI special agents executed search warrants and seized documents from the permanent home, the temporary hotel residence, and the office of one of President Trump’s personal attorneys, Michael Cohen.  Since we have not seen either the affidavits prepared in support of the search warrants or the search warrant return itemizing the material seized, we don’t know for sure if the warrant service was related to the so far unproven allegations of illegal conduct by President Trump.  We do know that the warrants were sought by the Office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York based at least in part on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and with the approval of Main Justice.  Significantly, we also know that some of the material seized contained privileged communication between President Trump and attorney Cohen.
  • The seizure by FBI agents of privileged communications between President Trump and attorney Cohen should have resulted in the material being immediately turned over to a DoJ “taint team” before any of the material was examined by anyone.  The taint team comprises DoJ attorneys who are supposed to segregate privileged information from other material so that FBI agents and DoJ attorneys do not taint an investigation by the unauthorized examination and illegal use of attorney-client privileged information.   Some of the DoJ attorneys on Mueller’s Special Counsel have been chastised for Brady decision violations (For a brief discussion of Brady, see my August 27, 2014, OpenCdA post entitled From Arfee to Brady).  Their professional credibility has already been tainted in earlier times by documented misconduct.
  • The FBI and the DoJ misrepresented or withheld material facts from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in securing warrants to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page.  Agencies and their agents who will lie to the Court may also be willing to fabricate evidence.   When those agencies and their agents are part of the US Intelligence Community, they have access to the resources who could fabricate false but convincing documentary evidence that would be difficult to detect forensically or linguistically, particularly if the forgers had access to contextual documents that might be found in an attorney’s files.
  • The FBI and DoJ have intentionally delayed their responses to Congressional subpoenas for information about the numerous acts of alleged criminal conduct by Hillary Clinton, her campaign, her husband, and their Foundation.
  • The DoJ Inspector General’s report (actually six reports), originally to have been released in March, then April, may not not be released until May or later.   AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III should, but likely won’t, ask the President to declassify that report and immediately release it without redactions to the public by posting it on the White House website.   A Presidential Commission’s recommendation to do exactly that could hardly be ignored by Sessions whose love for the DoJ as an institution appears to exceed his loyalty to the US Constitution or the American people.
  • The efforts of the DoJ, the FBI, and the Special Counsel seem now to be a concerted effort to intentionally obstruct the performance of the duties of the President and Congress.   By design, our “free press” heartily endorses and furthers that objective.   The skews media are protected by the First Amendment, however as those same media are quick to point out when it serves their purposes, there can be reasonable restrictions on the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.  There needs to be a reasonable discussion about an appropriate and reasonable reaction when the supposedly untouchable skews media become co-conspirators with agencies and agents of the US Government to intentionally obstruct the lawful operation of a duly elected government.  A Presidential Commission, not an overzealous Special Counsel hell-bent on taking down the President of the United States, is the proper venue for that discussion.

March 15, 2018

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

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — 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.

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