February 6, 2018

It’s Called ‘Lawfare’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — 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.

February 5, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Released

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 5:30 pm

Senate SealIn an apparently undated and heavily redacted declassified memorandum released today,  Senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary have referred “… Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice for investigation of potential violation(s) of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.”

Steele’s mostly unsubstantiated “dossier,” funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign, apparently played a significant role in the FBI’s obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.  (See OpenCdA post dated February 2, 2018, entitled Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released.)

The referral suggests that the Senate Judiciary Committee believes Steele may have knowingly and willfully (1) falsifie[d], conceal[ed], or cover[ed] up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; or (2) ma[de] any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) ma[de] or use[d] any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry in an investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

The FBI and DoJ included Steele’s “dossier” or parts of it in their FISA warrant application.  One issue is whether the FBI adequately informed the FISA Court Judge that the “dossier” information included in the FISA warrant application had not been verified by the FBI and was, in fact, created as an opposition research document funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign.

The memos like today’s and the Nunes’ memo are interesting, however the real meat of the info would come from the FISA warrant  initial and renewal applications  and any supporting documentation attached.  What the affiant represented to the FISA Court and what the affiant should have told the Court but failed to fully disclose or completely withheld are important.

February 2, 2018

Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:30 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceHere is the six-page package (authorization/declassification letter and four-page memorandum) released February 2, 2018,  by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).  The memorandum’s subject is Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In reading the memorandum’s header including its classification, we can clearly see the memo was written to and for the HPSCI Majority Members, and it was prepared by the HPSCI Majority Staff.   The Majority and Minority Staffs and Members would already have had access to some and maybe all of the underlying information from which the memo was derived.

Already the FBI and others have criticized the memo’s release, asserting that some information essential to fully understanding the memo has been omitted.  Again, the memo’s intended recipients had access to that information; incidental recipients such as the public may not.

It is my understanding that the HPSCI Minority Staff may have prepared its own version of this memo as a counterpoint to the memo linked above.

I hope that after being sanitized using the same standards as were used to sanitize the memo linked above, the HPSCI Minority Staff’s own memo will be timely released to the public as well.

As for the efforts to devalue and discredit the memo by pointing out the obvious absence of the underlying information necessary to more fully understand the memo, the remedy is obvious:  Sanitize all the information and release it to the public.  Shine more light, not less, on the alleged abuses of the FISA by the DoJ and FBI.  This proposed massive public release of sanitized information is very unlikely to happen.

Then again …

According to this Judicial Watch press release issued February 2, 2018, “Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for FBI documents regarding the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant application submitted to – and responses from – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to alleged collusion between Russia and Trump campaign associates (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)).”

Even prior to the memo’s release today, there have been Congressmen calling for yet another special counsel to look into the FBI’s conduct in the Clinton email server and Uranium One investigation.  That, however, is already under investigation by the DoJ’s Inspector General, and his report is expected sometime in March 2018.

I believe it would be wise for everyone to calm down and wait for the DoJ OIG’s report.  It may answer many relevant questions factually rather than speculatively.

In any case and as suggested in my January 10, 2018, OpenCdA post entitled So It Never Happens Again …, I believe that an independent commission similar to the Warren Commission would be a better alternative to yet another politicized special counsel.  Both the FBI and the DoJ have longstanding internal problems at the executive level (Mahogany Row).   Particularly at Main Justice, these problems extend beyond the current allegations of FISA abuses.

Even if FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Sessions have the political will and the horsepower necessary to pump the septic sludge out of their own tanks, they would benefit from a little more help in shining light into the tanks and exorcising the most stubborn stuff.  A Warren Commission-like effort could help wall them off from interference by executive, legislative, and judicial partisan politics.

January 10, 2018

So It Never Happens Again …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 3:46 pm

Warren Commission Composite NYTGovernment agencies can become complacent and sloppy.  Sometimes the complacency and sloppiness leads to corruption or worse, someone gets hurt or killed.  Though the agency heads may change from time to time as political administrations change, the agency head’s immediate subordinates often remain.  Often those immediate subordinates have titles such as Deputy this or Associate that.   Complacency, sloppiness, corruption, and criminal conduct occur further down among agency employees because it is being tolerated and sometimes directed by the inhabitants of an agency’s Mahogany Row.  Institutional complacency and sloppiness oozes down from the top.

In spite of my using an image of the front page headline from the September 28, 1964, New York Times, this OpenCdA post is not about revamping the US Secret Service.    The photo referring to President Kennedy’s murder and the resulting Warren Commission was used to emphasize the importance of federal agencies’ operations being subjected to regular critical Congressional oversight and then making appropriate corrections before official rebuke becomes necessary.

The Warren Commission examination of the US Secret Service after President Kennedy’s murder was necessary.  The changes the Commission made were long overdue and were far more expansive than the public, unclassified version of the Warren Commission Report reflected.

Having watched carefully the pre- and now  post-2016 election circus back in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac,  I believe top-down, Warren Commission-like examinations of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are also critically necessary and need  to begin soon.  There appears to have been DoJ and FBI malfeasance, criminal conduct, and the abuses of investigative authority including misleading and possibly outright lying to the FISA Court to obtain FISA Court warrants to surveil persons associated with the Trump Campaign and possibly candidate, nominee, and now-President Trump himself.

Sensitive information selectively leaked from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and public information found in recent Congressional hearings strongly suggest that before and after November 8, 2016,  some headquarters executive and supervisory level  officials of both the FBI and DoJ apparently looked into the funhouse mirrors adorning their Mahogany Row office walls.    Apparently they saw a messianic face  looking back at them.  Perhaps believing the image they saw in their mirrors to be above the laws of the United States,  they may have concluded they had been divinely anointed to undo President Donald J. Trump’s election, in their minds an unthinkable wrong committed by “deplorable” voters on November 8, 2016.

If the DoJ and FBI abused intelligence assets and statutory authority, the abuses represent a grave threat to the national security.   They completely undermine the trust and confidence the citizens of the United States must have in these agencies. (more…)

December 14, 2017

Gone Too Far Now!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:03 pm

Nellie the HamAll right!  Now they’ve done it!   They’ve gone one step too far!

It’s one thing for the anti-Trumpers in the FBI and DoJ to allegedly criminally conspire to overthrow the duly-elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

That’s bad enough, but now it’s being reported that Nellie Ohr, wife of DoJ official Bruce Ohr who met with Trump Dossier author Christopher Steele, is an amateur radio operator.  Her Technician Class license was granted by the Federal Communications Commission on May 23, 2016.  The radio talk show/internet/skews media rumor mill suggests she and a co-conspirator may have been communicating via ham radio in hopes of avoiding interception by the NSA.  (The flaw in that reasoning is obvious to anyone with a ham ticket.)

Now ol’ Nellie KM4UDZ has really stirred up the hornet’s nest.  If she thinks being pursued by the entire intelligence community plus the US Congress is irritating, just wait until she feels the wrath of the FCC.  Boy, is she ever in trouble now!  Why, they may even revoke her ham radio license!

And being a ham radio operator myself, I’m mad, too.  I just may go stick a pin through her antenna feedline.  That’ll show her!



December 13, 2017

Swamp Rats (Cont.)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:57 pm

Danger - Swamp RatIt is indisputable that there are people in the United States who are using an organized, very well-funded strategy as well as very aggressive tactics to remove President Donald J. Trump from office.

That by itself is not illegal.

Neither is it illegal for employees of the federal government, including employees of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to express their personal views about the competence and qualifications of public officials.

However, a federal employee’s expression of personal views goes beyond what is permitted or prohibited by the Hatch Act when that employee uses his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.

Hatch Act violations are serious.  However, they are not as serious as interfering in federal criminal investigations involving the alleged violation of national security laws including:

  • 2 U.S.C. § 192 (Contempt of Congress Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 219 et seq. (Officers and Employees of the United States Acting as Foreign Agents)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 791 et seq. (Espionage; Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 9S1 et seq. (Neutrality  Laws)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1) (Computer  Espionage)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1S42 et seq. (Passport Violations Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1924 (Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Material)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2381et seq. (Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Wire Fraud, including wire fraud or hacking by or on behalf of a foreign government in which 18 U.S.C. § 1831 or 18 U.S.C.§ 1030(a)(1) are not specifically included as charges)
  • 22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq. (Foreign Agents Registration)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2274 to 2278, 2284, and other Atomic Energy Violations that Affect National Security (Atomic Energy Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 3121 (Intelligence Identities Protection Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 782 et seq. (Communication  of Classified Information by Government Officer or Employee)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 8S1et seq. (Registration of Person Who Has Knowledge Concerning Espionage Activities)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 2401et seq. (Export Administration Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. App. § 5(b) (Trading With the Enemy Act)

These laws are not supposed to be waived simply because an alleged violator is a former President, a former Secretary of State and a now-former presidential candidate,  or a high-level employee of the DoJ or FBI.

Similarly, it seems to OpenCdA writing from Upper Trashcanistan, Idaho, that for federal employees to conspire (notice we didn’t say “collude”) to interfere with or prevent the initiation of a criminal investigation into alleged violations of any of these laws might qualify as separate violations under 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. § 1510 (Obstruction of Criminal Investigations).  (more…)

December 5, 2017

Charlottesville Report – Final

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:46 am

Charlottesville Report Cover

OpenCdA urges Idaho state, county, and city officials as well as emergency medical facilities’ planners to not just read but carefully study the Final Report – Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  It was prepared by Hunton & Williams LLP and released November 24, 2017.

Readers may recall that during the summer of 2017, there was a series of protest events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Generally, these events involved demonstrations both supporting and opposing the City’s decision to remove the statutes of two Civil War confederate generals, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from public display.

The protest events in July and August often involved concurrent and opposing demonstrations that required local government planning and law enforcement interevention.

In particular, the demonstration on August 12 received persistent coverage from the national skews media.   It was in that demonstration that a demonstrator, Heather Heyer, was struck and killed by a car driven by an opposing demonstrator, James Fields.    Her death and President Trump’s appropriately neutral comments about the demonstrators became the focus of the skews media coverage.  The Final Report explains how failures to plan, execute, and communicate by state and local government and law enforcement contributed to her death.

There are many lessons to be learned from the 220-page report.  OpenCdA hopes that Idaho state, county, and local government, medical, and public safety agencies will heed them.

December 2, 2017

Another Swamp Rat Named

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:41 pm

trump-drain-the-swampPreceding OpenCdA posts have opined that President Trump’s swamp draining should start in the Mahogany Row floors of both the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building and the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building.

Today a Washington Post skewspaper article headlined Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts identified the “Top FBI official” as Peter Strzok, deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI.  OpenCdA believes Strzok’s correct title was Deputy Chief, Counterintelligence Section.   Strzok was removed earlier this summer but identified publicly only recently.

OpenCdA is concerned about the “politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton” Strzok exchanged with another member of Mueller’s team.  However, we are equally concerned about  Strzok’s extramarital affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

This was the most laughable paragraph in the skews article:

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but they added that they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, although there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

As any intelligence service case officer knows and Strzok should have known,  an “extramarital affair” can fit both the “C” and the “E” in M.I.C.E.   If Strzok and his “defenders” don’t believe the Russian SVR might have had an inkling, they should be forced to sit through every counterespionage public service video the Feebs have ever produced.  And we certainly don’t agree that “there wasn’t anything professionally wrong” with it.

Strzok was one of the high-level Feebs running the Feeble’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.     Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one who wonders “What Happened.”

November 21, 2017

And the Answer Is … ‘William Campbell’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:06 am

AFP_PD7D0OpenCdA readers may remember former FBI Director James Comey’s public statement on July 5, 2016, regarding Hillary Clinton’s criminal culpability for using her illegal and unsecured private email server to handle and unlawfully disclose national security information.

In that statement, Comey said, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.” [emphasis OpenCdA’s]

Why did former FBI Director James Comey say, “… our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case [prosecute Hillary Clinton for jeopardizing national security with her private email server]”?

Listening to Comey when he made the statement, we immediately picked up on the exact phrases we’ve highlighted.   OpenCdA’s thought upon hearing Comey’s statement was that the FBI may have been running an offensive counterintelligence operation (OFCO) against the Russians.  We alluded to that in our July 14, 2016, OpenCdA post entitled It’s a ‘Bigot List’.

Our suspicions about an FBI OFCO seems to have been confirmed publicly for the first time in The Hill reporter John Solomon’s November 20, 2017, article entitled FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show. The article identifies the FBI’s confidential source publicly as ‘William Campbell.’

There is additional information in another Solomon article on the same day.  It was entitled Five new revelations in the Russian uranium case.

One question historians will ask is, What did Hillary Clinton know about ‘William Campbell’ and when did she know it?   It is doubtful we will ever know the complete answer.

November 15, 2017

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:58 am

DANGER UNREASONABLEMany people are hoping that the US Department of Justice will appoint yet another special counsel, this time to look into the various crimes allegedly committed or criminally aided and abetted by former President Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unnamed co-conspirators associated with the Clinton Foundation, former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey, former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and former Democratic National Committee Chairwarmer Debbie Schultz.

Their hopes for that special counsel are pinned on President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp which is Washington, DC.  The hopeful people are citing substantiated facts of far greater weight and veracity than the allegations Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein itemized in deciding to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into the skews media-ballyhooed ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and Russia.

If you’re among the people anticipating a special counsel with resulting indictments and convictions of one or more Clintonistas, don’t get your hopes up.  Here’s why:

(1) The Clintons have acquired substantial dirt on some of the Fools on the Hill.  The decades-old very thin allegations of sexual misconduct against senatorial candidate Roy Moore would pale in comparison to what some Fools on the Hill have reportedly engaged in much more recently.   The Clintons and their cronies know who’s vulnerable.  See M.I.C.E.  The Clintons know where the corpses are buried, and most of The Swamp would prefer to do whatever it takes to keep them buried.

(2) In anticipation of a Hillary Clinton presidency, many Fools on the Hill and their obsequious propaganda arm, the national skews media (formerly known as the ‘free press’), hitched their teams of donkeys and elephants to the manure-bearing Clinton wagon.  This particular gaggle of Fools would rather their constituents not connect them with the Clinton wagon smell, but another special counsel would certainly make just that connection.  Keeping the odor of that connection from reaching the public nostril would fall on CNN, NBC, ABC,  CBS, and the AP.

(3) Some of the Clinton’s traitorous crimes involve compromises of national security.  Anyone who thinks Slick Willy and Slimy Hillary would hesitate to use graymail to keep their own sorry asses out of court, not to mention federal prison, needs to be drug tested.

(4)  It appears that in anticipation of a Slimy Hillary presidency, some of the mahogany row tenants at Main Justice seem to have skewed the concept of prosecutorial discretion.  Prosecutorial discretion allows cowardly prosecutors to decline to prosecute or choose to undercharge criminals for almost any reason at all as long as the reason is plausible and defensible or as long as it’s a certainty the alleged offender is going to be inaugurated as the President of the United States.  Until the holdover loyalists to the Clintons and Obama are swept out of their mahogany row offices, there is little chance of prosecutions of anyone other than the lowest of the low-hanging fruit (think:  Paul Manafort, Imran Awan, etc.).

(5)  Closely related to the Main Justice Mahogany Row slimeballs are a few FBI Mahogany Row slimeballs.  In the world of Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac politics, their job is to ensure that the results of otherwise competent, complete, and thorough investigations done by subordinate employees (e.g., brick agents) do not interfere with the political aspirations of certain elected and appointed officials.

(6)   President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, occupied a US Senate seat for the twenty years immediately prior to his being sworn in as the 84th Attorney General of the United States on February 9, 2017.   He is a distinguished alumnus of the Fools on the Hill Club.

OpenCdA is skeptical that a special counsel will be appointed, adequately funded, and given the necessary authority to investigate the offenses allegedly committed by the people identified in our opening paragraph.

We recall very vividly the pardon President Gerald Ford granted to former President Nixon on September 8, 1974, for Nixon’s complicity in Watergate.   Ford’s reasoning for circumventing the criminal justice system was that subjecting Nixon to the criminal justice process would be too long and involved and would be too painful for the people of the country.   In effect, Ford was telling us with condescension, You can’t handle seeing the former President of the United States subjected to the same standards of criminal justice to which you would be subjected.

Ford was wrong in 1974.

Maybe if Ford had done the right thing rather than the politically expedient thing in 1974, maybe if he had allowed Richard M. Nixon to be subjected to the prescribed processes and procedures of criminal justice that supposedly guarantees equal protection under the law for all citizens, then maybe in 2017 it wouldn’t have been necessary for AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to concoct some plausible justifications for not indicting and prosecuting former officials for espionage, bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering.

We won’t get our hopes up.

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