February 10, 2018
For law enforcement, Congress and even journalists, exposing misdeeds is like peeling an onion. Each layer you remove gets you closer to the truth.
So it is with the scandalous behavior of the FBI during its probe into whether President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia in 2016. One layer at a time, we’re learning how flawed and dirty that probe was.
A top layer involves the texts between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and her married lover, Peter Strzok, the lead agent on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. They casually mention an “insurance policy” in the event Trump won the election and a plan for Strzok to go easy on Clinton because she probably would be their next boss.
Those exchanges, seen in the light of subsequent events, lead to a reasonable conclusion that the fix was in among then-Director James Comey’s team to hurt Trump and help Clinton.
Another layer involves the declassified House memo, which indicates the FBI and Justice Department depended heavily on the unverified Russian dossier about Trump to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page, an American citizen and briefly a Trump adviser.
The House memo also reveals that Comey and others withheld from the secret surveillance court key partisan facts that would have cast doubt on the dossier. Officials never revealed to the judges that the document was paid for by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee or that Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, said he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.” READ it Here
The FISA Abuse Memo is out and now we know why the Democrats were desperate to keep its contents hidden from the public: it confirms the worst fears not just of President Trump’s supporters but of everyone concerned about the abuse of police power, government corruption, and the sanctity of our elections.
The memo shows interference in the 2016 presidential election by hostile elements within a United States intelligence agency. It wasn’t the Russians we had to worry about—it was rogue actors at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice. Left unanswered is to what extent the West Wing knew about or was complicit in this gross abuse of power.
What we now know:
1. The FBI’s case to the FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court was based almost entirely upon a partisan hit-job bought and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Christopher Steele, the source of the dossier, had “financial and ideological motivations” to undermine Donald Trump according to the Nunes memo. In fact, the FBI’s file records that Steele told Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that “he was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
2. Ohr’s wife was one of just seven employees at FusionGPS, the firm that was paying Christopher Steele. The personal financial relationship between the Ohrs and the dossier was concealed from the court. The FBI could not corroborate the information in the Steele dossier, calling it only “minimally corroborated” but did not disclose this fact to the FISA Court thus leading it to believe that the information in the dossier was either FBI work-product or that it had been independently corroborated by the FBI. Neither was true. READ it HERE
Federalist Society, Michael Screnock, Rebecca Dallet, Supreme Court, Tim Burns, Wisconsin Supreme Court
MacIver News Service | January 22, 2018
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The three candidates vying to replace outgoing Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman sparred Monday night at a forum held in Milwaukee.
That is, the two liberals mainly took turns attacking each other’s progressive bona fides.
Madison attorney Tim Burns kicked off by attacking the event’s sponsor, the Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. Meanwhile, fellow liberal Rebecca Dallet, a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge, took shots at Burns for having no judicial experience and said she’d prefer that John Doe was never struck down by the state Supreme Court.
The lone conservative in the race, Sauk County Circuit Court judge Michael Screnock, mainly stayed above the fray, touting his originalist judicial philosophy he says is inspired by the late Antonin Scalia.
The three candidates face off in a primary election scheduled for Feb. 20, with the two top vote-getters on the ballot for the April 3 general election. WATCH it HERE
By Edward Whelan, EPPC - Ethics and Public Policy Center, Defending American Ideals
Published in National Review on January 5, 2018
Donald Trump deserves thunderous acclaim from conservatives for his outstanding record of judicial appointments during his first year as president. But his conspicuous successes should not obscure the many obstacles on the long path to genuine transformation of the federal judiciary. Those obstacles have seriously impeded judicial confirmations and threaten to continue to do so. But if they are cleared or eluded, and if Republicans retain control of the Senate after the 2018 elections, President Trump will be positioned to make a huge enduring impact on the courts during his first term.
Trump’s most important achievement on the judicial front in 2017 was his appointment of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. That appointment consummated Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy of keeping the vacancy open through the 2016 presidential election, and it resoundingly vindicated the wisdom of that strategy. Even better, the Senate Democrats’ foolish obstruction of the Gorsuch nomination on the Senate floor drove Senate Republicans to abolish the filibuster (the 60-vote threshold for cloture) for Supreme Court nominations. So, when the next Supreme Court vacancy arises, the White House will have the benefit of knowing from the outset that it needs the support of only 50 senators, together with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence, to secure the confirmation of its nominee.
In 2017, President Trump also appointed twelve federal appellate judges — a record for a president in his first year in office. (President Obama appointed three federal appellate judges in his first year and 55 over his eight years.) Beyond their number, Trump’s appellate appointees have, on the whole, outstanding credentials and are highly regarded in conservative legal circles. Indeed, six of the twelve have already earned their way onto Trump’s list of Supreme Court candidates. The twelve include three women — Amy Coney Barrett, a former Scalia clerk who was a professor of law at Notre Dame; Joan Larsen, also a former Scalia clerk and a Michigan supreme-court justice; and Allison Eid, who clerked for Justice Thomas and served on the Colorado supreme court for eleven years. They also include two Asian Americans, Amul Thapar, a Bush 43 appointee to a federal district-court judgeship, and James Ho, a distinguished appellate lawyer who was also a Thomas clerk. READ MORE
By Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Tran, Washington Post, December 30, 2017
Nearly a year into his takeover of Washington, President Trump has made a significant down payment on his campaign pledge to shrink the federal bureaucracy, a shift long sought by conservatives that could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades.
By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees, according to an analysis of federal personnel data by The Washington Post.
The diminishing federal footprint comes after Trump promised in last year’s campaign to “cut so much your head will spin,” and it reverses a boost in hiring under President Barack Obama. The falloff has been driven by an exodus of civil servants, a diminished corps of political appointees and an effective hiring freeze.
Even though Congress did not pass a new budget in his first year, the drastic spending cuts Trump laid out in the spring — which would slash more than 30 percent of funding at some agencies — also has triggered a spending slowdown, according to officials at multiple departments.
The White House is now warning agencies to brace for even deeper cuts in the 2019 budget it will announce early next year, part of an effort to lower the federal deficit to pay for the new tax law, according to officials briefed on the budgets for their agencies. One possible casualty: a pay raise that federal employees historically have received when the economy is humming. READ it HERE
At White House Event, Trump Praises GOP Lawmakers for Tax Passage, and Gets Their Praise in Return
The bill passage event staged by the White House on the South Lawn was a celebration akin to the last victory lap the administration took -- the Rose Garden ceremony to mark the passage of the ill-fated health-care bill through the House.
On Wednesday, as he did earlier this year, the president was beaming and complimented members of Congress standing all around him. The South Portico of the White House had lawmakers on the steps, as well as a group of particularly prominent Republicans standing immediately by the entrance and flanking the president.
Mr. Trump lavished praise on lawmakers. "What a job, what a job," he said. "It was a lot of fun. It's always fun when you win. If you work hard and lose, that's not acceptable... I want them to come up and get the glamor and the glory."
GOP lawmakers invited to the podium to speak included Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, and the Alaska delegation of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young.
Mr. Trump also gave a special shoutout to House majority whip Steve Scalise, badly wounded in a shooting this year, telling him he had come through a rough year and joking that he had picked a dramatic way to lose weight. Mr. Scalise laughed loudly.
Mr. Hatch, who was acclaimed by the president for his longstanding support, returned the compliment especially vocally, telling Mr. Trump he was "living up to everything I hoped you would be. You're one heck of a leader... We're going to make this the greatest presidency ever." Watch speech HERE
An American president of courage and consequence.
by Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator November 29, 2017
“They love him, gentlemen, and they respect him, not only for himself, but for his character, for his integrity and judgment and iron will; but they love him most for the enemies he has made.”
The words were spoken by Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, a one-time Union general in the Civil War turned-Congressman from Wisconsin. At the 1884 Democratic National Convention, Bragg, then a congressional candidate, was selected to second the nomination of New York Governor Grover Cleveland for president. Cleveland had made his reputation as governor by being a staunch opponent of New York City’s corrupt Tammany Hall political machine, fearlessly taking on members of his own party as he championed reform of state government.
Thus it was that Bragg stepped to the podium of the party’s National Convention and uttered the phrase that would wind up being remembered through the years and be shortened to the last part: “… they love him most for the enemies he has made.”
For that reason alone — and there are many others — The American Spectator’s founder and editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is pleased to announce that President Donald J. Trump has been chosen as The American Spectator’s Man of the Year.
Without question that long ago description of Grover Cleveland could easily be applied today to President Trump. The list of enemies Trump has made is a who’s who and what’s what of exactly the people, institutions, or issues that millions of Americans have come to detest. Which doesn’t begin to describe the positive policy changes he has brought to an America utterly disgusted with decades of a bipartisan ruling class elitism. From the liberal media to the GOP Establishment to the sacred cows of political correctness and identity politics and more, the President has been absolutely fearless in taking on people or subjects other presidents not to mention GOP Establishment politicians would instinctively avoid.
Only this week he openly mocked Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s race-playing game of claiming Native American heritage, once again calling her “Pocahontas.” Even as it caused outrage among the usual suspects, the moment doubtless sent waves of laughter off with Trump supporters fed up with arrogant, race-obsessed liberal elites who are determined eternally to judge others by skin color in a constant drive to use racism as the political fuel of the progressive agenda.
This is an administration that, not yet a year old, has piled up one accomplishment after another. A list compiled by the Conservative Daily News in August was already able to note 40 Trump accomplishments, the first 10 here: READ it HERE
By Mona Charen, National Review Online, November 15, 2017
In 1983, two congressmen, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, were censured by the House. Both had admitted to having affairs with 17-year-old pages. The Republican, Daniel Crane, represented a conservative Illinois district. His constituents sent him packing the following year, despite his apology and request for forgiveness.
The Democrat was Gerry Studds, who represented a liberal Massachusetts district. His relationship had been with a young man. He admitted to a “very serious error in judgment,” but seemed to imply that he was owed more latitude because he was gay. “It is not a simple task for any of us to meet adequately the obligations of either public office or private life, let alone both,” Studds said in an address to the House. “But these challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as I am, both an elected public official and gay.” He was reelected seven more times and retired voluntarily in 1997.
At the time, conservatives saw the congressmen’s differing fates as symbolic of a difference between the parties. Sure, we conceded, there are bad apples everywhere, but the way they are received tells you something about their constituents. Do they bend the rules when one of their own is caught in a transgression? And how do you define what a transgression really is? READ it HERE
I'm frustrated. I know many of you are too - you've shared it with me. A couple of Senators continue to stifle much of our agenda on the national level as we have a historic opportunity to make bold changes.
That's the reality we face but that doesn't mean we need to accept it. We still have work to finish in 2018. It's that time of year when we need to you to join or renew your membership so that we can get that work done.
Job #1: Return Scott Walker as Governor.
He is the leading Republican Governor in the United States. He defeated state union control of state government, kept property taxes nearly unchanged, and is reforming State Government. We need to continue his leadership in Wisconsin.
Job #2: Change Washington by Strengthening the Republican Senate.
We all know who has hurt the Republican agenda. We can complain or we can take action. This coming year help us defeat Senator Tammy Baldwin, and replace her with a conservative Republican.
Job #3: Boost Our Vote Totals - Dane County Matters.
We cast the 3rd most votes of any Wisconsin county and are the media center for 1,000,000 people in Southcentral and Southwestern Wisconsin. There exists tremendous potential to grow the conservative movement here, continue our Republican state-wide leadership, and bring change in Washington.Read more
Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, in London in March.
By KENNETH P. VOGEL, New York Times OCTOBER 24, 2017
WASHINGTON — The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid for research that was included in a dossier made public in January that contained salacious claims about connections between Donald J. Trump, his associates and Russia.
A spokesperson for a law firm said on Tuesday that it had hired Washington-based researchers last year to gather damaging information about Mr. Trump on numerous subjects — including possible ties to Russia — on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C.
The revelation, which emerged from a letter filed in court on Tuesday, is likely to fuel new partisan attacks over federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted in the effort.
The president and his allies have argued for months that the investigations are politically motivated. They have challenged the information contained in the dossier, which was compiled by a former British spy who had been contracted by the Washington research firm Fusion GPS.
The letter that was filed in court said that Fusion GPS began working for the law firm, Perkins Coie, in April 2016. Written by the firm’s managing partner Matthew J. Gehringer, the letter said that Fusion GPS had already been conducting the research “for one or more other clients during the Republican primary contest.”
Perkins Coie was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. during the 2016 campaign, according to filings. The role of the Clinton campaign and the national party in funding the research for the dossier was first reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post.
At the time that Democrats began paying for the research, Mr. Trump was in the process of clinching the Republican presidential nomination, and Ms. Clinton’s allies were scrambling to figure out how to run against a candidate who had already weathered attacks from Republican rivals about his shifting policy positions, his character and his business record. READ it HERE