FBI

Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his defining influence on race relations and the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and US history in general; he is also the only African-American to be honoured with a federal holiday.

A huge trove of previously little-known FBI documents have reportedly exposed the dark traits of Martin Luther King’s personality, including his indifference to rape and dozens of extramarital sexual affairs he had while campaigning across the country.

A senior official with the FBI once acknowledged that Martin Luther King was the target of an intensive counterintelligence campaign to “neutralise him as an effective civil rights leader” from late 1963 up until his assassination in April 1968.

As part of that campaign, federal agents bugged rooms at several hotels where King was staying. Officials were afraid that he might have been under the influence of the US Communist Party. This fear partly rested on the fact that King had an adviser who the FBI alleged was a communist.

While the bureau failed to find any evidence that King was a communist himself or was affiliated with the Communist Party, it once attempted to discredit him as well as his family and friends.

David Garrow, a historian who has authored a Pulitzer-winning MLK biography, has studied thousands of documents on the National Archives website and found out that the FBI apparently once managed to dig up some dirt on the renowned activist.

The Sunday Times reports that one unearthed memo, purportedly written by the former head of FBI intelligence William Sullivan, details how King joked to his friends that “he had started the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’”.

According to the FBI account, King had once “looked on, laughed and offered advice” while his friend Logan Kearse, a Baptist minister, raped a woman described as one of his “parishioners”.

Kearse and King are said to have “discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural and unnatural sex acts”. The following evening, King and a dozen other persons allegedly took part in a “sex orgy”.

It is understood that when one of the women refused to engage in an “unnatural act”, King told her that such an act would “help your soul”.

FBI officials then sent an incriminating tape and an anonymous letter to King, warning that he was “on the record” and implied that he should commit suicide — something King described as attempts to “harass me” and “break my spirit”.

The bureau has also eavesdropped on King’s conversations with his wife Coretta. The surveillance efforts have found, Gallow says, that Coretta complained about her husband “not fulfilling his marital responsibilities”, to which King replied that “she should go out and have some sexual affairs of her own”.

FBI summaries are also said to mention a presumed baby that King fathered in Los Angeles and a threesome orgy with a white prostitute and a black woman he once had at a Las Vegas hotel.

Garrow is expected to publish his findings next month in the monthly British magazine Standpoint.


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood was vandalized Thursday night by a suspect who drew swastikas on monuments, threw American flags in a creek and ripped bushes from the earth.

Source: InfoWars

President Trump on Friday said that he wants Attorney General William Barr to investigate the UK, Australia and Ukraine for their roles in the ‘greatest hoax in the history of our country.’

Speaking with reporters at the White House on Friday before his trip to Japan, Trump discussed his decision this week to issue a sweeping declassification order – leaving it in the hands of Barr to determine exactly what happened to Trump and his campaign before and after the 2016 US election.

“For over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I’ve done is declassified everything,” said Trump, adding “He can look and I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine.”

“It’s the greatest hoax probably in the history of our country and somebody has to get to the bottom of it. We’ll see. For a long period of time, they wanted me to declassify and I did.”

(UK, Australia, Ukraine comment at 2:30)

“This is about finding out what happened,” said Trump. “What happened and when did it happen, because this was an attempted takedown of the president of the United States, and we have to find out why.”

“We’re exposing everything. We’re being a word that you like, transparent. We’re being, ultimately we’re being transparent. That’s what it’s about. Again, this should never ever happen in our country again.”

After the Mueller report made clear that Trump and his campaign had in no way conspired with Russia during hte 2016 election, Democrats immediately pivoted to whether Trump obstructed the investigation. Trump and his supporters, however, immediately pivoted to the conduct of the US intelligence community, including the involvement of foreign actors and possibly their governments.

According to a report last week, the discredited “Steele Dossier” – assembled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele – was referred to as “crown material” in an email exchange suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey insisted that CIA Director John Brennan pushed for the inclusion of the dossier in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference.

Moreover, much of “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” – the FBI’s official investigation into the Trump campaign – occurred on UK soil, which is perhaps why the New York Times reported last September that the UK begged Trump not to declassify ‘Russiagate’ documents ‘without redaction.’

Shortly after he announced his involvement with the Trump campaign, aide George Papadopoulos was lured to London in March, 2016, where Maltese professor and self-described Clinton foundation member Joseph Mifsud fed him the rumor that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. It was later at a London bar that Papadopoulos would drunkenly pass the rumor to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer (who FBI agent Peter Strzok flew to London to meet with the day after Crossfire Hurricane was launched).

Joseph Mifsud, George Papadopoulos

Two weeks laterPapadopoulos would be bilked for information by Australian diplomat (another Clinton ally) Alexander Downer at a London bar, who relayed the Russia rumor to Australian authorities, which alerted the FBI (as the story goes), which ‘officially’ kicked off the US intelligence investigation.

As for Ukraine, a Ukrainian court ruled in December that the country meddled in the US election when they revealed details of suspected illegal payments to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

In 2016, while Mr. Manafort was chairman of the Trump campaign, anti-corruption prosecutors in Ukraine disclosed that a pro-Russian political party had earmarked payments for Mr. Manafort from an illegal slush fund. Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign a week later. –New York Times

Last week, President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani met with a former Ukrainian diplomat, Andril Telizhenko, who has previously suggested that the DNC worked with the Kiev government in 2016 to dig up ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Donald Trump. Giuliani told the Washington Post in a Friday interview that Telizhenko “was in Washington and he came up to New York, and we spent most of the afternoon together,” adding “When I have something to say, I’ll say it.”

This comes on the heels of Giuliani canceling a trip to Ukraine to meet with President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the Manafort situation.

According to The Hill‘s John Solomon,

A former DNC operative steeped in Trump-Russia research approached the Ukrainian government looking for ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 US election, citing written answers to questions submitted to Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office.

Chaly confirmed that DNC insider of Ukrainian heritage, Alexandra Chalupa, approached Ukraine seeking information on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in the hopes of exposing them to Congress.

Chalupa, who told Politico in 2017 that she had “developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives,” said she “occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign.

In short, a DNC operative of Ukrainian heritage, who shared information with the Clinton campaign and worked with a convicted terrorist to spread misinformation to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election, approached the government of Ukraine in the hopes of obtaining “dirt” that would hurt the Trump campaign.

And Trump wants AG Barr to look at it all. He’ll be visiting the UK next month, meanwhile, where he can ask outgoing PM Theresa May, or the Queen, all about it.

Source: InfoWars

President Trump on Friday said that he wants Attorney General William Barr to investigate the UK, Australia and Ukraine for their roles in the ‘greatest hoax in the history of our country.’

Speaking with reporters at the White House on Friday before his trip to Japan, Trump discussed his decision this week to issue a sweeping declassification order – leaving it in the hands of Barr to determine exactly what happened to Trump and his campaign before and after the 2016 US election.

“For over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I’ve done is declassified everything,” said Trump, adding “He can look and I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine.”

“It’s the greatest hoax probably in the history of our country and somebody has to get to the bottom of it. We’ll see. For a long period of time, they wanted me to declassify and I did.”

(UK, Australia, Ukraine comment at 2:30)

“This is about finding out what happened,” said Trump. “What happened and when did it happen, because this was an attempted takedown of the president of the United States, and we have to find out why.”

“We’re exposing everything. We’re being a word that you like, transparent. We’re being, ultimately we’re being transparent. That’s what it’s about. Again, this should never ever happen in our country again.”

After the Mueller report made clear that Trump and his campaign had in no way conspired with Russia during hte 2016 election, Democrats immediately pivoted to whether Trump obstructed the investigation. Trump and his supporters, however, immediately pivoted to the conduct of the US intelligence community, including the involvement of foreign actors and possibly their governments.

According to a report last week, the discredited “Steele Dossier” – assembled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele – was referred to as “crown material” in an email exchange suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey insisted that CIA Director John Brennan pushed for the inclusion of the dossier in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference.

Moreover, much of “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” – the FBI’s official investigation into the Trump campaign – occurred on UK soil, which is perhaps why the New York Times reported last September that the UK begged Trump not to declassify ‘Russiagate’ documents ‘without redaction.’

Shortly after he announced his involvement with the Trump campaign, aide George Papadopoulos was lured to London in March, 2016, where Maltese professor and self-described Clinton foundation member Joseph Mifsud fed him the rumor that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. It was later at a London bar that Papadopoulos would drunkenly pass the rumor to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer (who FBI agent Peter Strzok flew to London to meet with the day after Crossfire Hurricane was launched).

Joseph Mifsud, George Papadopoulos

Two weeks laterPapadopoulos would be bilked for information by Australian diplomat (another Clinton ally) Alexander Downer at a London bar, who relayed the Russia rumor to Australian authorities, which alerted the FBI (as the story goes), which ‘officially’ kicked off the US intelligence investigation.

As for Ukraine, a Ukrainian court ruled in December that the country meddled in the US election when they revealed details of suspected illegal payments to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

In 2016, while Mr. Manafort was chairman of the Trump campaign, anti-corruption prosecutors in Ukraine disclosed that a pro-Russian political party had earmarked payments for Mr. Manafort from an illegal slush fund. Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign a week later. –New York Times

Last week, President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani met with a former Ukrainian diplomat, Andril Telizhenko, who has previously suggested that the DNC worked with the Kiev government in 2016 to dig up ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Donald Trump. Giuliani told the Washington Post in a Friday interview that Telizhenko “was in Washington and he came up to New York, and we spent most of the afternoon together,” adding “When I have something to say, I’ll say it.”

This comes on the heels of Giuliani canceling a trip to Ukraine to meet with President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the Manafort situation.

According to The Hill‘s John Solomon,

A former DNC operative steeped in Trump-Russia research approached the Ukrainian government looking for ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 US election, citing written answers to questions submitted to Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office.

Chaly confirmed that DNC insider of Ukrainian heritage, Alexandra Chalupa, approached Ukraine seeking information on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in the hopes of exposing them to Congress.

Chalupa, who told Politico in 2017 that she had “developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives,” said she “occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign.

In short, a DNC operative of Ukrainian heritage, who shared information with the Clinton campaign and worked with a convicted terrorist to spread misinformation to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election, approached the government of Ukraine in the hopes of obtaining “dirt” that would hurt the Trump campaign.

And Trump wants AG Barr to look at it all. He’ll be visiting the UK next month, meanwhile, where he can ask outgoing PM Theresa May, or the Queen, all about it.

Source: InfoWars

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By Eric Felten, RealClearInvestigations
May 25, 2019

Now that the Russia collusion allegations have evaporated, the long knives are out and the president’s antagonists are watching their backs. They have moved from accusing President Trump of treason to pushing revisionist narratives that try to shift the blame for the debunked probe onto others.

President Trump with Attorney General William Barr: Newly empowered.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

This effort is expected to accelerate following Trump’s decision Thursday to empower Attorney General William Barr to declassify CIA, Pentagon, and Director of National Intelligence documents as necessary to access “information or intelligence that relates to the attorney general’s review” of the Russia probe.

In other words, he’s gaining the authority needed to investigate the investigators.

CIA sources immediately objected in the New York Times that assets’ lives would be at risk, stunting Langley’s ability to recruit. Perhaps. But the argument is a bit shopworn, raising the question whether intelligence managers are looking to protect their agents and sources, or aiming to protect themselves.

There are a growing number of indicators that the leading players in the 2016 election drama are turning on one another, making a mad dash for the lifeboats to escape being dragged under with the political Titanic that is Christopher Steele and his dossier. These are many of the same people who had been eager to exploit the dossier, that collection of memos paid for by the Clinton campaign and supposedly sourced from Russia. Once treated like the Rosetta stone of collusion, the Steele documents now seem even to Trump antagonists more like the Howard Hughes diaries.

Back when fingers weren’t pointing: FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in 2014.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A “former CIA official” has told Fox News that two of Trump’s most high profile accusers – former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Director of the CIA John Brennan – didn’t want anything to do with Steele’s opus. It was former FBI Director James Comey, the source said, who was pushing to use the dossier in the official Intelligence Community Assessment, issued in the final days of the Obama administration. Having failed at that, thanks to Clapper and Brennan’s diligence (or so the story goes), Comey went rogue and confronted President-elect Trump with the salacious highlights produced by Steele.

Even the peripheral players are doing their best to shift blame. Former FBI General Counsel James Baker – who is under criminal investigation for leaks –  recently went on the Skullduggery podcast to assert that  he and other bureau officials were “quite worried” that  Comey’s meeting with Trump would look like a page out of J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook – invoking  the legendary FBI director who stockpiled damaging information to blackmail politicians. Would Comey be wrong to interpret Baker’s comments as an offer to testify against his former boss in exchange for a deal on the leaks investigation?

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Case of testimony over “matter.”

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Comey has no shortage  of adversaries, partly because old rivals he thought he had dispatched — such as former Attorney General Loretta Lynch —  are back in the mix, and he is possibly sensing his vulnerability. It was in June 2017 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Comey tossed Lynch under the proverbial bus. Now it’s clear she’s showing she can climb out from under the motor coach and dust herself off.

In September of 2015, Lynch and Comey were preparing to testify on Capitol Hill and expected to be asked about the Hillary Clinton email probe — code-named the Midyear Exam — which at that point had not been officially acknowledged. “I wanted to know if she [Lynch] would authorize us to confirm we had an investigation,” Comey told lawmakers. “And she said yes, but don’t call it that; call it a ‘matter.’ And I said why would I do that? And [Lynch] said just call it a ‘matter.’” Comey says he reluctantly went along with Lynch’s demand, even though it gave him “a queasy feeling.” He worried “that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate.”

Lynch pushed back against the notion she had twisted Comey’s arm. In April 2018 she told NBC’s Lester Holt that she didn’t remember the meeting the way Comey described it, and that the FBI director had raised no objections.

Comey and Lynch: Seeing things differently.

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

But now that the questions about officials’ behavior regarding the 2016 candidates has become a fraught topic, those officials are taking stronger stands to defend themselves. Comey continues to leave little wiggle room in his portrayal of the conversation with Lynch. In a December 2018 closed-door congressional interview, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) asked him to confirm “the fact that the attorney general had asked you to refer to this investigation as a matter, correct?”

“That is correct.” Comey said.

Not so, says Lynch. On Dec. 19, 2018, she appeared before a closed-door session of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. She was being questioned by Republican staff attorney Zach Somers. He asked “whether you ever instructed Director Comey to call the Midyear Exam investigation a matter?” She said his testimony was the first she had any indication “that he had that impression of our conversation.”

That answer was a little ambiguous, so Somers asked Lynch directly: “So you do not believe you ever instructed him to call it a matter?”

“I did not,” said Lynch. “I have never instructed a witness as to what to say specifically. Never have, never will.” Under penalty of lying to Congress, the former AG declared, “I didn’t direct anyone to use specific phraseology.”

Before leaping to the conclusion that Lynch is calling Comey a liar, we need to keep reading the transcript of Lynch’s testimony, which ends up being far less definitive than it first appears. As is so often the case with lawyers’ lawlerly responses, the assertion turns on specific words. Lynch said she didn’t “instruct” or “direct” anyone to use any “specific” language. Instead, she testified, she had told Comey that she personally referred to the Hillary affair as a “matter” or “issue” and “that was the suggestion that I made to him.”

Could it be this is the shape of investigations — sorry, matters — to come? The spectacle of former power players parsing verbs at one another? It may seem a sound defensive strategy now, but it will grow harder to craft phraseology subtle enough to slip out of trouble. Legalistic sparring becomes increasingly difficult as the number of those being put under oath proliferates, and as the number of investigations mount. The game theory concept known as the “Prisoner’s dilemma” is confounding enough when there are two players having to figure out whether to trust one another or sell each other out. Make it multi-person, game theorists point out, and the difficulty for the players grows exponentially.

Making the game even more difficult is how much of the play is being done under cover. When so much of the frenzied blame-shifting is right out in the open, who knows how much whet work with the long knives is going on in the shadows? “If Brennan and Comey and Clapper are doing this publicly,” one Senate staffer says, private-sector dossier-peddlers “[Sidney] Blumenthal, [Cody] Shearer and [Glenn] Simpson are doing it privately.”

There’s no overstating institutional animosities and how likely they are to affect efforts to find out the full story of what happened in the 2016 election. The Department of Justice, the FBI, the State Department and various intelligence agencies are supposed to cooperate, working together to amplify their efforts through coordination. Instead, they often end up at odds, competing for the praise and resources that come with successes and laying off on others the blame that attends mistakes and failures.

“The FBI and DoJ are ruthless to each other, petty to one another,” one congressional staffer marvels.

Peter Strzok: “DoJ are putzes, man,” he texted. “God I hate them.” 

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

FBI investigator Peter Strzok provides a vivid example of the attitudes at play. In texts to his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, he makes declarations such as “I hate DoJ.” Half an hour later he sends another text that includes “And I hate DoJ.” Elsewhere in the texts, the people of “main justice” are called “political dicks” In the same spirit Strzok declares “DoJ are putzes, man.” Later he tells Page, “Don’t trust DoJ” and declares, “God I hate them.” Page describes DoJ as the “no brigade.” She writes, “I just feel like throttling DOJ.”

Connoisseurs of the knife fights between Justice and the bureau keep an eye out not only for what gets reported in the press, but where it gets reported. “The Department of Justice has good relations with, and tends to leak to, the Washington Post,” says a longtime Capitol Hill staffer. “The FBI leaks to the New York Times.”

He points to the competing narratives about then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s supposed offer to wear a wire and record conversations with the president. The story broke in the New York Times last September and portrayed then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe as the level-headed professional pushing back against Rosenstein’s fevered fantasies, which included not only the suggestion of secretly recording Trump, but the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment to have him removed from office. “The extreme suggestions show Mr. Rosenstein’s state of mind in the disorienting days that followed Mr. Comey’s dismissal,” the Times wrote. “Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, regretful and emotional, according to people who spoke with him at the time.” In other words, if there were dubious decisions being made by federal law enforcement officials, it wasn’t just Rosenstein’s fault, according to the Times; it was because the deputy AG was losing his marbles.

Conflicting accounts: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, left, and FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, right, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Times story was followed shortly thereafter by a Washington Post take on the same events, a version significantly more friendly to Rosenstein. According to “attendees at the meeting,” it was McCabe who was pushing boundaries, advocating an “investigation into the president,” the Post wrote. In this account, “Rosenstein responded [to McCabe] with what one person described as a sarcastic comment along the line of: ‘What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?’” The Post story attributed to a “Justice Department official who met frequently with both McCabe and Rosenstein” that “in the months that followed, Rosenstein never broached either subject — the 25th Amendment or a possible wiretap involving the president.”  

You don’t have to be a champion contestant on that peculiar Washington game show — “Guess the Source!” — to have a sense of which side of the street was providing what information to which newspaper.

Given the Times’s sources in and around the FBI, there is particular significance when the Times writes a revisionist history of the bureau’s activities involving the 2016 election. At the end of 2017 the paper had done its best to write the dossier out of the creation myth of the Russia investigation. The Times had maintained, in an April 20, 2017 article, that it was Carter Page’s ill-advised commencement speech in Moscow in the summer of 2016 that had sparked the FBI’s concerns the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. This line came from the dossier, which had alleged that Page had secret meetings with billionaire oligarchs during his Moscow stay. But after the dossier started to be exposed as the partisan document it was, a new reason emerged to justify the launching of a counterintelligence probe into team Trump — that George Papadopoulos had supposedly mentioned, over drinks with an Australian diplomat, that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz: With him on the case, leakers are “getting ahead of the story.”

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

That alternate origin story remained largely unchanged until early this month, when the Times rewrote its narrative, clearly with the help of FBI sources. The new narrative included the revelation that the bureau had sent a “government investigator” to London under the false name “Azra Turk.” Her undercover mission was to flirt with Papadopoulos and pump him for information about Trump and the Russians. The Times helpfully (from the FBI’s point of view) portrayed this as evidence of the “level of alarm” investigators had about Trump and Russia. 

The article was a classic example of a fundamental Washington PR technique, that of “getting ahead of the story.” Knowing the Azra Turk business is being looked over by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, sources in, or formerly of, the bureau went to friendly reporters and fed them information that could put the events in the least unflattering light possible. Note, however, that the bureau players — who normally wring their hands about the national security damage done by the release of unredacted information — aren’t above leaking details of covert ops if that’s what it takes to soften a blow.

As things unravel further, they’re likely to get nastier. In part that’s because the FBI doesn’t just hate the Department of Justice. If the Page-Strzok texts are any indication, the bureau doesn’t much like the State Department either. “DOJ is a wild pain in the ass,” Strzok texts Page. “Not as bad as State, but still.” Faced with sending some documents about the Hillary email investigation to Foggy Bottom, Page texts, “I’m not giving State an advance warning. F them.” Strzok responds, “And yes, totally. F State. No heads up.”

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page: “We both hate everyone and everything.”

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

They not only sneered at their colleagues across the street (Justice and the FBI are housed on opposite sides of Pennsylvania Avenue), their feelings toward their bureau co-workers ranged from diffidence to detestation.

Consider the infamous text from Strzok to Page: “Just went to a southern Virginia Wal-Mart,” Strzok wrote. “I could SMELL the Trump support.”

Lost in the noisy outrage over the Trumpy odors insult has been Page’s reply: “Yep, out to lunch with Sally” Moyer, Page texted. “We both hate everyone and everything.”

“Do you hate everyone and everything?” Republican staff attorney Arthur Baker asked Moyer — a unit chief in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. The question came in an October 2018 closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.

“Some days,” Moyer deadpanned.

The questioner was nonplussed: “But you don’t hate everyone and everything all the time?”

“Not all the time, no.”

Sally Moyer: A little gallows humor.

Moyer may have been indulging in a little gallows humor, but aggravation with the job and co-workers at the FBI — hate for everyone and everything all the time — seems to be commonplace in the bureau. Page calls various colleagues everything from “an ASTOUNDING douche” to “a petulant baby.”

Given the paramount heights to which both Strzok and Page had risen within the FBI, it’s unlikely they were outliers among the bureau’s management class. Their casual contempt for co-workers and for the departments of Justice and State can’t be attitudes far out of step with those of their seventh-floor colleagues. Sticking it to State and Justice and even (perhaps especially) the fellow down the hall: If that was the culture of the FBI’s leadership when the investigators were riding high and enjoying the power that came from collaborating with State and Justice in the pursuit of a president, just imagine how they are likely to behave toward one another now that they have become the pursued rather than the pursuers.

Even in the best of times, departments and agencies such as Justice, State and the FBI find themselves in back-stabbing bureaucratic battles of all against all. Imagine how those Hobbesian bureaucrats, whether current or former, are likely to behave when the outcomes being fought over have profoundly personal ramifications. One recalls the moment in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when the upstanding George Bailey is sinking in frantic desperation: “Do you realize what this means?!” he shouts at doddering Uncle Billy, who’s lost the bank deposit. “It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That’s what it means.” With shocking savagery, Bailey throws the old man down in his chair and declares, “One of us is going to jail, and it’s not going to be me!”  

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President Donald Trump said Friday he “may very well talk” to Prime Minister Theresa May about potential spying on the 2016 campaign by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In remarks Trump made before departing on a trip to Japan, the president touched on an issue that he’s made a priority: the origins of the FBI Russia probe.

“Mr. President, are you going to talk to Theresa May about potential Five Eyes spying into your campaign,” he was asked.

“I may very well talk to her about that, yeah,” he responded, according to a transcript of the remarks released by the Office of the Press Secretary.

“There’s word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved, with the U.K., having to do with the Russian hoax,” he continued. “And I may very well talk to her about that, yes.”

Trump on Thursday issued an order allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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The entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was always implausible.

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian “reset” or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own re-election bid.

Three, Russia has a long history of trying to warp U.S. elections that both predated Trump and earned only prior lukewarm pushback from the Obama administration.

It’s also worth remembering that President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation had been recipients of Russian and Russian-related largesse — ostensibly because Hillary Clinton had used her influence as Secretary of State under Obama to ease resistance to Russian acquisitions of North American uranium holdings.

As far as alleged Russian collusion goes, Hillary Clinton used three firewalls — the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie law firm and the Fusion GPS strategic intelligence firm — to hide her campaign’s payments to British national Christopher Steele to find dirt on Trump and his campaign; in other words, to collude. Steele in turn collected his purchased Russian sources to aggregate unverified allegations against Trump. He then spread the gossip within government agencies to ensure that the smears were leaked to the media — and with a government seal of approval.

No wonder that special counsel Robert Mueller’s partisan team spent 22 months and $34 million only to conclude the obvious: that Trump did not collude with Russia.

Mueller’s failure to find collusion prompts an important question. If the Steele dossier — the basis for unfounded charges that Trump colluded with Russia — was fraudulent, then how and why did the Clinton campaign, hand in glove with top Obama administration officials, use such silly trash and smears to unleash the powers of government against Trump’s campaign, transition team and early presidency?

The question is not an idle one.

There may well have occurred a near coup attempt by high-ranking officials to destroy a campaign and then to remove an elected president. Likewise, top officials may have engaged in serial lying to federal investigators, perjury, the misleading of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the illegal insertion of informants into a political campaign, the leaking of classified documents and the obstruction of justice.

So, how can we tell that the former accusers are now terrified of becoming the accused? Because suddenly the usual band of former Obama officials and Trump accusers have largely given up on their allegations that Trump was or is a Russian asset.

Instead, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein are now beginning to accuse each other of wrongdoing.

Even their progressive media handlers are starting to sense the desperation in their new yarns — and the possibility that these hired-gun analysts or guests were themselves guilty of crimes and were using their media platforms to fashion their own defense.

The end of the Mueller melodrama has marked the beginning of real fear in Washington.

Comey, the former FBI director, has hit the lecture and television circuit with his now-tired moralistic shtick that he alone had a “soul” while others allowed theirs to be eaten away by Trump. Translated, that means Comey is terrified that former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom Comey attacked as a Trump enabler, knows that Comey himself may have broken the law — and may direct prosecutors on how to prove it.

Comey is also in a tiff with his former deputy, Andrew McCabe. Both know that the FBI under Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media. But Comey says McCabe went rogue and did it. Of course, McCabe’s attorney shot back that Comey had authorized it. Comey also claims the Steele dossier was not the chief evidence for a FISA warrant. McCabe insists that it was. It’s possible that one might work with prosecutors against the other to finagle a lesser charge.

Former CIA Director John Brennan has on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and gotten away with it. He may not get away with lying again if it’s determined that he distorted the truth about his efforts to spread the Steele dossier smears. A former CIA official claims that Comey put the unverified Steele dossier into an intelligence community report on alleged Russian interference. Comey has contended that Brennan was the one who did.

It’s possible that both did. Doing so would have been unethical if not illegal, given that neither official told President Obama (if he didn’t already know) that the silly Steele dossier was a product of Hillary Clinton’s amateurish efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign.

In sum, the old leaky vessel of collusion is sinking.

The rats are scampering from their once safe refuge — biting and piling on each other in vain efforts to avoid drowning.

(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is The Savior Generals from BloomsburyBooks. You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.

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Democrats leading the impeachment charge against President Trump have repeatedly called on him to justify his assertion that Obama administration officials tried to undermine his 2016 presidential campaign and election. On Thursday night, he took the first step in doing just that when he ordered the declassification of intelligence documents that he has said show the pathway Obama officials navigated to spy on the campaign.

In a directive to the CIA, the director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon and several other national security agencies, Trump handed Attorney General Bill Barr the authority to declassify or downgrade “information or intelligence that relates to the attorney general’s review.”  The president ordered the agencies to “promptly provide such assistance and information as the attorney general may request in connection with that review.”  

Barr has begun looking into the origins and timing of the FBI’s 2016 counter-intelligence investigation, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” aimed at uncovering evidence that Trump campaign officials were conspiring with Russians to interfere in the election. The FBI’s probe included wiretaps on a Trump adviser Carter Page. 

Trump’s move came earlier than many of his allies and associates had expected. Most had expected him to wait until Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the results of his year-long investigation into the sources and methods the FBI used to begin surveillance on the Trump campaign based at least in part on discredited information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele.  

Barr has said the inspector general is wrapping up his probe and could release a final report as early as next month.  

But after a series of fiery clashes between Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the last two days, Trump moved to begin the declassification process.  

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement said the order “will help Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”  

Sanders also underscored the “the full and complete” authority Barr now has “to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.”  

The declassification process will undoubtedly shed new light on the role FBI officials, including former Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, as well as former FBI agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and former Associate Deputy Director Bruce Ohr, played in seeking the warrant application under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to begin spying on Page.  

The move also could help detail the role former CIA Director John Brennan played in pushing the narrative regarding Russian efforts to penetrate the Trump campaign. The first evidence of those efforts, according to media reports, came from foreign intelligence sources’ tipoffs, based on voice intercepts, computer traffic or human sources based outside the United States, dating back to 2015.  

Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper has argued that the unproven “Russian dossier” that Steele composed — and which was bankrolled by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign — was not the primary source for the FISA warrants. If not, then the declassified FISA-related documents will undoubtedly show what other information officials used to secure the surveillance warrants.  

Nearly two years ago, when Trump accused Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, of engaging in the “unmasking” of U.S. persons as part of the counter-intelligence probe, a potentially criminal act, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he should show proof that it occurred.  

“If he’s going to make accusations of criminality against anyone, he needs to show evidence to support that kind of charge,” the then-ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said at the time.  

Rep. Eric Swalwell, now a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, went further, arguing that “if the president wants to say that Susan Rice committed a crime, he has the power to declassify. No one else does.”  

Trump tried to declassify materials related to the FBI’s Russian investigation back in September, but Democrats objected that doing so would compromise FBI “sources and methods.” The president abandoned the plan after key allies called on him not to release the material over concerns that doing so could have a negative impact on the then-ongoing Russia probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  

Trump and his allies have said that scrutinizing the FBI’s “sources and methods” is the only way to determine whether the U.S. government’s spying laws, which were greatly expanded after the 9/11 attacks, were abused to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign or to try to derail his presidency once elected. 

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

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Democrats leading the impeachment charge against President Trump have repeatedly called on him to justify his assertion that Obama administration officials tried to undermine his 2016 presidential campaign and election. On Thursday night, he took the first step in doing just that when he ordered the declassification of intelligence documents that he has said show the pathway Obama officials navigated to spy on the campaign.

In a directive to the CIA, the director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon and several other national security agencies, Trump handed Attorney General Bill Barr the authority to declassify or downgrade “information or intelligence that relates to the attorney general’s review.”  The president ordered the agencies to “promptly provide such assistance and information as the attorney general may request in connection with that review.”  

Barr has begun looking into the origins and timing of the FBI’s 2016 counter-intelligence investigation, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” aimed at uncovering evidence that Trump campaign officials were conspiring with Russians to interfere in the election. The FBI’s probe included wiretaps on a Trump adviser Carter Page. 

Trump’s move came earlier than many of his allies and associates had expected. Most had expected him to wait until Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the results of his year-long investigation into the sources and methods the FBI used to begin surveillance on the Trump campaign based at least in part on discredited information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele.  

Barr has said the inspector general is wrapping up his probe and could release a final report as early as next month.  

But after a series of fiery clashes between Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the last two days, Trump moved to begin the declassification process.  

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement said the order “will help Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”  

Sanders also underscored the “the full and complete” authority Barr now has “to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.”  

The declassification process will undoubtedly shed new light on the role FBI officials, including former Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, as well as former FBI agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and former Associate Deputy Director Bruce Ohr, played in seeking the warrant application under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to begin spying on Page.  

The move also could help detail the role former CIA Director John Brennan played in pushing the narrative regarding Russian efforts to penetrate the Trump campaign. The first evidence of those efforts, according to media reports, came from foreign intelligence sources’ tipoffs, based on voice intercepts, computer traffic or human sources based outside the United States, dating back to 2015.  

Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper has argued that the unproven “Russian dossier” that Steele composed — and which was bankrolled by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign — was not the primary source for the FISA warrants. If not, then the declassified FISA-related documents will undoubtedly show what other information officials used to secure the surveillance warrants.  

Nearly two years ago, when Trump accused Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, of engaging in the “unmasking” of U.S. persons as part of the counter-intelligence probe, a potentially criminal act, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he should show proof that it occurred.  

“If he’s going to make accusations of criminality against anyone, he needs to show evidence to support that kind of charge,” the then-ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said at the time.  

Rep. Eric Swalwell, now a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, went further, arguing that “if the president wants to say that Susan Rice committed a crime, he has the power to declassify. No one else does.”  

Trump tried to declassify materials related to the FBI’s Russian investigation back in September, but Democrats objected that doing so would compromise FBI “sources and methods.” The president abandoned the plan after key allies called on him not to release the material over concerns that doing so could have a negative impact on the then-ongoing Russia probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  

Trump and his allies have said that scrutinizing the FBI’s “sources and methods” is the only way to determine whether the U.S. government’s spying laws, which were greatly expanded after the 9/11 attacks, were abused to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign or to try to derail his presidency once elected. 

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

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Chicago attorney Tina Tchen reportedly dodged a subpoena requesting documents of her conversations with the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx surrounding the investigation of Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

Tchen, who was formerly chief of staff to Michelle Obama, refused to to meet with a process server that was trying to serve her the subpoena at her office, according to reporting from the Chicago Sun-Times. The guard told the process server that Tchen “knew about” the subpoena, but that she refused to come down and accept it.

The subpoena was issued by former Illinois Appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien, who is advocating for a special prosecutor to look into how the Foxx’s office handled the dismissal of charges against Smollett. The subpoena issued to Tchen was for “any and all documents, notes, phone records, texts, tape recordings made or received at any time, concerning [Tchen’s] conversations with Kim Foxx in re: Jussie Smollett.”

Some of Tchen’s correspondence with Foxx was previously leaked. In one exchange, Foxx told Tchen that she “spoke to Superintendent Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get back to me shortly.”

Read More:
https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/fmr-michelle-obama-staffer-dodges-subpoena-seeking-info-on-her-involvement-in-jussie-smollett-case/

FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Trump presents Public Safety Medals of Valor to officers at the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO – U.S. Attroney General William Barr passes President Donald Trump as he heads to the podium to speak during the presentation of Public Safety Medals of Valor to officers in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the attorney general of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after Trump issued the directive.

The order also allows Barr to declassify any information he sees fit during his review.

Last month, Barr said at a Senate hearing that “spying” on Trump’s campaign was carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, though he later referred to his concerns as focused on “unauthorized surveillance.”

Barr has assigned a top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to probe the origins of the Russia investigation in what is the third known inquiry into the opening of the FBI probe.

Trump, a Republican, harbors suspicions that the Democratic Obama administration ordered him investigated during the 2016 campaign to try to undermine his candidacy, and he wants payback against those he believes were responsible.

Of specific interest to Trump are the warrants that emanated from a secretive court that authorizes surveillance on foreign powers and their agents. Trump supporters believe the warrants will identify those responsible for the Russia probe that is still roiling Washington.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Makini Brice; Editing by David Alexander and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN


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