Due Process, Fairness and Transparency

Impeachment – Intent vs Results: Maybe, just maybe the President was sloppy and talked about something that implied “intent” to do something that could have been illegal…but it NEVER happened.The question is, is “that” an impeachable offense?

Please read the lead article below…it’s one of the best analysis I’ve seen of the situation.

EVERYONE has the right to due process, transparency and a fair process. What the House Democrats are now doing is a Soviet style secret trial, behind closed doors, with anonymous “whistleblowers” that couldn’t be more unfair.

This is a political show trial, with selective leaks designed to damage the President’s re-election chances. This is bad for our country and sets a horrible example for the future. I hope the mainstream-middle American rejects the politics of hate, resist, impeach and slander and votes for people who are willing to get back to doing the people’s work in Washington.

Public Servants – FBI, CIA, IRS, Staff have a Job: More to the point, “protecting the interests of the American people” isn’t the job of these public servants. They have other, rather specific jobs. The job of career officials in the intelligence agencies, for example, is to provide the White House with intelligence relevant to national security. That’s it. They have no other role to play in public life, and for a good reason. Appointed and unelected officials are supposed to serve those who were put in office by the people, from whom elected officials derive their authority. That’s how a republic is supposed to work.

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This Week’s News Summary:

Americans Deserve Better than Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Drug Pricing Plan

Speaker Pelosi’s proposal dramatically increases the power of the federal government.

DEA unveils new rule on opioid manufacturers after criticism

The proposal comes after an internal watchdog report showed the agency allowed drugmakers to increase production of opioids even as overdose deaths were skyrocketing.

GOP lawmakers storm closed-door impeachment session, as Schiff walks out

The standoff happened Wednesday morning after lawmakers held a press conference in which they accused House Democrats of lack of transparency.

Watch our Weekly News Summary Video Here

– Saul Anuzis

Click Here for Past Commentary from Saul

In impeachment, can Democrats focus on Trump intent and not result?

There’s no question House Democrats are determined to impeach President Trump. Some have been trying since shortly after his inauguration.

But a fundamental problem with the Democratic case against the president in the Ukraine matter is the same as the problem with their case against the president in the Russia matter. They are accusing Trump of attempted crimes that never actually came to fruition.

Of course, in the world of criminal law, attempted crimes are still crimes, albeit less serious than completed ones. But in the political process of impeachment, in which both sides are appealing to voters, Trump has a defense that will likely resonate with his supporters and some independents: The crimes Democrats have accused him of committing either never happened or were contemplated but never seen through to the finish. In addition, Trump himself does not view anything he did as criminal at all, hence his extraordinary openness with information, such as the rough transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, plus his decision to allow White House staff to cooperate fully with special counsel Robert Mueller. Because of that, even if Democrats succeed in making a case against Trump, voters might reject removal from office, which is the political equivalent of capital punishment.

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Is Quid Pro Quo the Status Quo?

Isn’t all foreign aid supposed to be quid pro quo?

We give you this aid — on the expectation that you will not steal any of it for personal use, that you will spend it as we instruct, and on the understanding that if you don’t spend the money as we command, you won’t get any more next year.

Democrats want people to be alarmed by a Latin phrase, but, really, making foreign aid contingent on behavior is actually the defining reason that countries supposedly give aid — to influence the behavior of the receiving country.

For example, for our military aid, we demand that it be spent buying from the American military-industrial complex. Foreign countries are legally bound to use the money we give them to buy armaments from American manufacturers.

Likewise, we often demand government reforms and an end to corruption. Sometimes we have demanded specific actions, such as when former Vice President Joe Biden demanded the prosecutor looking into his son’s company be fired.

So, really, “quid pro quo” seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

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GOP Can Fight Anti-Trump Coup Or Surrender Government To Democrats

Republicans have two choices for how to handle the Resistance’s latest attempt to undo the 2016 election through dramatic means. They can sit there and take it, or they can fight it.

Some Republicans can be counted on to sit there and take it. This approach entails allowing Democrats to hold secret hearings where they handpick snippets to leak to a compliant media in service of setting a narrative. After the leaks are published by the compliant corporate press, these Republicans can impotently push back on some of it.

The other approach is to learn something from the previous few years. Trump’s surprising election was followed by attempts to delegitimize the Republican victory in 2016 by claiming it was due to “fake news,” desperate efforts to overturn the Electoral College, anti-Trump riots in Portland and D.C., the Clinton-directed claims that Russia “hacked” the election, the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, the release of the completely ridiculous dossier alleging that Trump was a Russian agent, the whisper campaign that the truth of Trump’s collusion was so bad that he might not be inaugurated. Yes, all this was before the inauguration.

Within minutes of the inauguration, the Washington Post published that the “campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.” The primary impeachment effort was the Russia collusion hoax, in which the Resistance embraced — or pretended to believe — a patently absurd theory that Trump is a secret Russian agent who stole the 2016 election in a brazen act of sedition.

Corporate media outlets published and broadcast story after story supporting this theory, which was later shown to have been invented and secretly funded as a Clinton campaign operation alongside the Democratic National Committee. Foreign policy was put on hold, key administration advisors were fired and sidelined, investigations into whether former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was a Russian spy were launched. Following the firing of the mendacious and corrupt James Comey as FBI director, the Resistance forced the launch of an intrusive and unstoppable special counsel probe, ostensibly headed by Robert Mueller.

Years later — after the special counsel had stymied the Trump administration, fed the collusion conspiracy theory, rung up Trump associates for process crimes, and destroyed the lives and bank accounts of many Trump associates — the probe ended with not a single American, much less a single American tied to the Trump campaign, much less Trump himself, found to have colluded with Russia.

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All The Collusion Clues Are Beginning To Point Back To John Brennan

The evidence suggests John Brennan’s CIA and the intelligence community did much more than merely pass on details to the FBI. It suggests they fabricated events completely.

Last weekend, NBC News reported that the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation is now focusing on the CIA and the intelligence community. NBC News soft-peddled this significant development by giving former CIA Director John Brennan a platform (a pen?) to call the probe “bizarre,” and question “the legal basis for” the investigation. Politico soon joined the spin effort, branding the investigation Attorney General William Barr assigned to Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham “Trump’s vengeance.”

However, if the media reports are true, and Barr and Durham have turned their focus to Brennan and the intelligence community, it is not a matter of vengeance; it is a matter of connecting the dots in congressional testimony and reports, leaks, and media spin, and facts exposed during the three years of panting about supposed Russia collusion. And it all started with Brennan.

That’s not how the story went, of course. The company story ran that the FBI launched its Crossfire Hurricane surveillance of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after learning that a young Trump advisor, George Papadopoulos, had bragged to an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. This tip from Downer, when coupled with WikiLeaks’s release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails and evidence of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, supposedly triggered the FBI’s decision to target the Trump campaign.

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John Durham opens criminal inquiry in DOJ’s investigation of the investigators

U.S. Attorney John Durham opened a criminal inquiry in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and into the conduct of the Justice Department, FBI, and Intelligence Community during their scrutiny of possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The significant new move in the DOJ’s investigation of the investigators, which would give Durham the power to impanel a grand jury and hand down indictments, according to the New York Times.

The DOJ did not immediately return the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the secretive DOJ inquiry included scrutiny of former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, and British ex-spy Christopher Steele. Durham has also been seeking interviews with members of the CIA and FBI.

Durham, whose investigative portfolio recently expanded to include events from the launch of the inquiry in 2015 or 2016 through the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017, has taken overseas fact-finding trips with Attorney General William Barr, who was given “full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry in May. Barr selected Durham to be his right-hand man soon after.

The 412 pages of redacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act documents released in 2018 show the DOJ and the FBI made extensive use of Steele’s salacious and unverified dossier. The opposition research firm Fusion GPS was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm, and Fusion GPS then hired Steele. Clinton’s campaign received briefings about Fusion GPS’s findings during 2016, and watchdog groups allege the campaign purposely concealed its actions from the Federal Election Commission. Steele’s Democratic benefactors, his desire for Trump to lose to Clinton, and the flaws with his dossier weren’t revealed to the FISA court.

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Peters Moves to Lean Democrat

After serving three terms in the U.S. House, Democrat Gary Peters won this open seat in 2014 with 55 percent to 41 percent for former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. This was supposed to be among the most competitive races of the cycle, but Land proved to be a weak candidate. But, as Peters gears up to run for a second term next year, Republicans believe that he is very vulnerable, citing polling that shows that the incumbent is not very well known and thus undefined in the minds of voters.

Peters had careers in banking and education before politics became a full-time job. He worked as an assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch from 1980 until 1989 when he joined UBS/Paine Webber as a vice president. In 2003, he left banking to become the commissioner of the Michigan Lottery. After leaving that post in 2007, he taught at Central Michigan University.

Peters got his start in politics in 1990 when he won a seat on the Rochester Hills City Council. In 1994, he won a seat in the state Senate that he held until 2002. In 2008, Peters ran against then-GOP U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg in what was the 9th congressional district. The district included Southfield and West Bloomfield, and had a Partisan Voting Index of D+1, meaning that it voted one point more Democratic than the nation as a whole. Since 2008 was a very good year for Democrats nationally, it wasn’t a big surprise that Peters beat Knollenberg, 52 percent to 43 percent, in such a marginal district. President Obama carried the district with 56 percent, one point lower than his 57-percent performance statewide.

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Will the Democrats miss Middle America again?

In the weeks, then months, and now years after losing the presidential election in 2016, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated in speeches and television interviews she has no idea why she lost. She has blamed everything from racism to Russia, from the media to sexism, from deplorables to backwards-looking stubborn nostalgia.

Now she’s out saying Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and that she would defeat him again.

She has not visibly reflected on the effects of her position on guns, her anti-fossil fuel talk, and her open embrace of globalism. She seemingly hasn’t considered the political cost of living within the bubbles in Washington, New York, and Hollywood.

Talk to Democrats today who live outside her bubble, those who either volunteered endless hours to help elect her or voted for her, and they will tell you that Clinton has no idea why she lost. Worse, they see their party going down the same road that led to her defeat four years ago, blaming white resentment, as well as Russia, the media, sexism, and deplorables.

You don’t have to look any further than any of the sound bites from this past week’s Democratic debate or the recent town halls. Confiscating guns, banning fracking, hiking taxes, providing free healthcare to illegal immigrants, and stamping out religious liberty were the promises Democrats made to compete for primary voters.

Here is what most of Trump’s critics do not understand about why this new conservative populist coalition voted for Trump over not just Clinton but also over 17 very qualified, distinguished, mostly establishment Republican candidates in the party’s primary battle.

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Trump Approval Up to 42% with Black Males — Makes 2020 Election Impossible for Democrats

A recent Hill-HarrisX survey found that President Trump has historic numbers with black voters for any Republican in decades.

According to the poll President Trump has up to a 42% approval rating with black voters.

In the last ten presidential election cycles the highest black vote share for a Republican was 12% for Bob Dole in 1996.

If Donald Trump captured 25 percent of the African American vote he would win the 2020 election in a landslide.

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No, The Deep State Isn’t A Bunch Of Patriots Who Deserve Our Gratitude

Depending on your politics, you either think the “deep state” is a sinister cabal of unelected career bureaucrats trying to undermine a duly-elected president or a laughable conspiracy theory cooked up by President Trump and his supporters. There’s not much middle ground.

But if you’re the New York Times’ Michelle Cottle, you manage a neat trick: to believe the deep state is both real and great. It’s actually made up of courageous heroes, you see, who deserve our gratitude. Cottle calls the deep state “a collection of patriotic public servants — career diplomats, scientists, intelligence officers and others — who, from within the bowels of this corrupt and corrupting administration, have somehow remembered that their duty is to protect the interests, not of a particular leader, but of the American people.”

Specifically, Cottle is thinking of the career bureaucrats now cooperating with the Democratic-controlled House’s ongoing impeachment charade. There’s Fiona Hill, the president’s former top Russia advisor, Michael McKinley, a former advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and of course the anonymous anti-Trump whistleblower, who illegally colluded with the office of Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff prior to filing his complaint. Cottle would have us believe the motives of these unelected bureaucrats are pure. “Their aim was not to bring down Mr. Trump out of personal or political animus but to rescue the Republic from his excesses.”

Maybe, maybe not. To date, no one knows exactly what Hill and McKinley have shared with House impeachment investigators because Schiff is conducting his entire inquiry behind closed doors. Nor has Schiff brought the whistleblower forward to testify about what he knows, having abruptly changed his mind about that once it became clear that doing so would destroy the whistleblower’s credibility and effectively end the impeachment inquiry.

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Americans deserve a public impeachment inquiry – Schiff and Dems should end the secrecy

Reading Byron York’s excellent reporting on former State Department official Kurt Volker’s trip to Chairman Adam Schiff’s star chamber, one question kept pounding at me: Why on earth was this interview done in secret?

There appears to be no good reason for it, just as there appears to be nothing beside sinister, partisan reasons for the Intelligence Committee to be running a purported impeachment inquiry that has little, if anything, to do with intelligence matters.

The rationale offered by Chairman Schiff is preposterous.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, analogizes his committee’s inquiry to a grand jury investigation. Under federal law, grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret.

I, too, was a federal prosecutor for many years. I can assure you that an impeachment inquiry is vastly different from a grand jury investigation in its nature and purpose.

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Missing the Bigger Picture in Kurdish Syria

President Trump’s decision to withdraw our few troops from the Syria-Turkey border area earned him considerable criticism from allies. Senator Lindsey Graham said the decision is “a catastrophe in the making.” Representative Lin Cheney said it’s “a catastrophic mistake.” Former UN Secretary Nikki Haley said, “We must always have the backs of our allies.” 

President Trump has answered these critics. The Kurds were engaged in a contractual relationship fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). They were well paid and equipped for their fighting, much like any mercenary group. Further, they were given three years to consolidate eastern Syria to feed their long-held desire to form an independent Kurdistan with other Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They failed.

The Kurds’ problem, and by association that of the U.S., is that regional powers like Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran and Syria have long held the Kurds in disdain. In fact, Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds to be allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or (PKK), which are Turkish Kurds and terrorists fighting for independence for the last 35 years. 

Basically, the Kurds hijacked our fight with ISIS to feed their regional civil war to earn independence.

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Officer: I’m loyal but I’ve been pushed too far. And I’m done staying quiet.

This is our reality. I’m not whining. Just stating a fact. There are consequences to everything we (and I’m talking about everybody here, not just cops) do, good or bad. 

The shame is that the vast majority of cops are extremely loyal public servants to the people (regardless of race, religion, creed, nationality, immigration status, social status or whether you like us or not) and to the agencies we serve. We are loyal despite the huge lack of reciprocal loyalty and appreciation from bosses for the way we accomplish our extremely and uniquely complicated tough job. Despite the avalanche of new politically driven policies, workload, and hazing we endure from every direction. We do a damn good job overall. 

I read something somebody tacked on a wall in their office and it hits the nail on the head. It says: “Never push a loyal person to the point they no longer care.”

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