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The eye of Trump’s storm

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The breaking story overnight has been about Natalia Veselnitskaya, the shadowy Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner on June 9, 2016. They thought she was a Russian government official there to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton. In reality, she was more closely linked with the firm delivering dirt on Trump to his opponents.

At the heart of all this is the opposition research company Fusion GPS, which was formed by former Wall Street Journal employees. It’s interesting that Josh Rogan, of the Washington Post, was one of the first reporters to break this story last night. He apparently spoke directly to them. The media is a small club.

Fusion GPS told me its work on the Prevezon case had nothing to do with the 2016 presidential election and they were not involved in the outreach to the Trump campaign.

Even more in the epicenter: Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, whose Prezevon Holdings was fighting a government money laundering case, hired Fusion GPS, and was also linked to Veselnitskaya. Prezevon’s business interests were hurt by sanctions imposed by Congress’ 2012 Magnitsky Act, which was named for a Russian Journalist who died in prison.

The Daily Mail focuses on Katsyv and Prezevon in their report.

Whether the lobbying campaign was directly coordinated with the Kremlin is up for debate. Katsyv had personal financial interests. But his motivations were also in line with the Kremlin, which has also fought to unravel the Magnitsky Act.

Fusion GPS was working for “unnamed Republican clients”  when they hired Christopher Steele, the former British MI6 agent, who gathered the infamous “dossier” filled with uncorroborated and wild claims of Russian government blackmail (“kompromat”) of Trump.

Erick Erickson notes more “nuggets” suggesting there’s more to the story here.

Natalia Veselnitskaya had been denied a visa into the United States. She had been given temporary parole, allowing her to enter the country with an expired visa, but it has been revoked by 2016. Still, Veselnitskaya was able to enter the US anyway to meet with Trump, Jr. in the middle of 2016. It is my understanding this could have only happened in one of two ways. First, she could have argued she was the sole lawyer of representation for her client, but Baker Hostetler also represented Prevezon. She could also have been allowed into the country if she had a collaborative relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You know, the organization that was considering paying Christopher Steele for his Trump dossier work prepared for Fusion GPS.

Plus, as Hidden America blog exposed, Veselnitskaya was fairly active on social media, posting pictures of anti-Trump protesters. (Although they published a debunked photo of Sen. John McCain she claimed to have taken, also tweeted by Internet troll Jack Posobiec.)

What is apparent from all this is Veselnitskaya was not there to help Donald Trump, or provide dirt on Hillary Clinton. She was working for her own paid business interests, her clients, to oppose the Magnitsky Act. She was connected with the firm hired to collect Russian dirt on Trump. She was herself more aligned with Democrats.

But Trump, Jr. took the meeting. As David French wrote, no, you don’t “take the meeting.” Whether it was a setup (very possible) or not, Trump’s son made himself the mark.

This story will need time to unravel in order to shed light on the darkest corner of foreign influence, money, and power emanating from Moscow into the heart of Washington.

Now the investigation moves into a new phase, one where Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has some influence.

Grassley has scheduled an as yet unannounced hearing July 19 entitled, “Oversight of the Justice Department’s (Non) enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” which will include testimony from William Browder, the chief of Hermitage Capital, who filed the complaint against Fusion GPS and several other entities he alleges were working on behalf of the Russians.

The sooner the better we can get to the bottom of this stinking, fetid hole.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Politics

Electoral Dysfunction: Leftist lawyers argue votes count only when they win

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Some leftist lawyers, including some high profile ones who ought to know better, are arguing against four states’ practice of allocating their electoral votes in a winner take all fashion.

A lawyers’ coalition including the pretty far left League of United Latin American Citizens filed four federal lawsuits Wednesday challenging the allocation, charging the winner take all practice “distorts presidential campaigns, facilitates outside interference in our elections, and ensures that a substantial number of citizen voters are disenfranchised when their votes are tallied in early November, only to be discarded when it really counts in mid-December.”

The lawsuits do not challenge the Electoral College, and they also do not propose a clear alternative which would ensure a satisfactory, proportionate count. No surprise there; outside of North Korea, it’s kind of hard to ensure the outcome you want in advance.

The premise of the lawsuit, however, lays bare a shocking misunderstanding of the nature of our system of government. Consider this quote: “The promise of democracy is that all votes count equally,” says Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lussig.

There’s just one problem with that.

America is not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic.

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Guns and Crime

Andrew Pollack: Should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it.

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Andrew Pollack lost his daughter, Meadow, during Cruz’s rampage. He gives a speech in front of Trump with his three sons standing next to him. In his speech he calls on Trump to work with him on ending school shootings. We credit Daily Caller with the transcript. Note: CNN’s blatantly misleading headline on the video.

I’m here because my daughter has no voice.

She was murdered last week, and she was taken from us, shot nine times on the third floor. We as a country failed our children. This shouldn’t happen. We go to the airport, I can’t get on a plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a school and shoot our children. It is just not right.

And we need come together as a country and work on what’s important.

And that is protecting our children in the schools. That’s the only thing that matters right now. Everyone has to come together and not think about different laws. We need to come together as a country, not different parties, and figure out how we protect the schools. It is simple.

It is not difficult. We protect airports. We protect concerts, stadiums, embassies. The Department of Education that I walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel? In the elevator, they got a security guard. I’m very angry that this happened because it keeps happening.

9/11 happened once, and they fixed everything. How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here with this administration and me. I’m not going to sleep until it is fixed. And Mr. President, we’re going to fix it. Because I’m going to fix it. I’m not going to rest.

And my boys need to live with this. I want to see everyone — you guys look at this. Me, I’m — I’m a man, but to see your children go through this, bury their sister. That’s what I keep saying because I want to sink in. Not forget about this. We can’t forget about it.

All these school shootings, it doesn’t make sense. Fix it.

Should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. And I’m pissed. Because my daughter I’m not going to see again. She’s not here. She’s not here. She’s in North Lauderdale at … King David Cemetery. That is where I go to see my kid now.

And if we all work together and come up with the right idea — school safety. It is not about gun laws. That is another fight, another battle. Let’s fix the schools and then you guys can battle it out whatever you want. But we need our children safe. Monday, tomorrow, whatever day it is, your kids are going to go to school. You think everyone’s kids are safe?

I didn’t think it was going to happen to me. If I knew that, I would have been at the school every day if I knew it was that dangerous. It’s enough. Let’s get together, work with the president and fix the schools. That’s it. No other discussions. … I’m never going to see my kid again. … Never, ever will I see my kid. I want it to sink in. It’s eternity. My beautiful daughter I’m never going to see again. And it’s simple. It’s not — we can fix it.

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Culture and Religion

In a violent world, it’s time to do the right thing “for the children”

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In the never-ending assault on liberty, Progressive Democrats and Republicans often resort to using children as a type of political cover for their otherwise unpopular agenda. We are witnessing this right now as they work to dismantle the Second Amendment following the Florida high school shooting.

But let’s face it; who can say “no” to an agenda when it’s “for the children?”

Clearly, this ploy has paid huge dividends for big-government Progressives. One need look no further than the recent budget negotiations where the obsolete Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was renewed for 6 years. Or the recent suggestion to use Social Security to finance big-government’s newest entitlement—Ivanka Trump’s Paid Family Leave.

Quite honestly “for the children” has been so successful that I’ve decided to adopt it myself. While Progressives use it to destroy freedom, I will use it to defend the Constitution.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, Progressives are using the Florida tragedy to void the Second Amendment to keep children safe. But I will defend gun rights because it’s the only way we can keep them safe. Unarmed Americans in gun-free zones will only lead to more tragedies like Florida, not fewer.

Additionally, I will defend the First Amendment “for the children.” What future awaits the next generation if liberty is destroyed due to being raised on political correctness and spending their time in safe-spaces?

In fact, I will defend the entire Constitution “for the children.” What future will the next generation have if tyranny replaces freedom?

I will also fight for the Convention of States‘ goal for a balanced budget amendment “for the children.” What kind of future will they have if they are forced to pay for our fiscal irresponsibility? And I will fight to end abortion “for the (unborn) children,” because they are deprived of even having a future when they are deprived their right to life.

While there will certainly be more issues to fight for, it’s time to get ready America. The Strident Conservative is going to be more strident than ever because, after all, it’s “for the children.”

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are featured on RedState.com, NOQReport.com, and TheResurgent.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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