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Good news: Trump was right, there was ‘wiretapping.’ Bad news: Manafort is probably toast

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Always the bad news first. Paul Manafort needs to pick up the phone, and call Scooter Libby.

Libby was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 30 months in prison for making false statements about his conversations with a reporter from Time Magazine in the fallout after the Valerie Plame “outing” affair. Ironically, the only person jailed in the whole CIA leak investigation was New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Libby never served a day–President George W. Bush commuted his 30-month sentence essentially on the day he would have reported to prison, all appeals of his sentence having failed.

Manafort is going to be indicted. The FBI had him under investigation since 2014, under a secret FISA warrant. At first, this was related to his work for Ukraine’s then-president and kleptocrat Viktor Yanukovych. In 2015, the investigation was shelved for lack of evidence. Then it began again at some point in 2016 with a new FISA warrant.

As streiff at Redstate noted (and he has experience with these kinds of intelligence matters), FISA warrants cover all forms of surveillance. Phones, email, video are all permitted forms of data collection (a.k.a “wiretapping”) for the subject of the warrant. Also, there are no limitations of where the surveillance could or would be carried out. That means Trump Tower is certainly not off limits.

What does this mean?

The good news. Donald Trump was right. The FBI surveilled Manafort while he was running the Trump campaign. Whatever documents Rep. Devin Nunes saw at the White House SCIF were likely the real thing. The investigation, according to CNN extended “at least into early this year.”

That means after Trump was elected. It means potentially after Trump was president.

It’s inconceivable that then-President Obama didn’t know about surveillance carried out against the president-elect’s campaign staff. It’s inconceivable that Obama didn’t know that Trump’s offices very well could have been under surveillance before the election, or Trump’s conversations with Manafort could have been intercepted afterwards. This entire narrative ties into the classified Comey briefing at Trump Tower. It ties into Trump’s paranoia about wanting Comey to publicly announce that the president was not under investigation.

In March, Politifact published a “timeline of Donald Trump’s false wiretapping charge.” Looks more like Politifact got some of it wrong now–while the president was not the target of the surveillance, it was likely done in Trump Tower, under his nose, and in offices he owns. Trump can claim he is vindicated (if people believe it is a different story). That’s the good news.

In fact, all of this serves to boost Trump’s version of the story, while leaving Manafort in the position of….Scooter Libby. That’s the bad news.

Brace for indictment

The New York Times called the FBI’s tactics against Manafort “shock and awe.” They picked the lock on his door. The FBI raided his home in the early hours of a July day while Manafort was still in bed. They took binders and papers, copied computer data, and photographed “expensive suits” as potential evidence. Then Robert Mueller called Manafort and told him to prepare for an indictment.

Given that President Trump likely knew that the FBI had surveillance on Manfort before Mueller’s appointment, he probably knew this was going to happen sooner or later. For Trump, sooner is better, to get the entire process behind him.

More bad news

We don’t know what Manafort might say to investigators after (if) he is indicted. He may be presented with evidence implicating other Trump campaign staffers, the president’s family, or the president himself. Manafort may “cut a deal” to avoid a state prosecution, immune from Trump’s pardon power. Mueller seems to have all his bases covered.

The only silver lining for Trump would be if he knew, for a fact, he said nothing or did nothing that could implicate himself. His children, on the other hand, may find themselves in a pickle.

Perspectives

BREAKING. Paul Manafort Was Wiretapped and Threatened With Indictment | streiif, Redstate 

https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/09/18/breaking.-paul-manafort-wiretapped-threatened-indictment/While Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it’s unclear whether FBI surveillance of him took place there.

This is nonsense. If he was targeted under FISA, he was under surveillance no matter where he was. There are no “safe zones.”

To get the warrant, Mr. Mueller’s team had to show probable cause that Mr. Manafort’s home contained evidence of a crime. To be allowed to pick the lock and enter the home unannounced, prosecutors had to persuade a federal judge that Mr. Manafort was likely to destroy evidence.

Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment | TheHill

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/351268-nyt-mueller-warned-manafort-to-expect-an-indictmentThe right to pick a lock and enter Manafort’s home unannounced, even with a warrant in hand, means prosecutors had to convince a federal judge that Manafort would likely try to destroy evidence upon making themselves known.

Mueller has reportedly issued a series of subpoenas to pressure witnesses to testify before a grand jury. Manafort’s spokesman reportedly testified before a federal grand jury in Washington on Friday. As did one of Manafort’s former lawyers, during which Mueller claimed an exception to the attorney-client privacy rule.

The Times report came around the same time Monday afternoon that CNN reported the government wiretapped Manafort’s phone during and after the 2016 presidential election.

 

Mueller Reportedly Told Manafort To Brace For An Indictment

https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/mueller-manafort-indictment/This according to a New York Times report published Monday that details the aggressive tactics used by Mueller in his ongoing investigation into Russia’s antics during the campaign. Under warrant, the federal agents reportedly picked a lock and barged into Manafort’s house as he was in bed. The report called them “shock-and-awe” moves, used to move along a process historically prone to a snail’s pace.

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Final thoughts

Obviously, this is an enormous can of worms that just got opened and we’ve barely baited one hook. The questions, at this point, outnumber the answers a thousand to one. What we do know is that Paul Manafort is in trouble–but we’ve always know he was trouble. We know that Trump has a blind spot (or a soft spot) for Russians–but we’ve always known that too.

Mostly, the news here is that Robert Mueller is Eliot Ness. He’s very likely to get his man. Paul Manafort really needs to call Scooter Libby, and the sooner the better.

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Culture and Religion

The complete fraud that is socialism

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The complete fraud that is socialism

Once again we are witness to the age-old scam of socialism with Leftists making promises to attain power that can never be fulfilled.

Long before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago exposed the systematic oppression, torture, incarceration and deliberate mass murder that are the hallmarks of socialistic slavery. James A. Michener documented the 1956 Hungarian uprising against communism in his book ‘The Bridge at Andau’. While both are great literary works, ‘The Bridge at Andau’ laid bare the complete fraud that is the collectivist ideologies in creating a ‘Heaven on Earth’ or ‘worker’s paradise’ that never comes to fruition.

The selling of socialistic slavery to a new generation tends to follow a certain type of ‘progress’. Promises are made for all kinds of largess ranging from Free Healthcare, Free Housing, Free College, Free food to even Free income. All paid for with other people’s money. Never mind that It’s impossible to fulfill all of these wondrous asseverations. Appearances must be made to at least begin the process, so the ever-present task of wealth redistribution begins at the point of a gun.

This is also why the Socialist-Left obsesses over gun confiscation and the suppression of free speech. It is imperative for the Leftists to disarm the people since they generally object to having their property stolen from them. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves, this is to document how this exploitation of the people has ‘progressed’ in other collectivist enclaves to better understand how this crime against the people is perpetrated.

Why do collectivist regimes always require secret police apparatus and the suppression of Liberty?

This question was detailed in The Bridge at Andau in the chapters on the ‘AVO man’. In which he discusses the secret police organisation of the Hungarian Communists, the AVO (Allamvedelmi Osztaly). He bluntly asked and answered the question:

Why must communism depend on such dregs of society?

No matter on what elevated plane communism begins its program of total dictatorship. it sooner or later runs into such economic and social problems that some strong-arm force is required to keep the civil population under control.

As is the case now as it was then, a nation’s Socialist-Left will promise just about anything to attain power over the people:

When communism is wooing the workers in Csepel, all kinds of exaggerated promises are made if they seem likely to awaken men’s aspirations and their cupidity. These promises are couched in such simple terms and such effective symbols that they become immediate goals of the revolution.

Review briefly what communist agitators had once promised the Hungarians who appear in this book: consumer goods such as they had never known before, increased wages. increased social benefits, shorter hours of work, improved education for everyone, a greater social freedom, and a government directly responsible to the working classes. Under communism such promises were never even remotely capable of attainment.

[Our Emphasis]
If all of that sounds eerily familiar, it’s because that’s part of a very old song and dance that has deceived many a generation into enslaving themselves under socialism. Consider this recent story from the Associated Press:

Democrats lurch left on top policies as 2020 primary begins

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro launched his campaign by pledging support for “Medicare for All,” free universal preschool, a large public investment in renewable energy and two years of free college for all Americans.
….

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign soon, has sponsored legislation to create a federal jobs guarantee program in several communities across America.

The pilot program… could ultimately transform the U.S. labor market by providing well-paid government employment with benefits for anyone who wants it.

[Our Emphasis]

As Margaret Thatcher so aptly surmised, eventually they will run out of other people’s money. In our case in the states, that is already the situation given the enormous debt and unfunded liabilities reaching into the stratosphere of trillions of dollars. Of course, this hasn’t deterred committed collectivists such as Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio who recently stated that ‘There’s plenty of money in the world… It’s just in the wrong hands!’ Never mind that it is morally wrong to steal the property of others or that once a society turns down the dead-end of socialism there will always be more people wanting more money from those who have it.

Wealth redistribution scams will always wreck the economy. A socialist regime that nationalizes the economy can never function better than one of economic Liberty. Soon enough everything breaks down, the people see through the lies and the government has to start breaking heads. Thus it is imperative that they have previously confiscated the people’s guns and made it illegal to defend themselves.

The Takeaway

Socialistic schemes always run contrary to basic human nature. Rewarding someone for not working will always result in less work. Conversely, punishing someone for working will also result in less work.

This basic logic of human nature seems to be lost on Leftists. But perhaps it is not. They have to know their schemes have never and will never work. And yet they still try to impose them on everyone else. Perhaps they know of the epic fraud they are continually perpetrating on society, but they don’t care. That will be the subject of our next installment.


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Democrats

Dan Crenshaw: Only six Democrats voted to pay federal employees affected by shutdown

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Dan Crenshaw Only six Democrats voted to pay federal employees affected by shutdown

While most were drinking the mainstream media Kool-Aid that Republicans and President Trump are responsible for keeping paychecks out of the hands of federal employees affected by the government shutdown, a bill was brought to the House floor that would have paid them their first paycheck of 2019.

It failed. Despite six Democrats voting in favor of the bill, the Democratic majority shot it down, preventing their political pawns – the 800,000 people directly affected by the government shutdown – from getting paid.

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) pointed it out and received a good amount of interactions on Twitter, but most in mainstream media refused to run this narrative-busting truth.

It’s crystal clear to anyone paying attention that their anti-wall rhetoric is driven by the good optics they’re getting from the press. If the people would stop being sheep and listen to that quiet voice of reason in the back of their minds, they’d realize two things:

  1. Democrats don’t oppose the wall. They oppose giving the President a win. They will keep the government shutdown going as long as possible and any attempts to help the people affected by it will be shot down.
  2. All of the false claims about the wall are politically motivated outside of the realm of common sense. The latest talking point, that the wall will be ineffective, is contradicted by every statistic that compares illegal immigration with or without a wall.

This is clear proof the Democrats have no desire to help the people if it means taking away their leverage on the President. Given the choice between paying federal employees or harming the President politically, they chose political expediency.


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Culture and Religion

The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids

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The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids

The Covington Catholic School story has taken on a life of its own. What started as an attack against MAGA hat-wearing teens who supposedly went after a Native American Vietnam War veteran has turned into a witch hunt by leftist mainstream media to prove their righteous indignation towards the kids was justified.

But at the core of the story is something that most seem to be missing. Nathan Phillips isn’t a random activist. He’s an outspoken radical who intentionally inserts himself into situations to draw attention to his cause. We saw this clearly the day after the viral video was shot (but before it went viral) when he tried to storm a Catholic church to disrupt worship services. Those are not the actions of a peace-seeking, mild-mannered activist for Native American rights. They’re the actions of someone seeking trouble for the sake of attention.

Then, there’s the question of claims that he was a combat veteran who fought during the Vietnam War. To be fair, these are not necessarily his assertions, though I haven’t read everything he’s said about that period in his life. But mainstream media has painted him on multiple occasions as essentially a war hero. His claims have been that he was a “Vietnam times veteran,” which is obviously meant to insinuate he participated.

Thankfully, many of the publications that painted this picture of Phillips have since started editing their stories. Nevertheless, the damage is done. His reputation as a Vietnam War hero is still prominent in the eyes of those who read the initial stories and haven’t gone back to reread them since the corrections were made. We can assume that means nearly none of them have learned of the correction. That’s why he’s still being widely labeled as such on social media.

One of his claims to fame is that he starred in a Skrillex video that depicted armed opposition against law enforcement as a potential solution for those who are being forced from their homes by a land developer.

The sum of the parts of this story paint a very strange picture of Phillips. There is absolutely nothing wrong with activism for the sake of Native American rights. The cause is a righteous one and most activists are doing their part to properly bring awareness to the American people while working with governments in their plight.

Phillips doesn’t fall into that category. His stories keep changing, but the truth is still a mystery.

As our EIC noted yesterday, he claims to be a hero but he’s not.

Nathan Phillips claims to be a hero, but he’s the reason “MAGA kids” are now being demonized

http://noqreport.com/2019/01/22/nathan-phillips-claims-hero-hes-reason-maga-kids-now-demonized/There have been multiple shifts of the narrative being pushed by mainstream media about the Covington Catholic School “MAGA kids” since it first went viral. Each shift further demonstrates the far-left’s unhinged nature and mainstream media’s desire to attack conservative Christians no matter what the facts of the matter say.

All of this goes back to Nathan Phillips, the Native American who sparked the incident by trying to march through the group of kids. It wasn’t necessarily his actions that should be condemned, but how he portrayed the whole situation and his role in it have perpetuated the falsehoods that are being reported by mainstream media even today.

This all brings us back to his “opposition,” or at least the people he apparently opposes. By no means do I believe these kids are innocent. They’re kids. They were thrown into a situation they didn’t know how to handle, but even in those circumstances they handled it fairly well. Nick Sandmann, the “smirking MAGA kid” who was literally at the center of the initial controversy, is having to go on air to defend himself, his school, and to try to prevent the threats that have hit their community.

It’s a disgrace that these kids couldn’t just go to the March for Life unscathed. The trashy people who continue to dig into their pasts, shame them, and threaten their lives are being driven by the progressive worldview that is intolerant of the hats they wore.


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