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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.

Reactions

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.

Culture and Religion

Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty – Part II

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Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty Part II

Leftists incessantly issue lists of demands for the restriction of Liberty, It’s time to reverse the trend towards freedom.

This is our second part of our series of what we on the Pro-Liberty Right want for the preservation of Liberty. Part I is here.

6. The Left needs to stop trying to control private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. [aka ‘enhanced’ or ‘Universal’]

If there is one constant in the Liberty grabber universe, it’s that half of them are incessantly calling for gun confiscation while the rest deny they are calling for gun confiscation. They also love to parrot the line that it would be impossible to round-up everyone’s guns as a way of deflecting the issue. Except that those on the Pro-liberty side thought the same thing in the UK and Australia. Their Liberty grabber nightmare began with gun registration, under the solemn promise that it wouldn’t lead to gun confiscation. [Sound familiar?] Then of course at the next occasion of a serious crisis, this registration data was used for gun confiscation.

The fact is gun confiscation takes several precursor steps, the most critical being the assertion of government control over private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. Curiously enough, the Liberty grabbers tend to want language inserted into these laws mandating the reportage of lost or stolen firearms. Those types of rules are of primary importance only if the point of these measures is to turn them into a registration scheme.

7. The Liberty Grabber Left needs to stop pushing for even more controls on freedom.

It is also axiomatic that Leftists will exploit any opportunity to start ever-expansive controls over Liberty. The Left is a virtual fountainhead of new and more creative ways of clamping down on freedom. Having run out of new and improved ways of making it difficult, embarrassing and expensive to buy a firearm [While also lying about it at the same time] the Left has moved on to imposing controls over the purchase of ammunition. Then of course they also are making demands on how these are stored.

8. Stop attacking those who only wish to defend themselves.

There is nothing more loathsome than Leftists who excel at hurling insults at the country’s estimated 150 Million innocent gun owners. We’ve been labelled with almost everything from being Terrorists to baby killers for wanting nothing more than to be able to defend our families and ourselves.

Those who incessantly work overtime to demonize the innocent should keep one word in mind: Deterrence. The widespread ownership of weapons in most areas deters criminals since they don’t know who can fight back. This also explains why places with tight controls on Liberty tend to have higher crime rates. Curiously enough, for people who love the term ‘Commonsense’ they certainly don’t seem to well versed in it.

9. The Left needs to become educated about that which they want to control.

Granted, it might be too much to expect the Liberty Grabbers from knowing the difference between a direct impingement and gas piston actuation, but they should at least know the difference between a semi-auto and select fire. Nothing screams uninformed more than someone who confuses a clip with a magazine or some who uses them interchangeably in a claim that one can fire off 30 rounds in half a second.

Lack of knowedge is usually a negative in most cases, but in the realm of Liberty Control, the Leftists wear it as a badge of honour.

10. The Left needs to stop lying about guns.

We made these two separate items to prove a point. While some gaffes of the Liberty grabber elite are relatively harmless, there are those that are a danger to Liberty. It should go without saying that we live in an age in which the knowledge of the world is literally at one’s fingertips. There is no rational excuse for a lack of knowledge on the most rudimentary aspects of certain subjects. By the same token, there is no excuse for the propagation of deliberate false impressions and Lies particularly on the subject of self-defense.

One of the most infamous examples stems from the creation the phrase “Assault Weapon”:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

The Takeaway.

The nation’s Left has gone on for years demanding compromises on the part of the Pro-Liberty Right. It is time that they step up to the plate and show they can be ‘bi-partisan’ for once. These steps aren’t really that extraordinary, in fact they merely bolster Liberty. Some Leftists still purport to be Liberal, supporting these items would go a long way in showing that is truly the case.

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Media

Idiotic mainstream media feeds Trump the goodwill motherload

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Idiotic mainstream media feeds Trump the goodwill motherload

The tenacity by which mainstream media wants to stop President Trump is comical. It’s even dangerous at times. Sadly, they keep shooting themselves in the foot by giving their target all the ammunition he needs to continue taking them down.

Their latest attempt at defending freedom of the press and bashing the President for attacking it comes in the form of a coordinated attack. That statement alone is enough to make more people realize their bias and justify Trump’s claims that the press is the enemy. They can attempt to spin it any way they want, but the results will be the same. They’re helping Trump.

Coast to coast, and in between, local news is standing up to Trump’s press attacks

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/15/media/newspaper-editorials-free-press-trump/index.htmlFrom The Martha’s Vineyard Times to the Dallas Morning News… from the Yankton County Observer in South Dakota to the Bangor Daily News in Maine… the papers will all run editorials as part of an effort first proposed by the Boston Globe earlier this month.

Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy editorial page editor, told CNN that more papers were still “signing on” for the effort as of Wednesday afternoon.

This smells bad. I’m not a Trump supporter, yet I grimace at the attempt by mainstream media to take him down. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve it; it isn’t his place to lead the charge against mainstream media. That’s my job, and yours. Instead, the President should be spending time gaining a better understanding of the effects of tariffs and learning how to handle foreign affairs like a statesman. Unhinged journalists and kneeling football players are below the office of the President of the United States.

Nevertheless, he attacks. They attack back. Rinse. Repeat.

This is very similar to what National Review attempted in early 2016 when they gathered a bunch of respected conservative journalists to speak out against the President. Titled “Against Trump,” the issue had dozens of conservatives giving their reasons why we shouldn’t support Trump to be the Republican nominee. It failed miserably. His popularity skyrocketed and it helped to seal the fate of candidates who tried to prevent his ascension.

The current situation is worse. Instead of dozens, it’s hundreds of editorial writers and publications making a concerted effort to expose Trump and his backwards perspectives on freedom of the press. Instead of pulling the nation against him, they will only plant people more firmly in their own beliefs. Trump detractors will get a false sense of victory while Trump supporters will say, “See, he was right all along.”

No minds will be changed by these hundreds of articles. Worldviews will be solidified. More attacks from the White House against mainstream media will be justified. Valid complaints about the President by all journalists will be tainted. In short, the media is handing the President the best present they can give him. They’re proving his point.

Goodwill is generated for people who are perceived as being treated unfairly. By “ganging up” on Trump with coordinated attacks, mainstream media is making even lukewarm Trump supporters much more sympathetic towards him.

The worst part about all this is there are legitimate complaints about the President that will be diminished by mainstream media’s coordinated attacks. They are adding fuel to the fake news fire. Maybe it makes them feel good now, but it’s counterproductive at best.

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Opinions

Omarosa is a victim, but not the way she paints it

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Omarosa is a victim but not the way she paints it

If one were to listen to Omarosa Manigault Newman’s narrative about her time at the White House and take it at face value, she’s just another person cashing in on her 15 minutes by trying to sell books. She’s been all across the airwaves playing the victim card. Unfortunately for her, the card she’s playing isn’t the card most people are reading.

Republicans and conservative media are painting her as a disgruntled former employee selling nothingburgers while Democrats and mainstream media view her as a betrayer who got betrayed and now wants back into the left-wing clubhouse. Neither side is giving her much room to rant, often calling out her claims as not being clear cut evidence of any wrongdoing on the administration’s part.

Omarosa releases recording of her firing, looks worse as a result

https://noqreport.com/2018/08/12/omarosa-releases-recording-firing-looks-worse-result/Even leftist journalist Chuck Todd had to point out there’s nothing out of the ordinary with a Chief of Staff running the staff, as they’re supposed to do.

One portion the media is latching onto for headlines is her claim that President Trump is “mentally declined.”

Her latest attempt to stay in the headlines is a recording of the President’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who allegedly tried to bribe her with a high-paying job on President Trump’s reelection campaign. It was almost certainly an attempt at a payout, though one that can easily be dismissed as business-as-usual in the Trump inner circle. It’s not a coincidence that many former White House employees who now work for Trump in some form or fashion.

Omarosa Drops New Tape To Bolster Claim Trump Offered $15K/Month For Silence

https://deadline.com/2018/08/omarosa-secret-tape-lara-trump-campaign-job-offer-buy-silence-unhinged-1202446800/This time, Omarosa took to MSNBC to unveil a recording she said was made on December 16 of last year, within a couple days of being fired from her White House job by Chief of Staff John Kelly. In the recording President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law/campaign adviser Lara Trump appears to offer Omarosa a position on Trump’s re-election campaign.

So where does that leave Omarosa? Is her tale of being the victim a legitimate story? Yes. The problem is that she’s not a victim of Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, or anyone in the administration.

She’s a victim of her own failures.

When the campaign added her, she joined knowing she would gain personally from it. She didn’t share the ideas that candidate Trump was espousing. She changed her personal views to fit in with the only campaign that would take her based on her past experience as a reality TV star in hopes that she’d get a good job at the White House.

It worked for a time. Instead of counting her blessings and playing her cards right, she dramatically overplayed her hand. The importance she held in the White House never matched her own perception of where she really stood. Reports of her leaving shoes in many rooms of the White House while walking around without them gave many the perception she was too comfortable without maintaining professionalism.

With all this, the biggest flaw in how she has behaved and continues to behave is her ego. She’s the victim of her own lack of humility. This is why she feels it necessary to record so many conversations. She’s always on the lookout for a smoking gun she can use against people because in her mind she’s so important, of course everyone’s out to get her. It’s a combination of paranoia and narcissism that leads her to believe she needs to protect herself by catching others saying bad things to her.

Can anyone every have a conversation with her without wondering if their words are being recorded? She should Mirandize everyone before starting a conversation with them. “Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.”

We shouldn’t bash Omarosa. She’s not important enough. Instead, we should pity her for being unhinged and not even realizing it.

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