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Trump.org CEO Allen Weisselberg granted immunity

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The U.S. Attorney’s office granted immunity to Allen Weisselberg immunity in their investigation of Michael Cohen regarding the alleged payoffs of two women claiming to have had affairs with the President.

This is barely news compared to previous bombshells the President is dealing with, including Cohen himself, Paul Manafort, and David Pecker.

Will Pecker flip?

http://noqreport.com/2018/08/24/will-pecker-flip/Now that he has a deal, everyone’s wondering if he’s going to flip on the guy whose magazine he once published. The answer should be pretty obvious. There would be no need for the prosecution to grant him immunity in the Cohen case since Trump’s former lawyer already plead guilty. The only thing Pecker could possibly offer is information on Trump’s inner circle… or the President himself.

Weisselberg’s role in Trump’s organization is high but most are saying he had little to really offer investigators other than necessary high level cooperation. He has the keys to the money, so that information could prove to be helpful.

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Media

George Papadapolous opens up to OAN following release from prison

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George Papadapolous opens up to OAN following release from prison

George Papadapolous is freshly out of prison following a 12-day sentence for lying to federal investigators. He spoke to OAN’s Jack Posobiec for an extremely interesting five minutes.

Two big takeaways came from this. First, Papadapolous rightly points out that Michael Cohen was always President Trump’s “fixer” well before the presidential campaign was announced. The notion that he couldn’t have handled the Stormy Daniels and/or Karen McDougal situations without informing then-candidate Trump is ridiculous. His role was specifically to handle situations like that. As Trump’s lawyer, he was empowered to do such things.

That’s not to say President Trump wasn’t informed, but considering the current nature of their relationship and Cohen’s history of lying, it’s feasible to believe he’s lying now to get back at the President and attempt to cover his own asset. Our EIC noted as much last night.

President Trump’s best defense against Michael Cohen is… Michael Cohen

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/11/president-trumps-best-defense-michael-cohen-michael-cohen/If someone needed to be paid off, Cohen would work out the details. If someone needed to be threatened, Cohen would make the call. Listening to recorded conversations of him making such threats reveals that he’s a scumbag. But he was Trump’s scumbag, and part of being a rich man’s scumbag is doing the dirty work without getting the boss involved.

Unless there are better recordings than the ones Cohen has already produced that show then-candidate Trump ordering the hush money, it’s very unlikely the Mueller investigation will yield an indictment. It’s the President’s word against his scumbag fixer’s. Indicting anyone solely on the self-serving word of Michael Cohen would be ludicrous.

The other takeaway is Papadapolous’ calls to declassify the FISA documents. He was on them, so it may not behoove him to have them released unless the government was wrong in filing them in the first place.

I’ve learned to turn to OAN more and more for honest perspectives on real topics. They aren’t Fox News or any of the other mainstream media puppets. Kudos to them, Jack Prosobiec, and the whole team for revitalizing conservative journalism.

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Conspiracy Theory

NIAC report shows America is insanely ill-prepared for a catastrophic power outage

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NIAC report shows America is insanely ill-prepared for a catastrophic power outage

In the United States, many citizens take the power grid for granted. There has never been a nationwide catastrophic power outage in our history. While localized events like Hurricane Katrina exposed our inability to handle smaller scale long-term outages, an alarming report by the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) says we’re still not ready for a wide-scale outage.

While our preparedness remains insufficient, the ways in which a catastrophic power outage could occur have increased dramatically. Between higher potency of natural disasters, the rise of cyberterrorism, electromagnetic events from space, and a high risk of electromagnetic attacks, the potential for such an event are higher than ever before. At this point, such events would cripple the nation, perhaps irreversibly.

The 94-page report is loaded with things one might think came from The Onion. It warns that since the council was formed in 2001, the threat risks have outpaced improvements in countermeasures. Perhaps the most alarming takeaway is that there is currently no established protocol to follow from top to bottom in case of such an event.

At this point, we’re still at the recommendation stage of determining who would be in charge of efforts to stabilize the power grid in case of catastrophic failure. While the report recommends the Secretary of Homeland Security would be in charge over both the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, that designation has not been officially made. It’s hard to imagine DHS taking command of the military in any circumstance, but that’s essentially what the report recommends.

As the Washington Examiner says, it may be time for preppers to ramp up their efforts while non-preppers should reconsider their stance.

Start prepping! Electric grid ‘prime target’ of terrorists, ‘profound threat,’ says DHS

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/start-prepping-electric-grid-prime-target-of-terrorists-profound-threat-says-dhsThe report is an urgent call to action to organize a uniform reaction to a grid attack, harden it from attack, warn of the threats and push regular Americans into preparing for the worst.

It also calls for federal spending instead of a reliance on rate hikes by individual utilities to fix their systems and said that $1 spent to protect the grid will save $6 in the case of recovery.

“The power grid is a prime target for attack by nation states, and it is not fair for ratepayers to bear the full burden for this national security function,” said the report, which looked at the potential of a “catastrophic” half-year blackout that could impact 75 million.

My Take

Yes, it’s time to prepare. The threats are so numerous and some of them are so easily achievable through terrorism, it’s hard to believe we haven’t been hit yet.

As noted earlier, it’s very discouraging that in the event of a nationwide catastrophic power outage, nobody in DC knows exactly what to do. Keep in mind, this isn’t the type of report where they would hold back information for the sake of lulling our enemies into a state of complacency. We would want them to think we had a clear handle on any situation they could dream up. If anything, this report increases the chances that someone would make an attempt.

What’s worse is that the report recommends essentially handing over control of recovery efforts to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Currently, that person is Kirstjen Nielsen. While she seems competent enough to handle her duties, there have been questions about her job security. Her biggest defender has been Chief of Staff John Kelly and he’s on his way out this month. Will Nielson be next? If so, would an attack on our power grid be timed by our enemies during a transition period? Scary thought.

It isn’t just the government who seems completely unprepared based on the report. Most Americans are scarcely able to survive a week without a trip to the grocery store. Alarmists have been screaming for years. Today, it may be time to start listening.

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Guns and Crime

The only question that really matters in the Russia investigation

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The only real question that matters in the Russia investigation

From now until special counsel Robert Mueller delivers whatever he’s going to deliver to the government and the American people, everyone will speculate about who did what, who knew what, and when. This is an exercise in reading tea leaves and inserting bias into reports. That’s what both politicians and mainstream media do in an effort to influence people into feeling one way or another about any particular topic.

Despite the cacophony that surrounds Mueller, President Trump, and Russia, this really comes down to a single question that matters: Did the President or his campaign staff collude with Russia to engage in illegal activities in an effort to win the election?

Up front, it’s important to declare my perspective on the issue. I’d suggest all journalists declare their biases up front, but few will. I’m not a fan of President Trump. I don’t care for him as a man and I am against a few of his policies such as banning bump stocks and promoting fair trade over free trade. I am happy that he beat Hillary Clinton but I felt there were much better options for the GOP and for the nation that were ignored because mainstream media pushed Trump to be the nominee in hopes he would lose spectacularly to Clinton. That didn’t work out for the media or the nation.

Even with my bias, I call things the way I see them and right now, I’m not seeing much coming from the investigation I think it’s very unlikely the President colluded with the Russians to influence the election. Let’s be clear what that means. Do I think members of Trump’s campaign worked with Russians? Yes. Do I think Russians tried to influence the election? Of course. But I am fairly certain the Trump campaign did not participate in activities that would be deemed illegal. They didn’t accept foreign funds to fuel the campaign. They didn’t supply the Russians or anyone else with damaging information about Hillary Clinton. They didn’t actively engage in subverting the election system to “steal” votes or otherwise manipulate the outcome. Most importantly, they didn’t collude with Russia or WikiLeaks to release the hacked emails.

They didn’t have to. Russia and WikiLeaks did all that without input from the Trump campaign.

I believe what the Trump campaign did was on par or possibly below what the Clinton campaign did in working with foreign actors to gather and transmit opposition research about Trump. Both campaigns were wrong for doing so but neither campaign broke the law.

Let’s all understand what’s required to prove this conspiracy. First, the Russians must be proven to have unlawfully “hacked” the election. That doesn’t mean finding Russian social media bots. That means finding proof that the Russians committed illegal activities such as hacking the DNC emails or paying political organizations to promote their messages.

Second, the Trump campaign must be shown to have direct knowledge of the illegal activities. The closest thing we have to that is Roger Stone. If he had direct knowledge that Russia hacked the DNC and/or John Podesta’s emails and gave those emails to WikiLeaks so they could be made public, then there’s something worth investigating. Having that knowledge alone is enough to get him in trouble for not reporting it, but it’s unlikely that route will be pursued. What the investigation needs is actual collusion. That could come in the form of coordinating the release date, giving access to certain people in the media, or aiding in corroboration if any became necessary to prove the leaked documents were real.

From there, Mueller’s team would have to connect the dots directly back to the Trump campaign. Then and only then can any measure of collusion in Russia’s influence of the election be proven.

So far, noise but no substance

Much is being made of Michael Flynn’s, Michael Cohen’s, and Paul Manafort’s upcoming sentences. All have admitted to committing crimes. Cohen has gone so far as to publicize some of the things he knows about the Trump campaign. None of those revelations have linked the campaign to Russia in a conspiratorial manner.

Everything the public knows about the crimes these men committed have nothing to do with Russian collusion. It’s ironic that Mueller’s investigation led to so many charges that have nothing to do with the original scope of the investigation. One might argue the greatest damage this investigation will have on the President is that it demonstrates he likes to surround himself with criminals.

There are only two major players who are in real jeopardy: Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. If they were working with Stone or anyone else to coordinate with Russia on illegal activities, we might see something big come from this investigation. It’s highly unlikely at this point, but that’s really the only thing Democrats and mainstream media can hope for right now.

Democrats and mainstream media are up in arms trying to connect distant dots in a way that proves the President or his campaign stole the election with the Russians. A sober examination of everything we know points far away from that conclusion.

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