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What Barr is really looking for by investigating the investigators

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What Barr is really looking for by investigating the investigators

Attorney General William Barr told Congress today that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign in 2016. Now, many Trump supporters and conservative pundits are pointing to Barr’s comments as confirmation the actions of the FBI were unnecessary. Meanwhile, Trump’s detractors are pointing out there’s no evidence to back Barr’s claim.

Here are the two best Tweets I found exemplifying these two perspectives.

From the right:

From the left:

While I respect both perspectives and the people giving them, they’re both technically incorrect. Therein lies the problem with hot takes on social media. But it’s not just social media that’s missing on this one. Nearly every story I’ve read on the issue tries to paint it one way or another about evidence of this or evidence of that. Let’s break it all down to see what’s really happening at the Department of Justice.

Spying

For whatever reason, Barr chose to use this unfortunate and politically charged word. He knew it was incorrect in the context of his testimony, but he chose to use it anyway. Let’s be clear. “Spying” almost certainly did not occur, not by definition. For it to be considered “spying,” the FBI would have needed to be acting on behalf of the DNC or the Clinton campaign, sharing information that they uncover directly with them and not in the context of a criminal investigation. If that did occur, then a full-blown criminal investigation would be underway and the general public would hear absolutely nothing about it, especially from the Attorney General himself.

Trump supporters might say that the FBI was clearly working on behalf of the Clinton campaign in an effort to discredit President Trump and swing the election towards Hillary Clinton, and that seems to be likely considering what we know about the players thus far, but it still does not constitute “spying.” It was an investigation and information was not shared with the campaign. If it had been, then as I mentioned before this would be a criminal investigation and we wouldn’t hear about it until things were wrapping up.

Barr’s use of the word is charged with implications ahead of the release of Robert Mueller’s redacted report. This is the disappointing part of the whole mess.

Justification

What is almost certainly actually happening here is a review of the procedures and steps taken, specifically what order they were taken and whether or not they were justifiable by the law. Surveillance for the sake of the investigation may seem like “spying” to the average citizen, but it’s within the context of where the revelations of the surveillance ended up that determines whether it can be considered “spying” or not. If the FBI was collecting evidence and sharing that evidence with the Clinton campaign, it’s spying. But there have been no indications this is what happened.

Instead, Barr will try to determine whether or not the steps taken by the FBI to establish benchmarks for action within the investigation were proper. This is where the abnormalities will become more apparent. If the FBI came to inappropriate conclusions that led to actions which were then utilized in getting the FISA warrants, then there’s a problem. This is what Barr’s investigation is trying to find, and based on what we’ve seen on the public forum so far, there’s a good chance this happened. But we also do not have the full picture. We haven’t seen all the players involved. This doesn’t bode well for the FBI because chances are strong once other people are investigated and information is gleaned, it will make the premise behind the steps within the investigation seem less justifiable.

Under normal circumstances, agents are supposed to lay clear paths that can allow prosecutors to present information through legal means. Two facts seem to counter the FBI’s claims that their actions were justified. The most glaring is the assumed results of the Mueller investigation. Based on the information we have so far, Mueller’s investigation was not able to find collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. That’s a big flop for the FBI because it means the steps they took to come to the conclusions that resulted in elevating the investigation to its various levels may have been erroneous and/or unjustified.

The second fact that hurts the FBI is the use of media reports to establish their basis for needing surveillance and other components of the investigation. This isn’t unprecedented, but it’s usually considered a stretch for law enforcement to rely on the investigation of outside parties to justify accelerating their own investigation. What makes this particular case worse for them is that the outside parties were associated with opposition research. Credibility of sources is extremely important when trying to secure warrants. It will be difficult for the FBI to demonstrate their investigation was justifiable if it was prompted by reports from those who opposed President Trump’s campaign.

Conclusion

If Barr is able to clearly demonstrate the FBI was acting from political bias instead of sound investigative practices, then the President’s claims of it being a “witch hunt” will be fully realized. Mainstream media will have to squirm through that one for the remainder of the 2020 election cycle.

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Democrats

Dianne Feinstein’s comment on Dayton shooter skipped one important point

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Dianne Feinsteins comment on Dayton shooter skipped one important point

Gun control is the talk of the town as the week comes to a close. Well, that and Greenland. And Jeffrey Epstein. But the mass shootings two weeks ago has DC buzzing, media furiously reporting, and activists on both sides of the debate furiously Tweeting at each other. Senator Dianne Feinstein weighed in on the discussion by pointing out some important facts about the alleged Dayton shooter, Connor Betts.

Her facts are correct. Her analysis is off because it missed one important point. We’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s declare once and for all (though I’m sure I’ll have to repeat myself later) that the 2nd Amendment IS NOT ABOUT HUNTING OR HOME PROTECTION. Our right to keep and bear firearms was put into the Constitution by our founders because they recognized what could happen if the people had no recourse against an oppressive government. Just as Venezuelans didn’t realize they danger they were putting themselves into when they allowed their guns to be taken away, so too do many Americans put way too much trust in government.

The authoritarian left wants guns because they know they’ll never achieve their endgame as long as the people can defend themselves from tyranny.

Feinstein is correct that the Dayton shooter was able to cause an extreme amount of death and injury in a short period of time. Police were quick to respond, otherwise it could have been much worse. But as our EIC pointed out in a Tweet, Feinstein’s narrative is worthless when you look at it from the opposite perspective.

Gun control is not the solution to our mass shooting problem. If anything, gun control has enabled shooters to enact their crimes without fear of many “good guys with a gun” to stop them. We must never give up our 2nd Amendment rights.

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Guns and Crime

Seb Gorka: Red flag gun laws are a ‘red herring’

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Seb Gorka Red flag gun laws are a red herring

It isn’t often that former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka disagrees with his old boss, but as the President pushes for red flag gun laws to be incentivized by the federal government to be adopted by all states, Gorka’s loyalties rang at their highest pitch. He isn’t going against the President’s leanings to oppose him. He’s doing it to try to save him from the bad advice that’s being thrown at him in the White House and by members of Congress.

Red flag gun laws are a bad idea on many levels, perhaps most strikingly in the fact that they do not work. Then, there’s the unconstitutional nature of them that, as Representative Jim Jordan said, inverts our system to make American citizens guilty until proven innocent. But the biggest reason every American gun owner should be concerned about red flag gun laws is because of where they’ll lead.

“Red flags are a red herring,” Gorka said on Fox Business today. “This is another way for us to be disarmed. Look at the states where it’s already happened – California, Massachusetts, where certain types of weapons are already banned. This is the last straw they have take away our civil rights. Remember, the founding fathers called this a ‘civil right.’ The Bill of Rights includes the capacity to protect ourselves.”

Some are calling red flag gun laws a “slippery slope,” but that’s not strong enough as a characterization. They’re a guaranteed stepping stone to gun control because they will not work as advertised. When they fail, the left will double down.

Image source: Seven Days VT

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Democrats

Kirsten Gillibrand wants to confiscate guns

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Kirsten Gillibrand wants to confiscate guns

Senator and failing Democratic candidate for president Kirsten Gillibrand wants to confiscate your guns. The former “conservative” when it was politically expedient to be one in upstate New York has now gone the way of most her new party. She’s a radical progressive who wants your guns.

For someone who used to have an “A” rating with the NRA, she’s come a long way to hit rock bottom by calling for “assault weapons” bans and mandatory buybacks, AKA confiscations. Oh, but she won’t actually SAY they’re mandatory buybacks. She danced around that question like a pop star.

Gun activist Colion Noir broke down a recent interview she did with CNN. It was clear, as Noir pointed out, that CNN has already weighed Gillibrand in the balance and found her wanting. They went after her to corner her on her old gun rights support and tried to get her to admit what she wants to do as president with gun confiscations.

It’s funny watching Democrats flail around trying to get attention for themselves. There are only a handful of candidates leaving a mark, and Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t one of them. But she’s still trying to do damage to the 2nd Amendment on her way out.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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