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Occasionally, I read James Howard Kunstler’s website, particularly his erudite blog posts.

Lately, he has been casting his gimlet eye on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) proceedings with regard to Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Some of his readers are deeply disappointed with Kunstler’s take, as he is a Democrat — and so are they. Not all of what he has been writing is in support of his political party.

On September 28, he posted an article, ‘The Fog of Bad Faith’ (pardon the language in the URLs), which clearly states what Democrats really want by stymieing and stalling a vote on Kavanaugh as the next SCOTUS justice (emphases mine):

The issues in the bigger picture concern a Democratic Party driven by immense bad faith to any means that justify the defeat of this Supreme Court nominee for reasons that everyone over nine-years-old understands: the fear that a majority conservative court will overturn Rowe v. Wade — despite Judge Kavanaugh’s statement many times that it is “settled law.” What one senses beyond that, though, is the malign spirit of the party’s last candidate for president in the 2016 election and a desperate crusade to continue litigating that outcome until the magic moment when a “blue tide” of midterm election victories seals the ultimate victory over the detested alien in the White House.

Finally, a Dem sympathiser finally had the guts to say it.

The Dems are still licking their wounds over Hillary, nearly two years later, and they’re driven mad by the possibility that federal abortion law could be overturned. The latter, as Kunstler — and Kavanaugh — have stated, is unlikely.

On October 1, Kunstler went further with ‘Imaginary Monsters and the Use of Chaos’, which describes what is really happening with the SCOTUS nomination. This essay also upset his readers. He makes several good points, which should sound alarm bells in all sensible people.

First, there’s the absence of lucid thinking about the Kavanaugh nomination. An absence of objectivity and calm could have a deleterious impact on American society:

The Kavanaugh hearing underscored another eerie condition in contemporary USA life that offers clues about the combined social, economic, and political collapse that I call the long emergency: the destruction of all remaining categorical boundaries for understanding behavior: truth and untruth, innocent and guilty, childhood and adulthood, public and private. The destination of all this confusion is a society that can’t process any quarrel coherently, leaving everyone unsatisfied and adrift, and no actual problems resolved.

Secondly, once again, the Dems are sowing chaos, just as the Spanish Inquisition sowed fear centuries ago:

One element of the story is clear, though. The Democratic party, in the absence of real monsters to slay, has become the party devoted to sowing chaos, mainly by inventing new, imaginary monsters using the machinery of politics, the way the Catholic Church manufactured monsters of heresy during the Spanish Inquisition in its attempt to regulate “belief.”

Thirdly, when combined, hysteria and coercion result in totalitarianism:

The spirit of the kangaroo court has since graduated into business and politics where it has proven especially useful for settling scores and advancing careers and agendas dishonestly. Coercion has replaced persuasion. Coercion is at the heart of totalitarian politics. Do what you’re told, or else. Believe what we say, or else. (Or else lose your reputation, your livelihood, your friends….) This plays neatly into the dynamics of human mob psychology. When the totalitarians set up for business, few individuals dare to depart from the party line. It’s the perfect medium for cultivating mendacious ideologies.

The Democrats want a totalitarian state.

I disagree with Kunstler’s conclusions about an economic and social collapse — his ‘long emergency’, about which he has written for years — because that will not happen under President Trump.

However, a long emergency is exactly what will happen if Democrats win the House and Senate in November. Should that happen, all bets are off.

James Howard Kunstler is so close to walking away from the Democrat Party, but by his continued rejection of Trump and Make America Great Again policies, so far away from seeing the Democrats for what they really are.

The haze is lifting around him, but he continues to cling to the long emergency, which he was predicting 15 or so years ago. It still hasn’t happened.

Time to put the long emergency to bed, Jim, and embrace MAGA.

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The man who carried the ‘nuclear football’ for Bill Clinton calls for justice:

Hmm:

To which someone replied:

He already has (news to me), but how many have heard of Buzz Patterson?

He’s a Trump supporter:

He had this to say about the Clintons’ behaviour at Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Saturday, September 1, 2018:

Ugh.

This sounds interesting:

Why is Buzz Patterson so little known?

I hope he gets more publicity.

Below is a graphic of four servers.

Each one has an important story behind it that could have an impact on national security.

Is anyone investigating these? (Image courtesy of a Trump supporter somewhere)

Click on the image to enlarge. It will open in a separate tab.

The DNC server was publicised before the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 and caused Deborah Wasserman Schultz (DWS in the graphic) to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee. Emails that planned to bring down Bernie Sanders’s candidacy emerged.

The House Democratic Caucus server was run by Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American citizen who worked in Washington DC for DWS and other Democrat legislators between 2004 and 2017. He was cleared in July 2018 of any wrongdoing involving data.

The Clinton Private Email server needs no explanation.

The Gmail server in North Korea must have an interesting story behind it.

Has anyone really looked at these forensically, regardless of past investigations? Is there more to the story than we already know?

At the weekend, suddenly, a new American media narrative appeared: family separation of illegal aliens at the US border.

Anyone who is anyone chimed in about the ‘heartless policy’ of the Trump administration, including — but not limited to — former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Laura Bush’s brother-in-law (former presidential candidate) Jeb Bush and Senator (former presidential candidate) Ted Cruz. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker decided not to send the National Guard to help patrol the southern border.

Even First Lady Melania Trump notionally had something to say, although her thoughts were expressed through her spokeswoman with the goal of bringing about revised immigration legislation.

On Monday, June 18, 2018, the Daily Mail posted an exposé of a Texas facility for incoming illegals. Well, those in the facility entered illegally and immigration officials are treating them as humanely as possible given their status. They are only there for a few days.

However, this is not exactly a Trump administration policy. It is one from prior administrations that is continuing today until the Democrats come to the table and work out a reasonable immigration bill with Republicans.

Please note that what everyone is in an uproar about are processing facilities only, the same way Ellis Island was a century ago for … legal immigrants.

The commentary to this video with Hillary Clinton is instructive:

The video — originally from Mediaite — was posted by a YouTube user in September 2017. An excerpt from the YouTuber’s commentary follows. Emphases mine:

This clip isn’t quite what Mediaite presents it as, though. She’s talking here about the migrant crisis in 2014, when parents in Central America sent their kids north, frequently unaccompanied, to cross the U.S. border. They were *recent* arrivals, often intercepted by Border Patrol and sent to detention facilities immediately upon entering the U.S. The case for legalizing DREAMers rests on the fact that they’re not recent — they’re fully (or mostly) assimilated into American culture, sometimes not even speaking the language of their country of birth fluently. Reportedly even Steve Bannon drew a distinction between DREAMers and other illegals during his time in the White House: “Trump was never in favor of repealing DACA,” said a source close to the president, who also said that keeping the program is in line with the immigration stance of Bannon, whose counsel Trump closely heeds. Bannon’s economic nationalist view is very much rooted in culture, and so eliminating DACA wouldn’t be a priority for him because “these kids have been here and they’re going to schools here,” the source said. “They’re Americans. They understand the culture.”

On June 16, the GOP reminded Americans that the Obama administration wanted the child migration crisis kept quiet. Note the date on the video below — 2014. Yes, children were sleeping in cages then:

The video description reads:

On CNN, Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) admits that the Obama Administration tried to keep the children migrant crisis on the southern border quiet.

There are a number of considerations surrounding children who show up at the border. Some are accompanied by an adult, but many are not. Not all of the adults accompanying the children are actually family members. What if they are being trafficked?

Did Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wait too long to address the questionable narrative? By the time she spoke, the media and other anti-Trumpers had embraced it. It spread like wildfire. She should have had a statement prepared to give on television as soon as the news stories began. Why did she wait until Sunday, June 17 to address the issue? Fox News reported:

The head of the Department of Homeland Security bashed the media Sunday for their reporting on the increasingly volatile immigration controversy, writing in a string of tweets: “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen added: “This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.”

The second sentence in the tweet below is the real issueillegal entry:

The tweets below are from her Monday press conference (see full transcript):

Also:

If President Trump was upset with Nielsen a few weeks ago, he must surely be furious now. On May 11, US News reported:

President Donald Trump unloaded on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a heated Cabinet meeting this week, railing against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

Trump, who has grown increasingly frustrated by a spike in border apprehensions and legal setbacks, blamed Nielsen Wednesday for failing to do enough to stop them, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Nielsen, one person said, tried to explain the issues were complex and that the department’s powers were limited by a slew of legal restrictions. She told the president her team was doing everything it could, but the president was left unconvinced.

The episode, first reported by The New York Times, left Nielsen on the verge of resignation, according to the paper, which also said Nielsen, the former deputy White House chief of staff, had drafted — but not submitted — a resignation letter.

The department pushed back against that characterization.

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a tweet that, “The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false.”

Illegal immigration was always an issue for President Trump:

This is what an actual facility for young illegals looks like as of June 15, 2018:

You can read more about Casa Diego and other children’s facilities at Breitbart: ‘PHOTOS: Inside Shelter for Illegal Alien Children Separated from Parents‘. Please read the article and look at the pictures. Excerpts follow:

The Department of Health and Human Services hosted Breitbart News and other media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California, on Friday where migrant children are being sheltered after being separated from their parents.

The children are separated from their parents — or, to be precise, from the adults accompanying them, who may or may not be their parents — when their parents cross the southern U.S. border illegally and are caught and detained.

Previously, under the “catch-and-release” policy, the adults would be released. Under the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration, the adults are being detained and prosecuted. Children cannot be incarcerated with them.

However, families that arrive together at legal ports of entry and apply for asylum status are generally not split up and are permitted to stay in the U.S. pending the adjudication of their applications (which can take several years).

It is important to remember that much of this kerfuffle about ‘cages’ started with a reporter from Playboy magazine:

On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter Brian Karem shouted at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages.” None of the reporters in the briefing room corrected him.

A non-profit organisation, Southwest Key, is in charge of these facilities, which are well equipped and clean. Casa Diego is for boys aged 6 to 17. They received schooling on the premises. A recreation area is also on site:

The goal is “reunification”: letting each child depart with a legal guardian.

Some 90% of the children at the shelter arrived at the border without adults; the other 10% were separated from the adults accompanying them. Once the children arrive — usually brought by U.S. Border Patrol agents — they are greeted in the “intake” office, where they receive any urgent medical care, are assigned a case worker, and are given food, a shower, and new clothing. They are also given toiletries and lessons in hygiene — literally how to flush a toilet, brush their teeth, and operate the shower, which some of the children may have never seen in their lives …

They have limited access to telephones to call relatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. They receive therapy, both as individuals and in group sessions. They enjoy field trips to local museums, parks, and the zoo, where they can explore the city beyond the shelter. And they also have social activities, including a recent “prom” for which they dressed up.

Girls come from another facility and share some of Casa Diego’s services.

In conclusion:

“Cages,” these are not. What is immediately striking about the facility is the enthusiasm and care of the staff who work there.

No doubt, I will post on this subject again in future.

There’s time only for a quick post today.

James Clapper has served in various intelligence positions in the United States government, most recently as DNI — Director of National Intelligence — from August 2010 to January 2017.

Last week, he appeared on the women’s television programme The View (ABC) to say this (image courtesy of USA Carry forums):

I hope people can see through Clapper’s questionable logic.

When will this ever end?

Perhaps when President Trump gets a yuge win in North Korea.

On a brighter note, best wishes to my British readers for an enjoyable Spring Bank Holiday and to my American readers for an equally pleasant Memorial Day.

In December 2017 and January 2018, I wrote about the FBI/DOJ schemes to undermine Donald Trump’s campaign and subsequent presidency.

The first burst of information emerged early in December:

December 1 and 2: update on the weekend’s news

At that point, Americans discovered that an FBI investigator, Peter Strzok, had been a Hillary supporter in 2016, was part of the group investigating the ‘matter’ of her email server, then went to work as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation before he was removed from Mueller’s team in the summer of 2017. That news had only been revealed in December.

An FBI/DOJ lawyer, Lisa Page, worked for former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and was also assigned to Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation for a time. She and Strzok developed a close working relationship.

When this became public, it was thought the two were having an extra-marital affair. As time went on, this became less certain. Nevertheless, last year:

Strzok and Page exchanged upwards of 50,000 text messages, many of which have since been recovered. Before that point, however, one of the first sections of texts discovered discussed Strzok’s mention to Page of an ‘insurance policy’:

News in brief — December 12-14, 2017

The ‘insurance policy’ was meant to thwart the Trump presidency:

By January 2018, the DOJ’s inspector general Michael Horowitz had 50,000 of the texts but was missing five months’ more:

Be prepared for 2018 news: part 3 — FBI’s missing texts

I included a message from Q in that post. Q says these missing texts could cast doubt on the FBI and DOJ and put in jeopardy criminal cases from the Obama years:

Then a new batch of texts came to light, which revealed that Strzok and Page discussed an existing ‘secret society’ that would undermine Trump:

Be prepared for 2018 news: part 4 — ‘secret society’ and more on missing FBI texts

After Mueller dismissed Strzok from his team, the latter was assigned to the FBI’s HR department.

Page continued as an FBI lawyer with other, unspecified responsibilities.

On April 11, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) discovered that, according to FBI director Christopher Wray, both Strzok and Page still had their security clearances. The Conservative Treehouse has a full report with supporting documents. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Senator Paul inquired with the FBI Director about whether reassigned FBI Agent Peter Strzok and DOJ/FBI Attorney Lisa Page still retained their Top Secret FBI clearances.

According to Senator Paul, the FBI director would not respond to specific agent inquiry, however, Wray did affirm that all existing FBI officials retain Top Secret clearances.

In essence, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, despite being removed from investigative authority over their role in the political efforts to target President Trump, retain employment within the DOJ/FBI apparatus in an unknown capacity and thereby their clearances.

This information by Rand Paul dovetails into an increasingly obvious storyline where Lisa Page and Peter Strzok remain employed because they are cooperating with the internal investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and parallel federal prosecutor John Huber.

Similarly, former FBI chief legal counsel James Baker retained his:

In addition to Page and Strzok, former FBI chief legal counsel James Baker and former DOJ-NSD Deputy Bruce Ohr have been removed from their roles yet still remain inside the FBI and DOJ respectively. Those four are joined by the FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. However, despite Priestap’s centrality to the 2015/2016 corrupt FBI activity -including the Trump operation- Priestap remains untouched.

After FBI Asst Director Andrew McCabe was fired the subsequent information revealed what happened inside the groupMcCabe lied to FBI and IG investigators about his coordinating leaks to media. McCabe’s story conflicted with the account of his office attorney, Lisa Page.  {Go Deep}

To validate the truthfulness of her position Lisa Page provided FBI investigators with access to her text messages which showed conversations about McCabe directing leaks by Page and FBI communications Director Michael Kortan.  After the Page messages confirmed her version of the events; eventually McCabe admitted to misleading investigators.

Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bruce Ohr have all been removed from responsibilities within the DOJ and FBI yet all still remain inside the organization.  FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap, who was Peter Strzok’s’ boss throughout the corrupt group activity, remains in his role today.

By April 20, things started to unravel at the FBI. Vox has the whole story, but this tweet summarises the situation, saying that Trump will have the best laugh:

By April 25, it was thought that more Strzok-Page texts had been uncovered, although not made public. Q sent out a message (image courtesy of Reddit’s Q research board, greatawakening):

That day, Republican congressmen Devin Nunes (California) and Mark Meadows (North Carolina) appeared on Hannity calling for the release of the texts. The summary to the video linked here says:

Rep. Devin Nunes accuses the Justice Department of slow-walking the release of documents; he and Rep. Mark Meadows speak out on ‘Hannity.’

The next day:

The Last Refuge — Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse — posted a Twitter thread which discusses the newly released, yet redacted, texts. Only Strzok’s were made public. Excerpts follow:

Sundance also posted about this text release on his site, The Conservative Treehouse. Points of interest include the following (red emphases in the original):

♦[May 17th, 2017] Lisa Page mentions reviewing Benjamin Wittes Lawfare website (James Comey BFF and leak conduit) for “arguments to chronicle” on behalf of Special counsel advocacy.

NOTE: This is interesting because Lawfare Blog also mentions the “Insurance Policy”.

Important – May 17th, 2017 is the date of the Special Counsel Mueller appointment.

♦[May 17th, 2017] Date of Mueller appointment. Discussions of team being assembled. Strzok notes “emailing with Aaron”.  Well that’s Aaron Ze[ble]y former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s Chief of Staff who was selected for Special Counsel position. He’s also a partner at WilmerHale, and Strzok mentions to Page that she might find herself working at WilmerHale if she plays her cards right.

The fact that Agent Strzok was emailing with “Aaron” Ze[ble]y prior to the official appointment of the special counsel team should likely raise a few eyebrows.   Of course within this time-frame of the messaging released, the redactions increase.  Go figure.

Toward the end of the release a more thorough picture emerges of who was selecting Robert Mueller’s team and why. Andrew McCabe was key player along with James Baker

Page had broken off her texting with Strzok in 2017, long before the American public was aware of either of them. The Conservative Treehouse interprets her last text as follows:

Page’s final “never write to me again” doesn’t seem like a hostile snub. Seems more like a signal/coded message to a friend: “We’re scr*wed. Every (wo)man for himself. I’m looking out for myself. You should too.”

That day, Q posted the following message (1288). Emphases in the original:

Q !xowAT4Z3VQ ID: 5086f0 1218147 📁
Focus only on the FBI [for now].
Jim Rybicki, chief of staff and senior counselor – FIRED.
James Baker, general counsel – FIRED.
Andrew McCabe, deputy director – FIRED.
James Comey, director – FIRED.
Bill Priestap, Head of Counterintelligence and Strzok’s boss – Cooperating witness [power removed].
Peter Strzok, Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence – cooperating witness [power removed].
Lisa Page, attorney with the FBI‘s Office of the General Counsel – cooperating witness [power removed].
Conspiracy?
Think about the above.
Only the above.
Get the picture?
Q

By April 29, The Conservative Treehouse stated — wisely — that there was no romantic relationship between Page and Strzok:

There is zero evidence of a romantic relationship between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; and no, a complete chronological review doesn’t indicate the romantic stuff was withheld. By looking at the messaging chronologically, studying the date and times, there’s nothing to indicate segments of romantic stuff was removed. What does appear obvious in many redactions, and likely some removals of messages, is an intentional effort to remove content that would be of an embarrassing professional nature to Ms. Lisa Page.

It is more than likely the “affair narrative” was likely created by investigators as part of an agreement on content control to explain withholding some information and message redactions. Investigators would not want those being investigated to know the scale of the evidence trail. Regardless, except for the useful story, the romantic angle is irrelevant.

In looking at the ensuing congressional report, Sundance offered this analysis (excerpted, emphasis in the original):

[Congressional Report – Page 18, Item #3, second paragraph] “The DOJ OIG obtained the initial batch of text messages on July 20, 2017.”   It is clear that Ms. Page underwent a period of (no less than) three solid days of extensive initial questioning by FBI (INSD) and DOJ (OIG) officials. [Which ended on/around July 20th, 2017.]

July 20th, 2017 is a key date.  A critical point-of-reference to move forward and review action.  It is absolutely clear [BEYOND CERTAIN], that INSD (Inspection Division) and OIG (Inspector General) knew of every single participant in the Page-Strzok engagement team by the end of July 2017.

Along with Page and Strzok, James Baker was also involved in the leaks (emphases mine):

The officials outlined in media leaks, direct or indirect, included: Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker (FBI Chief Legal Counsel), Andrew McCabe (Deputy Director), and Michael Kortan (FBI Office of Public Affairs). There are also discussions of other people leaking.

Indeed, one of the more stunning aspects of a full review was the scale of groups’ leaks to the media and how those leaks were used to frame the continued narrative about their ongoing efforts.

The messages show media leaks from 2015 all the way past the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Their discussions with the media were so frequent that Page and Strzok referred to media publications as “that’s your story”, or “that’s your article”, and enjoyed talking about the internal and external effect of the published accounts therein.

As for James Baker:

It does not appear accidental that FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker was allowed, by INSD and OIG investigators, to remain in place, *until* Baker was notified of being called to testify to congress (December 21, 2017)… then INSD yanked him back; and FBI Director Christopher Wray removed Baker from responsibility.

James Baker remains inside the FBI today; in some unknown capacity. James Baker is also in the text messages as “JB”, “Jim”, “GC” (General Counsel), and “James”. He was also an interoffice mentor/role-model of sorts for DOJ assigned Special Counsel Lisa Page. Both Page and Strzok had a great deal of respect and admiration for Baker.

From the messages we can clearly see that James Baker is a key figure amid everything that was happeningLikely Baker’s cooperation with investigators is the biggest risk to James Comey and Andrew McCabe due to Baker’s knowledge of situations, decisions, non-decisions and events.

Ultimately (emphasis in the original):

Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr and James Baker have all been clearly identified by investigative releases as participating in gross misconduct at the DOJ and FBI.  All four of them have been removed from their responsibilities, yet each of them remains employed within the FBI or DOJ.

It is highly likely all four of them are cooperating with INSD and OIG investigators.

Sundance surmises that those in the know who are not co-operating are as follows:

FBI Communications Director Mike Kortan (quit), DOJ-NSD Deputy Asst. Attorney General David Laufman (quit), AG Loretta Lynch (replaced), AAG Sally Yates (fired), DOJ-NSD Asst Attorney General Mary McCord (quit), FBI Director James Comey (fired), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe (fired), FBI Chief-of-staff James Rybicki (quit).

Big news emerged on Friday, May 4. The New York Times reported (emphases mine):

WASHINGTON — Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former director James B. Comey as he navigated one of the most politically tumultuous periods in the bureau’s history resigned on Friday.

One of them, James A. Baker, was one of Mr. Comey’s closest confidants. He served as the F.B.I.’s top lawyer until December when he was reassigned as the new director, Christopher A. Wray, began installing his own advisers. Mr. Baker had been investigated by the Justice Department on suspicion of sharing classified information with reporters. He has not been charged.

The other aide, Lisa Page, advised Mr. Comey while serving directly under his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe. She was assailed by conservatives after texts that she had exchanged with the agent overseeing the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia were made public. In the messages, they expressed anti-Trump views but took aim at Hillary Clinton and other political figures as well.

The decisions by Mr. Baker and Ms. Page to leave the bureau were unrelated. Mr. Baker said in a telephone interview that he would be joining the Brookings Institution to write for Lawfare, its blog focused on national security law.

Sundance at the Conservative Treehouse had mentioned Lawfare, as cited above. Lawfare was helpful to those in the FBI and DOJ in giving them narrative points and discussing the ‘insurance policy’.

The Daily Caller had more on the story:

The FBI attorney who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with another bureau official resigned on Friday, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The FBI confirmed that the lawyer, Lisa Page, tendered her resignation.

Page has faced months of scrutiny over the text messages, which she exchanged with Peter Strzok, the former deputy chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

The exchanges show a deep hostility to President Donald Trump at a time when the two officials were working on the FBI’s investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government. Some of the texts show Strzok and Page cryptically discussing how to proceed with the investigation, which was opened on July 31, 2016

Both Strzok and Page also served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which began on May 17, 2017.

Page worked for several weeks on the Mueller team before returning to her position as one of McCabe’s counselors. Strzok worked on the Mueller investigation until July 28, 2017, when Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general, notified Mueller of the scandalous text messages.

Page is also a central player in Horowitz’s investigation of McCabe. She is the FBI official who McCabe instructed to speak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an October 2016 article about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. McCabe authorized Page to leak to The Journal “in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership,” Horowitz determined.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16:

based upon a recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Horowitz released his report about McCabe on April 13:

that alleged McCabe gave inaccurate and incomplete statements about his authorization of the media leaks. The report, which dinged McCabe for a “lack of candor,” said he initially denied to both the OPR and the inspector general that he authorized Page to speak with The Journal.

The Daily Caller reported that Horowitz’s next findings would focus more closely on Strzok and Page.

That day, Q posted an update to the aforementioned message (1288) in a new one (1316). Emphases in the original:

Q !2jsTvXXmXs 64 📁

[Updated]
James Baker – FIRED [reported today – resigned [false]] / removed Jan/FIRED 4.21
Lisa Page – FIRED [reported today – resigned [false]]
Testimony received.
Tracking_y.
[Added]
Mike Kortan, FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs – FIRED [cooperating under ‘resigned’ title]
Josh Campbell, Special Assistant to James Comey – FIRED
[DOJ]
David Laufman, Chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section [NAT SECHRC email invest] – FIRED/FORCE
John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General – Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – FIRED/FORCE
Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General & Acting Attorney General – FIRED
Mary McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General – Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – FIRED/FORCE
Bruce Ohr, Associate Deputy Attorney General – Demoted 2x – cooperating witness [power removed]
Rachel Brand, Associate Attorney General – No. 3 official behind Deputy AG Rosenstein – FIRED/FORCE
Cross against House/Senate resignations/final term announcements + CEO departures.
CONSPIRACY?
FAKE NEWS?
THE SWAMP IS BEING DRAINED.
TRUST THE PLAN.
JUSTICE.
Q

From that, it is interesting to see that, for public consumption, Page and Baker ‘resigned’, yet, both, according to Q, were actually ‘FIRED’. Q also notes: ‘Testimony received’.

Hmm.

Two of the other people — namely Mike Kortan and Rachel Brand — had reportedly ‘resigned’, too. Q’s take is that both were similarly FIRED.

The important point in Q’s message going forward are the last five lines before sign-off. What concerned Americans suspected wasn’t a conspiracy theory but actual conspiracy. Action has been taken, and the Swamp draining has begun.

Much more to follow once the next inspector general report is published.

Until then, trust the plan as the Trump administration enters the phase where it metes justice.

On April 2, 2018, Q gave a rundown of what he/they expected to happen last month.

Let’s look back to see how many of the topics Q mentioned in message 988 of April 2 made the news cycle:

Q !xowAT4Z3VQ 875265

April [A].
IG report.
Sessions public attack.
RR problems.
Seals broken.
[A]rrests.
Why was Huber made public?
Why now?
Everything has meaning.
[A]wan.
Tarmac.
Iran.
NK.
U1.
FBI.
DOJ.
Mueller.
Election Integrity.
Immigration Bill.
Border.
Wall.
Military start.
BIG month.
Q

The IG — Inspector General’s — report was scheduled for April but is now thought to appear in a few weeks’ time. Whether that is actually in May or June is unknown.

Sessions public attack — meaning Attorney General Jeff Sessions — bubbled up in April and continued during the first week in May with calls for his resignation.

RR — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — definitely had problems in April, which I will cover in a separate post.

Seals broken — if that meant indictments, that did not happen.

Arrests — none of note.

Awan — the Awan brothers from Pakistan, led by Imran Awan, who were running the IT for Democrats in the House of Representatives, did make pro-Trump news sites, and Trump tweeted about ‘the Pakistani mystery man’. I will cover the Awan investigation in a separate post.

Tarmac — the infamous secret meeting between then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton in July 2016 on Lynch’s plane. James Comey and Lynch disagree on their recollections of the Hillary Clinton ‘investigation’, or ‘matter’. Comey said one thing in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, and Lynch remembers differently. In early April (after Q’s post), NBC’s Lester Holt interviewed Lynch:

LESTER HOLT: But, so Comey says you want to call it, “The Clinton matter.” He wants to call it, “The Clinton investigation.” To the extent, though, that he noted it, that it bothered him did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?

LORETTA LYNCH: Well, look I can tell you that, you know, it was a meeting like any other that we that we had had where we talked about the issues. And we had a full and open discussion about it.

LESTER HOLT: And he didn’t raise any concerns about?

LORETTA LYNCH: And concerns were not raised.

Trump tweeted:

Q corroborated the tweet (message 1161 of April 15), hinting that Lynch could have been offered Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court if Hillary had been elected. I have no interpretation of the mention of Rep Adam Schiff (D-California), the 187 (dead code) and John Brennan, former CIA director, other than it seems Q is saying Brennan is a black hat:

SC – Supreme Court.
RBG.
AS 187 / Clown Black (Brennan).
Q

Q’s next message, 1162, says:

We made sure a reporter was there to capture.
These people are stupid.
Q

The reporter’s name is Christopher Sign. He moved to Atlanta in 2017. His last day with KNXV Phoenix was September 29.

Iran — was a big news item. Critical Threats has a summary:

Key takeaway: Iranian officials may be preparing to retaliate against Israel after Israel launched its second airstrike against Iranian targets in Syria since April 8.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted Iranian assets in western Syria on April 29 and reportedly killed 18 Iranian fighters. Iranian media denied the reports of Iranian deaths following the strike. The April 29 strike comes after Israel’s April 8 airstrike on the Pro-Syrian regime T-4 airbase in Homs, Homs Governorate in southern Syria. The April 8 strike killed seven IRGC fighters. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani vowed to “punish” Israel for its “evil action” following the April 8 airstrikes. Defense Minister Artesh Brigadier General Amir Hatami warned Israel on May 1 to stop its “scheming and dangerous behaviors” and suggested that the Axis of Resistance and Iran would confront Israel with a “regrettable and blindsiding” response.

NK — North Korea — was April’s blockbuster news item, which will feature in a separate post.

U1 — Uranium One — made a brief blip in the news cycle and might relate to the Mueller investigation’s raid on the properties and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen on April 9:

FBI, DOJ and Mueller — much is happening there which will feature in a separate post, although some April news is in my post about Jeff Sessions’s recusals.

Election Integrity — a report about voting abuses and the actual number of votes from the 2016 election was due but has not yet materialised.

Immigration Bill — nothing has happened since the beginning of the year.

Border — two stories made the news: part of the human caravan reached the US border with Mexico and dozens of California communities voted against the state’s sanctuary city policy.

Wall — construction began on March 26.

Military start — the National Guard was sent to the border with Mexico, and there was another attack on Syria nearly a year to the day after 2017’s.

BIG month — yes, especially where North Korea is concerned.

Q’s daily posts discussed John McCain’s trip to Syria a few years ago, social media tracking, the raid on Michael Cohen, trade with China, the plane incidents (‘new booms’, message 1174), the change of government in Armenia (CIA — ‘clowns’ — losing control, message 1243), not to mention the Iran deal and Uranium One — asking about the possibility that Uranium One material ended up in Syria.

Q also reiterated that the administration has the information it needs and that it will soon be time to proceed to the next phase: justice (message 1296, April 29).

I hope so, because, right now, things look rather unsettled.

As always, Q advised everyone to stay united rather than divided.

In the first half of 2017, Trump supporters — myself included — were enthusiastic about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as attorney general.

On February 10, I wrote about child molesters and traffickers:

Can Jeff Sessions make pizza great again?

Although perverts and traffickers are always being arrested, under Sessions’s watch, the number began to increase exponentially. Great news!

Another big problem was MS-13. On April 10, I posted:

Attorney General Sessions sends message to MS-13: ‘We will find you’

From those two targets, we see that Sessions’s DOJ was making a move on people all of us can agree fall into the category of criminal.

However, there is another type of criminal: Washington DC politicians who work against the interests of the United States and, within that group, the subset which has been trying to bring down President Donald Trump since November 9, 2016, the day after the election. George True’s guest post of April 15, 2018 explains how serious this is:

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Deep State and Mueller investigation

That Jeff Sessions does not consider the DC Swamp rats to be criminals is problematic.

My other 2018 posts about him have reflected this:

Trump tweets frustration with slow investigation (February 24 – 28, 2018)

Increasing outcry for Sleepy Sessions to go (April 19)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on Jeff Sessions’s priorities (George True, April 20 and Rosenstein’s presidential cufflinks)

Jeff Sessions began recusing himself from Swamp rat investigations early in 2017.

As a result, he has made life extremely difficult for President Trump and his associates. The coup continues apace.

January 10, 2017 — first hint of recusal

As early as January 2017, Sessions said he would recuse himself from any campaign issues involving Hillary Clinton.

On January 10, the Los Angeles Times reported (emphases mine):

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general, testified before Congress on Tuesday that he would recuse himself from any investigations and prosecutions involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Sessions and Trump called during the fall campaign for Clinton to be investigated and prosecuted for her use of a private email server, despite determinations by the FBI and Justice Department that her actions did not warrant charges. Since his election, Trump has said he did not support such an investigation or prosecution. 

Sessions said he had made comments during the “contentious” campaign about Clinton’s use of the email server and her family’s charitable foundation that could place his objectivity in question.

“I believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve Secretary Hillary Clinton,” the Alabama Republican told senators on the Judiciary Committee.

March 2, 2017 – first recusal statement

After Sessions was appointed attorney general, he formally recused himself from campaign investigations.

On March 2, he gave a statement, excerpted below:

During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’ 

During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States

Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States

Quartz provided the background:

US attorney general Jeff Sessions, responding to mounting pressure from Democrats and from his own party, announced that he is recusing himself from any current or future investigations into the 2016 US presidential campaigns. The decision followed reports that he had spoken twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the US. Russia, of course, is widely believed by US intelligence agencies to have meddled in the election.

Sessions, a former Republican senator and an advisor to US president Donald Trump during the race, had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he had not had communications with the Russians during the campaign. At his press conference today (March 2), Sessions spoke about one of the meetings, recalling that it ending in a tense confrontation about Ukraine.

Business Insider provided more detail:

The attorney general recused himself on March 2 after reports emerged that Sessions had twice met with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the course of the election, contradicting statements he made during his Senate confirmation hearing, in which he said under oath that he did not have contacts with Russians during the campaign

Following the bombshell report, Democrats swiftly demanded Sessions’ resignation, while a growing group of Republicans called on the attorney general to recuse himself from campaign-related investigations.

During questioning by Sen. Ron Wyden later in the hearing, Sessions said that there were no classified reasons for his recusal, as former FBI Director James Comey suggested in his Senate testimony last week. Sessions also claimed that he had informally recused himself since he was confirmed to lead the Justice Department. 

I basically recused myself the first day I got into the office because I never accessed files, I never learned the names of investigators, I never met with them, I never asked for any documentation,” Sessions told Wyden. “The documentation — what little I received — was mostly already in the media.” 

Months later, the Los Angeles Times noted:

In March, Sessions announced he was recusing himself from any investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion between Russians and Trump’s campaign. Following his announcement, reports surfaced that Trump was irate that Sessions had recused himself from any investigation.

Fake news or a grain of truth in that last sentence?

I’m writing up what happened to HR McMaster, which I will post here in due course, and found that these rumours and reports turned out to be true.

June 13, 2017 – second recusal statement

On June 13, 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported Sessions’s second formal recusal, this time into Russian collusion:

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions insists his recusal from any investigation into Russian collusion in last year’s election was simple: It’s the law.

In an opening statement before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Sessions cited a Department of Justice regulation that he said mandated him stepping aside …

“I recused myself not because of any asserted wrongdoing on my part during the campaign,” Sessions said. “But because a Department of Justice regulation, 28 CFR 45.2, required it.”

“That regulation states, in effect, that department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor,” said Sessions.

Throughout much of the 2016 election, Sessions served as a senior advisor to Trump’s campaign.

July 2017 — a vexed Trump unloads

On July 19, three New York Times reporters — Peter Baker, Michael S Schmidt and Maggie Haberman — published an interview (and transcript) with President Trump at the White House.

Trump did not mince words. The article led with this:

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

However, the topic did not come up until later in the interview. On this and other subjects, this has to be one of the best interviews ever. On Robert Mueller, Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, Trump had this to say:

SCHMIDT: What do you understand to be the four corners of what Mueller [Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation] can look at, if he steps—— [crosstalk]

TRUMP: I don’t know. Nobody has contacted me about anything.

_________

TRUMP: Because I have done nothing wrong. A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.

BAKER: Can we put that on the record?

TRUMP: Because so far, the only — yeah, you can put it down.

SCHMIDT: Was that [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions’s mistake or [Deputy Attorney General Rod J.] Rosenstein’s mistake?

________

TRUMP: Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.

BAKER: Was that a mistake?

TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.

HABERMAN: He gave you no heads up at all, in any sense?

TRUMP: Zero. So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.” It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.

HABERMAN: Rosenstein.

TRUMP: Who is he? And Jeff hardly knew. He’s from Baltimore.

________

TRUMP: Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I would have — then I said, “Who’s your deputy?” So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore. Now, he, we went through a lot of things. We were interviewing replacements at the F.B.I. Did you know Mueller was one of the people that was being interviewed?

HABERMAN: I did, actually.

TRUMP: He was sitting in that chair. We had a wonderful meeting.

HABERMAN: Day before, right?

SCHMIDT: Did he want the job?

TRUMP: The day before! Of course, he was up here, and he wanted the job.

HABERMAN: And he made that clear to you? He would have——

________

TRUMP: So, now what happens is, he leaves the office. Rosenstein leaves the office. The next day, he is appointed special counsel. I said, what the hell is this all about? Talk about conflicts? But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point. So Jeff Sessions, Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers.

HABERMAN: You mean at the hearing?

TRUMP: Yeah, he gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t. He then becomes attorney general, and he then announces he’s going to recuse himself. Why wouldn’t he have told me that before?

HABERMAN: Why do you think it was? What do you think it was?

TRUMP: I don’t know.

BAKER: What would cause you — what would be the line beyond which if Mueller went, you would say, “That’s too far, we would need to dismiss him”?

TRUMP: Look, there are so many conflicts that everybody has. Then Rosenstein becomes extremely angry because of Comey’s Wednesday press conference, where he said that he would do the same thing he did a year ago with Hillary Clinton, and Rosenstein became extremely angry at that because, as a prosecutor, he knows that Comey did the wrong thing. Totally wrong thing. And he gives me a letter, O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey. And by the way, that was a tough letter, O.K. Now, perhaps I would have fired Comey anyway, and it certainly didn’t hurt to have the letter, O.K. But he gives me a very strong letter, and now he’s involved in the case. Well, that’s a conflict of interest. Do you know how many conflicts of interests there are? But then, then Comey also says that he did something in order to get the special prose— special counsel. He leaked. The reason he leaked. So, he illegally leaked.

Trump took to Twitter to express his vexation with Sessions, who was on an MS-13 mission in El Salvador at the time (see his priorities!):

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

On July 27, Sessions told Tucker Carlson (Fox News) how ‘hurtful’ the President’s tweets were. Note that he defended his recusals:

He never should have taken the job!

Mueller conflicts of interest

To go into all the conflicts of interest in this investigation would take ages. Uranium One is the biggest, and it involves Russia, Mueller and Rosenstein.

That said, the public were angry at the way Big Media — especially CNN — were reporting the Mueller investigation.

On July 24, a contributor to The_Donald posted a testy thread, the title of which is:

FAKE NEWS CNN defending Sessions’ recusal while DEAD SILENT about Mueller needing to recuse for the same reasons. MUELLER IS MORE CONFLICTED THAN SESSIONS! REPORT THE TRUTH!

By way of reply, someone posted a link to a Crime and Consequences article, ‘My View: Mueller is Conflicted Out‘. The premise of the article is that Robert Mueller cannot continue to serve as Special Counsel under 28 USC Section 528 and 28 CFR Section 45.2. You can read the article for the detail.

The author provides an excellent summary of Mueller, James Comey and more. The following continues to be discussed today, particularly in light of Comey’s recent book launch and associated interviews:

Jim Comey and Bob Mueller have been friends for about 15 years

Comey now finds himself smack-dab at the center of the Russian investigation over which Mueller presides. Questions swirl around Comey — about whether the President wanted/hinted/hoped/asked/directed/or something else the investigation of National Security Adviser Gen. Flynn to be stopped/abandoned/slowed/soft-peddled/something else. This is probably the central element of the obstruction of justice case Mr. Trump’s opponents would like to see made against him.

Questions also swirl about Comey’s notes about this conversation, why he gave them to a private individual (Prof. Dan Richman of Columbia Law) to convey to the press. Additional questions have arisen about whether this curious and seemingly devious means of putting contents of the notes in the public domain (leaking, in other words) was designed specifically to bring about the appointment of a Special Counsel outside the President’s direct reach — and, indeed, whether Comey wanted, expected or intended his friend Mueller to get the job.

There is much to be said of all this, none of it very happy-making. But one thing that can be said with considerable clarity if not comfort is that, under the governing rules (set forth above), Mueller has a long-term relationship with Comey that “may result in a personal…conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof.”

He is therefore disqualified. I hope and believe that Mueller, whom I believe to be an honest man and a partisan of the rule of law, will see this for himself. If he doesn’t, I hope Rod Rosenstein will.

As I’ve said in many other contexts, I like rule-orientation and fear self-justification, a ubiquitous flaw in even the best of men. There is no way Comey is not a central witness in this investigation (if not a subject). Even less is there a way Mueller can be expected to evaluate Comey’s credibility with the fresh neutrality, arm’s-length curiosity, and objective sharp eye his job demands.

Whether Mueller’s departure would work out well or badly for Mr. Trump is not knowable (it is also decidedly not the subject of this post). My point is about the application of stated rules to the facts at hand. Let the chips fall where they may, the application is clear: Mueller cannot remain as Special Counsel.

That article was from June 2017. Nearly one year later, nothing has changed. Mueller’s still in situ.

On September 20, Law & Crime‘s Rachel Stockman asked why Rosenstein wasn’t recusing himself from the Mueller probe. Because Sessions recused himself, Rosenstein is the DOJ’s link to Mueller (emphases in the original, those in purple mine):

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation after Jeff Sessions recused himself. However, there are some concerns about his ability to adequately supervise an investigation that he has now become a part of. On Tuesday night, The Wall Street Journal broke the story that over the summer, Mueller’s investigators interviewed Rosentein about President Donald Trump‘s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The Journal claims the FBI’s handling of the interview “could be a sign that Mr. Mueller’s team doesn’t view Mr. Rosenstein as a central witness in its probe, as the deputy attorney general hasn’t withdrawn himself from overseeing it since that interview.” That could very well be the case, but the optics don’t look good. A spokesperson for Rosenstein said “if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.” Well, now might be the time …

Rosenstein, as a federal lawyer and a DOJ employee, is guided by both local D.C. ethics rules and Justice Department guidelines. Both would prohibit him from overseeing an investigation if he is a person of interest or a target

However, legal experts emphasize that we don’t know yet whether Rosenstein is a target of the investigation for his role in writing that infamous memo giving Trump “justification” for firing Comey.  Did Rosenstein cooperate in a lie to the public?  18 USC 1512(c)(2) says that obstruction happens when a person “corruptly… impedes [an] official proceeding or attempts to do so.”

“Creating a false narrative for firing Comey could be such an attempt. The definition of ‘official proceeding; includes “a proceeding before a Federal Government agency which is authorized by law.’ That language is broad enough to encompass the FBI and the Comey investigation,” Gillers said.

Now, the hope is that if the investigation starts honing in on Rosenstein, Mueller would advise him that he needed to recuse himself.  BUT there is this added wrinkle: Mueller may have an incentive in wanting to keep Rosentein as his supervisor. Trump’s team has hinted more than once that he might fire Mueller. Federal law says that technically Trump can’t do the firing. Instead, the U.S. Attorney General (or in this case Rosenstein since Sessions recused himself) would have to do it. From all indications, Rosenstein would probably not demure to such a demand from Trump …

In the end, we must rely on Mueller’s integrity, and pray that if Rosenstein was in legal jeopardy, Mueller would do the right thing and ask him to take himself off the investigation. In the wake of James Comey’s breach in DOJ policy, asking us to trust our public officials seems like a scary thought. With so much at stake, so many unknowns, and the world watching, Mr. Rosenstein needs to think long and hard about recusing himself. 

Well, Rosey’s still managing the Mueller investigation.

September 2017 – calls for unrecusal

By September, there were calls for Sessions to unrecuse himself. Here’s Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch:

By December, there was doubt as to whether Sessions should have recused at all:

On December 18, Alan Dershowitz offered the clearest rationale for an unrecusal. Emphases mine below.

He told Fox & Friends (video at the link):

Sessions could un-recuse himself, because the law allows anyone who’s recused themselves to un-recuse if there are new developments or circumstances.

And Dershowitz said the reason Sessions can do this, is because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should recuse himself.

Rosenstein is a “key witness” after writing the memo justifying Jim Comey’s firing.

November 2017 – question over possible Uranium One recusal

On November 2, Breitbart reported that Rep. Mark Gaetz (R – Florida) told them that Sessions would recuse over Uranium One (H/T: Conservative Treehouse). Bold emphasis in the original, those in purple mine:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a small group of lawmakers in late September he was recused from appointing a special counsel to look into potential corruption surrounding the Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS’s work on the Trump dossier, according to one of the lawmakers present.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he and other House Judiciary Committee Republicans had met with Sessions at the Justice Department on September 28 in advance of an upcoming committee hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later this month.

Gaetz said that when he asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the 2010 Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS, the attorney general stood up, said he could not discuss the matter because he had recused himself, and walked out of the room, leaving them with a group of Rosenstein staffers “who showed no interest.”

“He said that anything that had to do with 2016 election, or Russia, or the candidates in the 2016 election, fell under the scope of his recusal, and he left the room,” Gaetz said.

“It was Sessions’ position that his recusal on the Russia matter divorced him from any oversight on Uranium One and Fusion GPS. That’s troubling. Sessions’ recusal is a function of his involvement in the Trump campaign. In no world does that impact his judgment as it relates to Fusion GPS and Uranium One. But he views the recusal more broadly. That’s troubling because that puts Rosenstein in charge,” he said.

Gaetz said Rosenstein’s staffers provided “no answers” and “no timeline for answers.”

This is why many of us have been saying that Sessions must resign or, as such time as the Senate will approve a replacement, be fired.

Yet, investigative journalist Sara Carter told Fox’s Sean Hannity that the report was not true:

I hope Sara Carter is correct.

November 2017 – Sessions critics told they are disloyal

Sleepy’s critics are constantly being told by his supporters that by being critical of him they are being critical of Trump! False!

As much as I liked Imperator_Rex — currently Vachel Lindsay — on Twitter, the logic that he and others employ with this stance is wrong. Here’s a taster from a rather long thread of his from November 3:

Who knows what’s happening with The Storm? All the people we want to see brought to justice have been going on book tours (Hillary, Comey), giving speeches overseas (Obama) and leading a normal life (e.g. John Podesta).

Re 36, no, it’s not because Trump ‘wants’ Sessions there, it’s because the only way Trump can get a replacement for him is if he (Sessions) resigns (vacancy rules apply).

The Senate told Trump in 2017 that they will not approve any new cabinet members, making it impossible for Trump to fire Sessions. Nor will the Senate allow Trump to appoint someone new when the Senate is not in session. Consequently, the Senate has not been declaring any formal recess.

Trump’s hands are tied, unless Sessions resigns.

Even then, Trump has to have a replacement in mind.

It certainly won’t be Rosenstein.

Re 37, saying that Sessions critics are disloyal to Trump is egregious. We care deeply about President Trump. That’s why we want Sessions out of the way, so that Swamp rats can be dealt with the way the Founding Fathers intended.

Again, we have only Sara Carter’s word for that.

December 2017 – Former FBI director Kallstrom says Mueller should recuse

On December 4, former FBI director James Kallstrom told Breitbart that Robert Mueller should recuse himself:

“Bob Mueller should have never been offered nor accepted the job as special counsel as he has a huge conflict of interest,” Jim Kallstrom tells Breitbart News …

Not only do observers describe Mueller and the man he recommended to replace him as FBI director, James Comey, as close or even best friends, but the special counsel pursues an investigation heavily involving the bureau he once led. How one maintains detachment in leading a team that includes numerous anti-Trump partisans in a probe involving one’s close friend and the former bureau for which Mueller served as director goes unexplained.

Other problems Kallstrom sees include the means by which investigators obtained information and what constituted probable cause to obtain it.

“The Obama administration apparently, had the advantage of using electronic surveillance, collecting information on the Trump campaign,” Kallstrom explains. “That collection, in my view, may be found to be unlawful.”

If the surveillance and investigatory methods prove unlawful, Kallstrom notes that this puts Mueller in an awkward position of looking into his close friend and perhaps the bureau that both men once led.

“If they used the phony dossier as the predicate for the FISA order they obtained, that could be a huge problem,” Kallstrom tells Breitbart News. “If they knew the information was phony, that is a felony. If they did not know it was phony, they were incompetent.”

January 2018 – White House tried to talk Sessions out of recusal

On January 5, 2018, Fox News reported that White House officials tried to talk Sessions out of recusing himself in 2017 (emphases mine):

President Trump instructed three senior White House officials to talk Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of recusing himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and members of the Trump campaign, multiple sources told Fox News on Friday.

Trump called on White House counsel Don McGahn, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer to stop Sessions from recusing himself.

Spicer has denied the allegation.

The push to convince Sessions allegedly took place over the course of a number of telephone calls that covered a variety of other topics, the well-placed sources told Fox.

On Thursday, The New York Times first reported that Trump had directed McGahn to contact Sessions this past March. According to The Associated Press, two anonymous sources confirmed that McGahn unsuccessfully lobbied Sessions to continue to oversee the Russia investigation.

Sessions supporters will have trouble with ‘multiple sources’ and ‘anonymous sources’, but every single presidential administration has had them.

My upcoming McMaster chronicle shows that, nearly every time one of these sources spoke to the media, they were telling the truth.

March – Sessions took recusal advice from Obama lawyers

Just when the Sessions situation couldn’t seem more intolerable, the Gateway Pundit reported on March 14 that the attorney general took recusal advice from Obama adminstration lawyers (emphases in the original):

On Wednesday night FOX News contributor and legal expert Gregg Jarrett told Sean Hannity that Sessions used the WRONG LAW when announcing his recusal. He took advice from OBAMA OFFICIALS and they misled him.

Gregg Jarrett: He betrayed the president. He knew when he was sworn in that he was going to recuse himself and the very next day he put the recusal in motion. He never told the president about that. And by the way he cited the regulation in his recusal… He cited the wrong law. It didn’t apply.

Sara Carter: I think he was being advised badly at the time.

Gregg Jarrett: Yeah, by Obama’s holdovers. Who in the world would believe them?

Good grief! He cited the wrong law!

The DOJ regulation Sessions cited — 28 CFR 45.2— says “no DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”

As Andrew McCarthy at National Review reported, “The regulation he cited applies to a different type of investigation.”

Once again the question must be asked: Who did deep state catch Jeff Sessions in bed with?

My thoughts exactly.

April 2018 – Congress asks Sessions to investigate Swamp

On April 18, members of Congress wrote to Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray and United States Attorney John Huber requesting that they issue a criminal referral for a long list of Swamp dwellers, including FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others – including FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

You can read the letter in full at Scribd.

ZeroHedge has more (emphases in the original):

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz – falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter’s primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “be recused from any examination of FISA abuse,” and recommends that “neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein.”  

April 2018 – possible partial recusal in Cohen investigation

Early in April, the home, office and hotel room of President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen were ransacked.

It’s possible that Sessions could recuse himself from this, too — at least partially.

On April 24, Gateway Pundit carried a news story, ‘WTH? AG Sessions Will Not Recuse Himself From Cohen Investigation — Only on Certain Issues‘ (emphases in the original):

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided not to recuse himself from the investigation into Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Don’t get too excited because Sessions will consider stepping back on specific matters tied into the Cohen probe …

On Tuesday, GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin sent a letter to AG Sessions demanding to know his involvement in the FBI raid of Cohen.

“We would like to know if you approved, were consulted, or had any involvement in this decision by the Department of Justice,” Zeldin asked in a letter to AG Sessions about the FBI raid of Cohen on April 9th.

Gateway Pundit cited a Reuters article which says that Sessions discussed the matter at a Senate appropriations subcommittee meeting about the proposed 2019 budget for the Justice Department. Please read it, because it’s got all the classic Sessions recusal statements.

Conclusion

To date, Sessions’s recusals look increasingly like refusals to do the AG job in its entirety.

Jeff Sessions is up for the chop. It’s just a matter of time and circumstance. After the Cohen raid, Trump is even unhappier with the AG and the DOJ than he was a year ago at this time.

Yesterday’s post was about Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the White House.

This is the first state visit of the Trump presidency. The first state dinner, honouring Emmanuel Macron, took place on Tuesday, April 24.

Much was made of the fact that First Lady Melania Trump did not hire an event planner. Instead she worked with a closely-knit group of ten staff in the East Wing:

This was the menu. Note that President Trump agreed to have wine served. Every other event has been tee-total. I expect that an exception was made for the French, for whom wine with dinner is a must. The wine is not included on the press tweet below. The one served with the main course came from French vines planted in Oregon generations ago.

 

The day’s schedule was as follows:

History lover Macron understood the importance of everything happening that day:

Official welcome and meetings

The official arrival ceremony took place on the South Lawn (41-minute White House video here).

Hail to the Chief was played as the Trumps emerged from the White House to await the Macrons.

This is a great photo:

During the ceremony, both nations’ national anthems were played.

Both gave short speeches and spoke of the history between the two countries dating from the Revolutionary War. I am positive that the incomparable Stephen Miller had a hand in Trump’s:

Selected members of the public were invited, with local schoolchildren in attendance:

Once again, Macron sought out his father figure, who indulged him with a kiss this time:

Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft enjoyed it:

Afterwards, the Trumps and the Macrons greeted members of the French delegation:

Then it was time for the restricted bilateral meeting, the topic of which was Iran. Trump rightly wants to re-negotiate the deal, Macron doesn’t.

Papa Trump led his young subject away after their public remarks:

The next meeting, the expanded bilateral one, was held in the Cabinet Room. Before it began, Trump and Macron discussed the restricted bilateral meeting. Excerpts follow:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Please. We were going to have a short little meeting, and it turned out to be a long meeting, and it could have gone on for another two hours.

We discussed a lot of things, a lot of problems in the world, a lot of problems that we think can be solved. But we’ve come a long way, just the two of us, I think, as understanding. We talked about Iran; we talked about Syria. We talked about a lot of subjects that really are big, big, hard situations. And we think we have solutions to a number of them.

So we’re going to continue that now, and then Emmanuel and myself will meet again, I think, after this meeting. But we wanted to get the opinion of some of the experts in the room. We have great experts on both sides, so we wanted to get the opinion of some of the experts …

PRESIDENT MACRON: Thank you, Mr. President, for these words. We will have this large meeting with (inaudible) together again before the press conference, just to say we have had very good discussion, indeed, on Syria, on Iran, the overall region, and some other very important topics regarding our security.

And I think we have to work together because we’ve always worked together on these issues, and it’s very important to preserve the stability of this region. And I think what we want to do in the interest of our people is precisely to preserve stability of sovereign states, without any hegemon.

As for the trade issue, you presented your perception of the situation and you were fair to remind everybody that bilateral relationship is balanced between France and the U.S.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s true.

PRESIDENT MACRON: And I think it’s very important to bear in mind that, between allies — I mean, regarding so important security issues, it’s impossible to make any trade war …

After the expanded bilateral meeting, the two presidents held a joint press conference (full White House video here), which began with this:

President Trump was thorough in his remarks, enumerating not only current international challenges but also France’s helpful contributions. Excerpts follow:

France and the United States also agree that Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, and that regime must end its support for terrorism all over. No matter where you go in the Middle East, you see the fingerprints of Iran behind problems.

I also want to thank President Macron for France’s vital contribution to our very successful campaign against ISIS. As we drive these ISIS killers from Syria, it is essential that the responsible nations of the Middle East step up their own contributions to prevent Iran from profiting off the success of our anti-ISIS effort. Very rich countries are in the Middle East. They have to make major contributions. They have not been doing it as they should. A major topic that we discussed a little while ago: They have to step up tremendously — not a little bit, but tremendously — their financial effort …

Both the United States and France are dealing with a challenge that has gone on for a long, long time. It’s uncontrolled migration. In the United States, we are taking strong action to regain control over our borders and over our sovereignty. It’s gone on for too long. And we’ve slowed it down very substantially, but we’re going to stop illegal immigration. I know that you face similar challenges in France. And, Mr. President, I admire the leadership you have shown in addressing them in a very honest and direct fashion, and not always popular.

Macron began his remarks by discussing the Iran deal:

Mr. President, please allow me to go back to a number of issues, which are fundamental for not only our relationship, but beyond. The first topic is Iran. You said once again, in front of the press, what your position was during the campaign and as well as the President of the United States. It’s not a mystery we did not have the same starting positions or stances, and neither you nor I have a habit of changing our stances or going with the wind.

That being said, I can say that we’ve had very a frank discussion on that, just the two of us. You consider that the Iranian deal, the JCPOA — the one negotiated in 2015 with Iran — is a bad deal. For a number of months, I’ve been saying that this was not a sufficient deal, but that it enabled us, at least until 2025, to have some control over their nuclear activities.

We therefore wish, from now on, to work on a new deal with Iran. What we need — and I believe that on that, our discussions allowed us to shed light on our convergence of views — is that we need to cover four topics.

The first one is to block any nuclear activity of Iran until 2025. This was feasible thanks to the JCPOA. The second is to make sure that, in the long run, there is no nuclear Iranian activity. The third fundamental topic is to be able to put an end to the ballistic activities of Iran in the region. And the fourth one is to generate the conditions for a solution — a political solution to contain Iran in the region — in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, and in Lebanon.

On these topics, I did not change. I constantly said that we needed to find the framework so that, together, and with the powers of the region, and with the Iranian leaders, manage to find a deal. I therefore would like us to commit to that effect in the weeks and months to come.

This is the only way to bring about stability. France is not naïve when it comes to Iran. We have also a lot of respect for the Iranian people, which, through their history — its history — has always shown its strength.

But we do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. Each time we tried to unilaterally replace the sovereignty of the people, we brought about some more terror. But for our allies, we want sustainable stability …

After the press conference, the two gripped hands (Trump probably did not want another kiss):

Afterwards, President Trump went to a private lunch with the Secretary of Defense.

Lunch honouring Macron

Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan and Vice President Mike Pence hosted a lunch for President Macron at the Harry S Truman Building. Afterwards, Sullivan gave a short speech:

Then Pence spoke and offered a toast. Macron responded with a speech and a reciprocal toast. (Full transcript here.)

Presidents’ wives visit National Gallery of Art

The White House published a précis of what the presidents’ wives did during the day, excerpted below:

In tradition with State Visits, First Lady Melania Trump hosted Mrs. Macron for a spousal event, choosing to visit the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. this morning. Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Macron were met by Frank Kelly, Deputy Director of the museum. The tour of the National Gallery of Art was crafted to particularly note the incredible work of French artists to complement the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

“Everyone understands the language of art,” said Mrs. Trump. “The historically famous and beautiful works that currently live in the National Gallery of Art are breathtaking.”

The Macrons at JFK’s grave

That afternoon, the Macrons paid a reverent visit to John F Kennedy’s grave:

The linked tweet has an excellent photo and the same text in French. The responses are very anti-Macron.

French Embassy presentation to American veterans

At the French Embassy that afternoon, Macron presented Legion of Honour medals to three American veterans of the Second World War.

The News Virginian has the story:

William Barr, who currently lives at The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, was honored Tuesday along with two other veterans at the French Embassy in Washington …

After personally awarding the medals to Barr and the other two men, Robert Ewald and Stanley Rzucidio, at Tuesday’s ceremony, President  Macron praised the three veterans and all of those who helped defeat tyranny during World War II.

“My generation has the opportunity to defend these values today because your generation, and especially people like you, decided to take all the risks to protect these values, to protect my country,” Macron said. “[I am] also paying tribute to the blood shed by all your comrades.”

Barr was a World War II Army Air Forces airplane mechanic who participated in the Battle of the Bulge and other key campaigns …

“Robert, Stanley, William, those are names of heroes. During World War II, your generation decided to take all the risks to protect France. You fought for freedom. Eternal gratitude from the French people,” Macron tweeted.

The article states that the Legion of Honour, which Napoleon established in 1802, is the highest French order of merit.

The State Dinner

The climax of the Macrons’ visit was the state dinner that evening, the Trumps’ first.

Laura Dowling, former chief floral designer at the Obama White House, wrote an excellent article for Fox News, describing the symbolism not only in floral decorations but also the particular symbolism that goes into a state dinner. A short video is also included, with amazing photos and statistics on this particular dinner (emphases mine):

I was honored to help design décor and flowers for two visits by heads of state from France: the private dinner that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted for President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, in 2010; and the state visit of President Francois Hollande in 2014.

For both events, the flowers were designed to carry out diplomatic, cultural and historical themes – with the goal of honoring France and the individual leaders, as well as to celebrate cherished American traditions and ideals …

Some of the most beautiful and historic pieces in the White House collection have a French provenance – the 18th century gilt mirrored Monroe Plateau, the early 19th century marble-topped table in the Red Room by a French-American cabinetmaker, and the French Blue Room furniture acquired by President Monroe are just a few examples …

In addition to highlighting the White House collection of French decorative arts, the first lady is paying tribute to former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush by selecting their china for this inaugural state visit.

Additional décor includes the large urns of cherry blossoms lining the Great Hall. Cherry blossoms are not only the quintessential emblem of spring in Washington, but also in Paris, where they are currently in bloom in the Jardin de Tuilieries near the Elysses Palace, the home of the French first couple.

The Daily Mail has an article on the dinner with excellent photos.

This was the menu in full, with the wines from Oregon listed. The gold rimmed plate, an edge of which can be seen underneath is a Clinton plate:

There’s a story behind this china:

The Conservative Treehouse posted on this and included the above tweets as well as a link to the 2001 ABC story, excerpted below:

Former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have sent $28,000 worth of household goods back to Washington after questions arose over whether the items were intended as personal gifts or donations to the White House.

“We have been informed that it is being shipped back, and the National Park Service is ready to receive it, take possession of it and take custody of it,” Jim McDaniel, the National Park Service’s liaison to the White House, said Wednesday.

“The property is being returned to government custody until such time that the issues can be resolved. It may well turn out that that property is rightly the personal property of the Clintons.”

After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them when they left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for $86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount.

Their latest decision to send back $28,000 in gifts brings to $114,000 the value of items the Clintons have either decided to pay for or return.

On that subject, one of the commenters at The_Donald had an anecdote about the Clintons:

I personally know one of the White House Interior Decorators that was at The White House when Clinton’s arrived. She said it was like The Beverly Hillbillies come to town. They ruined so much historical stuff, decorated things totally trashy and they did try to and did take tons of stuff out of there. They personally ruined things, broke things trashed things that had been around a long time that had history behind them. I didn’t hear much about Bill from my friend, but she said Hillary was a piece of work and nasty. This from someone that lived through it.

Back to the present now and America’s current first couple. For interested ladies — Mrs Trump wore Chanel:

A light rain fell as the Trumps greeted the Macrons.

This video shows you how grand it was, with the military escort. The first couples pose for a photo at the 1:15 mark:

As for the guests, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was the first to arrive:

Here is the only Democrat invited — the governor of Louisiana:

The following links have photos of other notable guests: the Vice President and Mrs Pence, the Speaker of the House and Mrs Ryan, Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, the Chief of Staff and Mrs Kelly, the Press Secretary and Mr Sanders, the Director of the CIA and Mrs Pompeo, the Surgeon General and Mrs Adams, the Secretary of the Treasury and Mrs Mnuchin, the Chief Justice and Mrs Roberts, Henry and Nancy Kissinger (must see) and Rupert and Jerry (Hall) Murdoch. More guests are listed here and here.

Toasts were made before dinner (full transcript here):

Then it was Macron’s turn:

Knowing how much hard work went into the event, President Trump tweeted his appreciation to his First Lady:

Wednesday, April 25

Early the next day, Trump tweeted:

The video of Macron’s speech is here. He laid out his international policies and perspectives, which are very different to Trump’s. He received a standing ovation from both houses of Congress.

Macron then went to speak at George Washington University on a variety of topics …

… including religion, which is a hot topic for him right now in France:

He also held a press conference there:

President and Mrs Macron left for Paris later that day.

President Donald Trump has replaced Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.

Tillerson is likely to remain in the post until March 31.

Mike Pompeo has been the director of the CIA since last year. Prior to that, he was a congressman for Kansas’s 4th district. He served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and questioned Hillary Clinton — then Secretary of State — about Benghazi in 2013.

Soon, Pompeo will be in the same office that was once Hillary Clinton’s. How interesting will that be?

This is the video, which includes recordings of Pompeo’s questioning of Clinton during the Benghazi hearings:

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton says that Rex Tillerson’s State Department would not conduct damage assessment on Hillary’s emails:

Soon we will have someone who will have the gumption and desire to see that justice is done. Imagine what Pompeo can — and will — uncover.

In the meantime, expect the media to pile on Pompeo.

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