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« on: June 10, 2017, 02:39:25 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 6-9-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 9, 2017


    A thorough review of Comey’s testimony and why it’s important.
    While the nation watched a sideshow, House Republicans passed something big.
    DOJ has undone an Obama-era slush fund for cronies.
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.” —Samuel Adams (1775)

Comey vs. Trump: Obstructing the Truth1

By Nate Jackson

As you would expect, our editorial team has thoroughly reviewed the statement2 released Wednesday by former FBI Director James Comey, as well as his subsequent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee3 Thursday.

As we anticipated, Democrats picked up plenty of additional fodder for media collusion to propagate the fake news4 Trump/Putin conspiracy theory and claim that Trump obstructed the FBI investigation of his former national security advisor, Mike Flynn. The sole objective of the DemoMSM charade is to obstruct Donald Trump’s conservative agenda5, but as Mark Alexander wrote Wednesday, there is “no smoking gun6.”

Indeed, as Barack Obama’s former CIA director, Michael Morell, said of the Trump/Putin connection, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

That notwithstanding, depending on which side of the political aisle you’re on, the testimony was either much ado about nothing, or proof of the most corrupt and heinous administration in the history of the Republic.

Before getting into the details of Comey’s testimony, in our editors meeting this morning, Mr. Alexander offered this brief analytical summary of the Trump/Comey dispute:

“In May, Trump bushwhacked Comey by firing him shortly after his testimony before Congress, in part because he would not say publicly what he confirmed he told Trump privately on three occasions — that Trump was not a target of the Russia investigation. Clearly, Democrats and their MSM propagandists are using their cooked-up Trump/Putin conspiracy to impede Trump’s agenda, and by extension that of the Republican Congress, by undermining the legitimacy of his election.

"Trump then fumbled his explanation of why he fired Comey7, first insisting the firing was based on his handling of the Clinton email investigation — which Comey did indeed handle very unprofessionally, asserting Clinton was not guilty8 just prior to the 2016 election.

"Comey admitted Thursday he then bushwhacked Trump by leaking his notes to the New York Times, and affirmed that he did so in order to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor to further investigate Trump. That established just how ‘political’ Comey actually was in the Clinton case and is now in the Trump investigation, which is to say Comey is ‘power drunk’ if not partisan.

"It is clear that Comey’s primary motivation for leaking those notes was not his devotion to our Constitution, but because he wanted to vindicate his reputation after being fired, when Trump carelessly and needlessly defamed Comey and the FBI, accusing him of mismanagement at the Bureau, and painting the agency as having lost trust in Comey and being in disarray.

"Despite Comey’s assertion that Trump lied, we know for a fact that there were and are divisive concerns among the FBI rank and file about the political implications of Comey’s actions, both with Clinton and now with Trump. But it was inexcusable for Trump to defame Comey by way of his now infamously absurd, sophomoric and boorish social media posts.

"That unforced error was followed by another — Trump’s asinine Tweet about "tapes” of his conversation with Comey: ‘James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’ That was a failed effort to head off anything Comey might release to the press. This sequence was yet another example of why we have argued repeatedly, that Trump needs to “stop saying stupid sh-t9,” as if he still controls his reality-TV show script. Apparently he — and his confidants who vetted those Comey posts — still errantly believe they control the script10.

“It is not enough to excuse Trump’s communication disasters by suggesting he is ‘just inexperienced.’ The problem is not inexperience, but unmitigated arrogance.

"Again, the endless loop of DemoMSM Trump/Putin collusion conspiracy coverage is baseless and nothing more than a political diversion and obfuscation tactic. I do not believe anything Trump said to Comey about the investigation of Flynn rises to the level of obstruction of justice. I do not believe that Robert Mueller as special prosecutor11, would have allowed Comey to testify if he believed there were grounds for an obstruction case against Trump.

"But, unfortunately for Trump’s agenda12 to restore some semblance of constitutional Rule of Law13, he has carelessly fueled the flames of the DemoMSM diversion where there was otherwise not a puff of smoke.”

On to the details of Comey’s testimony…

There are four key facets to Comey’s testimony: The obstruction accusation, Comey’s leaking information, Loretta Lynch’s obstruction of justice (and by extension, that of her boss, Obama) in the Clinton investigation, and the media’s lies. Let’s look at each one.

First, the most salient question: Did Trump obstruct justice? The Trump-hating Washington Post, which is dying to relive its own glory days of 1974 when it brought down a Republican president, says yes. Yet the story under the damning headline, “James Comey lays out the case that President Trump obstructed justice14,” doesn’t quite live up to the hype. If, as the Trump haters allege, the president told Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, fired Comey when he didn’t comply, and then lied about the reason for his firing, then that’s a plausible argument for obstruction of justice.

But if Comey’s written testimony is accurate, Trump fired Comey for refusing to acknowledge publicly that Trump himself was not being investigated. Again, Comey told Trump that privately three times, but would not go public. Given the 24/7 Leftmedia hyperventilation over the phony Russian collusion narrative, Trump’s request was understandable — he wanted to disperse the cloud hanging over his administration. It’s especially logical given Comey’s history of, ahem, exonerating Hillary Clinton15 after laying out how she in fact broke the law. So, if that’s the reason, even if Trump fired Comey in a less-than-desirable manner and then contradicted his staff on the reasons, it was not obstruction of justice.

That said, in his spoken testimony, Comey asserted, “I know I was fired because something about the way I was conducting the Russia investigation was putting pressure on [Trump].” He added, “I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.” As he said, that’s a “very big deal,” albeit not at all criminal.

And, regarding Trump’s “hope” that Comey would stop the Flynn probe: “I took it as a direction,” Comey said. “I took it as what he wants me to do.”

Yet in answering several variations of the question, Comey repeatedly said Trump did not ask him at any point to stop any investigation into Russian election interference, and Comey did nothing at the time to report or otherwise flag Trump’s improper behavior.

We’ll see what special investigator Robert Mueller — a good buddy of Comey’s16, by the way — thinks soon enough.

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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 02:40:28 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 6-9-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
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Second, Comey made a stunning admission of his own vindictiveness: After his firing, he helped leak his own notes to the press specifically to undermine Trump and to prompt the appointing of a special counsel to investigate. Why? Because, the former FBI director alleged, the president is a liar. “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting and so I felt it important to document,” Comey said when asked why he took notes from his meetings with Trump when he did not do so with Barack Obama or George W. Bush. He also said Trump’s tweet about having taped conversations prompted him to leak his notes.

On one point, Comey is correct: “The administration … chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led,” he said. “Those were lies, plain and simple. And I’m so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I’m so sorry the American people were told them.” Trump’s tweets were incredibly foolish and defamatory.

Sen. Marco Rubio, of all people, came to Trump’s defense, telling Comey, “The only thing that’s never been leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation.” Isn’t that telling? Indeed, every leak — including those perpetrated by Comey himself (was he behind others leaks?) — has been designed to undermine and delegitimize the president. Any information that might benefit Trump was kept under wraps.

Third, Comey had dirt on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, too. As he testified previously17, she told him not to refer to the Clinton “investigation” but rather the “matter.” He explained, “I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. We had a criminal investigation open for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The real obstruction of justice? Lynch’s clandestine tarmac meeting18 with Bill Clinton during the investigation into his wife’s illegal use of a non-secure email server to pass top-secret communications while she was secretary of state. Or perhaps Obama’s lie about when he learned of Clinton’s use of that server. Or perhaps his attempts to influence the outcome of that investigation by publicly downplaying Clinton’s willful lawlessness on more than one occasion. Or perhaps Clinton’s use of BleachBit to destroy thousands of emails after they were under congressional subpoena.

The Leftmedia largely ignored those very real obstructions, but perhaps Hillary has a new passenger for her blame train19.

Finally, the New York Times published fake news, and the Left hung a narrative on it. On Feb. 14, the day after Flynn resigned, the Times published a story headlined20, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”

“In the main, it was not true,” Comey stated. Asked later if the story was “almost entirely wrong,” Comey answered, “Yes.”

Indeed, the story itself, in the third paragraph, noted, “The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.” Kind of undermines the headline, doesn’t it? And yet the Times story became the centerpiece of the nascent narrative of collusion, which Democrats and their Leftmedia allies have only doubled down on since then. As Comey put it, the challenge for the intelligence community is not being able to correct the record on sensitive information. “[The] people talking about it often don’t really know what is going on,” he said. “And those of us who actually know what’s going on aren’t talking about it. And we don’t call the press to say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic.’ We just have to leave it there.” That’s why leaks are doubly damaging — which Comey ought to have taken to heart.

To sum it up, Comey emerged looking petty, vindictive and agenda-driven. Trump came out looking like a blundering and self-contradictory CEO who acted improperly at times — but, critically, one who does not seem to have broken any laws, or colluded with Russia. There’s no impeachable offense here. Just politically costly ones.


House Republicans Pass Bill to Rein In Dodd-Frank21

On Thursday, while seemingly everyone in Washington was fixated on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, House Republicans were busy. A bill entitled the Financial Choice Act was passed, along party lines, which aims to significantly roll back many of the onerous banking regulations created by the Dodd-Frank Act22. In speaking on the need to continue the process of government deregulation, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tweeted, “Let me put it this way: #DoddFrank is more than a thousand pages long and has more rules and regulations than any Obama-era law.”

While the Financial Choice Act does not repeal Dodd-Frank, it does go a long way in reining in its congressionally independent powers. The House Republicans' bill specifically targets the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an unelected and unaccountable board of bureaucrats. Clamping down on the CFPB’s ability to create new financial regulations without approval from Congress is a very welcome change given the fact that elected representatives, not unelected bureaucrats, should have the power and responsibility to create significant rules and regulations. The new bill also stops the CFPB from collecting consumers' information without their permission.

Democrats' justification for the passage of Dodd-Frank was to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis — a crisis for which Democrats sowed the seeds23 with housing regulation. As is often the case with onerous government regulations, Dodd-Frank proved to do little in the way of actually helping small businesses and small banks, instead hurting them and resulting in years of sluggish economic growth. Rep. Rod Pittenger (R-NC) states, “Local bank leaders tell me they now hire more compliance officers than loan officers, as filling out forms for bureaucrats has become more important than growing the economy.” The irony in Dodd-Frank is that its regulations, which were supposed to protect the little guy, have proven to prevent and hinder economic growth and opportunity for the little guy.

Many are predicting that the House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate, and it is certain to undergo significant changes, but there are some Democrats who have voiced support for reforming Dodd-Frank.

The Left’s DOJ ‘Slush Fund’ Gets Buried24

An egregious Department of Justice operation got a welcome overhaul this week courtesy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The DOJ, particularly under Barack Obama and his criminal co-conspirator25, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, made a practice out of robbing corporate settlement funds to fill a plethora of leftist coffers. In short, The Wall Street Journal explains, “After the GOP took the House and tried to cut spending for liberal interest groups, the Obama Justice Department began to force corporate defendants to allocate a chunk of their financial penalties to those same groups.”

In other words, Obama exploited another channel through which the government was picking winners and losers and propping up pet projects — a blatantly unconstitutional scheme, as Congress (which has monetary authority) was essentially shunned. And we all know which political party benefits when it comes to government subsidies. Hint: Some of the beneficiaries include groups like La Raza and the National Urban League26. But no more.

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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 02:41:32 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 6-9-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

In a memorandum27 dated June 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated, “The goals of any settlement are, first and foremost, to compensate victims, redress harm, or punish and deter unlawful conduct. It has come to my attention that previous certain settlement agreements involving the Department included payments to various non-governmental, third-party organizations as a condition of settlement with the United States. These third-party organizations were neither victims nor parties to the lawsuits.”

As such, Sessions issued a new directive: “Effective immediately, Department attorneys may not enter into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges … that directs or provides for a payment or loan to any non-governmental person or entity that is not a party to the dispute.” Sessions should be commended for this initiative. The only problem is that this memorandum is guaranteed only until the next presidential election. Republicans in Congress should follow through on their endeavor to permanently outlaw this leftist “slush fund.”

Top Headlines28

    Surprise setback for Britain’s conservatives as May wins, but lacks majority in Parliament. (CNS News29)

    President Trump’s lower-court nominees are as good as his SCOTUS pick. (The Federalist30)

    Trump’s reversal allowing amnesty for Dreamers enrages conservative base. (The Washington Times31)

    Trey Gowdy picked to lead House Oversight Committee. (Fox News32)

    One in five terrorist attacks against West carried out by foreign fighters. (The Washington Free Beacon33)

    DOJ: Two U.S. citizens arrested for ties to Hezbollah. (NBC News34)

    Former official: Obama administration “systematically disbanded” units investigating Iran’s terrorism financing networks. (The Washington Free Beacon35)

    Bernie Sanders doesn’t think Christians are fit for public office. (The Federalist36)

    The IRS can seize your money based on a hunch. This bill will bring that to an end. (The Daily Signal37)

    Policy: Fossil fuels' benefits far higher than social cost, study finds. (Inside Sources38.)

    Policy: The debt ceiling is not the problem. The debt is. (Conservative Review39)

    Humor: Comey hearing confirms whatever you already wanted to believe. (The Babylon Bee40)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report41.


    Liberty vs. Security — or Liberty AND Security?42 — Both are within our grasp, but until we realize it, the solutions we seek in the battle against terrorism will fall short.
    ‘Gay Pride’ Month — More Equal Than Other Months43 — “LGBT” people are being exploited for political gain. That’s not something to be proud of.
    A Quarter of Millennials Are Banking on Social Security for Retirement44 — A recent Gallup poll indicates that trust among the young in this massive federal program is at an all-time high.
    S. Korea’s THAAD Delay Risks More Kim Provocations45 — The South’s new president ordered the delay, but now is the worst possible time to be playing politics with THAAD.


    Erick Erickson: A Nation of Men, Not Laws46
    Cornwall Alliance: What’s Wrong With the Claim That ‘97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ About Global Warming?47
    David Harsanyi: You Know What’s Worse Than Overreacting to Terror? Normalizing It48

For more, visit Right Opinion49.


Erick Erickson: “Compare [James] Comey to 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner of Augusta, GA. Ms. Winner, a self-entitled millennial who possibly put our national security in jeopardy, allegedly decided to abuse her position as a national security contractor. Having now been arrested, Ms. Winner is accused of leaking classified information hoping to harm the president. On Twitter, she tweeted that she would stand with the Iranians against President Trump. She decided to do what she thought was right, not what the law required or demanded. James Comey, Donald Trump and Reality Winner all did that. They did what they thought was right, not what the law required. President Trump decided he could do what he did because he was president. Comey decided he was the FBI director and no one could question him. Winner did what she did thinking she could undermine the president. In all three cases, these individuals made it about themselves, not the law. As a result, they have all weakened institutions of public trust. They have made us more a nation of men and not laws. And all of them, and their supporters, think they did nothing wrong. It was the other guy’s fault. Our great national experiment in democracy continues to crumble, eroded by the supposed good intentions of too many bad actors.”


Upright: “We know that families and churches, not government [officials], know best how to create a strong and loving community. … In America we don’t worship government. We worship God.” —Donald Trump

For the record: “By firing Comey and then tweeting recklessly about it, Trump elevated a long-running but manageable problem — the so-called ‘Russia thing’ — into an independent investigation that seriously endangers his presidency.” —Matthew Continetti

Friendly fire: “The assumption of the critics of the president … is that somewhere along the line in the last year … the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians … to affect the election in some way. And yet what came apart [Thursday] morning was that theory. … Where’s the there there?” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

Alpha Jackass: “Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? … I understand you are a Christian, but this country are [sic] made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?” —Bernie Sanders with an unconstitutional religious test for Trump OMB nominee Russell Vought

Belly laugh of the week: “This is the height of egoism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being even at the cost of the entire planet and, at the same time, a short-sighted and silly decision ignorant of the fact that the protection of the global environment is in their own interests.” —North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Trump’s retreat from the Paris climate accord

And last… “Thursday we learned that as of May 9, the day James Comey was fired, President Trump was never under investigation by the FBI. (As Senator Marco Rubio pointed out, this is the one piece of information about the FBI investigation into Russia that somehow never leaked. It is hard to believe that the leakers' decision to withhold the most exculpatory fact is a coincidence.)” —Jim Geraghty

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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