CIA Panicking Over ‘Russiagate’

The Agency is concerned declassification of Russiagate-related documents could expose its political agenda.

By Donald Jeffries

A June 30 article by Shane Harris, The Washington Post’s successor to longtime CIA crony George Lardner, reveals that the agency is anxious over the pending declassification of documents associated with the Russian collusion investigation.

The article focused on Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who supposedly introduced Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos to a woman falsely claiming to be Vladimir Putin’s niece and a man allegedly tied to the Russian foreign ministry. Mifsud would further allege that the Russians had “thousands of emails” containing “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

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Harris, who is also known to be close to former FBI director James Comey, stressed the theme that Papadopoulos was an intermediary between the Trump campaign and Russia, promoting the idea that Mifsud could easily have been seen as an influential Russian connection, if not a Russian intelligence agent. In the Post article, Harris and two fellow reporters noted: “In Mifsud’s absence, a number of President Trump’s allies and advisers have been floating a provocative theory: that the Maltese professor was a Western intelligence plant. . . . They have promoted the idea that he was working for the FBI, CIA, or possibly British or Italian intelligence. . . . Officials familiar with U.S. intelligence reports told the Post that Mifsud had been identified by intelligence agencies as a potential Russian agent before he met Papadopoulos, an assessment drawn from reporting collected over several years.”

The same day Harris took to Twitter, hammering home the Deep State talking points on this subject. “Officials familiar with U.S. intelligence reports told the Post that Mifsud had been identified by intelligence agencies as a potential Russian agent before he met Papadopoulos, an assessment drawn from reporting collected over several years.” He continued: “So why did we spend so much time on this, and why should you care? Attorney General Barr is now investigating the FBI/Mueller probe of Russian election interference and connections to the Trump campaign. Mifsud was in essence the impetus for that investigation.”

Touting the editorial line of both his newspaper and the entire mainstream media, Harris claimed, “But there is no real evidence that Mifsud was working for the FBI, the CIA, or British intelligence, as has been variously alleged. And while it’s still unclear what role if any he played in the Kremlin’s 2016 campaign, Mifsud’s links to Moscow are real and verifiable.”

Harris called upon the usual Deep State sources in the Post article. “Multiple former intelligence officials in the United States and the United Kingdom said that theory does not make sense.” The article declared emphatically: “John Sipher, a former CIA officer who once ran the agency’s Russia operations, called the idea that Mifsud was a CIA asset who set up Papadopoulos ‘nonsense,’ noting that the CIA is not allowed to target Americans. Steve Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years running and managing Russian operations for the CIA, said that in counterintelligence, ‘You can almost never rule anything out completely.’ But he added that Mifsud’s known activities closely parallel longstanding Russian techniques of targeting academic institutions to spot possible recruits and gather information, making it more likely that Mifsud was working with the Russians than a Western intelligence agency.”

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A July 1 analysis from Red State pointed out:

Their reasoning is risible. The idea that the CIA wouldn’t loan an asset to the FBI (this appears to have been the case with Stefan Halper, as we know [Andrew] McCabe flew to London to meet someone who seems a lot like Halper) is laughable on its face. . . . While the Russians do target academic institutions, so, too, do Western agencies. The role of professors as “talent spotters” for intelligence agencies, including the CIA, is well established. The 800-lb gorilla in the room that the Post slides right past is the fact that Mifsud’s primary academic affiliation is with Link Campus University in Rome. Its president is a former Italian interior minister and political and social conservative, and it is rumored, with as much backup proof as anything produced in this Post story, to be affiliated with a Western intelligence service.

Link President Vincenzo Scotti dismissed the notion that his school is a front for the CIA or any other Western intelligence service. “People say stupid things,” he stated. “We have no relationships with the CIA.”

A response to Harris on Twitter was cogent. “‘U.S. intel agencies identified Mifsud as a Russian agent’? Really? Was that when they were sitting in classes at Link campus Rome—where Mifsud taught alongside Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and member of the UK Security Vetting panel?”

To a disinterested observer, our intelligence agencies lost their credibility a long time ago, and the repeated cries of “Russia! Russia! Russia!” are laughable.

Donald Jeffries is a highly respected author and researcher whose work on the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and other high crimes of the Deep State has been read by millions of people across the world. Jeffries is also the author of three books currently being sold by AFP Online Store.

Nunes Duels the Deep State

Given the assorted cover-ups, lies, omissions, obfuscations, and now demotions and firings at the FBI, is it any wonder Americans have quit trusting the bureau . . . and pretty much every other political entity in the country? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

That memo worked up in the Intel Committee of Chairman Devin Nunes may not have sunk the Mueller investigation, but from the sound of the secondary explosions, this torpedo was no dud.

The critical charge:

To persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, the FBI relied on a dossier produced by a Trump-hating British spy, who was using old Kremlin contacts, while being paid to dig up dirt on Donald Trump by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Not only were the Clinton campaign and DNC paying the spy, Christopher Steele, for his dirt-diving, the FBI put Steele on its own payroll, until they caught him lying about leaking to the media.

In their requests for search warrants, the FBI never told the FISA court judge their primary source was a 35-page dossier delivered by Steele that their own Director James Comey described as “salacious and unverified.”

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From the Nunes memo, there was, at the highest level of the FBI, a cabal determined to derail Trump and elect Clinton. Heading the cabal was Comey, who made the call to exonerate Hillary of criminal charges for imperiling national security secrets, even before his own FBI investigation was concluded.

Assisting Comey was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, running for a Virginia state senate seat, received a windfall of $467,000 in contributions from Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Last week, McCabe was discharged from the FBI. Seems that in late September 2016, he learned from his New York field office that it was sitting on a trove of emails between Anthony Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which potentially contained security secrets.

Not until late October did Comey inform Congress of what deputy McCabe had known a month earlier.

Other FBI plotters were Peter Strzok, chief investigator in both the Clinton email server scandal and Russiagate, and his FBI girlfriend, Lisa Page. Both were ousted from the Mueller investigation when their anti-Trump bias and behavior were exposed last summer.

Filling out the starting five was Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general under Loretta Lynch. In 2016, Ohr’s wife was working for Fusion GPS, the oppo research arm of the Clinton campaign, and Bruce was in direct contact with Steele.

Now, virtually all of this went down before Robert Mueller was named special counsel. But the poisoned roots of the Russiagate investigation and the bristling hostility of the investigators to Trump must cast a cloud of suspicion over whatever charges Mueller will bring.

Now another head may be about to fall, that of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

If Mueller has given up trying to prove Trump collusion with the Kremlin and moved on to obstruction of justice charges, Rosenstein moves into the crosshairs.
For the heart of any obstruction scenario is Trump’s firing of James Comey and his boasting about why he did it.

But not only did Rosenstein discuss with Trump the firing of Comey, he went back to Justice to produce the document to justify what the president had decided to do.
How can Rosenstein oversee Mueller’s investigation into the firing of James Comey when he was a witness to and a participant in the firing of James Comey?

The Roman poet Juvenal’s question comes to mind. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchmen?

Consider where we are. Mueller is investigating alleged Trump collusion with Russia, and the White House is all lawyered up.

The House intel committee is investigating Clinton-FBI collusion to defeat Trump and break his presidency. FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking into whether the fix was in to give Hillary a pass in the probe of her email server.

Comey has been fired, his deputy McCabe removed, his chief investigator Strzok ousted by Mueller for bigoted anti-Trump behavior, alongside his FBI paramour, Page. Bruce Ohr has been demoted for colluding with Steele, who was caught lying to the FBI and fired, and for his wife’s role in Fusion GPS, which was being paid to dig up dirt on Trump for Clinton’s campaign.

If Americans are losing confidence in the FBI, whose fault is that? Is there not evidence that a hubristic cadre at the apex of the FBI — Comey, McCabe, Strzok foremost among them — decided the Republic must be saved from Trump and, should Hillary fail, they would step in and move to abort the Trump presidency at birth?

To the deep state, the higher interests of the American people almost always coincide with their own.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Bookstore.


In a Trump Hunt, Beware the Perjury Trap

Robert Mueller is on a “Trump hunt,” says Pat Buchanan, and the president’s legal team should not allow him to testify in what has become an obvious “perjury trap.”
By Patrick J. Buchanan

Asked if he would agree to be interviewed by Robert Mueller’s team, President Donald Trump told the White House press corps, “I would love to do it . . . as soon as possible. . . . under oath, absolutely.”

On hearing this, the special counsel’s office must have looked like the Eagles’ locker room after the 38-7 rout of the Vikings put them in the Super Bowl.

If the president’s legal team lets Trump sit for hours answering Mueller’s agents, they should be disbarred for malpractice.

For what Mueller is running here is not, as Trump suggests, a “witch hunt.” It is a Trump hunt.

After 18 months investigating Trumpian “collusion” with Putin’s Russia in hacking the DNC’s and John Podesta’s emails, the FBI has hit a stone wall. Failing to get Trump for collusion, the fallback position is to charge him with obstruction of justice. As a good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, the tactic is understandable.

Mueller’s problem: He has no perjury charge to go with it. And the heart of his obstruction case, Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, is starting to look like something Trump should have done sooner.

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Consider what is now known of how Comey and the FBI set about ensuring Hillary Clinton would not be indicted for using a private email server to transmit national security secrets.

The first draft of Comey’s statement calling for no indictment was prepared before 17 witnesses, and Hillary, were even interviewed.

Comey’s initial draft charged Clinton with “gross negligence,” the requirement for indictment. But his team softened that charge in subsequent drafts to read, “extreme carelessness.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others, appears to have known in advance an exoneration of Clinton was baked in the cake. Yet Comey testified otherwise.

Also edited out of Comey’s statement was that Hillary, while abroad, communicated with then-President Obama, who had to see that her message came through a private server. Yet Obama told the nation he only learned Hillary had been using a private server at the same time the public did.

A trial of Hillary would have meant Obama in the witness chair being asked, “What did you know, sir, and when did you know it?”

More information has also been unearthed about FBI collusion with British spy Christopher Steele, who worked up—for Fusion GPS, the dirt-divers of the Clinton campaign—the Steele dossier detailing Trump’s ties to Russia and alleged frolics with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.

Books from Pat BuchananWhile the Steele dossier was shopped around town to the media, which, unable to substantiate its lurid and sensational charges, declined to publish them, Comey’s FBI went all in.

Not only did the Steele dossier apparently trigger a wider FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, it served as the basis of FBI requests for FISA court warrants to put on Trump the kind of full-court press J. Edgar Hoover put on Dr. King for the Kennedys and LBJ.

Amazing. Oppo-research dirt, unsourced and unsubstantiated, dredged up by a foreign spy with Kremlin contacts, is utilized by our FBI to potentially propel an investigation to destroy a major U.S. presidential candidate. And the Beltway media regard it as a distraction.

An aggressive Republican Party on the Hill, however, has forced the FBI to cough up documents that are casting the work of Comey’s cohorts in an ever more partisan and sinister light.

This cabal appears to have set goals of protecting Obama, clearing Hillary, defeating Trump, and bringing down the new president the people had elected, before he had even taken his oath.

Not exactly normal business for our legendary FBI.

What have these people done to the reputation of their agency when congressmen not given to intemperate speech are using words like “criminal,” “conspiracy,” “corruption” and “coup” to describe what they are discovering went on in the FBI executive chambers?

Bob Mueller, who inherited this investigation, is sitting on an IED because of what went on before he got there. Mueller needs to file his charges before his own investigation becomes the subject of a Justice Department investigation by a special counsel.

As for Trump, he should not sit for any extended interview by FBI agents whose questions will be crafted by prosecutors to steer our disputatious president into challenging or contradicting the sworn testimony of other witnesses.

This a perjury trap.

Let the special counsel submit his questions in writing, and let Trump submit his answers in writing.

At bottom, this is a political issue, an issue of power, an issue of whether the Trump revolution will be dethroned by the deep state it was sent to this capital to corral and contain.

If Trump is guilty of attempted obstruction, it appears to be not of justice, but obstruction of an injustice being perpetrated against him.

Trump should be in no hurry to respond to Mueller, for time no longer appears to be on Mueller’s side.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Bookstore



Jail for Hillary?

As the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee continues its investigation of the FBI and its former director, James Comey, a new letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson to the director of the FBI has brought to light “arguably criminal actions of main FBI insiders” in the agency’s investigation, and exoneration, of Hillary Clinton, who illegally shared classified information using a private server. Is prosecution on the horizon? 

By John Friend

More evidence is coming to light demonstrating how top officials and bureaucrats working in the FBI covered for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, ensuring this career criminal would not be punished for gross negligence and other blatant criminal acts committed during her long tenure in public office. But an ongoing congressional investigation could put an end to that and finally force the prosecution of the Clinton crime family.

In a Dec. 14 letter submitted to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), who serves as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, details key edits made by FBI officials and bureaucrats to former FBI Director James Comey’s public statements declaring the exoneration of Mrs. Clinton for transmitting classified information via an unsecured, private email server, which sparked much controversy at the time.

Mrs. Clinton had been accused of not only illegally transmitting classified information via her own private email server but also of covering up these criminal actions by destroying evidence and manipulating top officials and bureaucrats investigating the matter.

Johnson’s letter sheds more light on the arguably criminal actions of main FBI insiders, who were determined to protect then-candidate Clinton while undermining GOP candidate Donald Trump, who was and remains a vocal critic of Mrs. Clinton’s criminal actions.

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Johnson’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is currently investigating the FBI and its former director, James Comey, focusing particular attention on the manner in which it conducted the inquiry into Clinton’s many criminal actions.

The letter details a coordinated effort by pivotal FBI officials and insiders who worked under Comey to essentially decriminalize Mrs. Clinton’s blatant and demonstrably criminal actions by editing key legal terms and phrases, withholding important information, and downplaying the central role various intelligence agencies played in the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal. Some legal experts have gone so far as to argue that the congressional probe could lead to charges being filed against Mrs. Clinton.

As part of Johnson’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and ultimate exoneration of the former Democrat presidential candidate, the FBI submitted documents to the Senate committee, including an early draft of Comey’s public statement, which was eventually delivered on July 5, 2016, “clearing Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in her use of a private email server,” the letter reads.

Johnson’s letter explains how senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, E.W. Priestap, and Jonathan Moffa, edited the legal language in Comey’s draft statements to “change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects.”

The edits were designed to “reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information” as well as to entirely remove references to “the intelligence community’s role in identifying vulnerabilities related to Secretary Clinton’s private email server” and “downgrade the likelihood that hostile actors had penetrated Secretary Clinton’s private server.”

Critical legal language was edited as well, including removing the use of “gross negligence” when describing Clinton’s actions and substituting that phrase with “extremely careless.” Gross negligence is a legal term often invoked by prosecutors when charging an individual with criminal wrongdoing.

John Friend is a freelance author who lives in California.

Democrats Behind Fake News Dossier

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC have been tied to the bogus report on Trump’s “deep, compromising ties to Russia,” which even former FBI Director James Comey called “salacious and unverified,” that was released before the presidential election and is still being trumpeted by the corporate press and Republicans like Sen. John McCain as “evidence” the president has been influenced—or even blackmailed—by the Russian government. On the contrary, claims President Trump, “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.”

By John Friend

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, and even following Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Democrat strategists, Hillary Clinton and her top aides and supporters, and much of the corporate-owned mass media have attempted to discredit and marginalize Trump by alleging he has ties to and has been influenced by the Russian government.

Purported “Russian meddling” in the 2016 election has been a major talking point for Democrats, who have relentlessly attempted to tie Trump and his closest associates—including his son, Donald Trump Jr.—to the Russian government. Democrat partisans and anti-Trump members of the GOP, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other Republican leaders, continue to peddle the largely discredited theory that Russia “interfered” in the heated 2016 election in order to help Trump triumph in the heated presidential election.

Now it has been revealed that the Clinton campaign, working in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), funded research that ultimately resulted in the much ballyhooed “Russian dossier,” which was leaked to the mass media and has been used to promote the largely discredited notion that Trump has deep, compromising ties to Russia, and that the Russians interfered in the election.

Early last week, The Washington Post published a detailed report alleging that Marc E. Elias, a top lawyer for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained and financed a Washington-based company called Fusion GPS to conduct the research and amass the dossier. Elias used his law firm, Perkins Coie, to retain Fusion GPS and to pay for its research activities.

Elias and DNC officials all have lied, claiming that they did not know who paid for the dossier.

The funders were only discovered thanks to a lawsuit brought by a technology mogul who was smeared in the document. The billionaire had sued Fusion GPS along with a mainstream media outlet that posted the entire document to its website for everyone to read. In his suit, he gained access to Fusion GPS’s bank accounts and discovered who had paid for the research.

Prior to the Clinton campaign and DNC contracting Fusion GPS to conduct the research, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, contracted Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on then-candidate Trump and many of the other top GOP contenders at the time. Elias, working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC, eventually contracted Fusion GPS to engage in similar research, which was used to buttress Democrat talking points designed to discredit Trump by portraying him as a Russian puppet who was potentially being blackmailed by the Kremlin.IRS Loses Cases


Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official who has close ties to both the FBI and the broader U.S. intelligence community, to put together the dossier, which alleges, among other things, that Russia has been “cultivating, supporting, and assisting Trump for at least five years,” The Hill reports. The dossier, entitled, “U.S. presidential election: Republican candidate Donald Trump’s activities in Russia and compromising relationship with the Kremlin,” also alleges that Trump and his top aides “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin” about Mrs. Clinton.

In the dossier, Steele further contends that Trump has deep financial ties to Russia.

Additionally, a number of lewd allegations were made about Trump in the dossier, allegations which have been met with skepticism and doubt. Trump has denied all of the charges contained in the dossier, calling it a “fake dossier” that was “made up” by disingenuous and dishonest individuals seeking to tarnish his image and reputation in the minds of the American public.

Trump has regularly attacked and criticized allegations of “Russian meddling” in the election, and has denied having close, compromising ties to Russia, describing the allegations as a “hoax.”

“I have to say, the whole Russian thing is what it’s turned out to be,” Trump explained to reporters following reports demonstrating the “Russia dossier” report was financed and compiled largely at the behest of the Clinton campaign and DNC. “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.”

The dossier is a collection of 17 memos authored by Steele between June 20 and Dec. 13, 2016. In the memos, Steele cites conversations he had with unnamed Russian sources, many of whom he paid for their “information.”

Former FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump and former President Barack Obama on the dossier prior to the election. Comey described it as “salacious and unverified” in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Many of the claims made in the dossier have been debunked, and many others have not been verified and likely never will be.

Several DNC leaders and many former Clinton campaign officials have denied involvement or knowledge about the “Russian dossier” and Fusion GPS’s role in compiling it.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez and top DNC leaders “were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” a DNC spokeswoman recently told The Washington Post.

John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.

No Obstruction of Justice by Trump in Comey Testimony

Former FBI Director James Comey has provided his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, breathlessly awaited by the mainstream media, sure he would reveal some damning evidence of obstruction of justice by someone—anyone—in the Trump Administration. Not so. Now, perhaps we can at last collectively turn our attention to some of the myriad issues that warrant it.

By Robert Romano

Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was fired after it was revealed that he had not fully disclosed to then-Vice President-Elect Mike Pence the details of Flynn’s Dec. 29, 2016 conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The only reason it had even come up was because the fact that the conversation had occurred was illegally leaked, presumably by a government official with access to an intercept of the conversation. It was published by The Washington Post on Jan. 12.

Flynn briefed Pence on the conversation, who then appeared Jan. 15 on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and stated that Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed sanctions that were imposed on Russia.

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Next, the contents of the conversation were leaked, presumably by a government official, on Feb. 9, again to The Washington Post. According to that report, as it turned out, “National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office . . ..”

So, three things happened, if the reports are true: 1) Mike Flynn talked with Kislyak, 2) sanctions came up in the conversation, and 3) Flynn did not fully disclose the details of the conversation to Pence, who then appeared on television, mischaracterizing what had been discussed.

If that’s all there is and was, then no crime was committed by Flynn—not by talking to Kislyak, not by discussing foreign policy issues that were likely to come up during the Trump administration, including sanctions, and not when he allegedly failed to fully brief Pence, who was not yet vice president. None of those things are crimes.

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Four days later, on Feb. 13, Flynn resigned his position as National Security Advisor, the first victim of the surveillance state unmasking of American citizens from raw intelligence gathered by the outgoing Obama administration.

Again, the only reason it came up was because of the felony disclosure of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak to the Post on Jan. 12. Had that never happened, Flynn might still be National Security Advisor.

This is the context that must be understood as the nation now considers the pre-released testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, which states of his Feb. 14 meeting with President Donald Trump:

When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify. The President then made a long series of comments about the problem with leaks of classified information—a concern I shared and still share. After he had spoken for a few minutes about leaks, Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him. The President waved at him to close the door, saying he would be done shortly. The door closed. The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.”

This is of critical importance. Providing fuller context to President Trump’s comments to Comey on Feb. 14, he did not think Flynn had committed any crime by talking with the Russians or misleading Pence about whether sanctions were discussed.

So, if there was no criminal matter for the FBI to attend to pursuant to Flynn’s conversation, then there was nothing to investigate. Hoping that Comey would come to the same conclusion in the independent exercise of his own authority is not obstruction of justice, as Democrats are now alleging. It is simply an interpretation of the law—which Trump under the Constitution has the Article II power and duty to enforce.

Note how Trump was extremely concerned about the leaks of classified information. That is absolutely connected to the Flynn matter. Again, the only reason any of this happened was because Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak was illegally leaked to the Post. It’s the only true crime that was committed here.

The unmasking of Flynn was the crime Trump thought Comey ought to be investigating. It’s a fair point, and he had every right to point this out to Comey. The Russia witch hunt is out of control—and apparently everyone in the country knows it except for those leading the investigation.

As National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has noted, even if Trump had ordered Comey to end the investigation into Flynn, that would still not be obstruction: “[It] cannot be doubted that a president has constitutional authority to order the FBI to drop a criminal investigation.” Why?

For starters, neither the FBI nor the director is in the Constitution, McCarthy points out. The only executive officer stated in the Constitution is the president. “In theory, the president could carry out federal law-enforcement functions without an FBI director,” McCarthy notes.

In other words, in the exercise of his constitutional authority to enforce the law, the president has the same prosecutorial discretion lower level prosecutors have—including prioritizing which crimes ought to be investigated.

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Thus, even if a crime had been committed by Flynn—he hadn’t committed one, but let’s pretend he did—per McCarthy, “There are often good reasons for not pursuing a viable criminal case. Every day, throughout the country, the FBI forgoes various investigations and U.S. attorneys decline prosecutions.”

That is true. For example, it was Comey who, exercising his discretion, did not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton to the Justice Department. Perhaps he just thought prosecuting the Democratic Party nominee for president would have torn the country in half. There was plenty of evidence she had broken the law by keeping classified information on her private server. Alas, he concluded no criminal statute had been broken.

As did then-President Barack Obama, opining on television on April 10, 2016—while the FBI’s criminal investigation into Clinton was still ongoing—that, “Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy . . . She has not jeopardized national security. Now, what I’ve also said is that she’s acknowledged that there’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned and she recognizes.”

Later, when Comey let Clinton off the hook on July 5, he used the same words, that Clinton had been “extremely careless.”

Per National Review’s McCarthy, again, “A cynic might say that Obama had clearly signaled to the FBI and the Justice Department that he did not want Mrs. Clinton to be charged with a crime, and that, with this not-so-subtle pressure in the air, the president’s subordinates dropped the case — exactly what Obama wanted, relying precisely on Obama’s stated rationale.”

Still, nobody at the time suggested Obama had obstructed justice by appearing on national television and giving his opinion about whether Clinton had committed any crime. Obama took pains to say: “I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and have always maintained it.” Yet he apparently was not worried that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch or then-FBI Director Comey might have been watching television at the time when he discussed the investigation into Clinton.

Not that it mattered all that much. Obama had every right, both as a First Amendment matter and an Article II matter, to offer his own interpretation that Clinton had not endangered national security or committed a crime by keeping classified information on her private server.

Just as Trump had every right to offer his interpretation that Flynn had not committed any crime by talking to Kislyak.

Love prosecutorial discretion or hate it—I’m personally not a fan but I recognized at the time that was why Clinton got off—that is the system of justice in which we live.

Indeed, if the President was concerned that Flynn’s troubles would not end with his firing—even though he committed no crime—he could pardon him if he wanted to prevent a severe miscarriage of justice, and it would be no crime. For, if Trump could pardon Flynn under Article II then he could audibly hope that Comey might save him the trouble. Many might disagree about such a political decision, and yet it is undeniable that the president could do so under his constitutional authority.

Which, perhaps, is the real problem here, where the president’s enemies still have not accepted the fact that he won the 2016 election—and so seek to deny him the legitimacy to execute the constitutional powers of his office. That is why, like the Flynn matter, Comey’s testimony is largely a distraction from the real issues facing the country.

Now that it is over, can we finally get back to work?

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

Five Things to Remember For Comey’s Testimony Tomorrow

Here, American Free Press provides a bit of comprehensive background, not commonly offered by the mainstream media, to remind readers of some of the events that have led up to the present state of affairs, in order to be able to put in context tomorrow’s highly anticipated testimony of former FBI Director James Comey on the “Russian election hacking scandal.” 

By AFP Staff

James Comey, the FBI director who was fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, is scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, June 8, before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The mainstream media has been promoting Comey’s appearance before the Republican-led committee, hoping that what he will drop bombshells concerning allegations that Russia had hacked U.S. voting systems before last year’s presidential election in an effort to help Trump and undermine Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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Here are five things that everyone should know before Comey speaks tomorrow.

  1. While the Senate Intelligence Committee is run by Republicans, it is hardly friendly to Trump. Establishment Republicans have never been friendly to Trump, because, while campaigning, Trump was able to tap into anger among rank-and-file Republicans and humiliated Beltway insiders, including many neoconservative Republicans. This was demonstrated during the May 7 Senate Intelligence hearing, when Republican and Democrat senators grilled top intelligence figures not over the U.S. war on terror or the recent terror attacks in Europe; rather, they repeatedly pressed the officials over unfounded charges of Russian hacking and interference in U.S. elections.
  2. Despite the nearly constant reporting on allegations of Russian hacking and interference in the recent presidential election, neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to provide any evidence to support their claims. Americans are asked to simply “trust” them that somewhere, out there in Washington, some anonymous intelligence official has something damning on Trump and his associates.
  3. Comey was already on his way out when Trump fired him on May 9. Before Comey became the darling of the Washington press corps and the Democrats, he was hated by the liberal establishment for spilling the beans on Hillary Clinton and her illegal activities. In his now-infamous statement on July 5, 2016, Comey said Mrs. Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” and irresponsible with secret emails, but that “we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.. . . ” On June 8, the media expects Comey will provide key revelations and advance the calls for impeaching Trump, something that the establishment in Washington has wanted since Trump took office on Jan. 20.
  4. Early reports indicate that Comey will admit that Trump asked him to let the investigation of Trump’s former national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, go. In February 2017, Flynn resigned following news reports that Flynn had not told White House officials about a phone conversation he’d had with the Russian ambassador. The National Security Agency had reportedly eavesdropped on that conversation, and Flynn’s name was outed to Obama administration officials. Flynn’s name was then leaked to the press by someone inside the intelligence community. Flynn has so far complied with subpoenas from House and Senate investigators. On June 6, he turned over 600 pages of documents related to his business dealings. However, it’s worth noting that, even after months of investigation, Flynn has still not been accused of—let alone been indicted for—committing any crimes.
  5. Finally, it’s worth remembering that the whole Russia-Trump investigation led by Comey started thanks to the now-discredited opposition research document penned by former British spy Christopher Steele, which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turned over to the FBI. This is the research document that alleged Trump and his associates repeatedly met with Russian agents during the presidential campaign and that the Russians had incriminating intelligence on Trump that they could use to blackmail him. The FBI reportedly wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars investigating the spurious claims in the dossier, only to dismiss it. Since then there have been multiple lawsuits filed by people named in the document against news organizations that promoted it.