The government is still partially shutdown with some Federal employees missing their first paychecks, and no deal reached between House Democrats, and Senate Republicans on re-opening the government is expected this weekend as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) adjourned the Senate on Friday, and returned home to Kentucky.
In the midst of the shutdown, The New York Times published a detailed article that explained according to “former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation,” that in the days after President Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, law enforcement officials “became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.”
The article explains this inquiry had counterintelligence investigators considering whether the President’s “own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
According to the New York Times article the investigations had two elements one of which is criminal, in President Trump’s case, the criminal aspect is whether or not he committed obstruction of justice when he fired Comey, this criminal aspect of the investigation has long been publicly known. The other aspect was the counterintelligence investigation. As the Times article points out, a counterintelligence inquiry rarely leads to arrests as they are mainly, “fact-finding missions to understand what a foreign power is doing and to stop any anti-American activity, like thefts of United States government secrets or covert efforts to influence policy. In most cases, the investigations are carried out quietly, sometimes for years.”
According to the Times piece, “agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.”
In light of the report by the “Failing New York Times,” President Trump has taken to Twitter Saturday morning to defend himself against the “witch hunt.”
1. Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI…opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!…
From the New York Times Article: The president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
One: President Trump gave an interview to NBC News’ Lester Holt, in which President Trump explains his decision to fire Comey:
Two: According to The New York Times in September of 2017, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, obtained a draft of a letter written by President Trump and top-aide Stephen Miller that was intended to be sent to Comey.
According to the 2017 article this drafted letter contained an “unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.”
The release of the letter was blocked by then-White House Counsel Don McGahn.
The article points out they did not see the contents of the letter that was not sent to Comey.
2. Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike…
3. My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop……
4. Just Watch!
The New York Times has a list of those charged so far as result of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation. Mueller was appointed in May of 2017, to investigate whether members of Trump’s campaign members conspired with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 Presidential election.
According to their list, the Mueller investigation has netted 100 criminal counts against a dozen people and three companies.
Those with ties to the Trump Campaign:
- Michael Flynn: National Security adviser. Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about conversations with Russian Ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.
- Rick Gates: Trump campaign adviser. Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and financial fraud.
- George Papadopulous: Trump campaign foreign adviser. Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about conversations he had with people he believed were working for the Russians.
- Michael Cohen: President Trump’s onetime personal lawyer and self-proclaimed “fixer.” Pleaded guilty to lying to Congress over contact with the Russian government regarding building a Trump Tower in Moscow, called The Moscow Project.
- Paul Manafort: President Trump’s campaign manager, convicted of Financial crimes. Pleaded guilty to lying, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, to witness tampering. Accidentally revealed through court documents he shared internal poll numbers with Russian National who the U.S. government believes has ties to Russian intelligence.
There are many more that have been charged due to Mueller’s investigation, the men listed are those with close ties to President Trump and his presidential campaign.
5. I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President.
For what it’s worth:
The Treasury Department announced their intention of lifting U.S. Sanctions against an aluminum company owned by Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Derpiaska. As the News Blender reported in December, Derpiaska is expected to give up “majority ownership” and will remain as an individual remain on the Russian sanctions list.
During his joint presser conference with President Vladimir Putin, President failed to hold Russian accountable for what the U.S. Government believes was Russia election interference in 2016.
This is not true. Trump stood next to Putin at a press conference and was asked if he holds Russia accountable for ANYTHING.— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) January 12, 2019
Trump didn’t name a single specific thing he holds Russia or Putin accountable for, then went on to attack the Russia probe and talk about his 2016 win. pic.twitter.com/lInpGR6Biz
At that same joint presser, President Trump was asked who he believed, U.S. Intelligence agency who has stated that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election clearly favoring then candidate Trump over Hillary Clinton, or Putin as the News Blender reported in summer of 2018, President Trump in part said, “I will say this I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server [The DNC Server that was hacked in 2016].
The full quote: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the democratic national committee. I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server. I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying. With that being said, all I can do is ask the question, people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin he just said its not Russia. I will say this I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server, but I have, but I have confidence in both parties. I really believe this will probably go one for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistan gentleman, that worked on the DNC, where are the servers. There missing, where are they. What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails, 33, 000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace, that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails…
6. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!
In The New York Times article that was published Friday, it explains that prior to the concern felt by the FBI over President Trump’s connection with Russia, they were already investigating four of President Trump’s associates over their ties to Russia. Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, in her behind door testimony with Congress, she explained, “In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself, you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability, America’s ability and the West’s ability to spread our democratic ideals.”
The testimony first reported by The Epoch Times, was, according to the article reviewed by the New York Times.
The article goes on to say that Page added, “That’s the goal, to make us less of a moral authority to spread democratic values.”
FBI lawyer Lisa Page and now former counterintelligence Special Agent for the FBI Peter Strzok, had a personal relationship exchanging thousands of texts messages on government issued phones.
This exchange led to Strzok’s removal from the Mueller investigation, Page according to her, left of her own accord, prior to the revelation of the personal texts that appeared to show political bias between the FBI and their investigation into President Trump and the Russia election interference. However, the Inspector General for the Department of Justice and FBI, issued a report, that concluded no political bias was found, though it does explain the text exchanges showed poor judgement having been sent over government issued phones.
The “insurance policy” that President Trump is referring to in the tweet, is explained in the IG report page 433 of the PDF but page 404 of the actual report:
August 15, 2016: In a text message exchange on August 15, 2016, Strzok told Page, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office—that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40….”
President Trump shifts from the Russian Investigation and The New York Times article to focus once again on the government shutdown, that has reached the longest in U.S. History.
The impasse between House Democrats, Senate Democrats, the President, House Republicans and Senate Republicans, is over $5.7 billion that President Trump want’s to build a Southern Border Wall.
7. I am in the White House waiting for you!…
8. Democrats come back!…
9. Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes! Call your Dem Senator or Congresswoman/man…
10. “chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan.”
11. Elections have consequences!
12. We will be out for a long time unless Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!
13. In this tweet President Trump offered no words, it’s just a video of his visit to the Southern Border.
I’m not going to waste a lot of words on his tweets over the government shutdown. Simply because we’ve already covered this topic, for weeks now, and from December 11th, when President Trump famously said he’d be proud to “own” the shutdown, he has done nothing but rage tweet over how it’s the Democrats fault we are here.
Now in all my objectivity I can agree the Democrats aren’t all that and a bag of chips, however, the Democrats are just barely the new majority in the House, having been sworn in on January 3rd, this was after the shutdown started, where the Republicans held the majority in all 3 branches of government for 2 years, under President Trump, and failed to fund the wall. They have funded the Secure Fence Act, which rebuilds and builds new portions of the wall, they however, granted no funding to build Trump’s wall on the Southern Border.
Currently the Republicans still hold the Majority in the Senate it was Leader McConnell that adjourned the Senate on Friday to return home to Kentucky, it is Leader McConnell who is all but silent while 800,000 federal employees go without pay, while working, and another 350,000 who aren’t getting paid, while the government leaders, in fact aren’t going without.
For what it’s worth the House Democrats have passed several funding bills that would re-open the government, Leader McConnell has not brought them to the Senate for a vote. President Trump has said he’d veto any such bill if the Border Wall was not funded.
I’m just going to leave these here: