Trump Investigation: Part II

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed in 2017 he had “factual evidence” that proved collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. (That evidence has never appeared)

Then Sunday, March 10, 2019, on CBS Schiff claimed “There is ‘direct evidence’ of Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. He stated it this way:

“I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there are overt acts and furtherance of that,” he added. “That to me is direct evidence,” Schiff said. “But there’s also abundant circumstantial evidence.”

And then there’s Senator Mark Warner from that same Committee:

Given “the litany of what we know,” Warner said, “the ongoing negotiations about Trump Tower, well into the campaign, I believe the fact that Mr. Trump knew about the dump of the Wikileaks material, the fact that clearly the meeting at Trump Tower which was not described appropriately, in terms of offering dirt are examples. To me, that’s all evidence,” he said. “There’s no one that could factually say there’s not plenty of evidence of collaboration or communications between Trump Organization and Russians.”

I’m a simple American. But even in my small, trite world, when someone feels that something is illegal, you go get facts. Democrats did that: They saw to the appointment of an Independent Special Counsel — Robert Mueller. Special Counsel Mueller is 2 years and a reported $25 million into extensive investigations based on exactly what Schiff and Warner “claim” is “evidence.”

Definition of evidence: an outward sign; indication; something that furnishes proof — testimony; specifically; something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter.

Two years and $25 million — WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The Mueller Probe has been going strong for two years. “Anonymous sources” (there they are again) say that probe is wrapping up and to expect the report from Mueller on his investigation of the Trump Gang any day now. With the “leaks environment” in Washington, conventional wisdom maintains that because there have been no reports of pending charges against the President or anyone in the Campaign regarding Russian collusion, there will be no smoking gun in the Mueller report. Finally: we’re getting through with investigations and now we can just get on with governing!

Of course, that’s not so. Congressman Schiff and fellow Democrats apparently are simply going to ditch Mueller’s findings, even though we don’t officially know they will even exonerate the President. But they simply cannot let sleeping dogs lie. That’s how we are now on the front-porch of Part II of the Trump Investigation. They’re never going to give up. Democrats are convinced there’s something in the Trump camp that is going to kick Donald Trump out of the White House.

And Adam Schiff shows up one more time with “news:”

“Within our committee, we certainly have a compelling interest in making sure that U.S. policy … is not driven by leverage that the Russians have over the president,” Schiff said. “There have been credible allegations that the Russians may have laundered money through the Trump organization, and if that’s the case, then we need to be able to look into it and be able to tell the country, ‘Yes, this is true,’ or ‘No, this is not.’ But I think it would be negligent not to find out.”

“It’s going to be important for Congress to ensure that U.S. foreign policy is being driven by U.S. national interests and not by Trump family finances,” Schiff said, in reference to the president’s business ties to Saudi Arabia and his pro-Saudi policies, such as backing the kingdom in its confrontation with neighboring Qatar. “The president has not truly divested his family’s interests or been the least bit transparent about it,” the congressman said, and lawmakers need to “make sure we’re protecting the country.”

Americans knew full well that with Democrats in the 2018 midterm taking control of the House of Representatives, investigations regardless of Mueller’s findings would definitely be the Democrat Party agenda for the next two years. And that certainly appears to be true. But there are a few things that may throw a wrench into Democrats’ plans.

Department of Justice Investigations

While the Democrat parade is ramping up, the Department of Justice continues its behind-the-scenes investigations of which very little is known. Many remember the comment former AG Jeff Sessions made to Congressman Goodlatte about the AG’s instructions to restart the investigation into the Uranium One transaction AND Hillary Clinton. Months later when asked about that investigation, a DOJ official stated there was NO such letter or authorization by Sessions to do so.

After it claimed no such document existed, the Justice Department just unearthed a letter Matt Whitaker (when Session’s chief of staff) delivered to the Utah U.S. attorney directing a review of how the department handled the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One issues.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the letter on Nov. 22, 2017, for Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber. Matt Whitaker emailed the letter to Huber that day, writing, “As we discussed.” He also sent Huber a copy of a letter the Justice Department’s Congressional affairs chief sent to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 13 of that year.

The existence of a letter documenting Sessions’ directive that the DOJ revisit probes of Trump’s top political foe is a surprise because a department lawyer said in court last year that senior officials insisted it didn’t exist. The liberal nonprofit American Oversight obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed on Nov. 22, 2017––the same day Whitaker emailed Sessions’ letter to Huber.

The request asked for documentation of the directions Sessions gave Huber about the review of the Clinton investigations. After DOJ failed to produce any written directions, American Oversight sued.

And on Nov. 16, 2018, Senior Counsel in the Office of Information Policy Vanessa Brinkmann, who handles FOIA Requests, said a lawyer in Sessions’ office told her no such letter existed. That lawyer spoke with Huber and Whitaker, she said in a declaration filed in federal court, and then told her that “when the Attorney General directed Mr. Huber to evaluate these matters, no written guidance or directives were issued to Mr. Huber in connection with this directive, either by the Attorney General, or by other senior leadership office staff.”

That wasn’t correct. On Wednesday of last week (March 6, 2019), a DOJ lawyer told American Oversight that they had found the document that kicked off Huber’s work.

The letter is consistent with what the DOJ’s chief of legislative affairs has told Congress: that Huber is scrutinizing the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company with interests in the United States to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. Republicans have long alleged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to oppose the deal because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

The DOJ hasn’t brought any charges related to the foundation or the transaction. Some Hill Republicans and conservative media commentators have long argued this is because the Department hasn’t sufficiently investigated it. They have called for the appointment of a special counsel to scrutinize the transaction. Sessions didn’t bite.

Some Republicans say Huber’s work is too little, too late. Democrats, to no one’s surprise, argue it’s evidence of the Trump administration weaponizing law enforcement to target its political rivals.

Is Something Besides Mueller’s Report Imminent?

Hardly any of the media are talking about the publicly available list of 82,000 sealed federal indictments that have all been issued since the week after the instructions to Utah Federal Attorney Huber to reopen Clinton and Uranium One investigations. Every federal district court in the United States has issued several of those sealed indictments. The feds AND the media are strangely quiet about even speculating on the nature of those indictments.

What’s staggering about that is their number. For the previous decade, the total average number of sealed federal indictments issued by all federal district courts combined is 1077 — that’s for each year. These have all been created since October of 2017 — about 16 months.

Speculations of novices and political pundits are that at least some of those indictments are for those involved in human and sex trafficking. Another speculation exists that some may be for some current and past elected and appointed federal officials caught-up in various kinds of wrongdoing. No matter who or what they are for, when the veil of secrecy is pulled back there certainly will be some surprises, especially if any have to do with members of the Trump Administration, Hillary Clinton or her former staff, and even of those from the Obama Administration.

Subpoenas of 81 Trump Associates

House Judiciary Committee Chairmen Jerold Nadler (D-NY) announcing the committee’s subpoena of 81 Trump associates was no surprise. His explanation for doing so simply plays into the Congressional Democrat plan to go after the President.

Nadler has made numerous claims that he “knows” Trump colluded with Russia and/or has obstructed justice:

”It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” Nadler told ABC News on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

“It’s very clear,” he explained, “1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt, he tried to have Mueller fired — he tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired Comey in order to stop the Russian thing, as he told NBC News. He — he’s dangled pardons — he’s threat(end) — he’s intimidated, witnesses, in public.”

But Nadler, his committee, and other Democrats may face an obstacle they did not expect in their serving subpoenas wholesale to the host of Trump associates they plan to intimidate into relaying something incriminating about the President. Doing so may be illegal: The attempted harassment of President Trump (as it appears to be too many), especially after two years of the Mueller probe, may be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a case that has direct implications for what Democrats are doing right now.

Watkins v. the United States

John Thomas Watkins, a labor union official from Rock Island, Illinois, was convicted of contempt of Congress, a misdemeanor under 2 U.S.C. § 192, for failing to answer questions posed by members of Congress during a hearing held by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities on April 29, 1954. Watkins was asked to name people he knew to be members of the Communist Party. Watkins told the subcommittee that he did not wish to answer such questions and that they were outside the scope of the subjects on which he was summoned to testify and of the committee’s jurisdiction. He said:

“I am not going to plead the fifth amendment, but I refuse to answer certain questions that I believe are outside the proper scope of your committee’s activities. I will answer any questions which this committee puts to me about myself. I will also answer questions about those persons whom I knew to be members of the Communist Party and whom I believe still are. I will not, however, answer any questions with respect to others with whom I associated in the past. I do not believe that any law in this country requires me to testify about persons who may in the past have been Communist Party members or otherwise engaged in Communist Party activity but who to my best knowledge and belief have long since removed themselves from the Communist movement.

I do not believe that such questions are relevant to the work of this committee nor do I believe that this committee has the right to undertake the public exposure of persons because of their past activities. I may be wrong, and the committee may have this power, but until and unless a court of law so holds and directs me to answer, I most firmly refuse to discuss the political activities of my past associates.”

His conviction carried a fine of $100 and a one-year suspended prison sentence. Watkins first won a 3–2 decision on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia but then lost, 6–2, when that court heard the case en banc. The Supreme Court heard arguments on March 7, 1957, and announced its decision on June 17, 1957.

The Supreme Court decided 6–1 to overturn Watkins’ conviction. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the majority. Warren noted that it is an offense for a witness to refuse to answer any question “pertinent to the question under inquiry” in testifying before a Congressional committee, but he wrote that the Court was unable to ascertain the nature of the Congressional inquiry with reasonable precision:

There are several sources that can outline the “question under inquiry” in such a way that the rules against vagueness are satisfied. The authorizing resolution, the remarks of the chairman or members of the committee, or even the nature of the proceedings themselves, might sometimes make the topic clear. This case demonstrates, however, that these sources often leave the matter in grave doubt.

The New York Times commented: “The Supreme Court has placed fundamental restrictions on a Congressional investigatory power that in recent years has been asserted as all but limitless.”

Senators James Eastland and William E. Jenner, who played principal roles in investigating left-wing activities, issued a statement accusing the Court of contributing to “the trend of the past year of undermining our existent barriers against Communist subversion.”

One can easily make a case that current House Democrats and their various committees that have started burying the White House with new investigations of these old allegations against the President are committing the same acts that resulted in the Watkins conviction being overturned by SCOTUS.

How would that Court finding apply to what’s underway now in D.C.? The exact same thing: “The Court was unable to ascertain the nature of the Congressional inquiry with reasonable precision.”

The difference now is that (as many have maintained since the inception of the Mueller probe) in normal investigations, the investigation begins because of specific wrongdoing and is to find the evidence sufficient to prove who is guilty of wrongdoing. This Congressional witchhunt is based on wrongdoing that hasn’t been proven to even exist!

Summary

Congressional Democrats are afraid. The leadership of the Democrat Party is afraid. What can they possibly be afraid of?

  • Not only the contents of the 82,000 sealed federal indictments but the results of the prosecution of those federal indictments as they are unsealed and executed;
  • President Trump really may NOT be guilty of anything sufficient to run him out of office one way or the other;
  • Extreme wrongdoing — both criminal and simply reprehensible — on their part may be exposed;
  • All of the above may result in their loss of political might and standing and even expulsion from their positions and status;
  • The Democrat Party totally imploding;
  • President Trump’s agenda actually succeeding.

I know there’s a lot in this discussion for us to chew on. It has become extremely difficult to get a fix on what is truthful and what is not, what is applicable to the President, members of Congress, and those from the Department of Justice. But there’s a worn out adage that I believe is appropriate here: “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I think it’s safe to say that so far in the exhaustive investigation of this president, his staff, family members, and even his friends, there may not even be smoke. To borrow a phrase from the President, this could all simply be more “Fake News.”

Whether you are a Democrat, a Socialist, a RINO, a Trump supporter, it is probably accurate to say you want this resolved. There may be an argument on the actual resolution you desire, getting this all done and getting the U.S. on the road to what’s ahead without further distractions is really all that matters. But it certainly is time to get this out of the way.

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