Graham Asks Mueller To Testify Before Senate After WaPo Editorial Slamming Stone Commutation

Graham Asks Mueller To Testify Before Senate After WaPo Editorial Slamming Stone Commutation

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 22:30

From the minute President Trump handed down his commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence Friday just days before the longtime Trump ally was set to go to prison, it was only a matter of time before the now-retired Robert Mueller, the infamously reticent former special prosecutor, weighed in to assure the world that Trump is once again ‘abusing’ the powers of his office, and thereby threatening the democratic controls and values at the very core of our system. Prosecutors who worked on Mueller’s team have been popping up in the press more frequently. One even testified to Congress about DoJ interference and alleged political pressure in the Stone case.

The former FBI chief broke his silence last night, when the Washington Post published a Mueller-penned op-ed hitting all the expected notes. Reminding the public – well, more like implying – that Stone knows all the secrets of the Russia-Wikileaks-Trump connection. The DNC hack, Hillary’s missing emails, all those twitter bots – all of these victories surely helped sway voters in Trump’s favor, Mueller argues.

And without Russia’s tacit support, Mueller argues, they would never have happened. But was Stone really so integral to these operations? His reputation as a fabricator and an exaggerator were well covered during the case.

We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.

Uncovering and tracing Russian outreach and interference activities was a complex task. The investigation to understand these activities took two years and substantial effort. Based on our work, eight individuals pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, and more than two dozen Russian individuals and entities, including senior Russian intelligence officers, were charged with federal crimes.

Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.

Stone was found guilty by a jury back in November of all seven charges that he faced. He was charged with lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction. At the time, the press reported that Stone could face up to 50 years in prison. He was eventually sentenced to between 3 and four years after being convicted on all 7 counts he faced, including the witness tampering charge, which carried a maximum penalty of 20 years, while the maximum for each of the other six charges is five years. Stones convictions will stand, and he will remain a felon.

Mueller also insisted he made every decision based “solely on the facts”, though we wonder how tipping off CNN to the military-style raid that brought Stone into federal custody relates to Mueller’s “by the book” credo.

Russian efforts to interfere in our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) to obtain full and accurate information. Likewise, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. It may ultimately impede those efforts.

We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.

Unsurprisingly, Mueller’s latest communique (expect the WaPo op-ed, like the Mueller report before it, to be transformed into its own book – then who knows? Maybe a maybe motion picture based on the limited communications of Robert Swan Mueller III?) triggered a wave of hand-wringing in Washington, including among some Republicans, who have groused about Trump’s decision to intercede on behalf of his one-time advisor (and, reportedly, friend). Despite being a firm Trump backer and friend, Graham has made noises about joining with Democrats and granting permission to bring Mueller in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee (nearly a year ago, Mueller participated in a marathon series of hearings before the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary).

Most Republicans have generally opposed another round of Mueller testimony, But Graham is facing a competitive election bid, and grandstanding on this topic allows him to both feign bipartisan cooperation while upping the pressure for a Congressional investigation into the origins of the ‘Witch Hunt’ which would presumably target Mueller, Comey and the rest of the FBI/DoJ leadership who were caught up in it.

Graham delivered the statement in a series of tweets.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation.

That request will be granted.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 12, 2020

Of course, most observers agree that they would be shocked if Mueller accepted. Though, perhaps with Mueller’s input, Graham will finally be able to cobble together those ‘witch hunt’ subpoenas he’s been promising.’

Or maybe not – but either way, we suspect the issue will stay ‘open’ until at least Nov. 4.

American Collusion: Weaponizing Media, Big-Tech, & Government

American Collusion: Weaponizing Media, Big-Tech, & Government

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 22:00

Authored by James Grundvig via WND.com,

The planners quickly deployed the “insurance policy” after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election in 2016. Like an annuity, the payments to the policyholders would be small and steady at first, then lead, they hoped, to a much bigger payoff: the removal of President Trump from office.

At least that was the plan. Three and a half years later, the big day never arrived.

From the unsubstantiated Steele dossier, the discredited Russiagate investigation, to the FISA court abuses, the potholed-strewn road to impeachment circled back to the Mueller Report, which was supposed to clinch the deal. Without a smoking gun on the president, the Mueller team reached and then overreached, picking off a few Trump confidants, in an attempt to tighten the noose. The results were half-baked. That’s usually what the FBI perjury trap produces. Plea deals; no evidence of collusion.

Sure, Robert Mueller collected a few big scalps in Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But now that Flynn’s indictment unraveled, the insurance claim has turned into a liability for the policyholders. Trump is still president. And now the investigation into collusion has moved in the other direction focusing on the planners of the insurance policy.

Going largely unnoticed, the Trump campaign turned social media into a clear advantage in 2016. Twitter emerged as the platform of choice, empowering Trump to communicate directly to the American people without filter, media biased, or interpretation, and with greater reach than all the network news outlets combined.

In late October 2016, Jason Sullivan – then chief Twitter strategist for Roger Stone, used a data-mining tool he created, Power10, to peer into the public sentiment of the election. Outgunning the antiquated polling surveys that got it so wrong, Sullivan witnessed candidate Hilary Clinton catch up to Trump two weeks before the election in real time. He then saw, a few days later, how FBI Director James Comey gave Clinton a temporary boost that helped her overtake Trump when he announced the bureau would reopen the investigation into her email scandal.

Since that time, Jason Sullivan hasn’t told his story about what happened behind the scenes leading to the biggest presidential upset election in more than a century. He wasn’t able to. That’s because the FBI swept Sullivan up in a dawn raid in early 2018, after intimidating other members of his family. The FBI hauled him off to testify under oath of perjury before the Mueller team.

Surviving the FBI interrogation, Jason Sullivan retreated from the social media spotlight. That was until this June when he saw the establishment’s coordinated effort to tilt the 2020 election against President Trump, again.

The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns gave blue states cover for an all mail-in paper election. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa protests, looting and riots further shut down cities across the United States. Some posed the theory that funds donated to BLM flow through ActBlue, another political front company, and into the DNC.

The biggest lever in tilting the election this year, however, emerges with the collusion between the mainstream media and the tech giants as de facto gatekeepers of information. They wield tremendous power to determine what can and cannot be said, seen, shared and posted. They include Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube, among others.

All this boils down to one objective: Censorship.

Surviving the Mueller interrogation, Sullivan developed a strong opinion on both censorship and what transpired during the last presidential election.

On November 8th, 2016, all the laws of gravity were completely defied, and the legitimacy of every last one of the traditional political polls were utterly destroyed and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be completely inaccurate in what went down as the single biggest political upset in modern-day history,” Sullivan said.

“The DNC, Hilary Clinton, the Obama administration, all the Democrats, all the leading newspapers and publications, the establishment Republicans and the RINOs were ALL completely caught flat-footed! If any one of the traditional polls were remotely accurate, candidate Trump did not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the presidential election.”

Sullivan concluded his first salvo, stating, “There is no one today who will argue that Donald Trump won the presidency because of social media … not even President Trump. But social media is what allowed candidate Donald Trump to completely circumvent the mainstream media and get his message out directly to the people.”

On Twitter shadow-banning, Sullivan observed the “systemized censorship that if Twitter staff members didn’t like a user’s tweet, they would zap the user’s account, for a period of time. Meaning, everything the user would post would not show up on any of his followers news feeds. It’s like getting hit with a digital stun gun.”

Another deceptive tool Twitter deploys includes “removing the user’s Twitter handle from its search function,” Sullivan explained. “The search wouldn’t show up or populate in the results of the Twitter search bar. In short, the Twitter handle would not be found by anyone attempting to visit the account.”

Today, Twitter has been warning (President Trump twice), suspending (Candace Owens) and deleting accounts at a pace that’s picking up speed. Maybe this is due to Twitter’s fluid policies on “hate speech” and other rules that provide gray area to surgically remove some content, while allow other more insidious content to remain.

At the Sept. 5, 2018, U.S. congressional testimony, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey claimed, in his opening statement: “Twitter is used as a global town square, where people from around the world come together in an open and free exchange of ideas.”

Nice digital utopian vision. What if the “town square” is closed off to some, with groups of other voices silenced? Then Twitter no longer is a forum for the “free exchange of ideas,” but a gatekeeper with clear editorial controls.

What’s interesting is Sullivan knows that Jack Dorsey and Twitter are censoring more people today than ever before. And he can prove it.

Stifling Free Speech

What worries Sullivan are the other candidates in this election cycle. “Think about it,” he said. “Twitter is and has been systematically shadow-banning federal level senatorial and congressional candidates across the country? Twitter could prevent them from campaigning effectively by muting their voices from reaching potential voters.”

Jason Sullivan isn’t alone in his concern or his quest to expose the censorship being carried out by social media platforms. Bill Binney, the former NSA technical director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, has joined Sullivan in setting out to reestablish a level playing field for all candidates.

Twice, Binney submitted sworn affidavits to the court where the Mueller team tried Gen. Flynn and Roger Stone. In both cases, “The judge wouldn’t allow my testimony in court,” Binney wrote in an email.

On Russiagate, Binney stated the three things that bother him about the “insurance policy”:

A. “The lack of IC agencies (like NSA, CIA, FBI) looking at forensics of WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 data, or even stating what they had or did not have in their collection.”

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B. “Mueller, Rosenstein, the House and Senate committees’ failure to listen to our VIPS testimony.”

C. “The refusal of judges in the Flynn and Stone cases to allow our Russiagate testimony in court.”

Binney added that the reason why mainstream media and their proxies continue to push Russiagate in July 2020, despite it being exposed, “would require them to admit that they have been pushing an outright fraud for three years. That’s too big a crow for them to eat.”

The insurance policy started as “a diversion to make it look like the Russians interfered and to set the basis to justify the Democratic effort to impeach President Trump,” Binney added. “This effort and follow-on ones have failed as they too were obvious manufactured frauds.”

Binney explained the CIA’s software tool HammerDrill. “My understanding is that it uses NSA and other collection equipment to capture data plus some hacking tools to exfiltrate data.” In the case of domestic spying, “HammerDrill was used to keep the rest of government not knowing what the CIA and John Brennan were doing. If they used the NSA data, they would have been recorded; same for FBI.”

Jason Sullivan recalled, “President Trump has been wise to the censorship since it began. We know, because we have personally been feeding evidence to the people instrumental to the Trump administration ever since he won the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July 2016.”

On what Twitter is currently doing, Sullivan won’t discuss the more advanced shadow-banning practices and methodologies, “because there is an ongoing investigation by this administration, by We the People, by reporters and investigators at-large, and by an army digital soldiers,” he said. “But I will say, we are hot onto social media’s misdeeds and nefarious practices, for which the president is keen. POTUS has recently set the stage by his latest executive order on ‘Preventing Online Censorship.'”

Bill Binney has summed up the past three years in a fractious America, stating, “Sad to say, but this is the most serious attack on our Republic since the Civil War.”

Jason Sullivan agrees with Binney. Together they make a formidable team to challenge Twitter and the other digital gatekeepers in the free flow of ideas.

‘People Are Going To Be Shocked’: Bannon Claims Wuhan Lab Employees Have Defected, Are Working With FBI

‘People Are Going To Be Shocked’: Bannon Claims Wuhan Lab Employees Have Defected, Are Working With FBI

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 21:30

One day after a report that a respected Chinese virologist fled Hong Kong to accuse Beijing of a COVID cover-up, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told the Daily Mail that scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other labs have defected to the West and are “turning over evidence” against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed over 560,000 lives worldwide since last December.

People are going to be shocked,” Bannon told the  Mail (“from a yacht off the East coast of America,” the Mail would like us to know).

The 66-year-old then said that defectors are cooperating with intelligence agencies in America, Europe and the UK, which have been assembling evidence to challenge the CCP claim that the pandemic originated in a wet market – not in a lab home to scientists who have come under fire for manipulating bat coronavirus to be more transmissible to humans.

“I think that they [spy agencies] have electronic intelligence, and that they have done a full inventory of who has provided access to that lab. I think they have very compelling evidence. And there have also been defectors,” he said. “People around these labs have been leaving China and Hong Kong since mid-February. [US intelligence] along with MI5 and MI6 are trying to build a very thorough legal case, which may take a long time. It’s not like James Bond.”

Mr Bannon even suggested that the French government, which helped to build the institute, had left behind monitoring systems after Beijing shut them out of the project before it opened in 2017. –Daily Mail

The thing was built with French help, so don’t think that there aren’t some monitoring devices in there. I think what you are going to find out is that these guys were doing experiments which they weren’t fully authorized [for] or knew what they were doing and that somehow, either through an inadvertent mistake, or on a lab technician, one of these things got out,” Bannon continued. “It’s not that hard for these viruses to get out. That is why these labs are so dangerous.”

“You essentially had a biological Chernobyl in Wuhan, but the center of gravity, the Ground Zero, was around the Wuhan lab, in terms of the casualty rates. And like Chernobyl, you also had the cover-up – the state apparatus reports to itself and just protects itself.”

Mr Bannon, who has close links to Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire, told this newspaper: ‘Regardless of whether it came out of the market or the Wuhan lab, the Chinese Communist party’s subsequent decisions hold them guilty of pre-meditated murder.

‘We know this because Taiwan formally informed the WHO on December 31 that there was some sort of epidemic coming out of Hubei province [where Wuhan is]. The CDC in Beijing was informed on January 2 or 3, and they decided to withhold that information and then sign a trade deal [with the US on January 15].

If they had been straightforward and truthful in the last week of December, 95 per cent of the lives lost and the economic carnage would have been contained. –Daily Mail

Bannon continues:

“That is the tragedy here. They used the time to scoop up all the world’s personal protective equipment. This is a murderous dictatorship. The blood is [also] on the hands of the world’s corporations – the investment banks, the hedge funds and the pension funds – and it is time to start calling it out before it leads to the destruction of the West,” Bannon elaborated. “We are in the most extraordinary crisis in modern American history, more than Vietnam, the Cold War, even the Second World War. A global pandemic and an economic inferno. I have no faith in the WHO, the leadership should face criminal charges and be shut down.”

One has to wonder if China will respond with whistleblowers from Ft. Detrick to support their narrative?

Authors Of Study Finding No Bias In Police Killings Ask For Retraction

Authors Of Study Finding No Bias In Police Killings Ask For Retraction

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 21:00

Submitted by by Sovereign Man

The authors of a study which found no racial bias in police shootings asked for the study to be retracted.  The main findings were:

“1) As the proportion of Black or Hispanic officers in a [fatal officer-involved shootings] increases, a person shot is more likely to be Black or Hispanic than White, a disparity explained by county demographics; 2) race-specific county-level violent crime strongly predicts the race of the civilian shot…”

But the authors don’t want the study to be retracted because their findings were wrong. The data is sound.

Rather, the authors of the study now feel that it is being used improperly in the debate about police killings. They don’t like that people are using their study to discredit the Black Lives Matter narrative.

What this means:

A professor who helped fund parts of the study was the victim of the Twitter mob a couple weeks ago. We talked about how Stephen Hsu was fired from his position as Vice President of Research and Innovation at Michigan State University, essentially for supporting academic freedom.

We are all for police reform.

We’ve discussed many of the needed reforms: ending qualified immunity, reigning in police unions, ending civil asset forfeiture, ending the drug war, and so on. But we’ve always been skeptical of the argument that the way police behave is all about race.

And we are especially skeptical of movements like Black Lives Matter, which goes way beyond racial injustice and promotes a Marxist agenda.

Getting power out of government hands is the best solution, especially if racial prejudice is built into the system.

* * *

Bill in Senate would reform Civil Asset Forfeiture

What happened:

Senator Rand Paul and others have introduced a bill called the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration, or FAIR Act. If passed, the law would put due process back into civil asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture is when authorities take property suspected of being involved with or obtained through criminal activities, without convicting or even charging the owner with a crime.

The legislation requires a court date in front of a judge within two weeks from a seizure. Right now, victims of forfeiture are often forced into an administrative appeal with whatever department seized the property, not an actual court.

The bill also would require the property to have been knowingly involved in criminal activity, as opposed to incidentally. In the past, vehicle owners have had their cars seized when someone else was driving, sometimes without permission.

The bill would also end equitable sharing where state and local police keep 80% of property seized for federal agencies– an obvious conflict of interest.

The bill also gives the owner of the seized property the right to counsel, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

What this means:

Reading what the bill changes, most people would be shocked to hear that these are standard practices in law enforcement right now.

Many of these practices with civil asset forfeiture so obviously violate due process and the rights of the accused. It’s unbelievable they have gone on so long.

There are a lot of people demanding criminal justice reform right now.

But somehow it seems like the bills introduced by libertarian-leaning politicians like Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash (ending qualified immunity) aren’t getting much traction…

* * *

France bans a bike commercial for discrediting auto industry

What happened:

A Dutch commercial shows a black vehicle, and in the reflection, all the negative things associated with driving.

You see pollution, car crashes, traffic jams and so on. Eventually the car melts away into oil, and a bicycle is revealed. The video is an advertisement for a Dutch bicycle company.

But France’s advertising regulators have banned the commercial from showing in France.

They say it creates a “climate of anxiety,” and attempts to “discredit the automobile sector.”

What this means:

From the same country that brought you a ban on using meat and dairy terms to advertise vegetarian/ vegan alternatives…

This is a reminder that government powers to regulate always turn into cronyism.

The meat industry is more entrenched and powerful than the veggie-burger industry. So they get the government on their side to club the competitors.

Same goes with the automobile industry– more powerful than the bike industry.

Anytime you allow the government the power to regulate speech, this sort of thing is inevitable

Cost-Cutting And COVID-19 Could Catalyze Election Day Chaos

Cost-Cutting And COVID-19 Could Catalyze Election Day Chaos

Tyler Durden

Sun, 07/12/2020 – 20:30

State and local governments are already setting up for what is likely going to be one of the most difficult elections to manage in decades due to the pandemic. Compounding the issues that come with the coronavirus is the fact that many states and municipalities are also facing budget cuts, suffocating their ability to make the changes necessary to keep voters safe in November.

States remain on different footing with how they want to approach November. For example, in Ohio, election officials want to equip polling places with safety measures to constrain the virus. In Georgia, officials are considering making absentee ballots easier to get.

Regardless, across the nation, it’s a situation that could lead to “chaos” in November, Reuters reports.

Tina Barton, the city clerk and chief elections official in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a tightly contested election area, said: “What kind of price tag are you going to put on the integrity of the election process and the safety of those who work it and those who vote? Those are the things at risk.”

At the very least, elections will simply cost more this year: face masks, face shields and other virus-proofing equipment will need to be purchased in addition to a normal election budget. There are also costs associated with a larger volume of more mail-in ballots. Across the U.S., election officials are warning that they don’t have what they need to do the job properly. 

Myrna Perez, director of the elections program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, says there could be “widespread disenfranchisement,” as a result. “We run the risk of people really questioning the legitimacy of the election,” she commented.

Congress has already approved $400 million in federal funding to help states hold the elections as part of the CARES Act. But that is 10% of the $4 billion that experts believe will be necessary to hold “safe and fair” elections this year. Postage alone for mail-in ballots will cost almost $600 million. 

An aid bill passed in May in the House included $3.6 billion in new election funding, but the bill has no chance of passing the Senate as Republicans have taken exception with mail-in voting rules changes that were included in the bill. Republicans remain worried that mail-in voting will encourage fraud and will favor the Democrats. 

Hans von Spakovsky, a former Republican member of the Federal Elections Commission, thinks the answer is simply keeping polling places safe instead of switching to mail-in voting: “I’m not saying that this is easy but it is not going to be as difficult as all these people are predicting.”

Amy Klobuchar, the senior Democrat on the Senate rules committee that oversees federal grants for elections, says that money that is supposed to be used for election security is now being used for cleaning supplies: “That’s not a one-or-the-other choice. We need voters to be safe and we need our elections to be secure.”

Still some state and local governments are trying their best to make changes despite a combined $360 billion revenue loss over the next 36 months due to the Covid outbreak. According to Reuters:

  • Georgia sent absentee ballot requests to all voters ahead of its June 9 elections, which officials cited in local media estimated would cost at least $5 million
  • Philadelphia is faced with an election budget of $12.3 million, instead of $22.5 million and has already spent more than its expected CARES grant holding during its June 2 primary.
  • Ohio’s Lucas County has simply ruled out buying safety equipment like Plexiglas sneeze guards for more than 300 polling stations that the county hopes to operate.

Finally, the budget cuts mean that election results may be in much later in the evening than we are currently used to. In places like Michigan, where election boards need machines to count ballots faster, there remains budget shortfalls in the tens of millions. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson concluded: “This means … that election results may not be available until long after election night.”

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