IN TODAY’S EDITION
- How corrupt was Barack Obama’s administration? Let us count yet another way…
- The House GOP has taken aim at Obama’s DOJ and State Dept. in other ways too.
- The collusion between Clinton, Obama and Russia may just take the cake.
- American manufacturing is both increasing output and losing workers. What’s going on?
- Trump ends his temporary travel ban, with an emphasis on temporary.
- As we predicted, Jeff Flake is getting all kinds of Leftmedia love.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy.” —Benjamin Franklin (1774)
By Thomas Gallatin
Following the 2008 financial crisis, several of the nation’s largest financial institutions made legal settlements with the Obama administration. Public records show that these settlement payouts totaled over $3 billion. The House Judiciary Committee, along with the House Financial Services Committee, as part of an investigation has obtained internal documents from the Justice Department showing that not only did the Obama administration steer settlement payments toward leftist groups, Obama hacks also sought to prevent any conservative groups from receiving any of the settlement funds.
This is eerily reminiscent of the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups that came to light in 2013. In an email from July 2014, a senior Justice Department official explained how to draft a mandatory donation provision to prevent Citigroup Inc. from picking “a statewide intermediary like the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF),” noting that the PLF “does conservative property-rights free legal services.” In the same email the Justice official then noted that the National Association of IOLTA Programs would be eligible for the funds because it provided “funds to legal aid organizations, to be used for foreclosure prevention assistance and community redevelopment assistance.”
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called the documents a “smoking gun.” Goodlatte noted an email specifically identifying former Assistant Attorney General Tony West as the person responsible for directing the money to leftist organizations. “Can you explain to Tony the best way to allocate some money to an organization of our choosing?” asked a deputy of West’s in an email from 2013. Smoking gun indeed.
Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “The Justice Department emails released by Goodlatte show that only approved left-wing groups were eligible for the banks to make payouts to as part of their settlements, overtly excluding those deemed to be too conservative. What’s worse, is that the settlements often gave the banks double credit if they gave money to the left-wing groups rather than paying the government. Meaning, every $10 million to left-wing groups was counted the same as $20 million to the government.”
On Tuesday, the House voted on and passed the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.
By Jordan Candler
At this time last year, Hillary Clinton, jovial and presumptuous, was packing her bags and getting ready to recapture the White House. Today, she’s confined to the speaking circuit and condolence-filled media interviews in which she perpetually whines and conjures up excuses for losing. She also probably never imagined a year ago just how much the stakes (and the script) would turn when it comes to the investigations of her improprieties as secretary of state under Barack Obama.
Not only did we learn that she funded the phony Trump dossier, but this week, congressional Republicans further infuriated Clinton by revealing they are digging deeper into why she was wrongly exonerated last summer by then-FBI Director James Comey. Explaining their rationale, Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, stated: “Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered.” The Hill elaborates on their pursuit:
The two Republican leaders said they have questions about the FBI’s decision to openly declare the bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information, while quietly investigating Trump campaign associates. They said they also want to know why the FBI decided to formally notify Congress of the Clinton probe on two separate occasions; why the FBI — rather than the Justice Department — recommended that Clinton not be charged after the investigation concluded; and the reasoning behind their timeline for announcing such decisions.
Gowdy, for his part, isn’t necessarily expecting any bombshell revelations. He suggested the move is designed to re-establish assurance in both the FBI and DOJ. He admitted, “Comey may have a really good explanation for why he felt like he had to send a letter in October and there was no other means of notifying Congress, but we need to hear it.” Of course, this could also hint at his strategy — conducting this probe under the radar. In the meantime, Gowdy, in conjunction with the House Intelligence Committee, also initiated a probe into the infamous 2010 Uranium One deal.
As Ed Morrissey opines, “Of the two [probes], the Clintons have more to fear from the latter, and not just the Clintons either. It’s too late to do much about Hillary Clinton’s corruption regarding her e-mail, it having been litigated by the DoJ already. That’s not true at all of the Uranium One deal, which reportedly got buried by the DoJ under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and which might reach into the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ pockets. Democrats might be able to carry an argument that the e-mail server scandal is old news, but thanks to their non-stop hysteria over Russian influence, they can’t sustain that argument on Uranium One.”
Gowdy probably suspects a link. Clinton’s email case may already have been litigated, but any new information the fresh probe can dig up could possibly augment the investigation behind the Uranium One deal. After all, she wasn’t using a private email server and deleting her emails for no reason whatsoever. Did those emails contain evidence of collusion with Russia? And did Clinton collude with Obama’s DOJ to bury the evidence and exonerate her? That’s what the committees hope to find out.
House passes $4T budget in step forward for Trump tax plan (Associated Press)
DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal (The Washington Times)
Timeline: uranium exec. gave $31.3 million to Clinton Foundation, Russian bank paid $500k to Bill Clinton (CNS News)
Watchdog files FEC complaint against Hillary, DNC over Steele dossier funding scheme (The Federalist)
Racist graffiti incidents at Eastern Michigan and the University of Maryland were both hoaxes perpetrated by black males (Reason)
NAACP warns African Americans about traveling on American Airlines (USA Today)
American social media silence Chinese dissident (The Washington Free Beacon)
Twitter overstated number of users for the past three years (The Wall Street Journal)
Boston’s “fair-wage” pizza shop to close its doors due to lack of profit (The Boston Globe)
Social Security Administration spending tops $1 trillion for the first time (CNS News)
Policy: The individual mandate is unnecessary and unfair (Manhattan Institute)
Policy: When quality education becomes a matter of national security (RealClearEducation)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Communism — A Centennial Celebration of Tyranny and Terror. National Socialism and Democratic Socialism are much the same as Marxist Socialism — behind a façade.
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By Arnold Ahlert
“This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” —Barack Obama’s open mic assurance to former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, March 26, 2012
Progressive ideology is about winning — by any means necessary. Thus, the same Russians Barack Obama’s administration accommodated for years — from Hillary Clinton’s “reset button” and Obama’s cancellation of missile defense systems for Poland and the Czech Republic, to allowing the Kremlin to become a Middle East powerbroker, and Obama mocking Mitt Romney’s correct 2012 assertion that Russia was our foremost geopolitical foe — quickly became the mortal enemies that orchestrated Trump’s election victory. In short, they told us, “collusion” between Trump administration figures and Russia was the primary reason Hillary lost. Yet as we are only beginning to learn, Obama administration collusion with Russia might constitute the greatest scandal in the history of the republic.
Andrew McCarthy sums it up. The Obama administration “green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom,” he explains. “Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.”
Who approved the transfer? The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, (CFIUS) an intergovernmental panel representing 14 departments and offices, including the Treasury, the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, Homeland Security, Justice, Trade, Science and Technology Policy and Defense. CFIUS is tasked with determining whether transactions and investments by foreign companies align with national security, and they unanimously approved the deal — despite the reality that when they were considering it, nine members of the Canadian company Uranium One that would receive the uranium contributed more than $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Moreover, while the Russians were transferring control of Uranium One to its state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate Rosatom via three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records reveal Uranium One chairman Ian Telfer also donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. And in 2010, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee from Renaissance Capital, a Kremlin-linked bank that was promoting Uranium One stock.
Telfer’s contributions were not publicly disclosed, violating an agreement Hillary Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.
In terms of concealment, she was not alone. The Obama administration knew “congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer,” McCarthy explains. “Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer.”
It was a racketeering enterprise conducted by Vadim Mikerin, the Russian official in charge of Tenam USA, which is the American arm of Rosatom subsidiary Tenex. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992, Tenex was given control of the sale and transportation of blended-down uranium from dis-assembled Russian nuclear warheads to U.S. nuclear providers. Mikerin was extorting those U.S. companies, forcing them to pay inflated prices, and leaving them vulnerable to blackmail by Russia.
To facilitate the process, Mikerin secured the help of an unnamed lobbyist who became uncomfortable with the seemingly illegal arrangement, and notified the FBI. As a result he became an informant. At the time, the FBI was headed by Robert Mueller and the investigation was supervised by current Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. It was centered in Tenam’s home base of Maryland, whose U.S. attorney was Rod Rosenstein. It ended in late 2015, during the tenure of former FBI Director James Comey.
The FBI had proof of Mikerin’s racketeering in 2010, when any disclosure of it would have killed the uranium deal. Yet they let the scheme continue until 2014 when the agency quietly allowed Mikerin to plead guilty to one count of money-laundering conspiracy, courtesy of Rosenstein, whose office chose to prosecute Milkerin under the far less onerous section 371 of the U.S. penal code rather than section 1956 which could have imprisoned him for up to 20 years on each count of racketeering. The deal was cosigned by the DOJ’s Fraud Section, then run by Andrew Weissmann — one of the attorneys Mueller selected to investigate Trump.
While the DOJ slow-walked this prosecution, Russia gained complete control of Rosatom. And despite Nuclear Regulatory Commission assurances made in 2011 to a highly concerned Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) that Rosatom could not export uranium out of the country, The New York Times revealed Uranium One exported it to Canada using the licenses of a proxy transport company to do so.
Moreover, where the uranium is headed remains unknown.
What about the lobbyist/informant? He was issued a gag order and threatened with prosecution by the Loretta Lynch-led Justice Department when he pursued a civil action that would have revealed information about the sale. He is currently represented by attorney Victoria Toensing, who insists her client has “specific information about contributions and bribes to various entities and people in the United States.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is investigating the deal, and has sent letters to 10 federal agencies explaining he remains unconvinced there was no national security concerns associated with it, despite assurances to the contrary. He also pushed to have the gag order lifted.
Which brings us to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. While the DOJ finally announced late Wednesday night the gag order has been lifted, Sessions apparently continues to countenance the agency’s refusal to turn over documents related to the infamous Christopher Steele dossier compiled by Fusion GPS that was subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post revealed the most likely reason for the DOJ’s stonewalling. In a bombshell exposé, the paper reported the Clinton campaign and the DNC helped fund the dossier. The same dossier Clinton may have given the FBI (who initially offered to pay for it themselves), the one that may be the sole basis by which Obama administration officials justified the unmasking of Trump associates — and the entire rationale behind the Leftmedia’s orchestrated effort to convince Americans Trump’s presidency is illegitimate.
The dossier’s disseminators? In the last two weeks, Fusion’s partners exercised their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination during House Intelligence Committee meeting, and filed a complaint in federal court aimed at keeping their subpoenaed banking records secret.
Regardless, Sessions continues to abide an investigation of Trump administration collusion with Russia, conducted by many of the same people who buried possible Obama administration collusion. People like Robert Mueller who “has the means, motive and opportunity to obfuscate and distract from matters embarrassing to the FBI,” WSJ columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. astutely notes.
America is facing an existential crisis, one where it appears the same institutions designed to provide law and order and national security are guilty of wholesale corruption — and possible treason. Either the Trump administration will root out the rot, or the electorate will be faced with the undeniable reality we live in a nation where “justice” consists of one set of laws for the rich and powerful, and another for everyone else. A nation where Congress conducts toothless hearings, those who should be investigated conduct the investigations, and utterly corrupt media censor anything inimical to their own interests and those of their ideological allies.
Absolutely no one can justify the sale of the main ingredient used in nuclear weapons to the Russians. Either the swamp gets drained — or the entire nation drowns in it.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- American Made Means American Paid — Manufacturing output is up while jobs are down. A look at taxes, regulation and free trade agreements.
- Trump Temporary Travel Ban Ends — All the whining, moaning and court challenges over a temporary travel ban that has now been lifted.
- Video: CNN’s Apples, Bananas and Lemons — Oh My! — The Cable News Network’s attempt at a lighthearted ad opened it up for lampooning.
- The Leftmedia’s Sudden Lovefest With Jeff Flake — Flake obviously wanted the Leftmedia accolades that will come from being the “adult in the room.” And he’s getting it.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Cal Thomas: A Taxing Situation
- Tony Perkins: America: Land of the Free, Home of the Grave
- Victor Davis Hanson: The Islamic State and the Limitations of Cruelty
- Ed Feulner: Warring Over the Peace Cross
- R. Emmett Tyrrell: Trump, the Yankee Doodle Dandy
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Cal Thomas: “For any real tax reform to occur, the philosophy behind wealth and income must change. A rich person doesn’t deprive me of money or the opportunity to improve my financial circumstances. There is not one pot of money from which all must draw. We used to teach people how to create their own ‘pots,’ but now we teach envy, greed and entitlement, an unholy financial and ideological ‘hat trick’ that improves no one’s life. … In my grandparents’ day, one was expected to live within one’s means, work hard, save and invest wisely, avoid debt and not covet what your neighbor has (see the Tenth Commandment). This was not only good economic advice but a reflection of one’s moral character. During World War II, neighbors would never think of borrowing more than a cup of sugar or a few ration stamps for fear people would believe them irresponsible. Neighbors and religious institutions were expected to help the truly needy, not government. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was on to something when he said: ‘We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. And then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again.’ I would start with the second part of his proposal. If followed, the government would not only not need more of our money it might be forced by voters to give some of it back.”
Insight: “Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to ‘society,’ to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force — and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.” —Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
For the record: “Russia has sown distrust in the U.S. political system — aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, and perhaps the FBI. This is an about-face from the dominant media narrative of the last year, and it requires a full investigation. … Strip out the middlemen, and it appears that Democrats paid for Russians to compile wild allegations about a U.S. presidential candidate. Did someone say ‘collusion’?” —The Wall Street Journal
Observations: “[Some leftists] foam at the mouth at the mention of the president. Why is this? I think it has something to do with money. … It also has something to do with celebrity, which he also pretty much attained on his own. Then again, Trump has achieved in less than two years what others have spent their entire lives pursuing: the presidency. Thousands of gifted men and a dozen or so women have devoted themselves to being elected president of the United States, and only 45 have achieved it. The Donald might have spent less time in pursuit of the presidency than almost anyone else, with the exception of George Washington. That is a considerable achievement. Those are powerful reasons for small-minded people wedded to an utterly materialistic view of the world to hate Trump.” —R. Emmett Tyrrell
The BIG Lie: “The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution. It doesn’t have to be there.” —DNC Chief Tom Perez (Um, yeah, it’s in Article II.)
And last… “Is it any wonder that the American people don’t trust the ruling class? This squalid net of political espionage, catching in it everyone from Clinton to Comey to CNN (which hyped the fake dossier), captures the corruption and bad judgment of the ruling class perfectly.” —George Neumayr
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher