Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 26, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams (1770)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

After Mueller: GOP Calling for Special Counsel to Investigate Obama Hacks

Now that President Donald Trump has been exonerated on the bogus charge of collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election, it’s time for answers to some other questions. Namely, as The Wall Street Journal editorial board sums up, “How did the partisan propaganda known as the Steele dossier become the basis for an unprecedented FBI probe of a presidential campaign, an abuse of law enforcement, and two years of media and political hysteria?”

Patriot Post readers well know that this charade was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee. It was strategically “leaked” by Barack Obama’s former FBI director, James Comey. It was touted by former Obama CIA Director John Brennan and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. And the FBI used the dossier as practically its sole justification for opening the investigation into Trump and his associates, which then led to Robert Mueller’s probe.

But, with a Leftmedia far more concerned with taking down Trump than committing actual journalism, how many Americans at large know all that?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham aims to find out. “I’m going to get answers to this,” he said Monday, announcing his intention to pursue a second special counsel — this time to investigate the Obama Justice Department and FBI for trying to defeat Trump in the 2016 election and then undermine his presidency. “I’d like to find somebody, like a Mr. Mueller, that can look into what happened with the [Carter Page] FISA warrants, [and] the counterintelligence investigation,” Graham said.

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson stands with him. Likewise, Sen. Rand Paul declared, “Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax! I’m very concerned that it’s becoming more clear that the Obama administration was able to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on our campaign based on phony opposition research from the Clinton campaign. Having federal law enforcement spy on a presidential campaign based on phony campaign research is really distressing and the true untold story.”

And as former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy put it, “In sum, we have endured a two-year ordeal in which the president of the United States was forced to govern under a cloud of suspicion — suspicion of being a traitor, of scheming with a foreign adversary to steal an election. This happened because the Obama administration — which opened the probe of the Trump campaign, and which opted to use foreign counterintelligence spying powers rather than give Trump a defensive briefing about suspected Russian infiltration of his campaign — methodically forced its suspicions about Trump into the public domain.”

McCarthy wants full disclosure, too. That means “Mueller’s report in addition to the FISA applications; the memoranda pertinent to the opening and continuation of the investigation; the testimony in secret hearings; the scope memorandum Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued on August 2, 2017, after failing to cite a crime when he appointed Mueller — let’s have all of it.”

After two years of abuse of power to perpetrate a phony narrative leaked to and spread by the fake-news media, it’s way past time for a reckoning. Republicans ought to follow through and pursue it.

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After Mueller: Dems Scramble to Keep Collusion Narrative Alive

It’s not wise to put all your eggs into one basket, because if that basket proves to be full of holes, there go all the eggs. Democrats face the real-world implications of that old adage as they scramble to plug the massive holes Robert Mueller’s report blew in their Trump/Russia collusion narrative. Since Donald Trump’s election, Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts have unceasingly peddled the fallacious narrative that the president’s victory was illegitimate because he conspired with Russia to dupe the American people into voting for him over Hillary Clinton.

And for the past two years, or essentially the entirety of his presidency to date, Trump has steadfastly called the collusion narrative what it was — a witch hunt. But now that Mueller’s findings have proven Trump correct and exonerated him, even as Mueller clearly did his utmost to muddy the waters on the question of obstruction, the Democrats’ collusion narrative is on life support and dying fast. Hence the panic.

Witness the flailing by Democrats as they aim to turn the American system of justice and jurisprudence on its head by essentially insisting that Trump prove his innocence.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter demanding that Attorney General William Barr testify before the committee. “Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform [its] critical work,” the pair complained. “The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution.”

Furthermore, Nadler and Schiff jumped on Mueller’s muddying statement on obstruction, stating that they “must be permitted to make an independent assessment of the evidence regarding obstruction of justice.” They have given the Justice Department a week to meet their demands.

Mark Alexander observes, “The ‘one week’ ultimatum is a setup to imply that if the report is not released immediately, Barr is colluding with Trump to conceal evidence of obstruction. And once released, all of the redacted sections will be fodder for the same assertion.”

Even as their whole collusion narrative has fallen apart, Democrats refuse to give up their talk of impeachment. When questioned about whether impeachment was still on the table, Schiff responded, “It’s really too early to make those judgements. We need to see the report and then we’ll all have a factual basis. … In the absence of those facts, those judgments are impossible to make.” Nadler claimed that Mueller’s “job was limited in scope and limited to crimes.” He added, “We are in charge. We have the responsibility of protecting the rule of law — of looking at obstruction of justice, of looking at abuses of power, at corruption, in order to protect the rule of law so that our democratic institutions are not greatly damaged by this president.” Note Nadler’s presumption of Trump’s guilt. Moreover, he misses the fact that it is the executive branch, not the legislative, that is tasked with enforcing law and order.

Finally, there is Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), one of the most vocal Democrats calling for Trump’s impeachment. “This is not the end,” Waters opined, “Well, it is the end of the report and the investigation by Mueller, but … there is so much that needs to be taken a look at this point. It is not the end of everything.”

As all their collusion eggs are falling and breaking, Democrats are rushing to salvage any remnants of their “Trump must be guilty because he is Trump” narrative.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

GOOD NEWS

Police Officers Catch Kids Dropped From Burning Building

“Des Moines police officers were first on the scene of a burning residential building early Tuesday morning. The police force said heavy smoke in the building prevented officers from reaching the third floor, so they improvised.”

“‘Ma'am, get all your kids by the window,’ the officer said in the video. ‘Get them by the window!’”

“‘Senior police officers Cole Johnson, Craig Vasquez, Tyler Kelley, and Casey Sanders quickly positioned themselves outside the building, and caught children that were dropped to them from a 3rd floor window,’ the department said. ‘All are well.’”

Read more at Global News.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • The Hill’s John Solomon penned a thoughtful op-ed headlined, “Trump-Russia collusion did affect an American election — the one in 2018.” Referring to what he calls “a political dirty-trick operation paid by Trump’s Democratic rival and run by a foreigner who disliked Trump,” Solomon notes, “If the FBI probe ran with the secrecy of a normal counterintelligence operation, Americans never would have heard all of this, especially when the core allegations — in the Steele dossier — turned out to be bogus.” And considering that “more than 530,000 stories were written between May 2017 and this month about a Trump-Russia investigation,” it would be doltish to assume this fraudulent witch hunt didn’t affect the 2018 midterms.
  • This week, CIA Director John Brennan laughably admitted, “I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was.” Remember, Brennan was the deep-state boss who, as we noted, “has been one of the loudest Obama-era officials in criticizing Trump, regularly blaming him for ‘threatening America’s democracy.’” And just a few weeks ago he recklessly speculated, “I do think … if anybody from the Trump family … is going to be indicted, it would be in the final act of Mueller’s investigation.”
  • Today, senators get to decide whether or not they will vote to approve the Green New Deal. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cunningly stated, “I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on the ‘Green New Deal’: a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.” As Fox News notes, “The resolution … undoubtedly will not pass in the GOP-controlled Senate. But Republicans say that the vote will allow them to better gauge Democrats’ commitment to its radical proposals.”
  • According to Fox News, “The Pentagon notified Congress late Monday that it authorized the transfer of up to $1 billion to erect 57 miles of ‘pedestrian fencing’ along the U.S.-Mexico border in direct support of President Trump’s national emergency declaration from last month.” The barrier will rise to 18 feet in height and be situated in the Yuma and El Paso sectors. “The Pentagon’s announcement was made as Trump nears a victory over Democrats as the House tries to override his first veto,” Fox adds, “a vote that seems certain to fail and allow his declaration to stand.” At least until a court intervenes. For now, though, there’s legit progress being made.
  • “The Trump administration told a federal court late Monday that it would ask judges to toss out the entire Affordable Care Act,” USA Today reports. The announcement is related to a ruling that was issued in December by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor, who “ruled that the constitutional foundation for the law — the requirement that people buy insurance or pay a penalty — was no longer constitutional because Congress had repealed the penalty.” The DOJ’s decision is somewhat of an about-face. As the report further notes, “Justice Department lawyers … had argued that some parts of the law, including an expansion of Medicaid that provides coverage for millions of people, could survive. The Justice Department’s letter on Monday reversed that position, saying the administration now agrees with O'Connor that all of the law must go.”
  • Yesterday, the president formally issued a “Proclamation on Recognizing the Golan Heights as Part of the State of Israel.” The declaration states, “Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats. Based on these unique circumstances, it is therefore appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
  • Rich irony: “Michael Avenatti, the pugnacious attorney best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, was arrested Monday on charges that included trying to shake down Nike for as much as $25 million by threatening the company with bad publicity,” the Associated Press reports. “Avenatti, who was also accused of embezzling a client’s money to pay his own expenses, was charged with extortion and bank and wire fraud in separate cases in New York and California.” The use of the word “pugnacious” is interesting. It’s not wrong, mind you, but lest we forget, the media once floated Avenatti as a possible Democrat presidential contender. In fact, CNN hosted him 65 times over an eight-week period.
  • Humor: Nation awaits apology from media that pushed fake news story for two years (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Kliegman lays out “The case for American military supremacy.”
  • Policy: The Heritage Foundation’s Emilie Kao warns, “The proposed Equality Act (H.R. 5) turns individuals’ beliefs about their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The bill creates obvious liberty, equality, privacy, and safety concerns.”

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “Trump was basically told that he’d be investigated and smeared for years over Russia collusion that didn’t happen, and if he objected and wanted to make it stop, they’d investigate him for that, too. The ultimate weapon he had was, funnily enough, the truth. As he said again and again, there was no Russia collusion. Every time he repeated the phrase, the press rolled its eyes and opined about how it showed an untoward defensiveness. Then it dug into another news cycle devoted to Trump’s impending doom. A news industry that should have a healthy skepticism could never apply any skepticism to its own narrative and assumptions. And so, on the question of Russia collusion that put a cloud over the White House and dominated the past two years of our public life, Donald Trump was a more reliable narrator than the media that so self-righteously scorns him.”

Cal Thomas: “The Mueller investigation is estimated to have cost the U.S. taxpayers about $25 million. Given the results, the report is not worth the expenditure. The full report should be released as soon as possible, but even that is unlikely to satisfy Democrats, many of whom hate the president and look for any opportunity to harm him politically. … Nothing will stop the Democrats from coming after the Trump administration. One is reminded of what Sir Winston Churchill said in a different context after a small British victory near the start of World War II: ‘Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’ That will likely be the mantra of Democrats leading up to the 2020 election. They have only just begun. Voters will have the last word and it may harm Democrats if the president is seen as being persecuted for partisan reasons.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “The biggest reason I never believed the Russian collusion charge was that the charge emanated from the left. And the left lies about everything. Truth is a liberal value, and truth is a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value. People on the left say whatever advances their immediate agenda. Power is their moral lodestar; therefore, truth is always subservient to it.” —Dennis Prager

For the record: “Democrats claim Mueller only suggested there was insufficient evidence to prove obstruction of justice and that, as the report says, ‘It does not exonerate him.’ Democrats will have a hard time making that case with the public because of their stalwart defense of former FBI Director James Comey who said of Hillary Clinton and her email server, ‘Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.’” —Cal Thomas

Fair play: “I hope [Attorney General William] Barr will appoint somebody outside the current system to look into these allegations, somebody we all trust, and let them do what Mueller did.” —Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham

An inconvenient truth: “This is a clear day of victory for the president.” —Al Sharpton

“Our standard is different than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. … If he still committed offensive conduct that does not meet the conduct we want for our president, Congress has a constitutionally equal role to play to hold him accountable.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell

Non Compos Mentis: “I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was. I am relieved that it’s been determined that there was not a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government over our election.” —former CIA Director John Brennan

Ya think? “There is an honest level of sadness and disappointment and disorientation among progressives and Democrats and I think it goes deeper than just what’s in the report.” —Van Jones

The BIG Lie: “We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did.” —CNN President Jeff Zucker

And last… “I’m okay with releasing the full report, but let’s be honest that a lot of those who want to see it aren’t interested in its conclusions. They’re interested in using it to attack people named in it, even if the prosecutors concluded they committed no crimes.” —Erick Erickson

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