Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 12, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Who Influenced 2016 More: Russia, or a Small FBI Cabal?

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday about his lengthy report on the FBI investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and early administration. Because Democrats and the Leftmedia would rather focus on impeachment, however, you have CNN and MSNBC cutting away from hearings so viewers would not be exposed to the opening statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). What a contrast from the wall-to-wall coverage of House Democrats during impeachment hearings.

Graham’s remarks were particularly salient, as were Horowitz’s responses.

Regarding the “dossier” written by Christopher Steele and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Graham asked, “Christopher Steele — is it fair to say that he had a political bias against Donald Trump?”

Horowitz responded that “there was a bias that should have been disclosed to the [FISA] court.” How much bias? Steele “was desperate to prevent Mr. Trump’s election.”

And why does that matter? Former FBI Director James Comey was asked in April 2018 how important the fake dossier was to obtaining the FISA warrant and opening the investigation against Trump. “[The Steele dossier] was part of a broader mosaic of facts that were laid before the FISA judge in order to obtain the FISA warrant [on Carter Page],” he insisted at the time. “The dossier was part of that but was not all of it or a critical part of it.”

Actually, as Horowitz made plain in his report and in his testimony yesterday, “We concluded that the Steele report played a central and essential role in the decision to seek the FISA warrant.” Indeed it did, as the House and Senate reported last year.

As for the conduct of the handful of high-level FBI officials responsible for targeting Trump and besmirching the reputation of the entire FBI, Horowitz said some of the conduct was “inexplicable” and that he’s “not ruling out” political bias. He explained, “I think it’s hard to look at all 17 of these events and conclude it was complete incompetence.” That’s a diplomatic understatement if we ever heard one.

Horowitz also says he has referred the actions of the “entire chain of command” in the FISA warrant process for review by supervisors “for consideration of how to assess and address their performance failures.”

Graham noted that “Comey said this week that your report vindicates him,” before asking, “Is that a fair assessment of your report?”

Horowitz flatly rejected such an absurd notion: “You know, I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) cut to the chase, saying, “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence [and] alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the [FISA] court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?”

“That is correct,” replied Horowitz. “That is what occurred.”

Cruz then made an astounding point about equal application of the Rule of Law: “If a private citizen did this — fabricated evidence — would that private citizen be prosecuted?” asked Cruz.

Horowitz answered, “They’d certainly be considered for that.”

A final assertion really sums up the issue at the foundation of Horowtiz’s report. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) noted, “The FBI effectively meddled in an ongoing presidential campaign.” Thus, he asked, “Which is worse? Is it worse to have a foreign government trying to meddle in our elections, or is it worse to have our own government meddling in the election?” He marveled, “To get the FBI to launch [and] pursue surveillance of a rival presidential campaign and then into the newly elected president’s term I think is just extraordinary. I think it is an extraordinary thing when the most powerful law-enforcement agency maybe in the world is able to effectively intervene and influence a presidential election at the behest and with the cooperation of another political party.”

Indeed, the collusion of this cabal of deep-state actors to interfere in a presidential election was far more consequential than anything Russia could have dreamed of doing. And Democrats are perpetuating that with their impeachment charade.

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Impeachment Inquisition: Dems Divert From FBI FISA Scandal

The report on the FBI’s FISA abuse from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz is damning. In fact, the evidence showing that biased individuals within the FBI essentially engaged in election meddling in 2016 against Donald Trump is so damning that the Democrats are timing their partisan impeachment charade to work as a distraction. And their Leftmedia cohorts are more than willing to do their part in ignoring the more serious story. Yet the Democrats’ impeachment gambit still must be covered — not because of its legitimacy (it lacks any) but to expose just how far Democrats are willing to go in their purely partisan efforts to see Trump removed from office.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jerry Nadler (D-NY), held phase one of its mark-up process. And it was once again more of the same Democrat sham that has been on display ever since Adam Schiff’s orchestrated “whistleblower” complaint was first reported.

Nadler opened the proceedings by making a ridiculous claim: “We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election.” Really? Just hours earlier on the other side of the Capitol building, the Senate Judiciary Committee was hearing from IG Horowitz about how members of the deep state within Barack Obama’s Justice Department engaged in an illegal spying operation against the Trump campaign. Americans should be worried — not about Trump’s supposed “threat” but over the very real problem of unelected bureaucrats using their power to meddle in an election.

However, Nadler’s statement couldn’t have made it more clear what the Democrats’ real motivation for impeachment has been the entire time. In their articles of impeachment, Democrats offer no actual crime, nor even an unconstitutional action on Trump’s part, despite their impassioned rhetoric claiming otherwise. Their argument boils down to this: Trump is dangerous because we don’t like him, and we can’t trust the American people to judge if he’s fit for office, so we must take him out ourselves. This is what is classically referred to as a coup.

Today, the committee is expected to vote to move impeachment to the floor of the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote next week before Congress breaks for the holidays. So, it’ll be another week before this fraudulent charade is finally out of Democrat hands. That in itself is a Christmas gift we can all look forward to.

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Growing Anti-Semitism: Trump’s EO and Jersey City

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order targeting the growing problem of anti-Semitism, particularly on American college campuses. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The new order … will clarify portions of the Civil Rights Act to empower federal agencies to consider anti-Jewish bias when it investigates potential hate crimes. The order will effectively ensure that federal investigators consider anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic motivations when investigating infractions related to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin.” The order does not, as The New York Times erroneously reported, classify Jews as a race or nationality; it prohibits discrimination motivated by race or nationality.

The order couldn’t come at a more timely moment in the wake of Tuesday’s deadly attack in Jersey City in which four people were murdered, including a police officer. The two assailants were killed in a gun battle with police. After murdering a cop, the assailants intentionally targeted a kosher grocery store, where they killed three more people. At least one of the murderers appears to have been a former follower of the racist Black Hebrew Israelites, the group most recently infamous for protesting the MAGA-hat-wearing Covington boys at the DC Mall. Officials found anti-police and anti-Semitic writings on his social-media account, and it seems obvious that anti-Semitic hatred was a significant motive for this despicable crime. But since these are Black Hebrew Israelites perpetrating the attack, don’t hold your breath for federal “hate crime” charges or further Leftmedia coverage.

Meanwhile, many on the Left continue to parrot the false narrative that Trump is either an outright racist or at best that his rhetoric is responsible for racism and anti-Semitism. But aside from this executive order, remember that Trump made good on his promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a move long been sought by Israel and promised by previous American presidents. As many conservatives have sarcastically observed, if Trump were a racist Nazi, then he’s really, really bad at it. Well, unless you are so afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome that you think Trump’s order protecting Jews actually makes him just like Hitler.

As a footnote, a prime example of leftists peddling the fallacious anti-Trump narrative irrespective of the actual facts comes courtesy of America’s favorite socialist, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She linked a partial and out-of-context transcript of Trump’s recent speech to the Israeli American Council and claimed, “This is outright and atrocious antisemitism coming from the President, and it is dangerous.” And what was Trump’s supposed anti-Semitic comment? It was a joke mocking the Leftmedia’s intentionally false coverage of his presidency, and the largely Jewish crowd laughed along with Trump. Of course, any humor that mocks the Left is a bridge too far for the likes of AOC, who has no problem defending actual anti-Semites like her fellow “Squad” pal Ilhan Omar.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PANEL VOTE LATER TODAY: The House Judiciary Committee launched a lively, marathon session Thursday ahead of voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (Associated Press)

JUDICIAL TRANSFORMATION: Trump secures 50th appellate court appointment, with another 9th Circuit judge confirmed (Fox News)

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: During congressional testimony, Inspector General Michael Horowitz rips FBI “failure” in Russia probe, says nobody vindicated by report (Fox News)

IT’S NOT A REVENUE PROBLEM: Feds collect record taxes through November, still run a $343.3 billion deficit with second-highest spending in nation’s history (CNSNews.com)

“SCRATCHING THE SURFACE”: Education Department uncovers $1.3 billion in foreign university funding (Washington Examiner)

SAD REALITY: Jersey City gunman was a Black Hebrew Israelite, so don’t expect to hear much more about the shooting (Washington Examiner)

“SO STUPID”: Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting leads Navy instructor pilots to tell top brass: “Arm us” (Fox News)

“THE CITY IS NOT PERMITTED TO RESTRICT POLITICAL SPEECH”: Federal judge blocks enforcement of Los Angeles law requiring city contractors to disclose NRA ties (Associated Press)

AND HE WOULDN’T HAVE TO ADMIT WRONGDOING… Harvey Weinstein reaches tentative $25 million settlement; some accusers understandably object (NBC News)

LEFT COAST INSANITY: In Spokane, 649 rape kits are awaiting attention, an opioid crisis is raging, and a serial killer hasn’t been caught, yet the city is throwing the book at a pastor who objects to a sexual minstrel show performed for children (The Federalist)

POLICY: How to hold colleges accountable for the education they provide (Manhattan Institute)

POLICY: How the biggest farms are getting more per acre in trade-war subsidies (MarketWatch)

HUMOR: Trump’s popularity surges after nation learns he may have obstructed Congress (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “About 36.4 million Americans receive food stamps, and under the new rule about 688,000 of them, less than 2 percent, will be required to work in order to remain eligible. The changes apply only to able-bodied adults without children. They won’t affect any recipient who is 50 or older, who has a disability, or who has dependents (like the teen-aged student AOC was in 2008). Rarely has it been easier for a motivated worker to find a job. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low. According to the Labor Department, there are just 5.8 million unemployed adults in the country, while the number of available jobs is over 7 million. There couldn’t be a better time to ensure that work requirements aren’t flouted. Federal law is clear: Healthy, unencumbered adults can collect food stamps only if they’re working. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to support fellow citizens who can work but won’t. The administration’s new rule will belatedly give some adults the push they need to find a job, restoring to their food stamps the purpose Congress intended: to help the needy up from dependency, not drag them further into it.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “Conservatives who defend libertinism as liberty misunderstand what our Founding Fathers meant. We all love freedom. But freedom has a higher purpose, as should conservatives.” —Michael Knowles

Observations: “Without the whistleblower, there would be no impeachment. Did [Adam] Schiff orchestrate a phony scandal, once the Mueller investigation led nowhere? It’s alarming to hear Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, speculate that perhaps witnesses are not needed. And Senator Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., express reluctance to compel a House member to testify. The nation needs to know. Trump’s already gotten a raw deal in the House. He deserves fairness in the Senate.” —Betsy McCaughey

Lecturing the Leftmedia: “All they do is enable him, and that is really a sad thing. I’ve said to many of my friends in the press, ‘You’re accomplices, whether you want to be or not,’ [and they say,] ‘If he’s saying it, then it’s news.’ I don’t think it’s news, but it monopolizes the airwaves. So there is a lot of responsibility to go around in terms of the creation of whatever that is in the White House.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wants you to believe the mainstream media is not a Democrat propaganda arm

Why impeach now? “The argument, ‘Why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: ‘Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him have foreign help one more time?’” —Adam Schiff, alluding to the debunked conspiracy theory about Trump colluding with Russia to win in 2016

Astounding: “We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems.” —House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler

Braying jenny: “[Bill Clinton] was sleeping with Lewinsky. This guy’s sleeping with Putin. It’s a little different.” —"The View’s" Joy Behar

The BIG Lie, continued: “But here’s the big deal. Where I come from, I don’t like people telling me what I have to choose. So, the 160 million people who have busted their neck, walked down picket lines, gave up pay, took hits in order to get significant healthcare available, you get to keep it under my plan. You don’t have to give it up. The important thing on ObamaCare … is you get to keep your doctor and all that kind of thing. This is a totally different issue. You get to keep the healthcare plan you have and you want.” —Joe Biden

And last… “If it offends or bothers you that a 16-year-old on the world stage is criticized, then stop pushing her onto the world stage.” —Steven Crowder

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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