DC Secrets and Lies

A quick look at Obama’s history reveals he has always had the inclination, motivation, and opportunity to snoop on and disseminate information about his political opponents. It’s how he made his political career: getting his opponents' private divorce records unsealed and leaked with the help of the Chicago Tribune

He and his administration continued this pattern and practice of skirting laws throughout his eight years in office, As Matthew Vadum reminds readers:  

“Obama used the IRS to target conservative and Tea Party nonprofits, along with Catholic, Jewish, and pro-Israel organizations. He brazenly lied about it, too. His Justice Department surreptitiously obtained telephone records for more than 100 reporters."

Wikileaks revealed that under Obama, the NSA intercepted conversations of numerous foreign officials, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Silvio Berlusconi, and Nicolas Sarkozy. 

So it is rather astonishing that so many disregard Trump’s claim that Obama and his aides spied upon him and his staff. There were several means at his disposal for him to do so, and it is increasingly likely that they did so. He apparently sought -- twice -- to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to approve tapping Trump communications, and was turned down once, in June of last year -- a rare occurrence as in 10,000 applications in a six-year period only two were rejected. Reportedly the Obama administration tried again, using a slightly modified request and received permission. Heat Street reported this on November 7. 

This week, investigative journalists Sara Carter and John Solomon confirmed that the FISA court warrant was granted in October

"What we don't know is who was connected to that FISA," Carter said on Sean Hannity's show Wednesday night. "What was that FISA looking at? That is very highly classified. Nobody wants to talk about that particular FISA, right now. They said it did have to do with the Russian hacking on a very broad level, but it didn't hone in directly on Trump is what I was told," she said.

In addition to the FISA warrant in October, the FBI obtained a separate warrant that same month to look into a computer server tied to then-candidate Donald Trump's businesses in Trump Towers (but not located in Trump Towers). According to the report, the feds used traditional investigative techniques to examine allegations of computer activity tied to two Russian banks and there had been no intercepts of Trump’s phone or emails.

The FBI quickly concluded, "the computer activity in question involved no nefarious contacts, bank transactions or encrypted communications with the Russians."

The months-long FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign briefly investigated a computer server tied to Donald Trump's businesses near the end of the election but has not gathered evidence of election tampering to date that would warrant criminal charges against any of the president’s associates, Circa has learned.

But a FISA warrant is not the only way to surveil communications. Under Chapter 36 of Title 50 of the US Code, and pursuant to Executive Order 12333, the president can authorize electronic surveillance without a court order, and we don’t know if Obama utilized one of these means as well. Nor can we ascertain who’s leaking, as on his way out of office –-17 days before his term was up -- Obama allowed the National Security Agency to circulate such intercepted messages among 16 other intelligence agencies without following longstanding protocols designed to insure privacy of those involved in the communications, in effect inviting selective leaking by partisans in those agencies.

This week former NSA official Bill Binney confirmed the veracity of Trump’s claim that his conversations had been tapped and monitored and claimed it was done outside the courts. 

Binney told Fox the laws that fall under the FISA court's jurisdiction are "simply out there for show" and "trying to show that the government is following the law, and being looked at and overseen by the Senate and House intelligence committees and the courts."

"That's not the main collection program for NSA," Binney said.

In any event, both the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the head of the FBI James Comey have stated without equivocation that there was no evidence found of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

On the other hand, there is increasing evidence of Russian ties to Hillary Clinton and those closely connected to her.

Jerome Corsi connects a Russian billionaire to Putin with close ties.  He provides documentary “evidence of the circuitous path the Russian government has been using since Hillary Clinton was secretary of state to make large financial payments to John Podesta and to the Clinton Foundation.”

These transfers were made at the same time Hillary Clinton was transferring “U.S. advanced technology to Russia.”

John Podesta is not the only family member enriched by the Russians. His brother Tony also rode the Russian gravy train.

Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, has confirmed that it hired the consultancy of Tony Podesta, the elder brother of John Podesta who chaired Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, for lobbying its interests in the United States and proactively seeking the removal of various Obama-era sanctions, the press service of the Russian institution told TASS on Thursday.

[snip]

Previously, The Daily Caller reported that Tony Podesta was proactively lobbying for cancellation of a range of anti-Russian sanctions against the banking sector. In particular, he represented interests of Sberbank and was paid $170,000 for his efforts over a six-month period last year to seek to end one of the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against that country.  Podesta, founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, is listed as a key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms. His firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016, much of it coming from foreign governments, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Former President Barack Obama imposed the Russian sanctions following the break out in violence in east Ukraine in 2014.

Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.

[snip]

The lobbying campaign targeted Congress and the executive branch, with Podesta and other lobbyists arranging at least two meetings between Sberbank officers and Department of State officials, according to Elena Teplitskaya, Sberbank’s board chairman, who spoke to House aides in August.

[snip]

The Podesta Group represented Sberbank and its subsidiaries, Troika Dialog Group in the Cayman Islands, SBGB Cyprus Ltd in Nicosia, Cyprus, and SB International in Luxembourg. Troika Dialog also was related to Klein, Ltd., a Cayman Island organization that once funneled tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to oppose low-cost fracking in the U.S., which was hurting the Russian oil industry.[snip]

Sberbank was the lead financial institution in the Russian deal to purchase Uranium One, owned by one of Bill Clinton’s closest friends, Frank Giustra. Giustra and Bill Clinton lead the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an integral part of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra has additionally donated $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Giustra sought to sell his stake in uranium reserves that included ore deposits in the Western United States, and Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state, approved the sale. And in one felled swoop, 20 percent of America’s uranium ore was sold to the Russian state atomic agency.

During the pending sale, the Podesta Group represented Giustra’s company and tried to advance the transaction. 

So there probably was surveillance on Trump and his associates, although no connection with Russia was established with them. Instead, all the connections to Russia were with Clinton and her closest associates.

What we also know was that, like Hillary Clinton, the Congressional Democrats repeatedly demonstrate a shocking disregard for national security. The Daily Caller has documented what the mainstream media is largely ignoring: the fact that dozens of Democratic congressmen, including the former head of the DNC, engaged three brothers from Pakistan and two of their wives at salaries multiple times over those similarly situated (over $4 million), gave them passwords, and allowed them access to sensitive computer files, even though it is impossible to fathom how people with their record of financial troubles got security clearances. These brothers are presently under criminal investigation accused of stealing House computer equipment and transferring information from Congressional files to a personal server. They owe $100,000 to an Iraqi businessman believed to have with ties to Hezb’allah who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. This week, to cap it off, the brothers are under investigation for kidnapping and holding prisoner their stepmother to prevent her from seeing her dying husband in Pakistan. 

Politico reports that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the DNC, refuses to fire one of the brothers even though he is banned from the House network. She’s keeping him on as an “adviser.”

Really, it’s impossible to parody Democrats these days. It would be too unbelievable.

A quick look at Obama’s history reveals he has always had the inclination, motivation, and opportunity to snoop on and disseminate information about his political opponents. It’s how he made his political career: getting his opponents' private divorce records unsealed and leaked with the help of the Chicago Tribune

He and his administration continued this pattern and practice of skirting laws throughout his eight years in office, As Matthew Vadum reminds readers:  

“Obama used the IRS to target conservative and Tea Party nonprofits, along with Catholic, Jewish, and pro-Israel organizations. He brazenly lied about it, too. His Justice Department surreptitiously obtained telephone records for more than 100 reporters."

Wikileaks revealed that under Obama, the NSA intercepted conversations of numerous foreign officials, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Silvio Berlusconi, and Nicolas Sarkozy. 

So it is rather astonishing that so many disregard Trump’s claim that Obama and his aides spied upon him and his staff. There were several means at his disposal for him to do so, and it is increasingly likely that they did so. He apparently sought -- twice -- to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to approve tapping Trump communications, and was turned down once, in June of last year -- a rare occurrence as in 10,000 applications in a six-year period only two were rejected. Reportedly the Obama administration tried again, using a slightly modified request and received permission. Heat Street reported this on November 7. 

This week, investigative journalists Sara Carter and John Solomon confirmed that the FISA court warrant was granted in October

"What we don't know is who was connected to that FISA," Carter said on Sean Hannity's show Wednesday night. "What was that FISA looking at? That is very highly classified. Nobody wants to talk about that particular FISA, right now. They said it did have to do with the Russian hacking on a very broad level, but it didn't hone in directly on Trump is what I was told," she said.

In addition to the FISA warrant in October, the FBI obtained a separate warrant that same month to look into a computer server tied to then-candidate Donald Trump's businesses in Trump Towers (but not located in Trump Towers). According to the report, the feds used traditional investigative techniques to examine allegations of computer activity tied to two Russian banks and there had been no intercepts of Trump’s phone or emails.

The FBI quickly concluded, "the computer activity in question involved no nefarious contacts, bank transactions or encrypted communications with the Russians."

The months-long FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign briefly investigated a computer server tied to Donald Trump's businesses near the end of the election but has not gathered evidence of election tampering to date that would warrant criminal charges against any of the president’s associates, Circa has learned.

But a FISA warrant is not the only way to surveil communications. Under Chapter 36 of Title 50 of the US Code, and pursuant to Executive Order 12333, the president can authorize electronic surveillance without a court order, and we don’t know if Obama utilized one of these means as well. Nor can we ascertain who’s leaking, as on his way out of office –-17 days before his term was up -- Obama allowed the National Security Agency to circulate such intercepted messages among 16 other intelligence agencies without following longstanding protocols designed to insure privacy of those involved in the communications, in effect inviting selective leaking by partisans in those agencies.

This week former NSA official Bill Binney confirmed the veracity of Trump’s claim that his conversations had been tapped and monitored and claimed it was done outside the courts. 

Binney told Fox the laws that fall under the FISA court's jurisdiction are "simply out there for show" and "trying to show that the government is following the law, and being looked at and overseen by the Senate and House intelligence committees and the courts."

"That's not the main collection program for NSA," Binney said.

In any event, both the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the head of the FBI James Comey have stated without equivocation that there was no evidence found of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

On the other hand, there is increasing evidence of Russian ties to Hillary Clinton and those closely connected to her.

Jerome Corsi connects a Russian billionaire to Putin with close ties.  He provides documentary “evidence of the circuitous path the Russian government has been using since Hillary Clinton was secretary of state to make large financial payments to John Podesta and to the Clinton Foundation.”

These transfers were made at the same time Hillary Clinton was transferring “U.S. advanced technology to Russia.”

John Podesta is not the only family member enriched by the Russians. His brother Tony also rode the Russian gravy train.

Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, has confirmed that it hired the consultancy of Tony Podesta, the elder brother of John Podesta who chaired Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, for lobbying its interests in the United States and proactively seeking the removal of various Obama-era sanctions, the press service of the Russian institution told TASS on Thursday.

[snip]

Previously, The Daily Caller reported that Tony Podesta was proactively lobbying for cancellation of a range of anti-Russian sanctions against the banking sector. In particular, he represented interests of Sberbank and was paid $170,000 for his efforts over a six-month period last year to seek to end one of the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against that country.  Podesta, founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, is listed as a key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms. His firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016, much of it coming from foreign governments, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Former President Barack Obama imposed the Russian sanctions following the break out in violence in east Ukraine in 2014.

Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.

[snip]

The lobbying campaign targeted Congress and the executive branch, with Podesta and other lobbyists arranging at least two meetings between Sberbank officers and Department of State officials, according to Elena Teplitskaya, Sberbank’s board chairman, who spoke to House aides in August.

[snip]

The Podesta Group represented Sberbank and its subsidiaries, Troika Dialog Group in the Cayman Islands, SBGB Cyprus Ltd in Nicosia, Cyprus, and SB International in Luxembourg. Troika Dialog also was related to Klein, Ltd., a Cayman Island organization that once funneled tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to oppose low-cost fracking in the U.S., which was hurting the Russian oil industry.[snip]

Sberbank was the lead financial institution in the Russian deal to purchase Uranium One, owned by one of Bill Clinton’s closest friends, Frank Giustra. Giustra and Bill Clinton lead the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an integral part of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra has additionally donated $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Giustra sought to sell his stake in uranium reserves that included ore deposits in the Western United States, and Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state, approved the sale. And in one felled swoop, 20 percent of America’s uranium ore was sold to the Russian state atomic agency.

During the pending sale, the Podesta Group represented Giustra’s company and tried to advance the transaction. 

So there probably was surveillance on Trump and his associates, although no connection with Russia was established with them. Instead, all the connections to Russia were with Clinton and her closest associates.

What we also know was that, like Hillary Clinton, the Congressional Democrats repeatedly demonstrate a shocking disregard for national security. The Daily Caller has documented what the mainstream media is largely ignoring: the fact that dozens of Democratic congressmen, including the former head of the DNC, engaged three brothers from Pakistan and two of their wives at salaries multiple times over those similarly situated (over $4 million), gave them passwords, and allowed them access to sensitive computer files, even though it is impossible to fathom how people with their record of financial troubles got security clearances. These brothers are presently under criminal investigation accused of stealing House computer equipment and transferring information from Congressional files to a personal server. They owe $100,000 to an Iraqi businessman believed to have with ties to Hezb’allah who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. This week, to cap it off, the brothers are under investigation for kidnapping and holding prisoner their stepmother to prevent her from seeing her dying husband in Pakistan. 

Politico reports that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the DNC, refuses to fire one of the brothers even though he is banned from the House network. She’s keeping him on as an “adviser.”

Really, it’s impossible to parody Democrats these days. It would be too unbelievable.

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