Friday, November 22, 2019

On the Constant Drip, Drop, Drip of Intelligence Leaks onto/ into the Daily Newspapers

Lee Smith, "Spies Are the New Journalists
And with the help of big names in media they’re turning journalism into an intelligence operation

There are two sets of laws in the United States today. One is inscribed in law books and applies to the majority of Americans. The other is a canon of privileges enjoyed by an establishment under the umbrella of an intelligence bureaucracy that has arrogated to itself the rights and protections of what was once a free press.

The media is now openly entwined with the national security establishment in a manner that would have been unimaginable before the advent of the age of the dossier—the literary forgery the FBI used as evidence to spy on the Trump team. In coordinating to perpetrate the Russiagate hoax on the American public, the media and intelligence officials have forged a relationship in which the two partners look out for the other’s professional and political interests. Not least of all, they target shared adversaries and protect mutual friends.

Recently WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted on 17 counts of violating the espionage act for obtaining military and diplomatic secrets from U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning and publishing them in 2010. First Amendment lawyers and free speech activists worry that the indictments are likely to have a “chilling” effect on the practice of journalism. Others, however, argue that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the WikiLeaks founder.

“Julian Assange is no journalist,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a press briefing last week.

The Department of Justice’s position found support, of all places, in the media. “Julian Assange himself is not a journalist,” said CNN national security and legal analyst Asha Rangappa. “He was not engaged in bona fide newsgathering or publication and put national security at risk intentionally,” Rangappa told NPR.

Who’s Asha Rangappa, you ask, and how did she become an expert on journalism?

According to a profile in Elle magazine, she worked three years in the FBI (Robert Mueller was director) as a counterintelligence official in the New York field office before returning to her alma mater, Yale Law School,
as its admissions director. In that post she became famous for destroying admissions records to prevent students from legally accessing them. With the advent of the Russiagate hoax, Rangappa has become one of the best-known faces of a new, hybrid industry in which former national security bureaucrats are rebranded as “journalists.”

Here are the people that Americans get their national security news from these days:
Before becoming a national security analyst for CNN, former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, had previously been a news item himself after lying to Congress in 2013 when he testified that the NSA wasn’t collecting data on Americans. He later provided inconsistent testimony to Congress in 2017—saying first that he had not spoken with the press about the Steele dossier while he was DNI, then that he told future CNN colleague Jake Tapper about it. According to Tapper, that never happened. What’s clear is that Clapper should not be offered up as any kind of expert by any legitimate outlet.
Other members of CNN’s shadow intelligence organization include Josh Campbell, one-time special assistant to ex-FBI Director James Comey, and CIA official Philip Mudd. What qualifies them as journalists, as opposed to Assange? They worked in the intelligence community.

CNN rival NBC/MSNBC features an even more formidable roster of spooks. At the top is John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. During his time at the helm of the CIA, the agency spied on Congress, lied about it and finally got outed by an internal report forcing Brennan to issue apologies to the senators who had been targets of the intelligence operation. “The C.I.A. unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee computers,” Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall wrote at the time. In a statement calling on Brennan to resign, Udall wrote: “This grave misconduct not only is illegal but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers” and called the episode evidence of “a tremendous failure of leadership.”

Another NBC contributor is former CIA analyst Ned Price, who as Obama national security staff spokesman misled the U.S. press and public regarding Obama administration policy.
NBC reporter Ken Dilanian said of the WikiLeaks founder: “Many believe that if [Assange] ever was a journalist, those days ended a long time ago.” Others have said the same of Dilanian, based on a 2014 report showing that the NBC journalist was sending his articles to CIA headquarters for fact-checking.

NBC was named in a defamation lawsuit last week filed by the lawyer for a British academic, Svetlana Lokhova, a Moscow-born historian who was dragged into a US intelligence operation to frame Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as a Kremlin asset. Lokhova was accused without any evidence whatsoever of being a Russian spy by several U.S. and U.K. press outfits.

MSNBC’s Malcolm Nance—whose Twitter feed identifies him as “US Intelligence +36 yrs. Expert Terrorist Strategy, Tactics, Ideology. Torture, Russian Cyber!”—was one notable player in the journalist-spook nexus pumping up the story that Lokhova was a spy who ensnared Flynn. In early 2017 Nance tweeted: “Flynn poss caught in FSB honeypot w/female Russian Intel asset.”

Fellow MSNBC contributor Naveed Jamali— author of How to Catch a Russian Spy and a self-described “Double agent” and “Intel Officer”—joined in tweeting: “Here’s the other thing to understand about espionage: once you’ve crossed the line once, the second time is easier. While at DIA Flynn had contact with Svetlana Lokhova who allegedly has Russian intel ties.”

Lokhova is seeking $25 million from NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal, and U.S. government informant Stefan Halper. The British historian alleges that Halper was the source for the press’ multipronged smear campaign against her, a private citizen.

Unlike the New Journalists at CNN and MSNBC/NBC, Julian Assange meets the old-fashioned definition of a journalist, meaning a person who is willing to take personal risks to publish information that powerful people and institutions routinely lie to the public about in order to advance their political and personal agendas.

And yet it’s true that the leaks Assange published in 2010 may have endangered U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Further, by failing to redact those documents—as WikiLeaks colleagues reportedly urged—Assange may have put a price on the heads of informants who came forth to help the United States.

Former CIA Director Robert Gates said in 2010 that Assange was morally culpable. “And that’s where I think the verdict is ‘guilty’ on WikiLeaks. They have put this out without any regard whatsoever for the consequences.”

Gates was less certain that Assange damaged U.S. interests. The longtime public servant acknowledged that the publication of the 2010 leaks was embarrassing and awkward. “Consequences for U.S. foreign policy?” said Gates. “I think fairly modest.”

Commentators claim that the indictments have nothing to do with Assange’s publishing stolen Democratic National Committee emails in the months before the 2016 election that might have damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. That is not true. The purpose of the indictments, like the Russiagate hoax itself, is to send a message. The U.S. security establishment will use both legal and extraconstitutional methods to protect its privileges and prerogatives while waging a relentless campaign against anyone who dares to encroach on them.

The indictments against Assange further confirm the dossier-era degradation of the American public sphere, where spies are now in charge of shaping the news, with the goal of advancing their own institutional agendas, prosecuting political hits, and keeping themselves and their political patrons beyond the reach of the laws that apply to everyone else.


“No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposefully publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in a war zone,” John Demers said during last week’s press briefing on the Assange indictments.

The head of DOJ’s national security division also thanked the media for their role in protecting American democracy. But how the Justice Department apparently understands its cozy bureaucratic partnership with New Journalists like Asha Rangappa and her colleagues is worth looking at.

In late March, Demers sat for an hour-long public interview with Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima to discuss the challenges facing DOJ and the National Security division—including China, Iran, and of course Russia.

Nakashima was part of the joint New York Times and Washington Post team that won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

Many of the 20 stories cited by the Pulitzer committee appear to be sourced to leaks of classified information. Demers’ interlocutor in March had her byline on one of the Pulitzer-cited Post stories that, if the reporting is to be believed, was sourced to leaks of classified information drawn from an intercept of a foreign official.

A Feb. 9, 2017, Post story by Nakashima, Adam Entous, and Greg Miller reported on former Trump official Michael Flynn’s conversation with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. The story related details from the conversation, and is sourced to “officials who had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats.”

It’s useful comparing the nature of the leaks Assange published and those made public by the Post. Of the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks published, half were unclassified. The rest were mostly classified “Confidential,” with 11,000 classified “Secret.” None are classified “Top Secret.” The reports regarding Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay were classified no higher than “Secret.”

By contrast, intercepts of foreign officials, like the one regarding the Russian ambassador, are so sensitive that they are available only to a very few senior U.S. officials. The fact that the substance of one such intercept appears to have been leaked and discussed, according to the Post, by nine U.S. officials, should have sparked an immediate investigation.

The Justice Department did not respond to Tablet’s email asking whether any of the nine officials who discussed the Flynn leak are currently under investigation.
Another story with a Nakashima byline, dated July 21, 2017, reported on communications between Kislyak and Moscow regarding the ex-envoy’s conversations with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The conversations, write Nakashima and her Post colleagues, “were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies.” This story was also sourced to U.S. officials.
DOJ did not respond to Tablet’s email asking whether the U.S. officials who discussed the Sessions leak are under currently under investigation.

DOJ also did not respond when asked if Nakashima and the other Pulitzer-Prize-winning Post reporters who published stories sourced to classified information are under investigation.

Nakashima did not respond to an email from Tablet requesting comment for publication. Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron did not respond by press time to emails requesting comment for publication.

So should Nakashima and her colleagues be held to the same legal standards as Julian Assange? Of course not. Assange was in trouble, Rangappa reasoned, because he “was not a passive recipient of classified information the way that a journalist who is receiving … an anonymous leak might be, that he was actively participating in the solicitation encouragement of – in the process of getting this information illegally.”

Yet the Post and the Times can hardly be considered “passive recipients” of “an anonymous leak.” The leaks were provided not by whistleblowers outing the wrongdoings of government officials—which was Assange’s territory. Rather, the Post and Times gave a platform to U.S. officials who abused surveillance programs and other government resources in order to prosecute a political campaign against the sitting president and his advisers. The Pulitzer citation itself provides a timeline showing that the stories are evidence of a campaign of leaks lasting more than half a year.

Yes, Assange’s leaks may have endangered American troops and certainly put foreign nationals at risk. Assange also endangered national security by exposing sources. And yet the Post and the Times were active participants in a political operation that abused surveillance programs designed to keep Americans safe from terrorism. Who endangered American national security more?

Many journalists now claim to be concerned about President Trump’s ordering Attorney General William Barr to declassify documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation–a move that old fashioned truth seekers should surely welcome. The worry now, say media industry insiders, is that declassification may reveal sensitive government sources. However, there was little media concern that the campaign of Russiagate leaks targeting the Trump circle endangered U.S. citizens or foreign nationals.

Here, for instance, is an April 11, 2017, Ellen Nakashima story, again seemingly sourced to classified information, disclosing that the FBI had a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on suspicion he was a Russian agent. The former U.S. Navy officer was subjected to a campaign of harassment, including death threats. British historian Svetlana Lokhova was also subjected to abuse and harassment.

Why is the media, an industry nominally devoted to transparency, fighting the publication of documents likely to shed light on government wrongdoing? Because those documents are also likely to reveal the media’s role in the intelligence community’s campaign of political warfare targeting Americans.

For instance, among the documents Barr has reportedly been asked to declassify is exculpatory evidence regarding former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. The New York Times was first to report in its Pulitzer-cited Dec. 31, 2017, story that the FBI opened its investigation of the Trump campaign after Papadopoulos relayed information regarding Clinton emails to an Australian diplomat.

Should the exculpatory evidence prove that the FBI knew early on that Papadopoulos was never part of any Russian plot to interfere with the election, it will show that the bureau’s investigation was a political dirty-tricks campaign—which the special counsel inherited in May 2017 and kept afloat for nearly two more years. Rather than unraveling the lies that sustained the FBI’s dirty Russiagate investigation, the press’ selective reporting served rather as a shield to defend intelligence officials spying on Americans who were guilty only of supporting the wrong presidential candidate.

There is little chance the Post or Times reporters will be prosecuted for doing what Assange did—and much worse. However, the Assange indictments coupled with the rewards reaped by America’s premier newspapers for their role in a spy agency information campaign send a clear message not only to journalists but also to the public at large. In abusing both the rights of a free press and national security programs designed to keep Americans safe from terrorism, the press and intelligence bureaucracy have made us less free and less safe. The larger message they’re sending is, it’s not your country anymore. It’s ours.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Pugh Indicted

from HotAir
We haven’t heard much about the Healthy Holly bookgate scandal in Baltimore since May, when former Mayor Catherine Pugh was finally driven to resign from her office in disgrace. At the time, it looked as if she might actually get away with the self-dealing scam she’d been running on the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) for years. It turned out that the city had never gotten around to passing a law against that sort of dubious financial activity. (Both the city and the state rushed to pass new laws after all of this was discovered, but those laws wouldn’t apply to her retroactively.)

Well, it looks like the prosecutors investigating the matter found more dirt that we hadn’t heard about. Pugh was finally indicted last week on a variety of corruption and tax evasion charges. The indictments were handed down in secret and the news didn’t break until this morning. (NY Times)
Catherine Pugh, the former mayor of Baltimore, has been indicted on corruption charges connected to money she received for a series of children’s books she wrote, prosecutors made public on Wednesday.

Ms. Pugh, who resigned as mayor in May amid state and federal investigations over the sale of her “Healthy Holly” books to companies that had business ties to the city, faces multiple charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States government and tax evasion.

Most of the “Healthy Holly” books, promoting healthy eating and exercise habits, were never distributed to children as had been promised, the authorities said. Instead, thousands of copies were found in a Baltimore City Public School System warehouse; others were stored in Ms. Pugh’s offices and in one of her houses.
There’s a temptation (at least for me) to ask what took so long for this to happen? The stunning part of that entire story, starting from the very beginning, was that this was just such an obvious and blatant case of grifting. Pugh had “sold” tens of thousands of copies of her self-published children’s books to UMMS and other entities doing business and holding contracts with the city. When the scam originally began, she was a state senator, overseeing the operation of UMMS.

Thanks to the diligent reporting of the Baltimore Sun and other local news outlets, we later learned that piles of the books had never been delivered and were collecting dust in a warehouse. And there were no records that even larger numbers that were paid for had even been printed. Pugh wound up collecting anywhere from $600K to a million, depending on which press reports you were reading.

Before she went to ground and stopped talking to the press, Pugh had assured everyone that everything was legal and she had paid all of her taxes. But based on the description of these indictments, neither of those things were technically true. For starters, it may have been legal under existing laws at that time for an elected official to engage in such no-bid deals with organizations she oversaw, but there were still sales contracts in place. And if you agree to sell something and accept payment for it, you’re expected to deliver.

For both the books found buried in the warehouse and the larger number never printed, those deliveries clearly never happened. And that might give prosecutors the leverage they need to gain a conviction. Also, if she either failed to pay the taxes or reported her income fraudulently, the IRS might have grounds to put her behind bars also. I have no doubt that her lawyers will push for delays and the trial will drag on for months, if not years. But it’s just possible that the citizens of Baltimore will get some long-overdue justice for what appears to be a flagrant case of theft of taxpayer dollars when this is all over.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hold on to Your Hats, Maryland!

from The Intercept - "As Longest-Serving Senate President in U.S. History Steps Aside, Maryland Set for a Political Shakeup"
For as long as anybody in Maryland can remember, any effort to pass progressive legislation in this deeply blue state began with one vexing question: What do we do about Mike?

Thomas “Mike” Miller, the longest serving state Senate president in U.S. history, has been a formidable barrier to progressive action for decades.
A member of the Maryland Senate since 1975, the conservative Democrat has been the chamber’s top leader for the last 32 years, wielding unparalleled and deft power over politics, careers, and how or whether bills move forward in Annapolis. Allied with the state’s top lobbyists, he is who progressives have blamed over the years for stalling, thwarting, and watering down top legislative priorities like raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid sick leave, and reforming marijuana laws. “Why does Maryland punch below its weight class in terms of progressive legislation? It’s because of leadership,” said Kim Propeack, the political and communications director for CASA de Maryland, an immigrant rights group. “People want to honor Mike Miller’s legacy, and I think that’s appropriate, but there’s a whole lot of stuff that we have the most conservative versions of, and that’s in large part because of him.”

In theory, Maryland could be passing model legislation in the same way New York, Massachusetts, California, and Washington state have been doing. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, the state has not cast its votes for a Republican president since 1988, and even with Republican governors sometimes at the helm, Democrats have retained a decades long veto-proof majority in the state Senate.

Progressives tried to take down Miller in 2018, mounting a primary challenge under the banner of “Take a hike, Mike.” While Miller ultimately won his reelection, unions, the Maryland Working Families Party, and other statewide left-wing organizations did manage to unseat a handful of other powerful incumbents tied to Miller. Among those ousted included the Senate Finance Committee chair, who many thought would eventually succeed Miller as president; the Senate Health and Environmental Affairs Committee chair; and the president pro tempore, the Senate’s second most powerful Democrat. Despite those wins, progressives’ ability to influence change in Annapolis remained limited, as Miller still controlled committee assignments and how legislation moves forward.

Maryland’s political landscape, however, drastically changed late last month, when Miller announced his resignation as Senate president due to complications from his cancer treatment. Come next year, he will continue to be a rank-and-file senator, but the state Senate will instead be led by Bill Ferguson, a 36-year-old progressive lawmaker from Baltimore, and one of the most vocal advocates for public education funding in Annapolis.

“It’s revolutionary, honestly,” said Propeack.

Larry Stafford, the executive director of Progressive Maryland, celebrated. “Now there’s more hope for finally having a more just and fair system of taxation in Maryland,” he said, “something that Mike Miller has not been supportive of in terms of the wealthy paying their fair share.”

Ferguson’s ascension to the Senate presidency was something of a coup for progressives in Annapolis. Even with several of Miller’s closest allies having lost their seats in 2018, the expectation was that a more senior-level, establishment-friendly Democrat would take the reins.

Four prominent senators had been gunning for the role in a behind-the-scenes battle last month, but none were proving they could win the 17 votes necessary to win the nomination. Then, as the Baltimore Sun reported, the influential Senate Finance Committee chair, 83-year-old Delores Kelley, approached Ferguson and asked him to consider jumping into the fray. She liked his budgetary expertise, said his age shouldn’t deter him, and thought he could help break the succession impasse.

Miller was simultaneously applying pressure on the candidates to come to a nominating consensus, to avoid an acrimonious succession squabble. Some of the chamber’s more progressive senators began feeling nervous that the leading contender for the Senate presidency appeared to be Sen. Douglas J. J. Peters of Prince George’s County, an anti-abortion Democrat who also voted against same-sex marriage. “We played a role in backing up the message that someone who is anti-choice shouldn’t be the next senate president in Maryland in the year 2020,” said Stafford. After several weeks of campaigning around the state, Ferguson won out as the unanimous choice. Kelley played a key role shoring up votes for him too.

As Maryland Matters politics reporter Josh Kurtz noted, “While it’s not going to happen overnight, the culture in the Senate is going to change dramatically — more so, most likely, than if any of the other contenders to succeed Miller had prevailed.” Miller leaving his post is also expected to be a blow to the top lobbyists in Maryland, many of whom either served as Miller’s own political aides at one point or worked previously in the state Senate alongside him. Ferguson also accepts lobbyist and corporate donations, but Gerard Evans, a lobbyist who served as Miller’s top legislative assistant in the early 1980s, told the Washington Post he expects Ferguson to be more “participatory” in his legislative style and less reliant on a “key core” of people.

Ferguson’s new role will also help shift the balance of power in Annapolis from the D.C. suburbs — where Miller lived — to Ferguson’s home in Baltimore, which is much more heavily dependent on state assistance for basic municipal needs. Since May, the Maryland House of Delegates has also been led by someone from the Baltimore area: Adrienne Jones, a Democrat from Baltimore County, was elected speaker of the House in May to replace the previous speaker, who was from Anne Arundel County and had led the chamber for 17 years until his death in April.

Ferguson did not return requests for comment, and he’s been careful in recent weeks to give thanks and credit to Miller for his years of public service. “I have been humbled to learn such a great deal about leadership from Mike Miller in the last 9 years,” he wrote in an October 26 email to supporters. “As I transition into this new role, we will continue to work side by side as the Senate reaches new progress for all Marylanders.”

Stafford, of Progressive Maryland, says that immediate priorities for progressives next year will be campaign finance reform and passing a more equitable public education school funding formula.

“I’m most excited about the prospect for a small-dollar fund matching program and getting the influence of money out of politics in state-level elections,” he told The Intercept. “We’ve been able to win campaigns to pass public financing in Howard County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore City, and we believe this shift with Miller will enable us to have more success in pushing that type of policy forward, which could further change the makeup of the state’s political landscape.” A study released this past September by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group found that candidates who participated in Montgomery County’s new public financing program attracted far more donors in the 2018 election than those who didn’t.

Maryland activists are also hoping to advance paid family leave and to remove the exemptions from their watered-down minimum wage law. They are also bracing for intense fights next session over public education. Lawmakers plan to convene next year over new school funding recommendations issued this past September by a 26-member state commission.
The Kirwan Commission, as it’s known, was established in 2016 by the state legislature (and named after William Kirwan, the former chancellor of the University of Maryland) to rewrite the state’s long-standing school funding formula. After several years of deliberations, the Kirwan Commission recommended a $3.8 billion increase in school spending over a decade, with about half of that money coming from county and city governments, and the other half from the state. The commission also included recommendations for how the new money should be spent, like raising teacher salaries, expanding pre-K, and investing more in schools with high concentrations of poverty. Activists are calling next year a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to fix the state’s inequitable education system.

According to a recent poll by Goucher College, about 70 percent of Maryland adults think the state spends too little on public schools, and nearly three-fourths said they would be willing to spend more on improving education. But Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has already made clear he plans to fight hard against the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations, vowing to oppose any major tax increases that would be necessary to implement the plan.

While Miller has said he would fight to move public education forward, his friendly relationship with the governor, and his own centrist track record, had progressives feeling wary about getting a strong school funding formula through the grinder next year. Ferguson, by contrast, was actually on the Kirwan Commission himself, previously taught in Baltimore with Teach for America, and now works a day job at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

“He has a history in education, is very knowledgeable on the state budget, and we believe he will be more willing to go toe-to-toe with the governor over this,” said Stafford. “We’re ready to go.”

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Leaked Emails EXPOSE Impeachment And Joe Biden, Trump May Have RIGHT About Corruption The Whole Time

This whole Biden scandal proves that the Democrat Party is coordinating the world's globalist corporate oligarchy in the exact same manner as Putin is controlling Russia's corporate oligarchy. There is no difference between the two, and the Chinese CCCP in method or intent. Pay-to Play politics has moved from the Chicago Speakeasy back room to the floor of the world's legislatures and DC Congressional cloak rooms. Success is no longer defined by what you know, but who you blow.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Biden Lied – Emails Show Burisma Executives Leveraging Hunter Biden Membership as Pressure on U.S. State Dept. For Assistance in Removing Ukraine Corruption Probe…

Well, well, well…. everything Joe Biden and the Obama administration previously denied taking place is now documented as having taken place. Newly discovered emails between Ukrainian energy company Burisma and State Dept. officials show the company was leveraging Biden’s affiliation with the company to get U.S. govt assistance.

As a result of a FOIA lawsuit journalist John Solomon has received emails between the Burisma energy company and U.S. State Department; where Burisma seeking U.S. government assistance to get the Ukraine prosecutor to drop a corruption probe against the energy co., and leveraging Hunter Biden’s board membership toward their efforts.
John Solomon, "Hunter Biden’s Ukraine gas firm pressed Obama administration to end corruption allegations, memos show"
Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son’s company for corruption, newly released memos show.

During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. (I filed that suit this summer with the help of the public interest law firm the Southeastern Legal Foundation.)

Just three weeks before Burisma’s overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.

Hunter Biden’s name, in fact, was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help, according to a series of email exchanges among U.S. officials trying to arrange the meeting. The subject line for the email exchanges read simply “Burisma.”

“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” a Feb. 24, 2016, email between State officials read. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).

“Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt,” the email added. “According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered.”

At the time, Novelli was the most senior official overseeing international energy issues for State. The undersecretary position, of which there are several, is the third-highest-ranking job at State, behind the secretary and deputy secretary. And Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies, a Washington firm that was hired by Burisma to help end a long-running corruption investigation against the gas firm in Ukraine.

Tramontano and another Blue Star official, Sally Painter, both alumni of Bill Clinton’s administration, worked with New York-based criminal defense attorney John Buretta to settle the Ukraine cases in late 2016 and 2017. I wrote about their efforts previously here.

Burisma Holdings records obtained by Ukrainian prosecutors state the gas firm made a $60,000 payment to Blue Star in November 2015.

The emails show Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016, and that State Department officials were scrambling to get answers ahead of time from the U.S. embassy in Kiev.

The records don’t show whether the meeting actually took place. The FOIA lawsuit is ongoing and State officials are slated to produce additional records in the months ahead.

But the records do indicate that Hunter Biden’s fellow American board member at Burisma, Devon Archer, secured a meeting on March 2, 2016 with Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition to serving on the Burisma board, Archer and Hunter Biden were partners at an American firm known as Rosemont Seneca.

“Devon Archer coming to see S today at 3pm – need someone to meet/greet him at C Street,” an email from Kerry’s office manager reads. “S” is a shorthand frequently used in State emails to describe the Secretary of State. The memos don’t state the reason for the meeting.

Tramontano, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, Archer and Joe Biden’s campaign did not return messages seeking comment on Monday.

In an interview with ABC News last month, Hunter Biden said he believed he had done “nothing wrong at all” while working with Burisma but “was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is…a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah.”

Whatever the subject of the Archer-Kerry meeting, its existence is certain to spark interest. That’s because Secretary Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz, had been a business partner with both Archer and Hunter Biden at the Rosemont Seneca investment firm in the United States.

Heinz, however, chose not to participate in the Burisma dealings. In fact, he wrote an email to his stepfather’s top aides in May 2014, pointedly distancing himself from the decision by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer to join Burisma’s board.

Heinz’s spokesman recently told The Washington Post that Heinz ended his relationship with Archer and Hunter Biden partly over the Burisma matter. “The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden,” Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi told the newspaper

A person who assisted Blue Star and Buretta in settling the Burisma matters in Ukraine told me in an interview that the late February 2016 overture to State was prompted by a dramatic series of events in Ukraine that included when that country’s top prosecutor escalated a two-year probe into Burisma and its founder, the oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.

Zlochevsky’s gas firm hired Hunter Biden and Archer as board members for Burisma Holdings in spring 2014, around the time that British officials opened corruption investigations into Zlochevsky’s gas firm for actions dating to 2010 before Hunter Biden and Archer joined the firm. Ukraine officials opened their own corruption probe in August 2014.

A firm called Rosemont Seneca Bohai began receiving monthly payments totaling more than $166,000 from Burisma Holdings in May 2014, bank records show. The records show Devon Archer was listed as a custodian for the Rosemont Seneca Bohai firm and that Hunter Biden received payments from it. You can read those bank records here.

In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt gave a speech imploring Ukrainian prosecutors to do more to bring Zlochevsky to justice, according to published reports at the time.

By early 2016 the Ukrainian investigation had advanced enough that then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin authorized a court-ordered seizure of Zlochevsky’s home and other valuables, including a luxury car. That seizure occurred on Feb. 2, 2016, according to published reports in Ukraine.

The same day that the Zlochevsky seizure was announced in Ukraine, Hunter Biden used his Twitter account to start following Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a longtime national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden who was promoted to the No. 2 job at State under Secretary John Kerry.

The Feb. 4, 2016 Twitter notification from Hunter Biden to Blinken was captured by State email servers and turned over to me as part of the FOIA release.

Within a few weeks of Tramontano’s overture to Novelli and of Archer’s overture to Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden took a stunning action, one that has enveloped his 2020 campaign for president in controversy.

By his own admission in a 2018 speech, Joe Biden used the threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid to strong-arm Ukraine into firing Shokin, a prosecutor that he and his office knew was investigating Burisma.

Biden has said he forced Shokin’s firing because he and Western allies believed the prosecutor wasn’t aggressive enough in fighting corruption.

Shokin disputes that account, telling both me and ABC News that he was fired specifically because he would not stand down from investigating Burisma. In fact, Shokin alleges, he was making plans to interview Hunter Biden about his Burisma work and payments when he got the axe.

Ukraine prosecutors have said they do not believe the Bidens did anything wrong under Ukraine law. But some of the country’s prosecutors made an effort in 2018 to get information about Burisma to the U.S. Justice Department because they believed American prosecutors might be interested in some activities under U.S. law. You can read about that effort here.

Some experts and officials have been quoted in reports saying Joe Biden’s actions created the appearance of a conflict of interest, something all U.S. government officials are supposed to avoid. The questions about conflicts were previously raised in a 2015 article by the New York Times and the 2018 book Secret Empires by author Peter Schweizer.

The new evidence of contacts between Burisma, Hunter Biden and Archer at State are certain to add a new layer of intrigue to the debate. Those contacts span back to at least spring 2015, the new memos show.

On May 22, 2015, Hunter Biden emailed his father’s longtime trusted aide, Blinken, with the following message: “Have a few minutes next week to grab a cup of coffee? I know you are impossibly busy, but would like to get your advice on a couple of things, Best, Hunter.”

Blinken responded the same day with an “absolutely” and added, “Look forward to seeing you.”

The records indicate the two men were scheduled to meet the afternoon of May 27, 2015.

The State Department records also indicate Hunter Biden met Blinken in person for lunch on July 22, 2015, when State officials gave the name of a person to meet to help him enter the building. “He has the VIP pin and can escort you upstairs for your lunch with Tony,”
the email said.

The emails don’t indicate whether the meeting had to do with Burisma or one of Hunter Biden’s other interests.

But they clearly show that Hunter Biden, his business partner and Burisma’s legal team were able to secure contacts inside the State Department, including to one of his father’s most trusted aides, to Secretary Kerry and to the agency’s top energy official.

The question now is: Did any of those contacts prompt further action or have anything to do with Joe Biden’s conduct in Ukraine in March 2016 when he forced Shokin’s firing?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Why John Brennan, Peter Strzok and DOJ Needed Julian Assange Arrested – And Why UK Officials Obliged…

from The Conservative Treehouse
According to recent reports U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr are spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. One recent quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state notes:
“One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services””.
It is interesting that quote comes from a British intelligence official, as there appears to be mounting evidence of an extensive CIA operation that likely involved U.K. intelligence services. In addition, and as a direct outcome, there is an aspect to the CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control. In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.

By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the CIA (John Brennan) to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. {Go Deep}

In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos.

The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier.

One of the more interesting aspects to the Durham probe is a possibility of a paper-trail created as a result of the tasking operations. We should watch closely for more evidence of a paper trail as some congressional reps have hinted toward documented evidence (transcripts, recordings, reports) that are exculpatory to the targets (Page & Papadop). HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes has strongly hinted that very specific exculpatory evidence was known to the FBI and yet withheld from the FISA application used against Carter Page that also mentions George Papadopoulos. I digress…

However, there is an aspect to the domestic U.S. operation that also bears the fingerprints of the CIA; only this time due to the restrictive laws on targets inside the U.S. the CIA aspect is less prominent. This is where FBI Agent Peter Strzok working for both agencies starts to become important.

Remember, it’s clear in the text messages Strzok has a working relationship with what he called their “sister agency”, the CIA. Additionally, Brennan has admitted Strzok helped write the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which outlines the Russia narrative; and it is almost guaranteed the July 31st, 2016, “Electronic Communication” from the CIA to the FBI that originated FBI operation “Crossfire Hurricane” was co-authored from the CIA by Strzok…. and Strzok immediately used that EC to travel to London to debrief intelligence officials around Australian Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Downer.

In short, Peter Strzok appears to be the very eager, profoundly overzealous James Bond wannabe, who acted as a bridge between the CIA and the FBI. The perfect type of FBI career agent for CIA Director John Brennan to utilize.

Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson hired CIA Open Source analyst Nellie Ohr toward the end of 2015; at appropriately the same time as “FBI Contractors” were identified exploiting the NSA database and extracting information on a specific set of U.S. persons.

It was also Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson who was domestically tasked with a Russian lobbyist named Natalia Veselnitskya. A little reported Russian Deputy Attorney General named Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was working double-agents for the CIA and Kremlin. Karapetyan was directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Glenn Simpson was organizing her inside the U.S.

Glenn Simpson managed Veselnitskaya through the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. However, once the CIA/Fusion-GPS operation using Veselnitskaya started to unravel with public reporting… back in Russia Deputy AG Karapetyan fell out of a helicopter to his death (just before it crashed).

Simultaneously timed in late 2015 through mid 2016, there was a domestic FBI operation using a young Russian named Maria Butina tasked to run up against republican presidential candidates. According to Patrick Byrne, Butina’s handler, it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who was giving Byrne the instructions on where to send her. {Go Deep}

All of this context outlines the extent to which the CIA was openly involved in constructing a political operation that settled upon anyone in candidate Donald Trump’s orbit.

International operations directed by the CIA, and domestic operations seemingly directed by Peter Strzok operating with a foot in both agencies. [Strzok gets CIA service coin]

Recap: ♦Mifsud tasked against Papadopoulos (CIA). ♦Halper tasked against Flynn (CIA), Page (CIA), and Papadopoulos (CIA). ♦Azra Turk, pretending to be Halper asst, tasked against Papadopoulos (FBI). ♦Veselnitskaya tasked against Donald Trump Jr (CIA, Fusion-GPS). ♦Butina tasked against Trump, and Donald Trump Jr (FBI).

Additionally, Christopher Steele was a British intelligence officer, hired by Fusion-GPS to assemble and launder fraudulent intelligence information within his dossier. And we cannot forget Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, who was recruited by Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to participate in running an operation against the Trump campaign and create the impression of Russian involvement. Deripaska refused to participate.

All of this engagement directly controlled by U.S. intelligence; and all of this intended to give a specific Russia impression. This predicate is presumably what John Durham is currently reviewing.

The key point of all that background is to see how committed the CIA and FBI were to the constructed narrative of Russia interfering with the 2016 election. The CIA, FBI, and by extension the DOJ, put a hell of a lot of work into it. Intelligence community work that Durham is now unraveling.

We also know specifically that John Durham is looking at the construct of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA); and talking to CIA analysts who participated in the construct of the January 2017 report that bolstered the false appearance of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This is important because it ties in to the next part that involves Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

On April 11th, 2019, the Julian Assange indictment was unsealed in the EDVA. From the indictment we discover it was under seal since March 6th, 2018.

On Tuesday April 15th more investigative material was released. Again, note the dates: Grand Jury, *December of 2017* This means FBI investigation prior to….
The FBI investigation took place prior to December 2017, it was coordinated through the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) where Dana Boente was U.S. Attorney at the time. The grand jury indictment was sealed from March of 2018 until after Mueller completed his investigation, April 2019.
Why the delay?

What was the DOJ waiting for?

Here’s where it gets interesting….

The FBI submission to the Grand Jury in December of 2017 was four months after congressman Dana Rohrabacher talked to Julian Assange in August of 2017: “Assange told a U.S. congressman … he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents … did not come from Russia.”
(August 2017, The Hill Via John Solomon) Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year’s election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.

Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill.

“Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year’s presidential election,” Rohrabacher said, “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.”

Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump.
Knowing how much effort the CIA and FBI put into the Russia collusion-conspiracy narrative, it would make sense for the FBI to take keen interest after this August 2017 meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange; and why the FBI would quickly gather specific evidence (related to Wikileaks and Bradley Manning) for a grand jury by December 2017.

Within three months of the grand jury the DOJ generated an indictment and sealed it in March 2018. The EDVA sat on the indictment while the Mueller probe was ongoing.

As soon as the Mueller probe ended, on April 11th, 2019, a planned and coordinated effort between the U.K. and U.S. was executed; Julian Assange was forcibly arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and the EDVA indictment was unsealed (link).

As a person who has researched this three year fiasco; including the ridiculously false 2016 Russian hacking/interference narrative: “17 intelligence agencies”, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) needed for Obama’s anti-Russia narrative in December ’16; and then a month later the ridiculously political Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) in January ’17; this timing against Assange is too coincidental.

It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.

This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

The predicate for Robert Mueller’s investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor.

The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.

Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

This Russian “hacking” claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus…. Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.

Now, if we know this, and you know this; and everything is cited and factual… well, then certainly AG Bill Barr knows this.

The $64,000 dollar question is: will they say so publicly

Friday, November 1, 2019

Shibuya 2019

This ‘Impeachment’ Is a Cover-Up

from The American Spectator
This ‘Impeachment’ Is a Cover-Up

Democrats are trying to hide the truth of what happened.

Nancy Pelosi proclaimed Thursday that the party-line impeachment vote in the House of Representatives was about protecting “democracy.” Madame Speaker was actually close to speaking the truth for once, because what the impeachment circus is about is protecting Democrats, particularly the Obama administration officials who sought to sabotage President Trump both during the 2016 election campaign and after Trump won. The vote Thursday — 232 to 196, with all but two Democrats in favor and all Republicans voting “no” — followed several days of secret testimony in deranged California Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, conducted prior to any authorizing vote on the House floor. Now that Democrats have formally voted to climb aboard the “Ukrainegate” impeachment train, however, Pelosi and her party have signed a sort of suicide pact. They must destroy the president in a desperate effort to prevent Americans from learning what Obama, the Democratic Party, and “deep state” bureaucrats did to Trump.

It was perhaps symbolic that this House vote happened on Halloween, inspiring the president to remark on Twitter:
“The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”
Finding the truth about the “Russian collusion” hoax, which the Obama administration used as an excuse to conduct surveillance against the Trump campaign, is a job that Attorney General William Barr has assigned to John Durham, U.S. attorney for Connecticut. As our esteemed editor R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. has noted, “The Bell Is About to Toll.” Durham’s investigation may soon begin indicting the people responsible for the Russia hoax. Meanwhile, we will soon see from Michael Horowitz, inspector general for the Department of Justice, a report detailing who did what (and on whose orders) in the elaborate anti-Trump operation that indisputably involved the FBI and almost certainly also implicates the CIA. Speaking of which …

A protégé of former CIA Director John Brennan has been identified by Paul Sperry of RealClear Investigations as the so-called “whistleblower” whose claims were the proximate cause of the Schiff–Pelosi impeachment proceeding against Trump. Eric Ciaramella, the son of a bank executive and a 2008 Yale graduate, was evidently handpicked by Brennan in 2015 for the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine policy. At the White House, Ciaramella worked closely with Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, and also with Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden. Perhaps the most troubling revelation in Sperry’s article was that Ciaramella also worked closely with Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic National Committee operative who, in 2016, left her DNC job to pursue her own “investigation” of the Trump campaign (See “Former DNC Official Partnered With Convicted Bomb Maker To Investigate Trump,” Daily Caller, March 21, 2017). For weeks, Schiff and other Democrats have insisted that the identity of the “whistleblower” is a closely guarded secret, but sources told Sperry that Ciaramella’s identity was in fact widely known:
“Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White House knows. Even the president knows who he is,” said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and national security adviser to Trump, who has fielded dozens of calls from the media.

Why was Ciaramella’s identity known to everyone in the media? Perhaps because, according to Sperry, Brennan’s hand-picked CIA agent inside the White House had been a source of leaks to reporters during the first six months of Trump’s presidency. It was conservative journalist Mike Cernovich who, in June 2017, blew the whistle on Ciaramella’s sabotage operation. “Ciaramella helped draft Susan Rice’s anti-Trump talking points before the Inauguration,” Cernovich reported:
In fall of 2016 as Obama’s director for Ukraine on the NSC, Ciaramella was the main force pushing Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.

Some suspect Ciaramella was one of the original leakers who told the media about classified conversations Trump had with Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov.

Not long after that report, and perhaps because of it, Ciaramella was purged from the White House, reassigned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This explains why, if Ciaramella is indeed the “whistleblower” whose identity Democrats have sought to conceal, he had only secondhand knowledge of Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Because Trump did not hesitate to release the transcript of that call, however, why was it necessary for Schiff to hold secret hearings about this? Anyone could read the transcript and agree with what National Security Council official Tim Morrison told Schiff’s committee: “I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.” Yet Schiff apparently wished to create the impression that he is privy to scandalous secrets that justify an impeachment proceeding, and why?

We are scarcely a year away from the 2020 election, and if Democrats can win next November, Trump’s policies vis-à-vis Ukraine and Russia would then become irrelevant. The field of Democratic presidential contenders, however, doesn’t seem likely to yield a winner — Trump’s poll numbers have actually improved since Schiff began his inquiry — and then there is the problem of the bells that are about to toll, as Bob Tyrrell has warned. If the soon-to-be-released Horowitz report is the bombshell we have been told to expect, and if Durham’s investigation turns up incontrovertible proof of anti-Trump skullduggery under Obama’s watch, Democrats are going to be in big trouble, and some former officials might even go to federal prison.

On the one hand, then, the “Ukrainegate” impeachment project is about distracting Americans from what we will soon learn about the origins of the “Russian collusion” hoax, and, on the other hand, it’s an attempt to derail Durham’s investigation of potential crimes committed by the perpetrators of that hoax. Many eyes have focused on former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (see Jed Babbin’s October 28 article “Clapper’s Nuremberg Defense”) as well as on Brennan (see George Neumayr’s October 24 article “The Case for Indicting John Brennan”). Given the role that Brennan’s protégé Ciaramella has reportedly played in Schiff’s probe, we have to ask: Is this “Ukrainegate” impeachment a continuation of the former CIA director’s effort to cover up what he did to sabotage Trump’s presidency?

Nearly 63 million Americans voted to elect Donald Trump, a result that Brennan and other “deep state” bureaucrats in Washington apparently did everything in their power to prevent. When Brennan & Co. failed to stop Trump from becoming president, however, it seems these soi-disant “public servants” tried to undo the results of the 2016 election, to undermine Trump’s authority and hinder his ability to conduct foreign policy. Nancy Pelosi says she’s defending “democracy,” but in fact she’s trying to defend the anti-democratic activities by which “deep state” operatives have sought to maintain their unelected power and continue the policies that Americans rejected three years ago when they voted against Hillary Clinton.