Saturday, June 23, 2018

The DOJ has turned over additional FISA records to Republicans, and former intelligence officials say the implications could be 'catastrophic'

Business Insider
SONAM SHETH (SSHETH@BUSINESSINSIDER.COM)        June 23 , 2018
 The Department of Justice has turned over additional surveillance records of President Donald Trump's associates that were collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to House Republicans, according to two congressional sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The surveillance was conducted as part of the department's Russia-related investigation, which is examining whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favor.

The news was first reported by CNN, which said the DOJ also provided lawmakers with other FBI records related to the Russia probe and the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

The move comes as House Republicans and the White House continue pressuring the DOJ and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to comply with subpoena requests for classified information.

While Republicans say the requests are part of their congressional oversight responsibility, Democrats accuse their colleagues across the aisle of using classified information to play politics and compromise the Russia investigation.

Leading the Republican charge are House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy.

Nunes has been under the spotlight since last year, when it surfaced that he traveled to the White House to brief administration officials on classified information about the Russia probe before informing his colleagues on the panel. He has since been conducting a separate investigation into what he characterizes as surveillance abuses by the DOJ and FBI.

Earlier this year, Nunes drew scrutiny for publicly disclosing FISA information about the former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. And in April, the DOJ turned over the document that first prompted the FBI to launch the Russia probe to House Republicans.
Donald J. Trump
   
                            ✔
@realDonaldTrump
 So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see...you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!

The implications could be 'catastrophic'
Asked about lawmakers obtaining additional FISA records related to the Russia investigation, one former senior FBI official said it was "hard to put into words" how "damaging it could to be to national security if details about the US's most sensitive intelligence-gathering process leaked out."

"It would be catastrophic," they added. "Look at the damage that's already been done."

The immediate concern, said former CIA operative Glenn Carle, is that turning over information related to FISA records could compromise sources and methods.

"Congressional oversight is not operational control, it's policy control," Carle said. "So it's not really appropriate for an oversight body and its members to have detailed knowledge of sources and methods, because they are not trained in how to handle that."

Republicans said Friday that the DOJ still has not complied with all their requests and indicated that they would be open to using all tools at their disposal to compel document production.

Addressing the matter this week, House Speaker Paul Ryan said "we expect compliance." Ryan met with Goodlatte, Nunes, and Gowdy on Friday morning, CNN reported.

Nunes said there would be "hell to pay" if the DOJ does not comply with all document requests.

A spokesperson for GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, the head of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said in a statement to Business Insider that "if the Deputy Attorney General continues withholding documents and denying Congressional requests for oversight, there need to be consequences."

"Contempt is certainly an option on the table," the spokesperson added.

Carle said it was telling that subpoena and document requests for intelligence related to the Russia and Clinton investigations have come from the Republican side of the aisle.

See Also: Restaurant bombarded with Yelp reviews after refusing to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders

"If something is coming from an entire committee, rather than a party, then the government is speaking through that committee," he said. "If it's coming from one party, that indicates political bias and could skew the outcome and fly in the face of the oversight function itself."

Meanwhile, Republican threats to penalize Rosenstein have attracted significant media coverage and speculation about what it could mean for the DOJ if its No. 2 official is held in contempt.

In all likelihood, it would mean very little.

When either chamber of Congress votes to hold an official in contempt, the case goes to the US attorney's office in Washington, DC for criminal prosecution.

See Also: ICE seeks up to 15,000 additional beds for detained immigrant families

In other words, if the House votes to hold the deputy attorney general in contempt, "they'd essentially be referring Rosenstein to himself for prosecution," said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ.

The last time any executive branch official was prosecuted for contempt was in 1983, when Rita Lavelle, who worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, was indicted on perjury charges.

In the event that Rosenstein is referred to the DOJ for prosecution and the department does not pursue the case — which, in all likelihood, it won't — then congressional Republicans could pursue civil charges against him.

But as of now, Cramer said, "They're just shaking their fists and making a lot of noise."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trump Bends Under Pressure ..... Reverses Order to Separate Children From Parents

Image result for cartoon of trump tearing children from their parents

 U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Wednesday.  I can't help it, but Pence gives me the creeps. He is always in the background with that spooky half smile.

Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself Wednesday and signed an executive order halting his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. In fact Trump passed that law and put in place the policy to tear children from the arms of their families

The order does not end the “zero-tolerance” policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally. But, at least for the next few weeks, it would keep families together while they are in custody, expedite their cases and ask the Defence Department to help house them. It also doesn’t change anything yet for the some 2,300 children taken from their families since the policy was put into place.
The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents — images that have sparked fury, questions of morality and concern from Republicans about a negative impact on their races in November’s midterm elections.
Until Wednesday, the president, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other officials had repeatedly argued the only way to end the practice was for Congress to pass new legislation, while Democrats said Trump could do it with his signature alone. That’s just what he did.

“We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” said Trump, who added that he didn’t like the “sight” or “feeling” of children separated from their parents.
Really? Then why did you create and  pass this nightmare into legislation? Is it because the children of' criminals' and 'rapists' should be treated accordingly? Explain yourself to the young mother who had her baby pulled from her arms while breast feeding and was handcuffed when she protested.
Horse Hockey ! Mr Trump , You couldn't take the backlash of public horror and disbelief. You couldn't withstand world wide disapproval and negative press so close to mid-term elections. Even the Pope made sure you knew he abhorred this abuse of children and babies. This is on you Trump.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump Fans...Please take a closer look

smdfgads

Reading my QUORA DIGEST the other day, I noted a reader making this comment:
"I am filled with pride because Trump is the president. What do liberals think about this?"

He was answered by Mathew Stern:
"I have to ask, what about him makes you feel proud? Your answer may say something about President Trump and his supporters, but it says more about you as a person.
 I judge politicians by their actions rather than their ideology. There is plenty about President Trump that seriously concerns me. You can point to the strong economy and prospects for denuclearizing North Korea, but there is also the sense that things can go downhill fast, possibly with a single errant tweet.
He has alienated our closest allies, edged closer to a global trade war, defunded and understaffed critical departments, allowed widespread corruption, dismantled environmental and consumer protection, attacked the free press, sought to undermine the rule of law, and engaged in cruel policies from separating children from their natural parents, who were immigrants seeking asylum, to criminal negligence in hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. And what if conditions turn negatively against him, like an economic disaster, or the Democrats taking one or both houses in Congress, or if the Mueller investigation leads to indictments against him and his family? How would he react? How would you and other Trump supporters react and feel?"
 I agree with Mr. Stern. If you are filled with pride that Trump is your president, then you have not been reading the same articles that I have. Do more research about him. Dig deep into his past. One or two seemingly good deeds that he has managed does not make up for a plethora of bad deeds. It doesn't make up for racism, xenophobia and misogyny. Did I mention cheating people out of money  with a phony  university and a phony charity? Don't fall for the hype and the rhetoric. The man is a master of lies and deceit. He can twist the truth like a pretzel and use it against anyone who displeases him. Or he may twist it to make himself look good in your eyes and other starry eyed Trump sycophants.
He is only concerned with himself and how he is represented to the American people. Honestly, he is merely acting like a president. Or, at least, the way he perceives a president should act and the emphasis is on 'act'. Apparently he reads very little, not even documents he is required to read, but he watches hours of TV and tweets pretzels until the wee hours of the morning. Other than that, you can  find  him on the golf course. This is not the stuff you want your president to be made of.
Step back and look at the broader view, the big picture. History will not regard Trump in the same light that you do.  They insist on facts.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Putin says he's ready for a one-on-one meeting with Trump

 Newsy          GABRIELLE WARE        June 10th 2018 
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's ready to meet with President Donald Trump whenever the U.S. is ready. The two would discuss the countries' nuclear efforts.

Putin made the announcement Sunday, the same day Trump arrived in Singapore ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On Saturday, a Kremlin spokesperson suggested Vienna as a potential meeting location.

The timing of the comments may not be arbitrary — they come just days after Trump advocated for Russia, saying it should be allowed to rejoin the G7 summit.

Russia was kicked out in 2014 after annexing Crimea.

Putin and Trump have discussed the idea of a one-on-one meeting over the course of several recent phone calls, and Putin reportedly asked Austria's chancellor to set one up this summer.

The Wall Street Journal reported June 1 that the White House was planning a meeting with Putin to discuss nuclear arms, Syria and Ukraine, but that those talks were in very early stages. The potential meeting would be the third between the two.

Witchy sez let's take a trip with her sown memory lane . 
“We will take America without firing a shot ... we will bury you! “We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism. “We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.” >>> Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev<<<
Look at all the Interference and Obstruction to stop the Mueller investigation and the President claiming no collusion, no collusion there is absolutely no collusion and " I am innocent ". Thou doth protest to much… You are GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY...
tRUMP  has yet to sign the Russian sanctions??
The Senate overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on Russia, joining the House in approving the measure by veto-proof margins.The vote on the bill passed on Tuesday by a combined vote in the House and Senate of 419-3.Congress could enact the bill over a Trump veto by two-thirds' votes in both chambers — far less than the 98 percent-plus support they've already given it. 
Republicans, remember when the Russians were the bad guys? They still are. Who's side are you on, patriots?
And the GOP is to Cowardly to bring it to a VOTE!!! Putin owns trump 100%!!! Sad but true.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Putin says he's willing to rejoin the Group Of Seven after Trump's invite

HuffPost US       NINA GOLGOWSKI     June 10,2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said he welcomed President Donald Trump’s call for allowing his country back into the Group of Seven, even as that proposal was dismissed by most of the leaders of the other nations that comprise the partnership.

Putin, whose country was expelled in 2014 from what was then the Group of Eight major industrial nations over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, also suggested hosting the organization’s next summit in Moscow.

“We did not (choose to) leave it, our colleagues refused to come to Russia due to known reasons at some point,” Putin told reporters at a briefing in the Chinese city of Qingdao, Reuters reported. “Please, we will be glad to see everyone here in Moscow.“

Trump on Friday suggested that Russia should be reinstated to the group, telling reporters that his view “may not be politically correct” but “we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Donald J. Trump

  @realDonaldTrump
 So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see...you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!

Italy’s new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, seconded Trump’s idea. But other G-7 leaders showed no interest in it.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday the group is not “even remotely” considering readmitting Russia. Aside from the dispute over Russia annexing the Crimea from Ukraine, the Kremlin’s standing within the international community has been eroded by its meddling in elections in other countries. These include the U.S., France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Ukraine, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Friday.

Trump faces his own problems with the G-7′s other members, especially over trade policy.

Trump on Saturday withdrew support for a joint statement issued by the other G-7 nations ― Canada, the U.K. Germany, France, Italy and Japan ― just hours after expressing support for it. He took the step of disavowing the statement as he and Trudeau exchanged barbs over Trump’s move to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union

As part of the bickering, Trump threatened to “stop trading” with some of the U.S.′ closest allies and to impose tariffs on foreign automobile imports from Canada.

He left the summit early on Saturday, skipping out on a discussion on global climate change to travel to Singapore ahead of his Tuesday summit there with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday hit back at Trump over trade policy and other matters on which the president with other G-7 nations, saying in a Twitter that “maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be.”

The six remaining nations, he said, “represent values” and a “true international market force.”

A photograph capturing Macron and Trump shaking hands on Friday showed the imprint of the French leader’s fingers left on the president’s hand, suggesting he gave Trump a particularly forceful grip.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost
Hey, Hey , Hey ... Witchy in her human form :

This is insanity. He is destroying our country and the spineless Republican party is doing nothing to stop him. Having tRUMP in office is like Christmas every day for Putin.
As much as he can, Trump does Putin's bidding. It's obvious that Trump knows that Vladimir has so much dirt on him that he cannot refuse a Putin request. All of the oligarchs who gave Trump and his family enterprises hundreds of millions of dollars report directly to Putin. These monies have been laundered into Trump real estate. If Trump isn't Russian friendly, Putin will drop a dime to Mueller and the Justice Dept. who will then have no choice but to take action. ******This is only my opinion and is not worth any more or any less than yours.

Assuming there is still a United States when Trump is through using it for his personal benefit, we're going to have to write a whole new set of laws outlining what president can and can not do. Considering how much Trump has twisted, distorted, and outright broken the law as president, it may take a few decades to cover everything. With any luck they'll actually enforce them.
Stay tune : As The Stomach Turns

G7 summit ends in disarray as Trump abandons joint statement

What is the G7?

It is an annual summit bringing together Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, which represent more than 60% of global net worth between them.
Economics tops the agenda, although the meetings now always branch off to cover major global issues.
Russia was suspended from the group in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. On Friday, Mr Trump made a surprise call for Moscow to be readmitted but German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members were against the idea.

What are the tariffs?

On 1 June, the US imposed a 25% tariff for steel and 10% for aluminium on imports from the EU, Canada, and Mexico. Mr Trump said the move would protect domestic producers that were vital to US security.
The EU then announced tariffs on US goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon. Canada and Mexico are also taking action in retaliation.

Donald Trump (left) with Justin Trudeau in Quebec, Canada, 8 June
 
US President Donald Trump has retracted his endorsement of the joint communique issued at the end of the G7 summit, accusing Canada of "dishonesty".
He said that other countries were imposing "massive tariffs" on the US.
The joint communique, advocating a "rules-based trading system", was reached despite tension over US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed afterwards to press ahead with retaliatory tariffs on 1 July.
Speaking at a news conference, he described as "insulting" Mr Trump's decision to invoke national security concerns to justify steel and aluminium tariffs.
"It would be with regret but it would be with absolute clarity and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on 1 July," Mr Trudeau said. "Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will also not be pushed around."
His speech contained nothing he had not said before, both in public and in private conversations with Mr Trump, his office said later.
The EU said it would stick to the joint communique despite Mr Trump's decision.
"We stand by the commitments made in the G7 communique," a senior UK government source said.

Tweeting en route to his next summit in Singapore, Mr Trump said he had instructed US officials "not to endorse the communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles".
He said the move was based on Mr Trudeau's "false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies".
He suggested Mr Trudeau was "very dishonest and weak".


PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!

Canada talks tough

Until just a few weeks ago, the relationship between Mr Trump and Mr Trudeau could have been called cordial. Despite differences between the two countries over trade - from tiffs over everything from softwood lumber and newsprint to the major renegotiation of the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement - the two men tended to speak positively about each other.
In the communique, the group of major industrial nations - Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany - agreed on the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.
"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies," they said.
Other agreements reached include:
  • Russia: A joint demand that Moscow "cease with its destabilising behaviour". The leaders called on the Kremlin to stop with its attempts to "undermine democracy" and to withdraw its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
  • Iran: A pledge to "permanently" ensure Tehran's nuclear programme remains peaceful. The group said they were committed to ensuring Iran would "never seek, develop or acquire a nuclear weapon"
  • Climate: An agreement to disagree. The US refused to sign a pledge to implement the Paris climate change accord after Mr Trump announced he was pulling out of the agreement last June in the hope of a new "fair" deal

What else did Trump have to say?

President Trump earlier told reporters he had proposed the idea of a tariff-free G7 to other leaders and described his talks with them as "extremely productive".
"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades," he continued, describing America as a "piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing".
President Trump said retaliation tariffs from his allies were a "mistake" and warned that if it got as far as a trade war, then the US would "win that war a thousand times out of a thousand".

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Canada warns immigrants in the US about fleeing to the north


ZZZZZ Geobeats          SUSANA VICTORIA PEREZ          June  9th 2018 
Canada officials want to make it clear for would-be immigrants looking to cross the US-Canada border that they should do so legally.

According to Newsweek, Randy Boissonnault, an adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to spread the message amid a surge of immigrants in the U.S crossing illegally into Canada, mostly via the Quebec province.

Boissonnault told USA Today, quote, “People seem to think that if they cross the border there’s this land of milk and honey on the other side.” 

In August alone, Royal Canadian police caught more than 5,000 mostly Haitian immigrants trying to cross in the country. 

The ending of the U.S’s Temporary Protected Status has made Canada the closest destination for people fleeing war and natural disasters.

And even though the Canadian government and the Canadian people are very supportive of taking in refugees, fewer people crossing the border are being granted refugee status.
Let's hear from Witchy
We need to stand united with Canada in securing our borders. The U.S needs to take a much tougher stance on these illegals they are costing this country an exorbitant amount of money all courtesy of the American tax payer.
The media also needs to stop playing at the heart strings of the American people when one of these illegals ends up on the wrong side of the fence!
I think Justin should build a wall and have the US pay for it.
If they are illegal while here, what makes the Canadians think they will enter their country legally.  They are, fast, going to find out that this wave of migration is not going to do things legally.