AP featured image
In this Sept. 8, 2018, photo, former President Barack Obama speaks as he campaigns in support of California congressional candidates in Anaheim, Calif. Obama’s recent denunciation of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the press overlooks the aggressive steps the Justice Department took to keep information from the public when he was president. Obama also made a problematic claim that Republican “sabotage” has cost 3 million people their health insurance. With his return to the political donnybrook on behalf of Democrats in the November elections, Obama has brought a once-familiar style back into the discourse. It’s measured, nuanced and distinct from the torrent of misstatements from Trump. That doesn’t mean Obama always tells the story straight. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

 

You better wake the #&%$ up, Jack.

Politico writer Jack Schafer penned an op-ed on Friday entitled “Media Is Under No Obligation to Listen to Trump’s Allegations: How Not to Listen to Donald Trump.” Here are some excerpts from this masterpiece.

Until the president comes up with actual evidence for his allegations, we’re under no obligation to pay attention.

Day after day, he [Trump] fills the air with the ack-ack of disinformation and misdirection, needlessly alarming the public and sending reporters on wild goose chases to either confirm or disprove his allegations.

Now it could be that Obama did commit the biggest political crime in the history of the USA. If there’s a shred of evidence, I want Obama investigated. If the investigation bears fruit, I want him to have a fair trial. If he’s found guilty, I want him punished. But show me that shred of evidence first or I’m going back to bed.

Trump has achieved something no president before him has. By his own energies, he has forfeited the automatic right to our investigative attention. Feel free to listen to his indictments, but don’t be a dupe. Use just one ear.

Send charges of criminal wrong-doing to [email protected] My email alerts commit treason against my Twitter feed almost daily. My RSS feed breaks only god’s laws.

We’ll start at the beginning, shall we?

In 2014, Admiral Mike Rogers, who served as the Director of the National Security Agency under President Obama, discovered that American citizens were being spied upon and drew attention to the abuse of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama administration. Used as intended, it’s a useful law enforcement tool. Abused as it had been by Obama administration officials up until Rogers’ discovery in 2014, it became a weapon.

The Obama White House used these intercepts, which are meant to be used to thwart terrorist attacks, against their opponents for political purposes.

It was Mike Rogers who traveled to Trump Tower on November 17, 2016, to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump that communications from the building were being tapped. Later that day, the Trump transition team announced they were moving their operations to a new location in New Jersey. Within days, The Washington Post reported that “James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter had recommended the removal of Mike Rogers from his NSA position.” Rogers was not fired, for obvious reasons.

The DNC’s server was hacked:

By the spring of 2016, it was apparent that businessman Donald Trump would likely win the Republican presidential nomination. And the deep state went into overdrive to derail his candidacy by any means possible.

In late April 2016, the DNC noticed unusual network activity and called in CrowdStrike. They were told they’d been hacked by Russians and their emails had been leaked to Wikileaks. The DNC refused to let the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security conduct forensic examinations of their server.

After the emails were released the weekend before the Democratic Convention, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters, “some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”

Democratic lawmakers and the media (including Shafer) ran with this narrative.

In the recently released transcript of CrowdStrike President and CSO Shawn Henry’s testimony before Congress, he is asked when “the Russians” exfiltrated the data from DNC. He replied, “We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated.”

(Note: I updated this article at 12:20 pm on 5/18 to reflect that Shawn Henry is the President and CSO of CrowdStrike Services. I had incorrectly referred to Henry as the CEO.)

Henry added, “There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”

The FBI accepted CrowdStrike’s unverified and redacted report, even passing it on to the Mueller team.

The New York Times wrote an article supporting the DNC’s version of the story. The FBI leaked information to bolster this narrative and the Times ran a second story.

The DNC version of events was repeated so frequently and with such conviction that ultimately, it became accepted as the truth.

The DNC not only deflected criticism of the content of the emails, but they managed to put out the narrative that the Russians were trying to help Trump win the election. This planted the first seeds of the Trump/Russian collusion narrative.

The Steele Dossier:

Mark Elias, a partner at the Perkins, Coie law firm in Washington, served as general counsel for the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as for the DNC. (It’s worth noting that the Clinton campaign had previously bailed out a nearly bankrupt DNC and afterward, essentially controlled it.)

Prior to April 2016, Fusion GPS had been commissioned by the Washington Free Beacon to provide opposition research on candidate Donald Trump. In April, the Free Beacon ended their relationship with Fusion, and the firm’s founder, Glenn Simpson, approached Elias to see if he might be interested in continuing the research.

He was. In April 2016, Elias hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. He laundered campaign and DNC funds through his law firm to pay Simpson. In a recently released transcript, Clinton ally John Podesta told lawmakers the cost of this research was split 50-50 between the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

Simpson hired former British spy Christopher Steele to create the infamous dossier. (He also hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of the fourth highest ranking DOJ official, Bruce Ohr. Bruce Ohr acted as a back channel between Steele and the FBI.)

The dossier, which was known by the FBI to be fictitious as early as January 2017, was used as the basis in the FBI’s FISA Court application to obtain a warrant to spy on Carter Page in October 2016 and for three renewals.

In his March 2020 testimony before a British court, Steele said that all communications with his primary sub-source were “wiped” in December 2016 and January 2017. (The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross obtained the transcript.)

(The FBI had wiped the cell phones of FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. All of this came after Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails, which were under subpoena, from her tenure as Secretary of State. This has become a pattern with deep state operatives.)

Steele was asked if he knew what entity he was providing the research for.

He replied, “I presumed it was the Clinton campaign, and Glenn Simpson had indicated that. But I was not aware of the technicality of it being the DNC that was actually the client of Perkins Coie.”

“You knew it was the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign didn’t you?” the lawyer asked.

He admitted, “I believed it was the campaign. Yes.”

The lawyer pressed him. “The leadership of the Clinton campaign?”

Steele acknowledged, “Fine, the leadership of the campaign.”

Alexandra Chalupa:

A pro-Western Ukrainian lawyer and activist named Alexandra Chalupa stands at the center of this story. She hated Manafort for his role in the re-election of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010 and his subsequent work for the pro-Russian party in Ukraine. No one does a better job of this than writer/commentator Dan Bongino in his book “Spygate.”

In early 2016, Manafort reached out to Trump and soon became the chairman of his campaign. Bongino wrote that “due to Manafort’s connections to Russian billionaires and Ukrainian politicians close to Putin, his hiring by Trump fueled whispered speculation that Russian forces controlled the campaign.”

Bongino added that “allegations of Trump-Russia collusion started to gain steam” once Manafort joined the team and that much of this narrative was driven by Alexandra Chalupa.

Chalupa had worked as a consultant for the DNC and for Democratic politicians including several Clinton campaign officials. Between 2004 and 2016, she had earned $412,000 from the DNC, but left to focus on researching or rather “destroying” Manafort. Chalupa had “watched him since 2014.” According to Bongino:

The moment Manafort joined the Trump team, Chalupa alerted the DNC of the “threat” of Russian influence. Chalupa’s sister, Andrea, spread the word on a Ukrainian television show calling Manafort’s hiring a “huge deal” and describing him as the “puppet master of some of the most vile dictators around the world.” His hiring, she said sent a “very, very, very, very, very serious warning bell going off.” This fear was rooted in the belief that Manafort was the mastermind behind Yanukovych’s corruption.

Chalupa was a woman on a mission. Determined to broadcast her message to the world, she began by enlisting the help of journalists. Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff came on board and began writing a series of articles which portrayed both Manafort and the Trump campaign in a rather nefarious light. Her strategy was quite effective.

Chalupa’s smear campaign involved journalists and diplomats as well as contacts inside the DNC. She obviously had many contacts from her years in Washington and her message was easy to sell.

Still, Manafort continued to hang on until August 19th when The New York Times reported that:

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau found a black ledger in a bank vault abandoned by Yanukovych showing $12 million in cash payments earmarked for Manafort by Yanukovych’s political party. “Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also include election officials. In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles.”

Manafort had no choice but to resign from the campaign. The identity of the leaker remains a mystery to this day. But, considering the news was damaging to Manafort and Trump and helpful to the Hillary campaign, and that Chalupa had devoted herself full-time to the business of destroying Manafort, I suppose we can guess who was behind it.

John Brennan:

John Brennan, and his irrational fear that Donald Trump might win the presidency, may have instigated the whole collusion narrative. He didn’t have to twist many arms to bring others on board, but his exhaustive search for “dirt” on Trump and his insistence that the FBI open a counterintelligence investigation was key.

The American Spectator’s George Neumayr said that John Brennan’s CIA “operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign.” He writes that Brennan would “shake down” foreign intelligence officials looking for anything to hang on Trump. He would present the information to Peter Strzok and other government officials. Strzok, as much as he hated Trump, famously told his paramour, Lisa Page, that “there’s no there there.”

In fact, the original source of the “intelligence” that Brennan was receiving was British spy Christopher Steele. Through his relationship with the FBI, he served as a direct stream of bad intelligence.

Brennan leaked news of his “probe” to then-Senator Harry Reid, who told reporters “Brennan had an “ulterior motive” in leaking the existence of the probe to him. The very thought of Donald Trump as president made Brennan see red and caused him to lose all judgment.” But, regardless of what Reid believed, he wrote an open letter anyway to James Comey on August 27, 2016 about the Trump-Russian collusion he had just been made privy to and then the world knew about it.

The FBI’s involvement:

The FBI knew they could not start an investigation based on the rubbish that Brennan was presenting to them. They needed to find a reason. When Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, had drinks in a London bar with low level Trump advisor George Papadopoulos, who told Downer that he had been approached by a Russian who offered to provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, that became a talking point for the FBI. However, this incident was not mentioned in the Electronic Communication (EC) that originated the counter intelligence investigation.

Now we have Obama’s DOJ, FBI and CIA, and it looks like they had a little help from the State Department, all colluding to influence the outcome of a presidential election. It’s hardly a stretch of the imagination to believe that Obama knew what was happening.

So, this whole narrative gained momentum as more and more Obama officials and Hillary supporters heard about it and hopped on the bandwagon. The lies were repeated so often, they took on a life of their own and anti-Trumpers began to believe them because they needed to believe them.

It’s hard to deny that if Brennan hadn’t pressured the FBI, through Peter Strzok who served as the liaison between the CIA and the FBI, and through Harry Reid and others, there would likely be no Trump/Russia collusion investigation.

The Appointment of a Special Counsel:

The stunningly poor choice of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia collusion investigation left then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge which changed the course of history. We can all recite the events which took place in the wake of James Comey’s firing in our sleep at this point. Emails obtained by Judicial Watch in October 2019 show clearly that Rosenstein was a creature of the deep state. They all were.

The Biggest Travesty of All:

Which brings us to the present. Following a long court battle led by Gen. Michael Flynn’s lead attorney, Sidney Powell, records were unsealed that showed top FBI officials debating over how they would set him up in a perjury trap the next day. These records are beyond dispute. Michael Flynn knew too much and they had to get him out of the way.

This barely scratches the surface of the deep state’s activities as they sought first to end Trump’s candidacy and following his victory, to destroy his presidency. During the Obama years, America’s most highly respected and influential institutions were politicized and were used to do his – and Hillary Clinton’s – bidding. Officials at the highest levels of the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA and possibly the State Department, abused their powers to fabricate a case against Donald Trump because they wanted to marginalize him.

None of this would have happened without Obama’s knowledge. FBI counter-intelligence investigations, for example, are ordered by the president.

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, a Democrat, sees it. He writes, “The media portrayed both Obama and Biden as uninvolved. But now we know they both actively followed the investigation. According to former acting attorney general Sally Yates, she was surprised that Obama knew about the investigation and knew more than she did at the time.”

It was during the Obama Administration that civility between the two parties truly became a vestige of the past. Obama’s eight years in office fundamentally changed the order of business in Washington. It was then that the Democratic Party morphed into a party of thugs.

And it didn’t happen by accident. Obama’s objective had been to fill the government and its agencies with as many liberals as they possibly could, politicizing them. Starting with the DOJ, Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder worked toward this goal deliberately and methodically. And this continued throughout Obama’s presidency. (Washington attorney J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, wrote a series of reports at PJ Media called Every Single One which can be viewed here. Adams also wrote a book, which I’ve read, that tells the whole story.)

Shafer complains that President Trump’s accusations “send reporters on wild goose chases to either confirm or disprove his allegations.” If only. Schafer and his ilk respond to Trump’s allegations by deciding on how best to spin them or better yet, how they can be covered up. And the left can always count on them to plant the appropriate article at the most beneficial time.

Shafer writes that Trump “has forfeited the automatic right to our investigative attention.” You’re a political reporter, for goodness sake. It’s your responsibility to report the news with as little bias as possible, a responsibility which the mainstream media has collectively abdicated. Which, I suppose, is why none but the most partisan Democrats, trust you anymore.

In a weekend op-ed, Turley writes that none of the new revelations matter “as the media remains fully invested in the original false allegations of collusion.”

None of this matters. A Democratic administration using a secret court to investigate the opposing political campaign does not matter to many in Congress or in the media anyway. An investigation continuing despite the lack of credible information supporting collusion does not matter to them either. A president and a vice president who take personal interest in the surveillance of their political opponents also does not matter.

There was a time, however, when all of this did matter. There was once a time when this would be viewed as the story of the century, including the unmasking of Biden himself in this investigation. But these are not those times, and this cannot be the story. Russian collusion is the story and…the rest is just a diversion.

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
MBA, former financial consultant, options trader
Mom of three grown children, grandmother
Email Elizabeth at [email protected]

 
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