But That Was Four or Five … uh … Years Ago

As of 9 am ET this morning, this could still be found on TwitterAnd in other news, the New York Times has reported that Special Prosecutor John Durham is considering an indictment for lying to the FBI against one of the lawyers involved in spinning the false tale about the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.

BTW, Jake Sullivan is the current White House Chief of Staff.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

What Norms and Which Institutions?

While Hillary Clinton eventually conceded the 2016 election to Donald Trump, she and her enablers/allies among the Democrats, Media, and Deep State spent four years peddling lies about Russia! Russia! Russia!, the Mueller investigation, an impeachment falsely accusing Trump of doing the sort of thing Biden actually did, and more.

It’s 2020, and Trump is using litigation and other processes prescribed by law to challenge apparent fraud in the election. A significant portion of politicians and the media say the President’s insistence that the game be played by The Rules is a threat to “our norms and institutions.”

Well, yes, it is.

It was Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp of a grifting Elite whose norms and institutions force one set of rules on the Deplorables but are not binding on themselves that led to his winning in 2016. It was Trumps modest success in beginning to drain the swamp that led a sufficiently large majority of voters to support him that the logistical planning for stealing the election was overwhelmed, causing the shutdown of vote counts and mad scramble for extra ballots in various places around the country.

America’s constitutional DNA assumes that men are fallible, so our system is rigged with checks and balances as a form of immune system. Thus far, we’ve been able to through off infections from various tyrannies. I hope we survive this time.

What Did the President Know, and When Did He Know It?

I remember watching the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973 and hearing Senator Howard Baker ask that question. It has again become appropriate, this time related to what the President knew in 2016. John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerlLine examining recently declassified information bearing on that question.

Highly redacted handwritten notes from a briefing CIA Director Brennan gave to President Obama on 28 July, 2016 have been declassified.

The relevant text reads:

We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from….

CITE alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on 26 July of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.

President Obama had several comments or questions, only one of which survives redaction. He wanted to know whether there was any evidence of collaboration between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Brennan’s answer to that question isn’t recorded in the notes, but we know from other documents that the fact that there was no such evidence was communicated to Obama. Contributions by Comey, McDonough and Rice are fully redacted.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Brennan’s notes is their date (assuming July 28 is correct). According to the intelligence report, Hillary Clinton approved the plot to smear Trump with the Russia collusion fiction on July 26. Just two days later, the head of the CIA, the FBI Director, the National Security Adviser, the President’s Chief of Staff and the President himself met, presumably in the Oval Office, to discuss the intelligence. The report, picked up by spying on the Russians, who I take it were spying on Hillary, was obviously top priority and was taken seriously by the intelligence community, in the person of Brennan.

What little reporting that has been done on this briefing has focused on either the claim that the Trump/Russia collusion hoax originated inside of the Clinton campaign or the claim that President Obama was informed of the hoax within days of it being launched.

There’s another important angle here. The CIA learned of Clinton plan because it had leaked to the Russians. What are the odds that the same leaker(s)/operative(s) would have been embedded in the inner circle of a Clinton White House staff?

We dodged a very large bullet in 2016.

Gabbard v. Clinton

Folks, I have quite a bit of experience being a defendant in vexatious nuisance lawsuits alleging defamation (four LOLsuits each from Brett Kimberlin and Bill Schmalfeldt). Of course, I won all those suits. Seven were dismissed for various reasons. One went to trial, and my codefendants and I won when the judge stopped the trial after Kimberlin rested case because the plaintiff hadn’t shown that we had made any false statements about him and granted a directed verdict in our favor. I tend to have a bias in favor of defendants in defamation suits, but in this case … not so much.

IANAL, but my initial sense of Tulsi Gabbard’s suit against Hillary Clinton alleging defamation is that it’s interesting.

The complaint specifically quotes Clinton’s allegedly false and defamatory remarks, citing when and how they were published. As I understand it, the complaint claims that falsely stating that an Army National Guard officer is the asset of foreign power is defamatory per se because if that were true, the officer would be unfit for his or her professional duties as a soldier. Tulsi Gabbard is a major in the Hawaii National Guard. She’s also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, an assignment that requires access to classified defense information. Being a Russian asset should be similarly disqualifying in that professional role.

Congresswoman Gabbard’s case appears to be much stronger than anything her colleagues are presenting to the Senate. But being based on actual facts tends to make a case stronger. I don’t know how far her suit will go in court, but I’m ordering more popcorn.

An Unintended Consequence

Hillary Clinton carried Colorado during the 2016 election, but when the state’s electors met to vote, one of them refused to vote for her. The Colorado Secretary of State replaced that elector with one who would vote for Clinton. The original elector sued the Secretary of State, claiming that his removal was illegal and that the State could not bind him to vote in a particular way. Yesterday, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the elector’s favor.

One consequence of a state’s inability to bind electors to vote a particular way is that the states who are members of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact cannot legally require their electors to cast their votes in any particular way.

The Democrats’ plan to sabotage the Electoral College may have been stopped by the action of a Democrat elector.

Money Laundering and Dirty Politics

My friend and former codefendant Dan Backer has an article over at Investor’s Business Daily titled The Anatomy Of Hillary Clinton’s $84 Million Money-Laundering Scheme. (Ironically, Dan and I were among a couple of dozen codefendants accused of money laundering as a predicate crime in a civil RICO suit filed by Democrat party operative Brett Kimberlin.)

Democratic donors, knowing the funds would end up with Clinton’s campaign, wrote six-figure checks to influence the election — 100 times larger than allowed.

HVF bundled these megagifts and, on a single day, reported transferring money to all participating state parties, some of which would then show up on FEC reports filed by the DNC as transferring the exact same dollar amount on the exact same day to the DNC. Yet not all the state parties reported either receiving or transferring those sums.

Did any of these transfers actually happen? Or were they just paper entries to mask direct transfers to the DNC?

For perspective, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was prosecuted and convicted in 2012 for giving a handful of associates money they then contributed to a candidate of his preference — in other words, straw  man contributions. He was sentenced to eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation. How much money was involved? Only $20,000. HVF weighs in at $84 million — more than 4,000 times larger!

So who should be worried? Everyone involved — from the donors themselves to Democratic fundraisers to party officials who filed false reports and, ultimately, to Clinton campaign and HVF officials looking at significant legal jeopardy.

The Federal Election Commission has failed to act on a complaint filed in 2017, so a never-before-used option in the law is being used to file a private lawsuit, placing the matter in Dan’s hands as lawyer for his client, the Committee to Defend the President. As the plaintiff’s counsel, he’ll have the tools of discovery—including subpoena power to go after bank accounts and other DNC records and to question party officials and bundlers. Every big-shot donor participating the scheme could be exposed to criminal prosecution based on evidence turned up in the civil matter.

Meanwhile, the Press is excited over $130,000 in non-campaign hush money paid to a porn star.

Another Excuse

The Washington Examiner reports that Hillary Clinton has added one more item to the list of reasons she failed to win in 2016: Identifying as a capitalist probably hurt her in 2016. She’s quoted as saying,

“It’s hard to know, but if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists, and I’m asked are you a capitalist, and I say yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a capitalist,'”

Capitalist?

The Gentle Reader may remember that Mrs. Clinton’s husband once claimed he didn’t inhale. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton does.

An Enthusiasm Gap?

The turnout at our precinct in Carroll County was fairly robust when I voted around 8 am. FWIW, voter registration in Carroll County is roughly 2-to-1 Republican.

My drive from the polls to work at Goddard Space Flight Center in Prince George’s County (a deep blue county) took me through the southern part of Carroll County and across Howard County (a bluish purple county) and the northwestern part of PG County. Along the way, I saw 7 Trump yard signs and 2 Clinton yard signs in Carroll County; I saw 31 Trump, 2 Johnson, and 1 Clinton signs in Howard County; and I saw 2 Johnson and no Trump or Clinton signs in PG County. That doesn’t count signs I saw around the entrances to polling places. While I saw Trump and Johnson signs at some of them, I didn’t see a single sign for Hillary.

I still believe that Hillary will carry Maryland, but I doubt that her margin of victory will be as great as the polling suggest.

We’ll see in a few hours.

Hillary Milhous Clinton

Hardly anyone believed Richard Nixon when he said, “I am not a crook.” McClatchy reports that most people don’t believe Hillary either.

A total of 83 percent of likely voters believe that Clinton did something wrong – 51 percent saying she did something illegal and 32 percent saying she something unethical but not illegal. Just 14 percent said she’s done nothing wrong.

Read the whole thing. When you do, you’ll see that Trump’s reputation stinks also but not quite as much as hers.

This Almost Makes Sense

David Mastio has a piece over at USA Today that almost seems like a rational explanation of this year’s presidential election—it’s a conspiracy among Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Islamic State conspiring to place a serially-bankrupt billionaire blowhard (with his own line of neckwear!) into the Oval Office at a key moment in history. But he also notes that Trump seems to be scheming to elect Hillary.

Money quote:

I got an email from HillaryClinton.com in September asking for money. The subject line began, “If I am being honest …” When I saw it, I thought, “Oh for God’s sake, why start now?” If Clinton had started being honest five years ago or even one year ago, the American people would be carrying her to Washington on a flag-draped litter to install her in the White House while they sing old Methodist hymns .

But she didn’t. She won’t or can’t. The only reasonable explanation left is that she will do anything, absolutely anything, to make Donald Trump president. The question is what she and Vladimir Putin have to gain.

Read the whole thing.

The Bully Party

Scott Adams has a blog post up about the bullying that is part of this year’s presidential election.

Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40%+ of voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behavior online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right?

Adams supports Trump for President. I don’t. (I don’t support any candidate on the ballot here in Maryland.) However, his analysis of the Democrats’ tactics hits the bullseye. I’m not sure about his prediction of the election result.

Read the whole thing.