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Friday, April 20, 2018

Democratic Party files suit alleging conspiracy by Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks to sway 2016 election

A more appropriate headline for this stunt...


Harken back. Wasn't it Clinton who said...

It's been 15 months since Trump took the oath of office. Tell me again...who's not accepting the election results???


The Democratic Party on Friday filed a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit against Trump campaign officials, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks alleging a widespread conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor. 

Calling it an “all-out assault on our democracy,” the Democratic National Committee filed the civil suit in federal district court in Manhattan. The suit amounts to another legal broadside related to the 2016 race, on top of the special counsel's ongoing Russia probe and the FBI raid on Trump's personal attorney last week. 

"The conspiracy constituted an act of previously unimaginable treachery: the campaign of the presidential nominee of a major party in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the Presidency," the suit states. 

It claims that Trump campaign officials worked in tandem with the Russian government and its military spy agency to bring down Hillary Clinton by hacking into the computer networks of the DNC and spreading stolen material.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” said DNC Chairman Tom Perez in a statement, calling the alleged collusion “an act of unprecedented treachery.”

The suit names several Trump campaign aides who met with Russian nationals during the campaign, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign chair Paul Manafort and campaign deputy Rick Gates. 

“In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner,” the suit claims. “In 2016, individuals tied to the Kremlin notified the Trump campaign that Russia intended to interfere with our democracy. Through multiple meetings, emails, and other communications, these Russian agents made clear that their government supported Trump and was prepared to use stolen emails and other information to damage his opponent and the Democratic Party.”

Gates and Manafort have both been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The suit also claims Wikileaks founder Julian Assange “shared the defendants’ common goal of damaging the Democratic Party in advance of the election.” The suit states Russia, using WikiLeaks, would disseminate information stolen from the DNC “at times when it would best suit the Trump campaign.”

Trump has strongly – and repeatedly – denied colluding with the Russians. 

Most recently, he cited the newly released memos from former FBI boss James Comey to assert his innocence and decry the Russia probe itself.

I think it will. Trump's been under investigation like 5 minutes after he took the oath of office. The Dems want to drag this out well into his second term. The truth of the matter is... Clinton and the 'investigators' are the culprits who should be behind bars! Think the American people are beginning to tire of this charade.

While the FBI recently raided Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room to seize a collection of documents, a source said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assured that Trump was not a target of that probe. 

Trump’s legal team, meanwhile, is expanding with the addition of former federal prosecutor and New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is vowing to seek a swift resolution to the special counsel probe. 


Justice Department Watchdog Refers McCabe Finding to Prosecutors

Remember this:

“Not in my worst nightmares did I ever dream my FBI career would end this way.”

Comey, McCabe, Lynch…We had to die on the cross to save Hillary. This will be their self-righteous defense on the GoFundMe website. Oh, I forgot McCabe is already on it.


Nearly a dozen GOP congressmen send a criminal referral to the Justice Department and FBI seeking an investigation of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Hillary Clinton in connection with 2016 campaign scandals. #Tucker

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has sent a criminal referral for fired FBI official Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.

The move follows a recent DOJ inspector general report that found McCabe leaked a self-serving story to the press and later lied about it to then-Director James Comey and federal investigators, prompting Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him on March 16.

A source confirmed to Fox News that the referral was sent.

The Washington Post reported earlier that the IG referred the finding that McCabe misled investigators "some time ago," asking the top federal prosecutor for D.C. to examine whether he should be charged.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked "candor" (aka lied) in conversations with federal investigators. (AP)

Representatives with the Justice Department, inspector general’s office and U.S. attorney’s office all declined to comment.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., backed the move in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

"The criminal referral from the IG is the right decision. It's about time we have some accountability for this type of conduct at the Justice Department," he said.

Andrew McCabe lied to his FBI superiors not once. Not twice. Not three times. He lied four times--multiple times under oath.

The criminal referral from the IG is the right decision. It's about time we have some accountability for this type of conduct at the Justice Department.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) 2:17 PM - Apr 19, 2018

In an interview with CNN Thursday, Comey said that he had no knowledge of the referral, but confirmed that he could be a witness against McCabe if he is prosecuted.

"Given that the IG’s report reflects interactions that Andy McCabe had with me and other FBI senior executives, I could well be a witness," said Comey.

The former FBI Director added that he liked McCabe "very much as a person, but sometimes even good people do things they shouldn’t do ... I think it is accountability mechanisms working and they should work because it’s not acceptable in the FBI or the Justice Department for people to lack candor. It’s something we take really seriously."

In a statement, McCabe's legal team said they were advised of the referral "within the past few weeks."

"Although we believe the referral is unjustified, the standard for an IG referral is very low. We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute," they said.

While Comey may not have intentionally launched the investigation gunning for McCabe, it was spurred by a desire to find who leaked to The Wall Street Journal in October 2016 about an FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation. The story said a senior Justice Department official expressed displeasure to McCabe that FBI agents were still looking into the Clinton Foundation, and McCabe had defended agents' authority to pursue the issue.

That leak confirmed the existence of the probe into the Clinton Foundation, which Comey, who led the bureau at the time, refused to do.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz sent a criminal referral for Andrew McCabe to the U.S. Attorneys Office in Washington D.C. (AP)

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report said McCabe authorized the leak and then misled investigators about it, leaking in a way that did not fall under the “public interest” exception.

Horowitz found that McCabe lacked “candor” when questioned by FBI agents on multiple occasions and that he told agents he did not authorize the disclosure and did not know who was responsible. 

But McCabe’s legal counsel, Michael Bromwich, has blasted the inspector general report and has criticized Comey. The report said Comey and McCabe gave conflicting accounts about a conversation they had on the leak. 

“The OIG should credit Mr. McCabe’s account over Director Comey’s,” Bromwich wrote to Horowitz in a letter, complaining that the report “paints Director Comey as a white knight carefully guarding FBI information, while overlooking that Mr. McCabe’s account is more credible…” 

He issued a similar statement Wednesday in response to Comey's interview comments:

"In his comments this week about the McCabe matter, former FBI Director James Comey has relied on the accuracy and the soundness of the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) conclusions in their report on Mr. McCabe. In fact, the report fails to adequately address the evidence (including sworn testimony) and documents that prove that Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey repeatedly that he was working with the Wall Street Journal on the stories in question prior to publication. Neither Mr. Comey nor the OIG is infallible, and in this case neither of them has it right." 

On Wednesday, nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress sent their own criminal referral to the Justice Department and FBI seeking an investigation of McCabe, along with Comey, ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton and others. 

Our letter from yesterday referred McCabe to DOJ for potential false statements and I’m glad to see the OIG follow suit. Was wondering what was taking so long. Hopefully this is a step towards equal application of the law by DOJ. …— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) 2:22 PM - Apr 19, 2018

The IG referral, however, could represent a more serious problem for McCabe.


‘What a Waste’ NRA Lashes Out at Dick's Sporting Goods for Destroying Unsold Firearms

Dick's CEO Edward W. Stack 

"Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting," he continued. "But it could have been."

So if it was would they destroy all the shotguns? If they hate the assault rifles that much why not donate them to a police department somewhere. What if Cruz bought a knife from Dick's to use on his rampage? Where does it stop? Why is it everything and everybody is to blame, particularly the NRA, but the shooter who actually perpetrated the crime is treated like another victim in the Parkland shooting? 

When I see a gun with two legs walk into a school then it's time to abolish the second amendment.


On Tuesday, the National Rifle Association criticized Dick's Sporting Goods over its decision to destroy unsold firearms.

"@DICKS decision isn't focusing on the actual problem, what it is doing is punishing law-abiding citizens," the NRA tweeted. "What a waste, and what a strange business model."

.@DICKS decision isn't focusing on the actual problem, what it is doing is punishing law-abiding citizens. What a waste, and what a strange business model. #DefendTheSecond #2A #NRA 

— NRA (@NRA) 12:36 PM - Apr 17, 2018

Dick's Sporting Goods is in the process of "destroying" firearms and accessories that the company pulled from shelves after a February 28 policy change, according to a report last week from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

At the end of February, the company's chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack announced that Dick's Sporting Goods would no longer sell "assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles." Stack also noted that following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the company's main retail store (Dick's) no longer carried the aforementioned rifles; now its 35 specialty Field & Stream stores will follow suit.

"We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations," a spokesperson for Dick's, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., told the Post-Gazette last week. The parts will be recycled by a salvage company.

Companies can sometimes return unsold merchandise to the manufacturer for a partial refund, HuffPost notes. It's not clear if Dick's had that option.

Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the renewed push for gun control measures, Stack wrote a letter outlining its new firearm and accessory policies.

"We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens," Stack wrote. "But we have to help solve the problem that's in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that's taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids."

"Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting," he continued. "But it could have been."

In addition to stopping sales of assault-style rifles at its Field & Stream specialty stores, Dick's stated they would no longer carry high-capacity magazines or sell firearms to those younger than 21, and they renewed their policy on not carrying bump stocks. The company also called on lawmakers to pass "common sense gun reform," including the banning of assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks, enact universal background checks, and more.

Walmart also made firearm policy changes following the Parkland shooting; the retailer raised the minimum age for purchasing ammunition and firearms. In 2015, Walmart stopped carrying assault-style rifles.

These policy changes caused a social media backlash earlier this year and threats to boycott.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Delays keep inspectors from reaching alleged chemical weapons attack site in Syria

They're not fooling anybody. 

Probably be another 10 days or so. Assad and Putin have to remove all the dead bodies and then sanitize it. 

Check out these dead children.

No gaping wounds, no limbs blown off, not a drop of blood to be seen. 
Why do you suppose that is?


International inspectors were still waiting to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on Wednesday, as the U.S. accused the Syrian government and its ally Russia of trying to cover up the evidence.

It has been 11 days since the alleged attack on Douma, a town outside Damascus that at the time was controlled by the Army of Islam, a rebel group that surrendered in the days after the attack.

The U.S., France, and Britain launched missile strikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities one week later, after concluding that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were behind the attack.

The three countries did not make their evidence public, and both the Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied any chemical attack took place. Russia has accused rebels of staging the attack with support from Britain, an allegation that Britain has strongly denied.

Syrian state media reported Tuesday that inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had entered Douma, but the Syrian government later said that only a U.N. advance security team had entered.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the U.S. did not believe the inspectors had entered Douma, and that the evidence was at risk of decaying as delays dragged on.

"We've seen that the Russian government and the Syrian government — their whole goal in this is to try to cover up. Their goal is to try to deflect attention," she said. "But the fact of the matter is that Bashar al-Assad is responsible yet again for gassing and killing innocent men, women and children."

There was no comment from the OPCW or the U.N.'s security department.

Russia's military said it uncovered a chemical weapons stockpile left behind by rebels in Douma on Tuesday. The claim could not be independently verified.

Survivors reached by the Associated Press said they were overwhelmed by the smell of chlorine on the night of April 7. Activists say at least 40 people were killed. Many were found with foam around their mouths, an indicator for suffocation. Medical workers said they treated symptoms including difficulty breathing and fainting.

The U.N.-mandated Independent International Commission on Syria has documented more than 30 chemical attacks in Syria between 2013 and the end of 2017 — and says at least 25 of them were carried out by the Syrian military. For the rest, it had insufficient evidence to determine the perpetrator.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

American politics summed up beautifully in one meme