Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe claims in his new book that Donald Trump asked him in 2013 to get his hands on President Obama’s sealed Columbia records.
In the introduction of his book “American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News,” O’Keefe recalls meeting Trump back in 2013. O’Keefe said that he didn’t get the idea that Trump was a “birther,” but Trump did seem to believe that Obama might have misled people about being a foreign national.
“He was confident Obama was born in the United States, but he suspected Obama had presented himself as a foreign student on application materials to ease his way into New York’s Columbia University, maybe even Harvard too, and perhaps picked up a few scholarships along the way,” O’Keefe explains. “Trump had reason to believe Obama was capable of this kind of mischief.”
In the hopes of figuring out if Obama was participating in any misconduct, Trump allegedly asked O’Keefe to uncover Obama’s sealed records from Columbia University.
“Nobody else can get this information,” Trump reportedly told O’Keefe. “Do you think you could get inside Columbia?”
“As I explained, that was not exactly our line of work. We were journalists, not private eyes,” O’Keefe writes about the request. “At the end of our discussion, Trump shook my hand, encouraged me to keep up the good work, and half-whispered, ‘Do Columbia.’”
A federal judge Thursday denied a request by Fusion GPS to void a House Intelligence Committee subpoena to provide bank records as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election campaign.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon found Fusion’s objections to the subpoena to be “unavailing” and denied the research firm’s request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would have prevented it from handing over the documents.
Fusion GPS attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said the firm would appeal Leon’s ruling.
“Instead of focusing its efforts on Russian meddling in the presidential election, the Committee continues to misuse its investigatory power to punish and smear Fusion GPS for its role in uncovering troubling ties between #Russia and the Trump campaign,” Boutrous said in a statement.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had subpoenaed the records in an effort to determine who paid for a now-infamous “dossier” outlining various claims about President Donald Trump’s connections with various Russian officials. The dossier, commissioned by Fusion GPS and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was published in full by BuzzFeed in January of last year.
Among a number of unconfirmed allegations about Trump and his associates, the dossier included sordid claims about the president’s sexual proclivities.
“Although the records sought by the Subpoena are sensitive in nature,” Leon wrote in a 26-page ruling, “the nature of the records themselves, and the Committee’s procedures designed to ensure their confidentiality, more than adequately protect the sensitivity of that information.”
Leon also rejected Fusion’s claim that the subpoena would have a chilling effect on its work for political clients and violate the firm’s First Amendment rights.
“While the opposition research Fusion conducted on behalf of its clients may have been political in nature,” Leon wrote, “Fusion’s commercial relationship with those clients was not, and thus that relationship does not provide Fusion with some special First Amendment protection from subpoenas … the First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!”
In October, Fox News confirmed that Fusion GPS was retained by Marc Elias, an attorney representing the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The DNC and the Clinton campaign paid Fusion to produce the dossier.
Earlier this week, Fusion GPS founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch wrote a New York Times opinion piece accusing congressional Republicans of being “in the thrall of the president” and waging a campaign to portray Fusion GPS “as the unwitting victims of Kremlin disinformation.”
In response, a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, noted that Simpson “has refused to answer dozens of questions voluntarily, and has failed to provide the Committee with documents and responses to follow-up questions …”
Republicans on key congressional committees say they have uncovered new irregularities and contradictions inside the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.
For the first time, investigators say they have secured written evidence that the FBI believed there was evidence that some laws were broken when the former secretary of State and her top aides transmitted classified information through her insecure private email server, lawmakers and investigators told The Hill.
That evidence includes passages in FBI documents stating the “sheer volume” of classified information that flowed through Clinton’s insecure emails was proof of criminality as well as an admission of false statements by one key witness in the case, the investigators said.
The name of the witness is redacted from the FBI documents but lawmakers said he was an employee of a computer firm that helped maintain her personal server after she left office as America’s top diplomat and who belatedly admitted he had permanently erased an archive of her messages in 2015 after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.
The investigators also confirmed that the FBI began drafting a statement exonerating Clinton of any crimes while evidence responsive to subpoenas was still outstanding and before agents had interviewed more than a dozen key witnesses.
Those witnesses included Clinton and the computer firm employee who permanently erased her email archives just days after the emails were subpoenaed by Congress, the investigators said.
Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee who attended a Dec. 21 closed-door briefing by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe say the bureau official confirmed that the investigation and charging decisions were controlled by a small group in Washington headquarters rather the normal process of allowing field offices to investigate possible criminality in their localities. The Clinton email server in question was based in New York.
In normal FBI cases, field offices where crimes are believed to have been committed investigate the evidence and then recommend to bureau hierarchy whether to pursue charges with prosecutors. In this case, the bureau hierarchy controlled both the investigation and the charging decision from Washington, a scenario known in FBI parlance as a “special,” the lawmakers said.
The FBI declined comment on McCabe’s closed-door testimony and the evidence being shared with Congress.
Some Republicans on the committee say the findings and revelations have left them more convinced than ever that FBI leadership rigged the outcome to clear Clinton.
“This was an effort to pre-bake the cake, pre-bake the outcome,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a House Judiciary Committee member who attended the McCabe briefing before the holidays. “Hillary Clinton obviously benefited from people taking actions to ensure she wasn’t held accountable.”
Gaetz said he could not divulge the specifics of what McCabe told lawmakers, but that he left the Dec. 21 session believing the FBI had deviated from its “normal objective practices” while investigating Clinton.
The top Democrat on the panel acknowledged the FBI’s handling of the case was unique, but argued Republicans are politicizing their own panel’s work.
“To the extent that the Assistant Director of the FBI was involved in that investigation, and recognizing that the investigation itself presented a unique set of circumstances, his testimony did not raise any concerns that would justify the Republicans’ outsized obsession with Hillary Clinton’s emails two years after the fact,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y) who recently took over as the top Democrat on House Judiciary after former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) stepped aside after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
Demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans in several cities across Iran on Friday, Iranian news agencies and social media reports said, as price protests turned into the largest wave of demonstrations since nationwide pro-reform unrest in 2009.
Police dispersed anti-government demonstrators in the western city of Kermanshah as protests spread to Tehran and several other cities a day after rallies in the northeast, the semi-official news agency Fars said.
The outbreak of unrest reflects growing discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption, as well as concern about the Islamic Republic’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq.
An official said a few protesters had been arrested in Tehran, and footage posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the capital and some other cities.
Washington condemned the arrests. “The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department in a separate statement urged “all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”
About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah after what Fars said was a “call by the anti-revolution.” They shouted: “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”, and some public property was destroyed. Fars did not name any opposition groups.
The protests in Kermanshah, the main city in a region where an earthquake killed over 600 people in November, took place a day after hundreds rallied in Iran’s second largest city Mashhad to protest at high prices and shout anti-government slogans.
Videos posted on social media showed demonstrators yelling, “The people are begging, the clerics act like God.”
Fars said there were protests in the cities of Sari and Rasht in the north, Qazvin west of Tehran and Qom south of the capital, and also in Hamadan in western Iran. It said many marchers who wanted to raise economic demands left the rallies after demonstrators shouted political slogans.
State television said annual nationwide rallies and events were scheduled for Saturday to commemorate pro-government demonstrations held in 2009 to counter protests by reformists.
The Revolutionary Guards, which along with its Basij militia spearheaded a crackdown against the protesters in 2009, said in a statement carried by state media that there were efforts to repeat that year’s unrest but added: “The Iranian nation … will not allow the country to be hurt.”
Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a square but most had left after being asked to by police, while a few who refused were “temporarily detained,” the ILNA news agency reported.
In the central city of Isfahan, a resident said protesters had joined a rally held by factory workers demanding back-pay.
“The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the resident said by telephone.
In Qom, a stronghold of the Shi‘ite clergy, footage posted on social media showed protesters attacking Ayatollah Khamenei by name. “Seyyed Ali should be ashamed and leave the country alone,” they chanted.
Protests were held also in the town of Quchan near the Turkmen border, and in Ahvaz, capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, social media and Iranian news websites reported.
Police arrested 52 people in Thursday’s protests, Fars quoted a judicial official as saying in Mashhad, one of the holiest places in Shi‘ite Islam.
In social media footage, which could not be authenticated, riot police were seen using water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds.
Openly political protests are rare in Iran, where security services are omnipresent.
The last unrest of national significance occurred in 2009 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election as president ignited eight months of street protests. Pro-reform rivals said the vote was rigged.
However, demonstrations are often held by workers over lay-offs or non-payment of salaries and by people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.
Prominent conservative cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda called earlier for tough action against the protests.
“If the security and law enforcement agencies leave the rioters to themselves, enemies will publish films and pictures in their media and say that the Islamic Republic system has lost its revolutionary base in Mashhad,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Alamolhoda as saying.
“DEATH TO DICTATOR”
Some social media videos showed demonstrators chanting “Death to Rouhani” and “Death to the dictator”. Protests were also held in at least two other northeastern cities.
Alamolhoda, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday’s protests against rising prices to chant slogans against Iran’s role in regional conflicts.
Tehran backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war, Shi‘ite militias in Iraq, Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah group.
“Some people had come to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as ‘Let go of Palestine’, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran’,” Alamolhoda said.
Social media videos also showed demonstrators chanting ”Leave Syria, think about us,” criticizing Iran’s military and financial support for Assad.
Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, a close Rouhani ally, suggested that hardline conservative opponents of the pragmatist president might have triggered the protests but lost control of them. “Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers,” IRNA quoted Jahangiri as saying.
Rouhani’s leading achievement, a 2015 deal with world powers that curbed Iran’s disputed nuclear program in return for a lifting of most international sanctions, has yet to bring the broad economic benefits the government says are coming.
Unemployment stood at 12.4 percent in this fiscal year, according to the Statistical Centre of Iran, up 1.4 percent from the previous year. About 3.2 million Iranians are jobless, out of a total population of 80 million.
The Duran reported back in October that one Trump hating Republican was a driving force behind the fake Trump dossier…that RINO, Anti-Trumper was and is Senator John McCain.
It has since been confirmed that McCain did deliver the infamous Trump Dossier to the FBI.
John McCain has never hidden his hatred for Donald Trump, going to outrageous lengths to derail Trump’s presidency.
It seems that the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign took over in April 2016 from a previous unnamed Republican the funding of the ‘research’ which resulted in the Trump Dossier (the Washington rumour mill says this Republican was Senator McCain).
It appears that the US Congress is starting to catch on to McCain’s treasonous antics to sabotage Trump’s presidency, and flame the war fires against Russia. Via Zerohedge…
Several months ago it emerged that the Republican sponsor behind the Fusion GPS Trump project was hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, a fact which surprised many who expected that John McCain would be the GOP mastermind looking for dirt in Trump’s past. However, a new and credible McCain trail has emerged in the annals of the “Trump Dossier” after the Washington Examiner reported that the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to an associate of John McCain over his connection with the salacious dossier containing unverified allegations about Trump and his ties to Russia, which many speculate served as the illegitimate basis for FISA warrants against the Trump campaign – permitting the NSA to listen in on Trump’s phone calls – and which the president yesterday slammed as “bogus” and a “crooked Hillary pile of garbage.”
In the latest twist, committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) wants to talk to David Kramer, a former State Department official and current senior fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, about his visit to London in November 2016. During his trip, at McCain’s request Kramer met with the dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele, to view “the pre-election memoranda on a confidential basis,” according to court filings and to receive a briefing and a copy of the Trump dossier. Kramer then returned to the U.S. to give the document to McCain. McCain then took a copy of the dossier to the FBI’s then-director, James Comey. But the FBI already had the document; Steele himself gave the dossier to the bureau in installments, reportedly beginning in early July 2016.
While McCain, recovering in Arizona from treatments for cancer, has long refused to detail his actions regarding the dossier, his associate Kramer was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 19. The new subpoena stems from statements Kramer made in that interview. In the session, the Washington Examiner reports, Kramer told House investigators that he knew the identities of the Russian sources for the allegations in Steele’s dossier. But when investigators pressed Kramer to reveal those names, he declined to do so.
Now, he is under subpoena which was issued Wednesday afternoon, and directs Kramer to appear again before House investigators on Jan. 11.
As the ongoing government probe slowly turns away from Trump’s “collusion” with the Russians and toward the FBI “insurance policy” to allegedly prevent Trump from becoming president by fabricating a narrative of Russian cooperation with the Trump, knowing Steele’s sources will be a critical part of the congressional dossier investigation:
“If one argues the document is unverified and never will be, it is critical to learn the identity of the sources to support that conclusion. If one argues the document is the whole truth, or largely true, knowing sources is equally critical.”
According to Zerohedge, there is another reason to know Steele’s sources, and that is to learn not just the origin of the dossier but its place in the larger Trump-Russia affair.
As the WashEx adds, there is a belief among some congressional investigators that the Russians who provided information to Steele were using Steele to disrupt the American election as much as the Russians who distributed hacked Democratic Party emails. In some investigators’ views, they are the two sides of the Trump-Russia project, both aimed at sowing chaos and discord in the American political system.
Still, investigators who favor this theory ask a sensible question: “It is likely that all the Russians involved in the attempt to influence the 2016 election were lying, scheing, Kremlin-linked, Putin-backed enemies of America – except the Russians who talked to Christopher Steele?”
On the other hand, the theory is still just a theory, for now… and as the Examiner’s Byron York correctly points out, to validate -or refute – it House investigators will seek Steele’s sources – and is why they will try to compel Kramer to talk.