The game is over. The jig is up. Victory is certain… the trench was ignited… the enemy funneled themselves into the valley… all bait was taken… everything from here on out is simply mopping up the details. All suspicions confirmed.
Why has Devin Nunes been so confident? Why did all GOP HPSCI members happily allow the Democrats to create a 10-page narrative? All questions are answered.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence member Chris Stewart appeared on Fox News with Judge Jeanine Pirro, and didn’t want to “make news” or spill the beans, but the unstated, between-the-lines, discussion was as subtle as a brick through a window. Judge Jeannie has been on the cusp of this for a few weeks.
Listen carefully around 2:30, Judge Jeanine hits the bulls-eye; and listen to how Chris Stewart talks about not wanting to make news and is unsure what he can say on this…
…Bill Priestap is cooperating.
When you understand how central E.W. “Bill” Priestap was to the entire 2016/2017 ‘Russian Conspiracy Operation‘, the absence of his name, amid all others, created a curiosity. I wrote a twitter thread about him last year and wrote about him extensively, because it seemed unfathomable his name has not been a part of any of the recent story-lines.
E.W. “Bill” Priestap is the head of the FBI Counterintelligence operation. He was FBI Agent Peter Strozk’s direct boss. If anyone in congress really wanted to know if the FBI paid for the Christopher Steele Dossier, Bill Priestap is the guy who would know everything about everything.
FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap was the immediate supervisor of FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Peter Strzok.
Bill Priestap is #1. Before getting demoted Peter Strzok was #2.
The investigation into candidate Donald Trump was a counterintelligence operation. That operation began in July 2016. Bill Priestap would have been in charge of that, along with all other, FBI counterintelligence operations.
FBI Deputy Peter Strzok was specifically in charge of the Trump counterintel op. However, Strzok would be reporting to Bill Priestap on every detail and couldn’t (according to structure anyway) make a move without Priestap approval.
On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.
FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*
I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail. Again, notice how Comey doesn’t use Priestap’s actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]
FBI Director James Comey was caught entirely off guard by that first three minutes of that questioning. He simply didn’t anticipate it.
Oversight protocol requires the FBI Director to tell the congressional intelligence “Gang of Eight” of any counterintelligence operations. The Go8 has oversight into these ops at the highest level of classification. In July 2016 the time the operation began, oversight was the responsibility of this group, the Gang of Eight:
Obviously, based on what we have learned since March 2017, and what has surfaced recently, we can all see why the FBI would want to keep it hidden that they were running a counterintelligence operation against a presidential candidate. After all, as FBI Agent Peter Strzok said it in his text messages, it was an “insurance policy”.
REMINDER – FBI Agent Strzok to FBI Attorney Page:
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
So there we have FBI Director James Comey telling congress on March 20th, 2017, that the reason he didn’t inform the statutory oversight “Gang of Eight” was because Bill Priestap (Director of Counterintelligence) recommended he didn’t do it.
Apparently, according to Comey, Bill Priestap carries a great deal of influence if he could get his boss to NOT perform a statutory obligation simply by recommending he doesn’t do it.
Then again, Comey’s blame-casting there is really called creating a “fall guy”. FBI Director James Comey was ducking responsibility in March 2017 by blaming FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap for not informing congress of the operation that began in July 2016. (9 months prior).
At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see FBI Director James Comey was attempting to create his own exit from being ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and eventually President Donald Trump.
In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey’s fall guy. We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way. The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.
Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations. Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation.
Our suspicions were continually confirmed because there was NO MENTION of Bill Priestap in any future revelations of the scheme team, despite his centrality to all of it.
Bill Priestap would have needed to authorize Peter Strzok to engage with Christopher Steele over the “Russian Dosssier”; Bill Priestap would have needed to approve of the underlying investigative process used for both FISA applications (June 2016, and Oct 21st 2016). Bill Priestap would be the person to approve of arranging, paying, or reimbursing, Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier used in their counterintelligence operation and subsequent FISA application.
Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation just doesn’t happen. Heck, James Comey’s own March 20th testimony in that regard is concrete evidence of Priestap’s importance.
Everyone around Bill Priestap, above and below, were caught inside the investigative net.
Above him: James Comey, Andrew McCabe and James Baker.
Below him: Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Jim Rybicki, Trisha Beth Anderson and Mike Kortan.
Parallel to Priestap in main justice his peer John P Carlin resigned, Sally Yates fired, Mary McCord quit, Bruce Ohr was busted twice, and most recently Dave Laufman resigned. All of them caught in the investigative net…. Only Bill Priestap remained, quietly invisible – still in position.
The reason was obvious.
Likely Bill Priestap made the decision after James Comey’s testimony on March 20th, 2017, when he realized what was coming. Priestap is well-off financially; he has too much to lose. He and his wife, Sabina Menschel, live a comfortable life in a $3.8 million DC home; she comes from a family of money.
While ideologically Bill and Sabina are aligned with Clinton support, and their circle of family and friends likely lean toward more liberal friends; no-one in his position would willingly allow themselves to be the scape-goat for the unlawful action that was happening around them.
Bill Priestap had too much to lose… and for what?
With all of that in mind, there is essentially no-way the participating members inside the small group can escape their accountability with Mr. Bill Priestap cooperating with the investigative authorities.
Now it all makes sense. Devin Nunes interviewed Bill Priestap and Jim Rybicki prior to putting the memo process into place. Rybicki quit, Priestap went back to work.
Bill Priestap remains the Asst. FBI Director in charge of counterintelligence operations.
I don’t want to see this guy, or his family, compromised. This is probably the last I am ever going to write about him unless it’s in the media bloodstream. I can’t fathom the gauntlet of hatred and threats he is likely to face from the media and his former political social network if they recognize what’s going on. BP is Deep-Throat x infinity… nuf said.
The rest of this entire enterprise is just joyfully dragging out the timing of the investigative releases in order to inflict maximum political pain upon the party of those who will attempt to excuse the inexcusable.
Then comes the OIG Horowitz report.
Then the grand jury empaneled (if not already); and while Democrats attempt to win seats in the 2018 election, arrests and indictments will hit daily headlines.
Brandon Smith: Mass Shootings Will Never Negate The Need For Gun Rights
Though the media often attempts to twist the gun rights debate into a web of complexity, gun rights is in fact a rather simple issue — either you believe that people have an inherent right to self defense, or you don’t. All other arguments are a peripheral distraction…
Firearms are a powerful epoch changing development. Not because they necessarily make killing “easier;” killing was always easy for certain groups of people throughout history, including governments and organized thugs. Instead, guns changed the world because for the first time in thousands of years the common man or woman could realistically stop a more powerful and more skilled attacker. Firearms are a miraculous equalizer in a world otherwise dominated and enslaved by everyday psychopaths.
The Founding Fathers understood this dynamic very well. Despite arguments from the extreme left falsely insinuating that the founders are essentially barbarians from a defunct era that were too stupid to understand future developments and technology, the fact is that they knew the core philosophical justification for an armed citizenry was always the most important matter at hand. Today’s debates try to muddle meaningful discourse by swamping the public in the minutia of background checks, etc. But the following quotes from the early days of the Republic outline what we should all really be talking about:
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
– Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
– Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778
“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
– Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833
“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
The inborn right to self defense and the ability of the people to maintain individual liberties in the face of tyranny supersedes all other arguments on gun rights. In fact, nothing else matters. This key point is so unassailable that anti-gun lobbyists have in most cases given up trying to defeat it. Instead of trying to confiscate firearms outright (which is their ultimate goal), they attempt to chip away at gun rights a piece at a time through endless flurries of legislation. This legislation is usually implemented in the wake of a tragedy involving firearms, for gun grabbers never let a good crisis go to waste. Exploiting the deaths of innocent people to further an ideological agenda is a common strategy for them.
This leads us to the recent mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The narrative being constructed around this event is the same as usual — that stronger “gun control and background checks” are needed to prevent such things from ever happening again.
Of course, Nikolas Cruz, the alleged perpetrator of the shooting, obtained his firearms legally and by passing existing background checks. Being that these background checks have been highly effective in stopping the vast majority of potential criminals from purchasing firearms through legal channels, one wonders what more can be done to make these checks somehow “foolproof.”
Around 1.5 million 4473 forms (background checks) have been rejected by the ATF in the two decades since more stringent background checks were instituted. As many as 160,000 forms are denied each year for multiple reasons, including mental health reasons.
So, the question is, did background checks fail in the case of Nikolas Cruz? And would any suggested amendments to current 4473 methods have made any difference whatsoever in stopping Cruz from purchasing a weapon? The answer is no. No suggested changes to ATF background checks would have made a difference. But there are stop-gaps to preventing mass shootings other than the ATF.
The FBI, for example, had been warned on multiple occasions about Cruz, including his open threats to commit a school shooting. Yet, the FBI did nothing.
Could the FBI have prevented the killings in Parkland by following up repeated warnings on Nikolas Cruz? I would say yes, it is possible they could have investigated Cruz’s threats, verified them and prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a violent crime, or at the very least, they could have frightened him away from the idea.
Was the Parkland shooting then a failure of background checks or a failure of the FBI? And, if it was a failure of the FBI, then shouldn’t anti-gun advocates focus on revamping the FBI instead of pushing the same background check and gun show “loophole” rhetoric they always do?
They aren’t interested in instituting changes at the FBI because this could help solve the problem, and they do not care about solving the problem, they only care about pursuing their ultimate goal of deconstructing the 2nd Amendment for all time.
Gun control advocates will conjure up a host of arguments for diminishing gun rights, but just like the background check issue and Nikolas Cruz, most of them are nonsensical.
They’ll make the claim that guns for self defense are fine, but that high capacity military grade weapons were never protected under the Constitution. “The founding fathers were talking about single shot muskets when they wrote that…” is the commonly regurgitated propaganda meme. This is false. High capacity “machine guns” (like the Puckle gun and the Girandoni rifle) and even artillery were actually common during the time of the founders and were indeed protected under the 2nd Amendment. In fact, the 2nd Amendment applies to all firearms under common military usage regardless of the era.
They’ll claim that high capacity “assault weapons” are not needed and that low capacity firearms are more practical for self defense. They obviously are ignoring the circumstances surrounding any given self defense scenario. What if you are facing off with multiple assailants? What if those assailants are mass shooters themselves and obtained their weapons on the black market as the ISIS terrorists in Paris did in 2015? What if the assailant is a tyrannical government? Who is to say what capacity is “practical” in those situations?
They’ll claim that tougher gun laws and even confiscation will prevent mass shootings in the future, yet multiple nations (including France) have suffered horrific mass shootings despite having far more Orwellian gun laws than the U.S.
Criminals and terrorists do not follow laws. Laws are words on paper backed up by perceived consequences that only law abiding people care about. The vast majority of successful mass shootings take place in “gun free zones,” places where average law abiding citizens are left unarmed and easy prey.
So, what is the solution that gun grabbers don’t want to talk about? What could have stopped the shooting in Parkland? What is the one thing that the mainstream media actively seeks to avoid any dialogue about?
The solution is simple — abolish all gun free zones. If teachers at the high school in Parkland had been armed the day Nikolas Cruz showed up with the intent to murder, then the entire event could have gone far differently. Instead of acting helplessly as human shields against a spray of bullets, teachers and coaches could have been shooting back, actually stopping the threat instead of just slowing it down for a few seconds. Or, knowing that he might be immediately shot and killed before accomplishing his attack, Cruz may have abandoned the attempt altogether. There is no way to calculate how many crimes and mass shootings have been prevented exactly because private gun ownership acted as a deterrent.
Most gun grabbers are oblivious to this kind of logic because they are blinded by ideological biases. Some of them, however, understand the truth of this completely, and they don’t care. They are not in the business of saving lives; they are in the business of exploiting death. They want something entirely different from what they claim they want. They are not interested in life, they are interested in control.
Casting Demons Out of Oscar Winners, Politicians, and Movie Bosses – LewRockwell
Smoke billows from a herb burner filling the Spirit Room with an eerie haze.
A woman stands over Hollywood actress Megan Duffy chanting and shaking a rattle carved with a head inspired by shamanic art, as her client lies motionless on a narrow bed.
The tension in the air is thick as the ‘healer’ places an ornate dagger on Duffy’s wrist and, breathing deep, rapid breathes, summons ‘higher beings’ from the spirit world, asking them to rid her body of evil demons.
The woman carrying out the ‘working’ is Rachel Stavis – the world’s only non-denominational Exorcist.
And in a television first DailyMailTV was invited to witness Stavis carry out a real-life Hollywood exorcism.
We watched as Stavis worked on actress Duffy – best known for starring alongside Elijah Wood in 2012 horror movie Maniac – ridding her of an evil ‘entity’ that she believes has attached itself to her.
Stavis says Duffy has a ‘Clive’, the name she gives to low-level, low energy entities or demons that have caused the actress to feel negative and down in the dumps of late.
Stavis, dubbed the Sister of Darkness, has gone public with her extraordinary gift with the release of her new book: Sister of Darkness The Chronicles of a Modern Exorcist.
The horror screenwriter and novelist has secretly been an exorcist to the stars for years, helping Hollywood’s elite to get rid of their demons.
She has cleansed thousands of tormented people from Hollywood moguls, actors and actresses to stay-at-home moms and politicians.
Stavis, 39, has never advertised her services and works pro bono, first starting her hobby by helping ‘possessed’ friends and family in her spare time.
But word soon spread around Hollywood about her unusual gift and now she has a waiting list of mostly high profile clients all desperate to be cleansed.
‘My clients range all over the place, but I do see a lot of people you’d think of as famous,’ she says.
‘I see heads of studios, rock icons, Oscar winners, politicians, I see all kinds of people, I also see the girl next door and this grandma and regular people who are suffering as well.’
Most people’s knowledge of the subject comes from watching hit 1973 supernatural horror film The Exorcist.
And Stavis says the movie, which sees a teenage girl possessed by a mysterious entity, isn’t far from the truth.
‘With The Exorcist, there’s definite truth and the book is so amazing and it’s one of my favorite books of all time,’ she admits.
As a child raised in California Stavis quickly discovered she wasn’t your typical girl.
She began to see ‘monsters’ floating around her bedroom or attached to other children.
‘I realized very quickly I could see something other people couldn’t,’ she tells DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview.
‘I tried to ignore it, I didn’t feel like it was a gift at all, it was pretty scary and horrible.
Why China’s Return May Be Last Straw for Global Rebound
By Garfield Reynolds, Bloomberg Markets Live macro commentator and editor
China’s Return May Be Last Straw for Global Rebound
China will return from the Lunar New Year holiday to reinforce the gloom that’s seeping through global equities. The five-day break came with global equities scrambling to rebound from the collapse of early February. That bounce has looked fragile.
Bulls need the world’s second-biggest market to come roaring back refreshed but such a positive outcome looks unlikely.
China is key because it’s the only major market that hasn’t yet seriously bought into the fantastical stock rallies that got going once the ashes of Brexit had settled.
Over the past 1 1/2 years, record highs were set for all three major U.S. indexes, along with the benchmarks for Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, the U.K., Germany and Switzerland. Stocks in Japan and Taiwan hit the highest since the early 1990s. Australia’s benchmark index reached a decade-high, as did France’s.
China was the only $1 trillion-plus national stock market missing out on the party — the Shanghai Composite only reached a two-year peak and its 6.6% advance in 2017 was in the bottom third of performances among 96 primary indexes tracked by Bloomberg.
This matters because the narrative drummed into everyone’s consciousness during the most-recent leg of the global rally was that a synchronized pickup in growth was the reason to relentlessly bid up stocks and sell down volatility.
The underperformance of China — the world’s biggest exporter and the largest market of consumers — casts doubt over that optimistic story.
Through the start of 2018, it looked as if the country’s shares were playing catch-up to validate the global meltup, only to start dropping well before the Feb. 2 U.S. wages print supposedly let the inflation genie out of the bottle. Looking forward, there are even fewer reasons for optimism: the lack of obvious organic Chinese drivers means any rallies can be viewed as merely aping global trends, making them just as vulnerable as last time.
China’s Communist Party made it clear that it’s determined to shift to a more stable, steady growth profile; a direct contradiction of the frenzied global stock rally that was pricing in perfect outcomes and was turbo- charged by the short-term sugar hit of deficit-fueled U.S. tax cuts.
The deleveraging that’s central to China’s plans has to entail a slower growth profile. It’s also delivered the highest nominal 10-year yields since 2014 and brought real yields close to the highest since 2009. All three of those factors undermine the case for strong equity gains from here.
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