Did Mueller Hold Back his Report?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Friday Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., came out with some interesting predictions on a New York radio show saying that there “no legal basis” for the Russian meddling investigation into the Trump campaign.

King spoke with New York radio host John Catsimatidis and said, “There was no legal basis at all for them to begin the investigation of his campaign, and the way they carried it forward and the way information was leaked, the improper applications they filed in the FISA court to get surveillance, all of this is going to come out.”

Attorney General William Barr is looking into the origins of the investigation and, along with others, I believe that there is much to expose from within the FBI and the CIA.

The big question is allegedly how information was leaked and how the warrant was obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Republicans claimed that federal authorities did not fully disclose their reliance on an unverified dossier compiled by Christopher Steele. That document, referred to as the Steele Dossier, was part of opposition research for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Democrats, on the other hand, do not believe that anything improper happened.

Besides this, King is of the belief that special counsel Robert Mueller knew that there was no collusion long before his report came out.

King said, “I think that the Mueller people had obligations to tell the president, to tell the country, to tell the world, that there was no collusion whatsoever as soon as they found out there was none. This isn’t like you’re dealing with some local drug dealer … You’re talking about, whether you like him or not, he is the leader of the country. The leader of the Free World. And they let this hang over him for at least a year. It was wrong not to make it known.”

Allegedly, people have come forward to speak about misconduct after not doing so earlier on. At least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating with the investigation.

When Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for the “probe,” the information started to flow.

King stated, “Just from evidence I’ve seen over the last several years being on the Intelligence Committee, being a member of Congress, there’s no doubt to me there were severe serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI, and I believe the top levels of the CIA.”

According to King, the failed narrative of Trump campaign conspiracy has gone on too long. Mueller let the president of the United States work under a “cloud” for at least a year, when in fact, he found no evidence of collusion.

The report was way overdue.

Mueller is set to testify before Congress on July 17th. King is no longer on the House Intelligence committee but current members will be asking questions.

Folks, the show has begun. Get out the popcorn and prepare to be enlightened. If you’ve been waiting for justice to be served, this show will be entertaining and it should give you some satisfaction, at long last.

Is Pelosi Done with Trump?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Tuesday Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was not backing claims on impeachment but rather implying that her caucus has more support for not pushing for it than it has members who do want to roll with it.

Pelosi was speaking at the Fiscal Summit in Washington hosted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation when she made the comment, “It’s not even close in our caucus.”

Pelosi’s comment was in response to a question directed at her about if she would move on impeachment if a majority of her caucus supported it. She also added, “Why are we speculating on hypothetical’s?”

Madame Speaker, despite calls from her fellow Democrats, has so far resisted impeachment proceedings. The progressive wing of her party is not on the same track as their leader.

Pelosi is trying to cover all corners and would not rule out impeachment. She said, “It’s not off the table. I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.”

The Speaker then added, “It’s not about politics. It’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about patriotism to our country.”

When Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his public statement, he did emphasize that his report did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice accusations. Many Democrats took this to mean that it was a call to action by Congress.

Some of us did not seem to feel the same way. Even Pelosi is reluctant to fall behind the strategy her progressive members want to go for. She’s did, however, she did say that she ultimately wants to see Trump “in prison.”

As you can well imagine, President Trump did not take Pelosi’s comments lightly.

The tweets from Trump were rather clear:

Pelosi also sad that she has had it with the president. She said, “I’m done with him.”

Pelosi mocked Trump on his tariff fight with Mexico. She also called him the “diverter of attention in chief.”

Pelosi declared that Trump doesn’t deserve attention for backing off his threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico. She also cast doubt on the idea that Trump struck a substantive deal that will benefit the United States.

Pelosi was in full force and mocked Trump’s tariff threats. She said, “They were designed to take your attention away from the Mueller report.”

On Tuesday the Democrats are pushing a resolution through the House that would make it easier to sue the Trump administration. They would also make it easier to sue potential witnesses. This would pave the way for legal action against those who defy subpoenas in Congress’ Russia probe and other investigations.

The Democratic members of the House, through their resolution, would authorize lawsuits against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn for defying subpoenas pertaining to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Not that committee chairmen don’t have enough authority, but the resolution would empower committee chairmen to take legal action to enforce subpoenas without a vote of the full House, as long as they have approval from a bipartisan group of House leaders.

What is the next move by the Democrats after they approve the resolution? It may be dealt with depending on what kind of a mood Pelosi is in.

On Monday House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler stated that they will hold off on suing Barr. The panel struck a deal with the Justice Department to receive some important documents from Mueller’s report and Nadler pushed the pause button.

All members of the committee will be able to view the material.

Did Nadler Hit Pause on Contempt by Barr?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Monday Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has announced that he had reached a deal with the Justice Department over access to evidence related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

The chairman had said he would hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. That vote had been scheduled for today but it appears that a pause has been taken.

Nadler, in a statement, announced an agreement with the Justice Department agreeing to turn over some crucial evidence.

Nadler said, “I am pleased to announce that the Department of Justice has agreed to begin complying with our committee’s subpoena by opening Robert Mueller’s most important files to us, providing us with key evidence that the Special Counsel used to assess whether the President and others obstructed justice or were engaged in other misconduct. These documents will allow us to perform our constitutional duties and decide how to respond to the allegations laid out against the President by the Special Counsel.”

Both Democrats and Republicans will have access and probably start sharing documents late Monday.

Nadler said, “Given our conversations with the Department, I will hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance for now. We have agreed to allow the Department time to demonstrate compliance with this agreement. If the Department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything we need, then there will be no need to take further steps.”

The full House is still expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution that would authorize Nadler to go to court to enforce the subpoena issued to Barr for special counsel’s full report and underlying evidence.

Nadler’s Monday statement more or less says that he will not go to court immediately to enforce the subpoena.

Nadler cautioned that if “important information is held back,” then the committee would have “no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies.”

Last week the DOJ said it would revive negotiations with Nadler’s panel over the subpoenaed materials if he removed “any threat of an imminent vote by the House of Representatives to hold the Attorney General in contempt.”

Nadler is playing hard ball and it appears that he rejected the appeal and urged the Justice Department to return to the negotiating table “without conditions.”

The Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt last month. This came after the Justice Department did not comply with a subpoena seeking access to an unredacted version of Mueller’s Russia report, which would include underlying documents and evidence.

President Trump used executive privilege over the files in order to protect them from release.

House Democrats are still preparing to move forward on a separate contempt-related resolution to enforce subpoenas. Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn’s names would be on the subpoenas.

The measure is still scheduled to be prepared late Monday in the House Rules Committee and then possible floor action could be taken on Tuesday, if the plan doesn’t change.

Democrats are divided among themselves about what action to take while Republicans appear to be on the same train of thought.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., praised the Justice Department for making the accommodations. Collins’ did not give Nadler the same credit.

In a statement Collins said, “The Justice Department has yet again offered accommodations to House Democrats, and I am glad Chairman Nadler — for the first time in months — has finally met them at the negotiating table.”

He continued, “Is the chairman prepared to rescind his baseless recommendation to hold the attorney general in contempt, or do House Democrats still plan to green light lawsuits against the attorney general and former White House counsel tomorrow?”

The House Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department had an agreement last month. At the time, the Justice Department agreed to share some documents with Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) committee.

Collins went on to say, “Today’s good faith provision from the administration further debunks claims that the White House is stonewalling Congress, which Chairman Schiff’s successful negotiations with the Justice Department already showed.”

The antics that seem to be swirling around impeachment talks and subpoenas, are taking a lot of time and cost money. If look at Congress, it would appear that members on two sides of the aisle are seeing and hearing the same scenarios but are coming to opposite conclusions.

We all got to see and hear Barr and Mueller speak. Apparently, Democrats and Republicans really do have brains that function differently. I for one do not see any collusion or obstruction screaming out to be heard and dealt with. On the other hand, Democrats seem to think that there is something in the second half of the Mueller report  that they can clutch onto.

Car Wreck as Clear as Mudd?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Tuesday former FBI official, retired CIA operative and CNN counter-terrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, gave his opinion as to what he thinks about the author of the famous anti-Trump dossier that led to the Russia probe, Christopher Steele, being interviewed by the Justice Department.

Mudd was on CNN and spoke about what Steele might say when being questioned. He noted that it could turn out disastrously for the former British spy.

Attorney General William (Bill) Barr has appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry into the alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign in 2016.

It is thought that Durham will be the person to interview Steele. Durham is also the person looking into how Steele’s Democrat-funded dossier was used by the FBI to secure surveillance warrants for a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, in 2016, despite concerns about its credibility.

The interview is scheduled to take place in London within a few weeks. We can assume that Steele will be asked if his information in the dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia was verified and Steele will say no.

Steele should be giving Durham a true statement because even though the questioning is being done out of the country, Durham can indict Steele and force him to come to the U.S. if he lies.

Mudd said this could turn into a “car wreck” for Steele if he goes forward.

Mudd said, “If you go to car races looking for car wrecks, this is significant. This will be a car wreck.”

It is highly unlikely that Steele will have sufficient answers on how he compiled the dossier.

Mudd also said, “I can’t believe he has perfect answers about the origins of the Steele dossier. I’m not even sure why he’s showing up. If I were him, I’d go to Disney World. I would not go to the Department of Justice, because it will not end up well.”

Mudd seems to think that Steele may want to be interviewed to possibly clear his name and possibly be able to go back to working in the private sector.

Mudd said, “Let me give you how this game ends. Christopher Steele shows up in front of the Department of Justice and I’m guessing doesn’t have terrific answers for the quality of the information in that Steele dossier.”

Okay, I do agree with Mudd on this. In my humble opinion, Steele’s dossier was a compilation of information gathered to prove possible collusion with Russia and the Trump campaign. It was unverified and has no collaborating sources.

I’ve written about the dossier so much in the past that I’m rather excited about Steele answering questions. This is a step forward to finally investigating the investigators, after all, Steele was the investigator who was hired/paid for by Democrats, the DNC and the Clinton 2016 election campaign.

Would anyone like to be a fly on the wall to hear what Steele has to say? I would!

The show has begun. My popcorn is smelling good now.

Did a Spy Come in from the Cold?

by Daveda Gruber:

The author of the famous anti-Trump dossier that led to the Russia probe, former British spy, Christopher Steele, has agreed to be questioned.

According to “The Times” (UK), investigators from the United States are scheduled to question Steele in London within weeks.

The 54 year old Steele, who compiled a dossier on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, will be questioned by investigators, who’s names have not been revealed as yet.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Now, attention is back on the dossier, which was at the helm of the investigation.

Steele has allegedly told the Department of Justice that he would only discuss his dealings with the FBI and wanted assurances that U.S. officials would secure the agreement of the British government.

The British government has not commented.

The origins of the Russia probe has several ongoing investigations at this time. Being investigated are how the Democrat-funded dossier, which was written by Steele, was used to secure surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016.

There are disputed trails of information on whether former CIA Director John Brennan or former FBI Director James Comey had somehow used and pushed the unverified dossier during the presidential transition.

Testimony by Steele has been sought by Congressional committees but have been, so far, unsuccessful.

Steele drafted the dossier while he was working for political opposition firm Fusion GPS, which was co-founded by Glenn Simpson.

Steele has previously declined to be interviewed. He had cited the potential impropriety of his involvement in an internal Justice Department investigation as a foreign national. Did something change? I believe so. Mueller’s report didn’t come out as originally planned.

Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, to review the FBI’s Russia probe. Barr did testify that “spying” did occur against the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign. Barr has made it clear that he wants to get to the bottom of the entire Russian probe.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is probing how the dossier compiled by Steele was used to secure the original surveillance warrant.

Barr has said that he has not received answers from the intelligence community that are “at all satisfactory” in the early stages of his review into the origins of the Russian investigation.

Barr told CBS News, “Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on. And I assumed I’d get answers when I went in, and I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory.”

Barr was questioned by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA., and this particular testimony is worth listening to.

Watch the testimony here:

Republicans in Congress and President Trump have maintained that the dossier was the root of what tuned into the Russian probe.

When the Mueller report was ready to be released, Senator Lindsey Graham R-SC., had this to say:

We know that the Steele Dossier was at the stem of the Mueller Russia investigation and was paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. It bewilders me as to why these facts have not been brought to light with the proof to back it up.

Could it be that a key factor of proof lies in Steele’s testimony? We don’t know what is in Steele’s head but we should want to find out.

Another suicide is not what we need now, if you get my drift.

This show has started but we still have to wait for the exciting parts. My popcorn is ready.

Mueller Speaks to America and Fuels Democrat Impeachment Talk

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday morning Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his first public statement since he finished his probe on Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

The report was handed over to William Barr on March 22.

The White House was advised on Tuesday night of Mueller’s plans to speak to the American people. .

The speech didn’t tell much to those of us who have read the Mueller report. Mueller only said what was already in his report that he had given to Barr. Mueller said that his report was his final testimony.

Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller explained longstanding Justice Department policy, which states that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.

Mueller went on to say, “Charging the president with a crime was not an option we could consider. It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge.”

Mueller added, “We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.  That is the office’s final position.”

The words that there was “insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy” were carefully chosen as was all word usage.

Mueller did state that there were efforts made by the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

It was made very clear that Mueller will be leaving the DOJ and stepping into private life. He wants to move forward and believes that everyone should do the same.

Mueller made it clear that there was not enough evidence or insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion. It appears also that he tried to make the point that not coming to a conclusion, but investigating if there was evidence that a crime was committed, was what he was supposed to do.

You can see Mueller’s speech here:

 

Mueller said he will not be testifying to Congress but Congress could issue a subpoena for him to testify. Would he comply with a subpoena? He did say that his speaking today would be the last time we would hear from him. Do I expect a subpoena? Yes, I do.

I will assume that President Trump was watching Mueller speak, live. Following Mueller’s address, Trump tweeted this out this:

The Democrats will take this verbiage and dwell on the words that you cannot indict a sitting president. This will be misconstrued and reported as that there was a crime but it could not be proven.

So, was Mueller telling Congress that he provided a roadmap  and that Congress  should run with it? Did Mueller put the ball in Congress’s court? That seems to be what the feedback from the Democratic side of the political spectrum is spewing.

This investigation was never about indicting the president on obstruction because it is not possible, within the law, to do so. The only way that this case will ever get closed for good is if and when the real criminals are brought to justice.

The Steele Dossier was never even a point of the Mueller investigation. The dossier has to be investigated. The creators of the dossier must be investigated and the person or people who paid for the dossier must be investigated.

What the heck did we, the American people, pay for? Was the investigation, on its own basis, actually needed? The only part of this investigation that makes any sense is that they found that Russians did try to influence an American election. There was never any collusion with the Trump campaign and Russia.

Will the Deep State be Exposed?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Friday President Trump made a bold move as he vowed to uncover the origins of the Russia investigation. Trump’s confidence has led him to approve the declassification of documents that are related to the surveillance of his campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump is now on his way to Japan but before leaving on Marine One, he spoke to reporters and defended overriding “longstanding rules” on classified material.

Trump told reporters, “We want to be very transparent, so as you know, I declassified everything. We are exposing everything.”

Trump wants to have everything revealed so that investigators looking into the origins of the probe have everything they need, “so they’ll be able to see how and why this whole hoax started.”

The president also stated that the probe was an “attempted takedown of the president of the United States.”

He added, “You’re gonna learn a lot. I hope it’s going to be nice, but perhaps it won’t be.”

Trump made it very clear that he does not have “payback” in mind.

Attorney General Bill Barr has embarked on the review of the Russia probe which is being handled by a top federal prosecutor, John Durham.

Durham has allegedly been working on his review of the Russia probe “for weeks.” He is expected to focus on the period before Nov. 7, 2016 which includes the use of FBI informants as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.

Trump has ordered members of the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr’s probe.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

Sanders tweeted this:

Both the president and the attorney general have claimed that the Trump campaign in 2016 was a target of “spying.” The intelligence community and law enforcement officials maintain that they acted lawfully.

There was much disapproval for Democrats over Barr’s testimony when he used the word “spying.”

It is alleged that Barr is working “collaboratively” on Durham’s investigation with FBI Director Chris Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Durham is also working with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is currently reviewing allegations of FISA abuses and the role of FBI informants during the early stages of the Russia investigation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is not happy with the president for allowing the release of classified materials. He called a “corrupt escalation of the president’s intention” to politicize the intelligence community.

On Friday Schiff said in a statement, “The clear intent of this abuse of power is to override longstanding rules governing classified information to serve the President’s political interests, advance his ‘deep state’ narrative, and target his political rivals.”

In my humble opinion, Schiff has first hand information of how to “target his political rivals.” Isn’t that what Schiff has been doing? Schiff is using his own deeds to create his talking points.

Call it the “Deep State,” “Shadow Government” or the “Swamp;” it’s about time the real criminals are investigated.

 

Will John Durham be the Man to Drain the Swamp?

by Daveda Gruber:

Now that Robert Mueller’s Russian Probe has ended, some are excited to hear the news that an investigation is underway to examine the investigation.

It was a matter of time, but I knew that it would be coming. Attorney General William (Bill) Barr had assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry into the alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Also being investigated is if any Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors.

Durham is known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor or so sources have called him. He’s been alleged to have been working on his review for weeks now.

The story being revealed is that Barr is working “collaboratively” on the investigation with a few others. They include FBI Director Chris Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Durham is working directly with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz is currently reviewing allegations of misconduct of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants that were issued.  He is also looking into the role of FBI informants during the early stages of the investigation.

Durham will focus on the period before Nov. 7, 2016 which includes the use and assignments of FBI informants and alleged improper issuance of  FISA warrants.

On Tuesday President Trump praised Barr for appointing Durham although he claims that he did not request that Barr do so.

On Tuesday Trump told reporters from the White House lawn, “I think it’s a great thing that he did it. I am so proud of our attorney general that he’s looking into it.”

Barr testified on April 9 and said, “I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016.”

Barr had assembled a “team” to investigate the origins of the investigation and it has been alleged that Durham had been working on the investigation for weeks but it is not known if he was part of the original team assembled by Barr last month.

In fact, Barr’s appointment of Durham comes after he testified last month that he believed that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Barr said, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated…Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

Barr did later clarify in the hearing when he said,  “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

Back to Durham. In his career Durham has led numerous public corruption probes. This includes organized crime, government misconduct and financial  fraud matters.

Durham was appointed by AG Janet Reno in 1999.  He was appointed to investigate law enforcement corruption in Boston. Under AG Eric Holder, Durham was selected to investigate matters relating to the destruction of videotapes by the CIA and the treatment of detainees by the CIA.

On paper Durham looks like the right man for this new investigation. Will Durham be the man to lead to the arrest of those who have escaped justice, so far? Only time will tell but if I were to bet on this, I’d be betting against Democrats at this time.

Maybe the D.C. Swamp will finally start to get drained? I’ll be paying attention.

Nadler Leading the Pack Against Barr but Holder Contempt Vote was Shameful?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., led his pack of Democrats to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress.

The contempt charge has been led by Nadler and has Barr allegedly accused for not handing over documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe ˗˗ declaring the move necessary as the country enters a “constitutional crisis.”

Nadler also alleged that Barr acted as President Trump’s personal attorney.

Watch this video put out by MSNBC:

Oh my, things have certainly changed since 2012. In that year the shoe was on the other foot. House Republicans took the same step against then-AG Eric Holder for refusing to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

Remember Fast and Furious? Of course you do. All of us have recollections of where DOJ officials tracked thousands of guns smuggled across the border and then did nothing to stop them.

Well, Nadler was so against Holder being held in contempt that he tweeted this:

And they did. Over one hundred members of Congress walked out of Congress over the vote to hold the Obama-era DOJ leader in contempt.

Donald Trump Jr. noticed the “irony” that Nadler had displayed and tweeted  about it:

The House Minority Leader, at that time in 2012,  Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., argued House Republicans were more politically motivated in attacking Holder than driven to get to the bottom of the failed operation.

Pelosi said, “What is happening here is shameful.”

You can’t make this stuff up. In the year 2012 Pelosi was so against Holder being held in contempt and she made sure she put her two cents in. Watch these video clips and how Pelosi felt about Holder being held in contempt of Congress:

Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wrote an op-ed for FOX News and said that the White House ‘stonewalling’ Congress represents an attack on ‘the essence of our democracy’ – as though stonewalling were some new phenomena. Where was Nadler’s righteous indignation when the stonewalling came from a Democratic White House?”

In an article by Politico, it was written that Fast and Furious has finally come to a conclusion and both sides said they maintained their disagreements but were dropping their appeals and the underlying lawsuit.

A settlement in a seven-year legal battle between the House and the Justice Department over records related to a gun-running investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious was publicly announced Wednesday just as similar clashes continue to intensify between the House and Trump administration.

The deal ends a lawsuit the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee filed in 2012 after the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to release some records the panel demanded about the probe, during which law enforcement officials watched but did not intervene as up to 2,000 weapons were illegally sold.

The fight over the records ended more than a year ago, but a proposed settlement ran aground last fall after U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson signaled that she would refuse to wipe out her rulings in the case.

Both the Obama administration and the House objected to aspects of her decisions, but the executive branch had the larger grievance, as Jackson rejected the Justice Department’s longstanding position that courts have no proper role in resolving battles between Congress and federal agencies over access to records.

In the settlement filed Wednesday, both sides said they maintained their disagreements with Jackson’s decisions but were dropping their appeals and the underlying lawsuit.

 “The Parties agree that because subsequent developments have obviated the need to resolve those issues in an appeal in this case, the District Court’s holdings should not in any way control the resolution of the same or similar issues should they arise in other litigation between the Committee and the Executive Branch, and hereby waive any right to argue that the judgment of the District Court or any of the District Court’s orders or opinions in this case have any preclusive effect in any other litigation,” the agreement says.

Is this a big coincidence that Nadler is being held in contempt of Congress but “Fast and Furious”  just finally got an agreement worked out on both sides agreeing not to use an appeal?

If we don’t pay attention and we are not “a fly on the wall in Congress” who knows what we’d miss.

In my humble opinion, I don’t see Barr being hurt by any of these allegations by the Democratic side of Congress. He has only gone by the rule of law and has not broken it.

Is Christopher Wray Splitting Hairs with William Barr?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Tuesday FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress. Wray disagreed with Attorney General William Barr and applied a different term than Barr who used the word “spying.”

When asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures, Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee “That’s not the term I would use. Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”

In a hearing last month Barr stated, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. …Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

The statement was later clarified during the hearing by Barr when he said, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

Even President Trump has alleged that the bureau engaged in spying against Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Barr’s remarks were broadly criticized by Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Barr of “peddling conspiracy theories.”

Trump allies have noted that there is documented evidence that the FBI obtained surveillance warrants to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page. There have been numerous reports disclosed that reveal the use of an informant and others to gather information during the early days of the probe.

A source has brought to light that in his remarks, Barr was not trying to fuel conspiracy theories or play to the conservative base.

The source said, “When he used the word spying, he means intelligence collecting.” He also noted Barr’s history as a CIA analyst in the 1970s. “He wasn’t using it in a pejorative sense, he was using it in the classic sense.”

On Tuesday when he was asked directly by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., whether he believes the FBI spied on the 2016 Trump campaign, Wray deferred his response to the ongoing investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Wray said, “I want to be careful about how I answer this question here because there is an ongoing inspector general investigation. I have my own thoughts based on the limited information I’ve seen so far but I don’t think it would be right or appropriate to share those at this stage because I really do think it is important for everybody to respect the independent inspector general’s investigation, which I think this line of questioning starts to implicate, and I think it’s very important for everybody to be able to have full confidence in his review.”

Later on he added, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence” of illegal surveillance into the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, but he said that he has been in “close contact” with Barr about helping him get to bottom of how the Russia investigation began.

You can see/hear Wray speak here:

In my humble opinion, the investigation should lead right to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign via the Steele Dossier.