Daily Recap — October 19

“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

— President Trump

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BRAWL GONE AWRY

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Saudi Arabia acknowledged today that Muslim Brotherhood activist/journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul, claiming he died from a chokehold during a physical altercation.
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The Saudi government said in a statement that Khashoggi got in an argument with people inside the consulate when a brawl erupted that led to his death, an explanation that isn’t likely to be taken seriously by those eager to use the murder as a platform of faux self-righteousness to make PDT look bad.
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According to Saudi state-run media, 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested and are under investigation in connection with the case, signaling an upcoming house-cleaning designed to preserve the US/Saudi relationship and all the proxy wars that go with it.
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Five top officials were also fired following the initial investigation. The ousted group includes Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and deputy intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri; the Saudi versions of John Bolton and Dan Coates, respectively.
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The announcement is a big deal in terms of moving forward because it marks the first time the Saudi government has acknowledged that Khashoggi died inside its consulate after he was seen entering the facility on Oct. 2 to get a marriage license.
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PDT praised the move by the Saudi government today as “a good first step.” 
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“It’s a big step. There’s a lot of people involved,” he said while speaking at a roundtable with top military industrial complex stooges in Arizona. 
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“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” he added.
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Asked if he finds the Saudi explanation credible, PDT responded, “I do.”
The White House issued a statement tonight acknowledging the actions taken by Saudi Arabia while going into thoughts-and-prayers mode for Khashoggi’s family, fiancée and friends.
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“We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said before backhanding Jim Acosta.
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The Saudis’ latest account is remarkable in the sense that it acknowledges that a “cover up” took place in the days following Khashoggi’s death, a streak of candor that will surely be used as an olive leaf of good faith going forward.  
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However, their statement failed to answer some key questions, such as the location of Khashoggi’s body, or address Turkish claims the Saudi team that accosted the journalist included security personnel with close ties to Crown Prince MBS and a well-connected forensic doctor carrying a bone saw.
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It should be noted, however, that the Turkish claims of torture were said to be backed up by audio/visual evidence, neither of which have been turned over to the Trump administration. Turkey also has a vested stake in making this incident as costly as possible for the Saudi regime, so their claims must be viewed through that lens. The legacy media has seen fit not to mention those facts, but they’re important if one hopes to get the fullest picture possible.
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The Saudi explanation certainly won’t do anything to appease the RINOs and their globalist chickenhawk brethren, as the early returns show no progress whatsoever in bringing closure to the issue.
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Lindsey Graham, who I warned everyone not to embrace fully just yet, wrote in a tweet that “to say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement.”
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I won’t waste your time going through the list of statements from Liddle Bob Corker, Ben Sasse, etc., but suffice it to say, they’re the same brand of holier-than-thou self-righteousness that has come to define the anti-Trump right. 
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Note to all the pearl-clutching NeverTrumpers: If you think the Khashoggi murder was bad, you’re really not going to like what’s been happening in our proxy war with Iran in Yemen. The Saudis aren’t boy scouts there, either. Perhaps you should all start paying attention to your intel briefs before acting shocked by Muslim-on-Muslim violence like naive morons. Thanks for letting me vent.
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One big problem for the narrative going forward is that MBS is leading the full investigation into Khashoggi’s killing, despite accusations (and a widespread belief) that he may have ordered the operation himself.
MBS, you’ll recall, has been the linchpin of the U.S.-Saudi alliance during the Trump administration, forming close ties with Jared Kushner and becoming a full-fledged asset of US intelligence. We have been feeding MBS info on his enemies in an effort to solidify his claim to power in the kingdom. Perhaps the media will report on that when the Deep State gives permission.
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As to how PDT will respond to this mess, well, it’s not exactly clear.
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He acknowledged yesterday that it “certainly looks” like Khashoggi was dead after he previously refused to speculate on the situation and threatened “very severe” consequences if it was found the Saudis killed him.
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PDT said today before the Saudi’s announcement that he may consider sanctions against the Saudis and added that he would involve Congress in his decision-making process. 
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“We’re going to find out who knew what when and where and we’ll figure it out,” he told reporters traveling with him in Arizona. 
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You’ll recall however, that PDT has repeatedly said he does not want to take steps that would endanger defense and energy ties between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Speaking at the roundtable with defense contractors today, PDT alluded to billions of dollars in Saudi arms purchases.
“I assume you’d like to keep those orders,” Trump said.
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He assumed correctly.
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BIG PICTURE:

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Same as it ever was. It still comes down to whether we’re willing to gravely sever relations with one of our most useful allies in the Middle East (Iran would have a much larger foothold in the region were it not for the Saudis acting as a hedge against them).

Then there is good old-fashioned money, which, for all the bluster about human rights and acts of conscience, still rules the day. PDT getting Congress involved in punishing the Saudis isn’t likely to change our approach a great deal. The military industrial complex exercises influence over the entire government, not just one side of the aisle.

What they want, they get most of the time.

Look for the Saudis to punish their own people as a peace offering between themselves and the West so the apple cart remains upright. I’d also look for the King Salman to rein in MBS in order to show that a level-headed leader is atop the House of Saudi.

This whole episode has been a terrific teaching moment regarding the reality of foreign policy and how the world works.

I hope the red pill has gone down easy for those who took Marco Rubio’s speeches seriously.

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INVASION AT OUR DOORSTEP

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The clashes have started and the heat is on.

The caravan of U.S.-bound migrants – one that has been stubbornly heading north to our border as if they’re entitled to our country – broke down a border crossing today and streamed onto a bridge on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala in the face of a heavy presence of Mexican and Guatemalan law enforcement officers.

The travelers — whose numbers range anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000, depending on who you ask — were eventually stopped on the river crossing, according to video broadcast by Telemundo.

Some members of the caravan became desperate and jumped from the bridge, trying to grab onto one of the makeshift rafts other migrants were using to cross the river into Mexico.

“Unbelievable sight on Mexican border.. tear gas.. rocks being thrown … caravan wants to enter … not able to right now,” tweeted Telemundo propagandist José Díaz-Balart.

The network, which had reporters traveling with the caravan, showed Mexican police lined up along the fence holding it up against the waves of migrants trying to push past.

Caravan participants screamed that they were being fired upon with tear gas, but it was unclear from the video whether that was happening. Mexican officials vowed not to harm or mistreat any of the migrants, but there aren’t many polite ways to repel 4000 people.


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The Associated Press initially reported that the thousands of migrants stopped about two blocks from the Guatemala-Mexican border crossing before turning around, saying they would wait another hour or so.

The border post was guarded by a heavy security force and tall metal gates. On the Mexican side of a border bridge, the migrants were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

This scene at Mexico’s southern border happened at the same time Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting with top Mexican government officials in Mexico City as part of a previously planned trip. 

Pompeo met with top Mexican officials, including lame duck Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, for confronting the caravan of migrants and harshly criticized caravan organizers.

He said the Mexican government deployed 500 federal police officers to the southern border with Guatemala, where at least four were injured.

“We don’t know the severity of those injuries, but I want to express my sympathy to those four policemen,” he told reporters traveling with him today.

He then (rightly) accused the caravan organizers of using women and children as shields to attempt to cross Mexico’s border. 

“This is an organized effort to come through and violate the sovereignty of Mexico, and so we’re prepared to do all that we can to support the decisions that Mexico makes about how they’re going to address this very serious and important issue to their country,” said Pompeo.

That’s technically true, Mr. Secretary. But let’s not mince words here — the only sovereignty truly under threat is our own.


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The mass of migrants arrived in the Guatemalan border town of Tecún Umán, where they slept on the streets and in a park (the Soros stipends didn’t cover Holiday Inn) and prepared today to cross the Suchiate River – which separates Mexico and Guatemala – and head on up to the U.S. border.

Mexico has said only those with the proper papers would be allowed entry into the country and dispatched two planeloads of Federal Police officers to the area –which is often so neglected that migrants simply float across the river in rafts into Mexico without having to clear customs. Probably because Mexico knows they have no intention of staying in Mexico. It’s not their probem; why should they care, right?

Mexico said the staff of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees would help identify “legitimate” asylum claims from the migrants who are part of the caravan. Great, because we can really trust the UN to determine who has business migrating to other countries.

The AP reported that police and immigration agents allowed small groups of 10, 20, 30 people through the gates to apply for refugee status. Once they filed a claim, they were permitted to go to shelter to spend the night.

I suppose the UN/Mexico plan must be having some sort of success, though, since PDT just gave it his seal of approval.

One problem, though, is that Mexico has the same issues we do at the moment: an already huge backlog of claims and slow processing times to deal with them.

Mexico has received a crush of asylum claims in recent years as many Central Americans view Mexico as preferable to where they are, or more often, as a thru country on their way to the US. They accepted 14,596 claims in 2017, more than six times the number of applications it received in 2104. In February, the National Human Rights Commission warned of the “pending collapse of the refugee protection system in Mexico” as half of all claims were still unprocessed.

Under the Mexican government’s plan, those migrants whose asylum claims get rejected would be immediately repatriated to Honduras and other countries.

We here in America are experiencing the same nightmare, as September saw record numbers of people and families come to either sneak in or claim asylum. A major reason is that word has gotten back to Central America that our detention centers are full, which means many of them will simply receive a slip to come back to immigration court, which of course they never do. In the meantime, a large percentage end up being released into the interior of our country. It’s an absolute outrage and I wish PDT would bring it up constantly.

The recent surge is no accident, of course, as PDT did his own part to encourage it by signing an executive order to keep kids with their fake parents, traffickers and rapists because daddy’s little girl Ivanka went crying to the Oval Office.
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Please don’t do that again, Mr. President. Tell the media to go to Hell. And yes, Ivanka too. She’s never lived outside of a gated community in her entire life. She doesn’t get to tell us how to secure our border.
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SHE WAS NOT ELECTED. 

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BIG PICTURE:

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There is still much to learn about this politically convenient “migrant caravan.” The most reliable intel I’ve seen in terms of organization points to leftwing Honduran groups tied to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

As for funding, we still don’t have a smoking gun, although PDT recently hinted that they may be funded by our very own Dims.

“Now we’re starting to find out — and I won’t say it 100%, I’ll put it a little tiny question mark on the end, but we’re not going to get it, but we have the fake news back there, fake news — a lot of money has been passing through people to try to get to the border by Election Day, because they think that is a negative for us,” the president told the crowd. “Number one, they are being stopped and number two, regardless, that’s our issue.”

PDT appeared to be referring to a video that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a frequent ally posted on Twitter on Wednesday that depicted migrants in Honduras giving cash to migrants in the Central American country as they set of for the U.S. Gaetz called for an investigation to examine whether “US-backed NGOs” (non-governmental organizations) or good ole George Soros were behind the alleged payments. PDT himself tweeted out the video yesterday.

Mexico, to their credit, have been putting up a fight and have already put a dent in the caravan. That’s not to say more couldn’t be done, but to say that they’ve laid down and allowed the invasion isn’t accurate. They actually claim that none of the migrants have successfully made it into Mexico, aside from those who have officially requested asylum. The AP says that isn’t completely accurate, as a few have managed to get through and continue their journey.

We’ll have to observe what happens over these next few days to see just how successful they are at stemming this flow, and if they don’t, PDT must follow through on his threat to send troops to the border.

When thousands of people head to your border illegally carrying the flag of their home country, that’s not a refugee situation; that’s an invasion.

Don’t play with these people, PDT. If Mexico proves unable to stop the horde, treat it as the national security matter it is. 

No one has the right to storm into our country, and I’m sick and damn tired of half-measures and platitudes in response.

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TRUMP SAVES WATER FROM LIBERALS

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Today, PDT directed federal agencies to speed the hell up with their environmental review of major water projects in California and to develop plans to suspend or revise regulations that hamper water deliveries.

Railing against environmental regulations that have hurt water deliveries to the valley is a perennial GOP battle cry — and one that could give a political boost to Republican incumbents. But the presidential memo also illustrates the legal constraints that prevent the federal government from single-handedly sending more water to San Joaquin Valley growers.

 

The memo sets 2019 deadlines for the U.S. Interior and Commerce departments to issue updated environmental rules that govern water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta — the center of California’s sprawling water supply system.

The review of export limits under the Endangered Species Act started under the Barry administration, which signaled that the protections could grow more restrictive because populations of imperiled fish continue to plummet.

Yes, they’re screwing up the water supply to farmer in order to save some damn fish. God  these people could not be stupider with a perpetual head injury.

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Federal biologists could retreat from that, loosening export limits when they issue the new rules next spring. But if they do, the action will inevitably be challenged in the courts, which have already blocked a similar effort by the Dubya administration.

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California’s massive federal irrigation system, the Central Valley Project, must also adhere to state environmental regulations and water rights permits, which California farmers have been protesting for years.  PDT, who has earned a great reputation for getting things done that predecessors couldn’t, decided he’d try his hand at this, too.

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Back in August, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered the Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees the Central Valley Project, and other Interior agencies to develop an “initial plan of action” that would maximize water deliveries, streamline federal environmental reviews of project operations and prepare “legislative and litigation measures” to increase deliveries.


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The Trump memo also sets a 2019 deadline for environmental reviews of the Klamath Project, which delivers water for irrigation in Oregon and Northern California.

Five Republican congressmen from the Central Valley — House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao, Devin Nunes, Jeff Denham and Tom McClintock — watched as he signed the memo after a fundraising lunch in Scottsdale.

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PDT then handed the pen to Nunes, who for years has introduced legislation outlining the absurdity of the federal Endangered Species Act. Several of his proposals have passed the House, only to die in the swamp known as the US Senate.

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“This will move things along at a record clip,” Trump told the group. “And you’ll have a lot of water. I hope you’ll enjoy the water you’ll have.”

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McCarthy, smartly branding the signing as another promise Trump made and kept, said the order could increase deliveries to the Central Valley by more than a million acre-feet, though he gave no details as to how.

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BIG PICTURE:

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While I would never doubt PDT’s commitment to sound water policy, let’s be clear-eyed here — this is all about the midterms. The directive will have little immediate practical effect. But it comes a bit more than two weeks before a midterm election in which some Central Valley Republicans are in close races to hold on to their congressional seats.

Three valley Republicans are facing serious challengers, although Denham is the only incumbent polling behind his Dim challenger. Josh Harder, a former venture capitalist, has a 5-point lead among likely voters in California’s 10th Congressional District. The race is listed as a “Republican toss-up” by the Cook Political Report, who has a decent record with these things.

 

Any attempt by the Trump administration to skirt state environmental regulations will be challenged in court for running afoul of a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case that pitted California against the Central Valley Project. The high court found that, under the 1902 Reclamation Act, federal irrigation projects in the West must conform to state laws.

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So yes, it’s a political stunt that no one expects to actually bear fruit anytime soon. 

But it’s not wrong, either.

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NELLIE HIDES BEHIND HER HUBBY

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Anti-Trump DOJ co-conspirator Nellie Ohr exercised spousal privilege and largely declined to discuss conversations she had with her husband, Bruce Ohr, over the pee-pee dossier during a meeting with two House committees today.

The move prevented the Republican lawmakers from asking questions about the Ohrs’ role with the dossier, although I’d be happy to fill you in right now. Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, who compiled the dossier. She gave its contents to Bruce, who in turn fed it to the FBI, who were using it as justification for surveillance on an opposing political campaign.

Easy, right?


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“There were some questions she would not get into — and those were the questions we wanted to ask,” said one of the few useful Republicans in Congress, Rep. Jim Jordan.

Dims attending the joint interview with congressional investigators on the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees also said they didn’t learn anything new from the interview, something for which they’re undoubtedly grateful.

“It’s been a good waste of time. I haven’t heard anything or seen anything that leads me to believe there is some conspiracy or deep state at the DOJ or FBI,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), who called it a “big nothingburger.”

IT’S EASY TO HAVE A NOTHINGBURGER WHEN THE KEY PLAYERS WON’T TALK AND THE DOJ HAS BEEN STONEWALLING INFO FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS. 

It didn’t take long for Dims to break out the sheet of music they’re all on, accusing the mean ole Republicans of obstructing the work of the benevolent Bob Mueller.

“We understand that the whole thing is a side show, and I’m sorry that innocent people and good Americans are getting caught up in it,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD. “The leaking has obviously been egregious and massive. This whole line of questioning has been made for TV and the sooner we can put an end to it the better.”

DO YOU MEAN THE LEAKING COMING FROM THE FBI AND DOJ SINCE TRUMP TOOK OFFICE? I AGREE, IT NEEDS TO END.


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FRAUD COMING IN:

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There was one bit of good news, I guess.

Deputy Attorney General Fraud Rosenstein will appear before two House committees next Wednesday, Oct. 24, to answer charges that he proposed secretly taping PDT for the purpose of invoking the 25th Amendment. Fraud will appear before both the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

The interview will be conducted by each committee’s chairman, Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy, respectively. Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings will be acting as Fraud’s defense team. The interview will of course be under oath.

The interview will be in closed setting, unfortunately. A court reporter will be present to record all questions. The transcript reviewed by the Intelligence Community and not disseminated to the public, according to a statement released by the committees.

This sudden agreement to testify likely came as a result of the House Freedom Caucus losing their patience with his BS games. Things reached a boiling point yesterday when Rep. Mark Meadows demanded Fraud’s resignation.

“I think at this particular point, Rod Rosenstein’s priorities are misplaced. His unwillingness to come before Congress and allow us to conduct proper congressional oversight, along with the other information that we’ve learned over the last week or so, would indicate that Rosenstein has not displayed the candor of which would support one’s theory of actually believing that he has been open and honest in all regards,” Meadows told reporters.

“So with that, I think that it’s time that Rod Rosenstein steps down. He should do so immediately and in doing that, I think it would serve the country well, it would serve this president well,” he added.

You may remember that Fraud was set to appear on Capitol Hear last week but skipped the session for unknown reasons. He apparently didn’t have time for Congress, but managed to speak to reporters about various issues, which pushed Meadows over the edge.

“The Deputy Attorney General owes the American people answers about whether he participated in any conversations or decisions seeking to undermine President Trump’s administration from within,” Mr. Meadows said in a statement. “There is reason to be deeply concerned he did.”


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BIG PICTURE:

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It’s clear that Nellie, Bruce and everyone else involved with this scheme are in tight-lip mode. Glenn Simpson pled the 5th last week. And while Bruce Ohr has been somewhat cooperative according to reports, his answers have not aligned with his other deep state buddies, just as Comey and McCabe have given different accounts regarding leaks coming from the agency.

Simply put, we’re finally starting to get somewhere in terms of proving corruption. Yes, we’ve had evidence for a while, but now that the rats are under pressure we’re getting differing answers on key questions, which is very important to the goal of demonstrating dishonesty and knowledge of guilt. Or as prosecutors call it “intent.”

As for Fraud’s alleged plan to secretly tape PDT, that’s another he said/they said situation. And the ‘they’ in this instance — namely Andy McCabe, James Baker and Lisa Page — all have serious crediblity issues. That’s not to say Rosenstein’s credibility is pristine, but we should be clear-eyed about what to expect from his testimony.

He merely has to re-assert that he was being sarcastic and no one will be able to prove otherwise.

I’m just happy that there are so many internal conflicts now happening on the Deep State side of things. It may not feel like it, but that’s the first step toward winning. When they turn on each other, the question goes from did they do anything wrong to who did something wrong.

Let’s hope we hold onto the House in a few weeks so we don’t have to endure the political headache of moving the probe over to the Senate. 

Don’t you hate when Law & Order is just getting good, then they leave you hanging until next week?

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