By Charlie Johnston
I am working on a big piece that deals directly with the intense controversy that keeps growing within the Church. Meantime, events keep coming in flood waves. Rather than wait to post anything until I have the complex piece, I survey the ongoing scene.
With the release of the Inspector General’s (IG) Report on FISA Court abuse, I am now convinced that some high-ranking people will be held to account and will be going to jail. Yes, I know the establishment media is crowing that the IG found no political bias, while James Comey and Christopher Wray are claiming this report exonerates the FBI. If this is what Comey and Wray think is exoneration, I wonder what they would consider to be an actual indictment.
The IG, Michael Horowitz, was tasked with identifying any problems with the procedures involved, while exercising restraint on the matter of motive. He did NOT say there was no political bias. He said there was not documentary or testimonial evidence which would prove political bias. Then he goes on to list over 400 pages of offenses. The translation of what he actually said is, “They weren’t stupid enough to leave a paper trail overtly admitting to their political bias.”
Horowitz goes on to show that the Steele Dossier, besides being solicited and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was based on bar gossip from a single source – a source who repudiated it as just that when he was interviewed. Steele, himself, repudiated it when asked to vouch for it. The entire Steele Dossier was merely Democratic fan-fiction and the FBI knew that early on. Yet they lied to the FISA Court repeatedly about it. When it was confirmed that target Carter Page was actually an asset of the CIA who was giving American intelligence information from Russian contacts, an FBI attorney falsified the email confirming that to say just the opposite, that Page was not an American asset. The coup plotters knowingly lied repeatedly both in formal hearings and in public media forums.
An investigator’s job is not to determine guilt or innocence, but to amass facts that a prosecutor can use to indict. I can see why Comey would not be clear on that distinction. But in this case, Horowitz produced a boatload of evidence for the Attorney General and his prosecutors.
Ominously (for the coup plotters) the IG report follows up its statement that it did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that would prove political bias by adding, “We also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified.” I now think it very likely that before next year is out, a bunch of former high officials will be in prison, including (at the least) Comey, John Brennan, and Andrew McCabe. Right now their cries of exoneration are so much whistling past the graveyard.
The only hard, first-hand evidence garnered in the impeachment hearings so far is that Donald Trump did NOT seek a quid pro quo from Ukraine. That came from our Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. He said that on two occasions he asked Trump what the President wanted in exchange for releasing military aid to Ukraine and that, on both occasions, Trump said he wanted nothing. Ah, but Sondland joined all the rest of his Deep State colleagues who testified that he still felt that Trump was an icky guy and, whatever he said, they just know he had something nefarious in mind. That’s all they have. Seriously.
So far, they have largely proven there was NO quid pro quo. Frankly, I don’t like that formulation at all. For all the quid we dole out to foreign nations, we better be getting some quo back. Quid pro quo is the coin of the realm in any agreement, whether involving real estate deals or foreign affairs. A quid pro quo is not, prima facie, unethical. To the contrary, it is the necessary linchpin of any reasonable agreement. If it is solely, or even primarily, for the personal gain of an official, it is unethical.
Trump released the transcript of the call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that started all this. It is pretty straight-forward. Trump asked Zelensky to look into CrowdStrike and Ukranian interference on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. He mentioned, late in the call, how funky Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal with Burisma – and the circumstances surrounding Joe Biden bragging, on videotape, about getting the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma and his son fired, seemed. In short, Trump asked Zelensky to look into it all and, if he found anything untoward, to let us know. This is a far cry from making things up – as the Democrats used British, Russian and Ukranian agents (that we can prove) to do against Trump. Trump asked Zelensky to sing; the Democrats asked foreign agents to compose.
To mount this, Democrats perverted the whistle-blower statute. The leaker who accused Trump, Eric Ciaramella, is a former National Security Council (NSC) employee and protege of John Brennan, who was fired for leaking false information and classified calls when he was at the NSC. He is still at CIA. Clearly, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff worked with Ciaramella to find a way where he could still smear Trump while being protected from the consequences for lying. That is why they perverted the whistle-blower statute. We all have something that Ciaramella didn’t have when he made the accusations: actual knowledge of what was said. Turns out that Ciaramella was wrong on almost everything he alleged.
I suspect Ciaramella may ultimately go to prison, as well. I hope so, because this perversion of the statute will weaken the protections of actual whistle-blowers by bringing the whole idea into disrepute as just another partisan tool.
Facts and evidence are destroying the narrative of Democratic partisans and of the establishment media. And we are just at the beginning of the consequences they will face for their malicious and shameless assault on the rule of law and simple fairness.
The grandson of former Pres George H.W. Bush and nephew of former Pres. George W. Bush is planning to run for Congress in Texas 22nd Congressional District, just south of Houston. He is catching some flak for his participation in an anti-Trump rally in January of 2017. I could live with that. A lot of people who have become admirers of what Trump has accomplished were initially very skeptical of him. I was one of them.
What jumped out at me is at the bottom of the linked article. Bush was the CEO of the Texas branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). For his work with this charitable organization, public statistics for 2017 (the most recent year available) show that he made $241,000. For crying out loud. I know my view is somewhat skewed…I have largely lived poverty for a decade. I cringe when I see someone making $60,000 per year described as scrimping by. I haven’t seen that much in the last decade. I don’t resent people making money, including significant sums. I am, in fact, all for it, particularly in the private sector with real skills.
But what is with this bi-partisan cabal of the connected making exorbitant sums of money because of their connections? I am getting sick of it all. For crying out loud, when people donate to BBBS I am betting they are not doing so because they want to make sure Pierce Bush gets his quarter million dollars this year. Of course, that is less than half of what Hunter Biden was making from Burisma – and a small fraction of what Biden will take from his Chinese windfall.
I would not mind a serious salary, as young Bush was doing it as his full-time job. But if a man can’t head a charitable organization for around, say, $90-125,000, I think he should probably find another job. I will give Bush credit that he actually did serious work for the organization, which is more than Biden can say of his tenure at Burisma or Chelsea Clinton for the $600,000 she made from NBC. But when I see these sweetheart deals being doled out to all the politically connected, it makes me want to toss ‘em all out. It feels like a nasty form of looting of the public trust.
I was once offered $200,000 to head up a minor agency in Illinois. One of the selling points pitched to me was that I would only have to attend four meetings a year. It was an area in which I had no experience whatsoever. It was clearly an effort to buy some of my (then substantial) political influence. It was an absolute affront to my sense of honor. I was embarrassed but declined graciously. Do none of the elite classes have any sense of honor left at all?
A lot of people have asked me how David Daleiden is doing these days. I understand that, given the coverage, many people would think he is in a funk over setbacks. Quite frankly, he is about as enthused and ebullient as I have ever seen him – and we have been friends for almost five years now. He would occasionally get into a funk when not much was happening and it seemed that all that would ever happen is a mountain of paper being filed over and over again. Keep in mind that one of his primary goals, from the start, was to force abortion doctors and Planned Parenthood (PP) officials to testify under oath. These last few months he has gotten a lot of that – and however much California swamp dwellers try to spin it, it is not good for PP. From my perspective, what much of the media even on our side is framing as setbacks is actually PP contributing to its own catastrophic demise.
Daleiden is battle-hardened and happy. The one thing that upsets him a bit when we talk is how down some of his friends are about all this. He knew…and I knew…that this would be a long, hard battle fought mostly on hostile terrain. Some PP employees have admitted under oath that the illegal sale of dissected baby body parts for profit was real – the evidence so clear that Judge William Orrick in the civil case instructed the jury that the criminality of PP was “irrelevant.” There have been admissions under oath that when babies scheduled for abortion are born alive, it is not uncommon for them to be killed by dissection. Employees of partners admitted that, like the ancient Aztecs, they sometimes cut the beating heart out of a living child. However much the California establishment tries to spin these revelations, they are going to become decisive – and the “setbacks” give Daleiden the opportunity to get more. There is an old saying that people who love sausage should avoid finding out how it is made. From my perspective – and from David’s – this is what winning looks like.
On another front, baby Tinslee Lewis is conscious and often sedated. A lot of legal maneuvering is going on this week, so I will give you updates as they come available.
Consecration to St. Joseph
Fr. Donald Calloway has finished his important book, “Consecration to St. Joseph,” just in time for Christmas. I have long thought that St. Joseph is critical to the times we are in.
It was, after all, to St. Joseph that the Father gave responsibility for the protection of the Holy Family when the child, Jesus, was just a babe. How appropriate that, at a time when all of us who seek to be children of the Living God are surrounded by hostile forces and great perils, that we should entrust ourselves to him who God entrusted the child, Jesus, and Our Lady. Less than a month ago, Fr. Calloway gave a brief interview to ChurchPop, explaining what he intends to begin with this book. I heartily endorse and pray for his intentions – and think the book will make a great Christmas gift.