For those following the insane Russiagate witch hunt story very few are aware that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and one time advisor to ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukowych and lobbyist for Ukrainian groups, has been under criminal and counter-intelligence investigation by multiple federal agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DOJ*, IRS** and now Team Mueller) since 2014 (see). And to date no investigator of any agency (including two separate Senate investigations***) has found so much as a smidgen of illegality or criminality (or collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 election) in any of Manafort's political, financial, lobbying and real estate dealings. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And you can be sure that if a desperate, failed, frustrated Mueller brings charges against Manafort it will relate to his failure to register as a lobbyist for his Ukrainian clients - which he did retroactively (see). However, FARA violations aren't regarded as serious crimes by the Justice Department, and are rarely prosecuted. In fact, in the last 50 years there's been just seven FARA prosecutions and only one conviction: an Iraqi-American businessman who was fined and sentenced to probation (see and see).
*FISA Court wiretaps (see).
**Manafort was investigated for tax fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes by the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division (see). They found nothing. Moreover, Mueller invited the IRS to participate in the FBI raid on Manafort's home; but they refused. Having found no crimes in their two year long investigation of Manafort participation was unwarranted (see).
***Judiciary and Intelligence Committiees
And it appears that despite rumors and reports that Mueller and his "dream team" of 16 all-star cracker jack lawyers are zeroing in on Manafort for the big kill that will bring down Trump, in reality they are no closer to hanging him than others have been over the last three years. Indeed, contrary to what we are hearing from the Trump derangement press the recent, pre-dawn "extraordinarily invasive," "intimidating" "no knock" guns drawn FBI raid on Manafort's Alexandria home (where a trove of documents and records were reportedly seized) proved, it seems, to have been a complete bust - another dead-end yielding nothing that can be used to hang Manafort, Donald Trump or anyone in the administration.
I say this for the following reasons: According to the Washington Post on July 25th, less than one full day before the raid, Robert Mueller learned that Manafort had been subpoenaed to appear on the 26th before the Senate Judiciary Committee in an open session. The reason for the subpoena was Manafort's apparent lack of cooperation in voluntarily producing certain records and documents that the committee requested for its investigation. What were these documents? Whatever seems to be pertinent to the Russiagate witch hunt, of course.
Manafort with Putin and Ukrainian President Yanukovych.
Indeed, since last March, according to the Business Insider (see), the committee has been examining Manafort's financial and political history with Russian oligarchs, especially as a paid advisor and lobbyist (which made him millions) to the "Party of Regions" in the Ukraine - this was the pro-Russian political party that elected Manafort's client Viktor Yanukowych president in 2010. Apparently, it was docs related to this part of the probe that Manafort seemed at first was reluctant to produce and underlie the subpoena.
Now on July 25th (that very same day) shortly after the Senate issued its subpoena two things happened: 1. Manafort agreed to produce the documents causing the Senate committee to immediately withdraw the subpoena; and 2. Mueller, it appears (and this is crucially important), took the Senate subpoena to a federal judge and convinced him to issue a warrant to search Manafort's Alexandria home. In other words, the Senate subpoena was the basis for the search warrant and triggered it.
Indeed, the Senate subpoena for Russiagate related documents and the court warrant for the raid being issued within hours of each other are inextricably linked; for it was a load of docs that the FBI reportedly took from Manaford's home. As the Washington Post reported:
"The search warrant indicates that investigators may have argued to a federal judge that they had reason to think Manafort could not be TRUSTED to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena ."
In other words, because the Senate briefly couldn't trust Manafort to produce certain documents (the reason for the subpoena) neither could Mueller trust him; and apparently with the newly issued subpoena in hand Mueller convinced the federal judge that his distrust was warranted; that it was possible Manafort was in possession of incriminating evidence of financial and campaign wrongdoing that he might try to conceal, destroy or alter; and that an immediate invasive search of his home was necessary to prevent that from happening. Persuaded by Mueller that immediate and urgent action was needed the judge issued the warrant; and within hours the FBI raided Manafort's home carting away boxes of records, docs, computers and what not.
Indeed, given the coincidence on July 25th of the search warrant issued just hours after the Senate subpoena my theory linking the docs requested by the Senate with what was reportedly seized in the raid looks quite valid. Also valid is my theory that the raid proved a complete failure and bust. For if not then why leak the raid to the press two weeks later? If Team Mueller had found a smoking gun leaking the raid makes no sense unless they had nothing better to leak and hurt Manafort (and Trump) with.
Indeed, if after two weeks of processing the seized records and docs Mueller's team found something damning for a grand jury indictment then that's what they would have leaked - that an indictment was imminent. Leaking info about the pre-dawn raid is a sign of frustration with the Manafort investigation; that it is going no better for Mueller then it went for Comey and the FBI after ten months; or for the CIA, NSA, DNI and the IRS's crime division for three years; or for Senate committee investigators since March when they started their probe.
In other words, after 13 months and millions spent the Russiagate investigation is still thick black plumes of artificially media created smoke desperately searching for a fire and smoking gun; after 13 months the bloodthirsty, destroy Trump witch hunt still has no one to hang, crucify or burn.
The NY Times reports that Special Council Robert Mueller's team advised Paul Manafort that they plan to indict him. For what? The Times doesn't say. Manafort is allegedly under investigation for possible violations of money laundering and tax laws as related to his unregistered lobbying activity (he belatedly registered) for the Russian backed Ukraine government of Vicktor Yanukovych. In other words, these possible indictments have zero to do with Russiagate: of criminal collusion of Team Trump with Russia to tilt the election in President Trump's favor.
However, assuming that this is true and an indictment unrelated to Russiagate is coming down for Manafort he doesn't seem the least bit troubled by it. For if he were, if he feared a conviction and jail time, he would likely have done an Eric Snowden by now fleeing to Russia the guest of Vladimir Putin, living with Yanukovych safely beyond the reach of US law.
As I've been predicting all along at worst Russiagate will be Plamegate 2 with Mueller (who was FBI chief during the Plamegate investigation) grabbing a Scooter Libby or two for perjury, obstruction or something else, but finding nothing on the President. Could Manafort be Mueller's Libby? If that should happen it will turn this probe into one big wasteful fiasco just like Plamegate when Fitzgerald was unable to squeeze Libby into becoming a cooperative witness against Dick Cheney.
BTW, Mueller was the FBI chief during the Plamegate investigation and started it several months before Comey picked friend Patrick Fitzgerald to be special prosecutor in the case. I take this to be a sign of where Mueller's Russiagate investigation is going.
President Trump's Afghan War Doctrine for winning this protracted 16 year war can be summarized as follows: It is George Bush's "fighting the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them here" minus nation building absent Barack Obama's complete stupidity in announcing timetables for withdrawal, and his insane, lethal, restrictive rules of engagement that depressed morale and got U.S. soldiers killed. Add to this the long overdue pressuring of Pakistan (through economic leverage and stronger defense ties with India) into wiping out its safe zones for terrorists, and that's the Trump Doctrine in a nutshell.
However, in the short run the signs don't look auspicious for the war. Yesterday, coinciding with the President's tough, eloquent, sensible speech, the USS John S. McCain (a destroyer named after the father and grandfather of Afghan War hawk Senator McCain) collided with an oil tanker (see) in the China Sea causing ten sailors to go missing and injuring five - not a good sign. Also ominous was the tanker's destination: South Korea (more trouble from the North?).
President Trump looking straight into the solar eclipse hours before his speech where he fearlessly looked at Afghanistan without illusions.
And later that day a rare total solar eclipse crossed the United States. Indeed, the Moon, symbolic of Islam, blotted out the Sun - another bad sign. But the eclipse being temporary perhaps signified a brief, tragic period of darkness and much loss of life for US forces on the battlefield (the USS McCain incident); or perhaps it's a warning of jihadi terrorist strikes on the homeland (across the country) - as in Barcelona five days ago.
It is interesting to note that the last time a total solar eclipse crossed the US from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast was on June 8, 1918. That was when our nation was in its 14th month fighting the Axis Powers in World War I. Five months later the war would end in victory. Will 2018 see an end to the Afghan War with the Taliban being driven to the bargaining table after a fierce and bloody conflict?
On the bright side Trump is in the 7th month of his presidency (an auspicious number for him, see); and yesterday was his 214th day in office (see); cut 214 in half and we get the number 107 - giving us the month "10" and day "07" in 2001 when President Bush begin the Afghan War (10-07-2001). It also gives us the month and day when Vladimir Putin was born (10-07-1952). The "coincidence" of Putin's 49th birthday with the start of the Afghan War is interesting in that Russia apparently has joined with Iran in trying to undermine our efforts in fighting the Taliban (see). But they will fail. For Trump is bigger and has more audacity than Putin and Khamenei combined.
As you can see the President has his work cut out for him in Afghanistan. But he's equal to it, has no illusions and will prevail; and he'll go down in history as one of the greats. When is the next total solar eclipse to cross our country? April 2024 astronomers say - an election year when Trump will be in the last year of his successful presidency having totally eclipsed and collapsed the effort of his enemies to destroy him.
The wheels are coming off the Trump Presidency!
The emperor has no clothes!
Donald Trump won the Presidency with four flat tires and completely naked having been derailed and stripped of his clothes by the Gropergate Scandal: when the Access Hollywood Tape surfaced where he said demeaning things about women; then ten women accused him of groping and sexually assaulting them. With allies denouncing Trump as unfit for the exalted office he sort and distancing themselves from him it was said that his candidacy was over and he was certain to lose the election. Some even suggested for the sake of the party he step down as its nominee and let Mike Pence take over the campaign.
But winners never quit. Doubling down and exerting himself to a greater degree - doing three, four, sometimes five rallies in a single day-no wheels nor clothes Donald Trump audaciously charged ahead and passed through the storm to win the presidency astounding the world. And you will see him doing this again. Aided by Providence and the sheer force of his indomitable will we'll see this American Hercules defy the laws of political gravity all over again, and go on to win a second term to strengthen the America he made great again.
WHAT ASTOUNDING HYPOCRISY!
When liberalism is in trouble it's time to tear down statues.
LIKE OUR GREAT GOOD PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
I am a proud, white, conservative, country first, pro-American patriotic nationalist. Like Donald Trump my black conservative friends are proud, black, country first, pro-American patriotic nationalists. Like Donald Trump my conservative Hispanic friends are proud, Hispanic, country first, pro-American patriotic nationalists. Like Donald Trump my yellow-skinned conservative friends are proud, Asian, country first, pro-American patriotic nationalists. Like Donald Trump my conservative wife and lady friends are proud, female, country first, pro-American patriotic nationalists. Like Donald Trump my 19 year old conservative son is a proud, teenage, country first, pro-American, patriotic nationalist. And like Donald Trump my dog (Washington) is a proud, canine, pro-American nationalist. How do I know? Washington barks happily and wags his tail every time he hears the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, Yankee Doodle or most any patriotic song.
As for hate driven, Neo-Nazi, white supremacist racist scum (a tiny, powerless minority that had nothing to do with Trump's election*) they put race above country (give skin color absolute value) and aren't true, proud, country first, patriotic American nationalists.
And while the racism of Neo-Nazi and white supremacists is evil, unAmerican and unpatriotic also evil, bigoted, divisive and unAmerican are those on the radical race obsessed Left that deny whites any semblance of racial identity. It is racist bigotry, and therefore evil, to tell whites that they can't have a racial identity and pride in their race and its achievements - as if being white is morally corrupt, genetically flawed, oppressive and genocidal. This is insanity that leads to racial resentment, division, violence and hate. It leads to Charlottesville.
Racial pride is fine for the members of all races but becomes evil when taken to the extreme of supremacism: White, Black, Red, Hispanic, Asian, etc. Racial pride is morally good in all races so long as the goodness, beauty and potential for great achievements isn't monopolized and denied to other races. Be a proud White, Black, Red, Hispanic or Asian man or woman. But remember there is only one race: the HUMAN RACE; and that the great achievements of any one race is for the good, progress and evolution of all races and ethnic groups that make up the totality of mankind.
WAS TRUMP ELECTED PRESIDENT BY WHITE SUPREMACISTS?
I thought it was the Russians that somehow mysteriously elected Donald Trump President? Now we're told by the divisive, race obsessed, identitarian, PC, Trump hating Left that it was "ethno white nationalists" or "white supremacists" that elected him as if all or most Americans who voted for him (the vast majority were middle class working whites) did so mainly because of race. We are told that after eight years of a popular black president the millions who made Trump his successor did so because they wanted a bigot like themselves in office who'd wipe out his accomplishments as if he'd never been president. And we're told that the reason for Trump not initially explicitly condemning white racism for Charlotteville was to avoid offending and alienating his "loyal racist base." But this is pure, utter, easily refutable rubbish.
Fact is, as Roger Simon points out at PJ Media (see), white supremacists make up a microscopic speck of the U.S. population (a fringe group) and have zero political clout. Indeed, according to a study done by History Channel on the Klu Klux Klan, at the height of its power in the 1920s it commanded a membership of 4 million supremacists. That was a staggering 4% of the total U.S. population at the time - politically significant by any measure as the Klan's influence over the Democratic Party into the 1960s proves. But by the 1990s (30 years after MLK's death) Klan membership dwindled to a low pitiful 10,000 supremacists or less. That would be .03% (3/100ths of 1%) of today's population of 320 million. In other words, as a voting block the KKK (still the largest white domestic supremacist group) is an impotent, insignificant, inconsequential nothing burger deserving not the least bit of credit for Donald Trump's historic victory.
Indeed, if every white racist had vanished on November 7th the election's outcome would have been unchanged with Trump winning the same swing states that made him President. Indeed, that Trump and the GOP need white supremacists to win elections is a bald face lie (as I prove HERE); that might have been true for the Democrats for 100 years; but never, not today or ever, of Lincoln's nationalist, non-racist party of emancipation, justice, civil rights and liberty.
It would seem that nothing short of Donald Trump abducting David Duke, binding him in chains and dragging him into the Oval Office and strangling him to death would satisfy the race obsessed Left that he wasn't a white supremacist, and that he meant what he said when he disavowed supremacists and their bigotry.
But just as the demonization of Trump as a racist bigot couldn't stop him from being elected, so will it prove ineffectual in 2020 when he's reelected and most likely with a larger minority vote.
Surprise for traders - and the Fed - moments ago the BEA reported that after its first revision of Q2 GDP (a quarter which ended two months ago), the initial estimate of 2.6% was revised to 3.0%, beating expectations of a 2.7% print, and the highest annualized growth rate since Q1 2015. The annualized Q2 GDP was more than double the first quarter number which as a reminder printed at 1.2%
While most were revised higher in the latest release (with the notable exception of government which downshifted from 0.12% to -0.05%) the bigges contributor to the upward revision was Personal Spending, which surged 3.3% in Q2, after rising 1.9% in Q1, and contributing 2.28% of the bottom GDP line.
Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!
President "CHAOS" is on his way to CHAOTICALLY super charging Barack Obama's trickle growth, flat to failing, bad jobs Keynesian economy, and CHAOTICALLY winning a second term - like he CHAOTICALLY won the presidency against staggering odds because the middle class preferred a CHAOTIC outsider to business as usual Hillary (and the settled, orderly, organized, largely self-serving status quo that wasn't working for them and needed radical disruptive change).
And let me be perfectly clear (as I said HERE) Trumpian CHAOS is BENIGN; it's not the bad, destructive, leftist kind of "Kill Cops, Burn Down Shops, Raise Capitalism and Wall Street to the Ground" CHAOS. It's not the destroy Trump at any cost Democrat Party/liberal news media CHAOS. Nearly 200 days in office and Trump's BENIGN CHAOS has measurably benefited this nation and the world on many levels and in many ways; and it will continue to do so until Trump retires in 2025 leaving behind an enviable legacy and hailed as one of the great ones.