• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

FBI Scandals Sanitized with Fascist Newspeak!

Scandals Sanitized With Linguistic Trickery

by Victor Davis Hanson  at  realclearpolitics:

Throughout Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s massive report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation are lots of strange things. One of the weirdest is the extent to which the FBI went to make up words and phrases to disguise reality.

An early draft of the 2016 FBI report on the email scandal was reportedly subjected to linguistic surgery to exonerate the former secretary of state, who at the time was the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton was originally found to be “grossly negligent” in using an illegal email server. That legalistic phrase is used by prosecutors to indict for violation of laws governing the wrongful transmission of confidential government documents.

Yet the very thought of a likely President Clinton in court so worried the chief investigator, FBI Director James Comey, that he watered down “grossly negligent” to the mere “extremely careless.”

FBI investigators also had concluded that it was “reasonably likely” foreign nations had read Clinton’s unsecured emails. Comey intervened to mask such a likelihood by substituting the more neutral word “possible.”

Former President Barack Obama was found to have improperly communicated with Clinton over her illegal server while she was in a foreign country. Obama had denied that fact by falsely claiming that he never knew of her server until much later, after it was publicized.

The FBI hierarchy under Comey tried to hide the embarrassing details of Obama’s conduct. As a result, the FBI deleted Obama’s name from its report. In its place, the FBI inserted the laughable “another senior government official” — as if the president of the United States was just another Washington grandee who had improperly communicated on an illicit email server.

According to Comey’s congressional testimony, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered him not to use the supposedly incriminating noun “investigation” in connection with his investigation of the Clinton emails. Instead, she instructed Comey to use the benign-sounding “matter.”

One of the oddest mysteries of the IG report is the FBI’s delay in addressing the fact that disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner had a number of Clinton’s private emails on his unsecured laptop. They were all forwarded to him by his wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Clinton. Their Washington-insider marriage had been widely publicized. Yet Comey, the nation’s premier public investigator, claimed he had no idea that Weiner and Abedin were married. Comey would have the inspector general believe that Abedin had forwarded numerous emails from Clinton, some of them classified, to a mere acquaintance.

Stranger still, Comey asserted his ignorance of the Weiner-Abedin marriage in an Orwellian manner: “I don’t know that I knew that [Weiner] was married to Huma Abedin at the time.” Translated, that means Comey claimed that he was not sure at one point that he was sure at another point that Weiner was married to Abedin, at least at the time when the emails came to his attention. Therefore, he did not act as he should have.

What were the common themes in the FBI’s linguistic distortions?

Two realities: One, the FBI made sure that Obama, the boss of most of the wayward FBI and DOJ officials, was not to be entangled in any scandal.

Two, seemingly everyone at the Department of Justice and FBI assumed Hillary Clinton was going to be president. They were sure Donald Trump was headed for a humiliating and well-deserved defeat. Therefore, in the heat of the 2016 campaign, the FBI and DOJ did what they could to ingratiate themselves with those they expected to be in power during a likely eight-year Clinton presidency.

The inspector general’s report on the Clinton email covers just one scandal. Presumably, the IG and other investigators will issue reports on a number of other ongoing scandals that involved the 2016 campaign.

How did government officials, by hiding information about the so-called Steele dossier, mislead the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get warrants to spy on U.S. citizens associated with the Trump campaign?

How was it decided that the Clinton campaign would pay Christopher Steele for gathering dirt on the Trump campaign, and how did the information from the dossier get to intelligence agencies?

How was an FBI informant inserted into the Trump campaign?

How were names of U.S. citizens unmasked by Obama administration officials and leaked to the press?

If the IG report on the Clinton email scandal is any guide to these upcoming investigations, expect widespread abuse of the English language to warp reality.

The media is using the antiseptic “informant” in place of the cruder but more accurate “spy” or “mole.”

The off-putting but accurate “wiretapping” has become the more professional “surveillance.”

The sanitized “improper” always sounds cleaner than the more accurate “illegal.”

In sum, “2016” could make a logical sequel to “1984.”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/06/21/scandals_sanitized_with_linguistic_trickery_137318.html

Democrats’ Rotten Odors Circulating in Minnesota

Will the Court Tell Secretary of State Steve Simon to Stop Hiding Election Records?

Dear Friends,

The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) is asking everyone to consider attending one of the most important court hearings in decades involving the Secretary of State’s cover-up of the public voter data needed to evaluate our elections.

The hearing will be held on Friday, June 22, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in Ramsey County District Court, Courtroom 1570, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102.

MVA v Secretary of State Steve Simon is a landmark case involving the Secretary’s refusal to provide the public with full voting information on every voter (as the law requires), so the public can effectively evaluate the Secretary of State’s performance and determine the true amount of ineligible voting in Minnesota.

Our goal in this litigation is to finally pry loose the data needed to understand:

  • How more than 26,000 persons marked challenged on the polling rosters, were permitted to vote in 2016, according to the recent report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA). The OLA examined only a small sub-set of those 26,000, namely 612, and determined only 19 of them to be eligible.
  • Why there were over 16,000 new registrants in 2016 who identified themselves using the last four digits of a Social Security Numberbut could not be found in the Social Security Administration database. You can look up the statistics yourself at https://www.ssa.gov/open/havv/
  • How more than 6,000 registrants in Ramsey County alone failed the “address check” following the 2016 election.
  • And, how more than 2,800individuals are recorded as having voted twice in the same election according to the limited data available from the Secretary’s office.

You’d think that the Secretary would feel duty-bound to examine these known indications that tens of thousands of potentially ineligible persons voted in the 2016 general election. And, absent doing his own analyzing of the state election data, you’d think he would welcome outside efforts to do so.  Instead, the Secretary goes to tremendous legal lengths to obstruct the public’s attempts to analyze both the amount of ineligible voting and election officials’ performance in preventing it.

See MVA’s editorial in Sunday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press. 

We think you will enjoy watching MVA attorney Erick Kaardal battle the state’s Nathan Hartshorn.
If you plan to attend the hearing, please click here to let us know you’ll be joining us.  (Invite a friend or two!)

Hope to see you in Ramsey County District Court on Friday!

 

Andy Cilek
Minnesota Voters Alliance
Executive Director
P.O. Box 4602
St. Paul, MN 55104
www.MNVoters.org/donate

 

Rush Limbaugh on Why Crooked Hillary Remains “Holy”

Obama Was the Reason Hillary Wasn’t Prosecuted

by Rush Limbaugh at realclearpolitics:

RUSH: I am gonna pat myself on the back for this, because it has been for years that it has been my opinion — and I’ve shared it with you — that the real reason Hillary Clinton wasn’t prosecuted — and, of course, there are many — one, they didn’t want to harm her; two, they wanted to help her. All that’s true.

But above that, they could not prosecute her, because that would have made it official that Barack Obama had lied, and it’s all about her illegal server. Do you know what we learned in this IG report? We learned that this woman was using unsecured email and an unsecured server on a nongovernment protected email address to email the president of the United States while traveling in foreign countries — and that the president of the United States was responding to her.

The secretary of state and Barack Obama were sending classified emails back and forth while she was in capitals of distant nations, some of whom were our enemies. Totally unsecure and unprotected. It’s outrageous what was going on, this casual, lackadaisical attitude toward security! And, I’m telling you, it can only spring… How in the world can this happen? How can the president of the United States and his secretary of state be so cavalier about their communications, knowing full well that cyber trackers are everywhere, that cyber thieves are everywhere?

How can they be so cavalier about this? The answer has to be in they don’t think there that much about America worth protecting! For crying out loud, do you do everything you can to protect your home? Do you do everything you can to protect your kids? Do you do everything you can to protect your possessions? Why in the world were not the president — Barack Obama — and Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, likewise trying to protect sensitive information and secrets about their own country?

I’m here to tell you, there’s no way Barack Obama was gonna be demonstrated to have done this because he was lying about it. Obama lied countless times when he said he never knew she was using an illegal server until he saw it and read about it in the media. Let’s go to the audio sound bites just to document this and get it out of the way. March 7, 2015, CBS Sunday Morning, Bill Plante. Whatever happened to Bill Plante? Does anybody know whatever that happened Bill Plante? Did he retire? I haven’t seen Bill Plante in a long time. Anyway, he was interviewing Obama, and during the interview Plante asks about the email controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton.

PLANTE: Mr. President, when did you first learn that Hillary Clinton used an email system outside the U.S. government for, uhh, official business while she was secretary of state?

OBAMA: Uhh, at same time, uh, everybody else learned it through news reports.

RUSH: That’s not true. The IG report now indicates she was sending sensitive information — unsecured — using her private email address to Barack Obama, who knew she was using a private email address. The added injury is while she was traveling! She was doing this from foreign countries where, folks, whether you like to admit it ordained, Americans are monitored and spied on in foreign countries just like we constantly spy on, say, the Russian ambassador, Kislyak. Every time he went to lunch, had a conversation, we were wiretapping him.

They do the same thing with us, and she’s trafficking in unsecure data/information, and Obama is responding while she is in foreign capitals. That’s all you need to know, if you’re asking, “Why was Hillary Clinton exonerated and why was she not prosecuted?” That and that alone. Now, there are other reasons, but that’s paramount, because all of this — everything in that IG report yesterday, everything about the Trump-Russia collusion story, every bit of it — happened when Obama was president! All of this happened while the Obama administration was calling the shots and making things happen.

RUSH: Bob in Caldwell, West Virginia, as we get back to the phones. Great to have you, Bob. How you doing, sir?

CALLER: (garbled cell throughout) Doing well, sir. Thanks for taking my call. Because time is precious, I have about three quick points I’d like to make, if I may. No. 1, I spent over 30 years in the government with classified information and a security clearance. For those of us that take our responsibilities seriously, you can assure you, we find this corruption at the FBI reprehensible, and we vote. That’s the point. The next point I’d like to make, you believe there’s two issues that don’t get enough attention or even people are aware of.

One of them is called the “original classification authority,” and President Obama designated the secretary of each department with this authority. Under that authority — they are responsible as the secretary and the original classified — to make sure that all the information that flows through there is properly marked and classified. Obviously, Hillary didn’t do that. Also, they need to look — and I see these two points — at the original classification and the nondisclosure agreement that Hillary signed regarding classified information. They never get enough attention. And I would like to have seen Horowitz address those two issues in his report. To my knowledge, they are conspicuously absent. And — (garbled cell)

RUSH: Well, but Horowitz was not investigating her. He was not… Comey, FBI investigated her, and Comey exonerated her from dealing with classified material because she didn’t know what the circle C meant. She thought it meant “copy.” Horowitz was only investigating the FBI’s investigation of her in terms of whether there was, you know, bias or impropriety or what have you, but not on the guilt or innocence of Hillary. I don’t think he looked at that as his primary purview.

 

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/06/15/obama-was-the-reason-hillary-wasnt-prosecuted/

Venezuela and The Eternal Collapse of the Socialist State

“Socialism is that fascist  state of government in which all sexes of the population are uniformly programmed to be equally feminized to be taken care of by  circles of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the New York Times, and Washington Post superiors.”  ghr

IN VENEZUELA, THE END IS NEAR

by John Hinderaker  at PowerLine:

We have chronicled the accelerating destruction of Venezuela, once one of the world’s more prosperous countries, by socialism. The most recent news from that country is chilling:

* According to Gallup, Venezuela is now the least safe place the world, having tumbled below Afghanistan in the rankings. Only 17% of Venezuelans say they feel safe walking alone at night.

* Polio has re-emerged in Venezuela, 30 years after it was declared extinct there. The country’s health care system is verging on non-existent, as hospitals not only have run out of medicines, in some instances they don’t even have running water.

* Venezuela is said to have more proven oil reserves than any other country, but its socialist government can’t keep the petroleum flowing, as pretty much everyone who is competent enough to do so has left the country. As a result, Venezuela’s oil exports are heading toward zero.

* Having frustrated the creation of wealth, Venezuela’s socialists have done what they thought was the next best thing–they created a lot of currency. With an inflation rate now at 24,600%, that currency is essentially worthless. So scavenging for food in dumpsters is more profitable than working for useless bolivars.

* How can Venezuela’s socialist government possibly stay in power in the midst of such disaster? The headlines give us a clue: Accounts of brutal torture further isolate Venezuela.Also, Held Incommunicado for Tweeting in Venezuela.

Most American news outlets treat the fact that Venezuela has suffered under socialism for decades as a coincidence, but still–you would think that no news organization would try to sugar-coat the horrible reality of that country. But you would be wrong. One news outlet, Havana’s Prensa Latina, is carrying on as though the socialist paradise is just around the corner: Venezuela Investing More in Public Health.

The Venezuelan government is increasingly investing in the public health system with rehabilitating Integral Diagnostic Centers (CDI), opening 303 operating rooms and activating governmental pharmaceutical laboratories.

Despite the economic and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government, the European Union and Washington regional allies, the Ministry of Health of Venezuela restored 38 of 48 CDI, Health Minister Luis Lopez said.

Prensa Latina is reporting from a galaxy far, far away. The galaxy where, any day now, when the wreckers and saboteurs have finally been exterminated, socialism will work.

 

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/06/in-venezuela-the-end-is-near.php

The Orwellian Facebook, Google, Twitter, NY Times, and Washington Post…etc…

Orwell the Leftist

by Paul Gottfried    at  American Thinker

David Ramsay Steele, a libertarian activist, an author, and the editorial director of Open Court Publishing Company, has produced a truly extraordinary work on the English novelist and political critic George Orwell.  It’s not the case that there aren’t other studies of Orwell, whose two allegorical novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are still widely read and whose strictures on totalitarian collectivism are well known, even if frequently ignored.  But the problem Steele addresses in Orwell, Your Orwell: A Worldview on the Slab is the stereotypical nature of biographical treatments of his subject.  Contrary to the overwhelming evidence that Steele adduces “that Orwell’s key positions were held by many on the Left and usually by the majority,” there is a veritable cottage industry for singing the praises of Orwell.  In these tributes Orwell is celebrated as a uniquely independent thinker and a “habitual dissident,” who just happened to be a socialist until his last day on Earth.

Steele correctly identifies this reading with a certain type of center-leftist, who considers himself a progressive but rejects totalitarian solutions.  Not surprisingly, neoconservative literature provides the same kind of reading of Orwell.  Indeed, Norman Podhoretz has just published an article in Harper’s, “If Orwell Were Alive Today,” (1983) claiming the English socialist as a precursor.  But the author whom Steele seems to be contending with directly or indirectly throughout his polemic is the late Christopher Hitchens.  Among his flowing tributes to Orwell, Hitchens in 2002 published a tome with Basic Books, Why Orwell Matters.  The appearance of that tribute may have contributed to Steele’s decision to write his revisionist work.  Like Hitchens, he believes that Orwell “matters.”  “Although Orwell was not an original thinker, and his ideas, broadly characterized, were all fairly standard for his time and social position, he had a superb gift for formulating these ideas sharply, so that their implications appeared fresh and startling.  These writings sparkle with polemical virtuosity; they throb with life.  They will make entertaining and enlightening reading for centuries to come.”

Where Steele clearly parts company with his fellow atheist and onetime companion on the socialist left is in Hitchens’s glorification of Orwell as an infallible defender of political morality and historical truth.  Steele observes that although Orwell was a “great writer,” his greatness “does not reside in his being right while others were wrong.”  “Orwell was sometimes wrong to the point of silliness where some of his contemporaries were right.  And Orwell never – not once – adopted a dangerously isolated position.”  Orwell’s writings, most memorably Nineteen Eighty-Four, are full of warnings about collectivism.  Further, the one permissible party in the tyrannical region of Oceania was Ingsoc (named for English Socialism).  Yet, as Steele notes, the man who wrote that grim warning against collectivism was a dyed-in-the-wool socialist.  He continued to distinguish between “oligarchical collectivism” and “socialist collectivism,” assuming that the latter was superior to the former.  Moreover, like Marxists, he believed that the replacement of capitalism by socialism was historically inevitable and morally just.

When Nineteen Eighty-Four came out in post-World War II England, Orwell was still deploring the fact that the Labor Party, which was then in power, didn’t go far enough in nationalizing production and redistributing earnings.  Throughout the 1930s, as Steele demonstrates, he never deviated from the standard leftist politics of the time.  Orwell was against war with “fascism” when others on the left took that position, and he changed his mind when they did.  Although on the left, Orwell opposed Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union, but he did so without renouncing his attachment to other revolutionary socialist causes.  In 1937, he went to fight in the Spanish civil war with a Trotskyist Marxist organization, POUM (Partido Obrero Unificación Marxista), against the right-wing Nationalists.  The autobiographical work that came out of that experience in 1938, Homage to Catalonia, helped create a legend on the anti-Stalinist left that has remained operative until the present.  The supposed good guys, the anti-Stalinist left, lost that war to “fascism” because the Stalinist communists turned on them on orders from Moscow.

As the historian Stanley Payne has documented, it was the non-Soviet-controlled left that caused the right-wing insurgency after unleashing an orgy of murders and bombings directed against Catholics and the left’s political opposition.  Much of what the Muscovites did was aimed at limiting the destruction caused by anarchists and others on the Republican side.  Neither side in that struggle was tolerant or forgiving; both engaged in reckless killing throughout the bloody conflict, although the Nationalists did most of their slaughtering after they won the war.  The continued praise of the good “loyalists,” the non-Stalinists on the Republican side, has remained a mantra even among those who today style themselves “conservatives.”  That long-lived fiction makes an appearance on the closing pages of Homage to Catalonia.  There Orwell portentously asserts that the just cause had lost in Spain, but presumably this would not have happened if the Soviets had not undermined the true leftists engaged in the war against fascism.  In the first American edition, published in 1952, this legend is reinforced in Lionel Trilling’s iconic introduction.  Here, in what Trilling calls “one of the most important documents of our time,” we learn from an observer of supposedly impeccable judgment about how the communists betrayed “a defense of democracy from a fascist enemy.”  Among the charges that Trilling and Orwell both level against the communists in Spain is their decision to withhold military supplies from anarchist units.  Given the havoc wrought by those units, we may be permitted to congratulate the communists on that call.

There are two misjudgments in Steele’s otherwise magnificent study that warrant mention.  First, the author insists that the left in Orwell’s day was much more leftist than it is today, but the evidence he offers is limited.  Steele tells us that under the leadership of Hugh Gaitskell between 1951 and 1964, the Labor Party moved away from earlier plans to continue its program of nationalization.  Although under Tony Blair’s tenure as prime minister from 1997 until 2007 the Labor Party was far less socialist in the classical sense than it had been after the Second World War, the English left was more radically leftist in other ways.  It became interested in imposing political correctness at the price of traditional civil liberties, and it criminalized what it considered hate speech.  What has happened is not that the left has become less leftist since Orwell’s life.  Rather it has changed the manner in which it intends to restrict liberty.  It has also actively encouraged third-world immigration as a way of changing England culturally.

Steele also insists that Orwell decided against democracy when he opted for socialism.  But there is no reason to believe that socialist programs are “undemocratic” if a majority votes for those who favor such programs.  The steady expansion of suffrage and the creation of massive welfare states have occurred simultaneously in the West.  Like his libertarian heroes Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, Steele gives us a carefully massaged concept of democracy, which he identifies with the protection of private property.  What all these defenders of economic liberty are describing is the bourgeois liberal stage of Western political development before the advent of modern democracy.  Steele would have been on firmer ground if he used the phrase “traditional liberal freedoms” instead of “democracy” when he clearly meant the former.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/orwell_the_leftist.html

Getting to Know the Ultimate Left Better with Joseph Stalin in Control

Sent by California’s Lisa Rich

FBI’s Obama-Hillary Corruption Opened in London, Summer 2016

London ‘bridges’ falling down: Curious origins of FBI’s Trump-Russia probe

by John Solomon  at  The Hill:

The bridge to the Russia investigation wasn’t erected in Moscow during the summer of the 2016 election.

It originated earlier, 1,700 miles away in London, where foreign figures contacted Trump campaign advisers and provided the FBI with hearsay allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, bureau documents and interviews of government insiders reveal. These contacts in spring 2016 — some from trusted intelligence sources, others from Hillary Clinton supporters — occurred well before FBI headquarters authorized an official counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.

The new timeline makes one wonder: Did the FBI follow its rules governing informants?

Here’s what a congressman and an intelligence expert think.

“The revelation of purposeful contact initiated by alleged confidential human sources prior to any FBI investigation is troublesome,” Rep. Mark Meadows(R-N.C.), an ally of President Trumpand chairman of a House subcommittee that’s taking an increasingly aggressive oversight role in the scandal, told me. “This new information begs the questions: Who were the informants working for, who were they reporting to and why has the [Department of Justice] and FBI gone to such great lengths to hide these contacts?”

Kevin Brock agrees that Congress has legitimate questions. The retired FBI assistant director for intelligence supervised the rewriting of bureau rules governing sources, under then-director Robert Mueller a decade ago. Those rules forbid the FBI from directing a human source to target an American until a formally predicated investigative file is opened.

Brock sees oddities in how the Russia case began. “These types of investigations aren’t normally run by assistant directors and deputy directors at headquarters,” he told me. “All that happens normally in a field office, but that isn’t the case here and so it becomes a red flag. Congress would have legitimate oversight interests in the conditions and timing of the targeting of a confidential human source against a U.S. person.”

Other congressional and law enforcement sources express similar concerns, heightened by FBI communications suggesting political pressures around the time the probe officially opened.

“We’re not going to withstand the pressure soon,” FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted fellow agent Peter Strzok on Aug. 3, 2016, days after Strzok opened the official probe and returned from a trip to London. At the time, they were dealing with simultaneous challenges: the wrap-up of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the start of the Russia-Trump probe.

Over several days, they exchanged texts that appear to express fears of political meddling or leaking by the Obama White House, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the CIA.

“This is MUCH more tasty for one of those DOJ aholes to leak,” Strzok wrote as the two FBI colleagues — then having an affair, the bureau later told Congress — debated how long they could delay a CIA-FBI meeting so as to “not play into the agency’s BS game.”

They voiced alarm when an FBI colleague — “Liz” — suggested the Obama White House was about to hijack the investigation. “Went well, best we could have expected,” Strzok texted Page after an Aug. 5, 2016, meeting. “Other than Liz quote ‘the White House is running this.’ ” Page then texted to assure Strzok of a paper trail showing the FBI in charge: “We got emails that say otherwise.”

The next day, they went into further detail about their White House concerns. “So maybe not the best national security president, but a genuinely good and decent human being,” Page texted Strzok, referencing former President Obama. Strzok replied: “Yeah, I like him. Just not a fan of the weakness globally. Was thinking about what the administration will be willing to do re Russia.”

In the end, the FBI secretly investigated the Trump campaign for months, engaging with other agencies on a more limited inquiry of Russian efforts to hack Clinton’s campaign.

The summer 2016 text messages are bookends to a series of London contacts that pre-date the official opening of the investigation and produced the evidence the FBI used that fall to justify its court-ordered surveillance of presidential campaign figures.

According to documents and government interviews, one of the FBI’s most senior counterintelligence agents visited London the first week of May 2016. Congress never got the FBI to explain that trip — but, soon after it, one of the most consequential moments of the scandal occurred: On May 10, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer met in a London bar with Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who boasted of knowing that Russia would release dirt on Clinton.

That contact was not immediately reported to U.S. intelligence.

By early June, a second overture to a Trump campaign adviser occurred in London. In a “Dear Carter” email, a Cambridge University graduate student invited Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to attend a popular July security conference in London.

Carter Page declined to tell me the student’s identify but confirmed the student studied under Stefan Halper, a Cambridge University professor who helped organize the conference and has been identified in media reports as a confidential FBI source.

Carter Page said conference organizers paid his airfare and provided him dorm lodging, and Halper spent time with him during the conference, then continued conversations with him for months.

He says Halper asked to be introduced to a high-ranking Trump campaign official, Sam Clovis. On July 16, 2016, Carter Page relayed the overture to Clovis: “Professor Stef Halper spends part of the year in Virginia where he has a home in Falls Church; he’s a big fan of yours having followed you on CNN and offered a range of possibilities regarding how he and the University might be able to help.”

Halper, a month later, emailed Clovis, referencing his contacts with Carter Page. “May I suggest we set a time to meet when you are next in Washington?” Halper invited on Aug. 29, 2016.

In the ensuing months, Carter Page, Clovis and Papadopoulos all became FBI focuses. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to a misleading statement about his knowledge of facts in the Russia case. Page become the subject of four surveillance warrants, and Clovis was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller; neither has been accused of wrongdoing.

The FBI received two more contacts about Trump-Russia allegations before formally opening its probe, both from people tied to Clinton.

A week before Carter Page left for London, the FBI was contacted by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, recently hired by the Fusion GPS research firm to find Trump-Russia dirt; Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party.

The FBI did not act on Steele’s July 5, 2016, overture but, weeks later, Steele began working with agents. His now-infamous dossier became a key document justifying the surveillance warrants against Carter Page.

On July 23, 2016, shortly after WikiLeaks released the first hacked Clinton campaign emails, the Australian government contacted the State Department’s deputy chief of mission in London about Downer’s May 10 conversation with Papadopoulos. State forwarded the information to FBI headquarters.

A decade earlier, as Australia’s foreign minister, Downer arranged a $25 million grant to the Clinton family foundation to help fight AIDS.

Downer’s information moved FBI headquarters into action. Strzok was dispatched to London; a formal investigation was opened by month’s end.

This timeline doesn’t prove wrongdoing; these contacts could have occurred organically, or been directed legally through intelligence channels. Yet, congressional investigators and FBI insiders tell me, they raise questions about when the investigation officially started and how.

“There is no doubt the FBI kept getting ‘snowflakes’ in spring 2016 pointing toward Russia and Trump, and the bridges to the case … clearly were built in London,” a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the investigation said.

The question is whether those bridges, as the children’s rhyme goes, come falling down when more facts surface.”

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/390228-london-bridges-falling-down-curious-origins-of-fbis-trump-russia-probe