Gregg Jarrett: Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ was always a hoax — and dirtiest political trick in modern US history

There was never any evidence that Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary Clinton. It was all a hoax. It constituted what is surely the dirtiest political trick in modern American history. The hoax was based largely on an anti-Trump “dossier” conjured from the fertile imaginations of two nefarious characters: ex-British spy Christopher Steele; and Fusion GPS Founder, Glenn Simpson. It was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democrats, then peddled all over Washington to journalists, the FBI, the State Department and the Department of Justice. It spread like an airborne contagion in a 50 mile per hour wind. The premise of the ruse was as outlandish as the actions of those who advanced it. Steele was fired by the FBI for lying and went into hiding. Simpson eventually invoked the Fifth Amendment and clammed up. There were no credible facts when the FBI wrongfully launched its “collusion” investigation in July of 2016, violating its own regulations. There was still nothing remotely plausible in May of 2017 when fired FBI Director James Comey absconded with government documents and leaked them to the media for the sole purpose of triggering the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller. If you harbor any doubts about the “paucity” of evidence, read the closed-door testimony of FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Comey. Their admissions will stun you. Along the way, the FBI obtained a wiretap warrant on a Trump campaign associate, Carter Page, by concealing vital evidence to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and deceiving the judges. No one, as yet, has been held accountable for any of that. The last time I checked, perpetrating a fraud on a court is a felony. Several of them, in fact. Oh, and undercover informants were dispatched by the FBI to infiltrate the Trump campaign. Now, after an exhaustive 22-month investigation, we have finally learned from the new Attorney General, William Barr, that “the Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” Trump did not hack the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations. Trump did not hatch a plot in the bowels of the Kremlin to win the election. The infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer was not a crime. Carter Page was not a spy after all. The list of false accusations that Trump has suffered are too numerous to recount here. You’d need a calculator. To Democrats and most in the media such trivial things as evidence never mattered. They didn’t care about that. They treated facts as a mere nuisance. They allowed their political bias and personal animus toward Trump to blind them. Their obsessive belief in a nonexistent conspiracy with Putin consumed all common sense. As their hatred for Trump and his policies grew, they became more sedulous in propagating fictitious stories. Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Richard Blumenthal, Nancy Pelosi, Jerold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and so many others all claimed without a scintilla of proof that Trump “colluded” with Russia. For two years, they pronounced him guilty in the court of public opinion. Democrats convinced themselves that President Trump’s election was misbegotten. They accepted “collusion” as a matter of faith driven by their own prejudices, and teased by hope out of ignorance. Will they ever apologize? Of course not. They will conjure some vacuous excuse and move on to the next accusation. They’re already doing it. Many journalists were equally reckless and malevolent. Most of them never bothered to examine the facts, evidence and the law. They refused to do their jobs. Instead, they abandoned objectivity and suspended their sense of fairness. They allowed enmity to obscure their judgment. In the process, the media squandered credibility, its only currency. It is no wonder that many Americans have little trust in journalists to be honest in their reporting. Will network brass take action to punish those who so egregiously exaggerated or, in some cases, even lied to Americans? Not a chance. Network chiefs were complicit cheerleaders. The media, together with Democrats, are already parsing and pivoting. Without missing a beat, they are pivoting to obstruction of justice by parsing what Attorney General William Barr wrote in his summary letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Barr stated, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction of justice offense.” Barr and Rosenstein, the two top officials at the Department of Justice, did not reach this conclusion in a vacuum. They sought the opinions of other lawyers at the DOJ, including the Office of Legal Counsel. They studied the evidence and the law. They consulted the same DOJ lawyers who were guiding Mueller on the subject of obstruction during his long investigation. They reached a firm consensus that, under the law, President Trump never acted “with corrupt intent” to obstruct “a pending or contemplated proceeding.” One of the reasons that led Barr and Rosenstein to their inexorable conclusion is that Trump had committed no underlying crime of conspiracy with Russia or, if you like, “collusion.” In simplistic terms, it is difficult to argue that someone intended to obstruct a non-crime. This is exactly the question Trump has posed on more than one occasion when he asked, rhetorically, “Why would I interfere in something I didn’t do?” Why, indeed. While Mueller was more than willing to conclude that Trump never “colluded” with Russia, he deliberately dodged rendering any decision on obstruction of justice. He left it entirely to Barr. In so doing, the special counsel abdicated his responsibility as the prosecutor who was hired to make this very decision. While shirking this authority, Mueller then took an inappropriate swipe at Trump by writing, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” This was a blatant cheap shot by Mueller, although thoroughly expected. It’s very much like a prosecutor who loses a case and then claims to the media, “Well, the jury may have found the defendant not guilty, but that doesn’t mean he’s innocent.” Technically, that’s true. But it’s how losers try to justify the result they don’t like. Mueller knew Trump did not obstruct justice in firing Comey. The president was constitutionally authorized to dismiss him for a stated reason or no reason at all. Even Comey admitted it in a letter to his staff, and there were a plethora of reasons to sack the director. The president’s subsequent public remarks about the firing did not come close to exhibiting a “corrupt intent” to interfere in the Russian investigation. Trump’s comments were widely misreported and misrepresented by the media. This should come as no surprise to anyone. As for Trump’s alleged remark to Comey that he “hoped” that his fired national security adviser Michael Flynn would be cleared by the FBI, this did not constitute an attempt at obstruction of justice, as I explained in detail in my book, “The Russia Hoax.” Again, Comey all but admitted this when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In separate hearings, Rosenstein, Comey and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe all assured Congress that no one had tried to obstruct their investigations. I suspect Mueller ducked his obligation to render a decision on obstruction and inserted the “exonerate” language in his report so that rabid Democrats in Congress would take up the anti-Trump cause as a pretext for impeachment proceedings. Sure enough, within minutes of Barr’s letter, House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler, D-N.Y., commenced the obstruction-impeachment battle when he tweeted, “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before the House Judiciary in the near future.” The Russia Hoax begat the Witch Hunt… and Mueller has seen to it that the Witch Hunt is far from over.

Agreed!   Thanks to former attorney Gregg Jarrett for that outstanding recap.  Gregg formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.”

Apple gets ready for life after the iPhone with services push

On Monday, Apple will do something it has never done when making a product announcement — focus largely on other companies, not itself. Apple is expected to launch two services on March 25, including its rumored video streaming service, at an event in Cupertino, Calif. that will be attended by Hollywood celebrities such as JJ Abrams and Jennifer Aniston. This is in stark contrast to past events, which have largely featured tech journalists, Wall Street and industry analysts. As part of the video streaming service, Apple is expected to place a heavy emphasis on selling others’ services for them, according to a report in Recode. It will work similar to the App Store and Amazon’s successful Amazon Channels initiative, in that it will sell the services for them and take a cut of the transaction. Apple is also likely to unveil some of its own content, some of which stars Aniston as well as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell and others. On Sunday, The New York Times reported that five of the first shows that Apple has funded as part of its big content push have already been completed. Apple, which has not yet given a name to the service, is also said to be wooing other cable companies, such as HBO, Starz and Showtime ahead of the launch, according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, Apple unveiled new iPads, new iMacs and new AirPods. They were all introduced with simple press releases and without the usual fanfare Apple has given its products in the past, a stark reminder that Apple sees itself as more than just a consumer electronics company. CEO Tim Cook, who has become increasingly active in touting the company’s business outside of its iPhone, has previously said the company would double its service revenue by 2020 from 2016 levels. Revenue attributed to its Services-related business totaled $10.9 billion in its most recent quarter, up 19 percent year-over-year. To effort this along, Apple is said to be spending at least $1 billion on content, a venture that has been marred by reports of intrusion from Apple executives wary of content that might be considered overly graphic or anti-technology. Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that Cook has been seen on the set on one of the Apple-funded shows “See,” a futuristic sci-fi drama starring “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa. Several of the company’s top brass, including Cook himself, have given notes to writers and showrunners, a process that has been deemed “intrusive,” according to the Post’s sources. Apple’s push into television and movie making is being led by two executives it hired away from Sony, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were responsible for shows such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Goldberg’s.” Monness Crespi analyst Brian White, arguably Apple’s biggest supporter on Wall Street, believes the event will kick into high-gear the mindset that Apple is trying to shape how it is viewed. Apple is no longer just about iDevices, but rather a ubiquitous and indispensable part of everyone’s lives, White believes. “In our view, Apple’s digital ecosystem remains a major differentiator, developing hardware, software and services to create a unique experience with devices working seamlessly together on Planet Apple,” White wrote in a note to investors. White added that Apple, which had more than 1.4 billion active devices at the end of its most recent quarter, will be well-positioned as more devices become a computer, allowing it to sell more services. “As more ‘things’ become a computer, we believe Apple is well positioned to benefit and unveil even more new services,” White continued.

For more, click on the text above.

Alan Dershowitz: Mueller just filed Russia report. Here’s what Barr should do with it

All we know at this point is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. What we don’t know is how the attorney general will handle the report. Barr has several options. The fairest would be to immediately turn the report over to President Trump’s legal team and give them a week to write a response. Barr could then issue both reports simultaneously so that the American public could judge the comparative merits of both sides of this adversarial process. But there may well be pressures on the attorney general to send the report to Congress – thus making it public – as soon as he can vet it for possible national security omissions. If that’s what the attorney general does, then it is imperative that the American public withhold conclusions about the report until the Trump legal team has had the opportunity to respond in the court of public opinion. This is crucial because prosecutorial reports – and Special Counsel Mueller is a prosecutor – are, by their very nature, one-sided. Prosecutors only listen to inculpatory evidence rather than including exculpatory evidence. They interview witnesses against the subject, but not witnesses in favor of the subject. That is why the Trump legal defense team needs to provide its assessment of the Mueller investigation. Americans are impatient. The Mueller investigation has gone on since May 2017. So, there will be an impulse to arrive at judgments, at least preliminary ones, without waiting for the rebuttal. The Mueller report itself might give us some clues as to the manner in which the investigation was conducted. How much reliance was placed on bought or rented witness? That is, defendants who were given the opportunity to cooperate with prosecutors in order to reduce their sentences. Great caution ought to be exercised in accepting evidence from any such source, especially since they have not been cross-examined or subject to other challenges. We may also learn about whether there are any ongoing investigations by ordinary federal prosecutors in New York, Washington or Virginia. In addition, we may see a roadmap for further investigations by Congress. It is unlikely that the president will be charged with obstruction of justice for firing FBI Director James Comey, especially since the person overseeing the Mueller investigation, Rod Rosenstein, was centrally involved in that decision, offering the memorandum that justified it. Nor is it likely that the president or his campaign will be charged with any sort of collusion since there is no such crime in the criminal code. It is possible that we may see some allegations of campaign law violations, but those are likely to be rather technical and not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. So hold your breath and stay tuned, America. And please, don’t rush to judgment until you have not only read this report but any response the Trump legal team may offer. You will hear more from me once I’ve had an opportunity to read the report and any response.

And we look forward to hearing it, professor! Dr. Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter professor of law, emeritus, at Harvard Law School. His latest book is “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.” Yet, he is a registered Democrat who proudly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  So, hardly on the Trump Train.  He’s just a fair-minded, and very respected lawyer.  Follow him on Twitter: @AlanDersh Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz.

Opinion/Analysis: CBD oil is the new rage among millennials. But, as a doctor, here’s what I worry about

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is the new rage among millennials and is gaining popularity with all generations, especially in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. In dozens of states, health food stores, pharmacies, and even supermarkets are carrying CBD products. CVS just announced this week that it will be carrying CBD creams, sprays and lotions in eight states. Marijuana contains both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, and these compounds have different effects on our body and mind. The well-known “high” from smoking or eating marijuana comes from THC. This is because THC is metabolized when it is exposed to heat and consumed by the body. CBD works differently. Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants and can be eaten, inhaled and even applied to the skin. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive, meaning that CBD does not alter a person’s state of mind. However, CBD does produce significant changes in the body, and emerging research suggests that it has some medical benefits. The body and mind contain two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. THC attaches to the CB1 receptors in the brain which effect coordination and movement, pain, mood, appetite and other functions. CBD was originally thought to attach to the CB2 receptors throughout the body, but evidence is suggesting that it doesn’t attach at all. Instead, it directs the body to use more of its own intrinsic cannabinoids. Although the evidence is clear that CBD has FDA-proven benefits for treating epileptic seizure disorders and can now be prescribed by a physician, the research is still sparse regarding many other touted health claims. One of the most common uses CBD is being sought for is as an anti-inflammation treatment. Small studies conducted on mice and rats did in fact show significant reduction in systemic inflammation. This gives hope to treating chronic inflammation and pain, especially arthritis and injuries. Other conditions caused by inflammation that are being looked at for CBD treatment are acne, type 1 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. There is additional evidence suggesting CBD may have anti-cancer properties, although the studies on this are finite. We are a long way from adding CBD to cancer regimens, but with nearly 2 million people in the United States being diagnosed with cancer every year, it is essential to continue researching any and all methods of treating this group of devastating diseases. Additionally, small studies have also suggested that CBD can help with anxiety, PTSD, depression and addiction. With all of these potential benefits, what could be wrong with using it? The problem is, we don’t know yet. Many small-scale studies show that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses with the most common side effects being fatigue and diarrhea. But there is still no data on long-term safety and no studies involving children. One of the biggest concerns I have regarding CBD and many other holistic remedies is that there are some disease processes that require science-driven treatment. I urge everyone to follow their medical doctors’ recommendations regarding treatment of ailments. Although CBD may be a promising supplement, it will not be the sole treatment for many conditions. In fact, CBD may interfere with and even hinder the effects of proven treatments, so it should only be used as a supplement to treatment under a doctor’s supervision. Let’s remember that when cigarettes first emerged on the market people used them to treat lung conditions and encouraged smoking. And we can’t forget the crisis that the once-promised long-acting, “less-addicting” opioids produced. Although the limited and short-term data on CBD oil is promising, I reserve caution until the long-term data proves it is more than a fad.

Fair enough..  Our thanks to Dr. Nicole Saphier, MD, for that common sense analysis.  Dr. Saphier is a practicing physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, active in health care legislation, and a medical contributor and frequent guest anchor for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network speaking on various medical and health policy issues. Follow her on Twitter @NBSaphierMD and Instagram @nicolesaphier_md    🙂

Donny and Marie Osmond announce ending to 11-year Las Vegas residency

It’s an end of an era. Donny and Marie Osmond are saying goodbye to their Las Vegas show later this year, concluding an 11-year residency. The brother-sister duo made the announcement during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “It’s been rumored that we’re bringing Donny & Marie to an end here in Las Vegas,” Donny, 61, told the outlet. “And we’re here to say it’s official.” “We have been through so much the last 11 years. Her particularly,” Donny went on to say about Marie, 59. “And she gets on stage and she’s such a professional,” he gushed. “She does a great job. I’m gonna miss this a lot… There’s a bond here that will never be broken.” Their final performance at the Flamingo Las Vegas is scheduled for Nov. 16. According to the casino, the two launched their residency back in September 2008, planning for just a six-week concert engagement. However, the residency was extended again and again, marking a decade of performances last year. Despite ending their long-time show, Donny hinted that the duo will still continue to perform in some way. “It’s the end of the Donny & Marie show, it’s not the end of Donny and Marie,” he said.

I remember way back when they did their variety show in the mid-late ’70s…  Definitely the “end of an era.”  But, does sound like there will still be ” a little bit country, and a little bit rock n roll” in some fashion or other after their show ends in Vegas in November.     🙂

 

Remember Solyndra? Loss of taxpayer millions now seems forgotten, expert says

It’s been exactly ten years since the Solyndra solar power company accepted a loan of half a billion taxpayer dollars that would never be repaid. Now one industry expert says he’s not sure any lessons have been learned in the years since. On March 20, 2009, then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced Solyndra would be the recipient of a $535 million loan from his department under the Obama administration’s revamped loan guarantee program. Solyndra used the money, along with hundreds-of-millions more from private investors, to build a new facility where it would be mass-producing its easy-to-install cylindrical solar “panels.” The whole thing lasted about two years. The ill-fated energy company had initially asked President George Bush for cash under the loan guarantee program, which was created to help companies working with clean energy technologies that might be considered too risky for private investors. But it wasn’t until President Obama launched his sweeping stimulus spending plan that Solyndra’s application was approved, launching the California company to poster-child status despite what were apparently growing concerns about its long-term (and even short-term) viability. Those concerns were reportedly being relayed to the White House in the run-up to President Obama’s highly publicized visit to Solyndra headquarters, which was scheduled just six months before the 2010 midterm elections. Congressional investigators later uncovered information indicating that Solyndra was planning on laying off some of its employees ahead of the midterms, but waited due to pressure from the White House. By the end of August 2011, little more than a year after hosting a presidential visit, Solyndra had filed for bankruptcy. And the writing was on the wall much earlier. In Feburary 2011, the Department of Energy had restructured its loan and included terms that guaranteed private investors would be repaid before the government in the event the company went under. Adding to the anger among Republicans over what was perceived as a politically-charged loan process was the fact that one of the private investors backing Solyndra was a well-known Obama fundraising bundler, George Kaiser. A little more than a week after the company announced it was going bankrupt, the FBI conducted a surprise raid and agents were seen carrying crates upon crates from Solyndra HQ in Fremont, Calif. A 2015 Inspector General report found that Solyndra had over-inflated the value of some of its contracts, with some clients apparently receiving goods at a discount despite indications they would be paying full price. Some of the clients they had been counting on wound up bailing due to the availability of much cheaper technologies from China. Either way, the IG report indicates that “the investigative record suggests that the actions of certain Solyndra officials were, at best, reckless and irresponsible or, at worst, an orchestrated effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the Department.” The IG admits that there were signs the government might have missed some obvious red flags, while critics have argued those red flags were more likely overlooked intentionally. The loan guarantee program that helped Solyndra get off the ground, however briefly, still exists today, and taxpayer dollars are still being shelled out to energy companies of all types. The solar industry itself also doesn’t seem to have suffered much, with a recent industry report predicting the number of installed solar projects would more than double by 2021. Tom Pyle, an energy industry expert who led the Trump presidential transition team on energy, says the program’s ongoing existence despite the lessons learned from the Solyndra debacle shows that government has no business backing private energy companies, whether they’re solar or not. “Even though President Trump has submitted very responsible budgets, including eliminating the loan program, Congress continues to fund it… even more generously,” Pyle said. And when he considers the prospects of our energy future under proposals like the Green New Deal, Pyle says the lack of knowledge becomes all the more obvious. “The bottom line is the Green New Dealers want to impose massive government control of our energy resources, and infuse billions of our taxpayer dollars into doubling down on the Solyndras and those projects,” Pyle says. “So there aren’t lessons being learned here, they’re going the opposite way.”

Agreed 100%

Georgia Southern University Calls Police on Students Exercising Free Speech

Students at Georgia Southern University were confronted by school staff and campus police last week while recruiting members for the Turning Point USA student group on campus. Staff told the conservative students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech at the public university, and then proceeded to call the police when the students did not leave the public grounds. An administrator at Georgia Southern University (GSU) told students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech within the confines of the school’s designated “free speech zone,” a specific area on campus that school claims is approved for exercising free speech, as long as the space is reserved in advance. The students, who were recruiting members for their Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter, decided not to leave an outdoor area on campus after GSU staff had requested for them to do so, resulting in the police being called as a last-ditch effort to force the students to comply with the school’s perplexing demand. The apparent intimidation tactic, however, was futile, as the TPUSA students filmed their interaction with the officers, who admitted on video that they could not legally arrest the students for exercising free speech at the publicly-funded university, as seen in a report by Campus Reform. “If we do not leave, will we get arrested?” one individual can be heard asking a police officer. “No,” responded one officer. “Well, now, you will be judicially referred,” added the officer. “What does that mean?” inquired a student. “That means you’ll go in front of the Dean of Students for violating Georgia Southern policy,” responded the officer, suggesting that while the police cannot punish students for exercising their free speech rights on public grounds, the university can. “They’re telling me you’re breaking policies, school policies,” added the officer, “But if you’re asking me about laws, which is mainly what I do here, I don’t know of any laws you’re breaking.”

To see the video of this encounter, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above.  It is hard to imagine that publicly funded colleges and universities, students hare bullied for simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights.  Unreal..