Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sessions Orders DOJ Investigation of UraniumGate

The New American
December 28, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The fallout from the Uranium One scandal is still coming down. While the liberal establishment in both politics and media is busily failing in its efforts to prove collusion between Trump and Russia, Hillary Clinton continues to find herself caught in the crosshairs of multiple investigations into her dealings with Russian interests during her tenure as secretary of state.
As more details of the Uranium One deal — which transferred control of 20 to 25 percent of U.S. uranium to a state-owned Russian interest and lined the pockets of the Clinton foundation with millions of dollars — continue to come to light, the picture that is emerging is one of corruption, illegality, and collusion. And Hillary Clinton is right in the middle of it all. The problem is that the FBI — which was aware of the deal all along — has been less than forthcoming with many of the details uncovered by investigators even before the deal was approved.
That may be getting ready to change.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (shown) has ordered Justice Department prosecutors to question FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now-dormant criminal investigation of the Uranium One deal, according to NBC News, which cited multiple law-enforcement officials.
As NBC News reported last week:
The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department's effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.
As part of the interviews related to that investigation, FBI agents involved have been asked by Justice Department prosecutors over the past few weeks to describe the results of their probe. The agents also “have been asked if there was any improper effort to squash a prosecution,” NBC news cited law-enforcement sources as saying.
The crux of the issue is the 2010 deal — approved by Secretary Clinton and others — that allowed the sale of of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, a Russian state-owned company headquartered in Moscow. While it would be bad enough for Secretary Clinton to have approved a deal that would strengthen Russia while weakening the United States, there is more to this scandal than even that. The New York Times reported in 2015 (before Clinton was the Democrat nominee) that more than $40,000,000 in donations were made to the Clinton Foundation in connection with the deal.
For those Democrats looking for evidence of collusion with Russia, looking into a mirror would appear to be a great place to begin. After all, they chose Clinton as their nominee after she sold America out for the money that she appears to have used to control the party and guarantee her nomination.
Like so many other things involving the Obama administration in general and Clinton specifically, the Uranium One deal appears to have included an uninterrupted series of actions that were corrupt and illegal. As Newsweek reported in October, “The Obama administration signed a controversial nuclear deal with Moscow despite prior FBI findings that Russian officials were bribing their way into the U.S. atomic energy industry, according to government documents just published by The Hill.
And evidence of bribes and kickbacks is not mere conjecture and innuendo (as in the case of allegations against Trump), but is solidly supported by “a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry” who gathered “extensive financial records,” made “secret recordings,” and intercepted “emails as early as 2009,” according to The Hill. Moreover:
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
One question Attorney General Sessions wants answered is how — with everything the FBI knew at the time — the deal was allowed to be approved. He may also look into how Clinton’s foundation profited from the deal.


Jews News
December 28, 2017

The Palestinians, who reacted with outrage and violence when President Trump allowed a U.S. law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to take effect, now are declaring there is no difference between the U.S. president and Adolf Hitler.
The Fatah movement, run by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, tweeted a statement with Trump’s image above a photo of the German dictator who ordered the deaths of millions in the Holocaust.
“I dont (sic) see any different, do you?” the tweet said. “#HandsOffAlQuds.”
Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
The tweet was spotlighted by Palestinian Media Watch, which called it “another demonization of U.S. President Trump because of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
PMW also pointed out that Fatah tweeted an image with the message “Trump is an irrelevant clown” and showed an image of Trump with “Veto” stamped in red over his mouth.
Get the the book that exposed CAIR from the inside out, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.”
A third insult was an image of Jerusalem with the text: “To Trump and Pence and their puppets, Beware! Jerusalem is not one of your Casinos. Jerusalem is the most sacred city to Muslims and Christians, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine.”
Also on the tweet were images of Trump and Pence with shoes on their faces.
PMW explained that in Arab culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of great disrespect.
The irony of Palestinian radicals labeling Trump as Hitler is that the Islamic grand mufti of Jerusalem in the World War II era was an ardent supporter of Hitler.
Anti-Shariah campaigner Pamela Geller wrote a few years ago that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted Hitler originally didn’t want to kill Jews, he just wanted to expel them from Germany.
Netanyahu pointed out that Hitler asked the grand mufti what to do with the Jews, and the mufti responded, “Burn them.”
Explained Geller: “The mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, lived in Berlin from 1941 to 1945 and recruited a Muslim SS division for Hitler. And Netanyahu was correct: The Nazis originally pursued a policy of exiling Jews to Eastern Europe, and even to Palestine – until the mufti protested that they must not be sent there. The decision to exterminate the Jews came soon after that.”

Ohioans will benefit from tax reform

Record Herald
December 28, 2017

Rob Portman is a Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio

After years of talk, research, and debate, Congress passed tax reform legislation that the president recently signed into law. I’m proud of the bill because I know it will make a real difference for the people of Ohio.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will provide tax relief for middle-class families and tax reform for American workers and businesses so they can be more competitive in the global market.
It will help Ohioans by doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 per family, doubling the child tax credit to $2,000 per child, and lowering tax rates across middle-class income levels.
While our economy has seen some improvements recently, many hardworking Ohioans I represent are still not feeling the benefits. For a couple of decades, expenses have gone up—healthcare being the biggest expense of all—and wages have been flat. That’s the middle-class squeeze. The tax cuts in this plan, and the increased jobs and wages that will result from it, will give families the relief they deserve.
A typical family of four at the median income level will save more than $2,000 a year on their taxes as a result of this plan. That extra money can be used to help pay for health care, buy gas or groceries, or save for retirement.
In total, we are told that the tax cuts in this plan will take approximately three million people who have federal income liability now off the tax rolls altogether.
Workers will also benefit through more jobs and higher wages as a result of the business tax reforms in this plan. Already, a number of companies, including Fifth Third Bank in Ohio, have announced they will increase pay or investments, or both, because of this tax reform.
The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. By lowering that rate to be more competitive, companies will be encouraged to expand jobs and investments in this country rather than going overseas.
The status quo is not working. Because of our broken international tax code, American workers and businesses have been forced to compete with one hand tied behind their backs. Last year, there were three times as many American companies taken over by foreign companies than foreign companies taken over by American companies. And there is currently between $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion of U.S. company earnings trapped overseas because of our outdated international tax code. We want that money invested in America. The tax reforms in this plan encourage jobs and investments to return to the U.S. rather than going overseas.
As a member of the tax-writing committee and the House-Senate tax conference that negotiated the final bill, I worked throughout this process to develop and improve the bill on behalf of Ohioans.
I advocated for, and successfully protected, a number of incentives for urban redevelopment. We preserved the 20 percent Historic Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in raising private funds to restore historic landmarks in Central Ohio.
We also protected the New Markets Tax Credit and Private Activity Bonds. In Ohio, these tax incentives have leveraged more private sector investments for economic development and affordable housing. They have also spurred economic growth and job creation and have ultimately generated increased tax revenue.
I worked tirelessly as we developed this bill. I think the final result we have is a good tax reform bill that will achieve things Republicans and Democrats alike have long supported: tax cuts for the middle class and a more competitive tax code for American workers and businesses.
This is an investment into American families, American workers, and American businesses. Ohioans in Fayette County, and across the state, will be better off because of these overdue changes to the broken tax code.
Rob Portman is a Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Russia accuses U.S. of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria

Yahoo News
December 27, 2017
FILE PHOTO: Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov arrives for the opening ceremony of the International Army Games 2017 in Alabino, outside Moscow, Russia, July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The chief of the Russian General Staff has accused the United States of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria to try to destabilize the country.
General Valery Gerasimov's allegations, made in a newspaper interview, center on a U.S. military base at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq in the south of the country.
Russia says the U.S. base is illegal and that it and the area around it have become "a black hole" where militants operate unhindered.
Islamic State has this year lost almost all the territory it held in Syria and Iraq. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday the main part of the battle with Islamic State in Syria was over, according to the state-run RIA news agency.
The United States says the Tanf facility is a temporary base used to train partner forces to fight Islamic State. It has rejected similar Russian allegations in the past, saying Washington remains committed to killing off Islamic State and denying it safe havens.
But Gerasimov told the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on Wednesday that the United States was training up fighters who were former Islamic State militants but who now call themselves the New Syrian Army or use other names.
He said Russia satellites and drones had spotted militant brigades at the U.S. base.
"They are in reality being trained there," Gerasimov said, saying there were also a large number of militants and former Islamic State fighters at Shadadi, where he said there was also a U.S. base.
"They are practically Islamic State," he said. "But after they are worked with, they change their spots and take on another name. Their task is to destabilize the situation."
Russia has partially withdrawn from Syria, but Gerasimov said the fact that Moscow was keeping an air base and naval facility there meant it was well placed to deal with pockets of instability if and when they arose.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tens of thousands of US citizens may die if Korean conflict breaks out – Russian Security Council

RT News
December 26, 2017
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump display U.S. flags while waiting for Trump's motorcade to pass in central Seoul, South Korea © Kim Kyung Hoon

A full-scale military action on the Korean peninsula would kill tens of thousands of Americans living in South Korea, the head of Russia’s Security Council warned.
The US is well aware that a possible attack on North Korea would inflict heavy casualties on 250,000 Americans residing in the South, Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told Russian media on Tuesday.
“If large-scale hostilities break out on the Korean peninsula, tens of thousands of US citizens will die,” Patrushev stressed. He added such an outcome is known as “unacceptable casualties in every country’s military language.”
The security official reiterated that North Korea’s artillery and rocket launch sites are positioned just 50 kilometers from Seoul, a vibrant metropolis accommodating some 10 million people.
In the meantime, Washington bears responsibility for contributing to “a vicious circle” of tension on the peninsula. “Today, the US makes aggressive [and] provocative statements against the [North Korean] leadership and the entire North Korean people, and conducts large-scale aerial and naval drills together with South Korea,” Patrushev said.
For its part, Pyongyang responds with new ballistic missile launches and equally harsh statements. “This vicious circle is to be broken by political and diplomatic means only,” Patrushev added. Moscow and Beijing, he stressed, are now pushing for a comprehensive roadmap that includes North Korea halting its missile and nuclear tests, and the US ceasing its military drills on the peninsula.
Moscow believes that Washington, while ostensibly advocating a peace plan, is utilizing the North Korean nuclear issue to contain Russia and China and militarize the Asia-Pacific, the Security Council head stated.
“Washington is very consistent in its plans to deploy elements of its global missile defense system in the region,”Patrushev said. “We can’t rule out that raising tensions around North Korea benefits the United States’ strategic goals.”

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Washington Times
December 24, 2017

President Donald Trump greets people on the tarmac as he arrives on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A decidedly anti-Trump appeals court issued yet another ruling Friday blocking most of President Trump’s latest version of his travel ban, finding that the White House exceeded its powers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said would-be visitors from six majority-Muslim countries can still travel to the U.S. despite the policy, as long as they have a preexisting relationship with an American person or entity.
It’s the latest ruling out of this particular appeals court to challenge the president’s claims. Earlier this week the Supreme Court delivered a spanking in overturning another 9th Circuit ruling related to the president’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty program.


World Net Daily
December 24, 2017
President Donald Trump

Editor’s note: WND is chronicling the response by U.S. businesses to the biggest rewrite of the federal tax code since the 1980s Reagan administration and a tax cut of as much as $3.2 trillion in the form of this BIG LIST OF TAX-CUT PAYOFFS. It will be regularly updated as more companies respond.
WASHINGTON – Before the ink was even dry on President Trump’s signature on the Republican tax-cut bill, corporate America was not only toasting it, praising it and celebrating it, but handing out money to employees like Santa Claus.
It started with AT&T expanding its bonus program to an additional 200,000 staffers getting $1,000 apiece.
Next came Boeing announcing a gift of $300 million in investment in its employee-related charitable program “to support our heroes, our homes and our future.”
Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bancorp announced they would raise their minimum wage to $15 in the New Year, with Fifth Third kicking in an additional bonus of $1,000 to 13,000 employees.

Comcast NBC Universal anted up $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 non-executive employees, announcing the move was not only tied, like all the others, to the tax cut but to the Federal Communications Commission’s elimination of government regulation of the Internet. Comcast NBC Universal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts added the company plans to spend more than $50 billion in the next five years on infrastructure investments that he expects will create “thousands of new direct and indirect jobs.”
In fact, before the bill was even passed, Kroger Chief Executive Officer W. Rodney McMullen offered that the legislation would influence his company “to continue to invest in our business, which will grow jobs.”
You might remember, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the bill “Armageddon.”
Here’s the growing BIG LIST of companies reacting to the tax cuts with bonuses, more pay and expansion leading directly to new jobs:
  • U.S. Bank of America employees making up to $150,000 per year in total compensation – about 145,000 teammates – will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 by year-end.
  • PNC Financial Services will give $1,000 bonus to about 47,500 workers.
  • New Braunfels-based Rush Enterprises of Texas is giving each of its 6,600 employees a $1,000 bonus – a total of $6.6 million. Chief Financial Officer Steven Keller said: “You’ve got a choice – we could’ve kept it and stuffed it in the company bank account or coffers, or we can share it with the people.”
  • Associated Bank in Wisconsin boosted its minimum hourly wage to $15 and paying workers a $500 bonus.
  • Idaho health-care and home-products company Melaleuca Inc. is providing its 2,000 employees $100 bonuses for every year they worked for the company. The company has 147 employees who have worked for the company for 20 years or more.
  • In Hawaii, Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry plans to open up three more shops – in Honolulu, in Kauai and Maui in addition to its existing three shops.
  • Washington Federal in Seattle will increase wages for most of its workers by 5 percent and is adding 25 people to its information-technology staff.
  • Aquesta Financial Holdings in Cornelius, N.C., will raise hourly pay to $15 and will be giving $1,000 bonuses to all of it workers.
  • Canary LLC announced it will hire new employees and purchase more equipment.
  • First Hawaiian Bank said it will give out $1,500 cash bonuses to 2,264 employees, or all but 11 members of its senior management team. The state’s largest bank also will increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour from $12.75 an hour for 613 employees.
  • Bank of Hawaii, the state’s second-largest bank, said it will give out $1,000 cash bonuses to 2,074 employees, or 95 percent of its workforce. The bonuses affect all employees below the senior vice president level. The bank also will increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour from $12 an hour.
  • American Savings Bank, the third-largest bank in Hawaii, said it will award $1,000 bonuses to nearly all of its employees. In addition, the bank said it was increasing its starting wage to $15.25 an hour from $12.21 an hour.
  • AT&T expanding its bonus program to an additional 200,000 staffers getting $1,000 apiece.
  • Boeing gift of $300 million in investment in its employee-related charitable program “to support our heroes, our homes and our future.”
  • Wells Fargo raises minimum wage to $15.
  • Fifth Third raises minimum wage to $15 and offering bonuses of $1,000 to 13,000 employees.
  • Comcast NBC Universal anted up $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 non-executive employees.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pennsylvania man targets police officers in string of shootings; one injured, suspect killed

abc News
December 23, 2017
Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, allegedly shot at police officers in Harrisburg, Pa., three times before being killed on Dec. 22, 2017.

Federal authorities are investigating after a Pennsylvania man with ties to the Middle East opened fire on police officers in three different locations in the state's capital on Friday afternoon. Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said it remains under investigation whether the shootings were acts of terror.
One officer was injured in the spate of shootings, but her injuries are considered non-life-threatening, police said.
Police identified the alleged shooter as Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, and Marsico said he recently returned from a trip to the Middle East.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are involved in the investigation.
The first shooting took place at about 4:10 p.m. when El-Mofty allegedly opened fire on a Capitol Police officer in his cruiser, striking the vehicle several times, but missing the officer. The shooting took place just steps from the Pennsylvania state Capitol Building. About a half hour later, the same man is suspected to have opened fire on a female officer who was struck once, but is in good condition at a local hospital, according to Marsico.
Capital Police pursued the suspect to a residential area, who then allegedly opened fire on them with two handguns, Marsico said. The officers fired back, striking and killing the suspect. None of the officers were struck.
Marsico said there was "no doubt" the man was targeting police officers.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Report: Russia ‘Dossier’ Based on 10-Year-Old Wall Street Journal Articles

December 21, 2017
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Lee Smith of Tablet magazine has traced the origins of the Russia “dossier” — the Democrat-funded opposition research project that may have laid the foundations for the ongoing Russia investigation — to several Wall Street Journal articles that appeared in print a decade ago.

Smith’s article, “Did President Obama Read the ‘Steele Dossier’ in the White House Last August?”, suggests that the information compiled by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, with funding from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, could have been repackaged as genuine U.S. government intelligence and presented to President Barack Obama on that basis as his administration began investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Smith recounts how the “dossier” likely prompted the surveillance and investigation of aides to Donald Trump by the Obama administration, and efforts to delegitimize the incoming administration.
He notes:
[I]f a sitting president used the instruments of state, including the intelligence community, to disseminate and legitimize a piece of paid opposition research in order to first obtain warrants to spy on the other party’s campaign, and then to de-legitimize the results of an election once the other party’s candidate won, we’re looking at a scandal that dwarfs Watergate—a story not about a bad man in the White House, but about the subversion of key security institutions that are charged with protecting core elements of our democratic process while operating largely in the shadows.

But the real news in Smith’s well-researched article is that the information compiled by Fusion GPS in the dossier might have relied heavily on earlier reporting done by the firm’s founder about Russian lobbying in the U.S.
Smith writes:
A Tablet investigation using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s top-secret “sources” in the Russian government—which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control—but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for The Wall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed, and Donald Trump was simply another loud-mouthed Manhattan real estate millionaire.
Simpson and Jacoby co-wrote a Journal article in April 2007, “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington.” In it, Smith notes, they identified Paul Manafort as a key player in introducing Russians to Beltway circles. They kept reporting on him over the years. When Manafort was hired to manage the Trump campaign, Simpson — by now running Fusion GPS — made him a focus of his research, and knew enough background information to build a plausible case.
Smith points out that Fusion GPS had few sources within Russia. Nellie Ohr, who also worked with Fusion GPS and happened to be married to a senior official in Obama’s Department of Justice, had not lived in Russia for decades. on the  Even former Christopher Steele, the former British spy who was hired to work on the dossier, probably had few good contacts. Simpson’s earlier Journal reporting was probably his best resource. And the CIA and FBI probably had few better sources: as Smith points out, their intelligence on Russia was terrible.
So the entire Russia investigation may not be based on actual intelligence at all, but on reporting that is ten years out of date. Manafort’s enduring Russia ties certainly provided fodder for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but the overall theory that Russia may have colluded with the Trump campaign is looking shoddier than ever.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

LEGAL ANALYSIS: Why Mueller’s Seizure of Transition Emails Likely Violated the Law

Law & Crime
December 19, 2017
Robert Mueller

According to published reports, Special Counsel Robert Mueller engaged in a mass seizure of all emails of the Trump transition team without even a warrant or a subpoena. In my opinion, a mass seizure – as is alleged here against Mueller – cannot conform to either Fourth Amendment standards or attorney-client privilege protections. The questions boils down to this: was there a reason for the individuals communicating by email, including with their lawyers, to believe their communications were private or privileged? Or, did the individuals forever waive or “implicitly consent” to any future search or seizure of their emails?

The Supreme Court in 2010 “counsels caution” before too soon defining “the existence, and extent, of privacy expectations enjoyed by employees when using employer-provided communication devices” until popular use of the technology used was better developed socially. (City of Ontario, Cal. V. Quon, 560 U.S. 746 (2010).  In other words, do most people expect privacy in that use of technology to communicate, or do they assume it is equivalent to talking in an open office where anyone from the public can walk by? The court made clear a government search was not reasonable if not “justified at its inception” or “excessively intrusive” or “not reasonably related to the objectives of the search.” 
Put simply, the use of a government server, like the use of an employer’s server, does not control the privilege or privacy analysis. Instead, courts typically employ a four-factor test, that tends to be very fact-intensive, email-specific, and individual-specific. (In re Reserve Fund Securities and Derivative Litigation, 275 F.R.D. 154 (S.D.N.Y. 2011). First, whether the government or company maintains a policy banning personal use. Second, whether the government or employer monitors the use of the email. Third, whether third parties have a right of access to the emails beyond technical audits and maintenance. Fourth, whether the government or employer notifies the individual of the limits on privacy in the emails, whether the individual was aware of those policies, the use of those policies, and the monitoring of those policies. It boils down to whether a person in the individual’s shoes would have had no reasonable expectation of privacy in their email communications.
A fifth factor is relevant in the Fourth Amendment context: whether the government gave an individual notice and the individual had knowledge of the right to refuse to give consent to the future search of their emails. Courts held individuals who agreed, as a condition of employment to “any future searches” did not waive their right against such searches because the waiver failed to give them the “right to refuse to give consent to the future search.” For the government to claim implied consent or waiver, “requires clear notice that one’s conduct may result in a search being conducted of areas which the person has been warned are subject to search,” and such notice must ensure an individual “had knowledge of the right to refuse to give consent.” (Pure Power Boot Camp v. Warrior Fitness Boot Camp, 587 F.Supp.2d 548 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). Hence, a broad waiver was found inadequate to permit a search. (Anobile v. Pellegrino, 303 F.3d 107, 124-25 (2d. Cir. 2002). The Supreme Court made it clear the question usually “must be addressed on a case-by-case basis” and rarely subject to blanket waivers of Fourth Amendment liberties. (City of Ontario, Cal. V. Quon, 560 U.S. 746 (2010).) As the court reiterated, “individuals do not lose Fourth Amendment rights” merely because they use government-provided servers, offices, or equipment. (O’Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 (1987).
Courts held that an employee has a reasonably expectation of privacy in the contents of his computer even when given specific notice the computers could not be used for personal purposes and the individual had authorized disclosure for technical and maintenance audits. Leventhal v. Knapek, 266 F.3d 64, 74 (2d. Cir. 2001). Attorney-client privilege is broader. As courts have held, emails between government employees remained privileged even though sent over government email servers. (In re County of Erie, 473 F.3d 413 (2d Cir. 2007). Courts held an ex-employee could assert attorney-client privilege against use of such emails by his company even though emails were located on employer’s computer and employer gave employee notice any documents stored on computer not protected. (Curto v. Medical World Communications (E.D. N.Y. 2006).
The Mueller search runs afoul of many of these established court precedents and Fourth Amendment privacy and privilege principles. First, it appears Mueller searched and seized every email, without any kind of categorical or keyword search. This is exactly the kind of search the Supreme Court made clear was not allowed under the Fourth Amendment. This means Mueller can only prevail if he didn’t seize a single email of a single individual that the individual could have any expectation of either personal privacy or attorney client privilege in.
The primary excuses proffered so far for the broad seizure is the faulty assumption the use of a government server waived all privacy and all privilege of every email ever made over that server. As identified above, that has never been the law. The security and efficacy of government-owned servers for transition employees are not intended as a trap for the unwary to forever forfeit their privacy and privilege rights in their communications. Indeed, doing so would undermine use of such communications, and invite Hillary Clinton type bathroom closet email servers for everybody.
Mueller’s problem here is these were not even government employee emails; they were the emails of private individuals stored temporarily on a government server, and publicly declared to be “private materials” as a matter of custom, practice and the public policy of the National Archives. As Professor Jonathan Turley identifies, the National Archives recognize transition email records “are not federal or presidential records, but considered private materials.” 
The only “notice” evidence otherwise given publicly is that an agreement between the GSA and the transition team identified the possibility of technical and maintenance audits, with some claiming this as a “waiver” of all privacy and privilege rights in the emails forever. Here again, the law does not support such a claim; even cases with much more specific notices and much less invasive searches, found privacy and privilege objections persisted. So far, a striking lack of arguments and evidence has been mounted for claiming every single email lacked any privacy or privilege.
It appears to me, Mueller deliberately skipped the court, the grand jury, and the government-imposed limits on investigative inquiries into worker conduct under Supreme Court precedent; he might have done so because he wanted a tactical edge, and was walling to ignore the Fourth Amendment restrictions on him to do so. Mueller may come to regret his choice.
Robert Barnes is a California-based trial attorney whose practice focuses on Constitutional, criminal and civil rights law. You can follow him at @Barnes_Law.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Chicago Politician Requests Child-raping UN Troops ... in America

The New American
December 17, 2017
 Two Belgian UN ‘peacekeepers’ cheerfully “roast” a Somali boy over a fire, during a ‘humanitarian mission’ in Somalia in 1993

Under the guise of stopping “gun violence” and “genocide,” a fringe County Commissioner in Cook County, Illinois, went to New York City to request that the United Nations deploy “peacekeeping” troops in Chicago. Seriously. These would be the same ruthless soldiers who have come under fire around the world for systemic rape of childrenspreading deadly diseases, murdering unarmed protestersoverthrowing elected leaderswaging war on Africans who did not want to live under a Soviet-backed dictator, and countless other atrocities — especially atrocities targeting black people, and always perpetrated with impunity.
Of course, the dictators club known as the UN has no legal power to deploy its scandal-plagued forces in America, and most Americans, armed with hundreds of millions of weapons, would be unlikely to accept such an absurdity. But the fact that such a ludicrous request would even be contemplated, particularly by an elected official, highlights a number of major problems that threaten liberty and the nation itself. At the top of the list of those problems is the sort of dangerous ignorance of some voters and their politicians that would consider inviting child-raping foreign troops — many of them loyal to mass-murdering Communist and Islamic dictators — on to American soil to keep the peace.
In a tacit acknowledgment that he is incapable of doing the job voters elected him to do — and perhaps an indication that he believes his constituents are incapable of governing themselves — Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin began calling for UN troops in Chicago this week. “I’m hoping to appeal to the UN to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe,” Boykin was quoted as saying while waiting for his flight to New York on Thursday.
Boykin, who has been living off taxpayer largess since he was a child and appears to have been employed by government in some capacity for virtually his entire career, claimed “leaders” in Chicago and Cook County had “failed” to protect their communities from violent crime. And so, since local officials seem to be incapable of providing even basic services despite some of the highest taxes in America, the far-left activist believes the UN — an organization dominated by oppressive governments, many of which murder and torture their own subjects with impunity — could do a better job providing security. That speaks volumes about Boykin and those who elected him.  
“There is a quiet genocide taking place in too many of our communities,” Boykin said, without noting that the UN and Planned Parenthood have for generations displayed a passion for reducing the number of black people in the world. “Eighty percent of those who are being killed by gun violence are African American, and often killed at the hands of another African American. So we must protect these population groups, and that’s what the United Nations does. They’re a peacekeeping force. They know all about keeping the peace, and so we’re hopeful that they’ll hear our appeal.”
In reality, the UN's “peacekeeping” schemes have resulted in the widespread rape and killing of black people all over the world by UN forces. The UN's first major “peace” mission, for example, involved bombing and slaughtering civilians in Katanga, who had declared independence to avoid living under a barbarous Soviet-backed dictator, until they were brutally massacred into submission. The horrifying ordeal featured UN war planes bombing hospitals, UN troops bayoneting young children, and a wide range of other well-documented atrocities perpetrated against civilians. A documentary about it can be seen here.  
Unfortunately, since then, the UN's “peacekeeping” track-record has not improved. In a UN-occupied town in the Ivory Coast, for example, a recent survey by Save the Children revealed that eight out of 10 underage girls admitted to being regularly raped and sexually abused by UN troops. The elected, Christian president of that nation was later overthrown by savage UN-backed jihadists who butchered thousands of innocent Christians with machetes to install a totalitarian Muslim central banker — and all that after the Ivorian Supreme Court ruled that the Christian won the election.
Boykin, though, seems oblivious to the reality, saying “every avenue,” including UN peacekeepers in America, must be explored.  “They’ve been able to help in places like Africa and abroad, where they’ve sent troops in and sent forces in to help protect minority and vulnerable populations, and so quite frankly I think the same can be said for here in Chicago,” he said, sparking instant national ridicule after the news was featured on the Drudge Report. “I’m talking about physical security. I’m also talking about maybe suggestions for what we can do in Chicago to help protect our minority populations. We’re being, again, decimated by the violence that we see here in Chicago. I mean this is really a genocide, and we have to do something to stop it.”
Ironically, the UN regularly praises and promotes genocidal dictators responsible for exterminating black minority groups. Just recently, the UN World Health Organization tried to install mass-murdering Marxist tyrant Robert Mugabe as a “goodwill ambassador,” despite his genocidal campaign to exterminate Ndebele people in the Southern region of the country using mass murder and terror. Before that, the UN almost appointed genocidal Sudanese dictator Omar Bashir, an Arab famous for trying to exterminate local black populations, on its discredited, dictator-dominated UN “Human Rights Council.”
As Boykin admitted, though, the overwhelming majority of those being murdered in Chicago are being murdered by fellow black people, typically in gang warfare. As such, the violence in Chicago — which is very mild, by international standards — does not come close to meeting the UN's definition of genocide. According to the UN, genocide involves “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” It is true that the UN and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wanted to reduce the number of black people, by their own admission. Indeed, UN agencies have even been caught involuntarily sterilizing African women under the guise of a “vaccine” program. But the UN's publicly stated belief that there are too many Africans on the planet is not relevant to crime in Chicago.
Boykin blasted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel — Obama's infamous minion who famously declared that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” — for touting the fact that the number of people shot and killed in the city is down. “Let me tell you, we’ve had over 600 people killed by gun violence already this year alone,” Boykin said. “That is a huge number.” In his community of Austin, there were 450 people shot, include 80 killed, just this year, Boykin added. “And so we have to do more to protect these communities, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said without offering serious solutions.
Unlike most Americans, who appreciate self-governance and seek to deal with local problems at the local level, Boykin implied that he and his colleagues in local government were not capable of dealing with the problems plaguing their local communities. “If we can’t get it done here with the leaders of the city, the state, and the county working together to utilize their budgets to help protect these communities, then I have to appeal to a higher authority, and a higher force,” Boykin said, implying that the dictators club, which according to its own charter has no authority over the internal affairs of member states, was somehow a “higher authority” than even the federal government established by We The People.
Boykin also appears to be ignorant of how the United States measures up against the rest of the world. In Chicago, which has among the strictest gun-control regimes in America, there are around 15 or 16 murders per 100,000. That is very high, of course, especially when compared to the less than 5 murders per 100,000 in the rest of the United States, where guns are much more accessible and far less regulated than in Chicago. And so, by comparing it to other U.S. communities, Chicago does seem to be completely out of control.
But in comparison with other nations ruled by the UN member states that would be sending troops, both Chicago and the United States seem like an oasis of peace. El Salvador, for example, which has strict gun control, has more than 80 murders per 100,000. In 2015, the nation had more than 100 murders per 100,000 people. In Venezuela, meanwhile, where the UN helped the socialist dictator disarm the law-abiding civilian population, there has been an explosion of violence, now up to about 90 murders per 100,000 — some 500 percent higher than the murder rate of Chicago. Honduras and other nations in the hemisphere have similar numbers. South Africa, that continent's most developed nation, has an average murder rate that is almost ten times higher than the United States.   
If Boykin feels incapable of dealing with the local problems he was elected to deal with, rather than advocating for potentially hostile, child-raping UN troops in America, he should resign from his lucrative taxpayer-funded post. But if he is serious about dealing with local problems, a good starting point would be to totally re-structure the local education system to, at the very least, teach children to read and quit dumbing down and indoctrinating children in those communities. Instead of demonizing and handcuffing police, which Boykin often does, allowing cops to do their job would be helpful. Promoting morality and family would help matters, too. It seems, though, that Boykin is not really interested in solving local issues. His constituents should take note.

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