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We've Lost Sight Of The Real Scandal

Sharyl Attkisson
Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few remaining “journalists” practicing the craft in Washington, DC has an excellent column up on The Hill. Headlined “We've lost sight of the real scandal” Ms. Attkisson argues, we’re so wrapped up in the “daily tick-tock,” we could be losing sight of a big picture that’s come into focus over the past two years.

For the first time in our nation’s history, says Ms. Attkisson, an inspector general — one appointed by President Obama — has determined that at least two men who sat in the top spot at the FBI committed multiple violations that warrant possible prosecution. That in itself is a scandal with national implications deserving of headlines, congressional hearings and promises to overhaul a broken system.

The complicating factor in the whole mess, says Ms. Attkisson, is that the government entities responsible for addressing any wrongdoing are the same ones inextricably tied to the alleged wrongdoing.

Now, here’s the first key point in the column:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI employ enough people to populate a mid-sized city — more than 113,000. Both agencies are much more than the top men or women in charge. Even as certain personalities are divested, tentacles run deep; ties cross administrations and party lines. The recent past provides little reason to think this behemoth can always be neutral when it comes to its own. The machine has proven it can move swiftly when it comes to criminal cases against certain politically connected figures for relatively small infractions — but it has shown less commitment when it comes to others.

Ms. Attkisson goes on to cite a few examples, such the scathing 2016 election-year ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). It found the National Security Agency (NSA) guilty of “institutional lack of candor” in its spying on U.S. citizens.

Also during the 2016 election year, noted Ms. Attkisson, administration officials conducted rampant “unmaskings,” revealing protected names of incidentally surveilled U.S. citizens. But after President Obama’s United Nations ambassador, Samantha Power, testified that someone else made unmasking requests using her name, there seemed to be a conspicuous lack of curiosity.

Likewise, when the FBI lost thousands of text messages, sought by the inspector general, between FBI official Peter Strzok and bureau attorney Lisa Page, it was chalked up to a technical snafu and the case was closed.

There’s been no swift, public action that we know of on eight criminal referrals that two House Intelligence Committee Republicans, Reps. Devin Nunes of California and John Ratcliffe of Texas, sent to the Department of Justice more than five months ago. There’s no word of any action more than eight months after Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a criminal referral to the DOJ against Christopher Steele, author of the anti-Trump political opposition research “dossier.”

The Department of Justice also took a pass on filing charges against ex-FBI Director James Comey for alleged violations that the inspector general documented with precision in more than 70 pages of a report last month.

Ms. Attkisson cited other examples, but you get the picture. The real scandal is the emergence of two systems of justice; one for government insiders connected to the Obama and Clinton circles and one for everyone else.

In the system for Obama and Clinton insiders no investigation, let alone any punishment, is to be expected, while those who fall under the outsider system, such as General Mike Flynn, are hounded out of their jobs, bankrupted by legal fees, and threatened with draconian prison sentences for themselves and their families.

Fortunately, there are a few people in Washington who have not lost sight of the real scandal.

One is, of course, Ms. Attkisson herself. Others are Senator Chuck Grassley and Representatives Devin Nunes and John Ratcliffe, but the most important person with her eye on the real scandal is former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, Gen. Flynn’s attorney.

As law professor Margot Cleveland explained in an outstanding article for The Federalist, Powell requested “any information, including recordings or 302s, about Joseph Mifsud’s presence and involvement in engaging or reporting on Mr. Flynn and Mifsud’s presence at the Russia Today dinner in Moscow on December 17, 2015.”

It was at that dinner gathering that Flynn met Vladimir Putin, noted Prof. Cleveland. (A photograph capturing the two at that event has been used to further the Flynn-is-a-Russian-agent narrative.) Powell’s court filing is the first we are learning that Mifsud also attended that gathering—a strange coincidence given the FBI’s claim that it launched its investigation into the Trump campaign upon learning that Mifsud had informed the young Trump advisor George Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary.

Also intriguing says Prof. Cleveland is Powell’s request for: “All payments, notes, memos, correspondence, and instructions by and between the FBI, CIA, or DOD with Stefan Halper—going back as far as 2014—regarding Michael Flynn, Svetlana Lokhova, Mr. Richard Dearlove (of MI6), and Professor Christopher Andrew (connected with MI5) and Halper’s compensation through the DOD Office of Net Assessment as evidenced by the whistleblower complaint of Adam Lovinger, addressed in our brief.”

(We note for the record that Adam Lovinger was also targeted by the Obama people and has only recently been vindicated, although certainly not been made whole.)

Prof. Cleveland says Powell’s bid for this information shows that she has in three short months pieced together more tiles in the mosaic of the Russia collusion fraud than Robert Mueller did in two years.

That is because the spying on Trump likely began with spying on Flynn, and involved not just the FBI, CIA, and Department of Defense, but their British counterparts, and dated back to Flynn’s time as President Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency director.

Sharyl Attkisson is right; many have lost sight of the real scandal which is the two systems of justice that have emerged from the Russiagate conspiracy.

We urge Senator Chuck Grassley, Representatives Devin Nunes and John Ratcliffe, attorney Sidney Powell and most of all Judge Emmet Sullivan to keep their eyes on the real scandal and to make sure that the two systems of justice that appear to have emerged from Russiagate do not become a permanent fixture of our justice system.

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