Census to ask “are you a citizen.”
Census to ask “are you a citizen.”
(click)Controversy continues to swirl around how the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained personal data from over 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge and used it to target ads to individuals in an effort to help Donald Trump be elected president in 2016.
But a more serious case of apparent misconduct involves Facebook data going to a different presidential campaign – this time in 2012. In this case, which is getting far less attention, Facebook reportedly voluntarily provided data on millions of its users to the re-election campaign of President Obama.
A federal law bans corporations from making “direct or indirect” contributions to federal candidates. That ban extends beyond cash contributions to “any services, or anything of value.” In other words, corporations cannot provide federal candidates with free services of any kind. Under the Federal Election Commission’s regulations, “anything of value” includes any “in-kind contribution.”
Whether or not the Obama campaign and Facebook violated this ban is an open question. It should be investigated by the Federal Election Commission and potentially the U.S. Department of Justice.
For example, if a corporation decided to offer a presidential candidate free office space, that would violate federal law. Corporations can certainly offer their services, including office space, to federal campaigns. But the campaigns are required to pay the fair market value for such services or rental properties.
According to Carol Davidsen, the former media director for Obama for America, Facebook gave the 2012 Obama campaign direct access to the personal data of Facebook users in violation of its internal rules, making a special exception for the campaign. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported that Davidsen said on Twitter March 18 that Facebook employees came to the campaign office and “were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
The type of data that the Obama campaign was mining from Facebook is a more sophisticated version of the type of data that has long been provided by professional direct mail marketers – something pioneered by Richard Viguerie. Viguerie, for example, has detailed personal data on “12 million conservative donors and activists” to whom his company sends letters and emails on behalf of his clients. He provides information to campaigns looking for votes and money, and to nonprofit and advocacy organizations raising funds.
Political campaigns must pay for these services. Under a Federal Election Commission regulation, giving a mailing list or something similar to a campaign is considered an “in-kind contribution.”
So if Facebook gave the Obama campaign free access to this type of data when it normally does not do so for other entities – or usually charges for such access – then Facebook would appear to have violated the federal ban on in-kind contributions by a corporation. And the Obama campaign may have violated the law by accepting such a corporate contribution.
What about the story currently in the news about Cambridge Analytica using Facebook data for the Trump campaign? The important legal distinction may be in the way the data were obtained. Fox News reported that the Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica to do political research on voters and reportedly to “help the campaign target specific voters with ads and stories.”
The real controversy now involving the Trump campaign deals with exactly how Cambridge Analytica obtained the data it used for the campaign. A CNBC report says that Cambridge Analytica bought the data from Aleksandr Kogan and his company, Global Science Research, which obtained the data through an app and a psychological test taken by Facebook users.
The amounts paid by the Trump campaign to Cambridge Analytica for its services – and the use of the Facebook data – are listed in its spending reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. This proves that the Trump campaign paid for services in the same way that campaigns routinely hire and pay direct mail marketers. So the Trump campaign did not get an illegal corporate contribution from Cambridge Analytica or Facebook when it received free access to very valuable data.
Whether or not Global Science Research and Cambridge Analytica violated any Facebook rules regarding this data is not the responsibility of the Trump campaign. From the standpoint of federal campaign finance law, the Trump campaign met its obligation to pay for and report this spending and did not violate the ban on corporate contributions.
However, whether or not the Obama campaign and Facebook violated this ban is an open question. It should be investigated by the Federal Election Commission and potentially the U.S. Department of Justice. The commission handles most routine violations of the law, which are civil matters. The Justice Department is responsible for investigating knowingand intentional violations of the law, which are criminal matters.
Although the statute of limitations may have already run out on this conduct by the Obama campaign, one thing seems certain: Carol Davidsen’s admissions should provide a sufficient basis for opening a federal investigation of what may have been a serious violation of the law by the Obama campaign.
More than a week after Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan delivered a blistering speech in Chicago in which he said “powerful Jews are my enemy” and “white folks are going down,” calls are growing louder for Democratic leaders and Women’s March founders with ties to denounce him or step down.
Among those in the line of fire are several members of Congress and Women’s March co-chairwoman Tamika Mallory, who attended the Nation of Islam’s national convention late last month, There, Farrakhan delivered the controversial address and Mallory, who has expressed admiration for him in the past, posted Instagram photos from the Chicago event.
“Here’s the problem: Farrakhan does have an audience and still has widespread popularity among his devoted followers,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in a blog published on Thursday. “Because of Farrakhan’s reach and influence and his broad name recognition and something like celebrity status, some public officials, politicians and hip-hop entertainers are still willing to meet with him, still willing to have their pictures taken with him.
President Obama was recently criticized when a photograph of him with Farrakhan, taken before his 2008 election, surfaced. The photographer said he buried the picture on orders from tthe Congressional Black Caucus, which believed it would hurt Obama’s election chances.
Seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus have had ties with Farrakhan, according to The Daily Caller, which said it had reviewed videos and witness accounts to create the tally.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove.
By comparison, President Obama earned 43% approval on this date in the second year of his presidency.
What’s more, he said, Trump hasn’t just focused on one agenda area, but he and his team has pushed through administrative moves on foreign policy, deregulation, immigration, tax reform and health care, moves often ignored by the media.
“It is a huge volume that his administration has worked on and it is a huge spectrum of issues,” said Binion.
His report card jibes with one from the West Wing which showed at the end of the year that the administration has scored 81 major achievements slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama.
Together, the policy wins are adding up to a reelection agenda. “It is absolutely a winning agenda,” said Binion.
Trump very early in his presidency signed reelection papers and on Tuesday he began to set up his reelection team, naming is digital advisor Brad Parscale as his campaign manager.
Heritage has been a partner with Trump and his administration since the transition from the Obama administration.
Their “Mandate for Leadership” was first produced for Reagan in 1981. Reagan handed out a copy of the single book to every cabinet member. For Trump, Heritage produced five books and the president has embraced them.
“He has been very, very active,” said Binion. “He is moving the ball in the conservative direction,” he added.
In Heritage’s review of Trump’s moves so far, they highlighted these actions:
We’ve been waiting for the bombshell to fall, but none has – Mueller has babbled long enough; yeah he has tagged some of Trump’s hanger-ons with petty crimes like fibbing, spitting on the sidewalk and jaywalking, big f’n deal. These minor violations are all he’s got to show for spending so far $50,000,000. If there were any sharks waiting to be lampooned he would have reeled them in by now. What is the next step for Trump?
Constitutional law expert and former Reagan administration official (click) Mark Levin said Americans have been subjected to a “massive propaganda campaign” to protect Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. Levin said a new memo from Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) shows a connection between those involved in the dossier and the Hillary Clinton campaign, as well as the Obama State Department.
Levin stated in 2013 that “the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government” and called President Obama a Muslim Brotherhood “sympathizer”
In February 2015, Levin stated that President Obama of “seeking to destroy Israel” because “Obama has an affinity for Islam far more than Christianity or Judaism.” Levin also blamed Obama for the Ebola crisis, saying “the political policies of this administration which opens the door wide to people from the poorest parts of the world. We don’t know who they are, we don’t know if they have diseases.”
In March 2017, Levin alleged that the Obama administration had used “police state” surveillance tactics against the Donald Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. The Associated Press said that Levin “voiced without evidence the idea that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower”. Levin protested the AP report vigorously, demanding a retraction and an apology on the grounds that his sources for the statement included The New York Times and other newspapers.His statement was reprinted by Breitbart News and reportedly became the basis of President Trump’s unfounded Trump Tower wiretapping allegations. In September 2017, reports emerged of a court-ordered Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wiretap on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; while certain Trump supporters alleged that this surveillance vindicated Levin and Trump’s unsupported assertions, David A. Graham of The Atlantic noted: “This is not true – Trump claimed he had been the subject of Obama-ordered, politically motivated surveillance, for which there remains no evidence.”
Levin has claimed that there is an-going “coup” occurring against the presidency of Donald Trump waged by Obama loyalists. Levin’s coup claim was referring to investigations of the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and of alleged obstruction of justice by Trump. Levin responded that “I’m not arguing to the Trump base. I am making the point that what’s taking place here is coup activity” and that Robert Mueller‘s Grand Jury was trying “to destroy the constitutional system. It is the use of the law to subvert the election.”
Obama and company have usurped the legal system in the United States. This is a fact. First of all his team spied on Americans by submitting to the FISA court a false document that was paid for by Hillary “lock her up” Clinton. Why no investigation into the Democrats who have or tried to sabotage the election process. One answer, “Robert Mueller.” What can he do about it? Fire him!
The Obama administration filled its coffers with criminals from A to Z. Obama called on Lois Lerner to deny, delay and refuse to process Tea Party tax exempt applications. Koskinen was in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide IRS records including emails relating to Lerner’s cover-up. Remember that she took the fifth; guilty as charged.
Holder, a gun runner provocateur, responsible for the killing of our border agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was killed northwest of Nogales, Ariz., on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. by a AR-15 that Holder sold to a drug gang. Fast and Furious was the undercover operation; guilty as charged.
Loretta Lynch was whipped hard by Slick Willie on that tarmac in Arizona. He gave her an option, “shut up” or “your brains will be splattered on the tarmac.” Lynch laid down like a cheap whore. This encounter and its suggestion of conflict of interest led FBI director James Comey to take the unorthodox step of holding a press conference on July 5, 2016, where he announced that the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server would not result in a recommendation to the Department of Justice to indict her. Comey later recalled that Attorney General Lynch had directed him not to call the investigation an “investigation” but instead to call it a “matter.” A direction, Comey said, that “confused me and concerned me.” both her and Comey are guilty as charged.
Fusion GPS was an arm of the Democrat Party and also colluded with members of the FBI. “It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” Grassley and Graham wrote in the Jan. 5 referral. The Democrat National Committee (DNC) hired and paid for information (the Dossier) that was the basis for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order to spy on the Trump campaign. Carter Page was the targeted guy. But as it turned out the closet was empty. The information put forth on getting the FISA order was nothing but hearsay and innuendo. However, we must be reminded that Hillary Clinton controlled the DNC and most likely ordered her phalanx of soldiers to get TRUMP anyway you can.
Under a contract from the Clinton campaign, the Fusion GPS research firm was paying the wife of a senior Department of Justice official as part of its efforts to gather opposition research on Trump, and the same official then brought that research to the FBI.
Knowledge of the relationship has raised questions about the extent to which the firm may have paid for heightened access to the criminal justice system, and whether they would have hired Nellie Ohr absent her spousal connection to the DoJ.
A declassified memo said Bruce “Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the” court when it was used to obtain a surveillance warrant.
The Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations — some of which were unfolding inside the U.S. — to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track, according to a bombshell exposé in Politico Sunday.
An elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, reportedly targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities. But by tossing a string of roadblocks holding back the project, Obama administration officials helped allow the 35-year-old anti-Israel criminal enterprise to evolve into a major global security threat bankrolling terrorist and military operations, the report added.
“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” David Asher, who helped establish Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst in 2008, told Politico. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”
When Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA’s Counter facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought an OK for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accused of acting in complete disregard for the law and must be removed. And so, too, must his entire team.
There is devastating new evidence to suggest that Mueller and his staff of lawyers improperly, if not illegally, obtained tens of thousands of private documents belonging to President-elect Trump’s Presidential Transition Team (PTT). The material includes emails, laptops and cell phones used by 13 PTT members.
Critically, a “significant volume of privileged material” was taken by Mueller, according to the Trump transition lawyer, and then used by the special counsel team in its investigation. Mueller’s staff apparently admits this egregious violation, which the law strictly forbids.
The Records Are Private
The Presidential Transition Act states that all records of transition operations are private and confidential.
On November 16, 2016, roughly ten days after Trump was elected president, the Chief Records Officer of the U.S. Government sent a letter to all federal agencies reminding them that “the materials that PTT members create or receive are not Federal or Presidential records, but are considered private materials.”
Yet Mueller seems to have ignored the law. Without a warrant or subpoena, his team of lawyers brazenly demanded these private records from the General Services Administration (GSA) which held custody of the materials. The GSA does this as a service to all incoming presidents out of courtesy, but it neither owns the documents nor is authorized to release them to anyone under any circumstances because they are deemed entirely private.
If true, Mueller’s conduct is not only unethical and improper, it constitutes lawlessness. On this basis, he must be removed and replaced.
Counsel for the Trump Transition Team has sent a letter to Congress alleging the Fourth Amendment was violated in “failing to obtain a warrant for the search or seizure of private property in which the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 489).”
Mueller might contest the claim of an unlawful seizure because the GSA willingly handed over the documents, but this disregards the fact that the GSA broke the law and Mueller surely knew it when he pressured the agency to do so.
The most serious charge against Mueller is that he obtained, reviewed and used material that is privileged.
For months, Mueller allegedly failed to disclose to the transition team that he acquired these privileged documents. Under the law, he and his lawyers are not entitled to possess or read any of them. Even worse, the transition team says it warned the special counsel six months ago that it had no right to access the records without gaining permission from the PTT.
Courts have clearly stated what prosecutors are supposed to do under these circumstances: “An attorney who receives privileged documents has an ethical duty to cease review of the documents, notify the privilege holder, and return the documents.” (U.S. v. Taylor 764 Fed Sup 2nd, 230, 235)
Did Mueller do this? Apparently not. He never notified PTT when his staff of lawyers encountered the privileged documents and he compounded his violation of the law by possessing and accessing them for months.
Only the owner of such materials can waive the privileged that protects them. Since the GSA does not, under the law, own the records, only the transition team can make such a waiver. It did not.
Hence, if any illegally obtained documents have been used in the Trump-Russia case, then the results are tainted and invalid. This is a well-established principle of law.
Mueller Must Be Removed
The use by Mueller of even one privileged document can, and must, result in his disqualification from the case.
The case of Finn v. Schiller, 72 F.3rd 1182, 1189 spells out the required remedy for this violation of the law: “Courts have frequently used their supervisory authority to disqualify prosecutors for obtaining materials protected by the attorney-client privilege.”
Statutory law also demands Mueller’s removal. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 2635.501, government employees, including prosecutors, are directed to “take appropriate steps to avoid an appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of his or her official duties.”
The lawyer for the Trump transition team states that the special counsel’s office admitted in a telephone conversation on Friday that it failed to use an “ethical wall” or “taint team” to segregate any privileged records. This is often done to keep them isolated from lawyers and investigators involved in the case.
Yet, Mueller did not adopt such precautionary measures. Instead, he apparently allowed his team to utilize the documents while questioning witnesses in the Trump-Russia case.
If true, Mueller’s conduct is not only unethical and improper, it constitutes lawlessness. On this basis, he must be removed and replaced.
Given the insular nature of the special counsel operation, it is reasonable to conclude that all the lawyers and investigators likely accessed the privileged documents. Therefore, not just Mueller, but his entire team must be dismissed. This would include Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the case.
Either Congress should take aggressive action or the Presidential Transition Team (now Trump for America, Inc.) must petition a federal judge to order their removal.
The integrity of the special counsel probe has been deeply compromised by numerous allegations of corrupt acts. In its current composition, it seems beyond repair.
The criminal in charge of the Russia investigation is none other than Robert Mueller, the previous head of the FBI, the consummate Democrat crony who has colluded with the DNC and still is. remember the FBI under his auspices partly paid for the Russian dossier authored by Steele. Calls for his head are getting louder and even some of his most ardent supporters are demanding he step down.
Time for Sessions to get into the act. Time for Trump to bring down the hammer. We have enough of this Big Government incestual relationship with the Democrats. Clean House Now! Fire them all. President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested in a tweet that the FBI could have financed a dossier alleging collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia. Trump has denied the scandalous allegations in the 35-page dossier, which was compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and leaked just prior to Trump’s inauguration. On Wednesday, two executives of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier, invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, following a subpoena by the House Intelligence Committee. The FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue his work in October 2016, as it was investigating possible Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, but ultimately scrapped the agreement without paying him. How do we know they didn’t?
Sean Hannity, “For more than a year, Democrats and their pals in the abusively biased press have been breathlessly talking about Russia-Trump collusion as if it were the worst scandal in American history. After a year, the best they can do is somberly insist there is smoke, but no fire. The truth is, there is no smoke. Trump collusion with Russia has been a big lie.”
“We have evidence of another Russia scandal, also involving a 2016 candidate not named Trump. We now know that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid over $9 million to help fund the discredited, Russia-linked dossier crafted to ruin then-candidate Donald Trump. This was nothing short of a collaborative effort with the Russians to manipulate the outcome of the last presidential election.”
“Not that there wasn’t Russian collusion with a 2016 presidential candidate. It’s just that her name was not Trump. We now have real evidence that the FBI uncovered a Russian plot dating back to 2009 that involved bribery, extortion, blackmail, money laundering and racketeering. It all came a year before Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration approved the corrupt Uranium One deal.”
Being able to definitively tie the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. to the Steele dossier is sure to give Republicans another line of attack against special counsel Robert Mueller. But that doesn’t change the fact that much of what Steele found—muddled as it may be by rumor, innuendo, and possible Russian disinformation—was deemed sufficiently credible by the F.B.I. for the agency to begin working with Steele and, ultimately, to fund his research—at least until his name was made public. The broader intelligence community found the allegations sufficiently credible that they gave classified briefings to members of Congress and, in January, days before the inauguration, presented a two-page synopsis to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump. Many of those details have since been confirmed, though the dossier’s most outrageous claims have not. The overall legitimacy of that intelligence, including allegations that Russia may have compromising personal and financial information about the current president, remains a matter of significant public concern.
The House Intelligence Committee said Saturday it has struck a deal to gain access to bank records from Fusion GPS, the firm behind the salacious anti-Trump dossier.
The company had recently attempted to block the committee’s subpoena for its banking records.
“The parties have reached an agreement related to the House Intelligence Committee’s subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records that will secure the Committee’s access to the records necessary for its investigation,” the intelligence committee said in a statement released Saturday.