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How Michael Flynn’s Case Could Prove Democrats Wrong About Federal Agencies’ Abuse Of Courts


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For several years I spent a few weeks each summer directing a “law camp” for high school students, typically rising seniors. We explored our constitutional republic and various areas of substantive law, put on a mock trial, and visited representatives of the three branches of government, including a senior assistant U.S. attorney.
In speaking with the students, the AUSA always began by pointing to the seal of the Department of Justice, Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur—literally “Who For Lady Justice Strives”—explaining the English adaptation continues to govern his every deed: “The United States Wins Its Point Whenever Justice Is Done Its Citizens In the Courts.”

It’s been a decade since I last entered the grand jury room to hear those words repeated to a new group of students. The AUSA has also since retired. The developments of the last year make me wonder if Lady Justice has, as well, and if so, whether anyone really cares.
It seems not. Evidence continue to mount that in the waning days of the Obama administration, career and political appointees alike abused their investigative and prosecutorial powers. The most recent and most shocking misconduct concerns the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant process. Yet the media ignored or obfuscated the revelations of both the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham criminal referral.
Then with Saturday’s release of the House Democrats’ response under the leadership of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), the narrative quickly turned to claims that charges of FISA abuse have been refuted. They have not.:snip:

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A Foreign Power’s Recruitment Effort Is Not a Basis for a FISA Court Warrant  - Andrew McCarthy


My column that posted last night is an in-depth analysis of the Schiff memo, the response of House Intelligence Committee Democrats to the Nunes memo published by committee Republicans. I offer a variety of reasons why the response principally proffered by the committee’s ranking member, Representative Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), fails to defend the issuance of FISA court surveillance warrants against an American citizen tied to the Trump campaign, Carter Page, in a counterintelligence investigation seeking to probe suspected ties between Donald Trump and Russia. The warrant was issued based on uncorroborated hearsay allegations from unknown sources, compiled in the so-called Steele dossier. The FBI and Justice Department failed to disclose that these allegations were generated by an opposition-research project commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
As I argue in the column, the Schiff memo leaves no doubt that the key allegation supporting issuance of the warrant is the Steele dossier’s claim that, while on a well-publicized trip to Moscow in July 2016, Page met with two top Putin regime operatives, Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin. Page credibly denies the meetings; former British spy Christoper Steele’s claim that they happened is based on unidentified hearsay sources that he concedes he never confirmed; and all indications are that the FBI never corroborated them. In congressional testimony, Former FBI director James Comey described the dossier’s allegations about Donald Trump as “salacious and unverified.” Furthermore, according to a memo published by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee members — Chairman Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) — then-director Comey conceded that the Bureau did not corroborate Steele’s sources and relied on the fact that Steele had given the FBI reliable information in the past. (See Grassley-Graham memo, p.2.)

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I want to note a few columns that supplement previously assigned reading on the Schiff memo.
Andrew McCarthy returns with one more thing — one more thing that is wrong with the Schiff memo — in the NR column “A Foreign Power’s Recruitment Effort Is Not a Basis for a FISA Court Warrant.” The shady Schiff and his Democratic colleagues would prefer that you not know that. They seek to exploit your ignorance.
Over this past weekend, McCarthy took up the new indictments handed up against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates in the NR column “Is ‘Collusion with Russia’ Over?” Among other things, “This brings us to this week’s least well-understood development in Mueller’s investigation, the guilty plea of Alex van der Zwaan….It’s worth a closer look.”
Following up on van der Zwaan, the New York Times’s Ken Vogel and Matthew Goldstein explore “How Skadden, the Giant Law Firm, Got Entangled in the Mueller Investigation.” This is an interesting article. I hoped Vogel and Goldstein might explain why van der Zwaan lied about his work when he chose to talk with the FBI. They acknowledge this is a big question and wonder if anyone else at the law firm knew van der Zwaan was lying. They state: “The answers to those questions are not entirely clear.” Well, thanks.

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