Trump Acted Quickley On Coronavirus (TIMELINES PART DEUX)

A friend – in response to a challenge, posted multiple stories about Trump’s response to the Coronavirus to my single post detailing the timeline of the Trump admins response here: Trump Acted Quickley On Coronavirus (TIMELINES)

This was his firing away as if to make a point:

JIM

  • 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus (AXIOS)
  • Trump’s daily briefings warned about COVID-19 at least a dozen times before the US outbreak, but he ‘failed to register’ the threat (BUSINESS INSIDER)
  • Trump was warned in January of Covid-19’s devastating impact, memos reveal (THE GUARDIAN)
  • Trump Was Warned About Virus Threat In More Than A Dozen Intelligence Reports In January, February (KAIESER HEALTH NEWS)
  • Trump Received Intelligence Briefings On Coronavirus Twice In January (NPR)
  • Trump Aide Warned Early on of Deadly US Coronavirus Outbreak (VOA NEWS)

(The italicized articles are completely debunked by information below – the others are highly questionable, the ones that have unnamed sources that is, and other portions of them are called into question by the timeline below.)

Besides the obvious question of, “which Western leader do you look to as a shining example of reacting in January to the crisis?” I could have easily responded to these papers who spread stories from a single anonymous source as if they are all different stories based on different [again, unnamed] sources, which, their practice of has undone almost all their stories [one example, another, and another] on the Russian Collusion Hoax, like this,

  • Memory Hole: What the Media Wants You to Forget About Their Biased Coronavirus Coverage (PJ-MEDIA)
  • The Media’s Top Lies and Spins About COVID-19 (REAL CLEAR POLITICS)
  • The Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus (PJ-MEDIA)
  • The China Virus Pandemic: COVID-19 Response and Recovery (PATRIOT POST)
  • Pollak: Democrats Pushed Impeachment While Coronavirus Spread (BREITBART)
  • China hid extent of coronavirus outbreak, US intelligence reportedly says (CNBC)
  • China deliberately hid coronavirus, admonished whistleblowers (WASHINTON TIMES)
  • Fauci points to China for late realization coronavirus was his ‘worst nightmare’ (WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
  • China admits to destroying coronavirus samples, insists it was for safety (NY POST)
  • China confirms US accusations that it destroyed early samples of the novel coronavirus, but says it was done for ‘biosafety reasons’ (BUSINESS INSIDER)
  • China pressured WHO to delay global coronavirus warning: report (NY POST)
  • China’s president Xi Jinping ‘personally asked WHO to hold back information about human-to-human transmission and delayed the global response by four to six WEEKS’ at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, bombshell report claims (THE DAILY MAIL)

MY OWN SITE:

However, this does nothing to prove or disprove a point. So, I merely went to the first point made in his first linked article at AXIOS, quoting the NYTs:

AXIOS:

On Jan. 18, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first briefed Trump on the threat of the virus in a phone call, the New York Times reports. Trump made his first public comments about the virus on Jan. 22, saying he was not concerned about a pandemic and that “we have it totally under control.”

NEW YORK TIMES:

Even after Mr. Azar first briefed him about the potential seriousness of the virus during a phone call on Jan. 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr. Trump projected confidence that it would be a passing problem.

“We have it totally under control,” he told an interviewer a few days later while attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “It’s going to be just fine.”

(NEW YORK TIMES)

Now, much like the Left’s favorite thing to do, they take Trump out of context and use this false context to create a straw man and then bludgeon it. Why did Trump say it was going to be fine? Because, according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Alex Azar “oversold his agency’s progress in the early days and didn’t coordinate effectively across the health-care divisions under his purview.” Trump could only report what Alex told him on the 18th.

But this January 18th discussion is not proven to have even taken place, all we have again are unnamed sources: Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were ‘alarmist’, according to The Washington Post” (DAILY MAIL). And again, NEWSMAX discusses that WALL STREET JOURNAL article, saying:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar waited weeks to brief President Donald Trump on the coronavirus threat and oversold the progress of developing an effective test for the virus, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The newspaper said that as of Jan. 29, Azar had assured Trump the coronavirus outbreak was under control. And during the meeting with Trump, Azar said the government had never mounted a better interagency response to a crisis.

But that isn’t the only story to the story. I do not think this even reported by anonymous sources actually happened. The same people that wrongly reported using anonymous sources are now the same people using anonymous sources.

News media figures advancing “Trump-Russia collusion” narratives are now spreading misinformation about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus outbreak as part of a “permanent coup,” […..]

The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, recently alleged that Trump was issued repeated warnings about the coronavirus through a dozen classified daily briefings between January and February.

“An article in the Washington Post … said that in [his] presidential daily briefings, Trump repeatedly ignored warnings of the coronavirus,” Smith recalled. Acting DNI Richard Grenell tweeted at the authors of this piece. [He] said. ‘That’s not true. We told you this is not true, and yet you only included our denial in the ninth paragraph.’”

Smith continued, “So these two Washington Post journalists were a core Russiagate conspiracy team. Again, unfortunately, we’re seeing the same thing unfold again and again, and that’s why the title of the book is The Permanent Coup.”

(BREITBART)

And the LEGAL INSURRECTION does a bang-up job on the same subject:

According to the Washington Post, the president’s classified daily briefings included “warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat.”

The unnamed sources were foregrounded, while an actual named source refuting the claim was not mentioned until paragraph eight:

A White House spokesman disputed the characterization that Trump was slow to respond to the virus threat. “President Trump rose to fight this crisis head-on by taking early, aggressive historic action to protect the health, wealth and well-being of the American people,” said spokesman Hogan Gidley. “We will get through this difficult time and defeat this virus because of his decisive leadership.”

As if that’s not bad enough, it’s only in the ninth paragraph that WaPo gets around to noting that the suggestion the president ignored his presidential daily briefing (PDB) has been denied by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the office responsible for the PDB.

  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is responsible for the PDB. In response to questions about the repeated mentions of coronavirus, a DNI official said, “The detail of this is not true.” The official declined to explain or elaborate.

So WaPo contacted the DNI about claims the president ignored Wuhan coronavirus warnings in Jan/Feb PDB’s, and the DNI responded that the “detail of this is not true.” What do they need to explain here?  Maybe WaPo needs to provide its list of questions so that we can make that determination ourselves?  I’m pretty sure the context would greatly improve our understanding of the DNI responseand undermine the WaPo smear, thus the absence of said context.

It’s not actually clear what the point of the WaPo article is except to smear the president with the false implication that his administration ignored the Wuhan coronavirus until March.  This smear is completely and demonstrably false.

Of course, the mindless, anti-Trump stenographers who make up the legacy and leftstream media “covered” the questionable story, all linking to this flimsy WaPo hit piece that provides no evidence to support—and that actually refutes—its own claim.

  • Business Insider: “Trump’s daily briefings warned about COVID-19 at least a dozen times before the US outbreak, but he ‘failed to register’ the threat”
  • CNN: “The intelligence community did its job, but Trump didn’t do his”
  • MSN: “Trump reportedly ignored intel briefings on coronavirus threat”
  • NYMag: “Trump Informed of Coronavirus Threat in January in Briefings He’s Known Not to Read: Report”
  • CNN (again): “Washington Post: US intelligence warned Trump in January and February as he dismissed coronavirus threat”

Setting aside for the moment the fact that a global pandemic of this sort is new to everyone in the world and that no one, including top virologists, has answers, keep in mind that the first U.S. death from Wuhan coronavirus was reported on February 29th in Seattle.

What was Trump doing about the Wuhan coronavirus in January and February when he was supposedly ignoring the potential crisis?

Oh, right, setting up a coronavirus task force and issuing travel restrictions on China, well before the first U.S. death occurred.  How did he know to take these actions if he was ignoring his daily briefings?  Weird, right?

(READ THE REST – EXCELLENT POSTit includes a timeline as well)

Mollie Hemingway says it best:

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

THE FEDERALIST has a printing of the HHS timeline for January that shows that the propositions made by these Leftist newspapers are not revealing the whole timeline to their readers:

The Wall Street Journal should do a lot better; they asked Azar for the truth. He gave it to them. They chose not to report it. For those who want to know, here is HHS’s offical timeline of what happened in January:

December 31: CDC, including Director Robert Redfield, learns of a “cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology” reported in Wuhan, China.
January 1: CDC begins developing situation reports, which are shared with HHS.
January 3: Director Redfield emails and speaks on the phone with Dr. George Gao, Director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
January 3: Director Redfield speaks with Secretary Azar, and HHS notifies the National Security Council (NSC).
January 4: Director Redfield emails Dr. Gao again and offers CDC assistance, stating, “I would like to offer CDC technical experts in laboratory and epidemiology of respiratory infectious diseases to assist you and China CDC in identification of this unknown and possibly novel pathogen.”
January 6: At the request of Secretary Azar, Director Redfield sends formal letter to China CDC offering full CDC assistance.
January 6: CDC issues a Level 1 Travel Watch for China.
January 6: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci begins doing interviews on the outbreak.
January 7: CDC establishes a 2019 nCoV Incident Management Structure to prepare for potential U.S. cases and to support the investigation in China or other countries, if requested.
January 8: CDC distributes an advisory via the Health Alert Network, which communicates to state and local public health partners, alerting healthcare workers and public health partners of the outbreak.
January 9: CDC and FDA begin collaborating on a diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus.
January 10: China shares viral sequence, allowing NIH scientists to begin work on a vaccine that evening.

JANUARY 11: FIRST DEATH REPORTED IN CHINA
JANUARY 13: 41 CASES IN CHINA, FIRST CASE REPORTED OUTSIDE CHINA

January 13: NIH shares their vaccine sequence with a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
January 14: The National Security Council begins daily Novel Coronavirus Policy Coordination Council meetings.
January 14: WHO tweets: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
January 17: CDC and Customs and Border Protection began enhanced screening of travelers from Wuhan at three airports that receive significant numbers of travelers from that city, expanded in the following week to five airports, covering 75–80 percent of Wuhan travel.
January 17: CDC hosts its first tele-briefing on the virus, with Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who emphasizes “this is a serious situation” and “we know [from the experience of SARS and MERS that] it’s crucial to be proactive and prepared.”
January 17: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming weeks and months, for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for the novel coronavirus, includingbiosafety guidelines for laboratories.
January 18: CDC publishes interim guidance on how to care for novel coronavirus patients at home who do not require hospitalization.
January 20: The Chinese government confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus.

JANUARY 21: FIRST U.S. CASE CONFIRMED (FROM TRAVEL)[1]

January 21: CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center.
January 21: The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR) begins holding market research calls with industry leading diagnostics companies to gauge their interest in developing diagnostics for the novel coronavirus and to encourage initiating development activities.
January 21: CDC holds its second tele-briefing on the virus, with officials from Washington State, to discuss the first U.S. case, and Dr. Messonnier, who notes “CDC has been proactively preparing for an introduction of the virus here” and that a CDC team was deployed to Washington.
January 21: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming months, on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in homes and other settings.
January 21: Secretary Azar discusses coronavirus with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business Network, noting “we have been heavily engaged at the outset” of the outbreak, with the CDC and the rest of HHS working under the President’s direction to develop testing and alert healthcare providers.
January 22: Secretary Azar signs a memorandum from CDC Director Redfield determining that the novel coronavirus could imminently become an infectious disease emergency, which allows HHS to send a request to the Office of Management and Budget to access $105 million from the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund.
January 22: FDA, working with test developers, shares an authorization application template with a diagnostic test developer for the first time.
January 22: ASPR stands up an interagency diagnostics working group with BARDA, CDC, FDA, NIH, and the Department of Defense (DOD).
January 22: HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement began flagging any children referred from China for risk assessments and, if indicated by their travel and exposure history, for quarantine for up to 14 days before being placed in the general community of the shelter. Screenings expanded to children referred from Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea on March 2.

JANUARY 22: ALL OUTBOUND TRAINS AND FLIGHTS FROM WUHAN CANCELED

January 23: ASPR convenes a Disaster Leadership Group (DLG), to align government-wide partners regarding the outbreak situation, communications strategies, and the potential medical countermeasure pipeline. The same week, conversations begin with manufacturers of N95 masks, enabling mask production on U.S. soil to rise from about 250 million a year in January to about 640 million a year in March.
January 24: ASPR forms three government-wide task forces—on healthcare system capacity and resilience, development of medical countermeasures (diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines), and supply chains—as part of work under Emergency Support Function 8 of the National Response Framework.
January 24: CDC hosts its third tele-briefing on the virus, with Dr. Nancy Messonnier and officials from Illinois, where CDC has deployed a team to respond to the second U.S. case, from travel. Dr. Messonnier notes, “We are expecting more cases in the U.S., and we are likely going to see some cases among close contacts of travelers and human to human transmission.”
January 24: CDC publicly posts its assay for the novel coronavirus, allowing the global community to develop their own assays using the CDC design.
January 25: Five days before WHO’s declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, Secretary Azar preemptively notifies Congress of his intent to use $105 million from the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund.

JANUARY 26: FIVE U.S. CASES CONFIRMED, ALL TRAVEL-RELATED

January 26: ASPR holds first meetings of healthcare resilience, medical countermeasure development, and supply chain task forces, which continue several times a week or daily in the coming weeks.
January 27: In a Washington, D.C., speech, Secretary Azar shares that HHS is “proactively preparing for the arrival of the novel coronavirus on our shores,” noting that “the novel coronavirus is a rapidly changing situation, and we are still learning about the virus.” “While the virus poses a serious public health threat, the immediate risk to Americans is low at this time,” Azar says, noting that he spoke on the morning of January 27 with China’s Minister of Health and WHO Director-General Tedros speak to discuss the novel coronavirus.
January 27: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who notes that new travel recommendations are coming and that “there may be some disruptions” to Americans’ lives as a result of the public health response, but that “this virus is not spreading in the community” in the U.S.
January 27: CDC and State Department issue Level 3 “postpone or reconsider travel” warnings for all of China.
January 27: FDA begins providing updates about processes for approval and authorization to developers of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other countermeasures for the novel coronavirus.
January 27: CDC’s Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, Jay Butler, holds a call with the nation’s governors on the novel coronavirus.
January 28: HHS hosts press briefing by Secretary Azar, Dr. Fauci, Director Redfield, and Dr. Messonnier. Azar says, “Americans should know that this is a potentially very serious public health threat, but, at this point, Americans should not worry for their own safety.” He underscores, “This is a very fast moving, constantly changing situation…. Part of the risk we face right now is that we don’t yet know everything we need to know about this virus. But, I want to emphasize, that does not prevent us from preparing and responding.”
January 28: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming months, for airline crews regarding the novel coronavirus.
January 29: The White House announces the establishment of the Coronavirus Task Force, which begins daily meetings.
January 29: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Messonnier, who notes that “despite an aggressive public health investigation to find new cases [in the U.S.], we have not.”
January 29: CDC posts infection prevention and control recommendations for novel coronavirus patients in healthcare settings, updated regularly in the coming months.
January 29: The Chinese government sends email to HHS acknowledging offer of U.S. expert assistance; HHS begins soliciting nominees for mission from across the department.
January 29: ASPR, CDC, FDA, NIAID, and DOD host a listening session with industry—1,468 participants—on medical countermeasure development, health system preparedness, supply resilience, and medical surge needs.
January 29: The first repatriation flight from Wuhan, China arrives at March Air Reserve Base in California, beginning the safe repatriation of Americans and marking the first use of federal quarantine power in more than 50 years. The operation eventually totals more than 3,000 repatriations, with citizens from Wuhan and passengers from cruise ships. Repatriated Americans praise the work of the quarantine teams—including a couple who spent an extended honeymoon at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

JANUARY 30: SIXTH AND SEVENTH CASES CONFIRMED IN THE U.S., CLOSE CONTACTS OF TRAVEL-RELATED CASE

January 30: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Director Redfield, Dr. Messonnier, and officials from Illinois, where a sixth case is identified, in a spouse of a confirmed case who had traveled to China. Director Redfield notes that most cases around the world outside of China are close contacts of travelers, and “the full picture of how easy and how sustainable this virus can spread is unclear.” (A seventh case is identified later that evening.)
January 30: Department of State issues Level 4 warning, “do not travel,” for all of mainland China.
January 30: The Trump Administration hosts a call with Secretary Azar, Director Redfield, Dr. Fauci, and others with the nation’s governors to present the Administration’s action plan on responding to the outbreak.
January 30: In an appearance on Fox News, Secretary Azar notes that, whether the WHO declares a public health emergency of international concern (declared January 31), “That doesn’t change anything about what we are doing here in the United States.The President is ensuring that we are proactively preparing and also taking the necessary steps to prevent or mitigate any potential further spread here in the United States.”
January 30: Trump Administration budget officials begin discussions about funding needed for development of vaccines and therapeutics, purchases of Personal Protective Equipment for the Strategic National Stockpile, surveillance and testing, and state and local support.
January 30: ASPR launches a coronavirus portal to receive market research packages and meeting requests from industry stakeholders interested in developing or manufacturing medical countermeasures.
January 31: At the recommendation of his public health officials, President Trump issues historic restrictions on travel from Hubei and mainland China, effective February 2.
January 31: Secretary Azar signs a declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency, which allowed HHS to begin using a range of emergency authorities and flexibilities, and, together with other subsequent declarations, would allow emergency flexibilities for healthcare providers. At a White House briefing, he notes, “The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and with these and our previous actions, we are working to keep the risk low. It is likely that we will continue to see more cases in the United States in the coming days and weeks, including some limited person-to-person transmission.”
January 31: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Messonnier, who notes possible reports of asymptomatic transmission and says, “We are preparing as if this were the next pandemic, but we are hopeful still that this is not and will not be the case.”
January 31: FDA holds a virtual meeting with American Clinical Laboratory Association about the emergency use authorization application process.

Yes, Trump acted as soon as the news of the virus was available. And as we know from the results, stringency of lockdowns did not translate into how many deadly infections there were:

(Click Graphic To Enlarge)


While not a gauge of whether the decisions taken were the right ones, nor of how strictly they were followed, the analysis gives a clear sense of each government’s strategy for containing the virus. Some — above all Italy and Spain — enforced prolonged and strict lockdowns after infections took off. Others — especially Sweden — preferred a much more relaxed approach. Portugal and Greece chose to close down while cases were relatively low. France and the U.K. took longer before deciding to impose the most restrictive measures.

But, as our next chart shows, there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.

(BLOOMBERG)

Pelosi’s Legacy | UPDATED

UPDATED BELOW…

(More at NOQ REPORT)


UPDATE


As an UPDATE… she was planning this all along… it wasn’t like “my emotions got the best of me.” No, she premeditated the act.:

(More at the NEW YORK POST)

JONATHAN TURLEY writes on his website about the tradition Nancy trampled on:

Forty-four years ago, I walked on to the floor of the House of Representatives as a new Democratic 15-year-old page from Chicago.  I stood and marveled at the beehive of activity on the floor in the People’s House. I can still remember that moment because it forged a bond and reverence that has never weakened for me.  As a Democratic leadership page during the speakership of Tip O’Neill, I watched some of the most passionate and important debates of the generation from the Neutron Bomb to civil rights legislation to sweeping national park bills.  The country was deeply divided, but both parties maintained the tradition of civility and decorum.  I was struck how members, even in the heat of furious debates, would not attack each other by name and followed rigid principles of decorum. They understood that they were the custodians of this institution and bore a duty to strengthen and pass along those traditions to the next generation.

That is why I was (and remain) so offended by this display. I believe that President Trump himself is worthy of criticism for not shaking the hand of Pelosi. I also did not approve of aspects of his speech, including bestowing the Medal of Freedom on Rush Limbaugh in the gallery like a reality show surprise scene. There was much to object to in the address, but presidents often make comments that enrage or irritate speakers.

However, none of that excuses Pelosi. At that moment, she represents the House as an institution — both Republicans and Democrats. Instead, she decided to become little more than a partisan troll from an elevated position. The protests of the Democratic members also reached a new low for the House. Pelosi did not gavel out the protest. She seemed to join it.

It was the tradition of the House that a speaker must remain in stone-faced neutrality no matter what comes off that podium. The tradition ended last night with one of the more shameful and inglorious moments of the House in its history. Rather than wait until she left the floor, she decided to demonstrate against the President as part of the State of the Union and from the Speaker’s chair. That made it a statement not of Pelosi but of the House.

For those of us who truly love the House as an institution, it was one of the lowest moments to unfold on the floor….

And from THE HILL, Turley notes,

The House has its share of infamies, great and small, real and symbolic, and has been the scene of personal infamies from brawls to canings. But the conduct of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the State of the Union address this week will go down as a day of infamy for the chamber as an institution. It has long been a tradition for House Speakers to remain stoic and neutral in listening to the address. However, Pelosi seemed to be intent on mocking President Trump from behind his back with sophomoric facial grimaces and head shaking, culminating in her ripping up a copy of his address.

Her drop the mic moment will have a lasting impact on the House. While many will celebrate her trolling of the president, she tore up something far more important than a speech. Pelosi has shredded decades of tradition, decorum and civility that the nation could use now more than ever. The House Speaker is more than a political partisan, particularly when carrying out functions such as the State of the Union address. A president appears in the House as a guest of both chambers of Congress. The House Speaker represents not her party or herself but the entirety of the chamber. At that moment, she must transcend her own political ambitions and loyalties.

Tensions for this address were high. The House impeachment managers sat as a group in front of the president as a reminder of the ongoing trial. That can be excused as a silent but pointed message from the Democrats. Trump hardly covered himself with glory by not shaking hands with Pelosi. I also strongly disliked elements of his address which bordered on “check under your seat” moments, and the awarding of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom inside the House gallery like a Mardi Gras bead toss. However, if Trump made the State of the Union look like Oprah, then Pelosi made it look like Jerry Springer.

What followed was an utter disgrace. First, Pelosi dropped the traditional greeting before the start of the address, “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.” Instead, she simply announced, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.” It was extremely petty and profoundly inappropriate. Putting aside the fact that this is not her tradition, but that of the House, it is no excuse to note that the president was impeached.

Such an indignity was not imposed on President Clinton during his own impeachment proceeding, and anyone respecting due process would note that Trump has been accused, not convicted, at this point in the constitutional process. Pelosi proceeded to repeatedly shake her head, mouth words to others, and visibly disagree with the address. It was like some distempered distracting performance art behind the president.

My revulsion over this has nothing to do with impeachment. Ten years ago, I wrote a column denouncing Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito for mouthing the words “not true” when President Obama used his address to criticize the court for its decision in the Citizens United case. I considered his response to be a disgrace and wrote a column criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts for not publicly chastising Alito for breach of tradition. Instead, Roberts seemed to defend Alito in criticizing Obama for his “very troubling” language and saying that it was unfair to criticize the court when the justices, “according to the requirements of protocol,” have “to sit there expressionless.” That was not unfair. That was being judicious.

[….]

Pelosi has demolished decades of tradition with this poorly considered moment. Of course, many will celebrate her conduct and be thrilled by the insult to Trump. However, even those of us who disagree with his policies should consider what Pelosi destroyed in her moment of rage. She shredded the pretense of governing with civility and dignity in the House. Notably, she did not wait to rip up her copy of the speech until after she left the House floor. Pelosi wanted to do it at the end of the speech, in front of the camera, with the president still in the chamber.

That act was more important to Pelosi than preserving the tradition of her office. In doing so, she forfeited the right to occupy that office. If Pelosi cannot maintain the dignity and neutrality of her office at the State of the Union, she should resign as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

Some More Impeachment Embarrassment for Democrats

MOST IMPORTANT to keep in mind as the viewer is immersed in this implosion of Democratic narratives:

The far-left Washington Post hid a bombshell under the anodyne headline “Americans are split on impeachment, just like they were before the public hearings”–  except, yeah, in the only states that matter, they are actually not split…

Buried under six paragraphs, we learn that, in almost all of the 2020 swing states, a majority oppose this hoax impeachment by a clear margin of 51 to 44 percent: [emphasis added throughout]

Battleground state polls show a more negative reaction to the impeachment inquiry, signaling more risk to Democrats and potential benefit for Trump. An average of 44 percent supported impeachment, with 51 percent opposed, averaging across a dozen October and November polls in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. That’s a flip from an average of national polls that finds support for impeachment narrowly edging opposition, 47 percent to 43 percent.

And this is not the first poll that shows impeachment backfiring in the only places that will matter next year.

The depressed support for impeachment in key states was first signaled by a series of New York Times-Siena College polls conducted in mid-October, which found between 51 and 53 percent opposing impeachment in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Let’s not forget that Wisconsin poll that shows 53 percent oppose impeachment, while only 40 percent disagree.

Even the best news for Democrats is bad news. These so-called impeachment hearings, even as rigged as they were by Democrats, even as hyped and supported as they were by the fake news media, did nothing to move the needle. Oh

(CLARION NEWS)

First up to bat here… Doug Collins’ opening Statement (his closing statement is good as well):

Matt Gaetz, whom PJ-MEDIA says “brought a blow torch to the impeachment hearings and set a glorious bonfire“:

WEASEL ZIPPERS notes the “objectivity” (videos) — and PJ-MEDIA laid down the law with this chicks Congressional statements:

She even peddled the nonsense in a published law review article. Karlan falsely wrote, “For five of the eight years of the Bush Administration, [they] brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own except for one case protecting white voters.”

Karlan’s sleight of hand might be interesting… if it were true. Sadly, for her credibility, it is demonstrably false, and she has never once corrected her false scholarship. Her fellow travelers never mention her falsehood and instead praise and elevate her, still.

This is demonstrably false; any visit to the DOJ website demonstrates this. Karlan says the Voting Section brought no cases to protect minorities under the Voting Rights Act in five of eight years — let’s look at the record:

2001 (1 of 1)

2002 (2 of 2)

2003 (3 of 3)

2004 (3 of 4)

  • No Section 2 case.

2005 (4 of 5)

2006 (5 of 6)

2007 (6 of 7)

2008 (7 of 8)

Even if Karlan were to claim she meant only “vote dilution cases” (commonly thought of as “redistricting” cases), she is still lying. Dilution cases were brought in four of the eight years, not three of the eight, as she falsely claims. In any event, it’s impossible to claim she only meant dilution cases: she made the bold, broad statement that the Bush DOJ “brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own” in five of eight years. Taken literally, Karlan’s claim is especially false, as cases under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act were brought — as we see above — in every year except 2004.

Perhaps in 2004 the DOJ lawyers were too busy suing Ventura County (Calif.), Yakima County (Wash.), Suffolk County (N.Y.), San Diego County (Calif.) and San Benito County (Calif.) under Section 203 of the same Voting Rights Act that Karlan claims the Bush administration didn’t enforce in five of eight years….

Wow… she is a nutter and wrong on facts. Damn — good job Dems. But the other people the Democrats chose are not as bad… right? Wrong. GATEWAY PUNDIT notes the RADICAL nature of Noah Feldman:

…Noah Feldman, the first impeachment ‘witness’ the Dems rolled out on Wednesday not only called for Trump’s impeachment shortly after Trump was sworn in, he actually argued in a NY Times op-ed titled, “Why Shariah?” that Islamic Sharia law is more humane than US law.

Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, bashed legal systems created by Western countries including the United States and argued Sharia law is more ‘just’ and ‘fair’ than the US Supreme Court.

Mr. Feldman actually believes that a medieval system of laws that chops off the hands of thieves, stones ‘adulterous women,’ blames the woman when she is raped by a man, publicly hangs and tosses homosexuals off of buildings, is more “progressive” and “humane” than Western laws.

“In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Shariah for a handful of offenses, we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation,” Feldman argued.

Feldman also claimed that the West “needs Shariah and Islam.”

JIHAD WATCH has some older article on this cat, here, and here for example. Another noteworthy questioning was by Ratliff:

Here is the FULL Republican counsel’s questioning of Turley:

 

Mueller’s Probe Is Under Internal Pressures

RED STATE does a BANG-UP job in the following list:

A comparison of the carnage at the very highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ to the complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump following over two years of investigations should tell Robert Mueller that it’s time to extricate himself, as gracefully as possible, from this fraud. He needs to admit defeat in his attempt to undo the results of a fair election.

Seamus Bruner of The Epoch Times has just put together a list of 25 DOJ and FBI officials who have resigned in the last year. Some of them, Rachel Brand for example, have left to take positions in the private sector. Mike Kortan has said he was planning to retire anyway. But many on this list have been fired, or forced out (largely in disgrace) or demoted, because of the Trump/Russia investigation.

FBI Departures:

  1. James Comey, director (fired)
  2. Andrew McCabe, deputy director (fired)
  3. Peter Strzok, counterintelligence expert (fired)
  4. Lisa Page, attorney (demoted; resigned)
  5. James Rybicki, chief of staff (resigned)
  6. James Baker, general counsel (resigned)
  7. Mike Kortan, assistant director for public affairs (resigned)
  8. Josh Campbell, special assistant to James Comey (resigned)
  9. James Turgal, executive assistant director (resigned)
  10. Greg Bower, assistant director for office of congressional affairs (resigned)
  11. Michael Steinbach, executive assistant director (resigned)
  12. John Giacalone, executive assistant director (resigned)

DOJ Departures:

  1. Sally Yates, deputy attorney general (fired)
  2. Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general (twice demoted)
  3. David Laufman, counterintelligence chief (resigned)
  4. Rachel Brand, deputy attorney general (resigned)
  5. Trisha Beth Anderson, office of legal counsel for FBI (demoted or reassigned*)
  6. John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general (resigned)
  7. Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general, congressional liaison (resigned)
  8. Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general (resigned)
  9. Matthew Axelrod, principal assistant to deputy attorney general (resigned)
  10. Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney, SDNY (firedalong with 45 otherS. Attorneys)
  11. Sharon McGowan, civil rights division (resigned)
  12. Diana Flynn, litigation director for LGBTQ civil rights (resigned)
  13. Vanita Gupta, civil rights division (resigned)
  14. Joel McElvain, assistant branch director of the civil division (resigned)

*Status Unclear

As I look at this list, I know it includes only a fraction of those who have risked their careers and their reputations because they simply couldn’t bear to see Donald Trump in the White House.

Before this is over, others will be added to the list. Perhaps even Rod Rosenstein. And there will likely be former top-level Obama officials caught in the net as well. Perjurers John Brennan and James Clapper come to mind.

In addition to the men and women who have been working against Trump in the DOJ and the FBI, there were/are employees in the State Department and the CIA, holdovers from the Obama administration, who are complicit.

The mainstream media has played a huge role in perpetuating this hoax. They have breathlessly distorted events to influence public opinion. Instead of reporting the news, they have worked overtime to shape it.

For an example of how the mainstream media has aided and abetted the left’s attempt to impeach Trump, we need to look no further than their outrage over the revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance….

Even contention in the ranks of the upper echelon of SPOOKS is starting to maske it’s way to the public as people “cover their asses”

THE HILL notes about the above:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that he thinks former CIA Director John Brennan‘s rhetoric is becoming an issue “in and of itself.”

“John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself,” Clapper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “John is subtle like a freight train and he’s gonna say what’s on his mind.”

Clapper’s comments came in response to an op-ed penned by Brennan in The New York Times this week, in which he wrote that President Trumpcolluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

Clapper said he empathized with Brennan, but voiced concerns for Brennan’s fiery rhetoric toward Trump and his administration.

“I think that the common denominator among all of us [in the intelligence community] that have been speaking up … is genuine concern about the jeopardy and threats to our institutions,” Clapper said.

Brennan’s claims drew criticism from some in the intelligence community who said the timing was suspect.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Thursday took aim at Brennan for “purport[ing] to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power.”

“If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the special counsel, not The New York Times,” Burr said……..

REMEMBER, Brennan has a shoddy intelligence past and had his clearance removed due to it — among other things. See my previous post entitled: Brennan Leaked Top Secret Info That Blew A US Operation

Pension vs. Prison – The Andrew McCabe Saga (Jonathan Turley)

This is with a YUGE hat-tip to WEASEL ZIPPERS:

As news and excited reactions pour down the collective American brainstem in a semi-rigorous attempt to make sense of Andrew McCabe‘s firing, one liberal legal expert and constitutional law professor is simply not there for partisan response efforts.

Instead, it appears McCabe’s ouster was in line with the law and he should probably be thankful he’s not facing criminal charges for the behavior that led to said ouster.

George Washington University School of Law Professor Jonathan Turley predicted McCabe’s firing some time ago. Turley discussed the firing today in an interview with CNN‘s Michael Smerconish.

First, Turley moved to dismiss widespread liberal accusations that McCabe’s firing was some sort of heavy-handed political payback by the Trump administration. Rather, Turley said, McCabe’s firing was a suggestion originally made by an Obama appointee–and therefore a suggestion Jeff Sessions simply could not ignore.

Turley noted:

[McCabe’s firing] was justified in the sense that these were career officials–at the Office of Professional Responsibility–that made this recommendation which is exceedingly rare. In fact, it’s unprecedented for someone in this position. These are not political appointees. The OPR, quite frankly, is not viewed as a particularly aggressive office. So, all of that makes this a relatively rare sanction coming from career officers. They clearly concluded that McCabe misled them–and that he misled them on one of the core issues they were investigating, not a collateral issue.

Smerconish then launched into an anecdote about his own past experience with the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) and stressed that the OIG was not really the type of government agency likely to succumb to political pressure. Turley agreed.

He said, “Everyone that I know of speaks highly of [Inspector General and Obama appointee Michael] Horowitz–he’s viewed as completely highly apolitical. This office is, as you note, insulated like a Sherman tank from any outside forces. What’s fascinating about the way this has all unfolded is not its outcome. I first said when I heard of the report and its recommendation that I thought it was a given that he would be fired. It would be very surprising for Sessions to turn down this type of rare recommendation from the career staff. After all, he followed a recommendation from career staff to recuse himself–and I think rightfully so.”

Then Turley got to his broader point about criminality. He said:

What’s going to create an issue going forward is whether there will be a criminal referral. Michael Flynn was indicted for making a false statement to investigators. Now, it’s true that they were looking at him for other crimes as well. But there will be some that will argue, “Why would you indict Michael Flynn, but a deputy FBI director is just worried about his pension, not prison?”

As Turley pointed out, Flynn’s indictment was entirely the result of Flynn’s own super-poor decision to lie about his otherwise legal behavior. Flynn was allowed to meet with Russians. That’s not currently a crime. Back-channel communications happen all the time and are completely aboveboard. Flynn did it to himself by lying about his lawful behavior after the fact.

(LAW & CRIME)

Former U.S. Attorney: Shoes Will Drop! (+ Article Dump)

“We Are Going to See Several Criminal Charges Against a Number of DOJ-FBI”

Here are the recent articles I have been reading….


 

 

 

 

Where Is The Dangerous Irresponsibility Jeopardizing National Security

HOT AIR pulls out an excellent point/quote by Jonathan Turley:

….However, he points out another problem which isn’t getting nearly as much attention. What happened to the dire threats to national security we were told were contained in this memo?

My greatest concern is what is not in the [memo]: classified information “jeopardizing national security.” Leaders like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared that the committee had moved beyond “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security” and “disregarded the warnings of the Justice Department and the FBI.”

Now we can read the memo. There is a sharp and alarming disconnect between the descriptions of Pelosi and the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Minority Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the actual document. It clearly does not contain information that would reveal sources or methods.

The memo reaffirms concerns over the lower standards that apply to FISA applications as well as the misuse of classification authority. Most of this memo references what was already known about the use of the dossier. What was added was testimonial evidence and details to the publicly known information. Yet, the FBI vehemently objected to the release of the memo as threatening “grave” consequences to national security…

The FBI opposition to declassification of this memo should be a focus of both Congress and the public. The memo is clearly designed to avoid revealing classified information. For civil libertarians, this is a rare opportunity to show how classified rules are misused for strategic purposes by these agencies. The same concern can be directed toward members who read this memo and represented to the public that the release would clearly damage national security.

In that first paragraph above, Turley is quoting the statement Pelosi put out about the memo on Tuesday. However, she made a similar claim on CNN during that contentious interview with Chris Cuomo. “Putting this aside in terms of tit for tat, which you seem to—well, with all due respect to you—trying to make it look like Democrats vs. [Republicans]. It isn’t about that,” Pelosi said. She added, “It’s about our national security.” In the same interview, she said, “We’re not talking about some issue that we’re having a fight about, we’re talking about our national security.”

The point is, this was raised many times this week by Democrats eager to prevent the release of the memo. In retrospect, it’s difficult to see how anyone could have thought it represented a grave threat to national security. Maybe the subsequent release of the Democrats’ own memo will shed some additional light on whatever threat they see in it, but at the moment it looks as if those warnings were overblown. As Turley puts it, “it proved to be an empty ‘grave’ after weeks of overheated hyperbole.”

Racist DNC Says Whites Not Welcome

Here is the e-mail via POWERLINE (click to enlarge):

The sentence reads: “I personally would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males, since they’re already in the majority.”

So much for being an “equal opportunity employer” I guess. Just curious: what’s it like to be a straight, cis-gendered white male working at the DNC? Do you have to begin every day genuflecting outside the office of the diversity coordinator, and apologizing for your “white privilege”? Do you have to go to regular de-tox sessions to shed your “toxic masculinity”?

PROFESSOR TURLEY says this about the above:

If this email is valid, Leader was engaging in flagrant discrimination at least in trying to avoid white male applicants.  Such practices violate state and federal laws.  She should be fired.  However, there is also the concern that Leader simply made express what may be a practice at the DNC in discriminating against some applicants or employees on the basis of their race or gender.

 

Obama’s Affordable Care Act Subsidy, Illegal (Turley)

TOWNHALL has this on the above:

…It’s the opinion of the courts, as the LA Times reported back in May of 2016–it’s unconstitutional:

House Republicans won Round 2 in a potentially historic lawsuit Thursday when a federal judge declared the Obama administration was unconstitutionally spending money to subsidize health insurers without obtaining an appropriation from Congress.

Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer broke new ground by ruling the GOP-controlled House of  Representatives had legal standing to sue the president over how he was enforcing his signature healthcare law.

On Thursday, she ruled the administration is violating a provision of the law by paying promised reimbursements to health insurers who provide coverage at reduced costs to low-income Americans.

The judge’s ruling, while a setback for the administration, was put on hold immediately and stands a good chance of being overturned on appeal.

[….]

Josh Blackman elaborated on this subsidy provision in National Review back in July:

In 2014, a federal judge concluded that with the so-called OPM fix, the “executive branch has rewritten a key provision of the ACA so as to render it essentially meaningless in order to save members of Congress and their staffs.” Allowing the administration to rewrite the law, he wrote, “would be a violation of Article I of the Constitution, which reposes the lawmaking power in the legislative branch.” However, because the plaintiffs in the lawsuit (Senator Ron Johnson and one of his staffers) were not personally injured by OPM’s policy — indeed they benefited — the case was dismissed for lack of standing. While the Obama administration was content to make these illegal payments, the Trump administration should halt them.

Congress is not the only beneficiary of such illegal largess. The ACA employed two strategies to make health insurance more affordable. Section 1401 of the law provides for the payment of subsidies to consumers to reduce premiums. Section 1402 provides payments to insurers to offset certain “cost sharing” fees, such as deductibles and co-pays. But while the ACA funds the subsidies under Section 1401 with a permanent appropriation, to date, Congress has not provided an annual appropriation for the cost-sharing subsidies under Section 1402.

Once again, where Congress would not act, President Obama did so unilaterally. The executive branch pretended that the ACA had actually funded Section 1402 all along, and it paid billions of dollars to insurers. Once again, Mr. Trump is exactly right that this is a “BAILOUT.” And, once again, the payments are a violation of the separation of powers.

Now, we have Jonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar at the George Washington University Law School, reiterating the point that the Obamacare subsidy provision was unconstitutional with Fox News’ Bret Baier last Friday…..

The Case Against James Comey | Jonathan Turley & Jay Sekulow

ruh roh shaggy! When Sekulow and Turley are on the same page, it has to bad!

Jonathan Turley comes out swinging! This is with a h-t to POWERLINE, and comes from THE HILL:

As a threshold matter, Comey asked a question with regard to Trump that he should now answer with regard to his own conduct. Comey asked why Trump would ask everyone to leave the Oval Office to speak with Comey unless he was doing something improper. Yet, Trump could ask why Comey would use a third party to leak these memos if they were his property and there was nothing improper in their public release.

In fact, there was a great deal wrong with their release, and Comey likely knew it. These were documents prepared on an FBI computer addressing a highly sensitive investigation on facts that he considered material to that investigation. Indeed, he conveyed that information confidentially to his top aides and later said that he wanted the information to be given to the special counsel because it was important to the investigation.

Many in the media have tried to spin this as not a “leak” because leaks by definition only involve classified information. That is entirely untrue as shown by history. Leaks involve the release of unauthorized information — not only classified information. Many of the most important leaks historically have involved pictures and facts not classified but embarrassing to a government. More importantly, federal regulations refer to unauthorized disclosures not just classified information.

Comey’s position would effectively gut a host of federal rules and regulations. He is suggesting that any federal employee effectively owns documents created during federal employment in relation to an ongoing investigation so long as they address the information to themselves. FBI agents routinely write such memos in investigations. They are called 302s to memorialize field interviews or fact acquisitions. They are treated as FBI information.

The Justice Department routinely claims such memos as privileged and covered by the deliberative process privilege and other privileges. Indeed, if this information were sought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) it would likely have been denied. Among other things, the Justice Department and FBI routinely claim privilege “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.”

Of course, Comey did not know if there was a privilege or classification claim by either the Justice Department or the White House because he never asked for review. He just woke up in the middle of night upset about Trump’s name calling and released the damaging information. In doing so, he used these memos not as a shield but a sword.

Besides being subject to nondisclosure agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and unclassified information. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641, which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”

The above video and the below is with thanks to POLITISTICK:

Appearing on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business, Farrell said that the memos Comey admitted to leaking were “property of the U.S. government” and that he “absconded with them.”

About Comey’s admitted leaking and the bombshell announcement that then-Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered Comey to downplay the FBI’s “criminal investigation” against Hillary Clinton to only just being a “matter,” as to sound more innocent with American voters, Chris Farrell told Lou Dobbs:

“It’s clear the FBI director was taking instructions from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Clearly, the attorney general was giving him talking points and he literally adopted them. 

This admission today is stunning. I would argue that Mr. Comey’s notes are the property of the United States government and that he absconded with them. 

Frankly, if I were the attorney general, about 20 minutes after his confession today in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Deputy U.S. Marshals would have raided his home and office, as well as Mr. Richman at Columbia Law School.”