The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
On Capitol Hill, Growing Frustration With
FBI Secrecy About Russia Probe
by Byron York
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 Don't Believe the Hype 
Reading the headlines from much of the mainstream media's news reporting has become eerily similar to browsing the latest salacious tabloid covers in the check-out line at the local grocery store.
          According to The Washington Post and its unnamed sources, Donald Trump disclosed "highly classified information" to the Russian foreign minister which "jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State." One problem: National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster says these sources were not even present during Trump's meeting. As we noted yesterday, per McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, this dezinformatsiya was not the case. And yet the Post stands by the charges of its unnamed sources, and the Leftmedia at large demand Trump answer for his supposed careless, dangerous and maybe illegal action. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.
          And then on Tuesday, tag-teaming off the Post's successful scandal spin, The New York Times threw out its latest hearsay hit piece — the supposed existence of a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey. Once again according to unnamed sources, the Times alleges that in a meeting this past January between Trump and Comey, the president requested that the then-FBI director end an investigation into Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump's then-national security advisor. Now, the Times admits that it hasn't actually seen the memo, but suggests that it's legitimate anyway. No comment yet from Comey. One would think a responsible journalist would seek to both obtain an actual copy of the memo in question, authenticate its veracity and seek a comment from its author, before basing a blockbuster on hearsay.
          On a side note: If the implication of the memo turns out to be true, then obviously Trump has something to answer for. But Comey would also find himself in hot water for breaking the law by failing to report immediately to the Justice Department an attempt to interfere in a federal investigation, irrespective of who made the request. In other words, Comey would know better, and since he didn't act then, it implies that there's little substance to this story. It's just more rumor and speculation being passed off by the Times as legitimate news.
          Why did The Washington Post lower its journalistic standards to those of the National Enquirer? And when did The New York Times start answering to the execs at the Globe? When did mere hearsay and rumors reach the level of need-to-know reporting, and at what point did the account of "unnamed sources" rise to a level of greater legitimacy than statements from senior officials on record? While those questions may be somewhat hyperbolic, the fact of the matter is that MSM journalistic standards have taken a nose dive in the era of Trump.
          Once again, the Leftmedia objective is to take Trump down because they both enjoy an increase in readership and ad revenue and they object to Trump's reforming agenda. But honestly, Trump has made himself an easy target, and he's all too willing to get dirty with the pig. This injures him in two ways: It lends greater legitimacy to the MSM and it proves to distract both him and Republicans from plowing forward with enacting government reforms. ~The Patriot Post
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htt
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Democrat Demands Met Again – Mueller
Special Prosecutor As War On Trump Escalates
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ They’re popping the champagne at the DNC and in various swamp watering holes across the sewer that is our nation’s capital, one of the many traitors within the Trump administration has, as is typical, given in to Democrat demands... Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has named former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a longtime associate of the fired former FBI Director James Comey, as the Special Prosecutor they’ve been lusting for. As Catherine Herridge noted, Comey and Mueller stood together in opposition to a White House surveillance program. We can only imagine whether or not their camaraderie extends to today and to what degree the firing has trigger an angry reaction within the former Director, Mueller. Now the charade begins in earnest. Perhaps his first act should be to recuse himself from the investigation due to that relationship, an act that we might see if Mueller were in actuality the man of integrity that is alleged. We remember when Comey was held in that same undeserved high regard... http://rickwells.us/democrat-demands-met-again-mueller-special-pros...
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Have the Democrats and
the Media Signed a Suicide Pact?
by M.J. Randolph
{truthrevolt.org} ~ Patricia McCarthy over at the American Thinker has a provocative article about how absolutely stark raving mad the media and the Democrats have gone over the election of Donald Trump... McCarthy believes their hyperbole is going to backfire: Yet the more they double- and triple-down on their strategy and tactics, the more the American people realize how thoroughly demented are the media and their Democrat lapdogs.  The more they contrive new tales of misconduct, chaos and/or incompetence, the more the rest of us realize how threatened they are by his  successes:   unemployment is down, illegal border crossings are down, the stock market is just fine, and the rescue of our medical care has begun. The more the media and the Democrats are driven mad by his policies -- the reining in of the EPA, reviewing liar-nObama's federal land grabs, enforcing immigration laws that liar-nObama did not, taking hard lines on Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, ISIS, the more we anti-establishment folks out here in flyover country cheer his every move... http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/have-democrats-and-media-signed-suicide-pact
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While Media Distracts with Russia/Trump,
DNC Embroiled in Two Major Lawsuits
by Trey Sanchez
{truthrevolt.org} ~ The 24/7 news cycle of the alleged Trump/Russia connection rages on. Meanwhile, it’s crickets all over the media about the major class action lawsuits against the Democratic National Committee... One lawsuit began back in October of 2016 over the Democrat Party, led then by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, putting its weight behind liar-Hillary Clinton for the nomination and leaving Bernie Sanders to fend for himself. But there’s another lawsuit alleging the DNC failed to pay 50 workers overtime at the convention, according to the Washington Examiner:... http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/while-media-distracts-russiatrump-d...
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Comey memo belies claims of high FBI morale
by Paul Sperry
{wnd.com} ~ Former FBI Director James Comey’s decision last year to clear liar-Hillary Clinton of gross negligence in handling classified information was met with so much frustration within the FBI that Comey felt compelled to put out a bureau-wide memo to employees defending his actions... He chose to further explain himself in meetings with groups of disgruntled veteran FBI agents during visits to field offices around the country. The moves appear to contradict last week’s congressional testimony by acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who swore his newly fired boss “enjoyed broad support” among the FBI’s rank-and-file and that bureau “morale has always been good.”... http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/comey-memo-belies-claims-of-high-fbi-mor...
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FLASHBACK: Bannon - "If You Think They Are Going To Give You Your Country Back Without A Fight, You Are Sadly Mistaken"
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MARK LEVIN: "The Trump Administration Is Within Steps Of Being Destroyed"
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Hannity: The swamp wants to stop Trump and stay in power
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TUCKER: Tangles with Dem over the left's "hysterical" calls for Trump's impeachment
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Trump References Comey Controversy: No Politician Has Ever Been Treated Worse Than Me
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Congressman Louie Gohmert: I'm "Amazed Comey Appears to Be Confessing to a Crime"
VIDEO: http://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/5438398076001
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TUCKER: "Tell Maxine Waters Her Dream Just Died"
VIDEO:  http://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/5438681977001
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On Capitol Hill, Growing Frustration With
FBI Secrecy About Russia Probe
by Byron York
{townhall.com} ~Calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russia-Trump affair have multiplied in the days since President Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Almost invariably, Democrats and others calling for a prosecutor say such a step is needed to "get to the bottom" of the matter.

Yet there is still uncertainty among the public about whether anything lies at the bottom of the Russia-Trump controversy. Is there a crime down there? No one seems to know. The reason is simple: The FBI, which has been investigating alleged ties between Trump campaign figures and Russia for ten months, won't say.

To question after question; not just from the press, but from lawmakers with a constitutional responsibility to oversee the FBI, the Justice Department, and the intelligence agencies -- answers have been withheld on the grounds that they are classified, or the subject of an ongoing investigation, or both.

"I can't answer that," said Comey on many, many occasions during oversight hearings on the Russia affair.

"My answer would require me to reveal classified information, and so I can't answer that," said former acting attorney general Sally Yates in the same setting.

"I can't comment on that," said former intelligence chief James Clapper.

Now, as the Russia-Trump controversy festers, there are signs of growing impatience with the secrecy. Some lawmakers -- among them the Republican chairman and the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- are pushing the FBI and other agencies involved to let Congress know what they are doing. In particular, lawmakers want to see evidence -- if there is any -- to show why the investigation is focusing not just on Russian misdeeds -- there's no doubt there are plenty of those to investigate -- but on Trump campaign figures, and possibly on the president himself.

On Friday, Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to FBI acting director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding briefings on the latest in the Russia investigation. The last paragraph of the letter indicated that the senators' patience is running thin. "Please contact staff by 5:00 p.m. today to schedule the briefings," Grassley and Feinstein wrote. "Thank you for your immediate attention to these important matters."

Not by tomorrow, not by Monday, not by the end of the week. Grassley and Feinstein wanted a response by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the letter. Given that the power of both parties is behind the request, they will most likely get what they want.

The day before, on Thursday, Grassley and Feinstein made news when they strongly suggested that Comey told them President Trump is not under investigation in the Russia matter. In a public committee meeting, Grassley said that when Trump said recently he had been informed he is not under investigation, "Sen. Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the president's statement."

"I very much appreciate what you've said," Feinstein said to Grassley. "And it's very accurate ..."

A short time later, a Republican aide explained that Grassley was deeply concerned by last week's events. "We've seen an uptick in speculation about what has or hasn't happened," the aide said, "and what has or has not been found -- and that's not helpful if it is speculation not based on anything other than rumor or anything factual."

Now, others on Capitol Hill are expressing similar concerns. "It's hard to do oversight, especially on counter-intelligence matters, with so little information," said a Senate Republican Sunday. "That's been true for months."

"There is a counter-intelligence investigation focused on Russia, but the media and the Democrats conflate that with there being a criminal investigation focused on Trump," added a House Republican. "The FBI has fed into this by being coy."

"Coy" is an understatement. The result of the dozens of questions left unanswered by Comey, Yates, Clapper, and others is that the public -- and, to a lesser extent, lawmakers themselves -- don't know the basics of the Russia-Trump matter.

But what to do? Classified information is still classified information. Ongoing investigations are conducted in secrecy except, of course, for leaks. How can Congress pry information out of the agencies?

"Congress can always coerce the FBI," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an email exchange Sunday. "Power of the purse. Change the law."

"Senators can make it an issue in the confirmation process for a new FBI director," the House Republican quoted earlier said.

Maybe so. Right now, though, it appears that bipartisan pressure, like that coming from Grassley and Feinstein, might help get information out. Does all of the information the FBI and other agencies have classified actually need to be classified? Can nothing more be made public? Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate could push hard on those questions.

In addition, Grassley and Feinstein want the FBI to brief every member of the Judiciary Committee, not just the chairman and ranking member. Just as a practical matter -- multiplying the number of people on the committee who know the facts by 10 -- that will certainly make it more likely that information will get out.

If nothing changes, the country could be facing months and months of accusations without voters knowing their basis in fact -- or lack of basis in fact. Meanwhile, the FBI and other agencies could remain "coy" while Democrats seek to create the impression in the public's mind that Trump and his aides colluded with Russia to throw the 2016 election. If the Trump team did that, the public needs to know. If they didn't, the public needs to know that, too. Soon.

https://townhall.com/columnists/byronyork/2017/05/17/on-capitol-hil...

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