The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
 The Phony Collusion Sessions
by Lewis Morris
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Hezbollah in Latin America
is a threat the US cannot ignore
by Emanuele Ottolenghi
{defenddemocracy.org} ~ The convergence of Iran-sponsored radical Islam with transnational organized crime in Latin America is a serious threat to the national security of the United States, especially in the tri-border area, or TBA, where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay converge... In this area, Hezbollah supporters and operatives engage in illicit activities that generate tens of millions of dollars for Iran’s Lebanese terror proxy, while laundering money for local organized crime. In some cases, their trade-based money laundering operations extend into the United States, posing a direct threat to the integrity of its financial system. Congress and the executive branch have a panoply of tools at their disposal to confront this menace. Yet since the last round of designations against the TBA-based Hezbollah financial activities in 2006, very little has been done to address the threat...This needs to change.  http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/emanuele-ottolenghi-hezbol...
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A New North Korea Sanctions Approach
by Anthony Ruggiero
{defenddemocracy.org} ~ The United Nations Panel of Experts reported in February that Pyongyang uses non-North Korean facilitators and front companies to evade UN sanctions. Since China and Russia continue to block meaningful UN sanctions against these networks of facilitators... the United States should lead an effort of like-minded countries (South Korea, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany) to punish these networks, effectively taking a page from the Iran sanctions playbook. The new C4ADS report and others like it have made important contributions to exposing these illicit networks, an objective that the U.S. government should also pursue. Pyongyang’s accelerating missile program and mature nuclear weapons capability are action-forcing events that require an immediate response. This paper provides six specific and actionable recommendations the United States and its partners should take right away to increase pressure on North Korea to cease it activities that harm the national security interests of the United States and, indeed, the world community... http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/anthony-ruggiero-a-new-nor...
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Drawing a “Broader Conclusion”
on Iran’s Nuclear Program
by Olli Heinonen
{defenddemocracy.org} ~ Under the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), key restrictions would expire if  the IAEA formally reaches a “broader conclusion” that Tehran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful... Such a conclusion would result in the lifting of the UN’s remaining non-nuclear sanctions, including the ban on ballistic missile testing and the conventional arms embargo. Spurring the IAEA to reach a broader conclusion as quickly as possible appears to be Iran’s goal. In a televised speech in the middle of May, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed his intention to engage in “lifting all the non-nuclear sanctions during the coming four years” – at least two years earlier than the JCPOA would otherwise allow...The minds of the Iranians, what terms.  http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/olli-heinonen1-drawing-a-b...
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Congress Seeks Embargo on Iran Airline
Linked to Terrorism as Tehran Targets U.S. Forces
by Adam Kredo
{freebeacon.com} ~ Congress is seeking new authorities that would enable it to expose and crack down on an Iranian state-controlled commercial airline known for transporting weapons and terrorist fighters to hotspots such as Syria... where Iranian-backed forces have begun launching direct attacks on U.S. forces in the country, according to new legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Congressional efforts to expose Iran's illicit terror networks more forcefully come as U.S. and European air carriers such as Boeing and AirBus move forward with multi-billion dollar deals to provide the Islamic Republic with a fleet of new airplanes, which lawmakers suspect Iran will use to amplify its terror operations...http://freebeacon.com/national-security/congress-seeks-embargo-iran...
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Adam Schiff Threatens to Violate
Constitution – Twice – with Independent Counsel
by General Counsel Ken Klukowski
{theacru.org} ~ Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) threatened to have Congress appoint a special counsel, despite the Supreme Court’s decision that it is unconstitutional for Congress to appoint any federal official... This decision came from a case so famous that the lawmaker almost certainly learned it as a student at Harvard Law School. Schiff tweeted Monday, “If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller. Don’t waste our time”. The Harvard Law professors who taught the ranking member of the House Select Intelligence Committee are probably disappointed with their former student because the Supreme Court in 1976 unanimously said Congress would violate the Constitution by doing so... http://www.theacru.org/adam-schiff-threatens-to-violate-constitutio...
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 The Phony Collusion Sessions 
By Lewis Morris: Democrats are always looking to stir up some drama in their ongoing witch hunt, er, investigation, into President Donald Trump and possible collusion with the Russians over election tampering. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the latest target in Senate testimony Tuesday, but this one didn't have much in the way of substance.
          Sessions' three-hour appearance was peppered with some biting back and forth with Democrat Senators, who on several occasions tried to put words in the AG's mouth. He was having none of it. Sessions made it clear from his opening statement that he was not going to be pushed around so that Democrats could score political points. "The suggestion that I participated in any collusion ... is an appalling and detestable lie," he insisted.
          Democrats came at Sessions on a number of points, one big one being his dealings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He admitted meeting with Kislyak during the 2016 Republican National Convention and once in his Senate office, which he did not disclose during his confirmation hearings. Democrats tried to make more of this, suggesting that he was ducking questions about possible inappropriate interactions with Russian officials.
          Sessions vigorously defended himself against the allegations, as well as suggestions in the media about meetings he may have had with Russian officials in 2016. "If any brief interaction occurred ... I do not remember it," Sessions said, adding that if there was a conversation with the Russian ambassador, it was "certainly nothing improper."
          Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian election tampering several weeks ago. He noted during his testimony, "I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false accusations."
          Sessions did not fall into the trap laid by questions about his private conversations with Trump regarding the investigation and the firing of FBI Director James Comey. He noted that those conversations were private and he was not comfortable going into detail. Sessions is absolutely right to avoid answering these questions, though Democrats clearly meant to get him on the record refusing to answer questions.
           Sessions also refuted former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week suggesting that Trump pressured Comey to drop the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He noted that Comey could have approached him or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is now overseeing the Russian investigation in the wake of Sessions rescuing himself. Comey did not do so.
          Sessions told the Intelligence Committee that he agreed that the FBI and the Justice Department needed to follow department policies regarding its contacts with the White House in such sensitive matters.
          Democrats also tried to play a rather absurd game of what-if by speculating what role Sessions would have in an alleged attempt to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel who will be considering any possible improprieties by the White House regarding the Russian hacking investigation.
          Sessions reminded the Committee that Rosenstein would be the person with the power to make such a call. Rosenstein was forced to ponder the same question Tuesday in a separate appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. He responded that he would only comply with an order to fire the special counsel if it was "lawful and appropriate."
          Why speculate about such a matter? There has been no proof or even suggestion by the White House that Mueller could be fired. Indeed, he has barely begun his work. It's simple: Democrats are eager to raise the specter of Watergate and the 1973 "Saturday Night Massacre," when President Richard Nixon fired the attorney general and deputy attorney general when they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
          It was a particularly tasteless and embarrassing line of questioning for both Sessions and Rosenstein to endure. Such speculation serves no purpose other than to stir up the Democrat donor base and keep the MSM churning out headlines equating Trump to Nixon, even though the only real connection between the two exists in the minds of the anti-Trump crowd.
          It's easy to see why Democrats were so aggressive with Sessions. Comey's testimony, much to leftist dismay, did not provide a smoking gun or a gotcha moment to nail Trump. In fact, Comey inadvertently reminded us of former Attorney General Loretta's Lynch's attempts to squelch the investigation into liar-Hillary Clinton's destruction of evidence and her own possible collusion with Russia and several other nations via the now-defunct liar-Clinton Foundation.
          Democrats, who once called for Comey's head on a pike, had hoped he would be their poster boy for yanking Trump out of the White House. Their MSM friends did their best to spin the former FBI Director's testimony into proof that Trump was playing fast and loose with the law. But they were only able to sell that lemon to those already committed to Trump's destruction.
          The problem with the Sessions testimony on Tuesday was that while he gave an honest and vigorous defense and laid out a logical argument, he may have only served to fuel the fires of the anti-Trump crowd. In a way, the heated exchanges between Sessions and Democrats may have played right into their hands. They'll push the idea in the media that the only reason Sessions got so testy is because he has something to hide. This will only prompt more questions and more calls for testimony and documents and anything at all that will give the public appearance that there is a crime somewhere. The whole point is to impede the Trump administration's ability to govern.
          And all the while special prosecutor Robert Mueller is waiting in the wings. The faux drama continues.  ~The Patriot Post
 
 

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