The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
What the Trump dossier criminal referral means
by Byron York
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Thursday Top Headlines
by Political Editors:  Pulosi’s “Armageddon” update: Walmart to raise its starting wage to $11, give some employees bonuses following tax bill passage (CNBC)
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Record GOP exodus from Congress (NPR)
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Trump administration opens door to let states impose Medicaid work requirements (The Washington Post)
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Administration will extend sanctions relief for Iran (Associated Press)
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Trump signs law to give Border Patrol better tools to stop smuggling of fentanyl (The Washington Times)
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Immigration agents target 7-Eleven stores in nationwide sweep (The Washington Post)
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IRS paid $20 million to collect $6.7 million in tax debts (The Fiscal Times)
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NYC mayor to sue “Big Oil” for causing Hurricane Sandy or something (Hot Air)
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Trump puts federal libel law on 2018 agenda, escalating complaints against media (USA Today)
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U.S. prison population drops for third year in a row (The Washington Free Beacon)
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Policy: A ludicrous ruling that Trump can’t end DACA (National Review)
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Policy: Keeping fossil fuels underground makes no sense (U.S. News & World Report)  ~The Patriot Post
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ICE Cracks Down On 7-Eleven 
In Pre-Dawn Raids – Much More To Come
{rickwells.us} ~ Removing the magnets that attract illegals, such as American jobs and social programs... has long been recognized as an effective tool in fighting the foreign invasion. As such it’s been largely ignored by open borders governments in the past. That’s changing with the Trump administration, which is now placing an emphasis on workplace enforcement and employer sanctions. Evidence of the new return to enforcement of the laws enacted during the 1986 amnesty came during the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, as ICE agents targeted 7-Eleven convenience stores. In what is described as the largest operation against a single employer under the Trump presidency, ICE agents conducted field audits of approximately 100 stores, with possible criminal charges being the result. Officers arrested 21 illegals during the operation...   https://rickwells.us/ice-7-eleven-raids/
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7 Revelations From Fusion 
GPS Founder’s Senate Testimony
by CHUCK ROSS
One of the biggest takeaways from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony... is that he has no independent proof that the allegations made in the infamous Trump dossier are accurate. An extensive review of Simpson’s 312-page Aug. 22 interview transcript shows that his strongest evidence for believing the dossier’s accuracy is that he trusts Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the 35-page document. “Chris, as I say, has a sterling reputation as a person who doesn’t exaggerate, doesn’t make things up, doesn’t sell baloney,” Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal, told Senate investigators in the interview.  But when pressed for independent evidence to support the dossier’s allegations, Simpson demurred. He also refused to discuss dossier sources or to say whether he had vetted any of them...  http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/10/7-revelations-from-fusion-gps-fou...
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Israeli seen as heir to Netanyahu 
says two-state idea is over
by David Wainer & Jonathan Ferzigery
{jewishworldreview.com} ~ An Israeli politician considered a leading candidate to succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said... world powers should stop trying to create a Palestinian state. Twenty-five years of failed diplomacy show a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn't realistic and a fresh approach is needed, Likud Party politician Gideon Sa'ar said Tuesday in an interview near Tel Aviv. The former education and interior minister has said he'll run for prime minister after Netanyahu, who is facing a police investigation into alleged corruption, leaves office. "The fact that people still say 'two-state solution' doesn't make it a solution -- it's a two-state slogan," Sa'ar said. "It's no longer rational to support a two-state solution. We must think about reality."...  http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0118/netanyahu_heir.php3
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American Judge 
Reinstates Hamas/AMP Lawsuit
by Abha Shankar
{jewishworldreview.com} ~ A Chicago federal judge on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit alleging that a virulently anti-Israel group and several of its activists are... "alter egos and/or successors" of a defunct U.S. based Hamas-support network previously found liable for the murder of an American teen in a 1996 terror attack. American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves "resistance" against the "Zionist state." One AMP official acknowledged the goal is to "to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel." AMP is also one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. Its BDS campaigns include: Ramadan Date Boycott, SodaStream, Stop the JNF, Stolen Homes/Airbnb, and Stop G4S. Because they include groups dedicated to Israel's elimination and single out Israel for criticism while they ignore other nations with severe human rights abuses, BDS campaigns are considered inherently anti-Semitic...   http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0118/lawfare.php3
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Trump Draws A Red Line 
On Wall Funding For DACA Fix
by SAAGAR ENJETI
{dailycaller.com} ~ President Donald Trump repeated his insistence that any permanent deal to codify the DACA program into law has to include funding for a border wall... in a Tuesday press conference with the Norwegian prime minister. Any DACA solution “has to include the wall, because without the wall it all doesn’t work,” the president flatly declared. Trump is currently embroiled in tense negotiations with Democratic lawmakers over a deal for DACA in which he has insisted on funding for border security, an end to chain migration and an end to the visa lottery program. Trump ended the liar-nObama-era protections in September, extending the program until March 2017, leaving it to Congress to forge a permanent solution for the nearly 800,000 illegals. The president’s proposed wall will install fencing on 316 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border and bolster security along the other 407 miles. The $18 billion appropriation will also go towards hiring more border security agents...   http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/10/trump-draws-a-red-line-on-wall-fu...
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What the Trump dossier criminal referral means
by Byron York
{washingtonexaminer.com} ~ There's been a lot of confusion about the decision by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and crime subcommittee chairman Lindsey Graham to refer Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier, to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation.

The two senators sent a brief letter Thursday to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray. The letter, which was unclassified and released to the public Friday, was a cover letter for what Grassley and Graham called a "classified memorandum related to certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets regarding the so-called 'Trump dossier' that Mr. Steele compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS for the liar-Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and also provided to the FBI."

Grassley and Graham said that, on the basis of the classified information laid out in the memo, "we are respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of 18 U.S.C. 1001, for statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier." 18 U.S.C. 1001 is the same federal false statements law that special counsel Robert Mueller has used to charge Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos in the Trump-Russia investigation.

That's all Grassley and Graham said, or at least all they said that was released to the public. The classified memo, of course, was not released at all.

It was all very confusing. What did the letter mean? Were Grassley and Graham alleging that Steele lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee? To some other congressional committee? To other investigators? If so, to whom?

The move met with skepticism in a number of circles. Sen. Dianne Fein-stein, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called it an "effort to deflect attention" from the Trump-Russia probe. A former prosecutor called it "nonsense" in an interview with the Washington Post. A law professor speculated that it was "baseless."

At the same time, few outside the committee seemed to understand what the letter meant. So, here is what appears to be going on:

Steele has not talked to any of the three congressional committees investigating the Trump-Russia affair – the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, or the House Intelligence Committee. Steele did not make false statements to them because he has not made any statements to them.

Steele has, reportedly, talked to Mueller's prosecutors, but it seems highly unlikely Grassley and Graham are suggesting Steele lied to Mueller because it is highly unlikely – actually, beyond highly unlikely – that the Mueller office would have shared any of Steele's answers with the Senate Judiciary Committee. So, what were Grassley and Graham referring to in their letter? What are the "statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made" that Grassley and Graham believe might be false?

The answer is that Steele talked – and talked a lot – to the FBI. Remember that when he began to compile the dossier in the summer of 2016, Steele reportedly concluded the sensational information he had picked up – allegations of election collusion and Trump sexual escapades in Russia – was so important that he had to take it to the FBI. Steele told the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones that he first took the material to the FBI "near the start of July."

That began a series of communications between Steele and the bureau in which Steele made certain representations to the FBI about his work. It is a crime to make false statements to the FBI – doesn't have to be under oath, doesn't have to be in a formal interview or interrogation setting, it's simply a criminal act to knowingly make a false statement to the FBI.

As a result of their talks, Steele and the FBI reached a tentative agreement whereby the FBI would pay Steele to continue the anti-Trump work.

All the while, Steele was also working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS – his dossier was the result of a Fusion anti-Trump project funded by the liar-Clinton campaign. As part of that, Steele briefed reporters on what he had found. In a London court case, Steele's lawyers said that in September 2016, Fusion GPS directed Steele to brief reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the New Yorker, Yahoo News, and, later, Mother Jones. Steele did each briefing individually.

One serious question is whether Steele told the FBI that he was telling reporters the same information – those explosive allegations about Trump and Trump associates – that he was bringing to bureau investigators. If the FBI knew that, would they have agreed to an arrangement to make Steele a paid FBI operative investigating the Trump-Russia affair? That would have been a most unorthodox arrangement, with Steele disseminating his allegations to the FBI and the press simultaneously.

That is not exactly how the FBI operates. So now the question is: When Steele was discussing working for the FBI, did he fully inform the FBI of what his work for the liar-Clinton campaign involved, in particular his briefing the press on the findings he would be reporting to the FBI? To use Grassley's and Graham's words, were the "statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier" accurate?

One way to find that out is to compare what Steele told the London court with what Steele told the FBI. Some of the London court testimony is public. As for what Steele told the FBI, the Senate Judiciary Committee has examined a lot of dossier-related material from the FBI under an agreement that allows the committee to view materials the bureau has originally produced to the House Intelligence Committee.

It appears that Grassley and Graham are pursuing inconsistencies between what Steele told the FBI and what Steele told the London court. If they conflict, which is true? If what Steele told the FBI was untrue, that's a problem.

Ultimately, the Steele-FBI deal fell through, for reasons that have never been publicly disclosed.

But there has been much speculation that the FBI used information from the uncorroborated dossier to seek court permission to spy on Americans in the Trump-Russia investigation. That would be a big deal, and it is an issue House and Senate Republicans are determined to sort out.

"I don't take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation," Grassley said in a statement Friday. "But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review. Everyone needs to follow the law and be truthful in their interactions with the FBI."

"Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen," Grassley continued, "but it seems unlikely."

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LIGHTER SIDE

ALERT ALERT

Newsweek’s Headquarters
Raided By The NYPD

The headquarters of Newsweek was raided by the NYPD Thursday morning. Police reportedly took photos of the magazine’s servers.

New York Post reports:

About two dozen NYPD officers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the offices of Newsweek and its parent company, IBT Media, on Thursday.

IBT Media was co-founded by Jonathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. The IRS placed a $1.2 million federal tax lien against Uzac in December 2017.

The agents were said to be photographing servers in the offices, but not downloading any files at the offices on 7 Hanover Square, according to sources.

Few details have emerged from the raid.

“Looking into reports that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office @ManhattanDA raided Newsweek/IBT Offices today….sources say police have been there for hours. The DA has declined to comment,” tweeted reporter Avi Asher-Schapiro.

Newsweek is also in the news Thursday after an “insider” told The Wrap editor Jon Levine that the magazine has abandoned journalism for “rage clicks,” in the Trump-era.

“Newsweek was once a premiere media organization and an incredible springboard for young journalists hoping to grow a name for themselves,” the source told Levine.

“The company culture has turned the newsroom into a toxic work environment, while the publication has descended into a content farm for last-resort clickbait,” the source added.

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