“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Obama-era Gangsterism: "undercover witness was threatened by Justice officials when he tried to disclose some of the information in a lawsuit during last year's election"

Senate seeks to interview FBI informant in Russian nuclear bribery case

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday sought permission to interview an FBI informant who helped agents uncover a major corruption scheme by Russian nuclear officials seeking to aggressively expand their American business under the Obama administration. 

The undercover witness, who has not been publicly identified, spent nearly five years helping agents build a case that resulted in one of Russia's top nuclear industry officials in the United States, a Russian financier and an American trucking executive to plead guilty in 2015 to charges related to a racketeering scheme that prosecutors said involved bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

The informant possesses information about the extent of Russian efforts to curry favor inside the United States that he has been prevented from disclosing to the courts and Congress because he signed an FBI nondisclosure statement, his lawyer Victoria Toensing told The Hill on Tuesday.

The undercover witness was threatened by Justice officials when he tried to disclose some of the information in a lawsuit during last year's election, forcing him to withdraw his legal action, the lawyer alleged.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), sent a letter Wednesday night to Toensing seeking to interview her client, saying he was troubled that the Obama administration in 2010 approved the Uranium One deal giving Moscow control over 20 percent of America's uranium supply when the FBI knew of corruption inside the Russian nuclear industry.

"It appears that your client possesses unique information about the Uranium One/Rosatom transaction and how the Justice Department handled the criminal investigation into the Russian criminal conspiracy," Grassley wrote. "Such information is critical to the Committee’s oversight of the Justice Department."
The senator specifically cited the earlier story by The Hill in his letter, saying among the issues he hoped to explore with the undercover was whether any political pressure was exerted during the probe.

While the FBI developed evidence as early as 2009 that an official with Russia's state-controlled Tenex nuclear company had engaged in the kickback scheme, Justice officials did not bring charges until 2014.

During the five year gap, the Obama administration approved the controversial uranium deal and made other decisions favorable to Russia's ambitions to expand its nuclear business inside the United States.


  1. Senator Grassely seems to be one of the few back in D.C. that approaches these things with any sense or responsibility.

    His only other concern that I know of is ethanol, putting corn in our gas tanks.

  2. Unnamed sources ...
    Unconfirmed repotts ...

    Inconclusive "evidence" ...

    Reads like a "Fake News" item

  3. .

    But also the potential for criminal activity.

    And since the accusations include possible inordinate delays and/or collusion in a national security matter by people within the FBI, it's appropriate that Congress take a look at it given their oversight functions.


    1. .

      Perhaps, I should have said...

      '...the accusations include possible inordinate delay or purposeful occlusion...'


    2. No doubt that there should be an investigation, of the investigation.

      But since the article tell us the "informant" was in Court, pursuing a Civil Actiion, one that was derailed by the DoJ.

      That even after taking public activities, the informant remains "ANONYMOUS"

      ... just sayin'

    3. .

      Sorry, I don't see how that affects Grassley's investigation especially as it involves trying to determine if there was undue pressure put on witnesses to suppress information or purposely delay investigation results.

      I can see where there can be legitimate reasons for keeping the identity of an informant secret. However, it seems to me it is less defensible when the informant himself is willing to go public.

      Nothing raises my ire more than the over-classification of official documents, the inordinate redactions that turn whole pages supplied for FOIA requests into unintelligible collections of words and phrases, or the redundant excuse used by officials for not answering questions, We can't answer that as it would jeopardize sources and methods.

      President Kennedy was assassinated 55 years ago. Much of the official information surrounding the assassination is still classified. I heard just yesterday that the powers that be are seeking to be allowed to keep that info secret for another 25 years. What the heck is that all about? I would be interest in what the rationale for the request is. It could very well be the second worst excuse these guys use, It wouldn't be in the national interest.

      Bull titty.

      Congress has an oversight function over federal agencies. There are enough questions (IMO) about the Russian nuclear purchase to justify an investigation of FBI and DOJ actions or inactions surrounding that deal. The committee or committees should do their job and seek out and interrogate any appropriate witnesses to the full extent of their legal capabilities.

      Maybe there's nothing there or maybe there is. Let the chips fall where they may.





    It took Trump 12 days to respond to the deadly incident in Niger and he only did so after questioned by a reporter. In his response, Trump falsely claimed past presidents, including President Obama, ...
    Johnson was the soldier who was separated from the 12-man team during the ambush. The circumstances of Johnson's death and the fact he was missing for two days is perhaps the most curious aspect of the incident in Niger. Specific details on why he was left behind have not yet emerged, hence the questions that have followed ....

  5. Cambridge University students given trigger warnings for Shakespeare plays

    Academics say degree of sensitivity will 'curtail academic freedom'
    Roisin O'Connor

    The Independent Culture
    Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius Tony Larkin/Rex Features

    Academics have criticised "trigger warnings" after Cambridge University students were warned about "potentially distressing topics" in plays by Shakespeare.

    English literature undergraduates were apparently cautioned that a lecture focusing on Titus Andronicus and The Comedy of Errors would include "discussions of sexual violence" and "sexual assault".

    According to The Telegraph, the trigger warnings were posted in the English Faculty's 'Notes on Lectures' document which is circulated to students at the university.


    Academics have expressed concern that colleges trying to protect young adults from certain issues may render them incapable of dealing with real life when they graduate.

    Supporters of trigger warnings say they serve to help students who may be upset if a text reminds them of a personal traumatic experience.

    ‘Trigger warnings’ before lectures on the rise at UK universities
    Oxford University law students being issued with ‘trigger warnings’
    Stephen Fry is problematic- but trigger warnings are sexist

    However critics such as Mary Beard, a Professor of Classics at Cambridge, say allowing students to avoid learning about traumatic episodes of history and literature is "fundamentally dishonest".

    Beard said previously: "We have to encourage students to be able to face that, even when they find they're awkward and difficult for all kinds of good reasons."

    David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, said: "If a student of English Literature doesn't know that Titus Andronicus containts scenes of violence they shouldn't be on the course.

    "This degree of sensitivity will inevitably curtail academic freedom. If the academic staff are concerned they imght say something students find uncomfortable they will avoid doing it."

    Another Cambridge lecturer told Newsnight that trigger warnings had been added to the timetable "without discussion", while another admitted they "self-censored" texts on their course to avoid causing offence to some students.

    A Cambridge University spokesman said that the English Faculty did not have a policy on trigger warnings but "some lecturers indicate that some sensitive material will be covered in a lecture by informing the English Faculty Admin staff".

    "This is entirely at the lecturer's own discretion and is in no way indicative of a Faculty wide policy," they added.

    1. The Lamentable Fall and Tragedy of Advertisecus Androquirkus, one of Shakespeare's unpublished 'lost' plays, has been removed from many Ivy League libraries recently, due to its commercial like exploitation of sex, violence, and rock 'n' roll.

      One professor complained "It's virtually impossible to even find a text of this work nowadays", adding "I fear students are about to lose forever the moral insights concerning the commercial advertising life given in the play."

    2. It's place has been taken in many universities in the USA by a 'faux' Shakespearean play, writer unknown, of about 1603, The Joys and Comic Endings of a Healthy English Rural Life. This play is known for it poignant pointing out of the sad sins, bad air, illiteracy, and economic hopelessness of life in a city, in this case London under Queen Elizabeth. When some of the characters move to the mountains and farmlands of rural England all goes well and the play ends on an upswing for everyone.

    3. October 19, 2017
      Cambridge students receive 'trigger warnings' for Shakespeare plays
      By Rick Moran

      English literature undergrads at Cambridge University were warned about a lecture on two plays by William Shakespeare that would include references to sexual violence and sexual assault. The warnings were intended to give students who may be upset about those topics an excuse to miss the lecture.

      Mary Beard, a professor of classics, called that approach "fundamentally dishonest."....


    * No one has to join the US Army
    * Joining the Army Special Forces is voluntary
    * Special Forces have five primary stated missions: Unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism
    * None of the five missions comes without extreme lethal risk and personal danger
    * No country on the planet would not take exception to lethal foreign troops operating in their country
    * No responsible married man with children should take such an absurd risk without considering the consequences to his family
    * Decisions have consequences

  7. Some jobs are exclusively suited for single un-attached men. A common sense society would recognize that fact.

    1. Sgt Johnson understood the risks involved in what he signed up for.

      No doubt of that.

  8. It’s On: Grassley Offers Judiciary Hearing To FBI Informant In Russian Bribery-Extortion Operation
    ED MORRISSEYPosted at 8:41 am on October 19, 2017

    Two Fusion GPS Execs Take Fifth On Dossier Funding
    ED MORRISSEYPosted at 10:01 am on October 19, 2017


    1. I read advertising sales were through the roof.

      People got money to spend.

    2. .

      People got money to spend.

      Then why do we need a tax cut that will add $ trillions to the national debt?

      The same applies to the corporate cuts. In general, corporate earnings are up and they are flush with cash. Why do they need a tax cuts?

      Small business? Most of the cuts for 'small business' in the proposed revisions go to the rich. Pass through provisions in the bill will allow guys like Trump to qualify at the lower small business rate. It's estimated Trump will save $ tens of millions under the new plan. His family and cabinet members could save $ billions.

      Why do they need a cut?


  10. Republican Senators Ask McConnell To Open Senate 24/7

    This comes after McConnell told Senate Republicans that he planned to keep them working more Fridays and weekends. It shows the pent up frustration Republicans are feeling after a series of legislative setbacks.

    It’s an inconvenient reality, however, that several GOP senators, including Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from Iowa, have been holding up EPA nominees to get their way on biofuels policy.

    No better environmentalists in the USA than Chuck and Joni.

  11. The shoe is on the other foot -

    Uranium One Means Mueller Must Recuse Himself from Russia Probe

    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    At the end of their lengthy editorial regarding the new Uranium One revelations -- "Team Obama's stunning coverup of Russian crimes" -- the New York Post editorial board writes:

    Until September 2013, the FBI director was Robert Mueller — who’s now the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It’s hard to see how he can be trusted in that job unless he explains what he knew about this Obama-era cover-up.

    I'll go the Post one better. Virtually whatever Mueller has to say about his involvement or non-involvement in this metastasizing scandal, he must recuse himself immediately for the most obvious reasons of propriety and appearance. Frankly, it's outrageous that he, Ron Rosenstein, or anyone who even touched the Uranium One investigation now be involved with the current probe -- unless the real name of the FBI is actually the NKVD. This is not how a democracy is supposed to work, even remotely. Forget transparency -- this was deliberate occlusion.

    The collusion Trump & Co have been accused of is chickenfeed compared to twenty percent of U.S. uranium ending up in Putin's hands under the aegis of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder, the latter two members of CFIUS (the inter-agency committee that reviews the transfer of U.S. companies to foreign entities and was then chaired by Timothy Geithner). We have heard disturbing allegations of this for some time, via "Clinton Cash" and even from the New York Times, but the new disclosure that a 2009 FBI investigation of this possible nuclear deal uncovered kickbacks, money laundering, and bribes from the Russian company involved (Rosatom) and yet it still was given the go-ahead by the Obama administration is -- I can think of no better word -- appalling. How could it have come to pass that this occurred? Why are we supposed to believe anyone now?............

    1. Senate Investigates Russia, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Uranium And Bribes — And It's About Time

      Obama Scandals: We now know, thanks to an investigation by The Hill, that the Russian scandal's roots go far deeper than first thought, extending all the way to the start of the Obama administration. Many people seemed to know about it: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and, even, President Obama himself. Now, a Senate committee wants to know how much they knew, and why no one stopped the criminal behavior.

      The scandal over Russia has suddenly, weirdly morphed from being about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election to actual criminal behavior by Russian nuclear industry officials who were involved in bribes, extortion, kickbacks and money laundering here in the U.S. — all part of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's efforts to elbow his way into the U.S. uranium market.

      It's finally dawning on people: The Russian nuclear racketeering was an Obama administration scandal, which Congress ignored and the Justice Department investigated but did nothing to stop. Justice looked into the Russian crimes in 2009 and 2010, but waited until 2014 to do anything about it. And even then, it didn't answer any of the larger questions. It can't be ignored any longer.......

    2. Is Grassely the Sam Ervin of our day ? -

      Judiciary Committee calls on former FBI informant to testify about Uranium One

      By Sara A. Carter

      Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley asked the attorney of a former FBI informant Wednesday to allow her client to testify before his committee regarding the FBI's investigation regarding kickbacks and bribery by the Russian state controlled nuclear company that was approved to purchase twenty percent of United States uranium supply in 2010, Circa has learned.

      In a formal letter, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked Victoria Toensing, the lawyer representing the former FBI informant, to allow her client, who says he worked as a voluntary informant for the FBI, to be allowed to testify about the "crucial" eyewitness testimony he provided to the FBI regarding members of the Russian subsidiary and other connected players from 2009 until the FBI's prosecution of the defendants in 2014.

      Toensing's client was an American businessman who says he worked for four years undercover as an FBI confidential witness. Toensing said he was blocked by the Obama Justice Department, under then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, about testifying to Congress about his time as an informant for the FBI. He contends that he has pertinent information that the Russian's were attempting to gain access to former President Bill Clinton and his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to influence the Obama administration's decision on the purchase of Uranium One, Toensing said.

      "Reporting indicates that “the informant’s work was crucial to the government’s ability to crack a multimillion dollar racketeering scheme by Russian nuclear officials on U.S. soil” and that the scheme involved “bribery, kickbacks, money laundering, and extortion," Grassley states in his letter. "Further, the reporting indicates that your client can testify that 'FBI agents made comments to him suggesting political pressure was exerted during the Justice Department probe' ...........

      Ervin gained lasting fame through his stewardship of the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Campaign Practices, also known as the Senate Watergate Committee, from the 1972 presidential election. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield chose Ervin because it was unlikely Ervin was going to run for re-election in 1974 (and in fact did not[12]), because he had no aspirations beyond his office, because of his knowledge of the law and the Constitution, and because he was an even-keeled, conservative, independent-minded Democrat. President Nixon thought at first that Ervin might potentially be partial to him, but that turned out to not be the case.

  12. The guy signed an NDA.

    Case closed.

  13. Diehard

  14. Three Crooked Amigos

  15. George W. Bush comes out of retirement to throw shade at Trump as he denounces 'bullying and prejudice' in politics and praises the value of immigration
    Former U.S. president George W. Bush left little doubt about how he feels about Donald Trump on Thursday
    Rare speech in New York City was full of veiled barbs in the current president's direction
    'Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone,' he said, and 'provides permission for cruelty and bigotry'
    'Bigotry seems emboldened; our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication'
    Bush also slammed Trump's trade isolationism and complained that 'we've seen nationalism distorted into nativism' and forgotten immigration's 'dynamism'

    1. .

      I don't have a very high opinion of Bush but I thought the speech was right on.


    2. .

      I have to believe most people would find it hard to defend bullying, prejudice, isolationism, or nativism.


    3. Becoming a one world enthusiast now, with all the interventions involved in that ?

    4. George Bush should stick to his crap art. As bad as it is, and it is real bad, it is far superior to his political intuitions and judgement.

    5. .

      Perhaps. But as I said, it was a good speech. I doubt he wrote it but he likely approved it.


  16. Here's how to help solve the North Korean problem -

    Solving The Siege of Seoul

    ....The North Korean artillery pieces capable of reaching South Korea’s capital are the 175mm Koksan self-propelled guns, the M240mm Multiple Rocket Launcher and the newly unveiled 300mm MLR. The later platform can reach below the top third of Seoul but is not yet widely deployed. It soon will be so the longer an evacuation is delayed, the more people will be exposed to these new guns making an evacuation task harder.

    One civilian analyst writes: “Artillery shelters for twenty million people exist in the greater Seoul metropolitan area. After the initial surprise [of a North Korean attack] has worn off, there simply won’t be large numbers of exposed people.” If those in the northern third of Seoul and those in the cities and hamlets north of that city have left, Kim Jong Un’s vaunted conventional artillery will have far fewer hostages, and those that remain will be undertaking the risk by choice. Given an option and adequate resources to relocate, the remaining citizens will look to North Korea more like those in the path of a hurricane who refuse to leave and rather less like Kim’s hostages....

    Herd 'em up, move 'em out.

  17. First Transgender Playmate

    1. Father pleads guilty to raping and murdering his 14-year-old daughter eight years after her body was found

    2. .

      Was he charged with necrophilia?


  18. John Kelly Rips Congresswoman for Disclosing Call to Gold Star Family....DRUDGE


    Truly an excellent presentation by General John Kelly.


    1. Why do we have any troops in Niger ?

      Because Obama sent them there some years ago to train the locals to fight back against the ISIS etc affiliates there.

  19. FAIRFAX, Va. — Nabra Hassanen, the 17-year-old Muslim girl who was killed as she walked to her northern Virginia mosque, was raped as well, an indictment released Monday said.

    The indictment accuses Darwin Martinez-Torres, 22, of both raping and sexually assaulting Hassanen with some kind of object. The Commonwealth Attorney couldn't say what the object was.

    No mention that he's an illegal.

  20. Dems double down on distraction to obscure Uranium One scandal - 10/19/17

    It is now clear to anyone who filters through all the media chaff on condolence calls that the FBI and Department of Justice allowed a criminal conspiracy to proceed, endangering national security but enriching the Clintons, and have been covering up the evidence.


    It is now clear to anyone who filters through all the media chaff on condolence calls that the FBI and Department of Justice allowed a criminal conspiracy to proceed, endangering national security but enriching the Clintons, and have been covering up the evidence. The two people responsible for targeting the special counsel on Trump and Russia are directly responsible for the cover-up.....

    Mueller is dirty.

    I wonder if the Clintons have something on him.

    1. PROSECUTOR: Mueller Staff Suggests Not Interested In Justice...

      Mission Morph...

      No Crimes? They'll 'Make Some'....DRUDGE

      Judging by Mueller's staffing choices, he may not be very interested in justice

      Hear, hear !!

    2. .

      Bull titty.

      Nobody I'm aware of denies the qualifications or the experience of the people Mueller has working for him.

      Unless, of course, you are suggesting that they would manufacture evidence.


    3. Titty bull

      Most of his 'staff' donated to Hillary.

    4. Gregg Jarrett: The Clinton cover-up, brought to you by the same guys who are investigating Trump

      Gregg Jarrett By Gregg Jarrett, Fox News

      FBI releases early draft of Comey's statement about Clinton
      Former Clinton communications director speaks out about the revelation.

      Damning new evidence appears to show that Hillary Clinton used her office as Secretary of State to confer benefits to Russia in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband.

      But there’s more. It seems it was all covered up for years by the same three people who are now involved in the investigation of President Donald Trump over so-called Russian “collusion.”

      The incriminating evidence was uncovered by The Hill (John Solomon and Alison Spann) and Circa News (Sara Carter). Their dogged reporting reveals that the FBI gathered a multitude of documents, secret recordings, intercepted emails, financial records, and eyewitnesses accounts showing that Russian nuclear officials directed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Clinton during the very time that Hillary Clinton presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia.

      The corrupt scheme is said to have been financed by the Russians through bribes, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The FBI and the Department of Justice reportedly had the evidence in their possession before the uranium sale, but kept the matter secret and never notified Congress which would surely have stopped the transfer of uranium to Russia.

      Indeed, the entire sordid affair remained hidden for seven long years. Until now.

      Clinton Corruption and Racketeering?

      It is a crime to use a public office to confer a benefit to a foreign government in exchange for money. It is often referred to as “pay-to-play,” but it can be prosecuted under a variety of anti-corruption laws passed by Congress, including the federal bribery statute (18 USC 201-b), the federal gratuity statute (18 USC 201-c), the mail fraud statute (18 USC 1341), the wire fraud statute (18 USC 1343), the program bribery statute (18 USC 666), and the Travel Act (18 USC 1952).

      If the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption.

      The FBI evidence, if true, would seem to show that one or more of these illegal “pay-to-play” laws were broken. The government would have to prove that Hillary and Bill got paid, while the Russians got to play. And prosecutors are required to show a “quid pro quo” or “nexus” between the payments and the benefit provided. But it appears that the FBI already possesses all the evidence it needs to make a compelling case.

    5. If Hillary leveraged her public office as Secretary of State for personal enrichment, but also used her charity as a receptacle or conduit for money obtained illegally, that would also constitute racketeering, as I first argued in a column almost a year ago.

      Racketeering is the use of a business for a corrupt and illegal enterprise. The “Mafia” and other organized crime syndicates are often prosecuted under the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” or “RICO” (18 USC 1961-1968). Frequently, they devise a dual purpose company –one which operates lawfully from the front door, but unlawfully out the back door.

      There is little doubt the Clinton Foundation operated as a charity. But if the FBI documents demonstrate that there was a secondary, hidden purpose devoted to self-dealing and personal enrichment, then prosecution could be pursued against Clinton for racketeering.

      According to the Associated Press, more than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state donated money to her foundation. If Clinton was peddling access, was she also peddling influence? Again, the reported FBI documents seem to answer that question.

      But why has there been no prosecution of Clinton? Why did the FBI and the Department of Justice during the Obama administration keep the evidence secret? Was it concealed to prevent a scandal that would poison Barack Obama’s presidency? Was Hillary Clinton being protected in her quest to succeed him?

      The answer may lie with the people who were in charge of the investigation and who knew of its explosive impact. Who are they?

      Holder, Mueller, Comey & Rosenstein

      Eric Holder was the Attorney General when the FBI began uncovering the Russian corruption scheme in 2009. Since the FBI reports to him, he surely knew what the bureau had uncovered.

      What’s more, Holder was a member of the “Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States” which approved the uranium sale to the Russians in 2010. Since the vote was unanimous, it appears Holder knowingly and deliberately countenanced a deal that was based on illegal activities and which gave Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium assets.

      It gets worse. Robert Mueller was the FBI Director during the time of the Russian uranium probe, and so was his successor James Comey who took over in 2013 as the FBI was still developing the case. Rod Rosenstein, then-U.S. Attorney, was supervising the case. There is no indication that any of these men ever told Congress of all the incriminating evidence they had discovered and the connection to Clinton. The entire matter was kept secret from the American public.

      It may be no coincidence that Mueller (now special counsel) and Rosenstein (now Deputy Attorney General) are the two top people currently investigating whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller reports to Rosenstein, while Comey is a key witness in the case.

      It is not unreasonable to conclude that Mueller, Rosenstein and Comey may have covered up potential crimes involving Clinton and Russia, but are now determined to find some evidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia.

      If this is true, Mueller and Rosenstein should immediately recuse themselves from the case. How can Americans have confidence in the outcome of the Trump-Russia matter if the integrity and impartiality of the lead investigators has been compromised by their suspected cover-up of the Clinton-Russia case?

      And, if the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption.