Sunday, July 22, 2018

GOODLATTE: Carter Page FISA Documents Show Serious FBI Problems - Brennnan To Testify In Judiciary


Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin makes clear one of his obsessions during that joint press conference with President Trump.

 And what is the strategy for House Republicans to keep control of the House, as we witness a rising interest in Democratic socialism ahead of the midterm elections? Good morning, everyone.

Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Maria Bartiromo, and this is "Sunday Morning Futures." 

President Trump responds this morning to the Justice Department releasing more than 400 pages of documents related to the 2016 FISA application for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

It shows the intimate Steele dossier was, in fact, a major component for the surveillance warrant. Fresh reaction from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Alan Dershowitz coming up this morning. Vladimir Putin called him out by the name during the Helsinki news conference by President Trump.

Today, Bill Browder responds to the Russian leader. He will join me live.

 And the midterm race is heating up. I'll speak exclusively with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise about the Republican leadership's strategy to keep control of the House.

 All that and a lot more right now, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." And top of the news right now, the Justice Department is making its first public disclosure of a highly sensitive FISA request by releasing the heavily redacted version of the documents relating to that FISA warrant against former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

 The 400-plus pages were released as a result of lawsuits filed by several media organizations, including Judicial Watch. The documents reveal major components in the FBI surveillance request leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Image result for john brennan
John "Mr. Stinky Face" Brennan
 They were memos written by Christopher Steele.

That is what they used to get the warrant, the former British intelligence officer hired by a research firm working for Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton. The president reacting on Twitter earlier this morning, saying: "Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents.

As usual, they are ridiculously heavily redacted, but confirm with little doubt that the Department of Justice and the FBI misled the courts. Witch-hunt. Rigged. A scam." The president later tweeted this: "Looking more and more like the Trump campaign for president was illegally being spied upon, surveillance for the political gain of crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

Ask her how that worked out? She did better with crazy Bernie. Republicans must get tough now. An illegal scam." Joining me right now with his first reaction to all of this is House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Mr. Chairman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us. REP.

BOB GOODLATTE, R-VIRGINIA: Good morning, Maria. It's good to be with you.

 BARTIROMO: Well, what strikes me about all of these documents that I have been looking at all morning is all of the redactions on every page, major black, black lines redacted. So, tell us, what did we learn from this FISA warrant?

 GOODLATTE: Well, we certainly learned that there is a serious problem with the FBI presenting to the FISA court an application for a search warrant against a United States citizen and then followed by three renewals when they were basing it on a very flawed document, the so-called Steele dossier, that has never been verified. Even after all of this came out, they attempted to verify it and failed. So that's number one. Number two, I have had the opportunity, as have a few other members of the House of Representatives, the opportunity to read these FISA warrant applications without all of those redactions. There are only a few redactions in the document that I reviewed. And I think it is critically important that the American people have the opportunity to see most of the rest of those documents. We want to make sure that we're protecting sources. We want to make sure that we're protecting methods that are used in investigations. But most of the information that is redacted in that report should easily be seen by the American people. They can judge for themselves, but I will tell you, it doesn't support the issuance of a warrant against Mr. Page. 

BARTIROMO: So, what will be done about it?

 GOODLATTE: Well, certainly, this is a big development for the investigation that I, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Trey Gowdy, as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have been pursuing now for the last nine months, because, as you know, at each step in that process, the FBI has objected to our looking into this matter, because they claim it's part of an ongoing investigation. And we have said all along we're not interested in looking at the substance of anything that Mr. Mueller does find in his investigation. We don't want to interfere with that. But we do want to see how this investigation was launched and how it contrasts with the shocking way that they handled the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. So that is an absolutely critical aspect of this. And now we have a federal judge who agrees that information regarding that investigation can and should be made public and has ordered it be made public. Much more needs to be done in that regard. But the Congress, which has subpoena power and has issued subpoenas with regard to both documents and witnesses, is entitled to have answers to our questions. And I think that this is a major boost to that effort.

 BARTIROMO: There was one redaction here about an agent, an agent launching this investigation. Are we assuming that that is Peter Strzok, who is also-- his name redacted in this warrant?

 GOODLATTE: I can't comment on the redacted items in that until a court has ordered them to be made public. But I can say that, based upon our other aspects of this investigation, that Peter Strzok was at the heart of both the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, where the FBI bent over backwards to find every way possible to not proceed with that case. And, in fact, as you know, they did decide in a very public and controversial way not to proceed in that investigation. And he was also at the heart of the beginning of this investigation into so-called Trump campaign-Russia collusion.

 BARTIROMO: I want to know what this tells us about the Robert Mueller probe, because you go back to Carter Page, and here is the guy who was actually wiretapped and surveilled. If Carter Page was an agent of a foreign power working for the Russians, why is he still running around free? Why are there no charges against Carter Page? And, by the way, what does that say about Comey, McCabe, Yates, Rosenstein, and the others who repeatedly certified to the court that he was, that he was an agent of foreign power? Why has he not been charged then?

 GOODLATTE: Well, excellent question. He was surveilled for a solid year, three-month increments for -- with three renewals. And I don't believe they found anything with regard to him. I cannot speak for him, and I can't speak for special counsel Mueller. And, as I have said before, he has been charged with a responsibility to carry out. And if he finds evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, he should bring it forward. This investigation is now more than 2 years old. And it is, I think, very -- he's only been on the job for a little over a year. But this was going on for almost a year before he came on the scene, and still is a cloud, a shadow over this administration. It is something that, if they have the goods, as Chairman Gowdy has said, bring them to a grand jury. If you don't, let's let the world know that they don't have that evidence. 

BARTIROMO: I want to run for you what Senator Rand Paul said on Fox News this past week, because I'm wondering if this information and all that we're gleaning from all of this, whether it's the FISA warrant or your interactions with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which I'm going to get to, if that is going to dictate where the Robert Mueller investigation goes. You would think that it would, since his mandate is collusion with the Russians. Here is what Senator Rand Paul said about all of this, this week on Fox News. Listen to this, Mr. Chairman.

 (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The president sees the Mueller investigation, he sees all these accusations from partisan Democrats, Hillary Clinton, saying, oh, he colluded with the Russians, but then he also sees that the only people who actually we know colluded with the Russians were Hillary Clinton, who paid a British agent, who then paid Russians for information with this dossier. So he is -- feels like the intelligence community cooked up a political or partisan investigation. (END VIDEO CLIP) 

BARTIROMO: Would Robert Mueller interview Hillary Clinton?

 GOODLATTE: Well, again, I can't speak for Robert Mueller. But I can very heartily agree with Senator Paul when he says that Democratic operatives related to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the creation of the so-called Steele dossier, and then turned it over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But what's so unprecedented about this is that the FBI then took it, weaponized it, without ever verifying its credibility, and brought it to the FISA court without disclosing the source of that information. That is deeply troubling. And it is a part of the reason why the new FBI director has been hard at work trying to reform this organization, whose credibility has been damaged by a few key people. And, by the way, those few key people are the same people in both of these investigations, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the FBI counsel, the chief of staff to the director, the same people in both these investigations.

 BARTIROMO: Yes. 

GOODLATTE: In one instance doing everything possible to avoid indicting Hillary Clinton, including allowing her chief aides to be in the room with her when she was interviewed by the FBI, creating a memo exonerating her before most of the witnesses, including Secretary Clinton, had been interviewed, not putting this before a grand jury, even though they had impaneled a grand jury in that investigation. They didn't let the grand jury determine whether she should be indicted, and then changing the language in the memo from gross negligence to extreme carelessness. Gross negligence very closely tracks the statute. Extreme carelessness is not a meaningful phrase. All to avoid indicting her.

 BARTIROMO: Yes.

 GOODLATTE: That is shocking.

 BARTIROMO: And many of the people that you mentioned, they have signed -- on the signage page of this FISA warrant, they all signed it, OKing it, and that includes John Brennan -- Sally Yates, John Brennan, Jim Comey, Peter Strzok. So, John Brennan, he's the man who deserves a belated bit of scrutiny, according to The Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel's op-ed just this past week. We know that John Brennan has been all over town trashing President Trump and trashing the hearing that your committee actually did with Peter Strzok. What are your thoughts on John Brennan's involvement?

 GOODLATTE: Well, we have lots of questions for John Brennan, and he will definitely be sought by the committees for an interview. This is an extremely disturbing thing to see both he and James Comey, supposedly impartial government officials carrying out their jobs in very important areas in intelligence-gathering and law enforcement, express the kind of extreme bias that they have shown now, which I think reflects quite accurately on what they were doing back in 2016.

 BARTIROMO: So, he's on your list of witnesses to have in to interview them?

 GOODLATTE: Absolutely. Definitely.

 BARTIROMO: Who else is on that list? 

GOODLATTE: Well, we're going to go through -- we have received a list from the Intelligence Committee of literally dozens of people. We're going through that list now and determining which ones are our priority. I think I would rather leave it at that, but certainly we will also be talking to Director Comey and former Attorney General Lynch. BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about Lisa Page. I know that you had behind-closed-door meetings with her, but, apparently, during that hearing, you have discovered more information that you want. Can you tell us anything about the Lisa Page testimony and what you learned?

 GOODLATTE: Well, it was a private confidential interview. But I will say this, that Ms. Page, in contrast to Mr. Strzok, was far more forthcoming and gave us far more information regarding what was going on in 2016 and into 2017, to help our investigation. But I will also say that she reminded us of some documents that hadn't been talked about for a while, including the fact that there are not only memos by James Comey that we're all aware of, but also memos by Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI, that are of interest to us as well, and we're seeking those now.

 BARTIROMO: So now you're seeking those documents. I know that you have been focused and certainly your colleague Devin Nunes has been focused on any information before the actual investigation was launched, which was July 31, 2016. Mr. Chairman, I want to take a short break, and then I want to come back to that. We also have much to discuss with you, including that showdown with Democrats over a House resolution to support ICE. We will be right back with Chairman Goodlatte. Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from Chairman Goodlatte. And a quick programming note: Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Joe Lieberman will join me this Wednesday on "Mornings With Maria" on the Fox Business Network. So join me weekdays at 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Fox Business. We will be right back with Chairman Goodlatte.

 (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: We're back with House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte. And, Mr. Chairman, we know, based on the copies of the FISA warrant that we were able to look at today, that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy A.G., signed off on the FISA warrant. And they signed off three additional times, so a total of four times, with the same evidence. Are you among those calling for Rod Rosenstein to recuse himself?

 GOODLATTE: I am not at this point. Rod Rosenstein did sign the third renewal application or, in other words, the last FISA warrant application. He was asked at the hearing that he testified at a couple weeks ago whether or not he read the document. He declined to answer that because he claimed it was part of an ongoing investigation. I think that's an important question that he needs to answer, but I also think it's even more important that he continue to work with the Congress to move this forward, so that we can get answers to all of our questions and get all of the documents that we have subpoenaed. There has been definitely more cooperation since we issued the subpoena and since U.S. attorney John Lausch from the Northern District of Illinois was appointed to help us get those documents. We have much greater access to unredacted documents than we have had before. But we still have a long way to go. This is an ongoing investigation, and there are many more documents and many more questions that witnesses have been instructed by the FBI not to answer that need to be answered. And I think the fact that a judge has now ordered the release of this FISA warrant application shows that it is entirely appropriate for us to look into how this investigation was launched.

 BARTIROMO: Yes. And, of course, that investigation morphed into the Robert Mueller investigation. And there was one text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page that basically says there's no there there when the Robert Mueller investigation launched, correct? 

GOODLATTE: That's correct.

 BARTIROMO: Yes. OK, we will keep following that. Let me move on to immigration. You have been working, obviously, with two bills. Are you going to be able to get one of them across the finish line before the midterm elections? What are your expectations there, Mr. Chairman?

 GOODLATTE: Well, you know, Maria, 224 House Republicans, all but 12 of the Republicans in the House, have voted for one of the two measures that we offered. Unfortunately, neither one got to 218. One got to 193, just 21 votes short of what is a current -- what -- the majority that day.

 BARTIROMO: Right.

 GOODLATTE: And there are many members hard at work trying to make sure that we bring some of the measures from the second one into the first one and get over 218 votes. That would be huge.

 BARTIROMO: OK. Well, we will wait for that. And real quick, I know you had some technology executives in a hearing as well. You're looking at the editing of information, conservative ideas. Tell us what you're looking at in terms of technology CEOs and where you are in that regard. Real quick, sir.

 GOODLATTE: Well, we held a hearing last week with representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter, in the case of Google, particularly YouTube, regarding their censorship policies, which they do on all three of those social media platforms. 

BARTIROMO: Right.

 GOODLATTE: And we have had the opportunity to ask some very probing questions about how it is that they have liability protections that newspaper or television... 

BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, we're going to be looking at this.

 GOODLATTE: OK.

 BARTIROMO: Thank you so much. Good to see you, sir, Chairman Goodlatte. 

GOODLATTE: Thank you, Maria. BARTIROMO: We will be right back.

 (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The Senate voting unanimously on a nonbinding resolution to oppose giving Russia access to U.S. officials. Vladimir Putin making the proposal in exchange for allowing special counsel Robert Mueller access to the 12 Russians indicted by the Justice Department. Putin made the suggestion during that Helsinki news conference with President Trump, calling out my next guest by name. Watch this.

 (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We can actually permit official representatives of the United States, including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller, we can let them into the country and they will be present for this questioning. Then we would expect that the Americans would reciprocate, and so we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case.

 (END VIDEO CLIP) BARTIROMO: "Bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case." Joining us right now is the man, Bill Browder. He is the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and a thorn in Putin's side now for several years. Bill, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks very much for joining us.

 BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Great to be here.

 BARTIROMO: Look, I know you a lot of years, Bill. And we have talked about your story for a lot of years. But, even then, for me, after knowing the story as well as I do, I got chills down my back when I heard Vladimir Putin mention your name. What did you think?

 BROWDER: Well, I should point out that he's been mentioning my name on a regular basis for the last six years. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Vladimir Putin is obsessed with me. He's obsessed because I was the one responsible for getting the Magnitsky Act passed in 2012, which sanctions Putin and his corrupt cronies for human rights violations. And he hates that. 

BARTIROMO: So, tell us about that, because just to briefly go through your story, at one point, you were the leading -- one of the leading investors in Russia. You owned a lot of Russian companies, Russian stocks in your Hermitage Capital fund. You were living between Moscow and London. You were traveling back and forth all the time, when you were -- became aware of corruption going on, oligarchs stealing money from Russian companies. You wanted it stopped. You started to become more of an active investor, calling out this. And then what happened, Bill?

 BROWDER: Well, so after exposing corruption in these big companies like Gazprom, Putin expelled me from the country, declared me as a threat to national security. The police then raided my offices in Moscow, seized all my documents. I had a young lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky start to investigate. And he figured out that they seized those documents to steal $230 million of taxes that we paid to the Russian government. He exposed it. He was then arrested by some of the people he exposed, put in pretrial detention, tortured for 358 days, and then killed at the age of 37 in a Russian prison on November 16, 2009.

 BARTIROMO: Wow.

 BROWDER: And, since then, I have put aside everything else I'm doing on a mission to get justice for Sergei Magnitsky, which has resulted in the Magnitsky Act, which Putin hates me so much for.

 BARTIROMO: And the Magnitsky Act basically protects companies and punishes those who try to have fraud and stealing of the wealth by the oligarchs. And Putin is upset by that. Let's show you -- the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote a piece about you this weekend, saying, Donald Trump, meet Bill Browder. It begins like this: "Vladimir Putin knows what he wants from Donald Trump. And one priority is help in silencing businessman and human rights advocate Bill Browder. Someone should tell Mr. Trump that he and Mr. Browder were both targeted by Fusion GPS, the political gun for hire that midwifed the Steele dossier in 2016." Tell us what happened with you and Fusion GPS, Bill.

 BROWDER: So, just a little bit of background on the story. So, the Department of Justice discovered that there was some of the money from the Magnitsky case in New York. They opened up a criminal case against a Russian oligarch. And Fusion GPS came in to work for the Russian oligarch for Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is the Russian oligarch's lawyer. So, Fusion GPS, the firm that did the Trump dossier, started to do a smear campaign on me. And they put together all of Natalia Veselnitskaya's talking points about me for the Trump Tower meeting where she went into speak with Donald Trump Jr. And I would deduce that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, therefore, put together the same talking points for Vladimir Putin, because they were the same talking points in Trump Tower. So, in that Helsinki meeting last week, Vladimir Putin said a whole bunch of stuff about me. And, as far as I can tell, I think that those talking points came from Glenn Simpson. 

BARTIROMO: Well the Senate voted down any idea that the Russians would be able to question you. And Donald Trump obviously agreed with that, so that's not happening. But I have seen some of your quotes in the press. You're afraid that, if in fact that were to happen, you're a dead man. 

BROWDER: Well, basically, even if there's only a 1 percent chance of it happening, if I get handed over to the Russians and to Vladimir Putin, I will be killed. There's no question about it. They have made death threats on a number of occasions. A number of other people connected to this case have either been killed or attempted to be killed. Vladimir Putin wants me dead. This is not -- this is not -- this is a very serious matter.

 BARTIROMO: Now, the charges that he levels against you, which were all debunked, we should say, but he says you avoided taxes in Russia and in the U.S. and that you gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton. Your reaction?

 BROWDER: Well, all -- he's been throwing out charges against me like candy. These particular charges have been analyzed by the U.S. Department of Justice, by the British government, by Interpol, by the German government, and have all been rejected outright. It's just complete nonsense. In terms of the Hillary Clinton campaign contributions, I have given zero, zero contributions to Hillary Clinton in any campaign. I do not make U.S. campaign contributions. And, in fact, this $400 million number that he threw out, they then walked back to $400,000 the next day. And the real number is zero.

 BARTIROMO: It's an interesting situation, because when you look at the past in terms of Vladimir Putin, there's your story. There's Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Garry Kasparov, the chess champion, was thrown in jail, not to mention the endless number of murders of journalists in Russia and enemies of Putin. Then again, Russia and the U.S. control 90 percent of the world's nuclear capability. What does President Trump do? He has to work with the other partner of the nuclear capability, no? But it's important to put a picture together of who Vladimir Putin is.

 BROWDER: Well, I think that President Trump should do what Ronald Reagan did. I mean, Russia and the Soviet Union have had these nuclear warheads for a long time. Ronald Reagan knew what to do, which was to contain the Soviet Union. And Donald Trump should contain Russia. This is not -- you don't make friends and buddy-buddy up to a hostile, malign power. And that's what that 98-0 vote was about and every other vote in Congress about Russia. This is not a partisan thing. This is a -- it's un-American to do anything other than contain Vladimir Putin. And I think...

 BARTIROMO: It feels, at this point, we are seeing a new era. And it seems that the president understands who this person is. But we will keep watching that. Bill Browder, it's good to have you on the program this morning. Thanks very much. And we're not saying where you're coming to us from. We understand the danger you're in. Next up, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Republicans are working on their strategy to retain control of Congress come November amid talk of a blue wave in the upcoming midterms. My next guest has some insight on the plan for the GOP lawmakers in the House. With me now in an exclusive interview is House Majority Whip and Republican Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise. Congressman, it's great to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

 REP. STEVE SCALISE, R-LA, HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Morning. Always great to be with you, Maria.

 BARTIROMO: So, what is the plan to retain control of the House, from your standpoint? 

SCALISE: The plan is to continue focusing on getting the economy moving, seeing this great economic growth, and then locking it in. We're going to bring some more bills to cut taxes. We're going to make the tax cuts permanent. That bill, Chairman Brady and his committee are already working on. We just did a jobs 3.0 bill, a bill to provide more regulatory relief, and do some more things that will help create more jobs and rebuild the middle class. And, look, it's a stark contrast with the radical left's agenda right now in Washington. Pelosi is talking about raising taxes. She's talking about abolishing ICE, single-payer health care. That's not the direction we need to go. So let's keep the economy moving. We're going to continue focusing on it. This week, we're going to bring a bill to repeal the medical device tax, push back the health insurance taxes, the HIT tax, some of these things that are hurting health care in this country, and let's focus on getting the economy moving. 

BARTIROMO: And, by the way, the economy is going to show movement this week. We get the GDP number out on Thursday, and all expectations call for a second-quarter GDP number of 4 percent, largely as a result of some of the rollback in regulations and the tax cut plan. I want to talk about what the Democrats, though, are going to do in response to that. Joe Lieberman, a former senator, wrote an op-ed. And Lieberman writes this in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week, "Vote Joe Crowley for working families." It begins with this quote: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory over Representative Joe Crowley seems likely to hurt Congress, America, and the Democratic Party. It doesn't have to." What Lieberman writes is that he's hoping that Crowley's name is on the ballot, because the idea to abolish ICE came from her, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. And Tom Perez, the head of the DNC, says she's the future of the party.

 SCALISE: Well, I hope she is, because it shows such a dramatic shift to the radical left. That's not where America is. America is still a center-right country. And you saw she was out there with Bernie Sanders going through the Midwest, going to Missouri. She was in Kansas City. They're trying to push this idea of abolishing ICE, of all things. Think about this, Maria. The very people who keep our country safe -- ICE has been directly responsible for stopping human trafficking, stopping -- saving some of these kids that are being exploited from human trafficking. And they want to get rid of them. They want open borders. That's not what this country is all about. I hope they keep going around and letting people know that's what they would do if they were in the majority.

 BARTIROMO: I don't understand the idea of open borders. It's really questionable in terms of that being a platform to run on. In terms of immigration and your efforts, we just heard from Bob Goodlatte. Are you going to be able to come up with a plan that protects the DACA recipients, but also protects this country with the proper security in terms of securing the borders?

 SCALISE: Well, Maria, we have had two different bills we have brought to the floor that would do just that. And, as you heard Chairman Goodlatte say, we have had large numbers of Republicans vote for it, but not one Democrat. So when you have between the two bills 224 Republicans voting yes to build a wall, secure the border, solve the DACA problem and the visa lottery system, and not one Democrat could find a way to vote for any of those bills, it shows you they don't want to solve this problem and we do. We will keep working on it, but let's -- let's look at those votes, Maria, to show there are serious Republican plans to secure this country's border. And every single Democrat voted no because Nancy Pelosi bullied them and threatened them and said she didn't want to provide Donald Trump with a win. That's not -- again, that's not what this country is all about. Some of the great things President Trump has done, working with us to cut taxes, to get the economy moving, to bring regulations under control, it's actually working. They should want to join with us to keep that going. To be opposed to the things that are helping rebuild our middle class is a losing strategy for Democrats.

 BARTIROMO: And in a -- also foreign policy, you look at some of the outcomes that have come, Jim Mattis apparently saying that the NATO meeting was among the most successful meetings that he's ever seen. Your thoughts on the president's relationship with Vladimir Putin and what the U.S. needs to do with Russia, given these horrible stories we just heard about Putin from Bill Browder.

 SCALISE: Yes, Putin is a bad guy. He's not our friend. I think what you have got to look at are the actions that President Trump has taken to stand up against Putin and to stand up against Russia. And they're significant, Maria. If you start with the Ukraine, they're our friend in Eastern Europe. You saw Putin rolling through Crimea, moving into Eastern Europe. And Barack Obama sat on the sidelines. Those countries -- by the way, the Ukrainians, they didn't say, give us boots on the ground. They said, can you just sell us arms, so we can push back against the Russians' aggression and bomb their tanks? And Obama said no. President Trump said yes and actually sold them those missiles, so that they can defend their country and push Russia out of Eastern Europe.

 BARTIROMO: Yes.

 SCALISE: And that's happening right now. He kicked out diplomats. He increased sanctions against Russia. That's standing up to Russia. We need to keep reminding Russia they're not our friend. They need to get out of Syria. They need stop allying with some of these rogue countries.

 BARTIROMO: Kevin Brady was on this program last week, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He said he was going to get -- try to get a vote on tax cuts 2.0 to the floor in September. Do you think he will need Democratic support here? Is anybody going to vote for tax cuts 2.0, when they're complaining about deficits, and they didn't vote for tax cuts 1?

 SCALISE: Every single Democrat should vote for tax cuts 2.0.

 BARTIROMO: But they won't. SCALISE: Because it's worked for our economy. But they probably won't, Maria. And, look, we're going to go forward anyway. What Chairman Brady is doing, I think, is important work. He was down at the White House just a few days ago working with President Trump to make sure that the cuts include all the things we want to do to keep this economy growing.

 BARTIROMO: All right.

 SCALISE: We're seeing historic growth. Let's keep it going. We are going to have a bill on the floor to do just that in September. And it'll pass the House. The real question is, will every Democrat vote no, like they did last time, now knowing how well it's working for middle-class families? 

BARTIROMO: It's a win for President Trump, for sure. Congressman, it's good to see you. Thanks so much.

 SCALISE: Great being back with you, Maria.

 BARTIROMO: We appreciate you joining us, Congressman Steve Scalise there. The Department of Justice released heavily redacted documents last night relating to the surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign aid. So what, if anything, do these documents tell us? Alan Dershowitz weighs in next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.

 (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Back to our top story today. The Justice Department released top-secret documents on the FISA warrant sought for the Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The release of the heavily redacted 412-page report comes in response to several freedom of information lawsuits. It shows the FBI relied on the discredited Steele dossier as a major component to apply for surveillance warrants on Carter Page. For his part, Page is maintaining his innocence. My next guest is the author of the new book "The Case against Impeaching Trump." Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz joins me right now. And, Alan, it's good to see you this morning. Your reaction to what we have received in terms of this FISA warrant, which is heavily redacted, every page, massive black spots? What do you think?

 ALAN DERSHOWITZ, ATTORNEY: Well, I'm used to seeing redacted information. I would say 90 percent of redactions are generally designed to cover people's incompetence, and they're not national security. And I think you should have an objective, neutral person go through the redactions and always err in favor of publicly releasing and transparency, rather than secrecy. But what it also shows us is that there is potentially a violation of the United States Supreme Court decision called Franks vs. Maryland and its progeny. That case says, when you make an application for a warrant, you have to be truthful. And if you omit important information or fail to disclose information that might discredit the source, there's a real legal problem. And here, of course, we know that the Steele dossier, we know how it was obtained, we know the circumstances. And the FISA court didn't know those pieces of information, should have known it. And the question really is, was there other information sufficient beyond the Steele dossier to justify intruding on the privacy rights of an American citizen? 

BARTIROMO: That's right.

DERSHOWITZ: And we don't know enough yet to answer that question.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, we know that one other piece of information used was a Yahoo article about the Steele dossier. So it was all based on the Steele dossier. 

DERSHOWITZ: Yes. BARTIROMO: And then they re-upped it and got -- they had to get additional sign-offs on it three times with the same information. Normally, you -- when you go to re-up a warrant, you have new informational. It's based on the dossier. Look, is it high time we all admit that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign because it was a political enemy and there was an election?

 DERSHOWITZ: Well, I would like to know more about that. That's why right from day one I called for an independent, nonpartisan, expert investigating commission that would look at the entire 2016 election, ranging from Comey's statements to Strzok to whether the Obama administration put a spy in the campaign. All of these things are relevant to all Americans. And they're nonpartisan. We want to see fair elections. We don't want to see the thumb of any FBI agents, Justice Department officials, Russia, Comey, we don't want to see the come, even a pinkie on the scale of our election. And we're not learning this from the Mueller report.

 BARTIROMO: So, what happens now, Alan?

 DERSHOWITZ: Yes.

 BARTIROMO: It certainly doesn't feel good. It feels like it's rigged, this whole thing. What happens now when you're -- in your estimation, based on what we know from Peter Strzok, what we know about the hearings in terms of Lisa Page, and, of course, all of these texts?

 DERSHOWITZ: Well, we will see, first of all, whether any of this appears in Mueller's report, because there's going to be a report. But there are also indictments and there will be some contested cases. And in the contested cases, lawyers have a gold mine to work with, defense lawyers, challenging this FISA application, challenging Strzok's objectivity. All of this will become a basis for legal proceedings and legal challenges. We have already seen Judge Ellis in Virginia question the special counsel, wonder whether, not only are they trying to make people sing, but also make them compose. The process is a very flawed one. And the more the American people know about it, the more distressed they are at how special counsels operate, particularly in the context of political elections. We need to know more, not less. We need less redaction, more transparency. And we have the right to judge for ourselves whether our system of justice is operating fairly, within the Constitution, and consistent with civil liberties. Right now, there are questions, more questions than answers.

 BARTIROMO: There sure are. All right, we are going to keep watching that and wonder when the Robert Mueller report will be out. We're waiting on that, of course. Good to see you, Alan. Thanks very much for weighing in this morning.

DERSHOWITZ: Oh, thank you so much.

 BARTIROMO: Alan Dershowitz joining us. We will be right back with our all-star panel on all of that. Back in a minute.

 (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The Justice Department releasing the Carter Page FISA documents. Let's bring in our panel on that. Ed Rollins is a former Reagan-Bush campaign manager. James Freeman is an assistant editor for The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Both are FOX News contributors. And it is a pleasure to see you both.

 ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

 JAMES FREEMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here. Thanks.

 BARTIROMO: Good to see you. Your reaction to what we have heard this morning, Ed Rollins?

 ROLLINS: The truth of the matter is what was discovered with this document and the Strzok testimony, what have you. Hillary was never a target of any investigation. Strzok admitted that. She was never under investigation. They clearly -- Strzok, I think, was one of the instruments of really going after the Trump campaign. And he's trying to woo -- he's trying to woo his girlfriend. And, basically, she was very anti-Trump. Brennan was an anti-Trump person. And my sense is that they used this idiotic document that was an opposition research document to go violate the FISA rules and all of the rest of it. And this whole thing got started -- Carter Page is not an operative for the Soviet Union. The problem was the Trump campaign didn't have the big significant foreign policy people. These were all kinds of fringe players. And I think to a certain extent they got Paul Manafort on past sins.

 BARTIROMO: Right.

 ROLLINS: That'll all be the -- next week's trial will start. But I think the reality is, there was nothing. There was no there there. And I think the American public...

 (CROSSTALK) BARTIROMO: Right. That was one of the texts. There's no there there. Peter Strzok said it. But you mentioned Carter Page. If Carter Page was an agent of foreign power, why is he still running around with no charges, James? There are no charges. 

FREEMAN: Right. It's been two years now. And, as you mentioned, a lot of black marker, a lot of redactions in these documents.

 BARTIROMO: Oh, yes. Look at this.

 FREEMAN: But one thing that does come through is, it appears the dossier was central to it. And when they weren't relying on the dossier, they were appealing to the authority of Yahoo News, without pointing out that that was a Steele story as well in terms of the source.

 BARTIROMO: It's all connected.

 FREEMAN: No, why do they continue to say that Steele is credible after they even acknowledge in their re-applications that he didn't do as he was told and he was sharing information with the media? That's a question. So, I think this is another argument for the president to declassify everything, get it out there. Enough of the redactions. Let's see the whole FISA applications. Let's see what are known as the Woods notes, where the FBI goes through and figures out what they can put in the FISA document.

 BARTIROMO: Yes.

 FREEMAN: We need to see where this came from. BARTIROMO: And the editorial board did an op-ed on that, asking the president to actually make sure that you declassify these documents. Is this going to hurt the Dems in the midterm?

 ROLLINS: I think it will, because they're just -- they're arguing things that aren't valid to the American public. And, equally as important, their party is getting so far to the left, that if Republicans, who have a lot of open seats and a lot of challenged seats, if they go out and talk about the president's programs of getting the economy moving, what have you, they will do fine. But they can't make it a national campaign. They got to make it a local campaign.

BARTIROMO: Right. And we're going to get the GDP number out on Thursday, James.

 FREEMAN: Yes.

 BARTIROMO: And it may very well show 4 percent growth. The outcomes that this president has had are very positive. And they're insane over it.

 FREEMAN: Yes. Well, this -- I mean, going back now, two years later, there's nothing on Carter Page. Two years later, we're asked to believe that this was some secret Russian plot to revive the American economy and rebuild the U.S. military and strengthen Ukraine to resist Russian expansionism. So it gets harder and harder to believe. And I think the president and his Republican allies in Congress have a pretty strong case on the economy.

 ROLLINS: The one thing is, the Russians were trying to play here. And they have tried to play here for a long time. And they got more publicity this time, because there were all these investigations. 

BARTIROMO: Yes, and because they tried to implicate Trump.

 ROLLINS: But not...

 BARTIROMO: And we know Russia has been trying to undermine the West for a long time.

 ROLLINS: And not effective.

 BARTIROMO: Trump had nothing to do with it. Great to see you both. Thank you so much. Have a great day, everybody. I will see you next week. END

Texas Privatization of Child Welfare: Just Another Case Of Medicaid Fraud

Just another case of Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare.

There will be funded studies by private contractors.

There will be speech and debate in the Texas legislature.

There will be more articles.

There will be private NGOs who will file multi-million dollar litigation.

There will be Social Impact Bond positive performance ratings.

There will be campaigns financed.

There will be nothing done to help these children.

Hundreds of Texas foster care children denied Medicaid services

A private company that the state has tasked with providing Medicaid coverage to Texas foster children has repeatedly denied requests for critical care, many for children with disabilities.
Between June 7 and July 13, Superior HealthPlan denied medical services to foster children 394 times, according to data the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services provided to the American-Statesman. The agency, which oversees the state’s child welfare programs, started tracking the denials of service last month, in an effort to determine how the denials are affecting foster kids.

Foster parents have reported denials from managed care organizations for years.

Company officials dispute the state’s figures and say Superior approves necessary medical care; foster care parents and advocates say the requests for service were for medically necessary treatment.
The issue is receiving renewed scrutiny from lawmakers and state officials.

“Many of the children in our care have suffered extreme abuse and neglect and have complex medical conditions. Any one of us would give anything to help our children, which is why we fight to meet their needs, no matter what hurdles stand in our way,” Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, said in a statement to the American-Statesman.

“These children are more than a (managed care) contract, and we will continue to strongly advocate for any medical care or treatment that we feel is necessary,” Whitman said.

Under direction from the Legislature, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has overseen the transition of most Medicaid services to private companies called managed care organizations over the past two decades; the health agency continues to oversee the managed care organizations. The move to managed care is supposed to improve health care while saving the state money — an estimated $3.8 billion over a six-year period, according to a study by the Texas Association of Health Plans in 2015.

However, critics of managed care as well as parents inside and outside of the foster care system have said children with disabilities have suffered from the decisions of managed care organizations.

Foster care children, who are all entitled to Medicaid coverage, were folded into managed care in 2008. Superior was awarded the sole contract, currently enrolling 34,000 foster children. The company was paid $365 million in fiscal year 2017.

Officials with Superior said they carefully review every request for service and that the number of denials the state has reported doesn’t match the company’s data. Superior, however, did not provide any figures.

“What we can say without hesitation is that Superior is committed to serving our members and providing the best and highest quality of care as medically necessary,” said Michael Cation, a spokesman for the managed care organization. “Superior has a long-standing practice of working alongside providers, as well as caregivers and state agencies, to ensure we provide the best care and support that children and youth in foster care need.”

es in Officials with the Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees the contract with Superior, said the vast majority of foster care requests for service are approved but could not provide figures. The agency’s contract with Superior also requires company employees to discuss with the child’s provider the needs of the child and allow the provider to present other information on medical necessity before issuing a denial.

A spokeswoman said the agency hasn’t yet determined if the rate of denials is excessive.
“We want to put the data in context and know whether DFPS (or medical consenter) plans to appeal any of the denials. That’s a critical piece of the picture,” said Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Commission.

Decisions to appeal are typically left up to foster parents, but the Department of Family and Protective Services is gathering information to determine whether to intervene.

Texas House members grilled Superior officials last month after a Dallas Morning News investigation detailed a Dallas foster boy’s struggle to get nursing care. The boy was denied a 24-hour nurse to help ensure he wasn’t pulling out his breathing tube. He later became brain dead after he dislodged the tube during the hours before his nurse arrived.

A Texas Senate committee is expected to hold a hearing on foster care health services in September.

“There continues to be scrutiny on the delivery of services to our most vulnerable Texans as we approach the next legislative session,” Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “We are working on several fronts to ensure that clients receive the services they need and that contractors are held accountable.”

‘Feels like they’re giving up’
Luz, 4, was born with a genetic disease and cerebral palsy and is unable to breathe or eat unassisted.

 Doctors say she’s not expected to live past her fifth birthday. For most of her life, Luz, whose last name is kept confidential to protect her privacy per state policy, has been in foster care.

Luz’s foster mom, Robin Batts, who lives in Harker Heights, hasn’t received approval for more equipment that removes mucous from Luz’s airway. Parts of the equipment should be changed daily but instead are changed every two days, putting Luz at risk of an infection, Batts said.

“They said it’s not medically necessary for us to change that. Yes, it is (necessary). Absolutely,” Batts said.

Batts with support from her providers had asked Superior to approve Luz for physical therapy, which helps keep her limber, for six months at a time. Recently, Superior decided to approve physical therapy for eight-week periods, forcing Batts to reapply for the therapy more often. Superior has stopped occupational therapy altogether.

“They felt like she wasn’t making enough progress, which hurts my soul. You should just keep trying.

… It feels like they’re giving up,” said Tesleigh Eure, who has been Luz’s foster caseworker since she was a baby.Lindale in East Texas, has seen Superior cut or threaten to cut services for each of her five foster children, all of whom have disabilities.

Prescott is asking for a hearing to appeal Superior’s decision to cut 7-year-old Nathan’s personal attendant services to 20 hours a week from 28 hours a week. Nathan was born with contracted joints and uses a wheelchair. At one point, he received 38 hours of personal attendant services a week.

Prescott said she relies on the attendant to help teach Nathan how to become independent. Superior recommended a machine that can lift him in and out of his bed and chairs, but the attendant does much more than moving Nathan around, including administering physical therapy, Prescott said.

“My children are not going to be robbed if I can stop it,” said Prescott, who has gone through four other hearings to fight for services. “They’re breaking our back. They’re making it impossible for me to keep these children safe.”

Bureaucratic denials, few providers
Of the 394 foster care denials the Department of Family and Protective Services has tallied, Superior rejected 300 requests for service because the company determined they weren’t medically necessary. Superior determined the rest were for services that weren’t covered by Medicaid.

Among the services and equipment denied were cranial helmets, therapies, drug rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitalization, according to redacted copies of denials provided to the American-Statesman.

“There’s a lot of denials based on some provider not filling in the right form or getting the right paperwork to the right person on the right day. It’s bureaucratic denials. I don’t argue with them anymore. I go to the courts that handle the (Child Protective Services) cases,” said Matthew Trail, Houston-based supervising attorney for the advocacy group Disability Rights Texas’ foster care team.

Occupational therapy for one of Liz Sargent’s twin 4-year-old foster boys was cut earlier this year and won’t resume until August at the earliest because the child’s doctor failed to provide paperwork that she didn’t know Superior required.

Sargent’s biggest challenge, however, is finding a psychiatrist who will see one of the boys. He has a slew of psychiatric diagnoses stemming from possible physical and sexual abuse he suffered before he entered foster care.

Sargent said many of the Houston-area psychiatrists on Superior’s list do not accept Medicaid anymore or have long wait times for appointments. The next available appointment she could find with a psychiatrist in Houston is in January, she said.

“It’s that extra layer of work that actually prevents more foster families from accepting more children,” Sargent said. “I’m licensed for four, but I can’t take in two more children if I have to fight for every single service or I have to go through three of four days of calling doctors that supposedly take an insurance but are no longer taking it.”

Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, wrote a bill in 2015 requiring managed care organizations to publish online a list of providers accepting Medicaid. He said the Legislature should continue to scrutinize the managed care system.

“No child should have to suffer while bureaucrats argue over whether or not to approve the care and support they need,” Schwertner said in a statement.

Amid complaints about managed care, the Health and Human Services Commission is adding 47 more people to a team that visits with Medicaid patients to determine if they’re receiving necessary care. The agency also tracks whether denials are happening systemically in certain Medicaid programs over others.

State District Judge Darlene Bryne, who oversees all child welfare cases in Travis County, said the state government is directly responsible for denying Medicaid services to foster children.
“The parent is the state of Texas,” Bryne said. “The state needs to pony up to the bar regardless of which fragmented piece of the state or private company they contracted with that they punted their parental obligations down to. The buck stops with the state.”

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DOJ: Arkansas Child Welfare Fraud Scheme Busted Financing Political Campaigns

It happens in every state.

Former Executive Director of Non-Profit Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy with Unnamed State Senator and Convicted Lobbyist

A Former Executive Director of a non-profit pleaded guilty today to conspiring to unlawfully divert over $380,000 from South Arkansas Youth Services (SAYS), without the authority of the non-profit’s Board of Directors.  According to plea documents, the scheme involved steering the non-profit’s funds to an Arkansas state senator and the lobbying firm of convicted lobbyist Milton “Rusty” Cranford, in exchange for the state senator agreeing to influence Arkansas officials regarding state contracts.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees for the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement. 
Jerry Walsh, 72, of Magnolia, Arkansas, who served as the Executive Director of SAYS pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan O. Hickey to an information charging him with conspiracy to misapply the non-profit’s funds without authority from the Board of Directors. 
As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that beginning in 2013, while serving as Executive Director for SAYS, he agreed to divert SAYS funds to Rusty Cranford and an unnamed Arkansas state senator in exchange for the state senator’s influence in protecting the non-profit’s state contracts with the Arkansas Department Health Services (DHS) and DHS’ Division of Youth Services (DYS).  As part of that agreement, Walsh was to provide a monthly “legal retainer” to the Arkansas state senator without the expectation that the senator ever provide any legal work.  Instead, the purpose of the payment was to obtain the senator’s assistance in preserving the contracts by influencing DHS and DYS officials.  According to the plea, the amount paid to the senator was negotiated by convicted lobbyist Rusty Cranford and amounted to over $120,000.
Additionally, as part of the agreement, Walsh locked SAYS into a more expensive contract with Cranford’s lobbying firms and employed a relative of Cranford who would have a “no-show” job with SAYS.  Between the new contract with the Cranford lobbying firm and the payment for the no-show job, the non-profit paid out an additional $262,000 in diverted funds.    As part of his plea, Walsh admitted that these payments and those to the state senator were not authorized by the SAYS Board of Directors.  
“Jerry Walsh diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to help vulnerable children in southern Arkansas as a part of a corrupt scheme to influence the award of state contracts,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Walsh’s actions ultimately risked destroying the non-profit he helped lead and undermining the public’s confidence in its elected officials.  The Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the integrity of charitable programs, rooting out corruption, and ensuring that individuals like Walsh are held accountable for their actions.”
“This plea exposes the depths to which ‘pay to play’ politics has corrupted a non-profit organization which was formed with the best of intentions, to help children,” said U.S. Attorney Kees.  “Unfortunately, there are many victims in a scheme like this.  The people of this state were deprived of the uncorrupted functioning of their government agencies, the non-profit was stripped of funds, and now that the non-profit has been shuttered, the community is deprived of a non-profit dedicated to providing services to their most vulnerable children, those who are incarcerated and in state custody.  I look forward to a day when all politicians exercising influence do so based upon the best interests of the children in their communities and not on who is paying them for no-show jobs.”    
The FBI investigated this case along with the assistance of the Magnolia Police Department and the 13th Judicial District of Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Wulff of the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Marco A. Palmieri of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Phillips with the 13th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  This is a combined investigation with the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, and the Western District of Missouri. 

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cocktails & Popcorn: Carter Page FISA Verified Application Is About The Money

Image result for cocktails money
Russian collusion in the 2016 election
The 2016 election was influenced by Russian operatives, but it was not dealing with votes.

It was campaign financing.

These people laundered money through political campaigns, colluded, bribed and blackmailed candidates, financed smear campaigns, through social media and in real life compromises.

From the heavily redacted documents, it can be seen that this is about the money, and lots of it, to keep the ratlines running, like:

  • trafficking tiny humans;
  • human trafficking;
  • uranium;
  • oil;
  • slave labor;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • biomedical research
  • dark weapons;
  • gold; and, 
  • the list goes on.

Here Are the Secret Documents About the Surveillance of Ex-Trump Adviser Carter Page

The Justice Department has released hundreds of pages of documents relating to an FBI application for a secret warrant issued in October 2016 authorizing surveillance on former Donald Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Carter Page, the FISA rabbit

The records were obtained by Gizmodo Media Group (GMG), Splinter’s parent company, via a Freedom of Information Act request filed in April 2017. Other media and political organizations, including the New York TimesUSA Today, and Judicial Watch, also filed FOIA requests.

The FBI submitted the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which approved its request to surveil Page. The Times noted that the government’s release of this application was essentially unprecedented, since “no such application materials had apparently become public in the 40 years since Congress enacted [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] to regulate the interception of phone calls and other communications on domestic soil in search of spies and terrorists, as opposed to wiretapping for ordinary criminal investigations.”

The documents are heavily redacted in places, but what remains leaves little to the imagination. The FBI’s application for the secret warrant flatly asserts that Page is “an agent of a foreign power,” and adds, “The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government [redacted] undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”

Among the other highlights:
—The FBI also says that it “believes that the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with Candidate #1's campaign.” (Candidate #1 is Trump.)

The FBI claims that, according to a source, Page met with a Russian who raised the possibility that the Russian government could leak a damaging dossier about “Candidate #2" (Hillary Clinton) to the Trump campaign.

In February 2017, Page sent a letter to the DOJ alleging that Clinton’s campaign was subjecting him to a smear campaign.

Page—a former investment banker and oil industry consultant who, though he spent just five months advising the Trump campaign on foreign policy, has loomed large in the popular imagination thanks in part to his shadowy backstory and a series of questionable television appearances—later acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee that he met with Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip to Moscow. (He claimed that he made the trip as a private citizen, but that he briefed other Trump campaign officials about it after his return.) Splinter has reached out to him for comment on the FBI’s assertions. We have also reached out to the White House for comment.

The DOJ’s national security division initially countered the FOIA requests with a “Glomar response,” a refusal to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of the records. In the context of national security, a Glomar response is commonly used when rejecting a FOIA request on any other grounds would implicitly acknowledge that an agency possess records whose very existence is classified.

In May 2017, GMG filed a lawsuit against the DOJ in a Federal District Court in Manhattan, arguing the existence of the FISA warrants had, for all intents and purposes, been declassified by President Trump on March 4 in a series of threetweets, the first of which read in part: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.”
The memo turned out to be self-defeating for the GOP for several reasons. First, it charged that in seeking the secret surveillance warrant, federal investigators had failed to inform judges that key evidence was obtained from a biased source—the so-called Steele dossier, which was initially written by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Democrats. But a response memo published by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee later debunked the accusation, revealing that the court had in fact been informed of the source’s political bias.

The memo also backfired by inadvertently confirming that the Steele dossier was not the primary factor jumpstarting the Russia inquiry. Instead, it acknowledged events previously reported by the New York Times: A former Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, came under the scrutiny of investigators in July 2016 after boasting that Russia had dirt on then-candidate Hillary Clinton to an Australian diplomat in London.

The Russia investigation is ongoing, but so far Special Counsel Robert Mueller has secured 32 indictments or guilty pleas. Among the five people who have pleaded guilty are Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, and former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Charges have also been brought against 26 Russian nationals, including 12 intelligence officers indicted on July 13, and three Russian companies.

The FISA warrant records pertaining to Page, which were delivered to GMG late on Saturday afternoon, can be read below in full. This story will be updated as reporters continue to pore over the documents.
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Cocktails & Popcorn: Al Sharpton, Michael Cohen, Lanny Davis & The Attorney Client Privilege

Optics, pure optics, but for what?

Lanny Davis is now representing Michael Cohen, former attorney for Trump, who is a financial conduit for Perkins Coie, that paid for the attorney Michael Avenatti. who representing Stormy Daniels and suing Cohen because she alleges that he colluded with her former attorney Keith Davidson to make sure she did not break her Non Disclosure Agreement, or something like that.

So, why would Michael Cohen reach out to Al Sharpton, a media representative of MSNBC, for a very public meeting, that they actually both tweeted, without legal counsel?

Where was Lanny?

I would hope Cohen does not believe good old Al is going to do anything to jeopardize that lucrative contract he has over there at MSNBC.

I most certainly hope Cohen was not shopping around for the services of the National Action Network for the purposes of launching a civil rights propaganda campaign for hire.

What I think is that Mueller found other stuff when Cohen was raided.

I think Cohen was caught with some other surreptitious stuff that is "civil rights" related, but only realized, post hoc. that he did not use his law license very wisely, where Lanny had Cohen reach out, thinking that Al would provide his assistance in plotting and scheming to preserve his Attorney Client Privileges.

Well, at least that is what I see out of this, but, hey, what do I know.

MICHAEL COHEN’S MEETING WITH AL SHARPTON WAS INTENDED TO SEND ‘SIGNAL’ TO POTUS



Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s meeting on Friday with Al Sharpton was intended to send a signal to the president, the civil rights activist says.

“Out of all the people he could reach out to, reaching out to me is sending a signal to Mr. Trump and I think, probably, to prosecutors that he was not one who would not deal with someone who has been fighting Donald Trump for decades on social justice issues,” Sharpton said in an interview on MSNBC on Friday.

Sharpton and Cohen met at a restaurant for over an hour on Friday morning, shortly before news broke that months before the 2016 election, Cohen secretly recorded a two-minute conversation with Trump regarding Karen McDougal, a Playboy playmate who allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2006.

The Washington Post reported that Cohen suggested purchasing the rights to McDougal’s story from AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer. AMI paid McDougal $150,000 in August 2016 for her story.

According to The Post, Trump is mostly silent in the recording. At one point he asked Cohen how the payment would be made.

“I received a text from him saying he wanted to meet,” Sharpton said on Saturday. “We met at a public restaurant and we spoke for over an hour. He was very troubled and felt in many ways cast wrongly.”

“And I feel he was saying that he had been abandoned by Mr. Trump,”  Sharpton continued, adding: “He was adamant that he was opposed to things that Mr. Trump was doing.”

Sharpton tweeted about his meeting with Cohen shortly after it ended.

“Just spent an hour w/ Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney,” Sharpton wrote. “I bet you’re wondering what we could be talking about! Stay tuned.”

Cohen confirmed the meeting, writing that “I have known Rev for almost 20 years. No one better to talk to!”

Trump blasted his former attorney in an early-morning tweet on Saturday.

“Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,” he wrote.

(RELATED: ‘Perhaps Illegal’: Trump Rails Against Cohen For Taping His Private Conversations)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is reportedly investigating Cohen over his business dealings and possible campaign finance violations. Cohen’s payments to women are reportedly a part of the investigation. Just before the 2016 election, Cohen paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who also allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2006.

The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room on April 9.

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The Dark Money Of Children's Rights, Clinton Foundation & Perkins Coie

Get ready for another legal defense storm.

The dark money laundering rules are in place, where I have provided the Treasury Guidance, below.

The U.S. Child Welfare System is about to get really, really mean because it is about to be exposed for the trafficking of tiny humans residual of the peculiar institution.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing war crimes.

Enjoy.
Marcia Lowry new York City
Marcia Lowry, representing the corporate parents of
"The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth).

Legendary Child Rights Litigator Staffs Up to Storm the Big City

Marcia Lowry, the crusading child welfare attorney, works out of an office on Hardscrabble Road. She didn’t name this leafy suburban New York lane, but it suits her reputation: The slew of big-ticket settlements she’s secured against large foster care systems made her one of the nation’s most respected, winning and – in some quarters – loathed attorneys for vulnerable youth.

Now, thanks to significant new funding from an anonymous Tulsa-based foundation, her small legal aid firm A Better Childhood is hardscrabble no more. Lowry would not disclose the funder, or the amount, but said it will allow her to more than double the organization’s staff and open an office in New York City.

“You still see news stories constantly about problems at child welfare agencies, and there is still a need to more clearly define constitutional rights for children. And that’s what we are going to try to do,” Lowry said. “We plan to bring new cases to try to more fully develop those constitutional principles.”

Lowry rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead plaintiff’s attorney in an infamous legal fight over the rights of foster children. Then with the ACLU, she represented a group of New York youth led by Shirley Wilder, a 13-year-old Protestant African-American who had to shuttle between abusive institutions because higher-quality Catholic and Jewish agencies refused to serve her.

The critically acclaimed 2001 book The Lost Children of Wilder cemented the case’s stature even while painting a dispiriting picture of meager system improvements it produced. By then, Lowry had left the ACLU to found the organization Children’s Rights, continuing to pioneer a strategy of high-profile, class-action suits against state and city child welfare systems. It’s hard to say whether those suits — in Milwaukee, Atlanta, New Jersey, Oklahoma, District of Columbia and New York City, among others — earned her more detractors or supporters.


Nina Bernstein Marcia Lowry New York Times An acclaimed 1999 book chronicled Lowry’s first major case in the early 1970s, when religious and racial discrimination was still “the woof and weave of the city’s foster care system,” as the author once put it.

“If you are the one who points out the emperor is not wearing clothes, you aren’t invited to be the emperor’s wardrobe consultant. Marcia doesn’t shy away from saying the emperor’s naked,” said Dr. Richard Gelles, a sociologist and the former Dean of the School Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as an expert witness for several of her cases.

While the Wilder suit pushed constitutional boundaries, Lowry’s recent cases have made narrower points about systems’ failures to meet guidelines in federal legislation like the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) — which Gelles helped write — or under state laws. The resulting settlements, say Lowry’s (and ASFA’s) many staunch critics, put far too much emphasis on fixing foster care and finding permanent homes for foster youth, instead of expanding support for struggling biological parents in low-income minority communities that see a disproportionate number of children placed in foster care.

“I am sad to hear the news of [A Better Childhood’s] expansion. Through litigation Lowry has enabled the destruction of American families,” said Martin Guggenheim, a co-director of New York University School of Law’s Family Defense Clinic, and a former litigation partner with Lowry at the ACLU. “She is oblivious to the reality that most children in foster care shouldn’t be in there in the first place. She ends up braising a state like New York for receiving an ‘F’ grade in permanency — for not destroying families in order to place them with a new family permanently — with the speed she believes children deserve.”

Dilly, dilly!

Lowry acknowledges her thinking has shifted over decades of suing agencies, but rejects that her work subverts a recent movement to expand prevention programs for at-risk parents.

“Prevention is really important, but people forget there is no legal right to prevention services except under some state laws. You need a legal hook, and children in foster care have a legal hook. That’s a fact of life,” she says. “I don’t think anybody knows how to bring a lawsuit simply on behalf of poor people in society. You can work on the particular issues, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Preach. No one cares about "The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth).  I know how to bring up a lawsuit on behalf of "The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth) because I have done it a few times.

She plans to file for class action certification in her organization’s case on behalf of 19 foster youth against New York City and State in the fall. The Administration for Children’s Services, the city’s child welfare agency and one of the defendants in the suit, declined to comment.

Judiciary has been pushing the quashing of class action lawsuits but, oddly enough, not one person has raised the issues of "children's rights" as opposed to "Children's Rights", the organization.

See, children have no rights.  Anything resembling the right of a child, like inheritance, is automatically assigned to the state, who then turns around and grants the right of guardianship to a corporation because the state of being a child, is now being considered to be a condition of disability, which means that they need a guardian, or rather, a corporate parent, who gets child support from the state in the form of grants, Medicaid Targeted Case Management cost reimbursements, Title IV-B and IV-E.  The list is endless when you consider the fact that all these federal billables can and will be used to leverage as financial instruments, under intellectual property.

So, that means if you run a class action for children in foster care, adoption and juvenile justice, you would have to sue your corporate donors, that you do not have to disclose from which foreign nations they hail.

The debate over using class action litigation to reform child welfare systems has simmered in recent years. The influential Center for the Study of Social Policy released a comprehensive review in 2012, concluding that only certain kinds of suits produce durable change. Jerry Milner, the Trump-appointed head of the federal Children’s Bureau, weighed in on the issue this week on the American Bar Association’s website, describing his experience implementing a class-action settlement in Alabama (Lowry was not involved in that case):
The nature of the litigation and resulting consent decree which was atypical of most state child welfare settlements, brought many positive changes for children and families. This was largely because the plaintiffs sought something more than a mechanical consent decree that might have led to counting widgets rather than achieving real changes.
Jerry Milner financially benefitted from that consent decree because his company got more federal grants to run his "super-duper, whizz-boom-bang" predictive modeling compliance review tool.

A Better Childhood plans to file suits against four to six jurisdictions nationwide in the next five years, according to Dawn Post, who will start as the organization’s deputy director next week.

“I’ve seen the need for systemic change that impacts more children than I can through taking individual clients, so having the chance to learn and work with someone like Marcia is an amazing opportunity,” Post said. She was most recently a borough co-director for another New York City legal aid firm, the Children’s Law Center, and a frequent advocate on permanency issues, especially around adoption.

Systematic change: "Stop stealin' children!!!"

Lowry will hire three more attorneys and support staff in the coming months, says a job posting on the Harvard Law School website. “The work will be limited only by our own imaginations and legal skills,” reads the ad.

Harvard Law School has a long and illustrious legacy of churning out "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending) in the fields of trafficking tiny humans.

According to recent tax filings, A Better Childhood’s revenue for 2016 was just over $640,000, with at least $200,000 going to Lowry as compensation. Local governments the organization has successfully sued have paid for most of the legal work, according to Lowry. Only a single donor is listed on the nonprofit’s tax return, and it is listed as: “Restricted.”

Dark money is powerful black magic when it comes to crafting law and policy in the trafficking of tiny humans.

“You can ask but I won’t answer,” said Lowry when asked about her organization’s new funding source. The new benefactor makes most of its donations anonymously, she added, noting that the funder approached her about pitching them.


“Marcia Lowry’s career is evidence of the power of a single visionary to bring about transformational change for some of our nation’s most at-risk children who have been neglected and abused,” reads a statement from the funder, which Lowry passed along to The Chronicle. “We are honored and humbled to be partnering with her and are confident that thousands of our country’s abused and neglected children will have better lives and futures as a result.”

Lowry created A Better Childhood soon after leaving the organization Children’s Rights in 2014, and said her departure was due to a desire to litigate more and manage less. Children’s Rights did not return calls and e-mails for comment.

The chairman of A Better Childhood’s board, a Tulsa-based oil and gas attorney Fred Dorwart, had previously served on Children’s Rights’ board, joining after the organization filed a class-action suit against the State of Oklahoma. He confirmed that A Better Childhood’s new anonymous donor was a private foundation in Tulsa, though not the multibillion-dollar George Kaiser Family Foundation, which he also sits on the board of.

Writing to The Chronicle on behalf of A Better Childhood’s board, Dorwart said:

“We are excited that an anonymous donor has recognized the important work Marcia and A Better Childhood are doing in foster care reform litigation. With this funding, A Better Childhood is now able to expand its efforts and replicate its successes in those additional areas where our less fortunate children so badly need representation.”

This is a legal defense move.  You make it seems you are doing the right thing, hoping you can still further the interests of your privatized funders of Social Impact Bonds, but will position yourself when it all comes crashing down on how you are just a propaganda child welfare fraud machine, probably working with Burnsen Marsteller, unless the Clinton Foundation can no longer afford it and is just launching its own intelligence operations through the behemoth of "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending) over there at Perkins Coie Sucks.

But hey, what do I know?

Today, Clinton Is Cashing In With A Central Figure In The Obama Administration's Solyndra Scandal

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Today, Hillary Clinton will attend a fundraiser at the home of Tulsa businessman and Democrat fundraiser George Kaiser.
  • Kaiser's private equity firm was the largest shareholder in green energy company Solyndra, whose 2011 bankruptcy cost taxpayers over $500 million and left nearly 2,000 people out of work.
  • The Department of Energy's Inspector General earlier this year found the company misrepresented key facts about the loan guarantee, as company officials acted at best "reckless" and "irresponsible," orchestrating an "effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the department."
On December 11, 2015, Hillary Clinton Will Attend A "Conversation With Hillary" At The Home Of Cookie And George Kaiser In Tulsa, Oklahoma. ("Conversation With Hillary," Hillary For America, Accessed 12/6/15)
George Kaiser Was The Chief Financial Backer Of Solyndra, Which Received A $535 Million Energy Loan Guarantee From Obama's Department Of Energy. "The Obama administration rushed a $535 million energy loan guarantee through to Solyndra Inc. and in doing so skipped steps, potentially putting taxpayers at risk, according to iWatch News and ABC News. In March 2009, the Department of Energy announced the loan guarantee before it received final outside legal reviews. Not only did the rushed process make taxpayers susceptible, but it also gives the perception that the program was influenced by political interests, said Franklin Rusco, an analyst with the Government Accountability Office. Solyndra's main financial backers include George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who raised at least $50,000 for Obama's 2008 campaign." ("DOE: Loan Guarantees Rushed To Companies With White House Ties," Greenwire, 5/25/11)
  • Kaiser Also Runs Argonaut Private Equity Firm, Which Was The Largest Shareholder Of Solyndra. "Among the key backers of the $198 million raised: Oklahoma oilman Kaiser's Argonaut Private Equity, as well as Madrone Capital Partners, a private investment firm affiliated with S. Robson Walton, chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Kaiser's Argonaut Private Equity and its affiliates were the largest shareholder of Solyndra as it pushed for the IPO. Kaiser's firm remains a 'significant financial backer of Solyndra,' Solyndra spokesman David Miller confirmed." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Skipping Safeguards, Officials Rushed Benefit To A Politically-Connected Energy Company," The Center For Public Integrity , 5/24/11)

CLINTON SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF SOLYNDRA IN 2011 AS SECRETARY OF STATE

Clinton Praised Solyndra An Example Of American Entrepreneurship And Innovation In A 2011 Speech In Hong Kong. CLINTON: "And today they are helping power companies like Solyndra, a green energy startup in California that began producing solar panels in 2007 and now installs them in more than 20 countries worldwide." (Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks By Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton: Principles Prosperity In The Asia Pacific , Hong Kong, 7/25/11)

Clinton Is Also Linked To Kaiser Through Their Family Foundations

George B. Kaiser Has Donated Between $100,001 And $250,000 To The Clinton Foundation. (Clinton Foundation Donors, Accessed 12/6/15)
In March 2014, Kaiser Appeared With Hillary Clinton At A Clinton Foundation Event To Kickoff A "Too Small To Fail" Initiative, Where The George Kaiser Family Foundation Was A Partner. "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Tulsa with local billionaire philanthropist George Kaiser on Monday to announce the kickoff of the "Talking is Teaching" campaign, a partnership with the Too Small to Fail Initiative aimed at helping parents and caregivers of children ages birth to 5 prepare for success. The partnership is a communitywide effort by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, CAP Tulsa, Tulsa Educare and Too Small to Fail - a joint initiative of Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation - to empower parents and caregivers to boost the brain development and vocabularies of young children by increasing the number of words they hear spoken to them each day." (Mike Averill, "Hillary Clinton Coming To Tulsa To Help Announce New Education Campaign," Tulsa World , 3/22/14)
  • At The Appearance, Clinton Thanked Kaiser And His Foundation For The Commitment To Early Childhood Education, Saying, Of Kaiser, "He Knows It Is Never Too Early To Invest In The Next Generation." "Clinton and billionaire philanthropist George Kaiser spent time with a group of children at the Educare No. 2 site, reading and singing along to 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.' Clinton later thanked Kaiser and the George Kaiser Family Foundation for their commitment to early childhood education and for creating a model for the rest of the country. 'He knows it is never too early to invest in the next generation,' Clinton said. 'You can't ever give up on any child, and the earlier you start the less likely it will be that you are even facing that difficult situation.'" (Mike Averill, "Hillary Clinton Touts New Child-Development Initiative During Tulsa Visit," Tulsa World , 3/25/14)

SOLYNDRA'S BANKRUPTCY COST TAXPAYERS OVER $500 MILLION DOLLARS AND PUT NEARLY 2,000 PEOPLE OUT OF WORK

Solyndra Received A Major Loan From The Obama Administration But Went Bankrupt In 2011, Leading To An Investigation By The Department Of Energy's Inspector General. Solyndra collapsed two years after it received its first U.S. loan in 2009. Its September 2011 bankruptcy led to an investigation by congressional Republicans and withering criticism of the loan guarantee program, which had been funded by the 2009 economic stimulus program. It's failure became an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. The Justice Department also investigated the handling of the Solyndra loan, but the inspector general was notified early this year that no criminal charges would be filed, according to the report. (Jim Snyder, "Solyndra May Have Lied To Get Loan Guarantee, Watchdog Says," Bloomberg Politics 9/26/15)
1,861 Workers Were Laid Off By Solyndra As It Went Bankrupt. "Since September 1, 2010 (impact date), an estimate 1,861 workers have been separated from the firm. This total includes an estimated 649 temporary workers as well as leased workers from West Valley, Aerotek, Oxford Global, GES and Lighthouse Management. Most of these separations occurred at the time of the shut-down of the Fremont, CA facility on August 31, 2011. An additional 85 workers are threatened with separation as the company's operations wind down." (Employment And Training Administration, "Investigative Report TA-W-80,410; Solyndra LLC," Department Of Labor, 9/12/11)
The Government Recovered Only $24 Million Of The $527 Million Loaned To Solyndra. "Last week, Solyndra's final liquidation plan estimated that the government will recover just $24 million of the $527 million that taxpayers lent to the company." (Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leoning, "White House Analyst Warned Saving Solyndra Could Cost More Than Letting It Fail," The Washington Post , 8/1/12)

A Recent Inspector General (IG) Report Found That Solyndra "Misrepresented Facts And Omitted Key Information" In Swindling Taxpayers Out Of $500 Million

The Energy Department IG Has Found That Solyndra "Misrepresented Facts And Omitted Key Information In Their Efforts To Get A $535 Million Loan Guarantee From The Federal Government." "A four-year investigation has concluded that officials of the solar company Solyndra misrepresented facts and omitted key information in their efforts to get a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government." (Kevin Freking, "Report: Solyndra Misrepresented Fact To Get Loan Guarantee," The Associated Press8/26/15)
The Report Showed That The Department Of Energy's Due Diligence Was "Less Than Fully Effective," And That They Felt "Tremendous Pressure" To Approve The Loan Applications. "The report by the Energy Department's inspector general was released Wednesday. It's designed to provide federal officials with lessons learned as it proceeds to grant billions of dollars in additional loan guarantees. The inspector general found fault with the Department of Energy, describing its due diligence work as 'less than fully effective.' The report also said department employees felt tremendous pressure to process loan guarantee applications." (Kevin Freking, "Report: Solyndra Misrepresented Fact To Get Loan Guarantee," The Associated Press8/26/15)
Solyndra Officials Acted At Best "Reckless" And "Irresponsible," Orchestrating An "Effort To Knowingly and Intentionally Deceive And Mislead The Department.""In the end, however, the inspector general said the actions of the Solyndra officials 'were at the heart of this matter.' 'In our view, the investigative record suggests that the actions of certain Solyndra officials were, at best, reckless and irresponsible or, at worst, an orchestrated effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the department,' the IG's report said." (Kevin Freking, "Report: Solyndra Misrepresented Fact To Get Loan Guarantee," The Associated Press8/26/15)
The IG Report Stated That The Solyndra's Failure Will "Cost Taxpayers More Than $500 Million." "The company's collapse soon after getting federal backing provided ammunition to lawmakers and other critics who portrayed it as wasteful government spending. The company's failure likely will cost taxpayers more than $500 million." (Kevin Freking, "Report: Solyndra Misrepresented Fact To Get Loan Guarantee," The Associated Press8/26/15)

Emails Released After Solyndra's Bankruptcy "Directly Contradict" Kaiser's Denial Of Talking About Solyndra With The White House

In Response To Criticism, The George Kaiser Family Foundation Denied Participating In Any Discussions With The U.S. Government Regarding Securing A Loan For Solyndra. "A top donor to President Obama did not use political influence or talk to administration officials about a massive government loan to a solar company backed by his investment funds, according to a statement issued by his family foundation. The foundation of Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser said it took a hit like other investors in Solyndra, which this week closed its plant and laid off 1,100 workers. The California-based solar-panel manufacturer won a $535 million government-backed loan to spur innovation in clean energy, but taxpayers may have to repay it. In a statement on Thursday, the George Kaiser Family Foundation said Kaiser, a major fundraising bundler for Obama, is not personally invested in Solyndra and 'did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. Government regarding the loan.' The statement came as House Republicans vowed to more fully investigate the extent of White House involvement in the federal backing for Solyndra. They said they have found evidence that the White House tracked the company's application, and that officials weighing its proposal knew of the White House's interest." (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Top Obama Donor George Kaiser Says He Didn't Play Politics To Win Government Loan," The Washington Post , 9/2/11)
But In A February 2010 Email, Kaiser Expressed Concerns Over How His Role Raising Money For Obama Would Look As Long As Solyndra Is "Still The Only Recipient" Of The Loan Guarantee Program. "In a Feb. 7, 2010, email exchange, Kaiser fretted to Levit about how his role raising money for Obama would look to the outside world as the focus stayed on Solyndra. 'S'pose an investigative reporter will ever make an association between an early Obama supporter and majority shareholder (through 'his' charity) in the entity that received one half billion (or two total billion) dollar LOAN guarantee(s)?' he wrote. 'Solyndra is still the only recipient through that program.' Levit replied: 'I've wondered about it, given the WH lists, etc. The truth is that the name of the company has never crossed your lips with the administration (not so with Congress) and we've certainly never lobbied for the company.'" (Darren Samuelsohn, "New Solyndra Emails Fuel Controversy," Politico, 11/9/11)

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