Reactions to Oct. 30 Indictments

President Donald J. Trump tweets
October 30
10:25 a.m.
Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

10:28 a.m.
....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

October 31

8:09 a.m.
The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he...

8:16 a.m.
....came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

10:06 a.m.
The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he know about Crooked Dems is....

10:10 a.m. shattering. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!

Americans for Limited Government
Op-Ed Oct. 31, 2017

Why did the Russians try to deliver ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign—three times? And what did Fusion GPS know about it? Was the Trump campaign being set up?

By Robert Romano

Meetings set up with Trump campaign officials.

Promises of dirt on Hillary Clinton being offered by the Russians.

People involved were not who they say they were or did not furnish the information they said they would.

Sound familiar?

We’re talking about Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort’s June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, right? The one where the promise of damaging information on Clinton was used to get the meeting but was never actually furnished?

Wrong. We’re talking about George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor and campaign volunteer, who has pled guilty of lying to the FBI about the timing of his joining the Trump campaign and his subsequent contacts with persons he apparently believed were connected to the Russian government.

According to the statement of offense by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in March 2016 and while in Italy, Papadopoulos met an overseas professor based in London who “claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials.” Eventually he was introduced to a female Russian national who Papadopoulos thought was Vladimir Putin’s niece — she wasn’t — with the purpose being to set up an eventual meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

On April 26, Papadopoulos was teased by the professor that, according to the special counsel, “the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos, as defendant Papadopoulos later described to the FBI, that ‘They [the Russians] have dirt on her’; ‘the Russians had emails of Clinton’; ‘they have thousands of emails.’” This apparently was referring to the missing emails from Clinton’s private server that contained classified information, and had been reported to have been hacked variously by Marcel Lehel Lazar, AKA Guccifer, the Russians and others.

By then, Papadopoulos was attempting to arrange a “history changing” meeting between Trump and Putin, but the idea was nixed by then Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, according to the Daily News. “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips,” Manafort told his business partner Rick Gates per the Daily News report. So, no collusion there. Meetings were proposed, but never accomplished.

Even if they had been, having meetings is not a crime in itself.

Notably, nowhere in the special counsel’s filing does it purport that Papadopoulos actually ever received the damaging Clinton dossier or met with real Russian officials. Instead, the filing merely states that Papadopoulos thought he was meeting with such officials. For example, the professor, per the special counsel, “claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials.” On Putin’s “niece,” Papadopoulos “believed that she had connections to Russian government officials…” At one point, Papadopoulos was introduced to “an individual in Moscow … who told defendant Papadopoulos he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Nowhere does the statement of offense confirm these contacts actually had the connections they were purporting.

Now, if the special counsel thought Papadopoulos had actually met with real Russian government officials, wouldn’t the special counsel’s filing had said that? Instead, these people were not who they said they were. That wasn’t Putin’s niece, for example. Was this an undercover operation or something?

Perhaps the Kremlin really did send these people to set up these meetings and to offer Hillary Clinton “dirt” to the Trump campaign. But maybe not. The special counsel does not say one way or another. Just that Papadopoulos thought he was communicating with people connected to the Russian government and that, at least in part, they were lying.

If not Russian agents, then, who might have been teasing Papadopoulos with this “dirt” on Clinton?

Well, one hint might come from the fact that similar bait was used by Veselnitskaya to get the meeting with Trump, Jr.

According to the email chain released by Trump, Jr., Rob Goldstone offered in an early June 2016 email that “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” This eventually resulted in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Veselnitskaya. None of the supposed incriminating information was apparently ever furnished.

Instead, Veselnitskaya wanted to discuss U.S. sanctions on Russia via the Magnitsky Act. Trump, Jr. called it a “wasted 20 minutes.” The meeting was not what it appeared to be.

It also sounds a lot like the same incriminating information on Hillary Clinton that was similarly teased in the Christopher Steele authored dossier that was produced by Fusion GPS, which we now know was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee via law firm Perkins Coie.

In the Steele documents, former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page was also said to be offered the Clinton dossier: “a senior colleague in the Internal Political Department of the PA, Diveykin (nfd) also had met secretly with [Carter] Page on his recent visit [to Moscow]. Their agenda had included Diveykin raising a dossier of ‘kompromat’ the Kremlin possessed on Trump’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, and its possible release to the Republican’s campaign team.” Page has denied such meetings.

There you have not one, not two, but three examples where the Trump campaign was offered incriminating information on Hillary Clinton, supposedly by Russia. Perhaps the Papadopoulos overture had failed, and so the same thing was tried again at different levels. The fact that it happened more than once can be no coincidence.

Even more so because Veselnitskaya was said in Senate Judiciary Committee July 26 testimony by Bill Browder, the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, to have been working with Fusion GPS. Yes, the same Fusion GPS that commissioned Steele to write the dossier. Browder said, “Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsy Act.”

Veselnitskaya, who per Browder once hired Fusion GPS for a similar smear campaign, was teasing the Hillary Clinton Russia-produced dossier to Trump, Jr. as bait.

Fusion GPS was reporting via Steele that Page had been teased this same information as bait.

A very good question that Congressional investigators on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees should be asking is if this professor, Putin’s “niece” and this supposed contact to the Russian Foreign Ministry were somehow connected to Fusion GPS, too? What if they’re all connected?

This all violates the law of too many coincidences. The Russian government offered three times to deliver “dirt” on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign? And each time, it never produced the dirt? What purpose did this operation serve? Whose agenda?

If the same ploy is deployed numerous times in a short span of time, offering “dirt” under false pretenses, it seems likely they were all perpetrated by the same person or persons. Perhaps it was Russia, although Mueller appears to fall short of making that case.

So, if not Russia, then Fusion GPS itself should be questioned. Because, right now, it looks a lot like Fusion GPS’ work became the FBI’s basis for investigating the Trump campaign and then the basis for Special Counsel Mueller’s work today as it relates to the Papadopoulos case and the broader Trump-Russia collusion probe, which continues.

It should not be lost on Congress that the FBI reportedly offered to pay Fusion GPS’ Steele to continue his work.

Was the Trump campaign being set up with this promise of “dirt” on Clinton, her missing emails and offers of meetings? Was it Russia? Or were all these efforts really a sting operation by the FBI or somebody else?

Whatever the answers are, it seems likely Fusion GPS knows. That’s where the real investigation must occur. And if the Justice Department won’t do it, then it is Congress that must — no matter where the truth leads.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.


Press Release Oct. 30, 2017

Mueller should resign as special counsel as charges unrelated to 2016 election campaign

Oct. 30, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the indictment of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates:

"Robert Mueller should resign as special counsel. His indictments of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates have nothing to do with the 2016 Trump campaign or election generally. Mueller's charges predate Manafort's involvement in the Trump campaign and even the Trump campaign itself. The charges all falls outside the scope of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' original recusal from anything to do with the election campaign, and there is no reason for a special counsel in this case which could have been brought any U.S. Attorney. If Mueller refuses to resign, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for going beyond the scope of his mandate, and should require his work to be turned over to the Justice Department for normal handling.

"The precedent that involvement in U.S. presidential campaign will subject you to a prosecutorial proctology exam covering your entire work history is unacceptable. However, Mueller's Clouseau-like inability to see the Hillary Clinton mound of Russia-related corruption that surrounded the Uranium One deal, the Christopher Steele dossier and the DNC supposed hack disqualifies him from further service in this area."

To view online:

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
Oct. 31, 2017

Congressman Matt Gaetz Applauds Gen. Kelly’s Call for Special Counsel, Mueller Recusal

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s call for a second special counsel, and for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recusal, during General Kelly’s recent interview on Fox News.
Earlier this year in July 2017, Rep. Gaetz offered an amendment in the House Judiciary Committee, as well as a stand-alone bill calling for a special counsel. To view the text of Rep. Gaetz’s amendment in the House Judiciary Committee and stand-alone bill, click HERE and HERE. Additionally, to watch the video of Rep. Gaetz’s offering the amendment in the committee, click HERE.

“Evidence has emerged that the FBI withheld information from Congress and from the American people about Russian corruption of American uranium companies. These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the Director of the FBI — as such, his ability to investigate these issues with impartiality is hopelessly compromised. General Kelly is entirely correct that Mr. Mueller should recuse himself for any investigations into the Uranium One deal.

“A confidential U.S. witness, working in the Russian nuclear industry, began gathering information in 2009. This information revealed that Russia had deeply compromised an American uranium trucking firm through bribery and financial kickbacks. Federal agents obtained eyewitness accounts and documents showing that senior Russian officials routed millions of dollars into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, at a time when the Obama administration was making major decisions to benefit Vladimir Putin’s commercial nuclear program — including selling twenty percent of America’s uranium to Moscow.

“Although federal agents possessed this information in 2010, the Department of Justice continued investigating this ‘matter’ for over four years. The FBI, led at the time by Robert Mueller, required the confidential witness to sign a non-disclosure agreement. When the witness attempted to contact Congress and federal courts about the bribery and corruption he saw, he was threatened with legal action. By silencing him, Obama’s Justice Department knowingly kept Congress in the dark about Russia’s significant and illegal involvement with American uranium companies.

“This is utterly outrageous. The sale of uranium requires Congressional oversight because it is a critical issue of national security. Any illegal Russian involvement in the development and sale of American uranium is an unacceptable threat to national security, and any ‘pay-to-play’ connections between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department must be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The connections are too deep, and the evidence too well-documented, for this to be ignored.

“In July, I introduced an amendment to H. Res. 446, calling for a second special counsel into the worrisome conduct of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That same month, I also requested this counsel in H. Res. 477. I am glad that General Kelly sees the need for a second special counsel, too. America deserves answers, and as more and more worrisome information comes to light, the need for a truly independent investigator is greater than ever,” Rep. Gaetz said.


House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
Oct. 30, 2017

Pelosi Statement on First Mueller Indictments

San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after news that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates have been ordered to surrender to federal custody today:

“Even with an accelerating Special Counsel investigation inside the Justice Department, and investigations inside the Republican Congress, we still need an outside, fully independent investigation to expose Russia’s meddling in our election and the involvement of Trump officials.  Defending the integrity of our democracy demands that Congress look forward to counter Russian aggression and prevent future meddling with our elections.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer
Oct. 30, 2017

Schumer Statement on Special Counsel Investigation Indictments

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today released the following statement in response to the recent indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Rick Gates:

“These reported indictments show that the special counsel’s probe is ongoing in a very serious way. The rule of law is paramount in America and the investigation must be allowed to proceed unimpeded.

“The President must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel’s work in any way. If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues.”