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Michelle Malkin | Strongsville Republican Club

Michelle Malkin

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Shocker: Comey statement on FBI’s Hillary probe was heavily edited (guess who helped)

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 18:36

**Written by Doug Powers

The real eye-roller about the James Comey statement about Hillary Clinton in late October of last year wasn’t that it was edited, but rather who did the editing. But I’ll get to that in a minute. First off, in general, it’s been discovered that the then-FBI director’s original statement later got more watered down than a mixed drink at a chain restaurant:

Newly released documents reveal that then-FBI Director James Comey’s draft statement on the Hillary Clinton email probe was edited numerous times before his public announcement, in ways that seemed to considerably water down the bureau’s findings.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, released copies Thursday of the edits to Comey’s highly scrutinized statement.

One showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as “extremely careless” as opposed to “grossly negligent.” This is a key legal distinction.

Johnson, writing about his concerns in a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the original “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”

“The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence – a legal threshold for mishandling classified material – and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence,” he wrote.

It’s been reported that the edit changing “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” thus removing any criminality, was made by notorious FBI agent, Trump hater & Hillary lover working on the probe at the time, Peter Strzok:

The original draft of the memo, which was created in May 2016 and turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, stated, “There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information.”

Around June 10, 2016, the memo’s language was changed to say Clinton’s actions were “extremely careless” instead of grossly negligent.

Though news of the change in language surfaced last month, documents turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee did not indicate at the time that it was Strzok who was responsible for the edit.

Yep, this guy was doing the editing:

Clinton had big fans on the inside keeping her out of major legal trouble and still couldn’t pull off the election so now she continues to blame Russia.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

CNN sounds alarm about 26-year-olds falling off parents’ insurance, blames Trump

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 21:30

**Written by Doug Powers

Don’t show this to anybody who maybe fought in a war or battled a horrible disease at a young age or else they might pull a muscle laughing:

26-year-olds face challenges as they fall off parents' health insurance https://t.co/N2KYa6c3ZO pic.twitter.com/gKkYEu8dD8

— CNN (@CNN) December 13, 2017

All together now:

But wait, what’s the problem!? Democrats assured us that point all they’d have to do is take advantage one of the affordable & comprehensive plans available on the Obamacare marketplace. However, if you read the article, you won’t be shocked to discover that Trump is blamed for everything.

I don’t recall the media doing a whole lot of concern pieces about challenges faced by all the victims of President “if you like your plan you can keep it” Obama.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Still dawdling over deadly diversity visas

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 06:21

Still dawdling over deadly diversity visas
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2017

Capitol Hill’s national security priorities are screwier than a Six Flags roller coaster.

Instead of immediately shutting down one of America’s stupidest visa programs, which helped bring us yet another murder-minded jihadist this week, bipartisan Beltway politicians are pushing to preserve and expand the illegal immigration pipeline. Republicans and Democrats in Congress want a “fix” for the Obama administration’s executive amnesty covering nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants — and they want it pronto.

Translation: Protecting border-hopping “DREAMers” is a more important priority in Washington than protecting Americans from infiltrators exploiting the diversity visa lottery.

You remember the hew and cry over the diversity visa lottery, right? It was just seven short weeks ago when America discovered that New York City truck jihadist Sayfullo Saipov, who ruthlessly mowed down eight people on a bike path, had entered our country from Uzbekistan in 2010 by pure, random luck through the DV lottery program. President Donald Trump called on Congress to end it.

Saipov followed in the footsteps of Hesham Hadayet, the Egyptian-born LAX jihadist who gunned down two people at Israel’s El Al airlines counter in 2002 and gained entry through his lottery-winning wife; Imran Mandhai, the Pakistan-born jihadist who plotted National Guard armory bombings in Florida and gained entry through his parents’ lottery luck; Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, another Uzbek jihadist and lottery winner convicted of supporting terrorism; Syed Ahmed, a Pakistan-born jihadist and DV recipient convicted of terrorism-related activities in the U.S. and abroad in 2009; and Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader deported for terrorism activities in 1997 who had snagged a green card thanks to the DV lottery program’s original iteration.

Up to 55,000 lucky winners a year have secured permanent residency visas (green cards) through the diversity visa lottery since 1990, which put them on the path to American citizenship ahead of millions of other foreigners patiently waiting to come to this country. The green card lotto winners’ spouses and unmarried children under 21 all get lottery passes into the country, too, no matter where they were born. Chain migration extends the families’ winnings. And so on, and so on, and so on.

As I’ve reported tirelessly since 9/11, when counterterrorism experts and immigration watchdogs united against the fraud-riddled, ill-conceived DV lottery, applicants don’t even need a high school education. No outstanding abilities, training or job skills are necessary. Illegal aliens are eligible if a legal family member wins the jackpot. Tens of thousands are pouring in from terrorism breeding grounds through the lottery unvetted, unmonitored and unassimilated.

Justice Department investigators recently discovered one Somali woman who won the DV lottery and subsequently recruited an entire fake family, including a phony husband and two fictitious adult children, all of whom came to the United States and later gained U.S. citizenship based on their false claims.

A U.N. probe found human traffickers forcing dozens of diversity visa lottery winners into listing young female sex slaves as their “family members” to gain entry in the U.S.

And a State Department official testified in 2011 that in Bangladesh, “one agent is reported to have enrolled an entire phone book so that he could then either extort money from winning applicants who had never entered the program to begin with or sell their winning slots to others.”

As usual, however, Congress has done precisely nothing to stop the ruinous racket created by the late Teddy Kennedy and signed off by President George H.W. Bush as a social engineering experiment to admit more “underrepresented” immigrant minorities into the U.S. The latest bill containing an end to the DV lottery program, the “RAISE Act,” sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue, is gathering dust. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s latest call to the State Department for a “full-scale” review has yielded no movement.

And now, here we are, with yet another DV lottery beneficiary in custody for yet another jihad attack. Bangladeshi Akayed Ullah arrived here with a golden ticket obtained through a relative who won the visa lottery. Before strapping on his failed suicide vest on Monday in an attempt to inflict “maximum destruction” on commuters at the New York Port Authority bus terminal, Ullah was the minor child of a sibling of the original ticket holder, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Seven weeks ago, Sen. Jeff Flake smugly tweeted to President Trump that the DV lottery program would have been killed if only the Gang of Eight illegal alien amnesty had been signed into law. In D.C., you see, stupid government programs will only die if hitched to even bigger, more reckless legislative abominations.

Washington priorities at work.

Categories: Conservative Views

The Schiff’s hitting the fan

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:35

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s been 13 months since the presidential election, and Hillary Clinton’s offer of $20 for each time any Democrat implies that the reason she lost is Russia must still be on the table. Rep. Adam Schiff continues to demonstrate that “Trump colluded with Russia to win the election” is a narrative in desperate search of real-world evidence to back it up, and he’s not stopping until somehow willing it into existence:

CNN host Jake Tapper ran through the thread of stories in the Russian collusion narrative while interviewing Schiff on “State of the Union.”

“We haven’t seen the actual connection,” Tapper said. “We haven’t seen an actual proof of cooperation and collusion, so what am I missing here?”

Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Tapper needed to look at the “pattern and the chronology” of Russian and Trump campaign activity. He pointed to the Russians informing the Trump campaign they possessed stolen Hillary Clinton emails, the Russians approaching the Trump campaign offering “dirt” on Clinton, and communications between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks.
Tapper asked if Schiff knew of any communications showing the Russians revealed to the Trump team how they would distribute useful information, but the congressman said he could not comment.

Schiff doesn’t even say he can’t talk about specific evidence by doing the “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” routine, he just says he can’t comment. Writing at the Wall Street Journal, James Freeman asks the question of the year:

Of course Mr. Schiff doesn’t just answer to the media; he also has pledged to keep America’s secrets. He could correctly argue that according to the rules of the House Intelligence Committee he is prohibited from disclosing classified information.

But the rules go further than that. As a member of the committee, Mr. Schiff is not only barred from disclosing classified material; he’s also prohibited from discussing such information, or even causing it to be discussed.

Is it possible that he’s managed to avoid running afoul of House rules because the information doesn’t exist?

I know one place the information does exist because it definitely lives rent-free in Schiff’s head — and that’s good enough for the media to keep giving this broken record significant air time.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

AYFKM? Family of NYC terrorist ‘outraged’ (by police response)

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:03

**Written by Doug Powers

The man arrested for attempting a suicide bombing in Manhattan, Akayed Ullah, didn’t succeed in his murderous goal and instead injured himself and a few other people. Ullah reportedly told officials he was inspired by ISIS and clearly wanted to kill as many people as possible, but failed. With that in mind, the family of Ullah put out a statement with the help of CAIR expressing disgust… at the response of NYC police and investigators. I sh*t you not:

JUST IN: Family of NYC terror suspect Akayed Ullah release statement saying "We are heartbroken by this attack on our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family" (via @CBSNewYork) pic.twitter.com/BXfq3WQJad

— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 12, 2017

NEW: @CAIRNewYork releases updated statement on behalf of Ullah family, adds “Our Family like all families is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.”

Statement also clarifies incidents mentioned criticizing police handling of questioning their family pic.twitter.com/Uk4OEoGguO

— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 12, 2017

I’m not super big on acronymic reactions but I believe the correct one here is “AYFKM!?”

To say the president of the NYPD Seargent’s Benevolent Association reacted unfavorably would be putting it lightly:

For those that may not be aware, CAIR is the mouthpiece for the American Muslim Brotherhood. It is a radical organization that will defend Muslim rights and promote militant Islam. Many of its top officials have been arrested for terrorism.

— SBA (@SBANYPD) December 12, 2017


Running 2nd in the most idiotic reactions to the attack in NYC is this segment on MSNBC, which of course used the bombing as a reason to talk about the need for … gun control:

Never fails.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Trump’s drink of choice has CNN swinging for Pulitzer fences (again)

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:04

**Written by Doug Powers

The eagle-eyed journalists at CNN spotted yet another way President Trump may be ripping apart the very fabric of the Republic we hold dear by doing something the Founding Fathers could never have envisioned: Drinking Diet Coke. Impeachment is imminent:

Categories: Conservative Views

NBC News churns out spin N. Korea State Media might want to pick up on

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:24

**Written by Doug Powers

America: The mainstream media has reached peak stupid these last few weeks.

NBC News: Hold our beer:

Ironically that’s the kind of spin N. Korea’s state media might want to run with.

Predicted next NBC News headline: “Trump’s Anti-Kim Jong-un Policy Poses Threat to N. Korea’s Reliable Electrical Grid”:

(h/t Twitchy)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

SCIENCE! Jerry Brown knows who to blame for Calif. wildfires

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 15:09

**Written by Doug Powers

As you know, since January 20th everything bad is Donald Trump’s fault, and that includes wildfires in California:

California is reeling from its most destructive wildfire season ever, exacerbated Governor Jerry Brown says, by the effects of climate change. Brown says the fires show President Trump is making a mistake by ignoring the facts of global warming. Governor Brown speaks to Bill Whitaker for a report to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT.

Brown told Whitaker that President Trump is wrong to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and misguided for calling it a bad deal for America. “That’s a preposterous idea, not even a shred of truth in that statement,” Brown said. “I don’t think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility… and this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed.”

And by “Lord,” Brown’s apparently referring to Al Gore, U.N. bureaucrats and California progressives who are panicking as the dollar signs in their eyes are fading away.

The Earth’s been around billions of years, the industrial age for about 200 years, the Paris Agreement only a year, and California wildfires forever, but sure, but the problem is the guy who’s been prez 11 months. SCIENCE!

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently unveiled a chart proving why Trump’s presidency will kill everybody

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

How can MSM prove they’re making ‘honest mistakes’ about Trump? Simple

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 11:13

**Written by Doug Powers

The last few weeks for certain outlets in the mainstream media have been such a huge joke that “journalism” should be put under the purview of The Improv until further notice:

CNN on Friday corrected an erroneous report that Donald Trump Jr. had received advance notice from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks about a trove of hacked documents that it planned to release during last year’s presidential campaign.

In fact, the email to Mr. Trump was sent a day after the documents, stolen from the Democratic National Committee, were made available to the general public. The correction undercut the main thrust of CNN’s story, which had been seized on by critics of President Trump as evidence of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign.

It was also yet another prominent reporting error at a time when news organizations are confronting a skeptical public, and a president who delights in attacking the media as “fake news.”

Last Saturday, ABC News suspended a star reporter, Brian Ross, after an inaccurate report that Donald Trump had instructed Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, to contact Russian officials during the presidential race.

The report fueled theories about coordination between the Trump campaign and a foreign power, and stocks dropped after the news. In fact, Mr. Trump’s instruction to Mr. Flynn came after he was president-elect.

Several news outlets, including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, also inaccurately reported this week that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for President Trump’s financial records.

CBS News was among those who ran with with the Trump Jr./Russia scoop only to slip and fall into another steaming pile of CNN’s BS. Yesterday a Washington Post reporter apologized for pushing a photo designed to mock the size of Trump’s crowd at his speech in Florida Friday night. The picture was taken hours before the event started, and the reporter blamed it on “confusion.” There are more examples but bandwidth limitations and the fact that I don’t want to be still writing this post when I start collecting Social Security prohibit me from listing them all.

There’s a simple way for the MSM to collectively prove these were all honest mistakes instead of items to add to the “liberal bias” catalog. All they have to do it put out a list of an equivalent number of “honest mistakes” the MSM made in reports that “accidentally” made President Obama look bad. Get on that, MSM … MSM!?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Obama reminds nation to thank Obama for current economic growth

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 07:40

**Written by Doug Powers

The most unsurprising brag stretch of the week:

Former President Barack Obama is taking credit for the robust economic growth that is taking place under President Trump.

At a conference of mayors in Chicago, Mr. Obama congratulated himself Tuesday for strong employment numbers in the U.S. this year, saying his climate-change policies have contributed to growth.

“As we took these actions, we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently,” Mr. Obama said. “We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far, a streak that still continues by the way.”

He added wryly, “Thanks, Obama.”

Hey, if the economy was doing lousy Obama would have certainly stepped up and taken responsibility, right? RIGHT!?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Newsweek wants you to meet the Pence family — Serial pet killers

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 16:38

**Written by Doug Powers

Pets owned by Mike Pence’s family are not unlike the pets of any of the rest of us: Sadly they grow old and eventually die with no surrounding suspicious circumstances. If you’re the media and looking for an angle, however, you might come up with something like Newsweek tried to dress up as journalism that instead smells more like the inside of a rabbit’s cage that hasn’t been cleaned in a couple of weeks:

Mike Pence's pets won't stop dying https://t.co/zUI50aFkGa pic.twitter.com/B2ENwg8cf2

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 8, 2017

Not unlike Newsweek. And yep, that’s the headline alright:

The first question that popped into my head was “What did those animals have on the Clintons?”

The article lists all the Pences pets that have lost in ways that all pet owners lose pets, and eventually admits that the whole article was barely worthy of bird cage liner:

It is unclear if the stress of Washington life is getting to the Pences’ political animals. The typical lifespan for a cat is between 12 to 15 years, so Pickle and Oreo had full lives. The same can be said for Maverick, as beagles typically live between 12 and 15 years, and he made it to the ripe old age of 13. So perhaps there isn’t any capital intrigue to the issue.

Shorter version of that closing paragraph: “It’s unclear if the stress of political life is getting to the Pence pets. Actually no it isn’t — we’re just total hacks.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Uh oh! Planned Parenthood under federal investigation

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:28

**Written by Doug Powers


The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that Planned Parenthood is officially under federal investigation. Investigations in 2016 by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee resulted in Planned Parenthood being referred to the FBI and the DOJ, as well as state attorneys general, for criminal investigations. After two comprehensive probes, the Committee and the Panel separately found that uncovered documents and testimony indicated Planned Parenthood broke multiple state and federal laws.

Now, it appears the DOJ may come to the same conclusion. The facts indicate that Planned Parenthood is a corrupt, law-breaking, taxpayer-funded abortion corporation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee sifted through over 20,000 pages of documents connected to Planned Parenthood and the U.S. abortion industry, and now the DOJ has requested those documents, according to The Daily Beast, who broke this story.

Millions and millions of taxpayer dollars the gov’t gives to Planned Parenthood (much of which PP kicks back to Dems) hangs in the balance. The Dem panic over this might be enough to render Al Franken’s delayed “resignation” null and void (not that it isn’t already).

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Al Franken tries to discredit accusers in ‘resignation’ speech, then goes back to work

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:59

**Written by Doug Powers

Al Franken managed to deliver a resignation speech without the actual resignation part, at least for now:

Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is resigning following allegations that he touched women inappropriately, he announced on the Senate floor Thursday.

“I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said in an emotional address in which he said some of the allegations against him weren’t true.

Key part of that quote: “In the coming weeks.” Is there some unfinished groping business to attend to? Does he have so many Ted Cruz dartboards in his office that it will take weeks to pack them up?

But at least Franken apologized to the affected women, right? Nah:

Franken said some of the sexual misconduct allegations against him "simply aren't true" and others he remembers "very differently." pic.twitter.com/mHibRtHjdN

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) December 7, 2017

Sorry Al, but Hillary taught us that all women are to be heard and believed, so take it somewhere else.

I’m still a little confused about why Franken would say he’s resigning over allegations he claimed were mostly untrue or at least overblown. But there’s the rub. He didn’t really resign — at least, not yet.

It’s possible some conversation like this took place in Franken’s office at some point:

Franken: What’s the least D-baggy way to get a national audience in order to call these women liars?

Staffer: Dress it up as a resignation speech?

Franken: LOVE IT!


Franken wasn’t the only one delivering on the mixed messages: Some of the female Democrats who called on Franken to resign didn’t seem to want him to go:

Many of the female senators who called on him to resign visibly emotional as they hugged him

— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) December 7, 2017

Just perfect.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Dianne Feinstein slams Trump for doing exactly what she asked him to do

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 19:48

**Written by Doug Powers

Back in June, 90 senators, including Dianne Feinstein, called on President Trump to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem:

The Senate has passed a resolution that calls for President Donald Trump to make a drastic break from both his Democratic and Republican predecessors and move the U.S. embassy in Israeli from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Last Thursday, Trump followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and signed a waiver that delays the embassy relocation. Trump promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem during the campaign. He said he is delaying the move as he hopes to advance a peace negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which was passed by Congress to establish the embassy’s move, allows for the president to delay it for six-month intervals in the interest of national security.

Despite this justification, the Senate has now passed a bipartisan resolution on a 90-0 vote for “commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of the city of Jerusalem,” which also “calls upon the President and all United States officials” to follow the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

Feinstein voted in favor of the above resolution in June and “yes” on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

Here’s part of the June resolution Feinstein voted “yes” on:

(6) reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.

Now that Trump’s decided to do exactly what they asked, we get this from Feinstein:

Reports indicate the president will move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I wrote him last week to explain why that would be a terrible decision. pic.twitter.com/MV1o73nyDk

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 5, 2017

To me that reads “you’re an idiot if you take my advice!”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part One

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 22:47

Pyongyang on the Prairie, Part One
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2017

A criminal justice system that operates in the dark is arbitrary, unjust and criminal.

In Oklahoma this year, a Kafkaesque set of sealed motions, secret orders and closed-door hearings completely shut out a criminal defendant, his public defenders and the public. A trial judge served as handmaiden for the prosecutors, even failing to notify the defendant and his lawyers of the kangaroo court proceedings until after they had occurred.

The defendant, who is appealing his convictions and maintains his complete and actual innocence, was denied an opportunity to challenge the state’s legal arguments for hiding information about a crime lab analyst’s shoddy work on his case that could be exculpatory and key to his exoneration. His public defenders were also denied the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses — all government employees from Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Welcome to Pyongyang on the Prairie.

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office claims that the trial judge, Timothy Henderson, conducted an “exhaustive” review of the protected materials and “deeply explored” their contents with government witnesses who only represented the government’s side of the story.

Don’t worry, be happy, comrades.

Here’s the thing: While the defendant was denied representation at the secret hearings, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to enter the star chamber with an entire “team” of fellow prosecutors. (We only know this after two local TV journalists obtained video footage from a surveillance camera outside the hearing room.) In fact, the state attorney general divulged in one of the few unsealed court filings on the matter, Gieger “facilitated the District Court’s inquiry by thoroughly examining those witnesses in an ex parte proceeding.”

Gieger was the original prosecutor in the defendant’s case. The defendant’s appeal argues that Gieger “repeatedly and flagrantly misrepresented” evidence at trial, including the forensic evidence and testimony of the OCPD crime lab analyst, Elaine Taylor.

A report by six internationally renowned DNA scientists and experts released this summer highlighted Taylor’s “flawed forensic science, including insufficient serological analysis and improper DNA testimony” in the case at hand. The scientists concluded that the defendant, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who is now serving 263 years for a bandwagon pile-on of sexual assault allegations, “was deprived of his due process right to a fair trial because the State misused DNA evidence” and stated that his “conviction should be overturned and he should be given a new trial.”

Taylor’s work on the case, the state was forced to acknowledge, just happened to be the subject of the secret hearings that Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger was allowed to “facilitate.”

Can you spell “conflict of interest”?

Incredibly, the state attorney general pats itself on the back for “its strong commitment to transparency” and argues that the “State was forbidden by law from turning any of the material over to the defendant” because a crime lab review of Taylor’s work is “an unfinished personnel review” protected by the state open records act.

Nonsense on a stick. The law specifically states that a public body “may,” not must, keep personnel records confidential — and there is no indication that a review of Taylor’s work would invade her privacy.

Both the public’s right to know and the defendant’s constitutional rights to exculpatory information (as well as information subject to cross-examination) trump the phony “personnel records” shield erected by the state attorney general’s office and its collaborators.

In fact, given the wave of crime lab scandals across the country from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., it is in the national interest to disclose such information about questionable forensic analysis and testimony (which I’ve exposed more at length in my CRTV.com work on the Holtzclaw case and other wrongful convictions for “Michelle Malkin Investigates”).

It’s even more imperative given the Oklahoma City Police Department’s sordid history of fabricated forensic evidence and misconduct dating back more than 15 years.

Fact: Elaine Taylor worked under disgraced former OCPD forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist, who was fired for systematic fraud, false testimony and planting evidence that led to countless death row and other convictions.

Fact: Taylor reportedly told a former supervisor that she destroyed rape kits under Gilchrist’s orders because she “believed the only thing (she) could do was to follow (Gilchrist’s) orders or else pay the consequences.”

The @OKCPD crime lab analyst who destroyed evidence under Gilchrist botched Holtzclaw case.https://t.co/WWvpXMZ62fhttps://t.co/eHaxfXO1bg pic.twitter.com/l35d25AL1K

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) August 14, 2017

Fact: Elaine Taylor is the mother-in-law of Detective Rocky Gregory, the co-lead investigator in the current defendant’s case (a relationship that was not disclosed at trial).

Fact: My attempt through a public records request to obtain a list of cases from the DA’s office in which Taylor served as an expert witness — so that the public can learn if she botched other analyses and testimonies — was flippantly rejected because “our office maintains no list of cases in which Ms. Taylor appeared as a witness to give testimony as an expert or otherwise,” and so “this matter (is) now closed.”

Nearly six months after the cloak-and-dagger confab on Taylor’s work held in late June in Judge Henderson’s locked courtroom, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has yet to respond to Holtzclaw’s motion to unseal the secret proceedings. In fact, the criminal appeals court has yet to issue a ruling on his public defenders’ simple motion for an order to preserve evidence in light of the police department’s admission that it had deleted Taylor’s email account after she retired on Feb. 2, 2017 (a fact not known to the defendant until media public records request forced disclosure).

Legal experts left, right and center tell me they’ve never seen anything like this.

Jonathan Manes, who runs the Civil Liberties & Transparency Clinic at SUNY Buffalo Law School, told me:

I wasn’t aware of the Holtzclaw case and it seems like exactly the kind of egregious judicial secrecy practice that we’re concerned about. It’s surprising how often this sort of thing pops up all around the country.

I don’t know the details of this case, but based on the description you’ve provided and the news accounts, it does seem that the extent of secrecy in this case is extraordinary. At a minimum, you would expect that the court would issue an order publicly explaining the scope of the sealing order and the reasons for excluding the public. A number of appellate courts have found that the First Amendment imposes these requirements. It doesn’t look like the court has done that here.

It seems there are a couple other potential legal problems here. First, courts aren’t supposed to hold secret hearings unless they notify the public in advance, so that journalists or others have an opportunity to file a motion to challenge the secrecy before the hearing happens. It’s unclear whether that happened here.

Second, the fact that defense counsel has been excluded from these proceedings raises potential Due Process concerns, particularly in a criminal case.

Third, the fact that the court is departing from its own rules regarding protective orders strikes me as less problematic in principle, but still woefully underexplained in this case. It generally is the case that a court can make an exception to its own rules of practice in a particular case. I don’t know how it works in Oklahoma, but usually court rules are not imposed by statute, but are issued by the court itself as an exercise of the court’s power to manage its own procedures. As a result, it’s not all that unusual for courts to vary the rules in a particular case when there is good reason to do so. But you’d expect that they’d at least provide a rationale for departing from those rules.

One caveat: Sometimes courts can’t fully explain the reasons for secrecy in public because doing so would itself compromise legitimately secret information. I have in mind, for example, situations involving confidential informants where the court doesn’t want to disclose information that could unmask the informant. But even in that kind of case, courts can describe the scope of the secrecy order, and they can almost always give some public explanation for secrecy. This case seems highly unusual both because of how much seems to have happened in secret, and how little public explanation has been given.

My bottom line: Even if the reasons for all this secrecy turn out to be benign, it certainly undermines public confidence in the fairness of the proceeding and probably undermines the actual quality of the proceedings too. Public scrutiny keeps judges and lawyers on their toes. It also allows members of the public to come forward if they have relevant evidence.

And former ACLU of Oklahoma president and retired University of Oklahoma law professor Randall Coyne blasted the secrecy circus this summer, and his words bear repeating:

“This is no way to run a criminal justice system. In 29 years of practicing and teaching criminal law in Oklahoma, I have never seen the level of sealed orders and secret, ex parte courtroom proceedings that has occurred in the Holtzclaw matter. … The dark cloud of secrecy over the Holtzclaw case gives rise to suspicions that somebody is hiding something. … The court immediately should unseal all orders and filings so the public — as well as other convicted defendants whose cases and lives may be impacted — can see the details.”

Is this North America or North Korea? Over to you, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.




Related: Oklahoma scores an “F” on state transparency and integrity.

Categories: Conservative Views

Out: Conyers — In: Er… Conyers?

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:26

**Written by Doug Powers

After facing multiple harassment allegations and getting caught settling complaints with taxpayer money, Rep. John Conyers has decided he’s had enough of “public service” at this time. But, as Motor City Monarchy rules require (see: Dingell, John & Debbie), a family member has been chosen as his successor pending voter approval, which is as sure a thing as the Lions not making it to the Super Bowl:

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is expected to announce Tuesday that he will not seek-election in 2018, ending his run as the longest-serving House member after allegations of sexual harassment, according to a report published Tuesday morning.

“He is not resigning. He is going to retire,” state Sen. Sen. Ian Conyers, the grandson of the congressman’s brother, told the New York Times. “His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.”

Ian Conyers, 29, will run for the seat in an attempt to keep the district in the family.

Conyers was elected way back when Detroit had more than twice the number of residents it has today, and the kind of “leadership” he (and his wife) provided apparently deserves another few decades, or until there’s nobody left in the city, whichever comes first.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

ABC News boss SHOCKED chronically biased, error-prone reporter botched Trump story

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:09

**Written by Doug Powers

If you run a news operation, here’s the number one warning sign that you’re always on the verge of having to issue an embarrassing retraction: You employ Brian Ross. And yet, this guy seems stunned and completely at ease blaming everybody else on his staff for Ross’s headfirst dive into an empty “fake news” pool:

The boss at ABC News viciously berated his staff on Monday over Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross’s botched “exclusive” about former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a bombshell new report.

“I don’t think ever in my career have I felt more rage and disappointment and frustration that I felt through this weekend and through the last half of Friday,” ABC News president James Goldston raged in audio obtained by CNN.

“I don’t even know how many times we’ve talked about this, how many times we have talked about the need to get it right,” he reportedly added. “That how we have to be right and not first. About how in this particular moment, with the stakes as high as these stakes are right now, we cannot afford to get it wrong.”

Goldston’s so pissed that Ross is getting… reassigned:

Goldston told staffers that a review would be conducted, and that Ross, who has been suspended for four weeks without pay, would no longer be allowed to cover stories about President Donald Trump, according to the report.

It’s nice of ABC News to give Ross the opportunity to nuke what’s left of their credibility in other departments.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to cause a panic, but this could be end of the world

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:06

**Written by Doug Powers

The Democrats’ end-of-the-world rhetoric about the GOP tax bill has been the source of endless amusement this week, but not much of it has predicted an extinction event quite like Nancy Pelosi:

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the GOP tax bill was “Armageddon” Monday night while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill.

The congresswoman was responding to a question about whether it was appropriate to refer to Republican legislation in such apocalyptic terms.

“It is the end of the world,” Pelosi. “The debate on health care is life/death. This is Armageddon.”

As tempted as I am to defer to the opinion of a woman who, for all I know, could have been working as an intern to John when the Book of Revelation was written, I’ll pass on Pelosi’s latest attempt at apocalyptic fear-mongering:

Pelosi’s nothing short of crazy. In other words, I hope the Dems keep her on as their minority leader for a long time.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

Obama’s swipe at Trump over Paris Agreement is an ironic backfire

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 16:08

**Written by Doug Powers

Barack Obama returned recently to something he’s always done best: Going to a foreign country to take pot shots at things that are going on in the United States:

While speaking to a group of business leaders in Paris, former President Barack Obama said there is a “temporary absence of American leadership” when it comes to tackling climate change.

“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” the former president noted, which was met with laughter from the room full of French former ministers and CEOs at the invite-only event, according to Reuters.

Obama complaining of an “absence of American leadership” is indeed ironic for multiple reasons, but the best part was what Obama accidentally admitted about the Paris Agreement:

However, he noted, “you’re seeing American companies and states and cities continuing to work” to meet targets and stay on track.

Obama is to be thanked for pointing out that the federal government doesn’t need to be involved in the Paris Agreement or any of its accompanying funding and regulating. If Obama’s idea of an “absence of leadership” is not wasting taxpayer money on shams designed to line the pockets of bureaucrats pushing an eco fauxpocalypse, then I’ll take it.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

ABC News punishes serial journalistic malpractitioner with holiday vacation

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 10:37

**Written by Doug Powers

ABC News’ Brian Ross’s bogus report about Trump/Russia collusion made Dems giddy with excitement while causing the stock market to take a temporary dip. However, that was far from Ross’s first fact fail, and for some reason his bosses didn’t seem to have a problem with his bogus reporting until realizing his negligence could put a dent in their stock portfolios. As a result, Ross has been suspended:

ABC News announced Saturday that it has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after Ross was forced to correct a bombshell on-air report about Michael Flynn.

“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process,” ABC said in a statement. “As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.”

“It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience — these are our core principles,” the statement added. “We fell far short of that yesterday.”

In other words:

Otherwise known as: holiday break! https://t.co/oc7Smx2zAF

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 2, 2017

Yep! However, remember that those four weeks of suspension are unpaid, so hopefully, in the spirit of the holidays, ABC finds it in their hearts to at least permit Ross to freelance at CNN until his suspension at the alphabet net ends. At the very least Ross will have some time to read “Dan Rather & Brian Williams’ Accuracy in Reporting for Dummies” so he can return in January a rehabilitated journalist.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Categories: Conservative Views

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