Tag Archive for: FBI

EXCLUSIVE: Biden Bribery Allegation Could Mean Impeachment, Republican Policy Chair Says

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Impeachment is the only recourse if a government whistleblower’s allegation that President Joe Biden was part of a bribery scheme is true, said Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

“You can’t prosecute a sitting president for crimes, so the only recourse—if this document exists, and we believe it does—is for the House to bring articles of impeachment,” Palmer told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday.

Palmer stressed that members of Congress need to see an FBI document that the unnamed whistleblower says alleges a scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national related to an “exchange of money for policy decisions.”

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee subpoenaed the document from the FBI on Wednesday.

Palmer, a member of the oversight committee, said further review could “vindicate” the president, but the country won’t know unless the FBI promptly releases the subpoenaed information.

“I will look at this without a political lens to see if there were any impropper actions taken,” Palmer said. “It is incumbent on the FBI to hand over this document and let the evidence speak for itself.”

The House committee’s subpoena gives the FBI until Wednesday to respond. Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., issued the subpoena after the whistleblower made a legally protected disclosure to the office of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Grassley has a long history of working with government whistleblowers. The FBI document, called an FD-1023 form, was created or modified in June 2020, about five months before Biden was elected president, according to the subpoena.

“We have tremendous confidence in the whistleblower,” Palmer said. “This is an American who stepped up, at personal risk, to expose how dangerous this was for the country.”

Comer told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he knows both the policy position and the country involved in the alleged Biden bribery scheme, but was not yet at liberty to disclose that information.

The Kentucky Republican said he did not know the amount of money that allegedly changed hands.

Palmer said he hoped the chairman would share the information with more committee members. But ultimately, the FBI has to repond to the subpoena.

“There has been a tremendous loss of confidence that federal law enforcement has been politicized and serious concerns that the president has been compromised,” Palmer said. “The FBI had a file with very specific information and didn’t do anything about it. Was it because of politics?”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted Thursday: “Article II explicitly states that bribery is an impeachable offense.”

It’s not a mitigating factor against impeachment that the alleged bribery occurred before Biden was president, Palmer added.

“No, he was vice president at the time. It could depend on what the policy was that changes,” Palmer said. “This is clearly a bribery situation. We don’t yet know what the exchange of money or the policy decision was for. If the foreign national was a state actor, this could be even more serious.”

Biden was elected twice as President Barack Obama’s vice president, serving from 2009 to 2017.

There is precedent for impeachment over offenses committed before taking public office. In 2010, the House impeached and the Senate removed U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous of the Eastern District of Louisiana on four articles of impeachment involving corruption.

Particularly relevant is the fourth article of impeachment in that case, which said Porteous “knowingly made material false statements about his past” to the Senate and the FBI during his 1994 nomination and confirmation process, which occurred before the Louisiana jurist was confirmed as a federal judge.

The other charges against Porteous were over alleged misconduct after his confirmation to the federal bench.

Further, Palmer noted, as vice president Biden had the ear of Obama and as a U.S. senator from 1973 to 2009 he held increasing sway with fellow lawmakers. So, he said, the foreign national cited in the FBI document could have had a significant impact on policy.

“A vice president has a lot of influence on policy,” Palmer told The Daily Signal. “Joe Biden wasn’t just any vice president. He was in the Senate for years and could influence how his former colleagues voted.”

The FBI’s national press office, in an email to The Daily Signal, said: “The FBI received the subpeona and accompanying letter.  We don’t have any additional comment.”

Ian Sams, a special assistant to the president in the White House Counsel’s Office, issued a statement to select media outlets Wednesday evening, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

“For going on five years now,” Sams said, “Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically motivated attacks against the president and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests.”

However, when the topic emerged Thursday in a White House press briefing, national security spokesman John Kirby simply referred reporters to the Justice Department. Apparently referring to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Kirby added, “And I’m getting the hook.” He then walked away from the lectern.

Comer’s subpoena asks the FBI for “all FD-1023 forms, including within any open, closed, or restricted access case files, created or modified in June 2020, containing the term ‘Biden,’ including all accompanying attachments and documents to those FD-1023 forms.”

An FD-1023 is an FBI document that memorializes meetings or information gathered from confidential sources, so it could include criminal allegations from a source, even if the information wasn’t verified by the FBI.


This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

The FBI Targeted Patriotic Conservatives Exercising Their First Amendment Rights: ‘They’re All Bleeping Terrorists’

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Antifa? Black Lives Matter? Come on, man! You’ll find it comforting to know that the FBI has been busy tracking the real terrorists that threaten the safety of every decent, law-abiding American today: people who traveled to Washington for Trump’s rally against election fraud on Jan. 6, 2021, and Americans who dare to oppose the relentless sacrifices to Moloch that are the cornerstone of the Democrat Party’s program. The FBI has become so thoroughly corrupt and politicized that its agents apparently have no problem serving as attack dogs for the Left’s sinister agenda.

Just The News reported Saturday that the feds have “politicized cases regarding Jan. 6 defendants and pro-lifers while retaliating against internal whistleblowers” as some of those same whistleblowers testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. And Fox News reported Thursday that according to another whistleblower, “the FBI created a threat tag following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, but it later ‘shifted’ to focus on pro-life individuals,” as if they were the real threat.

George Hill, a retired supervisory intelligence analyst in the FBI’s Boston field office, testified that “the Washington Field Office pressured other field offices to investigate citizens for activities protected by the First Amendment.” The Washington feds wanted the Boston office “to open cases on, first, seven individuals who came up in a sweep of bank records served up by the Bank of America, and then a larger group of 140 Americans guilty of nothing more than riding buses to D.C. to attend former President Trump’s Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021.” Nor was this pressure singular: “Washington, Hill believes, applied similar pressure on the Philadelphia Field Office.”

Hill testified that on a nationwide call with all 56 FBI field offices, Steve Jensen, who was at that time the chief of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Center Section, asked the Philadelphia feds about their investigations of three individuals. “The Philadelphia office said the individuals had posted on social media about being pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion, but that it didn’t mean they were ‘insurrectionists seeking to overturn our democracy,’ Hill recalled.” This cut no ice with Jensen, who shot back: “I don’t give a blank, they’re all bleeping terrorists, and we’re going to round them up.”

When the feds did round them up, they did so in the most brutal manner possible. Former FBI SWAT team member Steve Friend testified “that after raising concerns about using a SWAT team to arrest a subject of the Jan. 6 investigation, he was ordered off the job for a day. Friend explained that the Jan. 6 subject was cooperating with the FBI and willing to surrender voluntarily, so he was concerned that the bureau wasn’t using the least intrusive methods possible to arrest them.” Clearly the feds were not interested in being non-intrusive. They wanted to send a message, and they did with the arrests of pro-life activist Mark Houck.

Meanwhile, another FBI whistleblower, Garret O’Boyle, was suspended after he testified to Congress about the feds’ politicization. He explained: “I thought the FBI was being weaponized against agents or anybody who wanted to step forward and talk about malfeasance inside the agency prior to this. But now, after what has happened to me, I don’t think I can ever be convinced that it’s anything different than that.”

O’Boyle “testified that following the Supreme Court’s​​​​​​ decision to return abortion to the states in​ Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the FBI prioritized possible threats against the justices from pro-lifers, focusing on ‘pro-life adherence.’” O’Boyle recounted: “Why are you focusing on pro-life people? It’s prochoice people who are the ones protesting or otherwise threatening violence in front of Supreme Court Justices’ houses.” But the FBI even wanted pregnancy centers investigated. O’Boyle remarked: “Why would we go and talk to these people about threats when, if somebody is going to be getting threatened, it would be them?”…..


Continue reading this article at PJ Media.

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The FBI Must Be Disbanded

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

It is not often this column takes a position that is at least semi-quixotic, but sometimes one must take a stand and hope that some others join the cause. The FBI is so out of control and counter to its real mission that a new agency needs to be formed with new leaders, new personnel, and a revised mission.

The FBI is akin to a federal police force, meaning a group of detectives enforce federal laws while working in conjunction with municipal and state law enforcement, particularly where criminal activities cross state borders.

Recently the agency’s mission has significantly changed.

9/11 was the catalyst for the organization’s change. Robert Mueller took over as FBI director on September 4, 2001. To state the obvious, the events soon after were a startling beginning to his career (as the agency’s sixth director).

As he stated in his presentation to a House subcommittee on September 14, 2006, “After the September 11 attacks on America, the FBI priorities shifted dramatically. Our top priority became the prevention of another terrorist attack. Today, our top three priorities—counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber security—are all national security related. To that end, we have made a number of changes in the Bureau, both in structure and in the way we do business. We have recently announced the realignment of our organizational structure to create five branches: National Security, Criminal Investigations, Science and Technology, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, and Human Resources.”

What we did not need was another CIA-like operation as there are sixteen of them already. What we do need from the FBI is to focus on the basics of law enforcement.

The problem came to the forefront during the directorship of Mueller’s successor, James Comey. He became infamous not for taking on Donald Trump, with whom he went to war, but for his opponent in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton. He held a news conference telling America about the problems with her elicit computer system which was outside the bounds of her appointed governmental position and should never have existed.

After telling us of her misdeeds, he did not turn the case over to the Justice Department. Instead, he made the stunning statement, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” As a cop he now became a prosecutor and kneecapped any attempt by the DOJ to evaluate the strength of any case and whether it should be brought.

Matters have since escalated since due to the war with Trump and the various high-level FBI employees like Peter Strzok and his paramour, Lisa Page, working to undermine President Trump and others through their political agendas.

You have to wonder why the FBI offered $1 million of our money to Christopher Steele “to prove his explosive claims” in what has become known as the Steele Dossier. Of course, he was never able to validate the dossier and did not get the money. The FBI thereafter used the disproved dossier disinformation to request warrants from the FISA court.

Then there is the amazing case of the Hunter Biden laptop. They seized the laptop from the owner of a computer repair shop where it was abandoned. They sat on it for almost a year until the owner turned a copy of the laptop hard drive over to Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani then provided a copy of the hard drive’s contents to the oldest newspaper in America, The New York Post.

That is when the world (at least the part of the world interested in finding out the truth about what is on the computer) met Tony Bobulinski. He is the only real businessman involved in the Biden business dealings. He validated the authenticity of what was on the laptop with his own copies of emails in which he was included. Yet in further evidence of the politicization of the FBI, they met with him once and never followed up. They did not want to know what he knew because that would validate the very questionable behavior of the family Biden and help his opponent.

This was not a last-minute dirty trick because it was not a dirty trick at all. Since they had this laptop in 2019, they could have easily brought forth the information early in the election cycle and not been seen as partisan. Instead, they hid it and thus suppressed the truth.

The Twitter Files have provided an entirely new twist as we have learned that the FBI corralled Twitter from the inside. We have come to find out that James Baker — who gave an FBI hall pass to Michael Sussman (Hillary’s campaign lawyer in 2016) — was now in a pivotal position at Twitter. He and his cluster of former FBI agents were behind killing the laptop story in coordination with current members of the FBI. Along with other acts of suppression of Twitter members, it is now clear there were violations of the First Amendment. The current FBI has lied about why they paid Twitter $3.5 million of our money to silence voices on the platform.

If the FBI were not slanted, then what is the explanation for the disparate treatment of pro-life vs. pro-choice individuals? Person after person who peacefully protested at abortion clinics is having their homes raided months later by a team of heavily armed FBI agents. While since the Dobbs ruling overturned Roe v Wade there have been 230 attacks on churches and pregnancy centers and not one person has been arrested. Recently, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information on these cases. Then they finally charged two people. This seems like a mirage to appear as if they are actually interested in pursuing these cases. I blind man can see there is something wrong here.

We keep hearing about the fact that agents in the field are really good people; it is just the folks running the operation in Washington who are the “bad apples.” How could the field agents not have been affected by the attitudes and positions taken by the FBI leadership? If they are such fine people, why have none publicly resigned? The only ones we now know who left are the ones who went to Twitter to create a cabal to suppress free speech.

The current director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, has been an unmitigated disaster. Trump appointed him to clean up the operation and he has done nothing. Under his regime errant agents were not fired, the Hunter Biden laptop story was buried, and the manipulation of social media occurred. The protection of the organization was paramount instead of the protection of the Constitution.

In the recent boondoggle, omni-bust us bill, $400 million was allocated for new FBI headquarters. This is a perfect time for a clean break. Start a new agency with a clear agenda that takes the organization back to its roots, focusing the efforts on law enforcement and the protection of constitutional norms.

Trash this deeply misguided, dangerously out-of-control organization.


This article first appeared in FlashReport and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Destroying American Democracy – An Inside Job

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Over the last few years, there has been much written about the destruction of American democracy. Frequently the threat has been of alleged interference in U.S. elections by Russia, China or other state actors. Government agencies, in the name of election integrity, were assigned to identify and disrupt these foreign intrusions. As more and more information is revealed about these agencies, it seems that America’s Intelligence Community participated in these activities domestically, and in a way that poses a grave threat to both election integrity and American democracy.

Just last week it was revealed that the FBI again withheld pertinent information from the American public, for past two months, until after the November 8, 2022 federal election. As with the Bureau’s reported cover-up of evidence influence-peddling reportedly found on Hunter Biden’s laptop, agents knew, since November 2, 2022, about at least some of the three sets of classified material that illegally found their way into the garage and library of President Joe Biden and into the Penn Biden Center think tank at the University of Pennsylvania — to which anonymous members of the Chinese Communist Party have donated $54.6 million.

Their existence only became known this week, after the newly elected Republican-majority House of Representatives announced that it would hold hearings on “how the [Justice] department handled investigations into classified materials found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home and those found at President Joe Biden’s office in a Washington think tank bearing his name and his Delaware home…”

In addition, the recent release of the “Twitter Files” has raised at least two major concerns regarding actions by the Intelligence Community. The first is that the wall of separation between the Intelligence Community and the U.S. media has not only sprung a leak, it has totally collapsed. The report that officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) met weekly with Twitter executives to coordinate information is totally inappropriate. Would officials from the ODNI review, affirm or label certain sets of information as false? When ODNI was created, no one intended its officials to have a role in these types of discussions.

It also appears that intelligence officials in recent years have politically weaponized intelligence. The combination of a politically weaponized Intelligence Community, operating hand-in-hand with organizations that are the main gateways for information to millions of Americans, poses a serious threat to American democracy and the integrity of our elections.

Let us just briefly look at the steep slope of lying, deceit and corruption that has seeped into the leadership of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

First, there are not enough words to praise our Intelligence Community and the men and women who risk their lives to keep America safe. These are the rank-and-file professionals that form the core of the Intelligence Community. Most are dedicated to the mission of gathering the necessary information to protect our nation. Their leaders have a responsibility to serve these individuals. Too often, however, as the current array of whistleblowers indicates, those leaders have let these individuals down.

Imagine their reaction in 2013 when, in response to a question from Senator Ron Wyden to then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper about whether the National Security Agency (NSA) collects “any type of data on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans,” Clapper answered, “No sir, not wittingly.” Clapper, who had been given the question the previous day, was asked after the hearing if he wanted to amend the answer, and declined. It was shortly thereafter that a massive NSA program containing millions of pieces of Americans’ data was revealed. Clapper was caught in a huge lie — to U.S. Senator Wyden and the American people.

On January 12, 2017, CNN reported that President-elect Donald Trump had been briefed by DNI Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Michael Rogers. The topic: “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Donald Trump.” It was intended to inform the President-elect that these allegations “are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress, and other government officials in Washington.” The briefing also touched on other major allegations they claimed were “circulating.”

Having this false information — some of which the FBI actually altered — in the public domain was evidently intended to damage Trump. The Russian “hoax” allegations would haunt and damage the Trump presidency for almost two years. Clapper himself stated:

“I express my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press … they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Clapper also released a statement that neither he nor anyone else in the Intelligence Community were responsible for the leaks. How did this highly classified information, then, get into the public domain?

A House Republican investigation provides the answer. Clapper denied leaking the dossier but admitted to discussing the dossier with CNN correspondent Jake Tapper and perhaps other journalists in early January 2017. Later in 2017, Clapper would go on to join CNN as a “national security” contributor and CNN would receive an award for its reporting at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.

Today we know that the “Russia hoax” was a lie. After a 22-month investigation, no evidence of collusion between any element of the Trump campaign and Russia was uncovered. The supposedly compromising evidence had never existed; the information in the “Steele dossier” was false — and the FBI had known it was from the start. The entire fabrication had been an attempt to attack and politically weaken Trump.

In October 2020, shortly before the elections 51 former intelligence professionals had even signed a joint letter stating that the Hunter Biden laptop had “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” They stated that their national security experience made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” They went on:

“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we strongly believe that Americans need to be aware of this.”

The New York Times raised questions about the authenticity of the materials found on the laptop. Bill Evanina, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director, had indicated in August that Russia was trying to denigrate the Biden campaign. All these manufactured “facts” were apparently intended to create circumstances where reasonable people would have to conclude that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.

Signatories of the 2020 letter included Clapper, Brennan, Michael Hayden, Jeremy Bash and David Buckley. Clapper and Brennan are familiar names. They were involved in the January 2017 briefing to President Donald Trump on the fake Steele dossier. Jeremy Bash and David Buckley are worth mentioning because they continue to play significant roles in domestic and national security areas in the U.S. government. Buckley was the majority staff director on the House Select Committee investigating January 6th. Bash has been named to co-chair a government commission to review the war in Afghanistan.

The fraudulent efforts by the U.S. government, Clapper, Brennan and the 49 others — along with Hillary Clinton, her campaign committee, the Democratic National Committee and the suppression of the media and social media (here and here) — to influence the public unfortunately met with some success. For almost two years, the authenticity of the material found on Hunter Biden’s laptop was questioned. Today, its authenticity has been verified; the information is real and damning. As summarized by the New York Post:

“Yes that letter from the Dirty 51 had all the classic earmarks of a disinformation operation, all right – one designed to ensure Joe Biden won the presidency. And it was essentially a CIA operation, considering 43 of the 51 signatories were former CIA.”

One final example of the Intelligence Community involving itself in domestic politics comes from the recent release of the “Twitter Files.” According to tweet #20 of the third tranche released:

“This post about the Hunter Biden laptop situation shows that Roth not only met weekly with the FBI and DHS, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.”

Tweet #17 states: “executives were also clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content.”

Finally, the FBI paid Twitter $3.5 million reportedly to “handle requests from the bureau.”

We now know what happened. Twitter suppressed discussion of the Hunter Biden laptop story and suppressed conservative messaging, while at the same time it appears the FBI, DHS and the ODNI had literally had set up shop at Twitter.

The American people should be outraged. This level of collaboration between federal law enforcement and a private sector company on controlling speech is terrifying. Having our Intelligence Community, which is supposed to be focused on foreign intelligence collection, involved is even more terrifying.

DNI James Clapper lying to the American people in 2013 about government surveillance of them, the promoting of the Russian hoax theory in 2017 by CIA Director Brennan, DNI Clapper, FBI Director Comey and others, the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story by 51 former intelligence professionals, and the close working arrangement between the FBI, DHS and the ODNI in 2020-2022 raises a staggering series of questions:

Can our government, law enforcement, and the Intelligence Community still be trusted?
Have those federal government agencies literally weaponized law enforcement and intelligence against political opponents in the U.S.?
Has more than one solitary person — former FBI attorney Kevin Clinemith, for altering an email — been held accountable for these egregious abuses of power?
Why wasn’t there a more powerful response from the Intelligence Community and the law enforcement community about the disinformation from the 51 former intelligence professionals?
Who authorized the cozy relationship between law enforcement, the intelligence community with Twitter?
Who in these government agencies reviewed and approved of the output and decisions coming from these joint efforts?
Were political appointees in the review loop?
Who has the records, notes and decisions that emanated from these groups?
It is clear that our law enforcement community needs to be investigated, but most importantly we need to investigate how our Intelligence Community has evolved from having literally a non-existent relationship with speech in America to being inside the room determining what speech is allowed.

There also needs to be a significant investigation by an outside, non-government group to understand how far this massive government overreach into free speech and election manipulation went. Clearly the government has been influencing what we get to see and hear. It needs to stop — now — before our democracy is destroyed.

This article was published by Gatestone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

Bombshells You Might Have Missed About the FBI’s Censorship and Election Meddling

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Matt Taibbi’s analysis of FBI-related internal Twitter documents and the Missouri Attorney General’s release of the deposition transcript of FBI censor Elvis Chan have revealed shocking interference by the bureau in the most sensitive political debates leading up to elections.

As many suspected, Taibbi just confirmed the FBI meddled extensively in election-related speech on Twitter in 2020. Separately, Chan confirmed that the FBI’s election interference extended to Google and Facebook. Using a huge team of 80 agents, the joint task force of censors from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI flagged multiple posts for censorship. Taibbi offered few examples of the types of materials the FBI sought to censor. But some of the examples included obvious jokes, such as one about adding votes to the Democrats’ total in retaliation for posting negative comments on a thread.

Were these rogue agents operating in violation of the FBI’s long-standing policy against interfering in elections? It now appears that the FBI’s censorship of American citizens enjoyed the approval and ratification of FBI Director Christopher Wray himself as the FBI responded to the scandal with this dismissive remark:

The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities. Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.

Stop for a moment to parse this bureaucratic-speak. Under what authority does the FBI censor non-U.S. citizens in our domestic forums? Censorship injures the rights of the listeners as much as the speakers. Can the FBI legally prevent citizens access to Britain’s Daily Mail or the Russian media outlet RT just because they originate from a foreign source? Legal precedent suggests that the First Amendment includes guarantees of citizen’s access to foreign-based speech. This has become increasingly important because accessing foreign press is sometimes the only way to find reporting on issues that the FBI-influenced domestic media would rather not cover. Don’t we need to know what foreigners are saying about America in order to make informed election decisions?

The permanent domestic security apparatus, led by the FBI, is not terribly concerned about whether information it sought to suppress might be true. Indeed, the call to prevent a repeat of 2016-style “hack and dump,” implicitly seeks the suppression of truthful information that hurts Democrats. The Wikileaks DNC emails accurately depicted Clinton campaign collusion with the press and a pay-for-influence operation run from the Clinton family charity. If it weren’t true, there would be no need for censorship.

The government call this, “malinformation,” or sometimes, “disinformation.” The former, includes “information that is based on fact but used out of context,” while disinformation includes “information that is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” Truth is not a defense. Mind you, left-wing sources can call conservatives racists and Nazis all day long. But if a dissident offers information that might “harm” Democrats or “manipulate” voters into not voting in the manner approved by the FBI, then the government needs to act to “protect” the election. This is exactly why the Hunter Biden laptop story was censored. It didn’t matter whether it came from the Russians or Santa Claus. The government acted to impose an election result on the American people. Everyone knows that.

Chan all but spelled out exactly that in his deposition.

I remember that the FBI warned—that I or someone from the FBI warned the social media companies about the potential for a 2016-style DNC hack-and-dump operation . . . .

Chan saw the FBI’s role as countering the influence of such information.

Q. And I think you—in your thesis you talk about how in 2016 they had high, high levels of success, right, because there were essentially no countermeasures taken by social media platforms?

 That is correct.

The FBI’s “countermeasures”? Directly intervening to flag and encourage censorship to protect the Democratic candidate from a leak like 2016.  They called it, “information sharing,” but the tech companies read the creepy euphemism exactly as intended—encouraging censorship. If the FBI “shared” the identity of objectionable speech on a social media platform, social media complied and censored.

Back to Chan’s deposition.

Q. So—so specifically your thesis focuses on information sharing between the FBI and basically Facebook, Google and Twitter, right?

 That is correct.

Second, missing from the FBI’s statement is any acknowledgement that it bothered to consider the constitutional rights of Americans seeking to inform themselves before elections. We so often hear members of the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, tell us they have taken a sworn oath to protect the Constitution. It’s usually a response to legitimate oversight or questions about the FBI’s abuse of secrecy. But they never mean what they say or they would have a much better record on protecting free speech.

Third, the FBI did not limit its censorship efforts to foreigners (not that censoring speech originating from foreign sources is acceptable). As Taibbi notes, the censorship included posts which joked about election integrity. Are these crimes? The FBI is supposed to be a law enforcement agency, not a speech moderation (i.e. censorship) agency.

Overlooked by much of the reporting on the Chan deposition is this bombshell: The FBI appears to have also started a secret lobbying campaign to influence legislation.

Among the approximately 140 objections Justice Department attorney Indraneel Sur made during the deposition of FBI censor Elvis Chan was one that involved a particularly disturbing secret communication channel between the FBI and congressional staffers. When Chan was asked “what kind of legislation?” the FBI had made recommendations about to congressional staffers, Sur claimed the FBI had a legal right to keep secret the FBI’s legislative interference. “I am going to object,” Sur said. “The deliberative process privilege extends not just to the executive branch, but all sorts of executive communications within the government.”

Did the FBI’s legislative lobbying “relate to Section 230 of the Communications Act?” Sur refused to let Chan answer. “I stand by the same objection on the grounds of deliberative process privilege,” Sur said. “So I will continue to assert and ask that the witness not answer the question on the grounds of the deliberative process privilege.”

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Congress just signed on to an omnibus spending bill without any attempt to rein in the FBI’s election meddling.  Once again, Congress lavishes billions on the FBI with no effort to subordinate it to the constitution’s protections against intrusive law enforcement.

We also learned from Chan’s deposition that the FBI was aware that its censorship recommendations were applied to categorically similar users not identified by the FBI. How did the FBI ensure that its recommendations didn’t quash legitimate political speech? It didn’t, instead relying on Twitter to ensure the accuracy of its account takedowns.

Q. Right. OK. But it sounds like sometimes your reports lead to more takedowns than the accounts you have—you flagged, fair to say?

That is correct.

How confident are you that they are not, you know, kind of making mistakes in taking down real user accounts?

So this is just my personal opinion, obviously not based on being able to see any of their data. In my experience, they take account takedowns very seriously because this affects their bottom line. . . . in my opinion, they take it very seriously. And I would say that to the best of their ability, they are very careful before doing account takedowns.

In other words, the FBI would notify social media companies of content it found objectionable. The companies would occasionally apply the FBI’s recommendations to additional accounts that, while not flagged by the FBI, had the same characteristics that the FBI found objectionable. The only safeguard against social media overzealously applying the FBI’s censorship request is whatever miniscule loss of revenue the social media might experience from the overly broad censorship.

In many cases the FBI sought censorship of supposedly foreign-originating posts after significant engagement. In one example, highlighted in the deposition, users reacted 793 times before Twitter deleted the account that originated the post to which the FBI objected.

Q. And then those comments are people who presumably said something, whether they agree or disagree or just want to say something about this kind of political ad, fair to say?

Yeah. I don’t know what the nature of the comments are, but your characterization is probable.

The accounts—I suppose you have talked about account takedowns earlier. If this account that posted this ad is taken down, do all those comments get taken down with it?

I don’t know.

Oh, so you think that the comments may stay up with the account gone?

 I—to be honest with you, I do not use any social media.

Incredibly, Chan failed to inform himself, or even care, whether censoring a supposedly foreign-originating post would also delete the many comments and reactions by legitimate Americans expressing protected political speech. This one remark reveals volumes about the FBI’s disregard for the First Amendment.

The FBI should not be involved in “moderating” political speech. But when the FBI does violate this principle, it should be seen for what it is: a deprivation of an essential constitutional right without due process. The FBI should be required to notify the target of the censorship and provide an opportunity to that individual to contest this state action before a neutral third party.

The FBI’s censorship “recommendations” should be reported to Congress and the public. If the target of the FBI’s censorship prevails, he or she should be entitled to damages and attorneys’ fees for the loss of civic participation rights that can never be restored. Without a substantial remedy for the injured, the FBI will continue to meddle in our public speech forums to manipulate elections.

We seem to have reached a point at which the Justice Department has seized so much power that it no longer feels the need to lie about its Chinese-style censorship regime. As I’ve previously noted, international election standards require equal access to a media independent of government censorship. Without that, you can’t have a fair election. No foreign adversary could have so effectively harmed the constitutionally protected interplay between free speech and elections.

The FBI has become what it says it’s trying to prevent. It is, above all rivals and adversaries, the greatest single threat to free and fair elections.

This article was published by American Greatness and is reproduced with permission.

As Murders Soar, FBI Buries the Data

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes


Based on a misunderstanding of new FBI data, NewsNation is reporting that 14,677 murders occurred in the U.S. during 2021, a supposedly large decline from 2020. In reality, that figure is far from complete, and comprehensive records from death certificates show that about 24,493 people were murdered in 2021. This is about:

  • 1,000 more murders than in 2020.
  • 6,000 more murders than in 2019.
  • 10,000 more murders than NewsNation reported.

Murders have become so common over the past two years that if the murder rate remains at the 2021 level, one out of every 179 people in the U.S. will eventually be murdered. Yet, certain politicians and media outlets are downplaying this bloodshed, while others are blaming it on Covid—a claim at odds with the facts.

A major source of confusion about this issue is the FBI, which is releasing fragmentary and inaccessible data on murders and other crimes. The FBI is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is under the authority of President Biden.

Burying Crime Data

In 2021, the year Joe Biden became president, the FBI began making it far more difficult to access national estimates of murders and other crimes. The agency did this by dramatically changing the manner in which it reports such data.

Every year for more than eight decades, the FBI has published a report titled “Crime in the United States” which contains national crime estimates for the previous year. Before 2021, the FBI published this report with a simple overview page containing links like “Violent Crime,” “Property Crime,” and “Homicide.” These led to webpages with clear summaries and straightforward datasets for such crimes.

Since 2021, the FBI has published those reports only via a “Crime Data Explorer” which contains a maze of vaguely worded links, drop down menus, and acronyms. To locate the FBI’s estimate of murders for 2021 with this system, readers must:

  • go to the Crime Data Explorer home page and scroll past three prominent links named “Crime Data Explorer,” “Law Enforcement Explorer,” and “Documents and Downloads” which lead to webpages with scores of menus and files that don’t contain the data.
  • scroll to a section of the webpage titled “Explore by Location and Dataset: State participation depicts current year.”
  • click on a dropdown menu under a header named “Dataset” and select the menu item that says “NIBRS Estimation Data,” which leads to another webpage.
  • scroll to a section of the webpage called “NIBRS Estimation Viewer” and read the report that contains the data via a file viewer that sometimes fails to display the report or click on a link that says “Download NIBRS Trend Analysis Report.”

Nevertheless, the FBI claims that its Crime Data Explorer enables “law enforcement and the general public to more easily use and understand the massive amounts” of crime data it collects. Belying that statement, Google shows that only five news outlets have reported the fact that the FBI’s 2021 estimate for murders ranges from 21,300 to 24,600. Moreover, two of the outlets obtained these figures from two of the other outlets, not from the FBI. The sole place where the FBI reveals these figures is in the above-mentioned buried report.

So where did NewsNation obtain the much lower figure of 14,677 murders in 2021? From an easy-to-access webpage on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer. Specifically, NewsNation linked to a page that can be accessed by clicking the first prominent link on the home page of the Crime Data Explorer and then clicking on “Expanded Homicide Data.” This leads to a webpage with a chart showing 14,677 murders in 2021, a large decline from 2020, just as NewsNation reported:

The FBI’s webpage contains two notes above the chart indicating that it shows incomplete data, but these caveats may not have been direct enough for NewsNation to fully grasp them:

  • “In 2021, the FBI expanded homicide crime statistics for the nation are based on 11,794 of 18,806 law enforcement agencies in the country that year who elected to submit an expanded homicide report.”
  • “2021 Expanded Homicide Data includes fewer homicides due to an overall decrease in participation from agencies that are not yet reporting via NIBRS.”

The fact that this incomplete data can be accessed so easily may have also led NewsNation to assume it was complete.

Supposedly, “No One Knows”

Compounding the confusion, the FBI switched to a new crime measurement system in 2021 which is leading journalists to report that there is no way to know if murders increased from 2020 to 2021. This new system is reliant upon electronic submissions from local and state law enforcement agencies, and many of them are not using it yet.

Non-reporting agencies cover 35% of the U.S. population, including the nation’s largest cities—New York and Los Angeles. Thus, the FBI explains that its crime estimates for 2021 are based on a “complex estimation process to account for unreported data” to “bridge this gap.”

That is why the FBI’s murder estimate for 2021 ranges from 21,300 to 24,600, an enormous uncertainty of 3,300 murders. Without quantifying this margin of error, the FBI issued a press release in October 2022 that provides a mid-point estimate for murders near the bottom of the release. There, the FBI states that:

  • “the estimated number of murders increased from 22,000 in 2020 to 22,900 in 2021.”
  • “it is important to note that these estimated trends are not considered statistically significant” by the FBI’s “estimation methods.”
  • “the nonsignificant nature of the observed trends is why, despite these described changes, the overall message is that crime remained consistent.”
  • “the complete analysis is located on the UCR’s Crime Data Explorer.”

The FBI published a similarly worded crime summary in the same month, buried in an accordion menu of its Crime Data Explorer.

As a result of this uncertainty, news outlets that have managed to find the FBI’s homicide estimates for 2021 have made statements like these:

  • “Good luck figuring out what happened with crime in 2021.” Vox
  • “Did Murders Rise in 2021? No One Knows.” Reason

In reality, however, we do know that murders rose because there is a more reliable source for this data than the FBI.

Murder Data and Trends

The broadest measure of homicides in the U.S. is death certificates, which are commonly completed by medical examiners or coroners. As explained by the Department of Justice in a 2014 report, death certificates provide “more accurate homicide trends at the national level than” FBI data because:

  • the reporting of death certificates is “mandatory,” while the FBI relies on “voluntary” reports “from individual law enforcement agencies that are compiled monthly by state-level agencies.”
  • death certificates include homicides that “occur in federal jurisdictions,” while the FBI rarely counts “homicides occurring in federal prisons, on military bases, and on Indian reservations.”
  • death certificates include homicides caused by the deliberate “crashing of a motor vehicle, but this category generally accounts for less than 100 deaths per year.”

The report concludes that the death certificates “consistently” show “a higher number and rate of homicides in the United States compared” to the FBI data, “likely due to the differences in coverage and scope and the voluntary versus mandatory nature of the data collection as described above.”

The FBI tries to account for incomplete coverage by estimating the number of murders that aren’t reported to the FBI, but over the past decades, this process has yielded about 1,500–2,700 less murders per year than homicides listed on death certificates:

On the other hand, death certificates tend to overcount murders because they include justifiable homicides by civilians acting in self-defense, which are not murders. Such cases amounted to about 2.5% of homicides in 2015–2019.

Death certificates also include some justifiable homicides by police, even though these are supposed to be coded as “legal intervention deaths,” not as homicides. A study of 16 states during 2005–2012 suggests that such miscoded cases accounted for roughly 1.7% of homicides.

If the two rates above are currently applicable to the nation as a whole, the actual number of murders is about 4.2% less than the number of homicides recorded on death certificates.

Homicide counts from death certificates are published by the CDC via two online data extraction portals. Both of these report 24,576 homicides in 2020, but they don’t yet present data for 2021. However, another CDC portal provides provisional homicide rates through 2021, reporting 7.5 homicides per 100,000 people in 2020 and 7.8 in 2021. Combining these three figures yields 25,559 homicides in 2021.

Removing justifiable homicides to obtain an estimate of actual murders, about 24,493 people were murdered in 2021. This is about 1,000 more murders than in 2020, a 5% increase on top of a 28% increase the year before that.

To provide a sense of scale for this bloodshed, one out of every 179 people in the U.S. will eventually be slain if murders remain at the same rate as 2021.

Even in previous years when murders were much less common, the lifetime likelihood of murder was so shocking to some people that they sent repeated emails to Just Facts insisting it was wrong. Yet, the methodology used by Just Facts to compute this figure was developed by a licensed actuary, double-checked by a Ph.D. mathematician, and triple-checked by a Ph.D. biostatistician.

In other words, the numbers are correct, but some people’s perception of the problem is disconnected from reality. Beyond NewsNation, others who have recently downplayed the severity of crime in the U.S. include but are not limited to President BidenCongresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-CortezJoy Behar of ABC’s The View, and the New York Times (Hat Tip: Tim Graham).

All of those individuals and organizations are proponents of the notion that the U.S. doesn’t have a severe crime problem but is simply too hard on crime. Hence, they argue that reducing arrests, eliminating bail, and lessening jail terms will make America more just without making it less safe.

That agenda has been rapidly advanced by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, and murders have soared. In 2021, the U.S. murder rate was even worse than in 2001 when America was attacked by terrorists who slaughtered 2,977 people:

Historical FBI data that stretches back to 1960 shows that the current murder rate is still far below the U.S. murder peak of 1980. Still, the rapid increases since 2019 translate to 11,000 more lost lives, including 5,000 more in 2020 and 6,000 more in 2021.

Because correlation does not prove causation, one cannot assume the BLM movement is the cause of these increased murders. However, other facts detailed below reveal that this is a distinct possibility—and far more likely than the common journalistic explanations for this carnage.

What’s Causing The Bloodshed?

Many media outlets have implied or explicitly reported that the massive increase in murders over the past two years is largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A small sample includes the New York TimesPoliticoAxiosCBS News, and CNN. This claim, however, is at odds with two key facts.

First, it is based on the childish notion that correlation proves causation, a fallacy that high schoolers are taught to avoid. This is because the occurrence of two events in the same year can be a mere coincidence or caused by numerous other factors. A failure to recognize this reality is a common feature of junk science and political propaganda. In the words of an academic textbook about analyzing data:

Association is not the same as causation. This issue is a persistent problem in empirical analysis in the social sciences. Often the investigator will plot two variables and use the tight relationship obtained to draw absolutely ridiculous or completely erroneous conclusions. Because we so often confuse association and causation, it is extremely easy to be convinced that a tight relationship between two variables means that one is causing the other. This is simply not true.

Second, there isn’t even a correlation between the Covid-19 pandemic and murders. This is evidenced by:

  • a study in the journal Crime Science, which found that despite over one million reported Covid cases and 80,000 Covid-related deaths in the U.S. during the first two months of the pandemic, “there were no significant changes in the frequency of serious assaults in public” or “serious assaults in residences.”
  • murder rates in England, which actually declined in 2020 and 2021, even though the nation is demographically similar to the U.S. and had slightly higher Covid death rates throughout this period.
  • study published by the University of California Press, which documents that the recent rise of murders does not accord chronologically or geographically with the onset of the pandemic.

In stark contrast, the same study found that the timing of the 2020 murder surge in multiple major U.S. cities can be pinpointed to “the death of George Floyd” and the “subsequent antipolice protests,” which “likely led to declines in law enforcement.” Floyd died on May 25, 2020, but the pandemic began more than two months earlier on March 11.

The study’s author, criminal law professor Paul G. Cassell, summarizes the evidence as follows:

  • “Social science research can rarely provide unequivocal answers to complex criminal justice issues,” but “my view is that the best available evidence points to de-policing as the dominant (but not necessarily exclusive) factor in the ongoing surge in gun violence.”
  • “While these estimates are stated in the cold precision of an economic calculation, it must be remembered that behind these grim numbers lies a tremendous toll in human suffering—lives lost, futures destroyed, and families left grieving.”

Similar results have been found by other studies which have examined murder increases in the wake of analogous events like the protests and riots that occurred over the police killing of Michael Brown in 2015.

One of the most telling of these studies was conducted by Ph.D. sociologist Richard Rosenfeld, former president of the American Society of Criminology. An article in The Guardian explains the implications:

For nearly a year, Richard Rosenfeld’s research on crime trends has been used to debunk the existence of a “Ferguson effect,” a suggested link between protests over police killings of black Americans and an increase in crime and murder. Now, the St. Louis criminologist says, a deeper analysis of the increase in homicides in 2015 has convinced him that “some version” of the Ferguson effect may be real.

Looking at data from 56 large cities across the country, Rosenfeld found a 17% increase in homicide in 2015. Much of that increase came from only 10 cities, which saw an average 33% increase in homicide. …

“The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect,” Rosenfeld said. Now, he said, that’s his “leading hypothesis.”

Another common explanation for the murder increase is recent rises in gun sales, but this notion doesn’t hold water. Cassel’s study examined this possibility and found that the increases in firearm purchases don’t accord with the murder surges in time or place. He also notes that:

the United States already has a huge number of firearms in private hands—about 400 million by some measures. Against this backdrop, a recent increase of 2 million gun sales (about 0.5% of the total) seems like a poor candidate for explaining sudden and dramatic changes in homicides.


Murders in the United States have soared by 34% over the past few years—growing from about 18,342 victims in 2019 to 24,493 in 2021. Yet, certain Democratic politicians and media outlets are downplaying this problem.

If the murder rate remains at the 2021 level, one out of every 179 people in the U.S. will eventually be murdered.

As murders have skyrocketed, the FBI has made it far more difficult to access its national estimates of murders and other crimes. The FBI has also switched to a new crime measurement system which currently has a large degree of uncertainty. As such, FBI data cannot resolve whether murders rose or fell from 2020 to 2021.

For decades, the FBI has undercounted murders, while death certificates have overcounted them. Starting with data from death certificates and removing justifiable homicides provides a more reliable estimate of murders.

Identifying the cause (or causes) of the recent rise in murders is complicated by the fact that correlation does not prove causation. Paying no heed to this reality, many media outlets have pinned the blame on Covid-19 and gun sales. However, the data are more consistent with the possibility that the BLM movement is responsible.

This article was published by Just Facts and is reproduced with permission.

How The Surveillance State And Big Tech Colluded To Make Twitter ‘Disinformation’ The New Terrorism

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The late, great Angelo Codevilla maintained that America’s response to 9/11 was fundamentally flawed because it adopted a law enforcement approach to what is essentially a foreign policy problem. He argued that the law enforcement approach — the idea that we could detect and disrupt terrorist plots before they come to fruition, and arrest those responsible — required the construction of a vast state security and surveillance apparatus that would eventually, when the terrorist threat subsided, be turned on American citizens.

As in so much else, Codevilla was prophetic.

Earlier this week, a deeply reported piece by Ken Klippenstein and Lee Fang of The Intercept revealed an “expansive effort” by the Department of Homeland Security to curb speech it considers dangerous by pressuring tech platforms to engage in online censorship. Although DHS’s widely ridiculed “Disinformation Governance Board” was scaled back and then shut down earlier this year amid well-deserved criticism, “other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.”

The security apparatus that was erected to keep us safe from al-Qaida, it seems, is looking for something else to do now, so it has decided to become the arbiter of what constitutes false and dangerous information, and therefore what political opinions Americans are allowed to express online.

Citing a trove of documents connected to an ongoing lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Klippenstein and Fang reveal a quiet pressure campaign by DHS “to try and shape online discourse” that involves frequent meetings and coordination with top tech and finance executives, and even “a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use.” At the time of this writing, the portal is still live.

What might DHS consider “inaccurate information” worthy of suppression? A whole host of topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

Because “disinformation” isn’t clearly defined, it can be whatever DHS and the federal agencies under its purview say it is. And wouldn’t you know it, disinformation turns out to be whatever ideas and opinions contradict the official narrative of the Biden administration and Democratic Party leadership on major political issues.

No surprise, then, that Big Tech appears to be OK with this. Klippenstein and Fang quote a February text from Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, to a DHS director, saying: “Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain.”

But not, perhaps, as hesitant as Masterson thinks. Emails and documents connected to the Missouri lawsuit show a close collaboration between DHS and top executives of social media firms such as Twitter. In 2018, Congress passed and President Trump signed a bill creating an office inside DHS called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA. It was a response to some high-profile hacking of U.S. firms such as SolarWinds and Equifax, and the idea was for CISA to protect critical national infrastructure.

But it didn’t take long for CISA to expand its definition of critical national infrastructure to include “misinformation and disinformation,” taking its cues from an advisory committee that includes Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s erstwhile head of legal affairs and policy, whom Elon Musk fired last week. Gadde was the co-author of a report in June urging CISA to take on an expansive role in policing online speech, calling on the agency to monitor “social media platforms of all sizes, mainstream media, cable news, hyper partisan media, talk radio and other online resources.”

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who has questioned the official government narrative on Twitter or Facebook over the last two years. Did you dare to speculate online that Covid might have come from a lab leak in China? If so, then as late as December of 2020 you were promoting what NPR (among many other outlets) called a “baseless conspiracy theory” for which there is “zero evidence.”

Problem is, things move fast in the world of real-time disinformation policing, and yesterday’s baseless conspiracy theory is today’s respectable viewpoint. A newly released Senate interim report reflects what most people’s common sense suggested to them a long time ago: that the pandemic was “more likely than not” the result of a “research-related incident.”

Same with the Hunter Biden laptop story that broke ahead of the 2020 election. The story was dismissed by dozens of former top intelligence officials who claimed it was “Russian disinformation,” but we now know what anyone who bothered to look into the story knew in October 2020 — that it was all true. The laptop was real.

We also know, by Mark Zuckerberg’s own admission to Joe Rogan in August, that the FBI reached out to Facebook ahead of the 2020 election to tell them to be on the lookout for Russian disinformation. And now we know a little bit more about the FBI’s involvement. According to Klippenstein and Fang, the FBI was involved in high-level communications that allegedly led to Facebook’s suppression of the New York Post’s reporting on the laptop.

It should all outrage Americans who think the First Amendment should actually mean something, that people should be banned from the public square for expressing opinions the ruling regime dislikes. Indeed it’s hard to think of anything more un-American, and it’s not too much to say that this censorship represents a real threat to the survival of the republic.

One need not even engage the facile libertarian line that Twitter and Facebook are private companies and can do whatever they want. It’s enough to see the many ways powerful government agencies are now working hand-in-hand with private Big Tech firms to suppress online speech and censor political ideas the regime deems to be a threat.

Codevilla was exactly right. A security and surveillance apparatus originally constructed to keep us safe from terrorists has been transformed into an instrument of domestic surveillance, and is now being used against us.


This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

FBI, Justice Department Twist Federal Law to Arrest, Charge Pro-Life Activist

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

In an early morning raid Friday in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, about two dozen FBI agents with weapons drawn pounded on the door of Mark Houck’s home, where he lives with his wife and seven children.

The FBI agents arrested Houck based on a federal indictment. Sounds serious, right? Is Houck a domestic terrorist, an American jihadist, a dangerous militia member, a violent felon, or someone with a prior history of violence toward law enforcement who would require such an overwhelming show of force?

Not even close.

Houck is a pro-life activist and president of The King’s Men, a Catholic ministry. He has no prior criminal record. He was arrested Friday morning for an alleged violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, known as the FACE Act.

Again, sounds potentially serious. But given the Obama-Biden administration’s prior abuse of the FACE Act, as well as what we know already about the facts, we have serious reasons to doubt that this is a legitimate case and prudent use of federal law enforcement resources. More likely, it is a politically motivated abuse of federal law by both the FBI and the Justice Department. 

It is not a coincidence, we suspect, that this takedown of someone who, at best, committed a misdemeanor assault came almost exactly three months after the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overruled Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand in America. The FBI’s raid of Houck’s home was designed to send a warning to pro-life activists engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment.

The FACE Act (18 U.S.C. § 248) forbids physically obstructing, injuring, intimidating, or interfering with anyone “obtaining or providing reproductive health services.” But Congress specified that the FACE Act doesn’t “prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibitions by the First Amendment to the Constitution,” including the “free speech or free exercise clauses,” occurring “outside a facility.”  

Houck apparently would regularly drive two hours from his home to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia to pray and speak outside the facility, often taking his 12-year-old son with him.

The federal indictment claims that almost a year ago, Houck “verbally confronted” and “shoved” an escort for an abortion patient “to the ground” and “intentionally injured, intimidated and interfered” with the escort.

What the indictment fails to mention, say Houck’s wife and a family spokesman, is that on multiple occasions this pro-abortion escort said “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things” to the Houcks’ son, such as “your dad’s a fag” and other vulgar slurs.

Houck kept telling the escort to stop harassing his son, they say, but the escort refused to stop and when the foul-mouthed vulgarian got too close to his son, Houck protected him by shoving the escort away.

The escort fell down, but, according to Houck’s family, the only injury he suffered required “a Band-Aid on his finger.”

The incident occurred Oct. 21, 2021. The assault claim against Houck is so weak that not only did Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Soros-backed rogue prosecutor, refuse to file any misdemeanor charges against Houck, but, the family says, a civil lawsuit filed by the escort was thrown out of court.

Now, almost a year later, the FBI shows up at Houck’s home in force and the Justice Department charges him with two felonies for an injury that required a Band-Aid. His conviction could result, according to the Justice Department, in a maximum penalty of “11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $350,000.”

No doubt, Houck’s defense attorney will explore any and all defenses, starting with whether the man shoved by Houck even falls within the “obtaining or providing” requirement of the federal statute. It also may be a clear case of self-defense, since Houck apparently was defending his 12-year-old son from an adult who was harassing and intimidating a minor.

The fact is that the Justice Department, under Democratic administrations, has a history of misusing the FACE Act to go after abortion opponents.

In 2012, for example, a federal judge in Florida tossed out a FACE Act indictment against Mary Susan Pine, a  pro-life activist who had been conducting peaceful sidewalk counseling outside an abortion clinic for many years. The judge excoriated the Justice Department for the behavior of its lawyers, saying that the indictment seemed to be the “product of a concerted effort between the government and the [abortion clinic] … to quell Ms. Pine’s activities” rather than to enforce the statute.

The timing of this indictment of Houck also is suspect and calls into question the motive behind the Justice Department’s move. If this situation played out the way the Justice Department claims, even viewed in the light most favorable to the government this was, at best, two minor incidents of misdemeanor assault.

It’s significant that local authorities, including the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, decided not to file charges against Houck. It means that, for whatever reason, they didn’t even think Houck’s conduct warranted a misdemeanor assault charge, much less the two felony charges that he now faces.

Most likely, the local authorities didn’t file charges because, upon examining the facts, it was, at best, a case of “mutual combat” in which two adults got out of hand and ended up in a minor scuffle. In such cases, typically neither party is charged, and the case goes away. 

If this was such an important violation of the FACE Act, what took the Justice Department 337 days to indict Houck? This is the simplest of simple, factual cases. Houck either pushed the escort twice, unprovoked, or he didn’t.

Perhaps the more important number is 91. That’s how many days elapsed between the day the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs and Houck’s indictment. Or maybe it’s 49—the number of days between Houck’s indictment and the mid-term elections.

And why did the Justice Department decide to send armed FBI agents to Houck’s house in a show of force? Houck has no criminal record, is a man of faith, and is the father of seven children. He is no threat whatsoever.

Contrast this prosecution with the fact that vandals physically have attacked and damaged roughly 70 pro-life pregnancy centers, which also are protected under the FACE Act’s definition of a facility that “provides reproductive health services.”

So why hasn’t the Justice Department filed a single FACE Act indictment against anyone for those crimes?

Clearly, the leadership of the FBI and the Justice Department should be asked these and other important questions surrounding this case, as well as their lack of action against real threats.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

To Help Biden, FBI Interfered With 2020 Election

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

As if the FBI’s reputation were not already in tatters, we have yet another bombshell, courtesy of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, about FBI malfeasance during the 2020 election.  

It turns out that the FBI used its previously concocted Russia hoax as an excuse to pressure Facebook to censor the factually correct Hunter Biden laptop story, which the New York Post broke.

In an appearance Thursday on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook suppressed news of the laptop and its contents in the weeks preceding the 2020 presidential election, after FBI agents requested to meet with Zuckerberg’s staff to deliver dire warnings of a supposed dump of Russian election “misinformation.”

Although Zuckerberg said he couldn’t recall whether the FBI agents specifically mentioned the Hunter Biden laptop story in their warning, he said the story “fit the pattern” that concerned the FBI, so he sprang into action and suppressed the story.

Zuckerberg was oddly proud of distinguishing the mere throttling of the laptop story by Facebook (now Meta) from the outright ban of the story by Twitter.

When pressed by Rogan, Zuckerberg wouldn’t admit to the scale of his company’s censorship of the laptop story, other than to say: “Fewer people saw it than otherwise.” Given Facebook’s gargantuan influence, “fewer than otherwise” likely is many millions—and possibly enough to have flipped the election to Donald Trump rather than Joe Biden had the story been allowed to gain steam.

Americans should listen to this episode of ”The Joe Rogan Experience” without forgetting the context in which Facebook took such drastic censorship action. Back in October 2020, Facebook claimed its suppression of the Hunter Biden story was “part of our standard process to reduce misinformation.” Note no mention of the FBI’s involvement.

Either Facebook’s spokesman, Andy Stone, was lying at the time, or the FBI’s involvement was part of Facebook’s “standard process” all along.

This same FBI had access to the abandoned Biden laptop since 2019, well before Zuckerberg and his team received warnings of impending Russian “misinformation” from the FBI. Once Facebook and others moved to squelch the laptop story, why didn’t the FBI go back to them and say that the Constitution protects freedom of the press and free speech, and that agents never intended the suppression of true stories?

Given how hyperpartisan and anti-Trump the FBI has become in recent years, is it possible that the FBI actually had the damning contents of Hunter’s laptop in mind when the agents approached Facebook with their request that the social media giant suppress political speech?

Recall that 51 left-wing former intelligence officials, with no evidence whatsoever, signed a public letter labeling the Hunter Biden laptop story as “classic Russian disinformation” just days before the first presidential debate.

Perhaps it was the FBI that asked its spy friends on the outside to publish the letter, to give the FBI cover for its pressure campaign on companies such as Facebook. Much like the FBI’s selective leaking of the utterly fake “Steele dossier” to justify its deeper involvement in the Russia hoax, we’ve seen this movie before.

The American people, as has become standard, have been kept in the dark. Why in the world didn’t Facebook disclose its cooperation with the FBI in the suppression of speech? Why didn’t the FBI disclose it?

Lawmakers at the federal and state level should establish standards of transparency and conduct for internet platforms and law enforcement agencies that govern the political discourse that influences elections.

Network security expert and hacker Peiter “Mudge” Zatko’s recent whistleblower complaint against Twitter is relevant here too. Zatko revealed the true extent to which at least one massive internet platform fails to protect private data or responsibly moderate the content users see.

Maybe Facebook has more responsible internal controls than Twitter. But, on the other hand, perhaps it has the same questionable routines to which Twitter has fallen victim: not only being subject to foreign influence, but allowing employees unrestricted access to edit users’ content.

Again, Americans don’t know, because our laws have left the people blind to understanding how unaccountable tech oligarchs govern platforms so central to daily life.

There is a need for baseline standard operating procedures for how digital platforms adjudicate their content decisions. And with these minimum standards should come absolute transparency, available in real-time.

No private right of action exists to get the 2020 election back. Voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania can’t recast their ballots, nor seek damages for how Facebook manipulated the truth in October 2020. The rule of law cannot preserve Americans’ fast-eroding trust in the institutions that keep our civil society stable.

No recourse exists for such critical, timely issues of political speech in the digital age. The people’s representatives should establish and enforce rules of the road that prevent another instance in which Big Tech secretly takes the initiative to influence American elections at the behest of the FBI.

Both Big Tech and Big Surveillance (i.e. the FBI) need to be brought to heel.

The most damning sound bite from Zuckerberg’s interview came after Rogan asked whether he regretted blocking the truth.

Zuckerberg responded: “It sucks … I think in the same way that having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks … in the end, you’re free.”

This faux apology entirely misses the point. Yes, the truth came out eventually, but only after the FBI’s and Big Tech’s election meddling was done.

Combine Zuckerberg’s revelation with the Russia hoax, the Hillary Clinton emails, and the FBI’s shocking raid on Trump’s private residence, and one gets the feeling that our once-trusted private and public organizations are crumbling and in dire need of reform, by force of law.

This commentary was modified shortly after publication to specify that Zuckerberg told Rogan that he couldn’t recall whether the FBI specifically mentioned the Hunter Biden laptop story in warning Facebook about imminent Russian “misinformation.”


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Mike Pence: Political Dunderhead

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since the FBI raid on former President Trump’s personal residence, the bureau has come under justifiable political fire. Former Vice President Pence, who increasingly is making signals he wants to break from Trump’s orbit, has come out condemning those criticizing the FBI.

Those remarks are being used by progressives, who want to exploit divisions within the Republican Party. Mr. Pence surely knew this would be the case so what is his angle?

What was odd about it was that just on August 9th, he expressed concern over the raid.

A week later, he seems to change his tune.

In doing so, he conceded to something that was not true.  Conservatives have not been encouraging violence against the FBI but rather calling for its reform.  Pence got played by the media.

“We can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision that he made without attacking rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI”, he said.

Do you know of any prominent conservative, or even one that is not so prominent, who suggests “attacking rank and file agents?”  What is he talking about? Our problem is with leadership, and criticism should not be construed as suggesting violence at all.

We can understand that Mr. Pence wants a future in politics and we can understand he may have disagreements with Trump. With that, we are fine. But he is not attacking Trump with his remarks, he is attacking conservatives who dare to question the wisdom of politicizing law enforcement.

Incidentally, the FBI should primarily be an investigatory agency, but over the years has suffered mission creep. Law enforcement in the US, for the most part, is a matter of local responsibility. America is not the place for a federal police force for it is inimical to our constitution.

The justification for the raid on Trump’s residence aside, the FBI has been accumulating a string of failures dating back to the anthrax investigations, Richard Jewell, Ruby Ridge, and the slaughterhouse at Waco.

Of more recent vintage, is the direct involvement of high-ranking FBI officials in the Russia collusion hoax, spying on political candidates, lying to FISA judges, and interfering in the political process.

These systemic failures are worthy of critique. We want a well-functioning FBI to investigate crime and monitor the activities of our foreign enemies at home. Maybe they should have given us a head’s up on Iranian-sponsored assassins or the penetration of our institutions by Red China before investigating parents who object to drag queens performing in front of kindergarteners.

We conservatives support law enforcement as they are essential to ordered liberty. However, this love is not unconditional. We demand that they behave within the law, and stay out of partisan politics.

However, when they get out of line, we say so. That is entirely consistent with the conservative principle of limiting power and its abuse.

Do you have a problem with that Mr. Pence?

And the timing, just from a political perspective, was dumb. President Trump endorsed candidates basically are winning across the board. In Arizona, it was a sweep.

The raid has boosted Trump’s popularity. Moreover, we just got whistle-blower documents indicating Department of Homeland Security views anyone who questions election integrity or doesn’t like racism (CRT) being taught in schools, as “domestic terrorists.”

This is not only an insult to conservative Americans – it is flat-out dangerous.

Pence decided the political timing was just right to do something truly stupid. Mild-mannered classics and history professor Victor David Hansen spoke for many conservatives when he suggested the FBI has turned into a rogue agency and needs to be broken up.  Pence seems not only to have reversed course on his original comments, but he also seems not to know that the overwhelming body of conservatives, even non-Trump supporters, view the FBI as abusive.

The FBI should make it very clear it does not support the idea that those who disagree with Biden’s policies are white supremacists and terrorists.  This is especially from an agency that was mostly silent when over 700 riots swept the country under the aegis of Black Lives Matter.

In short, conservatives have valid reasons for suspecting that federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are being politicized.  They want it to stop.

Conservatives don’t want a third party.  They want to prosper within the Republican Party. Establishment Republicans are going to have to live with the MAGA agenda, and Mr. Pence should know that. He could be the bridge between those two camps unless he decides to detonate the bridge he himself is standing on.

Further, as a conservative, he must know that the abuse of power by federal law enforcement must be guarded against and that these agencies must not become political.

No one is suggesting violence against law enforcement agencies. We are asking that they be reformed and held to account for their misdeeds.

Mr. Pence, are you listening?