Category Archives: GEOPOLITICS
Energy is one of the most important issues of our time. The significance of the world’s energy challenges becomes more evident each day, and the issues affect us all.
December 16, 2019 By Chrissy Clark
Robert Powell, the husband of Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., reportedly took $700,000 from a Ukrainian oligarch named Igor Kolomoisky. Mucarsel-Powell sits on the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that drafted two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his alleged abuse of power with regards to Ukraine.
In 2018, the Daily Beast reported that a number of businesses linked to Kolomoisky hired Powell as an attorney. One of those firms paid Powell at least $700,000 over two years, according to public records.
The Miami Herald reported Powell was working for companies tied to Kolomoisky for 10 years. Powell made most of his money in the two years leading up to his wife’s election in 2018.
Kolomoisky has been accused of contract killings and embezzlement in the past. Yet, in 2018 when Mucarsel-Powell was running for her seat, she did not see her husband’s work as relevant to her campaign.
“Debbie Mucrasel-Powell is running for Congress, not her husband. To imply that Debbie has anything to do with her indirect shareholder of a parent company that once employed her husband is an enormous stretch,” said Michael Hernandez, senior communications advisor for her campaign in 2018.
While Mucrasel-Powell may have convinced her constituents that her husband’s work is unrelated, it is a clear conflict in the current impeachment of Trump. Mucarsel-Powell voted to impeach Trump.
The House has moved to impeach Trump over a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. When the House initiated impeachment hearings, they were arguing Trump asked for a quid pro quo or potentially bribed the Ukrainian president. No evidence to corroborate those charges has been found, so now the House is charging the president with abuse of power and obstructing Congress in relation to the Ukrainian phone call.
And yet, no Democrats see a problem with one of their own committee members’ spouses doing business with a Ukrainian ogliarch. There has been no check on whether Mucrasel-Powell is benefitting from her husband’s work with a foreign power that interfered in the 2016 election.
There is a double standard in Mucrasel-Powell’s ability to impeach the President for his work in Ukraine, simultaneously, allowing her husband to earn money from Kolomoisky, a thug from the same foreign power.
Chrissy Clark is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on social media @chrissyclark_ or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Build The Wall President Brian Kolfage :: Corrupt International Organization Controls Southern Border, Not DHS Or Border Patrol
December 14, 2019
by Alicia Powe
Neither the Trump administration, Congress, US Customs & Border Protection or the Department of Homeland Security are currently in control of immigration along the southern border, triple amputee veteran and a founder of the nonprofit organization We Build The Wall Brian Kolfage warns in an exclusive interview with Gateway Pundit.
The governmental entity with the actual jurisdiction over the crime-ridden border is The U.S. Section of The International Boundary and Water Commission, a “United Nations-type” globalist agency, run by deep state hacks, that is deliberately allowing hordes of foreign nationals to illegally enter the United States, the decorated war hero explained.
“This organization basically controls our borders. Homeland Security doesn’t control them. Border Patrol doesn’t control them. This international organization, that’s half-owned by corrupt Mexico, controls our border,” Kolfage said. “These Mexican officials – a lot of them are corrupt and it’s proven that they’re corrupt – have say what goes on at our border on the United States side.”
The IBWC was created by the U.S. and Mexico in 1889 to administer rules for demarcating the location of the border between the two countries, which sits on banks of the meandering Rio Grande River. The international body has a U.S. section and a Mexican section, headquartered in the adjoining cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
We Build The Wall completed the assembly of a 30-foot high, three-quarter mile-long section of border wall on private property border El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, in just four days in New Mexico over Memorial Day weekend.
Immediately after the wall was constructed, IBCW Commissioner Jayne Harkins immediately ordered the gate to be permanently padlocked open.
Surveillance footage from the site, which could be mistaken as a scene from The Walking Dead, shows hundreds of illegal immigrants rampaging into the United States just moments after IBWC staffers chained the gate open.
“The gate was something they asked for,” Kolfage told the Gateway Pundit. “But instead of doing the commonsense thing of shutting the gate and locking it, they leave it wide open, Monday through Friday all day long. Anyone can go to our website, we have live cameras watching the gate.”
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) June 11, 2019
Meanwhile, federal immigration law enforcement leaders caution the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants invading the county is at a “breaking point” and poses a massive “border security and humanitarian crisis.” The U.S. Customs and Border Protection highlights El Paso, where IBWC is headquartered, as the primary location from which criminal illegal aliens cross over.
The IBWC is a corrupt bureaucratic agency hellbent on keeping the border open to facilitate a gravy train of drugs, sex trafficking and human trafficking back and forth between the two countries, Kolfage surmised.
“Of course, they didn’t like our wall going up in Southern Park – it was an amazing smuggling route. They got a lot of push back from those cartels and people on that side who didn’t want that route shut down,” he said. “It just shows us how screwed up the whole system is, where we have an international group like the U.N. controlling our border, telling us what to do, telling our border patrol what to do.
“We are trying to turn this wall over to DHS and Border Patrol – give them full control. It’s their wall, we built it for them. The IBWC says they leave it open for [IBCW] workers, but there are no workers going through and people are seeing that live – that there’s no workers going through. There might be like one worker a week that will go through – that’s it and why can’t they just have a key.”
As We Build the Wall gears up to build a second 3.5-mile portion of the wall on private land in Mission, Texas, the IBWC is, again, ardently working to sabotage the project.
The Department of Justice on Dec. 5 filed a lawsuit on behalf of IBWC against Fisher Industries, the construction company contracted by We Build The Wall to assemble a physical barrier, to shut border wall construction along the Rio Grande.
IBWC claims the manufacturing of a wall in the location would violate the United States’ 1970 international water treaty with Mexico by causing floods that would alter the course of the international waterway by and destruct the shoreline.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane subsequently issued a restraining order mandating We Build the Wall and Fisher Industries suspend construction and ordered the government to disclose the results of a hydrology study that would substantiate its unfounded charges.
While illegal immigration jeopardizes U.S. national security, with illegal immigrants committing rape, drug sales, murder again, and again, and again, and again, environmentalists are more concerned about protecting the well being of insects than citizens.
Texas District Judge Keno Vasquez of Hidalgo County on Dec. 4 issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, ordering We Build the Wall to stop construction on land near property owned by the National Butterfly Center, citing the project’s potential for “imminent and irreparable harm” to a border butterfly sanctuary.
“They’re called the Butterfly National Center – they are not a national anything. They are trying to sound like they’re some federal museum,” Kolfage said. “They named themselves the National Butterfly Center and its nothing more than a piece of land out in the middle of nowhere, right on the border, where illegal aliens are crossing every single day. Cartels are coming off their property and it should be called the National Cartel Center.
“This is what President Trump deals with every day. We are starting to see it now – just how much is against this wall. It’s basically the deep state we are dealing with all.”
Amid the legal hurdles leveled by IBWC and butterfly advocates, We Build The Wall received a ringing public endorsement from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The influx of illegal traffic has shifted around the structure to a region where agents are equipped to respond more effectively after the nonprofit completed its first new barrier, El Paso Border Patrol sector chief Gloria Chavez told reporters in November.
“Everything changed for us, and we were able to manage the border enforcement actions there even better,” Chavez said.
According to the latest CBP data, the Trump administration has completed 83 miles of the 450 miles of border wall it has vowed to see built by the end of 2020.
With the help of the American people, We Build the Wall could construct a wall along the entire 2000-mile border, Kolfage said.
“Twenty-five million dollars won’t go that far. It’s only going to build a couple of miles. We are still raising money. We’ve just got to keep hammering at it, little chunks at a time,” he said. “If every Trump supporter donates $80, then the nonprofit could build a wall on the entire 2000-mile border. We’ve proven now that we can build wall. When we originally raised this money, it was on an idea that ‘hey we are going to go and try to build a wall.’ But now, we actually did it. DHS has endorsed us. Border Patrol has endorsed us.”
Source and (video)
March 15, 2018
“My frustration,” writes Peter Schweizer in his new book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” “is not that the solid reporting on Trump has been too tough, but that the reporting on the Obama administration has been way too soft or in some cases nonexistent.” The author of the 2016 sensation “Clinton Cash” says Trump and his children didn’t invent the blurring of government and business, and details a number of ethical violations on both sides of the political aisle. One example: the little-noticed private equity firm run by the sons of Democrats Joe Biden and John Kerry, as detailed in this exclusive first excerpt.
Joe Biden and John Kerry have been pillars of the Washington establishment for more than 30 years. Biden is one of the most popular politicians in our nation’s capital.
His demeanor, sense of humor, and even his friendly gaffes have allowed him to form close relationships with both Democrats and Republicans. His public image is built around his “Lunch Bucket Joe” persona. As he reminds the American people on regular occasions, he has little wealth to show for his career, despite having reached the vice presidency.
One of his closest political allies in Washington is former senator and former Secretary of State John Kerry. “Lunch Bucket Joe” he ain’t; Kerry is more patrician than earthy. But the two men became close while serving for several decades together in the US Senate. The two “often talked on matters of foreign policy,” says Jules Witcover in his Biden biography.
So their sons going into business together in June 2009 was not exactly a bolt out of the blue.
But with whom their sons cut lucrative deals while the elder two were steering the ship of state is more of a surprise.
What Hunter Biden, the son of America’s vice president, and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (later to be secretary of state), were creating was an international private equity firm. It was anchored by the Heinz family alternative investment fund, Rosemont Capital. The new firm would be populated by political loyalists and positioned to strike profitable deals overseas with foreign governments and officials with whom the US government was negotiating.
Hunter Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, had gone through a series of jobs since graduating from Yale Law School in 1996, including the hedge-fund business.
By the summer of 2009, the 39-year-old Hunter joined forces with the son of another powerful figure in American politics, Chris Heinz. Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania had tragically died in a 1991 airplane crash when Chris was 18. Chris, his brothers, and his mother inherited a large chunk of the family’s vast ketchup fortune, including a network of investment funds and a Pennsylvania estate, among other properties. In May 1995, his mother, Teresa, married Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. That same year, Chris graduated from Yale, and then went on to get his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Joining them in the Rosemont venture was Devon Archer, a longtime Heinz and Kerry friend.
The three friends established a series of related LLCs. The trunk of the tree was Rosemont Capital, the alternative investment fund of the Heinz Family Office. Rosemont Farm is the name of the Heinz family’s 90-acre estate outside Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.
The small fund grew quickly. According to an email revealed as part of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Rosemont described themselves as “a $2.4 billion private equity firm co-owned by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz,” with Devon Archer as “Managing Partner.”
The partners attached several branches to the Rosemont Capital trunk, including Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC, Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners, and Rosemont Realty.
Of the various deals in which these Rosemont entities were involved, one of the largest and most troubling concerns was Rosemont Seneca Partners.
Rather than set up shop in New York City, the financial capital of the world, Rosemont Seneca leased space in Washington, DC. They occupied an all-brick building on Wisconsin Avenue, the main thoroughfare of exclusive Georgetown. Their offices would be less than a mile from John and Teresa Kerry’s 23-room Georgetown mansion, and just two miles from both Joe Biden’s office in the White House and his residence at the Naval Observatory.
In short, the Chinese government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers.
Over the next seven years, as both Joe Biden and John Kerry negotiated sensitive and high-stakes deals with foreign governments, Rosemont entities secured a series of exclusive deals often with those same foreign governments.
Some of the deals they secured may remain hidden. These Rosemont entities are, after all, within a private equity firm and as such are not required to report or disclose their financial dealings publicly.
Some of their transactions are nevertheless traceable by investigating world capital markets. A troubling pattern emerges from this research, showing how profitable deals were struck with foreign governments on the heels of crucial diplomatic missions carried out by their powerful fathers. Often those foreign entities gained favorable policy actions from the United States government just as the sons were securing favorable financial deals from those same entities.
Nowhere is that more true than in their commercial dealings with Chinese government-backed enterprises.
Rosemont Seneca joined forces in doing business in China with another politically connected consultancy called the Thornton Group. The Massachusetts-based firm is headed by James Bulger, the nephew of the notorious mob hitman James “Whitey” Bulger. Whitey was the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, part of the South Boston mafia. Under indictment for 19 murders, he disappeared. He was later arrested, tried, and convicted.
James Bulger’s father, Whitey’s younger brother, Billy Bulger, serves on the board of directors of the Thornton Group. He was the longtime leader of the Massachusetts state Senate and, with their long overlap by state and by party, a political ally of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
Less than a year after opening Rosemont Seneca’s doors, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were in China, having secured access at the highest levels. Thornton Group’s account of the meeting on their Chinese-language website was telling: Chinese executives “extended their warm welcome” to the “Thornton Group, with its US partner Rosemont Seneca chairman Hunter Biden (second son of the now Vice President Joe Biden).”
The purpose of the meetings was to “explore the possibility of commercial cooperation and opportunity.” Curiously, details about the meeting do not appear on their English-language website.
Also, according to the Thornton Group, the three Americans met with the largest and most powerful government fund leaders in China — even though Rosemont was both new and small.
The timing of this meeting was also curious. It occurred just hours before Hunter Biden’s father, the vice president, met with Chinese President Hu in Washington as part of the Nuclear Security Summit.
There was a second known meeting with many of the same Chinese financial titans in Taiwan in May 2011. For a small firm like Rosemont Seneca with no track record, it was an impressive level of access to China’s largest financial players. And it was just two weeks after Joe Biden had opened up the US-China strategic dialogue with Chinese officials in Washington.
On one of the first days of December 2013, Hunter Biden was jetting across the Pacific Ocean aboard Air Force Two with his father and daughter Finnegan. The vice president was heading to Asia on an extended official trip. Tensions in the region were on the rise.
The American delegation was visiting Japan, China, and South Korea. But it was the visit to China that had the most potential to generate conflict and controversy. The Obama administration had instituted the “Asia Pivot” in its international strategy, shifting attention away from Europe and toward Asia, where China was flexing its muscles.
For Hunter Biden, the trip coincided with a major deal that Rosemont Seneca was striking with the state-owned Bank of China. From his perspective, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden and Finnegan arrived to a red carpet and a delegation of Chinese officials. Greeted by Chinese children carrying flowers, the delegation was then whisked to a meeting with Vice President Li Yuanchao and talks with President Xi Jinping.
Hunter and Finnegan Biden joined the vice president for tea with US Ambassador Gary Locke at the Liu Xian Guan Teahouse in the Dongcheng District in Beijing. Where Hunter Biden spent the rest of his time on the trip remains largely a mystery. There are actually more reports of his daughter Finnegan’s activities than his.
What was not reported was the deal that Hunter was securing. Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately 10 days after Hunter visited China with his father. The most powerful financial institution in China, the government’s Bank of China, was setting up a joint venture with Rosemont Seneca.
The Bank of China is an enormously powerful financial institution. But the Bank of China is very different from the Bank of America. The Bank of China is government-owned, which means that its role as a bank blurs into its role as a tool of the government. The Bank of China provides capital for “China’s economic statecraft,” as scholar James Reilly puts it. Bank loans and deals often occur within the context of a government goal.
Rosemont Seneca and the Bank of China created a $1 billion investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a name that reflected who was involved. Bohai (or Bo Hai), the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea, was a reference to the Chinese stake in the company. The “RS” referred to Rosemont Seneca. The “T” was Thornton.
The fund enjoyed an unusual and special status in China. BHR touted its “unique Sino-US shareholding structure” and “the global resources and network” that allowed it to secure investment “opportunities.” Funds were backed by the Chinese government.
In short, the Chinese government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers.
The partnership between American princelings and the Chinese government was just a beginning. The actual investment deals that this partnership made were even more problematic. Many of them would have serious national security implications for the United States.
In 2015, BHR joined forces with the automotive subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned military aviation contractor Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to buy American “dual-use” parts manufacturer Henniges.
AVIC is a major military contractor in China. It operates “under the direct control of the State Council” and produces a wide array of fighter and bomber aircraft, transports, and drones — primarily designed to compete with the United States.
The company also has a long history of stealing Western technology and applying it to military systems. The year before BHR joined with AVIC, the Wall Street Journal reported that the aviation company had stolen technologies related to the US F-35 stealth fighter and incorporated them in their own stealth fighter, the J-31. AVIC has also been accused of stealing US drone systems and using them to produce their own.
In September 2015, when AVIC bought 51 percent of American precision-parts manufacturer Henniges, the other 49 percent was purchased by the Biden-and-Kerry-linked BHR.
Henniges is recognized as a world leader in anti-vibration technologies in the automotive industry and for its precise, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. Anti-vibration technologies are considered “dual-use” because they can have a military application, according to both the State Department and Department of Commerce.
The technology is also on the restricted Commerce Control List used by the federal government to limit the exports of certain technologies. For that reason, the Henniges deal would require the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews sensitive business transactions that may have a national security implication.
According to BHR internal documents, the Henniges deal included “arduous and often-times challenging negotiations.” The CFIUS review in 2015 included representatives from numerous government agencies including John Kerry’s State Department.
The deal was approved in 2015.
Excerpted with permission from “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” by Peter Schweizer, published by Harper Collins. The book goes on sale March 20.
Law scholar Alan Dershowitz predicted the next Democrat elected president of the United States will be impeached as a result of the same “open-ended” criteria the party is currently using to impeach President Trump.
“They have created open-ended criteria which bear no relationship to the word of the Constitution itself,” Dershowitz said Sunday on Fox News. “If President Trump is impeached, it will set a terrible precedent, which will weaponize impeachment, and the next Democrat who gets elected will be impeached.”
Dershowitz, who has been critical of Trump in the past and says he voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, has spent recent months criticizing the impeachment push led by House Democrats.
“It’s hard to find any president — modern president, old president — who can’t be accused of abuse of power,” he said.
Since the start of the inquiry, leading Republicans have attacked the impeachment process, complaining about access to classified briefings before public testimony and accusing leading Democrats of inappropriate communications with key witnesses.
The investigation centers on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump pressured the foreign leader to investigate a political rival.
Democrats say Trump abused the office of the presidency and have hung some of their impeachment effort on the charge of bribery.
“How many foreign policy decisions have been made by presidents over the years in order to help them get reelected?” Dershowitz asked. “If we start making that an impeachable offense, there will be no presidents left.”
The House is expected to vote on articles of impeachment before Christmas, triggering a jury trial in the Senate.
Created by S.L. on October 13, 2019
There is nothing more sacred than the integrity of our vote! It is the voice of the American citizen. It is our say in matters of importance to our country. Photo ID is required for nearly everything. No one should be disenfranchised by a citizen voter photo ID requirement to vote! Any issues regarding disenfranchising can be easily resolved.
EVERY CITIZEN of this nation should want voter integrity in our elections. The only reason anyone would oppose a voter photo ID requirement is if they wanted to commit voter fraud!
Congress should immediately enact a nationwide Federal Voter Photo ID Law requiring EVERY voter to present a valid, federal government issued Photo ID, verifying citizenship as well as state & county of residence.
Note: Be sure to check your inbox and confirm your Email signature.
Clinton WhistleBlower: FEDS Investigating Adam Schiff’s Disturbing Behavior at Ed Buck’s Meth & Sex House
Embattled Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is now the target of a federal investigation focused on the Congressman’s more-than-frequent trips to Ed Buck’s ‘drug house,’ according to a Clinton Whistleblower and insider. Buck is a high-profile, millionaire Democratic benefactor who has contributed and bundled large amounts of cash to Democrats including Schiff, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama,…
A shocking new report reveals that Ukraine donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than any other county on Earth. Ukraine beat out both of those countries — and everyone else — by donating a whopping $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. See this chart for yourself, published in The Wall Street Journal, about contributions…
By Petr Svab
The acquittal of a former business partner of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has the potential to hinder some government attempts to abuse its powers to spy on Americans.
Bijan Rafiekian was acquitted on Sept. 24 of acting as an agent of the Turkish government without informing the U.S. government and two related charges.
In vacating Rafiekian’s conviction, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga criticized the prosecutors for broadening the definition of “agent of a foreign government” and sketched a narrower definition.
The case has received some media attention because of Flynn’s short stint as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser. But its repercussions may be significant, as labeling a person a “foreign agent” opens the door for the government to spy on them.
Rafiekian was charged under Section 951, which says that a person who acts as a foreign agent—“agrees to operate within the United States subject to the direction or control of a foreign government or official”—will face up to 10 years in prison unless he or she first informs the Attorney General.
The law has several exceptions, such as for diplomats and people engaged in “a legal commercial transaction”—it’s not supposed to go after people engaged in above-board business with foreign governments.
Yet the government, it appears, found a clever way to make many legal transactions illegal.
The prosecutors argued that violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) can make one liable under Section 951.
Such an interpretation seems open to abuse of power.
FARA deals with foreign lobbying and requires timely, periodical, and detailed disclosures from people whose lobbying is done on behalf of foreign governments or that principally benefits a foreign government.
FARA violations are common, data suggests.
Even among those who register, many seem to flunk the rules.
The Justice Department’s Inspector General found, from a “risk-based” sample of new FARA registrations from 2013 to 2015, that about two-thirds were filed late. The majority of the reviewed filings also had at least one other noncompliance issue (pdf).
Yet only seven FARA violations have been prosecuted in the previous 50+ years. Part of the reason for that is that FARA has a high standard for the co-called “mens rea”—state of mind. The government would have to prove the violators acted “willfully,” knowingly breaking the law. A lobbyist ignorant of the law can’t be held liable.
In the Rafiekian case, the prosecutors argued that any FARA violation, regardless of willfulness, makes one ineligible for the “commercial transaction” exception under Section 951.
They further said, in substance, that “direction or control” under Section 951 means somebody “agrees or is willing to do something the foreign principal requests,” Trenga said in his opinion.
That’s indeed the case under FARA, but such a reading of the law is “unwarranted,” under Section 951, the judge said, because “the word ‘agent’ has a well-established common-law meaning” that includes “the power of the principal to give directions and the duty of the agent to obey those directions.”
“A person must do more than act as a ‘representative’ or ‘on behalf of’ a foreign government,” he said, further noting that, “In sum, the government’s construction of Section 951 would, in effect, import into and conflate the narrow common law notion of agency reflected in Section 951 and the related regulation with the broad definition of an ‘agent’ under FARA, which goes well beyond any common-law understanding of agency and includes conduct not fairly read into the definition of agency under Section 951.”
Trenga’s reining in of who the government can and can’t label an “agent of a foreign government” has a special significance because the label seems to open the door to spying under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
FISA allows the government to obtain the electronic communications of anybody the secret FISA courts determine to be an “agent of a foreign power.”
Both FISA and FARA are overseen by the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD), which in the past assigned counterintelligence overtones to its interpretation of Section 951.
The NSD called Section 951 “espionage lite,” saying that it “generally involves espionage-like or clandestine behavior or an otherwise provable connection to an intelligence service, or information gathering or procurement-type activity on behalf of a foreign government,” according to a 2016 IG report (pdf).
She said she would “bet money” the government took out a FISA warrant on Flynn in 2016, when he was advising the Trump campaign. That hasn’t been confirmed, though.
It may not be easy or even possible for the government to collapse FARA and FISA together directly. FARA speaks of agents of a “foreign principal”—a term that includes private entities and appears too far removed from the “agent of a foreign power” label needed to pass the muster of FISA judges.
Trenga’s opinion, however, seems to confirm that the government was borrowing the broad FARA interpretation of “agent” to label people foreign government agents under Section 951.
Wilson Miller, a lawyer who has previously identified issues with the NSD, commented that “it would be legally permissible to use allegations of Section 951 violations as grounds for a FISA warrant.”
Trenga’s opinion isn’t a binding precedent in other federal jurisdictions, but it can be raised in the future by defense lawyers to persuade other judges. In that sense, it may make the government think twice before taking out a FISA warrant on somebody based on FARA violations.
Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab