Category Archives: Drain the Swamp
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)
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