How CDC Blatantly Uses Weekly Reports to Spread COVID Disinformation: Three Examples

As you go through The Defender’s analysis on how the CDC lies via twisted and bad data conclusions to American gullible Sheeple to entice compliance, YOU need to ask yourself a question: What is the CDC motive for lying? AND: Who ultimately benefits from CDC lies? One clue: the American can’t possibly benefit from CDC lies!

JRH 7/20/22

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How CDC Blatantly Uses Weekly Reports to Spread COVID Disinformation: Three Examples

The authors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are afforded the luxury of broadcasting their findings to massive audiences through media outlets that don’t hold them accountable for even gross lapses in scientific rigor.

CDC Weekly Disinformation

By Madhava Setty, M.D.

July 19, 2022

The Defender

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — the primary U.S. health protection agency — publicly pledges, among other things, to “base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively.”

The CDC’s “primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful public health information and recommendations,” according to the agency, is its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The CDC states that the MMWR readership consists predominantly of physicians, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists and other scientists, researchers, educators and laboratorians.

However, these weekly reports also serve as the means by which the agency disseminates its scientific findings to a much wider readership through media outlets that inform hundreds of millions of people.

Though the CDC asserts its MMWRs reliably communicate accurate and objective public health information, the reports are not subject to peer review, and the data behind the scientific findings are not always available to the public.

Moreover, when the media summarizes MMWR findings in articles intended for the general public, they often omit or misrepresent important details.

As a result, the reports often steer public opinion to a level of certainty the authors of the reports themselves cannot justify — and often, to incorrect conclusions.

As Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H., and Tracy Beth Høeg M.D., Ph.D., recently revealed, some officials within the CDC claim the heads of their agencies “are using weak or flawed data to make critically important public health decisions, that such decisions are being driven by what’s politically palatable to people in Washington or to the Biden administration and that they have a myopic focus on one virus instead of overall health.”

In this article, I will demonstrate how the CDC used three key MMWRs to compel the public to comply with pandemic response measures.

These reports were flawed to an extent suggesting more than mere incompetence or even negligence — they were deliberate attempts by CDC scientists to mislead the public.

These MMWRs address the effectiveness of mask mandates (March 5, 2021), vaccine safety during pregnancy (Jan. 7, 2022) and the risk of COVID-19 in children (April 22, 2022).

Do I need to wear a mask?

The New York Times in May ran this story, “Why Masks work, but Mandates Haven’t,” in which the author concluded:

“When you look at the data on mask-wearing — both before vaccines were available and after, as well as both in the U.S. and abroad — you struggle to see any patterns.”

But that’s not what the CDC concluded in its March 5, 2021, MMWR:

“Mask mandates were associated with statistically significant decreases in county-level daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation.”

How could the CDC claim there was a statistically significant decrease in cases within 20 days of mask mandate implementation if there were no patterns in the data?

The explanation is necessarily detailed because the CDC authors’ methodology is so devious. A detailed critique of the agency’s approach is offered in this preprint paper (Mittledorf, Setty) which I will summarize here.

The CDC researchers examined the number of COVID-19 cases reported each day in each U.S. county that implemented a mask mandate.

Then they calculated the Daily Growth Rate (DGR) of cases (and deaths) in each county on each day for 60 days preceding the countywide mandate and for 100 days afterward.

The authors purportedly showed the DGR fell after mandates were imposed. It is important to realize that when the DGR falls on a certain day, it does not mean that fewer new cases occurred on that day compared to the day before — it means the number of new cases is not growing as fast as it was prior to that day.

In other words, by using DGR as the measure of interest, the authors can still claim a “significant decrease in COVID-19 case growth rate” even if the number of new cases on a given day is larger than the day before.

When data for 2,313 U.S. counties were tallied into a composite graph, this is what they found:

change-case-death-growth-rate Figure 1. Image credit: CDC

Note that mandates were implemented at different times in different counties, so the “reference period” occurred at different times during the year depending on the county.

Furthermore, the plot indicates the DGR at different times relative to the DGR at the reference period.

In other words, when the plot falls below zero it does not mean the DGR is negative — it means it was less than it was during the 20 days prior to the institution of the mandate (the “reference period”).

Nevertheless, it seems that on average, the DGR falls after the implementation of mask mandates.

However, what was happening prior to the reference period?

We don’t know — and neither do the authors of the CDC report.

Figure 1 includes ranges of confidence intervals that stretch above and below that of the reference period prior to mask mandate implementation. Because the upper bound of the DGR is greater than the reference period prior to the point mandates were implemented, it is entirely possible the DGR was already in decline prior to the implementation of mask mandates.

The authors’ own data and calculations demonstrate the drop in DGR may have had nothing to do with mask mandates at all.

In other words, the authors also could have concluded mask mandates were associated with a drop in the DGR 40 days prior to their implementation.

In fact, this is clearly demonstrated in the graph. The DGR for both cases and deaths is highest in the period 20 to 40 days before the mandate.

How amazing! Masks seem to work several weeks before people are forced to wear them!

Beyond ignoring what their own data suggested, the CDC authors made two very suspicious decisions when designing their study.

The CDC chose to limit its analysis to 100 days after mandates were instituted. Was this an arbitrary length of time? Or was there another reason?

We examined data from the entire country for the period of the study and plotted the DGR for a full year here:

U.S. Daily Growth Rate Cases Figure 2

Figure 2 clearly demonstrates the DGR was already in steep decline at the beginning of the study period, just as pointed out earlier.

The graph also indicates the DGR temporarily rose at the beginning of the summer, then fell, then began to rise again at the beginning of the autumn.

Because the overwhelming majority of mask mandates began in the late spring and early summer, a 100-day window of analysis will show a declining DGR because it will miss the increase in DGR in the fall.

Also note that a shorter period of observation, say 50 days, would have resulted in equivocal or opposite findings as the summer “bump” would have made it seem like mask mandates had no effect or possibly increased the DGR.

The CDC conveniently chose an observational window that could be neatly nestled between the periods of higher DGR.

For example, the state of California imposed statewide mandates on June 18, 2020. Using CDC data, this is what a plot of the DGR for the state looks like if the period of observation were extended beyond 100 days:

Daily Growth Rate California Figure 3

The DGR at the end of the 100 days (Sept. 25, 2020) was approximately 0.5%, or about 1.5% lower than it was prior to the mandates in that state. However, two months later, the DGR had returned to its pre-mandate level.

If the CDC extended its window of analysis it would not have been able to claim there was any benefit from the mask mandates. The pattern was similar in the country as a whole, as demonstrated in Figure 2.

Did the CDC just get lucky with its window of observation? Or was the agency seeking a way to justify unpopular masking policies that had been in effect for nearly a year at the time this study was released?

At this point, any reasonable researcher would suspect the CDC’s authors were engaged in elaborate hand-waving to lead the public to a predetermined conclusion.

How can we know for sure?

If the CDC were truly interested in demonstrating a fall in the DGR due to mask mandates, the authors of the study would have asked the most basic of questions: What happened in counties that did NOT institute mask mandates during the study period? In other words, what happened in the “control” group during the same time?

Though there were 829 U.S. counties that did not implement mask mandates, the CDC researchers did not analyze any of them to test their hypothesis. Why didn’t they?

We did. From our preprint study linked above, this is what we found:

[Counties NOT Implementing Mask Mandate] Change Daily Growth Rate Figure 4

Using publicly available data from the CDC and an arbitrary “reference period” of Aug. 6, 2020 (roughly in the middle of the CDC’s study period date), we calculated the DGR in counties of seven states without mandates also fell to similar levels at the end of 100 days.

In other words, the decrease in DGR had nothing to do with the imposition of mask mandates. It was due to a predictable pattern of any infectious disease as it spreads through a population over time — whether or not people were forced to wear masks.

This would have been obvious if the CDC were actually interested in being scientific.

Nevertheless, the New York Times unhesitatingly covered the CDC’s findings on the very same day the MMWR was released in this article: “The Virus Spread Where Restaurants Reopened or Mask Mandates Were Absent.”

The Times quoted CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky who said, “You have decreases in cases and deaths when you wear masks,” and Joseph Allen, an associate professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who said;

“The study is not surprising. What’s surprising is that we see some states ignoring all of the evidence and opening up quickly, and removing mask mandates.”

The Times wasn’t the only media outlet to report on the flawed study.

CNBC posted this article: “CDC study finds easing mask and restaurant rules led to more Covid cases and deaths, as some states move to lift restrictions.”

And U.S. News and World Report ran an article under this headline: “Mask Use Associated With Decline in Coronavirus Cases, Deaths, CDC Says.”

In fact, more than 100 media outlets cited the CDC study within 24 hours of its release — but not one questioned the authors’ analysis.

In their defense, that is not their job. The media’s role is to simply relay what the CDC has to say. Yet without any oversight or accountability, the CDC can conclude whatever it chooses.

Because the mainstream media machine grants the CDC infallible status, the public is lured into an illusion that “the science is settled.”

But why would the CDC authors go to such lengths to manufacture an unfounded position on mask mandates? Surely they realized their methodology would be scrutinized and found to be manipulative by those who don’t consider the agency to be irreproachable. Why risk their credibility? What do they have to gain?

The MMWR was released on a Friday. On the following Monday, March 8, 2021, the CDC tells us, as NBC News reported:

“‘As more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities fully vaccinated people can do,’ the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing Monday.

“‘The latest science [emphasis added],’ Walensky said, ‘suggests that fully vaccinated people can congregate indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing face coverings or practicing physical distancing.’”

And there you have it.

Three days after the flawed MMWR was released, being with other human beings indoors without masks became a privilege reserved exclusively for the “fully vaccinated.”

The “latest science” must demonstrate that masks offer some protection, however miniscule. If there were no benefit to mask wearing, there would be one less carrot authorities could use to get the public to comply with their vaccine agenda.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe during pregnancy?

In a Jan. 7 MMWR, the authors addressed another important public concern: Are the vaccines safe during pregnancy?

To answer this question, CDC authors examined the incidence of only two pregnancy outcomes: preterm births and small-for-gestational age (SGA) in unvaccinated and vaccinated mothers.

They concluded:

“CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for women who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19–associated outcomes.”

Their assurances came more than a year after the first COVID-19 vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorization, in December 2020.

In this example, CDC authors did not have to cherry-pick periods of observation or ignore control groups to make their “conclusions.”

Here, they relied on comparing two poorly matched groups of mothers (the unvaccinated were at a higher risk of pregnancy complications):

  • There were greater than 50% more mothers in the unvaccinated group classified as having inadequate prenatal care than in the vaccinated group.
  • Obesity, a risk for preterm birth, was also overrepresented in the unvaccinated group (29% vs 23.9%) compared to the vaccinated.
  • There were greater than three times more African American women in the unvaccinated group than in the vaccinated group. The CDC acknowledges African American mothers may have as much as a 50% greater risk for preterm birth compared to white mothers.
  • COVID-19 infection, another potentially important confounder, was present in the unvaccinated group at a 25% greater incidence than in the vaccinated cohort. Viral infections early in pregnancy are particularly deleterious to the developing fetus.

The differences between the two cohorts should have been obvious to the authors. Why?

Because they found the risk of preterm birth and SGA in the vaccinated weren’t equal to that in the unvaccinated group — in fact, they were lower (adjusted Hazard Ratios were 0.91 and 0.95 respectively).

These numbers were very close to being statistically significant.

Amazing. Masks prevent the spread of the disease weeks before they are mandated and now we find that the COVID-19 jabs aren’t just safe, they can actually lower the risk of preterm birth and SGA!

Why didn’t the authors report that their data indicated that COVID-19 vaccines somehow reduce the risk of these outcomes? Was it because the data weren’t quite statistically significant?

Or was it because they didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that the unvaccinated group was at higher risk for these outcomes to begin with?

But the most glaring deficit in the CDC analysis was the scarcity of vaccinated mothers who received a vaccine in the first trimester in this study.

The risk of untoward outcomes (birth defects, miscarriages) in pregnancy is greatest during the first third of pregnancy, a time when crucial embryonic structures are developing.

This is the period of time where maternal health is particularly important and exposure to toxins, infections and certain medicines must be minimized or eliminated entirely if possible.

Only 172 of more than 10,000 (1.7%) vaccinated mothers in the study received a vaccine in the first trimester.

This was acknowledged by the authors who explicitly stated: “Because of the small number of first-trimester exposures, aHRs (adjusted Hazard Ratios) for first-trimester vaccination could not be calculated.”

If they could not calculate the risk of the vaccine in the first trimester, on what basis could they assure the recently pregnant, those who are trying to become pregnant and those who might become pregnant in the future that this experimental intervention was safe?

They couldn’t — but they did anyway. And once again, mainstream media outlets wasted little time in spreading the “good news”:

  • (Jan. 18, 2022): “New study bolsters case for COVID vaccination during pregnancy.”
  • Medical News Today (Jan. 11, 2022): “COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy not linked to adverse birth outcomes.”
  • Medscape (Jan. 12, 2022): “COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy Not Linked to Complications at Birth: US Study.”

And even on other continents:

  • Juta Medical Brief, Africa’s Medical Media Digest (Jan. 12, 2022): “COVID vaccination not linked to premature birth or unusually small babies — CDC study.”
  • (Jan. 8, 2022): “Researchers say COVID-19 vaccine does not disrupt pregnancy.”

Even People magazine, a go-to source for the latest in medical research and public health, helped spread the CDC gospel: “COVID Vaccines Among Pregnant Women Are Not Linked to Pre-Term Births, According to New Study.”

Should I vaccinate my child?

In this April 19 MMWR, CDC authors compared the risk of hospitalization of 5- to 11-year-old children from COVID-19 during three different time periods: pre-Delta, Delta and Omicron.

By the end of the period of observation, Feb. 28, 2022, only approximately 30% of children in this age group had received both doses of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. The experimental product had been authorized for these children four months prior.

Was this report a “reliable, accurate and objective” publication of available data? Or was it an attempt to persuade parents to inoculate their children by making contradictory statements and illogical reasoning?

Read on and decide for yourself.

The April 19 report uses a different set of tactics to lead the unwary reader to false conclusions. In this example, statements are made in the text of the paper that are true, but also irrelevant or misleading.

From the CDC’s own data (Table 1), among hospitalized children aged 5-11 who had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, more were admitted because of COVID-19 during the Delta wave (364) than during the Omicron wave (160). These numbers were statistically significant.

Yet the authors did not mention this fact in their discussion. Instead, they chose to compare the rate of hospitalization during a single, one-week peak of each wave: 2.8 per 100,000 during Omicron, and 1.2 per 100,000 during Delta.

Clearly, it is the total number of hospitalizations that is salient when assessing the risk of the predominant variant in circulation — not the number during a brief period of each wave.

Intentionally or not, the authors suggested Omicron is even more dangerous than Delta — which is not true.

This same strategy was used in yet another MMWR (from March 15, 2022) that sought to convince parents of children under age 5 to inoculate their young children by comparing hospitalizations at the peak of each wave rather than the total number of hospitalizations.

Dr. Meryl Nass dissects that CDC report here.

What are parents to do if they believe Omicron is more dangerous than the Delta variant? The answer is apparently obvious.

The authors of the April 19 MMWR extracted hospitalization rates from 14 states for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated children in this age group: Unvaccinated kids are 2.1 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were fully vaccinated.

Surely this should be enough to motivate the uncertain parent. However, when there is a potential risk it is imperative to assess the absolute risk of the intervention, not just the relative benefit.

In this case, the risk of hospitalization during the Omicron wave was 19.1 per 100,000 in the unvaccinated compared to 9.2 per 100,000 in the fully jabbed.

This means roughly 10,000 children had to be fully vaccinated to prevent a single hospitalization — a striking number the CDC authors did not mention.

In typical fashion, the CDC authors don’t mention the risk, which is yet to be established, of the experimental vaccine.

Though the authors accurately reported on the aggregate data, they mysteriously chose to include another statistic: 87% of hospitalized children were unvaccinated.

How could roughly 7 of 8 hospitalized kids (87%) be unvaccinated if the rate of hospitalization was only about double in the unjabbed?

The answer is that most children (70% or more) hadn’t been inoculated during this time. Why would they mention this true-but-misleading statistic?

We can’t know with any certainty, but it certainly makes a good talking point.

Forbes did not consider such questions when it ran this piece the same day: “87% Of Kids Hospitalized With Covid During Omicron Wave Were Unvaccinated, CDC Says.”

Other media outlets also fell into line and ran stories with misleading headlines based on this MMWR:

  • Axios: “CDC: 87% of children hospitalized during U.S. Omicron surge unvaccinated.”
  • BNN Bloomberg ran this: “Unvaccinated Kids Bore Brunt of Omicron Wave, CDC Report Says.” The title is not inaccurate. However, the very first line of the story predictably reads: “Almost 90% of U.S. children hospitalized for Covid during the omicron wave this winter were unvaccinated, according to a government study.”

If you read these articles you will find they all regurgitate the same misleading statements the CDC authors included in the text of their report.

On this page, there are dozens of articles titled (more or less) “Unvaccinated Children Hospitalized at Twice the Rate During Omicron Surge: US Study.” All cite the misleading MMWR.

The data that supported the fact that the unvaccinated children were twice as likely to be hospitalized was found here on the CDC website. The data from the MMWR study period has since been updated.

This is what the numbers now show:

Covid Hospitalization Vaccination Status Image credit: CDC

As of May 2022, in the 5-to-11 age group, there is a difference of 0.88 hospitalizations (3.35 – 2.47) per month in every 100,000 kids between the unvaccinated and vaccinated.

This means more than 113,000 children in that age group must receive both doses to prevent a single hospitalization per month.

In yet a final attempt to confuse the reader, the CDC authors state up front in their highlighted “Summary”:

“Increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage among children aged 5–11 years, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19, can prevent COVID-19–associated hospitalization and severe outcomes.”

Read that statement closely. They clearly state that increasing vaccination coverage in this age group can prevent severe outcomes.

Can they prevent severe outcomes? Maybe. But did they? Not according to their data.

The authors later correct themselves in the body of the report: “There were no significant differences for severe outcomes by vaccination status.”

Which statement do you think the media outlets chose to publish?

No limits to their treachery . . . 

The CDC website describes its MMWR series here:

“Often called ‘the voice of CDC,’ the MMWR series is the agency’s primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful public health information and recommendations.”

If the MMWR series is “the voice of CDC,” mainstream media serves as its mouthpiece.

By working together, the CDC authors are afforded the luxury of broadcasting their findings to massive audiences through media outlets that will not — and in many cases cannot — hold them accountable for even gross lapses in scientific rigor.

In my opinion, these examples demonstrate something more than honest mistakes. These are egregious misrepresentations of data that were meant to deliberately mislead the public, public officials and the medical establishment in order to galvanize support around unpopular mandates and push the “safe and effective” narrative. [Blog Editor Emphasis]

There wasn’t a “statistically significant decrease in COVID-19 case counts associated with mask mandates.”

There wasn’t enough data to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for mothers who recently became pregnant.

The data did not demonstrate that the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent severe outcomes in children ages 5 to 11.

The common thread in all three of these cases is that an uninformed reader of these reports will readily conclude that getting the jab is the best way to return to normalcy or protect a young child or a pregnancy.

We can speculate that Big Pharma’s insatiable thirst for profit is behind the CDC and corporate media, but with tens of billions of dollars already earned, why are they so desperate to keep the misinformation campaign going?

The most obvious answer is that they cannot afford not to. From the initial adult vaccine trials conducted in the summer and fall of 2020 to the most recent trials in the pediatric population, all placebo recipients were given the jab after just a few short months.

This resulted in only short-term efficacy and safety data. Using trial outcomes alone, no long-term safety assessments can be made. If there is a significant risk in the middle to long term, it can be estimated only through observational studies in the population.

The unvaccinated millions and their enduring health will stand as the biggest threat to the industry’s income stream and our health authorities’ credibility.

Authors of the CDC MMWR series are not accountable to anyone, including the CDC director who parrots their findings, or the public who rely on captured media outlets to ask the right questions.

With this level of impunity, there are no limits to their treachery. [Blog Editor Emphasis]

Image credit for Figures 2-4: Josh Mitteldorf and Madhava Setty

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense. [Blog Editor: I understand the reasoning for the CHD disclaimer, but the bad science is so egregious CHD should get behind this author’s findings with a “YES! AMEN!”]

Madhava Setty, M.D. is senior science editor for The Defender.

© 2016 – 2022 Children’s Health Defense® • All Rights Reserved.

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SPECIAL EDITION Lankford Letter – Impeachment Conclusion

I currently reside in the great State of Oklahoma (that may or not change for me in coming weeks). As such as an Oklahoma voter I am on Senator James Lankford email list. I am reading the email he sent out on 2/11/20 and it is about the Dem Party Impeachment debacle.


Senator Lankford is quite diplomatic yet precise in his summary of events. What the Senator could not say diplomatically is that clearly the Dems in the House operated a Soviet-Communist style show trial and attempted to intimidate the GOP Senate majority to further the Soviet show trial. The Dems utterly failed and President Trump was acquitted – FOREVER.


JRH 2/12/20

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SPECIAL EDITION Lankford Letter – Impeachment Conclusion


By Senator James Lankford

Sent 2/11/2020 10:39 AM


Dear Oklahoma friends and neighbors:

The country is deeply divided on multiple issues right now. The impeachment trial is both a symptom of our times and another example of our division. At the beginning of our nation, we did not have an impeachment inquiry of a president for almost 100 years with the partisan impeachment of Andrew Johnson. After more than 100 years, another impeachment inquiry was conducted when the House began a formal impeachment inquiry into President Nixon in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 410-4. Within a period of weeks, President Nixon resigned before he was formally impeached. Then, just over two decades later, President Clinton was impeached by the House, on another mostly partisan vote leading to a partisan acquittal in the Senate.

This season of our history and has been referred to as the Age of Investigations and the Age of Impeachment. We have had multiple special counsels since 1974 over multiple topics. This is more than just oversight; it has been a unique time in American history when the politics of the moment have driven rapid calls for investigation and impeachment. Over the past three years, the House of Representatives has voted four times to open an impeachment inquiry: once in 2017, once in 2018, and twice in 2019. Only the second vote in 2019 actually passed and began a formal inquiry.

The Mueller investigation that consumed most of 2018 and 2019 answered many questions about Russian attacks on our voting systems—though no votes were changed—but it was also a $32 million investigation that took more than two years of America’s attention. For the last four months the country has been consumed with impeachment hearings and investigations. The first rumors of issues with Ukraine arose August 28 when Politico published a story about US foreign aid being slow-walked for Ukraine, and then on September 18 when The Washington Post published a story about a whistleblower report that claimed President Trump pressured an unnamed foreign head of state to do an investigation for his campaign.

Within days of The Washington Post story on September 24, Speaker Pelosi announced that the House would begin hearings to impeach the President, which led to the formal House vote to open the impeachment inquiry on October 31 and then a vote to impeach the President on December 18th. But after the partisan vote to impeach the President, Speaker Pelosi held the articles of impeachment for a month before turning them over to the Senate, which began the formal trial of the President of the United States on January 16, 2020. After hearing hours of arguments from both House Managers and the President’s legal defense team and Senators asking 180 questions to both sides, the trial concluded February 5, 2020.


Key Dates to Know 


  • April 21, 2019 – President Zelensky is elected President of Ukraine.


  • May 21 – President Zelensky sworn in. After the ceremony, President Zelensky abolishes Parliament and calls for quick (snap) elections on July 21.


  • July 21 – Ukrainian Parliamentary elections. President Zelensky’s party wins a huge majority.


  • July 25 – President Trump calls President Zelensky to congratulate him and his party.


  • August 12 – An unnamed whistleblower working in the US intelligence community filed a complaint that he had heard from others that the President of the United States had tried to pressure President Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden on an official phone call July 25, 2019.


  • August 26 – The Inspector General for the Intelligence Community declares the whistleblower report “an urgent matter” and asks for its release within seven days. The Justice Department looks over the report and notes that though it was written by a person in the intelligence community, it is not related to intelligence matters, so it does not fall within the Inspector General’s jurisdiction and it is forwarded on to the Department of Justice for review.


  • August 28Politico publishes a story that the annual military aid for Ukraine is currently being slow-walked.


  • September 9 – The Inspector General contacts the House Intelligence Committee to let them know that he has not been able to release the whistleblower report to their committee.


  • September 13 – The House Intelligence Committee subpoenas the whistleblower report.


  • September 18The Washington Post prints a story with “unnamed sources” that there is a whistleblower report about the President talking with a foreign leader about a campaign matter.


  • September 24 – The House began an informal impeachment inquiry after Speaker Pelosi announced it at a press conference in the US Capitol.


  • September 25 – President Trump released the official unredacted “read out” of the phone call with President Zelensky from July 25.


  • September 26 – The whistleblower report is declassified and released publicly.


  • October 31 – The House formally votes along party lines for an impeachment inquiry.


  • December 18 – The House votes to impeach the President with two articles—Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress


  • January 15 – Speaker Pelosi releases the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate


  • January 16 – Senate trial on impeachment begins.


  • February 5 – Senate trial concludes with acquittal on both articles.


Important Context of What Was Happening in Ukraine

Ukraine became independent in 1991 when it broke away from the Soviet Union, but the Ukrainians have faced constant pressure from Russia ever since. In 2014 Ukraine forced out its pro-Russia president, and Moscow retaliated by taking over Crimea (and stealing the Ukrainian Navy), then rolling tanks into eastern Ukraine and taking all of eastern Ukraine by force. Russian and Ukrainian troops continue to fight every day in eastern Ukraine.

The people of Ukraine face an aggressive Russia on the east and pervasive Soviet era corruption throughout the government and the business community. President Trump met the previous President of Ukraine in 2017 to talk about other countries helping Ukraine with greater military support funds and to ask how Ukraine could address corruption on a wider scale. The two Presidents also spoke about lethal aid (allowing the Ukrainians to buy sniper rifles, anti-tank javelin missiles, and other lethal supplies) to help them fight the invading Russians. The US also started sending a couple hundred American troops to train Ukrainian soldiers in the far west of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Zelensky

On April 21, 2019, President Zelensky was overwhelmingly elected as the new President of Ukraine. He was a sitcom actor/comedian who had no political experience, but was well known for his television show in which he played the part of a corruption-fighting teacher who was elected as President of Ukraine. His television popularity helped him win the election, but when he was sworn in on May 21, he was relatively unknown to most of the world.

On the same day as his inauguration, May 21, President Zelensky abolished Parliament and called for snap elections to put his party in power. With a new president in place and parliamentary elections in Ukraine coming, starting in June of 2019, the President ordered foreign aid to Ukraine to be held until the end of the fiscal year, but agencies were informed that they should do all the preliminary work needed before the aid was sent, so it would be ready to release at a moment’s notice. The leadership in Ukraine was not notified that there was a hold on their foreign aid.

The new Parliament was elected on July 21, and President Zelensky’s party won by a landslide. By mid-August, the new Parliament was working on anti-corruption efforts and trying to establish a High Court on Corruption, which they put in place September 5, 2019. There was a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the early days of the new administration, but by mid August there was clear evidence of actual change in a country that desperately needed a new direction from its corrupt past.

President Trump’s Phone Call to President Zelensky

On July 25, when President Trump called President Zelensky, the President congratulated President Zelensky for the big win in Parliament and talked about “burden-sharing” (other nations also paying their share of support for Ukraine). The two presidents talked about their disapproval of the previous ambassadors to each other’s countries. But instead of following all the staff preparation notes written by Lt. Col Vindman, the National Security Council staffer assigned to Ukraine, and just talking about “corruption” in general, the President brought up a question about Ukraine and the 2016 election interference, which I will note below. President Zelensky also brought up to President Trump that his staff was planning to meet with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, in the coming days, which led to a conversation about Joe Biden and the firing of the previous prosecutor in Ukraine.

After the call, Lt. Col Vindman contacted an attorney at the National Security Council to express his “policy concerns” about the call. It is interesting to note that Lt. Col. Vindman’s boss, Tim Morrison, was also on the call, but he did not see any problems or concerns with the call according to his own testimony in the House impeachment inquiry. Within a month a whistleblower filed a report about the call, saying he heard about the call second-hand and was concerned about the implications of a conversation about elections on a head-of-state call. To keep the July 25th call in context with other news, the day before it took place—July 24—Robert Mueller had testified before Congress as the last official act to close down the two-and-a-half-year Mueller investigation and clear the President and his campaign team of any further accusation of election interference.

During the impeachment trial in the Senate, the House Managers repeated over and over that the President was planning to cheat “again” on the next election, but the final conclusion of the Mueller Report was “ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the (Trump) Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.”

This is especially notable, because for years a rumor circulated that Ukraine was part of the 2016 election interference and that someone in Ukraine was hiding the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server that was hacked by the Russians in 2016. As the conspiracy theory goes, it was actually the Ukrainians that hacked the DNC, not the Russians. This is the “Crowdstrike” theory that President Trump asked President Zelensky to help solve during the call.

Agencies of the US Intelligence Community have stated over and over that they did not believe that Ukraine was involved in the Russian election interference from 2016. I personally agree with the Intelligence Community assessment. But Rudy Giuliani, and multiple others around President Trump believed there was a secret plan in 2016 to hurt President Trump’s election from Ukraine. This accusation was amplified by bits of truth, including that the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US wrote an editorial in support of Hillary Clinton in 2016 right before the election, and several other Ukrainian officials publicly spoke out against candidate Trump in 2016.

There is nothing illegal about a foreign nation speaking out for or against a presidential candidate, whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in 2016, or anyone else in the future. It may not be wise to take sides before an election, but it is not illegal. Just because some Ukrainian officials took sides, does not mean that the whole Ukrainian government worked on a cyberattack on our elections. But since this rumor had persisted, and it was a new administration now in Ukraine, President Trump asked President Zelensky to help clear up the facts if he could. That is certainly not illegal or improper, and it is certainly not something that could help the President in the 2020 election, especially since the 2016 Russian election accusation had just been closed the day before.

The 2016 “Crowdstrike” theory is the issue that President Trump asked President Zelensky to “do us a favor” about, not the Biden’s or Burisma. During the July 25 call after the question about “Crowdstrike,” President Zelensky mentioned to President Trump that one of his advisers would be meeting with Rudy Giuliani soon. Then, President Trump affirmed that meeting and encouraged them to talk about the Biden investigation and the firing of the Ukrainian Prosecutor.

That may seem out of the blue, but in Washington, DC, that week, the city was buzzing about a Washington Post article that had been written three days before (July 22, 2019) detailing Hunter Biden’s giant salary ($83,000 per month) for doing essentially nothing for a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company and how it undercut Vice President Biden’s message on corruption.

It is important to get the context of that week to understand the context of the phone call that day. I have no doubt that the story was just as big of news in Kiev, Ukraine as it was in Washington, DC, that week. President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had been in and out of Ukraine since November 2018, meeting with government officials and trying to find out more about the “Crowdstrike” theory or any other Ukrainian connection to the 2016 election. During that time Rudy Giuliani met several former prosecutors from Ukraine who blamed their departure on Vice President Biden. It is clear that Rudy Giuliani was working to gain information about both of these issues in his capacity as President Trump’s private attorney.

It is not criminal for Rudy Giuliani to work on opposition research for a presidential campaign or to work on behalf of his client to clear his name from any issues related to the 2016 campaign, which he had done since November 2018. Some have stated that since this was “foreign information,” it is illegal. That is absolutely not true. In fact, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in 2016 paid a British citizen, Christopher Steele, to work his contacts in Russia to create the now debunked “Steele Dossier” which the FBI used to open its investigation into President Trump, leading directly to the appointment of Special Counsel Mueller. That “Dossier” was opposition research done in Russia by a British citizen, paid for by the Clinton campaign team. Their opposition research was not illegal, but the use and abuse of that document by the FBI to start an investigation was certainly inappropriate and is most likely illegal. But, the FBI warrant issue is still being investigated by the ongoing Durham probe.

During the July 25 call, when President Zelensky brought up the issue of Rudy Giuliani and President Trump replied to his statement. You can argue that President Trump should not have discussed the issue with President Zelensky when he brought it up, but it is certainly not illegal or impeachable to talk about it, especially when there are serious questions about Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma. That is not a conservative conspiracy theory; the issue of Hunter Biden’s employment in Ukraine was a problem for years at the State Department. It had been raised to Vice President Biden when he was still in office. Every State Department official interviewed for the Trump impeachment investigation noted that at best it was a clear conflict of interest and it was the center of a huge story on corruption in the Washington Post on July 22, 2019. It had the appearance of high-level corruption by using a well-placed family member on the board of a known corrupt gas company in Ukraine to shelter it from prosecutors. Hunter Biden had only resigned from the Burisma board a few months before the July 25 phone call, just prior to when his dad announced his run for the Presidency in 2019.

After the July 25 phone call, Attorney General Barr did not have any follow up meetings or calls with Ukrainian officials. Rudy Giuliani did have additional conversations with Ukrainian officials, which are legal to do since he is a private attorney representing the President.

Text of July 25, 2019 Phone Call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky:


The President: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind, somebody who wasn’t given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It’s a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.

President Zelensky: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to achieve a unique success. I’m able to tell you the following; the first time you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.

The President: (laughter) That’s a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that.

President Zelensky: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.

The President: Well it is very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.

President Zelensky: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

President Zelensky: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.

President Zelensky: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

The President: Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It’s a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.

President Zelensky: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, I also want to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support.

The President: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that out. I look forward to seeing you.


President Zelensky: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that, it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine.

The President: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time.

President Zelensky: Thank you very much Mr. President.

The President: Congratulations on a fantastic job you’ve done. The whole world was watching. I’m not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations.

President Zelensky: Thank you Mr. President bye-bye.


Based on a whistleblower report about the July 25 call, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the report on September 13 and started its impeachment inquiry on September 24.

Senate Trial

House Managers’ Case for Impeachment

In the Senate impeachment trial, House Managers stated their belief that the President had carried out a “scheme to cheat in the 2020 election” by withholding financial aid to Ukraine and withholding a White House meeting with the new President of Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine announcing it would investigate Joe Biden, Burisma, and 2016 election interference.

Let’s discuss the facts of both.

White House Meeting

There is no question that President Trump had offered a White House meeting to President Zelensky three times: once in May on a phone call after President Zelensky won his election, once in June in a letter, and finally in the July 25th call after President Zelensky’s party won the parliamentary elections. But Tim Morrison (a State Department official called as a witness by the House) also testified that they were working on heads-of-state meetings with twelve other heads of state during that same time period. Many nations were trying to line up meetings in the White House during the summer of 2019.

During the July 25 call, President Zelensky offered to instead move their meeting from a White House meeting to a face-to-face meeting in Warsaw, Poland, when they would both be there on September 1, 2019. The Presidents agreed, and planning began on the meeting in August. By August 22, the meeting planning was in full swing as noted by emails in the House hearing’s evidence. However, Hurricane Dorian slammed into the US in the hours leading up to the September 1 meeting, causing a last-minute shift to the Vice President traveling to Poland so the President could stay in the US to monitor hurricane relief.

We know that Vice President Pence met face-to-face with President Zelensky, and they spoke about other nations paying their fair share to help Ukraine and the issue of corruption across Ukraine. We know from the preparation materials and the meeting notes themselves that during the meeting the Vice President did not bring up or discuss the issue of Burisma, Joe Biden, or any other campaign conversation with President Zelensky.

The White House found the next available time when President Trump and President Zelensky would both be in the same place at the same time to set up a face-to-face meeting: September 25 at the UN Assembly in New York. That meeting was set up, and it took place as scheduled.

In the Senate impeachment trial, the House managers maintained that only a White House meeting was sufficient and that it was being withheld, but the facts show that President Zelensky himself floated the idea of a meeting in Poland and that the meeting was not barred or withheld.

In the early months of President Zelensky’s term, there was a great deal of concern about him, his staff, and his plans because he was an unknown political figure. Until more was known about him, it was entirely appropriate to show caution in coordinating a meeting, but once his nationwide anti-corruption efforts began in August, it was clear that face-to-face meetings were planned and carried out.

There was no withholding of a face-to-face meeting with President Trump and President Zelensky. There cannot be a quid pro quo if the meeting was not withheld from Ukrainian officials.

Foreign Aid to Ukraine

The House Managers claimed that there was a secret plot to “extort” or “bribe” the leadership of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden in exchange for around $400 million of US aid. The aid was State Department and foreign military aid that had been provided for the past four years, since Ukraine had been in a war with Russia.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and its occupation of Crimea and the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, the US started sending aid to help the Ukrainian government. Congress allowed lethal and non-lethal aid to support Ukraine, but during the previous administration, only non-lethal aid was sent. Under President Trump’s administration, it was determined that the United States would give the leadership of Ukraine lethal aid to help them fight off Russian tanks, which was President Zelensky’s reference to “javelins” in the July 25th phone call and his gratitude to President Trump for allowing those tank killing rockets to flow to Ukraine.

To be clear, the theory of funds being withheld from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation does not originate from the July 25 call read out. There is nothing in the text of the call that threatens the withholding of funds in exchange for an investigation.

The theory originates from the fact that aid was held back by the Office of Management and Budget, headed by the President’s Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and the “presumption” of US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, that the aid must have been held because of the President’s desire to get the Biden investigation done, since the President’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani was working to find out more about the Biden investigation.

Ambassador Sondland told multiple people about his theory, but when he finally called President Trump and asked him directly about it, the President responded that he did not have any quid pro quo, he just wanted the President of Ukraine to do what he ran on and “do the right thing.” Obviously, people who assume the worst about President Trump take this as a secret message that there actually was a quid pro quo, but the most important fact is that Ambassador Sondland did not read it that way after his call with the President. Ambassador Sondland believed that the President was serious. Unfortunately, the White House Counsel was never allowed to cross examine Ambassador Sondland during the House investigation to get the facts about who he talked to and why he came to believe for a while that there was an effort to push for investigations in exchange for money.

During the Senate trial, I listened closely to the facts surrounding the withholding of aid money to Ukraine. This was by far the most serious charge against the President. Two key questions had to be answered for me: why was the aid held, and why was the aid released. There was no question the aid was held for a couple of months.

The question was why?

Statements from the House witnesses during the House impeachment inquiry answered the two key questions: the aid was held because there was a legitimate concern about the new President of Ukraine and his administration in the early days of his presidency and the aid was released on time when the new Ukrainian Parliament starting passing anti-corruption laws in August and after Vice President Pence sat down face to face with President Zelensky on September 1 in Poland to discuss their progress on corruption.

We should not lose track of what was happening in Ukraine in 2019. A new President was elected who was a TV actor with no political experience and no record on how he would handle Russia or the issue of widespread national corruption in Ukraine. He ran on a platform of anti-corruption at all levels, but no one knew how he would govern. His campaign was funded by a Ukrainian oligarch who owned a major media outlet, and one of his first advisers was the former attorney for that oligarch.

I personally spoke to many of the State Department officials in Ukraine in May of 2019 and heard their concerns about the new government. Then, newly elected President Zelensky used his power to dissolve their Parliament the day he was sworn in and called for “snap elections” in which the vast majority of the newly elected leaders were from his newly formed party. To our State Department and the White House, this was either a really a good sign or a really bad sign. Either Ukraine was about to take a major change for the better with new leadership, or this new young leader was about to assume real centralized power. No one knew for certain in May, June, and July of 2019. Within a few weeks in August, the new Parliament got to work passing anti-corruption laws and making significant changes in their accountability and for the country. This was a very good sign.

When Vice President Pence met face to face with President Zelensky September 1, both sides had confidence the country was taking a new direction. On September 10 Vice President Pence and Senator Rob Portman met with President Trump to tell him about the progress that had been made, and both advised lifting the hold on aid. The aid was lifted the next day, September 11. No investigation into Hunter Biden or Burisma was ever done by Ukraine, and no part of the US Department of Justice was ever involved in any investigation of Hunter Biden or Burisma.

Though the aid was frozen in June, there was no public announcement of the hold, as explained by the White House Counsel, to keep this from becoming a public issue while the White House monitored the progress and status of the transition in Ukraine.

On August 27, Politico published an article that noted that the foreign aid had been held by the US. This caused President Zelensky’s office to reach out to the State Department and ask why. During the House impeachment proceedings, four of the House witnesses (Ambassador Voelker, Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Taylor, and Tim Morrison) all testified that the Ukrainian leadership learned about the temporary hold in aid after the Politico article was published.

The issue of the hold was also the first question from President Zelensky to Vice President Pence when they met September 1 in Poland. The idea that the leadership in Ukraine had pressure placed on them to do an investigation fails the most essential test, did the leadership of Ukraine even know that the aid was being held? The answer from multiple American and Ukrainian leaders was no, they did not know there was a hold on the aid from the White House. You cannot have pressure to act on an investigation, if they did not even know the aid was being held.

It is interesting to note, when I researched the records of past foreign aid payment dates and times to Ukraine, I found the 2019 aid was in line with the date the 2016, 2017, and 2018 aid was sent. The vast majority of the military aid to Ukraine was obligated in August or September for the past four years. Though the aid was ready to go out the door a couple months earlier in 2019, it was certainly not late, based on the record of the previous three years. In fact, the State Department aid was obligated September 30 in 2019, but it was obligated September 28 in 2018. As quoted by the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, “the aid was held such a short time, we did not even notice.”

During the two days of question-and-answer time, I asked a specific question related to this issue because I felt it was important to get the context of the aid, since there had been so much made of the issue during the trial. Here is the full text of my question to the White House Counsel:

House Managers have described any delay in military aid and state department funds to Ukraine in 2019 as a cause to believe there was a secret scheme or quid pro quo by the President. In 2019, 86% of the DOD funds were obligated to Ukraine in September, but in 2018, 67% of the funds were obligated in September and in 2017, 73% of the funds were obligated in September. In the State Department, the funds were obligated September 30 in 2019, but they were obligated September 28 in 2018. Each year, the vast majority of the funds were obligated in the final month or days of the fiscal year. Question: Was there a national security risk to Ukraine or the United States from the funds going out late in September in the two previous years? Did it weaken our relationship with Ukraine because the vast majority of our aid was released in September each of the last three years? 

In response to my question, White House Counsel detailed the fact that military aid from the US was not for immediate use. It was designed to help the Ukrainian military buy materials for the next year, so it was common for the aid to be obligated at the end of the fiscal year (September 30), and it was also common for some money to be left unobligated and carried over into the next fiscal year, as it was in 2019.

While it is easy to create an intricate story on the hold placed on foreign aid to Ukraine, it is also clear that President Trump has temporarily held foreign aid from multiple countries over the past two years, including: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Lebanon, and others. There is no question that a President can withhold aid for a short period of time, but it must be released by September 30, the end of the fiscal year, which it was in this instance.

Constitutional Issues Around This Impeachment

Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants the US House of Representatives “the sole power of impeachment,” while Article I, Section 3 states that “the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”

The Constitution is clear that the House does not control the Senate process and the Senate does not control the House process. However, during the impeachment trial of President Trump, the House tried repeatedly to dictate to the Senate how it should conduct its trial.

The “sole power to try” means laying out rules for the trial, including when and if to call additional witnesses or request more documents.

In addition to laying out roles and responsibilities for impeachment, our Constitution also provides basic rights for the accused. The Fifth Amendment ensures due process. However, the receipt of due process is not contingent upon waiving another right, like immunity or executive privilege. But that is exactly what the House tried to force President Trump to do.

The President is not above the law, but neither is the House of Representatives. If there was a question as to the scope and proper use of the President’s right to assert immunity or executive privilege regarding conversations he had with his closest advisers, that question is proper for a court to determine, not Congress, and surely not the House on its own accord. To put this in constitutional terms, the Legislative Branch cannot prevent the Executive Branch from having access to the Judicial Branch. The House wanted to move quickly and prevent the President from ever going to court to resolve any issue. That has never been done for a good reason, the separation of powers. In previous legal battles with the President, it has taken months to resolve critical issues, like Bush v. Gore in 2000 or even in the Clinton impeachment trial, when the House took two months to resolve an issue with witnesses in court. It does not have to drag on for years.

The House also wanted the Chief Justice of the United States to “rule on” any issue quickly, instead of allowing the President to go through the courts. This would have created a new judicial executive branch by putting all the judicial power of the nation in one person, not in the Judicial Branch, as is stated in the Constitution. It would have also ignored the text of the Constitution where it notes that the Chief Justice “presides” in the court of impeachment, not “decides.” The sole power of impeachment is in the Senate, not the Senate, plus the one Justice. The Chief Justice keeps the trial moving along, based on the rules of the trial, but he or she is not a decider of fact, that is reserved to the Senate. The House Managers wanted to ignore that part of the Constitution to move the trial faster for expedience. We cannot ignore the Constitution or create bad precedent, no matter which party is being tried for impeachment.

Further, the Sixth Amendment guarantees that the accused has the ability to both confront the witnesses against him and to have the assistance of counsel. The majority of the impeachment inquiry in the House was done without a meaningful opportunity for the president to participate and administration witnesses were denied the ability to have counsel present for depositions.

The Constitution lays out a clear separation of powers, but importantly also provides a system of checks and balances. For something as important as impeachment, it is imperative that the process be one that is squarely within the bounds of the Constitution and is one that the American people can trust. Unfortunately, the process undertaken by the House to impeach President Trump falls wildly short of the standards put in place by our Founders.

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution states that “the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

During the trial of President Trump, there was a lot of conversation about what constitutes a “high crime” or “misdemeanor.” Notably, the House did not charge the President with any crimes. Rather, the House chose to impeach the President for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

The House theoretically could have chosen to file articles of impeachment for crimes such as bribery, extortion, solicitation of interference in an election, or violations of the Impoundments Clause Act. For any of these crimes, the House would have had to prove specific elements of each. Since they couldn’t prove any of those crimes, they chose to charge the President with “abuse of power.” As was noted in the trial, forty Presidents have faced accusation of “abuse of power” going back as far as George Washington.

The abuse of power charge for President Trump was based on allegations that he improperly withheld aid to Ukraine and conditioned a meeting with President Zelensky at the White House in exchange for an investigation into former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. Over the course of the last four months, we heard the term quid pro quo used over and over again but the facts do not show criminal quid pro quo. As previously mentioned, President Zelensky asked to meet with President Trump in Poland and that meeting was set up. Further, while the aid to Ukraine was delayed, it wasn’t delayed more than it had been the previous two years, and the aid was released without an investigation (or even an announcement of one) into the Biden’s.

The second article of impeachment, Obstruction of Congress, had an even weaker constitutional foundation. The investigation was announced September 24, but did not officially begin until October 31. The impeachment vote in the House was December 18. This very short time table and the accusation that the President refused to follow the law, honor the courts and that he acted like a “King” did not meet even the most basic constitutional standards for justice.

For example, during the Mueller investigation, the President’s team fully cooperated with the investigation that included over 2,000 subpoenas and 500 witnesses, including the President’s Chief of Staff, multiple cabinet officials and many lower-level officials that were all made available. It was clear throughout the investigation that the President did not like or agree with the Mueller investigation, but he also fully cooperated with every subpoena, each witness and every document. In fact, they released over a million pages of documents to the Mueller team.

President Trump also made his disagreement with the courts very clear on issues like the census, whether travel restrictions can be put in place to ensure national security, or whether particular funds can be used to secure our southern border. But, each time the President lost in court, his Administration complied with orders from the Judiciary. That is how our system of government is supposed to work.

When disagreements happen between the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch, they usually lead to resolution, not impeachment. The Fast and Furious investigation, which lasted more than three years in the Obama Administration, led to a vote in the House to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, but it never led to an impeachment inquiry, even though there was a clear and consistent refusal to cooperate with Congress or turn over key documents for three years.

In this case the accusation that President Trump ignored subpoenas or refused to follow the law is not correct. The President’s team made it very clear that they would cooperate during the impeachment inquiry with properly authorized and issued subpoenas, but the House refused to issue subpoenas that were consistent with the law to seek resolution for documents and witnesses. The House was focused on speed, not legal process.

The House, in a rush to impeachment last fall, issued multiple subpoenas for documents and testimony before the House had given authority to the committees to issue subpoenas for an impeachment inquiry, which happened October 31. Since there was no authority to issue the subpoenas, they were not duly authorized. The House also demanded testimony from the President’s inner circle without working through the legal questions and the House demanded Executive Agency witnesses appear without allowing them to bring Agency counsel with them. All of those issues created very real legal and constitutional problems. Agency individuals have always been allowed to have legal counsel with them when they are deposed, except this time.

As a Member of Congress, I cannot demand the President turn over documents or give testimony in any fashion that I would prefer, just because I have oversight responsibilities. In the same way, the President or other Executive Branch officials cannot demand I turn over my notes or provide my staff for testimony without going through the courts and gaining a legal subpoena. Congress has vigorously and rightfully protected its rights from unwarranted investigations from any president. And presidents have done the same. But in all cases, the law must be followed and the proper process must be pursued to get the information in a legal way.

Additional Witnesses

From the very first moments of the Senate trial, the House Managers fought for additional witnesses and documents from the President. Their argument, and justification for the second article of impeachment, centered on the White House’s refusal to turn over documents and make every witness available without going through the normal legal process.

Per the resolution adopted by the Senate, the House record was part of the trial record. The Senate had the testimony of the witnesses the House chose to question as part of the overall information of the trial. The House already had 28,000 pages of documents that were part of the evidence they submitted to the Senate. Although, the House Managers admitted during the Senate impeachment trial that they still have not released all of the documents and witness testimony that they had gathered in their investigation to the White House Counsel or to the Senate. We do not fully know why the House held back some of its witness testimony and released others.

The House witness testimony was used extensively in the Senate trial.


Witnesses who testified live or via video in the House and Senate Impeachment:


  • David Holmes, Political Counselor, US Embassy Ukraine, State Department


  • Fiona Hill, White House Adviser, National Security Council


  • David Hale, Undersecretary for Political Affairs, State Department


  • Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense


  • Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the European Union


  • Tim Morison, Former White House Advisor


  • Kurt Voelker, Former Special Envoy for Ukraine


  • Col Alexander Vindman, National Security Council


  • Jennifer Williams, Aide to the Vice President


  • Marie Yovanovitch, Former Ambassador to Ukraine


  • George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State


  • Bill Taylor, Former United States Ambassador to Ukraine


The House Managers repeated over and over that additional witnesses would only take a week to depose, which is a clearly false statement. New witnesses took longer than a week to depose in the House inquiry, clearly it would take just as long or longer in a Senate trial. The remaining “wish list” of witnesses all had clear issues that needed to be resolved in the courts, which would take a couple of months to resolve, which is why the House Managers did not push for their testimony in the House impeachment process, they valued speed more than legal process.

House Managers repeatedly stated that witnesses only took a week to depose in the Clinton Senate impeachment trial, but they know that during the Clinton Senate trial all three called witnesses previously deposed in the House inquiry or in the Grand Jury investigation and all issues of Executive privilege had already been decided through the courts. There were no new witnesses in the Senate trial of President Clinton. Also, the Clinton White House had already had the opportunity to cross examine witnesses or the investigators in the Clinton impeachment inquiry; this time the Trump White House had been denied that right. So, if new witnesses would be added for the Senate trial, the White House should have the right to also cross examine the previous House witnesses that they had been denied the right to cross examine in the past. This would all take much longer than a week and the House Managers knew that.

During the Clinton Impeachment trial in the Senate, there were no additional documents requested, only previously deposed witnesses. The House Managers did not go through the legal process to get documents, like the Mueller investigation had done, so all of the new document requests from the House Managers would take at least three to five weeks to complete, once a legal subpoena is delivered. It takes time to search all databases, review the documents for classified materials, determine any legal issues, and release them to the investigation. Once the documents are turned over, both legal teams need time to review the documents. Again, the House Managers knew these facts, but they continued to repeat over and over that it would only take a week to get all the documents.

The first question for the Senate trial was: do we have enough evidence and testimony to answer the questions the House presented in their articles of impeachment? If the answer is yes, then we do not need additional witnesses or documents. If the answer is no, then we do need additional information. There were many leaks and newspaper stories during the trial designed to push the Senate to vote to ask for more testimony, but that did not change the primary question. We already knew from evidence that there was no quid pro quo, no Ukrainian investigations and no withholding of a public meeting with President Trump.

The New York Times story on January 26 and again on January 31 are clear examples of an attempt to bring doubt on the information and witness testimony. Both stories stated that someone had read the pending John Bolton book manuscript and that in the book Bolton stated that President Trump had talked about investigations in exchange for aid funding for Ukraine. The New York Times also wrote that the book would state that Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, were also a part of the scheme. I looked at both stories closely and noticed that the reporters had not read the manuscripts or quoted the manuscripts; they were reports from someone who stated that they had read the manuscripts. Both stories took significant liberties to describe the intent in the manuscripts, but the reporter had apparently also not spoken to John Bolton.

On January 23, 2020, the National Security Council lawyers sent a letter to the legal team handling the book publishing for John Bolton to inform him that the manuscript contained some classified information and it would need have some edits before publication in March. Then, on January 26, the New York Times published a story that someone had leaked some of the details of the book, but they had not released the actual manuscript. While I am interested in seeing the actual manuscript, I am also very aware that this selective leak was designed by The New York Times and whoever leaked the information to influence the ongoing trial.

It was clear from the earliest days of the trial that the House had a clear political strategy as well as a court-room strategy. During the trial I had the responsibility to hear the facts but also to separate the politics from the facts. Politically, it was best for the House to move as quickly as possible through impeachment so that vulnerable Democratic members could vote for impeachment, and then move quickly to other topics. But since the presidential election is in full swing, it was politically better for Democrats to make the Senate trial move as slow as possible to hurt the President during the campaign. That explains why the House did not take the time to formally request documents or testimony from many individuals; they needed to move fast and try to force the Senate to move slowly. It also explained why the House passed impeachment on a party line vote, then held the articles of impeachment for a month before delivering them to the Senate to start the trial. The House Managers said repeatedly that the evidence was clear and that they had proved their case. But, if that was true, why would the Senate need to call additional witnesses? I think the reason is that the witness process was about delay, more than facts.

Final Thoughts

The facts do not support the accusation in the Trump impeachment, and it certainly did not need to come to this moment of national division. While, it was clear that the House Managers wanted to drag the trial on for months in the Senate, through the primary election season, their case consisted of hypothetical story lines and “presumptions” more than facts that warrant the removal of a President. This does not meet what Alexander Hamilton in Federalist, No. 65 described as the “due weight” for the arguments.

But impeachment has certainly created the division in our society that Alexander Hamilton predicted. Over 200 years ago he wrote, “The prosecution [of impeachments], will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.” This has been an incredibly divisive season in our nation. It is not about one person, it is about all of us. We individually choose how we handle disagreements with family, friends, and people on the other side of particular issues. Our government represents us, so it is up to us to model for our government how to handle disagreements.

We are now past impeachment, and it’s time to work on the issues that matter most to the American people. As we move forward, every American should speak out on the issues that are important to them and the voices that speak for their point of view. But, we should remember that we have much more in common than we have that divides us. It is my hope that our nation does not go through a season like this again for a very long time and that we can move past this age of impeachment to an age of oversight and accountability.

I appreciate all the engagement with our office during the impeachment proceedings. We had thousands of calls and emails over the past month. We had hundreds of thousands of views on the nightly Facebook Live updates each day during the trial. While not every Oklahoman agrees with every decision I make on behalf of our state, I am grateful most choose to be respectful in expressing their points of view. At the end of the day, we are Oklahomans. We may not all agree on each issue, but we can be respectful of each other in our disagreement.

I am honored to serve our state and nation. We have many important issues to address in the coming days, I pray we can work on them together for the future of our state and nation.


In God We Trust,


James Lankford
United States Senator for Oklahoma


BLOG EDITOR: I’ve apparently been placed in restricted Facebook Jail! The restriction was relegated after criticizing Democrats for supporting abortion in one post and criticizing Virginia Dems for gun-grabbing legislation and levying protester restrictions. Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me completely. Conservatives are a huge portion of Facebook. If more or all Conservatives are banned, it will affect the Facebook advertising revenue paradigm. SO FIGHT CENSORSHIP BY SHARE – SHARE – SHARE!!! Facebook notified me in pop-up on 1/20/20: “You’re temporarily restricted from joining and posting to groups that you do not manage until April 18 at 7:04 PM.”


If you would like more information on these topics or any other legislation currently before the US Senate, please do not hesitate to call my DC office at (202) 224-5754. My Oklahoma City office can be reached at (405) 231-4941 and my Tulsa office at (918) 581-7651. You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for updates on my work in Congress.

Cohen Lies vs. Dem Crimes with NO Accountability

John R. Houk

© November 30, 2018


The big news on Thursday is President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pled guilty – WAIT FOR IT – to lying. What prosecutorial team snagged Cohen? Special Persecutor Robert Mueller and his team of Crooked Hillary supporting Prosecutors.


VIDEO: Hannity: Mueller investigation desperate for dirt on Trump


Fox News

Published on Nov 29, 2018


I don’t watch, listen or read Mainstream Media News so I can only imagine how Cohen’s guilty plea propagandized their sheeple the plea will lead to imminent impeachment of President Trump.


You should really view the more reasoned reporting on the Cohen Guilty plea that suggests Mueller’s indictments and guilty pleas have NOTHING TO DO with an alleged Trump/Russia collusion. It’s been two-years so you may have forgotten Mueller’s Special Counsel appointment was to investigate Trump for colluding with Russia to manipulate the 2016 Election to Trump’s favor.


If you did forget Mueller’s mandate be careful to whom you speak. You might get caught in a perjury trap by making statement dissimilar to anything you said two years ago.


NOW if Robert Mueller was actually serious about a candidate who paid for information to sway the 2016 election that involve a Russian source, he should LOOK to the Crooked Hillary campaign paying for the debunked Steele Dossier which was used by the Obama Administration to spy on the Trump campaign. Oh, I forgot the key point. Christopher Steele claimed his Dossier was sourced by – GASP! – the Russians.


Specifically what is Cohen pleading guilty to? Could it be facilitating Russian spying on Crooked Hillary? Nope. Again the Russia/Election 2016/American campaign axis is closer akin to Crooked Hillary’s agenda. Cohen pled guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump project to build a skyscraper in Moscow. A project, incidentally, Trump the table as his campaign for President began to pick up steam.


…  Cohen admitted he lied to Congress about key details in the negotiations for the Moscow tower, most notably that those talks stretched much deeper into the presidential campaign than previously thought, to June of 2016.


Trump, speaking to reporters Thursday, disputed Cohen’s timeline and suggested his former fixer was telling prosecutors what they wanted to hear to save his own skin. As for why the most recent deal failed, Trump said he made the decision because he was focused on on [sic] running for president.”



But according to Cohen’s new statement to prosecutors, the tower deal remained viable as late as June 2016, after Trump had vanquished his Republican presidential rivals and was mounting his general election campaign against Hillary Clinton.  Cohen said he kept Trump, named as “Individual 1” in the plea, updated about the deal’s progress, and also “briefed family members of Individual 1 within the company about the project.” (Attorney’s plea caused by Trump’s dream of a Moscow tower; By STEPHEN BRAUN and BERNARD CONDON; Washington Times; 11/30/18)


In May 2016 Trump acquired the amount of delegates needed to win the GOP nomination and the GOP Convention made Trump’s nomination official in July 2016. The Dems and Leftist MSM are telling you that since Trump was still working the Moscow Trump Tower deal in June 2016, he must have been working with the Russians to win the election in November. THE ONLY THING CONFIRMING THAT ANTI-TRUMP THOUGHT IS LEFTIST WISHFUL THINKING!


The timing of securing the GOP nomination by late July led Trump to abandon the Trump Moscow Tower dream. That is a much closer correlation than a failed real estate deal in June 2016.


The irony about the Steele Dossier is the initial intelligence poop was initiated by Never-Trump Republicans. As it became evident Trump would win the nomination, the Never-Trump Republican funded terminated.


THEN the DNC began the funding in April 2016 which then tapped Christopher Steele in which the most egregious AND debunked accusations against Trump emerged as the infamous Steele Dossier. The DNC and the Clinton campaign expect gullible Americans to believe they knew/see nothing (shades of Sgt. Shultz) about where the info came from that they PAID FOR.



The Clinton campaign and the DNC are believed to have taken over the project in April 2016, once Trump became the nominee, and oversaw the compilation and completion of the dossier from there.



Who put it together?


The document was produced by Fusion GPS, a Washington strategic intelligence firm cofounded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson in 2012.


In 2016, the firm hired Steele to dig into any connections between Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, and the Russian government.



But it has attracted particular scrutiny for its work for a U.S. law firm that defended Prevezon Holdings, which until May was locked in a legal battle with the U.S. government over allegations the company’s executives fraudulently obtained a $230 million tax refund from the Russian treasury.


Also working the case defending Prevezon was Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 before which Donald Trump Jr. was offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya is known for her work lobbying against the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 U.S. law aimed at punishing human rights abusers in Russia.


READ ENTIRETY (Clinton, Trump and the Russia dossier: What you need to know; BY JONATHAN EASLEY, KATIE BO WILLIAMS AND MORGAN CHALFANT; The Hill; 10/28/17 12:31 PM EDT)


Mueller’s perjury trap faulty memory trick is hardly as relevant as the overt lies committed and given a pass by the Obama Administration led FBI and DOJ. I hope Americans wakeup to the injustice of Mueller tactics against all things President Trump and the actual crimes that Obama/Crooked Hillary Dems committed with absolutely zero consequences.


Perspectives on Cohen Guilty Plea Ignored by Lying MSM:


Dershowitz Sounds Off on Mueller’s ‘Weak’ Substantive Findings;; 11/29/18 11:22 AM




Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress in New Deal With Mueller After 70 Hours of Testimony; The Gateway Pundit; 11/29/18


Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress, Critics Say Mueller is Fishing For Crimes;; 11/29/18 1:18 PM EST


Trump Tower Meeting Silently Looms Over Cohen’s False-Statements Plea; National Review; 11/29/18 5:44 PM


Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to SSCI…;; 11/29/18


Don’t get so caught up debating the granular issues over ‘muh Russia’ that you fail to elevate and see the landscape from the 30,000 ft. level.   The Rosenstein/Mueller move today is all about protecting the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) from President Trump (declassification threats); and it was specifically scheduled, timed, to be launched today as Trump leaves for the G20 to achieve maximum political damage. READ MORE


Another nothing-burger? Catherine Herridge breaks down Michael Cohen’s guilty plea ‘bombshell’;; 11/29/18


JRH 11/30/18


So readers, I’ve been using a seven year old laptop to fulfill the old blogging habit. It’s time for an upgrade. The best laptop with buzzes & whistles for my purposes is about a$1,000.00. My grandson found a similar but not quite all the buzzes & whistles for a little over $500.00. I’m a relatively small-time blogger but with a consistently growing readership despite some token censorship from the liberal-oriented blog and social platforms.  

Whatever my readers can chip in for a laptop upgrade will be appreciated:

Please Support NCCR

Is Trump/Russia Fake News More Important than Obama Spying?

John R. Houk

© May 26, 2017


The Left Stream Media is still hysterically chasing Fake News or more essentially anti-Trump propaganda, desperately trying to impugn the Administration that voters in a majority of States elected to Office.


AND YET this same Leftist MSM is suspiciously silent on the ever-increasing information that treasonous President Barack Hussein Obama had been spying on the American people he considered enemies before his reelection to President in 2012.


I found a Legal Insurrection news piece that displays declassified FISA documents about FISA Court rebuking Obama a mere two-weeks before the 2012 election cycle for spying on Americans via the National Security Agency (NSA).


You and I should wonder if the Obama domestic spying coupled with his Administration’s open lies about the Benghazi attacks would have changed that election victory toward Mitt Romney.


Obama has lied his way to every one of his election victories AND the MSM has been in – wait for it – in collusion with those lies that gullible voters were ensnared to favor Obama.


JRH 5/26/17

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FISA Court Reveal: NSA under Obama Illegally Spied on Americans


Posted by Fuzzy Slippers

May 25, 2017 at 8:35pm

Legal Insurrection


FISA Court: Illegal searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” yet media reaction subdued.


A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court ruling was declassified and released this week.


The ruling reveals that the Obama administration engaged in widespread violation of NSA surveillance rules. The Obama administration was reprimanded by the FISA court for illegal searches that constitute “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”


According to previously classified documents, this admission of methodical and long-term violations of Americans’ Constitutional rights was made on October 26th of 2016.


[Circa Tweet on Obama NSA Spying:]


This seems newsworthy: friendly FISA court sounds alarm about Obama spying practices, 4th amendment violations,

Circa reports:


The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.


More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.


The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.


The FISA court sanctioned administration officials and ruled that the searches constitute a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”


Circa continues:


The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.


From the FISA Court ruling:


Declassified FISA Ruling 1


Declassified FISA Ruling 2


Upstream collections refers to data routes between computer networks as opposed to those communications intercepted by Internet service providers.   Even these collections and the distribution of collected and unmasked data, however, are not permitted to be handled in a manner that violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights.


PJ Media reports:


As the FISA court explains, upstream collection refers to the interception of communications “as they transit the facilities of an Internet backbone carrier.” These are the data routes between computer networks. The routes are hosted by government, academic, commercial, and similar high-capacity network centers, and they facilitate the global, international exchange of Internet traffic. Upstream collection from the Internet’s “backbone,” which accounts for about 9 percent of the NSA’s collection haul (a massive amount of communications), is distinguished from interception of communications from more familiar Internet service providers.


Upstream collection is a vital tool for gathering intelligence against foreign threats to the United States. It is, of course, on foreign intelligence targets — non-U.S. persons situated outside the U.S. — that the NSA and CIA are supposed to focus. Foreign agents operating inside the U.S. are mainly the purview of the FBI, which conducts surveillance of their communications through warrants from the FISA court — individualized warrants based on probable cause that a specific person is acting as an agent of a foreign power.


. . . . In a nutshell, it is not possible to capture a single e-mail related to a single target as it transits the backbone routes (or “switches”) that connect networks. The NSA must instead capture packets of e-mail data — which include lots of e-mails beside the targeted e-mail. It sifts through these packets, finds and assembles the components of the email it was looking for, and then discards the rest. (A New York Times report by Charlie Savage earlier this week, in connection with a different FISA issue, provides a good explanation of this process.


By contrast, the relevant discussion in the FISA court opinion of “multiple communications transactions,” or MCTs, is brief and heavily redacted — see the opinion at 15–16.) Even if the NSA does exactly what it is supposed to do (i.e., sift and discard), this means American communications are being seized and subjected to an inspection — however cursory — in the absence of any warrant, probable cause, or foreign-intelligence relevance.


According to Circa, the ACLU responds to the “appalling lack of oversight” in our nation’s intelligence agencies.


The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.


“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.


Watch the report:


VIDEO: New evidence Obama’s NSA conducted illegal searches


Posted by Fox News

Published on May 24, 2017


Documents show NSA systematically violated rights of countless Americans; chief Washington correspondent James Rosen reports


If you’ve noted that this is not being covered by the mainstream media, you’re not alone.


Newsbusters notes:


The lack of coverage by the Big Three, and the liberal media in general shows their bias against Trump and their favoritism to Obama. They rather focus on alleged accusations that so far have bared little fruit, instead of the legal opinion of federal judges exposing the highly illegal actions of a segment of President Obama’s administration.



Is Trump/Russia Fake News More Important than Obama Spying?

John R. Houk

© May 26, 2017


FISA Court Reveal: NSA under Obama Illegally Spied on Americans


© Copyright 2008-2017, Legal Insurrection, All Rights Reserved.


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