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One Catholic’s Reaction to Criminal Priests

August 19, 2018

The laity is the key to my spiritual life, even though several priest have played important roles along the way.

Well past middle age, I met a priest walking, and we became daily companions, walking a few miles each morning.

One morning, as a we passed a church, but not his church, he said to me, “Why don’t you go, listen to the Word of God, and eat the Body of Christ.”

This was “Catholic re-awakening Number 1” for me.

That resulted in a decade of daily Mass and devoted service to the church.

The “walking Priest” has my eternal gratitude for pointing me in the right direction, without a lot of discussion, analyses or hoop-la.

Inside the church, the priests I found never met up to my expectations. Being human, I often hold others, especially priests, to a very high standard. A standard I probably could never attain myself, in fact.

We humans do that, I’m told.

Parishioners must have heard me “talking out of school” about the pastor a time or two, because a man named Eric approached me one day and invited me to dinner. In the middle of dinner, he blurted out, “So you come to church for the pastor, not for Jesus.”

Lesson Number 2: My job is to find and follow Jesus, using anything and everything and everybody that can help me.

Before long, I was ready to unburden myself of a lifetime of sins. I found a willing priest to hear my confession. In the middle of confessing some vague impropriety with a member of the opposite sex, the priest stood up, pointed at me and said, “THAT WAS MY GIRL.”

Lesson Number Three, for me is, “Priests are people too.”

And we all need to keep that lesson in mind as people struggle with the thoughts of criminal priest.

The bigger picture is this: I need the Church. Even though priests are people too, and some are criminal, I need the Eucharist and confession and the other sacraments. It’s O.K. by me if God doesn’t assign St. Francis of Assisi or Mother Teresa to my parish to look after me.

And the final lesson I learned is this: there is magic and joy and compassion and fellowship and holiness among the laity of every kind of church everywhere.

Once I offered to drive a fellow parishioner home. The next day he had a stroke. So I went to the hospital on the off chance that I could be of some help. When this man, who I had only me once before, came out of a coma, he grabbed me and said, “You are my Simon of Cyrene.”

That assignment sounded like an edict from God to me. So I became, for the twinkling of an eye, Simon of Cyrene. I leaned to pray for the strength I needed to love and help and provide one of God’s greatest gifts to another: compassion. That gentleman’s name was Peter. We spent several years as companions and prayer partners. We learned together the ins and outs of spiritual life as well as the American medical system.

Peter has passed to his eternal reward. But before he left this earth he saved my life and my soul — just as if he dug a bullet out of my chest with a kitchen knife.

It turned out we didn’t need a priest at all.

So I encourage people to go to Church, to serve their fellow man and to keep their eyes and ears open for the Peter, the Matthew, the Mark or the John that God has sent for you.

He may not be a priest at all. Because the Church is all of us. And God is in charge.

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Fresh controversy as Italy bans another migrant ship

August 19, 2018

Italy’s populist government has taken a hard line on immigration. In the latest controversy, its transport minister said that although the coast guard had partially aided a migrant ship to save lives, Malta still deserved sanctions for not helping.

© Alberto Pizzoli / AFP, archives | Migrants and refugees, wait to be rescued at sea and transported to the German navy frigate ship Werra, a part of the European external action service Eunavfor-med, on September 27, 2015.

Giuliani: ‘Truth isn’t truth’ (This is a good lawyer)

August 19, 2018

Rudy Giuliani declared “truth isn’t truth” on Sunday while expressing his concerns over having President Trump sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Giuliani, who’s representing Trump in the investigation, said the president’s legal team has been negotiating with Mueller’s investigators for months about the ground rules for the president to testify.

“I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And when you tell me he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth – that he shouldn’t worry – that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth.”

“Truth is truth,” anchor Chuck Todd immediately shot back.

“No, no, it isn’t truth,” Giuliani said. “Truth isn’t truth.”

“Mr. Mayor, the truth is the truth,”Todd repeats. “This is going to be a bad meme.”

“Don’t do this to me,” Giuliani says, as he grabs his forehead. “Donald Trump says I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey.

Comey says you did talk about it. So tell me what the truth is.”

He was referring to a conversation former FBI Director James Comey said he had with Trump in the White House in February 2017.

Comey, according to notes he took of the meeting, said the president asked him “I hope you can let this go,” referring to the investigation into Michael Flynn.

Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, stepped down the month before when news reports revealed he had contact with a Russian ambassador during the campaign but did not inform the White House.

He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller’s probe.

https://nypost.com/2018/08/19/giuliani-truth-isnt-truth/

China’s Xi says military must resist corruption — “Go in hot pursuit of and strike hard against hedonism and extravagance”

August 19, 2018

China’s military must resist the “corrosion” of corruption and ensure the fight against graft is deepened, President Xi Jinping told senior officers, state media said on Sunday, offering a renewed warning against a deep-seated problem.

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects troops at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison as part of events marking the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover from British to Chinese rule, June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China’s military, the world’s largest and currently undergoing an ambitious modernization program, has been an important focus of Xi’s campaign against corruption since he took power six years ago.

Xi has repeatedly warned about the threat of corruption to the country and the party, and has vowed not to let up in the fight against it.

Dozens of officers have been investigated and jailed, including Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, both former vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission, which Xi heads and is in overall charge of the People’s Liberation Army.

Guo was jailed for life in 2016. Xu died of cancer in 2015 before he could face trial.

Speaking at a three day-meeting of the Central Military Commission, which ended on Sunday, Xi said the fight against graft must remain “always on the road” and be deepened, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“Go in hot pursuit of and strike hard against hedonism and extravagance,”  Xinhua cited Xi as saying. “The anti-corruption fight must be unswervingly grasped, and will not change direction or form.”

There must be no no-go areas and a zero tolerance attitude maintained, with a full and comprehensive supervision system put in place to tackle the problem, he added.

China’s military must ensure they and their families are upright and clean, and that they can “resist the corrosion of unhealthy tendencies”, Xi said.

He also said efforts were needed to strengthen the leadership of the ruling Communist Party over the military “to ensure a solid political guarantee for the building of a strong military.”

Serving and retired officers have said graft in the armed forces is so pervasive it could undermine China’s ability to wage war.

The anti-graft drive comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas and deep into the Pacific Ocean, though China has not fought a war in decades.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard. Editing by Jane Merriman

Midwest farmers take Trump to task over biofuels mandate

August 19, 2018

EPA move to water down standard could reduce demand for corn as producer profits slide
 
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Entrants in a corn growers competition at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Iowa is the nation’s leading corn and ethanol producer © Reuters

Gregory Meyer in New York 


American farmers became casualties of President Donald Trump’s trade wars when China raised tariffs on their soyabeans. Now they are fighting to save another market: corn.

Under Mr Trump, the federal environmental regulator has been watering down a government mandate for biofuel use, corn advocates say. The actions could suppress fuel ethanol companies’ demand for the yellow grain just as farm profits slide.

“Everything relative to ethanol has really been an uphill battle for us,” said Mark Recker, a farmer and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. “Although President Trump talks a lot about ethanol and wanting to build that industry and help corn farmers out, we’ve encountered a lot of things that have really worked counter to that.”

Mr Recker travelled to the Iowa State Fair last week to press his case at a meeting with Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Underlining the farm lobby’s political clout, he was joined by Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, and one of its congressmen, David Young. Both Republicans are in competitive races in the November elections, where the mandate is a critical issue for rural voters.

Iowa is the nation’s leading corn and ethanol producer. It is also a swing state that voted twice for Barack Obama, a Democrat, and then backed the Republican Mr Trump in 2016.

It is hard to overstate the importance of the biofuels industry as a market for Midwest farmers’ crops. About 38 per cent of the US corn harvest is sold to ethanol plants and a third of US soyabean oil is used to make biodiesel, according to the agriculture department. The US is the world’s largest biofuels producer, with most petrol containing 10 per cent ethanol and diesel averaging nearly 5 per cent biodiesel, EPA figures show.

The industry blossomed thanks to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate set by Congress in 2007. It required blending more and more ethanol and biodiesel into the motor fuel pool each year.

With domestic fuel demand more sluggish than expected, the targets have become unworkable. Under both the Obama and Trump administrations the EPA has invoked powers to tweak them, drawing lawsuits from various parties in the biofuels, farm and oil industries. As of a deadline last Friday, the agency’s proposed volumes for 2019 drew more than 286,000 public comments.

Congress mandated the use of 28bn gallons of biofuels next year. The EPA instead proposed requiring 19.88bn gallons to account for poor results from making ethanol from cellulosic materials such as wood fibre.

Even that level might be under threat. In the past two years the EPA has enraged the biofuels industry by exempting dozens of smaller oil refineries from the rules. The agency said such “hardship” waivers cut the equivalent of 1.5bn gallons from the mandate last year.

Kent Engelbrecht, an executive at grain processor and biofuel refiner Archer Daniels Midland and chairman of the National Biodiesel Board, said in comments submitted to the EPA that it was impossible to assess the EPA’s targets without considering small refiner waivers.

Mazzie Ferchen, aged six, of Urbandale casts a vote for Iowa gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell at a corn kernel voting station at the Iowa State Fair © Reuters
“Unfortunately,” he said, the proposal “is like going to the grocery store, buying a dozen eggs, and finding out after you get home there’s only 10, and you have no recourse.”

The EPA’s treatment of smaller refiners intensified pressure on Scott Pruitt, Mr Trump’s first EPA administrator, who quit last month under a cloud of ethics scandals. Chuck Grassley, Iowa’s Republican senior senator, earlier threatened to demand Mr Pruitt’s resignation over his biofuels policy.

“I don’t think most people in rural Iowa were paying attention to the shenanigans, if you will. But the RFS does hit home. That really knocked the political underpinnings out from under Pruitt,” said Mack Shelley, political science professor at Iowa State University.

Biofuels demand is looking shaky just as lush summer growing conditions have led to forecasts of bumper corn and soyabean harvests, knocking down prices.

Tariffs have also damaged demand. Retaliating against levies imposed by the White House, China raised tariffs on US soyabeans by 25 percentage points in July, curtailing exports. China in April increased tariffs on US ethanol, halting sales to a promising foreign market.

In Iowa, the nation’s largest corn- and ethanol-producing state, the Renewable Fuels Association last week aired radio adverts to pressure Mr Wheeler into adhering to blending levels and approving year-round use of E15, or petrol mixed with 15 per cent ethanol rather than the customary 10 per cent. After the state fair meeting Mr Wheeler told reporters that the “Trump administration wants to move forward within the spirit and letter of the law,” without being more specific.

Mr Recker returned from the fair to his 1,500-acre farm in Fayette County, Iowa. He expects to sell about three-quarters of an expected 200,000-bushel corn harvest this autumn to an ethanol plant owned by Flint Hills Resources, a division of Koch Industries.

“We desperately need all the corn demand we can find, especially with the trade war going on,” he said.

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Prayer and Meditation for Monday, August 21, 2018 — “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”

August 19, 2018

“If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

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Memorial ofMemorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 419

Reading 1 EZ 24:15-23

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, by a sudden blow
I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes,
but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears.
Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead,
bind on your turban, put your sandals on your feet,
do not cover your beard, and do not eat the customary bread.
That evening my wife died,
and the next morning I did as I had been commanded.
Then the people asked me, “Will you not tell us what all these things
that you are doing mean for us?”
I therefore spoke to the people that morning, saying to them:
Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
Say to the house of Israel:
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will now desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of your pride,
the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul.
The sons and daughters you left behind shall fall by the sword.
Ezekiel shall be a sign for you:
all that he did you shall do when it happens.
Thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
You shall do as I have done,
not covering your beards nor eating the customary bread.
Your turbans shall remain on your heads, your sandals on your feet.
You shall not mourn or weep,
but you shall rot away because of your sins and groan one to another.

Responsorial Psalm DEUTERONOMY 32:18-19, 20, 21

R. (see 18a) You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you.
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Alleluia MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.
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Reflection From Spirituality Matters — The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
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And the man went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Listen carefully to Jesus’ words. He doesn’t say, “Give it all to the poor”.

He does say, “Give to the poor.” This presumes that what – or how much – is given to the poor is left to the individual to decide.

In the case of the unnamed young man in today’s Gospel, perhaps his sadness was caused by the fact that he didn’t want to give anything – not one bit – to the poor. His unwillingness to share even the smallest amount of his good fortune with others makes his reluctance he even more saddening.

In his Introduction to the Devout Life, Francis de Sales counseled:

“We must practice real poverty in the midst of all the goods and riches that God has given us. Frequently give up some of your property by giving it with a generous heart to the poor. To give away what we have is to impoverish ourselves in proportion as we give, and the more we give the poorer we become. It is true that God will repay us not only in the next world but even in this world…Oh, how holy and how rich is the poverty brought on by giving alms!” (IDL, Part II, Chapter 15. p. 165)

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Listen carefully to Francis’ words: “Frequently give up some of your property…”

Count your blessings. Name your possessions. Be they material, like money, or non-material, like influence, time or talent, what transforms our riches into wealth is our willingness to share them with the poor, with the impoverished, with the less-fortunate and with those who have fallen on hard times.

Do you want to gain eternal life? How many – or much – of your possessions are you willing to share with anyone poor or needy?

Just today?

http://www.oblates.org/spirituality-matters-feed/

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Reflection by  The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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21 AUGUST, 2017, Monday, 20th Week, Ordinary Time
HISTORY IS AN INTERPLAY OF SIN AND GRACE

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ Jdg 2:11-19Ps 106:34-37,39-40,43-44Mt 19:16-22 ]

In the first reading, we read about the existential struggle of every human person.   We see the history of man’s infidelity towards God and his fellowmen.  We are fundamentally sinners, ignorant and weak.  We are ungrateful and unrepentant, until we suffer the consequences of our sins, then we repent and behave ourselves.   But eventually, such things are forgotten and we once again repeat our sins.   This has been the state of humanity since the beginning of time.

Indeed, our attitudes are no different from that of the Israelites.   So before we condemn them, let us remember that we will also repeat their mistakes and history.  Like them, we are blind, ignorant or too weak to resist the temptation to serve false gods.  Instead of acknowledging that God is our only Lord we serve other gods in our lives. “The sons of Israel did what displeases the Lord and served the Baals.  They deserted the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from the gods of the peoples round them.  They bowed down to these; they provoked the Lord; they deserted the Lord to serve Baal and Astarte.”  The god of Baals were gods of fertility and that of the vegetation.  The sons of Israel were no longer nomads and so they sought the pagan gods to protect their crops.   Astarte was also the goddess of love, hatred, wars and fertility.  She was important for their protection from their enemies.   We too worship what we seek in life.  We seek power, glory and wealth hoping that these things could give us the security and satisfy our yearnings.

Then we are punished accordingly.  This is because what we sow is what we reap. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  (Gal 6:8f)

Truly, the Lord behaves like a father who disciplines His child.  “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  (Heb 12:7-11)

After the discipline, the Lord who loves us all the same would then send His messengers to offer us salvation and freedom.   This is the constant experience of humanity with regard to the love and mercy of God, provided we are receptive of His mercy and forgiveness.  This is what the psalmist expressed of our situation.  “Time after time he rescued them, but in their malice they dared to defy him.   In spite of this he paid heed to their distress, so often as he heard their cry.  When the Lord appointed judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and rescued them from the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived, for the Lord felt pity for them as they groaned under the iron grip of their oppressors.”   God is always forgiving and He is always there to assure us of His forgiveness.   He hears our cry for liberation from sin and from the clutches of the Evil One.  He is with us in our struggles and loneliness.

Then this history of infidelity repeats itself.  “But once the judge was dead, they relapsed and behaved even worse than their ancestors.  They followed other gods; they served them and bowed before them, and would not give up the practices and stubborn ways of their ancestors at all.”  This, then, is the ongoing cycle of sin and the prevalence of grace.  Regardless of what situation we are in, the Lord remains faithful to us.   He will not abandon us but He will allow the punishment to unfold itself because of the consequences of our actions.  “Then the Lord appointed judges for them, and rescued the men of Israel from the hands of their plunderers.  But they would not listen to their judges.  They prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed down before these.  Very quickly they left the path their ancestors had trodden in obedience to the orders of the Lord; they did not follow their example.”

We learn the hard way.  This is the reality of life.  Experience is the best teacher but we have to pay an exorbitant price for the experience.  Somehow, we are slow learners and often forgetful of the mistakes we make.  What lessons can we learn from the Israelites?  

Firstly, serving false gods will lead us to other sins.  When we worship the illusions of our lives, we tend to forget the more essential dimensions of life, such as a clear conscience, love and right relationships.  When we begin to worship the means and forget the ends of all that we do, we are worshipping the false gods of our lives.   All other things can die or disintegrate but not God.   To worship false gods is to worship an illusion.  Only the love of God is true.

Secondly, there is a need to accommodate the beliefs of other religions, especially in this secular global village.   However, secularization can lead us to sin if we are not discerning as to what is good and what is bad. “They failed to destroy the peoples as the Lord had given command, but instead they mingled with the nations and learned to act as they did. They worshipped the idols of the nations and these became a snare to entrap them.  They even offered their own sons and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.  So, they defiled themselves by their deeds and broke their marriage bond with the Lord till his anger blazed against his people; he was filled with horror at his chosen ones.”  That was why the laws in those days were very strict with respect to mingling with people of other religions.

Today, because of better communication and dialogue with other religions, we are able to accommodate and learn from them as much as they from us.  “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.”  (Nostra Aetate, 2)   We must seek out what is true and noble for the development of humanity.   That is why we must affirm our common goal of building a united family of peoples.  But we must be judicious.

But life is more than not just getting into trouble.   It is more than obeying the commandments to worship God alone.  This call to worship God alone is spelt out concretely also in the love of our fellowmen.  This is where Jesus brings us further in the application of the observance of God’s commandments.  When the rich man asked the Lord, “’Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’  Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good.  There is one alone who is good.  But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’”   What are these commandments?  Significantly, it concerns an authentic love of self and for others.   Jesus listed the commandments in terms of authentic justice towards our fellowmen.  “You must not kill.  You must not commit adultery.  You must not steal.  You must not bring false witness.  Honour your father and mother, and: You must love your neighbour as yourself.”   It is the love of our fellowmen, practicing mercy and compassion that puts us in the right religion.  Jesus sums up, “Do this and we will have life.”

However, if we want to find a perfect life, then Jesus tells us, “go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  This is a very tall order.   It is not everyone’s calling to do that.  Indeed, this was too much for the young man, for he was attached to his wealth.  He had not come to the state of totally falling in love with Jesus, or have the faith to entrust our his life totally to the providence of God. That is why some of us feel incomplete in life even though we have everything we want.  Many of us are attached to the luxurious lifestyle, food and creature comforts.  It is a lifelong process of submitting everything under the Lordship of Christ.  In this way, the worship of God is the ultimate commandment because it leads to living a life of authentic love and compassion for our brothers and sisters.

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore

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First Thoughts from Peace and Freedom
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It is not the riches of this world that hold us back: it is our own selves failing to give them up.
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Isn’t everything we have, everything we seem to gain, a gift from God? Isn’t our work a result of the gifts God has given to us?
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My mind jumps ahead to the story of the Camel unable to get through the eye of the needle.
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Jesus then said to his disciples, “I assure
you: it will be very hard for rich people to
enter the Kingdom of heaven. I repeat:
it is much harder for a rich person to enter
the Kingdom of God than for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle”
(Matt. 19:23-23).
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Which way to the needle?

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Have you ever thought of trying to get through the “eye of the needle”? Me neither! I have a bad enough time just trying to “thread” a needle. Either there is not enough light, or the thread is frayed, or my eyes just cannot seem to focus too well. I have many excuses including that … the eye of the needle is too small.

Of course, Jesus was not talking about me, but of a camel, getting through the eye of a needle. I always wondered about that phrase in the Gospels….

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Related:

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Judicial Watch: Five More Classified Emails on Clinton’s Unsecure System — Plus who was working illicitly to bring down an elected president

August 19, 2018

Do you think we’ve heard the end of Hillary Clinton’s email escapades? Don’t count on it.

More than three years ago, on May 6, 2015, we sued the State Department (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) after it failed to respond to our FOIA request seeking:

All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

We have now released two batches, 184 pages and 45 pages, of newly uncovered emails that were sent and received over Clinton’s unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system. Five of them contain classified information.

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Tom Fitton — Judicial Watch

The documents are part of the accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which requires the State Department to complete processing by September 28, 2018. The remaining documents are part of the 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. These new classified and other emails appear to be among those that Clinton had attempted to delete or had otherwise failed to disclose.

The new documents include material classified “confidential” on negotiations between Northern Ireland and UK, as well as negotiations with Israel, Palestine, and France. They also include a reference to a Clinton meeting with controversial leftwing billionaire George Soros, and advice to Clinton from Sid Blumenthal, who was barred from a State Department position by the Obama administration and regardless continued to advise her on matters of state.

  • On June 7, 2011, Clinton received classified information on her non-secure email account from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which Blair also forwarded to Jake Sullivan, about Blair’s Middle East negotiations with Israel, the Palestinians and the French
  • On January 26, 2010, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan sent classified information via his unsecure Blackberry to Huma Abedin’s State Department email account that he’d earlier sent to Clinton’s and Abedin’s non-secure @clintonemail.com email accounts about U.K. negotiations with Northern Ireland.
  • On October 28, 2010, Clinton exchanged information with her friend Marty Torrey – a congressional aide – who asked Clinton in an email if she would advise that Torrey meet with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Clinton responds through her non-secure email account approving the meeting and notes that she is emailing him from Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • An email chain dated April 8, 2010, which contains a memo from Sid Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton related to the change of government in Kyrgyzstan, contained information classified “confidential” and redacted as “foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Blumenthal urges Clinton to “develop relations” with the new government in Kyrgyzstan:

All of this suggests to me the necessity for the State Department to assert itself and take the lead in developing relations with the new government.

  • A January 26, 2010, email to Hillary Clinton from her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, is classified “confidential” and contained a “call sheet” that Clinton received prior to placing a call to Northern Ireland political leaders. It appears that the redacted portions contain the names of particular members of Sinn Fein who were invited to a particular meeting and the expectations of either themselves or other foreign ministers for the outcomes of that meeting.
  • A June 13, 2009, email to Clinton from Sullivan with the subject line “Northern Ireland” is classified “confidential” and nearly completely redacted. The particular subject details are unclear.
  • Abedin emailed Clinton about “Invites for the week” in an undated email (but apparently written before November 1, 2011, the day Clinton’s mother died, because her mother is one of the invitees – probably written in early 2009, based on the period most of these emails seem to have been written), and notes that she (Clinton) has a “George Soros lunch from 1-3 in Southampton.”
  • On October 20, 2010, lawyer Lanny Davis writes Clinton an email saying, “Thank you H for who you are and what you do,” followed in the exchange by another with “PS. I swear you look younger and better every time I see you, Good night dear Hillary. Lanny.” Mr. Davis is currently a lawyer for Michael Cohen.
  • In an undated email, Blumenthal emails Clinton about State Department management issues suggests that Joseph C. Wilson “should be spoken with for his view of dept, personnel … is shrewd.” Wilson is a former ambassador to Gabon who went on to become an Africa consultant and deal-maker.

These classified Hillary Clinton emails that she tried to hide or destroy show why it is urgent that the DOJ finally undertake a honest criminal investigation. These emails show how the prior investigation by the Comey-Strzok-McCabe-Lynch crowd was a joke. It is past time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order a new investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

(To read all press releases related to this Clinton email case click here.)

Another Body Blow to Mueller’s Credibility

Some of these characters in the slow-motin putsch against Donald Trump seem to come straight out of a dime store spy novel. One such is Peter Strzok.

His getting fired is another body blow to the credibility of the Mueller special counsel operation. Strzok, who hated President Trump, compromised both the Clinton and Trump investigations that saw Hillary Clinton protected and Donald Trump illicitly targeted. Strzok’s anti-Trump texts show the Russia investigation he helped invent with Clinton campaign operatives is irredeemably compromised. As Mueller’s operation is founded on Strzok’s corrupt activities, it must be shut down.

(Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August 2017 and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and Page, who worked for then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump text messages.)

We recently uncovered documents showing that Strzok insisted on retaining his FBI security clearance before moving to the Mueller team and confirmed that Strzok played a pivotal role in the flawed Hillary Clinton email investigation. And, previously released records from the DOJ to Judicial Watch reveal Strzok’s and Page’s profanity-laced disdain for FBI hierarchy and policies.

Strzok oversaw the FBI’s interviews of former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. He changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” He also played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s team. How did a character with ethical flaws like this rise so high in the FBI?

Strzok’s firing won’t stop Judicial Watch – we are suing for the emails and text messages between Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.  Those documents will be dribbled out to us by Strzok’s protectors in the Deep State, so this Strzok-FBI abuse scandal is far from over.

ISIS Militant Released after FBI Intervention Surfaces in A Jail

The open borders crowd would have you believe that the only issue is innocent children separated from their mothers. The reality is far different, as our Corruption Chronicles blog reports.

An ISIS operative jailed in Chicago and mysteriously released after FBI intervention, has surfaced in a minimum security prison about 165 miles south of the Windy City. His name is Emad Karakrah, the ringleader of a sophisticated narco-terror operation, and in 2014 he was arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase through Chicago streets with an ISIS flag waving from his car. When police finally captured Karakrah, he told officers his car was rigged with explosives that would detonate if searched. Bomb disposal units secured the vehicle without incident, but Karakrah’s arrest helped expose a huge narco-terrorist network with roots and financing in El Paso, Texas. Karakrah also lived in New Mexico, the border state where authorities just raided an extremist Muslim compound that trained kids to commit school shootings.

Judicial Watch uncovered Karakrah’s terrorism record and has reported extensively on his extremist activities, including a 2009 plot to bomb talk-show host Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and the iconic Sears Tower. Judicial Watch also produced an investigative documentary about the narco-terrorist cell that Karakrah and other jihadists—including two of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists (Jaber A. Elbaneh and Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah)—operated from El Paso. Karakrah was a logistics and transportation operative for militant Islamists in the United States, according to high-level law enforcement sources. He moved people, weapons, explosives, drugs, money, and other materiel to terrorist cells operating in Chicago, Brooklyn, New York and Saddle Brook, New Jersey, among other locations across the U.S. More than a decade ago Karakrah smuggled drugs and weapons for the renowned Juárez drug cartel in Mexico.

At some point, Karakrah reportedly became a confidential informant for the FBI, but went rogue and broke contact with his bureau handlers. This appears to be the reason that the FBI got involved in his state case, which was veiled in secrecy. Legal proceedings against Karakrah in Chicago were delayed at least twice because of FBI “equities,” sources close to the case confirmed. An FBI agent was present during Karakrah’s proceedings in Cook County Court and the agency facilitated his release in 2015, which was kept from the public record. Judicial Watch followed the case closely and verified that Karakrah was no longer in custody of Cook County Jail. The Illinois Department of Corrections subsequently confirmed in writing that Karakrah was not in custody. Judicial Watch’s efforts to independently ascertain Karakrah’s whereabouts were unsuccessful until recently. Karakrah has surfaced at the Lincoln Correctional Center, a minimum security facility in a town of about 14,000 residents. Karakrah’s Illinois Department of Corrections profile lists his “projected discharge date” as July 13, 2020.

The pending release is frightening considering Karakrah’s disturbing history, criminal record and documented ties to some of the world’s most dangerous jihadists. The collaboration between Mexican drug cartels and Islamic terrorists practiced by Karakrah and his cohorts has become a monstrous national security issue for the U.S. Judicial Watch has exposed a number of the enterprises as part of an ongoing investigation into the critical national security threats along the porous southern border. Among the most distressing is that Islamic terrorists joined forces with the Juárez drug cartel years ago and the partnership has resulted in ISIS operating in a region controlled by the cartel, just a few miles from El Paso in a border area known as “Anapra” in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Other Mexican drug cartels have smuggled nationals of terrorist countries into the U.S. for years, records uncovered by Judicial Watch show.

In one operation exposed by Judicial Watch, drug cartels smuggled nationals of terrorist countries into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. To elude the Border Patrol, they used remote farm roads to reach stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso. Judicial Watch also uncovered State Department records confirming that “Arab extremists” are entering the U.S. through Mexico with the assistance of smuggling network “cells.” Among them was Karakrah’s partner, Shukrijumah, the Al Qaeda operative wanted by the FBI. Shukrijumah helped plan several U.S. attacks, including plots to bomb Oprah Winfrey’s studio and detonate nuclear devices in multiple American cities. For years Shukrijumah appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list and, despite being sought by the agency, crossed back and forth into the U.S. from Mexico to meet fellow militant Islamists in Texas. In fact, as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Shukrijumah piloted an aircraft into the Cielo Dorado airfield in Anthony, New Mexico.

Just last week Judicial Watch reported that an Arab man living in Mexico smuggled six citizens of Yemen—an Al Qaeda hotbed—into the U.S. through the southern border. The feds say the smuggler, 31-year-old Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, conspired with “others” to sneak the six Yemeni nationals across the Texas border for a fee.

This is where our FBI needs to be focused – instead of trying to illicitly bring down an elected president.

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/weekly-updates/five-more-classified-emails-clinton-unsecure-system/

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DiGenova: Who Plotted To Destroy Duly Elected President? Comey, Brennan, Strzok, Ohr, Steele, Yates, Others

August 19, 2018

 

Joe diGenova told Sean Hannity on Thursday that it was so important for Donald Trump to win because we wouldn’t have found out about the ‘deep state’ otherwise. DiGenova also called the Manafort trial an “absolute embarrassment” to the Department of Justice as the case should have never been brought to a courtroom.

DiGenova also accused the ‘deep state’ of being determined to destroy a president after he was duly elected. Mueller “realized” that the collusion case was worthless and the big case is “the case to frame the president.”

“There was a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton. And if she lost – to frame Donald Trump. Part of that plot involved the conspiracy with Bruce Ohr, Steele, Sally Yates, John Brennan, James Comey, Peter Strozk and other senior FBI and the DOJ Officials who determined that they were going to destroy a president after he was duly elected,” he said of the plot to deny Trump the presidency.

By Ian Schwartz

Image result for sally Yates, photos

Sally yates

“What’s happened here now goes so far beyond what the Mueller case and the Manafort case, the Manafort case is a joke,” DiGenova told Hannity. “It is an absolute embarrassment to the Department of Justice. It should never have been brought.”

“And you know, I just, what I think happened to Bob Mueller is, he realized that everything he’s done is worthless. It means nothing. That the big case is the case to frame the president of the United States,” he added.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: And joining us now with more reaction, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Joe diGenova. Full disclosure, Joe once did some legal work for me and I would hire him again in a heartbeat and Pam, and he was at my Christmas party.

But, you know, here’s what we have. We’ve got Mueller’s team looking at a 2005 tax case, nothing to do with the election, Trump, the campaign, nothing, Russia, nothing. But here, we do have Russian lies being fed by Christopher Steele who didn’t even believe them, through Fusion GPS, propagandizing and misinforming purposely the American people to steal an election.

And then we have Russian lies, literally, you know, handed to our gullible news media by these people, then you’ve got, you know, Steele, the dossier, Fusion GPS, Brennan, all leaking it, Joe diGenova, all of them. They all know it’s total B.S.

JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Remember, Sean, if Hillary Clinton had won, we would know none of this. And that’s why the Trump victory is so important to the rule of law, notwithstanding what the press says about the president.

There was a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton. And if she lost – to frame Donald Trump. Part of that plot involved the conspiracy with Bruce Ohr, Steele, Sally Yates, John Brennan, James Comey, Peter Strozk and other senior FBI and the DOJ Officials who determined that they were going to destroy a president after he was duly elected.

It is absolutely essential that notwithstanding anything that Robert Mueller is doing that the attorney general and the deputy attorney general ensure that there is a federal grand jury to investigate all of the things surrounding Ohr and Steele and Yates and everybody else.

This is so obvious, a junior lawyer in any prosecutor’s office would want this case and run with it.

(CROSSTALK)

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: That raises a good point.

DIGENOVA: And if the attorney general and the deputy attorney general don’t do it, the president should fire them.

HANNITY: If Hillary Rodham Clinton pays for these Russian lies, Pam Bondi- –

(CROSSTALK)

DIGENOVA: Yes. She did.

HANNITY: — and Fusion GPS and Brennan, the CIA director at that time, and Christopher Steele, a foreign national. No, it’s not true. Because we know under oath he said I don’t know if it’s true, maybe it’s 50/50. It’s raw intelligence.

They are peddling this to the American people in a lead up to the election. And Robert Mueller is focused on a tax case from how many years ago? How did it come up? How did this, how do we involve into this when there is real evidence of real Russian paid information to lie to the American people in the election?

BONDI: Sean, our entire justice system right now is inverted. This is the kind of the corruption that you see in third world countries. Look at McCabe. They moved him. They were going to let him retire until everyone came out publicly calling for him to be fired so he didn’t get his retirement.

Look at Strozk, look at — he fired. Look at Page resigned. Ohr should have been fired yesterday or much earlier now that we know this. It’s absurd. And again, the bottom line, the crux of all of this is that FISA warrant that was obtained. And we all keep talking about that because none of this — the Manafort trial–

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: No, the crux of it was the dossier. Because they lied–

(CROSSTALK)

POMBI: Right.

HANNITY: — to the FISA court judges and committed a fraud on the court and they said they stood up for it but they never verified it. And then they literally conspired to spread unverified Russian lies that Hillary Clinton paid for to influence the American people.

BONDI: And that’s why all of this since taking place.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I’m sorry. That’s a lot bigger than Paul Manafort’s stupid tax case.

BONDI: Right. Right. And none of that would be taking place but for a FISA warrant obtained with false information.

HANNITY: Where’s, you know, if I’m Robert Mueller I would be humiliated. Al this evidence is out there, it’s on a tee. Is it that political, is that he hired all these Democrats because he is that much of a hack and he doesn’t care about our constitutional republic, Joe?

DIGENOVA: I think what has happened here is Bob Mueller has lost his way. And he has been hit in the face with an outrageous set of facts which show that what he is doing is legally irrelevant to what actually happened during the campaign.

There was no Russian collusion. There was no communication between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. That’s all nonsense and fake and was purposefully put out by the people in the FBI and John Brennan to blow back in the United States to get FISA warrants so they could spy on the Trump campaign.

What’s happened here now goes so far beyond what the Mueller case and the Manafort case, the Manafort case is a joke. It is an absolute embarrassment to the Department of Justice. It should never have been brought.

And you know, I just, what I think happened to Bob Mueller is, he realized that everything he’s done is worthless. It means nothing. That the big case is the case to frame the president of the United States. And he won’t — he won’t touch it–

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: And that’s why he’s done–

DIGENOVA: — he doesn’t give a rip — absolutely.

HANNITY: — on what happens in the next 18 months to the country.

DIGENOVA: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Because look at the people he has hired. You hire Andrew Weissmann. You are going to go for broke. You hire the biggest hack in the country. Not many people have the distinction of putting innocent people in jail and losing tens of thousands of jobs.

DIGENOVA: Absolutely correct.

HANNITY: Yes.

DIGENOVA: Absolutely correct.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/08/18/digenova_comey_brennan_strzok_ohr_steele_yates__others_plotted_to_destroy_duly_elected_president_trump.html

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Five things to know about Bruce Ohr, and the “afraid we’ll be exposed” email

August 19, 2018

President Donald Trump has recently attacked Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, linking the figure to his allegations of bias in the federal Russia probe.

Ohr has long drawn intense scrutiny from figures on the right, but he received broad attention after Trump said Friday that he is planning to revoke his security clearance following the president’s controversial decision to revoke the clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

By  JACQUELINE THOMSEN
The Hill

Bruce Ohr in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2010.
Bruce Ohr in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2010. PHOTO: C-SPAN

While it’s unclear in what full capacity the official is currently serving at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ohr and his wife have caught the attention of Republican lawmakers, who are now seeking to interview the couple, among other figures.

From Ohr’s ties to intelligence firm Fusion GPS to the president’s threats, here are five things to know about the Justice Department official.

Trump is threatening to take away Ohr’s security clearance

The president told reporters Fridaythat he is planning on revoking Ohr’s security clearance “very quickly,” calling the official “a disgrace.”

“For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace,” Trump said.

If Trump follows through on the promise, it would be the first time he pulled a security clearance from a current DOJ staffer, a move that would likely inflame tensions between the president and the intelligence community.

Trump pulled the security clearance for Brennan, a vocal critic who served as CIA chief under former President Obama, earlier in the week and the White House has reportedly drafted documents for the president to revoke several other former officials’ clearances.

Image result for nellie ohr

Nellie Ohr and Bruce Ohr

It’s unclear how revoking Ohr’s clearance might affect his ability to do parts of his job. Those who have maintained their clearances after leaving government have mostly done so to preserve current officials’ ability to ask them questions about particular issues.

Ohr was demoted over his ties to Steele

Ohr, who previously served as associate deputy attorney general, was demoted late last year over his contacts with former British spy Christopher Steele, who assembled the controversial dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia.

The longtime government prosecutor was demoted in December 2017 after the DOJ learned he had been in touch with Steele. Ohr also worked as the head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces before being removed from that position as well.

While the agency has not commented recently on Ohr’s current role at the DOJ, a source familiar with his position told CNN this week that Ohr is serving as an attorney in the DOJ’s criminal division.

The agency pointed The Washington Post to a June statement from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 official at the DOJ.

“Mr. Ohr is a career employee of the department. He was there when I arrived. To my knowledge, he wasn’t working on the Russia matter,” Rosenstein told the House Intelligence Committee at the time. “When we learned of the relevant information, we arranged to transfer Mr. Ohr to a different office.”

The FBI interviewed Ohr about his contacts with Steele. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked that the reports that include the interviews be declassified.

Ohr’s wife worked for the firm behind the Steele dossier

Much of the scrutiny on Ohr has surrounded his ties to Steele, whose dossier made salacious and unverified claims on the relationship between Trump and Russia.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, has worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that funded Steele’s research behind the document.

The Post reported that Bruce Ohr’s financial disclosure form listed his wife’s occupation as an “independent contractor.”

However, it’s unknown how large or small of a role Nellie Ohr played in the research that went into the dossier.

court filing from the co-founder of Fusion GPS said the firm contracted with Nellie Ohr to help “with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”

Ohr knew both Steele and the head of Fusion GPS

The Hill’s John Solomon reported earlier this month that Bruce Ohr and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson had met shortly after Trump won the 2016 election, and that Ohr wrote in handwritten notes that it was believed that Trump’s former longtime personal lawyer Micahel Cohen was the “go-between from Russia to the Trump campaign.”

“Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.,” Ohr also wrote in the notes.

The Post reported that Simpson and Ohr knew each other from organized crime conferences, and that Steele also knew the DOJ official from their work in the same field.

Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Steele had recommended he talk to Ohr after Trump’s election victory.

And emails obtained by The Hill also showed that Steele had contacted Ohr ahead of the 2016 election, with the British intelligence officer writing that he wanted to discuss “our favorite business tycoon!”

It’s unclear who Steele was referring to in the email. The two men had previously discussed Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, but it also may have referred to Trump.

Conservative lawmakers will question Ohr

The Hill reported earlier this month that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is preparing subpoenas for Ohr, his wife and Simpson.

“We plan to interview the people [mentioned] in the coming weeks and we will issue subpoenas to compel their attendance if necessary,” a GOP House Judiciary aide told The Hill.

Lawmakers are now set to question Ohr during a closed-door interview on Aug. 28.

Conservative lawmakers have pointed to Ohr’s ties to Steele and Simpson as evidence of bias against Trump in the DOJ and in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Those Republicans have previously seized on the inclusion of information provided by Steele to the FBI in an application to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The warrant application, released last month, showed that the FBI cut off ties with Steele after discovering he was sharing information with the media.

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http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/402464-five-things-to-know-about-bruce-ohr-the-doj-official-under-fire-from
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CHRISTOPHER STEELE TOLD DOJ’S BRUCE OHR HE WAS ‘AFRAID THEY WILL BE EXPOSED’ AFTER COMEY’S FIRING

Chuck Ross | Reporter

Dossier author Christopher Steele told Justice Department official Bruce Ohr after James Comey’s firing last year that he was “afraid they will be exposed.”

What exactly Steele was concerned about having exposed after Comey’s May 9, 2017 firing is not made clear in Ohr’s notes, which were reported by Fox News.

The text message is part of a trove of emails, text messages and handwritten notes that the Justice Department has provided to Congress as part of an investigation into the government’s handling of the Steele dossier.

Steele told Ohr in a May 10, 2017 phone call that he was “very concerned abt Comey’s firing — afraid they will be exposed,” according to Fox.

Steele’s interactions with Ohr have been a focal point for congressional Republicans in their investigation into the government’s possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The dossier, which Steele wrote on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC, was used to obtain FISA warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republicans say that the dossier was not verified when the FBI used it to obtain the spy warrants.

Page, an energy consultant who joined the Trump team in March 2016, has vehemently denied the dossier’s allegations about him. In the 35-page report, Steele alleges that Page was the Trump campaign’s main contact to the Kremlin.

Justice Department documents given to Congress show that Steele and Ohr were in contact all throughout 2016 and 2017, though Ohr’s involvement was not revealed until December. Following a report from Fox News on Ohr’s contacts with Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, he was demoted as assistant deputy attorney general at the Justice Department. (RELATED: Glenn Simpson’s Claims About His Interactions With Bruce Ohr Don’t Add Up)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was Ohr’s boss, has told Congress that he was not aware of Ohr’s contacts with Steele or Simpson. It is unclear if Rosenstein’s predecessor, Sally Yates, knew what Ohr was up to.

Steele first reached out to Ohr in January 2016 seeking help for a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska. Text messages and emails suggest that the former MI6 officer lobbied Ohr to keep an eye on the status of negotiations between Deripasksa and the U.S. government for the billionaire’s visa. Deripaska is a close ally of Vladimir Putin’s. He has also worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (RELATED: Emails Show Christopher Steele Lobbied DOJ Official On Behalf Of Putin-Linked Oligarch)

Ohr also corresponded with Steele after the 2016 election about the Russia investigation. By that time, the FBI had ended its relationship with Steele because he made unauthorized disclosures to the media. Steele met with numerous reporters in September and October 2016 about his Trump-Russia findings.

Ohr provided a dozen briefings to the FBI from November 2016 to May 2017 about his interactions with Steele.

An added wrinkle is that Ohr’s wife, a Russia expert named Nellie, was directly involved in the anti-Trump investigation. She worked as a researcher for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele.

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/17/christopher-steele-bruce-ohr-exposed-comey-firing/

Top Trump adviser: US, Israel, Russia all want Iran out of Syria

August 19, 2018

On a visit to Israel, US National Security Adviser John Bolton says US also seeks ‘to end Iran’s support for Hezbollah’

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, on August 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, on August 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

viser: US, Israel, Russia all want Iran out of Syria

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, on a visit to Israel, says the US, Israel and Russia share the objective of removing Iranian and Iranian-led forces from Syria, and ending Iran’s backing of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

“The objective of the United States, of Israel — President Putin said it was Russia’s objective — is to get Iran, Iranian forces, Iranian militias, Iranian surrogates out of the offensive operations they’re in in both Syria and Iraq, and, frankly, to end Iran’s support for Hezbollah,” Bolton tells Martha Raddatz of ABC News in a Sunday morning interview.

“I think the president’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has put a real crimp into the Iranian economy. I think they’re feeling it and their capability for the Quds Force or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to conduct offensive operations in – in the region here and in Yemen as well” is reduced, Bolton insisted.

“But I think this is part of the problem with the Iranian regime generally and why it’s such a threat to peace and security not just because of its nuclear program, but because of its military operations and its support for terrorism.”

He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not view Russia’s interests as aligned with Iran’s in Syria, despite the two nations’ forces fighting alongside each other to maintain the regime of Bashar Assad.

“I think President Putin is very candid in his comments to President Trump, he was to me as well…. He said he didn’t have the same interest as Iran in Syria. And that he’d like to talk about ways to get out of them.”

The US policy in Syria was focused on “the final destruction of the ISIS territorial caliphate, dealing with the ISIS territorial threat and – and getting Iran back into – getting its forces back into its own territory.”