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Democrat funded, “Trump dossier” creators, Fusion GPS, refuse to testify before Congress

Fusion GPS refuses to comply with Congressional subpoena.

Alex Christoforou

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Fusion GPS, the espionage firm which ordered the completely fake Trump ‘dirty dossier’, which John McCain then handed to the FBI, and which Buzzfeed News then published as actual news refuses to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, their attorney wrote in a letter obtained by Business Insider.

The founders of the opposition-research firm hired by Democrats to produce a dossier alleging ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia will invoke constitutional privileges and decline to testify.

Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.”

Fusion GPS is actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary Clinton, anti-Trump agenda. 

Fusion GPS’ counsel Josh Levy wrote in response to subpoenas issued earlier this month by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes…

“We cannot in good conscience do anything but advise our clients to stand on their constitutional privileges, the attorney work product doctrine and contractual obligations.”

Zerohedge reports…

Last month, Senate Intel Committee Chairman Richard Burr said the committee’s investigators had “hit a wall” in their efforts to verify the claims contained in the dossier, in part because investigators couldn’t convince former British spy Christopher Steele, the man hired by Fusion to compile the dossier, to meet with them. However, CNN later reported that special counsel Robert Mueller had managed to interview Steele. While it’s unclear which, if any, of the claims contained in the dossier are true, the US intelligence community opted to omit the allegations from a crucial report released in January.

In summary, after months of resisting investigators’ overtures, it looks like the men behind Fusion GPS will finally be forced to answer some uncomfortable questions about the role they played in fostering the current climate of anti-Russia hysteria. We look forward to hearing what they have to say.

Business Insider reports on Fusion’s stonewalling. What could Fusion founders possibly be hiding, as they refuse to testify in front of Congress?

Levy argued that complying with the subpoenas would violate “the First Amendment rights” of the founders — Glenn Simpson, Thomas Catan, and Peter Fritsch — “and would chill any American running for office … from conducting confidential opposition research in an election.”

“Should you compel any of our three clients to appear at the scheduled deposition, they will invoke their constitutional privileges not to testify,” Levy wrote. “Since that will be the case, we ask that the Committee excuse them from appearing.”

Nunes stepped aside from the committee’s Russia investigation in early April following his decision to brief Trump and the press on classified intelligence without telling his fellow committee members. But he quickly began conducting his own investigation into “unmaskings” by the Obama administration and the credibility of the dossier.

Levy contended in the letter that Nunes’ “unilateral issuance of these subpoenas violates your recusal and further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation.” He pointed to the fact that Nunes had issued the subpoenas just 24 hours after Fusion’s counsel met with “majority and minority staff” for approximately an hour to discuss “a way forward for voluntary cooperation.”

“Based on this Committee’s bad faith interactions with the undersigned counsel and its pattern of unprofessional conduct exhibited during different points throughout this investigation, you have left us with no choice but to advise our clients to assert their privileges in the face of these subpoenas,” Levy wrote.

A former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, said the First Amendment argument, while “novel,” seemed “unlikely to succeed.”

“That is probably why the attorneys have emphasized other arguments, like Nunes’ apparent lack of authority to issue the subpoenas and the fact that Congress didn’t authorize the investigation he’s conducting on his own,” Mariotti said.

“Those arguments have more merit, and they draw attention to Nunes’ bizarre behavior over the past month — including his subpoenas to the DOJ,” he added. “That said, if the subpoenas issued by Nunes are valid, then I expect these individuals will be held in contempt if they refuse to testify as ordered.”

Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, who is now heading the committee’s investigation, reportedly approved Nunes’ subpoenas to Fusion GPS, but House Intelligence Democrats have indicated that they were not consulted.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Business Insider last week that “the only person who can intervene” to preserve the credibility of the committee’s Russia investigation amid Nunes’ recent antics was House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“If Speaker Ryan wants a credible investigation to come out of the House Intelligence Committee, he’ll do everything he can to make sure Devin Nunes’ fingerprints are not on our report,” Swalwell said in an interview.

The Senate Judiciary Committee interviewed Simpson behind closed doors over the summer for roughly 10 hours. The committee is debating whether to release the transcript from the interview. Fusion GPS has been cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee since July, Levy wrote.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

RT

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Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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