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Well, Well, Well, The Trump Admin Leaker Has Just Been Caught – Now He’s Going To Pay!

See ya, buddy!

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James Wolfe is the former director of security for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSIC). He was just indicted for lying about his contacts with the media, specifically Ali Watkins of BuzzFeed and New York Times infamy. All told, Wolfe allegedly had contact with four reporters around the time they wrote about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Those reporters are possibly known as: Reporter #1 Manu Raju at CNN, Reporter #2 Ali Watkins at the NYT, Reporter #3 Marianna Sotomayor at NBC and Reporter #4 Brian Ross at ABC. While the jury is still out on Page having contact with the Russians since they tried to flip him as a spy, President Trump had nothing to do with any of that. But these reporters sure tried to paint it as collusion. It wasn’t.

Wolfe, who is 57, is now charged with lying to the FBI. That happened during an interview on Dec. 15, 2017 when he was asked if he knew these journalists and if he had contact with them on certain dates. In the case of Ali Watkins, he denied knowing her and having a romantic relationship with her for four years. Later he would admit to that and thus the ‘lying’ charge. He also gave information on Carter Page to Ali Watkins, who ran with it. Since then, the FBI has seized the cellphones and emails of the reporters under investigation.

Wolfe’s indictment cites a particular message he wrote to Watkins in December. She used to work for the New York Times and now works for BuzzFeed, the media outlet that was the first to break the Russian dossier story. “I always tried to give you as much information that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else,” Wolfe wrote to Watkins. They were an item from December 2013 to December 2017.

What isn’t clear is why Wolfe focused on leaking about Carter Page. It is probably because he was the closest thing they had to a connection to Trump over Russia. It turned out it was a weak connection at best and did not lead to collusion with Russia at all. It was a political hit job against Trump. Wolfe was arrested on Thursday. Carter Page did not publicly comment on all of this because he is currently traveling. However, he did blast all of this on Twitter, saying: “Too bad misleading [SSIC] leaks brought more terror threats.” That doesn’t clear Page by any means, but there has been no solid proof that he is connected to the Russians other than through investments either.

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From The Daily Caller:

“Wolfe has worked for both Democrats and Republicans in his 29-year career. As the director of security for the committee, he was tasked with handling documents and contacting committee witnesses. That put him in frequent contact with Page, who was subpoenaed by the SSIC panel in October.”

“Wolfe handled court documents that ended up being cited in an April 3, 2017 BuzzFeed article written by Watkins that identified Page as “Male-1” in court filings in a Russian spy ring case, according to the indictment. The Senate panel received the documents from an executive branch agency on March 17, 2017, the indictment stated.”

“That same day, Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Watkins on the day the committee received the Page documents. The pair had 124 electronic communications the day the BuzzFeed article was published.”

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized Watkins’ email and phone records as part of an investigation into the Wolfe leaks. She has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case and has denied receiving classified information from Wolfe.”

I doubt that will last on Watkins’ part. She will eventually be charged. Wolfe got caught in the process crime of lying, so he went down first. But I don’t believe for a second she didn’t get any classified information from Wolfe. That just stretches the imagination too far when he was sleeping with her and giving her tons of info. Watkins’ article marked a crucial development in the coverage of Page, who surged to notoriety in January 2017 when BuzzFeed published the unverified Steele dossier. The 35-page document accuses Page of being the Trump campaign’s conduit to the Kremlin. Page has vehemently denied the allegation and BuzzFeed has not produced any evidence supporting it. I may not trust Page, but there is no way Trump and his campaign had any connection to the Kremlin. That’s why they can’t prove it.

Watkins’ article was the one that outed Russian agents who were reaching out to Page in 2013 in the alleged recruitment attempt I mentioned previously. The FBI queried Page very closely on his ties with a Russian intelligence operative named Victor Podobnyy. But they evidently didn’t find much as they never charged Page. Podobnyy was charged alongside two other Russian nationals with acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. Page met Podobnyy at an energy conference in January 2013 and later provided him with academic papers he wrote about the energy business. Page has denied any impropriety and was not accused of any wrongdoing, but his association with the case has fanned the narrative that he was in contact with Kremlin operatives.

On October 24th, Wolfe messaged a reporter, who is identified as female, that Page would testify in a closed hearing “this week.” Page got wind of it and emailed the committee to complain about leaks from the SSIC panel. After the article about Page’s subpoena was published, Wolfe messaged the reporter who wrote that story, saying “I’m glad you got the scoop.” “Thank you,” the reporter wrote. “[Page] isn’t pleased, but wouldn’t deny that the subpoena was served.”

Wolfe’s indictment also hints that he doled out information to other reporters as I also stated previously. Wolfe was asked whether he knew a reporter who wrote an article about Page during his Dec. 15, 2017 FBI interview. Wolfe initially denied having contact with the reporter, but the FBI discovered he talked to the journalist at least five times between December 2015 and June 2017. That’s where perjury comes into play here. The article was written by three reporters and is not identified in the indictment.

James Wolfe Indictment – June 2018 by Chuck Ross on Scribd

Watkins and the media are furious that her emails and cellphone have been seized by the DOJ and claim that it violates her First Amendment rights. “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,” said The NYT spokeswoman Eileen Murphy.

Ben Smith, the editor at BuzzFeed, also defended Watkins’ reporting on Carter Page’s “Male-1” revelation. “I am baffled that the FBI and Justice Department are going to these dangerous lengths over a story that points to public court documents that describe Russian spies approaching a Trump adviser, who himself is quoted confirming his role in the episode,” Smith told The Daily Caller News Foundation. However, what they don’t tell you is that Page was allegedly also working for the FBI to expose these Russian spies. Smith declined to comment on Watkins’ sourcing “in the middle of an unjustifiable leak hunt.” He did not address whether it was proper for Watkins to have a relationship with a Senate staffer on a committee she was covering as well. Watkins told BuzzFeed about her relationship with Wolfe, according to The NYT.

This is a national security issue on multiple fronts and the feds see that as superseding First Amendment rights in this case. That is something that the courts are going to have to decide and it may indeed go all the way to the Supreme Court. I have no doubt that the price Wolfe will pay is a prison sentence over this. The FBI and the DOJ may make an example of Wolfe, but there are a lot more leakers out there to be caught.

 

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Colorado Christian Cake Shop Owner Exonerated By Supreme Court Just Got Really Bad News

This is outrageous!

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Here we go again. I’m sure you are familiar with the Colorado Christian cake shop owner who just won a huge case in front of the Supreme Court this last June. Jack Phillips is the Christian baker who made history by prevailing in front of the High Court after he refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of religious beliefs. Most of America celebrated with Phillips when he won the case and it provided a glimmer of hope for religious freedom once again here in the United States.

At the time of Phillips case, the Supreme Court admonished the state’s attorney who was standing against the baker for religious intolerance. He allegedly made a number of comments that gave the court pause on First Amendment grounds. The Supreme Court issued a powerful rebuke to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its “religious hostility” toward Christian baker Jack Phillips. They were right to think that and it has been proven even more to be true this week as this baker just got really bad news. Phillips just filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. From what I am seeing he is being set up to be taken down in a different legalistic move… this time it involves gender issues.

Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom contend that the Commission has revived its campaign against him following June’s High Court decision, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs. It’s like deja vu all over again.

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, who is an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney that represents Phillips. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”

The person allegedly behind all of this is an attorney named Autumn Scardina. She reportedly called Phillips’ shop the day the decision in his favor was rendered and asked him to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. The caller asked that the cake be blue on the outside and pink on the inside. Over several months after that, Phillips received requests for cakes featuring marijuana use, s******y explicit messages, and Satanic symbols. He’s convinced that Scardina was the one who made all of the requests to set him up for legal action.

From PJ Media:

“To forestall a second round of litigation, ADF filed suit against the commission in federal court. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of U.S. Advocacy and Administration, told PJ Media his firm would “preemptively file a lawsuit in federal court to try to stop what the commission is doing.”

“‘We think the circumstances are uniquely aligned to do that,” Tedesco explained.

“Especially since the Supreme Court ruled that the commission had treated Phillips unfairly on the basis of his religion, thus violating his right to free exercise, this follow-up round seems particularly noxious. “It seems like another round of targeting him and putting him through this very difficult process simply because he wants to be faithful in his business in what he creates through his art,” Tedesco said.

“The commission could have decided not to pursue this second case against Phillips. The ADF lawyer explained that, when a Colorado citizen thinks he or she has been discriminated against, they file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division, which then conducts an investigation and determines probable cause.

“When Autumn Scardina filed this complaint, Tedesco would have expected the civil rights commission to reject it. “After Masterpiece came down from the Supreme Court, we expected Colorado to take that into account and realize that it was a bad decision to keep targeting Jack for his religious convictions,” the lawyer explained. “Instead, they found probable cause.”

“‘He’s going to be fully investigated again, there will be hearings from an administrative law judge,” Tedesco said. “It’s restarting the entire scenario.”

“‘It’s appalling,” the lawyer declared. “It’s unconscionable that they would go after him again right on the heels of losing a case because they were openly hostile to his religious beliefs.'”

Scardina has now filed a complaint with the civil rights commission. She is alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The complaint was held aside while the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ other case. Just three weeks after Phillips won his case, the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination. This sure looks as though it was all planned out this way. “Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” Phillips’ lawsuit states. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”

The freedom of religion is sacrosanct in this nation as a First Amendment right. Weaponizing lawfare to take it apart is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable. I sincerely hope that Phillips prevails once more and that a more solid ruling by the Supreme Court puts an end to this form of religious bigotry.

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Judge Who Let Compound Muslims Walk Free Before Trial Exposed For What Else She Did

She supported Obama of course!

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The New Mexico judge who on Monday set a ridiculous $20,000 bail for five defendants arrested at a remote New Mexico compound where authorities say children were being trained to conduct school shootings seems to have a history of issuing low bail to violent offenders, especially when it comes to crimes against children.

Judge Sarah Backus (let’s remember the name), who is an elected Democrat is the judge who ordered the two men and three women to wear ankle monitors, have weekly contact with their attorneys and not consume alcohol or own firearms while on bail, after paying the 20k. And what’s possibly the worst part of all this is she actually said that although she was concerned by the “troubling facts” in this case, prosecutors failed to make the case for any specific threats to the community. What????

Here is more on this case via NBC News:

“A 3-year-old boy died — allegedly during a religious ritual. Children said they were being trained to commit mass shootings. A large weapons cache was found, with practice targets.

On Monday, prosecutors detailed horrifying allegations against five adults who were found with 11 starving children in a makeshift compound in Taos County, New Mexico — but the judge said they weren’t backed by enough evidence to keep the defendants behind bars as they await their trial.

“The state alleges that there was a big plan afoot,” state District Judge Sarah Backus said in court. “But the state hasn’t shown to my satisfaction, in clear and convincing evidence, what that plan was.”

The decision stunned many, and prompted threats against Backus. But experts say the move is the result of a series of recent changes to how the state treats defendants before their trials, with “clear and convincing evidence” of being a danger to the community a legal requirement for pre-trial detention with no bail.

“These people have been charged. They have not been convicted,” said Leo Romero, a law professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico and the chairman of a committee that made recommendations on reforming cash bail in the state, which were adopted by the state Supreme Court in 2017.

“So you’re balancing individual rights versus safety of the community, and the judge is weighing that when she is determining the evidence presented by the prosecutor,” he said.

New Mexico is part of a wave of a states that, in recent years, have re-examined how they handle bail and pretrial detention.

In 2014, the state Supreme Court, in New Mexico vs. Walter Ernest Brown, deemed that even if someone is charged with a serious offense, a judge has to make an individual determination on whether to detain the defendant before trial.

“Just because someone is charged with first-degree m****r or first-degree sexual assault, that by itself is insufficient,” Romero said. “The court’s got to consider other evidence of whether the person might be a danger or a flight risk, such as the nature and circumstances, which is different than the charge itself.”

Authorities have “no excuse,” said Jason Badger, who reported seeing missing boy months ago.
And in 2016, an overwhelming number of voters agreed to a constitutional amendment that moved the state away from the traditional money-based bail system to an evidence-of-risk-based system of release and detention, in an effort to bring more fairness. The new system took effect last year.

Backus would not comment on the case because it is still pending. Barry Massey, a spokesman for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, said that “what she said in court yesterday is as much explanation for her decisions as she can provide.”

“Prosecutors have to file a motion, and then they have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that no other conditions of release will reasonably protect the public’s safety,” he said. “What the judge said yesterday is that they didn’t meet that burden.”

While Backus agreed to release the defendants from jail to house arrest, she required them to wear GPS ankle monitors and to check in weekly with their attorneys, plus cooperate with the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Division.

The decision not to hold the defendants spurred a backlash on social media, with some calling for Backus to resign. The New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts said the judge had also received threatening phone calls and emails.

State Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, a former law enforcement officer, said he felt Backus had not been tough enough.

“There’s the remains of a young child found here,” he said. “Someone should be charged with some kind of homicide or m****r. Whoever did that clearly is a violent person, and so they should be detained.”

Bail was set at $20,000 for each defendant, but Backus said she would allow the defendants to walk out on what’s called a signature bond — in which case they don’t have to post any cash.

The case has yet another twist: While the five were released to house arrest, because they were living on a makeshift compound on someone else’s property, they don’t technically have a house to go to.

Massey said that had been solved by offers from residents in Taos County to let them stay with them.

Marie Legrand Miller, a public defender for one of the defendants, Hujrah Wahhaj, confirmed her client had received such offers, but would not say from whom, other than to say the residents didn’t have any criminal problems and were in good standing.

“My client would like to obviously get out of jail and she has no desire to go back to the compound property,” Legrand Miller said. “The judge has ordered that they not return there, and she has no desire to return there.”

Fox News has reported that this isn’t the first time judge Backus has pulled a stunt like this. Just last month, she set a $10,000 bond for 24-year-old Rafael Orozco from Taos who was accused of beating his girlfriend, his newborn child and even a healthcare worker at Holy Cross Hospital in September 2016. He then prompted a lockdown at Holy Cross Hospital after allegedly attacking those 3 individuals.

Police later confirmed that Orozco prompted the lockdown at the hospital after punching his girlfriend as she breastfed their newborn in front of a male doctor, grabbing the mother by the throat and slapping the baby. Orozco then fled the hospital and was arrested in Rio Arriba County a few months later.

During his time in prison, Orozco was accused of other crimes, including obtaining Suboxone, an opioid medication, and pulling a fire alarm. A year later, he and his brother, Cristian Orozco, were charged with assaulting and threatening a guard. In September, Backus approved an order to incarcerate Orozco at the Lea County Correctional Facility until his trial.

Orozco’s defense attorney recently filed a motion arguing for his release and last month, Backus ruled in his favor.

Of course, with a little research, we here at RWN found that Judge Backus apparently gave money to Barack Obama for his 2008 campaign for president.

Figures.

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