On Contempt: The FBI Has Congress’ Number

136px-US-FBI-ShadedSealBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the lingering questions left from the Strzok testimony. While it may seem like a thousand years after Helsinki and the Cohen tape, the testimony of Strzok was shaped by highly dubious instructions from the FBI not to answer core questions.  It is highly doubtful that a majority of these refusals would be upheld under judicial review — starting with the first question asked of Strzok.

Here is the column:

FBI official Peter Strzok’s recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee continued a time-honored practice of elected members of Congress doing nothing about the open contempt of federal departments or agencies and their unelected officials.

Strzok was just the latest in a long procession of officials, from both Democratic and Republican administrations, who refused to answer questions, produce documents, or otherwise comply with the constitutional authority of Congress to exercise oversight. Aside from outraged words of protest or toothless sense-of-Congress resolutions, none — not one — has suffered any serious consequences.

Strzok’s defiance began over a simple number: how many interviews the FBI conducted during its 2016 election investigation. As Strzok looked over to a stone-faced FBI lawyer, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) exclaimed in frustration, “I’m asking for a number!” Not asking for what anyone said, or even the identity of those interviewed, just the number. Strzok responded with what became a mantra to virtually every query about his role in the Clinton email and Russian collusion investigations: “Counsel for the FBI, based on the special counsel’s equities, has instructed me not to answer.”I am not quite sure what “equities” are, but they are not constitutionally recognized privileges. Strzok is a federal employee, appearing before a committee with oversight authority looking into a matter of great public interest. The FBI ordering him not to answer on the basis of “equities” is manifestly wrong. Strzok could have just as well cited “niceties” in brushing aside the committee’s questions.

For years, I have written and testified in favor of Congress enforcing its inherent authority over federal agencies. But those agencies have become ever more obstructive in refusing to comply with the core function of Congress, which is its oversight and its check on executive branch abuse. Strzok’s testimony shows just how far outside the constitutional lines agencies have gone in unilaterally dismissing Congress’s inquiries.

A 1982 directive called the “Reagan Memo” delineated the process for invoking privilege in a conflict with Congress. It directs an agency head to present the allegedly privileged information to the White House for review. Any invocation of executive privilege should then be accompanied by a formal declaration from an agency head or the president.

Yet, increasingly, witnesses refuse to answer questions without making such a formal invocation. In his hearing, Strzok did not invoke a privilege. He simply nodded to an unidentified FBI lawyer sitting behind him who proceeded to signal, like Caesar, what questions would be answered. Anything that might significantly shed light on the underlying allegation of FBI investigatory bias was deemed unanswerable.

This brings us back to Congressman Gowdy, asking Strzok a question about a investigation now closed and that clearly was not privileged: “Between July 31 and August 8, how many interviews did you conduct related to the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign?” A finite number of privileges exists to that question.

The classic privilege is to refuse to give answers containing presidential communications. That is not absolute and also not remotely involved here. There is privilege that can be asserted over the “deliberative process,” whereby agencies withhold information that would reveal internal deliberations on a policy or action. This has always been a contested privilege and is particularly dubious when asserted against an oversight committee and, again, not remotely viable in this case.

There is attorney-client privilege, which is not at issue with an FBI agent testifying before Congress unless his personal attorney makes such an assertion. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was correct in noting that the unnamed FBI lawyer was not Strzok’s personal lawyer. Then there is the claim of classified or national security information, which was not asserted here and does not appear relevant.

Finally, there is the shaky claim of law enforcement privilege. Based on a controversial 1984 opinion by the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, this privilege is raised when the information deals with open law enforcement investigations or sensitive techniques and strategies. This one comes closest to whatever “equities” may mean. However, courts have rejected such claims being used to block oversight committees.

Congress can yield to a request for nondisclosure or receive the information in a closed session, but it does not have to do so as a matter of constitutional law. Even if one accepts this privilege as a viable claim to raise against an oversight committee, it is meritless here. This was an inquiry into the actions — or inactions — of a single FBI employee. Much of the information already has been shared and released. Special counsel Robert Mueller has interviewed the same key individuals, and is looking for collusion with the Russians, not incompetence or bias in the FBI.

So what is left? The answer is contempt. It is outright contempt that has become almost casual in its sense of utter impunity. This has nothing to do with the subject or the merits of the committee’s investigation. The problem is that Congress has allowed the very agencies abusing these privileges in this instance, the FBI and Justice Department, to control whether their own officials can be prosecuted.

Congress has independent contempt authority. Our lawmakers can even hold trials for contempt. But the Justice Department persuaded Congress to leave such prosecutions to the agency’s own attorneys, with the promise to be a faithful agent in defending Congress’s authority. It has repeatedly and consistently violated that promise, refusing to submit strong cases of contempt to grand juries.

Strzok’s testimony once again reveals the utter absurdity of this system. It also explains why the Justice Department no longer tries to state clear privilege arguments, let alone supply the necessary declarations or follow the required procedures. It is not like the proverbial “fox guarding the hen house.” It is more like the fox guarding the hen house and agreeing to punish itself for any missing hens. Not surprisingly, the Justice Department consistently has found not a single missing hen.

And the solution to this? Congress needs to rework the referral system or return to enforcing its own contempt orders. Until then, I can give a number to the committee that will not change and is not privileged: zero. That is the number of Justice Department officials prosecuted for contempt of Congress under the current referral system. On matters of contempt, the Justice Department clearly has Congress’s number.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

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313 thoughts on “On Contempt: The FBI Has Congress’ Number”

    1. I think the smart money is that his wishes were communicated orally and not recorded. Had Richard Nixon been sitting in that chair, such instructions would have been ignored. One of FDR’s cabinet secretaries once said, “Presidents seldom ask about anything a third time”. There was an incident when Melvin Laird got away with being insubordinate to a direct written order by Richard Nixon. He contacted the chairmen of the congressional committees in question, a couple of barons who would defend their turf even if it made no sense. They put a rider on some larger piece of legislation which blocked the order. Nixon cast more vetoes than George W Bush, but not that many.

      What’s troubling about this would be the disposition of the bureaucracy. Obama, unlike his Republican predecessors, was pushing on an open door. We’ve had some idea that this was true for a generation. See the bogus prosecution of Billy R. Dale during the Clinton Administration.

      1. I am too stupid to make sense out of your comment fully. You can make it more clear if you like. For now I can only say that the Presidency is more imperial than it used to be and Congress is “emasculated.” that was the word of choice a democrat Jimmy Trafficante used

    2. No, the allegation makes no sense. If Obama wanted to destroy Trump, he would have gone public with the Russia investigation into the Trump campaign when it first began in the summer of 2016.

      Trump needs to thank Obama for saving his campaign from the public knowledge that Russia was helping him.

      1. If Obama wanted to destroy Trump, he would have gone public with the Russia investigation into the Trump campaign when it first began in the summer of 2016.

        He’d have had to reveal that the FBI was spying on the political opposition, something Richard Nixon couldn’t have gotten them to do.

  1. all this reminds me of the great carl schmitt’s work the crisis of parliamentary democracy

    you second handers out there can read this which interprets it, since you are the kind who never consult original sources

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/canadian-journal-of-law-and-jurisprudence/article/pluralism-and-the-crisis-of-parliamentary-democracy/D82C951B5CF3750BF6449FC2ACF57BEF

    Carl Schmitt levels two kinds of criticism against liberal parliamentarism. First, Schmitt seeks to refute the liberal conception of politics (which assumes the possibility of rational will formation) on the basis of his own existential view of the political (which employs the distinction between friend and foe). Second, Schmitt attempts to show why and how the evolution of our political system, specifically the development of mass democracy, has made parliament an obsolete institution. This approach is both more dangerous and plausible, because it does not presuppose an acceptance of Schmitt’s own controversial conception of politics, and relies on observations about the parliamentary system that are shared and deplored equally by many liberals. In The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, Schmitt does not confront directly what he considers to be fundamental principles of the parliamentary system—rational and public discussion—but rather shows that since these principles are unrealizable given the changes which the system has undergone, parliamentary institutions remain an empty shell, devoid of any justification and credibility.

    1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schmitt/#ConPolCriLib

      more summaries for those unfamiliar with the true genius of 20 century political and constitutional thought. It reads like a road map from where it’s been to where it’s going

      you can’t do away with a people; if a people exists then they will defend themselves. they will organize it one way or another and in the end it will all come down to sufficient organized force, or the lack of it.

    2. Parliamentary systems emerged in stages in Britain during the 18th century. Parliamentary government has been modal throughout much of Europe for about four generations. A crisis is a discrete point where some sort of resolution takes place. There is no crisis.

      1. well, you think there is no crisis, but you talk like you think there is one.
        constitutional crisis is about one or two steps away in this situation and it might not turn out the way you like.
        if what we call a “constitutional crisis” is not what Schmitt called a “parliamentary crisis” then I am not sure exactly what it would be
        Schmitt did not say so, in his work, far as I know; but Lincoln was just such a “sovereign” ie dictator who “emerged” to “resolve” the constitutional crisis created by secession

        in the end it was not papers that decided the question of states’ rights but war

      2. you might also like to know, if you do not, that the work of carl schmitt came into play during the post 9/11 period when the “neocons” inspired by Leo Strauss of U of Chi who was an expert of Schmitt pushed extra-constitutional means and methods to extend the wars they wanted

        Republicans are not the only people who can appreciate the ramifications of what Schmitt observed and described, in theory. He was, after all, a National Socialist. Any politicians strong enough to fashion themselves emergent sovereigns may chose to resolve parliamentary conflicts the way he theorized.

        In America the process may be slow-moving, but the general trend is clear. Each president ratchets up the Imperial power of the presidency, almost by necessity. In Obama you had a weak politician beholden to many sources of support, who himself emerged far stronger at the end than the beginning. He flexed what muscles he had in many unexpected ways rarely criticized on the Left such as by assassinating people all over the globe including at least one American

        https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/14/13577464/obama-farewell-speech-torture-drones-nsa-surveillance-trump

        Trump is a weak politician too but in a way different from Obama. He is similar to Obama in that he is rather popular with the people; or at least a core group of the people. He is dissilimilar in that he is politically inexperienced. He is very dissimilar in that his sources of support do not come from entrenched power structures. But, more so, through his own cleverness and ample resources, which he has used to leverage his popular support

        In the end, the interesting question will be to what extent Trump diverges on the issue of extending foreign wars. If he makes peace with the DPRK that will be one big plus for him in the peace column but if he gets the US embroiled in a wider Israeli Syrian Iranian war then it will be a double minus against him.

  2. outrageous refusal to answer legimate Congressional oversight.

    The Congress is the source of all legitimacy for the United States

    Behind the socalled Deep State there is a deeper state: Congress.

    It’s the only body that can change the text of the Constitution (yes the Judiciary can change the interpretation, but not the very text)

    Congress is the Deeper State

    And the People are the Deepest.

    We’ll see how it all shakes out in the end

    1. Mr. Kurtz, within the deep states you mention there are distinctions. The deep state most referred to by US patriots are those agency people embedded by former administrations who do not want the Constitution to limit fed govt power.

      Within Congress are also those who want govt power to expand & those who want g-power limited.

      Among the population we have limited govt power people & those who want govt to continue to expand. Fortunately, the first group is growing while the second one is shrinking.

      Then there is the mostly deep state pro big govt media…

      I do think after the mid terms we will slowly see an improvement. I am sure that many ‘Hillary Dimms’ & RINO-CINOs will be voted out to give us more conservatives in both Houses.

      I urge everyone to look for true conservatives to vote for regardless of ‘party’. In my state I’ll take an Independent Conservative or R Conservative over RINO-CINOs like Jeff Flake, John McCain & Martha McSally. I support Repub Dr. Kelly Ward to take over for J Flake.

      SamFox

      1. Sam, in the end, it will just be power versus power, to resolve any political question.
        The Lockean premise of limited government is inconsistent with social reality, in my opinion
        Limited government is a good and worthy objective, but we can see that when things go hot the only thing that matters is winning.

    1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

      The main complaint in the Nunes memo was that FBI whitewashed Steele—that the FISA applications did not “disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials.”

      The Nunes memo accused the FBI of dishonesty in failing to disclose information about Steele, but in fact the Nunes memo itself was dishonest in failing to disclose what the FBI disclosed.

      Now we have some additional information in the form of the redacted FISA applications themselves, and the Nunes memo looks even worse. In my earlier post, I observed that the FBI’s disclosures about Steele were contained in a footnote, but argued that this did not detract from their sufficiency. Now we can see that the footnote disclosing Steele’s possible bias takes up more than a full page in the applications, so there is literally no way the FISA Court could have missed it. The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele’s credibility.

      1. L4D enables David Benson – it wasn’t Steele’s credibility, it was the credibility of the 3 versions of the Steele dossier, one or more of which was used for the FISA applications on poor Carter Page. Four secret warrants on Carter Page and not an indictment, not a traffic ticket. However, they did not really want Carter Page, they wanted the people two hops from Carter Page. Then they could unmask them and get the info they wanted for Hillary.

    2. Those amongst your lot who are still clinging to the petrified teat of the Ninny Na Na Nunes memo are doubling down on Nincompoopery.

    3. Maestro Zappa had a famous composition entitled “The Black Page Drum Solo.” The redactions in the FISA Applications for Carter Page illustrate what Maestro Zappa was getting at with the title to his famous composition. As such, it now appears to be the case that the main reason that Carter Page has not been charged with a crime is that his whirlwind publicity tour convinced a sufficient number of people that Carter Page was just too damned daft to have been taken seriously by anyone, least of all The Russians. I have every reason to believe that Carter Page is an exceedingly clever fellow for precisely and exactly just that reason.

    4. FISA court abuses its latitude. Has a FISA warrant request ever been denied?

      0.03 percent!
      Fourth Amendment might as well not even apply
      Here’s is what the civil liberties folks were saying before the FISA court gored an ox they didn’t like

      https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2013/06/fisa-court-nsa-spying-opinion-reject-request/

      After last week’s revelations extensive National Security Agency surveillance of phone and internet communications, President Barack Obama made it a point to assure Americans that, not to worry, there is plenty of oversight of his administration’s snooping programs. “We’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight,” he said Friday, referring in part to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which was created in 1979 to oversee Department of Justice requests for surveillance warrants against foreign agents suspected of espionage or terrorism in the United States. But the FISC has declined just 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance requests made by the government in 33 years, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That’s a rate of .03 percent, which raises questions about just how much judicial oversight is actually being provided.

      “The FISA system is broken,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Journal. “At the point that a FISA judge can compel the disclosure of millions of phone records of US citizens engaged in only domestic communications, unrelated to the collection of foreign intelligence…there is no longer meaningful judicial review.”

      1. Go ask Trump and the Congressional Republicans to get rid of FISA. I’m pretty sure they won’t. I’m equally sure that the FISA Warrants on Carter Page are the only FISA warrants with which the Congressional Republicans and Trump have ever found fault. They’ve said nothing whatsoever about the FISA warrants on Paul Manafort. Gee. I wonder why not?

      1. From the founding post of Lawfare:

        The name Lawfare refers both to the use of law as a weapon of conflict and, perhaps more importantly, to the depressing reality that America remains at war with itself over the law governing its warfare with others. This latter sense of the word—which is admittedly not its normal usage—binds together a great deal of our work over the years. It is our hope to provide an ongoing commentary on America’s lawfare, even as we participate in many of its skirmishes.

        1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

          General Dunlap defined “lawfare” as the “use of law as a weapon of war,” which he described as “the newest feature of 21st century combat.” The paper gave many examples of relatively weak U.S. adversaries using legal principles dishonestly and strategically to “handcuff the United States” in an effort to “exploit our values to defeat us.” After cautioning against overreaction and insisting on the importance of adherence to the law of armed conflict, he concluded that “there is disturbing evidence that the rule of law is being hijacked into just another way of fighting (lawfare), to the detriment of humanitarian values as well as the law itself.”

        2. Mr Kurtz says: July 23, 2018 at 11:34 AM

          “lawfare blog is engaged in lawfare. dx of a dx”

          Mr Kurtz’ understanding of lawfare is not even deep enough to qualify as idiosyncratic. Mr. Kurtz has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s just talking. And that will never become the same things as actually having a clue.

    1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after two months, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – We have gotten into some VERY bad trade deals thanks to previous presidents. This president is trying to get us out of them. There will be a little bit of pain, but much pleasure in the end.

      1. Another fool blithers. There is a difference between so-called trade deals and tariffs. About the latter all economists agree that tariffs are bad. The tariffs will cost us.

        But then, that assumes one can comprehend economic history. I have serious doubts that Paul C Schulte can do so.

        1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nine weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you are out of your field, David. You need to be prepping for that hike to the WSU library to get my citations.

          1. If we had a trading bloc to stand up to China, then Trump’s tariff on China might work in the manner of a whipsaw strike by an industry-wide labor organization against a single, isolated employer. Without a trading bloc to stand up to China, Trump’s tariff on China is just plumb loco.

        2. About the latter all economists agree that tariffs are bad. The tariffs will cost us.

          The economists who agree they are ‘bad’ don’t mention the following:

          1. The injury to welfare is quite small. Small injuries add up, of course, but economists in their discussion of such matters tend not to rank-order the injuries. N.B. academic economists live and work in a society of arts and sciences faculty. Other faculty members haven’t any emotional investment in the tariff regime or the industries which might be protected by it, so it’s a safe target for the academic economist (which welfare programs and environmental regulation are not).

          2. You have to replace the tariff revenue somehow. There are injuries to welfare from sales taxes and income taxes as well, but that’s not considered in instructional models used in undergraduate education (though it may be in graduate courses).

          3. Some Jagdish Baghwati has pointed out: “trade agreements’ are not about ‘free trade’. Per Baghwati, an actual free trade treaty would be about 10 pages long. The phonebook length treaties are compendia of carve-outs. He, as an economist specializing in trade issues, doesn’t understand the treaties. The people who understand aspects of them are the special interests who lobbied for the carve-outs.

          ==

          Personally, I was aghast that the Obama Administration expected the Senate to vote up or down on a treaty the provisions of which were not revealed to them, and our useless Senate Majority Leader was willing to accommodate him. This is how you get more Trump.

        3. But then, that assumes one can comprehend economic history.

          Which isn’t your subject. You never stop being a supercilious prick, do you?

        4. “bad” is not the usual term used by economists. inefficient is a word they use, “bad” is a value judgment employed by commentators and politicians. you don’t like these tariffs is what you might have said more honestly

      2. Paul

        Trump’s tariff war might have worked a few decades ago but now there are at least two billion people that consume and produce at the same level as Americans. China now has over 400 million who consume at the same level as the average American. Europe has near 400 million. Japan has near 200 million.

        Europe and Japan just signed trade agreements that will allow cars and other industrial goods to be transacted more freely than between the US and, now with Trump, anywhere else. That’s a 600 million consumer market. The TPP was primarily developed to offset China’s dominance in the world’s economy. Now, Trump has given China a stronger position in world trade. Trump has given everyone a stronger position in world trade. This recent Euro/Japanese trade pact would not have happened if the TPP had gone forward.

        There is much, much, much, more to economies, industrial competition, and trade than tariffs. However, if you don’t compete, you don’t get to play. In order to compete, you must coordinate. If you isolate yourself, the others will simply play without you. The US is about to learn a lesson that may very well produce a recession that will eclipse that of the one Bush created.

        Well, we can always adjust the Constitution and recall Obama. He cleaned up after Bush and did a yeoman’s job. With his experience and abilities, he should be able to clean up Trump’s mess. But, only after one term. Control the Senate in 2018 to slow down the damage. Bounce Trump in 2020.

          1. Paul

            It’s not a question of tariffs and internal protection systems. It’s a question of unilaterally imposing tariffs to force other countries to make concessions that are typically done through agreed upon structures, such as trade agreements like NAFTA, and when there is a problem, taking it to the World Court. The US has been successful before the World Court almost 85% of the time. The vast majority of economists state routinely that over all the US is better off with NAFTA. Some aren’t and that makes for political hay, tweeted, exaggerated, and shoved down throats.

            Canada’s dairy tariffs are firstly an internal system to protect the Canadian Dairy Farmers from the market driven chaos that detrimentally affects the American Dairy Farmers. With 10 % of America’s population, tariffs restricting American imports into Canada is not the reason why the American Dairy Industry is in chaos. The reason of the chaos in the US dairy industry is the over production by factory farms that make it impossible for local farms.

            The Canadian government regulates the production of Dairy products through the consumer. This prevents market glut and situations like those found in the US where the government bails out the dairy farmer by guaranteeing to buy the over supply. Canada uses tariffs. Even with the huge Canadian tariffs on US Dairy, the US exports into Canada several billion dollars more in dairy than Canada exports into the US. The US, because of the oversupply and subsequent price reduction produces dairy farms that cannot make it. US dairy farms are routinely folding and the cows are being bought up by factory farms that add hormones and other ‘stabilizers’ that are not permitted in Canada. The Canadian Dairy Farms are the envy of most American Dairy farmers. It is to the disadvantage of the consumer to have local farms be they dairy or other conglomerated into corporate factory systems. That is the beginning of the monopoly system that produces the oligarchs that run the US.

            This internal structuring of an industry is no different than what the US does in the airplane industry. Boeing would not be able to compete with Airbus without the massive subsidies they get through their military orders from the US government. Airbus is the product of several socio economic nations that openly coordinate their social systems with free enterprise. This is not a question of fairness, but a question of values. Extreme socialist control breeds chaos as does extreme free market control. The health care insurance industry is the parasite that socio economic nations do not have to deal with.

            Neither system is perfect but neither system has the right to impose their economic morality on the other. The way to compete in this world is to take the best aspects of both systems and work them together. This is something that the delusion of Americans continues to resist. Health care costs would be substantially lower if health care was a socio generated industry and not a consumer product. The US would rise from 24th place in quality and 99th place in efficiency of services to dollars spent.

            Some things are best left to the free market system but essential services and industries that are better off controlled benefit from government protection and coordination. If the American government would drop the nonsense of freedoms and rights to charge what the market will bear in Pharmaceuticals by outlawing the advertising of these chemicals then costs would drop 20%. If the US government would allow negotiated purchases of pharmaceuticals by Medicaid and Medicare, as is the case with other socio economic governments, then drug prices would fall. No other country advertises pharmaceuticals on TV to the average ailing person. This is simply stupid as well as insulting. That’s is the perfect description of adding insult to injury. First the consumer is injured/in the wallet, then insulted/anybody that buys pharmaceuticals because they saw an add on TV is and idiot.

            Americans complain that other governments subsidize industry at the expense of the consumer/taxpayer. Americans subsidize their mega wealthy, perhaps a million health care insurance caused employees, and untold other participants of inefficient systems.

            The bipolar/polarized condition of the average American is precisely what is necessary to maintain this oligarchy. What is good for the citizen is not so good for the special interest and global corporation.

            So, the tariff Canada places on dairy products maintains an internal balance and higher quality of dairy than in the US. This benefits the farmers as well as the consumers.

    2. David BB, You are quite incorrect I say. Mr. T is negotiator. His goal is to get other countries with VERY HIGH tariffs on US imports, say CHINA, to lower their tariffs so there is a more balanced trade agreement between US & those we trade with. Mr. T will lower US tariffs when others do. His tariff increases are a negotiating tool. He is just posing his opening stance.

      So, how would YOU get a more level trading field? Or would you just let US continue to lose $$ hand over fist in our current trade arrangements?

      You are not taking a deep enough look & seem to be parroting what left stream media spews from their cesspool brains.

      It is true as I understand from listening to a number of economists, that yes, in the short term we will hurt a bit. But remember, the USA is 80% self sufficient. China is way more dependent on US than we them.

      Ask yourself how well would China be doing if they hadn’t been stealing BILLIONS of $$ worth of technology from US? Should our President be doing something about that or not? B Clinton, Bush & Obama did NOTHING to stop the theft or get a level field. Sooo, we get Mr. T who IS at least trying to make US financially better off.

      Why are Mr. T’s efforts & all he says or does so haughtily disparaged? Hmmmm….maybe there ARE those who want the USA to be brought down. Gee, maybe they want to take us down, Cloward & Pivon and Rules For Radicals style…Maybe the Dimms want open borders & LOTS & LOTS of illegals in the country.

      WHY would Dimms want that I wonder. Hmmm…Perhaps so they can herd the illegals onto the welfare plantation & get their votes. YA THINK? Could it be that the Benedict Iscariot Club wants to build an insurmountable voting base so the Dimms & RINO-CINOs can have the USA VOTED into a North American Union so they can later VOTE the USA into the New World Order’s one world government as a vassal state?

      The fascist left Dimms & RINOs are peeved bigly because they knew that 0bama had set us up as best he could to that end & they knew that H Clinton would try to finish US off. THAT IS THE REAL REASON they have gone so blindly INSANE!!! TDS to the max.

      Caps for emphasis. I am trying to be emphatic but NOT yelling. 😉

      Thanks.

      SamFox

      1. Sam Fox — Leaving aside your paranoia I concentrate on the shotgun approach that The Donald has taken to tariffs. Now just possibly a trade war with China is a way to end their stealing. But if so it would be more effective with the participation of Canada and the EU. As it is, The Donald just makes enemies out of friends.

        1. A judgment of yours informed, to be sure, by long experience with business negotiations and international diplomacy.

      2. Sam, you nailed it here:

        WHY would Dimms want that I wonder. Hmmm…Perhaps so they can herd the illegals onto the welfare plantation & get their votes. YA THINK? Could it be that the Benedict Iscariot Club wants to build an insurmountable voting base so the Dimms & RINO-CINOs can have the USA VOTED into a North American Union so they can later VOTE the USA into the New World Order’s one world government as a vassal state?

        The fascist left Dimms & RINOs are peeved bigly because they knew that 0bama had set us up as best he could to that end & they knew that H Clinton would try to finish US off. THAT IS THE REAL REASON they have gone so blindly INSANE!!! TDS to the max.

        This is why, for instance, McCain has been insanely anti-Trump. I call them collectively “globalists”. And of course, they assume that they are the ones who will be the ultimate rulers.
        Sad state of affairs. So relieved that Trump was elected to at least stall them off for a while.

        1. Wow. I apologize for the blockquote HTML on steroids!
          Note to self: Just use the old-fashioned quotation marks.

          1. FF Sierra,…
            -Don’t apologize; you have found an effective way of countering Peter Hill’s all-cap news reports.😊😉😀

    1. It’s growing more difficult everyday to protect Obama.

      The trail is coursing inexorably to Obama.

      All roads lead to Obama.

    2. Mae Costello said, “I await Turley’s objections to the dishonorable, lying memo written by Trey Gowdy for D Nunes on the FISA warrants.”

      I predict silence on the subject from Turley. If Turley says anything on the subject it will be something along the lines of “Now we shall never speak of this again.”

    1. Not astounding Gowdy would toe the Russia Russia Russia narrative line. He’s only used his fake outrage to get more press and never supported Trump.

      Trey says that the “evidence is overwhelming” – well, we the citizens would like to see it. Distributing memes, posts on FB/Twitter by a few folks just doesn’t do it for us – if they did it did not affect the outcome. We want proof that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election. Because right now all I see is yet another a big fat nothing burger.

      1. Spike, if you depend on right-wing media you’ll ‘never’ see the evidence. But it’s out there for anyone who’s looking.

      2. Mr. Pointy Head said, “Not astounding Gowdy would toe the Russia Russia Russia narrative line . . . We want proof that Trump colluded with Russia . . .”

        Gowdy is not saying that Trump colluded with Russia. Gowdy is saying that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Unless and until you can comprehend what you are reading, the presentation of proof for anything at all would remain an exercise in utter futility.

        1. It’s quite common amongst the wackjobs to slip extra words or inferences into their reply when presented bold-faced with the exact “evidence” or “facts” which they had previously claimed didn’t exist or wasn’t known. There is a caveat however; some of the bedlam denizens truly are not equipped to follow along where the subject matter is any more complex than the back of a cereal box; those unfortunates are just parroting what they’ve heard other charlatans say.

          1. But, but . . . I really, really, truly, truly enjoy poking at them through bars of their cages. It’s irresistible, I tell you. Heaven help me. I can’t stop.

            1. I can understand why her/ their idea of entertainment would be going to the zoo and poking at the animals through the bars of the cages.
              Probably safe for them to do as well, if the sticks are long enough. I’m not sure how they could pull off that stunt anonymously, however.
              I don’t think that they could get the same kind of “free ride” that the anonymous shield gives them here.

  3. “Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and those in his orbit.

    Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Clapper let slip:

    If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.”

    Clapper: Obama Was Behind The Whole Thing

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-22/clapper-obama-was-behind-whole-thing

    1. Did Obama fire James Comey? Or was it Trump who fired James Comey? Yes. Those are intentionally rhetorical questions, Mr. Pointy Head.

        1. President Trump in his own words during his interview with Lester Holt:

          He [Rosenstein] made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy. The Democrats like him, the Republicans like him. He made a recommendation. But regardless of [the] recommendation, I was going to fire Comey. Knowing there was no good time to do it!

          And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

          And the reason they should’ve won it is, the Electoral College is almost impossible for a Republican to win, it’s very hard, because you start off at such a disadvantage. So everybody was thinking they should have won the election. This was an excuse for having lost an election.

        2. More Trump in his own words during his interview with Lester Holt:

          Look, let me tell you, as far as I’m concerned I want that thing [the Russia investigation] to be absolutely done properly. When I did this now I said, “I probably, maybe, will confuse people, maybe I’ll expand that, you know, I’ll lengthen the time” — because it should be over with, in my opinion it should’ve been over with a long time ago, because all it is is an excuse. But I said to myself, “I might even lengthen out the investigation.”

  4. OK, Jon. You keep pretending that what Gowdy, et al are doing is simple Congressional oversight. Even the dopes who watch TNN, aka Fox News, get it. They want to try everything possible to discredit the Mueller investigation before it’s concluded, find out what witnesses are, or have been questioned, and what their testimony has been so the fat dumbass stinking up the White House can be spoonfed the right answers and not get caught lying under oath. Won’t work, Jon, and I don’t respect your lending your credentials to such a farce.

    1. Kinda of leading the witness? The witness being his base right-wing followers. Oh, what the hell does he have to lose, they believe almost anything anyway. Like ole Abe Lincoln said, if it’s on the internettubes, it must be true.

    1. All roads lead to Obama.
      ____________________

      “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.

      “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.
      _______________________________________

      In a Sept. 2, 2016, text exchange,

      Page writes that she was preparing the talking points because

      “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    2. All roads lead to Obama.

      After an extensive campaign of illegal “unmasking” by the Obama administration just before leaving office and employing the “dossier” fabricated by Hillary, Page was used as a “patsy” to gain access to the Trump campaign by Obama’s goons, Brennan and Clapper. The DOJ/FBI/Intel, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Rosenstein, Mueller, Yates, et al., as the “tip of the spear” of the Obama coup d’etat in America used the fake “dossier” as “evidence” presented to the FISA court to obtain authority to “surveil” Page inside the Trump campaing.

      “I think he is an idiot…”

      “Podobnyy, officially an attaché to the Russian mission of the U.N., told the Page that he would work with Sporyshev, as Russia’s trade representative in New York, to win contracts for Page. “He went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back,” Podobnyy told Sporyshev on April 8, 2013. “I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am.” Podobnyy noted that Page wrote him emails in Russian “to practice,” and said “he flies to Moscow more than I do.”

          1. George – better yet, when is Citizen Page going to sue the pants off the government for the unreasonable searchs.

        1. “Idiot” assets are “patsies” and useful indeed.

          The Obama coup d’etat in America operators ran “patsy” Page for access to the Trump campaign.

          DOJ/FBI/Intel could have interviewed Page years previously.

      1. Nice. Hey loonytunes, the FISA warrant on Page was applied for after Page had already left the day glo bozo’s election campaign. A “fact” (look up the definition) which makes it very nearly impossible to spy on the day glo bozo’s campaign, does it not? Cue the crickets and hannity talking points below….

        this is to “king of madness” georgie

    3. Joseph Rago’s death was not investigated by the WSJ or the FBI. Joseph Rago exposed Obamacare, HIllary and Big Pharma and he suffered a “pharma induced” death by “Sarcoidosis,” a disease he had no history or diagnosis of.

      “VEROPHARM”

      “Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”

      “A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
      Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
      Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
      business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
      apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
      then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
      finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
      a speech in Moscow.

      The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
      by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
      Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
      an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
      to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
      dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
      this meeting occurring.”

      http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/news/world-news/878-wall-street-journal-reporter-asks-russia-for-clinton-information-2-days-later-turns-up-dead

  5. Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long time passing….
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long long time ago.

    When did people get to vote?
    Why did they need to?
    Where did people need to grope?
    Long long time ago.

    We need a Hitler guy.
    Not like Trumpster.
    We need a Hitler guy.
    Maybe Hillary.

    Where did all the bohunks go?
    etc

    1. Indie Bob – she’s be much more attractive in an orange jumpsuit

      “Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what Hillary Clinton did with her charity and Uranium One while she was Secretary of State was a crime for the history books. Shipp explains, “Hillary Clinton used this to launder money in foreign banks so it wasn’t subject to U.S. laws, congressional subpoenas or FOIA demands for the evidence. This was done to launder this money globally into the Clinton Foundation so the U.S. government could not examine it at all.”

      Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was the head of the FBI while the Uranium One deal was being done by Clinton and the Russians. One fifth of U.S. uranium production was bought by the Russians in a deal Clinton pushed and approved. The Clinton Foundation received more than $140 million from some of the same Russian players who were involved with Uranium One. Why didn’t Mueller stop the deal? Shipp says, “Mueller is either a complete moron, which he is not, or he overlooked the biggest counterterrorism cases in U.S. history. It involved Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One and, of course, the destruction of all the emails and evidence and her secret server, and on and on and on it goes, and he (Mueller) ignored it all.”

      “Shipp says, “The most bizarre thing is the people who protected her from clear felonious activity and violations of the Espionage Act. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was protecting her and leaking things to the media and lying. You had John Brennan, Director of the CIA, protecting her by starting a false investigation (on Trump) and stirring things up with this (false/unverified) dossier. You had James Comey, Director of the FBI, protecting her. . . . Then, you’ve got Peter Strzok protecting her, and now it appears the United Kingdom GCHQ was using NSA information to target Donald Trump and protect Hillary Clinton. You have to ask yourself what kind of power or connections does this woman have to get all of these members of the Deep State, Shadow Government to risk their own criminal penalties to protect her and try to get her elected? That is the Shadow Government. That is the Deep State. That is what is so chilling about this whole thing. . . . This is deep. This is dark. This is as dark as it gets, and this is the biggest espionage case involving government officials in the history of this country.”

      Former CIA Officer: Clinton “Involved In Biggest Treason In History”

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49898.htm

      1. Excellent. You forgot to scream about the need for “MORE BENGHAZI HEARINGS!!!”

        this is to “I’ll always have a hat; I buy tinfoil by the pallet” spikey

    2. it’s rude to make fun of the sick and disabled. she is probably forced to wear these gowns to conceal a colostomy bag

      ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1020840877663584256&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailywire.com%2Fnews%2F33391%2Fwhat-she-wearing-hillarys-muu-muu-ignites-internet-joseph-curl

      we will pray for her

  6. Why not just turn every document, piece of evidence, pertinent piece of paper, etc., face up. Let’s start with Trump’s tax records, in detail. Then if he’s lying about being a billionaire, he can lie his self out of that; no one will care. If he is on the hook for billions to Russian investors/banks, then that’s a different matter. The only antidote to secrecy and conspiracy is full disclosure. With trump, America needs boatloads of antidote. Trump is a disease that illustrates the sorry state of America’s immune system. Purge

      1. Something tells me that when all is said and done, when the dust settles, several Presidents from now, Trump will still be tweeting, the last to put it away.

        Have you noticed that Trump’s defenses are: lying, exaggeration, lying, flipping the blame on the other side, lying, grandstanding, lying, campaigning, lying, and lately along with North Korea creating a crisis and then solving the problems all by himself as no one before could ever do, etc., etc., etc. and more lying. After his disgraceful performance in Helsinki Trump is creating a crisis with Iran almost exactly like he did with North Korea. My button’s bigger than yours. You’ll be sorry, etc..

        This simply does not leave anything for Hollywood to come up with; when real life is more bizarre than the imagination. Get ready for a few surgical hits on Iranians.

        1. i do not share your analysis nor sentiments about the POTUS whom I like and admire on balance.

          but I myself did have the same thought this morning, similar to your conclusions, about war on iran.

          in this way the deep state may get what it really wants
          i mean does it really want war with russia? not hot war, no way, then they might all have to hide in shelters eating mres for 3 months while we all get roasted to death

          no, they want a hot war that’s easier to win, like in syria or failing that iran; and a cold one with russia, to build up further their domestic powers and their war budgets.

          continuing the big mess strategy in the middle east seems the most probably “deep state strategy” at hand and one that the President may play along with, unfortunately

      2. Haha, what, you got a mouse in your pocket? Who’s “we”; you got voices in your head, too? First, you don’t know anybody in real life, much less anyone who possesses a “sword.” Unless of course you’re also one of those people who do reinactments dressed in medieval costumes to go along with your other wackjobbery.

        this is to “but I’ve also been taking a boxing course online” kurtzie

          1. Relevant? I think not. Unless, of course, you know georgie in real life. I can only provide the guidance; I can’t make you understand it.

            this is to “so what’s wrong with random factoids” paulie

        1. haha as prince said “i have a lion in my pocket and baby he’s ready to roar”

          as for what I know about swords or boxing, or guns, enough, when TSHTF

          I doubt the same could be said for you

          you’re free to think of me whatever you like, and I will continue to envision you as a pencil necked geek with horn rimmed glasses and a nose too big for your shrewish face

          just imagination; probably you are a handsome devil behind your bitter, spiteful, mincing facade

  7. I hate to speculate, knowing I could be wrong, but I think the big picture of the 2016 election will go down in history as:
    1. People in FBI CounterIntelligence and CIA with national security responsibilities were facing a potential Manchurian candidate situation when Trump won the nomination (based on his 1990s bankruptcy and infusion of investments from Russians). Even if the odds of were as low as a few % of undue, covert Russian influence, they had an obligation to investigate further and place a “check” on the Russians who might attempt undue influence.
    2. Hillary Clinton reacted with extreme paranoia to the Wikileaks dump timed to embarrass and disrupt the Democratic Convention, suggesting that if the Russians were responsible, Trump also had to be involved. She spread this conspiratorial thinking privately among her inner circle and leadership of the Obama Admin.
    3. Trump moved in international circles, and his campaign team included businesspeople who took advantage of the post-Soviet liberalization of Russia and Ukraine, as did millions of other businesspeople. There was nothing strange or unpatriotic about Trump’s, Manafort’s, Stone’s, Carter Page’s or Mike Flynn’s past dealings with the Russians, upon closer examination.
    4. The Trump inner circle was approached by Russian “active measures” operatives on multiple occasions, where a covert relationship was dangled. In all cases, the boss himself nixed the offers.
    5. At some point, the FBI and CIA had enough info to put aside the Manchurian candidate theory, but they continued it for unknown reasons….bureaucratic inertia?…..career planning assuming a Clinton win?…..political bias?

  8. TURLEY PAINTS TREY GOWDY AS STRZOK’S ‘VICTIM’

    BUT GOWDY IS A WELL-KNOWN TOOL OF THE KOCH BROTHERS

    Gowdy was elected to Congress amid the Tea Party Revolution of 2010. The Koch Brothers network of political donors sponsored Gowdy’s challenge to Republican incumbent Bob Inglis; an otherwise staunch conservative. Inglis had run afoul of the Koch Bros for advocating recognition of Climate Change.

    As a congressmen representing Koch interests, Gowdy came out against the Import-Export Bank. Said institution is generally appreciated by corporate America and was never considered controversial until the Koch Bros ordered its elimination on ideological grounds. Gowdy also supports a Balanced Budget Amendment; another Koch Bros priority. Such an amendment would limit the government’s response to severe recessions.

    Between 2014-2016, Gowdy chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi; a $7.8 million investigation whose main purpose was to cripple Hillary Clinton in advance of the 2016 Election. The Benghazi ‘scandal’ had been ginned-up by Fox News which devoted countless hours of coverage to the issue after mainstream media had moved on. Nevertheless, Gowdy’s committee reluctantly found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of then Secretary of State Clinton with regards to the Benghazi tragedy.

    With regards to FBI Agent Peter Strzok, Gowdy’s House Oversight Committee hoped to portray Strzok as a zealous ‘partisan’ who sought to ‘frame’ Donald Trump for collusion during the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Strzok, however, was scarcely alone in his view that Trump was unfit for the presidency. At least half the country considered Trump rash and immature with no relevant experience for said office.

    One should note that several well-known conservative pundits had deep reservations regarding Trump’s candidacy; Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, George Will, Jennifer Rubin and Rich Lowry among them.

    As Strzok told Gowdy’s committee, he was outraged when Trump insulted the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Afghanistan. Strzok, a former soldier himself, felt that Trump has crossed a line no reasonable candidate would breech. Trump, for the record, had dodged service in Vietnam. But that didn’t stop Trump from insulting Senator John McCain for getting captured during that war.

    Therefore any attempt to paint Strzok’s testimony before Gowdy’s committee as ‘contempt’ is nakedly partisan. To at least half the country, Strzok’s testimony was refreshingly candid. If anything, Gowdy’s hearing was more of a ‘witch hunt’ then the ‘witch hunt’ it pretended to investigate. Said hearing was clearly intended to intimidate the FBI and American intelligence agencies. For that reason Gowdy is deserving of contempt himself.

    1. ah, you’re full of it. Gowdy is very good. And nobody likes him, it seems, not you drooling Hillarites nor Trump fanatics, except for lawyers. I like to watch him work. Least boring talker in Congress in a long time.

  9. Strzok agreed to testify about these matters behind closed doors. Congress can’t charge him with contempt.

    Strzok can’t divulge evidence in the investigation because it is protected by the grand jury process.

    Grand jury rules require secrecy because they were designed to protect citizens from unjust accusations. The British recognized that the mere suspicion of criminal accusations could damage a person’s reputation. So, to protect a person from having his reputation smeared, they invented this process that would protect a person until he was actually accused. It was a “shield.”

      1. It’s entirely probable that some of the answers to some of the questions that Congress seeks from Strzok were presented as evidence to a grand jury.

      1. Mueller has had a grand jury investigating the Russian attacks and Paul Manafort’s connections to Russia for a year now.

    1. wrongo
      you guess call yourselves democrats and this flouting of the core democratic institution of the US is an egregious wrong against “democracy” and we can see none of you recognizing it

      FBI, now the Democrats’ best friend. I wonder how long that will last. As soon as Trump’s teat is out of the wringer, they will go back to painting it as a monstrosity

      It’s out of control, people of good will can see that for a long time before Trump took office.

  10. Congress needs teeth. People who are trained and authorized to enforce laws, by main force if need be. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution allows Congress:

    “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

    It’s not a terrible stretch to suggest, in wrangles with the Executive branch, that Congress look into hiring a private military contractor to do its will, if the Executive branch refuses to.

    As it is, all Congress has now is moral rightness, legal authority, and harsh language when the FBI and Department of Justice defy them. It can and should draft Letters of Marque and Reprisal to allow it to enforce its decisions independently of the Executive branch, since the Chief Executive is disinclined to order people under his authority to obey Congress.

    1. It is often posited that the three branches of American government are co-equal.

      That could not be further from the truth.

      To demonstrate its superior position of dominion as the representative of the “Sovereign,” the People, Congress should enhance and

      accelerate the “process” of impeachment and take out the entire 7th Floor before the end of August, just for openers.

      The Founders intended this prevailing authority for Congress, the “Sovereign,” the People – they may vote and they may impeach.

      Let’s get this party started.
      _____________________

      Article 2, Section 4

      “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

      1. You are correct that Congress is the fountain of sovereignty, drawn from the wellspring of the people

        in this instance, the FBI which was chartered by Congress, in the person of Sztruck and whomever his two bit lawyer is, think they are above it

      2. George, The House of Representatives and about one-third of The Senate have to run for reelection in November of 2018. If they impeach and remove from office the entire seventh floor of the Department of Justice or The Federal Bureau of Investigation [you didn’t specify which], they might not be reelected. So are you sure about this party you want to get started? Are you really sure, George?

        1. oh, a lot of people out here in flyover are ready if the blue edges of our great nation wants to “get started.” better be ready when things jump off, and dont be “late for dinner”

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_of_marque

      A letter of marque and reprisal was a government license in the Age of Sail that authorized a person, known as a privateer or corsair, to attack and capture …

      http://www.constitution.org/mil/lmr/lmr.htm

      Why is it unsurprising that someone named Jean Lafitte wants Congress to authorize “pirates” to attack and capture Robert Swan Mueller III? Or that George, who almost certainly knows what Letters of Marque and Reprisals are, chimes in with “let’s get this party started”?

      1. Excerpted from the second article linked above:

        Letters of marque and reprisal are commissions or warrants issued to someone to commit what would otherwise be acts of piracy. They will normally contain the following first three elements, unless they imply or refer to a declaration of war to define the enemies, and may optionally contain the remainder:

        1.Names person, authorizes him to pass beyond borders with forces under his command.
        2.Specifies nationality of targets for action.
        3.Authorizes seizure or destruction of assets or personnel of target nationality.
        4.Describes offense for which commission is issued as reprisal.
        5.Restriction on time, manner, place, or amount of reprisal.

      1. Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers

        Oh, the year was 1778, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        A letter of marque came from the king,
        To the scummiest vessel I’d ever seen,

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        For twenty brave men all fishermen who
        would make for him the Antelope’s crew

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        The Antelope sloop was a sickening sight,HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        She’d a list to the port and her sails in rags
        And the cook in scuppers with the staggers and the jags

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        On the King’s birthday we put to sea, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        We were 91 days to Montego Bay
        Pumping like madmen all the way

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        On the 96th day we sailed again, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
        With our cracked four pounders we made to fight

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        The Yankee lay low down with gold, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        She was broad and fat and loose in the stays
        But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        Then at length we stood two cables away, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        Our cracked four pounders made an awful din
        But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        The Antelope shook and pitched on her side, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
        And the Maintruck carried off both me legs

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

        So here I lay in my 23rd year, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
        It’s been 6 years since we sailed away
        And I just made Halifax yesterday

        God damn them all!
        I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
        We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
        Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
        The last of Barrett’s Privateers

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