When will we get answers from the FBI regarding the FISA warrants and whether or not the FBI colluded with the Clinton campaign? Is this scandal being buried by the mainstream media because it doesn’t fit their Russian collusion narrative? Are Democrats picking up momentum for a 25th Amendment action against Trump? Are they trying to win through impeachment that they lost at the ballot box? New York Post Columnist and Fox News Contributor, Michael Goodwin joins Dan and Amy to discuss.
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Proft: Dan and Amy and look...amid all the fire and fury over "Fire and Fury", there are other things going on that we want to make sure we cover. Say, for example, records that the House Intel Committee has been seeking for months and months on end...from FBI, from DoJ, from targets like Fusion GPS as we're starting to get some movement there. A bank for Fusion GPS gave the House Intelligence Committee dozens of the opposition research firm's financial records on Friday, after a Federal judge on Thursday ordered that Fusion GPS comply with the committee's subpoena for bank records. So we're gonna find out all of the details of who financed the opposition research, beyond the DNC and including the FBI. And oh by the way, connected to that is a letter that Senators Grassley and Graham sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the...and the FBI Director, Chris Wray, last week. They're looking for...I mean, what's essentially...what's being described as a "criminal referral" on Christopher Steele, the organizer of all this opposition research that went into the Trump dossier. And of course there's hysteria about this being some kind of effort to detract attention away from Trump, and Russian collusion, and his mental fitness, and all these things. But, in point of fact, Byron York sums it up nicely in the Washington Examiner...as he is wont to do. He reminds us that Christopher Steele...by the way, NOT a whistleblower, an opposition research guy who's being PAID, okay? I love the kind of sanitizing of Christopher Steele that the Democrats are trying to do. Steele talked a lot to the FBI. He hasn't talked to any of the Congressional Investigative Committees, but he's talking...he talked to the FBI. York writing, "Remember that when he began to compile the dossier in the Summer of 2016, Steele reportedly concluded that the sensational information he had picked up; allegations of election collusion and Trump's sexual escapades in Russia, was so important that he had to take it to the FBI. Steele told Mother Jones," Left magazine, "they first took the material to the FBI near the start of July of 2016, which started a series of communications between Steele and the FBI, where Steele is making certain representations to the FBI about his work, and oh by the way remember, it is a crime to make false statements to the FBI. Just ask Manafort, and Papadopoulos, and Flynn." Jacobson: And Denny Hastert...if you want to keep it local. Proft: Well, umm, right. Jacobson: Still a lot of the Feds. Proft: Many, many examples. "As a result of their talks, Steele became essentially an operative of the FBI. They reached an agreement where the FBI paid Steele to continue the anti-Trump work, all the while Steele is still working for Fusion GPS. So the questions abound including asking when Steele was discussing working for the FBI," as York asks, "Did he fully inform the FBI of what his work for the Clinton campaign involved, including his briefing the press on the findings he would be reporting to the FBI, and so forth." So there's material questions to be answered about the conduct of Fusion GPS, intertwined with the DNC and FBI. And it's certainly appropriate that Senators Grassley and Graham and others would take an interest in this, as well as the interest that the House Intel Committee has taken. And the abstinence from law enforcement as well as intelligence agencies, essentially behaving as that they are answerable to no one...including the President, including these executive agencies that are answerable to the Executive...and that the DC Press Corps believes they should be answerable to no one because they're after someone that they want to see strung up, is not a very compelling way to abide the rule of law in a representative republic, and this is a story that should hopefully get just a little bit more scrutiny once the furor over the Michael Wolff book subsides. For more on this topic we're pleased to be joined by Michael Goodwin, New York Post Columnist, Fox News contributor. His recent piece, "We're still better off with Trump than Clinton", Michael thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Goodwin: My pleasure, guys, thank you! Proft: So before we get to, you know, the reviews of Michael Wolff's salacious details in his book and then kind of his propaganda in advance of his book, that it's going to take down the Trump presidency and so forth, well what about this other matter of the actual investigative work that is going on in a lot of different directions, including the Steele Fusion GPS Dossier now, and the re-visiting of Hillary Clinton's emails? Goodwin: Oh my God, I'm glad that you are focused on that, because I don't think that it's getting enough attention. There is clearly an element here that we don't understand, I think, completely, and it is the work of the FBI with the Fusion GPS. What role did that dossier play into the role of the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign? Did it for example, and by the way Byron York has been leading this, but I think others too have shown that the FBI used the Clinton campaign's dirty trick, which is what the dossier amounts to, to start an investigation, probably to justify its surveillance and to intercept the communications of members of the Trump team, which then of course, those names were unmasked by people in the White House and intelligence communities, and leaked to the press. So all the run-up to the election of 2016 we heard all of this collusion, collusion, collusion, every day there was a breathless new excuse...exclusive...based on anonymous sources, law enforcement, intelligence...and so that was clearly an element of the FBI working with the Clinton team, the Clinton campaign, to defeat Donald Trump. And then you layer on top of that these emails and texts from Peter Strzok and McCabe's own conflicts of interest, what was Comey's role, I mean the whole clearing of Clinton and the edits that went into that, the exoneration letter was written before the investigation was halfway through. I mean, you have just a series of things that look like the FBI was meddling in the campaign, and that it was doing so in favor of one candidate, and that was the candidate whose party happened to be in the White House at that time, against the opposition candidate. So, this use of law enforcement and of surveillance and then of leaks to the anti-Trump media...all looks like the most serious kind of scandal that we could imagine. And yet, as you say, it tends to get buried because the New York Times, the Washington Post, you see, they don't want to hear about it! Because it flies in the face of their narratives, which is, you know, collusion, Donald Trump stole the election from Hillary Clinton! Well, there's been no evidence of that, but in fact there's lots of evidence that the FBI colluded with the Clinton campaign to hand the election to her! Jacobson: What do you think about the author of the dossier, Chris Steele? He should be...he should go testify before Congress? Goodwin: Look, absolutely! I think he should...nobody should be exempt, I think it's disgraceful the way the FBI has refused to answer the basic questions...did you pay Christopher Steele, did you use his work to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page or anybody else in the Trump orbit? And so I think that Congress is doing yeoman's work here and trying to get to the bottom of it, but I just think the kind of..."Deep State"...and that's NOT a phrase I would have used six months ago, but it seems clear now that there was an effort, Bruce Ohr and the FBI, that there was an effort in the top ranks of the Justice Department, maybe involving Comey himself, maybe involving others such as Sally Yates, the acting attorney general after Loretta Lynch left and before Sessions took over...if there was a direct effort to distort the presidential campaign, that has GOT to be exposed, and if that means Christopher Steele testifying...everybody! Bring them all in, let's get it all out there! Because this idea that the FBI should be above the law, that it should be independent of Congress...I'm sorry, that's not what the Constitution says! There is a system of checks and balances, and co-equal branches, and the FBI is not immune from the Constitution. Proft: What about the active effort underway by the Left, and frankly, with some support from the center-right, help from some "Never Trump"ers on the center-right...Steve Schmidt over the weekend, former McCain advisor, providing aid and comfort to Democratic Congressmen raising the specter of the 25th Amendment, both in light of the Wolff book as well as the observations from afar of Yale psychology professor...the idea that Trump should be impeached, should be removed from office, there should be an emergency evaluation of Trump, FORCIBLY, go to court to get an order to forcibly evaluate the President, as necessary, and this is sort of their impeachment removal from office play. Goodwin: Right, I think that this is one of the most dangerous things that I have seen in my lifetime of covering politics. I believe that if the Democrats go down this road, both legally and politically, and try to remove through impeachment, try to win through impeachment what they lost at the ballot box, with no evidence...I mean, if there's evidence, that's one thing, but so far there's no evidence of anything. I mean, Michael Wolff? Does anyone believe that Michael Wolff's book would stand up in any real court? I mean, where...who are the sources, right? I mean, he's not going to tell you his sources, and clearly much of the book is conjecture and his opinion. So if this is going to be the basis of removal of a duly-elected President, I believe the Gates To Hell are going to be opened. We will then move into what I think is going to be a Civil War in this country. I think we're going to see a rise in political violence, we already have seen some, I think political violence will become a common feature in America, and that to me is just...just...I've heard from both sides on this, and I've heard from people, as you say, on the Left, and this is what they're talking about. I've heard from people on the Right say "Bring it on! It's time we HAD this Civil War!" So I think this is a really dangerous moment, and this is a test. This is a test, not only of our laws and our own rules, but of our character as people. And if this is going to be what the next six months or a year is going to be about, I think we're entering a really dangerous phase in American history. Proft: He is Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist, and Fox News contributor. His most recent piece of the weekend at NewYorkPost.com, "We're Still Better Off with Trump than with Clinton". Michael, thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it. Goodwin: My pleasure, thank you both!