Three Things You Need to Know – February 27, 2018

Ther Is Something Rotten in the County of Broward

There’s something rotten in Broward County.

The actions of the sheriff and his deputies that arrived at the Stoneman shooting is becoming even more convoluted.

Last night, Laura Ingraham reported that she had a source who revealed why the officers didn’t initially enter the high school.

To lose precious seconds because of a lack of body cameras is outrageous. We didn’t have body cameras five years ago. What would the officers have done then?

Scot Peterson, the deputy who stayed behind a concrete stairwell during the rampage, also defended his actions yesterday. He issued a statement through his lawyer claiming he “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus. The Sheriff’s office trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law…Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue.”

Maybe Peterson is telling the truth. It’s quite possible he complied with all his training.

But if this is the case, it seems like strict adherence to the rules and regulations cost people their lives.

When does making sure a body camera is operational more important than saving a life?

When does making sure you are in compliance with an outdoor gunfire situation more important than tracking down a mass murderer?

Look, we weren’t there that day. We don’t know what really happened. These could all be feeble attempts to cover the Broward County Sheriff Department’s actions. They could be telling the truth. We’ll never really know.

Right now, we are desperately searching for someone to blame for the Stoneman tragedy—when we already have that person in jail. Let’s remember to not be too judgmental as we continue our search for the truth of what happened that day.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear DACA Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s appeal to quickly end the DACA program.

The White House made the unusual request of the Supreme Court after two lower-court judges issued injunctions last month, blocking President Trump from ending DACA.

In case you need a quick refresher on DACA, former President Obama created the program in 2012 – outside the legislative process – through an Executive Order. It’s a program that allows illegal immigrants, who came to the U.S. before they turned sixteen, to apply for a permit that keeps them from getting deported and allows them to work. Around 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” applied for this DACA permit.

Obama claimed this program was not a path to citizenship, just a temporary measure to help out these young immigrants until Congress got its act together to pass permanent immigration legislation. He did a lot of Executive Ordering like that.

I know this is a shock, but Congress never passed anything. So, Dreamers were allowed to renew their two-year permits for an additional two years.

President Trump inherited a gigantic DACA mess from Obama. Trump is continually blamed for being anti-immigrant, but the Left forgets a key part of the narrative here, that several states were threatening to sue the government over DACA. Facing that pressure, Trump announced last September that the program would end in six months. That deadline is next week.

In the meantime, if your DACA permit was set to expire before the March 5 deadline, you were given one month to apply for renewal. Those who did so, got two more years of permit protection. But a Federal District Judge in Northern California blocked the plan to end DACA, ruling that the Trump administration must keep accepting renewal applications past March 5th.

The Trump Administration then asked the Supreme Court to step in to allow DACA to end on the original deadline. The Court did not issue any opinion on the matter, it just refused to deal with it right now. That means absolutely nothing about DACA has changed. The legal battle will roll on in the lower courts, and the DACA program will continue as it has since Obama decreed it in 2012.

Of course, Congress could step in at any time and actually pass some kind of immigration reform legislation. And hell could also freeze over.

The Dueling FISA Memos

We finally got the next piece of the FISA gate puzzle. Democrats finally released their rebuttal memo on Saturday. It turned out, pretty much, exactly as expected. It’s becoming painfully obvious why these over hyped and air quoted “bomb shells” are being released over the weekends. By and large, they’re not telling us jack squat. Pundits and analysts on both the left and right receive the reports on Friday or Saturday, each side declares it the ultimate coup de grace, and by Monday or Tuesday the general lack of anything substantial causes the story to fizzle out.

To recap, the Republican memo alleged that the FBI and DOJ abused surveillance powers by lying – by omission – to the FISA court. The memo claimed that the FISA warrant justification was based purely off of information in the infamous Steele Dossier, but the fact that the Dossier was paid for by Democrats was kept hidden.

Now, here’s the problem with the Republican memo. We know there MUST have been corroborating info, besides the Steele Dossier, that the FBI and DoJ used to justify a FISA warrant. Don’t get me wrong, using the Steele Dossier and concealing who funded it from the FISA court is bad, but there’s no way the court would grant a warrant based purely off the Dossier and a Yahoo news article. That sounds funny, but that’s actually what the Republican memo suggests.

I said immediately after reading the first memo that, in order to get the full picture, we needed to see the Democrats response. We finally got it over the weekend. The Democrat memo says, basically, exactly what we figured it would. They DID acknowledge that the Steele Dossier was used, but they downplay its importance and point to additional sources of information. If you’re curious what that additional information is, good luck trying to decipher it. It’s easy to find in the 10 page report. Just flip through the pages and look for the big black redacted bars.

So basically, the Republican memo talks up the importance of the Steele Dossier in the FISA request, but downplays additional sourcing. The Democrat memo DOWNPLAYS the importance of the Dossier, but TALKS UP the additional sourcing. And around the partisan circle we go.

So, what questions should we now be asking? After both memo’s, the only thing we know for sure was that YES, the Steele Dossier was used in SOME capacity. The question now is, what effort did the FBI make to verify Steele’s sources? That right there would tell us whether the Bureau and DoJ acted in good faith OR if they abused their power. I got a feeling it’s probably a little of both. We really won’t get the full picture until the actual FISA application is released… if it ever does.

Until then, take two aspirin. This is going to be long and painful.