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by Sharon Rondeau

Photo credit:  WikipediaCreative Commons

(Feb. 10, 2019) — In a preview of her upcoming “Sunday Morning Futures” show at approximately 9:23 a.m. EST, host Maria Bartiromo told the hosts of Fox & Friends that she will be interviewing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), and “The Hill” journalist John Solomon regarding new revelations he released which she said demonstrate that “collusion” occurred on “the Democrat side” rather than within the 2016 Trump campaign.

The theory of “collusion” with Russia by the campaign was first pursued by the FBI in 2016 and handed over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 after FBI Director James Comey was fired. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, responsible for hiring Mueller, had also written the letter recommending Comey’s firing upon which President Trump based his decision.

In September 2018, The New York Times reported that Rosenstein had shared with several FBI and DOJ associates that he believed Trump to be unfit for office and was considering “wearing a wire” when in conversations with him. Through a spokesman, Rosenstein has denied the accusation.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and then-Oversight & Government Reform Committee last year established two dates on which Rosenstein was to testify, the second a rescheduling of the first, but neither interview occurred. Rosenstein’s testimony was to be sworn and produced to the public through an official transcript.

As a result of the November 2018 midterm elections, Republicans lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats, now in the majority of all committees, have expressed a desire to investigate Trump’s past financial dealings as a businessman and why his administration has made certain decisions over the last two years, including the hiring of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

On Friday, Whitaker testified to the House Judiciary Committee, during which he revealed that U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz are investigating alleged abuse of the FISA process by which four surveillance warrants were obtained on Carter Page, a 2016 volunteer Trump-campaign advisor.

Rosenstein approved the fourth and final warrant.  Page has not been charged with the crime and has said in television interviews that neither the FBI nor DOJ has ever asked to interview him about his alleged suspicious communications with Russian operatives.

On Thursday, Solomon’s article about the Mueller probe reported that current House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) had a July 2018 face-to-face encounter with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson at a conference in Aspen, CO. Simpson’s 2017 testimony to the House Intel Committee has been brought into question given contradictory statements made by other witnesses, according to Sen. Charles Grassley, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Schiff reportedly never advised members of the committee that he and Simpson had met personally, even though Simpson testified to the committee which Schiff now chairs.

In 2016, Fusion GPS was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to produce opposition research on Trump associated with Russia.  Simpson is now reported as having met with DOJ official Bruce Ohr both before and after the 2016 election, although Simpson testified that he did not meet with Ohr until after the election.

In an August 2018 article, Solomon reported that “Early on, Ohr’s notes detail, the conversation focused on a theory apparently offered by Simpson that revolving Trump team members — former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, followed by informal adviser Carter Page, then Cohen — forged a secret channel with Moscow to hijack the election.”

In Thursday’s article, Solomon said he has seen a photo of Schiff and Simpson together at the conference in Aspen, CO and that spokesmen for each said the meeting was casual and “nothing substantive” was discussed.

Schiff had criticized former committee chairman Devin Nunes for having met with members of Trump’s national security team at the White House without informing committee members as well as allegedly releasing classified information, causing Nunes to recuse himself from leadership over “Russia” matters until an ethics investigation was completed.

The probe revealed no wrongdoing on Nunes’s part.

Update, 10:51 a.m.:  Solomon published a new article on Sunday morning which does not appear in a search of “The Hill” for this writer under the name “John Solomon.”  Rather, after Bartiromo announced it, we searched with key words and located it here:  https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/429292-the-case-for-russia-collusion-against-the-democrats

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