Here's some of that reportage that no one on the right does.Over at the Conservative Tree House, Sundance makes an edumacted guess: The Insurance Policy, The “EC”, The 2016 FBI Counterintel Operation, and The Mysterious Informant Who Originated Brennan’s EC…
After recounting the FBI's and DOJ's bad-faith efforts to keep embarrassing information from the oversight committees, Strassel turns to the newest effort to play hide-the-ball from Congress:Strassel says she thinks she knows the name of this "source"/informant/spy but no one will confirm it.
House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's response was to double down--accusing the House of "extortion" and delivering a speech in which he claimed that "declining to open the FBI's files to review" is a constitutional "duty." Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments--that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in "loss of human lives."
This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.
The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post's unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes's request deals with a "top secret intelligence source" of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.
This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough.... Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carre style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair--the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors--have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?
And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn't being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.
Here’s what is already known about the source from leaks: •a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, •who is a U.S. citizen and who was •involved in the Russia collusion probe. Revealing the source “might damage international relationships. This suggests the “source” •may be overseas, •have ties to foreign intelligence, or both.”My guess is that if enough is known to make guesses, we'll soon find out the truth.
As Kimberly Strassel notes:
“I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it.”Consider me irresponsible.
The needle on my give-a-damn-meter broke off around the time the Page/Strzok texts were published. The intelligence apparatus is still actively trying to destroy a constitutionally elected president. The IC and their co-dependents within the FBI and DOJ are the ones hiding information to protect themselves. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
More. Rush Limbaugh: Did the FBI Plant an Informant in the Trump Campaign?, Mitch Rapp: An FBI Spy in the Trump Campaign?, Insty: About That FBI ‘Source:’ Did the Bureau engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign? Ed Morrissey at Hot Air Did The FBI Have A Spy In The Trump Campaign? urges caution in calling this person a spy:
Let’s unpack a couple of things, starting with the “spying” allegation. Does “source” exclusively mean someone planted within an organization, or can it mean a member of an organization who decides to inform on it on their own? Strassel assumes the former, but the latter also makes sense. The difference is more than just rhetorical; it’s the difference between planting a spy and reacting to a whistleblower. If the FBI or CIA sent an agent to infiltrate an American political campaign, that would be an unconscionable intrusion into domestic electoral functioning. If, on the other hand, someone who worked on the campaign went to them and passed along information because they felt that serious wrongdoing was afoot, that’s a significantly different situation — still a bit fraught, but not the same thing as spying.Ace: Surprise! Rod Rosenstein Is Also Refusing to Answer Senate Oversight Questions, Too "Question: When Rod Rosenstein is fired, which #Resistance outlet will he wind up working for? CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews, or CBSNews?"
The timing is another point. If this “whistleblower” report came to the FBI after the Papadopoulos incident, it’s not much of an issue at all. If it came before Papadopoulos shot off his mouth in a bar, and/or if the “whistleblower” turns out to be working for the FBI or CIA, then the Papadopoulos explanation has been a deliberate lie. Deliberate lies aren’t much of a problem in counter-intelligence operations, but they do matter in criminal probes, and that would put a very big cloud over Robert Mueller’s special-counsel efforts. It would also put Rosenstein’s efforts to keep that information from Congress in a particularly egregious light.
ABC: Special counsel probing donations with foreign connections to Trump inauguration Is it illegal for a foreign entity to contribute to a inauguration? Apparently so:
The Act and Commission regulations include a broad prohibition on foreign national activity in connection with elections in the United States. 52 U.S.C. § 30121 and generally, 11 CFR 110.20. In general, foreign nationals are prohibited from the following activities: . . .Now let's go back and check on Barack Obama's inaugurations. Since Mitch wouldn't go along with "Plan A" Congress Working Up “Plan B” For Mueller Defense
Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to an FEC enforcement action, criminal prosecution, or both.
- Making any donation to a presidential inaugural committee.
By Matthew Vadum calls THE MUELLER/SALEM WITCH-HUNT: “[A] limitless pit of political hatred dressed up as law enforcement"According to three people briefed on the discussions, ideas include: Requiring that Congress receive Mueller’s final report; allowing Mueller, in the event he is fired, to release his findings publicly; or allowing him to resign and release his work if he feels his investigation is being improperly stifled.Could it pass both the House and Senate? Probably, assuming McConnell and Paul Ryan allow it to come to a vote on their respective floors, but Donald Trump is still likely to veto it.
President Donald Trump was told years ago about abuse allegations against former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, according to a lawyer who has written the judge overseeing the Michael Cohen case.I wonder what other dirt he has stashed away for a rainy day?
New York lawyer Peter Gleason revealed his contacts with Trump about Schneiderman in a letter to Judge Kimba Wood seeking that files concerning him remain sealed.
FBI agents raided Cohen's home and office last month as part of a criminal investigation, swooping up boxes of the legal files of Trump's longtime personal attorney.
According to Gleason, this included contacts between him and Cohen about 'two women that were sexually victimized by Mr. Scheinderman.'
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.