Monday, July 8, 2019

Russiagate: A Comey Family Business?

A rather long, detailed and provocative version of the events from Leo Goldstein at PJ Media in Here's How the 'Russia Collusion' SpyGate Deception May Have Played Out. I prefer a version in which stupidity and blind ambition play a bigger role, and actual malice  slightly less, because I tend to think that stupidity plays a larger role in human events than even the history writers admit. It's still worth the read. A taste whet your appetite:
The Initial State of Affairs (mid-April 2016)
  • Donald Trump is most likely the Republican presidential candidate.
  • Hillary Clinton is endorsed by Obama and is virtually guaranteed the Democratic presidential nomination, despite an underwhelming performance against Bernie Sanders.
  • FBI Director James Comey has promoted the pro-Hillary troika Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, as well as Bill Priestap, to the top of the FBI. The Hillary exoneration operation, called the Mid-Year Exam (“MYE”), is already at full steam. The same FBI people tasked with exonerating Hillary Clinton will investigate Trump.
  • Due to the rapid expansion of digital technology, the Obama administration had an opportunity to create new agencies, divisions, and committees devoted to cyber security and other digital technologies. But they are staffed with partisans. Examples include the head of the U.S. Digital Service Mikey Dickerson, who ran false-flag Facebook operations against the Alabama Republican Senate candidate in 2017, and fake Republican groups on Facebook, intended to discourage the Republican vote in 2018. State Department intelligence advisors Jonathon Morgan and RenΓ©e DiResta have collaborated with him and set up a company called New Knowledge, which advised Congress on the alleged Russian social media operations. Of course, they gave false advice in support of the Russian hoax.
  • The FBI Cyber Division (CyD) became dysfunctional, as acknowledged by Peter Strzok in some of his infamous texts. Because the CyD was involved in the investigation of Hillary’s server, James Comey probably did to the CyD the same thing that he did to counterintelligence: replaced competent and honest professionals with Democratic partisans.
  • The DNC has engaged with the Ukrainian government to produce dirt on Paul Manafort. He was the former adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and supported by Putin.
Streiff at Red State has more the WaPoo article on the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud in CIA Prepares The Blame The Consultant Excuse For Screwing The Pooch With The Steele Dossier. Will the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud, photographed with all sorts of western politicians and intelligence types, be the designated fall guy? Well, I guess they want foreign fingerprints on it.

Andy McCarthy at NR on Oleg Deripaska's rejection of the the FBI collusion theory with Paul Manafort, Russian Oligarch Scoffed at FBI’s Collusion Theory. Fairly conventional until:
Solomon reports that the FBI’s interview of Deripaska was not disclosed to Manafort’s defense during the proceedings at which he was convicted — federal criminal cases in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Manafort’s lawyers claim that this concealment violated Manafort’s due-process rights. One need not be a Trump-deranged collusion diehard to understand why this claim will get nowhere.

The suggestion that the nondisclosure amounts to a Brady violation (the relevant precedent is the Supreme Court’s 1963 ruling in Brady v. Maryland) misapprehends the prosecution’s obligations. Brady requires the government to surrender to the defense information uniquely in its possession that tends to exculpate the defendant. Information is not exculpatory unless it shows the defendant is not guilty of the crime charged. Manafort was never charged with any offense alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. As Solomon notes, he was charged and “convicted on tax and lobbying violations unrelated to the Russia case.” Deripaska’s reported statements to the FBI have no bearing on those offenses.

Manafort’s counsel intimates that the government’s possession of potentially exculpatory information means the investigation of Manafort was illegitimate. I am not a fan of Mueller’s probe, but there is no Brady right against being investigated. The purpose of an investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed. Usually, there is evidence on both sides of the question — that’s why you investigate rather than forging ahead with an indictment. Brady simply means that if prosecutors formally charge a person with a crime, they must disclose information in their possession that indicates the person did not commit the crime.

That information, by the way, must actually be exculpatory. Here, not only is Deripaska’s information irrelevant to the crimes that were charged against Manafort. It might not have qualified as Brady material even if “collusion with Russia” had been alleged. The statement amounts to Deripaska’s opinion. To be sure, it is not an uninformed opinion. The oligarch is close to Putin and the Russian regime. To my knowledge, however, no one has alleged that Deripaska had any knowledge or participation in Russia’s hacking of Democratic email accounts, or of the dissemination of those emails to the media via WikiLeaks and other channels. Unless he was a conspirator in the scheme, or otherwise shown to have insider knowledge about it, Deripaska’s opinion about who might or might not have participated in it would be immaterial. Brady only requires government disclosure of material information that shows innocence.
That's not what I wanted to hear, but that's why you read Andy McCarthy; he knows the laws.

And of course, a big news item, not on the surface connected to spygate, is the fact that the Southern District of New York has reopened the case of Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire mathematician/hedge funder, accused of, well, all kinds of nasty things, who pleaded guilty to almost nothing to then Federal prosecutor Acosta, now Trump's Labor Secretary, and was serving a sentence of house/work arrest. It's interesting because he flew all sorts of interesting people, including Bill Clinton and Alan Dershowitz to his private island in the company of underage women. Is this Barr digging deeper, or what. Anyway, it gets into spygate because James Comey's pussy hat wearing, women's marching daughter is on the prosecution team, Guess Whose Daughter Is Reportedly a Prosecutor in Jeffrey Epstein Case, and that a familiar dark force, Fusion GPS tried to tie Trump to Clinton's pedophile pal Epstein as part of smear campaign:
Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm whose Democrat-financed Russia dossier fueled an FBI investigation into Donald Trump, pitched other stories about the Republican presidential candidate to Washington reporters, including an attempt to tie him to a convicted pedophile who was once buddies with former President Bill Clinton.

Journalist sources told The Washington Times that Fusion founder Glenn Simpson pushed the idea of a close relationship between Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting sex from an underage girl.

The Trump-Epstein link appears purely social, far short of Mr. Clinton’s 20-plus plane rides on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” private jet around the globe in the early 2000s.
. . .
“The New York Times, I know they work with Fusion,” said Mr. Silverstein, an investigative reporter who skewers the left and right. “Fusion works with a lot of big media organizations. That would give them influence in Washington.”

“I have worked with them,” he said. “I have gotten tips from them and stories from them. And every time I do, I go out and re-report … because I assume it is for a client and it is not 100 percent accurate. And I’ve never gotten anything from them that was 100 percent accurate. Not because they were slanting or lying or twisting. Every time I’ve gotten something from them, ‘This is a report. You’ve got to check it out.’ I have a great relationship with those guys.”
Do you trust SDNY and Comey's daughter to play it straight, or will they use this as an excuse for another go at Trump? I don't trust them.

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