Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Russian Collusion Fallout

One of the key links in the Blumenthal-Steele stories was former State Department employee Jonathan Winer:
Devin Nunes has a new target: Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department’s special envoy to Libya, and longtime Senate aide to John Kerry. Winer received a memorandum written by political activist Cody Shearer and passed it along to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official who had compiled his own dossier on Donald Trump.
The release of last week’s House Intelligence Committee memo accusing the FBI of surveillance abuses marked the end of the first phase of Nunes’s investigation into the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, the committee chair told Fox News on Friday, the probe is moving into “phase two,” which involves the State Department. His focus is on the dossier compiled by Shearer, and passed along by Winer, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
That Blumenthal was the source of the information passed on to Winer appeared to be confirmed by Trey Gowdy in an interview with Martha McCallum, Trey Gowdy suggests Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal fed info to Steele weeks before election:
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., strongly implied to Fox News Tuesday night that Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal was a key link in a chain of information that helped create the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.
Gowdy told Fox News’ “The Story” that “when you hear who … one of the sources of that information is, you’re going to think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve heard that name somewhere before.’”
When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, “That’d be really warm. You’re warm, yeah.”
The Clintons created a media and law enforcement echo chamber of Russia collusion.

Hillary’s campaign and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier. Other Clinton operatives, such as Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, were spreading similar accusations and sharing information with Steele. Steele was also feeding accusations to the media. Employees of the FBI and possibly other agencies who hated Trump used that information both before and after the election.
Andy McCarthy admits he underestimated how corrupt the FISA process became under Obama: Grassley-Graham Memo Affirms Nunes Memo — Media Yawns
. . . I spent many months assuring people that nothing like this could ever happen — that the FBI and Justice Department would not countenance the provision to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations of heinous misconduct. When Trump enthusiasts accused them of rigging the process, I countered that they probably had not even used the Steele dossier. If the Justice Department had used it in writing a FISA warrant application, I insisted that the FBI would independently verify any important facts presented to the court, make any disclosures that ought in fairness be made so the judge could evaluate the credibility of the sources, and compellingly demonstrate probable cause before alleging that an American was a foreign agent.

I was wrong.
Andrew McCarthy: No, Trump Cannot Be Found To Have ‘Obstructed’ The Russia Investigation
The theory behind this aspect of the special counsel’s work is that President Trump obstructed the Russia probe by, principally, (a) leaning on Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, (b) firing Comey, and (c) “threatening” to fire Mueller. Here is the problem: The Russia investigation is principally a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 investigation. The president cannot interfere in a counterintelligence investigation. Trump can no more obstruct the Russia investigation by taking actions that could conceivably affect it than Obama could obstruct the Russia investigation by being briefed on it and giving the FBI directions on it. Counterintelligence investigations are conducted for the president.

The point of the Russia investigation is to gather the information that President Trump needs to protect the country, including our electoral system. You can snicker at that all you want if you are Trump-deranged and invested in the fantasy that Trump “colluded” with Russia to undermine our electoral system. But the following happen to be constitutional facts: Trump is president and counterintelligence operations are conducted for the purpose of informing him, not for the purpose of building criminal prosecutions.

If Mueller was to be engaged in a criminal investigation of Trump, the Justice Department was supposed to make that clear in defining the scope of the special-counsel appointment. It did no such thing.
CNN Hires Comey Fanboy to "Defend" FBI
. . . Comey is also a legend in the mind of Josh Campbell, his former special assistant at the FBI. In an op-ed for USA Today, Campbell called his former boss “a giant of a man with an even bigger heart, whose focus was always on trying to understand and improve the lives of others.”

Campbell also wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he stated he was leaving the FBI because of “relentless attacks on the bureau.” Campbell claimed that these attacks “undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security.” Thus, he said, he “was reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love.” (If the ability of a GS-13 FBI employee to get an op-ed published in the New York Times strikes you as odd, you are not alone. It struck retired FBI supervisory special agent James Gagliano that way too).

CNN immediately hired Campbell as its “law enforcement analyst,” a gig he no doubt had lined up before he wrote his sanctimonious New York Times piece. Indeed, as this report shows, Campbell had been sucking up to CNN since at least the beginning of the year. He is the news network’s fanboy, as well as Comey’s.

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