Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Russiagate on a Rainy Morning

We woke up to rain here; it's projected to rain for most of the next two days, possibly culminating in a spring snowstorm tomorrow. I want my global warming, and I want it now!

Someone at CBS thinks the unthinkable, that we all expect: What if Trump is right and there is no collusion?
For more than a year now, Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff and liberal media outlets have promised Americans proof that "Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda," as one far-Left activist put it. Back in October, Ezra Klein at Vox.com said it's "almost impossible to believe that there wasn't collusion between Trump's operation and Russia."

Even now, two out of three Democrats still believe Russia actually tampered with the polls to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

With Trump declared guilty by Democrats and all but convicted in the press, what happens if Mueller confirms the findings of the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee -- that there's plenty of Trump campaign incompetence, but no collusion?

For people who hate or love Trump, it won't matter. They've already made up their minds. But for the majority of casually-political Americans--who already think Washington politicians are worse than lawyers and used car salesmen when it comes to "very low" ethical standards--what will they conclude if they're told that the whole point of the investigation from the beginning was based on a baseless charge?

Many are likely to think that if there was no collusion, then the entire story really was the "witch hunt" President Trump keeps telling them it is. He will have turned out to be right, no matter how many other things he did wrong.
Byron York: If Mueller didn't charge Flynn and Manafort with collusion, then who was colluding?
Bbbbbut McCabe's Firing Wasn't Political. Until Trump Made It Political.  McCabe Lawyer: We Won’t Reply To Each Ugly Trump Tweet
We will not be responding to each childish, defamatory, disgusting & false tweet by the President. The whole truth will come out in due course. But the tweets confirm that he has corrupted the entire process that led to Mr. McCabe’s termination and has rendered it illegitimate.
Reliable Turncoat Lindsey Graham calls for hearing on McCabe firing

Inconvenient FACT: McCabe Firing was Recommended by FBI Ethics Office, Based on Nonpartisan IG's Findings

More Dems offer to hire McCabe Trying to subvert the law, and Conspiring to Defraud the United States.

What McCabe told Mueller
Andrew McCabe says President Trump asked him: “What was it like when your wife lost? ... So tell me, what was it like to lose?" McCabe — the former FBI deputy director who was fired Friday night, 26 hours short of being eligible for a full pension — says that in three or four interactions, President Trump was disparaging each time of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, a failed Virginia state Senate candidate in 2015. John Dowd, a Trump lawyer, told me: "I am told that the P never made that statement according to two others who were present."
It really doesn't matter what McCabe said, because we've already established that McCabe lied to the FBI.  Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus
A huge clue about Mueller's endgame
Axios has learned that special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump's lawyers. The top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far: the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why it matters: That suggests a focus on obstruction of justice while in office, rather than collusion with Russia during the campaign. But both sagas are interwoven with Russia: Trump himself has linked Comey's firing to Russia, and Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition.
If true, the Mueller investigation has gone off the rails. His mandate was to investigate the role of Russian involvement in the presidential election, not thought crimes (firing Flynn and Comey for the wrong reasons). It's no wonder that a Drudge poll shows Three-quarters say Trump should fire Mueller. Of course, internet polls are worthless, but in a Monmouth poll Majority in new poll: 'Deep state' is manipulating policy. I think it's beyond dispute.
“We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said in a statement. “But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘Deep State’ of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power.”
Definitive: Trump’s Not Going To Fire Mueller, Says Hannity On “Fox & Friends”
With Trump, his press secretary and chief of staff seem not to know what his position will be hour by hour. If you want an authoritative sense of what the president’s thinking, Sean Hannity rambling on the president’s favorite TV show is the equivalent of Moses descending Mt. Sinai with the tablets. Trump even promoted Hannity’s appearance on Twitter this morning. Put it in the books: He’s not firing Mueller. Constitutional crisis averted.
Reminder: Robert Mueller Has Been Botching Investigations Since The Anthrax Attacks and probably well before. To err is human, but you should learn some humility from it.

WaPo Fact Checks Trump’s “Comey Lied” Tweet With Curious Results

Over at the Washington Post, Avi Selk, writing for The Fix, quickly leaped into action to fact check the President’s tweet. If you read the introduction to the piece you would conclude that they’d caught Trump in a pants-on-fire falsehood so everyone should ignore it, move along and get on with their lives.

The president (not for the first time) cited “Fox & Friends” as evidence for his claim. But Trump misrepresented what was said on Sunday’s talk show — and misquoted the Senate hearing at which Comey testified.

As with many of the president’s 2,400-plus erroneous statements, it will take more words to explain what Trump got wrong and why it matters than it did for him to mangle the truth.

So according to the WaPo, Trump “misrepresented” the coverage, “misquoted” the testimony and “mangled the truth.” Clearly, his claim must be a real whopper, right? There’s only one problem with that conclusion, however. Selk goes on for more than two dozen additional paragraphs and completely fails to negate the basic substance of what the President tweeted, nor does he bail Comey out of trouble . . .
Even the WaPo is having a hard time believing the people they desperately want to believe.

A ‘Higher Loyalty’ to Their Inflated Sense of Virtue
. . . Comey’s Twitter profile informs the world that these days he is “writing and speaking about ethical leadership.” It also notes that he is “taller and funnier in person.” I hope so.

As for “ethical leadership,” we needn’t even wait for his book to understand exactly how he embodies ethical leadership. When the College of William and Mary announced last month that Comey would be coming to teach a class on the subject, the announcement was accompanied by a statement from Comey. “Ethical leaders,” he said, “lead by seeing above the short term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth.” The Wall Street Journal, digesting this declaration, published a useful classroom aid for students struggling with the question of ethical leadership.
Week One case study: The FBI is investigating a presidential candidate for mishandling classified emails as Secretary of State. The director decides on his own to violate Justice Department rules and exonerate that candidate in a public statement to the media, letting an aide replace the legally potent phrase “grossly negligent” in a draft of his statement with “extremely careless” in the final version.
Possible test question: When and under what circumstance may a federal official decide that the rules that bind others do not apply to him? . . .
With the Trump/Russian collusion story on the verge of petering out, Democrats started to shift their sights to a new target: FEC probes whether NRA got illegal Russian donations, Complaint alleges that the gun-rights group may have received contributions intended to help the 2016 Trump campaign.
The Federal Election Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into whether Russian entities gave illegal contributions to the National Rifle Association that were intended to benefit the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to people who were notified of the probe.

The inquiry stems in part from a complaint from a liberal advocacy group, the American Democracy Legal Fund, which asked the FEC to look into media reports about links between the rifle association and Russian entities, including a banker with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

No comments:

Post a Comment