Tuesday, May 1, 2018

More Random Russiagate

From non-partisan CNN, non-partisan James Comey calls House GOP's Russia probe 'a wreck'
Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the committee served "a good investigative purpose," Comey responded: "Not that I can see," adding that the probe became politicized "and it wrecked the committee, and it damaged relationships with the FISA Court, the intelligence communities. It's just a wreck."
From the man who wrecked the FBI. Indictments Are Comey...er, Coming
In going after Trump, the left ensnared itself.

Should be indicted, but probably won't be:
  • Barack Obama – Mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798) and obstruction of a criminal investigation (18 USC §1510) with respect to emails sent to and received from Hillary personal server. Obstruction of a criminal investigation (18 USC §1510). (When I heard that Obama had made a deal with Netflix, all I could think of was, "Great: Now, in ten years, Netflix will have a nuclear weapon!" But I digress.)
  • Hillary Clinton – Mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798), conspiracy (18 USC §371) (the Uranium One deal), violations of campaign finance laws (the funneling of funds through a law firm to pay Glenn Simpson to pay Christopher Steele for the Steele dossier).
  • Bill Clinton – Conspiracy (18 USC §371) and obstruction of a criminal investigation (18 USC §1510) (with Lynch) in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
  • Robert Mueller – Obstruction of a criminal investigation (18 USC §1510) and conspiracy (18 USC §371) in the Clinton Foundation (Uranium One) investigation.
Probably will be indicted, but maybe not:
  • James Comey – Making false statements under oath (18 USC §1001) and mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798) (memos shared with Daniel Richman and Patrick Fitzgerald). Unauthorized disclosure (leaking) of sensitive FBI information (26 USC §7213).
  • Daniel Richman – Mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798).
  • Patrick Fitzgerald – Mishandling of classified information (18 USC §798). . .
Probably wishful thinking. They all still have enough powerful friends to skate.  Sara A. Carter: Did CNN's Hiring Of It's Illegal-Leak Source Violate Journalistic Ethics? They have ethics? Who knew? Mollie Hemingway: The New York Times’ Hatchet Job On Devin Nunes Is Riddled With Errors Who is surprised. Speaking of journalists and ethics, Ace takes Billy Kristol to school over his support for the bill to "protect Mueller" Ahoy, Matey: Life Comes At Bill Kristol Fast.

Daniel John Sobieski at the American Thinker reminds us that Comey, Fitzgerald, Mueller are Partners in Crime long before Russiagate. Trump slams former intel chief Clapper: ‘Lying machine’ He does have a way with words.  Sebastian Gorka at The Hill: There was no Trump-Russia collusion, but Putin achieved his goal
As succinctly as possible, these are the facts:

The Trump campaign never colluded with Moscow. However, Moscow inserted its lies into documents paid for by the other campaign during a presidential election. That propaganda was used to justify spying on Americans. Illegally. And a serving director of U.S. intelligence helped to make Russian propaganda look real as he leaked the fact that it had been briefed to the newly elected president to the media company that would later hire him.

To that end, Vladimir Putin, the former KGB colonel, with the help of James Clapper, Jim Comey, members of the media and other Americans, achieved his goal: to "sow discord in American society and undermine our faith in the democratic process."
Stormy Daniels
Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation over 'con job' tweet - She says she was harmed by a Trump tweet that accused her of 'a con job'. Stormy is making money hand over fist from guys who want to see an aging pornstar who had sex with a president before he was in office strip. She should be giving him a cut instead. Why Is The National Enquirer Running Hit Pieces On Michael Cohen?
Trump is buddy-buddy with David Pecker, the head of the Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, as you probably know after two years of reports about it. Their relationship’s under the microscope lately because of the “catch and kill” suspicions surrounding the Karen McDougal and Dino Sajudin stories. In both cases, AMI cut big checks to people who said they had dirt on candidate Trump and in both cases the stories never made it to print. In Sajudin’s case, the Enquirer claimed that his story simply didn’t check out — although that raises the question of why they paid top dollar for it and why, if Ronan Farrow’s sources are to be believed, they seemed highly unmotivated to investigate his claim. McDougal’s account of an affair with Trump seems much more credible but the paper never went to press with that either. Only this month, under intense media scrutiny, did AMI finally cut her loose from their “catch and kill” arrangement.
Karen McDougal

Burying stories that Trump might want buried is only one apparent service AMI performs for him. They run relentlessly flattering stories about him (which puts them squarely in the mainstream of conservative media, admittedly) and have also dropped well-timed hit pieces on his enemies. It was the Enquirer that ran the half-assed “expose” on Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries accusing him of serial adultery and then followed up with the infamous story, later cited by Trump himself, that tried to link Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald. Last year Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski claimed that “top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked.”

That’s what makes the new attack on Cohen interesting. If it’s the case that POTUS is laundering smears of his political enemies through the Enquirer, the fact that Cohen is a target this week would seem to suggest that he’s now in the “enemy” category.
Not really Russiagate, but interesting: CIA emails to journalists don't have to be released to public, judge rules.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Adam Johnson, a freelance reporter, who was represented by a first amendment lawyer in New York City, Daniel Novack.

“The Director of Central Intelligence is free to disclose classified information about CIA sources and methods selectively, if he concludes that it is necessary to do so in order to protect those intelligence sources and methods, and no court can second guess his decision,” McMahon ruled.

McMahon ruled that such communication is not part of the public domain, and that the CIA was within its rights to discuss protected information in emails to reporters of certain media outlets, just as the media outlets are protected by law when sued to divulge anonymous sources.

The ruling may lend itself to concern in some heated corners of the national debate about possible complicity between a select group of reporters and the national security establishment. But one expert said such an interpretation would be wrong.

“It might make people wonder whether the agency is planting stories or manipulating reporters in a self-serving way. I don’t think that’s what’s going on here,” said Steven Aftergood, head of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy.
Weird; so the CIA can leak to the press, but not have those leaks subject to FOIA? I wanna recount.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Crash Test Girl" and "FMJRA 2.0: Mexican Radio" up and running at The Other McCain.

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