Yesterday, President Trump summoned FBI director Wray, and Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein to the White House for a 3 PM meeting. Ace: Three O'Clock High: Trump Summons Wray and Rosenstein to White House; Will Discuss His Demand for Investigation Into Spying and Release of Information About Spying Efforts. Presumably, he read them the Riot Act, and dutifully they promised to do what Rosenstein had promised to do before (Rosenstein: IG To Look Into FBI “Infiltration” Allegations) : After Meeting With Trump, Rosenstein Will Ask IG To Look At “Irregularities” In DOJ/FBI Tactics Towards Campaign
One lingering question as we wait for news of the White House meeting today to leak: Did Rosenstein and/or Wray threaten to quit at any point? Sources told Axios yesterday that Trump’s threat to order the DOJ to criminally investigate itself was a perfect way to “set the predicate” for Rosenstein or other DOJ leaders to resign in protest. Except, as it turns out, Trump didn’t follow through. Rosenstein hasn’t quit and Trump evidently didn’t order an investigation, sufficing instead to let the IG probe the issue. If this was all a power play to dump Rosenstein, what happened?Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist: DOJ Frets About Source Outing While Deliberately Outing Source Hypocrisy at an ionospheric level.
Ace looks at Mark Penn's piece from yesterday: Former Clinton Pollster Mark Penn: To Save the Republic, Robert Mueller and the Deep State Must be Stopped and Defeated
Mark Penn concludes that stopping Mueller isn't about party or politics or any particular president, but necessary to preserve the normal functioning of democracy itself. Obviously, worth the read.Stacy McCain: The FBI Spy in the Trump Campaign and the Mueller Cover-Up Operation
Richard Fernandez has previously written that we are now experiencing what we had long avoided in America -- a deadly fight of a King vs. another King (the current president versus the Deep State embeds of the previous president), and that this fight may change America forever.
He now elaborates on that idea, as he watches two scorpions with a death-grip on each other trying to kill each other before the other kills first.
The Deep State understands that either they must find some claim that Trump is a criminal, or else they'll be prosecuted for their own rampant criminal acts.
Here’s the thing: FBI officials didn’t expect Hillary to lose. As we know, text messages between two high-ranking FBI officials discussed an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from becoming president. Because they expected Hillary to win, they also expected to be able to prevent this taxpayer-funded espionage from becoming public knowledge.Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey: End Robert Mueller's investigation. Mark Levin: Appointment of Mueller violates Constitution [FULL AUDIO] Ace: Sen. Grassley questions Rod Rosenstein regarding the Special Counsel's mandate.
And then Trump won.
Democrat operatives — in the Clinton campaign, in the Obama administration, in the federal bureaucracy, and in the media — panicked at the thought of what the newly-elected president might do (e.g., expose the corruption at the Justice Department) used information from the Steele dossier as a pretext for the Mueller “investigation.” Yet there was never any actual “Russian collusion” to investigate, and the purpose of appointing a special counsel was . . . what? To create a phony “scandal”? To undermine the legitimacy of the new administration? To cover up wrongdoing by the Obama administration and the FBI?
Mark Penn is right: Every American, regardless of party, ought to be angry at this taxpayer-funded political espionage scheme, and the phony Mueller “investigation” needs to be stopped, immediately.
But the Special Counsel law says that a crime must be named. You can't evade that requirement by just saying "It's a counterintelligence operation." A Special Counsel cannot be appointed to conduct such an investigation.The Dersh: It was a mistake to appoint special counsel to probe Russian meddling. He would have preferred a "non-partisan" commission.
Here's something new I didn't know, and can't quite make sense out of: Mueller team's special status could save Virginia Manafort case. Several of Mueller's prosecutors have been named "special assistant United States attorneys" (SAUSAs) attached to the United States attorney's office, and somehow that may allow them to exceed Mueller's mandate. Who made them, and why? At the Hill Morgan Chalfant wonders about a Mystery in Mueller probe: Where’s the hacking indictment? One of those things that seems to have been forgotten along the way? Trump: Why didn't DNC hand over hacked server to FBI? Because it was an inside job? Sen. Grassely harks back to another forgotten mystery Sen. Grassley Requests Documents On Bruce Ohr’s Contacts With Christopher Steele. Oh yeah, the DOJ was in bed with FusionGPS. It's hard to keep track of all the players on the board.
Byron York at the Washington Examiner asks Does the Justice Department have to tell Congress what Mueller is doing? Yes, but they don't think so, and will draw out the process as long as possible. Nunes says he won't meet with the Justice Department until he gets documents on source and Devin Nunes: If DOJ Has Nothing To Hide, ‘Show Us The Documents’ Hmm, is that about to happen? GOP lawmakers, intel officials will meet to discuss FBI source Democrats could probably come too, if they'd behave.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to convene a meeting between top law enforcement and intelligence officials and GOP congressional leaders to “review highly classified and other information” the lawmakers have requested about the FBI’s use of a confidential source to aid an investigation of the Trump campaign, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.Michael Goodwin at the New York Post: Don’t blame Trump for running out of patience with Mueller
Trump could, for instance, order the release of the documents used to obtain the surveillance warrant on Page. That would resolve the issue of the role played by the Russian dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and whether the FBI told the court that Hillary Clinton’s campaign financed Steele’s work.Byron York: When did Trump-Russia probe begin? Investigators focus on mystery months
. . .
Trump could also order the release of documents detailing whether the FBI paid Steele, and what role, if any, the supposed drunken chatter of former aide George Papadopoulos had in launching the probe in the first place.
I also believe Trump will overrule Sessions and Rosenstein on the document issues. He has publicly berated them and urged them to speed up the release, but they haven’t given much ground. Unless they act, he must so the public can learn to what extent the Obama team corrupted the government in a bid to stop Trump and hand the White House to Clinton.
. . .now comes word of the FBI informant, described in various accounts as a retired American professor living in England. The Washington Post reported that, "The professor's interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium."So they've been lying all along.
A few weeks before the opening of the investigation — those are the words that have raised eyebrows among Hill investigators. If it was before the investigation, then what was an FBI informant doing gathering undercover information when there was not yet an investigation?
The question has pointed investigators back to the issue of when the probe began — not when a piece of paper was formally signed but when the FBI, and perhaps other U.S. intelligence agencies, began investigating the Trump campaign.
3 Predictions for What Mueller Will Do Next: As a former prosecutor, here’s where I think the special counsel is headed.
"Mueller will likely wrap up his investigation this summer. . ." "Mueller will interview Trump. Unless the president takes the Fifth. . . " "Paul Manafort will plead guilty in the coming weeks . . ."William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection: Rudy’s terrible, horrible, no good idea about Trump sitting for a Mueller interview to speed things up "Just say no!" Roger Stone ‘prepared’ to be indicted in Mueller’s probe
“It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime, pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election. I would chock this up to an effort to silence me,” Stone told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “So I am prepared, should that be the case.”The Deep State Update: PANIC time? John Brennan demands GOP leadership STOP TRUMP before his admin looks into this. I'm pretty sure he's holding some dirt from his past spying on Congress. They may be beyond caring. Ace: OUT: Trump's a Liar and Lunatic For Saying Obama and Brennan Spied on Him IN: Of Course Obama and Brennan Spied on Trump; It Would Have Been Dangerous NOT To!
Yes, this is what I imagined you would say next.‘Operational mind of an earthworm’: Former CIA officer slams ‘hack’ John Brennan’s ‘high-road tweets’ Some of John's former colleagues don't think too highly of him either.
That the FBI and its allies spent weeks falsely implying that their informant was some sort of secret, covert, sensitive, undercover asset - when in fact he's a well-known CIA operative with a long, public history of dirty ops - is exactly why people shouldn't trust their claims: https://t.co/iXBGVxUQUR— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 20, 2018
Derek Hunter at Townhall is new believer: The Deep State Is Real, And Much Bigger Than You Know
I used to be a doubter who would cringe, just a little, at any mention of “the deep state.” I admit it, it all seemed a little far-fetched to me that there was this cabal of careerists conspiring from within the government to harm President Donald Trump when I first heard it. I never doubted there were individuals doing it, but a wide net of conspirators seemed like something out of a bad movie more than anything that could actually happen in the United States. I was wrong, very wrong, the deep state is real. But there is much more than just this small group of powerful people working toward a common goal, there is an entire infrastructure created by the left not only to destroy Trump, but to indoctrinate unsuspecting Americans into their agenda.Trump shares quote ripping Brennan: 'This guy is the genesis of this whole debacle'
“John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at the....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2018
Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
Avoiding a crisis depends on not crossing certain lines and concealing that fact if it has occurred. That has now gone by the board. When a system is undeniably confronted with deceitful lawlessness it is like finding the dealer was cheating at cards. Trump, by officially demanding an answer into whether the previous administration engaged in political spying, is effectively accusing them of cheating at cards. As everybody knows, once you ask this question at a table, the surface game stops and a deeper game begins. Suddenly the little cardboard rectangles don't matter anymore.Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker asks a rhetorical question: The Office of Net Assessment paid Stefan Halper...why? 40 pieces of silver with 2000 years inflation = $400 k.
Watchdog report to fault FBI for Clinton probe delay
An inspector general report examining a broad range of FBI actions during the Clinton email investigation will criticize officials, including Comey, for not moving fast enough to examine the email trove and for a weekslong delay in getting a warrant, according to people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: DoJ IG Report To Rip FBI Leadership For Heel-Dragging Hillary Probe
A lawyer for Comey and spokespeople for the inspector general and the FBI all declined to comment Monday.
That also points out how oddly weak of a leak this is ahead of the release of the IG report. Horowitz had much more meaty questions on his Hillary probe plate than just the timing of the Weiner search warrant. What was Loretta Lynch’s role in determining the scope of the investigation and potential action? Why did Comey usurp Lynch’s role in determining outcomes without a formal recusal by Lynch? Did the White House apply undue pressure on the FBI? Why did FBI investigators allow Cheryl Mills — a potential witness — represent Hillary in the interview? Why did the FBI not recommend charges when Mills and Huma Abedin misled investigators?I have become less confident that the IG will really deal with the embedded partisan corruption of the DOJ as time has gone on. I hope I'm wrong.
This leak either indicates that the IG report will take a large pass on these questions, or is intended to distract from the answers it might contain. Unless more leaks about those issues emerge, we won’t find out for another few weeks which it is.
In the Michael Cohen/Avenatti Daniels front, little progress: Michael Avenatti Says He’s Protecting The First Amendment Despite Threatening To Sue Five Different Journalists, Michael Cohen Has Become a Trumpworld Pariah: ‘Time to Keep a Distance’, "Friends won’t even call President Trump’s longtime attorney out of fear that his phones are bugged." Have we really become that nation?
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