Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Russiagate Resistance

Ace gets wind of Comey's testimony differing with his public speaking: Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey's Congressional Testimony? and notes that in his Congressional testimony, Jim Comey sought aid from, who else, Bobby Mueller:
The Wall Street Journal writes that the Form 302 interview record forms -- the only records the FBI maintains of interviews, remember -- are probably among the documents that are being sought from Rod Rosenstein, and can help us find out whether Comey was lying then, or lying now.

And of course Rod Rosenstein is citing Important National Security Concerns as a reason to withhold such documents from Congress.

Not to protect his friend Comey or anything.

By the way -- the WSJ says that the testimony they cite occurred March 19, 2017 -- over a month before Mueller was appointed Special Counsel (on May 17, 2017).

And what happened soon after that?

The FBI advised Comey to coordinate with Mueller about his then-pending June 2017 testimony.

I wonder if this coordination with Mueller helped Comey remember -- or unremember -- important facts between March and June of 2017.
David Seide from the paywalled NYT:  Why Comey’s October Surprise Was Pointless And Wrong. It's the NYT, so you won't be surprised when it's because it might have hurt Hillary.

Daily Caller: Indicted Russian Company Asks Judge To Dismiss Mueller’s ‘Make-Believe’ Charges George Parry at the American Spectator: Robert Mueller’s Gaping Self-Inflicted Wound - It’s a doozy and very embarrassing, as he has clearly been outsmarted. It's not clear the "crime" the Russians have been accused of is really a crime, merely free speech. I mean, we still have it, right? Law and Crime: The Russians Try to Call Mueller’s Bluff, File Request to View Secret Grand Jury Info
Concord Management’s Monday motion contains at least one reference to U.S. case law where similar indictments were dismissed because they failed to adequately track statutory language. In other words, Concord Management is arguing that Mueller and his army of attorneys charged Concord Management (and other Russian entities) with a vague-sounding “crime” that isn’t actually a crime.

In fact, Concord Management’s motion explicitly says as much, claiming, “[T]he DOJ never brought any case like the instant Indictment, that is, an alleged conspiracy by a foreign corporation to ‘interfere’ in a Presidential election by allegedly funding free speech. The obvious reason for this is that no such crime exists in the federal criminal code.”
But, Russians. And speaking of Russians, Mueller has another Russian problem. Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 05.14.18" Tom Maguire says Say What?!?
Per The Hill, Mueller's Russian novel is taking yet another plot twist: Deripaska is an oligarch who hired, fired and sued Manafort and may be a witness against him.

But now we learn that in 2009 the FBI worked with Deripaska and let him finance an attempt to rescue an FBI agent from Iran. OK, I like where there head was but they liked Deripaska for this becasue he had business in Iran and (probably like a lot of his peers) had underworld connections. Those connections led to State Department travel restrictions and eventual US sanctions, but now he is on Mueller's side against Manafort? I can't tell the colluders without a scorecard.

And a Bonus Baffler - was subcontracting to Deripaska even legal?
Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department lawyer and longtime ethics watchdog, told me a “far more significant issue” is whether the earlier FBI operation was even legal: “It’s possible the bureau’s arrangement with Mr. Deripaska violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits the government from accepting voluntary services.”
George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley agreed: “If the operation with Deripaska contravened federal law, this figure could be viewed as a potential embarrassment for Mueller. The question is whether he could implicate Mueller in an impropriety.”
Now that sources have unmasked the Deripaska story, time will tell whether the courts, Justice, Congress or a defendant formally questions if Mueller is conflicted.
Mini-bafflers - was the Antideficiency Act invoked as part of the Iran-Contra debacle, with arms, hostages and cash moving off-book? [Yes, cameo appearances] And why is it always Iran? C'mon, send better baddies!
Daily Wire: BOMBSHELL: Mueller's FBI Worked Closely With Russian Oligarch, Possibly Broke Law, Report Suggests

Allahpundit at Hot Air Giuliani: I Think Mueller Has Ruled Out The Possibility Of Indicting TrumpMueller's Probe Is Even More Expansive Than It Seems and it seems pretty expansive. Mueller Refutes Manafort’s Claim of Grand Jury Leaks by Government. I think "refutes" should be fights, resists, resents or even denies. Refute assumes proof, and there ain't none. The Federalist: Why Robert Mueller Is The Clown Prince Of Federal Law Enforcement
As we enter the second year of Mueller’s sprawling investigation, with no apparent end in sight, Hanlon’s Razor teaches us to “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” What if Mueller were not some sort of avenging angel, but rather just a bumbling bureaucrat? To put it somewhat differently, why assume that the same folks who brought us Amtrak, the U.S. Post Office, and Healthcare.gov somehow knocked it out of the park with the Office of Special Counsel?
Speaking of Russians, how about that cozy relationship between them and Fusion GPS? Strange Redfellows: The Weird Collusion Between Fusion GPS and the Russian Government
It can't be the case that Veselnitskya was a Russian agent connected to the FSB when she met with Don Trump Jr. but was not a Russian agent connected to the FSB when she hired Glenn Simpson to smear Browder and the murder victim Magnitsky's memory.

The media (apart from the WSJ and Fox and a few others) never talks about this aspect of the Fusion GPS operation. It confuses the narrative too much to have the alleged anti-Russian-influence crusader Glenn Simpson simultaneously acting as a Russian agent and influencer.
Rush Limbaugh all but outs the "spy" in the Trump orbit in I Know the Name of the Spy the FBI Put in the Trump Campaign. FWIW, it's the same person fingered by the Conservative Tree House a couple of days ago.

Rowan Scarborough at the Washington Examiner: Obama allies spread Donald Trump, Russia collusion stories to undermine transition. Old news worth reexamining. Da Beast: Dems Give Up on Trying to Get Cable News to Care About Anything but Russia. Well, it would help if they had a message besides "we will raise your taxes." Mark Warner admits Trump Aides’ Contacts With Russians Could Be ‘Coincidences,’ Not Collusion. Yeah, Russians meet people. Who knew?

Trey Gowdy is good too, but I miss him: Issa Accuses Justice Dept. Officials of ‘Lying Through Their Teeth’
Department of Justice officials are “lying through their teeth” while “slow-walking” congressional document requests until after the 2018 midterm elections, “in the hopes that the Democrats will take over the House or the Senate,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) claimed on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
. . .
“The reality is [that the documents] are being slow-walked until after the election, in the hopes that the Democrats will take over the House or the Senate, and then the investigations will be covered up,” Issa warned. “No question in my mind that this would be something that would just go away if we lose the gavel.”

Out of 1.2 million documents requested, Issa said that the DOJ and FBI have turned over only 9,000 of them. Issa noted that “the best ones come last,” too.
Only 1.991 million to go.
"It is very, very, very much a tradition at Department of Justice to come in, tell Congress what they need to hear, lie to them if necessary, and then hope they don't get caught on their watch," Issa warned.
Rowan Scarborough at the Washington Examiner: Senate demands transcript of Russian wiretaps, FBI interview that nabbed Michael Flynn
President Trump’s former attorney says there are “reports” that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn referred to his own wiretap when he was interviewed by two FBI agents in January 2017.

If the information from attorney John Dowd is correct, it would add to the body of evidence that Mr. Flynn was not deceptive because he knew the FBI knew everything he had said.
The Daily Caller questions Stormy Daniel's Lawyer's history, With Avenatti In The Spotlight, His Own Questionable Past Emerges and as if that's what he was hoping for, Michael Avenatti Threatens To Sue Daily Caller News Foundation Reporters Personally. Ace: Wrestling Promoter Michael Avenatti Threatens to Sue Daily Caller Reporter Over Defamation, But Fails to Cite Any Specific Reportage He Claims Is False
Excuse the headline -- but Avenatti does not seem to me to be acting as a lawyer. He seems to be acting as a Hype Man/Gorgeous Ladies of Pornography (GLOP) manager trying to gin up interest in a match.

Avenatti didn't just threaten the DC with suit over unspecified, ambiguous "defamations;" he further claimed that his threatening email was "off the record," but that's not how it works: A subject can request that a statement be off the record, and if the reporter agrees, he can make his statement, and then the reporter is ethically (though not legally) required to keep it off the record.

But you can't just say "off the record" and treat that as biding. It's a contract that has to be agreed to. You can't just "call it" like "Shotgun!"
I guess he better get ready to sue Jeff Bezos the Washington Post too:  Michael Avenatti is using Trump tactics to battle Trump, a strategy that comes with risks
Yet Avenatti’s tactics and visibility may carry risks that could undermine his ability to represent his client, who is suing longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen and the president to be released from a non-disclosure agreement. Scrutiny of his business record and of his motives has provided grist for distracting headlines in recent days. And his publication last week of Cohen’s banking history — hard-to-get information touching on some of the most sensitive issues before the White House — could jeopardize his ability to represent Daniels in court, some experts say.

“Nothing he has been doing in the last four to six weeks with his multiple television appearances advances the interests of his client in the California action,” said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor who specializes in ethics. “He’s catapulted himself to be the story. There are dangers when a lawyer becomes so publicly vocal.”
But then it's not clear that Stormy Daniels is his real client, since she denies paying him.

White House Aide’s Plan to Stop Leaks: Spy on His Co-Workers
A former National Security Council official now slated to work for Attorney General Jeff Sessions explored ways to surreptitiously monitor the communications of White House staff for leaks or perceived political disloyalty to Donald Trump, according to three former Trump NSC officials familiar with the effort.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, whom former national security adviser Michael Flynn brought onto the NSC as senior director for intelligence, sought technical solutions in early 2017 for collecting and analyzing phone and other data on White House colleagues for interactions with reporters. He portrayed his desired leak hunt as an “insider threat” detection effort, according to the ex-officials. Those who heard of it presumed it would focus on NSC staffers held over from the Obama administration.
Yeah? So what? When I worked for the Smithsonian it was understood that my work email etc, belonged to them, and could be looked at any time.

No comments:

Post a Comment