Saturday, May 19, 2018

Russiagate: Trump, Setup Like a Bowlin' Pin

Knocked down, it gets to wearin' thin, they just won't let you be, oh no. Hot Air cites Kimberly Strassell at the WSJ  Was Trump’s Campaign “Set Up”?
Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands—one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials—all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI—and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected—and one crucial question is how early that happened.
. . .
And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections. The job of any good swamp operator is to gin up a fatal October surprise for the opposition candidate. And what could be more devastating than to paint a picture of Trump-Russia collusion that would provoke a full-fledged FBI investigation?
Ace: Was It All a Set-Up, From the Very Start? After a slog through some facts "No one knows for certain but the answer is Yes Definitely Of Course." Katie Pavlich at Town Hall: Confirmed: FBI Was Spying on the Trump Campaign Shorter New York Times, Naw, the FBI didn't spy on Trump, they investigated him: F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims. Yep, they spied.  They're out to FRAME me says Trump: President backs claims of 'at least one FBI representative' spying on him in 2016 but Giuliani admits 'we don't know' if it's true.
CNN: “US Officials” Say Trump Campaign Informant Not A Plant. They're splitting hairs here, but I can see how they can say that, given who it is (we'll get to that next). Or as the Hill spins it:  Talk of unproven FBI 'plant' in Trump campaign circulates among Republicans. WaPo does everything but out the informant by name in Secret FBI source for Russia investigation met with three Trump advisers during campaign, and the Daily Caller takes the final step in A London Meeting Before The Election Aroused George Papadopoulos’s Suspicions
Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign. The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper’s September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn’t his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned.

Papadopoulos now questions Halper’s motivation for contacting him, according to a source familiar with Papadopoulos’s thinking. That’s not just because of the randomness of the initial inquiry but because of questions Halper is said to have asked during their face-to-face meetings in London.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Halper asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?” Papadopoulos told Halper he didn’t know anything about emails or Russian hacking, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. The professor did not follow up on the line of inquiry.
So an inebriated Georgie Boy repeated this to an Australian diplomat, who told the CIA, who started the FISA process on Poppy. We've already seen that Halper was on the government payroll. So yes, as Conservative Tree House guessed days ago, the "secret" informer is Stefan Halper, a Jeb Bush adviser, and CIA and FBI consultant. He was not really a "plant" in the sense that he never worked for the Trump campaign, although he made overtures as to "help" them, while really setting them up for investigation. The only real question left is did he make the overtures first, and then go the the FBI or CIA, or did the  Feds approach him to plant the seeds?

So yes, Obama spied on Trump’s campaign. Where’s the outrage? Only on the right, apparently, since both the NYT and WaPo are doing their unlevel best to justify it. Obama's FBI Spied On The Trump Campaign, So What Did He Know And When Did He Know It? “Bigger Than Watergate”? Both Sides Say Yes, But For Different Reasons, Clapper: It’s ‘A Good Thing’ FBI Was Spying On Trump Campaign
Clapper admitted the FBI “may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign,” referring to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He explained away the possibility of an FBI informant spying on the campaign as the bureau was trying to find out “what the Russians were doing to try to substantiate themselves in the campaign or influence or leverage it.”
Is Joe DiGenova Nuts Or Does He Know Something?

Byron York: Is the Trump Tower meeting really proof of collusion? In short, no.

Giuliani: Mueller’s “Narrowing The Subjects” For Trump Interview To Two and  Giuliani: A Trump-Mueller interview ‘looks more hopeful’
Giuliani told the PBS NewsHour Thursday that Mueller’s team and the president’s lawyers have been working together to narrow the scope of questions Mr. Trump would answer if he did sit down for an interview. However, Giuliani, who said the lawyers communicated as recently as Wednesday, added that it is still unclear whether the president will answer questions related to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
He must be over the target because he is taking plenty of flack: Roll Call Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe, WaPo: Giuliani says Mueller ‘can’t indict.’ It might go better for Trump if he does. Mediaite: Cuomo Grills Giuliani on Trump’s Claims of Campaign Spy in Marathon Showdown: Giuliani Admits ‘I Don’t Know’. Notorious Never-Trumper Patterico: Uh-Oh: There’s a Rudy Loose in the China Shop and He’s Contradicting Trump Again.

Powerline: Why Trump Tweets. Reuters: Exclusive: Special Counsel subpoenas another Stone aide in Russia probe - sources

Remember from yesterday how a LEO leaked Michael Cohen's bank records to Avenatti, supposedly because some of his records had disappeared from the SARs database, and he/she suspected dirty pool? The Leaker of Cohen’s Bank Records May Have Just Been Paranoid About Trump.  Turns out, as suspected Sources Say Cohen Financial Records Are Not Missing, Just Restricted, leaving the #Resistance Operator Who Illegally Leaked Michael Cohen's Banking Records Scrambling For an Alibi
It's possible that a higher-up in the Treasury department restricted access to the records, understanding full well that bureaucrats are now in insurrection against the government that gives them a paycheck. It's also possible that Mueller restricted access, or the US Attorney investigating him, because the records are evidence they're looking into.

Either way, the "Whistleblower" defense -- which already sounded like bullshit to me, a claim made to avoid jail -- seems off the table.

The media made all these claims, right along side their "whistleblower" fellow #Resistance cell member. And they'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Shocking news, lawyers gonna hustle: Trump Lawyer Met With Qatari Government Official Days Before FBI Raid, Was Michael Cohen seeking to add foreign governments as clients of his consulting business?

And his nemesis Michael Avenatti? Gaffes, threats should mean its time to take Avenatti off air
In any sane media world, two things would happen to Avenatti:

A) He wouldn't be booked to go on the air again after being exposed for engaging in exactly what Hunt pressed him on in terms of whether he was speculating or presenting factual information. Simply put, it appears Avenatti provided the former.

B) He would be booked to go back on the air, but any interview conducted would consist solely of him being pressed to offer his own correction/retraction/apology.

Instead, Avenatti continued to be ubiquitous on cable news without being challenged on this front in almost any capacity. 
Politico: Why Trump Should Fear Michael Avenatti More Than Bob Mueller. CNN Pundits Party It Up With Michael Avenatti In Now-Deleted Photo

Looks like a good time among friends! As for his client? Sad news from Oregon: Stormy Daniels performance cut short after drunk man throws wallet in her face. Those cowboys from Bend! They wouldn't treat her that way in Eugene, Salem or Portland.

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