Monday, May 21, 2018

The Revenge of Russiagate

It's about time: Trump: I'm Ordering the DOJ to Investigate Whether Obama Ordered Spying for Political Purposes

Paywalled WSJ: Justice Department to Review FBI Probe of Trump Campaign Washington Examiner: Rod Rosenstein asks DOJ inspector general to review possible Trump campaign infiltration
Rosenstein made the request shortly after a tweet from President Trump saying that he would "officially" ask "that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes."

In a statement, Rosenstein said: “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."
Prememptive strike? Is he more comfortable having his own shop do the dirty work? Comey friend predicts Rosenstein, Wray will resign before complying with Trump's 'infiltration' investigation Das tute mir leid. John Brennan Fires Warning Shot to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell After Trump Orders DOJ to Investigate FBI’s Campaign Infiltration I'll bet he kept some juicy stuff at home after he spied on the CongressDid the Obama Administration’s Abuse of Foreign-Intelligence Collection Start Before Trump? Yes, it looks like they were spying on pro-Israel Americans, too ahead of the Iran deal. And as if on cue: Mueller Probe Expands to Israeli Entrepreneur With U.A.E. Ties

Mark Penn, chief strategist and pollster to Hillary Clinton: Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all. Using Ann's selected quote: "In no way would a fourth-hand report from a Maltese professor justify wholesale targeting of four or five members of the Trump campaign."
"It took Christopher Steele, with his funding concealed through false campaign filings, to be incredibly successful at creating a vast echo chamber around his unverified, fanciful dossier, bouncing it back and forth between the press and the FBI so it appeared that there were multiple sources all coming to the same conclusion. Time and time again, investigators came up empty. Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a Delorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it. All they had were a few isolated contacts with Russians and absolutely nothing related to Trump himself, yet they pressed forward. Egged on by Steele, they simply believed Trump and his team must be dirty. They just needed to dig deep enough...."
Getting back to the issue of Stefan Halper, Fox News joins the gang using his name:  'FBI plant' in Trump campaign was Cambridge professor, reports say  Clarice Feldman at the American Thinker: H.A.L.P.E.R. Spells Game Up for Obama's Spies. I don't know about games up, but I think we're getting closer to the center of the onion. Derek Hunter at Townhall: The Deep State Is Real, And Much Bigger Than You Know An Email Referring To ‘Collusion’ Sheds Light On Cambridge Prof’s Interactions With Trump Aide:
Last July, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper contacted Carter Page with something resembling support for the Trump campaign aide, who has faced allegations that he is a Russian agent and a conduit for collusion between the Kremlin and the campaign.

“It seems attention has shifted a bit from the ‘collusion’ investigation to the ‘contretempts’ [sic] within the White House,” Halper wrote in a July 28, 2017 email to Page.

“I must assume this gives you some relief,” he continued, signing off with “be in touch when you have the time. Would be great to catch up.”

That email was not the only time Halper, a foreign policy expert with links to the CIA and MI6, offered apparent skepticism at the collusion allegations against Page, a Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant.

Page told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Halper rolled his eyes during an encounter in late Summer 2016 when a letter that then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent to then-FBI Director James Comey was brought up in conversation. Reid accused Page in the letter of possibly being a Russian agent.

But Halper was all but identified on Friday as an FBI informant who spied on Page and George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign adviser. Halper also made contact in August 2016 with Sam Clovis, the campaign’s national co-chairman.
He was still on the CIA payroll at the time. Note the date on this Daily Caller article: 3/25/28:  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.
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline refutes Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, who wrote in WaPo that the FBI was acting to "Protect Trump" WE’RE FROM THE FBI AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU, MR. TRUMP
Given the absence of the factual predicate upon which Rangossa bases her argument, her case crumbles.

Second, it’s implausible, in any event, to suppose that anti-Trumpers like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok were out to protect the Trump campaign. Read just a small fraction of the Strzok-Lisa Page emails and tell me you think otherwise.

We know what would have happened if the FBI’s spy had found even the slightest evidence of Russian influence in the campaign. The FBI would have leaked his findings to the New York Times and/or the Washington Post. These organs would then have magnified the extent of such influence and relentlessly peddled the notion that Trump was Putin’s man.

The FBI could not attempt this, though, without a little bit of evidence. It had none. That’s why it used an informer — to try to obtain some, not to “protect” Trump.
Ben Weingarten at the Federalist: One Year In, The Russia Investigations Keep Leading Back To The Investigators
The Russiagate investigations inevitably seem to lead back to the investigators. This is not because the president’s defenders are running interference. Rather, so many people seem to have been invested in protecting assumed presidential winner Hillary Clinton, then in destroying her opponent and victor Donald Trump, that too many loose ends were never tied up and the malefactors need to cover their tracks. The Mueller special counsel is run by their friends and colleagues.

The cover-up effort has come into focus because it is so widespread and the fact pattern has played itself out over and over too many times. Every day we see more evidence of it in stonewalling, leaking, disingenuously raising national security concerns, contradictory statements, and claims that protecting the integrity of institutions justify unethical if not illegal actions when it is these actions themselves that have destroyed the integrity of those institutions.
The Hill: Will Mueller play hardball with Trump and issue a subpoena? Ted Olson wonders: Is there a constitutional confrontation in the offing?
As things currently stand, Mueller has made no application to a court for a subpoena to the president based on showing a need for specific evidence essential to his prosecution and not available from other sources. News sources have published a long list of subjects said to be of interest to the special counsel, but these subjects, if they are, indeed, coming from Mueller’s office, are in many cases vague, open-ended and highly generalized—all the earmarks of casting a very wide net to see what might be snared. He’s going to have to do better than that—the usual open-ended general subpoenas won’t work.

One might imagine based on news reports that Mueller has made or will make a formal request for face-to-face testimony by the president. If so, the president’s lawyers might conceivably advise Trump not to agree to anything like that unless accompanied by a specific commitment from Mueller that the interview would be short, limited, intended simply to wrap up loose ends, part of the process necessary to conclude his investigation, and not intended to be used as a basis for gathering incriminating evidence. Mueller, presumably, would not be inclined to make any such commitments. He may, at that point, proceed with a grand jury subpoena.

Acting on the advice of his lawyers, the president could refuse to comply with the subpoena. Mueller could then go to the court seeking an order compelling compliance with the subpoena accompanied by a threat that the president would be held to be in contempt of court if he continued to refuse.
. . .
The importance of all this to the president is that it is unlikely that he can be forced to give grand jury testimony simply to satisfy Mueller’s curiosity and submit to a potential perjury trap. He could, in short, put Mueller to his proof—make Mueller show that the president’s testimony was necessary to prosecute someone else. And that such evidence could not be obtained elsewhere. That is a high bar, indeed, and one that at this point Mueller has not shown he would be able to surmount.
Not exactly a Trump fan, Jonathon Turley at Teh Hill: After year of investigation, Trump can rightly claim some vindication
We now know there was, indeed, surveillance ordered repeatedly on Trump campaign figures before and after the election. Rather than acknowledge the troubling implications of an administration investigating the opposing party’s leading candidate for president, the media shifted to saying that there was ample reason to order the surveillance.

That remains to be seen but much of the coverage brushes over the fact that no charges were brought against the principal target, Carter Page, or that the secret warrants for surveillance were based in part on a dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a fact known but not fully disclosed by the FBI to the secret FISA court. The documented Russian interference, thus far, has been largely a Russian operation out of St. Petersburg that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has said was carried out without the knowledge of Trump campaign officials.

Now the plot has thickened even further with the added disclosure of not just national security letters to gather documents related to Trump figures but also at least one confidential informant who met with campaign figures like Page and George Papadopoulos to gather information. In response to the New York Times report, Trump declared that the FBI planted “at least one” spy in his campaign to frame him. Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani ratcheted up the rhetoric and said, if the story is true, that former FBI Director James Comey should be prosecuted.
 Giuliani: Mueller to finish Trump obstruction probe by Sept. 1. John Fund at National Review: The Media See Only One Collusion Story
Wish casting or insider information?
I was recently in the “green room” of a television network where a distinguished Washington journalist was also waiting to go on air. I mentioned the suspicious revelations about Justice Department actions during the 2016 campaign, and innocently asked why they couldn’t be investigated along with the Russian-collusion story. “There’s only room for one narrative on all this,” the reporter bluntly told me. “And it’s all about Trump.”
And Smitty at The Other McCain: Internal Civil War Raging (Not Raging)?
The visible kulturkampf is undeniable. The Left seeks to continue to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” into a single “managed liberty” State, with Lefty pencil-necks guiding us. I get that.

As Mueller’s Folly winds down, we’re learning that the shenanigans may not have started with the Trump campaign:
The Obama Administration was afraid ex-Defense Intelligence Agency head Gen Flynn would be called to testify before Congress about how CIA Chief Brennen and DNI Clapper were cooking the intelligence books on Iran and ISIS.
It turned out the illegal FISA surveillance by the Obama Administration got enough dirt on Congressional leaders to prevent that from happening.
The Deep State’s Iran Deal factional plans might have worked if Trump had lost…but he didn’t.
Everything regards the spying on the Trump campaign and attempted coup d’etat by special council/lawfare/impeachment against President Trump is about hiding the facts of that Iran Nuclear Deal from the American people and law enforcement.
It is National Conversation time, followed by a huge review of how the cloak-and-dagger wing of our government–always at odds with our notion of a free and open society–operates. After that review, a big fat piece of legislation to cut down on the abuses THAT WE KNOW OF.

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