Thursday, June 7, 2018

More Resounding Russiagate

Another big day. First off, a leak from the IG report to ABC News: DOJ watchdog finds James Comey defied authority as FBI director, sources say I think the title covers the news, the interesting thing is that it happened. It probably wasn't from the IG office itself, but someone who is a target of the IG report and got to see it ahead of time making battle space preparations, maybe even Comey himself. Sundance at the Conservative Tree House: IG Leaks – Media Frame Clinton/Obama Defense: James Comey as “Insubordinate”…
It would appear the media, and swamp proletariat, are attempting to cut off any potential damage to the Obama administration by placing a firewall atop James Comey.

Whereas Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was a rogue element manipulating his subordinate officials entirely on his own; while FBI Director James Comey was oblivious to the corrupt conduct undertaken by the officials in/around/under his authority, and insubordinate to the customary procedures, professional responsibilities and chain-of-command.

That appears to be the current advanced narrative.  Meanwhile we await the actual substance of the IG report into how the DOJ and FBI conducted the Clinton classified email investigation. . .
John Sexton at Hot Air: Inspector General’s Report Will Be Critical Of Comey, Lynch, And McCabe
No doubt this will also add some credence to the idea promoted by Hillary and her supporters that Comey’s behavior was responsible for her loss in 2016. However, the report also seems likely to bolster President Trump’s case that Comey deserved to be fired. That could make it more difficult for Special Counsel Mueller to make an obstruction of justice case against Trump (assuming that’s something he’s looking into). So it sounds as if neither side is going to be completely happy with this report.
Althouse implies they may be acting at the impetus of Rush Limbaugh? Interesting! Suddenly, there's a leak from the inspector general the day after Rush Limbaugh ascribed importance to the lack of any leaks. Roger L. Simon at PJ Media: Stop Sanitizing the Inspector General's Report and Deliver It Now. But where's the fun in that? Drip, drip, drip. Ace: What to Expect from that IG Report, and When Do We Expect It? Let's Ask Byron York
Oh, we've got some leaks about the upcoming report. It will not surprise you to hear that it's Hillary partisans who appear to be doing the leaking, pushing out the story that if Comey erred, he erred in declaring she had acted with great carelessness in setting up her completely illegal, completely hackable secret server.
Sundance at CTH: Representative Ron DeSantis Discusses Peter Strzok and Inspector General Report…

Also Ace: Strzok-Page Text Redacted by FBI, But Not by OIG, Shows Couple Discussing Possible Overseas Spying in 2015

Again, we don't know for a fact, yet, that they were discussing "oconus lures" with respect to the Trump campaign specifically.

But were I betting man, I'd bet stacks of money that's what we find out this refers to. I'd guess it specifically refers to trying to "lure" Flynn into a compromising conversation.

And I think it's pretty obvious that Stephan Halper was one such "oconus lure," though not necessarily one of the oconus lures the kompromat couple was trying to get approved.
Sundance at CTH: #Spygate – President Trump Highlights Lou Dobbs Segment Outlining December 2015 FBI CoIntel Operation….

More on Andy McCabe requesting use immunity in exchange for his testimony: Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 06.06.18"  Don't let McCabe escape justice. Victory Girls: Why Does Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe Want Immunity?  Because he knows the possible consequences of testifying without it. He's gotten hundreds jailed that way.  Ace: Andrew McCabe, Who Has Absolutely Nothing to Hide Regarding His Actions in the Clinton Email Probe, Demands Immunity in Exchange for Testimony About His Handling of the Clinton Email Probe Sundance at CTH: Fired FBI Director Andrew McCabe Requests Criminal Immunity in exchange for Congressional Testimony… Only in exchange for Lynch, Holder or Obama.

Things that make you go hmmm. Supersecret meeting in the clubhouse: Sundance at CTH: Disappointing – Only Three Lawmakers Attended Priestap Testimony… only it turns out:
According to email from congressional staff, participation at the closed hearing was limited to only those selected by Committee Chairman (Gowdy, and Goodlatte).  The hearing was not available to all committee members.  Only Jordan, Meadows and Krishnamoorth were allowed to participate.
The rare day on which Ace agrees with Lindsey Graham: How Can Rosenstein Not Recuse Himself When It Is He Who Wrote the Memo Justifying Comey's Firing?
Remember, it is the firing of Comey which prompted the appointment of the special counsel (allegedly).

Rosenstein wrote the memo opining that Trump had full justification to fire him. This makes him not just the supervisor of the probe, but a fact-witness in the case.

Sessions recused himself for a far less direct conflict of interest.

How the fuck is Rosenstein still not recused? And why would he not recuse himself?

One gets the sense that, like Peter Strzok, he considers this too IMPORTANT to let anyone else do this important job.
Simona Mangiante
Sundance at CTH: Spy Games: George Papadopoulos, via Sketchy Simona Mangiante, Begins Media Tour…
It does not look like Papadopoulos was able to generate any valuable information while he was working as an informant for the Special Counsel. Apparently there was no forward value on using Papadopoulos any longer, and on May 23rd, 2018, Robert Mueller informed the court he was done with Papadopoulos, prepare to sentence him according to the earlier plea-deal and guidelines of his cooperation. [Read plea transcript here]

And now, about two-weeks after Mueller informed the court Papadopoulos exhausted his usefulness; and with the back-story of Papadopoulos’ activity in 2016 now gaining much more attention; the wife-not-wife/spy-not-spy of Papadopoulos, Ms. Simona Mangiante, begins a media tour to rehabilitate the image of her husband-not-husband/spy-not-spy.

I doubt anyone actually truly knows if they are married or not; or whether there’s some form of mutual benefit in the appearance therein etc. And similarly I doubt anyone can ever be sure if they are spies or not. Remember the single-most-consistent professional trait about professional liars – they lie; often, quite well.
Spy or not, she's more than Papadopoulos deserves. Taylor Millard at Hot Air: Ryan On Trump FBI Spying Claim, “Probably Not.” Depending of course, on your definition of spying, and probably not doesn't mean absolutely not.

On the Manafort front, Ian Mason at Breitbart: Paul Manafort Defense Team Shoots Back at Mueller’s Witness Tampering Accusation “Mr. Manafort is innocent and nothing about this latest allegation changes our defense,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told Brietbart News in a statement Tuesday. “We will do our talking in court.” Paul Rosenzweig at Lawfare: The Manafort Tampering Allegations
I yield to no one in my disdain for President Trump. And I certainly have no brief for Manafort, who has been accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars from sources connected with Russia and the Ukraine. Thus my overall assessment is that Manafort has some significant legal exposure and that, given his role in the Trump presidential campaign, that exposure is of concern to Trump and of interest to the special counsel.

All that said, I think that the special counsel's allegations of witness tampering are rather ... thin. The FBI agent's declaration in support of the allegations is long on detail about what Manafort and the "Hapsburg Group" did before the elections and short on information about the tampering allegation itself. Drill down into the exhibits and you will see that only one, Exhibit N, is evidence of communications between Manafort and the witnesses he is alleged to have contacted in a tampering effort.

Study that exhibit and you will see that Manafort was successful in speaking to one witness (Person D1) for exactly 1 minute and 24 seconds. He attempted three other phone calls that did not connect and he sent two WhatsApp messages—one a link to an article describing his indictment and the other saying "we should talk." When asked about the contents of the conversation with Manafort, according to paragraph 14 of the FBI declaration, Person D1 said that "Manafort stated that he wanted to give Person D1 a heads-up about Hapsburg" and "D1 immediately ended the call because he was concerned about the outreach."

And that's it. Really. . .
Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage: Why Mueller is Getting Desparate - When you’ve spent $16.7 million and the case isn’t there.
Mueller is under pressure to deliver, not from President Trump, but from Democrats and his media allies. If he brings down a president, he’s a hero. But if he doesn’t, he goes down in history as a shmuck.

If he can’t get Manafort, then he’s stuck with pressing down on his B-list, or settling for George Papadopoulos. And no one in the SCO seriously thinks Papadopoulos can bring down a president.

If Mueller can land Manafort, then he’s got a campaign manager. And though Manafort’s actual ties to Trump were glancing at best, most of the public won’t know that. Rosenstein’s order says, “campaign of President Donald Trump”. And it doesn’t get more ‘campaign’ than the campaign manager.

But if Mueller trots out Papadopoulos, a low-level unpaid intern who lied on his resume, forget about it.

While the media cheers every Mueller move, there’s an implicit admission here that he doesn’t have what he needs. Harassing Manafort with new accusations is demoralizing, but if Manafort had anything to give Mueller, why wouldn’t he have already negotiated a deal that would have made all this go away?

Mueller is a lefty fantasy of bringing down Trump. And Manafort is Mueller’s fantasy.
Wrapping It Up by J.R. Dunn at American Thinker.
What's telling, and almost difficult to credit, is how flipped the whole operation has become.  What must have appeared the slam-dunk of nailing the brash, boisterous Donald Trump has, in little over a year's time, inverted itself, as if it had slipped through some other dimension, so that every shot fired at Trump boomerangs and hits somebody in the Mueller-Comey posse.  It seems that not a week goes by without yet another clown being hoist on the "collusion" petard, to dance across the public stage with his (or her) britches on fire before being dispatched into retirement or an assignment to the FBI's Point Barrow office.  While Trump leaps from one triumph to the next, each unimaginable coming from any other president since Reagan, his pursuers' reputations have been crushed, their careers destroyed, and even the futures of the agencies sponsoring the witch hunt – Justice, the FBI, the NSA, CIA – placed in jeopardy.
CNSNews: Sen. Isakson Says Mueller Appointment is Not Unconstitutional
At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, asked the senator, “Prof. Steven Calabresi of Northwestern Law School and Mark Levin have argued that Robert Mueller’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause because he is a principal officer exercising at least the authority of a U.S. attorney but was not appointed by the president or confirmed by the Senate. Do you agree that Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional?”

“No," said Sen. Isakson.
AllahPundit at Hot Air: Giuliani: Let’s Face It, The 13 Partisan Democrats On Mueller’s Team Are Trying To “Frame” Trump. Actually, in theory, I have a plan for a permanent office of Special Counsel, always trying to get the goods on the current President. Let's start with the next Democrat.
Professor Jacobson at LI brings us this news from the Cohen follies: Special Master in Michael Cohen case finds 162 privileged docs in first batch seized by feds

The Special Master appointed by the federal court to review claims of privilege in documents seized by the feds from Michael Cohen has issued her first set of recommendations (pdf.).

The Special Master agreed with Cohen and/or intervenor Trump that 162 documents were privileged, and another 10 “Highly Personal”
. . .
162 privileged and 10 “Highly Personal” files is very substantial, particularly keeping in mind this is just the first batch of documents reviewed from a much larger group of electronic records.

That means the federal government, but for Cohen’s lawsuit, would have been able to review and potentially use a total of 172 documents that the federal government never should have seen.

If 162 privileged documents were seized from a news organization, you better believe the media would be outraged.
And now for something completely different: George Neumayr at the Spectator:  John Brennan’s Slender Reid - He turned to the dirtiest of senators to smear Trump before election day.
Contrary to the spinning in recent days by apologists for the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign, Brennan, among others, did make partisan use of this surveillance before election day. The testimony of Harry Reid, the former Nevada senator notorious for his low blows, is decisive here. Reid has bluntly told reporters that Brennan sought him out as the conduit for a crippling leak against Trump during the campaign: “Why do you think he called me?”

Brennan needed Reid to dirty up Trump, a task Reid was happy to perform, but not without first noticing Brennan’s weirdness about it. Reid was struck by Brennan’s “ulterior motive,” as he explained to David Corn and Michael Isikoff in Russian Roulette. Reid, they write, “had concluded the CIA chief believed the public needed to know about the Russian operation, including the information about the possible links to the Trump campaign.”

Brennan has, of course, denied that he used Reid to publicize his spying on the Trump campaign, but even that denial through a spokesman is revealing. Nick Shapiro, one of Brennan’s retinue of radicals at the CIA, told the Washington Times that Brennan’s call to Reid revolved primarily around what Reid knew about alleged Trump-Russia ties: “In fact, most of the conversation was spent with Senator Reid telling Brennan what he had heard about Russians and the Trump campaign.”But anything that Reid claimed to know came from the Hillary-financed Christopher Steele dossier. It appears that Shapiro didn’t even bother to coordinate his denial with Brennan’s previous testimony before Congress in which Brennan claimed ignorance of the Steele dossier. If Reid was talking Brennan’s ear off about the Steele dossier, then that is more proof of Brennan’s perjury before Congress.
Brennan needs to go away, wearing orange.

Wombat-socho has "Late Night With Rule 5 Monday: Eunice Gayson, RIP" ready.

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