Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rehashing Russiagate

First, by way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 06.18.18" Mark Wauck at the American Thinker has A Guide to Spygate. It tries to explain some of the hoops the FBI and Peter Strzok went through to try to get the Trump campaign in compromising circumstances. It's not easily characterized by a single passage. Read the whole thing. Also, Da Tech Guy: Five Second Rule, also, The Unspoken Truth – It Was Obama Who Weaponized The Government, And The Media That Let Him Do It.  Washington Times: FBI agent pivoted quickly from Clinton email case to 'stop' Trump from being elected (Peter Strzok). At yesterday's testimony from IG Horowitz: Lindsey Graham asks an intelligent question: How Can We Trust Strzok’s Findings On Hillary’s Email Knowing That He Wanted Trump To Lose?.

The Daily Caller: IG: McCabe Used Strzok’s Mistress To Bypass Chain Of Command To Monitor Clinton Probe. Ann Altouse is amused by Peter Strzok's "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support...." Julie Kelly at Intellectual Takeout: FBI Employees' Texts Reveals an Astonishing Level of Elitism and Scorn for Everyday Americans. Yes it does. Decimate their ranks, just to make the point that they depend on us and not the other way around. Roger L. Simon worries about Strzok's offer to testify:
I'm apprehensive about Peter Strzok's sudden offer to testify and claim he will not invoke the Fifth. I think it's premature to bring this man in front of congressional committees. There's an ongoing investigation by the IG (I know, I know, but still...) into the FISA business, etc. Strzok can hide behind this and refuse to testify about something ongoing, then come out looking cleaner than he is. His desire to testify is fishy and dangerous.
Not Strzok: FBI Agent Who Questioned Hillary for Email Probe Called Her ‘the President’—4 Months Before Election. Counting chickens before they hatch.

Katie Pavlich at Town Hall has an interesting tidbit from IG Horowitz's testimony yesterday: DOJ Inspector General is Investigating James Comey For Potential Mishandling of Classified Information from his own memos. After ruining him financially (the FBI likes that), Trump ought to pardon him. He was a good soldier for Obama. David Marcus at the Federlist, Comey’s FBI Was Protecting The Legitimacy Of The Presumed Clinton Presidency.  They're starting to lawyer up. From the Washington Examiner, Comey refuses to testify to Congress; Grassley says McCabe pleads Fifth Amendment. But if you're innocent you don't have anything to hide, amirite? John Sexton at Hot Air: Sauce for the Goose, Chuck Grassley: I’d Like To Know More About James Comey’s Use Of Private Email :
1.Has the FBI requested that former Director Comey provide any official work-related material from his personal devices and email accounts or access to those accounts? If not, why not? If so, did he cooperate?

2. Has the FBI conducted or attempted to conduct searches of non-FBI-issued communications devices or non-FBI email accounts associated with former Director Comey for official work-related material? If not, why not?

3. Do you agree with former Director Comey that the question of whether he transmitted classified information on unclassified systems is “frivolous”?

4. Has the FBI taken any steps to secure, retrieve, or clean any classified information transmitted by former Director Comey off of any unclassified computer systems? If so, please explain in detail what steps were taken and when.
Byron York, the Washington Examiner: What do Republicans suspect really happened in the FBI Trump-Russia investigation? Musical interlude while you read it:

Kurt Schlichter at Town Hall: The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once
The IG report bait n’ switch was just another example of our elite shrugging in the face of indisputable evidence of its own wrongdoing. The bombshells in the IG report could justly be classified as “thermonuclear,” but remember the Comey conference back in July 2016? Its bombshells were thermonuclear too. Integrity Boy laid out an utterly devastating case against Felonia Milhous Von Pansuit, highlighting in damning detail her litany of crimes that would have consigned you, me, or anyone else not in the elite to a long tour in the stony lonesome. And then that Looming Doofus concluded his lengthy summation with, “But never mind.”

The same with the IG report. Yeah, the report demonstrated intense and pervasive political bias. Yeah, at every turn the FBI/DOJ hacks gave unprecedented deference and breaks to Hillary. Yeah, from the get-go they talked about how no one was ever going to be prosecuted. Nah, nothing to see.

It’s like a prosecutor laying out a crushing case to a jury, then saying, “And in conclusion, I’d like you to find the defendant not guilty.”
 David Catron, The Federalist: Why the OIG Report Should Scare the Hell Out of You
. . . In other words, the Democrats want to win in November to protect corrupt executive branch departments from their boss. That would be Donald Trump, who won the presidency in a free and fair election. This is what should scare you about the OIG report. The Inspector General is not merely afraid of reprisals from the most powerful government police organ on the planet, his report hedges his bets because he isn’t sure that our democratically elected representatives are going to win the war they are fighting with the deep state. He knows that if the Democrats win in November, the deep state will devolve into a police state.
Mike LaChance at Legal Insurrection: Mark Levin: There was Collusion in 2016 – Between the FBI and the Media. The Daily Signal: Sports Tickets, Other Freebies for FBI Leakers Raise ‘Bribery’ Issues, Legal Experts Say. This hasn't been getting enough attention. FBI officials take bribes for leaks to media. It's illegal on both sides. Hang 'em (figuratively, of course).

Allahpundit at Hot Air: Trey Gowdy: With All This Bias At The FBI, I Don’t Know How Mueller Successfully Prosecutes Anyone. If I were a defense attorney, I'd try to put Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and FBI agents 1 and 5 in the box and grill them. How does Mueller prevent that?
Well, I don’t know what Mueller has. I do know this: that bias is so pervasive and everyone who’s ever stood in front of a jury and had to explain it away we’ll tell you it is most miserable feeling in the world. And I have never seen this level of bias.

So, you have Peter Strzok who can’t think of a single American who can vote for Donald Trump and you got Peter Strzok who says, we’ll stop it. The campaign and the presidency, we’ll stop the campaign and if it doesn’t work, the day after the election, he’s talking about impeachment.

So, how would you like that to be your lead investigator? Two weeks after you’re assigned to look into what a foreign country did to us, the only thing he can think to talk about is an insurance policy to keep Donald Trump from winning, and then he says we’ll stop it. I assume the “we” is the FBI. So, how would you like if you’re Bob Mueller to present that case to a jury?
Joe Hoft, the Gateway Pundit: Mueller’s Bumbling and Hysterical Special Counsel Team Is Getting Pummeled in Court – Media Is Ignoring All of This
The attorneys representing Concord Management, one of the Russian Companies that the corrupt Mueller team accused of impacting the 2016 Presidential election, crushed the “Unlawfully Appointed Special Counsel” in court last week again.

They continue to make a laughing stock out of the Mueller team of misfit and conflicted attorneys.
. . .
Now this weekend the Concord Management team filed a motion against the Mueller team’s protective order request to conceal all data related to their case. The Concord team states in their motion filed June 14th (emphasis added) –
Having produced not one iota of discovery in this criminal case the unlawfully appointed Special Counsel requests a special and unprecedented blanket protective order covering tens of millions of pages of unclassified discovery. Having made this special request based on a secret submission to the Court and a hysterical dithyramb about the future of the American elections, one would think that the Special Counsel would cite to case holdings that support this remarkable request. But no, instead, the Special Counsel seeks to equate this make-believe electioneering case to others involving international terrorism and major drug trafficking, and relies only on irrelevant dicta from inappropriate, primarily out-of-circuit cases. In short, fake law, which is much more dangerous than fake news.
Ba dump! The Bayou Renaissance Man: The "Russia! Russia!" court case is getting entertaining
Ouch!  As one Reddit commenter put it, "It’s an extra special touch when your lawyer s***s on another lawyer in such a way that they’re forced to look up the manner in which they’ve been insulted."

I think the Mueller team is caught on the horns of a dilemma here. They appear to have filed a case mainly for its public relations impact; but the targets of their wrath are refusing to roll over and play dead.  Instead, they're using the US legal system to insist that Mueller prove his charges, and disclose all the evidence involved. That means he's got to put up, or shut up; prove his case, or withdraw charges - which would be a public relations disaster.
Numbers from 538: The Russia Investigation Isn’t Less Popular — It’s Just More Polarizing. The more people know him, the less they approve. More on the Russian, or was it FBI approach to Roger Stone and Michael Caputo: Stone: Hey, I Forgot About This Contact With Russian Selling Hillary Secrets
Better late than never? Months after Roger Stone and Michael Caputo now say that they recall a meeting with a Russian national that offered to sell them dirt on Hillary Clinton for $2 million, a meeting that they failed to disclose earlier. Stone told NBC News that the offer was “so ludicrous” that he didn’t give it more than a few minutes’ consideration in the meeting:
Two longtime associates of Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million.
“I flatly rejected his proposal in what was a 20-minute meeting and never mentioned it to Trump or the Trump campaign because the idea was so ludicrous,” Stone told NBC News in an email.
Fair enough, but how did that escape Stone’s notice when asked by investigators about contacts with Russians during the campaign? Stone says he submitted an addendum to his congressional testimony on Friday after Michael Caputo reminded him of the meeting, but a $2 million ask from a Russian national for explosive material on the opposing candidate seems pretty memorable. It will definitely seem that way to the congressional committees who asked Stone specific questions about meetings precisely of this type, and who are going to wonder — rightly — what else might have escaped the recollections of Stone and Caputo.

According to text messages discovered by Robert Mueller’s investigators, both Stone and Caputo knew full well of Greenberg’s Russian connections at the time. However, the contemporaneous exchange also corroborates Stone’s newfound recollection that it didn’t amount to much, and Stone recalls telling Greenberg that he was definitely trying to shake down the wrong tree:
“You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone recalled saying before rejecting the offer at a restaurant in the Russian-expat magnet of Sunny Isles, Fla. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”
Later, Stone got a text message from Michael Caputo, a Trump campaign communications official who’d arranged the meeting after Greenberg had approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner.
“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote, according to a text message reviewed by The Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied, “waste of time.”
Stone and Caputo have also alleged that this incident might have been entrapment. According to records verified by the Washington Post, “Henry Greenberg” may actually be Henry Oknyansky, who claimed in a 2015 court petition related to his immigration status that he worked as an informant for the FBI for 17 years. Greenberg/Oknyansky denied working as an informant in his contacts with Stone and Caputo when asked by the Post, saying that his cooperation with the bureau ended in 2013.
. . .
The relevant congressional committees should bring Stone and Caputo back for more explanations, but they should also ask the FBI for a more complete explanation of Greenberg/Oknyansky, too.
Mark Penn, Tom Fitton, and Gregg Jarrett react to Manafort's bail revocation with Judge Piro:

Gregg Jarrett in particular is pretty harsh, but Tom Fitton's point that without Manafort, Mueller has nothing is telling.

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