Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reheated Russiagate

A little bit of warming in the old Russiagate bouillabaisse. The top news has to be that open war seems to have broken out between top House officials investigating the collusion delusion and Rod Rosenstein, or at least, we're getting a fresh glimpse at the ongoing battle, as Fox News reports Rosenstein threatened to 'subpoena' GOP-led committee in 'chilling' clash over records, emails show Really? 
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a "personal attack."

The emails memorialized a January 2018 closed-door meeting involving senior FBI and Justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened to turn the tables on the committee's inquiries regarding the Russia probe.

“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee's then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”

A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. ... Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to 'subpoena your calls and emails' was downright chilling.”
DodgyOJ officials disputed the characterization of the threats:
“The FBI disagrees with a number of characterizations of the meeting as described in the excerpts of a staffer’s emails provided to us by Fox News,” the FBI said in a statement.

A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said the department and bureau officials in the room “are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false,” adding that Rosenstein was responding to a threat of contempt.

“The Deputy Attorney General was making the point—after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)”
KYMA: Rosenstein plans to call on House to investigate its own staff After the Wolfe/Watkins debacle, that seems fair.  CNSNews: At a high school graduation, Rosenstein Pushes Back: 'Patriots Should Always Defend the Rule of Law'  But the House continues to press: Meadows, Jordan Draft Resolution Creating Red Line for Rosenstein
Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced their intention Tuesday night to submit a resolution for a House vote compelling Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to produce requested documents — ones relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian interests.
Judicial Watch: Federal Court Orders DOJ to Provide More Details on Search for Obama-Era Communications with John Podesta and Clinton Campaign. I wonder if Rod has threatened them yet?

Litigators gonna litigate: Andrew McCabe sues FBI, Justice Department and inspector general
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the FBI, the Justice Department and its inspector general, alleging the Trump administration violated procedures when it fired him in March just hours before his retirement.

In the 36-page complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, his attorneys argue that the Justice Department is refusing to hand over documents relating to the policies and procedures related to Mr. McCabe’s dismissal because it fears further litigation.
It shouldn't be too hard to find the policies and proceedures; they make books out of them. More speculation at John Sexton's Andrew McCabe’s Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against DOJ

Benjamin Baird at American Thinker: A Look at the FBI's 'We Saved Trump by Spying on Him' Excuse. It was all bullshit; they were leaking as fast as they could.

From Wombat-socho's "Late Night With In The Mailbox: 06.11.18" Shot In The Dark asks What Would be Better Than Buzzfeed’s “Journalistic Reputation” Being Hung Like A Pinata And Beaten With Rebar? "Nothing . . . Didn’t say it would be a good joke. But then, either are Buzzfeed’s “journalistic ethics”" The New York Post editors: The illegal campaign to feed ‘collusion’ hysteria
A top staffer on the “nonpartisan” Senate Intelligence Committee has apparently been selectively leaking to feed the anti-Trump “collusion” story: That’s the main takeaway in the case of James Wolfe.

Yes, you have to ignore the media-ethics sideshow about the reporter he had an affair with, and the First Amendment issues over the feds’ subpoenaing of reporters’ “metadata” — i.e., the date and time of phone calls, etc., but not their content.

All that deserves thrashing out — but not at the expense of ignoring yet another case of rabidly anti-Trump behavior by a supposedly disinterested intelligence community.
. . .
Wolfe now stands charged only with lying to investigators when he denied having contacts with three reporters and feeding info to them. Actually prosecuting him for the leaks might put other secrets at risk.
. . .
Special counsel Bob Mueller is charged with fully investigating any “collusion.” Who’s going to get to the bottom of the crimes committed to fake so much “news” about it?
And speaking of difficulties in prosecuting when secrets are at stake, Mueller is Trying to Hide Evidence from Defendants in Russian Trolls Case
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his deputy Rush Atkinson filed a 14-page motion Tuesday arguing that the government shouldn’t have to release certain evidence to indicted Russian company Concord Management and Consulting LLC due to ongoing “interference operations” against the United States.

In the motion, Mueller’s team requested a protective order to: (1) keep other co-defendants named in the February 16 indictment from accessing the government’s evidence against them; and (2) to keep additional evidence under the control of government attorneys and away from Concord Management itself.
Seems kind of un-American to try someone without showing them the evidence, but hey, they're just Russian trolls. /sarc

Trump Caught in Collusion! Da Beast: Trump’s Lawyers Plot Joint Defenses With Others Caught in Mueller Probe A well known, and very sensible defense tactic:
The arrangement is known as a joint defense agreement, and it allows the lawyers to share information—without violating attorney-client privilege. It’s a common strategy when multiple defendants are dealing with the same prosecutor on the same matter.

Joint defense agreements often annoy prosecutors since they let people being investigated share information and compare notes on what the government is doing.

“It gives the defendants an advantage,” said Sol Wisenberg, a criminal defense attorney with the firm Nelson Mullins. “It allows them to know more about what’s going on in the investigation.”

“Prosecutors don’t like it, but there’s not a damn thing they can do about it,” he added.
This is when it stops being fun: Longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen has been telling friends he expects to be arrested shortly

Via Larwyn's Linx: How does the original Guccifer fit into the #Spygate timeline?

And more on the mysterious Dr. Misfud: Maltese Professor Interacted With Institutions Known For Propaganda Peddling
In the latest revelation concerning the ‘mysterious Maltese Professor,’ Joseph Mifsud, and his involvement in the “Russiagate” saga, Disobedient Media can additionally reveal that Mifsud interacted on a number of occasions with individuals tied to think tanks known for engaging in “pay to play” behavior for the purposes of pushing specific policies on behalf of donors. The involvement of these institutes, which include the Atlantic Council, Brookings Institute and Open Society Foundation raises questions about whether or not certain private parties were involved with efforts to target Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for their own political benefit.
More reason to suspect P-dop was set up.

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