Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More R-Rated Russiagate

Rand Paul and Tucker Carlson were just wondering why this crew still has top secret security clearances on Friday.
Also Ace: Quick Update: White House Press Room "Gasped" When They Heard Their Most Productive Leakers Might Lose Their Security Clearances

As a practical matter, this won't have much net effect, other than as a slap in the face. Ex bureaucrats often keep their security clearances updated so they can do high level consulting work with "beltway bandits" (government contractors. I doubt if that applies to the guys and gals on this list. The DNC crowd will hire them anyway. OTH, they may well be getting leaks from former colleagues still in the business with clearances, and this might make that illegal; not that it will stop them.

John Effin' Kerry? Kerry: ‘We Have Got to Get Away From This Constant Effort to Destroy a Presidency’
"We have got to get away from this constant effort to destroy a presidency, whoever's it is. It is tearing our country apart, and I think it is very, very dangerous for our democracy," Kerry said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Kerry was talking about the potential threat that cyber attacks pose to the country and the growing problem of politicizing these threats.

"This is an ongoing challenge to our country. It is not a Democrat or Republican problem. It has been building for a long period of time under President Bush. Prior to that, ever since we have had an internet there have been escalating series of cyber attacks against corporations and against government entities," Kerry said. "And so this is a problem for all of us as Americans and we have got to depoliticize it."
I'm pretty sure he meant Obama.

Evan Perez, Marshall Cohen and David Shortell, CNN: Judge grants immunity for five witnesses in Manafort case; trial delayed until July 31
Ellis will begin meeting jurors this week as scheduled. When jury selection begins, one question potential jurors will not be asked is how they voted in the 2016 presidential election.

"Of course people can be fair and impartial no matter who they voted for," Ellis said.

The jury will consist of 16 people, including four alternates.

The five witnesses granted immunity are: James Brennan, Donna Duggan, Conor O'Brien, Cindy Laporta and Dennis Raico. Court filings do not provide details as to what each will be testifying about.
. . .
Attorneys for Manafort said that they needed more time to review some 120,000 pages of documents, including documents and images taken from electronic devices belonging to Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates, that were "at the heart of the issue" in the case. Prosecutors pushed back and said most of the documents were actually images and notes from Gates' devices -- not emails.

Mueller's team has four "phones or iPads" and one laptop belonging to Gates, who pleaded guilty earlier this year and has been cooperating with the investigation. He is expected to be a key witness in Mueller's case.
You mean, they actually kept the phones and laptops, and didn't just make images of them, which we have been assured was sufficient in the Clinton investigation?
"I'm just not sure what looking at pictures is going to do for their case," said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working with Mueller's team.

"The fact that you're not using something does not mean it's not usable by the defense," Ellis responded.
Behind the WSJ, which you can penetrate by going through Drudge: Donald Trump’s Legal Team Submits Counteroffer for Possible Interview in Mueller Probe 
President Donald Trump’s legal team has submitted a counteroffer to special counsel Robert Mueller on a possible interview with the president that could allow for questions about collusion with Russia but curtail inquiries related to obstruction of justice.

As negotiations for such a sit-down are set to enter their eighth month, Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said Monday that an interview between the special counsel and the president is “still on the table.”

The president’s legal team is open to him answering questions about possible collusion with Moscow, Mr. Giuliani said, but is less willing to have Mr. Trump discuss questions about obstruction of justice. “We think the obstruction of it is handled by Article 2 of the Constitution,” Mr. Giuliani said, referring to the provision that gives the president executive authority to appoint and dismiss members of his administration.

Mr. Mueller is investigating whether Trump associates colluded with Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, and whether Mr. Trump sought to obstruct justice in the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May 2017, while the FBI’s Russia probe was under way. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion and obstruction, and Moscow has denied election interference.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have previously suggested they were willing to have the president answer questions about obstruction of justice—in particular, the firing of Mr. Comey and of former national security adviser Mike Flynn —but said they wouldn’t be open to Mr. Trump answering questions about his business dealings.

It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller’s team would be open to the legal team’s offer. The special counsel this year outlined for the president’s legal team more than 40 questions he planned to ask in a possible interview with Mr. Trump. The questions focused largely on the president’s decision to fire Mr. Comey, as well as what he meant when he told Russian diplomats at the White House later that month that dismissing the FBI director had taken “great pressure” off him, according to a New York Times report last year.
I've always thought the obstruction issue was total BS. Trump had the right to fire Comey for the color of his tie if he wanted to. The fact that Comey lied to him by omission (wouldn't tell him the truth about the source of the Steele Dossier) is certainly cause, and trying to hide in the curtains is proof positive he was not to be trusted.

OK, let's get down to the good stuff! Reuters: Prosecutors have at least 12 recordings by Trump lawyer Cohen
Twelve audio recordings seized from U.S. President Donald Trump’s onetime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, were turned over to federal prosecutors on Friday, according to a filing in federal court in Manhattan on Monday.

They include a recording of a conversation between Cohen and Trump two months before the November 2016 election, whose existence was made public last week, in which they discussed buying the rights to a story by a woman who said she had an affair with Trump, according to Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers. The other recordings are of conversations in which Cohen mentions the president to someone else, Giuliani said.

In the September 2016 conversation, Trump and Cohen discussed paying the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid for the rights to the story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Giuliani previously said in an interview.

Giuliani said the conversation was held at Trump’s office in Trump Tower and that Cohen used a hidden device to record the conversation. In New York state it is legal to record a conversation if one party consents.

Giuliani denied that Trump had an affair with the model, Karen McDougal. He said the tape would show that Trump made clear that if there were going to be a payment, it should be done by check, which would be easily traced. Giuliani said the payment was never made.
. . .
Giuliani confirmed on Monday that Trump’s lawyers were not asserting attorney-client privilege over the tapes.
Leading Allahpundit to speculate: Why Did Trump Waive Attorney-Client Privilege Over The Recording(S) With Michael Cohen?
Why would he do that? Even Team Cohen was confused by it, per CNN: “Team Cohen remains surprised that Trump’s lawyers removed the protective claim of privilege, given their view that the tape is harmful to the President.”

One obvious reason is that it’s good PR *if* Giuliani’s right that there’s nothing incriminating on it. (Which he may well be.) It’s embarrassing that Trump was caught talking about McDougal but in the end the question is whether any laws were broken. If he has an opportunity to show the world that he has nothing to hide on that front, why not show them by waiving the privilege?

Many a smart litigator is offering another reason for waiving it, though. . .
Sad to say, the Trump saga has led to further marital discord: Stormy Daniels Is Getting Divorced Amid Allegations Of Cheating

So, Stormy Daniels, the woman who sued President Trump in March over a nondisclosure agreement which prevented her from discussing the president cheating on his wife (with her) now wants privacy? And Avenatti, the attorney who has been on CNN as much as some of its own hosts, suddenly wants the media not to be too intrusive into private matters? Perhaps realizing that she’s in an odd position to be asking for privacy, Daniels corrected her attorney a few hours later.

As for Avenatti’s remarks about the accuracy of the divorce petition, TMZ is reporting her soon-to-ex-husband has received a restraining order against her:
We’ve learned a judge has granted Glendon Crain a restraining order which he requested with his divorce petition. The judge, among other things, agreed to prohibit Stormy from coming in contact with Crain or their 7-year-old daughter, which Crain says was necessary because Stormy wanted to bring her on tour where she would be on a bus with other adult performers and at risk for both physical and emotional harm.
Maybe it was "Take your daughter to work" month?
Crain is also accusing Daniels of cheating on him, but TMZ says there are no specific details about that claim. Privacy aside, I’m suddenly very interested in who she was (allegedly) cheating with. As Stormy says, “I want truth. And it will come out.”
Questions arose about Daniels’ marriage 10 days ago when she was arrested at an Ohio strip club. The charge against her was later dropped but TMZ got a copy of the arrest report which showed she listed herself as not married. At the time, Avenatti was asked and said his client was still married. He must have known what was coming, but wanted to keep this out of the news as long as possible.
Ace has the best headline: Woman Whose Career Has Transformed From Porn Performer to Stripper to Permanent CNN Expert On Trump's Penis Now Says She Wants Her "Privacy"
She's got her lawyer on CNN and MSNBC 24 hours a day to drop hintsthat she can either describe Trump's penis or she actually took a (surreptitious?) photo of his penis, but she says you must respect her privacy and consider her daughter's feelings.

Say, Trump has a rather young son, doesn't he?
. . .
Stormy Daniels' husband alleges that she is -- get this -- an adulteress.

Why, that doesn't sound like the Stormy Daniels 7,845 men have known!
Maria Butina
More Ace, on a different femme fatale : Super-Spy Mariia Butina Met With High-Ranking US Government Officials!!!! . . . In 2015, When Obama Was President
I don't think the #ResistanceMedia is going to give much reportage to this RUSSIAN SUPERSPY gathering KOMPROMAT on US officials, given that the officials she met with were working for a government controlled by the party that has eternally been #RussiaFirst.

Reuters reports, probably for the last time, on this SUPERSPY's contacts with her TREASONOUS AMERICAN RECRUITS. So read it while you can.

Maria Butina, accused in the United States of spying for Russia, had wider high-level contacts in Washington than previously known, taking part in 2015 meetings between a visiting Russian official and two senior U.S. officials.
The meetings, disclosed by several people familiar with the sessions and a report prepared by a Washington think tank that arranged them, involved Stanley Fischer, then Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Nathan Sheets, then Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. . . .
The #DeepState, the liberals, and the cucks are going to have to give us a consistent, principled rule for when #MeetingARussian is de facto proof of treason, and when it's not. At current moment, they are selectively applying the rule that if #TalkingWithARuskieMakesYouARuskie.
Rachel Stoltzfoos at the Federalist: Let’s Get Some Things Straight About The Impact Of Russian Meddling - Overstating the impact of Russia's influence on the 2016 election is not only dishonest, it helps Vladimir Putin achieve his meddling goals.
Spinning a predictable interference campaign that had no measurable impact on the outcome of the election into a successful attempt to plant a Russian stooge in the White House by manipulating voters is not only dishonest, it helps Putin achieve one of his primary goals of sowing division and undermining faith in our democracy.

Here are some things we need to get straight about the impact of Putin’s interference campaign.

1. Russia Did Not Compromise the Vote Count
2. There Is No Evidence Russia Persuaded Anyone to Vote Differently
3. The Email Theft Resulted in More-Informed Voters
4. The Email Theft Did Not Require Sophisticated Abilities
5. There Is Zero Evidence Trump Is a Russian Puppet, or that Russia Can Blackmail Him
6. Thousands of People Did Not Die
The Democrats don't care if they help Putin if they can use it to hurt Trump.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Tuesday Weld" ready and waiting.

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