A relatively light load this morning, so let's see what we have. First, Ann Althouse reads the Nation and found this: In The Nation, critique of "The Elite Fixation With Russiagate."By Aaron Maté:
The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century’s most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein “may supply” chemical and biological material to “terrorists.” That does not mean Mueller perjured himself back then, or that he is concocting a false case now. It just means that government officials can make mistakes based on faulty information.And more Mueller from Doug Ross Journal: LIKE A SIEVE: Here is the Exhaustive List of Illegal Leaks by Robert Mueller’s "Very Special" Counsel. Some of them may not be from Mueller, (they could be from people at the Grand Juries) but a lot of them have to be; either that or there's a lot of fake news out there. Note that "both" is an acceptable answer. But from Ace: The Cucks' Favorite Bull Jake Tapper: Anyone Trying to Stop the Mueller Investigation Is "Unpatriotic".
Suppose, however, that all of the claims about Russian meddling turn out to be true. Hacking e-mails and voter databases is certainly a crime, and seeking to influence another country’s election can never be justified. But the procession of elite voices falling over themselves to declare that stealing e-mails and running juvenile social-media ads amount to an “attack,” even an “act of war,” are escalating a panic when a sober assessment is what is most needed....
With the attendant suspicion of Trump’s potential subordination to Putin, it is obscuring the reality in front of us... All seemed to overlook what Trump actually did: openly criticize Russia’s prized Nord Stream 2 gas project with Germany and badger NATO members to increase military spending....
Amid fervent speculation that Trump may be a Kremlin asset, Israel’s brazen (and actually documented) foreign meddling barely registers....
From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed....
Tom Maguire at Just One Minute: I'm Living In An Alternate Universe. Or They Are.
And under my sun (still yellow, and what I can see of the sky is blue) people are marveling that Mueller might actually base a report to Congress on Trump's Tweets. This is how we run mysterious collusion ops these days - Twitter?But just don't shine the light on the DNC or Hillary's antics. Insty cites Kimberly Strassel at the WSJ: Devin Nunes, Washington’s Public Enemy No. 1: What did the FBI do in the 2016 campaign? The head of the House inquiry on what he has found—and questions still unanswered.
I can't even decide if the source of this leak meant to make Mueller look good, or ridiculous.
Mr. Nunes has been feeling even more heat in Washington, where as chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence he has labored to unearth the truth about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s activities during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Thanks in large part to his work, we now know that the FBI used informants against Donald Trump’s campaign, that it obtained surveillance warrants based on opposition research conducted for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and that after the election Obama administration officials “unmasked” and monitored the incoming team.Inexplicably, Sessions defends Rosenstein after move to impeach him (Bob Fredericks, New York Post), but Rep. Meadows Warns He Could Go Around Speaker Ryan To Impeach Rosenstein. I think re-establishing a precedent for impeaching officials who won't answer to Congress is a good idea.
Mr. Nunes’s efforts have provoked extraordinary partisan and institutional fury in Washington—across the aisle, in the FBI and other law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, in the media. “On any given day there are dozens of attacks, each one wilder in its claims,” he says. Why does he keep at it? “First of all, because it’s my job. This is a basic congressional investigation, and we follow the facts,” he says. The “bigger picture,” he adds, is that in “a lot of the bad and problematic countries” that Intelligence Committee members investigate, “this is what they do there. There is a political party that controls the intelligence agencies, controls the media, all to ensure that party stays in power. If we get to that here, we no longer have a functioning republic. We can’t let that happen.” . . .
It got worse. This spring Mr. Nunes obtained information showing the FBI had used informants to gather intelligence on the Trump camp. The Justice Department is still playing hide-and-seek with documents. “We still don’t know how many informants were run before July 31, 2016”—the official open of the counterintelligence investigation—“and how much they were paid. That’s the big outstanding question,” he says. Mr. Nunes adds that the department and the FBI haven’t done anything about the unmaskings or taken action against the Flynn leakers—because, in his view, “they are too busy working with Democrats to cover all this up.”
He and his committee colleagues in June sent a letter asking Mr. Trump to declassify at least 20 pages of the FISA application. Mr. Nunes says they are critical: “If people think using the Clinton dirt to get a FISA is bad, what else that’s in that application is even worse.”
Mr. Nunes has harsh words for his adversaries. How, he asks, can his committee’s Democrats, who spent years “worrying about privacy and civil liberties,” be so blasé about unmaskings, surveillance of U.S. citizens, and intelligence leaks? On the FBI: “I’m not the one that used an unverified dossier to get a FISA warrant,” Mr. Nunes says. “I’m not the one who obstructed a congressional investigation. I’m not the one who lied and said Republicans paid for the dossier. I’m just one of a few people in a position to get to the bottom of it.” And on the press: “Today’s media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side. But it’s also making itself irrelevant. The sooner Republicans understand that, the better.”
His big worry is that Republicans are running out of time before the midterm elections, yet there are dozens of witnesses still to interview. “But this was always the DOJ/FBI plan,” he says. “They are slow-rolling, because they are wishing and betting the Republicans lose the House.”
Streif at Red State cites Rand Paul: John Brennan Leaked Top Secret Information That Blew A US Operation To Help Friends Make Money Some things are more important than secrecy. But it would be a violation of his constitutional rights to revoke his security clearance so he could do it again.
Ed Morrisey on perhaps the "story" of the day on cable: Cohen: Trump Knew In Advance Of Trump Tower Meeting With Russians; Trump: No I Didn’t. And sensibly, Chris Wallace ask "So What If Trump Knew About Don Jr’s Meeting With The Russian Lawyer?"
Rich Lowry at National Review reminds us Why Trump Will Survive the Cohen Tape
The tape’s political effect is muted because everyone is dug in. Trump’s foes have already concluded that he’s unfit for office and needs to be removed forthwith; Trump’s supporters (most of them) acknowledge his serious shortcomings but think it’s more important to focus on his agenda and accomplishments. It’s difficult to find a further personal peccadillo that can budge anyone from these trench lines, since there’s no real contest over his character to begin with.Allahpundit: Avenatti: I Have Three More Clients Who Were Paid Hush Money Related To Trump. Unless these actually occurred while Trump was campaigning for President, this would actually strengthen the case against calling the payoffs of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal campaign spending violations. But he's not so eager for all publicity: Michael Avenatti Bars Media from His Own Testimony in Bankruptcy Court (Breitbart).