Friday, July 13, 2018

Russiagate Strzoks Out

Yeah, it's an obvious pun and it's been used before. Sue me. Yesterday was former Deputy Director of FBI's counterintelligence unit, and now Human Resources specialist while waiting to retire Peter Strzok's open testimony to the House Committee on whatever that House Committee is investigating. Jazz Shaw at Hot Air predicted: Why The Strzok Testimony Isn’t Going Anywhere.  CNSNews: Grassley, Meadows Find More Evidence of Political Bias at FBI As Strzok, Page Summoned to Testify

One can see why he has risen so far in the bureaucracy. He is a smug, cocksure, arrogant bastard who wrapped himself and his bias in the flag. Peter Strzok Gives Congress Arrogant Lecture About Bias.  One could go for hours on his testimony. Over and over he insisted the while he obviously hated Trump, he did nothing to act on that in an official capacity, like dropping the Clinton computer investigation to out all his effort into Trump. More from the theater of the Strzok hearing:

Ace has some contemporaneous lowlights: Democrats Turn Strzok Hearing Into a Monkey Poo Fight

Cutting to chase of having to explain his text to his paramour Lisa Page to the effect of "We will stop Trump", he explained he didn't remember making the text, it was late at night, and  anyway, he meant "We, the people of the United States". Louie Gohmert offended liberals in the crowd by asking Strzok: Did You Look As Innocently At Your Wife While Lying About Lisa Page As You Look At Us? Oh, here, Ace provides a nice summary: Round Up of Strzok's Testimony, and Reactions
Louie Gohmert's questioning, accusing Strzok of lying, and wondering if Strzok also gave the same smirk to his wife as he lied to her.

Trey Gowdy keeps asking Strzok how many subject he had interviewed before he swore to his luvvah that he would get Trump impeached, and Strzok keeps refusing to answer, claiming the FBI has forbidden the answer.

In the second panel I think the FBI gave him the go-ahead to answer, and I think the answer was, as you would guess, "Zero witnesses." Zero witnesses interviewed before deciding impeachment was the end-game.

Strzok refused to answer who he was referring to when he wrote an email about "the dossier" he had received from "Corn and Simpson." He also wouldn't say whether he had spoken to Nellie Ohr-- who worked for Fusion GPS.

Strzok declared that even asking him about his bias "is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear American apart."

I wonder if he used that line when his wife asked him where he was last night. "Your questioning my whereabouts last night," I imagine him thundering, "is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants, Traitor."

Here's a half-hour of Democrats attempting to shut the hearings down with one objection and point of order and parliamentary inquiry and motion to after another, if you can bear it.

"What does Trump support SMELL like?" Here's a tart exchange in which the arrogant, smirking Peter Strzok, who does not like you questioning his authority, fedsplains that he was not fired from the Mueller probe for bias, but just the appearance of bias.

A Democrat wanted to award Peter Strzok a Purple Heart for braving a barrage of... questions.

Even Wolf Blitzer, who is stupid, and his stupid CNN mouth-breathers pronounced Strzok's texts "so damning" and did not seem reassured by Strzok's preposterous denials of bias.
Grabien: Strzok: FBI Counsel Has Instructed Me Not to Answer Questions About Mueller Probe. Hot Air: Gowdy To Strzok: Please Explain Why You Texted “F Trump” Before Interviewing A Single Witness. Katie Pavlich at Town Hall: Trey Gowdy Destroys FBI's Peter Strzok: Why Did You Talk About Impeaching Trump a Day After the Special Counsel Launched? Twitchy: HOLY SH*T! Trey Gowdy took Peter Strzok to the SHED in a HUGE way over his texts and DAAAMN. Allahpundit at Hot Air: More Strzok: Let’s Face It, This Hearing Is Another Victory Notch On Putin’s BeltTo the maxim “that which can’t continue, won’t,” it’s time add the Peter Strzok Principle: Denying the Obvious Doesn’t Make It Go Away.   A small collection via  Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 07.12.18", Don Surber: Strzok Out, JustOneMinute: The Strzok Show, Power Line: The Democrats Disgrace Themselves, and Victory Girls: Strzok Gives Congress Arrogant Lecture About Bias.

In conclusion (on Strzok): BREAKING: Goodlatte Says FBI's Peter Strzok Will Be Recalled For Contempt or not. The FBI relented, and allowed him to testify.

Sundance at CTH  Chairman Bob Goodlatte Discusses 7 Months of Refusals by Lisa Page To Comply With Congressional Subpoena(s)…  Goodlatte and Gowdy Give Lisa Page Attorney Three Options to Avoid Contempt Charges Scheduled for Friday 13th…
Three Options:  #1) Lisa Page can appear tomorrow with Peter Strzok (already scheduled). #2) Present herself for deposition Friday 13th.  #3) Do both 1 and 2.
She didn't do #1 (and by extension #2), so we'll see if she testifies on Friday. Debra Heine, PJ Media: Playing hard to get, Republicans Forced to Call U.S. Marshals to Serve Subpoena on Lisa Page. CNN: Lisa Page to meet with Congress behind closed doors on Friday and Monday

Stacy McCain: New MuellerGate Developments Prove ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Against Trump
For months, I’ve been saying the Mueller “investigation” is not an investigation, it’s a cover-up, the objective of which is to conceal the Obama administration’s illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign, while also manufacturing an appearance of wrongdoing by Trump.

Muller has not yet produced any evidence of the “collusion” that he was expected to find, and why? Because this was a phony conspiracy theory created by Clinton operatives, using Fusion GPS in an attempt to fabricate an illusion of “collusion” that did not actually exist.

Case in point is the Russian lawyer at the center of the Trump Tower meeting story. Natalia Veselnitskaya was thick as thieves with Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, and it seems safe to conclude she was an agent-provocateur, hired to lure Trump campaign officials into a meeting which could then be used as “proof” that Trump was a Putin stooge.
. . .
There are new developments in this story. First, there were multiplecopies of the Steele dossier sent to the FBI, including one copy sent by left-wing journalist David Corn, and another sent by Sen. John McCain (or his staff). Ace of Spades examines this in detail, and the takeaway is that this Clinton-funded operation was very eager to manufacture a semblance of legitimacy for the Steele dossier as “intelligence.”

Second, and also via Ace of Spades, we learn from Byron York that Mueller has admitted that his indictment of Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort has (a) no connection to “Russian collusion,” and (b) no connection to Trump or to Trump’s 2016 campaign. In other words, the biggest fish caught in Mueller’s net isn’t being charged for anything related to Trump or Russia; he was just a target of opportunity and, we may suppose, the charges against Manafort were all about getting him to become a witness making accusations against Trump.
. . .
You do not have to agree with Trump’s policy ideas to say that the 65 million voters who elected Trump deserve to have their votes reflected in empowering the new president to make changes in Washington. For the bureaucracy (i.e., hired hands like Page and Strzok) to interfere in the political process so as to prevent such changes is to reverse the proper relationship between “We the People” and our so-called public servants.

Finally, Christine Laila reports at Gateway Pundit, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin lied to the FBI during the investigation of Hillary’s illegal private email server, but was not charged for this federal crime, unlike former Trump aide Gen. Michael Flynn. Here we see how the “Deep State” is enforcing a partisan double-standard: What is illegal for Republicans to do — a career-ending federal felony — is entirely permissible when Democrats do it. This isn’t justice as the blindfolded lady holding a scale of impartial judgment. This is systematic political corruption.

Gosh, somebody should write a book about this . . .
 George F. Will: Is Trump correct that Mueller’s appointment was unconstitutional?
The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president’s opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, however, not sufficient evidence. Consider the debate between two serious people who have immersed themselves in the history of the Appointments Clause, which says:
. . .
Long arguments ensue on both sides, which we've seen before:
Two intelligent lawyers disagree about this momentous matter, concerning which the Supreme Court’s nine justices might eventually be dispositive. If Mueller’s appointment is challenged, and the case gets to the court, and five justices reason as Calabresi does, Mueller’s subpoenas, indictments and other acts will be null and void.
Ian Schwartz at Real Clear Politics: Chait: Unlikely But Possible That Obama Trump Has Been Russian Intel Asset Since birth 1987.

More on the Jim Jordan story. Chris Pandolfo at Conservative Review:  CNN is contacting Jim Jordan’s former staff and interns for dirt on him while 14 Wrestlers Break Silence About Accusations Against Jim Jordan, Attack MSM & Accusers. Ima gonna guess they won't be interviewed on TV by CNN. Jordan accuser emailed a widow a picture of her husband’s killer over a business disagreement. This might not make the national news either, for some reason.

Instapundit catches up to the Stormy Daniels arrest: PROMINENT DEMOCRAT STORMY DANIELS ARRESTED FOR LEWD CONTACT. Well, she does have prominent features, and she is a Democrat. . .

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asks Today’s Most Important Political Debate: Was Stormy Set Up?
Here’s CBS anchor John Dickerson with as sober a report about the incident as we’re likely to see:

Prosecutors might want to indict for the full boat or skip it altogether, though. Avenatti will no doubt fight this tooth and nail just for the publicity value of the trial, as well as to position Daniels even more as a martyr for, er, moral rectitude and integrity for having taken six figures to keep silent and then reneging anyway. The affadavit itself raises a few questions, such as why police didn’t arrest Daniels right away after witnessing the first violations. Instead, they approached the stage and participated in the touchings. Will a jury buy the idea that the detectives went up to the stage while this was going on, and then got “forced” to have Daniels slap their faces with her breasts? They could have approached the stage and immediately arrested her based on their own observations, and yet they chose to participate and add in a few more potential counts. Maybe a public defender wouldn’t have the time and resources to pursue that in court, but Avenatti’s no public defender, and he’s going to have a field day with that.

On top of which, what were four detectives doing in the audience last night anyway? Could it be that they showed up because of Daniels, or does the Columbus PD routinely have four undercover detectives in every strip club every night? If not, then prosecutors and police will have some explaining to do. (And the PD might have to explain why if they do.) That’s not going to make for an effective entrapment defense, but it might make a jury think that there were ulterior motives in their pursuit of Daniels. Add in the celebrity factor, and you have the makings of a prosecutorial disaster, albeit on a minor level.

Best bet is that this goes away, very very quietly.
And it does: Charges against Stormy Daniels dropped hours after arrest
Prosecutors dropped the charges Thursday. Court papers said the law couldn't be enforced because Daniels has only appeared once at the Columbus club and the law states it's for regular performers.

Prosecutors dropped charges Thursday against Stormy Daniels just hours after the porn star was arrested and accused of illegally rubbing undercover police officers' faces against her bare breasts during a performance at an Ohio strip club.

Her attorney said she was "set up" in a Columbus police sting operation, calling it an "absurd use of law enforcement resources." Police said they routinely conduct such undercover operations.
Ace too: Pornographic Performer and Claimed Adulteress Stormy Daniels Arrested For Lewd Contact with Paying Patrons at Ohio Strip Club
The charges have now been dismissed, because the law against strippers touching paying customers (that is, kinda-sorta trading sexual contact for money) only applies to those who "regularly" appear at the venue, not those who parachute in for quick bump-and-rubs like Stormy.

So she committed the lewd contacts for money, but she got off on a technicality.

Well not a technicality, really; it's what the law says.

But it seems like poor draftsmanship. Why would you make an exception for nude performers touching paying customers just because they only show up at your strip club occasionally?
It's hard to begrudge her the last few hours of fame.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: The Bikini Invitational" and "FMJRA 2.0: Strange Man, Changed Man" ready and waiting.

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