Friday, July 6, 2018

Russiagate Today

Russiagate seems to be entering the summer dog days of limited activity due to the excessive heat in Washington D.C.

Sundance at Conservative Tree House: Unfortunately Every Investigative Trail Comes Back to the Dead End of FISA Abuse…
. . . As an outcome of those concentric circles CTH continued to say: stay focused on the FISA fraud, and by extension the FISA application, and by extension the dossier. Every outbound surveillance ripple can be traced back to the use of FBI and NSA databases to conduct unlawful surveillance of political opposition. Not a scintilla of discovery within the past two years modifies that reality.

Why is that important? Here’s where things get FUBAR. FISA is a process, and when used appropriately, within all guidelines, is essentially a surveillance tool. However, it is a tool that is entirely subject to the honor of the user. If the user is corrupt, or holds corrupt intent, the tool easily becomes a weapon. That’s what happened in 2015, 2016 and likely long before that. The weaponization is so easy to initiate that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers admitted the intelligence community could not adequately prevent it. So Rogers went about eliminating massive aspects to it, completely.

NSA and FBI database surveillance and monitoring is like HAL 9000. The only way to ensure it does not become weaponized is to deconstruct it; remove some of the functions that are available to users. The elimination of FISA-702(17) “About Queries”, was one such deconstruction. Removing the (17) “about” search option entirely was the only way to stop human beings from using the tool. However, that said, it only takes another presidential election, and a new NSA director, and the system can be reactivated once again.

The movement of the U.S. Cyber Command, literally into another combatant command, essentially merging NSA into a functional branch of the U.S. military, is clear evidence that people like Admiral Mike Rogers took action, in hindsight, knowing the Obama administration weaponized data collection, a function of government, for political benefit. Now, in hindsight, the action they took in May of this year all begins to make sense.

I don’t know House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, and I hold no insight into his thinking; however, looking at what actions were taken in the 2017 FISA re-authorization legislation it looks to me like he has structured this reality into the program. How? By timing the next FISA reauthorization to coincide with the 2020 Presidential Election.

Right now all of the administrators, the key-holders, of the Intelligence Apparatus database are honorable and generally safe; meaning they are trustworthy. ODNI Dan Coats, through his action specifically related to the FISA process, has exemplified this. Former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers definitely showcased his trustworthiness on these intensely precarious issues. Mike Pompeo and now Gina Haspel also appear solid on this issue. We must, ‘trust’…. but demand verification and transparency.
Nick Weil, about a fascinating DOD contractor specifically mentioned by Peter Strzok. Buckle up 2/ Peter Strzok has this inconspicuous text o […]" In 2106 Peter Strzok visited the DOD contractor who likely getting illegal raw intelligence from NSA. Sure, it could be innocent. But why assume anything innocuous? From the same guy Whats the deal with the DOD think tank the "Office of Net Assessment"? We know that they consistently paid Halper since 2012. We know its […]"
1/ Whats the deal with the DOD think tank the "Office of Net Assessment"? We know that they consistently paid Halper since 2012. We know its a small, secretive group within the Pentagon, located in the directors office (so has WH ties).

2/ From the texts, we know that Strzok met with Glen Fine (the DOD Inspector General) and "Baker" who in this case I'm assuming is James H. Baker, the director of the Office of Net Assessment.

3/ We know that Halper started a new contract with ONA on Sept 26 2016, so it's pretty safe to say that this meeting with Strzok/Fine/Baker was all about setting up this new contract. Maybe reviewing the scope or even negotiating with Halper on the fee.
Halper is widely believed to be an FBI/CIA contractor who fished for dirt in the Trump campaign pond, likely resulting in the FISA warrants on Page and Carter.

Jordan Schachtel at the Conservative Review: Empty-handed Robert Mueller’s hunt for collusion has expanded. Well, he knows where collusion isn't by now, so there's the rest of the universe to explore. According to Jeff Mordock at the Washington Times the AP meeting with the FBI raises ethical questions. Is the press acting as arm of the prosecutors? Yes. Would they do it to a Democrat? Not if they could help it.
“This is a lapse of journalistic ethics,” said Don Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media. “It looks like The Associated Press is cooperating with the investigation and pushing this information to get Manafort so it could get to Trump.”
Sid "the Shiv" Blumenthal on the growing list of people getting attention from Devin Nunes: Daniel Chaitin, Wahington Examiner: Devin Nunes refers Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal, others tied to Trump dossier for testimony
 House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent another letter Thursday — his third in a week — to two fellow GOP chairmen, referring to them 15 people connected to the Russia investigation for testimony in an "open setting."
. . .
Glenn Simpson and Thomas Catan, co-founders of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that commissioned Steele, are included on the list. Also mentioned is Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whom Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee alleged in a February memo "was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump." Ohr, who according to the GOP memo delivered his wife's research to the FBI, was demoted from his role as associate deputy attorney general late last year after it was discovered he had secret meetings with Simpson and Steele.
. . .
Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton ally, also was mentioned in Nunes' letter, obtained by the Washington Examiner and first reported by Fox News. A former employee of the Clinton Foundation, Blumenthal shares a controversial history with Clinton, whom he informally advised while she was secretary of state. Earlier this year, Gowdy seemed to suggest Blumenthal was connected to the dossier, allegedly feeding details to a State Department employee during the last months of the Obama administration.

Mark Elias, a lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, makes an appearance on the list. He retained Fusion GPS to complete the opposition research that resulted in the dossier.

Yet another Clinton connection who made the list was Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, whose name is misspelled as "Robbie Mook" in the letter.
Alan Smith at the Business Insider: Michael Cohen just hired one of Bill Clinton's most notable lawyers to represent him. Lanny Davis. Well, he did help keep the heat off one of the twentieth century's great malefactors. It remains to seen how his rating holds up for the 21st.

And more on Stormy Daniels nationwide dash for cash: Behind the Scenes of Stormy Daniels’ Cross-Country Cash Grab
The bombshell allegations first hit in January 2018: Stormy, real name Stephanie Clifford, says she slept with Donald Trump in 2006, just months after Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron. Her subsequent lawsuit against the president alleges that Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen then tried to keep her quiet about the affair by paying her $130,000 in hush money in the run-up to the 2016 election. And she also claims that she and her young daughter were threatened by an unidentified man who approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 and told her to “leave Trump alone” and “forget the story.”

Good luck with that. Anyone with a television in the United States now knows about her story, and both President Trump’s detractors and supporters have turned up tonight for a look at her. After the event is over, the club’s promoter, Tony Long, will estimate that around 40 percent of tonight’s attendees were “people who [have] never been to a gentleman’s club before, and will probably never go again…it was amazing.”

But before Stormy even comes out, it’s easy to see he’s right. One local patron contrasted this evening’s sold-out show with the club’s typical Friday night crowd: “It’s usually a ghost town.” Aside from the regulars—mostly white men who aren’t at all shy about taking advantage of the extra time to pay for a dance or two—there’s a stiffness and unfamiliar anticipation in many parts of the room, which is decorated with red, white, and blue balloons and banners. People old enough to be grandparents stand next to professionals in button-downs more appropriate for the office than a music-blaring bar full of nearly naked women. It’s impossible to tell exactly where allegiances lie amongst the demographics: “Make America Great Again” hats and pro-Stormy t-shirts are worn by all ages, and everyone has at least one piece of attire in common. A red, white and blue “I Survived the Storm” bracelet, handed out at the entrance, perfect to fiddle with during the wait for those who don’t have a drink or other distractions to occupy themselves with.

All the way from Arizona, Robert D., who chose not to give his last name, is standing away from the stage, ignoring protests from his broken foot and leaning on his cane while he waits. There are a few seats to the side and behind the stage, but they’ve been long-occupied by those who arrived when the doors opened at 7 p.m.
“I was in so much pain I forgot my watch,” he says, noting that he’s in town to visit family. He says he wanted to come to the performance for “the sheer novelty.”

“I’m here to support her,” he says, adding, matter-of-factly: “I’m not even a boob guy.”

That Daniels launched a cross-country striptease tour following her earth-shaking revelation might seem gratuitous and, for some, weakens her claims against the president. Meghan McCain directly questioned Daniels’ motives during a recent appearance on The View, saying: “It seems like a publicity stunt on some level … I understand that you’re being sued by our president, but it does seem like you’re benefitting a lot.”
. . .
But how much of a profit is she actually making on this nationwide tour? Forbes estimates that her annual earnings, thought to be “in the low six-figure range before the scandal,” will “likely double this year, at the very least.”
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho was a day late with "Rule 5 Sunday: Crystal Hefner" and "FMJRA 2.0: Day Late & A Dollar Short With Astrix."

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