Sunday, August 19, 2018

Russiagate, Really

"Paying for this 'opposition research' is the candidate of the party in power. Her confederates, including elected Democrats, conspire to use the FBI's possession of this document to get U.S. media outlets to report allegations from sources who won't identify themselves, who offer no support for their claims, passed along by an operator whose political motives are manifest.... If you are not by now open to the suspicion that the blowhardism of former Obama intelligence officials John Brennan and James Clapper is aimed at keeping the focus away from their actions during the election, then you haven't been paying attention. In his New York Times op-ed this week after being stripped of his courtesy, postretirement security clearance, the CIA's Mr. Brennan finally put his collusion cards on the table: Mr. Trump's ill-advised remark during the campaign inviting Russia to find the missing Hillary Clinton emails. Really? This is it?... [Trump's] jibe was at least as much aimed at the media, which he correctly noted would eagerly traffic in the stolen emails even as it deplored Russian meddling."
 Kimberley Strassel: What was Bruce Ohr doing?
Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general. He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016—after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau’s rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew—with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr’s conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he’d been unaware of Mr. Ohr’s intermediary status.
Speaking of Kimberly, you have to love how she DISMANTLES Washington Post fact check of Bruce Ohr. The start of 21 tweets.
Sara Carter: Bruce Ohr Texts, Emails Reveal Steele’s Deep Ties to Obama DOJ, FBI. Catherine Herrige, Fox News: DOJ's Bruce Ohr wrote Christopher Steele was 'very concerned about Comey's firing -- afraid they will be exposed'.

Rep Todd Rokita: Strzok firing a needed first step to restoring credibility and fairness to the FBI. But just the first.

Tom Rogan, WaEx: The pathetic omission in John Brennan's New York Times op-ed on Russia
Put simply, what was needed from Brennan and his boss in those 2016 days was a threat rendered and then acted upon. There needed to be a threat in August 2016 that if the Russian attacks continued, America would, to borrow from Shakespeare's Henry V respond, "In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove, That, if requiring fail, [America] will compel."

Instead, the Obama administration did what it knew best: it substituted realist action for meaningless words and made Putin laugh.
Ex-CIA Director John Brennan: Trump is 'drunk on power', Clare Foran, CNN. Daily Pundit: Actually, Brennan Should Be In Jail Right Now
12 ex-intel officials slam Trump for ‘ill-considered and unprecedented’ action against Brennan | Fox News
. . .
A couple of observations:
First, all of these senior officials are former, thank god. And didn’t we dodge a bullet with Betrayus?

Second, security clearances involve principles precisely opposite to those of free speech. In fact, it is a felony to violate security clearance rules in order to “speak out.”
I don’t have much confidence in a group of people who think that having a security clearance is in any way related to free speech. Are these idiots arguing that John Brennan has a First Amendment right to have access to and share classified information? I don’t have a clearance — are my rights being violated? Brennan is on TV all the time and his toxic Twitter feed is active, so where is his speech being stifled?
Exactly. But even if his speech were being stifled, it wouldn’t matter. Stifling speech is the entire point of security and clearances.
And, of course, anything Andy McCarthy has to say about this should be read in entirety. Revoking Brennan’s Security Clearance: The Right Thing, Even if for the Wrong Reason. At Sara Carter: Will Brennan’s Text Messages and Emails Be Next? "Judicial Watch is suing for Brennan’s Communications with Sen Harry Reid" That should prove enlightening. But the WaPo complains about How Trump’s security-clearance gambit could actually get him in deeper trouble with Mueller
I was on an MSNBC panel Thursday night with Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, who suggested Trump’s revocation of security clearances could be construed as retaliation against witnesses. “It’s a federal crime -- §1513 if anyone wants to look it up -- to retaliate against someone for providing truthful information to law enforcement,” he said. “So he’s getting closer and closer to really dangerous ground here.”
And more glimpses of the mysterious Mr. Mifsud: Mueller wants prison for Papadopoulos,
George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser, should spend 30 days to six months in prison for lying to the FBI during the Russia probe, Mueller prosecutors said in a court filing, per AP's Chad Day.
George Papadopoulos’ lies ‘impeded’ Mueller investigation into Russian interference, court filing says
“The defendant’s lies to the FBI in January 2017 impeded the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” the sentencing recommendation from special counsel Robert Mueller says. “The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States.”

The filing says investigators had located the professor in D.C. two weeks after Papadopoulos was interviewed by the FBI on Jan. 27, 2017. The professor left the U.S. on Feb. 11, 2017, and has not returned.
I'm trying to wrap my head around the inability of the FBI to arrest their own asset, as Mr. Mifsud. Or at least is will assume as much, based on his previous actions.

I'm not sure what to think of this, but then, neither do the writers of the piece: White House counsel has spent 30 hours sharing details for Mueller probe: report
The Times reports that Trump's personal lawyers could have exercised attorney-client privilege to know what McGahn planned to tell investigators, but the president's lawyers did not go through that process.

McGahn told investigators that the president attempted to control the investigation and gave a mixture of potentially damaging and favorable information concerning Trump, the newspaper reported. But the White House counsel told Mueller's team he never saw Trump overstep his legal authorities.
What a guilty verdict for Manafort would mean for Trump and Mueller by Gabby Morrongiello, WaEx.
But some legal experts said a direct connection to the president wouldn't be necessary for a guilty verdict to undermine his months-long effort to characterize the special counsel probe as a "hoax."

"It doesn't affect the argument that this has nothing to do with Russia collusion because the trial, if anything, has verified that at least with Manafort, the case was not connected to allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia," former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey told the Washington Examiner. "But what it does do in a very broad sense is provide vindication for Mueller's team."
So having wrapped up Rod Rosenstein's old nemesis, he could declare victory and go home? I doubt it. Jonathon Turley at the Hill thinks Manafort conviction will add little firepower to Mueller investigation

CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski Cries Foul When Others Use His Own Tactics On Him. This one is classic CNN. Read it all
Yesterday, CNN and other media organizations attempted what can only be described as an exercise in jury intimidation. A motion was filed with the District Judge T. S. Ellis asking him to release the name and addresses of the jurors. Why this information was requested becomes much more curious when one considers that a) the media can’t talk to the jurors until after they are released from duty, b) that maybe the jurors would object to their private information being released, c) and the fact that the jury had just asked Judge Ellis for the meaning of “reasonable doubt.”

One of the most unintentionally hilarious responses was from the dumpster-diving Andrew Kaczynski, who runs the so-called K-FILE at CNN.

Then he deleted it because…people were distributing his address:

If the addresses of private citizens can be released so CNN or other media can interview them, or if CNN hunts down unoffending private citizens and identifies them, then the addresses of CNN reporters so others can engage in “citizen journalism” and interview them at their homes is clearly permissible. Maybe if their kids were followed to school and their schoolmates interviewed, some of these clowns would treat fellow humans with a little bit more respect and consideration. Maybe if a dozen people were camped out on his doorstep at all hours of the day waiting for him to leave the house he might develop a sense of decency.
Who’s up for James Woods vs. CNN’s Oliver Darcy over the merits of unsealing jurors’ personal info?. A pretty good job of laying out how CNN has "doxxed" people in the past.

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