Friday, August 24, 2018

The Russiagate Razzle Dazzle

Hey, do you remember when the Comey's FBI announced that they they had searched Huma Weiner's laptop, using miracle de-duplicating software, and discovered nothing new, and re-closed the investigation into then candidate Hillary's secret bathroom email server really, really quick before the election? It turns out Comey lied. The magic de-duplication software didn't work, and only 3k of some 700,000 emails were examined, and some of them contained previously unrevealed classified information. The primary story is from Real Clear Investigations by Paul Sperry: Despite Comey Assurances, Vast Bulk of Weiner Laptop Emails Were Never Examined, but you should really read Ace's Flaming Skull analysis of the piece: FBI "Investigation" Into Weiner Laptop Was a Gigantic Fraud Upon the Public; FBI Only Looked at 3000 Emails, and Only Glanced At Those in a 12 Hour Window; Never Conducted Mandatory Security Assessment. The takeaway quote from the original:
“There was no real investigation and no real search,” said Michael Biasello, a 27-year veteran of the FBI. "It was all just show — eyewash — to make it look like there was an investigation before the election.”
Kathryn Blackhurst at Lifezette: Former Clinton Pollster Says Hillary Is the One Who Broke Laws, Not Trump (Details Here), Mark Penn argued the president should do a better job of picking aides who pay taxes — but he's not responsible for their financial woes
“Contrast what is going on here with the treatment of the millions of dollars paid to a Democratic law firm which, in turn, paid out money to political research firm Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele without listing them on any campaign expenditure form — despite crystal-clear laws and regulations that the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds must be listed,” Penn, who worked for both Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday in The Hill.

“There is no question that hiring spies to do opposition research in Russia is a campaign expenditure, and yet, no prosecutorial raids have been sprung on the law firm, Fusion GPS or Steele. Reason: It does not ‘get’ Trump,” Penn argued in his piece.
It really helps to have the FBI and DOJ pulling for you, and the CIA etc. Clapper: Obama Ordered The Intelligence Assessment That Resulted In Mueller Investigation. Twitchy: ‘AMAZING admission’! Maria Bartiromo hints Twitter may be ‘hiding’ DAMNING Clapper/ Obama tweetPDT, Intel Officials Clash Over "Golden Ticket" Security Clearances. Tom Trinko, the American Thinker: John Brennan, Security Clearances, and the Office Stapler
Many left-wing fanatics are saying that it's unconstitutional, dictatorial, etc. for Trump to have removed Brennan's clearance.That's on par with saying it's unconstitutional, dictatorial, etc. for a company to say that when an employee leaves, or is fired, he can't take the office stapler with him.

Since Brennan is no longer working for the government, he no longer needs a clearance.  In fact, a clearance is useless for him. Even if he had a clearance, he certainly couldn't be told any new classified information, since he no longer has a need to know.
Too soon old, too late smart: Russia Influence Operations Seek to Sow U.S. Division, State official urges Senate not to politicize Russian subversion in U.S.

Manafort juror reveals lone holdout prevented Mueller team from winning conviction on all counts
“It was a very emotionally charged jury room – there were some tears,” Duncan said about deliberations with a group of Virginians she didn’t feel included many “fellow Republicans.”
I'm amazed they found any in NoVa. Trump says he is considering a pardon for 'friend' Manafort in Fox interviewRudy: Yes, Trump Discussed Pardoning Manafort With His Lawyers, Was Told To At Least Wait Until The End Of Russiagate. Hey anybody remember, Marc Rich or Jon Corzine? Lesson, stay in the right party, and you can do anything.

This is news? Eddie Scarry at WaEx: Robert Mueller's 'win' exposes how the media never cared about Russia 'collusion' David Catron, American Spectator: Mueller and the Media Represent the Ancien Régime, Trump is the voice of a voter revolt that they intend to crush.
The Mueller probe, with its indictments of Trump associates for offenses unrelated to its ostensible mandate, combined with mendacious media coverage of President Trump, is an obvious attempt to restore the old order that the electorate rejected in 2016. It seeks to annul the will of the voters and return us to the incipient authoritarianism that germinated during the Obama era, and which the ruling class expected to blossom under Clinton. The bureaucrats who support the restoration of Beltway despotism call themselves public servants, yet despise the public. The politicians who support it call themselves Democrats, yet despise democracy.
Spengler: War of Attrition Against President Trump
There you have it, boys and girls: None of this has anything to do with paying off floozies who claimed to have done the dirty with a presidential candidate. No one cares about that. It's about using the legal system to extract "confessions" from Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen that will keep the Black Legend alive of a Russian hack of the 2016 elections. Cohen has no more knowledge of this, I am ready to wager, than he does of space aliens colonizing Chicago. Nonetheless, the swamp and their pet jackals in the media will spin new allegations until the public gets dizzy.
From an Althouse commenter:

1. Trump says or tweets something provocative.
2. I think, "C'mon, Trump, that crosses the line." Or, "That's just not wise."
3. Democrats and journalists react by going insane.
4. I think, "Atta boy, Trump. Kick them harder next time!"

This has happened so many times that I now skip from step 1 to step 4 by default. Similarly:

1. Democrats and journalists do a full court press on some issue, putting Trump on the defensive.
2. I think, "How is Trump going to survive this one?"
3. Trump emerges unscathed, or even triumphant, while his critics look like idiots. And Trump's poll numbers go up.
4. I think, "The SOB did it again!"

Now I just assume point 3 will always be true.
Da Hill: Impeachment debate moves to center of midterm fight. But mainstream dems want to hide the pea until after the election. Noah Millman at The Week wonders What happens if Trump brazens out impeachment?  IBD: Does Michael Cohen's Guilty Plea Justify All The Trump Impeachment Talk? Signs point to "No."  Hot Air, More Rudy: If Trump Were Impeached For Political Reasons, The American People Would Revolt. It's all designed to overturn an election they lost fair and square. Dov Fischer, Da Spectator: All the Talk About Impeaching the President Is Nonsense, but it keeps the media with something to talk about. Rush: Don't Get Lost in the Minutiae of the Leftist Coup. Opening a new front: Manhattan DA Reportedly Considering Criminal Charges Against Trump Organization. Say, how is that investigation of the Clinton Foundation going?

Reason: Trump Might Be a Criminal. But So Is Everyone Else. It turns out to be pretty hard to color between the lines, especially when they keep shifting.
The first thing to understand is that there are so many laws, so broadly written, that just about anyone who has earned money, paid taxes, and run a business—or, God forbid, a political campaign—can be credibly accused of multiple criminal violations. Harvey Silverglate's estimate that the average American commits three felonies a day may be high, but his basic point is sound.
. . .
With great fanfare, prosecutors on Tuesday released a 22-page criminal information charging Cohen with five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, and two campaign-finance violations. That's it? That's like raiding Keith Richards' medicine cabinet and coming back with a half-empty bottle of Nyquil.
Damon Linker at the Week:  Campaign finance violations are going to bring Trump down? Ridiculous (Title from Hot Air). The Case Against Trump Is A Strong One: Just Ask John Edwards’ Prosecutors, who got off Scott free. Conor Friedsdorf at the Atlantic complains that Trump robbed voters of what they deserved to know. Another Hillary supporter devoid of appreciation for irony.

I think these two are saying the same thing, differently: Reuters, Democrats seek to make Republican scandals an election issue and Let The American People Decide Donald Trump’s Fate

Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 08.23.18" Power Line has  Democrats, Be Careful What You Wish For, also, Trump Is Right About Stormy Daniels. Rich Lowry thinks Trump Should Come Clean, The president should confess his affairs, admit he wanted to keep them quiet and apologize to the public for his deception. Hey, it worked for Slick Willy. Heresy while being black. Jim Brown on Donald Trump: 'I Find Myself Really Pulling for the President'

From the annals of #FakeNew, At Da Caller: Lanny Davis Obliterated CNN’s ‘Bombshell’ Report About Michael Cohen And Trump Tower
“So Michael Cohen does not have information that President Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians beforehand or even after?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Davis.

“No, he does not,” replied Davis, a longtime Clinton insider who started representing Cohen earlier this summer.

Davis’s bombshell statement severely undercuts a July 27 CNN report that Cohen was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that he was in a meeting when Donald Trump Jr. told his father about an offer to meet with a group of Russians who wanted to provide dirt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Huh, and why does this matter? CNBC: Michael Cohen paid a mysterious tech company $50,000 'in connection with' Trump's campaign
Buried in the legal documents released Tuesday as part of Cohen's guilty plea on eight felony counts, there was a new, previously unreported payment Cohen made in 2016 to help Trump: $50,000 for work that prosecutors say Cohen "solicited from a technology company during and in connection with the campaign."

The documents do not identify which tech company Cohen paid the money to, or what, exactly, the company did for him. But the mere existence of the previously unknown payment suggests that Cohen may have been doing more for Trump, and for the Trump campaign, than simply paying off women.
Maybe he got a server in his bathroom, like Hillary.

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