Friday, September 7, 2018

Russiagate Rampant

Serious scofflaw criminal, friend of the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud and  Russian spy extraordinaire sentenced, shouts Ace: HUGE: ACCUSED RUSSIAN SPY GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS SENTENCED TO... 14 DAYS IN JAIL, AND ONE YEAR SUPERVISED RELEASE
He wasn't charged with being a RUSSIAN spy -- just relentlessly investigated and publicly accused of that.

He was actually charged with, supposedly, lying about when he met with Russiagate figure Josef Misfud -- something he denies, and which is of very dubious relevance in any event.

His sentence is for two weeks in the clink. Which might actually be too severe for the non-crime he's actually accused of.

I don't think they'll be able to squeeze him further.
And speaking of people credibly accused of lying to the FBI, former Acting Director Andy McCabe: Prosecutors use grand jury as investigation of Andrew McCabe intensifies
Federal prosecutors have for months been using a grand jury to investigate former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe — an indication the probe into whether he misled officials exploring his role in a controversial media disclosure has intensified, two people familiar with the matter said.

The grand jury has summoned more than one witness, the people said, and the case is ongoing. The people declined to identify those who had been called to testify.

The presence of the grand jury shows prosecutors are treating the matter seriously, locking in the accounts of witnesses who might later have to testify at a trial. But such panels are sometimes used only as investigative tools, and it remains unclear if McCabe will ultimately be charged.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C., which has been handling the probe, declined to comment.
I fully expect them to conclude that there is no basis for prosecution, as prosecutors are reluctant to set the precedent for prosecuting the prosecutors. It's the WaPo, so "Republicans pounced"
The special counsel’s office, though, has charged several former Trump campaign officials for allegedly misleading investigators examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. If the Justice Department were to decline to take up the case against the FBI’s former No. 2 official, that could fuel outrage from conservatives who assert that federal law enforcement has been unfairly aggressive toward their party. Using a grand jury could give federal prosecutors some political cover to argue they pursued the case using the most forceful tools available to them and still came up empty-handed.
Kathryn Blackhurst, LifeZette: FBI ‘Coordinated’ Leaks for FISA Application, Meadows Reveals. proving what we already suspected.
“One of the things that we’ve recently found out … in a new batch of text messages is that there was a coordinated effort by those at the FBI to actually leak to the media,” Meadows (shown above right) told host Laura Ingraham.

“We now have documents that prove it — where they leaked to the media. Then, they used the same information to verify the veracity of their claims and actually use that for a FISA warrant,” said Meadows, who is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

“Well, you can’t do both. So the FBI had a ‘leak to the media’ strategy, and it’s troubling,” he added.
. . .
“They knew about it before they went to the court, the FISA court, and that’s the key fact. They knew about the Ohrs’ involvement. They knew about who paid for it,” Jordan said. “And they knew what Bruce Ohr told us, that he told the FBI what Christopher Steele said, that Christopher Steele — the guy who wrote it — was desperate to stop President Trump from becoming president.”
Chuck Ross in Da Caller: FBI Had Only ‘Medium Confidence’ In Steele Dossier
The FBI had only “medium confidence” in former British spy Christopher Steele and deemed his infamous anti-Trump dossier to be “minimally corroborated,” according to newly released government documents.

The assessment is made in a document known as a Human Source Validation Report. The FBI published the report to its online records vault earlier this week.

“Medium confidence generally means the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence,” reads an appendix to the report, which appears to have been written sometime after Feb. 9, 2017. “Additional reporting of information or sources have the potential to increase the FBI’s confidence levels or substantively change analytical judgments.”
 John Solomon, Da Hill: Bruce Ohr's efforts to secretly reshape the Trump probe started earlier in summer '16
But now, based on Ohr’s own account in a closed-door congressional interview and other contemporaneous documents, congressional investigators have learned that Ohr made his first contact with the FBI about Trump-Russia collusion evidence in late July and early August 2016. And his approach was prompted by information he got from his friend, the former British intelligence agent Steele.

The discovery is one of several key pieces of evidence emerging in recent weeks that explain how the FBI probe pivoted suddenly from looking at the conduct of Trump adviser George Papadopoulos to consuming a document now infamously known as the Steele dossier.

The FBI formally opened the Trump campaign probe — code-named Crossfire Hurricane — on July 31, 2016, based on an Australian diplomat’s claim that Papadopoulos, a young Trump campaign foreign policy aide, appeared to have prior knowledge that Russia had derogatory information it planned to release on Hillary Clinton.

Agents feared Papadopoulos might be looking to create contacts in Moscow to gain access to that Clinton dirt. But multiple sources tell me the FBI soon received information — now considered highly classified — that undercut the theory of the Papadopoulos case. One source described the evidence as “indisputably exculpatory,” while another said the information “put the predicate used to start the case in reversal.”

Whatever the nature of that classified evidence, the FBI’s own account in court records shows agents suddenly seemed to lose a sense of urgency about the Papadopoulos allegation. They inexplicably waited about six months to interview both the Trump campaign aide and the European professor who allegedly alerted Papadopoulos to the Russia dirt and introduced him to Moscow contacts.

Instead, agents pivoted more aggressively to a different set of allegations of Russia-Trump collusion, those gathered by former British MI6 agent Steele, who at the time was working to dig up dirt on the GOP nominee as part of a Fusion GPS project funded by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
. . .
Ohr’s new account could be potentially explosive, both for Republicans trying to make the case that the FBI engaged in misconduct in investigating Trump and for the DOJ inspector general’s probe into whether the FBI misled a federal court in seeking the Trump campaign warrants.

Far more investigation needs to be done to resolve what happened. But there are now more serious questions about the FBI’s conduct, thanks to Ohr’s candor.

For starters, why did the FBI allow Ohr to participate in the Steele matter when there was a known conflict with his wife’s employment? And did they ever disclose that conflict to the court?

Why did the FBI fail to fully disclose to the court that Steele was being paid by Democrats to help defeat Trump, or that Steele himself was desperate to stop Trump?

Did agents misrepresent “hearsay” evidence as corroborated intelligence?

And should the FBI have shut down the probe — after the original predicate about Papadopoulos was called into question — rather than pivoting to Steele, especially since two key bureau employees involved in it, Strzok and Page, had their own expressed desire to keep Trump from winning the presidency?
More armchair analysis at Thread by @JohnWHuber: "READ THIS 1. OHR met with STEELE 3 times in Jul-16 (all before FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane) 2. OHR also talked to FBI same month 2. FBI r […]".

Scott Johnson at Power Line on Anatomy of a Fusion smear (1). No, not the Trump stuff, but the attempt by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, subcontractor to both Hillary Clinton and Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to link Cleta Mitchell, former Republican representative and activist, to Russia.

A fun podcast on Peter Strzok, Counterintelligence and the ‘Resistance Within’ from Frank Gaffney

Erielle Davidson at the Federalist: Resistance Torches Devin Nunes’ Family After He Dared To Expose Intel Agencies’ Collusion With Democrats You must not resist the "Deep State". Some resistance is mandatory, others must not be permitted.

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