Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Russiagate Sturm und Drang

At Hot Air (and everywhere elseMueller Filing: Manafort Lied, Deal Off
So Manafort has a lot more headaches now, but then again, so does Mueller. The New York Times explains the implications for Mueller’s investigation in calling their biggest potential witness a liar:
“Everybody who lies to Mueller gets called on it — so he had to know that Mueller would catch him. So the question is: What was he hiding that is worse than going to jail for the rest of your life?” said Joyce Vance, a professor of law at the University of Alabama law school and former federal prosecutor. “There are often rocky dealings with a cooperator, and Mueller didn’t cut bait at the first sign of trouble. It was likely more than one lie and this would not have been a minor detail — it had to be something material and significant and intentional.” …
The filing Monday suggested that prosecutors do not consider Mr. Manafort a credible witness. Even if he has provided information that helps them develop criminal cases, by asserting that he repeatedly lied, they could hardly call him to testify.
And that’s the headache. The theories of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign have to run through Paul Manafort in order to make any sense. He’s the only person in the campaign (however briefly) with both substantial connections to Moscow and a close enough link to Trump to matter. If there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives (a hypothesis without any evidence in support thus far), Manafort would either have to have been part of it or known of it.
. . .
Now, however, Manafort’s useless as a witness to Mueller. The special counsel has done a lot of work for nothing — or at best, nothing the DoJ couldn’t have accomplished on its own regarding Manafort and his ex-partner Rick Gates. Not only have they demolished Manafort’s standing as a witness, by calling Manafort a liar they have poisoned any information the special counsel has developed through his earlier cooperation. Nothing produced from Manafort would have credibility in court, which makes Manafort a big empty hole in the middle of any realistic collusion hypothesis.

Manafort will likely spend the rest of his life in prison now. Mueller may well spend the rest of his career as special counsel spinning his wheels.
Which is what he want's according to Dan Bongino. On the other hand accprding to the Emptywheel, Mueller Just Guaranteed He Can Issue a Public Report
There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress. (Reminder: Mueller included 38 pages of evidence along with Manafort’s plea agreement, which I argued showed how what Manafort and Trump did to Hillary was the same thing that Manafort had done to Yulia Tymoshenko.)
As all his co-operating witnesses get shown up as liars, at the WaPo: Losing cooperators is a blow, but not a fatal one, for Mueller, analysts say
Legal analysts noted that Mueller poured immense resources into winning Manafort’s cooperation, probably hoping he might share critical information. The special counsel’s office put Manafort through a weeks-long trial on tax and bank fraud charges, and then — after winning a conviction — persuaded him to plead guilty in a separate case in the District.
And then, just as that was sinking in, according to the  Guardian: Manafort Met With Assange In March 2016 — Before Publication Of Hacked E-Mails; Wikileaks: Bet Us A Million Dollars That This Happened; Update: Guardian Backing Away? Update: “Totally False And Deliberately Libelous,” Says Manafort
One would have to think that Robert Mueller caught Paul Manafort in a pretty big lie before burning the key witness he’d been pursuing for the entirety of his term as special counsel. If the Guardian’s report this morning is true, this would be … a pretty big lie — also assuming Manafort didn’t disclose it:
Not that it would be illegal to meet with Assange, but one would think that the paper trail or security cameras (London is covered by them) could settle it pretty quickly. Manafort Shreds Guardian Report He Met With Assange, Weighs Retaliation: ‘Totally False and Deliberately Libelous’

And then, while that was still circulating around NBC announced Mueller has emails from Stone pal Corsi about WikiLeaks Dem email dump
Two months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sent an email to former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone anticipating the document dump, according to draft court papers obtained by NBC News.

"Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi wrote on Aug. 2, 2016, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to the draft court papers. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."

The email was revealed in a draft court document, known as a statement of the offense, sent to Corsi by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Mueller also sent Corsi a draft plea agreement stipulating that the special counsel would not oppose Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators.
. . .
On Nov. 30, 2017, Stone emailed Corsi asking him to write about a person whom Stone had told congressional investigators was his "source" or "intermediary" to WikiLeaks, according to the draft court papers.

Corsi and Stone have identified that person as Randy Credico, a radio host and one-time friend of Stone.
Corsi ought to try the journalistic freedom defense. That should be good for a laugh. Da WaEx, Roger Stone says Jerome Corsi is being 'harassed' by Mueller for 'refusing to lie' It's possible; sounds like an Weissman tactic.
Corsi told the Washington Post that some inconsistencies between his statements and emails had heightened scrutiny among members of Mueller's team, but admitted to the Post his memory was “horrible.” “I am not going to lie to avoid going to prison,” Corsi said.

“I found my recollection was horrible,” Corsi added. “But I am not swearing to a federal judge that I intentionally lied to the special counsel.”
From Da Caller: EXCLUSIVE: Jerome Corsi Says He Has Defense Agreement With Trump, Received Limited Immunity From Mueller 
Corsi, who has been interviewed six times in the investigation over the course of more than two months, writes in “Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s ‘Witch Hunt,'” which The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained, that he entered into the defense agreement with Trump after being advised that Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, was interested in the arrangement.

Describing his interactions with the special counsel’s office, Corsi claims he was granted what’s known as “limited use immunity” for testimony he gave during his Sept. 21 grand jury appearance regarding his conversations with Stone about a Aug. 31, 2016 memo he wrote about former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Corsi says he received immunity for testimony that he and Stone developed a cover story to help explain Stone’s now-infamous Aug. 21, 2016, tweet that it would “soon be [the] Podesta’s time in the barrel.”
. . .
Corsi testified that he and Stone hatched a plan in which Corsi would write a memo about the Podestas to allow Stone to cite it as the basis for his tweet. The revelation, if accurate, would undercut Stone’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that opposition research on the Podesta brothers’ business activities was the catalyst for the tweet. (RELATED: Exclusive Roger Stone: Report I Developed A ‘Cover Story’ With Corsi Is Devoid Of Logic)

Stone vehemently denied Corsi’s claim about the origin of the memo to TheDCNF on Monday. He insisted that he and Corsi discussed the Podesta brothers’ activities and that his tweet was a reference to opposition research that would come out on the topic.

He also noted that Corsi has not claimed to have emails or text messages supporting his contention about the memo.
And as surely as day follows night, Trump lashes out at Mueller: A ‘conflicted prosecutor gone rogue’ (Da Hill).

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Cornyn: We’ll Probably Give Flake His Vote To Protect Mueller. Unconstitutional virtue signaling will be Jeff Flake's final bow to the Senate.
The constitutional issue relates to the president’s authority to hire and fire executive-branch personnel. Flake and others want to require that valid cause exist before a president can fire a special counsel, but that’s usually a requirement for civil-service-eligible jobs to keep politics out of terminations for non-appointee positions. Those serving in political-appointee positions do so at the pleasure of the president in an at-will relationship, not a civil-service relationship. Denying the president his authority to fire an appointee would arguably cut into his Article II authority as chief executive, especially since the special counsel exists entirely within that authority rather than in a quasi-legislative regulatory agency.

None of this matters much besides the academic value of the debate. Flake’s efforts might pass the Senate and might even pass the House, but Trump would eventually veto the bill anyway. There won’t be enough votes in either chamber to override the veto, which will leave everything in place as it is … but at least Cornyn and the GOP will have confirmed more judges in the meantime.
George Newmayr at Da Spectator asks Why Britain Doesn’t Want Trump to Declassify Obamagate Docs and answers himself  "They will show it was on the ground floor of John Brennan’s spy operation."
All of the British spy chiefs’ ostensibly high-minded anxieties are designed to distract attention from an enormous transatlantic scandal, one that has yet to be fully plumbed: that the only real collusion during the 2016 election took place between London and Langley. It took place under the hyper-partisan CIA director John Brennan, with Britty dual-asset oafs like Stefan Halper and British spies, both present and past (the Hillary-financed hatchet man Christopher Steele chief among them), putting in critical cameos — a spy ring that nearly catapulted Hillary into the White House.

British spies were in on the ground floor of Obamagate. Long before even the first Republican primary, they had been passing conjecture disguised as “intelligence” to John Brennan about the Trump campaign. In fact, Brennan was spying on Michael Flynn before he joined the campaign, as reported by the UK Guardian: “[British intelligence] first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.” (The key Trump figure to whom the Guardian refers is Michael Flynn.)
Ivanka Trump
From Politico? Goodlatte: ‘It’s awfully tough’ for Ivanka Trump to comply with email standards
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said on Monday that it was “awfully tough” for government officials such as Ivanka Trump to comply with agency standards for secure communications when sending emails.

“When things like this come up, it’s important people understand, they need to make sure they’re doing what they can,” Goodlatte said during an interview on CNN.

“And it’s awfully tough, as everyone knows, when you’re sending emails about a lot of different things to make sure that you’re doing it according to the rules in the White House or wherever you’re doing it,” he added.

Goodlatte also suggested that President Donald Trump’s daughter’s use of a personal email account to conduct government business — first reported by POLITICO last year — was “very different” from the private email server Hillary Clinton employed during her time as secretary of State.

“I do think, of course, it’s very different to send private emails about matters that are not classified information,” Goodlatte said. “There’s a criminal penalty imposed for doing that — when you have classified information that is transmitted improperly, as was the allegation, and I think the facts now support, with regard to Hillary Clinton.”
Remember, James Comey also used private emails for government business. NY Post,  James Comey discussed sensitive FBI business on his private email No one is even alleging that anything Ivanka sent was even remotely sensitive. They just leaped on it as revenge on behalf of Hillary.

Because that's the way I am:

Who knew hair metal was still a thing?

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Happy Hanukkah! and FMJRA 2.0: A Smooth Jazz Interlude up on time and within budget.

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