Friday, December 14, 2018

Recalling Russiagate

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air: Remember The Good Old Days Of The “Russia Investigation?”
There’s one phrase from that coverage which truly sticks out, at least if you’ve been paying attention. Everyone is now talking about “the Mueller investigation.” Some of us are old enough to remember when it was called “the Russia investigation.” Do you recall that? Oh, those heady days when the target on the horizon was the possibility that the President (or at least some members of his campaign staff) had been in collusion with agents of Vladimir Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, crack into voting machines and/or do anything else possible to help Trump steal the election from the rightful winner and pull the wool over the eyes of the nation.

More than a year later, as Robert Mueller edges closer and closer to the closing number in this sideshow, what’s been delivered? Trump’s campaign tended to hire some greedy men who turned out to be tax scofflaws in their careers prior to joining the campaign. And having corned (sic) them with the possibility of serious jail time, most were willing to talk out of school about the President.
From the Department of You've Got to Me Kidding Me, and maybe the Department of It's Time to Stop the Mueller Farce (and with a little help from Wombat-socho's In The Mailbox: 12.13.18), comes news that Feds Find 19,000 Missing Strzok-Page Texts (Don Surber) and OIG Report On Peter Strzok And Lisa Page’s Phones Suggests ‘Unacceptable’ Conduct By Mueller’s Office. It seems that when the love birds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were booted off the Mueller team for their anti-Trump texts (It's OK to hate Trump, just don't text it to your lover on your government provided smart phone), the Office of Special Counsel (Mueller) had their phones reset to factory settings, which hides all the texts, and let them be reissued them to other agents. The 19,000 text were only recovered by the Horowitz's OIG group through forensic measures borrowed from DOD. Conservative Review: Obstruction? Mueller probe wiped Strzok phone before giving it to investigators

Katie Pavilitch, Town Hall: The DOJ Inspector General Found 19,000 'Lost' Strzok and Page Texts
The Department of Justice Inspector a General released a report Thursday showing thousands of text messages sent by fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page were not properly preserved and presented a “gap” in investigating their misconduct at the Bureau.
"The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General initiated this investigation upon being notified of a gap in text message data collection during the period December 15, 2016 through May 17, 2017, from Federal Bureau of Investigation mobile devices assigned to FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page relevant to a matter being investigated by the OIG's Oversight and Review Division. Specifically, the OIG's Cyber Investigations Office was asked to attempt recovery of these missing text message for the referenced period from FBI issued mobile devices issued to Strzok and Page," the report states. "In view of the content of many of the text messages between Strzok and Page, the OIG also asked the Special Counsel's Office to provide the OIG the DOJ issues iPhones that had been assigned to Strzok and Page during their respective assignments to the SCO."
After a number of steps by the OIG, "was the recovery of thousands of text messages within the period of the missing text messages, December 15, 2016 through May 17, 2017, as well as hundreds of other text messages outside the gap period that had not been produced by the FBI due to technical problems with its text message collection tool."
Ace: Nothing to See Here: After Mueller Was Forced to Fire Lisa Page and Peter Strzok for Scheming To Cook Up an "Insurance Policy," He Seized Their Phones and... Deleted All Messages and Gave Them to Other FBI Agents To Use, Instead of Preserving Them
I'm sure it was just an oversight.

This is deliberate destruction of evidence -- of the same sort that this crew gave Hillary Clinton a pass on.

Someone should go to jail in this matter. But it's not Trump.
The Washington Post is playing the oversight angle:  Inspector general report details hurdles in recovering Strzok, Page texts:
The deputy attorney general’s office told the inspector general’s office that the Justice Department “routinely resets mobile devices to factory settings when the device is returned from a user to enable that device to be issued to another user in the future.”
Good news for Michael Flynn, probably, as Judge In Flynn Case Demands that FBI Produce the Original Interview Notes (Ace)
Why did the interviewing agents say he didn't lie? And why was no official record of this interview filed until seven months after the interview, after Muller had taken over?
Chuck Ross:
The judge presiding over the Michael Flynn case is ordering a review of key FBI documents before deciding on a sentence for the former national security adviser.
Judge Emmet Sullivan wants to review a memo put together on Jan. 24, 2017 by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He also wants to look at FBI notes from that interview.
Flynn's lawyers revealed Tuesday that McCabe wrote he urged Flynn to meet with FBI agents without an attorney because it would be the "quickest" way to complete the meeting. . . .
Ross deems it "unlikely" that the documents will be released for public viewing, alas.
Seven months after an interview to produce the eyewitness report upon which the perjury charge is based? Nothing like a contemporaneous recollection, amIrite? But I'm sure Peter Strzok wouldn't shade the truth to hurt Trump.

Incoming New York AG Plans Political Witch Hunt Against Trump, Family, And Associates WITCH HUNT: NY Attorney General Says She'll Investigate Everyone Around Trump
New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James is buttressing President Trump’s claims that there is a “witch hunt” pursuing him; she told NBC News that she intends to investigate not only the president, but also his family and "anyone" in his circle who may have violated the law.

James blustered, "We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” adding, "We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”
I would call it a Kinsley gaff, but we really know it's what all Democrats intended from the outset. Meet The Board Of The Fusion GPS-Linked Group Investigating Trump The name Soros features prominently. Adam Schiff: Justice Dept. 'needs to re-examine' position that a sitting president can't be indicted, to be reinstated the next time a Democrat gets into the office, I'm sure. But I see one little snag; who oversees the DOJ...

Also via Wombat-socho's In The Mailbox: 12.13.18 Just One Minute has Hey, Dude, Where's My Collusion?
But Trump and Cohen? For better or worse, paying off former Playmates and playmates is not a crime. As to whether the actual mechanism violated campaign finance rules, well, first of all, that is why Trump hired lawyers. Lacking evidence that Cohen advised Trump this was illegal and Trump ordered him to go full speed ahead anyway, where is the criminal intent? And a perceived lack of criminal intent is why Hillary is not serving time for her server shenanigans.
Matt Margolis, PJ Media: Why Allegations of Campaign Finance Violations Won’t Bring Down Trump.  Hot Air: Congress To Make Members Pay Out Of Pocket For Sexual Harassment Settlements. Campaign violations, then? AP: Trump invokes ‘advice-of-counsel’ defense in campaign probeTrump, in Fox News interview, says he never ‘directed’ Michael Cohen ‘to do anything wrong’ and if Cohen had the goods to prove otherwise, he wouldn't be going to the pokey. WSJ: Trump Attempts to Distance Himself From Michael Cohen’s Crimes as if one is not entitled to try. Peacock: Trump was in the room during hush money discussions with tabloid publisher Still trying to make a crime out of a non-crime. The Mercury News? Trump’s version of payments keeps evolving. Breitbart: Fox Judge Napolitano Continues to Trash Trump with Inaccurate 'Analysis'
There is nothing illegal about hiding your sex life, bad teeth, or bald head from voters, and to criminalize such things with vague campaign finance laws will not fly. Even the jury in a case involving former presidential candidate John Edwards, who funneled other people’s money through his campaign to hide payments to his mistress, came out deadlocked.

And what about the 264 active members of Congress who created a $17 million slush fund using taxpayer dollars to make sexual harassment and other employer-related conduct lawsuits go away?
BRAD SMITH KNOWS A BOATLOAD ABOUT ELECTION LAW: “Michael Cohen Pled Guilty to Something That is Not a Crime.” But the media will not interview him.

A detailed takedown of a failed coup d'état. Gregg Jarrett nails it.

In his bestselling The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, Fox News legal and political analyst Gregg Jarrett captures the very heart of a very, very big scandal — arguably the biggest scandal in all of American history. And that’s saying something.

Right off the bat, in a preface titled “An Insidious Abuse of Power,” Jarrett launches on the beginning of a very detailed, decidedly specific recounting of the cunning game played by powerful government elites determined to stop the election of Donald Trump — and when that failed, to undermine his presidency with the goal of abruptly ending it.

The story is chilling. Among other things Jarrett writes lines like these:
* “This is what abuse of power looks like.”
* “Armed with immense power, Comey and other top officials at the FBI became the law unto themselves. The end would justify the means…”
* For “reporters and anchors…their bias against Trump was so impassioned and pervasive that it became impervious to the facts.”
* Fired FBI Director James Comey “admitted pilfering government memorandums… for the sole purpose of triggering a special counsel who just happened to be his longtime friend and ally, Robert Mueller.”
* “…the FBI, as well as the Department of Justice, had become cesspools of corruption that played a direct hand in attempting to influence the election and subvert the democratic process.”
Accustomed as I am to reading books with the ever ready yellow highlighter, in reading The Russia Hoax I quickly realized I was coloring every page of the book.
Nothing shocking, but Victor Davis Hanson says it so well you need to read it: Comey Continues to Display His Lack of Credibility Sadly, the upper levels of government are full of these kinds of self-serving sociopaths.
He tweets almost daily and is often on television—and in those venues never seems to admit to any memory lapse. And Comey has been at the center of every major scandal involving the 2016 election.

In other words, Comey is realizing that almost anything he might say will likely be at odds with something he has said, done or written prior—and could potentially subject him to perjury charges.

So, Comey dodges and hedges.
Signs that Federal Investigators at SDNY fear that their campaign violation story won't stick, they're moving on to  Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors. Of course, the statute of limitations has expired on Obama's, and Hillary's didn't happen.

WaT: ‘Strongest’ polling for Trump in 22 months, nation bullish on 2019 Someone's not paying attention. Is the the prosecutors or the people?

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