Friday, December 7, 2018

Russiagate Delayed

Is better than no Russiagate at all, I suppose. We've been out to breakfast and the gym early. I'll give first up to the CIA puppet from WaPo, who explains how Michael Flynn appears to have come full circle
This denouement, in which Flynn is once again on the side of law enforcement and truth-telling, is fascinating to me as someone who followed his career for more than a decade and remembers hearing his blisteringly honest briefings as a combat intelligence commander in Afghanistan. Flynn became disoriented during his years in Trump’s orbit, but the sentencing memo suggests that he recovered his balance and sense of duty after Mueller began his investigation.

There’s a bizarre irony here. Trump pleaded with James B. Comey, the FBI director at the time the investigation of Flynn began, to consider “letting this go.” That was a grossly improper attempt to interfere with the investigation and prosecution of Flynn’s false statements. How strange that it was Mueller, in the end, who decided in effect to “let this go” by recommending no jail time, after the investigation had run its course and Flynn had pleaded guilty and cooperated.

The case interests me for a personal reason, too. The sentencing memo cites a column I wrote on Jan. 12, 2017, as the first public mention that Flynn had talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016, the day President Barack Obama imposed sanctions to punish Russia for its meddling on Trump’s behalf in the 2016 presidential election.
Ignatius was the recipient of multiple illegal leaks of material from the intelligence agencies, including transcripts of Flynn's conversations with Kislyak. It's a wonder he isn't doing a stint in the Ecuadorian embassy with Assange (not really; it's only illegal to leak against Democrats).

Debra Heine at PJ Media tries to explain Why Michael Flynn Was Set Up. I guess "just because they hated Trump, and they could" is not a good enough answer? Also House Republicans Ask Trump to Declassify 'Damning' Obama DOJ Emails

This morning, Liz Shield at PJ Media has multiple bits of news. Comey testifies behind close doors to the House today (he wasn't happy about that, he wanted a public circus), but well have to settle for transcripts later (maybe). And we're expecting more document dumps from Mueller:
Get ready, because it's document dump Friday for special counsel Mueller.
In a pair of highly significant court maneuvers, the special counsel is expected to unveil new details of his investigation Friday that will make life even more uncomfortable for President Donald Trump and his inner circle.
Here is what's in the dump:
Mueller is facing a deadline to explain to a judge in Washington why he has accused Trump's already convicted and jailed former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of lying and breaking a cooperation deal.
And he must also deliver documents to a court in New York recommending whether Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen should go to jail and for how long, after Cohen turned against his former top client and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel.
You can almost hear the tears falling as these words were written:
Yet as with this week's feverishly anticipated sentencing memo about Trump's ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, the filings could bring a measure of disappointment to special counsel watchers if large quantities of evidence are redacted to protect ongoing investigations.
Say, what's this about?
Since then, Mueller has constructed a tapestry of disclosures that started with an accounting of a hacking operation by Moscow's intelligence agencies and has unveiled multiple links between Russians and people around Trump -- and repeated lies about those contacts.
Is this true? Why hasn't anyone been charged with crimes or espionage? In the FAKE FISA warrant, four different senior DOJ officials swore that Carter Page was a spy. WHY IS HE WALKING THE STREETS?

Also, deep state victim George Papadopoulos is set to be released today after serving time for "lying" to the FBI.
The peacock, 3 new Mueller filings may show some of what ex-Trump aides have told investigators

Ace: John Solomon: House Republicans Demand Email Chain Between Comey and Senior DOJ Officials, Which They Say Provide "Damning" Evidence that the FBI and DOJ Knew Their "Collusion" Case, and Their FISA Warrant, Were False From the Start
This whole article should be read. I've excerpted the newest bits from it, but it's all pretty good, and best read as a complete piece.
. . .
Meanwhile, former prosecutor Margaret Cleveland suggests questions that must be asked of James Comey in his deposition to Congress.
. . .
Good list. I expect a lot of lapses in memory, peppered in between refusals to answer based on "National Security Concerns," which are of course really Job Security Concerns and Prosecutorial Concerns.
Speaking of Comey, George Neumayr at the Federalist: Comey and the FISA Warrant Hillary Bought "Take away Comey’s sanctimony and he was just a crook with a badge, congratulating himself for the agonies of his “conscience” while violating the civil liberties of a campaign volunteer caught up in the Obama administration’s espionage."

This is new news: Breitbart, Andrew McCabe Launched Obstruction Probe into Trump Before Mueller Appointment
The obstruction probe was an idea the FBI had previously considered, but it didn’t start until after Comey was fired. The justification went beyond Trump’s firing of Comey, according to the sources, and also included the President’s conversation with Comey in the Oval Office asking him to drop the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The new details about the genesis of the obstruction case into Trump that became a key element of the Mueller probe shed light on the chaotic week following Comey’s firing and the scramble to decide how best to respond. They also help to explain the origins of the Mueller investigation that has stretched across 19 months, consumed Trump’s presidency and is building toward a dramatic day of courtroom filings on Friday.
In their partisan eyes "obstruction" is anything they don't like. Roger Kimball at the Spectator asks What was the real point of the Mueller investigation? It's pretty clear it was to obstruct Trump. More from the peacock, Trump lawyers, special counsel in discussions following written submission of president's responses. What, didn't he admit to anything criminal? Da Atlantic: The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report Maybe they know there's nothing to fear?

Piling on, Prosecutors ramp up foreign lobbying probe in New York Maybe it's a different Podesta's turn in the barrel.
Spinning off from the special counsel’s Russia probe, prosecutors are ramping up their investigation into foreign lobbying by two major Washington firms that did work for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation had been quiet for months since special counsel Robert Mueller referred it to authorities in Manhattan because it fell outside his mandate of determining whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.

But in a flurry of new activity, Justice Department prosecutors in the last several weeks have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, the people familiar with the inquiry said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing work.
Bummer dude! Fox:  Avenatti to lose cash, artwork, Ferrari in divorce settlement with wife: report
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels and an anti-Trump activist, has been having a bad month.

On Wednesday, the 47-year-old lawyer reached a divorce settlement with his estranged wife that will require him to hand over thousands of dollars and other assets for liquidation, according to court filings.

The court filings in Orange County, Calif., as reported by TMZ, indicate a judge has ordered Avenatti to pay his wife Lisa Storie-Avenatti $162,295 per month in child and spousal support retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. The combined total amounts to more than $1.9 million upfront.

In addition, the judge ordered Avenatti to fork over his assets for liquidation including five luxury wristwatches – some worth $50,000 – a Frank Gehry sculpture, several pricey works of art, and a 2017 Ferrari 488 GT Spider worth about $300,000, according to the report. The judge also mandated that Avenatti’s law firm, Avenatti & Associates, transfer its interest in a 2016 Honda private jet.
Not the jet!

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