Saturday, February 23, 2019

Russiagate Not Dead Yet

Remember how CNN told us that Russiagate was over, that Mueller would hand his report to Robert Mueller sometime next week? Fake News! Da Peacock, Robert Mueller won't submit report to attorney general next week, DOJ official tells NBC News.
Special counsel Robert Mueller will not deliver a report to the attorney general next week, as was previously reported by multiple outlets, a senior Department of Justice official told NBC News on Friday.

Attorney General William Barr was preparing to announce the completion of Mueller's investigation into any links between President Donald Trump and Russia as soon as next week, CNN reported Wednesday. The outlet reported that those plans were subject to change.
 Axios, Trump team sees Mueller endgame "The bottom line: We've seen no evidence that there's any sense of panic or great urgency inside the White House even as the end of the probe appears imminent." Can Mueller find a way to in the mix to help Adam Schiff in 2020? Ace: It's not a joke any longer.
Adam Schiff begs Republicans to join him in his plans for neverending congressional harassments of Trump, surely signaling that he thinks the Mueller report will be of little help to him.

Kim Strassel writes of Little Schitt's "new phase" in the Russia Collusion investigation, in which they admit there was no Russian collusion but come up with Exciting New Conspiracies to investigate:
The collusionists need a "new phase" as signs grow that the special counsel won’t help realize their reveries of a Donald Trump takedown. They had said Mr. Mueller would provide all the answers. Now that it seems they won't like his answers, Democrats and media insist that any report will likely prove "anticlimactic" and "inconclusive." "This is merely the end of Chapter 1," said Renatto Mariotti, a CNN legal "analyst."
Mr. Schiff turned this week to a dependable scribe--the Washington Post's David Ignatius--to lay out the next chapter of the penny dreadful. Mr. Ignatius was the original conduit for the leak about former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador, and the far-fetched claims that Mr. Flynn had violated the Logan Act of 1799. Mr. Schiff has now dictated to Mr. Ignatius a whole new collusion theory. Forget Carter Page, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos--whoever. The real Trump-Russia canoodling rests in "Trump's finances." The future president was "doing business with Russia" and "seeking Kremlin help."
So, no apologies. No acknowledgment that Mr. Schiff & Co. for years have pushed fake stories that accused innocent men and women of being Russian agents. No relieved hope that the country might finally put this behind us. Just a smooth transition--using Russia as a hook--into Mr. Trump’s finances. Mueller who?
This ray of hope for Democrats from CNN, Mueller could tell all in last major court filing in Paul Manafort's case. The article delivers less than it promises. Reuters, New York prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Manafort: source just in case Trump decides to pardon him.  Texas needs to start prosecution against the Clinton cabal just in case the Horowitz IG doesn't get the job done.

Laredo on Line, Access to Mueller's report and evidence may be guided by Congress, Clinton email case
Justice Department officials have worried that they will have a weak argument for withholding such materials, given how much information was turned over to Congress after the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

When that investigation ended in 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey made public the reports of agents' interviews with witnesses, gave public briefings to Congress and supplied additional information to lawmakers in private meetings.

Justice Department officials who cringed at that level of information-sharing and the disclosure of sensitive investigative documents did much the same after Trump fired Comey in May 2017. When Republican lawmakers demanded additional materials about both the Clinton and Russia probes, the White House squeezed the agency to comply. At one point, in early 2017, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, refused to allow the nomination of Rod Rosenstein for deputy attorney general to go forward unless Grassley was provided a detailed briefing from the FBI about the Russia investigation.
To be fair, the situations behind the Clinton investigation and the Trump investigations were very different. The facts behind the Clinton email scandal were pretty well established to the public long before the election, the only real question was whether the Obama Justice Department would find some way to try get past the fact that she had committed multiple violations of national security. They did, by declaring intent a requirement for a crime that didn't require intent.

The read of the day, Conrad Black, Real Scandal Of Trump Term Starts To Unravel
. . . The special counsel, apart from smearing the president, distracted public attention from or tended to justify the ever more evident misconduct of the president’s enemies. We now know that Mr. Comey, despite his “higher duty,” lied to the president about his not being a target of an FBI investigation, illegally leaked to the New York Times the contents of a self-serving memo he purloined from the government, and lied to Congress by claiming 245 times in one sitting to be ignorant of recent matters that no one of sound mind could have forgotten.

Now we have Andrew McCabe’s proud confirmation that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein not only continued the illegal counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, but actively discussed methods of securing his removal from office by deliberate misuse of a variety of laws, including the Emoluments Clause, the 25th Amendment to deal with mental incompetence, and the Logan Act of 1799, which has never been used successfully and has not been tested in 150 years.

This entire monstrous travesty is finally coming apart without even waiting for the horrible disappointment of the special counsel’s inability to adduce a scrap of evidence to justify his replication of Torquemada as an inquisitor and of the Gestapo and KGB at rounding up and accusing unarmed individuals who were not flight risks. The collapse of this grotesque putsch, under the irresistible pressure of a functioning attorney general and Senate committees that are not hamstrung by NeverTrumpers, will cause a revulsion against the Democratic Party that will be seismic and prolonged. . .
Matthew Walter tells The Mueller joke. Just go read it.

Politico, Mueller rebuffs Roger Stone’s claims that feds tipped off CNN "In a court filing, his team said Stone’s sealed indictment was properly released minutes after the GOP operative’s arrest." That's a lawerly non-denial if I've ever heard one. Remember, it's a crime for you to lie to them, but not a crime for them to lie to you.

Democrat predicts House will get Trump’s tax returns — but there are a few complications
According to Beyer, the law allows “entities in Congress” to “request the tax return of any American citizen.” He said the Joint Taxation Committee theoretically could ask for the returns, but would be unlikely to do so due to Republican control of the Senate. This leaves the Ways and Means Committee, which is led by Democrats since they won control of the House last year. While Beyer said the Democrats on the committee have “begun the process,” he said it would be slow going.

“Our chairman, Richie Neal of Springfield, Mass., is going about this in a deliberate, thoughtful way. As he says, this is a really big, important, historic thing. He doesn’t want to not do it right. He wants to make sure that he’s crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s,” Beyer said.

Beyer said Neal had described some details about the process to his committee colleagues.

“As I understand it, at least as he’s explained it to us, the first step with his request is that the Internal Revenue Service will share it with him as the chairman confidentially,” Beyer said of Neal. “He will then review it and decide what can be shared with the full committee, and then ultimately, what can be shared with the American people.”
But the woman who claims to head a co-equal branch of government, Speaker Will Release Tax Returns ‘If and When She Runs for President’

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