Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Some Rambing Russiagate

“[W]e don’t need to go at a total breakneck speed because so long as he doesn’t become President, there isn’t the same threat to national security, right,” Page explained, while saying that if Trump were not elected president, the bureau would still investigate.

“But if he becomes President, that totally changes the game because now he is the President of the United States,” Page told lawmakers. “He’s going to immediately start receiving classified briefings. He’s going to be exposed to the most sensitive secrets imaginable. And if there is somebody on his team who wittingly or unwittingly is working with the Russians, that is super serious.”

Page made clear, though, that those involved did not think Trump would beat Clinton: “So this reflects: Let’s be reasonable, let’s not, you know, throw the kitchen sink at this because he’s probably not going to be elected, and so then we don’t have quite as horrific a national security threat than if we do if he gets elected.”

Page also spoke to how little information the bureau was starting with, saying the FBI “knew so little” about whether the allegations were “true or not true,” and had "a paucity of evidence because we are just starting down the path" of vetting the allegations.

She later said that all they needed was an allegation, and claimed “it is entirely common, particularly in a counterintelligence investigation, that you would only have—you would have a small amount of evidence” in launching a probe.
So all the Trump team has to do is throw a bone to FBI/DOJ that all his democratic opponents have been colluding with the Russians, and they'll all be investigated? I doubt it. John Sexton at Hot Air, Lisa Page: FBI Discussed Charging Clinton With ‘Gross Negligence’ But The DOJ Said No
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified before Congress last summer but it was a closed session. Today, transcripts of her appearance were released and they apparently contained some news about what the FBI thought about Hillary Clinton’s private email system. According to Page, the FBI discussed charging Clinton for behaving with gross negligence, but the DOJ said no. From the Washington Examiner:
Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.
Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.
Page responded: “That’s correct.”
This fits with something John Solomon at the Hill reported last month. According to his congressional testimony, former FBI General Counsel James Baker had initially supported charging Clinton under gross negligence but changed his mind . . .

CNS News, Sen. John Kennedy: When the FBI Knocks at Your Door, ‘You Shouldn’t Have to Worry About Whether You’re a Democrat or Republican’. From Sundance at CTH, Sunday Talks: Senator John Kennedy Rebuttal to Andrew McCabe…

Margot Clevelend at Da Federalist, 11 Key Things Inside The House Interview With Spygate Figure Bruce Ohr. Too long to itemize, too important not to link.

From Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Dark Money Org Gave $2 Million To Group Working With Fusion GPS, Steele. But as with Occasional Cortex, bad money is only bad when it helps a Republican.

The Atlantic writes sadly, Waiting in Vain for the Mueller Report - Expectations that the special counsel will deliver a long narrative of Donald Trump’s malfeasance are likely to be disappointed.

July Kelly at American Greatness, Another Double-Standard: Recusal Demands for Nunes but not Schiff. If it weren't for double standards, they'd have none at all.

Russian conspiracy theorist @RepAdamSchiff attacked @DevinNunes for “overstating the significance” of Bruce Ohr’s interactions with Chris Steele
He also implied Ohr had nothing to do with counterintelligence work

Yeah, neither of those are true
Althouse, The NYT "Daily" podcast traps Jerry Nadler into an implicit confession that his investigation into Trump is biased and political.
I'm listening to today's episode of the NYT "Daily" podcast, which is the 3rd part in a series about what to expect from the Mueller report. It's an interview with Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating President Trump and where an effort to impeach Trump would begin.

The NYT interviewer is the host of the "Daily" podcast, Michael Barbaro, and, at about 8 minutes into the conversation, he traps Nadler with this stunning question: "You said that you believed the President obstructed justice, and I wonder why you would... say that publicly before the release of the Mueller report? What's the value in doing that? Does it not kind of inherently portray whatever investigation..."

Those 2 ellipses are places where Nadler interrupts. On the second interruption, I believe Barbaro was about to say that the Judiciary Committee is going to look political and biased.

Nadler, seems to anticipate that accusation, and he says says, "Well, I believe in answering questions honestly. I was asked a question." There follows a snorty little laugh. The laugh might mean: Hey, it's your fault, Barbaro, for asking me. Or it might mean: Oh, I get how you boxed me in, Barbaro, you rascal.

Barbaro observes that when Nadler was asked if he thought Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice, he could have just said "Let's wait until the Mueller report comes out." That wouldn't have been dishonest. Nadler responds, "Well, maybe I should have." Which I interpret to mean: Yeah, I wish I'd thought of that.
Tom Fitton: EVERYONE in Washington DC Knows There is No Trump/Russia Collusion

At Da Hill, Ex-CIA director: 'I don't have any doubt' Trump will pardon Manafort, I do.
"He feels as though this whole investigation has been a lark and a witch hunt. And so why would Donald Trump allow him to stay in jail if those were his views?" Brennan continued. "Anything is possible with Donald Trump. ... He uses these powers as he wants to and as he believes is going to help him personally.

"I think Donald Trump is ultimately going to pardon him," he said.
Da Week, Is impeaching Trump worth the risk? Why ask, you will anyway. Instapudit, NO, PELOSI’S IMPEACHMENT REMARK DOESN’T TAKE THE ISSUE OFF THE TABLE: 
Much of the reporting and commentary on the Speaker of the House’s comment to the Washington Post that she opposes impeachment of President Donald Trump seems to assume that Nancy Pelosi is trying to protect her Democrats from themselves.

But veteran political strategists from both the Democratic and Republican sides are cautioning that the Chief Executive would be well-advised not to fire all those lawyers he’s got defending him just yet because Pelosi’s statement is subject to multiple levels of meaning.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air: New York AG Launches Fishing Expedition Into Trump Org Finances. Desperate to find the crime to fit the man.

For real?
Bummer, Avenatti: I’m Dropping Stormy Daniels As A Client (AllahPundit, Hot Air)
He made it very clear that he dumped Stormy, not vice versa, and not because they no longer had any legal business together. He discovered something that forced his hand, or so he says, and of course you can’t know about it due to attorney-client confidentiality. Lest there was any ambiguity about which party rejected the other, he clarified for CNBC: “I made the decision to terminate the representation.” How often does a celebrity lawyer cut loose a celebrity client who’s in on-again-off-again litigation with the president of the United States?

This isn’t the first time that Avenatti has generated bad press for Stormy. Remember that bizarre episode last fall in which Daniels accused him of various forms of chicanery, only to have Avenatti politely hype an embarrassing story about her the next day? (Against all odds, they reconciled afterward.) An obvious possibility arises in light of last fall’s unpleasantness: Is Stormy about to sue Avenatti, possibly for malpractice?

She already has a new lawyer, you know.
Does this mean their 15 minutes are over?

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