Thursday, March 14, 2019

Taking a Page Out of Russiagate

Not her best day ever
Lots of news and commentary regarding Lisa Page's newly released congressional testimony that the FBI was thinking of charging Hillary Clinton with with endangering national security with her criminally gross negligent in handling national secrets in her basement/bathroom email server, but was scotched from on high in the DOJ. How high? We don't know, but Sally Yates or Loretta Lynch high seems likely, maybe even Barack Obama. First, we find the transcripts of days 1 and 2 of her testimony were released by Rep. Doug Collins (R. Georgia), who had previously released Bruce Ohr's testimony. Go Doug! (Chuck Ross at Da Caller). Wa Ex, Lisa Page said FBI discussed charging Hillary Clinton with 'gross negligence' in 2016, and DOJ told them no.
Page said DOJ advised FBI lawyers that “gross negligence” was a charge they could not “permissibly bring” against Clinton because it was “too vague.”

This borders on nonsense. “Gross negligence” is not some vaguely interpretive standard the FBI was creatively deciphering from penumbras of the federal criminal code. Instead, it is a specific, enumerated standard for prosecution under Section 793 (f) of the U.S. Code’s chapter on “Espionage and Censorship.” It says anyone in possession of protected information “related to the national defense” who, “through gross negligence, permits” that information to “removed from its proper place of custody,” “shall” be penalized with up to 10 years in prison.

“Gross negligence” may not be as precise as a numerical equation such as 2 plus 2, but it’s hardly a mystical concept understandable only by sages and seers. Instead, it is a basic legal standard, appearing in U.S. laws too many times to count . . .
But she cleans up better
Da Caller, Lisa Page Testimony May Have Put Obama AG Loretta Lynch In The Crosshairs.  Ace, Lisa Page: The DOJ Forbade Us From Bringing a Negligent Release of Classified Information Charge Against Hillary Clinton
Yes, the fix was in.
Say, anyone remember when Loretta Lynch claimed she was recusing herself from this case due to her speaking with Bill Clinton furtively on an airport tarmac?

Well actually she didn't recuse herself -- she said she would do as the FBI recommended. But she intended the media to sell that as a recusal, and the media so sold it.

Turns out, the DOJ did not defer to the FBI at all.
Althouse, "Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted... that 'the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information'..."
. . . Fox News reports today (about testimony from last summer).

Trump tweeted: "The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine. Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!"
 By way of the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 03.13.19, Power Line has What Lisa Page Said
The FBI conducted a fake investigation of Hillary Clinton and her server as limited by the Obama Department of Justice. Former FBI Director James Comey announced the termination of this investigation in the long deliberated but unsupportable script at his infamous July 2016 press conference. This is a political scandal of the traditional variety.

The FBI also conducted a pretextual counterintelligence focused on the Trump presidential campaign. Page and her FBI lover Peter Strzok texted about this investigation as their “insurance policy” in the event of Trump’s election, although Page did not concede this point. This is a political scandal that represents something new under the sun.

Page is a key witness in both of these matters. The Page text messages incidentally raise the question how senior FBI officials had so much time for politics and why they felt free to express their animus so freely on the job. I don’t think we’ll get a handle on that any time soon. According to Page, however, the text messages had no bearing on their work. That, as lawyers say, does not pass the straight face test.
Quin Hillyer, WaEx,  Lisa Page testimony means DOJ might want to re-open case against Hillary Clinton. Lock her up!

Sara Carter in Explosive Lisa Page Testimony: Dossier Timeline Contradictions And DOJ Interference and John Huber in Contradictions Thread explore Lisa Pages timelines, and where her testimony disagrees with other testimony.

WaEx, Byron York: Key House Republican on Pelosi impeachment pullback: 'I don't buy it.' Me neither. They'll time it out for advantage in the 2020 race.

Daniel Flynn, AmSpec, Judicial Watch Puts Bruce Ohr on Blast
The desire for secrecy and “firewalls” stemmed from the investigators seeking to thwart investigations into them. The correspondence released pertains to communication between Ohr and Steele after the FBI discontinued its relationship with the former British agent. Why did Ohr continue to rely on a figure who had run afoul of the bureau? Ohr, through his wife, knew of Steele’s relationship with the Clinton campaign. Why did he regard a paid operative of a political campaign as though an independent investigator? Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham referred Steele to the Department of Justice for a criminal probe last year. Although the released correspondence between Ohr and Steele stops in late 2017, why did Ohr carry on a relationship with someone clearly becoming the subject of an investigation given his position in the Department of Justice?

A more puzzling question: Why, long after the FBI fired Ohr’s collaborators Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, and severed its relationship with Steele, does Ohr remain, albeit in a lesser post, on the payroll at the Justice Department?
One might even call it obstruction of justice. Daniel Chaitin at WaEx, Devin Nunes guesses when he'll make criminal referrals to DOJ. Traditionally, the DOJ ignores criminal referrals from Congress.
Nunes has teased the onset of criminal referrals to the Justice Department for two months now, but has not divulged any names.

In February he said the GOP minority in the House Intelligence Committee offered up the names of roughly a dozen people they want to subpoena as the Democrats revitalize the panel's Russia investigation, although he said it was doubtful the Democratic majority would cooperate. Instead, Nunes is looking to William Barr, who on Feb. 14 became attorney general, to make headway towards completing an effort begun last year by a joint GOP-led task force comprising the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight Committee. "Look, we need the new attorney general to get in there, and then we will be making criminal referrals on many people who lied to Congress and many other bad things," Nunes said. Key to this effort, which has been bolstered by intelligence panel Republicans, is investigators looking over roughly 15 transcriptsof interviews conducted by the task force last year.
Manafort FINALLY says 'sorry' as he pleads with Obama-appointed judge to let him be with his wife (Daily Mail), but Paul Manafort gets additional 43 months in second Mueller sentence after ex-Trump campaign boss says he's 'sorry (The Peacock)'. And just to rub salt in the wounds, New York state piles on with additional charges (Hot Air). New York Charges Manafort With 16 Crimes. If He's Convicted, Trump ...  (New York Times) s not said he intends to pardon his former ... Beg your pardon? Lawmakers say pardoning Manafort a bad idea ( Manafort's lawyer essentially asks Trump for a pardon right before he's ... (The Week Magazine) 10 legal experts on why Trump can't pardon his way out of the Russia ... (Vox) Manafort indicted in New York state, charges that fall outside Trump's ...  (WaPoo) Is this double jeopardy? If so, Trump should pardon him.

Indication's that the Mueller probe is nearing an end, Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down In Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending (NPR), Andy Weissman the highly unethical persecutor prosecutor of Manafort. The WaPoo makes a list, It’s Mueller time (apparently). Here are four big questions. "1. Will we ever see the “report" — or anything close to it? 2. What will we learn about Trump? 3. Does it come with any big indictments — possibly for Jerome Corsi or even Donald Trump Jr.? 4. What is Mueller’s ‘impeachable’ threshold?" Jerome Corsi would be a big indictment? Chelsea Clinton would be a big indictment. But we also find out, via Town Hall, that the Mueller probe is funded through Sept, and who in government leaves money on the table? Just When We Thought The Mueller Probe Might End, This Wrench Is Thrown At Us

The Trump Dossier and the Poisoning of Sergei Skripal by Gary Gindler at the AmThink. I think we're gonna need more tinfoil.

Stormy Daniels called it “adorable” that ex-lawyer Michael Avenatti said he fired her during a speech to women at a private DC social club on Tuesday night.
“He knew that I was unhappy and looking for new counsel,” she told hundreds of women at The Wing, a private social club…
Touting her new lawyer, Clark Brewster, she said, “Sit tight ladies, it’s about to get real f—ing good,” hinting at fresh legal action.

A little more from NBC’s account of the same event:
“I have a new attorney,” she said, referring to Clark Brewster. “The details will be coming out very soon. And … my new attorney, you know, said today, ‘Things about to get real interesting.'”…
“Michael knew that I was very dissatisfied with a few things that — it pains me to not be able to share it,” she said.
Why can’t Stormy share it? Confidentiality is something a lawyer owes his client, not vice versa. And it’s not like she’s been shy about publicly accusing Avenatti of wrongdoing before.
She also worries that Trump could win again in 2020. Why worry? It's the only thing keeping the aging porn queen's career alive.

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