Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Load of Russiagate

A relatively light load on this Sunday morning. Could this be calming down?

The "Honey Badger" AG William Barr keeps making news. Fox New, Bill Barr vows to uncover 'exactly what happened' with Russia probe, says explanations have been 'inadequate'

Carmine Sabia at the Federalist Papers, Bill Barr Promises Payback, The Investigations Into Investigators Begins. Don Surber promises Justice is coming. "This will take time. We must be patient. The third act has just begun."  I'm only cautiously optimistic; the institutional inertia at DOJ makes it extremely resistant to change.

From Sundance at CTH, Devin Nunes Discusses “Spygate” and Comments by AG Bill Barr…

S. Noble at the Independent Sentinel, Ex-Commie Comey Attacks Barr, says he’s Sliming the DOJ
Perhaps Comey is crazier than he is corrupt. The walls are closing in, the ship is sinking and the rats are scurrying. If I had to bet, I’d bet Comey will be indicted.

Comey the commie was reacting to Barr’s interview with Bill Hemmer on Friday.
Capt. Ed at Hot Air,  Dems Wonder: Will Mueller Ever Testify At All? I really think they don't want him to testify, Republicans would ask too many questions they don't want to hear the answer to. They just want to make an issue out of it.
So what’s going on? It has begun to dawn on Democrats that Mueller — in the parlance of our times — just isn’t into them. The Hill reports that the prospects of getting any testimony from Mueller have begun to dim. That hasn’t kept them from shifting the blame, however . . .
S. Noble at the Independent Sentinel again, Rush says he knows why Mueller’s NOT COMING to testify!
“If Mueller doesn’t want to talk, do you know what it means? It means he’s got nothing to tell ’em that he knows they’re gonna want to hear. If Mueller had things to tell them that they wanted to hear, he would have been there by now,” he added, noting that even if Mueller does testify, Democrats and critics will be “disappointed and mad” as there won’t be anything in his testimony to satisfy them.

“All Mueller knows is that if he goes up there and talks to ’em, they’re gonna be disappointed and mad at him. He doesn’t want them mad at him, and the press and all these Democrats on Capitol Hill, they think that Mueller should know that they’re on his team. See, they’re convinced that Mueller has got more information than Barr has released, that Mueller has more information than what’s in the report,” Limbaugh continued.

“Bob Mueller’s like anybody else in that town: ‘Give me a really good puff piece in the Washington Post and I’ll do anything for you,’” Limbaugh said Friday. “If he thought there was a great Washington Post Style section puff piece waiting, he would have been up there by now. But Mueller knows he doesn’t have anything to tell them along the lines of what they want to hear.”
NYDayNews, Fox News surprising poll results: Mueller is more trusted than Trump and Barr. Well, the Democrats have been campaigning against Barr since he was appointed. Besides, one should, in fact, always be suspicious of Attorney Generals, as history suggests the job carries a strong probability of having a political side.

Rod Rosenstein, quoted in Medium “I Was Always on the Same Team”. Read the whole thing.
As acting Attorney General, it was my responsibility to make sure that the Department of Justice would conduct an independent investigation; complete it expeditiously; hold perpetrators accountable if warranted; and work with partner agencies to counter foreign agents and deter crimes.

We achieved those goals.

As a result, our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes.

But not everybody was happy with my decision, in case you did not notice.
Andy McCarthy at NR, The Steele Dossier and the ‘VERIFIED APPLICATION’ That Wasn’t
Here’s what you need to know: In rushing out their assessment of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Obama-administration officials chose not to include the risible Steele-dossier allegations that they had put in their “VERIFIED APPLICATION” for warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) because . . . wait for it . . . the allegations weren’t verified.

And now, the officials are squabbling over who pushed the dossier. Why? Because the dossier — a Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed, based on anonymous Russian sources peddling farcical hearsay, compiled by a well-paid foreign operative (former British spy Christopher Steele) — is crumbling by the day.
But read it all anyway. Streif at Red State, Key Russian Sources For The Steele Dossier Are Identified And They Will Blow Your Mind. Well, not mine. The names didn't even ring a bell, and I've read an awful lot of this stuff in the course of preparing these daily briefings:
The larger question about the dossier is the role the Russians had in creating it. Persons as widely separated by politics and position as New York Times reporter Scott Shane and Attorney General Bill Barr have wondered aloud if the dossier was actually a Russian disinformation operation(see If This New York Times Reporter Suspected The Dossier Was A Fraud Why Is He Only Reporting On It Now and Kevin McCarthy Calls The Russia Collusion Hoax A Coup Attempt And He’s Right).

One of the first things that you notice about the sourcing in the dossier is the incredible number of former and current Russian intelligence goons who were willing to talk about what had to be a highly classified operation with no less an objective than gaining control of the President of the United States (see The Steele Memo Is Much More Likely Russian Dezinformatsiya Than It Is Intelligence). In most places, particularly in places like Russia, that is not cocktail lounge gossip. And Russia doesn’t just take away your security clearance when you divulge secrets, they often run you alive into a crematorium. Now the Daily Caller had uncovered information that makes the sourcing look more and more like a Russian operation.
Dossier author Christopher Steele identified a former Russian spy chief and a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin as being involved in handling potentially compromising information about President Donald Trump, State Department notes show.
In her notes, State Department official Kathleen Kavalec also referred to the two Russians — former Russian foreign intelligence chief Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Putin aide Vladislav Surkov — as “sources.”
The references to Trubnikov and Surkov, which have not previously been reported, are not definitive proof that either were sources for Steele’s dossier or that they were involved in an effort to collect blackmail material on Trump.
But the notes are significant because they are the first government documents that show Steele discussing potential sources for the information in his dossier, which the former MI6 officer provided to the FBI.
Think about that for a moment. I could see some low level operative shooting his mouth off to impress someone but claiming the former head of the SVR and a current Putin aide are talking about something this sensitive. What makes this more interesting is Trubnikov’s relationship with another well known figure in the Russia hoax:
Trubnikov also has links to Stefan Halper, an FBI informant who collected information from Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. Halper arranged for Trubnikov to visit intelligence seminars at the University of Cambridge in 2012 and 2015. He also tapped Trubnikov to contribute to a Pentagon study published in 2015.

Halper tapped Trubnikov to contribute to a study he did in 2015 for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) titled “The Russia-China relationship: The Impact on the United States’ Security Interests.” Halper, who served in three Republican presidential administrations, was paid over $1 million from 2012 through 2018 for reports from ONA, which is led by Pentagon officials Andrew May and James Baker.
Given Halper’s role in attempting to sandbag Mike Flynn and compromise Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, one is left wondering if Halper was one of Christopher Steele’s intermediaries.

The very fact that Barr is asking the right questions is a good sign that we’ll eventually have the answers to these questions and many more.
But the idea that the dossier is Russian disinformation, eagerly accepted by FusionGPS, the DNC,  the Clinton campaign and Trump hating US Intelligence chiefs rings true.

Adam Mill at AmGreat in explaining How the FBI Broke the Rules Using Christopher Steele, harkens back to Mueller's time in Boston, and connection to the Whitey Bulger case:
The FBI’s relationship with Steele reminds us of John Connolly’s relationship with Whitey Bulger in a number of ways. First, the post-Bulger guidelines warn the FBI to make an assessment of the informant’s “motivation in providing information or assistance, including any consideration sought from the government for this assistance.” Remember, Fusion GPS paid Steele at the same time the FBI paid him. He had a job to do for the Clinton campaign and unique access and trust with the FBI to do that job.

According to John Solomon’s reporting, Steele was also known to be politically biased against Trump and, “desperate that Trump not be elected.” Solomon has also reported that the FBI withheld (or at least significantly downplayed) those derogatory facts from the FISA court in much the same way Connolly used to paper over the record to make Bulger appear more credible than he really was.

Second, the post-Bulger guidelines also warn the FBI that the information obtained from the confidential informant “must be truthful.” And we now know Steele’s desperation, or perhaps his love of money, led him to pass on information that he would later admit could be untrue or even “deliberately false.”

Third, the guidelines require that the confidential informant must “abide by the instructions of the [FBI].” As Fox News noted, Steele was “suspended and then terminated” as an FBI source for what the bureau defined “as the most serious of violations”—an “unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.” The FBI would later cite a news report sourced to Steele as a way of corroborating Steele—an echo chamber effect that further corrupted the investigation.

Thus, Steele not only helped trigger FBI-sponsored surveillance against his client’s political enemy, he also interfered in the ongoing presidential election by smearing candidate Trump with a public disclosure of the investigation.

Recall that the February 2018 Nunes memo detailed how Steele in September 2016 leaked information to Yahoo News, even going so far as to suggest he was authorized to speak on behalf of “U.S. officials.” Thus, Steele broke a fourth FBI rule, which bars confidential informants from taking “any independent action on behalf of the United States Government.”

So the Steele tail wagged the FBI dog much the same way Whitey Bulger used the FBI frame his enemies. As Bulger’s money found its way into Connolly’s pocket, so, too, did Clinton money find its way into the Ohrs’ pockets as the husband promoted Steele’s work to the FBI.

Some may argue that the Russia collusion hoax is nowhere near as serious as the tragedy of four men being framed for murder by an FBI agent trying to protect a “confidential informant.” But the Trump-Russia hoax is arguably far worse because of the lasting damage it has done to our constitutional republic. As serious as the allegations against Trump were, framing a person for treason may be worse than treason itself. The hoaxsters have done incalculable damage to the rule of law and Americans’ faith in the justice system.
And finally, "Bonchie" at Red State explains why The New Trump-Flynn Obstruction Of Justice “Bombshell” Is Complete Garbage, an ordinary conversation between lawyers being dressed up a crime.

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