Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Steaming Pile of Russiagate

A pretty good pile for a Sunday anyway. Two from one of the last honest journalists, Kimberly Strassel: AG Barr gets attacked because his probe endangers powerful people and Kim Strassel on Barr Hearings: “There’s an Intense Desire Among Democrats to Attempt to Impugn The Integrity of Bill Barr”


Insty, SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “Barr is investigating Democrats. Democrats call for Barr to resign. According to Nadler, that’s obstruction of justice!”.

From Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare, a long article on his Thoughts on Barr and the Mueller Report. Read it, but Insty summed it up pretty well with this snippet:
“Sometimes Justice Department independence means standing up to the president. And sometimes it means taking unpopular positions in defense of the presidency. I am pretty confident that the latter is what Barr is up to.”

Chuck Ross at Da Caller, William Barr Made A Major Disclosure In His Senate Hearing That Hardly Anyone Noticed. He named former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer  as an FBI source for information about George Papadopoulos. We knew it, but now we know what direction he's going in.

A couple from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.03.19 (Evening Edition), American Thinker: William Barr In The Crosshairs and Power Line: For Fear Of William Barr which heavily cites a third Kimberly Strassel article from the pay walled WSJ.

Christine Emba at WaPoo complains about William Barr’s master class in word-splitting. Remember the magic code to read WaPoo, --Nona.

The Week in Pictures: Close Down the Barr Edition
Roll Call, House Democrats give Barr final warning before contempt proceedings
In a letter to Barr on Friday, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler gave the Justice Department a 9 a.m. Monday deadline to respond to his letter affirming that it will comply with the subpoena — which called for Barr to supply the full Mueller report and underlying evidence to Congress by May 1 — or negotiate in good faith with the committee to reach a “reasonable accommodation.”

So far, DOJ has stiffed the committee, citing legal statutes that restrict the attorney general from handing over some information underlying the Mueller report to Congress and claiming the committee does not have a “legitimate” reason to demand such information.
AllahPundit, Dem Rep. Steve Cohen: We Need To Send The Sergeant-At-Arms To Arrest Bill Barr If He Won’t Come Testify Voluntarily. Good Luck with that.

John Dowd: Rod Rosenstein Has To Answer For Appointing Robert Mueller As Special Council. Rod is still a mystery in my mind. My guess is that he was a basically non-partisan institutional guy. He's a good lawyer, and will command a high price in private practice, but appointing Mueller does seem like a precipitous step.

Matt Vespa at Town Hall reviews a WSJ Columnist: This Is Why The 'FBI Spying On Trump Campaign' Story All Of A Sudden Has More Leaks Than The Iraqi Navy, as, covering his own ass, Comey defends FBI's investigation in response to NYT 'spying' report.

Devin Nunes seeks to unmask the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud, whose name has been bandied about a bit more often in the last week or so again. Da Caller, Devin Nunes Casts Doubt On Joseph Mifsud Narrative In Letter To Intel Agencies. If he was, as the Mueller Report alleges, a Russian spy, he was the best known Russian spy for years.
Mifsud, who once served as a Maltese diplomat, taught at Link Campus, a Rome-based university that has close ties to Western intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA. Mifsud was interviewed by the FBI about his Papadopoulos contacts during a visit to the U.S. in February 2017.

Mifsud had attended an event hosted by the State Department. He was also a featured speaker at an event hosted by Global Ties. Another speaker at the event was Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Nunes asserted that if Mifsud was a Russian agent, the U.S. government would be obligated to run “damage assessments to determined what sensitive information Mifsud may have conveyed to the Russians and what Russian disinformation he may have spread.”
At Doug Ross, Larwyn's Linx: Has the Intel Community Become a Danger to Our Republic? has a number of related links: Has the Intel Community Become a Danger to Our Republic?: Robin Burk, Giddy Up – Devin Nunes Questions Political Alignment of Joseph Mifsud: CTH, Politics by Other Means: The Use and Abuse of Scandal: John Marini, Who won this week: Don Surber. Barr Told Nothing But the Truth to Congress: Adam Mill, President Trump Should Ask Democrats to Declare War on Russia: Daniel Greenfield, Read: White House Counsel Emmet Flood's letter to AG Barr on Mueller report: Fox, On the Warpath: Emmet Flood’s Letter Signals a New Phase: EIB
AG Barr: “the evidence is now that the President was falsely accused”: CHQ

Red State demonstrates how The New York Times Goes To Hilarious Lengths To Not Use The Word “Spy”

And today, WaPoo tipped it's hand as to how they're going to deal with the spygate problem, "Republicans sieze" ‘Investigate the investigators’ is new Trump rallying cry to counter Mueller report
Trump and his allies, seeking to amplify claims that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign, are seizing on news reports and statements by Attorney General William P. Barr to launch a political rallying cry they view as an antidote to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings.
Also at WaPoo, Jennifer Rubin whines the question Why don’t Americans want to impeach Trump?. Because he hasn't done anything wrong (after extensive investigation), the economy is great, and he's appointing good court picks. Beating Hillary in the electoral college is not a crime.

Chucky Schumer Rips Trump Over Putin Call For ‘Gossiping About Fox News Conspiracy Theories’

Glenn Thrush at NYT (cited at MSNBC), Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results. Talk about projection.

Red State, Leaked Transcript Of Loretta Lynch’s Testimony On Pre-Exoneration Tarmac Meeting With Bill Clinton Shows He Was ‘Strangely Eager’ To Speak To Her. Hmmm, nope, nothing fishy going on there, at all.
Testifying under oath in a closed-door hearing on December 19, 2018 before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, Lynch answered questions about her encounter with Clinton.

Felten describes it as “both perplexing and preposterous, a story that defies innocent explanation.”
At Doug Ross, Roscoe B. Davis ASKS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION: who actually brought Paul Manafort into the Trump campaign? with a suspicion that the Ukranian government, in cahoots with the Clinton campaign, had a role.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reports Prosectors: You’d Better Believe We Can Charge Stone With Obstruction Without Russia-Collusion, when there was no underlying crime of collusion.
What’s the difference between Stone and Trump on obstruction? For one thing, prosecutors allege that Stone conducted specific acts of obstruction. For all of Trump’s venting and threats, Trump never actually took an obstructive act, except potentially to ask James Comey to take it easy on Michael Flynn and to fire Comey a few weeks later. Neither of those were obstructive on their face, however; as Barr argued, neither act was inherently illegal, so one would have to prove a corrupt intent.

Without an underlying crime, Barr argued, it would be nearly impossible to prove that Trump had a criminal intent to block the probe by using authority granted to him by the Constitution, especially since he never did take any action to shut it down when he also had that authority. Everything else in the Mueller report came down to Trump throwing tantrums and making demands that no one took seriously enough to undertake — which is why those didn’t amount to obstruction. Arguably, anyway, even though they certainly don’t paint Trump in a very positive light.

In contrast, prosecutors allege in their indictment that Stone took specific and corrupt acts to thwart investigations not just by the FBI and special counsel, but also Congress:
Yep, collusion

If true, all of those actions would be illegal on their face, and not part of some constitutional authority subject to a dissection of motive. Also, the defense argument overlooks another inconvenient detail, which is that only one of the seven counts on Stone is explicitly an obstruction charge. He also faces five counts of making false statements to investigators, all of them in his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, and a seventh count of witness tampering. Assuming that prosecutors can prove those charges, they would apply whether the investigation turned up a Russia-collusion scheme or not.

Trump was smart enough to keep himself out of a perjury trap and to keep from making too much contact with other witnesses. Allegedly at least, Stone wasn’t.

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