Friday, May 24, 2019

Russigate: The Declassification Boogie

The big news, of course, is that President Trump has authorized AG Barr to declassify documents relating to the origin of the Russiagate hoax and ordered the heads of other agencies to aid in his quest. WaPoo (30 day pass), Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe
President Trump has granted Attorney General William P. Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify government secrets, issuing a memorandum late Thursday that orders U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate promptly with Barr’s audit of the investigation into Russia’s election interference in 2016.

The president’s move gives Barr broad powers to unveil carefully guarded intelligence secrets about the Russia investigation, which the attorney general requested to allow him to quickly carry out his review, according to the memo.

“Today’s action will ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” the White House said in an accompanying statement, which Trump then tweeted.
You can imagine APs take from the title,  Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused Trump and Barr of trying to “conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

“The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase,” Schiff said in a statement released late Thursday. “This is un-American.”

Typically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence coordinates declassification work by contacting various agencies where classified material originated to get their input on what should be released or not disclosed based on legal exemptions. The president, however, has the authority to declassify anything he wants.

A former senior intelligence official who served in the Obama administration said their principle concern is that the attorney general, hand-picked by Trump, could declassify and release selective bits to make the previous administration and former senior officials look bad. The former official spoke on the condition that the official would not be named in order to describe the concerns of intelligence professionals.
Comey, Clapper or Brennan? They all have stuff they want to keep hidden. Gateway Pundit, Schiff Panics: Accuses Trump of Cover-up With Declassification of Campaign Spying Docs

Da Wire, BREAKING: Trump Declassifying Information That Led To Russia Investigation, Capt Ed at Hot Air, Let The Gamechanging Begin: Trump Authorizes Declassification Of Crossfire Hurricane Origins, Ace, Trump Orders Intelligence Agencies to Cooperate With AG Barr's Investigation; First Round of Declassified Documents Being Prepped for Release
Wait, are you telling me they weren't cooperating before?

That's not possible. I'm told they're straight-shooters and the very best of us.
Power Line, Trump signs declassification memo
Recognizing the danger to Democratic interests posed by a thorough and transparent investigation of surveillance against the Trump campaign, Rep. Adam Schiff wasted no time complaining about the declassification memo. He accused the president and the attorney general of conspiring to “weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

But all they are really doing is providing access to information. If the information shows no wrongdoing, there will be nothing to “weaponize.” If the information shows wrongdoing, consequences should follow.
PJ Media, Susan Rice on Investigating Origins of Russia Probe: 'I Have No Idea What DOJ is Doing'. But was she on her way to see a lawyer?

Attachment 3, the 302 of Strzok being interviewed regarding his ambush interview with Gen Michael Flynn. "Flynn was unguarded and clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Big mistake, don't ever talk to the FBI without a lawyer.

Althouse catches the legal community in wishful thinking in Bill Barr said something that was literally true but could still be considered a criminal false statement.
Lawprof Stephen Gillers explains in "When Is a 'Literally True”' Statement False and a Crime?"

I'll just excerpt the part about Bill Clinton:
Da Caller, Trump Accuses James Comey, Andrew McCabe Of Treason. Hey, it might be worth litigating. Ace, Mike Pompeo: Why Yes, It Happens to Be True That John Kerry Is Violating the Logan Act. I'm all for prosecuting him, and appealing all the way to the Supes if necessary. I don't believe it's constitutional, but lets find out before the Democrats try to use it on another Republican.
So open an investigation into John Kerry. Per Obama precedent, THE LOGAN ACT IS REAL, YO.

Put him under oath and subpoena all his financial records going back 8 years. Justice requires no less.

This man cannot be allowed to prance around as if he is King, immune to all laws.
Via Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.23.19 (Morning Edition), Mark Steyn: Honey Traps & Money Traps, also, Investigation Without End

Via the Wombats, In The Mailbox: 05.23.19 (Evening Edition) VDH at American Greatness: Federal Rats Are Fleeing The Sinking Collusion Ship, Don Surber: Americans Want The FBI Investigated, Power Line, Will The Media Ever Pay A Price For Its Irresponsibility? Mark Steyn, Declassify Everything, Mr. President!,  BattleSwarm, Creepy Porn Lawyer Even Creepier, Weasel Zippers: Flashback – Media Drooling Over Michael Avenatti As “Savior Of The Republic”

Sundance at CTH claims Robert Mueller Did Interview President Trump Regarding Obstruction Case…, only it occurred before he was appointed Special Counsel. It's an interesting theory, but I'm unconvinced. I feel much more certain about this one from Bonchie at Red State, Details Show Obama Is Clearly Lying About His Involvement In The Trump-Russia Hoax. As Capt. Joseph Hazelwood knows, the Captain is responsible for what happens on his ship, even when he's lying in his bunk. Capt. Ed at Hot Air, CJR: Obama Admin Surveillance Of Reporters “Broader Than Previously Known”. And they stayed his friend and protector anyway.

Chuck Ross at Da Caller (again) Nunes To Trump: Ask Theresa May About Brits’ Handling Of Steele Dossier. Don't ask. Tell her. Besides, I doubt she'll last the week. UPDATE: Gone! Francis Turner at  L'Ombre de l'Olivier A Tale of Two Coups, compares the Spygate scandal to the Brexit mess, both examples of the ruling class being unwilling to honor the wishes of the voters.

Spike Hampson at AmGreat has a simple request. Let's Make Sure 'Obstruction of Justice' Is Properly Defined. Not all forms of resistance to a prosecutor is obstruction regardless of how they feel about it.
The Department of Justice is not synonymous with "justice."  We all sincerely hope that the Department pursues true justice most of the time, but anybody with any worldly experience knows that sometimes it doesn't.  Obstructing the activities of the Department of Justice should not be automatically viewed as obstructing justice.  Even if the Department of Justice is behaving honorably, a person who interferes with its investigation to keep it from arriving at a false conclusion should not be found guilty of obstructing justice.  Only a person who attempts to block the department from discovering something true should even be considered for prosecution based on obstruction of justice.
WaFreeBee, Democracy Alliance Members Fund ‘American Oversight’ Investigations of Trump "Group running FOIA op on Trump admin claims to be nonpartisan". I'm shocked, shocked to find out the contrary. Politics ain't bean bag!

Capt Ed is a busy man, Breaking: Banking CEO Indicted For Bribing Manafort To Get A Trump Admin Gig. News flash, Manafort is scum. So why didn't the FBI warn Trump instead of opening an investigation on him? Because they could.

Twitchy, Didn’t pull a single punch! Rep. Doug Collins NAILS Democrats for the real reason they want to question McGahn (watch)

Michael Tracey at Spectator USA captures my impressions in Maria Butina: jailed for the crime of being Russian. She’s a political prisoner, caught up in the mess of the Mueller probe
Maria Butina was not a Russian spy. She did not trade sex for influence. She had nothing to do with any clandestine espionage activity, nor did she ever hide her dealings with American political officials. In fact, she unabashedly loved America – perhaps to a fault. But she’s currently sitting in jail, and almost no one will say a word in her defense. The ordeal to which she’s been subjected is jaw-dropping for its recklessness and absurdity.

There’s so much that’s wrong with this case, it’s almost hard to know where to begin. Maybe the most obnoxious malfeasance was committed by moralizing media members who saw fit to cast judgment on her personal romantic decisions – as if that was ever remotely any of their business in the first place. Butina was in a long-term relationship with an older man, Paul Erickson, a fact automatically skewed as proof (somehow) that she was a transactional harlot. The sleazy hunch was never supported by actual facts, but that didn’t stop journalists from spewing the most malignant theories about what could have possibly possessed her to enter this consensual adult relationship. When it comes to the wider Trump-Russia saga, all ordinary journalistic and ethical standards are chucked decisively out the window.
On the other side of media malfeasance, Twitchy ‘Too shocked for words’: Somebody’s conspicuously missing from CNN’s homepage "We can remember a time not so long ago when CNN couldn’t get enough of Michael Avenatti. But now?" Dr. John at Flopping Aces shares Creepy Porn Lawyer highlights and flashbacks

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