Monday, June 17, 2019

An Odd Lot of Russiagate

When Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos he (Donald) might listen to "oppo" research coming from a foreign source and that he might not tell the FBI about it, the mainstream media, as is so often the case, deliberately missed or misstated what he meant, went into one of their usual hissy fits, and attacked the president, even calling him treasonous.

Besides the obvious hypocrisy, pointed out with characteristic aplomb by Andrew McCarthy, something else, likely more important, was at play.

The media (and the Democrats, of course) deliberately missed the point because you would have to be seriously intellectually challenged not to get why Trump might have been hesitant or ambivalent about going to the FBI. These days only a total dimwit would unquestioningly trust the supposed "world's greatest law enforcement agency." The FBI is under a dark cloud.

The litany of personages who have recently left or been expelled from that organization is long and getting longer. As is well known, it's under investigation for its practices during and before the Mueller probe, via the inspector general and recently-appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is famed for prosecuting FBI agents with ties to the Boston mob. All this is being supervised by AG William Barr. . . .
Read the whole thing. One should never "trust" the FBI or any government agency. They are all composed of fallible humans, prone to taking power offered for official purposes into their hands for personal and political goals. We must watch them carefully at all times. And this leads us to Sundance at CTH with Reminder: John Durham Questioning CIA Officials About Intelligence Community Assessment…
CTH has previously outlined how the December 29th, 2016, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) on Russia Cyber Activity was a quickly compiled bunch of nonsense about Russian hacking. The JAR was followed a week later by the January 7th, 2017, Intelligence Community Assessment. The ICA took the ridiculous construct of the JAR and then overlaid a political narrative that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump.

The ICA was the brain-trust of John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey. NSA Director Mike Rogers would not sign up to the “high confidence” claims, likely because he saw through the political motives of the report.
(New York Times) […] Mr. Barr wants to know more about the C.I.A. sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign, an official has said. He also wants to better understand the intelligence that flowed from the C.I.A. to the F.B.I. in the summer of 2016.
During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the intelligence community released a declassified assessment that concluded that Mr. Putin ordered an influence campaign that “aspired to help” Mr. Trump’s electoral chances by damaging Mrs. Clinton’s. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported they had high confidence in the conclusion. The National Security Agency, which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence. (read more)
Questioning the construct of the ICA is a smart direction to take for a review or investigation. By looking at the intelligence community work-product, it’s likely Durham will cut through a lot of the chatter and get to the heart of the intelligence motives.
JE Dayer at Liberty Unyielding, Good grief: FBI never saw full CrowdStrike report on the DNC server at Liberty Front,  NSA Whistleblower Has Evidence DNC Was NOT Hacked By Russia, Mueller Report Completely Based on Lies. An old rumor reborn. It may or may not be true, because the notion that the DNC hack was carried out by Russia will never be tested in a court of law. And Why Didn’t Mueller Investigate Seth Rich? Because of the way Rosenstein wrote the letters giving Mueller his charge, it was limited to possible wrong doing by the Trump campaign, with a special codicil to allow him to go after one of Rosenstein's old foes, Paul Manafort for financial crimes that Rosenstein had previously failed to get enough on.

American Elephants posts Judicial Watch Looks Beyond the Headlines!

Dan Bongino, Was THIS Man Responsible for Framing Michael Flynn All Along?
Kelly drew attention to other oddities too, including the fact that Kislyak received an unexplained $120,000 payment 10 days after the 2017 election. Kislyak also maintained a friendly relationship with Michael McFaul, Obama’s ambassador to Russia for two years, and a believer in the collusion conspiracy. McFaul had heaped praise on Kislyak just weeks after the 2016 election, which seems odd for a man seriously convinced that the country he represents just interfered in our election.

McFaul also may have revealed some anti-Trump tendencies of Kislyak. When Kislyak attended a Trump foreign policy speech in Washington D.C., McFaul tweeted about his friend; “Did Russian ambassador Kislyak attend opposition campaign event today? #doublestandards.” Doesn’t that sound like McFaul questioning why his friend is attending the “enemies” event?
"Fuzzy Slippers" at Legal Insurrection, If Trump “Might” Accept Foreign Info on Opponents and Obama Actually Did, Who’s Guilty of What? It's different when Democrats do it because Shut up!

Dennis Prager at the Daily Wire, Leftism Makes People Meaner: Reflections On The Torture Of Paul Manafort
There are kind and mean conservatives and kind and mean liberals. Neither liberalism nor conservatism makes people kinder or meaner. But this is not the case with leftism. With the handful of exceptions that accompany every generalization, leftism makes people meaner, even crueler.

Take the transfer of Manafort, the one-time Trump campaign manager, from a federal prison to New York's Rikers Island prison. Rikers Island is universally regarded as a wretched place. As Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote:
"The decision to move Paul Manafort ... from the decent federal prison to which he was sentenced to solitary confinement to the dangerous hell hole that is New York City's Rikers Island seems abusive and possibly illegal.
"I know Rikers well having spent time there visiting numerous defendants accused of murder and other violent crimes. It is a terrible place that no one should ever be sent to."
Mass murderers and torturers are among those incarcerated at Rikers Island.

Moreover, Manafort, found guilty solely for white-collar crimes, will be placed in solitary confinement — "for his own safety."

Virtually everyone who has written about solitary confinement, both on the right and the left, deems it torture. Manafort will therefore be tortured after being sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for fraud and, in the words of the Daily Wire, "a little-known law that requires lobbyists to report that they are working on behalf of a foreign government (in Manafort's case, Ukraine)."

Angry over the possibility that Manafort may be pardoned by President Trump, the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, charged Manafort with additional crimes based on state law. That way, if found guilty of state offenses, he cannot be pardoned by Trump, as the president's power to pardon applies only to federal — not state — crimes.

Everyone knows this prosecution is politically motivated. Vance hates the president and wants to use solitary confinement in a hellhole with violent criminals to squeeze Manafort into testifying against the president.
. . .
"Solitary is also called the 'hole.' It's a small space, barely large enough to stand, with a slit for light, to which prisoners are confined/caged for 23 hours a day. ...

"Paul Manafort, seventy years old, has endured this torture for eight months. He's now in a wheelchair, while Judge Amy Berman Jackson mocks his rapidly deteriorating health. Where is the outcry from the ACLU?"

So, then, what enables Vance, Mueller and Jackson to engage in such evil?

The only answer is their politics — the politics of the Trump-hating left. Cyrus Vance, Robert Mueller and Amy Berman Jackson may well be good parents, loving spouses, loyal friends and charitable individuals. But leftism has given them permission to act vilely and mercilessly while thinking of themselves as fine people — just as evil doctrines have done throughout history.
WaPoo (30 day pass) whines that Trump signals willingness to act with impunity for 2020
Slumping in the polls and at war with his political rivals, President Trump has signaled a willingness to act with impunity in his drive for reelection, taking steps over the past week that demonstrate a disregard for legal boundaries meant to hold him accountable and protect the sanctity of American democracy.

Trump said in an interview that he would accept damaging information on his election opponents from foreign entities, defiantly unrepentant after spending 2 1/2 years trying to fight off allegations that his 2016 campaign had colluded with Russia to help him win the White House.

The president declared he would not punish White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway after a federal agency recommended she be fired for violating rules barring executive branch officials from engaging in political activities.

The White House asserted executive privilege in a bid to shield documents from Congress over the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, prompting lawmakers to hold two Trump Cabinet officials in contempt.

Taken together, the actions set off new alarm bells among legal analysts and Trump’s political rivals who warned that the president and his aides have emerged from the scorched-earth battle over the special counsel’s 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election with a conviction that they need not feel constrained by the safeguards built into the nation’s political system as they look to 2020.

“We’re at a bad place. They’re emboldened and not trying to hide it anymore,” said Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst who spent three decades as a federal prosecutor.
Shorter WaPoo "Curses! Foiled again!"

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