Sunday, June 2, 2019

Russiagate: Bill Barr is the Best!

Bill Barr and his CBS interview with what's her name continue to generate the most excitement. Don Surber, CBS interview with Barr shows Comey and McCabe may be targets. Julie Kelly at AmGreat is on the same wavelength in Barr: ‘Small Group at the Top’ Directed Investigation into ‘Bogus’ Collusion. One can only hope. Roger L. Simon thinks that Barr is Exploiting the MSM: Barr Uses CBS to Speak to America (UPDATED). If he said the same on Fox, it would look more political. Sundance at CTH takes note his comment that  on DOJ/FBI Conduct in 2016: “Things are just not jiving” – Full Interview and Transcript…, Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx like how William Barr dishes on what Huber, Horowitz, and Durham are investigating and explains how their different role matter. This was interesting:
The DOJ inspector general also said it would “review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.” The “source” is Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy whose unverified dossier was used by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants against Page.

Steele has communicated in recent days that he’d be willing to cooperate with Horowitz but not with Durham.

Barr, who has said that Horowitz’s probe should be ending in May or June, called him a “superb government official” in this latest interview, but pointed out that Horowitz “has limited powers.”
Horowitz would not have to power to subpoena him or charge his with anything, Durham would.

At WaPoo (30 day pass), Monica Hesse (no known relation to Herman) wonders What was William Barr’s fleece vest trying to tell us?, and concludes it was a cheap trick to convince us he's a man of the people
William Barr showed up to his CBS This Morning interview looking like he was prepared to discuss not the investigation into possible Russian coordination with the 2016 Trump campaign but rather how to bait a fishing hook. The attorney general was working a distinctly “River Runs Through It” cosplay vibe: a tan half-zipped fleece vest over a checked button-down shirt, and in the background, a roaring fire.

To be fair, the interview, which aired Friday, did take place in Alaska, where Barr was traveling. But there are business suits available in Alaska; Barr had worn one earlier on the trip, during a meeting about rural law enforcement issues. So his decision to skip a suit as he held forth on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation seemed like an attempt to communicate a message.

And that message was: I am a man of the people, and I am here to speak truths and help you earn a Webelos badge.
. . .
A man in a collared shirt and fleece vest can get away with saying a lot of things. It’s a genius sartorial choice, really. Put a top-ranking official in a collared shirt and fleece vest, and he doesn’t come across as a top-ranking official anymore. He comes across as an outsider with insider information, a quasi-interested bystander who just happens to know a few things and have a few opinions.

When CBS interviewer Jan Crawford pressed him for evidence on why he would think the FBI behaved improperly in 2016, he demurred. “That’s all I really will say,” he said. “Things are just not jiving.”

Don’t ask him. He’s the man seventh in line for the presidency, but he’s just here to organize the tackle box and chop a few cords of wood.

Monica Hesse is a columnist writing about gender and its impact on society.
Also from WaPoo, Top Democrats tell intelligence chiefs they must help monitor Barr’s review of Russia probe.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) sent letters to the heads of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency, as well as the director of national intelligence, demanding in-person briefings to discuss what materials Barr has sought thus far and that copies are to be shared with the committee. He insisted, too, that they notify the panel in advance if Barr intends to declassify anything, noting when they disagreed with his orders and why.

In a separate letter, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), asked the spy chiefs to “immediately” inform the panel “if you see signs” that Barr’s inquiry risks compromising intelligence-gathering sources and methods, affecting relationships with foreign liaisons, or adversely impacting the intelligence community’s workforce. He also asked that they notify the panel of any “selective declassification” that appeared politically motivated.
Top Democrats have no business telling anyone in the administration what to do. It's called separation of powers. I expect enough weeping and wailing from the intelligence folk as it is already, who like leaks to suit their own purposes.

From Da Nation? How Did Russiagate Begin? Why Barr’s investigation is important and should be encouraged.
Rational (if politically innocent) observers may have thought that when the Mueller report found no “collusion” or other conspiracy between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, only possible “obstruction” by Trump—nothing Mueller said in his May 29 press statement altered that conclusion—Russiagate would fade away. If so, they were badly mistaken. Evidently infuriated that Mueller did not liberate the White House from Trump, Russiagate promoters—liberal Democrats and progressives foremost among them—have only redoubled their unverified collusion allegations, even in once-respectable media outlets. Whether out of political ambition or impassioned faith, the damage wrought by these Russiagaters continues to mount, with no end in sight.

One way to end Russiagate might be to discover how it actually began. Considering what we have learned, or been told, since the allegations became public nearly three years ago, in mid-2016, there seem to be at least three hypothetical possibilities . . .
In today's best article about Mueller, Andy McCarthy writes how The Mueller Investigation Was Always an Impeachment Probe
'...If the special counsel had told Barr that the OLC guidance was his rationale for not deciding, Barr would likely have told him, “Don’t worry about the OLC guidance, that’s not your job. The OLC guidance only says we can’t return an indictment now. We still need to know whether there is a prosecutable case. Just make a recommendation on that, one way or the other.”

If that had happened, Mueller would have been cornered. If he recommended in favor of indictment, he would have ended up in the confrontation with Barr over obstruction law that he was trying to avoid. If he recommended against an indictment, he would have undermined the impeachment effort.

So he punted. And it worked.

Mueller told Barr he was still formulating his rationale for not deciding the issue. Maybe the staff really was still trying to come up with a coherent explanation; or maybe in the back (or front) of their minds, they figured “we’re still formulating” was vague enough that they could ultimately rely on the OLC guidance, even if Mueller had said it was not his rationale.

Whatever the calculation was, two and a half weeks later, when Mueller delivered his final report to Barr on March 22, Mueller and his staff expressly invoked the OLC guidance.

Does that mean Mueller was being dishonest on March 5? Does it mean his thinking truly was still evolving? What difference does it make?

What matters is that Mueller’s shrewd staffers accomplished exactly what they hoped to accomplish: Make sure the report was disclosed to Congress intact, with 200 pages of obstruction evidence, a legal analysis that tends toward a finding of obstruction, and an express assertion by the special counsel that if he had found Trump did not commit a crime, he would have said so.

And now, for good measure, Mueller took pains on Wednesday to stress that, in our system, it is Congress’s duty to address presidential misconduct.

For partisan lawyers who saw their special-counsel gig as an opportunity to play congressional impeachment counsel, it is Mission Accomplished.'
Dr. John at Flopping Aces explains why Mueller won’t testify because his obstruction case is garbage, while Bonchie at Red State tells how Robert Mueller Purposely Edited A Phone Call From Trump’s Legal Team To Make It Seem Like Obstruction Of Justice
Remember a few weeks ago when the media and Democrats thought they had a bombshell based on a voicemail that supposedly showed Trump’s legal team trying to coordinate with Flynn’s legal team after he agreed to cooperate with the government? I wrote at the time what a garbage accusation it was.

Let’s just say that I’m getting tired of being right all the time.

Bob Bauer at the Atlantic thinks It’s Time to Reform the Special-Counsel Rules—Again  because Democrats didn't get exactly what they needed. Seems like everybody wants to hear more from Uncle Bob, WaPoo, The Mueller conundrum facing House Democrats: What to do with a reticent special counsel? and Levin to Graham: Drag Mueller Back – ‘I Don’t Care if He’s Gone Off to The Villages or Boca Raton’ (CNS News), but according to Morgan Chalfant at Da Hill, Mueller seeks quiet retreat from public life. Maybe he should have thought about that before he took the job.

Power Line features The Week in Pictures: It’s Mueller Overtime Edition ->

Don't turn on the light, 'cause they don't want you to see, Justice Department does not comply with court order to release transcripts of Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russian ambassador
Federal prosecutors on Friday declined to make public transcripts of recorded conversations between Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States in December 2016, despite a judge’s order.

In a court filing Friday, the Justice Department wrote that it did not rely on such recordings to establish Flynn’s guilt or determine a recommendation for his sentencing.

Prosecutors also failed to release an unredacted version of portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn that the judge had ordered be made public.
So is this Barr actually protecting legitimate secrets, or the deep state hiding the pickle? Teach at Pirate's Cove notes, Excitable Adam Schiff Is Very Concerned Over Intelligence Politicization or Something. Adam needs to cut down on the Synthroid.

Da Wire,  New Damaging Info Comes Out On Disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok. From The Lid, New Revelation: Peter Strzok Hid Information From Trump Campaign.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge is reporting that a mid-August 2016 briefing given to the Trump Campaign by the FBI didn’t mention that two members of the campaign, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos were already under investigation. Those briefings are specifically made to “warn the candidate and his team about national security threats.”

Rep John Ratcliffe (R-Tx) was on “America’s Newsroom,” Thursday morning and informed the network of the meeting, adding
And I can tell you what he wasn’t told: He wasn’t warned about a Russia investigation that Peter Strzok had opened 18 days earlier.”
Still operating as if Barack Obama was his boss. Robin Burk at AmGreat calls Trump Chemotherapy for the Republic
It will take the full range of treatments to battle this disease.

Surgery in the form of pruning back regulatory overreach—a process that is already underway, despite major resistance from the self-styled “progressive” left. Surgery too in the form of prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment of those who can be identified as committing discrete crimes.

Radiation in the form of investigations such as the three now happening within the Department of Justice today. We also need declassification of government records and public scrutiny of what is uncovered, unpleasant though all of it may be.

Fighting this cancer will require the American public to step up, to take seriously what is at stake here. It will require scrutiny not only of the heinous FISA abuse that occupies our concern at the moment, and the unwarranted unmasking of U.S. citizens’ communications that contributed to the abuse, but also of refamiliarizing ourselves with the side deals involved in the Obama/Iran nuclear deal and their implications for our national well-being. We must look once again at the aborted and distorted matter of Hillary’s private email server containing raw intel material compromised by a foreign power. And much more.

And it will require a continued course of chemotherapy.
WaPoo, Democrats, in California, confront deep divisions over how to handle increasing calls for President Trump’s impeachment. Attempting to make Democrats head explode (can they explode more?)  Dershowitz at Da Hill,  Supreme Court could overrule an unconstitutional impeachment.  I mean, what the hell does he care, he won't be getting any invites to the right parties this summer. An amusing comment thread at Althouse's "So no one should express partisan certainty regarding President Trump’s suggestion that the Supreme Court might well decide that impeaching a president without evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors is unconstitutional."

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