Sunday, June 23, 2019

Russiagate: The Third Dossier or the Third Scope Memo?

How about both?  Stacy McCain finds out about the third "Manafort Dossier" in The Fake Ukrainian Ledger Angle: How the Media Colluded With the ‘Deep State’
Look at the date on that New York Times story — how did it happen that, in August 2016, Ukraine’s “newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau” took an interest in Donald Trump’s campaign manager and these reporters had no trouble finding sources in Kiev telling them all about these “ledgers”? What that just a coincidence? Or does it seem to you more likely, as Ace of Spades suggests, that this story was about protecting the interests of the U.S. political establishment?
Remember, it was critical to Hillary Clinton that the FBI have active investigations opened into the Trump campaign, because she had a high profile investigation into her own actions, and she desperately needed to be able to play the They Do It Too Card.
Do you believe in coincidences like that? A powerful politician needs to smear her opponent and — oh, what a coincidence! — sources direct reporters for the New York Times to the Ukraine, where investigators cite a “secret ledger” that appears to prove wrongdoing by the opponent’s campaign manager. Well, guess what? Three years later, we discover that (a) the “ledger” was probably a forgery, and (b) the FBI was actively engaged in feeding this stuff to the media:
In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.
There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources. . . .
[T]he FBI and Mueller’s office did not cite the actual ledger — which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence — and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.
For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort’s house, citing it as one of the reasons the FBI resurrected the criminal case against Manafort. . . 
So, Manafort was forced to resign from the campaign after someone fed this fake “secret ledger” story to the New York Times and then, in order to justify search warrants for Manafort’s bank records, the FBI leaks more “secret ledger” stories to the media, then cites those stories as “evidence” to claim probably cause on the warrant application. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me the people responsible for this need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This kind of “Deep State” stuff — government bureaucrats acting improperly to exercise a corrupt political infleunce, and exploiting the news media in the process — is why every American should be glad Hillary lost. If she had won, we never would have learned what kind of shenanigans were going on at the FBI.
I'm pretty sure Manafort was a scummy guy, but he probably tried to skate as close as he could to the line without going over. Rosenstein tried to nab him unsuccessfully, and was probably grateful when Mueller/Weissman offered to take another shot at him with a FISA warrant for a free hand against Donald Trump. If this is true, that some of the evidence for the search warrants against Manafort was got by introducing the third dossier to the media, and then citing the media, knowing the dossier was false, Manafort's convictions should be thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct. It wouldn't be the first time that happened to Weissman. Matt Vespa at Town Hall also takes notice in Wait…The FBI Was Warned Key Document Used To Investigate Paul Manafort Was Probably Fake?. Meanwhile, Devin Nunes is still trying to unravel the case of the second Mueller scope memo, Nunes claims second Mueller scope memo based on Steele dossier 
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News he’d reviewed still-classified materials related to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memos outlining the breadth of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. He said the bulk of the information in the second scope memo came from the dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS through funding from the Clinton campaign and the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nunes claimed today that the allegations about Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort in the second scope memo were based on the dossier.
. . .
The congressman also addressed the report about a possible third scope memo.

“I don’t know if it’s a third scope memo,” Nunes said. “But what it looked to me like, as somebody who has read it, is it looked like a CYA [cover your ass] memo.”
So it's all pretty much a tower of lies. Sundance at CTH, Justice Dept. Allows Congress to View Rosenstein Scope Memos… I can't do it justice with a quote. Read it all. Nice Deb, from AmGreat, Rep. Meadows Preparing a Referral Asking DOJ IG to Investigate FBI and Mueller’s Handling of Manafort Warrants
Spurred by investigative journalist John Solomon’s bombshell report in the Hill Tuesday, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), a senior Republican on the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, is reportedly preparing a referral for Inspector General Michael Horowitz. According to Solomon on Twitter Wednesday night, Meadows is asking the IG to investigate the FBI and the special counsel’s handling of the warrants on Paul Manafort, as well as their contacts with the media and reliance on the sketchy “black ledger.”
Also from Sundance, diGenova and Toensing Discuss Scope Memos, Rosenstein and Joe Biden…

DiGenova's comments on Rod Rosenstein are particularly interesting

Daniel Chaitin at WaEx has the details on a lover's quarrel, Emails show Strzok-Page spat after word got out grand jury used in Clinton emails investigation
On April 27, 2017, Page reacted to a Judicial Watch release that found former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was targeted the prior year by a federal grand jury in an effort to obtain further information about her private email server.

Page sent a reply email to an official in the Office of General Counsel saying, “I didn’t realize that we had said this publicly.”

She then appeared to get into an argument with Strzok. "Are you serious, dude? I sent to [redacted]. So I’ve committed some grave sin for not including you on this? My apologies, DAD Strzok, sir," Page said, referring to his role as deputy assistant director.

Strzok shot back, "You know what? Take a step back and look at this… And stop with the DAD Sir bullsh*t. That’s not the point and you know it."

Page called on Strzok to calm down.

"I think you think you should take your own advice. I didn’t look to see who was on the distribution when I sent it. Sorry, that’s on me. But this is distinctly not a big deal. And I definitely didn’t err in not including you on a two-line email to [redacted]. Get a grip," she said.
And some Hope . . .  Hicks that is. From Tim Meads at Town Hall, Sheila Jackson Lee's Bogus 'Russian Strategy' Conspiracy From The Hope Hicks Hearing
After chatter going back and forth discussing the campaign team, Rep. Jackson Lee again returns to her "Russian strategy" query. This is clearly puzzling to Hicks.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Who specifically was engaged with the Russian strategy, messaging strategy, post the convention, late summer 2016?

Ms. Hicks. I'm sorry. I don't understand the question. I'm not aware of a Russian messaging strategy.

Ms. Jackson Lee. So specifically it goes to the release of the various WikiLeaks information. Who was engaged in that?

Ms. Hicks. So, I mean, I assume you're talking about late July?

Ms. Jackson Lee. Late July, late summer, July, August 2016.

Ms. Hicks. So there were several people involved. It was -- I think a "strategy" is a wildly generous term to describe the use of that information, but --

Ms. Jackson Lee. But you were engaged in the campaign. What 44 names, what specific persons were involved in that strategy of the impact of Russia and the issuance of the WikiLeaks effort late summer?

Ms. Hicks. Again, you --

Ms. Jackson Lee. Were you involved? Were you part of the strategy? You have a communications emphasis.

Ms. Hicks. I'm sorry. I'm just not understanding the question. You're talking about a Russian strategy. The campaign didn't have a Russian strategy. There was an effort made by the campaign to use information that was publicly available, but I'm not aware of a Russian strategy, communications or otherwise.
Dan Chaitin and Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Hope Hicks interview fraught with objections, a Steele dossier dig, and fixation on Corey Lewandowski
By the Democrats' count, Trump’s lawyers entered 155 objections on the basis of “absolute immunity” for senior White House officials. "These interruptions are a gimmick designed to interfere with the Committee’s investigation," said a press release from the House Democrats. They also claimed Hicks "confirmed that the Trump Campaign welcomed the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election."

The committee's top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, called the hearing a waste of time, accuses the Democrats of mischaracterizing Hicks' words and pushed for Nadler to subpoena Mueller to testify.

"Eight hours and 273 pages later, we’ve learned nothing new from a witness who has been cooperating with this committee for months," Collins said in a statement. "Ms. Hicks testified there was no collusion. She noted clearly when Democrats mischaracterized her words, and, ultimately, Ms. Hicks testified she doesn’t believe she provided any new information that she hadn't already provided to multiple different bodies investigating the president. If Chairman Nadler were truly interested in gathering new facts, he would issue a subpoena to Robert Mueller, since no privileges or immunities would apply to his appearance or testimony, and Congress has yet to hear from him.”
Caroline Court at DaFed,  Jerry Nadler Is A Sexist Pig Who Should Be Censured By Congress. A nice thought in vain.
Hicks is a very attractive young woman. She was a model early in her life. She is also a smart, well-educated woman, who previously worked at the Trump Organization. Indeed, she was Trump’s longest-serving aide at the time of her resignation. It’s been widely reported that not only was she was excellent at her job, she was someone Trump actually listened to. If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know that’s not an easy feat.

She earned her reputation as a loyal, hardworking White House staffer. She does not, under any circumstances, deserve some pants-up-to-his-chin congressman addressing her by the name of a man she may have dated. Dated. Not married.

Let’s be absolutely clear: Nadler knew exactly what he was doing. What he did was not only sexist, but purposeful and truly ugly. Whether or not Hicks and Lewandowski had an affair or even dated is completely beside the point. They were not a public couple posing for pictures for People Magazine. For Nadler to refer to her as Lewandowski is the lowest of the low, and entirely inappropriate.

Whether he did it to rattle her during her testimony, or to take a shot at Trump, is also irrelevant. I don’t care what his motive was. When you’re so obsessed with taking down a political opponent that you don’t care who is collateral damage, it’s really time to reassess what you’re doing with your life.
Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Cheryl Ann Tweedy and FMJRA 2.0: Even Better Than The Real Thing working toward your amusement and education.

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