Thursday, June 6, 2019

Some Relaxing Russiagate

A pretty light set today. First, from Liz Shield at  The Morning Briefing: Nadler Refuses Negotiation with DoJ, Barr. You can't hold a show trial without a defendant.
There's no good will from the House Democrats here, so let's just call it what it is: a performance.
She also breaks some news that comes along later in the post. Meanwhile Neal Katyal at the Trib Live grouses that William Barr’s zealous defense of Trump makes it impossible to trust his legal judgment. Bullshit. You just don't like the conclusions he's come to.

Charles Lipson at RCP, Mueller's Sinking Reputation
Republicans add three more serious charges against Mueller. First, his team was packed with partisan Democrats, many closely affiliated with Hillary Clinton and strongly biased against Trump. Second, the report itself was shoddy and unfair, they say. It relied heavily on news articles, omitted exculpatory evidence, failed to investigate the infamous “Steele dossier,” and never asked why, if Russians were trying to penetrate the Trump campaign, the candidate himself was not told by the FBI. Another serious charge — deliberate distortion of evidence — comes from president’s former attorney, John Dowd. He has shown the Mueller report edited one of his phone calls to change its meaning. Dowd is apoplectic, calling the report a “fraud.” Others will join him if additional distortions, misrepresentations, and omissions are found.

Third, Mueller should have known at least a year ago, and perhaps earlier, that Trump and his senior aides never cooperated with the Russians. He had a duty, Republicans say, to disclose that in a timely way to the American public. He failed in that duty, leaving an unnecessary cloud over Trump and impeding his presidency. Why? And why didn’t Rod Rosenstein, who was supervising the investigation for the Department of Justice, step in and resolve these issues?
But other than that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln? From Sundance at CTH, Disappointing – Judge Sullivan Folds, Accepts Mueller Team Non-Production….
Apparently Flynn will be sentenced without anyone ever looking at the underlying evidence and comparing the claim of “lying” against the call transcript and interview.

It is speculation, but perhaps the reason for dropping everything “as is” relates to the potential for the institutions of government, specifically as it relates to FISA abuse, to be badly damaged [assuming Flynn was under FISA authorized surveillance].

The Sullivan determination allows everyone to exit the case without further scrutiny.
That's what happens when you plead guilty; the prosecution never has to test it's evidence. It's odd because we know that portions, at least, of that call were leaked to the press. And no one has ever been held accountable for that leak.

Margot Cleveland at Da Fed wonders Why Did The Obama Administration Ignore Reports Of Russian Election Meddling? Friday’s interview is not the only time Barr raised the issue of the Obama administration’s failure to respond to Russian attempts at election interference. They fully expected Hillary to win, and they wanted nothing to cast a shadow on that. It didn't seem important when they thought they had it in the bag.

Sarah Lee at Red State is examining the question Just When Did The Investigation Into The Trump Campaign Begin? It looks like the Mueller report started with a lie; that the investigation began with George Papadopuolos. It was more of an organic outgrowth of previous political spying by the Obama administration.

In something like real new, alluded to in the PJ Media Morning Briefing above, Sundance at CTH IMPORTANT also reports: Christopher Steele Willing to Cooperate With U.S. Investigators… in a modified limited hang out kind of way:
(Daily Caller) Former British spy Christopher Steele has agreed to meet in London with U.S. officials regarding the dossier, The Times of London is reporting.

A source close to Steele told the newspaper he plans to meet with American authorities within the next several weeks, but only about his interactions with the FBI and only with the approval of the British government. (more)
A typical Sundance post full of back story and speculation. I'll bet Steele's not planning any trips to the US soon to hang out with his buddies Glenn Simpson or Bruce and Nellie Ohr. More from Thomas Lifson at AmThink Looks  like Christopher Steele has cut a deal and will turn state's evidence on Russia Hoax prosecutions who thinks Trump's visit to the UK was instrumental
I have all along believed that part of President Trump's mission in the U.K. was winning over British support for fully outing the role of its intelligence services in the Russia Hoax. He would have to guarantee that the overall relationship will remain sound even if highly embarrassing facts come to light. While speaking with outgoing P.M. May was necessary, she will soon be replaced. I do not discount the importance of his 90-minute private conversation with Queen Elizabeth. The next P.M. cannot take office without going to her for permission, and in that conversation she is fully capable of laying out her expectations that this affair be made public to the extent that President Trump demands. The serene continuation of the Special Relationship with the U.S. is precisely the sort of institutional matter of utmost importance that a British monarch has a legitimate and important voice on.

Steele must have learned that the offer to speak with U.S. authorities was one he couldn't refuse. Her Majesty's government would not support any efforts to resist extradition if he were to refuse cooperation and be indicted. They might even provide documentation that would lead to his conviction.
And Joe diGenova Reacts to Christopher Steele's Decision to Meet with DOJ: 'The Walls Are Closing in on FBI Fraudsters' (PJ Media's Nice Deb).
He pointed out that Steele would be obligated to tell the truth to Durham.

"Because even though his testimony could be given overseas, he could be indicted in the United States if he lies to Durham," diGenova said. "So I assume he's going to tell the truth because this is the big casino now, and what he's going to prove is that the FBI lied in the FISA warrants and they lied to Congress and they lied to everybody about what they knew about Steele's behavior."

He added dramatically: "The walls are beginning to close in on the FBI fraudsters!"

DiGenova noted there was no longer any doubt that senior officials at the FBI under former president Obama "engaged in a criminal conspiracy against President Trump while he was a candidate and while he was president-elect and while he was president."

"That's why John Durham wants to talk to him, because there was a criminal conspiracy led by senior FBI officials," he explained.

A bit of a mystery and a potential new player emerges, from Politico, Senate Intelligence Committee summons mysterious British security consultant
Senate investigators have added yet another name to the constantly evolving cast of characters in the Russia investigation.

On April 5, just 2 weeks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his final report on Russia’s election interference, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to a British security consultant named Walter Soriano asking for a voluntary, closed-door interview and documents with various Russia probe figures dating back to June 2015.
. . .
The panel’s interest in Soriano is not a mere fishing expedition, according to a source familiar with the investigators’ internal deliberations who requested anonymity to discuss them freely.

“They’re surprised by how connected he seems to several people of interest,” this person said, including the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — a former business associate of Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who offered Deripaska private briefings about the campaign in 2016. Deripaska is believed to have worked with Soriano on corporate intelligence matters, this person said.
At Red State, Elizabeth Vaughn points out All Roads Lead To Hillary Clinton, The ‘Architect’ Of The Coup
The Hill’s John Solomon wrote that “the Clinton team’s dirty trick was as diabolical as it was brilliant. It literally used house money and a large part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to carry out its political hit job on Trump. After two years of American discomfort, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, it’s time for the house to call in its IOU.” Solomon published a list of questions for Clinton to answer . . .
Capt. Ed at Hot Air, NBC: Russian Trollery Was For Fun … And Profit!
America — what a country*! Only here can a foreign intelligence service invade virtual-social-life systems, attempt to manipulate public opinion, and get rich doing so. NBC’s Ken Dilanian reported this morning that Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election may not have made much of a political impact, but it did generate nearly a million bucks in revenue:
. . .
It turns out, however, that the million-dollar troller wasn’t generating revenue for the Russians. The report from Symantec actually notes that these were “rogue accounts,” trolls using the IRA to make money for themselves. You just can’t find reliable employees for disinformation campaigns these days, alas.

NBC buried the lead on another Symantec conclusion, too. Dilanian writes that the operation was “designed in part to help Donald Trump get elected,” but Symantec actually discovered that the manipulation was more equitable than previously reported:
As I've said before, the Russian attempt to sow discord was bipartisan, though it may have targeted Hillary more because they, like all the US media, expected her to win. “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

The NYPo editors take note of Jerry Nadler’s political theater
Jerry Nadler is lucky he’s got a safe day job, because the political theater he’s planning — hearings on the Mueller report — prove he’d never make it as a Broadway producer.

Act I opens Monday, and get a load of the title: “Lessons From the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.” Verdict first, trial (if any) later.

And the star witness is none other than John Dean, White House counsel to President Richard Nixon before turning key prosecution witness in the Watergate hearings.

The “drama” may set Trump-haters’ hearts aflutter, but it won’t do much else.
From Da Hill, Democrats fail to mollify impeachment crowd. Well, it's an unquenchable thirst. Capt. Ed, Pelosi: Can You Believe That The Rubes Think Impeachment Is Removal? And she means her rubes.

And from Insty, I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING: AOC: ‘Manafort should be released’ rather than face ‘torture’ at Rikers. Capt. Ed, Ocasio-Cortez: Manafort Is A Victim Of “Gov Torture” Now

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