Sunday, July 7, 2019

Some Sketchy Russiagate

Another slow day, so you have no reason not to read Jeff Carlson's 33 Key Questions for Robert Mueller at ET in its entirety.
2) Who actually wrote Volume I and Volume II of your report?

The Mueller report often reads as highly opinionated and lacking in substance—particularly the section denoted as Volume II—which frequently cites news articles in the footnotes. At this point, it isn’t known with certainty if Mueller had any hand in writing the report directly, or if he simply served in an oversight capacity.

Barr has stated publicly that he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein didn’t agree with much of the legal analysis contained in the report and felt it represented the “views of a particular lawyer or lawyers,” and so Barr and Rosenstein “applied what we thought was the right law.”
Since I subscribe to the theory that Weissman and company selected Mueller as the figurehead, with Rod Rosenstein going along for the sake of comity (not comedy), I think we know the answer to this one. But then, they say in cross examination, you should never ask a question you don't know the answer to. It's a fine list, and there are many others that cover the same ground. Marc Tapscott at Insty particularly wants:
Questions nine and 14, for example, probe, respectively, Mueller’s ignoring the ties between the Hillary campaign and the DNC to Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the Steele Dossier, and the Russian ties of Fusion GPS.
I think that was built into the cake by Rod Rosenstein in his various charging letters, which, again, were probably pre-written by Weissman, and signed off on by Rosenstein. But it would be good to watch him dodge that one in real time.

Sundance at CTH reviews Sketchy Business – RCI Review Questions Unsubstantiated Conclusions of Mueller Report…
What Real Clear outlines parallels our own review where most of the substance claimed by Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein is essentially baseless.

At the Hollyhock CafΓ©...Bruce Hayden, a commenter at Althouse writes:

It may be a bit subtle, but I think that the tide has turned on the SpyGate scandal. The Deep State/LawFare people were fairly clever how they set up the Mueller investigation. Or maybe how it evolved. They created a very aggressive definition of Obstruction of Justice that essentially criminalized any interference with any criminal investigation, including esp their own, regardless of motive. It was never tested in court, would be rejected if it ever was tested there, and was ultimately rejected by AG Barr, DAG Rosenstein, and the DoJ OLC, whose job it is to interpret statutes for the Department. As I have noted before, it converted the specific intent Mens Rea Obstruction requirement into a general intent requirement. And it worked wonderfully for the Dems and Deep State, keeping the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans on defense until the Democrats could capture the House last year, and shutdown the SpyGate investigations.

The Mueller investigation was shut down the only way that it could be, by unrecused AG Barr asserting oversight, and nailing down WTF Mueller and his band of hyper partisan Dem prosecutors were doing. Which turned out to have been pretending to investigate Russian collusion while actually using their unsanctioned and extremely egregious Obstruction interpretation to attack Trump and defend against being shut down. But the official purpose of the investigation was Russian Collusion, not Obstruction, so once Mueller admitted that the Russian collusion investigation had been over for better than a year, it was over except for writing up the report, which the hyper partisan Dem prosecutors stretched out as long as they could, but not long enough.

The key there is that they had planned for a smooth transition between the Mueller investigation and the Dem controlled House committees, as there had been between FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation. Except that AG Barr moved more quickly than the House Dems could, and by the time that they could request that mountain of information, it was no longer under the control of Mueller and his prosecutors, who have essentially all been laid off, but AG Barr and the Trump Administration. I give the Dems very little chance at success in suing for that mountain of information, some of it dirt on Trump, etc, and much of it concerning spying by the Obama Administration on Trump and his people. They are suing, of course, but very, very, likely will lose. The Judiciary has shifted significantly towards the Republicans after the Republican Senate abolished Judicial filibusters and Blue Slips. And they cemented their control with the confirmation of Justice Kavenaugh (which is maybe why his confirmation was prioritized over AG Barr’s last fall).

The question now is how much of the illegal spying by the Obama Administration on its political enemies throughout much of his second term is made public, and whether it is going to be possible to hold any of the perps, below Obama, legally accountable. The next thing to watch is to see how much of what OIG is allowed to disclose in its recently completed investigation into FISA abuse. My bet right now is the FBI, under Dir Wray, will at least attempt to hide much of their own wrongdoing. AG Barr appears to have the legal authority, from Trump, to overrule Wray and the Deep State here, but may not have enough actual power over his Department to fully defeat them.

Should be interesting.
Shockingly, one of Obama's former CIA deputy directors, Michael Morell is unhappy with Bill Barr examining the CIA's role in spygate. WaPoo (30 day link)Trump and Barr are crossing another line
I have great respect for John H. Durham , the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut tapped by Barr to do the review. But, while Durham is familiar with the CIA from previous investigations, he and his team have no experience with, or knowledge of, the process of intelligence analysis itself. He and his team could well impose a hard-to-meet law enforcement standard on the analysts’ conclusions. That would create a burden of proof that might be right in a court of law but would be risky and unwise in the assessment of intelligence for real-time decision-making.

A similarly dangerous consequence of a Justice Department review of analysis is the chilling effect it may have on analysts and analysis. Out of prudence, any analyst asked to submit to an interview with Durham’s investigators will want to have a personal lawyer nearby — likely a first for many, if not all, of the analysts. This will all be watched closely inside the intelligence community: The prospect that Justice Department prosecutors could ask questions about how an analyst came to a specific conclusion — along with the thought that there may be legal consequences for having done so — could lead analysts to withhold their judgments or even decide that this profession is not for them. We lose as a nation with either outcome.

If the shoe were on the other foot — if a senior intelligence community official were asked to review decisions made by the FBI and career prosecutors — how do we think the attorney general, or career prosecutors, would react? With loud protests, no doubt.
Yes, but the CIA is not the supreme law enforcement body in the country.

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