Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Some Minor Russiagate

A U.S. District Judge has rejected the DOJ and FBI motion to block the release of the Archey Declarations (descriptions of Comey memos). [Background Here]

In a strongly worded ruling (full pdf below) released moments ago, Federal Judge James Boasberg blasted the DOJ and FBI for attempting to change their filings, claim national security “sources and methods”, and block his prior court ruling – which instructed the DOJ to release the “Archey Declarations”. The judge is obviously angry:
It must strike readers as erroneous “with the force of a five-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish.”…
[Backstory for those unfamilar] In the background of what was The Mueller Investigation, there was a FOIA case where the FBI was fighting to stop the release of the Comey memos. Within that courtroom fight Mueller’s lead FBI agent David Archey wrote a series of declarations to the court describing the content of the memos and arguing why they should be kept classified.

The FOIA fight shifted; and the plaintiff, CNN, argued for public release of the content of the FBI agent’s descriptions, now known as the “Archey Declarations”.

After a lengthy back-and-forth legal contest, on June 7th Judge James E Boasberg agreed to allow the FBI to keep the Comey memo content hidden, but instructed the DOJ/FBI to release the content of the Archey Declarations. On August 2nd the DOJ/FBI changed their position and claimed national security, “sources and methods” would be compromised by the release of the Archey Declarations.
Today Judge Boasberg completely rejected their argument:

Here’s the ruling: . . . Must read, it’s a thing of beauty.
 Well, if the FBI doesn't want them out, I do.

Something interesting from Chuck Ross at Da Caller ‘Spygate’ Professor Claims Immunity Against Russian-British Academic’s Lawsuit in his attempt to set up Michael Flynn to look like he was communicating with a Russian agent.
Stefan Halper, the former Cambridge University professor who allegedly met with several Trump campaign aides as an FBI informant, asked a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a defamation lawsuit that a Russian-British academic filed against him in May, saying government agents have immunity from litigation.

Halper does not confirm he was an FBI informant in his motion to dismiss. He also does not admit to being a source for articles about Svetlana Lokhova, the Russia-born academic. But he argues that if he were an FBI informant, he would have immunity afforded to other government agents.
. . .
Lokhova alleged Halper planted false rumors that she and Flynn began an improper relationship during the 2014 event, which was hosted by the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Halper was a co-convener of the seminar, which hosts current and former Western intelligence operatives.
Wow. Just wow, "I do not acknowledge or deny being US government agent, but if I were, you would not be entitled to sue me for defamation". Even if true, to my knowledge, Halper is not an official federal employee, rather an "academic" who gets his grift in the form of grants and contracts. I can't see any way he should be immune.

More from sundance, Quirky Angle – Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne: 2016 FBI Activity Was “Political Espionage”…
Byrne enters the story due to his romantic relationship with Maria Butina, a person charged by Robert Mueller as being a Russian intelligence operative. In/around 2015 Byrne met and started a relationship with Butina, and later was enlisted by the FBI for assistance in their investigation of her. [Sara Carter Backstory Here]

Mr. Byrne now describes all of that FBI activity as somewhat of a political espionage operation to spy on several 2016 candidates, collect dirt, and seemingly gain operational leverage.

Capt. Ed at Hot Air, Great News: The People Who Brought You Russia-Collusion Want To Stop Epstein Conspiracy Theories. It's a funny thing, isn't it?

Chris White at Da Caller, Former Obama Official Begins Trial In Case Connected To Mueller’s Russian Probe. Either enforce FARA evenly, or repeal it. Same as the Logan Act.

Fox, Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe. Like Tom Lehrer's old dope peddler, doing well, by doing good.

MSNBC, Trump rips emolument lawsuits: Being president 'costing me a fortune'.
President Trump on Tuesday disputed that he's profiting off the presidency, arguing instead that lawsuits alleging he's violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution amount to "presidential harassment" and are costing him significant legal fees.

"I got sued on a thing called emoluments. Emoluments. You ever hear of the word? Nobody ever heard of it before," Trump said at a Shell petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania.
Emoluments is enough of an archaic word that Democrats can twist it into anything. Brought to you by the same constitution that expressly enables the Congress to issue "letters of marque". Look that one up.

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