Thursday, October 24, 2019

More and More Russiagate

Town Hall, Matt Gaetz Leads Republican Charge Into Secret Schiff Impeachment Meeting
Led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the room the Republicans entered was a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) inside the Capitol building, where House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was about to give his opening statement for Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper's testimony.

Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) said when the members, who do not sit on one of the three committees leading the inquiry, entered, Schiff left the room. The hearing was halted as Republicans tried to hash out a deal before some were made to leave the area.

"GOP members tried to get in to view documents, staff tried to prevent them, but Reps. Gaetz, [Andy] Biggs, and [Paul] Gosar went past staff, and the rest of the members followed into the room. Shouting commenced, and members chanted, 'Shame!' They were then made to leave, denied access to transcripts," a source who was at the incident told Townhall.
Sundance at CTH: Republicans Storm the Gaetz – Thirty House Republicans Demand Transparency and End To Impeachment “Star-Chamber” Secrecy… and has the whole thing on "tape." If Republican Senators had any balls they would refuse to consider any "information" from this highly partisan "investigation". Breitbart, Rep. Byrne on House GOP Storming ‘Impeachment’ Hearing: ‘There Is More to Come’. You might try winning back the House. Ace, The Soyciety Pages: The Washington Examiner's Butterball Twitter Troll Quin Hillyer Claims That Matt Gaetz and Other Republican Protesters Are "Antifa" Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.23.19, American Greatness: Frustrated Republicans Storm Secretive Impeachment “Inquiry” Hearing, also, Where’s Lindsey?, Weasel Zippers: Republicans Storm Closed Impeachment Hearing, and JustOneMinute: Battle Lines.

At NR, Will Collier puts The Republican SCIF Invasion and the Law into perspective
A first offense will result in a verbal scolding and an admonishment to go forth and sin no more. A second is cause for a written reprimand, and a third can very likely get one’s security clearance revoked.

A contractor would probably lose his job following such a revocation. I’ve never heard of a civil servant being fired over minor security violations, but I suppose if enough of them piled up, it would be conceivable.

But unless there’s some reason to suspect espionage — and a third offense probably would trigger a more in-depth investigation — that’s as far as it goes.

What would get you in far more serious trouble would be covertly copying classified information from a SCIF and then retransmitting that information over insecure channels on unapproved systems. Doing that even once would be reason to revoke a clearance. Doing it two or three times would absolutely trigger a counter-espionage investigation.

Doing it nearly 600 times, well, that will get you a verbal scolding . . . if you’re a Clinton. For anybody else, six would be more than enough to end your career, and 60 would almost certainly put you behind bars.
Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Republicans Call Out Schiff For Flip-Flopping On Whistleblower Testimony, Well, yes.

On yesterday's lynching kerfuffle, Dr. John at Flopping Aces prescription, Take your lynching outrage and shove it, Brian C. Joondeph at AmThink  Of Course President Trump Is Being Lynched, and Karl Spence at AmGreat reminds us Lynching: It’s Not About Race, as we might remember from Clint Eastwood movies. It's about lack of process, Matt Margoliss at PJ Media, FLASHBACK: CNN Contributor Called Benghazi Hearings 'High-Tech Lynching' of Hillary Clinton and from Capt. Ed at Hot Air, Biden: I Used The Word “Lynching” About Clinton’s Impeachment By Accident, Or Something, still making excuses and drawing distinctions without a difference. A bunch from JJ Seftons Morning Report at Ace's.
From WeEx, Lindsey Graham condemns impeachment coverage, says press is out to ‘get’ Trump. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Sundance, Facing Scrutiny Lindsey Graham Runs to Tick-Tock Hannity for Help – Together They Proclaim The Investigative Brilliance of A Strongly Worded Letter…

From Da Hill, Pelosi releases 'fact sheet' saying Trump has 'betrayed his oath of office' From Althouse, "Many presidents have used their foreign policy power for political or personal advantage. Most recently, President Barack Obama..."
"... misused his power in order to take personal revenge against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the last days of his second term, Obama engineered a one-sided UN Security Council resolution declaring that Israel's control over the Western Wall -- Judaism's holiest site -- constitutes a 'flagrant violation of international law.' Nearly every member of Congress and many in his own administration opposed this unilateral change in our policy, but Obama was determined to take revenge against Netanyahu, whom he despised. Obama committed a political sin by placing his personal pique over our national interest, but he did not commit an impeachable offense. Nor did President George H. W. Bush commit an impeachable offense when he pardoned Caspar Weinberger and others on the eve of their trials in order to prevent them from pointing the finger at him."

From "Impeachers Searching for New Crimes" by Alan Dershowitz (at Gatestone Institute).

AND: It would be great if we could just follow a sort of golden rule: Impeach a President you hate only if you would impeach a President you love for doing the same thing.

PLUS: I read my golden rule out loud to Meade and he said "Impeach unto others as you would have others impeach unto you."
At The Atlantic, What Will Democrats Impeach Trump For? They're still casting around for an excuse. "Orange Man Bad" just won't do. Rushbo claims to know The Real Reason Dems Are Slowing Down Impeachment, because they ain't got shit. Ace, GOP Polling Memo: Public Losing Appetite for Impeachment ""I can hear the collective twittering of NeverTrump: "But that could be a skewed poll!" They all said, as they happily cited polls from the Washington Post and CNN."" Roll Call, Democrats may come to regret choosing impeachment over independents "Base voters may be happy, but they won’t be the ones deciding the 2020 election"

At The Lid. J.E. Dyer calls out The Gang That Couldn’t Impeach Straight
The media and House Democrats are trying to railroad the American people with misleading headlines into buying off on an impeachment that would shame a kangaroo court.

I think most people understand that, without having to go through the bill of particulars line by line. But just for fun, let’s briefly consider each point we’re being encouraged to ignore or believe wrongly about.

First – and this is the one that should be decisive and fatal in its own right – the House Democrats are holding secret hearings in which the people never see what questions are being asked, who’s asking them, or what we can independently verify the witnesses have said. That alone should kill the “impeachment” effort. A president cannot, must not, be impeached based on testimony given behind closed doors. Nothing justifies it. This isn’t about what is due the president. It’s about what is due the people.
The Peacock worries that Will Trump shut down the government to fight impeachment? How could you tell? Roll Call, Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry - "Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators" OK then. I'm fine with that. Turn about is fair play. And there are a lot more democrats in government.

On "assetgate" Hot Air cites the WSJ in Hillary Is A Russian Asset. But we knew that.
Democrats may be oblivious but much of the country noticed the self-jujitsu by which Mr. Trump’s enemies have turned Mr. Trump’s vices into their own, with their sleazy and self-defeating approach to opposing him.

Democrats would help themselves now by shutting Mrs. Clinton up. Her podcast with campaign guru David Plouffe is becoming famous for all the wrong reasons. Mrs. Clinton clearly wills another loss for her party at the presidential level, which she is eager to blame on assorted Russian “assets” (i.e., everybody in the U.S. political system, including fellow Democrats, she finds inconvenient), as a way to exculpate herself for losing to Donald Trump.

Greg Re, Catherine Herrige, Durham's probe into possible FBI misconduct expanded based on new evidence, sources say Von Spakovsky: FBI, CIA Fear Criminal Prosecutions Over Durham's Spygate Probe

AP claims Ukrainian leader felt Trump pressure before taking office. One of the President's jobs is to put pressure on foreign leaders. NYT cites unnamed sources to claim Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze by August, Undermining Trump Defense. Damn that Trump for trying to stop Ukrainian (and American) corruption! Fox, Republican lawmaker 'destroyed' latest impeachment inquiry witness argument: McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said a fellow Republican lawmaker deconstructed a key part of the latest Trump impeachment inquiry witness testimony in Tuesday's closed-door session.

"In 90 seconds, we had John Ratcliffe destroy [acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill] Taylor's whole argument," McCarthy said.

The questioning by Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican and member of both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, was an important moment in the hearing, McCarthy claimed.
 Adam Mill at AmGreat tells Democrats to Stop Parroting the Quid Pro Quo Talking Point
The farce posing as the Ukraine theory of impeachment provides that Donald Trump engaged in a corrupt quid pro quo by holding up military aid in order to gain opposition research against his political opponent. In the minds of his accusers, opposition research should be a commodity you buy. Clinton, for example, paid good money for the Fusion GPS dossier that falsely accused candidate Trump of being a Russian asset colluding to subvert the 2016 presidential election. True or not, the dossier was expensive and just as valuable as folding cash in the hands of a campaign official buying television spots for negative political ads.

The holy grail for the Democrats seeking a permanent majority is a system of election law that criminalizes anything that might have the effect of helping a Republican win. In reaching this goal, the Democrats, on several fronts, have attempted to characterize the mere sharing of information as a political expenditure. Thus, even a factual bit of dirt uncovered in the ordinary operation of government, if it goes against Joe Biden, can be regulated as a “campaign contribution” that must be reported and can never come from a foreign source.

If that argument succeeds in gaining ground, the implications would be staggering. Anytime a third party passes on a piece of gossip or dirt to a campaign, bureaucrats could fire up a prosecution against both the campaign and the gossiper on the grounds that the “information” is a thing of value. Mind you, this interpretation will only be used against Republicans, as the Democrats appear totally immune to criticism on the same principle.
Eric Felten, RCI reviews history and finds Giuliani-Style 'Shadow' Diplomacy: Par for the Course of U.S. History, Sometime, the professionals aren't really working on your side.  But it's only bad when Republicans do it.

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