Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Russiagate Ramping Up to Impeachment

Michael Ledeen writing at PJ Media offers a unified field theory on the Mueller investigation, Make No Mistake: The Mueller Investigation Was All About Flynn. An interesting theory, but too simple for my taste. People have wonderfully complicated motives. They could be out to get Flynn and Trump, too.

Via sundance at CTH, The Silence of The Shams – “Some Witness Reviews Still Being Negotiated”…, then  Finally – AP Confirms Horowitz Report “Principal Review Phase” Underway – “Invitations” For Witnesses and Lawyers…… By Thanksgiving maybe. The Democrats will try to impeach Trump first, and then say it doesn't matter. "Old News". Ace, IG Report "Expected" Before Thanksgiving, Supposedly Will Contain At Least Two Criminal Referrals, One for... James Comey? "This is originally from Sara Carter, who I don't know is very reliable, but it's something."Elizabeth Vaughn at Red State has some good news about it maybe, IG Report Expected Before Thanksgiving, Will Contain ‘At Least Two Criminal Referrals,’ One Of Whom Is ‘Expected To Be Comey’. Lock him up!
A House Republican source told Carter, “If it’s strong and comes out soon, the IG report will do some real damage to the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It would show that Resistance bureaucrats really are conspiring to take down Trump. It would also fatally undermine the credibility of Schiff, who argued vehemently that there were no FISA abuses—it will mean that, as Intel Committee Chairman, he’s ignoring severe abuses for purely political purposes.”
Via Insty:
A good segue to Jim Hanson at Da Fed, Alex Vindman Is Living, Breathing Proof That The Deep State Exists, And It Is Corrupt

But the big stuff is about Eric Ciaramella, the presumed "original" Whistleblower. Kerry Picket at WaEx, 'Saw everything': Alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella had extensive access in Trump White House
“The person that I always felt extremely uncomfortable around was Eric Ciaramella. He was one of the few guys around who seemed to know where the filing cabinets were, so to speak,” one former official told the Washington Examiner, adding that Ciaramella was antagonistic at an early Trump administration gathering when it was said that the goal was to turn Trump’s campaign promises and platform into policy.
From Michael Flynn's lawyer:
And this is interesting; from sundance, Dirty Business – ICIG Atkinson Receives Ethics Complaint Against CIA ‘Whistleblower’, Goes to Schiff Basement for Talks…. The charge is that by setting up a gofundme account for his legal costs, the "Whistleblower", Eric Ciaramella or whoever, has. as a government employee,  violated the law by seeking "donations" from prohibited people, foreigners etc, in effect seeking bribes. An interesting theory.

And the media war over the identity of the whistleblower continues to rage, Ace, Former CNN/WaPo Schlump Howie Kurtz Attacks Mollie Hemingway for Committing Journalism "I'm sure he's just following the Bill Sammon NeverTrump liberal PC line on this, though."Capt. Ed at Hot Air, Schiff: The First Rule Of Whistleblower Club Is That You Don’t Talk About Whistleblower Club. Katie Pavlich at Town Hall, Schiff Threatens Republicans: Don't Mention or Criticize the Whistleblower During Public Impeachment Hearings or Else

Insty. OLD AND BUSTED: It is very bad for media figures to identify whistleblowers.
The new hotness? ABC scrambles to figure out identity of Amy Robach leaker, who goes by ‘Ignotus.’

Will Ashley Bianco get her job at CBS back?

UPDATE: The Media Holds A Massive Double Standard About Naming Whistleblowers.
Yahoo! Facebook Sued for ‘Censoring’ Posts Naming the Trump Whistle-Blower. Good. At Mother Jones, David Corn whines that As Trump Attacks, Death Threats Against the Whistleblower and His Lawyers Increase. Death threats are overboard; tar and feathering might not be. From The Horn, a reminder, FLASHBACK: Obama punished whistleblowers, spied on press. That's different because, shut up!

From NYT via MSN, Trump Has Considered Firing Intelligence Community Inspector General. AllahPundit at Hot Air thinks that's a bad thing. NYT: Trump Thinking About Firing The IG For Sharing The Whistleblower Complaint To Congress
Rashly firing a top natsec bureaucrat for “disloyalty,” thereby creating a world of political trouble for himself and maybe inviting a charge of obstruction of justice?
I think it's probably a good idea, but too late. It's hard to be wrong about firing a top level bureaucrat. But if he shows up in the Horowitz report, absodamnlutely.

Julie Kelly at AmGreat writes from Inside the ‘War’ on Biden-Ukraine Reporting
The goal is to protect Joe Biden, the only candidate most Democrats think can beat Trump, both from any political fall-out for his son’s shady dealings in Ukraine as well as how the Democrats enlisted Ukrainian help to sabotage Trump’s presidential campaign.
Ace catches Fusion Nat Bertrand Writing in Politico That a Previous Article -- Published in Politico Itself! -- is a "Conspiracy Theory" with "No Evidence" "No evidence" is liberal for "bad think."
On January 11, 2017 -- one day before the Clapper/Tapper ring would execute the plan to give the fake dossier a "news hook" -- Ken Vogel and David Stern reported for Politico that Ukranian officials had interfered with the US elections -- on Hillary Clinton's side.
Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
The Ukranian officials colluded with a DNC official named Alexandria Chalupa.

Because the fake dossier was given a "news hook" and reported on by Jake Tapper -- as had been arranged -- the next day, and also, of course, because the media was trying to prove foreign collusion on Trump's behalf and not Hillary's, this story didn't get much attention.

Right-leaning channels keep pointing it out -- and the leftwing media and NeverTrump corporate-funded GOPe clique just keeps ignoring it.

But it's never been disproved or even "credibly alleged" to be in any way false. Certainly Politico has never retracted it.

But the story is inconvenient for the leftwing media/Democratic effort to execute a coup against the duly-elected President, so it has to be Disappeared.
 An interesting Twitter thread from Climate Audit's Steve McIntyre on Ukrainian corruption:
Onto impeachment. Dave Marcus at Da Fed has 5 Reasons A Senate Trial Would Be A Nightmare For Democrats; not to be outdone, Vicotr Davis Hanson at NR has Ten Reasons Why Impeachment Is Illegitimate

Susan Ferrechio at WaEx, Democrats ditch Clinton impeachment's bipartisan playbook ahead of public hearings. Dr. John at Flopping Aces, Impeachment- the play: starring the democrat party as the KGB and Adam Schiff as Stalin. That simile is getting a lot of use.

One idea floated on how to get impeachment past the Senate is to convict using a secret ballot, so Senators don't have to answer to their constituents.Politico, There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office "It would take just three Republican senators to turn the impeachment vote into a secret ballot. It’s not hard to imagine what would happen then."  Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, Impeaching Trump Via A “Secret Ballot” May Be The Democrats’ Next Plan. Jim Geraghty at NR says A Secret Ballot for Impeachment Would Be a Terrible Idea Wow, just wow!

Saving them the trouble, Charlie Martin at PJ Media has a Prediction: No Impeachment
They have to go to trial in the Republican-dominated Senate. Where Eric Ciaramella can be called for public testimony under oath. Where Alex Vindman can be challenged by a former JAG about his violations of the UCMJ. Where people can be called to testify in public what they've said in the Star Chamber: that Ukraine never knew about aid being suspended, and that the president of Ukraine denies any pressure. And where House Members can't be threatened with ethics complaints for asking inconvenient questions.

Where what already looks like a shady investigation of a made-up crime can't be controlled.

My guess is that this will hang on until after Thanksgiving, especially if the ICIG report comes out. Then they will announce in high dudgeon that because of GOP obstruction and the risk to the (still "secret") whistleblower, along with the proximity to the election, they can't press on in the Senate where the evil Mitch McConnell will drag out the trial and thwart the will of the People.

They might even try to continue the "inquiry" into the New Year, although the risk grows every day that Republicans will start leaking seriously, or filing more ethics complains against the Democrats — or, of course, starting subpoenas in the Senate.

But an actual impeachment trial? They can't risk it.
Not a fan, Napolitano: Trump's 'dog whistles of lawless behavior' call into question his fitness for office, while, also not a fan, Rep. Adam Schiff: Trump's Potentially Impeachable Offenses Include Bribery from Anti-American NPR. John McCormack at NR, GOP Senator Kennedy: Quid Pro Quo ‘Probably’ Impeachable if Trump’s Motive Was Political. But what if the political motive was combined with a motive to reform corruption in the Ukraine. Things are never so clear. MOTUS A.D. Squid Pro Quo: The Tentacles Are Complicated.
First, the lead role of “Whistleblower” will again be played by the understudy, Rep. Adam Schiff. The audience can expect more emotional “parody” performance art on his part.

Second, the allegation of “Quid Pro Quo” will be replaced with the terms “extortion” and “bribery” because, well it’s “complicated” and as Rep. Himes explained on one of the Interchangeable Sunday Morning Television Shows:
“Number one, when you're trying to persuade the American people of something that is really pretty simple, which is the that the president acted criminally and extorted in the way a mob boss would extort somebody, a vulnerable foreign country, it's probably best not to use Latin words to explain it.”
Stand in terms - such as corruption, abuse of power, extortion and bribery - were focus grouped with potential audience members and the later two were found to invoke the greatest emotional response and hence were selected.

So I’m going to predict that you will enjoy the show as long as you keep a couple of caveats in mind: 1) Adam Schiff is a bad actor and 2) the concept of “extortion” and “bribery” only apply in cases where both parties are subject to a set of common, domestic laws which make them illegal. That does not apply in the arena of foreign relations where they do not.

Number 2, above, may be a non-starter for some critics, like Andrew McCarthy. He explains in “uncomplicated” terms that even Democrat partisan should be able to understand:
Foreign relations typically involve quid pro quo arrangements. Governments do not ordinarily assist each other out of fondness. Nations pursue their interests in the world. Where interests align, they assist each other. Where interests are opposed, they are adverse to each other. In any event, they bargain with each other to advance their interests. It is a matter of “We want you to do this; what do we need to do – whether for you or to you – to make you do it?”
I wonder if these same partisan hacks would object if President Trump conducted extortion in extracting a “quid pro quo” from Mexico in order to stem the flow of illegal drugs into our country. Or if he “extorted” Iran with threatened sanctions in order to get them to stop their drive to nuclear armament? (Technically I think we know the answer to that last one.)
NewsBusters, Impeachment Frenzy: TV Networks Blast Trump With 96% Negative News. Only 96%? Communist dictators typically get 97% of the vote. David Graham at the Atlantic whines Republicans Know Trump Is Innocent—They’re Trying to Figure Out Why, There can be multiple reasons.

Sundance again, Senator Burr: “Senate Impeachment Trial Will Last 6 to 8 weeks”…
It looks like the House impeachment is now a foregone conclusion. To wit the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Chairman Richard Burr has announced the schedule outline for the upcoming Senate Impeachment Trial. . . .
Move to dismiss the charges based on prosecutorial misconduct by Adam Schiff, and get back to the business of doing nothing. Much more at the link, of course.

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