The story of the day, of course, is the WaPoo report that Barr disputes key inspector general finding about FBI’s Russia investigation, apparently disagreeing with IG Horowitz that the FISA warrant on Carter Page was based on adequate premise. You can also access a non-pay walled copy at MSN here.
Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department’s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report — that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.WaPoo immediately uses it as an excuse to launch attacks on AG Barr, of course. We must assume this leak came from people with access to the report and Barr who are not fans. Breitbart, AG Barr Disagrees with IG on Whether Trump Surveillance Justified gets to the heart of the problem.
The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is due to release his long-awaited findings in a week, but behind the scenes at the Justice Department, disagreement has surfaced about one of Horowitz’s central conclusions on the origins of the Russia investigation. The discord could be the prelude to a major fissure within federal law enforcement on the controversial question of investigating a presidential campaign.
Barr has not been swayed by Horowitz’s rationale for concluding that the FBI had sufficient basis to open an investigation on July 31, 2016, these people said.
No evidence of collusion was ever found, though the surveillance continued well after the election, and the fact that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign over Russia was leaked to Democrats and to the mainstream media.Sundance at CTH attempts to understand how WaPo Leads Conflation Effort Claiming Divergence Between Barr and Horowitz on Origin of Trump Investigation….
Before getting to the WaPo narrative construction a little background review is worthwhile; starting with the original investigative purpose of the IG review. The Horowitz review was initiated to look into how the DOJ and FBI secured a Title-1 FISA surveillance warrant against U.S. person Carter Page . . .Maybe this is why Barr is not satisfied with Horowitz' conclusion; Chris Hull at ET, Court Filing: Obama Holdover Heading Office Under Investigation for ‘Illegally Leaked’ Classified Document
IG Horowitz was never investigating the predicate claims that initiated the CIA/FBI operation known as “Crossfire Hurricane”. So how exactly would AG Barr and IG Horowitz be diverging on an aspect to a predicate that Horowitz was never reviewing?
Additionally, IG Horowitz was never tasked or empowered to interview CIA officers who are known to have been at the heart of the pre-July 2016 operation. Horowitz was/is focused on the DOJ and FBI compliance with legal requirements for the FISA application that was assembled for use in October 2016, and renewed throughout 2017.
The Obama holdover heading the Pentagon office reportedly under investigation by the U.S. attorney who is conducting the criminal probe of the Trump–Russia investigation was accused of leaking a classified document, in a recent court filing for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The connection hasn’t been previously reported.
According to a Nov. 21 report by independent journalist Sara Carter, U.S. Attorney John Durham is questioning personnel in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA). ONA awarded about $1 million in contracts to FBI informant Stefan Halper, who appears to have played a key role in alleged U.S. intelligence agency spying on 2016 Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
In addition, however, a court filing indicates that ONA’s director, James H. Baker, “is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls” to The Washington Post. Specifically, the filing states, “ONA Director Baker regularly lunched with Washington Post Reporter David Ignatius.”
The filing adds that Baker “was Halper’s ‘handler’” at ONA. Moreover, according to the court filing, the tasks assigned to “known long-time operative for the CIA/FBI” Halper “seem to have included slandering Mr. Flynn with accusations of having an affair with a young professor (a British national of Russian descent).”
Fresh today at WaPoo, Justice Dept. trying to finish report on Russia probe before ThanksgivingHow incredibly tragic would it be with all the documents and communications that Barr & Durham can see today, if they are not acted upon BEFORE the House can brand President Trump with the words “Impeached President” for the rest of eternity.— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) December 1, 2019
Feel free to question my patriotism. https://t.co/cDEXKo5qQA
Lisa Page's coming out party continues to reverberate. Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media, Lisa Page: 'There's No Fathomable Way That I Have Committed Any Crime at All.'
Page and her family have indeed been subjected to undue mockery from Trump, but the former FBI lawyer is far from innocent. The American people need answers as to why the Obama administration pursued Trump-Russia, why the FBI did not alert Trump to this investigation, and whether Strzok and Page enacted their plans to hamper the Republican before and after his election in 2016.Undue, my ass. According to Ann Althouse, Lisa Page talks like Trump, except that Trump would never use the word fathomable. Shockingly, Mueller Probe’s Andrew Weissmann: Lisa Page Did Nothing Wrong (Breitbart, citing MSNBC).OG HillBilly not a fan:
More of this same perpetual victim bullshit that’s so rampant today. I cannot stand this crap. She is NOT a victim and she is NOT a hero, especially for women. Don’t F around with married dudes at work and then call Trump a disgusting pig. You’re the pig. https://t.co/JolPzdvozS— The OG Hillbilly (@LauraLMonroe33) December 2, 2019
Two? She was unfaithful to Peter? Tell me more. . . Dan Bongino on Fox, More evidence that the deep state 'is in a panic'I was busted banging not one but two married men at the FBI who I worked with while plotting to take down a President that some smelly Walmart people I detest had just elected but I’m the victim here. https://t.co/JolPzdvozS— The OG Hillbilly (@LauraLMonroe33) December 2, 2019
Steve McIntyre has another Twitter thread Plot clearly and eloquently described the Steele dossier as a fabrication by US operatives, rather than "Russian" disinformation, and sundance gives us Jim Jordan Discussing Why Democrats Need to Cling to a Vast Russian Conspiracy Theory…
Speaking of the Mueller madness, Buzzfeed tries to convince us that Mueller was really on to something with Here Are The Latest Secret Memos From Mueller's Report. Well, it wasn't lack of effort, it was lack of evidence. Well what do you know,
Trump should just order him, and then fire him when he refuses.BREAKING: IC IG Michael Atkinson refuses to comply with Senate Intelligence Committee requests to detail the political bias of the "whistleblower" he personally handled. Atkinson is an Obama holdover who worked closely with #SpyGate suspects at DOJ. His wife has donated to Dems.— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) December 3, 2019
Newt Gingrich: Plot against president is real – And bigger than many think
More bad news for Hunter Biden as Hunter Biden blows off court hearing over child support as his lawyer abruptly quits while glam baby mama Lunden Roberts leaves court after judge demanded three years of tax returns from ex-VP's troubled son (Da Mail). Ace, Hunter Biden's Lawyer Abruptly Quits as the Corrupt Babydaddy Blows Off Paternity Hearing
As some not-wise people say, "Hey, if he's got nothing to hide, why doesn't he just turn them over, huh?"Time, 'I Don’t Trust Anyone at All.' Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Speaks Out on Trump, Putin and a Divided Europe. Good policy. Politicians are inherently untrustworthy. Matt Margolis, PJ Media, Ukraine President Zelensky Says (Again) There Was No Quid Pro Quo. From the interview, Althouse extracts, "The United States of America is a signal, for the world, for everyone. When America says, for instance, that Ukraine is a corrupt country..."
"... that is the hardest of signals. It might seem like an easy thing to say, that combination of words: Ukraine is a corrupt country. Just to say it and that’s it. But it doesn’t end there. Everyone hears that signal. Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it’s a signal to them that says, ‘Be careful, don’t invest.’ Or, ‘Get out of there.’ This is a hard signal. For me it’s very important for the United States, with all they can do for us, for them really to understand that we are a different country, that we are different people. It’s not that those things don’t exist. They do. All branches of government were corrupted over many years, and we are working to clean that up. But that signal from them is very important.... During my meeting with [Trump], I said that I don’t want our country to have this image. For that, all he has to do is come and have a look at what’s happening, how we live, what kinds of people we are. I had the sense that he heard me. I had that sense. At least during the meeting, he said, 'Yes, I see, you’re young, you’re new, and so on.'... Ukraine is different now. Ukraine wants to stop it. There is no radicalism. No one is killing and eating anyone in that country. See for yourself. Come on.'... Look, I never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo. That’s not my thing. … I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying."In impeachment follies, Jerry Nadler Announces HJC Witnesses for Impeachment “Groundwork” Hearing…
Of these, only Turley is likely to express negative sentiments about impeachment. From Da Hill, Watergate line speaks volumes about weak impeachment case. Althouse, Inviting the administration now to participate in an after-the-fact constitutional law seminar with yet-to-be-named witnesses only demonstrates further the countless procedural deficiencies..."
- Noah Feldman – Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law and Director, Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, Harvard Law School
- Pamela S. Karlan – Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School
- Michael Gerhardt – Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of North Carolina School of Law
- Jonathan Turley – J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University Law School
Teach at Pirate's Cove cites WaPoo, Democrats Quietly Discuss Including Russia Russia Russia In Impeachment"... that have infected this inquiry from its inception and shows the lack of seriousness with which you are undertaking these proceedings. An academic discussion cannot retroactively fix an irretrievably broken process."Wrote White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Nadler. The hearing in question, is scheduled for December 4th, and — as Cipollone understands "from rumors and press reports" and not from any official notice — "will consist of an academic discussion by law professors."
ADDED: I must say that as a longtime law professor, I'm finding the disrespect for law professors inadequate. You heard me right. I do not for one minute believe that the 3 lawprofs the Judiciary Committee will put on display will be speaking as if they are conducting something that deserves to be called an "academic seminar." But I understand Cipollone's refraining from getting into the problem of the politicalization of the academic field of constitutional law.
This shows that the Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine thing has turned into a dud, as well. Democrats also know that there is no way Trump gets booted out of office from the Senate. Perhaps Democrats are hoping that they regain the Senate and can pull the trigger when Trump gets re-elected thanks in part to this whole idiotic impeachment schtick? They’d still need 67 Senators to vote for impeachment.From sundance, House Republicans Release Rebuttal Review of Democrat Impeachment Effort….
In advance of the Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and Lawfare Committee releasing a highly partisan HPSCI report to facilitate a political impeachment effort, the House republicans have provided a proactive 123 page rebuttal report [pdf link here] the media will ignore.Axios' spin, GOP impeachment report claims Trump did nothing wrong. Bonchie at Red State thinks Democrats Signal Defeat on Impeachment
A good encapsulation paragraph within the executive summary: “The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system. The Democrats are trying to impeach a duly elected President based on the accusations and assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with President Trump’s policy initiatives and processes. They are trying to impeach President Trump because some unelected bureaucrats were discomforted by an elected President’s telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They are trying to impeach President Trump because some unelected bureaucrats chafed at an elected President’s “outside the beltway” approach to diplomacy.”
Worse, the report also quoted Democrats as saying they are ready to “get it over (with) and move on.” Democrats in swing districts can feel their electability slipping away as the process has become more and more blatantly political. They want this done and over with, preferably with a fast acquittal in the Senate. If the Democrats as a whole thought they were making political hay out of impeachment, the last thing they’d want to do is rush it to its conclusion. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening.Yahoo! The Impeachment Wild Cards Trump Confronts in a Senate Trial, but "Barring an unforeseen shock that shakes support among Republicans, the Senate appears destined to conduct an expedient trial with the likely outcome being a near-party line acquittal."
After initially showing a desire to draw it out, Adam Schiff closed up shop after just eight public witnesses. He then kicked it over to the Judiciary Committee to debate whether to draw up articles of impeachment. Pro-tip: if you are counting on Jerry Nadler to save this process, just quit now.
Here come de' Judge, Fox’s Napolitano Calls Trump Impeachment Strategy ‘Very Unwise’. The judge is not in the business of giving Trump good advice.
“The Democrats are not doing anything that the Democrats did not do to Nixon or the Republicans didn’t do the Bill Clinton. But I think he makes a mistake when he refuses to participate. It is a valid vote by the House of Representatives that authorized this,” he continued. “He also loses the argument that it’s unfair if he doesn’t take the opportunity to participate himself.”
Napolitano again defended his belief that Trump’s actions have merited impeachment.
“In my view, it is clearly impeachable because it involves two potential crimes,” Napolitano said. “The crime of bribery … which is defined as the failure to do an official act, release the $391 million, until a favor comes your way: not conduct an investigation, announce the existence of an investigation of Joe Biden. The other crime is asking for campaign aide from a foreign national. That’s a crime in and of itself, just asking.”