Monday, January 20, 2020

Russiagate on a Frosty Morning

Chilly here this morning. 25 F, with the expectation of barely breaking freezing by afternoon. I hope the demonstrators in Richmond dress well.

Chuck Ross at Da Caller reports that the FBI Interview Notes With Page And Papadopoulos Are Released. I don't see too much fresh in the article, but read it yourself. It's still funny the FBI still can't (or won't) find the original Flynn 302. Sundance watches the Sunday talks, so you don't have to, Jim Jordan Discusses FBI, Flynn Prosecution, Rosenstein, Page, Strzok, and How it all Connects…

At NYPo, Rod Rosenstein admits to leaking texts between Peter Strzok, Lisa Page
Rosenstein, who left the DOJ last year, says he made the texts public to protect Page and Strzok — because Congress was about to hear about the embarrassing messages anyway.

“Providing the most egregious messages in one package would avoid the additional harm of prolonged selective disclosures” from leaky congressional staffers, wrote Rosenstein, who now has a corporate law gig.

The texts showed that Page and Strzok had feared Trump might win the election.
From Da Mail, Donald Trump's top Russia expert on National Security Council is 'escorted off the White House grounds amid a security investigation'. Sundance suspects they caught him in flagrante with Adam Schiff, NSC Russia Expert Escorted From White House Under Intelligence Investigation…
Here’s how it looks: Andrew Peek was a mole. A resistance spy sent into the Trump administration as part of the allied deep state resistance effort. Someone caught him attempting to access something, and here’s how CTH can tell.

The biggest flare that identifies Andrew Peek’s ideology is the connection to former U.S. General John Allen. CTH has tracked Allen for several years; he was used as part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He spoke at the DNC convention for Hillary Clinton.
. . .
Andrew Peek coming from the stable of John Allen tells us everything we need to know about the ideology of Mr. Peek. There’s no doubt in my mind that Andrew Peek is therefore an ideological member of the resistance similar to another NSC appointment, Alexander Vindman.
. . .
Additionally, in the periphery of downstream consequence, and seemingly out of nowhere today, impeachment Lead Manager and HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff said:
“The Intelligence Community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine. They appear to be succumbing to pressure from the administration. The NSA in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight.”
Considering the timeline; and considering the topic(s); and considering the ideology; there’s a strong possibility the person on the other end of Peeks’ communication effort was someone in the network of Adam Schiff, perhaps Mary McCord or similar…
 And that concludes our "Spygate update". Onto the Sampeachment! At PJ Media with Stephen Kruiser, The Morning Briefing: Impeachment Trial Week Is Here and Please God Kill It With Fire, and nuke it from orbit. AP reports No escape: Senators to be quiet, unplugged for Trump trial, and NYPo, Senators will face tough rules to be part of Trump’s impeachment trial Chuck Schumer hardest hit. Hot Air cites NYT, Even C-Span Is Piqued: Senate Puts Limits On Trial Coverage. And it could last weeks, although, from CNN, Graham says Trump hopes to have impeachment over by State of the Union address (Feb 4). Still too long. On Da Hill, Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss. Pirate's Cove cites Breitbart in Mitch McConnell Implements Impeachment Theater Kill Switch
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is as of now including in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial rules a “kill switch” that effectively allows for the president’s legal team to seek an immediate verdict or dismissal of the case should Democrats engage in any shenanigans like they did in the House process.

The revelation comes after the House finally late last week formally sent the Articles of Impeachment it adopted before Christmas—after holding them for more than a month without transmission—to the U.S. Senate, thereby triggering the start of a Senate trial. The Senate will formally commence its trial procedures in votes this coming week, and while some Republicans want to outright dismiss the charges altogether from the outset, others believe a trial should take place.
Now, can he find 51 votes to dismiss?  Jazz Shaw at Hot Air wonders Who Will Campaign For Sanders And Warren While They Sit On The Impeachment Trial? Don't care, not my problem. On Da Hill, Cruz: Hearing from witnesses could extend Senate trial to up to 8 weeks.  Sundance, Sunday Talks: Senator Ted Cruz Discusses Upcoming Week of Impeachment…

AllahPundit at Hot Air, Democrat Sherrod Brown: Fine By Me If Republicans Want To Put Hunter Biden On The Stand. I don't really care about Hunter, he had no relevant experience, he was clearly picked to provide cover for Burisma. Putting him on the stand would just be humiliation. It was his father who provided the cover by threatening to withhold aid if they didn't fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma. Put Slow Joe on the stand. Althouse, Sharyl Attkisson picks a winning pro-Trump description of impeachment (and I guess there will be a winning anti-Trump description).
The Dersh at Gatestone Institute, explains why Trump Had Right to Withhold Ukraine Funds: GAO is Wrong. From OAN, Alan Dershowitz Says He Is On The Side Of The Constitution When Defending President Trump. But he's still a Clinton Democrat. Axios is outraged that Dershowitz claims abuse of power is not an impeachable offense even if proven. Abuse of power is an inherently subjective criterion. It's always abuse when your opponents do it, it's never abuse when your side does it. Sundance presents Sunday Talks: Alan Dershowitz -vs- George Stephanopoulos….

Sundance, Sunday Talks: White House Impeachment Lawyer Robert Ray Interview With Maria Bartiromo…

Clarice at AmThink, The Trump Grabbed Schrodinger's Pussy Theory
Joel Pollak at Breitbart questions whether Parnas has anything to offer to support the Democrats’ case in spite of his interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow who grabbed at this turd (mistaking it yet again for the game ball) ran with it to the end zone, and declared victory.

The most telling fail of the Parnas claims is that he has no firsthand knowledge to support any of them. What he offers are the opinions of a man indicted for conspiracy, making false statements and falsifying the record. Among his 10-point argument that Parnas’ credibility is in serious question and “many of his claims about Trump are dubious or contradicted by other evidence” are these:

He claimed he acted at Trump’s direction but shortly after the interview, he said he never spoke to the president. He told Maddow he represented himself to Ukrainian officials as the president’s representative, but, in fact, he represented himself as working for the president’s attorney (Giuliani). He told Maddow he conveyed a threat to the Ukrainians unless they cooperated by investigating Joe Biden, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flatly denies this. He claims Attorney General William Barr was “on the team,” but concedes he never spoke to Barr and didn’t know whether Barr had ever spoken to Ukrainian officials. Parnas was allegedly CNN’s source for the report that Congressman Devin Nunes had gone to Vienna to meet with the former Ukrainian prosecutor when, in fact, Nunes was in Benghazi, Libya at the time.

The similarity between the parade of new “evidence” for impeachment reminds most of us, including Legal Insurrection, of the never-ending parade of witnesses against Brett Kavanaugh.
AP breathlessly reports. Newly released texts tie Nunes aide closer to Ukraine plot. Breaking news, Congresscritters talk to all kinds of people. Just ask Adam Schiff.

More talks from sundance, White House Impeachment Lawyer Robert Ray Interview With Maria Bartiromo… and a transcript of Background Briefing With White House Counsel…

Fox News, Doug Collins: House Democratic leader's remark about letting Trump 'prove innocence' should alarm Americans
"Mr. Hoyer from Maryland ... made a very revealing statement for anybody who's concerned about Constitutional rights -- and especially for me -- even those of my Democratic counterparts who worry about their communities, where they discuss police action and rights being violated," he said.

"It's amazing to me how they're willingly setting that aside to come up to this -- Steny Hoyer actually said 'we allowed him every opportunity to come prove his innocence,'."

Collins said the comment was mindblowing in that it seemed that Congress must have "taken a vacation and le[ft] the United States."

"Did we all of a sudden suspend the Bill of Rights?" Collins asked. "Did we suspend any modicum of due process?"

Collins said Democrats like Hoyer are creating a dangerous precedent in that people can effectively accuse other people of offenses and force them to "prove your innocence."

"I don't care if you think this president ought to be impeached or not. This is irrelevant. This should bother everybody," he said.
At WaEx, Byron York highlights Two deceptions at the heart of Democrats' impeachment brief
The one that is flat wrong is the Democrats' assertion that Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate "a debunked conspiracy theory that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election to aid President Trump, but instead that Ukraine interfered in that election to aid President Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton."

The problem is, the theory does not hold that Russia "did not interfere" in the 2016 election. There is a mountain of evidence that Russia interfered, and that has been the conclusion of every investigation into the matter, beginning with the first congressional probe, by the House Intelligence Committee under then-chairman Devin Nunes. The theory is that in addition to Russian interference, some people in Ukraine, including some government officials, also tried to influence the U.S. election. It was not a government-run effort, and it was on a far smaller scale than the Russian project, but it happened.
. . .
The other mischaracterization in the Democratic brief is the assertion that, in 2016, Trump "welcomed Russia's election interference." The brief quotes special counsel Robert Mueller's report that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help because it "expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."

That's not wrong — Trump did, in fact, welcome Russia-based leaks — but grossly out of context. The context is this: Trump welcomed Russia-based leaks about the Clinton campaign because the media were enthusiastically embracing and repeating Russian-based leaks about the Clinton campaign. Print, internet, TV, everyone, was accepting, repeating, and amplifying the material released by WikiLeaks from the Russian hack of top Clinton campaign official John Podesta.

Perhaps people have forgotten how prominently media organizations featured the Russia-based material. If they have, here are a dozen examples of headlines, just from the New York Times and just from the few weeks immediately before the 2016 election:
. . .
Neither mischaracterization in the Democratic brief is a mistake; Democratic prosecutors know full well what actually happened. But the mischaracterizations are necessary to build the case against the president, to show that he had corrupt motives in the Ukraine matter. They are, of course, not the entire case, but they are important. And they are wrong.
Michael Goodwin at NYPo, Democrats’ ‘unfixable’ extremism uses Trump as an excuse as the other side whines These Senate Republicans Are Bathed In Shame (Frank Bruni, NYT cited at Hot Air). At the paywalled WSJ, How Trump Has Kept Near-Unanimous GOP Support Through Impeachment. Because Democrats are insane, and the Republicans aren't?

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