Sunday, February 23, 2020

Russiagate: Grenell and Bear It

Starting with sundance from CTH, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien: “White House Was Never Provided any Intelligence Briefing on Russia Election Effort”…
Former Acting DNI Joseph Maguire did not brief the white house prior to taking Shelby Pierson, the person in charge of evaluating intelligence regarding election security, to lead the presentation to the house intel committee (HPSCI). That’s the key takeaway from a taped preview of National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Face The Nation.

With NSA O’Brien confirming what many suspected it begs the question why would Shelby Pierson and Joseph Maguire intentionally blindside the White House? The briefing was obviously spun by HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff and democrats on the committee; and there was no intelligence presented to support the claims made by Democrats and media.

Sending shockwaves through the intelligence community, now Acting DNI Grenell has asked the intelligence community, including Shelby Pierson to produce the underlying intelligence within her briefing. It is reported that Pierson and the alliance of intelligence around her are going bananas. Sounds like Ms. Pierson might not last long.

WaPoo whines that Responding to news of Russian interference, Trump sends chilling message to U.S. intelligence community. I'm reminded of Sundance's repeated warning that when the WaPoo speaks, the CIA's lips move. From paragraphs deep in the article,
A senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of intelligence briefings with the president said that Trump is open to information he might not want to hear.

“We never get a briefing canceled because we give him bad news,” said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details of intelligence briefings.

“We go in, and he treats us with respect. He listens, he asks questions, and he lets us answer those questions,” the official said. “Much of our news is bad news. Yet he invites us back.”

The official, who is familiar with briefings to former presidents, said intelligence officers understand that their job is to convey information to Trump and not to be pressured by his or others’ public comments.
And NYT wails, Will Richard Grenell Destroy the Intelligence Community?. We can always hope. ProPublica, Trump’s New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption
“There is real reason to believe that Mr. Grenell should have registered here,” Sanderson said after ProPublica described the circumstances to him. “This is exactly the type of circumstances I’d expect the Department of Justice to investigate further.”
. . .
“Ric was not paid to write these stories, in fact he has written hundreds of stories on his own time to express his own views,” Engle said. “But to be clear: he was not working for any individual, he was working for himself and was advocating the ideal of a pro-western political party that was emerging.”
FARA should be unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds. Jon Levine at NYPo, Richard Grenell now highest-ranking openly gay official in US government history. Insty, WITH THIS AND THE RIC GRENELL APPOINTMENT, THE LEFT WILL GO FROM “TRUMP IS HOMOPHOBIC” TO “TRUMP IS SECRETLY GAY” IN 3, 2, 1. . . . ‘Great!’: Donald Trump tweets his approval of gay Bollywood rom-com after India reversed strict same-sex laws – as film is banned in Dubai.

Fox, Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders. Wired, Russia Doesn't Want Bernie Sanders. It Wants Chaos. And Democrats are giving it to them in spades.

Andy McCarthy, writing at WaEx, makes The case for repealing FISA and reforming the FBI and CIA
A fix is not that hard to grasp. It is doubtful, though, that our political culture could muster the consensus and will it would take for implementation.

The FBI should be relegated to the investigation and prosecution of crime. The bureau excels in executing its law enforcement duties and can be trusted to operate with minimal political supervision because the criminal justice system features transparent judicial oversight. The foreign counterintelligence mission should be transferred to other intelligence community components and subjected to beefed-up congressional regulation and oversight. FISA should be repealed, with the courts returned to their judicial role of providing a forum for those injured by governmental overreach, rather than aiding and abetting in the overreach.

Much more rethinking of the intelligence community needs to be done. The Claremont Institute’s Angelo Codevilla, an insightful and provocative intelligence expert, argues the CIA is obsolete, politicized, and counterproductive. He would assign foreign intelligence responsibilities to the departments that carry out national defense and foreign relations missions — mainly, the Defense and State Departments — tailoring the gathering of intelligence to the practical needs of these missions. This would strip down the so-called “deep state,” a leviathan that warehouses mountains of intelligence to the detriment of our liberties and with dubious benefits to our security. Codevilla would also repeal FISA.

His ideas are worth exploring. What is already clear, however, is that national security against foreign powers is not a fit responsibility for police agencies and courts. Assigning it to them is a failed experiment: a temptation to intrusive surveillance of innocent citizens and politicized law enforcement. We should end the experiment before the public, in its frustration over the lack of accountability, clips the powers vital to our national defense.
Jeff Dunleavy at WaEx reports that Devin Nunes vows to expand lawsuit against Fusion GPS after judge’s dismissal. Well, you can always hope, but I don't think it's going anywhere. Bonchie at Red State, Shocker: That ‘Bombshell’ About Trump Offering Julian Assange a Pardon to Cover-Up for Russia Was Total Garbage. Probably had it's roots at Fusion GPS.

The Atlantic goes crazy town, Trump’s Presidency Will End Someday. What if He Won’t Go?

A thing that makes you go hmmm, Philip Haney, DHS whistleblower during Obama era, found dead, police say, sundance, DHS Whistleblower Philip Haney Dies of Gunshot Wound – Amador Sheriff Rules Suicide…  and has a suspicion of murder. Althouse "In June 2016, Haney testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he alleged that the Obama-era DHS had ordered him to delete hundreds of files..." Funny how we know the name of this whistleblower.

Politico, Roger Stone moves to disqualify judge in last-ditch bid to avoid prison and from WaPoo, Roger Stone asked for a judge’s removal. It may be more fuel for a Trump pardon, experts say.
The case has been fraught with political overtones as President Trump and conservative commentators have leveled broadsides against U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson and the jury’s forewoman, saying political bias has tainted the proceedings.

And that, former federal prosecutors say, is why Stone’s defense team may have thrown a Hail Mary in its motion for Jackson to recuse herself — not to win a new trial, but to win political intervention in the future.

“There is zero chance she recuses herself. This is a ridiculous motion,” said Randall D. Eliason, an adjunct professor of white collar crime law at George Washington University and a former assistant U.S. attorney.

“This has been a political case from start to finish, and this motion gives anyone who wants it ammunition to argue the judge was unfair,” he told The Washington Post on Saturday.

Roger Stone sentenced to three years and four months in prison, as Trump predicts ‘exoneration’ for his friend

Stone’s legal team has zeroed in on Jackson’s remarks during sentencing Thursday to bolster its argument of bias. It noted in a motion late Friday that Jackson said, “The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared,” among other comments to demonstrate the seriousness of the proceedings.

That framing, Stone’s team argued, suggests Jackson has already determined that no one on the jury acted with bias, which is central to their demand for a new trial. Grant Smith, one of Stone’s attorneys, declined to provide any additional evidence or name the juror, saying the remainder of the motion is under seal. But Tomeka Hart, a former Democratic candidate for Congress, revealed herself as the jury forewoman in a Facebook post, leading to attacks from Trump and others.
Sweet Marie gets the payoff,  Ex-Ukraine diplomat Marie Yovanovitch lands seven-figure book deal (Jon Levine, NYPo). Someone should try to follow the money.

Two views of one interview, Mediaite, Anderson Cooper Calls ‘Bullsh*t’ on Rod Blagojevich in Heated Interview: ‘Sad and Pathetic and Hypocritical’ and from Liz Vaughn at Red State, Anderson Cooper Fought Hard to Elicit an Apology from Rod Blagojevich; Grew Vicious, Childish When it Failed to Materialize. You decide.

1 comment:

  1. Just remember that originally the point of the FISA was to create a court that could handle classified information and not be handicapped if the defense demanded classified info as part of their strategy.
    Lawyers, judges and juries would be cleared and matters handled in secure spaces. "Graymail" by espionage subjects was short circuited, they could not avoid prosecution by threatening to expose classified in open court.

    The trend toward abusing constitutional rights by the FISA process is something developed recently, say between 2008 and 2016.
    Wonder what makes that time special???