Saturday, February 29, 2020

Russiagate: Ratcliffe Renominated

A moderate set. First, from Adam Mills at AmGreat pushes George Papadopuolos in New Book: The FBI Considered Joseph Mifsud an Asset. I know he believes it and it's probably true, but I didn't seen any new evidence. Meanwhile, from Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Christopher Steele and crowd are still flogging the dead horse, 'Trump-Russia dossier was valid': Christopher Steele defends controversial 2016 report, and Da Caller's Chuck Ross,  Christopher Steele’s Firm Touts Ex-FBI Official’s Dossier Assessment, Fails To Disclose He Was Paid $4 Million
The latest dossier defense, offered up by Arthur Snell, a managing director at Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, suggests that former FBI cybersecurity official Anthony Ferrante has validated the dossier.

But what Snell failed to disclose is that BuzzFeed News reportedly paid Ferrante $4.1 million to investigate only a narrow part of the dossier as part of a lawsuit that the website faced for publishing Steele’s report.

Ferrante was unable to corroborate Steele’s allegations, despite the hefty payday. But that didn’t stop Orbis from citing the former FBI official in its latest dossier defense.
Also from Chuck, Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against FBI Informant Used In Trump Probe. A Clinton appointee. That's too bad. Maybe an appeal is in order.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a Russian-British historian’s lawsuit against several U.S. newspapers and Stefan Halper, a former Cambridge professor who served as a confidential human source for the FBI during the Trump-Russia probe.

Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the statute of limitations had expired for many of the allegations in the defamation lawsuit, which Svetlana Lokhova filed on May 23, 2019. Brinkema also ruled that news articles that Lokhova cited in her lawsuit were not defamatory.
More recently, of course, Democratic officials may have pushed bogus intelligence alleging the Russians want to reelect Trump from Becket Adams at WaEx.  They're down to the bottom of their bag of tricks.

In more news rehash, Just the News reports Michael Flynn seeks total exoneration, not pardon, says his attorney, and I believe he deserves it. Call McCabe and Comey to testify. From Dan Chaitin at WaEx, Devin Nunes: 'Deep state' is 'much worse than even I thought it ever was

WaPoo, Former White House counsel Don McGahn does not have to testify to House, appeals court finds and   Sundance at CTH (whi cites Politico) , White House Wins DC Appeals Court Ruling Blocking Don McGahn Testimony…
This ruling also undermines the ridiculous “obstruction” article of impeachment because it shows the White House had a justifiable and constitutional argument to make against the House in the judicial branch.  The issue at stake was  whether the legislative branch can penetrate the constitutional firewall which exists within the separation of powers.
AP, Dems launch Justice probe, seek Stone-related interviews and from WaPooJudiciary Committee chairman asks Barr to permit testimony from four career prosecutors who quit the Roger Stone case Just say no!
In a letter to Barr, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote that recent events at the Justice Department — including leadership’s unusual intervention to reduce career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Stone — have been “deeply troubling” and requested that Barr turn over communications between the White House and the Justice Department on several politically sensitive cases.

Nadler also asked that Barr make available for testimony or interviews 15 different current and former officials involved in the matters, including the four career prosecutors who until recently handled the Stone case and all the U.S. attorneys across the country that the Justice Department has recently tapped for special assignments of interest to Trump.
Leftist Bullies Attack AG Barr by Janice Shaw Crouse at AmThink. Well, duh! In an opinion piece at WaPoo, George Terwilliger writes I was Barr’s deputy attorney general. He did his job in the Roger Stone case.
Attorney General William P. Barr is under assault for what his critics decry as improper interference in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. But the claim that decisions by career prosecutors should in essence be unreviewable by those appointed to leadership positions in the Justice Department is not just wrong; it is also irresponsible. Barr wasn’t intervening inappropriately. He was doing his job.

An editorial in The Post said the attorney general should “leave it to the professionals.” What a dangerous notion that is. I served in the Justice Department for 15 years, half of that time as a career prosecutor. From time to time, I was overruled on decisions involving my cases. My judgment was better for the benefit of oversight and supervision, including from the politically appointed U.S. attorney. Whether direction came from even higher authority is unknown to me, but if it did, I would see it no differently. That is how a chain of command must work.
From Mark Tapscott, ET, ‘Clean’ FISA Renewal Moving Ahead as Key Spygate Reforms Are Pushed Down the Road
Senate and House Republicans appear to be at loggerheads on whether to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before or after the controversial law at the heart of the Spygate scandal is reauthorized.

Amid frenzied budget negotiations, an obscure provision in the Nov. 18, 2019, measure keeping the government open extended FISA’s expiration at the end of the year to March 15, 2020.
Taylor Millard, Hot Air, FISA Reform Advocates Unhappy With Vote Delay and Sara Carter, Republicans Battle To Rein In FISA Court: ‘We can’t settle for clean reauthorization’. Kill it. Cut of it's head, fill it's mouth with garlic, stake the heart and burn the body.

In a bit of new news from Fox, Trump nominates John Ratcliffe for top intelligence post, and WaPoo editorializes, Trump returns to failed pick for intelligence chief. As noted Ratcliffe was nominated once and withdrew, but that was before the shampeachment. Ace, Trump Nominates Representative John Ratcliffe, Deep State Scourge, as Director of National Intelligence "Trump will actually have allies in high positions of government in his second term. It's gonna get lit."  AllahPundit at Hot Air thinks he knows what's happening. Here We Go Again: Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe To Be New Director Of National Intelligence
Here’s where the cunning comes in. Trump knows that this is an election year. He knows that his approval rating, both within his own party and across the population, is about as high right now as it’s ever been. (Coronavirus may change that soon, but never mind.) He knows that Republican voters just circled the wagons around him on impeachment and are ready to circle those same wagons tighter as we proceed towards the general election. All of that being so, Senate Republicans may be materially less likely to cross him on Ratcliffe’s nomination now than they were eight months ago. Does Romney want to cast another “traitorous” vote against Trump so soon after the Senate trial? Does Susan Collins want to piss him off with his voters in Maine watching her closely? Does Burr want to cause a rift with the president in North Carolina, one of the most important swing states this fall?

The odds of the Senate meekly confirming Ratcliffe have improved and Trump knows it. So he’s calling their bluff. I dare you to reject him.

But here’s where it gets even more cunning. Trump may be viewing this, correctly, as a “heads I win, tails I win” situation thanks to a loophole in federal law on executive branch vacancies. The law was written in the belief that presidents would always prefer permanent appointees as a matter of basic stability and sound constitutional practice. You want someone at DNI or DHS or HHS or wherever? Just send the nomination over to the Senate and they’ll vote up or down. And until Trump, presidents did approach the matter that way. Trump doesn’t care about stability, though; if anything, he appears to enjoy volatility in government. He seems to prefer acting directors since they can be shuffled around according to his whims. They may even be more prone to behaving like yes men than permanent appointees are because there’s a chance that the president will formally nominate them to the permanent position if they’re especially obsequious.
If so, I'm OK with it. Sundance, President Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence – Ramifications… "Quite a bit to unpack here, and most of it is very good news." He also finds Devin Nunes Reacting to the Ratcliffe DNI Nomination – And New Ukraine Investigation…

Things that continue to make you go hmmm from Da Blaze, Police say initial reports calling Obama-era whistleblower's death a 'suicide' were 'misinformation Mis or Dis?

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