Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Daily Dose of Russiagate

It Seems to be suffering from an acute case of Wuflu. If you can, you should read Rowan Scarborough's Inside the FBI's 218 days that changed Trump's political world at WaT, to remind you of how we got where we are today, with the FISA and the FISA court under scrutiny after massive abuse by the FBI and DOJ.

At Just the News, John Solomon writes of the The 21 words uttered by FISA court that change the Russia collusion case forever
In just 21 words, Boasberg provided the first judicial declaration the FBI had misled the court, not just committed process errors. "There is thus little doubt that the government breached its duty of candor to the Court with respect to those applications," Boasberg wrote.

The no-fault mantra has been spread by everyone from President Trump's former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who insisted the DOJ took its responsibility to submit "admissible evidence, credible witnesses" very seriously, to the ex-FBI Director James Comey, who declared recently it was "nonsense" to suggest the bureau opened a probe without good cause.

Some of these defenses — including a focus on fixing process suggested by current FBI chief Christopher Wray — have persisted even after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a damning report in December finding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were riddled with mistakes, including 17 examples of misconduct, misinformation or outright lies.

Judge Boasberg drew headlines last week for an order suspending all FBI and DOJ lawyers involved in the Russia collusion case from appearing before his court until it is determined whether they engaged in misconduct.

But of greater long-term significance was his language pinning responsibility for FISA abuses squarely on senior officials, not just lower-level line agents and lawyers who prepared the warrant applications.

"The frequency and seriousness of these errors in a case that, given its sensitive nature, had an unusually high level of review at both DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have called into question the reliability of the information proffered in other FBI applications," Boasberg wrote.

In another words, he is worried the bad conduct exhibited by the FBI may extend to more cases affecting others' civil liberties.

Finally, Boasberg put Wray on notice — even while praising the current director — that process fixes alone won't suffice.

"The errors the OIG pointed out cannot be solved through procedures alone," he wrote. "DOJ and the FBI, including all personnel involved in the FISA process, must fully understand and embrace the heightened duties of probity and transparency that apply in ex parte proceedings."

Boasberg's ruling was far more than a temporary suspension of FBI personnel's participation in the FISA court. It is the first and only judicial finding in the Russia case that the FBI vastly misled the nation's intelligence court and that blame must be shouldered by federal law enforcement's top leaders, many of whom have spent much of the last three years trying to escape such accountability.
Reason asks Will We See Real Surveillance Reform This Week?, and from Sundance at CTH, the actual FISA Deal – House Rules Committee Releases Text of FISA Agreement…. being considered in the house.
The House Rules Committee is releasing text of proposed changes to FISA (full pdf below). The “deal” is intended to reauthorize the FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act.
It being the house, I am confident it doesn't go far enough.
WaPoo, Lawmakers seek to impose new limits on surveillance law
To address those concerns, the new bill would require the attorney general to sign off on any FISA surveillance targeting a federal officeholder or a candidate for federal office.
If that's all it takes, the DOJ should be prosecuting all the officials who signed off the two (and likely four) illegally obtained FISA warrants against Carter Page.

WaPoo, Justice Department must disclose secret Mueller grand jury evidence to Congress, appeals court finds and
The 2-to-1 decision is unlikely to be the final word and does not mean the redacted material from Mueller’s final report will be immediately turned over to Congress. The ruling can be appealed to the full court or to the Supreme Court.
from Fox, Appeals court upholds ruling allowing House Dems to obtain secret Mueller probe grand jury materials, Expect selective anti-Trump leaks to begin the minute the House actually gets their mitts on the "secret" grand jury material.
The court’s ruling also noted that the lower court properly concluded that the need to keep the information secret “is reduced by the committee’s adoption of special protocols to restrict access to the grand jury materials in order to maintain their secrecy.”

The DOJ, opposing the House Democrats, argued that because Trump had already been impeached and acquitted by the time the court was to rule, there was no longer a basis for the committee needing the information. The committee responded by claiming that their investigation was still continuing and that new articles of impeachment remained a possibility.
This morning's WaPoo reluctantly admits No evidence yet that Russia has taken steps to help any candidate in 2020, intelligence official tells Congress
A senior U.S. intelligence official told Congress on Tuesday that the intelligence community does not as yet have evidence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to benefit a particular candidate, according to four officials familiar with the closed briefings in the House and Senate.

The head of national counterintelligence, William Evanina, appeared to be tempering an assessment delivered to lawmakers in the House last month that Russia had developed a “preference” for President Trump — an assessment that angered the president when he was told that it had been given to lawmakers, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sessions were classified.
Matt Margolis at PJ Media, Hunter Biden Is Trying to Postpone His Paternity Deposition Until After the Election, of course. Next excuse? Via Page Six, Hunter Biden using coronavirus to flake out of child support case deposition
Biden, 50, claims it’s “unsafe” for him to travel to Arkansas court — and that appearing as scheduled Wednesday could put his pregnant wife and soon-to-be born baby at risk for the flu-like illness.

“Travel restrictions have been implemented both domestically and internationally, particularly on airlines, due to the coronavirus,” his attorney, Brett Langdon, wrote in court documents filed Tuesday.

“Setting aside personal endangerment, [Biden] reasonably believes that such travel unnecessarily exposes his wife and unborn child to this virus,” Langdon continued.

California, where Biden lives, “in particular, has been the site of numerous reported cases of exposure,” the filing states.
Sundance,  Hunter Biden Claims Coronavirus Threat Should Allow Him to Avoid Paternity Deposition Until After Election…
Good grief the Biden family is slimy and corrupt. In the latest development of Hunter Biden’s efforts to avoid responsibility in a paternity and financial support lawsuit the son of the presidential candidate is now claiming the risk of contracting the coronavirus should excuse him from a court-ordered deposition.

Ms. Lunden Alexis Roberts was forced to sue Hunter Biden to establish he was the father of Roberts’ baby. Roberts had argued that Biden was essentially an absent father, and the younger Biden had repeatedly denied paternity until the DNA test proved he was the father.

Keep in mind Hunter Biden is making these statements and avoidance claims while living in a luxury home in Beverly Hills, California . . .

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