Monday, April 6, 2020

Russiagate Never Sleeps

It just nods off now and then. But it's back. The latest batch is largely awake because  Trump Fires Intelligence Inspector General Who Began Ukraine Probe (Rick Moran, PJ Media). He's not happy about it.
Trump's firing of Atkinson is troubling not only because he apparently did nothing wrong and performed his job competently. Rather, he angered Trump personally and was considered "disloyal." Is personal loyalty to the president now to become the benchmark for service for presidential appointees? Certainly, all presidents are due an appointee's loyal and dedicated service, but should it come at the expense of performing one's job and executing the law?

Once the whistleblower formally complained about the Ukraine phone call, Atkinson's hands were tied. It didn't matter if the whistleblower was a Democratic "plant" by the deep state. The whistleblower law set a specific, precise series of events in motion that Atkinson and Trump himself were powerless to stop. That's what the whistleblower law was supposed to do and the events that unfolded were a direct result of that.

Trump is who he is and the American people will make their judgment of him in November. But the pettiness of the president in gaining his revenge on those he sees as having crossed him diminishes both Trump and the office of president.
The list of Michael Atkinson's involvements with the "Deep State" plotters is long and serious. Trump could not trust him; and why should he try? John Dietrich at AmThink, President Trump takes control of Intelligence Community
The firing of Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, is another step toward the gradual exposure of the Deep State. Atkinson had been nominated for the position by Trump in November 2017. In his letter to Congress the President explained that he had lost confidence in Atkinson. Progressives were up in arms.

Former CIA director John Brennan called President Trump's shakeup in the intelligence community a "virtual decapitation." Nancy Pelosi stated, “This latest act of reprisal against the Intelligence Community threatens to have a chilling effect against all willing to speak truth to power. The President must immediately cease his attacks on those who sacrifice to keep America safe." Adam Schiff tweeted, "Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community." Schiff tweeted this at 9:39 PM, so he could not have received it in the "dead of night." However, it sounds more sinister than late Friday evening. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Michael Atkinson is a man of integrity who has served our nation for almost two decades. Being fired for having the courage to speak truth to power makes him a patriot.” And Sen. Mark Warner said, “In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the president is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community by firing yet another intelligence official simply for doing his job.”

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the upper management of the intelligence agencies were working to defeat Trump from the beginning. When Chuck Schumer told Rachel Maddow, “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. For a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this,” the intelligence community had already taken him on.
Lifezette at AmMirror, Schiff, Pelosi blast Trump over ‘dead of night’ Intel IG firing. To be fair, their record of blasting Trump for doing anything is pretty well established and should be ignored.

From sundance at CTH, Laughable and Political – Former ICIG Michael Atkinson Releases Ridiculous Political “Statement”….. Well, who likes to fired?
Everything anyone needed to know about the motives and intents of fired Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson is evidenced by his releasing a political statement tonight protesting his termination.

Atkinson doesn’t write a “letter”, his diatribe is not addressed to anyone, it is just a political “statement” designed to be exploited by the same people, for the same intents, as his prior ICIG work product. This transparently political effort is ridiculous.
. . .
Just as pathetic and political as Atkinson’s statement, is the statement expressed by current DOJ IG Michael Horowitz on behalf of Atkinson. . .

What makes this Horowitz statement so ridiculous, political and hypocritical, is that only four days earlier IG Horowitz was so alarmed at the gross incompetence of Atkinson that he submitted an interim memorandum noting extreme deficiencies in the FISA work product of Michael Atkinson as legal counsel for the DOJ-NSD.

The DOJ and FBI have an internal FISA self-check mechanism. The DOJ National Security Division (DOJ-NSD) chief counsel Michael Atkinson, and the chief counsel for every FBI field office are required to conduct an “Accuracy Review” of selected FISA applications. One per field office (25 to 30 field offices),which are also sent to DOJ-NSD (main justice) for general counsel Atkinson inspection.

Horowitz detailed 39 examples of Michael Atkinsons’ willful violations of law and policy within 42 “accuracy review” files at the DOJ-NSD. The error rate within the DOJ-NSD files that Atkinson was responsible for was over 93%.
Where but in government can you do your job with 7% satisfactory results, and expect to keep it?

And the official opinion page of the WaPoo (as opposed to the whole rest of the paper being opinion) whines  A follow-up on the Carter Page warrant is, once again, not flattering to the FBI, but manages to take a swipe at Trump.
President Trump has not helped matters by repeatedly denouncing FISA generally due to the purported “coup” against him in the Page case, even though abuses in that instance had nothing to do with the authorities requiring reauthorization. His complaints have emboldened long-standing FISA critics on Capitol Hill such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who have a wider agenda to gut what is still broadly valuable legislation. A compromise FISA reauthorization incorporating significant new civil-liberties protections had passed the House before March 15, with the support of Attorney General William P. Barr, but the Senate’s failure to approve it led to the lapse in authority. The House measure is the place to start when the upper chamber addresses FISA, as it urgently must upon its return from recess April 20.

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