Sunday, July 19, 2020

What's New in Old Russiagate?

Not much. Well, the "new" revelations from the Lindsey Graham/Senate Committee continue to draw attention. Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Senate Panel Releases FBI Memo Related To Mystery Source For Steele Dossier.
“These documents, which I have long sought, tell a damning story for anyone who’s interested in trying to find the truth behind the corrupt nature of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016 and beyond,” Graham said in a statement announcing the release of the document.
Not that it's new, but Capt. Ed at Hot Air sums up why it matters pretty well, Oh My: Strzok Notes Show No Evidence Of Team Trump-Russia Contacts, Doubts About Steele Dossier — In February 2017
Why is this important? It shows that the whole basis for idea that Donald Trump had colluded with Russians in warping the 2016 elections — or had been trapped by their intelligence services — had serious credibility problems well before the appointment of a special counsel. Those credibility problems went right to the top by February 2017, as the Strzok notes Lindsey Graham released show. And yet the FBI would not only rely on the Steele dossier to get surveillance extended on Carter Page multiple times, it also kept the probe alive long enough to turn it over to Robert Mueller.
Tristan Justice, Da Fed, Newly Declassified Documents Reinforce Corruption Of Steele Dossier, FISA Warrants
The pair of documents reveal more evidence that the FBI was aware of the dossier’s credibility issues in early 2017 yet proceeded with its unlawful surveillance anyway under the authority of warrants that the FISA court ruled illegitimate earlier this year.
Again, retreading ground we covered yesterday, more from Chuck Ross, FBI Tore Apart NYT Report On Trump-Russia Contacts In Newly Declassified Memo
The document shows then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok’s comments on a Feb. 14, 2017 article entitled “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”

Written by journalists Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo, the story cited four current and former American officials who said that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies had intercepted call records showing that Trump associates had contacts with Russian intelligence in the year prior to the election.

Strzok, who was the lead investigator on the Trump investigation, spotted 14 errors in the article.
What is new, though, is that the New York Times Stands By Report Of Trump-Russia Connections Despite FBI Memo Debunking It (Chuck Ross, again).
“We stand by our reporting,” New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told her own paper for its report on the newly released documents.
. . .
Murphy, the Times spokeswoman, did not go into detail about why the paper is sticking by the story in light of the new memo.

The Times has recently come under scrutiny for two other reports regarding Russia.
All the fake news that's fit to print.  Mike Dougherty at NR, Fake News Becomes a Way of Life
. . . We should have seen this coming. Less than two weeks after his 2016 warning that hoaxes would have higher production values from now on, Ben Smith decided to publish the unedited “Steele Dossier,” containing all sorts of sordid allegations against Donald Trump that Smith said his reporters could not confirm or disprove. The stories in the dossier were compiled by a British spook talking to Russian intelligence as part of opposition research for the Clinton campaign, and they formed the basis for treating the just-elected president as a suspected Manchurian Candidate controlled by Moscow. After a few years, an impeachment trial, and endless breathless updates on how the walls were closing in, we discovered the very thing any news-literate reader would have guessed at the time if the relevant journalistic investigations had been done: The dossier was filled with misinformation that Russian intelligence hoped to get the U.S. media to run with. The media that had warned against fake news willingly and happily propagated it.

And thus another critical democratic institution decided it would be more fun and emotionally satisfying to fail than to perform the function with which the public entrusts it.
John  Feehery on Da Hill, It's about the Trump voter
The Trump voter loves America, reflexively, even if America and its political class lets it down on occasion.

The Trump voter stands for the national anthem at the beginning of every Major League Baseball game and sings “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during every 7th inning stretch. There is no ambiguity in that essentially non-political exercise.

The Trump voter sees this country as the good guy but wonders why we spend so much of our blood and treasure getting involved in foreign wars. It’s a valid question that the Never Trumpers rarely ask.

The Trump voter doesn’t trust the political class and is prone to believing in some outlandish conspiracy theories, some of which turn out to be true. Yes, the Obama White House did frame Michael Flynn and did try to railroad Mr. Trump out of his job.
Sundance at CTH reposts (or maybe rewrites, I can't tell) his stock article on the origin of Russiagate. If you haven't read it before, it's worth it, for the background alone. BACKGROUND – Political Surveillance… He posits that the Obama intelligence agencies were up to no good long before Trump got into the picture; he just happened to be the one that they focused on in the end.
On Super Tuesday, March 2, 2016, Donald Trump won seven states (VT, AR, VA, GA, AL, TN, MA) it was then clear that Trump was the GOP frontrunner with momentum to become the presumptive nominee. On March 5th, Trump won Kentucky and Louisiana; and on March 8th Trump won Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii.

The next day, March 9th, NSA security alerts warned internal oversight personnel that something sketchy was going on.

This timing is not coincidental. As FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer later wrote in her report, “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” Put another way: attributes belonging to a specific individual(s) were being targeted and queried, unlawfully. Given what was later discovered, it seems obvious the primary search target, over multiple date ranges, was Donald Trump.

There were tens-of-thousands of unauthorized search queries; and as Judge Collyer stated in her report, there is no reason to believe the 85% non compliant rate was any different from the abuse of the NSA database going back to 2012.

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