Sunday, August 23, 2020

Russiagate: Is it Time Already?

It seems like just yesterday I was doing this...

He's not the first to say this but from WaEx, After eight-hour interview, John Brennan claims he isn't under criminal investigation by John Durham. Right; just like Jim Comey told Trump he wasn't under investigation.
“There was definitely Russian, uh, interference,” Barr said in June. “I think Durham is looking at the intelligence community’s ICA — the report that they did in December [2016]. And he’s sort of examining all the information that was ... the basis for their conclusions. So to that extent, I still have an open mind, depending on what he finds.”

The 2017 assessment concluded with "high confidence" that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016” and Russia worked to “undermine public faith" in U.S. democracy, "denigrate" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "harm her electability and potential presidency,” and “developed a clear preference" for Trump. The National Security Agency diverged on one aspect, expressing only “moderate confidence” that Putin actively tried to help Trump win.
From the other side of the pond, the Guardian reports  William Barr told Murdoch to 'muzzle' Fox News Trump critic, new book says
Citing an unnamed source, Stelter writes that Trump “was so incensed by the judge’s TV broadcasts that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge’. [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.”
Oh, it's Brian Stelter? Nevermind! WaEx's Becket Adams opines The Steele dossier may be the Kremlin’s greatest propaganda triumph. It's a high bar, but it may well be true.
The dossier, a deeply flawed work of opposition research funded by the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, almost certainly contained a great deal of Kremlin disinformation, according to a report released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Yet it was that same dossier (named for its author, former British spy Christopher Steele) that the FBI relied on to secure authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on one-time Trump campaign aide Carter Page. As if it were not already bad enough that a U.S. intelligence agency relied on likely Russian agitprop to spy on a presidential campaign, BuzzFeed News also took the unprecedented step in 2017 of publishing the 35-page Steele dossier in its entirety, dumping directly into the public square what appears to be largely a work of Kremlin fiction. BuzzFeed News's editors even acknowledged at the time that the document's most salacious claims were unverified, yet they published it anyway.
 An interesting Twitter thread from Aaron Mate:
Breitbart features an Exclusive Excerpt – Lee Smith: ‘The Permanent Coup: How Enemies Foreign and Domestic Targeted the American President’

Sundance at CTH boasts in very general terms about his conversation with Durham's lead investigator, My Discussion With John Durham’s Lead Investigator, William Aldenberg… I would love to have been a fly on the wall... At least Sundance is trying to do something about it.
First, in order to fill in another corner of the interview foundation it must be remembered the goal of the DOJ under former AG Jeff Sessions, despite his recusal on all things Trump, was the removal of political influence in the DOJ. That same objective has been repeated ad infinitum by current AG Bill Barr. This approach is why everyone in/around any issue that skirts on the investigative tissue keeps saying: “a very delicate balance is being navigated”, and “very sensitive approaches” are needed.

None of the former -and some remaining embed- officials in the FBI, DOJ, or Special Counsel actors, had any aversion to the use of weaponized politics in their corrupt investigations of President Trump. However, in the current investigation of the former weaponized political investigations the primary avoidance filter is politics.

As expressed by almost everyone in and around the issue, any evidence that comes from inside the political silo is considered unusable. This sets up a rather challenging approach… hence the overused “delicate balances” etc.

This overlay, the aggressive need not to use political information, is also frustrating.

Some are beginning to question whether it is actually a shield to justify a lack of accountability or institutional preservation. Keep up the pressure, the concerns are valid.  The public doesn’t draw distinctions from the origin of evidence.

Regardless of whether information comes from HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes; and/or Senators Grassley, Johnson or Graham (political silo); or from the DOJ itself via John Bash, Jeff Jensen or John Durham; the public is absorbing all it. However, the current AG Barr instructions imply the non use of evidence emanating from the political silo in very direct terms.

After discussions with people familiar with the overall information flow I was prepared to hear about concerns of politics from the DOJ.

Exactly as anticipated lead special investigator William Aldenberg affirmed this concern multiple times. “Did anyone on The Hill assist your assembly?” …. “Did anyone related to, connected to, or in association with The Hill; or any member or person connected directly or indirectly, aid, assist, direct or by any method ‘provide‘ any of the information we are discussing?”

Various iterations of these questions were repeated several times.

Agent William Aldenberg is a polite, courteous and friendly person. He was well prepared with the materials prior to discussion and detail oriented on the specifics. He was everything one might hope from a solid investigator.
Paul Wood at Spectator USA wants Trump to Pardon Edward Snowden but Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx reports that Barr is 'vehemently opposed' to pardoning 'traitor' Edward Snowden. We know that Trump sometimes listens to Barr.

Zero Hedge, "I'm Not Gonna Back Down": Bannon Responds To 'Total Political Hit Job' Following Arrest, but CNN's Toobin thinks ‘This Case is Very Bad News’: CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin Says Steve Bannon’s ‘Best Chance’ Is to Hope for Trump Pardon. But, hey, CNN has been right about everything else in Russiagate, right?

Also CNN, Court orders Donald Trump to pay legal fees in Stormy Daniels suit. It's bee a while since Steph has been in the news.
A California Superior Court judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, to reimburse her attorneys' fees in the legal battle surrounding her nondisclosure agreement.

The judge's order was issued Monday but posted online Friday by Clifford's attorneys.

Clifford, an adult-film actress (NSFW) who says she had an affair with Trump from 2006 to 2007, signed a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who represented a shell company and a "David Dennison," which Clifford contends is a pseudonym for Trump. Trump denies the affair occurred.

Clifford sued Trump in 2018, seeking to be released from the NDA. In response, Trump and his legal team agreed outside of court not to sue or otherwise enforce the NDA. The suit was dismissed and Clifford's claims ruled moot, as the NDA had been rendered unenforceable.

Monday's decision was a response to Clifford's efforts to be reimbursed for costs and attorney's fees related to the case. In his decision this week, Judge Robert Broadbelt III ruled that Clifford was entitled to legal fees, finding her the "prevailing party" under California law, despite the case having been dismissed.
That sound a little fishy. Are we sure he's not a Hawaiian judge?
Broadbelt also rejected an argument by Trump's attorneys that the President was not liable for the fees because he had not signed the NDA.

In his decision, Broadbelt wrote that since Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Clifford, and since the Trump legal team had earlier argued that a defamation suit filed against the President by Clifford should be handled by an arbitrator per the NDA, the President was effectively a party to the agreement.

He should give it to her in nickels.

The Wombat has Early Morning Rule 5 Monday: Linda Ronstadt up at The Other McCain.

No comments:

Post a Comment