Sunday, August 9, 2020

Russiagate on a Fine Sunday Morning

At NR Andy McCarthy is seriously reconsidering his position on whether Judge Sullivan should be removed from the Michael Flynn case (his previous position was no, work it out), Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is Asking
More to the point, by seeking full-court reconsideration of the mandamus matter when both the Justice Department and Flynn are seeking dismissal of the case, Sullivan is both causing prejudice to the defendant and stoking suspicion about the executive branch’s motives. How, then, could Sullivan continue to be considered a fair and impartial judge, fit to rule on the Justice Department’s dismissal motion?

That question may signal something about the wisdom of the D.C. Circuit judges that I previously failed to appreciate. The Justice Department’s contention that Sullivan lacks standing seemed compelling to me. I was surprised when the Circuit appeared to ignore it in granting Sullivan’s request for full-court review; I thought they’d deny it and let the panel’s ruling stand. But is it possible that the Circuit saw this as a graceful off-ramp? When none of the Circuit’s judges asked for full-court reconsideration, that signaled to Sullivan that if he wanted it, he would have to ask for it himself. The Circuit judges probably calculated that if the irascible Sullivan made a formal application for rehearing en banc, it would be manifest that he had transformed himself into a party in the Flynn case. Then the Circuit could use the disqualification rule to nudge him aside for the sake of maintaining the judiciary’s reputation for objectivity. That would avoid all the downsides of issuing a mandamus writ while gently reminding lower court judges that they are supposed to remain umpires in these contests, not become one of the players.

To sum up, whatever one may have thought about the gravity of Sullivan’s irregular behavior back in May, he has now clearly crossed the Rubicon. It is incumbent on him to recuse himself. If he can’t bring himself to do that — a failure that would further demonstrate a lack of judicial detachment — the D.C. Circuit should disqualify him. Either way, the case should be reassigned to a new judge, who should promptly grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss.
As you might remember from yesterday events are suggesting that John Brennan is not a target of prosecutors in John Durham investigation: (Dan Chaitin, WaEx). Capt Ed at Hot Air has some thoughts.
Bear in mind that this is a term of art, something we learned again during the special-counsel probe, and not a fixed label. In any investigation, a person can start off as a witness, turn into a subject, and then become a target. The process can work in the opposite direction, too; this site gives a pretty good overview of the official Department of Justice definitions, while warning at the same time that they’re essentially meaningless. At one time, Donald Trump was told he wasn’t a target in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, but he was at least a subject, and eventually became a target whether the FBI admitted it or not.

At this late date, however, Brennan’s status as a non-target is presumably more static, assuming this report is accurate, of course. Brennan could always leap onto a table and yell, “OF COURSE IT WAS ME ALL ALONG, YOU FOOLS!!”, which could tend to change one’s status in a federal investigation. Short of that, and again assuming NPR’s source is correct, Durham’s not going after Brennan. Attorney General William Barr has already said publicly that Durham’s not going after Barack Obama or Joe Biden, and NBC reported at the link above that James Clapper has been told that Durham’s not interested in interviewing him as part of this investigation.

Who does that leave, if this is true? Probably no one outside the FBI, but perhaps the top man in charge at that time might have reason to sweat. Sally Yates accused James Comey of “going rogue” in his pursuit of Michael Flynn, although she defended the decision to investigate Flynn. She also went after lower-echelon FBI figures for submitting false information on the Carter Page FISA warrants
. . .
If so, that will disappoint many who suspected this went all the way to the Oval Office. Even a Comey indictment wouldn’t be enough to prove a wide-ranging political conspiracy against Trump in the Obama administration, and that seems like a long shot in the Durham probe anyway. However, if Durham feels compelled to write a report laying out a larger narrative, that may indeed have more impact — but Barr has all but committed to sticking to indictments as the only public statements from the Durham probe. Will he stick to that?
Margot Cleveland at Da Fed details how Sally Yates’ Testimony Showed She’s Either Ignorant Or Lying About Russiagate. Why limit yourself when "both" is the better than "either". I'll bet all she reads is the NYT and WaPoo; of course she's ignorant. And an appearance by the still missing Mysterious Mr. Mifsud.
The FBI learned, Yates testified, “that someone affiliated with the Russians had actually approached a foreign policy advisor of the Trump campaign and had told them that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousand of emails, that could be released anonymously and wanted to know if the campaign was interested in this.”

Later, Sen. Lindsey Graham pushed Yates on this testimony to see if she understood that the individual who had approached Papadopoulos, Joseph Mifsud, was not acting on behalf of Putin. Was that individual “a Russian agent?” Graham queried. “He was connected with Russian intelligence,” Yates responded.

Graham’s guffaw said it all. While Joseph Mifsud’s role in SpyGate may not yet be clear, Yates’ belief that Mifsud was “connected with Russian intelligence” shows she hasn’t a clue about even the most fundamental facts underlying the investigation into the Trump campaign.

There were many other facts Yates did not seem to know, or if she did know them, there is a more troubling implication: the former acting attorney general attempted to mislead the Judiciary Committee and the public. For instance, in discussing the intel the FBI had received concerning Mifsud’s conversation with Papadopoulos about the “thousands of emails,” Yates claimed the FBI received this information in May and then “it actually happened—the emails were then dumped in July.”

But the emails “dumped” in July were those hacked from the Democratic National Committee and released by WikiLeaks, which was an entirely different set of emails than the “thousands of emails” Papadopoulos said Mifsud had claimed the Russians had: According to the special counsel’s office, Papadopoulos “admit” that Mifsud told him “the Russians had emails of Clinton.”

Whether Yates understood this distinction is unclear. It is also unclear which is worse—that she was ignorant on this basic fact or understood the fact but sought to conflate the two distinct categories of emails to justify the investigation.
Althouse on the case of Susan Rice, presumptive VP candidate Susan Rice talks about doing Sunday show appearances after the Benghazi attack — She was "a team player." From an interview in The Atlantic with Edward-Isaac Dovere Demonstrates how she'll lie to the people at the behest of the party.

Jerry Dunleavy, WaEx, Appeals court rules Democrats can sue to enforce Don McGahn subpoena. He already testified to the Mueller team for days, what more do they expect to find, except opportunities to try and smear Trump? I expect it will be appealed. Ask for the en banc, like Sullivan did. Then the Supreme Court if necessary.

At Newsweek, Congresscritters Jim Jordan and Doug Collins are Looking Back at the Democrats' Failed Partisan Impeachment. I think you can figure they weren't fans.

Sundance looks at the big picture in The Truth Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings – The Big Ugly…
What some have called “Spygate” is not a frozen moment in time or a set of dates on a calendar with a beginning and an end. Spygate was the originating process to ensure the DC system did not experience the disruption carried by Donald John Trump; but it was only the originating process….

….The process of opposition against Donald Trump is a continuum.

Those who use DC for influence and affluence control the mechanisms within the self-actuating system. This includes both Democrats and Republicans as they both feed from the same trough. In the effort to remove Donald Trump, both wings of the uniparty bird were aligned with an identical purpose; Democrats carrying out their effort openly, and the republican elements operating covertly as to retain the DC premise.

Specifically, one of the common flaws that many make is thinking the Mueller special counsel was an outcome of an action by President Trump when he fired former FBI Director James Comey. This is false. The special counsel process was a continuum in the effort to remove the threat that Donald Trump represented back in the early primary days of 2016. The system, writ large, was aligned with this purpose. . . .
WaFreeBee, For Biden Family, a History of Tax Problems  Da Wire reports Hunter Biden Hit With $450K Tax Lien, Is Resolved Despite ‘No Discernible Income,’ Biden Campaign Silent: Report
“Harvey Bezozi, a tax expert who specializes in large-scale tax debt negotiations, said the only way to get a lien released is to pay the settlement in full—often through a payment plan, penalty abatement, or other compromise with the government—or to prove the lien was filed in error,” the report added. “He said liens can take months or years to resolve.”

Bezozi said that for the issue to be resolved in just six days indicates that there “had to be some kind of expeditious kind of process for this.” Bezozi also told the Free Beacon that the government rarely files a lien in error.

“The Biden campaign did not respond to questions about how Hunter Biden settled the debt in less than a week and whether he has found gainful employment,” the report added. “The Biden family has been hit with several tax liens over the past few decades.”
Now, in your mind, replace Hunter with Donald Trump Jr, and imagine the spectacle.

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