Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Some Wednesday Russiagate

A kind of slack day as the Democratic Convention smothers the news. Hopefully Durham is still working.

Charley Lipsom at AmGreat wonders Will the Dam Break After Clinesmith’s Plea?. If it doesn't soon, it won't.
News reports have downplayed the significance of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith’s guilty plea, acknowledging he altered an official document in the government’s Trump-Russia collusion probe. There has been some coverage, mainly because it is so rare to see FBI agents charged with a felony and because it is the first tangible result of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s sprawling investigation of the investigators. But mainstream news outlets have minimized its importance. It’s only one count, they say, and it deals with a relatively minor crime by a mid-level figure.

That’s spin, and it’s wrong. This plea is like finding water seeping from the base of a dam. The problem is not one muddy puddle. The problem is that it foreshadows the dam’s failure, releasing a torrent. That’s what the Clinesmith plea portends.
. . .
Who Should Be Nervous?

Anyone who worked on Crossfire Hurricane with Clinesmith. You can bet he is telling Durham everything he knows. Any plea deal would require complete disclosure. Durham could have charged him with a more serious crime, requiring a longer prison sentence. Prosecutors don’t grant such leniency without getting something valuable in return (unless they are investigating Hillary Clinton, whose top aides received immunity for free). Durham is no such patsy. He would not go easy on Clinesmith unless he got useful information in return.

Real trouble looms for anybody on the Mueller team or elsewhere at the DoJ and FBI who knew that Clinesmith had altered the CIA email to change its meaning. There’s even worse trouble ahead for those who ordered him to commit a crime. To prove those charges, Durham needs documents or multiple eyewitnesses. Clinesmith can point prosecutors in the right direction, but his word alone won’t do.
Via Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.18.20 (Morning Edition) The Federalist Margot Cleveland has Seven Big Stories Corporate Media Is Ignoring Because The Truth Might Help Trump and #1 is:
Spygate - While the Spygate scandal spans many years, some of the most newsworthy developments broke over the last several months, although you would not know it if you read corporate media. Just Friday, the Department of Justice released information charging Kevin Clinesmith with making a false statement in an email he altered concerning Carter Page. Clinesmith inserted “was not a source” in the email addressing Page’s relationship with an intelligence agency, and that false statement led to a fourth FISA surveillance order on Page.

Now, the MSM did “cover” this story, if you count the spin peddled as news coverage. After telling readers “Ex-F.B.I. Lawyer Expected to Plead Guilty in Review of Russia Inquiry,” The New York Times twisted the story to slam Trump, sub-heading its article, “Prosecutors did not reveal any evidence of the kind of broad anti-Trump conspiracy among law enforcement officials that the president has long alleged.” The Times then hit Attorney General William Barr and defended the Robert Mueller investigation while minimizing Clinesmith’s misconduct.

Coverage of the charge against Clinesmith is already receding, but the story deserves relentless investigative reporting. Clinesmith was deeply involved in the Crossfire Hurricane surveillance of Trump, including in the FBI’s decision to task Joe Pientka with spying on the Trump campaign during an intelligence briefing. Further, Clinesmith altered the email while a member of Special Counsel Mueller’s team and the special counsel’s office then obtained the fourth and final FISA surveillance order on Page.
Kyle Smith at NR, Clinesmith, the Russia Lie, and the Deep State
The press that spent two years on the shaggy-dog story of the nonexistent Trump–Russia conspiracy has been extravagantly bored by the new development. CNN’s coverage of the matter on its website has been limited to two pieces, one a news item meant to downplay the guilty plea and one a column by Chris Cillizza meant to downplay the guilty plea. Cillizza focuses on Trump’s typically hyperbolic and imprecise comments on the matter and concludes, of the case, “What it doesn’t prove is that Trump’s wild claims that there is a ‘deep state’ conspiracy that tried to keep him from being elected and has worked against him since he got into office actually exists. The facts just aren’t there.”

No, a Trump-hating FBI member who said he was part of “le [sic] resistance” simply falsified a document as part of a months-long play to obtain and renew FISA court approval, under false pretenses, to unleash all of the levers of state surveillance to spy on a Trump aide. It strains credulity to believe such a nobody as Carter Page was the actual target; he was just the tool the FBI used to wedge its way into Trump’s inner circle. Nothing deep-statey about that at all.
And, as if to take preempt the  Clinesmith story, the SSCI release it's report (again) and NYT touts it: G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia "A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry." Forcing Power Line (cited from Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.18.20 (Evening Edition)) to debunk it: From The Intel Committee Report
(U) Volume 5 of the report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference is the last body of work relating to the Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This final volume brings an end to more than three years of investigative work. Bipartisan professional staff reviewed more than one million documents and interviewed more than 200 witnesses to produce over 1,000 pages of analysis. Volume 5 exhaustively reviews the counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities to the 2016 election, but never explicitly states the critical fact: the Committee found no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government in its efforts to meddle in the election.

(U) The Trump campaign publicly and repeatedly promoted a policy of improving relations with Moscow which, in some ways, was a view not much different than the effort by the Obama administration to “reset” relations between the two countries. Such a policy does not itself constitute collusion or a counterintelligence threat. Volume 5 includes sections that address foreign policy actions taken by the Trump transition team in line with this policy, not because the Committee found any evidence that these foreign policy actions were the result of collaboration with the Russian Government, but to show that after an exhaustive investigation allegations of cooperation can be put to rest. Decisions taken were the result of a foreign policy viewpoint, not illicit Russian influence. We feel Volume 5 should have explicitly stated this.

(U) More than three and a half years later, the Trump administration’s record on Russia shows a consistent attempt to cooperate with Russia where possible, while responding firmly to Russia’s nefarious activity worldwide. For instance, under the leadership of President Trump, the administration effectuated the largest expulsion of Russian spies in U.S. history after Russian operatives poisoned Sergei Skripal in London, provided Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to deter Russian aggression, and led the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty-international agreements that the Russians have been violating for years and wish to preserve.

(U) While this Volume did not find evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians, it does detail a stunning accounting of the FBl’s sloppy work and poor judgment. In 2016, the Democratic Party, using a series of arm’s length transactions, hired a foreign citizen to seek out dirt on a political opponent, provided by foreign sources. This Volume confirms that Christopher Steele used information gained from sources in Russia-some with direct ties to the Russian Government. That unverified, uncorroborated, foreign information was then actively circulated with the press to disparage a U.S. political candidate.

(U) Meanwhile, the FBI should have followed the advice of other intelligence agencies to view Steele’s reports skeptically, and the Bureau should have verified the methodology and the information before using it. Instead, the Bureau used the material in FISA applications and insisted on its inclusion in the Intelligence Community Assessment. Other IC agencies wanted to exclude the Dossier from the ICA because they had not verified its sources or its data. All Americans should be deeply troubled that the FBI was willing to accept and use Steele’s information without verifying its sourcing or methodology.

(U) Volume 5 is an important contribution to the historical record from which historians will someday draw. As is evident to those who read all five volumes of the Committee’s report, the Russian government inappropriately meddled in our 2016 general election in many ways but then-Candidate Trump was not complicit. After more than three years of investigation by this Committee, we can now say with no doubt, there was no collusion.
Also from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.18.20 (Evening Edition), American Greatness: The Permanent Coup Plotters Take The Virtual Stage, also, InfoWars Correspondent Millie Weaver Arrested Just Before Releasing ShadowGate Documentary

Sundance at CTH, Substantive Elements of The Big Story Behind The Mueller Special Counsel Purpose…
Foolishness and betrayal of our country have served to reveal dangers within our present condition. Misplaced corrective action, regardless of intent, is neither safe nor wise. The intelligence apparatus was weaponized against a candidate by those who controlled the levers of government. This is what AG Bill Barr needs to explain to the nation.

The purpose behind briefing Durham’s lead investigator William Aldenberg was essentially to provide an understanding of what we the people already know. The purpose behind releasing the investigator name is to cut through the chaff and countermeasures and give face to the unit holding the precarious responsibility of sunlight.
And in interesting Twitter thread, Allow me to retort a thread to this specific account and The Essentially Accurate Point…

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