Sunday, September 6, 2020

Russiagate: Strzok Strzikes Back

Apparently Peter Strzok wasn't happy with how his 15 minutes of fame went. He's back in the news as he promotes a book. WaPoo, FBI pondered whether Trump was ‘a Manchurian candidate elected,’ former agent alleges in new book. I guess he forgets the part about telling his illicit love Lisa Page that he was reluctant to get into the Special Counsel's persecution because he thought 'there’s no big there there'
Former FBI agent Peter Strzok alleges in a new book that investigators came to believe it was “conceivable, if unlikely” that Russia was secretly controlling President Trump after he took office — a full-fledged “Manchurian candidate” installed as America’s commander in chief.

In the book, “Compromised,” Strzok describes how the FBI had to consider “whether the man about to be inaugurated was willing to place his or Russia’s interests above those of American citizens,” and if and how agents could investigate that. Strzok opened the FBI’s 2016 investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had coordinated with the Kremlin to help his election and later was involved in investigating Trump personally. He was ultimately removed from the case over private text messages disparaging of the president.

“We certainly had evidence that this was the case: that Trump, while gleefully wreaking havoc on America’s political institutions and norms, was pulling his punches when it came to our historic adversary, Russia,” Strzok writes. “Given what we knew or had cause to suspect about Trump’s compromising behavior in the weeks, months, and years leading up to the election, moreover, it also seemed conceivable, if unlikely, that Moscow had indeed pulled off the most stunning intelligence achievement in human history: secretly controlling the president of the United States — a Manchurian candidate elected.”
It is definitely not the mission of the FBI to enforce "America’s political institutions and norms."

Chuck Ross catches this admission, ‘Wild Goose Chases’: Strzok Says Steele Dossier Was ‘A Problem’ For The Trump-Russia Probe. It was a problems because it was a pack of lies that should have been buried, and they knew that quickly, but it was an opportunity to investigate the President. Guess which path the chose.
“The report was very typical of information that the FBI often receives. It comes from several sources, including some suspect sources. Some of it is bullshit, and some of it is rumor, and some of it is disinformation,” Strzok told The Atlantic.

“From our perspective,” Strzok said of the dossier, “some of it was a distraction.”
. . .
“The Steele report was a problem for the investigation, because it sent people off on a series of wild-goose chases. That problem got worse after it was published by BuzzFeed,” he told The Atlantic.

“So some people have sought to use the weaknesses of the Steele reporting to try and cast aspersions against the entirety of the FBI’s massive investigation. These efforts have been very disingenuous, very distorting, and very successful.”
And all your fault. Meaning in History reports Peter Strzok Talks To Anne Applebaum. Hilarity Ensues.
It's actually not even an interview in any traditional sense. It's more of a Trump-Hate venting session. Normally if a journalist interviews a controversial figure, the journalist will push and challenge the interview subject. Strzok is someone who was fired by the FBI after he helped launch unpredicated investigations into a presidential campaign using opposition research from the other campaign, then obtained FISA warrants that everyone who knows anything--Michael Horowitz at OIG, Bill Barr at DoJ, the FISA court judges--understands were fraudulent. He's now awaiting indictment and prosecution. In any normal world that would qualify Strzok as controversial, but not in the alternate reality inhabited by Applebaum and The Atlantic.

Well, there is the possibility that The Atlantic simply doesn't care about its reputation and is willing to sacrifice its credibility in an effort to stop what's beginning to look like a Trump re-election juggernaut.

So, instead of posing challenging, probing questions, Applebaum tosses out one debunked conspiracy theory after another. Strzok fields them, agrees, then tosses out one of his own, and so it goes--back and forth. Improbable as it would be in a normal interview, the two agree on everything, and it all comes down to: Orange Man Bad. Also Mean, because Strzok is gonna get prosecuted.

You can actually get the drift of it right from the title: ‘Who’s Putting These Ideas in His Head?’ Trump is afflicted with Wrongthink--bad ideas, ideas that no right thinking person could possibly hold. That's a dead giveaway, according to Strzok, that Trump has been "compromised" by the Russians. They're blackmailing him. Here's how that works.
. . .
From Margot Cleveland at Da Fed, Mifsud Notes Provide More Proof Crossfire Hurricane Was An Excuse To Spy On Trump
Yet, as Horowitz noted in his report on FISA abuse, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform the FISA court of Mifsud’s denials. Equally troubling was Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts to paint Mifsud as a Russian agent, even though the evidence did not support that premise.

The 302 summary of Mifsud’s interview also suggests Mueller’s team played fast and loose with the truth in the sentencing memorandum it filed in the Papadopoulos criminal case. Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning Mifsud during one of several interviews they conducted. In the sentencing memorandum filed with the court in Papadopoulos’ case, the special counsel’s team represented to the court:
[T]he defendant’s lies to the FBI in January 2017 impeded the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most immediately, those statements substantially hindered investigators’ ability to effectively question the Professor when the FBI located him in Washington, D.C. approximately two weeks after the defendant’s January 27, 2017 interview. The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States. The government understands that the Professor left the United States on February 11, 2017 and he has not returned to the United States since then. The defendant’s lies also hindered the government’s ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on Clinton.
Had the defendant told the FBI the truth when he was interviewed in January 2017, the FBI could have quickly taken numerous investigative steps to help determine, for example, how and where the Professor obtained the information, why the Professor provided the information to the defendant, and what the defendant did with the information after receiving it.
But, as the 302 statement makes clear, Mifsud outrightly denied having any advanced knowledge of Russians’ possession of the DNC emails and he told the agents he “did not make any offers or proffer any information to Papadopoulos.” Instead, Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their conversation about cyber security, Mifsud maintained.

Given Mifsud’s denials, nothing Papadopoulos said to the FBI could have impeded the FBI’s investigation into the tip supposedly given to Papadopoulos about the Russians’ dirt on Hillary. Of course, if the FBI were being honest, it would also have to admit it had no real investigation into that supposed tip about Russian dirt—that was merely a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign. Mifsud’s 302 is yet more proof of that reality.
Sundance at CTH has but one contribution today: 2019 FISC Report and Opinion Released – Full pdf and links…
A rather odd situation all things considered. A FISA Court opinion, based on 702 modifications and submissions to the court from the DOJ, dated December 6, 2019, has been released to the public (release date Sept. 4, 2020) [pdf link].
. . .
I’m slowly going through the 2019 report/opinion because often prior reports (the redacted stuff) are reconciled in new releases. Example: One previously held back component is this new admission about NCTC exploits . . .
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air (VIP) admits Meddling Russians (And The IRA) Guilty Of Doing What Most Americans Do, but that on the whole they're drowned out in the noise of American politics.
A new spate of breathless reports in the MSM informs us that Boris Badenov, er… I mean Vladimir Putin and his network of internet nasties are up to their old tricks again, this time with the help of other foreign terrorist organizations. They’re looking to “meddle” in the United States election this November. That’s a pretty serious charge, so we’d best look into it. Are they hacking into our newfangled electronic voting machines? Awakening some of their deep moles to steal ballots from people’s mailboxes? Bribing people to vote for Trump in exchange for cash payments?

Disappointingly… no. But what they are doing is posting things on social media. Sometimes they do this in the guise of American groups or individuals, spreading disinformation or biased hot takes on controversial subjects. The chief topic where they’re seeking to foment unrest and divisiveness in the United States is the subject of racial unrest. Of course, if they can do a better job of that than the actual American factions debating this subject here at home it will be impressive indeed. . . .
If it's on Facebook, I believe it, don't you?

From the convicted liar (and WaPoo) In new book, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen describes alleged episodes of racism and says president likes how Putin runs Russia.

From Capital Research, Bannon Charges Show the “Other” Donor Intent Problem
Assuming the government’s allegations are substantially accurate, Bannon and company’s scheme is a double fiasco for the conservative movement. First, the supporters of We Build the Wall were (presumably) largely ordinary conservative supporters. The campaign originated on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe. Among the people the group allegedly ripped off was an eight-year-old kid who contributed money from a hot chocolate stand. The people who gave to the campaign deserved to have their money go toward helping build a border wall, however that was to happen, because that is what they were sold. Instead, it allegedly went to support Steve Bannon’s and his codefendants’ personal lifestyles.

The second fiasco is similar: Every wasted (or stolen) dollar on the conservative ideological side is more harmful than a wasted dollar on the left-progressive side. As Capital Research Center has demonstrated, the advocacy world on the Left is substantially larger than that on the Right. Money on the Right, whether from small donors or from institutions with professional staff to vet recipients, simply must go farther in right-of-center advocacy than money in left-of-center advocacy.

Left-progressive advocacy has numerous institutional advantages. O’Sullivan’s Law (“All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”) does not fully cover the ability of left-progressive management to redirect an institution to support progressivism. As the history of the Pew Charitable Trusts shows, a sufficiently “creative” management can move an explicitly right-wing group to the left. The people who typically work for nonprofit groups, like communications people throughout business and civic life, tend to lean left. And I would be remiss to fail to note that some major left-progressive institutions such as labor unions can even compel people to fund them.

Conservative groups do not have those luxuries. Whatever portion of the reported $25 million raised by We Build the Wall that did not go toward supporting immigration enforcement was a loss of resources that conservatives can ill afford. And that’s before anyone who supported the We Build the Wall effort decides never to support a legitimate advocacy or policy campaign again because “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
I am simply unwilling to assume that any prosecutions that emanates from the SDNY that smacks of politics is legitimate.

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