Sunday, September 20, 2020

Some Post-Ginsburg Russiagate

Not very much. Did Justice Ginsburg give up the ghost so the chattering classes would have something to fight about other than the Durham report?

Olivia Beavers atop Da Hill, From Chuck Ross at Da Caller, House Democrats Ramp Up Effort To Thwart Durham Probe, Call For ‘Emergency Investigation’

The Democratic chairs of four House committees asked the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on Friday to open an “emergency investigation” into U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe of the Obama administration’s Trump-related intelligence activities.

“We write to ask that you open an emergency investigation into whether U.S. Attorney General William Barr, U.S. Attorney John Durham, and other Department of Justice political appointees are following DOJ’s longstanding policy to avoid taking official actions or other steps that could improperly influence the upcoming presidential election,” the Democrats wrote to Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general.

The letter was signed by Reps. Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, Zoe Lofgren and Carolyn Maloney, who lead the House Judiciary, Intelligence, House Administration and Oversight Committees, respectively.

Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence 

The Democrats noted that a DOJ manual says neither the agency nor its personnel may confirm or comment on ongoing investigations before charges are publicly filed, and that a memo from the agency says that “prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.”

They also pointed to a previous report in 2018 authored by Barr where he said law enforcement and prosecutorial activities must be avoided when close to an election, “typically within 60 or 90 days of Election Day.”

In urging Horowitz to examine the matter, they claim Barr has changed this view on these policies, citing an interview earlier this year with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“I think in its core, the idea is you don’t go after candidates. You don’t indict candidates or perhaps someone that’s sufficiently close to a candidate, that it’s essentially the same, you know, within a certain number of days before an election. But you know, as I say, I don’t think any of the people whose actions are under review by Durham fall into that category,” Barr said during the interview in April.

Please note that by taking issue with theses investigations, the Democrats are admitting, in effect, that the DOJ and FBI (and perhaps other agencies as well, see below) personnel were acting on behalf of the Democrats. Sure, let's have another 3 year investigation. 

Also from Chuck Ross, John Brennan Suggests Republicans Are Scared To Invite Him To Public Hearing

Republicans have long questioned what role, if any, Brennan played in collecting intelligence on Trump associates in 2016. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23, 2017 that he provided the FBI with information on contacts between Trump associates and Russians, though he did not provide any details about the intelligence.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” Brennan testified at the time.

U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a broad investigation of various Trump-related issues, interviewed Brennan last month as part of his inquiry. Brennan has said that Durham told him he was not a target of the investigation, which so far led the prosecution of a former FBI attorney, Kevin Clinesmith, who worked on the Crossfire Hurricane team.

JD Gordon, a former Trump advisor opines at Da Caller, ‘Lock ‘Em Up’ Politics Will Destroy America

During a speech for Hillsdale College on Sept. 16th, Barr noted that its career prosecutors can “sometimes become headhunters” who fuel the “criminalization of politics.” Alarmingly, he said “I see it everyday.”

Though he didn’t name names or cite cases, there’s a straight line to Russiagate.

A 30-something FBI lawyer named Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty last month to altering a government e-mail in order to improperly obtain a FISA Warrant against Carter Page, thereby gaining a window of surveillance into the Trump Campaign. Similarly young DOJ prosecutors, Jonathan Kravis, Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando resigned en masse from the February trial of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone after Barr rebuked their grossly excessive 7-9 year recommended sentence for a 67-year-old, first-time, non-violent offender.

Barr compared the situation to school children: “Letting the most junior members set the agenda might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it’s no way to run a federal agency.” Wow.

About the FBI, he said: “These people are agents of the Attorney General. As I say, FBI Agents, whose agent do you think you are?”

It’s a good thing he’s speaking up, because ‘Lock ‘Em Up’ Politics could destroy America.

In principle, I agree with Barr and Gordon. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the persecutions of Flynn, Papadopuolos, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort (although, yeah, he probably cheated on his taxes), the Democrats don't, and they won't until and unless some of their agents are treated in a similar manner, they are unlikely to come to the table and agree.

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