Saturday, October 3, 2020

Russiagate in the Time of the Plague

Not a lot of Russiagate today, almost certainly because, as Stacy McCain, for one, relates Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19 (along with the first Lady and Hope Hicks), and all the press is following the shiny new object. My best wishes to the first family, as well as all afflicted with the virus. I know that The Donald will get the world's best care and treatment, all while being the world's worst patient. Enough, that news isn't hard to come by.

With the help of the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.02.20 (Afternoon Edition), Jeff Dunetz at Da Lid discusses reports that the CIA Director Blocking Declassification Of Key Russiagate Docuemnts:

I am getting tired of this. It’s long past the time the American people are told the truth about Russiagate. “Federalist” co-founder Sean Davis reports that CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the release of documents that will show “what actually happened” with Russiagate. What the heck is Gina Haspel thinking? Why block these documents from being made public? Who is she attempting to protect?

I think it's pretty well known that John Brennan was Gina's mentor and protector at the CIA. That said, agencies will often go to extreme lengths to bury facts that put the institution in a bad light. We've seen a lot of that in Russia/Spygate. Past time for Trump or Barr to step in and shine some sunlight on the critters living in the swamp. See also Chuck Ross at Da Caller who reports FBI Cites ‘Law Enforcement Proceedings’ To Block Release Of Disciplinary Records Of Trump Probe Investigators. And then if and when those 'law enforcement proceedings' fail to go beyond accusations, will they be reported?

Is this something? Ace reports Rumor Mill: Someone On Mueller's Team Has Flipped and Is Now Cooperating With Durham

I can't verify much of that, but I'm not much of a researcher. If it's not on pages 1 to 3 of google returns, I don't know about it. There does seem to be a John Basham who was formerly the mayor pro-tem of Reno. Anyway, here is what he claims:

RUMINT: Talk From Many DC Lawyers Saying One Of Special Counsel Robert #Mueller's Prosecutors Has "FLIPPED" & Is Now Cooperating With US Attorney John #Durham's Investigation Into The Origins Of #RussiaCollusion Investigation. A Single Name Is Being Repeated...Developing...
Former cop John Cardillo says he's also heard something big:
Can't say why without betraying a confidence, but I just had a BIG restoration of faith moment in AG Barr and Durham.

The actual reportage goes to 'shipwreckedcrew' at Red State, who I admire, but doesn't have a whole lot more to add, BREAKING: DC Legal Circles Rumor Says Member of Mueller’s Prosecution Team Has “Flipped” for Durham

This rumor follows on the heels of the release last week of records showing several members of the Special Counsel’s Office “wiped” their SCO-issued cell phones clean on one or more occasions.

In his book, which was released two days ago, Andrew Weissmann covers this question, writing that Jeannie Rhee cautioned everyone that everything they committed to writing during their work for the SCO would be subject to a later “investigation of the investigators” that was sure to follow, based on her years of experience working in Washington, D.C.

JUST SPECULATING, but Weissmann has been agitated almost from the moment he took to Twitter a few months ago over the investigation being conducted by Durham and AG Barr. But his agitation went into overdrive when U.S. Attorney Jensen began looking at the SCO’s handling of the prosecution of General Flynn.

It cannot be overlooked that, while most of the more senior DOJ “veterans” on the SCO went to lucrative careers in private practice after departing, several of the younger members of the SCO returned to positions in the Department of Justice. That means they have been subject to potential investigation by internal DOJ disciplinary offices like the Inspector General or Office of Professional Responsibility. Issues like “wiping” their SCO- issued phones without authorization, likely in violation of DOJ policy, might not mean much to Andrew Weissmann and Jeannie Rhee, but for younger attorneys still in DOJ like Brandon Van Grack, Aaron Zelinsky, and Adam Jed, their DOJ careers might hang in the balance — and potentially their licenses to practice law. It is possible they were directed or encouraged to take some actions they now regret, or for which they are now vulnerable to leverage by Durham or other government investigators.

I think it's a well established fact by now that the Mueller investigation was more about finding any or creating some possible crime by Donald Trump (and bagging some associates along the way, for process crimes created by the investigation if need be) as way of removing, or at least hobbling him, and not about getting to the bottom of "Russian collusion", which they knew was a non-starter from the get-go. If a few of the Mueller team committed process crimes along the way (I'm thinking of Weissmann in particular, but all the phone destroyer in general are suspect), they deserve the stocks. 

At Am Great, Nice Deb reports on how a Former FBI Official Proposes ‘Bipartisan Commission’ to Vet Presidential Candidates Like Trump

“We got this wrong, and this can’t happen again,” said Frank Figliuzzi, who was briefly the assistant director of the FBI under President Obama.

During a discussion on MSNBC about Trump’s taxes Thursday morning, Figliuzzi opined that the president’s supposedly dire financial situation made him “vulnerable” to certain entities like {{{Russia}}}.

“He is the most vulnerable president in our history in terms of compromise and potential exposure to those who want to help him dig out of this financial pit in return for a price,” Figliuzzi said. “And that’s where the national security problem comes in.”

The former G-man added—without evidence—that the president was “entangled with Russia and the former Soviet Block,” therefore he was potentially involved with Russian organized crime figures too.

“We need to have a national discussion about how we vet a presidential candidate,” Figliozzi declared. “We screwed this up.”

He suggested that the media in 2016 didn’t dig “deeply enough” to find dirt on Trump, and added “it’s time to have a discussion about a bipartisan committee that demands tax returns. Make that a requirement.”

Figliozzi said the task of the committee would be to expose “financial pictures”of the candidates.

A republic, if we can keep it. And speaking of financial entanglements, John Solomon at JTN, Just before Obama left office, U.S. officials feared Hunter Biden firm in Ukraine paid second bribe

Twenty-two days before President Obama left office, the U.S. ambassador to Kiev wrote top officials in Washington that she feared Burisma Holdings had made a second bribe to Ukrainian officials — shortly before a corruption probe against Hunter Biden's natural gas employer was abruptly closed before Donald Trump took office.

The concerns are detailed in new memos belatedly released to Just the News under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department. The suit was brought on behalf of the news organization by the public interest law firm the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

 And a National Pulse EXCLUSIVE: Biden Transition Team Member Worked With CCP Officials For Over A Decade 

[Suzy] George, who joined the transition team in early September, was a principal at the consulting behemoth for over a decade, from 2001 to 2014.On its tab, “Market Assessment and Entry Strategies,” for example, the group boasts of helping “a solar energy company’s consideration of various Chinese provinces as a location for a significant new facility.”

The group also helps American companies comply with the Chinese Communist Party’s business diktats, detailing how ASG assisted a company enter the Chinese market with a caveat: strictly adhering to the Chinese Communist Party’s rules.

Specifically, ASG touts how it helped a U.S. corporate “align” with Chinese “government goals”:
“We then arranged meetings for company executives with key stakeholders in the resort sector to deliver messages demonstrating our client’s commitment to China, and its alignment with government tourism goals.”
In one instance, ASG bragged of it “leveraging” a U.S. Cabinet Secretary visiting China to help advance a business deal:

WaFreeBee,  Biden the Preferred Dem on China Trade Policy, Chinese State-Owned Firm Says. But we're quite sure that they won't interfere in our election on behalf of Joe Biden, because, unlike Russia, they're moral. /sarc

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links. 

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