Saturday, December 19, 2020

Russiagate: Forgotten but Not Gone

It's been a few days, so I should clear out the bin. New releases of Peter Strzok emails dig him incrementally deeper into the scandal, but don't cause massive shock. Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, New Strzok text spurs debate about how FBI began Trump-Russia investigations in 2016

Strzok sent a message to then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair, on July 28, 2016, three days before Crossfire Hurricane was opened, saying that there were “three things I want to talk to you about,” including a yet-redacted matter and “our open CI [counterintelligence] investigations relating to Trump’s Russia connections.”

President Trump tweeted on Friday that “the Russia Hoax becomes an even bigger lie!” in response to the Federalist’s Sean Davis saying, “Surprise! The FBI has been lying for years about when it started investigating Trump in 2016.” Strzok tweeted that the claims were “untrue,” that “the investigation opened July 31,” and that “199 criminal charges followed.”

It was not immediately clear to whom Strzok may have been referring to in his July 2016 message, which was among dozens of FBI communications declassified by the DOJ and released this week by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley in their investigation of the Trump-Russia investigators. Horowitz’s December 2019 report said that “two of the four Crossfire Hurricane subjects” wrapped into the Trump-Russia investigation by the FBI in August 2016 “were already the subjects of other existing federal investigations.”

Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Peter Strzok’s Declassified Messages Give Insider View Of FBI’s Trump Campaign Probe

The declassified documents also show that Strzok was provided with real-time updates as FBI agents or undercover sources were meeting with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papaodpoulos, who were early targets of the investigation.

Nice Deb at Am Great:  Newly Declassified Texts Messages Reveal that the FBI Spied on Fox News During Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

FBI officials spied on a Fox News executive in early 2017 as part of the corrupt Crossfire Hurricane investigation that targeted President Trump and his associates, newly declassified messages reveal.

Internal FBI messages from fired FBI agent Peter Strzok—released by Senate Republicans on Thursday—reveal that the Bureau surveilled and recorded a phone call between former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and an unnamed vice president at Fox News weeks before President Trump was inaugurated.

Curiously, there never appears to have been a FISA warrant on Papadopoulos, so if he was wire tapped, there must have been a "national security letter" invoked.  Which means James Comey, in this case. 

NSLs typically contain a nondisclosure requirement forbidding the recipient of an NSL from disclosing that the FBI had requested the information. The nondisclosure provision must be authorized by the Director of the FBI, and only after he or she certifies "that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States; interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation; interference with diplomatic relations; or danger to the life or physical safety of any person." Moreover, a recipient of the NSL may still challenge the nondisclosure provision in federal court.

Tristan Justice at Da Fed, FBI Spied On Fox News, Recorded Phone Call Between Fox Exec And George Papadopoulos, New Texts Show. Ace, Released Texts Prove Obama Also Used "Russia Collusion" Hoax a Pretext to Spy on... Fox News. To be fair, it doesn't sound like Fox was a target of the spying, just an incidental capture while surveilling Page.

Kimberly Strassel at the paywalled WSJ sat down with AJ William Barr for three hours. William Barr: ‘One Standard of Justice’

He reminds me why he took the job in the first place: “The Department of Justice was being used as a political weapon” by a “willful if small group of people,” who used the claim of collusion with Russia in an attempt to “topple an administration,” he says. “Someone had to make sure that the power of the department stopped being abused and that there was accountability for what had happened.” Mr. Barr largely succeeded, in the process filling a vacuum of political oversight, reimposing norms, and resisting partisan critics on both sides.

Mr. Barr describes an overarching objective of ensuring that there is “one standard of justice.” That, he says, is why he appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the FBI’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane probe. “Of course the Russians did bad things in the election,” he says. “But the idea that this was done with the collusion of the Trump campaign—there was never any evidence. It was entirely made up.” The country deserved to know how the world’s premier law-enforcement agency came to target and spy on a presidential campaign. . . .

Apparently, one of the things he said was that Durham had cleared the CIA of illegal acts in the Russiagate scandal. To bad, I was looking forward to James Clapper being frog marched to jail. 

Sundance at CTH wants help assembling a list of things to be declassified, We Need A Reckoning – Crowdsourcing Request, What Do You Want To See Declassified. More, rather than less, please.

The Peacock, White House counsel's office warned Trump not to fire Chris Wray "Attorneys have fretted that by firing the FBI director, Trump could be putting himself in jeopardy." What are they going to do, impeach him?

“I wouldn’t take anything off the table in coming weeks,” the senior administration official said of personnel changes, as well as presidential pardons. The official said to expect “some more fairly significant terminations in the national security or intelligence community.”

Breitbart,  Biden’s DOE Pick Jennifer Granholm Spent Years Pushing Russia Conspiracy Theories It might be hard to find a Democrat that didn't.

TNP, Project Veritas Releases Clinton State Dept-Assange Call Recording (with Audio) "In the audio, Assange can be heard warning U.S. authorities about impending classified leaks." I still don't understand the difference between Assange collecting and publishing US secrets, and Woodward and Bernstein or other main-stream journalists. 

PM, Reports that Pentagon puts a sudden stop to Biden transition briefings refuted by Acting Defense Secretary

At the WaPoo, Ken Gormley wants that If Trump pardons himself, Biden should un-pardon him. I think Trump should pardon Hunter, but leave Joe swinging in the breeze.

And then, there's Swallowsall:

House Republicans Call For Swalwell's Removal From Intelligence Committee Over Relations With Chinese Spy

WATCH: Sen. Rand Paul to Rep. Eric Swalwell: 'Just resign' | The Post Millennial

McCarthy gets FBI briefing on Swalwell: 'He should not be on Intel' committee | Fox News

McCarthy: FBI Stonewalling on Briefing on Swalwell's Reported Spy Ties

Rep. McCarthy gets FBI briefing on Rep. Swalwell: 'He should not be on Intel'

Kevin McCarthy Discusses Finally Receiving FBI Briefing on Eric Swalwell Compromise With Chinese Spies - The Last RefugeThe Last Refuge

Daines: Swalwell 'Needs to Get in Front of a Congressional Committee'

Ace of Spades HQ Former DNC Spokesman Brad Woodhouse Says the House Should Give the Congressional Medal of Honor to Eric Swalwell for Adulterously Fucking a Chinese Whore/Spy

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