Saturday, May 29, 2021

Russiagate: Re-re-revisited

It's been a while, and it's a cold, stormy day here, so I can't use the excuse that I need to walk the dog. Besides, I already did that. So what's new since we last looked?

In what what must have been a great disappointment to Trump-haters everywhere, Capt. Ed at Hot Hair reports on the OLC memo to Barr: We wouldn't have charged Trump with obstruction even as a private citizen and  the DOJ Releases Redacted OLC (Office of Legal Counsel)  Opinion Following Review of the Special Counsel's Report, (Josh Blackmun at The Volokh Report):

For the reasons stated below, we conclude that the evidence described in Volume II of the Report is not, in our judgment, sufficient to support a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the President violated the obstruction-of-justice statutes.FN1 

In addition, we believe that certain of the conduct examined by the Special Counsel could not, as a matter of law, support an obstruction charge under the circumstances. Accordingly, were there no constitutional barrier, we would recommend, under the Principles of Federal Prosecution, that you decline to commence such a prosecution.

Rick Moran at PJ Media, Another Left-Wing Hoax About Trump Blows Up

The Left and the media long suspected that the Department of Justice memo upon which former Attorney General William Barr based his decision not to prosecute then-president Donald Trump for obstruction of justice contained a “smoking gun” that would prove Trump guilty and discredit Barr’s conclusions.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson apparently put that theory to rest when she ordered the release of part of the memo that dealt with how Barr reached that decision. Barr relied on advice from several sources, including the Office of Legal Counsel. The OLC recommended against prosecuting Trump, not only because there are constitutional issues with prosecuting a president for obstruction, but also because even if Trump were a private citizen, there wouldn’t be enough evidence to charge him.

But, according to JP Zane at RCP,  Peddlers of Russiagate Won't Take Truth for an Answer.   The NYT, cited at Hot Hair, McGahn likely to testify next week on Trump's efforts to obstruct Russia probe. The non-existent efforts? Tristan Justice at Da Fed thinks it's ironic that After Using Fake Dossier To Spy On Carter Page, DOJ Says He Waited Too Long To Complain

The Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the U.S. District Court of Columbia to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Donald Trump adviser Carter Page over the deep-state witch hunt during which FBI officials spied on Democrats’ political opponents under operation Crossfire Hurricane.

Page filed suit against the Justice Department over abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A federal judge ruled in January last year federal authority granted to spy on Page under the act was “not valid.”  In requesting the D.C. District Court to dismiss the case, the government argued it may abuse the FISA process and unlawfully spy on American citizens without liability.

“Plaintiff alleges that after the Defendants obtained the process — the FISA orders — Defendants used it ‘to spy on the Trump presidential campaign by unlawfully invading the privacy of Dr. Page without probable cause,'” DOJ attorneys wrote. “Even taken as true, which Defendants do not concede, Plaintiff fails to state a claim for abuse of process because conducting surveillance and collecting information for foreign intelligence purposes are exact purposes for which FISA orders are intended; that is, they are the end intended by law.”

In other words, the Justice Department argues that even if warrants to spy on Page were an unlawful violation of Page’s privacy, the government can’t be held accountable.

The government argued Page’s lawsuit also came too late. “The facts alleged in the Complaint and in various judicially noticeable public documents establish that Plaintiff’s claim accrues well more than the two years before he presented it administratively to the Department,” government attorneys wrote.

Dan Chaitin at WaEx cites Trey Gowdy: High-level Trump administration officials 'don't have a clue' about John Durham's progress. His investigation will disappear. He might, too. 

"Part of me thinks that prosecutors who don't have enough to allege a crime need to keep their mouths shut," he said. "And part of me thinks that this is more than just a criminal investigation. It's a counterintelligence investigation. It's an investigation into whether procedures and powers that we give government, whether folks were good stewards of those powers, and you could make an argument that we should know that. We should know whether or not someone abused their authority or their power in a non-criminal way. And I guess we should know if they did so in a criminal way, but for some reason, the case is not prosecutable, I guess. But I am not convinced that we should know everyone who is investigated but never charged because that's just not the way the system works."

 At NYPo, How anti-Trump ‘Steele dossier’ exposed shoddy world of ‘private spies’

Capt. Ed, Hmmm: Manhattan DA empanels new grand jury in Trump Org probe ... and others. Jonathon Mosely at Am Think wonders Can New York Arrest Donald Trump? Of course they can, but will it hold up? Insty, WITCH HUNT: “New York City and State are suffering the highest crime rates in their history, and instead of going after murderers, drug dealers, human traffickers, and others, they come after Donald Trump.” "They don’t even know what they’re investigating him for. It’s a case of “show me the man, and I will find you a crime.”" Sundance at CTH, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr Uses “Wrap-Up-Smear”, Seeds Grand Jury Story to Washington Post

Create a fraudulent accusation; then leak (or merchandise) the accusation to media; then “merchandise” the media report of the leak as evidence to support the fraudulent accusation. This is precisely what Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance is doing with a leaked story about his grand jury against President Trump. You can tell this is the political motive because grand jury secrecy is dismissed in favor of the media leak.

If the motive wasn’t political, the DA wouldn’t need the leak.

Politico gloats  ‘Cloud of nerves’ hovers over Trump land after grand jury report. Rusty Weiss at the Political Insider,  Grand Jury Seated For NY Trump Investigation, Former Pres. Slams ‘Greatest Witch Hunt In American History’. Sundance, President Trump Responds to Manhattan DA Leaking Grand Jury Information to Media and President Trump Remarks on Political Targeting by JoeBama DOJ and New York AG

There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here. The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into “every aspect” of my real estate dealings.

She swore that she would “definitely sue” me. She boasted on video that she would be, and I quote, “a real pain in the ass.” She declared, “just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office,” and, ”I’ve got my eyes on Trump Tower.” She also promised that, if elected, she would “join with law enforcement and other Attorney Generals across this nation in removing this President from office,” and, “It’s important that everyone understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end.”

The Attorney General made each of these statements, not after having had an opportunity to actually look at the facts, but BEFORE she was even elected, BEFORE she had seen even a shred of evidence. This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States. If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy.

Althouse cites Trump, "This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States. If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies...". Kim Wehle at the Slantic The Country Is On the Cusp of a New Era "America is inching closer to a possibility it has never seen before: the indictment and trial of a former president." An era where it's routine for the party in power to try to criminalize policy differences with the party out of power. That's not a scenario that encourages peaceful transfers of power. To whit, Sundance, Citing Executive Pardon Judge Dismisses Federal Case Against Steve Bannon

Speaking of which, NYPo reports Feds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raid. But refused Hunter's laptop. There're some cans of worms DOJ doesn't want opened. WaPoo reports today that Judge orders ‘special master’ to review Giuliani’s phone, computer records

A federal judge overseeing an investigation of Rudolph W. Giuliani will appoint an independent attorney to sort through 18 electronic devices seized by federal authorities and shield any content that, because Giuliani is an attorney, may be off limits to investigators examining his foreign contacts while representing President Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken on Friday adopted a proposal from prosecutors to appoint what’s called a “special master” to review the materials and filter out items that could be considered privileged, a process expected to take months. Attorney-client privilege applies to communications between a lawyer and a client, and such messages are protected as long as they do not advance criminal activity.

Giuliani’s lawyers also have argued that executive privilege applies because he represented Trump during his presidency.

The Justice Department is looking into Giuliani’s dealings with Ukrainian figures ahead of last year’s election to determine whether, in his bid to find information that would prove damaging to President Biden, he violated a law that requires agents of foreign interests to register with the U.S. government. The former New York mayor, who once led the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office now scrutinizing his activities overseas, has not been charged with a crime and adamantly denies wrongdoing.

FARA is clearly a bullshit law used to punish opponents of the Democrats. If they're serious about it, why hasn't Hunter been charged. He's clearly been representing both the Ukrainians and the Chinese. FARA should be overturned on First Amendment grounds. 

Steve McCann at Am Think thinks (no, not yet) Trump Derangement Syndrome Could Save America

Trump Derangement Syndrome fortuitously exposed what has been metastasizing beneath the surface for many years and is now spotlighted on center stage for all to see.
  1. There is a two-tiered system of justice in the United States based on political affiliation or beliefs. The FBI, once the most respected arm of law enforcement in the country, is now an appendage of the Democrat party with the Department of Justice their de facto enforcer. They operate politically through maliciously investigating fictitious allegations (e.g. Trump-Russia collusion), stoking malevolent accusations (e.g. January 6th “armed insurrection”), and pursuing the harshest treatment possible against “wrong-think” transgressors while largely ignoring the anarchists who regurgitate “right-think.”
  2. The federal bureaucracy is a leftist-sympathizing power unto themselves that can willfully destroy a president or a common citizen and face no repercussions.
  3. By exploiting the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic as a vehicle to defeat Trump, the elected members of the Democrat party exposed themselves as petty and vindictive tyrants. They calculatingly curtailed individual freedoms, initiated unnecessary and devastating lockdowns, provoked unwarranted fear among the populace, destroyed the credibility of the government-based medical and science community, and brought the nation to the brink of economic chaos.
  4. The Democrat party in their pursuit of Trump has been self-exposed to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the radical American Left which flagrantly utilizes Nazi tactics to achieve their goals.
  5. The ruling elite/left cabal, determined to defeat Trump in 2020, pulled out all the stops including election fraud to accomplish their goal. As a result, there should no longer be speculation about election fraud on a grand scale. It exists. Further, this same cabal is now audaciously attempting to embed potential election fraud in every state and make certain someone unacceptable to them is never elected president.
  6. What was once referred to as the “mainstream media” can no longer claim to be impartial as they marched in lockstep denigrating Trump and vilifying his voters. They are the unabashed propaganda arm of the ruling elite/American left oligarchy, willingly disseminating “fake news” about the opposition and regurgitating the talking points given to them by their masters.
  7. The elites have acquiesced to their bedfellows, the left, accelerating their schedule for achieving political hegemony by willfully fomenting civil unrest. The main weapons in this scheme are the accusation of “systemic racism” and the advocacy of Critical Race Theory that mandates overt racial discrimination, the turning of a blind eye to virulent and growing anti-Semitism, and confrontational censorship of “misinformation” and “unacceptable beliefs” by utilizing social media, corporate and governmental extortion.
Over the past four months, the media has extensively trumpeted the autocratic policies of the Biden Administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress. -- policies which encompass and further expose all the above. Thus, the bulk of the citizenry cannot honestly claim to be ignorant or unaware of what is happening in the country as it should be evident to anyone with a modicum of awareness and intelligence not drowning in mindless fealty to the Democrat party or Marxist ideology.

And some miscellaneous stuff:

Jack Cashill at Am Think reminds us Just Who Made Obama's Birth Certificate an Issue? Hillary!

WaPoo is tickled pink that Key impeachment witness Gordon Sondland sues Mike Pompeo and U.S. for $1.8 million in legal fees

WaPoo whines that the Biden Justice Dept. asks judge to toss lawsuit against Trump, Barr for violent clearing of Lafayette Square. Sauce for the goose. 

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