Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Cheney Crushed, FBI Fesses Up to Stealing Passports, Affidavit in Play

As Stacy McCain notes, R.I.P., Republican Establishment "Cause of death? Trump Derangement Syndrome." Yesterday was primary day in Wyoming, where anti-Trump Liz Cheney was facing MAGA follower Harriet Hagemen, and Alaska, where Sarah Palin was in jungle primary for governor, (best three runoff), so the actual news isn't very significant. AP, What to watch: Cheney in trouble while Palin eyes comeback. Sundance at CTH, Wyoming and Alaska Primary Elections Tomorrow – Liz Cheney and Lisa Murkowski Face MAGA Challengers. At Fox, Liz Cheney calls on Democratic voters to switch parties, give her boost in GOP primary. The Onion quiped Dick Cheney Launches Last-Minute Invasion Of Wyoming To Bolster Daughter’s Reelection. Ben Whedon at JTN claims 'National' figure Cheney 'feels bigger' than 'small' Wyoming election, says ally of lawmaker, "Down 28 points in a University of Wyoming poll released last week that included likely Democrat crossover voters, Rep. Liz Cheney is fighting to retain her House seat in GOP primary Tuesday." Jonathon Tobin at Da Fed,  Liz Cheney’s Wyoming Fiasco Is The Prelude To Her Gadfly GOP Presidential Run. "Fueled by adoring media, Democrat money, and her own ego, Liz Cheney will forge ahead through the 2024 primaries." All poor AllahPundit at Haut Hair had left to question was What will the margin of defeat be in Cheney's primary tomorrow night? "So maybe … 65/35? Hageman +30?"

At Da Blaze, as expected, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney loses to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman in Wyoming GOP primary. At the Decision desk, the actual results were 66/29. Allah was close enough for government work. At da Wire, Rep. Liz Cheney Learns Her Fate As Her Primary Election Is Called Ace, sardonically, REALITY DEFEATS CHENEY. "BREAKING: CHENEY ALLEGES "RAMPANT VOTER IRREGULARITIES, VOWS "I WILL BURN CHEYENNE TO THE GROUND BEFORE I ALLOW THIS REPUGNANCY TO STAND" . . . Just kidding, she's whining like she always does. She says she conceded to Harriet Hageman and allows "This primary is ended" but threatens, "Now the real work begins."" Sundance is jubilant, Tonight, We Dance, The Insufferable Liz Cheney Has Been Crushed and Cast into The Trash Heap of History. WaPoo whines that For never-Trump conservatives, it's never-ending misery

Capt. Ed at Haut Hair listens to Cheney's concession: I'm like Lincoln and Grant. Gone? "Cheney lost because she didn’t listen to her constituents, who clearly saw her choice to serve on the committee differently than she did." Althouse, as is her wont, read NYT Liz Cheney "could easily have" won in Wyoming again, she said, acknowledging the landslide against her. ""The path was clear. But it would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election. It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take."" Her conclusion? "Self-dramatizing and self-aggrandizing. Ironically, by contrast, Trump seems modest and self-effacing." Zing! Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media thinks Liz Cheney's Concession Speech Was a Mentally Ill Cry for Help.

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.16.22, the Weasel Zippers, ‘Wrong Ballots’ Being Sent Out To Republicans Voting In Wyomin. My girlfriend bet me they would cheat in Wyoming to keep Cheney there. I laughed. I said “But MAGA people control the state and the voting apparatus …there’s no way they can cheat”. Christ, I’m stupid.  

JH News Guide: "A Democratic candidate for Wyoming House District 23 announced in a Sunday press release that he had received the wrong absentee ballot in the mail last week. Ryan Sedgeley said that he and his wife have “always been registered as Democrats in Wyoming” but received ballots in the mail Aug. 9 for the Republican primary."

Well, it could be a mistake. There's no point in cheating if there's no chance of overcoming the lead.

The story of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago continues, particularly the confiscation of Trump's three passport, two expired personal, and one his government issued diplomatic one. Initially, when he reported them confiscated, the MSM quickly found FBI/DOJ leakers to alleged it wasn't true. Afterall, they weren't not the inventory of items taken from Mar-a-Lago. AllahPundit doubted Trump Why did the FBI seize Trump's passports?  "Did they seize Trump’s passports? He claims they did, but he also claims he was the victim of a massive vote-rigging conspiracy in 2020 that no one can prove." Breitbart, Alleged Passport Seizure at Mar-a-Lago Could Undermine Trump’s Civil Rights, But then, Trump Team Drops Email Proving FBI Wrongly Seized Passports After Media, DOJ Attempted to Mislead Public with Spin. Capt. Ed says Hmmm: FBI returns Trump passports that never appeared on search inventory, which leads one to wonder what else they may have taken that wasn't on the official inventory.

That’s not exactly a sterling level of accountability. It took Trump a week to notice that the passports were missing, or at least a week to go public with it. His social-media post announcing the “theft” appeared yesterday at 12:22 ET; the raid took place on the morning of Monday, August 8. The FBI left with a dozen or so boxes of material, which sounds like a lot but is actually rather paltry in legal cases, as Andrew McCarthy noted in an earlier column at National Review. If this search was as acutely necessary as the DoJ claims, shouldn’t the FBI have realized they had his passports almost immediately — and returned them days ago?

How can an FBI agent not know what a passport looks like. Did they just shovel the contents of safes into boxes without looking? Not exactly in the spirit of a limited search. It's really a bad look for the FBI/DOJ. If I were Jim Jordan, I'd have some pointed questions for Merrick Garland and Chris Wray the next time they appeared before me.

The other thing this brings into question is the remaining credibility of the media, who clearly parroted their 'sources' in the FBI/DOJ without any skepticism. Ace, The Fake News Crew Claims, Without Evidence, That the FBI Did Not Seize Trump's Passports, "More lies from the Truth Tellers." The Peacock reluctantly admits Trump’s passports returned after Mar-a-Lago search, DOJ official says. Sundance, CBS Caught Scripting Fake News, Narrative Engineer Norah O’Donnell. NYPo, Trump gets passports back after FBI raid following wrong report by CBS anchor O’Donnell. "“In executing search warrants, the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes,” the bureau said in a statement late Monday."  Cutie Pavlich at Town Hall, Media Takes a Hit After FBI Returns Trump's Passports. Now the media has a new take, from Twitchy, Pounce alert! Trump publicized FBI taking passports even ‘after DOJ offered them back’ He was supposed to just shut up and play nice. Wendell Husebø@WendellHusebo, "BREAKING: The passports were not itemized on the FBI’s property receipt of items seized. The warrant did not state the FBI could take Trump’s passport. Typically, the government needs a separate court order to seize someone’s passport, even temporarily."

The other bone of contention, at this point is the affidavit that the DOJ/FBI used to get the search warrant. While the warrant specifies what kind of items to look for, and the receipt supposedly details the materials seized, the affidavit should give the governments explanation for why they wanted these materials. We already know the judge, uh, er magistrate was predisposed to hate Trump, so it wouldn't be a shock if the affidavit was a little vague, or even stretched the truth a mite. Vicky taft at PJ Media, Trump to DOJ: Show Us What You Got, Release the Affidavit Behind FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago. Clash Daily, Trump Demands Transparency, Pledges To Release CCTV Raid Footage. At Da Wire, DOJ To Unseal More Documents Related To Trump Raid, Refuses To Unseal Key Document. WaPoo, Justice Department opposes release of Mar-a-Lago affidavit. Michael Ginsberg at Da Caller, DOJ Urges Judge To Keep Trump Raid Affidavit Sealed From Public. Dan Chaitin at WaEx, Trump spy chief rejects DOJ argument on keeping Mar-a-Lago affidavit secret, ""It’s garbage to say that that information couldn’t be redacted so that the remainder of the affidavit that is so important to establishing probable cause is something that we can see," Ratcliffe told host Laura Ingraham."AllahPundit whines as Trump demands Release the search warrant affidavit!  18Hat793@Popehat "It would be extraordinary to unseal the search warrant affidavit in an ongoing investigation. It's theoretically possible but I don't think I've ever seen it happen. The notion that it's unusual or sinister for DoJ to oppose it is a lie." Maybe, but this is an extraordinary case, the winner of the last presidential election is trying to prosecute the loser of the last election for disputing the outcome, using the man who was turned down for the Supreme Court by said loser. We need to know that the underlying accusations are reasonable or specious. 

Rich Lowry at NYPo, Merrick Garland looks set to indict Trump — despite his glaring conflict of interest. Insty, Contrary to Rich Lowry, I don’t think that Trump is even morally responsible for January 6, which I also think has been wildly overblown, especially against the 2020 background of government-sanctioned riots in cities across the country.  At Am Great, the redoubtable Julie Kelly agrees, It’s Inevitable: Trump Will Be Indicted

At the NewNeo, This is the leading MAL-raid theory, shared by many

He believes that it wasn’t egregious overreaching. Instead, he argues that indications support his argument that Trump asked heads of Departments what documents they absolutely would not want to see declassified? (This has been mooted elsewhere.)

And then declassified them and secreted them away as insurance over the Deep State.

Thus, Barnes argues that the MAL raid was an aggressive attempt by the Deep State to regain possession of said documents from Trump and keep their wrongful heinous deeds hidden or simply destroyed outright.

A few more from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.16.22, Am Con,  ‘Ultra MAGA’ GOP Plots Revenge for Mar-A-Lago Raid, Am Great, The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Panty Raid, Rand Paul Calls for Repealing Espionage Act After Mar-a-Lago Raid, and Why Merrick Garland Is Losing the People, Don Surber, Republicans grow a spine, The Geller Report, FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to seize documents that likely implicated the bureau’s own agents in Russia Hoax (which is why we need to see the affidavit), This Ain’t Hell: Legal scholar questions government/media narrative on Mar-a-Lago raid, and  Transterrestrial Musings, The Corruption Of The FBI.  

Margot Cleveland at Da Fed, Records Suggest A Backbench Bureaucrat’s Partisan Grievance Spurred The FBI’s Nakedly Political Raid On Trump. An anti-Trump hack at the archives saw a box being carried out and said "The walls are really closing in this time!" 

The retired archivist then explained how he remembered “watching the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” According to Ferriero, “that began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives.”

Althouse, "The espionage act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI. It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment.", Said Rand Paul, quoted in "Sen. Rand Paul wants to repeal the Espionage Act amid the Mar-a-Lago investigation" (NPR), also, "Attorney General Merrick Garland deliberated for weeks over whether to approve the application for a warrant to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home..." Which doesn't prove he was right, only that it was a very difficult case to make. Red State, Eric Trump Claims to Have a Silver Bullet From the Mar-a-Lago RaidThe Dirty Truth (Josh)@AKA_RealDirty, "@EricTrump: we will be releasing the video surveillance footage when the time is right." Remember, the FBI told staff to turn off the cameras but the lawyers made them turn them back on. I wonder what's on it? FBI sniffing Melania's undies? At Haut Hair, NYT wonders Did Mark Meadows drop the ball on returning Trump's classified material? Are they looking for an out? "According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Mr. Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, the man who oversaw presidential records in the chaotic closing days of the administration, failed to organize an effort to collect, box and deliver materials to the National Archives — as prior presidents, and Mr. Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence, did." Politico admits Why Donald Trump’s declassification claim might not be that outlandish, "The Scooter Libby case under George W. Bush showed that presidents can declassify materials without a clear paper trail."

Mary Chastain at LI echoes Trump: America ‘is in a Very Dangerous Position’ and the ‘Temperature has to be Brought Down’, "The people of this country are not going to stand for another scam." Vodka Pundit at the PJ Media Insanity Wrap: A Constitutional Crisis Is Just What Merrick Garland Ordered. Miranda Devine at NYPo, opines Spokin’ Joe is wheely spiteful. From Front Page, Dan Rather Whoops for Joy Over FBI Raid, "How the fake news pioneer once served the totalitarian whims of a Stalinist dictator." From BIC, Jon Voight Weighs In On FBI Raiding Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Residence. Not a fan. CNS News cites Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Trump: 'He's Dangerous,' 'MAGA Supporters Are Dangerous, Many Republicans 'Are Dangerous'. You bet! Dave Marcus at NYPo, Media is back to anonymous, one-source stories on Trump that we can’t trust anymore. Did they ever leave? Jim Geraghty at NR wonders What if the law treated all politicians the same?. The sky is green in that world. Insty, WELL, THERE’S NO DEMOCRAT-MANUFACTURED “CRIME” THAT WOULD DO THAT, WHICH IS ALL WE’VE SEEN SO FAR: WaPo’s Catherine Rampell: Is there no crime Trump could commit that would lose him GOP support? "And they hate that they can’t manufacture stuff that will cause GOP voters to flinch anymore." Twitchy, Mega-thread shows that WaPo didn’t always have an aversion to Nazi comparisons and terms like ‘banana republic’

Mary Chastain at LI, Jim Jordan: 14 FBI Whistleblowers Came Forward Against DOJ After Mar-a-Lago Raid, "“It’s becoming a well-worn trail of agents who say this has got to stop, and thank goodness for them and that American people recognize it, and I believe they’re going to make a big change on November 8.” Kevin Downey at PJ Media, 14 FBI Whistleblowers (and Counting) Can't Be Wrong: There's a Problem at the Bureau. Leah Barkoukis at Town Hall, Over a Dozen FBI Whistleblowers Have Come to Jordan After Raid on Mar-a-Lago. At Front Page, Fatal Bureau of Investigation Marks a Milestone, "The struggle against FBI violence is the struggle of memory against forgetting." A pretty good recounting of the massacre at Ruby Ridge. Althouse, "There can't be one rule for Democrats and another for Republicans. So the question 'What about her emails?' is an appropriate one." 

"Mocking it is no answer. Neither is the cliche 'two wrongs do not make a right.' A second wrong doesn't justify or excuse the first, but unequal treatment of two comparable wrongs should raise concerns about fairness and equality. Unequal treatment of two equal wrongs is a third wrong. The 'whataboutism' argument applies as well to the manner in which Trump loyalists such as Peter Navarro, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were arrested. In comparable cases involving similar charges, the defendants weren't handcuffed, shackled or subjected to restraints generally reserved for those who pose a risk of violence or flight....

Seth Tillman pens A Letter to Politifact

You stated in your August 9, 2022 report that:
Congress could act to bar Trump from running again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says that public officials cannot serve in any future federal, state, or military office if they engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.” The Senate hasn’t pursued that route. It could have banned Trump from running again during impeachment proceedings and did not. It’s unknown how the committee investigating Trump’s actions around the Jan. 6 attack may address the prospect of Trump’s candidacy.
Not one of your statements above is a fact. Each is a highly contestable legal claim, argument, or intuition.

Lou Aguilar at Am Spec calls Trump The Godfather Ex-President, "Is he ready to resume his position — or give way to Godfather II?" AllahPundit unhappy with a Reminder from Sean Hannity: Being a felon doesn't disqualify you from the presidency. "When he’s right, he’s right. And he’s right."

Paul Watson at Front Page, Watson Video: The Truth About the FBI Raid On Trump

Revolver identifies some weird things about the pipe bombs found at the RNC and DNC on Jan. 6, Jan 6 Pipe Bomber’s Mechanical Timer Detonates Fedsurrection Lie. Allegedly planted the night before with 1 or 2 hour mechanical timers which, conveniently, failed to work. Found just in time to provide a diversion from the riot. It's all very fishy.

Lloyd Billingsley at Front Page, Former Police Officer Gets 7 Years in Prison in Jan. 6 Case, "For carrying a “large wooden stick” on January 6 -- and for things the ex-officer said and believed." WaPoo, A Capitol rioter tried to bond with a Reagan judge, then got a lecture. NYT cited at Haut Hair, Pennsylvania man charged with threatening FBI after Mar-a-Lago search. WaPoo, Man accused of declaring ‘open season’ on FBI agents is arrested, "Adam Bies, 46, was arrested days after FBI agents searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club"

In the interests of getting out of here, some DIY Elections Coverage:

Trump speeches hint at extreme agenda in potential 2024 bid - The Washington Post
Mick Mulvaney says he hopes Trump loses GOP nomination for 2024 | Daily Mail Online
Mick Mulvaney, Laura Ingraham reach the same conclusion - Trump policies are good but drama is bad – HotAir
The Mar-a-Lago Wave - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Boom: New Florida poll puts DeSantis up 20 points among Hispanics – HotAir
Glenn Youngkin Is Making Moves
Election deniers march toward power in key 2024 battlegrounds - The Washington Post
Is the GOP canceling ad spending in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin? Or did the NYT get it wrong? – HotAir
A midterm bellwether from Washington state: Has the red wave receded? – HotAir
California Rep. Kevin McCarthy confidently says he’ll be the next House speaker | Fox News
New Georgia Poll Is Bad News for Stacey Abrams, Worse for Raphael Warnock – RedState
Democrat John Fetterman Struggles at First Campaign Stop Since Stroke
Pennsylvania’s Mastriano rewrites debate rules to thwart anti-GOP bias | Washington Examiner
How anti-Trump Sen. Murkowski's staffers pushed to change Alaska's primary to ranked-choice voting | Daily Mail Online
Trump-allied lawyers pursued voting machine data in multiple states, records reveal - The Washington Post
No, Conservatives Shouldn't Stop Talking About The 2020 Election
"Defund the FBI" could complicate GOP's midterm messaging
Ace of Spades HQ Kamala Harris' Super-Fans -- the "#KHive" -- Begin to Worry That No One Is Coming to Save Her and Position Her for Success

the Culture War:

And the Stupid Economy, Stupid

IRS Hiring Spree | FrontpageMag
Biden Administration’s Successful War on American Energy Industry
Two Thirds of Biden Voters Have a Dim View of U.S. Economy
Despite Biden Denials, Most Say We’re In A Recession And Gov’t Is To Blame — I&I/TIPP Poll – Issues & Insights
Biden Labor Department Seeks to Redefine Independent Contractors
‘Next Question’: Democrat Rep. Refuses To Say How ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ Will Lower Inflation (VIDEO) | The Daily Wire
Rep. Jason Smith: Inflation Reduction Act Includes ‘$27 Billion for a Climate Slush Fund for the EPA’ – 3 Times Its Annual Funding | CNSNews
Is Anything Manchin Says About His ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ True? – Issues & Insights
Ace of Spades HQ - Biden Signs "Inflation Reduction Act" While Media Lies To Cover For Him
CNN to chief Biden econ adviser: You comfy with an inflation bill that does nothing on inflation? – HotAir
Ace of Spades HQ Biden Signs "Inflation Reduction Act" While Media Lies To Cover For Him
RNC Research on Twitter: ""What parts of the bill do you think will put to work on [lowering inflation] specifically?" Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin: "Next question."" / Twitter
The Democrats' 'Inflation Reduction Act' Betrays the People Progressives Claim to Care About | Opinion
WATCH: Andrea Mitchell thanks Biden econ adviser Brian Deese for ‘making sense’ of the Inflation Reduction Act, i.e. totally lying about it –

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