Author Topic: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters  (Read 74457 times)

DougMacG

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Update on the Flynn case
« Reply #1100 on: September 25, 2019, 10:49:25 AM »
Thank you Rick.
-----------------
Also this in the Flynn case:
https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/12/sidney-powells-latest-motion-michael-flynns-case-russiagate-bombshell/

On Wednesday, the previously sealed Motion to Compel filed against federal prosecutors in the Michael Flynn case was made public with only minor redactions. Just the day before, during a hearing before federal judge Emmet Sullivan, Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, had highlighted some of the evidence prosecutors withheld from her defense team. Yesterday’s filing expanded exponentially on the areas of evidence Powell seeks and lays bare Powell’s bigger plan moving forward: to expose the breadth and depth of SpyGate and how flaying Flynn lay at the heart of the soft coup attempt.

In her Motion to Compel, Powell catalogued 40 categories of evidence the government has refused to turn over. She seeks a court order requiring federal prosecutors to provide the withheld evidence under Brady and its progeny. Brady and its offshoots require prosecutors to disclose material exculpatory and impeachment evidence to the defense team. And, as Judge Sullivan made clear during Tuesday’s hearing, that duty exists even though Flynn had already pleaded guilty and even though he had agreed that the government would not be required to provide him with further evidence.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 06:16:36 PM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, Flynn case
« Reply #1101 on: September 25, 2019, 05:31:45 PM »
The USDOJ has proven to be utterly corrupt, over and over again.


Thank you Rick.
-----------------
Also this in the Flynn case:
https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/12/sidney-powells-latest-motion-michael-flynns-case-russiagate-bombshell/

On Wednesday, the previously sealed Motion to Compel filed against federal prosecutors in the Michael Flynn case was made public with only minor redactions. Just the day before, during a hearing before federal judge Emmet Sullivan, Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, had highlighted some of the evidence prosecutors withheld from her defense team. Yesterday’s filing expanded exponentially on the areas of evidence Powell seeks and lays bare Powell’s bigger plan moving forward: to expose the breadth and depth of SpyGate and how flaying Flynn lay at the heart of the soft coup attempt.

In her Motion to Compel, Powell catalogued 40 categories of evidence the government has refused to turn over. She seeks a court order requiring federal prosecutors to provide the withheld evidence under Brady and its progeny. Brady and its offshoots require prosecutors to disclose material exculpatory and impeachment evidence to the defense team. And, as Judge Sullivan made clear during Tuesday’s hearing, that duty exists even though Flynn had already pleaded guilty and even though he had agreed that the government would not be required to provide him with further evidence.


ccp

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response to NYT "leak" of the day
« Reply #1103 on: September 30, 2019, 02:53:26 PM »
They got a whole stack of bullshit to put on their front page each day as though any of  it means anything.

I thought we already knew this:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-pressed-australian-leader-to-help-barr-investigate-mueller-inquirys-origins/ar-AAI4KVh

My response:

https://www.google.com/search?q=image+of+yawn&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjfv6HMw_nkAhXqnuAKHWipCG8QsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1440&bih=789

just remarkable how they (MSM) the democrats are so coordinated to attempt to manipulate our thoughts.

 :x
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 03:05:17 PM by ccp »

G M

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Re: response to NYT "leak" of the day
« Reply #1104 on: September 30, 2019, 03:51:55 PM »
They got a whole stack of bullshit to put on their front page each day as though any of  it means anything.

I thought we already knew this:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-pressed-australian-leader-to-help-barr-investigate-mueller-inquirys-origins/ar-AAI4KVh

My response:

https://www.google.com/search?q=image+of+yawn&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjfv6HMw_nkAhXqnuAKHWipCG8QsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1440&bih=789

just remarkable how they (MSM) the democrats are so coordinated to attempt to manipulate our thoughts.

 :x

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/383525.php


DougMacG

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FISA gate is now criminal
« Reply #1106 on: October 25, 2019, 08:56:19 AM »
I hate to agree with the cynics, but maybe all this impeach stuff was all about upstaging what is to come.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/us/politics/john-durham-criminal-investigation.html

Time to indict a ham sandwich - like Comey? 

Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein - each signed one or more FISA applications,”
https://www.bizpacreview.com/2018/02/02/fisa-names-names-597194
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 09:40:42 AM by DougMacG »

G M

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The corrupt targeting of Gen. Flynn
« Reply #1107 on: October 25, 2019, 11:15:30 AM »


Crafty_Dog

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Media collusion with Weissman
« Reply #1109 on: October 26, 2019, 12:40:48 PM »
 




AP Reporters Pushed FBI to Prosecute Manafort; Benghazi Docs Confirm Clinton Cover-Up; State Dept. Monitored People It Didn't Like
 
 


AP Reporters Pushed FBI to Prosecute Manafort

The Associated Press, founded in 1846 as a cooperative association of newspapers, has enjoyed a reputation for independence and fairness over the years. Lately, however, it has come under criticism for what some see as a left/liberal bias.

Certainly, what we have just learned about its dealings with anti-Trump partisans in the Justice Department does nothing to improve our perception of the news service.
 
We have released two sets of heavily redacted FBI documents – 28 pages and 38 pages –about an April 11, 2017, “off-the-record” meeting set up by then-Chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section Andrew Weissmann.

The meeting included representatives of the DOJ, the FBI and the Associated Press in which AP reporters provided information on former Trump Campaign Director Paul Manafort, including the numeric code to Manafort’s storage locker.
 
Two months later, in early June, Weissmann was hired to work on Robert Mueller’s special counsel operation against President Trump. Weissman then reportedly spearheaded the subsequent investigation and prosecution of Manafort.
 
Included among the new documents are two typed write-ups of the meeting’s proceedings and handwritten notes taken during the meeting by two FBI special agents.
 
According to a June 11, 2017, FBI write-up:
The purpose of the meeting, as it was explained to SSA [supervisory special agent, redacted] was to obtain documents from the AP reporters that were related to their investigative reports on Paul Manafort.
 No such documents were included in the documents released to us.
 
During the meeting, the AP reporters provided the FBI information about a storage locker of Manafort (the Mueller special counsel operation raided the locker on May 26, 2017):
The AP reporters advised that they had located a storage facility in Virginia that belonged to Manafort…The code to the lock on the locker is 40944859. The reporters were aware of the Unit number and address, but they declined to share that information.
The reporters shared the information that “payments for the locker were made from the DM Partners account that received money from the [Ukraine] Party of Regions.”
 
The notes suggest the AP pushed for criminal prosecution of Manafort:
AP believes Manafort is in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), in that Manafort send [sic] internal U. S. documents to officials in Ukraine AP has documentation proving this, as well as Manafort noting his understanding doing so would get him into trouble.
AP asked about the U.S. government charging Manafort with violating Title 18, section 1001 for lying to government officials, and have asked if the FBI has interviewed Manafort. FBI and DOJ had no comment on this question.
Also, according to the FBI write-up, “The AP reporters asked about FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] violations and they were generally told that they are enforceable.”

Although, according to the FBI write-up, “no commitments were made [by DOJ] to assist the reporters,” Andrew Weissmann asked the AP to contact foreign authorities to follow up:
 [A]fter the meeting was started and it was explained to the reporters that there was nothing that the FBI could provide to them, the reporters opted to ask a series of questions to see if the FBI would provide clarification. No commitments were made to assist the reporters in their further investigation into the life and activities of Paul Manafort and the AP reporters understood that the meeting would be off the record.
 
***
 
They [AP reporters] reiterated what they had written in their article, which was a response from the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority (MOKAS) that they [MOKAS] had fully responded to Department of Treasury agents in response to [Treasury’s] request. The AP reporters were interested in how this arrangement worked and if the U.S. had made a formal request. FBI/DOJ did not respond, but Andrew Weissman [sic] suggested that they ask the Cypriots if they had provided everything to which they had access or if they only provided what they were legally required to provide.
 
***
 
The AP reporters asked if we [DOJ/FBI] would be willing to tell them if they were off based [sic] or on the wrong traack [sic] and they were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings.
The reporters asked about any DOJ request for the assistance of foreign governments in the U.S. Government’s investigation of Manafort:
The AP reporters asked if there had been any official requests to other countries. FBI/DOJ declined to discuss specifics, except to state that the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty requests are negotiated by diplomats, so they should remain at that level.
AP reporters told the FBI about payments in the “black ledger,” a Ukrainian record of allegedly illegal off-the-books payments:
The reporters advised that their next report, which was scheduled to come out in the next day or so after the meeting, would focus on confirming, to the extent that they could payments in the so called “black ledger” that were allegedly made to Manafort.
 
***

The impression that their sources give is that Manafort was not precise about his finances, specifically as it related to the “black ledger.” The AP reporters calculated that he received $60 to $80 million from his work in Ukraine, during the time period the ledger was kept. According to their review of the ledger, it appears that there is a slightly lesser amount documented based on all of the entries. The AP reporters accessed a copy of the ledger online, describing it as “public” document (Agent's note - the ledger has been published in its entirety by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, after it was given to them by Sergei Leshenko, Ukrainian RADA member [Ukrainian parliament] and investigative reporter.)
The AP reporters discussed an extensive list of issues, companies, and individuals that they felt should be investigated for possible criminal activity, including a $50,000 payment to a men’s clothing store; a 2007 meeting with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska; Loav Ltd., which was possibly incorporated by Manafort; NeoCom, which the AP reporters implied was incorporated solely to cover up money laundering; and other matters.
 
The reporters described an “internal U.S. work product that had been sent to Ukraine.” The reporters described it as an “internal White House document.” The FBI report stated that it “was not clear if the document was classified.”
 
Evidently referring to these documents, Manafort’s lawyers alleged that Weissmann provided guidance and leaked grand jury testimony to the AP reporters investigating Manafort.

This document production comes in our April, 2019 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00879)) filed after the FBI failed to respond to a July 5, 2018, FOIA request for:
•   All records concerning the April 2017 meeting between Department of Justice and FBI personnel and representatives of The Associated Press. This request includes all notes, reports, memoranda, briefing materials, or other records created in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the meeting.
•   All records of communication between any representative of the Department of Justice and any of the individuals present at the aforementioned meeting.
Under Mueller, Weissmann became known as “the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort,” which produced no evidence of collusion between Manafort, the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. It indicted Manafort on unrelated charges.

In an October 2017 article describing Weissmann as Mueller’s “Pit Bull,” The New York Times wrote, “He is a top lieutenant to Robert S. Mueller III on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. Significantly, Mr. Weissmann is an expert in converting defendants into collaborators — with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one’s perspective.” Weissman oversaw the pre-dawn home raid of Manafort in what one former federal prosecutor described as “textbook Weissmann terrorism.” Weissmann reportedly also attended Hillary Clinton’s Election Night party in New York.

In May 2019, we uncovered 73 pages of records from the DOJ containing text messages and calendar entries of Weissmann showing he led the hiring effort for the investigation that targeted President Trump.

In December 2017, we made public two productions of DOJ documents showing strong support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order. In one email, Weissmann applauds Yates, writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”

These latest shocking FBI reports evidence a corrupt collusion between the DOJ and the media, specifically The Associated Press, to target Paul Manafort. These reports are further reason for President Trump to pardon Manafort and others caught up in Mueller’s abusive web.

This new evidence strengthens the widespread belief that the media are in league with the anti-Trumpers in the administration and in the Congress.


DougMacG

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The Nation, why investigating the investigators is important
« Reply #1110 on: October 29, 2019, 06:02:40 AM »
The Nation is so far, pure left that they also believe in winning on the issues without cheating and scandal.

https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-brennan/


DougMacG

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Re: Daily Beast: Barr & Misfud
« Reply #1112 on: October 30, 2019, 07:58:07 AM »
Anti-Trumper sent me this:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-how-dumb-bill-barrs-great-mifsud-conspiracy-story-really-is?ref=home&fbclid=IwAR0Cf7arn5QBPyvQGEVN7qHb9MVSuEMONkji6tIs9wJy2i_32TZaBu8UtWQ

Good to know what anti Trumpers are reading but there is no indication in the article what inside knowledge the author has about what AG Barr, Justice Department inspector general Horowitz or U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating.  We will know soon enough.

The signal to noise ratio is rather low right now.

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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needs to change his tat
« Reply #1114 on: November 05, 2019, 02:48:32 PM »
https://www.google.com/search?q=roger+stone+tattoo&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiis_LzktTlAhX3QkEAHYQnCe4QsAR6BAgFEAE&biw=1440&bih=789

Does anyone think if Roger gets a tattoo of Trump over the Nixon or on top
or maybe in the front
he might get a pardon?


G M

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The Michael Flynn smoking gun: FBI headquarters altered interview summary
« Reply #1115 on: November 05, 2019, 04:43:43 PM »
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-michael-flynn-smoking-gun-fbi-headquarters-altered-interview-summary

The Michael Flynn smoking gun: FBI headquarters altered interview summary
by James Gagliano
 | November 05, 2019 12:23 PM
 
Print this article
As a self-proclaimed adherent to Hanlon’s Razor, I once cynically viewed the frenzied focus on FBI actions during the 2016 Russian election-meddling investigation as partisan and overwrought. Hanlon’s Razor suggests that we never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity or incompetence. Having proudly served in the FBI for 25 years, I bristled at insulting accusations of an onerous deep state conspiracy. Some obvious mistakes made during the investigation of the Trump campaign were quite possibly the result of two ham-handedly overzealous FBI headquarters denizens, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, clumsily seeking to impress each other with ever-increasing levels of loathing for then-candidate Donald Trump.

FBI employees are entitled to their own political views. But senior-level decision-makers who express them on government devices, while overseeing a supremely consequential investigation into a political campaign, simply do not possess the requisite judgment and temperament for the job.

Their stunning text message exchanges and talk of an onerous “insurance policy” in the event Trump were to win prove how ill-suited they were for their positions in James Comey’s cabinet. What other steps might they have taken that have yet to be discovered? The inspector general is soon set to release a report into FBI actions in the effort to surveil the Trump campaign. Attorney General Bill Barr’s Justice Department is conducting its own review, and U.S. Attorney John Durham recently expanded his investigation into the case as well, by converting the review into a full-blown criminal investigation. Barr has faced backlash from critics of his investigation, who ironically have referred to it as a witch hunt.

But as we anxiously await the expected reports, there recently appeared some fairly explosive allegations into potential investigator misconduct that have not received the attention they deserve. With her filing of a blistering Motion to Compel against federal prosecutors in the Michael Flynn case just made public, Sidney Powell has upended my adherence to Hanlon’s Razor. Powell is the attorney for former national security adviser and retired Army Lt. Gen. Flynn, who pled guilty to one count of lying to FBI agents during the special counsel investigation. Powell’s motion seeks to unravel a case many feel was biased from its inception.

One of the most damning charges contained within Powell’s 37-page court brief is that Page, the DOJ lawyer assigned to the office of then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, may have materially altered Flynn’s interview FD-302, which was drafted by Strzok. FBI agents transfer handwritten interview notes onto a formal testimonial document, FD-302, within five days of conducting an interview, while recollections are still fresh.

It is unheard of for someone not actually on the interview itself to materially alter an FD-302. As an FBI agent, no one in my chain of command ever directed me to alter consequential wording. And as a longtime FBI supervisor, I never ever directed an agent to recollect something different from what they discerned during an interview. Returning a 302 for errors in grammar, punctuation, or syntax is appropriate. This occurs before the document is ultimately uploaded to a particular file, conjoined with the original interview notes which are safely secured inside a 1-A envelope, and secured as part of evidence at trial.

With this in mind, this related text message exchange from Strzok to Page dated Feb. 10, 2017, nauseated me:

"I made your edits and sent them to Joe. I also emailed you an updated 302. I’m not asking you to edit it this weekend, I just wanted to send it to you."
Powell charges that Page directed Strzok to alter his Flynn interview 302. As in most instances in life, words matter. The change in wording was instrumental in moving Flynn from a target to a subject. One recalls how critical wording was in the FBI’s decision not to argue that DOJ charge Hillary Clinton with a crime in the private email server investigation. Comey elected not to use “gross negligence” to characterize Clinton's actions — which would have been the required language in the mishandling of classified information statute — and instead settled upon the more benign and non-indictable “extreme carelessness."

Later, it was determined that none other than Strzok was the impetus behind the recrafting of Comey’s words.

Powell’s motion requests that Flynn’s case be dismissed. Central to this appeal are details surrounding Flynn’s first interview by the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017. Recall also how Comey famously told NBC’s Nicolle Wallace, in front of an audience, that Flynn was visited by FBI agents at the White House in chaotic early days of Trump transition because, in Comey’s words, “I sent them.”

Comey received warm laughter for his quip from an appreciative audience, reveled in the adulation, and further elaborated, providing this shockingly partisan move:

"Something we've — I probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation — a more organized administration. In the George W. Bush administration, for example, or the Obama administration. The protocol, two men that all of us perhaps have increased appreciation for over the last two years. And in both those administrations there was process. And so, if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House Counsel and there'd be discussions and approvals and it would be there. And I thought, it's early enough, let's just send a couple of guys over. And so, we placed a call to Flynn, said, hey, we're sending a couple of guys over. Hope you'll talk to them. He said, sure. Nobody else was there. They interviewed him in a conference room in the Situation Room, and he lied to them. And that’s what he’s now pled guilty to."
So, did an accomplished 3-star general actually misrepresent the truth? Or, was his recollection of events later spun to be a mendacious accounting by overzealous investigators who followed their boss’s lead, while circumventing established protocol in an ambush-style interview? What apparently followed was a “tweaking” of the accounting to ensure Flynn be charged with Title 18 USC § 1001 – something I have long argued was never charged by any U.S. Attorney’s Office during my time serving in the FBI unless we wanted to threaten it and employ as leverage.

Setting aside valid arguments that the FBI acted inappropriately — treating the Trump White House differently than they would have treated Bush’s or Obama’s, as the hubristic Comey proudly admits — Powell’s charges of egregious government misconduct are certainly deserving of the court’s consideration. The withholding of clearly exculpatory material related to revelations that “important substantive changes were made to the Flynn 302” may well be central to the findings of Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Durham, as well.

Here’s me, acknowledging my mistake. I was dead wrong. It now seems there was a concerted effort, though isolated, within the upper-echelons of the FBI to influence the outcome of the Flynn investigation. By “dirtying up” Flynn, Comey’s FBI headquarters team of callow sycophants shortcut the investigative process. Arm-twisting Flynn through the “tweaked” version of his interview afforded him criminal exposure. The cocksure Comey team felt supremely confident that would inspire him “flipping” and give them the desperately sought-after evidence of Trump-Russia collusion that the wholly unverified Steele dossier was never remotely capable of providing.

I am physically nauseous as I type these words. I have long maintained that innocent mistakes were made and that the investigators at the center of this maelstrom were entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

No more.

They have tarnished the badge and forever stained an agency that deserved so much better from them. I am ashamed. The irreparable damage Comey’s team has done to the FBI will take a generation to reverse.

I ashamedly join Hanlon’s Razor in getting this one wrong.

James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) worked in the FBI for 25 years. He is a law enforcement analyst for CNN and an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John's University.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1116 on: November 05, 2019, 09:04:58 PM »
Wow.

As suspected, but wow nonetheless.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1117 on: November 06, 2019, 07:06:40 AM »
"I am physically nauseous as I type these words. I have long maintained that innocent mistakes were made and that the investigators at the center of this maelstrom were entitled to the benefit of the doubt."

I though career government employees were beyond reproach or bias.
serving the constitution , country and the people of the US.

Sure they make mistake like everyone else
but to suggest they are corrupt (like everywhere else) is out of bounds.

Just ask CNN
Only DJT and his team are government employees who are corrupt.

Tonight smart Lemon will come out and claim all this is already "debunked " and just a Fox news and right conspiracy .

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Turning over the 2016 Rocks
« Reply #1122 on: November 27, 2019, 11:22:15 PM »
Who Will Turn Over the 2016 Rocks?
The republic can survive the truth, but the FBI and CIA probably can’t.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Nov. 26, 2019 6:50 pm ET

James Comey, former director of the FBI, speaks in Salzburg, Austria, June 21. PHOTO: ALEX KRAUS/BLOOMBERG NEWS
A forthcoming report by the Justice Department inspector general will look into the FBI’s formal handling of the Steele dossier and its launching of a counterintelligence investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. Far more consequential, though, was the FBI’s informal role in allowing itself to be used to inject the dossier into the political sphere to spark the Russia collusion folly.

And where is the similar report on the CIA under John Brennan ? His promotion of the Russia collusion canard was bad enough. Unexamined is his role in promoting the still-secret Russian “intelligence” used to justify FBI Director James Comey’s chaotic intercessions in the matter of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Mike Bloomberg Roils the Democratic Presidential Race


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The story is worth retelling. Mr. Comey’s rationale, not disclosed until after the election, we may suppose was of crucial importance to somebody who makes himself out to be such a stickler for doing the right thing. Yet his public explanations have been a tissue of absurdities. He claims the secret Russian intelligence might have leaked and discredited a Justice Department decision to clear Mrs. Clinton, but how did his usurping the DOJ’s decision improve matters? The information still could have leaked. Plus didn’t his own actions discredit the DOJ?

He says he was protecting the FBI, that an FBI decision would be more credible than a Justice Department decision. This is laughable. On the eve of the convention, the FBI was going to deprive the president’s party of its nominee even as the reviled Mr. Trump was storming to the GOP nomination? It would have been institutional hara-kiri. Nobody believes the FBI’s decision was any less foreordained than the Justice Department’s.

Making further mincemeat of Mr. Comey’s rationale, the inspector general has revealed that his FBI colleagues judged the Russian intelligence to be “objectively false” and possibly a Kremlin plant. If the Russians can fake one email chain to discredit the Justice Department, they can fake another to discredit the FBI. Again, how did Mr. Comey fix any problem?

This still-hidden Russian intelligence, we know from leaks, referred to a presumably intercepted Democratic email chain. The email chain, in turn, referred to an alleged conversation in which Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch promised the Clinton campaign she would defuse the email investigation.

The testimony on this point is murky, but it does not appear Mr. Comey or the FBI made any serious effort to establish whether such a conspiracy to obstruct justice took place. We’re left with the possibility that Mr. Comey and his intelligence brethren manufactured out of flotsam an excuse to fix the Hillary email case themselves—or knowingly exploited a false pretext gifted by the Russians to do so.

If not for his first intervention, he wouldn’t have committed his second—reopening the case shortly before Election Day. So we’re left with the possibility that Mr. Comey’s actions in response to dubious Russian danglings accidentally elected Donald Trump.

The Obama administration, after Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, shifted overnight from downplaying Russian meddling to highlighting it. We’re left with the possibility that the collusion canard was deliberately promoted to distract from what otherwise would have been the story of the century—the FBI’s harebrained intervention in a presidential election.

Mutely, and without admitting it to themselves, the permanent liberal establishment preferred insinuating that Mr. Trump was a Russian mole to looking at the truth of 2016. And yet even Rep. Adam Schiff, when pressed by the New Yorker, admitted that, if Mr. Comey’s account of his actions is accurate, it represents the “most measurable” and “most significant” way Russia influenced the election.

Wafting above all is an odor of 1963, when the press deliberately ignored Lee Harvey Oswald’s communist affiliations in favor of a distracting talking point about right-wing extremism in Dallas. Do I think the republic today can survive a full airing of the U.S. intelligence community’s inept actions in the 2016 race? Yes, and with minimal shock at this point. It’s the FBI and CIA that are unlikely to survive without undergoing a sweeping institutional housecleaning.

Which brings us to the latest inspector general’s report due in a couple weeks, itself a down payment on a criminal investigation now in the hands of U.S. Attorney John Durham. Because Washington is seldom keen to prosecute even plainly illegal leaks when Republicans are the victims, and because unprofessional credulousness in the face of dubious “intelligence” (like the Steele dossier) is not about to become a crime, the cathartic prosecutions of Obama intelligence officials that some Trump loyalists crave are unlikely to happen.

Many of us avidly await the coming revelations for a different reason: to see if the mainstream media will finally interest itself in the truths of 2016. Looming over the fourth estate is a quietly important question: whether continuing to collude in a coverup can remain consistent with commercial survival.



Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1124 on: December 01, 2019, 07:10:14 AM »
 :-o :-o :-o :x :x :x

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Killer closing line
« Reply #1126 on: December 10, 2019, 05:14:43 PM »
Of course, every headline in the institutional media points out that the IG found that the FBI had sufficient evidence to satisfy the investigation. Yes, according to Horowitz, the “low threshold” for opening an investigation was met. It’s true. The problem is that the threshold for opening the case into Trump–Russia collusion was a lot lower than it was for the case for accusing the FBI of wrongdoing.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/12/the-inspector-generals-report-is-hardly-exculpatory-of-the-fbi/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202019-12-10&utm_content=A&utm_term=NRDaily-Smart



DougMacG

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FBI DOJ, Comey, FISA gate: Bill McGurn bullet points
« Reply #1129 on: December 11, 2019, 03:27:51 PM »
Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn provides this:

• Even though Christopher Steele’s dossier was full of material Mr. Comey himself characterized as “salacious and unverified,” it played a “central and essential role” in the bureau’s decision to seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

• The FBI failed to inform Justice of “significant information that was available” but “was inconsistent with, or undercut,” claims in the FISA applications that Mr. Page was “an agent of a foreign power.”

• The FBI ignored various warnings about Mr. Steele’s political bias, and it took him at his word when he falsely told agents he wasn’t the source for a Yahoo News article the FBI would cite in its application to the court.

• Overall, the report identifies “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications”—for which investigators received no “satisfactory answers.”

• The FBI also didn’t inform the FISA court that Mr. Page had served as a Central Intelligence Agency source and received a “positive assessment” for candor from the agency.

• Mr. Comey pushed to include Mr. Steele’s dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment even though the CIA “expressed concern about the lack of vetting.”

• An FBI lawyer altered an email he’d received confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source. After he changed it to read “not a source,” the email was then used to help renew the FISA warrant on Mr. Page.

...

Mr. Horowitz lays the blame at the top: “We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny. We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the [investigation’s] chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed.”

Mr. Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” relates how as FBI director he kept on his desk a copy of the October 1963 memo from J. Edgar Hoover asking for permission to wiretap Martin Luther King. He claims he did so to help ensure the bureau would never forget how a “legitimate counterintelligence mission . . . morphed into an unchecked, vicious campaign of harassment and extralegal attack.”

Mr. Horowitz’s findings about what was done under Mr. Comey’s leadership suggest there’s still a need for such a reminder. But maybe it should be a copy of the FISA applications for Carter Page the FBI sent to the court with false, misleading and incomplete information—and Mr. Comey’s signature.
https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/12/live-from-comeyworld.php

DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1130 on: December 11, 2019, 03:33:43 PM »
500 pages of serious wrongdoing, all in one direction, against Trump.

Either they were incompetent or they were biased?  These serious errors don't randomly all fall in the same direction.  No one believes that.  No documentary evidence means literally that, this isn't all sewn together in one document.

Those who did this were not incompetent, they were over-confidant

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1133 on: December 14, 2019, 01:27:01 PM »

From the article https://www.theepochtimes.com/william-barr-has-suddenly-become-chatty-and-hes-provided-quite-an-information-dump_3171471.html

Below are 24 points Barr felt the need to make after the release of the Horowitz report. (All of the information is attributed to Barr.)

1. Don’t expect Durham’s findings to be announced before late spring or summer 2020.

2. The FBI did spy on the Trump campaign. That’s what electronic surveillance is.

3. Regarding the FBI’s actions in surveilling Trump campaign associates, it was a “travesty” and there were “many abuses.”

4. From “day one,” the FBI investigation generated exculpatory information (tending to point to the targets’ innocence) and nothing that corroborated Russia collusion.

5. It’s a “big deal” to use U.S. law enforcement and intelligence resources to investigate the opposing political party, and I cannot think of another recent instance in which this happened.

6. Evidence to start the FBI’s investigation into Trump associates was “flimsy” from the start and based on the idea that Trump aide George Papadopoulos expressed he may have had pre-knowledge of a Democrat National Committee computer hack. However, it was actually just an offhand barroom comment by a young campaign aide described merely as a “suggestion of a suggestion, a vague allusion” to the fact that the Russians may have something they can dump. But by that time, May 2016, there was already rampant speculation online and in political circles that the Russians had hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2014 and that they might surface. So the idea that Papadopoulos’s comment showed pre-knowledge of the Democratic National Committee hack and dump “is a big stretch.”

7. It was “wrong” for the FBI to presume the Trump campaign was part of a plot. They should have gone to the campaign and discussed their suspicions.

8. The normal thing to do would be to tell the campaign that there could be attempted foreign interference. There is no legitimate explanation as to why the FBI didn’t do this. The FBI’s explanation for this was that they only do “defensive briefings” if they’re certain there’s no chance they’re tipping someone off. But this simply isn’t true, isn’t plausible, and doesn’t hold water because our intelligence officials and President Barack Obama repeatedly contacted the Russians, the guilty party, to tell them to “cut it out.”

9. If the purpose were to protect the election, you would have given the Trump campaign a defensive briefing. You could have disrupted any foreign activity in time to protect the U.S. election.

10. As to the FBI’s motive, “that’s why we have Durham.” I’m not saying the motivations were improper, but it’s premature to say they weren’t.

11. The inspector general operates differently as an internal watchdog. Horowitz’s approach is to say that if people involved give reasonable explanations for what appears to be wrongdoing, and if he can’t find documentary or testimonial evidence to the contrary, he accepts it.

12. Contrary to much reporting, Horowitz didn’t rule out improper motive; he didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence of improper motive. Those are two different things.

13. Instead of talking to the Trump campaign, the FBI secretly “wired up” sources and had them talk to four people affiliated with the Trump campaign, in August, September, and October 2016.

14. All of the information from this surveillance came back exculpatory regarding any supposed relationship to Russia and specific facts. But the FBI didn’t inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court, which approved wiretaps against former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page four times.

15. At one point early on, the FBI didn’t have enough probable cause for a wiretap warrant, so it took the “Steele dossier” information against Trump, “which they’d done nothing to verify,” and used that to get the wiretaps.

16. The wiretaps allowed the FBI to go back and capture Page’s communications, emails, and other material from weeks, months, and even years ago.

17. Should the four FBI applications to wiretap Trump campaign aide Carter Page have ever been made, considering there were 17 critical omissions or errors by the FBI making it appear they had better evidence than they had? This is the meat of the issue, and “if you spend time to look at what happened, you’d be appalled.”

18. The FBI withheld from the court all of the exculpatory information and the lack of reliability of the main FBI source, Christopher Steele, who was being paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to find evidence connecting Trump to Russia.

19. The major takeaway is that after the election in January, the FBI finally talked to one of Steele’s important sources to try to verify some of the “dossier” information and sourcing, as they’re required to do. This Steele source told the FBI he didn’t know what Steele was talking about in the dossier, and that he’d told Steele that the information he’d provided was “supposition” and “theory.” At that point, “it was clear the dossier was a sham.” Yet the FBI didn’t tell the court, and continued to get wiretaps based on the dossier.

20. Further, the FBI falsely told the court that Steele’s source had been proven reliable and truthful. In fact, what the source had told the truth about was that “the dossier was garbage.” It’s hard to look at this “and not think it was gross abuse.”

21. Were the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act judges who approved the four wiretaps against Trump associate Carter Page badly misled by the FBI? Yes.

22. Are people going to be held accountable, including at the very top of our intelligence agencies and FBI? Well, they’re all gone.

23. The whole Russia collusion hype was a “bogus narrative hyped by an irresponsible press” that proved entirely false in the end.

Are former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI official Andy McCabe and others implicated in the Durham investigation? I think there was a failure of leadership in that group. Quoting the inspector general, the explanations he received “were not satisfactory. You can draw your own conclusions.”

24. Why haven’t we already thrown people in prison? “These things take time.” The government has to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt before we indict; it’s a substantial hurdle. Nobody is going to be indicted and go to jail unless that standard is met.

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1134 on: December 14, 2019, 02:52:13 PM »

24. Why haven’t we already thrown people in prison? “These things take time.” The government has to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt before we indict; it’s a substantial hurdle. Nobody is going to be indicted and go to jail unless that standard is met.

BULLSHIITE!

It requires probably cause to indict, in fact the DOJ is quite good at indicting the proverbial "ham sandwich". Proof is required beyond a reasonable doubt for CONVICTION.

The Deep State DOJ/FBI didn't move at this casual pace, yet suddenly when the Deep State is facing legal liability things turn glacial and new legal standards are invented. Just like the one Comey invented for Hillary and her accomplices. Funny how that works.





From the article https://www.theepochtimes.com/william-barr-has-suddenly-become-chatty-and-hes-provided-quite-an-information-dump_3171471.html

Below are 24 points Barr felt the need to make after the release of the Horowitz report. (All of the information is attributed to Barr.)

1. Don’t expect Durham’s findings to be announced before late spring or summer 2020.

2. The FBI did spy on the Trump campaign. That’s what electronic surveillance is.

3. Regarding the FBI’s actions in surveilling Trump campaign associates, it was a “travesty” and there were “many abuses.”

4. From “day one,” the FBI investigation generated exculpatory information (tending to point to the targets’ innocence) and nothing that corroborated Russia collusion.

5. It’s a “big deal” to use U.S. law enforcement and intelligence resources to investigate the opposing political party, and I cannot think of another recent instance in which this happened.

6. Evidence to start the FBI’s investigation into Trump associates was “flimsy” from the start and based on the idea that Trump aide George Papadopoulos expressed he may have had pre-knowledge of a Democrat National Committee computer hack. However, it was actually just an offhand barroom comment by a young campaign aide described merely as a “suggestion of a suggestion, a vague allusion” to the fact that the Russians may have something they can dump. But by that time, May 2016, there was already rampant speculation online and in political circles that the Russians had hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2014 and that they might surface. So the idea that Papadopoulos’s comment showed pre-knowledge of the Democratic National Committee hack and dump “is a big stretch.”

7. It was “wrong” for the FBI to presume the Trump campaign was part of a plot. They should have gone to the campaign and discussed their suspicions.

8. The normal thing to do would be to tell the campaign that there could be attempted foreign interference. There is no legitimate explanation as to why the FBI didn’t do this. The FBI’s explanation for this was that they only do “defensive briefings” if they’re certain there’s no chance they’re tipping someone off. But this simply isn’t true, isn’t plausible, and doesn’t hold water because our intelligence officials and President Barack Obama repeatedly contacted the Russians, the guilty party, to tell them to “cut it out.”

9. If the purpose were to protect the election, you would have given the Trump campaign a defensive briefing. You could have disrupted any foreign activity in time to protect the U.S. election.

10. As to the FBI’s motive, “that’s why we have Durham.” I’m not saying the motivations were improper, but it’s premature to say they weren’t.

11. The inspector general operates differently as an internal watchdog. Horowitz’s approach is to say that if people involved give reasonable explanations for what appears to be wrongdoing, and if he can’t find documentary or testimonial evidence to the contrary, he accepts it.

12. Contrary to much reporting, Horowitz didn’t rule out improper motive; he didn’t find documentary or testimonial evidence of improper motive. Those are two different things.

13. Instead of talking to the Trump campaign, the FBI secretly “wired up” sources and had them talk to four people affiliated with the Trump campaign, in August, September, and October 2016.

14. All of the information from this surveillance came back exculpatory regarding any supposed relationship to Russia and specific facts. But the FBI didn’t inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court, which approved wiretaps against former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page four times.

15. At one point early on, the FBI didn’t have enough probable cause for a wiretap warrant, so it took the “Steele dossier” information against Trump, “which they’d done nothing to verify,” and used that to get the wiretaps.

16. The wiretaps allowed the FBI to go back and capture Page’s communications, emails, and other material from weeks, months, and even years ago.

17. Should the four FBI applications to wiretap Trump campaign aide Carter Page have ever been made, considering there were 17 critical omissions or errors by the FBI making it appear they had better evidence than they had? This is the meat of the issue, and “if you spend time to look at what happened, you’d be appalled.”

18. The FBI withheld from the court all of the exculpatory information and the lack of reliability of the main FBI source, Christopher Steele, who was being paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to find evidence connecting Trump to Russia.

19. The major takeaway is that after the election in January, the FBI finally talked to one of Steele’s important sources to try to verify some of the “dossier” information and sourcing, as they’re required to do. This Steele source told the FBI he didn’t know what Steele was talking about in the dossier, and that he’d told Steele that the information he’d provided was “supposition” and “theory.” At that point, “it was clear the dossier was a sham.” Yet the FBI didn’t tell the court, and continued to get wiretaps based on the dossier.

20. Further, the FBI falsely told the court that Steele’s source had been proven reliable and truthful. In fact, what the source had told the truth about was that “the dossier was garbage.” It’s hard to look at this “and not think it was gross abuse.”

21. Were the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act judges who approved the four wiretaps against Trump associate Carter Page badly misled by the FBI? Yes.

22. Are people going to be held accountable, including at the very top of our intelligence agencies and FBI? Well, they’re all gone.

23. The whole Russia collusion hype was a “bogus narrative hyped by an irresponsible press” that proved entirely false in the end.

Are former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI official Andy McCabe and others implicated in the Durham investigation? I think there was a failure of leadership in that group. Quoting the inspector general, the explanations he received “were not satisfactory. You can draw your own conclusions.”

24. Why haven’t we already thrown people in prison? “These things take time.” The government has to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt before we indict; it’s a substantial hurdle. Nobody is going to be indicted and go to jail unless that standard is met.

rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1135 on: December 16, 2019, 04:28:05 AM »
Yesterday, in his interview with Chris Wallace, Comey admitted that he was responsible for the abuses disclosed by the IG last Monday.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/12/15/chris_wallace_grills_james_comey_on_ig_report_fisa_abuse.html

Ergo, he has admitted that Trump had cause to fire him as FBI Director. 

Of course, if he were truly ignorant of what was being run by McCabe in Crossfire Hurricane and the other operations, then he would not have written his series of CYA memos; and, then had them leaked to the press after he was fired. 

All of these agency heads were in on it.  Comey's FBI. Clapper's DNI.  Brennan's CIA.  Obama's staff including Rice's NSC, Kerry's State Department, and Lynch and Mueller at the DOJ.  In true Nixonian fashion, they circled the wagons and continued onwards - not because they had a true patriotic fervor.

No.  The greater loyalty was to themselves and to save their asses from going to jail.  Their actions are as close to treason as one could get without actually acting for a nation like the current Iranian regime that is an openly avowed enemy of the USA. 

DougMacG

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Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, related matters, schiff, Eli Lake
« Reply #1136 on: December 16, 2019, 06:11:06 AM »
@EliLake
Schiff says on @FoxNewsSunday “there were serious abuses of FISA” but then says it wasn’t apparent two years ago. He had the same information as Nunes. Nunes called out those abuses. Schiff chose to attack Nunes instead of performing his oversight duties.

9:43 AM - Dec 15, 2019
——---------
A rare Profesional Journalist sighting.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Blues at St. James Infirmary
« Reply #1138 on: December 17, 2019, 07:07:38 PM »


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Barr: Comey lied
« Reply #1141 on: December 20, 2019, 06:26:42 AM »
https://www.nationalreview.com/news/barr-simply-not-true-comey-was-hands-off-during-crossfire-hurricane-investigation/

It sure is a breath of fresh air to hear these falsehoods shot down by a person of authority.

Barr:  “One of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and birddogged by a very small group of very high-level officials,” Barr said. “The idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true.”

It was an absurd statement when Comey made it, his direct subordinates are seven levels below him?  These people were one level below him, the people it is his job to directly supervise.  Failure to do so is dereliction of duty.  But he didn't fail to do so.  He is the one who directed all these resources to this.  He signed three of their FISA applications himself(?) and still thought he maintained plausible deniability?  Absurd.  The question is who else is he covering up?  They never told candidate Trump he was under surveillance.  Lied to him that he wasn't the target, but we are to believe they did this high level operation, suspecting the opposition candidate of being under the direction of a foreign power and didn't tell President Obama?  If they didn't tell him it could only be because he was ordering or directing the operation.  What rises to a higher level of national security than what they were suspecting, investigating, and who is ultimately in charge of national security?  The President of the United States, Barack Obama.  Either he approved it, was directing it or this was a rogue, runaway operation that continued on with full confidence of all the people around him.  What else would give people of this high authority the confidence to sign FOUR bogus FISA applications?  Then after inauguration, who is in charge of national security when President Trump is not trusted by the intelligence community?  These people thought they were in charge.

The only thing more astonishing than all that is that elected Democrats and Democratic voters are not appalled as they learn these facts. 

Not one question or statement on this in the Democrat debate?  Was their feigned interest in the constitution over impeachment merely a one night stand?

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters
« Reply #1142 on: December 21, 2019, 11:20:40 AM »
Robert Mueller’s Dossier Dodge
Why did the special counsel not tell America that Christopher Steele’s information was false?
By The Editorial Board
Dec. 20, 2019 7:09 pm ET

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller stands before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, July 24. PHOTO: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

In her public order Tuesday, Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court didn’t mention Robert Mueller. But her stinging rebuke of the FBI for abusing the FISA process to obtain a warrant to spy on Carter Page invites the question: How could the special counsel have ignored the Steele dossier?

Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirms the FBI sought to verify the claims former British spy Christopher Steele made in his dossier. Yet during an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017, when Mr. Comey was asked directly if the bureau was investigating them, Mr. Comey answered: “I’m not gonna comment on that.”

Who Won the Latest Democratic Debate?


He had good reason to dodge. By that time, the Horowitz report makes clear, the FBI knew that most of the Steele dossier’s claims were unreliable. Yet rather than take a hard look at it, Team Mueller made a deliberate choice to tiptoe around it. In his opening statement to Congress when he testified this July, Mr. Mueller declared he would not address “matters related to the so-called Steele dossier,” which he said were out of his purview.

This makes no sense. The Steele dossier was central to obtaining the Page warrant, and the leaks about the dossier fanned two years of media theories about Russian collusion that was one reason Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel. Mr. Mueller owed the public an explanation of how much of the dossier could be confirmed or repudiated.

Instead he abdicated, and the mystery is why. Perhaps as a former FBI director, Mr. Mueller wanted to protect the bureau’s reputation. But the best way to do that was to lay out the truth and explain any mistakes. A less generous explanation is that Mr. Mueller was more a figurehead as special counsel, and that the investigation was really run by his deputy Andrew Weissmann.

Remember that Justice official Bruce Ohr —who served as a conduit between Mr. Steele and the FBI—says Mr. Weissmann was among those at Justice he briefed that Mr. Steele hated Mr. Trump and that the dossier was opposition research. Before Mr. Mueller made him deputy, Mr. Weissmann also praised then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates in an email for refusing to implement a Trump executive order. This November he appeared on MSNBC to suggest that Mr. Trump had broken the law and that he didn’t have faith in Attorney General William Barr to honestly handle the work of career prosecutors.

Mr. Mueller’s dodge on the Steele dossier—and Mr. Weissmann’s partisanship—vindicates our view from 2017 that Mr. Mueller was the wrong man to be special counsel. On the evidence in the Horowitz report, the special counsel team had to know the truth about the Steele dossier and false FBI claims to the FISA court, but they chose to look the other way.


Crafty_Dog

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FISA Court shocked
« Reply #1143 on: December 21, 2019, 11:25:10 AM »
FISA Court Owes Some Answers
Why did the presiding judge stonewall Rep. Devin Nunes when he reported FBI abuses?

By Kimberley A. Strassel
Dec. 19, 2019 6:58 pm ET
l
Potomac Watch: As Sen. Chuck Grassley outlines the background of why the FISA court was established, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Devin Nunes highlight the FISA court's too-little-too-late response to the FBI's abuse of power. Image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for “misconduct” in the Carter Page surveillance warrant. Some would call this accountability. Others will more rightly call it the FISC’s “shocked to find gambling” moment.

Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her four-page rebuke of the FBI Tuesday, after a Justice Department inspector general report publicly exposing the FBI’s abuses. The judge blasted the FBI for misleading the court by providing “unsupported or contradicted” information and by withholding exculpatory details about Mr. Page. The FISC noted the seriousness of the conduct and gave the FBI until Jan. 10 to explain how it will do better.


The order depicts a court stunned to discover that the FBI failed in its “duty of candor,” and angry it was duped. That’s disingenuous. To buy it, you’d have to believe that not one of the court’s 11 members—all federal judges—caught a whiff of this controversy until now. More importantly, you’d have to ignore that the court was directly informed of the FBI’s abuses nearly two years ago.

On Feb. 7, 2018, Devin Nunes, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Judge Collyer informing her of its findings in his probe of the FBI’s Page application. He wrote that “the Committee found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information” that went to the court, “misled the FISC regarding dissemination of this information,” and “failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.” Mr. Nunes asked the court whether any transcripts of FISC hearings about this application existed, and if so, to provide them to the committee.

Judge Collyer responded a week later, with a dismissive letter that addressed only the last request. The judge observed that any such transcripts would be classified, that the court doesn’t maintain a “systematic record” of proceedings and that, given “separation of power considerations,” Mr. Nunes would be better off asking the Justice Department. The letter makes no reference to the Intelligence Committee findings.

Mr. Nunes tried again in a June 13, 2018, follow-up letter, which I have obtained. He told the court that Congress “uncovered evidence that DOJ and FBI provided incomplete and potentially incorrect information to the Court,” and that “significant relevant information was not disclosed to the Court.” This was Mr. Nunes telling FISC exactly what Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the world—18 months sooner. Mr. Nunes asked Judge Collyer to “initiate a thorough investigation.” To assist her, the same month he separately sent FISC “a classified summary of Congress’s findings and facts” to that point. The letter was signed by all 13 Republican members of the Intelligence Committee.

Judge Collyer blew him off. Her letter on June 15, 2018, is four lines long. She informs Mr. Nunes she’s received his letter. She says she’s also received his classified information. She says she’s instructing staff to provide his info to “the judges who ruled on the referenced matters.” She thanks him for his “interest” in the court.

This is stunning, given the House Intelligence Committee has oversight jurisdiction of FISA. And Mr. Nunes didn’t come to the court with mere suspicions; he provided facts, following a thorough investigation. The court at the very least had an obligation to demand answers from the FBI and the Justice Department.

It didn’t—because it didn’t want to know. One of the biggest criticisms of the FISA court since its inception is that it is a rubber stamp for law enforcement. The FISA process is one in which government lawyers secretly and unilaterally present their case for surveillance to judges, with no defense attorney to argue in opposition. The system relies on judges to push back, but they don’t. Until recently, the FISA court routinely approved 100% of the applications before it.

Just as it rubber stamped the Page warrant. That application made clear the FBI was asking to spy on a U.S. citizen associated with a presidential candidate. And the court was provided a footnote indicating political operators were involved in producing the allegations. If ever there was time to grill a few government lawyers, this was it. Yet from the inspector general’s evidence, the court whipped through the warrant with barely a blink.

The secrecy of FISA had always shielded the players from scrutiny. But Mr. Nunes’s inspection of the Page applications threatened to highlight this rot in the system. Judge Collyer’s dismissive letters made clear just what the court thought of Congress poking its nose into the secret club.

After the Horowitz report, the court had no choice but to respond. It’s predictably pointing fingers at the FBI, but the court should itself account for its failure to provide more scrutiny, and its refusal to act when Mr. Nunes first exposed the problem. The FBI is far from alone in this disgrace.

Write to kim@wsj.com.


Crafty_Dog

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The Lies and Distortions of the Hatchet Men at Fusion GPS
« Reply #1145 on: December 27, 2019, 01:13:20 PM »
second post

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/the-lies-and-distortions-by-the-hatchet-men-at-fusion-gps


The lies and distortions by the hatchet men at Fusion GPS
by Jason Foster
 | December 27, 2019 12:00 AM
 
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Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch tried to keep the American people in the dark as long as possible. For most of 2017, the founders of Fusion GPS hid the truth about the origins of their now-infamous dossier on President Trump. The real story behind their fight to keep its partisan funding a secret is very different from the version the journalists-for-rent tell in their recent book, Crime in Progress. I know, because I was there.

They smear me, and my former boss, Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Then they paint themselves as victims of “ruthlessly partisan” McCarthyite tactics. The irony is rich, given that these former journalists collected a million bucks from one political party to accuse the other of acting as agents of Russia.

The dossier they peddled ignited hysteria about alleged traitors in our government more than anything else has since Joe McCarthy’s Enemies from Within speech nearly 70 years ago. Unlike traditional opposition research, the dossier relied on anonymous foreign sources to allege an international criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Two independent reviews have since gutted its sensational claims.

The report by the Justice Department’s independent inspector general exposed how the FBI improperly used the dossier to justify domestic spying (a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant). The IG made it clear that the dossier was clearly unreliable. Special counsel Robert Mueller was unable to find sufficient evidence to charge a single American with the dossier’s collusion conspiracy despite two years, $32 million, 500 witnesses, and 2,800 subpoenas-worth of additional investigation.

Like the dossier itself, Fusion’s attempt to defend its work in Crime in Progress cannot withstand scrutiny. It devotes a chapter to denouncing Grassley for asking inconvenient questions about Fusion and the dossier. The essentially fictitious story casts Simpson as “Captain America":

Working to “protect the republic at all costs” from a Manchurian Candidate, with the First Amendment as his only shield, Simpson battles Congressional persecutors who were “trashing the Bill of Rights” by subpoenaing his bank to learn who funded the dossier.
Fusion’s founders target me, as then-counsel to Grassley, for supposedly “pulling the strings” that led to outing their secret. They had promised never to reveal who bankrolled the project. Why? Their book concedes a “more strategic reason” to stonewall: They wanted to control the larger political narrative.

As they write in Crime in Progress: “If it came out too soon that the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton Campaign, that revelation would allow the Republicans to depict [Christopher] Steele’s work as a partisan hit job.” It was “a fact that Fusion managed to keep secret” for nearly 11 months after the dossier became public.

During those 11 months, Fusion’s clients denied their involvement, and Fusion fought to keep anything from coming to light that would contradict those denials. Grassley tried to learn more about the dossier’s claims and Fusion’s involvement. Fusion’s founders claim they would have been willing “to explain their past work” without a protracted battle if “Grassley had simply approached Fusion in good faith and asked.”

Actually, we tried. When I called Simpson, he immediately refused to talk. He lawyered up. He’s also one of only two people who refused to cooperate with the inspector general. Without voluntary cooperation, prying any information loose would prove to be a challenge. Absent a full committee vote, no subpoena could be issued without Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s agreement. Contrary to Fusion’s caricature of our efforts as hyperpartisan, we adopted those new rules in early 2017 to strengthen the committee’s hand in what we expected would be bipartisan oversight work during the Trump administration.

Feinstein was initially willing to question Fusion, but bipartisan efforts to look into the dossier and its allegations soon disappeared. In the beginning, she co-signed document requests to Fusion, which its founders misrepresent in their book as ominous partisan threats solely from Grassley. Feinstein also agreed to subpoena Simpson to testify at a public hearing in the summer of 2017, but he refused to appear, citing his Fifth Amendment rights. We later negotiated a limited voluntary interview in private, where he refused to answer questions on many topics, including who funded the dossier.

Feinstein increasingly began to resist any dossier-related line of inquiry. At the time, Grassley and his staff were unaware the Democratic National Convention’s law firm had funded the dossier or that that a former Feinstein staffer, Daniel Jones, had privately claimed to the FBI that he raised $50 million from “seven to 10 wealthy donors primarily in New York and California.” That money reportedly funds Fusion’s ongoing postelection efforts to vindicate the dossier. It’s unclear how much Feinstein and her staff knew about this at the time.

Grassley played it straight. He supported the Mueller investigation and bucked his own GOP leadership in the Senate to shepherd a bipartisan bill protecting Mueller’s independence through his committee. He worked to conduct vigorous oversight and ask tough questions of everyone, even threatening to subpoena Trump’s son to ensure Democrats had an unlimited opportunity to question him on the record. Of course, Fusion’s narrative omits this evidence of good faith.

The House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Fusion’s bank records, and in late October 2017, its clients confessed to funding the dossier after it became clear they were going to lose in court. New York Times senior White House correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization complained to the Federal Election Commission that campaign disclosures falsely described payments to Fusion for opposition research as “legal services.”

During the court battle, Fusion unleashed “a blizzard of filings” in which it “piled on new allegations” of supposed congressional misconduct. The court rejected all of them.

One of the failed tactics that Fusion considered “central” was to argue that the House Intelligence Committee learned “Fusion had an account at TD Bank from someone in Grassley’s staff” and to imply that was somehow improper. While it is true that we had asked about the bank during Simpson’s voluntary interview on the Senate side, it is false to claim, as Fusion does, that we learned the bank’s name from his “confidential” interview and that the information was unavailable elsewhere.

Anyone reading the transcript (p. 17-18) can see that committee staff already knew the bank’s name and mentioned it first. Fusion’s attorney did not ask how we learned it, and we wouldn’t have answered if he had. The committee protects whistleblowers and confidential sources, just as the press does. Fusion had apparently made little effort to keep its bank’s name confidential up to that point. Not only did Simpson voluntarily confirm it when asked, but we also had reason to believe he listed it on invoices to clients, so it was hardly a state secret.

Casting aspersion on the congressional investigators who forced the truth about the dossier’s funding into the open is no more effective in Fusion’s book than it was in the court proceedings. In the end, it’s merely a distraction from the bigger issues with the dossier’s unreliability, which go far beyond the partisan motives of its sponsors.

Although the special counsel and inspector general reports dealt devastating blows to its credibility, Simpson and Fritsch still maintain in their book that “time will tell” whether the dossier “deserves to take its place among” documents that have “bent the course of history,” such as the Pentagon Papers or the Warren Report. A more apt analogy might be the phony list of traitors hyped by McCarthy. But, unlike the Americans targeted in the dossier, a few of McCarthy’s victims actually were colluding with the Russians.

Jason Foster was chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is now a consultant at DCI Group.

Crafty_Dog

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The Russiagate conspiracy continues
« Reply #1146 on: December 31, 2019, 02:02:43 PM »
Amazing that material relevant to this thread keeps coming up  :-o

https://spectator.us/crime-progress-russiagate-whistleblowers/