Author Topic: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mueller, and related matters  (Read 112260 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Found it! Evelyne Farkas
« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2017, 04:28:19 AM »
Hmmm , , , that's odd-- it is no longer there  , , , :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVGp2FZmVA4




    
Well, well looky here-- Dem. Evelyne Farkas squeals
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2017, 03:39:52 PM »
   Reply with quote Modify message Remove message Split Topic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVGp2FZmVA4

Mark Levin analyzes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfSES06rlIU

Hannity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6GB45nRBOk
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 03:46:10 PM by Crafty_Dog »    Report to moderator   47.150.118.24 (?)
Crafty_Dog
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If Farkas resigned in 2015, then how did she know?
« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2017, 03:48:41 PM »
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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-29/if-evelyn-farkas-resigned-2015-how-did-she-have-access-trump-russian-intelligence

============================

Also see:  http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/03/29/smoking-gun-obama-defense-deputy-slips-up-on-live-tv-reveals-spying-on-trump-team-and-leaking-of-intel/



« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 04:37:34 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2017, 04:29:14 AM »
Third post:

Generally this https://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2644.0 should be merged into the present thread.

Crafty_Dog

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Russians thought they had Flynn in their pocket
« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2017, 04:33:58 AM »
Fourth post

DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2017, 01:32:43 PM »
"... I distrust every alleged leak coming from unnamed sources."

Isn't that the truth! I would add, it is not a leak or a crime for a high placed unnamed source to put out false information.  There is no penalty to either the source or the reporter.

A pattern in liberal media deception goes like this:
1) The original story from the unnamed source is deceptive, out of context or false.
2) Headline writer goes beyond what the reporter falsely reported.
3) The media talk cycle goes beyond what the headline writer wrote.
4) Leftist politicians draw some conclusion beyond the first three levels of error and deception.
5) The media accurately report what the leftist politicians said as a news story.
6) They demand the President or target respond.
7) Media report what he said as an unpersuasive denial, or "refused comment."
8.) The media polling organizations ask how people feel about the terrible accusations dominating the news cycle.
9) Impeachment, resignation and surrender are presented as all that can fix it.
10) Then start over on whoever is next to attack.

MSNBC is calling on Trump to prove he didn't collaborate with the Russians.  Because Hillary said that's why she lost the election.  And Fox News is gone, because of accusations.  Welcome to America, 2017!

The previous administration sold arms to drug Runners and use the IRS admittedly to stop the political activities of their opponents. 'That is not worse than this because shut up.'
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 03:16:55 PM by DougMacG »

rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2017, 04:55:36 PM »
Both theories hold that the President is a unitary executive.

The plain language I cited from Article II, Sec 1 says so. 

Congress has a check on the President through the Senate's power to confirm appointments of those officers to whom the President wishes to delegate part of his executive power.  This is a separate power written in Article II, Sec. 2.  Congress does not have the power to prevent the President from firing an officer; but it could express its political displeasure by screwing around with the confirmation proceedings for the successor. 

The President has a right to expect loyalty from his officers.  Of course, that expectations cannot include illegal acts.  But it does include policy preferences.  Thus, if Comey did not see the importance of investigating the leaks and unmaskings of Trump people, then Trump has the power to fire him and replace him with an FBI Director that will investigate those issues. 

This is not Watergate where the burglars were caught in the Watergate Office complex during the commission of that felony against office of the DNC.  And the burglars were directed by a member of the President's staff and were funded in part by campaign contributions to the Committee to Re-Elect the President.  And, then, Nixon used his powers as President to keep the investigation from uncovering the links between the burglars and his aides and campaign staff.

This is a case in which Trump did not trust Comey to carry out his policies.  He saw how Comey had interfered in the election.  Comey would not give him any affirmation of loyalty to Trump's policy priorities.  So, Trump did not order any investigations stopped.  But he wanted to get his own guy in there.  Whether or not Trump's assessment of Comey is accurate, Trump still has the power to fire him and replace him with a different FBI Director.




ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2017, 08:45:44 AM »
Brennan:  

Mr. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, said Tuesday that he became concerned last year that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act — wittingly or unwittingly — on Moscow’s behalf.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Mr. Brennan told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.

“It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals,” he said, adding that he did not know whether the Russian efforts were successful.

He added, “I don’t know whether such collusion existed.”


---------------

me:   can anyone imagine if he had instead said there is 8no evidence of any collusion*?  Slightly re wording this makes all the difference.  Even if a conclusion finally comes , God knows when, that no collusion was found the LEFT will for ever and ever claim it existed but was just not found.  

The right should start labelling them as quack "conspiracy theorists "

Why are not the intelligence agencies investigating reports of the DNC staffer being the source of the DNC email leaks to wikileaks?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 05:00:10 PM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2017, 08:50:00 AM »
Brennan: 

Mr. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, said Tuesday that he became concerned last year that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act — wittingly or unwittingly — on Moscow’s behalf.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Mr. Brennan told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.

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“It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals,” he said, adding that he did not know whether the Russian efforts were successful.

He added, “I don’t know whether such collusion existed.”


---------------

me:   can anyone imagine if he had instead said there is 8no evidence of any collusion*?  Slightly re wording this makes all the difference.  Even if a conclusion finally comes , God knows when, that no collusion was found the LEFT will for ever and ever claim it existed but was just not found.   

The right should start labelling them as quack "conspiracy theorists "

Why are not the intelligence agencies investigating reports of the DNC staffer being the source of the DNC email leaks to wikileaks?

Because that would be too easy to prove or disprove. I expect Marc Rich's computer to go missing or get lost somehow.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2017, 09:49:17 AM »
" I expect Marc Rich's computer to go missing or get lost somehow. "

Or hard drive removed tampered with then put back or replaced with only partial data. This is what I have seen though not at national security levels obviously.
  Though I agree it  simply disappearing ala Hillary/Bill/DNC would be the safest mode of disposing of incriminating evidence.
  (Oh but it's storage is safe in a DC police station.   :roll:)

Why would Comey not have demanded access to it and had it forensically evaluated?  Is not that the death was mysterious, the victim a noted disgruntled Sanders supporter enough grounds to look into the possibility that he not Russia etc gave the  emails to Wikileaks?

yet we take the word of some DNC hired Ukranian security firm as though it is gospel.  (as pointed out by Rush L)

Bottom line :

If it helps republicans the MSM makes it into some "crazy right wing conspiracy" theory.  But if it helps libs it is "proof", and a  guilty to proven innocent attitude ,yada yada......

G M

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2017, 09:53:58 AM »
" I expect Marc Rich's computer to go missing or get lost somehow. "

Or hard drive removed tampered with then put back or replaced with only partial data. This is what I have seen though not at national security levels obviously.
  Though I agree it  simply disappearing ala Hillary/Bill/DNC would be the safest mode of disposing of incriminating evidence.
  (Oh but it's storage is safe in a DC police station.   :roll:)

Why would Comey not have demanded access to it and had it forensically evaluated?  Is not that the death was mysterious, the victim a noted disgruntled Sanders supporter enough grounds to look into the possibility that he not Russia etc gave the  emails to Wikileaks?

yet we take the word of some DNC hired Ukranian security firm as though it is gospel.  (as pointed out by Rush L)

Bottom line :

If it helps republicans the MSM makes it into some "crazy right wing conspiracy" theory.  But if it helps libs it is "proof", and a  guilty to proven innocent attitude ,yada yada......

The whole reason it was taken by law enforcement would be for the purpose of examining the contents of the computer. If Rich had forwarded the DNC emails from this computer, that would be easy to determine. Unless it had been wiped like Hillary's servers.


ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2017, 06:34:57 AM »
"The whole reason it was taken by law enforcement would be for the purpose of examining the contents of the computer. If Rich had forwarded the DNC emails from this computer, that would be easy to determine. Unless it had been wiped like Hillary's servers."

As you can see on Drudge today the family is outraged by the reports.  But private investigators are the ones who are questioning the investigation. 
The family has full confidence in the metropolitan police department and maybe rightly so , but I have seen things covered up before and what seems to be on the up and up is not.

The family may be mistaken
The family may know more truth then we do (or what they have been told) and may be totally correct .
Maybe it was nothing more then a tragic death to a "botched robbery" 
Maybe the killer(s) got scared and ran off before taking anything form his body
But also maybe it wasn't.  Frankly it is hard to believe anyone with the political stakes so high.


DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters, Brennan clueless
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2017, 07:46:55 AM »
John Brennan, CIA Director through January 2017:  I know of contacts, not collusion.  I don't do evidence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=209&v=VgjY_01FRgs

The inquiry was opened in July 2016.  It's been almost a year with no evidence.



Crafty_Dog

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rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2017, 07:10:19 AM »
As to Seth Rich, he can be a leaker to Wikileaks without his murder being part of a conspiracy to shut him up.  That could be a coincidence like when Chandra Levy's murder led to her relationship with Condit, her boss, being publicized.  However, the only leaked evidence from the anonymous DC police source to the private detective said there was evidence on Rich's computer that he had been in contact with Wikileaks.  That could mean a lot of things.  Before anyone begins speculating about the nexus of his murder to these contacts, they first better be able to ascertain what constituted these contacts.  Did he just go to the Wikileaks website?  Were there email exchanges between him and Wikileaks?  And what were the dates of these contacts?  Quite frankly, I don't believe much of what Assange says because he has his own agendas.  I don't think it is a disgrace to purse this hypothesis.  However, I don't think it is wise to fixate on it until you have definitive proof that Rich actually leaked something to Wikileaks.  If his contacts were something else, then the whole thing is a false flag planted by Assange to hide how he really obtained the emails.

I do recall public accounts stating that Podesta's personal Gmail account was phished.  Unknown third parties obtained his Google username and password by convincing him to give it to them.  I recall reading some articles that blamed an IT guy in the DNC for telling Podesta that it was OK to answer that phishing email.  That data was then sold or given to others who sold or gave it to "the Russians" who then used it access and download all of his emails.  But who are those Russians?  They could be government agents.  Or they could be just crooks.  The fact that agents ofthe Russian government may have been doing other things to try and disrupt the election; e.g., using bots to flood comments sections of various articles published online, does not prove that agents of the Russian government also were the ones behind the successful phish of Podesta's Gmail account and the ones who gave those emails to Wikileaks.  Just like in the matter of Seth Rich, there's a whole lot of hypothesizin' goin' on.

We are beginning to learn facts that point to the Obama administration's decision to investigate the Russian leaks as a justification for conducting intelligence operations against Trump for political reasons.  Disclosing confidential information has been the MO of every Obama campaign.  Someone leaked his challenger's sealed divorce records to the press when he ran for Senate.  Someone leaked Joe the Plumber's sealed records to the press in 2008.  The IRS prevented many Tea Party groups from organizing for the 2012 election by not acting upon their requests for designations under the IRC; e.g., the Lois Lerner matter.  They falsely blamed an obscure video for the Benghazi compound assault that killed our ambassador and 3 other Americans on 9/11/2012.  (I happened to look at that video on 9/12/12 and there were about only 80 views.)  We know that his NSA routinely violated an order of the FISA court.  And we can begin to isolate the persons who unmasked Flynn and others.  And we know that in early January 2017, the administration increased the permitted zone of distribution for these unmasked conversations of Trump aides.  All of this constitutes strong initial evidence of a circumstantial nature that the Obama Adminsitration used the Russian investigation as a pretext to spy on their political opponents.


ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2017, 08:17:55 AM »
"We are beginning to learn facts that point to the Obama administration's decision to investigate the Russian leaks as a justification for conducting intelligence operations against Trump for political reasons.  Disclosing confidential information has been the MO of every Obama campaign.  Someone leaked his challenger's sealed divorce records to the press when he ran for Senate.  Someone leaked Joe the Plumber's sealed records to the press in 2008.  The IRS prevented many Tea Party groups from organizing for the 2012 election by not acting upon their requests for designations under the IRC; e.g., the Lois Lerner matter.  They falsely blamed an obscure video for the Benghazi compound assault that killed our ambassador and 3 other Americans on 9/11/2012.  (I happened to look at that video on 9/12/12 and there were about only 80 views.)  We know that his NSA routinely violated an order of the FISA court.  And we can begin to isolate the persons who unmasked Flynn and others.  And we know that in early January 2017, the administration increased the permitted zone of distribution for these unmasked conversations of Trump aides.  All of this constitutes strong initial evidence of a circumstantial nature that the Obama Adminsitration used the Russian investigation as a pretext to spy on their political opponents."

Indeed.  This makes it impossible for us regular people to trust or believe anything from our government.  Our news media was supposed to help sort out fact from fiction but now more then ever they are not to be trusted either.




DougMacG

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Third post

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/26/russian-ambassador-said-kushner-asked-for-secret-channel-to-kremlin-officials-say/

Headline should read, NY Times and Washington Post confirm Obama administration was eavesdropping on Trump transition team.

Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Comey FBI broke own rules spying on Americans, Trump team
« Reply #73 on: May 30, 2017, 09:49:13 AM »
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/28/james_rosen_comeys_fbi_broke_its_own_rules__procedures_on_spying_on_americans.html

JAMES ROSEN: [House Democratic Leader] Pelosi confessed ignorance of this week's disclosure that the National Security Agency for at least five years under the Obama administration systematically violated Americans' Fourth Amendment rights...

Civil liberties groups said the disclosures should factor into lawmakers' decision at year's end about whether to reauthorize the NSA collection program that witnessed the abuses...

The sheer scale of the 4th Amendment violations is staggering, as was the sternness of the rebuke of the Obama administration by the FISA court, which ordinarily approves 99.9% of the government's request.

As of a few minutes ago, this story had not been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times or any of the three broadcast networks.

G M

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Re: Comey FBI broke own rules spying on Americans, Trump team
« Reply #74 on: May 30, 2017, 09:53:38 AM »
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/28/james_rosen_comeys_fbi_broke_its_own_rules__procedures_on_spying_on_americans.html

JAMES ROSEN: [House Democratic Leader] Pelosi confessed ignorance of this week's disclosure that the National Security Agency for at least five years under the Obama administration systematically violated Americans' Fourth Amendment rights...

Civil liberties groups said the disclosures should factor into lawmakers' decision at year's end about whether to reauthorize the NSA collection program that witnessed the abuses...

The sheer scale of the 4th Amendment violations is staggering, as was the sternness of the rebuke of the Obama administration by the FISA court, which ordinarily approves 99.9% of the government's request.

As of a few minutes ago, this story had not been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times or any of the three broadcast networks.


Did professional journalist Martha Raddatz cover it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb0Zc6y3FMo

Crafty_Dog

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rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #76 on: May 31, 2017, 04:58:38 PM »
House subpoenas unmasking records concerning Rice, Brennan, and Samantha Power, UN Ambassador and wife of Cass Sunstein.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/31/house-intelligence-committee-sends-subpoenas-to-intel-agencies.html

Crafty_Dog

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WaPo: Trump Admin negotiating return of Russian compounds in US?
« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2017, 07:08:50 PM »
I had forgotten that Samantha Power was married to Cass Sunstein--anyway a lot of potential for excitement coming out of those subpoenas!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-moves-to-return-russian-compounds-in-maryland-and-new-york/2017/05/31/3c4778d2-4616-11e7-98cd-af64b4fe2dfc_story.html?utm_term=.10fe7779c714

A longish article, with some interesting details.

DougMacG

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...we now know for certain that the Obama administration weaponized the intelligence agencies in order to use them against political opponents, in a manner that is unprecedented, highly dangerous to our democracy, and criminal.  - John Hinderaker, Powerline
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/the-scandal-hiding-in-plain-sight.php


...what are we to make of the recently unveiled Obama administration program of massively spying on political opponents in violation of clearly established law?  - Glenn Reynolds, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/05/30/obama-admin-illegal-spying-worse-than-watergate-glenn-reynolds-column/102284058/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-PSUC.z3GwIKZpb208tiH2A

James Rosen: Unmasking Obama Administration's Unmaskers
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/31/james_rosen_unmasking_obamas_unmaskers_subpoenas_served_to_susan_rice_john_brennan__samantha_power.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/samantha-power-unmasked-1496272676
Samantha Power Unmasked
Why would a diplomat need to know the names of Trump officials?

Gowdy to Brennan, DO YOU RECALL ANY U.S. AMBASSADORS ASKING THAT THE NAME S BE UNMASKED? >> I DON'T KNOW. MAYBE...
https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4670969/mr-trey-gowdy-asking-brennan-unmasking

Declassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties
http://circa.com/politics/declassified-memos-show-fbi-illegally-shared-spy-data-on-americans-with-private-parties
The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.
https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 07:19:28 AM by DougMacG »


G M

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The real collusion
« Reply #80 on: June 02, 2017, 09:01:21 AM »
https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/31/the-real-collusion/

The real collusion

Maybe it will be remembered as the weekend when, at long last, the media-Democrat complex overplayed its hand on the “Collusion with Russia” narrative. They are still having so much fun with the new “Jared back-channel to the Kremlin” angle, they appear not to realize it destroys their collusion yarn.

Their giddiness is understandable. The new story is irresistible: President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a December 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the ubiquitous Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, discussed setting up a communications “back-channel” between the incoming administration and the Kremlin.


There is now the inevitable Kush-said-Kis-said over exactly who proposed the back-channel. For Trump’s critics, the meeting itself, as well as the contemplated (but apparently never consummated) line-of-communications, are a twofer against Trump: a) the amateurish attempt to insulate the transition’s discussions with an important foreign power from monitoring by the Obama intelligence agencies, and, b) the naïve sense that the Russians would keep their discussions discrete rather than humiliate Trump at the first opportunity. 

As if that were not enough, more cause for media-Democrat excitement: Reports that Kushner’s outreach to Kislyak resulted in the former’s being passed along to a shady Russian banker—a close Putin crony with roots in Russia’s intelligence services.

For anti-Trumpers of all ideological stripes, the story is a much needed gap-filler. For all the hype in D.C. and the Democrats’ coastal enclaves, the collusion story is flagging in most of the country. It lacks what a scandal needs to sustain itself: evidence. There is none: not when it comes to anything concrete that the Trump campaign may have done to aid and abet the Russian “interference in the election” project―a project that, though probably real, is more a matter of educated intelligence conjecture than slam-dunk courtroom proof.


For anti-Trumpers of all ideological stripes, the story is a much needed gap-filler. For all the hype in D.C. and the Democrats’ coastal enclaves, the collusion story is flagging in most of the country. It lacks what a scandal needs to sustain itself: evidence.
The latest episode in the Trump-Kislyak follies may divert attention from this omission for a few days. But sooner or later the new angle must be recognized for what it logically is: the death knell of the collusion narrative. Once that dawns on the commentariat, maybe we can finally get around the real collusion story of the 2016 campaign: The enlistment of the U.S. government’s law-enforcement and security services in the political campaign to elect Hillary Clinton.

Let’s start with the ongoing collusion farce. National-security conservatives harbored pre-existing reservations about Donald Trump that were exacerbated by his Putin-friendly rhetoric on the campaign trail. It is no secret that many conservatives who supported Trump in November―or at least voted against Hillary Clinton―preferred other GOP candidates. All that said, we’ve found the collusion story risible for two reasons.

First, to repeat, there is no there there. The “there” we have is a campaign by politicized intelligence operatives to leak classified information selectively, in a manner that is maximally damaging to the new administration. Democrats and their media friends have delighted in this shameful game, in which the press frets over imaginary crimes while colluding in the actual felony disclosure of intelligence. Such is their zeal, though, that we can rest assured we’d already have been told about any real evidence of Trump collusion in the Russian 2016 campaign project. Instead, after multiple investigations, a highly touted (and thinly sourced) report by three intel agencies (FBI, CIA and NSA), and a torrent of leaks, they’ve come up with exactly nothing.


Second, the eight-year Obama record is one of steadfastly denying that Russia posed a profound threat, and of appeasing the Kremlin at every turn. This even included a hot-mic moment when Obama explicitly committed to accommodate Putin―to America’s detriment―on missile defense.

It could scarcely be more manifest that the collusion narrative is strictly political. Were that not the case, there would be no bigger scandal than the Clinton Foundation dealings with Russia that lined Bill and Hillary Clinton’s pockets while the Russians walked away with major American uranium reserves.

The truth of the matter is that Obama, the Democrats, and their media megaphone had no interest in Russian aggression and duplicity until they needed a scapegoat to blame for their dreadful nominee’s dreadful campaign.
The truth of the matter is that Obama, the Democrats, and their media megaphone had no interest in Russian aggression and duplicity until they needed a scapegoat to blame for their dreadful nominee’s dreadful campaign. Until the fall and The Fall, the Left’s default mode was to ridicule Republicans and conservatives who took Putin’s provocations seriously―like Obama’s juvenile jab about the 1980s wanting its foreign policy back when, at a 2012 debate, Mitt Romney correctly cited Russia as a major geo-political menace.

Palpably, the point of the collusion storyline is to damage Trump politically. It is not good faith alarm over Putin’s regime.

The latest revelation about Kushner’s contacts with Russia underscores the emptiness of the collusion narrative. The contacts took place weeks after the election was over. Put aside the Trump transition’s foolishness in deputizing the young, green Kushner to negotiate with Kislyak, a wily former Soviet apparatchik. We’re talking collusion in the election here. If there had been such collusion―if the story the Left has been peddling for six months were true―there would have been no need for a discussion in December about opening communications channels. The lines of communication would long have been up and running.

Thus, the latest Kushner brouhaha strongly suggests that the Trump campaign did not have a collusive relationship with Kremlin operatives during the 2016 campaign, much less one specifically aimed at influencing the 2016 campaign.

Of course, that hardly means there was no collusion.

Kushner’s Trump transition companion at the December 2016 meeting with Kislyak was none other than retired army General Michael Flynn. His presence is significant, but not because of the now familiar Flynn-as-Putin-puppet caricature.

Flynn was Donald Trump’s top adviser in the 2016 campaign, particularly regarding intelligence about the threats confronting the United States throughout the world. He had also been the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until Obama fired him in 2014. Flynn’s conflict with the White House boiled down to one thing: He believed the administration had politicized the intelligence community―i.e., that Obama’s top intelligence officials were altering fact-based assessments made by the analysts in their agencies in order to support rosy administration narratives that downplayed threats to the United States.

Flynn laid this case out in the bestselling 2016 book he co-authored with historian Michael Ledeen, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. Remarkably, despite Flynn’s travails, his book is virtually never mentioned in the collusion coverage.

Or maybe it’s not so remarkable. After all, Flynn’s book argues that the Putin regime, along with its Iranian ally, forms the core of a global challenge that confronts the United States on multiple fronts, including through the jihadist groups it supports. That is, Flynn’s book not only undermines the “Putin puppet” claims; it contends that Obama’s foreign policy was an abject failure in refusing to factor the reality of Russian hostility into dealings with the Kremlin on areas of mutual interest. 

The Field of Fight also includes passages like this one:

In 2014, I was fired as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after telling a congressional committee that we were not as safe as we had been a few years back. Others who want to tell the truth about the war are fighting back against their censors. In the late summer of 2015, dozens of military analysts protested that their superiors at CENTCOM—the Central Command for the war in the Middle East—were blocking or altering their reports on the true course of events. That allegation was then investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general. The story was leaked, and congressional hearings were held. This book shows that the censorship isn’t new; it has been going on for years, and threatens our ability to win.
It is a theme of Flynn’s argument that the Obama administration put American intelligence―its credibility and its capacity to shape narratives―in the service of the Obama political agenda. Can there be any doubt that this is true?

Do we really need to wonder whether our intelligence agencies were exploited this way in 2016 when it is undeniable that they were so exploited in 2012? Do we really need a reminder that during the two months between September 11, 2012, and Election Day, when Obama was locked in a tight race, the White House and the intelligence community colluded to defraud the electorate into believing the Benghazi massacre was the result of a “protest” run amok over an anti-Muslim video, rather than an epic failure of Obama’s policy of empowering sharia-supremacists in Libya?

So what do we know about the 2016 election so far?

 

The Obama Justice Department bent over backwards to avoid charging Hillary Clinton with patent violations of law―involving mountainous evidence of the mishandling of classified emails and destruction of thousands of government records―while simultaneously investigating the Trump campaign with great zeal over what appears to be vague suspicion.
 

The Obama White House, State Department and intelligence community shrouded the Iran deal in secrecy, hiding risible terms, cash ransom payments to the mullahs, and Tehran’s violations, in order to preserve the arrangement without harming Clinton’s campaign.
 

The NSA and FBI have both been cited by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for flouting court-ordered restrictions against accessing and exploiting intelligence about Americans gathered under foreign intelligence-collection authorities.
 

Foreign intelligence-collection authorities were used to investigate Trump campaign and transition officials, at least some of whose identities were “unmasked” even though they should presumptively have been concealed under court-ordered restrictions.
 

The New York Times, based on classified leaks, reported that the FBI was consulting with “Obama advisers” while the Bureau investigated Flynn’s communications with Kislyak—communications that were appropriate given that Flynn, as Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was communicating with various foreign officials as the new administration prepared to take power. “Obama officials” pressed the FBI on whether Flynn had discussed a “quid pro quo” with Kislyak—i.e., the possible dropping of sanctions in exchange for Russian cooperation of some kind. The FBI conceded that he had not.
 

In a strangely timed order just days before his administration ended, President Obama loosened the restrictions on access to raw intelligence, allowing the NSA to share it throughout the community of intelligence agencies before sanitizing it to protect American identities in accordance with privacy protections. This would geometrically increase the likelihood of leaks of classified information involving American citizens.
 

A former Obama Defense Department official, Evelyn Farkas, let slip in an interview that the administration and its allies were encouraging Congress to demand disclosure of classified information, especially intelligence pertaining to Trump and alleged ties to Russia. This, again, would dramatically enhance the likelihood of selective, unlawful disclosures of top-secret intelligence. Or, as Ms. Farkas put it, “That’s why you have all the leaking.”
 

Finally—I know you’ll be shocked to hear this—there has been a spate of classified leaks since Election Day, clearly designed to undermine Trump’s capacity to govern and advance the agenda on which he campaigned.
 

Should Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn have met with the Russian ambassador without alerting the Obama Administration and its intelligence apparatus? No. They should have known our spies would learn about their communications by monitoring Russian operatives―and, probably, that those Russian operatives would put out misinformation about the meeting for the purpose of embarrassing Trump. (Memo to POTUS: for the umpty-umpth time, Russia is not your friend.) 

But to concede that Kushner and Flynn used bad judgment is not to say they didn’t have their reasons. There is abundant cause for concern that the Obama administration tore down the wall between the missions of law-enforcement and foreign-intelligence, on one side, and partisan politics, on the other. The White House and its politicized security services wanted Hillary Clinton to become president, and they do not want to let Donald Trump be president.

There’s a collusion story here, but it’s got nothing to do with Russia.

About the Author: Andrew C. McCarthy

Andrew C. McCarthy
Andrew C. McCarthy is a former chief assistant U.S. attorney best known for successfully prosecuting the “Blind Sheikh” (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven other jihadists for waging a terrorist war against the United States – a war that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a subsequent plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He is a recipient of the Justice Department’s highest honors, helped supervise the command-post near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks, and later served as an adviser to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. His several popular books include the New York Times bestsellers Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. He is a senior fellow at National Review Institute and a contributing editor at National Review. He is a frequent guest commentator on national security, law, politics, and culture in national media, and his columns and essays also appear regularly in The New Criterion, PJ Media, and other major publications.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: The Trump Russia Story starts making sense
« Reply #82 on: June 04, 2017, 10:18:52 PM »
The Trump-Russia Story Starts Making Sense
The Kremlin seems to have bet big on the willingness of U.S. intelligence agencies to leak.
Opinion Journal: How Moscow Manipulated the FBI
Opinion Journal Video: Business World Columnist Holman Jenkins Jr. on why the real Russia scandal doesn’t involve the Trump campaign team. Photo credit: Getty Images.
[​IMG]
By
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Updated May 26, 2017 8:06 p.m. ET
1035 COMMENTS
The Trump -Russia business is finally coming into clearer, more rational focus. Former Obama CIA chief John Brennan, in testimony this week, offered no evidence of Trump campaign cooperation with Russian intelligence. Instead he spoke of CIA fears that Russia would try to recruit/blackmail/trick Trump colleagues into being witting or unwitting agents of influence.

This is a realistic fear of any incoming administration. It’s especially realistic in the case of an “outsider” campaign full of naive, inexperienced and unvetted individuals. But it’s quite different from “collusion.”

The other shoe was dropped by the Washington Post. Finally we have details of an alleged email exchange showing influential liberals trusting in then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to corral an inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s email practices. According to the Post, this email appears not to exist. It was cited in a secret Russian intelligence document that inspired FBI chief James Comey to usurp the attorney general’s role and publicly clear Mrs. Clinton of intelligence mishandling. Allegedly, he feared the real email (which didn’t exist) would surface and discredit any Justice Department announcement clearing Mrs. Clinton.

Are you now thinking of the Trump dossier circulated by former British agent Christopher Steele, which also felt like a Russian plant? While the political circus in Washington has focused on purloined Democratic emails and fake news spread during the election by Russian bots, the more effective part of Moscow’s effort may have been planting fake leads to prod U.S. enforcement and intelligence agencies to intervene disruptively in the campaign.

This also should shed new light on today’s anti-Trump leakers in the intelligence agencies: They may be the real unwitting agents of Russian influence.

There are plenty of lessons to go around. Mr. Trump, if he ever really thought Vladimir Putin was his friend, probably has wised up by now. He should have wised up the moment the Steele document came into view, supposedly based on plumbing Mr. Steele’s peerless Russian intelligence contacts. It always appeared possible, even likely, that Mr. Steele was the semi-witting vehicle for Russian rumors designed expressly to undermine Mr. Trump just as Russia was also trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton.

Plenty of people in Washington could also afford to rethink how their partisan idiocy makes them soft touches for such Russian disruption efforts. That includes Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. It includes Mr. Trump too. Overdue is an inquiry into a possible Russian role in flogging the birther conspiracy and the 9/11 truther miasma. Mr. Trump, who loves a conspiracy theory, might consider how he and his ilk showed Russia a vulnerability in American political discourse that it could exploit.

Let’s remember that ex-FBI chief Robert Mueller’s mission is to investigate Russian influence in the election, not the narrow matter of Trump collusion. Whether Russia suborned or tried to suborn people like Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Caputo is a necessary question. Whether Russia exploited Facebook to proliferate fake anti-Hillary news is a necessary question. But so is the provenance of the Steele document and the fake email purporting a Democratic coverup of Hillary Clinton’s server activity. If the FBI’s Mr. Comey allowed himself to be manipulated by Russian intelligence into intervening in the race, that’s something we need to know about. And we need to know about the leaks.

Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, has pointed out that these leaks are palpable, unambiguous crimes. Recall that Russia twice sent us detailed warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber. President Trump is entitled to share terrorism intelligence with Russia’s ambassador. The only criminal leak occurred when anonymous officials relayed the classified content of these briefings to the press.

Certain press hyenas then cackled that Mr. Trump further “leaked” when he said, during his visit to Israel, that he never mentioned an Israeli source for any intelligence he shared with Russia’s representative. Mr. Trump is entitled to make this statement, and in any case the information had already been made public through another criminal leak. Mr. Trump’s obvious point was that criminal leakers leaked information beyond what he had legally and confidentially shared with the Russians.

It’s times like this we are reminded how personally stupid are many people who make up the media. These leaks need to be investigated—and by Mr. Mueller specifically to the extent that the leaks, as seems more and more likely, indirectly or partly have their origins in Russian manipulation of our own intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Democrats wanted an independent counsel investigation of Russia’s election meddling. They believed it would lead to evidence of, or at least keep alive the story of, Trump collusion. They may be unpleasantly surprised where it really leads.

Appeared in the May 27, 2017, print edition.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Questions for the private Jim Comey
« Reply #84 on: June 07, 2017, 11:20:29 AM »
The ‘Private’ Jim Comey
Some good questions the former FBI chief prefers not to answer.
James Comey appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday May 03, 2017.
James Comey appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday May 03, 2017. Photo: Getty Images
June 6, 2017 7:20 p.m. ET
215 COMMENTS

The media are pitching James Comey’s Thursday testimony as the biggest since Watergate, and the former FBI director may provide high Trump ian drama. Let’s hope Congress also challenges Mr. Comey on matters he’d rather not talk about.

The politically savvy Mr. Comey has a knack for speaking in congenial forums such as the clubby Senate Intelligence Committee he’ll address Thursday. By contrast he is refusing to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee—where he came under a grilling in May, days before he was fired—though there is no bar to him testifying more than once.

Circa News is also reporting (and we have confirmed) that Mr. Comey is refusing to answer seven questions sent to him in a letter from Judiciary on May 26. The bipartisan request is from Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, as well as the chairman and ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

The questions are aimed at discovering how the contents of Mr. Comey’s famous “memo” to himself came to be splashed across the press. This still private memo reportedly says President Trump asked Mr. Comey to back off an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and its contents surfaced in the New York Times not long after Mr. Comey was fired—courtesy of an unidentified Comey “associate.”

 
The Judiciary letter asks if Mr. Comey created other memos about interactions with Justice Department officials or Mr. Trump; if he shared the contents of his memos with people inside or outside the Justice Department; if he retained copies of the memos, and if so to turn them over to the committee.

We’re told Mr. Comey replied via email that he didn’t have to answer the questions because he is now a “private citizen.” But that same private citizen will be opining in front of a national TV audience before a committee investigating serious questions of law and intelligence. Mr. Comey shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which of his memos he sends to Congress and which he can keep for his memoirs. If Mr. Comey wrote those memos while FBI director, as his talkative pals claim, the memos are government work product and he has a duty to provide them to investigators.

The “private citizen” excuse is useful in that it exposes that Mr. Comey’s main goal will be providing testimony against Mr. Trump while reviving his own reputation. Tip for Thursday viewing: Notice if Mr. Comey answers questions selectively, ducking those he doesn’t like behind the cover of Robert Mueller’s special-counsel investigation.

The Intelligence Committee shouldn’t let him get away with it. If Mr. Comey wants a public stage to tell his side of the Trump story, fair enough. But he should also be required to provide actual copies of his memos (if they exist), disclose with whom he shared them, and where they are now stored. He should also tell the country if President Trump was a target of the Russia investigation while he supervised it at the FBI.

Oh, and someone should also ask Mr. Comey if it’s true, as the Washington Post has reported, that the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails was triggered by a phony document provided by Russian intelligence. The point of this Congressional oversight is to help the public understand how Russia tried to meddle with American democracy, and Mr. Comey’s duty didn’t end with his dismissal.

Appeared in the June 7, 2017, print edition.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #85 on: June 07, 2017, 12:53:37 PM »
And what is Clapper's description that this is much bigger then Watergate?

On what basis?


rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #86 on: June 07, 2017, 07:36:31 PM »
I was glad to see the WSJ editorialize in favor of Comey's dismissal by Trump because in his prepared testimony to the Senate tomorrow, he wrote

"That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch."

The WSJ wrote:

"The most troubling part of Mr. Comey’s statement is his belief in what he calls “the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” which he invokes more than once. Independent? This is a false and dangerous view of law enforcement in the American system.

Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover."

This goes back to my earlier posts about the unitary executive.  The FBI Director is subservient to the President because the FBI is carrying out part of the executive power of the federal government; i.e., the statutory authority given by Congress to investigate violations of federal laws and the authority to conduct certain counterintelligence investigations.  In these respects, the FBI is exercising executive powers.  And Article II of the Constitution vests all executive power in a President of the United States.

Comey viewed Trump's Feb 14 comments as simply a request that the FBI not extend its investigation of Flynn to the matter of Flynn's allegedly inaccurate or misleading statements made to the VP about his meetings with the Russian ambassador. 

If I were Trump and my FBI Director viewed himself as independent of my executive authority, I would have fired him, too.  It also explains more clearly the Deputy AG's rationale in his memo to the AG that was attached to the press release announcing Comey's immediate dismissal.  Comey botched the handling of the Clinton investigation and he botched the handling of the Russia probe because he was asserting an authority for FBI Director that was far greater than permitted under Article II of the Constitution.  As the WSJ states in its editorial, this was the same problem presented by J Edgar Hoover.  Whether Trump understand these constitutional issues when he decided to fire Comey, he got the result correct and upheld his oath as President to preserve and protect the Constitution. 

G M

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Something to keep in mind...FBI not so above scrutiny
« Reply #87 on: June 07, 2017, 07:41:03 PM »
When somebody asserts the FBI is above scrutiny.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/csi-is-a-lie/390897/

CSI Is a Lie
America's forensic-investigation system is overdue for sweeping reform.



Forty years ago, Bob Dylan reacted to the conviction of an innocent man by singing that he couldn't help but feel ashamed "to live in a land where justice is a game." Over the ensuing decades, the criminal-justice system has improved in many significant ways. But shame is still an appropriate response to it, as the Washington Post made clear Saturday in an article that begins with a punch to the gut: "Nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000," the newspaper reported, adding that "the cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death."

The article notes that the admissions from the FBI and Department of Justice "confirm long-suspected problems with subjective, pattern-based forensic techniques—like hair and bite-mark comparisons—that have contributed to wrongful convictions in more than one-quarter of 329 DNA-exoneration cases since 1989."

« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 08:10:28 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #88 on: June 07, 2017, 10:33:11 PM »
Excellent post Rick!

ccp

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Yes Warner is *disturbed*
« Reply #89 on: June 08, 2017, 07:20:12 AM »
The ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee says former FBI director James Comey's account of his conversations with the president about the Russia investigation are "disturbing."

so is the useful idiot McCain.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #90 on: June 08, 2017, 08:13:35 AM »
Comey  calls Trump a liar!   Nothing like this ever would have happened even just a few years ago.  The coarseness of political discourse has seen the bar lowered to the absolute floor.   I remember many times on this board I lamented that no one in the MSM or political establishment would ever use the (L)iar  word - ever.   This was especially true during the Clinton years.  I have no problem calling a liar a liar when the facts justify it.
 
Well I cannot disagree with Comey.  

Trump made grave error not firing him on day one.

He absolutely did defame Comey with the way in which he fired him.  Clearly incompetent on Trump's part.  No question.  Not that he did fire him but the way he did it.

That the guy should find out about it from a background cable TV announcement while he is giving a talk to FBI personnel is so unprofessional to say the least.   

Trumps intemperante impulsiveness richohete's back in his face and by that route right back at  the rest of us who are depending on him to not be a STUPID ass.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 08:19:44 AM by ccp »

G M

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Alan Dershowitz agrees with Rickn
« Reply #91 on: June 08, 2017, 08:16:59 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ15ymETv-s

Constitutional powers of the President.

ccp

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #92 on: June 08, 2017, 08:21:38 AM »
No not obstruction of justice.  That is fake news.

But just stupid incompetent *methods* by Trump. 

rickn

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #93 on: June 08, 2017, 04:25:21 PM »
Rubio's questioning of Comey distills well the gist of this political soap opera.

http://eblnews.com/video/sen-rubio-recaps-3-things-president-trump-asked-james-comey-125148

Comey did not like how his firing was handled by Trump.  He felt embarrassed and defamed (his own word) by some of Trump's comments about how he was viewed by others in the Bureau.  He then does not like Trump's tweet about Comey better be sure that Trump himself does not have any tapes of their conversations before he begins leaking to the press. So, Comey leaks his CYA memos recounting his conversations with Trump to the NYT via a friend who is a law school professor.  In other words, Comey did what Trump thought he would do ... leak. 

This enables Trump to get publicized that he has never been under investigation in the Russia probe.  And Comey is forced to admit that Trump agreed with him that it would be good to get the whole story out there and that it would be good for Trump to learn if some of his "satellites" in the campaign were in fact violating the law.




DougMacG

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Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters
« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2017, 06:22:22 AM »
Thoughts on Comey testimony:  

Big waste of time when no high crime or misdemeanor was committed.  Trump (allegedly) called him a nut job and Comey has behaved ever since as a guy trying to get even.  But this is testimony under oath so words matter.

The key word was "hope".  Trump 'hoped' Flynn could be left alone, allegedly.  A guy he could pardon anyway if he had too.

If Trump was obstructing the investigation, Comey was under obligation to report that immediately by penalty of high crime.  He didn't but under later reflection with hatred as a bias tells all the reasons he should have.

The testimony I heard was all about feelings.  Seriously.  How did you feel when he said that etc.  What did you feel he meant when he said that.  Opponents dwelling on that are essentially admitting they have nothing more.

Trump was a target.  Didn't collude.  No evidence he did etc.  

Russians did interfere.  That happened for sure.  All the agencies agree.  And it went to the top.  No mention ever that was a security breach/faiilure of the Obama administration.  The hearings should be about how the Obama administration failed to protect us, where they failed to protect us, why they failed to protect us.  Where they too focused on trans gender bathrooms, adjusted climate change, Muslims in space?

The Obama administration through Loretta Lynch in cooperation with the Clintons directed Comey to not use the word investigation relating to the investigation of the Clintons.  Creepy if not illegal interference.  What is his job in it other than investigations, note the name of the bureau, federal bureau of investigations.  This was more of a kinetic operation of resources into a situation.  Good grief.  No one was outraged to hear that?

The leaks were the biggest crimes exposed so far.  No questions hardly on getting to the bottom of that.  Comey was one of the leakers.  The Comey memo was a government produced document of an official meeting, presumed private and classified?  He leaked it trying to enact or change policy.  That's how Washington works now; go through the press with leaked documents.  Why would it be a crime?

One story by the NY Times, still not corrected, was totally false - about Trump under investigation.  A point made on these pages often, but it is not illegal to leak and get published false information said to be classified, but it is illegal for people knowing the true classified information to correct the false public reporting.  So goes our media-led discourse coming out of Washington.

Rubio made the point that the only thing not leaked was that Trump was never a target of the investigation.

While the country focuses on a shiny object and the real crimes go uninvestigated and unsolved (okay, they got one Democrat activist in the NSA leaker), tax reform is not done, Obamacare is still not repealed, North Korea is conducting missile tests for nuclear attacks explicitly for the purpose of hitting the US mainland, and China is militarizing the South China Sea from Taiwan to Singapore.  What could possibly wrong?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 06:51:10 AM by DougMacG »

ccp

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Mueller and Comey - "brothers in arms"
« Reply #95 on: June 12, 2017, 06:26:00 AM »
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-is-robert-mueller-conflicted-in-trump-probe/article/2625638

Gingrich calls for congress to stop the independent counsel.  Thinks he sees it will certainly lead to problems for Trump.
I don't agree as the political ramifications if they did that would be too great.  Trump with has big mouth boxed himself in.  And of course keeps doing it:

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/06/11/gingrich-congress-should-now-intervene-and-should-abolish-the-independent-counsel/

I think I read Mueller will try to wrap the investigation up by 3 months........

That is if he will not find/make a damaging case for the Dems to move on.

One lawyer's take:

Trump just keeps boxing himself ( with his big mouth [me]):

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/trump-mistake-oath-offer/2017/06/12/id/795492/
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 07:05:58 AM by ccp »

G M

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Comey is a corrupt scumbag
« Reply #96 on: June 12, 2017, 08:32:13 PM »
http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/12/james-comey-long-history-questionable-obstruction-cases/

James Comey Has A Long History Of Questionable Obstruction Cases
From Martha Stewart to Frank Quattrone to Steven Hatfill, former FBI director James Comey has left a long trail of highly questionable obstruction of justice cases that he used to make a name for himself.
 By Mollie Hemingway
JUNE 12, 2017

Following countdown clocks on cable outlets and dramatic claims in the media about what devastating testimony to expect, James Comey sat down before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. The hearing ended up being a bit of a let-down for critics of President Trump who hoped to get him impeached (or removed via the 25th amendment!) as soon as possible. Comey admitted that Donald Trump had told the truth when he wrote that the former FBI director had thrice told him he was not under investigation in the Russia meddling probe. Comey admitted that Trump had twice encouraged him to get to the bottom of the Russian meddling issue.

But the media chose to run with a dramatically different narrative. That narrative was if James Comey had not proven obstruction, he came pretty darn close.


“Is Trump Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice? Comey Laid Out The Case,” was the big takeaway from NPR’s Domenico Montanaro.

“Comey Bluntly Raises Possibility of Trump Obstruction and Condemns His ‘Lies’,” exulted the New York Times, describing his testimony as “a blunt, plain-spoken assessment” by a man who was “humble, folksy and matter-of-fact.”

The New Yorker was even more breathless. “Comey’s Revenge: Measuring Obstruction,” wrote Evan Osnos. “[T]his was not a political partisan tossing off a criticism of a rival; this was a career prosecutor, who served Republican and Democratic Presidents, presenting a time line of specific statements from the President that he described as either untrue or potentially criminal.”

MSNBC agreed. And I watched an hour of CNN the night of the hearing with the sober legal analysis of Jeffrey Toobin, who declared repeatedly that he’d never seen such obstruction of justice in the history of the world. I’m only slightly exaggerating.


Most liberal, mainstream media have flipped and flopped on their view of James Comey, in direct relationship to whether his actions hurt Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They’re currently huge fans, needless to say.

Comey is a man of rectitude, they’re currently saying. A boy scout who is very honest, and good at laying out obstruction of justice cases.

It’s worth looking at a few of these cases, and whether they say anything about his current judgment.

One of the few media outlets that has consistently expressed skepticism about Comey is the Wall Street Journal. When he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be FBI director in 2013, they presciently wrote a piece headlined, “The Political Mr. Comey: Obama’s FBI nominee has a record of prosecutorial excess and bad judgment.” The article described even then Comey’s “media admirers” and a “media fan base” that refused to ask him tough questions. But the Journal had concerns:

Any potential FBI director deserves scrutiny, since the position has so much power and is susceptible to ruinous misjudgments and abuse. That goes double with Mr. Comey, a nominee who seems to think the job of the federal bureaucracy is to oversee elected officials, not the other way around, and who had his own hand in some of the worst prosecutorial excesses of the last decade.
Frank Quattrone

Let’s begin with the case of one Frank Quattrone, a banker who Comey pursued relentlessly on banking related charges without fruition. But while he couldn’t find any wrong-doing on criminal conduct, he went after him for supposed “obstruction of justice” because of a single ambiguous email. Sound familiar?

Before he was indicted, Comey made false statements about Quattrone and his intent. The first trial ended in a hung jury but the second one got a conviction.

That conviction was overturned in 2006. Quattrone was so scarred by the harassment, he began funding projects designed to help innocent people who are victims of prosecutorial overreach or other problems. He said his motivation for supporting such projects was that at the very moment he was found guilty in the second trial, he realized there must be innocent people in prisons who lacked the financial resources to fight for justice. He also started the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Quattrone has noted with interest the disparities in how he was treated by Comey for a single email compared to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server scandal.

Martha Stewart

You might remember Martha Stewart being sent to jail. You might not remember that James Comey was the man who put her there, and not because he was able to charge her for anything he began investigating her for. The original investigation was into whether Stewart had engaged in insider trading. They didn’t even try to get her on that charge. Gene Healy wrote about it in 2004, warning about federal prosecutorial overreach:

Comey didn’t charge Stewart with insider trading. Instead, he claimed that Stewart’s public protestations of innocence were designed to prop up the stock price of her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and thus constituted securities fraud. Stewart was also charged with making false statements to federal officials investigating the insider trading charge — a charge they never pursued. In essence, Stewart was prosecuted for “having misled people by denying having committed a crime with which she was not charged,” as Cato Institute Senior Fellow Alan Reynolds put it.
The pursuit was described as “vindictive” in the New York Times and “petty and vindictive” in The Daily Beast.

But she still served a five-month prison sentence.

Steven Hatfill
The FBI absolutely bungled its investigation into the Anthrax attacker who struck after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Carl Cannon goes through this story well, and it’s worth reading for how it involves both Comey and his dear “friend” and current special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI tried — in the media — its case against Hatfill. Their actual case ended up being thrown out by the courts:

Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure.
More from Cannon, recounting how messed up the attempt to convict Steven Hatfill for a crime he didn’t commit was:

In truth, Hatfill was an implausible suspect from the outset. He was a virologist who never handled anthrax, which is a bacterium. (Ivins, by contrast, shared ownership of anthrax patents, was diagnosed as having paranoid personality disorder, and had a habit of stalking and threatening people with anonymous letters – including the woman who provided the long-ignored tip to the FBI). So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they’d “alerted” on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.
When Bush administration officials were worried about the quality of the case Mueller and Comey had, the two men assured them. “Comey was ‘absolutely certain’ that it was Hatfill,” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said.

“Such certitude seems to be Comey’s default position in his professional life,” Cannon wrote. He shouldn’t have been certain in this case. After the six years the FBI spent destroying his life, they settled a $4.6 million lawsuit he filed and officially exonerated him.

Scooter Libby, Judith Miller
After pressuring John Ashcroft to recuse himself from the responsibility on the grounds of potential conflicts of interest, Comey gave Patrick Fitzgerald, his close personal friend and godfather to one of his children, the role of special counsel into the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. Some conflicts of interest are more important to Comey than others, apparently.

Fitzgerald immediately discovered that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the leaker. Of course, the FBI and Department of Justice had known that all along, so Comey’s push for a special counsel is … intriguing.

Not only did they not shut down the investigation that never needed to begin, Comey expanded its mandate within weeks. The three-year investigation was a cloud over the Bush administration and resulted in nothing but the jailing of a journalist for not giving up a source, and a dubious prosecution of Scooter Libby for, wait for it, obstruction of justice. Comey was unconcerned about the jailing of journalists and never threatened to resign over this infringement on First Amendment freedoms.

Hillary Clinton
Comey treated Hillary Clinton poorly by convicting her in the court of public opinion without giving her the chance to defend herself in a free and fair trial. But it’s interesting to note why Comey didn’t pursue charges against Clinton. He claimed — despite this not being a legal standard of relevance, that he didn’t think Clinton had intent. And while Clinton and her team engaged in massive evidence destruction shortly after subpoenas were issued, Comey — who was near-delirious in his pursuit of others on obstruction charges — didn’t seem to think anyone would be interested in prosecuting here.

Clinton had classified info on a private server, was extremely careless in handling that information, and had caused the destruction of evidence. The notion that “no reasonable prosecutor” would even try to charge her with the misdemeanors or felonies in question is beyond belief.

But there’s so much more to that case, such as upon learning that two Clinton staff members had classified information, the FBI didn’t subpoena those computers but gave the employees immunity in return for giving them up. The FBI severely limited their own searches for data on the computers and then destroyed them. A technician who destroyed evidence lied to FBI investigators even after he received immunity, and Comey did nothing. And after the FBI discovered that President Obama had communicated with Clinton on the non-secure server, Obama said he didn’t think Clinton should be charged with a crime because she hadn’t intended to harm national security. As former Attorney General Michael Mukasey noted, “As indefensible as his legal reasoning may have been, his practical reasoning is apparent: If Mrs. Clinton was at criminal risk for communicating on her nonsecure system, so was he.”

Did Comey pursue the case under the relevant laws or follow Obama’s wish that charges not be filed? In this case, he chose the latter. As a Wall Street Journal editorialist wrote last July, “Mr. Comey wasn’t ready to go it alone and impose accountability on Mrs. Clinton. That would have been tough. That would have been brave. He instead listed her transgressions in detail and left it to the public to pass judgment at the ballot box in November. That isn’t how the system is supposed to work. But Mr. Comey is no John Adams.”

Donald Trump
As the Journal noted in 2013, the media are enamored with Comey. Such blinders make it difficult to see problems with his own testimony. He claimed that his motivation to leak was to achieve the appointing of a special prosecutor. His very close friend — and associate in the bungled Hatfill prosecution — Robert Mueller was, in fact, named as a result of his leak. The immediate cause of the leak was, he said, Donald Trump telling him not to leak. Yet the day before that tweet, the New York Times ran a story headlined, “In a private dinner, Trump demanded loyalty. Comey demurred.” The information, as with the story about the memos Comey leaked, was sourced to associates of Comey. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out who was pushing this information.

More bizarre was his claim regarding the notes he kept before leaking. He said, inexplicably, that he never kept notes on his meetings with George Bush (he did) or Barack Obama but kept notes on Trump simply because he believed he was a liar. He said he viewed these notes as personal property, despite the fact that they were government work product, produced on classified computers in a government vehicle following a meeting with the President of the United States. We don’t know why the FBI is unable to deliver these memos to the investigative committees, or whether the FBI even has copies of them. But we do know that his claim to have not kept notes about his meeting with President Bush was false.

As John Hinderaker details, Barton Gellman wrote a book against Dick Cheney that used extensive notes from a meeting between Comey and President Bush. And the information contained therein reads very much similar to the Trump memos, down to the gratuitous grandfather clocks that are mentioned and 15 lines of dialogue in which Comey appears to be, however implausibly, the only virtuous man in Washington.

Comey’s case would require his friend Robert Mueller to agree that the president’s actions weren’t bad enough to make Comey do literally anything other than chat with subordinates about it and save notes in case of vengeance, but then somehow bad enough to be obstruction of justice. Mueller has fans within the D.C. establishment, but I’m not sure that’s a case he’d be willing to take on, no matter how many recipients of Comey leaks cheer him on.

There are many other examples of Comey’s poor judgment when it comes to obstruction of justice cases. But the idea that Comey should be trusted to lay out an impartial case for obstruction is going to be hard to swallow.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

DougMacG

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Re: The Russian hack, breached 39 states
« Reply #97 on: June 13, 2017, 09:11:14 AM »
We are a long way into this story without knowing what the Russians actually hacked, stole or changed.  This article in Bloomberg goes a long way to specifying that.

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-states-threatens-future-u-s-elections

Not mentioned is that this has nothing to do with Trump or Republicans and that the entire breach of internet happened under the watch of his bumbling predecessor.

The DNC was hacked.  RNC security held up to the outside threats.  Podesta fell for a phishing expedition.  Kellyanne Conway did not.

Elections are about vision and competence.  The Dems on attack keep showing neither.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 09:16:30 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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