|Too old to run, |
too mean to quit!
In a word yes, of course!
There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "
"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville
The Idaho Elk Hunter
|wishing we |
new article by John Solomon
Exculpatory Russia evidence about Mike Flynn that US intel kept secret
For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.
That silence was maintained even when former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates publicly claimed Flynn was possibly “compromised” by Moscow.
And when a Democratic senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief posed a “danger to this republic.”
And even when some media outlets opined about whether Flynn’s contacts with Russia were treasonous.
the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.
“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.
Were the information Grassley requested made public, America would have learned this, according to my sources:
-- Before Flynn made his infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow — as a retired general and then-adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — he alerted his former employer, the DIA.
-- He then attended a “defensive” or “protective” briefing before he ever sat alongside Vladimir Putin at the Russia Today (RT) dinner, or before he talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
-- The briefing educated and sensitized Flynn to possible efforts by his Russian host to compromise the former high-ranking defense official and prepared him for conversations in which he could potentially extract intelligence for U.S. agencies such as the DIA.
-- When Flynn returned from Moscow, he spent time briefing intelligence officials on what he learned during the Moscow contacts. Between two and nine intelligence officials attended the various meetings with Flynn about the RT event, and the information was moderately useful, about what one would expect from a public event, according to my sources.
The gap between the original portrayal of Flynn’s activities and the actual facts likely is one of the reasons a prosecutor working for special counsel Robert Mueller pointedly rejected a judge’s suggestion at Flynn’s aborted sentencing last month that the general might have engaged in treason.
There’s no sugar-coating the mistakes Flynn did make. By his own admission, he misled the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence about the fact that sanctions did come up in a December 2016 conversation with Kislyak, then Moscow’s ambassador to the United States. He didn’t file proper foreign-lobbying paperwork for money he received from Turkish sources. And he likely did not file the proper paperwork disclosing or seeking permission for the $45,000 in speaking and travel fees he got for the RT event.
Those are sins for which Flynn has paid, and will pay, dearly.
Flynn’s attendance at the RT event was disclosed in advance to the intelligence community, he took proactive steps to ensure he could not be compromised by attendees, and he then came back to the United States and reported intelligence designed to benefit America.
How many millions have the klinton kriminals gotten for "speaking" and have not (yet) had one iota of trouble from the gummint ?
Enough is enough.
Dogs are gifts from God, full of love. Save a life, adopt!
…and God made dogs, and it was very good, and God said: “I’m gonna have to have all of these back.” Genesis 1, gospel according to Mr. Monkey ✡
NRA Benefactor (Aug. 2018)
|wishing we |
REPs no longer control the House committees. They tried to get a status report from John Huber in Dec 2018. Huber declined to show.
REP representatives Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, and Doug Collins have sent a letter to Huber asking for general information.
The FBI has gone on record that Mueller can decide what can be released. It is always about "protecting" the Mueller investigation. The investigation that is never intended to end. At least not until it can no longer damage President Trump.
The fact that key witnesses have not been interviewed by Huber has led a number of people to worry that the Huber investigation has gone no where.
more at CTH
Huber is a red herring. A distraction set up by Sessions to buy more time for Mueller and the left. Nothing will come of his "investigation". For two years they kept runing out the clock, ignoring records requests, ignoring subpoenas, buying time until the elections. It worked.
Justice in this country is not decided by the Constitution and the laws as they are written, it is decided by your political affiliation.
Yes, and well detailed here at The Conservative Treehouse.
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy."
|Rule #1: Use enough gun|
Sessions put the pieces in place to protect the swamp before he was given the boot.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21
"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." -- George W. Bush
|wishing we |
1. Regarding the Mueller charges against the Russians and Concord Management.
Most people thought Judge Dabney Friedrich was not impressed by the charges that Mueller brought against Concord. (Based on various remarks she made)
“At first, it appeared as though Friedrich had a handle on the malarkey taking place. At the initial hearings, she denied the special counsel’s request to delay everything. She rightfully questioned the validity of the charges — especially the unprecedented charge of “conspiracy against the United States.””
The lawyer for Concord ( Eric Dubelier ) has been very critical of the charges and attitude of the prosecutor team. He has taunted them and ridiculed them. A few days ago, Judge Friedrich told Dubelier to “knock it off“.
We now find out:
Judge Dabney Langhorne Friedrich is the wife of Matthew Friedrich.
Matthew Friedrich is a longtime friend and colleague of Andrew Weissmann and Robert Mueller. They bonded on the Enron Task Force
“It was only by accident that six years after the first trial, new prosecutors gave us the evidence the Weissmann-Friedrich cabal had hidden from the trial counsel.”
Friedrich’s “victories” on the Enron Task Force catapulted him to Attorney General Mukasey’s acting assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, from whence he immediately rushed to indict then Sen. Ted Stevens.
Matt Friedrich micro-managed that prosecution to precision, and it was corrupted to its core. The entire case had to be thrown out, and the special prosecutor appointed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to investigate the Department of Justice found intentional, systematic, and pervasive misconduct within the department.
If for no reason other than the obvious appearance of a serious conflict of interest and bias, Judge Friedrich should recuse herself.
2. A blogger named Jeff Carlson claims he has seen the Lisa Page transcripts of her two day congressional testimony. Carlson has done good reporting on the Russia investigation; he seems like a serious reporter.
Lisa Page worked directly for DOJ official Bruce Ohr for at least five years
(one gigantic happy family)
while some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in July, the Counterintelligence investigative team did not receive it until mid-September during a trip to Rome where they met personally with Steele.
Rep.: Were you aware that Christopher Steele had conversations or multiple conversations with Fusion GPS and others outside of just working special intel for you?
Page: As of August of 2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life. So let me just sort of be clear. When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated. We don’t know for what purpose.
sounds very suspicious. The FISA warrant said Steele didn't know what the information was to be used for
According to Page’s testimony, she first learned of plans to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page approximately a month before the FISA was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.
(coincides with when Page says she saw the dossier)
Page had earlier referenced Steele’s handler:
“When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated.”
Page noted that she only traveled abroad once while she worked for McCabe, in December 2016, on official business in London. Strzok traveled with her, as did three other unnamed individuals. Page was prohibited by FBI counsel for detailing the purpose of her visit.
(Recall the very convenient missing Strzok / Page text messages from 15 Dec 2016 to 17 May 2017 ?)
The obama DoJ would not let the Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson laptops be examined by the FBI.
As to whether a charge could be brought under the “gross negligence” statute, Page noted “that’s a determination made by the Department [DOJ].” Notably, this determination was made before Clinton or anyone else had been interviewed by the FBI.
lots lots more in the article
The transcript reinforces that Steele had an FBI handler while he compiled the dossier.
We know FBI agent Gaeta got the first dump from Steele on 5 July 2016
|wishing we |
more from Epoch Times
Someone is leaking the transcripts
Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, told House lawmakers during a closed-door interview in late 2017 that other than the probe into Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server, he was not aware of any instance in which an FBI exoneration statement was drafted months prior to the conclusion of an investigation.
“ This is the only time that I am aware of, sir,” McCabe told a lawmaker, who asked him if it was “common practice” to lay out an exoneration statement two months prior to concluding an investigation, according to a transcript obtained by The Epoch Times.
Then-FBI Director James Comey had circulated a draft exoneration in May 2016—two months prior to concluding the investigation.
Representatives and staff from the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled McCabe during an 8-hour session on Dec. 21, 2017. Two days later, McCabe announced his retirement. McCabe was forced to resign from his active position on Jan. 29, 2018, and on March 16, 2018, the day before McCabe was to retire with a full pension, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him for lying to investigators about self-serving leaks to the media.
|wishing we |
The NYT put out an incredibly distorted and misleading story yesterday.
The story is this one:
"F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia"
The background on this is that there have been leaks about the transcripts of Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, and James Baker regarding their closed testimony to the House committees.
The worst distortion is a new story line where it was only after Donald Trump fired Comey that the FBI started an investigation into whether President Trump was working for Russia.
Comey was fired in May 2017.
What a gigantic pile of bullshit.
Comey started to work against Donald Trump in the spring of 2016. A year earlier than May 2017. Comey was briefing Obama's team about Carter Page's suspicious connections to Russia.
But Comey never warned Donald Trump.
It is highly likely Stefan Halper was an FBI/CIA spy to on the Trump campaign.
Christopher Steele was an FBI Confidential Human Source with an FBI handler while he wrote the dossier. His handler was likely FBI agent Gaeta.
Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Cohen, and Michael Flynn were all targeted by the FBI from the 2016 summer.
The initial Steele dossier reports were given to FBI agent Gaeta on 5 July 2016. FBI lawyer Lisa Page says the FBI counterintel group didn't see it until mid Sept 2016.
( hard to believe )
Then the Carter Page FISA warrant was signed mid October 2016.
In January 2017, Comey briefed Donald Trump just on the sex tape allegations from the dossier. Comey was still not giving the full story to President elect Trump.
Comey said the news media were looking for a "hook" to publish the dossier. On the second business day after Comey briefed Donald Trump, CNN was given their "hook" by someone. "Someone" told CNN that Comey had briefed Donald Trump. There are a handful of likely leakers on this. Such as Comey, Clapper, McCabe, etc
But it is really pure propaganda for the NYT to claim that the FBI didn't start investigating Donald Trump until May 2017.
Ben Wittes of Lawfare (a Comey good buddy) has taken up a similar false argument.
Don't believe anything out of Lawfare.
The only good thing from the NYT article is a cool pic of the Presidential limo door
President Trump tweets about the NYT article:
Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!
...Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),....
...the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop......
.....who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!
I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!
|wishing we |
I don't always agree w Andy McCarthy, but I think he nails this report
FBI Russia investigation was always about Trump
By Andrew McCarthy
On Friday night, the New York Times published what was clearly intended to be a blockbuster report that, following the firing of FBI director James Comey on May 9, 2017, the bureau formally opened an investigation of President Trump. But in truth, the only thing the story shows is that the FBI, after over a year of investigation, simply went overt about something that had been true from the first .
The investigation commenced during the 2016 campaign by the Obama administration – the Justice Department and the FBI – was always about Donald Trump.
We have to remember: The FBI believed the Steele dossier – the collection of faux intelligence reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was ultimately working for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Justice Department on four occasions brought surveillance applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), in which the FBI swore that it believed the dossier allegations.
Ostensibly, the surveillance application targeted Carter Page. But Page was just a side issue. The dossier was principally about Trump – not Page, not Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, or other Trump associates referred to by Steele. The dossier’s main allegation was that Trump was in an espionage conspiracy with Russia to swing the election to Trump, after which Trump would do Putin’s bidding from the White House. The FBI and the Obama Justice Department could not verify the dossier, but they undeniably believed it .
If you believe the dossier, then of course Trump is the main focus of the probe.
The FBI and DOJ knew this would be controversial – the incumbent administration spying on the opposition campaign in the absence of corroborated evidence of a crime. So, they designed the investigation in a way that allowed them to focus on Trump without saying they were doing so. Before Trump was elected, they papered the files to indicate that they were focusing on the Trump campaign or people connected to it, like Page and Papadopoulos. This way, they could try to collect evidence about Trump without formally documenting that Trump was the target.
After Trump was elected, the FBI realized that Trump was soon going to have access to government intelligence files. If they honestly told the president-elect that they had been investigating his campaign in hope of making a case on him, they had to be concerned that he would shut the investigation down and clean house at the FBI and DOJ. So, they misleadingly told him the investigation was about Russia and a few stray people in his campaign, but they assured him he personally was not under investigation.
This was not true. The investigation was always hoping to find something on Trump. That is why, for example, when director Comey briefed then-President-elect Trump about the Steele dossier, he told Trump only about the salacious allegation involving prostitutes in a Moscow hotel; he did not tell the president-elect either that the main thrust of the dossier was Trump’s purported espionage conspiracy with the Kremlin, nor that the FBI had gone to the FISC to get surveillance warrants based on the dossier. The FBI was telling the president-elect that the allegations were salacious and unverified, yet at that very moment they were presenting them to a federal court as information the judges could rely on to authorize spying .
Later, though Comey repeatedly told President Trump he was not a suspect, he gave House testimony patently geared to lead the public and the media to believe Trump was a suspect – which is exactly how the media reported it. In so doing, the FBI (and the Obama holdovers in the Justice Department who authorized Comey’s testimony) violated DOJ rules about publicly confirming the existence of an investigation, and publicly identifying a subject of an investigation: the Trump campaign, which Comey publicly announced was suspected of “coordinating” in the Kremlin’s widely reported cyberespionage interference in the 2016 campaign.
Comey’s firing on May 9, 2017, was not the start of an investigation of Trump. It was the point when the FBI and Justice Department rashly determined that they finally had a crime to pin on Trump — obstruction. In their haste and overconfidence, they rationalized that (a) Comey’s firing must have been intended to impede the Russia investigation, and that they could couple this with; (b) the claim that Trump may have impeded the Flynn investigation – based on a memo Comey leaked to the New York Times a few days after his firing.
Legally, none of this was obstruction. Yet, the FBI and Justice Department settled on this novel and flawed legal theory: Even though the president has constitutional authority to fire subordinates and weigh in on investigations, he may somehow still be prosecuted for obstruction if a prosecutor concludes that his motive was improper. Of course, even though he could have, Trump never actually took any steps to interfere in the investigations of Russia (which is still continuing) or Flynn (who later was indicted and pled guilty).
Yet the FBI, hot-headed over the director’s dismissal, concluded that this obstruction theory was a sound enough basis to go overt with the case on Trump they had actually been trying to make for many months.
Remember, it is not just that the FBI formally opened an investigative file on Trump. There was talk between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and acting FBI director Andrew McCabe of wiring up against the president — i.e., conducting covert surveillance to try to record Trump making damaging statements. There was also talk of invoking the 25th Amendment – of claiming Trump was too incapacitated to perform his duties. And finally, on May 17, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to pursue the Trump-Russia investigation.
But all of these steps were just a matter of finally being overt about something that had been true for over a year: The FBI was conducting a probe to try to make a criminal case on Trump. Because they did not have solid evidence of a crime, they did it under counterintelligence authority rather than criminal authority – calculating that the cover of probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election would enable them to keep investigating while they tried to tighten up the obstruction case or find some other criminal offense.
Make no mistake, though: The investigation was always about Donald Trump, from Day One.
|Lawyers, Guns |
True... Trump was targeted by the FBI, even before the election.
But, after the election it gets even worse. That's when they needed their 'insurance policy'.
The purpose of the Mueller investigation is not only to target Trump but to cover up for the FBI, DOJ, Hillary and Obama. They all thought Hillary would win... but when she didn't they knew they had to cover their own malfeasance.
"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown
"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
|wishing we |
The NYT article identified above is so outrageous that several people have written lengthy negative reviews of the article.
This one is from Molly Hemingway. She captures my thoughts on how arrogant and absurd the "logic" is about justifying an investigation into Donald Trump.
well worth a careful read
Because the FBI didn't like President Trump's foreign policy,
and because Comey was fired,
and because Donald Trump was not going to be bullied by a rogue FBI,
well, they would just have to investigate him without any evidence of wrong doing.
They choose to investigate the President of the United States because his actions offended them .
By Mollie Hemingway
In a Friday night news dump, the New York Times revealed the FBI’s surprisingly flimsy justification for launching a retaliatory investigation into President Donald Trump, their chief adversary during their recent troubled era.
Admitting there is no actual evidence for their probe into whether Trump “worked for the Russians,” FBI officials instead cited their foreign policy differences with him, his lawful firing of bungling FBI Director James Comey, and alarm that he accurately revealed to the American public that he was told he wasn’t under investigation by the FBI, when they preferred to hide that fact.
The news was treated as a bombshell, and it was, but not for the reasons many thought. It wasn’t news that the FBI had launched the investigation. Just last month, CNN reported that top FBI officials opened an investigation into Trump after the lawful firing of Comey because Trump “needed to be reined in,” a shocking admission of abuse of power by our nation’s top law enforcement agency .
The Washington Post reported Mueller was looking into whether Trump obstructed the Russia investigation by insisting he was innocent of the outlandish charges selectively leaked by government officials to compliant media. Perhaps because such an obstruction investigation was immediately condemned as scandalous political overreach, that aspect was downplayed while Mueller engaged in a limitless “Russia” probe that has rung up countless Trump affiliates for process crimes unrelated to treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election, and spun off various investigations having nothing to do with Russia in any way.
The latest Times report does provide more detail than these earlier reports, however, and none of it makes the FBI look good. In fact, it provides evidence of a usurpation of constitutional authority to determine foreign policy that belongs not with a politically unaccountable FBI but with the citizens’ elected president. More on that in a bit.
Using leaked information and testimony from various former governmental officials, we learn that the FBI opened its aggressive, norm-breaking, and unconstitutional investigation, supposedly into whether Trump “worked for the Russians,” after he fired Comey and revealed how the agency was playing games with their spurious “Russia” probe.
The Saturday New York Times article appeared on page one, above the fold, with the almost laughable headline “F.B.I. Investigated if Trump Worked for the Russians.” The online version of the story was headlined “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.” Nine paragraphs into the story, the reporters admit that there is and was literally “no evidence” to support the idea Trump worked for Russia .
The top of the article, however, immediately presented the FBI-friendly interpretation of the agency’s motivations as fact — without evidence and despite strong evidence to the contrary — saying the FBI began its investigation because they were “so concerned by the president’s behavior” rather than saying it was because they were “so concerned he’d continue to expose their behavior” or “so concerned he’d hold them accountable for their political investigations.”
The article accepts FBI spin that arguing for better relations with the nuclear-armed Russia “constituted a possible threat to national security” that could only be explained if Trump was “knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.” Because FBI officials personally opposed Trump’s foreign policy, and that of the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him, the FBI was “suspicious” of him , we’re told. The reporters admit the reckless decision by FBI officials was “an aggressive move” that disturbs many former law enforcement officials.
The FBI never had a good reason to investigate Trump, according to information in the article, but even the justifications they use are erroneous. For example, all three items mentioned here are inaccurately framed and presented:
Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.
First, Trump never called on Russia to hack Clinton , despite repeated media claims to the contrary. Clinton had already destroyed her server, along with 30,000 emails she claimed were about yoga, while she was under investigation for mishandling classified information. Trump was highlighting that tons of hackers could have already accessed her insecure server when it still existed and, if they had, those emails should be released so that Americans would know what foreign governments undoubtedly already did. It was a way to highlight her reckless handling of classified information and the global security concerns of that.
Second, having a foreign policy different from those who seek conflict with Russia is neither a problem nor any of the FBI’s business . In fact, it’s a big part of why the American people voted for Trump. The American people get to determine who sets foreign policy, and they do so through elections. The FBI does not get to set foreign policy by running criminal and counterintelligence investigations to punish those who step outside their preferred approach. They have no constitutional authority to do that.
Third, even if the Republican Party had changed its convention platform regarding Ukraine, which it had not, that is also neither a problem nor any of the FBI’s business . It’s shocking and scandalous that the FBI thinks it should criminalize foreign policy disputes.
The FBI argues, without evidence, that the president needed to be investigated as a threat to national security. Keep in mind that the FBI did not act this way during the previous administration, when many of Barack Obama’s detractors argued his foreign policy was a threat to national security. They didn’t investigation collusion with Iran, or the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to the regime. Neither did they do such things with any previous president.
It’s good that they didn’t, because Article II of the U.S. Constitution gives the authority to determine foreign policy to the president, not the director or acting director of the FBI. Harvard law professor and former Comey deputy Jack Goldsmith expands on this:
One danger in the what the FBI apparently did is that it implies that the unelected domestic intelligence bureaucracy holds itself as the ultimate arbiter—over and above the elected president who is the constitutional face of U.S. intelligence and national security authority—about what actions do and don’t serve the national security interests of the United States.
The article says that the FBI was, unbelievably, discussing whether they could go after Trump because he asked if Comey was loyal. It does not mention that Comey promised his loyalty or the context of Trump’s question, which was rampant leaking by the FBI, Comey’s blackmail attempt before Trump was inaugurated, and obvious game-playing against him and his administration with the Russia probe.
The FBI ultimately decided to act when Trump told the truth and revealed some of their game-playing with the Russia probe . He wanted to send a letter to Comey in which he thanked Comey for telling him he was not a subject of the Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted him to hide that fact.
Rosenstein, it’s worth remembering, wrote the memo explaining why Comey was so bad at his job, a view that was completely confirmed by the inspector general’s report on the Clinton email probe. When Trump fired Comey, in part for his incompetent handling of political investigations such as those mentioned in Rosenstein’s memo, Rosenstein used that as the predicate to launch what became the special counsel investigation against Trump.
In any case, Trump told Rosenstein to tell the truth even if he wanted to keep it hidden. Rosenstein refused, irritating Trump, according to the New York Times. Trump told the truth to the American public — which Comey was later forced to admit under oath — that Comey had told him three times he was not under investigation.
According to the New York Times, by not going along with the FBI’s game — privately admitting to Trump that he wasn’t under investigation while publicly suggesting otherwise or leaking numerous snippets of information, selectively curated and framed to suggest he was — the FBI grew concerned that he was a Russian agent. Readers would be forgiven for thinking that makes no sense whatsoever and that it’s more plausible they were concerned their behavior against Trump would be exposed.
Their other justification for targeting their political foe was that Trump publicly flat-out said he didn’t like the game Comey was playing with the Russia investigation. They decided, we’re told, to interpret, or pretend to interpret, this as obstruction.
‘I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it,’ he said. ‘And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.’
Mr. Trump’s aides have said that a fuller examination of his comments demonstrates that he did not fire Mr. Comey to end the Russia inquiry. ‘I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people,’ Mr. Trump added. ‘He’s the wrong man for that position.’
Angered by Trump’s critique of Comey’s double-dealing regarding the Russia probe, the FBI retaliated with an investigation.
While it’s not mentioned in the article, hours after Comey was fired, top FBI officials and paramours Lisa Page and Peter Strzok texted about the need to open a “case” against Trump they’d already been discussing in a “formal, chargeable way” and that it had to be done “while Andy is acting.” The texts also mention “Bill”–believed to be FBI counterintelligence head Bill Priestap–being in on the plot.
“Andy” is then-deputy director Andrew McCabe, who took over the bureau until Christopher Wray was confirmed as director in August 2017. McCabe was later fired for repeatedly lying under oath about just one of many of his rampant leaks to friendly reporters and is reportedly under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury. Strzok was also fired for his behavior, Page resigned, and Priestap announced his retirement last month. It is unclear which officials in the Department of Justice authorized the unconstitutional investigation into the president as a national security threat because he didn’t share their foreign policy views.
It was important for this group to launch the official investigation into Trump while McCabe was acting director because they reasonably understood it wouldn’t happen if an FBI director outside their control took over the agency. The opening of an investigation followed a pattern of shocking behavior by the FBI, including Comey telling Trump that there was information floating around about an alleged videotape showing prostitutes urinating on a bed while he watched (there is zero evidence that such a videotape exists or that the alleged event it memorialized ever took place).
Government officials leaked the fact of that briefing to CNN almost immediately, one of the key moments that got the outlandish Russia conspiracy story started. Even Comey admitted that his behavior looked a lot like a blackmail or extortion attempt, which he strenuously denied it was. The move backfired because Trump immediately realized the FBI was playing games. McCabe also launched an investigation of former attorney general Jeff Sessions, before Sessions recused himself from holding the FBI accountable for their handling of the Russia probe.
In sum, the framing of this New York Times article is either poorly conceived or outright disingenuous at every turn. Using the completely lawful and constitutional firing of the bumbling Comey as pretext for opening a criminal investigation into the president is a grand abuse of power by the FBI. Attempting to overtake the authority to determine U.S. foreign policy from the lawfully determined president of the United States is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
For one of the nation’s largest newspapers to suggest that this makes the president — and not the FBI — look bad actually validates two of Trump’s biggest complaints: the media are hopelessly biased, and there really is a “deep state” out to overturn the 2016 election.
RT's always good alternate source.
Has Bruce Ohrs Testimony transcripts made any news?
The butcher with the sharpest knife has the warmest heart.
|wishing we |
Leaks are coming out from closed door congressional testimony from various FBI and DoJ officials.
Lisa Page said the counterintel investigation team didn't know of the Steele material until midSept 2016
But Bruce Ohr said he met w Steele on 30 July 2016, and briefed Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page on 31 July 2016.
Someone is not telling the truth.
MHO: The FBI is desperately trying to hide how much they relied on the Steele dossier to start the investigation and get the Carter Page FISA warrant.
The FBI knows now the dossier is bullshit. If it comes out that they believed it back in 2016, they will look like idiots or conartists. Probably both.
The FBI believed it because they (as Clinton supporters) wanted to believe it. Its called "Confirmation Bias" and its what led all those pompous idiots (who were promoted by a Democratic administration) to happily go along with "weaponizing" what was supposed to be a law enforcement agency into a political hit squad. They made the Nixon administration's "plumbers" look like amateurs.
"I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."
|wishing we |
Kimberly Strassel, WSJ today 18 Jan 2019
Everybody of consequence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department understood fully in the middle of 2016—as the FBI embarked on its counterintelligence probe of Donald Trump—that it was doing so based on disinformation provided by Hillary Clinton’s campaign
That’s the big revelation from the transcript of the testimony Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave Congress in August. The transcripts haven’t been released, but parts were confirmed for me by congressional sources.
Mr. Ohr testified that he sat down with dossier author Christopher Steele on July 30, 2016, and received salacious information the opposition researcher had compiled on Mr. Trump. Mr. Ohr immediately took that to the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andy McCabe and lawyer Lisa Page .
In August he took it to Peter Strzok, the bureau’s lead investigator. In the same month, Mr. Ohr believes, he briefed senior personnel in the Justice Department’s criminal division: Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, lawyer Zainab Ahmad and fraud unit head Andrew Weissman. The last two now work for special counsel Robert Mueller.
More important, Mr. Ohr told this team the information came from the Clinton camp and warned that it was likely biased, certainly unproven.
“When I provided [the Steele information] to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information,” he testified. “I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware. These guys were hired by somebody relating to—who’s related to the Clinton campaign, and be aware.”
He said he told them that Mr. Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected,” and that his own wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, which compiled the dossier. He confirmed sounding all these warnings before the FBI filed its October application for a surveillance warrant against Carter Page . We broke some of this in August, though the transcript provides new detail.
The FBI and Justice Department have gone to extraordinary lengths to muddy these details, with cover from Democrats and friendly journalists. A January 2017 memo from Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, flatly (and incorrectly) insisted “the FBI’s closely-held investigative team only received Steele’s reporting in mid-September.” A May 2018 New York Times report repeated that claim, saying Mr. Steele’s reports didn’t reach the “Crossfire Hurricane team,” which ran the counterintelligence investigation, until “mid-September.”
This line was essential for upholding the claim that the dossier played no role in the unprecedented July 31, 2016, decision to investigate a presidential campaign
Former officials have insisted they rushed to take this dramatic step on the basis of a conversation involving a low-level campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, which took place in May, before the dossier officially came into the picture. And maybe that is the case. Yet now Mr. Ohr has testified that top personnel had dossier details around the time they opened the probe.
The Ohr testimony is also further evidence that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in its Page warrant application. We already knew the bureau failed to inform the court it knew the dossier had come from a rival campaign. But the FISA application additionally claimed the FBI was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to Mr. Steele, that he was “reliable,” that his “reporting” in this case was “credible.” and that the FBI only “speculates” that Mr. Steele’s bosses “likely” wanted to “discredit” Mr. Trump.
Speculates? Likely? Mr. Ohr makes clear FBI and Justice officials knew from the earliest days that Mr. Steele was working for the Clinton campaign, which had an obvious desire to discredit Mr. Trump. And Mr. Ohr specifically told investigators that they had every reason to worry Mr. Steele’s work product was tainted.
This testimony has two other implications. First, it further demonstrates the accuracy of the House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ memo of 2018—which noted Mr. Ohr’s role and pointed out that the FBI had not been honest about its knowledge of the dossier and failed to inform the court of Mrs. Ohr’s employment at Fusion GPS. The testimony also destroys any remaining credibility of the Democratic response, in which Mr. Schiff and his colleagues claimed Mr. Ohr hadn’t met with the FBI or told them anything about his wife or about Mr. Steele’s bias until after the election
Second, the testimony raises new concerns about Mr. Mueller’s team. Critics have noted Mr. Weissman’s donations to Mrs. Clinton and his unseemly support of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s obstruction of Trump orders. It now turns out that senior Mueller players were central to the dossier scandal. The conflicts of interest boggle the mind.
The Ohr testimony is evidence the FBI itself knows how seriously it erred. The FBI has been hiding and twisting facts from the start.
couldn't agree more
j/k, none of us are shocked of course. That this was in the WSJ is good though.
“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik
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Jeff Carlson has a new post up about the James Baker congressional testimony.
Jeff Carlson at
I want to break out just one piece and later write about some other things.
James Baker was General Counsel for the FBI. He worked directly for Comey and Andrew McCabe
One of the things about the dossier that I never understood were pages 25 and 26. This report was dated 14 Sept 2016 and talked about Russian "Alpha" group's connection to Putin.
It never mentioned any connection to Donald Trump or the Trump campaign. Why was it there ?
Maybe we now know why. In the information from Baker's testimony just released, we find out that Michael Sussman (a partner at Perkins Coie) met with James Baker on 19 Sep 2016 .
Sussman told FBI General Counsel Baker about detailed alleged communications between servers in Trump Tower and servers in Russia at Alfa Bank. (this was eventually debunked)
So the FBI sees a Steele report from 14 Sep tying Alpha to Putin, and days later Perkins Coie tells Baker that Trump Tower servers were communicating with Alfa Bank.
(The dossier misspelt Alfa. The dossier named 3 Russians associated with Alpha, that are actually associated with Alfa Bank. Those 3 Russians were not charged by Mueller. And those 3 Russians are suing about the dossier.)
Do you think those events were a coincidence ?
If the FBI was evaluating the dossier for verification, Sussman's input to Baker would have been a factor.
Steele, Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie played a very complex game to make the dossier look true. Talk about tradecraft. Opposition Research turned into Opposition Guided Missile offensive direct action
BTW, Sussman was also the lawyer who spearheaded the handling of the alleged hack of the DNC servers. The FBI never examined the DNC servers.
adding info on Michael Sussman
Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Sussman worked 12 years for Department of Justice. Sussman was a contributing author to DOJ's manuals on Prosecuting Computer Crimes, Searching and Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence in Criminal Investigations and Prosecuting Intellectual Property Crimes.
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more from the Epoch Times article on James Baker testimony
Remember how James Comey emphasized how all the FBI people involved in the Clinton email investigation thought she should not be prosecuted ?
And how Comey knew she should not be prosecuted for months before his announcement ?
from the Baker testimony
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