69 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-3-18

  1. In a different world where Republicans have backbones and slightly higher IQs:


  2. So where is all those “grave dangers to national security” this memo was supposed to cause?

    Why all the drama from Dems if this is just meaningless?

    Answer, it’s not meaningless, since shows a pattern of abuse at the DoJ and FBI. But that’s the new narrative, so they run with it.


    “Professor Jonathan Turley has an interesting take on the Nunes memo over at The Hill. Turley says the contents are “enlightening” in some respects but also concedes the document is a summary of other material and testimony which needs to be viewed in context before coming to any firm conclusions. However, he points out another problem which isn’t getting nearly as much attention. What happened to the dire threats to national security we were told were contained in this memo?

    My greatest concern is what is not in the [memo]: classified information “jeopardizing national security.” Leaders like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared that the committee had moved beyond “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security” and “disregarded the warnings of the Justice Department and the FBI.”

    Now we can read the memo. There is a sharp and alarming disconnect between the descriptions of Pelosi and the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Minority Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the actual document. It clearly does not contain information that would reveal sources or methods.

    The memo reaffirms concerns over the lower standards that apply to FISA applications as well as the misuse of classification authority. Most of this memo references what was already known about the use of the dossier. What was added was testimonial evidence and details to the publicly known information. Yet, the FBI vehemently objected to the release of the memo as threatening “grave” consequences to national security…

    The FBI opposition to declassification of this memo should be a focus of both Congress and the public. The memo is clearly designed to avoid revealing classified information. For civil libertarians, this is a rare opportunity to show how classified rules are misused for strategic purposes by these agencies. The same concern can be directed toward members who read this memo and represented to the public that the release would clearly damage national security.”

    So why the delay tactics and foot dragging?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing that has become clear is that the DNC used a known foreign agent with known deep ties to Russia to try to influence the outcome of the election by attempting to frame Trump of collusion with a foreign government. The only apparent collusion is with the DNC. I don’t know how they are escaping investigation given the significant use made of their ‘salacious and unverified’ and ‘minimally verified’ handiwork. The fact that they were unsuccessful in obtaining the goal of the presidency should not matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One, then two.

    Check and check.


    “The first of tactic was to contest the factual assertions, using anonymous source (of course). Jim Sciutto of CNN did the dirty work, claiming that the FISA warrant didn’t really rely on the Steele Dossier, apparently implying that even if the FISA Court was deceived about dossier, it doesn’t matter– a very dubious argument.

    It did not take long for Representative Lee Zeldin, who actually heard McCabe’s testimony and knows that the transcript of it can and will be released after going through the declassification process used on the Nunes Memo, to destroy this argument:

    This tactic of contesting the facts won’t stand the test of time but that is almost beside the point. The initial strategy of the media is to comfort their constituency that the Nunes Memo is no big deal, not really worth taking seriously. They don’t want them to focus on the seriousness of the abuse, the weaponization of the universal electronic monitoring capabilities of the NSA to spy on the political opposition.”


    “Faced with evidence of criminality in weaponizing the NSA spy apparatus for use against the Republican presidential nominee, a second tactic was rolled out yesterday by the many enemies of Trump in the media and political establishment. Let’s call it “inversion.” Instead of putting responsibility for corrupting the FBI and Department of Justice on those who corrupted them, the inversion strategy blames those who exposed the corruption. ”

    ““The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests ― no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s,” McCain added. “The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.””

    “So, shut up, because complaining does the work of Putin. It’s the same old “Russia, Russia, Russia!” strategy we’ve seen for almost a year and half, with a new paint job. A simple thought experiment demonstrates the idiocy of this tactic. Apply this same reasoning to #BlackLivesMatter complaints about the police. Those who criticize the police are undermining our faith in the key institution of law enforcemnet and doing the work of the criminal class. “

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s time to drag Comey back in to answer for this.


    “Comey did not specifically deny any of the conclusions and facts in the Memo. He did not say what facts, if any, are “dishonest.” He is free to give a news conference, as he did when he gave Hillary a pass, and explain why he signed a FISA application without informing the Court that the Steele dossier was paid for by Hillary and the DNC. He can explain why he did not believe this affected the credibility of Steele.

    Comey is correct that the Memo may have destroyed the relationship with the FISA Court because now the Court knows it was misled by the Obama FBI and Obama DOJ.

    Comey is also correct that the Memo has “wrecked” the Intelligence Committee because now it is confirmed that the Democrats on the committee knew that the FISA warrants were based on the discredited Steele Dossier, but the Democrats kept lying that Trump “colluded” with Russia to divert attention. The only thing “wrecked” is whatever credibility Adam Schiff and the Dems had.

    Comey’s concern that the Memo disclosed the investigation of an American citizen, Carter Page, makes no sense. We knew that Page was investigated. Comey should be concerned that Page was investigated based on a FISA warrant that lacked probable cause because Comey did not fully inform the Court about Steele.

    Comey is also correct that this destroyed trust with the Intelligence community. But it is because the Intelligence community, led by Comey, did not fully inform the FISA Court.

    Comey ignores the obvious point that it is the conduct of Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and others in the Obama FBI and Obama DOJ that caused the lack of trust. The Memo only discloses and confirms the conduct of Comey and the others.

    Comey and the Dems are blaming the messenger, the memo, instead of those who used the Steele dossier.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Note how this sham worked. It’s all circular. You leak info to pet journalists, they run stories, then you use the stories they run as corroboration of what you allege to get a warrant.


    “Among the deceptions used in the application to the FISA Court to weaponize the NSA’s surveillance capabilities against the Republican candidate for president was a fake claim that media reports “corroborated” the information in the Steele Dossier. Those media reports were all based on the Dossier itself, which was peddled to the media by Glenn Simpson (former Wall Street Journal reporter with many journalist friends) and his company Fusion GPS.

    Michael Isikoff, who currently writes for Yahoo News, published one such article completely based on the Dossier on September 23, 2016, and it was used as corroboration in the FISA warrant application. On his podcast for Yahoo News, oddly (or appropriately?) called “Skullduggery,” he expressed shock that his work could ever be used for the purpose of corroboration, since he had no independent sources beyond the Dossier itself. Chuck Ross summarizes it for the Daily Caller:

    Isikoff was shocked, he said, because his very article was based on information that came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier. He said it was “a bit beyond me” that the FBI would use his article in the FISA application.

    “Obviously the information that I got from Christopher Steele was information the FBI already had,” he said, noting that Steele began sharing information from his dossier in July 2016.

    Isikoff acknowledged the potential problem with the DOJ and FBI citing his article to support the FISA against Page.

    “It’s self-referential,” he said of the article and its reliance on the dossier.

    “My story is about the FBI’s own investigation,” he continued.

    “So it seems a little odd that they would be citing the Yahoo! News story about the matter that they are investigating themselves based on the same material that had been separately presented to the FBI before I was ever briefed by Christopher Steele.”

    Odd, as in “criminal misrepresentation to a federal judge.””

    Liked by 3 people

  7. AJ, I’m convinced Comey is no good, but I think this opening line of the article you linked overstates the case regarding FISA:

    The Nunes Memo confirms that the basis for the FISA warrants to spy on Trump associates was the Steele “dossier,”….

    I don’t even think the memo states it that way, and even if it did, the most that could be said is that the memo *alleges* the basis is the dossier. No?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was assuming that Nunes has read the FISA application and warrant. If he has, he would know the basis of the requests—surely the application would spell that out wouldn’t it? They’re going to have to release the evidence to clear this up it seems. :–)


  9. Anyone who thinks that Carter Page was the ultimate target of the FISA warrant is very naive. Trump was the prime target all along. If the warrant wasn’t intended to justify the Special Counsel, what specific crime was being investigated that justified it? Pretty simple question…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What I’m seeing is the sides further entrenched–lovely friends on FB calling it an attempted coup by the Republican party (???) other side claiming it reveals a desperate covert coup attempt by the Democratic-minions at the DOJ and FBI.

    For the rest of us eating popcorn out here and thinking about how to pay our taxes, it demonstrates yet again how out of touch our corrupt officials on both sides are to real life.

    BTW, our trash pick up rates went up 30% at home and 230% at church–why did our elected officials decide that we all need to be broke here in fire-ravaged northern California?

    Perhaps they needed extra funding for the $29 million dollars they are paying out of state and country companies to do their planning department work to “help” us? 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Looks like the State Dept is in on it too. It’s all circular. Again.


    “‘The Obama administration was attempting to disseminate that material widely across the government in order to aid in future investigations’ – The Baltimore Sun

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 42 pages of heavily redacted State Department documents containing classified information that was provided to Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. The documents show Russian political interference in elections and politics in countries across Europe.

    According to a March 2017 report in the Baltimore Sun: “Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin received classified information about Russia’s involvement in elections when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate that material widely across the government in order to aid in future investigations, according to a report Wednesday … Obama officials were concerned, according to the report [in The New York Times, below], that the Trump administration would cover up intelligence once power changed hands.”

    In March 2017, former Obama Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admitted that there was surveillance of President’s Trump’s campaign and leaking of intelligence information. She encouraged people in the administration and on the Hill to “get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves … I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more … That’s why you have the leaking.”

    In a section of the documents provided to Cardin titled “Political Parties” and marked as sensitive, Russia reportedly sought to foster relationships with groups in Germany, Austria, and France, to include paying members to travel to conferences in Crimea and Donbas “where they stoutly defend Russian policy.”

    The following section titled “Pro-Kremlin NGOs and Think Tanks,” also marked as sensitive, discusses the Russian government funded Caucasus Research Network, which helped to spread anti-EU and NATO reports throughout the region. Also discussed is the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, which was founded by Natalia Veselnitskaya. The Initiative was reportedly “working to erode support for the Magnitsky Act (which imposes sanctions on … gross human rights violations). The organization screened an anti-Magnitsky film at Washington’s Newseum in June.”

    The Magnitsky Act attracted public attention earlier this year when it was reported Veselnitskaya obtained a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. with the purpose of seeking to undermine the act. It was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to repeal the act at least in part because it targeted top Russian officials who had committed human rights violations and were the beneficiaries of a $230-million tax fraud that Magnitsky exposed.

    “These documents show the Obama State Department under John Kerry gathered and sent its own dossier of classified information on Russia to Senator Ben Cardin, a political ally in the U.S. Senate, to undermine President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch will pursue information on who pulled this classified information, who authorized its release, and why was it evidently dumped just days before President Trump’s inauguration.””


  12. And why is a judge hiding Comey’s memo’s?


    “On the same day the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the Nunes memo showing the FBI relied on the salacious and unverified Trump dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a federal judge ruled to withhold the Comey memos. The memos, authored by former FBI Director James Comey, are about his nine private conversations with President-elect and President Trump.

    U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who ruled in favor of the FBI’s request to keep the Comey memos secret, also sits on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The FISA court is the same court that approved the surveillance on Trump associates.

    Boasberg refused to release the documents on the basis they were still being used by special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of the alleged Russian collusion with Trump associates.

    The judge ruled, “the Comey Memos, at least for now, will remain in the hands of the Special Counsel and not the public.”

    “It’s unfortunate, but not at all surprising, to see a FISA court judge side with secrecy over transparency on the very day the House Intelligence Committee released a very troubling example of abuse of trust within the FISA system,” said Christopher Bedford, the editor-in-chief of TheDCNF.”

    It sure is. Some might even call it questionable.


  13. The House is already asking questions about the State Dept. too. More shoes will drop.


    “Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) revealed Friday that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee would examine other agencies, including the State Department, after releasing a controversial memo alleging surveillance abuses.

    Speaking on Fox News just hours after Republicans on the committee released a memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), Nunes said the panel was moving to “phase two” of its investigation.

    “We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” Nunes said.

    “That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”

    Nunes was asked whether his panel would be releasing additional memos as part of their probe after the White House declassified information to allow the release of a memo alleging that senior FBI and DOJ officials abused their powers to spy on members of President Trump’s campaign.”


  14. Tychicus, Carter Page has been the subject of numerous FISA warrants due to his suspicious contacts with Russians who were later deported or arrested as spies. The first was in 2014. Trump started his campaign in the summer of 2015. Page joined the campaign sometime later. You say we are naive not to think Trump was the ultimate target of the FISA warrant on Page. Do you believe that Nostradamus was the person who requested the first few FISA warrants on Page?


  15. Ricky, the FBI had surveilled Page because they felt the Russians were trying to recruit him. They subsequently talked to him, and Page refuted he was in contact with any official trying to recruit him. The case was closed. That episode was minimal in the Oct, 2016 FISA Request – the dossier was the focus. Comey had told candidate Trump about the dossier, and said it was salacious and not verified. It was used for the initial request. and also three renewal requests. I hope that you can see the problem here.


  16. Tychicus, Here is a lengthy article on Page.


    Comey told Trump and the committee in his testimony that the dossier contained material that was salacious and unverified (the pee tape). Nunes misrepresented his testimony. Debra and I went through that issue at some length on yesterday’s thread. Red State did a good article on the subject which I posted yesterday. Hopefully, I was able to convince Debra that Page flying on a plane to Moscow or Putin getting mad at an aide or Trump looking for business in Russia was not salacious.


  17. Is “Trump” the same person as Trump or is “Trump” another one of his imaginary friends like John Barron?


  18. Ricky, Pres. Trump certainly isn’t the best speller, yet consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in 17 years, among many other very good things that have already happened during his short presidency.

    Let me ask you to put on your lawyer’s hat, and give me your legal opinion: Did Hillary and the DNC collude with the Russians by paying for the dossier?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. So they used a middle man (Steele) and paid to get info from Russian agents and intel sources, who provided them unverified dirt on their opponent, which they used against said opponent, spread to the press, and launched bogus investigations based off of the info, but you don’t see collusion?

    But you do with Trump, despite no evidence?

    OK then…… I’ll mark you down as playing willfully ignorant.


  20. I know, and Hillary killed Seth Rich and there was a pedophile ring operating out of the pizza parlor and The Memo is bigger than Watergate and the American Revolution and there really isn’t a cult.


  21. I haven’t been closely following this whole thing, so I don’t know if this will be relevant to anyone here, but here’s this piece I saw today. . .

    ” *Devin Nunes, the congressman who authored a disputed memo alleging improper surveillance of Trump associates by the FBI and the Department of Justice, admitted he didn’t view the underlying intelligence on which he based the memo.

    *Nunes made that assertion during an interview on Fox News Friday, hours after the memo was released to the public.

    *Nunes’ remark confirms statements made by his Democratic counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who argued that Nunes was not forthcoming in the process of producing the memo.”


    Liked by 2 people

  22. AJ @5:11 One little correction. I do not “see collusion” with Trump. My constant position (which I admit is just an educated guess) is that Trump foolishly framed himself with regard to “collusion”. What do I mean by that?

    1. The dominant Democrat position is that Trump actively conspired with Russia to steal the election and with an assist from James Comey was successful.

    2. You have stated the interesting Trumper position @ 5:11.

    3. My position (a third alternative): Although there was that awkward meeting with Junior at Trump Tower, I would be surprised if Mueller found a crime connected with “collusion” worth prosecuting. Collusion is not a crime. If there was a crime it would be conspiracy to violate election laws. I don’t expect an indictment on that front.

    I do think Trump obstructed justice in the manner of Nixon or Bill Clinton. He did so in various ways, most notably and hilariously as confessed to Lester Holt. This is how he “framed himself”. He acted incredibly guilty including all manner of interference with a criminal investigation of his own campaign.

    This is why the Democrats think Trump must be guilty of something horrible involving Russia. Otherwise he would not have attempted the coverup. The Democrats are thinking Trump is like Nixon and Bill Clinton who knew obstruction of justice was a crime.

    But look at Trump’s illiterate Tweet @2:20. He has a 6 year old’s understanding of obstruction of justice. There is the beautiful symmetry. Trump’s ignorance of obstruction of justice perfectly matches Hillary’s ignorance in the realm of cyber-security. In the end ignorance will wind up being a defense for both of them.


  23. Kizzie @8:33 That is surprising to me. I would have thought Nunes actually read the FISA applications himself. However, he’s saying that Trey Gowdy did, and to my knowledge, Gowdy has not reputed the contents of the memo—-and according to the article, actually contributed to it. I think it’s extremely important that FISA cases be beyond the shadow of a doubt non-political and all about national security. And in my heart of hearts, I believe it should be done away with altogether, along with most of the Patriot Act.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Yes and no. I think Mueller may note that Trump just blurted out on national TV that he had done something very similar to what it took Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski two years to prove against Nixon. However, he may also note that the interview also showed that Trump simply had no idea what he was doing or saying.

    A note here. I don’t really think Trump is a literal moron, though he often acts like one. Both Trump and Hillary combine extreme arrogance with intellectual laziness. Hillary couldn’t be bothered to learn how to protect national secrets. Trump won’t spend the time to learn about our form of government, our judicial system, his duties or the meanings of “there” and “their”.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Those of us who followed Watergate closely were absolutely stunned by the Holt interview. It was the funniest moment of Trump’s presidency. It was also the last time he sat down for a lengthy TV interview with someone not with FoxNews.

    SNL was great, but it was more re-enactment than parody.


  26. So at least the same low standards will likely be applied evenly across party lines. I suppose we must be thankful for small consistencies.

    As for the President’s typos, why should he bother correcting them when it sends his detractors into writhing spasms of self-destructive distraction. ;–)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. PS. I don’t watch SNL. They hit their high point somewhere before Clinton, and their lowest was with Sarah Palin. I’m not interested in their brand of Democrat humor.


  28. I don’t know anyone who actually watches SNL. We just pull up the “Cold Open” on YouTube the next day.

    Debra, Here is a present for you. Douthat attacked Ayn Randians this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. In the future, I think Republicans will need to keep their heads and not fall into the self-destructive trap that so many Trump critics have apparently embraced. One of my favorite writers, Peter Spiliakos at First Things recently addressed this in an article on Tom Cotton.

    Senator Tom Cotton acquitted himself well during the government shutdown. He is probably the best positioned among senators to be the voice of post-Trump, center-right populism. But he will have to avoid a couple of pitfalls.

    First, he will have to have a very thick skin. That doesn’t just mean standing up to political intimidation maneuvers. What Cotton will have to get used to is having horrible things said about him without responding in kind. He will be called a Nazi and a Klansman and white supremacist and anything else the self-proclaimed responsible and humane center-left can imagine, and it will be a terrible temptation to respond to outrageous attacks with outrageous counterattacks—which is a good way to earn (or make, anyway) a living as a conservative media star, but it won’t fulfill his potential and it isn’t what the country needs. Fortunately, he seems like a pretty tough guy. Cotton was on the path to a secure place in the conservative legal establishment when he volunteered to be an Army infantry officer and serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The more angry, irrational, and hate-filled his opponents, the calmer and more reasonable Cotton’s responses need to be. That doesn’t mean meeting his opponents’ absurd charges halfway. It means being emotionally steady as he makes his best arguments without apology. One of Ronald Reagan’s great strengths was that he was so unlike his opponents’ caricature of him as an ignorant maniac. People saw Reagan and decided that it was Reagan’s hysterical critics who must be unbalanced. Cotton has to be similarly ready to take advantage of his opponents’ rhetorical overreach. The more dignified, measured, and composed he is, the more his opponents will hate him, slander him, and seek to goad him into responding in kind. Not giving in to them is the first victory, and makes other victories possible.

    Second, Cotton is going to need a broad and inclusive story about what has gone wrong with America and a program for what the government can do to repair the damage. The decline of labor force participation and family stability among our lowest-skilled workers of all races and ethnicities is a multifaceted problem.

    A lasting center-right populism cannot be built merely around immigration restriction and protectionist fantasies of bringing back the industrial economy of the mid-1960s. There will have to be family and health care agendas that address the anxieties of wage-earners of all races, and they must be coupled with a humane analysis of our situation that takes into account how the struggle of America’s lowest-earning families represents a failure of the America of the postwar era, under both major parties. Does Tom Cotton have the discipline to face the tantrums of the elite left’s raging infants? Does he have the wisdom to help craft a populist agenda that is worthy of our country, and addresses the needs of our people?


    Liked by 1 person

  30. Cotton’s big mistake was when he joined Perdue and feigned deafness or early onset Alzheimer’s to cover up Trump’s #@%$hole remark. The press and his colleagues now know that Cotton is fundamentally dishonest.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I think we can safely say that ‘fundamental dishonesty’ is a way of life for a Cult of Trade that finds a Chinese state to be the most ‘economically free’ place in the world. 🙄


  32. Hong Kong’s laws are interpreted by China. Hong Kong is protected by China’s military. Texas has the same deal. Quit your belly-aching. ;–)

    The ‘all or nothing’ comment referred to the idea that now Tom Cotton will be damaged goods because of some agreement with Trump. I’m not sure I would support Cotton for President. I don’t know that much about him. What I do know is that I am exhausted dealing with the constant negativity coming from Republicans that hypocritically view Communist protected “free trade” as the highest value in life, and yet endlessly harp on every flaw and inconsistency (real or imagined) in leaders that might think otherwise. In other words, if Republican free traders are going to treat every President that is not one of their own like they treat Trump, then as far as I’m concerned, Democrats can have a shot at it if they want…or give it to the dog.


  33. Cotton didn’t have “some agreement” with Trump. He and Perdue lied to cover-up Trump’s lie. Everyone who was paying attention knows he did it. Now they all know Cotton is fundamentally dishonest. However, I agree that Cotton is the logical successor to Trump. Peggy Noonan asked for a “sane Donald Ttump”. I suppose she knew it would be too much to ask for a “sane and honest Donald Trump”.


  34. Now who’s obstructing Congressional oversight?


    Liked by 1 person

  35. “I don’t recall….” is your big beef with Cotton?! Do you even remember Iran-Contra and Reagan’s part in it? I don’t get it. Then again, I’m not an idealist. I don’t believe there is anyone elected in DC who hasn’t skirted the truth to the point it could be considered lying or outright told a lie. It’s not rational to believe otherwise. The most I hope for is that they will try to be as ethical as they can be, and take that as a serious effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Rosenstein should be the next one fired.


    “There are partisans on both sides of this who seem intent on reading every bit of data as if it either confirms their prior suppositions or it is a lie being peddled by their opponents. I think it’s not entirely clear who is telling the truth, or more of the truth, here. On the one hand, the FBI, the DOJ, and the Democrats really have been brazenly overselling how dangerous the release of this memo would be. As Prof. Jonathan Turley pointed out yesterday, we were warned of serious consequences to national security. But now that we see it, that doesn’t seem to be the case. This story about Rod Rosenstein making threats to prevent the release does seem to fit into that same narrative of desperation, i.e. willingness to say almost anything to block the memo. I don’t know if Jarrett’s story is true or accurate but in the current environment of near-panic, it seems somewhat plausible.

    On the other hand, as I’ve pointed out this week, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is the person overseeing the Mueller Special Counsel investigation. Because AG Sessions recused himself, it will fall to Rosenstein to determine how Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation is disseminated. It seems that Trump would like an excuse to fire Rosenstein and, as Allahpundit noted yesterday, outside Tea Party groups are now targeting Rosenstein with attack ads. So you get the impression that, suddenly, there is a big push to get rid of the guy. Is this leak to Gregg Jarrett part of that push, i.e. the story which makes Rosenstein a real villain abusing his office? It sort of looks that way to me. It’s almost too perfect.

    So what is going on? What we seem to have is a pitched battle in which both sides are using something akin to information warfare, i.e. dubious claims (‘This threatens national security!’, ‘He threatened retaliation!’) intended to convince the public that the other guys are acting beyond the pale. At this point, I’m definitely not willing to settle for the Democrats’ explanation of what is going on here which basically boils down to ‘Trump is guilty as hell and the GOP is trying to distract us from that.’ It could be true, but a year into this investigation we haven’t seen the proof.

    But I’m also not ready to settle for the right’s take, i.e. this is all a deep state conspiracy to take down the president. It could be true, but again I’m not seeing the proof. I don’t think the Nunes memo was any kind of knockout punch, which I suspect is why Hannity is promising this is just 15% of what is yet to come. He sounds just like the Democrats claiming the next collusion bombshell will be the big one.

    It does seem as if people on both sides of this are looking to hide something or protect someone. If I had to guess who is telling us the whole truth about what is really going on here, my guess right at this moment would be no one. Ultimately, I don’t think this merry-go-round will stop until Mueller stops it and puts out some facts to settle some of the speculation.”


  37. What we know,and what we don’t.


    “The memo explains that former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe told the committee that without the dossier, the government would not have been able to make that showing.

    According to the memo, the court was not told that the dossier was an opposition-research project funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Nor was the court informed that Steele told a top Justice Department official he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

    And, despite the fact that the original warrant, issued Oct. 21, 2016, was reauthorized three times, the court was never told the FBI’s efforts to verify the document’s sensational allegations were unsuccessful.

    Indeed, the memo indicates that the government went to unintentionally absurd lengths to portray the dossier’s claims as corroborated. In one application, the Obama administration argued the allegations were credible because they appeared independently in a Yahoo News report by Michael Isikoff. Unbeknownst to the FBI, however, Isikoff’s source was actually Steele. In effect, the dossier was offered as corroboration of itself.

    The FBI was unaware Steele was telling the media the same information he was giving the government because he allegedly lied about his communications with reporters. This finally came to light when Steele gave an interview to left-leaning Mother Jones in which he exposed his status as an FBI informant, prompting the bureau to terminate their relationship.

    Last month, two senior Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department, seeking a felony investigation of Steele for making false statements to the FBI. Yet, there is no indication any of Steele’s credibility problems were shared with the FISA court judge who was relying on his information.

    The spinning about the memo before and after its publication has been unhelpful. Critics have dismissed it as an effort to malign the FBI and discredit the Mueller investigation. This is wrong. Because so much of the government’s national-security power is exercised in secrecy, it is critical that Congress fulfill its constitutional role of careful oversight — certainly Democrats thought so throughout the 2000s, when they routinely ripped the bureau’s exercise of Patriot Act and surveillance powers.

    Moreover, Mueller’s principal mission is to get to the bottom of Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, not to make a criminal case on the farfetched suspicion of Trump campaign collusion in the Kremlin’s anti-American espionage.

    Neither, however, has the public been well-served by comparisons of the FISA abuse to Watergate. That scandal was the greatest crisis of the regime in modern American history and involved systematic abuses of government investigative and intelligence agencies.

    What the Intelligence Committee memo reveals is not trivial. These are significant derelictions, and they heighten concerns about the degree to which the FBI and Justice Department were enmeshed in the politics of the 2016 election. But before we can draw final conclusions, much more must be known about what other information was presented to the FISA court, and whether valuable intelligence was gleaned in the months of Page’s surveillance.

    The memo is a good start. More disclosure, though, is needed.”


  38. I have been wondering how Trump would affect the chances of Republicans in state races. I think most of us know the answer, but no bets on this one. My son has become a Food Nazi and is limiting our intake of candy.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. This article on Trump’s effect on the FBI reminds me of Darrell Royal’s famous quote in which he compared TCU to cockroaches: “It’s not what they eat or tote off, it’s what they fall into and mess up that hurts.”


  40. Some Pillar….


    “Trey Gowdy was on Face the Nation the nation this morning and he answered that question succinctly:

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, we should dig into this. Because you are, from my understanding, the only Republican investigator on the House Intelligence Committee who actually viewed the FISA applications. Everything that went into essentially putting together this memo. So, when you’re talking about this Steele memo, you are not saying that it was the sole piece of evidence used to justify these four authorizations of the surveillance warrant. Are you?

    REP. GOWDY: No. It was not the exclusive information relied upon by– by the FISA court.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Would it have been authorized were it not for that dossier?

    REP. GOWDY: No. It would not have been.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: How can you say that? Because it was authorized four times by separate judges.

    REP. GOWDY: Right. And the information was in there all four times.


    REP. GOWDY: And the judge doesn’t do independent research. There are three Republicans that have seen every bit of information. Three of us: Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the Judiciary; Johnny Ratcliffe, who’s a former terrorism prosecutor and U.S. attorney in Texas, and me. All three of us have total confidence in the FBI and DOJ to be able to do the jobs that they have been assigned. We have confidence in Bob Mueller, and we have serious consideration– serious concerns about this process. So, we have all three of those things in common, including being concerned about what–what happened in 2016.

    This runs directly contrary to a lot of anonymous sources who popped up yesterday claiming just the opposite.”



  41. Who will draw the short straw and have to try to explain this to Trump, Hannity and Lou Dobbs?


  42. So a FISA warrant requested by a Republican led FBI to a court dominated by Republican judges based on a dossier compiled upon an initial request of Republican politicians is somehow an Obama/Clinton/DNC plot. And this somehow led a Republican being appointed by a Republican Congress to investigate Russian meddling in the USA election. And somehow this indicates a biased FBI. My only question is why the Democrats didn’t want the memo released. The behaviour of the Republican party resembles a Newfie firimg squad. If i was a democrat i would focus on the midterm elections and let the republicans continue to shoot themselves in the foot.


    Liked by 1 person

  43. The left wing activist and African American community is rather amused to hear the Republicans complain the FBI is biased. About 50 years late on that news.


  44. The Republicans are maligning the reputation of law enforcement, usually Republican voters, to protect Trump. The question is why.

    Also, its been determined that Russia did interfere in the US election yet Republicans seem more concern with protecting Trump than finding out the extent of interference and how to prevent it. The question is why.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Many people don’t think we need a FISA court or civil forfeiture or most of the Patriot Act. I am one of those people. I will be glad when the whole investigation circus is concluded. I doubt there are grounds for impeachment. I also doubt they will find anything more serious than Russian hacking.

    Liked by 2 people

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