19 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-29-19

  1. The knives are out. 🙂

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/05/25/trump-russia_the_knives_are_out.html

    “Now that the Russia collusion allegations have evaporated, the long knives are out and President Trump’s antagonists are watching their backs. They have moved from accusing him of treason to pushing revisionist narratives that try to shift the blame for the debunked probe onto others.

    This effort is expected to accelerate following Trump’s decision Thursday to empower Attorney General William Barr to declassify CIA, Pentagon, and Director of National Intelligence documents as necessary to access “information or intelligence that relates to the attorney general’s review” of the Russia probe.

    In other words, he’s gaining the authority needed to investigate the investigators.

    CIA sources immediately objected in the New York Times that assets’ lives would be at risk, stunting Langley’s ability to recruit. Perhaps. But the argument is a bit shopworn, raising the question whether intelligence managers are looking to protect their agents and sources, or aiming to protect themselves.

    There are a growing number of indicators that the leading players in the 2016 election drama are turning on one another, making a mad dash for the lifeboats to escape being dragged under with the political Titanic that is Christopher Steele and his dossier. These are many of the same people who had been eager to exploit the dossier, that collection of memos paid for by the Clinton campaign and supposedly sourced from Russia. Once treated like the Rosetta stone of collusion, the Steele documents now seem even to Trump antagonists more like the Howard Hughes diaries.

    A “former CIA official” has told Fox News that two of Trump’s most high profile accusers – former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Director of the CIA John Brennan – didn’t want anything to do with Steele’s opus. It was former FBI Director James Comey, the source said, who was pushing to use the dossier in the official Intelligence Community Assessment, issued in the final days of the Obama administration. Having failed at that, thanks to Clapper and Brennan’s diligence (or so the story goes), Comey went rogue and confronted President-elect Trump with the salacious highlights produced by Steele.

    Even the peripheral players are doing their best to shift blame. Former FBI General Counsel James Baker – who is under criminal investigation for leaks – recently went on the Skullduggery podcast to assert that he and other bureau officials were “quite worried” that Comey’s meeting with Trump would look like a page out of J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook – invoking the legendary FBI director who stockpiled damaging information to blackmail politicians. Would Comey be wrong to interpret Baker’s comments as an offer to testify against his former boss in exchange for a deal on the leaks investigation?”

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  2. Same song, different singers.

    The only thing they’re worried about exposing is their own dirty deeds.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/byron-york-as-barr-mulls-declassification-a-familiar-tune-from-critics

    “In February 2018, the House Intelligence Committee released the so-called Nunes memo. In four pages, the document, from the committee’s then-chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, revealed much of what the public knows today about the FBI’s reliance on the Steele dossier in pursuing since-discredited allegations that the Trump campaign and Russia conspired to fix the 2016 election. Specifically, it revealed that the FBI included unverified material from the dossier in applications to a secret spy court to win a warrant to wiretap Trump foreign policy volunteer adviser Carter Page.

    All that was classified. To release it, the committee appealed to President Trump, who made a declassification order. That is the only way Americans know about the Page warrant. From that knowledge came later revelations about the FBI’s use of confidential informants and undercover agents to get information on Trump campaign figures.

    It is good that the public knows such things, just as it is good that the public knows what is in the Mueller report. But in the days before the Nunes memo was declassified, many of the nation’s top current and former intelligence officials, members of Congress, and analysts in the press warned that declassification would do grave damage to American national security.

    It didn’t happen.

    Now, some of the same people are issuing somber warnings of the damage that will be done if Attorney General William Barr declassifies documents showing what else the nation’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies did in the 2016 Trump investigation.”

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  3. Now why do you suppose that is?

    The jig is up.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/28/christopher-steele-not-cooperate-durham/

    “CHRISTOPHER STEELE WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH US ATTORNEY’S INVESTIGATION”

    “Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, will not cooperate with an investigation led by a prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to review the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, Reuters reports.

    Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to oversee the inquiry. President Donald Trump last Thursday also granted Barr the authority to declassify documents related to the government’s investigation and surveillance of the Trump campaign.

    The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Barr has said that he is concerned about the FBI’s use of Steele’s document, which had several of its core allegations debunked by the special counsel’s report.”

    ———————

    Ah, there it is……

    “several of its core allegations debunked by the special counsel’s report.”

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  4. I love the smell of desperation in the morning.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/445353-why-obstruction-and-cover-up-charges-smack-of-desperation#.XO1HtAaOsjo.twitter

    “A friend of mine who is — I’ll just say it — a devoted Trump-hater recently was talking about President Trump’s obstruction and asked what I thought.

    After listening to his views, I told him there’s plenty about which to criticize the president, as is true of any political leader. But the obstruction charge doesn’t make logical sense. I used an analogy to explain why. When I finished, this friend still hated Trump — but surprised me by saying, “Nobody’s ever explained it that way. That makes sense. You should write about it.”

    Obviously, I don’t kid myself that this analogy will “make sense” to everyone. But after listening to both sides and looking at the publicly available evidence, here’s how I see it:

    If you were a person of some authority and murdered someone, and prosecutors set out to investigate, and if you spoke publicly against the investigation, proclaiming your innocence and calling the probe a “witch hunt,” and if you worked behind the scenes to use your influence to fire the lead investigator on the murder case — that would seem to be a pretty clear case of obstruction of justice. You, as a guilty man, would be trying to stop authorities from finding out the truth.

    But imagine, on the other hand, that you are innocent — accused of a murder you didn’t commit. Not only that, imagine you knew there was no murder to begin with because you saw the victim walking around after the supposed murder. Then, imagine you found yourself the target of the murder investigation by a team that included people who had declared you to be their sworn enemy and expressed strong desires to take you out. Then, imagine this team that included biased investigators began leaking false information to the national media to implicate you in this crime that you knew you didn’t commit.

    Imagine that this cloud of the murder you knew was never committed hangs over you, month after month, until it drags on for years. It’s distracting you from your ability and authority to do the job in the public’s interests. But every time you speak publicly to defend yourself and proclaim your innocence, the media and your political enemies declare you to be a liar and say you are obstructing the investigation.

    It begins to look like the fix is in.

    Under these circumstances, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t possess a desire to stop a potentially conflicted investigation by your political enemies into a crime that was never committed — least of all by you. Since you are innocent, your attempts to stop an unfair investigation could be fairly seen as an attempt to see justice done, not to obstruct it.”

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  5. Jr. has a point.

    ——————

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  6. Using the big lie to de-legitimize election results they don’t like.

    It’s like there’s a pattern…….

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/05/24/using_the_big_lie_to_delegitimize_election_results_140418.html

    “The Big Lie is back in style. Wikipedia tells us that the term was invented by Adolf Hitler to describe what others did — though he was the biggest liar of all. “The broad masses of a nation,” he wrote in “Mein Kampf,” “more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie.”

    No one on the political scene in this country or any democratic nation is a monster comparable to Hitler. But some have resorted to the Big Lie in their attempts to override clear decisions of the people, at the risk of delegitimizing the nation’s democracy.

    Exhibit A: the claims that Democrats Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum “won” last fall’s elections for governor in Georgia and Florida. Actually, both of them lost by a 50-49 percent margin.

    Abrams admits this but insists, “so many people were disenfranchised and disengaged … that I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won.'” Presidential candidate Kamala Harris told the Detroit NAACP, “without voter suppression, Stacey Abrams would be the governor of Georgia. Andrew Gillum is the governor of Florida.”

    This is nonsense. Voter turnout was up 54 percent in Georgia and 38 percent in Florida from 2014 levels, and the “voter suppression” people complained about was standard procedures, required by a 1994 federal law.

    The suggestion that this amounts to the kind of voter suppression blacks experienced before the 1965 Voting Rights Act — suppression by unfair laws, threats of violence and murder — is preposterous. Perhaps Abrams hopes to convince the many blacks moving to Georgia that it’s run by white segregationists. But she and those who echo her charges are saying that America is moving backward on basic civil rights. That’s a Big Lie, one that stokes racial mistrust and hatred.

    Exhibit B: the claims that Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians. Perhaps there was reason to believe this two or three years ago, from candidate Trump’s refusals to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin, from his proposed Moscow hotel. Weird!

    But the absurdity of much in the Steele dossier, and the fact that it was paid for by the Clinton campaign, should have sent up warning flags. The argument that a few Russian bot Facebook ads could have swung the election was obviously flimsy.”

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  7. Comey and his FBI are having to answer questions about their poor handling of other matters as well. He was apparently too busy trying to set up the president.

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/05/27/comeys-fbi-ignored-sexual-abuse-victims-to-pursue-political-foes/

    “As the political world anticipates an internal Justice Department review of misconduct by James Comey’s FBI related to the Trump campaign probe, hundreds of American parents await another report: Why Comey’s FBI delayed an investigation into one of the country’s most notorious child sex abusers, former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The Michigan State University osteopathic physician now is serving a 100-year minimum prison sentence for numerous crimes, including sexual assault of minors, sexual assault, and possession of child pornography.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into how the FBI handled the initial sexual abuse allegations made against Nassar in 2015 and 2016.

    “The gymnasts’ complaints languished for at least nine months before an FBI office opened a formal investigation,” the Journal reported. “In their probe of the bureau’s handling of the matter, Justice Department investigators have conducted interviews with several people, including athletes and gymnastics officials. The investigation could lead to disciplinary action and criminal charges.”

    Lawmakers also have questions. Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray with questions related to the agency’s handling of the case in 2015 and 2016. “We have met several gymnasts who expressed concern about FBI delays in responding to their allegations against Nassar,” they wrote in July. “Our staffs have also reached out to the FBI for information related to these requests, but were not provided any information.”

    No Action Until It Was Too Late
    The Nassar case was a shameful display of failure at every level. It‘s earning newfound attention due to a documentary now available on HBO—”At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal.” The documentary tells the girls’ shocking story. (It airs again Tuesday. Warning: It’s not easy to watch.) While coaches, parents, USA Gymnastics executives and Michigan State University officials turned a blind eye to Nassar’s deviancy, hundreds of the world’s most talented female athletes were physically tormented for years as the doctor traveled with them across the country and around the world.

    And the powerful agency assigned with protecting the most vulnerable from the most predatory—the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led by the preening, moralistic James Comey—took no action until it was too late.

    In 2015 and 2016, as Comey’s FBI connived to downplay the Clinton email investigation and concocted the Trump-Russia election collusion scheme, Nassar’s victims continued to be sexually abused even after the FBI had been warned of his behavior.

    A February 2018 analysis by the New York Times identified “at least 40 girls and women who say that Dr. Nassar molested them between July 2015, when he first fell under F.B.I. scrutiny, and September 2016,” when the Indy Star reported on lawsuits filed by Nassar’s victims.”

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  8. And I quote……

    “….our investigation is complete. The Attorney General has made our report on our investigation largely public, and we are formerly closing the Special Counsel’s Office, and as well, I’m resigning from the Dept. Of Justice to return to private life.”

    Robert S. Mueller III

    —————–

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?461196-1/special-counsel-robert-mueller-make-statement-russia-probe&vod

    Also note that while Mueller again mentions DoJ policy about indicting sitting presidents, he’s closing his office without filing additional obstruction charges against anyone other than Trump, others who he could charge were there an actual obstruction crime.

    There can’t be obstruction when there was no crime.

    And he’s quick to decline questions and say he’s done talking about it and won’t be doing additional interviews.

    That’s a wrap folks! 🙂

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  9. They spent twice as long on Fox analyzing Mueller’s statement, than he spent making it.

    Trump will not be impeached.
    Move on now.

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  10. Well Chas……..

    Let’s just say that a quick flip thru the cable news networks shows that won’t be happening any time soon.

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  11. The thing I found most interesting in Mueller’s statement was his reminder that the indicted Russians deserve the presumption of innocence until convicted. But then he was unwilling to extend the same courtesy to the president.

    Also, in his earlier meeting with Barr he stated 3 times that the DoJ reg on indicting sitting presidents played no role in his decision to not indict. He’s still talking like a Never-Trumper who wants it both ways on all the issues here. Not a good look for a supposedly unbiased prosecutor.

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  12. Also, he again stated that the Russians hacked the DNC’s servers, yet he and the FBI and DoJ have no idea if that’s true. They never examined the servers and simply took Clinton’s IT guys word for it. Also, a questionable decision by all involved in covering it up at the DoJ and FBI.

    Mueller should be subpoenaed and put under oath to clarify these issues.

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  13. Like I said, put him under oath and end this charade.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/29/mueller-just-proved-his-entire-operation-was-a-political-hit-job-that-trampled-the-rule-of-law/

    “Mueller Just Proved His Entire Operation Was A Political Hit Job That Trampled The Rule Of Law

    At a hastily arranged Wednesday press conference, Special Counsel Robert Mueller proved that he was never interested in justice or the rule of law.”

    “If there were any doubts about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s political intentions, his unprecedented press conference on Wednesday should put them all to rest. As he made abundantly clear during his doddering reading of a prepared statement that repeatedly contradicted itself, Mueller had no interest in the equal application of the rule of law. He gave the game, and his nakedly political intentions, away repeatedly throughout his statement.

    “It is important that the office’s written work speak for itself,” Mueller said, referring to his office’s 448-page report. Mueller’s report was released to the public by Attorney General William Barr nearly six weeks ago. The entire report, minus limited redactions required by law, has been publicly available, pored through, and dissected. Its contents have been discussed ad nauseum in print and on television. The report has been speaking for itself since April 18, when it was released.

    If it’s important for the work to speak for itself, then why did Mueller schedule a press conference in which he would speak for it weeks after it was released? The statement, given the venue in which it was provided, is self-refuting.

    Let’s start with the Mueller team’s unique take on the nature of a prosecutor’s job. The standard American view of justice, affirmed and enforced by the U.S. Constitution, is that all are presumed innocent absent conviction by a jury of a specific charge of criminal wrongdoing. That is, the natural legal state of an individual in this country is innocence. It is not a state or a nature bestowed by cops or attorneys. Innocence is not granted by unelected bureaucrats or federal prosecutors.

    At one point in his remarks, Mueller seemed to agree. Referring to indictments against various Russian individuals and institutions for allegedly hacking American servers during the 2016 election, Mueller said that the indictments “contain allegations and we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant.”

    “Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

    Had he stopped there, he would have been correct. But then he crafted a brand new standard.

    “The order appointing the special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of our work,” Mueller said. “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

    According to Mueller and his team, charged Russians are presumed innocent. An American president, however, is presumed guilty unless and until Mueller’s team determines he is innocent. Such a standard is an obscene abomination against the rule of law, one that would never be committed by independent attorneys who place a fidelity to their oaths and impartial enforcement of the law ahead of their political motivations.

    The contradictions and double standards didn’t stop there, though.”

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  14. No sir, it’s not.

    So henceforth this new, just made it up legal standard will be called “The Trump Standard.”

    ——–

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  15. —————-

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  16. Like I said. Under oath, because he’s still lying.

    What he said today was not what he told Barr, Rosenstein, and O’Callaghan. It’s 3 against 1.

    ——————

    “I would leave it to his description in the report, the special counsel’s own articulation of why he did not want to make a determination as to whether or not there was an obstruction offense. But I will say that when we met with him, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and I met with him, along with Ed o’Callaghan, who is the principal associate deputy, on March 5th. We specifically asked him about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking a position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion. And he made it very clear several times that that was not his position. He was not saying that but for the OLC opinion, he would have found a crime. He made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime.”

    — Attorney General Barr, April 18, 2019 press conference

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  17. See for yourself starting at the 16:00 minute mark. Mueller lied. Again.

    —————

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/04/18/watch_live_attorney_general_bill_barr_holds_press_conference_on_final_mueller_report.html

    “A.G. WILLIAM BARR: Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”

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