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Jan 11, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Sen. John McCain admitted Wednesday that he gave the FBI a dossier detailing claims of a Russian blackmail plot against President-elect Donald Trump.
The Arizona lawmaker, a longtime Trump critic, made the public statement as questions piled up about his alleged role in spreading an unverified and error-riddled document that Trump has denounced as "a complete and total fabrication."
"Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public," McCain said. "Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
Dec 30, 2017 | theduran.com
Via Fox News
The man who says he acted as a "go-between" last year to inform Sen. John McCain about the controversial "dossier" containing salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump is speaking out, revealing how the ex-British spy who researched the document helped coordinate its release to the FBI, the media and Capitol Hill.
"My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the senator and assistants that such a dossier existed," Sir Andrew Wood told Fox News in an exclusive interview with senior executive producer Pamela K. Browne.
Fox News spoke to Wood at the 2017 Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada. As Britain's ambassador to Moscow from 1995-2000, Wood witnessed the end of Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the rise of Vladimir Putin.
Just after the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, Arizona GOP Sen. McCain spoke at the same security conference. Wood says he was instructed -- by former British spy Christopher Steele -- to reach out to the senior Republican, whom Wood called "a good man," about the unverified document.
Wood insists that he's never read the dossier that his good friend and longtime colleague prepared. It was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
In August 2016, "[Steele] came to me to tell me what was in it, and why it was important," Wood said. "He made it very clear yes, it was raw intelligence, but it needed putting into proper context before you could judge it fully."
August 2016 is a critical period, just after the FBI opened the Russia meddling probe, and after then-director James Comey recommended against prosecution for Clinton's mishandling of classified information.
Wood said Steele had "already been in contact with the FBI" at the time.
"He said there was corroborating evidence in the United States, from which I assumed he was working with an American company," Wood said.
British court records reviewed by Fox News as well as U.S. congressional testimony revealed that Steele was directed and paid at least $168,000 by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson to push the research that fall to five American media outlets. According to British court documents, Steele met with The New York Times (twice), The Washington Post (twice), CNN, The New Yorker and Yahoo News (twice).
"Each of these interviews was conducted in person and with a member of Fusion also present," according to the records associated with separate civil litigation against Steele and Fusion GPS.
Wood said he'd heard of Fusion GPS, as the group Steele was working with, but had "never heard of Mr. Simpson."
Three weeks after Trump won the presidential election, at the Canadian security conference, the details were finalized for the dossier hand-off to McCain.
Along with the senator, Wood and McCain Institute for International Leadership staffer David J. Kramer attended the Canadian conference.
British court records state McCain ordered Kramer to get a personal briefing from Steele in Surrey, just outside of London, and then return to Washington, D.C., where Fusion GPS would provide McCain with hard copies.
In January, McCain officially gave the dossier to the FBI, which already had its own copy from Steele.
Of note, listed in the official program for the 2016 November Canadian conference as a participant was Rinat Akhmetshin -- the same Russian lobbyist who was at Trump Tower five months earlier in June for a highly scrutinized meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and others.
The senator's office noted to Fox News that McCain said in January 2017 he had no contact with Akhmetshin. "Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
It is not known whether Akhmetshin had any contact with Kramer. Fusion GPS and Kramer did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News.
erry Ross , December 12, 2017 8:55 AMmksimp2822 Terry Ross , December 15, 2017 7:42 PM
Doesn't this make McCain guilty of offenses under the Logan act; the very offense that was commonly levelled against Trump and called "collusion" in the press.Gano1 , December 12, 2017 8:00 AM
Trump endorsed McCain during his 2016 Republican primary for senator. The race was very close. This is how McCain repays Trump.S.M. De Kuyper , December 12, 2017 9:09 AM
Deep State at work in America.André De Koning S.M. De Kuyper , December 12, 2017 8:14 PM
This confirms that Congressional Senators and Congressmen should operate under time limits as well as be harshly punished for treasonous activity, meaning they are policed.spoint , December 12, 2017 9:35 AM
Exactly, as this will go on forever just to escape any scandal and other involvements of a dubious nature. The US "justice" system is obviously primitive enough to allow this kind of nonsense to continue.tjoes , December 12, 2017 8:16 AM
I never read it. I was just following orders. The devil made me do it.Mark Millers , December 15, 2017 9:41 PM
"According to British court documents, Steele met with The New York Times (twice), The Washington Post (twice), CNN, The New Yorker and Yahoo News (twice)."
Right there are your "fake news" propaganda sources. What do you want to bet they are all Jewish owned...yet Trump kisses judea'sass?
Well, at the least it makes John McCain a total stooge who let his bias against Trump override his ability to use good judgement, which by the way is already lacking.
Dec 30, 2017 | theduran.com
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson spoke with US House investigators in a closed-door meeting Tuesday, and confirmed what many in the non-establishment media already knew that Fusion GPS never verified the Dossier claims before passing on the ridiculous document to the corrupt establishment press.
According to The Gateway Pundit , Herridge also said that her source told her that Glenn Simpson was "upset" when Comey re-opened Hillary's email investigation at the end of October and wanted to push back.
And he did
On October 31st, 2016 with just days to go until election day, David Corn of Mother Jones broke the story of a 'veteran spy' who gave the FBI information on Trump's alleged connections to Russia. Christopher Steele, British spy and author of the garbage dossier was not named in this Mother Jones report. Only hints of the dossier were published; the salacious claims were omitted.
Hillary Clinton was disappointed the entire dossier hadn't been published in full prior to the election. After all, she paid millions of dollars for the smear document.
The author of the dossier, Christopher Steele was also desperate to get the salacious document out to the public. He told David Corn of Mother Jones, "The story has to come out."
A week later, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were in utter shock when Trump won the presidential election. Desperate to delegitimatize him, BuzzFeed published the entire dossier on January 10th, right before the inauguration.
According to the Washington Post , the FBI agreed to pay the British Spy who compiled the garbage dossier after the election to continue to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia.
The FBI pulled out of this arrangement once the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele was publicly identified in media reports.
Comey FBI also used the largely debunked Trump dossier, which alleged Russian ties to the President's campaign associates, to convince a judge to grant them a FISA warrant, allowing them to secretly monitor Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Guy , November 16, 2017 2:02 PMobidiah_slope , November 16, 2017 11:57 AM
Totally BUSTED ! Scam artists that they are. So how much money is the wild goose chase going to cost American taxpayers. When are they going to start indicting some of these scumbags, this is getting old already.john vieira , November 17, 2017 1:49 AM
Smug looking bastard isn't he?
Remember..."It is honourable to deceive the 'infidel'." This is just an 'inkling' of how far our mainstream media and 'establishment politicians' have waded into this 'cesspool'....
Dec 29, 2017 | 50shadesofpissedoff.com
The alleged Russian computer Hacker named Guccifer 2.0 whom the Democrat National Committee has publicly blamed for hacking its emails and giving them to WIkiLeaks before the Election in order for Russia to help Donald Trump, was really a fiction created by an Obama White House Staffer in order to prevent the exposure of why DNC Staffer Seth Rich was murdered and also try to pin the exposure of DNC emails on Russia and Trump.
Democrat operatives had pushed the fictional Guccifer 2.0 story as the supposed Russian hacker who broke into DNC servers and downloaded thousands of emails, then sent them to the Russians, who then sent them to Wikileaks so Hilary Clinton could be defeated.
Never mind that it has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the download speed was far too great to have been done by anyone but a DNC insider like Seth Rich. Because Internet speeds are not nearly sufficient to support download speed that the meta data, embedded in the emails, reported.
Never mind that the same meta data shows that the download came from the eastern time zone of the US, not Romania or Russia.
A five minute video (below) proves Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of someone using a version of Microsoft Word that was originally registered to a DNC / White House Staffer named Warren Flood.
Here are two screen shots from warren floods Facebook page. Notice that warren worked for "Obama for America," the DNC, and the White House . He lives in LaGrange, GA.
The video below does a great job explaining who is behind the original Trump opposition research leaked via WikiLeaks AND the later (same) document allegedly obtained by Guccifer 2.0 by "hacking."EVIDENCE OF DNC/WHITE HOUSE STAFFER BEING "RUSSIAN HACKER GUCCIFER 2.0″
If you have ever accidentally tried to open a Microsoft Word document in a simple text editor like Notepad, you can see the meta data behind each word document, including WHO that copy of Word belongs to.
The video below explains who the author of the original opposition research document was and how we know:
. . . it also includes who the AUTHOR of the document of is. It gets that information from the name that was entered when you installed your copy of Microsoft Office. Inside the original trump opposition research, the document later released by WikiLeaks, the author of the document is listed as Lauren Dillon , DNC Research Director.
This is Lauren Dillion from the DNC:
The metadata in the WikiLeaks release of Trump Opposition research shows that it was created by Lauren Dillon, as show below:
HOWEVER, that same document later released by Guccifer 2.0 shows a CHANGE in who authored Document; this later copy showing the Author as Warren Flood . . . . who worked in the White House!
Thus, the entire claim by Guccifer 2.0 that he was a Russian Hacker who stole the DNC emails, was a deliberate deception attributable to a staffer in the Obama White House: Warren Flood.
Here's the kicker, the version of Trump's opposition research file that was originally released by WikiLeaks, and later released to the Main-Stream-Media (MSM), was never attributed to the DNC, it was attributed to the Russian Hacker "Guccifer 2.0 -- A man jailed in Romania for hacking.THE DNC/WHITE HOUSE "FATAL MISTAKE"
It just wouldn't do, to have the head of research for the DNC be the Leaker to WikiLeaks or to have the later Guccifer 2.0 release to come from a White House staffer, it had to be attributable to someone connected to the Russians. The Romanian guy was the FALL GUY.
The one fatal mistake the DNC and the Obama White House made was that no one remembered about the Microsoft Word metadata which reveals the owner of that particular copy of the Word software. So, according to the evidence, Guccifer 2.0 was actually DNC/White House Staffer, Warren Flood.
Yes, you read that correctly: EVIDENCE. Not speculation, or rumor, or innuendo. Actual real life, hard copy EVIDENCE.
Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of the DNC/White House to cover-up who the real leaker was; and at the same time start the Russian Hacking rumors that persist today.
INTERESTINGLY, the Wikipedia entry for Guccifer 2.0, describes an interview he did with MotherBoard via an online chat. Guccifer 2.0 insisted he was Romanian but, when pressed to use the Romanian language in an interview with an Interview with Motherboard via an online chat, he used such clunky grammar and terminology that experts believe he was using an online translator.
Bottom line: The Obama White House invention of Guccifer 2.0, apparently through its Staffer Warren Flood, accomplished three things:
1) It covered DNC research director Lauren Dillon. Whatever sort of opposition research she authored was later claimed by Guccifer 2.0.
2) It covered for Seth Rich. This is the BIG ONE, because he was killed in an obvious assassination staged to look like street robbery -- the only problem is, the robbers didn't take anything. He still had all his cash and his Rolex watch when police arrived. And Guccifer 2.0 took also credit for the Podesta emails which were actually downloaded by Seth Rich and given to WikiLeaks.
3) It created the conduit to "Russian Intelligence" to fortify the claim that it was the Russians who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and therefore Trump "was in collusion with the Russians" to defeat Clinton.
The whole claim of "Russian Hacking" and "Trump colluding with Russians" has come unraveled because it was ALL a complete fraud.
What remains is how this fraud is STILL affecting our nation to this very day, and how the Congress of the United States, acting late last month upon this totally FALSE "Russian Hacking" claim, has now enacted further sanction upon Russia – sanctions that will very likely lead to war.VIDEO EVIDENCE
Here is the video containing the EVIDENCE that the Wikileaks original Trump Opposition document was created by a user whose Microsoft Word software was registered to DNC Research Director Lauren Dillon, and the later exact same document, allegedly hacked by "GUccifer 2.0″ was done by DNC/White House Staffer William Flood
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com
Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."
... ... ...
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com
André De Koning , December 28, 2017 3:59 AM
Getting closer all the time, but Mueller's job will continue till the mid-term elections just to see if they can get away with their scheming. The tale within a tale: FBI investigates and discovers they themselves are also part of this tale. The story will have a tail: will it be a tragic, Shakespearean end or repentance by Hillary and Mueller (Duh...).
Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 4:28 AMAM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:53 AM
I love the forensics of all this. It's what gets me riveted to my computer screen.
For anyone who likes the forensics of this whole DNC Hack fiasco, you need to read this: https://50shadesofpissedoff...
It's about the date / time stamps on the files, and the HACKER (Guciffer 2.0) was acutely an Obama aid called: WARREN FLOOD. Warren Flood pretended to hack the DNC and made himself out to be Russian with an alias of Guciffer 2.0. That was the smoke screen the Democrats put out on top of the Crowdstrike false evidence job. It's excellent reading.André De Koning -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 5:08 AM
Thank you for the link and must admit it has made me laugh. A line I will use in the future. '50 Shades of Pissed Off' - no doubt I will use it as my Mantra for 2018.Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:23 AM
Yes, that Guccifer 2.0 stuff and the clear evidence that it was not a hack was published before but you are now updating us by identifying the guy who did it, which should also change the process. Thanks for that!
Update: Just see what Libby and Trauma2000 mean: yes, that makes sense!AM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:57 AM
In actual fact, it was Seth Ritch who 'leaked' the material (if you believe that Huma Abdeen was the original leaker and used Seth as a 'go between' then that is up to you). When the DNC found out Seth was the leaker, the murdered him and had to 'think up a story' hence Guccifer 2.0. There are several DNC employees involved but Warren Flood is the 'fall guy' along with a girl (her name is out there) whom had her name on the software licenses that were used to doctor the emails.
It's very interesting. But there is one thing that is certain according to McAffee (the McAffee) "If it looked like it was the Russians, then I can guarantee it WASN'T the Russians."André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:48 PM
Good comment and reading the last line, it has just reminded me of 'Vault 7' and what Wiki Leaks had to say.
Vault 7 CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.docx... https://www.scribd.com/docu...
Now why does CIA, Google, Crowd Strike, Clintons and Atlantic Council keep twerking around my grey cells?libby -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM
For me it is because of the truth: there is not much point being on this or that "side", but when the truth is so twisted it becomes perversion and that should be uncovered.Trauma2000 -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:24 AM
Flood wasn't involved directly.
see http://g-2.spacelibby -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 7:58 PM
Correct. He was just a 'foot soldier.' But he still left his name all over everything as a fall guy. Someone else used his computer.
EDIT: Actually, someone at the DNC used his computer. They were on the eastern seaboard of the U.$. according to the time stamp on the documents.André De Koning -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:15 AM
Flood had already stopped working as Biden's IT director back in 2011, the only place he'd likely have had his name on a license under the company name GSA based on his work history - was there.
So, Guccifer 2.0's first docs were most likely constructed using a computer that had resided in the West Wing office on June 15, 2016 at the exact same time as Pyatt, Nuland and others (also connected to the Ukraine coup in 2014) were meeting there.
(the person behind it is the person who originally wrote this "Fancy Fraud, Bogus Bears..." article too)
RE: The Eastern timezone. - If referring to the NGP-VAN analysis, the timestamps themselves don't show timezones but the timezone can be evaluated due to how timestamps on files (that appear to be part of the same batch transfer on July 5, 2016) are displayed in the 7zip archive root versus those in various RAR files contained within (and the different methods of timestamp storage used by the different archive formats) and how this changes depending on what your computer's timezone is set to (the time changes in the 7zip but not in the RARs and the only timezone in which these have a close correlation is Eastern).
But I prefer your explanation as a TLDR version. :)AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 6:52 AM
Seth Rich was the one who leaked it and yes, makes sense to have distractions to cover up his murder.Gr8 White Caulk , December 28, 2017 8:34 AM
There was an article, that I read, just before Christmas Day, that supports what you say. That Mueller has got to keep the narrative running, until they have sorted out the Mid-Term Elections, that the Dems believe will work to their advantage. Is it something to do with the Dems hoping to control Congress and managing to close any investigations that Trump is working on?jmg , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM
like Putin told Meghan Kelly, it could've been made to look like her 3 yr old daughter had hacked the dnc from her bedroom.AM Hants -> jmg , December 28, 2017 7:34 PM
More details. As mentioned before, it's technically verified as a whistleblower's leak, not a hack:
Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence - Consortium News
A quick summary:
Ex-NSA official: Spies don't believe Russia collusion story - Fox News
https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvA0HK_I-Hps&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeAndré De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:06 AM
Surprised with Fox. Considering old Murdoch has a problem with Russia, no doubt owing to his interests in Genie Energy. However, not complaining, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and now the ex-NSA on Fox News. Nice.AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 7:31 PM
This is just the beginning: just read New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One on Zerohedge.com
1. It will have huge consequences for all those who made shady deals with dictators and criminals (adding to the coffers of the Clinton Foundation etc.etc.). Perhaps this is what Trump was waiting for to start in the new year:his fireworks response to all the mud slung around?
2. Seth Rich and distraction by Guccifer 2.0: Trauma200 comments below is BIG and makes the connection to SETH RICH's murder, which also shows how Assange made it necessary for the complete the search and expose with evidence what was going on.André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:51 PM
What I am curious about, is will he use it for that or will he go for any foreigner that Washington DC has a problem with. Such as anybody who is a friend of President Putin, just to cause problems, before the Russian Presidential Campaign.
Or am I being cynical. I seriously hope he uses it for the Russia Gate crowd and no doubt, he has good reason and he is not known to like being insulted, with no payback. However, I can also see him using it as another form of punishment on non-nationals.richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 4:48 PM
He likes Putin but has to pretend for a while to be tough on him, so he'll probably limit it to the BS-ers (he is a maverick but does not like BS).André De Koning -> richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 9:57 PM
One additional point: Thomas Rid and most of the mainstream media keeps saying that German intelligence fingered Russia for the German Parliament attacks. While this is partly true, German intelligence in fact never said directly that APT 29 or "Fancy Bear" WAS DEFINITELY Russian state sponsored. They said they ASSUMED Russia was conducting hacks on Germany.
Digital Attack on German Parliament: Investigative Report on the Hack of the Left Party Infrastructure in Bundestag
Jeffrey Carr made this point early on in his Medium article:
Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train?
Thomas Rid wrote:
One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address -- 176.31.112[.]10 -- that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.
This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.
The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri, a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."
Problem #2: The Command & Control server (184.108.40.206) was using an outdated version of OpenSSL vulnerable to Heartbleed attacks. Heartbleed allows attackers to exfiltrate data including private keys, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information.
The existence of a known security vulnerability that's trivial to exploit opens the door to the possibility that the systems in question were used by one rogue group, and then infiltrated by a second rogue group, making the attribution process even more complicated. At the very least, the C2 server should be considered a compromised indicator.
Problem #3: The BfV published a newsletter in January 2016 which assumes that the GRU and FSB are responsible because of technical indicators, not because of any classified finding; to wit: "Many of these attack campaigns have each other on technical similarities, such as malicious software families, and infrastructure -- these are important indicators of the same authorship. It is assumed that both the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB and the military foreign intelligence service GRU run cyber operations."
Professor Rid's argument depended heavily on conveying hard attribution by the BfV even though the President of the BfV didn't disguise the fact that their attribution was based on an assumption and not hard evidence.
End QuoteAM Hants , December 28, 2017 6:48 AM
Very good analysis! Thanks.André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:56 PM
Thanks for the article and reminding us of Crowd Strike. Must admit, I read an interesting article, over on Oped News, by George Eliason, with regards Crowd Strike. Plus a few other reminders.
Does anybody remember the Awan Brothers from Pakistan and what they were arrested for, with regards the DNC and computers?
BREAKING : Democrat Awan Brothers (NOT RUSSIANS) Allegedly Hacked Congress... http://truthfeed.com/breaki...
Then you have Google and Soros and their links into Crowd Strike. Hasn't the CEO of Google just stepped down, the same day that Trump signed a Presidential Order, that might prove a problem for some, in the future?
QANON EXPOSES DEM CONSPIRACY TO FRAME TRUMP, CLAIMS GOOGLE'S SCHMIDT PLAYED PIVOTAL ROLE
QAnon also claims Debbie Wasserman Schultz contracted MS-13 gang to kill Seth Rich... https://www.infowars.com/qa...
DNC 'Russian Hacking' Conclusion Comes from Google-Linked Firm... http://www.breitbart.com/bi...
Remember, Crowd Strike, Dmitry Alperovic and his links back to The Atlantic Council? Then you have the Ukrainian Oligarch Pinchuk, who happily invested $25 million in the Clinton Foundation. Remember his Yalta Summits and the one back in September 2013? Now who attended and what were the various topics that they discussed?
Then you have Obama giving Crowd Strike a White House Commission for Cyber Security. Plus, the DNC refusing the FBI access to their servers, but, having no problem giving Crowd Strike full access. Now why was that? Funny how often Ukraine comes up, when looking into Clinton, Fusion, Crowdstrike, Old Ukrainian Malware and The Trump Dossier? Coincidence or what?
Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear... http://www.washingtonsblog....
Another good article by George Eliason.
A Tale of 2 Ukraines- Health Care in War-Torn Lugansk and Peaceful Kiev... https://www.opednews.com/ar...
In their attack (best defense motto) the real truth is slowly unfolding and yes, the Awan brothers etc. are all part of it.
I think they arrested one of those Awans (?) but we have not heard about them much lately.
The plot thickens and the time for the démasqué is here....
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 8:24:09 PM | 55It's very difficult to get the head wrapped around the Mueller investigation as a contrivance to avoid going after Clinton, which shows a corrupted intelligence service working for political ends and saving the Democratic Party, which needs replacing. The evidence against Clinton is much more substantial than the continuing Mueller foray into inconsequence.
If you need more on Clinton beyond the massive email problems she had to avoid revealing how much pay money she was getting, search on the DNC convention entirely corrupted over to her and then the Uranium One deal. Why is all this not being investigated?
It should be Clinton-Gate not Russia-Gate. It seems that once again, as with late 02 and into 03, the populace has been hoodwinked into believing government falseness--as with the non-existent WMD and invasion of Iraq.
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 8:24:09 PM | 55It's very difficult to get the head wrapped around the Mueller investigation as a contrivance to avoid going after Clinton, which shows a corrupted intelligence service working for political ends and saving the Democratic Party, which needs replacing. The evidence against Clinton is much more substantial than the continuing Mueller foray into inconsequence. If you need more on Clinton beyond the massive email problems she had to avoid revealing how much pay money she was getting, search on the DNC convention entirely corrupted over to her and then the Uranium One deal. Why is all this not being investigated? It should be Clinton-Gate not Russia-Gate. It seems that once again, as with late 02 and into 03, the populace has been hoodwinked into believing government falseness--as with the non-existent WMD and invasion of Iraq.
Dec 26, 2017 | The Unz ReviewList of Bookmarks
The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?
Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?
A year and a half into the investigation, and, still, no "collusion" has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the never-Trump media and Beltway establishment.
Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.
Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?
Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here:
That, from the outset, Director James Comey and an FBI camarilla were determined to stop Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Having failed, they conspired to break Trump's presidency, overturn his mandate and bring him down.
Essential to any such project was first to block any indictment of Hillary for transmitting national security secrets over her private email server. That first objective was achieved 18 months ago.
On July 5, 2016, Comey stepped before a stunned press corps to declare that, given the evidence gathered by the FBI, "no reasonable prosecutor" would indict Clinton. Therefore, that was the course he, Comey, was recommending. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, compromised by her infamous 35-minute tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton -- to discuss golf and grandkids -- seconded Comey's decision.
And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious? First, whether or not to indict was a decision that belonged to the Department of Justice, not Jim Comey or the FBI. His preemption of Justice Department authority was astonishing. Second, while Comey said in his statement that Hillary had been "extremely careless" with security secrets, in his first draft, Clinton was declared guilty of "gross negligence" -- the precise language in the statute to justify indictment.
Who talked Comey into softening the language to look less than criminal? One man was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, Jill, a Virginia state senate candidate, received a munificent PAC contribution of $474,000 from Clinton family friend and big bundler Terry McAuliffe.
Also urging Comey to soften the fatal phrase "gross negligence" was key FBI agent Peter Strzok. In text messages to his FBI lover Lisa Page, Strzok repeatedly vented his detestation of the "idiot" Trump. After one meeting with "Andy" (McCabe), Strzok told Page an "insurance policy" was needed to keep Trump out of the White House.
Also, it appears Comey began drafting his exoneration statement of Hillary before the FBI had even interviewed her. And when the FBI did, Hillary was permitted to have her lawyers present.
One need not be a conspiracy nut to conclude the fix was in, and a pass for Hillary wired from the get-go. Comey, McCabe, Strzok were not going to recommend an indictment that would blow Hillary out of the water and let the Trump Tower crowd waltz into the White House.
Yet, if Special Counsel Robert Mueller cannot find any Trump collusion with the Kremlin to tilt the outcome of the 2016 election, his investigators might have another look at the Clinton campaign.
For there a Russian connection has been established.
Kremlin agents fabricated, faked, forged, or found the dirt on Trump that was passed to ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and wound up in his "dirty dossier" that was distributed to the mainstream media and the FBI to torpedo Trump.
And who hired Steele to tie Trump to Russia?
Fusion GPS, the oppo research outfit into which the DNC and Clinton campaign pumped millions through law firm Perkins Coie.
Let's review the bidding.
The "dirty dossier," a mixture of fabrications, falsehoods and half-truths, created to destroy Trump and make Hillary president, was the product of a British spy's collusion with Kremlin agents.
In Dec. 26′s Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough writes that the FBI relied on this Kremlin-Steele dossier of allegations and lies to base their decision "to open a counterintelligence investigation (of Trump)." And press reports "cite the document's disinformation in requests for court-approved wiretaps."
If this is true, a critical questions arises:
Has the Mueller probe been so contaminated by anti-Trump bias and reliance on Kremlin fabrications that any indictment it brings will be suspect in the eyes of the American people?
Director Comey has been fired. FBI No. 2 McCabe is now being retired under a cloud. Mueller's top FBI investigator, Peter Strzok, and lover Lisa, have been discharged. And Mueller is left to rely upon a passel of prosecutors whose common denominator appears to be that they loathe Trump and made contributions to Hillary.
Attorney General Bobby Kennedy had his "Get Hoffa Squad" to take down Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. J. Edgar Hoover had his vendetta against Dr. Martin Luther King. Is history repeating itself -- with the designated target of an elite FBI cabal being the President of the United States?
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."
KenH , Next New Comment December 26, 2017 at 11:07 pm GMTJFK wanted to break the CIA into a million pieces and I think Trump needs to shatter the FBI into a million pieces after these latest revelations. The FBI stinks to high heaven and have for quite a long time now. They have become a highly politicized federal law enforcement agency who often collaborate with mortal enemies of America like the ADL and other "watchdog" groups in addition to assuming the biases of said organizations against certain groups of Americans.Rich , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:34 am GMT
They behave like a bunch of cowboys and police state thugs and their treatment of and unnecessary raid on Paul Manafort's home was just the tip of the iceberg. The FBI is becoming a clear and present danger to civil liberties.Trump was a bit of a wild card to the establishment elites. He lived in the public spotlight for most of his adult life, so his foibles were well known, and he had too much money to be bought off. Mueller was given his job to make sure Trump doesn't stray too far from the elitists program. He appears to have been cowed and is walking the straight left of center republican line, now.T. G. , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:42 am GMT"A game going on inside the intelligence community":anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:58 am GMT"For there a Russian connection has been established.MEexpert , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT
Kremlin agents fabricated, faked, forged, or found the dirt on Trump that was passed to ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and wound up in his "dirty dossier" that was distributed to the mainstream media and the FBI to torpedo Trump."
No worries -- as long as somebody can still accuse "Kremlin agents" of something, the Establishment will be just fine.
Time for Mr. Napolitano to take his turn at the spinning wheel?exiled off mainstreet , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 8:05 am GMT
Second, while Comey said in his statement that Hillary had been "extremely careless" with security secrets, in his first draft, Clinton was declared guilty of "gross negligence" -- the precise language in the statute to justify indictment.
If any Joe or Jane Shmo at Boeing or Lockheed-Martin had done what Hillary did he or she would have been fired and fined or jailed or both. His or hers security clearance would have been permanently revoked. So much for liberty and justice for all.
What was the original mandate for Robert Mueller? If after all this time he has not been able to find any connection between Trump campaign and Putin then that phase of the investigation must end. The Justice Department appointed him and they should put a stop to that portion of the investigation. They can always give him a new mandate to investigate Hillary campaign's connection with Russia. These investigations should never be open ended. Lots of money is wasted and it gives the investigator an opportunity to satisfy personal vendetta.This connects the dots in a reasonable fashion on most of the major issues brought out by what this is: the Clinton crowd/deep state effort to "get" Trump.LondonBob , December 27, 2017 at 11:40 am GMT
The only thing I would take exception with is to call the phony allegations of the GPS Steele dossier to be "Kremlin" based. They might have talked to Russians, but they were not acting on behalf of the Putin government when they talked. These individuals were doing no more than telling the Clinton researchers what they thought they would want to hear so that generous payments would be forthcoming.@anonymous
Rather obvious Steele made it all up.
Dec 23, 2017 | dailymail.co.uk
More than 40 bipartisan former government officials and attorneys [Deep State globalists] are telling President Trump and Congress to leave Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller alone so he can do his 'job.'
In two letters, the former U.S. attorneys and Republican and conservative officials pushed back against efforts to discredit the special counsel investigating [alleged] Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The letters come a week after speculation that Trump wanted Mueller fired over recent revelations that two former FBI agents, assigned to investigate the alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia, had sent each other hundreds of 'anti-Trump' text messages during the campaign and election.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.bbc.com
In recent weeks, conservative commentators and politicians have begun arguing, with growing intensity, that Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is the result of an intentional effort by biased investigators to undermine the Trump presidency.
There are a number of components to the case they are presenting, from doubts about the impartiality of Mr Mueller and his team to questions about the integrity of the FBI and the Obama-era Justice Department.
All of it could be setting the ground for new investigations into the FBI or Democrat Hillary Clinton's actions while secretary of state - something Mr Trump himself has suggested - or perhaps even for the president to order the end of Mr Mueller's probe.
Such an action would provoke a major political crisis and could have unpredictable consequences. For Mr Trump's defenders, it may be enough simply to mire Mr Mueller's investigation in a partisan morass. Here are some are some of the ways they're trying to do that.Tell-tale texts?
Peter Strzok, a senior counter-intelligence agent in the FBI and until this summer a top member of Mr Mueller's special counsel team, has become Exhibit A of anti-Trump bias in the Russia investigation.
A Justice Department inspector general review of the FBI's handling of its 2016 election investigations unearthed text messages between Mr Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also temporarily worked on the Mueller investigation and with whom Mr Strzok was having an extramarital affair.
Some of the messages, which were provided to reporters, showed the two had a hostility toward then-candidate Trump in 2016. Ms Page called Mr Trump a "loathsome human" in March, as the candidate was cementing his lead in the Republican primary field. Three months later - after Mr Trump had secured the nomination - Mr Strzok wrote that he was an "idiot" who said "bigoted nonsense".
In an August text, Mr Strzok discussed a meeting with then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in which Ms Page apparently had mentioned there was "no way" Mr Trump could be elected.
"I'm afraid we can't take that risk," Mr Strzok wrote. "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."
Some have theorised that the "insurance policy" in question was an FBI plan to destroy Mr Trump if he were to win. Others have suggested that it was simply a reference to the need to continue working the Trump-Russia investigation even though his election seemed unlikely.
"It is very sad when you look at those documents," Mr Trump said on Friday, apparently referring to the texts. "And how they've done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it." He said it was a shame what had happened to the FBI and that it would be "rebuilt".
Since the first coverage of the story, reporters have reviewed more of the Strzok-Page texts and found the two made disparaging comments about a wide range of public figures, including Chelsea Clinton, Democrat Bernie Sanders, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and Mrs Clinton.
"I'm worried about what happens if HRC is elected," Mr Strzok wrote, referring to Mrs Clinton by her initials.
Why it could matter: If Mr Strzok, a high-ranking member of the FBI who officially launched the initial investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, harboured anti-Trump animus, there is the possibility it could have motivated him to influence the investigation to the president's disadvantage.
Why it might not: Government employees are allowed to express political views as long as they don't influence their job performance. The breadth of the Strzok-Page texts could indicate they were just gossiping lovers. Without context, Mr Strzok's "insurance" line is vague. When Mr Mueller learned of the text this summer, Mr Strzok was removed from the independent counsel investigation and reassigned to a human resources job.
The Clinton case
Mr Strzok also figures prominently in Republican concerns about the FBI's handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Mr Strzok took part in interviews with key Clinton aides and reportedly was involved in drafting the report that concluded Mrs Clinton's actions did not warrant criminal charges, including changing the description of her handling of classified material from "grossly negligent" - which might have suggested illegal behaviour - to "extremely careless".
- The Trump-Russia saga in 200 words
- Who is in the drama to end all dramas?
- What is Robert Mueller tasked with?
During the campaign Mr Trump repeatedly insisted that the Justice Department should re-open its investigation into Mrs Clinton and, after backing away from the idea early in his presidency, has once again renewed those calls.
"High ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgement," Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte said during a House Judicial Committee hearing.
There's also the possibility that there were more communications between Ms Page and Mr Strzok about the Clinton investigation that have yet to come to light.
"We text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can't be traced, you were just venting [because] you feel bad that you're gone so much but it can't be helped right now," Ms Page wrote in one text.
Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he wants more information about the use of these "untraceable" phones.
Why it could matter: If FBI agents backed off their investigation of Mrs Clinton in 2016 it could be further evidence of bias within the bureau that could affect its ongoing investigation into Mr Trump. If public confidence in the FBI is eroded, the ultimate findings of Mr Mueller's probe may be cast in doubt.
Why it might not: Lest anyone forget, Mrs Clinton's candidacy was the one wounded by FBI actions in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Then-Director James Comey's announcement of new evidence in the inquiry into her private email server - perhaps prompted by anti-Clinton leaks from the bureau's New York office - dominated the headlines and renewed concerns about the former secretary of state. News of the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, on the other hand, didn't emerge until well after the election.
When it comes to the ongoing investigations into the investigations, it's not just the actions of the principals involved that have come under the spotlight. Spouses have figured prominently, as well.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the bureau's second-in-command, is married to Jill McCabe, a paediatrician who ran as a Democrat for a Virginia state senate seat in 2015 (before Mr McCabe was promoted to his current position). During the hotly contested race, Ms McCabe received $467,500 in campaign contributions from a political action committee controlled by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close political ally of the Clinton family.
Conservatives contend that this donation should have disqualified Mr McCabe from involvement in the Clinton case - and was yet another example of possible anti-Trump bias in the FBI's Russia investigation.
"If Mr McCabe failed to avoid the appearance of a partisan conflict of interest in favour of Mrs Clinton during the presidential election, then any participation in [the Russia] inquiry creates the exact same appearance of a partisan conflict of interest against Mr Trump," Senator Grassley wrote in a letter to then-Director Comey in March.
Meanwhile, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr was recently reported as being employed in 2016 by Fusion GPS, the political research firm that produced the dossier containing unconfirmed allegations of Mr Trump's Russia entanglements. Mr Ohr himself has been connected to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who collected the material for the dossier.
Fusion GPS's anti-Trump research efforts were originally funded by a Republican donor and later backed by groups associated with the Democratic Party and the Clinton presidential campaign.
Why it matters: "Power couples" - spouses with influential, complementary political jobs - are a Washington tradition, and the actions of one partner are often considered to reflect on the views and behaviour of the other. In Mr McCabe's case, his wife's Democratic activism and allegiances could shed light on his political sympathies. For Mr Ohr, his marriage could have served as a conduit to inject Democratic-funded opposition research into the Justice Department.
Why it might not: Having a political spouse is not evidence of official bias. The identity of the individuals or groups that funded and gathered anti-Trump research and how it ended up in government hands does not necessarily have a bearing on whether the information is valid or merits further investigation.
Follow the money
The individuals working on the Russia investigation have been billed as a "dream team" by Democrats and liberal commentators hoping the efforts will eventually topple the Trump presidency.
Many conservatives beg to differ.
In June, as details of the special counsel hires began to emerge, conservatives noted that some of the biggest names - Andrew Weissmann, James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee and Michael Dreeben - had given money to Democratic presidential candidates.
"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair," former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted . "Look who he is hiring."
Ms Rhee's private law work included representing Democrats, such as Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit brought by a conservative activist group.
Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz recently travelled to Florida with Mr Trump and said he told the president that the independent counsel investigation was "infected with bias" against him - a view echoed in the conservative press.
"What we've seen over the past seven months of the Mueller investigation reveals a lot about how big government can end up becoming a threat to representative democracy," Laura Ingraham said on her Fox News programme. "And the more we look at the web of Clinton and Obama loyalists who burrowed into Mueller's office, the more obvious it all becomes."
Why it could matter: Political donations and legal work may be evidence of the ideological tilt of Mr Mueller's investigative team. That he has assembled a group of lawyers that may lean to the left could mean the investigation itself is predisposed to findings damaging to Mr Trump.
Why it might not: Investigators are adversarial by nature, and as long as Mr Mueller's team builds its cases with hard evidence, personal political views should not matter. While political partisans may focus on staff-level appointments, the investigation will rise and fall based on perceptions of Mr Mueller himself.Mr Mueller's waiver
Prior to accepting the position as special counsel investigating possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, Mr Mueller requested - and received - an "ethics waiver" for possible conflicts of interest from the US Department of Justice.
The government has confirmed the existence of the waiver but has not revealed any details, although speculation at the time was that it had to do with Mr Mueller's work at the law firm WilmerHale, which represented former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort - who Mr Mueller has since indicted on money-laundering charges - and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Why it could matter: Without further information about the nature of the waiver, some are speculating that there is more to this request than simply routine ethical paperwork. Given that Mr Mueller is a former director of the FBI, with ties to many of the bureau officials who are now coming under conservative scrutiny, Mr Mueller's own allegiances are being called into question.
Why it might not: Mr Mueller is a decorated war veteran who, prior to taking the special counsel role was widely praised for his independence and probity. He was appointed FBI head by Republican George W Bush in 2001. If Mr Mueller's waiver had explosive details indicating clear bias, it probably would have leaked by now.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Some nice graphics, almost useless interview.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.unz.com
The second point we want to make, relates to Mueller himself who–far from being a "stand-up fellow" with a spotless record, and an unshakable commitment to principle–is not the exemplar people seem to think he is. In fact, his personal integrity and credibility are greatly in doubt. Here's a little background on Mueller from former-FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley who was named Time's Person of the Year in 2002:
"Mueller's FBI was also severely criticized by Department of Justice Inspector Generals finding the FBI overstepped the law improperly serving hundreds of thousands of "national security letters" to obtain private (and irrelevant) metadata on citizens, and for infiltrating nonviolent anti-war groups under the guise of investigating "terrorism."
Comey and Mueller were complicit with implementing a form of martial law, perpetrated via secret Office of Legal Counsel memos mainly written by John Yoo and predicated upon Yoo's singular theories of absolute "imperial" or "war presidency" powers, and requiring Ashcroft every 90 days to renew certification of a "state of emergency."
Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities
Mueller didn't speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn't speak out against torture. He didn't speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn't tell the truth about 9/11." ("Comey and Mueller: Russia-gate's Mythical Heroes", Colleen Rowley, Counterpunch)
Illegal spying on American citizens? Infiltration of nonviolent anti-war groups? Martial law? Torture??
This is NOT how Mueller is portrayed in the media, is it?
The fact is, Mueller is no elder statesman or paragon of virtue. He's a political assassin whose task is to take down Trump at all cost. Unfortunately for Mueller, the credibility of his investigation is beginning to wane as conflicts of interest mount and public confidence dwindles. After 18 months of relentless propaganda and political skullduggery, the Russia-gate fiction is beginning to unravel.
Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMTPlease, let Mueller stay to become a poster boy for borgistas. With each day, the incompetence of the CIA' and FBI' brass has been revealing with the greater and greater clarity. They have sold out the US citizenry for personal gains.Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
Rod Rosenstein' role in particular should be well investigated so that his name becomes tightly connected to the "dossier" and all its racy tales.
" there was never sufficient reason to appoint a Special Counsel. The threshold for making such an appointment should have been probable cause, that is, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have shown why he thought there was 'reasonable basis to believe that a crime had been committed.' That's what's required under the Fourth Amendment, and that's the standard that should have been met. But Rosenstein ignored that rule because it improved the Special Counsel's chances of netting indictments. Even so, there's no evidence that a crime has been committed. None."
-- Anti-Consttutonal activity by Rod Rosenstein = Treason.@CorvinusAnon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm GMT
You mean, we should have better read the New Times and WaPo instead, in order to get the "gigantic scope of the investigation?" -- Thank you very much. But these ziocons' nests have not provided any hard facts related to the main goal of this particular investigation. However, a true and immense value of the investigation is the exposure of the incompetence of and political manipulations by the FBI deciders -- as well as the sausage making under Clinton leadership in the DNC kitchen.@Realistfnn , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm GMT
"It should have never been started. Trump and his administration screwed themselves."
The investigation is the best thing for the US. It has exposed traitors (leakers) in the US government, the corruption of the FBI (which provided the leaks and did not investigate the allegedly hacked DNC computers and white-washed Clinton's criminal negligence), and the spectacular incompetence of the DNC-FBI deciders (the cooperation with foreigners in order to derail the governance of the US by the elected POTUS). Cannot wait to hear more about Awan affair (the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity under the watch of the current FBI brass) and about the investigation of Seth Rich murder.Relic Adlai Stevenson-type liberal law prof Jonathan Turley:Anonymous , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 11:50 pm GMT
For those familiar with Mueller, the blunt-force approach taken toward the GSA is something of a signature of Mueller and his heavy-handed associates like Andrew Weissmann. As I have previously written, Mueller has a controversial record in attacking attorney-client privilege as well as harsh tactics against targets. As a U.S. attorney, he was accused of bugging an attorney-client conversation, and as special counsel he forced (with the approval of a federal judge) the attorney of Paul Manafort to become a witness against her own client. Weissmann's record is even more controversial, including major reversals in past prosecutions for exceeding the scope of the criminal code or questionable ethical conduct."There is no proof of hacking,"
Nor will any be produced either. If Trump were to drop dead tomorrow or, alternatively, decide to pack it in and go back to running hotels, Mueller's Star Chamber Committee would close down the day after. Mueller is a tool of The Powers That Be. And they want Trump OUT -- no matter what the cost.
Dec 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Just hours after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe delivered private testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, his boss, FBI Director Christopher Wray, announced that the bureau's top lawyer would be leaving his post, an attempt to bring in "new blood" to an agency whose reputation has been hopelessly compromised by revelations that agents' partisan bias may have influenced two high-profile investigations involving President Donald Trump and his former campaign rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
As the Washington Post reported, the FBI's top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned. WaPo says Baker's removal is part of Wray's effort to assemble his own team of senior advisers while he tries to defuse allegations of partisanship that have plagued the bureau in recent months.
But reports published over the summer said Baker was "the top suspect" in an interagency leak investigation, as we reported back in July
Three sources, with knowledge of the investigation, told Circa that Baker is the top suspect in an ongoing leak investigation, but Circa has not been able to confirm the details of what national security information or material was allegedly leaked.
A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of ongoing internal investigations in the bureau told Circa, "the bureau is scouring for leakers and there's been a lot of investigations."
The revelation comes as the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to contain leaks both within the White House and within its own national security apparatus.
The news of the staff shakeup comes as Trump and his political allies have promised to "rebuild" the FBI to make it "bigger and better than ever" following its "disgraceful" conduct over the Trump probe . Baker played a key role in the agency's handling of major cases and policy debates in recent years, including the FBI's unsuccessful battle with Apple over the growing use of encryption in cellphones.
CuttingEdge -> wmbz , Dec 22, 2017 9:41 AMJoe Davola -> ne-tiger , Dec 22, 2017 10:11 AM
Getting a bit tired of this "one of the most trusted, longest-serving et al" shite they troll out for every one of these vermin.
They said Comey was honourable...
And so many more...Abaco -> wmbz , Dec 22, 2017 2:02 PM
And the DOJ attorney who was in the meetings with Ohr needs to be looked at also. From my post a week ago:
who's husband was on the NSC
and as the article states, the husband is going to be working again with a guy who just so happened to be:
Prior to assuming his role in the NSD, Mr. Carlin served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Robert S. Mueller, III, former
Wondering if Newmann's name would be found on some unmasking requests or he's gotten some texts from Strok/Page.
Just like Clapper admitting to perjuring himself before congress and he is brought on TV to comment as if he is a decent person instead of being thrown in prison like anyone else would be.
Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc , April 03, 2017 at 04:50 PMPutin paid Millions of Rubles to get his puppet into office and keep Hillary Clinton out
Do you really believe he will sit back and do nothing now that he's been discovered
"How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election"
'Heard on All Things Considered' by Gabe O'Connor & Avie Schneider...April 3, 2017...4:53 PM ET
"When he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, former FBI agent Clint Watts described how Russians used armies of Twitter bots to spread fake news using accounts that seem to be Midwestern swing-voter Republicans.
"So that way whenever you're trying to socially engineer them and convince them that the information is true, it's much more simple because you see somebody and they look exactly like you, even down to the pictures," Watts told the panel, which is investigating Russia's role in interfering in the U.S. elections.
In an interview Monday with NPR's Kelly McEvers, Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, says the Russian misinformation campaign didn't stop with the election of President Trump.
"If you went online today, you could see these accounts -- either bots or actual personas somewhere -- that are trying to connect with the administration. They might broadcast stories and then follow up with another tweet that tries to gain the president's attention, or they'll try and answer the tweets that the president puts out," Watts says.
Watts, a cybersecurity expert, says he's been tracking this sort of activity by the Russians for more than three years.
"It's a circular system. Sometimes the propaganda outlets themselves will put out false or manipulated stories. Other times, the president will go with a conspiracy."
One example, he says, is Trump's claim that he was wiretapped at Trump Tower by the Obama administration. "When they do that, they'll then respond to the wiretapping claim with further conspiracy theories about that claim and that just amplifies the message in the ecosystem," Watts says.
"Every time a conspiracy is floated from the administration, it provides every outlet around the world, in fact, an opportunity to amplify that conspiracy and to add more manipulated truths or falsehoods onto it."
Watts says the effort is being conducted by a "very diffuse network." It involves competing efforts "even amongst hackers between different parts of Russian intelligence and propagandists -- all with general guidelines about what to pursue, but doing it at different times and paces and rhythms."
The White House has blamed Democrats for the allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election, saying the theory is a way to shift the blame for their election loss.
But Watts says "it's way bigger" than that. "What was being done by nation-states in the social media influence landscape was so much more significant than the other things that were being talked about," including the Islamic State's use of social media to recruit followers, he says."
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
Comey, for his part, wrote a memo alleging Trump had asked him to drop his investigation into Flynn, an act which some say could constitute obstruction of justice and thus grounds for seeking Trump's impeachment.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com
buzzkillean , 8 months agomeconnectesimplement , 8 months ago
Obama and Clinton thought they had the election in the bag. They broke surveillance laws thinking that Clinton would be in the Whitehouse to cover it anyway. Imagine their shock on election day when they realized how many felonies would be exposed when Trump took over.........cover-up.
Look at her face at 2:06 ... Scared and panicking Evelyn Farkas spilled the beans. By saying "I became very worried..." she's obviously trying to justify her behavior in case a legal bomb is dropped on her. This is a side effect of Nunes' dramatized little trip to the White House intelligence secure facilities: as long as they don't know Nunes and Trump's hands, panic will bring more people to come forward and look for some kind of justification and/or protection.
Dec 15, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Congressman Tells Rod Rosenstein That James Comey BROKE THE LAW then Rosenstein Agrees! 12/13/17
Congressman Louie Gohmert brings up the fact that past FBI Director James Comey broke federal law and FBI employee policy by intentionally leaking a memo of his conversations with President Donald Trump to a friend to then leak to the press. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then agrees with the Congressman.
Dec 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
FBI Edits To Clinton Exoneration Go Far Beyond What Was Previously Known; Comey, McCabe, Strzok Implicated Tyler Durden Dec 15, 2017 10:10 AM 0 SHARES detailed in a Thursday letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok
The letter reveals specific edits made by senior FBI agents when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey's statement with senior FBI officials , including Peter Strzok, Strzok's direct supervisor , E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) - in what was a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass to decriminalize Clinton's conduct by changing legal terms and phrases, omitting key information, and minimizing the role of the Intelligence Community in the email investigation. Doing so virtually assured that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted.
Heather Samuelson and Heather Mills
Also mentioned in the letter are the immunity agreements granted by the FBI in June 2016 to top Obama advisor Cheryl Mills and aide Heather Samuelson - who helped decide which Clinton emails were destroyed before turning over the remaining 30,000 records to the State Department. Of note, the FBI agreed to destroy evidence on devices owned by Mills and Samuelson which were turned over in the investigation.
Sen. Johnson's letter reads:
According to documents produced by the FBI, FBI employees exchanged proposed edits to the draft statement. On May 6, Deputy Director McCabe forwarded the draft statement to other senior FBI employees, including Peter Strzok, E.W. Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an employee on the Office of General Counsel whose name has been redacted. While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey's statement in at least three respects .
It was already known that Strzok - who was demoted to the FBI's HR department after anti-Trump text messages to his mistress were uncovered by an internal FBI watchdog - was responsible for downgrading the language regarding Clinton's conduct from the criminal charge of "gross negligence" to "extremely careless."
"Gross negligence" is a legal term of art in criminal law often associated with recklessness. According to Black's Law Dictionary, gross negligence is " A severe degree of negligence taken as reckless disregard ," and " Blatant indifference to one's legal duty, other's safety, or their rights ." "Extremely careless," on the other hand, is not a legal term of art.
According to an Attorney briefed on the matter, "extremely careless" is in fact a defense to "gross negligence": "What my client did was 'careless', maybe even 'extremely careless,' but it was not 'gross negligence' your honor." The FBI would have no option but to recommend prosecution if the phrase "gross negligence" had been left in.
18 U.S. Code § 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.In addition to Strzok's "gross negligence" --> "extremely careless" edit, McCabe's damage control team removed a key justification for elevating Clinton's actions to the standard of "gross negligence" - that being the " sheer volume " of classified material on Clinton's server. In the original draft, the "sheer volume" of material "supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information."
Also removed from Comey's statement were all references to the Intelligence Community's involvement in investigating Clinton's private email server.
Director Comey's original statement acknowledged the FBI had worked with its partners in the Intelligence Community to assess potential damage from Secretary Clinton's use of a private email server. The original statement read:
[W]e have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation.
The edited version removed the references to the intelligence community:
[W]e have done extensive work [removed] to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.
Furthermore, the FBI edited Comey's statement to downgrade the probability that Clinton's server was hacked by hostile actors, changing their language from "reasonably likely" to "possible" - an edit which eliminated yet another justification for the phrase "Gross negligence." To put it another way, "reasonably likely" means the probability of a hack due to Clinton's negligence is above 50 percent, whereas the hack simply being "possible" is any probability above zero.
It's also possible that the FBI, which was not allowed to inspect the DNC servers, was uncomfortable standing behind the conclusion of Russian hacking reached by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.
The original draft read:
Given the combination of factors, we assess it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account."
The edited version from Director Comey's July 5 statement read:
Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal e-mail account.
Johnson's letter also questions an " insurance policy " referenced in a text message sent by demoted FBI investigator Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, which read " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...."
One wonders if the "insurance policy" Strzok sent to Page on August 15, 2016 was in reference to the original counterintelligence operation launched against Trump of which Strzok became the lead investigator in "late July" 2016? Of note, Strzok reported directly to Bill Priestap - the director of Counterintelligence, who told James Comey not to inform congress that the FBI had launched a counterintelligence operation against then-candidate Trump, per Comey's March 20th testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. (h/t @TheLastRefuge2 )
Transcript , James Comey Testimony to House Intel Committee, March 20, 2016
The letter from the Senate Committee concludes; "the edits to Director Comey's public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI's public evaluation of the implications of her actions . This effort, seen in the light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an "insurance policy" against Mr. Trump's election, raise profound questions about the FBI's role and possible interference in the 2016y presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of President Trump ."
Johnson then asks the FBI to answer six questions:
- Please provide the names of the Department of Justice (DOJ) employees who comprised the "mid-year review team" during the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's use of a private email server.
- Please identify all FBI, DOJ, or other federal employees who edited or reviewed Director Comey's July 5, 2016 statement . Please identify which individual made the marked changes in the documents produced to the Committee.
- Please identify which FBI employee repeatedly changed the language in the final draft statement that described Secretary Clinton's behavior as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless. " What evidence supported these changes?
- Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to remove the reference to the Intelligence Community . On what basis was this change made?
- Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to downgrade the FBI's assessment that it was "reasonably likely" that hostile actors had gained access to Secretary Clinton's private email account to merely that than [sic] intrusion was "possible." What evidence supported these changes?
- Please provide unredacted copies of the drafts of Director Comey's statement, including comment bubbles , and explain the basis for the redactions produced to date.
We are increasingly faced with the fact that the FBI's top ranks have been filled with political ideologues who helped Hillary Clinton while pursuing the Russian influence narrative against Trump (perhaps as the "insurance" Strzok spoke of). Meanwhile, "hands off" recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions and assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein don't seem very excited to explore the issues with a second Special Counsel. As such, we are now almost entirely reliant on the various Committees of congress to pursue justice in this matter. Perhaps when their investigations have concluded, President Trump will feel he has the political and legal ammunition to truly clean house at the nation's swampiest agencies.swmnguy -> 11b40 , Dec 15, 2017 4:42 PM
All I see in this story is that the FBI edits their work to make sure the terminology is consistent throughout. This is not a smoking gun of anything, except bureaucratic procedure one would find anywhere any legal documents are prepared.
That's not to say Hillary shouldn't have been prosecuted. But what we're seeing here looks like perfectly normal behavior once the decision has been made not to prosecute; get the statements to be consistent with the conclusion. In a bureaucracy, that requires a number of people to be involved. And it would necessarily include people who work for Hillary Clinton, since that's whose information is being discussed.
Now, if Hillary hadn't been such an arrogant bitch, we wouldn't be having this conversation. If she had just take the locked-down Android of iOS phone they issued her, instead of having to forward everything to herself so she could use her stupid Blackberry (which can't be locked down to State Dep't. specs), everything would have been both hunky and dory.
And the stuff about how a foreign power might have, or might possibly have, accessed her emails is all BS too. We already know they weren't hacked, they were leaked.
Maybe people who don't understand complicated organizations see something nefarious here, but nobody who does will. Nothing will come of this but some staged-for-TV dramatic pronouncements in the House, and on FOX News, and affiliated websites. There's nothing here.
youarelost , Dec 15, 2017 8:59 AME.F. Mutton -> youarelost , Dec 15, 2017 9:04 AM
What did Obozo know and when did he know itBigly -> E.F. Mutton , Dec 15, 2017 9:14 AM
False Flag time - distraction needed ASAPshitshitshit -> Bigly , Dec 15, 2017 9:16 AM
We need to look for this as there are a LOT of people who need to be indicted and boobus americanus needs distraction.
My concern is that there are not enough non-corrupts there to handle and process the swamp as Trump did not fire and replace them 10 months ago.cheka -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 9:45 AM
I wonder how high will this little game go...
That obongo of all crooks is involved is a sure fact, but I'd like to see how many remaining defenders of the cause are still motivated to lose everything for this thing...
In other terms, what are the defection rates in the dem party, because now this must be an avalanche.macholatte -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 10:23 AM
applied neo-bolshevismBay of Pigs -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 12:02 PM
I am tired of this shit. Aren't you?
Please, EVERYONE with a Twitter account send this message Every Day (tell your friends on facebook):
Mr. President, the time to purge the Obama-Clinton holdovers has long passed. Please get rid of them at once. Make your base happy. Fire 100+ from DOJ - State - FBI. Hire William K. Black as Special Prosecutor
send it to:
Does anybody know how to start an online petition?
Let's make some NOISE!!11b40 -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:22 PM
Sadly, I don't see this story being reported anywhere this morning. Only the biggest scandal in American history. WTF?grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:53 PM
Debatable re. biggest story being kept quiet. The AWAN Brothers/Family is a Pakistani spy ring operating inside Congress for more than a decade, and we hear nothing. They had access to virtually everything in every important committee. They had access to the Congressional servers and all the emails. Biggest spy scandal in our nations hsitory, and........crickets.
Of course, they may all be related, since Debbie Wasserman-Shits brought them in and set them up, then intertwined their work in Congress with their work for the DNC.ThePhantom -> grizfish , Dec 15, 2017 3:35 PM
They have had a year to destroy the evidence. Why should the CIA controlled MSM report the truth? It's just like slick willy. Deny. Deny. Deny.grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 4:29 PM
The Media is "in on it" and just as culpabale.... everyone's fighting for their lives.Lanka -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 2:27 PM
Just more theater. Throwing a bone to the few citizens who think for themselves. Giving us false hope the US legal system isn't corrupt. This will never be prosecuted, because the deep state remains in control. They've had a year to destroy the incriminating evidence.TerminalDebt -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 PM
Tillerson is extremely incompetent in housecleaning. He needs to be replaced by Fred Kruger, Esq.Joe Davola -> TerminalDebt , Dec 15, 2017 1:27 PM
I guess we know now who the leaker was at the FBI and on the Mule's teameclectic syncretist -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:01 AM
I'm guessing the number of leakers is bigger than 1Overfed -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:58 AM
What's next? The FBI had Seth Rich killed? Is that why Sessions and everyone else appears paralyzed? How deep does this rabbit hole go?Mr. Universe -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 11:24 AM
I'm sure that Chaffets and Gowdy will hand down some very stern reprimands.Duane Norman -> Mr. Universe , Dec 15, 2017 11:31 AM
Ryan and his buddies in Congress will make strained faces (as if taking a dump) and wring their hands saying they must hire a "Special" Investigator to cover up this mess.Gardentoolnumber5 -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 3:12 PM
Yeah, but it won't make a difference.ThePhantom -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 3:38 PM
Chaffets left Congress because he couldn't get any more help from Trump's DOJ than he did from Obama's. Sad, as he was one of the good guys. imogrizfish -> ThePhantom , Dec 15, 2017 4:38 PM
did you notice the story yesterday about "Russian hacker admits putin ordered him to steal dnc emials" ? someones worried about it....Bush Baby -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 11:37 AM
They tweet that crap all the time. Usually just a repeat with different names, but always blaming a Ruskie. About every 6 months they hit on a twist in the wording that causes it to go viral.eclectic syncretist -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 11:57 AM
Before Trump was elected , I thought the only way to get our country back was through a Military Coup, but it appears there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.rccalhoun -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 PM
I wonder if that light is coming from the soon to be gaping hole in the FBI's asshole when the extent of this political activism by the agency eventually seeps into the public conciousness.Lanka -> rccalhoun , Dec 15, 2017 2:31 PM
you can't clean up a mess of this magnitude. fire everyone in washington---senator, representative, fbi, cia, nsa ,etc and start over---has NO chance of happenning
the only hope for a non violent solution is that a true leader emerges that every decent person can rally behind and respect, honor and dignity become the norm. unfortunately, corruption has become a culture and i don't know if it can be eradicatedshankster -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 4:11 PM
Just expose the Congress, McCabe, Lindsey, McCabe, Clinton, all Dem judges, Media, Hollywood, local government dems as pedos; that will half-drain the swamp.lew1024 -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 2:54 PM
Does the US public have a consciousness?checkessential -> BennyBoy , Dec 15, 2017 1:00 PM
If Trump gets the swamp cleaned without a military coup, he will be one of our greatest Presidents. There will be people who hate that more than they hate being in jail.TommyD88 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 1:09 PM
And they say President Trump obstructed justice for simply asking Comey if he could drop the Michael Flynn matter. Wow.Overfed -> redmudhooch , Dec 15, 2017 2:47 PM
Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of that which you yourself are doing.A Sentinel -> TommyD88 , Dec 15, 2017 2:13 PM
Getting rid of the FBI (and all other FLEAs) would be a good thing for all of us.lurker since 2012 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 4:09 PM
Precisely. That's actually a very good tool for decoding the Clintons and Obama. "You collaborated with Russia." Means "I collaborated with Saudi Arabia." It takes a little while and I haven't fully mastered it yet, but you can reverse alinsky-engineer their statements to figure out what they did.Ramesees -> BaBaBouy , Dec 15, 2017 9:31 AM
And get this, Flynn was set up! Yates had the transcript via the (illegal) FISA Court of warrant which relied on the Dirty Steele Dossier, when Flynn deviated from the transcript they charged him Lying to the FBI. Comey McCabe run around lying 24/7. Their is no fucking hope left! The swamp WINS ALWAYS.A Sentinel -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 2:14 PM
I have - it's was NBC Nightly News - they spent time on the damning emails from Strozk. Maybe 2-3 minutes. Normal news segment time. Surprised the hell out of me.ThePhantom -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 3:41 PM
Someone probably got fired for that.
the "MSM" needs to cover their own asses ...like "an insurance policy" just in case the truth comes out... best to be seen reporting on the REAL issue at least for a couple minutes..
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Publius Tacitus -> sbjonez... , 06 December 2017 at 10:35 AMYou are correct that there is no public source yet confirming the FBI paid Steele. However, the FBI's refusal to turn over relevant documents regarding their relationship with Steele tells me there was money paid. What is indisputable is that th information in the dossier was used as a predicate to seek permission from a FISA court to go after Trump and his team. That is outrageous.
Sylvia 1 , 06 December 2017 at 12:48 PMThis is increasingly my take as well -- the FBI, CIA and NSA do seem to have "conspired" to destroy Donald Trump. I finger Brennan, Clapper, Susan Rice, Benjamin Rhodes, and maybe Samantha Power as being involved in the flood of illegal leaks earlier in the year that did so much to pave the way for Mueller's appointment.blue peacock , 07 December 2017 at 12:18 AM
What I fail to understand is why Democrats are sitting back and cheering as these agencies work together to destroy a duly elected President of the USA. Does anyone really believe that if these agencies get away with it this time they will stop with Trump?
All these agencies are out of control and are completely unaccountable.Publius TacitusThe real story is that the FBI, the NSA and the CIA effectively conspired to try to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump.
How can this conspiracy be investigated? Who could do it? Clearly not anyone from the DoJ, FBI, CIA and NSA as they are fully compromised.
Nov 06, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
The Hill , early drafts of former FBI Director James Comey's statement on Hillary Clinton's email case accused the former Secretary of State of "gross negligence" in her handling of classified information as opposed to the "extremely careless" phrase that made its way into the final statement.
As The Hill further points out, the change in language is significant since federal law states that "gross negligence" in handling the nation's intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines whereas "extreme carelessness" has no such legal definition and/or ramifications.
An early draft of former FBI Director James Comey's statement closing out the Hillary Clinton email case accused the former Secretary of State of having been 'grossly negligent" in handling classified information, new memos to Congress show.
The tough language was changed to the much softer accusation that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information when Comey announced in July 2016 there would be no charges against her.
The draft, written weeks before the announcement of no charges, was described by multiple sources who saw the document both before and after it was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee this past weekend.
"There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information," reads the statement, one of Comey's earliest drafts.
Those sources said the draft statement was subsequently changed in red-line edits to conclude that the handling of 110 emails containing classified information that were transmitted by Clinton and her aides over her insecure personal email server was "extremely careless."
Of course, Comey's final statement, while critical of Hillary's email usage, alleged that no prosecutor would pursue charges against actions which he described only as "extremely careless."
"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."
"There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation."
Meanwhile, Section 793 of federal law states that "gross negligence" with respect to the handling of national defense documents is punishable by a fine and up to 10 years in prison ...so you can see why that might present a problem for Hillary.
"Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer -- shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
Unfortunately, The Hill's sources couldn't confirm the most important detail behind this bombshell new revelation, namely who made the call to the change the language...
The sources, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the memos show that at least three top FBI officials were involved in helping Comey fashion and edit the statement, including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker and Chief of Staff Jim Rybicki.
The documents turned over to Congress do not indicate who recommended the key wording changes, the sources said. The Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to demand the FBI identify who made the changes and why, the sources said.
...that said, we're going to go out on a limb and question whether it just might have had something to do with that infamous meeting between Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey's boss, that happened just 6 days before Comey made his statement?
NoVa -> hedgeless_horseman , Nov 6, 2017 3:53 PMCuttingEdge -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 6, 2017 4:12 PM
That memo was obviously written before Bill talked with Lynch on the Phoenix tarmac (about 115 degress) to discuss golf and their grandchildren...
NoVaBastiat -> CuttingEdge , Nov 6, 2017 4:19 PM
Ships deserting a sinking ratpods -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 6, 2017 4:16 PM
Seems like Comey must have got zapped with a cattle prod no matter which way he went. Serves him right for giving up his soul for power.2ndamendment , Nov 6, 2017 3:52 PM
The mere presence of a private server that sent/received classified information is THE EVIDENCE that she intended to mishandle classified information. Jesus H. Christ on a cracker what are these people smoking? That's like saying that just because you were drunk and decided to drive that you didn't intend to drive drunk.
podsmoneybots , Nov 6, 2017 4:20 PM
And yet STILL no charges. Shocking, I know.
Christopher Steele must have some serious dirt on Comey that this has all been swept under the rug.
" ...early drafts of former FBI Director James Comey's statement on Hillary Clinton's email case accused the former Secretary of State of "gross negligence" in her handling of classified information as opposed to the "extremely careless" phrase that made its way into the final statement."
Extremely careless = gross negligence.
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comHillary's former IT consultant Paul Combetta who admitted to deleting Hillary's emails despite the existence of a Congressional subpoena, it seems as though James Comey has just had his very own "oh shit" moment.
After months of inexplicable delays, the chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), announced moments ago a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
Among other things, Goodlatte and Gowdy said that the FBI must answer for why it chose to provide public updates in the Clinton investigation but not in the Trump investigation and why the FBI decided to " appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton," a power typically left to the DOJ.
"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic and our fellow citizens must have confidence in its objectivity, independence, and evenhandedness. The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight.
"Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered. These include, but are not limited to:
- FBI's decision to publicly announce the investigation into Secretary Clinton's handling of classified information but not to publicly announce the investigation into campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump;
- FBI's decision to notify Congress by formal letter of the status of the investigation both in October and November of 2016;
- FBI's decision to appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton to the FBI rather than the DOJ;
- FBI's timeline in respect to charging decisions.
'The Committees will review these decisions and others to better understand the reasoning behind how certain conclusions were drawn. Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our justice system by ensuring transparency and accountability of actions taken."
???? #BREAKING : @RepGoodlatte & @TGowdySC to investigate #DOJ decisions made in 2016 to ensure transparency and accountability at the agency. pic.twitter.com/EOm4pnHbTG
-- House Judiciary ? (@HouseJudiciary) October 24, 2017
Of course, this comes just one day after Comey revealed his secret Twitter account which led the internet to wildly speculate that he may be running for a political office...which, these days, being under investigation by multiple Congressional committees might just mean he has a good shot.
Finally, we leave you with one artist's depiction of how the Comey 'investigation' of Hillary's email scandal played out...
AlaricBalth -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 1:03 PMGhost of PartysOver -> AlaricBalth , Oct 24, 2017 1:10 PM
"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic..."
Spewed coffee after reading this quote.nope-1004 -> Ghost of PartysOver , Oct 24, 2017 1:12 PM
Oh goody, Trey Gowdy doing another investigation. Isn't he 0 for many on his investigations. 0 as in zero, nada, nill, squat, zippo. He is another political empty suit with a bad haircut.macholatte -> nope-1004 , Oct 24, 2017 1:17 PM
Live stream for all to witness.Thought Processor -> Chupacabra-322 , Oct 24, 2017 2:11 PM
It's nice publicity to hear that the Congress is "investigating". It's NOT nice to know that the DOJ is doing nothing. Probably 50 top level people at the FBI need to be fired as well as another 50 at DOJ to get the ball rolling toward a Grand Jury. Until then, it's all eyewash and BULLSHIT!Ikiru -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 2:02 PM
Well said. The Clinton network leads to the real money in this game. Any real investigation would expose many of the primary players. It would also expose the network for what it is, that being a mechanism to scam both the American people and the people of the world.
Perhaps a real investigation will now only be done from outside the system (as the U.S. political system seems utterly incapable of investigating or policing itself). Though in time all information will surface, as good players leak the info of the bad players into the open. Which of course is why the corrupt players go after the leakers, as it is one key way they can be taken down. Also remember that they need the good players in any organization to be used as cover (as those not in the know can be used to work on legit projects). Once the good players catch on to the ruse and corruption it is, beyond a certain tipping point, all over, as the leaked information goes from drop to flood. There will simply be no way to deny it.jimmy c korn -> Richard Chesler , Oct 24, 2017 1:28 PM
You're probably right, but there's a chance this whole thing could go sidewise on Hillary in a hurry, Weinstein-style. If the criminal stench surrounding her gets strong enough, the rats will begin to jump ship. People will stop taking orders and doing her dirty work. She's wounded right now, if there was ever a time to finish her, it would be now. Where the fuck is the big-talking Jeff Sessions? I think they got to him--he even LOOKS scared shitless.chunga -> Max Cynical , Oct 24, 2017 1:00 PM
a blind-folded woman with a hand in their pockets.shovelhead -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM
It's just not possible to have any respect for these politician people.
We already know Honest Hill'rey's other IT guy (Bryan Pagliano) ignored subpoenas from congress...twice. Remember Chaffetz "subpoenas are not suggestions"? Yeah, well they are. Chaffetz turned around and sent a letter about this to "attorney general" jeff sessions and he's done exactly shit about about it. (Look it up, that's a true story)
Then we've got president maverick outsider simply ignoring Julian Assange and Wikileaks while he squeals daily about fake news. Wikileaks has exposed more fraud than Congress ever has.DirtySanchez -> shovelhead , Oct 24, 2017 1:05 PM
First we need to get a US Attorney. Our last one seems to have gone AWOL.waterwitch -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 1:18 PM
Sessions is the Attorney General. Give the man some credit. He recused himself from the Russia/Trump collusion, and this decision may very well save the republic.
If Sessions was actively involved, half the nation would never accept the findings, no matter the outcome. With Sessions voluntarily sidelined, the truth will eventually expose the criminal conspirators; all the way to the top.
Wikileaks and Assange have documented proof of criminal behavior from Obama, Lynch, Holder, Hillary, W. Bush, and more. This will be the biggest scandal to hit the world stage. Ever.IronForge , Oct 24, 2017 12:36 PM
Bigger than the Awan Spy ring in Congress?To Hell In A Ha... , Oct 24, 2017 12:40 PM
About Fracking Time. Toss that Evidence Eraser into Black Sites hot during the Summer and Cold during the Winter Months.E.F. Mutton , Oct 24, 2017 12:37 PM
lol Another classic case of "the Boy that cried wolf" for the Trumpettes to believe justice is coming to the Clintons. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees, will turn up nothing, apart from some procedural mistakes. A complete waste of time and tax payer money. Only the Goldfish will be happy over another charade. Killary is immune from normal laws.ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:38 PM
Potemkin Justice. Not a damn thing will come of it unless they find that one of Hillary's aides parked in a handicapped spot.Akzed -> ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:39 PM
The TV said Comey will be running for president in 2020.ToSoft4Truth -> Akzed , Oct 24, 2017 12:51 PM
Well then it must be true.E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM
The TV showed me Trump saying, "She's been through enough" and "They're good people" when referring to Hillary and Bill Clinton. Holograms?mc888 -> BigWillyStyle887 , Oct 24, 2017 1:24 PM
The Blind Justice Lady is real, she just has a .45 at the back of her head held by Hillary. And don't even ask where Bill's finger isDead Indiana Sky , Oct 24, 2017 12:43 PM
Congress can't do shit without DOJ and FBI, which are both compromised and corrupt to the core.
That should have been Sessions' first order of business.
He can still get it rolling by firing Rosenstein and replacing him with someone that will do the job.They can strike down the Comey immunity deals and arrest people for violating Congressional subpeona.
They can also assemble a Grand Jury to indict Rosenstein and Mueller for the Russian collusion conspiracy to commit Espionage and Sabotage of our National Security resources. Half of Mueller's staff will then be indicted, along with Clinton, Obama, Lynch, Holder, and Comey.
Replacement of Rosenstein is the crucial first step.
Stopped reading at "they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status."
Sep 05, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC computers, downloaded emails and a passed the stolen missives to Julian Assange's crew at Wikileaks, a careful examination of the timeline of events from 2016 shows that this story is simply not plausible.
Let me take you through the known facts:1. 29 April 2016 , when the DNC became aware its servers had been penetrated (https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f). Note. They apparently did not know who was doing it. 2, 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. 3. 25 May 2016. The messages published on Wikileaks from the DNC show that 26 May 2016 was the last date that emails were sent and received at the DNC. There are no emails in the public domain after that date. In other words, if the DNC emails were taken via a hacking operation, we can conclude from the fact that the last messages posted to Wikileaks show a date time group of 25 May 2016. Wikileaks has not reported nor posted any emails from the DNC after the 25th of May. I think it is reasonable to assume that was the day the dirty deed was done. 4. 12 June 2016, CrowdStrike purged the DNC server of all malware. Are you kidding me? 45 days after the DNC discovers that its serve has been penetrated the decision to purge the DNC server is finally made. What in the hell were they waiting for? But this also tells us that 18 days after the last email "taken" from the DNC, no additional emails were taken by this nasty malware. Here is what does not make sense to me. If the DNC emails were truly hacked and the malware was still in place on 11 June 2016 (it was not purged until the 12th) then why are there no emails from the DNC after 26 May 2016? an excellent analysis of Guccifer's role : Almost immediately after the one-two punch of the Washington Post article/CrowdStrike technical report went public, however, something totally unexpected happened -- someone came forward and took full responsibility for the DNC cyber attack. Moreover, this entity -- operating under the persona Guccifer 2.0 (ostensibly named after the original Guccifer , a Romanian hacker who stole the emails of a number of high-profile celebrities and who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison in May 2016) -- did something no state actor has ever done before, publishing documents stolen from the DNC server as proof of his claims.Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.
With that simple email, sent to the on-line news magazine, The Smoking Gun , Guccifer 2.0 stole the limelight away from Alperovitch. Over the course of the next few days, through a series of emails, online posts and interviews , Guccifer 2.0 openly mocked CrowdStrike and its Russian attribution. Guccifer 2.0 released a number of documents, including a massive 200-plus-missive containing opposition research on Donald Trump.
Guccifer 2.0 also directly contradicted the efforts on the part of the DNC to minimize the extent of the hacking, releasing the very donor lists the DNC specifically stated had not been stolen. More chilling, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be in possession of "about 100 Gb of data" which had been passed on to the online publisher, Wikileaks, who "will publish them soon." 7. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016. I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source.
Fool , 05 September 2017 at 09:01 AMWhere was it reported that Rich was a Sanders supporter?Publius Tacitus -> Fool... , 05 September 2017 at 09:15 AMThis is one of the reports, http://heavy.com/news/2016/08/seth-rich-julian-assange-source-wikileaks-wiki-dnc-emails-death-murder-reward-video-interview-hillary-clinton-shawn-lucas/.Anna -> Publius Tacitus ... , 05 September 2017 at 10:56 AM
Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/Stephanie -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 September 2017 at 12:12 PMSeth Rich's family have pleaded, and continue to plead, that the conspiracy theorists leave the death of their son alone and have said that those who continue to flog this nonsense around the internet are only serving to increase their pain. I suggest respectfully that some here may wish to consider their feelings. (Also, this stuff is nuts, you know.)Richardstevenhack -> Stephanie... , 07 September 2017 at 07:43 PM
"We also know that many people are angry at our government and want to see justice done in some way, somehow. We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare."
"Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Fox News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June."I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents.Anna , 05 September 2017 at 09:20 AM
It's unfortunate for the Rich family, but now that the connection is pretty much confirmed, they're going to have to allow the truth to come out.Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an "expert" at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen - and the directorate of Atlantic Council - are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of "intellect").LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM
Here is an article by Alperovitch: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/russian-cyber-attacks-in-the-united-states-will-intensify
Take note how Alperovitch coded the names of the supposed hackers: "Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee's computer network and accessed opposition research on Donald Trump, according to the Atlantic Council's Dmitri Alperovitch.
Two Russian groups ! codenamed FancyBear and CozyBear ! have been identified as spearheading the DNC breach." Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money.
The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US.PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully.LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM
And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters.
But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system?
One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet?
But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski?The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet.Richardstevenhack , 05 September 2017 at 06:23 PM
Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet.
Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with itScott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post:
Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f
The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html
Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East."
Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/
His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on.
The Seth Rich connection is pretty much a done deal, now that Sy Hersh has been caught on tape stating that he knows of an FBI report based on a forensic analysis of Rich's laptop that shows Rich was in direct contact with Wikileaks with an attempt to sell them DNC documents and that Wikileaks had access to Rich's DropBox account. Despite Hersh's subsequent denials - which everyone knows are his usual impatient deflections prior to putting out a sourced and organized article - it's pretty clear that Rich was at least one of the sources of the Wikileaks email dump and that there is zero connection to Russia.
None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak.
And Russiagate depends primarily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory.
The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism.
Originally from: [Jul 20, 2017] Fracking Around with the Russians by Philip Giraldi
I was particularly bemused by the comment by former CIA Chief John Brennan who denounced Trump's performance during the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg over the lack of a hard line against Putin and his failure to support the "word of the U.S. intelligence community" about Russian interference in the recent election. In an interview Brennan complained "He said it's an honor to meet President Putin. An honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault against our election? To me, it was a dishonorable thing to say."
Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter has demonstrated how the "word" of U.S. intel is not exactly what it might seem to be. And Brennan is not exactly a tabula rasa. As he observed in his comment, his ire derives from the claims over Russian alleged interference in the U.S. election, a narrative that Brennan himself has helped to create, to include his shady and possibly illegal contacting of foreign intelligence services to dig up dirt on the GOP presidential candidate and his associates. The dirt was dutifully provided by several European intelligence services which produced a report claiming, inter alia, that Donald Trump had urinated on a Russian prostitute in a bed previously slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.
And along the way I have been assiduously trying to figure out the meaning of last week's reports regarding the contacts of Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with two alleged Russian agents while reportedly seeking the dirt on Hillary. As it turns out, there may not have been any discussion of Hillary, though possibly something having to do with irregularities in DNC fundraising surfaced, and there may have been a bit more about the Magnitsky Act and adopting Russian babies.
Barring any new revelations backed up by actual facts revealing that something substantive like a quid pro quo actually took place, the whole affair appears to be yet another example of a politically inspired fishing expedition. This observation is not necessarily naivete on my part nor a denial that it all might have been an intelligence operation, but it is an acceptance of the fact that probing and maneuvering is all part and parcel of what intelligence agencies do when they are dealing with adversaries and very often even with friends. It does not necessarily imply that Moscow was seeking to overthrow American democracy even if it was trying to advance its own interests.
Dec 12, 2016 | dailywire.com
In an interview with Fox News' Eric Shawn, the former ambassador used the phrase "false flag operation" in reference to the CIA's purported assessment which concluded that Russia deliberately interfered with this year's US election to help Donald Trump secure the White House.
Suggesting that the Obama administration's lack of transparency makes it impossible to definitively conclude that the Russians were behind the hacking of US political parties, Bolton, who was reportedly appointed as Trump's deputy secretary of state (the second highest position at the State Department), appeared to break away from his characteristically national security-first philosophy to assert a theory about foul play at the highest levels of government,
"It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC was not a false flag operation," he told Fox News.
When asked to explain what he meant by the highly suggestive phrase "false flag," Bolton gave a hazy answer.
"We just don't know," stated Bolton, refusing to say whether the US government was purposely misleading the public, or worse, had a hand in the "false flag operation."
"But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree," said Bolton, adding:
If you think the Russians did this, then why did they leave fingerprints
We would want to know who else might want to influence the election and why they would leave fingerprints that point to the Russians. That's why I say until we know more about how the intelligence community came to this conclusion we don't know whether it is Russian inspired or a false flag
Here's the transcript, detailing the relevant part of Bolton's interview with Eric Shawn:
Bolton's comments reflected echo the skeptical attitude of the Trump team in the wake of The Washington Post's report on the CIA's unsettling findings about Russia's interference during the presidential election. Trump, himself, called the CIA's assessment "ridiculous" in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday.
"I think it's just another excuse. I don't believe it," the president-elect told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "Every week it's another excuse." Trumped added that "nobody really knows" who was behind the hacking of emails belonging to top Clinton advisors and DNC officials.
Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?
Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:
BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"
COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."
BURR: "But no content?"
BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"
COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."
Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."
Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .
May 23, 2017 | www.nytimes.com
John O. Brennan, the former director of the CIA, said publicly for the first time Tuesday that he was concerned about possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
President Trump asked two top intelligence officials to deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia, former officials said. Both of the intelligence officials are testifying before lawmakers on Tuesday.
Mr. Brennan, the former CIA director, said Tuesday that he became concerned last year that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act - wittingly or unwittingly - on Moscow's behalf.
"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," Mr. Brennan told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.
It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals," he said, adding that he did not know whether the Russian efforts were successful. He added, "I don't know whether such collusion existed." It was the first time he publicly acknowledged that he was concerned about possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
He said he left office in January with many unanswered questions about the Russian influence operation. Intelligence officials have said that Russia tried to tip the election toward Mr. Trump.
Mr. Brennan became so concerned last summer about signs of Russian election meddling that he held urgent, classified briefings for eight senior members of Congress, speaking with some of them over secure phone lines while they were away on recess. In those conversations, he told lawmakers there was evidence that Russia was specifically working to elect Mr. Trump as president.
Mr. Brennan was also one of a handful of officials who briefed both President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump in January on a broad intelligence community report revealing that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered an "influence campaign" targeting the presidential election.
- Matt Apuzzo
May 16, 2017 | www.eutimes.netFBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey deciding not to suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.
According to an interview transcript given to The Daily Caller, provided by an intermediary who spoke to two federal agents with the bureau last Friday, agents are frustrated by Comey's leadership.
"This is a textbook case where a grand jury should have convened but was not. That is appalling," an FBI special agent who has worked public corruption and criminal cases said of the decision. "We talk about it in the office and don't know how Comey can keep going."
The agent was also surprised that the bureau did not bother to search Clinton's house during the investigation.
"We didn't search their house. We always search the house. The search should not just have been for private electronics, which contained classified material, but even for printouts of such material," he said.
"There should have been a complete search of their residence," the agent pointed out. "That the FBI did not seize devices is unbelievable. The FBI even seizes devices that have been set on fire."
Another special agent for the bureau that worked counter-terrorism and criminal cases said he is offended by Comey's saying: "we" and "I've been an investigator."
After graduating from law school, Comey became a law clerk to a U.S. District Judge in Manhattan and later became an associate in a law firm in the city. After becoming a U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Comey's career moved through the U.S. Attorney's Office until he became Deputy Attorney General during the George W. Bush administration.
After Bush left office, Comey entered the private sector and became general counsel and Senior Vice President for Lockheed Martin, among other private sector posts. President Barack Obama appointed him to FBI director in 2013 replacing out going-director Robert Mueller.
"Comey was never an investigator or special agent. The special agents are trained investigators and they are insulted that Comey included them in 'collective we' statements in his testimony to imply that the SAs agreed that there was nothing there to prosecute," the second agent said. "All the trained investigators agree that there is a lot to prosecuted but he stood in the way."
He added, "The idea that [the Clinton/e-mail case] didn't go to a grand jury is ridiculous."
According to Washington D.C. attorney Joe DiGenova, more FBI agents will be talking about the problems at bureau and specifically the handling of the Clinton case by Comey when Congress comes back into session and decides to force them to testify by subpoena.
DiGenova told WMAL radio's Drive at Five last week, "People are starting to talk. They're calling their former friends outside the bureau asking for help. We were asked to day to provide legal representation to people inside the bureau and agreed to do so and to former agents who want to come forward and talk. Comey thought this was going to go away."
He explained, "It's not. People inside the bureau are furious. They are embarrassed. They feel like they are being led by a hack but more than that that they think he's a crook. They think he's fundamentally dishonest. They have no confidence in him. The bureau inside right now is a mess."
He added, "The most important thing of all is that the agents have decided that they are going to talk."
May 10, 2017 | www.eutimes.net
In the political swamp that is Washington, and in the press swamp, motor boats began speeding every which way in the wake of Trump's decision to fire FBI Director Comey.
People in the boats are holding up signs to explain the reason for the firing.
The first sign was: COMEY LIED. Comey lied the other day. He lied in testimony before Congress, when he said Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's long-time aide, had sent "hundreds and thousands" of emails to her husband, Anthony Weiner, some of which contained classified information. The truth was, the FBI says, contradicting Comey, a great many of those emails were merely "backed up" on Weiner's laptop via "backup devices." Huh? Does that actually mean something? Weiner obtained those emails out of the sky, delivered by a chariot, and not from Huma? Weiner's laptop was serving as a storage device, a personal little cloud? Somebody not connected to the Hillary campaign was using the social-media's porn star as a backup for classified data? Who would that be? Putin? Putin hacked the Hillary/DNC emails, and sent them to both WikiLeaks and Anthony Weiner? "Hi Anthony. Vlad here. Keep these thousands of emails for posterity."
The next motor boat running through the swamp featured a sign that said: COMEY SCREWED UP THE HILLARY INVESTIGATION. This sign can be interpreted several ways, depending on who is in the boat. One, Comey didn't press the investigation into Hillary's personal email server far enough last summer and fall. He stalled it. He didn't ask for an indictment. That's why Trump fired him yesterday. Trump didn't fire Comey right after he was elected president, when it would have been a simple bye bye. No, Trump waited five months and then lowered the boom. Sure.
The other meaning of COMEY SCREWED UP THE HILLARY INVESTIGATION is: Comey improperly told the world (last summer) that the FBI was investigating Hillary. His announcement influenced the election. The FBI is supposed to keep absolutely quiet about ongoing investigations. Comey didn't. Then he publicly closed the book on the investigation, opened it again, and closed it again. That's why Trump just fired him. Again, Trump waited five months after the election and then got rid of Comey. And of course, Trump was morally outraged that Comey exposed Hillary in the first place, when Comey should have remained silent. Sure. That makes a lot of sense.
The next motor boat speeding across the swamp held up a big sign that said, TRUMP FIRED COMEY TO STOP THE FBI FROM INVESTIGATING THE TRUMP-RUSSIA CONNECTION. You see, for five months, Trump happily left Comey in place, knowing Comey was investigating him, Trump, and yesterday Trump had enough of that, so he fired the FBI director. Right.
The next motor boat in the swamp held up a sign that said, THIS IS NIXON ALL OVER AGAIN, THIS IS TRUMP'S WATERGATE. The sign refers to the last sign, but ups the ante. And there is another sign that says, in the same vein, NOW WE CAN IMPEACH TRUMP. And another one that says, APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE THE TRUMP-RUSSIA CONNECTION.
I'm waiting for Bob Woodward of Watergate fame to step in and say, "It's all right, folks, I'm on the case. I'll handle it. I was just eating lunch and sipping a fine wine in my underground parking garage when a shadowy figure stepped out of the gloom and whispered, 'My throat is deep, and I'll spoon-feed you secrets for the next year, but you'll have to dig up the facts. Everybody is involved in the cover-up. Comey, Sessions, Pence, Bannon, Conway, Ivanka, Putin, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Stalin."
So why did Trump fire Comey yesterday?
I don't know, but the short answer might be: Comey's boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, told Trump to get rid of Comey. Sessions made the call.
Sessions now has a specific plan to make the FBI over in the image he prefers. Sessions wants to shape the Bureau according to his agendas. Sessions has looked into the Bureau and he now knows which people he wants to fire. He wants to get rid of the Obama crowd. He wants loyalists. He doesn't want a Dept. of Justice that is going in one direction, while the FBI is going in another. Sessions wants a predictable FBI. His own.
Joel Pollak, writing at Breitbart, has a simpler answer to the question, why fire Comey now? Pollak writes :
"But why fire Comey now? The answer is simple. The day before, President Barack Obama's former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper repeated, under oath, what he told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on March 5 - that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That gave the Trump administration the breathing room to dismiss Comey - which it simply did not have before."
In other words, now Trump can't be accused of firing Comey to stop "the truth" emerging about a Trump-Russia collusion, because there isn't any collusion.
Theoretically, that might be the case-but the spin machine doesn't care about the truth or who is right and who is wrong. The machine keeps running. Those motor boats keep moving across the swamp. Signs come out. People yell and scream.
Chuck Schumer may soon compare Trump to Benedict Arnold.
For the past 65 years, the CIA has been infiltrating media and promoting many messages. In certain cases, an op involves promoting CONFLICTING messages, because the intent is sowing discord, chaos, and division. In this instance (Comey/Trump), it's a walk in the park (or a ride in the swamp). All sorts of people on both sides already have steam coming out of their ears, without any nudging or provocation.
A child could run this spin counter-spin op.
And we're just getting started.Source
May 09, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.comPosted on May 9, 2017 by Yves Smith Trump's sudden and unexpected firing of FBI director James Comey is likely to damage Trump. The question is whether this move will simply serve as the basis for sowing further doubts in the mainstream media against Trump, or will dent Trump's standing with Republicans.
Comey made an odd practice of making moves that were arguably procedurally improper in his handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation, but some favored Clinton while others were damaging, given an impression of impartiality to the general public via getting both parties riled with Comey at various points in time. And regardless of what one thinks of his political and legal judgment, Comey had a reputation of being a straight shooter.
And more generally, the director of the FBI is perceived to be a role above the partisan fray. Firing him is fraught with danger; it has the potential of turning into in a Nixonian Saturday Night Massacre, where the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox led the press and public to see Nixon as desperate to stymie an investigation into Watergate charges. It was the archetypal "the coverup is worse than the crime".
To minimize risk, Trump's would have needed to have engaged in a whispering campaign against Comey, or least have notified some key figures in Congress that this was about to happen and give the rationale for the turfing out. And it appears he did do that to at least a degree, in that (as you will see below), Lindsay Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made a statement supporting the firing. But given the surprised reaction in the press, it looks like any ground-sowing for this move was minimal. Caution and preparation don't rank high as Trump Administration priorities.
More specifically, whether true or not, the Democrats are likely to use this move to claim that Comey was fired for digging too hard into Trump-Russia connections .
We'll know more in the coming hours and days. The official story is that attorney general Jeff Session and his deputy attorney general Rosenstein wanted Comey's head. And since the FBI does report to the Department of Justice, Sessions is within his rights to demand the firing of the head of the FBI and expect the President to respect his request. So if this proves to have been a reckless move, it will reflect Trump's poor judgment in selecting Sessions as his AG, who was a controversial pick from the outset.
From the Wall Street Journal :
In a letter to Mr. Comey, the president wrote, "It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a statement thanked Mr. Comey for his years of service to the country but said that a change in leadership at the bureau might be the best possible course of action.
"Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation's interests," said Mr. Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
Note that Sessions himself had been fired from the attorney general's office in the Clinton Administration. Clinton's attorney Janet Reno, who was the first to engage in large-scale firings of attorneys in the Department of Justice, also fired the head of the FBI. From Bloomberg :
Comey, who has led an investigation into Russia's meddling during the 2016 election and any possible links to Trump aides and associates, is only the second FBI chief to have been fired. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno dismissed William Sessions.
Trump's decision means that he will get to nominate Comey's successor while the agency is deep into the Russia inquiry. The move quickly intensified Democratic calls for a special prosecutor.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that Trump "has catastrophically compromised the FBI's ongoing investigation of his own White House's ties to Russia. Not since Watergate have our legal systems been so threatened, and our faith in the independence and integrity of those systems so shaken."
The Financial Times confirms that the Trump Administration didn't lay much groundwork with Congress :
Mr Comey's sudden dismissal shocked Republicans and Democrats. Brendan Boyle, a Democratic congressman, said the "stunning" action "shows why we must have a special prosecutor like our nation did in Watergate".
The proof of the pudding is whether Trump and Sessions will be able to ride out demands for a special prosecutor. Given how much noise and how little signal there has been, I would have though it was possible for Trump to tough this out. With the Democrats having peripheral figures like Carter Page as their supposed smoking guns, all they had was innuendo, amplified by the Mighty Wurlitzer of the media. But that may have gotten enough to Trump and his team to distort their judgment. Stay tuned.
Update 5/10, 12:15 AM . The Hill reports Dems ask Justice Dept, FBI to 'preserve any and all files' on Comey firing / Despite much howling for blood in the comments section, some readers there were able to provide what I was looking for, which is whether Congress had any basis for getting the info. Here are the two key remarks:
cm , May 9, 2017 at 7:42 pmWeakendSquire , May 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm
I support the firing of Comey, and would have supported it if done by Clinton, Obama, Sanders or Trump. His actions wrt "intent" in handling classified information, and his unilateral (in public at least) decision on leveling charges against Clinton (which was not his job) render him unfit for office.
Anyone opposing this firing should note they share opinions w/ John McCain, which ought to give any non-neocon pauseJim Haygood , May 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm
Both the Right and the Left are disinclined to believe in or care about any scandal involving Russia. And it was actually the Clinton partisans who demanded Comey's head in the first place–and we all know the Clinton history with independent prosecutors. So the Democrats who whine about this or call for an independent prosecutor just end up looking like the partisan hypocrites they are.
What this does, after a few days, is get the Russian hacking investigation out of the news, so everyone can focus firmly on debating how many people need to lose their health care to satisfy the tax-cut gods.screen screamer , May 9, 2017 at 8:02 pm
Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) made the biggest impression, going to the Senate floor about an hour after the announcement to clearly outline the stakes.
"Any attempt to stop or undermine this FBI investigation would raise grave constitutional issues," he told colleagues.
Constitutional issues ? HA HA HA HA
What is "Senator" Durbin doing about the war escalation in Afghanstan and Syria? My point exactly.
We've got a problem in politics
So few Richards, so many dicksNotTimothyGeithner , May 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm
Interestingly, Fed directors have a term of ten years and since Hoover, there has been only one to make it the full term. That would be Mr. Mueller who went twelve years as director directly following 911.
I must confess that I do not know why the others were let go or retired. I think it would make an interesting study.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Director_of_the_Federal_Bureau_of_InvestigationMatt , May 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm
FBI Director is one of those jobs where if you do a good job you should suffer burnout regardless of who you are. A 10 year term is bizarre if you expect a quality job. I would expect resignation and early retirement if the job is being taken seriously. Then you have to consider the quality of staff and team work arrangements at any given time and how much workload a FBI Director or Cabinet Secretary has to deal with.jo6pac , May 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm
I'm already seeing Twitter Dems doubling down on the Russia stuff. The Russia hysteria is setting us up so that there will be absolutely no political incentive for future Presidents to be friendly with Russia. I wonder if they don't know (or just don't care) that they aren't going to be able to put this genie back in the bottle after Trump is gone.John Zelnicker , May 9, 2017 at 9:51 pm
Thanks I love it and they just don't care and hoping the lame stream corp. owned media will carry their propaganda. Demodogs message is we didn't fail but those looser didn't vote for us the party of corp. Amerika. Double downMatt , May 9, 2017 at 10:39 pm
@Matt – I don't think the Twitter Dems can conceive of the notion that there is a genie or even a bottle in this situation. They are so caught up in the Russia!, Russia! hysteria that there is no room in their thinking for any kind of rational thought or any consideration of consequences.marym , May 9, 2017 at 8:08 pm
You're more hopeful that I am. I think the more militaristic among them are so cavalier about conflict with Russia because of the Hitler-level delusions many of them have about the military capacity of Russia.
"Just kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come down"
"We'll be greeted as liberators when we defeat the tyrant Putin!"
Just look at that SNL sketch that aired a few months ago. They think these people are frozen, ignorant peasants.MyLessThanPrimeBeef , May 9, 2017 at 8:37 pm
Nixon Library weighs in: https://twitter.com/NixonLibrary/status/862083605081862145
RichardNixonLibrary2Verified account? @NixonLibrary
FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI #FBIDirector #notNixonianAbateMagicThinking but Not mone y , May 9, 2017 at 8:39 pm
Nixon was smart enough to avoid Russia and the USSR, and instead, worked with China that would help suppress US wages for decades.JTMcPhee , May 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm
Personally I would be no good at power. My reading has led me to believe that you need a very strong stomach to endure what you have to deal with, whether it be human gore, hypocrisy, or the dark side of any civilization. I don't have that stomach, and if you take Comey's words at face value neither does he.
So I think you can take that as a thumbs-up.AbateMagicThinking but Not money , May 9, 2017 at 11:39 pm
Nah, ask Obomber. Once you get past a little queasiness, getting "pretty good at killing folks" is a piece of cake. It's just business as usual. Ask any Civil War or WW I general officer, or Bomber Harris, or Lemay or the young guy, farm boy from Iowa who was a door gunner I knew on Vietnam. Just no problem killing gooks. His moral line was killing the water buffalo. "I know how I'd feel if someone blew away my John Deere."Occasional Delurker , May 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm
Re: The youg guy with the agricultural machinery sensibilities:
Although he was the manipulator of terrible power, I see him as a victim (in the scheme of things), not a member of the power-elite. And the other military you mention, were they in the power-elite? Eisenhower should have been on your list, as he straddled the divide.Art Eclectic , May 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm
I'm curious how this will be interpreted by people who get their news mostly via headlines. (I also wonder what proportion of the voting population that is.)
The headlines I've seen so far, if they give a reason, just make reference to the Clinton email investigation. I sort of think this will be interpreted by many mostly-headline news gatherers as meaning that Trump fired Comey because he did not, in fact, lock her up. Indeed, even those who dig deeper may still believe that this is the real reason.
So, like so many things raged about in the media, I'm not sure this really hurts Trump amongst his voters. Probably helps, really.
And for something completely different, Snowden is not a fan:
https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/862069019301601281fresno dan , May 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm
All it does is reinforce existing bias. Dems are even more convinced about Russian ties, Reps are even more concerned the wheels are off, TrumpNation is even more convinced there's an evil plot out to get their guy. And the media has a click frenzy to drive ad rates.
Something for everyone.Huey Long , May 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm
"Trump's sudden and unexpected firing of FBI director James Comey is likely to damage Trump."
How neutral or unconcerned with what the Establishment views as the requisite dogma regarding Russia is Trump? Articles about Trump being unhappy about McMaster gives the impression that Trump still believe he (Trump) is the boss.
Yes, the dems have ridiculous notions about Russians as an excuse for Hillary. But being anti Russian is in the very DNA of the repubs. Would the repubs turn on Trump because Trump isn't fervently anti Russian enough? I very much think so .they have a good repub vice president that I am sure ALL of them much prefer ..NotTimothyGeithner , May 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm
You're right, the red party is a virulently anti-red outfit. I can see the die hard GOPers turning on the Trumpster, but will his base stand for it? The Trumpster does have a bit of a cult of personality going on in some circles.Carolinian , May 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm
Its important to remember the disdain the country has for Versailles in general. Trump became President despite universal support for Hillary and to a lesser extent Jeb on the shores of the Potomac.The Republican Id is dedicated to hating Democrats. Bill Clinton and Obama could play Weekend at Bernie's with Reagan corpse and kill Social Security, and Republicans would still hate them.
Communists and other boogeymen of the past are secondary to this drive. The Versailles Republicans, a different breed, could never deliver Republican votes outside of Northern Virginia for one simple reason their base despises Democrats more than they might hate Stalin. They will never give credit to a Democrat. Remember the liberal whining about how Republicans never gave Obama credit for his right wing policy pushes.
The other key point to the GOP voter relationship is Trump WON. He beat Jeb and his sheepdogs and then he beat Hillary (Hillary and the Dems lost). Trump is the their winner so to speak. As long as Trump is denounced by the usual suspects for bizarre reasons, Trump will maintain his hold.Huey Long , May 9, 2017 at 8:57 pm
They still have to have a case to make and there is none. Impeachment is just as much a fantasy as it was several months ago. In fact they no longer even have the argument that Trump must be stifled and prevented from doing all his crazy promises since they don't seem to be happening anyway.
Frankly I say good for Trump rather than letting Comey go all Janet Reno on him. If this country is going to be run by the NYT and the WaPo and CNN then we are truly sunk. He had it right when he was attacking this bunch rather than kowtowing to them.Alex Morfesis , May 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm
Although the Mighty Wurlitzer is going to take this firing and run with it, I wonder if anyone's really going to care outside of folks that watch a ton of CNN and MSNBC. I think scalping him at this point in his administration is likely to generate more protests and demonstrations than not scalping him.Huey Long , May 9, 2017 at 9:39 pm
Well don trumpioni may have stepped in it although, maybe this has less to do with russia perhaps fbi sorta sat on gulen charter school investigation and it would certainly help emperor trompe and prince erdo relationship if Fethu found his old self on an express flight to Ankara considering the bean "kurd" thing recently added on the takeout menu
Can easily imagine potus & his not ready for prime time players wanting to use the hoover building as a bludgeon against people who dont fall in line the blob counterforce
comey the straight shooter methynx is a bit of a "legend" but even the most slick and corrupt have certain lines they wont crossalex morfesis , May 10, 2017 at 1:49 am
Can easily imagine potus & his not ready for prime time players wanting to use the hoover building as a bludgeon against people who dont fall in line the blob counterforce
The FBI would be the preferred outfit for this sort of thing due to their many decades of experience bludgeoning those who don't fall in line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPROoho , May 9, 2017 at 9:18 pm
oh come one now that stuff never happened all you have is proof how can that stand up to narrativesseabos84 , May 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm
"Will Trump's Firing of FBI Director James Comey Be His Saturday Night Massacre?'
It would be interesting to take a poll on what percentage of citizens know that "Saturday Night Massacre" is not a horror film.
I'd be willing to bet a beer that this kerfuffle will be confined to the Beltway media and Sunday talk shows and will fade from the news cycle/Facebook feeds rather quickly.
People are tapped out mentally with political talk.Anonymous , May 9, 2017 at 10:23 pm
People are fed up. Savings & Loan mess & Iran Contra & & & & yawn Wall Street destroys the economy & no one goes to jail, Medical Industrial Complex management bloodsuckers insure that sickness leads to penury
1973 was 28 years after 1945. 1973 was 44 years ago. The post WW2 psuedo consensus is looooooooong gone.
I thought we hated Comey cuz of what he did to HRC? Today we hate Trump cuz Comey was going after the Russians? Crap I hate missing the 2 minute hate.
rmmDJPS , May 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm
I am no fan of Comey. I think his self-righteousness makes him a dangerous FBI Director and a loose cannon. However, people who think this is going to hurt Trump are likely wrong. If Trump knows there's nothing in the Russia story, but he continues to string out the Democrats with it, then they're the ones who are going to look foolish after having invested so much political capital in it. It may be the Russian story will be proven to be nonsense about October, 2018.John Wright , May 10, 2017 at 12:30 am
Since you can't prove a negative, the innuendo can continue ad nauseam.Loblolly May 10, 2017 at 1:11 am
I suspect the Democrats are unaware they are indirectly insulting the Trump voters by the Russian influence story.. They are in effect saying Trump voters were played by the "evil" Russians into voting for Trump, despite the 1Billion spend by Clinton and her considerable support in the US media. I don't imagine the Trump voters like this message.
It is truly remarkable, the Russians spend about 10% of what the USA does on "Defense" and are able to influence a US electorate that is largely unaware and unconcerned about world affairs.
I believe enough voters know that Clinton played fast and loose with the email server to avoid FOIA and the Clinton Foundation pulled in a lot of money from foreign governments as payment in advance to President Hillary Clinton..
The harping on the "Russia influenced the election enough to elect Trump" will bite the Democrats as they avoid the jobs, medical and economic issues that actually influenced the voters for Trump.
If Trump indirectly destroys both the Democratic and Republican parties, he might rank as one of our more important Presidents, quite unintentionally.djrichard , May 10, 2017 at 1:25 am
That would require us to be rational actors rather than the cartoon idiots the media portrays us as.Kim Kaufman , May 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm
I've taken to using doge speak in my comments on Yahoo articles and WaPo articles. I figure that's about as much intelligence the publishers are investing into the articles and into the audience, that I therefore tune my intelligence accordingly.Art Eclectic , May 9, 2017 at 10:52 pm
CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI's Russia investigation
By Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown, CNN
What seems to me to be most problematic for Flynn is not so much Russia but that he was getting paid by Turkey as a lobbyist while heading the NSA.readerOfTeaLeaves , May 9, 2017 at 11:53 pm
Nice. Team Trump managed to get out ahead of that story with their own. That's some ninja level media mastery.juliania , May 9, 2017 at 11:04 pm
The plot thickens.Wrong Letters , May 9, 2017 at 11:12 pm
If it has to do with the Russian electorial witch hunt stupidity, then yes, I think Comey ought to have been fired. For crying out loud, enough already! Delicate matters are being attempted in the Middle East, and there is no sense in pursuing that craziness. I don't understand why that shouldn't be a perfectly acceptable reason to change direction and start attending to real issues with someone in the office who would support Trump's legitimate claim (and Putin's) that there was no there there.Huey Long , May 10, 2017 at 1:26 am
Why doesnt he fire the top 10 layers of CIA instead? They are wreaking havoc for real everywhere domestically and abroad.Toolate , May 9, 2017 at 11:27 pm
I would imagine the CIA/Intel guys are way harder to get rid of. To quote the late, great Sen. Frank Church:
If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. ( )Yves Smith Post author , May 10, 2017 at 12:31 am
So not one poster here thinks the Russia story has any merit whatsoever? With those odds, the contrarian in me says hmmmHuey Long , May 10, 2017 at 1:07 am
Because people here are smart enough to be skeptical of hysterical MSM headlines with no real goods, you act as if you are some sort of smart contrarian, when you are just echoing a Democratic party/media narrative?
You do not seem to recognize that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The idea that billionaire, who was already famous in the US by virtue (among other things) of having a TV show that ran for 14 years and got billions of free media coverage during his campaign, is somehow owned by Putin, is astonishing on its face. Trump had to have been the focus of extensive Republican and Democratic party opposition research while he was campaigning.
And perhaps most important, the night he won, Trump clearly did not expect to win. His longstanding friend Howard Stern stated a view similar to ours, that Trump ran because it would be good PR and the whole thing developed a life of its own. And before you try saying politics doesn't work that way, the UK is now on a path to Brexit for the same reasons.
All the Dems and the media have come up with are some kinda-sorta connections to Russia. Trump as a very rich man who also has assembled a large team of political types in short order, would have people who knew people in all corners of the world. "X has done business with Y" is hardly proof o of influence, particularly with a guy like Trump, who is now famous for telling people what they want to hear in a meeting and backstabbing them the next day.
We've been looking at this for months. The best they can come up with is:
1. Manafort, who worked for Trump for all of four months and was fired. Plus his Russia connections are mainly through Ukraine. Podesta has strong if not stronger Russia ties, is a much more central play to Clinton and no one is making a stink about that. And that's before you get to the Clinton involvement in a yuuge uranium sale to Russia, which even the New York Times confirmed (but wrote such a weedy story that you have to read carefully to see that).
2. Carter Page, who was even more peripheral
3. Flynn, again not a central player, plus it appears his bigger sin involved Turkey
4. The conversation with the Russian ambassador, which contrary to the screeching has plenty of precedent (in fact, Nixon and Reagan did far more serious meddling)
5. The various allegations re Trump real estate and bank loans. Trump did have a really seedy Russian involved in a NYC development. One should be more worried that the guy was a crook than that he was Russian. Third tier, not even remotely in the oligarch class. There are also vague allegations re money laundering. The is crap because first, every NYC real estate player has dirty money in high end projects (see the big expose by the New York Times on the Time Warner Center, developed by the Related Companies, owned by Steve Ross). But second, the party responsible for checking where the money came from, unless it was wheelbarrows of cash, is the bank, not the real estate owner. Since the NYT expose there have been efforts to make developers/owners responsible too, but those aren't germane to Trump since they aren't/weren't in effect.
So please do not provide no value added speculation. If you have something concrete, that would be interesting, but I've been looking and I've seen nothing of any substance.LT , May 10, 2017 at 1:50 am
+1 on the Time Warner Center
Very few condos there are occupied for more than a few days per year, and most of the residents I encountered during my tenure there were not US citizens.
We were all very entertained when the Times broke the story.
Just FYI, Ross does not own the TWC outright, he only has a stake in the place albeit a sizable one since aquiring TIme Warner's office/studio unit.George Phillies , May 10, 2017 at 12:40 am
Trump a crook, but not any other oligarchs? The old saying goes something like behind every great fortune is a great crime.
They clean up the image with a few rewrites and something like public office or foundations. The Presidency is Trump's ca-ching. And the pauses on the promises and the falling in line (bombs away!). He'll be right in the club.VietnamVet , May 10, 2017 at 12:56 am
Mr Comey also made some statements recently about Clinton emails and Mr Wiener, statements that seemed to be in need of significant reinterpretation. That might also have been the cause.Loblolly , May 10, 2017 at 1:25 am
Corporate Government messaging has fallen apart. The description of Anthony Weiner's laptop went from "explosive" to "careless but not criminal" to "just several" Clinton e-mails on it.
Democrats are generally supported by Wall Street, GOP by military contractors; but, together they are one war party. The new Saturday Night Massacre shows that with Donald Trump's triumph, the government has split apart into nationalist and globalist factions. No doubt the James Comey firing buries the Russian interference investigation. However, with the wars in Syria and Afghanistan re-surging; this episode shows that nothing the government says or the media reports is near the truth.<
This is ostensibly the full memo from Deputy AG Rosenthal recommending the removal of Director Comey.
Link is to an imgur album consisting of three images.
May 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.orgPresident Trump dismissed the Director of the FBI James Comey on recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General, who had served under Obama, and the Attorney General. The dismissal and the recommendation memos can be read here.
Comey is accused of usurping the Attorney General's authority on several occasions. In July 2016 Comey decided and publicly announced the closing of the Clinton email-investigations without a recommendation of prosecution. He publicly announced the reopening of the investigation in October only to close it again a few days later.
At the first closing of the investigation Comey held a press conference and said:"our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."
That, by far, exceeded his competency, Since when can a police officer decide how "reasonable" a prosecutor may or may not be, and make public announcements about that? Clinton's running of a private email server broke several laws. Anyone but she would have been prosecuted at least for breaching secrecy and security regulations.
It is not the job of the police to decide about prosecutions. The police is an investigating agent of the public prosecutors office. It can make recommendations about prosecutions but not decide about them. Recommendations are to be kept confidential until they are decided upon by the relevant authority - the prosecutor. There are additional issues with Comey. His agents used sting or rather entrapment to lure many hapless idiots into committing "ISIS terror acts". A full two third of such acts in the U.S. would not have been though about without FBI help. Comey himself had signed off on Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.
The formal dismissal of Comey is, in my view, the right thing to do. It should have been done earlier.
But the political dimension of the dismissal is not about the Clinton email affair at all. It is about the "Russia interfered with the election" nonsense Clinton invented as excuse for her self-inflicted loss of the vote. The whole anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign run by neocons and "Resistance" democrats, is designed to block the foreign policy - detente with Russia - for which Trump was elected. The anti-Russia inquisition is dangerous groupthink.
There is no evidence - none at all - that Russia "interfered" with the U.S. election. There is no evidence - none at all - that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign. The Democratic Senator Dianna Feinstein, who sits on the Judiciary Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, recently confirmed that publicly (vid) immediately after she had again been briefed by the CIA:Blitzer mentioned that Feinstein and other colleagues from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had visited CIA headquarters on Tuesday to be briefed on the investigation. He then asked Feinstein whether she had evidence, without disclosing any classified information, that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.Jen | May 10, 2017 4:52:32 AM | 1
"Not at this time," Feinstein said.It would be interesting to know why James Comey was sacked now and not earlier before the "Russia interfered in the elections" narrative had much chance to damage Trump's presidency. He could have been sacked early on while the media's attention was focused on Trump's choices to fill the various Cabinet posts.Formerly T-Bear | May 10, 2017 5:32:00 AM | 4It's likely the world will witness the POTUS get his wings clipped. Mr. Trump has never been confronted with existential adversity, his wealth has always protected him from that prospect. He is now captive in a golden cage of political power and has neither the personal experience, resources nor the capacity to conduct governance. Be prepared to watch Trump's Götterdämmerung. Put a fork in, Trump is done.Quentin | May 10, 2017 5:53:23 AM | 5
Had Madam Clinton won the election, this would not have been possible. The organisation she headed would have taken immediate control of all available power bases and would not have created such opportunity for attack.@ 4Anon | May 10, 2017 5:59:52 AM | 6
Curiously I've come to the opposite conclusion: Hillary Clinton is done. Mark my words.The next one will be "Operation Gaslight ". The storyline will be that Trump is unstable and needs to be removed by his cabinet. Trumps many enemies will never stop. There is too much at stake.Debsisdead | May 10, 2017 6:01:23 AM | 7All this appointments soap opera is just distraction for the masses. The next appointee will just like Comey, do as he/she is told.A | May 10, 2017 6:04:42 AM | 8
This sort of stuff barely registers with me any more, since the one fact we can all rest assured isn't fakey is that long before an apparatchik such as Comey gets anywhere near the top trough, they will have been 'vetted' to ensure that they aren't the type of person to ever place principle ahead of self interest.
If perchance there was any motive other than inspiring yet more vapid chatter, we can be equally certain that is not going to rate a mention from any of the hack pols or their media enablers until long after this storm in a teacup has subsided.likklemore | May 10, 2017 6:23:54 AM | 11Put a fork in, Trump is done.
Out of curiosity: does anyone know the very first time this was said about Trump? I'm sure we can all agree this much though: don't hold your breath on it being the last time it's said about Trump..@FTB 4 and thank you A @ 8Anon | May 10, 2017 6:47:39 AM | 13
I endorse b. Excellent.
Recall Trump was written off through the Primaries as he offed 16 candidates. In the election cycle down to the wire HRC had a 90% chance. Newsweek published edition cover page Madame President. (Dewey anyone?) I dislike that the Trump presidency is a family affair -- Jared Kushner will be the stick and fork; the second high profile firing that should have been done.
But The Demorats -> Schumer in tears , Warren in war paint, et al and Snowden! - all have selective memories and are exceptional hypocrites.
Flashback: New York Times - July 19, 1993 -> President William J. Clinton fires FBI Director
WASHINGTON, July 19- President Clinton today dismissed William S. Sessions, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had stubbornly rejected an Administration ultimatum to resign six months after a harsh internal ethics report on his conduct.
Mr. Clinton said he would announce his nominee to replace Mr. Sessions on Tuesday. He was expected to pick Judge Louis J. Freeh of Federal District Court in Manhattan; officials said Judge Freeh had impressed Mr. Clinton favorably on Friday at their first meeting.
Mr. Clinton, explaining his reasons for removing Mr. Sessions, effective immediately, said, "We cannot have a leadership vacuum at an agency as important to the United States as the F.B.I. It is time that this difficult chapter in the agency's history is brought to a close." Defiant to the End
But in a parting news conference at F.B.I. headquarters after Mr. Clinton's announcement, a defiant Mr. Sessions -- his right arm in a sling as a result of a weekend fall -- railed at what he called the unfairness of his removal, which comes nearly six years into his 10-year term.
"Because of the scurrilous attacks on me and my wife of 42 years, it has been decided by others that I can no longer be as forceful as I need to be in leading the F.B.I. and carrying out my responsibilities to the bureau and the nation," he said. "It is because I believe in the principle of an independent F.B.I. that I have refused to voluntarily resign."
Mr. Clinton said that after reviewing Mr. Sessions's performance, Attorney General Janet Reno had advised him that Mr. Sessions should go. "After a thorough review by the Attorney General of Mr. Sessions's leadership of the F.B.I., she has reported to me in no uncertain terms that he can no longer effectively lead the bureau
Despite the President's severe tone, he seemed to regret having to force Mr. Sessions from his post. He said he had hoped that the issue could be settled at the Justice Department without the necessity of using his authority to dismiss the Director, who has a 10-year term but may be removed by the President at any time.
But Mr. Sessions's intransigence had festered into an awkward situation for Mr. Clinton.
A Republican stranded in a Democratic Administration, Mr. Sessions was appointed to head the F.B.I. by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 amid the turmoil of the Iran-contra affair. Mr. Sessions arrived as a respected judge from San Antonio, but after five and a half years in office, he leaves with his star fallen, his agency adrift and his support at the F.B.I. all but drained away. Troubled Tenure."[.]
in lieu of the "fake-news" rag content at the flyWho said it will make such a difference who sits in the FBI? A new guy will just show up saying the same stuff Comey have said. Just look at the new leaders at CIA, NSA, same warmongering hysterical stuff as under Obama.Marko | May 10, 2017 7:30:14 AM | 16
Trump has a bad temper and demonstrates erratic behavior, like Hillary. The handlers keep it covered up until they no longer keep it covered up. They let it slip that Hillary frequently blew up and used the F word vigorously as she berated her underlings (which are everyone including Clenis). Trump is, likewise, a genuine asshole. He's not faking that part.If McCabe is next to go , as he should be , this could represent a significant swamp-draining accomplishment for Trump. Depending on who replaces them , of course.jfl | May 10, 2017 7:46:50 AM | 17
The Rosenstein letter provided considerable legitimacy to Trump's move , considering the bipartisan support Rosenstein achieved. It wouldn't be a bad move for Trump to choose a replacement for Comey that comes with Rosenstein's strong endorsement. A Sessions endorsement would be about one-half as valuable.did, 'All this appointments soap opera is just distraction for the masses. ... 'ProPeace | May 10, 2017 8:10:27 AM | 18
well, amend that to are pushed as a distraction for the masses and i'll certainly agree. there are so many levels at "arms' length" now that they're really just filling in the alibis for the 'historians' ... schlesinger types who'll connect all the dots once the deeds are done and show us the tragi-comedy in five acts. the masses are undistracted. people know it's all pure bullshit. that they're being played and sold down the river. it would be really great if we did something about it. just for the hell of it.Interesting: Inside Trumps War with Robert David SteeleHoarsewhisperer | May 10, 2017 8:32:02 AM | 19
Also White House Petition for Unity Act Against the Deep State, Meeting with Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, & Robert SteeleObama and Hillary, however, addressed us in whole sentences and presented clearly structured concepts and arguments. Trump spits out 140-character tweets at us from the early hours of the morning.Anon | May 10, 2017 8:34:53 AM | 20
I see a keen distinction there.
Posted by: ralphieboy | May 10, 2017 7:23:56 AM | 15
... forgetting, of course, that most politicians (and an only slightly smaller proportion of ordinary folks) start talking, or writing, or dialing, before they've decided precisely what they intend to say.Trump, and probably Putin, thinks before he communicates. And if the result isn't worth saying, he shuts up. Same as Putin.ralphieboylikklemore | May 10, 2017 8:51:26 AM | 21
Then you are naive if you belive that Trump fire people through Twitter. Sure the stupid anti-Trump MSM want us to believe that.Marko @ 16Morongobill | May 10, 2017 9:19:59 AM | 22
Agree. McCabe should follow Comey out the door. Patience grasshopper, one-at-a- time. If I were Hillary, (thank G-d for small mercies), after reading Rosenstein's Memo for the Attorney General, I 'd be lawyering up with my wet work gang.
This excerpt is a tell; confirming indeed there was some simmering mutiny within the FBI house. Judge Nap called it.[..] As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept nearly universal judgement that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.[.]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
full Memo deserves a re- read. OMG, someone is setting the table for dinner. Comey was cleaning the Clintons' cess-pool and he was helpfully assisted by the not so honorable, Obama's Attorney General, Lowrenta Lynch
Under-reported: May 03, 2017Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge says this is one of the biggest headlines out of the hearing today with the FBI director, pointing out that the FBI had found an email was obtained by Russian hackers that indicated that former DOJ hack Loretta Lynch would do everything she could to protect Hillary from prosecution: (VIDEO)
Of course Comey wouldn't reveal who sent the email and to whom it was sent. But it sounds like it was sent from someone who worked closely with Lynch, and sent to someone who was very worried about Clinton going down in flames, probably someone very close to Clinton.
At the end of the segment, Herridge pointed out that Comey suggested he was boxed in by Lynch and here is what she's talking about:[..]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
in the district of criminals, (aka D.C.), we find not only a swamp, but a few deep cess-pools.Reminds me of a little passage I read somewhere about a dish served cold.peter | May 10, 2017 9:49:52 AM | 23So Trump includes in his firing letter that he appreciates the fact that Comey told him personally on three separate occasions that he was not the subject of investigation. What's that doing there?BRF | May 10, 2017 10:00:13 AM | 25
Some wonder why a guy like Trump, who made his bones telling people mano a mano that they were fired on prime time TV, wouldn't have picked up a phone to advise Comey he was done. Comey learned of his dismissal while giving a speech in LA. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley says that was done so the president's people could access Comey's documents in his office while he was safely out of town.
The Senate investigation just got started. This business about six months of investigation failing to produce a shred of evidence and therefore the whole matter should be dropped isn't going to fly. The same people who natter on about how we masses, like mushrooms kept in the dark and nurtured with bullshit, should disregard all this bafflegab about impropriety also say we should accept their conclusion that there's nothing to see here and that it's time to move on. That ain't happening.
Senator Al Franken, who's insipid alter-ego George Smiley on Saturday Night Live was the epitome of insecurity, has turned out to be a formidable poser of very tough questions to anyone unfortunate to be summoned before the senate panel. These senate guys don't fuck around and will not be stonewalled. We're in for some very interesting television.Comey will land on his feet in some corporate gig, from whence he came. The only interesting aspect is whether or not his replacement will restore any smidgen of credibility to the FBI by acting on a basis of law or if the political games will continue. My guess would be that the plutocracy will see that their candidate is installed as FBI Director and at a minimum this person will remain at least neutral to the plutocracy's rule, silence being consent. That would be the big big silence on the Clinton criminality as it is intertwined with plutocratic rule. More of the same only more so as the FBI and co-conspirators keep the plot to assassinate any public leaders dusted off in case another Martin Luther King, another Occupy movement or some such should arise.ben | May 10, 2017 10:46:59 AM | 26DiD @ 7 said: "All this appointments soap opera is just distraction for the masses. The next appointee will just like Comey, do as he/she is told."lysias | May 10, 2017 10:54:14 AM | 27
Well said, an IMO, absolutely spot on.
I think there are people above the Law, history proves that. HRC AND Mr. Trump are part of that group. I fully expect that nothing will happen to either. As DiD said, " A distraction for the masses( sheep)."
The assault on the wealth of the working classes will continue unabated. Mr. Trump is here to represent the wealthy elites, and is doing a fine job at that. Welcome to the new age of feudalism.Was a weekend fall the real reason why William Sessions's arm was in a sling?WorldBLee | May 10, 2017 11:21:16 AM | 29The musical chairs show in Washington is meaningless. The Democrats hated Comey but now that he's fired they love him because they can use it to attack Trump. It's all political theatre and should be regarded as such. As others have said, another chump willing to take orders will replace Comey and will surely carry out the same bad policies at the FBI.Circe | May 10, 2017 12:25:57 PM | 31Trump was just in the Oval Office with that imperial criminal punk, Kissinger, ironically, Nixon's NSA and Trump blurted out that he fired Comey because he wasn't doing a good job.Willy2 | May 10, 2017 12:44:39 PM | 32
The pot calling the kettle black is an understatement.
I don't give a damn one way or another who Trumpster fires; what I do give a damn about is abuse of power and manipulation of the truth and Trump is repeatedly guilty of both.
No such dictatorial power should ever again be vested in that position and in a person who is prone to exceed his competencies. And that's exactly how I would describe Herr Drumpf, danke!
Here's a great example of integrity. Try it sometime!:
This has nothing to do with Comey incompetence or the man himself. This is only about Trump abusing power as he's been doing since DAY ONE. He just took it to the next level...that's all!- Wolf Blitzer was once employed by AIPAC.SlapHappy | May 10, 2017 1:12:56 PM | 33
- Comey simply stepped on too many (sensitive) toes, both Republican & Democratic. In that regard it was a matter of time that he was fired. It would have happened as well if Hillary Clinton had been elected to become the new president.
- But I also fear that a new FBI director (as appointed by one Jeff Sessions) will be as rightwing as one Jeff Sessions or even worse.@BRF #25h | May 10, 2017 1:37:10 PM | 34
I'd add Aaron Swartz, Pat Tillman, and the DC Madam to the list of people who threatened the cabal and were assassinated for their efforts.Great post, b, and likklemore, your comments are appreciated.From The Hague | May 10, 2017 1:37:54 PM | 35
What is troubling to me with all of this is how politicized Obama's Cabinet/team became. It is becoming more and more obvious his appointments were made to serve him NOT the country and the public is witnessing the fallout from such authoritarian style of leadership.
Comey is both a victim and beneficiary of this politicization. His testimony last week was more forthcoming than in previous hearings, but what spoke volumes was his reaction to the impromptu meeting b/w Clinton and Lynch on the tarmac in Arizona. He suggested his concerns about Lynch being compromised regarding the Clinton email investigation were confirmed during that meeting while stating it was the last straw so to speak.
This pattern of politicization was obviously meant to continue under Hillary's leadership by cementing a permanent political class in DC who would serve the president rather than all of us outside of Washington. Some term this as the 'UniParty' - a majority of R and D's working in tandem to re orient DC machinations into a global governing body.
The neo's - libs and cons - are giddy over resigning the U.S. Constitution and the rest of America's founding papers into the trash heap of history. Their march toward globalization is hindered by those pesky documents. But what these globalists never counted on was a Trump win and, more importantly, conservatives gaining power in 28 states, six states shy of holding a Constitutional Convention.
Now that Hillary lost, Obama and team are pulling together an organizational structure to stave off wins in those six states while also trying to peel away those few who turned red in 2016.
This is the new political battleground - conservatives fighting for a constitutional convention and neo's fighting to remain relevant. With Comey being gone, and soon McCabe and et al, the FBI has a shot at shedding the politicization of the department and returning to its investigative roots.
This is the reason for Robby Mook's 'terrified' comment when learning of Comey's firing. He and his globalist cohorts should be concerned, but it's Hillary who really needs to be terrified.#15 ralphieboyJackrabbit | May 10, 2017 1:40:00 PM | 36
Obama and Hillary, however, addressed us in whole sentences and presented clearly structured concepts and arguments.
Oh, that's your definition of lying and warmongering, idiot.Comey also gave immunity to 5 of Hillary's closest aids, including Huma. This insulated Hillary as these people could not be pressured to testify against her.h | May 10, 2017 1:46:44 PM | 37Not to mention, jackrabbit, Hillary was never sworn in during her Saturday interview with the FBI.Jackrabbit | May 10, 2017 1:54:06 PM | 38Trump fires Comey due to his political meddling but ... Trump won't prosecute Clinton about her email server.xor | May 10, 2017 2:07:46 PM | 41I read that he was fired while giving some speech in Los Angeles or so and when he was asked to comment he thought it was a joke. Now that's funny!Anon | May 10, 2017 2:09:54 PM | 42Why is it such a big thing? Some people here seems to take talking points from neocon media. He was fired because Trump didnt have confidence in him, simply as that.RUKidding | May 10, 2017 2:32:04 PM | 45Not sad to see Comey go. I didn't think he was doing a good job, albeit he was put in a position where he had to tread carefully. I guess he did "ok" with that careful treading. Unsure of Trump's motivations to fire him but not that surprised. As others have posited here, Clinton would have done the same. Comey was probably at least partially prepared and possibly has a sinecure lined up as I type this.steven t johnson | May 10, 2017 2:48:34 PM | 46
IMO, this isn't the worst of Trump's alleged "offenses" by a long shot. It certainly does provide a distraction from all the other sh*t swirling around Trump, like Kushner selling US citizenships to high priced Chinese gangsters, like Trump's various cabinet picks arresting citizens for questioning them the "wrong way" or laughing at them, like Trump's decisions to ruin the environment and give away public lands to his rich pals, like the travesty of TrumpDon'tCare AHCA (which could end up even worse after the Senate gets done with it - No women on the Senate committee, just great).
Yes a nifty distraction while Trump and his plutocrat cronies rob us all blind. Duly noted the Democrats engage in their own dog 'n pony sideshow distractions re russia, Russia RUSSIA hysteria. All to avoid having to, you know, DO something about their own disaster of a corporate-bought-off "party" and avoid having to do one d*mn thing that benefits their traditional constituents, as opposed to ensuring that their Plutocratic masters are happy.
Like Comey's my biggest "concern" du jour... not.Every analysis of any current US political events that says anything about Clinton losing the election is deranged or dishonest. There are no exceptions.sl | May 10, 2017 3:39:47 PM | 49
Clinton's Benghazi was treasonous covering up for Islamic terrorist/email means espionage not electronic mail/Clinton Foundation is treason for hire by the Secretary of State (who ruled America during the Great Interregnum when there was no President, 2009-2117, except when John Kerry was Secretary of State but it was still actually Clinton running things because everyone knows the Secretary of State doesn't make foreign policy) fake scandals were kept alive by Comey to intervene in the US election. (Whether it was his eager doing or he was pressured is irrelevant.) The thing for Comey, and his natural human need to at least pretend to be a genuine human being, is, the Russia hacks the election is exactly the same kind of fake scandal, something arcane with dark, dark hints of treason! treason! Comey can't suddenly discover sanity when the BS is flying at Trump, after having vociferously claimed those were really Clark bars for the years prior.
The OP doesn't quite have the nerve to explain clearly how the supposed loser has the clout to make Comey dish on Trump. Or the effrontery to clearly avow Benghazi/email server/Clinton cash/pizzagate were all gospel. Nonetheless it is still Trumpery.@ h:h | May 10, 2017 4:01:37 PM | 50
Regarding "impromptu meeting b/w Clinton and Lynch on the tarmac", Comey was giving cover "to" Lynch, IMO. "no reasonable prosecutor". He was protecting the deal Lynch had already made with Clintons.
Just read about Comey history with Clintons. He has been giving them cover a long time.sl - Yep, I concur. And I think he had to protect whatever deal was agreed to b/w Lynch, Obama and Clinton. I'm not even sure I'd call it a deal, but rather an order. I'm sure if he didn't adhere there would have been some hefty consequences to pay.ProPeace | May 10, 2017 4:04:59 PM | 51
Did you by chance listen/watch his testimony last week? If not, I recommend it as must watch especially after his being fired. He added more detail to the email investigation and his thinking at the time.SlapHappy | May 10, 2017 1:12:56 Add to the long list:Mina | May 10, 2017 4:25:10 PM | 52
Seth Rich, sen. Paul Wellstone, JFK jr, princess Diana, Michael Hastings, mysterious deaths of 9/11 witnesses, Phillip Marshall with family, Michael Connell, that policeman from the WTC 1993 bombing investigation, Clinton body count, that German press insider, Gary Webb ...The BBC running a live on Comey's end-of-contract?! Color revo any? Lavrov in Washington, guns for the Kurds, the US going for al-Nusra's head scalp...john | May 10, 2017 4:40:17 PM | 55so treasonable Obama's scumbucket FBI director Comey gets fired. wowie zowie. nevermind the perjury, the obstruction of justice, the accessory to Clinton's sedition...
there's probably a multi-million dollar book deal in the pipeline. - Trump DOES have some very "interesting" connections to Russia and some shady Russian persons. But this is the result of his own "wheeling & dealing".
SlapHappy | May 10, 2017 5:04:12 PM | 60Does Russia interfere in U.S. politics more than Israel does?sl | May 10, 2017 5:09:13 PM | 61@ h. Yes, caught part of the hearings. Just proved to me that deal was in stone before any tarmac meeting took place. And I bet Comey might not have even known Lynch would expose them so stupidly, how dumb was that. Did a FBI person leaked the meeting to the press??h | May 10, 2017 7:14:03 PM | 66Hey sl - here's a link to a post by RightScoop titled - FBI found email that Lynch would do everything she could to protect Hillary from CRIMINAL CHARGES - Catherine Herridge reported recently on this find - http://therightscoop.com/revealed-fbi-found-email-that-lynch-would-do-everything-she-could-to-protect-hillary-from-criminal-charges/Curtis | May 10, 2017 7:47:42 PM | 68
Yep, Rosenstein is a law man. I won't be the slightest bit surprised to learn Grand Jury indictments handed down sometime in the coming months for Hillary's arrest. Mr. Comey served as an obstacle to the DOJ to prosecute. Now that Sessions/Rosenstein, both law men, are heading the DOJ nothing will surprise me. Nothing.SlapHappy 60
Does Russia interfere in the elections and governing institutions of others as much as the US does?
I've been surprised that Russia doesn't release "white papers" that show what the NED and IRI have done including in places like Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia.
May 10, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.comThe statements by the White House and Sessions cite two issues. The first is Comey's unprofessional handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, where he first decided not to prosecute her over the mishandling of classified information and then subsequently revealed to the public that the investigation had been reopened shortly before the election, possibly influencing the outcome. This is a serious matter, as Comey broke with precedent by going public with details of bureau investigations that normally are considered confidential. One might argue that it is certainly an odd assertion for the White House to be making, as the reopening of the investigation undoubtedly helped Trump, but it perhaps should be seen as an attempt to create some kind of bipartisan consensus about Comey having overreached by exposing bureau activities that might well have remained secret.
The second issue raised by both Sessions and the White House is Comey's inability to "effectively lead the Bureau" given what has occurred since last summer. That is a legitimate concern. When the Clinton investigation was shelved, there was considerable dissent in the bureau, with many among the rank-and-file believing that the egregious mishandling of classified information should have some consequences even if Comey was correct that a prosecution would not produce a conviction.
And the handling of "Russiagate" also angered some experienced agents who believed that the reliance on electronic surveillance and information derived from intelligence agencies was the wrong way to go. Some called for questioning the Trump-campaign suspects who had surfaced in the initial phases of the investigation, a move that was vetoed by Comey and his team. It would be safe to say that FBI morale plummeted as a result, with many junior and mid-level officers leaving their jobs to exploit their security clearances in the lucrative government contractor business.
There has been considerable smoke about both the Clinton emails and the allegations of Russian interference in last year's election, but I suspect that there is relatively little fire. As Comey asserted, the attempt to convict a former secretary of state on charges of mishandling information without any ability to demonstrate intent would be a mistake and would ultimately fail. No additional investigation will change that reality.
As for the Russians, we are still waiting for the evidence demonstrating that Moscow intended to change the course of the U.S. election. Further investigation will likely not produce anything new, though it will undoubtedly result in considerable political spin to explain what we already know. It is unimaginable that Michael Flynn, for all his failings, agreed to work on behalf of Russian interests, while other names that have surfaced as being of interest in the case were hardly in a position to influence what the Trump administration might agree to do. There is no evidence of any Manchurian Candidate here.
I believe that the simplest explanation for the firing of Comey is the most likely: Donald Trump doesn't like him much and doesn't trust him at all. While it is convenient to believe that the FBI director operates independently from the politicians who run the country, the reality is that he or she works for the attorney general, who in turn works for the president. That is the chain of command, like it or not. Any U.S. president can insist on a national-security team that he is comfortable with, and if Trump is willing to take the heat from Congress and the media over the issue he certainly is entitled to do what he must to have someone he can work with at the FBI.
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.
Brian, May 10, 2017 at 10:39 am
Jul 7, 2016 Justice Vs. "Just Us": Of Course the FBI Let Hillary off the Hook. The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised by this.
Investment Watch Blog
"Mr. Comey's appointment will be for an initial three-year term which, subject to re-election by shareholders, will expire at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting."
"Clinton foundation received up to $81m from clients of controversial HSBC bank"
It's like a revolving door of money and special projects that the bank and the CF are involved in.
EliteCommInc. May 10, 2017 at 11:38 am
" . . . but there was a certain inevitability about it given the bureau's clear inability to navigate the troubled political waters that developed early last summer and have continued ever since."
I am surprised that Dir. Comey didn't resign on his own terms after the election. The only other issue is it would have been less media convulsive and polite to allow him a graceful resignation and some departure time.
But that he is gone, I think he was surprised only by the manner certainly not the inevitability.
Blind sided by the manner certainly not the course.
Mark Thomason, May 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm
True. But it is also true that NOBODY likes Comey much or trusts him at all. He has no defenders.
Trump has attackers. That is very different. They'd attack him for anything he does, they attack every day. This outrage is only the latest, and will be repeated at every hint of opportunity.
Here they agree the guy needed to be fired and said themselves that Hillary was going to do it. But Trump did it, and that is the problem.
Kurt Gayle, May 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm
Please consider the that the explanation for the Comey firing is simpler:
(1) The Deputy Attorney-General is the FBI Director's boss.
(2) Trump's nominee for the position of Deputy Attorney-General, Rod Rosenstein, although nominated on January 13th, was only confirmed by the Senate on April 25th. Rosenstein took the oath of office the following day, Wednesday, April 26th, two weeks ago today.
(3) Immediately upon assuming his duties as the Justice Department official directly responsible for the FBI, Mr. Rosenstein determined that there were major problems concerning the FBI. Rosenstein reported his finding in a letter to his boss, Attorney-General Sessions:
(4) "Over the past year the FBI's reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens."
(5) "The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors."
(6) "Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously "
(7) "The goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts."
(8) "Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would 'speak' about the FBI's decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or 'conceal' it. 'Conceal' is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment."
(9) "My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties."
(10) "I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions."
With respect to Deputy Attorney-General Rosenstein's heading of the investigation into possible Russian interference in the November election, the fact that Mr. Rosenstein would head the investigation (Attorney-General Sessions having recused himself) was known to the Senate - and the Senate committee questioned him on his views on the matter - for a full week before the Senate confirmed Mr. Rosenstein by a 94-6 vote.
MM, May 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm
I'm pleased to see this vociferous call by high-level Democratic officials for a U.S. Independent Counsel to investigate this matter. It's a relief that these same officials are taking this stance from a position of principled consistency, as they were the loudest in calling for independent investigations of the previous administration's questionable activities.
For example: NSA mass domestic surveillance, gun-running and associated false statements to Congress, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and influence peddling in the State Department under Secretary Clinton, all of which the Justice Department at the time was either directly involved in or responsible for burying any serious inquiries
Ellimist000, May 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm
"NSA mass domestic surveillance, gun-running and associated false statements to Congress, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and influence peddling in the State Department under Secretary Clinton "
You're not wrong, but the reason nothing happened was that stuff of this nature has gone on from both sides since the Cold War started (different names and techniques, of course). If you really wanted the Dems to suddenly see the light, under the 1st black president no less, then I hope you are awaiting the GOP's ethics censure on Trump with great anticipation
Otto Zeit, May 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm
What baffles me is, why would the Democrats want the "Russiagate" inquiry to be left in the hands of a man who has already shown himself to be blown by the winds of political partisanship?
MM, May 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm
I'd love to see any President censured by Congress, for anything, especially by his or her own party. But even that won't cause the Hypocritical Old Party to see the light. The universal philosophy in a 2-party system like this one is to 1) never admit any wrongdoing of one's own nor hold any objective ethical standard of behavior; and 2) declare the other party pure evil, all the time.
Apr 04, 2017 | www.foxnews.com
As the facts about who surveilled whom during the transition get sorted out, it is useful to remember why Trump's team and his supporters have reason to be suspicious, thanks to a long documented history of Obama using shady surveillance tactics on both political opponents and international allies. Rhodes himself knows this history but that doesn't seem to matter as he once again attempts to make people believe he fell out of the sky and onto Twitter on January 21st, 2017.
... ... ...1. Fox News reporter James Rosen
In 2013 the news broke that Eric Holder's Justice Department had spied on James Rosen . Obama's DOJ collected Rosen's telephone records as well as tracked his movements to and from the State Department from where he reported. Rosen was named as a possible co-conspirator in a Justice Department affidavit. Rosen claims that his parents phone line was also swept up in the collection of his records and DOJ records seem to confirm that. Despite the targeting of Rosen, there were no brave calls to boycott the White House Correspondents Dinner.
2. Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA
CIA officers penetrated a network used to share information by Senate Intel committee members, including Sen. Diane Feinstein, the committee's Democrat chair. The bombshell New York Times report went on to disclose:
The CIA officials penetrated the computer network when they came to suspect that the committee's staff had gained unauthorized access to an internal CIA review of the detention program that the spy agency never intended to give to Congress. A CIA lawyer then referred the agency's suspicions to the Justice Department to determine whether the committee staff broke the law when it obtained that document. The inspector general report said that there was no "factual basis" for this referral, which the Justice Department has declined to investigate, because the lawyer had been provided inaccurate information. The report said that the three information technology officers "demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities" during interviews with the inspector general.
The Obama White House defended CIA director John Brennan's actions and response. Imagine that.
3. Associated Press Phone Records
Much like James Rosen and his shady al Qaeda looking parents, Obama's Justice Department secretly obtained months of phone records belonging to AP journalists while investigating a failed terror attack. And much like the Rosen spying, this was personally approved by Attorney General Holder.
Mass surveillance and expansion of such under the Patriot Act is one of the most historically prevalent things about the Obama administration. There's even a Wikipedia page dedicated to that alone . So why do the media and former administration officials act shocked and surprised when someone points the finger in their direction and asks if targeting an incoming President is possible?
There is a long, decorated history of questionable-even unconstitutional-surveillance from the Obama administration none of which proves Trump's twitter ravings to be true. But it certainly is enough to raise suspicions among Trump's supporters and even some of this critics that he could be perfectly correct.
Mar 26, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comKorprit_Phlunkie , Mar 25, 2017 6:53 PM
There are cliques of employees in all these govt agencies who have political and religious views just like the rest of the world, except they have access to spy satellites, phone tapping, and every other spy tool just like Snowden tried to expose. Finally after watching the evil satan worshipping liberals for all these years use these tool to further the NWO thru clintons and hussein, the patriot Christian conservative side is finally leaking info they have access to to TRUMP and he is able to fight back a little. THis is good versus evil, no doubt in my mind. Choose this day whom you will serve. Especially you crossroad demon from hell.
Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comNSA To Provide "Smoking Gun" Proof Obama Spied On Trump InjectTheVenom -> hedgeless_horseman , Mar 23, 2017 6:56 PMChupacabra-322 -> InjectTheVenom , Mar 23, 2017 7:23 PM
Mr Nunes should probably stay away from Texas hunting lodges and high balconies...
just sayin' .
DRAIN THE SWAMP.johngaltfla -> Manthong , Mar 23, 2017 7:46 PM
Who ever makes "Obama For Prison 2017" T-Shrits is goi g to make a killing.knukles -> Mano-A-Mano , Mar 23, 2017 7:57 PM
Expect some variation of this story below to come from the upcomine revelations. Trump and Nunes want to not only demonstrate that Obama was scum, but put a major wedge between the DNC and Jews and Israel:
BOMBSHELL: Trump Surveillance Data Captured Due to Obama Spying on Israel, not RussiaRubicon727 -> wee-weed up , Mar 23, 2017 7:44 PM
So many crimes, so few diversionsBarkingCat -> Rubicon727 , Mar 23, 2017 8:13 PM
Firstly, there would have to be sufficient information showing Obama initiated the spying. Unless Obama has political knives out after him, these facts won't come out until 2030.
Secondly, the media, and other powers-that-be would muddy the water. We'll never know *who* and *why* of the story.
Thirdly, if the NSA comes out with genuine evidence, then we may be able to assume there IS a conflict between the FBI, the CIA vs the NSA. That, in itself, would be very relevant news.
Growing conflicts in any large government are not conducive to a smooth-operating empire.Whoa Dammit -> InjectTheVenom , Mar 23, 2017 7:28 PM
More likely conflicts within each organization.
Or maybe you are right and the NSA are the good guys. Maybe Snowden did what he did because the NSA itself is not happy about what they are told to do. Snowden did not go rogue but is following orders from within NSA.
It could also be that the NSA dropped vault 7 onto WikiLeaks as well as the various Hillary leaks during the campaign.
McCain is alledgedly the White House leaker
And NYPD says Hillary knew that Wiener was sexing underage girl & did not report it to authorities. The NYPD was prevented from pursuing charges against her.
Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
There's also this showing evidence that Trump Tower was specifically monitored during the Obama administration, although the probe was targeting Russian mafia and not Trump and was done well before he declared his candidacy.
The FBI did wiretap Trump Tower to monitor Russian activity, but it had nothing to do with the 2016 Presidential election, it has been reported.
Between 2011 and 2013 the Bureau had a warrant to spy on a high-level criminal Russian money-laundering ring, which operated in unit 63A of the iconic skyscraper - three floors below Mr Trump's penthouse.
Not exactly a confirmation of Trump's rather wild claims, but something. Still waiting for any evidence to appear that Russians interfered with the elections or colluded with Trump.
uncle tungsten , March 22, 2017 at 9:40 pmMyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 22, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Ok, so they were just after the Russian mafia, phew I feel better already. So they got the felons and they are all arrested?
What utter BS! Why is Semion Mogilevitch still at large in Hungary and no extradition process? What about Felix Sater and Steve Wynn and on and on. Why are they incapable of prosecuting mafia mobsters and instead chasing politicians?Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:25 am
That said, it was what happening potentially to all citizens, not just Donald Trump. I dislike this intensely, but why should Trump get special dispensation over other citizens? Would like to know the reason for that.
Like Watergate, it's really about the denial or the lying. "When did you know about the, er, collecting?" For how many days have we ridiculed Trump for his alternative universe imagination?fritter , March 23, 2017 at 10:38 am
> He can join the other 310 million of us who can be "incidentally collected".
Didn't your mother tell you that 310 million wrongs don't make a right? Neither party establishment cares about that quaint concept, civil liberties. If Obama's flip flip on FISA reform in July 2008, giving the Telco's retroactive immunity for Bush's warrantless surveillance, didn't convince you, then his 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy should have.Code Name D , March 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm
Not to mention monitoring a politician opens up a whole new can of worms. I'm convinced Trump must pretty clean relatively because the IC hasn't gotten rid of him yet and you know they have all of his communications.
I'm with Lambert on neither party caring. I knew all I needed to when Obama voted for FISA and the following years just reinforced how corrupt the Dems were. There is an import point here though. I don't think Trump would have thought that all of the surveillance would be applied to him personally. It was just about other people. It was probably a legitimate eye opener. Now Trump is at the head of the surveillance apparatus. Instead of asking Wikileaks to release all of Clintons emails, he should just do it himself.
The Dems who were all for collecting on everyone can't (non-hypocritically) complain about Trump having all that now. I mean, we can never know how far the extremist have penetrated into our government unless we trace where all that
Saudi moneyterrorist influence goes.Randy , March 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm
Not just incidental, in Congressional hearings, Comey flat out says that Trump and his team were investigated for Russian connections, and that none were found. The question now is was the investigations properly secured or not. Something completely in the air.
But team Dem is still playing the "wire tap" canad.allan , March 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm
The surveillance state bites the politicians that created it in the ass. I love that. They are not happy, I love that too.MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm
This is now turning into
high comedylow farce:
Devin Nunes Commits "Felonious Leaking" [Emptywheel]
WYDEN, member of Senate Intel, says Nunes' statements "would appear to reveal classified information, which is a serious concern."polecat , March 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm
It was already a farce when McCain went after Paul. Though it was, before that, a horror film, with the 'ways the intelligence community can get you.'wilroncanada , March 22, 2017 at 9:44 pm
they're going all Fellini on us now --fresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm
And here I thought they were only looking through a glass, darkly.Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:31 am
March 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm
It is a satire, wrapped in a parody, hidden in slapstick, on top of a farce, buried in a bro-mance between a man with a tower and another man riding a horse without a shirt (and the man isn't wearing a shirt either .)allan , March 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm
And scripted by Cersei Lannisterfresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 7:19 pm
Also, this kind of incidental collection has been known about for years. Here's a Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani article (linked to by Emptywheel)
from the WaPo in 2014 and based on the Snowden documents:
In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are [WaPo]
Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.
Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.
And what was the reaction of many Congresspersons
(including many Dems, and all of the GOP except maybe Rand Paul and Justin Amash)?
Revealing this is treason. People will die.
And Trump's CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, has called for Snowden's execution.3.14e-9 , March 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm
March 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm
Sorry allan – I got all excited at seeing a Nunes article in ZeroHedge and posted a comment – your article is better and it makes for more coherent comment threads to keep them together – I should have looked before I leaped (posted).
Nunes: "I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration-details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value-were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.
I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team."
So the worm turns. The hypocrisy espoused by all sides is ..well, 11th dimensional.fresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm
fresno dan, this was a major topic of discussion during the committee hearing with Comey and Rogers on Monday. I listened to the whole thing – all five hours and 18 minutes' worth – because I suspected that the corporate media would omit important details or spin it beyond recognition. And so they did.
The bipartisan divide is being portrayed as Democrats wanting to get to the truth of Russian efforts to snuff out Democracy, and Republicans wanting to "plug leaks" (see Lambert's RCP except above), with some reports suggesting the Rs are advocating stifling free speech, prosecuting reporters for publishing classified information, and the like.
Republican committee members were indeed focused on the leaks, and there was talk about how to prevent them, but their concern – at least as they expressed publicly on Monday – was specifically related to whether all those current and former officials, senior officials, etc., quoted anonymously in the NYT and WaPo (the infamous "nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies") violated FISA provisions protecting information about U.S. persons collected incidentally in surveillance of foreign actors.
Sure, they're playing their own game, and it could be a ruse to divert attention from the Trump campaign's alleged Russian ties or simply to have ammo against the Ds. Even so, after listening to all their arguments, I believe they are on more solid ground than all the Dem hysteria about Russian aggression and Trump camp treason.
I don't think I'll ever get Trey Gowdy's cringe-worthy performance during the Benghazi hearings out of my head, but he made some pretty good points on Monday, one of which was that investigating Russian interference and possible ties between Trump advisers and Russia is all well and good, but there may or may not have been any laws broken; whereas leaking classified information about U.S. citizens collected incidentally under FISA is clearly a felony with up to 10 years. Comey confirmed that by saying that ALL information collected under FISA is classified.
And then he repeatedly refused to say whether he thought any classified information had been leaked or existed at all (I counted more than 100 "no comment" answers from Comey, who astonishingly managed to find 50 different ways to say it).
My beef isn't so much the leak of classified information, but the gross dereliction of duty – if not outright abuse of First Amendment powers – by reporters who collaborate with intelligence agencies and then quote them anonymously, giving everyone cover to say or write whatever they want with zero accountability.
In fact, there were some interesting comments in Monday's hearing about the possibility that some of what has been reported was fabricated. Then, you might expect Comey to say something like that. For all his talk about not tolerating leaks from his agency, blahblah, it was clear that he'll provide his own people with cover, if necessary. I think that's what Gowdy and a couple other Republicans were getting at.
It goes without saying, but I'll add that the Dems were hardly even trying to disguise their real goal, which isn't protecting the American People® from the evil Russkies, but taking down Trump.3.14e-9 , March 23, 2017 at 3:27 am
March 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm
Thanks for watching the whole thing – the nation owes you a debt of gratitude.
"My beef isn't so much the leak of classified information, but the gross dereliction of duty – if not outright abuse of First Amendment powers – by reporters who collaborate with intelligence agencies and then quote them anonymously, giving everyone cover to say or write whatever they want with zero accountability."
First, I a squillion percent agree with you. This is a big, bit deal because essentially the military/IC/neocons is trying to wrest control of the civilian government – the idea that the CIA is some noble institution that wants the best for all Americans is preposterous, yet accepted by the media, which proves how much propaganda we are fed. The sheep like following, the mandatory use of the adjective "murderous thug" before the name of "Putin" just shows that most of the media has been bought off or has lost all their critical thinking faculties.
But I also don't want to be a hypocrite so I will explain that I don't have too much of a problem with leaks. WHAT I do have a problem with is the purposeful naivete or ignorance of the media that the CIA and/or facets of the Obama administration is trying to thwart rapprochement with Russia. Administrations BEFORE they are sworn in talk to foreign governments – the sheer HYSTERIA, the CRIME of talking to a Russian is beyond absurd. We are being indoctrinated to believe all Russia, all bad
There is a ton of information about Podesta and the Clintons dealing with Russia for money. If Flynn and whatshisname are just grifting that is pedestrian stuff and everybody in Washington does it (I thing they call it "lobbying"). If there is REAL treason something should have come out by now.Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:46 am
I began covering congressional hearings while I was still in j-school and sat though many like this during my years as a reporter in D.C. Even though I haven't worked as a full-time journalist for many years, I still prefer original sources and am willing to take the time to dig for them or, in this case, to sit through a hearing as though I were covering it as a member of the press – especially when I don't even have to wash my hair or get dressed!
I didn't mean to imply that I have a problem with leaks. I certainly encouraged enough of them in my time, and I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with publishing leaked material, even certain kinds of classified information. It depends.
There's the kind of "classified" information that is restricted expressly to keep the public from knowing something they have a right to know, and there's information that's classified to protect individual privacy. The first kind should be leaked early and often. The second kind, close to never (and off the top of my head I can't think of an instance when it would be OK).
Even though journalists aren't (and shouldn't be) held liable for publishing classified information given to them by a third party, they need to be scrupulous in their decisions to do so. Is it in the public interest? Who or what might be harmed? Would sitting on the information cause more harm than publicizing it? Does it violate someone's constitutional rights?
These questions can get tricky with someone like Flynn, who's clearly a public figure and thus mostly fair game. However, if I had been reporting that story, I think I would have sat on it until I had more information, even at the risk of getting scooped – unless, of course, I was in cahoots with the leakers and out to get him and his boss.
At that point, I am no longer an objective journalist committed to fair and accurate reporting, but a participant in a political cause. Although newspapers throughout history have taken sides, and pure "fact-based" journalism is a myth, there's a big difference between having an editorial slant and being an active participant in the story. Evidently, BezPo has decided that the latter is not only acceptable, but advantageous.
Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on when I'm likely preaching to the converted. I feel very strongly about this issue, and it's disconcerting to me, as a lifelong Democrat, that I agreed more with the Republicans in that hearing. At the same time, the D's propaganda machine is pumping out so much toxic fog that it's shaking my faith in unfettered freedom of the press.
Exactly what Putin wants, right?Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:38 am
> I began covering congressional hearings while I was still in j-school and sat though many like this during my years as a reporter in D.C. Even though I haven't worked as a full-time journalist for many years, I still prefer original sources and am willing to take the time to dig for them
Hmm. NC needs an in-house emptywheelLambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:28 am
I agree that everybody is surveilled all the time, especially in the Beltway, where probably there are multiple simultaneous operations run against . well, everybody.
It doesn't, er, bug me that 70-year-old Beltway neophyte Trump used sloppy language - "wiretap" - to describe this state of affairs. (I don't expect any kind of language from Trump but sloppy.) All are, therefore one is. It does bug me that the whole discussion gets dragged off into legal technicalities about what legal regimen is appropriate for which form of Fourth Amendment-destruction (emptywheel does this a lot). The rules are insanely complicated, and it's fun to figure them out, rather like taking the cover off the back of a Swiss watch and examining all the moving parts. But the assumption is that people follow the rules, and especially that high-level people (like, say, Comey, or Clapper, or Morrel, or Obama) follow the complicated rules. That assumes facts not in evidence.
Incidental collection was always a likely scenario.
We've also seen statements from people like GHCQ that clains they surveilled Trump at Obama's behest were "absurd," but those are non-denial denials. I can't recall a denial denial. Am I missing something?
Mar 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comCommon_Cents22 , Mar 22, 2017 11:38 PMhorseman , Mar 22, 2017 11:22 PM
Is this the same Dennis Montgomery who had some fraud in his past? or was that disinfo to discredit him then as well?
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/reno-casino-conman-pulled-greatest-h...AKKadian , Mar 22, 2017 11:21 PM
This is probably why Nunes went public today. What a shame. If not for Klayman, Nunes would have gone along with the committee.wcole225 , Mar 22, 2017 11:21 PM
They are spying on everyone. Pelosi, Schumer, Waters Judges. You name it, they are spying on everyone. No exceptions.!!!deoxy , Mar 22, 2017 11:15 PM
And the plot thickens. Whoever said may you live in interesting times......had no idea. Can you feel the desperation from the filthy corrupt democrats? The demonic spirits that reside in them are going berserk. The light is starting to shine on them and their evil deeds are more transparent than ever. It's only gonna get betterNot Too Important , Mar 22, 2017 11:06 PM
Fox better rehire Napolitano before it is too late. But it is too late for the Wall Street Journal comparing Trump to 'a drunk' clinging to 'an empty gin bottle' in scathing editorial.JamesBond , Mar 22, 2017 11:01 PM
Nunes saw what he saw, got scared to death, and went directly to the President of the United States, because he can't trust anyone else, anywhere.
He is now facing ruthless fuckers that will kill and kill and kill some more to protect themselves and their masters.
He's thinking he's in waay over his head with this, and there's no way out.
This is a fight between kiddie fuckers that worship Satan, the people that work for them, and the people that don't.
Buckle up, folks, there's no putting this genie back in the bottle.techpriest -> JamesBond , Mar 22, 2017 11:05 PM
We incidentally lied to some folks.hustler etiquette -> techpriest , Mar 22, 2017 11:17 PM
The best thing about this presidency so far, is that everything is being laid out on the table. Soon it will be impossible to hide the swamp.
it's better than homeland X game of thrones.
Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comim1dc : March 18, 2017 at 01:34 PM , 2017 at 01:34 PMThe who behind Trump's Obama wire tapping claim is now known
The why appears to be that he's an anti- Hillary Clintonista
"How the U.K. spying claim traveled from an ex-CIA blogger to Trump's White House"
'Former intelligence analyst Larry Johnson, who has long attacked the U.S. intel community, is standing by his allegation that triggered a feud with America's closest ally'
By Matthew Nussbaum...03/18/17...02:38 PM EDT
"...Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and blogger, acknowledges he was one of the sources for Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano's claim - later repeated by the White House..."
Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comFred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... March 17, 2017 at 07:58 PMBritain Livid on Spying Claim, but Trump Isn't Apologizing. White House aides scrambled to deal with an unusual rupture after suggesting that former President Barack Obama used a British spy agency to wiretap Donald J. Trump during the campaign.libezkova -> Fred C. Dobbs..., March 17, 2017 at 07:59 PM
At a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Trump made clear that he felt the White House had nothing to retract.
Trump Offers No Apology for Claim on British Spying https://nyti.ms/2nzpTHO
NYT - PETER BAKER and STEVEN ERLANGER - March 17
WASHINGTON - President Trump provoked a rare public dispute with America's closest ally on Friday after his White House aired an explosive and unsubstantiated claim that Britain's spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on him at the behest of President Barack Obama during last year's campaign.
Livid British officials adamantly denied the allegation and secured promises from senior White House officials never to repeat it. But a defiant Mr. Trump refused to back down, making clear that the White House had nothing to retract or apologize for because his spokesman had simply repeated an assertion made by a Fox News commentator. Fox itself later disavowed the report. ...Repeating myself:
== quote ==
libezkova -> DeDude...
"He really is a moron."
this equally applied to those with the virulent fixation on Russia completely out of control.
== end of quote ==
Neoliberal DemoRats might pay dearly for this "poisoning of the well" trick -- McCarthyism witch hunt.
We need to remember that corruption of politician is sine qua non of neoliberalism. "Greed is good" completely replaced 10 Commandments.
But the first rule of living in a glass house that modern Internet provides (in cooperation with intelligence agencies, Google, Microsoft and Facebook) is not to throw stones.
Russia is not Serra Leon with rockets. I am afraid that Russia might have a lot of info about corruption of major Democratic politicians as most of them took bribes from Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs (whom they essentially created) and some (old Clinton "associates" like Summers) closely participated in "great economic rape of Russia" of 1991-2000. All neatly recorded and waiting their hour for release.
At some point Putin's nerves might break and he can order to release this information. Then what ?
Mar 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comFollowing today's latest developments over Trump's allegations that the UK's GCHQ may or may not have helped Obama to wiretap the Trump Tower, an allegation which the infuriated British Spy Agency called "utterly ridiculous" and prompted it to demand an apology from the White House, a German reporter asked Trump for his current opinion on whether Obama had indeed wiretapped Trump. The president's response: he gestured to Angela Merkel and said " on wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common."
"At least we have something in common, perhaps": Trump addresses wiretapping claim in news conference with Merkel https://t.co/xSd5c02Crh pic.twitter.com/wrF6cJ4jEE
- CNN International (@cnni) March 17, 2017
Trump doubles down on unsubstantiated wiretapping claims, says he & Merkel 'have something in common, perhaps' https://t.co/MmUIzRWyjR pic.twitter.com/pF466XfMtC
- CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 17, 2017
Merkel's reaction was similarly amusing: almost as if she had heard for the first time that in 2010, and for years onward, Barack Obama had been wiretapping her and countless other heads of state.
For those unsure what the exchange was about, we suggest you read the Telegraph's " Barack Obama 'approved tapping Angela Merkel's phone 3 years ago'... President Barack Obama was told about monitoring of German Chancellor in 2010 and allowed it to continue, says German newspaper ."
And incidentally, in yet another change in the official narrative, after both Sky News and the Telegraph reported earlier today that the White House had apologized to Britain over the accusation that its spy agency had helped Obama spy on Trump, the NYT reported that the White House has said there was no apology from either Spicer or McMaster, and that instead the Administration defended Spicer's mention of the wiretapping story.
WH now sez there was no apology to Brits from @PressSec /McMaster; they fielded complaints & defended Spicer's mention of wiretapping story
- Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) March 17, 2017
Finally, as Axios adds , after Trump and Merkel left the stage reporters again asked Sean Spicer whether he apologized for repeating an anonymously sourced Fox News claim that British intelligence helped in wiretapping Trump Tower. His response: " I don't think we regret anything. "
Mar 14, 2017 | freerepublic.comFrom american spectator
Posted on 3/6/2017 4:42:04 PM by RoosterReduxTo: RoosterRedux
It is "our job," not Trump's, to "control exactly what people think," gasped MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski last month. This week's gasp from the media assumes a slightly different form and can be translated as: It is our job, not Trump's, to push stories about the government investigation of Trumpworld.
For months, the media, drawing upon criminal leaks from Obama holdovers, has been saying in effect: Trumpworld is under investigation for ties to Russia! Then Trump says essentially the same thing on Twitter and the media freaks out.
Why does the latter merit condemnation but not the former?
Notice what is happening here: The Obama holdovers are denying the import of the very stories that they planted. Where did the liberal BBC's story (building on a story first reported by Heat Street) on intelligence agencies receiving a FISA court warrant to investigate Russian-Trumpworld ties come from? It came from a "senior member of the US intelligence community":On 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything – giving up classified information would be illegal – but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.Notice on the Sunday talk shows that Obama's CIA director John Brennan did not appear. Yet he served as the genesis of this investigation, according to the BBC story:
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
As the author points out, here is the key:
The Obama administration used half-baked (or, more likely, completely fabricated) information from some "foreign source" as the pretext to launch a clandestine fishing expedition against Trump during the election.
Can't wait to see the application paperwork for the requested FISA orders!!
gibsonguy 3/6/2017 5:48:56 PMTo: RoosterRedux Don't want to start a separate thread for this and it is somewhat related.
Listening to Hannity show today and William Binney was on and interviewed. Binney was a US Intelligence Official with the NSA who resigned in 2001 and turned whistleblower.
I am paraphrasing but - He says phone, email, test, surveillance is routinely done on everyone with no warrant. He said they can go back for years and pull out the data.
Please listen to Hannity at the top of the 3rd hour for details.
We live in a police state folks under the warrantless eavesdropping program.
Mar 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova : March 13, 2017 at 06:20 PM , 2017 at 06:20 PMObama and Brennan
Baker-Mazzetti's opener says it all: " Just hours before he publicly responded last week to the Senate Intelligence Committee report accusing the Central Intelligence Agency of torture and deceit, John O. Brennan, the CIA's director, stopped by the White House to meet with President Obama. Ostensibly, he was there for an intelligence briefing. But the messages delivered later that day by the White House and Mr. Brennan were synchronized, even down to similar wording, and the larger import of the well-timed visit was hardly a classified secret: After six years of partnership, the president was standing by the embattled spy chief even as fellow Democrats called for his resignation. " Nothing could be plainer. As one who remembers well the guilt-by-association days of McCarthyism, I'm not tarring Obama with Brennan's war crimes and that of the Agency, copiously documented in the Senate Report on Torture, and instead am suggesting an active partnership-in-war-crimes, Obama, if anything, giving CIA its head of steam under his watch , as in its role in drone assassination at facilities in Pakistan, Brennan himself installed as Director after Valiant Service as national security adviser, all despite questions of favoring waterboarding raised in confirmation hearings. From a pool of gung-ho national-security experts on which to draw, the others still making up his First Team of advisers (include generals, admirals, members of think tanks with partly disguised neocon credentials), Obama plucked Brennan to lead the intelligence charge through the interstices of government and military culminating in a permanent war economy and psychosis of vision.
Obama is not Brennan's puppet, nor the other way. Both are electrified by mutual contact and support. The reporters note friction between the White House and Langley "after the release of the scorching report," Brennan having "irritated advisers by battling Democrats on the committee over the report during the past year." They do not point out Obama did the same, stalling release, suffocating criticism of CIA hard-ball tactics against the committee, of which later; yet they make up for that with, given that this is NYT, an astonishing statement: "But in the 67 years since the CIA was founded, few presidents have had as close a bond with their intelligence chiefs as Mr. Obama has forged with Mr. Brennan. It is a relationship that has shaped the policy and politics of the debate over the nation's war with terrorist organizations, as well as the agency's own struggle to balance security and liberty ."
What they don't say is that counterterrorism is part of the larger US position of counterrevolution, issuing in confrontations with Russia and China and regime change wherever American interests are challenged. Nor do they say, the Agency's struggle to balance security and liberty was lost before it had fairly begun, assassination and regime change hardly indicative of liberty, a no-contest battle.
Jan 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.comby Lambert Strether of Corrente .
In the midst of the hysteria about Russian interference in the 2016 election - 52% of Democrat voters believe it's definitely or probably true that "Russia tampered with vote tallies" , a view for which there is no evidence whatever, and which is a depressing testimony to the power of propaganda to produce epistemic closure in liberals as well as conservatives - came Buzzfeed's 35-page "dodgy dossier" on Donald Trump, oppo that the researcher, Christopher Steele , peddled during the election proper, but was unable to sell, not even to an easy mark like Jebbie. (There's a useful debunking of Steele's report in the New York Review of Books , of all places.) Remember the piss jokes? So two-weeks ago Amazingly, or not, a two-page summary to Steele's product had been included in a briefing given to Trump (and Obama). A weary Obama was no doubt well accustomed to the intelligence community's little ways, but the briefing must have been quite a revelation to Trump. I mean, Trump is a man who knows shoddy when he sees it, right?
In any case, a link to the following story in Hamburg's ridiculously sober-sided Die Zeit came over the transom: So schockiert von Trump wie alle anderen ("So shocked by Trump like everyone else"). The reporter is Alexej Kowaljow , a Russian journalist based in Moscow. Before anyone goes "ZOMG! The dude is Russian !", everything Kowaljow writes is based on open sources or common-sense information presumably available to citizens of any nation. The bottom line for me is that if the world is coming to believe that Americans are idiots, it's not necessarily because Americans elected Trump as President.
I'm going to lay out two claims and two questions from Kowaljow's piece. In each case, I'll quote the conventional, Steele and intelligence community-derived wisdom in our famously free press, and then I'll quote Kowaljow. I think Kowaljow wins each time. Easily. I don't think Google Translate handles irony well, but I sense that Kowaljow is deploying it freely.
(1) Trump's Supposed Business Dealings in Russia Are Commercial Puffery
Here's the section on Russia in Time's article on Trump's business dealings; it's representative. I'm going to quote it all so you can savor it. Read it carefully.
Donald Trump's Many, Many Business Dealings in 1 Map
"For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia," Trump tweeted in July, one day before he called on the country to "find" a batch of emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server. Nonetheless, Russia's extraordinary meddling in the 2016 U.S. election-a declassified report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January disclosed that intercepted conversations captured senior Russian officials celebrating Trump's win-as well as Trump's complimentary remarks about Russian President have stirred widespread questions about the President-elect's pursuit of closer ties with Moscow. Several members of Trump's inner circle have business links to Russia, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who consulted for pro-Russia politicians in the Ukraine. Former foreign policy adviser Carter Page worked in Russia and maintains ties there.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has been a regular guest on Russia's English-language propaganda network, RT , and even dined with Putin at a banquet.
During the presidential transition, former Georgia Congressman and Trump campaign surrogate Jack Kingston told a gathering of businessmen in Moscow that the President-elect could lift U.S. sanctions.
According to his own son, Trump has long relied on Russian customers as a source of income. "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Donald Trump Jr. told a Manhattan real estate conference in 2008 , according to an account posted on the website of trade publication eTurboNews. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Back to map .
Read that again, if you can stand it. Do you see the name of an actual business, owned by Trump? Do you see the name of any businessperson who closed a deal with Trump? Do you, in fact, see any reporting at all? At most, you see commercial puffery by Trump the Younger: "Russians [in Russia?] make up a pretty [qualifier] disproportionate [whatever that means] cross-section [whatever that means] of a lot of [qualifier] our assets."
Now Kowaljow (via Google Translate, so forgive any solecisms):
For Donald Trump, all attempts to gain a foothold in the USSR and then in Russia in 30 years of travel and negotiations failed. Moscow did not have a Trump Tower of its own, although Trump boasted every time that he had met the most important people and was just about to invest hundreds of millions in a project that would undoubtedly be successful.
Trumps' largest business success in Russia was the presentation of a Trump Vodka at the Millionaire Fair 2007 in Moscow. This project was also a cleansing; In 2009 the sale of Trump Vodka was discontinued.
Because think about it: Trump puts his name on stuff . Towers in Manhattan, hotels, casinos, golf courses, steaks. Anything in Russia with Trump's name on it? Besides the failed vodka venture? No? Case closed, then.
(2) Zhirinovsky Is The Very Last Person Putin Would Use For A Proxy
From The Hill's summary of Russian "interference" in the 2016 election:
Five reasons intel community believes Russia interfered in election
The attacks dovetailed with other Russian disinformation campaigns
The report covers more than just the hacking effort. It also contains a detailed list account of information warfare against the United States from Russia through other means.
Political party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who the report lists as a "pro-Kremlin proxy," said before the election that, if Trump won, Russia would 'drink champagne' to celebrate their new ability to advance in Syria and Ukraine.
The report of the American intelligence services on the Russian interference in the US elections, published at the beginning of January, was notoriously neglected by Russians, because the name of Vladimir Zhirinovsky was mentioned among the "propaganda activities of Russia", which had announced that in the event of an election victory of Trump champagne to want to drink.
Such a delicate plan – to reach the election of a President of the US by means of Zhirinovsky – ensures a skeptical smile for every Russian at best. He is already seventy and has been at the head of a party with a misleading name for nearly thirty years. The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic. If their policies are somehow characterized, then as right-wing populism. Zhirinovsky is known for shrill statements; He threatened, for example, to destroy the US by means of "gravitational weapons".
If, therefore, the Kremlin had indeed had the treacherous plan of helping Trump to power, it would scarcely have been made known about Zhirinovsky.
The American equivalent would be . Give me a moment to think of an American politician who's both so delusional and such a laughingstock that no American President could possibly consider using them as a proxy in a devilishly complex informational warfare campaign Sara Palin? Anthony Weiner? Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Na ga happen.
And now to the two questions.
(3) Why Would Russian Intelligence Agencies Sources Have Talked to Steele?
But the report, published on the BuzzFeed Internet portal, is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. The problem is not even that there are a lot of false facts. Even the assumption that agents of the Russian secret services are discussing the details with a former secretary of a hostile secret service in the midst of a highly secret operation by which a future President of the US is to be discredited appears strange.
Exactly. For the intelligence community and Democrat reliance on Steele's dossier to be plausible, you have to assume 10-foot tall Russkis (1) with incredibly sophisticated strategic, operational, and technical capabilities, who have (2) performed the greatest intelligence feat of the 21st and 20th centuries, suborning the President of the United States, and whose intelligence agencies are (3) leakly like a sieve. Does that make sense? (Of course, the devilish Russkis could have fed Steele bad data, knowing he'd then feed it to the American intelligence agencies, who would lap it up, but that's another narrative.)
(4) How Do You Compromise the Uncompromisable?
Funny how suddenly the word kompromat was everywhere, wasn't it? So sophisticated. Everybody loves to learn a new word! Regarding the "Golden Showers" - more sophistication! - Kowaljow writes:
But even if such a compromise should exist, what sense should it have, since the most piquant details have long been publicly discussed in public, and had no effect on the votes of the elected president? Like all the other scandals trumps, which passed through the election campaign, they also remained unresolved, including those who were concerned about sex.
This also includes what is known as a compromise, compromising material, that is, video shots of the unsightly nature, which can destroy both the political career and the life of a person. The word Kompromat shines today – as in the past Perestroika – in all headlines; It was not invented in Russia, of course. But in Russia in the Yeltsin era, when the great clans in the power gave bitter fights and intensively used the media, works of this kind have ended more than just a brilliant career. General Prosecutor Jurij Skuratov was dismissed after a video had been shown in the country-wide television channels: There, a person "who looks like the prosecutor's office" had sex with two prostitutes.
Donald Trump went on Howard Stern for, like, decades. The stuff that's right out there for whoever wants to roll those tapes is just as "compromising" as anything in the dodgy dossier, or the "grab her by the pussy" tape, for that matter. As Kowaljow points out, none of it was mortally wounding to Trump; after all, if you're a volatility voter who wants to kick over the table in a rigged game, you don't care about the niceties.
It would be nice, wouldn't it, if our famously free press was actually covering the Trump transition , instead of acting like their newsrooms are mountain redoubts for an irrendentist Clinton campaign. It would be nice, for example, to know:
1) The content and impact of Trump's Executive Orders.
2) Ditto, regulations.
3) Personnel decisions below the Cabinet level. Who are the Flexians?
4) Obama policies that will remain in place, because both party establishments support them. Charters, for example.
5) Republican inroads in Silicon Valley.
6) The future of the IRS, since Republicans have an axe to grind with it.
7) Mismatch between State expectations for infrastructure and Trump's implementation
And that's before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that's been going on for days.
Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren't concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. Failing unless, of course, you're the sort of sleaze merchant who downsizes the newsroom because, hey, it's all about the clicks.
Jan 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. : January 13, 2017 at 06:17 AMhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/us/politics/james-comey-fbi-inspector-general-hillary-clinton.html
Comey Letter on Clinton Email Is Subject of Justice Dept. Inquiry
By ADAM GOLDMAN, ERIC LICHTBLAU and MATT APUZZO
JAN. 12, 2017
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's inspector general said Thursday that he would open a broad investigation into how the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, handled the case over Hillary Clinton's emails, including his decision to discuss it at a news conference and to disclose 11 days before the election that he had new information that could lead him to reopen it.
The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, will not look into the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton or her aides. But he will review actions Mr. Comey took that Mrs. Clinton and many of her supporters believe cost her the election.
They are: the news conference in July at which he announced he was not indicting Mrs. Clinton but described her behavior as "extremely careless"; the letter to Congress in late October in which he said that newly discovered emails could potentially change the outcome of the F.B.I.'s investigation; and the letter three days before the election in which he said that he was closing it again.
The inspector general's office said that it was initiating the investigation in response to complaints from members of Congress and the public about actions by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department during the campaign that could be seen as politically motivated.
For Mr. Comey and the agency he heads, the Clinton investigation was politically fraught from the moment the F.B.I. received a referral in July 2015 to determine whether Mrs. Clinton and her aides had mishandled classified information. Senior F.B.I. officials believed there was never going to be a good outcome, since it put them in the middle of a bitterly partisan issue.
Whatever the decision on whether to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime, Mr. Comey, a Republican former Justice Department official appointed by President Obama, was going to get hammered. And he was.
Republicans, who made her use of a private email server a centerpiece of their campaign against Mrs. Clinton, attacked Mr. Comey after he decided there was not sufficient evidence she had mishandled classified information to prosecute her.
The Clinton campaign believed the F.B.I. investigation was overblown and seriously damaged her chances to win the White House and resented Mr. Comey's comments about Mrs. Clinton at his news conference. But the campaign was particularly upset about Mr. Comey's two letters, which created a wave of damaging news stories at the end of the campaign, when Mrs. Clinton and her supporters thought they had put the email issue behind them.
In the end, the emails that the F.B.I. reviewed - which came up during an unrelated inquiry into Anthony D. Weiner, the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin - proved irrelevant to the investigation's outcome.
The Clinton campaign said Mr. Comey's actions quite likely caused a significant number of undecided voters to cast ballots for President-elect Donald J. Trump.
F.B.I. officials said Thursday that they welcomed the scrutiny. In a statement, Mr. Comey described Mr. Horowitz as "professional and independent" and promised to cooperate with his investigation. "I hope very much he is able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency," Mr. Comey said.
Brian Fallon, the former press secretary for the Clinton campaign and the former top spokesman for the Justice Department, said the inspector general's investigation was long overdue.
"This is highly encouraging and to be expected, given Director Comey's drastic deviation from Justice Department protocol," he said. "A probe of this sort, however long it takes to conduct, is utterly necessary in order to take the first step to restore the F.B.I.'s reputation as a nonpartisan institution."
Mr. Horowitz has the authority to recommend a criminal investigation if he finds evidence of illegality, but there has been no suggestion that Mr. Comey's actions were unlawful. Rather, the question has been whether he acted inappropriately, showed bad judgment or violated Justice Department guidelines. It is not clear what the consequences would be for Mr. Comey if he was found to have done any of those things.
The Justice Department and the F.B.I. have a longstanding policy against discussing criminal investigations. Another Justice Department policy declares that politics should play no role in investigative decisions. Both Democratic and Republican administrations have interpreted that policy broadly to prohibit taking any steps that might even hint at an impression of partisanship.
Inspectors general have investigated F.B.I. directors before, but rarely. The most high-profile example was the investigation of William S. Sessions, who was fired by President Bill Clinton after an internal inquiry cited him for financial misconduct. In recent years, the inspector general has investigated accusations of wrongdoing by the F.B.I. involving some of its most sensitive operations, including a number of surveillance and counterterrorism programs.
As part of the review, the inspector general will examine other issues related to the email investigation that Republicans have raised. They include whether the deputy director of the F.B.I., Andrew G. McCabe, should have recused himself from any involvement in it.
In 2015, Mr. McCabe's wife ran for a State Senate seat in Virginia as a Democrat and accepted nearly $500,000 in political contributions from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a key ally of the Clintons. Though Mr. McCabe did not assume his post until February 2016, months after his wife was defeated, critics both within the agency and outside of it felt that he should have recused himself.
The F.B.I. has said Mr. McCabe played no role in his wife's campaign. He also told his superiors she was running and sought ethics advice from F.B.I. officials.
Mr. Horowitz said he would also investigate whether the Justice Department's top congressional liaison, Peter Kadzik, had improperly provided information to the Clinton campaign. A hacked email posted by WikiLeaks showed that Mr. Kadzik alerted the campaign about a coming congressional hearing that was likely to raise questions about Mrs. Clinton.
Investigators will be helped in gathering evidence by a law that Congress passed just last month, which ensures that inspectors general across the government will have access to all relevant agency records in their reviews.
The law grew out of skirmishes between the F.B.I. and the Justice Department inspector general over attempts by the F.B.I. to keep grand jury material and other records off limits. The new law means Mr. Horowitz's investigators should have access to any records deemed relevant.
Mr. Trump has not indicated whether he intends to keep Mr. Comey in his job. When he cleared Mrs. Clinton of criminal wrongdoing during the campaign, Mr. Trump accused him of being part of a rigged system.
Although the president does not need cause to fire the F.B.I. director, a critical inspector general report could provide justification to do so if Mr. Trump is looking for some.
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